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Lexus Naevius Gineverus

The season to be jolly

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Lexus and Phaedo had been friends for a little more than half a year now – and it had come to that time of the year, where they would celebrate Saturnalia! Lexus and his mother had barely arrived in Rome last time, but now he’d lived here a good long while and now he looked forwards to the great Saturnalia celebrations. And he was hoping he could spend some time with Phaedo; he might be a slave and a whore, but he was also very clever and smart, Lexus thought. He knew so many things and he was teaching some to Lexus. And Lexus’ mother had been a bit reluctant at first, when he told her about the friendship, but then she decided that since both of Lexus’ parents had been slaves, what was so wrong with him befriending one?

So everything was fine. And knowledgeable and interesting Phaedo would have to enjoy the Saturnalia part of the year very much, right? After all, everything was closed this day – it was a public holiday for everyone, including slaves at the brothel, unless of course they wanted to work. And it wasn’t just a holiday… you could even switch roles with your masters, so that slaves became the masters for one day and the masters would serve the slaves. 

And this was Lexus’ basic idea for celebrating with Phaedo; his mistress had many slaves and couldn’t possibly trade places with them all. She also probably wouldn’t, since that meant she had to be a whore for a day. But couldn’t they pretend that the freeborn Lexus was Phaedo’s master, so that Lexus would be the slave today and Phaedo would act as if he’d never been a slave? 

He had even brought with him a gift for Phaedo on this glorious day; in a piece of textile he had a new tunica for Phaedo. His mother was a seamstress, after all, and she often took people’s broken tunica’s when their owners didn’t want them mended again. And she could turn these old tunica’s into quite beautiful pieces of clothing. This one was light yellow, with green hems by the sleeves and at the bottom hem of the tunica. The neckline was cut into a V-shape and there were green stitches by the neckline, making it seem even more outstanding. Sure there was a patch here and there, but Lexus thought it would suit Phaedo just fine. At last he arrived at the brothel and by now, he was well known here… not as a client, but as Phaedo’s friend. He went straight for Phaedo’s room, hoping he was still there and once he arrived, he knocked before entering.

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Time in the brothel had passed, and so had the seasons changed, from spring to summer and from summer to fall. Now the days were drawing to their shortest, and already the festival of winter was upon them. Saturnalia – Phaedo could recall with perfect clarity how it had been celebrated in years past. They weren’t particularly fond memories. His physician had not been uproarious about it and had focused more on the theological aspects of the god Saturn. Phaedo’s immediately past master, and mistress, though, had of course used the occasion to satisfy carnal desires with him. In fact, this was how it had all started – his master finding the pleasure to be had by being treated like a slave, assuming that role as no good Roman citizen should, and then deciding it should continue past that first winter when things had gone that far between them. It had led, in a circuitous way, to Phaedo being sold, and winding up a prostitute. So, in that respect, the festival season had not brought him good fortune.

But that seemed long ago now and nothing to be done about it. The past could never be undone, so there was little use in mooning over it. Besides, his life was not so very much worse at the Venus than it had been at his former home. It was less luxurious. He had multiple men to service instead of just the one – and his wife. Phaedo did well and truly miss his Greek master. But at least the mistress of the Venus had allowed him some scrolls to borrow and refresh his memory with, and occasionally he would recite for the customers, in the downstairs common areas where the whores entertained them before they made a selection and were lead off for sexual pleasures.

He was never too sure how many of the men (and it was mostly men who came to the brothel – he’d not once yet been given to a female client) really listened to his recitations, or enjoyed them, or appreciated them. Still, he enjoyed the chance to recite anyway. And it gave him the opportunity to better instruct his young pupil, Lexus. Not that the boy was allowed in the brothel to mingle with the customers, or sit with them in that part of the building, while the prostitutes did their typically lewd and bawdy enticements and teasing. No, that would have been totally inappropriate, and Lexus’ mother would never have allowed such!

Phaedo reserved his teachings to slower parts of the day, when his mistress would allow a few hours of leisure, and the customers weren’t as rowdy as they often could be later in the evening and nighttime. Lexus was proving to be a smart student, and Phaedo was enjoying teaching him immensely. It gave him the nostalgic feelings of when his Greek physician tutored him, as a young boy. And it brought to life, for him, all those amazing works of literature that he so loved, as they read them, discussed them, and sometimes did recitations out loud. It was fun. It was a good distraction from being just a whore. And he really enjoyed Lexus’ company. A real friendship had sprung up between the two, and whenever days intervened where one or the other of them was too busy to come together, Phaedo truly missed his companionship. It was cliché to say it, but Phaedo really looked upon Lexus as a bright ray of sunshine in his otherwise hum drum and dull existence.

But today would not be such a day of missing his friend, for they’d already made arrangements to meet. This would be a day of fun and frolic, of festival and foolishness, and for once, Phaedo was really looking forwards to it! He’d somehow scrounged up a few coins, and a day or so before purchased a small gift for his friend. It was simple – just a wax figurine, of the type many people gave on this day. When the knock came on the wall beside the opening to his room, which was covered only by a curtain, Phaedo looked up from where he lay on his pallet – the only furnishing in the room, beside an unlit oil lamp. With a grin, he rose and moved to the opening, pulling the curtain aside and reaching to greet Lexus with a warm smile and a friendly hug.

”Salve! And blessings upon you, and your mother!” he said happily, his face alight with pleasure. ”Are you ready to have some fun?” he asked, his smile becoming a huge grin. 

Lexus Naevius Gineverus

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Only moments after Lexus had made his arrival known, Phaedo appeared before him. He always made sure to knock – this was a brothel, after all, and you never knew if you’d see something you didn’t plan on seeing. And he had seen that, in here, but he never told his mother and frankly, it was more and more fascinating. It was a new world, opening up to him, but he had yet to take part in it. All he was here for, was his friend Phaedo, whom he’d grown very fond of. And now that the year was turning, a lot had happened since they met. It had been Lexus’ birthday, for example, and there had been festivals to go to and poetry to discuss. He never knew about it before. But now he liked it.

Phaedo embraced him and Lexus wrapped an arm around him too – under the other he had the gift for Phaedo – and they hugged shortly, before Phaedo greeted him with words and seemed very happy and cheerful.

“I’m always ready to have some fun. But maybe especially today.” He replied with a grin and came inside, closing the curtain behind him. He never quite got used to the small quarters Phaedo had for himself… not that Lexus and his mother had a huge place to themselves, but this was just so… well… he couldn’t help but feel a bit bad for Phaedo and understand why he’d want to go out when he could. First things first though.

“I have something for you. Happy Saturnalia, friend.” Lexus then said and handed Phaedo the little cloth-parcel with the neatly folded tunica inside. He stood back and waited to see what Phaedo would say to such a present. 

Phaedo

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Phaedo's eyes widened in delight, and some surprise. Although honestly, he had sort of expected some little gift, some gesture of the season, from his young friend – for Lexus was that kind of person – the type to be thoughtful and generous. Just as Phaedo had managed somehow to find the means of a small token of their growing friendship, he had half-suspected that Lexus would as well. But taking the parcel from the other boy, he looked more surprised, as he’d been expecting, if anything, something… smaller. His eyes went from the packet to Lexus and then back to the packet, and then he began to remove the plain cloth that bound whatever was inside, saying, ”You brought me a gift? You are so…”

He’d been meaning to say thoughtful, but he paused so long that he lost the word entirely. With the outer wrapping gone, tucked safe under his arm, he let the repurposed tunica unfold and fall out to its full length, holding it up in front of him to gaze at it. His lips parted, in true surprise, and his face suffused with a blush of pleasure. He forced his eyes from the handsome garment, and looked at Lexus with unabashed happiness.

”It’s beautiful! Truly beautiful! Did your mother make this? Oh…Lexus…thank you!

He reached to give his friend another warm hug and clutched the tunica to his chest. It really was a nice one. The boy’s mother had some skill, certainly. It might have been expected that Phaedo had worn much grander things, as the body slave of a rich senator. But for the most part, he had either been dressed simply or gone about wholly naked, as his master, or mistress, preferred. And besides, the clothes he’d had before had been really as much the property of his master as he had been himself. He’d not really owned anything himself, being a lowly slave. But this…this gift was different. It was his, given out of friendship. That made it incredibly precious.

”I will wear it, today!” he exclaimed, and without pause, he handed the new tunica to Lexus, so that he could pull the one he was wearing over his head straightway. He folded it carefully, bent to set it on his straw stuffed pallet, and then reclaimed the new one. That he pulled on, looking down to admire its bright color. ”How do I look?” he asked, grinning ear to ear.

Once they’d exclaimed over the newly remade garment, and Phaedo had repeated his thanks, including a directive to Lexus that he must thank his mother as well, he bent once more to retrieve his own simple gift for his friend. It wasn’t wrapped. But he handed the little figurine to Lexus with a smile. “And here is my gift to you. This will bring you good luck!” he said, with all sincerity. It was a small dolphin, crude in its execution perhaps, but clearly identifiable as such. As in many cultures, the dolphin, being a whimsical creature that had some special affinity for humans, was seen by the Romans as a sign of good luck.

Lexus Naevius Gineverus

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Lexus couldn’t help but smile at Phaedo’s reaction to the present. Well of course Lexus would have a present for him. Phaedo was his friend and perhaps one of the best friends he’d ever had… with all the moving around in Italia, he never had much time to get to know anyone well. And when it happened, well… he tried to stay in touch, but it was hard and you never knew where his mother might want to settle down next. Now they’d been in Rome for a year though and he had known Phaedo a good long time. And he was just the best. 

Phaedo could even barely reply when he commented on the gift and Lexus’ grin just widened, “Of course I did. I’d not be much of a friend if I didn’t bring you something.” He said and watched Phaedo unwrap the parcel and look at the tunica. It would fit, Lexus deemed. And it might go to just above the knees on Phaedo; he hadn’t been sure about the length, but it looked to be just about right. And Phaedo blushing made him happy. Soon he was pulled into another warm hug and returned it fully this time.

“Yeah, mother made this for you. She wanted to make me another, but then I thought of you. And you need it more than I.” Lexus said in a friendly tone. Then Phaedo decided he’d wear it now and before Lexus knew it, Phaedo had undressed without a second thought. Of course he’d seen naked men and women before, especially in here, but this was someone he knew well. Lexus might not have any experience compared to Phaedo, but he could guess why the other would be popular in here. He had smooth skin and a handsome body. Soon though, Phaedo had put on the new tunica and Lexus smiled, “It looks great on you! Really! I’m glad you like it.” Lexus replied. 

Then of course Phaedo had a gift for him too, not wrapped, but it didn’t matter. Phaedo handed a little figurine to Lexus and he turned it in his hands while Phaedo explained, “It’s very sweet and pretty. Thanks.” Lexus said, “I’ll make sure to keep it close to me at all times! And it’ll remind me of how lucky I am to have you as my friend.” He added with a cheerful wink and placed it in the little purse he had hanging by his belt. Then he looked up at Phaedo, “So… should we go somewhere? Do you know a good place to go tonight?” 

Phaedo

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The little dolphin was a modest gift. But Lexus seemed pleased with it, and this made Phaedo’s smile even brighter. He was glad the other boy was so pleasant and had good manners. Phaedo was a slave, and certainly didn’t expect the same from every person he encountered. Actually, most people made him quite aware that he was low man on the ladder in this world they lived in, and treated him accordingly. But Lexus seemed never to take that into account, in their interactions. He never lorded it over Phaedo or made him feel any lesser of a human being. And for that Phaedo loved him – not the love of romantic partners, but more like…a brother, or a friend. That was surely true. They were good friends, and, like Lexus, Phaedo looked upon the younger lad as his best friend, along with Helios, who was almost like an older brother. They were something like the two brothers he’d not had ever since he’d been ripped away from his family – although Phaedo didn’t really think of it in those terms.

”You must thank your mother for me, when you get home, alright? And then I will thank her myself when next I see her,” he assured. He didn’t go to Lexus’ home very often but occasionally he would accompany the boy, or go to meet him, there. Then Phaedo nodded and said with excitement, ”There will be revels at the forum. Let’s go there, to start. I know they’ll be putting on some of those rude plays.” He grinned. Phaedo may have had a great passion for good theater. But like all Romans, he also loved satire and the lewd performances that made fun of current events and popular, or unpopular, public figures, as well as comedic parodies of traditional works and stories.

”And I even have a few coins for food!” he exclaimed. ”A gift from a customer. He said it was for me, because I was skilled, and he was appreciative.” The prostitute said it without embarrassment or any thought that Lexus would have any negative thoughts about him, or the money. He was who he was, not by choice, and there was nothing to be done about it. Lexus had been around the Venus many, many times now and he saw what that life was like. It was simply a part of the fabric of society, brothels and whores, both supported by men’s needs to satisfy their sexual desires. It was just a fact of life. That the little dolphin figurine had been procured using the same source of funds went without saying. Beyond the newly gifted tunic, anything Phaedo had, came from the hands of the men he had sex with, or the madam of the brothel, as simple upkeep of one of her business assets.

”Come,” he said, reaching for Lexus’ hand and dragging him out into the night. 

Lexus Naevius Gineverus

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Lexus didn’t care if Phaedo thought it was a modest gift – Phaedo was a slave, a prostitute even, he didn’t even actually own his own life. So that he went out of his way to get Lexus a present, that was really something. And who couldn’t use a little bit of good luck? He almost wanted to say that Phaedo should have one too, but he kept it to himself. Tonight especially, his friend did not need to be reminded that he wasn’t lucky because he was a slave. Instead they should just go and have some fun, right?

Phaedo wanted Lexus to say thanks to his mother and then added he’d thank her too, when he got the chance. Lexus smiled, “I’ll tell her you said thanks and how happy you were. I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear it.” He said and then thought they should get going. But he didn’t know where to go… Phaedo on the other hand, he knew everything there was to know – or at least, that’s what it felt like to Lexus, who looked up to his friend with all his experience – so he had to know where to go. Phaedo said stuff would be happening at the nearby forum and mentioned the plays and Lexus nodded, “I’d love to see one of those!”Not that he was entirely innocent and had been blind while he came to visit Phaedo here at the brothel, but those plays were famous!

Meanwhile Phaedo said he also had coins for food and explained how he got them because he was skilled. Lexus could only imagine just how skilled he was and that’s just another reason for looking up to him. His mother had hinted often that his father enjoyed women and pleasure a great deal, but Lexus was at least still pure when it came to all that. He was however also 14 years old now and nearly a man, so who could blame him for being curious… especially in here. But he had yet to take part in any of the action in the brothel. He was just here to see Phaedo. 

“I have some coins too, so we could get us something really good. Perhaps a drink too.” Lexus said and let Phaedo take his hand to be dragged into the night, “There’s so many people in the streets tonight!” He exclaimed while they walked through the alleys and streets towards the forum. In addition, everyone here were so… excited! It was somewhat contagious! 

Phaedo

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In a way, it was very like the day where they had so serendipitously met. The throngs of people moved this way and that, like waves on a restless sea. Phaedo and Lexus were jostled and pushed, but this time, they kept tight hold of each other’s hands, and so were not separated. Pheado glanced back over his shoulder with a grin and nodded, agreeing in a loud, happy voice, ”It’s madness!” Saturnalia was an even bigger celebration than the Vinalia Urbana. The whole of Rome, it seemed, had ventured out into the evening dark, to take parts in the celebration. The two young men made their way along the alleys, to the forum, and there indeed was a mighty ocean of humanity, all pressed in together to see what was to be seen. Phaedo had to really slip and squeeze his way forward. But still he kept a hold of Lexus and towed him along, until they came to the front edge of one segment of the crowd.

Before them was simply a cleared space, no real stage for the performance that was going on. It was a play, of sorts, where the actors, in pantomime costumes, re-enacted the theme of the festival, wherein master turned slave and vice versa. Of course, it was an easily detected, extremely ribald satire of the late emperor Caludius, easily distinguished by his halting gait and speech. He was a god, now, and as such, it might have been imprudent for the players to make mock of him thus. But it was Saturnalia, and rules relaxed during this time. So the players did their piece boldly, and the audience roared with laughter. Phaedo thought his own sides would split, and as the piece drew to a close, he pulled one small coin from his purse and handed it to the player who held out a bowl for such tokens of appreciation. The man did not look impressed at such a small token, but Phaedo was already turned to speak to Lexus.

”I’m starved! Let’s see what they have to eat.” He felt very nice and well dressed in his new tunica and he’d be careful not to get it sullied. Thinking of the gift prompted him to ask, ”Is your mother coming out tonight?” If she wasn’t, he thought he might be able to afford to buy some small sweet cake for her, that Lexus could take home, as small thanks for the tunic. But of course, they could see to that later. They had hours to go before either of them would think of turning for home.

Lexus Naevius Gineverus

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He was glad that he at least had Phaedo here to guide him – not that he couldn’t find his own way around, but it felt good to be with the older boy and it felt good to keep holding his hand through this… madness, as Phaedo said it was. And he was right! It was insane, this amount of people in the streets. How did you have fun in such a crowd? Weren’t there private parties? No matter though, it was wild to be a part of it. Finally they made it to the forum they’d been approaching for a while and at a cleared space in the crowd, some actors were performing a strange play. 

Lexus watched together with Phaedo and was easily caught by the spirit of the forum, laughing when the rest did and never leaving Phaedo’s side. When the play seemed to be over though, Phaedo was kind enough to provide one of his precious coins to the actors. Lexus would have too, but he did not have that many and he thought he’d rather save them to get something good for him and Phaedo.

Phaedo was hungry too and wondered if Lexus’ mother would come, “I don’t know. I think she had some friends to see tonight.” He said, “But we’re not there… let’s find food. What do you want? I just want something easy I think. Oh, and we should have something to drink, shouldn’t we?” Lexus added with a laugh; it seemed everyone were drinking tonight and he wanted to do the same. He’d never actually been drunk, but there’s a first for everything, right? He kept his hold on Phaedo’s hand and found a cart where the owner offered bread soaked with a bit of garum and olive oil and fruits too, if you’d want that… Lexus bought two pieces of bread and a branch of grapes and plucked one to eat, “Oh these are good. Now we just need the drinks!” 

Phaedo

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Phaedo took the one piece of bread, with a heartfelt, ”Thanks!”, and when offered the grapes, plucked one and popped it in his mouth. It was plump and firm and burst with juiciness. This was so much fun, being out with Lexus! When the boy mentioned wine, Phaedo looked around and then dragged his friend towards a shop front – a taberna. He pulled out a coin, careful to tuck the last one he had deep inside the leather pouch. That would be to buy a sweet to send home with Lexus for his mother. The other coin he handed to the woman who was serving the many revelers who pressed into the tavern. ”A small jug,” he ordered. ”But no water.” Phaedo would not mind getting a little tipsy himself. After all, it was a festival, and a time to let loose. Plus he feared that the woman would give him a flask with mostly water and little wine in it, if he wasn’t careful. She sort of looked displeased, much as the mummer had. But Phaedo was poor as poor could be. This sort of treat was rare and he would not squander what little he had.

When the small clay jug was handed to him, he offered it first to Lexus. Over the boy’s shoulder, he spied two young women, a few feet away, who were clearly looking at him, and Lexus. They smiled. By their dress, Phaedo guessed they were from a better class, perhaps daughters of merchants or tradesmen, let loose for the evening where all things were turned upside down. Or perhaps they had snuck out from under watchful eyes. Who knew?

In any case, he smiled back, and that made them giggle. Perhaps the look on Pheado’s face would be enough to cause his young friend to turn and wonder what was so amusing. 

Lexus Naevius Gineverus

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Phaedo happily also ate a grape and Lexus watched him – he seemed to truly enjoy tasting the grape and Lexus was glad he bought them. But they also needed to find something to drink and this time Phaedo led the way to find a taberna and soon they were inside. There were many people here too, but Phaedo managed to order a jug of wine and he noted how the other didn’t want water. So he wanted to get drunk too. Lexus had seen drunk people many times and he was no stranger to wine, but he never drank so much that he felt it the next day… not before, anyway. But this was Saturnalia and he wanted to have all the fun together with Phaedo.

Soon Phaedo got the jug of wine and handed it to Lexus – who took it and downed a good gulp. Gods this was not good wine, but he could not expect it on a night like this, where everyone wanted wine and you’d have to pay more to get the better wine. When he removed the jug from his mouth, he noticed Phaedo looking at something and grinning and he looked over his shoulder. Two young women were watching them and they smiled and one of them now even waved. Lexus handed the jug to Phaedo.

“Do you think… they want to talk to us? You’re probably much better at this than I am…” He said and took another grape to eat, he still had the grapes and the little piece of bread in the other hand, “Do you know them?” He then asked – you never knew, right? 

Phaedo

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He took a swig too, when Lexus handed the jug back to him, and yes, agreed, it was not good! Despite being a slave, Phaedo had often eaten from his master’s, or mistress’s, plates, or drank from their very cups. He’d had the best of the best when it came to food and drink. Not ever day, but enough to know what was good and what wasn’t. This wine was cheap and sour, but it would suffice. Besides, it was all he could afford. He took another sip, before handing it right back to Lexus. Yes, in all probability they would wind up a bit drunk. There wasn’t enough wine for them to get completely sotted. But they could get a pleasant buzz from what they did have.

He grinned at Lexus. ”No, I don’t know them. I’d guess they are out to celebrate, like us. And yes, I think they’d probably love to talk – to you!” He laughed. Then he raised his hand in a noticeable wave, and gestured for them to come over, before Lexus could make any protest. On a night such as this, two young men should have some fun, right?

The two young women giggled even more, but they walked the few feet to bring them up beside the boys. Phaedo made a little comical half bow. ”Good evening, ladies. May Saturn shower his blessings upon you.”He used a verb that could mean shower, as in to pour, as with water. Yet it could also have a rougher meaning – to pee. It was a classic joke, one found in many a lewd play, just like the one they’d just seen – that one might ‘pour’ blessings. That’s what put it in his head. 

In any case, it made the girls laugh and one said, ”Well, aren’t you the clever one,” as she smiled at Phaedo. But her eyes slipped to Lexus then. ”And how about your friend here? Is he clever too? Or just handsome?”

That sent both girls into a fit of giggles. It seemed that they too might have been indulging in some of the taberna’s awful tasting wine.

Lexus Naevius Gineverus

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Lexus did not have much experience talking to girls, but he could easily imagine that Phaedo had so much experience that he could barely fathom it. So it made sense to try and make him lead – of course Lexus was curious, but he didn’t know what to do and he didn’t want to make a fool of himself. He wasn’t that stupid. Phaedo said he did not know the girls and then imagined they wanted to talk to Lexus. He felt his face grow a little bit hot, but then the girls came over and Phaedo greeted them. Lexus did all he could to not look awkward, although he wasn’t sure if he managed.

 They exchanged some words and then one of the girls, a dark haired one, looked at Lexus and wondered if he was clever or handsome. Was he any of those? He better try and say something that was not stupid…

 “Well… what do you think?” He asked and felt it didn’t come out right, so he quickly added, “I definitely can’t compete with your charm though…” Or maybe he could, but it felt like something they wanted to hear. He gazed at Phaedo, he knew what to do, right?

@Gil

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Posted (edited)

No, Lexus did not succeed in not looking awkward, at first. But as Phaedo glanced at him, with a grin, he thought the boy’s expression was adorable. He could hardly remember a time when he himself had been so innocent. What must it be like, to be so unworldly, when it came to matters of the flesh?

 

Then there was a small exchange and Lexus did right well for himself, and Phaedo flashed him another grin, and a small nod, of approval. The dark haired girl giggled again, but looked pleased at the compliment. She said coyly, ”Well, a clever one and a handsome, gallant one.” Her fox like eyes slid from one young man to the other and then to her friend, who  was looking on a bit more shyly. ”I think we should like to keep you company for a bit, wouldn’t we Prima?”

 

The friend nodded, but remained quiet, blushing a bit. Phaedo accepted the invitation for both himself and Lexus. ”Alright! Let’s see…” He craned his neck, looking back into the crowded taberna. But it was packed, just as he already knew it to be.

 

”There’s no place to sit in here. Would you like to walk around a bit? There’s so much to see.” He stepped to the side of the quiet girl, smiling, and began to walk, in a way that clearly asked that she follow him. He quite expected that the dark haired girl would take Lexus in hand, and he was right.

 

”That sounds fun!” the bold one said enthusiastically, falling into step right behind her friend. Lexus had either to walk beside her or get left behind.

 

”Prima is my mistress,” she confided to the boy, as they began to walk. ”We have switched roles for the night. Have you?” she asked, glancing at the back of Phaedo’s head, apparently wondering if he and Lexus were slave and master as well.

Edited by Gil

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Lexus was trying hard and was grateful that he had a friend like Phaedo to show him the ropes… because while his father was an infamous womanizer – at least years ago - Lexus hadn’t even tried yet. But it would seem that Saturnalia was the perfect time to begin exploring what adulthood could offer him. He got a grin from Phaedo after his last comment, of approval, and the dark haired girl called him both clever, handsome and gallant. And then the girls decided to keep them company.

 Phaedo seemed to take the lead, deciding they should walk a bit and have a look around this area.  He went to talk to the more quiet girl and the dark-haired girl took Lexus’ hand. Her hand was warm… it felt nice, to hold it. Then Lexus’ companion wondered if they had switched roles.

 “I don’t really know… we’re just friends, not slave and master. Even though we are from different… social classes. But that doesn’t matter and especially not tonight.” Lexus said with a smile, not giving a way who was from which social class here. He looked at the girl, wondering if Prima was her mistress just tonight or if she was the actual mistress. It didn’t matter though, his companion was nice looking too. He sipped the wine he held and spoke up again, “So what’s your name? I’m Lexus.”

@Gil

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The dark haired girl smiled, a bit slyly, as if at some private joke, and she shrugged off further curiosity about which of the young men might be “in charge” for the evening. ”Lexus. That’s a nice name. I’m Persephone. What part of the city do you live in?”

 

Up ahead, Phaedo was content to walk in silence with the other girl, who seemed painfully shy. He’d purposefully paired his young friend with the more talkative, bolder one. He was amused to think that one might bring Lexus more to being jolly and having fun, than the shy one. They wandered about the forum for a half hour or so, sometimes walking two by two, other times having more room to walk as a group all together. The wine was passed around, shared, and consumed. Prima gave Phaedo some coins to purchase some more – enough money in fact that he was able to buy more wine and of a better quality than what he’d bought earlier. This was even more quickly consumed, mostly while the four sat upon a low stone wall, that ran down around the corner of a house ,or some other sort of building – it was hard to tell in the dark – and terminated at the nearby opening to an alley.

 

Persephone at some point had managed to slide her arm about Lexus’ waist. She was a gifted story teller, and had quite a few jokes at her command, many of them quite lewd. She was keeping all in the party entertained, and Phaedo thought his sides might split, he’d laughed so much. Prima, ever quiet, was more into drinking the wine up, and appeared to be getting a bit…wobbly. Phaedo kept his arm about her shoulders, but chastely, just to keep her from falling backwards off the wall.

 

Upon finishing up yet another good joke, Persephone shifted so that her face was only inches from Lexus’. ”I can tell you are very naughty joke, if you like. I’ll whisper it in your ear. It’s so naughty I can’t dare to tell it out loud.”

 

Meanwhile, her hand somehow was on his thigh, where she slowly traced her fingers in a small circle.

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Persephone… well that was quite a name, although he wondered if it was her real name, considering this was Saturnalia and the girl had switched places with the other one. Anything could happen on a night like this, it seemed.

 “I live in the Suburbs of Absidata. And you?” Lexus asked, he wasn’t really good at this, but at least he was trying, right? And once they had some more wine, he began to relax some. They were walking around the forum, just seeing what was happening and drinking wine. Lexus wasn’t sure he ever had so much wine before in one evening and didn’t really think about how he’d feel once he stood again. They had been sitting down for a while now, when Persephone leaned closer to him and spoke about a naughty joke.

 “Sure I’d like to hear a naughty joke. Who wouldn’t? But you have to tell my friend afterwards.” He had of course noticed her arm around his waist and her hand on his thigh and hadn’t dared to move, although he wasn’t quite sure what to do about it all either. He didn’t want to do anything in case she didn’t want or like it, and he would not ruin her reputation, in case she was the actual free Roman and her father was some wealthy senator… no, he wouldn’t make a fool of himself.

@Gil

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Posted (edited)

The precocious slave, emboldened even more with the freedoms and excesses of the night, laughed with a sultry tone. She leaned closer still, her lips almost – but not quite – pressed to Lexus’ ear, as she whispered the raunchy joke, her breath warm upon his skin. It was no effort at all that next she shifted to press her lips to his, as her fingers still moved on his leg.

Suddenly there was an exclamation, a cry of surprise and alarm, and then a soft thunk, as Prima fell backward from the low wall, and hit the paving stones behind it. It wasn’t a completely unmitigated impact. Pheado, who’d had his arm about her shoulder, had done the best he could to catch her. But the angle and her weight played against his efforts. So in the end, all he could do was to grab her about one arm and reach hastily for the other hand, as she slid away from him, backwards. Prima wound up on her back, her feet still propped on the lip of the wall, her dress all askew and rucked up around her waist. Her eyes were fast shut. She was passed out, not from the fall, but from the wine.

 

It was Phaedo who had yelped, and Phaedo who quickly scrambled over the wall to drop to his knees, bending close to examine her in the darkness. She seemed unhurt. She’d had the luck of the loosey-goosey effect of the alcohol in her blood, and had fallen limp and unresisting, thereby lessening any shock. Still, it was quite concerting.

 

”She’s passed out!” he exclaimed. ”Come. Help me get her up!”

@Atrice

 

Edited by Gil

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Whether the girl by his side was a slave or not, did not matter much to Lexus. He was here with Phaedo, who was a slave, but they were still good friends, despite the slight difference in age and experience. The ladies also seemed to be older than Lexus, but he tried not to think about it and listened as the girl leaned closer and her hand on his thigh was moving up his leg and under the tunica he wore. The wine and her touch made him feel all kinds of things and he smiled by the joke, but did not get the chance to comment. 

Because a moment later, someone made a loud sound and there was then a less nice sound too, as the other girl had fallen backwards from all the wine. Phaedo had just managed to catch her so she didn’t fall all the way down. Lexus stared, maybe a few moments longer than he should have, for her dress was all up around her waist and she was quite exposed. Right, was she alright? Phaedo was already on it, taking a closer look at her and Lexus jumped down to help his friend. He stood a moment though, as he got off the wall, trying to regain his balance, as it was messed up from the alcohol.

 “I hope she’s alright!” Lexus yelled and moved behind her, “If we get her down here first then… uhm… I can hold her and you grab her legs?” He suggested, he’d forgotten all about Persephone, he was way too concerned with this girl now. And the wine was still within him, he could not focus on more than one thing at the time.

@Gil

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Persephone let out a "Tch! of annoyance at the commotion caused by her drunken mistress. She watched with narrowed eyes as the two young men scrambled to come to Prima's aid. There was also a satisfied smirk at the sight of her young mistress's nethers all exposed.

Phaedo nodded his approval of Lexus' suggestion, and they between the two of them were able to get Prima all straightened out, her dress pulled down once more, but she was on the wrong side of the wall! "I don't think she'll be able to walk," he observed, rather needlessly. "We'll have to get her home." He looked up at the dark haired girl with the cat eyes. "Is it far? Can you lead the way?" He was still not completely sure if he was speaking to a slave or a citizen. But he felt in either case, she should be at least willing to be their guide.

Persephone practically snorted her disdain but nodded. "Yes, alright. Follow me." She was sorely disappointed that her evening of fun and frolic should be ending so soon. Then again...once they had reached the house and disposed of her mistress - in a suitable way, of course - perhaps she could 'show her gratitude' to the two young men. She wasn't averse to tackling such a challenge. In fact, the thought finally brought a smug little smile back to her lips.

Phaedo nodded at Lexus and asked, "Ready?" Between them, they were able to lift the girl, Phaedo at her legs and Lexus gripping under her arms. She was slender, but dead weight, and it was horribly awkward and difficult. Phaedo sighed. This was really no way to end what should have been the best night he'd had since being brought to the Venus. Hopefully, the home of these two young ladies would not be far. Hopefully....

@Atrice

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Lexus barely noticed Persephone now, he was way too worried about Prima. He really just hoped she was alright and his drunk mind made up all kinds of ideas of what had happened to her. When really she was just passed out from the wine and fell off a wall… and now his mind was on her only, as they managed to get her off the wall and Phaedo declared her unable to walk. They would have to carry her together and Phaedo of course took the lead, smart Phaedo would do that. He asked Persephone to lead the way and Lexus held Prima under her arms. Fuck she was heavy! He really hoped it wasn’t far.

 He should not have had so much wine. It should just have been him and Phaedo fooling around and while Persephone was nice enough, Lexus wasn’t sure enough of himself to take any lead with her. She was pretty and all, but… seemed so much more experienced and it intimidated him a bit. Not that Phaedo, who was also older and more experienced, intimidated him at all. Phaedo was his friend and tutor and he cared about him. He always knew what to say and what to do.

 At last Persephone slowed down her walk, looking up at a house ahead of them. It looked… like a wealthy family’s home, “Are her… are the… is anyone home here?” He wondered, unsure if he meant Prima’s parents or Persephone’s parents because he didn’t know who was the slave and who was the freeborn Roman among these two pretty ladies. And if Prima was the freeborn, how would her parents feel about her returning home like this?

 He inhaled a deep breath; Lexus didn’t feel too good either and he was thirsty enough to drink all of Styx if he had to.
 

@Gil

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Between them, they somehow managed to carry the unconscious girl along, following the other one. It was horribly difficult, and the fact that Lexus had consumed maybe a bit too much wine himself wasn't helping any. But what could they do? They had to persist, and eventually Persephone stopped and pointed out that they had arrived. Thank the gods!

Like most nice homes in Rome, this one was secured behind a gate. There was no watchman set. But in all probability it would be locked, Phaedo thought with dismay, struggling to keep hold of Prima's lower body. He was never so glad when Persephone said, "They're all out celebrating. We can go along to the back of the house. There's an alley. I know a way we can sneak her in. If my master and mistress find out she's gone and got drunk, it'll be me that's made to pay for it!" Her look was sour and her voice bitter together.

She led them along the street and then around a corner. It was very, very dark and Phaedo hoped they wouldn't trip and drop the poor girl. Once around the back, Persephone opened a postern type door cut into the back gate. "The lock is broken. Lucky for us the major domo has been too lazy to see that it was fixed," she hissed in a low whisper.

Oh gods, Phaedo though to himself, as they stealthily crept inside. It was hard to creep silently with the awkward burden they had to carry. He was now terrified that they would be seen and stopped and questioned, and possibly accused. He was a slave! A whore! He had no business sneaking around a rich man's home in the dark, his drunken daughter in his arms! Persephone's whispers that the entire household was gone out to celebrate the night gave him little comfort.

He kept looking at Lexus, hoping the effects of the wine would be wearing off, as opposed to intensifying, though the latter seemed more likely than the former.

@Atrice

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He was more and more worried and the wine he had earlier didn’t help any. And when he looked to Phaedo, his friend didn’t seem less worried, judging by the expression on his face. Persephone thankfully said there weren’t anyone home, and she knew a way to sneak in Prima. So Persephone was the slave, it sounded like that from the way she spoke of her master and mistress. Oh Lexus wouldn’t want poor Persephone to pay for this… especially not if Prima was the mastermind behind it. People could be so mean to their slaves.

 He followed quietly though, together with Phaedo and the passed out young mistress, behind the villa and to a gate on the backside. Persephone opened and they were let inside. The home was very fancy and the thoughts of what was happening right now almost made him feel dizzy.

 “Let’s get her to her chamber. Now.” Lexus whispered to Persephone – the villa was dark, but there might be other slaves or something around. And Lexus wasn’t sure he could carry her much longer, both because she wasn’t as light as you’d think and because he wasn’t feeling good. He just wanted to go, now. But they had to get this done. Persephone let the way to Prima’s chamber and somehow they got her onto the bed there. Lexus instantly leaned against the nearest wall, once his arms were free. He looked at Phaedo, “I think we better go…” And he hoped Persephone wouldn’t object, but this was her mistress and she shouldn’t be his and Phaedo’s problem now. Right? On the other hand it would be mean to just leave her.

@Gil

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Persephone had shut the door to the small bedroom once Lexus and Phaedo had stepped inside. It was dark as pitch, but there would be less chance they'd be seen or heard this way. The two boys got her mistress laid out on her bed. The slave didn't care if Prima was in a comfortable position or not. The other girl had ruined her own fun, so let her wake all stiff and cramped! The boy she'd been walking and talking with had leaned up against the wall, hardly detectable but her eyes were quickly adjusting to what scant light there was. When he whispered to his friend that they should go, Persephone stepped quickly to him, lifting her arms to rest on his shoulders. She leaned her body against his, her mouth ready to seek his in the darkness, her nose guiding her to the source of the fumes of wine coming forth with each one of his worried breaths.

"You don't have to run off. We'll be safe here. I tell you - no-one else is about," she whispered. "Stay with me. Your friend can keep watch for us..."

She closed the final few inches and pressed her lips to Lexus'.

@Atrice

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Phaedo didn’t get to answer Lexus’ idea of leaving, before Persephone was suddenly front of him, leaning against him and he felt her mouth close to his own. He really wasn’t feeling that great and he was worried as Hades! What if someone saw them… found them… Phaedo would be in serious trouble with his mistress, since he was a slave, and Lexus… he might never see his friend again and his mother would surely be more protective and forbid him to go out and have fun. He wanted to go home now.

 Persephone had other plans though, saying that Phaedo could keep watch and then she kissed him. His first kiss just had to happen while he was drunk and dizzy and with a troubled mind, in a wealthy girl’s home, while she was passed out and her slave kissed Lexus… this wasn’t the right time and place! This was not how it was supposed to be and… was he even ready? If his father still lived and had known him, he might have been so disappointed with his son right now. Lexus had not yet inherited his father’s reputation as a womanizer – far from it!

 He brought his hand up and pushed against her chest, hopefully pushing her away and he turned his head away from her lips, “I… I’m sorry, Persephone, but not now. It’s not that… I mean… you’re nice and pretty but…” He trailed off, unsure of how to turn her down nicely, “I don’t want it, right now. We really need to go.”

@Gil

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