Vestal Virgin (4)
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For ten days Malun stayed with Iulia, working and learning how to turn olives into the oil her family once went to the shore to buy. She liked that life of early mornings and hard work, but the image of those who hunted for her frightened her soul into sleepless nights and anxious days.

Could she trust Iulia would not give her to them if they asked? Yes, she could. But how good was that, really? If Iulia tried to protect her, when she was but an old woman tending a small olive grove that wasn’t hers, how would it end? If the hunters were to find her here, any resistance could only conclude with Iulia dead. Malun couldn’t add the death of such a gentle heart to her already enormous despair. It was time to run again.

“Tomorrow, as soon as the sun peaks over the grove, I’...

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