Jump to content

Fresh Starts


Ione
 Share

Recommended Posts

February, 77AD

Ione dunked her face in the cold water basin she kept in her room, trying to wipe off the kohl that circled her eyes. The man who was chatting idly to Darius outside having just had the use of her body, always demanded it, but she hated it. It itched and looked ridiculous on her complexion and she cupped her hands with the water trying to scrub it off. Pulling the dark black wig (another requirement) off her hair after her eyes were clear of the dark smudges, she set about scrubbing her body as clean as she could. It never felt like enough though. 

There was some sort of commotion in the corridor but she payed it no heed. Things had been happening all morning - boxes being ferried out of the small cell at the end of the corridor that served as the dominus' office, and others were being moved in. She didn't pay it any mind, Titus was probably merely ferrying things between his home and his office. It didn't matter to her - scrubbing herself of every trace of the dumpy little man she'd just been with, did. When she was satisfied she slipped back on the red toga and raked a comb through her hair. All that time she'd spent on it this morning with Eris to make the waves fall just right was virtually ruined. Still, she looked presentable - if a little flushed from the cold of the water. 

Steeling herself, she padded to the curtain and drew it back to be greeted by a huddle of women looking confused in the corridor. That was not the explanation to the commotion she had been expecting. She had assumed it was probably some drunken customer being escorted out. She frowned but glanced at the other girls who merely shrugged and continued their conversation; "I heard Titus isn't coming back." one said and Ione scoffed. She hadn't seen him all morning, but that wasn't unusual. "He's probably just out on business." She offered and an older woman frowned, "He didn't say goodbye." Ione rolled her eyes, "If he's just gone to the baths he wouldn't need to-" Eris interrupted her; "But all of his boxes are gone. Darius said-" They were cut off as the man himself awkwardly entered from the street, with a taller figure in tow. Ione felt her stomach lurch.

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was all happening now and Lucius was very pleased with how it turned out. He’d visited the Elysium briefly after his arrival in Rome, and he’d seen how it was like. He understood that it was after the Earthquake, more than a year ago, that it halfway fell apart and the current owner – the man he sold the Elysium to, years ago! – was unable to pay to have it all fixed. So not only were the whores cheap and not of the best quality. The house itself was horrible too. All in all though, it made it easier for Lucius to do what he was doing now. He had considered to either buy a new building and start an entirely new brothel… but he could also just try and take back the Elysium, which he had, now.

 Titus wasn’t entirely pleased about selling it back to Lucius, and especially not for that price, but honestly, what could he do? Lucius had been there, towered over him as he did with most Romans, and he had his arms crossed and a chest of coins presented to the other man. Lucius could be quite imposing if he wanted to be. And he did. Titus was at least offered something – he could travel to Hispania and run one of Lucius’ brothels there, instead. Which was what he would do now, along with his family. He had a sister and she had a son, who would come with him. They’d start over. And Lucius would do something about his childhood home.

 It was happening now. He was moving into the office and had a bed set up there too, he’d live there until he had finished making proper arrangements for his family to come and live with him. He needed a proper home for them first. No way his daughters were growing up in a brothel! But it was different for Lucius, and for all the slaves and the whores that were now also his. He’d acquired a few slaves of his own after he came to Rome, and they were now busy moving his things from the hospitia to the brothel.

 He followed them into the place, he’d soon make a proper announcement to all of the inhabitants of the house, but for now, he would just settle in. And on the way in, he met none other than the girl who re-introduced him to Elysium. Judging by the look on her face, she wasn’t happy to see him. But he gave her a brief glance and moved on, into the office. It would be almost too easy to have a little more fun with her, he thought. But, he’d wait until he’d set up the office properly. Let her think a little about why he was here first. Let the gossip spread!

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He came in surrounded by a small group of slaves carrying things and Ione, and the few other girls she was with, instinctively stepped back towards the wall. She felt her heart sink and cast Darius a confused look. He just shrugged and looked ashen faced. The man - what was his name? - glided past into the office. She choked and looked around at the equally curious looks the other workers were casting each other. 

"Why is he here?" Eris started in a quiet hiss though she needn't have bothered, the sounds of a man in the throes of pleasure with one of the other girls was drowning out the conversation. Ione shrugged and they all looked expectantly at Darius who held up his hands, shrugging and glowering at the girls. "I don't bloody know. He just stormed in here and shoved a coin purse in my hand." And that was plenty for Darius to sell out his master. "Dominus will be furious..." she mumbled and the others nodded warily. Titus wasn't a man to be crossed even in a good mood. She bit her lip and then she felt a shove on her shoulder from Darius behind her, "You had him last time, didn't you? What did he say?" Ione tried to dredge her mind back to that day but it didn't take long. It was imprinted into her mind. "Nothing...I...he said, he said he might buy me." She ducked her head guiltily, even though her interpretation of the conversation was patently wrong. It didn't make sense though - if he was here for that, what was with the boxes? She had a suspicion but it was almost too odd to countenance. "He...he hasn't bought it, the brothel, has he?" She peered up at Darius who shrugged again. Useless piece of dirt. 

"You have to ask him!" Eris jabbed her finger at Darius who started to protest, but she continued; "We can't, we're just the whores. You're a guard, grow some fucking balls!" That would have usually earned her a slap but Darius was as confused as her and merely grimaced, weighing his options. Finally, reluctantly, he made his way towards the office - leaving a group of confused, scared looking women in his wake. "Sir..." He cleared his throat, calling into Lucius, "Sir...the women here are confused. Could...you talk to them?" Ione rolled her eyes. He was as lost as they were, but of course it was all their fault.

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That guard he encountered earlier, who was easily convinced to stay and work for Lucius, was entering his office as he was placing a pillow on the simple bed that had been set up. Lucius stood, looking at the guard. A grown man and he stood there, speaking to Lucius as if he was a child or something. Who didn’t know what to do with himself. Maybe it was an error, keeping him here. But he needed people, he could always change them out later, but for now, he needed them. So he'd have to take what he could get. 

“I can. You’re Darius, right?” The man nodded and Lucius did too. He’d remember the name now, “I’ll talk to them. Send them all out in the courtyard behind the brothel. I’ll be there in a moment.” He said and the guard skipped away. He really had hoped to do this later or maybe tomorrow. And that stupid guard would need to learn to knock… and not speak until Lucius allowed him to. Sure he was no slave, but don’t disrespect the man who pays you! Lucius inhaled a breath and left the office, closing the door behind him. 

Not all of the girls were in the courtyard – some of them were actually working – but it was morning and most were here, along with other guards and slaves of the brothel. They were all curious! Lucius smirked.

 “Greetings! I am Lucius Armenius Valerius and this brothel is mine, now. Your master is no longer Titus Aspanius Lupus… he’s gone. I am your master now. My father founded the Elysium years ago and now that it is back in proper hands again, know that there are going to be changes. The building will be repaired. Some of you may stay, some may not. I’ll spend the next weeks meeting you all personally. For now though, continue to work as you’ve always done. And do your best! I do not tolerate laziness and I do not tolerate disobedience. I promise that you will regret such behavior!” He paused, “And while I expect you all to address me properly, do not forget my name. Understood? Good. Get back to work.” Lucius said and his eyes wandered over their faces, giving them a firm look and then he wandered back into the building and ordered Darius to fetch Ione for him. He'd start with her.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ione and the others were chivvied out of the dank, dark building into the February sun. It was cold though and nobody had brought their cloaks and so they stood huddled in a little group, any semblance of order long gone as the man finally ducked out of the building. Ione felt her blood turn even colder, if that was possible. 

She kept her eyes on the ground just in front of his sandalled feet and not at the other girls. It was said with such brevity and speed that she thought, for a moment, she'd misheard. Titus Aspanius Lupus is gone. He's gone. She blinked up and glanced to her right where the other girls faces were a mixture of horror and confusion. Ione felt dizzy. She'd been sold only once before, from her first owner to this horrible place, but two masters was a lifetime supply for her. She didn't want another, and she especially didn't want another who looked at her and held her the way this one had. Titus had been cruel and vicious and uncaring, but he had been easy enough to read. She had absolutely no grasp on this newcomer. 

As he finished speaking the girls and boys nodded dumbly and stumbled back from the light into the darkness of the brothel behind him. There was no formal place to sit and stand and discuss besides the corridor since the earthquake and she found herself squeezed into the end as they all made it back inside. Some of her co-workers had skulked off but quite a few still lingered. "He's handsome at least." Eris giggled, but Ione couldn't summon the energy to do anything beyond staring blankly at the room at the end of the passageway. Darius was soon there though, blocking her view. "Dominus wants you." She gave him a worried look which wasn't returned and she found herself shoved down to the room before she could blink. At least she looked more presentable than last time they'd met - sodden and freezing. Darius ducked his head in the door and then gestured for her to go in, shutting the door behind them.

She stood awkwardly in the little room and noted the bed immediately. She kept her eyes on the table. "Dominus, you called for me?" Dominus. She shivered. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now the gossip would surely start. Of course not all of the workers would be pleased about this sudden change, but that was their problem to deal with, not his. It was his place once more. And at least he would make sure to repair the building and improve it all. That Titus had not done that was irritating. To just let it fall apart like that! As if that was going to attract any proper patrons. But for now, he had to settle in, he had to make some money and send word to Hispania about what had happened and that they should send more coin towards him. He'd do that later. For now he would make sure he had at least someone who would listen to him, and make sure the others knew that they too should listen. And he'd find out, of course, if it was worth it to keep her around. He would have been amused, had he known what Darius told her. That Dominus wanted her. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, he had no plans towards that yet. 

And then she was there. Behind her the door was closed and Lucius sat on the edge of his desk, looking at her as she shivered before him. 

"I did." He said, "I did tell you I might make you mine again. And here we are." He said with a little smile, "And all you want is to please me. Now more than last time, I think. How does that make you feel?" 

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Yes dominus." She said at his statement. But I didn't think you'd buy the whole bloody place. It must have cost...well...Ione couldn't even countenance how much, it was surely an unfathomable sum to her - a girl who had grown up the daughter of a potter and now lived her life in slavery. 

She didn't see his smile as he continued, merely keeping her eyes down. Titus had demanded it, few people saw the vicious blue eyes, and she was more than happy to do the same with this master. His face wasn't any more friendly - from memory - than her old dominus'. "It..." She panicked. It made her feel nervous, but surely he didn't want to hear that? She swallowed, and started again; "I am looking forward to working for you, dominus. You are right," She continued on unsteady footing - her accented words falling before she could make them coherent and measured, "I-I do just want to please you. I've been working hard, I will for you too." The fresh scar along her collarbone was a sign of that, as was her stiff gait as she walked. She wanted to ask him what he planned but didn't dare.

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She was a well-behaved slave at least, but he'd expect nothing else from this place. He was not exactly like Titus, but he'd sold the place to the man because he knew, that Titus would be as focused as he'd been, on making profit. And you didn't make profit in a brothel with disobedient slaves. Considering that those ensuring the profit were slaves. She kept her eyes down, that was good. And she knew how to speak to him. But then of course he had to tease her. Lucius enjoyed that. So he asked her how she felt about the whole thing with him taking over. As if he cared about her feelings. 

She said she was looking forwards to him being her master, and that she did just want to please him. She had worked hard and of course she still would.

"Of course you will, you wouldn't want to displease me." Lucius said and came closer to her. Still very pretty, but he noticed the scar, showing above her the edge of her tunic by her collarbone. He reached out to push the cloth away from the scar, "What's this?" He could not recall if it had been there or not, last time he met her, but now that she was his, he was curious. And it was a fine way to start talking about the patrons who came here. 

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She flinched as he came closer, as she always did with men like him. It had been the same with Titus. She wasn't scared of Darius or the other thugs who guarded the place because they could only beat the girls so much before they lost value. Her owner though? That was different, and she didn't know the man before here at all. She didn't want to find out what he'd do if she did displease him. She merely nodded. 

As he pushed the folds of the cheap, gaudy toga aside she glanced down at what he was looking at. Few men were overtly violent - most just enjoyed a quick fuck which happened to be rough. Some liked slaps or hits, but they were rarer. The man that had scarred her was the rarest of them all. She felt her breath quicken at the memory. "It is from one of the clients, dominus." She said quietly and flicked her eyes up to his face just very briefly, watching his reaction. "Dom...the previous dominus was...is friends with him, I think, and he...let him..." She swallowed a lump in her throne and took her eyes away from his face back down to the thin, neat pink line. It was so ugly to her. "Cut us. My previous dominus gave me to him for the night." Because I fucked up. She didn't want to admit that to this man. Hopefully he would never find out. But the longer she stared at the line, the more worried she became and she quickly added; "But it will fade, the girls tell me. It will go white...people won't be able to see it when it does and no other client has complained." Because why would they care? She was still young, pretty and cheap

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She flinched as he came closer… she feared him already, did she not? Not something he disliked, because that meant she really would do anything in her power to please her new master. And as long as she did not know him well, he could have his fun with her. With her, and with the rest of the girls in the house. But since he had a recent memory with this one, he chose her first. She nodded at his words and then he took a closer look at the recent scar near her collarbone.

 She glanced down when he looked and said a client gave it to him. Lucius tilted his head, looking at the scar, ignoring the fact that she just looked at him. He could use that later. It wasn’t a very long cut and although it ran just atop the collarbone, it didn’t reach the large artery in the throat. It also seemed clean. The blade had been sharp. Ione continued to explain that it was a friend to her former master, and therefore, the client was allowed to cut the girls. And she’d been given to that man for a night. A man who cut the girls? That was new. She went on. Said it would fade. Clearly fearing that he’d dislike her for the scar.

 “So he has been here often? And he cuts the girls…” Lucius said thoughtfully and let go of the cloth of her tunic, “Do many of the others have scars like these?” It wasn’t very pretty. If the man was just allowed to choose a random girl, or a random girl was given to him, many would get ugly scars. Wasn’t it better that it was the same, all the time? “Did he fuck you too? Or just cut?” It was very weird, but if it was a returning patron, Lucius would hate to turn him away. Although he’d make sure the other would pay for the girls. He wasn’t Lucius’ friend… yet, anyway.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ione nodded silently. "He comes maybe a few times a month, dominus and yes...different girls mostly. I-I'm not sure who is favourite is." She hoped not her. She had been crying for the most part, during their encounter and that seemed to annoy him. She hoped he wouldn't ask for her again. 

His question was thrown to her in such a blasé manner, should she still be the innocent young woman on her home island she would have been appalled. But she took it and nodded. Not even the language had any affect on her anymore. "He fucked me, yes. After he cut. He...seemed to spend more time looking at the blood..." She trailed off felt nausea well up in her chest. The memory was agonising. She'd suffered a lot of indignity since her enslavement, but her encounter with that man ranked amongst the worst. She stood there awkwardly, toga slipping down her arm, scar on show, and she self-consciously tugged it back up to hide it as best as she could. 

"He is one of the regulars, dominus." She offered and then thought to be helpful, to make a good impression, "I can tell you about the others, if that pleases you..." 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The more she told, the weirder this particular patron was. It was of course a problem that he’d been a friend to the former owner of the Elysium, because that probably meant that he either had not paid full price for the girls or maybe had not paid at all. And they were hurt and although a scar would fade, it would still be there. She said the man used different girls and might not have a favorite. At least that’s what he understood.

 And although the man did cut the girls, he also slept with them, afterwards. Lucius had met many strange clients and patrons to brothels in his lifetime, but this one might be the strangest. He might not like that there was now a new owner to the brothel. And yet he was a regular. She said that as she also pulled her clothes back in place and Lucius watched her do it. So self-conscious despite being a whore. Really it shouldn’t matter. He’d already seen her naked, after all.

 “If he comes back, let me know. I want to meet him.” Lucius replied, “And it would please me to hear about other patrons. Is it common that the clients hurt the girls? I’ve heard it is. That if they pay enough, they can do what they please.” He’d have to deal with that, because if he was ever going to make Elysium a proper brothel again, to rival the Venus, such things would not do. No wealthy Senators would buy broken girls, unless they were here to break them first… “I guess most girls here don’t last long? What about the boys?”

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Yes dominus." She nodded hurriedly. She'd be delighted to tell him, because that might mean he was no longer allowed here. He saw the way the others cowered from him whenever he came through the door. It would be a fine day if he was barred. Small mercies, for women like her. 

"Yes," she swallowed, "We are told that they pay to do what they like. Whatever they want." She shifted from foot to foot, "There's a few that come a lot...a baker and his son, and then there's a few of the tavern owners." She swallowed, picturing all of their faces, "And some legionaries who are home from duty. We have a lot of those." She wound an arm around her waist protectively. "They don't always hurt us." But when they did, it was often brutal and vicious - like the scar on her collarbone and the bruises that often decorated the throats and bodies of the people that work here. 

His question was pointed though and she glanced up, biting her lip. She'd been here close to five months and was the second newest. She shook her head; "Some of them have been here for a few years, but most not more than that. And...there's only two boys." And they were miserable, angry men that tended to steer well clear of Ione and the other women. As if their indignities were so much greater than her own. "Are...are you going to sell some of us, domine? Everybody  here works hard..." She asked tentatively as she dropped her eyes back down.

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucius wasn’t sure he would forbid the man from coming here… the man who cut the girls. He just wanted to see who it was, because it was a thing he hadn’t really heard about before, at least not like that. He knew some men liked to hurt their partners, that it turned them on, but this thing somehow felt different. He just wanted to see the man. Maybe find out what he was all about. And if he was so fond of cutting people, could he doing it for Lucius, if he needed someone special to be taught a lesson? Why not use such things for the greater… good, or something?

 But he went on with his questions to Ione and she seemed to answer truthfully. Explained that men paid to do what they liked here. She mentioned some random people who came. It was of course a fine way to ensure that people would come here, but Lucius had higher hopes and plans for the future of the Elysium. She continued to answer the next question, said some girls had been here for a few years and there were only two boys. Then she dared to have a question of her own.

 “I may sell some, we’ll see. I want you all to be good, work hard and keep the patrons hard too. But I may not continue Titus’ way of running the brothel. I have my own ideas.” He thought he might select a few girls, who could stand getting hurt or maybe some who were expendable, and make sure only those were sold to the men who liked to hurt the girls. And the rest he’d keep nice and clean, “I’m sure my wife will also have her opinions on whom to keep and why. Did your former owner have a wife? And did he ever use his whores for himself?” It had been a habit of his for years, to break the new girls in, unless they were virgins when they came. He had to sample the wares, after all. Had to know what he was selling and what it was worth. And the best way to find out, was to test it for yourself. He'd already had Ione though. Still it was interesting to find out about the former owner's methods.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ione wanted to know exactly what these ideas were, but didn't dare ask. She knew better than that and had already pushed her luck. Maybe she'd get Eris to ask? The woman was vivacious and beautiful and far more confident than herself. Maybe the dominus would like that and give her the answers. For now though Ione had to stew in the unknown and the thought left her nervous and afraid. What if the place got worse? What if the clients did? The thought seemed unimaginable to her, but then again she saw the women down by the markets - toothless and battered, begging for custom. What if that was her, in a few years? 

The mention of a wife snapped her out of her melancholy and her mouth fell open ajar in surprise. "No." She answered and then shook her head, "No domine, he didn't have a wife. Or not one he mentioned." But then again she avoided the man as much as possible so perhaps she just didn't know. She knew the answer to the second question though and she felt herself stiffen at the thought. "Yes, he had us. All of us. Usually one of us was with him every few nights." And it was always awful and unpleasant. He was fond of Ione putting on a red wig, which felt more humiliating often than the act itself. "He said I was getting better." She offered. "I...hadn't been with a man, when I came here." She thought that a prudent thing to mention - it would explain her relative inexperience when he bedded her a few weeks ago...and why she was worth keeping; she could be trained. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was always interesting to learn how his predecessor ran the place - he knew already that it was quite different from what he'd do. Both because he met Ione before and from what she told him now. There were going to be changes and only for the better, if Lucius was to be asked. The building would be fixed, rules would change when it came to the whores and then... then his wife would come and help run the place. According to Ione, Titus did not have a wife, so there were probably no women at all running this place. Only men were in charge. Leontia knew how to handle a brothel by now though, so she'd be very useful here too. Sometimes it felt like they shared the job and if something had to be done or found out about, they'd work together. Lucius being hard on the girls first and then Leontia would be softer afterwards, which was just what they needed, so they'd spill everything to her. Or they'd obey her word, which was really his, but she was just the one getting the message through in her own, feminine way. She was a good wife to him in many ways.

Ione continued to tell that her master had been with all of the girls and he had said Ione was getting better. She'd been a virgin before she came here. 

"I hope he's right then, that you are getting better. Was he your first then? Or did he sell your virtue to the highest bidder?" Lucius asked curiously, not really because he cared, but it was still a way to find out how Titus had done things. Lucius would definitely sell a virgin to the highest bidder. He might even make an event of it, an auction of sorts. It was an idea for when the house had been repaired and he would host an event to show it off.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ione thought she was getting better, but that was surely such a subjective thing. She had learned what to do and when to do it, certainly, although she still struggled to mask her displeasure or her pain or her upset at being forced into positions and situations no once-honourable woman should be found in. Eris told her she needed to smile more. It just made her want to weep. Still, she said nothing. As long as nobody complained about her to the new dominus she was sure she would be fine...she was still young, after all, and as Titus had said - she had plenty of years of lying on her back to come. 

"He sold it." she said, trying to keep her voice disaffected when shame burned her cheeks red. "To a friend of his. But..." She shifted awkwardly from foot to foot, "He lied and said I was a virgin after it had happened...and re-sold it a few times." Too many times to count. She 'had that look' as he had put it, and with her youth and obvious displeasure at her circumstances - at least in the beginning - most men believed it. "It worked until he sold me as a virgn to one man, and then to his brother the next day and he did the same to him. They both came here furious and dominus..." She winced, "The previous dominus had to pay them to leave so they wouldn't report him to the aediles." it had been an embarrassment to Titus, she knew that, and she'd born his bruises for weeks afterwards. He always had a habit of taking out his frustrations on the nearest available body. 

She stood awkwardly and cleared her throat trying to summon the courage to ask another question. She wanted to know why he was back, and what he intended but as she opened her lips to speak fear overtook her and shut them again, dropping her gaze back down. Better not to question him, she thought. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It entertained him, to keep her on the edge like this, with all of his questions. He really didn't need to know all these things, but they interested him and it entertained him to listen to her. She didn't like talking about it. But she did, because now he owned her and if she displeased him, he'd have to punish her. And Lucius had his own ways of doing so. Maybe giving her to that man who cut the girls was an idea, but it had clearly been done before. Lucius would have to find out if the dark pits underneath the Elysium were still free, or if they were used for storage now. He used to have a few pits underneath the building, where he'd put the very ill behaved whores and slaves and after a few days in the darkness and dirt, they always behaved better. 

But for now, Ione was doing fine, telling him all he wanted to hear, with red cheeks and feet that shifted while she tried to keep her eyes down. The former owner had sold her virtue, more than once and Lucius chuckled when she said so. It became more amusing when she continued the story.

"I can imagine they would have been furious, to have been fooled in a place like this. But your old master clearly wasn't stupid." Lucius said, "You could almost still go for a virgin, I think. But you're more experienced now. And you will work hard to gain more skills. In fact... and you can tell the other girls this... I may even want to educate you all a bit better. I want the Elysium to be more than just the cheapest brothel in Rome." Lucius explained, hoping that he could still persuade Vibia to teach his girls a lesson or two. 

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They had been furious and Ione had felt suitably guilty for her part in the deception, even if the other girls had assured her it wasn't her fault. What was she supposed to do? Admit to the men her dominus was lying? She winced at the mere thought of it. Still, she shoved the memories from her head and instead listened to him. She knew she needed to pick up more skills, and to perfect her act. She could never quite manage the enthusiasm many of the other women did and whilst many of her clients didn't seem to care, some were certainly put off by the quiet, sad looking whore they were fucking where they had been expecting (fake) screams of ecstasy. She nodded hurriedly at his command. 

"Yes domine, I will tell them." She nodded and swallowed, daring to ask a question on the tip of her tongue although her voice was quiet and meek, almost tentative. "Do you want us to be more expensive? Like the Venus?" She'd heard of it - every girl here had. She'd even seen their whores, arrayed in silks and with beautiful tumbling clean waves of hair, smelling of roses and lavender as they undressed for the baths. She'd heard they had rooms - actual rooms to themselves with proper, large beds and silks. Ione didn't believe it at first, and it was only when she'd spoken to one of them in the flesh and they'd confirmed it with a smug little laugh that she started to conceptualise it. She didn't think she'd mind lying on her back for the men of Rome if she could be assured of hot food more than once a day and no more bruises. She couldn't keep the hope out of her voice as she pressed on; "That would be...wonderful." 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a big thing, to admit he wanted the Elysium to be more than just the cheapest brothel in Rome. And it was only afterwards he suddenly wondered and hoped that he could trust Ione to not run with the gossip outside the walls of this house! Ione promised to tell and then she wondered if the Elysium should be more expensive, and she thought that would be wonderful. Lucius gave her a look, she thought it would be wonderful? But all the extra coin gained would not go into her purse. But his.

 “Something like the Venus, but not quite. There’s good money to be had in the patrons who already come here.” Maybe the Elysium should be divided into two parts. The upper floors for the cheaper whores, the ones you could do with as you pleased. And then the lower floors for the more expensive girls. But he did not need to share that just yet. There was that other thought he had just moments ago…

 “You know what, don’t tell the other girls yet.” Lucius then said, “I don’t want gossip to spread all over Rome, until it’s all ready. I hope I can trust you to not let it spread?” He lifted his chin. If gossip spread too fast, the Syndicate might catch word about it too and they’d come for Lucius and take him down before he could even get started.

 “Can I do that, girl? Trust you?” He crossed his arms, arched a brow at her. She was paid for spreading her legs, not gossip, after all.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh. Her face told her emotions perfectly; disappointment. She'd bar the door to half the clients that frequented her cell if she could. The disappointment writ large on her face, however, was rapidly replaced with confusion as he changed his mind. She nodded somewhat dumbly and swallowed. The other girls would be desperate for news and he was putting her in an impossible position; it would drive a wedge between her and the only friends she had here in Rome. But she was more scared of this man than of Eris' silent treatment and so simply nodded again. 

"Yes, domine." Her voice had a touch of melancholy about it and she exhaled through her nose, "What...what do I say  to my clients? I have a few regulars," She swallowed and shifted on her feet, "And two I visit out of the brothel; I...I go to a domus of a slave trader to attend two of his own slaves, and then I go to the cheap baths down by the sparrow popina," She was rambling a little now, "The owner gives us a discount rate and access to the baths to work if I...let him have me." She tucked her hair awkwardly behind her ear, "And...then there's the man, here, who..." She gestured to the scar on her collarbone, "Do I tell them we have a new owner? And things are changing?" Most of the men that came to the brothel itself wouldn't care, but the two men she worked for outside...were more discerning. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He was glad to hear her say she could be trusted – now he only hoped she was telling the truth. His workers needed to know that if they did indeed work hard and please their master by doing so, he wouldn’t be so bad towards them. If they did the opposite however, displease him… he’d make sure they wished they didn’t do that. Ione seemed almost sad that she couldn’t tell the gossip to the other girls, but really, that’s just how it was like.

 Then she wondered what to do about her regular clients.

 “You can tell there is a new owner, but nothing more. Keep your regular clients out of the house, you’re welcome to see them, as usual.” Lucius replied to her, “The owner of the baths, was this discount deal made with Titus, the brothel’s former owner? If so, that’s fine. If not, please tell him to come and see me next time. I’d like to strike a deal, if it isn’t already done.” He said, that might be useful. He didn’t like the idea of the girls working without the brothel gaining some profit in return, so if there wasn’t any deal yet, he’d make sure there was one.

 Then there was the issue of the man who cut her, “The man who cuts you… is he your regular patron? Or is it anyone he picks up, when he’s here?” She’d only shown him the one cut, so maybe the man picked a different girl every time. Or maybe he’d cut Ione where it wasn’t so visible.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Yes domine." She nodded dutifully, submissively and kept her eyes on the table, just behind him. She couldn't read - what business had a woman like her to learn? - but she recognised a few scant letters on the letters on his desk. It provided a good distraction from his close proximity as she tried to work them out and listened to his questions. 

"It was struck with the previous dominus. He lets us work in his baths," And working in the sweaty, hot atmosphere of the baths in the water was work, "In exchange for free choice of us and," She shifted uncomfortably, "I-I assume he took some of the profits we made." It was always a good moneymaker but she was absolutely not versed in the particulars and felt awkward at assuming how the previous dominus ran his business. The owner of the baths - a jowly, grumpy man rarely said more than two words to any of them, even when he was screwing them. 

"No!" She said quickly and hurriedly at his last question with a vehement shake of her head, "He's not mine." And her quickness to reply suggested she did not want him as hers. "He's had a few of us...he...he likes the new ones, I think." But again that was another assumption and beyond the man's horrific fascination with the blood (and annoyance at her tears), she didn't know anything about him, or his deal with Titus. She swallowed, cheeks flushing at the thought of him. "He scared me. I-I don't want him again." Perhaps that was too far but the man stood in front of her deserved to know. Few things could scare women like Ione - the dregs of society in one of the cheapest brothels in the city...but the fact that this man did was important and...frightening. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She was very well behaved, he thought, every time she answered him. Titus had at least done well with her, made sure she knew how to follow orders. She was well-trained. And she answered all his questions, now about the owner of the cheap baths, where they would also do a bit of work it seemed. Lucius nodded after she finished, “Good. Let’s keep that deal then.” He said and then he’d asked into that strange patron, who cut the girls. If Ione had been with him more than once.

 Ione was quick to say he wasn’t her patron. She replied so fast, suggesting she’d rather not want him as a regular patron, in fact she would probably rather not have him at all. She said he liked the new ones. Lucius nodded, that was something he’d remember. But then Ione was turning all red and admitted that the man had scared her. That caught Lucius’ attention.  

 “Does he scare the other girls too?” He asked. Now this was useful. If he could speak to the man, strike a deal of some sort with him, for the girls who misbehaved… then they were sure to follow his orders, because they did not want the threat of that man to come true…

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Yes." She swallowed, her throat dry. "Nobody wants him...they warned me about him before dominus...gave me to him." She had not escaped from her liaison with Wulfric unharmed. Certainly she'd not been beaten half to death like him, but the trauma of the night would live on with her for a long while to come. 

The thought of it, of him, prompted her to be a little bolder and ask a question she probably had no business asking: "Does...does he have to keep coming here?" She cautioned a very quick glance up at him but didn't manage to get a read on what he was thinking. "He...he only came here because he and dominus, the old dominus came to an arrangement a-and if you wish to make this place better...he hurts us." She swallowed, rambling now but unable to stop herself, "A-and we won't be as beautiful if we are scarred." Not that most men minded, at least not the ones she usually had.

 

TAG: @Atrice

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...