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A Good Goodbye [M]


Vibia
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November, 76AD

Vibia yawned and then stretched - elongating every muscle of her body with a satisfied 'mhmm' sound before collapsing back into the den of silks and sheets that made up her bed. Or...it used to make up her bed, in neat and orderly fashion but she and Lucius had left it in a heap that strew not only the surface but the floor...along with the chiton she'd been wearing, and his own clothes. Now safely ensconced within the sheets, fire in the corner of the room burning and incense sticks fragrancing the space, she felt utterly content. Well...content besides one particular bone she had to pick with the young man next to her. 

Propping her jaw in her palm she shifted onto her side and peered down at him. "You're telling me that this is not worth staying a patrician for?" The smile tugged on her lips and she arched a brow, amused. "I have equite friends," A polite euphemism for clients, "Too you know. Just not bankrupt ones. You stay rich and this doesn't have to be goodbye." He hadn't told her his plans, they hadn't exactly had time before they got...down to things, but the news had reached her fairly quickly after it became public. He was one of her favourites; young, attractive, good in bed and fun which was a bonus very few in her profession got to enjoy. It was a loss to her - and not just financial, although she wasn't foolish as to get sentimental or anything about it. 

"I trust you've paid for a full afternoon though, if you're set on this path. Make it a proper farewell." 

 

TAG: @Chevi

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Visits to Vibia had always been... delightful. Easy. Few and far between, too, but worth every as. Now that Lucius was about to leave the ranks of patricians behind, he visited her one last time. For old times' sake. They had had a good run since their first meeting in the apple tree. Although a bed was way more comfortable.

Lucius lay among the sheets, sprawled out on his stomach, blissfully satisfied.

"You're telling me that this is not worth staying a patrician for?"

"You make a very compelling argument" Lucius muttered into the pillow, before he peered up at Vibia. She looked gorgeous, and also elegant, as if she had not just fucked his brains out. True professional.

"I have equite friends. Too you know. Just not bankrupt ones. You stay rich and this doesn't have to be goodbye. I trust you've paid for a full afternoon though, if you're set on this path. Make it a proper farewell." 

"Not proper enough for you yet?" he grinned, rolling onto his side to face her. "I did pay for a few more hours. Shall we converse about art?..."

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She gave him a look and then grinned a beaming smile that lit up her face. "Not proper enough, no. I have high standards, you know that." More that she enjoyed herself with him, which was rare, and she wasn't willing to give that up just yet. A few more hours was absolutely fine by her.

As he turned to his side she relaxed down against the pillows and studied his features, blue eyes narrowing on his face. She knew about art; she'd been invited on various excursions with various rich men over the years to dull little temples and such with their ugly frescos and boring statues (not an erect penis among them). "What sort of art?" She smirked, "I can tell you where to find the best graffiti in the city, some beautiful if not anatomically incorrect drawings. I've seen you featured as well, it's complimentary of course. For the most part." 

 

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"Not proper enough, no. I have high standards, you know that." 

Lucius chuckled as they settled on the pillows. No doubt there would be more pleasure in the near future; his gaze followed the curve of her body. But for now, he was spent, and talking to her was at least that much fun too.

"What sort of art? I can tell you where to find the best graffiti in the city, some beautiful if not anatomically incorrect drawings. I've seen you featured as well, it's complimentary of course. For the most part." 

"Now that's my kind of art" he grinned at her, then arched an eyebrow. "Me, featured? Dare I ask what the people of Rome are saying about little old me?..."

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"Mhmm. Ditto." Although she also had a fondness for well painted wall paintings, particularly of the most lurid mythologies. If she could convince Titiania she'd get one painted in here, perhaps of Leda and the Swan. 

"All sorts," She grinned and tossed her hair falling into her face, "There was one about you and your brother...at least if that's who Gaius is." And if he looked anything like his sibling, Vibia would of happily partaken in a Roscius brother sandwich, as suggested on the walls of Rome. "And one saying what a waste it is that you're abandoning your station. From a spurned lover, perhaps." She smirked and arched a brow. That one had been not in her neatest script, but it sufficed. "Of course there's also lots about me as well, I hope some of the complimentary reviews are from you."

 

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"All sorts. There was one about you and your brother...at least if that's who Gaius is."

Lucius was amused by the topic on conversation, but his face fell at the mention of his brother. "Well, that's incredibly disturbing." The people of Rome really had their minds in the Cloaca Maxima sometimes.

"And one saying what a waste it is that you're abandoning your station. From a spurned lover, perhaps."

"I don't really have lovers, spurned or otherwise. You are entertainment enough." Lucius smirked, running a finger along the curve of her shoulder.

"Of course there's also lots about me as well, I hope some of the complimentary reviews are from you."

"Oh, you'd like that, huh" he grinned "Vibia is excellent in bed. She will take all your inheritance, but you will thank her for it."

@Sara

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"The very best entertainment, I'll have you know." And she was utterly fine with that. Some men might have tried to persuade themselves that they had a lover in Vibia but that delusion was faintly pathetic in her eyes. She was a sex worker and paid for her time and company, the fact some men couldn't see that was sad. At least Lucius could though. 

"You could be more enthusiastic," She arched a brow and returned to lying on her stomach, placing her jaw in her palm and tilting her head to watch him, "That reads like a review of a popina. Is excellent in bed all you got?" She was teasing him but revelled in the compliments. She'd never intended on or wanted to become a prostitute but this was the hand fate (or her own foolishness) had dealt her and well...she at least wanted to be good at it. 

Stifling a yawn in her palm she returned her gaze to Lucius. "When does it all take effect then? Your adoption?" 

 

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  • Sara changed the title to A Good Goodbye [M]

"The very best entertainment, I'll have you know." 

"The best I have ever had" Lucius agreed dutifully. There was really no contest, when she was good at her profession. And even if she wasn't, he was not about to start a contest.

"You could be more enthusiastic. That reads like a review of a popina. Is excellent in bed all you got?"

"I am not a poet." Lucius pointed out with a chuckle. "Want me to sound like Horatius? Go to the Forum and tell the merchants they can keep all the peaches in Latium: Vibia's cunt is sweeter than any nectar the orchards have to offer." He grinned at her, rolling onto his back.   

"When does it all take effect then? Your adoption?" 

Well, they were back to the first topic, after their foray into poetry.

"Soon, I think. Once we figure out the paperwork. At least it gives Gaius a few days to get used to the idea. Gods know, he's never gonna hear the end of it. Neither will I, but that's only fair."

@Sara

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She let out a genuine, delighted laugh at his poem and a grin stretched from ear to ear. Maybe she should paint that above her door as a greeting to all of her clients. It was perfect. 

She couldn't tell whether  broaching the elephant in the room was a good idea or a bad one but he didn't seem to mind talking on it. Narrowing her eyes on his face she nodded. "Mhmm." She nudged him, "Being notorious is more fun than you think though. And you can do what you want, what you really want for the first time in your life. That's exciting...but you don't seem very excited." She chuckled. "Worried you'll be lonely?" She was only joking but realised she might have hit a nerve and covered with a bluff; "I'll still be here if you can scrape your coins together." 

 

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"Mhmm. Being notorious is more fun than you think though. And you can do what you want, what you really want for the first time in your life. That's exciting...but you don't seem very excited." 

"You make it sound like I'm going to be working at the Venus" Lucius smirked. But he would have been lying if he said he was not worried about his future. Gaius had given his permission, which was the important part, but Lucius knew he had not yet begun to see the extent of the consequences. Losing Vibia was just one of the more practical ones.

"Worried you'll be lonely? I'll still be here if you can scrape your coins together." 

"I'll see you when I make praefect, then" he chuckled. "Shouldn't be more than a decade or two." If he played the game right, which was a big if, since he was not big on rules to begin with. He sighed, putting the jokes aside. "It's not the loneliness. My brother is taking this fairly well, even though his bride is incredibly angry with me, the gods know why. But I'm sure Gaius will come around. And I'll have a whole new circle of friends. Eventually."

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She gave a dramatic pout and sad eyes, "Don't make me sad!" at his proclamation it would be a decade or two. She was half-tempted to ask if he knew anybody else his age and build and...skillset that would enjoy her company but decided to leave it, so as not to ruin the moment.

"Maybe she's worried about her reputation," Vibia offered at the mention of a potential sister-in-law, obviously not twigging that she'd already met the woman concerned, "Because of your delicious scandal. But I'm glad your brother is taking it well." She moved a finger to sweep over his cheekbone, "You deserve to be happy." 

 

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She gave him the sad eyes and the pout she had given him before when he arrived, telling her this was their last time together. She played her role well, but she would find other clients, no doubt. As much as they enjoyed each other's company, Lucius did not think he was the best client she'd ever had.

"Maybe she's worried about her reputation. Because of your delicious scandal. But I'm glad your brother is taking it well. You deserve to be happy."

"I am happier than I've ever been before the scandal" Lucius grinned, tilting his head into her touch. "And yes, she is a stickler for reputation. Remember how angry she was at Tiberius' party when she found out you were not just a musician..."

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Vibia frowned, not understanding him for a moment. The woman at the party? The prissy brunette? "Your brother's marrying her?" She...did not seem much like she was interested in a spouse judging by the smiles and pouts she'd shot the man in her bed all night, and amusing Marcus and the Imperial. Curious. 

"Curious..." She grinned to herself and flopped back onto her back, staring up at the silks pinned in waves to her ceiling, "Curious, curious, curious. It was unpleasant of you to tease her though mind. I'd understand if she did hate your guts." 

 

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He could tell that Vibia remembered, and finally put the name to the face. Ovinia had not been her best self at that party.

"Your brother's marrying her?"

"Ovinia Camilla. The very same." he nodded.

"Curious... Curious, curious, curious. It was unpleasant of you to tease her though mind. I'd understand if she did hate your guts." 

"Curious how?" he arched an eyebrow. "And I did not mean to tease her. Marcus invited you, remember? It's not my fault she is so bent out of shape about singing in public. She really has a good voice."

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"Curious in a...curious way." She teased with a smirk tugging at the corners of her lips. From her vantage point the young woman hadn't seemed especially interested in much beyond the men of the party, and one in particular. 

"I don't think that's why she was bent out of shape." She chuckled. She moved to prop herself up against the cushions, fluffing them until she was half-sat up, peering down at him. She plucked a feather from her shoulder as if she had nothing better to do, being irritatingly evasive. "To look at you I'd have thought you'd have plenty of experience with women. Enough to...you know...understand them." She shook her head and moved her fingers to ruffle his hair, "And not be an idiot." 

 

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"Curious in a...curious way." 

Vibia was clever, and she liked that she was clever. She liked playing games at Lucius' expense, which he usually did not mind at all.

"I don't think that's why she was bent out of shape."

"Oh? Do illuminate me" Lucius smirked. He and Marcus had never quite figured why she was so upset about Vibia's presence. Maybe Vibia had an explanation. He wanted to her her thoughts, anyway. Women were a mystery.

"To look at you I'd have thought you'd have plenty of experience with women. Enough to...you know...understand them. And not be an idiot." 

"Wouldn't I be an idiot if I claimed that I understand women?" he shot back, shifting so that he could rest his head on her thigh. 

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She made a noise of contentment as he settled on her leg and peered down at him, a lopsided, amused smirk on her lips. He was an idiot. 

"Girls like that don't know anything do they?" She countered and moved to run her fingers through his hair and across his jaw, "Bless them - they're innocent little flowers who get married quickly and live a life of terrible, boring sex and even more boring husbands." It sounded, frankly, like torture. Sighing, realising that she might need to be more plain to him, she shifted and then wrapped her hands either side of his face to encourage him to look up at her. "Maybe she was embarrassed? Maybe she expected you to be kinder given well...." She smirked and shrugged, not finishing that thought for him, "She'll get married to your brother because she has to but...all women, innocent or not have desires." She grinned now, "That's why you're an idiot." 

 

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"Girls like that don't know anything do they? Bless them - they're innocent little flowers who get married quickly and live a life of terrible, boring sex and even more boring husbands."

"Unlike clever women like you, who get to fuck all the boring husbands for money" Lucius noted, smiling as she ran her fingers through his hair. That was one of the reasons he liked Vibia: she lived outside the confines of polite society, and he was headed that way too. But what did any of this have to do with Ovinia's anger?

"Maybe she was embarrassed? Maybe she expected you to be kinder given well.... She'll get married to your brother because she has to but...all women, innocent or not have desires. That's why you're an idiot." 

Lucius wrinkled his eyebrows as he looked up at her. She was having way too much fun with this. She claimed Ovinia was too innocent, and... 

Lucius blinked.

"You... you think she... what, wants me?" it sounded so ridiculous spoken that it came out with a laugh.

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Vibia grinned, her teeth gleaming and eyes wrinkled in abject amusement. Bless him; maybe he and the dull brunette were made to be - idiots together. 

"I don't think she knows what she wants," She countered with a light little shrug, "But I don't know the girl at all. Maybe I'm seeing things," She smirked, "But to get that flustered and annoyed and embarrassed? I'd say she likes one of you, not that she knows it - you or Marcus, and if she's marring your brother...I'd say on balance of probabilities, it's probably you." She arched a brow. "Unless you're about to tell me you don't know her at all and that was the first time in your life you'd met her and I'm being ridiculous." 

 

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Lucius stared at Vibia, a little incredulous; he even propped himself up from lying on her lap. This conversation had taken a turn he had not expected at all. He tried to picture it. Ovinia, liking him?... Vibia said she might not even realize it. If there was anything to realize at all, other than abject disgust and anger.

But Vibia made a point.

"Obviously that was not the first time." he sighed "She's come to visit before, and I've run into her... on occasion. Every time it seems like I annoy her more and more. Besides, why on earth would she want me if she's going to have Gaius as a husband? He's clearly the better catch." he tilted his head at her. "Maybe you are not that good at thinking like a patrician maiden."

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Vibia met his tilted head with a look of her own and an amused smile on her lips. It was cute how almost...defensive he was. Deciding to make things awkward, given he'd shot an arrow first, she shrugged and spoke, revealing a part she revealed to very few people; "I don't know about that, when I was a slave many years ago my dominus had a niece like her. She used to badger me with questions on everything from 'what does it mean when a man smiles at you' to 'why does he ignore me and tease me?'" She rolled her eyes at how infantile it all was. 

"Girls like that are easily confused. You've got me in your sway," She arched a brow at him - not entirely but he was magnetic and she looked forward to his company which was...the highest honour of all, "Imagine what you do to a naive, innocent, silly young woman. She might have a husband lined up but..." She shrugged, "There's always a bit of a thrill in the forbidden, no?" She tilted her head at him, "You're telling me you don't like her?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

 

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"I don't know about that, when I was a slave many years ago my dominus had a niece like her. She used to badger me with questions on everything from 'what does it mean when a man smiles at you' to 'why does he ignore me and tease me?'" 

Lucius barely paid attention to the thoughts of young patrician girls Vibia seemed to intimately know after all; he got hung up on the fact that she had been a slave in a patrician household. That explained... so much, but left so much more unsaid.

"Girls like that are easily confused. You've got me in your sway. Imagine what you do to a naive, innocent, silly young woman. She might have a husband lined up but... There's always a bit of a thrill in the forbidden, no?"

Lucius' expression fell again.

Oh, shit. Gaius.

"So, it's my fault now?"

"You're telling me you don't like her?" 

What the...

Lucius took a deep breath.

"The woman is infuriating. She is spoiled, snobbish, and vindictive. She got out of a litter to make a scene in the middle of a burn site when I was on patrol. She hates me for, and I quote, throwing my potential away, whatever that means." he huffed. "And she is marrying my brother."

 

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Vibia didn't rise to his bait. Yes - it was his fault. He should get an unattractive scar on his face or get knocked on his head and lose his sense of humour or something. Make himself less palatable. 

She watched as he almost seemed to gear himself up for his little speech and she sank back into the luxury of the pillows with a devilish smirk on her face. His huffing and puffing and rant was adorable, really. "...That wasn't a no." She pointed out, stating the obvious. "Nor is her ruining her perfectly polished patrician reputation to yell at you, evidence that she doesn't like you. She clearly thinks enough of you to point out that you're being a fool..." She held up her hands in defence, "At least to some people." Shrugging she dropped her hands back to the bed and gave him a look"Not much you can do if she's marrying your brother, and you're intent on this plan. But I don't know..." She shrugged, "Maybe you shouldn't be quite so hard on her at family gatherings." She gave him an amused smile, "And maybe you should distract yourself with other women." 

 

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"...That wasn't a no."

"That's..."

No. Just say no.

"Nor is her ruining her perfectly polished patrician reputation to yell at you, evidence that she doesn't like you. She clearly thinks enough of you to point out that you're being a fool... At least to some people."

The idea still sounded, and felt, utterly ludicrous. Lucius knew what it was like when a woman liked him, thank you very much, he had experience. And Ovinia was none of that. If anything, she was the direct opposite of all of that.

"Not much you can do if she's marrying your brother, and you're intent on this plan. But I don't know... Maybe you shouldn't be quite so hard on her at family gatherings."

"Well, I'm not going to be invited to those anyway." he shrugged. And Vibia was right. Whatever she thought Ovinia was thinking, she was going to marry Gaius. And that was one hard line Lucius would never, ever cross.

"And maybe you should distract yourself with other women." 

"Well... you are other women" Lucius noted. Distraction. Was a good idea. He traced his fingers down from the hollow of her neck and between her breasts. "But nothing to distract from. Why would I want some pissy patrician girl when I can have someone like you?"

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She grinned that alluring, disarming smile and settled further down into the bed at his touch. Yes, she was another woman and what a woman she was. Really, he was lucky. Most people had to slum it with their slaves or plebs when they wanted to get over somebody. But he protested again and she groaned, rolling her eyes. "Yes. Quite. She was quite plain, from what I remember." At least to Vibia. She'd been pretty in the way that all people with money are pretty but she was a brunette with dark eyes and a willowy frame. They were a common sight in the city, unlike her blonde hair and ice blue eyes. 

"But you only have me for another few hours." She smirked and moved to run her own fingers over the muscles of his back. "You'll have to find somebody else when you're gone, and if it's not going to be the Patrician Princess, you'll have to find yourself a nice pleb. But don't go to the Elysium." She wrinkled her nose with a chuckle, "Unless you want your manhood and coin purse to fall off." 

 

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