After a short talk, they disappeared into the woods and Marcus Lucius waited a while before he turned to Julia and politely but decisively ordered to ride back. She nodded automatically, without deliberating. Within seconds, he sat directly behind Julia on Hiberus. Hiberus stayed mostly calm since that stranger, who tried to steal him, was killed by Marcus Lucius. The spontaneous and strange meeting with the people from the woods didn’t impress the animal at all.
Then, Marcus Lucius clapped on the horse’s neck and they started riding back to Eboracum. The way seemed to be shorter than before. Julia felt the wind on her face and it wasn’t pleasant. It whipped her strongly and she had to cry. She felt that Marcus Lucius was tense but quiet. Hiberus was galloping so fast that the girl thought the animal was almost flying. It didn’t seem like the wished for flight on a Pegasus. She wanted to go back to Italy, where the air was warmer and people were friendlier.
As they returned, Marcus Lucius was still quiet and if Julia knew him better, she would have even described him as a bit nervous. He accompanied her quickly to her chamber and went out. Julia followed him secretly and saw how he shortly talked to Nerva. Nerva nodded hastily and seemed to be worried. Then, Nerva went to another part of the villa, apparently searching for Octavian, and Marcus Lucius turn around to come back to Julia.
When she saw this she quickly went back to the chamber. She didn’t want him to know that she followed him. She was fast: she ran like thunder to be in her room before Marcus Lucius. She didn’t mind the bruises she got while she hooked twice on columns. Hastily, but with a lucky smile, she landed on her bed with a rapidly moving chest. She was tired and tried to make an innocent impression when Marcus Lucius stepped into the room again.
-You need to rest. – She said.
He gave her a short look and noticed her excitement, but he didn’t comment on it. She was sure that she tricked him, so she smiled brighter, satisfied. He didn’t want to upset her right now. She needed a cheerful moment, during such hard days.
Instead of coming to her, Marcus Lucius stared at her and stayed like a sculpture for a longer while. Her smile vanished and he went to the heavy, wooden desk and sat down at the table next to the massive piece of furniture. The moment of cheerfulness was over. The seriousness came back to the room. He laid his arms on the desk’s surface and seemed to be completely absorbed in thoughts.
-I’ll bring you something to eat. – Julia suggested, but he didn’t react. There was something in his look that made her uneasy.
Actually, it wasn’t a task for a Roman lady to serve food, but she needed to go out and talk with Octavian. She had already a structure of a plan, but she needed to clear some details with herself.