Slaves

Chapter 4

A Conversation,

When they were in close proximity to the cabin that was going to be their home for the time being, they saw that the slaves were lined up as a man at the door was passing them their food rations, and when it was handed to them they dug into it greedily. Each man was given a small bowl that had some kind of soup in it, and a quarter of bred to use as a dipping or for scraping out the last remnants of the soup.

They quickly took their cue and waited patiently as the line moved along, when Djaq had received hers Guy simply turned his head and walked closely behind. When they were inside they soon found a table where the rest of the slaves were wolfing down their meals, trying not to lose as much as possible.

After they entered Guy walked off on his own, there were no beds or cots in the cabin, there were only single mattresses with single blankets that had moth eaten holes and dirt stains, which were accompanied by other stains he would rather ignore, where you were expected to sleep. He could just see how this was going to go down; he was going to spend the night lying up close and personal with people he would rather not know.

However the cabin was large enough so he could get some private space, but he was hoping Djaq would take the mattress next to him, he quickly scanned the room; there was a single large square window on the back wall where he had already decided he was going to sleep. The table he had already noticed was occupied now, and the small room that was adjacent to the living area, was what he imagined to be the privy.

So he walked over to the corner of the room and laid down ready to catch the first set of Z's that would grace him with their presence. Djaq looked up from the table that she ate at to see Guy with his back to the crowd, she almost felt for him due to the fact that being away from Marian was eating at him.

Djaq was perhaps the only one who ate decently at the table that afternoon, and when she had finished Guy was in a sound sleep, but since Acre the nightmares never stopped. When she had finished her meal she was going to take the spot closest to Guy but when she was halfway across the room the door swung open. Charles stepped in the smell of fine wine on his breath, and the sound of laughter echoing in through the door.

"This is where you sleep tonight; I trust you will make yourselves comfortable there are only a few things I want to say tonight. And that is I don't care about your hygiene, and I don't care when you eat, I also don't care how much you sleep if you do at all, I wouldn't care if you got anything to eat or drink if it didn't mean you would die, but I do care about the respect you show me. That means that if you cross me I won't even think twice before I cut you down to size, I hope I have made myself clear." He said, the amount of cruelty showing in the manner he spoke to them, so everyone nodded their heads even if they didn't know what he said,

"Good, good, you pick anyplace you want in this cabin because nothing is different no matter where you are, and if I see any of you step foot outside of this room you'll be dead men." He said, before he turned and slammed the door behind him,

After the brief scare she got from Charles Djaq she wanted to continued to the mattress beside Guy, so she could to talk to him but decided that she should let him get all the sleep he could. Instead she returned to the table so she could dress the blisters on her hand, using the scraps of bread that had fallen on the floor, she poured water on them until they were soggy.

Then tearing two strips of cloth from the fraying curtains she placed some of the bread on one hand and then wrapped it up with the cloth, she repeated the procedure with the other hand. The soggy bread was cool and it instantly relieved the pain from the blisters, when she had finished she found that the rest of the slaves had not yet occupied the space beside Guy, so she took it.

She then took the quarter loaf of bread that she had received with her supper from her jacket and hid it under the mattress, so she could give it to Guy later. No sooner did her head touch the not so comfortable mattress did she drift off into a light sleep, which was influenced by the hard work she had achieved today.

While Guy slept his mind raced back to the events that lead to the scare across the tattoo on his right arm, the day he had made an attempt on the King's life, his King. Something inside of him ached since that day, and with that ache came the nightmares, it appeared that his own conscience was refusing to let the treasonous act pass.

Hours later which seemed like a mere few minutes to Guy, and he instantly jolted awake, he woke just at the moment when Robin was about to slice the knife across his arm. He rose into a sitting position, and leaned his back against the wall pulling his legs close to his chest, before he wrapped his arms around them.

Letting his hands hang at his feet, with his left hand secured loosely around his right forearm, he stared out the window idly, gazing into the pale moon that shone overhead. Whispering a silent prayer as his lips moved but he made no sound, he turned to Djaq as he heard her shifting, he soon saw that she was lying with her back to him.

He gently took the blanket that lay by her feet at the corners and slid it over her delicate form; she was a lamb among wolves. When he had covered her he went back to starring out the window and into the large completed moon in its awe inspiring state.

Several minutes later and Djaq woke as if someone had frightened her, but she made no movement nor did she make any noise, but she was surprised to find that she was covered with her ratty blanket. She then rose into a sitting position, and saw that Guy was awake and starring at the moon as if he hadn't noticed her.

She pulled the blanket up to her waist as she had her legs fully extended, and still Guy acted as if he hadn't noticed her, but that was because his mind was coming up with a plan of escape. Finally she broke the silence.

"You realize that if you stay up all night you will not be able to get to work tomorrow." She reasoned in a whisper,

"I couldn't sleep." Guy said,

"What is she like?" Djaq asked,

"What's who like?" Guy asked in return,

"The woman that you love what is she like?"

"She is Marian, she's beautiful...she has short brown locks of amber hair, and golden green eyes set in nothing less than love…and I want her to be my wife, she is the love of my life." Guy explained,

"You seem unhappy when you talk about her why?" Djaq asked,

"Because I am not sure that she understands the love I have for her, she thinks that I just want to own her but that's not true." Guy replied,

"Then why don't you just tell her." Djaq offered,

"Because she always pushes me away whenever I talk about our relationship it's almost like she's afraid of my true feelings, it's like she doesn't want to know I am capable of loving her." Guy explained,

"You have one strange woman but I can see that you love her."

"I was going to ask her to marry me after I came back from the mission the sheriff sent me on but now I feel it will be in vain." Guy said with a slight tilt of his head,

"Do not say that if you love her never give up keep showing her that you want to be there for her, show her you are capable of emotional commitment." Djaq nearly ordered,

"There is someone else though, I'm not sure if she still carries a torch for him or not but I can't be sure." Guy said,

"Who?" Djaq asked,

"Robin of Loxley, but he's an outlaw I warned Marian that if the sheriff ever caught her around him the punishment would be death." Gisborne replied,

"Death just because a woman loves an outlaw?" Djaq demanded,

"Yeah but you don't understand sheriff Vaisey is a cruel man who would kill someone just for the pleasure of seeing sufferance, because when Robin first became an outlaw he cut out a villagers tongue every hours until he showed up to save them." Guy explained still in a whisper,

"I do not understand why you work for this man even though he can grant you power and title, if anything you should save everyone a lot of suffering and kill him." Djaq reasoned,

"You're right and I can't deny that but if the sheriff was to die an unnatural death then the whole of Nottingham and surrounding villages would be raised to the ground." Guy said quickly,

"But why would the Nottingham be raised to the ground if the only man who would do that is dead?" She asked,

"Because the sheriff has entered into an agreement with Prince John, and if he was to die for any reason other than natural causes then an army would be sent to destroy everything, when the sun has set." Guy explained,

"This Prince John is worse than the sheriff the country is being run by a tyrant." Djaq exclaimed,

"That is not entirely true because the real King of England is fighting a war in the Holy Lands with Saladin." Guy protested,

"I know that is when I was captured by your English people and sold as a slave." Djaq explained, it was then that she realized the bread that she had saved for Gisborne was still under her mattress, "I almost forgot this is for you so you can keep your strength up." She said, as she handed him her quart of bread,

"Thank you." Guy said gratefully, "But do you know what could happen if Charles finds out that you are helping me." He warned,

"Do you see anyone here that is going to snitch on us?" Djaq asked,

"No." Guy replied, after swallowing a mouthful of bread,

"He is all talk and no action, he craves power and he wants everyone to fear him that is why he does not like you." She explained,

"So tell me what is so wrong with this Robin that it would mean death to be seen with him?" She asked, continuing their previous conversation,

"Robin Hood is stealing from the sheriff and giving the money to the poor, and when he is not doing that he foils plans that have been set up to overthrow the King, while making himself as irritating as possible." Guy answered,

"Then why don't you join this Robin Hood and fight against the sheriff." Djaq reasoned,

"Because this man took away my whole life when I was a boy and that is why I am not going to help him now." Guy retorted, his voice filled with venom over one man and it scared her,

"And you want to kill this man regardless of the good things he does?" She asked,

"I want him to lose what I have lost; I want him to feel what it is like to lose the things that I have lost, nothing would make me happier." He replied,

"Not even taking Marian to be your wife?" She asked,

"That's not what I meant." Guy protested,

"No I'll tell you what you mean, you're telling me that you would give up Marian and everything else that you care about to exact to revenge on a man who destroyed your life." Djaq retorted,

"You're right…but the day I most everything I lost my parents in a house fire." Guy agreed,

"I'm sorry I didn't know." Djaq apologized,

"No that's alright…you are the first person to tell me what I am really like, I know it myself but I have been hiding it so long that I guess I don't see what I become anymore." Guy dismissed,

"I also lost someone who was very close to me a twin, he was my brother so I became him his name was Djaq, my real name is Sophia." She explained,

"So what will you do?" She asked, after a moment of silence had elapsed,

"I will let her choose who she wants and if she doesn't choose me then I can't blame her, I will also allow her to get in touch with Robin if she wants to, and tell him about the sheriff's plans." He answered, "After all it would be easier if he had a spy on the inside." Guy added,

"I have been a fool all this time to be fighting the man I should have been helping, because he is my root to position when the King returns, I may even be able to obtain my lands once again." He continued,

"Yes but all these things can only happen if we are to get out of here." Djaq reminded,

"That's not going to be a problem because I have a plan on how to escape." Guy informed,

"And what is this plan?" Djaq asked,

"Well it's not finished yet I'll tell you when it is." Guy replied, as he finished his last morsel of bread,

"How will you get back to Nottingham when you escape because you have no idea how you got here?" She asked reasonably,

"Nottingham is to the east, just follow the rising sun, or travel in the opposite direction when it is setting." Guy answered, giving directions like a compass,

"You know you're way around have you been here before?" She asked,

"No I haven't, I didn't even know the sheriff had a mine up this far, because he usually tells me everything." Guy replied,

"So how do you know it is to the east?" She asked,

"Because a man told me that if I wanted a fresh start to keep travelling east, that's how he started and when I met him he was a well to do farmer." Guy explained,

"So you kept going east until you found Nottingham and that's when you began your crusade for position?" She asked,

"Yes that was also when I found two reasons to stay, the sheriff was taking on new men and Marian was looking for a husband." He agreed,

"If for any reason you were to escape while I was trapped here, get Robin and bring him here tell him to come at once so he can shut this mine down, but make sure you remember the way." He said,

"Why would I be the only one to escape?" Djaq asked,

"If I was ever to create a diversion that lead to your escape, honor my request." He said, in a pleading manner,

"You would sacrifice everything just so you could hurt the sheriff…even if it meant giving up Marian?" She asked,

"If it came to that." Guy replied,

"But…" She protested, but Guy gave her a look that showed he meant what he said,

"Now judging by the position of the moon I would say that it was or was just after midnight…and I think we should get whatever sleep is left." He said,

"You're right and we have an early start…sleep well." She agreed, whispering the last part quieter so Guy could barely hear her


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