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Suddenly she felt him tense and straighten up, and she turned to look over her shoulder to see Katerina standing in the doorway — imperious Katerina looking down on them in that characteristic pose of hers: hands on hips, her long tapering torso now encased in the black armor of the tight bustier. She made an imposing figure, tall legs set apart in a widened stance, shimmering black stockings held in place halfway up her long thighs by the elastic stays, and sleek boots of gleaming leather with wicked stiletto heels.
In her right gloved hand she held the paddle they had purchased earlier that day, and the ruthless determination of her hard lean features made it clear, that this was no longer a sisterly shopping companion.
I watched the parade without much interest as it made its way slowly by, when a creaking wagon came into view and with it a particularly rare prize. The jogging cage held a statuesque blonde. This must be a captive from the Northern peoples, I realized, a rare Teuton to be sure, as I recognized the striking Nordic features that Gaius had once described to me in such loving detail. This Germanic beauty was impressively tall, regal in bearing, and elegantly made, she stood with cold blue eyes looking out over the crowd, eyes that were remote and unblinking. Mostly the favored captives who found themselves so displayed in the tall wooden cages would shrink back to huddle in a far corner averting their eyes, or they might squat down studying the planks on the floor with head held low in the utter shame of defeat. But this woman did no such thing!
She stood there boldly, defiantly facing her Roman enemies, strong legs set in a widened stance as though to compensate for the roll of the wagon. Her hands clasped the bars at either side of her pale face, as she stood regarding with icy contempt those who would seek to subdue her.