For the rest of the breakfast shift I sat there and cracked eggs; listening to all the noises around me but not really paying attention to one thing in particular. Annabelle stayed with me and chatted with the rest of the egg cracker girls. After breakfast Annabelle took me around with her to many different rooms. When we reached about the tenth one I decided to ask her.
“So Annabelle, you said you were here before? Why did you leave?” I asked when we entered the room. Annabelle kept walking into the room and started to make the bed and I went to the other side to help her.
“Yes, I was here before; that’s why I know where everything is and what rooms are whose. But I didn’t leave; I was with Grand Masters eldest daughter Katrina. She got married and I was her lady in waiting, so when she left I went with her.”
“Why did you come back?” I asked as I pulled back the sheets trying to match Annabelle’s pace.
“I made her mad one day, so I was brought back here. If I hadn’t have been accepted back here I would have went somewhere else until I was purchased back into another home.” Annabelle was sol calm when she explained things that happened to her, and since I had no answer to this I just nodded and went back to helping make the bed. Annabelle had already been here once, so she was given her old working schedule plus the job of a personal servant to Finn.
We were in the laundry room when we finished with the assigned bed makings, and we stayed there until after lunch. Then we had to leave to go clean up after the lunch schedule. Annabelle pushed me back into the kitchen to a long line of sinks and told me that I would be washing while she went and cleaned tables. So I washed in silence until she came back and got me, and from there we left to go back to the laundry room. When dinner came around we headed back into the kitchen and Annabelle was just getting ready to set me down at a peeling counter when a boy servant came into the kitchen. He looked over the faces until he saw me and Annabelle and came over to us.
“Grand Master wants her to be serving tonight.” The boy said as he looked at me and then back at Annabelle. Annabelle looked frightened for a moment and then looked at me.
“Me?” I asked her in disbelief. Why would he want that? When no one answered me though and Annabelle nodded as she went to the peeling counter alone I looked at the boy and he nodded his head once.
“Follow me.” He said as he walked back to the door he had come. I looked over my shoulder as I followed him and saw Annabelle sitting there. She had a pleading look on her face, the look that was screaming at me please-don’t-do-anything-stupid. I smiled at her once to try and reassure her before we walked through the door. I was brought into a small with a bunch of different girls. They were all around my age and wearing dress that looked similar to mine, but they all were different. The room had double doors on the other side of the room, and there was a small counter top that led back into the kitchen.
This looks like a restraint. My mind said as I looked around the room. The man then walked me over to the counter handed me a pitcher while he said.
“You will be refilling glasses at all of the tables. There’s a few guidelines you should be aware of.” He added in a snippy tone.
“Alright,” I added quietly, but he continued on as if he didn’t even hear me.
“You should never look any of them directly in the eye, especially the house table.” He said as looked at me.
“House table?” I asked not really sure what it was.
“The table with the main family,” he added in annoyance and an eye roll. I didn’t really like this guy but I was going to have to listen to him if I didn’t want to get Annabelle or me in trouble. “Don’t react when they talk or touch you; the guys tend to get a little grabby around dinner time while the women like to make fun of you. The only time you should stop is to refill and then you’re right back out there. And most importantly don’t spill anything, not only will you get in trouble, but they will try to make you spill stuff to watch you clean it up.”
Oh great, this should be fun. I said as he ushered me towards the double doors. I was kinda pushed through the doors and was amazed to see how many people there was here. There were several long tables, they each fit about 16 people, eight on each side of the table, and there had to be at least 20 tables. There were two rows of then and at the head of the two rows there was a horizontal table containing six people. I immediately saw Jess sitting at the table, and when I meet his eyes there was that same stomach lurch, but I was pushed again and had to look away to keep my balance.
When I looked back up at the horizontal table I knew it was the House table. I saw Jess and Finn’s father sitting in a tall chair. There was a very beautiful woman sitting next to him and I saw who took after whom. Finn defiantly took after his father, while Jess took after their mother. Their mother had long golden waves of hair pouring down her shoulders and back. It was half pinned up and half down, but it still looked thick and long. She was petite looking next to their large built father, and I felt sorry for her because she could easily be hurt by him. But when they exchanged a glance at each other I could tell that he would never hurt her, and she wasn’t frightened by him. My gaze moved over to a little girl next to Jess she had the same length and style of Jess’s mom, but it was a deep chocolate brown, she looked to be about five or six and was wearing a little pink dress. The little girl truly looked like a princess with her pink dress and smile on her face when Jess whispered something to her. On the other side of the table was an older looking girl. I couldn’t get a good look at her because a head kept getting in my way, but she looked pretty from what I could see.
The whole image angered me. They were all so beautiful and proper, and they sat at the head of the tables like royalty. It made me angry and jealous all at the same time. Why we’re they so special? Why are all of us trapped here? Gosh this place just made me so angry. The only thing that could make it worse was hearing Finn’s voice, which is exactly what happened.
“Drink,” he somewhat yelled. I looked back up at the head table and didn’t see him there. So I looked back around the crowd to see him sitting a few tables down with a lot of different guys. He was looking at me as he said it and when I looked back at him he nodded and then looked at his cup on the table. I bit back my anger as I walked over to him, trying not to look at anyone, or listen to anyone. Finn was talking to a man next to him and they both laughed at something as I got closer. The man next to Finn looked to be about his age, and had almost the same features, they could have been brothers, but the hair was different and made me think they were family of some sort.
When I reached his table I bent for the glass as I held onto the pitcher. Then I was unexpectedly pulled into Finn’s lap as I began to pour him his drink. The man next to Finn had caught the cup that I had involuntarily dropped when Finn grabbed my hips. I was sitting in Finn’s lap; my back against an arm rest and his arm, while my legs were draped over the other arm rest and his arm was resting on my legs. His cold fingers were lounging loosely on my legs, and there was no real way to get up.
So I clutched onto the pitcher on my lap and looked down at my dangling feet. I was embarrassed as I heard a few low chuckles and saw some elbow jabs from he surrounding men out of the corner of my eye.
“Thank you Dylan, but you really should have let it drop.” Finn’s voice said very close to my ear, and his breath trickled down my spine in a chill. “That way we would have had a much better show.” Finn added with a laugh. Anger began to seep into my embarrassment; I knew it was Finn who had planned this stupid outfit. But I remained still as I breathed deeply trying to remain unemotional.
“Sorry Finn.” Dylan said with a laugh of his own.
“Take the cup from him.” Finn said. I looked up at him and saw he was looking at me; I blinked twice before I looked at the cup in Dylan’s outstretched hand. One of my hands dumbly moved toward the cup and grabbed the handle from him. Now I had the cup and pitcher both in my hand. For some reason I poured the juice into the glass, only half realizing what I was doing.
“That’s better,” Finn said as his hands clasped over the cup and he took it easily from me. I watched him as he drank from the cup and when he lowered his head, done with the drink, I looked back down at the table. Finn leaned easily forward, his chest hitting my head as he took the pitcher from me and setting it on the table with the cup. I heard Dylan laugh again and I looked over at him. He was looking at me with a smile that was kind and gentle, but his eyes held something I couldn’t place.
“Do you like my friends?” Finn asked me in my ear.
“Yes sir.” I answered him robotically with a hit of anger to it; but I tried as hard as I could to sound as shy and obedient as Annabelle did when she answered him.
“Sir?” Finn asked now. I looked at him now and wondered what he was talking about. His face was serious but there was a joyful pleasantness in his eyes. “I am your master, at least until my brother takes you.” Finn said. I could tell by his face that he was dead serious; but the light in his eyes said that he was enjoying himself. Anger began to take over the embarrassment; I could only take so much crap from him, and I was reaching my limit.