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Ctirad could practically feel Sir’s eyes on him. The silence seemed to hang in the air, something nobody was saying just waiting to be said.
Finally, Ctirad cleared his throat. “So what should I know?”
Sir chuckled. “I’m not Ermenrich. Sometimes I’m an asshole, and I admit it – Sal will tell you…”
“Sometimes he’s an asshole,” Sal agreed cheerfully.
“-Thanks, Sal. But I’m not a monster,” his voice did something strange. Ctirad looked up at the voice as if that would help.
He felt a hand on his hair. “If you would, if you can, keep your eyes closed just a little longer, please.”
Well that, for all the buffer, was an order. Ctirad nodded slowly. “Yes, sir. That’s fine, I can handle that, sir.” Some impulse made him add, “as long as I’m not left alone, please, sir.”
There was silence for a moment, and then Sir’s hand moved from Ctirad’s hair to his cheek. “It’s a deal. I won’t leave you alone and blinded ever, all right?”
“Thank you, sir.” He swallowed, worked his way around a lump in his throat, and nodded his head uncertainly. “I just. Can’t read your expression,” he admitted. “…Shit, I sound ridiculous.”
“You sound,” Sir corrected, “like someone newly under a new bond of Belonging, someone who didn’t have a very good time of his last Keeper and maybe not the Owner before that. You sound like someone who needs to be treated with respect. Because I can see your claws, Ctirad, and I am very interested in them, but I wonder if you know exactly how much they show.”
Ctirad swallowed. “Sir?” He flexed his fingers. He did not have claws, not with his Mask down. He never had – at least, he was pretty sure he never had.
Sir stroked Ctirad’s back and the back of his hair. “You have anger in you, which is completely understandable, but you have barely-restrained violence, too. Frustrated violence, if I don’t miss my guess, but also, mmm, like a tiger. Simply sitting there, you have the potential to murder.”
Ctirad went stiff. “Sir.” He tried to show nothing in his voice. He was pretty sure he failed. “I Belong to you.”
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