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What She Thinks About

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At night, when he's done fucking her, Eirene likes to lie awake and think about how she's going to do it.

Poison would be easiest. There's a Greek herbalist a few streets over who'll sell anything to anyone. And she's got coin, now that she's Titus's wife. A few sestertii should buy her something clever, something he won't taste in his wine or his soup.

Yes, poison would be easy, and that's why Eirene won't use it. Drop a bit of powder in a cup . . . it wouldn't even feel like killing.

What she'd really like to do is beat his head in. Knock his skull against the paving stones until it's as soft and oozing as a dropped melon. That's what Titus did, and so it would be only fair. Trouble is, she's not strong enough.

But she could hire someone. There are men around every day that she's sure would do it, and willingly. They might even fuck him up the ass first, like they did to that other man.

It would cost a lot of money, though, probably more than Eirene has. Anyway, she wants to do it herself. She wants to smell his blood and feel it on her hands.

She'll use a knife. A sharp thin one, quick to slide between the ribs or along the throat. As simple as killing a chicken, and that's something any woman knows how to do.

When she does it, she'll look Titus in the face. She'll see the knowledge spread across it, that he's been fooled, that she was only waiting her moment, her revenge. That it's too late and he's helpless to stop her.

That Lucius Vorenus is dead. The only person Titus loves.

Titus will kill her, after. But she'll die smiling.