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Subject: Chapter 57

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Date Posted: 20:23:12 03/14/05 Mon


Nicadea awoke to the even breathing of the man lying beside her. He had spent a restless night—tossing and turning with fever. At times, he yelled out to some imagined enemy. She rose up to look at his face. His eyes were open—lucid.

“Water,” he said through parched lips.

She stood quickly to obey, without thought as to what she would use as a vessel. The night before, she had wet a piece of her skirt to bath his face. She supposed she could bring water for him to drink in the same way. His eyes were closed by the time she returned, but opened suddenly as she came near.

He lay still while she pressed the moistened rag against his lips and bathed his face. When she was finished he spoke to her in a low tone.

“Thank you.”

Her eyes widened in surprise. Kindness and social sentiment were not usually wasted on slaves—especially disobedient ones. “You’re welcome,” she murmured under her breath. She thought she detected the shadow of a smile flicker across his lips.

“You don’t like me much, do you?”

“I don’t have any special hatred for you, sir. I hate all Romans. They have invaded my land—killed and enslaved my people.”

“Then, why didn’t you simply allow me to die?”

“We are not barbarians, sir. I could not leave you to die.”

“No, you are not a barbarian. I can see that now. But surely you realized the saving of my life would mean your captivity.”

She met his eyes. “Yes. Would you have left me to die?”

“No, of course not.”

“Yet, you were surprised at my actions.”

He stared at her—interested by her impudence as well as her bravery. She was no ordinary slave. She was no ordinary woman. He found himself intrigued in spite of his conflicted viewpoint of her position. Generals did not become interested in slaves. They were beings meant to be used and then, discarded. One didn’t develop feelings for them or think about having thoughts of their own. They were inferior—child-like in their naiveté.

“Yes, I was surprised. The gesture bespeaks nobler sentiments than the ones held by mere slaves.”

“Sir, you do us a great disservice.”

“See to your tongue, wench. You forget your place.”

She bowed her head in seeming humility, but her eyes flashed in anger. She had saved his life and still he treated her without respect. “I am sorry, Master. What do you wish of me?”

“I am in need of a bath. I wish you to dampen your skirts and bathe me.”

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Subject Author Date
Now this should prove interesting!!! (NT)Myrna00:46:03 03/15/05 Tue
Stupid, stupid ungrateful man. I hope(r)MichelleB05:05:22 03/15/05 Tue
This guy spends so much time getting himself...Sheila11:21:05 03/15/05 Tue
Lollllll............TN17:03:42 03/15/05 Tue
Waaaa! The bath scene should make up for a lot of friction between those two. :) (NT)NancyG19:12:31 03/16/05 Wed

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