"What is this?" Eva poked at the items on her plate. Delrayna had invited her over to her stall for supper. "Am I being punished for something?"
"Er ah sorry," stammered a flustered Delrayna. "I, ah, never really learned how to cook."
"Your Master is okay with this?" Eva speared a piece of meat and held it up. It was charred black on one side and raw on the other.
"Good man," Eva murmered, and raised an amused eyebrow. "You must be good in bed."
"It's been my experience that a man thinks about two things. His stomach or his bed. You can't cook so you must be good at bedding."
"He hasn't touched me," Delrayna squeaked. "At least not that way."
"Then why...," Eva gaped at Delrayna. The a slow smile slid across her lips. "You did it yourself, didn't you girl."
"What," Delrayna repeated.
"You made yourself his slave."
"Men are selfish. They don't take slaves unless there's something in it for them. You can't cook and he doesn't bed you..."
"I told you how that happened," Delrayna interrupted.
"You also told me that you wanted out from under your sister's thumb," Eva said, a harsh note entering her voice. "He could have left you at the nearest town, or just ridden off." Eva stared at Delrayna. "That's what he wanted to do wasn't it?" Delrayna stared back defiantly. "You leeched yourself onto the first half way decent man that came along didn't you?"
"What else was I supposed to do? It was either that or spend the rest of my life under Sarah's thumb, or as a whore."
"Better a whore than a leech," Eva snapped. "And what's between you and your sister anyway."
"She a selfish bitch," Delrayna practically shouted. "Why do you think I never learned to cook? Because she was always right there, making sure that she got the attention that Mama needed to give to me, so she could teach me how to cook. It's not like Sarah wanted to learn to cook, or cared about my wanting to learn to cook, or anything else. It was about her being the center of attention. Always her, and when she got magic. It wasn't enough that she was finally going to get a life where she could be the center of attention and be catered to, it was how Mama had stolen her birthright and needed to be punished. And how she was going to rescue me from a life of drudgery and how I would come to appreciate her and love her for what she did for me. She wanted to use me to punish my folks, and to cater to her."
"Well that won't happen now," Eva told her caustically. She grabbed a poker and spread out the coals in Delrayna's brazier. She grabbed a pan and slammed it on, dropping in a bit of pig grease.
"What are you doing?"
"Teaching you how to cook. Slaves don't always get to have a choice in their Masters. You might eventually have one that requires you to cook, and he deserves better than that." Eva waved at the trash bin where she'd scraped off her plate.
"You can't," Delrayna started to protest.
"Actually," a voice said from behind them. Both girls turned to see Aleric standing there. "She can."