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Longinus chuckled at Marcus' wit and inclined his head; "Money and a home help, true, true." He grinned as he sipped his refilled wine. "But you never know when the right woman will cross your path." He said with a shrug, "Mine didn't until I was thirty-six but I have plenty of friends who found the ideal woman in their twenties." He, unfortunately, wasn't one of them. 

"Very," He said with a triumphant smile, "Very beautiful. And charming, and I suspect far cleverer than me." He might have an excellent mind for strategy and military tactics, but he didn't doubt that Sestia could have a better grip of administration. Then again, most people would because he loathed it. "I'll have my secretary send an invite to Flavia's for you, and I need to go to Africa Pronconsularis afterwards," Careful Longinus, "To...um...speak with her father in person. I was planning on swinging back via Greece on the way back, I haven't visited since I was a lad and I thought I'd see your brother. I'd be happy to pass on any messages, if you have one?" 

He took another sip of his drink and narrowed his eyes with devilish amusement, "Got any girls you're courting?" 

 

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Longinus mused about how you never knew when the right woman would come along and his came rather late, but his friends had found women earlier than that. The right woman? But hadn’t Longinus been married before? He seemed to remember something about that, not that he’d been very close with Longinus after they settled down here in Rome, but the man was always there, somehow… he almost asked if Longinus’ former wife had not been the right woman, but then recalled she was dead, so maybe he shouldn’t ask.

Instead he’d asked about the woman Longinus would marry now and he described her happily as beautiful and charming and clever. Marcus arched a brow, but there was that playful grin on his face, “Is that smart, a wife that is more clever than you?” He asked with a grin, although there was some truth to it. Some people said that wise women could be almost dangerous to men and you should treat them with caution. Maybe Longinus’ wife was like that too… and she knew she was marrying a wealthy man. Marcus didn’t know the background of this, after all.

Longinus promised to send an invite to Marcus for the wedding and then said he had to go to Africa to speak to the woman’s father. And then he might visit Greece and see Marcus’ brother. Well that was a twist! Marcus couldn’t think of anything right now, “Maybe I’ll write something for him. I can hand to you at the wedding.” He suggested and then Longinus suddenly asked if Marcus was courting any girls.

Marcus coughed, “What? No… not seriously anyway. I have met a few of course, but I won’t marry yet and once I’m old enough, they’ve probably already married someone older than me.” That’s how it usually went, after all. And he wasn’t too sad about it. It’s not like he was really in love with anyone, right? Not that he knew or realized anyway, “Why do you ask? You think I should court someone?”

@Sara

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Longinus nodded and smiled, "You do that. I'm sure he's desperate for news of Rome." he doubted it, but he'd never had any siblings and so he had no real clue about how to manage sibling relationships. But letting Lucius know his brother was a decent young man and enjoying the fruits of the city would only be helpful, surely?

A laugh left his lips at Marcus' cough and a wide grin split on his face. He clapped the young man on the shoulder and shrugged; "No, no - as I said, I think you're too young to court anybody seriously..." And the youth was right, most girls in their late teens were married to men well into their twenties or thirties. His mind harked back to the list of eligible bachelorettes drawn up for him, and winced at the memory of some of the girls who were sixteen, or seventeen years old. It would be like being married to his daughter, and whilst some men might enjoy the beauty of youth in their spouse, Longinus certainly felt that it would be an unmitigated disaster and awkward as shit. No, he was quite content with his thirty-something bride to be thank you very much. 

"But," He continued, "It doesn't hurt to look. I knew my soon-to-be wife when I was younger, and had I been sensible I would have earmarked her out back then rather than letting our friendship lapse." He shrugged. He barely kept up with his male friends whilst he was overseas, let alone female acquaintances. He kicked himself for not doing so. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Marcus would write a letter to his brother, once he had the time to concentrate on it. Which would not be right now, with a drink in his hand and apparently good company, although his companion was a great deal older than he was. He was kind of surprised though, when Longinus suddenly asked if Marcus was courting anyone, because he wasn’t and he tried to explain why, the best he could. But then the question got him thinking… and he wondered if Longinus thought it would be smart to already consider it!

Longinus laughed and said that Marcus was too young to court anyone seriously. Did that mean Longinus thought it was not an entirely bad idea to have the flirts and the flings Marcus did? The other continued about how it did not hurt to look and that he’d known his new wife in many years, but he had not made sure she remained true to him back then.

Marcus nodded thoughtfully, “It never hurts to look, does it?” He said with a little smile, looking out at the girls in this odd place for a moment or two. They were really nice looking, some of them. Really nice. He sipped his wine, “But I don’t know if any of the noble girls I know are anyone I could marry. I mean… it would be nice. But I am pretty sure that girls like Claudia Caesaris or any of those girls are probably out my league. Especially with my current situation.” He rolled his eyes and then thought he better explain himself, “Not that I am courting her. I mean, she’s good looking. And very nice. And she has the most arou… I mean the fiercest Briton bodyguard I’ve ever heard about. But she's a princess. And besides, I don’t know what she’d think.” Damn. Maybe he’d had enough wine? Or was there something in the air in here?

@Sara

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Longinus wafted a hand with a roll of his eyes; "Out of your league? You're Decimus Junius Silanus' son!" Though it was true poor Lucius Silanus had endured a mare of a time, the name counted for something. Equally true, however, was the fact that Marcus was the second of Decimus' sons which in truth - counted for a lot less. It occurred to him, not for the first time, how silly the rules and traditions governing their lives were. 

The mention of a bodyguard made Longinus grin though, that silly lopsided grin, and shake his head. "Well if you were courting her, I suggest you don't mention my name." He scratched his neck and took a sip of wine with a wince, "That British bodgyguard came from my stock - the woman was one of my spoils and she...is less than thrilled at me, I think it's fair to say." That night in the dark, dank tent in Britannia felt like a lifetime away. 

Longinus chuckled and shook his head, "No harm in flirting though is there? If she doesn't want to, I'm sure she'd tell you - and it's not like you'd be foolish enough to do anything more than just talk." He shook his head, "That would be idiotic." And an offence that warranted more than a slap from the princess. "Oh! Speaking of British slaves, how are you getting on with  that bodyslave I gave you?" 

 

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Marcus gave Longinus a look, when the other exclaimed how such girls could not be out of his league because of his heritage, “I know… and I want to honor him. No one knows what will happen.” No one knew when a backstabbing slave would kill you and then your brother would kill the slave… not that he remembered much of it, but he knew Lucius had been very brave back then. Everyone knew that.

He mentioned which girl could be interesting to him, Claudia would be aiming high, but you never knew what he’d do in the future. Then he mentioned the Briton bodyguard, although he never met her in person. But he remembered the day Claudia and her group had been attacked and came to Juliana’s villa… and he remembered the story Aia told him about how the Briton bodyguard saved Claudia’s life. Longinus however grinned and said to not mention his name to the Briton woman, because she was one of his spoils.

“Really? That’s… interesting. She saved the princess’ life, you know. She has some skills.” He said with a little smile, finding it interesting that the Briton didn’t like Longinus. He had always thought everyone would like Longinus and especially the women. But maybe not a Briton he enslaved? Longinus however went on about flirting and that Marcus would not do anything more than just talk. He let out a little laugh, “Yeah I’m not stupid. I don’t go that far with such girls.” Although others… that was different. Longinus then wondered about Silvanus.

“We get on fine enough, I guess. He is a bit stubborn and has a temper sometimes. I guess that’s a trait of their people? But so far, I’ve managed to control him. And it’s nice to have my own body slave.”

@Sara

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"She did?" Longinus arched an eyebrow, "Last time I saw her she didn't seem a huge fan of us Romans, but perhaps that was just me." He chuckled and rubbed a hand under his jaw. He still didn't quite understand what the woman's problem was, he'd offered her death - which across cultural boundaries still seemed to be the preferred way out for warriors even in Britannia, but she hadn't taken it. What was she so bothered about? He'd not lied to her - at least from his memory of the conversation, but said conversation was fuzzy in his mind and who knew what was said, really. 

He chuckled and nodded his head, "It is a trait of theirs. They don't like to be enslaved, not like the Parthians or even the Germanic slaves you get fresh from the provinces, the Britons are..." He sighed and shrugged, "Much more difficult. The women cry or try and take your head off, and the men mostly just do the latter." Both slaves and free Britons back in the province alike. "But I'm pleased, at least, yours is working out for you." Titus hadn't said anything about the Britons he'd traded for his Dacian's either, perhaps their people were becoming mellower as the years of Roman rule ground on unrelentingly? 

"You know," He continued with an arched brow, "If you want to go out there and see them for yourselves I know the legates of the legions out there still - a Tribuneship in Britannia would be an impressive step up the course of honour for you." He sipped his wine, forgetting Marcus was acquainted with the propraetor of Britannia's daughter - and thus had his own connections - "If you want me to put in a word for you." 

 

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Longinus seemed surprised to hear that Cynane the Briton bodyguard saved Claudia’s life and said she had not seemed a huge fan of Romans last time he saw her. Marcus arched a brow too, “Maybe it’s just certain Romans she likes?” Or maybe the fact that the bodyguard was a slave made it so she had no other option. If the princess was harmed or killed and she was meant to protect her, surely they would not keep the Briton on as a bodyguard anymore. They would want her gone. That’s how it was with slaves and not protecting her princess would definitely be seen as disobedience. Not that Marcus knew anything about that. He only had his thoughts on it.

 His companion had then asked about Marcus’ body slave, that had been given by Longinus and Marcus explained what he was like. Longinus confirmed that being stubborn and having a temper was a trait of Britons, unlike other slaves. And apparently especially the women could be difficult. Marcus chuckled, “I’m glad then that mine neither cries nor tries to take my head.” He said to Longinus and noticed his wine was sinking in the cup again. Maybe he should try and not drink too much, it hadn’t been evening yet when he went into the thermae, although to be honest in here… he had lost track of time. Still, better not get too drink in front of Longinus!

 Longinus suddenly began speaking about Marcus’ career and Britannia again and suggested a Tribuneship, which he could arrange apparently. Marcus knew that Juliana’s husband was the proconsul up there, but honestly… they didn’t see much of him though, if he was at home at all, he was busy. Marcus had no close relationship with the man and Caecina didn’t speak much about her father either. What Longinus offered here could be useful.

 “You’re very welcome to, if you think I should step right up that way and skip a step in the course of honour.” Although he hoped he would not be stationed for long in other countries and it would be weird to go back to Britannia… “What is Britannia like? I was born there, but I barely remember it.”

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Longinus nodded and considered the young man. Somebody who enjoyed the finer things in life was unlikely to enjoy the rough-shod life of a military camp somewhere in the freezing north of Britannia. Then again, perhaps he shouldn't be so quick to judge - he had revelled with the best of them before he'd shipped out for his Tribuneship. His life from before, his youth, was hardly suited to military life; besides a love of exercise and a build that suited warfare, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, the young Longinus who frequented brothels and drank himself silly before retching it back up in his mothers garden was hardly an ideal candidate for such a place. "I'll think on it, but it's only if it's something you want to do. No good spending four years or more of your life somewhere you hate, just on my account." He chuckled.

His smiled broadened and he glanced fondly at the youth. He'd been so young when he left, no wonder he couldn't remember it. 

"It's...not Rome, I'll give you that. The south is a lot more civilised than the north - they've got a few bath complexes now and the like," He waved his hand, "And it does rain all the bloody time - that kind of rain that gets in your bones with a chill that you can't shake. But it's beautiful," He shrugged simply, "And the men that serve there - I firmly believe are the best in the Empire. There's nowhere quite like it, nor like the bonds you make with the men." It's where he'd first come across Titus and Aulus of course, and they remained firm friends to this day. 

 

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It was indeed very unlikely that Marcus would enjoy a military camp, especially during the cold and wet winters of the North. He enjoyed the luxuries and entertainment that Rome offered to the son of a Senator, but he also knew that all boys had to move on eventually. He couldn’t keep on doing this here forever… no matter how nice it was. Then he would certainly never regain his fortune! Longinus promised to think on it, if it was something Marcus really wanted. He nodded, “I’ll think on it too then.” He replied with a smile and then he had wondered what Britannia was like, because he barely remembered it.

Longinus spoke of how there were now bath complexes in the South, but that it did rain a lot and that was cold too. Then he said it was beautiful and that the men who served in Britannia were some of the best.

“So you make it sound like it’s both a good and a bad place. I don’t think I’ll like the cold and the rain much.” Marcus said and then smiled again, “What about the women?” He knew Longinus just spoke of a wedding and that he’d been married before, but still… he doubted a man as handsome as Longinus would stay true to a wife that was in Rome, while he was far away in Britannia. So that bit interested him!

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