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Cheap for the Cheap

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Panic was creeping into the man's voice as Theo put his foot down on the topic of the beard. He had never really understood the appeal of beards - the legions did not encourage them, as most of them looked unkept, and made the men look like barbarians. Theo, as a Greek, could appreciate a well groomed beard on a philosopher, but that was about it. Astrius already looked wild enough without adding to the effect with the patchy shrub on his face he prized so much.

“Listen, Quintus Flavius Theodorus, Astrius will take a bath. Astrius will shave his head. Astrius will scrub his body and beard until no more bugs bite him or his master. Astrius will not bite anyone. But please, may Quintus Flavius Theodorus and the Vulcan have pity of Astrius’ poor beard!” 

Through the haze of increasing frustration, Theo noted two things with a certain level of admiration: one, that Astrius was really attached to that beard, and two, that he was suddenly willing and able to negotiate. With someone as wildly random as Astrius had been in past few minutes, one could not discount the opportunity to negotiate, as long as boundaries were set.

“Astrius will be the best slave and be in the man’s debt if Quintus Flavius Theodorus lets him keep it.” 

Theo stared at the man for a long moment, then sighed. "You will do all that, and more. Bath, shaving, scrubbing, the whole deal. And I will get you something to put on your beard to kill the animals off. And. Absolutely. NO. Biting." he pointed a finger at Astrius "You keep your end of the bargain and you get to keep your beard. But if you make a scene, I will make sure you get shaved smoother then an egg. Let's go."


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