Author's note: Hey guys! We're back and with a new story! Rome has always fascinated us and we just had to do a story on it. Please r/r and let us know what you think. Tell us what you want in it. How are the characters? The plotline? Everything! Reviewers make the world go round!
Summary: Conquest, slavery, deception, distrust, brutality, secret affairs... Rome. During the reign of Hadrian the wealthy and prominent Valerius Family struggles against these issues and more in the hedonistic society that was Acient Rome. Innocence is shattered, trust is a farce and lust is enough...or is it
Cayla's heart shattered further with each step she took towards Rome. She and her people marched towards Rome with memories of the recent past burned into their minds and dread of the future looming over their heads.
"Keep moving!" a soldier yelled in Latin. Although the two women in front of her who had slowed down didn't understand Latin, the voice and vicious prod of the pilum indicated perfectly well what he meant.
"We're moving," Cayla said in Latin over her shoulder with a sneer.
A man reached down and grabbed the collar of her colorful tunic, lifting her nearly six inches off the ground. "How very interesting? The captain told me the women were feisty. Didn't mention they could also speak properly." He licked his lips as he looked over her face and at the curve of her breasts. "Or that they were so beautiful. I might take you to my tent tonight."
Cayla spat in his face and the spittle dripped from his cheek. The soldier growled and back handed her so she flew backwards to the muddied ground.
"Get up and move!" he roared and she did as she was bid, furious, grieving, and confused.
"I thought your father said they couldn't come for us, Cayla!" a young woman named Ailis said in Gaelic. Her tiny voice cracked with fear.
Ailis snapped her mouth shut. She didn't have to understand his words to understand the roar.
Cayla watched Ailis stumble ahead of her with sad eyes. The young woman, of only 13 years, hurt Cayla's heart just by existing. She was Rian's younger sister.
"Rian," Cayla breathed as tears of fury, pain and hatred pushed on the backs of her eyeballs. She hated the Romans! She hated that they'd disrupted her life! Closing her eyes she remembered the night before, their last night of freedom.
"Cayla, my Cayla. We will join soon," Rian whispered to his lover and fiancée and his hand caressed her naked side.
Cayla giggled and leaned up to kiss him, running her fingers down his hardened chest, playing with the puckered scars on his stomach before reaching lower.
"My feisty princess," Rian said with an added gleam of desire in his eyes. His lips captured hers. Long, sun-lightened hair framed both of their faces as he cupped a breast with his hand. He stared into her intensely green eyes, the color of the forest they lived in.
"My love," Cayla replied, running her nails down his back and feeling him shiver.
"You will know pleasure tonight," he assured her with a wicked grin as he bent to kiss her flat, work-hardened stomach.
She ran her fingers through his hair. "As always with you," she whispered.
They'd spent all night making love.
The next morning; he would disappear forever.
"Oh gods! Why?" she asked herself and was jostled by a tug on her chains. She sent a scathing glare in the direction of the guard holding her line.
'You killed him!' she thought bitterly. 'Killed him when he tried to protect me. Pierced him right through the heart with your sword. If I only hadn't tripped. Maybe I could've killed one in return!'
Her love was dead and her heart felt cold as ice. Ailis didn't know her brother was dead yet. Nor did their other sister, Sorcha. She was only eight.
'And now I'm going to be a slave. I'm the daughter of the chief! I'm not a slave!'
In one organized movement, the Roman legions rounded up the slaves, set a few as guards and then set up camp. Morsels of bread and rations of water were handed out, but Cayla couldn't eat. Not without Rian in the world. Not without her family. Not when she would be forced to live in hated Rome.
The legionnaire made good on his promise and that night, Cayla was his plaything. She lay limp in his arms but he took pleasure in the smoldering look in her eyes.
"With your beauty expect that a respectable Roman man will claim you," he assured her. "But not after me."
When he was through, Cayla limped back to the plot of grass where she'd decided to sleep beside Ailis and Sorcha. He'd completely ravished her and was now doubly sore: the raid of her village as well as the rape.
Inside she was dead. Rian was gone and that's all she could concentrate on.
For days they marched across Gaul, past the Mediterranean and then along the coast to Rome. Cayla tried to keep the spirits of her people up but it was hard with her own heart so broken.
As the legionnaires were bartering with the slave traders, Cayla informed her people that they were being sold. Rounds of protests were heard, but were quickly silenced with cuffed ears, jabbed sides or even a kick to the stomach.
Cayla was singled out to translate as the slave traders instructed the captives to wash and dress in a traditional cream colored outfit. She despised doing it, but she was the leader now. She couldn't be selfish or rash.
The next morning another well-dressed rather good-looking man came to inspect them, eyeing each person with a cold, appraising eye. Then he wrote something on a placard and hung it around his or her neck. When he came to Cayla he paused.
"This is the translator?" he asked a legionnaire.
"I am," Cayla spoke, straightening her shoulders.
The Roman was amused by her boldness. "And what is your name?
"I am Cayla Alaudae of the Averni tribe," she said with pride.
"Ah, the tribe of Vercingetorix . Very interesting. What can you speak?"
"Latin, several dialects of Gaelic and Greek," she said. "I can write your letters as well."
The Roman regarded her without a smile. Then he wrote something down and hung a placard around her neck, moving onto the next person.
"I have a request," Cayla said suddenly.
A burst of laughter exploded from the group of legionnaires.
"A request from a slave? Fine, I'm intrigued. Make your request." His brown eyes sparkled dangerously.
Cayla chose her words carefully. "If I'm to be sold, I would appreciate if I could be sold to the same family as these two sisters, sir," she said politely.
The Roman scoffed and ignored her, moving on.
Cayla tried to protest but she had four pilums at her throat. She kept her peace.
When he was through, he singled Cayla out. "Tell them that this afternoon they will be sold. If they misbehave, we sent them to the arena."
Cayla relayed the message in Gaelic but added, "Do not give up hope my people. Your body maybe enslaved, but your spirits will never be."
The afternoon came too soon.
"I'll place my bet on the Retiarius," Marcus Justus Valerius said to his older brother Caius Antonius Valerius who scoffed at him.
"He's already tiring out. See how his toss of the net is tired; not going as far:. The Thracian can continue his taunting dance and tire him out before striking the killing thrust. My bet's on him."
The family Valerius was a wealthy family; one of the most prominent families in all of Rome. The two elder sons had joined their fellow Romans at the Coliseum for a day of 'bread and circus'.
"I'm going to buy a wine skin. Let me know when my Thracian bests your Retiarius," Caius teased his younger brother as he rose to purchase wine from a vendor within the coliseum walls.
A cheer rose from the stands and Caius smirked handing the vendor the denarii's for the wine and made his way back to where his brother sat scowling angrily as the crowd chanted for the Retiarius's death.
"Ah, so now Marcus, you see I am correct."
The Retiarius knelt on the ground, trying to hold his stomach closed.
"Jugula!!!!" the crowd called, hungry for blood to be spilt.
The emperor Hadrian didn't even turn from his conversation with a senator and turned his thumb down to give the waiting Thracian permission to make the killing blow. The retiarius tipped his head back as the Thracian drew his curved dagger against his neck, slicing the jugular as a spray of blood wet the Thracian's sword and tunic.
"Alas, I was wrong again."
Caius laughed. "Dear brother. You should know better than to bet against me."
"Arrogant bastard," Marcus muttered as his brother laughed in amusement.
"We need to get back. Father said I wasn't to take you to the games today so if they're to believe we just went to a gathering at Octavius' villa we should return home."
"Curse our father and his blasted rules. He'd rather I remain a caged protégée to be trained in his ways," Marcus growled as he rose and left with Caius.
"I'm a bad influence on you dear brother, in father's eyes anyway."
"What Roman abhors the games?"
Caius just tipped his head back and laughed at his brother's rants as he drove them home in his chariot.
When they arrived, their younger sister Juliana Lucia Valerius came running out to them. "Oh Marcus, Caius, how were the games? Spare me no details!"
Caius grinned affectionately down at his younger sister. "Later, after we are out of mother and father's presence. I'd HATE to disappoint them again."
Juliana pouted up at her brothers. "Fine. But you must tell me!"
Caius kissed her cheek. "Of course so long as you don't mention a word to our parents."
"Oh I promise!" she exclaimed excitedly following them inside.
"Not a word." Marcus felt compelled to add and receiving a slap on the back of his head from Caius.
Pilium- Long Roman Spear
Retiarius- A gladiator who fights with a net , trying to trap his opponent and dispatch him with a trident and wore only a short tunic or apron (usually paired with a secutor)
Thracian- A gladiator who fought with a curved dagger (or scimitar) and used a small round shield (often worn on the arm- usually paired with a mirmillo)
If anything is wrong let me know I've always loved Rome and want to make this as real as possible enjoy and review!!!