A little late in the day but here’s the promised snippet.
This is from chapter one which begins with Dinah being summoned by the Roman commander. If you’ve been reading my blurbs and the other snippets, you’ll realize that the commander, Tabor, is not the hero.
However, more than a few of those who read the manuscript before I sold immediately bonded to Tabor as the hero. I’m hoping this isn’t a problem now that I’ve got a blurb. 🙂
It’s all Tabor’s fault. He refuses to be ordinary.
In any case, feel free to bond to him as a character as he does play a large role in the story.
Licinius and Ceti handed their horses over to a guard who saluted and faded back. As they walked, her boots squished in the mud from yesterday’s rain.
She didn’t bother to look around. Even without the oil lanterns that dotted the camp, she could have found her way. Memorizing the layout of a Roman
encampment had been one of the first lessons from her master. The final test of her knowledge had been walking through a simulacrum of one, blindfolded.
She’d passed. She’d been all of eight years old.
Instead, she listened. Rocks scraped against metal to sharpen it. Hammers pounded on armor to knock out dents. These soldiers expected a fight at any time. Her thumb rubbed the hilt of her hidden knife, tracing the great cat carved into it. She had never wanted to be in a military camp on the eve of
battle ever again.
Licinius set a fast pace with his long legs and she was breathing heavy by the time they reached Tabor’s field headquarters. One side of the command
tent was covered with the painting of a bald eagle, white head against a blue sky. Seneca’s symbol, both for the family and the settlement named after them, the same design that the old lord wanted on the signet ring. Too bad she couldn’t make either become real and fly away with the great bird.
The tent guard, another one of Tabor’s tight-lipped and serious soldiers, pulled aside the cloth door and passed them through with a quiet nod.
Tabor, in full uniform save for his helmet, dominated the tent. He paced back and forth, verbally tossing out orders to his staff, who were gathered around an oval wooden table in the center.
Tabor’s red woolen cloak swirled around him. His heavy winter boots made deep impressions in the soft ground. Only the sawdust poured onto the dirt
prevented a muddy mess.
Licinius announced their arrival. Tabor stopped in mid-stride. His cloak settled about his shoulders and he nodded to her. The staff officers around the
table froze, listening.
“You summoned me,” she said to Tabor, ignoring everyone else. Not quite a question, not quite a complaint, but a little of both.
“I have a task for you.” Tabor chopped the air with his arm and ordered everyone out, from his scribe to his top aide. The scribe grumbled but shut his mouth in mid-sentence at Tabor’s angry glance.
No one else dared voice an objection. Licinius left first, with a quiet nod. The staff officers stared at her as they passed. No doubt some assumed their commander wanted sex to soothe his nerves. False. She might have tempted him if he liked women in his bed but he did not. Too bad that Tabor did not
have a twin, one she could tempt.
“I need your skill,” he said. Like always, his brisk manner was more like a large feral wolf than the polished Roman patrician he actually was. But like a patrician, he took what he wanted, when he wanted.