"Why are they using the Hyntu?" Alora wondered as she watched Grif head off towards Fetch's. She turned to Duran.
"I didn't get a chance to pick up supplies yesterday. Do you mind? "
"I can do that." He replied hesitantly. He glanced towards the Livery than back at Alora.
"What?" Alora asked.
"Well…" Duran stumbled over his words. "What are you going to do with her?"
Now that Alora's departure was imminent and last night had faded a bit in his mind, Duran found himself concerned about Islinn.
"I don't know." Alora said glumly and looked at the Livery door as well. Islinn had been a nagging thought in the back of her mind ever since she'd awoken.
"I mean…if you're just going to let her go down the road…why not just leave her here? I'll make sure she gets back to Behrin."
Alora's eyes moved off of the Livery doors and she looked at Duran. For a moment, she thought she hadn't heard him right.
"And why would you do that? You think her life with me would be worse than being a slave to him?" She asked, perplexed.
Duran recognized true bewilderment when he saw it.
"Well…no, that's not what I'm saying but…Behrin was going to marry her before you spelled him and…"
Alora held up a hand, stunned by what she'd just heard.
"I spelled him??" She echoed. "Where did you hear that?"
"A man. He came by the Livery." Duran said blandly. One hand rose up and picked nervously at his collar. His concern for Islinn was fading away quickly.
"He…well…he said you spelled Behrin and took the girl. That Behrin was going to marry her."
Alora said nothing for a few moments. Her expression was non-committal as she digested Duran's words. So it hadn't been just liquor firing up everybody at Fetch's the night before. It was poor Behrin, spelled to the gills and bereft of his bride. The bride who had a rope tied around her neck so she wouldn't take off once his back was turned. Alora shook her head.
"Duran. I bought Islinn. Behrin was selling her and I was the highest bidder. After I bought her, he asked her if she wanted to come back and she refused. That's what happened." She purposefully gave him a simplified version of the events.
"No point in bringing up the throat slitting and the head tossing." She thought as she watched Duran digest this bit of news.
"Oh." Duran blinked. "So then…you're going to keep her?"
Alora didn't like the sound of the words. "Keep her" made it sound as though she'd acquired a new pet. Which,she supposed, she had. And a slave. It wouldn't take long for the bards and minstrels to pen out a sonnet entitled "Slave To The Devil Whore" or some other asinine piece of garbage loosely disguised as entertainment.
"Yes." Alora's face was pensive. "I'm going to keep her."
"Well. What are you going to do with her?" Duran persisted. A mere two days ago, he never would have thought himself capable of questioning The Twiceborn. A lot had changed since then.
"Why do I have to do anything with her??" Alora gave him a sharp look. "I don't know what you people think I do in my spare time, I mean…"
She paused as she struggled for composure.
"Look. I don't spend my days giving piggyback rides to little demons or screw goats until the wee hours of the morning. I just…ride. " Alora fell silent, unable to find the words to explain how she spent her days. She scowled at Duran.
"Must get lonely." Duran quietly remarked.
Truth was, he had no idea what she did with her days and hadn't really given it much thought. He'd assumed though that it was more…sinister…than just riding about the countryside. People referred to her as fear made flesh and Duran had seen glimpses of that side of her but now he was seeing more. The sight of her vulnerability caused him to draw in a sharp breath.
And he wanted her to stop. To walk away from him so he could go back to thinking she was untouchable and infallible. His fragile love could remain intact based upon what he believed instead of what he now knew. He shifted uncomfortably in the ensuing silence and looked down at the ground.
Alora remained eloquently silent.
"I'll get supplies for you. And food. Fetch should have some pork bread left. " Duran mumbled.
"Yes. Thank you. That sounds good." Alora replied quickly. She raked a quick hand through her hair and studied the ground.
"For Islinn too?" Duran questioned. Alora looked up, dumbfounded.
"Food. Enough rations for her as well?"
"You think I'm not going to feed her?" Alora asked, brows raised.
"No. It's just that some owners…" Duran immediately saw his mistake and blushed profusely.
"Some…people…don't buy…full…rations for their…people. They share what they have. It saves coin."
Alora nodded slowly as she took in Duran's words.
"Well…no one gave me directions on how to care for my new purchase." She said dryly. "So I'll have to improvise. Buy her some food, Duran."
Alora took out her coin pouch and dug out some silver. She avoided Duran's eyes as she slipped the coins into his pocket.
"That should be enough for everything. Keep whatever's over."
She gave him a smile of brief duration and made a quick exit for the Livery.