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Stands


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The Stands

This is the area where the lower classes would gather.

From slaves, freedmen, plebs, proles and others! 

Come and watch the spectacle of the games! 

Expect vendors to come by with offerings of food and joy!

 

Oh, and there are pickpockets about ūüėȬ†

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There was no way he was going to neglect this possible marketing opportunity. There would be so much coin exchanged today and he was absolutely determined to take full advantage of it. If it helped, people would end up knowing the name of his establishment and would show up to purchase more. Caius knew not to go near the rich folks.

The family and slaves all came with trays of ale and food to sell to the crowds. People were always hungry throughout the games. All appetites needed to be cared for. Which meant he had to keep an extra eye on his daughters to make sure the people kept their hands to their damned selves. 

"We got meat rolls! Specials! Get your food here!" He called out in his surprisingly loud voice. Every so often he would dream about being in the arena as a gladiator. Not sure where that came from though. Caius stood and watched as his slaves watched the crowd of people, seeking out and finding customers to feed.

"Hey, do you want something to eat?" Caius asked. 

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Alexius had been looking forwards to the games. He knew he shouldn't, because he used to be down there. They were slaves, they had no choice in the fighting and if they lived or died... that was up to the crowd and the Emperor, if he was present of course. Alexius wasn't sure of that. Luckily, he had survived in the past - he had made it his goal to always survive so he could gain his freedom. He had considered fighting too, but his devotion made him turn the idea down. So here he sat, on the stands, among so many others, hoping that someone would come to join him. He had told Oriana he was going and that he hoped she would come and join him - he would like to share this part of himself with her, his gladiator past and the history he had with this place. But he didn't know if she would come. He doubted Charis would! She had not seemed to think the games would be much fun at all and she was still against many Roman things. Still he knew plenty of people in Rome, so it would be odd if he didn't meet at least someone he knew.

And there would be someone down there on the sands... and he smiled when the names of the first contestants were called out. Thessala! Yes! He looked forwards to seeing her fight, she was one of his favorites before, but now that he had met her and made her his friend... it would be even more enjoyable to see her. And she did not disappoint. Alexius whistled and called out her name when she walked in, she was so gorgeous. He doubted she would see him though; there were so many people here!

Suddenly there were people walking among the seats with food and drinks and Alexius raised a hand at the man, "I'd like something to drink, what do you offer?" 

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The stands were as crowded as ever as the first day of the games arrived. Safinia came more out of habit than real enjoyment; some of the fights were spectacular, but she had never been able to immerse herself in the deathly dances of the gladiators and gladiatrices with complete abandon, unlike everybody else. As long as the admission price didn't rise too much, though, she could keep coming and trying to fit it with the rest of the crowd.

Around her, the other spectators were busy shuffling about and settling down.  As a natural consequence, people dropped coins all the time, and in many cases Safinia took notice before anyone else. An upstanding citizen would pick up the money and return it to its rightful owner, but she was not an upstanding citizen and she was hungry. The rowdiness of the games made her want to eat: it gave her an excuse to sit still and look busy while her bench neighbours gasped, whistled, booed, stood up and sat back down. If she returned home with a full stomach and a fuller purse at the end of the day, all the better.

One row below her, a man had signalled to a shouting vendor, who looked like he was wasting no time in coming to his new customer. Since he was already headed this way, she might as well take the opportunity, and so Safinia raised her hand at the seller. "You said meat rolls. What kind?" For the sake of politeness, she should have waited until the dark-haired man below had received and paid for his drink, but she didn't care. Surely the vendor could handle two customers at a time.

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Caius was absolutely delighted.

There was so much business in progress.

"Sure, we have ale... some wine," He said, and didn't add that it was certainly not the best quality. Caius was certainly happy. They were going to make a lot of money today, and there was a chance of encountering someone lower class who could recommend them to those in the Imperial box. "So, what will it be?" Caius asked, the mugs that would be given out were cheap and etched with the games. Nothing wrong with a little keepsake. 

Gallus, the silent and hairy Gaul walked towards the former gladiator with the mugs in his hand. Caius turned to hear a woman, and generally, Caius tended to be kinder towards women in comparison to men. "Pork, chicken, vegetable, ox, or.... a mixture," He added, the mixture varied in quality -- sometimes it was delicious and other times it tasted absolutely awful. Both of his daughters, Caia with her marked face and Sergia who already caught the eye of a boy. Caius glared at his daughter and then at the youth that caught her eye. 

"Now, what can I get you, love?" 

 

@Atrice @Liv

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There was always so much to look at, when you visited the arena for gladiatorial games! There was of course the games themselves, but also all the people here. Sometimes he met someone he knew, sometimes he didn't, but he always met someone. And the gods knew how to place attractive people near him. A drink first though, and Alexius had signalled to a man selling goods to come to him. However before the seller came to Alexius, a lady just behind him also called out and Alexius was about to be annoyed, but forgave her because she was pretty look at. It would be lovely though, if Gaia was also here, he suddenly thought. Lovely Gaia. She did like gladiators, after all. Alexius looked shortly towards the imperial box, wondering if she might be there. 


But then the seller was speaking to Alexius,  so he returned his gaze to the man. Ale and wine, the man said and Alexius smiled, "Wine will do. Your largest mug. The day has only just begun, after all." He said with a cheerful tone to the man, who then told the young lady what kind of meats they had with them. Meanwhile Alexius opened the purse that hung by his belt to produce a coin to hand to the man. 


"Good plan, getting something to eat." Alexius then said to the young lady, "If you want a better seat, you're welcome to sit here." He inched a little to the side to make a wider space next to him. The man on his other side glared at him for inviting the girl, but Alexius just shrugged and winked, hoping the man would understand. The other man huffed and looked at the sands again. Good... so far so good.

@Gothic @Liv

Edited by Atrice
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The vendor was a deft one, handling the other customer's drink as he waited for Safinia to make up her mind. She didn't quite like the excess familiarity, but as long as he didn't insist on calling her 'love', she would let it go and do business with him. "One pork, then." As she dug into her purse to fish out some coin, the man from the row below turned around and joined in on their little conversation, if it could be called that.

He was brawny like the men in the arena and handsome in a rugged kind of way. Safinia gave the seller his money and gave the man's offer some consideration. From this little sample, he might be the flirty type. He also had coin, enough to buy the largest mug of wine. Combining the two observations, he might just buy her a drink if she joined him, which would save her money.

Smirking compalcently, Safinia rose from her seat and pulled her skirt up to her knees, hopping down without much difficulty onto the vacant spot next to the bulky man. She let the skirt drop to her ankles and lowered herself into a sitting position. It was a snug fit between the man and the spectator on her other side, but not so tight that she couldn't have her arms at her sides. With what had to be Rome's most fake smile plastered on her lips, Safinia turned to her new neighbour. "Don't mind me, then," she chuckled as she reached across his (admittedly broad) chest to grab the pork roll the vendor was holding out to her.

@Gothic @Atrice

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Honestly, it was really not a bad idea to invite the young woman to come sit with him - else he was just surrounded by men. Alexius had no problem with that, of course, he enjoyed men too sometimes, if they were the right type and all that... but pretty women had a special place in his heart or whatever you'd call it. She seemed surprised at his offer, but then she smirked and pulled up her skirt to hop down next to him. Alexius enjoyed the look to her legs, but it was soon hidden away again while she sat next to him.


Alexius saw that there was indeed not much space for her to sit upon and he stretched out an arm behind her to give her more space. Just behind her though, not around her or touching her (too much), it was just a friendly gesture on his behalf. She told the man to her other side to not mind her and then she took her pork roll while Alexius sat with his wine.


He glanced up on the row behind him for a moment and then at the young woman again, "Are you here on your own then?" He wondered, she did seem quite young to come to an event on her own and he hoped she didn't have an old husband glaring at him from somewhere - but it didn't seem to be the case, "I'm Alexius, by the way. It looks like it's going to be a good day today." He hoped she didn't mind him talking to her, but she did take his offer to sit next to him, so he thought it was only natural he spoke to her. There were no one else near that he had spoken to yet, after all, other than the vendor of course. 

@Liv

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As expected, the man had taken the opportunity to steal a glance at her legs. Let him look, if that increased Safinia's chances of having food or drink on him. And by the question he asked next, she reckoned they weren't all that bad. He might just be interested enough.

She took a bite out of her pork roll to keep the pretence of a demure young woman not wanting to answer right away, chewing thoroughly before swallowing. It was a bloody good roll, and fairly priced, too. Could have used a bit more meat, but the vendor had to make his profit too. On the other hand, whoever had made them had not been shy with the spices, and that alone was worth the coin the roll had cost. Like most of Rome's poor working class, the only seasonings available to Safinia were garum and the few herbs she grew on small flowerpots on her window sill.

Feeling the broad man's eyes on her, Safinia wiped her lips with the back of her hand and looked up at him. "Yeah," she nodded for emphasis. She had no male - or female - guardian left to tell her what she could or could not do, and thus every decision she made in her private life was solely her own. She very much liked it that way.

"Safinia," she offered simply in guise of introduction. As was her habit, she left out the platitudinous 'nice to meet you'; she found it a most peculiar and senseless thing to say when one had no idea how the acquaintance would turn out. "Anyone you're looking forward to seeing?" she asked, looking towards the arena to indicate she meant the gladiators.

@Atrice 

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