Laila sat on the edge of her bed completely lost in thought as Shaadiya brushed her long hair into tiny braids. Laila’s small, pale hands were balled into fists and she kept chewing her bottom lip. Even Shaadiya’s soft, gentle humming didn’t calm her down. She was deathly afraid of her new master. What if he beat her? What if he forced her to do things she didn’t want to do? What if he was exactly like Turbert? What if he was Turbert?
That thought, nearly made her hurl, but she swallowed it down and closed her eyes. Feeling tears well up in them. She didn’t understand why she just couldn’t stay with the Sultan. At least he was a kind man and had done her no harm. She looked at Shaadiya for a second and then back down to her bare feet.
“ Laila.” Shaadiya said softly.“ Saladin would not give you away to a man he didn’t trust.” The older woman said ever so gently. “ Kaif is Saladin’s nephew. He will treat you just as kindly as Saladin has.”
“ What if he does not?” Laila crocked barely above a whisper. Shaadiya sighed and squeezed her hand.
“ He will. Not all men are as brutal as that Lord Turbert is. Oh yes we have all heard stories of him.”
“ He would like that.” Laila replied trying not to cry. Tubert would love the fact that people talked about him. He had often said he was the talk of the world, and that people knew his name. If people knew who he was, Laila knew it was because he was such a tyrant. She swallowed down more tears and turned to look at Shaadiya. “ What if I do not please him? Will he beat me the way Lord Tubert did? What if I…”
Shaadiya gently placed her finger on Laila’s lips and dried her tears with a handkerchief. “ Do not fret so darling you’ll only make yourself ill and that wont do now will it. “ You must remember that not all men are like Lord Tubert. I believe that your own father was hardly like Lord Tubert. I know you knew men in the land that you are from. You must have had some sort of lover. With as beautiful as you. Did they treat you the way Lord Tubert did?"
Laila frowned and slowly shook her head. She had not thought of her people in many years. Or at least, she had tried not to think of them. They were all dead anyway. Another tiny tear came to her eye but she brushed it away. She knew her father would be very disappointed in her if he could see her now and she prayed that he was not watching her from were he was.
“ No, my father was a kind, good man, even if he was a strong and strict leader. He wasn’t a tyrant.” It was the first time since her capture that Laila had spoken of her father. She turned to look up at Shaadiya as if she was going to say something else, but she thought better of it. She had not spoken so much in a long time and was half afraid of being beaten for it.
Shaadiya gently helped Laila stand up and twirled her around. The older woman smiled and nodded. “ Beautiful.” She said softly. “ I promise you, that he will not hurt you. You must learn to trust again and to not fear so much.” She said as she gently and slowly began to lead Laila to Kaif’s tent.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Posted by Joanna at 6:09 AM