Clint was nervous when he went to Prince Loki’s suite this morning. His hands were clammy and he tried to wipe them dry on his tunic. And then he knocked.
“Enter!” he could hear the voice of his owner and he obeyed, he went in and knelt down immediately.
“Master,” Clint said quietly. Prince Loki sat on a chair but he rose and came over, walked around him and read the tag on his collar.
“You are mine,” Loki said.
“Yes, Master,” Clint confirmed.
“You’ve been assigned to kitchen duty,” Loki said. Clint licked his lips and glanced up for a split second.
“Yes, Master,” he said. He had no idea why he asked him all those weird questions but who was he to question his owner?
“How old are you, Clint?” Prince Loki asked.
“I’m sixteen, Master,” Clint said.
“When did I buy you?”
“Six years ago, Master,” Clint said. “You bought a group of slaves from Midgard. I was one of them.”
“You… and your brother?” Prince Loki went back to his chair and sat down to scrutinize him.
“Yes, Master,” Clint said. “He’s a field slave, Master.”
“You stole food in the kitchen to bring it to the slaves in the barns. You knew that you would lose your status as house slave if you got captured and yet, you risked it. Why?”
“Master,” Clint started. “The slaves…”
“Don’t tell me they’re starving. They get enough chow,” Loki said.
“Some of the slaves, they take away the food from others and there’s nothing they can do, Master. They are bigger, stronger and the others, they have to work hungry, they can’t do their job and they get punished, sometimes beaten to death for their bad work. I have seen it, Master. The overseers don’t care,” Clint said. “They say, Midgardian slaves are cheap.”
“And you decided to bring food to them to keep them alive,” Loki leaned forward and placed his elbows on his knees.
“Yes, Master,” Clint cast his eyes down and nodded.
“So, you’re here for six years and you know the rules. Yet you risk your status, your privileges as a house slave for the slaves in the barns,” Loki said. Clint had no idea if this was a question or just a statement.
“My brother, Master,” he said. “You… you have a brother, too. Wouldn’t you do the same for him?”
Prince Loki’s brows hit his hairline and then he chuckled. “I wouldn’t bet on it,” he said then. “But the relationship with my brother is… difficult.”
“I… understand, Master,” Clint said. He really didn’t, but he had to say something.
“Do you?” Loki asked and cocked his head. “Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But you have the… how do you Midgardians say? You have the balls to risk everything just to help your brother.”
“Yes, Master,” Clint said quietly. He still had no idea why he asked so many questions.
“Come over to me,” Loki said and when Clint wanted to crawl on his knees, he added, “You have feet, use them.”
He blushed violently but he rose and walked to the throne-like chair Prince Loki sat on, waited for a moment and knelt down again. The prince seemed pleased and he leaned forward, put both his hands on Clint’s temples and murmured, “Let’s see what else you have.”
Pain surged through his brain and he bit his lip to not cry out. It felt as if fingers searched something and it hurt, it hurt so much.
“You know how to shoot a bow?” Loki asked. Clint nodded.
“Yes, Master,” he pressed through his teeth. “I learned it before…”
“Before the slavers came to your world and took you,” Loki finished his sentence.
“Would you like to shoot a bow again?” Loki asked and this time Clint’s head snapped up and stared at him open-mouthed.
“Yes, Master,” he breathed. A smile appeared on Prince Loki’s lips and he leaned forward again.
“Stand up, Clint,” Loki said and rose himself. He held his hand out for Clint to take it. “We have lots of work to do.”