Jump to content

Delivery for... a friend?


Sharpie
 Share

Recommended Posts

May 77

 

It had taken a couple of weeks but eventually Teutus had received back the dyed cloth Ovinia Camilla had ordered - one dress length of silk dyed a rich emerald green and one length of Hispanian merino wool dyed a deep blue, together with one full measure of spun wool, undyed, plus the glass vase packed carefully in its own crate and padded all around with straw. He had brought Jennus with him to carry the fabric and spun wool, but took charge of the crate himself.

He presented himself at the door where the ostiarius peered out through the spyhole at him. He adjusted his pallium, letting the brooch catch the sunlight momentarily - reluctant son of a Praetor he might be, but he was, nevertheless, the son of a Praetor and knew how to present himself to good effect and not get sent around to the rear entrance like a slave.

"Teutus Quinctilius Varus to see Ovinia Camilla," he said, though Jennus could no doubt make the introductions for him.

The door creaked open, allowing admittance for them both.

 

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ovinia was stood, hands on hips, in one of the rooms that led from the peristyle garden examining the piles and piles of chitons and pallas draped out. Her room - whilst luxurious and certainly comfortable - only had one small high window and it was no good for seeing the true colours of her clothes. Hence she'd demanded the slaves carry most of them out into the open-sided room so she could get a better look ahead of a dinner with a potential suitor tonight. Not one she was hugely enthused for, but one she figured she should make the effort for nonetheless. 

She was presently holding up a deep yellow chiton, clutching it over her body and asking Lucia's opinion as a slave quietly padded through and announced the arrival of Teutus Quinctilius Varus. Ovinia tossed her hair over her shoulder, looking at him and then behind him to see Teutus entering. She grinned broadly and spun to face him. "Teutus." She inclined her head. "You're a man of taste, what do you make of the yellow?" She gestured with a laugh to the gown she was holding up. 

 

TAG: @Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"What's the occasion?" Teutus enquired, coming closer and giving the bow that no doubt the lady's father and slaves would expect of a freedman merchant coming to deliver his wares to the patrician daughter of a Praetor. "I seem to recollect you telling me once that yellow made you look ill, although that particular shade is very nice against your hair and eyes."

It would make Charis look ill, but Ovinia had stronger, darker colouring and could carry it off.

"I don't think that yellow looks fine as this green," he added, indicating that Jennus could put his burdens down, and extracting the deep green silk she had requested. He smiled. "Although I also don't think you can have the dress made up in time for this afternoon."

 

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"A dinner with a potential suitor." She wrinkled her nose, as if she found the thought distasteful and then grinned, rolling her eyes. "You have the memory of a man double your years but I meant light yellow. A jewel tone? I find it suits me." Her dark eyes, dark hair - both almost black, coupled with her colouring inherited through generations from Hispanian relatives, suited bold colours. And a bold personality, which she had in spades. 

She arched a brow and palmed off the yellow to her slave as Teutus pulled out the green silk. She gasped in delight. "It's beautiful." She murmured and took a step forward to run her fingers over the silk. She smiled at him, genuinely and nodded. "I'm half tempted to tell none of my friends about you, you know, so I can keep you and your wares to myself." Chuckling, she took the silk from him and held it up to herself, taking a few paces back. "Well?" 

 

TAG: @Sharpie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Be careful, Ovinia Camilla - one might get the impression you'd rather not marry anyone at all," Teutus said lightly. Though he himself had only been one suitor, and a totally unsuitable suitor at that. "Jewel tones suit you very well indeed."

He could see her in red, or blue, or green - even purple, although he was not about to say that aloud and risk her father learning of it. The man might grow plans to marry Ovinia to Titus Caesar - certainly he didn't think that the Camillus paterfamilias was lacking in ambition in the least.

"I couldn't sell you all of my stock, though," he said. "My challenge surely is to give every one individual attention and tailor things to each person so that you all turn out with the very best Rome can offer. You have the privilege of discovery, though - you may boast of being the first among your friends to buy anything from the esteemed Teutus Quinctilius Varus, and that is a boast you may make for all time. There can only be one first, after all."

He smiled as she held the cloth up, the pleasure in her eyes was everything. "It suits you perfectly - I only wish I had been able to bring it earlier so that you could have it already made up for your suitor. A wordless demonstration that you have a certain level of expectation from your husband, perhaps?"

Speaking of potential suitors and future husbands might be awkward, but their own initial awkwardness was long past by now. They could almost be friends, if her father would allow that.

 

@Sara

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ovinia gave Teutus a look of mock reproach before she chuckled, rolling her eyes and taking it with good humour. "I do wish to marry. It's just a shame that the eligible men are so..." She wrinkled her nose, mouthing the word rather than saying it lest her father overhear; 'old'... "And dry. If I have to hear one more story about a particular orator in the Senate, I'll walk into the middle of the Circus Maximus in the middle of  a race." She grinned and flicked her wrist for her slave to get some refreshments for both of them.

She moved to take a seat on one of the couches, gesturing for him to do the same in the chair opposite, stroking her fingers over the silk reverently. "I can't buy all your stock?" she tilted her head, a smile playing on her full lips, "I think you underestimate my fathers fortune." She grinned and then took a cup of watered, sweetened wine from her slave girl Lucia. "But I shall boast. Earnestly. You will be richer than Crassus once my friends are through with you...but please do keep some things back." She asked with a softer look. "Things you think will suit me. Things which my friends will die to have." 

She was still stroking the silk as he complimented the colour on her. She smiled, softer still. "Perhaps I'll save it for a man I truly wish to impress." She leant in a little, whispering. "And I do not think this particular Quaestor that I'm due to meet is that man." Pulling back she gave him an assessing look. "How have you been? Since our last meeting, Teutus?" 

 

TAG: @Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus had to stifle a laugh at her silent mouthing of 'old'. "If they are all... that, then just how eligible are they, really? And surely your father has more criteria for them to meet than just whether or not they can put the Senate to sleep by droning on." It honestly couldn't be too hard to do that - half the Senate or more must be the same age as their respective fathers.

"You are more than welcome to buy as much of my stock as you like, Ovinia Camilla," he told her. He would far prefer to have her father's fortune in his own coffers, after all, and the more money the Senator spent on his daughter, the more money Teutus had for purchasing more stock, or to spend on his own desires. "You can have first refusal of whatever I get in, will that suit you?"

He would keep some things back for her, just as he would for his mother, and Charis, although he fancied that Ovinia's tastes were more refined. Varinia and Charis both liked pretty, simple things, Ovinia's tastes were doubtless more showy. She would be unlikely to glance twice at simple ivory hair-pins or a pair of earrings.

"I have been busy, though I doubt you'll be interested in hearing about shipping arrangements and the like. I am thinking about house-hunting, though. A few rooms in an insula are beginning to feel a little cramped now. Not the sort of place for a successful merchant with a distinguished clientèle, certainly."

He took the cup the slave had poured for him.

"If your father will allow it, I will send you an invitation to the house-warming party."

 

@Sara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...