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Vibia
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Saturnalia, 76AD

Vibia stifled a yawn behind her fingers and tried to blink the sleep out of her eyes. Saturnalia might be fun for the slaves and the plebs but it was the Venus' busiest time of year, and perhaps its most unpleasant. The most generous of (rich) masters often doled out gifts to their most valuable, trusted slaves which sometimes involved a night with a beauty from the Venus. They had poorer manners than her usual class of clientele and seemed to want to savour every minute that they paid for. It was exhausting, and so it took her almost the full day to be ready (and willing) to work after sleeping, visiting the baths and tidying her rooms from the detritus her clients left. 

Now though, the sun had dipped well past the horizon and evening was drawing in. She could hear the tell-tale sounds of Rome's best and brightest being...entertained in the rooms down the corridor but Vibia herself was led resplendent on one of the couches in the main room, fingers softly trilling her cithara. A few of her colleagues; men and women alike milled around, entertaining the guests of the clients being seen too and likewise trying to prop themselves awake. A woman's work was never done, and particularly not a whore's on Saturnalia. The familiar jangle of the bells that overhung the front door sounded and Vibia lazily dragged her eyes up to see a new client walk in. Interesting. 

 

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It had been quite a while since Marcus had last been with a woman but there were certain urges that men had, and there were certain places a man could go to have those urges met. He knew of the Venus; he thought most men did, especially those of a certain level of income. Not that he'd ever been here before (it was pricey, after all - not that he couldn't afford the prices even as an equestrian; his position meant that he was rather wealthy, for an equestrian).

He hadn't expressed a preference as to age and experience when the madam asked him what he wanted, though he did say he'd rather have a female (there were days when he wanted a male but not today).

The room he was shown to was well-appointed, its main attraction the woman reclining on the couch. She was perhaps twenty years younger than him which would surely make her one of the most mature and experienced workers here, with blond hair. A womanly figure... Yes, very much to his taste.

 

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Vibia eyed the man that came in, the faintest hint of a smile playing on her lips. She didn't know him, or hadn't seen him before and the look of intrigue on the faces of her fellow workers suggested they didn't know of him either. Interesting. "May I introduce Vibia?" One of the more seasoned workers, usually the one who kept to the front desk spoke gently to the man and held her arm aloft, indicating for Vibia to step forward. 

She didn't rise immediately, finishing the chords she was plucking on her cithara before she set it down and nimbly glided up from the couch, walking  towards the man with no particular purpose. A new client was often much more challenging than an old one. For one thing, Vibia had no idea what sort of woman he wanted. Usually those who wanted some spirit were drawn to her (if you wanted a feeble young  thing there were younger, newer girls fresh off the boats for that), but she could never be completely sure. 

Moving to stand in front of the man, she gave him a feline grin and inclined her head, her blonde waves falling over her shoulder as she did so. She wasn't dressed in anything garish - not like at the Elysium where the girls and men paraded around naked more often than clothed, but her outfit was carefully chosen. It was an Assyrian silk that was almost transparent when unfolded, but folded as it was, belied only a hint of what was underneath. It was cut lower than the chitons worn by respectable women and one of the neatly braided straps was slipping off her shoulder. All of it was entirely purposeful though. 

"Dominus." She said as she flicked her blue eyes up, straightening back up. "Welcome to the Venus." Another unknown quantity with a new client was how much they wanted to get down to business straight away, or whether they wanted to be romanced. Vibia bet on the latter and gestured to the couch, "Will you take a cup of wine with me?" Of course there were already two fine silver cups laid out. 

 

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"Will you take a cup of wine with me?" 

"I will." If he was going to spend good money here (and he was, this place was not cheap!) then he wanted more than mere sex. Some sort of conversation would be nice, and conversation of any sort was better with wine.

"Vibia," he said. It was a pretty name for a pretty woman - well, her face was, and the silk she wore hinted that the rest of her was, too. Alluring, hiding as much as it showed. Whoever chose that garment for her had taste, at least. He was sure that the narrow strap that was sliding off her shoulder was by design rather than by accident, although he didn't mind. It was artless enough in hinting at what lay beneath. A deliberate tease.

"My name is Marcus," he told her, accepting one of the cups of wine and seating himself next to her, where he could smell her perfume - like everything else, it was tasteful rather than being overpowering and cloying, designed to allure and draw him in. The Venus was worth the coin it charged, at least.

 

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"Marcus." She repeated with an arched brow and a hint of a smile teasing at the corners of her lips. Some men that came here used fake names, but it wasn't really necessary both because the Venus was the premier brothel of the city and ergo not an embarrassing place to be seen, and more than that; there were so many Gaius', Lucius' and Marcus' in the city, you really didn't need to use a false name. You just didn't need to give your other names. 

Stretching out on the couch, she let her thigh lightly rest on his knee and she took a sip of her wine. It was good, expensive - just like everything else in the place. A few of her colleagues were milling around but they were keeping up appearances; entertaining their own guests before taking them back to their private rooms, or otherwise conversing between themselves - flicking alluring glances at the clients in the room. 

"I trust you're having a good Saturnalia Marcus?" She studied his face, trying to take a guess at a profession. He didn't look much like a politician. "What is it that you do?" She took another sip and let the strap  of her chiton fall down a little further. 

 

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"A very good Saturnalia, thank you," Marcus said with an answering smile. He gave a one-shouldered shrug. "I work for one of the racing factions," he told her. He did, he just wasn't about to say he ran one - and he'd chosen a blue tunic today, for this visit. He didn't have to always wear his own faction's colour, although he frequently did especially when on official business for the faction, on occasions when his equite's tunic and toga with the narrow purple angusticlavia stripes would be too formal.

He was not going to bet that he was the first man from a chariot faction to grace the Venus, but thought that her clientèle would tend more towards Senators and rich merchants.

He noted the practised way she allowed the strap of her dress to slip even further down her arm - oh, she was good at this, there was no doubt of that!

"Have you ever been to the races?" Probably not, but it was a topic of conversation at least.

 

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Work for. So either he was a freedman or slave with a very generous patron or a master, or he did more than he said he did. Either was fine with her, but she'd prefer the latter. Monied people were - with a few exceptions - better clients. They were more direct in what they wanted, and better conversationalists too - although this one seemed a little almost...awkward. She wondered, briefly, if he'd ever been to a brothel before. Surely he had? 

"Of course, I  prefer the races to the Games." she grinned and stretched out a little on the couch, blue eyes narrowed on his face and a coy smile on her lips. She was not going to pry and ask what faction, given he clearly didn't wish to say. "Although I'm not about to say which faction I support, lest you decide to turn me down Marcus." She sipped her wine, "I've even met a few charioteers, a handful at a party not so long ago. I don't just spend my days lazing around in my bed." She planted the seed of bed, but her tone was warm and humorous. "You've not graced our halls before, have you Marcus? I'm sure I would have remembered you." She cupped her jaw in her palm and studied his face with a lascivious look.

 

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Bed was a good idea, but he wasn't about to move there just yet. "I have not," he said. "My loss, apparently."

She was a professional flatterer, of course, but all men liked to have their egos stroked and Marcus was no different. "I daresay you are very sensible; there have been serious fights between supporters of one colour and supporters of another." The Whites' biggest rival was the Green faction which wasn't to say there hadn't been fights between Whites and Reds, or Whites and Blues or any other permutation of the four major factions.

He thought he knew the party she referred to - it was one of the first times he'd let Azarion attend such a thing, although under the supervision of one of the more senior and more experienced charioteers.

"Dare I ask what you do spend your days doing, then?" he asked, his free hand coming to rest on her thigh (just in case she didn't think he knew what to do with a woman!) "You can't possibly spend the whole day practising on your cithara, after all."

 

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She moved her leg into his touch, an amused smile toying on her lips. The main room was filling up now and one of the girls had started up on a little wooden flute. She'd heard the tune a thousand times now and it was quite possibly the most irritating sound in the universe. Nonetheless, she kept her composure. 

"What do I do? Well..." Her smile became more flirtatious, her eyes hotter, "My room is just down there," She indicated with a nod to the curtained corridor a few paces away. "I could tell you here but..." She cast a purposeful glance round and then leaned in closer to his ear, her breath warm against his neck and the scent of her expensive perfume drifting up, "It's not a conversation for polite company." 

Unlike the Elysium or the other, unsavoury institutions of the city, Vibia wasn't confined to some dank cell to carry out her business. Her room was large enough and richly appointed with furs and silks and a couch and a luxurious bed. It was a fitting place for the best and greatest of Rome, after all. 

 

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Marcus glanced around the room and lifted an eyebrow. "Could you call this polite company, though?" he asked. "But why don't we adjourn to your room and you can tell me. Or maybe you'd rather show me?"

She was very good at her job, Marcus allowed. And a much better musician than the girl on the double pipes, who was ever-so-slightly off-key (and a lot more off-key on the top notes!)

He wondered what other skills she might have - he could afford to spend the time finding out, and indicated with his cup that she should lead the way to her room, which would be hopefully a great deal more private than here.

 

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"Ah, but that suggests you're impolite." She said with a grin as she stood, hair falling down her back in a river of golden waves. "Are you feeling impolite Marcus?" She quirked a brow over her shoulder before leading him out of the room, her own wine cup still held loosely in her hand down by her thigh. 

It wasn't a particularly long walk through the corridor but the sounds drifting out from the other rooms of the establishment certainly made it memorable. When she shut the heavy wooden door that concealed her own workplace from view, said noise did drift away. If not entirely. The room was richly appointed and she let him take it in before leaning back against the door, a slightly coy expression on her face. 

"You know, we could talk about what spend my days doing until dawn but I think," She gently pushed the strap further down her arm, "I'd like to know what interests you, Marcus..." 

 

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"Well, I'm standing here, which hardly suggests I'm feeling... polite, does it?" Marcus said with a smile. Her room (if it was hers and not just a room she used) was very well appointed, which suggested that she was one of the favoured whores of this brothel, one that men pressed gifts upon in an effort to have her remain solely theirs. Marcus had absolutely no illusion that she would whisper sweet nothings into his ear, and those same honeyed words and promises into the ear of the next man to walk through this door. Men were so self-deceiving, after all.

"Fine wine, fine conversation... fine women. And you are a very fine woman," he said, and raised his cup towards her in a toast.

 

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She raised her own cup in his toast and took a sip of the fine wine. This one was interesting; he hadn't immediately launched himself on her like some men did the second she shut the door, but nor did he seem to want to be romanced. Curious. "Flatterer." She smirked, amused and then left her perch by the door to move to the couch that lay at the foot of her bed. She set the wine cup down on the small table next door, but made no move towards him or to offer him a seat. He seemed like a man sure enough in himself that he didn't need direction. 

Instead, she set about unlacing the ribbon tied sandals she wore indoors, the criss-cross of the fine silk reaching up to her knee. Shoes were, obviously, unnecessary in her line of work and she could have slipped them off with a finger, but she thought it was provocative - particularly the curve of her body as she leant down to work. "Would you like me to play some music for you?" She called out and then glanced up to try and find him as she slipped one shoe off, her dress inching higher on her thigh as she worked, "Or I'm quite the conversationalist." Her smile was wry, "Depending on the topic you choose." 

 

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"No, I don't think so," he replied, leaning against the doorpost as she bent to remove her shoes - light things that they were, totally unsuitable for wearing outdoors but perfectly suited for indoor wear. Her dress crept up as she did so, revealing the white skin of her thigh, hinting at what else it concealed.

He was enjoying the hints and the anticipation. Somehow, he thought she was not used to this sort of slow progression, but the quiet anticipation was just as much a part of the experience - Marcus was a patient man, with a long view of things, which surprised people who thought that racing was all about speed and the short sharp fury of galloping horses. That was only a tiny part of his trade - the most public part, to be sure, but the skill of his job was everything that wasn't seen, which led up to what was seen.

"I am maybe going to surprise you, but what would you like to talk about?" he asked, sipping his wine. "I have no doubt that you're a good actress, able to feign interest in a great many very dull things indeed, but surely you have some preferred topics of your own?"

 

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She quirked her brow and glanced up at him as she set to slowly undoing the ribbon that held up her other shoe, smiling slyly at him. "Aren't you quite the gentlemen, giving a lady the choice." She was neither a lady nor did she really have the choice but she was fine to pretend if he was, he seemed decent enough after all. 

"I like hearing and speaking of far off lands," She commented as she gently uncrossed the ribbons, the strap of her chiton falling down her arm as she did, her hair falling over her shoulder in a white blonde wave. "I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I've never been outside of Italia, but I like to live vicariously," She grinned, "Hear all about the savage tribes of the north and the exotic women of the south, some of whom - I hear - are dressed in nothing but linen skirts, their chests bare, in public." She arched a brow and glanced at him, letting the image linger in his mind, "Much more progressive than Rome clearly." She finally slipped off the other shoe and sighed, reclining back on the couch at the foot of her bed. "Tell me, have you travelled Marcus? And if you haven't, where would you like to go?" 

 

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"I have done some travelling," Marcus told her, his gaze lingering on the very low-cut bodice of her dress... She was good, there was no doubt about that at all. "My grandfather came from Parthia, although I haven't been there myself. I have been to Hispania, though." They bred very good horses in Hispania, after all, which was his main reason for travelling anywhere these days. Britannia was another place to look for horses, as was Parthia - he would like to visit the lands his grandfather had called 'home' and not just to trade in horses.

He joined her on the couch. "I can think of one or two... interesting... places to visit," he added, his hand returning to rest on her thigh as it had earlier.

 

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Vibia grinned and nimbly moved up the couch so he could recline with her. She draped her legs over his lap, ostensibly to make room, but of course the act (like everything) was utterly purposeful. "Hispania," She said with a wistful voice, "How exotic..." 

She moved her leg closer into his palm and her eye grew heavier, her smirk becoming a grin as she moved her own hand to play at his belt. "And you think these other places are more interesting...?" She quirked a brow, "Tell me what you'd do there, Marcus." She had a script for moments like this, but there was always a bit of ad-libbing. It depended very much on what sort of woman a man wanted, but Marcus seemed content to play her game and follow her orders, so she encouraged him, her fingers flirting with the catch on his belt.

 

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It was an act, of course, but it was a good act - she wouldn't be one of the most highly sought-after courtesans the house had to offer if she wasn't good, after all. His belt slipped loose, almost unheeded.

"Well," he said, letting his hand trail up the white skin of her thigh before slipping it round to the front a little more, "there are some very interesting temples to Venus in some other parts of the empire."

He set the goblet of wine down and cupped her breast with his newly freed hand.

"But then, there are some beautiful temples to the goddess right here," he added.

 

@Sara - I am so sorry it's been so long!!!

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Vibia's grin grew more feline, her eyes a little darker as his hand moved between her thighs and his other came to he breast. Often she had to fake sounds of pleasure, but every now and again there was a man that was interested in hearing the real thing. She leant down to leave a soft kiss on his jaw and then moved up to whisper in his ear; "And are you going to worship in one, Marcus?" She moved her fingers to softly stroke his jaw for a moment. 

There was always the careful staging of a production such as this scene. She didn't wish to give away too much too early, but at the same time she didn't wish to string a man along for too long that he grew frustrated or miserable. She figured it had been long enough and one of her hands came to the ties on her chiton, expertly undoing the pretty bows until it fell down to her hips. "You'll have to help with the rest of it, I'm afraid." She smirked. It was obviously designed to catch on the curve of her hips. 

 

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"I very much intend to," he told her, lifting his cup again as she unfastened the ties at her shoulders, which allowed the sheer silk of her gown to slip down, catching at her waist. The figure revealed to him was exquisite - as of course it was, she was the prize of the Domus Venus. "You are a sight to behold - only the goddess Venus herself would outshine you," he told her and reached to encourage the fabric the rest of the way down. "Praxiteles himself would be pleased to have you model for him."

She could very easily be a model for a statue in the style of the famed Aphrodite of Knidos, he thought. He was not here merely to look at her, though, and quickly unfastened his own belt. His tunic was just as quickly discarded over the couch.

 

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  • Sara changed the title to Happy Holidays! [M]

She grinned at his evident appreciation. She took great pains over her appearance - as any self respecting prostitute would - but she had been blessed with a naturally good figure, and face to match. She knelt up so he could assist in tugging down the rest of her garment, revealing her naked besides the gold jewellery clasped around her wrists and an ankle. She smiled as he himself disrobed, chiding him only a little; "I would have helped with that, Marcus, tsk..." 

She moved soft hands to either side of his face, fingers stroking the curve of his jaw softly. Her smile was equally soft, and perhaps more real (or it appeared so at least). "As comfortable as my couch is, I think you'd find my bed moreso..." She said and with no further hesitation, she stood - leaving him alone and hopefully missing the absence of her hands as she moved to sit on the edge of the bed. "Would you tell me what you like, Marcus?" 

 

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"What do I like?" Marcus mused, over the edge of his winecup. "Fine wine, sunsets, the night sky - watching a promising charioteer on the sands of the Circus. Or do you mean, with regard to the services you offer?"

She was a beautiful woman - the Venus offered only the very best, after all - and evidently a skilled courtesan. He set the cup down and crossed to her.

"You are a talented woman... why don't you show me what you prefer to do?" he said, lifting a hand to her shoulder and stroking her soft skin with a finger as his hand trailed down to her breast. "And I don't mean with your cithara," he added, more quietly, going in for a kiss.

 

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She chuckled, rolling her eyes as she moved to recline back fully on the bed to escape his kiss, propping herself up on her elbows she could continue to see him. "What I prefer to do involves you joining me in bed." She grinned and then when he was in reaching distance, she moved a hand to pull him closer and in for the kiss he had attempted before. It was full of lust and passion as her hand snaked lower down his body. "What about..." She said breathlessly as she pulled back, deftly moving to his side with a wry smile on her lips, "Something which no good Roman woman would do..." She moved to kiss him again before trailing kisses down his throat, his chest, all the way to his manhood, before taking him fully with her mouth.

 

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