Title: Martyr of the Flaminian Gate (Work-In-Progress)
Genre: Erotic Romance
Tag-Line: A love that spans through the ages
In the times of the Roman Empire, it is declared that no solider would marry to distract them from battle, and their duties to their Emperor, Claudius Gothicus. Jacobus de Voragine hears these orders, but does not heed them. He seeks out a priest who would wed him and his love, Petronia. And that one decision of devotion causes them both unimaginable adversities. But there are some forces in this world, not even the Emperor can circumvent. The priest, Valentio sees the good in the hearts of men, especially Jacobus. And gives him a chance of a lifetime: to love purely and freely, no matter who tells him he can’t.
Jacobus splashed cold water onto his face, trying to relieve himself from some of these heavy thoughts. He had to see for himself exactly what had happened to Valentio—to pursue these texts Petronia had told him of.
And then, he had to figure out what to do next. Jacobus knew whatever that would be he’d have Aelia’s best interest at heart. Now that they were here, he had to know she would be okay, because there was a chance Petronia would never remember either of them. Meaning he had to accept they’d be on their own, in an existence he had to learn very fast.
“Father!” Aelia screamed from the other room. “There is something wrong with Petra.”
Without wiping his hands, he pulled on the doorknob and ran down the short hallway, back into the living room.
Petronia knelt on the floor, gripping her head like in severe pain. Her eyes closed and opened repeatedly, wincing. He launched forward, working on instinct alone. He picked her up, cradling her close to his chest as he brought her to the couch and laid her down.
He stole a quick glance to his daughter, who had tears streaming down her face. He wanted so badly to go to her, but he had to know what was wrong with his woman, before he could comfort his daughter.
“It hurts,” she moaned, curling onto her side with her hands gripping her head.
Jacobus brushed her hair from back from her forehead. “What can I do?”
Her eyes blinked back open, clearing at the sight of him. “Nothing. Did you just call me Petronia?”
He swore in the safety of his mind for the slip. He wanted to lie for the sake of not giving them up, and having her think gods knew what. But he didn’t. “Yes, I did.”
Petronia debated him, and when she finally answered him, she let him off the hook. “Could you please get me some water?”
“Of course.” Jacobus stood and walked to the kitchen, ruffling his daughter’s hair as he passed, trying to think what he would say next.
Jacobus started for the sink, having used one before. It had been strange when he’d first encountered modern plumbing. He had debated the contraption, and like Valentio had promised, his mind shifted and the knowledge spilled in on what it did and how to use it.
However, where she kept her goblets were another matter. He riffled through each cupboard until he found them, quickly filling the glass and brought it back to her.
Petronia sat up with a weakness about her he didn’t care for, and didn’t know what to do about. She took slow, small sips of the liquid, staring up at him with suspicion.
“What happened?” He dared asked, almost fearing the answer.
“I think I had a psychotic break.”
“What does that mean?” Jacobus sat in the armchair, drawing his shaking daughter into his lap. Her tiny arms circled around his neck, face burying into his chest.
Petronia’s face finally softened. “I had a strange dream while awake—and you were there. We were getting married before a priest and another soldier bore witness— Laelius, a man we’d known a while. Someone you’d fought beside, and trusted, though I am not sure why I would know that.” Petronia studied him, but he did not speak. “Tell me Jacobus, what is your real interest in Saint Valentine?”
He looked away. Petronia already thought herself as crazy. Would it improve matters if he allowed her to think him the same, if not worse? Her child being cured of being blind and deaf—to time-jumping thousands of years wouldn’t sound anymore sane than what he’d thought of a few days before.
“Talk to me, Jacobus. Please tell me I am not losing my mind. It was you I had wed—in a time not anywhere close to this one. And the man who married us, he was…”
“This martyr the world is will ‘celebrating’ tomorrow.”
“That would be him.”
“How long have you been in these times—in the year 2010?” Petronia bit her lip.