Jump to content

Flowers for Spring [M]


Sara

Recommended Posts

Horti Torquatiani
Floralia, April 27, 77AD

Ovinia hurried up the Esquiline accompanied by Lucia. It was early afternoon and the streets were busy - men, women and children celebrating the festival of the Goddess Flora. She averted her eyes carefully when she passed the (frequent) women of ill-repute who paraded themselves shamelessly on the busy thoroughfares. She was alone save for her trusted bodyslave as they worked their way to the Gardens of Torquatian. It wasn't nearly as fashionable as the Gardens of Sallust but that was why she'd chosen it. It was suitably far and yet close enough from her domus and the barracks that she could slip away, claim she was meeting friends, without too much suspicion. It had manicured lawns and beautiful, flowering flowers, secluded benches and ponds for contemplation. It was perfect, and she felt herself growing lighter at the mere thought of an afternoon reclining in the sun there.

It had been only a couple of weeks since Cerealia and the end of her tormentor and she found herself, slowly, becoming brighter. More like her old self. Not completely - the nightmares, the fear of the shadows and the panic of being alone still lingered but...it was better. She felt better. She had been doubtful that seeing him die would be enough but it was. Or at least it made a difference, even if it wasn't a complete cure. 

She wrapped the gauzy dark green palla closer over her head as she weaved throughout the crowds, breathless and flushed from the work. Then she adjusted the belt that nipped in the luxurious emerald silk chiton, making sure she was presentable as they entered the gates. To her dismay she saw...crowds of people. She winced. She had thought it would be quieter here than most of the other gardens but evidently she was wrong. She swallowed, lingering awkwardly by the gates with Lucia in tow when a young lad approached her, bearing floral wreaths of beautiful, multi-coloured flowers woven together. "For you, my lady?" She blinked and Lucia began reaching for the purse.

 

TAG: @Chevi

Edited by Sara
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was the first time they could both get away and meet without raising suspicion - the first time since Cerealia. Lucius wanted to see her right after, but she was with her family; and in the weeks that followed, a whole lot of things were changing. Lucius was a centurion now, and that came with new responsibilities. Ovinia disappeared for a while too; he suspected she needed time alone to process all that happened in the past months. Or maybe she was still angry at him for how the thing with Barbatius turned out in the end. he did not blame her.

Finally, a message came. Lucius was ready. He'd missed seeing Ovinia, truly. And Floralia was such a happy festival anyway; perfect for spending time together without the shadow of the trial hanging over them. Lucius lingered by the gates of the gardens; they were less popular but no less crowded. Ironically, that worked in their favor.

Lucius noticed Ovinia and Lucia as they walked in through the gates, looking a little hesitant. He smiled a bright smile, walking up to them; he was wearing a plain tunica, but had a wreath of fresh flowers on his head just like everybody else. "I'll pay for those, Marius." he told the lad, patting him on the shoulder. "You did a good job with them."

@Sara

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ovinia's dark eyes flicked up as she heard another, altogether more familiar voice and she couldn't help the slow smile that stretched on her lips. She swallowed at the sight of him. "At least it's nicer than yours." she gestured to his own. He looked ridiculous...in an irritatingly endearing way. Clearing her throat she shoed his hand away. "Please, let me." She extended her hand for Lucia to deposit some coins in it whom she then passed onto Marius. In return he offered her two wreaths. She took them both with a smile, passing one back to Lucia who put it on with a sly grin. Ovinia held her own in front of her awkwardly. 

She cleared her throat, glancing over her shoulder at her bodyslave. "I...will be quite alright with Vigile Roscianus." This was always going to be awkward. Lucia allowed her a great deal of leniency and she was indebted, but all the same this was...unorthodox. She gave the girl a small smile. "Why don't you see if any of your friends are here?" Lucia shot a warning look at Lucius before nodding with a small smile on her face. "Thank you domina. I will return to the gates at sun down." Ovinia nodded with a grateful exhale and as her body slave sauntered off for whatever a slave did for fun, she turned back to Lucius. "So...what did you have in mind?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucius watched, a little amused as Ovinia bought the wreaths and dismissed Lucia. She looked shy, like she always did when they met in secret. He doubted they would ever get used to it.

"Actually, it's Centurion Roscianus now" he grinned, taking the wreath from her hands and placing it carefully on her head. "Lovely." he added quietly, and shrugged at her question. "You." he said without missing a beat, then laughed. "It's Floralia. We can walk, we can sit... we can catch some rabbits. It's entirely up to us."

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Her smile brightened in delight and she grinned at him. "You made centurion?" She looked thrilled for him. Genuinely so. "I...am happy for you." Was proud of him. The smile was soon wiped though, replaced by a cough and a ducked head, her wreath slipping on her palla as he made his joke. Damn him. 

Clearing her throat she reached up to drop her palla from her hair so she could place the wreath on it directly, glancing up at him with a slightly amused, slightly annoyed look. The Ovinia staple. "Walk?" She asked, glancing around. "It's...quite crowded here." She wrinkled her nose. Plenty of people already well into the festival atmosphere. By which, she meant, drunk. 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She looked genuinely happy for him; she didn't even make a quip about how he could be a senator instead. He gave her a warm smile.

"It is crowded" he agreed "But I think that's... good, for once. These gardens are lovely, and no one really stands out in a festival crowd." Definitely not a patrician girl and a centurion. Everyone was half covered in flowers anyway. He nodded towards the path that wound among the hedges. "This way?... How do you usually celebrate Floralia?"

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She smiled, somewhat more slyly. Good indeed. People wouldn't pay them much attention...although she somewhat regretted the ostentatiousness of her dress and her jewellery. She shifted to adjust the belt again nervously. She nodded and followed him, moving from the gates to the path that wound between the hedges. The crowds were already thinning out as they meandered their way. Beds of flowers shot up at the base of the hedges, scenting the air. 

"Not here." she chuckled, "I usually go to the games with my family and we're going tomorrow." She explained, awkwardly keeping a polite distance between them. Things always felt...awkward at first. She didn't think she'd ever get comfortable with this, even if she wanted to be. "But that is it really." She sighed and glanced at him. "As with my celebrations of Saturnalia, and my non-existent celebrations of Neptunalia, I suspect you think I'm terribly dull?" She arched a brow.

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't know, I think both of those were quite fun" Lucius chuckled. Both festivals lived in his memory in vivid detail, and he assumed they did so in hers. As the crowds thinned, he shifted closer to her, his hand brushing hers. "And I never thought you're dull." Sheltered, maybe. But she was fascinating nonetheless. He glanced down at her as they meandered among the flowerbeds. The wreath she was wearing reminded him of the one she had at Saturnalia. "How are you feeling?" he asked more softly. He had not had a chance to ask since.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Mhmm." She grinned to herself, ducking her head so he wouldn't see it. The memories were vivid. And lived on for her - when she didn't have nightmares she had...other dreams as of late. Particularly after her discussion with Aia. Most of those dreams started at Neptuanlia or Saturnalia. She wondered, briefly, if that was blasphemous. 

She exhaled a little as his hand brushed hers and she curled her fingers to touch his purposefully as they walked through the hedges until the sounds of the music and the chatter of other celebrants began to drift on the wind. She glanced up at his question and the soft intonation. "I..." She blinked. "Better." She admitted, a smaller smile on her face. But it was genuine this time. "I feel a little...lighter. It is strange. I...should not revel in what happened on Cerealia," She swallowed, "But I do. How...are you?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"You have every right to revel" Lucius told her. He was happy to see her smile. She had a lovely smile, sure. But also, it signaled that she truly was feeling better than the last time they'd talked. The monster was dead now, at least. He reached up to smooth her hair behind her ear, a quick motion, before he pulled away. "Me? I am fine. Worked half to death." he joked. "But it's good to know you are... safe."

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She swallowed as he moved to brush her hair behind her ear. She watched him carefully for that brief moment. And then he continued to walk and she did too, brushing his had more determinedly with her fingers and then tentatively moved to clutch his index finger with her own hand. 

"I'm safe." She confirmed with a small smile as they continued to walk through the hedges with the smells and the sights of the flowers warming her. "And go on then," She glanced up at him, amused, "How goes life as a Centurion Lucius Manius Victorius Roscianus." She was grinning, properly grinning. "And tell me how on the Gods world you managed to secure such an office?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She grinned at him, and he slipped his hand around hers. Just like at Saturnalia, one more young couple walking hand in hand would not raise any eyebrows in the gardens. Her hand was soft, but his had changed a lot from the work of the past few months. Still he held hers gently.

"Honestly, it wasn't that big of a deal. I'm still equite, I was never supposed to be a recruit in the first place." he noted. "But playing a part in catching a dangerous criminal... probably helped." He glanced her way, and quickly added. "Not that I asked for any of it. But now I can do more... and have a whole lot more responsibility." He smirked. "Look at me being dull now."

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She laced her hand through his properly as they walked. It was chaste given what most other couples were up to in this garden and beyond but it felt intensely intimate to her. She gripped it. 

"Ah yes, you liked the irreverence of being a recruit I'm sure." she chuckled with a roll of her eyes and then listened to the rest of it. Yes, she supposed his help with Barbatius was likely I yield personal results. But the thought made her frown. "And you are the only one who has been rewarded? What about Alexius?" He was the one that actually caught the man, she added in her head, but she glanced up at him with a softer look. "Not dull. It's just...nice to see you enthused by something. I recall when we first met you had no idea what to do with your life and everything seemed ridiculous  to you." She chuckled, "And look at you now?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Tiberius will see to that" Lucius nodded. He deserved the least amount of credit for catching the killer, he knew that. But he was also the link between the group at the insula and the imperials... him, and Jason. Who also deserved to be rewarded.

He smirked at her words.

"Look at me now. Everything still seems ridiculous, but now I also have a job." he noted, grinning. "How about you? Have you been up to anything interesting recently?"

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"A job you love." She corrected, smiling at him amused. His grin was magnetic and she found it mirrored on her face. But his question prompted a roll of her eyes and she groaned. 

"Me? Anything interesting?" She chuckled, "You must be mistaking me for another of your women who has a life. I've..." She narrowed her eyes, thinking. "What have I done...I've been to some dinners and spent time with my family, seen some friends and visited the new baths by Calpurnius. Oh," She chuckled, "And I've been reading a lot. But...that is about it." She grimaced and glanced at him. "Terribly dull." 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Another of my women? Did you not hear how much work I have?" he looked at her in mock offense. As if it was only the work that kept him from thinking about anyone else. "And it's not dull. What have you been reading?... And how were the baths? I heard about them, but I have not had time to visit them yet."

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Ah yes, you are right, I completely imagined that blonde musician at Tiberius' party all those months ago." She tilted her head and studied him, but she wasn't annoyed...much. The thought, idea really, sat uncomfortably on her shoulders and she brushed it off as she focused on his other questions. 

"Oh honestly nothing of importance." She chuckled, "There was a good one on the history and fashions of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians if you're interested to know the difference between a peplos, himation, and chlamys, perhaps?" She arched a brow at him. She was interested in fashions but people found it vapid. "Oh!" She interrupted herself excitedly with an actual laugh, "And I've actually mastered a tune on the hydraulis now. Just the one, mind. But it's progress..." 

His question made her still though as she recalled another time in another set of baths. She brushed off the thought. "Good. Spacious. The women's section is beautiful and I've heard it's as grand as the mens. Maybe he listens to his wife, hm?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Ah yes, you are right, I completely imagined that blonde musician at Tiberius' party all those months ago." 

Lucius knew better than to comment on that. He had not visited her for a long time now, mostly for lack of money. But even mentioning Vibia was not going to bode well for him, and there was no need to ruin a perfectly good day.

"Oh honestly nothing of importance. There was a good one on the history and fashions of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians if you're interested to know the difference between a peplos, himation, and chlamys, perhaps?... Oh! And I've actually mastered a tune on the hydraulis now. Just the one, mind. But it's progress..." 

"That actually sounds fun" he laughed. "I hope I'll get to hear you play sometime." He liked her genuine enthusiasm when she talked about her music. Or the book on fashion, either. Or anything she was interested in.

"Good. Spacious. The women's section is beautiful and I've heard it's as grand as the mens. Maybe he listens to his wife, hm?" 

"All smart men do, I hear" Lucius grinned. The path turned again, and among the bushes there was a small bench half shaded by greenery, and surrounded by rose bushes. Against all odds, no one had claimed it yet. Lucius glanced at Ovinia, arching an eyebrow. "So, do you want to sit and tell me what the difference between a peplos and a himation is?"

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She smiled softly. "I still think it was clever of my father to buy me an instrument that I can absolutely never play in public," She chuckled, "Given its heft. I'd asked for a cithara and I end up with an instrument that takes two to play and is locked in our domus." She sighed and flicked her eyes to him. "But I'll find a way." She offered, even if she didn't believe it. Short of Lucius being invited to dinner - which was a ridiculous notion given her brothers suspicion and her fathers hatred of him - she didn't know when he'd have the chance. She sighed. 

She followed the meandering path and and then laughed, nodding and moving the few paces - tugging him with her hand still woven through his - to sit. It was a beautiful spot and she leant to brush her fingers over the roses that bloomed around them. Then she quirked her brow at him, amused. "You really wish to hear about fashions and what may be making a comeback?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucius snorted at the idea of Ovinia's father choosing the heaviest instrument on purpose. Hydraulis were notoriously cumbersome, for sure. And he also knew hers was a house where he was not going to be a welcome guest anytime soon. But for today, they were together. And they had a nice spot full of flowers that she seemed to like. He sat with her, still holding her hand.

"I wish to hear anything you have to say" he nodded, only half joking.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She gripped his hand tighter and then gave him an eye roll, shifting on the bench to face him, thoroughly amused but trying not to look it. "You realise being hopelessly soppy doesn't suit you?" She tilted her head, studying him. "You're truly interested in anything I have to say? What about the dinner I went to with Nesennia when she was complaining for hours over the quality of the garum her slaves had bought?" She rolled her eyes. 

"Although!" She exclaimed, shifting on her bench, "Speaking of gossip, at...the end of the games." She swallowed. "Pinaria joined me and I saw who she was with..." She glanced at him. "Was that your doing?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He sat on the bench with her, holding her hand. It was a stolen moment, just like the others, but for a little while he felt like they had all the time in the world.

"You realise being hopelessly soppy doesn't suit you? You're truly interested in anything I have to say? What about the dinner I went to with Nesennia when she was complaining for hours over the quality of the garum her slaves had bought?"

"Garum sounds fascinating." he teased her with a grin.

"Although! Speaking of gossip, at...the end of the games. Pinaria joined me and I saw who she was with... Was that your doing?" 

"Pinaria and my brother?" he gave her a mischievous smile. "It might have been... she's a clever woman, and has the same temperament as my brother. They both deserve someone decent... and they can probably bond over me being a nuisance. Silanus tried to set her up with me first, you know."

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She laughed out loud, genuinely, chest-aching laughter at the idea of Lucius being set up with Pinaria. It took several long moments for her to get her smile and breath under control enough to answer him. "You? And Pinaria?" She chuckled and shook her head. "Oh Lucius, she's far too good for you." Which made her perfect for Gaius. She had felt herself not worthy enough of his hand, given her own conflicts. Pinaria though...the woman's gentleness was brilliant. 

She sighed, her grin finally settling to a softer smile. She drew her legs up onto the bench, slipping off her sandals as she did. "I hope it won't be awkward...if it goes anywhere." She grimaced, flicking dark eyes to Lucius. "Pinaria's now a close friend. Since...what happened." She cleared her throat. "If she marries your brother I somehow get the impression I won't be hugely welcome in his domus...?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 "You? And Pinaria? Oh Lucius, she's far too good for you." 

"Alright now, don't laugh that much" Lucius muttered, giving her a mock hurt look. It was actually lovely to hear he laugh. It was a sound he had only heard a few times, and dearly missed.

"I hope it won't be awkward...if it goes anywhere. Pinaria's now a close friend. Since...what happened. If she marries your brother I somehow get the impression I won't be hugely welcome in his domus...?" 

"My brother doesn't hold grudges" Lucius shook his head. "Neither does Pinaria. You'll... be just fine." Without him. If Gaius found out why Ovinia had actually rejected him... well. He had already left the family anyway. 

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She was still grinning throughout his look of mock hurt, but she did think in her mind, you're far better suited to somebody not as...pure, somebody like me. But Lucius' comforting made her sigh and she drew her knees up, bending them, leaning her cheek on her knees as she stared at him, thumb playing over the back of his hand. 

"I hope so. But...I hope to see her happy. And just think, if she's as blessed with Gaius as she has been with her late husband you will be an Uncle Lucius again. And Vipsania's children will have some playmates." her chuckle settled into a sigh. "I've not seen her since that games. I should visit...nor have I seen...anybody really. Alexius, of course, but not the others. Although I ran into the red-head that had been cut in the baths." She chuckled, clearing her throat at the thought. "Have you seen many of them?" 

 

TAG: @Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sara changed the title to Flowers for Spring [M]

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...