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LATE SEPT 74


It was unusually cold that day, a reprieve from the heat that plagued the city. Autumn was well on it's way to arriving and Horatia appreciated it. Dear Appiana, however, did not. Her little girl was never one of robust health. Born a little too soon and a little too small, she found the cold as difficult to deal with as she found the heat, especially a sudden drop like today was from the days before. After a coughing fit that sent one of the household servants running to the physician, Appiana sat curled up against her mother. Who had a woolen blanket wrapped around her as she told the child stories she had learned in her youth, along with tales from history of their fine empire.

"Your papa should be home soon." She whispered to her dozing daughter after she asked for him, feeling the slight body of the snuggle closer to her as they lounged before a small fire. Appiana was still small for her ten years of age, and Horatia worried what her life would be like if she married and tried to produce children. Perhaps she ought to talk to Appius about sending Appiana either out into the countryside to one of the family's villas or perhaps, seek out a life Vestal for her. Yet, she hadn't mentioned to her daughter that she was trying to give her a little sister, be it the gods will.

Which it seemed to not be their will. Her womb had also not proven to be fruitful, as of yet, after the strike she took during Lupercalia, and it had not been from lack of trying. And she wondered if the miscarriage she had suffered a few years prior had done something to her inside to cause her to not bare the fruit of her and her husband's coupling. She smiled when she heard the soft snoring of the child in her arms, and she pressed a kiss to her forehead as she shifted to lay more comfortably. Waiting for either the child to wake up or for Appius to return so he could carry Appiana to her bed. 

 


@Brian

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Appius had been busy most of the day with meeting his peers. Surprisingly it was not particularly hot and instead, oddly cold for this time for year. Still, the change in weather was a blessing and a relief from the weather during this point in the season. 

He said farewell to his friend and excitedly walked towards his home, accompanied by his servants and was soon admitted into his home. He hoped to see his children before nightfall, and take his Horatia into his bed. There had been no news of an additional child. They already had four to call their own, and that was plenty. Finally the day was coming to a close. When he entered, the oldest of the family slaves told him that his wife was caring for Appiana who had fallen ill once more. He smiled and touched the slave's arm in gratitude before he headed in the direction.

He watched Horatia tenderly hold their daughter in her arms and smiled softly. It was a perfect maternal figure. The room was silent for a moment except for Appiana's snoring and he could not help but chuckle at the sound. Appius walked to sit beside her, wrapped his arm around her waist and placed a kiss on Horatia's forehead. "I forgot how loud she snores," He whispered, not wanting to wake Appiana up and smiled at their daughter. His hand moved through his only daughter's hair and leaned down to lovingly kiss her forehead, too. "I'll take her to bed," He whispered, moved to place his arm under Appina's body and gently lifted her up. He stood and looked at Horatia to follow him. Sure, a slave could have easily taken her to bed. But he was determined to be involved in his children's upbringing.

Appius placed her down on the bed and the girl's body slave bowed her head. "How have you been?" He asked Horatia, still his voice was a whisper and covered Appiana's body with a sheet.

@Anna

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Gracing her husband with a fond smile, Horatia bit back the laughter that had bubbled up at his comment. Nodding to him. "She's rather loud when she wishes to be." She replied, her tone low enough not to wake the slumbering child in her arms but hopefully still loud enough for her husband to hear her clearly. Without any resistance, she relinquished her daughter to the girl's father. Who scooped her up carefully from their perch. 
 
Now free to move, Horatia shifted and stretched her upper body as she watched father and daughter. Smiling as Appius turned, giving her an expectant look and she stood. Following him, she could see one of their household slaves running ahead to make sure the fire was stoked in the girl's bedroom. Knowing to keep it warm for the young girl's health. 
 
She stood back as the body slave and Appius settled the girl into bed, Appiana remaining asleep through the whole of it. She was certain that her daughter could sleep through the worst of disasters and wake up without even realizing what had happened around them. 
 
"I am well. And you?" She said softly as she reached out for his hand, not moving away from the door frame. She continued, filling in with the report of the household "The boys are well as well. The three of them tired each other out practicing their swordplay this evening. It was uneventful." 
 
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