at the upcoming tavern scene.
Warning for boorish veterans. Raw and unedited and subject to change, as always. 😀
Tavern of Salvius Scrofa, Rome
His head covered, Gaius pushed open the heavy door and stepped over the threshold; a red ceramic cup flew through the dusty air, barely missing his left shoulder, and smashed into pieces as it hit the adjacent wall.
“You swindled me, you cunt-licking fart!”
With one dark eyebrow raised, Titus grinned as he counted his pile of winnings. “Now, now… watch your language, soldier. There are ladies present.”
“What ladies? Those filthy whores over there?”
Laughing, the five or so men who had crowded around to watch their game slapped each other on the back while the plastered veteran pleaded. “Io, be a sport and give us another chance, then. You stole my wages for the month. My wife will murder me if I return home with an empty purse.”
Titus carefully picked through the stack of coin before he tossed his opponent a shiny denarius. “Have one minted by the Divine Augustus—pure silver, not diluted like the new specie. You may thank me for saving your lousy life.” Chuckling, Titus pushed his chair back and crossed his arms. “And I do not cheat at dice.”
“You’re a thief and a liar, Titus Petronius!” Gaius roared from the doorway. The veterans gathered around the wooden tavern tables ceased their slurred conversations and turned in time to watch him uncover his auburn curls. They all staggered to their feet and straightened their postures. One spastic fool knocked over an entire pitcher of drink; the amber ale puddled in the wide cracks between the limestone floor pavers.
“Commander Fabius, sir.” They saluted in near but not precise unison. Discipline had become lax.