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January, 76 AD

Alexius just needed a break – and a drink! He’d been working for some senator the last few days, apparently the man had fallen out with a gang and wanted extra protection, so Alexius was luckily at the right place at the right time to protect the man. It would seem that the problems had settled now and Alexius would be out tomorrow, looking for something new to do. Tonight though, he got his payment for the job and he had plenty both to pay his landlord, food for him and Lexus… and for a night on the town. Working shady jobs for senators usually paid well!

And who knew what would happen on such a night? It wasn’t so warm though, but sometimes that meant a good chance to find someone to stay warm with. Alexius was hopeful, both when it came to the amount of drink he planned to have and also when it came to someone to keep him company. He just hadn’t found them yet, but the night was young. He wore his regular clothes, just a crimson tunica and short breeches and a belt – and a cloak, of course, to stay warm until he found someone to keep entertained.

He soon enough found himself entering Bacchus’ Cup, which he often just referred to as Bellona’s, since she was an old friend of his and fellow freed gladiator – or gladiatrix, since she was a woman. She greeted him happily when he entered and Alexius found a seat where he could watch the door. This was one of his favorite places to go out in Rome. Soon enough a jar of wine stood before him and he filled the first cup to the rim and downed half of it in one go. Then he leaned back against the wall behind him – what did this night have in store for him? He looked towards the doorway and saw a striking brunette enter the place – and it would appear that she was alone. Alexius smiled, hoping she’d look his way.

@MsMeowMaam

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Amalia stepped through the doors of Bacchus' Cup, one she hadn't before. She took a small breath, the same one she always took upon entering a new place. Her thoughts raced in both anticipation and excitement, she looking around for anyone that might recognize her. It was silly, truly, but she had been doing it for years, the tiniest threat of being caught always living in her mind. She shook her head and smiled to herself, the feeling being squashed and she made her way into the establishment, fully. She had worked hard for most of the day and just wanted to experience a new place, relax, and enjoy herself. She couldn't be more grateful to the couple that had taken her in. Not only did they provide her with a home, they paid her a tiny bit of coin as well. Other jobs around the village afforded her coin to buy new tunics, like the pretty dark green one she currently had one, and a drink now and then. Considering what she was, what she kept so hidden, she was living a good life. 

As she tightened the shawl she wore around her, her eyes wandered to the good natured souls before her. People were having a good time and that always bode well for places she had never been. A lively and entertaining place usually meant a safe place. Usually. 

 She couldn't help her gaze fall upon a man sitting back against the wall, her eyes flicking away before being drawn back to him. He was smiling and it seemed to bring out one in her. He was a handsome man, more than handsome, and it was that smile that really seemed to beckon and call to her. Was she feeling so daring tonight that she would approach a complete stranger? Her body seemed to move on its own, her cascading locks swishing as she walked. She had let it grow long and a few tendrils framed her face as if she were a picture. 

"Excuse me, but I have never been here before. Who should I see for a drink?" Her eyes twinkled with slight mischievousness, she hoping she hadn't made a mistake coming over. 

@Atrice

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The brunette in the dark green tunica was kind of slim, but that didn’t matter to him. She was beautiful and looked almost lost, as she stood there in the entrance, as if she wondered where to go. Hadn’t she been here before? It was one of the best places to get a good drink and a proper meal in Rome. There was something familiar about her eyes, he thought, but he honestly could not remember if he had taken her to his bed before (or hers). She looked around now and then her eyes fell on Alexius and his warm and friendly smile. She came over to him and looked up at her. Was she not a sight for gods? 

And then she stated the obvious, that she had not been here before and that she wanted a drink. Alexius grinned, “You’re welcome to share mine, I just bought a jar. Unless you’d prefer to have your own.” Alexius said, happy that she seemed so easy to talk to and open towards him. Had he met her before? Alexius could not quite place her, but he knew there was something about her. He had to keep her here, so he could find out what she was all about.

 “Take a seat.” Alexius said and waved to one of the barmaids, gestured towards his cup and his new companion, letting the barmaid know they needed another cup. The barmaid grinned and rolled her eyes, they knew Alexius here… but this new woman, did not, it would seem.

 “I’m Alexius, by the way, pleased to meet you. I hope.” He added with a wink to her. It was definitely no mistake that she came this way, Alexius liked meeting new people and especially when they were so friendly and good looking.

@MsMeowMaam

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Amalia shook her head as she sat, though in the back of her mind, she was ever cautious. It was kind of him to offer his drink, but she wasn't so naïve as to think her looks didn't have something to do with it. Still, she smiled and  sat, her hand gently patting his. "We can share, I do not mind." What a nice way to start her evening! She did not have many friends other than those she worked around, and having a night out with an incredibly handsome mad was just what she needed. All the years of running seemed to have sucked the fun out of her life and it was time she tried to get some back.

She couldn't help but laugh at his wink and words, her own eyes twinkling with delight. "Well, it is a pleasure to meet you Alexius. You may call me Vesta." Of course it was not her real name but she certainly wasn't in the position to give it to a stranger. She barely knew the man! "So, Alexius, do you come here often? I confess this is my first time." She looked around, everything seeming to be having a good time. She imagined this was the type of place one would go after a hard days work to just relax and relive some moments of joy. She wondered what type of joy she would find that night. 

@Atrice

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She touched his hand as she sat, accepting his invitation to share his drink, "Then we're off to a good start." Alexius said with a grin and it didn't take long for that second cup to land on table. Alexius, always friendly towards someone like this, didn't waste the time and poured a cup of wine for her. Meanwhile she laughed sweetly, introducing herself as Vesta. Alexius smiled, Vesta! Like the goddess! He might have been born in Germania, but he didn't really remember the gods his parents might have had. He'd spent most of his life in Rome and the Roman gods were his too and had been for as long as he could remember. 

Vesta, beautiful as her name was too, wondered if he came here often. Gods, this was the kind of lines Alexius would usually come with! He chuckled as he sipped a bit of his drink, before answering.

"I have been coming here for a long time, more than ten years I think... so I'm well known here. It's one of the best places, if you ask me." Alexius shared, "Do you have any other favorite places... Vesta? Beautiful name by the way. As its owner." He said with another playful smile at her. Wasn't it wonderful to just meet someone equally openminded and ready for fun as he was? 

@MsMeowMaam

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"Well you certainly helped that," she winked. "I am truly grateful you allowed me to join you," her voice was filled with both gratitude and the flirtatiousness she had come in with. She was starting to relax, the night she had planned already starting splendidly. "Ten years! Well, I know to come back here with such a glowing recommendation." She shook her head slightly at his questions. " I actually don't get out very much so it's nice to know there is a safe place to go to just have a bit of fun." The wine was opening her up a bit, but as always, she was still cautious. Who wouldn't be charmed by Alexius though, his words sweeter than honey. "I'm sure my parents would appreciate the name they chose getting such high praise." She gave his hand a light tap, her fingers lingering just a bit longer than normal. "That's sweet of you. I certainly haven't heard that one before," she jested, a smirk settling on her lips. 

"So Alexius, you look as if you are a hard worker." She couldn't help but admire his stature along with his handsome face. She may be a damaged woman because of her past but that didn't mean she couldn't appreciate a fine man when he was right in front of her. He wasn't trying to hurt her nor were his flirtations bordering on anything truly inappropriate. She didn't feel threatened by him and that was what mattered. 

 

@Atrice

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He enjoyed her little winks and the way she spoke, there was a playfulness to it that he found familiar in a very nice way. She was grateful that he allowed her to join him and Alexius smiled, “Of course, I’d be a fool not to.” He commented and then he’d explained for how long he’d been coming here for and she seemed surprised, then said she didn’t get to go out much.

 “What a pity, that you don’t get to go out much. Maybe I should…” He trailed off, about to say he should speak to her owners, although technically, he didn’t know if she was a slave or not. Could also be her family, he wouldn’t speak of parents, since she seemed old enough to make decisions without them. Was she married? No, surely then she wouldn’t be flirting with him like this. Alexius found he had a ton of questions about this lovely girl by his side. He’d commented on her name and she took his compliment, tapping on his hand with her fingers and she called him sweet.

 “There’s more where that came from.” Alexius returned her wink and her smirk, and then she’d suggested he was a hard worker.

 “I suppose I am, when the occasion needs it. I used to be a gladiator… but I’ve been free for a long time now.” The rudis was attached to his belt as it had been for more than a decade, it looked rather worn now, but it was his to keep, “I work mostly as a bodyguard and things like that nowadays… so you’re safe with me.” He said, smiling, “What about you, Vesta? What do you do?”

@MsMeowMaam

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