Chapter 9

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Aidens POV

“Do you know what ungodly hour it is?” Rhetorical question I am willing to assume. The judge obviously isn’t a morning person.

“This is a matter of urgency.” Damn old bugger. He has been the local judge for going on thirty years and was one of my father’s good old friends. Myrick, the judge, visited the house so much when I was young that he might as well have taken up residence. Even if he isn’t inclined to help, I’m certain I can bring him around with a little nostalgia. “I thought that with the long friendship our families have had, that I could depend on you in an emergency.” Or if nostalgia won’t work I might try guilt.

Shifting restlessly in his arm chair, the look that Myrick was giving me was enough to warn me not to push my luck too much. He may be a family friend but I did just show up unannounced and haul him out of bed at sunrise. I sat quietly across from him, my foot restlessly tapping against the floor as I struggled to allow him to wake up before asking him to help me accuse Treyton of slave theft. I don’t think it necessary to tell everyone who Kiara is at this point. I mean, who in their right mind would believe me! And those that do would probably think I am crazy for wanting ‘used merchandise’ back. Even my parents were not concerned with my happiness in my marriage. It was arranged between Kiara and myself, it just happened to be good luck that we enjoyed each other’s company so much.  I looked back up at Myrick who now held a steaming cup of tea under his nose and a silly smile told me that he was now ready for business.

“Myrick I need you to help me retrieve a slave that was stolen.” A raised eye brow and a sip of tea were his only reactions, and as Myricks wife sat down next to him I knew it was time for the reaction, “Treyton stole her.” Watching Myrick choke on the tea made me want to chuckle despite knowing that pissing off Myrick was not the way to get what I wanted. Straight faced I watched as Myricks wife patted him on the back trying to help him catch his breath. If Myrick is on my side then I will get Kiara back.

“Treyton? Promise me right now that this isn’t over a pretty girl, Aiden.” The serious look on his face brook no room for excuses or lies.

“Myrick you know that I would not be here if this were not a legitimate claim.” The raised eyebrow and crooked smile that old man Myrick was giving me left little to the imagination as far as what he thought this was about. And I can’t really say that he is wrong. “Alright, this may be over a pretty girl but in all fairness she was mine first.” The roaring laughter that both Myrick and his wife Fayette produced was enough to make my neck heat up as blood pushed up towards my face.

“Come! Tell us more. How did Treyton manage to steal a slave woman that was entertaining you so much?” Myrick and Fayette sat across from me, squeezing each other’s hands and giving me a look that reminded me strongly of parental pride.

“She hasn’t been entertaining me!” God now I am acting like a child again. “This slave woman was taken from my property without my knowledge and then when I went to retrieve her from Treyton he attacked me and stole the papers I had brought as proof of ownership.” I pulled down the neck of my shirt to show the prominent bruise encircling my neck. “And he did it with excessive force.”

Myrick looked confused rather than annoyed at this point. “Why would he put up such a fuss over this slave? He must have at least a dozen others that would easily out shine any slave that you own.” I opened my mouth to object but he cut me off with his upraised hand. “I am not criticizing the slave Aiden. I just noticed that you have a tendency to not pick and choose slaves based on their looks. How did you end up with a slave worthy of Treytons harem?”

Nodding my head in acknowledgement of his meaning, there was no lie to tell here. “Accidentally, a nearby estate was selling off a cart load and I purchased them all. I’m sure you heard gossip about Valencia summering at my manor?” His small nod was a huge understatement considering the amount of gossip I personally have heard from neighbors. “Well she was demanding more than my modest number of slaves could keep up with,” A gentle titter from Fayette was more than enough to assure me that they understood how demanding some particular guests can be. “So I needed more and bought all the estate was selling. This slave came in that cart.”

Fayette spoke up quietly with a look of concern on her face, “We do not doubt your story Aiden, however if this slave is so appealing then why did they not sell her separately? Surely they could have made more selling her at auction?”

“I overpaid on all the slaves in order to get trained ones that could be thrown into work immediately.” Now how do I comment on Kiaras skills nicely, “And this slave is…” Gorgeous, beautiful, the object of every mans lust. “attractive enough to be sure, however she is…” Stubborn, clumsy, distracting, willful, outspoken. “lacking in some skills still.” Fayette seemed unsatisfied with that, her sweet smile and polite stare probed me for more. “Alright, she spills things, breaks things, annoyed Valencia, and was more or less only good for work in back, which totally defeats the point of spending a large sum of money on an attractive slave for show.”

Fayette smiled widely at me with a look in her eyes that made me think she knew more about the slave than I do. Her soft spoken words always managed to sooth anyone’s mood, and even now calmed me slightly. The urgency seemed slightly less immediate, what could possibly be done in the next five minutes that hadn’t been done already since she spent the night there. “Aiden she sounds like something special.” Fayette placed her hand gently on mine for the briefest second.

“Aiden if I didn’t know any better, I would swear that this is more than just a stolen slave to you.” You have no idea Myrick.

“It might partly be principle and partly be revenge.” The rooms’ mood turned tense for a moment as both Myrick and Fayette glanced at my neck and I watched as their fingers and hands twitched towards their own necks. “This is serious enough that I brought it to you Myrick. He endangered my life and stole my slave, both of which, on their own, are severe offenses.”

“Aiden I will look into this, I promise.” Seeming satisfied with himself I watched as Myrick waved a slave over and asked for breakfast to be brought in.

“Myrick I was thinking of a slightly more, well, right now timeline.” The look of disappointment on Myricks face as he realized that I intended to keep him from breakfast was enough to make anyone think he had just been told he would not get to eat for a week.

“Aiden, dear boy, if it weren’t for your father and I having been friends for so many years I would toss you out and say come back at a decent hour, and now you take away the best meal from my day. I seriously hope this slave is a stunning example, reminding us all what beauty is, for if she is in the least bit homely I will personally add some new bruises to your collection and I know for a fact your father would approve.”

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