Chapter 19: Andrew

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I couldn't get Elisa's words out of my head for the rest of the day, and as soon as I woke up, it was the first thing I remembered. It really wasn't anything special, just a string of words, but I knew she meant it. I could trust her. From the moment I saw her, I knew it was a good choice to select her. My father always taught me that a person who fought for their beliefs was a trustworthy person because they remained true to themselves.

The way she stood up for her sister and her brother at the auction block made her visible to me. And now she was protected, and would always remain protected, so long as she stayed within my property lines. 

I rolled out of bed, sleepily shuffling to the bathroom. The smell of Guadalupe's cooking brought a smile to my face. That woman was like a second mother to me. My mother loved her to pieces and when she died, Guadalupe and Matilde took over in raising me and my sister. They were like family, and everyone else here, was like family.

When I'd changed into fresh clothing, I met with my sister and Elias downstairs in the dining room. Our breakfast had already been served along with mimosas. The moment I took a seat, Matilde entered, announcing the arrival of Miss Becky Dowager. Elias and I stood offering her smiles and a welcome. She was dressed beautifully in a pink summer dress, a white sunhat and platform sandals.

She took a seat beside me as Elisa delivered a breakfast plate to her as well. I smiled at her, earning a shy response. I was happy she was getting a little more comfortable here now. Becky, placed her hand over mine, removing it quickly when I gave her my attention.

"I apologize for leaving so suddenly. My father grew anxious with all the executions and ordered me home at once." She said.

"I'm very happy you're safe and back here." I replied, giving her a flirtatious smile.

Becky blushed at my tone, then picked up her eating utensils.

"So, how has everyone been? The executions have put everyone on edge." Becky said.

"We've been fine. Saddened that some of our friends have betrayed our country, but that has been remedied, hasn't it? I think it was time that President Steel demonstrate that treason will not be tolerated." Elias replied.

"I couldn't agree more." Becky told him.

"I'm glad you're here Becky, my New American Flag  arrived yesterday and Elias and I were going to hang it up today."  I said.

"Oh excellent! I was so ecstatic when my father purchased his. They're so beautiful." she squealed.

She was right, they really were, and I was proud of my country, but times were much too dangerous to even remotely disagree with The Panel.

We stood, and made our way to the backyard where the flag had been laid out to be lifted onto the flagpole.

Becky stood watch as we lifted it up. Pride was beaming in her eyes and that confirmed to me how much she believed in Steel's philosophy.

Elias stepped back into the house, leaving Becky and I alone.

"Tell me, Andrew, how do you keep your slaves in check?" she asked.

"That's an odd question for a woman." I replied.

"The reason I ask, is because you seem to have exchanges with your little slave girl over there. Someone might think that that meant something was going on."

I laughed, shaking my head. "I'm just nice to my slaves." I assured.

"That in itself is suspicious. You shouldn't be nice at all. You, as a master, have no business being courteous to your slaves. They are there to serve and and not make demands, so tell me why you behave this way."

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