As they descended the grassy slope, another met them. This man was built large and muscular, with interesting gray eyes. "Marlo, you're back! Lakashna!"
"Lakashna," Marlo said, returning the greeting. "I have brought back another. She is freed from her sex-slave life. Her name is…"
"Callista," the woman said after Marlo's momentary pause, not taking her eyes off the empowering figure before her. He was nothing like her Master and certainly much more handsome.
"Welcome Callista. I am simply known as Rocks here among these people. Did you know that your name means 'beautiful' in the ancient language? You certainly live up to your name my dear," Rocks said and bowed low, then grabbing her hand very lightly, kissed it, causing Callista to blush. "We must take her to Reginauld. He would very much like to meet her."
"Yes, yes, by all means," Marlo replied and rode down the hill quickly, pulling Callista's horse behind him, leaving Rocks at the top.
"Who is Reginauld?"
"He is the leader of the freed people here. He came with Marlna about twenty years ago and they have been both been here ever since."
"Marlna?" Callista asked, the name rolling awkwardly over her tongue.
"Yes. She is the 'scribe' as so many rich people would have called her. She's the one in charge of the money we get and the people. She's the keeper of the information, if you'll take that," Marlo said and laughed. "Although half the time, she can't even remember her own name! Here we are."
They had come upon a hut that seemed larger than the rest of the huts that surrounded it. A twig and leaf roof prevented the rain from entering and the walls were built from twigs, logs and various other items that Callista was slightly afraid to ask about. As they entered, there was a small cheer for Marlo's safe arrival and a gasp as Callista entered behind him.
"Who is this?" a deep voice asked. Callista could not see where the voice had come from because she was hiding behind Marlo, trying to go unnoticed but that had failed.
"This is Callista. I helped her escape from her master. She is the one we have been watching milord," Marlo said and clicked his heels together smartly.
"Please, Marlo. We are all friends and family here. Do not call me so formally. Seriously. Now, come here child. Let me look at you and see if your do live up to your name," the voice said again. Callista abided by his request and stepped from behind Marlo, her head was cast down for she did not want to make eye contact. "Look in my eyes and tell me if you know what your name means."
She looked up very slowly and smiled weakly. "It means 'beautiful' in the ancient language sir," she said but very quietly. Even though she had been taken advantage of, she was still a young woman and very shy towards men.
"That it does and you definitely do live up to your name. So, welcome to the Outlaw Clan! Come forward child and please do not fear me. I am Reginauld and the leader of this family. Would you like to join us?"
"Yes, please," Callista replied and stepped forward towards him. He wrapped his arms around her delicately and hugged her, sending warmth through her body and releasing a smile through her lips. "Sir, how did you all get out of the slave trade? Especially you."
Reginauld smiled and placed his arm around her shoulders. He was a full two heads taller than she and she felt extremely small but safe. "You already know Marlo. He was a fighter who fought for entertainment, a disgusting idea for imbeciles. Rocks, was a builder and had escaped after a broken rib had broken his reputation. This is Marlna, my most trusted advisor and most beloved friend. She came from the Dungeons of Melanion where she kept a record of all the prisoners. How old are you old girl? Sixty? Pushin' seventy? I worked in mines, mills and farms as a petty slave and Marlna helped me escape from our Master about twenty years ago. After about four days they stop looking for you."
"They stop looking for you?" Callista asked with a sound of hope. She rested against Reginauld easily and smiled. Her eyes began to close against her will and she struggled to stay awake. Reginauld noticed this and ordered Marlo to take her up to his hut. Very soon, Callista was laying on a fur covered floor of a hut, and was fast asleep.
A/N: Enjoying it? Send a review!
Melanion means 'black'. So Dungeons of Blackness was what I really intended.