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
The one thing Kevin did not expect was to have Lord Fucking Neeson show up, briefcase-toting body-slave in tow, and ring his master's fucking doorbell.
It was Sunday morning and his master was still at the table with his coffee and a laptop, surfing the newsblogs. The doorbell rang and when Kevin opened it he found himself staring up at the man whose picture he'd been looking at on the computer just the other day. He didn't even say hello or ask what he could do for the visitor; he just stood there with his lips parted and his eyes about to fall out of their sockets.
Neeson looked him over, then said, "I assume you're Kevin?"
"Uhh... yeah. Yes. I am." He glanced over his shoulder, then looked back and whispered, "What the fuck are you doing here?!"
"You wanted me to buy you," Neeson said. Kevin wanted to punch the sardonic humor right off his face. "So here we are. Is your master home?"
Kevin's master noticed the delay at the door right then, just to make everything perfect. "Kevin? Who is it? What's up?" Mr. Duncan stepped up behind Kevin and took in the visitors. He and Lord Neeson sized each other up while Kevin shifted from one foot to the other and considered the practicality of just bolting out the door.
Nah, he probably wouldn't make it out of the building. Even if the two free men's attention was occupied with one another, the body-slave -- and what the hell was Neeson doing with a body-slave that old?! -- was eyeing him and didn't look like the kind to just conveniently step aside if Kevin made a break for it.
Neeson broke the silence by saying, "Liam Neeson," and handing Mr. Duncan a card.
There was another pause, then Mr. Duncan said, "Well, good morning, Your Lordship. What can I help you with?"
"I'm here about Kevin, actually," Neeson said.
"Kevin? What'd you do, boy?"
A huge hand on his shoulder turned Kevin around so he was facing his scowling master. Kevin just shook his head, unable to think of what to say, how to explain, but Neeson said, "No, he hasn't done anything wrong. The situation is rather complicated, though. Is there a place we could talk?"
Mr. Duncan gave Kevin one last glare, then said, "Sure, come on in." He led them to the living area and made a wide gesture toward the seating. Neeson took an armchair. His slave knelt down next to him and set the briefcase neatly on the floor at his knees.
"Kevin, bring the coffee in here."
"Yes, Sir." Kevin headed out to the kitchen as fast as he could without actually running, then leaned stiff-armed over the sink and took some deep breaths.
What the fuck? Because seriously, what the hell was Neeson thinking?
Kevin had thought that maybe he'd find someone who knew Mr. Duncan, figure out how to meet him, get invited over for dinner or something so he could pretend to meet Kevin, then maybe do the, "Hey, your slave's really hot and I suddenly have to have him. Couple mil? Three? Four? Four and a half?" Or whatever, but something at least a little sneaky, 'cause just showing up at the door wasn't at all sneaky and Kevin had no clue how the guy was going to pull it off.
Not that anyone was asking his opinion.
All right, fine. Coffee. There was only a little left in the pot, so Kevin poured it out and got another one going. While waiting, he found a tray and clean cups and some napkins, got the sugar bowl and put milk in the little pitcher, a couple of teaspoons.... The coffee still wasn't done so he dug some cookies out of the pantry and put them on a plate, then added a couple of smaller plates to the tray.
It was kind of silly just for after-breakfast coffee, but if Kevin didn't have something to concentrate on, something to do he was going to faint in the middle of the floor and that wouldn't be cool at all.
Although if he did that, at least he wouldn't have to deal with this totally fucked-up situation for a while, at least until someone noticed he'd been gone too long and found a bucket of water or something to toss on him.
The coffee finally finished dripping and he added the pot to the tray -- and damn, that was heavy with all the crap he'd piled on it -- then bit his lip and walked carefully back to the living area.
Conversation stopped when he walked in and he almost dropped the tray.
Mr. Duncan pointed to the coffee table and Kevin got his feet moving again. He set the tray down and served the two men, offering sugar to his master, then milk and sugar to Neeson. Then around again with the cookies. Mr. Duncan waved them away; Neeson took five, then gave one to his slave.
Then Kevin was done. There was nothing left to do, so he went and knelt next to the coffee table and stared at the carpet.
"Kevin, you tell Lord Neeson what you know about his missing slave."
Kevin clenched his teeth and had to take a breath to keep from swearing. Fucked over -- of course. Why should Neeson spend the money when he could just go to Kevin's owner and have him order Kevin to tell what he knew? And how stupid had Kevin been to actually believe that an owner -- a lord -- would think twice about breaking his word to a slave?
He looked at Neeson, then at Mr. Duncan, then back at Neeson, then snarled, "That wasn't the deal."
"Excuse me?" There was hell to pay in his master's voice, but just then Kevin didn't give a damn.
He ignored his owner and said, "You're supposed to buy me and then I tell you."
Neeson opened his mouth to answer, but before he could get a word out, Mr. Duncan said, "You're that eager to be owned by someone else that you'll look away and ignore me? Look at me, boy!" Kevin's head snapped around, his heart pounding because he was sure he was going to get a punishment that'd cripple him for a month, and the man went on, "What's your problem all of a sudden? You have a complaint? You don't like it here? What's your issue? I don't beat you, I don't fuck you on the sly, you get good food and easy work and plenty of spare time -- what's wrong, then? You have an issue being owned by a Black man?"
"What?" That one threw Kevin off balance for a moment. "No! I don't-- Master-- look, I'm sorry but it's not personal. You're right, it's fine here and if I have to be a fucking slave--" Oh, shit! Well, fuck it, keep going. "--Then this isn't a bad place to be. You're the best master I've ever had and that's not necessarily saying a lot but it is. You're a decent owner, more than anyone I've ever known. But I don't want just a decent owner. I want security. I want to know that I've got a good life and that it's forever, no matter what."
No one was stopping him so Kevin just keep rambling, everything that'd been flowing around and round in his brain for years, it all finally had an outlet and had to get out. "You're good to me, yeah, but what happens if you get tired of me? I'm right back at Commerce rolling the dice again. Or when you die? Who'd own me then? Are they as good as you, and if so would they even want to keep me? Or would I go back to Commerce? Who would I end up with next?"
Mr. Duncan was scowling, but he looked thoughtful as much as angry. "What got you all worked up about that? You're doing a good job, never made any fusses until now. And I'm not planning on dying for a good while, you know?"
"Your pardon, Master, but it's not always your choice. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow and what would happen to me then? You're the best master I've ever had," Kevin repeated, "but I can't count on that forever."
Mr. Duncan's scowl deepened. "That's right, you've been a slave before. Commerce told me you were just enslaved, that I'd be your first master. What's up with that?"
Which... was just another request for the whole story. And fuck it -- if Mr. Duncan was going to kick his ass then it was going to happen and no point making it worse. He'd just as soon tell Neeson to go fuck himself, but he didn't have that luxury.
He looked down at the carpet again and said, "I was out with my master. He was getting a new suit fitted and he sent me to get him a table and order his lunch for him at a restaurant a few blocks away. On the way there, a couple of guys pulled up in a van and yelled to me, asked if I knew how to get to the 405 from there. I went over to the window so I could tell them, and the sliding door opened and another guy grabbed me. They drugged me and I woke up with my chip and my brand gone." He looked up at Mr. Duncan and said, "You're my fourth owner. Not counting the guy who stole me."
"Where were you? Do you know?" Neeson was leaning forward, like he was about to grab Kevin and shake the information out of him.
"Bakersfield. They have a place there -- a rented space in an industrial park -- where they take the slaves and do the surgery and keep them for a while. They also have a fake Commerce center about ten minutes away, in a sort of a strip mall, where they take slaves who won't just agree to go along with Plan A."
"How do you fake a Commerce center?" Mr. Duncan asked, sounding skeptical. "People'd notice."
"No, Sir. The front is just blank and locked; it looks empty. Slaves are taken in the back. There aren't any signs outside, just inside. There's a reception area and a hallway and a few cells and a training room. That's all the slaves see when they're there, the ones who think it's a Commerce office. There's another office room with monitors and stuff, but they never see that."
"But you did," Neeson said. "How did you get to see how everything worked if they were hiding it from the slaves they stole?"
Kevin shrugged. "I made a deal with the guy who ran it all. I helped him process the other slaves, tried to persuade them to go along, or played like I was another slave if they wouldn't. Having another slave around who didn't believe them made it...." He trailed off and looked away from Neeson. "I helped. Csokas, the guy in charge, he said that if I helped him he'd give me a new identity and let me go when he was done. I didn't really believe him, but I had to try."
Everyone looked at Neeson's slave, who looked away and murmured an apology. Neeson ruffled his hair, then rested a hand on his shoulder and murmured back, "It's all right." Then he looked back at Kevin and said, "Go on, what else?"
It took a while. Neeson's slave, whose name was Johnny, got a pad and pen out of the briefcase he'd brought in and took notes. He told them how it all worked, Plan A and Plan B, the drugs and beatings and how it worked almost every time. He gave them Parker's name and a description, and Neeson got a hard, ugly smile while he listened to Kevin tell about the Commerce guy. They had Kevin spell names and repeat addresses. Kevin didn't care anymore. Neeson had outmaneuvered him -- not that it'd been tough to do, him being free and Kevin being a slave and all -- and Kevin was going to be left to catch the shit when Neeson was done with him.
Except when they were done, once Johnny had put away his pad and the owners had finished their coffee and everyone had wrung the last drops of information out of Kevin -- even Johnny, who'd shot his own questions at Kevin and their masters had just stared at Kevin like, "So? Answer him," so he had -- Neeson said to Mr. Duncan, "So, I promised Kevin I'd buy him, and ensure he's taken care of for the rest of his life. What do you think we can do about that?"
"You still want him?" Mr. Duncan sounded kind of surprised, which was barely a fraction of the shock running through Kevin.
"I never particularly wanted him," Neeson answered. "But that's not the point. I'm ready to offer a generous price for him."
Mr. Duncan frowned and watched Kevin, still kneeling on the floor, for a few seconds. "I need to think about it. Talk to Kevin. He's a good secretary, minds things around the house, doesn't cause trouble till now."
"He's been of considerable help to me, and others who've lost slaves," Neeson said. "If we can see this crew branded and collared, and Csokas first in line, I think it will've been worth the... inappropriate behavior. That's just my opinion, though. You're his owner."
"Yeah, you've got a point," Mr. Duncan agreed. "At least, he didn't start it. Let's see what we can work out. I'll give you a call if I decide to let him go."
"Excellent." Neeson stood, and his body-slave slid into place next to him. "I'll be waiting to hear from you, then."
And he left. The door closed behind him, and Kevin turned around to face his owner.
Next Chapter: Chapter Twenty-Nine