“Now you understand the difference?” Edward raised his hand up in the air as if to make his point to the skies, or at least the roof of the barn. “Had she been his paid servant, I would have no issue taking him to the stocks. But she is a slave, and she is his property. He is free to use her as he sees fit.”
“I know, Isabella,” he said, his voice softening. He took a deep breath as he reached out and took me in his arms. “Do you not believe I would act on this if I could? But she is only a slave, and he is of royal blood from the kingdom next door to Forks. Even if she was a hired servant, I could not have punished him harshly. But she is his slave, and he has done nothing wrong.”
“Nothing wrong,” I echoed.
“Please what?” I asked quietly.
“You must understand she has no more rights than if he had brought a lamb with him to slaughter for the feast. Do you think I could tell him not to slaughter his own lamb? Do you think I could punish him for eating it?”
My eyes dropped to the ground, and I felt a single tear as it escaped from my eyes and fell across my cheek. I heard rapid footsteps, and Alice was suddenly with us.
“Edward, do not be angry with Isabella,” Alice said as she came up. “It was entirely my fault. I did not know Lady Whitlock would want to chat, and I can hardly walk away from my future mother-in-law. Isabella was only alone for the shortest of times, but still it was my fault, not hers.”
Edward froze for a moment, his eyes going wide as he looked first to his sister and then to me. I watched the realization come over him, and his confusion turned into the tyrant’s black rage.
“You…you were here…with them? ALONE?” As Edward roared out the last word both Alice and I took an involuntary step backwards. “While they were…were…”
Yeah...that ain't gonna be pretty...