There Are Always Choices

After And We Are Not Monsters.

The girl called Rohanna did not take well to the collar.

Viatrix had sympathy for that. Nobody in their house had ever taken well to submission and, to the girl, they were the enemy. They had stolen her from her crew at hawthorn-point.

What she did not have was tolerance. “No.” She knew she was getting sharp, and could not manage to soften her tone. “No, what did I say?”

Rohanna snarled. “If I washed the floor I didn’t have to wash the dishes.”

“Try again, little mage.”

“Don’t call me that!” Rohanna swung back from Via’s hand. “If I cleaned the floor… well… I didn’t have to wash the dishes.”

“Better.” This time, Via caught Rohanna’s collar. “So. Floor again, or dishes. Your choice.”

~

The boy – not a boy, the Kept – named Kavan didn’t know quite what to do with, about, or for Baram.

It was mutual. Baram found that the slender fae with the fragile-looking body brought out memories, and he’d never been very comfortable with the sort of memories he was getting now. He found that the not-kid brought out a protective urge, and for the first time that he could functionally remember, the urge was meet, right, and by the Law. And he found that the little Kept frustrated the living shit out of him, in large part by being terrified.

“Your choice,” he repeated. Again. “My bed or the couch-bed.”

“Whatever my master wants.” Kavan stared at the ground

“Your master. Wants you to choose.”

~

The one called Ardell could be made to see sense.

The other one, the one named Delaney, was rabid. She hissed, spat and swore, none of it in any way useful. It seemed she knew the Boss, and wanted the Boss to help them. Everything else was irrelevant.

So Jaelie spoke to Ardell. “The Boss is busy, cleaning up after the people you led here.”

“I knew you could handle them.” The man was insufferably smug. “I knew Baram could handle them. He’s as tough as a truck.”

“Tougher. But you brought them to our door, and that causes problems.”

Delaney said something. Jaelie watched Ardell. “So. We’re gonna need oaths, or we’re gonna need to take information from your mind. Your choice.”

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