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Aglaea

Slipping Away from the Crowd

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Posted (edited)

April, 75CE

 

It was a fine day at the gladiatorial games, which meant everyone and their brother was in attendance. Aglaea was lucky that her mistress was in a higher social class, which meant their seating was much better, but the crowd was still crushing. Aglaea was never much of one for crowds in the first place, but her mistress was kind enough to give her a little bit of freedom to explore once she had taken care of all her needs for the moment. Given perhaps an hour to her own devices, the slave first purchased a small bag of nuts and a cool but cheap cup of wine. Then, she pushed through the crowd and came across a small alcove near the seating for lower classes. Sitting down on the base of a column, she let herself breathe. She was removed from the crowds here and blissfully in the shade. For the moment she was alone and thankful for her freedom, even if it was just a little and for a short time. 

Edited by Echo
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Callista pushed her way through the crowd, looking for any place where there weren't quite so many people. She had been left to her own devices for about an hour or so and she intended to use this time to get away from the sight of the games. She has never cared for the games, the sight of blood had always made her squeezy and the heat of today was not making her feel any better. She found her way to a small alcove, practically abandoned except for another woman sitting against one of the columns. She appeared to be a body slave like her as she was dressed in finer clothing than a plebeian but no matron would be sitting against a column like that.

"Mind of I join you?" 

Callista asked, as she walked closer. She leaned against the column and started to use her hand to fan herself. She closed her eyes and began to feel her nausea subside now that she was shaded and the games were out of view. She could still hear the clashing of weapons and the cheers of the crowd, but the lack of sight was doing her a world of good. 

@Echo

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Aglaea finished her small meal and brushed the crumbs off her tunic and took another sip of wine. She heard a voice and looked up with a smile. "Of course not, there's room enough for both of us." She moved over slightly so the other woman had enough room. Gazing at her through the side of her eye, she watched her fan herself. Not one to leave silence when there was room for conversation, she spoke up. "It's very hot today, isn't it? Here, you can use this, if you want." Aglaea pulled a scrap piece of parchment from her pocket and handed it to the other woman. It would probably make for a better fan than her hand. 

@Laria

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Callista noticed the other woman shift to make room for her in the shade, "thank you" she said, slightly distracted but with a grateful smile. 

"It's very hot today, isn't it? Here, you can use this, if you want."

Callista accepted the piece of parchment and said "thank you, I'm Callista." Giving up on proper etiquette she slid down the column and sat next to the woman. She looked over and smiled at her and began to fan herself with the piece of parchment. Even after all these years she was still not used to Rome's heat, she closed her eyes and focused on the cool air she was fanning into her face, the parchment she had been gifted was doing a much better job than her hand.

@Echo

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Aglaea dipped her head in recognition of the thanks the other slave gave her. "You're welcome. Nice to meet you, Callista. My name is Aglaea." Aglaea sipped her wine once more. Thankfully, it was cool and therefore helping her not get overheated in the harsh Roman sun. "I don't care how long I stay in Rome, I'll never get used to the weather here," she joked. Really, Aglaea was from Judea, which got plenty hot in its own right. 

@Laria

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"... my name is Aglaea"

Callista nodded in agnolagment and said, "it's nice to meet you too Aglaea." She continued fanning herself with the parchment, she was already feeling much cooler thanks to it. 

"I don't care how long I stay in Rome, I'll never get used to the weather here"

She chuckled at the joke and replied saying "I know what you mean, sometimes I don't even recognize my own skin, it's tanned so much since coming here." She paused for a moment before asking, "so what brings you to the games today Aglaea?" Callista had never been one who felt the need to fill the air with conversation, since she was a child she had had no trouble keeping her own company. But she understood that most people were not as comforable with silence as she was and didn't want to seem rude. 

@Echo

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Aglaea grinned as she mentioned her tanned skin. Aglaea was from a hot part of the empire, Judea, to be exact, but her position was quite different here and she was required to spend more time outside, doing her mistress's bidding. "I am here accompanying my mistress, but she gave me some free time." She shifted her weight to get more comfortable. "And what about you?"

@Laria

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"I am here accompanying my mistress, but she gave me some free time... and what about you?" 

Callista laughed at this and answered "the very same." she reached behind her head and moved her braid over her shoulder so that it was no longer sticking to the back of her neck. She continued fanning herself and wiped some sweat from her brow. "Thank you again for this parchment" she added, it was really helping to cool her down.

@Echo

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"Not at all, I am glad to help." Aglaea smiled at the other woman. "Do you mind if I ask - who is your mistress? Perhaps my mistress knows yours." Aglaea enjoyed a favored position, accompanying Livia wherever she went and so she naturally knew the names of many of the other wealthy women of Rome. 

@Laria

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Callista smiled back, she was enjoying Aglaea's company. 

Do you mind if I ask - who is your mistress? Perhaps my mistress knows yours."

She paused unsure of whether she should answer this question, surely there was no harm in revealing who owned her. "Horatia Justina" she finally  answered, she wasn't sure if she would know who she was. Her husband was a notable senator but she didn't believe that many memorized wifes names. "And you?" She asked, she didn't want to pry but she was now genuinely curious. 

@Echo

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Aglaea stopped for a moment, surprised. "I don't know how we haven't met before, then! My mistress is Livia Justina, Horatia's sister." She seemed excited to have a personal connection to her new friend. It was a wonder they hadn't met yet, though Aglaea and Livia had been spending more time in Secundus's villa than the city recently. "When did you join her household?"

@Laria

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"I don't know how we haven't met before, then! My mistress is Livia Justina, Horatia's sister."

Callista laughed out loud at the absurdity of this situation, she was meeting her domina's sister's body slave by complete accident. 

"When did you join her house hold?" 

She answered saying "I only joined her household a couple years back, I was originally owned by her father in law. We meet when she was living with them while her husband was away. I was given to her as a parting gift, what about you? When did you join your household?" 

Callista wasn't suprized that they haven't meet yet, she knew that Horatia and Livia hadn't seen each other in a while and that she was a rather recent addition to her household.

@Echo

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Aglaea laughed with her. "Life is truly strange." She listened to Callista's explanation about when she joined Horatia's household and she considered for a moment about when she joined Livia's household. Then, Callista asked when Aglaea joined Livia's household. "I was thirteen or fourteen, and so was Livia. I've been with her for half of my life." 

@Laria

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"It certainly is" she agreed. She smiled some, the humor from her laugh still in her eyes. 

"I was thirteen or fourteen, and so was Livia. I've been with her for half of my life." 

She nodded while listening to Aglaea's story, she took not that she referred to her domina as 'Livia', an odd thing for a slave to do. She knew that as a body slave she would be afforded more freedoms than most but their relationship must have been something of a friendship if she was allowed to address her by her name. "You two must be close" she noted, still nodding thoughtfully. 

@Echo

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Aglaea nodded when Callista suggested that they must be close. "Oh,  yes. Though I suppose it is hard not to be when you've spent half your life with someone." She gave a humorous smile. "What about you and your domina?"

@Laria

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"Oh, yes. Though I suppose it is hard not to be when you've spent half you life with someone." 

Callista nodded at this, she felt the same way. "I suppose so" she answered. 

"What about you and your domina?" 

She composed the question for a moment, it was true that they were indeed close, but not in the way that it appeared Aglaea and Livia were. They seemed to have something of a kinship while Callista and Horatia had a more professional relationship. "We're close as well" she finaly answered, once upon a time they could have been good friends, but social norms keeped them on different levels and Horatia was nothing if not traditional.

@Echo

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Aglaea smiled when she said that she and Horatia were close as well. "I'm glad. I've heard some horror stories of other slaves' mistresses. It seems we are both lucky to have kind mistresses." She knew that her own relationship with Livia was not the norm and that she was very lucky to have the kind of relationship that she did with the woman. Even if she didn't have the kind of freedom she wanted. 

@Laria Sorry for the wait!

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"It certainly is" she replied, while continuing to fan herself. she sighed and said "I should probably be getting back now" she handed back the scrap of parchment and continued saying, "thank you again for this." She stood up, brushed herself off, and said "goodbye Aglaea, I hope we meet again soon" before walking back to her familia.

@Echo Don't worry about it 🙂

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