Part Twenty-Nine

Princess Alexandra began to stir just as the first light of day filled the bedroom. Stavros felt her weak attempts at movement and smiled. The fighting spirit he so admired in his bride was once again rising to the fore.

“Welcome back to us, my Princess.”

The sound of Stavros' self-satisfied tone brought the previous evening's nightmarish episode rushing back. The indignity of her husband's assault upon her body filled her with rage and Alexandra struck out at her husband, irate at his behavior.

All the resistance the toxin had denied her last night was now doubled. The furious young woman looked into the eyes of the man who held her tightly against his naked body and let loose all the rage and frustration of the previous night.

Unfortunately her vehement actions were only in her mind. The blows Alexandra attempted to throw were nothing more than feeble twitches of her hands. “Damn you.”

The unintelligible whisper drew Stavros closer. He pulled his wife's body even tighter against his own and placed his ear next to her mouth. “Damn you, Stavros,” he heard.

The Prince threw his head back and laughed loudly. With genuine pride he slid out of bed, carefully swept an unresisting Alexandra up into his arms and carried her gently into the massive bathroom. Stavros cradled her nude body on his lap while he filled the ornate sunken tub with warm water and fragrant bath oils. “How glorious the next sixty or seventy years will be!” Stavros sank down into the warm water with Alexandra held safely in his arms. “Imagine it, my Princess.”

Alexandra lay back quietly against her husband and listened to his enthusiastic musings. Stavros was truly delusional if he believed that their marriage born in hell would endure long enough to celebrate even a first anniversary.

No, the young woman thought, there was no way she would live through another episode like the previous night's. All she could do was regain her strength, regroup and make plans.

For survival…escape… Revenge .