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Authors: A.L. Jambor

Pello Island: Cassia (22 page)

BOOK: Pello Island: Cassia
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Livia hesitated before asking her next question.  Newcomers were reluctant to talk about their crimes, but he would be living with her, and she wanted to know before he got too comfortable.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

Darius hesitated.  He wasn’t sure he should tell her they’d sentenced him as a murderer, however innocent he may be.  Finally, he just told her the truth.

“I met a girl, Cassia.  Her father was a wealthy merchant.  She was young and beautiful.  Her father wanted us to marry, and I had gambling debts.  He offered to pay them if I married her.  But…”

Livia watched him intently.  She reached across the table and placed her hand upon his, and he continued.

“My father could never agree to a marriage between his son and a merchant’s daughter.  My brother paid my debt, and I broke off the betrothal.”

“But that’s not the whole story,” Livia said.

He looked into her eyes.  She seemed to read his thoughts.

“No, that’s not the whole story.  I hid from her like a coward.  I cared for her, but gambling...”  He hesitated.  How could he explain to her his need for the dice?

“I found an older woman willing to give me money.  One day Cassia found me and we made love.  Somehow, during the night, her father found us.  When I woke up the next morning, his body was beside the bed and the dagger was in my hand.”

“Did you kill him?”

“No,” he said softly.  “Cassia’s father had a hired man.  He killed him.”

“But why didn’t you say something before they dragged you here?” she asked, her brows furrowed.

“I was on the docks when I realized it – it just came to me.  By then it was too late. They were putting us on the ship.”

Livia took her hand away.   He looked so tired.

“You should have fought harder to stay in Rome, to plead your innocence to a tribunal.”

She shook her head.  He was a patrician born with options she’d never had.  Was it cowardice, or something deeper that made him surrender his life for a crime he didn’t commit?

While she cleaned the plates, Darius lay his head down on his hands.  When she turned around, he was sound asleep.

“Sleep, patrician. You’ll learn how to fish tomorrow.”

She walked outside, grabbed her fishing net, and headed for the beach.

 

 

Other books by A.L. Jambor

 

But the Children Survived

Darius Pello Island 2

 

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Table of Contents

Preface

Cassia

Home - Schuylerville

Schuylerville, New York

A Friend in Need

Amatus on the Hill

Aspen, Colorado

For the Love of Little Cassia

Cassia's Wedding Day

Quintus' Moment on the Palatine

Schuylerville, New York

Rome - Cassia's Fifteenth Birthday

Quintus Seeks a Nobleman

Schuylerville, New York

A Fashionable District of Rome

Darius Makes a Decision

Cassia in Love

Novia's Lament

Anthony Lends a Hand

A Broken Betrothal

Quintus and Flavius

Heartbroken

Cassia Requests a Favor

The First One

Kingston, New York

A Lady's Assistance

A Rude Awakening

Kingston, New York

Incarceration

Lydia

Cassia

BOOK: Pello Island: Cassia
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