“Is something wrong?” Following his gaze, she ran her hand over the bruise on the side of her face. “Horrible, isn’t it?”
He tore his eyes away, then momentarily glanced Cark’s way. “Sorry. No, nothing’s wrong. And yes—it is horrible. The bruise, I mean.” Once again, he glanced at her.
Her eyes closed, she tipped her face up. “The days are cooling, but the sun is still warm.”
He said nothing.
She opened her eyes.
“Why do you do that? Why do you taunt him?” Marshall repeated his earlier question.
“Who? Cark?” She shrugged. “Like I said, it’s not as if it makes any difference. To him, I’m just something to punch.”
“But how— Why—”
“How did I end up with him?” she interrupted. “Why does he treat me as he does?”
“Well . . . yes.”
She looked toward her husband. He and Grik stood, deep in conversation. Noticing that Marshall also gazed at the men, she said, “They go out like that to make sure no one can overhear them.”
He nodded. “So, you were saying?”
“You asked how I ended up with Cark.”
“Yes. How could that have happened?”
“Why, my parents sold me, of course.”
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