He had crooked teeth and stained hands. It was disgusting, just sitting at the table next to Sir Aqäl. Samuel's eyes zeroed in on the grime tattooing the short, white sausages of fingers grabbing and yanking at food greedily, wrapping around rusty forks or slobbering in his mouth when he shoved finger foods between his teeth. Surely such a high, respected man like him would have some table manners. Sam smirked in scorn as he picked up his own fork and lightly pushed the end metal against his lips. At least Sir Aqäl talked after swallowing each bite, instead of spewing chunks of beef and potato down the dining table, the nearly-digested food rolling and crushing under boots on the freshly scrubbed floor like Sir Aqäl's son, the small chub who ate whatever he could get his hands on. Sam couldn't even stare directly at Chaim without grimacing in revolt. How could his sister be friends with such a grotesque family? And not lose her mind around his son? He shook his head.
Cold soup. It'll have to do. Especially since he could see Mikael Aqäl's fiancee taking small sips at her own broth, steam rising in rich clouds filled with the scent of mutton, broccoli, and mushroom. Oh c'mon, he scowled to himself, Eat your soup like a normal person - it'll be your wedding day and you'll still be eating it.
When Sam's sister Maria received the notice about Mikael's engagement to Leonora, she just had to insist on setting their marriage at Sam's holiday house in the fields of the country. At first - of course - Sam had put up a fight and said No, NO, there is no way I am letting them use my land for vows, especially THEM, but Maria argued, Remember when I saved you from getting pratically raped by that drunk servant and you screamed like a girl? I promised to never tell a soul. You owe me - you and your ego!
So there he was.
Nervously sipping soup while Mikael wore a fat, greasy smile that took up his entire whole face as he devoured food, at Josef's living room-sized dining table with his family and servant.
With dirty Sir Aqäl at the left, Leonora at the right, his plump brat of a son next to him, and-
And he couldn't believe he had forgotten about his stubborn shy one.
Long ago, Maria had told him before, Sir Aqäl and Leonora had searched in the market for a servant to follow them around for a year or so, with expectations of a highly-trained man or a repsonsible, quiet woman in a fancy dress with a bonnet tied on her head. A highly-trained, quiet man in a red coat strapped tight to buckled black pants ankled down to black work boots he asked permission to wear was what they got; the mute servant kept his black hair cut jagged short and sleek, his face speckled with dotted freckles, a short nose made purely for smelling specific scents for Leonora's chef who cooked exotic soups and foreign feasts, and thin lips pressed firmly together for his pure silence. All the family knew about him was that he knew English and German, and if they asked no questions about his background, he'd serve them 'till they were purely satisfied down to their toes.
Servants had rights at the time - they had the choice in what they wanted to do at 15, just like every other teenage boy or girl, and were treated fairly by their masters everyday. They could walk out whenever they liked; they could decline an order and go away to serve another. Of course, they could not eat with their master and his or her family at the table, were arrested if caught stealing a valuable, and had weekly evaluations on health and hygiene, and if did happen to reject a command, they were automatically kicked out of their master's house.
This particular servant had avoided Samuel all night and it made him feel powerful all together - boosted his ego, which probably wasn't Kale's intention in the first place. Sam watched the silent man across from him, taking small bites of every group of food at a time, never moving his eyes up in his shyness. Boy, he just wanted to attack him right then and there...take him over the table without a care...listen to him, please him, make him scream only for him...
He scooted further into the table to hide the effect of those thoughts, placing a hand under his chin to admire Kale while Mikael and Leonora chattered about random things in Swedish.
He had to do something. Had to take some sort of action, before he just burst into some sort of animal-predator instinct.
"Beg, beg for me, my shy one..."
Hungry eyes watched Kale's small, bony hand wrap around his fork.
"May I borrow your servant tonight for cleaning purposes?" he bellowed across the table.
All heads snapped over at him, including Gum's, who hid in the shadows of the dining room, and Kale's, whose eyes suddenly widened larger than his plate. But Samuel didn't bother to glance at him, aching eyes focused on Leonora.
Admist her giggling in the middle of a joke Mikael had cracked, she answered, "Sure. He'll be up after dinner."
Now he took his chance to glimpse at Kale, seeing only stark terror in his face with Oh no plastered all over it.
The only look Samuel gave was a merciless Oh yes.