Beaten and starved, Tazhret wonders if a visitor to his contract-owner’s farmhold is a reason to hope:
At dawnstrike, the Scotian traveler strode down the steps, right past Tazhret without a pause on his way into the barn. By little dawn, he had his team out in the yard and hitched to the wagon. Tazhret kept his head down, but his gaze followed the traveler, who worked with the ease of long practice. His team pushed their heads into his hands for a welcoming scratch, and he patted their smooth, gleaming coats.
Hope spoke. He cares well for his horses, at least. Fear snarled along the back of Tazhret’s mind. He wouldn’t be the first Scotian who cared more for horses than izzies.