A sex slave who’s never been touched… National bestselling author Lisa Cach spins an erotic, passionate novel about a young Roman Empire slave who’s intended to become her king’s concubine—until a rugged barbarian prince takes her heart…and more.
Lovely Nimia is a slave to King Sygarius, who’s grooming her to be his consort as soon as she reaches full womanhood. And that time is very close. Nimia is forced to attend shocking lessons in the erotic arts; lessons that leave her body aroused and her mind conflicted. Because while she’s attracted to Sygarius’s power and eroticism, her spirit rebels at being his slave.
Then one of Sygarius’s allies comes to visit. Smart and ambitious, Clovis burns to take over Sygarius’s kingdom—and the beautiful Nimia. And though her virginity is meant for Sygarius, Clovis takes it with her enthusiastic consent.
When Sygarius learns that she is no longer a virgin, Nimia flees for her life. But can she find Clovis before the wrath of Sygarius—and imminent death—finds her first?
I imagined I could feel Clovis’s gaze upon me. Did he know what he was looking at? I told myself he did; that he, of them all, knew that it was not a costume he was seeing, but my own skin.
It didn’t matter, though, for as Kina plucked the lyre, I became the nymph, Lotus, and the audience faded away. Music, dance, and song always transported me to a place beyond the present—or perhaps it was a place deep inside myself. All I knew was that the world around me disappeared, replaced by one of my imagination.
The lyre was my voice, expressing my emotions as I wandered through a meadow, picked a flower, and savored the warmth of the sun on my skin. An imaginary butterfly landed on my fingertip, and as it flew away I grasped two thin reeds that had been hidden in my full skirts, one on each side. Their bottom ends were attached to my hem, and when I lifted one reed in each hand, the flowing yards of fabric lifted into the air like butterfly wings. A sigh of delight went through the room, the soft echo of it barely piercing my trance.
I danced and spun to the music of the lyre and flute, flicking my wrists and looping my arms to make my fabric wings ripple and flow. As my body followed the choreographed moves that I’d practiced so many times before, my soul began to float free.
Yes. This is what I sought, this transcendence, this freeing from the bonds of the earth, my body, my thoughts. Though I still saw the meadow in my imagination, new visions began to flicker at its edges: a face I did not know; a stormy sea; a haze of shimmering gold.
The shimmering gold . . . there was something important about it. I strained toward it, trying to see it more clearly, but the dance was almost at its end. There was one more chance, one more moment when I might see it all.
I drew a gasp from the audience when I took a great leap into the air, wings outspread, seeming to hover there as if truly I could fly—while in my mind I sought that shimmer of gold only to have it fade away, a mystery still. I landed in a small crouch upon the floor, my wings together above my back, resting with the slightest of trembles like a newborn butterfly drying its wings in the sun.
One tense note played upon the lyre, plucked again and again.
The moment stretched, tension rising, and then a burst of music from the pipes—and of laughter from the audience—heralded the arrival of Donkey, played by a servant named Marcelius, in a plaster donkey’s head with laughably large ears and teeth. He lumbered into Lotus’s meadow and tried to eat her wings, his movable jaw champing loudly. Lotus laughed and shooed him away, and then nymph and donkey capered together, playing at chasing one another.
Then, oh, Lotus grew so sleepy and in need of a nap. And look, here was a lovely couch upon which to lie. I patted Donkey and then gracefully lay down on my back, twisting my lower body slightly onto my side to better show the dip of my waist and the swell of my hip. I lay my arms partially folded above my head, leaving my body open, vulnerable.
A feast for the taking.
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