In celebration of Collette Cameron’s Blog Hop & Giveaway, Thanking & Appreciating all who have supported authors, I am posting a section of my upcoming novel, Love & Vengeance. This novel on Ancient Rome, based on the gladiators, will be released in April.
Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.
Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.
But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?
[WARNING - This story is based on research to accurately depict life in Ancient Rome . It contains the brutality and sexuality with course language. Reader's discretion is advised]
Gustina stood, her lips curved slowly. “Hi.”
He gazed over her and noticed her bare toes curled on the dirt floor. With a smirk, he returned, “Hi.”
Every nerve in his body tingled at her presence. She was here. In his cell. And it was night, long after the final meal. He wanted to get up but found he had no control and it wasn’t all wine induced. There was no need to bother. She came and sat down next to him.
His mouth dried. His insides tightened. And for once, the demon was silent – he felt the creature hovering, as if crouched and waiting. Last time, she stormed away from him.
She reached for his hand on the injured arm. Lifting it gently, she untucked the ends and unraveled the linen, exposing the wound. He watched, as if in a trance, as she turned it slightly, humming. A small pot he hadn’t seen her bring in, was at her side. She popped the corked lid off it and dipped her fingers in it, pulling them out covered in golden gel – honey.
“Tell me if I hurt you,” she said quietly, gently covering the healing lash marks with the stuff. Her touch was warm. It didn’t hurt except for the longing that burned deep within him. With every one of her strokes, he felt his cock stiffen, hardening and painful but he wouldn’t tell her. Fear she’d flee from him kept him quiet.
She tied the ends of the new binding and still holding his arm, slowly gazed up at him. He wondered if she noticed his tented subligaculum. Every muscle tensed, expecting if she looked into his eyes, she run, because he couldn’t hide his desires. To feel her body next to him, his cock buried inside her, his tongue tasting her mouth. It was a fever, one he hoped she had too. He felt a shiver in her touch and the knot she swallowed, so elegantly the muscles in her neck worked.
“Marcus,” she whispered.
He felt the raw, primal urge sweep through him. To claim her again. Make her his again. But he didn’t move.
“I. Want. You.” Gods, his own tone husky, deep, that it didn’t sound like him.
Her cheek ticked as her teeth tugged her lower lip between them. She nodded.
His body understood that language. Without another word, he pulled her into his arms, his mouth covering hers. Her arms snaked around his neck as she smashed herself against him. His tongue traced the seam to her lip, barely a touch when they fell open to his invasion and he moaned loudly.
They were on his bedding, arms embracing, legs intertwined, and tongues dancing in a hunger older than the gods. He turned her underneath him and broke the kiss. Her face was flush, her breath deep and hard like his. He grinned as his hand pulled at the tie on her tunic. It separated and he quickly snagged the cloth from her. Damn, she was beautiful. As he bent to kiss her, she spread her legs, her hips shifting below his hardened cock, begging him. With a growl, he took her mouth as his arousal slid into her.
The demon purred.