A Desperate Plea to Live
Bonnie walked me back toward the hut. She’d have had to fetch a wheelbarrow to push me had I locked my heels any harder.
He’s going to shove that thing in me and I’ll split apart. I’d seen how Bonnie struggled and she was far more voluptuous then me.
I felt far from up to the task.
Bonnie opened the door and soundly shoved me in. Slamming it closed behind me.
And leaving me with the monster.
“How was yer bath?” Mardichi was at the table. His heels up on the corner as he leisurely whittled at a bit of wood near his middle. His waving red hair slung around his shoulders as his head was tipped down. Blue eyes intent on his task.
I turned stiffly in his direction and chewed my lip.
“What would it take to make you let me go?” I blurted the only thing I could think. The same thought pouring over my mind. A desperate desire to live.
He scoffed in laughter and slid his feet to the ground. Rising from the chair and setting the bit of wood aside. Slipping the dagger in the strap of leather circling his pelvis.
I eyed it desperately. Wondering if I could get to it before he swung one of those massive fists and knocked me across the hut.
He grunted as if sensing my thoughts amused him.
My eyes trailed up over densely muscled thighs, well-honed from battle. Up over the bit of leather that concealed his most dangerous war hammer. And up over his abdomen which looked carved of stone. His chest seemed constructed of two square blocks branching from wide shoulders. His arms were as thick as tree trunks I’d seen.
I swallowed. Mouth suddenly dry.
“Please me well. Impress me and I might consider it. But I find it unlikely. I doubt you can properly prepare a meal. Much less service a man well.”
“Well I-I…I’ve never done that.”
“A fact which I found glaringly clear when ye looked scared enough to wretch on me floor while Bonnie and me meshed skin.”
“Meshed skin?” That seemed a terrible term for it.
“I-I can cook. What if I cook well, clean well?”
“Nay. Willna be enough.” He shook his head. “Not what I want.”
My eyes flicked over the floor as my mind frantically worked.
“You’re not getting out of it, Little One.”
A sound very much like a whimper escaped me.
In-fact I’m very sure that’s what it was.
He towered over me, a dark shadow cast so far beyond, that it darkened the floor behind me.
I’ve never seen a man so massive.
“Can I please go home?” I squeaked. Begging in desperation.
“I must admit that I am surprised a woman of your age has managed to remain untouched for this long.” He remarked thoughtfully as he strolled over to the door and flipped the latch on the top to lock it before moving over to the fire to crouch and add a couple logs.
A latch I clearly couldn’t reach without dragging a chair over.
That was pretty much my primary plan at this juncture.
That or slitting his throat with his own dagger if I could get it from him before he snaps my neck. I winced at the thought.
“My, my…” He remarked. Peering over his shoulder pensively at me. “Ye’re always thinkin’ aren’t ye?”
I gave him a dumbfounded look. Likely belying his remark on what may’ve been, a compliment to my intelligence. I was trying to remember if I’d been staring at the lock on the door when he’d commented.
Had I been so obviously trying to plan an escape?
“Here.” He walked to a pantry and returned with potatoes and carrots and a skinned rabbit he drew off a hook. Slapping them on the table next to me made me jump.
I winced, closing my eyes.
“Cease with that.” He grunted. “If I was going to force ye, I’d have done so by now.” He looked sideways at me standing next to me. “However, be forewarned, I will have no qualms in it if ye dunnot cooperate when I say after the first time.”
“The first time?”
He scoffed at my whining voice. “Even a man like me knows ye gotta treat a woman a bit different her first time or she’d rather die than let ye near her again.”
“I’d already rather die than let you near me.” I blinked up at him dully.
He reared back slightly and gave me a long look. “I’m awful close to ye now.” He nodded toward the mere inches gap between our arms. “And I ain’t hurtin’ ye.”
I swallowed a lump which had the texture and consistency of a river boulder.
“Cook.” He gestured to the carrots and potatoes.
“Dagger.” I held out my hand. Trying to act purposeful so he wouldn’t notice my deep hope.
When he didn’t move a long moment, I hazarded another look up at him and met dancing blue eyes.
My lip curled derisively. He walked to a drawer near the pantry and withdrew the tiniest sticker I’d ever seen. Slapping it into my palm.
The handle is longer than the blade.
He grinned unabashedly at my mournful study of the little knife.
“Is this even sharp enough to cut the carrot?”
“Give it a try.”
I turned the carrot and chopped the tip which came off smoothly. Least its sharp.
“It is enough to cut that. But you stick me with it, it’s going to do just enough damage to annoy me. And might make your next days less kind then I’d planned thus far.”
Seeing the intensity of his light blue eyes I was very certain he met it.
Grimacing I went back to cutting the carrot. Dammit.