It was dark inside the tirug until Sarah had the fire going. Lady Miriam sat upon the bed, picking at the blanket while Lord Farquad watched her with eagle eyes. No wonder the girl is scared of him, Sarah thought. She didn’t think Lord Farquad would hurt his daughter. At least that was Sarah’s presumption given he had come to rescue her from Wholawski.
“Sorry I don’t have any tea or food to offer you,” Sarah smiled as she finally sat down upon the bench opposite the man. “My Lord,” she hastily added.
Lord Farquad waved a hand at her. “Food or drink is of no consequence now. I wish to know why my own daughter shies from my touch!”
“My Lord!” Sarah exclaimed as Lady Miriam emitted a squeak. “Please, try to keep your voice gentle.” The man turned a frown upon her. “I mean no disrespect, but she has been yelled at and abused since she arrived at the fortress. Raising your voice only frightens her and triggers memories.”
“Triggers memories?” Farquad’s eyebrows rose.
“Yelling, especially if directed at her, can cause her to remember some of the very unpleasant stuff that she was put through.”
Sarah looked over to Lady Miriam. The girl was crying and her head shaking ‘no’. Sighing she glanced furtively at Lord Farquad. It was clear that he did not like this distance that had come between him and his child. Sarah turned to face Miriam directly.
“My father wasn’t alive when I was forced,” she told the girl, hoping Lord Farquad would pick up her hints, “but I had to tell my brothers what happened. It was hard, but none of them blamed me for what happened.” Miriam stopped shaking her head. “He deserves to know, Miriam,” Sarah once more glanced at the Lord before looking back at the girl. “He loves you very much and deserves to know.”
Silence hung upon them as Lady Miriam thought. Biting her lip she pulled Sarah’s blanket to her chest and held it tight. She gave the barest of nods, but the silence continued. Miriam’s eyes wandered from Sarah to her father and back until the finally rested on Sarah, pleading.
“Shall I tell him for you?” Sarah asked gently and the girl nodded. Turning back to Lord Farquad, Sarah spoke. “I need you to stay as calm as you can while I tell you what she told Mistress Laura and I. I remember when I told my youngest brother, his righteous fury against the men who had forced me made me leave the room because it scared me. For almost a week I couldn’t be in a room alone with him for any length of time.” She looked into Lord Farquad’s eyes. “Do you understand, My Lord?”
Lord Farquad looked form his daughter and back to Sarah. He nodded. “Yes, I understand.”
So, Sarah told him, in less time than it had taken Lady Miriam. Then again, she didn’t go into detail. Even with his promise Sarah could see the anger bubbling up in Lord Farquad’s face. After allowing a moment of silence to pass, Sarah stood.
“I’ll watch over and protect Lady Miriam for you,” she told him. “You should see if anyone is up for sparring.”
Lord Farquad started and then nodded before standing. “Yes, sparring does seem like a good activity right now.”
Walking with him to the door, Sarah exited as well and closed it behind her. She gently placed a hand upon the man’s arm. “I guarantee Wholawski has suffered for all he’s done.”
“Do you?” Once more the man raised his eyebrows in question.
“I watched him get tied to the rack and his torture begun before I left to ensure that your daughter and the Princess’s maids were taken away from that place,” Sarah stated.
“And both Wholawski and Chester are dead?” Lord Farquad asked.
The man’s lips pursed together as he sighed. Nodding to Sarah, he strode off in the direction of the horses.