2b (Argentum’s Song)

There had only been one other time when she had almost tried striking up a conversation.

Three days ago, Thom, the old guard, had pulled out the pan reed flute that he would play every so often. He started playing a lilting dance tune and, as their work was already finished for the night, she and Father started to dance. Then a new instrument joined in and she was surprised to see Argent sitting down beside the older man and accompanying him on a tin flute. He wasn’t a court musician but he was at least as good as Thom. It was a more natural, unrefined, talent but with a lot of potential. She wondered what he could have become if he’d had the access to music teachers as a child that she’d had. Then, before finishing even one song, he stopped abruptly. His face was crimson and he dropped his eyes to the ground from where they had been fixed. When she whirled to see what he had been looking at, she saw the silent older barbarian and the obvious disapproval in his gaze had made her spine shiver.

After Thom finished the melody alone, Father bowed and then fetched Mother for the next song. Martha started walking in the direction where Argent had disappeared when Franklin had caught her by the elbow and asked for the next dance. She wasn’t an idiot and knew that despite being indentured as well, Franklin considered himself above her station and the only reason he was asking her was due to lack of options. However, she also couldn’t say that she minded the dark young noble’s attention while it lasted. Besides, she loved to dance and she could always try to corner Argent to ask him about his music later.

Now she realized she was unlikely to get that chance after all.

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