tagSci-Fi & FantasyWilling Slave, Unwilling Master Ch. 11

Willing Slave, Unwilling Master Ch. 11


Hey all, I saw some commenters worried that this story had been abandoned. I promise I'm still writing, and I'm committed to finishing Dan and Rose's story. It's just taking me a little longer than I thought.

Thanks again to curiousvisitor for proofreading.


— — —


I swim through the azure blue water, gliding above a maze of brightly coloured coral. Suddenly from a hidden spot in one of the beautiful formations an octopus emerges, heading straight for me. I try and swim away, but my arms and legs no longer seem to work; I am paralyzed, only able to watch as the horrible creature attaches itself to my face, shoving its long slimy tentacles down my throat.

I wake with a start, gagging as I thrash against whatever is reaching down my throat; my vision is a blurred haze of light suddenly interrupted by a vague black shadow.

"Hey! Hey calm down!" a girl says, placing her hand firmly on my chest. "I need to take the tube out! Stay still!"

It's not my Master's voice, but something about the command registers with me. Despite feeling like I am going to die, I try and hold still as I can. Closing my eyes tight, I try not to panic as I experience the bizarre sensation of a tube being pulled from my throat. With a final cough the tube is gone and I can breathe again; I gasp great lungfuls of air.

"You've been asleep for two days longer than you should have been," the girl says with clear annoyance. I blink as she slowly comes into focus. Her platinum hair cascades down her shoulders and her eyes, like mine, are a bright forest green. I stare at her, confused; I was expecting a nurse, not another Lower Vil. Where am I? Where is my Master?

"I'm sorry, Miss," I say, feeling guilty for inconveniencing her despite the fact I have no control over being asleep.

"My name is Lucy," the girl says, straightening the white apron she is wearing over her purple sundress.

"I'm Rose," I reply, glad to be able to remember at least that much. "Where is my Master?" I ask, looking around the pale green room with a sense of ill-ease. Did I dream my wonderful owner? And Emily and everything else? Is that why I can't remember how I got here? But if I did dream them, then why am I not with Doctor Walker at the compound? What if that was a dream as well, what if my whole life was a dream and now I've woken up?

"My Master sent your Master away until you woke up," Lucy says simply, walking over and fluffing up the pillow, giving me an odd look. "How come your collar doesn't lock?" she asks, gesturing to the bedside table, where the black band of leather Master gave me glimmers in the sunlight.

My heart racing I reach for it, but stop abruptly as I notice a tube connected to a needle and taped into my hand. Tilting her head to one side Lucy picks up my collar handing it to me.

I take it, gratefully. "My Master says it's so I can take it off if I choose to." I reply, remembering that wonderful night and trying very hard to piece together what happened after.

"Why would you want to take your collar off?" she asks, reaching up to brush her fingertips across her own bare neck.

"I don't know," I admit, "I want to see my Master." I say again.

"I told you, he's not here," she answers in irritation. "Anyway, you belong to the Department of Inter-Species Relations now, not him."

The what? I shake my head, glaring at her. "No, I belong to my Master! And I want to see him!"

"It doesn't matter what you want," she sneers, "You are very disobedient."

"Master likes it when I'm disobedient!" I retort, almost sputtering with outrage. How can she accuse me of disobedience, she doesn't even know me!

"At least I have my collar," I say angrily, as I secure the black leather around my neck.

With a gasp Lucy takes a step back, covering her neck with her hands as if hiding her nudity. "Only because your owner is a bad Master!"

"No, your Master is a bad Master!" I shout, feeling the heat in my cheeks.

Lucy makes to answer back, but at that exact moment the door opens. We both look up as a suited man walks into the room, raising his eyebrows at us. With a yelp Lucy sinks to her knees, and I bow my head, recognising a Master when I see one.

"Lucy, that was not very polite," he scolds, as his slave trembles under his gaze.

"I'm sorry, Master," she says mournfully, "She said you were a bad Master, Master."

"So I heard," he says, gently helping her to her feet with a soft smile, an action that reminds me of my own Master and makes my heart ache. "I had hoped you two would be friends?"

Lucy nods, turning to me. "I'm sorry for being rude, Rose, please forgive me."

I glower at her, trying to work out if this is a real apology or one brought on to please her Master. In the end I nod, "I'm sorry, too," I say, before turning to the man. "I want to see my Master! What have you done to him?"

"Well, now," he looks a little taken aback. "Aren't you the outspoken little thing."

I feel my resolve crumbling, but with the reassuring weight of my collar around my neck I look up and directly into his eyes. "I want to see my Master," I say, my voice shaking a little.

"I gathered as much," he says, picking up a chair and carrying it over to my bedside. "I've made the call. Mr Fallow should be here in a few hours." He sits down and pulls a shamefaced Lucy onto his lap. She nuzzles his neck, causing me to look away, wishing I could do the same with my owner.

"Did you hurt my Master?" I ask, my fear of punishment overwhelmed by the fire burning brightly in my chest, the determination to see my owner again, to kiss him, to cuddle with him. Is this what all his training has done to me? Bound me to him so completely, so irreversibly, manipulating me without me realising, so that now I can't bear the thought of life without him? Or is this something I've done to myself? Is this what those girls in Master's movies experienced? Is this what love feels like?

"Not personally, no," the man says with a resigned tone. "But I was the one to order your arrests. Though harming him, or you, was never my intent."

"We went to a hotel," I say, as the slow stream of returning memories becomes a rushing torrent.

The man nods, "Yes, we didn't want to arrest you at your home; it would have drawn too much attention."

"My Master didn't do anything wrong," I say quickly, "He's kind and wonderful."

Lucy emerges from her Master's neck and stares at me, an odd frown on her face as her Master replies. "I'm sure he is, but had we not interfered, you would have become very sick."

"I don't feel sick," I say, determined to keep this rebellious inner fire lit as long as I can.

"Well, that rather points to our success in the matter doesn't it?" he says laughing softly, before his face turns serious. "There is however something we need to talk about. Tell me, did you see a doctor while you were at the compound...?"

— — —


I walk home from school under the gloomy cloud that has been my constant companion since losing Rose. It has been five days since I last saw her, five days since a bag was placed over my head and I was driven back to the motel parking lot to be reunited with my father's miraculously undamaged car.

Rose should have been awake days ago and I have no idea what this agonising delay means. Is she still sick? Is she dead? Is she alive and well, but Mr X has decided against me seeing her? Was anything he said even true? I haven't been able to find anything on the anti-aging work that Rose allegedly underwent, which doesn't mean nothing happened to my slave girl while she was at the compound. But it leaves me guessing, and becoming increasingly anxious that I may never see her again.

Add to this the fact that I have to lie to my friends, while speaking out of earshot of any technology with my parents, coupled with the fact that I'm either paranoid or I'm still being followed, and it's like my entire world has dissolved into some kind of horrific nightmare.

Hoisting my backpack higher onto my shoulder I spare a glance for the same small jewellery store where I bought Rose her collar. My promise to keep and care for her lasted less than twelve hours. Turning away sharply I take a shortcut through one of the numerous alleys that criss-cross the city.

Suddenly an anti-grav SUV appears at the end of the alley, the back door opens and before I have time to register what is happening, I am being yanked inside by a huge pair of hands. The door swings shut as the car speeds away. Throwing my weight against the door I pull at the handle with all my might, but it is firmly locked. With panic rising rapidly in my chest, I give up on the door and instead look up at a grimly familiar face.

"Evenin'," the man, who resembles a cross between a rhino and a small munitions factory, says from his seat beside me. The last time we saw each other he had just 'accidentally' dropped a box from his hover trolley, nearly crushing me. And then... memories of the event slowly filter back to me. And then he shook my right hand - of course - sneakily reading my ident chip.

The man in the front of the car contrasts the giant in the back completely, slim, short and bald, he reminds me of a lizard given human form. He looks over his shoulder giving me a gold-toothed grin.

Who are these people? Are they working with Mr X? No, he has the power of the enforcers behind him. Whoever this mismatched pair are, I doubt they work for any government agency. Great, just great.

"Can I help you?" I say, trying to sound conversational despite my growing panic.

"You hear that?" the man in the front snorts. "He wants to help."

The big man smirks, "Yeah lad, you can help." He reaches into his pocket, "We need some help finding some lost friends of ours. We figure you might know where they are." Taking a folded tablet from his pocket he swipes the screen, holding up the device for me to see. I was expecting to see a picture of Rose, but instead the man displayed on the screen is strangely familiar.

"Wait," I say, "That's Ernie, I can't remember his last name, but he's friends with my dad."

The two men share a look, before the big one looks at me, "So you know him well?"

"Not really, we've only met once, last Christmas," I lie smoothly, trying to think of a way out of this situation as we pull into more free-moving traffic.

"Last Christmas, huh?" the man in the front replies, "See, here's the thing. Before poor old Ernie went missing, he stole something from some associates of ours. Show him, Vin."

Vin flicks his large finger across the phone, bringing up an image of Rose, clearly taken before she was sold to my father. "You recognise her?" he asks with a grunt.

"Never seen her before in my life," I say, probably a little too quickly. "Who is she?"

"Don't play dumb with us," big Vin growls.

"Yeah, we know you know the girl," the diver pipes up, "Ernie, whose last name is Richardson by the way, stole her from our associates before selling her to your father. We want her back and we want to know where Ernie is hiding."

"Or what?" I say, "Even if I knew her, I wouldn't help thugs like you kidnap her. And good luck torturing me without setting off the medical alert in my ident chip. I have a shockingly low pain tolerance."

Both men burst out laughing, the driver laughs so hard the car almost strays into another lane and is only saved by the on-board computer, which thankfully is paying much more attention to the road than the lizard up front.

"Even with the chip there's still a response time boy, that's plenty of time for us," Vin says, cracking his oversized knuckles.

"Now-now Vin, no need for all that," the driver says, finally recovering from his laughing fit. "See the thing is, Mr Fallow, we know all kinds of things about you. We know about your little friends, Theodore, Jasper and sweet Claire, we know you all have presumptive places at that fancy university over in the Eastern Hub, we know who your dad works for, and your mum and your sister."

Vin is grinning now, like a shark that can smell blood.

"We know this stuff because our associate knows this stuff. It's a rosy little future you've got worked out, and our associate can take that away from you in a heartbeat. We can put your family out on the street, and your friends to boot. Hell, Vin here will help you move whatever you have left after our associate is done with you, to the sidewalk. So you see boy, we don't need to beat you, shit, we don't need to touch you." He grins at me in the rear view mirror, his gold tooth glinting. "And the best thing about what we can do to you is that it's not even a crime, at least, not one that you could ever prove."

"Fuck you," I reply, knowing he has me trapped. It isn't a secret that the corporations behind compounds are powerful, but could they really have the power to deny university places and get people fired? Or is the question less what they can do, and more what they would be willing to do? They are desperate to get Rose back under their control. The cost of a few crooked favours and perhaps a new wing at the university is nothing compared to what they would lose, should the truth of what Rose is ever comes out.

The grin disappears from Vin's ape like face and he looks to the front, as if asking permission to hit me.

Shaking his head the driver pulls over to the side of the road. "So, I take it you're not ready to tell us what we want to know boy?" he asks.

"I'm not telling you anything," I say defiantly.

"Well, then you better think long and hard about what that girl is worth to you and to your friends and family." He passes me a card much like the one Ernie gave me when he was trying to buy back Rose. "You have until the end of the week. Not having Ernie we can work with, but there are to be no negotiations concerning the girl, clear?"

"Perfectly," I say with barely suppressed rage, placing my hand on the door handle. With a wink at his partner the driver pushes a button on the dashboard and the door unlocks. I jump out of the car without looking back, hurrying quickly down the first alley I see, determined to lose my kidnappers before they can change their minds.

Dammit, this is bad. There's no guarantee that I'm ever going to see Rose again, but even if I do, if I don't hand her over to those two slime balls by the end of the week, then my life is going to explode like a nuclear bomb, and worse, I'm going to take down everyone close to me as well. On the other hand, Rose might decide to go on this suicidal mission back to the compound, which, if she fails, will leave me without her and holds no promise that those thugs or their associates won't ruin my life anyway, purely for the inconvenience I have caused them.

The only possible way of getting out of this with Rose is for her to go back to the compound, and somehow bring down a multi-billion credit organisation. A mighty tall order for someone who can barely dress herself.

I follow two more alleyways, not really knowing, nor caring, where I am. I can work out details like that when I'm safe. I emerge at last onto what counts in the hub for a quiet service road, spotlessly clean like the rest of the city; it must be used for dropping off goods to the back doors of the businesses on either side.

Resting my hands on my knees I catch my breath. Stars when did this become my life? The sound of low hum causes me to look up, as an anti-grav enforcement van glides down the street, coming to a neat stop in front of me. This can't be a coincidence. My heart starts to hammer in my chest. Am I finally going to see Rose?

The door of the van opens revealing two black-visored enforcers. I wonder if it would make these guys feel better if I told them I had an awful memory for faces. With the general dispassion I have come to expect from law enforcement, the men step out of the van.

"Good afternoon," I say, deciding to try politeness, not that that has worked for me in the past. "Have you com-," I feel a sharp prick in my neck, and manage to catch a glimpse of the enforcer who snuck up behind me before the world goes dark.

— — —

I wake up with a groan, feeling the entire world gently vibrating under me. Sitting up I experience an all too familiar feeling of distorted time as I find myself in an enclosed place, lit only with a single green light panel. Where the fuck am I? Bloody enforcers, well, at least they haven't cuffed me this time. Stretching out my legs I pull myself over to one of the cold metal walls. I must be inside the enforcement van; that at least would explain the vibrations.

It doesn't explain much else, though. Like, why the hell did they drug me, am I being taken to see Rose or to my execution. What if I'm not in a van at all, but on a ship currently hurtling through space? What if I'm being handed over to the Vil for my alleged crimes? Oh stars, no, any race that has vampire fangs and slave breeding joint ventures are unlikely to have any qualms about cruel and unusual punishments.

"You're awake."

The voice shakes me from my brewing panic attack as part of the wall phases, giving me a clear view into the rest of the enforcement van and mercifully a look out at the bright blue sky, twice tinted by the layers of glass. Thank the stars, we're still on Earth, or at least only a few feet above it.

"Did you really need to drug me?" I ask the black visor that appears outside the window. "I was hardly resisting."

"Standard procedure," the enforcer shrugs, "And anyway you've slept through most of the boring trip; you would think you would be grateful."

"Grateful?" I sputter, outraged.

"Just a thought. Anyway, we are fifteen minutes out; you should probably try and make yourself look presentable," he says with obvious amusement as his section of wall phases back and the ceiling above me becomes perfectly transparent, showing a sky tinged with reds and oranges, the beginning of sunset.

Rubbing my eyes with my hands I try to work out how many hours I have been out, but my head is too rattled. With a resigned sigh I lean back against the wall, wondering what the hell happens next.

— — —

The sky is replaced by pale concrete as we pull into what must be an underground loading bay. I sit up as the van comes to a halt, rocking from side to side as the other passengers disembark.

The back door opens, and I am greeted by two assault rifles pointed directly at my face. Stars know what these people do when they encounter an actual criminal.

"Out," one of the men demands, gesturing with his gun as if I needed help with the finer details of his request.

Not needing to be told twice, I clamber out of the back of the van. I manage to register briefly the size of the underground parking area, before my two armed guards are herding me around the van, where yet another armed guard is standing next to a familiar girl.

She inclines her head. "Hello, Sir, I'm Lucy, we met the last time you were here," she says politely.

"I remember," I reply, eyeing the spotted markings under her ears, "I want to see Rose," I tell her, taking a step forward.

"Yes, Sir," she nods, "Please, follow me."

Shocked by how readily my request was accepted and suspecting a trap, I nervously approach her. Lucy gives me an odd look, before turning on her heel and presenting her palm to a panel beside a set of solid blast doors built into the concrete; they swing open with a hiss.

Falling into step beside her, I don't miss the fact that the three guards are following us, but everyone seems more relaxed than the last time I was here. I allow myself a moment of silent hope that things might actually turn out okay for once.

No one speaks as we stroll down the white corridor, nevertheless I notice Lucy continuously looking over at me, before averting her gaze quickly, playing with the hem of her pale violet summer dress.

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