|janecarnall (janecarnall) wrote,|
@ 2008-10-19 12:52:00
|Entry tags:||games, keptverse|
The Games: Part Two
This story is fanfic written in poisontaster's Keptverse. Further explanation and links here, as well as Part One. There is the beginnings of a cast list here.
The room got crowded awfully suddenly: Kimble had been in a sleepy daze for what felt like hours, broken only by Benton walking him to the lavatory. Between one blink and the next there were seven people in the room, and everyone was talking. Kimble sat still, no longer at risk of falling asleep, but too confused to try to make sense of the scraps of conversation he overheard.
But he knew when the driver – Sam – came in, because all conversation halted, as swiftly as if Sam had used a knife. The others who were sitting were getting to their feet, so, trying not to make it look awkward, Kimble got up too. His legs ached from sitting still so long. Before he could turn and face Sam, he felt a hand to his shoulder pushing him back down again.
“Everyone here?” Sam didn’t sound as if he was waiting for an answer. “Good, good. It’s been a long day, I’m not going to keep you. This is Richard.” Sam had moved to stand behind him, hand on either shoulder. He wasn’t gripping hard. “He belongs to me. He's not allowed outside the house, not on any excuse, without my permission. For the time being, he can go anywhere he likes in the house, except for the office and the workrooms. Okay?”
Kimble kept his face forward and his expression blank by an effort of will. There was a little rush of murmur round the room, but no one said anything out loud. They were all looking at him, all of them: Adam and Benton looked impersonal, as if they’d already figured it out: Dana looked startled: Ray was looking as if someone had slapped him: an older man with red hair faded to sand looked disapproving, though it might just have been the shape of his mouth: Willow… wasn’t looking at him at all, her face turned down towards her hand on the arm of the man next to her, who was looking at him assessingly, as if wondering what he was good for.
“If he gives any of you any shit, let me know and I'll deal with him.” Sam’s hands were pressing firmly down on his shoulders now. “If it can't wait, immobilise him. But if I see any damage on Richard beyond maybe light bruises, I'm not going to be happy. Okay?" There was an odd emphasis, not quite a slur, not quite sarcasm, on light.
“Any questions?” Sam’s hands were still there.
“What time do you want us here tomorrow?” Ray asked. His voice held strain: Benton glanced at him, and looked back at Kimble.
“I don’t, it’s Sunday, everything’s quiet, you got the day off. Nine o’clock Monday morning. Any more questions?” Silence. “Okay, go home.”
It didn’t take two minutes for everyone to be gone from the room. Kimble sat still. Sam’s hands hadn’t hurt, but they had gripped him. It seemed that he wasn’t going back to the arena tonight. Outside the room where he sat with his owner’s hands on his shoulders, doors opened and closed, people called arrangements, and not much more than five minutes from the room emptying, Kimble heard three cars drive off, one after the other. When the last one went, Sam let go of him, and walked round the table to sit down, facing Kimble.
“I bought your contract,” Sam said.
Kimble nodded. Sam must be about his height – Willow had said so – a stocky, brutal-looking man with dark hair and brown eyes, stubble marking his face. He spoke abruptly, with barely a trace of accent.
“I don’t own anyone else right now. I don’t live with anyone, though sometimes my kids stay over. That’s my team, my employees - I don’t have children. Can you cook?”
Kimble hesitated. He did not suppose that Sam had been to the trouble of buying a convict from the arena to have a domestic servant.
Sam said, impatiently, “Yes or no, don’t just nod.”
“Yes,” Kimble said. It had been nearly five years since he had been in a kitchen, but Sam must know that. “Yes, sir.”
“Call me Sam. I didn’t buy you to cook or run the cleaning machines. You can make yourself useful, though.” Sam seemed to hesitate, but said baldly, “I bought you because I was planning on having sex with you.”
This wasn’t a surprise. Kimble nodded. After a moment he added “Yes, sir – Sam.” There was nothing else to be said. In three years he had been made use of by more than one person, but not often: there were rules about the free arena staff interfering with the workers. Sam’s hands on his shoulders were a solid memory.
“You don’t have to say yes,” Sam said.
That did surprise Kimble: but he said nothing.
“What I mean is: I’m not expecting you to be enthusiastic about this from the get-go, but if you can’t deal with this side of things at all, you might as well go someplace else. Tell me now, I’m not going to take it personally.”
He didn’t say what he might do to Kimble, quite impersonally, for saying No to him: but then he didn’t have to. Kimble said gravely, “I can deal with it,” and wondered what he would have to do tonight, and realised too late that “I can deal with it” wasn’t the most flattering response to an offer of sex.
This wasn’t an offer. This was instruction. Deal with it.
His owner hadn’t taken offense, which was something. He had given one quick nod, and sat contemplating Kimble for a long moment. “You’ve had sex with guys before.”
“Before you went to jail?”
He understood what Sam was asking. “I’m not heterosexual.” He wasn’t feeling sexual at all, right now, but he could remember what it was like to be attracted to people.
“You’ve had sex with guys before?” Sam said again, this time definitely as a question.
“Yeah.” Twice, both times a long time ago.
“While you were married?”
“No,” Kimble said. They had had body slaves – of course – but by mutual agreement, he and Helen… Kimble’s mind flinched back from that. He kept his face still, and put his hands together, palm to palm, out of sight below the table. He tried to keep his voice steady. “We were monogamous.”
“So at least twenty-three years ago.”
Kimble kept his hands together in his lap. Of course Sam would have looked up his records. You’d be a fool to buy a convict without doing that, and Sam didn’t seem to be a fool.
Sam got to his feet. “I’m going to make us something to eat. Then we’re going to have a drink. Then we’re going to bed.” He paused. “We’ll talk more tomorrow. What did Benton make you – a sandwich?”
“Pasta with cheese and bacon.”
Sam’s eyebrows lifted and he grinned, making an amused gargoyle mask out of his face. “He got Ray to do the cooking, didn’t he?”
“Anything you don’t eat?”
Kimble shook his head.
“Good.” Sam paused. “I paid to have you tested. You’re clean.”
Blood samples were taken every month. Arena workers were generally very healthy when they died.
“Thank you,” Kimble said, after a moment.
“You’re welcome,” Sam said, after another moment. His eyes glanced away from Kimble before he grinned: it was a private, sarcastic smile, some kind of humour not to be shared. When Sam stood up and went to the freezer, Kimble wondered after a moment whether he should get up and help – but at the first sound of the chair scraping back, Sam turned, holding a container from the freezer in one hand and a pack of frozen tortillas in the other.
“Richard,” he said, and Kimble stilled. There was a warning note in that one word.
Sam turned back, closed the freezer door, put the pack of tortillas down on the counter and the container in the microwave and set it to defrost, and only then looked at Kimble again.
“I’ll set some ground rules tomorrow,” he said. “You look too damn tired tonight to take anything more in. But get this: I am not a guy who gets off on beating up on people. I don’t plan on causing you any unnecessary pain. But don’t give me any shit, Richard, because I will not take any kind of shit from you. Just sit there. I don’t want anything else from you right now.”
Kimble nodded. He had never had anything to do with the discipline of household slaves – never in his former life. Sitting here in this kitchen, with this man putting together a meal for two with swift, accustomed movements, it didn’t feel like being a household slave.
But it had to. Because that was exactly what he was. His shift would have started half an hour ago: the first victims of the arena would have just begun to arrive in the triage room, some to be fixed, some to be let alone, some to be let die. Three years was far longer than most arena-sentenced convicts survived. However long Kimble could endure the regime of eight hours on, eight hours off, that was the length of his life – until he could no longer endure it: until he too was fed into the arena to die.
Sam wanted to have sex with him. He would be a household slave at least until Sam no longer wanted… him. Kimble sat still, watching Sam. He had affairs with other students when he was in college, and with soldiers back when he was serving: and he had taken the usual offers of body slaves when it was polite… and that last was what he needed to remember, not sex with equals. They had been trained, skilled, almost like creatures from another world, instantly receptive and immediately responsive.
If Sam wanted that – Kimble told himself, crushing the shake of fear between his hands – he could have bought that. He wants …me. He wants what he wants from me. Okay. He was tired, not sleepy, just full of exhaustion that wouldn’t go away: ahead of him was a meal with Sam, a drink, and sex. Once Sam had come, Kimble could sleep. That was as far ahead as he could plan right now.
“We’ll be eating in five,” Sam said. “Bathroom break.” He gestured: Kimble got up. He didn’t think he needed it but he wasn’t about to argue. Benton had walked him to the staff lavatory and waited outside: Sam took him by the arm and pushed him in ahead. “You can’t be piss-shy,” he said, as for a moment Kimble wondered if he could. And whether he was going to have to do this again.
His owner didn’t act like he was getting off on this. He didn’t pay attention. He washed his hands, pushed Kimble at the sink for him to wash his, and walked Kimble back again to the kitchen.
The chilli Sam served them both was hot and good: Kimble found he couldn’t eat much of it. The pasta earlier had been more of a meal than he was used to, and he wanted very much to have this over with. Sam ate with appetite, not saying much. He kept glancing over the table at Kimble, not with attraction, at least not with anything Kimble could read as attraction, but with a kind of assessing wariness.
When he’d cleared his plate, Sam looked at Kimble’s, still half full, and settled back in his chair with his fingers tucked together over his stomach. “Take your time.”
Kimble pushed his plate away. “I’m done.”
Sam didn’t move. “Eat up. I’m in no rush.”
“Is it okay if I don’t?”
“Something wrong with my cooking?” Sam sounded amused.
“No,” Kimble said. Sam seemed to appreciate bluntness. “I’d rather have the drink you promised and go to bed with you.” He managed half a smile.
Sam nodded, thoughtfully. He didn’t say anything. He picked up the plates, scraped Kimble’s into the disposal unit, and stacked the dishes in the washer. The leftovers went, methodically, into the fridge. He did it all as if used to it – the kind of kitchen work a domestic slave would do. He didn’t tell Kimble to do anything.
“Let’s have that drink, then,” Sam said at last.
To Part 3