First: A beginning of a story which obnoxiously cuts off just before the description,
Previous: In Which Mieve Considers Her New Purchase.
Fae Apoc, approx. now.
Content Warnings: This setting, although not this ficlet, contains rape, mind control, and dubious consent situations.
This particular story contains kidnapping and slavery, bondage, and will eventually contain violence & Stockholm Syndrome.
“Water,” she’d said, and, more importantly, “beer.” Water – or beer – meant she’d take the gag out. Hopefully, it meant she’d take the shackles off, too.
She guided him over a threshold, closed some sort of door behind them, and sighed as she threw the bolt. Like that would keep him inside! A few dozen more shuffling shackled steps, and Amrit found something being pressed to the backs of his knees.
“Sit down, and I’ll get some of those chains off of you.” Her voice was muffled, but chains off was clear enough. Amrit sat.
She did something to his ankles first – it felt like she unlocked the shackles but left one attached to his right leg – and then his hands were unlocked. Amrit reached for the hood, only to find his hands being slapped away.
He grumbled into the gag, but the pressure on his throat loosened and the hood came off. Amrit blinked into the dim evening sunlight, letting his eyes adjust.
“I’m going to replace this collar with something less horrid. And then I’ll get you that beer.”
Collar. Amrit’s hands went to the piece of wood around his neck. He could still feel the pricking of the hawthorn; the damn slavers had been taking no chances at all.
But she was going to take it off? And she was going to take the gag out. Was she that stupid? Was it going to be that easy?
Amrit’s vision was beginning to clear. They were in a small kitchen in what looked like a small cottage. The window in front of him was curtained, but the lacy white curtains let in plenty of light.
The collar came off with a pop; just as quickly, a cool metal presence replaced it. Amrit reached for the new collar, only to have his hands slapped away again.
“This goes a lot smoother if you cooperate. Not that I expect that, given the evidence I have. But one can hope.”
She tugged the gag out of his mouth, then stepped back prudently as Amrit made a grab for her. “That doesn’t count as cooperating.”
“Fuck you, lady.”
“Ooh, another word.” She poured water into a glass from a jug on the counter and slid it across the table to Amrit. “At this rate, you might manage a full sentence soon.”
Amrit was not amused. “Fuck you.” He took the water, though. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a drink.
She took the chair across the table from him and sipped on her own glass of water. “My name is Mieve.”
Amrit didn’t answer. Names had power. The water was cool and sweet and tasted absolutely perfect.
She coughed. “Somehow, unsurprised. All right, unnamed person in my house. This is how it’s going to be. You’ll belong to me – whether by Ellehemaei Law or by local human law – for a period of time worth twice what I paid for you. At that point, I’ll free you and send you on your way with supplies, weapons, and trade goods.”
“Hunh.” It wasn’t going to happen. He’d be out of here before it ever came up. “How much stuff?”
Now she smiled. She had a nice smile, for a slave-owning bitch. “I miss money. But enough that you feel it’s a fair wage for time and I feel I haven’t lost on the deal.”
He pushed the water back across the table. She refilled it without comment and pushed it back to him.
“What kind of work?” He was guessing, from the cottage look, it probably wasn’t the same thing as Fineus the Whoremonger had wanted him for.
“Yard and garden work, working in the forest, a little bit of housework if you’re up to it.” She shrugged, as if it didn’t matter much to her. “There’s too much here for one person, but it’s a jack-of-all-trades sort of position.”
He finished the second glass of water. “You said something about beer?”
“I did.” She reached into a lower cupboard and pulled out a jug, passing that, too, over to him. Now that, that he could use as a weapon. After he drank some, of course.
“You make this sound like a job interview.” He uncorked the jug and took a long swig. It was pleasantly cold, thick and hoppy. It was a shame to waste it; he drank some more.
“Well, in a way, it is. You didn’t have any choice in the hiring, and my choice was limited. But you’ve got the job now, whether we want it or not.”
He could feel the itch where the hawthorn had been. He wondered if he could do magic yet. Probably best not to risk it right away; it would definitely tip his hand.
He swigged more beer. “Fuck you, Lady.”
“Aah, back to your refrain. I figure you’ll get sick of that soon enough.”
“No way in hell.” He launched the beer jug at her head with all his strength.
It stopped in mid-air, and Amrit was pushed back into his chair by an invisible hand. “Nice try.” The beer settled down on the table, just out of his reach. “But you telegraph your moves something fierce.” She walked around the table to him, while he struggled against the phantom grip. “Now, you can open your mouth for the gag or I can open it for you.”
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