Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Attis' returned Sulpicius Rufus' grin with a level stare focussed on the other man's chin. 

"We survived one another, sir," he said. What the fuck more was there to say, after all. Attis was the one likely to come off the worst, of course. One of the many many disadvantages of being a slave. He wasn't about to praise Rufus to the skies, or damn him to Tartarus - certainly not aloud, anyway. 

But he suspected he'd riled the man and chalked it up as a win, at least for now.

@Sara @Liv

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

Longinus glanced between the pair. There seemed to be some hostility, but that wasn't unexpected given the fact that Attis rubbed people up the wrong way just with a glance. He considered, briefly, that it also meant they'd not fucked because if Titus had taken some pleasure from his returned body slave, he was unlikely to be so miserable with him presently. Interesting. He said nothing, however.

He mumbled to himself as he relaxed against the side of the pool, bringing his legs up to float out in front of him and nearly dropping his almost full cup of wine into the water in the process. He didn't glance at either, content in the silence as he listened to the rhythmic drip drip drip from somewhere. He was usually not somebody that enjoyed silences, and liked to fill them with chatter, but for now he was content to stew in his own misery sans conversation. If that irritated Titus and Attis then so be it, he hadn't invited either of them here and he didn't particularly wish for them to stay. This was his house and if they didn't like the miserable, sour man than found then they were welcome to take their horses and fuck off. He didn't realise, but as he was day dreaming the image of tossing them both out on their arses, a smile lit up on his face. 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

"Aptly put," Titus conceded with a nod before closing his eyes again and submerging himself entirely for a few seconds. Swimming in the river with eyes open was all very well, but hot water and saltwater made them prickle for some reason. When he resurfaced, his hair looked much the same as it did before going under, only more waterlogged. The exact opposite of Longinus' current cowlick - maybe Titus should have brought a tonsor too instead of just Attis.

He noticed his friend mumbling something to himself - probably nonsense, or something he didn't want him and Attis to hear, and made a point to call him out on it. "What's that? You know I can't hear too well." Being left to his own devices for the best part of a month had resulted in Longinus' current unkempt state, and Jupiter send a thunderbolt to strike him if Titus was going to let him take another month to approach a resemblance of a functioning man. Longinus smiled, though it didn't look as though he was aware he had done it, and Titus produced a wistful smile of his own. He would have liked to think his friend was silently thankful for the company, but something inside told him that was not the case. Longinus was probably reminiscing on what could have been and no longer was.

It was very odd, now that he thought about it, to be sitting - or floating - in silence with Longinus. It was a seldom occurrence that felt wrong. Unnatural. Silence did not suit Longinus any more than sullenness did. But Titus didn't know what to say to break it, so he just lazily examined the frescoes from afar until it grew too stifling and he saw himself pressed to make small talk.

"How come this house is nothing like yours in Rome?" It was very nice, no doubt about it, but there were no traces of Longinus' eclectic tastes anywhere.

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Attis withdrew to stand by the wall, a towel over his arm, his position echoed by the slave who'd come to attend Sulpicius Rufus. He had no further comment to make and had not had anything else addressed to him, and it was not a slave's place to insert himself into a conversation or draw attention to himself for no reason - whatever his failings might be, Attis had never pushed himself forward when his master was visiting, or when he had visitors. He kept his acerbic wit between his master and himself, as much as he could - and if Sulpicius Rufus thought Attis' current behaviour had anything to do with the two months Attis had spent in his house, he'd be dead wrong.

He entertained himself by beginning to count the tiles along the edge of the pool the free men were currently lounging in.

 

@Sara @Liv

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

He could sense Titus' dislike of the silence and it made him smile a little more. That Attis was silent was disconcerting, but then he supposed he never really paid attention to his body slave when in company. When it was just the two of them, on occasion he had a mind to fetch a muzzle for him to stop his bloody incessant talking. He jested. He'd missed it. 

At the question, he cracked an eye and peered at Titus and then around the room. "Oh." He commented before he shut his eyes again and rested (riskily) the wine cup on the edge before he proceeded to float on his back like a child in the water. Mercifully for Titus, should he be looking, he didn't quite manage it and his privates were concealed by the water. "I haven't done anything to it since it became mine. How old was I when my father died?" He called to Attis, and then frowned, trying to remember himself. "Twenty-two, maybe? So that's what...fourteen years ago." He shrugged and then cracked his eyes, peering up at the ceiling for a moment before he turned around and swam back towards the edge. He rested his forearms against it and sighed, "He was a grumpy shit, permanently morose." He chuckled, "And he deigned to decorate his villa to match his personality; all dull and cold. Antonia also added her own particular brand of rubbish to it." He reached to take a sip of his wine before setting it back down perilously close to the side. 

He glanced up at Attis with an arched brow. "You remember my father, don't you? Sullen and salty? Maybe it's just a latent trait, I've been happy and fun and now I'm filling my familial duty by being a miserable bastard for the rest of my life." 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Unusually - at least in Titus' admittedly and blessedly short experience -, Attis was also choosing to remain silent, perhaps in solidarity with his master. Not that Titus was complaining: there were surely many things to appreciate about Attis, even if he couldn't recall a single one at that moment, but the ability to reign in his tongue was not one of them.

He spied Longinus assuming a floating position, and briefly debated feigning a plunge on top of his friend before scrapping the idea; he would never be able to get out of the pool in time without Longinus catching up to his intentions. Plus, the pool wasn't deep enough to perform such daring manoeuvres without risk of permanent injury or even death, and if he hadn't died in Britannia or at the barbershop then he sure as Hades wasn't going to die in the bathhouse of Longinus' country villa. So he instead scooted over to the edge and half-sat there, underwater from the shoulders down and legs stretched out on the mosaics that covered the inside of the pool.

Fourteen years was a long time. Even if Longinus occasionally spent time at this villa, it did not sound like he had ever stayed long enough to do something about the furnishings. Perhaps his friend had never had any reason to pay attention to them until now. "Well, it's nice enough," Titus countered, unsure if it was wise to join in on the character dissection of Longinus' father, "just... a bit sterile, I'd say. Lacks the personality of your domus." He spoke in a neutral tone, for once not mocking his friend's taste openly nor in a roundabout way either. It was something that would draw the attention of anyone who had been to both houses and probably cause them to assume different people lived there.

"For what it's worth, I don't think you take after him," Titus added quietly during a lull in the conversation that was now directed at Attis, disregarding the fact that he had never met his friend's father. But sullen and salty were not traits Longinus possessed, at least not permanently. Titus hoped they came to give way to his usual easy laughter and boundless energy soon.

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

"It must have been about that, domine," Attis said quietly, with a slight stress on the word 'domine' - despite how he had addressed Sulpicius Rufus over the past two months, Cassius Longinus was his real master and the only one he would acknowledge as such.

"I don't think you could be miserable for the rest of your life, domine," he added. Longinus was like a cork; he'd bob back up eventually. He'd only be miserable for the rest of his life if 'the rest of his life' turned out to be incredibly short. "Your temperament isn't much like your father's."

He fell silent again. Longinus' expression was unreadable, but Rufus just looked thoughtful. And irritated, when he happened to glance in Attis' direction. Ah well; it wasn't as if Attis had to worry about annoying him any more. Hopefully, anyway.

If Longinus wanted to make his stamp on the villa, he could do worse than ship some of his souvenirs and mementoes from his military career up here, instead of having half of them stashed out of sight in some storeroom in the domus back in Rome. If he was bothered - right now, Attis could just feel the apathy rolling off him in waves.

He hoped the two of them would decide they wanted a massage before they were in the water so long that they turned into prunes - and maybe, just maybe, Attis could get a bath of his own before finding somewhere to sleep tonight. Once he'd settled his master down, anyway - and if that took getting him roaring drunk and leaving him to spill everything to an equally drunk Sulpicius Rufus, he would do that.

 

@Sara @Liv

Edited by Sharpie
Spelling!
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Longinus gave both men a side-eye that spoke volumes. His personality before all of this mess had largely remained unchanged since his teenage years; lots of laughter and boisterousness and a foolish amount of energy that rarely diminished and kept him taking odd hours. But he did have facets of seriousness. Nobody could be a legate without some degree of gravitas, even Longinus, and the night terrors (which had irritatingly worsened over the last month) meant he had the odd days where not even Attis could make him smile. Yet that was before. He'd been through plenty of hardships in his life thus far, and none had broken his spirit quite as badly as this. He didn't doubt that his friends saw this as a passing mood that would break within a month or two, but Longinus himself was unconvinced. What if something irreparable had happened to him? What if it didn't get better?

He mused in silence for a moment, bobbing in the water and face on his forearm - lent on the side of the pool. 

There were, however, some practical things his friends could help with which were grim to think about but offered slightly more hope than discussing his new temperament. He glanced up at Attis, "Write to Vitus. Some of Sestia's things were moved into my house before the wedding, I want them gone. Not to Cassia, not to my mother, but out of my house. Understood?" he arched a brow at his slave, no trace of amusement in his voice at all. He glanced sideways at Titus, "Do you think it's fine to ship my mother out here for the summer? I don't particularly want to go back to Rome and have her bending my ear about this new widow, or this new heiress." He snorted but again, without humour. He wanted his mother and her nagging gone, much as she'd hate it. 

He stifled a yawn with his forearm and added to neither in particular; "And feel free to daub over the graffiti of me fucking my now ex-betrothed, and instead write 'Sestia is a bitch' in nice big letters instead." She wasn't a bitch, and he regretted saying it. He loved her. He just hated that she had gone. 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Feeling rather at a loss, Titus sighed, stretched again and began to climb his way out of the pool. Any more soaking and he would resemble a dried fig. The slave that had taken his clothes earlier came trotting solicitously over with a fresh towel, and Titus hastily dried himself off before giving back the towel and looking round for body cleaning supplies. Longinus was free to stay in the water and conclude the prunifying process if he wanted to, but he would rather wait for his friend outside the pool.

Having located a pot of oil and a strigil, Titus picked them up and sat on one of the benches, keeping the overly attentive slave at bay with a stern look as he poured some olive oil into his hand and then rubbed it onto his skin. Hopefully Attis would be a dear and tell his fellow slave that Titus would not be requiring any extra nighttime service from him. It couldn't even be that it was his scars the man was curious about; Longinus had a fine collection of his own too. Being ogled at the public thermae was one thing - he did not expect it to happen at Longinus' very private bathhouse.

"I don't see why not," he replied, busying himself with running the strigil over his body. If the slave from before stared any harder, his eyes would pop out of their sockets; Titus was increasingly inclined to do like the Egyptians of old and shove the strigil up his nose. "Say you're concerned about her health and whatnot. Rome gets awfully hot in the summer, it's cooler here." As for the matter of the graffiti, he remained silent. It sounded more like it was Sestia's father that was the bitch, but it had not been nice of her either to just up and leave without first letting Longinus know. 

"You don't think your mother would have the sense not to nag you about that for the next few weeks?" Old matrons were supposed to be wise, but many of them defied the trope. From what Titus knew of Longinus' mother, she might be one such matron.

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

"Write to Vitus. Some of Sestia's things were moved into my house before the wedding, I want them gone. Not to Cassia, not to my mother, but out of my house. Understood?" 

Attis looked down at his master, floating on his stomach with his forearm on the edge of the small pool. The order had been as deadly serious as any life or death command he had heard his master issue as a Legate.

"Yes, domine," he said. He could say nothing else, and would ask whether his master wanted to seal the letter himself. (If not, if Attis could not use the master's own seal, he'd use a coin or something.)

He looked at his fellow slave, who had come to attend Sulpicius Rufus and seemed unwanted, and shook his head slightly before returning his attention to his own master. "Would you like a massage, domine?"

 

@Sara @Liv

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Longinus grumbled and narrowed his eyes in thought. He would usually have laughed about his mothers tendencies to overbear but he didn't feel a whit of humour now. "I'm not convinced she has any sense at all. My father balanced her out, now he's long gone all she has to focus her energies on is me." He shrugged. It would be different if he had any siblings; she could concentrate her attentions on a brother or a sister and leave him well enough alone to get on with being pater familias but as it was, she liked to interject at every corner of his live. 

At Attis' interruption he dragged his eyes to his body slave and murmured a sarcastic; "What a diligent slave you are." But made no move to leave the pool. Neither titus nor Attis deserved to be on the receiving end of his foul mood, but he couldn't help himself. Relucntantly though he dragged himself out and moved to sit on the bench next to Titus - waving a flippant hand at his body slave to get on with whatever he was planning to do. He had to admit his muscles ached, but he'd admit it only to himself. 

His jaw set in irritation and he was silent for another few long minutes, seething and contemplating; although he was largely seething at himself. When he did speak, it was directed at neither of them in particular. "I don't know how I'm going to show my face in Rome. Either I'm going to be the subject of much amusement or derision, or I'll get a dozen or so pity invites to dinner with smug married couples all petting my shoulder and murmuring there's somebody out there for everyone whilst trying to set me up with their hideous, irritating niece or daughter." He clicked his fingers for wine, which was almost instantly in his hand and he sipped it deeply. Gods above he needed to get out of this mood. 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Titus simply gave a contrite look in response to Longinus' comment on his mother, feeling anything he would have to say on the matter would only aggravate his friend. His experience was diametrically opposite: the youngest of three, by the time he had come into his own there was nothing his parents hadn't seen, heard or witnessed before. If anything, he could have done with a little more attention growing up, although he wasn't sure if he would have enjoyed being the target of a parent's suffocating focus the way Longinus seemed to be his mother's. 

Attis was awfully sensible today, making such reasonable suggestions. Perhaps the workout provided by the journey had refreshed his brain, or perhaps he wanted to prove to Longinus that he had learnt his lesson and did not need to be pawned off to unsuspecting friends anymore. Now that he was done with the strigil, Titus found himself very much fancying a massage to relieve sore muscles and do away with kinks and knots. There was, he contemplated, staring off at the fresco depicting the lovers, only one tiny thing to consider: submit himself to the ministrations of the decidedly curious and potentially handsy slave, or risk making Longinus' mood even darker by asking for another one?

In the end, he opted to put the whole before the needs of one, as was the way of the legion, and got into a more comfortable position after nodding to the slave that some of his attentions were desired after all. Unfortunately, Longinus was right: their ilk did not really account for mourning unless it was a formal relationship sanctioned by marriage or familial bonds. Certainly not when it had been nothing but an engagement, as mutable and easily dissolved as salt in water in the minds of many but with its intricacies known only to a select few, amongst which Titus now found himself. "It's callous, but if you put it down as money issues, you may succeed in scaring off a few eligible ladies or their guardians for them. Paint yourself like Crassus, if you will," Titus made to shrug, but was stopped by the slave's hand on his shoulder exerting surprising pressure. If the barb about 'smug married couples' was directed at him, he decided to ascribe it to heartache and ignore it; he hadn't come all this way to pick unnecessary fights.

"I mean, you could also shut yourself in and feign illness. Miasma fever1 or something. But the longer you stay here, the more rumours will flourish and tongues will speculate," he reasoned, eyes closed in pleasure at the slave's skilled touch. Turned out the man knew what to do with his hands.

@Sharpie @Sara

- malaria

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Jupiter's fucking cock! Attis was a slave, had been one his entire life - and his master had never felt the need to point it out to him before or belittle him for something that was an accident of birth. And regardless of the sarcastic tone, it stung, in an unexpected way that made Attis clench his teeth. He'd fuck off now and leave the two bastards to it without him - neither one of them seemed to want him around, particularly. He took a silent breath and picked up the bottle of oil, pouring some into his hands to begin giving Longinus a massage. If the two of them wanted to pretend he was as deaf as a doorpost and worth less attention than the benches they were sitting on, fine with him.

Fuck the pair of them. He could play deaf and ignore them and their conversation if they wanted, and just imagine the two of them amusing themselves together - who would end up winning a blow job from the other? Seeing either of them on his knees with his mouth full would be highly amusing right now - and it'd stop them needling him and one another, to boot. Like Attis gave a fucking shit either way; all his own friends were back in Rome and he wouldn't even be able to laugh at it with the stupid idiots Longinus kept here in his villa.

 

@Sara @Liv

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Longinus arched a brow at his friend as Attis began to massage him, oblivious to his body slave's displeasure. "I've got a horde of gold from Britannia and no siblings to try and buy into the Senate, I'm not convinced the money problem excuse'll fly." Besides, that would be humiliating. He was hardly an astute businessman (not that he technically should be, given Senators weren't allowed to be businessmen) but the vineyards he had and the stake in the mines in Britannia - all run through plebs and freedmen - were hardly turning him a profit. But he didn't need them to, he had more than enough for his odiously small family. 

Titus' suggestions for feigning illness were passable but he merely grunted in a sour response. No, he was no coward. Much as he'd hate to be the object of pity, he'd rather bare it through gritted teeth and a stern demeanour than suffer the chit chat behind his back about him running away because of a woman. He didn't verbally agree to come back, at least not overly, but his next words suggested that was obviously his plan. "I don't want your wife, or Aulus', foisting girls on me when I'm back in Rome. Nope. From here on in, no women." He shrugged and clicked his fingers for a drink which a dutiful house slave passed, "Or at least no noble women. A nice prostitute from the Venus, or some simple and pretty pleb for a mistress. That'll suit me from here on out. If I get desperate enough, I'll just adopt one of my clients sons or something." He shrugged. He wasn't thinking this through (obviously) but at that exact moment the thought of contemplating another marriage, let alone going through with one made him feel sick and emotional. 

He didn't need a noble woman; there were others he could have. And he always had Attis. Thinking of whom made him pause and he craned his neck around to glance behind him at the miserable bastard. "You're awfully quiet. What's the matter with you now?" 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Equally oblivious to Attis' sulking, Titus let his thoughts wander here and there as he focused his senses on the massage. If the slave hadn't been the gawking type, he might just have asked Longinus if he was willing to part with the man for an adequate price, but as it was, he would rather not suffer through the discomfort of being ogled even if it meant physical comfort afterwards. He could almost feel the background soreness of the trip leaving his muscles... until Longinus piped up with his grievances again. Titus opened his eyes only to roll them at this friend, closing them again a moment later. Fine, he come up with his own excuses then - or come clean.

"Duly noted," he grumbled back, feeling his patience dwindle. "No decent women, only those of ill repute or men. Understood." At least with the latter there would be no worrying about possible miscarriages. But were Longinus' clients good enough source material, though? Unable to keep himself from offering yet another suggestion, Titus blinked lazily and cast Longinus a half-hidden amused look. "If you're going down the adoption path, why not the younger Silanus? Better lineage than your clients and better connected, too. Wasn't his brother in Britannia with you?" 

The last line was a fortuitous spur of the moment question, but if it made Longinus go off on a tangent about that bloody wet island he seemed to love so much, Titus was willing to bet gold his friend's mood would be significantly better when the night was over. If Attis didn't ruin it with the uncharacteristic stillness that Titus had just come to notice. What cat had got the slave's tongue now?

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Attis breathed out in a sigh he made very sure to keep silent.  "At the risk of rousing my master's temper, I should like to point out that slaves don't usually insert themselves into their masters' conversations with said masters' guests and anything I've said so far today has been when I was expected to say something."

I know my place! Either you want me to join in, or you don't, and I wish you'd make up your bloody mind, or go take a long walk off a high cliff. The pair of you. I might get some bloody peace then!

Admittedly, pretty much the first thing he'd said had been from sheer exasperation (his own) and incredulity and lack of inspiration (Sulpicius Rufus') but he'd kept to the usual etiquette and expectations placed on slaves since: Don't speak unless spoken to - and Attis had never had a problem with that before. Right now, though, he couldn't seem to do a thing right, no matter what he did. He was tempted to shove Longinus back into the pool and leave him to sort himself out.

Half-tempted.

He wouldn't actually do it - he valued his skin! - but it made an extremely pleasant prospect to imagine doing so.

"If it's just the sex, domine, why bother spending money at the Venus when you can have a good time in bed for free?" Attis did not make a big deal of the question or what he meant by it - if Longinus couldn't figure out what Attis was referring to, he would officially give up on his master completely.

 

@Sara @Liv

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

Longinus glanced to his friend, a quizzical look on his face. Given that their friendship largely took the form of barbs and saltiness, he sometimes forgot Titus was a clever man with good ideas. It irritated him. "That's not half bad." He admitted with a grumble, "Lucius - his brother, my ex-Tribune, is a little...strapped for cash, shall we say, he might appreciate me taking a load off. Then again, Marcus is..." He winced and rolled his eyes, "Even less focused than I was at his age which is saying something." He didn't mention the fact that the adoption would also finally signal his failure to sire a son. Maybe he should just find a nice, quiet, pliable young girl, have a son on her and be done with it. She could spend time in the villa or they'd divorce and he could get on with his hermit life, safe in the knowledge his seed was passed on and he didn't have to deal with women ever again. 

He smirked in amusement, however, at Attis' addition to the conversation and retorted with an arched brow - although he didn't turn around to face his slave. "Because the last time I checked, you didn't have breasts and a cunt Attis." He now glanced over his shoulder and looked amused at his slave, although with a lingering glance that said he was warming to the idea of company later. Maybe. "Although who knows what Titus has done to you. Sadistic bastard might have done anything." He muttered, although without malice. And he was jesting. Years in Titus' company had revealed the man had no desire for a nice male bedmate, and preferred the sensual curves of a woman. Couldn't blame him, but Longinus was a firm believer that variety was the spice of life.

He waved a hand to dismiss Attis' hands from his shoulder and got up, bothering to wrap the towel around his waist. He didn't speak as he strode over to the plunge pool, dropped the towel and plunged himself in, coming up gasping for breath and shuddering a few moments later, "Bastard, bastard cold water...never bastard works..." He muttered and glared at Titus, "Get in here so we can then have dinner, and this night can be over." He grumbled. He was still in a foul mood, but feeling a touch better. He'd die before he admitted it though. 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

Not half-bad? It was quite possibly the ultimate solution to Longinus' parental problems! Lots of advantages, too: Silanus was already latrine-trained, hadn't become crippled or terribly disfigured by any diseases and had very traceable pedigree. It was not half-bad, indeed. It was very good. Still, recalling his earlier commitment to being more patient given his friend's distraught state, Titus opted to hum his agreement and affect a smug smile before adding two more asses. "Maybe he needs someone who's... been there... to help him find his focus?" Not like present-day Longinus possessed it in spades, but he should be able to put a young bachelor in his place.

A lovers' spat, that's what it was. To think the caustic Attis would be so offended at having his carnal offer refused by his master - whose argument was undefeatable, really. Even the most solicitous of slave couldn't grow parts belonging to the opposite sex overnight, or usually ever. From behind closed eyelids Titus chimed in with a perfectly flat tone, resigned to the fact that he wouldn't be able to enjoy the rest of his massage in silence. "I tore him a new arsehole with my monstrous cock but had him stitched up afterwards so it wouldn't interfere with your enjoyment. Might be why he's a bit off today." The hands on his shoulders stopped their motions all of a sudden and the masseur slave's breath hitched audibly, but before he had a chance to regain his composure Titus stood up in frustration and shooed him away with a forceful wave.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," he groaned back at Longinus as he made his way over to the pool and took a deep breath before hopping in. It was cold all right, and the sooner they got out the better. Maybe Attis - if he stopped sulking long enough - or one of the other slaves could fetch some heated towels for increased comfort. Shuddering, Titus looked at his friend with childish expectation. "Speaking of dinner, what are we having?"

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Attis was tempted to stick his tongue out at his master, but it was only a small temptation, easily squashed. It was a mercy, too, as Longinus chose that precise second to twist around to catch Attis' eye with a look that promised Attis would not be spending the entire night on the straw-stuffed pallet that no doubt awaited him outside his master's door.

He heard the hitch in his fellow slave's breath, followed by a frustrated sigh from Sulpicius Rufus, and caught the other slave's eye as the citizen stood up. The expression he gave his fellow slave negated Sulpicius Rufus' words - he hadn't been anywhere near the man's bed - as far as men were concerned, Titus Sulpicius Rufus was as celibate as any priest of Cybele.

He had no idea why the man though anything was 'off' with him - his hearing was working perfectly well, and everything else was absolutely hunky-dory, thank you very much.

There were towels waiting for the men when they finally emerged from the pool (Attis' master complained about the temperature of the water, precisely as he always did) but as far as any further conversation the two might have, Attis might as well be stone deaf. If there was anything 'off' about that, tough. He wasn't going to play that game - he wasn't in a position to come anything other than last in any sort of mental games Longinus and his friends might choose to play, and it would take a great deal before he started obeying merely the letter of his master's orders, though he was sorely tempted sometimes.

 

@Sara @Liv

Edited by Sharpie
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

Longinus shrugged and exited the pool with a groan, and a roll of his neck. He'd been working himself too hard (not for any meaningful reason besides, perhaps, a perverse enjoyment of the punishment of exercise) and he ached. "The usual slop." He commented to Titus and reached out for the towel from Attis. In truth, he'd not had much (or any) appetite over the last few weeks and only really nibbled on what was put in front of him, the quality of which was highly variable. 

He narrowed his eyes at Attis and deadpanned. "Do you want me to go to dinner in a towel?" Aka, where is my perfectly fine tunic? Probably being incinerated or scrubbed within an inch of its life, he didn't remember the last time he put on a fresh one. Several days now, surely. He glanced back at Titus with narrowed eyes and was about to speak but shut himself up. He didn't wish to inflame his friends easily riled temper, when truth be told, he did feel rejuvenated by the company. Loathed as he was to admit it. Instead, he busied himself tugging on a new tunic with Attis' help and running the towel up through his hair, which was in desperate need of a cut and fell far past his ears. 

"I'm surprised you didn't drag Aulus here as well." He commented dispassionately as he was done and left the towel in a crumpled heap on the floor, picking up his cup again and taking a deep sip of wine, "Or Valeria to mother me." 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Such enthusiasm. Granted, now that Titus thought about it, he didn't recall Longinus ever having been the gourmet type; nevertheless, it would have been nice to be a bit more hospitable. "And that is...? Let me guess, puls and hardtack," he ventured as he followed his friend out of the cold pool and into the warmer embrace of a towel. It did not take long for a nondescript yet clean tunic - doubtlessly fished out of the recesses of some chest or drawer - to materialise either, carried by the masseur slave. Even in a grumpy a mood as his master's, Attis still knew how to do the basics of his job.

There was just no winning with Longinus in this sort of mood. Titus gave a deep sigh, as if he were about to explain something for the hundredth time, and stared pointedly at his friend with tired eyes as he took the tunic from the slave's hand and began to put it on. "Why, maybe I should have since you've welcomed me so well and have only said, like, five times that you don't want anyone pitying you or trying to find you a replacement bride." Perhaps his words were a little too harsh, but it was about time Longinus stopped being all woe-is-me. To punctuate his evaporating tolerance, Titus quickly grabbed the towel he had handed to the slave, rolled it up into a sausagey form and gave Longinus a light thwack on the shoulder with it, before dropping the towel and leaving it for the slave to pick up.

"Had I known you were so keen on having company, I would have brought your mother too instead of just Attis here." He folded his arms over his chest defensively, waiting for his friend to lead the way to the triclinium. This whole 'cheer Longinus up' mission might yet end up with a fistfight with the way things were going, if Longinus didn't drink himself to unconsciousness first - clearly the less damaging choice in more ways than one where their friendship was concerned.

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

"Do you want me to go to dinner in a towel?"

"Of course not, domine," Attis replied levelly, focussing his eyes on his master's chin (Jupiter! When had he last had a proper shave?!) before reaching for the tunic that had been brought in (along with one of Sulpicius Rufus') while the two men had been bathing.

He helped his master scramble into the garment, although Longinus was a grown adult and ought to be capable of getting dressed on his own by now. He buckled the man's belt around his waist and was unsurprised to find that he'd left his towel in a heap on the floor. Just like a two-year-old... He mentally revised his master's age down by about three decades - Sulpicius Rufus' age, too, as he bent to pick the second towel up, shaking them out and folding them neatly before laying them on a nearby bench.

He silently raised an eyebrow at Rufus' comment; he was far better at mothering Longinus than the man's own nag of a mother was (well, that's what came of being a senatorial brat rather than a plebian one, he supposed. Patrician women weren't particularly famed for being motherly sorts). If Sulpicius Rufus thought that was anyway to cheer is friend up, Attis was going to disappear into the slave quarters and go inexplicably deaf until the row was over and the tidy-up crew were needed.

 

@Sara @Liv

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

Longinus flexed his hand, sorely tempted to smash Titus right in his smug mouth at the thwack of the towel. He barely stopped himself and instead rounded on him with a glare. "If you're going to take that tone, the slop will be what we feed to the pigs. And please never threaten me with my mother again." He said though gritted teeth and jerked his head for the men to follow him to the triclinium. 

Predictably, the useless slaves he had here at the villa (his domus slaves far superior) were scrambling trying to get everything ready and set out. Longinus waved an irritated hand to them to stop their fussing and collapsed down onto a couch. He set down the cup he was holding for it to be refilled on the table and managed a glower up in Titus' general direction. He had been feeling brighter for a moment or two, but Titus' harsh words had soured him again and he could feel the tension ripple through his body. He needed to go for a run or something, to shake it off. Or smash something. 

He sat stewing in silence for a moment, jaw grit and glower firmly set on his friend. The gentle, oh so obvious cough from a slave to signal the food was ready (food which Longinus couldn't actually distinguish when it was laid on the table) distracted him and he mumbled his thanks. He spoke to Titus, although didn't look at him as he prodded the unknown things laid out; "Go on then, cheer me up. What's been happening in Rome?" 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

At the rate things were going, Longinus would not be a merry drunk even if Titus spiked his wine with poppy. He was justified in it, yes, but he couldn't hold on to his sadness forever like a bloody poet - there was only space for one of those in Titus' life and it was already filled. Attis didn't seem impressed either, his sour expression (or as sour as a slave would dare to display) belying some sort of beef with Longinus' mother. What was it with the lady in question that so irritated the men in the household, free and enslaved alike? Scratching his head as he followed after his friend, Titus sighed. "Apologies, it was rude of me," he said, knowing deep down he would do the exact same thing all over again. What happened to the Longinus who could take a joke and when would this grumpy morose man be returning him?

He took the couch opposite Longinus, making his best effort to ignore the seething look directed at him for fear of initiating target practice with a cup and his friend's nose. The food eventually came, its nondescript appearance leading Titus to believe it was some sort of stew, and although his hunger wasn't deterred by the unappetising visuals, etiquette made him wait for his reluctant host to stop poking his food like a little child and start eating before Titus did so himself. "Oh, not much. I think my body slave and the gardener have the hots for each other." He stole a quick glance Attis' way, wondering if the body slave also was under the same impression. "There's also talk of a gladiatrix with three cocks, however that might be possible. You know nothing every really happens this time of the year. It's too hot."

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, Apollo, was there nobody in this whole villa who could actually do the jobs they had been bought for? Attis gave the food a despairing look, it was nothing like the sort of quality the two senators should be served. 

You only think they have the hots for each other. Some of us know they do, Attis thought, returning Sulpicius Rufus' look with a level on of his own before returning his gaze to the constipated expression on the face of the lion being killed by Hercules on the wall opposite.

Apparently Sulpicius Rufus had missed the rude bit of graffiti speculating that he and Longinus treated one another to blowjobs. Or the bit wondering if Longinus ever shared his body slave out (not that Sulpicius Rufus would care if he did!)

@Sara @Liv

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...