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Deos fortioribus adesse


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January 77

Teutus had some extremely mixed feelings about his family and the situation and arrangements around them. His feelings for Charis could have developed into something more romantic if it had not been for his father's unwitting intervention there, but had transmuted into something more fraternal, as if she were a younger sister. It felt distinctly odd that she was now, technically, his step-mother  - it would be more than technically if Tertius had not been limited to simple concubinatus with her and had been able to marry her properly and legally.

Technical mother-in-law or not, the son she'd borne was his half-brother and Tertius' full acknowledged heir, and that still hurt. Though not as much as it had done once. He'd poured it out to his mother and listened to her own story and thoughts and found some solace, even though nothing could really heal the wounds inflicted over so many years.

Still, none of it was Charis' fault and certainly none could be attributed to any actions of Teutus' half-brother, who was still barely a child. He felt more enthusiasm for Charis' presence this evening than he did for her son, but allowed her to bring her son because his mother would like to see him and would no doubt chide Teutus in her own quiet way if he made Charis leave the boy at home.

It was to be a quiet, private, meal with the three of them - he had little doubt that Proserpina could take care of the child for a short time if he needed a nap or anything.

It took more effort than he'd thought it would to remain seated when a knock sounded at the door. He was no longer a slave, he had slaves of his own now, in fact, and it wouldn't be seemly to answer his own door. Olipor moved to open it, standing aside to let Charis enter.

"Charis," he said, getting to his feet and crossing to offer her a brotherly kiss on the cheek.

 

@Sara @Sarah Title translation: The gods are on the side of the strongest

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Charis exited the litter with the guiding hand of one of the household slaves. So new into her freedom she had still yet to purchase a slave girl or proper attendant, and so one of Tertius' boys accompanied her this evening - running alongside the litter on the shortish walk to Teutus and Varinia's home. "Domina." He inclined his head at her as she stood and brushed down the fine fabric of the chiton and palla she was wearing. She was not legally married and thus the stola was not for her, but she didn't mind. The chiton she wore - in a pale blue - was finer than anything she'd ever worn before. The embroidery on the gauzy palla, daisies and other flowers, done to match. 

They climbed the few steps to Teutus' apartment and she spared a glance upwards to where she knew Alexius, and Aia both resided. She resisted the smile that tugged on her lips at the memory of the last time she had visited the former's home. Instead, she set her mind to task. She knew Tertius had been displeased by her attendance tonight without him. So much so that Peregrinus - who should have been balanced on her hip - was required to stay at the domus. She sighed at the though and tried to summon some sense into herself, allowing the slave to knock. A man answered the door and she blinked, glancing past him to see Teutus who promptly rose  to greet her.

Things were remarkably less awkward now they'd cleared the air. Twice. But it would never be quite as it was those first few months in his father's house and she felt a tug in her chest of longing for it. For companionship. Companionship without conditions. She leant to kiss his cheek and pulled down the palla from the simple braided hairstyle she wore. She glanced around for Varinia. "I...I hope I'm not early?" She asked and her slave discretely moved to stand to the side with Olipor. "And I have to extend my apologies," She swallowed, "Peregrinus could not join me." 

 

TAG: @Sarah @Sharpie

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