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(17) Chapter 15 Pt2

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“Wait here and I will have all ready in just a few moments,” Tamarin instructed. He moved further into the stables to acquire the necessary equipment for the ride. Arabella watched him disappear with a smile and turned her attention back to the lorelilla.

There was a soft crunch behind her and a rustle of fabric. Both warned Arabella that someone was there, but no one she had me should be causing the hairs on her neck to rise in warning. Taking a deep breath and gathering her courage she turned to face the intruder. The sight that greeted her was not a welcome one. Phelon stood before her.

Arrogance and cruelty fairly radiated from the man. It was a stark contrast to the bright colors and attractive face which were also a part of the picture. It did not seem right that anyone with an angel’s face could seem as vicious as this man.

“My lady,” Phelon gave a mocking bow as he addressed her, “I am surprised to find you outside of the wall. Has our great Syine finally allowed you to move about without his darling little sister to keep watch?”

“I have no keeper my lord. I’ve been busy visiting with Philomina, but I thought to take some time today to go a look about outside of the walls. I wanted to see the insert name. I’ve never seen one up close, and I just couldn’t resist coming out to see ones which are tame enough to ride.”

“It is a foolish plan to train such an animal for riding. They are nothing more than useless beasts which should be exterminated. It is a weakness of the Syine’s just as his ideas of equality and fairness are. A slave is no better than this borca here,” he gestured to the nearby animal with an ugly twist of his face. “They are nothing more than animals domesticated for the purpose of serving their master.”

“Not even an animal should be treated in the manner that you describe. An intelligent being should not even be considered for subjugation to such treatment. To even compare the two things is offensive and intolerable.” Arabella turned on her heel to leave Phelon’s presence. She was able to understand why Allarick felt the need to rush to the defense of a servant girl. It was simple to believe that the abomination before her was capable of beating someone who is defenseless.

“I have not dismissed you,” Phelon grabbed Arabella by her arm and wrenched it behind her back. “You are nothing more than a foolish woman and I will tell you when you may leave here. It would offer much satisfaction to mar your lovely hide if it would cause pain to the Syine. I could see the other night at dinner that he must care deeply for you, so I would advise giving me no reason to follow through on my desires.”

With her arm pulled painfully tight and Phelon’s rough grasp bruising her, all Arabella could do is nod her assent. Phelon’s grip loosened at her agreement, and it was removed entirely as Tamarin returned to collect Arabella.

“I’ve the animal saddled for your pleasure lady. If you will follow me, then I will take you to Lani. She is a gentle girl full of speed. I am sure that she will be a perfect fit.” Tamarin spoke only to Arabella as he threaded her arm into his, but he viewed Phelon with a cool disgust as he collected his charge. He was unsure of what this lady meant to the Syine, but she was his guest. There would be little tolerance if he allowed her to be harmed by the visiting lord.

All in the palace knew of Phelon’s penchant for abuse, but few would stand in his way. Tamarin was not a slave, and while he didn’t have the privileges of the ruling caste, he was afforded much freedom within his position. He answered only to the Syine, and there was an agreement of sorts between the two. Allarick allowed him to oversee the stables as he saw fit provided that all the animals were suitably cared for, those visiting the stables had no cause for complaint, and all those under his supervision were treated fairly and kindly.

“How dare you interrupt our talk,” Phelon raised his arm to strike Tamarin, but he was stopped by Arabella’s vehement defense.

“How dare you my lord. If you strike Tam it will be the last time you ever raise you hand to another. I’ve had enough of you brand of mastery for one day. It is a weak man who feels the need to manhandle women and beat those beneath him.” Arabella had come between the two men as she spoke, and she made Phelon recoil at the force of her words.

Phelon lowered his arm and spoke softly, “You will regret this day my lady,” venom dripped from his every word. The fire in his eyes promised retribution for crossing him. With that said in parting, he turned and stalked from the stable with long, angry strides.

Seeing Phelon disappear around the corner, Arabella let out her pent up breath in a long sigh. She had thought for a moment that Phelon would choose to beat her instead of leaving their presence.

“It is a foolish thing you’ve done Arabella,” Tamarin said, but the admiration in his eyes belied his appreciation. “Lord Phelon would not have caused much damage, and now you’ve made an enemy within the palace walls.”

“I couldn’t let him just hit you for coming to get me,” Arabella replied. With a small smile she added, “He was already proving that he wished me harm. Phelon hopes to hurt the Syine through me, but I’m not sure why he thinks this would be the case. I barely know the Syine, and he does not care for me more than he would any guest. So, about that ride… are you still willing to show me this secluded spot, or should we wait for another day?”

Tamarin could not stop his short bark of laughter at the quick subject change. There was more there than met the eyes with this unique woman. Most of the women he was acquainted with would have spent the remainder of the day crying and fearful. The young lady before him wished to continue on with her adventure for the day.

“Come with me then,” Tamarin continued to smile, “the lorelilla are saddled and waiting in back.”

Updated 01-09-2009 at 11:24 PM by applepie

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