"How long have you been there," Delrayna demanded.
"Long enough," Aleric grinned. He entered the stall far enough to lean against the gate.
"I suppose you think I'm a leech." Delrayna stared at her master.
"I think it's a little late to start worrying about that." Aleric stared hard at Delrayna. "You made your choice when you burned my name into your leg. Now, Eva is willing to teach you how to cook and I am willing for you to learn.'
Delrayna turned on her heel and stomped over to the ice box. She pulled out a piece of meat and all but threw it at Eva.
Eva just grinned as she took the meat. "Now watch closely," she instructed as she slipped th e meat into the pan. Soon the meat was sizzling. "The trick is to remember that meat has two sides, and both should be evenly cooked. Not charred on one side and raw on the other."
Delrayna watched as Eva checked one side. She did it by using the edge of a knife to lift up one side amd peering under it. She was quite happy with Aleric doing the cooking chores, despite any comments she might have nade about not being a good slave. Those were mostly for show anyway.
"See," Eva caught Delrayna's attention. She had flipped the piece of meet in the pan. "See how evenly that is browned? Do this enough times, and you get a feel for how long each side needs to be cooked." She waited for a period of time, that Delrayna judged to be approximately the same amount of time the first had been cooked for. Eva flipped the meat over, and Delrayna saw that it appeared as evenly cooked as the other.
"So, if both sides look the same then it's cooked?"
"Nope," Eva answered Delrayna's question. "But close. Now, we check to see if the meat is done." She turned to look at Aleric. "How do you like your meat?"
"Medium," Aleric grinned. Maybe owning a slave might not be so bad.
"Touch it," Eva told Delrayna.
"What?" Delrayna stared at Eva.
"Touch the meat."
"But it's hot," Delrayna.
"Just touch the meat," Eva said. "I guaranteee it won't feel as bad as the brand you applied to your leg."
"Delrayna," prodded a voice from behind.
Reluctanty Delrayna put oput a finger and poked the meat with it.
"What did it feel like," Eva asked.
"Like hot meat."
Eva rolled her eyes. "Was it squashy, not so squashy, or firm?"
"Not so squashy," Delrayna said.
Eva prodded tjhe meat with her finger. "Not so squashy it is, just a bit longer. See, when you cook something, you're removing water. Raw meat is squashy, because it has lots of juices. Well done meat is firm, because all the juices have been cooked away. Keep that in mind, and your master will be a happy master. Feel it now."
Delrayna did as she was told.
"Aleric said he liked his meat medium. It feel's medium now." She speared the meat out of the pan, and sliced a piece off. "See no red. Raw to medium will have red in it." Eva cut the meat into three pieces. Delrayna reached for one only to get her fingers rapped with the knife in Eva's hand. Delrayna looked startled.
"Masters eat first," Eva said curtly.
A soft chortle told Delrayna that Aleric was quite enjoying the show.
"Get a plate and some cutlery," Eva instructed Delrayna. "Place a piece of meat on it and present it to Aleric. It's not a full meal, as it has nothing to go with the meat, but there's no need to be rude about it. Place it in front of him, do not plunk it down. Remember, he is your master and deserves your respect and obedience. While he eats, I'll take the pan down to the stream and clean it."
"I'll go with you," Delrayna saw a way to escape this.
"And how will you attend to your master's needs if you are not here," Eva asked. She found it difficult to hide the glee she was feeling. It wasn't that Eva wanted to look down on Delrayna. Eva looked on slavery as a lifestyle, one that she enjoyed. Sure there were many inequities to that life, but the laws that governed slavery protected the slave more than they did the master. Eva knew many slaves that had chosen that protection over the vagaries of freedom, but they had all attached themselves to Masters that were willing to take them on as their slaves. Delrayna, as far as Eva could gather, had attached herself to a Master that had shown no interest in owning a slave. That, as far as Eva was concerned, was just plain wrong and, while she didn't want to show it, she had no qualms in finding amusement in Delrayna being required to be a slave. "You chose to be a slave so be one."
Delrayna stared at Eva.
"He's not my master," Eva stated. "It is your place to see that he has what he needs to enjoy his meal. Not mine." Eva disappeared with the pan. leaving Delrayna to glower, leaning against a wall.