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March 77AD

Spurius hadn't been back to the Elysium personally since the last time he'd sold them a slave, a previous house slave who'd been used and abused by her dominus until she wasn't suitable for much else, but whose sale Spurius had since considered he might regret if his name was associated with a badly kept slave. It was also the day he'd hired Ione to see to the needs of his twin slaves, large, half-germanic lad who carried his litter. Apart from the one time she'd shown up bruised and beaten, he hadn't regretted that.

Two days ago when she'd paid her weekly visit she'd mentioned that the Elysium had a new owner, and Spurius decided that it would be worthwhile to pay the man a visit in order to get his measure and establish whether there was a potential business relationship to pursue. Did the new owner intend to continue exactly as the last had done, or did he have other plans? There was only one way to find out.

So it was that two days after Ione's last visit to his domus, Spurius arrived, crook in his hand and twins in tow, to talk business with the new owner of the Elysium.

@Atrice

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It was only a few weeks ago since he took the Elysium - or rather, bought it, but managed to do so without it being too expensive. It was his place, after all. Lucius was born in this building and he grew up in this building. So why shouldn't it be his, again? Well it was and things were slowly improving. The kitchen had been cleared out, it was no longer another room for storage, but a place where you could actually cook food and serve to the slaves and whores of the brothel. And he had met all of the whores in person. The prettiest and those who understood how to speak well for themselves, they were kept away from certain patrons. And others, who were more expendable, were given to those patrons who seemed to enjoy hurting the girls - and the boys too, of course. Ione was one of those who was kept safe now, in a manner of speaking. She was no longer bruised to look upon, all she had was the scar by her collarbone. She was doing well. Well enough so he actually did consider letting her have some hours in service in the kitchen, but she was also young and pretty and popular too. And she had regular patrons, even outside of the house. So he couldn't just stop selling her body.

But she wasn't on his mind constantly. He had plenty of things to do. Workers to mend the roof, workers to repaint the walls of the whore cells and he wanted new mattresses and pillows for them too. It all cost money though, so no matter what was being done on the building, he had to keep it open to patrons. Today was a day like any other regarding that. And Lucius sat in his office with a cup of wine, a bit of bread and was trying to add sums together to see what was affordable. And would he really be able to buy the domus he wanted for his family, so they could join him from Hispania? Else they'd have to live with him in his old childhood home just next to the Elysium. And he'd rather have a nicer domus. Especially for his daughters. 

A slave came into his office and said he had a visitor, some slave dealer with a cane. Lucius put away the paperwork for a moment and looked up to see his guest, wondering what he wanted. After all, he didn't know the man.

@Sarah

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The slave who had greeted him at the door disappeared further into the building before returning and gesturing for Spurius to follow him. The twins remained outside with his litter, whilst Spurius himself made his limping way through the building in the slave's wake. Already he noted a few changes; a leak in the roof seemed to have been repaired and he was certain that some of the furniture in the atrium had been replaced. That boded well. He was interested to see what kind of man, and brothel master, this new owner was.

At first glance the man seemed well dressed and presented, save for the lack of a shave which could only be deliberate at that length. Certainly not the scruffy fellow the last one had been, but a little older than Spurius himself. "Salve. Lucius Armenius Valerius, I presume." He greeted the fellow with a slight bow. "Spurius Antius, called 'Claudus', at your service." He said with a smile, though no doubt the man was expecting him. He couldn't imagine Ione not conveying the request for a meeting. "I thought that we might talk business, if you're willing."He began simply, so the other didn't think he was wasting his time. "I'm a slave trader and had some limited dealings with your predecessor, but I also supply other establishments, including the Domus Venus." Meaning that he had good quality slaves to sell, if the right customer had the money and inclination to buy.

@Atrice

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In came a man, dressed well enough and with a cane as described. Lucius stood to greet the guest, but he didn't know the man. Instead he looked him over and the other greeted him with a bow - very pleasing, Lucius thought to himself. He nodded at the man's presumption about who he was and then the other proceeded to introduce himself. Claudus. That made sense, "Pleased to meet you, Claudus." Lucius replied and then the other instantly began talking - he wanted to talk business and explained that he'd also worked with the previous owner of the Elysium. He even mentioned he also supplied the Domus Venus with slaves. Well...

"I see... well take a seat, please. Would you like a cup of wine?" Lucius said and invited the other to sit in the free chair in front of the desk. Lucius sat down too, "We can most certainly talk business, if your slaves are not too pricey. I am still repairing and updating the place, so I can't afford just anything." Lucius said, "But please, I imagine you have some idea of what you can offer me, since you're already here." He leaned back in his own chair and relaxed, waiting for an answer. Should the guest want wine, he'd of course call for that. Right now though, he imagined the man with the cane just enjoyed having a place to sit instead of standing.

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"The pleasure's mine." Spurius replied with a slight bow, leaning on his staff, before gratefully taking the seat offered in front of the desk. He was tall and stood when needed because it made a certain impression, but it was good to sit down. "A small cup would be appreciated, if it's not too much trouble." But only small; as a trader himself he knew the perils of drinking whilst working. No doubt the brothels handed out cheap wine fairly freely, to encourage their patrons.

Spurius glanced around the office, making no secret of observing the changes, as he had done in the rest of the building he'd passed through. "I noticed some improvements when I arrived." He revealed. "Your predecessor let the place become rather run down, and wanted only the cheapest slaves, so we didn't do much business. If you're looking to improve the venue, and the services, I suspect that I may have more to offer you." He said simply. "Whilst I rarely trade in the cheapest, I do have a wide range of individuals come through my business, and I can select out those who meet your requirements, in skills, looks and price." He did that for others. If he knew what someone was looking for, when he had one who matched that description he would bring them to the business. He did that regularly with the Domus Venus.

"I also have work crews available to hire, if you're looking for some assistance with repairs?" He suggested.

@Atrice

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He could tell his guest was pleased with sitting down, though obviously also quite used to standing. He was a man of principle, Lucius thought to himself. Perhaps he'd been a military man in the past. Perhaps that's why he had been injured. Or perhaps his work with slaves had been hard on him. You never knew and Lucius could only guess. He often guessed right though, because he liked watching people and getting to know people and then using people. He offered a drink to his guest and Claudus accepted it, "It's no trouble at all." Lucius replied and called for a slave to bring in a second cup for the guest. It was nothing out of the ordinary for him. Of course he'd treat a guest, who even traded in slaves, with a cup of wine.

Claudus looked around then, before he said he had noticed the improvements on the building and then explained how it had been with the previous owner of the Elysium. How the man allowed the place to be run down and wanted cheap slaves. Lucius had heard about the earthquake a few years ago and suspected that's why it was so run down - because the previous owner had just wanted to make profit, not spend it. Useless. Sometimes you had to spend profit to make a better profit. At least he knew that. A slave arrived with the wine for Claudus and Lucius waved the slave off again, while Claudus continued to speak. About what he could offer Lucius, although he did not have the cheapest slaves. And he also had work crews available for hire.

"I might be interested in that. I want to bring Elysium back to its former glory. And possibly beyond that, if I can." Lucius said with a smile, "Currently I think I have what I need, in the brothel anyway. But once everything has been mended and updated, maybe there will be profit enough to spend on new whores for the brothel. So far I have what came with the place and right now I need the coin to make it better, but after that. I'm sure we can do business." Lucius added and picked up his own cup, "Do you trade with other brothels in Rome too?" 

@Sarah

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Spurius nodded to the slave who brought them the wine, accepting his own cup which he raised in Lucius's direction, then sipped from, showing confidence in his host. If they were going to do business then things would go much more smoothly if there was a measure of trust between them.

I want to bring Elysium back to its former glory.

Had the Elysium ever been glorius? Spurius didn't know. But one had only to look around the building to see that it had once been more than it was now. The previous owner had run it into the ground, presumably for whatever money he could get from it, without understanding that a little care and attention would bring him in greater profits. The Elysium was currently amongst the cheapest and nastiest of Rome's brothels, and it's clients paid accordingly. But Armenius Valerius appeared to have a vision of more.

"Well, I can rent you a whole or half work crew, by the half-day, if you want to fix the building up further. They're experienced with building works and come with handlers." He said, and named a reasonable set of prices for numbers of men and half versus full days. "I can see you've done a lot already." Which was an honest observation. "That alone and better care of your stock than the previous owner took will say a lot to your customers, but I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know." He smiled faintly. If Armenius Valerius was a serious businessman, he would understand that appearances made a huge impact, especially in terms of first impressions. Battered whores and puddles on the floor would attract only the poorest of clients; healthy girls and a warm, neat building would call to those who could pay better.

Did he trade to the other brothels? "I do." He said simply. "Some peruse my wares periodically, along with the rest of the market, but for my best customers I know their tastes and budget, and bring them appropriate stock as I get them." Which worked well for him. "That includes the Domus Venus." Though he suspected those girls were out of Valerius's price range, at least for the moment.

@Atrice

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Lucius was glad to see his guest accept the wine. He had not expected this guest and he had nothing against Claudus so far - in fact he seemed to be someone easy to work with, so why would there be anything but wine in the cup? Meanwhile Lucius explained about how he wanted to bring Elysium back to what it had once been, and how he expected it to go right now. First the building would have to be mended and all that, then he could begin considering new slaves and whores. Claudus suggested work crews to help fixing the building further and said they were experienced. Lucius nodded, "I may take that offer." He said with a smile and his guest complimented him on how much had been done already. He seemed to understand business well too.

He nodded once more, "I do know all that. But no worries. I know what I'm doing." He promised. After his father had finally passed away, Lucius had made quite the career out of his brothels. First here and then in Hispania after the riots more than a decade ago. Now he was back though. And he had business to do and money to make, to make sure his children wouldn't grow up poor and become what he was. Except maybe Aeneas... because he had been born into the brothel. It was different with him. 

But he grew curious about Claudus and wondered if he traded with other brothels too. He most likely did and Claudus confirmed it. Lucius listened while he sipped his wine and the other finished with mentioning the Domus Venus.

"Of course. You must have good slaves then." Lucius explained and set down his cup, thinking as he had an idea, "Do they ever sell any back to you?" 

@Sarah

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Valerius was clearly a busy man and though he'd asked Ione to tell her master he'd visit at this time she might have forgotten, or he might have. But he made time for Spurius and that the slaver appreciated. He had a feeling that this could prove to be a profitable business relationship between them. Armenius assured him that he knew what he was doing and Spurius took the man at his word. He'd spoken of the Elysium's former glory, perhaps he'd known the place before the most recent owner. As long as he did good business, that was all that mattered. 

Asked about his other customers for that particular type of slave, Spurius confirmed he had others including the Domus Venus, which was a bit of a boast but a truthful one. 

You must have good slaves then. Do they ever sell any back to you?

"Some of the best." He assured the brothel owner. "But I deal in a range. I've never had one returned as unsatisfactory," for every slaver had to guarantee their goods, "but if you mean do they sometimes sell them back when they're older or less suitable, yet they do." It was an astute question. "Do you think you'd be interested in a Venus-trained girl, or boy, if one comes into my stock?" It would be a good way to get a well trained prostitute at a fraction of the cost of a younger one, and a good prostitute had more skills than just lying on their back. If Armenius was asking for the reason Spurius assumed he was, he did indeed have a good understanding of how to run, and lift, this brothel. 

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He smiled, when Claudus assured him he had some of the best slaves - also for brothels. Of course no slaver would ever say he had poor or bad slaves, but there were well-trained and well-behaved slaves and then there were... those who'd just come in from the North or from the South and who knew nothing and had to be beaten to behave. Lucius was not interested in that. Not that he could not beat a slave into proper submission, but why do the hard work when you could have other people do it for you? Claudus went on, said he had not had any slaves return because they weren't satisfactory to their new owners. Though of course he guessed what Lucius was after and Lucius nodded.

"We understand each other I think, Claudus." Lucius said with a grin, "That's exactly what I am asking for. I would be very interested in such a purchase." Both because a well-trained and good prostitute was useful to the business itself, but they might also be able to teach some of the younger whores how to behave properly. On top of that, wasn't it quite the commercial to boast about having a Venus slave at the Elysium? Just because they're not useful there anymore, doesn't mean they're not good or useful at all. Lucius was pleased, he had not planned this meeting, but it was going very well.

"Do you want a tour of the brothel... or perhaps you've been here under the previous owner? In any case, I'd like to show you, if you want." Lucius said then and downed the rest of his own wine, wondering if Claudus would be interested. Of course he had that limp, so he might not walk so well, but Lucius would not mind showing off the improvements that had already been done and what still needed to be done, so Claudus knew what to tell the work crew Lucius might hire.

@Sarah

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Part of Spurius's business plans comprised being able to deal in a wide range of slaves, including fresh barbarians, but his success lay in being able to deal the right slave to the right buyer. He wouldn't sell barbarians to those who weren't ready for the challenges of those not born into slavery, just as he wouldn't sell a slave with good skills to one who wouldn't appreciate those skills, no matter their age. But an older prostitute, trained in the Domus Venus, could be a real steal for a rising brothel like Valerius seemed to hope the Elysium could be. He confirmed that they understood each other.

Smiling in turn, Spurius inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement. "Then I shall bear that in mind." He assured the man. There were a couple of other better quality brothels too, whose used goods might also be suitable for the man's purpose. He'd assess any that arrived, and offer those whom he considered suitable.

Do you want a tour of the brothel?

Spurius wasn't particularly interested in the brothel itself, but he was interested to see what Valerius wanted to show him. Anything could be an indicator as to the man's tastes and thus indicate which slaves he was more likely to want to purchase. "Certainly." He replied evenly, and followed his host in emptying his glass and rising to his feet, staff held firmly in his hand. "I've not previously been further than this office." So if Valerius wanted to show him the whole building, some of it would be new. Frankly he'd seen enough of it previously not to want to see the rest, but as he'd mentioned he'd already noted changes.

"Were you involved with the Elysium prior to it's current owner?" He asked as he followed Valerius, recalling the comment about returning the place to it's former glory. Perhaps he'd been an employee, maybe even the old owner. He didn't look like he'd been owned.

@Atrice

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Lucius found that he enjoyed speaking to a fellow business-man and one who seemed to know his trade. Claudus knew what he was doing and he was good at it too, at least that was the idea Lucius got so far about him. It was very pleasing indeed, to speak to such a man. Claudus smiled at him, assuring him he'd remember what Lucius said to him about wanting a slave from the Domus Venus, should Spurius get his hands on one. 

Then he thought he might extend the visit for his guest, more than happy to show off what he'd done and what he wanted done - both so Claudus had an idea about what Lucius might want in the future, but also of course so that Claudus could tell others about what was happening here. The other agreed to a tour and they both emptied their wine and stood. Claudus explaining he'd never been further than this office, "Well then it's about time you see more." Lucius said and opened the door for his visitor to let him out. Then Lucius skipped past him to lead the way away from the office and down a hallway. The office was in the first floor of the brothel, where some of his best whores had their cells. There were more floors, but those whores there were either cheaper or they catered to special types of patrons. Ione had pleased him well so far, so she'd been moved into one of the first floor cells. Sounds of pleasure or at least something like it could be heard from various cells, that only had curtains between them and the hallway.

Claudus asked about Lucius' involvement with the brothel and he nodded at the question, "I were... very much so. My father bought the building many decades ago and opened the brothel here, with the name it still has." He explained, "So I grew up here and after my father died, I continued to run the place. My parents were married, just in case you wonder... my mother was not a whore." Lucius added, feeling that was important to mention. Whores did have children of course, but he preferred to avoid it and his mother had certainly not been one. And that old rumor had died out the years he'd been gone, the rumor that his mother had bedded one of the male whores and that's how Lucius gained his impressive height. Lucius never believed it. Words from vicious snakes, that's what they were. But there was no need for Spurius to know that story.

@Sarah

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Valerius seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, certainly better than the brothel's last owner, whom Spurius had avoided save when absolutely necessary. He was glad he'd decided to speak with him, it gave him the impression that the two of them could work well together for the benefit of their respective businesses. It was very satisfying speaking with someone who was not only another businessman but one who was clearly a practical sort and who knew his trade. Far too many were either overly optimistic or eminently impractical, whose unrealistic expectations were annoying to deal with. Spurius didn't think that he and Valerius were going to have any such problems.

Given his impressions of the Elysium in it's current state, he hadn't had any desire to venture further into the building.

Well then it's about time you see more.

Valerius seemed almost excited to show him, and Spurius could relate to the enthusiasm to share a new business development with someone who would really understand the ins and outs of it. So he followed with interest, quietly pleased that the other man seemed to want to give him the tour, rather than doing so out of some sense of duty.

Beyond the office they moved into the working section of the building, where small rooms were curtained off from the hallway and in some of them the girls - Spurius tried to remember if he'd seen any boys as well - were working from the sound of things. It was hardly spacious, but it looked as though the roof  had been fixed and it was as discrete as it needed to be. Very practical. Very validating as to why he'd always get a whore to his house, rather than visiting the brothel himself. But the usual patrons were those who likely lived in crowded insulae, so it worked well.

Valerius explained his history with the brothel, stipulating as he did so that his father was married, he wasn't got on some whore. Spurius shrugged. "I wasn't wondering, it's not really relevant to business, save that I do pick up the odd whore-born infant to raise." Just in case Valerius needed to get rid of any. As a slave, of course. Infants who were rejected and exposed to the elements and the will of the Gods were one source of slaves. The young boy Amandus whom he'd sold recently had been one of those. "Returning the family business to it's former level is quite the project." He observed in a tone that made it clear he approved of the venture.

@Atrice ( @Sara?)

 

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Lucius definitely thought they’d work well together, so far the conversation had been good and useful and he thought an arrangement in the future with Claudus was very likely to happen. Now though, he’d show off the place a little bit, give his guest a tour and Claudus, despite the staff he had to support himself with, happily followed. At first they walked down the hallway with the office in it, where the other end of the same hallway held all the cells for his best whores. There was the staircase leading down to the ground level near the office, but they were not going that way yet.

 Meanwhile they talked, Claudus asking into Lucius’ connection to the brothel and Lucius shared the story, because honestly, it was not really a secret that he grew up here. It was his place and he was glad to have it back. But he explained that it had been his father’s place and his father had been married to his mother. Claudus said he didn’t wonder about Lucius’ parents, but added that he would sometimes pick up a whore-born child. Lucius nodded. Good to know.

 Claudus then commented that it was quite the project, “It is, which is why it’ll take some time. And while I want to cater to finer patrons too, for now I must keep the old ones coming, as I need the profit for the project.” Lucius explained and saw a man leaving a cell, seeming to just having tossed his tunica over his head. The man was still tying his belt.

 “I’ve done some work in the cells too, fixed the walls that were bad and the beds too. And they have better mattresses than before.” Lucius explained, “You can have a look.” He said, unembarrassed and opened the curtain to the cell that a man had just left. Inside was Ione, seeming to take a rest after working and Lucius tilted his head, looking at her. Shouldn’t she clean herself and get ready for the next client?

 “See, it’s nice, isn’t it? Looks almost cozy.” He then commented to Claudus with a smirk, unaware of the arrangement she had with his guest, as that had been set up before Lucius’ time here, “The girl is Ione, by the way. I think she has a… profitable future ahead of her. Very obedient.”

@Sarah @Sara

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Ione had hoped that moving up to the recently repaired top floor might have been an improvement. In all the months she'd been here when Titus had been in control, the Elysium had operated from the row of cells on the ground floor - a portion of the roof had caved in after all and there were no guarantees the rooms at the top would stand for much longer. Armenius had seen to that, as he'd seen to most things and he'd given her the gift of better clients, as one of his favoured whores. She'd had high hopes, which had yet to be realised. Whilst she was no longer cut by madmen with knives or beaten silly by drunken blacksmiths, the calibre of clients upstairs were no less brisk and demanding of her body. Still, at least her ceiling didn't leak. Small mercies. 

She was led on her back, naked, panting and trying to catch her breath as the curtain was unceremoniously drawn back. She thought it might be the client having forgotten something and so didn't immediately move until she heard her dominus' voice remarking that her little cell was cozy that she snapped open her eyes and bolted upright on the bed. Her head swam a little at the motion. It was early in the morning but it had been a long night with precious little sleep and it took her a moment to focus her eyes as she sat on the bed. Then she saw the man next to him and...shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. Spurius had told her to tell Armenius he'd be visiting. She had been supposed to tell him. Just as she had been supposed to tell him he'd used her mouth. The guard had been paid extra to pass on to Armenius but she wondered if he'd pocketed it. Shit. 

An introduction was made which was absolutely not necessary and Ione hurried to her feet. She was still naked and made no move to cover herself as she debated what to say. She should have told Armenius that Spurius' boys were regular clients of hers. She should have told him she visited his house. As it was, she just stood there, awkwardly, wishing she could go back in time two days rather than be standing here like a slave on auction block, hair mussed, cheeks flushed and eyes downcast.

 

TAG: @Sarah @Atrice

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Of course the project would take time, and funds, and Valerius was very practical, not wanting to lose any of his cheaper clients before he was ready for those who could pay a bit more. "Very sensible." Spurius agreed. "But I can see what's been done already. I seem to recall this section was unusable." Not  from within, but even from without anyone could see that the roof had collapsed over this part of the building. Now new timbers replaced old and were visible where the wood hadn't worn, supporting a fresh roof. "You've doubled your service area." He observed. Which meant Valerius would be able to house more whores and take more clients and bring in more cash. It was a smart section of the renovations to prioritise.

Valerius went on to describe how he'd worked on the cells as well, whipping back the curtain on one that a customer had recently exited, revealing the repaired walls and comfier bed as he described them. And the prostitute within, whom Spurius immediately recognised. The sight of her body was no real surprise, he'd seen her naked but a couple of days before; more jarring was having it emphasised that she was a working girl, and a fairly cheap one. Which he knew of course, but it was another thing to see her at work.

He made a show of glancing around the cell. "Very neat." He agreed, before glancing at Ione as Valerius named her. "Yes, I know her." He said mildly, as though it were of no consequence. "I've had an arrangement with your predecessor Titus for her to come to my domus once a week to service the twins, for the last two months." He gave a slight jerk of his head in the direction of the front door, where his two litter bearers waited. "She's been quiet and well behaved, and they seem satisfied." They were the kind of words he'd use to recommend a slave, as one businessman to another. Perhaps it even counted as putting in a good word for her. It was clear however that Valerius hadn't known that, which meant Ione hadn't told him when he'd asked her to. Well, now he knew.

@Atrice@Sara

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Lucius deemed himself as a very practical person and especially when it came to his business. He’d come a long way from the time he still worked for his father, keeping up with the treasury and all that. Then his father had died, Lucius had taken over, he’d risen in social rank and then he left Rome with his very young wife. In Hispania, that’s where he really began learning how to do it all, because they got the chance to start from scratch. By now, he knew what he wanted and how. And he was pleased that Claudus could see what had been done to the house already.

 “It wasn’t very useable at all, but it’s becoming better.” Lucius replied and Claudus observed how the service area was doubled. He nodded, proud that Claudus could see how things were improving. Then he decided to show off one of the better and improved cells for the whores and pushed the curtain away from a cell where a client just left. He wouldn’t interrupt anyone taking their pleasure here, but this should be fine. Ione was inside and the moment he pushed away the curtain, she’d hurried to her feet and stood there, with her hair all tangled and her eyes downcast.

 Lucius spoke of the cell first and then introduced Ione with a smirk and glanced at his guest, wondering if he too would be pleased with her. Claudus said the cell was neat and said he knew Ione, as he had an arrangement with the previous owner of the Elysium. Lucius arched a brow, now this was new! Well it was hard to keep track of all arrangements done with Titus, but as long as the coin kept flowing in and his whores worked well, that was what mattered. Claudus commented that Ione had behaved well with him and his slaves had seemed satisfied with her.

 “That’s good, I’m glad to hear that. And this arrangement, is it something that’s still happening then?” He assumed it was and glanced at Ione, glad to hear she pleased the clients and hearing it so directly from the source too. Well, almost… “Have you had the pleasure of her body too, or does she only service your men? If you want her, I’m sure we can make a deal too. She is rather pleasing.” Lucius had had her too after all, even before he owned her and he looked at her with a small smile. Very profitable future ahead of her indeed, if she was someone to be used for arrangements outside the house. Maybe he should soon make contact with the lovely Vibia, see if she might be interested in training Ione further.

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Posted (edited)

And this arrangement, is it something that’s still happening then?

Spurius nodded. "Once a week, so long as you've no objections?" He added, glancing at Valerius. "I prefer that she come to us than to send the boys down, it's more efficient with their time and I'm happy to pay for hers." And she hadn't caused them any problems. Quite the opposite, she'd fit almost seamlessly into their routines very quickly indeed, and he appreciated that. 

Valerius asked whether Spurius had tried Ione as well, and for a moment the trader mused on how much to tell the man. Of course he was fishing for more business, that was only natural, but he also seemed like a reasonable man. "I have, on her last visit." He confirmed eventually. "She is pleasing." He agreed. "I asked that she come up for longer next week." Meaning that he intended to use her services again. Meanwhile, Valerius's suggestion that they could make a deal intrigued him. His gaze wandered around the newly refurbished floor again, musing that with each improvement, Valerius's business would be able to both expand, and increase in quality.  "How would you feel about using my work teams as you need, and crediting their cost against my household's use of your women?" He asked at length. That would enable Valerius to get the repairs done faster, meaning he could expand the business more quickly, at the loss of the income from Ione for his household for a few weeks. Spurius had no problems with trading in kind, if that worked for Valerius.

The man wasn't wrong. Ione was pleasing, and he was looking forward to her next visit. 

@Atrice @Sara

Edited by Sarah
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Lucius was pleased to hear that Ione pleased clients, even outside of the brothel. He knew that she'd left a few times and one of the guards had mentioned she'd stayed away for too long once, but as far as Lucius knew, she hadn't done that while he'd owned her. Hopefully because she didn't dare. She wouldn't want to feel his anger upon her. But so far, she was pleasing to everyone. Still learning, of course, but he did predict she had a bright future ahead of her... as a whore, of course. Nothing more. Claudus explained the arrangement he had with Ione and that it was most efficient if it stayed like it was. Lucius nodded, "Of course. I have no objections." He replied and then he'd wondered if Claudus had had the pleasure of her body too.

And he had! Lucius couldn't help but smirk while Claudus explained himself and said he wanted her for a longer time next time. Lucius nodded, thinking that would up the cost for her, but then Claudus had another idea that might serve them both. Not that Lucius was very fond of the idea of not making actual profit from the girls, and especially Ione, but on the other hand, free use of Claudus' work teams sounded like a very good deal. Some of those teams could be quite expensive! 

"I think I'd feel very good about that." Lucius said with a pleased smile to the other man, "I think we are going to work well together, Claudus." He then added and glanced at Ione, as he had an idea to seal the deal - or deals - properly... his gaze returned to his guest then, "Would you like to make use of this deal, with Ione, now? Free of charge, of course. Then I will write up a contract and you can return to my office once you're done with her?" 

@Sarah @Sara

Edited by Atrice
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It was good to know that Valerius had no objections to continuing the arrangement he'd had with Titus regarding Ione and her coming to his domus. It suited Spurius and his household well and he had no issues with paying for the extra time that entailed. In fact he'd been rather surprised at how well the arrangement had worked out, given how poorly the business seemed to have been run previously, but the new owner clearly had ambitions to change that and that could only mean an improvement in quality and service for the customers, including him. 

The little smirk as he admitted that he'd used Ione as well was mildy annoying if entirely predictable, but perhaps Valerius realised the potential in the woman, which was fair enough. He certainly found her appealing. And he seemed to like the sound of the arrangement that Spurius suggested, which pleased the slave trader as well. It was the kind of arrangement that would work well for both of them, and who knew, he could even arrange for a girl or two to come to the warehouse on the odd occasion. There was a lot of potential there and he knew that, in helping Valerius get his building fixed up more quickly, he was ensuring Ione's accomodations and hopefully clientelle as well, which would mean no more bruises or scars. It all looked positive. 

"I'm glad you like the idea." He replied smoothly. "It seems only reasonable." Plus they could reduce the impact of taxes by trading in kind. Valerius's offer was unexpected, but Spurius supposed he'd want time to draw up that contract, and didn't need him wandering around annoying people. Which made perfect sense, save that it came up against Spurius's intense, instinctive privacy around his sex life, or rather lack thereof. But Ione had pleased him last time; they could do something. It struck him that it would be odd to refuse. "Very generous of you." He replied with a smile and a slight bow. "I believe I can find my way back to your office, we can formalise the arrangement." They hadn't actually gone too far. 

Poor Ione had been stuck there, nude, whilst the two men spoke, but Spurius had been ignoring her as one did with a slave one currently had no use for. Once they'd agreed, he turned his hazel gaze to her. He hadn't ever really thought to see the inside of her cell where she worked. 

@Atrice @Sara

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Ione listened to the exchange with down cast eyes, hands clutched in front of her waist offering her a modicum of cover. Not that she was embarrassed by her nakedness, but still...it was odd to be utterly ignored - a part of the transaction which she could have no say in. It was her life now, but still sat on her shoulders uncomfortably. 

And then Spurius agreed, and agreed to sealing the deal - as it were - with her now. She blinked up at the two men as Valerius took his leave and she was left alone with Spurius. She swallowed, suddenly deeply embarrassed. He'd seen her naked - she'd pleasured him with her mouth the last  time they'd met - but this felt different. It was a small mercy he hadn't seen the man between her thighs but watching him leave and seeing her on her back, panting for breath and naked didn't leave much to the imagination. She shifted from foot to foot and cleared her throat. "Where would you like me?" She asked. The last time they'd met he'd suggested he might take her upstairs next time for more. She just hadn't imagined it would be...here.

 

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Ione could go to Claudus’ house and he could have her for longer than usual, if that’s what he wished. It’s not like Lucius wouldn’t get anything out of it and she might gain some good experience. See how everything worked together towards a greater purpose, which of course was that Lucius would make more money in the long run. And you had to think ahead. Even when you were just a brothel-owner. They both agreed that Claudus’ idea sounded reasonable and then Lucius had an idea to seal the deal. Please this new business partner of his more. He could spend some time with Ione here, now.

 Claudus seemed to take a few moments to consider it. Maybe he was not used to being in the brothel with the girls, maybe he preferred his own bed. But really, why not do it here? It was just sex. Pleasure. Release. Finally Claudus smiled and agreed to the idea and Lucius nodded.

 “Very good, I’ll see you soon then… or, should I say, eventually.” He added with a smile, there was no knowing if Claudus would finish quickly or not… “Be a good girl, Ione.” Lucius then said to the girl, his voice friendly enough, but his eyes telling her she better not be a disappointment. And then he left, careful to close the curtain behind him, giving them as much privacy as you could get in a brothel like this. Then he went back to his office, where he found a piece of paper to write upon while waiting for Claudus to return to him.

@Sara @Sarah

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