Timaios smiled gently across the table at Ctirad. He, in turn, shifted, shifted again, and finally settled in, uncomfortably but as set as he was going to get with his Owner – his Master – pinning him with that look. “Sir, I’m not… you said…”
“I told her that you weren’t a bedroom slave.” He looked amused.
“Is Sir unhappy with me? Does Sir want me to be Danny’s pet?”
Oh, shit. He lowered his head and wondered if he had just signed his own cage warrant. He was going to be on the floor licking the cook’s boots within the next ten minutes, wasn’t he?
“Do you want to be my bedroom slave, Ctirad?”
“I want – I want to be whatever you want me to be, sir?” He kept his head lowered and did not look up, even though he wanted to.
“Ctirad. I will order you to answer the question.” Although Timaios sounded firm, he didn’t sound angry.
“Sir? I didn’t think I got a choice in what kind of slave I got to be.”
“I’m afraid you do. Now, you are lovely in the bedroom, and I don’t want to stop bedroom activities. But you do know a slave – no. A Kept retained for other reasons can still have sex with his Keeper, yes?”
“Sir?” This time, he did peek up. “Sir?” He wasn’t sure what else to say.
Timaios sighed and he winced back. He was being trying. He was doing his best, but he was-
“Ctirad, forget- no. No, that is not an order. All right. Of the things that Ermenrich told you about Belonging to someone else, I can tell you that the one that was true was one who is Kept must obey the orders his Keeper gives him. There’s a good chance everything else was a lie, or only applicable in his house, or something he said to hurt you. You are legally – by the law of the fae – under my protection. I have agreed, by taking ownership of you from Ermenrich, to be responsible for all your actions within fae society and to care for you, protect you, and feed, clothe, and house you.”
Ctirad was looking at him, looking for a catch, for anything that would explain – but the only explanation was either that Ermenrich had lied to him or that Timaios was lying to him. “I’m… I’m your slave, and you have sex with me…?”
“And that is one thing that you do with and for me. Hopefully because you want to, because if that is not the case, we have another talk to have later. But you are not a bedroom slave for me. You are my Kept, who has many skills, many of which I plan on making use of and others of which I simply plan on encouraging. You are a person whose company I enjoy. Do you understand?”
Of the things Ermenrich told you about Belonging to someone else I can tell you that the one that was true… the one that was true… the one that was true…
“It doesn’t mean that I’m weaker?” He’d never considered the possibility that he might be weaker than anyone until Ermenrich had told him that. How had he forgotten that? “That I’m flawed?”
“It is traditional – no. It is the thing that comes before tradition, ancient fossils of Keeping, that it was to protect a weaker Kept. That is certainly not the case with you.”
“What?” He stared now, openly and nakedly. “But, sir.”
“Hear me out. It is possible that you are weaker in Workings. I don’t believe you’ve been given any lessons at all in the Words of Power-”
He’d been given some, back when he was being Mentored, but he’d been told to hear out Timaios, so he did.
“-and you’re still learning how to be fae. Because you were mis-taught and mis-treated and generally lied to for years. But you were Ermenrich‘s soldier, his bodyguard? And I’m not having you stand as my bodyguard just to have you closer for booty calls.”
Ctirad coughed and blushed. “Sir…”
“So yes. You are not weak. Those things that you need to learn, we’ll get you teachers for.” Timaios studied Ctirad, looking like he was trying to see inside his head. “Do you have any education in Words of Power at all? Was I mistaken?”
“I know… very loosely… how to use a couple, sir. That’s it. I can do a couple Workings. But I was never allowed to, under Ermenrich.”
“Of course not.” Timaios looked like he’d eaten something bitter. “The man could be holding the Hope Diamond and would use it to cut glass.”
“Sir?” He stared at his Owner. “I’m sorry…?”
“You have no idea what you can do. Which is absolutely not your fault. You were tricked into a shitty situation and then badgered into a horrible one without proper training. It makes me want to spit nails.”
He wasn’t scared. He found it interesting, but he was not at all frightened. He was, on the other hand, moving to the floor, kneeling, bowing down, putting his forehead on the ground, and hoping this mood of his Owner’s passed soon, because he had no idea what do do with it.
You have no idea what you can do.
He froze when a hand settled on the back of his neck. He hadn’t even heard the footsteps. He was losing his edge.
He had an edge?
“You’re my good boy, you know that?” The voice was warm, the feeling it caused warm and confusing. “You’re a very good Kept for me, and I appreciate that. You’ve very good, Ctirad, and I’m not angry at you, not in the least.”
He stayed exactly where he was. The hand on his neck felt like it was protecting him. Encompassing him. Holding him, but not restraining him.
“You’re very good. I want you to know that. I am very happy with you.”
He felt like he might float away, if it weren’t for the strength of the hand on his neck. He pressed his forehead a little closer to the carpet and said nothing.