She wondered from where this exotic girl hailed; but thinking it rude to ask, Femi kept her burning question to herself. Anippe's expert hands touched the purple strangulation marks encircling her slender throat.
"You must not anger Nicos. Losing his maleness made him insane. It was his punishment for violating the King's property when he first arrived. He was brought here from Nubia a long time ago, and over the years he's regained our King's trust. Now he is the overseer of the harem, appointed to that position by our King."
"Your King," Femi corrected.
"To show our King kindness would benefit you greatly," the old woman replied.
Femi looked at the quiet, pale girl, wanting to see the expression on the young girl's face. Jamila seemed mute or maybe she was in some sort of trance; either way, Femi couldn't keep her eyes off her.
"Anippe is right. You should not choose to anger them, unless you like punishment. Life here can be good if you learn to obey and listen. The King gives special girls or his prized concubines a private audience with him. It is in your best interest to serve your King. You may not think he is your King, but he is. The sooner you come to realize such, the better off you will be."
Femi scoffed. "Harem? Concubine?"
"Yes, you now belong to Hansani Tarik," Anippe added proudly as her wrinkled hand slid over Femi's perky breasts.
"Belong? I belong to no man, for I am not married. I give my soul to Ra and the Goddess mother Isis," she said flatly.
"That may be true, but as of now your body belongs to King Hansani," Anippe said matter-of-factly.