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. The first few stories are linked here; the rest (we're hoping) are getting linked in whatwekeep. This is an AU universe where slavery is common and is in fact legally required among the wealthy as a way of doing their part to "support" the poor. See the original story, "A Kept Boy," linked above, and the FAQ, which is the first post in the community.
2) Yes, I know Orlando's mother's name. I have a policy of not using non-celeb relatives in my RPS stories, except for the most minor and positive mentions. That's not the case here, so in this 'verse, Orlando's mother's name is Margaret.
3) Everyone is American unless specified otherwise.
[Thirty-Two Years Ago]
"Neeson." The voice was strong and abrupt, obviously not one to be troubled with trivialities.
"Yes, um, My Lord, this is Walters from Commerce." Hesitant, wishing he were anywhere else.
"Yes?" Sharp, impatient.
"It's, that is, it's about your cook." Really not wanting to be having this conversation.
"Yes? I'm coming for her this afternoon. Is there a problem?" Clearly there had better not be.
"Err, I'm afraid, that is, there's a baby, My Lord."
"I know that. I agreed she could bring the infant with her." You're an idiot and I'm going to hang up in about four seconds.
"No, or... I mean, yes, My Lord. But, err, there's another one. That is, she's pregnant, my Lord."
"I hope you're not expecting me to pay extra."
"Er? Umm, no, My Lord! Of course not!"
"So? Did he want to choose someone else?"
"Umm, no, it seems not."
There he was, right on time, and he was even alone. He always showed up at the grocery store at about the same time, between six and seven in the morning every Wednesday, when the place was stocked up but nearly empty of people. Sometimes he came with that older free man, and sometimes with the slave woman. A twofer would've been nice, but one was better than having to pass for another week, and this was the valuable one -- a collared body-slave, still beautiful even if not quite as young as they'd have liked.
He always parked in the same place, too, under the tree on the end; it was right across from the front of the market, and had only one other space next to it, minimizing the chance of damage to his master's car.
Marton had had Brendan park the van in the very next slot, cracked the sliding door panel open, and waited. The target had pulled in right next to them and everything went exactly according to plan. He got out, locked the car, and Marton grabbed him from behind. A gag stuffed into his mouth when he opened it to yell, a quick drag back inside the van. Sheen slammed the door shut while Marton's arms were full of struggling target, then Brendan pulled out and they were gone.
[Twenty-Six Years Ago]
"Maggie! What've you got for me?"
Margaret Bloom glanced over her shoulder and gave her master the smile and quick nod which served as a show of respect whenever she was tending something hot. He'd told her when he'd first picked her and baby Samantha up from Commerce that staying on her feet and serving him more of the excellent food he'd tasted before choosing her was the kind of respect he wanted. Dropping something time-critical just to kneel or bow and then serving him burnt garbage was disrespectful and would get her punished.
She said, "I packed your saddlebag with chicken and biscuits, apple salad and chocolate turnovers, and two bottles of bock. If there was something else you'd like, I can get it for you in a moment."
That afternoon she was sauteing shallots and mushrooms and therefore stayed standing. She heard a shuffle and thump behind her, though, and gave a quick wince, then smiled to herself where no one could see. Another glance behind her, lower down this time, showed her five-year-old son crouched on the floor at their master's feet, his forehead pressed to the toe of one big boot. The fork Orlando had been using to seal the edges of the ravioli she'd made earlier lay carefully on the rolling mat where it would stay clean; at least he hadn't dropped it this time in his eagerness to show off what he'd learned.
The kitchen was silent for a few moments, save for the hissing and crackling of hot fat, then Master Liam said, "You may stand, Orlando," his voice gentle but grave.
Margaret gave the vegetables one more toss, then slid them into a bowl and turned in time to see Orlando climb to his feet, beam up at the man towering above him, and ask, "Did I do it right?"
She rolled her eyes and saw one corner of Master Liam's mouth quirk in a not-quite-suppressed grin. He was a stern master, fair when served well by free or slave, but not a man with whom any but his peers would presume, and he had few peers. Little Orlando was one of the few people Maggie had ever seen him smile at.
It alarmed her and brought up fears she did her best to suppress. It wasn't as though she could do anything to prevent them from coming true.
"You did very well, Orlando," Master Liam said.
The little boy's face beamed even brighter and he threw his arms around his master's leg. Maggie tried not to notice how his face was just around thigh level.
"Thank you!" Orlando gave Master Liam a sunny smile, then took a step backward and gave him a perfect ninety-degree standing bow before dashing back to the table and his task. She could see him watching Master Liam for a reaction, though, and she was sure Master Liam could see it too.
"Fearless little monkey," he said. He gave the boy's messy brown curls a ruffle on his way across the kitchen to where Maggie had left his saddlebags, near the back door. "This will do nicely, Maggie. I'll be back for dinner, and might have a couple of guests with me."
"Yes, Master." Maggie bowed as he left, and Orlando scrambled off his chair to bow again too. Master Liam strode out, his saddlebags slung over one shoulder and an unfrosted cupcake pilfered from a cooling rack in his hand, without looking around to see either of them give him that respect. He just assumed they would, and of course he was right.
She watched Orlando bounce back onto his chair once more, her eyes and mouth pinched with worry. She should start sending Orlando out to tend the herb garden with Samantha, keep him out of the way. He still had a hard time telling the herbs from the weeds, but Samantha was a good, responsible girl and could mind him. Master Liam might well go by the small patch of herbs from time to time, but he definitely came through the kitchen a few times a day when he was in residence -- the man had an insatiable appetite for sweets and was constantly grazing on them, whether from regular meals, trays she sent him, or whatever he could lay hands on in the kitchen itself. That made the kitchen no place for Orlando. He was five, after all, and an adorable little devil, even if she was his mother. She'd known masters and mistresses who'd shown undesirable interest in slaves that young, no matter what the legal age was.
She couldn't prevent it, but she might be able to delay.
Marton buckled the gag while Sheen jabbed a hypo into the target's thigh right through his pants leg. Intravenous would work faster than intramuscular, but getting the slave to lie still and then finding a vein in the moving van, no matter how carefully Brendan drove, would negate any speed advantage so they did it the easy way. With the gag secure, Marton pulled a pillowcase over the slave's head before he had a chance to see any of them; the chance of him escaping before being fully processed was minuscule, but Marton wasn't ready to take any risks when a random traffic accident could end up with the whole pack of them convicted and facing Commerce themselves.
He tossed the still-struggling body down onto the floor before bracing himself against the sway of the van turning, then turning again, then the bump out of the parking lot. Finally they were on the main road and would have a minute or so of straight, smooth driving.
The target kicked and Marton cursed, rubbed his thigh, then slammed the target's forehead into the floor of the van. It was carpeted so it shouldn't leave a permanent mark, but knocking him silly -- or even just teaching him to stay still -- before the ketamine took hold would make things that much easier.
Marton tugged the target's shirt open, pulled it off and stuffed it into a grocery bag, then picked up the scanner and flicked it on. Sheen pulled off the slave's shoes, socks, trousers, briefs, each to go into their own plastic sack, while Marton ran the scanner over the target's torso. That was usually where... there. The scanner beeped just below the slave's left shoulderblade.
Marton put the scanner away in its case and picked up a scalpel, while Sheen lay his body over the slave's shoulder and head, with one leg pressing over his hips, to hold him down. Marton made a quick incision, ignored the muffled scream and feeble jerk when the body under his hands convulsed, then reached in with tweezers and pulled out the chip. It went down on top of a metal toolbox. He took a hammer out of the lower drawer and Crack! the chip was shattered. One down.
Next Chapter: Chapter Two