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“Salamis. If we hurry…”

I held up my hand, silencing her. “Have the household gather in the courtyard,” I told her, pulling my wits together. “Divide up as much food as we can carry. Have Nikos and Alexios take the jewelry and the other small valuables. We will go to my cousin’s house. Go wake the children.”

Anticleia nodded respectfully, obviously grateful to have someone in charge. “You don’t look well, Mistress. I’ll send Phanes up, before we leave.”

“No, don’t both—” But she was already out the door. I sighed and climbed out of bed. There was nothing the physician was going to be able to do for me.

As I pulled on a clean chiton—who knew when we’d have time for such things again?—I was surprised to find myself missing my husband. Kleon had gone north with the rest of the fighting men, taking the slave Bennu with him to carry his gear. There was nothing unusual in that, nor in the fact that the two men were lovers. It was the strength of their bond which was unnatural, wrought with magic and blood over two years ago.

My magic. Bennu’s magic. Her magic.

I was a dutiful wife, true, but had never been inclined toward men. I had agreed, like a good wife, to bear his children, even agreeing to his clumsy love charm to make things less distasteful. But Kleon’s obsessive passion for me had worn out what affection I had for him long before I thought to craft the spell that would bind Bennu in my place.

Bennu, already half in love with Kleon, had submitted eagerly. My husband, though attracted to Bennu, was…stubborn.

And then she came.

I shook myself, realizing I had stopped moving, half-dressed, one hand toying with the neckline of my gown. Focus!

A hesitant knock. “Mistress?” called Phanes through the door.

I sighed, tying my belt and arranging the folds of my chiton. “Come in.”

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