No Refunds, part 2
Previous - this entry written on February 20, 2008 at 12:17 pm - Next

I reached the library door several seconds before Kieran and slipped through it, nudging it open with my shoulder and hip as I passed, making sure it would be open when he arrived. Beyond that, I didn't bother doing anything else to announce him, just scuttled straight to Sarah and pressed my face against her legs, cuddling up against them as if I were a frightened puppy. As I'd hoped, this amused her enough that by the time Kieran was standing before her my head was on her lap, her hand in my hair, and she hadn't noticed the handprint on my cheek.

"Well? What do you think of him?"

"A bit slow on the uptake, perhaps, but I can tell he's already learned quite a bit. You're a good teacher, Sarah."

Soft laughter on her part, then, "Thank you, you flatter me as always. So are you still willing to keep an eye on my pets while I'm gone?"

"Of course. Same rules as always?"

"No blood, food and water as long as they behave, clean the litter box once, no parties, help yourself to anything in the fridge."

My head had lifted slightly at the mention of pets, then settled back down when he talked about the litter box - she must have changed her mind about bringing me, I thought, and had asked him to come keep an eye on her two cats. That idea was rubbed out of existence a moment later.

"He's never been with anyone but me before, so be somewhat gentle with him. I want him in one piece."

"Of course. Don't I always take good care of your pets for you?" His voice still had that warmth, oddly comforting, and a strange contrast to the sudden shock of cold I felt running down my spine. I raised my head again, this time turning to look at Sarah, too frightened to remember to keep my eyes down. Unfortunately, she saw not only that slip, but the handprint on my cheek as well. She pushed me away and I flinched, nearly falling back against Kieran, then skittering away from him to settle equidistant between the two of them, trembling. I knew quite well just how quickly my Owner's amusement could turn to displeasure and how swiftly punishment would follow.

"Boy, what did you do to earn the slap?"

I started to answer, about to confess to all of the errors I'd made, when he cut me off.

"I just wanted to make it clear from the get-go that I was in charge, hon. He didn't do anything wrong; he was even opening the door by the time I started to knock a second time, I nearly knocked on his nose."

I snuck a glance up at him in time to catch him smiling down at me, perfectly calm, looking for all the world as if he was telling nothing but the truth. This time I did look at her when I spoke, careful to keep my words to something that would sound like begging, one of the only times when I was allowed to raise my eyes.

"Please, Mistress, your pet no doubt will do something to deserve the slap soon if he hasn't already, but he tries to be a good boy..." I let my voice trail off into a tiny whimper, wriggling in lieu of wagging the tail I didn't have. As I'd hoped, this won me a smile and the slightest of nods, indicating forgiveness.

"I'm sure you'll earn it and more by the time the day's over, little one. Still, I can see you're doing your best to obey, and that is enough to please me. So you know, Kieran will be staying here while I'm gone, pet-sitting. You are to do whatever he commands, to please him as you would me, and if when I come back he says you've been a well-behaved slaveboy, I might even give you a treat."

I squirmed again, smiling in earnest; when Sarah decided I deserved a treat she always managed to find something that thrilled me, the perfect little gift, or some time spent just playing, being friends rather than Mistress and slave. Whatever my prize was to be, I knew I would enjoy it...

...and that if I failed to earn it, my punishment would be as unpleasant as the prize would be pleasant.

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