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Read an Excerpt:
We lay on the bed and he kissed me. At first I couldn’t talk, and then I didn’t want to as our movements quickened and grew more urgent, searching for the release we both knew the other had the power to give. Much later, when I felt the pulse in his neck slow, I was ready to speak, but I still didn’t know what to say.
“I’m going to have a baby.” I decided to start with the good news first.
Alexander sat up in the bed. There was enough moonlight coming through the window to show me his face. His eyes were shining, one light, one dark. He smiled, and his teeth seemed to glow in the darkness. “That’s wonderful,” He whispered. “Was that why you fainted during the wedding? I was so afraid that it was because you were upset I’d married Stateira again. However, it made her happy, and I remembered what you said, that she would die soon after I do. I feel so helpless,” He went on, his voice tightening. “I wish I could do something. She’s a nice enough girl and she would so love to stay in Babylon and rule the city. She’s quite good at politics actually. Then I thought maybe it was because Plexis was marrying Drypetis, but no, that’s not it.” He went on in a rush. “You were so happy when he told you he was getting married, and you couldn’t have teased him so much if you were really hurting. Besides, you know how much he loves you and Chiron. I think I was more jealous than you were. When Drypetis asked me if she could marry him, it gave me a shock. I never knew how much I really loved him until...” He broke off and bit his lip. “I’m sorry. I should let you speak.” His voice was breathless, his color hectic. I wondered if he was drunk. But there was no wine on his breath, he was simply all nerves.
“I don’t know how to tell you this,” I said painfully.
“Is it harder than telling me about my own death?” He asked, a note of teasing in his voice.
“Yes,” I was sad.
He caught my mood and sobered immediately. “Is it Chiron?” He asked quickly. “Is he ill?”
“No.” I threw my head back and groaned. “Oh no, I can’t! I can’t do this! “I started to sob.
Alexander grew frightened. I had managed to stay calm for so long, through so much, that when I fell apart he immediately assumed the worst. “Is it you?” He asked. “Are you dying?”
“No. No I’m fine.” I wiped my eyes. “It’s just something I remembered during the wedding ceremony.”
“During the ceremony, When you were watching me and Stateira? Or Plexis...”His voice trailed off as he watched my face carefully. I had flinched. “Is it Plexis?” He breathed.
My shoulders sagged. I put my face in my hands.
“Plexis. Will he die then? Is that it?” It was a whisper. Pain tightened his throat.
“I’m sorry. It was the name. Plexis didn’t mean anything to me. I’d never read anything about him. I realized during the ceremony that…that Hephaestion died.”
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