The general and the queen fight; a boy becomes a man
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The moon was full and clear over the ruined villa’s central buildings. Three figures stood at the far edge of the courtyard, their steaming breath intertwining beneath the eaves of the peristyle. The woman opened her cloak, undid the top buttons of her dress, reached inside and pulled a bejewelled torc from around her neck. Germanus looked intently at Aureliana as he fingered the torc, while Lupus tried to work out what each was thinking and planning. Germanus smiled wryly; Aureliana nodded in reply then turned away from him and toward the central lawn. Once there, she waited for Germanus to join her. With her back to the two men, Aureliana drew a gladius from under her outer tunic.  

‘Here!’ a voice cried.

Aureliana turned round to see Bishop Germanus ready to fight.


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