‘Let go of me. I’m Boudica, Queen of the Iceni.’ Boudica struggled against the Roman’s hold.
‘Queen. Ha. How can a woman rule?’ He pushed her into a post and tied her to it so tightly that every time she tried to move, the ropes cut deep into her wrists.
This didn’t stop Boudica, though. ‘A Celt woman can rule better than any Roman man.’
The Roman slapped her, throwing her head to the side. ‘Shut your mouth, woman.’ He stepped back, preparing his whip. ‘Time to show you some respect.’
Pain seared her back, making her gasp and her eyes sting. She didn’t cry out. She was not going to give them the satisfaction. ‘Is that how you rule? By beating women?’
‘Not just by beating.’ The Roman whispered in her ear.
Boudica was about to snip back when she saw her daughters. They were being dragged out by more Romans. The Romans laughed as they threw them to the ground, right in front of her.
‘No. Leave them alone. Don’t you dare touch them.’
‘They’re gonna do more than touch them, Queen.’
The Roman just laughed and flogged her again. Boudica barely felt it. All she could think of was her daughters.
She glared up at the Romans now pinning her daughters down on the ground. ‘I swear to you, if you hurt one hair on my daughters’ heads I will kill you. I will kill every Roman in my path. I will burn your cities to the ground.’
The Romans just laughed as they yanked up her daughters’ skirts. Her youngest began to cry.
‘Don’t cry, darling. Please. It’s what they want. Be brave. You’re Iceni warriors. Please. Don’t give them what they want.’
Her daughter nodded but cried out in pain as the Roman forced himself into her. She gasped and whimpered. Boudica could see she was fighting her tears.
‘Stop it. Stop.’ Boudica struggled with all her strength, ignoring the flashes of pain across her back. But all she could do was watch as the Romans raped her babies.