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July, 74 AD

It was another day in Marcus Barbatius’ life, meaning another day of work. He had a few patrons coming in to see him today, they had already made it known they wanted his services on this day, but there were also a few open spots and especially before noon. Senators always came later in the day, when they were tired from their supposedly hard work and needed a proper shave and a scented lotion rubbed into their cheeks and oils onto their bodies.

His condo was in the first floor of the building and just beneath his condo, was the workshop. He slept with the key to the chest around his neck and now a slave turned up to help him get dressed. A tunica and a simple toga, that he wouldn’t mind getting some hair onto along with some of the scented oils and lotions. The slave silently helped Marcus put on the sandals, helping with the straps that went around his leg and then he had some early breakfast served. A bit of cold, watered wine and bread. Apparently they were out of honey and didn’t have much olive oil, but his kitchen slave had managed to purchase some butter and that at least was something. The mornings were silent in his home. Slaves rarely spoke, out of fear they’d say something wrong to displease their master. Nobody wanted to displease him.

Silently he went to the workshop in the street level, which had been cleaned with a broom and a brush and some wet cloth. There was an actual chair there and a few stools and a working table. Shelves of course, with beautiful bottles and jars with lotions and oils. There was a heavy scent in the room because of all that and Marcus opened the door and opened the shutters to the window to the shop to let it be known, that it was open for business.

The slave he’d chosen to help him out today stood in the corner of the room, waiting to be asked to work and Marcus removed the key from his neck to open the chest. He picked one of the razors and decided to start the day with sharpening some of the tools while waiting for potential clients.

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Having connections among the lower classes was vital for him to maintain his powerbase among the gangs, and to possibly end up eventually ceasing power from them. It was easy enough for him to get a shave at home. This was a place where men would gather and discuss important matters. There was no way he would going to pass this up. Titus had not risked coming alone. He had a body slave with him and a bodyguard who would both ensure his safety, and tend to his needs. He did not approve of the beard he had been developing of late. It was not a time to mourn nor was he a barbarian who spent most of their time being crushed by the legions. He had heard good things thus far about this man, and decided it was a perfect time to come and see what the quality of the service would be like. 

His bodyguard entered the room first and nodded before Titus entered the room with his body slave in tow. Titus looked around the room and silently approved of the slaves all working in silence. 

"Ave Citizen, are you Marcus Barbatius? I have heard good things about your establishment." He greeted him with a hand outstretched for a handshake. A symbol of communal greeting among men of equal standing. He wondered which of the gangs protected Barbatius' place. Most businesses did not survive without some protection money being paid to one or multiple gangs. Apolloni? Mandatum? It was difficult to say which one it was. 

"And, I would like to use some of your services," Titus added, rubbed his thumb along his chin and smirked. "I look like some eastern savage." 

@Atrice

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The morning was very silent and Marcus liked it like this. The sun was shining outside and the city was slowly coming to life and waking up. People walking from place to place and Marcus could watch them when he looked out the open window to the street. He found himself whistling a little tune, feeling this might be a good day.

And just to prove that, not many moments later, a man walked in the door. Actually there were several of them. First one who appeared rather alert and rough, followed by a man with curly hair and stubbles and then the last one, who definitely had to be a slave. Marcus looked at them one by one, as they entered, and determined the second entering had to be the man looking for the shave. And he was right.

“I am indeed Marcus Barbatius and pleased to hear my reputation proceeds me.” Marcus said with a smile and stood, taking the hand offered to him. He assumed the man was of a higher class than himself, with two people in tow for a simple visit to a barber. Marcus had slaves too, but they were cheap. There was no point in spending a lot of coin on slaves, not to Marcus anyway. Next the man said of course he would like some of Marcus’ services.

“You certainly do appear to need a shave.” Marcus said, “I don’t know if I’d call you a savage though. I have seen them and you seem far more civilized already.” He added with a nod and continued, “So a shave you will have, then. What about your hair, does it need a trimming too?”

@Brian

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Titus smiled politely. The barber had no idea about the level he would happily take his barbarism. Nor was he aware of how Marcus treated his own slaves. He himself was certainly not soft when it came to dealing with them either. This was a social visit to get to know his fellow Romans. He didn't answer the first part concerning Barbatius' reputation or name. All he knew was that he could receive a good quality shave here. 

Marcus was certainly not wrong when it came to his hair or beard. He had more than enough income to purchase a slave to tend to this matter if he wanted to. Yet being part of Roman society was important, and there was always a chance he could potentially overheard something of value when he was here. 

"Yes, just a shave and a trim," He answered, without hesitation he turned to walk towards the chair and sat down on it. Making himself perfectly home in the establishment. His chin lifted while he waiting for the oils to be put on his skin in anticipation for the razor across his throat. Some civil conversation was expected. Titus made himself comfortable while his bodyguard stood closer to the door while the body slave remained close to him. Either to oversee what was going to proceed or to offer any assistance if necessary. Given his status, he would make his slave barter for payment when the time came. 

"How long have you had this establishment for?" 

@Atrice

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He could most definitely receive a good quality shave here, and more if that’s what he desired. Marcus was proud of what he did and he enjoyed doing it – else of course, he wouldn’t be doing it and with his skills with knives, he could surely get another and less fancy job, that might pay more. But he liked this.

When his client confirmed he’d have a shave and a trim, Marcus motioned to the only actual chair in the room. Else there were just little stools with no back, but the comfortable and carved chair was for his clients. He had even put a little pillow in the seat, so you would sit there very well. It hadn’t been cheap, the chair, but he knew he needed it. Marcus gave his slave a look and silently as a mouse, his slave fetched a jar with lemon-scented almond-oil for Marcus. The lemon would keep the skin fresh and the almond oil would make it soft.

His client wondered for how long he’d had the place, “About six years, I believe, sir. Why do you ask, if I may ask? I have not seen you here before.” Marcus spoke while pouring some of the oil onto his hands and then massaging it into his client’s skin. He’d seen this man before, on the streets and maybe also elsewhere? But he couldn’t recall his name yet.

@Brian

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