Jump to content
Aeterna Roma RPG

Recommended Posts

31st of August, 75AD

It had been 9 days since Charis gave birth to his son. Of course he knew it was a son. Tertius was quite anxious to see the boy, but in this household he was the Pater Familias and he was the one who would decide anything that would happen to the child. So he would do things properly, as you did, as tradition ordered. Which meant he would not see his slave-born son until 9 days after the birth. If the child still lived and appeared healthy, the slave would present the child to the head of the household and Tertius would either pick up the child – setting it free – or not, leaving it to be brought up as a slave. And he would name the child.

Now it was the 9th morning after the birth and today he would finally see his son. Hector had done everything in his power to distract Tertius the night before and he had done everything to attempt to make his master relax, but Tertius had still turned in the bed at night and he’d woken when he ought to sleep. Charis knew nothing of his plans. He had only told Teutus and he trusted that Teutus would not tell anyone.

He nudged Hector when he’d been awake long enough and the slave got up and fetched a basin of fresh water for Tertius. He also fetched a fresh tunica and anything else he knew Tertius would want and Hector did not utter a word. His body slave was probably displeased with the whole situation. He knew that Charis was on Tertius’ mind a lot. He’d been worried since she went into labor and had been happy to hear that both mother and son were alive and well after. The way he lost his wife after Antonia was born… he didn’t want to lose Charis the same way. And she wasn’t even his wife, but… he couldn’t help but wishing he would not lose her. Despite everything, she had to live and be here.

After he got dressed, he sent Hector out to set up a nice breakfast in the triclinium, for himself and for Charis – and then he found a seat in the atrium of the house, because that’s where he had imagined this ceremony would take place. In his hand he held a special amulet for the child. Honestly it didn’t have to be a big deal, when the child was born by a slave and not a wife, and he had not planned it to be. He had sent word to Livia Justinia, Secundus' wife, that a child had been born, but he had not formally invited them. He doubted they would come anyway. It could be a big ceremony, with guests and many family members present, but  in this case, with a slave-born child, it would just be the whole household present and Charis presenting the child and Tertius doing what he planned to do. And then it was done. After he’d been sitting there a little while, watching the slaves just do their jobs, he decided it was time and waved the nearest slave over… “Announce that Charis’ child can be presented to me now.” He told the slave, who hurried on to tell Charis and then anyone else at home at the moment, who would witness the ceremony of the newborn child.

It didn’t take long for Antonia to appear by his side, as the first and he gave her a smile and a hug, as she seemed very excited. He had of course informed her that Charis’ child was his, despite Charis not being his wife. He had explained to Antonia that he had been very fond of Charis, so fond of her that at least for a time, he had treated her almost like a wife (but not quite, of course). He didn’t know if Antonia had met her new brother. But he knew he looked forwards to it, no matter what. Slowly many of the house slaves appeared in or near the atrium. Would Teutus show up? He didn't know. All he could do now was wait for Charis and his newest son to appear.

@Sara

Edited by Atrice
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Charis grinned at the little boy, led on her legs, as she lay in her bed. He was awake - but in the way all newborns are - looking around without focusing on anything in particular, but it didn't stop her being enthralled. She dangled a strand of her long brunette hair over his face and thought she saw a smile which made her heart flutter. Without being told, she assumed, her roomates had decamped back to the slave dormitories after the first night of being kept awake by her little one screaming and squalling, and so she had been left to recover and bond in peace. And she'd done both well. She was still sore, and things were difficult (nobody had ever told her how difficult it was to nurse a child!) but she was feeling much more like herself...just...a tired version. 

She'd dressed well today, in that chiton which Tertius had bought her all those months before. She had been warned that today would be the day, the ninth since her son had entered the world after those two, nearly three, painful days of exhausting labour. She had wanted Tertius to see her as capable woman, who not only had given him a son - and a healthy one at that - but had thrived doing so. She'd attended the baths that morning in the domus, before everybody else had awoken and had braided her damp hair and then unbound the plaits so her hair fell in curled waves across her back. In the Roman style (not forgetting how many comments she had received on her barbarous hair!) she had braided a few strands and fastened them together at the back of her head with a wooden pin. When she was done, she had settled down on the bed with her boy and waited to be called. 

And the summons came soon enough. She tried to steel herself, and shushed her son as he mewled as she gathered him in her arms. Gingerly standing, she followed the boy through the domus, oddly unnerved at the quiet that followed her. As she made her way through his tablinum and to the atrium she could see why. Tertius was sat at the far end, the slaves glancing between them and then muttering to themselves. She saw Antonia next to her father, and offered the girl a warm smile. She couldn't see Teutus, but she'd understand if he wanted to keep to the shadows, given everything. She felt nerves bubble in her stomach and wished to the Gods that they'd give her a sign, any sign about what Tertius planned on doing. But nothing happened and as she drew nearer, she didn't know what to do. She stopped a few paces away, and awkwardly glanced around, holding the baby close to her chest. 

She glanced up and offered Tertius a smile, in genuine greeting, before averting her eyes and waiting for instruction. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

Edited by Sara
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Teutus didn't want to be here, would rather be anywhere in the city - in the Empire, even - than here, watching his father decide the status of his new son, Teutus' half-brother. Were there any justice at all, he'd condemn the child to live the life Teutus had endured, but he saw little chance of that happening, which meant that the baby Charis was carrying would supplant him and bring everything he had hoped and worked for crashing down around his ears. Antonia would no doubt be charmed by the baby, which Teutus wouldn't fault her for.

He would ask to move out of this house as soon as he could, and in the meantime, he would try to keep away from Charis and her baby.

 

@Atrice @Sara

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

How could he not smile when he saw Charis approaching with the bundle in her arms – and dressed in that very pretty, light blue chiton that he had given her. She wanted to give him a good impression, he understood that. And it worked. She was very beautiful and she’d even done her hair up in a Roman manner rather than her Briton style. Not that he didn’t like it when her hair wasn’t done up at all, but just hung down over her back and shoulders, long and thick and beautiful, like the rest of her.

And it suited her, becoming a mother. It was as if there was a softness to her that he had not noticed before, when she looked up at him with a nervous smile. Of course, she knew nothing about what was going to happen. Tertius knew though, and Teutus. And Tertius especially was very anxious to lay his eyes on the little boy in the bundle in her arms. She was waiting for instructions and Tertius stood, looking at her. She didn’t do anything though. Had no one told her what was usually done in this ceremony? That the slave was to place her child on the ground in front of her master and then see if he’d pick up the child or not. Although she should almost be able to guess he’d do it. Else he would not have done it like this, with the whole household present. He even saw Teutus, who seemed to prefer to blend in with the rest today. After their conversation the day after the child was born, things had been a little strange between them. Again. Why would Teutus not just... act like a proper son?

He looked at Charis now though and she didn't seem to know the next step, what to do, so Tertius would have to instruct her.

He inhaled a breath, “Place the child here, in front of me.” He gestured to the floor in front of him and waited.

@Sara @Sharpie

Edited by Atrice
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

She saw him smile. Good, her effort had not been wasted. But as silence settled amongst the group and he didn't say anything, she felt nerves begin to flutter in her chest. Why had nobody told her what to do? She supposed they might not know - since Teutus, as far as she was aware, no children had been  born into his house. She stood awkwardly and didn't dare raise her eyes, keeping them instead on her little boy who peered up at her, blinking and oblivious. She heard Tertius inhale a breath and steadied herself. He didn't sound impressed (shit) and quickly, she hurried a couple of paces forward to just in front of him. 

She left a gentle kiss on her sons forehead and then slowly bent down (not without a wince!) to place him at the foot of his father. How barbaric this seemed to her, how odd. Had this been in Britannia and under happier circumstances, the father of her child would have bounded in as soon as the cord was cut and taken his son in his arms. Here though her son lay on the cold mosaic of the atrium, waiting for his fate to be decided. 

She withdrew a couple of paces and kept her eyes on her son. She didn't want to look at Tertius, both because she knew she shouldn't - even as the mother of his child she was still just a slave, and because she was afraid of what she'd see in his eyes. What if he changed his mind? What if he would condemn her son, their son to slavery? Should that be the case she didn't think all the slaves in the domus could restrain her, or her fury. She stood quietly, waiting, biting her lip. Gods this was torturous. 

 

TAG: @Sharpie @Atrice

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Teutus had not taken the position that he probably should have by right as his father's son, but had stayed on the periphery. He stared hard at the bundle in Charis' arms - in any other circumstances at all, he would probably feel sorry for the child, but right now, all he wanted was for his father to look down at the child and turn and walk away, ignore it, condemn it to the same fate Teutus had been - the fate that it should be left to, as the child of a slave mother.

Even after the conversation he'd had with Tertius, he didn't think that his father really understood what it was going to mean for Teutus if his father took the baby up and claimed it as a freeborn son.

 

@Atrice @Sara

  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe no one had told Charis because they were still avoiding her and thinking she had a strange position with their owner. It had happened in the beginning, but he’d hoped they had adjusted by now. And there was a baby in the house now, so things were different this time. Rhoda could at least have told Charis what to do, but apparently, she hadn’t and Charis just stood there, until Tertius told her what to do.

Quietly she came closer to him and he watched her kiss her son’s forehead gently and sweetly and couldn’t help but feel a bit touched by the motion. Then she carefully placed the bundle in front of Tertius and he looked at it for a moment. He ignored the looks from his slaves and the curious smile he knew was on Antonia’s face. Then he crouched down and picked up the bundle with the small baby inside. Holding it carefully while he stood – he had not forgotten how – under its head and then resting the child on his arm, with the head in his elbow to keep it steady. He was awake, the little blue-eyed boy there. Most children had blue eyes. He knew it might change. Tertius studied the child, well-aware that just the fact that he picked him up set him free. He smiled at the baby there, looking up at him – how could he not? This was his son!

At last he lifted his eyes and looked out over the slaves and then at Charis, “This child was born to a slave, but he shall grow up as a free son of mine.” Tertius told her, and everyone else, “His name will be Peregrinus Quinctilius Varus.” He then added. He had thought long and hard about a name. He had considered naming the boy Publius, after his deceased eldest brother and his father. He had considered Britannicus, because the mother was from Britannia. He had considered Erebus, because it sounded a bit like Charis' former name, Erea. He had naturally also simply considered Tertius Minor. But Peregrinus felt right too. It meant wanderer.

“Now, before you all go…” Tertius then continued, still holding the baby in his arms and close to his body, “I have another announcement to tell you. A decision I made, for both of my younger children.” He looked at Antonia briefly, “My son Teutus will be their guardian if I should ever become… absent.” He paused to allow that to sink in with everyone, “Now, you can all continue as you were. Charis… join me in the triclinium.”

@Sara @Sharpie

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Charis felt her heart flutter and then drum against her ribs in a heard rhythm. She felt as if her chest was going to explode as Tertius considered the little bundle at his feet and then in one quick motion, crouched down to sweep up the little boy. She felt for a moment as if she might faint. But the moment passed and her mouth fell open ajar - was she dreaming? Had this really happened? For all his assurances and the progress they had made over the last few weeks, she didn't quite believe he'd do it. He was almost impossible to read, and that made it impossible to tell what he'd do. She glanced around at the slaves to make sure she wasn't seeing things or dreaming as tears came to her eyes; purely of relief. 

She was too emotional to even really register the name, although with time she'd grow to like it. She kept her eyes firmly on her son, wrapped in his blanket and cradled in his fathers arms. She only looked up at Tertius as he continued to speak and she felt her heart sink. What else could he do? For a brief, heart-stopping moment she thought he'd take it back, place her son back on the cold mosaic and leave him to his fate. But that was irrational and relief washed through her as he mentioned Teutus' name. She glanced around and saw him, a little apart from the rest. She felt her heart ache for him; what a maelstrom of emotions he must be feeling and she tried to give him a sincere look, as if to comfort him, although whether he saw her or cared for it was anybody guess. 

Dutifully, she followed behind Tertius as he moved to step away, telling her to join him in the triclinium. She was a few paces behind him and her eyes nervously fell to the edges of her boy's blanket when she managed to catch sight of it. She didn't really acknowledge the breakfast that was laid out and stood awkwardly apart from him as he moved into the room. Did she take a seat? Did she take her boy back? She swallowed. How was it that she could be the mother of a freeborn child, the son of a Senator, and still not be sure whether she could speak first to the boys father? Or whether she was even allowed to sit down?

Sick of the silence, and realising she should say something she managed to quietly say; "Th-thank you domine. For this. For him." She swallowed, feeling emotional all over again. 

 

TAG: @Sharpie @Atrice

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

So it was happening. Teutus' nightmare was reality, even though he had hoped that I wouldn't come to pass. He barely heard his father acknowledge him, confirming his place as the children's guardian if anything should happen to Tertius. He couldn't take any more and abruptly turned on his heel, walking away quickly and quietly, heading for the garden door and the streets beyond, needing to be alone with his pain.

 

@Atrice @Sara

  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tertius saw it and he was sure a lot of the other slaves saw it too. The way Teutus, who’d stayed in the back of the small crowd of slaves, just turned away and left the house. It couldn’t have been a surprise, what happened, and they had talked about it all, but he didn’t know Teutus would react so strongly to the ceremony. It worried him. He’d have to talk to his older son about this another time though. Right now, he had plans for the day and some of these plans included spending time with the mother of his newest child.

“He’s so cute!” Antonia said with a grin by his side, leaning in to see him, “Is he really my brother then?” She asked and Tertius nodded, “He is. And you’ll get to know him. But not right now.” Tertius told his daughter, who looked at Charis with a beaming smile, before she skipped away, excited after this whole ceremony and more than ready to get on with her own day. Tertius had however asked Charis to follow him and he led the way to the triclinium, holding his son in his arms. Carefully, naturally, like someone who had done it before, although it was now many years ago.

Once inside the triclinum, Tertius turned around to carefully sit down on one of the couches and Charis just stood there, looking at him. There was food on the table but Tertius also barely registered it. Charis broke the silence and thanked Tertius.

“Don’t think about it. But please, come and sit with me.” He said calmly, patted the space on the couch right next to him with his free hand, while the bundle rested on his other arm, so they would be sitting side by side once she sat down, “I’m glad it all went well. He looks… perfect. Here.” Tertius spoke casually, not like a master but simply as a father speaking to the mother of his son. He handed the bundle with his son back to Charis, “Small children need their mother the most, I know. What do you think of the name?”

@Sara @Sharpie

Edited by Atrice
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Charis did as she was bidden, still a little dazed by what had happened, and gently moved to sit on the couch next to him. Her eyes fell to her son, in the arms of his father. It seemed so natural, and she hadn't expected it to. She supposed Tertius had experience with children with Antonia - more experience than Charis herself had even, but it was still an odd sight to see him so doting. A smile fell on her lips and she nodded, "He is, he is perfect. The midwife said he's a good size, even though he was early." She commented lightly and held out her arms to retrieve him as Tertius held him aloft, their hands brushing for a moment as she manoeuvred the little boy into the crook of her arm.

"I like it." She glanced at him briefly and then averted her eyes back down. He might have invited her for breakfast, and she might have a freeborn son, but she was still a slave - mad though that might seem. "It suits him although..." She chuckled a little and rocked the boy a little as he gurgled sleepily, "I don't know what it means domine." Her grasp of Latin was good, she could speak in full sentences now and her vocabulary and knowledge of grammar had expanded significantly in the year and a half or so that she'd been in Rome, but it wasn't perfect. Many words still escaped her, her son's name included. 

She wanted to say something more, to impress her thanks again but held her tongue. This was a sweet moment - or as sweet as it could have been given their history - and she didn't wish to ruin it.

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It seemed so many years ago, since Antonia was this tiny, but he still remembered how to hold a baby right. Charis came to sit beside him, as he bid her, smiling and agreeing that their little boy was perfect. She explained that the midwife had also said the boy was a good size and Tertius nodded, “That’s good to know. Make sure you feed him often enough, so he stays a good size.” It would be terrible to have a son and then lose him again if he wasn’t fed well enough. But he was certain Charis would do it right and that he was already gaining weight.  

She took the baby when he handed it back to Charis, their hands brushing and he gave her a little smile. Wondering what she thought of the name. First she said she liked it, but then she looked down and Tertius smiled when she chuckled at their son’s little sounds and actions. Of course she didn’t know what the name meant though.

 “It means wanderer. He’s not a Briton, like you, but he was also not born by a Roman woman. He’s a bit of both. I thought it was a good name for him.” Tertius said and poured some wine for himself and looked at Charis, “Do you want anything to eat or drink? As far as I recall… mothers don’t always get to eat when they want, because the baby requires so much attention and always at inconvenient times. So you must do it when you have the opportunity.” Tertius said. He could easily hold Peregrinus while she ate if she wanted to. It was sweet, to see Charis with a child and knowing it was his child. He could not help but admire the sight of them.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"Wanderer." She repeated with a soft smile, looking down at her son's big blue eyes peeping out of the blanket he was swaddled in. "It suits him very well, domine."

She hoped he'd fit his name as he grew older; wandering away from the familial ties of Tertius and his awful family, and back to her people, back to his ancestral homelands. She knew a Roman-born boy would never be accepted, at least not easily, but times were apparently changing in Britain and who knew where they'd be in twenty or so years? Her people might be utterly romanised at that point and they may champion Peregrinus; a man of equal Briton and Roman blood. But that was not for now. Now she just wanted to enjoy every moment of his childhood. 

"Thank you domine," She smiled and gingerly reached for a piece of bread slathered in what appeared to be some sort of fruit paste, manoeuvring Peregrinus into the crook of her arm as she did so. "May I have some wine, domine?" She glanced up at him. How odd! Her asking him to pour her a drink! But she couldn't very well do so herself whilst holding the boy. "He sleeps well so far," Granted - it had only been nine days thus far, "But I hear they get more...quarrelsome as they grow up, and like to wake up at all times of the night." She chuckled, "I hope he doesn't keep you or Teutus or Antonia awake." 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

He smiled when she told him that she thought the name suited their son well. In fact she didn’t seem to hate it at all, which was good. It was his son, but she was still the mother and would probably spent most time with Peregrinus now, so it would be best if she liked the name. Then he had offered her something to eat or drink, while she had the chance. She reached out for a piece of bread with her free hand, already maneuvering the child in her arms with such ease. Charis asked for wine and he nodded.

 “Of course.” Tertius replied and poured something for her. It was true that she was the slave and ought to do it, but this was Tertius inviting and giving her lunch, not as his slave, but as the mother to his son. The only son he had that he could name his heir. He placed the cup where she could reach it and then she told hi about how their son slept well so far, but she’d heard babies could be quarrelsome. Tertius chuckled too.

 “I hear they are quarrelsome until they grow up and marry.” He replied with a grin and a wink, “I’m sure it’ll be fine. I don’t recall Antonia being that bad, when she was small. Hopefully Peregrinus will be easy too.” Tertius said and picked up a handful of dates to eat, “I really am glad it all went well. Even though it took very long. I think we were all worried.” Tertius said and seemed thoughtful, “I really hope you are fine too. So it won’t go… like it did with Antonia’s mother.”

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Charis inclined her head in thanks as she picked up the cup of wine, managing to manoeuvre Peregrinus into the crook of her other arm as she sipped it. It was good. During her pregnancy, Tertius had instructed Rhoda to give her bland food and limited wine - ever since that failed termination, and the woman had stuck with it. The sweet, heady taste of proper wine after so many months of beige, dull food and water made her smile. 

"I hope so." She managed to chuckle, although bit back any thoughts of him getting married. She had decades before that and who knew if her son would even still be here, under the thumb of his father, when such a question needed to be answered? She tried to squash such thoughts. She had to focus on the now, she was only a week and a bit postpartum, after all, the longer-term plans could come later. 

She glanced up at him though, as he continued to speak. There was something indefinable in his voice...genuine concern, she thought. She couldn't recall ever earring it before and she swallowed. "I...was worried to." She admitted with a grimace and set down her wine after another sip, and rearranging her son in her arms. "I was so tired and it hurt...more than they say." She managed a wan smile, "But the midwife has said I'm healthy and she's pleased..." She didn't know why; maybe it was the odd look in his eyes or the tone of his voice, but before she could think and stop herself she reached out a hand to lay on his shoulder for a moment in reassurance. "I'm fine, dominus." 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

He had wanted her to follow a particular diet while she was pregnant, because he did not wish to endanger his child a second time – that she’d risked the child’s life and her own once, was plenty. Now both she and the boy Peregrinus were both fine and he gave her the wine she asked for. Meanwhile she maneuvered the boy on her arm so she had one arm free to drink and eat with. He noticed how she smiled when she tasted the wine and they spoke briefly about how small children were like and how they’d be trouble until they married.

 Charis chuckled at his comments and then he told her how glad he was that everything went well and he hoped it wouldn’t go the way it did with his wife. She voiced that she was worried too and how she’d been tired and that it hurt so much, but now she was fine and healthy, according to the midwife. Tertius smiled and then she put a hand on his shoulder and he looked at her, met her eyes for a moment there while she said she was fine. It almost felt like a timeless moment, but then it was gone… or was it?

 “You can’t imagine how that also pleases me to hear. I know things… have changed, between us. Now however… we have this child. Things will change again.” Tertius said, thinking he hoped it would change for the better, but he didn’t say such words out loud.

 It felt kind of awkward, suddenly, he felt… so he decided to change the subject, “Should I hold him a while if you want a bite to eat?”

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

She met his eyes briefly, for a heartbeat of a moment, before she dropped them and gently withdrew her hand - looking back down at her son nestled on her lap. That things 'had changed' was an understatement and a half. In the year and a bit since she had been here she had gone from; ignored to reviled to bedded to ignored once again, and then to a favourite of the dominus, before going back to being hated and now...now she wasn't sure where she was. She was the mother of his son, but a slave nonetheless. They had started to rebuild their relationship after all that had happened but she was under no illusion that she was on shaky ground.

He had proved just how shaky their truce was this very morning. It had been a silly, vain little hope but a hope nonetheless that as he picked up her son, he would have done the ceremony for her as he did for Teutus and free her. It was such a silly thought but...after all they'd been through, after all she'd been through for him, she had harboured that vain hope that he'd recognise it. But here she still sat, a slave. She swallowed the lump in her throat and merely nodded as he finished speaking. Let's hope they change for the better

"Hmm?" She blinked up at him, a little lost in her own thoughts before nodding. She gently manoeuvred him so Tertius could pick him up. He felt so fragile still, even dozing contentedly as he was now. When Tertius had him, she leant forward to pick up what she thought was a honey cake. How amusing, she smiled to herself with a bitter twinge in her chest, this whole affair with Tertius had started a result of a honey cake with Cynane and now here she was breaking one to eat with her son a few inches away. Gods how things change. 

"I understand domina Antonia has been asking after her brother," She commented lightly as she broke off small pieces of the cake to eat, "I'm looking forward to introducing her to him, if you are happy with that of course." She suspected Antonia would be a doting big sister, but there was somebody else in the whole equation and she added after a moments hesitation, "And Teutus of course as well, if he wishes to meet him?" It was her own way of asking 'why did he leave so quickly?'

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Charis seemed to have drifted away in her thoughts for a few moments, but when he suggested he held the baby while she had something to eat, she agreed quietly. Tertius took the small child, nestling him carefully into his one arm, so he had the other arm free. Peregrinus was sleeping right now and seemed so peaceful. Tertius looked at him a little more, while Charis helped herself to some food and Tertius touched the soft and warm little cheek of his son. His son. Now a free son with a proper name to grow up with. He smiled by the thought.

 Then Charis interrupted the silence by mentioning Antonia and he looked up at her, “She is very curious about him, so feel free to let her meet her new brother. I’m sure she’ll be a very good big sister.” Tertius said with a smile to Charis, who then went on to mention Teutus. Tertius’ smile faded a little, as he thought about their conversation the day after Peregrinus was born and the way he left the ceremony today. And the way Teutus chose to stand among the slaves rather than with Tertius, when he picked up the newborn baby. It was hard. He had hoped that their relationship would improve, but Teutus was apparently too broken to even give it a chance. He’d rather leave the house and start over. And Tertius had no other option but to allow it, so he would not be disappointing his firstborn son... again.

 “I’m sure Teutus will meet him, once he is ready.” Tertius then said, “He’s… not… as thrilled about it all, as Antonia is. I’m sure he’ll come around, but give him some time.” At least he hoped so, but he honestly wasn’t so sure. If Teutus left the house, there was a chance they’d not see a lot of him after that. Teutus would be Peregrinus’ guardian, should anything happen to Tertius, but besides that, he wasn’t sure if Teutus wanted to have much to do with his brother.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

She watched Tertius' face as she mentioned Teutus. Ah. So it was as she was expecting. She had cherished his friendship and mourned it after their argument. But the last half a year, since the pregnancy and his freedom had taken its toll. He was no longer Teutus, her friend, with whom she could complain about their dominus. He was her master, and one who had a very real, and very understandable grievance against herself and her son. She swallowed the lump in her throat. 

"Of course dominus, I will give him all the time he needs." It wasn't as if she had much of a choice - if Teutus didn't wish to see her, or Peregrinus all he had to do was shoo her away, out of his sight and she'd have to follow suit. She hoped he'd come around, eventually, and felt an ache in her chest at the thought he may not. "I hope he is not angry at me," She said with a little sigh in the spirit of trying to be more open and honest with Tertius (which she hoped he would appreciate). "He was...a close friend, when he was a slave still...and of course I don't expect him to be my friend now, I'm still a slave of course and he is not but..." She didn't know where she was going with her sentence and stopped with a little sigh, picking up her wine again to sip. 

"But speaking of happier things, domine," She glanced across at him, "When he is a little older - I'm sure he would love to be introduced to your friends." She smiled and gestured down at her sleeping son in his fathers arms. "I know...some of my friends would like to see him." 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole thing with Teutus was so difficult – it always had been, somehow, and apparently it always would be. He didn’t think Teutus would come to care about his new brother the same way he cared about Antonia. No, things were different this time and Teutus was free, so he could move away. Tertius could order him to stay, but he would not do that. He wanted Teutus to see that Tertius was more than just a former master, he wanted to be a proper father to his firstborn son. But maybe he’d never be.

Charis said she’d give Teutus all the time he needed and she hoped Teutus was not angry with her and Tertius looked at her, “I don’t think it is you he’s angry at.” He simply replied and with his free arm picked up his drink, while Peregrinus was resting on the other. He was still so small. Tertius had almost forgotten newborn babies were this small.

 He listened while Charis spoke about her friendship with Teutus. Tertius knew about it. Hector had even promised he’d keep an eye on them, but after Teutus was freed, they did not seem to interact much at all. Tertius didn’t comment on her words – it seemed to be a subject neither of them really knew what to do about. Tertius wasn’t even sure how he felt about the friendship between Teutus and Charis. Perhaps a little bit of jealousy? They’d been friendlier with each other than any of them had ever been with him. Charis just wanted to please her master. Teutus had just wanted to do the same, before, and now he wanted his own life. Did any of them really want to be friendly with Tertius? 

Charis tried to brighten the mood by bringing their attention back to their son. Their son.

 “Of course he will need to be introduced.” Tertius replied, although now he thought about it, he didn’t even have a lot of close friends, did he? Gods, his thoughts were miserable, were they not? Good that Charis didn’t know them!

 Instead he went on with the subject she brought up, “Which friends do you have, that would see him… besides that Cynane, who was here for the birth? Maybe you should invite some of them to come here and see him?”

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Teutus might not be angry with her, at least not compared to Tertius, but she would bet her last as that the young man wouldn't wish to see her. After all, despite their friendship and awkward sometimes-flirtation over the last year and a bit, she had still given his father the son that had usurped his position. Whether he recognised the fact that she had absolutely no say in the matter, and indeed - had acted to both prevent and remove the problem via her botched abortion - remained to be seen. She hoped he would understand though, one day. This house would certainly be a lonelier place for her without him in it. Especially now her position had shifted again - she was still just a slave, but now she was the mother of a free citizen. It placed her at an odd point in the hierarchies of the house. 

"Cynane, yes...she was a great help and...I thank you for letting her be here." Charis wasn't sure she'd have been able to go through with it with as much strength and persistence without her best friends helping hands and soothing words. "But...I've made a few other friends. There is somebody called Aia, she is very kind, I met her in Britannia before..." Before I was enslaved, "And saw her at the baths not so long ago. It's a very small world." She laughed a little, "And there is the Gladiatrix, Thessala, who helped me when I got hurt that time, with the men who tried to steal my thing sand..." Gods above. Her life here had been a mess! She ventured further, "And I have a couple of others as well, who have helped me. One of them, he's a bodyguard for a fancy lady, so I'm sure he'd be very happy to help protect little Peregrinus." She'd tested the waters; let Tertius know she had friends, male friends as well. The ball was now firmly in his court. She held her breath to see his reaction.

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Eventually, Peregrinus would be introduced to society, because he was a free Roman citizen and his son and heir, now. But for now he was nothing but a baby and while he was being nursed by his mother, he would stay with her. When he was older, he’d of course have a proper education. He would learn everything that a proper, Roman boy should learn and he would surely grow up to be a handsome boy and man. With a mother as beautiful as Charis… how could he not turn out like that?

 Until he was grown though, Charis would take care of her son and he might allow her to introduce Peregrinus to her friends too. He suggested inviting them here, of course after asking which friends she had. Tertius didn’t know about them. Charis began talking then, thanking Tertius first for allowing Cynane to be here for the birth. Tertius nodded with a smile, glad that she was pleased with that – but knew it was his hand that made it happen. Then she spoke of her other friends. Aia from Britannia and the gladiatrix who saved her a while ago. Tertius might allow both to come, if they would, so he could meet them too. Charis then mentioned a male friend, a bodyguard who worked for a fancy lady. A bodyguard? He wondered what such a man had helped her with… but maybe they were indeed just friendly, too. It wasn't that he had ever forbidden her to stay true to him, but she was his anyway. Tertius felt oddly possessive over Charis. He did before too, but now she was the mother of his child, so now it meant more. It was deeper. It was something though, that she was so honest now, told him about all of her friends. He had to credit her for that. 

 “Everyone seems to rush to your aid here in Rome.” Tertius commented though, with a smile, “You can invite any of them to come here and meet our son. I am surprised to hear you know so many. Maybe Rome is not as bad as you first thought?” He said, eyeing her. Since she made so many friends here, it couldn’t be all bad. He knew she hated it to begin with, but hopefully, it was different now.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Charis felt a flush come to her cheeks at his comment. "I swear I was never this disaster prone before..." But in Rome? She'd been assaulted and mugged and met Thessala, gotten lost and met Cynane and in a similar fashion, Alexius...who knew where she'd meet her next friend? She was not as trusting as before though, and knew she just as quickly made enemies and friends - Helios for one. She smiled though, genuinely joyful as he agreed she could invite them here to meet their son. Their son. She had to shake herself every now and again and remind herself that the little bundle in his arms was as much him as it was her. More his, in fact, if the law had any standing at all.

"I've always made friends quickly," She said with a little smile and a shrug, "But no, it is not so bad." It was - but she wasn't going to admit that to him. She doubted he'd ever understood, not unless he somehow became enslaved. To lose all your family, and your rights in one fell swoop and be transported to somewhere where one barely spoke the language...she silenced such thoughts in her head. He wouldn't ever understand, no. 

Peregrinus stirred in his arms and she watched him as the boy sleepily opened his eyes. In the nine days since his birth she'd begun to understand (at least she thought she did!) what his different facial expressions and cries meant. He began to mewl, fairly quietly in his fathers arms but she knew it would likely turn into a cry unless something was done about it. She winced - noting that Peregrinus had ruined one of the most pleasant conversations she'd ever managed with Tertius. "I think he's hungry, apologies domine." She said quietly, wondering if Tertius knew anything at all about babies and what she meant. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tertius just smiled when she blushed and said she was never prone to disaster before. He didn’t know anything about that – he knew little, but not a lot, about her previous life and as he had told her over and over again, that life was gone and over. Focusing on that would not help make her new life here easier for her. It was better to leave the past in the past, for her. So he focused on the present, saying she could invite her friends here and pointed out that she’d made quite a few new friends, so maybe life wasn’t so bad here after all.

 Charis brushed over it quickly and he wasn’t sure she understood it. Why didn’t she at least try to focus on what was good in her life now, instead of what was not good? She just had a beautiful baby boy and she had made quite a few new friends here. And here she sat, with her son being free and she was enjoying food with her master. All that was surely not bad? Tertius’ attention was drawn away though, when his son began to stir and looked up at him. Tertius could not help but smile at the sight of a child’s eyes looking at him truly for the first time. His child. His son.

 Then he began to seem more uneasy and Charis said he was hungry.

 “No need to apologize for that.” Tertius said with a fond smile and handed the child over to its mother. Feeding him was not something Tertius could do, after all. Nursing and feeding your child was a natural thing, but he knew women felt differently about it and he didn’t know what he would feel watching it. He could not recall Antonia with her mother or her nurse back then, so maybe he’d not participated there either.

 “Do you want some privacy?” He asked, unsure of what would be best in this situation. He had to think about Peregrinus. And when it came to babies… their mother’s mood had to do a lot with their mood. He wanted Peregrinus to be happy. So Charis had to be comfortable too.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Charis quickly set down her cup and held out her hands to take back her son. He was so light, yet at the same time she couldn't quite believe that just over a week ago he was within her. It was the oddest thought, and as she brought him closer, a genuine smile stretched on her face and butterflies danced in her chest. He was hers, and he was perfect. So engrossed at looking at those sleepy blue eyes of her son, she barely heard Tertius. "Hmm?" She glanced up at him, and then put the pieces together in her mind and realised what he'd said. Had he...offered that?

She blinked, almost...embarrassed that he should have asked. Perhaps she would have preferred privacy, but back home - her proper home - nursing was considered the most natural thing in the world and she didn't mind. But it would surely add a new dimension to their relationship - but maybe that was for the better, so he would see her as the mother she now was. The mother of his child

Carefully, she manoeuvred him into one of her arms, resting his head on her palm as she managed to unfasten one of the clips that held up her chiton on her left side. Quickly she raised her son to her breast and after a brief few moments, and a panful gasp and wince, he managed to successfully latch on. She didn't enjoy nursing as much as she thought she would - it was painful and neither she nor Peregrinus seemed to get the hang of it most of the time, although mercifully this time it went smoothly. She pulled up the loose side of her chiton to cover her modesty and glanced back at Tertius with a nervous smile. "I'm sure it'll all get easier. I...always wanted to be a mother, and thought it would come naturally but...I suppose it takes time." 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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...