Roman Games by Bruce MacBain

Roman Games by Bruce MacBain

Author:Bruce MacBain [MacBain, Bruce]
Language: eng
Format: epub

The second hour of the night.

The forecourt of the temple was silent but for the susurrus of breathing, the intermittent sighs and grunts of the sleepers, the dreamers. Behind his jackal mask, Alexandrinus’ eyes swept over them. Then one, a dark shadow against the wall, stirred, stood up, and came toward him, stepping carefully among the recumbent forms.

He hurried her into his private room. Her face was tear-streaked.

“I can’t stay there another night, Alex. He rants, he threatens to kill me, he’s going to challenge the will, he’s even talking about hiring that odious Pliny for his lawyer.” She clung to him.

With difficulty, the priest unlocked her arms and stepped back. “Calm yourself, my dear. Let Lucius say what he likes. The seal and the forged numeral were perfect! And the emperor will support us, if it comes to that. He’s a devotee and he has a financial interest in the will going unchallenged. We’ve won, do you understand? Isis is with us. Feel her power.”

But Turpia Scortilla would not be reasoned with. “Lucius will kill me. He’s half out of his mind.”

“He won’t. The house is full of soldiers, isn’t it? Let him threaten, he doesn’t dare do anything.”

“Please, let me stay here in the temple with you. I can’t go back there.”

“Absolutely not. We can’t be seen together until all this dies down. Lucius would have grounds for challenging the will if he could prove something about us. We’re about to inherit two million. Just be patient a little longer.”

“Alex—Lord Anubis—don’t forget that it was I who got it for you. You won’t will you? I love you. Make love to me.”

But he took off the long-snouted mask and set it aside, exposing his beautiful skull. He wouldn’t play the lusty god with her tonight; he wasn’t in the mood.

Soon she left, walking with her head down and moaning softly. In the stillness of the night, it was a sound that Nectanebo, working late as usual in his embalming shop, was bound to hear.


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