tagNonHumanA Lesson in Decorum Ch. 05

A Lesson in Decorum Ch. 05


Calvin felt the water hit him and he leapt from the cot, his lips curled in a snarl as he let out a growl and hiss. He started to shift, but stopped as he saw Ramirez standing there. There was barely any light from the hallway, but his eyes could definitely make out the shape of the slimy bastard.

"Boss wants to see you," Ramirez said flatly. He held the bucket awkwardly and Calvin watched the remaining water drip onto the floor in a steady stream. He didn't seem to care.

"I have a client?" Calvin asked. He knew it was far past the usual time, but there was a chance that someone had enough credits to cover an hour or so in his company. There were junkies that needed a fix no matter the length of time. One hour with him wasn't cheap, but it was satisfying.

"He wants to see you," Ramirez repeated. He shrugged. "That's all I know."

Calvin grumbled but reached over to grab his pants. He forced them on, growling slightly as the water made them much more difficult to slip on.

"Hurry up," Ramirez said. His voice sounded odd, distant. It sounded small.

"I'm hurrying. It's not easy to put these damned things on, you know." He expected a smirk, a rude remark, maybe even a shock, but there was nothing.

Calvin finished slipping them over his hips and looked at Ramirez's face as he worked the laces. Ramirez had never been kind. In fact, he always looked angry, sadistic, but that was not what he saw. No, Ramirez looked odd and Calvin could not place the expression no matter how hard he tried.

"Is something wrong?" he asked. He didn't really care, but he could sense something wasn't just right. Perhaps a member of Ramirez's family was sick. Or maybe he had gotten into trouble for the incident with Bull. Whatever it was, his expression had Calvin worried.

Ramirez didn't answer and turned, walking back to the door. "Let's go."

Calvin obliged and fell in behind him. Their dorms were far away from the Meeting Rooms and it was obvious. The Meeting Rooms, where they met clients, were furnished with plush beds, carpet, air conditioning and heat, all the things that humans enjoyed and expected. The dorms were just the opposite. Calvin's feet walked along the metal floors that he was accustomed to, but he still felt his skin dot with goosebumps as he did. It was freezing and drafty which added to the almost sterile decor that surrounded them. There was little color, a chair here and there with red vinyl, but everything else was black, white, or stainless. There were no pictures, no books, nothing to make it feel like a home. The lack of books made sense, though. Shifters weren't allowed to learn, to read. That would just make them more dangerous, after all.

They walked in silence, moving down the long, winding halls past the numerous doors. Most of the other Shifters had clients, their rates far more reasonable, but he could see quite a few of them through the tiny windows in their doors. The ones not working were all sleeping soundly, something he envied greatly.

Calvin started to pay closer attention to his surroundings. He knew every inch of the halls, walking them often and frequently. However, he wasn't heading to the showers. They always cleaned him before and after every encounter. They had always pointed out that they didn't want him to smell like an animal and turn off a potential repeat customer. It had always upset him, but he had long ago learned to expect it. No, he was heading directly to the office area.

"Where are we going?" he asked Ramirez. He needed clarification. He could have been mistaken. Perhaps he was heading somewhere completely different, after all. It would make a lot more sense in the end.

"I told ya. The boss wants to see you."

"But if I have a client, I need to shower." Calvin felt his brow tighten. Things weren't making any sense, after all. "I don't want to..."

"You ain't got a client," Ramirez grumbled. The man looked over his shoulder at Calvin and Calvin could see the unidentifiable look change slightly. "Just come on."

"Ramirez, what's..." He had seen the look before, but never from Ramirez. Pity. Pure, identifiable pity

"Stop asking so many damned questions. Fuck man! We're almost there."

Calvin closed his mouth and kept walking. Ramirez had always been a dick to him. More than a dick, really. He had been a merciless bastard that seemed to enjoy it when Calvin received punishments. He actually seemed to enjoy inflicting them.

Knowing that, seeing his face, caused Calvin to worry more. He was going to be punished for sure. It was his own fault, really. He hadn't wanted to mount Melanie, he had practically forced Ramirez to interfere with Bull. It had been building for a while and his owner would most likely need to teach him a lesson.

A lesson.

That's what he called it, what most owners called it. When they acted up, when they stopped obeying blindly, they were taught new lessons. Humans couldn't permanently hurt a Shifter, their healing far too advanced for that. However, there were ways. Shifter bones, silver, all those things could leave permanent injury. They could hurt one another, after all. That's why the Pits were such a spectacle. Seeing two Shifters rip each other limb from limb always brought out the bloodthirsty members of the human population.

Then it hit him. Fuck. That's why Bull had been brought in. Damn it. He was going to be punished severely for his disobedience. He tried to think of everything he had done. Yes, he had disobeyed a bit, but did he deserve scarring? Considering how Ramirez was acting, he obviously did. Or at least the owner thought so.

His feet wanted to slow, but he fought the urge. He couldn't show fear. If he did, that meant the humans had yet another hold over him. Instead, Calvin tightened his jaw and continued to walk forward. He could take anything they could dish out. He wouldn't let them break him, frighten him. That was one thing they would never do again.

When they finally reached the heavy door of the office, he had completely focused himself on the task at hand. He would accept his lesson, his punishment, and he would do it without complaint. He wouldn't cry out or scream, no matter what they did to him. The owner wouldn't dare mar his face, after all. Calvin was worth too much on the open market. He knew for a fact that the man had paid out the ass to buy him when he was last for sale. If there was one thing he had learned from his years as a human pet, it was that they didn't like to part with their "things".

"Here we go," Ramirez almost whispered. He stopped at the door, not motioning for his control or even turning. He didn't push the door open either. Instead, he stood there with his hand shaking, the muscles in his neck extremely tight.

"Ramirez?" Calvin asked shakily.

"I'm sorry, Calvin," he whispered.

His tone shocked Calvin and he felt the sensation of ice running up his spine. If Ramirez was apologizing, it couldn't be anything good on the other side of that door. He was going to be executed. Would they do that? To what? Make an example out of him?

"For what?" Calvin heard his own voice crack and he had to strengthen his resolve. He didn't want to crack. Not at that moment at least.

"I'm... I'm just sorry." He turned and met Calvin's eyes and for the first time, Calvin could see that facade crumble. He was a scared man, terrified of the world he lived in, of the position that he was in. He wasn't powerful, he wasn't wealthy. He was small in stature and short on intellect. He was lucky that he wasn't relegated to cleaning up the sewers. In that moment, however, Calvin saw that he was just a man like he was. He didn't turn into an animal, he could go home, have a family, but he was no different. And in that moment, he could see that he was genuinely feeling pity for Calvin.

"It's not..."

"Come in, Calvin," the owner's voice interrupted from the speaker near the door. "You may go, Ramirez."

"Yes, sir," Ramirez said quickly. He turned from the door, no longer looking in Calvin's direction. In fact, his pace sped up and distantly Calvin could hear him break into a soft jog in an effort to leave the area quickly.

"Well, that's less than comforting," Calvin grumbled as he took a step forward. He took a deep breath, one that wasn't shaky in the least. He didn't really care what they did to him. If they killed him, it would be over. That was at least some consolation. If he was dead, he would never be hurt, he would no longer be a pet. Death, in truth, would be the only way that he could be truly free.

He took one more breath and held it as he turned the door knob, finding his owner, the man that owned the brothel, the man that owned his collar, staring at him with a smile that could only be described as sadism given physical form.

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by Anonymous

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by Anonymous01/17/19

Start to a great story, but as it is now, you've left your readers wondering, and not in a good way. Not cool. This is why I do not like to read chapters to unfinished stories. 😢

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by Anonymous06/22/18


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by Anonymous05/20/18


Please write the next chapter!!!

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by Anonymous03/21/18

I’ve been waiting months for this.

Please.... continue

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