Brand is a marked man in a world of unmarked men. The mark identifies him as someone who is eligible to go into Service. He has been ready for this opportunity for years and thinks it will never happen. Brand moves on with his life until he receives a call from a Master, Trent Parks. He turns out to be a well-known professional baseball player and unlike anyone Brand has ever met. There is an age difference that Brand has to negotiate, being the older one, as well as the dangers of being with a famous person. Brand discovers, much to his surprise, that not only does he like Trent as a Master, but he is falling in love with him.
The cage was large, for a cage. It had a hardwood floor and smooth bars. Smooth bars are a plus for a cage. You would be surprised how often you touch them when you are riding in a cage, like I was. I’m tall, over six feet and the cage actually allowed me to sit upright and I probably could squat, if I ever wanted to.
I had been travelling for what seemed like the better part of a day, so my best guess was that I was out West somewhere. Time was hard to tell because there was a heavy curtain over the cage that blotted out everything except for a rim of light at the bottom. It was hard to tell if the light was sunlight or artificial. I was grateful for the curtain since I was almost naked in the cage, wearing only a jockstrap. My eyes had become accustomed to the dark and I would occasionally hear voices, although I couldn’t hear much of the conversations.
I did know that I had travelled by plane and now by truck of some sort. I could tell I was getting close to my destination, because I could hear the sounds of a city and noticed the stop and start of traffic. The air was hot, so that didn’t help my guessing. It was summer, after all. I couldn’t imagine having to be transported like this in cold weather. That would have been even more uncomfortable.
Then I was being unloaded by what sounded like a forklift. The familiar beeping when they went in reverse and the quick turns made me pretty sure I was right. I seemed to be going down a long hallway, bumping across doorways. Then a quick drop and I could hear cheering and male voices. I instantly felt nervous and thought I might throw up.
“Trent, what did you ask for?” asked a husky voice.
“I asked for an older, tall, white, smart, southern, professional, masculine, outgoing Servant with a happy personality,” said the one that must be Trent. He clicked off these qualities like he had them memorized from a list.
“Why southern?” asked another voice.
“I want us to like the same foods, of course!” was Trent’s response. He had a nice voice, even in timbre, deep and powerful. “Well, let’s see how I did.”
The curtain was pulled off and my body instantly took over. I rose to a squatting position on the balls of my feet with my legs spread in a V-shape, my arms on my upper legs and my head bowed. This position really exposed me, especially in this jockstrap with no back and a front that was basically a band with a basket of fabric suspended from it.
The room was silent, but I knew there were a lot of guys there. I could see we were indoors—the carpet was high quality and patterned in a red and white scheme. I could see the legs of a lot of wooden benches that looked like expensive furniture. I could also see the shoes and lower legs of the man I presumed was Trent.
He was wearing cleats and baseball pants, the kind that are white with a red pinstripe down the side. My mind was going a million miles an hour, and I guessed I was in the locker room of a baseball club. The cleats were dusty and there was dirt on the bottom of his white pants. His shoes were large, if I was guessing probably a size fourteen. His legs matched his feet in size, so it looked natural. I knew that he was sizing me up as well, and he had a much better view than I did.
I consider myself in pretty good shape, but squatting in that position was not comfortable and I could feel the strain in my legs. I had always had good leg muscles, even if I didn’t go to the gym, ever. I guess this was just one of the reasons why Servants were usually much younger than me. I was already very tense, and now my twenty-nine-year-old muscles were letting me hear it. The silence and the wait were agonizing. I didn’t know what was coming next or what to do when it came.
My thoughts were shattered by the view of a hand coming towards me through the bars. It was a big, beefy hand, and I could see the veins popping out on the back and running up his arm. He was beautifully tan and had blonde hair on his forearm. I had to fight the instinct to pull away from him, hard.
“Look at me.”