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January 77AD

It was a cool day in the middle of winter, but the midday sun lent a little warmth to the air and the faint touch of frost that morning had long since burnt off. The manicured lawns and carefully tended plants of the Gardens of Sullust brought pleasure in all weathers, though they were more popular when the year warmed.

But Tiberius was here for a reason. He'd asked Marcus Junius Silanus to join him, though he hadn't told his friend why. He wanted it to be a surprise. He thought it was a pretty good one, and hoped that Marcus would be pleased. It was a step, a big step but not the final one, and it would mean new things for both of them.

@Atrice

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He'd never really found out where Tiberius had gone for Saturnalia... but at least his friend had returned back to the Palace, but Marcus had been unable to speak to him, as he had apparently been very tired. Maybe today would be the day where he found out, why Tiberius would go out with his body slave on Saturnalia? Because it really was a mystery to him. Had they played that Saturnalia game, where the master and the slave switched places? Marcus wasn't very fond of that game. He preferred to be in charge of his slaves and if he couldn't be that, then he wouldn't be there. That's why he went out for Saturnalia. But that was already weeks ago now and he'd been excited, when he received word that Tiberius wanted to meet him in the Gardens of Sullust.

So of course he showed up, dressed as finely as ever. The air was fresh, maybe a little bit cold, but he wore a warm cloak on top of his clothes, so he was fine. And it didn't take long for him to find Tiberius, whom he greeted with a wide smile, "Tiberius, there you are! Why have you asked to meet me here?" He asked curiously, as he approached his good friend. A stroll in the gardens, really? There had to be more to it than that.

@Sarah

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"Oh Salve Marcus, how have you been?" Tiberius called out with deliberate emphasis, grinning as his friend demanded to know what was going on. Somehow it was oddly satisfying to have Marcus on the back foot for once; usually it was the other way around. "Don't you like the gardens? I do! And it's so nice to feel the winter sun." The young Imperial was grinning like a cat who found the cream, very obviously up to something.

His entourage looked on with usually studied neutrality. Either they weren't in on the joke, or they didn't think it was that funny. Likely their master's sudden playful attitude was more unusual than anything he might be trying to pull on one of his closest friends.

"Come with me, there's something that I want to show you." Tiberius beckoned, still smirking, and headed down one of the paths that led deeper into the gardens. He had a wonderful surprise for Marcus, whom he was certain would love it, but for the moment he was enjoying playing with him, just a little.

@Atrice

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It was so obvious that Tiberius was hiding something - there was something he was not telling Marcus! Was it to do with the infamous Saturnalia night, where Marcus had been unable to find him? Or maybe Tiberius had finally lost his virginity to someone. He thought it might be interesting news of some sort and that's where his mind ended up at. Tiberius claimed to like the gardens and the sunshine, but Marcus gave him a look, "I do like the gardens and the winter sun." But he'd like even more to know what Tiberius wasn't telling him. Obviously it was something big and Tiberius was being so smug about it. Marcus hated not knowing. Yet of course he understood that sometimes, Tiberius needed to be superior too. 

Then Tiberius said he wanted to show Marcus something and he followed, "Alright... can you at least give me a hint of sorts? And does it have to do with wine, or the ladies?" He asked with a grin as they walked, ever so curious about what this surprise was.

@Sarah

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He knew he wasn't fooling Marcus, but it didn't matter. Marcus still couldn't know until Tiberius revealed his surprise. And it was such a good surprise that he was confident it would erase any irritation Marcus might feel at him stringing him along. But for the moment Tiberius would enjoy teasing him, just a little.

Alright... can you at least give me a hint of sorts? And does it have to do with wine, or the ladies?

The young Imperial laughed as they made their way down one of the many paths within the gardens. "You do have such a one track mind Marcus." He chided with a grin. "The will be some wine." He promised. "No ladies today." But, with a little careful planning, that was a distinct possibility. New freedoms was a large part of the point.

"Tell me, what do you know about these Gardens?" He asked his friend, still leading the way in amongst the greenery.

@Atrice

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Tiberius knew that he was teasing Marcus and he was having fun with it, obviously. He supposed he should let Tiberius have this little victory, he was the eldest of them anyway and definitely the one who held the most power here in Rome. And Marcus was, no matter what, happy to call him a friend and hoped that it would stay like that for many years to come. The elections of the vigintiviri was also coming up, so at least he would soon be doing something. And meanwhile, he could support his friend. And allow him to laugh when he did, after Marcus wondered if the reason they were here had to do with women and... or, wine! 

Tiberius said he had a one track mind and Marcus chuckled as he shrugged, "Wine is fine too." He said, when Tiberius revealed there would be no ladies. Another time then. Tiberius then asked what Marcus knew about the gardens.

"I think I heard somewhere, that the area originally belonged to Julius Caesar. And there's a villa here, that had several owners in the past." Marcus replied and slowly it dawned on him. But could it be, really? Was that why they were here? No, he'd let Tiberius reveal it... "Why do you ask?" 

@Sarah

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"You're right." He grinned at Marcus. "Sullust was a close friend of Julius Caesar, and acquired and developed the gardens. And he built the villa." Which was an important part of the gardens that the general public probably forgot, because they had no access to it. "It was inherited by his great grandson, but then came back to the Imperial line." Which was important.

The pathway led through a topiaried arch, wound around the some elegant shrubs which flowered in the spring, and ended at... a discrete door in a wall. "My family made the Gardens available as a public pleasance, but the villa is still very much ours." He knocked on the door in the wall, which was usually locked fast, and perhaps unexpectedly it opened, the familiar face of one of Tiberius's slaves behind it. He had deliberately brought Marcus to one of the rear entrances to the villa complex.

But now he'd had his fun. "My family have used the Villa Sullusti as a summer palace for years, but no one has used it recently. So I decided that I would." He announced as they stepped through into a more private courtyard, still laid out along the same lines as the main gardens, so that they almost seemed to blend with them, save for the walls. It was green and pleasant and secluded. In front of them was the rear of the main villa building, with outbuildings to either side. "It will take some time for the legalities of my family's domus and estates to be sorted out, so in the meantime, this is a stepping stone for me." He turned and grinned at Marcus. "And, as promised, it can be one for you too."

As the young men stood there, a slave hurried forward with a tray bearing cups; the promised wine.

@Atrice

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He smiled when Tiberius grinned, telling more about the gardens and how they came to be. And the villa, of course, that had come back to the Imperial line along the way. Which Tiberius was part of… he nodded, thinking it made sense, what he assumed Tiberius would tell him. That he was going to move out of the palace and in here. Tiberius had before talked about leaving the palace, so he wouldn’t feel like an intruder. Even if Marcus knew he was becoming quite popular. His name was all over the walls, after all!

 Then Tiberius knocked on a door and it was opened to them. They stepped inside and a familiar slave from the palace greeted them. Marcus didn’t think he’d ever been inside before, so he looked around, while Tiberius explained he’d decided to use the villa.

 “It makes sense. When you have access to such a place… why not use it?” He said with a grin, as they moved further inside and Tiberius then revealed… that Marcus might be able to use it too. He blinked, then looked around. Really? Really? A slave came forwards with wine and Marcus gladly took a cup.

 “You mean… you want me to live here, with you?” He asked. They’d talked about leaving their current homes, both of them, but this… this really would be a stepping stone. A huge one too! “You have no idea how much that means to me! I owe you one! A big one!” This was more than what his own brother had managed to do for him. So much more. Marcus might be forever grateful, he thought.

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Tiberius was secretly delighted that Marcus so clearly understood. So many people had thought he was mad for wanting to move out of the Imperial Palace, with it's air of grandeur and access to anything one could want. But whilst Tiberius was loyal as ever to his cousin Titus, he felt the need not to live directly in his shadow any more, to find space to find out who he was. And Marcus was, in many ways, in a similar situation. So of course he understood, even if few others did. And they were going to share this adventure.

"I did promise." Tiberius confirmed, enjoying watching Marcus's slight shock turn to glee. He did like to see his friend happy. The Villa Sullusti would be a dream come true for both of them. "I might have some idea. Here's to freedom." He raised his wine cup in salute. It was a simple thing, but a huge thing, and he was pleased to do it. Both because of how much he knew it meant to his friend, and because he would have company on this new adventure into independent adulthood. And said the politician's voice in the back of his head because you will have a political ally for life. But that was the voice that had been trained in. They would be allies because they were friends.

"I've claimed the master bedroom, but you can have your choice of any of the others. I recommend the west wing; no early morning sun in the window." He winked at Marcus. And of course, being an Imperial residence, the windows were glass rather than hide, so there was a beautiful view to enjoy.

@Atrice

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Marcus definitely understood the desire to move out of someone else's home in order to create your own... but while he and Tiberius had toyed with the idea before, he never knew Tiberius would actually go through with it. So this was quite amazing. The villa here was large enough for both of them to have their privacy, and yet they could take dinner together and host parties together and orgies, should Tiberius ever pull himself together to do more than just kissing lovely girls at parties. But for now, just Tiberius' trust in him was more than enough. That he wanted Marcus to live here too. Tiberius simply confirmed he promised this and then raised his cup to toast to freedom.

"Freedom!" Marcus said, touching his cup to Tiberius' and downing a good portion of it. Tiberius' inner voice was right. He definitely had an ally for life. Why would Marcus ever want to lose a friend like Tiberius? Who did things like these. They were so close in age and now they'd live together. They did not share blood, but they could still be brothers of a sort. He smiled by the thought. 

Meanwhile Tiberius said he'd claimed the master bedroom, but Marcus could choose any other. He chuckled at Tiberius' recommendation, "I may choose that then. Shall we have a look? Is it already furnished?" He thought it was, so far it seemed like it was... "It could do with a bit of paint though, this place. We are going to host the best meetings here and the best parties." Marcus added, still smiling, as he saw it all in his head. They were all going to adore Tiberius. And while he cared about the Caesar, Titus, too... he was quite sure Tiberius' popularity might grow with his help. Not that Tiberius wasn't already popular, but with a place like this, there was a vast field of possibilities before them. And Marcus would make sure they'd take advantage of that.

@Sarah

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Somehow having Marcus here, grinning and cheerful, and sharing that celebratory drink, made it all seem real. There'd been a lot of planning, and his few things had been moved in this morning, but now that his friend was here the villa felt alive. Perhaps it would become even more so over time.

"By all means." Tiberius agreed to Marcus's desire to look around. He'd at least been there before, he wasn't sure if his friend had. Gesturing towards the main rear portico with his cup, he set foot in that direction. "It's furnished, but if there's something particular you want, just ask a slave and I dare say they'll be able to find something in storage." Within reason of course, but he trusted Marcus to be reasonable about it. Certainly Tiberius had no wish to give Titus any reason to regret this freedom.

The best meetings and the best parties. Tiberius snorted, amused. Trust Marcus to be planning their social calendar already. And indeed he would trust Marcus to plan their social calendar. "Whatever needs fixing up will be dealt with. The villa's not been used much the last few years." He didn't think Drusilla favoured it particularly. "Just remember that it's still an Imperial residence. What we do here reflects on Titus, and he can recall me to the palace." He knew he was being the boring and monotonous voice of reason, but someone had to be.

"But yes, we absolutely can hold events here. In fact, I wanted to ask you who to invite for a specific event." As he spoke they wound their way through the Villa's peristyle around the inner courtyard with it's pools and manicured trees, and into the western wing of the building.

@Atrice

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Marcus felt happy, really. Tiberius had now managed to do more for him than anyone else had done in a really long time. He was grateful and he felt good about it all. Now his life might finally actually begin to take form, for real. Sure he’d still love his parties, but escaping the Caecinae Tuscii home was a big thing. He hoped his mother would not be too disappointed, but on the other hand… out of all people, she might be the one who understood him the best.

 Tiberius explained that the place was already properly furnished, but if Marcus wanted anything more, he could just ask a slave. It was almost too easy. But he nodded and went on about how they needed to decorate it a bit more and how they’d have the best meetings and the greatest parties here. Tiberius was amused it seemed, saying the villa had not been used much. And he reminded Marcus this was still an Imperial residence.

 “Well we’ll have to make sure it’s the best of the best we throw here, then. No scandals… at least I hope there won’t be.” Marcus said with a grin, he wouldn’t make a promise, but he could try his best. Tiberius then apparently wanted to host a specific event.

 “Oh, what would that be? Tell me all about it and you know I’ll be right here, helping you out.” He said with a smile. It really was too good to be true. Moving out from his current home and in with Tiberius, at this amazing place. And Tiberius was still asking for his advice. It was the beginning of something, that was for sure. Marcus had great hopes and ambitions for his own future and now it seemed, that something was finally happening.

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Well we’ll have to make sure it’s the best of the best we throw here, then. No scandals… at least I hope there won’t be.

"No scandels." Tiberius echoed, with emphasis on the words. Not that there hadn't been previous members of the Imperial families who'd decided that they could do what - and whom - they liked, but he did not intend to live that way. He was Titus's studious, straight laced and slightly boring adopted brother, and that suited him fine. Still, he trusted that he and Marcus could find a middle ground somewhere. After all, he had asked Marcus to take him to a party, having one here might be even better.

And he did have a particular event in mind, though it would be a rather more exclusive gathering. But Marcus already seemed keen to rise to the challenge. They crossed the Atrium and turned into the first floor of the Western Wing, which felt more secluded to Tiberius, though of course there were slaves present, as always. But the rooms available were nicely appointed, with a view out over the gardens. Guest rooms or family rooms, but Marcus could have his choice of them.

"I appreciate that, Marcus." Tiberius replied, as his friend assured him that he'd be happy to help. He took a deep breath. He wasn't often awkward but making the decision and asking for help to make it happen were two different things. "I'm sure you recall our conversation, between the baths and the taberna, some months ago. About girls and experience." He glanced at Marcus, to be sure that his friend was following him, though he was pretty sure he wouldn't need to be more specific. "Well, I think that it's time that something was done about that." He might be a late bloomer but he was definitely blooming and one young lady in particular had helped that interest in women develop. He still remembered the flowers woven into her dark hair. "You mentioned the Domus Venus. I was thinking that we could hire a couple of ladies for a night." One for each of them, since he knew Marcus liked ladies and it didn't seem fair just to get one for himself. It would never have occurred to him to share, and frankly given that this was going to be new territory, he wasn't planning on performing for an audience.

"Is there anyone in particular you would recommend?" Tiberius assumed that Marcus knew the Venus girls, since he spoke of them.

@Atrice

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Marcus nodded, no scandals. At least, he would not be causing them, right? But he couldn’t control other people or what they did at such a party. Which made him recall something more about the party they threw at the palace months ago, “No scandals.” Marcus repeated, “Which reminds me, I never did get to ask where you went with that pretty, but shy, girl at the other party?” He said with a grin, wondering if Tiberius would dare to tell him anything about that. They had both disappeared for a while.

 They came up to the first floor of the Western Wing, which had some nice chambers and Marcus looked in, liking what he saw. Yes, he might live here. Meanwhile, Tiberius began speaking of a special kind of event he wanted. Marcus would of course be glad to help him out. Tiberius then spoke about a previous conversation of theirs, that was about girls and experience with them. Marcus did remember that. He nodded and Tiberius then said he wanted to do something about that. Now Marcus looked surprised! So it would be that kind of event…

 “About time indeed! Of course I’ll help you find out who to hire. I can even be the one sending the messenger, so it won’t be coming directly from you.” No scandals, as Tiberius just said… but luckily, Marcus wasn’t shy, not about such things either, so he just continued talking, like he was talking about the weather or something, “Well there is that Vibia, the one I also hired for our party last time? And I’m sure she knows someone to bring.” He would love to try out Vibia for himself, she was famous! “Else we could share. There is also another option. You want only women? They also have males, after all.” Really there was plenty to consider in this matter and honestly how could you know what you liked, if you had not tried it all? No matter though, it would be good for Tiberius to open himself to this part of Roman life.

@Sarah

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I never did get to ask where you went with that pretty, but shy, girl at the other party?

Tiberius gave Marcus a sideways glance. The question sounded so innocent, or would have coming from anyone else. Somehow his friend's broad grin loaded every word. "We went up into the side portico to look at the view over the wall." He said. "I was pointing out the sights of Rome to her; she's spent most of her life on her father's estates." All of which was the truth and nothing but the truth, it just wasn't the whole truth. But whilst Tiberius was very fond of his friend - Marcus and Titus had always been the fun, popular ones growing up - he didn't trust him, or frankly anyone, not to spread word to someone else. And if it got out that he'd kissed her, it would cause nothing but harm to Sosia. No, a gentleman didn't kiss and tell.

He could however talk to Marcus about prospective interludes, especially with prostitutes. After all, such behaviour was expected of them. And Marcus wasn't shy about the subject, which made it a lot easier for Tiberius. Maybe he should tell his friend more about his crush on Sosia... no, or at least, not yet. It would be good to share things with his friend, but he didn't want to hurt Sosia. Or hurt his chance of seeing her again. Hmm. Better to concentrate on his other decision, and he listened as Marcus openly admitted to hiring a prostitute for his last party. Right. Mind you, she had been playing the cithara, very well, not plying her other trade. She'd been attractive in as much as Tiberius had taken notice of her; his attention had been elsewhere.

Then Marcus started suggesting other options, and Tiberius felt like a man who'd asked for a snack and was presented with a banquet, but the dishes were disconcertingly unexpected. Share a woman? A man? One heard about such things, of course, but Tiberius was only just discovering his tastes and so far they were fairly vanilla. After a moment he spoke carefully. "I think I shall have a woman for myself, this time." There, mature and not at all embarassed or daunted. Right? "Order whomever you want for yourself." It might be interesting to see who Marcus chose. "We can sit and chat with them, with some wine and food, but then I shall retire to my quarters with... Vibia, you say?" He had no idea, and clearly Marcus thought highly of the woman.  "Will you arrange it?"

@Atrice

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Tiberius did tell where he went with that pretty girl at the party… apparently just up to the portico, where Tiberius could point out the sights of Rome to her. Marcus arched a brow, that was it, really? His friend really did need to gain some more experience with the ladies. Unless Tiberius was keeping something from him, which he hated. They were going to live together, now. Surely Tiberius should trust him with secrets then? Marcus would have to prove he could be trusted. Well there might be plenty of time for that in a very near future. One could always hope!

 Then Tiberius suddenly wandered into the topic of experiences with girls all on his own and he wanted Marcus’ help with it. Well he’d be more than happy to help! He definitely was not shy at all and had a great suggestion too, for Tiberius. Actually several great suggestions. But maybe an orgy was a little too soon, still. Tiberius needed to get properly laid first, then they could talk.

 Tiberius seemed to consider the options and said he preferred a woman for himself and thought Marcus should order whomever he wanted for himself and he wanted Vibia. Marcus couldn’t help but feel a bit downtrodden, even if he did not show it. After all, he’d been wanting Vibia for himself for quite a while. But the time just never seemed to come and he could not afford her on his own.

 “Of course I’ll arrange it.” Marcus promised with a smile, “Once we’ve moved in here, I guess? Which will be soon. I’m sure we’ll have a good time.” He said, glancing into another room and he entered it. Quite a view from the windows over Rome he thought. He could get used to living here. With Tiberius. Hopefully someday, he’d also be able to prove himself a proper Roman, gain some coin and a better social status. He sighed by the thought, resting his hands on the frame of the windows. Lost in thought for a moment there. Having a friend like Tiberius was great. Awesome, that's what it was. Even he was sometimes reminded of just how low his own family had sunk.

@Sarah

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Tiberius was feeling conflicted. On the one hand he wanted to share his thoughts and concerns with his friend, on the other hand he didn't want to do anything to risk the reputation of the girl who'd captured his heart in a way no one else had, and whom he knew  his chances of marrying were slim. He wanted to be able to talk it over, but even though he'd trust Marcus with his life, it was hard to trust him with Sosia's.

But Marcus was a good friend, even if the two young men were like chalk and cheese. Almost breezily he agreed to arrange for the two prostitutes to visit the household, so that his recommendation Vibia could show Tiberius what he needed to know. Little did the Imperial realise that Marcus might have wished he'd recommended someone else and kept Vibia for himself. Of course, there was always the future. 

Crossing one of the rooms, Marcus paused to look out the window at the view over the gardens, seeming suddenly thoughtful. Tiberius glanced at the slaves and guard who had followed them. "Leave us." He said simply, and the two were suddenly alone, footsteps fading down the hallway outside, though there would be someone within calling distance. He came to stand beside Marcus. 

"Nice view, isn't it?" He said quietly. It really was. He'd seen the inside and been quite taken with the place. It would be very comfortable for both of them. At least, he hoped it would. "You can move in now." He told Marcus, and that little smirk appeared again for a moment. "I already have. But I wanted to get things set up a bit before I showed it to you." He really had wanted it to be a fun surprise for his friend. 

Then his smile faded It was Tiberius's turn to glance out the window and sigh gently, thinking of another view, a night time one, and other company. "You can't tell anyone Marcus." He said simply. "I kissed her whilst we were standing on the portico, and she welcomed it." It was a very fond memory. "The Gods know I'd like more, but I won't ruin her reputation. She doesn't deserve that." No one did, of course. However much he might want to do more with her. And he really did want to do more with her, except he didn't really know what. But that was the point of his request to his friend. Then at least he'd know.

@Atrice

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It didn't take long for Tiberius to join Marcus by the window. He barely noticed his friend sending slaves and guards away, they meant little to him anyway, they were just there. Tiberius commented on the view and said Marcus was welcome to move in now. Apparently he already lived here, but wanted to make a thing out of showing it to Marcus. Marcus looked at him with a smile, "That sounds good... I'll set things in motion then. I'm sure my mother's husband won't mind me leaving." It was more his mother he'd miss, and Caecina of course, but maybe it was for the best. He hadn't gone all the way with her, but they'd come close a few times and even though he'd promised to stay quiet about it and that no one would find out, she was a proper Patrician girl and would wait until marriage. Which would never be with him.

So he'd move in here. As he looked at his friend, he saw the smile on the other's face fade and he sighed as he looked out the window. Seeming more serious, suddenly. And then he began talking, telling Marcus to not tell and then he revealed what did happen with the girl at the party. He'd kissed her and had wanted to do more, but he was a good guy. Not wanting to ruin her reputation.

"I'm surprised you even kissed her then." Marcus said, but with a smile, "Good for you though... can't you maybe... set up something for the two of you? If you want her?" Marcus then suggested, thinking it all through. Tiberius really was too good. It was incredible he kept Marcus with him, really, considering how different they were. But he was glad and valued the friendship highly. He would not give it up. And if Tiberius should demand Marcus at least pretended to be good, he would. Still though... it was a pity for Tiberius to let a girl he liked get away like that, "Your brother is Caesar. Surely you can get away with a lot. And trust her to not tell either, I'm sure she values her reputation too?" 

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"You know that you can invite Flavia and Caecina to visit." Tiberius pointed out. "It's your house too."Plus Flavia Juliana was his cousin and although there were a fair few years between them, it was always good to see family. Marcus could of course invite his step father too, though Tiberius got the impression that he wasn't particularly attached to him.

But Tiberius had something on his mind and, after his initial hesitation, he decided to reveal that he'd kissed Sosia, to probably the only person he really could tell, other than perhaps Titus himself. But his brother was so busy these days. Tiberius missed their closeness, but he had others he was close to as well, like Marcus who was practically his brother. So he trusted him.

I'm surprised you even kissed her then.

Tiberius opened his mouth to say something, then paused and closed it again, looking out the window rather than meeting Marcus's gaze. "So am I." He admitted quietly. She had just been there, and he had just wanted to, and no thought of possible consequences had entered his head until afterwards. It wasn't like him at all not to think something through before acting, and it was very disconcerting. And he wasn't certain how he felt about it. Or rather he was certain, and knew he shouldn't be.

Marcus helped by not helping at all, suggesting that Tiberius could set something up between himself and Sosia, that surely she wouldn't tell if she valued her reputation. "I'm sure she does." He said, though even as he said it he thought of Sosia's sweet and naive nature came to the fore. I'm sure her father values her reputation. Sosia hadn't objected to being kissed, but if anyone had seen them... Marcus was right that Tiberius could get away with it as an Imperia, but it would hurt Sosia. "I know that some Imperials in the past have been famous for their wild behaviour. It's not something that I want to be known for." Not that the concepts of Tiberius and Wild Behaviour really meshed anywhere.

But... Marcus did have a point. If he could arrange a situation where he and Sosia could be together, then she'd have a choice. And if she chose him, surely she wouldn't then tell anyone. That was his other concern, he knew that many felt they couldn't say no to a member of the Imperial family, and he needed to know that she wasn't pressured into... anything she might choose to do. Because the Gods knew he did want to see her again. And more than see.

"You know, we could have a party to celebrate us moving in here..." He suggested thoughtfully, looking at Marcus. It had been four months since the event in the Palace hortus. The Villa Sullusti was a bit of a maze which he knew better than anyone; surely it wouldn't be hard for he and Sosia to slip away. It felt terribly scandelous to even think of it, but at the same time, exciting.

@Atrice

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Tiberius was kind of saying that Marcus could invite his mother and Caecina to visit him here. Saying it was his house too. He gave Tiberius a friendly smile, “Thanks, maybe I will do that.” He never had a house that was his own before. Sure it was still not quite his house, it was Tiberius’ house, but they would live here together and apparently Tiberius wanted Marcus to think of it as his own. So he would. It was as easy as that. What a home. Almost a palace.

 Then Tiberius suddenly changed the subject, back to the girl he liked who was at their party. He said they’d walked away from everyone else and they had kissed. He had wanted more. Of course he had wanted more! Marcus was in no way surprised to hear that. And although Tiberius acted just right, opposite what Marcus had a tendency to do, it was still a pity for him that he had not gone further with the little lady. Marcus had ideas on how to make it happen. Tiberius had so much power, after all.

 Apparently Tiberius was even surprised that he kissed her too, but Marcus thought Tiberius should set something up for them. He could if he wanted to, Marcus was sure of it. Tiberius however said he didn’t want to be known for such behavior and of course, Marcus knew this. They were good friends, maybe the best, they knew each other. But that also meant he knew that Tiberius wasn’t like him at all. They had things in common. But their personal interests… weren’t that.

 “Of course. It’s your choice, and you must do what you think is right.” Marcus wouldn’t fault him for it, even if he might not agree. It was Tiberius’ choice. But his friend grew quiet, before suddenly suggesting they could have another party here… “Another party? You’re going to keep me busy, aren’t you?” He said with a laugh, “But sure, we can do that. And we should celebrate. Our place, Tiberius!” He said and turned around, resting against the window frame, looking at the room behind them, “We’re going to do so well here.”

@Sarah

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The two young men had very different personalities, and different interests, and no doubt there were many who would assume that would mean they wouldn't get along, which just showed how little some people understood. But their close upbringing meant that, whatever their differences, Marcus was someone who understood him, someone he could talk to and trust. And that meant a lot. After some hesitation he even talked to him about the mixed feelings he had about Sosia; wanting her and not wanting to hurt her. And Marcus could point out the bleeding obvious that he'd missed without offending him; if Sosia wanted him too, she would be the last person to tell. All they had to do was make certain that no one saw - no, no one who would speak of it saw. One blind spot in Tiberius's otherwise quite adept political nature was that he wasn't particularly duplicious. He was also accustomed to being an Imperial in the Palace, which meant that there were always people watching. But they weren't in the palace now, and Marcus's matter of fact words were something of a revelation. Perhaps he could arrange something...

Another party? You’re going to keep me busy, aren’t you?

Tiberius grinned. "You've got to earn your keep somehow." He replied. "Besides, you enjoy it." He teased. Well, Marcus enjoyed parties, whether that meant he wanted to be the Imperial Party Planner was another question entirely. "We should celebrate. This is our place, our first step into our adult lives." And it was a huge step, but one that he had been very much looking forward to. They would have the space to work out how they wanted to live, these two young men without father figures, and they would do it together. 

We’re going to do so well here.

Tiberius leaned against the opposite side of the generous window frame. "We are. And you'll see; this is only the beginning."

@Atrice

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