Zarai had been Lord Ho’s favourite concubine for five seasons. Then Lady Ho died.
The lord spoke. “Do you look to be exalted?”
“No, to be sold.”
His sigh sounded almost genuine.
“Sadly. I make political alliance with the horse tribes. But their headman demands your person to complete the deal.”
“As my master commands.”
Three suns later Lord Ho wedded a wild daughter of the tundra, and a slave left the palace.
The horse lord was young and kind. He gave her a pony and wove wildflowers into her hair.
Some forms of servitude are less onerous than others…