That was all Aleric could think while leading the way down the valley. He was still angry. That could be easily seen by the way he sat stiffly in his saddle, the way he kept a modrerate trot, forcing Delrayna's mule to keep pace. Normally he would have allowed a little distance between then, knowing that Delrayna would catch up before allowing herself to get too far behind.
But this time, Aleric had taken the mule's lead rope and tied it to his horse's tail. Delrayna had objected to this, saying that such treatment was reserved for children who did not yet know how to guide their steeds. He'd told her to shut up, that he'd be well within his rights to whip her backside raw and then tie her to his horse's tail, forcing her to run behind.
In this world, there were strict laws governing the treatment of slaves.
By becoming his slave, Delrayna had consented to becoming his property. To be treated as he wished. To be commanded as he wished. To be controled as he wished. To be punished as he wished.
By becoming his slave, Delrayna had forced him to see that no unnecesssary risk was placed to her safety, even if it meant risk to his own.
It was a harsh world and many a master had died of hunger or thirst becauase to do otherwise would have meant withholding life giving food and water from a slave.
Aleric had not wanted a slave. He still did not and had harboured the thought that if he could find the right circumstances, he could leave her behind. Carry on with his life. Moving from one place to the next as fancy or jobs dictated.
She might as well have branded him. By marking herself his, she had forced him into a relationship tighter than even the most draconian marriage bond. A wife could be divorced, abandoned, walked away from, far easier than any marked slave.
And what the bloody hell did she mean with this constant whine...
"Are we there yet?"