Which means that last night, I went back to the Ven'hedi story. Which also remains untitled. This is becoming a theme for me, lately. I didn't get an awful lot done, because I had to re-read what I'd done already to catch back up after two weeks of not touching it, and naturally fidgeting and edited while I was at it. But I'm back to where I'm just moving forward, finally, so maybe I'll be more productive later this week.
So, the snippet:
The leader caught Johann's eyes again. "I'll have your oath here, with both my people and yours for witness."
Johann's stomach clenched in alarm. He ignored it. "I just said--"
"What you had to say. I know. Now I will have a proper oath from you, before gods and men. On your knees."
Swallow the humiliation, Johann told himself. It's the only way you get out of this alive. Slowly, deliberately, he knelt. He waited for the raider to prompt him, but those bright green eyes only watched, measuring. Johann licked his lips. "Let the gods witness," he said, watching those eyes warily. "In exchange for the lives and freedom of these my countrymen, I give my bond to this, to--"
"Zahir sal-Maysa," the raider supplied.
"To Zahir sal-Maysa," Johann repeated, stumbling over the alien syllables only slightly. "For so long as I remain on Ven'hedi lands, I will not defy him in word or deed, within the limits of my abilities." He paused to draw a shaking breath. The others were watching, wide-eyed and mute. "Under the eyes and hand of Cor Our Father, I do swear."
Oh, Johann, dearheart, you have no idea what you've done...