“How old are you?” I asked her.
Figures. That seems to be the age most of these girls are, I thought with a scoff.
“I hope you’ve had sex already honey, because you do not want your cherry popped by one of those vicious bastards,” I said, flicking the ashes of my cigarette onto the floor.
She turned her face away and sniffled. Oh fuck. She is a virgin. Think of something quick, Amity.
I sighed and brought my knee up, resting my arm on top of it. There had to be a way to save this girl from the horrors of being one of Kerstan’s whores. I glanced around the room trying to brainstorm when her sudden sob distracted me.
“Whatever you do, never let him see you cry,” I warned holding up a finger. “Not that you should have to worry about that. I’m going to get you out of here, but you’re going to have to pull it together for me. Can you do that?”
“Why would you help me?” she asked suddenly.
That’s a good question. Because I can’t help myself? Because I couldn’t help Betje? Because one of us should make it out of here unscathed?
“Let’s just say it’ll be the only good deed that someone will remember me for,” I replied quietly looking out the window. I took another drag of my cigarette, only to find that in my masterminding the break out of Minikin, I had let it burn down to the filter. I looked down on my bed and sighed, sliding the ashes onto the floor. “That was my last one too,” I said with a rueful smile.
“Lieve, uw aanwezigheid wordt gevraagd,” one of the grandmothers as I was now calling them said, poking her head into the room.
I glanced at her and nodded. I didn’t understand all of what she said, but I did manage to catch the gist of it. I was being summoned and there was only one person in this house who would want to see me.
“I want you to stay here until I get back, Minikin. If anyone opens that door, you go out that window and down that tree. Go hide in the gardens; I’ll be able to find you there. Okay?” I asked getting to my feet.
She nodded and I gave her a small smile, before turning on my heel and walking out of the room. I closed the door behind me firmly and followed the grandmother toward the far west side of the home. We walked around a corner that was so well hidden, that you’d never know it was there unless you were privileged to the information.
But it was more obvious than being “summoned” that we were on our way to Kerstan’s room. Which meant he wanted to start his sexual adventures with me tonight. Which meant that Minikin was going to be on her own and if she went into the gardens, I probably wouldn’t be able to get to her until tomorrow. Fuck.
The grandmother led me to a pair of beautiful wooden double doors at the end of the dimly lit hallway and gestured for me to enter. I put one hand on the elaborate gold tone doorknob and bit my lower lip nervously.
My hesitation was not a deterrent to the grandmother who took the decision from me when she put her hand on mine and opened the door, giving me a gentle shove inside.
Kerstan was sitting in a grand leather chair by the window, one leg crossed atop the other, while he held a glass of wine in one hand, still in his exquisite clothing from the Feast of the New Flesh. Of course he didn’t call it that, but I did. I had been through enough new girls here that I just started making names up for certain things. I could see from his gaze that something outside had caught his attention, but I didn’t care enough to allow myself to become curious.
He took a sip of wine before he spoke, “What took so long?”
My inner fear gave way to annoyance almost immediately.
“Apologies, your Highness, I didn’t realize we were under a time crunch here,” I replied sarcastically.
A laugh escaped from somewhere inside of him; the first I ever heard from Kerstan. I rolled my eyes nonetheless, and pulled my panties off. I tossed them to the side and went to his lush king sized bed and climbed on. I made myself comfortable somewhere in the middle of it and cleared my throat.
“Lieve, may I ask you something?”
“You promised to call me Amity when we were alone,” I reminded him in a cold tone.
“Amity. So, may I?” He took another sip of wine and never tore his eyes off of whatever he was looking at outside.
“Was Betje your lover?”
“What? No! Why would you think that?” I asked in shock.
“Because you tried to bargain for her return. I simply assumed you to be lovers,” he replied setting his now empty glass down on the floor next to him.
“She was my friend,” I replied, emphasizing the word.