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Aglaea

Blue Bolt

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Early May, 75CE

When Aglaea got her free time, she took advantage of every second. Naturally, her first visit was to the temple, even if it wasn't the correct day for a sermon. She would usually find someone who would discuss a certain passage of the Torah, or, even better, someone to discuss the virtues of Jesus' sermons and actions. After some time in the temple, she would walk off to the Forum to watch people and eat a meal alone, or to the Emporium to do some shopping. That's where she found herself today - browsing the stalls, looking for a nice piece of fabric that she could still afford. She didn't have enough money to pay a seamstress herself - she would have to ask Livia for that - but if she found some nice fabric, she was capable of sewing a tunica herself. 

At one stall, she came across a lovely blue-dyed fabric, which she quickly purchased. Lost in admiring the fabric, she turned and bumped into somebody. "Oh! Excuse me."

@Atrice

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Helios had some free time too. Or did he? Was he ever truly free? Even when roaming the city, there was always the chance he’d run into someone interesting. And he knew many people in Rome, he had contacts and informants everywhere. So he was never truly off work, because for some reason, he couldn’t really stop. Today was such a day off, he had gone to the market to find some snack and maybe spend a tiny bit of his savings on something for himself. Not too much, because well, he did have to save up for buying himself free from slavery, but he could afford to spend a little. He just didn’t know what he’d get yet.

A new and nice tunica might be it, he thought as he approached a stall with fabric. There were other people there too, but he paid them little attention… that’s until he could almost touch the fabric and a woman turned and bumped straight into his chest. And it was literally that, because he was a fair deal taller than she was.

She excused herself and Helios looked her over. His mind instantly began wondering if she could be useful somehow, because he could hold her accident against her.

“Certainly.” Helios replied, “But don’t let strangers get in your way when you’re busy.” Maybe it was a little bit harsh, but hopefully he’d gain what he wanted from such a reply.

@Echo

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Aglaea looked up at the tall man in surprise, captivated by his height for a moment. Then, she frowned as he said not to let strangers get in her way. "I'm sorry. You aren't hurt, are you?" Her tone was slightly cool but she tried to control it. She was interested in this man. Not only was he handsome, but his answer was curious enough to get her interested. 

@Atrice

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The woman actually didn't look bad and she certainly seemed friendly enough - but such a trait was also very useful to a man like Helios, he could only hope that it would indeed be useful to know her, now that he planned to keep the conversation going. Gone was his thoughts about buying something for himself and present were thoughts of another contact and informant in Rome... and he could always use more of those. She looked up at him, a little surprised and then she apologized and hoped he wasn't hurt. Well wasn't she just nice? He could tell it just by looking at her. She was not made for a city like Rome. Much like Nymphias, who was too young and pure and unprepared for the dangers of the streets of Rome. But here they were. 

"Not hurt... only a little surprised at the accident." Helios replied to her and decided to try the thing with playing nice, "I hope you're not hurt either. At least you didn't drop your bundle." He gestured to the fabric she just bought, that she held in her arms.

@Echo 

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"Oh," she replied. "My apologies." She adjusted her grip on the bolt of fabric as he mentioned it and she smiled. "That is a good thing! It wasn't cheap. And, no, I'm not hurt, thank you for your concern." Aglaea was curious why the man was continuing the conversation, but she never minded making a new friend. And a handsome one at that! "My name is Aglaea, it's nice to meet you."

@Atrice Sorry it's kind of short ❤️

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She apologized again for surprising him, but then she gave him a sweet smile and continued commenting on the bundle of fabric in her arms, that she at least did not drop when she bumped into him. She said it wasn't cheap, which made him wonder just how wealthy her owner was. Taking a closer look at her, he noticed how her hair was nice looking and her clothes weren't worn or bad either. She wasn't wearing rags at all and she stood with a bundle of blue fabric in her arms. Blue! That was a color it was difficult to achieve in such a beautiful nuance of it. Her mistress or master had to be wealthy.

"Don't think about it." He said, when she thanked him for his concern and then she introduced herself, just like that. 

"I suppose it is nice to meet you too, Aglaea. My name is Helios. Do you need help with carrying your bundle?" He asked her curiously then, having decided to make the best out of this little incident. No matter whom her owner was, he was sure it would be useful to know more.

@Echo

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Aglaea dipped her head as he told her not to worry about it. He was quite friendly. Usually people in the marketplace were not friendly at all, and would even look down at her because of her heritage. But he didn't seem that way. She wondered if he was trustworthy. Then, he introduced himself as well and asked if she needed help carrying the bolt of fabric. "Oh, that's alright. But I wouldn't mind someone to walk with. I was just heading home."

@Atrice

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Helios could be very friendly if it would serve him a purpose - or if he liked someone, but the latter was rarer than the first. Aglaea here seemed nice enough, but he doubted anyone could actually make him doubt his agenda and doing what he did. Besides Nymphias. He almost felt bad doing to her what he did, but that also served a higher purpose, so he did it anyway. For now, he was friendly towards Aglaea here and even offering to carry her bundle of fabric that she just bought. But she said it was alright and then added she'd not mind walking home with him.

"I don't have anywhere better to be right now, so I can join you. Where is your home, by the way?" Helios asked, finally giving the woman a warm smile, "And really, I am sorry about my reaction just before... I didn't mean it." He added to her, hoping she'd buy that.

@Echo

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Aglaea smiled at him as they began to walk. "Well, when my mistress and I are in the city, we usually stay with her sister." She noticed his smile. It was pleasant, lit up his face in a nice way. Then he apologized for his reaction a moment ago and she waved a hand. "Don't mention it, it's alright." She walked a while without talking. "Where are you from?"

@Atrice

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She answered his question about where her home was, but she didn't share any names. Just that she had a mistress and they stayed with her sister, when they were in the city. Helios nodded, "That sounds nice, to have a family you can just stay with." He replied and had apologized for his reaction, but Aglaea said it was alright and then silence fell between them for a little while, as they just walked through Rome. Helios thought her mistress must be wealthy, since the slave bought blue fabric. He would have to find a name of sorts and see what else she would tell him. Then suddenly she spoke up, wondering where he came from.

"Depends on what you mean by that." He said with a little grin, "I was born in Britannia, but I don't remember so much. They took me here when I was still very young." He explained, he didn't really have any issues with sharing that and he tried to ignore the nightmares he sometimes had about the night their village was attacked. He pushed the thoughts aside, "What about you?" 

@Echo

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Aglaea inclined her head when he said that it must be nice to have a family to stay with. "In a way," she replied simply. Really, she was thinking about how to negotiate her freedom. Even if she saved up all of the money she was given in order to buy her freedom, she wondered whether Livia would let her go. She sometimes doubted she would ever walk away from Livia a free woman; no matter how loyal she was to her mistress, she struggled with the wish for freedom. 

Helios said that he was born in Britannia but that he didn't remember it. Aglaea had been a little older when she left Judea, but she was still a child and sometimes didn't remember what it was like, other than hot and sandy. She wasn't even sure she remembered what her family looked like. "I was born in Judea. My family was poor, so I was sold into slavery when I was young. I've lived in several places since then."

@Atrice

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What did it mean that it was nice to have a family to stay with... 'in a way'? Was she not entirely pleased with it? Oh he should tread carefully here, last time he met a slave who was none too pleased with her situation or her Dominus, he sold that story to said Dominus and the slave got angry with him. And she'd seemed so nice. Hopefully Aglaea would not be like that. Then she asked where he was from and he explained it and of course asked her the same. She was apparently from Judea and sold by her own family into slavery. It wasn't uncommon... but he still felt bad for anyone it happened to. Think, to have your own family sell you. It made him feel a little bit sorry for her, really.

"That sounds like it was rough... maybe especially in the beginning?" He said, "I hope you're at a good place now, at least. Who is your Dominus, maybe I know him?" He asked curiously then, it got the best of him and he had to know this. Besides, if she wondered why he thought he knew her master, he'd just explain where he lived and that he met many men in his line of work.

@Echo

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