Just a short piece of something I just couldn't get out of my head till I wrote it down and its a nice break from Harry Potter. I absolutly love the character of Commodus, I feel he is a deeply misunderstood character (Not that i agree with what he does) and think Joaquin Phoenix did a amazing job creating him.
Anyway I'm thinking of turning it into a full length story, depending on reviews and what not... so review if you want more : )
All I wanted was to be loved. I embraced those around me most deserving, yet they all turned from me. Even those whose very nature it was to love me tried to escape the burden. It was something I never understood.
I preyed to find the answers as to why I repulsed those that I held dear. At first I believed it was my appearance; despite the compliments of how I had inherited my mothers striking looks. True I was healthier in the past. I had lost the rich glow to my skin but running the greatest empire drained the body as well as the spirit.
My eyes forever had the dark ring of sleepless nights no matter the concoction of sleep I took. Despite my increasing physical training of swords the lack of food gave me a gaunt form. Still I held my head high but as I grew older I began to understand that even the most grotesque of forms can still be loved.
Then why not me, was I truly that monstrous, more so?
I sat at the side window of my room on a velvet bench, the warm breeze from the open arch playing on my face. It was another hot day; you could almost taste the dust in the scorching air. I stared across at the city that belonged to me. Watching it shake before me slightly as the sun beat down. There lay Rome; it stretched out seemingly never ending. It looked to me for advice, leadership… life. It was my empire it obeyed only me, I was the protector of Rome no one else.
Then why did it strike such fear in my heart? Why did I fear what I deserved and longed for? I couldn't help but look away in disgust at myself.
What I felt wasn't fear; no, it was merely another emotion that wished to see me fail. I was not afraid. No, never. Not of Rome…
The sounds of footsteps reached my ears, soft on the marbled flooring. I would know those footsteps even if I were struck blind to never see the body they belonged to. Something I wished never to occur, for I could not live with out the image. The sounds pulled me from my ominous thoughts.
"Brother, I have been looking for you". Her voice was gentle, immediately calming however her voice was laced with tension. I could sense it in the very air. I would happily give up Rome itself to hear her voice full with love as it once was. The voice she used only for me filled of joy and delight.
What had changed? I loved her over all else. She had raised me, sheltered me from harm. Beaten away the fear my nightmares brought. We had loved each other I was sure, but now, who knew the thoughts that travelled around her mind. I admired her strength. I wondered if she knew I had learnt many of my traits from her. She was the most resourceful and astute woman I had ever met.
"Yes, what is it Lucilla?"
I watched the afternoon light play against her face, casting a faint glow. She appeared saint like in this light, with her effortless gold dress and jewellery. The thought made me smile, which created a look of apprehension in return.
"There is a matter I wish to discuss with you", she seemed to momentarily forget hr reason for seeing me. She stepped forward her eyes sharpening as she did so, contemplating what she wished to discuss with me giving her new confidence. Only one thing caused this effect. Lucius. I motioned for her to sit beside me, closer then needed but after all I was feeling brave today. I was Caesar. They feared me.
She took her time seating herself beside me; I could smell her perfume, a spice of some kind. This was something else I loved her for. The women I spent my life with smelt of sweet flowers, sickly to the taste. Lucilla however had a rich fusion of smells, ones that were intoxicating, rich flavours of natural scents which could shift suddenly into those that echoed danger to whoever was lucky to be close enough to breathe them in.
Once she was comfortable she turned to me, a look of tenderness and concern in her eyes. I waited for her to continue, curious and hooked upon her words. She looked away unable to hold me gaze.
"Are you sure about the games brother?" she asked for the tenth time that day. This wasn't what she wanted to discuss, she couldn't hide her intentions from me today.
"This is an old matter, the games are a tribute to father's death" I saw her eyes flicker, with an emotion I could not place at my firmness at the matter. It was one I felt the most secure of, "What would you have me do, stop them after I promised our people one hundred and fifty, how would they react when given half the amount? They would believe me to be a weak leader; merely full of broken decrees… besides it would be seen as disrespectful if I was to stop the tribute".
There was a long pause.
"I appreciate your concern of Lucius, but I'm not sure it wise to bring him to the coliseum at such a young age? I fear he will not understand…"
So that was her worry.
I smiled, her endearing devotion to her sons wellbeing always brought warmth to my heart. It reminded me of how she watched over me during his age. Jealousy stirred in my stomach.
"You worry yourself dear sister, Lucius is hardly a young boy now. The coliseum will make him strong; awaken him to the reality that is a significant part of Rome. If he is to be my successor he must learn how to control it"
Her eyes widened slightly at my words. Had I surprised her? I had surprised myself with my cool words. I couldn't be further from the truth; I felt my grip on Rome hung in the balance. "I will take him tomorrow, rumours have it they are recreating the battle of Carthage. It will help his history of our empire." She nodded, knowing I had reached a decision on the matter. This she knew was a decision even she could not waver.
"You will join us?" I asked, hoping she wouldn't decline my invitation something she had been doing recently. She looked out of the window appearing to be lost in thought. My heart hammered in my chest as I awaited her answer I preyed she would accept. During the entertainment I loved to watch her; I enjoyed her reactions changing with the action below. Her face calmed me, sat beside my throne, like Rome's regal Empress.
"Yes I will come" she replied, waking me from my thoughts.
My heart lifted in joy. However her smile did not reach her bright eyes. As she stood and bowed her head in respect, a thought creped into my mind, poisoning my elation... Was she going to watch over me, or Lucius? In my mind she chose me, in my heart she would always choose him.
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