It was near the midnight hour when Diana was bathed and sitting in bed, Basil knelt behind her and brushed out her long braids. Basil would listen to anything Diana had to say, and would respond when appropriate. When no words were exchanged, Basil began to hum a song from her childhood, a childhood spent outside of this city’s walls.
“Do you wish to return home?” Diana spoke when it ended, Basil had shared the origins of the song with her before. Even though it was forbidden for an outsider to share anything from the outside. Yet, Diana had always been fascinated by the tribes outside the walls. Her brother would come home with tales and trinkets of what he had seen. But if he had visited, so had the rest of the Bishop’s men, and they were there for two things, to exterminate any threats and take in slaves.
“At times,” Basil tugged gently, allowing the brush to follow the natural waves of Diana’s hair, “but I would wish how it once was, now the lands are burned, my people are dead. There is nothing out there for me anymore.”
Diana reached for Basil’s hand and Basil let her small fingers intertwine with her master’s. Diana brought the smaller hands to her face, and rested them against closed eyes. She was suffering, Basil stopped brushing and placed her other hand around her.
“You have no choice, you are bound,” Basil’s voice was nothing more than a whisper, reading signals from Diana’s body, unspoken word was how they communicated at times, “if you didn’t someone else would.”
“You’ve never seen it done, you’ve never seen what I do,”
“I see you here. Out there you are doing your duty, and not by choice, but by force.”
“The Bishop must be running out of young girls to throw in the Cage by now, how long could he keep it up?”
“He enjoys you suffering, the only thing more dangerous than a woman scorned, is a man.”
Diana released her hand at this point, and Basil let her fall from her embrace, the woman stretched onto the bed, laying on her stomach. Only in her own home could she show her back to someone, only in front of Basil could she truly lower her guard.
Basil climbed off the bed, and pulled the sheets over Diana.
“The next fight, you must ask him in front of the people,” she whispered as she pulled the covers up and tucked them around her master’s sides, “they love you, if you ask for your freedom in the arena they will force him to grant it.”