Simi bounced out of the store, talking about food—Ash let her go, not hearing his words. He was more concerned with Kenzie’s reaction. He saw her stiffen as she looked down and away from him. Her whole demeanor changed as she stammered out an answer to his question….
Something inside Ash snapped when he heard Kenzie ask him for permission to move. Centuries of suffering he had under control came to the surface—he was once again a young boy used as a sex slave for his uncle and his friends. He had vowed to never again bow down to anyone, but Ash found himself dropping to his knees in front of Kenzie, head bowed. “Forgive me Akra, for raising my voice.” Akra. Master, The only person he’d addressed in that manner since Atlantis had been Artemis, and he only did so because she despised it when he did. “I will never disrespect you in such a way again. I beg of you, beat me as you see fit. I will take as many lashes as it takes to pay for my insolence.”
He hadn’t spoken in such a manner or in such a submissive tone since before he’d died, but it didn’t matter to him. He felt Kenzie’s pain, saw her sorrow, understood the fear behind her actions; he’d had to battle himself for centuries to get rid of many survival instincts he’d developed back then, and still he couldn’t bring himself to show others his eyes. Even now he looked at the ground by Kenzie’s feet, keeping his eyes out of sight, just as he’d been taught by all those who had beat him at the sight of them. “My will is yours, Akra.”