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As if understanding how overwhelmed Ctirad was feeling, Timaios gave him simple, direct orders for breakfast. “Sit here by me on the bed, we’ll eat off the lap tables, and eat as much as you want to eat but no more.” Ctirad, freshly scrubbed but still feeling like his brain was foggy and strange, managed a quiet “yes, sir” and nothing more.
Timaios left him sitting like that on the bed while he dressed and cleaned up for the day. Ctirad had fallen into a pleasant trance of time-to-my-self-in-comfort by the time he felt his master’s hand on his chin.
“You would tell me if something was wrong, correct?”
Not normally. This was not normal. Ctirad reviewed the day and found himself blushing. “Sir, I. That was wonderful. I liked it. I wanted it. I just… you’re so uh. I.” He couldn’t look away but he focused on Timaios’ lips and not his eyes.
“May I guess?”
“You’re in charge, sir. I mean – yes, of course?” What was he supposed to say when Timaios asked him permission?
“The attention is more than you’re used to and you’re overwhelmed. You need some time to re-center yourself?”
“…Oh. Ah.” To the list of new things with this Owner Ctirad added understands me. “Yes, sir.”
“I’ll tell Shel to give you an hour to yourself before the shopping trip. That should be long enough?”
“…Yes. Yes, sir?” An hour. “What should I do, sir?”
Timaios chuckled and tousled Ctirad’s hair. “Stay up here, in my rooms, until Shel comes to get you – this time, after this, you can use the gym when you’re left alone. But you can do whatever you want up here. It’s time to yourself, the idea is to do things for yourself.”
He really was different. Ctirad half-bowed, because he had no idea what to say. “Thank you, sir.” Well, that seemed like a good start. “I mean – I mean it? Thank you very much.”
“You’ve been lovely and patient, Ctirad. You deserve a little peaceful time to relax.”
“Thank you,” he repeated. “I’ll do that.” He knelt and waited for Timaios to leave, because… because he didn’t know anything else to do. He wasn’t scolded or laughed at or told to move, so he supposed it was not the worst idea.
Once he was sure Timaios was gone, Citrad stood and rolled his shoulders and his head. He did jumping jacks, checking to make sure the floor made little-to-no-noise, and push-ups and sit-ups. Then he did it all again, squats and lunges and running in place, until he actually wore himself out.
He showered again and toweled off, put on the one pair of sweat pants he had been given to wear, and paced around Timaios’ rooms, exploring every nook and cranny.
There were a lot of those – nooks, crannies, hidey-holes, everything tucked away in its own concealed place. He found a drawer of sex toys and handled every one of them, making sure he wouldn’t be freaked out when the time came for Timaios to use them on him.
When his hour was up, the knock on the door almost surprised him. Ctirad was in a full split, head down on his knee, trying to gauge exactly how much flexibility he’d lost. “I’m here,” he called.
“I’m Shel.” The man that walked in was an irish-looking man with islands-brown skin. He was taller than Ctirad but not a giant like most people here, and he was dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt and carrying what looked like the same over his arm. “My stuff won’t fit you well, but it’ll fit well enough for you to get into the stores. Ah, I’m supposed to take you shopping, that is. I mean, looking like you do, they’d let you into the stores in your altogether, just to get a chance to look at you, but I’m imagining that’s not what you want.”
Want again. Ctirad considered the question, as much as it wasn’t really a question. “I think,” he said carefully, “It wouldn’t do for Tim Kaprinsky’s new … boyfriend? or whatever to be wandering around town naked. Wrong sort of gossip, right?”
“Mmm, you’re probably right. Besides, at least with you clothed, I won’t be upstaged quite so – shit, I’m sorry.” Shel sat down in front of Ctirad. “You’ve got a really, really good poker face, dude, but you’ve got some tells. I was teasing, I promise. I’m not into guys, that’s not what I do for the boss, and I don’t really mind that you’re prettier than I am. That’s, uh, in your job description. My job description is to look sleek in a suit and buy everything, find everything, clean everything, and making things disappear. Today, my job is to get you clothes.” He handed Ctirad the pile of clothes he’d come in carrying. Ctirad took them, feeling a little numb. “If you don’t mind – and I mean that, if you mind, tell me to butt out – can you tell me where I put my foot in it?”
Ctirad flipped through the pile of clothing and pulled on the shirt, suddenly feeling shy. “I- uh.” He minded. On the other hand, he was trying to be friendly and polite here. No need to start off on a bad foot with the staff. “I’m self-conscious about my appearance,” he managed, sounding as bland and clinical as he could.
“Hunh. Right, I can see that. So, is clothes shopping going to be stressful for you?”
Ctirad peeled off his sweats and pulled on the jeans. They were too long for him, but cut so that looked purposeful. “That’s a face I’m doing for the boss,” he explained, trying to still sound clinical and mostly succeeding. “That’s not about me, it’s about what the boss wants me to look like.”
“Okay.” When Ctirad looked up, Shel was nodding slowly. “So you can do it, as long as we make it a job. Right. That’s going to make casual clothes hard – no, it won’t,” he corrected himself, “we’ll do it the same way. All right, did you eat something?”
“Yes, sir, I mean,” Ctirad coughed. “Yeah. I ate.”
Shel snorted. “I’m a wage sla – I’m an employee, just like you. Well, a little different, I suppose. I volunteered.”
Ctirad’s head snapped up and he stared at Shel wordlessly. Fuck, he knew?
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