Holy Moly!... I completely forgot to thank my incredible, wonderful, super talented beta/review team for this story.... Quiethearted, Xenavirgin and Kam... you all did an amazing job of reviewing and reading this crazy thing multiple times... and didn't even kill me in the process. Although I vaguely recall QH threatening to drive however many hours it is from her house to mine to smack some sense into me at one point. :) Thank you SO much guys.... I never would have gotten this done without y'all... Love ya! :)
Again... really important to comment... wait until you've read the entire thing if you like... but let's get some interest going for a tv show with a pair of kick ass women as the leads... I mean... really... I think it is about time . ;)
It's About Family.... pt 2
an Hourglass story
Emma quietly braided, Kris' brown hair. She knew her friend had come to a decision about their unexpected guests but didn't want to bring up the subject until Kris was ready to talk about it. The fishing had again been successful and Adi was currently feeding Morgan the last of the three large salmon Kris had landed. The fire crackled and just as Emma put the finishing touch at the end of the braid, Kris spoke.
“So, Adi...” She waited for the woman to look up from her task, “Where are you heading?”
“I'm...” Adi shook off her hesitancy, “I'm going to find Morgan's father, to let him know he has a son.”
“He doesn't know?” Emma was surprised, that was highly unusual in their time. The population was so strictly controlled, no one had children, at least no one was supposed to have children, without complying with strict government protocols and paperwork, everyone involved always knew exactly what was going on.
“It's a long story, but he was a traveler too.” She sighed, “He left, to return to his home, before I realized that I was with child.”
Kris wasn't sure how to ask without being insulting, “And you know for sure that....”
Adi nodded, “It has to be his, there was no one else.”
That stopped the conversation for quite a while, until Kris spoke again. “We were thinking of staying here for a while, if you want to stay with us.” She looked at their guest, seeing what Emma had before. The similarities between this woman and many of the people in her family were obvious now but still circumstantial. She had no way to definitively prove that she and Adi were related.
“I had hoped to find Morgan's father today.” She looked at the riverbank, “If the stories about his homeland are true, we are nearly there.” She reciprocated the offer Kris had made, “You are welcome to join me too, if you decide you'd rather not stay here.”
Hugging her knees to her chest, Kris leaned over to rest her forehead there for a moment, “Yeah,” She admitted, giving in to the 'vibe' feeling she was having, “I think we would like that.” She knew Emma was shocked. Continuing to associate with this woman was a violation of every rule they'd ever talked about in regards to their interactions with events in the time stream. “I feel it would be beneficial for us both if we traveled together.”
I feel... Emma evaluated her friend's words, so she doesn't really know why she wants to stay with Adi. That was actually fine with Emma, because 'vibes' or not, Kris' instincts hadn't steered them wrong yet. “I should start breaking camp then?”
Adi nodded, she wanted to get moving as soon as possible.
There wasn't actually that much to do. They used the last of the water in their leather containers to douse the fire, refilling them with fresh river water. They didn't bother to break up the circle of stones surrounded the fire since they figured the next flood would shift them on downstream anyway. There were only the blankets to fold up tight and return to their pockets, and the fishing poles to disassemble, the line, hook, sinkers and bobbers going back into the small tackle boxes they carried, the branches discarded. They could have taken them along, but in a very short time the branches would have become dry and brittle, making them useless for fishing. Kris merely had to put her bow in its harness on her back and placed the small quiver of arrows next to it and she was ready to move.
“So,” Kris questioned their traveling companion, “Upstream or down?”
“Mmmm... actually we need to go inland,” She pointed to a directly vaguely northwest. “As I said, it shouldn't be too much farther now.”
'Much farther' turned out to be a relative term. As compared to her trip so far it was a mere drop in the bucket, but as far as the day was measured, it took until mid-afternoon before they saw the first posted sign. Kris had been scouting ahead when she saw the notice. She stared at it for a long time before nodding to herself and returning to her little group. When she rejoined the others at their rest stop, Kris questioned Adi. “The man you are looking for... wouldn't happen to be um... Lord Andrew Bingham, would it?” The stunned look on Adi's face answered the question quite nicely. She nodded, “His lands begin just up ahead.” They all whirled at the sound of a man's voice behind them.
“And what reason would you have to be on Lord Bingham's land?”
Adi gasped just as Morgan began to cry. Adi lifted the boy to her hip and tried to comfort him. Emma reached into her small carrying pack and pulled out a chervil stalk, peeling it quickly to give to the crying baby. He liked chewing on them and one had kept him occupied for nearly an hour as they had walked earlier.
“What are you doing?!” The man jumped forward instinctively to intervene, “Are you trying to kill the child?!”
“What?” Emma shook her head, “No... what are you talking about?”
He pointed to the plant in her hand, “Hemlock!”
Emma rolled her eyes, “It's not hemlock, it's chervil.” She took a bite of the stem to prove it wasn't poison. “They do look similar though and often grow together, but I know the difference. If you don't then it's best not to risk it.”
The man adjusted his riding cape, shifting the insigna on the clasp slightly. It embarrassed him to have been proven wrong by this thin slip of a woman. “Ah...” He winced as the child screamed louder and gestured for Emma to proceed.
Emma handed the stalk over to the child who was still upset, but Morgan took the edible and began to chew it as he sniffled.
“Again I ask, what business do you have on Lord Bingham's land?”
“My business with Lord Bingham is not you.” Adi calmly soothed Morgan.
“I am Lord Bingham's...brother, Jonathan. You will either answer my question or be summarily sent away without so much as a glimpse at the man you seek.”
Morgan began to cry louder again and Adi was infuriated. She knew full well that Andrew didn't have a brother, “I have heard what you asked, and my answer remains, my business is with Lord Bingham himself.” She pulled herself up to her full height, which matched his, and she almost growled, “And I swear to you, if you prevent me from seeing him, you will regret it every day for the rest of your cursed life.”
Jonathan's mind latched on to the word 'cursed' and immediately jumped to a conclusion that he couldn't keep to himself. “Witches!”
Emma glanced at Kris. That was a touchy thing for her friend, Kris had been born in Salem and was ever aware of the travesties of justice that had been carried out there during the so-called “Witch Trials” in which the defendants were innocent citizens and the trial's outcomes were pre-determined. Emma spoke firmly to the man, “We are not witches.”
“Of course you would deny it.” Jonathan scoffed, “You'll not get anywhere near Lord Bingham, I'll have you arrested for trespassing first!” He had his suspicions as to what 'business' this woman had with his kinsman and he wasn't going to have it. “You are to be off this land within the hour!”
“I'm not going anywhere until I see Andrew!” Adi's eyes widened as the man's hand raised to strike her. She shifted slightly ready to defend herself and Morgan.
“I wouldn't do that if I were you, Jonathan.” The new arrival chuckled and warned the man, “One does not strike an Amazon without consequences.”
“Lord Bingham,” Jonathan lowered his hand, “I was just...requesting that these women remove themselves from your land.”
No one saw the shocked looks on Kris and Emma's face when the new man was named. Kris studied him and nodded to herself; there were many old pictures of the men in her mother's side of the family who looked similar to him. Still it was circumstantial, similar features did not mean you were automatically related. Emma was more interested in the larger group of men gathering behind Jonathan and Lord Bingham, none of them seemed friendly, and all of them were armed. They seemed to be taking their cue from their employer though and not Jonathan, all waiting to see what else Lord Bingham had to say about the women they had stumbled across in the middle of the forest.
Andrew laughed, “Your 'request' was about to result in a broken wrist, my friend.” He clasped Jonathan on the shoulder as he passed the man and approached, Adi. Vivid blue eyes glanced at the baby, then back to Adi, “You have a reason to be on my land.” It was not a question. Her simple reply confirmed his suspicion.
“Yes...” she hesitated. With Jonathan her Amazon attitude had reigned but now, faced with the father of her child, she demured, “...sir.”
Andrew shook his head, “No formalities with me, Adi.” He moved closer, “You look good.”
Adi looked up into Andrew's blue-blue eyes, noticing and loving that the graying at the man's temples was just a touch more than the last time she'd seen him, contrasting beautifully with his dark black hair. “You do too.” Her eyes closed on their own as he reached out, cradling her cheek in his palm.
He pulled her closer, careful of the now-docile child in her arms, holding her against him for a long moment, “I've missed you.” He murmured in her ear, “I'm so sorry I left.”
Shaking her head, Adi assured the man, “It was my fault,” She felt hot tears spilling down her face soaking into the material covering Andrew's chest. She hated showing her emotions like that especially in front of so many people. With a deep breath she controlled herself, but stayed in the man's arms, “It's a long story, I'll tell you another time.”
Pulling away slightly, his strong fingers under her chin tipped her face up. Andrew smiled down into the face of the woman he loved, “Perhaps there will be time during the trip back to the manor.” He turned his attention to Morgan, “Time for a lot of things.”
“The trip back?” Kris wondered how long that would take.
Keeping his arm around Adi's waist, Andrew's attention remained on the child as he absently answered the question, “Yes, we are currently out in a hunting party. We can stay in camp tonight and be back at the manor by tomorrow evening.”
“You are going to let them into our camp?” Jonathan couldn't believe it. What has gotten into him? There was no way these strangers should be accepted so easily. He maintained his contention that the women were witches and now he suspected that Andrew was bewitched. Even now he could see what was happening, Andrew was totally besotted by the child. Jonathan bet that the mother was going to dupe Andrew into marrying her. That event was not in Jonathan's plans. He would have to stop that particular pairing, somehow. The 'mother' seemed normal enough, even though she had stood up to him, but the other two, they were very strange, everything from the way they dressed to the way they talked marked them as foreign. The rest of the hunters were sheep, following Andrew's orders, accepting what he accepted. Jonathan however didn't follow well, he would watch them all very carefully. The opportunity to get rid of them will come, he thought, they can't hide their true natures forever.
It didn't take long to get to the hunting party's camp. Kris realized that the river curved and was flowing, slightly slower than it had past the sandbar, not too far from this clearing. Had they continued to follow the river, they would have ended up here anyway.
The women were all impressed with the efficiency of the operation. When they arrived most of the group dispersed to a long bunkhouse type building. This was obviously a well established site with some permanent structures in place, all surrounding a central gathering area. There were also several small cabins for various uses and a different looking place, made of brick, domed with what looked like a thick wooden door, but it was the structure that appeared to be on fire that Kris was most interested in. Wisps of smoke were escaping from every tiny crevice and the aroma was mouthwatering. They all realized they hadn't eaten since the fish they'd had just after dawn.
“Hungry?” Andrew tightened his arm around Adi's shoulder's slightly so as not to wake the baby cradled in the holder on her chest. He hadn't gotten too far away from the woman, or the baby, the entire trip.
“A little, yes.” Adi smiled up at the man and laughed at herself. She knew if her sisters could see her now they would be disgusted. Relying on a man to feed her? No... that was not the Amazon way... she sighed and hated that she'd had to choose between the tribe and the man she loved.
“We've been seeing boar tracks all over the place, large and small, but so far they have all eluded us. Jonathan took down a Red deer stag yesterday, there should be some fresh steaks held out from the smoking. Shall I have one minced for you?” He grinned as Adi nodded and they shared a memory, laughing.
Kris smiled at the infectious sound. “Um... are Red deer funny?”
Adi explained, “When Andrew and I first met, one of the first solid foods he was able to eat was Red deer.” She sobered at the memory, “He was very sick when we found him...” She leaned into the man, wrapping her arms around his robust chest, “...for days all he could eat was broth.”
“You were sick?” Jonathan hadn't heard this story. Andrew had not spoken of his adventures when he returned from his journey East. In fact, he had seemed more depressed when he returned than he had when he'd left.
“I was very sick,” Andrew frowned at that memory, “I would have died had it not been for Adi and her.... people.”
“They gave you medicine?” Now Jonathan was beginning to understand, the woman's next statement confirmed his suspicion.
“Our healer gave him the herbs she carried for fever, and I stayed with him, feeding him broth as he was able to take it.” Adi thought back to those days and the odd sense of rightness taking care of Andrew had given her.
Chuckling at that, he ran his fingers through his dark black hair, “Not one broth has touched my lips since...”
“I knew he was getting tired of plain broth and so one day I minced some fresh steak for him and added it to the broth.” Adi smirked up at the man.
“It was a travesty in my eyes, ruining a perfectly good steak like that, but then it was just about the most delicious thing I've ever eaten,” Andrew looked down into Adi's dark eyes, “for all you fed it to me like a baby.”
Adi grinned, “Yes, that is why I agree to having some minced now.” She indicated the child, currently sleeping peacefully, “When he wakes, he will be hungry.”
“Ah!” Andrew smacked his forehead with his palm, “Of course!” He leaned down to kiss the shorter woman's forehead, “I will return shortly.”
They watched as he strode purposefully to the brick structure and entered quickly. It didn't take long before he returned with a package of meat. “Here we are...” He handed it to Adi, “Do you want my cooks to prepare it?” He knew how independent the woman was and had assumed she would want to cook it herself.
“I'll do it,” Adi frowned, “This is cold.”
Lord Bingham's chest puffed out, “Yes, it's called an ice house,” He pointed to the structure he'd just exited, “That is only the door, there are steps that go down and in the winter we come out here to harvest ice from the river... it gets packed in the house and lasts all summer. We use it to store meat until we have a chance to smoke it.”
“Very efficient.” Kris smiled, she had a better idea of when they were now. Ice houses weren't introduced into England until the sixteen sixties.
Emma was looking around as well, but she wasn't as interested in the processing of meat as the others were. Her eyes gleamed when she spotted a thick bramble of blackberry bushes and then she nearly squealed, “Is that a peach tree?”
Andrew laughed, “Yes, my grandfather had them imported. Peaches were one of grandmother's favorite fruits. You will see them here and there all over the estate.”
Emma turned to Kris with a hopeful look and the archer snorted, giving Emma a little shove in the direction of the fruit cache, “G'wan... stuff yourself with fruit.” She watched as Emma's long legs carried her swiftly to the tree and with one jump she was hanging by one hand on a branch, picking fruit with the other. Kris rolled her eyes at the look of childlike glee on Emma's face then laughed, “She's such a monkey sometimes.”
Jonathan heard the comment and narrowed his eyes at the blonde woman in the tree, she did at this moment look rather like the animals he had seen on his trip to Italy. Could the witch really change forms as necessary? The thought made him shudder. But he was gathering information to make his argument. Andrew had obviously been drugged and tricked into believing that he loved this woman from the East. Jonathan evaluated the age of the child and the length of time Andrew had been gone. It has to be witchcraft, he thought, otherwise he never would have bedded this woman so quickly after losing his beloved wife. That thought always brought a stab of pain to his heart; Andrew's wife, Jonathan's sister, taken by a tragic horseback riding accident only a few months after she had become Lady Bingham.
The burden of that title now fell on Andrew's sister, Constance. Jonathan felt the bile rise in his throat slightly at the thought of the disgustingly fat woman taking his sister's place in anything. The women were exact opposites even down to their voices. Where his sister's voice was gentle and pleasing, Constance had a shrillness to her tone that grated on one's ears, instantly. Constance was, however, shallow and vain, which only helped him in his plans. Lord Bingham's voice speaking to the strange woman pulled Jonathan from his thoughts.
“Come with me,” Andrew took Adi's free hand, “I'll show you where the cooking hearth is...” He turned to the other woman. “There is a free cabin next to the one Jonathan is using.” Andrew pointed to one of the small buildings. “You are welcome to it.”
“Thank you,” Kris looked at the building, “That's very kind.” It would be nice to sleep indoors for a change. She watched Andrew and Adi walk away then gestured for Emma to join them and smiled as the blonde jogged over.
Emma licked some peach juice from her thumb, “What's up, Doc?”
Rolling her eyes at that, Kris asked, “Thought you might want to check out our new digs.” She pointed to the cabin Andrew had indicated.
“Ohh...” Emma laughed as they walked over to the building, “We get to sleep indoors tonight!”
“Yes, Ma'am.” Kris opened the door and gestured for her friend to proceed through the door.
“Oh, nice.” Emma looked around the small space, it was empty except for a tiny unused fireplace and a bed. The frame seemed sturdy with a comfy looking mattress. There was a solid thunk and Emma looked over to see Kris leaning against the inside of the now closed door. In two seconds, Emma was sandwiching Kris between herself and the door.
“Mmmm....” Kris took a deep breath and grinned, “You smell like peaches.”
Their lips were millimeters away from each other as Emma shifted and nuzzled Kris' neck as she murmured, “This was a great idea...”
Kris looked up at the ceiling, exposing more of her neck to Emma's soft kisses. “You bet it was...” Threading her fingers into the silky blonde hair, Kris pulled Emma away slightly, then pressed their lips together. The hunter's knees nearly buckling under her, “Oh God, you taste like peaches too...” She had no idea how long they'd stood there plundering each others mouths, but just as she began to move toward the bed, there was a knock at the door. They jumped away from each other and turned to see the door opening.
Andrew poked his head in the door, Jonathan right behind him, “You two settling in?” He looked around the cabin he rarely saw the inside of, “The bed isn't that large...”
“No problem,” Emma took a deep breath and waved that concern away, “It's plenty big for us.”
A disapproving sound came from Jonathan's direction and Kris grinned at the man. She was just frustrated enough to mess with him a little, “Half the time she ends up sleeping on top of me anyway.”
“Doc!” Emma laughed and swatted the brunette's bicep, “You know the only reason I do that is because you steal the covers.”
Chuckling at that, Andrew backed out of the door, “Adi told me to tell you that the steaks were nearly finished cooking.”
Kris nodded, “Thanks.” She smiled at the man as she hung on the door, “We'll be there in a few moments.” She glanced at Jonathan's slightly confused expression and Andrew's knowing one, smirking as she closed the door between them. Slowly turning to face Emma. “Now, as for you...”
Andrew and Jonathan both heard a shriek from inside the cabin. Andrew's hand on Jonathan's arm stopped the man from investigating. “It's none of our business.”
“But...” He thought he could catch the women in the act of performing witchcraft.. then he could discredit them and the other woman as well.
“Leave them be Jonathan.... I mean it!” Andrew knew there was no way he could pass on the wisdom he'd gained during his journey East to his 'brother'. The man was too set in his ways, too rigid on his feelings toward women. It was one reason Jonathan's relationship with the Lady Constance was so surprising. Constance didn't seem the type that Jonathan would be interested in. When Andrew had been courting Jonathan's sister, Jane, they had often attended parties together; a small waif-like woman who never questioned the men around her was the norm for Jonathan's companion. Constance was neither small, nor waif-like, she was also quite opinionated when she wanted to be, but Andrew allowed that they had both been grieving for Jane and grief had been known to bond people in strange ways.
Adi was nearly finished feeding Morgan his minced deer when Kris joined them in the central gathering area. She felt eyes on her from every direction and berated herself for not putting her jacket back on. Without her jacket she only had her white t-shirt, hugging her torso, outlining her muscular stomach and showing off her tan arms to cover the upper half of her body. Her shirt was tucked into her cargo pants and her boots thudded dully on the dirt as she walked. “Hi,” She smiled and tried to act casual as she sat on a bench next to Adi and Morgan, “Sorry I'm late, I had, um... something to take care of.”
Adi's dark eyes twinkled as she handed a plate with a portion of meat on it over to the late arrival. Andrew just grinned and waved off the apology. He was so happy that Adi was back in his life, the man couldn't help teasing his new friend. “We all need to take care of...things, from time to time.”
“So where is the other one, the blonde?” Jonathan couldn't decipher the smirk that appeared on Kris' face.
“Em's in the cabin, resting.” Kris pulled her knife from its sheath at her side and cut a bite off the steak. She took the bit gently from the point with her teeth, “She had early watch this morning, so she's kind of tired.”
Adi said nothing, continuing to feed Morgan, but she knew that they had both been up at dawn. The statement was truthful though, because the women had changed watch late in the night, to allow Kris some sleep.
“Watch?” Jonathan didn't understand that.
Kris looked over at the man, her blue eyes pinning him to his seat, “Traveling alone is not like traveling in a pack...group, we have to always be on alert for trouble.” She glanced at Andrew, “You mentioned wild boar and I have seen the occasional wolf track...” She focused on Jonathan again, “But of course there are other dangers... brigands for one.” She took another bite of meat, speaking around the morsel, “We do not let down our guard while traveling.” Addressing Andrew, Kris smiled, “Thank you for the opportunity to relax a bit. Sleeping indoors will help a great deal with that.”
Andrew smiled at Kris' thanks, but focused on Morgan. He was completely amazed with the boy and marveled at the child's strength as Morgan grabbed his father's finger and squeezed it tightly. “No thanks are necessary.” He shook his finger, but not enough to break it free from the baby's grip, “Any friend of Adi's is more than welcome.”
“It is too bad we are leaving tomorrow,” Jonathan spoke sarcastically, “You could join the hunt and actually contribute.”
“I would appreciate the opportunity to do that.” Kris took another bite of the venison. “This is delicious.”
“You will have more than enough 'opportunity to contribute', “Andrew shot a disgusted look at Jonathan, “on our way back to the manor. We will need to be on alert.” He sighed, “There have been reports of outlaws perpetrating attacks on passing caravans. I would think they would leave a hunting party alone, but if they are hungry enough, and lazy enough not to do the hunting themselves, a large enough band might risk it.”
Kris wasn't sure why she noticed, but Jonathan had gone very still at the mention of outlaw attacks. “I'll be happy to keep watch during the trip.” She asked, “Do we need to take a watch tonight?”
Lord Bingham waved off that question, “The schedule for tonight's guard is already set, no need to disrupt it.” His eyes twinkled as Kris took the last bit of her meal. “You get a full night's sleep tonight.”
Licking her lips, Kris' eyes took on a mischievous glint. “Yes, all night, will probably be good for me...and Em.”
Adi chuckled and pretended it was at something Morgan was doing, as she spoke to Kris with a knowing grin. “You and me both, sister.”
“Speaking of your friend,” Andrew looked across the compound to see the blonde walking toward them. She was dressed similarly to Kris, a tight white shirt tucked in to almost baggy pants that were covered in pockets and a fairly sturdy looking pair of boots. The difference was Emma's shirt showed far more of her arms and cleavage than Kris', including a tattooed band around her right arm. He smiled as the newcomer approached. “We seem to have eaten all the steaks.” He asked, “Should I go get another from the ice house?”
“No.” Kris set her empty plate aside, smiling at her friend. “Em doesn't eat meat, only fish, fruits, vegetables and some dairy things.”
“Talking about my eating habits again?” Emma settled on the bench next to Kris, “I'm not really too hungry right now anyway, but thank you for the thought, Lord Bingham.”
“Andrew, please,” The man laughed, “Kris was just informing us of your dietary practices...” He looked her up and down, “I must say you could do with a little more... filling out?” He grinned at the woman, unable to deny her ample breasts, 'Well, in some places anyway.”
“Ugh,” Emma rolled her eyes, “So people tell me, but I'm fine, perfectly healthy and can probably kick any of your hunter's butts in a fight.”
Kris rubbed her ear and grimaced at the boast, but agreed with it, “Eyah...that is probably a fair statement.”
“Really...” Jonathan scoffed, turning to Kris, “And I suppose you could out shoot them?”
Kris nodded, “Unless they are very, very good... then I would just match them.” Kris retrieved her empty plate and stood, “Where do I take this?”
Jonathan snapped his fingers at a young woman passing by, “You, girl, take her plate!”
Andrew pressed his lips together trying not to grin as all three adult women glared at Jonathan. The young blonde girl tried to take the plate but Kris held on to it. Her voice was low and furious, “Show me where to take it.” She shortened her stride to match the girl's, her boots pounding into the dirt. She had calmed herself slightly by the time they reached to large wooden tub full of soapy water. Kris dunked the plate and felt the sand at the bottom of the tub. She dunked the plate again, scooping some of the sand up and rubbing it on the surface, scouring the dish clean. Another rinse and it was done. “Where do the clean dishes go to dry?”
“I'll take it, Miss...” The girl took the plate and ducked away. Kris followed her.
Kris was still furious at the snapping treatment the girl had been subjected to. She calmed herself a bit more and placed her hand on the young woman's shoulder, gentling her tone, “What is your name?”
“Rebecca, ma'am.” The girl looked down, unable to meet Kris' intense eyes.
Kris felt Rebecca trembling. “What's wrong?” She gently tilted the girl's face up, “I'm not that scary am I?”
“So what's wrong?” Kris led the girl to sit on a nearby bench, “Why are you so scared?”
“It's...” Rebecca hesitated, then asked, “Did they bring you for the party tonight too?”
Kris' stomach did a flip and those 'vibes' Emma was always teasing her about kicked in with a vengeance. “Party?”
“On the last night, the hunters all wind down... drink what's left of the mead so the barrels don't have to be hauled back to the manor. I was so excited to be chosen to come along on the hunt,” Rebecca now had some tears in her eyes, “But now, they are saying...” she halted then continued, “They are saying that the hunter who brought down the most meat gets to... take me...during the party.”
Oh God.... Kris wasn't sure how she was going to handle this one. “Um... who....” she chose her word's carefully, “..won that honor?”
Rebecca blinked up at the woman, honor... “Um... It was Jonathan, he brought down the Red deer. It gave almost seven stone of meat.” She found herself wrapped up in Kris' arms and gave in to the comfort as she whispered, “The other women in the kitchen at the manor warned me about him. He's supposed to be in love with Lady Constance, but they told me that he will often choose a servant to bed for the night. He was the one who chose me to accompany them on the hunt.” She shook her head at the things they had told her, choosing to believe they weren't true.
“How old are you?” Kris could feel the anger burning in her guts explode as the girl answered quietly.
“He won't touch you.” Kris assured the girl, “I won't allow it, and neither will my friend.” Emma was going to throw a fit over this for sure.
“But how can you stop him?” A glimmer of hope shined in the corner of Rebecca's eye and a tentative smile began as Kris' response.
“Any way I have to.”
TBC in Part 3