Purchase Negotiation 13: Performance Anxiety

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If you want to sleep with me…

Leander didn’t exactly freeze, but he did go quiet for a moment.  He looked at Sylviane. She was looking – well, he thought she was looking shy.  He was going to put his foot in it in the worst way.

He cleared his throat and decided to go for honestly.  “I… well. You’re gorgeous. You’re sweet. You’re absolutely nothing like what I expected.  You’re nothing like what I’m used to. And uh. I… you don’t want to do that. You don’t want me to do that.

He braced himself for anger, for hurt, for something.  She looked confused. “I don’t want to… sleep with you?  Have sex with you?” She whispered the last and he once again had to think about her age, or maturity, in some confusion.   “Do you, uh. Do you have spines or something?”

Leander coughed.  “No. No spines. I’m not, uh.  My…” He couldn’t say cock when she was whispering sex. “I don’t have anything wrong down there.  It’s all up here.” He tapped his head. “Miss…”  He cleared his throat. “Look can we talk about this in a couple weeks?  When I have a better idea what the hell is going on?”

She was quiet so long that he expected her to holler for her father.  She looked him up and down. “What was – what was it like? Where you were?”

Shit.  Shit, shit, shit.  That wasn’t what he wanted, either.  He wasn’t some sick puppy for her to…

…well, it was easier than her trying to jump his bones when he was still afraid he might accidentally break her neck.  He really had to talk to her father about that. Soon, from the looks of things.

“It was awful,” he told her.  That was – well, it was a start on honesty, he supposed.  He felt like he was manipulating her, and felt a little guilty about it, but – well.

The image of doing the wrong thing when she couldn’t actually order him not to hurt her was already chewing at him.

“It wasn’t just breaking rocks into little rocks, was it?”  She shifted so that she was nearly perching, looking at him, not quite touching him.  

“There was a lot of that.  There was a lot of grunt work.  Building stuff they didn’t want human workers on, or had human workers on too but didn’t want to take the time to haul machinery in.  Mining stuff, ‘cause I can find it. A lot of swinging a pick. A lot of that. But uh. I was a machine to them.” He cleared his throat.  He couldn’t go on; this was too ridiculous. “Look. I got out of it okay. But uh. Let’s just give me a little time to clear my head, okay?”

“But…”  She was watching him.  Her eyes were wide. “It doesn’t sound okay.”

He huffed.  “It’s not. I mean.  I’m okay. The situation sucked.  Maybe someday I’ll get back at the people who got me in that situation.  Maybe someday I’ll … I don’t know. I don’t think about it, okay?” He shrugged.  “It’s just easier not to think about, I just – I don’t want you expecting something I’m uh.”  He shrugged again, unwilling to say not capable of or not ready for or anything else that might actually explain that situation.

“I’m not going to push.”  She gave him a little smile.  “But we can talk about it in a few weeks.”

Leander relaxed.  In a few weeks, he’d have had time to talk to her father alone.  He’d have time to convince the man to give him a few orders and, hopefully, not have to explain himself too much.

He didn’t even have an order to obey her, just to stay within body-guarding range.  He was beginning to think as much as the thought gnawed at him, that his new owner really hadn’t thought this through too well.

“I think,” she commented, apparently out of nowhere, “that we ought to go talk to my dad.”

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