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April, 77AD

Hilda peered curiously at the door, eyes narrowed, hands on her hips and Gerfrid - the man that had accompanied her on the journey - standing nervously by her side. It didn't look like much to her - a door in a wall, but one of the men they'd spoken to had assured the pair that this was indeed where Varus lived. Whatever a Varus was (besides a fool who doomed some legions long ago). Well...she knew exactly who Varus was. Her mother had kept it from them for years, but it explained why she looked very little like her supposed brother. Half-brother. Gerfrid didn't know and she could tell his curiosity was piqued about why Wulfric would have come all the way to Rome to meet an important Roman citizen. The cover story she'd spun was weak at best, thready and full of holes and so to save any further questioning, she knocked firmly on the door.

She flinched as a slot slid open to reveal the beady eyes of somebody looking her over. "Yes?" 

She cleared her throat. The benefit of marrying into a tribe so close to the Romans was that she'd learned Latin (out of necessity, mostly, to overhear conversations between her tribe and their neighbours). She wasn't perfect at it, but could hold a conversation; "I am here to see Varus. Tertius." She arched a brow, "You can tell him Frieda sent me." The man gave her a once over and Hilda scoffed. She knew her fashions weren't the Roman style but she was unmoved. She stepped a touch closer to the door and offered the slave a smirk. "I'm not a very patient woman." The man slammed shut the peephole and Hilda scowled, knocking harder until, after a long few moments it finally swung open and the harried looking man gestured for her to come inside. She glanced fleetingly at Gerfrid and spoke in their language; "Wait here." He was under no obligation to do as she bid him, but he did so all the same, staring gormlessly after her as she stepped inside.

Well. This was not what she was expecting. She tried not to let the wonder show on her face.

 

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Spring was finally coming to Rome. The weather was warmer and thanks to Charis, flowers were once more blooming in the garden. Tertius was grateful for her. So far, everything had gone according to plan. Tertius had made the arrangements and since Saturnalia was kind of special to them both - or so he felt it was - he manumitted her by Saturnalia. She gained his name, since he was her master and owner before and she now lived with him as his wife. Sharing his bed when she wasn't trying to make Peregrinus sleep, tending to the garden, taking care of the household. And she was good at it too!

Tertius suddenly found himself with more free time again and was working on yet another project for Peregrinus. To think he'd be three years old this year! Tertius would gift him a soldier, a warrior, that he was currently carving from a block of wood. He sat in the garden with the project, when a slave approached him and said there was a woman to see him. And she looked strange and said that someone called Frieda had sent her. The slave barely pronounced the name right, but that just made it all more obvious to Tertius. Was this Wulfric's doing? 

With a heavy sigh he stood and told the slave to take the carving to his private chamber and set it on a shelf there, so he could work on it later. And then he brushed the dust off his clothes and went into the atrium where a woman was waiting. With long, blonde and beautiful hair and a face that made him think he'd travelled back in time. She was very pretty. Tertius stood still for a moment, before he realized he was staring. No, this was not Frieda. She'd be around his age now, wouldn't she? Although he never did ask back then, what her age was. 

"Greetings... I am told you have asked to see me. But I don't know who you are?" She better not be yet another child of his. But how could he have two children in Germania? He only slept with one woman. Unless Wulfric had a twin. Fuck. Why were the gods doing this to him?

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Hilda blinked as a man entered. For a second she thought it was Wulfric himself and then she frowned, deeply. Older, darker hair for sure but the features were...oddly similar. It was discomfiting. So this must be the Varus. Judging by his reaction to her, she really should have believed their kin when they said she was the spitting image of her mother at her age. He looked a little like he'd seen a ghost. So, an odd meeting for both of them. Excellent.

She cleared her throat and dropped her hands from her hips, folding them across her chest defensively. She didn't answer him immediately at first and glanced around him through the house. What sort of man needed such opulence and excess? It was peculiar. When she finally dragged her bright blue eyes back to Tertius they were assessing and suspicious rather than warm and welcoming like her mothers so often were. Her voice was accented but she spoke Latin clearly and fluently enough. "I suppose you don't, but you know my mother. Frieda?" Her lips twitched in amusement for a brief second. She didn't judge him for sleeping around, although she did judge her mother somewhat. "I understand my brother Wulfric is here with you. I thought it worth meeting his father for myself." She gave him another assessing look, head tilted to the side as she studied him for a brief moment, "Before I saw him. Can you tell him I've arrived?" 

 

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Someone called Frieda sent her. Which made sense, since she looked like the woman he recalled spending several very lovely nights with, so many years ago up in the cold North. Frieda had kept his bed warm and it had been very good. But back then, it meant nothing more than that, to him. Now the son he'd apparently given her had shown up and now there was also a young woman. Hopefully not Wulfric's twin, that he failed to tell Tertius about! He wouldn't put it past the young man though. He was hiding something, Tertius was still quite certain of it. Wulfric was not telling him the whole truth. And now this young woman had arrived.

She folded her arms and looked around, as if she held a lot more power here than she really did. Tertius watched her, keeping his distance, while she spoke of her brother Wulfric and wanting to meet Wulfric's father. So this was not his daughter, at least. Good. But then what was she doing here? Asking for Wulfric...

"He's not here. I have not seen him in a very long time." Because he'd made sure to ignore Wulfric and make him feel unwelcome at his house. Because he was... "I don't know where he lives in Rome." Tertius added, "Do you have a name?" He felt kind of defensive, probably because of the way she was acting. And the fact that she called Wulfric her brother. Was she also here to 'connect with her family' as Wulfric wanted, or what? Tertius didn't need this part of his family. Even if this particular part was very pretty.

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She frowned. She'd never been particularly adept at hiding her emotions and that was as clear as day now as she glanced around the domus. She offered a joke. "Why? Is your home not big enough to fit him?" it quite obviously was. It was so ostentatious to her, it was baffling. How did he not even know where Wulfric was living? Something, a feeling, settled uneasily in the pit of her stomach and she gripped the insides of her her arms with her fingers. This wasn't right. Wulfric should be here. 

"Hilda. Daughter of Frieda," She arched a brow with a small smile her lips, "And Wulfstan. Granddaughter of Hrodulf, chief of the Chatti." And therefore Wulfric's half-sister, and no relation to him. She chose not to mention her ties to the Tencteri. The less that was said about that chapter of her life the better. Clearing her throat she glanced around. She didn't see any slaves, but one had answered the door so he must have them. "Do you have something to drink?" She asked as she unfolded her arms, "It's been a long week." She'd only arrived in the city a few days ago and was so wrung out it was a surprise she was still standing.

 

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She did not seem all that impressed by his house, she even frowned... well what could you expect from a barbarian like her? So she was pretty, but it would seem she'd just come to Rome and didn't know a thing about etiquette here. At least Charis had learned. She'd been wild at first too, but she'd come far since then. Maybe this woman could learn too, but with the way she was acting so far... well she was not making the best impression on Tertius. She mocked him, wondering if his home was not big enough for Wulfric. Tertius arched a brow, "That is none of your business." He replied, so far not taking any steps closer to her. Every time she opened her mouth he felt more hostile towards her. At least she now introduced herself as Hilda and stated her whole family, as if that made a difference to him. Wulfric also claimed to be a prince. That didn't mean much to Tertius. His bastard-born son from Germania had only caused trouble in Rome.

Before he could say more, she was clearing her throat and asking for a drink. He supposed it was best behavior to show hospitality to a guest, but would he call her a guest? She wasn't exactly being friendly towards him, he thought. And she was not invited. Just like Wulfric. On the other hand... perhaps she could tell him more about Wulfric. And why he was here in Rome. Perhaps she could be of some use after all. 

"Of course... it must have been quite the journey you've made." Tertius said, now with a less firm voice. Then he called for the slave Phaedo and told him to set up something to drink for two, in one of the chambers facing the peristyle. The male slave did as told, hurrying away to carry out the order... "Come with me, I have a place where we can sit and talk. And you can tell me more about why you are here." Perhaps she would be more honest than Wulfric had been. If only he approached the topic the right way.

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"It was." She said with a shrug and an almost bored glance. Travelling for weeks, months really, in winter with the looming thread of her late-husbands kin hunting them down had not been pleasant by any stretch of the imagination. Yet she endured it with minimal complaint. She wondered, briefly, how a man like the one in front of her had ever fared in her people's lands, how did he not simply languish away without the comforts of his very fine, very ostentatious home? 

She nodded and followed him through the home, eyes alert and arms still folded resolutely across her chest until they drew to the appointed room. A slave was hurriedly setting up a small table with a pitcher, cups and some grazing food. She eyed it cautiously. "Very generous, thank you." She dipped her head as she sat down unprompted on one of the couches. She sat though, didn't lounge, and cast a look into the garden. It really was beautiful, even she could admit that. "I'm here for my brother." She shrugged and took the cup from the male slave, "My mother said he came to find you, so I need you to tell me where he is." 

 

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She didn't seem like she wanted to talk about her journey and honestly, Tertius was not all that interested. What he was interested in, was her connection to Wulfric and how well she knew him. And how well she knew Wulfric's intentions here in Rome. Tertius still did not believe for one instant that Wulfric was only here to meet his family. That could not be it. Why would anyone travel so far without getting anything material in return for their trouble? Which of course made it suspicious that Hilda was now here. Had their mother sent them both? Was Rome to be flooded with Germans now, slowly taking over their precious city and empire? What did they want? 

He led the way through his home to one of the rooms facing the garden and there, the slave Phaedo was busy working with setting up drinks and other refreshments for them. Hilda said he was generous and sat down before Tertius did. He noted how she sat instead of relaxing and Tertius sat down on another couch - and did rest as you should, on such a couch. With his free hand he reached for the wine and Hilda said she was here for her brother.

"Are you here to take him back to Germania then? He told me he's a prince. I didn't know your mother had such rank." Tertius said, easily evading the question of where Wulfric was and why he was not here, because the first he could not answer - he didn't know where Wulfric was. And the second, he did not feel she really needed to know. He shouldn't have to discuss the reason for his dismissal of Wulfric to her. Pretty as she was, he had no responsibility to tell her anything.

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"Did you not speak to her at all before you bedded her?" She asked with an amused smile, but not in an overtly hostile tone, more bemused. She didn't like the Romans, those than lived near the Limes were crude and bitter and even when they had started to settle on their lands had been unfriendly  to the point that Hilda had a natural dislike of them. She could be civil when necessary though, and this man with his odd lifestyle and fathering of Wulfric deserved a modicum more respect than some ex-soldier trying to make it big on their lands.

"And no," she shook her head as she sipped her wine before setting it down on the table in front of her. Blue eyes studied him closely, watching his face in that calculated way she was so known for. "We need to stay in Rome for some time. So I'd appreciate your candour about where he is. I didn't pass him on the road so he's either in the city, somewhere else or...?" She watched his face. Illnesses and accidents happened all the time and the man's evasiveness was clear. She felt her stomach sink at the thought of trying to explain her brothers demise in Rome, to her mother. 

 

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Tertius smiled back, when Hilda wondered if he did not speak to her mother before he bedded her, "I did, but... it just never came up. And besides that, we didn't do a whole lot of talking." Tertius then replied, it was a long while back and he'd been very young. Already a father though, to Teutus, but he never got the chance to be that back then. Instead his father sent him away and then he met Wulfric's mother. And Hilda's. And now they were both here. Tertius wished they'd just go away and hoped that Hilda was here to take Wulfric with her back home. But she said she wasn't, said they had to stay in Rome for some time. And then she pressed on about Wulfric's whereabouts. Tertius looked at her, noticed how she seemed to study him and he was a bit annoyed by it. How did she think she had any right to walk in here and demand anything?

"I suppose he's in the city, if he has not left it. I heard he lives in the subura. But I don't know where." Tertius said simply. He probably should sotp beating around the bush and just tell Hilda it all as it was. That Wulfric was not wanted in this house and that Tertius had dismissed him and not invited him back. He had not seen him in a very long time. But something about Hilda made him not want to tell her such things. It was none of her business. If she wanted the story, she could ask Wulfric. If she could find him. But he reminded himself of why he invited her in here to speak... "Did he tell you why he went to Rome?" 

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Hilda wrinkled her nose and made an 'ugh' sound as he spoke. She did not wish to think of her mothers indiscretions. She had lost some respect for the woman that raised her, not because she had slept around - Hilda couldn't exactly judge a woman for that - but her choice of partner seemed to leave a lot to be desired. She took another sip of the wine. It was thick and sweet and unpleasant. She missed her drinks from home already.

She cocked a brow, curious, studying him with disapproval. So he wasn't here. She had no idea what the 'subura' was, but judging by the dismissive way he suggested it, it wasn't perhaps the grand palace that she had been imagining. "No." She shook her head, "I've not seen him in years. I was living with another tribe, I left when I was seventeen...so six years ago." She sniffed, "But my mother told me he came to find his father. See what sort of man he was." She tilted her head to the side, "And given the fact you don't even know where he is, I can confirm that it's not a good first impression. Why is he not here?" She asked firmly.

 

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The more time he spent with her, the more obvious it was that she'd come straight from Germania and here and that she had very few manners - or, very different manners, perhaps. Tertius did remember that from his time spent there, so many years ago. How they acted and how they were much more blunt than any Roman. Just the way she made that sound as he spoke of her mother... well she asked, did she not expect an honest answer? Tertius however wasn't exactly honest about Wulfric. Or, he kind of was. He didn't know where his bastard-born son was. He didn't know where he lived. But he also wasn't interested in knowing. He danced around the subject and instead asked her why Wulfric had come. She said she had not seen him in years, as she'd lived with another tribe. And she only knew what her mother told her. That Wulfric wanted to find his father and see what sort of a man he was. Then she went on about how a bad first impression Tertius had made on her. 

"I don't believe that's the only reason. Would you travel so far to a foreign country, just to see what sort of person someone is?" Tertius asked with an arched brow and sipped more of his own wine, meeting her eyes as he set it down, "Wulfric is not here, because I don't wish for him to be here. I don't find him trustworthy or worthy of my attention." And that was the truth, although there was more to it. 

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"No, I wouldn't." She gave him an imperious little smile, her eyes flashing dangerously, "But I'm not as soft-hearted as my brother. Nor as optimistic." She'd inherited her fathers personality over her mothers, it seemed. Where Wulfric was warm and open and trusting, Hilda was cold and closed off with a strong tendency to expect the worst in all those that crossed her. 

"Worthy of your attention.She repeated in a cold, accented voice, letting the silence settle after she had finished. She studied him. What had her mother seen in a man like him? He was a Varus, so obviously related by blood to a fool. Clearly that trait was inherited. "Wulfric is he grandson of the Chief of the Chatti. He may one day be Chief himself." She leant forward, her arms resting on her knees, "You dishonour my mother by bedding her and then abandoning her, you dishonour my brother by casting him out. How are you worthy of anything?" She leant back and a smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she sipped her wine. "You'll find me more persistent than Wulfric too. When was the last time you saw him?" 

 

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Hilda called her brother soft-hearted and optimistic and Tertius had to admit that's not at all what he saw in Wulfric. He saw a young man out to gain something, but he wouldn't say what it was. He still thought Wulfric was after his coin and maybe rank too, but he wouldn't admit it before Tertius had actually acknowledged him as his son. And that would not happen. But Hilda was of a different opinion and there was a certain fire in her eyes when she spoke to him, leaning forwards telling about Wulfric's rank. Well Tertius knew all that. But that still didn't change anything. He had no need for a son from up there. No need. He had Peregrinus now. He would not threaten the only son he had whom he could legally call his heir now. Before he could interrupt though, she went on, claiming Tertius was not worthy of anything and she was persistent.

"Your mother did not seem to feel dishonored back then. She chose to come to my bed." Tertius replied to her, "And you won't change my opinion of your brother. I don't believe he's as innocent as you claim. Noone's like that." In Rome, everything had its price and he was quite certain Wulfric wanted something too. Everyone did. 

"I saw him last year. I think... early in the year. It wasn't spring yet." Tertius said. Did he want her to find Wulfric? Only if she'd tell him to not come here anymore. Tertius knew Wulfric had come knocking on his door more than once since that dinner... but he'd been dismissed every time... Tertius didn't know for sure though, but he thought that Teutus might have something to do with Wulfric. They did seem to get along that night... "I may know someone who may know where he is. But if I'm to give you such information, I'll want something in return." 

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Hilda made the same 'ugh' noise as he mentioned her mother. They would be having words if and when Hilda returned to Germania. "I feel for you." She added quickly, before he continued, "That you see the worst in even your own son." The latter word was said harshly, with venom on her tongue. Poor Wulfric. He'd trekked all of this way for...this man. A man that lived in grandeur but was, she cast a glance around, alone. How sad for him. How sad for her brother. 

"Interested in dishonouring me as well?" She said with a barked laugh at his offer, presuming that's what he wanted. Men always wanted sex. "I'd rather stick a hairpin in my thigh. But go on," She said with a proud smile, leaning back on the couch. "Please, Varus, offer me what you want and I'll see what I make of it." 

 

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Tertius wanted to argue that Wulfric was not his son, not his proper son anyway... "I didn't ask him to come here." He just replied though, she wouldn't understand anyway, why Tertius didn't believe Wulfric's words. He didn't think she would anyway, with the way she spoke to him. What had he done to upset the gods to be granted first a son he didn't ask for and didn't want to be here, and then his son's sister came along and she was even worse. Maybe he'd visited the temples too little. Maybe he should sacrifice something soon. Something white and beautiful. A pigeon perhaps.

Hilda instantly thought the worst about him, when he said he wanted something in return for his help.

"Pretty as you are, I have no interest in you. Besides, my wife keeps me well satisfied." Tertius replied, ignoring her proud smile and the way she leaned back on the couch. She was very pretty. Very much like her mother had been. But he had no wish or need to sleep around. Why should he? He had Charis. What would she say to Hilda? Hopefully she'd tell the woman to leave her husband alone. She was as unwelcome as Wulfric and had not told him anything useful, which he'd hoped for. But she could still be of use.

"What I want is not something material. I want you to tell your brother, when you find him... to stay away from my home and my family. For good. Will you do that? If you will, I will help you find him." Tertius then said and picked up a date to eat. Watching her as intently as she watched him. She thought she was a match for him. She was not.

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"Lucky you. Lucky her." Hilda said with an amused smile toying on her lips and her eyes studying him intently. She didn't know he was married, but it explained his reaction a little better. She narrowed her eyes on him. "You have sons? With this wife of yours?" It clicked into place. No wonder he didn't want Wulfric if he had an heir already. She genuinely didn't believe her half-brother wanted more than a kind conversation from the man sat in front of her, but she imagined that Varus would feel unease just at his presence. A mess. That was what this was.

"Why would I do that?" She asked with an arched brow. "You have just admitted how uncomfortable he makes you." She shrugged and took a date up, watching him right back in return. "I can promise you he wants nothing from you. However, perhaps want something for my time. I need to stay in Rome for a while. I imagine with the way you treat your women it will be hard for me to find work. Perhaps some support would not go amiss?" She asked as she took a bite of the date, "That way I'd have no need to bother you, and neither would Wulfric." 

 

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Hilda didn't sound like she meant it, when she deemed Tertius and his wife lucky to have each other. But of course, what did she know? She just came here and knew nothing. Tertius hadn't even lied though. Charis did satisfy him on many levels and that was not just in bed. She was being a good wife to him. She handled the household better than the head slave who had sometimes helped him out before. And she took such good care of their son. Gave him space as he gave her space, and yet they were in this together and they made it worked. How could he not be satisfied with her? He was quite certain he was more satisfied with Charis than he'd ever be with Hilda. Pretty as she were, he did indeed have no interest in her like that. She was not her mother. 

"I have one son by her so far." Tertius replied to her, which would probably explain to her why he was not very interested in Wulfric and why he'd deemed that he was not worthy of Tertius' attention. He wanted Wulfric to stay away. And meanwhile, Hilda wished to find him. He had a suspicion that Teutus dealt with his half-brother still and thought he could lead Hilda towards him, so he could lead her to Wulfric. But she had not been the best guest to him and he didn't ask her to come either, so information came with a price. As with everything else in Rome. Tertius named her price, but Hilda didn't seem to want to give what he asked for. And it would be so easy, so simple for her, and yet she would not do it. Instead, she went on to say she was staying in Rome and she wanted some support. Support? Tertius arched a brow and sipped his wine, hiding a small smirk. She'd just said Wulfric wanted nothing from Tertius. Yet here came Wulfric's sister and for some strange and odd reason, she wanted something. Coincidence? Maybe not. Maybe she did know where Wulfric was already and she was just here to pester Tertius. It made sense. But no, she wasn't getting anything either.

"I owe you nothing, Hilda of the Chatti. I don't see why I should give anything material to you. There are plenty of working women in Rome." He stopped himself before he continued, as he had considered saying that there were places in the subura for people like her. But that would be too offensive, suggesting she should go and be a whore. Better not say that... however... "Your brother told me that he's working though. I'm sure he'd be happy to support you, now that you're here. If you can find him."

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"You owe me respect." She countered, talking at him as he left a brief pause, fire dancing in her pale eyes. "As you owed my brother respect, which you clearly did not afford him." She reclined back against the small back of the couch and studied him, taking in the man before her. What had her mother seen in him.

"Well this is my problem, isn't it, Tertius of the Varii." She picked up another date, squishing it a little between her fingers, twirling it around, "I have no idea where my brother is and you won't help. I don't think though, that you understand quite what position you're in." She gave him a curious look, "You will either tell me where my brother is now, for free, with no strings attached and myself and Wulfric stay in Rome and perhaps you will never see us, perhaps you will...or I can make your life quite uncomfortable." She gave him a small smile and shrugged, biting down on the date, "I'm quite a resourceful woman, Tertius." 

 

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There was fire in her eyes while she claimed that Tertius owed both her and her brother respect. He owed them nothing, and not respect either. He watched her recline back on the couch, following the line of her body to her legs and feet. It was a pity she was so... defensive and hostile. But he spoke truth, when he said he had no interest in having her body. He had Charis. She kept him very satisfied. 

He suggested Hilda went to find her brother, so that he could support her. They weren't getting anything from him. Tertius began wondering if this was all a plan, if she had already found Wulfric and they had agreed she should try and get money from Tertius, since Wulfric was unable to do so. Hilda went on, claiming she did not know where her brother was and she was upset he wouldn't help her. Then she tried blackmailing him. Saying she could make his life uncomfortable. Tertius inhaled a breath and set the cup down onto the table.

"You'll get nowhere with that. I'm a Senator of Rome and you are, as far as I know, not here on official business." He said and then stood, "I think it best that you leave now, Hilda. I don't know what it is you think you can do... but I will not be threatened by a barbarian in my own home." How could her mother be so lovely back then, and then later have produced offspring like this? Even Wulfric wasn't this harsh. He was more like a puppy and he at least understood when he'd been beaten. Unless he sent his sister here. No matter what though, Tertius wanted her gone.

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She made no move to stand as he did, peering up at him with that same devilish smile on her lips as he raged that he would not be threatened or blackmailed, calling her a barbarian. She'd heard worse. She let out a low chuckle and sighed, pushing herself to stand and flicking the date she had in her fingers back onto the table. 

"Barbarian or not," She shrugged, "I'm in Rome now. I'd much rather we be friends than enemies. You might be a Senator but I am the granddaughter of the Chief, a Princess to you people. I'm not some girl you can order around." She was inching closer to him as she spoke until she was only a few inches away. Even if she had to peer up to see his face from her height, the same smile sat on her lips. "I don't hold grudges, Tertius, I would be quite happy to start over but you-" 

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Charis drew to a stop, blinking at the scene in front of her. She'd been visiting a new friend, one of the few she'd made amongst the elites of Rome but a sweet girl who seemed to see her as a bit of a charity case rather than a hopeless barbarian or a whore. She was the equite daughter of one of Tertius' clients and her calming nature and endless questions about Britannia, about life as a slave, about her son was refreshing. Charis had found thus far in her freedom that most Romans preferred to talk around an issue than confront it directly, with sly smirks and quiet whispers. The girl she had been visiting was a welcome breath of fresh air. The woman standing in the middle of the receiving room was not

She was uncomfortably close to Tertius for Charis to be happy. Not that she wouldn't have minded sharing him, indeed it might have been preferable to give her some time away from playing the perfect wife, the perfect bedmate, but the glare in her eyes and the set of her features gave her time to pause. Equally, should Tertius take a lover she'd rather he do it in secrecy, such overt flouting over their still relatively new relationship unsettled her. She was still convinced that at any moment he'd snatch it away. 

She cleared her throat and made the woman whip her head around to face her, and quirked a brow, unwinding the expensive palla from her body as she looked at the pair of them. "You didn't tell me we were expecting company, husband?" 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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She was worse than her brother! At least Wulfric had not threatened him the way she did. Tertius would not stand it, but perhaps he was too polite in his attempt of throwing her out. Well he'd call the guards if she didn't understand it the first time. And she made no move to stand at first, just smiled in that irritating way and then chuckled. She was laughing at him now? Didn't she know that if eyes could kill, she'd be burning right now? But she stood and spoke of how she'd rather be friends than enemies and he could not order her around. She moved closer to him, but Tertius would not back away from her. She should not be left to think she could control him. Was she trying to seduce him? After she just threatened him? Did she really think he was that easy? 

Tertius was just about to reply to her, lifting a hand in order to push her away, when someone cleared their throat and he turned his head to see Charis there. Suddenly he was all too aware of Hilda being so close to him and Charis seeing it and she'd misunderstand it no doubt! Tertius inhaled a breath and Charis politely asked about their guest. Tertius gave Hilda a look and then took a step away from her, in Charis' direction.

"I wasn't expecting company at all." Tertius explained to her, "Hilda, this is my wife, Charis. Charis... meet Hilda, sister to Wulfric." At least he knew that Charis and he understood each other when it came to Wulfric, so hopefully Charis would understand that he was not enjoying this guest at all.

@Sara

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Hilda heard a feminine voice and smirked at Tertius' reaction, stepping away from her as if she was a leper. She stood her ground and languidly pulled her gaze to a small woman, young, whose own glare matched Tertius' perfectly. Her accent wasn't local though, that much was obvious but it wasn't Germanic as far as she could tell. Curious, and a bit of information to store for later. 

"A pleasure." Hilda smirked and inclined her head to Charis. Charis didn't return the smile and instead glanced warily between the two of them. Her frown only deepened as Tertius explained. Wulfric's sister. She gave Tertius a long look, willing him to read her mind; his twin and therefore your daughter...? Or a half-sister? But she didn't dare openly ask that question. Judging by the glances the pair of them were giving one another, this wasn't a happy reunion and memories of the disastrous dinner with Wulfric filtered back into her mind. 

"What brings you to Rome, Hilda?" Charis asked. 

"To meet my brothers charming family of course, and find him. Your husband has not been the most co-operative. Perhaps you might know where Wulfric is?" Hilda turned her direction squarely to Chairs, striding closer so she was parallel with Tertius - staring down at Charis. Who, in turn, blinked up at Tertius - unsure of what  to reveal.

 

TAG: @Atrice

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Hilda said it was a pleasure for her to meet Charis, but Tertius doubted it very much. Hilda came here demanding things she shouldn't be demanding. Even asking for money, as they had suspected Wulfric would have done. She was just more clear about her purpose here. A bit too much, actually. Tertius wanted her gone and was very grateful Charis had come, as long as she'd be on his side. And he thought she would. He introduced them, casually telling them both who they were to him. That Hilda was Wulfric's sister. That Charis was his wife. Then they knew what to think of one another. Charis looked up at him though, when he introduced Hilda. But he couldn't say much now. Instead she wondered why Hilda was in Rome and Hilda explained, although she was adding a thick layer of honey and a dust of spice on top. Tertius was not co-operative. Well what did she expect, with her attitude? 

Charis looked to Tertius as if she wasn't sure what to say, "I think you'll find she knows as little as I do. Neither of us have seen Wulfric since last year." Tertius replied and looked at Charis, as if silently trying to tell her she could add whatever she felt like. As long as she didn't say more than what he said already. Gods he hated this situation and this day. And Hilda. Wouldn't she just leave already? 

@Sara

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