He ducked his head down low and folded his hands behind his back. He wasn’t really looking at anything.
His Keeper had sold him. He wasn’t supposed to have done that. It wasn’t against the Law, Ctirad supposed, but it was an awful feeling, that way his Keeper’s hand had brushed over his jaw, lingered, and then left. “The thing is,” Sir Ermenrich had purred, “you were a lot of fun when you were new and angry. But now I need to make a deal, and you were the best bargaining chip I had.”
So Ctirad knelt. His jaw was set. His hands were perfect. He was showing nothing, not a goddamned thing. And he was most definitely not falling apart inside.
He hadn’t even heard anyone enter. He rose, like he was pulled up on strings, mortified to find his legs weren’t sure about holding him.
“Oh, easy there.” As he stumbled, he felt an arm around his waist, catching him, holding him up. “Easy, easy. Your legs fall asleep?”
The touch sent fire through him and long streaks of warm pleasure. Ctirad tried to focus on the facts and not the emotions. Someone was holding him up. Someone whose voice controlled him.
He turned to look, but found a hand in his hair, holding his head. “Not yet. Eyes forward or close your eyes, your choice. Were your legs asleep?”
Ctirad swallowed and closed his eyes. “Yes, sir. I know better, but… yes, sir.” He was not feeling any more sanguine about his situation.
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