George Tavlakis has taken care of Yeraki for a year. In that time, they’ve become friends, musical partners and lovers. Although George and Yeri meet the requirements of his mother’s will, trouble is brewing from another source.
Anita Von Shulte blames Yeraki for the death of her son. She sues George with the goal of forcing him to have Yeri euthanized. As the courtroom experts argue that male Rovania are dangerous creatures, all hope for the bright future George dreams of seems lost.
Help arrives from the most unlikely of places, but will it be enough to sway a court that is biased against Lineage slaves?
“I want you sleeping by noon at the latest.”
Yeri glanced at the clock—it was already half past ten. A rebellious look passed over him, then he shook himself and sighed. “Yes, master,” he replied almost glumly.
George stifled a laugh as he walked out of the living room again. He had no concerns about Yeri’s rebellious mien; his Rovani would obey his instructions even without George hovering over him to enforce his will. Sometimes Yeri argued with him, once in a very great while he’d object strenuously, but he always did obey.
Yeri could dish out more attitude than a queen cat, but he never forgot that George was his master, and that was more than a legal definition. Yeri obeyed him out of love and respect, not because he had to. George had never once beaten him, he ignored the precepts of chain discipline utterly, and yet, Yeri still obeyed him. Sometimes, George found Yeri’s absolute trust in him to be both awing and very humbling.
He slipped into bed and tried to get comfortable. As tired as he was, he found sleep elusive. The bed seemed too large, too empty and far too silent. After nearly an hour, he gave up and climbed back out of bed. He went into the living room and cleared his throat.
Yeri had just shut the workstation down. He turned toward him. “Master?”
“I can’t sleep,” George admitted.
Yeri stood and padded over to him. “Do you want a massage?”
“Yes.” George allowed Yeri to push him back into the bedroom. He lay down on the bed and waited. Yeri’s strong hands were soon kneading the muscles of his back into submission, the soothing spicy scent of the massage oil filled his nostrils and he sleepily wondered what Yeri’s nose thought of it. “Do you like it?”
“Mm?” Yeri’s hands paused briefly.
“The scent of the oil,” George clarified.
“Ah.” The hands resumed their wonderful work. “Yes. It smells very good, and it complements your base scent; it smells even better once it’s on you.”
George was almost asleep by the time Yeri finished his back. The Rovani lay down next to him then pressed up against him and started to purr. That’s what was missing, George thought right before sleep claimed him.