Slowly and hesitantly, Lady Miriam began with her capture, which had been a blatant kidnapping rather than a tale of flattery. Chester had stolen her, putting her through the agony of warning poison, to keep her in line. The whole trip up, he didn’t touch her, and she held hope, but the moment she stood before Wholawski she knew she was doomed. It hadn’t been in the great hall that she was presented, but in his bedroom.
As they had waited for the General, Chester had made it clear she was there to mollify Wholawski since Chester had failed to kill Prince Theodoso. Lady Miriam shuddered as she recounted the interview and Sarah held her hand tight. That night she’d been sent to the Princesses room and a glimmer of hope reappeared. A hope that was shattered in the middle of the night when Wholwaski came to ‘break her in.
Sarah’s stomach churned at the things those two had done to Miriam. Tying her to the bed to force her was one thing, but to use the rack and the inverse rack, which Sarah realized was the name for the giant hose clamp was, to keep her in position and unable to do anything, was outrageous. It made Sarah wish that she’d been able to stab Wholawski herself, or at least had the chance to dismember him.
“Lady Miriam,” she whispered as the woman sat shivering though her water was still warm. “I left Wholawski strapped to the rack under the care of Sharon. By the glint in her eye, I’d say she made him suffer before he died.”
“Did you watch him die?” Miriam asked her hopefully.
“Well no, but Chester stabbed him.” Sarah continued as she saw the girl’s puzzled look, “after York had possessed his body due to the Gods’ Nectar I poured down Chester’s throat.”
“Oh,” Lady Miriam grew pale as she gripped Sarah’s arm. “A little boy, he had some, I took it from him, he said it was for you.” Tears streamed down her face.
Sarah calmed her as best she could. At last the tears slowly receded and Miriam seemed to be taking control of herself, Sarah looked over to Mistress Laura. The two exchanged slight nods and Mistress Laura placed two gentle hands on the girl’s shoulders.
“Let the waters wash the event from you,” Laura stated.
“But what...” Lady Miriam’s protest was lost in the water.
She came up spluttering and Mistress Laura spoke once more.
“Now rise, sleep and heal.”
Sarah helped Miriam out of the tub and dressed her in the clothing Princess Allmarah provided. Suddenly groggy, Lady Miriam didn’t notice that it was Mistress Laura who lead her from the tirug. Sarah watched as they left, but at a gentle touch she looked to the Princess.
“Her father will comfort her now.”
Sarah sighed. “If she will let herself be comforted by a man.” She gave the Princess a wry smile. “I consider myself resilient and it took a year before I could be alone in a room with a man, even when I knew I was stronger.”
“Even your father?” Tralee sounded surprised.
“I’m afraid my father had passed away long before then,” Sarah told her, “but even being alone with my brothers left me feeling uneasy at times.”
A knock on the door interrupted their conversation further.
“Your highness,” Sergeant Sparrow sounded through the wood. “Your presence is requested for choosing a horse.”
“Of course,” Princess Allmarah answered.
Nodding to Sarah, The Princess and her maids sailed from the room. Sarah stifled a yawn and began to leave, when she remembered Alara’s request. There was no way she could fill the tubs alone, so she left to get help.