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might be, maybe, could've Apr 11, 76 166 Views
16 Replies
Started by Axelius, Jun 16, 2018, 06:06 PM
Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 16, 2018, 06:06 PM / 682 Words
He'd done alright. In most matches, he did 'alright,' at least in his mind. Livia always insisted he was a better fighter than he thought, given he could manage to hold his own against swordsmen and spearmen just fine ( impressive, if you wanted to get technical, as Axelius was a fist-fighter ), but as far as Axelius was concerned, he could do better. He could always do better. It was a better idea, for him, if he constantly thought he could do better, instead of becoming complacent and, you know, dying. Hard to free somebody when you were dead. Hard to do anything when you were dead.

Finally, though, he had enough. He had just enough hessions to afford at least Vesperius for an hour or so. Maybe Helene would take pity upon his poor, broke ass, and give him a tiny discount. Axelius certainly wouldn't ask. As soon as Livia had handed out the blood fighters' earnings from the last few matches, and he figured out he had enough, he squeaked in excitement, bounced slightly, and started off. "Be back before nightfall I promise!" for Livia, and then he took off down the street.

No, he wasn't terribly afraid of catching hell for that. It was worth it, anyway. He had two savings piles, one for eventually buying Vesperius' freedom, and the other for seeing him in general. It'd be a while before the former reached anywhere near his goal, but the latter managed to do it in a year. Fuck the gods, had it really been a year? Yeah... he remembered last year's festival; he was with a different House, then, but he wasn't at the brothel. Fuck. Maybe Vesperius would be mad at him. Axelius wouldn't blame him, any. It wasn't like Axel had ever told him he intended to someday free him ( it was kind of a surprise ), so his constant disappearing didn't make any sense anyway. Axelius never told him why, but he also had never admitted it was purposeful, either, getting bought out of the brothel. He kept going back, here and there, in the early years, and then he'd gotten lucky this time.

A whole damn year... well, maybe Vesperius would just assume it was his owner's fault. If nothing else, Axelius missed him, and, even if he was mad at him, he still wanted to see him. He shook that off, scurried down the right streets, weaving between buildings. He should probably have stopped somewhere, gotten the blood and sand off his skin before he ran off, but, too late for that now. They had showers there, anyway. He'd bum a shower off Helene. He stopped outside the buildings in the pleasure district, looking around... he'd gotten the right one instinctively, good, well he'd been here a long time, it stood to reason he'd not forgotten where it was suddenly. He went in, right to Helene. "Hello, most beautiful person I've ever met," he greeted. "I'd call you gorgeous, but I have a gorgeous already."
Helene snorted, counting hessions, as always. "Been a long time, Mr. Suave. You back?"
"Nah, not to stay. Um. S'Vesperius busy?"
"... he might be? I'm fairly sure that was his last patron that just left. I'll go see," Helene decided, standing, and shuffling down the hall to tap on Vesperius' door. She stood outside it, a second, noting the lack of typical 'I'm busy' noises, and then tapped on the door. "Ready for another, or do you want a few minutes?" she asked.

@Zozma
lemme know if i need to adjust anything. also sorry for the wall'o'text. the words either flood or they dont go, i guess.

Vesperius
No title
Shelved
10 Posts Slave Written by Zozma
Jun 16, 2018, 08:37 PM / 523 Words
Life was one unbearably constant parade of expectant faces with lust-darkened eyes. Pretty faces, coy faces, square faces, round faces, handsome, ugly, they came in droves. That was what it felt like. A lot of them blended in with the stream, different names but the same words came out of their mouths and most of them wanted the same things. Vesperius had been taught how to make their evenings a pleasure but nobody had taught these people and they were greedy. All they meant to do was take and take and they gave so little back. 

It bored Vesperius. When they weren't looking at him, his eyes went hollow. His mind went somewhere else. Most of the time, his body could work separately from what went through his mind. Automatically, his hands would go where hands needed to go. His mouth would do things the clients wouldn't speak of later. Somehow, he managed to keep clients. To the point that he'd become quite the commodity, it seemed. The prices people would pay just for his attention. He really ought to be more flattered. 

With his last client finally gone, Vesperius could be present. His gaze remained hollow as he stared down at the bruises on his wrists. This one had been rough but he'd warned Vesperius that he liked it that way--all with an ugly glint in his eye. If he'd had more time, he probably would have worked Vesperius over a lot worse than he had. As it stood, all he'd left behind were a handful of bruises and an aching backside. 

Sighing, Vesperius pulled a soft, breezy robe over his arms and gingerly took a seat at his vanity mirror. One side of his face, then the other. No marks on his face. Of course, the face was off limits. Vesperius leaned forward and wiped a slight smear of kohl from the side of his eye. His mind wandered slightly, recalling days in which he would apply the kohl to Axelius' eyes. The darkness complemented his bright eyes. Like gemstones, Vesperius used to think. His eyes were striking. When Vesperius looked into his own, however, all he saw was darkness. Darkness ringed in more darkness. He frowned slightly as he raised his chin, looking himself solidly in the eyes. 

Whatever else he was thinking scattered at the sound of a knock at his door. He knew what that sound meant, especially followed by Helene's voice. Truthfully, he didn't feel ready for another. He hadn't even had time to wash the scent of the last one off his body. 

"A moment, please," he called back, getting up in a whirlwind despite the way his body protested the movement. He let the robe slide off as he approached the washing bowl behind the paper screen. He washed and scented himself before slinking back towards the bed and then laid himself luxuriously against the pillows. 

"Send them in~!" 

Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 16, 2018, 11:57 PM / 854 Words
For the record, he wasn't fidgeting. Well, he might've been. He was nervous, naturally; it'd been a year, now, and Axelius couldn't help but wonder if he'd changed a lot. Axelius had. It was getting harder to be so vibrant and cheerful, like the energy behind it had just been all drained out of him, and it scared him a bit to think maybe someday, he wouldn't be able to find it anymore. He'd have to try, at least, to put it all behind him. Not to remember all the things he saw and felt waiting under the stands in the big arena, the crowd roaring as it always did, the ghostly blurs watching the chopped up pieces of who they used to be floating in the sewers where they dumped the bodies. Some of them remembered who they'd been; most had been there so long, they'd forgotten.

But the Macenians were the barbaric ones. Yeah.

A glance to the side, catching sight of the dirt and blood mixing together in an odd way on his skin in a mirror, and he looked away. There was a scratch across his cheek, probably, under his gauntlets, he'd slammed the metal edges into his skin enough to at least bruise, if not draw blood. He had nothing to go home to. Macenia didn't mean anything to him, he didn't remember a time he wasn't here. But Vesperius had dreams, had plans, maybe had a family somewhere. Axelius had nothing, and if he could give freedom to someone that could do something with it, shouldn't he? That was what he thought.

When he'd been here, he'd been good at taking on the rough ones; the ones that left bruises and scratches behind, because at some point amid House Salonus, he'd learned to like pain. Even now, if he fought long enough, and failed at it long enough, it'd turn him on. It was an odd thing, probably, something he'd never bothered explaining, but, House Salonus left scars behind, and one of them was pretty visible. A brand on his lower back, House Salonus' snake, spoke mounds to those that saw it, and if he didn't get a rough one, here, some of them became that way, after seeing the snake.

One hand reached up, attempting, at least, to wipe away the smear of blood across his cheek, but he didn't bother with the one on his shoulder. It was still bleeding. He didn't feel it.

"Just a second," Helene answered, shuffling back down the hall, her hand running across the walls so she didn't lose track of where she was, settling back down into her seat. "He's not busy," she said, meant for Axelius. "You remember which one's his."
"Yeah," Axelius replied, reflexively nodding. "Uh... shouldn't be here long. Keep track for me, yeah?" His tone was light and jovial, but it didn't really match his expression. Helene couldn't see it, anyway.
"Sure," she said, and Axelius headed down the hall, counting the doors. Like he'd forget which one was Vesperius', anyway. He was in this one almost as much as he was in his own. His was up a floor; Axelius glanced at the ceiling. He didn't figure it was still vacant, but it was every time he'd come back, before. He'd never been gone for a whole year, before. He had hessions to fight for, though. Hessions he'd use to give Vesperius his damn life back. Maybe he could get him to go to the Free Cities. Dalmasca was going to collapse and burn, someday, and Axelius didn't really want his closest friend in it when it did.

Axelius didn't bother knocking, just tried to swallow his nerves, pushed the door open, closed it behind him, watching the floor. A quiet breath in, and out, and his gaze flicked up, a slight smile crossing his face. "... sorry m'late," he said, watching his friend's face. "Meant to come back sooner, but, hessions ain't easy to get for people like me." Us, even, he didn't say it. He'd run off so quick, it'd be hard to pretend he wasn't a blood fighter now, but, that was alright. He could pretend it was for his own damn freedom; Vesperius would know there was something more to it. Axelius would fight, kill, and die, for things he found to be worth it, it'd be no surprise he was in the blood games, but it'd never be for himself, because that wasn't what Axelius found his strength in, and any one of the slaves here would know it, but this one the best.

Vesperius
No title
Shelved
10 Posts Slave Written by Zozma
Jun 17, 2018, 01:55 PM / 646 Words
Here we go. 

He hoped for something interesting but he wasn't quite prepared for what came through the door. For a second, his eyes widened. Years of learning how to disguise his true feelings still weren't enough. Of all the people from the entire globe, Vesperius certainly didn't expect to see Axelius. Sitting up, he schooled his features into something less readable. Well, well. Axelius. Missing for a year, dead for all Vesperius knew, and yet here he was, in the flesh. 

Although he licked his lips and parted them to speak, words didn't naturally come to him--he was still in some form of shock. Slowly, he pulled a robe over his body. They were all over the room, meant to be worn and shed easily. It wasn't as if they hadn't seen one another naked before but it wasn't easy to hold serious conversations with old friends when one was literally exposed. 

What he wanted to do was rush over to Axelius and box his damn ears. He might well have done it, too, if it hadn't been a whole damn year. Had it only been a month, it would be easier to carry on as if things were somewhat normal. A month would have been a long time, but a month or two sometimes stretched between them. A year, though. A year. As if he'd been counting. (He had.) And he was angry. Hurt. The anger mostly came from the hurt. He had to hear from other people that Axelius had gone and become a blood fighter. On purpose? Or had he flitted away from this job only to be sold away to violence? If Vesperius had to choose, he'd rather do this than fight. He certainly didn't want to imagine--to see--Axelius bloodied up.

It was difficult to deny the rumors now, though. Axelius was dressed as a blood fighter. He was beat up, looked like he'd taken a few hard hits. That softened his heart. Injuries upon Axelius' person, those were nothing new but it still hurt to look at. 

Before he knew it, one foot was already on the ground but he forced himself to stay where he was. Vesperius wasn't some big baby; he wasn't going to go running to Axelius like he used to when he was younger and smaller and stupider. His eyes narrowed slightly and his fingers closed around the sheets.

"Why?

One word and yet it could mean so many things. And it did. One word for a thousand different questions. Why did he up and leave for so long? Why did he need an inordinate amount of hessions? Why was he a blood fighter now? Why did he come back now? Why like this? 

When Axelius' absence stretched to a lengthier and lengthier sentence, Vesperius asked himself so many questions. Naturally, he didn't want to believe he'd died out there but the thought lingered. Sometimes, he blamed himself. They were close friends; Vesperius would say that Axelius was the closest person in his life. There were things nobody knew that only Axelius was privy to. Had he said the wrong thing, scared him off? It seemed absurd at first but the longer Axelius was gone, the more it preyed on his mind. 

And now they were here. Now. 

It looked like Axelius had stepped directly out of the ring. There was more to the story than he knew and he stared at Axelius like he could somehow divine the answers from a mere look alone. Why?

Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 17, 2018, 05:52 PM / 993 Words
Naturally. Axelius snorted, not really being able to stop the smile. It was more of one of those incredulous 'of course,' sorts, not really an amused one. Well, maybe a bit amused. He turned his head to the side, watching one of the walls, but he didn't really see it, anyway. Why. You'd think he'd be more specific than that, but he supposed, confusion and shock, it did many things, and muddle your mind, that was one of the things either could do. It was a bloody right miracle even one of his owners decided to let him keep his own hessions, to start with. Letting him leave to use them, that was even weirder. He'd had to work his damned ass off to come back, both in the arena and out of it, because earning a master's favor, that was harder than it seemed in places like this.

Of course the ones that came here seemed to like you. They wanted to like you. Out there, it was completely different. Axelius was no stranger to it, having spent his early childhood in House Salonus, perverse as House Salonus were, he knew how houses worked. He knew how noblemen really worked, he knew it'd be hard, and he'd need at least a tiny sliver of luck if he was going to get anywhere. That was why he'd kept charming his clients. Sooner or later, one of them had to lead him to the right place. Her Gorgeousness turned out to be the right place. She let her slaves leave. She let her blood fighters leave. She even gave them some of the money they earned, and it wasn't a lot, no, but it was enough. It was many times more than most got in houses in Dalmasca. Most weren't even allowed to own anything, technically didn't even own their own clothes, if you could call the loose bolts of fabric most dressed their slaves in clothing.

But Vesperius didn't really know how houses worked. He'd never been in one. There were bonuses and drawbacks to having a house. It was easier to gain solid favor of someone, in one. But that favor often came at a price, and some weren't willing to pay it. And yet, should they incidentally catch some noble's eye, they had no choice but to pay it. At least here it was steady. It was all the same thing. No one person stayed for too long, so even the abuse was mitigated. In a house, there was nothing stopping a noble from beating a slave to death. And no one would care. They mattered, here. They made the owner money. They were expendable, but replacing a trained pleasure slave was difficult and took time. They were valuable, and any real damage was met with fines and sometimes worse. It didn't fix it. It didn't make it better. But the worst that'd happened since Helene was blinded was Kalix's arm had been broken, once. It deterred it.

No one would stop a master from burning his slaves alive if that was what he wanted. Axelius had been through worse, before he'd finally gotten lucky and landed in House Asheron. He didn't know how he'd gotten so lucky. Maybe only one other House in all of Dalmasca would be even a sliver as kind as House Asheron were. As much as it didn't please Axelius to admit it, Vesperius was safer here, than Axelius was out there. As much as he wished he was where Axelius was, it was safer for him if he wasn't. The good ones always fell. House Asheron had stood for centuries, but sooner or later, someone may yet take them out.

Why what? Axelius took a breath in, turned to the floor. "I got lucky," he said. "My owner miraculously, and pretty suspiciously, doesn't care what I do, gives me some of what I earn. It took a while, you're damned expensive you know that? But I got enough. Finally." He just side-stepped the rest of it. It didn't matter which houses he'd gone to before, how many of them had left behind new scars. That was what he was, anyway, a breathing, talking scar. He wanted to ask if he was mad. It didn't matter if he was, it wasn't like it was really Axelius' fault it'd taken so long. He was lucky he was still breathing, considering what a manipulative snake he'd had to be to get here. Any one of those masters before Livia could've just fucking killed him for it. If Vesperius didn't understand it, didn't know what he'd risked to get back here outside of being sent back, it was for the better.

He'd rather Vesperius was mad at him, than understood.

"Though, don't know when I can afford to come back again," he said, looking back up at his friend. "Like I said, you're damned expensive, and hessions don't just grow on trees." A quiet snort of amusement loosed at the end. Nah. They grew in the dirt, but fuck all if Axelius knew where. Maybe in the mines, where the slaves the Dalmascans couldn't use and couldn't sell went to work to death. He never did figure out what the mines were for. It'd be just everyone's luck, wouldn't it, the one mineral deposit that produced the minerals for hessions were where slaves went to die.

Vesperius
No title
Shelved
10 Posts Slave Written by Zozma
Jun 17, 2018, 08:19 PM / 663 Words
When he was young and he didn't know better, Vesperius was an emotional boy. He was the type of kid who smiled way too widely and hugged way too hard. He was the type of person who made friends with everybody willing to talk to him, he took up dares to slide down banisters and twirled to music instead of dancing properly. He also got angry at the drop of a hat, especially when he was hurt. It wasn't unusual for Vesperius to shout while his eyes filled with tears and he might get laughed at or he might get yelled at or he might be calmed down. But he was sort of emotionally volatile that way.

So it was strange holding himself back. He felt as if Axelius must have felt the taut strain in the air, like the string of a bow pulled back to capacity, ready to fly. It was a real struggle because Vesperius really didn't want to chase Axelius away and yet he did at the same time. He just... wanted him to come back. After he had some time to properly think. After things weren't so muddled up in his head. Gods, his chest hurt so much and his throat felt tight. He hated that there was still some part of his younger self inside.

Yet he was also
relieved. 

Yes, relieved. 

Because after Axelius left, Vesperius became increasingly numb. Nothing to touch him. Just people, the blurs of faces past, present, future. Sex. Pleasure, he supposed. He had become something of a challenge for some clients. Vesperius was so good at making them see stars but nobody could do it for him. Not many wanted to do it for him, truthfully. They just wanted to prove that they could. As if that made them special. 

Fuck, why did it hurt so much to look at him? A strange concoction of wistfulness and anger and hurt and happiness and trepidation brewed in his chest, making it ache all the more. A year... and Axelius was talking about how expensive he was! He came back for him. For him, specifically. Like he didn't forget all the foolish promises kids make when they don't properly understand how the world really works. Axelius did, though. He knew a lot more than he had before. It was in his eyes. 

But he was here now and as much as Vesperius wanted to throw him out and tell him not to come out, there was no way he could. Instead, his other foot was on the ground now and he was sliding off the bed. What a strange sort of homecoming this was, with Axelius a bloodied fighter in warriors' garb and Vesperius all gussied up for a night in bed. Hah. 

Then he was going straight for Axelius, expression made of stone. Tension rose the closer he got to Axelius and he even threw back a hand like he was really going to do it--box him around the ears, slap him across the face, punch him--something. Instead, he grabbed onto the back of Axelius' neck, roughly and as if he was about to scold him like a mother might. Then he drew close and buried his face against the crook of Axelius' shoulder.

"Scoundrel," he said, though his tone wasn't nearly as biting as the critique. His heart thumped hard. Axelius smelled different. Like blood and rust. Like outside, like some clients did. Earthy. As Vesperius hugged his old friend mercilessly, he tilted his head slightly. "I ought to bite you." He pulled back instead, then properly punched him on the arm instead. 

"It's been a year, you realize?" 

Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 17, 2018, 11:06 PM / 548 Words
He didn't know what he was expecting. That was, and was not, it. It'd been a year, now, things had changed. They may not even really be friends, anymore, after that long apart, and Axelius wouldn't be surprised, nor would he really hold it against him. It was his right to be mad at him. Better anger than the truth. Anger was always better than the truth.

Right. There was probably some semblance of resignation in his eyes, but he didn't move. Didn't even really blink, because honestly, he trusted Vesperius, more than he did most people, and even if he didn't, he'd been through worse. And then he hugged him, sort of, instead, and Axelius snorted. He supposed that was valid, too. He almost reached up, gave in and held his friend, maybe pet his hair, but he stopped himself. He still had things to do, people to do, more accurately, later, and Axelius had been in such a hurry to get here, he was still slicked in bloodied mud. He should just, not marr his appearance with blood-mud smudges.

"You can," Axelius answered, an amused lilt to his voice. "But I probably taste like blood and dirt." Typical, of course. His last fights had been for the Festival of Iuna, not in the big arena, where there was dirt instead of sand, but it wasn't like sand was any better. Ah -- ... well, at least he hit Axelius' skin, instead of hitting one of the metal plates of his gauntlets.

"Really?" One eyebrow arched upward, a boyish smirk crossing his face. "A whole year, wow, I thought it was like, ten minutes." It was sad, that was the most like his old self he'd been in this entire year. "I had to bounce a few houses before I got one that'd pay me." He didn't mention how rare it was, to find one that would. "And then yanno, I kinda had to ol' one-two some fuckers and earn the money. But hey, I made it. And it was only one year instead of like, ten. Could've been worse." It could have been much worse, but he understood; it didn't feel that way, in the moment.

"What's with this?" he asked, eyebrows drawing together as his gaze finally settled properly on Vesperius' wrists. With a much stronger grip than he'd had before, Axelius reached over and took his friend's hands, studying the bruising. "This is the worst of it, right?" If it wasn't, he damn sure as fuck was telling Helene on the way out. ... hell, he may tell her anyway and bribe her for a name. Her Gorgeousness seemed to kind of like him, maybe she'd be happy to upcharge the shit out of whichever fucker did it. She did, after all, control most of the food supply in Dalmasca.

Frankly, that was dumb, on Dalmasca's part, but nobody asked a stupid Macenian snake, now did they.

Vesperius
No title
Shelved
10 Posts Slave Written by Zozma
Jun 18, 2018, 02:04 PM / 479 Words
"Yes, well," Vesperius said, briefly wrinkling his nose. Blood and dirt weren't flavors he was keen on tasting but he could already smell them on Axelius. Honestly! Not even bothering to clean himself up! (Was it that urgent to get to him?) "Most people taste like blood if you bite them hard enough."

Not that he was planning to do any such thing but sometimes Axelius brought out the temper in him. Like when he disappeared for so long and made a reappearance. The problem was, even if he was angry, he was also afraid. He wanted Axelius to know what he did pissed him off. At the same time, he didn't want to give Axelius a good reason never to show up again. 

Vesperius' expression said it all in response to Axelius' smart remark. Yes, it had been a year and it certainly didn't feel like ten minutes, thank you. Raising his chin and hooding his eyes, Vesperius made it known he wasn't having any of Axelius' shenanigans. Trying to brush it off like it was nothing! But... stilll... it was so nice to see that smile again, even if it was more of a smirk. It was familiar. It did that stupid thing where it sent Vesperius' heart into flip-flops. Jerk. As if he knew. 

"Ten years...!" His tone was exasperated but the flip-flops turned into something more like a little bird flying too close to the sun. So he would have come back even if it took ten years? Vesperius couldn't make full sense of it. Axelius let a year come between them but he was here. So that meant he was struggling to get back here. Why? Why else, stupid? He scolded himself. Axelius was here seeing him, not say, one of the others. ...right? 

Before he could rightly pursue that line of thought, he was looking down at the bruises left behind by the previous client. 

"Yes." He wasn't getting into the other pain because it sort of came with the territory. The brute should have known to be gentler with such expensive goods--most were--but the occasional sadist slipped through the cracks. "He just didn't know his own strength."

There was a hint of bitterness in his tone. He was aware that he was covering for somebody that didn't deserve it. Really, they were the words the man used before he left, as if it excused his behavior. 

"What about you?" He traced the line of what looked to be a scar. "It seems like you're taking worse beatings out there." 

Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 18, 2018, 09:50 PM / 500 Words
Well, yes, Axelius supposed, if you bit down hard enough, sooner or later, you'd break the skin. Axelius had done that, a few times. Hey, unfortunate side-effect of being a fist-fighter, he had to get up close and personal, and sometimes that ended in him biting someone's ear. Listen, ears didn't taste very good. But he won. And maybe how didn't necessarily matter, albeit Livia seemed to have a thing about fighting fairly. On the other hand, she did seem to understand that sometimes, fair was going to get you killed. That was just the way of the arena.

Ah, he was cute when he did that. The smirk steadily turned into an actual smile, albeit it was still somewhat lopsided. "That's better," Axelius decided. "Surprised befuddlement doesn't look as good on you." Indignation, that did. Most likely, only because that was typical, for Vesperius, and it was somehow somewhat uncomfortable to find him so thrown off. He was right, of course, it'd been a year, and given, before, it only took maybe a few weeks before he got sent back here, and had to charm another repeat client, all but the one of course, because that one would never put him in the arena, that was probably pretty strange. Weeks had turned into months, now here they were, a year later, and things felt right and wrong at the same time.

Didn't know his own strength... yeah, how many times had Axelius heard that? Any one of them here had heard it before. Blue eyes narrowed, glaring at the floor, but then it was gone. No sense in getting mad now. It wasn't like he had the ability to stop it, either. He glanced at the scar Vesperius was tracing, and then looked up at him, snorting softly and smirking. "It was just a scratch," he said. "My very beautiful self just decided to be dramatic and scar, that's all." It was, amusingly, as much as it was irritating, probably Livia's care that kept him from getting too messed up. She was very careful which games she put her fighters in, which houses she'd let them compete with. They were not allowed to compete against Lancaster, no matter how much many of them might want to, because Lancaster had Spartacus, and not a damn one of the Asheron fighters could take down Spartacus.

Sometimes, Axelius wondered if he could, and then wondered when he'd gotten a suicidal streak. There were instances when he wasn't sure if he was willing to die for this, or if he wanted to.

"Don't worry, though," he added. "Current owner is very careful what she lets us fight in." Yes, she. He'd gotten used to it, though, and didn't think to clarify that.

Vesperius
No title
Shelved
10 Posts Slave Written by Zozma
Jun 19, 2018, 04:34 PM / 390 Words
Aha! A true smile! Vesperius put both hands together and pointed in Axelius' direction, his own smile growing in response. He couldn't help it; Axelius' smile was contagious. Always had been, far as Vesperius knew him. Hell, most would agree. How else did one explain him charming his way right out of the brothel? Not everybody had charm that strong. 

That's better, he thought the words, even as Axelius said them aloud. It seemed they were on the same wavelength, which pleased Vesperius to no end (secretly). Maybe a year could separate them but it seemed like not everything had changed. 

"I was thinking the same thing," he said with a coy toss of the head. He didn't even vocally address the befuddlement issue because quite frankly, he agreed. He didn't like being confused or surprised. In fact, he downright absolutely hated surprises. He would rather know what he was getting into before jumping into anything with both feet. Too bad he didn't have much of a choice in that regard. Not in his lifetime, it seemed. 

At least Axelius didn't chase down that comment about the client's strength. Really, if their time together was limited, Vesperius didn't want to waste it on that creature with an already bloated ego. A year had passed and not much had changed on Vesperius' end but he was certain that Axelius had stories to tell. 

"Well," he said with a crooked smile, "your 'beautiful self' always was kind of a drama queen." 

Vesperius took Axelius' hand and pulled him forward, toward the bed. Then he arched an eyebrow in query. "She?" 

There was a she? Vesperius admittedly didn't know much about what was happening beyond the brothel. He was secluded and isolated from the mess people made out there. All he knew was what the people who came here told him and not everybody was to be believed. 

Hopping onto the bed, he let go of Axelius and patted the bed. "I believe you owe me a few stories so let's hear them." 

Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 21, 2018, 05:38 AM / 308 Words
Of course he had been. The smile on his face got a bit broader, and then finally dimmed somewhat. Vesperius and his odd antics were amusing, and perhaps more than a little familiar. Axelius hadn't had anything truly familiar in a long time, and really, it was nice. And it wasn't, but, he wasn't going to voice any of that, anyway. Vesperius didn't really need to know, anyway.

Axelius snorted. "Yeah, I mean, my beautiful self and I are quite good at dramatics." He did have to admit to having something of a flair for the dramatic. Some may think he had too much of one, and that was valid, but heck all if Axelius cared. Most days, anyway. Some days, he cared more than he could really be arsed to admit to. Neither here nor there, he supposed.

Er. "Yeah, she," he said, following where Vesperius pulled. "My current owner and trainer's a woman. Actually used to do a lot of the training herself, even." Which, was odd, but he found he didn't really mind it, after he'd gotten used to it.

It took a few seconds, of hesitating, shifting his weight, but eventually, Axelius folded down where indicated. "... stories? I guess. ... not sure what you'd be interested in, though." He did have a few stories to tell. Some of them, he'd never in a million years put to words. Others, maybe they weren't terribly interesting. Then again, almost anything was interesting when you were a brothel slave. Anything but the crap you dealt with every day was many times better. Still, he wasn't going to just start talking. What if he said something he shouldn't?

No.

Vesperius
No title
Shelved
10 Posts Slave Written by Zozma
Jun 26, 2018, 04:16 PM / 277 Words
"I like it." 

He liked that Axelius' trainer was a woman. Honestly, in the brothel, there wasn't really any discrimination against women. In fact, a capable and strong-willed woman ran the place so he could see a woman fighting, training, leading. Vesperius might not know much about the world outside these walls but he liked the image of it. He wanted to paint it. More than that, however, he wanted to paint Axelius, just as he was right now. Even with the blood and the dirt, he was still a sight for sore eyes. 

"Maybe I'll meet her someday," he said, wearing a smile even though his gaze was a little hollow. Truthfully, he didn't think he'd ever meet her. A woman with so much on her plate didn't have time for brothels. Did they? Maybe he'd met her already but he had a feeling he hadn't. Axelius surely would have said something. Still. He could dream about meeting her someday. And the other people out there that Axelius had met. Did he make any new friends? Did he have anybody to trust? 

"Anything," he said, bringing his legs up onto the bed and turning to face Axelius. He placed his hands together and smiled. "I bet everything's interesting out there."

He looked over Axelius, then felt like a terrible host. 

"Do you need a bath? You might feel better once you're clean. I can help you with those wounds." 

Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 28, 2018, 02:16 PM / 456 Words
Axelius looked amused, for a moment, before his expression settled back out. That was good, though, it wasn't like Axelius had any say in who his trainer was. That wasn't how it worked. Maybe he would meet her, someday, but honestly, he wasn't going to hold his breath. Livia was a busy person, had plenty of other things to deal with. On principle, she didn't tend to like brothels, anyway, and might frown at him, actually, if she knew where Axelius had gone. It wasn't terribly easy to miss the Salonus brand, though. Maybe she already had an idea of where he'd been. The subject had, admittedly, never really come up.

Anything. Anything? That was helpful. Oh, "I can do that later," he answered. "Asheron's got healers, and everything, and they're just scratches, anyway, nothing to fuss with." Not everything was interesting. ... well, maybe they were, just, not always in the good way, he should say. "Well, my trainer's name is Livia. But she lets me call her Your Gorgeousness. Pretty weird, right? First person not to stare at me like I was nuts when I did my usual snarky friendliness. I was on market, at the time, market's not terribly interesting; they just chain your wrists together, and then your ankle to a post, and you stand around all day. Sometimes you'll meet someone cool, but, rarely. Depending on which slaver's wandering around by your post, talking could be a bad idea, too. Some don't mind. Some want any reason to hit you."

"Livia was like, Which ones are Macenian? Just happened to be the only Macenian in the bunch. Strangely, she decided she was buying me before we even met, and I snarked at her the whole way to the estate. She seems to find it amusing. She's like, yay tall," he held his hand up, about five feet in the air, roughly, "blue eyes, really pale blonde hair, almost white. Can't really miss her. Always got this medium-toned, dark haired guy, sometimes with a spear, sometimes not, somewhere behind her, that's Alcides. I hear she and Alcides grew up together. He's not a slave anymore, but, I don't think he knows how not to be one, so even though he's a freedman now, he still trails behind her. He's her personal guard. Not that she needs one, she's kicked my ass before, but you know, sometimes two heads are better than one." Sometimes, it was. At other times, it really just made things worse.

Vesperius
No title
Shelved
10 Posts Slave Written by Zozma
Jun 29, 2018, 07:42 PM / 271 Words
"If you're certain."

Part of him was disappointed; he liked to dote and he would have liked to aid his best friend. These days, he felt a strange disconnection from the others, even those he had been somewhat close to when Axelius was around. It was as if Axelius took a vital piece of him when he left and Vesperius had to learn how to compensate for that sudden lack. He thought he was doing well enough, even if he didn't consider many of the others friends. There were a couple of them, though. Nobody like Axelius. Nobody could ever be like Axelius. 

Vesperius stretched out towards the tail end of Axelius' recount of Livia, his trainer. Hooded eyes watched Axelius, carefully analyzing his facial expression and his body language as he spoke. Part of him wished that it was him that Axelius spoke so much about. He wondered if the same ever happened in reverse, whether he was ever brought up to Livia or anybody else Axelius had met. Probably not. He was just a brothel slave. But Axelius didn't think lowly of brothel slaves and he knew that. If he didn't bring him up, it was for some other reason. 

After a moment, Vesperius propped his cheek against his palm and continued to watch Axelius curiously. 

"You've grown really close to her," he noted before he adjusted his robe. He wasn't sure yet how to feel about that. "Do you think..." 

Axelius
macenian snake
Blood Fighter
18 Posts 23 Years Maleish 6' 3" House Asheron Blood Fighter Written by aphelion
I came into this world screaming and covered in someone else's blood. I'm not afraid to go out that way, too.
Jun 30, 2018, 05:05 PM / 406 Words
Uh. Well, not really. It was all just stuff he'd figured out by watching her, and that was part of his job description. Given she made Alcides her other guard, again, Axelius hadn't been doing so hot at that guard thing, but, eh, sometimes he was easily distracted. Sometimes he wasn't easy to distract at all. It depended on the day, what he was thinking about, anything that might be bothering him. He didn't mention all that, it felt like whining, so he just left it unsaid.

"Mostly stuff I figured out with observation," he said, shrugging. He wasn't bothered by it, of course. Livia had more pressing concerns than one of her blood fighters. She still thought about them, just, more distantly, but given she had close to a hundred of them, she'd never really have time for any given one on a more personal level. Axelius did have to admit he had a bit of a crush on her, but, maybe that was normal. A lot of her fighters seemed to, in some capacity. She was the kind of strong that only a very small number of people could ever hope to be, and if nothing else, Axelius did admire her.

"She's hard not to admire, I guess. Hard not to watch, because she commands attention without demanding it. It's like, how do I do that? ... and then, do I even want to?" Axelius never had much trouble with that, being fair. He was the kind of charming that got himself out of a brothel not once, but several times. Heh, all for this guy, anyway.

Axelius smirked. "Think what? You're not jealous or something, are you?" He was teasing, of course. Vesperius didn't have a reason to be jealous, anyway. He might like Livia, but, his relationship with her would always be very different from the ones he had with those here. Livia couldn't understand the way they did. Even some here couldn't really understand, some of the things he'd lived through. That was why Axelius was almost always so open and friendly. He was the kind of person that needed other people, so no matter where he went, he made sure he had people.

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