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Aculia

Watch me reap the pain that I have sown (V)

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TW: Violence!

Trying to teach Germanus a new word was like trying to drill a hole in marble with a fat, blunt thumb. And he spoke so loudly too, which only irritated Aculia and wave him off. He was a lost cause. But a woman could only cook quietly in a small kitchen for so long. She enjoyed any chance she got when out of the house and buying supplies in the markets. Remaining inside only made her feel more alienated from the world, unable to see Rome’s liveliness, and seeing only her master, tending to whatever needs he had, only made her see him most hours of the day and, thus, somehow see the human, not the monster.

Though she thought of escaping at times, it was better than freezing on streets and eating discarded foods from the dirty pathways just to live another day. She justified why she put up with it all. And just like most days, she was “confined” to the kitchen, chopping away at some tomatoes when, in her clouded thoughts, she hadn’t been paying attention and cut her thumb. The blood began to pool and she sucked at it before quickly finishing the small meal she’d prepared.

Setting the knife down and taking the plate, her thumb stinging  all the while, she became nauseous as she softly tip-toed throughout the home to where her master was. He had worked a long day and was likely hungry, she hadn’t eaten yet. She wanted to make herself available. She had been in his service for a year, while she was subservient, which had never been in her nature before, she still found herself testing boundaries. If he became angry that she dared think of him before herself, at least, she knew.  

She didn’t say a word, she just lingered by the door and waited until he noticed her hovering with a vacant look on her face, holding some food for him to eat. A peace offering that said she was more useful to him alive.

@Atrice

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It had indeed been a long working day - Marcus had certainly not been bored, if anyone thought that. No, the day was as usual. He got up, he got dressed - with a little assistance from the slave who appeared first - and broke his fast with a little bread and olive oil, before going down to tidy up the shop and get it ready for the day. Then the windows were opened and the door was opened and the first clients had soon appeared. And they had kept on doing that throughout the day - because Marcus was many things and one of them was that he was very effective and effecient.  

Now night was slowly falling though and he was getting hungry again. The last client had left the shop, he'd left Manus to clean it all up and went to his tablinium, the little office he had in the insula, to take a closer look at what he earned today and do some minor paperwork. Hopefully Aculia would appear soon with something to eat, she knew his routine and knew when he was hungry. 

And as if she could read his mind, she suddenly stood there in the doorway and he looked up at her, holding the plate with food for him. But she just stood there. 

"Well don't just stand there." Marcus said, wondering why she didn't come and place the food before him. He looked at her, something was off - was she paler than usual? "Have you eaten anything yet? Or had a drink. You should. I don't want you to pass out." He didn't say it out of kindness because he would feel bad about her passing out from the lack of food or drink. No, he simply had better things to do with his time than taking care of swooning slaves! 

@Beauty

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Aculia hopped into gear, walking swiftly like a startled rodent and placed the plate down in front of her master before hiding her hands behind her back. Standing tall, she said nothing as she hid the cut on her thumb in case he thought her incompetent or unable to do a job. She liked to think of herself as more than capable, not weak and powerless as others might have thought she was as a voiceless slave, but being underneath her master’s roof made her second guess her abilities and her worth as a person, no differently than being abandoned more than once had done the same.

She was taken aback when he asked if she’d eaten or drank but did not show her surprise, instead her features were neutral. She’d expected the worst. Yelling, a brutal beating or death but instead she read his words as concern for her well-being. When she was first his slave, she had been terrified for her life but as he did not kill her, keeping her alive and well-sheltered, she believed him somehow generous. She was disgusted, at first, at her own feelings because how could anyone with any bit of self-dignity feel warmly towards someone like Marcus Barbatius.

“No, domine,” she said honestly, voice lifeless and avoiding eye contact. “I wanted to be able to do whatever you asked of me without interruption.” She placed her basic needs aside in case she had to attend to his. What would have happened if she was in the middle of a meal and he needed her? “I won’t pass out, domine. I will eat later tonight when all your needs are met.” She’d been hungry and without food before when living without shelter, this paled in comparison. To her, she now lived in a palace with regular feasts. “Would you like some wine?”

@Atrice

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Marcus knew he could be a little impatient sometimes, but really, his slaves should just also get to work, that is what they were here for. Yet Aculia just stood there... for some reason, his slaves often seemed to just linger, as if they did not know what to do. Maybe he should discuss that issue with Titus, maybe he'd have an idea for making them work better. At least now she began working, placing the plate with food in front of him. There was something off about her though, he thought, watching her while she said that she had not eaten or had anything to drink - because she wanted to make herself available to him.


"Very well, that is a good thought to have. I'm glad you're so eager." Marcus said to her, and then she promised she would not pass out, but eat later tonight when all his needs were met. Marcus arched a brow, "That could be very late." He pointed out, in case he had a need for her. He might have, actually, he thought. She wondered if he wanted wine.


"Yes, bring me some wine." He then said and returned to the paperwork. Wine would do him good now. And then maybe her. Wine had a tendency to make him want other basic needs met. 

@Beauty

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He was “glad” she was eager. At his words, Aculia’s lips remained thinly spread across her face, neither developing into a warm smile nor a frown. She watched him, seeing merely human flesh, no different than her own. Seeing him that way made it hard for her to want to take a knife and slice one of the veins of his neck. Perhaps it was the sliver of humanity in her that the man seemed to lack.

Swallowing her thoughts whole, she slowly backed up, heels pressing against the floor, and headed into the kitchen, emerging later with a jug and cup in hand. She carefully set the cup down on the table with a clink before gently pouring contents within the jug, just the way she had when he had guests being shaved. She could practically fell her brow perspiring and hear her own heart banging against her chest loudly. Her hands were trembling, trying not to spill even a drop but the palms of her hands were warm and wet. In attempts to steady her pouring, one of her hands moved to hold the handle better but in that, her other hand slipped, causing the wine to soak everything on the table.

“Shit,” was all she could say under her breath after the damage was done, gripping tightly onto the now empty jug. Partly for security but also in case she needed it, not that she was even sure she could use it, even in self-defence. It didn’t matter if she’d once been a hunter or did push-ups every morning to retain her athletic physique. Slouching her shoulders, she avoided all eye contact like a submissive dog. “I’ll clean it up,” she said quietly as if somehow it might lessen the blow.

@Atrice

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Marcus continued the little paperwork he had left for the evening, while waiting for Aculia to return with the wine. The food was nice enough; he broke pieces off a bread and dipped into the thick sauce that someone had made, perhaps Aculia? Unless she bought it from elsewhere, because that was not uncommon either. It didn’t matter. The food was fine enough, but there was a lot of garum in the sauce and it made him thirsty.

Finally she appeared and he arched a brow when she sat the cup on the table. Then she began pouring the wine. Nothing out of the ordinary. That’s until her hand slipped from the jar of wine and wine spilled out on the table and dripped onto the floor. She cursed and Marcus jumped up, trying to pick up the valuable pieces of paper to save them from the wine!

“That’s all you’re going to say? You’ll clean it up?!” He yelled at her, “Do you have any idea how expensive paper is? And how much you’ve now ruined of it?” At least the wax tablet wouldn’t be ruined, but he had some information about certain clients written down on the pieces of paper and well, that was more or less lost now!

“You stupid slave! How are you going to repay me?!” As if she could, with coin! She couldn’t! There was no way she could! What did he even keep her for, when she did these things and she didn’t even apologize! Stupid, stupid bitch of a slave! Once this was cleaned up, he was going to find a way to make her understand just what she'd done and how angry he was!

@Beauty

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His yelling only made her jump, she kept her eyes on the floor as he shouted. She tried to retreat into the nooks of her mind but his anger only pulled her into reality. Her stomach knotted and she breathed heavily, feeling as if finally, after such careful treading, she would finally die. She contemplated on striking him with the vase and plunging a shard into his neck but being a runaway slave, on top of being a murderer, wasn’t an easy task. If one was caught, life was going to be very difficult and she would fare just about the same as she was now, if not worse. Here, she knew what to expect.

She knew to clean it up but he hadn’t given her the order so instead, she remained where she was, head hanging low and eyes on the mess in front of her, the whole world a shadow around her. “I-I can buy some at the market,” she mumbled, assuming paper would be easy to find. Aculia had little clue as to how expensive paper was, she’d never bothered with paper her entire life and spent her entire life as a hunter. “I can make it up to you. Don’t get rid me of me, I can be useful.” She  felt the need to release herself out of fear, the need to flee. “I.. haven’t told anyone about… I’ve seen you shave, I can do it when you’re too busy and make it up to you. I can get the money and buy paper.”

The more she thought of it, the more he was cornering her but to leave his wrath, she had to think very carefully on how and if she stayed, she needed to be more careful and understand him better. Perhaps she was in the wrong. She had, after all, drowned one of his livelihood in wine.

@Atrice

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She kept her eyes on the floor when Marcus jumped up, naturally upset and angry over her stupid behavior and mistake! The table and his trousers didn’t matter so much, but the paper! And she didn’t even move to clean up, she just stood there, staring like some stupid dog. She suggested to buy paper at the market and he shook his head, it wouldn’t do, she couldn’t afford to repay him with simply buying new paper for him. She went on about how she could make it up to him, he wouldn’t have to get rid of her and she could get money by shaving others. As if she could!

This, Aculia, is not very useful!” He pointed at the spilled wine and the ruined paper, as if she was some dog that had ruined a shoe and didn’t know why it was wrong, “You’re truly a foolish slave. Go and get something to clean this with, what are you waiting for? Gods! Go!”

She was irresponsible, why did he even purchase her? For her warmth in bed? When she’d just lie there and do nothing to satisfy him… she’d barely even move. She just let him do it. And now she couldn’t even serve him wine! Once she’d gone to fetch something to clean with, Marcus also left the room, but only to go to the barbershop and unlock the chest of blades and razors. Blood had the same color as wine. He wondered if she’d think herself ruined, if she spilled blood. She would. Then she’d understand. Red was a stunning color, but also a dangerous one.

Marcus picked up a razor while his expression went from heated to smiling and then fuming again. Then he returned to his office.

@Beauty

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“This” sent Aculia jumping out of her skin, she kept her gaze down and bowed her head, the same way dogs showed submission to those larger and more dominant. She had never been the passive sort but he had made her this way and he had that power. Years ago, she would have laughed at anyone in her same position, wondered why they didn’t just leave or fight back. She loved to hunt and kill for not only survival but sport. Now, the mere thought of it all reminded her of the slaves Marcus had killed, how their skin turned from colourful to a sickening blue-ish white. The memories seemed to roll into one. And she wanted to avoid thoughts of death, even if it was always ever-present.

Without any other word from her, she hurried to the kitchen, set down the jug and brought rags to clean the wine up. Her hands were shaking, her breathing quickened but difficult. Slowly, she wiped the mess clean and put things away. Her thoughts were racing. The door was not far from her, freedom lay beyond it but she would only be dragged back or worse. She stood up and placed the rags back in the kitchen, hearing her heart beat against her chest. Her eyes settled on a knife, glittering in the soft light. She did entertain the thought, to kill him if he even tried to do so to her and to take him down with her. Killing wasn’t foreign to her, though her game would be larger and deadlier than what she was used to.  

But to survive, she had to be smart and play things his way. She headed to her master’s office and lingered by the door, eyes downwards. Standing before her master took more strength than any courage she had mustered before a hunt. “Master,” she said emptily.  

@Atrice

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Stupid fucking slave! She had ruined his paper and his evening and he would need to teach her to not do it again. The best way was to show her how much it could hurt, when she misbehaved that way. It was just that, misbehavior. She had failed at her job, she had done something she was not meant to do – she had spilled the wine. But his slaves should not misbehave! What good were slaves for, if they couldn’t do their jobs properly? Aculia had been good so far, she was a little mouse, she didn’t do any harm and sometimes he even thought her a bit too slow, but tonight, it was different.

He returned to the office, finding it cleaned up, but there was still a stain on the floor from the wine and the paper was still soaked with the wine. Ruined. By a slave. Who couldn’t do her job as she was supposed to!

Marcus sat waiting on the edge of the table when she returned, the razor held in his right hand, while his left rested on the table. She appeared in the doorway again, staring down at the floor and after many long moments she managed to speak.

“Yes, that’s what I am! And you’re nothing but a slave. You’re… nothing!” Marcus said and stood, walking over to her, grabbing her by the hair with his free hand to pull her closer to him. He held the razor in front of her eyes, “I thought you were smarter. I don’t care why you did what you did. You know you can’t repay me. So you won’t do it again.” He hissed at her, while he went over where to cut her. Oh he had many thoughts on that, but he kind of wanted it to be visible. A mark to show to the world, what happened to misbehaving slaves. He ran the blunt edge of the blade along her cheek while his heart was hammering in his chest. He was trying to draw it out, to make his own satisfaction better. And her punishment worse.

@Beauty

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She winced as he shouted at her and felt her strength leave her the moment, he confirmed the way she thought about herself: that she was nothing. She had never been anyone or anything to anyone or herself. Her parents died, she was then taken in by others who died and her brothers abandoned, one in which solved her to slavery. Not before long, again and again, she was sold until Marcus kept her and she had remained with him the longest. She always felt like she knew and understood him, like some strange human connection, only to be proven wrong. She didn’t.

Her head was snapped backwards the moment he took a hold of her hair and she grunted, her hands reached for her hair. The razor was right before eyes, she could see it clearly and for a moment, she felt nothing, not even fear. Just nothing, merely accepting that she was about to die. Still, he had not yet struck her and made her bleed so the tension was building, making her wonder when he would just get it over with. Whatever he did, she was intent on not crying. She had been robbed of everything that made her human and so would not cry as any other person might, nor did she would she scream in pain. She didn’t want to give him that satisfaction either. Instead, she kept herself emotionless so he wouldn’t know a single thing she felt or thought.

She could feel the blunt end of the knife caress her cheek. He was playing with her, that much she knew. “Fuck you,” she said quietly, staring right at his callous eyes. She didn’t know if it was sudden courage or defeat. If he was going to kill her, she didn’t exactly want to die with such lack of dignity and prayed he’d end her life soon before she felt fear. She’d seen the way he killed the others, how their bodies turned pale and limp. “Just get it over with.”

@Atrice

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Marcus was satisfied when she winced as he shouted at her, telling her she was nothing and she did not argue with it. But he wasn’t satisfied enough. She had ruined something of his, she had ruined the paper – and the paper wasn’t cheap and the information on it was lost too. And it was her fault. Her fault! She would have to learn what a mistake that was and she would not forget, he would make sure of that. He took hold of her hair, pulling her close and she stared at the razor before he touched her cheek with the blunt side of it.

And then she stared right into his eyes and spoke and told him to get it over with.

“Fuck me? Maybe I’ll fuck you with this, would you like that?” He asked, showing her the razor. But he wouldn’t do that. That would not leave a scar he could look at every day and remember this moment and what he did to her. That would not show everyone else what a stupid slave she’d been with her master.

With his hand still wrapped in her hair, he pushed her backwards until her back would hit the wall. Only then did he let go of her hair, while in the same motion placing the razor between his teeth, so he had both hands free. With his body pinning hers, he reached to catch both her hands and then wrists with his hands and held them above her head with one strong arm. Only then would he take the razor in his free hand again, “Don’t fucking move!” He hissed at her and then he let the sharp razor penetrate her skin into her cheek and carved a line, from her cheekbone across her cheek, down to her jaw. The blood sprung from its source immediately and he licked his lips by the sight. It ran down over her cheek and jaw and dripped into her clothes and his own. He felt his heart pound and his entire body tingle. He wasn’t sure if one cut was enough.

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Posted (edited)

Aculia shook her head. No, she would not like that. That was a sure way to die horribly by internal bleeding and shock from the sheer power of pain. No physician would be able to help her and even if she survived such a thing, she didn’t want to look weak, let alone have them see her like that.

It was not long until her back slammed against the wall with a thud and she groaned as her hair fell down. It happened rather fast, so fast that she hadn’t had the time to really think, he had placed both her hands above her head. She did not dare struggle. One thing she had learned from her brothers, when rough-housing with them, was that more energy was spent struggling and moving than it was achieving anything of value.

The first thing that came to her mind was that he was going to use the knife between her legs. But she was proven wrong, feeling the knife against her skin, ripping it slowly. Her wound stung, blood was pooling and rolling down her face. Her eyes watered but she fought from crying or shouting out in pain, even if her toes curled from it. Now, he’d just about taken it all. Her virginity, her happiness, her humanity and now her appearance. But she would hide it from the world so no one would ask questions. It would definitely scar, she couldn’t sew it herself and knew no one.

To her, one cut was enough. It left her exhausted and beaten, even if she had tried to sustain what little energy she had to begin with. “I’m sorry,” she managed to choke out softly. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” She repeated it a million times over and doubted that that would suffice or be the end of it. It was just the beginning.

@Atrice

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He enjoyed her groan as he slammed her up against the wall next to the door. He didn’t even care to have it closed and he didn’t care if any of the other slaves saw or heard this. In fact they ought to, so they would also learn the lesson and not do what Aculia had done. She had ruined his things. She had wanted to repay him, but how could she? So instead, he would teach her a lesson the way he taught lessons to his slaves. He would cut her. She would not forget. And he wouldn’t either, because the scar would be visible.

She didn’t struggle and then he cut through her skin with the sharp razor, a nice scar from her cheekbone to the middle of her jawline and only then did he pull the blood-dripping blade away. Her eyes were watering and the blood was running, dripping and his heart was beating and his body was tingling. It was beautiful, the blood. The blood was life. Without it, you’d die. She didn’t want to die, did she? He smiled while he stared at it, watching it flow, as if her face was a vast desert and the blood was a river.

Suddenly she broke the deafening silence with words… saying she was sorry and she kept repeating it. He leaned closer, “Sorry as you should be.” Marcus whispered to her ear and let go of her hands and forced himself to take a step back, looking at her. The blood was beautiful. But he wanted more… it was her that spilled the wine, it was her hands that did it. Next time he’d make her hands bleed. For now though, he wanted to imagine it, “Touch it. Touch the wound.”

@Beauty

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His whisper sent shivers down her spine and she closed her eyes. She only opened her eyes when Marcus stepped back. He was staring at her and it made her uncomfortable. She didn’t know what he was thinking and was not sure if she wanted to. When she heared what he said, in her intense pain, she creased her brows and tilted her head in confusion. What the fuck? Was the first thing she thought. She knew next to nothing about wounds but knew that touching it with her hands was not a good idea, it would only aggravate it. Slowly, obediently, her hand rose to touch where he had cut her across the jaw.

It was then that she could feel the extent of her cut, his knife had practically torn open her skin and blood was everywhere. On her clothes, on the side of her face, and on her fingertips. She wouldn’t know the full extent of how it looked until it healed, if it ever healed. She recoiled, feeling her hand against it and shuddered. The pain radiated throughout her face and her eyes watered. She really didn’t like the way he was looking at her, it made her sick to her stomach.

“I understand now,” she said in a whine. “I really do. You don’t have to do this.” She wanted to make it clear that she wouldn’t make the same mistake again and that he could walk away from doing anything worse. But it was like reasoning with a beast. She didn’t think she could play any more of his mind games, her eyes quickly looked at the door. She had been a fast runner once. A hunter had to be, if they wanted to kill. Except she was now the hunted. If she distracted him, would she make it? And yet fear kept her still, her feet practically bolted to the floor.

@Atrice

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He didn’t care what he made her feel. Well it would be good if she felt that she’d done something wrong and would learn to not do it again, but besides that, he cared more for what it all made him feel. The sight of the blood, the feeling of the knife cutting through her skin and producing the blood. That did something to him, but his bloodlust only increased and he wanted more. But he would have to stop now or he might not keep this slave. If he did not step away, he might kill her and while that too was a satisfying feeling, he knew he had to try and not do it.

So he stepped back and let her do something for him. He wanted her to touch the wound. He wanted to see the blood on her fingers and her reaction. And Aculia did as told, as the good slave she should be. She moved her hand up and touched the wound, felt the extent of it, while the blood would flow over her fingers.  She said she understood now and that he did not have to do it. He saw her glance to the door.

“I do have to do it.” Marcus just said, “I hope you understand. For your sake.” But he kind of hoped she didn’t, for his own sake. Her winces and the look on her face when she touched the wound, did what he wanted to do… he wanted more of that. He wanted to do it. But he feared he would not be able to control himself.

“Clean up the mess, all of it. We’re done.” He finally said and strode past her, out of the study and towards his own bed-chamber and he sat down on the bed, with the blade still in his life. He looked at the blood on it. Should he fetch her anyway and fuck her? He kind of wanted to… to fuck her while she was bleeding. But no… he might be too rough. He wanted to keep her so he could do it again to her. And again. Marcus hid the blade underneath his pillow and laid down on the bed and stared into the darkness until he slept. Tomorrow he’d see how Aculia looked like now. Her new appearance. And he would remember this night.

@Beauty

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