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Review This Story || Author: Veronica Leigh Marquette

Bound And Chained

Chapter 16


Caytin opened the door, a mixture of irritation and worry on his face. "Tal, what has you up now, of all times? If you were worried about belonging to your new mistress, surely it could have waited for the morning."

Tallin relaxed, the light was still on. He might have interrupted their activities, but not their sleep. "I am not having problem's with my lady, father. But I had to take just a moment to show you and mother what has happened." He was grinning from ear to ear.

Caytin looked hard at his son, not understanding what he was talking about. Then he looked at Miri who stood at his side. His eye's widening. "By the Great Mother." He whooped lifting his son up and spinning him around.

'What is it beloved?' Kaj sat on the bed, holding Rook between her and Fain.

"Nothing much Mistress. Only that my son and his new lady are Soul-Matched." He sat Tallin down, kissing him. "Welcome to the world of the wonder and worry of the Soul-Matched and fatherhood, my son."

Miri, who would have never, before Tallin had dared to question anything, looked up, trying to ignore the fact that her husband was in his father's arms. "Fatherhood?"

"Yes, when two who souls are matched. On the first matching, it is well known to be fact, that they come away expecting a child. Tallin was our firstborn. He was conceived on the night that Caytin and I found each other. Congratulations, daughter. It would appear that the two of you are going to be much busier than I had first thought when I allowed my son to offer himself to you." Kaj moved from the bed, to come and hug Miri. "Now I do expect to see you both here, sometime in the next eleven moons or so. You will bear your baby here. If you don't, Tallin will be absolutely impossible to deal with. He will not have just a normal doctor no matter how good she is, deliver his child. He has an aunt that is a Healer, and it is to her that he will bring you." Then she squeezed her gently. "You do understand, Miri, that now that Tallin is your soul-match, he is your slave no more. Or at least until he does what his father did and submit to you again."

Tallin shook his head. "I love my father more than I could ever say mother. But I am not he. I wouldn't do that to her. I will be much more able to stand and support her as a FreeMan than as a slave." He moved back to where Miri stood. "And believe me mother, anyone threatens her, they will have to answer to me. And we are much stronger than the Merican's. All it is going to take is for me to render one or two of them to the point he needs the infirmary to prove it."

"Well, I usually wouldn't condone violence, but if that thing that got such pleasure out of hurting my consort decides to be stupid, then by all means, I don't want you to just put him in the infirmary, but as close to under it as you can legally. Don't kill him, or at least, try not too."

"And, if you have an opportunity, please tell him where I am, and who I am wedded too." Rook grinned with a malicious glint in his eyes. "I am his younger brother. The one that he was so sure would never amount to anything. Yet I am the one that, even if I am a slave, has more rank than he ever will."

"And now, with you Soul-Match and a FreeMan. You are a prince, my son." Kaj hugged him, kissing his cheek. "Oh, you always were a prince, but now it can be seen as a valid rank and not just a mother's love."

"Well I only wanted to show off what had happened. Now I can take Miri back to our rooms and see what I can do about sweet-talking her into taking Gabe with us. The only reason I haven't done that so far, is being your firstborn, I knew I would end up a consort at some mistresses house, and then the lead consort of that house would take me as his. Miri has told me quite emphatically that the Merican's don't do that. So if she can deal, I'd like to make it official, and take him."

"Well if you can, do. I don't cherish the thought of him moping around the Men's Quarter's for the next cycle or so until you can visit us." Kaj smiled. "Go on with you Gabe. As handy as it is to have you on hand, I am sure that Donnel can be taught to do what you are famous for doing. Miri is now your mistress, and Tallin your master. Or will be for how ever long you are with them." She looked to Miri. "I am still holding you to your word, daughter. I don't have to worry about my son. He loves Gabe too much to ever think of hurting him. But you I am still holding to your word."

"Mother." Tallin fussed at her. "Miri and I now share a soul, remember? And I feel no more likely to hurt him, than I did before I gave myself to her. If she were capable of doing anyone wrong, I would know it. "She is my Soul-Match after all."

Miri looked from Tallin to Gabe. He was giving up so much to be with her. It wasn't illegal in her, land, to own a slave. Just to abuse them. "Would it make it easier on you? If it would, I don't have a problem with it." She couldn't believe she was talking like she was. She had spent her life, going out of her way not to be noticed. But now, for Tallin she would risk anything.

Gabe went to his knees at once, kissing first her feet and then Tallin's. "Mistress, Master." He pressed his head to the floor.

"Get up, please." Miri reached down to pull at his arm. "You don't have to do that."

"Do you think we could swing by and drop the good news on her father tonight? Or should we wait until morning?" Tallin was almost floating. He had a Soul-Match that was more beautiful that any woman should have the right to be. And he had the man that he loved so much as his Lover now. No, life couldn't get any better.

"He might still be awake, but I had orders sent that he was to have one of the women prisoners sent to his room. So I really don't think now would be the right time." Kaj smiled.

"My father?" Miri was stunned.

"Yes, your father. Give him a break daughter. For a fool, he has surprising good judgments. He has been without a bedmate since you and Rook were born and the Doctor told him that if your mother conceived again, and tried to carry the child to term. It would kill her. Even I have to admit that his dedication to your mother is impressive. Think of it child. Over seventeen cycles without, her, physical love. Oh Cay and I could do it, but that doesn't count. We're Soul-Matched." She hugged the girl tightly one more time. "Now I think it best for the two of you to run on back to your rooms, and take this time to celebrate with each other and Gabe. Because, when, you finally start to show the celebration is going to calm down a lot." She kissed the girl one more time. "Congratulations my dear. You have made a mother much more at ease."

She giggled. "My father is going to be worse than you. He is going to have to realize that he almost made a fuss about Tal and I wedding. You have no idea how happy he is going t be that the first thing we did was mate for life."

"Well I suppose he will just have to feel a bit foolish." Kaj smiled at her. "Now, you take your men and finish celebrating the wonder of life. I have my hands full here doing the same."

After the three left. Caytin wrapped an arm around her. "Did you even have the slightest of hopes that that would happen?"

"Yes and no, beloved. If she were one of the women of my people, well we do tend to Soul-Match just under half the times we take our consort to out bed the first time. But what with her being a foreigner. No, I can safely say. That was not what I was expecting." She turned smiling at Rook who still lay on the bed, eyes wide. "Well my dear, it does appear that our two families are even more tightly connected than I had first thought."

"They matched soul's?" It was just so unbelievable that he was having a hard to working it out in his head. "Miri?"

"Yes, Miri. She is going to do a world of good for that boy of mine. When soul's match. Then the personalities start to balance each other out. She will become less timid. And he will have at long last a lady to worry about. And, trust me pretty face. That abusive sadist of a brother of yours won't know what hit him the first time he makes even the slightest move against her. I am going to have to warn your father of the likelihood that Tallin will kill him if he hurts her.

"No offense Mistress, but he would have to wait in line behind Dannis. Miri will give birth to his heir. And no one touches her as long as my older brother is alive."

"No, love. Your older brother will have to stand in line behind Tallin. He is her Soul-Match and anything that happens to her, happens to him. So he has the right to the first blow." She moved back over to the bed, crawling on it to join her three men. "Now enough worrying for one night. I think we were in the middle of a little celebration of our own."

* * *

Thalin opened his door at the knock. "Yes?"

A tired and bored guard stood there, a young woman at her side. Head bowed, with irons on her wrists and ankles. "The chieftess said you were in the mood for a little down time. So here is Zerifenia. All chieftess Kaj asks is that you don't hurt her unless she fights you, and then only enough to get her to behave." She looked at the trembling and cowed girl. "You listening to me girl?"

"Yes, Mistress." Her voice was soft and her tone was without life to it.

"I'm going to be outside in the hall for a while and then a replacement will come. So best you be good for the nice King. One word of complaint from him, and you know what will happen to you."

Zerifenia threw herself at Thalin's feet. "Please Master, I'll be a god girl. Anything you want, I will do it. Just please don't send me back to the dogs. I'm begging you. Please, I'll be a good girl, not fight you." She fought the urge to pull back as he helped her up. "Please Master, I'll be good. Don't hurt me."

It took Thalin a moment to understand what she was babbling about. "Okay, Zerifenia, why don't you come over here and sit by me.' He looked up at the guard. 'Thank you for taking the time to deliver her. But I think I can take it from here."

The guard nodded. "Just remember, she isn't any too happy about being sent as a breeder to your people, so there is no telling what kind of flights of fancy she is going to dream up to get out of her duty. She's a young woman, and well you know how young women get. Even as strange by our way of thinking your people are. There is very little to alter the normal process of maturity. So she give you any problems, and you can't just deal with her, just holler out and either me or my replacement will come in and deal with her.'

Zerifenia just sobbed against him. "Please, Master I won't fight you. I promise."

"Okay, I will leave her in your care, don't forget to call out if she gets to be too much for you to willingly deal with." And the guard left the room.

Thalin sighed in relief. "So, are you that much of a problem for them?"

The girl shook her head violently. "No Master. I never earned anything they did to me." She began to sob again pressing against him. "My word Master, I am a good girl."

"Then girl, if you are such a good girl, what are you doing in prison. I will not believe that Kaj had you put there if you were innocent."

The chieftess doesn't know." She whispered.

Thalin grabbed her by the arms. "What do you mean 'she' doesn't know? You were in prison. How could she 'not' know?"

Zerifenia shook her head. "Please Master, I, I can't talk about it. If I do, they'll send me to the dogs again. Forget what I said, I'm a bad girl and am getting everything I deserve." She reached out to begin to work the fastenings of his pants. "Forget this bad slaves babbling."

Thalin caught her wrists in his hands. "Girl, I might not be as sensitive as many of the women are here, but eve I can tell when I am being lied to. Now you will tell me the truth, even if I have to put you under King's Protection to get you to do it." It was rather amusing. Here he was in a land ruled by women, and he had to invoke 'King's Protection'.

She looked down, sniffling. "Please Master, it will get me hurt again. Have I displeased you so, that you will see me hurt?"

"No one is going to hurt you. You are going to my world soon enough, and if I have to keep you here with me until I leave. I will, but I will not let another harm you. Now tell me, what was done to you?"

The story that began to fall from her, in bits, fits and starts was horrifying. This child had been falsely accused of fraud, wasn't even given a real trial, neither the chieftess nor the Temple had been present, probably because had they been, this sin would never have taken place. The girl had spent just a little over a cycle of a ten-cycle sentence in hell. Whipped daily, twice or more if she was thought to have failed something. Sent to the dogs once a week for five hours of rape. Fed only enough to keep her alive. The more Thalin heard the harder it was to believe what he was hearing.

"I am sorry, Zerifenia, but I just can't believe what you are telling me. Everything I have seen in my time here, has led me to believe that thought the Danes are different from us, they are also a fine people."

Zerifenia jumped up. "I told you, you wouldn't believe me. She worked at the buttons on her blouse. "Fine, call me a liar now, Master." She turned displaying her back, which was nothing by a mass of half healed cuts and scabs.

Thalin was up and across the room to touch her wounds carefully. "My God." He was stunned. "What did you do to earn this?"

"Nothing Master, the only wrong I did was trusting my older sister when she had me sign some house documents. I was just old enough to be a woman, wasn't really one yet, and I was given a mock trial and convicted for ten cycles for fraud." She turned around to look at Thalin. "I'm not even old enough to have commited the crimes I was convicted of. Do you honestly see any woman trusting such a young woman? I was just sixteen Master. I begged to be allowed to see the chieftess, or one of the Temple priestesses, but when I did, they only hurt me more. I was beat for asking to see one of the Holy Mothers, and given to the dogs when I begged for my chieftess to see me. I knew I would never make it the whole ten cycles, so when the chance to leave and go serve your people came up. I begged one of the guards to see to it that all the women were offered. With a direct order from Kaj, not even Sasha could do anything."

Thalin's look grew dark. "You might have been denied the right to see her before now. But I will by the God I serve, place you under King's Protection, and see that you will get it now." He looked at her darkly. "Hold on, I'll see it done now. He turned and reached for the door, looking out for a moment before closing it again. He backed away, turning. "Damn"

Zerifenia looked frighten. "Master?"

He walked over to his sword, and pulled it out. "We have a problem dear. Come on with me, and do anything you can to hold on to me. Do not let us be separated." He wrapped his arms around her, after opening the door to step out into the hall. Sword in one hand, and the other wrapped protectively around Zerifenia.

The guardswoman pulled herself up from where, she, rested against the wall. "You finished with her, or tired of her?" She reached out to take Zerifenia's hand.

Thalin turned so that she couldn't reach Zerifenia. "No one touches this girl. She is going to be allowed to see her chieftess. And if I have to fight you to see to it I will. I will probably lose, but try explaining to the chieftess, who is my daughter in-law why you killed me for trying to see her."

The guard held up her hands. "I don't know what your problem is man, but why in the name of the Mother, would you think I would try to stop you?" She looked at Zerifenia. "You do know, girl, what is going to happen to you if you take your fancy tales to the chieftess, don't you?"

"Fancy Tales?" Thalin almost yelled at the guard. "Would you like to see, just how fancy her tales are?" He turned Zerifenia around, pulling her shirt from her shoulder. "It's okay Fina," his voice was soft as he used an endearment to ease her fears. "I'm here, no one will hurt you. You are under my protection." He looked up to the guard. "How fancy is this tale? The child has been beat, more times than I can even think without wanting to kill someone."

The guard couldn't believe what she saw. "Merciful Mother. Who did this to you girl?"

"Listen to me woman." 'Thalin pushed her. "The way I see it. You can lead, follow, or get the hell out of my way. I have put this girl under King's Protection, and I will see to it that Kaj sees what has been done to her. Now and not later." He raised his sword. "I have already told you, If I have to fight you, I will. Now move or die."

Again the guard only backed away. "I wouldn't care who you were, man, you're right. That girl needs to see the chieftess. I can't believe she hasn't done so yet. Or if she was afraid of the Chieftesses notice, the Temple."

Thalin walked on down the hall. "She has, both, many times. And you know what it got her? Every time she begged to see one of the Healers from the Temple, they would beat her. And should she beg to see Kaj. They turned her over to the dogs for five hours."

The guard followed them down the hall, swearing murder under her breath as she did so.

Thalin used the pommel of his sword to bang on Kaj's door. He would not let Zerifenia go until such time as he could present her to Kaj.

A few more moments later the door swung open, and a very sleepy eyes and irritated Caytin stood there, in all his glory. "What do you want?" He snarled at Thalin.

"I need to see the Chieftess."

Caytin shook his head, finally recognizing who it was, and the girl at his side and the guard behind them, also the sword in his hand. "She's asleep."

"Well, wake her up. I have given my word to this girl, that I would see to it that she got something she should have had a very long time ago, and he case pleaded to the Chieftess.

Caytin looked at Zerifenia. "I don't know you, and that is odd. I know all of those that have been sentenced to prison time." He backed away, motioning them to enter. If he didn't know the girl that meant something was wrong.

"Mistress," he leaned over and touched Kaj's shoulder. "Please, forgive me for waking you, but there is something you need to see."

"Give me ten minutes to rest Cay, the three of you have made me scream enough for a little while." She tried to turn over and resume sleeping.

Caytin rolled his eyes. "Mistress, please. King Thalin has brought one of the prisoners to see you. She is one I don't remember."

Kaj groaned as she rolled over, taking her robe from Caytin. "There is over ninety-five women in our prison Cay, is it any wonder you have forgotten one or two?"

"This one is so very young Mistress, that I would have remembered her."

Kaj stood, smoothing her gown over her body, before turning to Thalin. "Okay Thalin, I'm up. This had better be good."

"This girl, she's been whipped Chieftess!" The guard reached up and ripped Zerifenia's shirt from the collar in the back, in half.

Kaj stepped one single step forward. "Who did this girl?" She was more than just stunned. She was enraged. "Come on dear, my word as chieftess of your people, no one will harm you."

"My sister, she had friends in the guard that did this." Zerifenia blushed looking at Fain and Rook.

Kaj turned to Fain and Rook. "Would you two please go and get Trinna. This girl needs a Healer, and as fast as possible." She turned back to Zerifenia. "Do you need Caytin and Thalin to go as well? I am going to want to keep the guard here, so that if she is guilty of any of the wrongs done to you, I can see her punished at once."

Zerifenia shook her head, tightening her grip on Thalin. "The guard, she didn't know, I have never seen her before. And Caytin has always been good to the men of my house. I'm not afraid. I've been trying for over a cycle to get someone, anyone to listen to me."

"Well, you have my complete and undivided attention now, child. Tell me how it is you were in prison, and I never saw you tried?"

And again the horrifying tale fell from her lips. Only this time she held nothing back. The kangaroo court, where not even the Temple was welcomed her sentencing of, ten cycles, for fraud.

"Ten cycles? You didn't kill anyone. I don't understand, how a woman your age could ever warrant that kind of sentence for anything less than murder."

"I didn't do it Chieftess. My only, crime, was that I trusted my sister. She had me sign papers that she said were family related, and I believed her. I wasn't even fully a woman when she sent me to the prison. I was just a maid my first time was with the dogs."

"How old are you girl?" Kaj was getting angrier by the second.

"I will be eighteen the twentieth of the ninth moon."

"Wait a minute here Kaj. I was told only between nineteen and thirty were being sent. And yet here stands a girl not even eighteen yet, that is being sent. Why is that?"

Kaj looked at Zerifenia. "Yes child, why is that?"

Zerifenia looked from Thalin to Kaj and back again. "I begged to be allowed to go. They were killing me Master, Mistress. I couldn't, bear the dogs again. I had to get out, so I lied about my age." She looked down, crying. "Forgive me, but I had too."

Thalin tightened his hold on her. "Ssshh, Fenia, there is nothing to be sorry about. Of course, you lied. If I had been in your place, I would have too, and no one could say they wouldn't have done the same."

"Quit being foolish child. Of course, I would have done anything to be free of that kind of sadism. Punish our slaves yes, and when you were accused and convicted of a crime, you became a slave, and so you were due to be punished. But you were not the criminal in this, but your, sister and even if you had been. No citizen, of, Danes free, or slave. Should ever have done to them what was done to you, for doing nothing more than cry justice and begging for a Healer." Kaj had no doubt that she was telling the truth. Like she has said often, she might not be quite as sensitive as Caytin was, but he was here, and if she had been lying, he would have called her on it. Not that it would change anything other than the fact that she would never be treated as she had been so far. And perhaps, if she still felt safer going with the other women that were being sent with Thalin, she would be allowed to go, in a modest attempt to make up for what was done to her. But she was innocent. Had been a sixteen cycle old virgin when they had falsely imprisoned her. Had be just a maid the first time they sent her to the dogs. And no one was sent to the dogs, other than slaves that are due to die.

"Yes, she is still welcome to come with me. Good God woman, do you honestly see her being able to stay here, after all that was done to her? People saw her with dogs, so many times. She will never be able to hold her head up in public."

Kaj shook her head. "You have seen my people at their worst Thalin. It isn't a fitting comparison. But then again, perhaps it would be better if she did go with you, at least for a while. When she makes it back, if she makes it back. She has a house to rule. With her sister's crime, she is a free citizen no more, and all that belonged to her is now Zerifenia's."

Zerifenia wasn't listening to anyone, but just clung to Thalin weeping. "I kept begging to see you Mistress, but she would never let me. No matter how many times I was beat, or thrown to the dogs, I still kept begging to see you. I swear. I didn't give up my rights willingly."

Caytin reached for her, looking Thalin in the eyes. "Until such time as the Healer gets here are reads her soul, she is still a slave. And as such, my responsibility."

Zerifenia clung to Thalin. "Please, Master. Don't push me away."

Thalin looked up at Caytin. "The others might be your responsibility. But I gave Fenia here my word that I wouldn't let anyone take her from me until this was all worked out. And no one will. I'm a old man Caytin, what pride would it give you to kill an old man?"

"Let her stay where she is love. For some reason she has found solace in him." Kaj smiled at Zerifenia. "Don't be afraid dear. No one is going to take you from your master." She reached out to pat her arm. "For an old fool, Thalin, you surprise me."

"I made a mistake Kaj. And I have paid for it. But not even as foolish as I was by sending men to you, to steal children. I would never allow anyone to be treated as she has been treated. She looks like she is an escapee from the Catimine's. I saw Fain when Mer brought him in. And she looks worse than he did. I might be a fool. I'll admit it. But I'm not a sadist."

The door opened. Trinna slipped in, followed by Jerrick, Steffon, Fain and Rook. "Fain came and woke us up to tell me I was needed." She looked up to where Zerifenia stood. Back still exposed. "Oh, my Goddess." She was moving across the room. "What happened?" Her hands touched the cuts and welts, and the infection.

"So tell me Healer. She proclaims her innocence. Is she?"

"Other than having a crush on her older sister's consort, she is as pure as sunlight." Then Trinna pulled back a horrified look on her face. "No, Goddess protect us." She turned to press into Jerrick's arms. "They sent a virgin to the dogs." She started to cry, drawing upon his support.

Caytin headed for the door. He would see that this woman was killed.

"Slave." Kaj barked.

Caytin stopped, turning to kneel slowly. "Mistress." He almost snapped at her. She never called him 'slave' unless she was mad at him. And he knew he hadn't earned her wrath so far.

"I'm sorry beloved. But that was the only way I could see to it that you did stop at once. She can wait. Let her think that all is going as she planned. Zerifenia has seen countless horror's, we will not add more."

Caytin sighed. She was right. No he hadn't done anything wrong, but if she hadn't stopped him that way; he would have. "Yes, Kaj, I understand completely." No that wouldn't' be right. Poor thing, to think what that mad thing had done to her. "Now that we know the truth, Mistress, shall I help to see you are a maid no longer. I refuse to consider anything that was done to you by anything that isn't human as taking your virginity.

She stared at him for what seemed like forever. "If it is permissible Master. I would rather stay where I am. He listened to me, he believed me. And he brought me here and saw to it that the mistress believed me too."

"We had nothing to do with proving your innocents Zerifenia. Your very soul screamed it. That is why you were never allowed a Healer. Your sister knew that." Kaj tried to explain.

"She is not my sister. She is no daughter of my mother, to think that you could do that to your own blood." Zerifenia almost screamed. Holding on to Thalin even tighter.

"I understand woman of the Danes. She is no one, and is no longer one of my women. And as your, Mother is dead. Your house will be yours and everything in it. You are now a very wealthy woman."

"I don't care. I begged to be allowed to go with my Master when he left. I am a woman of my word. I will go, and stay there, and breed as needed until such time as my original sentence is over."

"Didn't you hear Caytin, Fenia? Your innocents has been proven, and you are a slave no more." He smiled down into her confused face. "He called you mistress. And believe me girl. If you were still a slave, that is one slave that would let his heart be cut out of him before he called you it."

Zerifenia looked at him in shock. Then to Caytin, who wisely went to his knees, head bowed. This young woman had been through more than he could ever imagine, he had only been sent to the dogs once. To think she had been forced time and time again, for five hours at a time.

Zerifenia looked at him confused. "Get up, even if I am free now, like you say. I never was one that wanted that kind of thing. I am not that thing that used to be my sister."

Caytin stood smiling. "Yes, Mistress. Now I ask again, now that you understand what I was saying. Do you wish to honor me with your first?"

Zerifenia shook her head. "No, I meant what I said. By begging to come, I got more than I ever hoped to get. So I will live up to my promise. I will go back with him, and stay with him for as long as he will have me, and then I will go and serve my time as a breeder for the next ten cycles. Yes I know, I have served over one so far, but for what he made possible, I will turn back my time. If it wasn't for the fact that I had to return here to run my house, I would leave and never return."

"If that is how you feel, You can take everything but the house with you Fenia. Sell it if you want, or rent it. Now that we have, what we do with them. We are going to be having very close ties with the Danes. There will be a letter carrier. Their son is wed to my daughter. And mine is to her. Call me old fashioned, but I was raised in an age before the Catimine's where families even if they branched out. Kept in contact with each other. I will insist her son keep her abreast of what is going on in his life, and I will demand that Rook do the same. Even if I was willing to see him die. Not only didn't he, he is a married man. So when the rider returns from here. It will mean nothing to him to bring back your package. Only the most trusted rider will be sent, so you have nothing to worry about on that score."

"Well, if she is intent on this. You both might as well know. She shares her time with you tonight, she will without a doubt come away from it with child." She yawned. "Oh, and Kaj. Just so you know. My man nagged me into taking his Lover as my second consort. Knowing full well, that with as young as I am. It will be cycles before I am in a position to take a third. And as soon as the fully trained Healers get back, and everything gets settled. I am having my man taken and having one of the better trained Healers heal his eyes. I know what is wrong, but the scar tissue is just too close to the nerve that enables him to see for me to try and touch it."

"You do realize Trin, that if it hadn't been for the fact that you had nabbed Jerrick before Caytin saw him, he would have been the one to nag me into it." Kaj hugged her sister. "Now, if we are all settled for the night. I 'was' asleep. Not that, I, would begrudge anyone for waking for this. But it has been seen to, and I want to go back to sleep. Those three monsters wore me to nothing in a frighteningly short time. Must be getting old."

"You think you had it bad, Jerrick's got such a monster, and Steff, being blind has taught him to be very talented with his hands." She laughed leaving the room. Jerrick, with Steffon on his arm followed.

"Thank you, Kaj. You proved to me again how safe my son was in your keep." Thalin shook her hand. "I'll take Fenia out of here and let you go back to your rest."

Kaj touched his arm. "Before you go, I have to know. Why is it you keep calling Zerifenia, Fenia?" She cocked her head to one side.

"It's a hell of a lot easier to say all the time than Zerifenia. That name is too much of a mouthful." He hugged her, not having to worry about the slightest touch causing her pain. "She seems to like it."

"I would prefer anything to what they called me every time they took me to the dogs."

Fain turned his head into Caytin's chest. The, very mention, of anyone being forced to let dogs do that to them upset him. It had been his life for too long.

"Ssshh, love, wait. As soon as the, mistress, is gone from here. And won't have to see anything. I am going to demand justice. Falsely accused she might have been, but she was still a slave and under the rules of slavery, under my protection. Your mistress will see that my demands are given weight. That thing will at best be whipped and thrown from our city. But if there, is, true justice in this world. My mistress will see to it that the men of her house are allowed to see to her beating. And it will be a long one. Trinna is a Healer. Any time she looks like she is going to escape the pain in death, healing her only enough to see to it that she does not die. The thing, that, killed my son. The only reason, why, he is still drawing breath? Is he has a purpose. That bitch has none. She will die by the hands of the men in 'my' Men's Quarters. For what she did, the bedwarmers are welcome to join."

Kaj turned to see Fain, pressed against Caytin. "Oh dear, lover?" The rest forgotten, she moved to where Caytin held Fain. "Ssshh, I know. The little boy is gone. You are a man now, one that I happen to love. No one will ever hurt you like that again. My word."

Rook moved as Kaj and Caytin dealt with Fain. "See you in the morning Father. Don't mean to be rude, but we have our hands full, and I am sure you do too."

Thalin looked down to where Zerifenia hung close to him. "You're right, I probably do. Come on Fenia, let's let them see to Fain. I'm going to take you back to my room, and remind you that every time someone touches you, it doesn't need to hurt." He slipped from the room.

Review This Story || Author: Veronica Leigh Marquette
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