Um. Sorry. Later, at home, Niobe isn't any happier than her sister was to hear what Vorenus has been getting up to at work. Vorenus claims not to be worried, but Niobe says that Erastes has gotten to be the big thug on campus since Pompey's gangs left. "I am no prole to be abused," Vorenus argues, which is a curious argument considering that he got into this in the first place on behalf of a prole who was being abused. "I was a Prefect in the Evocati! Caesar himself gave me a horse." A lot of good that does Vorenus now. Like Caesar's going to show up at his house and protect him from Erastes or something. Just then, there's a knock on the door. Niobe watches nervously as Vorenus gets up to answer it. But there's no one there except the guy whose nose Vorenus saved, kneeling on the threshold and extending a large loaf of bread and his heartfelt thanks. So it was all worth it. Maybe if they'd threatened to kill the guy, he would have actually offered Vorenus a whole sandwich.
Octavia and Servilia are weaving together. For once, that's not a euphemism. So their relationship has progressed to that point, has it? They're actually sitting side by side, each at her own loom, busily working their shuttles just out of frame so we can't get a good look at what they're actually doing. Octavia commiserates with Servilia over her pain at seeing Caesar the other night. "Oh, I'm used to pain," Servilia says. "I don't mind it." I find that kind of talk so tedious. "Never mind me, this cross is quite comfortable and I can see my house from here." Octavia gathers her courage and says she wishes Servilia didn't care for Caesar so much. There's as much concern as jealousy in the remark, though. "I wish I didn't care for you so much," Servilia returns, and they kiss before returning to their weaving. Servilia comments on Octavian's all-growns-up-ness, and on Caesar's fondness for him. Octavia lets slip the rumor about Caesar taking Octavian as a lover, as well as Octavian's denials at the time that revolved around Caesar's "terrible affliction." Servilia's ears prick up at that like those of my cats when I pull out the drawer with the can opener in it. What, this tidbit about Caesar's fits never came up before in the last year or so? Servilia wants Octavia to find out the details of Caesar's affliction so she can know which god has cursed him. Octavia, surprised at Servilia's avid interest in the matter, wants to know how she's going to do that when Octavian was sworn to secrecy. And is also smarter than Octavia and Servilia put together, she doesn't add. Servilia simply says, "It is the weapon I seek. With the god's help, I can destroy him." Octavia isn't trying to hear that, but Servilia leans on her until Octavia reluctantly agrees to ask her brother as a favor.