From the first moment I saw her I had thought she was beautiful, my bright from the darkest day of my life. Now as she lay on the floor of my room sleeping, I couldn't help but think it again. She was beautiful with that short, gently curled black hair that framed her angelic face perfectly. And her skin. So much paler than my own, thank goodness. With the master's help she might be able to make something of herself. And my heart felt happy knowing she wouldn't be looked down upon for the color of her skin. If her eyes were open a rich warm brown would have been visible. Those eyes that always seemed to be alight with mischievous excitement. I know in a few years I'm going to have my hands full.
Have I mentioned how beautiful she is?
And I made her.
Still to this day I wonder about her mother. Was she sold because of what she did to me or was it because she was unable to work properly while pregnant? probably the latter.
The master made it clear that night that I should have been happy for that attention. I still don't see how anyone could enjoy that.
"Asho," the commanding voice of the master brought me out of my dreamings. Didn't even bother knocking on my door, just came right in, "a word please."
He motioned for me to follow him out of my room. Not really sure what the point of him even entering it was, if we were just going to turn right around and head toward the common area. But we didn't stop there like I thought we were going to. Probably too populated. I saw a maid dusting the furniture and a male servant straightening pictures giving her none too subtle googly eyes. The sexual tension was so thick it was suffocating. If the master wanted this talk to be private we'd be heading for the kitchen.
Lo and behold, a few minutes later, we were there. It was a decent size, I suppose. Nice sized stove, lots of counter space. I decided to make a seat out of some of the ample counter space. Might as well get comfortable. The master tended to be long winded when he finally decided to actually begin talking.
I didn't know why he was beating around the bush. I knew exactly why he called me in here. It was the same reason he always called me in here. He was coming to visit. James Porter was coming to the estate.
He took in a deep breath. "Mr. Porter is coming for a visit," he said in a rush glancing worriedly at me. I don't know if he thought saying it fast like that was going to make it any easier... because it definitely didn't. Not in the slightest.
"When will he get here?" I asked not even pretending to be shocked by the news.
"Tonight," he squeaked.
"What! Why so suddenly?" I shouted. He seemed to shrink under my gaze, so much for being the authoritative figure around here. He gave a sigh and ran a hand through his hair.
"Said it's to 'visit'. I personally think he's doing it to see you again," smirking the master left the kitchen while I glowered at the stupid pots that were hanging directly above the stove. They would feel my displeasure of the situation, I'd make sure of it.
My master wasn't kidding when he said Mr. Porter was probably coming to see me. You see to put it frankly, he has the hots for me. All my tripping and clumsiness must look pretty damn sexy to him. From the moment he first visited he stared at me with those unbelievably green eyes, boring holes right into my soul. He'd look at me and smirk, as if waiting for me to take one step out of line. And honestly, he probably was. He relished in me making mistakes, especially when they brought me closer to him. I've been in countless awkward positions and conversations because of my slip ups. Heck the first time we spoke to each other was because I tripped and fell into him as I was leading him to his room. I'm still trying to figure out how that happened since I was in front of him the whole time.
There was something about the man though. Even though he was pleasant enough and most of the time had a grin on his face and a smile in his eyes, something just seemed...off. Mr. Porter had an aura that unnerved me. He wasn't scary, far from it. I found myself liking him and enjoying the secret intellectual talks we had. I could hope for nothing more than those brief encounters, anything else would surely turn into a scandal. He may be willing to risk the tarnish on his reputation, but I knew the master would never forgive me if I accepted or encouraged Mr. Porter's advances, as much as I might want to.
So I have no problem with Mr. Porter. The reason I dread his visits so much stems from the person who always accompanies him on all of his outings.
She treated me like a mongrel. I could live with that, if it were only that, but she also absolutely hated Sareh. If she so much as saw my daughter again she promised me Sareh would no longer be of my concern. She'd be taken from me.
That threat scared me more than anything else on this planet. I knew she was serious.
Before long it was time to go out and greet the guests. They always came late at night, preferring to travel when the heat of midday wasn't bearing down on them. Or at least that's the excuse Mr. Porter offered for their late arrival time and time again.
Sareh was still in my room, curled up on the floor sleeping away. I hadn't the heart to wake her. The Porter's would not need to go anywhere near my room. She'd be fine.
The master was standing next to me. As we were getting ready to walk toward the carriage he grasped my shoulders, turning me to face him. "Keep Sareh out of sight," he whispered gently. Upon seeing the terror in my eyes he added a quick apology for the short notice. "Stay strong. I'll make sure this is a quick visit."
I stood at the entrance of the mansion dressed in my finest outfit. My hair was tied back, after the master's insistence, with a dark blue ribbon that matched my eyes perfectly. The master stood slightly in front of me, a large fake grin upon his face. As the carriage sat there, waiting only for us to greet the people inside, my stomach twisted into knots. I leaned against one of the pillars of the entranceway for support.
I took a good look at the vehicle. Figures it would be pulled by pure white horses. Six of them. And the carriage itself was a pristine milk color lined with gold leaf. Actually there was a lot of gold. The door was ornately decorated with it. A scene of spring with intricately crafted flowers spoke of an artist of amazing skill.
The driver moved around and opened the door of the carriage. And was stunned when the thing slammed open hitting him in the face. I tried to hide my laughter very unsuccessfully as James Porter came bouncing down the steps. He had a spring in his step that didn't fail to rock the vehicle to and fro as he descended the three steps. I heard an indignant squawk from inside and smiled to myself. I looked at him to see that famous mischievous smile upon his otherwise handsome face. The grin never failed to make him look like a clown. He exchanged pleasantries with the master then glanced my way and winked.
He watched me for a reaction and wasn't disappointed. My face was hot. I probably looked like a tomato. In my defense, I'm pretty sure a glacier would have melted if he were flirting with it. Even with that stupid grin. His grin got even wider. Probably knew what I was thinking.
Satisfied, he linked arms with the master, throwing the man completely off guard and started dragging him to the door. I turned to follow behind the master, like a good little servant.
Before I could even complete the turn I saw her. Sareh. My heart jumped into my stomach. It took everything in me not to vomit the cursed organ up. She was heading straight for the carriage. More specifically the carriage door. The one that Mrs. Porter was currently getting out of. And there was Sareh, completely oblivious of what was at stake here, being her bubbly self laughing and dancing her way straight toward that devil of a woman.
I made a strangled gasp and scrambled after my child. I'm too slow though, much too slow for the speed of a toddler. I watched in horror as she touched the ruffled fringe of Mrs. Porter's outfit. "Ooh. Pretty Dress," my daughter squealed at the cross old woman. Mrs. Porter sneered. Making a face that could melt the skin off of the strongest of men she raised her foot to kick Sareh.
It was coming down full force toward my daughters head when I finally reached her. I protected her and got a shoe in the face for my efforts. I fell to the ground disoriented. Felt something liquid coming out of my nose.
"Daddy you're bleeding," Sareh cried touching my cheek.
"It's okay Magbol, Daddy's jus-"
"How dare you, you mongrel thief," she screeched indignantly.
Thief? What the hell was she on about now?
I had no time to think further than that. Sometime during my assault the driver/doorman came over to the woman. He grabbed me and beat me into a standing position. Sareh cried as we were pushed into the carriage.
The door closed behind us and we were plunged into darkness. A match was lit illuminating the face of the driver. He wore a smile that was badly distorted by the small flame. I didn't know about Sareh, but I'd have nightmares after seeing that ugly mug. I set Sareh behind me, as the man began to talk. "Sorry for the rough treatment there sir. Yeh see, the lady lost something and since you're the only one here who had crap for parents, she recons it's you who's stolen the goods." My blood boiled at his words. I didn't care what he said about my father or me, but he better not insult my mother. He shook the match before it could burn his fingers or before I could lunge to punch him. Pity.
No sooner had the match gone out than I was punched in the face. Hard. My nose, that had began to stop bleeding started again, like a faucet. I stumbled back and hit the seat, majorly disoriented. I was feeling light headed after the multiple blows to the head. Hands wrapped around my throat. I tried to yell, but it came out garbled. Sareh was crying and screaming for me in the background. I tried to get away. clawed at the hands around my neck. The man tightened his grip around my neck and ground out through gritted teeth "Now there'll be none of that, sir."
I thought dimly that it was kind of ironic that he was being so polite... as he slammed my head against the wall. The carriage rocked with the force of the blow. I continued to claw at his hand, arms, hell anything I could reach. Think I might have gotten his face at some point. One, two, three more times he smashed my head into the wall. I felt myself grow weaker. Heard Sareh's worried cry of Daddy. Everything went black.