Chapter 14

Peace. Boadicea found a new meaning to it. Peace was what she found when Prasutagus was no longer around for her to please. Reneisia had deserted her for her father's new wife, but Denisia still belonged to her. She was the only one who still belonged to her. She had failed as a wife, but, as Boadicea clung desperately to her youngest daughter, she would not fail as a mother.


And there was nothing Boadicea liked better than to irk Prasutagus, since she was no longer his slave. Since Reneisia was determined to be Jesania's darling, Boadicea fought back, by making Denisia entirely hers. She no longer allowed Denisia to go near either her father, or Jesania. At the beginning, Prasutagus did not say anything. His eyes merely glinted with silent rage when he saw Boadicea leading Denisia away from him. He had Jesania, and he was happy.

For a while.

The tension exploded one afternoon when Boadicea had left Denisia to play in the gardens with her favourite yellow ball, while she went to find Artemia about the preparation of the midday meal for her and her daughter. The little girl was visited by her father, who happened to be able to rid himself of Jesania and Reneisia for an afternoon, and wanted nothing more than to see his youngest daughter.

At the sight of him, Denisia hesitated. She held the ball tightly, and felt fear. Prasutagus smiled as kindly as he could. It was his daughter after all. Why should she be afraid of him, her father?

"Hello, Denisia," he approached her and knelt. "How have you been lately?"

Denisia did not answer at once. She felt afraid, and confused. She remembered her mother, telling her not to trust anyone in the palace. Not even her father. The little girl was terrified, but could not help placing a sense of trust in the kindly face that belonged to her father.

So she smiled.

And Prasutagus was very happy indeed.

He lifted her in his arms and kissed her on her cheek. "Oh, my daughter! How I love you!" Denisia giggled. Prasutagus laughed and swung her around in his arms. "Your laughter is like music to my ears! Come now, Denisia! Run with me!" He set her down and held her hand and jogged, pulling her with him. Denisia followed, giggling and laughing and felt truly happy for a long time.


She stopped abruptly at her mother's voice, remembering her warning, but Prasutagus did not stop. The contrary movement caused Denisia to fall on the grassy ground and pull Prasutagus down as well.

"Denisia! Are you all right?" Boadicea, utterly alarmed at what had happened before her eyes, rushed to her daughter's side and wrapped her arms around her. Denisia burst into tears, and this time, she let the pent-up sorrows flow. But Boadicea, she was filled with anger. She glared at Prasutagus. "What are you doing here? Look what you've done to Denisia!"

"I didn't do it on purpose," Prasutagus said wearily as he tried to stand up. He put a hand on Denisia's arm but it slipped from his grasp as Boadicea viciously removed his hand with force. "Don't you dare touch her!"

That was the final straw. He exploded, his face red as beet, "She is my daughter! I have a right to touch her!"

"After what you've done to this family?" Boadicea stood and cradled a sobbing Denisia in her arms, her fierce eyes never leaving Prasutagus's equally angry ones. "You made this happen! You created this nightmare for Denisia when you took that Roman whore as a wife! You disgust me, King or not, and I do not respect you! So does Denisia! She spits at you! I spit at you!" And to prove her point, Boadicea spat at his feet and walked away.

"It was not entirely my fault!" Prasutagus shouted at her. "You put her against me! You filled her head with lies about me, haven't you? Haven't you?" But he was met with no reply.

Boadicea fought the tears and anger, but she knew she was alone in her stand against Prasutagus. Denisia was not strong enough to help her.

But she would make it.

On her own.

That very night, Prasutagus fell mysteriously ill.