Title: Emerald
Author: Sami
Rating: PG-16
Summary: Naevia waits for Crixus. Set between episode 8 and 9.
Notes: The emerald is the sacred stone of the goddess Venus. It was thought to preserve love.

Naevia crouched in the shadows of the wine racks and the stairs, ignoring the spider that crept over her hand, without a sound. The Domina rested upon silks in the villa and had dismissed her to tend to Crixus in the ludus. Naevia couldn't help the smirk that threatened to ruin her practiced composure. If the accursed woman only knew how she tended to the gladiator, she thought before a chill went down her spine at the thought of the what could happen if the Domina ever found out. Her smirk dissolved.

Footsteps, strong and true, sounded in the stone hall.

Naevia pressed herself, heart beating louder to her ears than any drum, against the wall. Could it be her gladiator, she asked herself without moving from her hiding place. Discretion had been something she absorbed through her mother's milk, it was how a slave survived, even if she wasn't caught in a complex love affair. She wouldn't reveal herself until she knew it was Crixus.

The leather boots and strong legs came into her view first then his chiseled torso and powerful arms before his handsome face. It was the real champion of Capua; the man who brought the rain.

Naevia hadn't seen him in many days so she savored the sight of him, more like the get of Jupiter than a mortal man, in the gloom. If only the bars didn't block her view, she thought as she rose and went to him. She curled her fingers around the rusty bars.

"Its been too long, sweetheart." Crixus murmured gruffly as he put his rough hands over hers.

"It always is." Naevia smiled, tipping her head up to gaze into his eyes, so often flinty in the arena yet gentle around her. She wouldn't have dreamed to have such a lover.

He kissed her softly as if requesting permission.

Naevia deepened their kiss despite the metal between them. Sometimes, it helped to think that while her vile Domina got his cock, she had his heart. This was not one of those times.