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Aeterna Roma RPG

This is a First


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She waved a hand and shook her head, offering a light laugh and a smile, "It's fine, I was jesting. I have a very happy little life, no need to worry about me." She affected a smile and shrugged thin shoulders. She did like her life. The pressure to marry, aside, why wouldn't she? She had friends and money and respect and well...even when she married she'd be kept in luxury. Sometimes she glimpsed through the veil to wonder what things would be like had she had the freedom to choose her role in society, or her hobbies or well...anything. But those glimpses were always too frightening and she was happy in her safe, secure little bubble. 

"That sounds dreamy," It didn't - but she was polite, "What are they like? Insulae?" She'd only ever seen them from her litter as she passed, or when she stopped in a popping with a friend and her slave. "Perhaps you should invite some of us," By us she meant people of her class, "Round for a night of faux-freedom? And I can meet your friends then." it was a pipe dream, of course. She was sure her father would laugh her out of the room if she asked to attend such a gathering. 

 

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"A domus would be better, but an insula isn't bad, if you're in a half-decent part of the city - and nowhere near a bath-house," Teutus admitted. "I'm only on the first floor, and it's a suite of rooms, smaller than a domus but bigger than some of the rooms higher up."

He only needed a single room, not having a wife or a slave (and he really should think about getting a slave, at least) and therefore didn't need more than one room, but taking the suite had been a sop to his father. He didn't think he would have been allowed to move out if he'd only been moving into a single squalid room somewhere on the top floor of an insula - and he had grown used to a certain standard of living, even as a slave, living in one of the bigger houses on the Esquiline.

He maintained the polite fiction Ovinia had offered. "You should come and visit some time, it would be my pleasure."

And if her slave reported that to her father and nothing else about this whole bizarre conversation, he was sure the Senator would have an apoplectic fit and throw him out on his ear.

 

@Sara

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Still fascinated by how 'the other half' lived, Ovinia pressed him for more; "So some people live in only one room?" She just couldn't understand it. Even the slaves had their dormitory, and use of the kitchen and they could move about the house in the course of their duties. To be in one room to eat sleep and rest in? That seemed...barbaric for a city as civilised as Rome. 

Her brows rose on her forehead and she heard her sister-in-law chortle from a way off, but the other woman made no move to chide Teutus or offer Ovinia any advice. The young woman knew better than to be indiscrete, but flirtation was almost expected in these conversations - at least with certain men, and she was happy to play her part if it didn't cross the line. Besides, Teutus was fun - in a dour, serious sort of way that intrigued her, and he deserved to have some levity in his life, she had decided (how generous!). "You set the date, and I'll be there." She chuckled. "I could bring some of my friends, it would be the hottest party in town Teutus, all the Senators would be fuming that no eligible young men or women have come to their dour old parties when you can go to the Insulae on the Esquilline." 

 

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"Yes," Teutus said, a little amused at her ignorance, although really he shouldn't be - he had striven to keep Antonia protected from knowing too much about how the world worked, after all, and surely Ovinia's father and family had done the same for her?

"At least, they sleep there. Most of the rest of the time, they're out and about, at work, or wherever, and there are so many popinae and the like that nobody has to cook their own food if they prefer not to." Buying hot food from a takeaway stall was much safer than trying to cook it in a room in an insula - and not every insulae resident had a cooking area anyway; the risk of fire was too great.

"I will have to check my calendar to see when I am free to host such an event," he said, unable to even imagine that her friends would want to come to the Esquiline. lthough, if they did, he could imagine the trail of havoc they would leave in their wake - and they'd probably manage to trash his apartment, too. People from the rich families never could count the cost of their fun, after all, and they certainly couldn't understand that what might be cheap to them with their wealth could never be cheap to those who had to earn every as they spent.

 

@Sara

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Ovinia's eyes widened at the description. She couldn't imagine a life like that. Whatever she wanted (well...within reason) she could get. Meals, her favourites, were served and prepared for her at her whim, her room was neat and orderly, if she wanted flowers they'd be on her table by evening. When she left the domus it was for pleasure and leisure, or familial obligation - never because she was forced to out of necessity. It sounded alien to her, in a way that made her slightly uncomfortable. She was unworldly and naive in many ways, which is what Decimus said he found adorable about her, but perhaps it was no such good thing?

"Don't wait too long," She chuckled - trying to bring the conversation back to lighter shores, "You wouldn't wish to give the impression that you don't wish to see me again, do you?" It was fantasy, her father would undoubtedly rather his daughter ran naked through the streets than went to a party at an insula, and she was not a woman that broke the rules; his word was law, to her. But an idea struck her and she narrowed her eyes; "But I mean this genuinely; if one of my brothers were invited, it would not be impossible for me to attend, and perhaps make...the blow to your father," That I'm absolutely not going to marry you, "A little easier if he thought we were friends?" Her lips twitched conspiratorially. 

 

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