Chapter 5

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Aiden’s POV 

"What the hell do you mean gone?" The slaves scattered at my thunderous roar. Terror radiated from every pore on the slave I had cornered between my now overturned breakfast table and the wall. Rounding on Valencia who was standing stunned with her back pressed against the wall, I had my fists clenched so tight that I could feel the protest of the scar on the back of my hand. Good to see that this damn woman isn’t completely clueless, she can feel fear. I had to bite back a smile at the sight of her discomfort, instead forcing an even bigger snarl onto my face. Pulling myself to my full six foot height, I leaned towards my cowering aunt with firsts deliberately clenched firmly at my side. I would never hit a woman, but she doesn’t know that.

"I … I …" Fumbling along the wall, Valencia backed herself into a corner. I saw anger flash across her eyes. I don’t think this proud woman has ever been cornered before. In a last ditch attempt to save her pride, she pulled herself up to a rather impressive figure considering the visible trembling. "That wretched girl doesn’t deserve you! I shipped her off again. This time she will never come back." I almost took a step back from the violent creature I had cornered. She looked poised to scratch my eyes out if I tried to get any closer to her.

"That slave was not yours to get rid of." I took a few deep breaths, trying to keep my temper at a low boil. "It is none of your business which slaves I keep in MY house." This damn woman needs to learn her place. "And further more…" A thought caught on the tip of my brain interrupting my train of thought. This time? Doesn’t deserve me? " This time she will never come back?" Pushing my temper back down I focused on evaluating Valencia’s words. With a glance at the woman cowering against the wall I turned away, leaving her behind without a backwards glance. Cook has been here longer then I have been alive, she must know something about this mysterious slave girl.


I sat waiting on a stool in the kitchen as cook finished issuing instructions and organizing a few slaves before she would allow me to distract from her chaotic staff. Cook half raised me and since my parents died years ago she has been a life saver. She is so much considered family that I forget sometimes that she is a slave and doesn’t even really have a name, but I have called her Cook since childhood and always with the utter most affection. I watched her give a final shove to one of the new slaves before she returned to me with a tender smile on her face. "Aiden, I am yours for about a half hour." With a gentle hand on my arm she ushered me out of the kitchen into her private office. Not decorated at all, the white walls were clean and barren and only a desk and two chairs occupied the space. We sat down across from each other, a serious look on her face. I had told her that I had something important to discuss and as always she was all business. "What is bothering you?"

How do I ask her this without sounding like I lost my mind? "Umm…" Ok just ask her. She of all people won’t judge you. "Do you recall that new slave girl? The one that dumped soup a week or so ago?" Not a great description but still Cook nodded her acknowledgement. "What do you know about her?"

A confused look crossed her face as she contemplated my words. "Not to be rude at all but may I ask why you are concerned? By all means I will answer but I am just wondering if there is anything more specific you are looking for in the way of information." Fair enough. I guess She could probably tell me lots that will be completely useless information.

"I want to know how old she is and where she was born to start." Slaves always have a paper trail behind them so maybe I can find out what manors she worked at and maybe figure out where she may have came in contact with my dear Kiara and when she was here before.

Opening the drawer of her desk she pulled out a small stack of paper in a neat file folder. Spreading the contents out across her desk we both started picking though the wrinkled and folded papers. We found papers dating back to when she was 7 years old, but nothing earlier. "Sometimes documents get lost." Cook tried to sound like she believed that’s what happened, but we both knew that there was something strange about the missing papers.

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