The Gladiator and the Guard

Here’s an extract from Annie Douglass Lima’s new book, to tempt you;

“I heard about a few different travel options,” Ricky told them. “But there’s one that seems a little better than the others. It’s not cheap, but it’s the closest, and I figure if you’re in a hurry to get away, closer might be better. I went to see the guy this afternoon, and he seems trustworthy as far as I can tell. He’s a third-year student at Brigantine University of Jarreon, over at the edge of town by the bay. We met at a café near the school, and he bought me an iced mocha, and everything. Seems like a really nice guy. He’s got a sailboat. It’s not fast like a motorboat, but it’s quiet, and he told me he has sort of a secret compartment under the deck where people can hide.”
“You didn’t actually see it?”
“No. He said it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to get caught looking at a boat with a slave. Apparently the Harbor Watch is pretty suspicious these days, what with all the slave runners who’ve been slipping through their fingers. He’s doing everything he can to keep them from noticing him.”
“But this guy has helped slaves escape before?”
“Yeah, I think he’s done it quite a few times. I first heard about him from a man I work with, who said his friend’s girlfriend’s aunt and uncle just got away to Tarnestra with this guy, and they called her to say they’d arrived safely, so she knew it was true.”
“Okay. Well, how much does he charge?”
Ricky hesitated. “Like I said, it’s not cheap. Four thousand per person.”
Steene felt his jaw drop. “Four thousand!” He didn’t have anywhere near that much, let alone twelve thousand for the three of them. He had been thinking of offering to bring Ricky along as well as a last-minute surprise if he could afford it, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t look like anything was going to happen, actually, unless he found some way to get a lot of money fast.
“Wow,” he managed. “Okay. Well, I guess it is a pretty big risk for him, so it makes sense he would charge a lot.”

Get it here;…

The Gladiator and the Guard
sword isolated on white background; Shutterstock ID 109466807

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