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Early July 75 CE

It had been months since their previous encounter, and Clio felt a little bit bad about not visiting Valeria Flacca sooner. She had been so kind when she invited her, and so exciting and interesting as a woman who wrote poetry, it felt like a mistake not to take her up on her offer to visit, and talk about literature. Still, Clio was a little bit shy, especially around someone as formidable as Valeria, and it took her time to show up at her domus. Time, and things to share.

She had sent someone with a message, asking for a good time to visit. She knew the family would leave for the summer in a few days, and she felt like visiting before that happened; waiting until the fall would really have been too much, bordering on rude. So Clio showed up at the agreed time at the Rufus household, writing tablet and scrolls in a small carrying case, dressed in a nice, simple blue stola. She felt a little nervous, about bringing her own writing to show this time. Hopefully, her prospective mentor would be kind...

@Joaquin

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Setting aside her own travel preparations – namely packing enough costumes to decorate the Roman legions, Valeria had made certain the younger children were preoccupied one way or another while she had her guest, but Flacca was intended to arrive later for a brief introduction, though Valeria hadn’t yet made mention of that to Clio. As a writer, Valeria wanted Flacca to know and hopefully associate with a writer closer to her own age in hopes of lighting and cultivating that fire for writing in her own daughter. The day was humid and the heat almost suffocating and staying in the shadowy indoors offered very little solace, leaving Valeria to shoo slaves out from the gardens so that she could sit there with the gentle breeze and an arrangement of cooled drinks. Valeria herself was dressed in flowy summery garb and floral jewellery in an effort to stay away the temperature. Save for the distant dog bark or the far-off crooning of the cicadas, the inner gardens were relatively quiet.

Once Clio’s presence was known, Valeria had the young woman led into the gardens. Valeria was reclining comfortably and when she caught sight of Clio, she slightly rolled her body to greet the new arrival with an outreached her hand for her to take. “Oh, Clio, take my hand,” she greeted with a smile. “Unfortunately, I am far too comfortable to properly embrace you, but you must forgive me and have a seat yourself. What do you think of the gardens?” In Valeria’s opinion, it had changed far too much for her liking now since the earthquake and regardless of Clio’s answer, it would be an invitation for Valeria to voice her own thought.

 

@Chevi 

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Clio was led to the inner gardens of the household; some details still carried the signs of the earthquake, but the plush greenery was still impressive, even at the height of summer in Rome. Valeria greeted her while lounging in the shade, looking as elegant and effortless as she always did. Clio admired her for it.

“Oh, Clio, take my hand. Unfortunately, I am far too comfortable to properly embrace you, but you must forgive me and have a seat yourself. What do you think of the gardens?” 

"Thank you for having me" Clio smiled, taking Valeria's slender hand in her own for a moment, before she took a seat. "I... I think the gardens are lovely. I hope the earthquake didn't do too much damage?"

@Joaquin

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