Several days passed after we first arrived. We did a lot of work in the kitchen, but mostly our work was personally serving the master and any guests he might be entertaining at the time. I did my very best to please the master for several reasons. One, God commands that we do our best in everything. Two, because I didn't want Abbie getting hurt and I wouldn't mind going without a beating myself now and then.
Finally we were allowed a few minutes to ourselves in between jobs. I took Abbie out to a blooming apple tree and we sat under it. It was really amazing how beautiful this place was. We sat down under the tree for a while and I was looking out at the fields when suddenly, out of the blue, Abbie leaned over and kissed my cheek.
Very surprised, I looked over at her, "Did you just kiss me?" I asked quizzically.
Abbie looked slightly confused but answered, "Yes."
I grinned widely; I had actually been trying to gather up the guts to kiss her! But I wasn't sure how much she would have liked it, so I hadn't before. Now, with all of my suspicions allayed, I leaned in and kissed her on the mouth. For a second she didn't know what to do with it and I almost drew back, but then she closed her eyes and leaned into the kiss. I brought my arms around her as my throat began to constrict with emotion. I really, really loved her. A lot. When I pulled away we both had huge grins plastered across our face. I looked at her and almost lost myself in the deep chocolate pools of her eyes. So much emotion, hurt, and now happiness was contained in them. I wanted so badly to be able to erase all the hurt I saw there, all the mistrust of the world in general.
She leaned in for another kiss, and I very willingly obliged her before we had to get up and head back to work. I stopped Abbie before we entered the mansion and wrapped my arms around her, hugging her close against me. I planted a kiss on her forehead. "I love you," I whispered as I actually did lose myself in the deep wells of her eyes.
"I love you too," She whispered back and rested her head against my shoulder. I sighed contentedly and pressed my cheek against her hair as I began to rub her back with my palm.
Eventually we reluctantly broke up, though I would have been happy to stay in that position forever. When we got back in we were immediately sent into the room the master used to entertain guests. There we waited on him and the company, there were two men who were both very richly dressed in fine suits and slicked back hair. One had a long jagged scar running from the tip of his nose, near his eye, across his mouth, ending on the tip of his chin. He looked like he had been in the armed forces at one point. The other man looked like he had been born and raised as a businessman. I watched and served them as they discussed something or other in Mandarin.
Eventually, scar-face got up and looked at me directly. He came up to me and started to pinch my arms, and feel my chest and legs. I screwed my eyebrows up confusedly, but the master signaled me to be obedient, so I was. When the man had finished examining me, he moved up to Abbie as he reached out to feel her, Abbie flinched away. I immediately moved up to her, pulling her protectively against my chest. The man drilled me with a stare that could melt ice. I just put on a grim expression and clutched Abbie tighter. Scar-face looked over at the businessman, the man nodded emphatically, and Scar-face turned and sat down again.
The discussion continued on for a while longer, then the two guests handed a quite large sum of money over to the master and left. The master smiled brightly at us. "You two have just been bought to play in the games!" He informed us brightly.
The games? I had never heard of those before. I doubted it would be anything like a party. But I had no idea what it would be. Why would you buy people to play games? Why not just play them yourself? Was it like a professional sport or something? But then...why Abbie and me? We were sent to bed early that night, and Abbie curled up against me to go to sleep. I fell asleep with my arm protectively around her, and my head buried in her hair.
That night, sometime around two in the morning, the sound of Abbie's crying woke me up. I found her curled up in a tight ball with her hands held up over her head protectively. The poor thing was shaking like a leaf, and she was also crying quietly. “Abbie,” I whispered quietly as I reached out to stroke her hair. “Wake up Abbie, it’s a bad dream.” She didn’t respond and I quietly picked her up and sat down with her sitting up against me. I sat cross-legged with her placed in the hole formed in between my legs. “Abbie,” I said, louder this time. “Abbie, wake up.” With a jolt Abbie woke up and started to cry harder. She buried her head into my shoulder, and I started to rub her back and rock gently back and forth. “I love you Abbie,” I informed her gently. “Everything is going to be ok, it was just a dream. You’re safe now. I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Even after Abbie had run out of tears I continued to rock and whisper all the comforting words I could think of. I loved her so much; it broke my heart to see her in this state. Eventually I felt her breathing even out as she fell into a much more peaceful sleep. I sighed, and buried my face in her beautiful soft hair. I took a deep breath. Jasmine. My very favorite smell. I admit that it probably has something to do with the fact that Abbie smells like that…but that is beside the point. It wasn’t long before I fell asleep with her cuddled up against me.
It is a very wonderful thing to wake up to find the one you love nestled up against you, sleeping happily. I kissed Abbie’s forehead and cheeks and general face. I just couldn’t help it. She looked so peaceful in sleep. With every kiss I planted her smile widened, even in sleep. I put my cheek against her hair and just absorbed the feeling of her closeness.
Eventually though, it was time for us to get up and begin our workday, so I began to stroke Abbie’s cheek gently, “Time to wake up Abbie, if you don’t want to miss breakfast.”
Her eyelids fluttered open and she smiled sleepily. “Hmm?” she mumbled.
I chuckled happily, “Time to eat breakfast sleepy head,” I teased.
“Mmmh,” Abbie replied, then buried her head in my chest.
I grinned, “Oh no you don’t Abbie, if you want breakfast you can’t go back to sleep.”
Abbie sighed heavily and nuzzled against my chest once more before withdrawing and stretching her arms out with a huge yawn. “Alright, let’s go then.” She said once she had finished stretching.
I heaved myself up, and then offered Abbie my hand. She took it and I pulled her up too. After breakfast the head slave called out Abbie, me, and one other non-Chinese slave girl. “You three have been sold to someone else. You will be transferred today along with the master’s son,” He informed us again. Both Abbie and I knew who it was, but I had no idea that this other girl was coming.
We were all thrown into the back of; you guessed it, yet another moving van and taken on a long drive of at least several hours. We didn’t talk much, Abbie just curled up against me and I enfolded her in my embrace. The road, which had started out very bumpy and uncomfortable to ride on, changed to a smooth, likely paved, surface for the last ten minutes of the ride. Then we were taken out of the moving van and into a gigantic stadium. As we came into the stadium there were people of all sorts with guns running around and apparently training. I grimaced. Now I understood what the master had meant by “the games” and it certainly wasn’t good.
We were taken to the middle of the field…all of us, except the master’s son that is. He was just there to watch and learn, at least that is what I assumed. The man directing the others handed Abbie and me two guns filled with rubber bullets and sent us out to join a fight that was just about to begin. I grimaced, but complied. I had played a lot of first person shooters as well as air soft and paintball…hopefully this would be similar.