Mar

Mar shuffled back a little, wishing she could cover up the mark on her arm. Jacob reacted like the guards and prisoners did back home when they saw it: they always stared a little, and then some acted like... like they were afraid, she realized. Not of her—that would be truly strange—but afraid Daddy would punish them. Because he would: he could punish them for talking to her, or for trying to punish her, which was something only he was allowed to do. She wanted to cover up the mark so Jacob wouldn't see and be afraid of that—she didn't want him to know to be scared of Daddy. But she wasn't allowed to cover up the mark; he said it kept her safe, and he was right. The guards wouldn't touch her when they saw it. But he's not a guard. As obvious as that realization is, it brings another with it. I don't need it to protect me from him.

Mar slid a hand over her wrist uneasily, concealing the burn mark. "I, ah," she said lamely, realizing he was waiting for her to answer. It was very easy for her hand to grip the wrist tightly once she started, despite the nervousness she'd felt about doing it. The burn didn't hurt at all anymore, except when she imagined it. "... it just... it tells people... it's so they can tell who I am, I guess," she finished, and in the rush before she could freeze up again went on to say, "but only back home. Um."

"don't think so,"
she mumbled in answer to his next question, and started to edge back into the barn. Something stops her, though—she has a question for him. "W... is anyone else coming out here?"