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Moose Comes First

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"Five thousand says the moose comes first."

Jensen heard the voice of the fat one, the old Italian, through the haze of cigar smoke. All the lights were on him and the other slave--the moose--so he couldn't see, but he knew. Twelve men in a room. Nine of them placing bets on who would come first. Two of them forced to fuck here, under the stage lights, while the nine sat back on plush leather sofas drinking brandy and stroking themselves. And one remaining--Jensen knew exactly where he was, his every sense attuned to his master, as always. He sat in the corner, less drunk than the others, the key to the cabinet dangling from a bracelet around his wrist. The cabinet full of things that would be used on Jensen unless he could fucking. Get. Jared. To come.

"No way," said another, a little man who liked to bottom, Jensen could just tell by looking. He'd been a slave too long to not know it when he saw it. "The pretty one's about to blow." The "pretty one" was him. Unfortunately, the little man was right.

"He's right, you know," Jared whispered. He was hovering over Jensen, his arms pinning Jensen's wrists to the ground so that Jensen could neither defend himself nor stroke Jared's cock. He'd kick, but Jared had managed to get Jensen's ankles locked into the chains again, the man was just massive. It didn't seem fair.

Jared couldn't use his mouth on him like this, of course, so he was thrusting his hips and his thighs and his pubic bone over Jensen's rigid dick, again and again, coaxing Jensen to orgasm while making every effort not to stimulate himself. Of course, it wasn't entirely possible, and a glance down showed Jensen that Jared was, in fact, as hard as he was and dripping pre-cum from the tip of his cock.

"Fuck you," Jensen whispered. The sight of Jared's cum encouraged him and he took matters into his own hands--as much as possible--arching his back and thrusting upward, managing to slam his stomach into Jared's dick and stroke it downward. He ignored the hoots of the crowd, half the men cheering for him, the other half groaning dismay as, for one moment, it looked like Jared might lose it. "Come on, you fucker." Jensen growled. "I took it last night."

He had orgasmed quickly last night, much too quickly, and while semen was still spilling from his half-hard dick, Jeffery had flipped him over and began to lay into him with the heavy strap, the beginning of a beating that had left Jensen still sore and welted from his shoulders to his knees this very moment.

"I don't give a shit," Jared said. "You'll take it again." While Jensen was distracted, focusing on aiming his hips for Jared's dick, Jared managed to yank his arms and trap both Jensen's wrists under one hand. Jared's other hand immediately went to Jensen's dick and began to stroke it furiously.

Jensen groaned and bit his lip as hard as he could, trying to draw blood, desperate to do anything that would keep him from orgasm and spare him the severe punishment that would follow. He heard Jeffery's voice just as he tasted blood.

"Come on now, Jenny. He shouldn't have been able to pin you like that, you know better. You're getting spanked for that one."

Jensen stopped biting on his lip long enough to say "Yes, sir," because he didn't dare ignore Jeffery, his master.

"Come on, you little bitch!" called one of the men who had bet on him. "Fight back. Try harder!" But fuck that guy, and it was too late, anyway. One of Jared's incredibly long fingers had found its way into Jensen's ass, where it pushed inside him, teasing. Jensen groaned and let his head lull off to the side as Jared's frantic stroking became too much and Jensen came, spilling creamy semen all over his own stomach and thighs. He closed his eyes.

"Good boy, Jared," Jeffery said. "Give him a few swats for me."

"Yes sir," Jared replied smartly. Suddenly a short strap was in his hand--provided by Jeffery, or one of his cronies--and Jensen bit his lip again and sucked in air as Jared strapped him across the front of his thighs three times, four, a fifth. Jensen did his best not to flinch but it was impossible, especially when Jared let the sixth stroke nick his cock. Jensen moaned. Jared strapped his thighs again, the pain hot and immediate.

"That's enough for now," Jeffery said. "Roll over, Jenny."

"Yes, sir," Jensen replied, and obeyed, gritting his teeth against what was coming.

"Sate yourself on him, Jared," Jeffery said. "Take your fucking like a good boy, Jensen."

"Yes, sir." Jensen tried to hold himself loose, to stop from tensing, but it didn't matter. His belly pressed to the cold leather of the cage bottom, Jensen made a fist and bit down on his knuckles as Jared drove his enormous cock into Jensen's asshole, just barely lubricated from sweat and Jared's pre-cum. Jared fucked him hard, slamming into his already punished thighs, and it was too much. Jensen screamed.

Jensen blinked back tears as Jared finally slid out and climbed off him, swatting him once on the ass for good measure. His asshole was burning and sticky, he could feel Jared's cum spilling out onto his buttocks. He took a deep breath and stood; it was required of him. "See you next time, bitch," Jared said before heading for the showers. He was allowed to because he had won. Jensen stood, naked and covered in his own cum and Jared's, as Jeffery's partners settled their bets. He waited.

"All right, Jenny, you know the drill. Take the position."

"Yes, sir," Jensen said. He knew what was coming. He bent over and put his hands around his ankles, feeling heat in his sore ass, and waited. It was ridiculous, but he always missed Jared at this part. He couldn't stand his fellow slave, but it was better to be with him than to be alone.

"Just five each, boys. Don't worry. I'll make sure he's punished plenty, later."

Seven men had bet on Jared coming first. Jensen knew because one by one, they were allowed to take up a paddle and slam it into Jensen's ass, five times each. Thirty-five times total, Jensen rocked forward and tried not to cry out, not to show any pain. He held himself submissive under the punishment, until one man--the fat Italian, Jensen figured--tried to work his finger into Jensen's ass.

"Don't touch him," Jeffery's voice rang out. It was strong and sharp and it brought a silence over the room. "I'm allowing you to paddle my slave, because he was a bad boy who came too soon. But you are not to touch him."

It was this kind of thing that just fucked Jensen over, totally. Jeffery was about to take him through a severe and private punishment. Yet here he was, protecting him."All right, all right," said the fat Italian. "Your goods are just so pretty."

"I know they are," Jeffery said. "Jensen?"

Jensen knew the signal. He rose from his position, turned around and dropped to his knees, folding his hands behind his back. The men stood and waited, taking in every naked, sweating inch of him. "Thank you all for punishing me," he said to the ground. Then he raised his eyes to Jeffery. "I'm sorry I failed you. Please punish me more, sir."

Jeffery nodded the slightest approval before showing the men out the door.

"You shouldn't have let him pin you in the first place," Jeffery said, bending to unlock the bindings around Jensen's ankles. "But you especially shouldn't have let him get both your wrists under one hand."

"No,sir," Jensen agreed. "I'm sorry. I'll try harder."

"I'm increasing your work-outs," Jeffery said. "Jared's beat you three nights in a row now. I had to schedule the next two nights off just to allow you to recover. Four hours a day, I want you in the gym. I know Jared's taller than you, but Jesus, Jenny." Jeff gave his ass a sharp swat. "Let's go."

Jensen felt deep relief that at least he'd get a night off, but he knew better than to show it. "Yes, sir," he said, and followed Jeffery out the door, down the long hall of his master's enormous estate that lead to the stairs to the slave chambers, where Jensen lived in the cell next to Jared. Nothing but a row of steel bars between them, like a prison but with nicer beds. Despite himself, he felt bad for letting down Jeffery. But he took a deep breath and braced himself. He knew what was coming.

Just before heading down the stairs, Jeffery stopped in front of a large chest of drawers, slid the key off his wrist, and unlocked it. He pushed the wings wide open, giving them both a full display of everything that was in it--straps, belts, canes, paddles of various shapes and sizes. Dildos both for punishment and pleasure. Cock rings and nipple clamps and anal beads and basically every other thing imaginable. "What do you deserve tonight, Jensen?"

Jensen briefly squeezed his eyes and swallowed hard before forcing himself to answer. He hated it when Jeffery made him choose his own punishment. He always ended up taking even worse than he would have had Jeffery decided, because if Jensen selected something too light, Jeffery might punish him for days. The only safe bet was to request the thing he hated the most. "The cane please, sir," he forced himself to say. "And the punishment dildo."

Jeffery nodded. "Bet your ass is pretty sore already, huh? Good boy." Jeffery took down the cane and then bent to open the drawer. Jensen looked away. He wouldn't face the damn thing until he had to. "Come here so I can collar you. I want you humiliated in front of Jared tonight." Jensen held still while Jeffery slipped the leather around his neck.

Chapter Text

Jensen held still while Jeffery slipped the leather around his neck.

Down in their chambers, Jared was reclined on his bed, clothed and hair wet, fresh from the shower. When Jensen entered, naked except for his slave collar, Jared stood and went to the bars to watch him. "The cane?" Jared said. "I thought you'd strap him 'til he screamed. Or maybe even give him an enema."

Jensen's eyes locked furiously on Jared's. If Jeffery wasn't here, the things Jensen would say. Maybe even do. But Jensen knew exactly how harsh Jeffery could be, how demanding. He clenched his jaw and glared until Jared actually looked away.

"I would if I thought it wouldn't kill him," Jeffery said. "But since I beat him bloody last night," he shrugged. "You know he hates the cane anyway. Don't you, Jenny?"

"Yes, sir," Jensen replied. But his tone came out wrong. He winced as he realized he'd replied not in his submissive slave voice, but in a voice that showed all the rage he held toward Jared.

"You are so far out of line, boy," Jeffery said. One strong arm forced Jensen to bend forward, and Jeffery spanked him, several times, his hand slamming in to Jensen's ass hard. "Get on your knees. You get yourself under control or I'll strap you until you pass out, and then I'll just keep going."

Jensen obeyed swiftly. "I'm sorry, master," he said. "Please punish me." As he went down, he locked eyes with Jared. He usually avoided Jared's gaze but tonight he was angry. And being angry helped him keep his mind off the pain and humiliation that he was about to take. Jared wasn't expecting it, and Jensen caught him off-guard. It shocked him. For a brief moment, the look in Jared's eyes wasn't demeaning or gloating, as he expected. For a moment Jared looked almost sympathetic.

That couldn't be right. It only lasted a second. Then Jeffery's hand was in Jensen's hair, jerking his neck up, and a cruel distance fell over Jared's face, erasing all trace of anything but contempt.

"You're a little slut, aren't you, Jensen?" Jeffery's fingers gripped him harder and jerked him again.

"Yes, sir," Jensen agreed.

"Tell us why you need to be punished."

Jensen cleared his throat. He kept his eyes away from Jared and forced himself to answer. He made his voice submissive and soft. "Because I'm a slut, sir. I'm a dirty little slut who can't stop myself from coming. I'm an embarrassment to you and your household. And I need my ass beat for it, sir. I need you to teach me, so I can do better."

"That's right. You're my pretty little slut, and you know what, Jensen? I'm damn sick of it. I'm going to teach you a lesson. You two barely lasted fifteen minutes tonight and you embarrassed me in front of my partners."

"I'm sorry, sir," Jensen said. He was required to say it, but he'd been Jeffery's slave long enough that he meant it a little too.

"Because who feeds you boys? Who keeps you under a roof, pays your dentist bills and doctor bills, who makes sure you aren't left out there on the streets for any man to just have his way with you?"

"You do, Jeffery," Jensen said.

Suddenly Jeffery was in front of Jensen, one hand holding Jensen's hair, his other hand fumbling at his zipper.

"Ask me for it."

"Please let me suck your cock, sir," Jensen said. "Please punish me by fucking my mouth--"

Jensen's voice cut off as Jeffery pushed his cock into his mouth and Jensen gave it all he had.He worked Jeffery with all his training, he would never dream of doing anything less for his master--he'd be punished too severely. He used his tongue and his lips, varying pressure and the speed of his bobbing head. It wasn't long until Jeffery came, shooting full surges of cum into Jensen's mouth and Jensen swallowed, and sucked, until at last Jeffery pulled out and Jensen said, "Thank you, sir."

"You're a good boy, Jenny," Jeffery said. Jensen noted that, in freeing his dick from his jeans, Jeffery had removed his belt which now hung, doubled over, from his fingers."But you need to try harder." Jensen waited to be told to take the position for the cane. Instead, Jeffery said, "Come here, Jared."

Jensen's eyes flew wide for a minute before he squeezed them shut and contained himself. There was a door between them that only locked with Jeffery's key. Now Jared swung it open and came into Jensen's side of their quarters.

Jeffery took Jensen's chin in his hand and tilted his face up. "Because you are in need of so much improvement, my pretty slave," he said. "I'm going to let Moose punish you tonight. You'll hate that, won't you? Answer me."

"Yes sir," Jensen bit out, and was immediately punished for his tone with Jeffery's belt on the fronts of his thighs. Jensen gasped at the pain and held himself still, taking it.

"Do whatever you want to him, Jared," Jeffery said, handing the belt to Jared. "Best behavior, Jensen." He sat in a chair across the room. He'd watch the whole thing.

Kneeling naked, Jensen forced himself to breathe slowly through his nose, trying to calm down, to swallow his rage. He could take anything--anything--from Jeff, but being punished by his fellow slave, by Jared, seemed to much to bear. His natural urge was to throw himself at Jared, tackle him, lay into him, but he couldn't. In the bowels of the house, Jeffery had dungeons. Slaves kept just for punishing others. There were fates worse than his. Jensen would take a punishment from Jared because he had to. He had to, dammit.

Jared hulked, gloating, above him. "Tell me you submit to me, Jensen."

Jensen swallowed down bile. "I submit to you."

Jared moved behind him, and the belt slammed in to Jensen's ass five times. "Try again."

"I submit to you, sir," Jensen said.

"Good. Now let's get you into position for the cane."

 

By the time it was over, Jensen had been forced to suck Jeff off again while Jared strapped him with the belt--all this after Jared had put him over the bed and caned him, twelve times, each stroke agony to Jensen. He hated the cane. The bite was so terrible, the precision it gave the punisher allowing him to strike the same place over and over again. Jensen never cried during a punishment but with Jared caning him, he'd come so close, squeezing the bed sheets in his fists and moaning out in agony all while Jeffery watched, uncaring. Now he knelt on the floor, sweating, panting, his ass and thighs and back hot with pain and Jeffery stood, and took it, the thing Jensen hated most of all, and set it on a chair. It was huge, the punishment dildo. Jensen didn't know how many inches, only that it was fatter and longer than any man he'd ever taken in his life. Jeffery took some lubricant from a drawer and spread it over the considerable surface of the thing, a small mercy. Jensen bit his lip. He was still close to tears.

"You've been good, Jared. You can go to bed. As for you, Jensen. I'm sorry, but you need this. I know it's hard for you. But you're going to spend the night here, honey. Now put yourself on it. You have twenty seconds."
"Yes, sir," Jensen said and stood immediately. When his legs went shaky under him Jeffery caught his elbow. With hard determination, Jensen went to the evil thing sitting on the chair, balanced over it, and then slowly began to slide himself down on top of the dildo, forcing himself to go down atop it even though it seared painful in his already raw, sore ass. Shaking and sweating, Jensen paused, willing himself to relax, his muscles to unclench. "Ten seconds," said Jeff, and Jensen moaned and lowered himself until he'd taken the full depth of the dildo in his ass, his cheeks resting uncomfortably on the surface of the chair. He trembled. Jeffery took his face in his hands and squeezed, gave his jaw a little shake.
"You stay here until I come for you."
And then Jensen was in pain, and exhausted, and alone with Jared

***

Two days later, Jensen ignored Jeffery's hand on his dick and stared into Jared's eyes, his best attempt to psych him out. Jeffery's business partners were starting to arrive, the room filling slowly with smoke and laughter, and Jeffery stood between them, unceremoniously stroking Jensen's cock with an oiled hand to get him ready for the show. Jared and Jensen had both been stripped and oiled by Jeffery's other slaves and now stood just a few feet apart, staring each other down.

Once Jeff had worked Jensen to a state of semi-hardness, he turned and took Jared's dick in hand and began to give him the same treatment. A cocky smile twitched at Jensen's lips as he saw how quickly Jared's cock perked up. Jared's eyes were stony on Jensen, but he thought he saw a shadow of doubt behind those eyes. And just to think, Jared had accused Jensen of being the one who secretly liked all this.

The night Jeffery left him on the dildo had been hell. Jeffery hadn't come for him until morning and in the mean time, Jared had lazed in his bed taunting Jensen. Jensen had been determined to ignore it, until finally he'd snapped.

"Yeah well, at least I don't spend my whole life kissing Jeffery's ass. Why do you have to be such a suck-up, anyway? Don't you have any self-respect? You make me sick."

Jared had actually flinched. "I don't know what the hell you're talking about, man. We're slaves. He's our master. Obeying Jeffery is a matter of survival."

"No, it's a matter of being able to take a punishment," Jensen said, wincing slightly and shifting on the dildo, keeping his hands behind his back as he was supposed to. "He's not gonna kill us. He's just gonna hurt us, and I'll tell you what. I'd rather take the strap than lose my self-respect trying to please him every second of the day."

"Shut up," Jared had said. "You don't know what you're talking about."

"The hell I don't," Jensen said, too angry for the look in Jared's eyes to register. "You'll do anything not to piss off the old man, anything not to take a beating. Me, there are certain lows I won't stoop to. I'll take any punishment first."

"You must know," Jared had said. "You're the guy with the ten-inch dick up your ass." After that Jared had ignored Jensen until he gave up and surrendered himself to spending the night alone, in pain, waiting for Jeffery to come and relieve him.

Now, staring at him from opposite ends of the cage, Jensen couldn't wait to get his revenge.

"All right boys," Jeffery said, taking Jensen's dick in one hand and Jared's in the other. "I want a good show today. You were both milked earlier, so you should be able to last thirty minutes, at least. That clear?"

"Yes sir," they answered together.

"I have half a mind to let these guys fuck whoever comes first tonight," Jeffery said. "So put up a good fight." Then he stepped out of the cage and left them to it.

"My money's on you again, Moose," one of the viewers immediately began to heckle. "Grab that pretty ass and fuck it hard, he loves it." Jensen ignored this completely. Being done in the ass usually did make him come, so the goal, of course, was to keep his ass far from Jared as possible. Jeffery's rule was that there had to be skin-to-skin contact within fifteen seconds, to prevent them from circling each other all night. Usually Jensen went for Jared fast, hoping to make up in speed what he lacked in size, but tonight he'd decided to wait. Jared would come to him. If they failed to touch fast enough, there'd be extra punishment. Jensen wasn't afraid of that.

He knew now that Jared was.

Panic flashed in Jared's eyes when, with a few seconds left, he realized Jensen wasn't going to come for him. Then, at the last second, he threw himself toward Jensen, probably intending to trap him, pin him if possible against the bars and suck his dick. They'd never find out, because Jensen had a new tactic. Jared rushed at him and when he reached Jensen, Jensen threw his arms wide and drew Jared into a violent embrace, pinning Jared's arms to his side and thrusting their groins together.

Then he kissed him.

A loud cry sounded from the men watching, they were shocked. Neither Jared nor Jensen had ever done this before. Jensen plunged his tongue deep into Jared's mouth and swirled it. He crushed his dick into Jared's and swung his hips in slow, circular motion. Jared bit his tongue and pulled back violently.

"Dude, what the fuck?" he said. Jensen just smiled a hard, satisfied smile. Then he spun Jared and pinned him to the bars, and pushed their lips together again, kissing him hard.

Jensen was braced for a fight, his muscles clenched hard around Jared's arms, but Jared relaxed. He groaned and actually pushed his groin back into Jensen's. A few men were cheering Jensen on, but more were screaming at Jared to put up a fight. They'd mostly bet Jensen would come first, as he usually did.

Jensen pulled his tongue out of Jared's mouth and gripped his cock around the base, squeezing hard until Jared gasped. "Come on, you idiot," he hissed. "We don't last thirty minutes, we're gonna take it from every dick in this room. You hear me?"

Jared stared at Jensen, bewildered. "I'm about to come," he said. "Dude, help. I'm gonna--"

Desperate, Jensen grabbed Jared and slammed him to the ground, pulling his arms behind his back painfully. Jared groaned. Jensen had to hurt him, had to stop him from coming, damnit. His plan had backfired. "Jensen," Jeffery's voice snapped. Jeffery knew what was going on. Hurting each other to prevent orgasm was against the rules. Jensen sucked two of his fingers, then worked them down into Jared's ass. "Act like you like it," he hissed into Jared's ear.

Jared made a sound that could be mistaken for pleasure. Jensen knew that, unlike himself, Jared hated anything being in the vicinity of his asshole. Jensen pushed in further and Jared jerked up his head and moaned. "That's right, you little bitch. You love it, don't you," Jensen said, knowing it was the opposite of the truth.

"Looks like we're all losing money tonight," said a young guy with family money and a long nose. Jensen didn't look up, he never did.

"Listen," he said into Jared's ear, making a show of grinding further into Jared's ass and licking his neck for good measure. "In a minute, I'm going to get cocky and try to flip you over. Push my shoulders. Get me down and then put your mouth on me--"

"But you'll come--"

"Use your teeth. I'm trusting you, man. You make me come too fast, we're both getting it til we ache for weeks. I'll signal you if I get too close. I'll tap the floor. Ok?"

"Ok," Jared hissed while Jensen snaked his tongue into his ear. "Don't do that, damnit. That feels good."
"I know it does," Jensen said and then he made good, releasing Jared to attempt to roll him over. Jared got the better of him, shoved him down, and locked his mouth around Jensen's cock. The men cheered. Jensen rolled his eyes backward, feigning pleasure, when the truth was Jared was being rough and clumsy and making good on his promise. He hissed through his teeth and turned it into a moan.

They kept it up this way for thirty minutes, and then some. Jensen didn't understand why Jared had come so undone, but he took control, whispering instructions into Jared's ear and making sure neither one of them orgasmed. The men were going wild, never had they seen such a show. Finally, Jensen was sitting on Jared's chest, his hand stroking Jared's cock much more roughly than it appeared to be, when from the corner shadows Jensen heard Jeffery say his name. "Jensen." Two syllables laced with meaning, with warning. Jensen swallowed hard and looked down at Jared. He was struggling half-heartedly, attempting to appear like he was trying to get the better of Jensen. For a brief second Jensen considered other outcomes. Then he pushed all doubts from his mind. "Jared," he said. He bent forward and pressed his lips to his fellow slaves. As he did so, he raised his ass, positioned himself, and settled back down, filling his ass with Jared's cock.

Jared's eyes flew wide, realizing what Jensen was doing, and immediately he bucked and slapped at Jensen's chest. It was too late. Jensen rode him hard, slamming into him, and in scant seconds Jared spasmed and came, hot semen surging upward into Jensen's ass.

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Jensen stood looking down at Jared's naked form, panting and sweating. Jared was tanned golden the way Jeff liked them and glistening with sweat, the muscles in his ass and thighs rock hard and his skin free from welts or bruises, unlike Jensen's own. Jensen smirked, gloating. The punishment wouldn't be easy on him.

Jeffery unlocked the cage and strolled over to Jensen. He swatted him lightly on the ass, a tap of approval. "Good boy, Jenny," he crooned into Jensen's ear, and Jensen's cock surged even stiffer. "Very good show. You know what I'm gonna do for your reward? I'm gonna let you watch Jared's punishment."

"Thank you, sir," Jensen said. He was doubly glad he'd won tonight, now that he realized Jeffery intended to punish Jared in front of the audience. He glanced down at Jared, and what he saw took all the gloat right out of him. Jared didn't look angry or distant, the way Jensen went when he needed to survive a public punishment. He looked sad. He looked afraid. He suddenly looked very young, though he was only a few years behind Jensen's 33, and very helpless.

Jensen looked away.

"Up, Jared," Jeffery commanded. Jared said yes, sir, and pushed himself gracefully to his feet. Jeffery approached Jared, putting his face in his, forcing Jared to look down submissively, hands folded behind his back.

"What did I tell you would happen to tonight's loser?"

"You said all your guests would get to fuck him, sir."

"That's right. So what do you think should happen now?"

Jared's throat clenched. He cleared his throat attempting to make his voice strong, but it didn't work. "I think all your guests should fuck me, sir. Please." That last word came out in a gasp. Like Jared was actually pleading for mercy.

"Remove my belt," Jeffery said. Jared obeyed, fumbling at Jeffery's buckle with trembling hands. Jensen forced himself to watch, though he was surprised to realize he didn't really want to. He wasn't usually present for this part of the routine. It didn't seem like much of a reward.

"You're going to hand that to each of my guests," Jeffery said. "And then you're going to ask them to punish you. However they see fit."

"Yes, sir," Jared said, but it was unbearable. Tears sprang to his eyes. Jensen wanted to say come on, just suck it up and take it, and it'll all be over soon enough. But he didn't dare. He watched silently as Jared's eyes went up to Jeff's, searching, as if he thought maybe Jeffery would give him a way out. Jeffery only stared back until at last Jared turned to face the crowd. "Who's up first?" Jeffery called.

 

Seven men total had bet that Jensen would orgasm first. It seemed to take forever. The first man just yanked the belt out of Jared's hands and threw it to the ground, spun Jared, bent him over the arm of a couch, and fucked him hard, pumping in to Jared's ass as Jared moaned and clenched the pillows and thanked him for his punishment. Then he left in a hurry. But there were six more, and the rest didn't go so easy on Jared. Jeffery stroked Jensen's cock idly as the two of them watched Jared take severe punishments from one man after another. Most made him bend over and take the belt up to fifteen times--Jefferey's limit--before fucking his ass, his mouth, or both. One man slapped Jared's face repeatedly as Jared sucked him off, and Jared cried. Jensen couldn't stand it. His dick went limp in Jeffery's had and Jeffery tugged, warning him. Jensen looked away; the sight of Jared's tears was so awful it took away all his arousal.

They came on Jared's face, on his thighs, in his ass. Jeffery threw him a towel and allowed him to wipe the semen from his face, but the rest of it stayed. One man beat Jared so hard, raising the belt high above his head, milking the fifteen strokes for all they were worth, that Jensen's muscles actually flexed into a flight response. He wanted to yank the belt from the man's hands. He grunted as the belt struck Jared and Jared cried out in pain, sobbing now, saying, "I'm sorry, Jeffery. I'm so sorry," but Jeffery didn't call an end to it, like he always had with Jensen. Jensen couldn't count the number of times Jeffery had called an overly-enthusiastic punisher off his ass, setting limits, only allowing them to go so far. With Jared, there seemed to be no limits. Nothing the guests couldn't do. One of them shoved four fingers into Jared's ass and pushed, hard, coming on Jared's thighs while Jared cried.

Finally the seventh man finished. They didn't leave, though. They hung around to see the rest of the show. Jared was collapsed over the arm of the couch, unmoving except for his heavy breathing. His ass and backs of his thighs were covered in welts and flushed a deep, hot red. Semen and a small amount of blood trickled down through his buttocks and onto his legs.

"Jared," Jeffery said. "Come here."

Finally, Jensen thought. It was over. They'd both be allowed to hit the showers and Jared could climb into his bed, which was at least clean and soft. Jeffery saw to that. He watched as Jared struggled to rise, slipping once, pushing himself to a stand. Tears streaked down his face. He turned slowly and gave Jeffery the most heart-wrenching puppy dog look Jensen had ever seen, his big brown eyes begging for love. Jesus. No wonder Jeffery punished Jensen more often. Who could stand up to that?

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"Come closer," Jeffery whispered. Jared shuffled toward him, wincing. Jensen waited for Jeffery to pat him, give him a kind word, send him off to bed. Jared was, obviously, thoroughly punished.

"What do you need now?"

Jared breathed shakily. "I need your punishment, sir. I let you down and I won't feel right until you've punished me. Severely."

Jensen was stunned. Jeffery couldn't honestly intend to give him more right now? Jared was barely standing. He was shaking, sobbing, a total wreck. Jeffery could be harsh and demanding, but whenever he'd beaten Jensen hard enough to bring him to this point, this was the point it had ended. Whenever Jensen was like this, in tears and trembling, Jeffery usually stroked his back briefly, told him he'd done well, and at least handed him over to be cared for by other slaves, if he didn't intend to see to Jensen himself. It seemed clear to Jensen that Jared was at his limit. That he couldn't take anymore. Jensen looked at Jeffery and waited for him to refuse to punish Jared further.

"I'm gonna fuck you in front of all these boys," Jeffery growled. "And then I'm gonna strap your entire backside, Jared. Until you start to bleed."

"Yes sir," Jared sobbed. "I need it."

"Why do you need it?"

"Because I'm a whore, sir," Jared said. "I'm a whore, I can't control myself. And I'm so sorry."

"Stop that crying," Jeffery said. "You're making me sick."

Jared gasped and nodded. Jeffery took him by the arms and roughly spun him around, pushing Jared's head down until he bent into position. His belt already removed, Jeffery's pants came down easily. "Ask me for it," Jeffery growled.

"Please fuck my ass, sir," Jared said. "I need it."

Jensen inhaled as Jeffery thrust roughly into Jared's raw hole. Jared stumbled forward under the blow. "Damnit," Jeffery said. "Where's that belt?"

"Give it to him good," said the fat man, handing Jeffery's belt back to him. Jeffery doubled it over and struck Jared's red ass with it two times, three. Jared stumbled again.

"Hold him up, Jensen," Jeffery ordered. Jensen quickly went around to Jared's head. "Here," he said, not harshly, and held out his arms for Jared to brace himself against. Jared's hands wrapped around Jensen's arm and squeezed. He was having trouble standing. Jensen shifted, shuffling forward to take more of Jared's weight. "I gotcha."

Jeffery's eyes briefly met Jensen's over Jared's back. Jensen swallowed hard, suddenly afraid, and vowed to be more careful. He realized that Jeffery liked the two of them competing, got off on their bids for his approval, their willingness to throw one another under the bus. If Jeffery knew Jensen was feeling anything even close to sympathy for his fellow slave, he wouldn't like it.

Jensen forced himself to watch Jeffery's hard, huge cock moving in and out of Jared's punished ass with a small, hard smile on his face. He did his best to brace Jared, taking as much of the man's weight as he possibly could. Jared's hands clenched around Jensen's forearms in pain as Jeffery thrust fast and deep. Jensen squeezed back gently until Jared opened his mouth and moaned again, a sound close to a scream of pain. Jeffery raised the belt and beat Jared with it, punishing him for the crying. God damnit. Couldn't Jared see what was going on? All this carrying on was making it worse.If he'd just shut up and take it like a man, it'd probably be over by now. Jared let out a little sob and Jensen shook him. "Come on!" he growled. "Take it, you little bitch." He was furious with Jared for going on this way.

At the sob, Jeffery raised the belt, hit Jared with it, and didn't stop. He paused in his thrusting to beat Jared, beat his buttocks and thighs and back with a ferocity Jensen didn't think he'd ever seen on their master. Jensen ground his teeth and willed Jared to fucking stop the crying, willed himself not to flinch with every brutal stroke. It seemed that Jared was trying, gasping more than crying, like trying to catch his breath, but ultimately proved unable. The men cheered. Jensen was so angry he wanted to maim everyone in the goddamn room--the men for enjoying it, Jeffery for his unusual violence, and Jared for the scene he was making.

"Please, Jeffery," Jared cried. "Please, master! I'm sorry--uh," he groaned again. "I'm sorry." Jared went weaker and weaker in his arms until Jensen's thighs and biceps began to burn. Still Jeffery beat Jared with the belt until trickles of blood began to appear, first on his ass, then on his thighs.

At last, Jeffery seemed satisfied. Finally--finally--Jeffery dropped the belt. His hand ran up Jared's back, slick with sweat, and he began to thrust again. In a few moments, Jeffery gasped and spasmed, his thighs trembling, as he came in to Jared's ass. Panting, Jeffery slid out unceremoniously, with a little shove. Jared stumbled, catching Jensen off-guard, and they both almost went down.

"That's enough," Jeffery said. "Jenny, you did well today. Now get him out of my sight."

Jensen's voice was rough and raw. "Yes, sir." He hoisted Jared up to the closest thing to a stand Jared seemed capable of. Summoned by a button Jeffery pushed, two other male slaves appeared. Together they half-carried Jared from the room.

***

Jensen was pacing. Back and forth, across Jared's side of their quarters. Jared lay face down on the bed, a pillow under his arms and head. The slaves had seen to his wounds, Jensen standing over them with his arms folded menacingly across his chest, making it clear that anyone who hurt Jared further would live to regret it, punishments be damned. He told himself that he wasn't trying to protect Jared from his fair punishments. Just from any unfair, further torment. He was still fuming. His fists clenched. He couldn't decide if he wanted to punch Jared, or. . . or. . . do something else. Something he couldn't quite name.

"Dude," Jared said softly, his voice dry and cracked. "Could you please. . . I'm just so tired, man," he managed. "Haven't you seen me punished enough?"

"You need to drink more water," Jensen blurted harshly. A sheet was pulled up to Jared's shoulders, but he could still see the tops of angry red welts he knew ran all the way down the man's back.

"What the hell?"

"You're dehydrated. Your voice is cracking. Drink. Or I'll--I'll spank you, and if you think Jeffery's gonna come running, you're wrong."

 

"Jesus," Jared said. He pushed himself up gingerly, took the glass on the little table by his bed, and drank. "There. Are you happy? Can I please get some rest?"

"Why the hell did you have to do that?" Jensen exploded. He couldn't bear it a minute longer. "Huh? Why?"

Jared's eyebrows furrowed as his head thumped back down to the pillow. "Do what?"

"Do what? You kidding me? All the crying, all the carrying on. The moaning, the begging Jeffery, I'm sorry Jeffery, please Jeffery." Jared winced as Jensen mimicked his pathetic pleading. He turned his head away. Jensen moved to the other side of the room, forcing Jared to look at him.

"Sorry it was so hard on you," Jared mumbled. "Jensen, please. I mean it, man. You saw how hard Jeffery beat me. After all those other guys. Do you really think I need more?"

"It was just a punishment!" Jensen cried. "You should have handled it better, and I bet it would have ended sooner. Jeffery awards good behavior. You take it like a man, Jeffery treats you like one. I mean Jesus, Jared."

Jared held Jensen's gaze for a long moment. When he spoke, his voice was quiet. "When was the last time Jeffery touched you, Jensen? Nicely, I mean."

Jensen blinked. It had been last night. He'd been summoned to Jeffery's chambers for a night of. . . very nice touching. Yeah, Jeffery had spanked him on and off throughout the night, pulling Jensen over his knees mid blow-job to apply his hand or a hairbrush to his backside. But it hadn't hurt, exactly.Or rather, it had hurt, but in a good way. And all the other things certainly hadn't hurt. He shivered remembering the way Jeffery had said, "Are you healed enough for this, honey?" before gently pushing a lubricated finger into Jensen's ass, making Jensen moan with pleasure.

"Last night," Jensen answered, suspicious. "Why?"

"And when was the last time I spent a night anywhere but here, in this bed? You sleep right next to me, man. You should know."

Jensen frowned. He realized that he didn't know. He'd been Jeffery's slave since he came of age at seventeen and Jeffery had hand-selected him from the Availables at finishing school. Jared had come to them through another legacy house, about five years back. Jeffery had won him in a bet. Thinking back, it seemed that early on, Jeffery had occasionally summoned Jared to his quarters. But that had been five long years ago.

Still, he wasn't buying it. "So what are you saying, that you get to cry like that because Jeffery doesn't fuck you enough--"

"He fucks me," Jared interrupted. "He just doesn't--like me. He doesn't care for me, Jensen. I mean god, the way he looks at you." Jared shook his head, his eyes showing anger and sadness. "You're not easy competition. Which is why I always beat you in his little 'who-cums-first' games. I need to win. Get it? You can afford to lose. Jeffery still loves you. Me, hell. I'm still trying to earn his approval. So yeah, I know it's pathetic and stupid. To try to earn his--care." Jensen wondered if he'd been about to say, 'love'. "To even try. But I can't help it. And it's easy for you to laugh at me, knowing he's gonna call you to him every other night. So fuck you."

"I'm not laughing," Jensen said, bewildered. He was shocked to see how much he hadn't noticed, how much had gone on between Jared and Jeffery--or how much had failed to go on between them--and he had just carried on oblivious, hating Jared for needing what he needed. Hating him for trying to earn from Jeffery what he already had in abundance. It was a strange security, a master and a slave. No one would ever be allowed to do to Jensen the things Jeffery did, forced him to submit to. But no one cared for him in quite the same way either.

And Jared didn't have that.

Jensen cleared his throat. He wasn't about to apologize for it. He hadn't done anything wrong. Jeffery didn't like Jared, well, that wasn't his fault. Or his problem. "Don't think I'm gonna start--going easy on you because of this."

Jared let out a humorless snort. "Don't worry," he said. "I don't."

Jensen nodded, watching his fellow slave another moment. Then he thought, fuck it. He was a slave. It was a difficult and demanding life, whether he had his master's approval or not. He couldn't afford any touchy-feely crap. Manning up was a matter of survival here. He went back to his side of the chambers. He turned off the light and, without another word to Jared, crawled between his sheets, and tried to sleep.

Chapter Text

Three Days Later:

After their afternoon workout, Jeffery had Jared and Jensen sent up to the salon. Jensen took a deep, bracing breath and Jared let out an audible groan when the elevator doors opened to the third floor. A visit to the salon could only mean one thing: they were working tonight. And not their usual climax-and-get-beaten gig.

"So, what's your money on?" Jensen said, trying to lighten the mood as they were led first to the waxing tables, where every last hair would be painfully ripped from their chests. "Another dinner party with you and me for dessert?"

"How can you even joke about that?" Jared grumbled, clearly not in the mood to be cheered up. It was true that Jeffery's last dinner party had been particularly hard for them, an affair that had started with heirloom tomatoes and marcona almonds and ended with Jared suspended from leather straps over the center of an enormous dining table and dripping with hot fudge. Jensen realized now how much easier the night had been on him, simply required to lick and suck the chocolate off Jared, while Jared had dangled from painful straps, enduring slaps and jeers.

"Maybe he's just going to take us out to dinner and a movie," Jensen said as the esthetician, a pretty slave named Anna who looked a little sorry every time she had to do this to him, spread hot wax in patches over his pecs.

Jared's frown was deep and incredulous. "Dude, are you serious?"

"Of course I'm not serious," Jensen sighed. "Just trying to lighten the mood a bit. Won't happen again." He glanced up at Anna, who smiled as if to say she, at least, had appreciated the joke, before yanking the tape and parting Jensen's skin with its hair. He inhaled sharply and set his jaw, resigned to enduring the rest. Jensen laid on the table in silence as Anna finished her job, not speaking again until she said, "Pants down. Sorry." Jensen rolled his eyes and groaned, shoved down his loose pajama pants, and waited for Anna to do her thing on his pubic hair.

***

It was a bad sign that they weren't provided clothes.

In the hour after having their bodies and hair carefully groomed at the salon, Jared and Jensen were taken back to their quarters, where they were served a light dinner of grilled fish and vegetables with water and green tea, and allowed to rest. Jensen left Jared alone, as all his attempts at conversation had been unwelcomed. He didn't know why he was even bothering. These interludes when they weren't required to compete with one another were rare, and dangerous. He shouldn't be attempting any kind of camaraderie with a man he would soon be placed in a ring with and forced to fight. Not for the first time, he wondered why Jeffery kept them in these particular quarters, where they were never allowed a bit of privacy from one another except for when the slaves came to let them use the bathroom. He supposed it was a game of Jeffery's, a psychological drama the man enjoyed, and he didn't want to dwell on it. He didn't like feeling any negativity toward Jeffery. A certain affection for his master made this life more bearable.

At six o'clock, Jared and Jeffery were led—absolutely naked—down the hall and up the elevator, where they were taken to Jeffery's private quarters. Jeffery's bedroom was large and lush, it reminded Jensen of the private rooms of kings and wealthy men in castles. There were three joined rooms, one for sleeping, one for relaxing and dressing, and one for accepting visitors, each equipped with a fireplace and adorned with plush velvet sofas and loaded liquor and cigar cabinets. Jeffery was standing in front of his dressing table, fastening gold cuff links into his white sleeves. Over the fancy shirt were black suspenders and a black bowtie. It was a sharp humiliation to stand before him naked. Jensen cleared his throat and shifted his stance, mustering all the dignity he could.

"Boys," Jeffery said, turning to face them. He looked them over, his eyes going first to their newly teased and gelled hair, and roaming downwards. Jensen couldn't decide if the fact that he didn't linger particularly over their groins made it better or worse. "Turn around," he said. "Let me see how that skin is doing."

Jensen obeyed, as did Jared next to him. Jeffery made a clucking sound with his tongue, a quiet disapproval. "You're still bruised," he said to Jared. Jensen frowned. As if this was Jared's fault? Before he could open his stupid mouth to suggest that if Jeffery didn't want them bruised, maybe he shouldn't, you know, beat them, Jeffery said, "Jensen. Attend," in his master voice, and it snapped Jensen into compliance. He turned immediately and went to Jeffery, kneeling gracefully at his master's feet and folding his hands behind his back.

Jeffery took Jensen's chin in his hand and turned his head up to him. "You look beautiful, baby. You're perfect."

"Thank you, sir," Jensen said quietly. There was something in him that responded to this. Always had been, always would be. Jensen had given up fighting and was trying to come to terms with the side of him that wanted to submit, the confused places that snapped into comforting order at the sound of his master's command.

"I've got a big job for you tonight. It's not going to be easy on you. Don't think I don't know that. Do you think you can be strong, and do it for me?"

It was an order, not actually a question. Jensen nodded. "Yes sir," he said.

"Good. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to oil you up now with my own hands, so you're nice and shiny. You're going to glitter in that ballroom, Jensen. It's going to be full of people tonight, men and women dressed like me. Black tie. And you're going to be naked. Yes?"

"Yes, Jeffery," Jensen said. Despite himself, his cock perked to life, lifting a little under Jeffery's touch, his words, his lusty tone. Jeffery noticed and smiled indulgently.

"There's my good boy. God Jensen, you really are a treasure." He guided Jensen's head forward, into his own crotch, and Jensen nestled there. He pressed his face into Jeffery's stiffening dick and caressed his master's bulge with his cheek, then turned his face to bury his nose there, his lips, taking in the deep and private scent of Jeffery. Jeffery moaned quietly for a moment, encouraging Jensen with gentle pressure to the back of his head, before guiding him away.

"Save that for later," Jeffery said. "You'll need it." Jensen looked up into his eyes. "There's going to be lots of important people at this party," Jeffery said. "And it's very important that things go well. Tonight is crucial for the future of Morgan Enterprises. Which means it's crucial for your future as well. Do you understand that, sweetheart?"

Jensen was too out of his head with a strange combination of lust and dread to resent the implication that he was little more than a pretty face. "Yes, sir," he said. Shelter, food, his place in the world—it all depended on Jeffery. Yeah, he got it.

Jeffery reached for his fly. "Good. I've selected the two of you to perform tonight for a reason. You're my very best slaves, you know that? You always leave me satisfied. And it's very important, tonight, that not a single one of my guests goes unsatisfied." Then he freed his stiffening dick from the expensive pants, and Jensen had his way with it.

***

If Jensen had known just how literally Jeffery meant his last statement, he might have felt more dread as Jeffery oiled him and Jared, his smooth strong hands working every inch, from their ears and lips to between their ass cheeks and over and under and around their balls, and placed the expensive silver collars with the delicate chain leads around their necks. As it was, he'd allowed himself to be led more or less complacently, a chained and oiled pig, into the ballroom where candles and champagne glasses sparkled and serving slaves walked naked through the crowd, bearing trays of delicate, delicious food and drink. A few guests watched with mild interest as Jeffery led Jensen and Jared to a spot along the wall where there were thick soft pillows on the ground, guards to left and right, and behind them, a suspicious array of tissues, lubricant, condoms, and mouthwash. The only other item was a piece of furniture, a sort of high narrow bench that rose to waist-level and was thickly padded, clearly meant for bending over. Jensen's stomach clenched. Jared actually stopped in his tracks. The resistance on his lead caused Jeffery to stop, turn, and give Jared the coldest look Jensen had ever seen their master give. It was a dangerous look, laced with warning and anger. "It's all right, man," Jensen soothed Jared quietly, even though it wasn't. It was far from all right. But Jared moved forward anyway.

Jeffery hung their leads on hooks that waited just below eye-level. "Attend," he said, and both Jared and Jensen dropped to their knees in front of them, their leads stretching just enough to allow this movement. Jensen was glad Jared was at least capable of this much. Jeffery looked down at them a moment. "It may seem to you that I'm asking a lot," he said. "But in the end, I'm asking the only thing I ever have: obedience. Give me that, and you'll be rewarded. Resist, and you'll be punished. Severely enough that you won't forget it. As long as you live."

"Yes, sir," Jensen and Jared answered together. There was nothing more to do.

"Jared, position yourself over the bench. You'll see to the men. Jensen, you'll be accommodating the women. Not your specialty, but I trust you can handle it?" He actually said this with a wry grin, like it was their little joke. Still, Jensen replied with a yes sir, he could. He'd been trained to please both sexes indiscriminately. He worked hard to hide his irritation. Jeffery knew damn well that Jared hated taking it up the ass, while Jensen himself. . . frankly didn't mind all that much. Yet he'd deliberately asked Jared to bend over and spread for every horny dude in the room. Which was probably all of them.

"I don't think I can do this," Jared whispered to Jensen when Jeffery turned his back on them and walked away. Jensen kept his head down in obedient position, but raised his eyes to watch Jeffery as he moved among the crowd, smiling warmly and shaking hands.

"Stop being such a pussy," Jensen said, going for a bullying sort of encouragement over any dewy-eyed support, which didn't seem to work on Jared anyway. "Just suck it up. Or. . . in." Jensen laughed at his clever joke. Jared shook his head, annoyed, but at least he wasn't pissing himself in fear. "Just get your ass over that bench, man, or you'll regret it." Breathing in deeply, Jared did as he'd been ordered, positioning himself so that everyone in the room was granted a perfect view of his tanned, oiled, bruised ass. They waited.

Jensen was approached first. He saw her shoes from across the room, diamond-encrusted high heels, and knew she was headed for him. Unfortunately, Jensen's mind chose that moment to call up an image of his mother. Barefoot, they could never afford shoes, walking across the earthen-floored hut he'd been born into, after an older brother and before the sister. The blue-eyed, plain but sweet sister that would have been sold into this life, the worthless girl, had he, Jensen, at six-years-old, not run out to the traders and insisted they take him instead. The traders had taken one look at Jensen's face and refused his sister outright. She'd sobbed in confusion, only two years old, and his father had watched, stoic, clutching his bag of coins as they led Jensen away. His mother had gone to the market that morning to try and work for eggs or beans. Jensen never thought about her returning, barefoot, to the terrible dark hut and finding him gone. And Mackenzie. She must be a woman now. Despite all his efforts not to, Jensen thought about her nearly every night.

Jensen blinked, shaking the memories away. The woman's fingers were in his hair. He didn't look up at her, he wouldn't unless he had to. This one didn't require it. She was wearing a short black skirt and no hose. No panties either, Jensen quickly discovered. He wondered idly if Jeffery had put it on the invitation: Black Tie Gala, Underwear Not Required. Then the woman urged his face into her cleft and he obeyed, squeezing his eyes shut, working his tongue into her damp and fragrant folds and listening dispassionately as her breathing became faster and her moans more urgent. She came quickly and, once he was certain her climax was complete, Jensen pulled back and waited for her breathing to slow. She patted him twice on the cheek. "Not half bad, you are," she said.

"Pleasure's all mine," Jensen said ironically, before remembering Jeffery's specific instructions. "Thank you, ma'am. It's what I'm here for." He could practically feel Jared rolling his eyes as the woman smiled and walked away. One of the guards gave Jensen a cup of water to rinse and spit into, taking it from him and tucking it into a discreetly placed trash can when Jensen was done. "Hey," Jensen said at last in reply to Jared's disdain. "You wanna take a bullwhip in front of all these people, be my guest. Disobey. I dare you."

They both knew, of course, that wouldn't happen. It wasn't long before lines had formed before Jensen and Jared and both boys began to sweat with effort. The stupid thing was that, after a while, Jensen started seriously envying Jared. All he had to do was stay bent over the bench while one by one, men lubed and spent themselves in him. They climaxed much faster than the women, and it took far less work. Not to mention the fact that taking it up the ass was much less personal than Jensen's task. His tongue began to ache deeply, completely exhausted from being pressed into woman after woman. He tried using his lips to give his tongue a break, but that was almost never enough for a woman, not if he couldn't wrap his arms around their hips and press them into him, and he'd been instructed not to touch them unless they asked for it. Some took his hands and put them on their breasts, and Jensen massaged obediently, but none, of course, had any sympathy on his aching tongue. The only ones that wanted their asses touched ordered Jensen to spank them, which he did, meaning it. Meanwhile Jared groaned and gasped next to him, as if his was the more demanding job.

The men seemed to love it. "Too big for you, sweetheart? I'll try and be gentle," more than one of them said, thrusting into him. The thing was, they weren't gentle. Jensen could tell. From the corner of his eye he could see the way Jared's moaning provoked the men to thrust harder and harder, grabbing his hair and yanking back on his head, slapping his ass, reaching around and yanking roughly on his cock.

Jensen rinsed his mouth, spit, and took a deep breath before his next duty stepped forward. Jensen tried not to sigh. She was wearing a heavy ball gown that fell in ballooning ruffles to the floor; he'd have to go all the way under it and it would be hard to breath. He had little understanding of female fashion, but apparently dresses of every length were in this year, and some women had even unzipped and shoved down sleek pantsuits, most without underwear, giving him easy access. He held his poor tongue still and waited for the woman to lift her gown, but instead she touched his hair, almost gently—Jensen knew better than to trust that—and said, "Look at me."

Unwillingly but knowing he must obey, Jensen raised his green eyes and tried to infuse them with willingness and lust rather than the exhaustion and irritation he was feeling. The woman had long blonde hair in curls and dark blue eyes. She was pretty, which helped a little, but didn't matter as much as one might think. There was a strange familiarity to her face, Jensen tried to think where he might have seen her before. He didn't come in to contact with many women, other than slaves. And this woman certainly wasn't one of those.

He waited for her lusty smile, demeaning words, an unwanted touch or grope anywhere on his body, but they didn't come. The woman was looking at him carefully, examining him almost, like he was a painting. The lack of sensuality in her gaze confused him, and he held it, looking right back. Then he breathed in sharply. He realized the thing that was familiar about the woman's face. The jaw line, the eyes. The feminine nose. In some ways, it was like looking at his own reflection.

"Jensen?" The woman said quietly. Jensen froze. His name wasn't a secret, exactly, but none of Jeffery's guests ever used it. "Is that you?"

"Who are you?" Jensen said quietly. His eyes darted wildly, to the men in line for Jared, to the guards. It looked strange, the woman just staring at him like this, her hand on his head like a blessing, not like a client with her whore. She was going to get him in trouble. "How can I please you?" He said, trying to move things along.

The woman recoiled. Her eyes looked a bit sickened, but mostly sad. "Don't you remember me?" she said. Those blue eyes. Suddenly, Jensen couldn't breathe. It was hard to get the word out.

"Mackenzie? How—what--?" Jensen stuttered. But she pulled back.

"I don't think I'm in the mood after all," she said lightly to the guards in the voice of a moneyed woman. "This one's not really my type." She didn't look at him again. She just turned and left. Jensen wanted to call after her to wait, hold on, what the hell was going on? But some voice of wisdom in his head overcame the wild reeling and he held himself in check. In a moment, another woman was squeezing his shoulders and he was buried deep into her soft folds, licking and sucking and teasing with his aching tongue like the unspent whore he was. Just when he thought he couldn't take it another moment, relief arrived. Jeffery came and ordered them to switch.

***

They were allowed to sleep late the night after the gala—until 9 am. When they woke, Jensen pretended he hadn't heard Jared crying himself to sleep. He didn't know why this life was so much harder on his fellow slave, he just knew that it was. After they were scrubbed clean and their asses rubbed in healing salve, Jensen was summoned to Jeffery's room for breakfast. Over an elaborate affair of bacon, hash browns, sausages, eggs, and beautiful sugar-dusted pastries with strong coffee, Jeffery told Jensen how pleased he was with him, his "performance", as Jeffery put it. A big success for Morgan Enterprises. Jensen half expected Jeffery to mention the one woman in the crowd who had refused his services, ask him who she was, but there was no mention. Only praise.

Jared, of course, received no such accolades.

After breakfast, it was time for their workout. Jensen obeyed the trainer, went through the motions, his brain buzzing with questions about the blonde in the poufy dress. It couldn't really have been his sister, Mackenzie, born in a dirt hovel to an alcoholic father content to drink away the days and let his family live in poverty. Women from the slums Jensen was born in didn't arrive in places like this except the way he had—slavery. There was no way anyone from that world could land at a Morgan Enterprise Black Tie Gala, dressed in that dress, speaking in that confident voice, fingers dipped in diamonds and pearls. She hadn't called herself Mackenzie, after all. He had. Thinking about his family earlier, before being forced to spend hours on his knees pleasing strangers to hard-earned climax had just put him into a vulnerable state. He'd seen what he wanted to see. That was all.

By the end of the workout, panting and dripping with sweat, Jensen had convinced himself that it was all in his mind. She'd just been a blonde who didn't like the looks of him. Nothing more. "Good workout," he said companionably to Jared in the locker room. Jared didn't reply, but at least he didn't frown or seem annoyed or tell Jensen to fuck off. Jeffery always went easy on them after a big night like they'd just had. It was almost certain that their only duties today, other than working out, would be a possible evening alone with their master later on. Sometimes Jensen even got a private dinner. Fresh from being showered, Jensen toweled off and looked forward to an afternoon off in the reward rooms, playing video games or just laying down for a nap. A slave appeared with clothes, and Jensen realized with a start that he'd only brought one set. He glanced at Jared, and with difficulty, forced himself not to look away as the man's face fell in dismay.

"J One," the slave said, referring to Jensen by his slave name. "You've got the afternoon in the reward rooms. J Two, you're to report to Jeffery's discipline chambers for punishment."

"Why?" Jensen said, but of course, there was no answer. There were only Jared's slumped shoulders as he walked away

Chapter Text

Just when Jensen thought Jared wouldn't return before his time in the reward rooms was up, the door swung open. Jensen was on the leather couch making a half-hearted go at shooting down Zombies that were taking over Buckingham Palace. He'd had a nap and a nice lunch and was feeling good, as he usually did, given a little downtime and some privacy.

Jared, clearly, was not refreshed. His gait was stiff and ginger, he was obviously still in pain. Jensen looked back at the screen as Jared slumped in a nearby chair, breathing in as his ass made contact with the soft cushion and not allowing his back to touch anything. "What'd you get?" he asked matter-of-factly.

"A wide variety of straps. Jeffery had a few new toys and lucky me. I was chosen to break them in."

Jensen winced sympathetically. "Let me guess. There was one real skinny one, and one fat and heavy one, and you couldn't decide which you hated worse." Jeffery was fond of using a thin strap on Jensen like a horsewhip during their nights together, bringing him to the very brink of orgasm, the moment cum was about to rush in and spill, and then order Jensen to stop. Jensen would hold himself still over the bed while Jeffery teased him with the strap, more like a whip, an excruciating pleasure. Tortured and panting and on the terrible brink of forbidden orgasm, Jensen would balance motionless on hands and knees above the bed, arm muscles straining, and use all his will power in the effort not to rut his pulsing, purple cock desperately into the sheets, the pillows, thrust into his own hands. All the while Jeffery snapped his thighs and bottom with the strap, making Jensen hornier and harder and so fully aroused that he'd end up crying and begging Jeffery, anything to let him finally come. Usually, Jeffery would.

"Twenty points," Jared said flatly.

"Why?"

"Same as always," Jared said. "Jeffery hates me."

"Maybe he just likes to see you squirm."

"Like that leaves me any less fucked?" He had a point.

Jensen blew the heads off zombies for a while in silence. He was still rattled from the woman who had looked at him like trying to find a person she'd once known in Jensen's features. Maybe their similar appearances—totally coincidental, of course—had thrown her off, too. Without really thinking about it, he asked, "Where were you? Before you were here."

"Getting my ass beat—"

"No, you idiot. I mean before you were here."

Jared gave the bitchiest face Jensen had ever seen on him. Which was saying a lot. "Why do you keep asking me stuff like that, man? Like you're trying to—what? Get to know me? You know good and well you're going to have to fight me tomorrow night—if not tonight, even. Stop trying to be my friend. It's fucked. It's messing with my head."

"You're right," Jensen said coldly. He was. Jensen didn't know what was wrong with him. He blew up zombies and waited for Jared to leave him alone, waited for the slaves to come and take them wherever Jeffery's next whim demanded.

"I was home," Jared said. For a moment Jensen didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Then he realized Jared was replying to his question. After a moment, he said:

"Oh yeah?"

"With my older brother and younger sister."

Same as Jensen. "In the slums?"

"No," Jared said, slightly confused. "In Brentwood Estates. I was all set to go to some big Secondary School. Football scholarship."

Jensen grunted. "Don't tell me you were gonna be some famous quarterback."

"Mighta been, actually," Jared said. He was trying to keep his tone light, but Jensen could hear the wistfulness clear as day. The guy had no damn defenses. He kept showing such vulnerability, this life was gonna eat him alive. "I wasn't bad. I was good, I mean. Really good."

"So what happened? Jeffery won you, didn't he? Some kinda bet?"

Jared shook his head. "Not exactly. My dad was really wealthy. Maybe not Morgan Enterprises wealthy, but. Close enough. Vacations and servants, tennis and equestrian lessons. Not the kinda life to prepare me—anyway. Turns out he had all this money wrapped up in something not quite legal. Then when the Big Twelve fell—"

"The what?"

Jared's smile was small but unmistakable. "The Big Twelve. Huge companies that own basically everything that exists. Everything in this house was made by one of the Big Twelve Companies, and that's just the beginning. Or would have been, before the fall anyway."

"They like, tumbled over?"

Jared managed to stifle a rising laugh. "Not physically. The market bottomed out, emptied everyone's portfolios and all the investors—"

"Dude," Jensen said. "English?"

"Sorry. They uh, they lost all their money. Everything. And, as it turns out, my dad's money with it."

Jensen was starting to see where this was going. "So he sold you to Jeffery to earn back his fortune?"

"No," Jared said, taken aback. "I would've brought in a few thousand, dude. My dad lost millions. I know I'm pretty hot, but not even I'd bring in that much. My dad had invested illegally, remember? He was gonna go to jail. But Jeffery knew some guys in the office. Pulled some strings."

"Ah," Jensen nodded. "And all he asked for was you." He spoke without empathy for the weight of the situation and regretted it. "I'm sorry."

"Dad let him come in and pick who he wanted," Jared said darkly. "Jeffery picked me. You know he prefers guys, and my brother. . . I'm the good looking one. Lucky me. My dad didn't go to jail."

Jensen thought about his own birth in the dangerous back alleys of the filthy slums, his years of training at the slave academy, the instruction in reading body language, pleasing masters, giving pleasure, withstanding pain. No wonder he handled everything better than Jared did. He'd been preparing for this life ever since one day when he was only six years old. Too young to have made friends, played football, earned scholarships. Too young to have envisioned a future any different from this. In some ways, what Jensen had now was better than what he would have inherited had his father not sold him—for less than a few thousand, Jensen was sure. He would have grown unschooled, probably never even have learned to read, and taken a job in a coal mine or rock quarry or oil rig, and that only if he managed to escape the debilitating alcoholism that befell nearly all of the men and good portions of the women. He would have lived in a dirt hovel with some slum-rat wife and god knows how many children, all of them eating scraps and squirrel meat and the sickle grass that grew over the old waste swamps for "roughage". Jared, on the other hand, had been just old enough to imagine the fame and prestige of being a star quarterback, followed by a job at dad's company with a fat paycheck, a rich and beautiful wife, and a couple children he never had to see if he didn't want to. Golf on the weekends, bi-yearly vacations to the beaches Jeffery kept saying he'd take Jensen to. Of the two of them, Jared definitely had it worse.

"He must not have made any money back yet," Jared said. "My dad, I mean. Or else he'd come to buy me back."

Fat chance, Jensen thought, but didn't say it. He knew the type of man Jared's dad was. A man willing to sell his strapping sons or gentle-bred daughter to save his own ass wasn't a man that came running to pay a heavy price simply to get back offspring that would have inherited a sensual gait, sexual knowledge mom and dad could only guess at to glitter at them across the dinner table, and all kinds of angst and resentment. To men like Jared's father, Jared was nothing but damaged goods. Jared's father probably hadn't even told his friends the truth about what happened to Jared. Probably had invented some sob story about his son running off, broke his mama's heart. Jensen didn't know if it was good or bad, that Jared didn't see that.

"You suck at this game, dude," Jared said. Jensen threw down the controller.

"Right? I've been playing for two hours and I'm still on level one." The academy had not offered lessons in Zombie Wars 2.

"That's 'cause you don't use guns to kill zombies. You have to cut off their heads with machetes. Move over." Like so many times before, Jensen relinquished control.

***

It shouldn't have, but it came as a major shock to Jensen to find himself standing across from Jared in the opponent's ring just twenty-four hours after killing zombies together. The delicate rapport they'd established over the last few days became an awkward weight between them the moment slaves arrived to prepare them for another one of Jeffery's meetings. Jensen had laid awake that night thinking about it. He knew exactly what he was going to do.

"I know the last few days have been different," Jensen muttered to Jared as the slaves stripped them naked and oiled them down in preparation for Jeffery. He used the toughest voice he could. "But when we get out there, it's every man for himself, just like it's always—"

"Of course it is," said Jared, surprised to the point of disgust at the mere suggestion that things could be otherwise. He was so disdaining, it erased any doubt Jensen had about Jared's ability to fight him off. Then Jared had turned at the slave's commanding slap, and Jensen felt like a fist had hit him in the gut. Jared's back was a shocking canvas of color. Bruises of every hue, from old green and yellow ones to vivid purple new ones, lined with white and red welts that ran from the tops of his shoulders down to his knees. Jensen knew for a fact that he had never been beaten to such a state himself. He made his voice hard. "Looks like you've got some real motive to put up a fight," he said. Jared had made no reply.

Now Jeffery stood between them, stroking Jensen's cock to the state of semi-hardness he liked them in. "I hardly think I need to repeat the rules," he said dryly. Jensen in his right hand, he reached and took Jared in his left. "Whoever comes first this evening not only gets punished here, he gets put up in the slave's hall for display." Jensen's stomach clenched. He'd only been put on display in the hall once, punishment for a small rebellion, and had survived it just barely. Chained in the hall for six hours, he'd endured the attentions of whatever slave felt like giving them to him—the angry, the jealous, the lustful, the bored. A guard had stood by, of course, making sure no one did Jeffery's favorite possession any permanent damage. There was no shortage of jealousy among the domestic slaves for the perceived attention and affection Jeffery lavished on Jensen. But other than making sure he wasn't knifed or beaten to death, the guard had let the slaves do whatever they wanted to him. After the two days, the guards had had to drag him back to Jeffery's chambers, where he'd sobbed and fallen to the floor, promising only to do exactly as he was asked from now on. And he had.

He could see from the fear that paled Jared's face that at some point, Jared had endured the slave's hall, too.

The men smoked their cigarettes and placed their bets. It was mostly Jeffery's usual crowd, with two or three new voices. Jensen did his best not to look at the faces. There was no one in the room but him, Jared, and Jeffery, as far as he was concerned.

Jeffery stepped out of the ring. The countdown timer started. Jensen paused briefly. He had to be careful. It was clear from Jared's stance that he remembered exactly what Jensen had done last time—lured him in, taken control, avoided stimulating him only to dominate and make Jared climax fast in the end—and that he wasn't going to let that happen again. He decided to go with his usual tactic, which worked sometimes and which Jared might not be expecting tonight. Before more than six seconds had ticked off the timer, Jensen crouched low and threw himself at Jared, going for the waist and hoping to get him down onto the ground. Jared was big, but Jensen was stronger, and usually, with a bit of grappling, he could do it.

It didn't work this time, though. Jared neatly side-stepped Jensen, and his own force sent Jensen flying into the bars behind where Jared had stood. As his body made contact with metal, he felt a heavy, taunting slap on his ass. The men howled. They loved it. Jensen looked like some kind of rodeo clown. He spun on Jared, angry now. Jared watched him with a satisfied smirk. Jensen was so angry, he nearly made the same mistake twice, but stopped himself. He rose from his crouch and put both his hands on his hips, watching Jared. Daring him. Jeffery would only let them get away with this kind of stand-off for a few seconds, once or twice. Jensen stared at Jared. Jared only sighed like he was bored and raised one eyebrow at Jensen.

Somebody groaned. "Not very exciting, Jeffery," one of his cronies complained.

"You know what these two needs? Cattle prods. Electric."

"You have three seconds to engage," Jeffery said. "Or I'll take you both to slave's hall and leave you there."

Jensen thought surely the threat would send Jared his way, but it didn't. Jared's face was impassive. "Fuck!" Jensen said, scrambling forward at the last possible second, throwing himself clumsily into Jared. Jared opened his arms wide in an embrace and caught Jensen chest-to-chest, spun him, threw him down. Jared fell on top of him, that awful smirk on his face, and bent low to whisper in Jensen's ear. "Remember this? You fucker. You're going to pay." And he sucked Jensen's earlobe, to the cheers of their audience.

This wasn't the Jared Jensen had been expecting to deal with. And the breath in his ear was a problem. He needed to change tactics. "Oh yeah, rich boy?" he growled, saying the only thing he knew for sure would get under Jared's skin. He moved his knee up into Jared's balls, pressing lightly so it wouldn't hurt but insistently enough to turn Jared on. It worked. Jared bucked back but couldn't get the distance he needed while keeping Jensen pinned. His eyes were the best part. They went hot with anger at Jensen's betrayal of his confidence. "I'm a slum rat, remember? And you know what we do in the slums?"

"Fuck your mothers for money?"

Jensen laughed at Jared's sad attempt to get to him. "We fight."

At those words, Jared made a fast grab for Jensen's cock, but Jensen stopped him. He caught Jared's wrist in his hand and twisted, bending it back the wrong way until Jared gasped and collapsed against Jensen's chest. Just when Jensen was about to maneuver on top of Jared, Jeffery's voice rang out:

"Hold it there, boys." They froze. They had to. "Caress each other," Jeffery said. "Like you mean it."

Jared and Jensen uttered matching curses under their breath. Obediently, Jensen released Jared's hand and moved his arms down the length of Jared's back, slick with oil and maybe a little bit of sweat. He avoided Jared's ass, moving his hands instead down to the man's hips, squeezing there before running them back up Jared's sides and into his hair, his neck. He thumbed Jared's ear. It was terrible. The anger in Jared's eyes flickered to lust, to anger, and back again. Meanwhile, Jared took advantage of Jensen's greater vulnerability and put his hand on Jensen's cock, stroking gently, patiently. Like a real lover. Jensen responded predictably. It felt so good that he rather absentmindedly thumbed at Jared's lower lip, then stuck one finger into Jared's mouth. Jared sucked needily. He realized he knew this was a turn-on for Jared, and it disturbed him that he didn't know how he knew this. "Damnit, Jen," Jared sighed. Jensen knew exactly what he meant.

"Now kiss," said Jeffery. Jensen obeyed like the well-trained whore he was. He took Jared by the sides of his face and drew him down, pushing their lips together, gently at first, then growing bolder and teasing his tongue between Jared's lips, into the soft folds of his fellow slave's mouth. It was all too much. The emotional strain of the week, the woman at the party, Jared's frustrating vulnerability. Jensen made the terrible mistake of closing his eyes and allowing himself to just kiss Jared. Gently. Lovingly. The only way he'd ever really wanted to kiss anybody.

"Jen," Jared groaned again, pulling back. "Oh god, Jen—"

"I know, baby," Jensen muttered quietly, not thinking, just responding. He reached down and brushed his fingertips along Jared's cock, teasing. Orders were orders. Then he took Jared's hand and urged it along his own cock, showing Jared how to work him just right.

"I'm sorry, Jensen," Jared said. His voice was shaky. "I'm so sorry. I just can't take another punishment—"

"I know. Ssshhh," Jensen said. Then he pushed Jared gently, and Jared responded just as Jensen knew he would—he rolled, like a lover, allowing Jensen to get on top of him.

"Enough," Jeffery's voice snapped. "Fight."

"Fight!" the men erupted, enlivened by the interlude. The kiss ended. Jared's eyes snapped open and he realized his mistake, what Jensen had done, getting above him. The confusion and deep pain of utter betrayal Jensen saw in Jared's eyes cut him to the core. He hated himself, in that moment.

But it was what he had to do.

Jensen put on a good show. Hovering over Jared, pressing him down with a forearm to the chest, Jensen worked the man's cock like he had every intention of bringing him to climax right then and there. He did it slowly, giving Jared enough time to move from hurt to furious. And Jared did. With anger-fueled adrenaline, Jared got one arm free. Jensen pretended not to see it coming and took a fist to his jaw. He didn't have to pretend at how much it sent him reeling. Jared quickly flipped him over and went straight for Jensen's ass, driving his cock down into Jensen's intimate depths without lubricant or warning, his anger raw and punishing. Jensen's chest and legs rose off the mat in pain and he bit down on a knuckle to keep from screaming. Jared thrust a few times between Jensen's cheeks until they all started to wonder what the fuck he was doing—this way, Jared would only make himself come. The crowd was going wild, calling for more drinks, throwing down more money, switching bets. They hadn't seen anything so savage from the boys in a while. Jared stopped thrusting, raised an arm, and smacked Jensen's ass. Jensen could have cried from the humiliation but he forced himself not to, biting back tears as Jared continued to spank him, pinned to the ground, naked and writhing. Jensen's body jerked under the force of Jared's palm each time it spanked his ass. He squirmed, but couldn't get a good hold to fight back.

"Wait," Jeffery said, and Jared paused. Jensen, panting, kept his eyes on the patch of mat directly in front of him. He had to remain focused on what he intended to do. "Jensen. Ask him for it."

Jensen let out one breath that was almost a cry before swallowing hard. "Please spank me, Jared."

Jared spanked him hard.

"Ask him again. Give him a reason."

Jensen squeezed his eyes shut, bracing. Then: "Please spank me again, Jared. For hurting you."

There was a barely discernible pause before Jared spanked Jensen again, and then kept going. Four times, five, ten, it felt like just punishment and Jensen took it like one. He lost count before he heard Jeffery speak his name in a warning tone and remembered he was supposed to fight. By then, Jared was both focused on the spanking and growing tired, and Jensen managed to get back onto his hands and knees.

They sparred for a while. Jensen put on a good show, a few times getting the better of Jared and stroking him just enough so that it appeared he was making a real effort, stopping just short of making Jared come. Their bodies pressed together, naked, flesh to slick flesh, was a true misery. It was intimate and arousing and driving Jensen wild with emotions he couldn't contain, and didn't have the luxury for. Finally, a glance at the clock revealed that enough time had passed to leave Jeffery satisfied. Jared was tiring—they both were—and Jensen had to do it before it was too late.

He let Jared struggle out of an elbow-lock and maneuvered so that they were both sitting, their legs around each other, again like this was the freaking Kama Sutra and not a slave fight. Then Jensen rose up slightly, lifting his bottom from the ground—like he was going to try to get above Jared—and Jared did as Jensen knew he would. He stuck two fingers up Jensen's ass.

Jensen pretended to be thrown off balance and fell down onto Jared's hand, driving Jared into him further. He met Jared's eyes and issued a challenge. Jared accepted. The man moved quickly. Jensen pretended to fight back but allowed Jared to push him back, put his weight on him. "Bet you like your fingers there, don't you, Mr. Quarterback?" Jensen said, inciting him further. It worked. Jared took Jensen's cock and began to stroke. Jensen pushed imperceptibly into him.

Jared made the mistake, however, of leaving Jensen's arms unbound. The fingers in his ass would make him come faster, but Jensen couldn't just lay there and risk Jeffery catching on to him. So he grunted to get Jared's attention and moved his hands rather slowly toward Jared's face. Jared realized just in time and took his hand off Jensen's dick, grabbing Jensen by the wrists and pinning him down. Jensen moved his hips in a way that would look like he was squirming to get free. Really, he was working himself on Jared's long fingers. He felt pre-cum.

Jared looked momentarily confused. It was hard to tell if it was because of Jensen's sensual squirming, or because he was trapped with one hand under his opponent. Jensen squirmed again—then raised his hips, allowing Jared to free himself.

Jared took advantage. He pulled his hand from Jensen's ass and went straight to Jared's cock. Jared stroked Jensen fast, staring down intensely into Jensen's eyes, his hair falling around his face, sweat on his brown. Jensen was close to orgasm when Jared frowned, then looked at Jensen, and realization dawned in his eyes.

He knew what Jensen was doing.

"Jen—" he breathed.

"Come on you fucking rich fuck," Jensen said, doing his best to keep Jared angry. "You like this, I know you do. Like your hand up my ass, like spanking me, like the sight of me beneath you." Jared flinched. Oh god, Jensen thought. Oh god, was that true? He hadn't meant to tease Jared about something that was—fuck.

"Jen, don't. . . " Jared whispered. The men were cheering so nosily, there was no risk of them being heard. "Don't do this. Come on. Fight me. Please." His eyes were suddenly desperate. "Damnit Jensen. Not like this." He was near tears.

"Sorry," Jensen said, and meant it. "Can't."

Then he spewed hot cum all over Jared's stomach and his own aching thighs.

There was an eruption of cries of triumph and dismay. "Get off him so I can beat him," Jeffery immediately ordered Jared. It was chilling, really. How quickly Jeffery snapped to the task of their punishments. Jared's hand was dangling at Jensen's hip. Before he obeyed, he grabbed Jensen's hand and squeezed it and it frightened Jensen, how hard it was resisting the urge to hold that hand, to pull Jared toward him and cry or hide. But Jensen didn't and Jared did as he was told, rising and moving away from Jensen.

"Show me your bottom," Jeffery ordered, but Jensen was already rolling.

"Yes sir," he said, emptying his mind of what was about to come. It was the only way he could make himself obey. His mind remained blank for about a second before Jeffery's belt whizzed in the air. It slammed into the fleshiest part of Jensen's ass and Jensen grunted. Jared's spanking had turned out to be a bit of a blessing—it had warmed him up. He was able to take the belt a few times before the pain became too intense. Jeffery beat him, taking up a rhythm. He was silent for so long that Jensen, beginning to writhe under the pain, thought maybe he was going to be spared the humiliation of speaking. He should have known better.

"Why do you need this beating, Jenny?" Jeffery said just as Jensen bit down on his knuckles to keep from crying out.

"Mmmm!" he grunted under a painful stroke. "Because I can't control myself, sir."

"Like what?"

"Like a whore, Jeffery. I'm sorry. I—mmmm!—I need you to beat me for acting like a little whore. Please punish me, sir."

Jeffery seemed satisfied. He forced Jensen to say a few more things—about how naughty he was, how badly he needed his master, "Thank you sir, for my punishment," Jeffery wanted to hear a good handful of times. He didn't remember much, these things he was forced to utter while taking the strap.The thing Jensen would always remember was the way Jared had tried not to cry as Jeffery strapped him raw and lead him away.

Chapter Text

By the time Jared arrived, Jensen had lost track of everything.

How many cocks had been in his ass.

How many cocks had been in his ass at once.

How many hours—or days?—Jensen had been tied there, in the underground slaves hall, kneeling on the cold, hard tiles, or sometimes lying with them pressing into his stomach or back.

How many hours he'd held out before he'd cried in shame and relieved his bladder right there onto the ground.

How many times the guard had beat him with the quirt before cleaning it up.

How many men had come in his mouth, on his face, and ordered him to swallow.

How many feet he'd been commanded to bend down and kiss. How many toes he'd had to suck.

How many toys they'd used on him. Lacking Jeffery's expensive accessories, the slaves got creative, beating and spanking him with anything they could find—their own shoes, their hairbrushes, their belts, and all manner of kitchen implement, including wooden spoons and spatulas and a paddle strainer that had holes drilled in it, and had left welts on Jensen's ass and thighs pocked like Swiss cheese.

How many women he'd been forced to please, because Jeffery had ordered it.

Jeffery had brought him down here, to the absolute bowels of the house, and tied him himself. Silence had fallen over the entire noisy common room, Jeffery's presence there an exotic rarity, something that had probably never happened before. After locking Jensen's wrists in the chains that hung off the wooden post, Jeffery had bent down to Jensen's eye-level and his eyes, so cold and impersonal, had hurt Jensen almost physically. "I'm sorry," Jensen said to his master, desperate to be back in his good graces. He didn't want to be relieved from his punishment—he actually craved his punishment, having betrayed his master, after all--he just wanted forgiveness. "I'm so sorry, sir. Please. I'll try harder--"

Jeffery silenced him with a sharp slap to the face. "Shut your mouth. I know what you want, Jensen. You want to be my good boy again, don't you? You want to be my good little slave?"

"Yes sir," Jensen said, too spent to hate himself for it.

"Then you submit yourself to these slaves the way you submit to me. You do what they ask. You obey their orders as if they were mine."

Jensen had ground his jaw and looked into Jeffery's eyes. "Please, sir. I'll obey you in anything. Everything. I'll submit to you perfectly and do anything you ask. But please don't make me do this. Please don't make me submit to them. It's too much for me." Never before had Jensen spoken such words to his master.

Jeffery's hand came up and Jensen flinched, expecting another slap. Instead, Jeffery caressed him, sliding his hand from his hair down to his cheek, stopping at his neck. He leaned close to Jensen's ear. "Then take your punishment," Jeffery whispered. "And don't you ever fucking try to weasel out of one again. You're a whore, baby, but I never took you for a coward. Are you a coward?"

"No, sir," Jensen said.

"No," said Jeffery. "So what do you want?"

Jensen swallowed hard, steeling his eyes on the ground."My punishment, sir."

Jeffery pressed his lips to Jensen's lips, but even as he kissed him, he squeezed his fingers tighter and tighter around Jensen's neck until Jensen grunted in pain. He drew back, and without another word to Jensen, rose to his feet.

"This pleasure slave has displeased me," he shouted to the hall. "He's a little slut who can't take a fucking or a beating like a good boy and he's shamed me and himself. I expect you all to make him pay for it." Jensen pushed all thoughts aside and made himself go hard, bracing for what was to come as his master turned his back on him and walked away.

Now, hours or days later, they had him like this: while on his hands and knees, two domestic slaves were behind him, shoving their cocks into his asshole, which was already raw and bleeding down onto Jensen's thighs, and one slave had his balls shoved into Jensen's mouth and was working his own dick with his hand, no doubt planning to come on Jensen's face. A few minutes ago, someone had come and put clothespins on both his nipples—and god, it hurt like fuck—and the guard had handed over his quirt to another guy, who was whipping Jensen both from above, on his back and sore, bleeding bottom, and from below, smacking the thing against Jensen's stomach and even across his cock, causing Jensen to roar in pain, which earned him slaps from the guy at his face and the two in his ass. He was exhausted and quivering, every muscle shaking in pain and the effort it had taken to hold himself in whatever position was demanded, hour after hour. Still, he wasn't crying. There had been a time when he'd thought he might cry, but it had passed when someone had simply ordered him onto his stomach and then proceeded to pry open his asshole with their fingers and—examine it. Prod and poke at it and work his fingers into Jensen lazily, fingering and teasing and putting the handle to something inside it. A crowd had gathered. That's when Jensen had slipped away. His body was enduring, but his mind wasn't here. It was full of thoughts of Jeffery. Jensen shook and was shoved from being thrust into and groaned, but all the while his mind thought how happy Jeffery would be with him when this was over. How kindly Jeffery would command him, maybe even caress him. How Jensen would show his remorse with his tongue on his master's cock, his lips, his inner thighs.

His mind was so full of Jeffery that when Jared appeared off to the side, a clean dressed figure in his peripheral vision, Jensen actually believed it was his master. Abruptly he drew back, the slave's balls flopping out of his mouth, and said "Sir. I'm sorry. I've been good." At least, that's what he tried to say. His tongue was so sore and swollen from giving blow jobs that he couldn't move it properly and his words came out gibberish. He waited patiently for Jeffery to command the two men who were rutting into his ass to stop, rocking forward rhythmically, his eyes on his master.

No stop command came. The figure moved closer and a voice said, "What? What did he say?" before a hard, fleshy dick was shoved into his mouth again. Jensen sucked earnestly, wanting to show Jeffery what a good slave he'd been, how capable he was of being obedient. It wasn't long before the man came into his mouth. Jensen swallowed, far beyond gagging, and then looked up for Jeffery, waiting to hear the words that would end this. Waiting to be taken back into his master's arms.

But Jeffery just stood there while another dick pressed into his mouth. Jensen gave it a few seconds of real effort before he pulled back and began to cry. "Please tell them to stop, please," he said. It came out unclear. Somehow Jared understood.

"I can't," he said, and the voice was clearly Jared's, not Jeffery's. Jensen finally understood. "I'm so sorry, Jensen. I can't. Jeffery wanted me to see."

Too exhausted to comprehend, Jensen merely nodded. "Yes, sir," he whispered before the cock was shoved into his mouth again and one of the two men came, dripping down his ass and thighs. He shifted, trying to relieve pressure on his knees and wrists, but it only made the pain shoot up his arms and calves.

"Damnit Jensen it's me. It's Jared. Jeffery sent me here to see—to see what you've done for me." His voice cracked. Jensen couldn't answer. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried again to conjure up images of Jeffery. Anything to take his mind off the pain. Someone started paddling him. They paddled Jensen and fucked him until finally Jensen collapsed to the floor, and then they kept paddling him.

"They're gonna kill him," Jared's voice was panicked, agonized. "Can't you see they're going to kill him—"

"That's time, anyway," said the guard. "All right boys. Leave him alone. Master's orders."

For a moment Jensen lay alone there on the cold floor. Then arms were on him. He flinched, but a voice said, "Easy. I'm not gonna touch you like that," and Jensen felt himself lifted off the ground. He put weight on his own legs and almost dropped. But the arms caught him. Strong arms. The figure large, larger than Jensen. So solid. So gentle Jensen began to cry. "I gotcha," the man said, putting Jensen's arm around his neck and beginning the task of half-carrying Jensen from the hall. Jensen hurt everywhere. His head swam.

"Was I good?" he whispered.

"Yes, Jenny," a warm male voice said, after a pause. "You were a very good boy."

The world went black.

XX

Jensen woke up in his quarters, lying in his own bed. He blinked at the ceiling, trying to remember how he got here—and shit, was he late, or?—and then he remembered. Slave’s hall. Darkness. Rescue.

No Jeffery.

He was terribly thirsty. He turned his head to the side, looking for water on his bedside table, and his head and neck screamed in pain. He groaned. "Hey," Jared said. Jensen knew his voice right away, this time. "You're up."

Jensen licked his lips and tried to speak, but he couldn't make sound come out of his mouth. "Hold on," Jared said, and then he was at Jensen's side with a bottle of water, a straw sticking out of it. He guided the straw to Jensen's mouth. Jensen took a long, grateful drink, avoiding making eye contact with Jared. You would think nothing could humiliate him now, but not being able to give himself drink might just beat all.

After a long drink, Jensen rested his head back on the pillows. He swallowed a few times, took a deep breath.

"How long was I down there?"

"Twenty-four hours," Jared said softly.

"And I slept?"

"About fifteen," Jared said.

"You came and got me?"

Jared squeezed his eyes shut. "I wish—not really. Not like that. Jeffery ordered me down, so I could see your punishment."

"He knows I threw the fight?" Jensen couldn't keep the fear out of his voice.

"I don't think so," Jared said. "I think he just wanted to scare the shit out of me. And it worked. Oh god, Jensen, how can I ever—"

"Don't," Jensen said. "Just let me rest."

"Ok," said Jared, nodding. He looked like he was seriously trying not to speak. Then he blurted, "But why did you do that for me? You should have fought me. I deserved to lose. I deserved what you got."

Jensen sighed. "I had to. I just had to."

"But—"

"You can't handle all this the way I can," Jensen said. "All right? You're not made for this, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Jeffery'll eat you alive. I can handle Jeffery. I can handle the punishments, and the submission. Sometimes I like to submit. And we both know," Jensen had to pause and catch his breath, "that if Jeffery's willing to let them do this to me, he's willing to let them do much worse to you. So that's just the way it's gonna be. You come first. By not coming first, I mean." All those words left Jensen exhausted, panting.

Jared paused, as if letting him rest. "Ok," he said after a while. "I know all that is true. But so what? Why do you care?"

"Good question," Jensen muttered. He raised his chest off the bed and tried to sit up. Jared moved like he was going to help him. "Don't," Jensen warned. He managed to get himself into a sitting position, wincing. There was pain in his ribs. Had he broken a rib? Sitting up relieved some pressure on his back, but it hurt his ass.

"Jensen, why?" Jared’s eyes were warm and full of worry.

"Goddamnit, I don't know. I just do. I just did, ok? I'm in a lot of pain here, man. Could we maybe not have an Oprah moment? Right now?"

"Sorry."

"Has Jeffery--?" Jensen couldn't bring himself to finish the question.

"He hasn't come by yet," Jared said. "But I'm sure he will anytime now." Jensen realized he was being soothed.

"I'm hungry," Jensen said. Jared winced.

"You slept through lunch. I thought about waking you—"

"It's fine."

"Dinner's about four hours off. I saved you these though," Jared said, and drew two things from his nightstand. A roll and an apple.

"Awesome. Gimme the roll." The effort it would take to chew the crunchy apple seemed too much. Jensen had taken a small bite and Jared had settled into a chair, staring with furrowed brows at the floor, when the door opened. Jared flinched. Jensen swiftly tucked the roll under the blanket and swallowed. It was Jeffery.

Jensen experienced immediate relief. He watched his master calmly, hopefully, as Jeffery entered the room. He sat up straight and waited for Jeffery to approach the bed, stroke his hair off his forehead, touch his arm gently, tell him he'd done well. They'd been through this routine before. Not in front of Jared, maybe, but still. Jensen knew the steps.

But that's not what happened. Jeffery took two steps in to the room, shut the door behind him, didn't even glance at Jared, and said firmly, "Jensen. Attend."

"What?!" cried Jared. Jeffery silenced him with a glance. Jensen blinked, thinking he must have heard wrong. Jeffery would know it had been a tremendous effort for Jensen simply to sit up in bed, to swallow water. But Jeffery stared at Jensen, waiting, and so Jensen pushed the covers back, dismayed to see he was still completely naked and unshowered—why hadn't he noticed it before, the streaks of blood and dried semen down his legs? He took a deep breath and moved his legs toward the floor. The pain was everywhere, he couldn't determine the source. His ass hurt against the soft sheets. His thigh and shoulder muscles screamed agony at the movement. The muscles and joints in his ankles ached but he forced himself to put weight on them, anyway. Summoning all his strength, he pushed himself to a stand and almost fell over—but he didn't. Somehow, step by aching step, he managed to walk the length of the room, arrive at Jeffery's feet, and then, without so much as a glance at his master's face, forced his burning thighs to lower him to his knees. He lost balance. He started to fall, but Jeffery's hand caught his upper arm and lowered him to the ground.

"Good," Jeffery said, his voice husky. Jensen didn't know with what. Lust? Regret? Anger? "See how good you are, Jensen? How obedient?"

Jensen frowned. He didn't know how he felt about that, at the moment. "Yes, sir," he answered by rote, too spent to risk displeasing Jeffery.

"You understand why you had to be punished, Jensen?"

"Because I climaxed first, sir," Jensen said.

"And?"

"And let you down," Jensen's reply was emotionless. Usually some part of him agreed with what he said when he told Jeffery why he needed to be punished, or had deserved one recently. But this was different. How had he let Jeffery down, after all? He'd given them all a great show. The punishment he'd taken for doing something inevitable seemed unusually severe.

"What do you show me when you take the punishments I give you, Jensen?"

"I show you—" Jensen stopped. Something about the severity of the discipline made it impossible for Jensen to give the expected answer. He was exhausted and in great pain and his mind searched for an honest answer. He couldn't think of anything. He didn't show a single thing by taking that kind of punishment except that he was, in fact, a slave, one who had survived Jeffery another day. He wouldn't go so far as to blurt that, so he made no reply. A small rebellion.

"He's thirsty," Jared said after a moment. Trying to cover for him.

"Of course he is," said Jeffery. "Give me that water."

Jared passed Jeffery the bottle of water, and then Jeffery did something Jensen had never seen him do. He dropped to his knees so that he was on level with Jensen, and pushed the bottle to Jensen's lips. "Drink, sweetheart," he said gently.

His tone of voice broke something in Jensen. A tear rolled down his cheek, and Jensen drank. He drank deeply, drank the entire bottle of water, and then Jeffery pulled Jensen into his arms. Jensen fell against his chest, wincing in pain, but the feeling of Jeffery against his skin was too good and he couldn't bring himself to pull away. He rested his forehead in the hollow of Jeffery's shoulder.

"You did good, Jensen. I know that was hard on you. You're still growing, baby. That's what you prove. I'm still teaching you. You have the capacity to be such a perfect pleasure slave, Jensen, and I'm bringing that out in you. Do you see that? I know it's hard on you, but it makes you better. My poor boy." Jeffery's hand roamed down to Jensen's cock. His voice was hot in Jensen’s ear. His stubble was rough against Jensen’s face. "My poor baby. Can you get hard for me, sweetheart? Do you think you can get hard?"

Jensen's head was swimming. He craved this so much from Jeffery, and here it was. In front of Jared, but here still. He hated himself for it, but he still wanted Jeffery's approval. He nodded.

"What? Say it to me, Jensen. I need to know you're ok."

"I can get hard for you, Jeffery."

"That's my boy," Jeffery purred in approval. He turned Jensen gently, so that Jensen's back fell into his chest, and then he caressed Jensen's naked body with his hands, running his palms from Jensen's shoulders, over his pecs, across his stomach and groin to his thighs, and back up again. "My poor little whore, all covered in blood and semen. You're dirty, Jensen. Aren't you?"

"Yes sir," Jensen said, so confused. "I mean, no—I'm just, I just need a shower—"

"Don't defy me, Jensen," Jeffery growled, tweaking Jensen's bruised nipple, making Jensen hiss through his teeth. He was in no state, he finally realized. Now was not the time to stake claim or stand ground. Somewhere in the farthest reaches of his mind, his training told him that now was the time to yield, do what he must to survive this. He'd try to untangle his psyche from the knot Jeffery was twisting it into tomorrow morning. He went limp in Jeffery's arms and surrendered. It didn’t mean he was broken, he told himself. He wasn’t broken.

"Get hard for me, Jensen," Jeffery commanded, and Jensen said, "Yes, sir." He took his own dick in his hand and worked it. "Good," Jeffery said. "So beautiful, Jensen." Jeffery caressed him and stroked his hair, kissed his ear, his eyelids, his neck, sweetly, while Jensen masturbated.

"Do you want me to come?" Jensen said. Jeffery's breath on his neck was exquisite.

"Such a good boy to ask permission," Jeffery said. "See how good he is, Jared? Do you want to come, baby?"

"I don't know," Jensen said. He really didn't. He opened his eyes and saw Jared in the chair across the room, watching them with disgust on his face. Jensen knew he was disgusting. He shut his eyes.

"You only want what I want, don't you?" Jeffery said.

"Yes," said Jensen, not really agreeing, just too far gone to argue. "Whatever you want, sir."

Jeffery ran his hands down Jensen's stomach to his balls, cupping them gently. "I want you to wait. Wait until you're cleaned up. I'll send for you, and then you can touch yourself. You'll be my good boy and wait, won't you?"

"Yes, sir," Jensen said, reveling in the feeling of Jeffery against his back, on his skin.

"Do you need a little spanking to remind you to wait?"

"No sir," Jensen answered honestly. He certainly did not.

Jeffery wasn't pleased. "You want what I want, remember?"

Jensen nodded. "I want what you want. I just don't know what you want."

"I want to give you a little spanking to remind you not to touch yourself. I know it will be hard for you. You're very hard right now, just like I asked you to be. So I want to spank you to help you keep your promise."

"Yes, sir," Jensen said reluctantly. He turned in Jeffery's arms and lay across Jeffery's lap obediently, passively, waiting to be spanked.

"Grind into my thighs, Jensen," Jeffery commanded. "But you mustn't come."

"Yes, sir," said Jensen, and he did as he was told, raising and lowering his hips, grinding his cock into Jeffery's thighs while Jeffery began to spank his very punished bottom, and Jared looked on. Jensen squeezed his eyes shut.

“Open your eyes,” said Jeffery, spanking. Jensen did as he was told.

Finally, after Jensen had begun to cry softly, whimpering with pain and the need to orgasm, Jeffery deemed Jensen well-spanked. “Up,” he ordered Jensen, and Jensen forced himself to a sitting position. Jeffery slid away and it was all Jensen could do not to throw himself after him, so starved for his master’s affection. “I’m trusting you to be my good boy, Jenny,” Jeffery said, and left without another word.

Jensen groaned. He was rock hard, painfully aroused, throbbing and purple. "Please help me," he said to Jared, climbing into bed and laying on his back, not even daring to pull the sheet across his cock which protruded, erect and throbbing, above his groin. "If I touch myself, Jeffery'll know. Can you hold my wrists for a while, to keep me from touching myself? I'm so sorry. I just can't—I can't—"

"Jeffery told you not to touch yourself," Jared said. "He didn't tell you not to come."

"What--?"

"Shhh," Jared said. Then he bent his head over Jensen's groin, and took the entire length of Jensen's erection into his mouth. Jensen had no strength to argue. Jared’s mouth was warm and soft and it felt so fucking good. Jensen’s hands clenched at the sheets, fumbling for Jared. Jared took Jensen’s hands, laced their fingers together and squeezed. Comforting. Jared tongued his dick for a few seconds, and Jensen came. He tried to pull out of Jared's mouth but Jared clamped on, taking in all of Jensen's semen, stroking Jensen’s chest reassuringly. Lovingly. He swallowed and pulled back, touched Jensen's forehead. "Don't worry. We didn't leave a trace." Jensen tried to smile but was to weak. His eyelids fluttered. As he drifted off to sleep, Jared leaned forward and lightly kissed his forehead.

Chapter Text

Jensen felt much better the next morning when he woke up. After Jeffery's visit, slaves had come to bathe him and rub soothing ointment into all his wounds. Jensen didn't even mind when rubber-gloved fingers applied it inside his ass, the slave was gentle and the relief was immediate. He'd been fed a good meal and then slaves had changed his bedsheets, leaving him free to collapse, clean and in considerably less pain, and to sleep for twelve more hours. Jared had remained on his own side of the room throughout the process. Jensen took his silence for disapproval but was beyond caring.

Now, in the morning light, he felt himself again. Not Jeffery's plaything, strung-out on pain and lust and aching need for his master's approval. Just Jensen, a slave with training and skills to survive this and a gentle but careful affection for his master. Jensen who could talk himself through a punishment, who could enjoy an evening of Jeffery's attentions and then live without them for a week or more. His strength, his center, was in his ability to survive this life and keep his head about it. He'd lost it down there in the slave hall. He didn't intend to let that happen again.

He sat up and looked at Jared. The man was curled up in his bed, his back to Jensen, in a position Jensen knew well. It was his butt-hurt position. Jensen wondered fleetingly if he'd said or done something, then decided not to worry about it. Even if he'd somehow offended Jared in the worst way possible, the man ought to understand the slaves hall had left him out of his damn mind. He stood up gingerly, wanting to get his feet under him before anyone was there to witness, and was ready when the slaves came to take them to their workout.

Jeffery's recent unpredictability made Jensen mentally prepare himself for a grueling workout, but it turned out to be unnecessary. He was allowed to simply walk laps around the track while Jared did their usual ten miles and array of sit-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, bench presses, and squats. Jensen kept a moderate pace. He wasn't even going to jog if they didn't force him, and they didn't. When he started showing signs of fatigue, he was allowed to quit, long before Jared's workout was finished. After they'd been showered and handed clean clothes—two sets—Jensen turned to Jared in the locker room and grinned.

"Some workout today, huh?" he said teasingly.

Jared grunted.

"I know, I know. You're jealous. Maybe if you're real good next time, he'll let you come down to slaves hall too—"

"Just shut up, Jensen," Jared said.

"Jesus. Fine," said Jensen. But he couldn't help himself. "I didn't realize he'd stuck something up your ass and twisted—"

"Do you have any idea what the last two days have been like for me? The last week?"

Jensen was absolutely stupefied. "For you? No, man, I don't. I am so fucking sorry that while I was getting beaten and fucked half to death by every slave in the household, I didn't keep track of what was going on with you emotionally," Jensen said.

"It was my fault," Jared’s voice was raised, his brow furrowed. "I had to watch—had to see you down there, you have no idea how—how—awful you looked, not like you at all, more like an animal—and then watch Jeffery fuck with your head, and all that time, every minute, I knew it was because of me. So I wish you'd stop acting like it's ok. Stop pretending like I didn't almost ruin you."

"What do you want me to do?" Jensen said. "Hit you? Ignore you? Sulk around all day like you? This is the life, man. We take beatings. We get fucked and we say yes sir, thank you sir. We lay down and take it, every day, until we're wrinkled enough that Jeffery moves on to someone younger. So it's not your fucking fault. It's nobody's fault. It is what it is—"

"He's hurting you to fuck with me," Jared growled, guttural in his throat.

Jensen was stunned. "What?"

"You couldn't tell, last night. All that time he was—touching you, and spanking you. You were out of your mind with the punishment, Jen, and he was fucking you up one side and down the other. But the whole time, you know what he was doing? He was staring at me. Staring me down, watching me watch you. Watching me try not to show how much it killed me—killed me—to see you like that."

As disturbing as the image was—Jeffery stroking and spanking him while staring at Jared—Jensen could only focus on one thing at a time. "Killed you? Jared?"

Jared breathed in and looked up to meet Jensen's eyes. His stormy eyes were full of pain, but there was something else there Jensen hadn't noticed before. "If I could hide how much I—how much it bothered me," Jared said quietly, "He might not fuck with you as much."

"He would," Jensen said firmly.

"He might not—"

"Jared. You listen to me. He would. You don't understand this relationship, master-slave. You never have. I exist to be fucked with—"

"No you don't—"

"To Jeffery I do. That's what I'm here for. That's my job to endure until he's done with me. It's got nothing to do with you. So you're his excuse now, so what? If it weren't for you, he'd find something else."

"I'm sorry," Jared said. His shoulders began to shake. Tears rolled down his face. "I'm so sorry, Jensen."

Jensen didn't know what he was doing, only that it hurt to see Jared in this pain, and he wanted to spare him some of it, take it away. Their clothes still between them on the bench, Jensen stepped across it, unthinking, and took Jared in his arms. "Hey," he said, meaning just to rub his back, offer comfort, but as he came in Jared turned up his face—

--and pressed his lips hard against Jensen's lips, parting them, kissing Jensen hungrily, needy. Kissed him hard. And Jensen let him. He let Jared kiss him, and then, after a moment, he brought his hands to Jared's cheeks and began to kiss him back. The way he'd meant to during the fight, when Jeffery had ordered them to caress, only this time there were no orders and nobody watching, the slaves waiting unseen beyond the doors. He kissed Jared sweetly and lovingly, the pure way he'd wanted to that first time. He kissed Jared until he went warm all over, and let out a little moan of pleasure, and then Jared pressed his naked groin into Jensen's, which was of course similarly naked.

"I'm sorry," Jared whispered.

"If we get caught—"

"I know," Jared said, and then he kissed him again. Jensen was well-trained and easily detected the force of Jared's need. It was in his face, that frown of deep pain and deep pleasure particular to physical contact with someone you cared about in a complicated, gnawing way. It was in his body language, the way all his muscles were tense, his shoulders curved in toward Jensen. His hands were wayward and clumsy around Jensen's neck and hair because what Jared needed—to be comforted, to feel good—had taken over and pushed thought and intention aside. It was impossible for Jensen not to give the man what he knew he needed. It was a huge risk, but he reached down and took Jared's cock in his hand. He wanted to soothe him, to heal, to offer what comfort he could. Jared needed this. He began to stroke.

"You don't—"

"Let me take care of you," Jensen said, and he kissed Jared with all the tenderness he wanted to show Jeffery, if Jeffery would only let him. Kissed Jared and stroked him until Jared was about to come, and then he bent down swiftly and took Jared's cock in his mouth, just in time to catch Jared's spewing semen so that it wouldn't leave a tell-tale mess on the floor.

Jared groaned as he came, his whole body shuddering, his groin thrusting into Jensen's mouth. Jensen withstood it and swallowed. Before he could pull away, Jared's hand landed on the back of his head and pressed him, gently, into place. Jensen allowed it, waiting with Jared's spent cock in his mouth. Waited for Jared to collect himself. He ran his hands soothingly over Jared's thighs and lower back.

"You always stay away from my ass," Jared muttered absentmindedly. His hand left Jensen's head. Jensen pulled back.

"That's cause I know you hate having it touched."

"How do you know that?" Jared wondered, a pleased and amused smile on his lips. Jensen considered. He had a harder time understanding how anyone could not know that about Jared. He shrugged.

"My whole life, J. Remember?" Jensen stood. He had not had sex, of course, until he came of age at 18, but there had been so many other ways to train him in before that. He put a hand on Jared's cheek and stroked it with his thumb, smiling into his eyes. "They're waiting. We gotta move."

Chapter Text

The days went by, and Jensen healed slowly. Jeffery took it easy on him, mostly, other than making good on his promise to summon Jensen to his room and bring him to orgasm--which he did, with agonizing leisure, reasserting his total control over Jensen at every moment, leaving Jensen helpless and quivering as he was wont to do. Aside from that, however, Jeffery mostly left Jensen alone to recover, summoning Jared to his chambers instead. Every time a manservant arrived and beckoned Jared instead of Jensen, Jensen felt a surge of relief that was fast followed by insecurity and vague jealousy. He hadn't realized how much he had benefited from being Jeffery's favorite until he had slipped, just slightly, from that position.

It was two weeks after his time in the slave's hall. Jared and Jensen had been taken to workout, shower, and then brought back to their quarters. Jared had been with Jeffery until two am that morning and seemed tired. He fell back onto his bed, letting out a content moan. Jensen sublty rolled his shoulders, testing the skin on his back. It was just slightly tender now; the fear that he would move too quickly and split himself back open was past. He stole a glance at Jared, who stretched with one arm above his head and one across his stomach, eyes shut. He tried to resist. He failed.

"Rough night?" he asked, trying to sound casual.

"Mmm? Not particularly," Jared said without opening his eyes. Not particularly? Did that mean Jeffery was going easier on Jared than he had in the past? Showing more tenderness, even? Or did it simply mean--

"Just your run of the mill bend and spread," Jared said, as if he'd read Jensen's mind. He peered at Jensen through one open eye. "Was only out so late because Jeffery wanted me to wait around in case he felt like having another go. He didn't."

"Huh," Jensen said, trying again not to show just how curious he was about what Jeffery did with Jared, how hungry he was for their master's attention. Jared never asked about Jeffery's evenings with him, after all. Jared let out a long sigh.

"Jensen--"

The door opened before he could say whatever he had intended to say and Jeffery entered, clutching a brown paper bag. Jensen's breath caught. He hadn't seen Jeffery in six days. It bothered him that he knew this. "At attention, boys," Jeffery said. Jared rose from his bed and he and Jensen immediately dropped to their knees. Jeffery approached Jared, and Jensen braced himself to be ignored.

"I was pleased with the patience you displayed last night," Jeffery said to Jared. "It was more submission than I've seen from you in awhile, just waiting on me for hours like that. I want you to rest this afternoon. I'll be summoning you again tonight."

"Yes sir," said Jared, and Jensen noticed that his fellow slave did, in fact, display a meeker submission than he had in the past. It surprised him. He'd thought Jared would probably have to go through something severe, like what Jensen had recently undergone, to break him and allow him to be quiet and passive in the way Jeffery surprised. He hadn't expected him to be able to simply adopt it without threat.

"Jensen," Jeffery said, and Jensen's heart jumped.

"Yes sir," Jensen replied smartly.

"Go kneel in the corner."

"Yes, sir," Jensen said, and obeyed. He went to the corner of his side of the room that was empty for this purpose and dropped back to his knees. He heard Jeffery behind him, pulling something from the paper bag.

"How's your back, baby?" Jeffery said gently.

"Almost completely healed, sir," Jensen answered. He loved it when Jeffery displayed these moments of kindness, even though he had to remind himself not to trust it. It was proving dangerous to trust Jeffery. Jensen was trying to remember that.

"Good. I've missed you. And I know you've missed me. Haven't you, Jensen?"

"Yes, Jeffery," Jensen said, breathing evenly.

"I want to get you ready for me again, nice and easy. Going to break you back in gently, Jensen. I've got a little warm up for you here. Easy now," Jeffery said, and he leaned in close to Jensen and drew down Jensen's pants and boxers. Jeffery's hand was in Jensen's hair, and then something cold and wet pressed in between Jensen's buttocks, probing.

"You know what that is, don't you? It's a figg. I carved it nice and long for you, from the center piece. Are you ready?"

"Yes, sir," Jensen nearly whispered, and relaxed his muscles. Jeffery slid the long piece of ginger inside his ass. It went in easy, cold that immediately began to burn intimately.

"There we go," Jeffery said quietly, into Jensen's ear. "That's my good boy." He leaned forward, pressing his crotch between Jensen's shoulder blades. There was no way for Jensen to hide his arousal. "You like that, don't you? I knew you would." Jeffery took hold of the end of the figg that was protruding from Jensen's ass as and moved it, wiggling it in a circular motion, adding a gentle thrust in and out. "Tell me you miss me."

"I miss you, Jeffery," Jensen managed a quivering whisper.

"You're not being punished. This is just to prepare you. I don't want to take you too hard, too soon. That was a pretty severe punishment you took, and I'm going to break you in gently. Jared?" Jeffery's voice snapped commandingly.

"Yes, sir?"

"I'm gonna leave him like this for a while. Every half hour, starting at 10:30, I want you to come over here and stimulate him a little bit."

Jensen nearly choked. "Stimulate him?" Jared said uncertainly,

"Is it really so hard? Like this," Jeffery said, taking the figg and wiggling it again, again pushing it gently in and out. "Just for a minute or two, until he's hard. Then leave him be. You're not punishing him. Just giving him a little extra training. Say thank you, Jensen."

"Thank you, sir," Jensen forced himself to say firmly. Jeffery patted his shoulder. "Good boy. I'll be back this evening." And then he left.

Jensen didn't feel his nakedness, the shame of his position, until Jeffery exited the room and Jensen was left, kneeling in the corner with his pants around his knees, ass naked, and a piece of ginger sticking out. The burn was incredible; Jensen didn't know if he was just out of practice or if this really was some kind of super ginger, but it burned like never before. He drew air in through his teeth and leaned on his forearm against the wall, collecting himself. He let out a long sigh.

"Are you staring?" he murmured.

"No," Jared said too quickly, clearly lying. Somehow that made it ok. Jensen started a low chuckle. "Oh, god," he said, shaking his head.

"You sure you wanna be the old man's favorite again?" Jared said wryly. "Doesn't seem to be working too well for you."

Jensen thought Jared might sleep, but instead he seemed suddenly talkative, keeping Jensen entertained with highlights of the football game he alone had been allowed to watch the other night and funny stories about the guests at the weekend dinner party Jeffery had thrown. Jared's job had been to kneel by Jeffery's side and look pretty, basically, so he'd been able to observe all the ridiculous gossip and social grappling that went on at such affairs and recounted them to Jensen with surprising flair, keeping Jensen's mind off his rather humiliating position.

"So then she goes, 'but you know I can't wear velvet anymore, it gives Moxie here the trots'--"

Jensen snorted in laughter.

"Yeah! And--oops. 2:30." Jared crossed the room, Jensen heard him approach behind him. Jared kept up his stream of chatter and went about his job, stimulating Jensen without any fuss. "Then the fat guy next to her starts choking on his soup," he said, taking the figg and working it gently in circles and in and out. Jensen clenched his teeth and tried not to give the pain, or the sudden and fierce arousal, away. "And the woman goes, 'Oh not again Harold, he does this every time he sees brie--"

"What?" Jensen managed to say, with the right inflection. Jared ignored Jensen's husky voice and growing arousal. Like this was just something they did every day.

"I know. But then he actually starts turning bright red and, like, wheezing. I thought Jeffery was gonna have to jump up and give him the Heimlich but get this," Jared says, leaning subtly over Jensen's shoulder to see that Jensen, is, in fact, sufficiently erect, and then smoothly pulling away altogether, talking all the while. "Jeffery rings a fucking bell--and a slave appears and gives the guy the Heimlich for him."

For some reason this strikes them both as impossibly hilarious and they dissolve into laughter. Jensen's arousal dissipates quickly between the laughter and the lack of stimulation. The burn of the figg was most intense for the first hour or so. Then it began to work off and became just one more thing Jensen took up the ass for Jeffery's pleasure.

Much later, that evening, Jeffery arrived to unceremoniously unplug Jensen and help him to his feet. "Good," he said, looking down at Jensen's cock, which had remained in a bothered state of half-arousal all day. "You didn't jack him off, did you?" he said to Jared.

Jensen's heart began to pound. Did Jeffery know what Jared had done for him after the slaves quarters? He shot a panicked glance at Jared for help, but Jeffery had laughed and Jensen realized: Jeffery thought he was making a funny joke. He still thought they were enemies. "What would you say if I told you to suck him off right now?" he said to Jared.
"I'd say yes sir," Jared said coolly. "But I'd rather take a strap to him."

Jeffery grunted his approval again. "Maybe later. You're needed upstairs in the pleasure baths, my boy." Jeffery helped Jensen, unnecessarily, onto the bed and then left him there, following Jared out the door. There was nothing for Jensen to do but take care of his erection himself--and then wait.

 

 

Jensen tried to sleep, but as the hours wore on, he got nervous. He'd assumed Jeffery planned to take Jared to the baths, have him bathed in scented water, rubbed down in fragrant oil, and delivered to his bedchambers like a shiny present. And Jensen knew first had that Jeffery could last hours, playing his game, stimulating his slave painfully while remaining himself only just aroused, drawing it out. But Jeffery usually succumbed to his own arousal around midnight or one, finishing quickly and sending Jensen back. When two am hit, and then three, Jensen began to worry that Jeffery'd had other plans--had trotted him out like a show pony in front of a group of friends or business partners, or was going through a rough period and taking it out on Jared's backside. It had happened before.

When the door finally clicked open at 3:16 am, Jensen sat up, simultaneously relieved and anxious. "Hey," he said immediately. "You ok?"

The room was dark, but in the light from the hallway, Jensen could see Jared nod. Then the door shut, and one of Jeffery's manservants locked it behind him. There was a worrying slump to Jared's shoulders.

"What's wrong? Did he beat you? Jay?" Jensen got out of bed and went to Jared, purportedly to help him into bed. He didn't acknowledge the fact that what he really wanted was to touch Jared, just lay a hand on him, make sure that he was ok.

Jared, however, brushed him off. "No, man. Sit down. He didn't beat me." He went to his bed and collapsed. Jensen switched on the light. "Ouch," Jared moaned, squinting at the sudden brightness. Jensen didn't care, he needed to see for himself that Jared was ok.

"Let me see your back."

"What? No. I'm fine, Jensen. He didn't hurt me. I'm tired, ok?"

Jensen wasn't buying it. "If he didn't hurt you, why are you being all mopey?"

"I'm not moping," Jared drawled out slowly.

"I'm not moping," Jensen said, mimicking his tone. "Yeah you are, man. And I'm not gonna leave you in peace until you tell me why."

"Why?" Jared said, his voice picking up. "Why can't you just leave it alone--"

"What are you hiding? Why won't you just tell me? Did he have you gang-fucked--"

"It was fine, all right?" Jared said finally, angry. "It was nice. Ok? We had steak and fucking salad with tomatoes for dinner. He let me drink wine, and then there was this dessert, this soft thing with hard sugar, it was called a cream bubbly, or something. Is that what you want to hear? And after that he took me up to his bed and laid me by the fireplace--literally by the fireplace, did you know it's winter? And it's snowing outside? He laid me by the fireplace and fucked me slow. Til I came. So there it is. I hope you're happy."

Jensen felt strangely dizzied by Jared's words. Steak and tomatoes, wine. Snow? Jensen had childhood memories of snow. Not to mention something called a cream bubbly, which had to be good. He blinked. "It's winter?" he said quietly.

This seemed to enrage Jared. "Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. I'm sorry. Jensen, I didn't mean to--I wasn't going to tell you." He took a deep breath. "I knew it would be too hard."

Jensen shook his head, to clear it. He pushed all his emotions aside. "Don't be sorry. I'm glad for you. Gotta take it as it comes, right?" he smiled half-heartedly. He wanted to hide it all, but it was too much. Jensen craved Jeffery, missed him like an ache. He couldn't help thinking that if he hadn't failed that now infamous night, hadn't been the one sent to the slave quarters, it would have been HIM drinking wine with Jeffery and getting fucked by the fireplace and the snow. "Cool. Well. Late night. He'll probably have us up early tomorrow, so." Jensen turned and flicked off the light.

"Jensen--"

"It's cool, man. Seriously, I'm glad for you. I just really am tired--"

"Jensen, I'm sorry," Jared said. Jensen noticed his voice was too close, and then suddenly two arms were around him, turning him. Jensen flinched and braced for attack. That's what Jared coming at him had always meant--fight. He went stiff and started to raise his arms up, but before he could, Jared pulled him close and pushed his lips to Jensen's. Gently, like he didn't want to hurt him. Jensen was stunned. Jared's lips were so soft and giving. It was unlike anything Jensen had ever known. Jeffery always took, demanded. Jared kissed him so tenderly, running his tongue along Jensen's lips. Jensen moaned. He pulled back.

"Dude, if we get caught, we’re dead.”

"We won’t get caught,” Jared whispered, his voice husky with need. “Please--please just—I just need to feel good, Jen." Jared kissed him again, and Jensen went warm all over.

Chapter Text

A fear took Jensen over. Touching Jared gently, being caressed, being held tenderly—his body ached for it so badly that Jensen found he couldn’t say no, couldn’t imagine living without it. But if they were caught. If they were caught. The punishment would be beyond imaginable.

The next morning, after their workouts, Jared came up behind Jensen in the shower, cupping Jensen’s cock. Jensen startled before he realized it was Jared and turned, his body slick with soap, everything warm and fragrant. There was a life in Jared’s eyes Jensen hadn’t seen before.

“Dude, we can’t-“

Jared pulled back immediately, stung. “I thought you—“

“I do. I am. I love it. But Jay, if they catch us,” Jensen’s eyes darted toward the door. He didn’t think Jared realized just how sadistic Jeffery could be. Which was shocking, considering what Jeffery had put them through.

But when he looked back at Jared there was something different in his eyes, something that broke Jensen’s heart.

Defeat.

“I just can’t live my life,” Jared began, his voice catching in his throat. Jensen watched the younger man trying to make himself strong, trying to push back the emotion. “I can’t survive this life without—I mean, knowing how good things can feel, and then losing it—“

Some resolve collapsed inside Jensen. “Come here, sweetheart,” he said. He was still under the shower head. There was a dividing wall between them and the door; if someone did walk in, they’d have at least a moment to cover. “Jared. Come here.”

Jared went back to Jensen. Jensen put his hands on the mans hips, ran them up Jared’s abs—he had amazing abs, truly, more sculpted then Jensen had ever managed to get his own—and lifted his gaze to Jared’s eyes. Then he kissed him, softly, holding him. Jared trembled. Knowing there wasn’t much time, Jensen pulled back, turned, and bent over, bracing his hands against the wall, offering himself to Jared.

“Jen—are you sure?”

“Take what you need, baby,” Jensen said. “Let me give you this.”

Jared didn’t need much urging. The soap had him already slicked and it was easy, so easy, to push into Jensen, gently at first. “Oh god, Jen,” Jared groaned.

“Harder,” Jensen said. “Let me feel you.” It was easy, to urge Jared on, and of course there was the need for haste. Jared took to it, thrusting in and out of Jensen, his considerable cock filling Jensen to the point where he experienced discomfort, some pain even, but it was nothing, if it was any comfort to Jared.

“You’re so—fucking beautiful, Jensen,” Jared said, and Jensen bit his lip to keep from gasping as Jared thrust into him harder, and again, and a third time, and then came, hot come filling up Jensen’s ass.

Jared moaned and mumbled Jensen’s name, sated, spent, running his hands along Jensen’s back, into his hip creases. Jensen remained bent over and waited for Jared to withdraw, but Jared’s hand found it’s way around to Jensen’s own cock, wrapping around it.

“Later,” Jensen said. “There’s not time—they’re waiting for us.”

“I want to make you feel good,” Jared said, almost pouting, but finally pulling out of Jensen’s ass. Jensen stood and turned and looked at him.

“You do.”

Jensen meant it. Then he hurried to soap Jared’s come off his ass and thighs.

Out in the hallway, there was only one slave waiting for them, instead of the usual two. Jensen wondered if their delay had been noticed, but knew that even if it had, the slave would say nothing to them. Just whisper it back to Jeffery and they'd only know when the man arrived with a detached anger and a heavy paddle. The slave didn't glance at them, just turned her back immediately and started swiftly down the hallway toward the elevator. Jensen figured they had been noticed, after all. He told himself that Jeffery would know they had lingered, but couldn't possibly know why.

They followed the slave's blonde head into the elevator. She kept her head lowered. Jensen glanced at her idly as she pushed the wrong button, then startled. "What the fuck?" he said.

"What the hell took you so long?" she replied. Jensen couldn't believe it. He didn't understand. Standing in the elevator with them, wearing slaves garb, was the woman from the party. She reached underneath her loose shirt and withdrew a small bundle.

"What are you doing here?"

"Put these on," she said, shoving the bundle into Jensen's hands.

"What's going on? Jensen?" Jared was looking back and forth from one to the other.

"I—she was at the gala," Jensen said. "Came up in line for service, but then turned me down. She looked—I thought you were my sister," he said, bewildered.

"Dude. One woman doesn't want to have sex with you and you assume she's your sister?"

"No. Well, yeah," Jensen grinned sheepishly. Just because he was a slave didn't mean he didn't know exactly how attractive people found him. "Lady, what the hell—"
The elevator stopped and the doors opened to a place Jensen had never seen before. A long dark corridor stretched before them. There was an archway of light at the end. The place was damp and had a salty tang. "Put the clothes on, Jensen. There's a boat waiting. I'm getting you out of here," she glanced at Jared. "And yeah. I'm his fucking sister." She reached to pull something else from beneath her shirt. A gun. And she trained it directly on Jared.

"Whoah, whoah, Jesus," Jensen cried, stepping in front of Jared. "What the hell are you doing? What is this?"

"This is your rescue happening," she said, not taking her eyes of Jared. "I'm here to bust you out. And we can't risk this guy running back to Morgan and telling him what happened. We need time."

"Mackenzie?"

"Yes, Jensen, it's me." She was irritated, impatient. "Did you think I would let you do what you did, and just leave you here to rot? Some rich asshole's whore?"

Jensen and Jared both flinched at the word. "You were two-years-old—" said Jensen.

"I never forgot," she raised her voice for the first time. "I'm only sorry about how long it took me, but it turns out raising yourself from the slums to the chick you saw in the diamonds and dress takes a bit of planning. Now move your ass so I can shoot the slave and get us on the boat. I know you've never done this before, so here's a tip: we move quickly."

There were so many questions Jensen wanted to ask, but he understood that this wasn't the time. There was a woman—his sister—standing with a gun trained on Jared and an escape route behind her, and she'd come for him. To take him away from here. Away from Jeffery, away from Jared, and out there into the world—into a free life. "Put the gun down," he said quietly.

"Jensen—"

"Put it down, or I stay right here," Jensen said, and his voice was so rough and intense that she listened. Begrudgingly, Mackenzie holstered her weapon.

"There's a boat out there—"

"Yes."

"We're near the sea?" Jared couldn't help asking. Mackenzie was taken aback.

"Yes. You didn't know? There's a boat. It'll take us to the mainland. I've got release papers for you—Morgan releases slaves all the time. Burns through them like chewing gum. I've got a guy in the office who'll make sure we get passed through. Then we're out. You're out, Jensen. I'm getting you out."

Jensen glanced at Jared, though he didn't need to. He could feel the man's dismay. Jared had slumped back against the wall, even. Like he might collapse. Jensen nodded. "Ok," he said. "Ok."

"Let's move—"

"I'm not going."

They both stared at him in stunned silence.

"Shit," Mackenzie said finally. "They said this might happen, I just thought—not to you. Stockholm syndrome. Jensen, look. He's a brutal, abusive, asshole—"

"You have to go," Jared said. His voice barely more than a whisper.

"No," Jensen said. "You're not taking me. You're taking him."

"What?" said Jared and Mackenzie together, both in absolute shock. "No," Mackenzie said.

 

"Yes," Jensen said. "Yes! Listen to me. He can't—he's not gonna survive this place," Jensen said.

"So? I don't care—"

"I do!" Jensen said. "I do. And I’m not leaving here. Not without him. That boat's about to leave, and it's leaving with you and him, Mackenzie."

"No. No way. I'll shoot you both if I have to."

"No you won't. That would slow you down, and you've lost too much time already. You could get caught, and I'm guessing you've done some illegal things to get here?"

Mackenzie's blue eyes glittered with tears. "Jensen," she said. "You have no idea what it took to get me here. No idea. I can't come back. I can't do this again. Twenty-four years ago, slave traders came for me, and they left with you. Not one day goes by I don't think about that. Not one day I haven't dreamed about busting you out of here. Now I'm here, and I'm not leaving without you. You have to let me do this for you. Jensen, I'm sorry."

Jensen swallowed hard, fighting back tears himself. He didn't think about what he was doing, because he could smell the sea, and it was too much. If he allowed himself to even consider backing down, he would. "You came to help me," he said. "I'm telling you, the only way to do that is by taking him."

"I won't—"

"He's going to die. I'll survive this. You leave with him, or you leave alone. I'm not going anywhere."

Tears were streaming down Jared's face. "I can't," he said. "I can't."

Jensen turned, grabbed him by the shirt and drew him close. "Think about what Jeffery's gonna do to me if I'm not back up there in exactly sixty seconds—"

"But—"

"Every second you stand here crying is another stroke of the whip for me, man. Stop it," Jensen growled. He grabbed Jared and spun him—like he had so many times in the ring, he thought, and his head swam with the weight of it—and shoved him out of the elevator. He slammed the bundle of clothes into Jared's chest. "Go." He said.

"Jensen—"

"Go!" Jensen roared. He had to shout, or he would sob. "Go. Go find your dad. Earn back that fortune. Come bust me out. I'll be fine, man. I can do this. I can survive this, easy. You can't. You won't. You know that's true. You come first, man. Come back for me later." Jensen forced himself to smile with bravado at Jared. A smile that said, of course they'd come back for him. Knowing they couldn't. Knowing this had cost Mackenzie everything.

Mackenzie was watching the whole thing, bewildered. It killed Jensen, but he did what he had to do. "I don't want to leave Jeffery anyway. I like it." Mackenzie flinched. "I like it when he beats me. When he fucks me. I like being his whore."

Mackenzie shook her head. She took two steps backward, toward the light, the boat, the sea. "I have to go. I'm out of time."

Jensen wanted to tell her he loved her. That he would never, ever forget what she'd done, what she'd risked for him. He wanted to hold her, his little sister, who he'd thought of every day, when it was quiet, at night. But he knew that any such signs of loyalty would make her stay. Jared looked like a lost and frightened child, tears streaming down his face, shaking his head. Jensen pushed the button on the elevator. "Jensen, wait," Jared sobbed, stumbling forward, but it was too late.

The elevator doors closed.

There wasn't time to do what Jensen wanted to do. To fall on to the floor and sob. He took four quick breaths, panting almost, and then made himself stop. Made himself hard inside. Calling up all the training he'd received in the academy, he made himself push away the emotions that were threatening to take over—the ache of losing Jared, the regret, the dread. He had to think. It would be fine, he told himself. He'd done the right thing. Jeffery had a fondness for him that he did not share for Jared. If Jared had returned without Jensen, Jeffery would have killed him—slowly. Through neglect and beatings, punished Jared until he died of something like a broken heart. He wouldn't do that to him, Jensen told himself. He would punish him, but the punishment would be something Jensen could survive. He was suited for this life. Jared wasn't.

There had been no other choice.

As the elevator dinged, arriving on the first floor, Jensen squeezed his eyes shut against the memory of the beckoning smell and sound of the sea. The doors slid open. There was a slave standing there. Jensen watched the confusion on his face. It was a sign of how upset he was that he spoke to Jensen. They never spoke to Jensen.

"Why are you alone?"

"Another slave took Jared to a different floor."

The slave reached into the elevator and yanked Jensen out. Jensen didn't fight.

"What floor?"

"I don't know," Jensen shrugged, hoping to exploit the fact that most other slaves assumed pleasure slaves like him and Jared lived in happy ignorance, just pretty faces that the master liked to fuck with.

"You were both supposed to be taken to Master's chambers."

"Oh yeah? I wouldn't know, would I?"

"Don't move," the slave said. Then he reached for his walkie-talkie. "Anyone have a twenty on Pleasure Slave J Two? Repeat, anyone have a twenty on Pleasure Slave J Two? J One is in my custody." Jensen's stomach clenched. He stared stonily at the floor.

He prayed Mackenzie and Jared would have enough time.

 

 

Twenty-Six Hours Later:

There was a post, and the straps that he hung from, supporting all his weight because his own legs wouldn't anymore, his knees on the ground, and there was the lash. He had a vague sense that there might be an audience, but all he knew was this: the post, the splinters it left in his skin, the lash. And Jeffery's voice, of course. Asking him, over and over again. But Jensen mustn't reply. He wasn't certain what he was being asked anymore, things had gone hazy long ago. He only knew that he mustn't reply.

The lash fell against his back and Jensen realized that he wasn't roaring anymore. He wasn't crying out in pain. That must be a good thing? Somehow he felt that it wasn't. For a moment, the world went black before his eyes. Then a terrible shock. Jensen gasped and stuttered as cold water was dumped over his head and coursed down his face, over his wounds. He hissed now, at that pain. He tasted blood. Surely Jeffery wouldn't kill him.

Jeffery's voice again. Jared. Jared. Where was Jared. That was all his master wanted to know. Jensen took a few deep breaths. The lash fell against the soles of his feet. He took a few more.

"If I—" his voice was a terrible croak. Everything went silent. They waited for him to speak. "If I tell you," Jensen realized his lips were swollen, must be. His words came out odd. "Are you gonna. . . finally. . . take me. . . to that beach?"

Silence. Jensen thought maybe he hadn't made himself understandable at all. Then Jeffery's face appeared in his line of vision, the man's eyes cold and ravished with anger, with lust, his hair mussed. Sweat dripping off his brow. Jensen watched him as a grin twisted his features and his master laughed.

"You're serious, aren't you?" He paused. Jensen waited. "Don't be stupid. I was never going to take you to a beach, J One. Beaches are for people I care about. Not my whores."

With those words, Jensen understood. He'd misjudged. He'd terribly, terribly misjudged. Jeffery wasn't loving but strict. He was sick, sicker than Jensen had ever realized. He'd never been his master's favorite.

He'd been second-favorite. All along.