January 30, 2013 by Lyn
Friday, January 30, 2004
There was a certain switch Speed flipped, home to school, school to home.
He was used to that. When he’d been in a “normal” school, with “normal” peers and the occasional secret lover or boyfriend or girlfriend, he’d been The Speed Freak at school, and Why Doesn’t Our Son Talk to Us at home.
This was a little different.
He smiled at the professor, and tried to focus on class. The last class of the day was always the hardest. The first was tricky, but nobody expected him to be awake, at least, and it was Lit. He could handle Lit – and Professor VanderLinden – in his sleep.
But the last class of the day was History, which he really wanted to pay attention to, which really took attention to follow. And half the time, all he could think about was Gregori’s hand on the back of his neck. The way it would feel when he took his clothes off.
And he still had magic classes to go after this. At least it was Friday.
“For your homework this weekend, please read the next three chapters and write a two-page summary of the material. In addition, pick one facet of the reading and begin research on it in the Library; give me a two-paragraph summary of the facet you’ve chosen, why you’ve chosen it, and what you will do to research it in depth.”
Speed was not the only one groaning. Professor Valerian waved their complaints aside with a flap of her hand. “Anyone wishing, instead, to come clean my apartment for an hour, is welcome to forgo the research for now and read only the next two chapters.”
Well, that was new. Speed glanced around, and then raised his hand cautiously. “Professor?”
“Yes, Speed?” She hadn’t been looking at him, he knew. He wasn’t her type.
“For how long? And what about our Owners?”
Behind him, Llew hissed. He ignored him. The rest of the Ninth Cohort might be pretending they weren’t under the collar. They might have gotten there with less forethought and desire than Speed had. But that didn’t matter. They were Owned, and they might as well, well, own it.
Professor Valerian, at least, didn’t seem to mind. “It is homework, of course, and thus, if your Owner wishes to complain, they are welcome to talk to me.” She managed to make the innocuous sentence sound like a threat. “Or they can come along. I’m sure they could all use the help with their homework as well.”
Sofia raised her hand now. “Professor, this is rather unusual.”
“Yes. But these are, after all, rather unusual times. Any of you who wish may come by, for at least two hours of cleaning. No earlier than nine a.m. Saturday, no later than midnight Sunday.”
Well. That put a kink in his weekend plans. Speed frowned thoughtfully at the professor. Was she doing it on purpose? Did she want him to have no fun at all? Was she trying to make his life difficult?
He glanced over at Lee. Well. Maybe she was just trying to make other Kept’s lives easier. Some people just hadn’t gotten lucky with their Owners, he supposed.
Three chapters and a paper, or less chapters and cleaning. He wasn’t sure which he wanted more. He’d leave the decision to Gregori. Gregori always made decisions like that more fun, at least. And then the onus was off of Speed’s shoulders.
“I will see you all on Monday – or this weekend. Come ready to get dirty. My apartment can get quite messy.”
And that sounded almost like a sexual innuendo. Not from her, would it be? From Professor Valerian? From VanderLinden, he would have assumed anything at all was actually innuendo. But from the professor who never even let her Mask down, he hadn’t been expecting it.
He tried to put it out of his mind during Aposyntheto class. Professor Solomon didn’t tolerate daydreaming – he didn’t tolerate much at all out of Speed, a failing many of Speed’s teachers through the years had possessed. Besides, dismantling wasn’t something you wanted to do while distracted. Dismantling tools was definitely not. Especially not tools whose parts were still moving.
He was sweating and happily exhausted by the time Gregori met him at the classroom door. “Good class?” his Owner asked.
“Very good class, sir.” He tucked his hands behind his back and waited for Gregori to tell him what their plans were. It was a game: If Speed asked, then he had to make a decision. If he was a good boy, then Gregori surprised him.
He knew there were people who didn’t enjoy games like that – Gregori’s former Kept, for one. They had no place Belonging to someone, or, for that matter, Owning someone.
His master was going to make him wait this time, too. “Were your other classes interesting?”
“Yes, sir. I didn’t blow anything up at all in Chemistry today.”
“That doesn’t sound very interesting.”
“Well, it took quite a bit of effort to dissolve it instead of blowing it up. I like playing with acids.”
His master laughed. Good, he’d been trying for a laugh. He smiled coyly up at the taller man. Would he… yes. Three tentacles wrapped around Speed – around his arms, around his legs, around his throat, holding him nearly immobile. The shadow-tentacles leaned him back, so that only the shadows were holding him, none of his weight on his feet. And then, only then, his master kissed him.
Speed’s response was eager and hungry. He loved it when Gregori did that. It was like suspension, without all the prep. It was being utterly in his Owner’s hands, and having both of them very aware of it.
Very aware. He wasn’t the only one whose body was responding to the kiss. He allowed a groan to escape. Maybe, maybe, if he was very lucky…
“Right here.” Gregori’s growl rumbled against Speed’s throat. “Right here, right here in the stairwell. Now.”
“Yes, sir.” He gasped it out, barely able to breathe for the press of the orders and the press of his master’s hands. He loved it when his Kraken got like this, pushing and demanding and most of all wanting him. Nobody else had ever… “Oh!” Hands in his hair stopped his thought, and a tentacle on the back of his pants moved him into the stairwell.
His pants were around his ankles before the door swung closed behind them, his breath coming in gasps in time with his master’s ragged urgency. He reached around behind him for Gregori’s pants, only to be stopped by tentacles around his wrists. “Stay,” his master grunted, and so he stayed, moaning and gasping quietly.
“Not here.” Luke’s voice cut over their gasps. “You have a perfectly good room. Go use it.”
“Sir…” Gregori turned, his tentacles sliding off of Speed. “We weren’t doing anything…”
“His pants are around his ankles and he’s got hickeys on his back.” The hickeys were old, actually, but Speed didn’t think that would help. He stayed, because that’s what he’d been told to do. He was, after all, a very good slave.
“…anything we don’t both want, I was going to say.” Speed could hear Gregori’s pants zipping up, and he sighed in frustration. “You were young, once, sir.”
“I was never that young.” Luke’s disapproval seemed to fill the entire space. Then, surprisingly, his voice softened. “Not in a long time. This one doesn’t cry, at least, Gregori.”
“This one came looking for me, sir.”
“So I’ve heard. And you’ve been sending him to Mendosa?”
“Well, I wasn’t exactly given a choice.”
His face turning red and hot against the wall, Speed squirmed. “Mas… Gregori?” He didn’t normally slip like that; he hoped he’d be forgiven, considering the situation.
“Of course.” His Master patted his butt gently. “As I was saying, it was made very clear that my Kept would be going to visit Dr. Mendosa, ‘or else.’ And I am not arguing with the concept, after Damaris. But Speed is, I’ve been told, one of the better-adjusted members of the Ninth Cohort here.”
Speed pulled his pants back on and tried not to grin. Of course he was better adjusted. He didn’t have any problem accepting that the world was full of magic. And as for the magical slavery…
He tugged on his collar, punctuating the gesture with his best insouciant grin at the gym teacher. Luke really was hot. It was a pity he was either not into guys, not into students, or both. “And I’m one of that small elite that enjoys submission, so I’m not spending all my time being ridiculous and fighting the inevitable, either. I’m very well-adjusted, sir.”
“Still won’t hurt you to visit the Doctor. Button up your pants, and then both of you get back to your room. Now. Before I have to create detention to give it to you.”
Speed buttoned his pants, and tried his best to look innocent. “But we weren’t doing anything wrong, sir.”
“Gregori.” This was a roar, but at least Luke was smiling under the growl. “Get this boy out of my sight.”
“With pleasure, sir. Come on, boy.” Gregori used the excuse to manhandle Speed, his hand on the back of his collar and his tentacle in his belt loops. Speed tried not to laugh as he was propelled along, half-dragged down the stairs and half-carried down the hall.
“We should do that more often.” He risked a big grin up at his Master, and found that his Owner was smiling, too.
“What, get caught by Luke?”
“Well, maybe after, next time?”
“I’ll just have to put you up against the wall in our room.” He tossed Speed into his room, lifting him with the throw so Speed landing face-down on the bed. “Or there. There is always good, too. Why are you still wearing pants, boy?”
Oh, this was going to be fun. “I’m sorry Master, I’m sorry sir.” He stripped his clothes off quickly, already anticipating the fun to come.
Gregori was so good to him. It was some time later when Speed rolled onto his back – carefully, and with a bit of pleased pain – and looked at the ceiling. “Luke’s never stopped us before.”
“No, he hasn’t. Something’s going on.”
“Like with people getting jumped in the halls?”
“Hemlock said something about that, with Agra’s girl. But, of course, Agra wouldn’t tell him anything.”
“Of course.” Some people shouldn’t have been Kept. “And then with Kheper, and Nilam.”
“I hadn’t heard about those.”
“Quintus told me.” Should he have told his master? He peeked sideways, wondering if he was in trouble. Maybe even the bad sort of trouble. “In class. We talk sometimes, still…”
Gregori tousled Speed’s hair. “I come first. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still talk to your friends, pretty slave. You can talk to them all you want on your time.”
“Thank you, Master.” He made the good-sub face, the one that got Gregori all worked up. This time, it only got him petted.
“You’re a good boy, Speed. I got lucky with you.”
“We just did, sir.” He made the quip purposefully, to remind himself that he still could, and was rewarded with a gentle swat. “Thank you, sir.” He went back to staring at the ceiling. “Something’s out to get the Ninth Cohort.”
“Nobody’s going to hurt you. You’re wearing my collar.”
Speed wrapped his hands around the thick leather collar. It was like the thickest, sturdiest security blanket ever. “Yes, sir. I know, sir. Only – Kheper and Kat and Nilam are collared, too. Almost the whole Ninth Cohort is collared.”
“Well, Kat’s Owner is weak, and so is Nilam’s. Perhaps someone wanted to get Boom riled up?”
“They don’t normally take that much to rile up, do they?” Stay away from Boom if you can do so politely was one of the few standing orders Gregori had given him.
“No, they don’t. But some people are really fond of overkill.”
“Who do you think it could be?”
“Someone who thinks they can take on the whole school and win. Someone with a grudge, a point to make. Jabez or Fafnir, maybe; the dragon-sorts are always touchy. Or maybe Thessaly and Lucian.”
“Lee’s Keepers?” Speed couldn’t help the twitch, and it mortified him. “They’re interesting.”
“They’re a challenge. They can be a fun challenge, when you remind them who’s on top.”
“You’re on top, sir.”
His master’s casual praise felt, as always, like a drug, like a warm haze settling over him. Speed stopped talking, stopped thinking. He pressed as much of his body against Gregori’s as he could, feeling as if he could soak up more approval by skin contact.
These were the best moments. These, and the moments that made these even better. He stole another peek at Gregori’s face. His master’s eyes were half-lidded, his lips curled in a smile. He liked these times, too.
In a quiet, worrying place, Speed wondered if his Owner would prefer him better silent all the time. Could he do it? Could he seal his mouth – figuratively, of course; there were plenty of ways that Gregori liked Speed’s mouth open – and live in silence?
It was almost scary. It was a level of submission he’d never gotten a chance to try, and he wasn’t entirely certain he’d like it. He pressed his lips together, feeling how the wordlessness felt. Feeling how muteness might shape him, might change him.
Would he be mute all the time? Not just in the bedroom, but in classes? Even Kay, who spent much of her days muted, was allowed to talk in class (and in class, when asked questions, she never shut up). Would Speed be like that, overflowing with ridiculousness? Or could he come to a quiet place where silence was another form of submission, and thus another form of peace?
“Anything interesting happen to you today, skinny boy?” Gregori’s lips nestled just over Speed’s ear, his voice a rumble barely louder than a whisper.
But it was a monumental rumble. It shook Speed out of his silent fantasy, out of the quiet worry that lay under the fantasy. His Master wanted to talk to him. It shook him out of subspace all together. Gregori wanted him to talk about what was interesting. It shook him right back into school mode.
Interesting. He coughed, trying to remember how to talk. “Professor Valerian gave us a boatload of homework.”
“How big is a boatload?” Gregori was stroking Speed’s back and shoulders; that was a cue for friendly-time. Petting the hair was more good-pet time.
Speed grinned. “Bigger than a truckload but smaller than a titanic amount. Um, three chapters of reading, some Library research, and a two-page summary on the reading.”
“That sounds like a pretty big boat. Did you make her angry?”
“Me specifically, sir? No. No, I’m a very good student in History class. I’m a very good student in all my classes. You told me to be.”
“I did not order you to be a good student.”
“No, but you suggested it would be a good idea.” Speed grinned up at his Keeper. “I like the ones that aren’t orders better; they’re more fun to obey.”
“You would. So we need to go to the Library, are we?”
“Welllll.” He drew the word out, wondering about explaining the other part. “Or I can go over to her apartment and clean.”
Gregori’s hand stilled. “You, specifically?”
“Us, her whole class. And us, you, too, if you wanted.”
“I’m not enthused by cleaning.”
“I know, sir. But she didn’t say you had to clean, just that if our Owners wanted to come with us, they were welcome to.”
“And if you go over to clean her apartment?”
“Then no research and only two chapters of reading, sir.”
“And which do you want to do?”
“That’s up to you, my Master.” He put on his brightest smile and hoped it would work.
Gregori laughed. “I think you took my collar to get out of making any decisions at all.”
“Yes, Master, if you say so.”
“If I make this decision for you, I’m going to take it out of your skin.”
“Possibly in a way you don’t enjoy.”
Speed shuddered. There weren’t many of those, but his Master had managed to find a few. “Of course, sir.”
“Go fetch the flogger, lovely boy.”
“Yes, sir.” The flogger was not on the list of things he didn’t enjoy. As a matter of fact, it was one of his favorite things. He slunk across the floor on hands and knees, knowing Gregori was watching him. “Thank you, sir.”
“You’re a good boy, Speed.”
“Yes, sir.” He grinned over his shoulder. He knew he was good. As bratty as he could get away with being, of course, but as good as he knew how to be.
“And, tell me, do you have a preference for whether we go to Professor Valerian’s, or to the Library?”
He paused, just about ready to pick up the flogger in his teeth. Orders. Orders about opinions. He hid his expression in the drawer of toys. “It could be fun, going to Professor Valerian’s. But it could be really boring, too. I don’t really like cleaning.” He wiggled his butt suggestively. “I wanted to play with you all weekend.”
He filled his mouth with the flogger before Gregori could demand more opinions from him.
“Of course you did. If I didn’t know better, I’d say all you ever wanted to do was play. But I do know better, don’t I, pet?”
“Mm-hrrm.” He couldn’t really add a sir onto the end without dropping the flogger, so he contented himself with looking subservient as he returned to his master. Of course there was more to him than playing all the time. He wasn’t a robot. He just really, really liked playing.
“How is your etching going?”
Speed looked up at Gregori, wondering what his Master was trying to get at here. Gregori knew where Speed was almost every moment that Speed wasn’t in class. He knew how little time Speed had devoted to his art lately. “Mmm?” he tried.
He was already coming here, but he hurried up. “Mm?” Was he in trouble? Why was he in trouble? What was Gregori up to, and why?
His Master took the flogger from his mouth with one hand, and grabbed his chin with the other. “I like your art. Why have you not been working on it lately?”
“Sir? I’ve been playing with you, and taking care of your house, Master, and doing school work.”
“And in all that time, you haven’t found time to do any work on your art?”
Speed squirmed. “There has been time, sir, but when there’s been time, I’ve been with you.” Watching TV. Playing footstool and enjoying how it made Tigg squirm. Simply sitting at his Master’s feet, enjoying the warmth of his presence. “I have been…” What? Relaxing? “Being yours.”
The hand on his chin tightened. “You are mine regardless of what you are doing, Speed.”
“Yes, sir, of course, sir.” He was beginning to worry, now. This wasn’t in the script. And the hand that wasn’t holding him was swinging the flogger, back and forth, back and forth, just in the corner of Speed’s vision. “Yes, master.”
“You enjoy being a pet.”
“And I enjoy having you as my pet, my Kept, my possession.”
“Thank you, Master.” He thought his voice might be squeaking a little bit. This didn’t sound like it was going anywhere good.
“I enjoy having you.” He released Speed’s chin. “If I wanted a sex-bot, I’d build a sex-bot.”
“He wouldn’t be as cute as me, sir.”
“No, of course not. You will find the time to work on your art, Speed. If it means I don’t have a footstool while watching TV, so be it.”
“This is important to me.”
“I understand, sir.” He didn’t, really, but he understood he’d been given an order. He would work with that.
“Good. Now. We’re going to Professor Valerian’s tomorrow. She’s never done anything like this before, and I want to know what she’s up to.” He gave the flogger another long swing, “Grab the footboard, boy. Do you want a gag?”
He couldn’t be too angry at him. “Yes, sir, please.” He situated himself with his hands wrapped around the footboard, his back and ass presented to his master.
“Very good. You’re my good boy, pet.”
“Thank you, Master.” He was entirely confused. Speed did not like being confused. Being Kept, being a slave was not supposed to be about being confused. It was supposed to be about your master making everything tidy and clear for you.
“Are you ready?”
“Yes, Master.” He felt the tension of confusion leave him and an entirely different sort of tension slide in: anticipation. The pleasant shiver, knowing this is going to hurt. The way, whatever he thought or wanted, his ass tightened, waiting, waiting for the flogger to fall.
He Master slid a gag in between his teeth and buckled it. Speed worked his mouth around the gag, getting his teeth set. This was going to be a doozy. It was going to be the right sort of pain. It was going to be…
It was. One strike after another, until he stopped thinking, stopped feeling, stopped anything but shivering and hurting and holding as tightly as he could to the footboard, his teeth clenched hard on the gag. His master lay strokes up and down his back, down his thighs, the edges of the flogger tickling between Speed’s legs. He kept laying down more lines until it was almost too much, until Speed was beginning to sob into the gag, and then more.
“Keep holding on, pet. Hold on. That’s a good boy.” Gregori whispered praise as he flogged Speed, the praise sliding straight into Speed’s nerve centers without bothering to ask his brain for permission. He was a good boy. He was his master’s good pet. He was a good pet, and he was being rewarded.
“Stay.” The flogger stopped striking. Speed didn’t move, not so much as to shift his knees. Even without the order, he wasn’t sure he could.
The cool cloth stroked over his back, between his legs, down his thighs, soothing the irritation, catching on a few places where the flogger had broken skin. The catches stung, and Speed found his breath coming fast again, little panting keening sounds around the gag.
“That’s my good boy. That’s a good pet.” Gregori clipped a leash to Speed’s collar, and dropped the other end over the bed post. “Get settled, pet. Try to get comfortable.”
Speed pried his hands off of the bedpost and straightened his legs slowly, wondering if his body would move. It would have to, of course. The orders did not care if his body wanted to obey. The orders would be obeyed.
Slowly, he stretched out onto his blanket, face down, his arms under his face. Comfortable, or as much so as he was going to get.
His master patted his butt gently. “Sleep, Speed. You’re such a delicious sub.”
“Yes, Master.” His words were garbled around the gag and he did not care. He was a delicious sub. He was a good pet. And if his master wanted him, sometimes, to try to be Speed, too, well, then he would try to be Speed, too. That was what his Master was telling him.
Saturday, January 31, 2004
Saturdays were still weird.
They were, slowly, getting less weird, or, at least, they had been. But then Valerian had gone and put a monkey wrench in his comfortable pattern of mostly ignoring his Keeper on the weekends.
(It worked, as long as he didn’t have any reason to leave the suite).
He sat at his desk, reading over his list of standing orders. He had read this page so many times that the edges of the page were starting to get worn, looking, as he was today, for loopholes.
She was good, his Keeper. There wasn’t a loop to be found anywhere in the list, or, if there was, he wasn’t smart enough to find it.
“What are you trying to get away with this time?” Ciara looked up from her own homework.
‘Deus flinched. “Noth…” He knew better. “Homework.”
That, damnit, got her attention. She put her book down and peered at him across the room. “You’re trying to get away with… your homework?”
“Yeah.” He sighed. Might as well tell her; it wasn’t any fun for either of them when she dragged it out of him. “Valerian gave us a multiple-choice assignment. “
“That doesn’t sound hard.”
“It’s multiple-choice for which assignment we want to do.” He glared at his notebook. “I hate doing research. I just don’t know if I hate doing cleaning more.”
“Cleaning? Your choices are research or cleaning?” She was walking over now, ack, she didn’t do that. She had her patterns, and this wasn’t when she… Amadeus’ brain did a strange series of flip flops as she leaned in to look at his notebook, coincidentally pressing her shoulder against his. “I’m surprised there’s a decision to be made.”
He looked down at her. “Hunh. Me, too.” He had fought her every step of the way when it came to cleaning around the suite. He’d lost, of course, but he could at least say he’d put up a fight. He cleared his throat. It was a decision, wasn’t it? And nobody else was making it.
“I suppose decisions are getting to be novel. I’ve heard that can happen when you’re Kept.”
That was too close to what he’d been thinking. ‘Deus twitched, and leaned away from her touch. “You’d know, wouldn’t you? You wrote all those decisions for me.”
“I did.” She refused to get angry at him, no matter what he did. It was like he didn’t matter at all. “I’m not writing anything for this one.”
That was new. “Why not?”
“Why do I give you orders, Amadeus?”
“To put me in my place?” He got angry at her, on the other hand, all the time. Not that it did any good.
She set her finger on his nose. It felt… weird, and made him go cross-eyed. “No, Amie.” She pronounced it “ah-mee,” which didn’t make it feel any less demeaning. “No. You know better.”
“I do?” She moved her finger from his nose down to the notebook. His eyes followed the gesture. “I know these already, Key.”
“Reading them again won’t hurt you.”
That wasn’t an order, either. But he read them anyway. Do not seek to harm me, or to have someone else do me harm… do not willfully or through intentional neglect do damage to my Possessions… You may eat what you want, when you want it… unless given direct orders otherwise.”…
He looked up at her. “So some of those are to keep me from hurting you. Those make sense. I was pretty pissed off, when you won the challenge.”
“Was? Then?” She raised one stone-etched eyebrow at him.
Amadeus thought about it, and nodded, slowly. “Mostly, was. I mean, usually when I get mad at you now, it’s because you’re trying to get rid of me so you can do something dangerous.”
“I am cy’Luca, Amie.”
“Doesn’t make me like it any more.”
“I know. And I apologize for that.”
He stared at her, looking for the trick. “You what?”
She leaned in and pressed her lips to his cheek. Amadeus didn’t dare move. “I apologize for sending you away when I’m doing dangerous things. But if I don’t, you glower, and glare, and hover.”
“I’m supposed to protect you!” He didn’t mean to shout at her, but sometimes she just made him so mad. “How can I protect you if you stall me in the store with mile-long grocery lists while you go off hunting monsters?”
She shook her head. “I’m supposed to protect you. Remember?”
He touched the collar around his neck. “I remember.” He didn’t want to, but he didn’t really have a choice. “I’m yours. But Ciara, that’s not made for people like us…”
“Situations where the man is under the collar?”
“Situations where the person under the collar is older and stronger!” Damnit, how did she always make him yell? He glowered at her, frustrated. If she kept doing this to him, she was never going to give in and let him touch her. Or sleep with her.
She was frowning back at him, thoughtfully. “Okay. Give me your notebook.”
“What?” He passed the notebook over to her anyway. His anger had all transmuted to panic. How did she do that? And what was she going to do? The last order had been sort of irritating. What was… “What?” She was editing something already there. “What are you doing?”
Except hugs. She was editing one of the first orders on his list, Do not touch Ciara without her explicit permission. She was adding hugs.
She passed the notebook back to him. “It has nothing to do with what we’re talking about. The weekend is yours, as long as you stay within your other rules, you can come and go from my room and the suite as you want. And you can touch me for hugs without my permission.”
“It’s complicated.” She wrinkled her nose. “Meaning, I don’t particularly understand it myself. But you’re right. You’re stronger than I am. And… well, and.”
Amadeus looked down at the notebook. He hated it when girls didn’t make any sense. Especially the girl in charge of his life. “Hunh.” Well, only one thing to do with that. He put the notebook down and – carefully. So carefully. Not trying to restrict her at all, careful not to hurt her – he hugged her.
Addergoole: Year Nine updates every Wednesday evening EST. Want more?