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Late September, 74 AD
after Road to danger and Consequences

Everything was taken care of with the princess. Flavia Juliana had slaves ready to help Claudia and Cynane remained quiet, alert and resilient while Claudia was bathed and her blood-soaked dress removed. She didn't speak unless spoken to. She did not take her eyes off Claudia for one tiny instant. It was while Claudia was under her protection, that she could have been hurt… she could have been worse off than she was! She could have been violated or even killed, although the first would honestly have been worse for the princess than the latter. When you died, you died. Living through the aftermath of the other thing… was not something she wished upon the only Roman she truly cared about. Maybe even loved.

Now Claudia had been bathed and dressed in clean clothes and she had been given a room of her own to stay in while they were here. Aia and Decimus were elsewhere, while Decimus was being patched up and had to rest. Cynane followed Claudia, she would not leave her alone right now. Like a shewolf, she would guard her young with her life.

She watched how the last of the slaves left the room and finally she and Claudia were alone… to think and to talk, probably. They needed to, after this. Claudia would need it and Cynane would be there for her. But for now, Cynane remained standing near the doorway, so she could check anyone who might want to enter.

And she waited for Claudia to say something.

Just something.

Anything.

@Gothic

 

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Claudia felt an overwhelming sense of guilt and worry. She was safe and Juliana had been pacified yet the thought of any of them suffering because of her actions was difficult. Still, it was quite an exciting thing to experience. She walked silently towards the room she had been assigned with Cynane's footsteps behind her. Claudia did not wish to speak freely with Juliana's household slaves. She trusted her cousin yet... old habits died hard. 

Behind her she heard the twin doors close behind her. She exhaled and slumped, her arms wrapped around her and looked over towards Cynane. She reached out with her hand to gesture for Cynane to come closer. 

"Well, at least that part is over," She murmured with a half-smile. Next she would have to face the other members of her family and explain what had taken place yet again. Not to mention Volusa when she returned to the Domus Augustana. "Is it strange? I worry about how this will harm you three? Yet......" Claudia paused, reflected deeply and burst into a giggle. "Is it terrible to feel exhilarated and fired up?" Claudia asked with a grin. It was dangerous, certainly.

This must have been what the gladiators felt when they had a victory in the arena or a Legatus being victorious. 

@Atrice

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Cynane was fine… maybe she had a few bruises, but it wasn’t something she hadn’t tried before and she paid it little attention. She did not need to be patched up or anything and since she had not taken her eyes off Claudia since they got here, she had had no time to herself. She had more or less forgotten the blood she painted on her face when the fight was over and Claudia had been soaked in the bandit-leader’s blood. She was clean though, clean and beautiful and hopefully safe. Cynane would make sure she was.

The doors closed and Claudia exhaled and relaxed, embracing herself… Cynane felt for her, wanted to hold her close. Embrace her. But then she gestured for Cynane to come closer. She did, while Claudia spoke of how one part of it was over.

“Yes… no one will bother you anymore tonight.” Cynane promised her and Claudia said that she worried about her three companions being harmed because of this, but then she giggled and said she felt fired up. Cynane smiled.

“I don’t know if I’d call it terrible.” She said with a little grin, “I’d call it… normal? Because it is. You just survived something where you could have been hurt badly or even killed. But you lived. I’ve experienced it too, before, when I fought in the arena.” She explained, watching the princess closely. It was sweet, her reaction. She was an educated young woman in so many ways and in others, she still had much to learn. And Cynane would be there for her, whenever she needed it.

@Gothic

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Claudia smiled, pleased with Cynane's answer and had a nagging feeling that there were others in her retinue that would not agree with the statement. Her eyes met Cynane's, a warm look in her eyes and for a moment. Her gaze dipped down towards Cynane's lips before Claudia turned to recline on the lounge. While she had been in her cousin's home before, this was the first time she would be staying here and looked around at the room. Since they were in private, away from prying eyes and ears, it allowed a more free manner between them to take place. She gestured with her hand for Cynane to join her in sitting.

"Yes, although... not quite like you inside the arena," She answered with a smile. Claudia's enjoyment of the games was torn between the human lives, and yet, it was incredibly exciting to watch while not risking your own life. Claudia ran her hands over her wrists and reached out for some wine, poured it herself and took a mouthful. Too much at first. Swallowed and breathed excitedly. 

"Life at the Domus Augustana will certainly be much more boring now," Claudia added cheekily. Mischief in her eyes, and she knew that her dealings would need to be more discreet or perhaps they would become limited. Still, there was no harm in exaggeration and imagination. Was there? "Who knows? Perhaps I will need to do that on the road another time? What you taught me came in handy, and I am forever grateful to you." She answered, the latter part truthful. 

@Atrice

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Posted (edited)

She enjoyed seeing that pretty smile on Claudia’s face – and she should smile. She was safe now, she was alive and she was clean and beautiful. Not that it hadn’t suited her with all the blood, but she doubted many here would agree. Cynane didn’t really find the blood to be the attractive part though, but more the fact that Claudia looked like someone coming straight out of a battle. She was not surprised that Claudia felt a little elated now. Their eyes met and then Claudia sat and gestured that Cynane should join her.

So she did. Very much aware of how close they were then. And that she just saved Claudia’s life, possibly. If that did not prove loyalty to her mistress, she didn’t know what would. Claudia then spoke, said it still wasn’t quite like Cynane in the arena and then she poured wine to drink. Cynane watched her, “You’re probably right. It was a fight. But not like in the arena.” She said, before Claudia said that life would be more boring. It was good she seemed to relax now. She then said she was grateful for what Cynane taught her.

“It is certainly always good to have such skills. And you did so well… I’m proud of you.” Cynane said with a warm smile, “I knew you would do well though. You’ve always been very attentive during the lessons. If you ever need more…” She trailed off, it wasn’t her place to speak to her young mistress like this, but she would be there to teach Claudia anything she needed to know. Cynane had really spoken about the lessons in fighting, but again she thought about how inexperienced Claudia was in other matters. And she wanted to tell Claudia that she'd be here for anything Claudia needed from her, and not just because she was a slave. Instead she fell silent. Cynane was older, but she was indeed a slave. She could not allow herself to forget that, not even now.

@Gothic

Edited by Atrice

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