"No, he doesn't have particular regard for you," the voice behind her made Cyra jump, only relaxing and sheathing her knife when Jonathan stepped up and rested his arm on her head. While normally dismissive of Jonathan using her as something of a mobile piece of furniture, today she watched as the juicy fruit he held came dangerously close to dripping on her forehead before he caught the drip with another loud, slurping bite.
Shaking her head, as much to dislodge him as to deny any of the thoughts he hinted at.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Going back to her task, she loaded a few more goods into crates, giving an occasional glance out into square, where he stood.
Jonathan looked as well, though his observations were somewhat juxtaposed to hers. Completely out in the open, dressed modestly in dark shirt and heavy cloth trousers, and even during the busiest time of day, tucked against the opening of a wide alley, she was nevertheless invisible to the general population. Even knowing her, looking directly at her, his eyes and mind wanted to skip over her, to disregard her existence. He had never understood how she managed that. Get into town, and five minutes later they had lost her as she disappeared into the crowd. After a year and a half of this, they simply shrugged and trusted she would reappear on the way back to camp. It was some measure of her agitation now, that he could not only find her, but sneak up on Cyra.
The reason for her distraction was evident enough, as Logan stood in the doorway across the square, talking and laughing with a pretty young girl, long blonde hair glinting in the sun. Her eyes sparkled as she talked to him, flirting outrageously as she flaunts curves to make any man drool. Well, almost any man, Jonathan amended, his boi still teasing the edges of his thoughts. When the girl took Logan's hand and led him inside, he could see her tremble the moment the door closed.
Jonathan, as usual, seemed to know right where to dig the knife in to create maximum effect.
"Sometimes, I wonder if we're just, useful," he gives a small shrug, takes another bite of fruit before tossing the rest behind him.
"Don't worry about that. Ultimately, he always comes back to you, right?"
Giving Jonathan a distracted smile, she goes back to loading the crates and the wagon, taking his silent offer of assistance to finish, managing just moments before the groans and screams began, seeping through the walls, and pouring from the open second story window.
Blushing a little, she leaves the wagon and its contents to Jonathan to handle as she takes the chance to bolt, feet swiftly taking her away from the center of town, only slowing when the only screams she heard were the seagulls, and the steady thunk thunk thunk were her own boots on the planks of a little used dock.
She knew the difference, of course. Between romance, love or relationship, and sex. But then, she had never before felt so irrefutably that she was nothing more than another whore, rutting and humping her way to food, protection, safety. While true that he always came back to her to sate his need, there was nothing acknowledged between them, and who was she to be anything beyond another open pair of legs.
Her thoughts turned darker, as the sun began its slow descent, taking the warmth of the afternoon with it. She wasn't beautiful. She knew that. Any kind of feminine vanity had burned away in the forge of slavery. Every now and then he still slipped and called her "lad". Trying to grow her hair out gave her panic attacks, her hands shaking so bad, Jonathan had to trim it back again.
She had never doubted his desire, or questioned his satisfaction. Since the night she had taken her pleasure in his bed, she had believed it made her something more.
She had never doubted her value before. Should she now?
Thinking of the way he brushed back her hair, the way his lips found hers in the dark. The way her heart pounded, struggling against her bonds, trapped by her pleasure. He had been insufferable for days after that, nearly bursting with satisfaction whenever he saw her color. The ghost of a smile teased across her face at the memory, noticing for the first time how late it was. Drawing a deep breath of the cool, river air, she smiles a little as she can feel the heavy footsteps vibrate through the wood as they found her.
Turning, she saw Logan waiting, face impassive as he considers her. Behind him, Jonathan stood, his face a mask of bored annoyance, his eyes watching her with the barest hint of pity.
"Ready to go, baby girl?" Logan's face broke into its easy half-smile, seeing her safe and unharmed.
Her lips twitching into an answering smile, she nods, following as he turns away, leaping to land lightly on his back, vaguely pleased when the move doesn't even draw a surprised grunt, merely a shifting to hold her legs as they head to camp.
Watching Jonathan's back as he leads the way, tightening her hold, she sighs as the sound of the river fades.
Maybe Jonathan was wrong.