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Helios

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Helios was on his way home from visiting one of his patrons – one of those who preferred and paid for Helios to come to him rather than the Senator visiting the Domus Venus. And Helios was fine with that, he enjoyed the fine beds such people had, all the luxury of their homes and their slaves serving him, because the patron would often demand it. And while he appeared to just be there for the man’s pleasure, of course Helios was constantly watchful of what went on around him, who came and who left in such homes and what did the patron talk about after sex?

He was well spent though, as he walked home, late in the afternoon. Now he thought he might need a good rest in his own bed and maybe a trip to one of the baths, spending a single coin on getting a proper bathing session, and then he would get on with the job. He hadn’t been sent with any of the guards, not even lovely Calvunus or grumpy Marcus, so no one knew at what time he ought to be back. Helios supposed he could spend a little bit of time on his own. So on his way home to the brothel, he took a longer route that would lead him towards one of the public baths.

Helios had just turned around a corner, he wasn't far from the baths now... but then he found himself fronting a familiar face. Charis, wasn’t it? The young Briton slave, whose secret he sold to her master not so long ago… oh he had kind of hoped not to meet her again, ever. Fuck! And there was no way she had not seen him. He could try and pretend though, although his look of surprise might give him away.

He hurried his steps to walk past her, as if he didn’t really know who she was. Hopefully she didn’t know that he spoke to her master and hopefully her master hadn’t punished her too badly after the secret was out. Hopefully she wouldn’t even remember him. Hopefully…

@Sara

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Charis breathed easily. After two weeks of pseudo house-arrest, save for her evening trips to the baths, Tertius had finally relented and allowed her to venture out of the domus alone. It had been like a nectar for her soul, even if she was only heading to the market to pick up seedlings for the garden. She hummed to herself as she walked quickly back towards the domus, an old song she’d heard in Britannia at one of her families numerous gatherings. She was distracted as she walked - but by now she had figured out the quickest, but most pleasant route to take back and unfortunately for Helios is brought her straight into his path.

She blinked, making sure it was definitely him. But his halo of golden hair was unmistakeable, as was his handsome face which she had unmistakably seen leaving her domus. The Gods were most definitely smiling on her today, and cursing poor Helios. 

As he moved to hurry past her, Charis was quicker and grabbed his wrist, dropping her bundle. “You!” she hissed, glaring at him. Despite her small size, she was furious and her eyes were filled with rage. “You little snake you are dead!” She glowered up at him, her nails digging deeply into his wrist. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

 

 

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Helios pretended like nothing as he strode past her, but just when he was next to her, he felt a hand wrap around his wrist and nails digging into it. He let out a little pained sound by the feeling and she was hissing at him. Calling him a snake, yet she was sounding like one. So she had recognized him and apparently her master had punished her badly enough for her to be angry with Helios. How did she guess he told her master? He hadn’t seen her at the house… and he had been careful and hurried out after he met her handsome owner.

“Charis… how… interesting to see you again...” Helios said, looking down upon the short woman. Pretty and sweet was the impression he got of her that day in the garden, but right now, she appeared to be a little bitch, not much different from the one Calvanus killed for him that fateful night. This one just had two legs instead of four…

He would just have to try and get on her good side again and find out exactly what she knew. Because he just couldn't help himself... meeting her again would most likely mean he'd soon have something to remember and tell about Tertius Quinctilius Varus. Nothing was ever so bad that you couldn’t profit from it somehow, right?

“Please let go… and we can talk… like civilized people instead of beasts.”

@Sara

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"Interesting." She repeated with a glower. It was interesting, back at home she had been known for her forthright personality; fiery although not temperamental. She had always been joking, grinning, planning mischief and thinking tactically. Here...her pragmatism shone through much more, and her fiery personality was tempered by the demands of being meek and subservient. This was the first time anybody had seen Charis enraged since Britannia, and it was coming out in full force.

As he asked her to let go, she tightened her grip. "We are beasts to Romans...we Britons, remember?" She glared and breathed heavily through her nose. When she finally did shake off his hand, she moved to stand in front of him so he couldn't run (it didn't occur to her that he could push her out of the way as easily as a feather in his path). 

"You know what you did?" She looked up at him, unmoving and unwavering. She didn't even care to temper her tongue, even after what had happened. She should have been sensible and cautious in what she said to a man as duplicitous as they came, but she wasn't thinking logically. "You know what he did?" She glared up at him and took a step forward so they were close. She forgot, in her rage, her own stature and just how...unthreatening she probably looked. "Why you do it?" 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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She was a true little bitch, he was not wrong in thinking that. The way she spoke to him and the way she glared at him, like he was on a mission to send her to Hades and further… if she wasn’t a cute house slave, she might have turned into a fierce gladiatrix. Small, but deadly! Yet she was no gladiatrix, she was just here and clearly knew what he did. And she was pissed. And Helios, he’d just have to do all he could to get out of this unharmed.

When he said they should talk as if they were civilized, she reminded him how the Romans thought that the Britons were indeed beasts. He couldn’t help it, even in this situation, to smile a little, “But we know better, don’t we?” He asked and if she hadn’t been so upset, he would have winked, but he fought the urge and didn’t. Finally she let go and he rubbed his hand, she had been holding it pretty tightly and there were deep marks where she’d dug her nails in. That was going to hurt later! Now she blocked his path however and wondered if he knew what he’d done and if she knew what he did. Her master, he assumed. He had to bend his neck to look down upon him, such a pity she was so angry, she was also pretty and felt so warm. Pity, that.

“Why do slaves do anything? To make their own lives easier.” He said, he might as well be honest with her, “I need coin… to buy my freedom. I’m…” He inhaled a breath, naturally these words didn’t come through his lips very often, “… I’m sorry, alright? But I couldn’t not do it. It was too lucrative. What did… he do?” She was clearly walking and not bruised any visible places, so her master didn’t have her beaten. Maybe her back was all torn apart by a whip though. But he couldn’t see she was harmed in any way.

@Sara

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Charis glowered up at him. "You pathetic.She said with venom in her voice. "What kind of man so weak he throw another slave to dog to save self?" Her grasp of Latin was getting better, but in moments of upset and anger she forgot the grammar that she'd learned. She did truly believe what she said though. She had been bought up in a collective culture - where your achievements were only good if they benefited those around you. It's what made her so naturally caring, even in instances where she didn't need to be - and it's what made her so ill-suited to the life of a slave! 

His apology was a poor one. It sounded as sincere as his honeyed words in the gardens - which was to say, not at all. Glaring up at him she muttered, "You sorry you got caught." And finished the sentence by mumbling expletives in her own language, 'you absolute shit.'

At his question, however, she shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. It had been two weeks but it felt as if no time had passed at all. Losing some of her nerve, she shrugged her shoulders. "What you think he did?" She asked, before tutting and turning her face away in irritation, her cheeks flushing. She wondered if it was usual punishment for unruly slaves - to be taken to bed? It hadn't been particularly  taxing physically, although mentally it was taking  its toll. She had always suspected masters would use whips and fists rather than their cocks but maybe she'd been wrong? Glancing back at him, she looked him up and down. "You owe me money. You collect gold for telling tales, I think I get some of it." She glared at him, "As sorry money for what you did...else I know where you work and you not only one that can tell stories to dominus'. You understand?" She took a step forward. She would make him realise what he had done. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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Helios wondered for a short moment for how long he’d put up with this. Charis was so petite compared to him, and she might be angry, but Helios was sure he was stronger. And although he knew that he had indirectly harmed her somehow (although he didn’t know how yet) and should feel bad about that (which he also did, a bit)… he also didn’t like the way she spoke to him. She called hi pathetic and wondered what kind of a man he was, to do what he did.

“Any man in Rome.” Helios said, looking down upon her. So far that’s the experience he had here. Every man and woman for themselves. And they all wanted to live and do well. Helios never had anyone save his skin or look out for him. He did that himself. Anyone had to. Charis would have to learn too.

When he said he was sorry, she didn’t believe him and said he was just sorry he got caught. Of course he was sorry he got caught, but he was also sorry that she got hurt. And when he then wondered what her master did to her, she seemed uncomfortable and her cheeks flushed and she looked away. Well that’s a reaction he thought he’d seen before… her master got angry then and forced her. Had his way with her. But why, after she spoke ill about him? Why not just beat her and then sell her, or something? He said nothing though and then she suddenly glanced up at him again, said he owed her money.

“A lot of people know where I work. And what stories could you possibly tell about me, that would make my life worse? I’m a whore already. I'm sometimes surprised I'm still alive. I don’t owe you anything but my apologies. Which you won’t accept, it seems.” Helios said. Like Hades she was going to blackmail him, a tiny little bitch of a Briton slavegirl, who got upset because her master took her to his bed. As if thousands of slavegirls in Rome hadn’t experienced the same. He didn’t back away from her, despite how she’d walked closer to him.

“So how are we going to settle this… Charis?” Helios tilted his head, “Maybe a compromise would be the better idea. A settlement, of sorts… but maybe we should not talk here, in the street? Unless you want it to be known that you make deals with whores.”

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Charis glowered, her resolve strengthening; "I don't need real story...I can lie, maybe your dominus would listen to me." She was not  usually in the business of vengeance, she was far too practical for that, but it seemed that in Rome it was...a necessity. Each man for himself left very little room for women, it seemed, and she needed to make Helios realise she was not the sweet, innocent, meek young woman her gender and appearance might suggest. 

She scoffed at the idea of a compromise, shooting him a dirty look - her big blue eyes turning hard and cold. "I no need your compromise..." She shrugged. She didn't know if she'd go through with it, her plan to tell tales at the Venus - it would be risky and certainly flouted Tertius' doctrine that she stay out of trouble. Then again, she was in a fury. Not dwelling on it now - for she had plenty of time - she turned her face up to him to study his features. "You right..." She said and took a step back and to the side, so she no longer blocked his path. "I don't want deal with whore, or spend time with one..." 

She moved to step past him but paused next to him and adding, in a hiss; "I hope you enjoy the mine...that where you going when I tell my tales Helios." And she took a step away, to leave. She didn't know what fury had overtaken her, but she was simultaneously exhilarated and terrified of this new personality.

 

TAG: @Atrice

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Gods she was vile! Did her Dominus know she was like this? That she would lie just to get revenge… Helios arched a brow, “As far as I recall, I never lied about you. It’s you who should be more careful with what you tell strangers.” Helios said, he was getting a little tired of her. But she didn’t seem to back down and now she didn’t even want to find a compromise. She gave him a hard and cold gaze and said she didn’t want to deal with or spend time with a whore.

And then, she just brushed past him and said she would tell tales about him bad enough to send him to the mines. The mines! What the actual fuck about this girl! That was it, that was enough!

Helios turned looking at her and before she could escape, he’d taken her arm to stop her, “I didn’t tell anything that would get you killed, did I?” He asked, holding onto her arm hard so she wouldn’t escape.

It was rare Helios got this upset too, but now he did. The thought of the mines scared him and he didn’t want to go there. He just didn’t! So anything he could say or do to shut her up would work, and it would seem that it was his turn to spin her mind now. He pulled her closer and leaned down towards her, “You know slaves that go to the mines don’t return alive! You would do that… send someone to certain death over a spoiled secret? Would you do that? Are you that cruel?”

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She glared up at him but her lips parted in surprise as he took her arm hard and moved closer. She was not afraid, she had too much anger and hatred flowing through her veins for her own good, and after what had happened with Tertius, she feared very little anymore...the one thing she had not wanted to happen to her had happened so...what else did she have to lose? She did, however, try to move her arm free as she glared through a frown up at him; "You no know that though! You no know how dominus react...he could have had me whip, could have had me killed!" She hissed. If Tertius was a lesser man, he might of and she had to give credit where credit was due - her punishment was far from the worst a slave could expect in Rome. 

She tried to slip her arm away again and winced when she could not, and exhaled sharply through her nose. In truth, Charis knew very little about the mines...she had heard that most of her cohort in the slave dealers had been sold there, but she had escaped it by virtue of her youth and gender (and she suspected her looks) but what they entailed she had no idea...alls he knew is that it was supposedly a threat and one most slaves feared more than anything else. 

"I not cruel one...look at  yourself," She glared, and he didn't need to know she was probably never, ever going to sink low enough to inform on him to the Venus...but she did want him to be scared... "You have no one to blame but self now-" She stamped down on his foot with all her strength to try and get him to release his grip, "Let go!"

 

TAG: @Atrice

 

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She claimed she had every right to react the way she did, because he couldn’t have known what her owner would do to her. But he didn’t think in one split second that she would die over that secret. She had spoken badly about her Dominus behind his back, but that’s all she had done. And she wasn’t dead, was she? So why was she so angry…

“But he didn’t have you killed. And it sounds like he didn’t whip you either.” Helios hissed back at her and when she tried to tear her arm free, he only held her tighter. She’d have a bruise after that, but that was the least of it, because Helios – who was also usually friendly and not violent at all – was also getting worked up now. When he called her cruel, she said he was too and that he had no one to blame but himself. Oh really? 

Before he could react to that though, she stomped down on his foot then and he let out a small scream and let go, but only for a second, because then he reached out for her with his other hand and pushed her up against a nearby wall. The foot hurt, but not worse than the thought of the mines, “If I end up in the mines, if you are that terrible and vile… I am going to drag you with me. You’d probably end up working hard both day and night, with your looks. You wouldn’t last long. And all because you can’t accept an apology.” He released his grip on her a bit, trying to recollect himself… they were still out here in the street, after all... “So, we should find a compromise…”

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Relief that he had let go was only fleeting as she found herself pushed up against a wall. She had never really fought in her life, not like this, and the surprise must have registered in her face. She tried to wrestle herself free with the determination of somebody twice her size but it was fruitless and instead she stood, back to the wall, glowering bloody murder at the tall blonde man. For a woman usually so warm and compassionate, her face was thunderous now! 

"My domine won't sell me to mines, now he had me!" She hissed at him (although she didn't really believe her own words) and squirmed a little to try and get away, "And you no get chance to drag me with you, so it you be working hard in day mining and being whore at night like normal." She gave him a shove but it did little good. 

As he released his grip a little she exhaled sharply but made no move to run off. Judging by his size he could outpace her, and she didn't want to end up with anything worse than the blossoming bruise on her forearm. Scowling at him, she rolled her eyes at his suggestion before she turned her face to the side, avoiding him as if bored by this interaction. "No...no compromise...I don't make deal with cruel men." She used his words against him and still didn't look at him, looking far off in the distance at the crowd that eyed this interaction suspiciously; "Now you let me go and run along to Venus, Helios.She spat his name with uncharacteristic venom. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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The little bitch claimed her owner would not sell her to the mines, now he ‘had her’. So he had slept with her. That’s all he did. And he didn’t even hurt her, it seemed. She should be relieved that her punishment was so gentle. That he didn’t whip her or kill her, but she wasn’t, she was still angry, as if her story wasn’t one among thousands of similar stories in Rome. She stopped squirming though and then thought he’d be working hard too, instead of her.

Then he let go and tried again to suggest a compromise, but she still didn’t agree to it, calling him cruel once more and wanting him to let her go.

“I’m not letting you go until you stop your idea with having me sent to the mines.” Helios replied, he still held her arm, but not as tightly as before. Just as a security, so if she started to squirm or run… he’d hold her back… “I could do much worse than what is already done. But if you won’t tell… I won’t either.”

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Alexius had a few hours off today and he’d been out doing what he sometimes could be caught doing… he went to watch the gladiators fight or rather train, because it was free and he apparently liked to watch them. His thoughts would often drift to the past, when it was Alexius standing there training and then later on he’d be the lanista, overlooking them. And then he left Rome. And then he came back and look who he found; a beautiful mistress who even wouldn’t mind sharing her bed with him. All while he protected her as his bodyguard. It was the perfect job, really.

But he’d finished daydreaming now and was on his way home, although he wasn’t in a hurry. And on his way home, it was impossible to not see the little incident in the street. Other people had slowed down too, but no one had intervened so far. A tall man with long, golden locks was grabbing the arm of a younger and much smaller woman and now he even pushed her up against a wall. And they spoke together in low and hissing voices.

In broad daylight!

Alexius was surprised to see this happen, and then not even in a back alley, but in a bigger street! Now he might be a large and if you didn’t know him, you might think he’s a brute… but Alexius did have a softer heart within and he really disliked seeing weaker people bullied by stronger ones. He’d seen it far too often as a slave and now he wouldn’t stand for it. He approached the pair, it didn’t matter that he didn’t wear a weapon on his person (he was not working, after all), he was still sure he was stronger than the golden-haired male. He could beat him up if the girl wanted him to!

The man hadn’t seen him coming and was startled, when Alexius with a hand on his shoulder jerked him away from the younger woman, “Hey! Let her go!” The man let go, mostly because of the surprise, causing Alexius' little jerk to have a much bigger effect, as the goldenhaired literally stumbled and only just managed to not fall.

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Charis saw the man approaching from her position, and the fact that she was determinedly not looking at Helios. "You already told." She muttered to Helios and finally looked back at him, her fury sapping a little. She was still angry, but the white hot rage had settled into just complete dislike for the man that towered over her, rather than anything more destructive. She couldn't, however, keep the smile that tugged at the corners of her lips as Helios was jerked back off of her. 

As he stumbled, she wound her arms protectively around her slim middle in case he should lunge at her again. It only occurred to her now that there was another person diffusing the situation that what she had done may warrant another little trip from Helios to Tertius. But surely Tertius wouldn't be too angry? She had just told him what she had thought? Still, she felt a little ashamed she had let it escalate like this, and now there was somebody else getting involved! Gods give her strength! 

"It alright..." She winced and glanced up (why were all these Romans so tall!) to the other man. He was older than her, but handsome in a way that felt familiar - his features and colouring about as Roman as her own. "We just arguing, isn't that right Helios?She glared at the golden haired man as if warning him not to try and drop her in anymore trouble. "But thank you sir..." She gave a small smile to him before averting her eyes respectfully, "He got a bit too much." She shot a glare at Helios and felt the first rush of pain in her arm. 

 

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Helios already told once but he could tell again and he could easily make up a story about Charis that would not be an entire lie, because this little fight did take place. And if he got to her Dominus first about it, he might believe Helios first, since he did that before. Helios didn’t get to say more though, as he was suddenly and roughly jerked away from Charis. His hold on her arm hadn’t been tight and now he was ripped away and stumbled and just managed to break the fall with a hand. What the fuck?

Then he stood, looking up at a large brute of a man… that he had seen before! Wasn’t this Oriana’s bodyguard, that she had that fight with in the street and then fucked in an alley afterwards? Despite the situation looking terrible for Helios, he couldn’t help but consider how he could use this to his advantage, should Charis tell on him… meanwhile Charis was talking to Alexius, saying they were just fighting and that Helios got a bit too much.

“I didn’t start it.” Helios argued back, while Alexius had somehow managed to place himself next to them, but between them… watching Helios so that he could stop him if he tried anything again. And Helios knew better than to fight with a bodyguard! Still though, he decided to not let it be known that he knew who Alexius was, because he needed this dirt, especially now!

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When the blonde was off the girl, Alexius placed himself so that he was within arm’s length of them both, should anything happen again. If the blonde touched her again, Alexius might make sure Helios wouldn't want to touch anyone again. The young woman had smiled at first, but now she hugged herself in a protective manner and made sure to name the guy who’d attacked her. Helios. That name sounded familiar… but before he could think further about it, Helios barged in, saying he didn’t start it.

“But you continued. It takes two to start a fight, believe me, I know!” Alexius said in a firm tone to Helios. As if he believed Helios didn’t start it, look at her size compared to his and look at how many women were mistreated by men in Rome! And Rome wasn’t fair, but at least, this woman wouldn’t have to suffer more from this one. He’d make sure of that, “You need to back off, she’s already hurt.” He glanced at her arm and then looked at her face, his expression softer than it was with Helios, “Are you sure you are alright, Domina? Maybe I should escort you home?”

@Sara

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Charis shot a warning glance at Helios to stop bloody talking. This was something that needed to be dealt with between themselves, certainly not in front of an audience (she didn't grasp the irony that she had instigated it in a busy street...). But as the other man interjected she looked  between the two of them and stayed quiet, passive (Tertius would be so proud!) but she nonetheless felt embarrassed. She should have held it together - she was usually so good at keeping herself in check - rarely flying into anger or upset, but Rome had broken her resolve in more ways than one and she'd found herself oscillating between very variable moods much more. 

She didn't realise the other man was speaking to her at first and she glanced around for a 'Domina' until she realised it was her and she blinked. "I not domina...I slave." She said sheepishly, a bit embarrassed. She held her arm out, and nodded, "It fine...he think he stronger than he is." She shot Helios another little glare. 

At his offer she glanced round the street and then back between Helios and the taller man. She didn't know what to do - she certainly didn't want it getting back to her dominus that a strange man had walked her home, not on her first (!) visit out of the domus in weeks, but she equally didn't want to run the risk of Helios catching up to her somewhere more private and finishing this spat. After some silence and contemplation she nodded with a small smile, "If not too much trouble sir, thank you." She inclined her head. She'd lead him to near her domus but a few streets over and leave him there so none of the household slaves saw him. 

Casting another glance at Helios she narrowed her eyes and spoke under her breath, "And we leave this here. I not that cruel." She affirmed, hoping he understood she wouldn't go running telling tales to the Venus, she took a step closer to him so the taller man hopefully couldn't hear. "But if you ever come to domus again or speak to domine again I make sure you feel pain you never felt before for the rest of your miserable life.She left the warning there with a scowl and took a step back, "I quiet if you quiet." She affirmed before taking a deep breath in through her nose and exhaling it, looking sheepishly back at Alexius. "I live on Esquiline Hill..." She made to leave with the confidence of a freedwoman, but not before glaring one last time at Helios.

 

TAG: @Atrice

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If only she’d accepted his first apology, it wouldn’t have come to this, but she was the one who chose to cause a scene in a busy street and now a third party had gotten involved. It was Helios’ luck that it was a man he knew about (but didn’t know personally), so if Alexius got Helios into trouble, well he could cause some trouble right back onto the bodyguard. He still hadn’t found out exactly what Alexius’ story was, only that he was certainly not born in Rome. For now Helios was quiet though, as Alexius seemed to feel sympathy with Charis rather than Helios. She confessed she was a slave and said her arm was fine. And that Alexius could walk her home. Oh look at her, little bitch one moment, sweet pet the next…

Then she glanced at Helios again and came closer to him, saying that they’d leave this here but warned him to not speak with her Dominus again. She would stay quiet if he did. So it was a compromise, of sorts. Good she came to her senses.

“That sounds like a deal.” Helios replied to her, “And I’ll stay quiet if you do.” Meaning if she told on him and he found out it was her (and who could it be, but her, if it happened?) he would make sure she wouldn’t end up very well either, “May we never cross paths again.” Helios then said and backed away from the pair. Alexius looked at him, but seemed to accept that they’d spoken and Helios was leaving now. And Helios left and walked straight back to the Domus Venus with a pained foot and feeling angry. How dare that little bitch threaten him with the mines! All he wanted was his freedom and she didn’t get that. Maybe he should spy on her or her Dominus, just in case… but it wouldn’t be tonight. Tonight he had more work.

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Alexius was half surprised to hear she wasn’t a domina, but a slave. Now she said it though, she didn’t wear as fancy clothes as a free woman might, it was very simple, but she was so fine to look upon… just look at her pretty face and eyes. She could easily be a princess, Alexius thought!

“It is not too much trouble at all. I offered, after all.” Alexius said, when she seemed to agree that he could walk her home. And then Helios and the slavegirl seemed to have a final chat, which Alexius overlooked, but tried to give them some privacy to finish their discussion. And then Helios left and the slavegirl explained where she lived. Alexius was now left with this short, but very lovely and young woman. His own mistress wasn’t all that tall either, so Alexius was quite used to walking near or next to a smaller woman and he easily adjusted his steps to hers. She couldn’t be very old, he thought, maybe around Oriana’s age? Not that it mattered. Age wasn't all that important to Alexius, and he was just helping her out, that's all.

“Then that’s where we’ll go. Your Dominus is wealthy, then? I’m not though. Please don’t call me sir... please call me Alexius. What may I call you?”

@Sara

Edited by Atrice
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She started walking cautiously and kept a distance, her eyes keenly scanning in front of her for any familiar faces. She didn't know if it was forbidden to socialise with freemen but she presumed it was frowned upon in her situation. She only nodded at his first question and kept her eyes in front of her, respectfully not looking at him - that particular lesson had sunk in well; "Yes he a Senator." She had no real concept of wealth in Rome - her Dominus seemed rich enough to be a King compared to those she knew in Britannia, but she understood there were others far, far wealthier than he. 

At his instruction she should not call him sir, she smiled a little to herself; "As you wish Alexius." How quickly she had changed from furious and scathing to sweet and respectful! If Helios was here still it would have made his head spin...

"Charis, si-," She stopped herself before she finished saying 'sir' and instead swallowed, chancing a glance up at him, "Charis, my name Charis." My name here is Charis, Erea already felt so foreign to her in this new and awful place. "Domine name me when I come here...apparently name is the Greek Gods of beauty, charm, kindness, nature..." She waved a hand, "I do not understand Greek Gods..." She barely understood the Roman pantheon, let alone the Greeks. She smiled to herself though, the name could have been far worse...but the smile fell from her face as quickly as it came. She felt unbelievably awkward now the heat of her anger had dispersed and she felt shame wash over her. How could she let herself go like that? She wouldn't survive long if that's how quickly she could be roused to temper...Trying to apologise, or at least explain, she continued with her eyes down; "I sorry...about Helios...we disagree over something, it embarrassing..." Her cheeks flushed a little, "I should control temper better."

 

TAG: @Atrice

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Alexius noticed how she tried to keep a slight distance to her, but he didn’t mention it. After her fight or whatever it was, with Helios, she was probably just careful. Alexius was, after all, still mostly a stranger to her. She confirmed her owner was a Senator and Alexius nodded, “Quite wealthy then.” He said and she agreed to just call him Alexius. Then explained her name was Charis and she said what she’d been told about her name.

“You don’t have to understand. It’s a pretty name though. Alexius is Greek too, it means something with defending. Which I suppose I did today, with you.” He added with a smile to her, trying to make her feel more relaxed and he wanted her to feel good. Did her name match her, he wondered… she was certainly beautiful and time would tell if she was also charming and kind. Not towards Helios, but maybe towards Alexius? Briefly he thought he certainly wouldn’t mind her kindness or charm, but on the other hand, he had Oriana… although it wasn’t forbidden to look at others, right? And Oriana was still looking for suitors too. So if she could, he could too. Look, at least.

Charis then kept her eyes down and apologized for what happened with Helios and she should control her temper better… but Alexius just chuckled, “I don’t mind a woman who tries to fend for herself. And he should control his temper too! Was it really you who started, as he said? No matter, he shouldn’t be treating a pretty girl like you that way. I don’t know why no one else stopped him.” He rolled his eyes, thinking about those fucking Romans and every man for himself, but really, Charis surely hadn’t deserved such treatment, right?

@Sara

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Charis flicked her eyes to him demurely with a quizzical look; "You are Greek?" She didn't understand that he too, had not chosen his name and assumed his colouring was Greek in origin, not Germanic. If he was Greek, she thought, then she'd already embarrassed herself by dismissing his Gods. Well done Erea! 

His chuckle confused her but it was a little infectious and a slight smile upturned the corners of her mouth. She felt the residual anger wash away slowly, like writing on a beach being lapped by the waves. It was still there, she wouldn't get over the confrontation with Helios that easily, but it was fading in the company of this man. She said nothing to his view that he enjoyed women who defended themselves but winced a little at his question, "I...start it today..." She said after hesitation, "But he start it weeks ago and today first time I seen him since then...so I confront him but didn't realise he would get so angry..." Her arm twinged in pain as if on cue. 

Not commenting on his flattery, she instead shrugged a little; "I slave, I don't think most care..." What was another accosted, or abused slave to citizens? She didn't look at him as she spoke, instead concentrating on the faces in front of her - worried one would be Hector, or even worse Tertius... "But you care and I grateful..." Unless he didn't care, and instead was one of those men she'd been warned about by Rhoda; one of those that found a generic slave lost or in trouble and took them to be re-sold. She took a subconscious step further away from him, and cast a serious glance over his person; surely he wasn't the type? But she needed to be sure... "You are not Senator too, Alexius?" Poor Charis didn't understand that not every man she'd meet who was free was a Senator, not properly, "Or you work?"

 

TAG: @Atrice

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He let out a little laugh of amusement when she wondered if he was Greek, and then he shook his head, “Oh no… not Greek. Not even Roman. I was born in Germania, but lived here most of my life.” Alexius explained to her, he wasn’t ashamed, he was actually more proud, even if he learned he no longer belonged in Germania. It was still his origin and he knew he’d never be fully accepted as a Roman either anyway. And he didn’t want to be. The Romans enslaved him, after all, and stole his sister from him. He’d never forget that.

When he wondered about her incident with Helios and whether she started it, she said she had started today, but Helios began weeks ago. Alexius nodded, “I see. Well, it’s over, for now at least. You’re safe with me.” He promised her, before she continued about how most people wouldn’t care, because she was a slave. But of course she was grateful that he cared, although then he noticed she took a step away from him before asking if he was a senator.

“I’m definitely no senator, Charis. I’m a freedman and I now work as a bodyguard… but I was a slave too once, a gladiator.” He said, looking at her, still wondering about why she took a step away from him… was she afraid of him? Oh he hoped not! That’s the last thing he wanted, a lovely young woman being afraid of him when she had no reason to be!

“I hope you’re not fearful of me. You really don’t have to be, I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to make sure you get home safely.”

@Sara

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Charis’ eyes widened as he stated his credentials. He was the first freed slave she’d met and she was a little...in awe. She’d heard from Rhoda and the others that her particular domine was more likely to sell his slaves than ever free them (besides, perhaps, Teutus) and it has dampened her view of it. To meet a freed slave - and a Gladiator at that! - and one from Germania, a land not dissimilar to her own left her a little stuck for words. When she finally did speak, she did so cautiously but with an unmistakeable air of awe; “You what every slave hope for then...free.” She smiled a little, “How long slave for?”  Before she realised herself and blushed a little, shaking her head, “Sorry...you don’t have to talk about Sir...Alexius.”

As they walked, her a little further to the side, she kept her eyes forward. But as his assertion she shouldn’t be afraid, she stopped and shook he head, her anger not quite gone and it making her cheeks flush (for once a flush of anger not embarrassment!).

”I know...I sorry...” She said tersely before she softened a little, trying to explain herself. “I...only in Rome two-three months...my other slave told me to be careful,” She eyed him over from head to toe, “That some men take slave and re-sell...and I been burned by slave before...” She exhaled sharply at the memory of Helios’ poisoned words, “Not literally though...” Glancing at him, she winced, “I am new slave and...don’t know all...” She shook her head, not articulating what she meant well enough, “People tell me I naive.”  Which was laughable really, i’d anybody had known the practical Erea of before. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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