Axilla goes against orders to find out the fate of his outpost, only to realize he has made the greatest sacrifice of his lifetime. His existence now rests on his skills to survive his captivity as a Roman gladiator.
Corvina, the scarred protector of her outpost, faces challenges to her loyalty as a constant reminder of her failures. Powerful forces put her in the center of Rome to spy and safeguard her people and the old Roman ways.
It falls to the lost Roman legionnaire and the scarfed woman to orchestrate the heroic plan of saving an empire from itself. They coordinate a daring escape and set the challenge on the very steps of Rome's aristocracy. A fight to inspire a rebellion, a fight to inspire a revolution.
Corvina blanched at his phrasing and assumption. The moment she passed the offerings to Axilla, her place would be solidified in this man's mind. And how lonely for these others to know they would receive no such favors.
From the corner of her vision, she saw Axilla lift his head. He looked so weary, almost soulless. It broke her heart. No matter what she had gone through for her men it could not hold much weight to what her hero had obviously been force into these last months.
He heaved a great sigh and raised himself up off the cot. He trudged toward her. "What is it m'lady? Do you have woolen blankets for the lot of us?" He stepped up to the bars.
Corvina took a step back and nervously adjusted her scarf tighter around her face so only her eyes were visible. "I do not, m'lord. I have gifts from the lady Ruga, for you."
He nodded. "Then hand them over and be gone. I am tired and wish to rest."
She thrust the blanket and potion through the rails. "She sends her best to you and is glad you prevailed today."
He took the offerings but his wry smirk let Corvina know how ludicrous he found this information. Then a sudden hint of recognition colored his gaze. "Corvina?" He dropped the gifts to the floor and pressed against the bars, grasping them with his hands. "I am so thankful to lay eyes on you again."
The shock of his identification left her speechless and she stepped further back. The guards could not know they were familiar with each other, else her time in the palace would be in jeopardy.
"Hush," she hissed in a whisper. "Do not say my name aloud again."
Axilla nodded. "Why do you wear a scarf across your face?"
"To hide my identity."