Gaius and Max. One of my most favorite scenes I’ve penned yet! 😀
Rolling the small bronze statue round and round in his hand, Max stuck his head in through the open door to his patron’s chamber. Sitting up with his arms crossed behind his head, Gaius stared at the fluttering curtains separating the master suite from the sunny balcony, his amber eyes lost in some far off place. Jumbles of scrolls, a wax tablet, and a stylus were strewn across the mattress. The commander was bored; days confined to best rest didn’t sit well with any soldier, and certainly not with this ornery, red-haired warrior. Max coughed into his fist; Gaius slowly turned his head and smiled.
“Maximus! Thank the fucking gods you’ve come to entertain me.”
“Sir?” Max tentatively stepped into the room. Sweat, wine, and tedium perfumed the stale air. “May I have a word with you, Commander?”
“You may, but only if you make me laugh. Have you a dandy joke to share?”
“No, sir. I’m afraid I’m not a comedian.”
“Bah! Imprisonment is stultifying.” With his fingers interlaced, Gaius stretched his arms in front of his chest and cracked his knuckles. “Where’s our dear Lucius when I desire I daft quip or a pun or two, hmm?”
Max took a deep breath, and before nerves tied his tongue, he blurted out, “I’ve come to talk to you about Counselor Petronius, sir.”