Chapter 7

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Gaiana stepped next to the auctioneer to show herself to the crowd. She removed her cowl, revealing her emerald bright eyes and fair auburn colored hair at the audience, drawing a breath of fascination from the crowd. Gaiana sighed. She knew she had that effect on people, which was why she covered her head whenever she went outside.

There was something about her own exoticism that made her seem untouchable. The freckles on her cheeks highlighted how rare of a person she was. While they could typically be seen as a bad omen to Greeks, it made most men and woman more drawn to her. Like a creature to be tamed, the looks hardened her. Which was exactly why she was always hard on Sophus and Archos, and why they both constantly tried protecting her from the world.

"Two Drachma!" A man in the crowd said. The auctioneer didn't even have to say anything this time, men in the crowd had already competing for her possession as they called out higher numbers.  Her beauty was about to serve the family very well, but Gaiana really wished that wasn't the case.

"Hold your heals," the auctioneer said smiling. The fat man looked onto the crowd like he was hungry for food. "This girl isn't just for pleasure. She might be as ripe as a blossom, but she's also a philosopher thinker. She reads and writes in Greek, knows mathematics and poetry. Plays string and wind instruments. Delivers babies and reads stories to children, she's good in the art of merchandise sales, knows how to weave a fine blanket, and all while still being completely docile for whatever a man desires!"

The crowd nodded their head in approval, to which Gaiana only rolled her eyes. The auctioneer would get a portion amount of however much she was sold for, so it was in his best interest to make her as desirable as possible. It was quite a pitch. He did a well job to set Gaiana up for a higher price, using her lifelong skills to the his own advantage. Too bad it disgusted her.

The crowd regained the energy that they had before. "Seven Drachma," someone else called out.

"Eight Drachma," another man said.

It went up for a bit, after a long pause, another man said "eleven Drachma!"

Kyros whispered from next to her, "not as good as my price, am I right?"

Gaiana elbowed the boy, "shut the fuck up."

Kyro's head cocked back, shocked that a girl could even speak in such language.

The crowd fell quieter, with some contemplating whether they should match that price. In a single instant, Nereus called out, "thirty Drachma."

Kyros frowned as Gaiana's eyes widened. "Shit," they both said.

Gaiana's hand clutched at the shiv beneath her tunic. Swallowing, she said to herself, 'this is it.' She wouldn't let that man touch her. If he was her master, she'd run away the moment the chance came.

"So this is how I die," Gaiana whispered.

Another voice rose from the crowd. "Forty Drachma."

All heads turned. It was Zora. She was quiet for most of the drama, but she didn't hesitate to outbid the Spartan captain.

Even Nereus stared at the doctor in complete shock. Since when could a Macedonian hermit even afford such coinage? The mysterious man suddenly became even more mysterious.

Gaiana swallowed, 'wait, am I going to be Zora's pet? Would he kill me?'

Gaiana rolled the shiv into her tunic, making it poke herself as she did. She didn't truly know what Zora wanted from her. All she could do was assume the worst.

A third voice rose from the crowd. "Fifty Drachma."

Heads turned again to the sound of it. At the very edge of the crowd, a charcoal skinned man had been playing a flute through most of the auction. The flute had come to an abrupt stop just so he could call out his price for Gaiana.

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