Chapter 12: Hanging

Daylight passed and night fell, and I still remained under the balcony. I could not yet figure how to safely extract myself from the small space I had wedged myself onto, nor could I see how to climb back up and over the stone ledge without assistance. The bracer thinned closer to the edge and I could perhaps grab the bottom but there was a large space between the edge of the balcony and the bottom of the balcony. Someone would have to pull me up to the ledge.

I sent prayer after prayer to the gods, but I received no answer or aid. Dawn approached, and I was beginning to lose hope. The granite was rough against my chest and my limbs and bladder cried out for relief. Perhaps, this was the way I was supposed to die? Perhaps I should let go—fall off, and plummet to the Earth. Not a year ago I was wishing for death, I felt as though right now wouldn't be much different than that time.

I wouldn't be a slave anymore. I could see my mother again. I could just…

"Amer!" came a soft cry from over the balcony.


"Amer! Where are you? You stupid boy!" I frowned. Jolan had never taken that tone with me before. Who was he to call me stupid? If he had been here, I would have not been in this mess. "You'd better not be dead you piece of shit! Gita will have my head!"

"AMER!" Jolan hissed again. "…merkareh! Answer me, Amer!"

I froze at that. What? What did he just call me? I shook my head. No, he couldn't have said that.

"Amer! Come on you bastard—you… everything if you don't… up here. Everything—" he began, before he cut himself off. "Just answer me!"

"Jolan!" I finally called up. "I-I'm under the balcony! I can't…I can't get back up. Not without help."

"Amer? You're okay?" He called down.

"Yes!" I called up. "I need help to get back up."

"Oh, šbaßlanj!" Jolan exclaimed. But what the hell could he have possibly meant? I've never heard that language before. "Can…it back to the end of the balcony?"

"Yes I believe so, the bottom at the very least." I called up.

"Alright, do so and I'll help you up." He called.

I groaned as I forced my body to move off of the pillar. I forced myself to hold onto the pillar and get back out to the balcony. Jolan's hand was reaching for me, and he was laying flat on the ground. I grabbed his hand and pulled on it before I grabbed one of the rocks jutting from the ledge. I pulled up as Jolan pulled until I could grab a hold of the stone pillars and wrestle myself up and to the ledge and over. Once back onto the ledge I groaned as I hit the ground.

Gods. My body felt like it was on fire.

Jolan exclaimed as I hit the ground and looked me over. "You okay?" he asked. "What happened? Why were you over the balcony?"

"S-some man came in and tried to—he said-he…" I couldn't string the words together. Now that I was back on solid ground I felt a whole hell of a lot better. But now everything just seemed completely insane and I couldn't pull my thoughts together. "He called himself Master's brother and he—" I shook my head. "I ran. And there was no place to run."

"So you flung yourself over the balcony instead of calling for help?" Jolan asked incredulously.

"Who would help me?" I frowned. "No one here cares about me, and no one would care if a pleasure slave—"

"Oh, stow it—will you? You need to be safe, you idiot," Jolan frowned.

I stared at him, confused. "What are you talking about?"

"Gita is half way to in love with you and he is a man who can provide well for you, Amer. You need to keep your favor with him,"Jolan said quietly.


"Now stand up," he ordered.

"I…I don't understand... what do you mean he is in love with me? I'm nothing but a slave—someone meant to be used for pleasure," I sat up looking at Jolan.

Jolan just shook his head in irritation. "Oh stop it now. Come on, get up and let's get you into the baths, Gita is set to return near second meal."

I frowned and stood to follow him to the baths. "Jolan. Tell me, what do you mean?"

"Shut up!" Jolan frowned. "Listen Amer, you are not a fool. You know exactly what's going on. Just stay in your place and don't get killed—or jump off another fucking balcony."

I frowned. It seemed like all I've been doing since I got here was be confused. I have constantly been at the whim of others' agendas. And now, servants are ordering my steps. What was going on? Why was I chosen as Master's slave, and why was I being placed in so important of a station? Why me? Something was amiss and Jolan knew something that he wasn't telling me.

"Jolan," I said, looking the other boy in the eyes. "What aren't you telling me?"

He looked at me before sighing and standing up. "Just do as you're told. The less you know, the better. Come, let's get you to the baths."

I frowned as I stood. It seemed he wouldn't be telling me anything, but he did know something about what was going on. And I was going to find out what it was.