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For Want of Love

Chapter Text

Paul was on his knees, legs spread wide, naked with his eyes downcast. He was focused on Rick’s every word.

“Tell me what’s on your mind, Paul,” Rick encouraged as he sat on the couch above him. “Tomorrow is your big day and Aaron will be here to take ownership of you. Tell me what you are most concerned about.”

Paul breathed in as if he was going to respond but then didn’t.

“It’s okay, here and now, Paul, for you to ask all the questions you want.”

“It’s stupid,” he whispered.

“No such thing, Paul. Speak,” Rick commanded.

“When I’m naked in winter, I’m afraid I’ll be cold,” the slave said quietly.

Rick sat back down in front of him. “You’ll be okay,” he answered confidently. “You’ve been kneeling for my lesson for over two hours now without moving. Do your knees hurt?”

“A little, Sir.”

“But you haven’t moved a muscle or asked for mercy?”

“No, sir. I don’t want to disappoint my owner so I’m focused on working through the discomfort.”

“Excellent, Paul. And you’ll work your way through the discomfort of cold, yes?”

“Yes, Sir,” Paul responded.

Rick stood again and sighed. “Paul, it’s been a month. You know everything there is to know about being a good slave. You’re everything that Aaron has requested me to make you. You should be proud today, not nervous.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Stand, Paul,” Rick commanded and the new slave obeyed quickly.“Sit at the table,” Rick continued and Paul hesitated.

“I’m sorry, Sir?”

“Starting tomorrow you will never be able to sit in a chair again. Sit in the chair, Paul. One last time while we talk as equals so you feel more comfortable asking your questions.” Both men sat down on the wooden kitchen chairs.

“I’m afraid he’ll grow tired of me,” Paul confessed as he sat awkwardly on the kitchen chair.

“It’s an understandable concern. But that’s why I taught you so many submissive positions, so many techniques for taking his cock, how to cook his favorite foods…everything we’ve learned these past few weeks has been designed to keep you and Aaron together for the long haul. He’s spent a lot of money on you and even more on your training. Don’t worry. You are wanted, Paul.”

Paul nodded and Rick could tell he was uncomfortable sitting in a normal chair. His slave training had really taken well.

“Are you uncomfortable?” Rick asked.

“Yes. I don’t belong on this chair, Sir.”

“Would you be more comfortable back on your knees?”

“Yes, Sir. Please.”

“You may kneel,” Rick commanaded. “Your final training will be about sharing. How do you feel about being used by two men at a time?”

“Well, we haven’t practiced any of that,” Paul said honestly.

“Tonight we will. I’m not going to let you go unprepared, Sweetheart. I promised I’d make you a perfect slave and I will.”

“Thank you Mast… I mean Sir.”

Rick smiled. So often the young men that came in for training grew fond of him and began to think of him as their Master. It was actually rather common. They all got over him, though. After all, Slave Trainers, Inc. was just business.

“I need to review all Aaron’s notes and requirements before we have our final evening of training.” Rick reached down with one hand to stroke Paul’s flawless hair, feeding him a reward cookie with the other. The cookie was made from carrots so the treat also doubled as proper care of a slave. There were responsibilities to slave ownership and for that Rick was grateful. He knew slave owners could take certain liberties, but it was against the law to malnourish slaves. One of the main reasons men and women allowed themselves to be sold is because they were homeless and starved. Entering into slavery meant having a home and not being hungry.

“Why don’t you go outside for a while and get some sunlight? Being out in the open air with nothing but your cock cage will be good for you. Aaron has a large yard for you and he’ll be requesting that you maintain it and spend time there when he needs to leave the house. I fear he’s worried about house training but he’ll see soon enough that you have strong control. He’ll quickly find out what a good boy you are.”

“Yes, Sir,” Paul answered and he moved on his hands and knees towards the dog door leading to the back yard.

Rick sat and looked again at his notes:

Name: Paul Rovia
Will respond to: Slave, Paul
Primary Role: Pleasure and House slave
Owner: Aaron Raleigh
Reason for purchase: Death of Spouse (Eric Raleigh). Purchased as Companion Slave
Slave Registration Number: 091620101819
Contractual Lesson Agreements through Slave Trainers, Inc..
Feeding
Will eat and drink from bowls served on the floor
Snacks will consist only of Vejji Brand Veggie Cookies
Meals will be:
Breakfast- Cereal (Vejji Brand)
Lunch- Stew (Slave’s Choice Brand)
Dinner- Leftovers from the meal slave will cook for Owner
Slave will eat from bowl on floor or be hand-fed. Will never use utensils.
Sleeping
Slave will sleep in dog bed next to Master’s Bed
Will be allowed on bed for sexual needs only
Will occasionally be required to sleep on the bed for cock warming needs only.
Chores
Cleaning house
Yard work
Cooking meals
Laundry
Providing sexual services
Bathroom
Slave will not have access to indoor restroom and must use the back yard so as to be reminded of his place
Positions
At Rest: on knees, legs spread, hands behind the back
Sleep: Face down, naked
Special Requests
Able to provide sexual services to owner as well as guests
Daytime: will be left in the yard. Must be used to various climates while nude (Small dog house will be supplied)
Will be kept in a cock cage without complaint.
Will bathe himself daily with hose in yard (No indoor bathroom privileges)
Will be trained anally so that penetration will milk him
Speaking
Only allowable words are: Yes, no, please, thank-you, Master, sorry
Not to speak unless spoken to
Never to interrupt

Agreement as of this day, the 17th of June 2018 with training to take place from the 17th of June, through the 17th of July. Property will be picked back up on the 18th of July.

Client: Aaron Raleigh
Slave Trainers, Inc.: Rick Grimes
Date: June 17, 2018

Rick checked off items as he went. The only thing left to learn was to be used by strangers--always a tough feat--and Rick usually left it until the end. He’d already used Paul himself on more than enough occasions and had succeeded in getting the slave to dribble come with his cage on. Again, Rick was relieved to know that owners had responsibilities, too, and keeping slaves properly milked was the law.

He sighed and put his notes back into his desk drawer, then picked up his phone and dialed his assistant trainer.

“Yeah,” the redhead answered on the second ring.

“Hey big guy. It’s Rick.”

“Hey there. You got an order for me?”

“I do. Got a last day here that needs to learn how to be shared. Can I get you to come over and fuck him a couple times? Get him used to unfamiliar hands?”

“You know it, brother. Can be there by six, will that work?” Abe asked.

“Sounds good.”

“Any special requests?”

“We’ll just want to run him through some training to service two at a time per his contract.”

“You know I’ll always take your jobs, Rick,” Abe said. “You treat these poor fuckers good. Way I see it, could have just been bad luck that ran them into the ground, made them poor, homeless. It’s better than the old days when they were left to fend for themselves on the streets with no other options. Treated like the wrong end of a dog and left to die without a pot to piss in. The slave business is a good option for those that want it. Just don’t like to see it too abused.”

“Same here, brother, I did a thorough interview with Aaron. He seems like a decent guy. Still grieving his husband and I think he bought Paul just for company,” Rick explained.

Two hours later, after calling Paul in from outside, Rick bathed him and brushed out his hair. Paul would be expected to take care of his own basic grooming needs once Aaron picked him up, but Rick liked to spoil his outgoing slaves a bit on their final day.

“You have permission to speak,” Rick said as he brushed Paul’s long thick hair. “What’s on your mind?”

“I hope I do a good job, Sir,” Paul said submissively.

“You will, sweet boy. You’re trained and obedient and you know how to control yourself. Now, you remember the rules. Aaron will want to offer your sexual services to company. But you will not be allowed to come from the use. You will be kept in your cock cage and you will be expected to perform anything that is requested of you.”

“I understand, Sir. I thought a lot about it during my time in the yard. And I know I can be good. I’ll make you proud, Sir”

“I’ve no doubt you will,” Rick cooed.

Chapter Text

Paul was in his resting pose on the floor in the living room when the doorbell rang. He’d been trained to answer it since that would be his responsibility at the Raleigh home. He crawled to the door and opened it, eyes on the floor, body moved to the side so the visitor may enter.

“You must be Paul,” Abe said, addressing the young slave.

“Yes, Sir.”

Rick gave Abe a quick nod hello and watched from his chair in the living room. After Abe shut the door he instantly went to work, giving Paul no time to stress about what was to come.

“Bend over, slave. Hold your cheeks apart and beg me to fuck you,” Abe growled.

“God, you come on so overbearing,” Rick scolded. “Now, Paul, he’s just trying to prepare you for different possibilities. Don’t be nervous. Let me know you understand.”

“I understand, Master...Sir.” Paul said demurely. He had already moved into position, spreading his cheeks wide apart, his hole already nice and stretched from the day’s activities.

“Please, Sir. Fuck me,” he begged as instructed.

“That don’t make me even want to take my dick out to piss much less fuck. Come on kid. Beg me. Tell me why I’d want to stick my dick in you.”

Rick rolled his eyes and opened up the day’s newspaper.

“Please, Sir. I’m stretched and ready. I’m warm and tight. I’d make a good hole for you, Sir. Please fuck me so I can make you come.”

“Better, kid. I think I will take a dip.” Abe unzipped and dropped his pants, lubed himself up and slid right in to the hilt, immediately pumping in and out with abandon.

“God, I love the feel of a new hole,” he groaned.

Rick watched as Paul’s forehead and shoulders were pressed to the ground and his hands were dutifully holding his ass open. It didn’t take more than a few minutes for Abe to grunt and shoot his load.

“Squeeze tight slave, and don’t let any of it dribble out.”

Paul obediently kept himself clenched as he clambered back to his knees, hands behind his back awaiting his next order.

“We need to do a two-fer, too, right?” Abe asked, even though he knew the answer.

“Yeah, let’s give him a while to practice holding it in. Sit down a bit, Abe.”

“So you have another job lined up yet?” Abe asked as he buckled and zipped back up, taking a seat on the recliner.

“Not yet, but there’s never more than a day or two before someone else buys a slave and realizes they don’t know shit yet. Business is good.”

Abe looked around. “You know, I been wondering about you, man. Don’t you got a slave of your own? Kinda like a kennel owner who don’t got no dog.”

“I wouldn’t have enough time for my own. Always too busy training. Besides, it’s expensive.”

Abe nodded in understanding.

“Alright, Paul,” Rick ordered, “you can crawl carefully out to the backyard and release Abe’s seed. Then come back and we’ll both use you.”

Paul obeyed quietly and Rick could see the pained look on his face as he tried to move without losing his precious load.

“You wanna flip for the mouth or the ass?” Abe asked.

“I’ll take the ass this time. He needs to feel a different cock in his mouth,” Rick said, all business.

When Paul returned, Rick lifted the slave’s chin to make eye contact. “Okay, now when there are parties, the fucking may be leisurely, not rushed. I use this technique because I’ve seen it done at multiple parties. So I’ll be lazily fucking your ass, Abe will be fucking your mouth, and we’ll be playing poker on your back during it. Slaves are often used as “sex tables” like this and this, Paul, will be your last lesson. After you get through it, you’ll get some special treatment before bed for having done so well. Understood?”

“Yes, Mas...Yes, Sir.”

Rick smiled down at Paul and ran his fingers through the other man’s fine hair. “You’ll learn to love Aaron as your Master. I promise you.”

Ten minutes later they were situated, Abe’s dick in Paul’s mouth, Rick’s dick in Paul’s ass and two pair winning the hand on Paul’s back. They played and fucked for over an hour until Paul’s knees and arms began to shake.

Finally, Rick announced that it was time to finish up and both men pounded into Paul until they came. Paul collapsed onto his belly once they were done.

“Go ahead and wash up in the yard,” Rick said as he stroked at Paul’s sweat-soaked hair. “Abe’s leaving and you and I will have a final conversation before bed.”

“So I guess that’s goodbye then,” Abe said with a bark of laughter.

“Yeah, get out,” Rick laughed. It was a typical departure; they always tried to keep things light and humorous in front of the nervous slaves.

Rick went back to his paperwork and filled in some more notes. His subject for the month was ready to go and as always, Rick was proud of the young man he’d trained. Deciding to sell oneself was hard enough, but working to become the best slave one could be was commendable. Granted, if you weren’t pleasing to the master there were legal ramifications. Most often it was flogging in the public square or being remanded to a breeding kennel, but Rick always liked to see these men want to be something important.

Paul crawled back inside, clean and exhausted.

“You’re tired,” Rick observed.

“Yes, Sir.”

“You’ll sleep on my bed tonight, but not before you get a full massage. It’s my gift to my parting students.

“I get a massage, Sir?” Paul asked surprised.

“Yes, you get a massage, sweet thing. Go ahead and get on the bed.”

“Sir?”

“Yes, Paul?”

“I think I’d enjoy it more if I were to massage you instead.”

Rick smiled. The sign of success was when one can only derive pleasure from serving. Paul would do well, indeed.

Chapter Text

Merle had been dead four months. Daryl tried to keep his bills paid and keep himself fed, but he struggled. He was twenty-two, but without more than a middle school education the only job he could land was working at the gas pumps out on Senoia Highway. He’d been evicted from the trailer park he’d lived in all his life just a few weeks ago.

In the time since the eviction, Daryl had been sleeping under the bridge on Madison with a few other unlucky souls. It was another one of those chilly nights, fires in the trash cans and three or four of the usuals having the same conversation.

Morgan handed Daryl a flask that the younger man knew would be filled with cheap whisky. He took a sip and hissed at the bitter taste and the flare of fire it brought to his belly.

“I’ll never do it. I been sleeping on the streets for five years,” Morgan said. Daryl was familiar with the story. Morgan repeated it often. And he continued like he always did. “Won’t let anyone own me. I’m my own man whether I have money or not. Money doesn’t make the man. Freedom makes the man.”

It had been three weeks since Daryl had become officially homeless. He’d lost his job a few days earlier because he hadn’t been able to shower and the customers were complaining.

“That’s how I lost my leg, man,” Bob said as he hobbled up to the fire with his makeshift crutches.

“That’s bullshit, Bob!” Tara said gruffly. “They don’t eat you, they just...own you.”

“She’s gonna do it,” Morgan said, pointing his finger accusingly at Tara. “Watch, this whole bridge will be clear. Cleared before when everyone who used to be here did it. Sold themselves for a roof over their head. It will be clear again. I’ll be all that’s left.”

“I’ve been on the streets four days now, Morgan,” Tara said. “I smell. I’m tired and hungry. If all I need to do is stick my ass in the air a couple times a day to have a bed and meal, I’m starting to think it’s a no-brainer,” Tara answered.

The fire crackled and popped as Daryl stared into it, avoiding the gazes of the others. People looking at him always made him nervous.

“It’s not a no-brainer,” Bob added. “You sell to SlavesSaves then you have NO RIGHT to be human again. You give up your social security card, your driver’s license. You don’t exist. And you can’t exist as a normal human ever again. And they eat your legs.”

“Well I don’t think I can exist on half-eaten hot dogs and Morgan’s shitty whiskey much longer. And for the last time, your leg was blown off in Iraq, it wasn’t fucking eaten.” Tara continued, “Had a friend who took a meeting there once at SlavesSaves. She said they treated her like royalty when she was there. She thought about it overnight and went in. Ain’t seen her since, of course, but she was looking forward to it.”

“You don’t get no choice, though,” Daryl said shyly.

“Choice of what?” Tara asked.

“Choice about who buys you. What if it’s someone mean? You can’t say no. By the time you’re on the market you ain’t a ‘person’.”

“True,” Morgan said pointing his flask towards Daryl for emphasis. “What kind of people do you think are the buyers? It’s sick. They must be sick. They ain’t clearing me outta this bridge.” Morgan said again, getting more aggravated as the moments passed.

Later that night Daryl slept on a piece of cardboard with a ratty old poncho for a blanket. It was cold and the mice woke him when every time they crept up to his face rummaging for food. He could hear the city around him -- cars passing, sirens, yelling, gunshots. He wouldn’t admit it to the others, but he was afraid. He missed his bed and his room. And his brother. He just wanted to feel safe again, to be protected. And all the advertisements said that at SlavesSaves the owner’s duty was to take care of their slaves with room and board being part of the deal.

Daryl tried to think about what it would be like to give everything up. He never had much to begin with so would it really be that different? He wouldn’t have the freedom to make his own decisions, but what kind of decisions were his freedom giving him now? What trash can to look in for food? What bridge to shiver under? He knew he’d always been more of a follower than a leader so being obedient to a superior wouldn’t be foreign to him. Hell, he’d practically been Merle’s slave all his life. Picking him up from bars when he was drunk, doing his dishes, his laundry, cooking his dinners. How different could formal slavery be?

Daryl knew the answer to that. Sex & Punishment. He had never had sex before but not because he didn’t want to. More because he had no game and no idea how to make a first move on any potential love interests. He had a strong pain tolerance though, he knew that from his eventual numbness to his father’s belt. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing? No worrying about bills. Food everyday and shelter from the rain and cold. And the punishment couldn’t possibly be any worse than he’s had before. As the night dragged on, he tossed and turned over the possibility.

Before dawn broke the sky, Daryl had made his decision. He had nothing, was nothing, and selling himself for a home was the only thing that made sense.

Daryl got up before his fellow homeless friends even woke. He didn’t waste any time with goodbyes, they’d figure out what he’d done. Walking to SlavesSaves headquarters was eerie. He kept his head down and his eyes on his feet. He didn’t want to look at the sun and the sky and the freedom around him. Once he’d decided to put himself on the market, he didn’t want his freedom anymore.

Luckily there was no one at the door when Daryl got there so he walked right in and up to the man at the counter. The entryway was void of decoration. It was just brown leather walls and a glossy marble floor. Daryl had never seen a place so fancy.

“Oh no, no, no,” a sleazy man with a receding grey hairline and a nearly matching grey suit shouted from behind his counter. “This is the client entrance. Homeless enter around the back.” He shooed Daryl off like yesterday’s garbage and grabbed a can of polish to clean the floors up as Daryl left.

He had to admit, it made him feel like trash, but wasn’t that all he really was? Hell, the shirt he was wearing had been found in the trash. He’d found his last meal in the trash and one of his two unmatched socks came from a dumpster on his way over that morning. He worked his way around the building to the door that read “Slaves”.

Daryl took a deep breath, looked up at the sky one last time, and walked inside. The room was much different on this end. The floors were dirty, smudged white linoleum and the walls were 1970’s paneling.

“Hi there,” a bald black man said kindly. “I heard Gregory shoo you away from the store front. I’m here to shepherd lost souls to their new world. Are you ready to take the next step towards self-sufficiency?”

“Um…I ain’t here for church if that’s what your asking. Here to put myself on the market. I understand I can bathe here and stuff so I look a little better for the clientele?”

Gabriel smiled. “Of course, my son. You’re handsome under all that grime. I don’t think we’ll have trouble finding you an owner.”

It took a good four hours for Daryl to be prepared for sale. Gabriel bathed him, rubbed his body with patchouli lotion, cleaned out his ears, brushed his teeth, gave him a mani/pedi, and brushed his hair up into a bun. He was prepped with Gabriel’s fingers and plugged, with the explanation that he’d need to be open and ready for any clientele that wanted a test ride. His clothes were burned and he wasn’t given anything else to wear.

“Slaves are naked by definition. You will always be treated in a manner that reinforces your low status. It won’t be as hard as it sounds. Once you are purchased, you’ll have clear instructions on what’s expected of you. Do you have any questions for me before I bind you and put you in your showcase?”

“Do I get to eat first, Sir? Or pee?”

“I’m afraid not, my son. Slaves must learn pain and discomfort. And we like to start that from day one.”

“That’s bullshit!” Daryl shouted.

“Quiet now or Gregory will be back here having a fit,” Gabriel warned. “Slaves don’t backtalk.”

Daryl snorted defiantly. “The signs all say room and board. That means I ain’t gotta starve no more.”

“You won’t starve, you’ll just wait. If you aren’t bought this morning, we’ll supply lunch.”

“What about taking a piss?”

“Daryl,” Gabriel sighed. “Most new slaves aren’t so...bold with their questioning. We have a standard mid-day bathroom break that all slaves adhere too. You’ll need to be trained to only use the bathroom when your master allows it.

“Wait,” Daryl said, his hands now timidly covering his balls. “I can’t piss when I need to piss? Them signs over the Madison bridge didn’t say nothing ‘bout that. They said the owners have to take care of their property.”

“They will in their own way. Now, Daryl. Maybe now’s a good time to remind you that you’ve already signed your life away. Let’s get you up to your showroom.”

The shopkeeper bound the new slave’s hands behind his back and led him through a door.

“Why ‘m I cuffed? I ain’t no criminal,” Daryl asked, unable to help himself.

“To keep you from touching yourself,” Gabriel quickly explained. “And son, I recommend maybe you keep your mouth shut when a buyer asks to inspect you or try you out.” Before Daryl could ask another question, he was closed into his showroom.

The walls were all glass and Daryl could see the other homeless men and women who had finally decided that SlavesSaves was their only hope.

Through the glass, Daryl saw Gregory tending to several clients. His stomach felt like a stone. He was told what to expect with his new life, well with life. His life was no longer his own. But he couldn’t begin to imagine what it would be like until he knew who was purchasing him.

By noon, Daryl finally had a potential buyer showing interest. He couldn’t get a good look because he had to keep his eyes on his feet, but he could hear the conversation through the glass.

“Is he obedient or is he gonna cost me more trouble than he’s worth?” the customer asked.

“He’s new, Simon. Which means you can form him into whatever you want like putty. I recommend using Rick Grimes’ Slave Trainers, Inc. They’ll get your new property ready per all your specifications.”

“Can I test fuck him?” Simon asked.

“Of course,” Gregory answered happily as he flipped through the keys on his chain. “We do request it’s done right here so we can observe. If he causes problems, we’ll need to know how to deal with him.”

“That’s fine, my man. He’ll need to get used to bending over for me in front of company, anyway. What did his name used to be?”

“Daryl Dixon, but of course you can rename him as you see fit.” Gregory finally found the right key and helped Daryl step out.

“If I decide to grace you with my purchase Daryl, you’ll have no name. My needs are more of an object type. You look dumb enough to be a good object. Are you? You have permission to speak.”

“Yes, Sir,” Daryl said obediently. He didn’t like the aura that this possible Master had, but he knew how the slave system worked. If he wasn’t sold in five days he’d be sold to the kennels to be used to keep the studs occupied. He did not want that life. He’d rather die. So he vowed to himself to be on his best behavior for Master Simon.

“Bend over and spread your cheeks open for me,” Simon commanded as Gregory whipped out a tube of lube and pulled out the plug.

Daryl still had to pee like crazy. Allowing himself to be penetrated while he was desperately trying not to piss himself was going to take all his concentration. Simon pounded right into him, one hand held tight on Daryl’s neck.

“Nice and tight,” Simon said, pleased.

“This item has never been breached before. He’s a great...”

“Gregory?” Simon asked.

“Yes, sir?”

“Do you mind shutting the fuck up while I try to nut off here?”

“Uh yes, Sir. Of course, Sir.”

Daryl knew before it happened that there wasn’t any way to stop it. When Simon finally held tight to Daryl’s hips and came, the slave lost control of his bladder, the smell of urine filling his nostrils as the only sound in the room was the roar of his piss stream hitting the marble floor.

“What the fuck is this?” Simon asked as he pulled out. He shoved Daryl to the floor so that he fell into his own urine, his arms still bound behind his back so that he couldn’t even break the fall. He felt the start of a bruise already from where his forehead hit the wet floor.

“I thought this store had a reputation for having quality slaves? This object is gorgeous and you could get a mint for him, but you put him up for sale untrained? I should report you!”

“Sir, no. My apologies. He just came in and he’s such a rare beauty that we wanted to get him out right away. He’ll be scooped right up...”

“Well, not by me,” Simon grimaced. He zipped up his pants and kicked at Daryl’s bare foot. “What a goddamn disgrace.” He stormed out of the shop without so much as looking back.

Daryl watched the man walk away from his spot on the floor, his skin soaking in his own piss while he shivered from the dampness evaporating from his sticky flesh.

Gregory sighed and looked down. “What a fucking waste,” he muttered. “Gabe! Clean-up on aisle nine,” he hollered to the man in the back. Gabe came rushing out with a bucket and mop.

“Jesus,” he said after surveying the scene. By this point Daryl had started sobbing, though he hated himself for the weakness. Without access to his hands or a tissue, tears and snot mixed with the urine that pooled at his head.

“You should be sobbing,” Gregory seethed. “If we get reported I’m taking it out on you.”

Daryl didn’t respond. He just didn’t know what the hell to say anymore.

“We’re going to have to send him to Rick’s for proper training,” Gabe said as he wiped the mop around Daryl on the floor.

“Then we absorb that expense,” Gregory said with a hand rubbing through his hair nervously.

“Up his price,” Gabe answered. “Someone will pay big for his looks alone. Hell, if I had the money, I’d take him.”

Gregory yanked Daryl to his feet by his hair and looked him up and down again. “I’ll put together an order and you can drop him off when you leave work. In the meantime, bring him in the back and stick his ass in the tub. He reeks.”

Daryl continued to sob quietly as Gabe held his bicep and guided him through his showcase to the back room. He was kept cuffed and left in a bubble bath without a single word of comfort from Gabe.

By the time Gabe was done cleaning up in the front room, Daryl could tell his fingers and toes were wrinkled. He’d cried himself out, and when Gabe came back, Daryl let the other man wash him wordlessly.

“You’re gonna have to quit that crying. An owner will get sick of that right away and returns go to the kennels. I know you don’t want that. You have too much pride. Which, for the record will have to be trained out of you. Slaves don’t have pride. You have a lot to learn about how this all works. Didn’t you take Social Slave Studies in high school?” Gregory asked clearly expecting an answer.

“I didn’t get past eighth grade, Sir,” he said, voice barely a whisper.

“Great. Well, I guess that answers a lot.”

Chapter Text

Rick answered the door, not sure what to expect. He had just finished up with Paul that morning and wasn’t expecting a new slave yet. He didn’t often have unexpected visitors. He opened the door to see a man he recognized from one of the local SlavesSaves chains.

“Gabriel, is it?” Rick asked.

“Yes, Sir. I’m sorry to disturb you and I apologize that I didn’t call, but Gregory wanted you to see this problem slave before you had a chance to say no.”

Rick rolled his eyes. “You guys pay for shit with these problem jobs, y’know? I don’t know if I want to waste...”

“Please. He’s in the car. Come take a look. He’s worth more than the kennels and to be honest his crying has hit my heartstrings a bit.”

“That bad, huh?” Rick asked as he pinched his fingers to the bridge of his nose.

“Barely any formal education, full of pride and anger and shame. But he’s gorgeous. Stunning.”

Rick sighed and walked out towards the waiting car in his bare feet. “Let me see the work order.”

Gabe handed him the paperwork and Rick read it over as he made his way to the vehicle.

Work Order
Name: Daryl Dixon
Will respond to: Undetermined
Primary Role: Pleasure slave
Owner: Currently with SlavesSaves East Woodbury Drive location
Reason for order: Trouble slave. Low education. Issues with pride. Needs to be fully educated in slave operations before resale.
Slave Registration Number: 910203040506
Length of contract: Three Months
Contractual Lesson Agreements requests
General Requests
Needs to be educated in Social Slave Services, Grade Ten Course Work
Remains naked and collared
Trained in basic slave behavior, see coursework guide
Needs enhanced training in submission and shame
Incorporate corporeal punishment
Payment upon Receipt

“Jesus. This is basic. Is it a damn child?”

“No. He’s twenty-two. Just hasn’t been well-educated. Here, take a look,” Gabe said as he unlatched the back doors of his truck to show Daryl sitting in a cage, hands cuffed to his feet uncomfortably.

Daryl blinked wildly at the sudden flash of sun. He looked like a caged, defeated animal. His eyes were puffy and red from crying, but Gabe was right. He was stunning.

“I see why you don’t want to waste him,” Rick admitted. He looked back at the order and thought again about the small mark-up he made on direct-from-retail jobs and sighed. But when his eyes met Daryl’s he found himself nodding. “Fine. Bring him in and I’ll call you in three months.”

----------

Rick was used to dealing with dumb. Not that any of his projects were “dumb”, they just didn’t have to do anything special but listen and do. They weren’t inquisitive. It didn’t make for the most fascinating conversations. Rick perused the red sheet in Daryl Dixon’s order.

Spoke out of turn. Questioned the rules, policies, and processes. Pissed himself during test ride. Displays anger. Cries.

Questioned the rules, policies and processes, Rick re-read. This one might be interesting conversation after all. He looked back to Daryl who was kneeling at Rick’s feet as instructed, nothing on but a collar and leash.

“Daryl, I’m Rick. Not sure how much you picked up on when they likely dragged you out of SlavesSaves after your incident and tossed you into my home, but I’ll be training you on how to behave as a slave. You’ll also be taking the High School course that you missed in your short education about slave culture. Do you understand all this?”

“Ain’t dumb,” Daryl answered.

Rick stifled a grin. “Do you see why that wasn’t the best way to speak to your owner?”

“You ain’t my owner. You’re a teacher or some shit.”

Rick laughed full on this time. “You’re lucky you’re gorgeous because I’m certain you’d have already been turned over to the Kennels by now otherwise.”

“I wanna be good, man. Wanna eat. Have a roof over my head. I’ll do what I gotta.”

“A slave wants to serve his master. Not for the food or the roof, but for the act of serving,” Rick explained.

“Signs didn’t say nothing ‘bout that. Can’t I just do what you want and get something to eat? They ain’t fed me yet.”

Rick stared wide-eyed at Daryl. He’d never seen anyone sell themselves while being so clueless about any of it. Poor damn kid.

Rick squatted and uncuffed Daryl. “Stand up. Have a seat at the table over there.”

“You got anything I can wear? They burned my clothes.”

“Slaves don’t wear clothes. Surely you know that much, right?”

“Well...I know but ain’t I not really a slave until I’m bought?”

“You became a slave the second you signed on the dotted line, buttercup. Did you read the agreement?”

Daryl shrugged. “Nobody reads that shit.”

Rick pursed his lips, his brows furrowed in question. This man barely got through middle school. Could it be? “Could you have read it if you were so inclined?”

“The fuck’s that mean?”

Rick stifled another laugh. A naked slave speaking this way was unheard of! “It means: Can. You. Read.?”

Daryl’s lack of answer was answer enough.

Rick went to the fridge and got out the makings for a couple turkey sandwiches. “Normally slaves are fed cereal and stew. And that’s served in a bowl on the floor.”

Daryl was seated now, naked and covering his cock with his hands in embarrassment and shame. “Why? We ain’t pets.”

“No, but a lot of techniques are used that are similar to pets in order to keep you subservient and to reinforce your place. No one likes a cocky slave.”

“You do,” Daryl retorted.

Rick turned to him. “Oh do I?”

“You ain’t yelled at me yet or beat me,” Daryl observed. “You smile at me like I’m someone not something.”

“Well, I’m particularly nice. We need to get you prepared for anyone. Most slave owners aren’t as nice as me.”

Rick put one of the sandwiches in front of Daryl and before he could instruct him to eat, the younger man had the sandwich half devoured. Rick shook his head again. This was likely to be the most difficult project he’d ever taken on. And he was doing it for a cheap shit retail rate.

He sat across from Daryl, watching as he swallowed the last bit of his sandwich. Instead of eating his own, Rick slid it in front of his new trainee who grabbed up the second sandwich without even so much as a thank you.

“How long has it been since you’ve eaten?” Rick asked. He was always curious about that moment...that decision a homeless person or someone down on his luck makes, that instant they thought the only answer was to sell themselves.

“Day or so,” Daryl said with his mouth full. “Got a stale donut from a dumpster...I think day before last.”

“Well, we’re going to have to get to actual training asap since I only have three months with you, but before we do, do you have any questions for me? We’ll have a conversation here. Now. On equal footing. But it will be the last time like this, understand?

Daryl nodded. “Yeah, I get it.”

“Questions then?”

“Why d’you do this?”

“Do what? Train?”

“Yeah.”

Rick slid back in his chair and crossed his legs. What an odd choice for a slave’s first question. “I was a teacher. Taught High School History and Slave Culture Studies at Alexandria High.”

“So why ain’t you teaching no more? This pay better?”

Rick nodded. “It does. And I found more interest in educating slaves than potential owners.”

“Why? Cause you get to fuck us?”

Rick smiled again. “Because I get to help you transition to a new lifestyle and I find that interesting. I often wonder what I would do had I been in your shoes.”

“Starve or sell,” Daryl answered honestly.

“Any other questions?”

“Why’d you take me on if the pay from SlaveSaves is shit?”

“I think you seem fascinating,” was Rick’s simple answer.

“But you’re going to beat the me out of me. Ain’t that what this is all about?”

“It’s about becoming a bit more docile in order to earn your keep, Daryl,” Rick said firmly.

“I don’t get no keep.”

“The roof and the food is your keep.”

They were both quiet for a moment before Rick spoke again. “Are you tired? I’m sure you’ve had an exhausting morning.”

Daryl nodded. “I could sleep.”

“Down the hall on the right. There’s a guest room. You may use the bed just for today. I’ll start putting together our schedule for training.”

Chapter Text

Daryl woke from his nap in a strange room and it took him a minute to remember all that had happened since that morning. He stretched out on the soft bed with it’s comfortable, clean, thick quilt, and practically purred at how relaxed he felt. He knew it wouldn’t last. What had he been thinking? Selling himself into uncertainty. He felt dumb for not understanding the culture better before he made the decision to sign his life away.

At that thought Daryl sat up. Where was Rick? He looked at the clock and saw that he’d been asleep for two long hours. He got up, pulled a blanket around his body, and walked back out to the kitchen where he’d last seen his trainer.

Rick was still sitting there working on his laptop and he looked up, amused at the sight of Daryl wrapped in the plaid bed cover.

He stifled his smile so he could lay down the law with a straight face. “Put it back on the bed and don’t play stupid with me. I know you’re not. Naked at all times and that’s how it’s going to be, understood?”

Daryl frowned and stomped back to the bedroom to return the blanket. When he came back into the kitchen he stood naked, hands covering his soft cock.

“First, hands behind your back, now and at all times. Second, never stand over your Master.”

“You’re not my…”

“I am for the next three months,” Rick scolded. “And you will address me as such. Do you want to be whipped within an inch of your life on a daily basis or do you want to learn how to please an owner?”

“I’m sorry, Master,” Daryl said as he sank to his knees and Rick rose to his feet. And he really was sorry. Rick had been kind compared to Gabe and Gregory. He didn’t want to cause the man trouble, especially since he wasn’t making him all that much money.

“Here are the rules,” the trainer started. “You will not speak unless I ask you to speak and you most certainly won’t argue. You can question things when I ask if you have questions and not before. We will have a slavery class every morning where I will teach you directly since you can’t just read the books. In the afternoons we’ll have reading lessons because I don’t care if you’re somebody’s footstool or the Queen of England, you should know how to read. Understood so far?”

Daryl was looking up at Rick in awe. He had truly never seen a man exude such strong confidence before. It was a natural dominance that Rick had and Daryl did indeed feel himself shrink into place before it. “Yes, Master,” he answered obediently.

Nodding quickly, Rick continued reciting the rules. “You’ll be naked with your arms in a spreader bar until you can stop reflexively covering your cock. You will stay on your knees. I know wobbling on your knees with your arms spread open will be tricky, but it will help you to be meek and submissive. This is for your best interest. An owner wants a slave that knows he’s a slave. You’re cute and this has been fun but if I’m going to get paid, you need to sell in three months. Are we clear?”

“Yes, Master,” Daryl answered again, still feeling himself shrink into place.

Rick began putting on the spreader bar, connecting each wrist to a cuff and spreading his arms wide. Daryl felt ridiculous. He wished he’d been less of an asshole when he first arrived. Even as the self-critical thoughts raced through his mind, Daryl realized Rick was looking over his body closely, fingers twining through his hair and hands squeezing at his ass. “What are these scars from?” Rick asked when he got to Daryl’s back.

“My pa,” Daryl answered.

“My pa, Master,” Rick corrected him and Daryl obediently replied, “My pa, Master.”

With shivers running up and down his spine, Daryl lowered his eyes, not really wanting to be subjected to a line of questioning about his pa.

“You deserve it?”

“No, Master.”

“You sure? You seemed to have a mouth on your earlier.”

“He beat me when he was drunk and pissed at the world. I didn’t never do nothing to ask for it.”

“...Master,” Rick corrected again, and Daryl sagged as much as he could in defeat with his arms pulled wide open and pinned back.

“It’s okay, Daryl. You’re doing much better now. Maybe you just needed that nap, huh?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Have you ever been fucked?”

“This morning at SlaveSaves was the first time, Master.”

“Ever had a cock in your mouth?”

“No, Master.”

“Then we do have a lot of training to do.”

Daryl didn’t mind the thought of serving Rick. He was handsome. Bold blue eyes and wavy curls. A beard the perfect length with strands of grey in it’s dark brown. He had long bowed legs and a slim but powerful build.

“We have a few more housekeeping items to discuss. Bathroom. Most slaves aren’t permitted to use indoor bathrooms, so I’ll be training you that way. According to your records you have trouble with bladder control so we’ll be working on that. You’ll go when I allow you and not before. Do you have any questions?”

How long will I be in this uncomfortable spreader bar? When can I pee next? When is dinner? Why do you care that I can’t read?

“No, Master,” Daryl responded.

Rick stopped talking and walked away, leaving Daryl on his knees alone and rather confused. Did he suddenly find himself wanting to please the man? That simply? Not knowing what he was supposed to do, Daryl just stayed in his position, on his knees with his arms extended out on either side of his head by the spreader bar. Maybe it was a way to test his patience. Daryl knew he didn’t have much of that but he tried. He wanted to try.

Finally, Rick returned. “Good boy. Very patient. I didn’t give you instruction and you remained as I left you. Excellent instinct. Maybe there’s hope for you yet,” Rick winked.

Carrying on with his instruction, Rick continued. “Knee-walk over here to the couch. I’m not going to ask you to blow me yet but I want my cock in your mouth. Just feel the warmth of it on your tongue and start learning to be patient in that position. Will you do that for me?”

“Yes, Master.”

Daryl wiggled over awkwardly to place his head in front of Rick’s cock and opened his mouth to receive it. Soft, the cock was easy enough to take, Daryl thought. He rested his head on Rick’s hip and lazily explored Rick’s limp dick with his tongue. Soon enough he felt fingers sifting through his hair and heard Rick whisper a ‘Good boy’.

Surprised at how good the praise felt, Daryl wondered if he’d ever gotten any encouraging words like that before. It felt so unfamiliar. Certainly he never got so much as a hello from his pa, much less soft, kind words. And Merle was more of a “where’s my cigarettes?” kinda guy rather than a “thanks for picking them up” guy.

Daryl found himself eventually sucking on Rick’s cock like it was his thumb, soothed by the feel of it, comfortable with the weight of it on his tongue. Every few minutes Rick ran gentle fingers through his hair and before he knew it, Daryl had fallen asleep.

Chapter Text

Rick realized Daryl had fallen asleep when he noticed the drool pooling around his balls. He looked down to see the young slave’s long eyelashes shut and his normally defensive features softened. Slaves often looked sweet and naive to Rick, but to see this particular slave, so headstrong and outspoken, in such a vulnerable position...well, it did something to him. He wanted to do right by this young man and the only way to do that was to make him the best slave possible.

And suffice it to say, sleep drool was probably frowned upon by most slave owners.

The trainer ran his thumb along Daryl’s cheek. “Hey, there, buttercup. Is my cock getting in the way of your nap?”

Daryl woke quickly and bolted upright, wincing in pain from trying to move his arms which were still fastened in the spreader bar.

“Shit. Sorry,” He slurred, his voice still tainted with sleep.

Rick attempted not to smile and was mostly successful. “It’s time for your bathroom break. Do you think you can manage to keep your hands off your junk if I remove the spreader bar?”

“Yes. Master.”

Rick unlocked him and massaged each shoulder a bit. “Now in order to stay beneath me you’ll have to crawl. Follow me.”

Daryl did as instructed without question. It was summer and the grass was green and freshly mowed. Rick was glad for that. He always felt bad for his temporary slaves when they had to go to the bathroom in the winter. It seemed cruel to Rick, but he didn’t make the laws -- he just trained the slaves according to them.

Daryl had been on his hands and knees a minute or so before he finally tilted his head and met Rick’s eyes, his brows furrowed.

“Question?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Go ahead,” Rick allowed.

“Well, am I allowed to stand and aim it or what?”

“You stay on your hands and knees. I recommend just squatting.”

“So…not just like a dog... like a female dog?” Daryl asked with disgust.

Rick shook his head. “I hope you have a high pain tolerance kid, cause that smart mouth of yours is gonna cost you when you’re sold.”

“Sorry, Master.” Daryl said as he squatted close to the ground and relieved himself.

“That wasn’t so bad was it?” Rick asked.

“So much for modesty.”

“There is no more modesty for you anymore, Daryl. And no privacy...and you need to get used to that. And for the last time, watch that smart mouth. Next time I’m going to have to punish you.”

“Sorry, Master,” Daryl answered obediently. Rick led him back to the house and started preparing dinner. A steak and potato for himself and the canned Slave’s Choice brand stew for Daryl. He served them both at the same time and Daryl looked at his bowl for several long minutes before he started trying to eat without making too much of a mess of himself.

Rick observed his ass since he had such a nice view. It would look spectacular with Rick’s hand print across it. Punishment really wasn’t one of Rick’s favorite things to teach, but there was a certain power to it he couldn’t deny and this young slave just made him want to be powerful.

Daryl didn’t move after he finished his bowl and noisily sipped his water.

“Daryl. Come here,” Rick ordered, wanting to get a look at his reaction to his first meal served as a slave.

Daryl turned and complied, but kept his head down and his eyes averted. His cheeks were pink with embarrassment.

“Look at me,” Rick commanded.

When Daryl did it was clear he was holding back tears. His face was a mess from the stew and Rick was certain the reason for the blushing and tears was embarrassment.

The trainer took a napkin and started to wipe Daryl’s face off. “You’re embarrassed. Is that it?”

Daryl nodded and Rick decided not to scold him for not using a “Yes, Master” to answer.

“Then that’s something we’ll have to work on. For now, it’s time for the evening news and that’s something I like to watch each night. You’ll crawl out to the living room to be my footstool. Most slave owners require their slaves to have the patience and control to handle such tasks. I have an idea to address your specific issues with embarrassment and modesty and we’ll work on that later.”

Daryl crawled out to the living room without having to be told a second time.

“Do you have any questions at the moment?”

Daryl kept his head low and his eyes down as he answered. “What can I do to be good at this?” he asked with sincerity.

“Well, it will help you if you learn how to empty your mind so the time doesn’t nag at you. Just focus on nothingness; picture a blank, white wall and go zen. Know in your heart that you are giving comfort and let that comfort you. Keep your position, relax your head and neck so they don’t get stiff, and don’t bow your back.”

“Thank you, Master,” Daryl answered. “I’ll be good for you.”

The news was a lot of the same-old, same-old. The slavery counter-culture was still up in arms over the legality of scaring slaves during punishment. There was a case in the Supreme Court about branding and some of the anti-slavery groups were continuing to try to run canned food drives for the homeless to keep them from making the choice. Rick’s favorite soccer team won earlier in the day and he watched the highlights from the match. The half-hour long news program was just ending when Rick noticed the first buckle in Daryl’s posture.

“Half an hour is very good for a first time,” Rick said as he removed his feet and ran a comforting hand over Daryl’s spine. “Good job, buttercup. I’m proud of you.”

After a few more strokes of his hand over Daryl’s back, Rick said, “You may lie down for a bit. Your legs and arms must ache.”

Daryl instantly curled up into the fetal position and closed his eyes. He was still uncomfortable with his status -- his pride a brick wall against a hurricane. After letting him nap for an hour, Rick woke Daryl and took him outside to bathe him. He was as gentle with the hose as he could be as Daryl was instructed to use the bar of soap to clean himself. Once he was done, Rick dried him off.

“You have one last bathroom break before bed, but we are going to do things differently this time.” Rick attached a leash to Daryl’s collar and led him to a spot in the yard that had plenty of moonlight. “You are going to keep your eyes on mine as you squat and pee,” Rick instructed.

“What?! Why?” Daryl asked, out of turn.

“Because you have no privacy. You have no modesty. And you need to lose that pride.” Rick squatted to be closer to Daryl and placed a finger under his chin to force the eye contact. “Pee. That’s an order.”

Chapter Text

Daryl was on his hands and knees in the yard, Rick gazing into his eyes, forcing the eye contact as he instructed the younger man to urinate. It felt humiliating enough to be naked and on display, but this...this...it wasn’t so much that it lacked privacy as it was that it...forced intimacy. It was like relinquishing a very private part of himself to Rick.

Was that such a bad thing, Daryl started to wonder? To give himself away to someone like this? He didn’t belong to himself anymore, anyway. Rick was more understanding than anyone else would be...any potential owners. And did he really even have a choice?

“Pee. That’s an order,” Rick instructed, his blue eyes boring into Daryl’s own. Embarrassment heated the young slave’s cheeks yet again and he felt his eyes sting from the start of tears.

“It’s okay, darlin’. It’s real easy. Let your pride go. You don’t need it. Just be here. Just let your bladder go. It’s easy,” Rick said, his voice a purr of encouragement.

“You want to be a good boy for me. I know you do,” Rick said, his eyes nearly begging Daryl with intimate desperation as he stroked the slave’s hair. “Go on and pee for me. You can cry, too, if you need to. I won’t make fun.”

There was an unusual intimacy in the air between them. Daryl wanted to cry, he knew it would feel like relief to let the tears fall from his eyes and as he blinked he felt the first one escape.

“Go ahead and pee, Daryl,” Rick encouraged softly with a nod. “I’m here to protect you, not to mortify you. I know you have to pee. I want you to feel better by letting go…”

Suddenly Daryl was peeing, Rick’s face serene as he watched Daryl’s quiet tears fall and listened to the splashes of urine hit the ground.

“That’s it. You’re mine, see? You’re not yours. You have no more secrets. You belong to me now and you have nothing to be shy over, nothing to be sad over. You’re mine and you get to please me and that will make you happy. I promise.”

As Daryl’s bladder finally emptied, Rick wiped a tear off the younger man’s cheek. “You are going to be a perfect slave, Daryl. If you want to be proud so badly...be proud of that.”

Daryl was dizzy with confused thoughts and emotions. Christ, was he proud of pissing? Was he relieved to give himself to Rick in such an intimate way? What made him need to cry so badly? Why was Rick having this effect on him? This dizzying, flustering, perplexing sensation over his whole mind as well as his body -- it was all because of Rick.

As he crawled back to the house, watching Rick in front of him, he felt his dick twitch in interest. Was he turned on from this? Daryl could hear white noise roar loudly in his ears as he followed Rick to the bedroom, feeling the cool air on his cheeks as his tears dried. All of his senses seemed highly tuned to his surroundings, but at the same time he felt lost in swirl of silence.

“Daryl, this bed on the floor is for you,” Rick said, their eyes again focused on one another. “It’s round like this to force you to sleep in the fetal position. This is another way to enforce your mental and physical place in the world. A way to keep you small and meek. I explain these details to you because I know you want to understand. You may not be able to read, but you are very smart. I can see that. Do you have any questions before bed?”

“Have I been good today?” It was all Daryl wanted to know at that moment. Did he please Rick? Did he make the man proud? Did he behave more good than bad? Did his smart mouth earlier in the day still disappoint Rick?

Rick squatted. “You’re eager to please, Daryl. That’s excellent. Really excellent. And yes, you’ve been very good. Not perfect, mind you...but I’m very happy with your progress. You can be happy about that as you go to sleep tonight.”

“Thank you, Master,” Daryl answered, his eyelids starting to droop with exhaustion.

“Go to bed, buttercup. Tomorrow school starts.”

Chapter Text

Rick let Daryl sleep in. There’d be plenty of time to be harder with the boy. And it was hard to want to wake him the way he was curled up with a thumb in his mouth. He looked like innocence personified.

This was going to be a hard job. Rick already found himself smitten with Daryl. And having him for three months instead of the standard one month would only make it harder for him to give the boy up in the end. He went on to make himself an egg sandwich and devoured it while reading the paper.

After hearing a noise in the hall, he put down the paper and looked up to see Daryl, naked and crawling, his hair sticking out in a mess of different directions from sleep.

“Good morning and good job remembering to crawl.”

Daryl grunted in response and went over to where his empty food bowl sat.

“Let me get your cereal. Did you sleep well? You have permission to speak.”

“Master, with all due respect and shit...I ain’t a morning person,” he grumbled.

“Duly noted,” Rick laughed.

“Master? Is there anything I can do to earn myself a cup of coffee? I’ll lick it off the floor if I have to.”

Rick didn’t turn to Daryl so that the slave wouldn’t see the tears of laughter forming in his eyes. This man could be so much more than a slave. Was a shame really.

“Slaves don’t need coffee, buttercup. You don’t need the energy. Most of your day is just waiting quietly until your services are required.”

Daryl curled up by his bowl in the fetal position, eyes closed, in protest.

“These shenanigans aren’t going to get you anything,” Rick said as he put down the bowl of cereal and a refilled bowl of water. “You will need your strength, so eat. Remember, eating before you came here wasn’t a guarantee. Be happy for what you have.” The slave rolled his eyes and got back up to his hands and knees. Rick had a point. Food was food.

While Daryl ate, Rick organized his notes for the first day of Slave Studies class. He hadn’t taught it in ages and back then it was to youth who weren’t planning on becoming slaves. But he knew Daryl would be interested in understanding the evolution.

When Daryl was finished he crawled over to Rick with his head lifted and his chin sticky with milk from the cereal. Rick dutifully wiped it off. “Easier this time wasn’t it?”

“Yes, Master.”

Before studies were to start, Rick brought Daryl outside to pee. When Rick hesitated at the door, Daryl looked back up at him. He looked expectant, like the ritual from the night before was the start of tradition.

“Do you need my help again to pee?”

“Yes, Master.”

Rick squatted before Daryl and met his eyes, creating that same emotional connection they had between them the night before, and it wasn’t long before Daryl was peeing. He did not cry this time, but his eyes swelled with unshed tears. After, Rick kissed him softly on the forehead. “Good boy.”

Back inside before class started, Daryl was instructed to sit criss-cross with his hands behind his back. He looked like a perfect specimen of slave the way he sat, naked, chest out, arms back, hair pulled back and the summer sun beaming through the window to land right across his cheek, highlighting the beautiful mole above his lip.

“Alright,” Rick started. “How’d it all begin? Well, way back in the day there were no such things as pleasure or house slaves. There were homeless though, tons of them. People were dying in the street from heatstroke, starvation, freezing to death. It was an epidemic. In addition to that, it was becoming harder and harder for hard-working citizens to walk through the city streets without being panhandled for money. It was just an absolute mess.”

“What might surprise you is that it wasn’t the government that came up with this solution but a very clever homeless person. Today’s lesson will be about Miguel Vatos. Miguel was a very good-looking young man -- homeless though, like you’d found yourself, Daryl. He was bright like you also. He pan-handled for money and instead of spending it on booze or cigarettes or drugs, he found a way to sustain himself. Miguel joined a gym in downtown Atlanta. It cost him $10 a month to belong, but he just used it as a place to shower and hand wash his clothes.”

“Since he was able to be clean and he had those charming good looks, he was able to get more attention than the rest of the homeless, and eventually he came up with The Sign. The Sign is what led to the slavery movement.”

“Instead of ‘will work for food’ or ‘need money, please help’, this was Miguel’s sign.” Rick held up a picture of the sign from his textbook and Daryl squinted.

“Let me read it to you:
Need one night room & board.
Will supply any required services
Including lawn care, house cleaning,
Wood chopping, cooking, laundry, sex

Rick circled the word “sex” with a red pen as he held the poster up for Daryl to look at. “It all started with the word sex. Miguel was good-looking enough that men started picking him up, having sex with him, and simply letting him stay the night and eat a quick breakfast before leaving. Before long, he had a bed to sleep in every night, be it from sex acts or from cleaning and laundry. That is where the government stepped in. The exchange of goods and services without paying any taxes was frowned upon and Senator Philip Blake put together a bill that put structure to Homeless Service Exchange and taxed the shit out of it. The bill became a law and here we are. Any questions?”

“Are some slaves bought just for the other services? Cooking, cleaning, yard work and shit?”

“Very rarely. I wouldn’t get your hopes up on that.”

Rick continued the lesson by going over all the details in the HSE bill and Daryl listened obediently, watching Rick under his fringe of long bangs.

Lunch and Daryl’s bathroom break went smoothly and they shifted into reading courses that afternoon.

“Now how much can you read?” Rick asked to start as he opened the newspaper up and turned to a story about a new local park opening.

Daryl shrugged. “I dunno,” he answered.

Rick pointed to the first sentence in the article. “Here how much of this can you read?”

Daryl looked at it with what seemed like intense scrutiny and then he unconsciously brought his thumb up to his mouth.

“Do you know what the first letter is?” Rick asked patiently.

“T!” Daryl shouted, stupidly proud of being able to do something that a four-year-old could do.

Rick nodded. “And the next?”

“H.”

Rick nodded again for him to continue.

“E. N. E. W…”

“Okay, okay. You know the alphabet. That’s a good start.” Rick sat down on the floor next to Daryl with a bag of books. “I have some old picture books here. We’re going to read them together.”

Rick opened the well-worn pages of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and turned to the first page. He helped Daryl struggle through sounding out words as they read through the book slowly.

“Why’s this book so worn?” Daryl asked. “You teaching all the slaves to read with this thing?”

“Daryl,” Rick sighed. “You have to learn how to keep questions like that to yourself.”

Daryl rolled his eyes at the instruction.

Rick was stunned at how bold this young slave was. He just simply didn’t get it yet. But it was nice to have someone interested in getting to know him. That didn’t happen often.

“It was my son’s,” Rick finally answered.

“How old’s he?” Daryl asked casually.

Rick met his eyes and then looked away and stood.

“He died three years ago. He was fifteen.”

Rick walked away from his slave and locked himself in his bedroom for a while. He just needed some quiet time alone.

Chapter Text

Alone in his room, Rick pulled his pillow over his face and hid from the sunlight. All it took was a mention or a passing memory and he felt his heart shatter all over again. Fifteen was too damn young to die. It was a car accident. He was thriving and alive one minute, then crushed in the back seat -- dead -- the next. How quickly life could end.

He felt the hot burning tears running down his cheeks. He hadn’t had a good cry in a while and maybe he was just due. Before he knew it he’d fallen fast asleep. He woke as the sun was setting and remembered how he’d just walked away from Daryl. Scurrying out of bed, he wiped a sleeve over his eyes to dry off any leftover tears.

When he walked into the living room he saw that the books were all stacked neatly on the coffee table and Daryl was on his knees, legs spread, hands behind his back and eyes downcast.

“Good boy,” Rick smiled.

“I’m sorry for asking too many questions, Master.”

“You’re forgiven. You didn’t know,” Rick said with a sigh as he ran his hands through Daryl’s long strands of hair.

“Can I make you dinner, Master?” Daryl asked and Rick nodded as he sat down at the kitchen table.

“Make it spaghetti and meatballs,” Rick requested.

Daryl set to work without another word. He was almost too quiet and Rick knew there must have been a thousand questions whizzing around that brain of his.

“Go ahead,” Rick said. “Ask. I know you’re dying to ask questions.”

Daryl turned as the noodles were boiling. It wasn’t standard procedure to allow a slave to talk during meal preparation since he was standing. That was a sign of disrespect. But to be honest, Rick didn’t feel like working. He was tired and lonely, and he was glad to have company.

“Was that when you quit teaching? When your son…”

“Yeah,” Rick answered with a nod. “It was a car accident and I didn’t want to drive anymore. I didn’t work for two years, then money got tight and I started taking in problem slaves. That’s another reason why I don’t have one of my own. I just don’t have the money.”

“You want one?” Daryl asked as he stirred the meatballs and sauce.

Rick looked at Daryl with a smile. “It’d be nice to have company. Permanent company.”

“You could tell them I’m not fixable and try to get me for a good deal. I’d be good company.”

Rick laughed as Daryl set his food down on the table and scraped some of the leftovers into his own bowl. “So you want to be mine, huh? Why’s that?”

“I like you.”

“That so?” Rick asked.

“Yes, Master.”

“Well, I’m afraid that’s not how it works. They’ll send the unfixable to the pound. They’d make tons of money in the beastiality trade. And you don’t want that.”

Daryl knelt and started eating.

“I left you alone for a while and you did a good job of staying put.”

“Thank you, Master.”

“Why?”

Daryl turned around from his bowl, his face covered in spaghetti sauce. “Because I wanted to please you, Master.”

“I told you. Eventually you’d get pleasure from pleasing your Master. That’s a good start. It’s the fundamental building block of becoming a competent slave.

They finished eating in silence and Daryl crawled over to Rick after he was done so his Master could wipe the food from his face.

“You must have to pee.”

“Yes, Master.”

“Have you been holding it?”

“Yes, Master, for a while.”

“So you don’t really have bladder issues, do you.”

“No, Master. They wouldn’t let me pee when I got to SlaveSaves and someone fucked me when I was almost ready to piss myself anyway. I didn’t think that was fair, Sir.”

“Nothing is fair for a slave. It’s not supposed to be. Let’s go out and pee, then, huh?”

Rick put the leash on Daryl because he took to it so well earlier. They walked out to a spot under the tree and Rick knelt in front of the slave. “Keep your eyes on me. You’re only allowed to pee when I say it’s okay, understood?”

“Yes, Master.”

They sat that way for nearly fifteen minutes, doing nothing more than keeping their eyes on one another. Rick couldn’t help it. He really did enjoy the power that came with having a slave.

“You can pee now,” Rick said finally and Daryl immediately crouched down and released a long steady stream. As he went, Rick lifted his chin with a finger and placed a chaste kiss to his lips. “You’ve been good today.”

“Thank you, Master,” Daryl responded in barely a whisper. His eyes were glazed over and his posture was relaxed. He was going to transition easily into a wonderful slave. As long as his mouth didn’t get the better of him.

They went in for the night and Daryl again acted as a footstool for the evening news. After that, Rick put on a movie and had Daryl lie across his lap. “It’s important for you to get used to having your ass played with. So your job is just to lie here while I do whatever I want, understood?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Do you have any questions before we begin?”

“Will it hurt, Master?” Daryl asked, his pale blue eyes looking up from the couch.

“Did it hurt when that man fucked you in the store yesterday?”

“Yes.”

“We’re going to go slow so that you will learn to crave that feeling, okay? I’ll use plenty of lube and I’ll go slow. You just rest your head and listen to the movie.”

Daryl nodded his head and tried to relax his body while Rick coated his fingers in lube. He started by slowly circling Daryl’s entrance, leaving it at that for a long time. Slowly he began to press a finger in and Daryl winced and whined at the intrusion but Rick rested his other hand on the man’s lower back to calm him. “Stay relaxed, Daryl. You want this. You want to be good for me.”

Finally, Rick was finger fucking the slave at a fairly hard clip. He slowed his movements and searched for the prostate.

“You’re not going to have orgasms from your cock anymore. In fact, tomorrow we’ll be caging it. Slaves don’t need a cock, all they are is a hole for their master. You will learn to orgasm from being used, from a thick, hard cock plowing your ass. You will think about it all day, how much you want to be useful for your Master.”

Rick had found the prostate and started massaging it. “See how pleasurable this can be?”

“Fuck,” Daryl whispered.

“That’s not an acceptable answer, Daryl.”

“Fuck, don’t stop. Please.” Daryl started rutting his cock into Rick’s jean-clad lap.

Rick pulled his fingers out of the slave for the sake of the training.

“Nooooo,” Daryl whined.

“You don’t decide when you want to come, buttercup. You get what you get and you are happy for it.”

“God I need to fucking come, Rick. Come ON!”

Startled at the very non-traditional slave response, Rick stifled his laugh. “Rick? And that tone of voice? Bad boy, Daryl. Perhaps we need to put the cage on tonight.”

Daryl sobbed and buried his head in the sofa cushions as Rick slid out from under him. “I’m sorry, sweetheart,” Rick said before he could catch himself.

Daryl noticed the weakness and pleaded again. “Please, Master. I was so close. I promise I’ll be good and learn and do everything right and be the best slave ever if I can just please come.”

Rick shook his head in dismay and relented. “You can hump my leg til you come. Then it’s the cage.”

“Thank you, Master. Thank you, thank you,” Daryl murmured as he took no shame in grabbing onto his Master’s leg, humping and rutting with desperation until finally his vision went white and he saw stars. He came harder than he ever had before. God, he thought. He would do damn near anything for this man. He would die for him. In just a couple days, Daryl was fully in the slave mindset.

 

Rick steered Daryl into the back bedroom and guided him up on the bed. Without conversation he started to fit the cage onto his slave’s cock, which wasn’t an easy task since every time he touched it, it pulsed and grew harder.

“Daryl,” Rick scolded. “Think it down for Christ’s sake.”

“Yes, Master,” Daryl cried. “I’m trying.”

Rick threw his hands up and sat on the bed and before he knew it, he was laughing, laughing hysterically. Daryl laid there, worried that the laughter might turn into anger.

“This is ridiculous,” Rick said with tears of laughter running down his cheeks. Daryl started to laugh too, a shy, cautious laugh.

“I can’t help it. You turn me on,” Daryl said between chuckles.

Rick put an affectionate hand on Daryl’s belly. “We’ll just wait for tomorrow to put the cage on.”

“Okay,” Daryl answered. “I promise I’ll do a better job tomorrow.”

“I know you’ll want to try and that’s what’s important. You are definitely a challenge, Daryl.”

“I want to be good for you, y’know,” Daryl said in a way that was far too casual for a slave.

“I believe you do. You sleep in the dog bed on the floor. Get a good night’s rest. We have a lot of hard days ahead.”

Daryl snickered as he moved to his dog bed.

“What’s so funny?”

“Well, if you put me in a cage tomorrow, I won’t have any hard days anymore.”

Rick turned out the lights and got under his covers. “A slave who likes puns. Who’d have known.”

Chapter Text

The weeks passed like leaves in a breeze, slow and easy, and the lessons were going well. Rick hadn’t fixed any of Daryl’s sassing problems, but he had gotten him fairly well behaved. Daryl tried his best. He’d grown fond of Rick and the desire to submit to him had been a natural transition. Daryl had begun to lose his pride and modesty; he had nothing private anymore. Everything belonged to Rick.

He still had pride in being a good slave and the feeling of praise was more welcome than food or water. He didn’t mind being in the cock cage and he’d grown to believe that he didn’t need his cock; it was useless to him. The only cock that mattered was his Master’s and Daryl had grown thirsty for it. He often begged to satisfy Rick, speaking without permission, but Rick would usually allow it and brush fingers through his slave’s long hair while he was serviced.

The day to practice walking naked out in public had come and Daryl was a bundle of nerves.

“Because it ain’t got nothing to do with being yours,” Dary argued. “Why do other people got to see me? What if my new owner just likes to stay home like you do?”

“Daryl, I thought we got past the part where you argue with me over things. This is what we are doing today. Period.”

Daryl stayed in his position, on his knees, arms behind his back, but his eyes were fiery and focused directly on Rick. “What if someone wants to touch me?” he asked with a scowl.

“Then I’ll either let them or I won’t. It’s up to me, not you.”

“I’ll bite,” Daryl threatened.

“You won’t. You’ll be good and you’ll make me proud. I know you will.”

Daryl pouted until he was leashed and out the door. Then he sulked and growled under his breath.

The cool air was foreign on his skin. It touched and tickled places that it never had before. His cage swung with the quick pace of their steps and he felt like everyone was staring at it. In reality, no one really paid him any attention. He was just a slave among many others. Once they reached the park, Rick knelt down and talked Daryl through his first public urination.

The way Rick spoke to him was mesmerizing. His voice, his full attention, his eyes. Daryl would follow him to the ends of the earth. In just a matter of weeks, Rick had become his everything.

The walk through the park and the nearby mall were uneventful and they managed to make it back home without Daryl mauling anyone.

“Wasn’t so bad, was it?” Rick asked as they walked in the door.

Daryl grumbled as he crawled up the stairs.

———————

Daryl was resting his head in Rick’s crotch. It wasn’t commanded; Daryl just climbed up and nudged Rick’s hand wordlessly. He really loved soft touch and praise and thank God for that because it was the only way to make him learn to be obedient.

Rick ran his fingers through Daryl’s hair and allowed the slave to warm his cock. Having him nice and calm was probably a good time to ease into the next steps of training which Rick was certain Daryl would fight.

“New lessons tomorrow, buttercup. Are you going to be a good boy for me?”

Daryl looked up with his bright blue eyes -- mouth still full -- and nodded sincerely.

“Get into your position,” Rick commanded.

Daryl slurped off Rick’s cock and knelt properly, arms behind his back, knees spread.

“The lesson tomorrow will be about receiving punishment.”

“What kind of punishment?” Daryl asked, his jaw agape.

“Physical. We’ll work on your pain tolerance. Slave owners sometimes use slaves to take out their agressions. You need to be prepared for that. Remember, we talked about this during Social Slave Study classes.”

“You gonna hit me? Really?” Daryl asked, bordering on indignation.

“I am.”

“Because you want to or because of training?”

“As frustrated as I get with you, Daryl, I’m not particularly into corporal punishment. But 99% of slave owners are. So this training is going to happen.”

The scowl on Daryl’s face made it clear how he felt. Rick, himself, had dreaded this portion of training with the young slave. The scars on the young man’s back had not been lost on him. Daryl had had a hard life even before he found himself on the streets.

That was the only reason; he felt bad. It certainly wasn’t because he liked Daryl more than all the others. And it definitely wasn’t because Rick was falling for him. That would make it way too hard to give him up in another month.

Rick watched Daryl sleep that night. He had a fitful night with several nightmares that woke him. Each time, Rick would lean over the bed and pet him until he fell back to sleep, shushing him and letting him know it was just a bad dream.

Rick finally fell asleep around 3 and he slept like a rock until the sun started peeking through the windows. He was so comfortable, warm and snug in his blankets, that the last thing he wanted to do was move. But Daryl had to be let out and coddled for a bit before the day’s training.

When he turned to get up, he realized that the warmth was coming from a round lump in his bed. After pulling down the comforter he saw Daryl, curled up in the fetal position with a thumb in his mouth, and tucked up as close to Rick as he could get.

Rick sighed and put an arm around his sleeping slave.

“Daryl,” he whispered. He watched as Daryl’s face came to life, eyelids peeling open to reveal tired blue eyes.

“Can you see what you’ve done wrong here?” Rick asked patiently.

“Sorry, Master,” Daryl grumbled as he slid off the bed and curled back up on his own pile of blankets on the floor.

“Ironic that today we’ll be using the whip and the crop cause that’s how a slave owner would probably handle this situation.”

Daryl responded with a series of obviously fake snores.

That afternoon, Daryl knelt obediently in the special room Rick had set up. The walls were lined with various torture devices: whips, crops, handcuffs, nipple clamps. The table held other devices like plugs, vibrators, and gags.

Daryl shifted nervously on his knees, not looking up at any of it. Many slaves ended up liking the punishment -- getting a sexual rise out of it -- but Rick felt certain Daryl wouldn’t be one of those types. He’d been quieter than usual all morning -- no speaking out of turn, no questions. His eyes were shut as if he believed he could hide behind his eyelids.

Rick usually had his slaves stand, hands cuffed to the ceiling, but the sweet look on Daryl’s innocent face made him cave. He sat and ordered the nervous slave over his knee.

As Rick rubbed his hand in circles around Daryl’s bottom, he tried to explain what a session was typically like.

“Most of the time the owners will want silence while they are administering their punishment. Sometimes they’ll ask you to count out each lashing. For this first time, let’s just try to remain quiet.” When Daryl didn’t respond, Rick continued. “Look at me, Daryl.”

The young man looked up obediently, his face slack and his eyes almost looking through Rick instead of at him.

“This is for your own good, Daryl. You want to be a good slave, right? You want to please your future Master?”

Daryl focused his eyes and looked hard at Rick. “No. But I want to please you. So go ahead and do it if you have to.”

Rick started fuming. He didn’t need Daryl’s permission to go ahead. And he didn’t need the attitude. He’d been terribly lax on this slave and it was starting to show. He focused that rage on the task at hand, pulling back a hand and bringing it down firm and hard against Daryl’s pale ass.

The sound echoed in the small room and Daryl muffled a cry. Rick cracked a hand over Daryl’s ass a second time, then a third. And on and on until his hand grew sore and Daryl’s cheeks turned a bright pink. Rick could hear Daryl sniffling even before turning his face to see it for himself. The younger man had tears streaming down his cheeks.

“A slave owner would beat you until you had no tears left,” Rick said, trying to keep his voice firm and detached. “Now stand and put your arms over your head.”

Rick cuffed him in place from the ceiling shackles and grabbed a whip from the wall. He didn’t even make an announcement before he began whipping Daryl’s back relentlessly. He felt an anger growing in him, though he couldn’t put his finger on exactly what it was. But regardless, it fueled him to continue despite Daryl’s hung head, his sweat-damp hair covering his face, that beautiful face.

Finally Rick stopped, out of breath and exhausted. He took in the sight of the other man from head to toe. Stringy hair, hand prints forming on his ass, and stripes across his back that covered the scars he’d already been carrying, cock trapped in it’s cage, and tear stains running down his face.

Rick felt the stinging of oncoming tears and he walked out of the room to keep Daryl from seeing his weakness.

Fifteen minutes later, he returned to find a sobbing, lonely Daryl still hanging from the ceiling by his wrists. He took the keys and unlocked the slave’s wrists. “Kneel.”

Daryl fell to his knees and hugged one of Rick’s legs. “I’m sorry, Master. I’m so sorry. I’ll do better next time, I promise. I’m so sorry.” He gasped for breath between words, wiping away the tears with his forearm. “Please, use me somehow that will please you. Let me make it up to you. I want to make you happy.”

The need to please was strong in Daryl and that was what would save him in the end. If it weren’t for that and for his striking good looks, he’d be destined for the kennels for sure. Rick left him a sobbing pile on the floor and gathered his aftercare kit: a bottle of water, a blanket, lotion, and a chocolate bar.

Rick returned to quiet sobs and Daryl in the fetal position on the floor, shivering violently. Not all slave owners were so generous with their aftercare, because there was really no way to enforce it, but most were and Rick needed to take care of the poor, sweet, naive boy on the floor.

“No more tears, buttercup,” Rick whispered as he sat on the floor next to the slave, wrapping him up in a blanket and pulling him close to help warm him with body heat. The shivering body in the blanket finally stilled.

“Water,” Rick commanded as he held up the bottle for Daryl to drink. The younger man guzzled it, choking on sobs and the quick intake of water. “Slowly,” Rick said, easing the bottle down. Daryl rested his head on Rick’s shoulder as he continued to mutter apologies.

“You’re forgiven, my dear,” Rick whispered as he broke off a piece of chocolate and fed it to the other man. “No more tears now. Lie flat over my legs so I can rub lotion into your marks. Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.”

Daryl squirmed out of the blanket and obeyed, lying bare over Rick. Some of the welts bled slightly and the hand prints had faded into bright red splotches. The lotion was cool on Daryl’s burning hot skin and he moaned as Rick carefully rubbed it in. Once Daryl’s breathing and heartbeat were back to normal, Rick lubed a finger. “We’ll want to milk you every so often and now’s as good a time as any. It will release your backlog of cum, but you won’t orgasm. In fact, you’ll grow hornier than ever.”

Rick slowly, and rather impersonally, inserted a finger into Daryl’s entrance and crooked it in order to find the right spot to massage out the ejaculate. “Relax and learn to enjoy this invasion. This part of your body will belong to your master and for now that’s me.”

Daryl moaned in pleasure and tried to rut on the floor. “You won’t get anywhere, darling. Your cock will no longer be your method of orgasm anymore -- that is on the rare times you’re allowed one. We’ve talked about this. You will be lucky to get any of the anal orgasms you manage.” Rick grabbed a nearby vibrator, lubed it, and inserted it into his collapsed, obedient slave. Suddenly, Rick saw the milky white liquid leaking out of the cock cage and Daryl moaned in desperation.

“All cleaned out. And you’ve had a very long session. I want you to take a nap.”

“But...but I’m so...I want to...do things for you.”

Rick laughed. “That’s called being horny, love. It’s part of the way we keep you obedient. Now go lie down in your bed and you’ll fall right to sleep. We’ll have more to experiment with this afternoon.”

Daryl started to crawl away but turned back with those deep blue eyes. “Will you sleep with me?”

“I have work to do, buttercup. But I’ll tuck you in.” As soon as Rick uttered the words, he winced. He was babying this slave too much and it would not make his future easy.

At his desk, he pulled out his bank account statement and his 401K and looked over his financial standing. Was there any way he could afford to buy Daryl outright?

Chapter Text

Daryl feigned sleep. His body was still sore, arms aching from being held over his head, sharp pain from the whip marks, the stinging of his ass, and a headache from his tears. The punishment training was brutal. He flashed on and off to his father and the whippings he’d earned from the belt in the old Dixon-style of child-rearing. And to know that now Rick was the one administering those powerful blows had broken his heart. He’d grown so attached to Rick -- couldn’t bear being away from him. And even now, even after the beating and the pain, all he really wanted was to be curled up next to Rick.

Slavery was confusing. Daryl should hate Rick. Hate the way he was controlled -- from eating to pissing to the way he sat and slept. But there was also the way he complimented Daryl’s obedience, the way he touched him gently, the way he acted as a protector from the rest of the world. Rick had eyes that Daryl could swim in...his voice as mesmerizing as the gentle strum of a guitar. His hands were warm and strong and his smile was worth working for no matter what it took.

He tried not to dwell on the fact that he’d be sold to someone else. Frankly, he couldn’t imagine life being any different than it was, just him and Rick, together. He would ask today. Ask what he could do to be worthy of Rick purchasing him. There had to be a way to get the money. Daryl would do anything to make it happen. It wasn’t just about wanting the meals and the roof anymore. It was about wanting Rick’s love...and the unconditional desire to return it.

-------------------------

For the rest of the day, Daryl was quiet. He followed Rick around the house and curled up at his feet as Rick praised him for being so strong. The other man didn’t mention Daryl’s tears. That was a failure and Daryl knew it. But instead of beating him more, Rick had wrapped him up in his arms and taken care of him. That had never happened in his whole life. No one had cradled him like that, fed him, whispered praise. It made Daryl wish he’d done a better job, kept himself from crying. Next time he would do better. He knew now that it wasn’t anger that motivated the beating, it was affection. Rick cared about Daryl and wanted to prepare him for anything. It was...kindness.

Daryl nudged at Rick’s legs as he watched the news, offering to act as his footstool.

“Why don’t you just relax tonight. The first whipping is tough.”

Daryl glared at Rick, eyes angry under strands of misplaced bangs. “I can take it. I said I was sorry about crying,” Daryl growled.

“Actually, I think I’d rather talk tonight. Come up here and sit in my lap.”

Daryl complied, keeping his eyes suspicious and his movements cautious. Rick cradled him as Daryl rested his head on Rick’s strong shoulder.

“That crying, Daryl. That wasn’t from pain. I’ve been working with you for over two months now and I know you’re strong and you have a high tolerance for discomfort. No one I’ve ever taught can stay in place as long as you and I know that’s got to be painful. And you never complain about it. So I want to know what made you cry.”

Daryl pulled his head off Rick’s shoulder and looked at him. “Thought you just owned my body. Ain’t what’s in my mind private?”

Rick sighed and absentmindedly rubbed his hand up and down Daryl’s bare back. “Daryl, I’m never going to really know if you’re telling me the truth or not. Your thoughts are yours. But I’d like to know, as a friend, what had you so upset earlier.”

Daryl laughed. “As a friend?”

“Look, Daryl. I like you. I want to make your life as good as it can be and if I know what pains you on the inside, maybe I can help.”

“If you really wanted to make my life as good as you could, you’d buy me,” Daryl said, not for the first time.

Rick took a deep breath and rubbed at Daryl’s unruly hair. “I’ve told you. It’s just not possible. I don’t have that kind of money. I wish I did because I would do it. I would buy you and keep you safe here with me as my equal.”

“No. That ain’t what we are and that ain’t what I want. I want to belong to you, as Master and slave. ThatI know how to do. I like it. I like what we have, Rick.”

Rick blushed at the use of his name on Daryl’s tongue. It felt so forbidden yet so desirable. “Well, it’s a pointless conversation,” Rick sighed. “Now tell me, why you cried? Was it because of the scars you already carry with you?

Daryl kept his narrowed eyes on Rick’s and nodded slowly.

“Childhood?”

Daryl nodded again.

“Abusive father?”

“Yes, Master.”

“I am not your father. And I don’t beat you for the same reasons he did. I’m trying to help toughen you up to make your life easier in the future. You understand that right?”

“I understand. And I’m ready for more, Master.”

“More what?”

“More punishment. I want to show you I can take it.”

Rick laughed and nudged Daryl to climb off his lap. “No way. Not until you heal up some. Come on, you haven’t been out to pee in a while.”

Rick walked him to the sliding door.

Before Daryl squatted down to piss, he looked up at Rick. “When are you going to fuck me? Isn’t that the primary reason for my existence?”

“Why? You in a hurry? You want me to fuck you?” Rick asked with a smile.

“Yes, Master. I do.”

“Go pee,” Rick said calmly.

When they returned to the living room, Daryl was as mouthy as ever.

“Are you saying you’ve trained slaves before and went two months without even fucking them?”

“I’ve used dildos on you, fingered you, it’s not like I haven’t…”

“You haven’t! You haven’t even tried to fuck me. Is something wrong with me that you don’t want to? Am I broken?” Daryl finally asked, a crack in his otherwise firm voice.

Rick knelt on the floor to be eye level with Daryl. “It’s complicated for me, Daryl.”

“What’s so complicated? You have a dick, I have an ass…”

“Because I’ve fallen in love with you,” Rick blurted out.

Chapter Text

Daryl knelt, arms behind his back and legs spread, trying to absorb what he’d just heard.

I’ve fallen in love with you.”

Rick stayed at his level and held eye contact, nervously waiting for a response.

“Are you allowed to fall in love with your trainees?” Daryl asked softly.

“There’s no law, but it’s certainly frowned upon.”

“You aren’t going to be able to do a proper job with me,” Daryl said.

“I know.”

“I love you, too, Rick. You’ve become my everything.”

Rick looked disappointed to hear it. “You think you love me because I’ve made myself your everything.”

Daryl thought about that. Maybe there was some truth to it, but since Rick had laid himself open for Daryl to know, he was sure his love was true and not manufactured. He leaned in and pressed his lips to Rick’s, a bold and dangerous move.

Rick moaned into it and pulled his slave closer, arms wrapping around his naked body and a hand rubbing over his ruby red ass -- a visible sign of his recent punishment.

“Mine,” Rick growled.

“Yours,” Daryl answered. “Take me.”

Rick pulled away and tore off his clothes right there in the living room. He positioned Daryl onto the floor, legs held up so that Rick had full access to him. But instead of just plunging his already rock-hard cock into the slave’s readied hole, he leaned over the other man and kissed him again. The kiss was not one-sided; Daryl pressed into it and opened his mouth, begging for a deeper, more passionate connection to which Rick immediately complied. Daryl’s lips were eager and warm, gentle and aggressive all at the same time.

“Rick, fuck me, own me,” he pleaded. And Rick obeyed. He was hard as a rock and he quickly lubed himself up and rubbed his cock against Daryl’s entrance, maintaining eye contact the whole time. “I’m yours,” Daryl whispered again.

“And I’m yours,” Rick whispered as he sank into his slave. Daryl was caged as always, but his breathing was heavy and excited. “Play with your nipples,” Rick commanded, knowing how sensitive his slave was there. The whimpers and whines from Daryl went straight to Rick’s cock. He didn’t think it was possible to get any harder, and he continued to pump in and out as Daryl kept his legs wide open -- his eyes so submissive and wanting, his fingers twisting and pinching at his perky pink nipples.

“I’m gonna cum,” Rick groaned.

“Yessss,” Dary hissed, more a breath than spoken word.

Daryl felt a culmination of pleasure from knowing that he was responsible for the way Rick felt. He pinched his nipples and the sparks of pain made their way to his core. His ass felt full and abused by the desperate fucking. At the last moments he could feel Rick’s cock rubbing against his prostate and he threw his head back in a silent sob. He felt his cock straining against it’s cage and all of his insides were tingling with pre-orgasm, a climax just out of his reach.

“Rick, yesss,” Daryl moaned and after one more pump of Rick’s cock, Daryl felt himself explode in pleasure as Rick’s cock throbbed inside him, filling Daryl with his seed. Rick had been right. He didn’t need his dick anymore.

Daryl let his legs stretch back out after Rick pulled out and he immediately got into his position, on his knees with his arms behind his back, eyes downcast.

He could see Rick’s feet as they paced back and forth across the living room. The silence from him was deafening. A lump formed in Daryl’s throat, he was filled with nerves and fear and worry. They loved each other. How would that change things? And how on earth was Daryl going to figure out a way to stay with Rick? He couldn’t imagine submitting to anyone else. His allegiance was and always would be with the man standing before him.

“Daryl, you need to give me some space, okay? Go to your bed or outside.”

“Which one would you prefer me to retreat to, Master?”

Rick was clearly frustrated as he fumbled to get dressed again. “Just go to your bed,” he snapped.

Daryl crawled away obediently as Rick picked up the phone and slipped outside with it.

“Hey, brother,” Shane answered on the first ring.

“I’m in love with him, Shane. I’m really in fucking trouble here.”

“Ok. Ok. Just calm down. No one knows but you and me, right?”

“Right, Rick?”

“I told him,” Rick admitted shamefully.

“What!? You can’t give that kind of power to a slave! He’ll use it against you.”

“He won’t, not Daryl,” Rick insisted. “I can’t afford to buy him and I only have a few weeks left to train him. What do I do, Shane?”

“Prepare for heartbreak, brother. He’s not yours,” Shane said sympathetically.

“I’ve trained dozens, probably a hundred by now and this has never happened. What if he’s my soulmate?”

“He’s a slave, Rick. Slaves don’t have soulmates. They have Masters.”

Shane sighed at Rick’s sudden silence. “Look, the only thing I can tell you is to enjoy the time you have with him. And keep him locked up and watched over. That Slave Thief is still at large.

“Jesus. How many now?”

“Eight. But we’re on his trail.”

After Rick hung up and slipped back inside, he called for Daryl and the younger man came running out as eager as a puppy.

“You will forget that whole conversation. Okay? I’m nothing but your temporary Master and you’re nothing but my slave.”

“Yes, Master,” Daryl muttered dejectedly.

“On your knees and back up to the punishment room. We have more work to do.”

Daryl obeyed, blinking back tears, his heart deflated.

Rick grabbed a crop from his wall, leather wrapped with tassels at one end and a flat swatter at the other.

“A crop feels different. You need to get used to this, too.” Without any further instruction Rick smacked Daryl’s thigh with the crop. He was subconsciously avoiding Daryl’s already reddened ass. He continued to beat Daryl’s thighs until they, too, were red. “Flat on the floor on your back.”

Daryl obeyed. “Some masters like to use nipple and ball torture. This time, after each smack, I want you to thank me.”

“Yes, Master.” His tears had subsided and he let his mind go blank. The welts and bruises weren’t from his father, they were from Rick, whom he still loved with all his heart.

Rick slapped at a nipple and Daryl enjoyed the pain of it. He wanted to feel physical pain so he could block out the emotional pain.

“Thank you, Master.”

Rick whipped at Daryl again, landing on the same nipple. He continued alternating nipples on a whim, and Daryl thanked him obediently after each one.

After long, long minutes, Rick ordered Daryl back up on his hands and knees, and without warning, he swatted at Daryl’s balls.

The young slave lost his breath for a moment, but straightened back up and thanked his Master obediently. That torture went on for at least another half an hour. After, Rick fitted him with tight nipple clamps and a rather thick plug, providing no explanation for his actions.

“Dinner time,” Rick said emotionlessly.

Daryl followed, his time at the end of the crop making him realize that Rick’s sudden coldness was an attempt to keep his slave from loving him. It wasn’t going to work. They ate in silence and Daryl’s sore, stiff body was still strong enough to provide Rick with a footstool during the news.

He ached everywhere, but his inner strength was far superior to any physical ailments.

That night Daryl went out to pee by himself. It was lonely. He got no words or pats on the head when they climbed into their respective beds. Daryl lay awake wondering what he could say tomorrow to get Rick to be himself again.

By midnight, Daryl still hadn’t heard the lulling sounds of Rick’s soft snores. The trainer finally turned over in bed and looked down at Daryl, their eyes connecting in the dark.

After several long minutes, Rick slid out of his bed silently and moved down to the floor with Daryl. He curled up in the round dog bed and pulled Daryl in so that half his body was covered by his slave. Daryl felt his Master’s fingers combing through his hair as his other arm wrapped around him tightly.

“Daryl. I don’t know what to do,” he whispered.

“I’m not afraid. I know we’ll figure something out.”

Daryl tucked his head under Rick’s chin and both men finally fell asleep.

Chapter Text

“Okay. We’re going to have a breakfast meeting. You can sit up here in a chair,” Rick announced.

“I’d rather stay in my place beneath you on the floor,” Daryl answered.

With a heavy sigh but a big smile, Rick stood up from his chair.

“Fine. If you won’t obey me then I’ll come to you,” and Rick sat down criss-crossed on the floor.

“Master, if I may, shouldn’t I be punished for disobeying?”

“Do you like it now?” Rick asked with a grin.

“I like having your marks on me. It makes me feel you.”

“If you want your ass beat later, fine. But now we have to talk about the elephant in the room.”

Daryl lowered his eyes.

“I’m in love with you. And apparently you think you’re in love with me…”

“I am in love with you. I know my own feelings, Rick.”

The sound of Rick’s name on Daryl’s tongue always did things to his insides, like butterflies on roller coasters and the tickle of whiskers.

“So do we spend the next 20 days trying to get over each other, or do we embrace what we have and take the crushing blow when the time comes?”

“What do you want?” Daryl asked as he looked up through his too-long bangs.

“I want to love you.”

“As you wish, Master,” Daryl answered and he knee-walked into Rick’s space and leaned in, waiting for a kiss.

Rick took his head in both hands. “I love the you in you, Daryl.” They touched foreheads for the briefest of moments before Rick fit his lips gently against Daryl’s. He took his time, exploring Daryl’s mouth like it was the first time he’d ever encountered it. His lips were thin but soft and he smelled of the Irish Spring Rick kept outside by the hose. Little sighs and whines escaped Daryl’s eager mouth and each sound sent a bolt of possession through Rick. Mine, he thought again like he had so many times before.

Rick stood, pulling Daryl up with him. The young slave had grown so used to being on his knees that his footing was awkward and weak. Rick picked him up and Daryl wrapped his legs around Rick’s narrow waist.

As the older man walked them to the bedroom, Daryl broke the kiss just long enough to beg. “Make me feel like I’m yours, Rick.”

Rick dropped him to the bed and climbed on top of him. “Do you want the cage off, sweetheart?”

Daryl growled and turned them over so that he was towering over Rick. “I want you to control me. I don’t want questions. I want you to take charge. Don’t you get it, you idiot? I want to belong to you!”

Rick immediately flipped Daryl over onto his stomach and lifted up his ass. “Hold yourself open for me,” he said as he lubed himself up and slid his dick enticingly over Daryl’s wide-spread hole.

“Quit teasing! Put it in,” Daryl whined.

“Easy with that demanding attitude, slave,” Rick teased. “I’ll give what I give and you’ll take what you get.”

“Fuck, Rick,” Daryl moaned.

The trainer pressed himself slowly inside his slave...his lover. And he reached around to play with Daryl’s nipples while sucking a mark into the back of the younger man’s neck.

“Fuck,” Daryl whispered again.

Rick continued with his ministrations until he couldn’t stand it anymore and needed to feel the friction of Daryl’s tight ass. He brought his hands to Daryl’s hips and held tight as he slid in and pumped himself in and out. He could feel Daryl’s ass gripping his cock and the need to spill became too great for Rick to fight.

He quickly pulled out and rolled Daryl over, cumming all over his caged cock.

“Yes,” Daryl murmured as he ran his fingers through the white seed. He looked up at Rick through his bangs. “I need more.”

----------------------

After a morning of long, slow, love making, Rick and Daryl finally settled in the kitchen for lunch. Both men ate on the floor -- Daryl from his bowl while Rick watched him as he leaned against the wall and ate a sandwich of his own.

“You like being a slave,” Rick observed as Daryl ate directly from his bowl.

Daryl lifted his head, his mouth covered with meatloaf, “I like being your slave.”

Rick smiled. “I sit corrected.”

Daryl crawled over for Rick to wipe his mouth off and Rick commanded him to sit.

“What is it about being submissive to me that you like so much? I want to understand.”

Daryl cocked his head as if he was just trying to think about it for the first time. He bit at his lip before he started to explain the best he could.

“I like the way you decide everything. And the way you take care of me. I like making you proud, it makes me feel...real. I was invisible before. I could go through a whole day and no one would notice me walk by. You notice me. And you look at me like you want to know who I am.”

“How old were you when your pa first beat on you?”

“Probably from the day I was born to the day he died. I was thirteen when he passed and Merle -- my brother Merle -- was my guardian after he was gone.”

“I’m sorry you’ve had so much sadness in your life.”

“Not your fault,” Daryl said as he bit on a nail. “What do you like about being my Master?”

“I like that you’re mine. I like to take care of you and watch you learn and grow. I like your adulation; it makes me feel worthy.”

“What happened to your wife?” Daryl asked. “You talk about Carl, but you don’t talk about her.”

Rick took a deep breath, touched that Daryl noticed such a thing. “We were separated at the time of the crash. She was driving. She killed my son.”

“Was it her fault?”

“Her blood alcohol level was higher than the legal limit. The car she hit, the old man, Dale, died. His wife sued for everything we had and that’s how I ended up so broke. I have this house, but that’s really all that’s left.”

“Where’s your ex now?”

“Don’t know and don’t wanna. I don’t need any closure with her if that’s what you’re asking.”

“I bet your son was amazing,” Daryl said, his voice filled with awe.

“He was,” Rick nodded, feeling the flood of sadness start to overcome him. “I think I have a bit of a headache. I’m gonna go lie down.”

“May I come with you and rub your temples, Master?”

“You may, sweetheart.”

Chapter Text

Daryl sat cross-legged on the floor, reading a book that Rick had gotten him at the library. They’d gone together, Daryl bare and on his knees. They were looking at slave stories and Daryl found one called Slave Breakers, a love story that in some ways was similar to his own. Rick was at his desk working on his bills and paperwork.

The phone rang and Daryl closed his book as Rick answered it. His heart was in his throat. He still had seven days. It couldn’t be SlaveSaves making plans to retrieve him already. He crawled to Rick and hugged one of his legs tightly. Rick ran his fingers through Daryl’s long hair as he answered.

“Hey, Shane,” he said looking down at Daryl to comfort him.

Daryl listened from his spot at Rick’s feet.

“Nothing’s changed.”

“No I haven’t.”

“Dinner?” Rick looked down at Daryl at the question. “Yeah, we can come.”

“We?” Daryl asked softly.

“Alright, see you then, brother.”

Rick hung up the phone and lifted Daryl’s chin with his index finger. “He’s my best friend and he knows I’m in love with you. He wants to meet you.”

“You told him about me?” Daryl gasped.

“Yes, why wouldn’t I?”

“Because what we have...what we’re doing...it’s wrong.”

“Love can’t be wrong,” Rick answered. “It can’t.”

Daryl hugged Rick’s leg tighter, kissing his knee. “I can’t believe you talked about me with someone.”

“I think about you all the time, sweetheart.”

Daryl looked up, his face lit up with a bright smile. “If I had someone to talk to, I’d talk about you too, Master.”

Rick smiled lovingly. “Do you have anything specific you want to do before we get ready for dinner?”

“Yes, Master. Your marks are disappearing. Could you use the crop and your hand to claim me again?”

Rick leaned down and ruffled Daryl’s hair. “You like the way you look with my marks on you. I’ve seen you looking at yourself in the hall mirror.”

“I love everything you give me.”

That afternoon they went into the torture room and Rick flogged Daryl as hard as he could take it. He used the crop on the inside and outside of his thighs, and his open palm across Daryl’s ass. He tied Daryl down, face up on the table, and sucked and bit at his nipples until they were swollen and purple, Daryl groaning in pleasure the entire time.

While the younger man was tied down, Rick took his hitachi wand and ran it along Daryl’s caged cock.

“Do you like this?” he asked.

“I like it because you are doing it.”

“I’m going to try to milk you like this so you aren’t so pent up over dinner, okay?”

“Yes, Master,”

Daryl squeezed his eyes closed and allowed himself to feel the sensations coming from his cock, vibrations that made him tingle in his cage. He felt himself harden against the bars of the cage. “Master, please. Put something inside me,” Daryl begged.

“If you make me put something in, it’s staying in all through dinner,” Rick instructed.

“Yes. Okay. Yes, please.”

Rick left the hitachi lying against Daryl’s cage as he selected a large black plug. It was the biggest toy he’d ever used on the younger man and he lathered it with slick. Wordlessly he pressed it slowly into Daryl’s eager entrance. “It’s big, baby. Can you take it all for me?”

“Yes Master,” Daryl groaned, a hint of discomfort in his voice.

Once the plug was in, Rick took the hitachi wand and pressed it against the tip of the plug.

Daryl instantly arched off the bed, moaning loudly. “Jesus Christ, oh Fuck,” and before he knew it he was riding a long, slow, anal orgasm as he leaked out his seed. Once the swell of pleasure left him he was ready for more.

“More,” Daryl gasped.

“I love how insatiable you are,” Rick said. “But I want to bathe you before dinner.”

“Bathe me?”

“Yes. In the tub.”

“But slaves aren’t allowed…”

“A slave’s job is to obey me no matter what I say. And besides, you aren’t an ordinary slave.”

“I’m a normal slave,” Daryl insisted with a whine.

“You still fake cry every morning, begging for coffee without punishment. And you are allowed to stay up late and read. You’re special. Unique.”

“Will the fake crying ever work?” Daryl asked

“Doubtful. It’s for your own good. You don’t want to be hopped up on caffeine when you lead such a sedentary life.

“Can it be a bubble bath?”

“Sure.”

“Will there be a rubber ducky?” Daryl asked, voice dripping in sarcasm.

“Don’t push your luck,” Rick replied.

The bath was amazing. Daryl wasn’t sure he’d ever been in one. It was always rushed showers or none at all for him.

The water was nice and hot and the bubbles smelled nice, like forest and honeysuckle. Rick had him soak alone for a while, so he leaned back into the tub and closed his eyes. Being Rick’s slave was a dream come true, even though it might be short lived.

His ass and thighs burned a bit from his markings, but he relished the pain. It meant, for the time being, that he belonged to Rick.

When Rick finally came back in, he soaped Daryl up from head to toe, taking his time around all Daryl’s erogenous zones and his bruised ass and thighs.

He shampooed Daryl’s hair with firm massaging fingers and the young slave thought he would melt in bliss.

“You prefer this to the hose?” Rick asked.

“Hell, yeah!” Daryl answered. “I mean: yes, Master.”

“I have such a high maintenance slave,” Rick laughed.

Daryl got out of the tub and as he was being dried off, he asked, “Does Shane have a lot of money?”

“Why? You planning to rob the place tonight?”

“No,” Daryl said with a hard eye roll. “I was thinking maybe he could buy me and let us still see each other.”

“That’s a lot to ask of someone,” Rick answered. “Besides, he already has a slave and I’m certain he doesn’t have enough money to own two.”

Daryl pouted as Rick rubbed his hair with a bath towel.

“I’m still trying to figure something out too, sweetheart.”

Once Daryl was clean and dry, Rick hooked on the leash and led him out to the car.”

“How am I supposed to act around another slave?”

“Well, the social standard is that you don’t make eye contact. It could be construed as plotting. If any sexual acts are ordered with him, you will comply. Same with Shane.”

“I don’t want anyone else touching me,” Daryl stated in no uncertain terms.

“You aren’t in a position to make demands, Daryl,” Rick reminded him.

“If you loved me you wouldn’t make me,” Daryl pouted.

“Ah there it is. Shane said I shouldn’t have given you that power.”

“What power?”

“Knowing that I love you.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to abuse that knowledge.”

They sat in silence as Rick turned into Shane’s neighborhood.

“I’ll do as you ask, Master. I’ll behave like a proper slave tonight.”

When Shane opened the door, Daryl couldn’t help but get a quick look at him even though his eyes were to be downcast. He had a funny nose, a wide smile, and he hugged Rick, which made Daryl shiver with jealousy.

“Come on in. Randall is in the TV room if you want a quick fuck before dinner.”

“No. That’s okay,” Rick answered. “Shane...I um...I’d offer you Daryl but...I just can’t.”

Shane laughed. “Oh my this is serious isn’t it? So what else has changed here? Will he get up and get dressed and eat at the table with us?”

“I’m still a proper slave, asshole,” Daryl growled.

Shane burst out laughing. “You let him get away with murder! Are all those bruises and handprints just paint for show?”

“Daryl! You know better. Bad boy! Now you apologize to Mr. Walsh for your language.”

“I’m sorry, Sir,” Daryl muttered.

“You’ll be under the table for dinner with my cock in your mouth to keep you from talking. Understood?”

“Yes Master.”

“Randall,” Shane shouted. “Get in here and cock-warm me while I eat.”

Dinner was already set out and the smell of steak made Rick’s belly rumble.

“So,” Shane started as they sat down, “how much longer do you have him for?”

“Seven days,” Rick answered as he absentmindedly brushed his fingers through Daryl’s hair under the table.

“How did this even happen?”

Rick sighed. “Well, he came in like any other slave. But in the first couple days I realized how different he was. He wasn’t mindless or afraid. He was hard-headed and stubborn.”

“And that made you like him? Sounds like a trouble child to me.”

“No. No. He was just curious and confused. The more I worked with him, the more I started to fall. I taught him to read, taught him high school slave studies, taught him how to be a proper slave. His reaction to praise was just precious and he became determined to be the best slave possible. We talk, he and I. About our families, our lives, our hopes and dreams.”

Rick stopped talking for a moment as he noticed Daryl’s simple cock-warming turned into desperate sucking like a starving baby with its bottle.

Shane looked down through the glass table top to see what was going on. The peaceful tingly sensation from the blow job rendered Rick wordless and Shane continued to eat as he watched. Rick came with a quiet shiver and praised Daryl for a good job.

As Shane talked about the latest slave burglaries, Rick cut up his meat, alternately eating a piece, then smuggling a piece to Daryl under the table. He pressed the meat into Daryl’s mouth with his thumb and groaned softly as Daryl accepted it and suckled on Rick’s digit.

“Rick, it’s clear you have something special with this boy. But the law is the law and he is technically owned by SlavesSaves. You’ll have to let him go, brother.”

“I could say he ran away,” Rick suggested.

“Then if he’s ever found he ends up in the kennels. Do you want him strapped to a breeding bench all day for those twisted customers to get off on watching?”

“No. God.”

“You talk to Abraham?”

“About what?”

Shane lowered his voice. “He’s a slave sympathizer. He might have some ideas.”

“How do you know that?” Rick asked.

“I’m a cop, Rick. It’s my job to know things.”

Rick played with the last of his potatoes, smashing them with a fork.

Shane pushed his chair back from the table. “You know I’d lend you the money if I had it, brother.”

“Thanks for the thought, Shane. You’re a good friend.”

Shane ordered his slave to clear the table as Rick tucked himself back in his pants and stood up.

“Thank you for the meal, Shane. It’s always good to see you.”

Shane walked them to the door. “Talk to Abraham,” Shane said with a firm stare.

Rick nodded. “I will.”

Chapter Text

“Who’s Abraham?” Daryl asked as soon as they got in the car.

“He’s a buddy I use to train slaves in servicing two at a time.”

“You’re not gonna do that to me, are you!”‘ Daryl asked, panicked.

“No. You aren’t in training anymore,” Rick said.

That night the two lay in bed together reading books.

“I know how to fish and hunt,” Daryl said, apropos of nothing.

Rick just looked at him with a questioning brow.

“In case I run away. I’ll be able to survive and maybe I can sneak back…”

“If you run it’d be too much of a risk to come back. I don’t want you out there alone. I’ll call Abraham tomorrow. See if he has any ideas.”

“In this book I’m reading, the master and slave are in love just like us. But they have other partners too. Everyone loves each other. But I don’t think I could ever spare enough of my heart to love anyone else.”

Rick smiled and put both their books on the nightstand. He curled up with his lover in his arms and peppered his neck with kisses until they both fell asleep.

—————

Rick was in a construction zone and someone was hammering. He looked all over the site but he was alone. Bang bang bang. Then a pause. Bang bang bang. Where was Daryl? Was that him, trapped? “Daryl!” Rick cried. “Daryl!”

He woke to his lover shaking him awake, the room dimly lit from the early dawn. “Someone’s at the door. Do you think it’s Abraham?” Daryl asked excitedly.

“Well, let’s find out!” Rick answered, but the closer he got to the door the more concerned he became. The knocking was aggressive. Urgent. They reached the door together and Rick opened it. Suddenly everything slowed to a crawl and the world shifted into slow motion. Gabriel stood at the door with Gregory by his side.

“We’re here to pick up the slave.”

“What? Why? I still have four more days of training,” Rick stuttered as he put a hand on Daryl’s head. “He’s...he’s not ready yet.”

“I’m sure he’s fine,” Gregory said with a wave of his hand. “It’s been almost three months. You’re a good trainer. Let’s close this deal and move on.”

“Can I ask why the rush?”

“We kept his picture and info on file and the rich guy up on the hill across town came in and saw that picture and wants him. Immediately.”

“The rich guy? Negan??” Rick asked, trying to keep his cool.

“Yeah, that’s him,” Simon confirmed.

“He owns like five other slaves.”

“Six,” Gabe corrected.

“He isn’t going to have enough time to give Daryl any attention. He’s a good slave, but he’d be much better as the only slave.”

Gabe laughed. “That’s not how things work. He’s a slave. He’ll take what he gets.”.

Rick could feel Daryl shaking next to him. There would be no goodbye, no last time, no final kiss, no whispered words of love and affection. Nothing.

Gabe clipped his own leash onto Daryl’s collar and started tugging him to the car. Rick watched helplessly as Daryl looked back at him, silently mouthing Rick’s name.

“I’ll come find you,” Rick mouthed back and he watched until he lost sight of Daryl inside the SlaveSaves van. He stood at the door watching as the vehicle pulled away; his stomach was knotted and empty as if a loved one had just died. Tears filled his dazed eyes and he finally backed into the house and shut the door. The silence was deafening and his footsteps echoed against the empty house as he walked to the phone.

He dialed Shane and waited impatiently for him to answer.

“Shane?” he cried when he heard the other man pick up. “They took him. He’s gone. He wasn’t supposed to go for another four days.” He choked out another few unintelligible sentences that were mostly nothing but hyperventilating and sobbing.

“Rick, calm down and breathe. Where are they taking him?”

“Negan. Negan is buying him.”

“I’m calling Abraham and we’ll be over in an hour. Try to pull yourself together. We have a lot to discuss.” The phone went dead before Rick could even say goodbye.

He sat on the couch staring at the wall while he waited. He wasn’t ready to give Daryl up yet. He couldn’t bear being there alone and the thought of another trainee almost made him nauseous. God, how he wanted to taste Daryl’s sweet lips again. Wanted the feel of the other man’s skin against him. Wanted to get lost in those soulful eyes.

Finally, there was a knock at the door and Rick leapt up to let Shane and Abe in. He knew he looked a mess, hair still uncombed and eyes red and swollen. Shane hugged him tightly and Abraham put a comforting arm around his shoulders.

“Sit down and let’s talk,” Abe said. The two of them sat down in the living room as Shane stood and paced the room.

“I’m not sure how you’re gonna be able to help,” Rick croaked.

“Well, my plan was to steal him from you and take him to Ohio, a non-slave state. Then you could join him once you got your house sold and your affairs in order.”

“You coulda done that?”

“Sure could. It’s as easy as scratching my own ass.”

“But now?” Rick asked with a heavy heart.

“Now the plan changes a bit.”

“Why are you so invested in this?” Rick asked.

“Because I’m part of the underground, Rick. Have been for years.”

What?! I thought that was made up!”

Shane walked back to the couch and looked out the windows. “He’s the slave thief.”

Rick shook his head trying to make sense of it. “Why aren’t you arresting him?”

“Because I’m part of the underground too. We’ve been taking slaves that have changed their minds to Ohio to escape.”

“How have I not known this?”

“We have to stay quiet and under the radar, Rick.”

“So the new plan is to steal Daryl from Negan, which will prove difficult since there are so many people in the house,” Abe said.

“How long will it take?”

“Couple weeks to recon,” Abraham answered.

“That’s too long.”

“It’s the safest way to save him, Rick. You have to trust us to do our thing here.”

Rick stood and paced the room. “I need to get a message to him. Let him know I’m coming for him.”

“I know a guy,” Abraham said. “He’s a vet and a lot of slave owners take their slaves to him for medical care.”

“Is he part of the underground?”

“Yes. Write a message and I’ll leave it with him. A man like Negan will likely want a full check-up for a new slave.”

“I don’t know how to thank you guys,” Rick said.

“No need to, brother,” Shane answered. “Get your note together.”

Rick sat down at his desk and took out a pen and some paper.

“Daryl, I miss you like the deserts miss the rain. I need you to behave and hang in there for me. I have a plan and I’ll get you back to me. I love you. Rick”

Chapter Text

Daryl was terrified. He had been ripped from his home, from his Rick, and was now in the company of strangers who were talking amongst themselves and not explaining anything to him.

“Should we bring him by SlavesSaves, get him cleaned up?” Gabe asked.

Gregory looked back at Daryl. “Nah. He looks fine, let’s make the delivery and collect our money.”

Daryl curled up on the floor of his cage. His whole world had changed in a millisecond and he was trying his best to memorize the look and feel of Rick; the sound of his gentle voice and the warmth of his body. Now, he would be nothing more than mere property, owned by someone he’d never laid eyes on, and he’d be expected to behave. He would spend the rest of his life trying to get back to Rick.

He could feel the van on an incline going up a steep hill. “Almost there,” Gabe called over the seat.

Was that supposed to make him feel better? He felt like he was on his way to his own funeral. Once the van stopped, Daryl squeezed his eyes shut. The front doors of the vehicle opened and closed. Then the back doors opened and the light brightened up the darkness from behind his closed lids.

“Come on, kid.” Gabriel said gently.

“Don’t coddle him Gabe,” Gregory shouted as he pushed the other man out of the way and yanked on the leash until Daryl practically fell out of the van. As he crawled nervously to the front door he was in awe of how big the place was. It was a mansion! No wonder Negan needed so many slaves.

After a knock at the door it swung open and a man sauntered out like he had all the power and confidence in the world.

“Hello, boys. You got my new property here?”

“Yes, Sir, Mr. Negan, Sir. Just as ordered and as pretty as his picture.”

“I don’t like his scowl,” Negan said. “Boy, look up at me.”

Daryl obeyed because he knew Rick would want him to.

“Lookit them baby blues,” Negan laughed. “Most of my slaves have a lot of housework or garden work on their plates, but I need at least one who’s only responsibility is being by my side 24/7 for anything I might need. That, kid, is where you come in.”

Daryl couldn’t help his nerves and he shook a little in fear. The new Master was holding a crop and he leaned back and laughed at Daryl. “None of those nervous tears now; you will shut that shit down. You will be thrilled for everything you get here understood?”

“Don’t he talk?” Negan asked Gregory when Daryl didn’t respond. Gregory kicked him in the ribs and finally Daryl said “Yes, Master.”

The men settled up the finances and finally Negan was holding his leash and pulling him into the house.

“Everyone get down here,” Negan shouted in his loud sing-songy voice.

Daryl heard the scurry of half a dozen knees and hands crawling along the hard wooden floors. When they all started showing up around every corner Daryl was scared. Were they going to beat him? Did Negan make them fight? He was surrounded by other naked men like himself and Negan pointed to each one. “Dwight, Glenn, Eugene, Spencer, Noah, Alden. This is Daryl. A reminder of the rules around here. No talking to one another. No eye contact with one another. You’ll all sleep in the spare room by mine. There are plenty of dog beds for everyone. I’ll take one slave to bed with me each night to do what I please with. For now, everyone get back to your chores while I break in the new kid.”

“On your knees kid, with your shoulders and head on the floor. Hold yourself wide open for me and let me see what I just purchased.”

Daryl obeyed, eyes squeezed closed with the start of a sniffle from holding back tears. Negan destroyed him. He was enormous and aggressive and savage about his fucking, holding onto Daryl’s neck and keeping his face pressed to the ground. He felt the burn along his forehead from the throw rug in the entrance way. Negan had gone in dry and although Daryl was always fairly prepped, it was rough and raw.

“That’s it slave, be a good hole for me. This will be your primary job, having your hole open and near me for whatever I need. Take it, fucking take it,” he growled as he slammed in again and again. Finally, he pulled out and and came all over Daryl’s bare back. “I have work to do in my office. I want you on hands and knees, forehead on the floor beside my desk at all times when I’m in there. And I’ll want you used to my scent so you’ll be wearing my seed until I see fit to have you bathed.”

He led Daryl to the room, looking back at him once. “They gave me the key to that cage. It will come off. I sometimes enjoy cock and ball torture, so I’ll need that thing swinging free.”

Daryl paled. This couldn’t have been worse. He got into position next to Negan’s desk, put his head to the ground, and thought about Rick.

A few hours later, Daryl heard Negan stand and unzip. He squeezed Daryl’s cheeks together until his mouth opened. “Drink.” And then, the sound of pissing and the feeling of the warm liquid running down his throat as Negan sighed in relief. Daryl tried his best to guzzle it all down, but it was too unexpected and too much, and most of it ended up on his chest.

“I don’t move to piss. That’s what you’re here for. Why don’t you take your filthy self downstairs and go out for a potty break. Stay out there until the piss has dried on you.”

Daryl felt lower than he ever had, acting as nothing but a toilet and a fuck toy. He wondered as he crawled out if it would ever become too much to live with. He wouldn’t survive like this. He’d rather die than obey anyone other than Rick. The overwhelming sorrow and despair was already sinking in.

In the yard he started trying to make a plan. Rope? Poison? Slit his wrists? Surely he could find something to make one of those things work.

“He’s cruel,” a voice whispered nearby. And Daryl turned in surprise. It was one of the other slaves with a collar that read Dwight.

“I used to be you. Now I do the garden work and I only have to get fucked on rare occasions.”

“We aren’t allowed to talk,” Daryl said nervously.

“Not in front of him,” Dwight winked. “I just wanted to tell you that this gig will be temporary. He’ll keep you and use you like this for a few years, then he’ll tire of you and put you out to do other household chores and bring in someone new that he can terrorize all over again.”

“Years!?” Daryl asked in exasperation.

“You’ll go so numb you won’t even notice them pass.”

“Thanks, I guess,” Daryl grumbled.

That night Negan selected Alden for his bed and left the rest of his slaves in the group room. Daryl curled up near Dwight. No one talked at night. It was quiet but for soft snores and murmurs from dreams. Daryl let himself cry, trying to keep the sobs to a minimum. He missed Rick so desperately. He was certain that the next day would bring unspeakable torture and training that wouldn’t be so kind as Rick’s was. This was his life now. He just had to wait for his chance to find a way to end it.

Chapter Text

The next day Daryl followed Negan obediently. He was used several times before his new Master led him outside and put him in his SUV. Each time was hard and heartless and Daryl tried his best not to cry. With no idea where they were going, he tried to stifle the thought that it was back to Rick so he wouldn’t be disappointed.

He looked out the window at the world that was no longer his. Bright sunshine, brilliant colors of autumn leaves, white fluffy clouds in the sky. Negan didn’t talk to him the way Rick did; always explaining what was happening.

They pulled up to a vet’s office and Negan walked Daryl in like the dog he’d become. When his name was called a grey haired man took his leash and led him to the back alone. He was terrified. He didn’t know if he was there for a haircut or a castration.

The vet had him climb onto a table and position himself on his hands and knees.

“I’m Dr. Greene and you’re here for a new slave check-up. No need to be shaking like this,” he said as he ran a hand down Daryl’s spine.

Before he began his poking and prodding, the kind old man laid a scrap of paper under Daryl’s head. He squinted to read it…”Daryl, I miss you like the deserts miss the rain. I need you to behave and hang in there for me. I have a plan and I’ll get you back to me. I love you. Rick”

After a quick temperature check the doctor snatched the note back up and ripped it into a thousand pieces. As the physical continued, Daryl kept repeating Rick’s words in his head so he’d have something personal with him that Negan couldn’t find out about. Rick did it! He’d found a way and Daryl believed in him with all his heart. This would all be short term. Hell, he wondered how he’d manage to wipe the smile off his face when he was brought back out to Negan.

Just when Daryl thought the doctor was done, the man leaned out the door and called Negan in.

“Did you bring your insignia, Mr. Negan?”

Negan was on the phone barely paying attention to anything as he handed a brand to the doctor.

Daryl jerked away suddenly, trying to crawl off the table. Dr. Greene held him back and tried to soothe him with soft words and light touches.

“Hold on a second,” Negan said into the phone before he focused on Daryl. “You’ll get 50 with the whip when we get home for that misbehavior. Now be still and take the brand, slave, and don’t you dare fight me.”

Negan went back to his conversation as Dr. Greene was heating up the brand. “No, please,” Daryl begged quietly to the doctor. “Please no. I belong to someone else.”

“Son, this is the way it has to be. Now stay still for me,” the old man soothed.

Negan’s incessant talking continued as Dr. Greene strapped Daryl face-down on the table and gave him a rubber dildo to bite down on. “It’s gonna hurt,” the doctor said and he pressed the hot brand into Daryl’s flesh right above his right ass cheek. Daryl bucked and screamed around the dildo. He felt like he’d been destroyed. He was marked for life as Negan’s and that was a thing Daryl didn’t want to live with. How would he survive being branded as someone else’s? Would Rick even want him back now?

After they arrived home, Daryl was brought straight to the torture room and strung up by cuffed wrists in the middle of the room. “Do you know why you are receiving this punishment?”

“Because I misbehaved at the vet’s, Sir.”

“Yes. Fifty with the whip I want you to count them for me and tell me you deserve another.” Before Daryl could even respond, the first bite of the whip struck his back with a sharp sting. His ass still burned like fire from the brand. He tried to escape his body by thinking of Rick. His smile, his kindness, his hands on Daryl’s skin.

“One. I deserve another,” Daryl said.

And another came, sharp and sudden. Daryl bristled at it’s bite.

“Two. I deserve another,” he said between clenched teeth, tears starting to spill.

“You are already bleeding, slave, so be prepared to be in pain for a long long while.”

Whip

“Three. I deserve another.”

Forty-five minutes later, Daryl’s back was numb from the abuse but each time he moved he felt like his whole body was on fire. Negan tossed the bloody whip to the ground and uncuffed Daryl who fell to the floor instantly.

“After you finish washing up that whip, I’ll have Dwight tend to your wounds. Perhaps you know your place a little better now.”

“Yes, Sir,” Daryl said weakly from his spot on the floor.

“Yes, MASTER,” Negan corrected him.

“Yes, Master,” Daryl croaked out behind tears.

Daryl stayed on the ground for a good ten minutes trying to gather the strength to move his burning body to crawl towards the whip. He knew Negan was quietly watching the whole time. He finally got to it and stood with it at the sink in the room and Negan burst out laughing.

“That’s not how to clean a whip you moron. Lick it clean. “

Daryl knelt back down on shaky knees and licked and sucked all the blood and sweat from the whip. It took him nearly an hour and Negan watched the whole time as he leisurely stroked his cock and talked non-stop about how weak and powerless Daryl was. When the young slave was finally done cleaning the whip, Negan made him blow the end of it and kiss every inch of the thing as he finished jacking off, his seed landing in a puddle in Daryl’s long hair.

Negan rubbed it in and held his hand out for Daryl to lick clean. All he wanted to do was go to bed. It had been an exhausting day, physically and emotionally and he was so worn out he could barely concentrate on keeping Rick in the front of his mind. All he could think of was the escape of sleep.

Dwight came in after Negan had left and went straight to tending to Daryl’s back with ointment.

“How many?” Dwight asked softly.

“Fifty.”

“At least it wasn’t a hundred. Hopefully he’ll leave you be tomorrow so you can heal. He’ll want you healthy so he can beat you down again.”

“I have things he can’t take from me,” Daryl said just before the pain finally caught up with him and he passed out.

Daryl woke in the dark of night alone on the floor of the torture room. He heard soft snores from the rooms down the hall and crawled in the dark towards the noise. He turned into the slave’s quarters and curled into a bed, his movements splitting open his wounds, blood streaming like hot lava down his back. How he wanted this pain to belong to Rick. How he wanted to peel off his skin where the brand was to keep from being Negan’s in any way, shape, or form. Daryl cried himself to sleep that night, and not for the first time.

Chapter Text

Rick had turned down two new training jobs in the days since Daryl had been taken away. He hadn’t left his house and spent most of his time daydreaming about being with Daryl in Ohio. They’d be off the grid and living together as not just Master and slave, but as lovers.

He’d been sitting on the floor next to Daryl’s food bowl, eating cold fried chicken and pitying himself, when the doorbell rang.

“Come in,” Rick hollered from his spot on the floor, too consumed in his own grief to even bother getting up.

He heard the door open and two sets of footsteps climb the stairs. Abraham and Shane appeared in the kitchen doorway, dressed from head to toe in black.

“Time is now,” Abraham barked.

Shane shook his head at the sight of Rick sitting on the floor. “Shake off the self-pity. We’re going to get your boy. Get dressed in dark clothes and make it quick. Abe found us a brief window where we can snatch Daryl without being seen.”

Rick leapt to his feet with more energy than he’d had in weeks. “I’ll be ready in ten seconds,” he shouted as he dropped a half-eaten drumstick to the floor.

“Pack anything you can’t live without. You’re not coming back,” Shane shouted after him

He raced to his room to change and fell as he tried to pull on his black jeans. He found a plain black t-shirt, tugged on the black leather boots he used for training, and raced back down the stairs, his hair still disheveled and his heart racing. He didn’t bother trying to pack anything. The only thing he couldn’t live without was Daryl.

“What’s the plan?” He asked as they headed to Abraham’s van.

“All the slaves go out to pee like clockwork at 9:30 pm,” Abraham said. “Most of them stay close to the house, but Daryl goes to the very back of the yard by a tree. We have clippers to cut the fence, got the moonless night on our side and with all the slaves Negan has it might buy us some time before he notices Daryl’s missing.”

“We have another man,” Shane continued. “Tobin. He’s gonna knock on the door the second we arrive and keep him busy talking about buying off one of his slaves. Should keep him busy for a bit and not looking out the back door.”

“This sounds almost too easy,” Rick said with relief.

“Let’s not throw the confetti until the wedding’s over okay? We’ve gotten a lot out, but there have been some of these that have gone all kinds of sideways,” Abraham replied.

They rolled out of the neighborhood in silence, Rick bouncing a knee and biting a nail. Negan didn’t have a particularly nice reputation. If they got caught, Rick was certain there’d be hell to pay.

As they made their way across town, Abe babbled nervously. “One time I was getting a slave out,” he said, his voice low. “Was a sister wanted to get her brother out of purchase and back with her as a human being. Sister was dumb as dirt and just about as lucky. Fell over her own two size tens when we got out of the van. Broke her nose.”

“Did you get her brother out?”

“Wasn’t easy. Slave thought we were there to kill him after seeing his sister all bloodied up. Worked out in the end, though.”

“Any slaves not want the rescue?”

“Sure. Parents sometimes try to get their kids back. ‘Cept the motivation for retrieving their ‘loved ones’ was to be able to beat and rape them at home. Some slave owners are better than some parents if you can believe that. We just want to help people who are trapped in the system and want to get out.”

Finally, the large house on the hill came into view and Abe pulled up to the curb, parked over a block away and turned off the lights. “Tobin should be here any minute and that’s our cue,” Abe said.

“How ya holding up, buddy? You nervous about disappearing like this? Going somewhere with next to nothing to start from scratch?”

“Nah. I’m just excited to see Daryl,” Rick said.

“Well remember, keep the reunion short. Once we cut that fence we’re on the clock. Negan is a known asshole and we aren’t sure how long the distraction will help.”

“I’m right behind you,” came a voice from a walkie-talkie.

Abraham grabbed it. “Tobin, as soon as we see you pull up the road, we’ll head around back,” Abe attached the walkie to his belt clip and turned to Shane and Rick. “Alright boys. Out of the car and stay low and slow. Head towards that treeline there. Follow me.”

The three men exited the car and walked calmly and directly to the alleyway behind Negan’s home. The trees finally gave way to a high fence and Shane dropped to his knees, the cutters for the fence already in his hands.

Rick watched as the back door opened and six or seven slaves crawled out. He twisted and turned to get a better look and finally he saw him, Daryl. Beautiful, sweet, sad Daryl, crawling as if he were beaten down already and heading right towards the tree near them.

“Daryl!” Rick whispered, his hands gripping the fence like a prisoner desperate to get to the other side. Daryl looked up, his eyes wide, and he looked behind himself cautiously.

“I told you I’d come rescue you,” Rick whispered with a smile.

Daryl crawled to the gate and twisted his fingers into Rick’s through the diamond shaped holes.

“He’ll kill us if he catches us,” Daryl said as he looked back up to the house again.

“It’s gonna be okay, Daryl. I got you.”

Shane continued cutting a hole in the fence while Abe watched the house through binoculars. “I’m not seeing a goddamn thing,” he murmured, frustrated.

“Almost there,” Shane said.

“I’m branded Rick. I belong to Negan,” Daryl said with the beginning of a sob.

“You belong to me,” Rick said with firm confidence. “Fuck a brand.” Rick kissed at Daryl’s fingers through the fence and then finally Shane gave a quiet woop and pulled back the fence for Daryl.

“We got eyes,” Abe said nodding towards another slave that had taken notice and started crawling towards them.

“That’s Dwight,” Daryl said. “He’s a friend.”

Before Rick could ask if they could save Dwight too, a cocky, frightening laugh boomed from behind them. With Daryl now through the fence, all four of them looked up at Negan’s intimidating smile. He stood tall with a slight lean backwards as if he were ready for a Broadway performance. Over one shoulder he held a baseball bat and the other hand stroked dramatically at his chin.

“I’m not too keen on being burgled, but I’m guessing you fella’s already know that.”

Shane held up his hands. “Hey, man. No need for violence here.”

Negan just grinned and laughed that dark, mysterious laugh. “You boys got your shittin’ pants on? Cause you’re gonna need ‘em. No one tries to take my fucking property without paying a price.”

“Master, please,” Daryl started pleading and like lightning, without hesitancy, Negan swung the bat directly at Abe’s head, blood splattering all of them. Rick gasped and pulled Daryl into a protective hug as Shane pulled out a hidden pistol and shot Negan center mass.

Everything after that happened so fast. In the blink of an eye, Shane picked Abe up by the armpits and dragged him as they all ran for the car.

“Dwight’s my friend,” Daryl whispered again to Rick.

“Dwight, you want to come with us?” Rick yelled. And with only a moment’s consideration, Dwight stood on two shaky legs and ran for the car.

Once in the car, they sped into the night, Daryl cuddled tight in Rick’s arms. Dwight held two fingers to Abe’s pulse point. “He’s still alive, but his nose and cheekbone are shattered.”

“Shane, do you think Dr. Greene could take a look him? It will take hours to get to a hospital across the Ohio border.”

“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” Shane answered. “Stay with us big guy,”

At the vet’s, Hershel came out to the car to look Abe over.

“He’s gonna have a lot of bruising and swelling. He’s definitely concussed. He should be okay once he comes to, although he’ll be in a hell of a lot of pain.”

Hershel sent them off with a bottle of Tylenol with codeine. “You’ll still want to get him to a real hospital as soon as you cross the border.”

The ride was quiet. Rick kept Daryl in his arms in the back seat and Abe’s silence morphed into a soft low snore.

“I told you I’d come for you,” Rick whispered against Daryl’s ear.

“I’m branded,” Daryl sobbed again, unable to keep his voice steady.

“It doesn’t matter. You’re belong to me now. You’re mine.”

Chapter Text

Rick sat on the small deck of a cabin they’d moved into after they’d gotten to Ohio. Rick had found a job at the local elementary school teaching reading skills classes and the meager pay was enough to keep them happy.

Daryl was lying on the floor, his head resting on Rick’s feet. The cool evening air felt good on his tanned skin as he lay naked wearing nothing but his new cock cage. He still felt the burn of his recent brand. Rick said he didn’t have to go through that again, but Daryl was disgusted about wearing Negan’s name so permanently. So with a little creativity, the “neGan” brand became a vertical Grimes with two hearts on each side of the upper case G.

“You know you don’t have to do that,” Rick said as he looked up from his book.

“I like it,” Daryl whined.

“Ok, sweetheart. Just wanted to remind you that you’re a free man now.”

Daryl sat up and glared at Rick. Neither looked away. “I’m not saying you can’t lie at my feet and offer to be a footstool or eat off the floor. I’m just saying you don’t have to.”

“Well, I want to be yours. So I’m going to do what I want and worshiping you is what I want to do.” Daryl said firmly.

“Yes, sir,” Rick teased.

“I don’t like being in charge,” Daryl said.

Rick smirked and turned his attention back on his book. No matter how much Daryl wanted to think Rick was the one in charge, it was really Daryl. He made his own decisions, he bitched about meals he didn’t like, he drank coffee, albeit it was from a bowl on the floor.

“Master?” Daryl asked.

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“I haven’t been fucked in weeks,” he said with a pout.

“It’s been four hours, Daryl.” Rick rolled his eyes and smiled.

“It’s felt like weeks though,” Daryl insisted.

Rick put his book on the table and reached down for Daryl’s hand. He could never deny his lover.

They walked to the bedroom and Daryl, already naked, knelt and watched as Rick stripped off his own clothes.

“On the bed,” Rick ordered, and the free slave obeyed immediately.

Daryl started to pull his legs up to present himself, but Rick put a hand on his lover’s chest and stopped him. “Not so fast,” he whispered. “I want to worship you right now.”

Rick was so in love and with Daryl lying still as instructed, the older man kissed his lips, slow and full, enjoying the taste of him and the slight tremble that came from his lover’s body.

His lips left a trail of kisses down Daryl’s throat and Rick sucked a bruise at the base of it. Daryl always loved being marked this way and Rick would give it to him all he wanted. The younger man whimpered and moaned at the attention Rick lavished on his throat and suddenly his hands could no longer obey the “be still” direction and he wrapped his arms around the other man.

“Rick,” Daryl sighed. And as always, Daryl’s whisper of his name made him weak in the knees. The older man worked his way down to a nipple and sucked and licked until it was purple and protruding and Daryl writhed beneath him in ecstasy. He gave the other nipple the same treatment and then kissed his way down to Daryl’s hip bone to spend some time leaving a mark there, and then the other side of the hip bone, and then Rick kissed the cock cage and covered the whole thing with his mouth in an effort to drive Daryl wild. He continued to suck at his lover’s locked cock as Daryl moaned over and over. “Fuck me, please, Rick. Fuck me.”

It wasn’t long before Rick complied, wrecking Daryl as he pumped in and out, grunting and groaning, feeling the rise and swell of a wave that hadn’t crashed yet. And then it crashed and Rick rode out the spasms of pleasure rolling through him as he watched Daryl come apart below him, seed spilling from his caged cock.

After a brief impromptu nap, they heard a knock at the door. Rick still tensed at the sound of a knocking door ever since SlavesSaves had come for Daryl. As he got dressed, Daryl crawled to the door and answered it.

Abe, Shane, and a fully-clothed Dwight walked in, Abe looking much better, but there was only so much the surgeon could do about his nose.

“Looking great, Abe,” Rick said as he walked into the room.

Abe and Shane both took a moment to pet Daryl on the head since the young man made it clear that was what he was waiting for.

“How’s things at your place, Dwight?” Daryl asked as he sat up on his knees.

“Good. We have four slaves recovering there now and Shane will be helping me get them set up as soon as they’re ready,” Dwight answered. “The Shelter and Food Pantry already let me know they’d have jobs for all four.” The ex-slave smiled proudly, still clearly fond of praise as Shane gave him a pat on the back.

Everyone took a seat around the living room, except for Daryl who insisted with a nudge and sharp look that he wanted Rick to use him as a footstool.

“So what brings you by?” Rick asked.

“Can’t it just be a friendly visit?” Abe asked.

“It hasn’t been yet,” Rick answered with a laugh. “The first time you stopped by you had six slaves you wanted us to temporarily house.”

“They’re all placed now,” Shane said breezily, dismissing the issue.

“The second time you stopped by you asked me to start teaching some of the slaves who couldn’t read.”

“You only teach those kids a couple hours a day, you got the time,” Abe insisted.

“Ok, so friendly visit then,” Rick sighed suspiciously. “So how are things?”

“Well, Rick. Not good,” Dwight said outright.

“We need your help,” Abe added.

Daryl turned his head up to watch as he kept himself steady for Rick’s crossed legs.

“We’re going ino the breeder business. None of those slaves are there by choice. I went in undercover the other day,” Abe said.

“How bad was it?” Rick asked, a hand at his temple in disgust.

“It was filthy. The dogs are aggressive. The slaves have all had their voice boxes removed so they can’t cry out. They’re malnourished and humiliated. The place I went had fourteen of them. I think we have a plan to sneak a few out.”

“They’ll stay at my place since my current four will be sent off into the world soon,” Dwight added.

“So what do you need me for?” Rick asked.

“They can’t communicate so they need to learn sign language,” Shane explained.

I don’t even know sign language,” Rick protested.

“Well,” Abraham said. “Can you learn it real quick and teach them?

Rick sat upright and took his feet off Daryl’s back. “Between teaching at the school and teaching reading to the illiterate slaves I don’t have much time.”

“You saying no?” Shane asked in shock.

“No. I’m not saying no. I’m saying, you’ll have to ask Daryl. He needs some purpose and he’s very bright and empathetic. He’d be great with those damaged slaves.”

Daryl got to his knees once he heard his name and looked around the room.

“What do you say, sport?” Abraham asked. “Can you help these poor bastards out?”

“Yes! I can learn it and I’ll be able to teach it!”

Rick petted Daryl’s head with pride.

“When can we expect the first batch.”

“A few days,” Shane and Abe said simultaneously.

“Well, no rest for the weary,” Rick added. “Speaking of which it’s been a few hours since I’ve made love to my slave, so if you’ll all excuse us…” Rick stood, as did the rest.

When the room was empty again, Rick pulled Daryl to his feet.

“You’ve known I’ve wanted to help out somehow, haven’t you?” Daryl grinned.

“I’ve been known to know a thing or two.”

“It will take a lot of my time. I may not be able to please you as much. Are you sure it’s what you want?”

“You always please me. And all I want is to love you,” Rick answered with a soft kiss.