A Stray Drop of Blood
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Beautiful was a dangerous thing to be when one was unprotected. That was a lesson Abigail learned well when her master?s son, Jason, took her to his bed. Jason?s mother, Ester, may have educated her as a daughter instead of a slave, his father, Cleopas, may have obeyed Hebrew law rather than Roman in the running of his household, but none of that mattered to their son. At least, it didn?t until he had a child of his own on the way. Over her seven years in the Visibullis household, Abigail had gotten accustomed to being a slave. She loved her fellow servants, she adored her mistress, and she respected her master. She did not welcome change, neither when Jason decided she was better fit for a lover than a handmaid nor when he discovered he loved her too much to leave her as anything but a wife. But she carried his child, so she could hardly argue. And maybe, given time, she could come to love him too.... Israel?s unrest found a home in her bosom, but their rebellion tore apart her world. Death descended with Barabbas?s sword, and Abigail was determined to be there when he was handed the penalty for the crimes that destroyed her family. But when she ventured to the trial, heavy with child and heavier still with hatred, it was not Barabbas that the crowd demanded be crucified. Instead, it was the teacher Cleopas and Jason had begun to follow, the man from Nazareth that some called the Son of God.... She was born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds. But she never really knew freedom until she felt the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter. She was disowned by Israel, despised by Rome, desired by all. Yet she never knew love until she received the smile of a stoic Roman noble.