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Breaking the Silence


Atrice
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It had been a few weeks since the incident with Calvunus, Helios and the stray dog that ended up biting Calvunus. His leg had healed a good bit since the incident and already the day after, Helios had been ordered to stop watching Calvunus and get back to work. He wouldn’t gain any coin by sitting by Calvunus’ side. And so he’d gone back to work and everything was soon back to normal, well almost. In the beginning, his friend or whatever he was, didn’t do much work – he simply wasn’t able to. But he had begun moving more and more around and just because he could move, didn’t mean Helios had many chances to talk to him. He wanted to know how he was doing and if he could do anything for the man who might have saved his life. But there just hadn’t been any chance for anything yet and feared things might turn awkward.

Today was the same as always. The night had become late and Helios had fallen asleep with one of the patrons by his side. Now the sun had risen though, it was far up and it was almost midday. He woke the patron and made sure he was sent on his way. Then Helios made his way to the bathing and cleaning area of the brothel and he combed his hair with his fingers on the way. He’d just thrown a loincloth around his waist; it didn’t matter. Most workers here were asleep or out doing their daily things; most were not working these hours. And besides, they all knew him. Helios had been here so many years he was considered a very steady part of the brothel.

As he left the bathing area, feeling much better after getting cleaned up after last night, he went to the kitchen and dining area. There was some kind of porridge on the fire and he scooped a bit up into a bowl. He didn’t see any butter or any of the kitchen workers around though; what a sad way to break the morning fast, but that was just how it was.

He sat down by a table in the corner of the kitchen and enjoyed the silence – until it was broken and someone else entered the kitchen. Calvunus came humping in and Helios looked up at him, pretending to ignore the injury for now, “How nice of you to show up and keep me company.” He said and added playfully, “You know I don’t mind.”

@Gil

Edited by Atrice
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Life was a bastard sometimes, and Calvunus had not been a happy man these last few weeks. Oh, yes, he should have been grateful that damn bitch hadn't ripped his balls off - there was that. But the bite wound had been painful and its placement on his inner thigh had been the source of both extreme inconvenience and amusement - the amusement of his friend Marcus, that is. Calvunus had been in a right terrible mood for too long, and even as the wound continued to heal as it should - without complication - he still felt abused by fate and the gods and dogs and his fellow man in general.

Possibly the worse part of his ordeal had been being forced to spend far more time at his own domicile than he'd ever wanted to. His wife was a nag and she'd shown him no sympathy. Of course, he'd not told her the details of how the dog had happened to come upon him, and Helios, in that alley - or more precisely, what they'd been in the middle of when the protective mother canine had attacked. But even without such information, she had been able to disparage and scold, and he was thoroughly sick of her voice, and the sound of his many young children running in and out of the insula constantly.

So he was at least a shade more pleased than he had been when he could quit his home and return to mostly hanging out at the Venus and finding any excuse to sleep there as well. Thus it was that early morning found him in need of relieving himself and then hunger prompted him to go poke about in the kitchen to see what he could find to still the rumbling in his belly. What he found was Helios, the golden haired minx that was now so interwoven into that tale of woe. Yet Calvunus laid no blame at the whore's feet for what had happened. In fact, Helios had been the hero that night, getting him back to the brothel and attended to by their drunken quack of a medicus. Calvunus was indebted to the man. He acknowledged that. And upon seeing him, he grinned in response to the teasing greeting.

"And such a beautiful sight to behold so early in the morning!" he said, clapping Helios on the back and then sliding his arm around his shoulders as he sat down beside him. He gave him a squeeze, looking at him. "Our lovely ray of sunshine," he quipped, a play on the slave's name.

"How have you been keeping? I've seen little of you these past few weeks," he asked in a genial tone, his mood improving already, for that was Calvunus' way - he wasn't a man to stay down and bitter for too long. He reached past Helios for a slightly blighted pear that someone had abandoned in a wooden bowl, and brought it to his lips, biting into it heartily, the juice wetting his lips.

@Atrice

Edited by Gil
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Marcus had not seen too pleased when he entered the kitchen, but then Helios had spoken playfully to him and that seemed to brighten his mood. Calvunus grinned, called him beautiful and came all over to him to sit down and squeeze his shoulder. A ray of sunshine, even? Well he knew he was named after a sun-god, because of his hair, but Calvunus saw him as that? He was probably just joking around, Helios then thought. And the other changed the subject and asked how Helios had been doing.

“I haven’t seen you much either. I’m glad to see you’re still alive… even if not kicking, at the moment.” He added with a little smile, Calvunus never seemed to mind having a little bit of fun, even in a quite serious situation. And he certainly wouldn’t be kicking much with that leg yet, right?

“And how I’ve been? Same as always, I suppose. Nothing out of the ordinary happened around here.” It never did. The brothel was the same, everything was the same. And while he could put on a smile and sweet-talk the patrons, it was just life as it was. He was content, but not clapping his hands with joy at this job either. It was just his life.

“Don’t worry about me though. How are you doing?”

@Gil

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