Written to @dahob’s commission.
“You understand what you’re getting into?” Valeta crossed her legs as she studied him. “Of course you don’t, not really, but you understand the idea of what you’re getting into?”
The easy dismissal stung. Ivor titled his chin up and looked her in the eyes, keeping his own feet still. They were meeting in the Library – neutral space, safe space, where no shenanigans would be tolerated. “I’ve seen the collared ones. I’ve watched the way Ana changed, and Yaminah, and the others. I’ve seen the boy that DJ keeps around.”
“You’ve been paying attention.” Her eyes were ice chips, so pale a blue as to be almost white. Her skin was nearly the same color, looking almost green under the Library’s glass-shaded lights. And she was smiling, although he wasn’t sure that was a friendly expression. “Have you done your homework, too?”
“We’re in the Library.” He moved the History reading off the top of his pile of books, and turned the spines so she could see what he’d really been reading. “It’s not the sort of deal one would make without looking into it first.”
She looked up and down the titles. “Most people don’t research. Most people get chivvied into it, one way or another.”
“I saw. Hell Night.” Ivor snarled. “It was not – it sucked. I barely got away myself.” And if he didn’t say he felt guilty about it, he know it still showed. Yaminah had been his friend. “And a lot of people look unhappy. But I’m curious. And my Mentor thinks it’s a good idea.”
Technically, his Mentor had said “I won’t tell you not to do this.” But it was close enough.
“Interesting. My Mentor thought it was an awful idea.” She was smiling very broadly about that.
“Different Mentors? I hope?”
“Is your mentor Sakamoto?”
“No, VanderLinden.” He found himself relaxing a bit, which was probably a bad idea. “So you’ll do it?”
“I’ll do it. Be at my door Friday night at nine.”
Friday found Ivor having second, third, and fourth thoughts. In the end, he told one of his friends – a second-year, and in less danger of being ambush-collared – the short version of what he was doing. “If I’m a zombie in classes on Monday…”
“I’ll know why. This is nuts.”
“It’s nuts, but it might work.” Ivor shrugged. “It’s better than the other seven options I’ve seen, and, come on, I went cy’Linden for a reason.”
So he went. He knocked on Valeta’s door at eight fifty-eight and waited, fighting the urge to run away, fighting the urge to bite his lip or twitch or in any way give away exactly how nervous he was. He counted seconds in his head to distract himself.
He’d gotten to one hundred twenty-three by the time the door opened. Valeta was standing there, with an expression on her face that could best be described as predatory and hungry. “Come in. Take off your clothes and kneel by the side of the bed, hands behind your back.”
“When you are here on the weekends, you will only speak if told to speak. You will only stand if told to stand; otherwise you will stay on your hands and knees. And you will only wear clothes that I give you to wear. This is your last chance to back out.”
Ivor pressed his lips together and nodded. His heart was going a thousand miles an hour, but this was, after all, what he’d asked for.
“Tell me you understand.”
“I understand, M-“
“Miss Valeta .”
“-Miss Valeta.” He liked that. It had a nice sound, without being Mistress or the ridiculous ma’am.
“And do you want to back out?”
Ivor shook his head no. This was what he’d signed up for.
“All right then. Finish undressing.”
Ivor nodded his understanding and did as he was told. He’d worn things he didn’t mind losing today, just in case. Just in case what, he hadn’t been entirely sure, but there’d definitely been the concern – or hope – that his stuff might get ripped. Placidly taking everything off himself was a bit of a comedown.
But he did it quickly, anyway, and then found a spot to kneel. This was really happening. This was… real.
“I have a contract here, including all the terms that we agreed on. You’ll have no collar and no standing orders Monday 7 a.m. through Friday 9 p.m., but from Friday at nine through Monday at seven, you’re all mine, all the orders I want and anything I want to do with you. I agree to let you do homework and be certain that you’re fed, and to restrain my orders and my control to the weekends. That is all I agree to.”
She handed Ivor the contract. He paused, eyes on her; his hands were behind his back, where she’d told him to put them.
Valeta grinned. “You’re a smart one. You can move your hands to take the contract. And, here, you may take the pen to sign it, as well.”
Ivor’s eyes slid over the words. They were important words. He wanted to focus on them; he understood that he needed to focus. But he was naked on his knees, next to a girl’s bed. Next to a hot woman’s bed. It was hard to pay attention to anything except that.
The words said, as far as he could tell, exactly what she’d outlined. There was a no-blab clause that bound both of them, and a “explain to teachers” clause to that clause, and a couple others, none of which seemed very urgent or very necessary.
Ivor nodded, licked his lips, licked his lips again, and signed the paper.
“You may speak.” Valeta was smiling very widely. He ought to be worried.
“The words are important. As bound by the terms on this contract-” she added her signature with a small flourish – “for the remainder of this school year, you Belong to me.”
Oh. Ivor swallowed. “As bound by the terms on the contract just signed, for the remainder of the school year, Miss Valeta, I Belong to you.”
It settled onto his shoulders like a blanket. Ivor couldn’t help but smile.
Luckily, it seemed as is that pleased his new Owner. “This will be an interesting dance. But for the next two-plus days, you’re all mine, boyo.” Her smile was sharp, and her fingernails on his shoulder even sharper. “Let’s have some fun.”
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Next: Learning the Arrangement
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