Pairing: Liam Neeson/Orlando Bloom, minor Liam/Johnny Depp, plus a few other pair-ups among the supporting characters.
Rating: NC-17 overall
Summary: Slave Orlando's been taken and the kidnappers aren't interested in ransom. And of course Master Liam's thundering rage is only at the personal insult, that someone would disrespect him by daring to touch his property.
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone you recognize. I know nothing about their social lives or sexual activities, more's the pity. This is fiction, period. It is done as a labor of love and I make no money from it.
Notes: 1) Set in poisontaster's Kept Boy universe -- FAQ here. See Chapter 1 for more notes.
Previous Chapters: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six
By the time Orlando was shoved into a cell on the display corridor -- a small, bare room about six feet square with a glass wall at the front and a concrete bench along one side -- he felt as if he'd been drugged again. He knew he hadn't, or assumed he hadn't, but he could only vaguely perceive what went on around him. He had enough awareness to respond properly to stimulus when necessary, but otherwise it was like he was trapped inside his skull. Or maybe hiding there. It was safer inside, with as much of his conscious self as possible focused inward, ignoring what happened to him, to his surface, to his body.
He sat on one end of the bench and leaned against the walls with is eyes closed. The bench wasn't long enough to stretch out on, so propping himself up in the corner was the next best thing. All he wanted to do was wait, daydream, zone out. If he could only learn to do it right, it'd be like he didn't exist at all. That'd be perfect.
Some length of time went by, probably not too much since no one had come with lunch or even water, but eventually he heard a tap on the glass. He looked up and saw a middle-aged woman standing out in the corridor, looking in at him.
When she saw she had his attention, she raised both hands, palms up. Orlando stood and took a step into the middle of his cell.
She took a pinch of the fabric of her blouse, then lifted her hands up again. Orlando pulled his T-shirt off.
He reached for the waistband of his shorts, but the woman was already frowning. She shook her head and turned to the other side of the corridor, stopping in front of another cell where there was another man, younger than Orlando and obviously bulkier. Apparently she wanted someone with more muscle.
Orlando sat back down and leaned against the wall again, not bothering to put his T-shirt back on. He'd been assigned extra hours in the exercise room, and more weight work than most of the other slaves got, but his body just wasn't made to bulk up much. His master had never minded....
That led him back to memories and fantasy, and he closed his eyes again.
More zone-out practice. More time went by.
There was another tap on the glass. Orlando looked up, saw a young man about his own age grinning in at him, then froze.
It was his master on the other side of the corridor. It had to be. His back was mostly facing Orlando but hardly anyone was as tall as his master. The build was the same, or almost the same -- maybe he'd lost some weight? -- and the hair was the same color, the same length. The shoulders, the hips, it had to be him and part of Orlando was delirious with joy and another part of him was terrified because if his master pointed him out, said "That's my slave who was stolen," the Commerce people would take him away to the mines--
But the man turned around and it wasn't his master.
Orlando slumped back against the wall.
The young man who'd tapped on the glass signalled for him to get up, but while Orlando got to his feet, the other man who wasn't his master said something to the younger man. They talked, argued, then the young man scowled and stalked away. The tall, older man who didn't really look much like his master at all from the front, looked Orlando up and down, the gave him a small smile and a nod. He went away up the corridor.
Orlando sat down again. He wondered sort of vaguely what the two men had said to each other, but didn't care enough to try to imagine what it might've been.
More staring. A few other people strolled up the corridor, but no one else tapped on the glass of Orlando's cell.
He ignored another length of time passing, then heard the door at the back of his cell open. One of the staffers, not a handler but a woman in a suit, stepped inside saying, "--sure? You're entitled to a more thorough inspection."
The tall man from before stepped in after her, looked Orlando over one more time, then nodded and said, "Yes. I'm sure he's what my employer is looking for. No sense taking him for a test drive; I'm not the one who's going to be fucking him."
The staff woman gave him a bright smile and said, "Your employer is lucky to have you. Most people would do it anyway as a perk of the job. You're clearly very conscientious about your duties."
The man gave her a smile and a shrug. "He pays well and I'd rather keep my job. I can get sex on my own."
She nodded and said, "That's fine, then. We'll go to the sales office and take care of the paperwork; I'll have a handler take David to Escrow. Is your employer planning to come pick him up himself? There's a bit of a ceremony about it...?"
The man shook his head. "No, he's on a business trip and won't be back in the country for a couple of weeks. I'll pick David up myself when everything clears."
"That's fine." The staff lady ushered the tall man back out the door, and Orlando heard it close and lock. Neither one had addressed him, or given him more than a quick glance.
Well, that's it, I guess. That was... painless. And fast.
Two weeks' reprieve before he had to call someone else "Master." But two more weeks before he'd know, once and for all, what kind of situation he was in.
The door opened again and a handler poked a head in, gestured for him to get up and come out. Orlando pulled inward again, leaving as little of himself as possible on the surface.
That lasted for four days.
Life in Escrow was peaceful but boring. There was nothing much to do, no duties or tasks. Everyone there was just waiting for their sale to be finalized, the paperwork to complete, their new owner to arrive and take them away. Most body-slaves were carefully groomed and ceremonially fucked by their new owner before being led out. Orlando had no idea where that custom had come from, but it was how things were done and considering what they'd just been through, if they were new, one more uncomplicated fuck was nothing to get tense over.
Irrelevant anyway, in Orlando's case. A handler stepped into the common room and called, "David Grant!" Orlando stood up and followed him out, down corridors and through heavy doors and around corners to a small office where the tall man was sitting. Orlando stepped up to him and knelt at his feet.
"He's yours now," said the handler. "Enjoy him, and don't hesitate to bring him back if he gives you any trouble."
Orlando thought, Asshole, while the tall man said, "Not mine, my employer's. Any trouble is his problem."
"Close enough," said the handler. "Have a good day."
He left, and Orlando just knelt on the floor, eyes on his... well, on the shoes of the man currently responsible for him.
The man said, "You can relax a bit, you're going to be in limbo for a while, until your new master gets back. And we have a few errands to see to before then." He stood up and said, "Come on, let's get to it." Orlando followed him out of the office.
The man was silent all the way to the car, and for the entire drive down winding, crowded freeways. They headed north without speaking for a couple of hours until the traffic thinned out past the grapevine. The tall man stopped at a Jack in the Box at a tiny town that was basically a wide spot on either side of the freeway, ordered a sack of cheeseburgers and a couple of drinks, and got back on the road.
When they were done eating, well in to the flat, boring agricultural country up Highway Five, he said, "I should tell you a few things about your new master."
Orlando straightened up a bit and tried to look attentive.
"He lost his body-slave a little while ago," the man said, his voice low and casual.
Wait, he what? Orlando froze.
"Actually, his boy was kidnapped." He paused a moment while Orlando tried to wrap his mind around that, and fought off hope.
"Do you know what that means," the tall man continued, "when a slave is stolen?"
"Run away," Orlando said out of reflex. Then he flinched, and looked over at the man out of the corner of his eye. He was nodding, though.
"Exactly. Run away. There's no such thing as a stolen slave. Your new master searched hard for his body-slave, pretty much tore into three counties while looking. He hired me to find him. But then Commerce declared his boy a runaway, and he found out that even if he found his old body-slave again, he wouldn't be able to keep him. Commerce would just confiscate him and treat him as a runaway, and that would be that. So he stopped looking."
Another pause. The man eyed Orlando, as though waiting for some response. Orlando swallowed, trying to think what to say. "I... uh, that makes sense."
The man nodded. "He was very upset. Actually, that's an understatement." Another pause. "Your new owner is a proud man, and you probably shouldn't repeat this, but you need to know what kind of man he is if you're going to get along with him." Another glance, and Orlando nodded again.
The tall man went on, "I think he was a little crazy for a while. I think he cared for his old body-slave more than he'd ever admit, even to himself. Not that anyone with any pretense to class or breeding would admit it, right?"
Orlando murmured agreement. No, no one who wanted to be respected by his rich peers would ever admit such a thing.
"But once he accepted that the boy was gone forever," the man continued, "and that searching for him wouldn't help anyone, he assigned me to find a replacement. I've been hunting through Commerce centers up and down the state for a young man who looks like his lost boy. You bear a striking resemblance to him, the closest I've found by quite a lot, and you're going to be spending the next month or so in a cosmetic makeover clinic making up the difference, until you're as perfect a match as you can be."
"Wait, what?" Orlando turned and stared outright at the man, all his reborn hopes rotting away. A body shop? That meant surgery. His stomach turned over and he suddenly regretted the cheeseburgers.
The man nodded. "It won't be all that much, really." He glanced over, as though reminding himself what Orlando's face looked like. "Take a little off the chin, straighten the nose, lower the cheekbones just a touch. Although maybe a bit less than I originally thought -- you're really quite striking and the cheekbones are a big part of it. Have to think about that.
"You'll be getting your hair adjusted too -- his old boy was a medium blond -- and I'm afraid you'll need blue-grey eyes. That part'll be a bit uncomfortable, and you won't be able to see for a couple of weeks, as I understand it. But your new owner has authorized top quality treatment, with full pain management, so it won't be too bad."
Orlando slumped back into his seat, shocked and confused and horribly disappointed.
Of course, that's what happens when you let yourself hope, he scolded himself. You knew it was impossible, but you let yourself hope anyway. Stupid.
"You probably didn't expect this," the man was saying, "but really, more and more people are sending their body-slaves for adjustment. The technology's really improved, and if you can afford it, it lets you have exactly what you want. So you might well have had to have work done, even if you'd been bought by someone else."
It sounded like he was trying to be... what? Reassuring? Comforting? Orlando nodded and said, "Yes, sir," just in case.
"It won't be that long, and then it'll be over and past and you'll finally get to meet your new owner," he went on. "He can be a bit harsh, fair warning, but he's not usually cruel. Obey him, do your best to please him, and I'm sure you'll be fine."
"Of course, sir," Orlando murmured.
Fine. I'll be just fine. Once the face in the mirror is just "David," I can forget all about Orlando and everything will be just fine.
Next Chapter: Chapter Thirty-Eight