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Missed opportunities
#11
>>“Here we go, time to see how quickly your Green will lose your money.”

The race began. People jumped up from their seats (the ones not holding drinks, anyway) and the air shook with cries of encouragement. Publius cheered too, keeping his eyes on Scorpius and the Green team, silently praying for them not to leave him looking like a loser in front of his new friend. As if the the gods were listening, the Blue team rolled into the sand first, amidst cries of anguish and anger from their supporters.

>>“Out quicker than a virgin!”

"What did I tell you!" Publius grinned, raising his cup to the man that had wagered his money on the Blues. There was nothing sweeter than watching the Greens' nemesis lose. Nothing except watching Scorpius win.

And win he did. He left it close enough for show, but there was no doubt that the cautious Red driver was not going to make up for the difference, and lose the victory to his own tactics. Publius stood and cheered as the team crossed the finish line, basking in the feeling of victory that did not compare to anything else in the world. 

>>“Here, Publius. You may have tickled her, but you won’t keep Fortuna’s favor for long. 900 on that Black. Only lost one race, that one. You can kiss your Scorpius on his way to Dis.”

"My 900 says the Greens have one more win in them today." Publius grinned, refilling his cup and raising it in honor of the consul. He was so pleased with the win that it was no hardship at all to hide the truth behind that grin.
The Greens were not going to win again. Scorpius was smart enough not to run his horses hard enough to injure them. He would come in a close second, most likely, so as not to lose the favor of the Green supporters, but he would not sacrifice team or chariot for a third win in one day. This was a run-of-the mill race, not one of the big ones of the feast days. 

Still, Publius was comfortable with making the bet. He would have never bet on another team anyway - the Green Pride would never allow that - and also, it would have been a pity to ruin the consul for almost 2000 sestertii when they had just met. He seemed like entertaining company. 

And if the Greens happened to win again... well, that would just go to prove that they were better than the other teams, even when holding back. 

"Whoever wins, we both have the pleasure of watching the Blues left in the dust" he added as he sat back down in the shade.
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#12
Ursus accepted Masximus' bet with a grin and a laugh. The other's enthusiasm was infectious, although the consul enjoyed any opportunity for good humor. This young man seemed to have an abundance of it.

It would take a little time for the track to be cleared and the next set of racers to line up, leaving the onlookers to chatter in anticipation. Ursus, in quite a sociable mood, leaned over to converse with his companion. "So, Publius," he began, daring to address him by his praenomen as if they were already on familiar terms with one another, "is it just the Greens, or do you have other passions? Gods help you, man! I could not live for Scorpius alone!"
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#13
The next run was being set up; Publius sat back down, drinking some wine to smooth his throat, hoarse from all the yelling and cheering. His slave fanned him, and he basked in the comfort and the enjoyment of spending a day at the races.

>>"So, Publius... is it just the Greens, or do you have other passions? Gods help you, man! I could not live for Scorpius alone!"

"Not indeed" Publius grinned, having his cup refilled "As much as I adore the Greens, I am a man of many passions." he nodded towards the tracks "Public games among them. I hope to sponsor them one day. In the meantime... it is another kind of sponsorship" he noted, jiggling his purse of coins with a grin.
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