This scene was cut down from a much longer one. I decided to remove a character who added very little to the trilogy. It meant switching things together to make the scene make sense. I have no idea what Ben is thinking of when he speaks. But I have seen part of his history and it is not a pleasant one.
From Protector of the Grey House:
“But to be beaten in front of everyone…”
“It’s happened before Ben.” She searched his eyes. “What is it, really?”
“You showed nothing but bravery and you took the punishment because you felt you did wrong. There aren’t that many people in this world like that.”
She saw more in his eyes, but understood he wasn’t willing to talk about it. She nodded. “If you ever feel like talking to me about it, I’ll listen.”
“Thank you.” He gave her a kind smile, then turned his head to the door. “I see we are no longer alone.”