Tag Archive | character: sal

Beauty-Beast 42: Public

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The drive was not all that long, although it went through five minutes of the sort of traffic where it would have been quicker and probably easier to get out and walk. Ctirad shifted a few times in his seat, but for the most part, he was still.  He wanted to find a place where he could be what Timaios wanted of him, even if I want you to be you was the least helpful advice ever.  

He opened his eyes when Sal pulled into an underground garage that, while not hidden, was not exactly advertised, either.  The bar that raised when Sal swiped a card was far more intense than the normal wooden gate, too, and there were two of them and a metal roll-door before they reached the actual garage.

“Secure,” Ctirad murmured.

“People who work here take such things very seriously,” Timaios agreed.  “And I admit I like it, or at least, my public persona likes it.” Continue reading

Beauty-Beast 41: Bitch

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Sal drove without chit-chat, at least at the beginning, but after three blocks, the glass between the two sections came down.  “Boss. Your boy is shifting back and forth like someone’s sending him to the principal’s office.”

Ctirad froze.  “Am not.”

“You were,” Sal countered.  “You’re going out in public with the boss for the first time.  You have a pretty good idea what’s expected of you in private. But now you’re in public.  What does wearing the boss’ collar mean for you when you’re out there, in front of other fae?  Other than us that work for him, I mean.”

“…Yeah…” Ctirad muttered.  “I mean. I’m his bodyguard.  Your bodyguard, sir. That happens to also be your boyfriend.  It’s not like people don’t have bodyguard-lovers. I mean, Lex Luthor…” He trailed off. Continue reading

Beauty-Beast 29: Bad Change

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“He has something down in the basement of the building.”  Sal’s voice sounded tight when Ctirad came to himself.  “Here, kid— Ctirad — drink some more water.  It’s not a creature, it’s some sort of really Bad Change, from what I can tell.”

“Bad Change?”  The water cut the acid taste in his mouth but not the feeling in his stomach.

“It’s, uh.  Sometimes the things that happen to us go too far from human, that’s the best way I can explain it.  Like, we’re on fire constantly, or we give off poison gas, or our legs fuse together into a column of, like, stone-skin.  That looks like one of the really bad cases. What Ermenrich said,” he added to Timaios, “was that it was a side effect of ‘their’ power, and what it looked like was that something in the power made them fuse with – well, whatever was near, is my guess.”

“Ermenrich told me not to get too close,” Ctirad remembered. “He didn’t have to, though.  It was – it was hard being in the same room as that thing.”  He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Like it was wrong, somehow.  I’m not sure.”  He was still feeling twitchy over the whole thing.  “I’m not sure if I’m missing something…”

“No, it was wrong.”  Sal sounded as sick as Ctirad felt.  “It was an abomination.  And it probably still is, because I can’t see Ermenrich get rid of something like that.  It’s probably useful.  I understand why he told you to forget it, though – and I’m not surprised your mind didn’t want to bring it back.”

“Bad Change.”  He was listening to Sal, he was, but the words had lodged in his mind.  “That’s, like.  How do we know which one of them was the one with the Change?  Imagine if you were just standing next to someone when they Changed and – urgh.”  He shuddered.

“You’ve never heard the term- no, of course you wouldn’t have.”  Timaios made a sound like a sigh.  “Whatever – no, that’s a conversation for private.  Let’s try again.  Ermenrich has something in the basement of the McCurdy Building – someone.  And he wants to own the building so that he owns that someone, because they are now part of the building.  Am I following so far?”

“That sounds right.”  Ctirad pieced through the words slowly.  “I don’t know what the thing’s power is, but I know that it – they? – it collects things that get too near it.  I don’t know how it eats, either,” he added, swallowing bile.  “It’s – someone should kill it, put it out of its misery.”

“I’m not generally in the business of mercy killings,” Timaios mused quietly, “but I’m willing to take your word on this one.  The question is, where did this demolition come in?  Was he unable to buy the property?”

“If he — if he demolishes it, he’s going to.-”  Ctirad gulped.  “I don’t think that’s good.”

“Sal, get someone on that.  Looking into the deal, seeing who owns the building, the demolition company, who we can bribe and who we can buy and who already owes us favors.   If the protesters are —”

“Got it, sir, you want the full work-up.” Sal smirked.  “All right.  You’re gonna give Ctirad a stiff drink or two and some fresh air, yeah?”

“You see how it is?” Timaios’ despair was clearly mock and played for humor and still a little weird for Ctirad.  “I’m bullied by my own staff!”

Ctirad took a gamble.  “If Sir does not wish to be bullied by Sir’s staff, perhaps Sir ought to invest in a nice sturdy paddle and engage in a bit of creative discipline.  Sir.”

“Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?”  Sal made a mock-indignant face.  “Besides, you don’t know.  We might all like it.”

“Even if Sir’s staff enjoyed it,” Ctirad continued, as if he hadn’t heard Sal, “they might find it difficult to bully Sir while being paddled.”

“And should I start by paddling you, mm?”  Timaios’ voice was warm.  

Ctirad froze.  For a split-second, he thought he’d gone further than he could up with.

“Sir is of course welcome to paddle this one, if Sir wishes.”  He’d never spoken like this, not even to Ermenrich.  It made it easier to keep doing.  “But this one would never bully an Owner.”

“Give it time, kid, give it time.” Sal chuckled.  “You’ll bully him right along with the rest of us.”

“I…”  He coughed uncertainly.  “That is, this one thinks that is unlikely, given this one’s habits and predilections.”  And then he smiled widely.  “Damn, I didn’t even know I knew that word.  ‘Predilections.’  Seriously?  That’s a bit highbrow for a grunt like me.”

“And yet it rolled beautifully off of your tongue.”  Timaios stroked Ctirad’s hair.  “So you think I should paddle my employees, mmm?”

“Only if you don’t want them to bully you, sir.  But I think you’re in the habit of, ah.  Of letting your employees and staff push back, so that you know you’re not bullying them.  So I guess you’re going to have to accept a certain amount of being pushed back at, in that case?”

He glanced at Timaios, wondering if he’d gone too far.  Sal was laughing, though.  And more importantly, Timaios was smiling.

“You’re a very observant man, Ctirad.  I like that.  And I think I’ve pushed you enough for one night.  Sal, thank you.  You have your duties – and they can wait until the morning, you should get some sleep, too.  Come on, if you’d like, Ctirad.  I think we should go to bed.”

“Yes, sir.”  Even with if you’d like, he wasn’t going to say no to that.  Ctirad waiting for Timaios to stand and then stood himself, stretching surreptitiously.  


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Beauty-Beast 28: Power

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This chapter comes with an additional content warning:
While I’m dancing around it quite a bit in this chapter, there is body horror in what Ctirad and his former Owner find in the basement.


Ctirad leaned against Timaios again and focused on his breathing.  “Can I…”  What was he doing.  “…Sorry, nothing, sir.”

“You may ask for anything you want without punishment, Ctirad, especially while you are here, alone in my room, and someone is doing something as intimate as searching your memories.”

“It’s all right, sir. It’s nothing.” Continue reading

Beauty-Beast 27: Memory

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Ctirad, at Timaios’ gentle suggestion, put some pants on before Sal came upstairs, Danny immediately behind with a large tray of what must pass for finger foods in a household of fae.

“I want you to unlock Ctirad’s lost memories,” Timaios told Sal, with no preamble except a “thanks for coming up here.”

Ctirad was watching Sal closely.  From the expression, this sort of thing was not unheard of in this household, nor was it beyond Sal’s capabilities.

“What’s the boy think of that, sir?”

“It was his idea.  Well, it was my idea, but he agreed without prompting.  The impression I get is that a lot of it was done with orders.  Thus, there’s no Workings to work around—”

“With all due respect, that’s just going to make it trickier.  His own mind has decided — well, had it decided for him, but it comes down to the same thing — that he needs to not have those memories.  I’m going to have to invade him pretty deepl—” Sal trailed off and turned to look directly at Ctirad.  “I’m going to be really far into your mind.  You understand?  I’m going to see things nobody else has seen.” Continue reading

Beauty-Beast 11: Masks

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“Now you know half of it.” Timaios leaned back, searching Ctirad’s face. “And, yes, that’s a fairly common reaction. Although you don’t seem like you’re awed by my money.”

“Why should I be, sir?” Ctirad cleared his throat. “I mean. You have money for yourself, not for your toys – except to buy them.”

“If you’re not careful,” Timaios warned, “I’m going to take certain words away from you.”

“Sir?” Ctirad searched Timaios’ face, but could find nothing helpful there.

“I am not particularly fond of my Kept referring to themselves as toys. You’re Mine, yes. That does not make you something to be put in a box when I’m bored.”

Ctirad swallowed. “Experiences differ, sir,” he said as politely as he knew how.

“I’m beginning to get that impression. However, you are not my toy. You Belong to me. That is different.”

Ctirad wanted to ask how, but he’d already pushed his owner too far. “Yes, sir.”

“Are you ready for the next part of this little show-and-tell?”

“As you will, sir.” He had no idea how to be ready or now or how that would change anything.


“Workings are up, sir. We can see them but they can’t see us.”

“Very good, thank you.” He shook his head once, and his Mask dropped.

Ctirad took a careful moment to take in the changes, his expression set at “neutral waiting”. His Owner was… he was still the same man. That was the first thing he noticed. “Same chin, same cheekbones,” he muttered, mostly to himself, but so his Owner knew he was processing. “The tusks’ve got to be interesting.” The tusks curved downward; there were horns curving upward. The whole visage had a slightly grey, stony tint to it.

Timaios snorted, when it became clear that was all Ctirad was going to say. “That’s it?”

Ctirad looked up, meeting his Owner’s eyes. “Does the stone look go all the way down?”

He surprised a laugh out of Timaios and a squeak-like noise out of Sal. “You’re either a good faker or impressive.”

“Little of both, sir. I’m not freaked out by the whole thing, if that’s what you mean. But I see how people would be.”

He didn’t know if it was the right answer, but he kept running into situations here where Timaios didn’t want the “right” answer anyway, so he figured honesty was his best bet.

Timaios raised his eyebrows. “Tempted to ask what’s under your Mask.”

“I Belong to you, sir. You can tell me to do anything you want.”

“I’m beginning to understand that that is your very polite way of saying ‘no way in hell without an order’, isn’t it?”

“Yes, sir. But it’s also the truth.”

“It is, yes.” His hand felt the same on Ctirad’s face as it had before. His Mask went up as he reached out to Ctirad, and some discomfort seemed to leave him with the reappearance of his public face. “I will ask you for your face behind your Mask. But I will wait until we are alone.”

He couldn’t argue with that. He couldn’t really argue with anything. “Thank you, sir.” Maybe if he was sufficiently distracting, his new Owner would forget about that.

“Speaking of ‘alone’, Sal, how long until we’re there?”

“Three minutes, sir. But i can do a pretty good Ignore the Back Seat Working on myself, too.”

“No, that’s not needed. I can wait three minutes. Thank you, Sal.” Timaios’ hand moved down to Ctirad’s knee and rested there. “We’ll get you settled in and then eat dinner in my room, I think,” he mused in Ctirad’s general direction. “And I’ll have Honore take your measurements and get you some new clothes. If I’m going to have you at my side in public, you’re going to have to look like you belong there.”

Clothes didn’t matter, as long as he could move in them. “Yes, sir.” He remembered, vaguely, having an opinion on such things once. He wondered if he’d left that back with his favorite color.

“And then, maybe…” Timaios’ hand slid up to Ctirad’s thigh, “you can tell me what you really think of my Change, when we’re alone.” His fingers were suddenly tight on Ctirad’s leg – not tight enough to hurt, more of a promise of entertainment than of pain.

That, he could answer without having to think about. “I look forward to seeing how far down the stone goes, sir.”

And that was a genuine smile, or at least he thought it was real smile. Ctirad swallowed around pleasure and the strange feeling that he’d done something right.


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Beauty-Beast 10: Impressions

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“Ctirad.” There was a hand on his chin, with a grip that he would have to fight to get out of. He held even stiller, if that was possible. “I did not buy you to use you. I bought you to have you, yes. To own you. But not to use you.”

“But…” Ctirad felt his brow furrow. “Why? And…” He considered his question before deciding he had already pushed all his limits and might as well keep pushing. “What’s the difference? And why have slaves if you’re not going to use them?”

“That – well, both of those, it’s going to take time to answer, because the answers need to be lived. But the short version is, if I’m using you, it has nothing to do with you, just a vessel for my wants.”

“…I Belong to you, sir.”

“Sir,” Sal said quietly from the front seat. “When you end Ermenrich, can I be there?”

Ctirad flinched back, although the hand on his chin kept him from moving far. “I’m fine,” he protested. “You make it sound like I’m sort of whipped dog and he was holding the whip.”

“I’m sorry, Ctirad.” The hand released his chin, only to appear a moment later on his shoulder. “You’re right. You have… beliefs that don’t mesh with how I handle Keeping, that’s all.”

The rush of misery that flooded over Ctirad was nothing new, yet somehow it was even worse than it had been with Ermenrich. He bowed his head and held his shoulders stiff and tight and straight. “I’m sorry, sir,” he muttered. “I’ll try-”

“Balls. Listen, please. Just try – not an order, a request – try to give it a couple weeks until you can see how things work in my household before assuming you’re going to be pimped out or put out on a leash to kill, all right? I want you to understand how I want to treat you, but I don’t think you can, yet.”

“I’m sorry, sir.” he didn’t know what to do with not an order. He clenched his fists in his lap and waited for punishment or explanation of his mistakes.

He didn’t expect the soft hand on his cheek. “I know it’s not going to be easy. But I think you can adjust, if you trust me a little bit and give me a little time to show you what I want of you – and what you can expect from me in return. All right?”

What was he supposed to say to that? “Yes, sir.” He tried not to lean into the touch, but it felt good, and he had not been touched so much in the last two months as he had since Timaios had taken possession of him.

“I think – I think it is time for you to see me.” Timaios still sounded reluctant. Ctirad was beginning to get concerned about what his new Owner must look like. “I think I have to start introducing you to me sooner rather than later. You can open your eyes.”

Ctirad opened his eyes slowly, letting himself adjust to the light. It was late in the day, the sun not too bright, but he’d had his eyes closed for a while.

He blinked a few times before his new Owner’s face came into view, and then he blinked a few more times. “You’re…” He worked his jaw and blinked again.

“Yes,” Timaios agreed. “That’s the first reaction.”

“…. You’re Tim Kaprinsky. You’re the mogul. The- uh. The mogul heir. You’re Tim Kaprinsky? And you wanted me. And Ermenrich crossed you. And – and you wanted me.”

“Yes.” His new owner nodded. His face, along with being famous, was perfect, chiseled cheekbones, firm chin, dark brown hair just long enough to look tousled, skin just a few shades lighter than his hair, eyes a sort of golden hazel. Ctirad worked his jaw a couple more times and thought about being the bedroom toy of Tim Kaprinsky.


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Beauty-Beast 9: Weapons

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There was a moment of silence in the car. Ctirad could hear the road under the tires, some traffic noise, the breathing of all three of them.

“You Belong to me,” Sir agreed carefully. “And I neither object to you having claws nor intend to use you as a murderer. Would you like my word on that?”

Ctirad wasn’t certain he could speak. He cleared his throat and settled for “sir?” with an intonation that might have relayed what the fuck?

“I am not going to use you as a tame killer. I will never order you to kill and I won’t put you in a situation where the bond is forcing you to kill if I can help it. Okay?”

“Sir.” He didn’t know how to express what he was feeling. He didn’t believe it, but he wanted badly to. He swallowed around the dryness of his throat and the way everything felt like it was pressing down on him, taking his air. “…sir?”

“My name is Timaios, Ctirad, and when we’re alone – which includes with Sal – you have permission to use it. Does that offend you?”

“Does…” There were too many options. Shit. “Does what offend me, sir… Ti… sir?”

No. Fuck it, he was not going to give in to that trap. Timaios was his owner, and he was not going to forget that, not even for a second.

“Does it offend you that I won’t use you as a weapon?”

“Sir. I am a weapon.” There was nothing to be offended by, or not, in that. He pointed his face blindly at his owner’s and waited.

“Do you want to be used as a weapon?”

“Sir.” His throat worked as he tried to come up with a safe answer. “Sir, I Belong to you. I Belong to be used. There is some use you are going to have for me, or you wouldn’t have taken me as payment. I’m not decorative-”

“The fuck you’re not,” Sal muttered from the front seat. Ctirad ignored him.

“-I don’t talk sweet, not without paying a lot of attention to my words. I don’t do accounting, I’m a lousy housekeeper-”

“-bet you look great in an apron.”

“Sal. That’s enough.”

“-I’m a decent cook, but nobody buys a Kept because they can cook. So that leaves bitch, whore, and weapon, and of those, sir, I prefer weapon. I’m better at it anyway.”

“Sal?” Ctirad’s owner’s voice was tight. “Please remind me to find an unpleasant end for Ermenrich and, more immediately, to find a way to rehome or free all of his other servants, slaves, and Kept?”

“Yes, sir.” The joking was gone from Sal’s voice, too. Ctirad held still and waited for the fallout.


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Beauty-Beast 8: Claws and Monsters

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Ctirad could practically feel Sir’s eyes on him. The silence seemed to hang in the air, something nobody was saying just waiting to be said.

Finally, Ctirad cleared his throat. “So what should I know?”

Sir chuckled. “I’m not Ermenrich. Sometimes I’m an asshole, and I admit it – Sal will tell you…”

“Sometimes he’s an asshole,” Sal agreed cheerfully.

“-Thanks, Sal. But I’m not a monster,” his voice did something strange. Ctirad looked up at the voice as if that would help.

He felt a hand on his hair. “If you would, if you can, keep your eyes closed just a little longer, please.”

Well that, for all the buffer, was an order. Ctirad nodded slowly. “Yes, sir. That’s fine, I can handle that, sir.” Some impulse made him add, “as long as I’m not left alone, please, sir.”

There was silence for a moment, and then Sir’s hand moved from Ctirad’s hair to his cheek. “It’s a deal. I won’t leave you alone and blinded ever, all right?”

“Thank you, sir.” He swallowed, worked his way around a lump in his throat, and nodded his head uncertainly. “I just. Can’t read your expression,” he admitted. “…Shit, I sound ridiculous.”

“You sound,” Sir corrected, “like someone newly under a new bond of Belonging, someone who didn’t have a very good time of his last Keeper and maybe not the Owner before that. You sound like someone who needs to be treated with respect. Because I can see your claws, Ctirad, and I am very interested in them, but I wonder if you know exactly how much they show.”

Ctirad swallowed. “Sir?” He flexed his fingers. He did not have claws, not with his Mask down. He never had – at least, he was pretty sure he never had.

Sir stroked Ctirad’s back and the back of his hair. “You have anger in you, which is completely understandable, but you have barely-restrained violence, too. Frustrated violence, if I don’t miss my guess, but also, mmm, like a tiger. Simply sitting there, you have the potential to murder.”

Ctirad went stiff. “Sir.” He tried to show nothing in his voice. He was pretty sure he failed. “I Belong to you.”


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Beauty-Beast 7: Sal’s Questions

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Ctirad tensed. That… was a bad sign.

Sir stroked the top of his back gently, such that the touch might be missed from the rear-view mirror, if Ctirad had his positioning right.

“What’s your name mean?” Sal sounded completely serious. Ctirad gave the question consideration.

His name wasn’t all that common in America, he knew that. And among fae, the name your father chose to give you was heavy with meaning (sometimes). Of course, he had no idea if Sal was fae or not. He cleared his throat. “Joy and honor, or joy from honor.” It wasn’t a name that brought him any joy anymore, but it was all he had left that was his.

“And what about your Name?”

He knew he went still. He knew his fists clenched. He didn’t try to hide any of it. He was not going to punch the driver in the back of the head, not with his eyes closed, not when Sal was driving. “I don’t have one of those.”

“But you did. You were Named before you were Collared, or someone needs to pay pretty badly.”

“I don’t have one now.” He knew he sounded like murder. He just wondered if he could do it before he was stopped.

“Sal. That’s enough. Allow him his secrets, if he wants them.”

Even though he couldn’t see, Ctirad turned towards Sir’s voice. “Sir?”

“Yes, sir.” Sal sounded, Ctirad thought, irritated. “But you said to ask questions.”

“It was a fine question, and it’s fine that he didn’t want to answer it.” And now Sir sounded irritated. Ctirad tensed.

“Sorry, Ctirad.” Sal didn’t exactly mutter the apology, but it sounded a little abashed and a little embarrassed. Ctirad, on the other part, was entirely surprised.

“Wha-” He shook his head. “It’s fine, Sal. I just don’t want to go back there, ‘cause, well, I can’t go back there, you follow?”

“Pardon me for saying so, but you probably won’t be Kept forever, will you?”

Ctirad swallowed. It didn’t hit with the same pain it would when he’d been under Sir’s collar for any length of time, but there was still an edgy panic to the thought. “If,” he said, carefully and slowly, every word its own individual thought, “I’m ever… ever not Kept… I’ll… make a new Name. Have to. The old one’s burned.”

“Woah.” Sal drew the word out. “I retract the question.”

“Thanks.” He leaned back against the seat, suddenly exhausted. “What next, sir?”

“Well, hrrm. What’s the most important thing you think I should know about you that I don’t already? And what about Sal? What’s the most important thing Sal should know about you?”

Ctirad considered the question for a moment. There were too many ways to answer.

“I’m not tame.”


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