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Charis

Lost in the Moment

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They had stopped because Charis had to catch her breath and Alexius naturally stopped with her, being polite and friendly and all. But he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Charis, that is. He knew he shouldn’t, but the more time he spent with her, the more he kind of just really did want to sweep her off her feet and give her just a few moments of joy. He wanted to give her something good. And in return, he’d also get something good, he thought. That’s the way his mind worked anyway. They’d both get something good out of it.

And when did a kiss ever harm anyone? He’d thought ‘fuck it all’ and then he’d leaned down to actually kiss her, hoping she wouldn’t mind, despite her words earlier about what she’d do if he carried her without asking. It was just a joke, he thought. It had sounded like it. So he kissed her, a short and gentle kiss, but her lips were warm and the kiss lingered for a moment while she actually returned it. Gods she had sweet lips!

But before he could pull back or do anything, Charis bolted back and her hand met his cheek in a quite hard slap. All perplexed, he stood and touched his cheek where she hit him while she asked what he was doing in an angry tone. And then she moved past him to walk away and said he was just as bad as the Roman men.

Wait what? The actual fuck?

No, no, this was not how this was meant to go.

This was not what he had wanted at all! He hadn’t wanted her to be angry or to offend her or anything. Alexius had just wanted to give her a kiss… he had not expected this reaction!

Fuck!

“Charis!” Alexius yelled after her and noticed the bundle she left behind. Gods, really? He inhaled a breath and picked the bundle up and ran after her. Luckily it didn’t take long for him to catch up with her, “Please… wait… Charis…” Alexius said, following her, “I’m sorry, alright. I just… I’m not like them. Please, Charis, stop, I won’t do it again. Unless you want it. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to do.”

@Sara

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"Go away!" She snapped at him, but didn't turn round as he followed her, and instead she continued walking and listened as he spoke. Her cheeks were flushed with exertion, anger and...embarrassment.  

As he asked her to stop she shook her head silently and kept walking but his frame meant her short strides were nothing and he effortlessly kept pace. But as he finished speaking, she finally rounded on him, anger in her eyes; "Did you ask me if I want to kiss you? No? Because what?" She chuckled darkly, "I just a slave, I don't get to have opinion about things like that? Because I'm not like your mistress with mind of my own?" She threw his words back at him. She felt anger rise and bubble in her chest. She wanted to slap him again but held her ground. Fortunately for both of them there were only a few idle plebs in the street that paid this growing argument little attention. 

She glanced down briefly, her chest rising and falling quickly in her anger and breathlessness. Her things. Snapping, she held out her hand; "Give me my things and then go away.She glared, "Back to your Mistress, back to another slave you think you can do what you want with." She shook her head. 

The rational part of her mind would come to realise he didn't understand what it had meant to her, but in that moment she didn't care. Even though he couldn't possibly see that a bit of attraction, a bit of flirting, a kiss would only serve to highlight how trapped she was in her current position, in her current domus. She was furious at him, but only because she was upset. She was upset because she wanted to kiss him, deep down - despite Immin and Tertius, but knew she couldn't, and the realisation was excruciating. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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He didn’t go away when she snapped at him; instead he did what he could to try and apologize and begged her to stop so she’d listen to him. Alexius liked her – and not just because she was pretty. No, it was nice to talk to her and flirt with her and he would really hate not being able to talk to her, should he ever meet her randomly in the street. And she needed friends who wanted to see her happy; she needed friends, in general, at least that’s what he got from her so far. And he wanted to be there for her. He didn’t want to end… whatever this odd friendship was. And all because he couldn’t keep his mind on a clean path!

Finally she did stop, scolding him for not asking her before he kissed her and went on about how she didn’t get to have opinions, because she was just a slave. Gods she had misunderstood it all and he hadn’t meant for that to happen! And she didn’t give him a chance to speak up or interrupt her, before she asked for her things back and she wanted him to go away and find a slave he could use. As if he would ever treat a slave like they were just something you could take advantage of! That wasn’t at all why he kissed her either! (he might do the same to a free woman)…

He was a bit taken aback by her scolding, but he still didn’t want to give up on her. He couldn’t, not after they just had such a nice talk and she was such good company!

“I’ll give you your things… but I’ll not go away.” Alexius then decided, “I won’t go until you’ve forgiven me. I forgot to think. I do that sometimes. Or I think the wrong thing.” He said and rolled his eyes, mostly at himself. Upset that he’d offended her and crossed a river he should not have crossed. Doing that could change the world – he knew enough Roman history to know that. Alexius looked at her, his eyes a bit sad, pleading, possibly like those of a puppy, “Please… I’m not like them, I don’t want you to think that. Would they be sorry for offending you? Would they ask for forgiveness?"

@Sara

 

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Charis only scoffed at his suggestion he wouldn't go until she forgave him. Was he that imperious? She had asked him to leave, she was obviously angry (although perhaps less obviously upset). She didn't wait for him to offer her belongings though, and snatched the bundle from his hands quickly. However in her haste she up-ended the parcel and her cloak opened at one end - letting her votive offerings - a little carved figure of a mother goddess, some dried flowers from the garden and a few coins - fall to the floor. She tried to ignore him as she hurriedly kneel down to gather them but a sesterce had rolled away to under his sandals. 

She listened apathetically to him as he finished speaking, but glanced up cautiously and met sad - pleading eyes. She swallowed the compassion that was eating at her and instead shook her head: "If acting sorry gets them what they want." she snapped. She was not as naive to the ways of men as people assumed, and she knew that many did whatever it took to get under a womans dress, even playing the innocent saviour. That being said, the more she looked at him - considered their conversations - the less that seemed like Alexius. He had seemed genuinely sweet, if...a bit misguided. 

Frustrated, she pushed hair back from her face - still kneeling on the floor as she tried to gather her things. She spoke in an irritated tone now, less full of rage but full of chiding as if she was telling off a naughty child: "What would you have done if Helios saw? Told my dominus?" She swallowed, "Or what if dominus himself saw?" She shot a very obvious glare in his direction, cheeks flushed from irritation: "I...his bed slave now, you think he would let you keep your balls if you touch his property?" She hadn't admitted her new role to well...anybody really, and it embarrassed her. It did at least make her point resonate though. 

When she had finally collected her things she stood up with a deep glare: "You a fucking idiot."

 

TAG: @Atrice

Edited by Sara
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Alexius was trying to apologize to her and she was still angry. She’d even slapped him and didn’t even think that was enough compared to what he did? Why was she still angry? Now she tore the bundle she’d brought with her out from his hands without a word, but in the process she lost a few other things on the ground instead. He watched her kneel down to gather it all and he continued to try and convince her that he was not like the Romans and surely they would not be sorry or ask for forgiveness? At least not as far as he knew!

She said they’d be sorry if they got what they wanted, “Well clearly I’m not getting anything… and I am sorry.” Alexius argued back, watching her kneel. He kind of wanted to get down there and help her, but with her current mood, he thought he better not do that. Alexius didn’t want to cross any other boundaries, he’d crossed one too many it seemed and now he’d lost a friend. Charis continued talking, reminding him that he forgot to consider who’d see them out here. Was that what was bothering her… that she was afraid to be seen with him?

It turned out that might very well be the issue! For now she revealed she had become bed slave to her Dominus and for that reason, Alexius should not touch her. He rather liked keeping his balls. Charis finally stood, looking up at him and called him an idiot. Alexius sighed, “You're right. I forgot to think, I just acted... that's what I do best. I didn’t want you to get in trouble...” He was very physical, always had been, always would be… until he realized he shouldn’t be… and now he could potentially have ruined everything for Charis by kissing her in the street. But he didn’t know about her becoming bed slave to her Dominus or anything. She flirted, after all. She responded to him doing it. She didn’t seem to mind at all. He thought it might be alright. But it wasn’t.

“I just thought… that with the way you spoke to me and you didn’t mind the way I spoke to you… I didn’t know about your new job with your Dominus. Gods, Charis…” How was that for her? The way she seemed so afraid, what in the name of Hades was that for a Dominus to have? To make her so scared… his heart pounded again but now it was more because he was angry and not with Charis of course… “Fucking Romans!”

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She glared at him but bit her lip and blinked, turning her face away. Watery eyes threatened tears, but not out of upset but out of pure frustration. She had never, in her life, had felt as inhibited as she did here (she supposed that was the point) but she'd never experienced it so vividly until right now. "I...liked it." She admitted through gritted teeth, stubbornly. Because she did - she liked the flirting, and the kiss. She moved her hands up to push through her hair, exhaling a deep breath before she dropped her arms limply down to her side. "I don't tell people...it...embarrassing." She admitted, regarding her relatively new position. But the fire and anger from her voice was dying and instead she just felt...deflated. 

She finally glanced up at him with irritation in her eyes but a small, sly smirk on her face as she nodded. "Fucking Romans." She agreed but then rolled her eyes, "And I count you as fucking Roman too." She added with a clipped voice, but amusement lurking somewhere underneath. 

With a flick of her head, which moved her waist length hair in a sweep around her, she gestured for him to follow her. "We should keep walking, unless you want me to get more trouble at home." She didn't glance around at him but carried on walking. This was an olive branch and it was up for him to take it.

 

TAG: @Atrice

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He should not have kissed her, he got it now… and at first it had seemed as if she simply didn’t want him to kiss her and she’d misunderstood him completely. He would not take advantage of her! He would not use and abuse her like so many other Romans did with their slaves. Alexius had been one – he knew that life. He wouldn’t wish it upon anyone! But now she revealed that that was exactly what her Dominus was doing. She was his slave in bed now and it didn’t sound like it was a good thing. She had been afraid when he kissed her, afraid to be seen and afraid to get in trouble. Fucking Romans, what else was there to say?

Then she suddenly confessed that she liked it… what, the kiss? And then went on to say she didn’t mention her new place with her master, because she found it embarrassing. Alexius sighed, feeling sorry for her. He wanted to tell her she wasn’t alone; that it was common and that many others had gone through exactly the same. But how did that cheer her up or help her? So he didn’t. He already screwed up once.

Charis then agreed with the fucking Romans statement, but said she counted him as one. Her words and her tone and the way she looked at him confused him… did she or did she not count him as one? She hadn’t said she’d forgiven him for what he did… and he hated that she called him a fucking Roman. He didn’t belong in Germania but the Romans would also make it clear that he didn’t belong here. Honestly, such a statement hurt a bit. Even if she sounded amused, but he didn’t think it was amusing. A moment later, she said ‘they’ should keep on walking.

Alexius was confused. She’d said so many things and he tried to keep track of it all. Women! And now she was leaving and had kind of offered him to come, but she’d still not forgiven him and she just said she counted him as a Roman too.

He didn’t know what to say. He was afraid something stupid would escape his lips. So he followed her, but silently this time. And he didn’t walk next to her, but just behind her. As if he was a bodyguard and escort, nothing more. Apparently, he deserved no better from her. It didn't matter that she was a slave and he was not. He was, after all, just a fucking Roman.

@Sara

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Charis stormed as fast as she could through the gradually busier streets of Rome as the sun began to fully set. She was irritated and it showed on her face; her cheeks were flushed and her eyes flashed with annoyance as people got in her way. She had always had vast swings of mood when she was younger, but had largely learnt to control her temper - her pragmatic streak realising it would serve her better to keep her cool, but it came out every now and again. 

She wasn't annoyed at him - well, she was but she was annoyed at more than his presumtiveness. Her own desire, now quashed, his presuming that she would be keen, the restrictions on her life...it was all so infuriating! She felt her anger bubble until she couldn't take it and she glanced over her shoulder at her shadow - the figure of Alexius - "If you're not going to talk then leave."

She didn't want him to though. She swallowed and shook her head, exhaling deeply through her nose. "No...I...sorry." She gritted her jaw, but softened, looking a little...defeated. "I usually better, at being calm...being..." Being what? A meek little mouse? She sighed deeply and glanced back to her destination. They weren't far now - the ache in her legs after marching up the hills of Rome was a testament to that. "I just, not...very happy at the moment..." It was a weak excuse, but it was hers. She didn't feel like she was allowed to be happy, not with Tertius watching her every bloody move.

 

TAG: @Atrice

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She was angry, he got it! She might be small, but she was clearly strong-willed and did have a mind of her own, not unlike other women Alexius had come to care for. And if he hadn’t also maybe been a little bit upset with her, he would have found it very hot – but he couldn’t get her words out of his head.

“I count you as fucking Roman too.” 

That’s what she said. Maybe it was meant to be a joke, but he didn’t find it funny. Alexius had tried so hard, especially since he was freed, to find out where he belonged. And the Romans considered him a foreigner, he might be a freedman with a Roman name, spoke their language fluently, believed in their gods… but he was still born in Germania. And in Germania, he was really just another fucking Roman and not welcome. That Charis would say that to him, sweet and witty Charis that he enjoyed spending time with... it just hit the wrong nerve. It hurt and it was not amusing. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got over those words. Did she even know what it meant to him?

Suddenly she looked over her shoulder and said that if he wasn’t talking he could just leave. And leave her unguarded? In Rome? No way… but still! “I didn’t know fucking Romans were allowed to talk in your presence!” He replied to her, but only a moment later she seemed to stop and shook her head, he didn’t know if she heard him, but she apologized for her outburst and said she was usually better at being calm and she was not very happy at the moment.

“Well that makes two of us, now.” Alexius replied. Because she was unhappy she’d cast it over on him too, hadn’t she? He’d kissed her because he wanted to make her happy, to bring her some joy, but all it did was make everything worse! And now he was at a loss with her… “What do you want from me, Charis? Please… tell me, because I have no fucking clue about what goes on your head. You have to tell me.”

@Sara

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She didn't hear his sniping comment, but she did see how browbeaten he looked and she felt uncomfortable. Almost protectively, she wound her free arm around her middle in an attempt to comfort herself. She shouldn't have snapped at him as she did perhaps, but then again he shouldn't have kissed her. She was about to speak but he got there first and so she swallowed her words and listened. 

"I..." She started, after he had finished, but no words came to her. What did she want from him? 

Whatever she might have answered at  home, when she was a free woman, wouldn't apply here. She might have wanted him to kiss her, push her up against a wall and be carnal if she were free but she wasn't. And that fact tempered what she wanted. She was a sensible woman - she'd always prided herself on that, and her pragmatism now meant wanting something different. Her survival was more important than lust here. "I want you to leave me alone." She said after a moment, her voice stern but she was obviously upset as she said it. She'd never hid her emotions particularly well. 

"I...have enough complication in my life at moment." She sighed deeply and clung onto herself tighter, "I do not need you to make it..." She struggled for the right word. "Messier." Because any attraction outside of the household would only end in chaos, she was sure of it. Gods, life wasn't fair! 

Swallowing the lump in her throat, she glanced back up towards the top of her hill where Tertius' domus sat and nodded to her present company. "I go now, it only a few minutes from here." She was trying to sound formal, but it just came off as austere - cold. Two things she had never really been before. "Thank you for helping me get here but...I'm sorry Alexius." She inclined her head in thanks, and with that walked away. She needed to get away from him now before she broke down. 

There were lots of things slavery had taken from her: her mother, her unborn child, her friends, autonomy over her body and now this. Denying attraction because of fear. She had rarely been afraid in life before, but Tertius had successfully - and she was sure he'd be pleased - put the fear of the Gods in her now. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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When they met each other today, they had been friends. Maybe even halfway more, with the way they flirted, but now… now he didn’t know what they were. He didn’t know what she wanted from him. She wanted him here or she didn’t? Alexius was more than frustrated and now she’d stopped and snapped at him, before she apologized and mentioned how unhappy she was. Well was he happy now? Hardly. Honestly he didn’t even know if he was truly happy in his life right now. And without knowing it, this might be a reason why he sought out pleasure and drink whenever he could… because at least then it felt like something.

Alexius dared to ask her what she wanted from him, because she didn’t tell him anything or at least not enough for him to know how to act around her. There was a pause while she seemed to think it over, before she finally uttered those shattering words… that she wanted him to leave her alone and that she had plenty of complication and didn’t need an even messier life.

She wanted him to leave her alone. Gods how he fucked up today, didn’t he?

Before he could say anything (although what could he say? He didn’t even know what to say to that…) – she had said she’d go now, she was close to home, she thanked him and apologized and turned away. Alexius sighed, “I’m sorry too.” He said, but didn’t know if she was already too far away to hear it. And he didn’t even know if she wanted to hear it. She probably didn't.

How could he be so stupid? Alexius cursed himself on his way home, he’d messed up a really nice friendship and all because he sensed she wasn’t happy and he had wanted to bring her some joy. Instead he lost her. And she basically turned him down. Alexius was not used to women saying no to him. Most women he made a move on, they were happy with the attention and whatever else he gave them, but Charis apparently feared her master so much that she’d not be seen with Alexius. She didn’t even want him in her life. Not that he’d thought much about her, since they met the first time, but he’d been so happy to see her again and now it was all fucked up. Had he really become just another fucking Roman, like she said?

She’d told him to leave her alone, and he would. Even though he now almost knew where she lived. But she had given him plenty to think about and there was no way he’d forget any of her words very soon.

FINISHED

@Sara

Edited by Atrice
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