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BABYSITTING [CLAUDIA]


Sains
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December 1st, 73AD
 



Finally, he'd been assigned. What had seemed to be an endless wave of formality and introductory training had finally resulted in a posting that he thought he'd more than merited. He was, after all, to be a bodyguard. A bodyguard to the Imperial family was a position of great importance for obvious reasons, and the great honor was not lost on Decimus. The walk from the lower streets up the Palatine hill had been something he could have only vaguely imagined during his time in the Legion. It was a religious experience. During that trek up the marble stairs towards his new and most likely permanent posting there was little more he could think of than the stories he'd been told of the palace and how the greatest leaders of Rome had once walked where he was now. He could feel them, he was sure, smiling in acknowledgment of yet another soul that would be exposed to such beauty. How lucky he was.

He did his best to control any awestruck look he may give off as he followed closely behind one of the Praetorian sentries that had been instructed to lead him to the palace. Of course, they could not wear their armor within the limits of the city, and the toga he'd been instructed to wear was something of a bother to a man who had worn a simpler tunica for the better part of his life. It wasn't truly falling apart on his person, which is what he had feared most, but even still there was a bit of awkwardness when it came to keeping his feet away from the cloth. Perhaps it was a bit big on him? He'd skin that tailor alive if he'd spent money on a botched piece of work. It hadn't helped that he'd been receiving idle grins from the other sentinels as he'd passed. 

Soon all of his inhibitions would need to melt away. He had reached the last few stairs and the guardsman had waved him on, as he would not be accompanying him to the room. A friendly nod and his final ascension began. 

He told the first slave he encountered what his work was to be, and with a few turns down long and ornate hallways filled with the art of ages he was well on course. He'd never been inside the palace of course, but he was not overcome with any great sense of desire to stop and gawk at any of the paintings. Today was the day he would enter a noble's house without any clumsiness or awkward sets of speech. Today he had a simple job and it was one that he should delight in. 

More hallways passed him by as if he were in an endless labyrinth of statues chiseled from fine marble. They were of men he'd never seen before, of course, but their labels lent some magnitude to each of their visages. He felt as though the gods had watchful eyes on him. Finally, he grabbed a slave long enough to explain where he needed to be in earnest. It was a short walk to the final set of doors and with a cautionary gesture, he awaited the slave's return from the young imperial's room. He doubted he would be turned away at this point. But who could tell? Maybe she had a tough disdain for bodyguards. He'd heard of such from other rich men who'd no desire to be watched for long durations by a mercenary or even a soldier. At any rate, he hoped he hadn't gotten out of bed for nothing.

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She was not happy. However, her face did not show it and instead would show mild curiosity. It was important for her to remain protected and safe, she understood this. Yet why did she need to be assigned her own bodyguard? Why could she not select her own to be trustworthy? Her mother had selected her own to ensure her safety, and even at one time had her own private forces to protect herself. There were many people who would wish to buy his loyalty, and his discretion. 

Claudia was well-versed enough to know that guards were normal, and that she ultimately had little choice in the matter. All she could do was see what kind of a man he was. Drusilla's influence meant her brother-in-law had less sway over her living quarters, and it allowed her to have peace away from him. She had begun to feel safer, and had been encouraged to decorate the rooms however she chose. Something she was incredibly grateful for. The girl was beginning to transform from the girl into the woman. She would need to take her place in Roman society. Her father was a Caesar, now her uncle, and she wished to honour the memory of her mother along with making Drusilla proud. 

Claudia was seated. The rooms had differing areas for entertaining guests, a bedroom itself, and an atrium. Her hair was coiled, a necklace and bracelets around her wrists. Otherwise, her chiton was otherwise plain as this was her home and she was not currently on display. Her cosmetics were minimal. One of her slaves entered, "Domina, the praetorian is here to see you," Arria said, then saw her Domina's nod of agreement and walked to fetch him. She invited him into the room and presented him. 

"This is Decimus Rutilius Atellus, the praetorian sent to you by Caesar," Arria presented him and returned back to her position on the wall. Claudia paused and looked him over. He was soldierly, young, and his tunica was on the longer side. Now she needed to see what his character would be like. 

"Salve praetorian, I take it you are the one entrusted to protect me as a bodyguard?" She asked, smiled and waited to see what he would say. 

Decimus Rutilius Atellus

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Decimus stepped through the doorway when prompted by the slave and stood before his charge with the confidence of a lion. It would appear that way to the young girl who certainly flourished enough through the gifts of youth so that she would need no great amount of cosmetics to make her seem any fairer. The plain chiton It might be to the opinion of many that any addition to her features may only serve to detract from their beauty. Honestly, he was less confident than he might be letting on, but that would be true of any man in his position. He made no great effort to appear imposing or impressive, save for a somewhat noticeable flexing of his arms that might lend some credibility to his future tasks. 

At her greeting, he offered a short nod but did not return the smile. He wished to appear more martial than usual. After all, he wasn't auditioning to take this girl out to pick flowers. His task was serious, and he knew she might understand that.

"I have been given that honor, Domina. No harm shall come to you while I stand."

He held his gaze with her and looked upon her for what she was. He'd heard much talk of the imperial family since arriving in Rome. The things he'd heard had been what one might expect to hear of those that wielded such power, they were either angels or devils depending on who you'd ask. She appeared as a child to him, not much older than he'd been when he'd first signed on to hold a sword. Long way he'd come since then, and longer still was they road left to travel. 

With the taking of this opportunity, he'd taken something for himself that he'd never truly had since he was a child, a home. Not that he would be treating her like a family member at this very instant, but he certainly couldn't expect to be living out of a tent anymore. Life in the legion was often full of movement and what little time they might spend in a true city or fortress would be short-lived before their time was up and they were to return to some form of frontline action. He did not know how he felt about the premise yet. No more fighting, no more glorious days in the sun. Perhaps this was where thoughts of drills and maneuvers would subside to thoughts of a hearth and home. He was making more than the average guardsman of course. He'd often thought, humorously, that the extra pay was a form of bribery so that he might be more loyal. It definitely hadn't hurt. 

"If there is anything you wish to know of me, Domina, I am obliged to answer. It would seem that we will be spending a lot of time with one another."

Gods, he hoped that might be taken in the correct form. It would be his head otherwise.

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Claudia inclined her head slowly in response. She could have sworn he was flexing his muscles, how much was he trying to impress her? Perhaps she had been looking a little too much. He was handsome, soldierly, and she strongly doubted that he oiled his hair. There was no smile in return for her either. He was all business with her, and that was a mixed bag. Professional. How much would she be able to influence him was still to be decided. 

"I am pleased to have you in my service," She answered, thus fare there had been no attempts on her life. Yet only the Gods knew what the future held. Claudia knew there were clear advantages for him to take this position. The increased pay, home, ability to reside in the city of Rome, and the prestige was considerable. Claudia paused to listen to him when he offered to answer of the questions that she may have. It was always a curiousity to speak to someone who had lived a vastly different life to her. What had his soldier's life had been like? 

"We will," She answered, not that her dislike of having a guard was shown on her face. It was not his fault directly anyway. Claudia smiled pleasantly before she continued. "Perhaps you could tell me more about your home life and about where you served in the army?" Claudia offered as both starting points. She pondered whether or not she should invite him to sit. Technically, he was on duty at the moment and it was important for him to remain focused on his task. 

Yet.. some familiarity could be helpful. 

"Water? Wine?" She offered with a smile and a bit of a giggle about the latter. Not that drunkenness would be tolerated from a member of the praetorian guard, especially her own. "In all seriousness, I hope your time guarding me is not too unpleasant for you." Claudia added, waited and wondered how much he would tell her, if anything, while the slave offered him some water or wine. 

Decimus Rutilius Atellus

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The suggestion of wine managed to extract a grin from the previously stoic face. He let his form become less tense the moment it seemed as though she would be more interested in speaking with him than sending him away. He approached her steadily, stopping at a more familiar distance than the doorway. 

"Water would be fine, Domina."

He let his eyes wander around the room for a few moments, taking in the natural beauty of a scene constructed by the hands of men, but which would certainly do honor to a god. Though, that was the way that most of the palace had seemed, a temple to the living gods. Of course, he held that perspective with a grain of salt. This girl who relaxed in front of him was not a goddess, but she was certainly the fairest Roman girl he'd yet seen. Perhaps she would prove to be more beastly in the mornings.

"I would love to speak of my travels, that is if your uncle hasn't already bored you with his endless trail of victories and conquests?" 

It would seem as though the travels of himself and the travels of the emperor only differed in the details. While he would have told her of riding into great battles with courage and the many scenes of exotic lands he'd visited, Decimus would only be able to recount individual moments in the fairly small array of lands he'd visited in his life. Gaul, Germany, and Britannia were all well known the Roman people by now. Inhabited by smelling people with a vulgar tendency, he knew he couldn't retell all of the 'Great' events he'd been a part of. 

"I come from Spain... I admit I've traveled a long way to end up by your side now. My father still works a vineyard there."

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Claudia watched Decimus while he sat down across from her. He was handed a goblet of water by the servant. For a moment she wondered what he was looking at and turned to see what was viewing. There were times when she realised that many Romans did not frequently view the same finery that she did. It was something she could owe to her station in life. She chuckled when he answered her, it was true, she had heard many tales of battles of yesteryear and wished to know of Decimus. And besides, didn't all soldiers love to tell tales of their prowess? 

"Not at all, I enjoy hearing these tales and if you are to guard me. It makes sense for me to know of your skill," She answered sweetly. He didn't quite answer concerning his battle prowess yet although it was fascinating to hear people's origins. 

Spain. Another country she had never visited and one she would like to. Many Romans traveled throughout the Empire to see the other parts of the world. Perhaps she would sometime. 

"Spain," She answered, it sounded foreign to her and he continued to speak of his family. Perhaps he was shy about his origins? "Tell me about the vineyard. My mother used to own some," She said, a confession about more concerning her own family. It was either now owned by Flavia, Tiberius, or herself now. Any assets she did own were owned were now managed by the elder members of her family.

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"Well, Spain is a land of love and spirit as many know. My family's home sits atop a great hill, not unlike this one... Though we don't have so many fine things. From our doorstep, you can look out over the hills for dozens of miles, and if you look carefully you can see the walls of Tarraco in the distance."

Of course, he had fond memories of home, and speaking about it only made him homesick. It was better now than it had been when he'd first left, but Spain was still some distance away. Perhaps he could make trips occasionally now? He'd have to find out about the best times to sail, not to ment-. All at once he'd realized he'd let his mind wander, she was probably still waiting to hear of the vineyard itself. 

"But yes, the vineyard was lovely as well! Rows of vines all across the hill terraced down to the base, you might know the style."

Decimus took a short sip from the goblet and ran his fingers idly across the metallic surface as he thought about how he might explain his experiences in Britannia. It was funny, at least to him, that he might not remember each and every detail of the battles he'd fought in on the northern frontier. The earlier battles seemed to mesh together in his memory, though he would never truly forget the first. 

"Well Domina, we would be sitting here for the rest of the night if I told you all I've seen up there... I fought in many battles that were not like the ones experienced by our ancestors. They take place in the forests, but these woods are far less beautiful than the woods of Gaul. These woods are filled with fog and men with axes and broadsword. I've slain well over a thousand men if that should mean anything about me. Blue-faced savages, most of them, but some had some skill behind their blades."

It was then that he'd pause and take another sip from the goblet to collect his thoughts. He thought long about the more famous warriors that he'd slain and one man stood out to him above all. It was he who'd almost taken his life more than once in that same day. 

"I took the life of Bricius, Tamer of Trees, if you'd like to hear of him."

He took a moment to smile at the mention of the man's title. It was certainly unique, but it hadn't sounded altogether threatening the first time he'd heard it from the locals. The man sounded as if he might be some old forester.

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She listened while he answered her questions. It all sounded like a completely foreign world to her, she paused and imagined it. Years ago, she had gone East when Livia had fled with her in over to escape Clemens' grasp. Although her memories of the event was hazy. Decimus' home sounded quite peaceful, happy, and with a simple nature to it. She smiled to herself as she listened, subconsciously leaned close to to focus more on the story he was currently telling her and noticed that briefly he too was off imagining. She nodded in acknowledgement, Claudia had seen the style in the past and waited for him to continue. 

Britannia. She had heard many things about that foreign land. 

Her elder brother, Darius, had begun the conquest of the land and unfortunately, it was his final conquest. She had seen some of the British slaves with their bodies still marked with the woad paint. Clearly marking them. It sent a shiver down her spine, it must have been terrifying to be in these forests with all the screaming barbarians charging at you through the mist and not being sure where they came from. 

"A tamer of trees?" Claudia asked, clearly equally as unimpressed by the title and gave a shrug of her pale shoulders. 

"Sure, tell me all about him. I cannot say that I recall the name." She added, then waited for him to begin his tale. 

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Decimus smiled as she encouraged him. Honestly, he couldn't tell whether she'd grown bored of him or not, but he was determined to persist. These were tales of faraway lands after all, and even he became enthralled in the details as he recalled them. 

"Aye, a tamer of trees... The man must have been near three head taller than I, and as big as an Ox. He was some type of Briton Chief... A man of high rank, something like that. This man's style of fighting involved a large tree trunk laden with moss and dried blood. He'd swing this great club around and smash up entire formations! Honestly a terror..."

He paused. In part, he hoped to gauge her reaction and also to wet his throat. Taking in the last of the water, he thought of the man he'd slain and how it had come to pass in more detail. It was one of the more memorable kills he'd claimed on that island forgotten by Jupiter.

 

Placing the goblet aside, he continued.

 

"As foolish as it may sound I slew him by jumping up on his back."

 

He smiled and nearly snorted! It was humorous, at least to him. When he'd done it, he'd hardly expected it might actually work, he was more interested in having the man distracted away from the rest of the lads. He thought for a second of their faces, the way that they had looked upon him and rushed the beast. What times...

 

"And that was that... Ran a blade through his neck... Fell like a tree, if you like."

 

The last quip he'd added with a small flare of a smirk, amusing himself if no one else.

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Claudia had heard tales of war since childhood. Some of them she wondered how truthful they were, and others, she thought they were exaggerated. Politely, she sat and listened to him quietly. She had seen some of the British tribesmen, they were much taller than she was and covered in their blue markings. She nodded slowly, still listened and wasn't sure. A large tree trunk that was covered in blood? Claudia waited while he sipped his water, she lifted her own to take a sip and nearly did a spit take when he said he jumped on his back. She gave a little cough, her hand rested on her chest and she lowered the goblet back down to rest on her lap. In the background, she heard a moment of laughter from the slaves and then silence. 

Her imagination was running wild with the thought of Decimus riding the angry British chief as he flailed around with a massive tree trunk in his hands. 

And there it was, a pun as well. 

Claudia blinked. Was Decimus a father by any chance? 

"Bravo! And here you are now in my service. I hope you won't have as much trouble with me as you did with Bricius," She said with a twinkle in her eye, although the defiant child in her was tempted to rise to the challenge while the woman was determined to set an example to the other Romans. 

She could not get the mental image out of her head.

Decimus riding on Bricius' shoulders. 

@Sains

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Decimus smiled warmly at her praise and, of course, at the laughter of the slaves which seemed to lighten the mood of the room just a tad. He was feeling rather at home now, in this strange room, surrounded by these strange people. At any rate, this position seemed as though it might be a bit of a cakewalk compared to the assignments along the frontier. It all depended on how this young lady acted during the day, not to mention what great escapades she explored in the night...

"Ah well Domina, you'll not need fear the same treatment I gave that man. However, and I do not seek to pry, I was wondering if you might be able to give me an idea of what you do from day-to-day... Danger can lurk behind every corner, Ma'am."

He would usually avoid this line of questioning with a superior, but she seemed amicable enough to indulge him. Simply put, it would help him do his job. He wondered if she would ever leave the safety of this palace? He supposed not, save for parties and the like, but perhaps she led a secret life that few knew. Even still he doubted she would tell him right away even if she did. Trust would need to be built, and in this way, he would learn to protect the girl. 

 

 

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Claudia had heard many jokes before, yet could not help but blink in response to his reassurance about not being ridden like a horse and then having her throat slit. Still, it was appreciated to ask what she needed from his service. She smiled softly and answered him. 

"You will be escorting me to the various social functions. Visiting temples that you are permitted to enter, guarding me while I am at the races or the games, and if I am ever in the company of dangerous people," She smiled, winked at him and chuckled to herself. Claudia was not particularly wild in her tastes, nor her function. She did have one trait that she had learned while she was in the East, and it was a hobby her mother also had. She learned to ride, it may not have been the most orthodox nor the most respectable trait for a Roman princess to have yet it was something she enjoyed none the less. 

"I often try to ride my horse outside Rome as often as I can," She said, watched him to gauge his reaction to the news. Claudia would do what she wished. The areas outside Rome meant her horse would not be spooked by the noise, sounds, and sights of the Roman populace. It also gave her a chance to be outside the city. 

@Sains

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Decimus listened intently to what she said, clasping his hands in front of him and leaning forward so that he might hear her all the more clearly. It seemed like guarding this young one would be no exercise in laying down. She seemed to get around the city quite well, as one might well expect with her status. Parties and other social distractions had been what he'd expected most, but the horse riding came as a surprise. He knew of nobles who rode outside of the walls, of course, but those were usually men of some status or military background. Not being averse to the idea of her riding, however, he nodded with understanding and thought on these activities for a few moments.

"I can assure you that I will be as a shadow during those 'social functions', and no man will be a danger to you while I live. I must admit, I did not expect a rider out of one like you, but I can assure you that I am no stranger to the saddle. So long as you can keep pace, I'm sure we'll have no issue."

The last of his words came with a flash of a smile as he adjusted the toga about his shoulders. It felt odd, honestly. Hopefully, he wouldn't be expected to do his riding in a toga, for that might prove to be truly ruinous. 

 

@Gothic

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Claudia smiled and relaxed when she did not receive a lecture, nor any critical comments about her activities, and remembered something her mother told her when she was young. That earning the loyalty of those around you was important. She slowly nodded her head in acknowledgement, still listening to his answers, and could not resist a laugh. Now that sounded like a challenge. 

"So long as I can keep pace?" She asked in good cheer, a devious twinkle in her eye and she wondered whether he would be happy about the idea later on. "That sounds like a challenge, and one I would be only too happy to accept." Claudia agreed, lifted her drink and sipped the liquid. No doubt she would need to travel with other companions in order to ensure that her chastity was assured. Not that she believed that Decimus would attempt anything wicked. Unfortunately, Rome was not always kind to women when it came to freedom of movement. 

She was interested in how much he knew. 

"Do you know my family?" She asked, unsure of what and who he knew already.

@Sains

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"Your family?.." 

Decimus did not wish to appear ignorant of her kin, powerful as they were, but the quality of new information varied as one traveled the Empire. In the days leading up to their introduction, he'd done his best to read every scrap of papyrus he could pull together about her and the emperor, but very little about the rest of the family. What was written was not often useful to him though. He found that the best way to learn about people was through their peers and relations, though this was quite impossible to do with the royal family. What little more he'd gleaned had come from a few of the Praetorian officers who'd simply told him what and what not to do in their presence. 

"Well, everyone knows about your uncle, but I must admit that news about the rest of your family rarely reached me at the front..."

He raked his brain for a few moments more, trying to remember a few names that may prove useful at the very least. Suddenly he felt like a fool. Of course, he knew another imperial relative, that man Octavius!

"Octavius... Flavius Alexander? I think that was the name of the man who came to the Isles. A great warrior from what I hear, though I never had the opportunity to serve under him."

Admittedly he was slightly embarrassed he didn't know more about her family tree, but he thought that the Commanders would educate him about them over time. Truly, he thought he might slip by just by making way for anyone who'd walk by surrounded by guards or slaves. It seemed like an easy enough thing to remember.

"I trust I will learn more of them in your service, Domina."

 

@Gothic

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She nodded.

Claudia knew she had absolutely placed him in the hot seat. 

There were likely plenty of rumours about the Imperial family. Tongues always wagged. Yet there were occasions when the truth was whispered about people they could not speak of. Claudia listened to him, occasionally she inclined her head in acknowledgement and smiled a little at the mention of her uncle, Octavius. Claudia was not surprised. A majority of the men in her family had served in the army, or commanded legions. Although at the moment, it sounded like he did not know much concerning her late parents or her half-siblings. Perhaps that was a good thing? 

"I am sure you will, Decimus. My family is important to me," She said, smiled softly and wondered how he would react to seeing the other members of the family. Then there was also the extended family, as well.

No doubt he would meet them all. 

Perhaps it was not kind to put him on the spot like this. Yet she was incredibly curious to discover more about how they were viewed by the lower classes. After the chaos of the civil war, her uncle had brought peace and security. Two things that were not commonplace with the chaos. 

"How do you view my uncle?" She asked, then to clarify, "Quintus Caesar, how do view him?"

@Sains

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Decimus leaned back into the chair's cushion and thought deeply for a few moments. How did he feel about the emperor? His father loved him. He'd praised Quintus near constantly in their correspondence. With that in mind, he'd no true disdain for the man, quite the contrary.

"Your uncle saved Rome, none among my family can deny that."

Even now the image of the emperor was an evocative one. He'd settled the issues in Britannia to a point where any respectable man might travel the province with little difficulty, safety even. Though the frontier was far from quiet, upon his leaving the isle he'd noted that the overall climate of the situation was largely calmed as opposed to their initial incursions which were, for lack of a better word, 'contested'.

"I had the privilege of seeing his policies in action on the Isle. We made true gains with those campaigns, pacified the region. He's an honorable man, and worthy of his title. I hope that you'll know it is one of the greatest honors given to me that I should be allowed to serve in his house."

He bowed his head respectfully to the princess, still slightly on edge for another query as to his allegiance, but he knew in his heart that he'd certainly proven loyal enough to arrive here. 

 

@Gothic

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Claudia listened to him when he answered her questions about her uncle. She had no doubt that her family members would keep tabs on her, mostly for her own safety and security. She listened closely, still learning her place in the world and had a desire to see how others viewed those close to her. It was pleasant to hear the praise and the respect offered. Still, she had only met Decimus today, and eventually his character would become known to her. 

"Thank you, Decimus." She answered, "No doubt you will also meet with the extended family as well. The ones who do not live here," She said, many of the younger brothers lived in the family domus together yet were frequent visitors to the Domus Augustorum. The numerous cousins, uncles and aunts, then the cousins of Quintus, and other family members. No doubt Decimus would learn all their names and faces when it came to visiting the Domus. 

Claudia paused, momentarily unsure how else she should explain Decimus' duties to him. There was another factor for him that he needed to know about. Cynane, her British bodyguard. 

"You will also be coming into contact with Cynane," She began, "Cynane, is my British bodyguard and she is a gladiatrix of the arena." She continued, watched his face and wondered what his reaction would be. 

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Decimus nodded as she told him of the extended family. Of course, he knew they existed, and he was quite excited to hear that he'd be rubbing shoulders with all of them... At least in some capacity. Being a bodyguard gave one little time for conversation, but perhaps when the nights became long he might find his way into some idle conversation. Children always seemed to love him enough, though that went hand in hand with being a soldier at any station.

Everything was sounding pretty routine until she mentioned Cynane. She hardly needed to tell him of her origin, the name said it all. He'd heard of a few others called that on the Isle, and he was well aware of the Britannic women who took up the sword on more than one occasion. If she were a gladiatrix she would be skilled at the very least. In truth, Decimus still bore some degree of ill-will towards the people of Briton, not only because he'd done combat with them but because he had found them a changeable folk. He'd been betrayed not once, but twice in his life by Britons of different tribes. One of those deceptions had nearly cost him his life. 

In his disposition, Claudia would see little change, save for an eyebrow raise at the very word, 'British'. 

"I see... She must be quite special to have gained your trust."

Though his face remained steady, it was clear that there was a bit more gruffness in his voice that could be construed as displeasure. And why shouldn't he be upset, after all? Even if he'd hated the idea, it was beyond him now. It was his duty to protect and work alongside the protectors of this young lady, and he was certainly ready to do his bit.

"If you are worried about our interactions then I can assure you that there will be no aggression on my part, Domina."

@Gothic

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Claudia's concerns had been for nothing.

Cynane was famous and certainly well-known to the people of Rome. The British gladiatrix had been a gift to her from her uncle, Octavius and remained with her when she went to any temples that only women were permitted to enter. Over the time, they had developed a deep friendship and she was happy to have Cynane watching over her. She watched his expression and remembered he was a veteran from Britannia. No doubt there would be some level of concern there. She thought his answer was one of the most diplomatic she could have heard, she inclined her head in acknowledgement and she could tell that he did not like it. Admittedly, she could understand why. Not that she believed that Cynane would do anything to cause issues for them. 

"I am pleased to hear, Decimus. I will not tolerate any issues within my household," She said politely yet firmly. The girl was certainly turning into a woman, and hoped to make her late parents proud of her. Overtime Claudia would be taking on more responsibilities and duties as a woman of the Imperial family. She would never forget who she was. There was something about Decimus. He had a refreshing honesty about him, and she had a feeling they would be able to work well together. 

Claudia smiled again, "Where will you be staying now?" She asked, there were rooms in the Domus Augustana and their was also the Barracks of the Praetorians. Yet she wished to know more. Was he going to be staying with family? Did he even have family in Rome?

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He nodded in understanding as she stated her position. Of course she wouldn't want any issues between the two, and he would certainly try his best to avoid any meaningful confrontation with the Briton. He doubted that the gladiatrix would even feel the need to speak to him, in earnest, though they may have a short day to day interactions that often came with the seriousness of their task. He'd be obliged to tell her of any suspicions he had of threats the young lady and she would be obliged to tell him the same. No, he expected this would be a case of smiling and walking alongside a former enemy as an ally, which was something he was not totally unaccustomed to. In Britannia, there had been allies of the Legions that wore their colors and spoke Latin. It would be no different from that, he was sure. 

"They are keeping me at the castra for now, Domina, though if you feel it necessary they could certainly arrange to have me transferred to the palace."

He smiled warmly, hoping she hadn't taken his availability to be moved as a sign that he expressly wished her to do it for him. Palatial life would certainly be splendorous for those of royal birth, but a bunk in the palace wouldn't be anything remarkable. Or at least he expected that to be true. He expected the only great improvement that would be found from being transferred into the palace would be the food, though even the bread at the castra was miles better than what they'd received on the isle. 

@Gothic

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Claudia listened to him when he answered her. The Princess was not entirely sure what the etiquette was for permitting a praetorian to break ranks, nor did she wish to change things from the start. No doubt he would be expected to earn any changes that he would be given. She also needed to know that she could trust him. 

"For now, we will see how life in the Castra treats you. You may appreciate being able to spend time with your fellow soldiers," She answered, camaraderie was an important part of life. No matter the station of a person. Claudia smiled, "Especially spending time with me all day. Shopping, attending meetings, visiting temples, some more shopping, riding," She took a breath and sighed with a hint of pretend melodrama, "Doing my hair, and more." Claudia playfully teased him. After all, she had friends and companions of her own that would keep her company. 

While she did all of these things (and more) as he would discover. "Although, I hope that guarding me would not be too strenuous for you." She added, sipped her drink and asked. "Do you have any further questions about your duties?" 

@Sains

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Decimus smiled warmly and nodded at her observation. In truth, he was somewhat relieved that he would be allowed to stay at the Castra for the foreseeable future, as he didn't want to pack up all of his things yet again and move just yet. Perhaps the desire to be closer to where he worked would come with time, but he certainly enjoyed the idea of leaving whatever stresses he ran into on the hill after a long day. 

Truly, he couldn't imagine the stresses of this job getting too him quite as much as Britannia did in the first few weeks. Dealing with the cutthroats and brigands that made up those painted armies had done much to grow a man out of the young farm boy who'd left home at seventeen. Perhaps, however, he'd fall victim to the sheer boredom which he thought he might experience. The thought made him chuckle a bit as she seemed to read his mind and list out the several things that she attended to in the day, not to mention the possibility of hair styling. 

"I don't think I'd make for much of a stylist, Domina, but know that I look forward to this assignment. Anything you can throw at me has already been hurled tenfold by those saps across the sea."

He stood as she inquired about any lingering doubts he might have, adjusting his Toga to suit himself better before he made to leave. 

"I think I've learned all I need so far, Ma'am. I'm sure the Centurion will work out the details of my being by your side before too long and send you a scroll. If ever I am not present and you need me, you need only call."

With that assurance, he bowed his head to her and raised it in a proud fashion, quite happy that everything had gone so well!

 

@Gothic

 

Edited by Sains
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Claudia hoped he would not die of boredom in the process of serving her. She smiled with her answer and raised an eyebrow when he stood without permission. Otherwise, the meeting had gone well and she was pleased with how the pair had gotten along. It had gone well, and no doubt they would spend time with each other again. She was pleased, it was best for them to part now and they would not doubt see each other again. Perhaps that was the reason why he had stood? 

"Very well, I will see you here tomorrow, soldier," She answered, unsure about the level of formality that would exist between them next time. "You are dismissed. I hope you settle in and enjoy your service." The Princess answered, one of her household slaves approached and leaned down to whisper into her ear. Claudia silently nodded her head, stood and was shorter than the praetorian guard. "Vale," She said, turned and walked away. Her perfume followed her as she entered another part of the quarters and her thoughts continued. 

-fin-

@Sains

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