A woman once asked Aphra how she could be comfortable, living that close to the trade route alone. When her father had died, the townspeople just assumed she’d move closer and marry. After all, there were too many dangers on the road for an innocent girl alone—bandits, gypsies, and soldiers afoot these days. Didn’t she worry?
Aphra just smiled and replied that, no, she’d never felt the need.
The truth was, she preferred them to hard-working, haggard farmers with mended shoes and chunks of earth beneath their jagged fingernails. With her lithe legs, fine-boned features, and a river of flaxen hair, she’d been designed to draw them in, those dangerous men.
The ruffians and blackguards would all spy her cottage and knock at the door with hardened muscles and cunning smiles. They would set eyes on her, pretty little thing, and invariably think (with the rods between their legs) they saw a challenge.
Whether big or small, gentle or rough, every last one sought to woo her. Ply the woman with gifts, they thought, convince her of their worth. Persuade the maid to spread her meadow-scented thighs and let them in so they could teach her the ways of the world—make her gasp and moan, and show her paradise.
Little did they know, she was the one who had invented the game.