First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
“Anan, I’m not going to – I’m not going to do that. For one thing, I don’t think he can live without those. And for another thing – ew.” The brute sounded, Mélanie thought, both worried and squeamish. How could she be squeamish when she’d been planning on taking Jasper home and torturing him?
But she definitely sounded it. “I mean, ew. And, well, if I do that – then he won’t be able to tell us anything, or to agree to anything. Anan, are you feeling okay?”
“Mm’fine. M’… more than fine. Wonderful. Everything is wonderful.”
“I think you got some of the good whisky and didn’t tell me. Urgh.” The big one picked up Jasper and turned him so he was on his side and not lying in his own vomit. It would have been surprising tenderness, but the big one was ceasing to surprise Mélanie. “There. Don’t die, you hear me. No dying. We can’t torture you if you’re dead.”
Now that… did the big one even understand the word torture? She gulped down some bile as she heard the gate creak open. They were — please say they were home. Please say this was almost over. The gate had seemed unbearably loud, but it didn’t seem like either of the brutes noticed. Jasper’s eyes opened even wider.
“Now,” the big one continued, “I’m not going to gag you again, because I don’t want you to choke. But if you puke on my boots again, I’m rubbing your face in it.”
Jasper made a noise. It might have been an understanding, or something like an agreement, or it could have just been a whimper. Mélanie wondered if the big one didn’t think about Jasper doing Workings or just thought he was too ill to manage anything of the sort – or if her don’t-worry-be-happy was just doing a lot more good than she’d thought it would. Or, maybe, for a woman that could take care of someone while discussing torture, it just hadn’t hit her mind.
The horses stopped. The little one, Anan, made a quiet noise of confusion and shook the reins. Mélanie was beginning to think she’d gone a little overboard on the don’t-worry sort of thing. The woman was five sheets to the wind and probably going to start puking like Jasper soon.
Mélanie sat up and looked around, her invisibility covering her once again. They were – yes. They were definitely home. In the dark, the tangled front yard of Jasper’s house looked even more ominous and foreboding than it had when she had come in here the first time. Three lanterns flickered somewhere off among the weeds. The wind had picked up, and junk she’d never seen in her first trip through started flying through the air.
The big brute ducked as an umbrella, open and caught in a breeze, headed straight for her head. “What-”
Mélanie fumbled with the knots of Jasper’s bonds, trying to get them undone while leaning over him, protecting him from the oncoming rush of junk and rocks.
She heard when one of the rocks hit one of the kidnappers in the head and winced. That was never fun. It might bleed – the last time she’d been hit in the head, it had bled horribly.
It might kill her, if it was deep enough. Mélanie considered that and then went back to the knots. Once Jasper was safe, then she could worry about the fate of a kidnapping brute who’d wanted to torture her Master.
It took far too long, long enough that the big one landed next to her – nearly stepping on her – trying to escape the tumult. “Anan!” she called. “Anan – oh.” With a noise like a sick dog, the big one pulled her bleeding friend into the back.
There was no time to try to be hidden now. Mélanie finished the arms and moved to work on the legs, hoping that the brute was distracted, hoping that she wouldn’t notice until too late or, maybe, wouldn’t care.
Jasper was muttering under his breath. Mélanie tried to listen, wondering if he was ordering her to do something, but the noise of the wind and the flying debris was far too much.
Then the ropes vanished under her hands and she understood. He was *Working*.
He really shouldn’t be, if he’d been drugged, but she wasn’t going to tell her Owner what not to do. Instead, she took his hand and helped him out of the back of the wagon.
“Hey! Hey, stop – stop.” The brute didn’t move towards them. “Help us? I think she’s dying.”Want more?