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He didn’t really talk a lot about Britannia with Silvanus. He supposed he could question his slave about it, but he might be biased and besides, he was here in Rome and not there and it might make him miss it more. Now he belonged to Marcus and honestly, he thought some slaves probably had it worse with their owners. He knew Silvanus was sometimes a little annoyed by Marcus, but he was there when needed, so that’s what mattered. He wasn’t a bad slave really.

 The conversation turned back to what Ovinia might do, if she could do anything, and it seemed that most of all, she wanted to travel by herself. What a pity that she could not. She wondered if that was a sad dream to have, and it wasn’t, not in the sense that it was something he could understand she wanted. It was just sad that she couldn’t. But it was always fun using your imagination for ‘what if’ questions and he did just that. Suggested how much fun it might be to leave Rome without anyone.

 Ovinia laughed and replied almost mischievously, but he wasn’t stupid, she didn’t mean it. He chuckled none the less at her, “I’ll leave that to your imagination.” He replied with a wink to her, but she shook her head and tried to appear more serious, although he did see how she blushed after she spoke just before. He might not be getting under her skin, but he had scraped the surface, hadn’t he? There was something there, he thought. She tried to return to her sensible self again, the boring one.

 “It does sometimes, you’d be surprised I think.” He said playfully and thought they’d talked enough now so that he could tease her a little, “But of course… you’re a good girl. And you don’t want that to change. All you want is a good marriage and sons, right?” He looked at her with a smile, daring her to say otherwise - now that she just revealed her dreams of adventure to him, but wasn't willing to go on one after all.

@Sara

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Her imagination was not very full in that department, beyond what she saw in graffiti and when she caught the tail end of some theatrical performance as she was hurried through the streets. She said nothing though and merely shrugged, impish - slightly embarrassed - smile still on her lips.

She knew he was goading her, but Ovinia was a perfect study of somebody who's nature told her to compete, to win. She glanced up over her shoulder at him as they meandered through the back streets vaguely in the direction of her friends domus. "Tsk, Marcus." She shook her head, secretly enjoying this. What was it with the youth of Rome trying to tempt her at the moment? "That is all I want." she confirmed in a light, sing-song voice. "And you want me to risk the reputation of my family for what...?" She racked her brain, trying to think of an insult and settled on one she'd heard Viria - her sister-in-law - throw at her brother before, "Two minutes of fun?" She felt her cheeks burn even as she said it. 

 

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With how she spoke, he imagined she knew something of what they were clearly both insinuating here. Even though she seemed intent on being a proper and good noble lady, not going on adventures like Caecina had or any of the other girls he’d met, despite their status. Ovinia wanted to keep her modesty, but still, she had to know something, right? But she didn’t answer what she might imagine. Instead he went on, saying that sometimes what he said did work… but clearly not with her, because she didn’t want adventure. Or what?

 She glanced at him over her shoulder, claiming a good husband and sons really was all she wanted. She spoke of risking her reputation, trailing off and then finishing. But she wasn’t laughing, she was bright red instead. Marcus’ lips were a tense, thin line, suppressing the laugh for as long as he could. She really was cute!

 “Two minutes?” He then said, unable to hold back a grin now, “Aren’t you sweet! I mean, sure, two minutes if you’re in a hurry, but… I’m usually not.” Marcus said and inhaled a breath, trying to not sound too cheerful about it. He was talking to a girl. One who clearly wanted to keep the family’s reputation (and her own) intact! He wasn’t talking to one of the guys. Still… this conversation was going somewhere now, or at least it felt that way to him.

 “But who said you’d be risking your reputation? What no one knows, you know…” He said with a knowing look and another wink, “But I’ll be good, if you want me to be. Not encourage you anymore to any sort of adventure, when you don’t want to.” Although she was already on an adventure, wasn’t she? She didn’t seem to be hurrying to get back to her friend’s house. He looked around, recognizing the area. Wasn’t there one of the smaller public gardens of Rome near here? Maybe Ovinia would enjoy that. It wouldn’t be leaving Rome. They were right here. And her slave was still here, too. Marcus wasn’t going to make her risk anything with someone watching.

@Sara

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She didn't understand his reply but chose not to look at him, lest she give it away. She knew the bare bones of what went where and how, but any conversation on...duration, beyond the quip that she'd used - courtesy of Viria - was beyond her. 

She managed a laugh though, as he continued to protest. Marcus Junius Silanus was nothing if not persistent. "I'd know." She retorted back, glancing over her shoulder at him. She was a stickler for the rules, she'd never even countenance anything of the sort before her wedding night and Marcus must have known that as he back tracked, even though it sounded more like a jest than a sincere offer. She could flirt and tease, overstep some boundaries...but that? Was the man an idiot? 

"And that sounds wonderful," She chuckled, "You should get in your practice of being an honourable, upstanding citizen now if you want to be Consul." She glanced across at him again, eyes dancing with amusement, "You never know who I could end up married to and how influential they might be. One day, if you roll out a policy I really don't like..." She smirked, "You never know, the story of how you once tried to steal the virtue of senatorial girls might be splayed all over the city's walls." She chuckled again, "Actions have consequences, dear Marcus...whether now or in the future, but they do..." 

 

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He could be very persistent and although he did not imagine he’d be getting anywhere with Ovinia today, who knew what the future would bring? He might meet her again. And he was keeping her entertained and laughing, which was always a good thing. Make her laugh and give her a good time and she’ll remember you. Don’t be one of the boring guys who just says what she wants to hear. Marcus was intent on not being that.

 He tried to make her see things his way, that what people didn’t know, didn’t happen. If no one knew what she was doing, surely… no one would care. But she laughed and said she’d know. He arched a brow, as a silent way of saying ‘so?’, but didn’t respond. Instead tried to go the other way around, as if she wanted him to be good. She chuckled and said he should practice being an upstanding citizen because actions had consequences.

 “I hope that’s not a serious threat. Anyway, trying is not the same as succeeding.” He said with a grin, “And you know, you can actually get a very long way with pretending to be very honorable and good. I’m pretty sure no one on the top here in Rome got there just by being honorable. That’s not how it works, as far as I understood.” He explained to her, in case she didn’t know such things. But wasn’t it boring, being so serious all the time? He’d much rather have fun.

 “Besides, dear Ovinia… what if you ended up being married to… me?” He chuckled, looking at her, “Although by now, you probably don’t consider me husband material. Am I right?”

@Sara

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Ovinia laughed genuinely, enough that the slave following them glanced up with suspicion. "I suppose you're right," Her laughter settled into a chuckle, "I wonder what skeletons the Caesar's have in their closets, or the Consuls for that matter." Nobody could get so high by just playing the game honestly, could they? She wasn't privy to much of her fathers dealings, but suspected that he had played a few underhand cards to get where he was. 

"And I'm afraid, dear Marcus," She said, parroting his words back at him, "That should my father turn around and say that I'm to marry you - I'd have to refuse." She glanced at him, flashing a grin, "I like more..." She narrowed her eyes, tilting her head as she pretended to consider her words, "Mature men, I think. But I'm sure there's a lovely, blonde, beautiful, dimple-cheeked, air-headed girl just out there waiting for you." 

 

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Her laugh was a pleasure to listen to and Marcus was glad he caused it. She agreed that even the Caesars and the Consuls had skeletons in their closets and Marcus nodded, "I suppose that's something we may wonder forever. Unless it gets out somehow. You never know." Caesars came and went in Rome, he did pay attention during lessons about the Roman history, after all. Although he hoped nothing bad would happen to the current Caesar - Titus was, after all, one of his childhood friends here in Rome. Same as the other Imperials. Ovinia probably didn't even know that. She didn't know he had friends in such high places. Well, one day she'd find out. For now, they were just having fun and he joked about how he could end up as her husband, although she probably wouldn't consider it.

She said she'd refuse if her father should suggest their marriage and then she spoke of preferring more mature men. Suggesting he was not grown enough for her and that all he could get was air-headed and pretty girls. Marcus grin faded a bit, that was quite the insult she shot at him there. 

"I'm sure there is." He said and looked up, suddenly considering if they were reaching her friend's home soon. He wasn't getting anywhere with her anyway, not this time, and he now even considered if he wanted to get anywhere with her. It wasn't that she wasn't pretty. But she was also less mature than he thought she'd be. Marcus hadn't called her young and stupid, after all. It was her who indirectly said he was.

@Sara

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Ovinia cast him a sidelong glance. Suddenly he seemed less amused by the conversation and she wondered, briefly, if it was because she wasn't bending to his charms as she suspected a lot of the girls did. He certainly outranked most in their social circle with his imperial connections and he had an easy charm that was not replicated in a lot of the men their age. Undoubtedly most of the girls he spoke to batted their eyelashes and giggled at his jokes. Was he sour because he couldn't take a joke or at the rejection? 

She arched a brow and offered an easy grin. "Don't be put out," she chuckled, "I didn't mean any offence." Just because she thought him silly for turning sour and quiet, didn't mean she wanted to end things on bad terms - even if they were nearing her friends house. Marcus was influential, she knew that, which meant she'd have to pander to him. Besides - up until the preceding moment she'd found him fun, and good company. "I can help find you somebody if you'd like?" she offered by way of an olive branch, "An easier target than me, perhaps?" 

 

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She wasn’t bending to his charms, that was one thing. Or was she? He had amused her, it would seem. He wasn’t really offended by that. It wasn’t like he expected she’d fall for him in the first round, but you could always hope, right? No, that wasn’t it. But he didn’t like being called young and stupid – and that it would only be dim-witted girls who fell for him. Sure he knew he was young, but he’d experienced so much in his life so far and he really did mean it, when he spoke of his dreams and aiming high. He wasn’t just some stupid brat. No matter what Caecina’s bodyguard had to say on that topic.

 Silence fell a little while, as they continued walking and Ovinia tried to apologize, although he thought she had a weird way of doing it, “Oh you didn’t?” He replied. She just said all he could get was an air-headed pretty girl. As if he didn’t have standards too. Ovinia suggested she helped him find somebody and he gave her a look.

 “You don’t think I can find somebody on my own? You don’t think I had any practice before meeting you?” She really did think she was superior to everyone else, didn’t she? Better and smarter than all the other girls out there. And him. “There’s plenty of girls in Rome. It’s not like I’m looking for a wife, after all.”

@Sara

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Ovinia blinked. Okay, sore point. Noted. His look was filled with irritation and she shrank back in herself a little. She could give as good as she got, but with somebody like Marcus - influential and popular, she knew it wasn't worth it. There was a difference in teasing some nobody third son of a minor Senator compared to an up and coming man like Marcus Junius Silanus, irritating though he might be. 

She drew to a stop and sighed, moving to rest a soft hand on his forearm. "I'm sorry." She gave him a vaguely imploring look, even if internally she seethed. The arrogance of the man that she was having to apologise for a joke...she shook her head to clear those thoughts. "I was only teasing, sometimes I speak before I think." She squeezed his forearm and saw her slave twitch. "Accept my apology?" 

 

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Marcus certainly didn't need her help finding some girl he could have fun with. At least she should be grateful he wasn't the kind of guy who'd just try and take advantage of her anyway. He didn't like anything else but fun, after all. And what fun was there in fooling around with a companion who didn't like it much? It didn't sound like fun to him. Still, he could easily find someone else than her. Maybe he would, after this. Apparently she was on her own, high horse on a pedestal and liked it there. Pity for her. 

Then suddenly she stopped and he did too, giving her a puzzled look. Next, she was touching his forearm and apologizing to him for her offense. She even squeezed his arm. Well this took a different turn, suddenly. She'd realized her mistake, truly? That pleased him, at least. He smirked, leaning closer to her, pulling her closer to him with his arm. He leaned down as if he would kiss her cheek, but just before he did, he whispered to her ear instead, "Accepted." 

And then he pulled back and out of her grasp, "I suppose we're getting closer to your friend's house? I wonder what gossip you'll tell your friend about me." He added with a grin, apparently he was over the little bump in the road and he'd moved on now. Apparently.

@Sara

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"Nothing but your praises." She grinned with a chuckle as he pulled out of her grasp. She'd wanted to chide him for being so familiar a moment before, and she saw the way her slave's eyes twitched and that he'd taken a few paces forward, but she dared not. She seemed already on loose footing with Marcus and didn't want  to give him anymore fodder to be used in gossip about her. Influential men often had loose tongues, she'd learned, and she was absolutely not going to test that theory with somebody like Marcus. 

"But I'm sure I'll be seeing you again," She glanced up to the domus they'd drawn to a stop outside - jerking her head at it, "This is me. But I presume you're going to Rufria Hilaria's party next week?" She was an odious little woman about their age who had married suspiciously well to a fabulously wealthy older Senator. Ovinia might not like her, but she wasn't going to spurn the attempts to buy friends from somebody like Rufria given who her husband was. Maybe he had single friends, after all. 

 

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Teasing her by getting so close had been fun. And it might have been even more fun, had he actually kissed her, but her slave was watching them and would surely interfere if he did anything out of order. Ovinia seemed intent on being very proper and did not want adventures. Pity for her. What a boring life she'd lead, if she would always stay on the path and never stray, not even with Marcus. She grinned as he pulled away and said she'd do nothing but praise him to her friend, "I hope so!" He replied with a grin, but at the same time, he didn't really believe her. Girls gossiped, everyone knew that. No doubt she'd spread the word. Girls. 

They had indeed arrived at the right house now and then she mentioned some party next week. Marcus put a finger on his chin as if thinking, "A party? Oh I don't know about that..." He began, but then that grin spread on his face again, "What do you think? As if I would miss it. She's very cute." And married, but who cared? Her husband wasn't as young and good looking as Marcus, after all. 

"Well, have a nice day, Ovinia. I'll see you next week then." He added with a wink and unless she had more to say, he'd be on his way once she was too. He didn't know if he'd care to flirt with her again, unless she'd be more daring another time. Time would tell.

@Sara

 

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