I don’t believe that I’ve ever posted this tale! I’ve had the germ of it for about as long as I can remember, but it appears I may have completed it at some point.
Dedicated to my BFF Shawn…
We stand against the far wall of our cell, two guards leering at our nudity. Amazingly, I’ve gotten used to not wearing clothes. It’s been so long since my capture and their removal that I no longer blush as one guard mimics copulating with me. I am numb, as are my cellmates.
The barred door is open. Two more guards stand outside. Their attention is diverted elsewhere, and I hear sandals approach. The sound signifies yet another Roman beast come to check the items for sale, yet another round of brutish pawing and checking of teeth. In the beginning there were nearly twenty of us. I am only one of four now.
Words are spoken outside the door, indistinct sounds. One of the guards nods and enters the cell, his face nervous, his manner angry. “Turn around! Face the wall!” he barks.
The two guards with us waste no time in putting their meaty hands on their prisoners, spinning the four of us around with such suddenness that our hands hit the wall to keep balance. I receive a sharp slap and thick fingers dig into my buttocks. It’s the one who’s repeatedly harassed me over the other women here. Gritting my teeth at the anger that bubbles in my soul, I refuse to flinch away.
“What’s going on here?” a rich tenor demands. The tone is one that brooks no argument and the hand is removed from my posterior in response.
“Nothin’, milady. Just keeping this one in line.” The guard bows and scraps. “She’s been nothin’ but trouble from the start.” That’s a lie he’s told all the slaver’s clients, the reason I remain within his reach.
After a moment of silence, the sandals step closer until they stop behind me. A lock of my hair is lifted and studied, my scalp tingling at the sensation. When the tresses are dropped, a calloused hand runs down my spine and my skin flinches away in surprise.
“Stand still, bitch!” the guard snarls, slapping me in the stomach.
The sharp sound of flesh on flesh causes me to jump, and the guard falls to the ground. He scrambles to his feet and makes an insincere apology.
“You’re too heavy handed with the merchandise, Petriacles,” the client says, obvious disdain in her rich voice.
Petriacles’s response is mumbled. “Yes, milady.”
“Next time, you lose your hand.”
There’s an audible sound of swallowing. “Yes, milady.”
The hand on my back lowers and brushes over my freshly bruised buttock. The examination continues as the client gropes me, albeit in a far gentler manner than I’ve become accustomed. She moves on to the next slave and repeats her actions.
I watch the guard beside me at the edge of my vision. He’s turning red in an attempt to keep his temper, almost frothing at the mouth. He’ll be even more dangerous to me after this is over. Dread fills my mind as sweat breaks out on my brow. I wonder if I’ll leave this cell alive.
The client speaks. “Turn around.”
Immediately, the guards bark out the order we’ve already heard as if we’ll move faster. I turn and see the lady standing on the far side of our ragged line of slaves. Two Praetorians are at the door, indicating she’s more than just a noble woman looking for servants. The military doesn’t accompany noble women.
She’s tall and tan, her ebony hair pinned up in the current fashion of Rome. The toga shines white against the dinginess of our cell, and she wears jewels and gold that sparkle. Her raven hair catches the light from the tiny window and reflects blue-black, enhanced by a golden chain woven into her tresses. Her eyes flash a silvery blue, the color so striking that it’s like looking into the sky. The only thing detracting from her superior beauty is her aristocratic face affecting a bored demeanor.
I watch as she moves back up the line, checking teeth and eyes on one, feeling the obvious ribs of another, fingering a strawberry birthmark on the third.
My numbness has faded, and I feel my skin blushing as she comes to me. Her frank gaze terrifies and emboldens me. I can’t help but look her in the eye — though I have to crane my neck to do so — and I see a cold wintry day.
Her hand caresses the roundness of my breast and my heart thumps. It’s so loud I know she can hear it pounding. She gently pinches my nipple, and I gasp at the flood of fire that races to my loins. Her mouth quirks in a grin. Leaning closer, she stares into my eyes as she kneads my breast. I cannot help but close my eyes and sigh at the treatment.
“So responsive,” she murmurs as she circles to one side. The hand on my chest strays to the neglected nipple and twists it with slow purpose.
Gods! The fire! What is happening to me? I bite my lip in an effort to silence the groan building in my chest, but fail. The sound rolls from my throat, mindless of my wishes.
And then the hands are gone and I hear her voice.
“I’ll take her.”