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Atrice
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Takes place a few days after Carpe Diem

 

It was a day like any other, or so it seemed. Tertius had been at the Basilica Julia, functioning as praetor, doing his duty for the empire… and now after a long day, he had finally come home. Before he could relax though, he had to sit down at his tablinum and look over some numbers for the household. Hector came in and Tertius was pleased to see him, but he actually just had a message… Tertius had a visitor and Hector was clearly not too happy with the visitor. It turned out to be a quite handsome young man, with long blonde hair and pretty lashes and the most charming smile. Oh he could see why Hector would not like him.

“Greetings… you are here to see me? What is your name and business here?” Tertius wondered from his chair behind the desk, looking up at the blonde male beauty.

“I’m Helios from the Domus Venus. Yet I am not here in my function as a slave there. I have news for you, Tertius Quinctilius Varus, about one of your slaves. News it would be wrong of me to keep secret from you.” The blonde slave said, “May I sit, Dominus?” Tertius looked him over, arching a brow at the odd words about news and secrets… concerning one of his slaves.

“You may sit. So what are these news?” Tertius wondered, and Helios sat down comfortably in the more humble chair on the other side of the table.

“See, I can’t tell you yet. Nothing is free in Rome, Dominus. I came here because I felt I had to. But the secret is mine to keep, until you have paid me.” Helios said and Tertius sat up straighter in his chair. Did this slave just dare to attempt blackmailing him? Yet it wasn’t his slave and harming another’s slave could turn even more pricey. He could of course just send Helios away, but then the idea of not knowing the secret would gnaw at him… it already did.

“You have quite a bit of nerve, Helios. Coming here, telling me of secrets first and then payment before telling.” Tertius said, clearly not pleased with the situation. Helios however remained calm in his chair and then he dared to smile, even.

“I know. It’s what I do, Dominus. Well part of it. I could do other things for you as well, but that would also come with a price. Yet I am not here for that… unless you want it, of course.” He added with a smirk, pushing a strand of long, blonde hair over his shoulder. Oh gods, Tertius thought he was very handsome! He almost reminded Tertius of his former body slave Anteros, who also had long, blonde hair and was way too tempting and daring for his own good.

“I am pleased with what I already have. Now tell me your price… for the secret.” Tertius said and Helios told him. It wasn’t cheap, that’s for sure! Tertius sighed and promised payment, but Helios would see the money first. Tertius called for Hector to fetch his private purse and once retrieved and prostitute paid – Tertius leaned back as Helios counted the coins. He seemed pleased enough with the amount.

Edited by Atrice
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“Thank you. Now… the story concerns your slave, Charis. Are you very fond of her?” Helios asked, the smile fading from his handsome face but the sly gaze didn’t.

“She’s been very good and pleasing so far. She is a new slave, still learning to submit. What is it with her?” What could she possibly have done, that was so bad that a slave like Helios would come to Tertius’ home to tell about it?

“Well, Senator… you say she’s good and pleasing, but that would appear to be a façade. She does not desire to be a good slave to you – she wants to have her own agenda fulfilled. And she is not… very fond… of her Dominus.” Helios paused, letting those words sink in, while he watched the older man carefully. Tertius was certainly not smiling and he narrowed his eyes, as if he was thinking about something. He did have stunning blue eyes, Helios thought to himself. He might not mind it if Tertius wanted a piece of Helios afterwards.

“Not very fond of me? How do you know?” Tertius asked, as if he didn’t quite believe in Helios yet.

“I met her a few days ago, in one of the gardens here in Rome. She was having a good time with a friend of hers, also a slave, it would seem. And Briton.” Helios was Briton too, but it was so long ago and he could barely remember anything. And what he could remember, he preferred to forget… “I sat down to talk to the ladies, not knowing they weren’t meant to be sitting there with wine and cakes. They had had a bit to drink and Charis was happy to talk to me. And she told about her thoughts of you. How she believes she has control over you – how she tricked you into giving her a different job. And she does not believe you desire her. I’d find it very hard to not desire a woman like her though.” Helios added. Charis had been very easy on the eyes and he refused to believe her owner would not want her ‘like that’. He could see how Tertius’ face had grown a little bit more flushed since he began talking; and not because the Senator was embarrassed. No, it was because of anger, slowly catching fire within him.

“She believes she tricked me? And that she can control me?” Tertius said, his words firm. He was clearly upset and he wasn’t hiding it well, “She said this, truly? I warn you, Helios of the Domus Venus… do not lie to me about my slaves.”

“Oh I would not dare to lie to a man as important as you, Dominus. I would not have come, if I would not tell the truth. And it is so. I met Charis and her friend Cynane and Charis had too much wine… and told me her true thoughts of you. She believes she has you wrapped around her finger. I could not listen to her speak such words, and keep the truth hidden from you, her Dominus.” Helios explained and bowed his head at the end to prove that he was such a good slave and knew exactly how to act. Tertius here seemed to enjoy feeling powerful over his slaves; and Helios would let him feel that.

“I swear again, Helios, if you lie to me… I know where to find you and what to do to you. But if you are right… I am of course pleased that you at least came to tell me the truth - since my own slave is talking about me behind my back and believes she can control me.” Tertius said. Helios dared to look up at him again. The other man had leaned back in his seat and ran both hands through his hair, as if he didn’t know what else to do with them.

“Well, Dominus, I am quite sure that is not the case. I’m certain you’re most superior of all in this household. You do appear as a man in charge.” Helios said, laying it on thick for him and it seemed to be what Tertius wanted to hear, “But please do not be too hard on her; I only wished for you to hear the truth, I did not wish for her to be harmed.”  

“What I do to her is my choice… she is my slave. I’ll make sure she understands this.” Tertius said and Helios nodded, this was of course true. But Charis had seemed sweet and he honestly did not wish anything too bad on her. But on the other hand, this purse with coins felt good in his hand.

“Of course, Dominus.” Helios said with his head bowed once more.

“You can leave now. And if I found out you lied to me… you will hear from me again. If not… thank you for telling me the truth no one else would.” Tertius said and Helios stood and tied the purse to his belt that he had around his waist and tunica.

“It was the least I could do, Dominus. And please don’t forget me, if you ever need any other… services, from my hand. Or the rest of me, for that matter.” Helios said with a wink, but Tertius waved his hand, dismissing Helios. Helios inhaled a breath and left, passing the slave Hector in the doorway. Hector didn’t look too pleased, but Helios just gave him a smile and was on his way out of the household, hopefully before Charis or Teutus would catch a glimpse of him. It would be nice to meet Teutus again, but not today.

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