Bonnie had spent the past few days with her sister and the baby Meya. It had been quite a challenge for Mave to become comfortable around the infant, and learn all the necessary skills to care for her. But the bonding time for the sister’s had left Bonnie feeling good. Now she was returning to Meliza, and had been redirected by the guards stating that Meliza had been moved to different rooms. Already she had the feeling of unease, as she made her way down the hallway and entered the small, cramped room. A large canopied bed was squished up against the wall, and a stream of light poured through a small window at the end of the room. There was a cramped fireplace, and barely enough room for furnishing. She spotted Meliza by the window, the tiny blonde figure had her shoulder’s curled and her head down.
“Meliza?” Bonnie stepped tentatively forward.
She continued further, watching for a reaction, but Meliza continued to hide her face.
“He – he yelled at me,” the tiny girl whispered.
“Who?” Bonnie came to Meliza’s side.
She saw that she was crying, and the tears had crusted on her smooth face.
“S-Soren,” she answered gently. “He says I’m high – high maintenance. That his wife said… He gives me too much freedom.”
Bonnie reached out her hand to rest between Meliza’s shoulder blades, unsure on how to behave. She wanted to comfort Meliza – she wanted to let her know that she was not alone. But she was only a servant, and the slightest breach of that could cost her everything. Without warning, Meliza let out a sob and turned to fall onto Bonnie. She caught the small girl with hesitant arms, flattered but still unsure.
There was a quick knock on the door, and Meliza pulled away from her and stared wide-eyed into Bonnie’s eyes. Her bottom lip quivered as the knocking at the door continued.
Bonnie leaned forward, concerned. “What is it?”
“That – that knock,” she said in shock. “That’s my father’s knock.”
It was well known that Meliza did not have her father’s blessing in being Sir Soren’s mistress and those at court were sworn to the king to keep the secret. But Martainn Tiernan had all the right to visit his daughter, who he’d sent to find a husband. And Meliza had no prospects for a husband.