Broden trudged back to his quarters. Upon arrival, he pushed the attending guard aside without a word. Then he entered.
“Master!” Farida jumped up to meet him.
“It’s done,” he said.
“Oh, Master Broden!” She dropped to her knees before him, grabbed his hands, and smothered them with kisses.
He pulled free of her. “Don’t thank me. I’ve done nothing yet. I’m to oversee the women, but the succedunt will oversee me.” He paused, rubbing the back of his neck. “But Zarek did give me authority to see to my mission without interference, so I’m on my way shortly to get Ghazala released from the group that was prepared for shipment.”
Yasmin approached, her head bowed. “Master, I should not have lashed out earlier. I had no right. You should punish me.”
He looked at her, his eyes wide. “Really, Yasmin? Is that what I should do?”
“Yes, Master Broden.”
“Have you ever known me to do that?”
She opened her mouth as though to speak, then clamped it shut.
“Forget it. Now, go! The both of you.”
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