“So, he gives me away like a harlot…as your property.”
My voice cracks under the verdict dealt me. Hojo searches my face. He can clearly read my emotions upon my depressed face.
“You are not my property, Kylenna.”
Hope? I lick my dried, salty tears from my lips.
“Then, it is as it was with my Mother when Musa sent her to your lands,” I begin. “I will be free to make a life of my own, free from…”
My words trail off at Hojo’s slow shake of his head.
“You will remain with me.”
“But why? You can give me your protection, and I can live as I choose,” I explain.
“You will remain with me,” he repeats.
I tilt my head. “Are you telling me I’m more than a bag of grain tossed in to close a deal?”
Hojo chuckles. “This can be whatever we envision it to be, Kylenna. It will bring changes, but it can also be pleasurable and sustaining, too.”
Why after years of wanting, wishing to be his, fate has chosen to step in, but not on my terms? I can't allow my heart to trick me into believing what I see in Hojo's eyes, what I feel while his body moves over mine is real. Yet, when he says, "I'll Die Without You...when I see him willing to take apart everything and everyone to love me, I wonder if I'm willing to sacrifice it all for love?