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Longinus moved his fingers to softly brush away errant strands of hair from her face, simply enjoying the unabashed intimacy of the moment. He saw her hands drop to her stomach but said nothing until prompted by her words. His eyebrows rose on his forehead and he studied her. "I didn't know you had twins in the family," He tried to sound casual but concern lingered beneath the words. He didn't know the first thing about child birth, not really, not outside the fact that it was dangerous and that double the children meant double the peril. 

He strove to keep his tone light as he continued. "Maybe that means it's a girl?" He smiled impishly, "If you didn't feel like this with Gallus or Vaticanianus?" Whilst he needed a son, and preferably sooner rather than later given he wasn't getting any younger, it was ultimately up to the will of the Gods. There were other means of procuring an heir - including adoption which had been at the forefront of his mind over the last few years, he just hadn't found a suitable candidate. Gently, and with a furtive glance, he moved his hand from her face to settle over her hands at her middle. "Cassia Vaticana?" He smiled that infectious smile, "Or Cassia Vaticana and another Lucius Cassius Longinus. We're not that inventive with our praenomen's so we'd be a bit limited...although we do have a fair few Gaii in our ranks in days of old, which would be a compromise for your father Gaius." He was getting ahead of himself, she wasn't even showing, but his energy was infectious and he couldn't stop himself.

He glanced up at her face though, with genuine intrigue. "What does...it...feel like?" He really had no notion at all. Antonia had always been very sparing on the details when she was carrying Cassia.

 

TAG: @Lauren

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"Well, something has to please him!" She joked. It was true, they were getting carried away. It was all to common to think of those last few hours of the pregnancy as being the most dangerous and, yes, in many ways they were. However, there was a full nine months of challenges that lay ahead. Although she hated to think about it there was no disguising the fact that so many pregnancies never came to full term. These either ended in the disappointment of the parents but were not unknown, sometimes, to lead to damage or even death to the poor, grieving mother. These were horrid thoughts and she wanted to push them so far out of her mind that they would never return. Even if she could do so, she didn't trust Brysias not to bring these up in an attempt to scare her once she found out.

"What does it feel like?" she asked, copying him but also mainly asking the question of herself. The truth was that there did not, exactly, feel anything. She felt different but that was a nebulous concept. She felt a little nauseous and, of course, had missed her monthly calling but, other than that, there were none of the easy signs of advanced pregnancy. No movements or swellings.

"It is hard to say. I just know, if that makes any sense? I feel a little ill, and that will get worse over time but, other than that, there is just a sense. I will get a medicus to confirm later, when it becomes appropriate to do so..."

@Sara

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His lips twitched into a gentle smile and his face softened as he lightly ran his fingers over hers. To any outside overseer the scene would have been sweet; a couple in the throes of passion discussing their future child. Of course, it was far more complex and twisted than that given that society proscribed they shouldn't have been intimate, let alone getting married sans any official permissions. But he was content, just for the moment, to enjoy the scene as it was before him. The woman he liked, adored in fact, in his arms; his child growing in her belly; the look on her face and the way the wind rustled her hair; the beauty of the domus. This is what it should have always been like. 

Gently, he moved his hand from her middle to her shoulder and urged her to lean back until she was led against his chest. Slaves be damned - what were they going to do? 

His tone was gentle, most unlike the garrulous, energetic man most saw. "Humour me, Sestia," He chuckled and ran his fingers up and down her arm as he spoke, chin resting atop her head. "It occurs to me that whilst I know all about you now," he grinned and let his hand run past the curve of her waist and chest just for a moment, "I don't know much at all about you." And better to start now than get to the wedding night to realise his new wife had absolutely none of the same interests as he did. At least he could go into it prepared, should that be the case. "I met you first...Gods above, when was it? When I was some roguish teenager, just before I went off to Britannia...I remember you at a party," He chuckled, "That would have been what? Fifty-eight, maybe?" They hadn't known each other well, of course, and he distinctly remember having not seen her before that fateful trip to the mausoleum since sixty-two. "What was young...er," Careful Longinus... "What younger Sestia like?" 

 

TAG: @Lauren

Edited by Sara
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"Lucius Cassius, it is a bit late now to try and find things out about your bride to be. If there is anything not to your liking, it will be difficult - although not impossible - to take back your promise now!" she joked. It was good of him to ask. Many husbands took no interest in their prospective bride's life or likes at all. Certainly not before the marriage and a great many wouldn't make any effort anytime thereafter. Her late husband, bless his soul, has (she thought) made only one attempt in the entire span of their marriage to ask her opinion on something. He had not liked what he heard and that was why he probably never did so again. It also seemed quite a strange time to ask as well which made her smile. It was as if they had taken a huge leap forward and now needed to very quickly fill in the gulf of missing details to make the step seem less momentous.

"Different from the one of today. Maybe not as much so as I'd think," she said. Honestly, she wasn't quite sure how she would have summed up her younger self. She had been very much under the thumb of her father and lived in fear of his rages and disapproval. There was no great change in that, although time had numbed this fear somewhat and given her the ability to face the threat of the same with more equanimity.

"Hopeful, certainly. I still am. Although I know more now of what the world can be like which my younger self didn't. I was not much blessed with freedom them. No huge surprise there, Lucius. Few Roman women are but certainly no women under the aegis of my father who is not exactly the liberal type!"

"I would ask about the younger Lucius but I think I know enough about that already! From what I see there does not seem to have been too much of a change!"

@Sara

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Longinus chuckled, "I won't take my promise...provided you know," He grinned, "You didn't off your last husband, or aren't engaged with a hundred men across Rome in similar schemes." His wording, as always, was indelicate but the sentiment behind it was sweet; he wouldn't take back his promise for anything. 

He listened with a smile on his face but a little pity in his stomach. He had only been what - twenty-two, twenty-three when he had become paterfamilias of his family? He remembered reading his mothers letter well, included with a thinly veiled assessment about just how much her barely-adult son would restrict her freedoms. To go from being under the thumb (which she very much was) of his overbearing father, to under the thumb of her son must have been a difficult thought to conquer. Fortunately for her, Antonia and now Sestia, Longinus wasn't a man particularly interested in traditions or exerting his authority. In certain situations in which he felt more equipped to handle them (things of safety or estate management) he would rarely ask an opinion, but for everything else in his life - the women of his household could largely do as they please. 

He laughed and shook his head, "Why do you think I was shipped off to Britannia when I was eighteen? My father was intent to teach me a lesson or two in composure - I bet he thought I'd last a couple of years there and be done," He grinned, "More fool him that the military suited me perfectly and I've lost none of my personality..." His grin fell to a wry smile, "Just...tempered some of the irreverence, I think." He certainly wasn't going around with slave-girls hanging from his arm anymore, although anybody who met him in his personal, day-to-day life would hardly call him mature

 

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