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Over the Hills and Far Away


Atrice
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Second week of October, 74 AD

It had been weeks since that day Claudia Caesaris decided to go for a ride outside of Rome and they had been attacked by a roaming gang of bandits. And survived, because Cynane was bold enough to throw her knife right into their leader's throat. It had felt good. Then later that day, it felt less good, because she discovered she had not only of course received some bruises and scratches, but a blade had crossed her side in the heat of the fight and she had only noticed after she took care of her mistress. As a former gladiatrix she had long since learned to ignore such, to her, small injuries when there were more important things to focus on.

The wound had healed though and Claudia had also recovered well enough to finally mingle with others again. She was so brave, Cynane thought. So brave and strong in her own way and so hard-working! Other women of Claudia's rank might have wanted to isolate themselves, but she didn't do that. She kept on going. Cynane had been extra watchful over her since the attack though, and tonight she was once more escorting her princess to a social event, a party. As usual, Cynane would find a pillar to stand by, where she could see the entire main room and her princess, without interfering with her conversations and her friends. 

She stood there, silent and resilient, ever alert and watchful. Clad as usual in her brown leather armor, the light blue tunica, breeches, well-strapped sandals and a weapon by her side. Since this was a party, her hair was made up nicely with braids and twists, as she liked it. Volusa had more than once showed her Roman hairstyles, but she never felt they suited her well. Not that looks mattered if you were attacked.

Speaking of attacks, there was a different one coming her way. An attack of memories of the past. At first her gaze wandered past him as she scanned the room one more time, but then her eyes returned to him and they widened. She inhaled sharply and felt her heart pound hard in her chest. What in the name of *Aeron was he doing here? She had not often thought of him, but she had also not forgotten him, even if she had truly hoped to never see him again. It was her captor from Britannia! This was the man responsible for her enslavement and for her still being here, today, as a slave. She had not been freed as he talked about. And she never had a chance to escape that would lead to her living afterwards. Eppitacos already knew Cynane could hold a grudge for a long time. In this case, it was no different. She knew it was him. Though it had been more than ten years, age had been as kind to him as to her.

When he walked closer to her, although he didn't seem to notice her yet, she found herself breathing through her nostrils in an attempt to stay silent. But she wanted to yell at him. And beat him up. Maybe the other way around. She inhaled another breath and closed her eyes. At least she had better self-control now than then.

@Sara

*Aeron - goddess of war and slaughter in Celtic mythology

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Longinus had a love-hate relationship with parties. He enjoyed the free wine, and some of the conversation but found the same idle chatter tiresome after a while, especially given the majority of his closest friends were out of Rome. His wife, likewise, was unable to attend. The cough that had riddled her for months was worsening and she had taken to her bed. He worried, but the medicus had provided her with ample tisanes and Antonia herself had chided him that this was an event that couldn't be missed. Reluctantly, his mother came in her stead and the good Livia Vicana was currently floating about chattering with ladies here there and everywhere. 

Longinus himself occupied himself with wine whilst trying to find somebody half-decent to talk to. 

He glanced about himself and saw a few acquaintances from the old days, or at least his brief interlude as a quaestor, but he smiled politely and made no further attempt to incite new conversation. Running a hand over his jaw, and noting he could probably do with a shave he sighed. Parties used to be different, fun, but with Silanus Gods knew where, Aulus in Raetia and Titus occupied with his family, the great Lucius Cassius Longinus was left by himself. But as he cast another cursory glance around the room he spied a figure leaning against one of the pillars. Her eyes were shut and she seemed to be breathing hard. A slave, obviously, by her unusual dress and there was something about her that stirred a memory but for the life of him he couldn't remember where from. 

Adjusting his pallium, he arched a brow and offered a smile; "Are you alright?" His wife often suffered with fits of dizziness these days and presumed her tightly shut eyes and posture marked this blonde one out as a fellow sufferer. He looked around for this one's owner, "Are you here with your dominus? Perhaps he should take you home if you're unwell." It had been so long, and so much had happened in the intervening years, that he completely forgot who he was talking to. 

 

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So he had aged and so had she. But she would never forget those eyes and that face, even if he was now clad in proper Roman clothes fit for a party rather than the gear he wore after the battle in Britannia. He didn't winch every time he moved or took a step. No, he was just walking there, alive and with a cup of wine in his hand. Of course he had a cup of wine in his hand. The Romans got to have all the fun and the slaves were just meant to be present. Not that she had anything against it, when she was here to keep Claudia safe (now more than ever before), because she had come to admire the young princess quite a lot. Even more after the incident on the road. But this man here was not Claudia. His name was Lucius and he was a true Roman prick, the kind that flowed around in Rome like water in a river.

She had closed her eyes briefly, wishing he would keep on walking... but when she opened them, by the gods, he had stopped right in front of her and was staring right at her. But instead of looking surprised or startled or angry, he was smiling and wondering if she was alright. He acted as if he was completely oblivious. And all Cynane wanted to do right now was give him a knee right in the balls and walk away from the scene. He had no clue what he created the day he decided to sell her to a ludus. No fucking clue! And how she'd love to show him now... but she was at a party with Claudia and with their most recent history, she could not risk anything.

"I am here with my Domina... Domine." She said firmly, meeting his eyes. Never had she been good at being the meek and humble slave. For Claudia, she would do it, but Lucius did not deserve such respectable treatment... he changed her whole fucking life and now he didn't even remember who she was! 

"I am fine, Domine. But you... should keep on walking." He should not stay by her and keep on talking.  He should not. If he did that, she didn't know what she would do. She had been irritated by another Lucius a while ago, and while he was annoying as fuck, at least he had also been charming. He got under her skin the right way, as the first Roman ever. This Lucius right here... his mere presence made her skin crawl.

@Sara
 

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Well, she didn't seem unwell. And Lucius blinked, intending to simply shrug and walk away. He didn't make a habit of conversing with slaves (perhaps besides Attis who had a habit of never stopping talking), and especially not slaves belonging to somebody else. But there was an edge to her tone and he frowned. It was't rude, necessarily, but more forthright than he'd expect of a slave - especially given she met his gaze full on. What an odd woman.

He spluttered a surprised laugh at her words, "I should...keep on walking?" He repeated, a glimmer of amusement in his eye but a frown creased his brow. 

He glanced around, as if expecting to see her domina standing there, about to chide him for speaking to her slave. That was the only reasonable explanation for her terseness, in his opinion. But the party moved on around them and with a deeper frown, he looked back at her. There was something about her face that was familiar, but as he clawed back through his memories he couldn't place it. Her accent suggested she wasn't a native of Italia but her Latin was fluent which suggested she wasn't a recent arrival. He narrowed her eyes, unable shake the feeling that he was staring down a ghost from his past, but couldn't figure out which one. 

"Who is your domina?" He asked abruptly, that might give him a better idea. 

 

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Of course he did not like her tone. Of course he frowned. He had told her to watch her tone back then too, she had not forgotten that. And she did know how to behave now, she just didn't want to, not with him. He sent her straight into the underworld, straight into Hades, as the Romans would say. Everything else that came after, that was just history. But he started it. He set it in motion. He was not forgiven and he was not forgotten. And now he fucking laughed when she told him to keep on walking. Cynane nodded but said no more. She feared for what words would escape her lips if she did.

She watched him look around for something, before he looked at her again, narrowing his eyes and he wondered who her domina was.

"My mistress is Claudia Caesaria." She said simply. Gods there were so many things she wanted to say, but she feared that if she began, she didn't know how it would end. And she was in a good place now. Claudia was good to her. She did not want to lose this position, not for anything. Not for a gang of bandits on the road. And not for this stupid Roman with a sudden case of amnesia. 

Still his mere presence angered her. He was just standing there, laughing, trying to figure her out, but clearly he still thought everything was a joke... you fucking Roman... she tried to calm herself and said: "You clearly do not remember me, Domine. It is also best like that. Forget about me. Go laugh at someone else." 

@Sara

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Claudia Caesaria? He arched a brow and glanced her up and down. He hadn't imagined an imperial princess would allow her slave to don whatever outfit this one was wearing, but then again he rarely moved in esteemed circles - despite his own heritage allowing him to, and didn't know the young woman himself. Still, he tried to wrack his brain to find a time he had been in the same circle as her, to explain why this slave's face was so bloody familiar. He drew a blank, again. 

But he glanced up from his reverie at her words and he frowned deeply, spluttering a shocked laugh. "Do you speak to all Senators like that?" He quipped, but couldn't hide his bemusement. She was lucky he was in a favourable mood (and was enjoying the diversion away from all the idle small talk). 

But her words jarred him and he frowned, studying her face intensely. It hit him like a sword blow to the chest and he blinked, taking half a step back as if the realisation had physically moved him. "You're a Briton," He said with obvious delight on his face having worked it out, "Brigantes, after a battle we spoke I..." Sold you to a Ludus. The latter half remained unsaid. She undoubtedly didn't need reminding, given her hostility. 

He pressed his lips into a thin line, and arched a brow at her. Evidently this reunion was not as warm for her as it was for him. "And I take it you're angry at me?" He asked, although that much was obvious. Gods what was her name?

 

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He seemed surprised when he learned that her mistress was none other than the princess Claudia Caesaria. He looked her up and down, as any Roman might do. What, he was not satisfied with how she looked? She was here to protect Claudia and especially when they were attending parties, Cynane was almost required to look exotic, just because it would show just how spectacular the princess was too. As a gladiatrix, it was also all a part of the show... the wild Briton female warrior in the arena. Now though, she was glad that on a daily basis, where she did not even fight that much, she was still allowed to wear this rather than dresses. Cynane definitely preferred the breeches now. And how would she ever do her job as a bodyguard if she wore long skirts and all that?

Lucius (that is all of his long and odd name she recalled) then wondered if she spoke to all Senators the way she spoke to him. Cynane rolled her eyes, "What do you think... Domine?" She simply asked, but since he did not seem to remember her, she asked him again to leave her and go and laugh at someone else. That seemed to do something to him though. Well fuck. He took a small step back and blinked and it was almost amusing to watch his face and his eyes as it dawned on him. Now he remembered. 

Cynane nodded silently at his conclusion about who she was and where they had met. Now he did not seem so amused. Good. He asked if she was angry with him. She narrowed her eyes, Did you think I'd dance around and clap my hands and sing with joy over meeting my captor again? Gods, was he stupid? She didn't need him to answer that.

"And if I were, what would it matter to you? I'm here, still a fuc... still a slave." She lowered her eyes for a moment, telling herself to watch her tongue... at least she was no longer a gladiatrix. No thanks to him though! Then she continued, however, "And now you're here too, still free and... alive." As if she was disappointed with that. Maybe she was. 

@Sara
 

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He felt bloody awkward right at that second, but couldn't suppress his surprise as she almost swore. Gods she must be furious but he tried to wrack his brain for what he actually said to her that evening in Britannia. Surely he hadn't promised her freedom? And it had been over a decade, she surely knew the fate of slaves now and that it was just...part of life. Granted, not his life but she got off better than most people who crossed the might of Rome.

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "You're still a slave but now work for the imperial family." He shrugged. He didn't have to explain himself to anybody, especially not her, but felt almost...compelled to. At least he didn't have to attempt it in her language this time. 

"I should have kept you, loaned you to the ludus rather than sold you, I bet I would have made a fortune given where you've ended up." He tried to joke but realised it probably wasn't the time and held up his hands as if in apology. "And yes, despite your evident disappointment I'm still here and alive." He sighed and glanced round. Nobody was paying this odd conversation any heed, for which he was relieved about. He didn't particularly want to explain to his hosts what they were muttering about.

Intrigue got the better of him, however, and he arched a brow - studying her; "How long have you been out of the ludus for?"

 

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Why did he even care to ask if she was angry with him? Wasn't obvious that she was not very pleased?! After she saw him in Britannia came the long journey to Rome... in a caravan together with other slaves and animals and goods stolen from Britannia. And she would not forget the time she arrived in Rome. Back then it had not been glorious to her. And she'd been taken straight to a ludus together with other slaves, where she'd been stripped naked and inspected thoroughly. She didn't understand the language, she was once again bound and had no say in what happened to her. And then she was sold and bought, like an animal... which was because of him, because he chose to sell her. She was a person too. But he didn't care about that.

He tried to make up for it, pointed out that she now worked for the imperial family. No thanks to him, she thought, while he'd run his hand through his hair and then he had made a really poor attempt at a joke. She understood it, but was not laughing. And then he held up his hands as if he didn't mean it. Oh but he did, didn't he? Romans were all about making a fortune and all that. Fortune and glory. That's what the men cared for.

"Even if my job now is an improvement, I still spent quite a long time in the ludus. I will probably not see my homeland again. And who chose to send me away from it?" She said, before he wondered for how long she had been away from the ludus, "I came to work for my mistress two years ago." And as it had been proved now, she would kill for Claudia. Claudia might be the first Roman she ever truly liked and cared for. Lucius here was the first she ever met in person... but you could hardly say she cared for him... so why was he still here, talking to her? "Why are you so curious? To you I was nothing but a spoil of war you chose to get rid of. Why so curious now?" 

@Sara

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"You chose it." He retorted with a serious glance at her, "I offered you a choice and you chose this." Granted, the other choice was death but it was still a choice that she had made on the floor of his tent all those years ago. He felt awkward, and embarrassed - the heat of her temper and the suffocating atmosphere of this dreary party were suffocating and with a jerk of his head he gestured for her to join him a few paces away in the relative seclusion of the garden. 

He wasn't sure if she'd follow so he made a point to answer her question as he walked, speaking over his shoulder; "Curious because you're the first one I've seen here in Rome." A few of his spoils he'd kept; Metella had come into his domus, but she had been young enough to forget her homeland without too much trouble, and a few handfuls he'd employed at his villa on his land. But most of the troublemakers, and most he'd been afforded after battle he'd sold. Many died in the ludus within weeks and it was a waste of money to loan them out rather than sell outright. She, evidently, had been an outlier. 

As he entered the peace of the garden he felt himself relax. He always felt more at home in the outdoors rather than the grand buildings of Rome. It's why he'd reacted so poorly to his wife's redecoration of their domus, much to her horror. He glanced over Cynane with a little sigh and shrugged his shoulder. "If you want me to apologise I won't, but you've been in Rome long enough now, surely, to understand what I did was merciful," He appealed, "Most of you that survived the battle were sent to the mines or crucified, and you've landed on your feet. You have a chance at a life with your mistress and who knows," He shrugged, "Maybe at freedom beyond that. I could have ended it all Gods...ten, twelve years ago, whenever it was, but I didn't." He sighed. "And so be irritated all you want but ask yourself if you're not at least a little grateful?" That was probably pushing it, but in his mind he'd given her an opportunity. Having never lived the life of a gladiatrix, he didn't see the hardship that opportunity involved. 

 

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Annoyingly, of course he pointed out that she chose to come here and she had been given another choice... she knew. She knew that. She suggested he'd kill her and if only he had not talked so much, she might have died that day. But here she was... "You offered me a choice and then you gave me a hope of freedom. A freedom I have not yet gained." She pointed out to him. After so many years, the hope had still not been fulfilled and now she didn't know if it ever would. No one gave her a rudis when she was a gladiatrix. And while she adored Claudia in a way she didn't even understand herself, Claudia also had not freed her. 

Lucius then motioned that she should join him for a walk and Cynane glanced at Claudia, laughing and in a conversation with some acquaintances. Cynane did not like leaving her out of sight... but she decided to hear what else Lucius would say, so she followed - yet not without casting a worried glance over her shoulder towards her mistress. Once in the garden, Lucius answered her question about why he was curious.  He said she was the first he had seen in Rome and then sighed and said he would not apologize for what he had done. Then he claimed he had been merciful to her, but she felt her head throb with words she'd like to tell him. Words she should not say to a free Roman of senatorial rank. 

Then he had the audacity to suggest she should be grateful.

Normally, Cynane was quiet and resilient and alert. She did not speak up against her superiors and only with close friends did she open up. She was not like this with just anyone.

But now... there was no way she could let him think she was thankful for being a slave. He had to learn to the truth. Cynane stopped in her steps, glaring at him, "I should be grateful, for what you did?" She let out a sarcastic little laugh, "I spent almost ten years of my life in that ludus! Do you think I had fun? When I was fighting to be allowed to not be put to death and then forced to bed any Roman who would love nothing more but to make an exotic female warrior submit to them? Because you gave me hope!" She shook her head, fire burning in her eyes, "You call that merciful? It is not like it is your fault I am here with my mistress tonight. And if not for her... making my life... tolerable, for once... I don't know if I would still be here." Cynane said, "I have nothing to thank you for. And I don't need your apologies. It is a few years too late for that." And she probably wouldn't forgive him anyway, so there was no point. 

Gods it felt good to get all that out! It was probably good there weren't a great lot of people out in the garden. Cynane inhaled a breath, trying to calm herself.

@Sara

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Longinus was a typical Roman in most respects, and his acceptance of the necessity of slavery was a feature of that. He'd seen reactions to enslavement in Britannia but he had successfully shrugged off any sentimentality, or at least quashed it with drink. His own slaves, for the most part, were well-behaved and accepting. Even Metella - who he had brought over from Britannia as a young woman - had settled to her status. None had complained to him about their treatment, besides perhaps Attis and Vitus but that was usually over minor issues. He'd never before had to confront the realities of the slave trade, nor his role in it. 

Once she had finished, he stood stock still, staring at her. No slave had spoken to him like that before, with evident hostility and hatred. For once in his life, he was at a loss for words. 

"I..." He blinked, shaking his head. He felt irritation stir in his chest, but tried to quash it. He wanted to meet her anger with measured words. There was no point them both getting het up. "You were an enemy of Rome." He started with a sigh of irritation, pinching the bridge of his nose as he strode a few paces towards her, "You would have killed me, my men, and not blinked twice. Is it any wonder Rome wanted revenge?" A foolish question, perhaps that undermined his point slightly and he shook his head, "You were given an opportunity your countrymen didn't have and if you didn't like it I am pretty sure there is an ample supply of weaponry in a Ludus," He shot her a glare, "You could have taken your own life if my offer to you was so intolerable." 

He had offered her death, quickly and easily, all those years ago in Britannia. It would have been honourable, and she hadn't taken it. She could have ended her life at the Ludus, it would have been less honourable but got herself out of a situation she clearly detested, and would have ceased her complaining, and she hadn't taken it. He arched a brow at her, "Don't blame me for refusing the other way out. It's not my fault you were a coward." 

 

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She didn't hate her life now. But she had not been very happy deep within since she came to Rome. Claudia made her calmer, Claudia gave her space and respected her abilities and skills and even her opinions. And she saved Claudia's life! At least that is how she saw it. But before she came to the palace and her current mistress, life had been shit, more or less. Sure she wasn't dead, but being a gladiatrix wasn't as great as some would make it seem. And for years, at least to begin with, she had the hope of freedom. But the longer she remained a slave, the more the hope faded. And Lucius here, he planted it in her in the first place. 

Still though, maybe she should not have spoken to him like that. Another reminder that she was indeed still just a slave. She should not speak to a Roman like that. He was not her superior, but he was still her superior. First though, he blinked as if she actually got through to him. But then it seemed she didn't. He called her an emeny, pointed out how she would have killed him and his men and Rome wanted revenge. And who started invading Britannia? Who started the battles? The throb in her head had not stopped. She almost felt dizzy.

And still Lucius thought he had done something good for her and suggested she should have taken her own life in the ludus. And he thought she had not considered it? But the fucking hope kept her alive. He went on, pointing out again how he offered to kill her and then said she was a coward for not picking that option. 

What

Fuck that they were at a party! And she was here to watch Claudia! She wanted to hit him. She wanted to kick his ass... no... his balls, so badly! But if she did that here, it would surely all be over. She felt all this anger within, and she could not get any release for it.

"You're lucky, that we meet here." She said and walked closer to him, "I am not a coward for choosing life over death. A coward would have taken her own life." Although, maybe she was a coward. Because she was not using any of her skills to attack him right now. Had Claudia softened her? She inhaled a deep breath. Walk away, Cynane, leave him be. He does not deserve you wasting your energy on him... "Maybe this is a conversation best left for another time. Domine."

@Sara

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If it had been any other woman or any other time, Longinus would have found her display of fury laughable. But as it was, he just watched her with cautious intrigue. He was not afraid - she was still a woman and he was more than positive he could outlast any displays of strength, but she did put him on edge. He supposed it might have been the gnawing, faintest trace of guilt he felt. He'd not felt it in years, after all. 

As she stepped closer, he arched a brow and glanced down at her. Time had barely aged her, he allowed himself to think for a moment. If anything, it had only heightened her features - although they were now rearranged in anger. 

"You presume I'd want to speak with you again?" He chuckled and shook his head. He couldn't shake the nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach that somehow he'd wronged her, even as the rest of his mind told him resolutely that he had been merciful, all things considered. Trying to change track, he glanced down at her; "do you at least concede that being here is better than being left back in Britannia, all alone? I went back, a few times actually - in 67, and things had changed. The Brigantes have submitted now and you'd not recognise it." An overestimation, perhaps, but it was more civilised than when he'd first landed on the cold and dreary island. "And you have a good life now, don't you?" 

 

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It was at least something, that he allowed her to rant at him and that he did not tell her to step away from him or to adress him properly. At least that was something. But he still definitely thought he was above her in so many ways, because he was the Roman and she was the slave. How was he better than her, in any way? It wasn't even he who captured her. He was just the commander back then and she had been part of his spoil. She had been his to sell, as if she was cattle and not a person. The Britons certainly treated their slaves differently than the Romans!

When she suggested the conversation should be left for another time, he laughed at her again, as if it was funny she thought he would want to speak to her again. Cynane didn't answer, but pushed a strand of hair over her shoulder to her back. She felt like one of those angry bulls she'd seen in the arena. Cornered by so angry. 

Again he thought that being here was better than Britannia. He mentioned how things had changed and how the Brigantes had submitted and everything was different. Then he pointed out how her life was good now.

"My life is better than before. Still, you had nothing to do with me coming to serve the princess." It was not his doing, how could he keep thinking he had a hand in it and he should be credited and thanked for it? Men

"I know Britannia changed. I know both Eppitacos and my cousin Ysulda sold us out. And they are both now nothing compared to before." But they were alive, like she, and that's why they had done what they had done. To stay alive. Eppitacos she'd met, not so long ago, when he had lost an arm and he was being sold to someone private, to no longer be a gladiator. Ysulda she luckily hadn't seen at all. And she hoped she wouldn't. Apparently Cynane knew exactly how to hold a grudge on someone for a very long time. 

But she really would like to kick Lucius' ass or balls or something, sometime. And he'd found it laughable that she thought he wanted to talk to her again... well... she should leave it be, but it was almost too good an opportunity for a challenge, "Maybe it is for the best, if we do not see each other again. You wouldn't want it to be known, that a woman... a slave, even... could be your equal at anything." She had wanted to say he wouldn't want it to be known, that a woman beat him up, but maybe that was taking it too far. This was the more subtle way to put it. Although it wasn't subtle at all. 

@Sara

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"Eppitacos and Ysulda are forgotten, history won't remember them, and you shouldn't either." He shrugged. Their fates weren't something that played much on his mind, truth be told he'd not even enquired about Eppitacos since he returned to Rome. Last he'd heard the man was a Gladiator now, and he half-wondered if this one (Gods what was her name?!) knew him now.

He snorted in amusement at her dismissiveness though, arching a brow. Did she behave like this with her domina? Her fieriness probably suited the Ludus, but not now she was employed privately. Then again he considered that it might just be him that provoked this sort of reaction.

"My equal?" He raised his brows, "I don't remember being captured and sold the last time I was in Britannia..." He tilted his head to the side, "Or losing a battle for that matter." He shook his head and then stood aside, sweeping his arm to the side as if gesturing for her to leave gallantly, "But you're right about one thing, I have no intention of seeing you again. I'm perfectly fine knowing you're alive and healthy, and a touch bitter that I should have kept hold of you." He grinned his characteristic broad grin, "You might have brought something quite interesting into my domus and not to mention, earned me plenty of gold."

He stepped back and inclined his head before remembering himself with a shake of his head, "Before you storm off, what was your name again? It's escaped me."

 

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Think that a Roman could be so arrogant! Of course she knew this, but Lucius just made it more clear to her. He didn't believe Eppitacos or Ysulda would ever be remembered by history. Well she held a grudge both towards Ysulda and maybe a tiny bit with Eppitacos too - although that was not so bad anymore, after they met again, here. But Ysulda was her cousin. And she knew Eppitacos. She wanted to tell the man that they would only be forgotten, if people made it so. And she would not forget them, no matter what they caused for her and her people.

But it would seem it didn't matter what she said. Lucius could not be talked to. And when she'd suggested they might meet again, he had laughed at her and in turn, she dared him about thinking a woman could be his equal, and that's why he would not meet her again. She just wanted to kick him around, didn't he get it? But again he raised his brows and then pointed out what she had come from. She rolled her eyes, "Yes, because that was definitely my fault. I was 17 years old. It was my fault our party lost." How could he blame a 17 year old for all that? Gods! And besides, the battle had not been lost. It was just her party that lost, as far as she understood it back then. 

He went on stating he had no intention of seeing her again and then he joked about how he should have kept her and earned coin on her. Then he stepped back, as if to finish the conversation. And he would know her name.

"I am known as Cynane now. And I am glad you did not keep me." She said. He was right, they should end it here, before she did something stupid. Before she turned around to walk away though, she had to say one last thing, "And you should be glad, if you do not meet me alone sometime." She said and then she cast her eyes down, like a well-behaved and good slave and added, in the most proper and inferior tone, "Domine." 

@Sara

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Cynane. The name was familiar, as if it was close to her original name - long since changed by Rome's imperious ways. He snorted in amusement at her statement that she was pleased he didn't hold on to her. Gods, the will on this one! 

He exhaled through his nose as she moved to walk away but as she turned around to speak one final time, he arched a brow and glanced at her. He couldn't help the splutter of shock at her words. If he were a different man, a more respectable man, he would have marched her back into the party and insisted her domina punish her harshly for such a brazen threat against the life of a Senator. But he wasn't such a man; why he had exacting standards of his slaves, he was overall a man that enjoyed fun and a man that enjoyed thrills. He wondered briefly if she realised how lucky she was, given his temperament. 

He took a pace closer to her with an arched brow, and said finally; "I'll heed your warning. Cinnia." It came to him at her threat and with a little inclination of his head, he strode back into the party. But as the night drew on, and even as he retired to his own domus, he couldn't for the life of him shake the image of her from his mind. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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