“What are you doing?” Virgilia asked, eyes wide. She covered her mouth in an attempt to hold back her breakfast.
Marcius held a twin tailed whip over his head in one hand and a young serving girl in the other.
“Teaching your new pet manners.”
Virgilia swallowed. The floor was littered with flowers and pottery, Marcius’s new robe was stained crimson.
“I-I’m sorry-” Marcius back handed the slave and turned her on her face. Crack! She sobbed as he landed three blows across her mass.
Virgilia sucked in a breath. “That’s enough.”
Marcius gave her a murderous glare. “Do you not see what a mess she’s made ?”
“Make her clean it up?” Virgilia suggested.
He set his jaw and stood up, letting the whip tails trail over the floor. “Don’t forget that I am not just your husband,” Marcius said. He cupped her cheeks, bent down to nip her ear. “I am your master as well.”
She shivered. “I see you have things sorted…” he nipped her again. “And yet…”
He cleared his throat and his voice rose like a gull.
“The mistress should discipline her pet. I’d like to see you handle it,” he gave her the whip. “Go on. Show her how it works in MY house.”
Virgilia tried to crack the whip, like she had seen Marcius and Volumnia do so many times, but the tiny pop was a poor imitation. In the corner, she heard Marcius snicker. She tried again. Again. And then, thunder echoed in then living room.
The slave screamed under her hand.
She dropped the whip and ran past a surprised Marcius, tears staining her rosy face.
Volumnia sidled up to Marcius. “Told you she was weak.”