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Short Story Fridays: Severus the Rogue- Reprieve


Tweet of the Day: Cultural Differences

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46

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Quando tu Gaius, ego Gaia,” she said and with those words we were wed.

She bid her friends farewell, left a token for her father, a clay pigeon he bought for her when she was five. Anthony escorted us back home. He made it a point to speak to Justine as often as possible, in cordial, if unusual for him, way.

I rode beside him. “She’s my wife, you know.”

“Oh, I know. But she is also the newest member of our family and I was curious about the woman that finally set you on the straight and narrow.”

“Me! On the–” I glanced back at Justine. She glowed in the summer sunlight with her yellow saffron robe and white girdle. Her hair, decorated with garlands cascaded in thin ripples around her shoulders. And she carried our child.

“What was that brother?”

“Nothing,” I said.

He laughed loudly. It boomed  like a hunting hound barking for scraps at the dinner table. “I’m sure Father will be very please to hear the news,” he said.

“You didn’t send a runner ahead?”

He doubled over with laughter, “Of course not! Why would I ruin this moment? The look on your face is priceless. And I’ll enjoy watching as you explain this whole fiasco to Father.” He dug his heels on the stallions flanks and sped to the front of the column. As the sun dipped behind the western wall of  Virocorium, we passed through the front gates. The spectacle of a mixed wedding party/military column attracted the eyes of many a curious onlooker. We dismounted in outer courtyard of the Geta home.

“What is this?” shouted my father from the front door.

“The question, Father, is who is this. I present you Justine Honoria, my wife and mother to be,” I said.

Mother elbowed past Father, took Justine hands, gave her a look over and embraced her, “Welcome to the family.”

“Wait a minute, I did not, do not, approve of this!” said Father.

Mother rounded on Father, “So what! She is your son’s wife and the mother our grandchild. That should be good enough. It’s more than this one has done, playing soldier.”

“MO-MO-MOTHER!” sputtered Anthony.

“Oh, and before I forget, there is this,” I signaled to the house servants who brought our baggage. Rolls of fine linen, a full set of arms and armor and a coffer of silver coins. I slapped Anthony on the back, my hand rebounded off his muscular shoulder blade, “But let us not forget the hero of the hour, who saved a city from a barbarian rampage and secured my rescue from very difficult circumstances.”

Anthony jaw dropped. He deserved the praise, of course, even if he only acted after I appealed to his vanity.

“Oh Anthony! You’re a good boy! Always taking care of your brother,” said Mother with a pinch of his cheeks.

Father sighed, “Well young lady, welcome to your new home. Join us for dinner, we,” he squinted at me, “have a lot to talk about.”

We held hands, “Welcome home.”

She kissed me on the cheek, “Thank you.”

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