There was paperwork, or at least the sort that involved moving small pieces of green paper between people. It wasn’t like this place wanted a trail.
And then there was the woman who had trapped him originally passing his ownership over, and then there was the matter of removing the shackles, the leather belt, the ankle restraints, and the thick steel collar. The woman paused for a moment, raised her eyebrows.
“We’ll put our collar on him at home,” the man assured her, and off went the thin silver collar as well. The man put his hand on Leander’s shoulder, reaching up to do so in such a way that Leander felt himself wanting to kneel.
He didn’t bother resisting the urge and let his knees hit the floor. It wasn’t like this was a battle he could win, anyway.
“You will not attack me, my family, or my staff.”
He felt the order, the way that it settled into his brain. “No, sir.” It seemed like the thing he ought to say.
“You will not leave my presence until we’re home and, after that, you will stay in my daughter’s presence or within forty feet of her unless she specifically requests privacy.”
“You can stand up when you’re ready. They’re bringing you some clothes, so you won’t be so obvious in the car.”
Leander snorted despite himself. A tall muscular man naked in the car of someone who looked like they counted their income in the millions would probably be pretty obvious, yeah.
“Once you’re settled in, we’ll get you a proper wardrobe. I want you to be able to pass anywhere my daughter goes.”
Leander pictured suits, shades, looking like a professional bodyguard at one of those high-end schools. “Yes, sir.”
He felt like his knees would hold him again, so he rose to his feet. “I’m ready, sir.”
The woman who had, until recently, owned him was standing there in the doorway. She looked nervous as she passed over a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Leander grinned widely at her, snapping his teeth.
She backed up hastily.
“Leander.” The man’s voice sounded amused. “Please do not bite our hostess.”
“Just a little?” He snapped his teeth again.
“Maybe later. Don’t you want to meet my daughter?”
That was a cue. “Sir, of course.” He pulled his pants on – they fit perfectly, and yet they weren’t the ancient jeans they’d taken him in – and the t-shirt – which fit like a glove. “Ready, sir.”
“Good. This way.” He tilted his head towards the exit.
It felt strange to sit in the front seat of a car like a person while this clearly-rich man navigated through the city streets. Leander hadn’t even noticed what city they were in – not that the box they’d moved him in had been good for watching the scenery. Now he could see that it was clean, a downtown area, and not a city he’d been in before. Maybe southern, from some of the buildings and outfits, definitely a thriving city.
“Right between the bank and the insurance company,” he mused out loud, mostly to see what his new owner would say. “They’ve got balls, selling people right in the middle of downtown.”
“They do. Not that I can say much – since I just bought someone in the middle of downtown.”
Leander snorted. “You did. Bold as anything. Think the authorities care?”
It was an idle question, more to see if he could get a rise out of his new owner than anything. Leander was a little startled by the short laugh he got instead.
“I don’t think they’re allowed to care, not in this city. You’ve heard of corrupt cities; ours is – well, ours is rotten.”
“Which didn’t stop you from indulging in some of the rotten-ness.”
Sooner or later he was going to push this guy into telling him to shut up, or slapping him, or something. Not this time. The guy just smirked. “I didn’t say I wasn’t rotten. And if I did, would you believe me?”
“Hunh. Not sure,” Leander admitted. “I mean, so far, all I know about you is that you buy your bodyguards at a sex shop. No, let’s be honest, so far all I know about you is that you bought me at a sex shop.”
The thought made him tense. He did his best to hide it, lounging in his seat and looking out at the world as if this was just another day for him.
“You can relax. You don’t do guys – and I don’t do rape. The only sex you are going to have while you are in my Keeping is consensual.”
“Not going to be much of that, if I’m supposed to be in line of sight of your daughter,” he pointed out in an uncomfortable mutter. “So. You want me to protect her from …”
“From what’s coming and what’s already here. You ever meet a fae seer?”
“Couple who said they were. One of those was a slave, so, you’d figure he’d have seen that one coming.” Leander snorted.
“Some of them are a bit too limited. Others – well. The really good ones all agree that some sort of shitstorm is coming. And a couple I know personally think I’m not going to survive it. I want my daughter safe. I want her safe no matter what.”