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Late February, 77AD

 Things were progressing at the brothel, although a bit slowly. But upstairs, he had workers who were busy mending the roof of the place properly. So the highest floor wasn’t in use at the moment, until that was fixed. Some of the girls had to share their simple rooms. Which honestly wasn’t too bad, because Lucius naturally made some profit from that. With certain girls, you got two for the price of one! And it was quite popular, which Lucius enjoyed. The coins that he gained, of course.

 Once the workers had finished the roof, they’d continue with the rest of the building and the cells where the girls slept and worked also needed to be fixed, at least some of them. And once he’d made enough new profit, they’d have new pillows and blankets, but such were expensive, so he had to wait. As long as he was making money though, all was well. The kitchen had been cleared out too and that would be working soon too. And the girls had been divided into smaller groups, so it wasn’t all of the girls who were given to patrons who liked to hurt them. Meaning some of them were no longer bruised and that was good too.

 All in all, he was quite satisfied. But he needed more guards and bouncers and he needed some strong men to do the dirty work, when that had to be done. So he’d let it be known, that he was looking for people. And he kept his eyes open too; after all, sometimes there would be visitors at the brothel, who matched what he was looking for.

 And he saw just that now, as he was leaving his office and closing the door behind him. Out from one of the rooms down the hallway came a man, who seemed just about perfect. Almost. If he was younger, it might have been even better, but Lucius could not really be picky, he wasn’t young himself, after all. He approached the man with a friendly smile, “Greetings! I hope you got what you came for and enjoyed it too!”

@Faustus

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Brothels.

They did not fill the gap in his heart where love should have been, but they satisfied his needs well enough each night after drink. Laying with different women each night, every so often the same, Gaius allowed himself to linger for a moment in the bed that he shared with a red-haired woman, his hand tracing down her bare shoulder before he rolled to one side to retrieve his clothing.

"Will I see you again?"

Gaius stopped, glancing over his shoulder as he put his tunic back on. "Perhaps, if you ask nicely." There was a sly half-smile which crept upon his features as he spared one last look at the woman and stepped out of the room and down the corridor where the sounds of lust and love filled the air. He would forget the woman's name, for so many had passed his lips in the heat of the moment as he ventured down the corridor, though no sooner had he done so he found himself being stopped by another man.

For a moment, it took him a moment to recognise this as the brothel's owner - Lucius Armenius Valerius. Gaius cocked a crooked smile as he nodded. "Perhaps I've taken leave too prematurely. She was a nice woman. Good company--" Then the thought passed his mind. "Had I forgotten to give you coin?" Gaius began to reach for the small pouch in which jangled with the coins he had made from his various small jobs around the city.

@Atrice

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Lucius had not been in Rome for long, but it was already well known that the Elysium had very suddenly, almost overnight, changed owner and the new owner was actually the original owner. Almost. Lucius' father had founded the brothel and Lucius inherited it, when his father passed away. Now he was back and very keen on making it a popular place and not just a place known for its scarred and bruised whores. This current client, who came walking out from one of the cells, seemed very pleased and Lucius was glad to see that. And even more glad, as he thought the man could be a good guard. Granted of course he didn't already have a job, but Lucius could make an offer that would be very tempting, he thought. 

The other gave him a crooked smile and complimented the woman. Lucius was very pleased to hear that. 

"I'm glad you enjoyed her, perhaps you'll want her company another time?" Lucius said with a fancy smile, "And no, I believe you paid? I do however have an offer I want to make to you. If you have a little time to spare, please, come with me." He said and led the way towards his office. On the way he signaled to one of the girls just coming in, that she should fetch a clean cup for the guest. Lucius already had his own cup and a jar of wine in his office.

@Faustus

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"Perhaps, that would be nice." Gaius would respond with a hint of content in his voice. He had not lied when he had said she was good company and that she was indeed nice; for she had allowed him to speak of his past - of the days when he was a centurion, largely to lament upon the days rather than the present happenings (at least for a little while before they made love to one another). He nodded as the man confirmed that he had paid - as he thought he had done. He kept up with his payments, ensuring that he did not fall behind or wind up the target of the brothel's security team. His brows creased ever so gently as the man said something which intrigued him.

An offer?

Curiousity propelled him forward, walking behind the man as they went down corridors and watched as one of the girls went to fetch a cup for him. Gaius would enter the office, standing much as he would have done in front of one of the commanders, his eyes uncertain but his posture confident as he stood ready wondering what the man could offer him at such a time after sex. "How can I help you, sir?"

@Atrice

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So the man really did like the girl he just saw. Good, that was useful knowledge to Lucius. The other sounded content and seemed satisfied. Lucius was glad to know that his girls did what they were supposed to do. And this one also didn't appear to be the type to hit the girls, but of course, you never knew... as long as he could beat up patrons that thought they owned the place and the girls, and as long as he could keep troublemakers away, that was most important. The other followed Lucius into his office and he stood as if he was already a guard. So he might have spent time in the military? Lucius liked him more and more.

"First... oh... I forgot to ask your name. I assume you know mine." Lucius said and gave a pause so the other could respond, before he continued, "Please, take a seat." He said and took a seat himself. Not long after, a girl appeared with a cup and after a nod from Lucius, she poured wine for them both, before she left again. Lucius looked at his guest once she was gone, "Now... it is not long ago that I purchased this place, and I have a need for more proper works. Guards and bouncers, that sort of thing. So... I wonder if you are looking for a job?" 

@Faustus

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"Gaius. Gaius Egnatius Maxentinus, sir." He replied. It was strange to have his name known by a brothel owner, for his usage of such things related to him wanting a night of passion and love-making to a woman who did not care whether or not he saw her again. Gaius glanced down at the seat, pulling it out a little more and seating himself rather stiffly, as if expecting a berating more than an offer. His eyes went to the woman who had come in to pour them wine and had not lingered long after she had left.

It was down to business, it seemed as Lucius had started to speak.

Then it all seemed to become rather clear to him what the other was asking of him. He bit his tongue, his mind immediately touching upon the subject which was how much coin he would earn from this job. "I'm...." Clearly eloquence had never been a strength of the ex-Centurion. "I am, sir. Looking for a job, that is." Came the quick reply, believing that the other would not want to hear about how he was between jobs.

"Are there any requirements?"

@Atrice

Edited by Faustus
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That was rather a long name, Lucius thought. But Gaius was good enough for him, although he took note of the name and would of course write it down once this conversation was over. Maybe just in case, he should send someone out to find out more about Gaius. Unless he revealed everything on his own, which he might do, Lucius thought to himself. He sat a bit stiffly, as if he was slightly nervous. Lucius noted it all, but didn't mention it. Instead he explained why he wanted to speak to Gaius and wondered if he was looking for a job. The other trailed off at first, but then said he was indeed looking for a job.

"Excellent! Well, you seem to be just the type of man I want for this job. That's why I wished to speak of you. Do you have any fighting experience, Gaius? Can you fend off patrons who won't pay and pull them off the girls if they beat them too badly?" Lucius asked and picked up his own cup of wine, sipping it while waiting for Gaius to explain himself.

@Faustus

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This was good.

More than good.

The man was offering him a chance to earn money, and have a secure job all on the day he had a good time with one of the girls who worked at the brothel. Lucius seemed more than certain that he was the right fit for the job, and certainly that swayed him even more towards the fact that he would accept. Gaius arched a brow at the line of questionings. "Aye. Served in the legions since my youth, sir." Certainly he had learned the hard way to fight in amongst the ranks there, even when he was a scrawny tall seventeen year old at the time. "Shouldn't be too much of a problem to intervene in situations like that should they arise. Is it a common thing in the brothels?"

@Atrice

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Lucius was pleased. The man was looking for a job and seemed perfect for the task Lucius wanted to give him, but of course, he had to be sure that Gaius could actually do what he wanted him to do. He did seem like the type of man who might enjoy a brawl, so why should he not do that here at the Elysium - and at the same time earn a little for his inconvenience? Lucius sipped his wine while Gaius explained he'd served in the legions and he didn't think it should be a problem to intervene if there were problems.

"Not that common, but it happens. And especially here." Lucius rolled his eyes, "The previous owner invited patrons in here who have... special desires. Men who like beating up the girls or hurting them otherwise. So we get those, still. By now though, I've selected some girls, who are not meant for such behavior. On the other hand, I do need the money to repair the place and improve it, at least in the beginning. So I can't send all those men away. But if it gets too rough... I mean, the girls have to be able to work the next day. And that's where you come in." Lucius explained. This was pure business to him. Some things just were as they were. He grew up here. It wasn't strange to him.

"A perk though, for you, would be, that besides your weekly payment, you may also get to select a girl to please you from time to time." He gave Gaius a smile at that, surely any man would love a free lay? 

@Faustus

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Gaius took note there and then that attacks on the women who worked in the brothel had not been common, but gave him no illusion that it wouldn't happen. His eyes narrowed as he heard what happened, took a glimpse, into the world of the brothels and the experiences the women had with their clients. It was not a world that he was overtly familiar with, even if he did spend his coin with one of these women every now and then. Then his role became clearer, where the boundaries lay, he was there to ensure their safety. Something which sat right with the old soldier.

Weekly payment.

That also sat right with Gaius.

Whilst money was not something that he revolved his life around, it was always something that made things run ever smoother. With a job such as this one, it was no mistaking the idea that he would have an income that he did not have to worry about - unless he found himself fired for whichever reason, or business shifted their focus and no longer needed his services.

Which, too, Gaius understood.

A bark of a laugh, appreciative as it was meant. "Say no more, sir. You have my attention and my services to you and your establishment."

@Atrice

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Lucius liked that Gaius had been a soldier. That meant he was used to discipline and restrictions and that meant he'd work well if he had rules and routines. Sometimes he would also hire freedmen that had been gladiators and such, for work like this, but they were less schooled. Gaius would work just fine. More than fine, he thought. They got along so far and it was easy to talk to him. The other paid attention while Lucius spoke and didn't try to interrupt. Once Lucius was done, Gaius let out a laugh and said that Lucius had gained his attention and his services too.

Lucius face lit up in a smile too, "Very well, I guess we have ourselves a deal then." Lucius said and stood, reaching out to shake hands with Gaius on the deal, "I imagine you want to go home and get some sleep now, and if you have other business you need to tend to... do that. And then come back here as soon as you are ready to begin. Do you have a place to live?" He didn't look very scruffy, so Lucius imagined the man did have his own place. Which was fine and perfect, because it meant Lucius didn't have to make room for him here.

@Faustus 

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