When Anghela met Fritz in the kitchen, he could tell she was distracted. Something was bothering her. But it was not his place to ask. He could only imagine what had happened with her father. The master seemed angry but not at this lovely female.
Fritz had balked slightly when Anghela had insisted on helping cook dinner this evening. Females shouldn’t help with the cooking but when she said it relaxed her and she wanted to help introduce better nutrition to the males, he relented.
Anghela walked into the kitchen like she owned the place. Earlier when she’d been mixing up some medicine for master Rhage, he’d been astounded by her knowledge of old country medicinal herbs and more modern technique. She truly was skilled.
“Hey Fritz. So what are we making tonight? Tell me what to do.” Anghela said as she set a device on the counter out of the way then went to wash up.
“The master’s favorite, roasted lamb. If you’d like, you can suggest some sides and dessert. I have the lamb already marinated. Come, let us start.” Fritz beckoned her over to the refrigerator where the lamb waited. He noticed that she had her hair plated into a long braid down her back and was wearing a worn but functional apron.
“I’ve never had lamb. How does roasted carrots, bacon and chive mashed potatoes, and buttermilk biscuits sound? And for dessert, chocolate and banana cream pies?” Anghela almost asked as she gazed around the large kitchen.
“Sounds delectable. Shall we start?” Fritz was genuinely pleased with her. She seemed a good cook and so smart.
“Let’s. Oh, you mind if I play some music? I like listening while I cook and make my herbal remedies.” Anghela asked, indicating the device she’d brought in.
“Of course, anything to make you feel comfortable.” Fritz smiles, wondering what genre of music Anghela preferred.
He watched her set up the device and put the music on shuffle. The first song that played was a country song he’d never heard.
“What? Haven’t you ever heard of Keith Urban?” Anghela asked, seeing Fritz’s expression.
“No, I haven’t. Most of the occupants in the house prefer the music of the rap genre. What is this song called?” Fritz liked the male voice that was actually singing and playing a guitar.
“I’m not a fan of rap myself. You wont hear me playing any of that. This is called ’you gonna fly” He’s talking about how he thinks his girl is shy but she’s amazing to him. Good song.” Anghela replied. She really did seem to have a disdain for rap. That wouldn’t go over well with the brothers. That’s most of what they listened to.
“I like your choice of music. Not a single curse word and no shouting.” Fritz said as the song changed. The new one was a band with an upbeat tempo that was more punk rock. Rise Against’s “Satellites” as Anghela called it.
“You know what rap stands for, Fritz?” Anghela asked as she began the custard for the pies.
“Rhyming attempted poorly.”
Anghela liked cooking with Fritz. He was so obliging and helpful. The guy even shared her taste in music. Soon she started to feel comfortable enough with him to dance around the kitchen. And sometimes he danced too.
“Fritz, would you mind going down to the cellar and peel the potatoes?” Anghela asked as she got the carrots ready for the roasting pans. She’d already started cooking off the bacon in oven safe pans that the carrots would be added to. More flavor that way.
As the carrots went into the oven, the kitchen door opened and shut behind her. “Wow, Fritz. You peel potatoes fast-”
It wasn’t Fritz behind her. A huge male with a scarred face and a shaved head was right behind her. His cold black eyes were on her as if he were a predator stalking prey.
“I’m the farthest thing from Fritz, female. What are you doing here?” the male said, leering at her.
“I’m a new trainee for the soldier program. I was just helping cook dinner. Who are you?” Anghela asked, determined not to be afraid of him. She’d dealt with tough guys before and he wouldn’t dare touch her anyway. He had to be a Brother and one mention that she was his boss’s daughter would get him backing down. Or she’d make him.
“I’d watch yourself, female. I’m not a male you want to piss off. I’m the soulless warrior.” He said, flashing huge fangs that were sharp and monstrous.
Anghela steeled herself and pointed the knife in her hand at him. “Look, stop trying to scare me because it’s not working. Either help me cook or get the hell out.”
He glared at her for a minute and she kept her eyes locked right on his. Then he smirked and said, “Tough female. What’s your name?”
“Anghela. What’s yours?”
“Zsadist. You’re really not afraid of me.” It wasn’t a question. He knew she wasn’t going to be intimidated by him.
“Well Zsadist, are you gonna help cook or not?” she asked, going to the fridge to get the stuff to glaze the lamb.
Zsadist stood silently behind her for a second. “I don’t know what to do. Never cooked before.”
Oh man, a warrior with no cooking skills. Why was she enlisting his help? Though he was unsure of himself, he seemed eager to stay. Or intrigued enough by her grit. He’d do exactly what she told him.
“You can start by washing your hands.” Anghela said as Fritz came back with a large container of peeled potatoes. Fritz froze as he saw Zsadist but Anghela had it handled. ” Oh good, Zsadist you can help Fritz cut the potatoes into chunks.”
“No problem. So what is this you’re listening to?” Zsadist did exactly what she told him and Fritz seemed to relax back into the groove they had.
“This is Gloriana’s ‘Wild at heart’.” She said and sang along to the female part, dancing a bit. Zsadist watched and listened before picking up on the chorus and singing with.
“Wow. You have a great voice.” Anghela was astounded that such a beautiful sound could come out of someone who called himself the soulless warrior.
“Make up for the rest of me being so ugly?” Zsadist sneered. There was some serious self-loathing there. As someone who used her own anger to warm herself, Anghela could tell his issues ran even deeper than her own.
“I don’t think your appearance is what makes you ugly. People could see past that if you let them.” Anghela said, bringing a stockpot over to him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” he said, pivoting to face her. A bit of menace washed out of him, like he didn’t understand what she’d said but thought it was bad.
“I wouldn’t care if you had donkey ears and a tail as long as you kept that violence for the lessers and tried to be nice to me. You seem to want to be my friend or at least not scare me away. You probably have a good soul.” Anghela said, meaning every word.
“What makes you think I have a soul at all?” Zsadist made it sound like Anghela was the first person not to recoil in fear of him like he was some kind of monster.
“See this burn on my arm?” Anghela pulled up her sleeve to show him the mark Heather had left on her.
“Someone did that to me because she hates me and wants to hurt me. I’m scum to her.”
“Who did that to you? Why would anyone want to hurt you?” Zsadist was furious, like he wanted to rip Heather’s throat out.
“Don’t worry about it. My point is that I know what it’s like to be hated and judged by how I look. Who you are on the inside matters more.” Anghela smiled up at him. Her mother used to say that to her when Anghela had wanted to kill her stepfather. Anghela needed to be a good, kind person for her mahmen.
“The only thing I know I am is a killer. How can that be anything but bad?”
“Not true. You defend people from the enemy. Your singing is beautiful too. I can teach you to cook and make medicine too if you want.” Anghela said. It was important to pass knowledge down and she needed to believe neither of them were bad people.
“Why are you trying so hard? No females ever want to spend time with me. What’s in this for you?” Zsadist asked, not sure what to think of any of this.
Anghela shrugged and got the potatoes on the stove to cook. “Their loss. Everyone needs friends and I’d like to be your friend.” Anghela said honestly with a smile. She’d need to be on friendly terms with the brothers and this one almost begged her to.
“Friends?” Zsadist asked like he was mulling it over. Then he smiled and his harsh face actually took on a pleasant smile,
“Friends,” She repeated, holding out a hand.
He reached out tentatively, like he was afraid of hurting her. Anghela gripped his large palm firmly to let him know it was ok. The contact actually felt nice for once.