It was one month after the golden Virgilia died that Acantha was wed.
Acantha had not met her husband at all, though her father had agreed heartily to the marriage proposal.
But of course, who would not, when the general of the Roman armies and one of the most outspoken but beloved consuls asked for your daughter’s hand.
Acantha had no follies concerning this matter; Caius Martius Coriolanus required a wife, and a mother to his two young sons—including the infant whose birth was his mother’s death.
Acantha would fulfill that role, and nothing else. And there were wide shoes to fill.
And so Acantha was wed.
She knew few things of the man they called Coriolanus: one, that he had nearly lost his consulate before it had even begun, two,
that he was the most fearsome soldier and commander Rome had seen in many years, and three, that he had before been married to the perfect woman.
The late Virgilia had been a tantamount wife and mother—beloved by everyone, well known in social circles, and hailed as incredibly beautiful.
Acantha, who was but eighteen years of age, knew already she could not compare. The look in her husband’s eyes as they were wed told her as much.
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