I can do almost anything I want to you.
Blaecleah swallowed. “Okay.” It really wasn’t okay. On the other hand, he was sort of past the deciding point on this one. “Okay, so this is why it’s supposed to be hard to handle.”
“Yeah.” Niobe opened her eyes. “Yeah, that’s why it’s hard to handle. What you gave up when you took Sedge’s bet, you gave up free will. Freedom at all. Choice. Until your term is up.”
“That’s…” terrifying. “A bit intimidating.”
“It ought to be. We’re almost to my room, come on. We can handle the hard stuff inside.”
“There’s harder stuff?”
The sound she made could only be called a laugh because he didn’t want to call it a bark. “Depends on your point of view, I suppose. But yeah, it’s probably safe to say there’s harder stuff.” She squeezed his hand, a gentle sort of squeeze. “Man, I did not sign up for this.”
Blaecleah swallowed around a lump of guilt. “I’m sorry. It was just, he pricked my pride…”
“…and he wants something I can offer, and used you to get it. Oh, don’t – look, if I say ‘don’t worry,’ it’s never an order, okay?”
“Okay?” He was still trying to work on the concept that she could order him not to worry, and have it work.
“-don’t worry, you were well and truly set up. This isn’t your fault.”
Despite the don’t worry not being an order (whether or not the world ought to work that way), he found her reassurance a little calming. “Thanks.”
“Look, this doesn’t haven’t to be horrible or anything. As a matter of fact, the general goal is for it to not be horrible.” She swung open a door. “Come on in. This will be your room, too, for as long as I’m Keeping you.”
Blaecleah looked around. He’d shared a room his whole life, in the creche, but… “There’s only one bed.” It was a big bed. But still.
“That there is. Kneel.” She barely waited for his knees to start obeying the order. “Take off your shirt and then put your hands behind your head. There. How does that feel?”
Next: Not All Bad
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