Mélanie raised her eyebrows at her new owner.
“You enjoy making no sense?”
“Well, yeah. Wouldn’t you?”
“I, ah. I can’t say I would. Sir. Well…” She gave it some thought, mostly because of the cheerful eyebrow-wiggle he was aiming in her direction. “Well. I… sometimes, with certain annoying people, yes. But I don’t think that I qualify as that – at least not yet? – do I? Sir?” She was starting to get a little nervous. She managed to keep a smile on her face, but that was almost entirely because it had already been there when she started.
“No. Hardly not. In the five minutes I’ve owned you, you’ve been a champ. An absolute dear.”
The praise made her feel better enough – made her feel more than better enough, but she could cope with the surge of elation. That, she remembered, faded in time – enough that she could give him a little playful smirk right back. “Oh, come now, it’s been at least seven minutes.”
“Has it? Oh, dear, we’re getting precious close to that ten-minute mark where you’ll stop finding me entertaining and start finding me irritating.”
“Do tell me when that’s suppose to be?” Oh, no, she was playing along. That was going to be harder to cope with in the long run than passing elation. “I wouldn’t want to get it wrong.”
“Mélanie, you strike me as the sort of woman who is going to be an absolute blast to own.”
“I hope, sir, that you mean that in the ‘fun and entertaining’ and not the ‘explosive and shooting into space’ sort of way.” She shot him a smile that she would absolutely regret later, but right now was way too much fun to not let out.
“Oh, but what if I find ‘explosive and shooting into space’ to be fun an entertaining?” He grinned widely back at her, showing a mouth of teeth that was clean, very clean, and startlingly white.
“…is your innate power Personal Dentist or something?” she asked before she could stop herself.
He snorted. “No. Not exactly. But, ah. Well, I can explain that later. Let’s just say I like good hygiene, shall I?”
“So you’re the world’s cleanest Robin Hood?”
“Oh,what gave you the idea that I was Robin Hood? I mean,” he fake-shuddered, “he gave his earnings away.”
“You know, I thought that his scheme of setting up a ‘toll booth’ in the middle of a forest was quite clever, though. As long as you could move the toll booth from place to place.”
He eyed her for a minute, while the horses ambled down the road. “You really are going to be entertaining to own.”
“I live to please, sir.” She bowed from her place on the bench. “So. Where are we going?”
“Oh, to a little place in the middle of the forest where I keep my findings.”
“And I suppose I count as a finding?” She hoped he didn’t live in a cave. She thought she could handle most living situations, after living in a slaver’s cage, but she wasn’t so sure about a cave.”
“You count as a treasure. We’ll see, once you’ve decided I’m no longer amusing, what else you count as.”
Next: The Next Part.
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