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Subject: CHAPTER 58

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Date Posted: 21:33:14 04/20/05 Wed


The shadowed water was cool. Nicadea wet her fingers in the clear stream, but quickly pulled them back. The water would have to get considerably warmer before she’d be willing to bathe. Reaching around, she dipped the edge of her tunic into the chilly water, twisting the fabric to wring out the water. Almost as long as a skirt, the straight garment fell just below her knees. Sometimes, she thought of it as a skirt, often forgetting she was still dressed in a man’s attire.

She leaned over, using the dampened material to wash her face and neck as she had done the previous evening. The wet cloth was soothing to her chaffed skin. After she’d finished, she re-dampened the cloth and started back to the makeshift camp.

Mikelle was awake when she returned—sitting up for the first time since he’d been injured. “Where am I? How did I get here?”

She stared at him, stopping in her tracks as she tried to figure out this new game. “You rode here following the battle. You were injured. Don’t you remember?”

“Bits and pieces. Why are you dressed as a man?”

Was he trying to trick her? Had he forgotten about her escape? Maybe he didn’t know? “I wanted to join the battle.”

“Did you fight against me?” His voice held more than a hint of amusement.

She flinched at his condescending attitude. Was it so impossible that she might fight? Boadicea did and led an army against the Romans. Nicadea lifted her chin, her eyes reckless. “How do you think you got that wound? I fought you, and I won. You would have died if I hadn’t come back to save you.”

He stared at her without speaking, his look hard. After a couple of minutes of complete silence, she felt her confidence began to diminish. Had she gone too far? In an effort to return to normalcy, she turned to stoke the morning fire. He struck as soon as she turned, reaching out to grab her lower arm in a tight grip. She caught her breath at the pain and tried to pull away.

“I appreciate you saving my life. I’ll have to think of a way to make it up to you.”

The words were kind, but she knew they were only lightly concealing a serious threat. “You’re hurting me.”

He loosened his grip. “Wouldn’t want to do that—not when you’ve been so kind to me. I look forward to the day I can show you my gratitude and began to pay you back.”

She shivered. He meant what he said. She had to get away—soon.

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Subject Author Date
Glad to see you back. Great news about the signing. Now, for another chapter! Please! (NT)Jan12:15:02 04/22/05 Fri

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