First: Purchased: Negotiation
Content warning in this case – discussion of consent, the lack thereof, and of rape. Some more.
He walked into Sylviane’s room to find her back to him, her naked back to him.
He cleared his throat. “I can- ah. Wait…”
“Oh!” She turned slowly to look at him. She was, yes, completely naked.
He wondered what she looked like without a Glamour on, without the Mask that made fae look human.
Then he decided she looked gorgeous and he was being foolish wondering anything else.
At some point in there his self preservation caught up with him and he looked away.
“That was quick,” she murmured. “The way you two were looking at each other, I thought it was going to be a fight or something.”
“He’s my owner,” he muttered. He really wished the two of them would get that.
She tilted her head. “Yes, and?”
“He’s my owner,” he repeated, feeling very tired all of a sudden, “and I’m not going to fight him. Unless he’s, unless he’s treating me like shit, unless he’s treating other people like shit. Unless I’m not getting fed and not getting sleep,” he added, in case she decided to ask what treating me like shit meant in this case. “He’s my owner,” he repeated again. “That’s the deal. He gets to, you know. Whatever.” He shrugged. “I’ll argue when it’s too much, that’s all.”
She pursed her lips and made a soft noise, thoughtful, her eyes raking over him. “I think…” She put her hands on his shoulders. He watched her, not sure what was going on.
That was beginning to get to be more the norm than he really liked, he considered. On the other hand, it was better than…
Than things he had to fight against.
“I think I like that you have things that you’ll fight for. I like that more. I thought… I thought maybe.” She ducked her head and said nothing, but Leander could fill that in.
“That I was broken to the collar. No. Resigned a bit, I guess. I’m owned, and whatever started it, well, it’s life now. But not broken. I’ll fight when I have to.”
“Good.” She kissed his cheek, then kissed his other cheek, then ducked her head to kiss the top of his chest. “Good. Because that means – it means.” She paused again. Her cheeks were flushed and she couldn’t quite look him in the face.
He couldn’t fill that one in, either. There were way too many things it could mean, but all he knew it meant was that he wasn’t broken to the collar.
He looked away, the memory assaulting him. He thought he’d buried that one deep enough that it would leave him alone.
You’re not broken to the collar. You’re not even remotely trained. You’ll learn, of course. If you’re going to serve me, you’ll learn how to behave. I’ll break you to it, have no fear.
I’m not going to serve you, he’d snarled.
He could feel the taste of that snarl on his lips. He could feel the bubbling anger.
He could feel the pain that had rushed through him, too.
Fingers brushed against his cheek. He didn’t jump. He, if anything, froze. He looked carefully at Sylviane.
“You’re a person,” she said softly. “A man. Not a – not a-“
There were too many ways she could finish that one, too. Leander was still seeing the memory as much as he was seeing her, still hearing things that had been burned into him.
A pity, a pity the scars had been healed back then. He’d feel like he had something to prove the pain if they were still there.
“A doll,” he finished for her. “A toy. Nah.” There was something of the old anger in his voice that he couldn’t sift out. “It’s been proven I make a shitty toy.”
“You’re a person,” she repeated, something twitching in her face that he couldn’t identify. “If you – if you didn’t want to – you wouldn’t. I can’t order you to, I mean, but if my dad had some stupid idea and he, and he ordered you…”
He blinked at her and found himself smiling. It wasn’t much of a smile, but it was, well, something.
“You know-” He shook his head, backed up, and tried to figure out how to say it without getting her more upset. “Uh. I can assure you, if I’m working under orders, you’re going to notice the difference.”
“You’re always under orders, though! I mean, how am I going to know if you’re being ordered to, uh, to go to bed with me or…” She gestured with both hands, trying to convey something, something Leander was fairly sure he understood better than she did, if only they could get their words to mesh up.
He cleared his throat. “I’ve been ordered to service someone in bed before,” he told her carefully. “And I’ve gone to bed with people willingly before. I know the difference. And I like to think you’d be able to tell, too. And I -” He looked away, then made himself look back at her, although he could feel heat coming to his cheeks. “Look. If you notice something, and you think that I’ve, you know, been ordered, ask. If somehow your dad decided to be nasty enough to order me not to tell you, I’ll say… ‘Peach Mango.’ And then you can go yell at your father, if you want.”
“Even if that leaves you, um, not fulfilling an order?”
“Even if,” he assured her. “But I don’t think you’ll need to ask. I hope, uh. I hope you’ll be able to tell the difference. Between me trying to do my best and me under an order-“
He trailed off, because he was under an order to keep her safe, his only real standing order, and he did his damndest to do that right and, like he’d just said, to do his best.
But they weren’t talking about his function. They were talking about what he would do in, more or less, his free time.
That was – well. That was different. “I hope you’ll be able to tell the difference,” he repeated. “Because I know I can.”
She smiled up at him, looking a little mischievous and a little bit wild. “I suppose I need a baseline, then. You know.” She winked at him. “To be sure that I know exactly what you being honestly into something looks like.”