Archive | March 19, 2017

Also Needs a title, Cya’s Date Continued

After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again and Blind Dateand Catching Up and Getting to (re-)Know him.

Cya looked at Manus over her water. The waitress was hovering nearby; she gestured the woman over and placed her order, let Manus place his. She ordered wine from the local vineyard because she was proud of it (and because there wasn’t that much other wine to be had, although she’d recently opened up trade with a place a couple days’ travel away). He ordered whisky.

“You get why I built it?”

“I thought I knew back then. I mean, it pisses Regine right off. The school, especially. Kids that go from your school to her school – oh, it makes her mad.” He grinned in that way that shared in the schadenfreude of Regine’s anger.

She smiled back, because she had been trying to piss Regine off, although it had been a tertiary goal.

“But I mean, that’s the school. You could’ve built a shell around it and called it good, but you have like a whole nation here.” He sipped his water. “I get it now. I didn’t, then.”

“Yeah.” She looked out the window. There was a park behind the restaurant, and through a decorative screen of ivy, she could see kids playing. “I wanted to build safety.”

“That’s pretty cool, you know.” He cleared his throat. “So. Warwick, he said you were looking for someone to date. I don’t remember… well, you didn’t date before, did you? I guess I might have missed it…

“I didn’t,” she confirmed. “This is, well. It’s a new thing.”

“And… you probably weren’t looking for old Kept.” He looked down at the table.

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Beauty-Beast 3

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“How long did Ermenrich Keep you? No. Wrong question. How long have you been under a collar?”

Ctirad thought about it. “It’s twenty-ten?”

“June, twenty ten,” Timaios – better get used to thinking of him as Sir, it would make it easier later – Sir confirmed.

“Six years, sir. Ermenrich had me for four.”

“Mmm. Asshole. Him, not you,” he clarified. “I imagine I won’t know for quite a while if you’re going to turn out to be an asshole.”

“I’ve been called one before, sir.” Was he supposed to be one? That would be new.

“I’m not all that surprised. But I’d rather make my own judgement. All right. I’d put this off longer, but I want to get out of here, and I don’t particularly want to lead you out of here blindfolded.”

Ctirad swallowed. “That would be interesting, sir.” He could do it. He could do lots worse than that. But he hated blindfolds. Even having his eyes closed like this was getting nerve-wracking. “Sir? Why do you want to put it off?”

“Because I look like one person with my Mask on and one with my Mask off, and both of them are going to make you have a reaction, if past experience serves. I wanted to know what you were like as much as possible before that.”

Ctirad considered that for a minute. “Sir? I can handle having my eyes closed for a bit longer.”


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Funeral: Negotiation

First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Silence’s Inheritance.

Muirgen was still being handled by the security men; they had her in a corner and one of them was speaking very quietly to her. Senga ignored that situation as firmly as she could. Muirgen would not forgive her for having seen her in a foolish state, any more than she’d forgive Senga for having gotten something she wanted.

If today went as typical, Muirgen and Eavan would probably blame her for Muirgen’s loss of her inheritance. That was on par with their normal behavior around Senga or any of the other cousins who weren’t them.

She’d worry about that later. Right now, she had more important things on her mind.

She looked around; he’d only been gone a few moments before she stepped out of the office. Where had he gotten to? Had he left? She resisted the urge to swear. If he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, he was going to leave her in a pretty precarious position. He’d need to be here after the reading. Otherwise… well. It was going to be a mess.

Not like she should expect that to matter to a complete stranger when her own family had put her in this situation….

There he was. She could’ve sworn she’d looked at that corner of the room before and seen nothing, but he was standing there, looking at her. Senga crossed the room, moving around mourners while trying not to lose sight of him. Mr. Silence. Erramun.

He was playing with an unlit cigarette. He noticed her coming up to him but said nothing. She thought about saying something, but the situation was a bit awkward. Hello, please agree to Belong to me so my family doesn’t kill me…

“My Name isn’t Silence.” His voice was gravely this time. “It’s just something I use to have a last name on the papers.”

She looked at him and waited. That sounded like an opener.

“It’s Death Comes Silently. You know what I did for your aunt.” He looked down at her. He looked considerably taller than she’d noticed him being before.

She cleared her throat. “I have a pretty good idea.”

“I’m not going to kneel.”

She was about to say something, to plead with him, when he continued.

“I won’t wear a leash. I won’t beg for food.” His gaze seemed to bore into her. “I won’t be told what to wear. Except for your funeral.” His lips curled upwards a little. “I can agree to wear black for that.”

No wonder his clothes looked new. She cleared her throat and made herself meet his gaze. “Those are acceptable terms. Anything else?”

She was going to work under that assumption, that they were terms, because otherwise he was using too many words to tell her that she was fucked.

He raised his eyebrows. “You don’t object to any of that?”

“Why would I? I didn’t sign up for a…” She remembered where they were and changed mid-sentence. “-a bond servant. I didn’t sign up for any sort of inheritance at all. I don’t know what Aunt Mirabella’s holding over you-”

“And if I have my way, you won’t. Ever.”

“-and that’s fine. What she’s holding over me is survival, among other things. As long as Clause Seven is in effect, the family won’t kill me.”

“Nice family you’ve got. What did you do to them?”

“I. Well, most of it, I don’t want to say here. Some of it is, I survived. My father didn’t. I wasn’t supposed to survive.”

“Mirabella always did work by some interesting rules. So. Those terms, they don’t bother you? Maybe I should have more.”

“I think you should,” she agreed. “Something about your emotions, probably. Something about sleeping arrangements. Hrrm. Sex.”

“Excuse me?” She’d either managed to startle or offend him.

“Sex,” she repeated. Her voice was quiet enough that she didn’t think it would carry, but she lowered it a bit anyway. “If you get it. If it can be a reward or a punishment. How much say you have in it.”

“…You’re being quite thorough. You don’t want to determine all that yourself?”

“We’re into negotiation territory.” She lifted her chin and looked him in the eyes. “Like you said, I know what you did for Great-Aunt Mirabella. It behooves me to make sure, if you’re going to not risk Envelopes A, B, and C, that I don’t end up with you hating me.”

“You’d care if your… bond servant… hated you?”

“Even if you weren’t… what you are, sa’Death Comes Silently.” She was certain he deserved the honorific and, from his expression, just as certain he rarely got it. “Yes. I’d care. As I said.” His eyes were not brown. They were gold and brown and green all at once. “I’m the white sheep of the family.”


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Beauty-Beast 2: Keeper’s Interview

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“All right. Now… can you lean against me a little bit, let me hold your weight? Like that, yes. You were left kneeling too long, and you may be trained, but I know for a fact training goes out the window when you’re panicking. So. My name is Timaios, and Ermenrich wanted something from me that I didn’t particularly want to give up. That means you’re mine now.”

“I’m yours. Sir.” Ctirad’s voice was a raw rumble. He wasn’t trying to modify it; he wasn’t even sure he should. Ermenrich had wanted… but what Ermenrich had wanted didn’t matter anymore. He hadn’t wanted Ctirad.

From the chuckle from behind him, it seemed like he’d probably made the right choice. “Yes. All right. So what you need to know about me. I’m a businessman – no, you can stay there, lean. Let your legs rest for a bit. So. I know you’re nervous, but I want to know who it is I just bought.”

“Why can’t I look at you? Sir.” Ctirad cleared his throat. “That is… No, that’s what I meant.”

He was expecting to be scolded or hit or pushed away any moment now, but Timaios did none of those things. Instead, he ran a hand through Ctirad’s hair.

“Because I’m selfish, and I want to know who it is that I’ve purchased. So tell me something about yourself.”

That was an order. “I’m short.” The words came out without volition. He cleared his throat again and tried again. “I… can play chess but I prefer Go.”

Timaios squeezed Ctirad’s upper arm. “These aren’t muscles you got playing chess.”

“I play with very big pieces. Sir.”

It was a risk. He was feeling like taking risks. It made him straighten up a little, made his voice deeper again.

Timaios chuckled. “This I may have to see, you realize. Take you up on it, get you some ‘very big pieces.’ Then again…” He trailed off. “Something else about you?”

That time, he had a chance to think. “I didn’t ask to be Kept, but I don’t object to serving.”

“Very interesting. Thank you for that. One more thing, and then I’ll turn you around.”

Ctirad cleared his throat. “What do you want to know, sir?”

“I want to know what sort of things you tell me without direction, of course.” Timaios patted Ctirad’s shoulder. “Tell me one more thing about yourself.”

Urgh, another order. “I’ve forgotten what my favorite color is.” It came out in a hurry. It covered over things he didn’t want to say. And it surprised him. From the sound behind him, it surprised Timaios, too.


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Continuation Poll Two!

I’ve written a lot of little stuff as I fight all these bushes…

What should I work on continuing next?

By request, now with the ability to chose up to half the list.

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New kid moves in next door, a story beginning

The apartment next door to Ainsley’s family’s home had been vacant since the Hawkings had left precipitously in the middle of the night, back when Ainsley was twelve. By this point, four years later, Ainsley and her sister Sinclair had started working on an application for the place. When they were both of age, they posited, they could move two or more mates in there easily enough, and still be close to their parents.

Now there were people moving in, moving in to their place.

“People don’t just move in.” Sinclair was staring at the wall between the two places. There wasn’t much noise – the Complex was well-engineered for many people in close proximity – but it felt like an invasion nonetheless. “Nobody moves in to the Complex.”

“Well,” Ainsley offered weakly. “Is it the Mccormicks? Their boys are just a couple years older than us – maybe they had the same idea.”

They opened the front door and peeked down the hallway around the potted plants their mothers had put up “to make it look more like a home”.

“Definitely not the Mccormicks,” Sinclair whispered. “They’re too tall. Who’s that tall, seriously?”

“Kind of cute, though… But they’re… tan. That’s…”

The Complex had sun lamps, because the plants in the hydro farms needed them, the animals down in the Ark level got twitchy without them, and humans functioned better with them. But that wasn’t the sort of tanned these people were.

“They’re Outsiders,” Sinclair hissed. “From…” She fell silent as the tallest of the family turned around and looked straight at them.


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