Directly after Movement
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Cya touched his cheek. Luke found himself leaning in to her hand. He tensed, but the touch remained gentle.
“Try to mind your breathing for a minute. In… out.” Her voice had lost all the false sweetness; she sounded like an entirely different person. “In… out.”
Luke paced his breathing to her words and found it an easy pace for long, deep breaths. Slowly, he felt the tension in his wings and shoulders release.
“How’re you feeling?”
They were still barely past halfway through. “I’m okay.”
She tapped his nose very lightly. “Didn’t I tell you not to lie to me?”
He pulled back. “No?” Hunh, he should’ve lied to her. “I mean…”
“How’re you feeling?”
“Like I’ve been put through the wringer,” he admitted. “But I can take more.”
“You’re doing well.” She patted his shoulder. “After this, we’re going to have a conversation about safe words.”
His cheeks heated up. Luke fought against his wings’ urge to flare out and mostly succeeded. “I know about those. I am in a crew with Mike Linden-Blossom.”
“Good. Then I won’t have to give you the primer.”
“But I don’t…” He quelled at a look from her. “Am I going to need them?” That wasn’t the impression he’d been given of their relationship.
“You may. And, if you don’t, well, no harm in making sure we have them established anyway.”
“Planning ahead.” He smiled, surprised her could muster up some of the feeling behind it.
“Planning ahead,” she agreed, and graced him with a very warm smile. “Exactly.”
“But not for this?”
“No.” She looked rueful. “The point of this is, uh, pretty much plowing over any ability you might have to consent. On the plus side, I’m not going to do anything sexual or even excessively intimate — because I’m intentionally brutalizing your ability to consent.”
Luke stared at her. He had never heard… He’d heard something like that once, from Mendosa. Maybe more than once. His wings twitched a bit. “Should, uh. Should I be worried?” He tried to make it a joke.
She smiled at him, but it didn’t look amused. “Little late for that. All right, round two.”
Luke braced. He could take it.
“That’s quite a look, you know. Handsome and stoic.” She touched his cheek. “You do very well in the I-can-take-it sort of poses. And kneeling… stretch your wings out for me a little? I want to look at them. Like that, yes, very good, thank you.”
What was she doing? Luke posed his wings, feeling a little ridiculous and yet… so good. So warm. He smiled cautiously for her.
“Mmm. Nice. I’m happy I have you as a Kept, you know.”
“You are?” He stared at her in surprise, almost missing the warm and fluffy feelings overtaking him.
“I am. You’re smart, you’re competent, you’re powerful. To be selfish, you’re attractive, too. Quite handsome.” Her grin was nearly a leer. “And you’re fun to be around. If Keeping you was how I get to have you around for a while, well, it’s a pretty good way to get it.” She took ahold of his collar. “There are side advantages, too. And if I want, I can look at you naked all day long.”
Luke wanted to be offended. His wings twitched and he glowered at her. But the feelings were starting to go to his head; he felt giddy, and the frown would not stay on his face.
You really think I’m handsome? He managed not to say it like some starstruck teenager, but it was a close thing, and she was still layering praise on – his skills, his looks, his wings. Even the way he’d noticed that Leo was reaching for godhead. Luke closed his eyes and leaned back and let it wash over him, trying to ignore the feelings like bliss and the tightening in his pants.
It seemed to take no time at all. Then she was touching his cheek again. “Easy, soldier. Come back to me. Come back.”
Luke blinked at her. “I’m right here.” He splayed his wings, only to realize they were already out. “What…?”
“Here, come sit on the ottoman and get comfy. There you go. You were pretty far gone.”
“Were you… were you reading my mind again?” He was disoriented, uncertain. He felt warm and a little confused.
“No, no, just getting you bond-drunk. How do you feel?”
“Drunk,” he agreed. “And, uh. Unclear. Like…”
“Tell me,” she urged. No, ordered.
“Like sprawling in a sunbeam,” he admitted. “Or, ummm….” She was just going to make him tell her again. “Like cuddling with you, putting my head on your lap.”
“Both entirely normal responses. Why don’t we do both? There’s a sunbeam over there, and you can put your head in my lap.”
“But..” Luke couldn’t even come up with exactly what he was saying “but” to, just that there was a but to be said.
“Lesson time is over, but Kept need time in skin contact with their Keeper. You lay down, I run my fingers through your hair, and you’ll recharge your batteries.” She moved over to the sunbeam on her living room carpet as she spoke. Luke was fairly sure none of that had been orders, but he followed her anyway.
Batteries. Something she’d said earlier popped up helpfully. “Are you really disappointed in me for not coming here, uh, ‘home’ sooner?”
She patted her lap; Luke huffed and lay down, getting his wings comfortable and delaying a bit while he did so. Finally, he put his head midway down on her thigh.
“I’m not disappointed. I’m not even really surprised.” Her fingers felt far nicer in his hair than fingers ought to, than anyone’s fingers had since… He swallowed that comparison and the surge of guilt. “Hey, now, what was that? I’m not mad at you.”
“No, just… Do you really have to know?”
“I really have to know. Tell me.” No matter how gentle she made her voice, it was still an order. Luke sighed.
“I was thinking about my wife. Former wife. Nobody’s really touched me like that since… well, since her. And it’s nice. But, you and me, uh, it’s not her and me.”
“Of course not.” Her fingers kept combing through his hair. “And it’s not meant to be. The Bond makes the touch feel nice, just like it makes praise feel wonderful and criticism feel like the end of the world. But you’re not my husband, and I’m not your wife. That’s not the deal we made.”
Luke tried to ignore the small surge of distress that sent through him. It was probably the Bond, he reminded himself. It had to be the Keeping messing with his head. “Good,” he muttered. “I think Wil would have something to say about that, even after all this time.”
He didn’t miss the thoughtful look that passed over Cya’s face, but he had no idea what it meant.
(an undefined time later, days, weeks maybe)
She had a look on her face that Luke had seen, once or twice, generally on Mike Linden-Blossom’s face or on one of a certain kind of cy’Linden. She was determined, she was, uh, hungry, and she was going to get what she wanted.
He turned around to grab the teleporter and send the boy to get Leo. This was not what he’d signed on for and not what he wanted to do. He no more wanted to step on Leo’s toes than he wanted to piss off his Keeper.
He mouthed the shit but didn’t voice it and did as he was told.
She was holding a leash. Luke almost bolted.
She clipped the leash to his collar. “Safe words. Red, stop, yellow, slow down, try something else. Got it?”
He shifted uncomfortably. When had his collar gotten a leash-loop? “Look. You’re a great Keeper, but I don’t want to–“
“No sex involved. There are so many reasons that’s a bad idea. But. If I don’t blow off some steam it’s going to be bad. Really bad. So I’m going to tie you up a bit and pretend it’s enough.”
He swallowed a surge of guilt: he wasn’t enough. He wasn’t what she wanted. “I could go get Leo…”
“Do you think I really want to interrupt a god for a booty call?” There was bitterness in her voice.
Luke coughed. What did he do with that? “He’s not really…”
“And would you want to tell that to his worshippers? I mean, his army? His loyal subjects?”
Luke considered the army. “No. No, ma’am.”
“Then come upstairs with me, Luca Hunting-Hawk oro’Cya, and let’s tie you up a little bit.”
“Yes, uh, yes ma’am.” She had him on a leash. It wasn’t like he was going anywhere other than where she pulled, not without a physical fight, and he dd not want to get into a physical fight with her. He had a feeling that would end spectacularly badly for him.
She led him upstairs, keeping tension on that leash the whole time. Speaking of tension, she was vibrating with it. He really ought to go get Leo. He had absolutely no good way to do that. He…
“Green, yellow, red. Remember that. I’m going to ask you to let me try something before you tap out, but if you get freaked, Luca, tell me.“
“Yes, ma’am.” When had she stated calling him Luca?
“Unfold your wings for me, let me see them.”
Luke forced himself to stoicism, He didn’t know where this was going and he wasn’t sure it was going to be good. “Yes, ma’am.” He spread his wings wide and tried not to shiver as she ran her fingers over the patagia and stroked the fingers of bone.
Her touch felt good, but every time she touched him, it felt more and more like the way a woman touched her partner, and damnit, he was not going to do that to Leo, not going to help her do that to Leo, if he had any say in the matter. He set his jaw and tried to think about military figures and the way he should probably find a new tactic for Leo’s mounted fighters.
She started moving his wings — carefully, delicately, but definitely moving, pulling them behind his back, folding them until the claws at the top touched — and all of his self-distraction flew out the window. “This would be lovely if I pierced you, here, here, here,” she murmured, her fingers unerringly finding places where he had no blood vessels. “then I could just clip, clip, and bind your wings together. Maybe another time. Take your shirt off.”
That required a Working, but Luke didn’t have any orders against Working. He removed his shirt as quickly and smoothly as he could, trying not to think about what she’d said. Piercings. He could still fly, with holes that small in his wings, but not if she pinned them together, clip, clip, clip.
She had leather and rope out, and he almost said dead gods be thanked until he saw that she also had a small pile of jewelry. Luke swallowed. This was going to be interesting. It was going to be… humiliating? He wasn’t sure, and that bothered him more than the hungry expression on her face.
“Fuck, you’re gorgeous,” she muttered. “Never got to play with a pair of wings like this. Hrm. Let’s see.” She sorted through a handful of jewelry and pulled out a set of what looked like ear cuffs until she started muttering Workings at them. “There.”
Luke hadn’t worn jewelry on his wings since he lost a bet with Mike over a hundred and fifty years ago, and nothing he’d worn had been quite this… jingly. She hooked the cuffs onto the bone that, on a bat, would be the forearm, and then linked the chain to another on the second finger, with a little loop hung over the claw-tip, then repeated on the other side. “That looks… very hot. And shouldn’t impede your flying, should it?”
He tested his wings. “No,” he admitted reluctantly. That meant she meant for him to go out like this.
“The rest… well, that’ll impede your flying a bit, but you don’t need to fly anywhere right now. Fold your wings back up, there we go.” She muttered Workings as she went, as the leather-and-metal strap went around his chest and his wings, pressing his wings to his back, and hooked to his collar with a pectoral piece. She added another strap, and another, until Luke could barely twitch the tops and bottoms of his wings.
It felt strange. His arms were free, his legs were free, but he felt trapped, restrained, held. His heart was pounding in his chest, and his mouth was dry.
He could tell her to stop at any time. He could find out if she would stop at any time. He could say a Working and snap the metal holding this all together.
“Almost done, almost done.” She pulled out some thin rope — blue rope, just a shade darker than his wings. Luke closed his eyes and didn’t say a word, didn’t whisper a Word. “Just a moment…”
He could feel her fingers on his top claws, removing the little claw-caps, wrapping the twine around his claws until they were snugged together, replacing the caps. He could feel her gathering the finger-tips of his wings together and doing the same, although on the more tender skin, the rope felt softer, squishier. “There.” She patted his shoulder. “Wiggle your wings for me?”
Luke tried. There was barely a quarter-inch of give in any direction. His breath was coming in short bursts now, and his chest felt tight. “Can’t,” he managed. He forced out a chuckle, and the chuckle pushed past the panic. “I’m in your hands now.” He had never felt so absolutely helpless.
She put her fingers on his lips. “Not a word, then, darling. Wiggle as much as you want, but I don’t want to hear a word.”
And with that, she took away his Workings, his arguing, his voice. Wiggle, she’d offered. Luke gave in to the urge and struggled against the bindings, his shoulders twitching as he tried to move his wings, his thighs tensing. Even standing would be difficult with his balance like this. Fighting would be almost impossible. “What…” he tried to say, but his mouth moved without sound and a surge of guilt struck him.
“It’s all right.” Her hand was cool on his cheek. “Just give in to it a little, if you can. It’s okay if you struggle. It’s okay if you wriggle. I just want to watch you…. I’m just going to watch you. And then I’ll let you go, and everything will be fine.”
Luke swallowed air in gulps, thought of seventeen different angry retorts and swallowed even the start of any of them, an sat back on his heels. He closed his eyes. He couldn’t speak. He rolled his shoulders. He couldn’t move his wings. He clenched his fists. His Keeper wanted him bound, and he was bound.
His Keeper wanted him bound, and he was bound. Luke’s next breath was peaceful. The feeling of the straps against his wings was no longer oppressive. Cya wanted him like this. He pushed his wings into the straps, feeling their restraint like a caress. and so he was like this.
“That’s my boy.” He barely heard her words, but the praise sent warm waves through him anyway.
Luke’s wings, by Cal: http://artventrix.tumblr.com/post/38236069011/whyyy-did-i-decide-to-draw-him-with-his-arms
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