A Higher Duty: A Tale of Christians in Rome

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Summary

If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Rome, Anno Domini 65. Ever since the great fire, Christians have been the talk of the city. No matter what the conversation, you are sure to touch on them. Camilla has often discussed them, but never actually met one in person. Until Avilius. What started out as a mere game to attract his attention, quickly escalates into a full fledged war between Camilla and Sybylla, as mistress and slave fight for his affections. Avilius will now find his convictions challenged by the seductive noblewoman. Sybylla must grapple with feelings of jealousy and anger against her rival, who always seems to have the greater advantage. And in a time and place where to confess to be a Christian is to pronounce your own death sentence, Camilla will try and figure out what is it about these strange people that makes them cling so stubbornly to their faith, even when staring in the face of certain death.

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
cradle_life
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
5
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Book I: No Greater Love. Prologue.

Book I: No Greater Love.

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We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. -- 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

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Prologue.

"I was afraid you wouldn't come," Caelia whispered as Sybylla slipped beside her.

"I was afraid myself," Sybylla whispered back.

"What was it that kept you?"

Before Sybylla could answer, Avilius, who was sitting beside them, leaned over. "Did the two of you come here to chat or listen?"

"Both," Caelia snapped at him. "Don't interrupt! Was it your mistress that kept you back so long?"

"In a manner of speaking, yes."

Annoyed, Avilius turned from the speaker to the girls. "What is it that the two of you are whispering about?"

"Why should you care?" Caelia retorted. Sybylla was more understanding.

"We're sorry, Avilius, we'll quiet down. It was only about the reason I was late.

Curiosity sparked in Avilius' dark eyes. "Was it something serious that kept you?"

"If you call my mistress's inability to make up her mind serious, then I guess it was serious."

Despite himself, Avilius was interested now. "I never actually heard much about your mistress," he stated in a hushed voice. No need to distract more people as it was."Is she someone of importance?"

"She thinks she is," Sybylla snorted.

"Oh?" Avilius lifted an eyebrow. "She's some noblewoman, right?"

Sybylla sighed. "Not just some noblewoman. She iCamilla Florentina."

"Who?"

"Come now, Avilius, even you must have heard of her, all the city has. My mistress Camilla Florentina, daughter to Tribune Marcus Junius Flavius, Rome's Favorite Flower." Sybylla took a deep breath. "And a tyrant in innocence's clothing."

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