Staring at the broken mirror before her, Bella sighed at her appearance. Considering her reflection, she looked no different than a baby doll in a short dress. Without any modest options available, she had no choice but to go with it.

A familiar hand touched her shoulder, bringing a shiver down her spine. Closing her eyes briefly, Bella acknowledged the gesture before nodding and leaving the room. She knew Ariana wanted to talk, but she hadn't given her the chance, though she appreciated Ariana for trying to ease her discomfort. Her presence helped her calm a bit.

Wearing a deep smile, her legs moved towards the familiar place. Slaves with burns and tattered clothes scurried like some sort of viral attack. Raising her chin up, she moved elegantly amongst them but tripped a million times due to her clumsiness.

As she continued, she inhaled deeply, filling her lungs to capacity. Exhaling slowly, she entered the large room occupied by the king's men. The shock of the sight before caused her to shake and tremble. Nakedness of her mate and those younger filled the room dancing, drunk on forced liquor, and being used violently for the sick pleasure of the debased men. Other slaves were whipped and mocked, while the men laughed and tortured.

"Sick bastards!" Bella spat as she swiftly moved towards the middle of the room.

Before she reached her destination, a meaty forearm shoved her forward. Anger surged through her veins, and rebelliously, she stood her ground. Her defiance earned her a deafening slap, sending her reeling.

The world spun recklessly around her, causing her to lose her balance. Her face hit the slab of tile beneath her before she could brace herself. Biting her lips tightly, she held back her cry before spitting out the pool of blood, filling her mouth.

"What have I told you on obedience?" spat out the smelly twat.

Stalking closely to her, he lifted her by the hair and slammed a punch just under her ribcage, causing the room to erupt in echoes of laughter. Just as she was about to retort, an eerie silence fell upon the room.

Confusion usurped her pain as she tried standing, only to be grabbed by a rough fist, which pulled her face upward. Time froze as Bella looked straight into the soldier's eyes. Her eyes moved across his face as she noticed a long scar snaking down from his brow and getting lost beneath his shirt collar.

He pressed deeply on her jaw before slamming her head to the floor. Her eyelids fluttered as she felt the warm rivulets of blood leaking their way across her body and dripping to the floor. Closing her eyes, she surrendered herself to death, awaiting the next blow, but it never came.


The voice was deep and held authority. The crowd grew even more impossibly quiet.

"Who do you think you are to stop me?" barked the first soldier. "Never forget your place. I am the first in command, and respect should be mine from your lips."

"I have the badge as the second." the voice replied. "The king ordered us here to bring the slave to him. And I want our deliveries to arrive intact."

"It is not my fault she got hit in the first place. She lacks manners and should be taught," the first resumed. I am sure the king would appreciate my discipline if I told him what she did."

"Of course he will, and I am very sure he was particular on getting one slave for himself. She isn't the one, right? So bash her head once or twice more. We can thrash her body in the river before moving." The voice replied, and Bella could feel the menacing glare he threw at the first soldier who gulped loudly and left.

"How miraculous is it that I am saved." She thought deeply. Her lips pulled into a slow smile, despite cracking further from her torn skin. Lifting her face, she decided to thank the soldier for rescuing her, not that she was quite grateful with his words on throwing her into the river or to be taken to the King.

Her breath hitched as she saw him - he had the most enchanting jade and gold eyes she had never seen. They were so beautiful that she almost found herself hypnotized, but immediately the spell broke as she stared.

Closing her eyes, she opened them again and blinked twice just to be sure she hadn't hallucinated the colour shift in his eyes to plain, boring chocolate. A supernatural being? she wondered. As she opened her mouth to thank him, she stopped short by his hard glare. Her thanks remained unspoken as she watched him stalk away, brooding.

"Let's begin the merriment!" a high-pitched voice squealed. Bella couldn't help but cuss at the boss' voice behind her.

Standing once again, she wiped the back of her hand across her face, cleaning off some blood before she started humming. A slow, sad melody emanated from her throat amidst the echoes of laughter from the soldiers. The slobs drank ferociously as the foam sloshed down their beards and shirts. Completely oblivious to Bella's humming, they grabbed and smacked women, pushing some down to suck on them.

"Bloody sadist barbarians, how could they all dance to such a sad sound?" Her question rose into the cruel air around her.

Rolling her eyes, she continued humming for hours until her throat grew ragged and raspy. Exhaustion caused her to slump, as her cold body hit the floor again.

"No food for me today again" she murmured as her stomach grumbled.

Closing her eyes, she remembered the boss' words regarding her slumping while humming unless he gave her permission.

"Aarrrgh!" She screamed silently. What a twat! It wasn't as if she could control her own exhaustion.

Muffling her frustration, she prepared her mind for what she knew would come later. She'd be getting lashes for being stubborness. Resolving herself to her fate, she closed her eyelids for the final time that night as she awaited the hands that would drag her out as usual to the grave hole.

She blacked out before realizing that she had a turn of fate, as a rough hand grabbed her legs before dragging her out of the corridor.