“Well, what do we do now?” Breya asked.
“Now?” The housecarl said through a mouthful of stale black bread. “Now we eat.”
“Yes, but after that? We’ve run, we’ve escaped the worst of it, what do we do now?”
A spark came into the man’s eye. It was not a pleasant glimmer, but a hint of wicked mirth.
“We could lie here on this hill until our bones turn to dust, holding each other in a sweet embrace.”
Breya spat, not at him because she knew it would only amuse the man, but onto the fresh green grass at his feet. The truth was that she did not have the energy for irritation or hate. She was exhausted from sleepless nights, worn by days spent in the saddle and her patience had been tested by the warrior’s endless jesting.
“Lets go home then, back to the valleys so we can see what’s happening there. Things might have returned to normal.”
“Normal?” The housecarl asked. “There is no normal. This land has just been conquered. If you’re expecting to walk back into your old life then you’re mistaken, lass.”
She sat and thought about what he had said. Even if he was wrong, she had no desire to go back to serving mead in a stinking alehouse, feeling the calloused hands of farmers groping at her as she passed.
“Well, what about a new life then?”
The glimmering cruelty came back into the housecarl’s eyes.
“Will we be married then, lass? Aye, you could make an honest man of me. We’ll live in a hovel, till muddy fields, rut like pigs and have a brood of twenty strong sons. We’ll drown the girls of course, no need for them.”
“Hold your tongue still for once.” She hissed. “Do you think these Normans brought gold with them, to keep inside their castles?”
“Oh aye, gold and trinkets of all sorts. Fine silver crosses and candlesticks so the Lord knows they love him as well I’ll wager. And they’ll have half the wealth of England strapped to their saddlebags as plunder.”
“Then why don’t we take it?” Breya asked.
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