The Fortuna lolled in a trough, tilting sideways. A fresh clean breeze hurried into the cabin where Lucianus sat beside the repaired bed. A rosy color of sunset washed the deck outside where sea gulls screeched in the sky. Cold waves sloshed against the oars as they cut through them.

“Dominus, go to her.” Gennadius whispered. Lucianus leaned closer to hear the man. “He’ll kill her.”

Lucianus stared at the cabin door, picturing Aelia wrapped in her palla, her green eyes as deep as Neptune’s seas. Four days since Aelia had cut Gennadius loose. Too late to go back now. His heart had died knowing she would be dead. His throat closed with tears.

The cut in Lucianus’s palm throbbed as he looked at the bandage wrapping his hand. The full weight of his oath sank even deeper into his soul. He’d kill the bastard for this…and for her.

Lucianus, a plebian, and Aelia, a patrician’s daughter and wife, are in a hopeless love. Or is it?

What started this story was a fact I discovered that, by law, a patrician husband could kill his wife or child if they disobeyed them. (It did have to be approved by the temple priests first.) BUT he could not sell her into slavery. Excuse me? Wouldn’t that be a death sentence for a patrician woman? Or any woman for that matter.

So, that’s how Vows of Revenge came about.

Lucianus, a neighbor who has assisted Aelia in the absence of her husband while he is off to war and making a name for himself. And hubby is a full blown…yeah…a perfect antagonist to be nice. I promise you, you will not like Cassius. However, Lucianus was modeled after Michael Corleone from the many times I watched Godfather.

I am proud to say that Lucianus would make Michael proud as he pursues the woman he loves and deals with hubby, Aelia’s father, and Rome itself. I too am very proud of Lucianus. What I did discovered was…Lucianus loves with his whole heart, but do not cross him. Do not. You will be sorry. Very sorry.

I loved writing this early BCE story set when Pompeii was a dirt town, and when pirates ruled the seas. That was fun.

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