Okay, this has been bugging me for a bit. Leander sort of magically gets collared on the drive. Oops!
So here’s his collaring scene. This happens in the middle-beginning of Chapter Five.
Mr. MacDiarmad led him out of the garage and through a long hallway that seemed to be there for the sole purpose of being a hallway. That led out into a wide living room – leather and brown-tones, wood and wide windows opening on a generously large yard.
“First things first. If you would kneel?”
This, this was more where he’d thought things would be going. Leander knelt, not with a lot of grace but trying not to look sullen or angry. He was a slave. He kept saying that. He shouldn’t complain about his owner treating him like it.
“The trick is going to be something subtle, I think, that is nevertheless obvious when it needs to be.” Mr. MacDiarmad hrmmmed for a moment; Leander, who figured his input wasn’t needed for this part, stayed quiet.
“What do you think?” His owner’s fingers landed on his neck. Leander suppressed a shiver. He had never liked the feeling of being touched by slave-owners, but this was worse. He didn’t like guys…
That didn’t matter. He held very still. “Sir?”
“You’re going to be in public with my daughter. Do you want something obvious, or something that can pass under the radar?
Leander cleared his throat. “Ah.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Under the radar, sir.” It was a trap. It had to be a trap. but on the other hand, given the option of a choice, he was going to voice how he really felt.
“All right. Well, let’s see.” Mr. MacDiarmad considered for a moment, and then did a string of Workings. His hands were both on Leander’s neck, and Leander could feel the cold metal snaking around his neck. When it was done, the weight was light, sitting low on his neck, and he could feel something like a loop sitting in the hollow of his throat.
“There.” The pat on his head might have been condescending, but he took it as permission to move. “You can stand up now.”
Leander rose to his feet. He felt somehow slightly more right and slightly off-balance, like everything was just a few degrees off from where it should be. This might end up being more of a challenge than he’d anticipated.
“Sylviane! Come down here!”
Leander braced himself while trying to look like he was completely relaxed.