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21st of December, 76AD

When Lucius was told by his centurion that they were summoned to Ovinia's house, he was halfway sure that he was about to lose his job. Or possibly his life, if Ovinia's family had any say in it. What were the odds that he would be summoned by her father, along with the centurion, three days after making out with Ovinia in an alley? He tried to make some inquiries, but all he could get from the centurion was Shut up and move your ass, gods know why but you used to be a patrician and I need you to figure out what those people want from me. So, he didn't know either. That was a bit reassuring, anyway.

He had had no word from Ovinia since that day, but she had been on his mind all the time. In fact, he was more than a bit distracted, which gave Titus endless opportunities to make fun of him, or criticize his work. It was hard to not daydream about her. Or think about what he could possibly do.

The slave that had been sent for them led them in a roundabout way to the kitchen entrance of the house. Lucius was surprised. Summoning the vigiles, through a back door? This had to be serious. They wanted to avoid the semblance of anything being out of the ordinary. Not that anyone cared much, four days into Saturnalia. His heart beat faster as they walked in, and he glanced around, wondering if Ovinia was home.

@Sara

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Gaius Ovinius Camillus was incensed. He had been since his daughter was bundled back into the house, bleeding, crying, barely coherent with a story that sounded so preposterous he thought she might have gone mad. Even as the medicus had left, wiping his bloodied fingers on his apron, assuring the paterfamilias that his daughter would heal and be fine, nothing could calm the storm clouds that gathered over the domus. The intensity of his anger had only continued to simmer as the night wore on and the morning broke, his hangover from the previous day's festivities finally abating to give him the sharp clarity that he'd always been known for. He wanted the man dead, but he needed discretion.

Whilst the previous night he had been on the verge of summoning his kinsfolk into the streets with daggers and torches to hunt him down and tear him limb from limb, the morning light had cast his daughters situation in a new perspective. She was unmarried - by her own devices and petulant refusal of the suit of Vipsanius Roscius - and her honour would, undoubtedly, be called into question. A young woman found stripped, bleeding and assaulted in a shack would never make a match worthy of her gens. It needed to remain a secret, and it needed to be dealt with quietly. It's why he had summoned the vigiles once the morning had broken. 

He had been expecting the Tribune and so when the two men walked in; one ruddy faced and clearly nervous, and the other - taller, younger but no less confused looking, he thrust up his hands in annoyance. "They send me you two? Where is your Tribune, man?" He directed at the older one. The man blinked and cleared his throat, rolling back his shoulders to attempt to look important. Gaius Ovinius ground down on his teeth. "He sent me, Praetor Camillus, knowing you can trust my work," Gaius scoffed, "And your discretion I trust?" He interjected and the Centurion nodded hurriedly. "Of course, sir." 

Gaius Ovinius Camillus was an imposing man. Taller than most with a barrel chest and sharp, angular features that belied his displeasure easily. He pulled his shoulders back and exhaled sharply through his nose, eyes scanning the faces of the two vigiles like a hawk. "The only people who know what I am about to tell you are my family, a handful of my slaves and a slave from the Palatine. If one single word of this reaches anybody else, I will know it came from one of you and I promise you, I will ensure that your lives will be more painful than any slave in a salt mine. Am I understood?" He paused, dark eyes focused and unyielding. When he finally did speak again, it was quieter, his shoulder slumping ever so slightly. 

"My daughter was assaulted last night. She is recovering, and thank the Gods will be well in time but it appears it could have easily been a very different outcome. She tells me this man has tried before, and done this to others. You," He jabbed a finger at both of them, his voice getting more intense, "Will find the man that did this and you will do so as your top priority. The daughter of a Praetor, my only daughter, cannot go molested in a city. Do you understand me?" He exhaled sharply through his nose, his breathing rapid. When he had an affirmative, he gestured loosely with his hand to a slave. 

"Lucia will take you to see her. She is tired and not herself but assures me she will tell you everything you need to know." He flicked his wrist at the slave girl who cleared her throat and indicated with her head for the men to follow her. The domus was large and impressive (although it still smelt faintly of smoke) and when they drew to a door Lucia wrapped her knuckles once and then pushed it open. Inside, lay Ovinia in her bed - pale, with deep purple bags of tiredness under her red-rimmed eyes. Her hair was drawn back, revealing the bandage that wrapped under her tunica over her shoulder to conceal the stitched wound on her shoulder blade. Lucia cleared her throat. "Domina, the vigiles are here." 

 

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Gaius Ovinius Camillus was not impressed with the vigiles. He towered over everyone else by sheer willpower, and he looked enraged. Lucius pressed his lips together and squared his shoulders, waiting for the entire house to come down around him in fury. His centurion did the same, for lack of a better option.

"The only people who know what I am about to tell you are my family, a handful of my slaves and a slave from the Palatine. If one single word of this reaches anybody else, I will know it came from one of you and I promise you, I will ensure that your lives will be more painful than any slave in a salt mine. Am I understood?" 

... this was not about him. Lucius blinked, then nodded slowly. They were here as vigiles, not as someone to be accused... But why? His centurin nodded too, although he did not look any wiser.

"My daughter was assaulted last night."

The floor fell out from under Lucius' feet.

"She is recovering, and thank the Gods will be well in time but it appears it could have easily been a very different outcome. She tells me this man has tried before, and done this to others."

No. No, no no...

"You. Will find the man that did this and you will do so as your top priority. The daughter of a Praetor, my only daughter, cannot go molested in a city. Do you understand me?" 

I will murder that man.

Lucius saw red, and couldn't really find his voice. Luckily, he was not expected to, since his centurion nodded again. "Of course, praetor. We will not let you down."

"Lucia will take you to see her. She is tired and not herself but assures me she will tell you everything you need to know."

They followed the slave girl to Ovinia's room. Lucius did not know what to expect once the door opened, but seeing her pale, injured, and broken, made his stomach sink. Someone had hurt her. Really, really hurt her. He twitched, before he checked himself. The urge to go to her was stronger than imaginable.

"Domina, the vigiles are here." 

Lucius turned his head to whisper to the centurion.

"I know her. Our families are... acquainted. I can get her to tell us what we need to know. Just... give me a few minutes to put her at ease?..."

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The centurion looked at Ovinia and then looked at Lucius, wariness writ large on his face. He was not a man good with...emotions. He was not a man good at very much, truth be told, but crying women and assaults were most certainly not in his repertoire. He nodded briskly; "Girl," He called to the slave, "Tell me about the man who brought her home." He gestured for Lucius to step inside the room as he moved out down the corridor with Lucia. 

Ovinia flicked her eyes over to Lucius. She hadn't slept, not really, not more than a few snatched minutes with the aid of a sleeping draught the medicus had left by her bed. She felt the flutter of something in her chest; a mixture of horror that he was seeing her like this and abject relief that he was here. Her father and her brothers had been brusque, cold even - demanding to know the excruciating details and questioning how she had found herself in such a position in the first place. She had received no comfort, besides her mother stroking her hair as she sobbed. 

Her fingers scrunched into the sheets and the blankets draped over her and she choked. "I'm fine." She wasn't, she really, really wasn't but she was not going to cry. She had shed so many tears last night she supposed she could fill the mare nostrum with them. "I'm fine." She repeated, swallowing down the lump in her throat, shaking her head. "I...don't know what to say." How could she say what had happened? How could she even start to? 

 

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His centurion was not generally a capable man, but right now, his awkwardness around crying women won out over his sense of superiority. He waved the slave girl aside, and left Lucius alone in the room, although the door was only half closed. He glanced back, making sure he was out of their line of sight, before hurrying to the bed. Ovinia was choking back tears.

"I'm fine... I'm fine... I...don't know what to say."

"It's aright." Lucius wrapped his arms around her, trying to be gentle enough around her bandages. "It's alright. I'm here. I've got you." He couldn't hold her as long as he wanted to, but hey had a stolen minute.

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She sank into his arms, her own right one coming around his shoulders. Why this one man - who up until four days ago was both a perfect stranger and a colossal pain in her side - was now the most comforting thing imaginable, she didn't know. She buried her face in the crook of his neck and choked. Her fingers clung to his tunic. She started to cry; tears dripping down and staining his clothing darker. She sniffed. 

When he pulled back, she felt the loss of his touch and eased herself back against the soft down pillows behind her. It didn't occur to her how unintentionally intimate this moment was; nobody saw her private room, and certainly no man saw her in bed. Such thoughts were completely redundant now though - this wasn't a romantic moment; it was painful and awkward and humiliating and most of all it was business. He'd been summoned here to do his job which was both a comfort and an embarrassment to her. How did I let this happen? 

"What did my father say?" She swallowed, trying to claw back some of her composure. She moved her hands up to swipe away the tears under her eyes, unintentionally flashing the red raw skin of her wrists. 

 

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He wanted to hold her like this for a very long time. He wanted to let her cry and cling to him. Something horrible had happened, and he had not been there to protect her. It was killing him to see her hurt like that. He pressed a kiss to her temple before she let go. It was not fair that he couldn't stay. He sighed, moving to the chair next to the bed, putting polite distance between them.

"What did my father say?" 

"That... you were attacked. And that no one should know." Lucius shook his head. Clearly the father was more concerned with reputation than how his daughter was doing. He looked her over, noting bruises and scrapes, and the raw marks on her wrists, the bandage showing under her tunica. His hands twitched, reaching out for hers. "You're injured. How bad is it?"

@Sara

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She shifted in her bed, wincing, but moving to face him as he took a seat in the chair her mother had vacated a few hours before. She nodded as he spoke. That sounded like her father, and she couldn't blame him. She'd had much the same concerns as him last night with Jason. She blinked as his hands found hers and she flinched, unintentionally. She schooled her breath back into a normal rhythm and then placed her fingers gently, cautiously over his. 

"Not that bad." She shifted and winced again. Perfect timing. She exhaled deeply, and then drew in a breath, filling up her lungs as deeply as she could. "A cut, on my back. It has been stitched," It would scar. It would be there forever. She glanced down from him to her lap, looking at her legs tremble under the sheets. "And on my hip. That's it." She swallowed, her mouth running dry. She gestured to the wine pitcher - strong stuff, some of her fathers best, on the table next to them. "Wine?" She held out shaking fingers for a cup. 

"You won't find him." She said after some silence, "He's done this b-before." 

 

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"Not that bad."

"Ovinia..." he sighed. She was trying to hold it together, and appear strong. But he could see she was not alright.

"A cut, on my back. It has been stitched. And on my hip. That's it."

That was not it. He could see her wrists, and the scrapes. The worst injuries were cuts, but not the only ones. The burns on her hand were still visible, and now she had other scars to match them.

She asked for wine and he poured her a cup, handing it over and making sure she was holding it securely. He could feel she was trembling.

"You won't find him. He's done this b-before." 

"I will turn this whole city upside down if I have to." It was a statement of fact. This was the very thing the vigiles existed for. And even if they did not put in the effort, Lucius sure as hell would. "How do you know he has done it before?"

@Sara

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She took a deep sip of the wine as he let go. It had barely been watered and she was unused to it but largely she was grateful. She knew from last night after a cup or so she'd begin to feel lightheaded and sleep, no matter how interrupted, would only be a few minutes away. 

She glanced across at his face and saw such earnestness there a pain gripped her chest. She didn't believe him; didn't believe that the tormentor would ever be apprehended. He had so much power, how could he? Relieved she had a question to focus on, she sank back against the cushions, swallowing another mouthful. "He tried before, in the summer." Her voice was flat and emotionless and she didn't look at Lucius' face. "It's how I met Alexius - he interrupted him and Alexius said something happened to a friend of his, a woman, had been held with a knife and..." She swallowed, her mouth feeling dry, "Cut. And then the slave - the slave who took me home, his cousin was assaulted he said by a man with a knife." She exhaled a sharp breath through her nose, her fingers trembling more now, the wine sloshing over the edge of her cup onto the richly coloured sheets she was swathed in. 

"I can't believe I was so stupid." she choked out, surprised at her own honesty. She shook her head and moved to set the wine cup down but her fingers were shaking so much she misjudged it and it clattered to the floor between them, bright red liquid seeping onto the mosaic on the floor. She felt like she might faint. 

 

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Lucius knew they did not have much time. The centurion was going to come in soon, and from then on, it was an official investigation. Before that, he needed to know what happened. And who did this. So he could personally find them and kill them. If he had done it before to people...

"He tried before, in the summer."

Lucius' face turned a shade paler as the real meaning of her words sank in.

"He's done it... to you?"

"It's how I met Alexius - he interrupted him and Alexius said something happened to a friend of his, a woman, had been held with a knife and... Cut. And then the slave - the slave who took me home, his cousin was assaulted he said by a man with a knife." 

Lucius frowned, watching her hands shake. Her entire body was shaking as she recounted the events. Other people were hurt too. He'd have to go talk to them later. This Alexius first.

"I can't believe I was so stupid." 

"Ovinia, no..." she dropped the cup. It clattered to the ground, spilling wine everywhere. The slave girl peeked around the door, and Lucius waved to her. The wine did not matter. The girl frowned, giving Ovinia a questioning look before retreating. Lucius reached out, folding Ovinia's hand into his, and pressed a kiss to her knuckles, before he looked her in the eyes. This next part... was going to be even worse. "Ovinia, none of this is your fault. I need you to know that. We don't have much time, and I have one more question before they come in. I know it's bad, it's... I'm so sorry, but you need to tell me the truth." He squeezed her hand, a meager attempt at encouragement. "Did he... hurt you in any other way?"

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Her shoulders were jerking with the effort it took to suppress a sob. She had never been much of a crier, at least not when she was upset (tears of frustration were another matter), but now it seemed as if she'd never be able to dry her eyes or cheeks. She tried her best to restrain her breathing. In...one, two, three...out, one, two, three...but it only did so much. The way she flinched as he pressed a kiss to her knuckles, likewise, could't be helped. 

She saw him - from the corner of her eyes where her gaze was trained on the wine pooling through the rows of grouting in the mosaic - she saw him looking at her. She felt the squeeze of his hands again and finally dragged her gaze to his own. The look on his face was utterly inscrutable, at least to her, but as his question awkwardly tumbled forth she saw what she wanted to see in his expression - even if it wasn't there at all; disgust. Damaged goods. She pulled her hand out from his own and settled it across her waist, bunching her fingers into to the sheets. 

"No." She forced out through gritted teeth in a choke. She inhaled deeply; "But it doesn't matter that he didn't..." she didn't need to finish that thought, "Because if anybody finds out what actually happened they w-won't believe me when I say he didn't and everybody will look at me the way you just were; damaged goods, right?" she swallowed and wished she still had wine to drink. "It's why my father doesn't want anybody to know, why I don't want anybody  to know." The embarrassment and degradation and humiliation were enough to make her want to throw herself off the Tarp as it was. If anybody thought...she blinked it away. It didn't happen. She was fine. It would be fine. "My father mentioned Crete," She said, finally diverting her attention from him back to her lap where her fingers were scrunched into the sheets. "Thought I could go away for a few months, a little longer maybe to our villa there. It would get me out of the city, get me out of the rumours and..." He can find me a husband in the interim, so I can come back and a married woman. She kept that part to herself. "I don't feel safe here anymore." She added as a whisper.

 

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It was a horrible question to ask, but it needed to be asked. Before the centurion came in, because if... because if the answer was yes, no one could ever know. It was the reason the father called them in secret, but honestly, Lucius did not trust his centurion either, with something like this. But he needed to know. To know how bad it was. And to know how slowly he was going to murder that man.

"No. But it doesn't matter that he didn't... Because if anybody finds out what actually happened they w-won't believe me when I say he didn't and everybody will look at me the way you just were; damaged goods, right?"

Lucius' eyes widened. She drew her hand back, and looked... miserable. In pain. And lost. "That's not..." How the hell was he even going to convince her?... Her words came tumbling out. She knew too, the reason why her father insisted on secrecy. They were going to have to do this without anyone ever finding out what the man had done in the first place.

"My father mentioned Crete. Thought I could go away for a few months, a little longer maybe to our villa there. It would get me out of the city, get me out of the rumours and... I don't feel safe here anymore." 

He desperately wanted to reach out for her again. He didn't. She did not want him to, and he was not going to touch her again without permission.

"Ovinia, that's not at all what I meant." he sighed "You are not damaged. You have been hurt, because some awful person attacked you... I know people might think... and I am so sorry that you have to... deal with all of that. On top of being hurt." Gods, now he was scrambling for words. "I want you, to feel safe. I don't... I will make sure no one finds out. Just... tell me. Tell me what I can do. Anything to... make you feel safer."

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"I am damaged!" She protested, speaking over him, her voice rising enough that she saw the nervous glance of her slave girl looking into the room before she waved a hand to keep her away. They only had a few more moments. Ovinia ploughed on, choking her words out with incredulity as he left a gap for her to speak, intentionally or not; "He might not have raped me," she managed to say it, "But I am damaged, Lucius! I'll have a scar on my back as long as my hand forever, I'll have one as long as my thumb on my hip from where he pushed the knife back in after I'd begged him to stop, I'll have the memories of him pressed up against me, what he felt like, what I thought he was going to do before I couldn't breathe anymore and my vision went dark and I thought I was dying." Her chest was rising and falling now, heart hammering against her ribs and she'd moved forward - pushing herself up from the pillows to try and give herself a semblance of authority.

She hadn't meant to yell at him. She had no reason to be angry at him, beyond her irrotational devastation that he hadn't been there to save her, but even in that moment she knew that was an unfair charge. But she was angry nonetheless, although it was dissipating quickly to be replaced by a shuddering, rasping sob as pain and upset once again filled angers place. He was trying to help. Tell me what I can do. He was trying to be there for her but she didn't know how he could be. The carefully constructed facade of Rome that she had made for herself had crumbled; she didn't feel safe and she wasn't the girl she was yesterday morning. How had her Saturnalia started with a kiss in an alley, a breathless grin and a feeling fluttering her chest and ended here

"I'm...I'm sorry." Her voice was quieter, resigned almost. She unfurled her hand from where it had bunched into the sheets and tentatively, slowly made to reach for his own, gripping his index finger with hers. "You should find Alexius." She swallowed, breathing through her nose to try and settle her thoughts. She desperately wanted more wine. "You should tell him what happened, he will keep it to himself. I trust him. And the slave...Jason, he works for Tiberius at the palace but he is sworn to secrecy on his honour." She gave Lucius a lingering look of sincerity. "Beyond that I..." There was nothing to do. "Just don't..." She struggled to find the words; don't pull away from me. But maybe it would be better if he did. Maybe it would be neater. "There isn't anything. Just find him." 

 

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"I am damaged!"

Lucius winced as she snapped, louder than she should have, maybe, but the slave girl was still holding the centurion outside, or the other way around, whichever of them was smarter. Lucius guessed the girl. Ovinia's words hurt like lashes, even though she was torturing herself, not him.

"He might not have raped me. But I am damaged, Lucius! I'll have a scar on my back as long as my hand forever, I'll have one as long as my thumb on my hip from where he pushed the knife back in after I'd begged him to stop, I'll have the memories of him pressed up against me, what he felt like, what I thought he was going to do before I couldn't breathe anymore and my vision went dark and I thought I was dying."

It was... horrible to hear. To imagine. It must have been a thousand times worse to go through it; he could hear the fear and the pain in her voice, see it in her eyes. Some of it would never go away. Lucius would have given anything to be able to hold her again, through the tears she was trying to hold back. He didn't know what to do. His look probably spoke volumes, but she had misread him before.

In the end, she reached out to him again. He curled his finger around hers, like it was a link in a chain. He did not want to let go.

"I'm...I'm sorry. You should find Alexius. You should tell him what happened, he will keep it to himself. I trust him. And the slave...Jason, he works for Tiberius at the palace but he is sworn to secrecy on his honour."

Lucius nodded, committing all the information to memory. He'd do it right away. Alone. The vigiles were useful patrolling the streets for the man, if they knew enough. But before they could hunt, they needed to know about victims who were not Ovinia. Because she needed to be kept a secret...

"Beyond that I... Just don't... There isn't anything. Just find him." 

He nodded again. "I will. We will. You'll see him dead." Not for revenge, although she could have that too if she wanted. Lucius had never been a violent man, but in this moment, he was ready to kill. More than that, he wanted Ovinia to feel safe. To know that man would never hurt her again. "I'm here, Ovinia. You know where to find me. If you... need anything." Please don't leave.

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"I want him to suffer." She added to his assurance, her fingers squeezing tighter around his as her tears dried and a more steely resolve settled over her...for now at least. She had never considered herself a vengeful sort of person; competitive and petty, yes, but never vengeful. That had clearly changed. She wanted the man who had almost ended her life, and certainly irreparably changed it, to pay for what he had done. No punishment from a magistrate would be enough, of that she was certain. She met Lucius' eyes with a firm look of her own to infer she wasn't joking. 

"I don't." She said with the faintest hint of a half-smile before it fell again and a look of concern flitted onto her face, "I don't know where to find you, I don't know your new family." And his old family, poor Gaius, could never find out about this nor why she was suddenly so invested in Lucius as a companion. She squeezed his hand tighter, starting to speak; "I..." when an indiscrete cough sounded and she saw a warning look from the slave girl. She'd always liked her. Ovinia quickly retraced her hand from Lucius and set it over her waist, sinking back into the pillows and cushions behind her as the Centurion stepped through. 

He looked awkward immediately, glancing between Lucius and Ovinia - flicking his eyes over her form before a flush came to his cheeks and he looked back at Lucius, clearing his throat. "Well...I...understand that our recruit knows your family Ovinia," She quirked an eyebrow and the slave girl interjected; "My domina is Ovinia Camilla to you." The centurion's flush deepened and he pulled at the cloth around his neck. It would be comical if this whole scene wasn't so sad. The man straightened his back and plastered on a fake smile. He was clearly unused to Patricians. "Of course, my apologies Ovinia Camilla. I'm not sure how much Lucius here has managed to..." He hesitated, wincing, "Has managed to glean about what happened last night but I would like you to recount everything that happened. We will catch whoever did this, of course, but we need to know what he did." This man's brusque manner, the way he asked his questions as if she was some common tart on a street corner that had been assaulted set her nerves on edge. She flashed Lucius a questioning glance for support. 

 

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"I want him to suffer." 

"He will." Lucius wanted the same. He had never even considered torturing another person before, but after Ovinia's words, and seeing the look in her eyes, he had absolutely no doubt that he deserved it.

They still held on to each other. Lucius wished it was under different circumstances.

"I don't. I don't know where to find you, I don't know your new family." 

"I live in the barracks at the moment" Lucius told her with the same faint smile. "You can send a message there. Just tell them to look for the idiot that used to be rich." Or just the idiot, really. News among the vigiles traveled fast.

They let go the moment the slave girl entered, and soon after her came the centurion. Lucius stood up from the chair.

"Well...I...understand that our recruit knows your family Ovinia,"

"My domina is Ovinia Camilla to you." 

Lucius bit the inside of his cheek to keep himself from smiling. He liked this girl.

"Of course, my apologies Ovinia Camilla. I'm not sure how much Lucius here has managed to... Has managed to glean about what happened last night but I would like you to recount everything that happened. We will catch whoever did this, of course, but we need to know what he did." 

Oh no. Ovinia did not need to recount all of that again. Lucius cleared his throat.

"I have... already gotten that part, sir. I think we need the place, the time, and... a description. And then we can let the domina rest."

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Lucius intervened and for a brief second she was glad of it. But then she wasn't. He didn't know, he didn't know anything. All he knew was that she had not been raped and that she bore cuts on her back and her hip. That was it. She swallowed the lump in her throat and desperately wished for more wine. "No," She shook her head, contradicting him, "You haven't gotten that part." She saw her slave girls eyes follow her nervously as she pushed herself straighter against the cushions. 

It took a moment for her to gather her strength as the centurion's eyes warily looked to her, expectant. She didn't look at Lucius. She recounted the story; from the time she had been following Lucia to the cloth over her face, the shack, trying to escape and the first wound, her wrists and the binding, the way he pushed the knife back in but didn't look at her face, turning her around, ripping her chiton, the deeper, longer cut, the feeling of him...excited, struggling to breathe and then...darkness. Pain. By the time she was finished she thought she might faint; her chest was rising and falling so rapidly and her fingers were blanching white against the sheets from where she gripped them. 

"As for what he looked like," she swallowed, her voice shaky and uneven, "Tall. Light eyes and dark hair and..." She let out a nervous bubble of laughter, because she didn't know what else to do. "He smelt nice. Clean. Like lemons." Like her father after a shave, but she didn't say as much.

 

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"No. You haven't gotten that part."

Lucius looked at her, confused and hesitant. He had been trying to spare her the need to repeat the things she had thrown at him earlier. They were already etched into his memory anyway. But she refused to take the easy way out. She pulled herself up, and then gave the whole story, in detail calmer this time. Lucius carefully kept his eyes away from the centurion. His nails were digging into his palm and he his his hands behind his back because his knuckles turned white just like Ovinia's. She was struggling, but she followed it all the way through.

"As for what he looked like. Tall. Light eyes and dark hair and... He smelt nice. Clean. Like lemons."

It was not fair he could not hold her. Just not fair. Someone needed to hold her.

That dark haired, light eyes, lemon-scented rat bastard needed to die screaming.

"You are very brave, domina." he said quietly. The rest she needed to read from his eyes.

@Sara

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You are very brave, domina. Her dark eyes flicked up, seeking his face. The moment went unchallenged by the centurion or her slave but she exhaled in relief at the look she found in his own eyes. She didn't feel brave, but it gave her courage. She nodded minutely in understanding. She wanted to be held too. "Thank you." 

"Yes, yes." The centurion blustered, his face flushed, his manner awkward. If crying women bothered him then hearing how one had been held at knifepoint and stabbed was bound to rattle his (limited) senses. He cleared his throat and glanced to Lucius almost expectantly, deferentially. The moment passed before he regained his wits and realised he was the one in charge and he cleared his throat again, puffing out his chest and nodding vigorously. "We will catch him, domina." He nodded again, "We will. We'll...um..." One more cough for good luck, "We'll leave you to rest. Lucius," He jerked his head, already edging to the door and half-way out of it. 

Ovinia's eyes followed him and then landed on Lucius. There was no humour on her face or smile, just blankness. Her words were said almost in a whisper. "Catch him." 

 

TAG: @Chevi

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