Home » Uncategorized » Scenes from a Roman Taverna: Chest

Scenes from a Roman Taverna: Chest

Vita sat down on the bed and shivered in the thin white tunic she had been forced to wear. She looked around at the scented furnishings and drapes of the cubiculum. This place had been in her nightmares since she had escaped. Both the place and the slimy feel of Miletus himself as he touched her.
Unfortunately she was not dreaming this time.
Miletus had not beaten her badly yet. He wanted his fun with her first before breaking her bones or covering her in bruises. When he was done, then he would start to torture her. Hence he had gotten the other slaves to bathe and perfume her; and put her in this little silk shift. Vita admitted to herself that it felt wonderful against her skin; but only as a piece of underwear.
The man’s lust however was keeping her alive, and it gave her moments like this where she could look for evidence against him that she might be able to get to Aquila. Vita did not trust his lackey, but the Investigator himself seemed at heart a good man. Like Calgacus.
Her poor innocent, loyal Calgacus… Vita missed him, and she knew that he would be desperate to get her back. She was certain she would need his intervention to get out of this mess. Miletus would not let her get away a second time.
She wondered how her friends were doing. She was sure that the attack on the city had started by now. Miletus and his household were intending to leave soon by the East Gate; Vita was unsure if he meant to take her with him, or just strangle her and leave her corpse to adorn his town house as the Iceni presumably burnt it to the ground.
The room was much the same as the day she had made her initial escape.
The strong box was in the same place, although this time it was firmly shut and locked. Vita looked around for something to attack the lock with. On the dressing table she saw a number of bronze tools, part of a toilet set. Discarding the nail cleaner and the ear scoop, she settled on the pair of tweezers and padded lightly back to the box. She began to work the arms of the tweezers back and forth to see if she could dislodge the lock.
To her surprise and delight Vita felt the barrel move. Carefully she tested the lid and opened it up.
The box contained a number of folded scrolls and documents, and a number of bags that Vita guess contained money. She picked up one of the bags and opened it.
To her surprise, it contained a shining gold torc. She marvelled at how beautiful it was, fashioned from multiple strands of gold wrapped together like several snakes entwined. There was something familiar about it, but Vita could not remember where she might have seen it before.
Maybe as part of a wall plaster mural, she thought, and reluctantly put it back in the bag, but placing it next to the box rather than in it. She could not leave something like that with a man like Miletus. Vita then began to sort through the documents.
Most of them were accounts. She could read them but they made little sense to her. But she was sure that Castor would find what he was looking for in them. As far as Vita could tell Miletus was ambitious and would happily do anything he could to further his desire for wealth and power.
Vita started to make a pile of the most interesting looking documents. In doing so, she noticed one next to the torc that looked different, was made form a different quality of paper. She reached out for it, curious.
A moment later, the fist that had caught her on the side of the head deposited Vita a full foot away from the chest.
Framed in her blurred vision she saw Miletus standing over her his face scarlet with rage.

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