Livia knew the moment she set eyes on him that the new Julius Caesar was destined for far more than the Senate expected of him. He did not carry himself like a soldier, the way his dead father had; he carried himself like a king.
He could be shaped into a king, in the hands of the right sculptor. But first, they must meet.
Later, she would not remember the event itself – whose house it was or who had attended or what the occasion had been – but she would remember his eyes, the moment he lost interest in the rest of the world and focused all his attention on her.
At first, he had not given her more than a cursory glance – until she began speaking. Then he listened as though he had never heard a woman talk before, as if they normally opened their mouths and brayed like donkeys.
When she finally closed her mouth and smiled, a smile that promised as much as it concealed, she knew she had him. Her family's political connections did not matter, her marriage did not matter, her pregnancy did not matter – he was hers. And by every appearance, she would be his.