After Cali, Femdom, Catgirls.
Daniel had gotten kidnapped into slavery. He had been beaten up, stripped, beaten a little more, and forcibly showered and combed. Someone had put a thick plastic collar around his neck, and someone else had chained him to the floor. All in all, his opinion of Tir na California was not very high.
And now there was a pretty lady with cat ears kneeling next to him, and she had just clipped a leash to that damned collar. And she was – what was she doing? She was whispering. She was whispering to him. That was new.
“I’ll make you a deal.”
“I’m all cat ears. I mean ears. Shit.”
She chuckled. Maybe he wasn’t totally screwed. Well, other than being kidnapped into slavery, naked, and leashed. “Here’s the deal. For every ten minutes you cooperate in getting out of here without incident, I’ll answer one question for you.”
“Any question.” She squeezed his hand, which was still chained behind his back.. “Do we have a deal?”
“Do I have a choice?” He squeezed her hand back anyway.
“Of course. She patted his shoulder with her free hand. “You can kick and fight and struggle and I’ll have you carried out of here. It’ll be a scene, I’ll be annoyed, and I won’t answer any questions. Not even about the ears.”
“Not ever?” This was ridiculous.
“I… All right.” He squeezed her hand again. “We have a deal. Clock starts…?”
“Now.” She gestured, and one of the thugs that had chained Daniel in the first place came over. “He’s coming home with me. Unchain him, please.”
“He’s a fighter… miss.”
“He’ll be tame for me.”
Daniel chafed, but she was right. He nodded mutely, not trusting himself to say something helpful.
“Surely you want me to leave the handcuffs on, at least, miss?” The thug had gotten the shackles on Daniel’s ankles undone. It felt like bliss to be able to move his feet separately of one another.
“Do you insult all your clients, or just the ones with grey eyes?” The girl’s voice was velvet, but it had claws. Much like her. Daniel watched with interest.
The thug bristled. “Grey eyes don’t make you noble… ma’am.”
“No. But mods don’t make me a slave… dearie. Come on, Daniel.”
How had she known his name? Daniel found his feet, and found them a bit shaky. He could do this. He could – he stumbled, and was surprised to find her hand on his chest, steadying him.
She was short. The tips of those ears only came to his nose. But she was keeping him upright. “Steady, steady.” All the sharpness was gone from her voice. “Small steps at first. They kept you chained up too long.”
“I, ah, he’s right about me being a fighter…”
Daniel found himself squirming. “Any time they unchained me…”
“I can’t say I blame you.” She winked at him. “They’re rude.”
Daniel turned his head and coughed. “Rude. Yeah.”
“Do you think you can walk now?” She shifted to one side of him, her hand on the small of his back.
“Uhrm. Urhm, yes…” He twisted to look at her, and the cold metal of the chain pressed against his chest. “What am I supposed to call you? Clearly not ‘miss.’”
“‘Miss’ is what you call a female slave, when you’re being polite.” She started walking, and Daniel, with the pressure of her hand on his back and the swinging presence of the leash on his chest, moved forward with her. “Do you want that to be your first question?”
Could he stay well-behaved for twenty minutes? He swallowed. “Yes, please.”
“‘Please,’ even. I’ll give you a freebie for that.”
“m… Thank you?” Daniel was not certain if that was a good thing or not.
“My name is Sharanna; you can call me Lady Shar, your ladyship, or my lady, depending on if you’re feeling really formal, a bit formal, or intimate.” She winked at him. “In a pinch, ‘ma’am’ will do for Americans.”
“We get special rules? D’oh… I mean… thank you, Lady Shar.”
“You’re doing really well. My car is just through here. It’s an enclosed parking lot. There won’t be many, if any, people there.” She opened the door, keeping pressure on the leash.
Daniel took a breath. “Plenty of people have already seen me naked… Lady Shar.”
“I know. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it. Besides.” She tugged him through the door and put her hand back on the small of his back. “People stare at me, too.”
“I… I can imagine.” He swallowed. “Is talking okay? It’s just…” He swallowed. “This is more words than they let me get away with, back there.”
“Talking is fine.” She stopped and looked at him, looked up at him until he made eye contact. “If something is going to be against the rules, I will tell you, and I will tell you why.”
Daniel nodded. “Uh. Thanks. So talking’s okay.”
“Talking is very pleasant.” She flashed him a smile that had far too sharp of teeth. “I enjoy talking quite a bit.”
“Oh.” He swallowed again, around a lump in his throat. “Oh, good. Uh. Thank you, ma’am.”
“Are you trying out all of the terms of address I gave you?” She grinned at him, all those sharp teeth again.
Daniel swallowed. “Um, yes, Lady Sharanna. I wanted – I – one of them has to feel comfortable, right?”
“In my experience, most Americans aren’t comfortable with any term of address; we’re far more formal than they’re used to. And you’re talking to a cat-girl; you’ve got to be uncomfortable.”
“I didn’t say that!” He realized after he’d said it that he’d practically yelped it.
“I know, I know.” She started walking again, giving a little tug on the leash as she did so. It made the collar press against the back of Daniel’s neck, and that, in turn, made him start walking. So that’s how that works. He wondered what would happen if he balked.
Well, he’d said he’d be good. He wanted answers. He’d have to wait and balk later.
“Everyone thinks variants on the same thing when they see me.” She kept a steady pressure on the leash as she led him through the parking garage. “You’ve been impressive in that you haven’t asked, yet.”
“It hasn’t been ten minutes yet. I think.” Daniel dared a weak joke. “I don’t exactly have a watch on.”
“Tch, no. Aren’t you uncomfortable, naked?”
Daniel didn’t think it was a good idea to make another joke, but he did it anyway. “Aren’t I supposed to be the one saving up questions?”
“You are.” She turned back to grin at him. It was not exactly a reassuring expression. “Should I be a good girl for you, then? For my questions?”
Daniel had never been all that good with girls; he’d never been great at figuring out what answer he was supposed to give. That one, though, had red flags painted all over it.
“You’re the owner, Your Ladyship. I’m the slave. You can ask as many questions as you want.”
She chuckled, giving Daniel the slightly-uncomfortable feeling that he’d passed a test. “You learn faster than most. So – aren’t you uncomfortable being naked?”
Daniel shrugged. He’d hedged long enough to give himself time to think of an answer. “I dunno. I mean, yeah, at home nobody wanders around naked. And I wouldn’t want to go running like this, but I wasn’t a runner, I was a swimmer. So… this isn’t that bad?” He shrugged. “I mean, don’t be mad at me, but being kidnapped and sold into slavery is a lot worse than just wandering around a parking garage naked.” He touched the leash dangling between them. “This, this is a lot worse than being naked.”
“Thank you.” She swung a car door open; he’d been so caught up in the conversation, he hadn’t realized they were at her car. If it was her car. He wouldn’t put anything past her at this point. “So, in the car and buckle yourself in. Then we’ll talk.”
Daniel swallowed. But there was really no point in balking now. He was already kidnapped, already collared. He got in the car.
If only the door shutting on him didn’t sound so final.
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