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"I will have you chained to my bed for the rest of your days!"
Revulsion and disgust surged through her veins. Aspasia bit back the nasty response on her tongue. No need to provoke her master.
A shout resonated from another chamber in the sprawling home.
"I will be back for you in a moment." The master gestured to the guard with the flip of his hand. "You may play with her until I return."
Aspasia locked gazes with her guard, Atticus. He folded his thick, muscle-corded arms. His expression remained blank. When the master’s footsteps no longer echoed on the stone floor, Atticus moved into action and wrapped his meaty fingers around her arm. "Get into the hallway."
Frightened by his brusque tone, Aspasia complied. She gathered her torn chiton and covered her nudity. Never one to act against wishes, she prayed to whichever God listened to make the sexual encounter quick and painless. Being with Visius humiliated her to her core, but, as a slave, her complicity was demanded or she risked the whip...again.
"Come on. Before he returns." Atticus’ gruff voice sent chills down her spine. "He deserves the wrath of Zeus for his actions."
Her heart hammered within her chest. Atticus rarely spoke. Could he be acting against orders? Ice slid through her veins. Did he want her as his own slave? She bit back a sob. Too many times the people she trusted used her kindness as leverage to gain favour with Visius. Though not conventionally handsome—with hooded eyes, a square jaw, and a body honed for battle—she liked Atticus. Had they met outside Visius’ gate, she might have loved him.
At the end of the corridor, Atticus opened a small wooden door. Moonlight streamed across the tiled floor. "Go."
For the first time in months, she found her voice. "Where? I have nowhere to go."
A sparkle twinkled in his dark eyes for a moment. The corner of his mouth kinked into a faint smile. "Head west until you see a creek. Do not stop. Just run. You will be safe."
Knowing she had no alternative, she kissed his massive hand then surged through the doorway. The cool night air prickled her skin, but she refused to stop. At the entry gates, she pushed any thoughts of her captor and his strict rules from her mind. Gravel crunched under her bare feet, but she ignored the pain. Freedom numbed the pricks and stabs from the sharp rocks.