The little gears in Fred's mind continued turning, straining to formulate
some way to keep Astra as his 'serving wench'.
Astra, meanwhile, was restraining herself from slicing open both of these presumptuous mens' tender throats with the dagger she still conveniently possessed . 'Serving wench'!? She'd never been so insulted! But this wasn't Themyscira, this was the land of the enemy.Gilder tapped his foot impatiently, waiting for the Allarian's reply. "I think the arrangement I have offered is more than fair," he insisted, eyeing the exotic woman with just a hint of jealousy in his eyes. "To sweeten the deal," he added, "I'll leave you with a 'parting gift' to remember Hespan by; 100 bottles of the choicest wines, grown in my vineyards and fermented in my vaults.And...and..."
"All very generous offers, I must admit," Fred remarked. "But I'm afraid my answer is 'no'. I know she must look beautiful from the outside, but I assure you, she is merely a polished up monster. You should have seen her when I found her in the squalors, she was a beast.""I'm sure she was as lovely then as she is now..."
Fred shook his head. "She does have a good heart, true, and maybe it shows in subtle ways. But she's really a disease-ridden horror..."Astra, mistaking the word 'horror' for another vulgar term applied to women, drew her dagger and tackled Fred in the same swift motion. In an instant she was on top of him, her dagger thrust against his throat.
"What did you call me!?" she scowled, her eyes narrowing on Fred with murderous rage.Gilder erupted into a cheerful chorus of laughter, clapping his hands in approval. "She's got spirit! I simply must have her! Name your price, Allarian!"
Fred's concentration, however, was on the cold steal pressed against his pulsing jugular and the vengeful face of Astra leering down at him.
11/7/2002 10:47:09 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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