This continues the story of slave Sixteen
Sixteen knelt on the stony ground, the cold rain pouring over him. “Think about what you have done,” the Lady had said. He wasn’t sure of their names yet; she might be Lady Agnes, or Lady Janine, he thought. He wasn’t sure what he’d done wrong either. Perhaps he should have addressed her by her name, instead of as ‘My Lady’. Although using the wrong name would have caused even greater offence, he was sure of that.
He shivered. Had he made the right choice, when he signed away his rights? No, he must not give way to doubt. There would surely be many punishments ahead; he could not fall at the first hurdle. Besides, he had made the choice willingly, and must accept whatever befell him-. Although he was now a slave, he had to do the Ladies justice by working hard to please them.
The Wardress came out, holding a large umbrella, and a long leather coat protecting her from the rain. She kicked him to the ground. “This is disappointing. So early in your stay here, and already you have offended Lady Janine. Do you know what you did wrong?”
“No, Wardress. I am sorry, but I do not know.”
She slapped him, the full weight of her body behind it. “You looked at her. Sixteen, you, a slave, looked a Lady in the eye. That is a disgusting transgression. You are utterly unworthy of such a privilege. Looking directly at Her implies that you think yourself to be Her equal, when you are nothing.”
He wanted to apologise for his mistake, but remembered that he must never speak unless a response was invited.
“You will stay out here until I am satisfied that you have understood the severity of your misconduct. Is that clear?”
She turned and went back into the House. The sound of her heels clicking mesmerised Sixteen. Of all the Ladies she fascinated him the most. His thoughts were often filled by Her. Her position was one that demanded the greatest respect, even from the other Ladies. He wondered how She had risen to be so powerful. He wished that he could serve Her, and Her alone.
But he had to serve all the Ladies. That was what he had agreed to, and he must strive to be the best slave he could.