A dear author mate of mine, A E Ryecart, tagged me on Facebook to share the first three sentences from the first three chapters of one of my WIPs (works in progress).
I should be editing Luc and Bry’s Saturnalia story, but the desire to play with Allerix and Gaius was too strong. And I was supposed to share only the first line/sentence from each chapter. I got carried away. 😉
These are unedited, ippy wippy drafts. Anything might change or be scrapped entirely, but here you go…
After they’d ascended the final steps of the last staircase leading to Decius’s Quirinal estate, Commander Fabius growled between labored breaths. “If my new client, Gnaeus Decius, dares to feign ignorance over the location of Luc’s financial records, I swear I’ll shove my blade into the swine’s swollen belly. Stop me before I do. Understood?”
Unsure what to say, Max glanced at Bry. “Um, I—I’ll do my best, sir.”
“I’d gladly witness the greasy pork stuck right in his—,” Bryaxis mumbled until Max elbowed him. Hard.
He scanned the cupboard shelves laden with carefully organized scrolls and sighed. Nothing. He’d read them all. At least twice. Every damn book in the Roman’s private library. Months of imprisonment confined within this spooky, gigantic mansion in Rome had left Alle little to do other than read, bathe, eat, and satisfy his master’s insatiable appetites. A housebound pleasure slave.
Guarded. Watched. Detained.
Allerix wiped the black fringe away from his eyes before extracting a well-worn roll of Virgil.
More fucking idiotic heroics of Aeneas. Again.
Crusty grit coated the insides of his nostrils. Allerix stopped to cough into his fist, but no matter how many times he’d cleared his throat, fine sand mixed with blood and the stench of thousands of crazed spectators lingered in his mouth. His nose. His ears.
“Move your arse, Dacian,” Varius barked and shoved him forward, away from the great circus. When Alle’s left sandal caught the edge of a paving block, Gaius grabbed Allerix’s arm and steadied his balance.
“Watch where you’re walking and keep pace, căţel. We’ve one more engagement before I can retire to the baths. An overdue task I’ve been anxious to complete for some time now.”
“May I ask a question, Dominus?”
“You may. What is it?”
Alle recalled the impish, toothy smile of his dear friend, Gorgas. The lad had appeared happier than Alle would have anticipated, given the right shitty circumstances. At least racing chariots seemed exciting.
“For how long do charioteers live? Do they die young?”
“It depends on the skill of the driver. Skill, and the whims of the fickle Fates. And you’ve asked two questions, yes? Hold that talented tongue of yours until I give you permission to speak, if I do. Come along.”