Ettore's Women: A Tale of Slavery in Ancient Rome
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by Terri Pray
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: "Scorching hot!" says Literary Nymphs. Ettore's Women is the classic of three women forced into sexual slavery . The zine Literary Nymphs raves, "Ms. Pray captured the atmosphere well, and I found myself imagining the setting as I read. This book is not for the fainthearted, it contains scenes of spanking, slavery, and forced seduction. It is scorching hot. Ettore is the owner of a whorehouse who buys slaves and forces them into a life of sex--and yet, Ms Pray makes him likeable. That alone shows her incredible writing talent. He is not portrayed as evil, but rather as a man giving women an alternative lifestyle--even though some do not make that choice willingly. Something about him made me want to crawl into the book and sign up for a bed. Terry Pray is a fantastic writer and I would recommend Ettore's Women to all lovers of Erotica. I can't wait for her next book."
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler,
eBookwise Release Date: November 2006
37 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [129 KB]
Reading time: 85-120 min.
The coals glowed in the brazier, casting their low light across the small room. Shadows played along the walls with each movement of the stranger's hand and the cold touch in his eyes left her feeling sick to the core. That his dress spoke of a high station and wealth did little to ease her growing fears, and she might as well have been naked from the way her skin crawled each time he glanced her way.
"Fifty drachmas in exchange for a daughter you do not want or need seems to be more than a fair price, and would mean the debt is paid." The dark-eyed man spoke only to her father, ignoring Alessia, despite the fact she was the topic of the conversation. "I'd be able to purchase three or four women for the price I am offering to you, Miran, so think about this before you answer."
The man, whose name she still didn't know, glanced back over at Alessia. His very glance made her sick to the stomach. She knew about men like this one. Men who roamed the land looking for women who could be sold into slavery, or exchanged for the cost of a bag of grain or in some cases a few amphora's of cheap wine.
But she wasn't one of those women.
Not wanted or needed, how could he think that? Her Father wouldn't sell her to this man, not even to free the family of the debt owed and leave them with money to spare. It just wasn't something he would do. So why did her stomach feel as though a pond stone had settled there?
Money, every day her Father spoke of the money they needed as a family to survive, and now to be offered so much without ever having to repay it. Who, in their position, would not be tempted?
No, he'd tell the man to leave, send him on his way and tell him to beg for forgiveness from the gods for trying to entice an honest man into a dishonor. Miran was a good man, even if he had been left with three children and one of them a girl child who could not provide for the family the way her brothers did.
Alessia tried her best, though, working in the small field at the side of the house, tending the brief crop, the house, preparing food for her father and brothers. They all had to know that it had been she who had taken care of the home and small chores since their mother had passed away.
She had worked just as hard as her brothers and would continue to do so. If she left, then there would be no one around to take care of the cooking, the cleaning, or the repairs to their clothing. Not one of her brothers knew how to make a simple repair to a tunic. Let alone how make one from scratch.
So why did her father now cast a calculating eye her way?
"Fifty drachmas, you say?" Her father rubbed one thumb over his cheek. "That's a lot of money to offer a man, Ettore."
Ettore. Now at least she had the name of the brute.
Alessia peered at the man. Where did she know that name from? Had she heard it in the village?
"Yes, it is. And I'll pay you here and now. Whereas if she stays with you, sooner or later she will expect a dowry, draining your family even further, or she will come home with a full belly. This way she can help provide for you family, with enough money to feed you all for a year, buy seed grain, perhaps put some aside for a prayer to the Gods."
A man who had traveled from place to place in the past few months, buying women. Hadn't there been a warning about such a man? Not just any general wanderer and slave trader but one that had a place in Athens. One who ran a temple, no not a temple a house of...
Great Zeus no!
The man owned a house of Aphrodite.
"Father...?" Alessia stood up.
"And there would be no repayments, just a straight trade?"
"No repayments, I'll swear that within the temple of Apollo, Zeus or any other of your choosing. I'm an honest trader of flesh and your daughter would not be the first one I have purchased in such a manner." Ettore's smile chilled Alessia through to the core and left her measuring out the distance to the closed door. How could her Father be considering this? What honor was there is selling off his own flesh?
Others had done it before her father had been tempted, but never had she thought her own kin would fall prey to the lure of a slaver's coin.
Her brothers, they would be home soon and would stop him, they'd see what he was doing and just how wrong it was. She'd always been there for them; they would return the favor now.
"She is untouched I hope?"
Flame touched her cheeks, nervous steps taking her into the shadows of the room, drawing her back from the sharp gaze of the man.
"That I know of, yes. Alessia is a good daughter, or has been, and I doubt she has let a man slip between her thighs. I might be wrong on this, but I do not think so." Her father glanced towards Alessia's hiding place, nodding once towards her but his eyes held no sign of mercy. "She's normally here, working within the home and honoring her brothers and I."
"Please, Father, send this man away. He has no place in our lives."
"Be silent, woman, this is between your Father and I and is not for the likes of you to interfere in," Ettore snapped, shooting a look that silenced Alessia long enough for him to pass a long look over her wool-clad body. "Fifty-five drachmas, no more."
"You can't do this to me! My brothers will not permit it, they'll hunt you down as the cur you are and offer your skull to Thanatous!" Her fingers clenched into tight fists as her fury built to breaking point. "Father, tell him to leave our home before your sons return and see you tempted into such dishonor."
"Your brothers? Do you truly think that your brothers will rescue you, girl?" Ettore laughed, pushing up from the bench like chair opposite her father. "Who do you think advised me to stop here and speak with your Father?"
Her lips moved, but the words refused to take the life offered to them. A cold hand clenched around her heart as the walls of the small house she had called home closed in on her.
"Fifty-five drachmas then, if you take her now. I don't want to have to try and keep her here for you until you see fit to collect her."
"Father! You can't do this to me. It isn't right!"
Ettore cleared the gap between them, his hand flashing out before Alessia had the chance to realize what he was doing.
Pain erupted across her face, knuckles connecting with her cheek, sending her crashing to the ground in a blinding rain of bright sparks that danced across her vision. "I told you to be silent, woman. It is best that you learn to obey me and those who answer to me."
"Father, please." Tears stung at her eyes, pain throbbed through her face but still Alessia pleaded with her father. "You can't do this to me, I'm your daughter. I belong here, with my family. With you." Coins glinted under the light from the brazier, counted slowly into the waiting hands of her father.
Tears streamed down her face. This wasn't happening to her. Any moment now her brothers would walk into their home and put a stop to this. She wasn't meant to be sold off like this. There was a husband waiting for her somewhere. An honorable marriage, children and her own farm some time in the future. Not a life as a slave, sold to the highest bidder.
"I have no daughter or child named Alessia." He didn't even look up from the coins. The man she had held in the highest of honors next to the Gods themselves refused to look at her as the coins claimed his attention.
* * * *
Ettore's cold smile followed the grab of his hand as it tightened about her wrists the moment they stepped out into the early morning sun. Cords that were little more than a finger-woven leash of fibers were bound in place until Alessia could no longer part her wrists, leaving a leash that led from her wrists into his grip, enough to guide her through the outskirts of the city without having to resort to heavy bonds, yet still prevent her from breaking free.
Not unless someone offered help.
That wasn't going to happen. She was a slave, anyone they passed or met on the road could see that. A freewoman wouldn't be treated in the way she now was. Instead of help she was met with looks of scorn or pity.
She had first thought that the men would be the worst of all to deal with. Some called out offers to buy her. Others tried to flip up the edge of her dress but at least Ettore prevented them from doing anything more than that. She couldn't even defend herself from unwanted touches now. Not with the way her hands had been bound.
Yet all of that had been nothing compared to the way the women had treated her.
Foul names, dirt, and spit, she had been on the receiving end of all of them and more. How they could treat her in such a manner remained a mystery until one woman pushed matters almost too far.
"Whore," the dark eyed woman yelled, and picked up a stone from the side of the road. "Stupid little slut."
"Damage my property and you will find yourself acting as her replacement," Ettore growled.
The woman blinked and backed up, dropping the stone. "Forgive me, sir. It's just that the likes of her should not be marched through the open roads where decent people might be abroad."
"She is a slave, just like a dozen others you will have seen this day."
The woman dusted off her hand and lifted the edge of her robe back over her dark curls. "No, sir. She is not. Unlike others who work hard in the fields or know the honor of being a maid, that one lays on her back to tempt decent men away from their honest wives."
Heat flushed across Alessia's cheeks. "I'm no whore, lady. Please. I beg mercy from you. Help me!"
"He runs a whore house, all know that. To end up in his care you must be a whore already. He would not take a decent woman into his keeping. So keep your protestations to yourself. I'll not listen to the lying words of a slut."
"And you will keep yourself from throwing stones at other people's property as well, lady. Good wives know to keep their mouths shut and out of the affairs of men. Be gone with you before I inform your husband that you have too much time on your hands."
The woman blanched and tugged the cloth over her face even as she turned and hurried away."
"Silly bitch, if she truly knew how to please her husband then he wouldn't be straying to places such as mine." Ettore shook his head and pulled Alessia along the road.
She clenched her teeth. How dare he just walk into her life, her home and turn her world upside down like this.
Dust kicked up under her saddled feet, stinging at eyes already sore from the tears she had been unable to hold within. The long summer months had left a thin film of dust across most of the roads leading into Athens.
Now that dust added to the growing misery that threatened to claim her heart.
How could her father have done that, even with the money problems the family had been fighting through, she couldn't come to terms with what had happened?
"Keep moving, woman, we've a big night ahead of us tonight." Ettore pulled on the leash that bound about Alessia's wrists. "The games end at dusk and the house will be one of the first places they will seek out. A fresh little thing like you will attract attention, and I'll make a pretty drachma on your first night."
"I won't go with you!" Fear fueled her actions as Alessia tugged back against his grip on the lips. "I won't do this. You can't make me."
"Oh, and what makes you think you have a choice, woman? You're mine, a slave, a piece of property. I can kill you, sell you or strip the skin off your back if I want to." Ettore turned, scowling back at her as the grip on the end of the leash tightened. "It's best that you remember that. I have handled women like you before."
"No." The word stumbled from her lips. "No, you could let me go, forget about this."
"And what about the money I paid for you?" He leaned forward, touching the side of her face but the kindness she associated with the gesture never showed from his eyes. "Do you expect me to just forget about that as well?"
"I'll find a way to pay you back," Alessia whispered. "I'll find a way to get the money to you and then you won't have to do this to me."
"How will you do that? You own nothing, are nothing, at best you could try and steal it from your father and then what? He'll hand you straight back over to me in return for the money being counted back into his hand." Ettore shook his head. "You have so much to learn about men and life in general but I'm sure you'll learn quickly enough. Once you've been bedded the first time you'll quickly pick up the tricks that that other women employ to tease the visiting patrons in order to encourage them to part with their money."
"Then there is nothing I can do to persuade you to let me go?"
"Nothing at all, girl. You'd best get used to the idea."
Alessia's shoulders slumped, and what slim hopes she had clung to vanished with Ettore's words. What deity had she offended in order to find her life destroyed in such a cruel manner? Had she not left offerings at the temples whenever she had been able to spare the coin?
She'd done everything possible as a devoted daughter to support her family and remain true to the gods and still this had happened.
"You are nothing more than another delicious delight to entertain my guests, and you should be thankful your father sold you to me. Sooner or later he'd have found a way to be rid of you. You're better off being sold to me than to a farmer or merchant. If that had happened you'd have been forced to spend your remaining days grubbing away tending a dozen squalling brats." He stroked his thumb along the side of her face before smoothing his hand into her dark locks and claiming them in a cruel grip. "It would be easier on you to accept your new life. I suggest you lean on the women within my home for advice on just what will be expected from you. The other way would be very painful for you Alessia, of that I have no doubt. Just remember this, no matter which path you take, the outcome remains the same. You are my slave and will remain such until I decide otherwise."
The lead weight that had been her heart sank further into her guts with each word.
"But I don't want..."
"Since when does it matter what the wishes of a slave are? They have two choices, to either obey or be punished." He tightened his grip in her hair, forcing a tight arch into her back.
A shiver ran through her body, her throat dried out as she met his gaze unable to do anything more than whimper.
"What do you say, Alessia? Must I punish you here in front of anyone that might walk past us? Will you obey me, Alessia?" He gave her a firm shake. "Answer me girl!"
"Yes, Master. I'll obey you," she half sobbed.
"Good, because at the end of the day what other choice is there for you?"