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Aeterna Roma RPG

My family and other aliens

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While Sergia (and Secundus) didn't live in Rome, that didn't stop her visiting her uncle and cousins for some rather extended stays - Tertius' house was big enough to house his family several times over, with a staff to match, as befit a Senator and Praetor.

One member of that staff (and incidentally of the family too, though not officially being a slave, the son of the Senator and a slave woman) was Teutus, the said Senator's secretary. This afternoon, the Senator was out somewhere that didn't require his secretary to attend him, and his young daughter was visiting a neighbour she was friends with, which left Teutus alone to finish copying out some correspondence for the Senator, a task that didn't take him very long once people stopped interrupting him.

Once that was done, with the letters left neatly on the desk in the tablinum for Tertius to sign when he returned, Teutus found a seat in the garden to enjoy a moment in the sun. He hadn't been there long when he became aware that his cousin Sergia was there, and scrambled to his feet.

"I beg your pardon, Domina," he said.



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She'd noticed Teutus coming in, but he clearly hadn't noticed her, tucked away in a sconce under the portico watching a sparrow hop in and out of the hedges and glancing down occasionally to line up the next stitch of her embroidery. Her cousin's face looked harrowed (though maybe it was just scrunched up in a reaction to the sudden sunlight) as he plopped onto a bench at the opposite corner of the hortus. I hope he doesn't notice me.

He did, of course, starting up off the bench as his eyes made out her shape among the shade, stumbling out an apology that neither he nor she really knew if he ought to be making. Teutus was a slave, yes, but he was also his master's son, and likely would become his heir, and a free man. There was no guide book on how to treat someone like that, and no way to alleviate the strange feeling of guilt she felt every time he was subservient to her. In truth, Sergia tried her best to avoid Teutus at all costs - if she needed something fetching, she got one of the other slaves to do it. She tried to ignore the sight of him slinking off to the kitchen out of the corner of her eye as she and her uncles went into the triclinium. But sometimes life threw the two of them together, as it had today, much to the embarrassment of both parties.

"Oh, don't mind me," she said with a strained smile, flapping her hands to indicate he should sit down again. "You're not... bothering me."

Sergia quickly ducked her head back into her needlework.


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"Oh good," he said and sat back down, though he couldn't quite relax as he had before. The relationship he had with the other members of his family was an awkward one, he was related to them by birth but, also by birth, he was subservient to them, being a slave. Of all the various members of his family, somehow his relationship with his cousin was one of the most awkward; he always had the impression that she didn't quite know how to treat him, when nobody else bothered to treat him as anything other than a slave and Tertius' secretary.

The atmosphere was a little more tense suddenly than it had been and he eventually sighed and set his tabula aside, pausing in planning his next lesson for Antonia.

"I'm making you uncomfortable by being here, Domina," he said quietly. "I can go, if you prefer to be alone."



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