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Early October, 75 AD

 Wulfric had agreed to meet again with the lovely Aglaea, who was slave to his uncle Secundus, whom he had not yet met. He hadn’t even met his father yet, but Aglaea knew him too and he found it very useful to have found someone, whom he was not related to, but who could provide him with useful information. On top of that, Aglaea was very sweet and friendly and he had enjoyed talking to her. Plus she seemed to need someone to talk to and she needed help with her situation. Wulfric had felt sympathy with her and he was more than ready to help her, whether she said she wanted his help or not. He would be the friend she needed. Really this was a win for both of them.

 So a week later, he found himself entering a place called the Gardens of Sullust for the first time. Aglaea had sent word to him via a messenger, where they were supposed to meet and he walked around, trying to find the right place. It was still somewhat warm, but some leaves had begun to change color and he found that he liked the gardens because of the amount of greenery here. Rome, to him, mostly consisted of stone, marble and people. There was not a lot of green and it was nothing like Germania in that sense, where the majority of the land was forests, fields and meadows. Rome had its own charm of course, if you looked at things individually.

 He tried that too, while searching for the right fountain Aglaea had said they’d meet by. He found a very pretty one, there were no other people near and he thought it was the right one. Then he leaned against the edge of the basin, enjoying the warmth of the sun and waited for Aglaea to show up as planned.

@Echo

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Leaving the home of Secundus Quinctilius Varus was like breathing for the first time. Each time she left the domus, Aglaea felt a weight lift from her chest, ever so slightly, so that she could breathe freely again. But of course, the weight threatened constantly to return whenever she thought of the months she would be spending in the villa, sequestered, only for it to end in her acting as though her child had come and passed away, and the child that had suddenly appeared in the house was Livia's. Since she had met Wulfric, that kind and handsome stranger who was somehow connected to her master's family, a small light had appeared in Aglaea's heart, like a weak ember struggling to survive. The hope that he could help alleviate some of her suffering by visiting her master, and, by extension, her, was one of a precious few things keeping her going. And while she didn't fan the small ember of hope into a flame, it helped her through the particularly dark moments. 

Today, her heart was light as she exited the house under the pretense of running errands for her mistress. Livia, to her credit, had given her some much-needed space in the hours and days after the day Aglaea had spilled her secrets, and Aglaea was thankful for her. Aglaea did not appear pregnant yet, but the other symptoms of an early pregnancy were there - she had been sick every morning since the morning she'd found out, particularly, and she felt that she grew tired more easily. She smiled softly to herself as she made her way into the garden for that reason, ready to sit and talk with her new friend for a while. Soon enough, she came to the fountain she had instructed him to meet her at and saw that he had beaten her there. "Wulfric," she said warmly, approaching him with a soft smile. "Thank you for coming. It is wonderful to see you again."

@Atrice

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Wulfric could only hope that he had found the right fountain – and that Aglaea would show up. He hoped that her unkind master, his own uncle, wouldn’t keep her locked up, although with what she told so far about him, Wulfric kind of feared what the man would do. But hopefully she would show up. He wanted to befriend her, she was sweet and kind and pretty and she clearly needed someone like Wulfric in her life. He was far too compassionate to just forget about her and her story.

 Maybe it was the wrong fountain? The sun had moved a bit while he sat here and he felt he ought to find shade, or his skin might burn. It had happened a few times before, he wasn’t so used to the constant warmth and sunshine here in Rome. Or, his body wasn’t. He had been here a few months now and he was slowly getting used to the place and its people. And there was one of them! He smiled when she suddenly appeared and approached him. She was smiling softly too and he stood from where he’d leaned to the fountain and greeted her with a nod of his head.

 “Of course I come, Ag-laea. I am glad seeing you too.” He said, “How are you? Well, I hope.”

@Echo

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It was hard to make out his face at first, but, shading her eyes, she saw that this was the man she had come to see and was relieved. She had half-feared that he would run as far away from her and his crazy family as he could get, all the way back to Germania, perhaps. But it seemed that, as much as he was Secundus's relative, he had some other blood running through him. He was brave enough to stick around, for whatever reason. But she decided she didn't care what the reason was - she was just happy to have someone to speak to and get her mind off of her life for a while. 

He stood as she approached and said he was glad to see her. Then he asked how she was. "I am well," she said simply, signifying that nothing much had changed in her position since they had last seen one another. "But hot," she amended with an amused chuckle. "Perhaps we should move into the shade?" Around the perimeter of the fountain were a few benches sitting in the shade of tall trees. Aglaea led the way to one of these and sat down. "Thank you for coming, Wulfric. I hope you are well?"

@Atrice

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Wulfric definitely had other blood running through him than just Roman blood – he had proud blood from the North and he wasn’t some nobody either. On the other hand, he did enjoy trying to solve problems with words rather than swords, although he would if he had to, of course. Sometimes some people just could not be talked to. That was not the case with sweet Aglaea though, who seemed happy to see him and told him that she was well. Wulfric nodded and then she stated that she was hot, chuckling and wanting to go into the shade.

 “Of course, if you want. I need shade also, I think. Or else sun will burn me.” Wulfric said to her and followed her to the benches nearby. He waited for her to take a seat and then sat next to her, glad to get out of the sun and with someone likable too. He paid her attention when she spoke again, she thanked him for coming once more and hoped he was well too.

 “I am well, thank you…” Wulfric said, “You should teach me to say your name right. I feel I say wrong. I need learn how to say words right. I do not wish to… offend?” He wanted to be her friend and he felt she deserved that he spoke her name right. And that he treated her right. And you didn’t treat someone right by not saying their name right, when you had the opportunity to do so. If you could be more hospitable towards someone kind, you should be. That's how he was raised.

@Echo

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Wulfric certainly wasn't as swarthy as Secundus - he was somewhat paler than the average Roman, and therefore more sensitive to the sun. Perhaps it was his German blood that made him brave enough to stick around. "We can't have that, can we?" she said in amusement as he said he didn't want his skin to be burned by the sun. Aglaea did thank her heritage for blessing her with a good resistance to the sun; how else would her ancestors have survived their forty years in the desert? She sat comfortably on the bench and smiled as he said he was well. 

He also said that he did not want to offend her by saying her name incorrectly. She patted his hand reassuringly. "You don't offend me, Wulfric. But I will teach you all the same." She smiled. "My name is A-glaea," she said slowly, being sure to pronounce it very carefully. She had almost considered giving him her birth name, but he was so new to her that she didn't feel ready to share that part of herself yet. "It is Greek. Am I saying your name correctly?"

@Atrice

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Somehow, Wulfric's mother - and the man he grew up thinking as his father - had managed to raise a rather polite and friendly man. Sure he knew how to fight, well enough too, but for the right causes also. And he knew how to be polite to others. Even people from Germania had manners. Aglaea had too, he followed her to the shade while she agreed they could not let the sun burn his skin. Not that the sun was never shining where he came from, but it was like it was much warmer and much more burning here, than in Germania to the North. Once they sat down, he wanted to learn to say her name right and she touched his hand, saying she had not been offended. Then she told him her name again, this time slowly.

"A-glaea." He said, trying to make the a-sound harder than before. But it had to be more smooth, surely? "Aglaea... is that right?" He asked with a smile and then she told him her name was Greek and wondered about his name, "Yes, you say fine. My name... Chatti name, of course." He said with a grin, "Means powerful wolf." He added, just in case she would know, since they were sharing things about each other and their names. They were meeting for another reason though - she wanted to prepare him to meet his family.

"Can you tell more about Varus family? You know things about Tertius? Has he other children?"

@Echo 

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"Very well done, Wulfric," she said with a smile. It was a small thing, getting to know the names of other people, but it had a way of setting the mood and establishing a camaraderie. Wulfric confirmed that she was saying his name correctly and then added that it meant 'powerful wolf.' She chuckled a little at that. "Then you are aptly named. I was named after a goddess in the Roman pantheon." 

It seemed Wulfric was eager to get down to business and Aglaea was willing to oblige. After all, the whole point of his journey to Rome had been to find his father. Aglaea felt a little selfish urge to keep the information from him, because somehow she feared that he would leave after getting the information out of her that he needed. But then she felt that he had more to him than that, more honor. "Yes, Tertius has a daughter. A... legitimate daughter," she added. "Antonia. And he had a son with a slave, but he is a freedman now - Teutus." She didn't bring up Charis's baby yet, though - she was sure they would get to it eventually. 

@Atrice

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Wulfric was glad that he managed to say her name right - he really needed to learn everything here in Rome, with their strange names and ways to act. Their odd etiquette, it was so different from Germania and his own tribe. Not that he hadn't known Romans before, there were settlements, but being in Rome and being the foreigner was something else. He informed Aglaea that she spoke his name right and since she told him a bit about her name, he also shared a bit about his. And he couldn't help but feel a bit... oddly shy? When she said that he was aptly named. She was very kind, "Thank you. Aglaea pretty name too." He replied with a smile, and then he went on to ask about his family.

She told him that his father had a legitimately born daughter called Antonia and a son born by a slave, who was free now. And his name was Teutus. Wulfric arched a brow, he recognized a part of the name the Romans had given the area, in which they were defeated by the German tribes, the Chatti being one of them. And it was Wulfric's ancestor who was defeated, was it not? Since his father also bore the name Varus, just like the general back then. Right, back to business.

"So I have two siblings. Good to know. He has wife now? I hope she kind." Since Aglaea mentioned a legitimate daughter, there might be a wife too. He had to be prepared for that.

@Echo

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Aglaea was sure that Wulfric would come across stranger names than hers during his time in Rome. There were, after all, plenty of slaves named by uninspired masters, foreigners from distant lands. Even his name was odd, but she had heard stranger among the Britons and Germans she'd met. "Thank you," she said, a tiny flutter in her stomach telling her that she was flattered and perhaps a bit shy as well. 

She pursed her lips slightly as he said he had two siblings. "Well, actually, I left one out. You have three - one of his slaves just recently gave birth to a son." He might as well know, since when he went to visit Tertius, he would surely see the babe. "He is unmarried now, and by all accounts has little interest in finding a new one. That's what I've heard, anyway." Too busy taking his slaves to bed to think about taking a citizen. Ever since Aglaea had met Charis and learned her story, she had found Tertius a bit disgusting, on the same level as her own master. 

@Atrice

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She thanked him kindly for his compliment about her name. It was a very foreign name to him, but beautiful nonetheless and now he knew how to pronounce it, he could feel how it almost floated across the tongue. It suited her well; he didn't know what it meant, but it was very pretty indeed. He wasted little time though, asking about his father and Aglaea had explained about his two siblings. A son he had by a slave, but who was now free and then a daughter born legitimately. Which had to mean he had a wife. Aglaea then revealed he had a third sibling here... since his father recently had another child, also by a son. Wulfric couldn't hide the odd surprised look on his face. So two sons he had with slaves. One son born beyond the Rhine. And then one child born within marriage, but it was a girl. What in the name of the gods had his father been doing?

Aglaea said more though - his father was not married right now and he didn't want another wife. Wulfric nodded, thoughtful now. 

"So three siblings. But no sons with wife." He repeated, mostly to himself. What did it mean? Did that mean he could claim to be his father's heir too? Heir to the Varus name? At least he was not born to a slave like the other two. It was kind of messed up even without adding Wulfric to it all.

"Thank you, Aglaea. It all good to know." Wulfric said and decided he'd mull more over all this when he was alone. He wondered what else Aglaea could tell him about his father, that would be useful, but his father was not her master. Pity that she had a master at all and that he had made her with child. Was that a common thing in the family? Having kids with slaves? 

"I have lot to think about." He then told her, but gave a smile, "I will think later. Now I am with you. Tell me... about you? I am interested in knowing you." And he was. So much he would even try and save her from the life she led right now... if he could.

@Echo

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Wulfric's birth status as compared to that of his half-siblings did present an interesting conundrum. He might have some claim to being Tertius's heir, but Aglaea wasn't sure how the legal procedures worked in such a situation. And in any case, who was to say that was what Wulfric wanted? To go from being a prince of his tribe and potentially a king, to being a simple senator in Rome? She wondered what he would choose in the end. He thanked her, though, for telling him about his siblings and said that he would think about it later. 

Then he wanted to know about her and she blinked at him with a slightly bemused smile. "Me? Well, there's not much to know," she said with a chuckle. "I have been a slave for most of my life, since I was seven years old. I've been with my current mistress for fourteen years now. I come from a land far away but I don't remember it all that much." 

@Atrice

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It really did sound incredible to him, that his father had managed to produce three sons and just one daughter. And the only child born to a wife was the daughter. Maybe Tertius had other kids elsewhere, also by other women? Who knew if Wulfric had more siblings somewhere? It was interesting and something to think about. But he would save such thoughts for later. For now, he decided to turn the conversation to something more relaxed and save the questions about his uncle a little bit. Aglaea smiled, claiming she did not have much to tell about herself, when he asked her. But then she shared it anyway - that she'd been a slave most of her life and she had been with the same mistress for fourteen years. That was a long time! 

"That young age, to be slave, when born free. But I know it happens." Poor people would even sometimes sell their children - maybe that's what happened to Aglaea? She didn't seem to miss anything right now though, perhaps other than freedom from her master, who put a child in her. He couldn't help but think about that, because Aglaea told him and he hated to think that she was pregnant against her will. And that his uncle would take the child and pretend it wasn't hers at all. He had planned to relax right now, talk about something else, but he couldn't stop himself.

"Does mistress know about Secundus plan with child? To make seem hers?" Maybe he could speak to her, convince her that the child did not deserve to grow up with a cruel master, which was what he'd understood his uncle was. Secundus was family, of course, but you didn't get to choose such things. You could choose who to support though.

@Echo

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Tertius had certainly left a trail of children throughout his travels, it seemed. Aglaea wouldn't have been surprised if it had turned out that he had children in every province in which he had served. But maybe Wulfric was the oldest and Aglaea's curious mind wondered how the legality would work, since Wulfric was not a Roman citizen. The man commented on her age when she had become a slave and she smiled, perhaps somewhat bitterly. "Yes, I was young. Though I have to wonder what my life would have been, had I not been sold into slavery. Perhaps better. Perhaps far worse."

Aglaea's expression was truly bitter, however, when his next question came. Yes, Livia knew, and the two had barely exchanged more than the most formal of words throughout the days that had passed since she had found out. Aglaea wished desperately to speak candidly with Livia, but they hadn't been alone, not truly, and especially not in a house where the walls had ears. "Yes, she knows... that is what is most difficult, I think. She barely objected when... when she found out." Her mouth twisted as though she was in pain and she rubbed her belly in an unconscious motion, though there would be no flutterings yet. It was too early for that. "I think she is jealous of me... how could she be, though? Knowing I didn't want this?" Her voice broke at the end and she stopped, breathing unsteadily. 

@Atrice

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Wulfric felt sorry for Aglaea for being a slave, although she did not seem too worried about it herself - apart from her master, his uncle, of course. But besides that, she seemed to have accepted it. Maybe because she had been so young when it began. She confirmed that she had been quite young, and wondered what her life would have been like, if she had not been sold into slavery. So her parents did sell her? Gods, it must be horrible... both for her, to have her parents, those that were supposed to love and care for you, just sell her. And it must have been horrible for them too. Yet of course Aglaea didn't know if her life would have been good or bad, if she had not been sold.

"Perhaps... there is no way to know." Wulfric said. On his travels to Rome he had wondered what it would have been like, if his real father had been there when he grew up. If it hadn't been Wulfstan, but Tertius. And he'd not even met the man yet. But it would have been different, that's for sure. Roman men seemed to value some things differently than his own people. Differently than Wulfric anyway.

Next he wondered if Aglaea's mistress, that she had been with for long, knew about the pregnancy and the plans. She seemed unhappy when she replied. The mistress did know and barely objected to the plan. Wulfric felt bad for asking her now, because it did seem difficult to her and when her voice broke and she was breathing so unsteadily, he put an arm around her for comfort, "No one should be jealous of your situation. I understand it be... difficult." Wulfric said, squeezing her gently, "Romans are strange people. No Chatti man and wife would do like your master and mistress." He sighed, then realized she might not want his embrace and she wasn't even his anyway. Wulfric let go, pulled his arm back, "Sorry, I... do not know if you want..." Want what? His comfort? His embrace? Him? Even Wulfric wasn't sure about what he meant. He just knew he didn't mean to make her feel uncomfortable.

@Echo

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Wulfric was wise, Aglaea could tell. His words were spoken with experience - of course there was no way for her to know whether her life would have been better or worse had she kept her freedom. She knew that she would have been able to see her siblings grow up. Perhaps she would have been married, at an appropriate age - had children, watched them grow. Well, had children that she had planned for, that was. She had a child now, deep within her and no more aware of the danger it was in than a tree could be aware of the axe. Was she being unreasonable? If she were unable to get her child away from Secundus, would its life really be that bad? He wanted this child more than anything, surely he would be kind? 

Through the haze of tears shading her eyes, Aglaea saw Wulfric's arm move and wrap around her. Despite herself, a startled expression came over her, but she did not draw away. The motion was so tender and innocent that it nearly broke her heart - God must have put Wulfric in her path for a good reason, to provide her with comfort. She listened to his words and laughed a little. Perhaps she should meet Wulfric's people. They sounded kind. Suddenly, Wulfric pulled his arm away and she straightened, gazing into his eyes with a soft smile lingering. "No, I - I didn't mind it. It's not often I am so comforted." The tears that had threatened to fall had gone now and her voice was steadier. "I'm sure you didn't come here to hear me complain, of course. Have you made any strides toward meeting your father?" 

@Atrice

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Her voice was breaking and how could Wulfric not feel the need to comfort someone who needed it? He put his arm around her, not noticing her surprise as he spoke his opinion - that it was strange and no one should indeed be jealous of poor Aglaea's situation. She seemed very kind and openminded and gentle and she did not deserve such treatment that she got from both her master and her mistress. Especially the latter, he thought. They'd been together for many years and still the woman turned her back to Aglaea's issues. Aglaea did not deserve it. The more he thought about the more unfair it became. She then laughed at something he said and then he suddenly realized what he was doing. She might be a slave but she was not his slave and he didn't really think of her as a slave, to him. Perhaps a friend, if she would have him as hers. 

She looked at his eyes then, said she didn't mind his embrace and that she was rarely comforted, "I am sorry to hear... I think you need comfort?" It seemed like it to him anyway. Aglaea then apologized for complaining and asked if he'd come closer to meeting his father yet.

"Not since I meet you. But soon, I hope." Wulfric said, "And I do not think you complain... you talk. You need to. Do you have other friends you talk to?" He then wondered, feeling she needed friends, "If you will... I will be friend." 

@Echo

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Aglaea smiled softly, looking away from him into the distance. "Yes, I think everyone needs comfort sometimes." She felt the need strongly now that she felt all the more vulnerable. Carrying a life inside of her was shoring up new feelings, and Livia's reaction to the pregnancy (which was to all but ignore it, except that it took the burden off of her) was making everything worse. But Aglaea's loyalty to the woman didn't allow her to vocalize such thoughts, any more than she had. Livia was simply confused and sad about the whole ordeal, just as Aglaea was. They would surely come back together soon, right? 

Wulfric explained that he had not made any progress toward meeting his father since they had first met and she nodded. "When you do feel ready, be sure to be on your guard. He is a very important man. I cannot say how he will react to meeting you. Another son will probably be rather a shock," she laughed. Wulfric really was a good man, she thought, as he assured her he didn't mind her talking. Any other friends she had were unaware of the situation; due to the nature of the plan, the only people who could know about it were Secundus, Livia, and Aglaea, and now Wulfric. "I will welcome you as a friend, Wulfric," she said softly, finally looking into his striking blue eyes. 

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Wulfric didn't fail to notice how she smiled, but looked away, when she spoke of how everyone needed comfort. It occurred to him that she didn't get a lot of comfort in her daily life, so what he could offer was good for her. He nodded at her words, "Yes. Everyone needs comfort sometimes." He agreed, wondering if she wanted him to hold her again or what. She'd seemed surprised at first, but then allowed it... well until he realized what he was doing and had pulled away from her. He didn't want to upset her, but luckily it seemed he had not done that at all. They talked about his father then, he told her he had not yet met him, and Aglaea said he should be on his guard and that his father might be shocked to meet another son.

He nodded again, "I will be careful." Wulfric promised, "I only want meet him... see who he is. I do not ask for anything. Except if he wants to give." What he was trying to say was that he wouldn't demand anything of his father, other than simply meeting the man. That might be enough. But if his father would accept him as his son, and thus offer him gifts or anything else, Wulfric would not refuse it. But he also would not ask for it. He also wouldn't ask for Aglaea's friendship, unless she wanted it. He would be there for her to talk to, if that's what she needed and wanted. And he couldn't help but smile, feeling almost happy, when she looked into his eyes and said she'd welcome him as her friend. Why did it make him feel like this, to hear her say that? 

"And I will welcome you, Aglaea. If you need comfort. And I will not tell your secret. You... trust me. I mean... you can trust me. I promise this." He then added, he wouldn't let her down, when all she needed was a friend and someone to talk to. Wulfric would be that for her. A rock she could hold onto in the storm.

@Echo

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Secretly, Aglaea did wish that he would take her in his arms again. It had been a tender, loving gesture, given out so freely and without thinking - for a person who lived in a house where affection only came with expectations, it had taken her by surprise but left her wanting more. But why should she expect such things from Wulfric? He was nearly a stranger, though now a friend. She shouldn't expect it from him. 

"I see," she said, thinking of how to support him in that. "I suppose I ought to tell you all I know about him, and about Roman society. It may help you, for you to follow the conventions." And Rome had so many, though there was no special convention she knew of for an unknown son meeting his father for the first time. "And perhaps you can tell me about your people, too? I enjoy hearing about different cultures."

She stared at him openly, a faint smile playing at her lips as he said that she could trust him. Somehow, she believed him, though it was so hard to know who to trust. "Thank you," she said simply, feeling touched. She took his hand and squeezed it to communicate her thanks more fully. "The Varus family is not worthy of someone as good as you are."

@Atrice

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Aglaea said kindly she'd tell Wulfric about his father and about Roman society and conventions. Wulfric nodded then she'd added that she wanted Wulfric to tell about his people too. He nodded with a smile again, "Yes, please, tell about Roman society. You are kind to help." He said and added, "And I will tell you about my people. What you want to know?" He wondered, there were so many things to tell and his life until now had been so different from what he encountered in Rome. Life in a small Chatti town - the Romans might call it a village - compared to Rome... it was nothing alike at all. At least he'd made friends here and now he promised he would be Aglaea's friend, that he would not tell her secrets to anyone. She was so kind to him; he wanted her to know she could trust him.

She looked at him with this small smile and thanked him then, while taking his hand into hers. Gods she had pretty eyes, didn't she? Wulfric couldn't look away from her and she said the Varus family was not worthy of him. He couldn't help but smile a bit shyly, "You are too kind, Aglaea." He said, his fingers lacing around hers too, "They sound like they not worthy of you either." They really didn't. He would have to find a way to save her from the madness she'd been caught up in. Some of his friends had a term he rarely used himself, but they talked about the fucking Romans, because they did so many strange thing and were cruel in a different way than the German tribes. As if the Romans thought themselves to be better than anyone else. Aglaea didn't deserve to be here, among them. 

"I wish you could see what my people are like. I think you would like. More free. We have rules also, but... not strict like Romans." Wulfric felt the need to explain that. His mother might like Aglaea. Gods though, what would they say if he returned from Rome with a woman who was a stolen slave - and her child? 

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Aglaea nodded as he asked her to tell him about Roman society, but before she could launch into her lesson, he offered to tell her about the Chatti, his people. She had wondered what sort of society would create a man like Wulfric, and she had decided that it must be a good one. "I'm not sure... do your people have a government like Rome does? What are your homes like? What sort of food do you eat?" She could hardly conceive of a world like Germania but found herself intensely curious, even if a small part of her knew it would just make her want to escape. 

Wulfric fixed her with his light blue gaze and she blinked as she returned the look. She could still see the hint of his father in him, but she knew if she were stuck under Tertius's gaze she would be frightened, not intrigued. "Perhaps..." She had had a thought but didn't want to finish it for fear of making him angry. She thought perhaps he shouldn't meet the Varus family. She feared their influence might corrupt him, taint him, and she didn't know whether she could take that pain. He was too good to be marred by the family of the man who had sired him. 

"I wish I could, too. Sometimes, I stash away my wages to save up, but ultimately... I don't think my mistress would let me go. Secundus either, for that matter." It was a sobering thought, and she knew it wasn't realistic to think about leaving Rome with Wulfric. 

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Wulfric would of course love to tell Aglaea about his people, but he wasn’t sure where to start – there were so many things to tell and what would interest her? She then wondered about government and their homes and what they ate. Wulfric chuckled, thinking her questions kind of sweet. First starting off with a  big one about government and then coming down to what they liked to eat, “Rome government I think… is a bit… much? We have king and he has friends and advisors. And guards. And then other men important too. But not like Rome. At all.” He explained, “Our houses not like Rome either. Your houses… made of stone. Ours made of wood and dirt. It much more… earthly? We live near forest and nature. Smaller town, not big city like Rome.” He told her and then paused, “Food… we eat most grain and green from garden. Also meat, like pork, but not every day.” That’s what it was like. The pigs would be slaughtered especially in the fall and around solstice, and they had meat the rest of the year too, but it wasn’t like in Rome. It was so different at home.

 Their eyes met and they seemed unable to tear them apart. And his fingers had laced around her warm and smaller hand. It felt so nice... and right. It felt very right. She began saying something, but didn’t finish it and he said he wished she could come to see what his people were like. Aglaea said she would like the same and she saved her money, but she wasn’t sure if she would ever be free.

 “But you can buy freedom? Why they not let you, if it allowed?” He wondered, feeling sorry for her. She seemed to wish she could be free and leave, but her owners would not let her. It was so sad that he felt sad on her behalf. Maybe he really should try and get her away from here. Could you steal another mans’ slave? He was certain it was illegal and there were rules, but gods, he wished he could, “If you were free… you would come with me, home?”

@Echo

Edited by Atrice
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