Morning found him curled against Timaios and not wanting to move, to open his eyes, or to think.
He nuzzled closer to his Owner, breathing in the sandy scent of him. “Like a Riesling,” he muttered, and then froze, blushing.
There was a hand in his hair and the chest under him was shaking lightly in laughter. “Sandy, mmm? That’s a nice way to put that. Thank you, Ctirad.”
“Sir?” He didn’t move, didn’t peek up at his Owner, but the urge was there.
“You have a lovely way of putting things. So. Do you think you can handle people today?”
“As my master wishes,” he murmured without thinking.
“Your master…” Timaios was chuckling. That was probably a good sign, right? “…Hrrm. Wishes you to be comfortable, so to take on activities only as they make you comfortable.”
“Yes, sir.” Ctirad rolled onto his back and stretched. “I can handle people just fine. Especially if I can stand in the background.”
“Well, that will probably be most of the time, at least. I want to take you around with me for the first half of the day. We have some business to handle, and then I might want to take you to talk to some… other people in the city. People who also are not fond of what Ermenrich might be doing. We don’t exactly have a society,” he added, “not here in this city, there’s maybe thirty five of us in a city of five million, and that’s a little more saturated than most. But we do talk to each other. It’s nice to have a few people that you don’t have to pretend at all around.”
“Like your staff,” Ctirad commented without thinking. He froze, but since Timaios chuckled again, he let himself relax.
“Like my staff. Yes. You pay attention, don’t you?”
“Of course I do, sir. It’s my…” He trailed off. It wasn’t really his job. “Of course I do, sir,” he repeated.
“And you do it well.” Timaios stroked his hair. “You’re doing quite well for me. So, let’s see what we’ve gotten for clothes for you, mm…. maybe after a shower and breakfast?”
Ctirad found himself blushing. “Am I breakfast, sir? And if I am, maybe I ought to be breakfast before the shower?”
“Departed gods, are you delicious. Yes, my darling Ctirad, if you wish to be breakfast, then we’ll do that first, and then shower, and then maybe we’ll have some eggs and bacon.”
“Again, sir?” he chuckled. “I think Sir is trying to wear me out.”
“Sir is definitely trying to do something to you…” Timaios may have been intending to explain more, but the rest of it was lost in the way he nuzzled up against Ctirad’s neck.
For a while, Ctirad was blissfully lost in a zone that was not precisely without thought but, instead, was focused entirely on his Owner. What to kiss, here, what to lick, what to, a little daringly, bite…
Eventually, however, he found that Timaios was guiding him into the bathroom, and from there, after another period where his only thought outside of his Master’s body was that his Master had very good hot water heating, he found himself sitting in a chair at the table, towel draped around his neck and sweatpants on, while Danny grinned at both of them and served out a very filling breakfast.
His stomach growled. He waited patiently. Danny smacked him lightly in the back of his head, and he had one hand raised and had grabbed her hand before she had barely moved away.
He looked at the hold he had on her. He looked at her face – surprised but not worried. He looked, rather uncertainly, at Timaios, who was smiling.
“Danny, maybe you ought to, mm, ‘use your words’ with our young Ctirad? I don’t believe he would hurt you unduly, but, well. He is not a bedroom slave.”
He wasn’t what? Ctirad released Danny’s hand and turned all of his attention on his Master.
“Maybe you ought to tell him that, not me, boss.” She cleared her throat. “Ctirad. Eat your food. I didn’t cook it for it to go cold.”
Surprising himself, Ctirad growled back at her. “It’s nice food. Thank you. It’s not your job to tell me what to do.”
Just to put the icing on the cake, she surprised him by laughing happily. “Good. I knew you had a spine somewhere. Glad you like the food.” She moved as if to pat him on the shoulder, didn’t, and left the room with a bow that was somehow sarcastic.
Timaios chuckled. “She’d going to bully you if you let her, so I’m pleased that you stood up to her. You don’t need anyone else bullying you.”
“Sir?” Ctirad let his face go blank. He felt like perhaps he ought to believe Timaios by now, but on the other hand…
“You have my permission to slap her down – anything that doesn’t break bones – if she manhandles you. You’re not her pet, and she shouldn’t treat you like one unless you want to be treated that way.”
“I.” He cleared his throat, thought about what to say, and cleared his throat again. “Sir.”