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Don’t Walk Me Home


Sydney
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It was high noon on a beautiful spring day in Rome. On days with beautiful weather, Oriana loved going out with other rich nobels who were her “friends.” Her friends weren’t exactly people she liked, but rather  people she had to get along with for the sake of having power. She loved to go a popina where she didn’t have to hide her identity. Upper-class popinas was where she always went when she was having lunch with her friends. There was always decent food and more than enough wine. Plus, she could stay away from lower class people, who were in the more run-down part of the bar. 

She was chatting with two nobels, both of whom were married with children. They couldn’t have been more boring to Oriana, but she acted like everything they said was the most amazing thing she ever heard. At least she was interacting, which was better than staying in her office all day and driving herself crazy. She let her new guard, Alexius, have the afternoon off. She didn’t need someone to protect her with her friends in broad daylight. 

It was also a great time to people watch. When the noble women weren’t talking, they loved to watch people on the street. Being alone in her villa often left her without much human interaction, so seeing people on the streets was a nice opportunity to see the life of an everyday peasant. She interacted with several peasants, but they were all the sketchy sort that she met with under working circumstances. 

Her noble friends dared her to get their cups of wine from the lower-class part of the bar. She playfully denied it, but when they pressured her more, she accepted. She was used to lower-class popinas when she met with clients, but they didn’t know that. She pretended to act disgusted as she went into the opposite part of the popina. When she was out of sight of the women, she dropped her act and went up to the bar. 

The bartender looked stunned as it was rare for an upper-class to go to a lower-class, but she paid no mind to it. She ordered three cups of wine. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted something. No, someone. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up as she turned her head. There he was. The man from three weeks ago. She was able to dig up some dirt on him, but it wasn’t much. The only thing she gathered was that his name was Marcus and he was in some gang. She scowled for a moment, but her face lit up with excitement. It was all an act, but it was pretend. She knew he probably had dirt on her too. 

”Hello Marcus, it’s so good to see you,” she said, letting him know she knew his name. ”I’m so glad my charity is helping you with your struggles. I hope my donation from last time was able to buy you a couple meals, I know you were struggling.” Oriana was obviously messing with him. She knew that being a smart-ass pissed him off, and with it being broad daylight with respectable people and guards everywhere, there was nothing he could pull now. Oriana had nothing covered, her hair was natural, and she wasn’t afraid to show who she was. 

@Gothic

Edited by Sydney
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Marcus had been speaking with a respectable couple. Not all of his line of work was criminal in nature. There were times when he was expected to deliver a package, run an errand, or discreetly threaten someone who owned his Domina or Dominus coin. It all depended on the situation. His work was now over and he had some time for himself. He heard some noise in the background of whispers of surprise -- and cat-calling at wealthy people who had entered the poppina. Why was it that the rich liked to enter these areas and show off their wealth? There were instances of the poor having their revenge. Marcus was content to ignore them -- it was more than likely that he saw them naked at the Domus Venus at one point or another. Aquila, silent as always, said nothing and sipped his wine. The silent man got up and walked away to go to another part of the establishment. 

And then he heard that voice. 

Marcus did not answer her for the moment. He did not turn and look at her, he still sat there and lifted his earthenware mug to his lips. If she was here, it meant she was here with other people -- and likely guards to protect her. How many of the local pickpockets were looking at her with excitement about what they could steal from her body? Jewelry. Perhaps her for ransom? There were many options. He did not bite to her jibes. 

He looked over at her and breathed a sigh of relief. His hand rested on his chest as thought to calm a fluttering heart. "Oh, thank the Gods. You left that wig at home," He answered. Marcus had no idea why he was so caught up on that wig. Everywhere it felt like he saw it. He was sure it would end up following him around everywhere. Her hair suited her complexion. Vaguely, she reminded him of someone he knew intimately many long years ago. 

"I see you have dropped the wig, Oceania Laecania. How is your father? I hear that he is poorly." He asked politely. Although given their past history, it was doubtful that was the true intention of his message. 

@Sydney

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Oriana was so happy he was here. She hated the man without a doubt, but she loved entertaining herself by messing with him. He got so angry last time that he literally almost killed her. The adrenaline rush was fulfilling to her and now was no different. It was a lot busier than it was last time and she had the light of day to protect her. Also, she had her friends and guards protecting them. But Marcus was just as much as a scum as ever and could see his face better in the brighter atmosphere. He looked like every poor person she encountered. There was nothing remarkable about him. 

"And you still seem obsessed with a wig. I would've thought you'd have better things to think about, but I guess I was wrong." She didn't let him bother her, but she did throw that wig away. She wasn't about to let a dirty plebeian tell her that her wig was ugly. Besides, she liked going all-natural anyways. She always got compliments on her auburn hair. Though she hated how they were sort-of alike with the quick-acting jabs and the facade. To even think she would have something in common with a man as gross and sweaty as him

He then spoke again, calling her Oceania which she found amusing, and then talking about her father. Of course he would know about her father. She really didn't care though. "Oh yes, my poor father. Good news is that the sooner he is dead, the better I'm off." It was true. She was never phased about her father being sick. Once he was dead, she got all of the money. "And your children? I bet they are just as ugly and poor as you are." She was completely bluffing there. She had no idea if he has children, though she was very confident when she said it. It was without a hint of bluffing. She kept smiling at him as she waited on her drinks. 

@Gothic

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She clearly didn't spend much time with gangsters. The ones who were silent, their words spoken rarely, and did not get drawn in were by far the most dangerous. And deadly. Roman law was complicated and geared towards patriarchal rule, including inheritance, and he said nothing about that part. Let her find that out on her own. The hard way what it was like. Rich girls frequently tried these games, they crumbled without their wealth and soon looked like any of the other women in the slums. 

"For a woman of wealth you clearly have no breeding or refinement." He said, drank his wine and knew that despite it all. Marcus had to be relatively careful. While Marcus did not fear her, there were many others worthy of the title, and he had no desire for whatever death would be planned for him. He was an idiot yet he wasn't a fucking idiot. The wine he drank was absolutely not the finest quality nor did it have to be. It got the job done. Marcus did not confirm nor deny that he had children. Much less a wife and family who he purposely kept pushed away in order to protect them from both his dealings -- and him. 

"It is a shame about your mother," He began, tore half the bread he was eating in two and took a bite of it. Occasionally his mouth opened when he chewed in a blatantly rude gesture at her. Then he did not elaborate further. Marcus recognised the name of her father and put things together. Sure, it was many, many years ago. Yet Marcus did not forget a skilled mouth and a beautiful form. 

Now.. what would she say to that? 

@Sydney

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It was funny that he was commenting on her refinement when he had none whatsoever. It was only a coincidence that she saw him here, though they would've had to meet sometime. Whether that was trying to kill each other or a random encounter such as this, she was only slightly relieved that it was the latter. She thought for sure the next time she saw him would be at his funeral. She'd send an assassin or he'd come and kill her. But it was lucky of him that they met here first,trading so casually about the little things they knew--or didn't know--about each other. The man had no taste obviously, and she couldn't help but laugh at his first comment. After all, he was hilarious by the way he always tried to threaten or demean her. Laughing was the way to make him mad, as was shown by their last conversation. 

"Do I not?" She replied back to him, raising an eyebrow and twirling her hair. She gave him an almost dumbfounded look after she laughed. It was funny to play so many different emotions when speaking to this man. 

The next comment though caught her off guard. For a second, her demeanor changed. What happened to her mother was from a decade ago. There weren't many people who knew that, and if they did, they were nobles. So how in the world did he know? She went back to her smirk. "Oh yes, and I'm glad she's dead too." She wasn't wrong. The moment her mother died was the moment Oriana because who she was as an adult. She hated her mother. Her words were honest. 

"I'm assuming you're the son of a whore, or perhaps you're a bastard? It's not like it matters, it's obvious your parents never cared about you anyways." 

@Gothic

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Marcus listened quietly. He was torn between bashing her face in and wanting to guide her. Fewer threats, less conversation, you are not speaking nor trying to intimidate soft noble girls! He was not sure why he felt this way. There was not much he could do about it. Marcus would have to react and punish her. There was something about her, though. Something about her eyes that reminded him of his children. The colour, the shape, the only thing she lacked was the dark hair of his youth without flecks of silver in it.  Then there was the nagging reminder of her mother. Even now he remembered the intimate relationship he had with her -- although that was many long years ago. She was a delight in bed -- yet crazy and impulsive. He remembered breaking it off with her and her screaming at his back. Fortunately, there had been no reprisals. 

It was funny how little traits ended up throughout the Roman population. 

He sighed to himself, looked at her more closely and wondered seriously if that was how she felt. Did her parents care about her? All he knew was that well adjusted girls of her class would have been well married or properly attended. It was strange for her to be here for all places. 

"Poor little rich girl, let me guess. Mummy did not like you much and Daddy ignored you?" He asked, and he was not particularly wrong. Although he had no idea about who it truly was. 

@Sydney

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Oriana laughed when he spoke to her again. Was it true? Oh, absolutely. But she couldn’t give a damn in the world when it came to either of her parents. It was something that some people would pity, but not her. It made her stronger, more ambitious. Without anyone in the way, she had nothing to lose. That was what she wanted all along. 

“Oh my Gods! How did you know?” She said, fake overreacting. “I guess I’ll just go home and cry now. Oh, woe is me!” Oriana imitated crying, then she laughed. “You must think you’re so intelligent, don’t you Marcus? When you have nobody to care for, you have nothing to lose. You should know that by now.” 

She switched the topic back on him. “But tell me Marcus, you never spoke about your children. I’d love to hear about the many bastards you have running around. Maybe there’s one from your wife, but the rest? All alone to cry for their father to feed them as they starve on the streets.” Oriana looked at him. He seemed like the type of man to put his dick in anything that had a hole in it. 

@Gothic

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It was like listening to one of those little yappy dogs who were spoiled by their owner and had never received any discipline. 

He had no doubt she would likely go home and cry. Marcus had seen so many girls like her with negligent fathers and cruel mothers who were desperate for love. Acting out. Unfortunately, most, if not all would find their way into the hands of unscrupulous men. Something at night that he felt guilt for. Oriana's mother was a beauty, amorous and she was a favourite of Marcus'.

She looked so much like her. 

Marcus did not skip a beat as she continued to speak. He sipped his drink, ate and wondered how soon it would be before the Gods would remind her. His hand shot out and grabbed her wrist, yanked her sharply towards him and sat her on his lap. "Why? Do you want to have one of them?" He asked, admittedly, Marcus did enjoy her company and the banter. Her mother probably did not want her involved with someone like him. Maybe this would finally scare her away to safety. He purposely kept his wife and children out of his business. They belonged at home. Where they were as safe as possible. 

@Sydney

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Oriana's blood was always boiling around this man. On the inside, he made her so angry. Not many people got to her, but for some reason, he did. He was slimier than anyone else she knew, and she needed as much dirt on him as possible. She'd heard rumors of a prostitute slave selling secrets just as she did, and she thought that she might visit him tonight to find out more about Marcus. 

When he said if she wanted to have one of them, she almost gagged. Ugh, the thought of that was absoluetly disgusting. He was a gross human, and barely a human at all. He was a walking piece of filth, not really much more than that. 

She sighed. "It's been fun, Marcus, though I do need to get back to my part of society. The next time we meet might be the last time one of us is alive, who knows? Good luck." Oriana raised her cups to him and went back with her friends, glad that she was finally away from him and the plebian society.

@Gothic

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"It would be my honour," He answered, raised his cup to her and had no doubt that one of them would die the next time they met. It was only a matter of time when she would receive her reward for her actions and words. When she left he took a mouthful of his wine, held it in his mouth while he thought about the conversation and briefly thought about her mother. Gods.. it had been incredible. How many times had he, Calvunus and her mother rolled around between the sheets? He smiled at the fond memory, and watched as Oriana left and returned to her world.

No doubt later he would end up returning to his own life among his family. 

Marcus could not sway a feeling of guilt over what may ultimate happen. If he hurt her, it would mean she might be too frightened to become involved in this sort of life and may ultimately protect her. He swallowed the mouthful. Marcus would be here for many hours to come.... drinking.....eating..... and later he would go back to work. His children and wife would be left to themselves, as always. Distance away from him would protect them from him. 

It was better they hated him and lived. 

@Sydney

-Fin?- 

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