Musician George Tavlakis has owned the Rovani slave Yeraki for a month now. George believes that chaining Yeri will stifle his creativity. Everyone else believes that not chaining Yeri will result in a wild, dangerous and disobedient slave. It seems to George that the warnings are prophetic after Yeri mortally insults a dangerous man, placing not only his life in danger, but George’s, too. When Yeri then dares to question his decisions, George wonders if he’ll be forced to chain Yeri for the slave’s own good or if he’s just overreacting to having his will thwarted.
To chain or not to chain is the question that occupies George’s thoughts as he tries to survive the danger his slave has unwittingly placed him in.
The elevator chimed quietly as the doors opened. George stepped into the car quickly. Yeri followed, of course, if not as abruptly. The Rovani examined the plate of floor buttons then nodded to himself. He inserted the key card into a slot and touched the button with the number twenty labeled on it. The button lit up, the elevator doors closed a moment later, and up they went. Yeri blinked and widened his stance, automatically adjusting to the motion.
“Does this hurt your ears?”
“Not so far, master.” Yeri glanced up. “Motor and pulley system, yes, master?”
“You know, I have no idea. I’ve never put any thought into how elevators work. It’s enough for me that they work.”
Yeri chuckled softly. “Yes, master, good point.”
“You’re as curious as a cat, though, aren’t you?” George grinned at Yeri fondly. More than once, he’d noticed Yeri’s deep curiosity about pretty much everything.
“Well, master, I have every genetic right to be that way.”
George laughed. Yeri’s sense of humor was on the dry side and only expressed itself infrequently. He was well aware that sarcasm wasn’t considered becoming in a slave; he didn’t care. He liked Yeri’s flashes of spunk. He was quickly acquiring the opinion that chain discipline was bad for the soul, mostly due to the slow progress his own slave was making now that the discipline had been dropped.
They exited the elevator and quickly found their suite. Yeri opened the door and held it for him.
“You’re not a butler, Yeri.”
“Master, I don’t smell a butler in the area. It’s my place to serve you in any way you need, even if all you need, right now, is a doorstop.”
George looked at Yeri closely, alert for any hint of humor, but as far as he could tell, the Rovani was dead serious about this. “If you insist,” he said at length and walked into the suite. It was almost breathtaking. The large room was elegant, open and airy. The furnishings looked expensive. It was almost like walking into his mother’s mansion but without her air of disapproval tainting everything.
“Don’t you like it, master?” Yeri came up beside him, giving him one of those sideways glances he was so good at. “Your scent...”
“A little conflicted, am I?” George smiled at the Rovani. “The last time I was some place this nice, I was being lectured by Mom about how I needed to give up music and change my wastrel ways.”
Yeri snorted softly. “I would be very disappointed in you, master, if you were to give up music.”
“Mom liked you,” George continued, reaching up to brush Yeri’s mane out of his face again.
“Master...” Yeri trailed off then shrugged. “I liked her also, and I owe her my life, but once I was healthy, she had no real use for me. I was... decorative.”
“You still are,” George suggested, fighting down a grin at the pained look Yeri gave him. “You couldn’t walk ten feet in that lobby without getting your picture taken.”