We travelled to the Dragon gates, the crown Prince still tied up. I did end up binding his foot so that it would stop bleeding, and we even gave him food and water. The look on his face when he realized how serious we were about leaving him there was delightful to watch. I negotiated with the Dragons, a few different ones than my Queen dealt with.
“I have a slave that needs to be held. He is unruly, and I want him taken care of while he is here.”
The Dragon looked at my clothes, then to the crown Prince. “What name do you wish to leave him under?” There was no sense of recognition in his voice that he knew who this was.
“My name is Samarra, and his is Haus.”
“Haus, step forward.” The Dragon commanded of the crown Prince. “He has fine bone structure and looks to be in good shape. He would get you a good price, milady, if you wished to sell him. I know of someone who would pay a good price for slaves as conventionally attractive as he.”
“I do not want to sell him; I just cannot take him into the capital city because of his attitude. Will housing him be an issue?”
The Dragon shook his head, “No, milady. But if you are unable to pay for his release, he will be sold to recoup the cost.”
“Understood. May I get a picture for him, so if I do end up finding a buyer, I can give them the picture for purchase?” I smiled sweetly.
The reptilian smile spread across the Dragon’s face, “Of course, milady. Right this way.”
I turned to the crown Prince, “We are leaving you here under the assumption that you have given us good information about our Queen. If the information is wrong, you will be sold. If it is good, I will send a courier to your father to save you.” I dragged him along with me to where the pictures are done, while Garrett looked at the pictures on the wall, looking for our Queen and Silvia.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him rip a picture off the wall. It had to be one of our girls be used of the way he ran down the corridor. The Dragon finished the picture of Haus, handed it to me, as I handed him the lead rope.
“It is a trap!” I heard Garrett shout as the Dragon’s smile grew. I grabbed my daggers, but the Dragon released the crown Prince.
Dragon guards surrounded us, their blades pointed at me. “Thank you for bringing back the crown Prince. The Merchant and the King will be very pleased.” The Dragon hissed.
The crown Prince just smiled at me, “This was easier than I thought it would be. I will admit that I was worried there for a minute with the avalanche.” He looked over my shoulder, “These two belong to you?”
I whipped around to see the Merchant standing there, holding a large quantity of gold for the Dragons. “I believe that the girl is mine. The male should be sent to the Games.”
I tried to throw the dagger I held, but the crown Prince grabbed my arms from behind me. “Tsk, tsk, tsk. You should not try to hurt your new master. It might turn out badly for your Queen.”
“HE has her!?” I screamed in anger.
“That he does. Now, if you are a good little girl, you might even see her.” The crown Prince whispered in my ear, before turning to smell my hair and neck, “Though part of me wishes I could keep you myself. Even with your scarred face, the fun in the dark would be just as entertaining.”
I tried to pull away from him, but he was hiding his strength the entire time. I looked to Garrett as they shackled him. “Let him go! He only helped me under the guise of freedom.”
The Merchant punched Garrett in the stomach, “Why would I do that, my dear? He has shown that he is a fighter, and my last one died a few days ago. Bring her here.”
The crown Prince walked me over to the Merchant, who touched the scars he created on my face. “As promised, my good man. Now, the payment?” He used our own rope to bind my wrists behind my back. He then handed the lead to the Merchant.
“Ah, yes, payment for my good Prince.” I watched in horror as one of the Dragon’s stabbed the Prince through the back of his neck, using my dagger. He gurgled on his blood as he fell to the floor, my dagger still stuck in his spine.
“He was your King’s son!” I shouted at him, but there was no mistaking his malicious action.
“The Dragons and I have come to an agreement. They want more gold, I have the most gold. I want more slaves and they are the ones who have them.” He stepped away from me, “You see, my dear, the time of Kings and Queens is coming to an end. It is time for businessmen like myself to rule this continent.” He faced me, “And since money is power, I have more of it than everyone else.” He walked back up to me, “With you by my side, we will conquer this kingdom, then we will conquer Astria.”
“What gives you the idea that I will help you?” I growled under my breath, but he still heard me.
“Simple. I will keep precious Queen alive as long as you are my Guard and weapon. If you defy me, there is always that chance that your Queen will be sent to the Games, where battle hardened warriors will destroy her.” He smiled sweetly at me.
I looked to where Garrett was standing, before I sighed and felt the weight of my choices weighing me down. I thought a prayer to Kitarr, hoping he would hear me and give me guidance. “I will do your bidding to keep my Queen safe…”
Garrett’s eyes shot up to mine. “Do not do this, Samarra. There has to be another choice!”
I shook my head, tears streaming down my cheeks and face as I looked down at the ground, “Garrett, this is it. I have a sworn vow to protect the Queen at any and all cost. If she lives, then my pain and suffering is worth it.” I looked up into his eyes, “I am so sorry for getting you into this mess in the first place.”
The Merchant motioned to the Dragon’s, “Take him away to the Games. I do not like how she is in love with him,”
Love? I asked myself. I did not think I loved Garrett. It is jus that we went through a lot together and learned to count on each other. “Garrett!” I shouted to him, before the Merchant gagged me with a handkerchief.
“Samarra! Do what you have to!” He shouted back as they led him away.
We were alone, the Merchant and I. He whipped me around to face him, “Do not worry about him, my dear. You need to start worrying about yourself. You see, I have had practice with a little birdie I found in the carriage with your Queen. She is not as fun as you are, though, but she was a good toy for a while.”
“Ready to go, my dear?” He dragged me away from the doors Garrett went through. We were outside, a majestic carriage covered in gold leaf sat where he was leading me to. I dragged my feet, fighting him, before he slapped me hard enough to make my vision blurry. He handed my rope to another person as he climbed into the carriage. I was pulled into a seat in front of his lap, where I had no defenses against his wandering hands.
“You have grown so much since I last had the chance to play with you. It has been almost ten years now, has it not?” He shoved his hands into my clothes, ripping them open. I tried to move away from him, but the carriage was too small for me to get away from him. He toyed and played with my body the entire way to his estate. When the carriage finally stopped and the door was opened, I threw myself out of it and into the dirt.
The Merchant stepped outside the carriage as I tried to stand on my own. He snapped his fingers and another slave helped me up. “You hurt your beautiful skin without my permission…” He said with a hint of sadness. I looked down and saw the blood welling up from my kneecaps. “Do not worry, I will make you apologize to me for this.” He snatched the rope from the slave’s hands, using it to pull me back into his house of horrors.