The woman makes a few other requests of Rose before finally looking to the girl. She looks Rose over from head to foot with that same shrewed eye. Her expression seems almost disproving but only around the edges.“Not much to you, even after a few days here,” the woman observes quietly. “Do they not require you to take care of yourself properly where you come from?”
"Yes ma'am," Rose starts, then her brow furrows in some confusion, "I mean, no ma'am. I mean..." She hesitates a beat, "I haven't been where I come from in some time, ma'am."
“That's what they tell me,” she says arching her brow in such a way that seems to draw out her disapproving expression. “Something about running away, not facing the consequences of your actions?”
Rose swallows hard and averts her eyes to the floor. "It was an accident." She wrings her hands in front of her and her voice lowers to a whisper laced with an obvious fear. "Please don't lock me away again."
“Are you an escapee, Rose?” the woman asks quietly, her tone somehow non-accusatory. “Did they sentence you?”
She shakes her head, "No, ma'am, they let me go." She shrugs her shoulders up high, then rotates the right shoulder a couple times back and forth as she winces slightly at the discomfort it causes. "I don't..." she pauses, the same confusion returning, "I don't remember all of the pieces where each piece of time fit together. They don't fit in a line. But I can't go back after what I did to Master Dominick. It wasn't supposed to be like that. I didn't meant to kill him."
“That's very poor control for a girl like you, Rose,” she seems to tut with a shake of her head. She eases back in the chair than takes up her glass with an easy gesture. “That will have to be one of the things we see improvement on or we will have to send you home.” She swirls the wine easily then inhales the scent almost absently.
Rose nods slowly. "Yes, ma'am," she says just above a whisper.
A soft, 'hmph' comes away from her as she eyes Rose again. Her eyes narrow somewhat for a moment then she returns to writing.
“I've arranged a contract for your training and services, Rose,” she says with a frown, “Your gift makes you somewhat more valuable to me than a typical slave. Sadly, I had to negotiate as such and you've likely cost this temple a small fortune. I expect you to be impeccable, nearly perfect. I expect you will train every single day, do exactly as you are told, mold yourself into the image I have for you. There will be little rest, there will be little anything but what I instruct you.” She pauses slightly and looks up to the girl, “Is that absolutely, and,” she narrows her eyes, her tone becoming subtly dangerous, “Completely clear?”
Rose nods quickly, but keeps her eyes lowered. "Yes, Mistress, completely clear."
"Good," she says quietly, letting her menace drop away. "Today you spend the day learning what you need to know to serve me properly. This is the only warning you get, girl. Each day is a test and the moment I find you lacking, I send you back. If you truly fear their retribution, I suggest you remember that with every pour in the glass, every proper response and every effort you make to master your gift." She pauses briefly to let all of that sink in.
"Start here in the study. Anything you do not know how to properly clean... Do. Not. Guess. Ask. Each item is of vital importance and could mean your life in a ritual. Your curiosity is welcome, your errors are not. You will take your lunchon with me, you will eat what you are fed and you will take your evening meal in your room just before bed. I will send someone to make sure it is properly consumed. Magic takes a toll on your body, child. If you do not care for it, you will lose your life to it's power. It will not be glorious, it will be a wretched investment and I will be quite put out, enough I might see that you are punished beyond death." Her steely gaze briefly grazes Rose before she sets the first page out of the way and begins on the second. "Your benefactor will be here in the evening," she says with a slight smirk, "I suggest you thank her properly for... rescuing you once again..."
Rose looks around the room at the various objects in the room and then to the woman. "Mistress, if there is a certain way to clean or care for these things... I don't know any of it. I was never given care of magical tools before." She licks her lips and runs her teeth over her bottom lip. "I don't even know what they do. I can feel power from different things, their importance, but I don't know what to do with all of them."
Rose's new Mistress pauses mid-stroke and looks up at her. For a few moments she eyes the girl with an unreadable but hard gaze.
"Start in the bedroom then, just stay out of the beauru and drawers. They're warded, you'll know if you weren't supposed to touch them." She grins a bit wickedly for a moment. "When you have finished there, tidy the storage space and then attend to me here until I'm ready to instruct you on the rest."
"Yes, Mistress," Rose answers. She bows her head briefly and heads off to the bedroom.
She doesn't work exceptionally quickly, but even though her hands are shaking with nerves, she goes through each task, starting by changing the sheets and making the bed and then moving through the rest of the room, and picking up clothes or other things off of the floor and bringing them down to be washed. She runs a cloth over all of the furniture, stopping a few times to brush her hair away from her face and to rub a sore muscle here and there. As she wipes down the bureau, she pauses a moment to feel the thrum of the magic warding them. She closes her eyes and takes in a slow breath before shaking her head. "No. Not there," she tells herself quietly. Letting out a sigh, she continues wiping down the room until it is as clean as she can make it, then stops to look around at what she's done, leaning slightly against the wall for a moment, her nerves having calmed through the tasks. "It's for the best, Rose," she tells herself softly. She nods to herself and pushes a strand of hair back out of her face before returning to her new Mistress's side.
As she walks closer to the woman, she seems to suddenly remember that she forgot something and quickly turns back and almost runs to the storage space, holding her stomach tightly. "Stop it Rose. Don't forget! You must be perfect." She nods and swallows, catching her breath, her hands shaking again before throwing herself into tidying up the storage space and arranging all of the belongings therein. Finally, she makes her way back to her Mistress, glancing over her shoulder a couple of time as if trying to remember if she's forgotten something once more.
Perhaps to her benefit, perhaps not, Rose seems ignored by the mistress for some time. Several pages now sit drying on the table she was working at, each written in a neat hand but difficult to read from Rose's distance. It isn't until the lunchon meal is brought that she bothers to address Rose.
“Sit over there on the other side,” she instructs evenly, “Consume your meal completely, but in silence. I have to finish this. When -you- are finished, collect everything empty from our meal and from my breakfast and take it out to be tended. Remember this instruction for every mid-day meal unless I instruct you otherwise.” With that, she goes right back to ignoring Rose and continuing her work.
Rose sits where she is told and eats her meal slowly and in silence. She lets herself enjoy the rest as she watches the Mistress work. When she does finally finish, she stacks up all of the empty dishes as quietly as she can and glances at the pages left to dry as well as the ones in progress. She almost asks about it once, but stops herself short and closes her mouth quickly before the sound escapes. Pressing her lips tightly together, she finishes clearing the remaining dishes and takes them out to be cleaned. Afterward, she returns and stands off at a distance, watching once again in silence.
Again she is ignored and for some significant time. Eventually, however, the woman straightens and actually stands out of her chair. After a moment of flexing out her thin, somewhat bony fingers, she immediately turns to Rose and begins to instruct her. She stands out of the way and with her arms folded except when she points to indicate something more directly than usual. While the woman is not overtly patient, she speaks in an even tone and pauses frequently such that Rose has an opportunity to speak or just absorb the information given to her.
She seems unsurprised at Rose's lack of knowledge except when it comes to the name and uses for certain item that seem plain and common to her. She mutters under her breath a couple of times, something sounding derogatory though Rose is hard pressed to hear the actual words. Regardless, she continues to instruct Rose through each item, it's use and the way it needs to be maintained. They do not finish before evening meal. When the mistress's is brought, she dismisses Rose to her room, bidding her consume her meal and to remember to thank her benefactor graciously if she decides to come by for a visit.
When Rose returns to her (near by) room, she finds it much as it was, food sitting on the table covered. There is no wine accompaniment this time but tea and water are there.
Rose slumps down in the chair, exhausted by the day's events. She does her best to eat, but finds herself dozing off at times only to jolt herself awake again to try to finish her meal.
During one such doze, the door to Rose's room opens abruptly, and Bree enters the room, stepping deliberately and with a temple slave coming in a few steps behind her. "Good evening, Dear," Bree says as she enters. "I trust you had an eventful day." Before Rose can answer with anything resembling complete words, Bree continues.
"I'm sure you're plenty tired, but your day isn't quite over yet, I'm afraid," she says, speaking with some kindness but devoid of anything resembling an apology. "and it will be like this for a while. Before and after your time with the Mistress, I will have tasks for you as well. I am going to push you, but it is for for the best. Do you understand so far?"
Rose sighs, her arms dropping down by her sides in resignation. "Yes, Priestess."