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16 June 2013 @ 07:38 am
FIC: Serin's Secret Garden, Part 11/18  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: Serin’s Secret Garden
Part: 11/18
Rating: R/NC17
Configuration: m/m, M/m
Characters: Kendrik/Yaden, Kendrik/Luca, Kendrik/Yuri Dracon
Warnings: slavery, prostitution, rape mentioned, violence, sex, sex on stage, various abuse, severe brainwashing, murderous flora, drugs, potentially underage sex.
Word Count: 5.400/50.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index and the Phoenicipedia
Summary: For his first proper 'performance', Kendrik faces the monsters that lurk in the dakka den…
Feedback: Yes, please! Constructive criticism welcome!





When Kendrik entered the dakka den, the place was already crawling with customers, the atmosphere ripe with expectation. The unexpected turnout admittedly daunted him. Who were all these people? What were they doing here? Surely one mediocre singer wasn’t such an exotic thing to visit here in the Secret Garden.

But then Kendrik remembered something that Ondine had told him earlier this evening.

“There will be a lot of people tonight, eager to see a new ingénue perform. And most of them will be eager to see you fail, so don’t give them that satisfaction.”

Looking at the assembled crowd this way, it made much more sense to Kendrik. Though calling them a crowd was a bit of a stretch – they were a gaggle of patrons lingering in the cozy corners and alcoves of the dakka den, sitting on low pillows and lounging on pallets. Once again, Kendrik had to silently admire the flawless sense of scenery the staff of the Secret Garden displayed. This particular pocket universe was modeled after the legendary smoke rooms of Jehanni history, or better, of Wu Tzun history, the House that had merged with the Medina to become House Jehanni. Dark wooden walls with delicate carvings alternated with precious silk screens in equally dark red, priceless carpets in gold and green and red littered the floor. Every pillow, every low table and tea cup practically oozed with wealth and highest artistic skill.

Unlike the ‘strip club’ where Kendrik had performed the night before, this place was divided up into a maze of small nooks and alcoves, cleverly arranged that the staff could have an eye on all customers while the patrons themselves felt entirely unobserved.

Fitting with the name of place, the dakka den was already heavy with smoke that lazily drifted across the place in idle layers. The sweet, cloyingly floral scent of dakka was the most prominent, but there were also some other herbs consumed here by various means. Kendrik could identify the sharp, fungal scent of some Youh’Kai drug and the sweet, grassy scent of some weed from Terra, silently hoping that the antidote Ondine had given him would help against this veritable cocktail of recreational drugs. At least he already could tell that it worked perfectly against the dakka smoke, as his nerves didn’t calm the very instant he entered the place.

Not that he had much to fear, Kendrik reassured himself. He and Ryan had managed to piece together a short but really good program for him tonight, and as long as he didn’t forget any lyrics, he should be fine. As long as he managed to reproduce last night’s effect, he knew the audience would be helpless but to adore him. He just had to be careful not to overdo it.

After a lengthy discussion, Ondine and Ryan had decided that they would take the risk and give Kendrik a set of real musicians, tonight. Just a guitar and a violin to accompany him, but he had never before been on a stage with any live musician, so there was a certain unknown factor. Hell, this was the second time in his LIFE he was standing on a stage doing anything but barking at soldiers.

But then again, he liked it, there was no way around that.

Walking through the dakka den towards the low stage where his musicians were already waiting, Kendrik had to smile at the reactions of the various patrons he passed. Already, some of them were so eager to listen to him that their minds all but latched onto Kendrik, their emotions so easy to read as if they were touching him.

They thought he looked gorgeous, tonight, even better than the night before, beautiful. And considering the amount of effort Ondine or at least her staff had put into his appearance tonight, Kendrik could only agree with them. Wearing a simple combination of trousers and tunic in dark green with ridiculously elaborate and yet understated golden embroidery, he looked at the same time fitting and incredibly exotic in the dakka den. The collar of his tunic was cut low enough to show his collarbones and put his golden slave collar into full display, its green gem glittering in the candle light. In a flight of whimsy, Ondine had insisted on a fine layer of gold dust on Kendrik’s visible skin, which had prompted Ryan to insist on golden lacquer for his fingernails.

Initially, Kendrik had thought this look incredibly tarted up, like the literal painted whore. But now seeing where he was performing, he had to admit they had been right. He was just barely tarted up enough not to look cheap between the rich tapestries and silk hangings. He actually looked ‘natural’, if he was interpreting the reactions of his audience right.

Already feeling almost at home in this setting, Kendrik sat down on the stool that waited for him on the stage, nodding at the two musicians. Ondine had explained to him beforehand that there would be no microphone, but now Kendrik realized that this meant he would have nothing to busy his hands with. Once again, something he would have to learn on the run.

While the musicians were still tuning their instruments, Kendrik seized the moment to take in his audience. Tonight, there was no bright stage illumination that hid the patrons of the Secret Garden in merciful darkness. It was a dim and shady establishment, no doubt about that, but Kendrik could see the faces of the closest people well enough to make out their expressions. Further away, they disappeared into mere shapes in the shadows, the lights of their various pipes glowing in the dark like the eyes of lurking demons. Quite a fitting image, Kendrik found, hiding his disgust in a shy smile.

Brushing his hair over his shoulder, Kendrik was surprised by the wave of interest he could suddenly feel from the audience, the simple gesture causing several more patrons to connect mentally with him.

Curious, Kendrik repeated the motion, this time taking a little more care to play with one of his golden tipped curls. The reaction was almost embarassingly awe-filled. Didn’t they have enough red-heads here? As far as he had seen, they were able to create any kind of haircolour at a few moments notice, why should his hair be any different? He’d have to ask Ryan about that, after the show, Kendrik decided.

“We would be ready, now, Master Kendrik,” the guitarist behind Kendrik informed him softly.

Had he really just been called ‘master’? Admittedly, this was a very stretchy title in the Phoenix Empire, but usually only especially talented slaves were dubbed so. Then again, Kendrik thought with an inward shrug, that’s what they saw him as, wasn’t it?

“I would like to start with ‘Moradi Nights’,” he said with a calm nod towards the musicians and an encouraging smile.

Paying as close attention to Kendrik as they were, he could feel their emotions already, too. And they were at least as nervous as Kendrik, he noticed with relief. At least he wasn’t the only one doing this by the seat of his pants.

“Just give me half a stanza as intro, and we should be fine,” Kendrik added, trying to nudge the two of them into a slightly less stressed and a little more anticipative mood. And it worked nicely, their natural enthusiasm fed just barely enough by Kendrik’s powers that it now outshone their understandable apprehension.

Now smiling, the musicians nodded in affirmation and started playing, the first notes almost instantly sending a hush through the patrons in the dakka den. There had to be hidden microphones somewhere, Kendrik realized, as the music was picked up flawlessly, subtly amplified and distributed all throughout the place. A soft murmur rose as the first recognized the song, and a rustle as many searched for a different position on their pile of pillows that would allow them to better watch his performance.

Smiling, Kendrik nodded towards the guests whose faces he could see, trying to get back into that feedback loop between him and his audience that had allowed him to fine-tune his performance so nicely.

And it didn’t take long, this time. Already halfway through the first stanza, Kendrik noticed the remaining members of the audience opening their minds to him, once again feeling like flowers blossoming in the dark. There were many more, this time, too many for Kendrik to be able to identify individuals any longer. But he still was able to clearly map out the emotions of his audience, their fascination with him serving as a bridge that safely spanned the toxic void of background radiation here in the Secret Garden.

Almost completely abandoning himself in his performance, Kendrik just kept his psionic ears open to listen to his audience’s reactions, to find that sweet spot between too theatrical and too flat that managed to bring them into resonance with the emotions he wanted to convey.

Kendrik was aware that there were still several members in his audience that were unconvinced by his performance, but he also realized they were outliers with specific tastes, while the great majority just enjoyed what he had to offer.

Once ‘Moradi Nights’ was finished, Kendrik continued with the ‘Saber Dance’, aiming for something a little more uplifting and less somber tonight. Also, being accompanied by live instruments, the mood of the song should come across much stronger.

And once again, Kendrik had guessed right. This time, there were bouts of laughter and some lewd remarks thrown in when the Cournicova’s secret affairs were revealed. But more importantly, the general mood shifted from predatory anticipation to something lighter, a promise of an entertaining evening that maybe for once did not include heavy drugs and torture. Quite a change for some of the patrons, Kendrik guessed.

“Thank you all, thank you very much,” Kendrik said into the laughter and cheers once this song was over. “Thanks for coming here tonight, I hope we will manage to keep you well entertained.”

Carefully listening to the emotional echo he got from the audience, Kendrik waited a moment before he spoke up again.

“And please, have a drink, some food, or maybe some pliant company - this is not a museum. This is a brothel, after all.”

Again, laughter branded throughout the place, an odd sound considering that screams and whimpers where the usual fare. Already, Kendrik could see some of the patrons picking up his suggestion, making sure they would not remain entirely focused on his performance only, but occasionally slightly distracted.

Just as Kendrik had hoped. This way, it would be significantly easier to catch them unaware, when their emotions were much more honest. Subtly, he tried to enhance the patrons’ appetite for something spicy. This was beginning to be fun.

Next up was ‘Passage to Odessa’, a Terran song, for a change, about a passionate affair the singer had with the first officer of the ship that he had booked a passage on. It was cute and not very long, but the emotions and the beat picked up nicely where ‘Saber Dance’ had left them, and Kendrik was able to continue his performance without losing much of the connection to his audience. Without much of a pause, he continued with ‘Solenzara’, this time a Shirazan song about a summer holiday fling that ended without the singer realizing that his feelings had been real and he should have told his lover so. A little more melancholic it served as a bridge to a group of slower songs that Ryan and Kendrik had picked.

From the corner of his eye, Kendrik noticed more and more servants soundlessly sneaking through the dakka den, most of them serving drinks or guiding slaves to the nobles who had ordered them. But there was also a surprising number of food orders being carried out, the warm scent of Jehanni spices slowly mingling with the smoke of dakka leaves.

Silently betting that the quality of food served on this side of the curtain would at least be as good as in the slave’s canteen, Kendrik was sure this would help to enhance the mood tonight in yet another way that was underused in the Secret Garden, at least in Kendrik’s eyes. Most people never fully realized just how much good food influenced them.

By now, Kendrik was sure he had a firm grip on his audience. The next song would be ‘Gitano Boy’, a yearning love song about a guitar playing gypsy boy who came into town with a traveling show and was gone the next day already. It was a longer ballad, beautiful and poetic, but not necessarily difficult to sing for Kendrik. So he figured he would have half a mind to concentrate on other things – namely, taking on the task he had been sent here for in the first place.

Kendrik didn’t claim that he had a profound understanding of the inner working of this empire. And the more he learned about it, the more he was convinced that he never would.

But if the Emperor, and Commander Li Ma acting on his behalf, considered the conspiracy brewing here in the Secret Garden a veritable threat to the Empire, it had to be serious. Kendrik didn’t know much about Elisander, but he was very sure Li Ma wouldn’t waste her precious assets on anything that was less than world-threatening.

So with an inward shrug and an outward smile, Kendrik tried to focus on the minds of his audience. It proved more difficult than he had thought, trying to keep his performance going smoothly and spying on the minds of the people around him. Also, he wasn’t as good a telepath as he was an empath, and so the whole business proved more than tricky.
Abandoning his first attempt as he noticed that his singing got wobbly, Kendrik decided to first finish ‘Gitano Boy’ and then try again during the next song. As soon as he was able to turn his focus back on his song again, it got better, and he was nicely able to smooth the waves of concern and vicious schadenfreude at his insecure notes a few moments earlier.

So he had to keep his audience on a tight leash, Kendrik reminded himself. Those were people all too eagerly waiting for him to slip up, all too eager to smell the first sign of weakness that would send them into a feeding frenzy like a school of hungry sharks. With a fine smile, he remembered what Mistress Ondine had told him the other night – you started feeding the dragons, dear, now you got to keep feeding them lest they feed on you.

Of course that woman had been right. As always.

So for the next song, he picked something slower, a sad, longing moradi ballad. It was a popular song, and played on the radio often enough that Kendrik had known it even before coming to the Secret Garden. He felt pretty confident that he would be able to sing and spy at the same time.

Again, there was a hushed murmur going through his audience when the patrons recognized the song, mixed with curiosity to see how he would be doing on a song as well-known as this one. But Kendrik knew his audience well enough by now that the first lines of the song were delivered pitch-perfect, conveying the emotions of the song so clearly it startled several listeners.

Kendrik allowed himself a few lines to get into the mood of the song himself, of finding a steady rhythm that would allow him to put his performance on autopilot for a while. He was eager to do what he had been sent to do, and his determination gave him even more chances to ignore the place’s toxic background radiation. So as soon as he felt his audience securely listening to his song and himself sure enough that he could continue without slipping up, he tried again.

Using the emotional connection that he felt with the members of the audience, he tried to keep it simple at first, and merely tried to catch any surface thoughts he could get.

But even that prove much harder than expected. Almost like trying to catch fish in tub full of lube, the thoughts seemed to slip away as soon as he concentrated on them, like flowers closing when they sensed your approach. And each time Kendrik tried to grab harder, to actively take their thoughts out of their heads, he was swamped with that churning feeling of pain and despair that made working here impossible for every other empath.

Cursing inwardly, Kendrik tried again a few times, but had to give up in the end. It felt as if the bridge his performance was building only carried emotional content, and with it his empathic powers. But everything beyond that just fell through into the bottomless abyss of caustic horror that this place really was.

The conclusion was simple, but very unpleasant. He would have to get into physical contact with each and every of his suspects. The longer and the more intimate, the better.

It made Kendrik want to throw up.

But instead, he turned his full attention back to his performance, bringing his current song to a graceful end and allowing himself the time to take a sip of water and catch his breath.

Immediately, he could feel the connection to the audience turn brittle and slowly dissolve. But the connection seemed to last a little longer with each song, a tiny ray of hope in this ugly place. As it seemed impossible to just scan the crowd as Kendrik had originally hoped, he now concentrated on making himself as interesting and worthy of protection in the eyes of his audience as he could.

It went well, and somewhere in the back of his mind he could even sense the cool approval of Mistress Ondine from somewhere behind him. Kendrik added three more sets of songs from all over the Empire, almost the whole catalog he and Ryan had worked up. When he finally realized he had been singing for almost two hours and his voice was getting sore, he almost felt surprised.

It had been fun, sitting there, singing, being at the center of attention. If someone had told him a month ago, he would have laughed them in the face. Definitely not the simple jet fighter pilot any longer, Kendrik mused as the crowd gave a gentle applause for his performance. Not sure what he was now, but definitely something different.

Bowing, he smiled and greeted, noticing with a certain professional pride that the customers seemed well entertained, happy, and for once not out for blood. He had to admit he was quite happy with the results.

“Master Kendrik?” a servant suddenly asked next to him. “Baron Yuri requests your presence at his table. As would a few others.”

“Baron Yuri?” Still feeling a little flushed, Kendrik smiled. “Tell him I will consider the offer. Who are the others?”

The servant blanched at this obvious affront, but swallowed his remarks. “Some patrons of lesser interest to this house,” he replied cautiously. “I can show you their tables, if you’d like.”

“Have me meet those who want to chat,” Kendrik decided. “And let’s ignore the ones who would like more than that.”

“I am sure that will limit your obligations,” the servant replied glibly, and Kendrik wondered silently if he had just been reprimanded or not. “If you would follow me, then, Master Kendrik?”

So Kendrik followed him to a nook with two young nobles lounging on piles of precious looking silk pillows. They were gathered around a low table with the remnants of some many-dished Jehanni meal, and all-over looked like they were just having a good time. A lazy cloud of smoke was hanging over them, their long-stemmed pipes spreading the distinctively floral scent of dakka leaves.

They were eager to find out who Kendrik belonged to, and invited him to sing on one of their parties the other week. They were a little taken aback when Kendrik explained that he did not know the name of his master other than ‘the duke’, but they were smart enough not to press the matter. They politely asked Kendrik to pass their request on to his master and assured generous compensation in a currency of the duke’s choosing.

Even polite as they were, Kendrik felt like being bartered over on a camel market. Which, in all consequence, was quite an apt image.

After that, the two nobles didn’t seem to be overly interested in more conversation, so Kendrik excused himself and had a servant show him to the other guest who had requested to talk to him.

In the end, all of them wanted to get to know Kendrik better and ask him for private performances of some sort, which he all deflected to his enigmatic master. In some ways, not being able to decide anything for themselves made a slave’s life rather easy. It should have appalled him, but Kendrik had to admit that he felt a certain grim satisfaction at being able to pretend that he had no say about his life when it suited him.

About an hour after he had finished his show, Kendrik decided that he had left Baron Yuri waiting long enough. The servant leading him to Baron Yuri’s niche was visible relieved to finally deliver what the Baron had ordered. The old man was sitting in a low chair with a high back, its upholstery almost as plush as his belly.

“You sassy little bitch kept me waiting,” Yuri remarked grimly.

Kendrik sat down in front of him, as gracefully as he could. “And still you waited.”

Yuri snarled something hardly intelligible, but it was a grumpy, moody sound, not a warning.

“How’d you like my performance?” Kendrik asked to break the ice.

“It was okay.” As far as Kendrik could tell, this was even an honest opinion. “I liked it much better than your obvious lack of training or manners would deserve, so that is a compliment.”

“Thank you, milord.” There was no reason to anger the old man more than absolutely necessary, Kendrik told himself. After all, this was a prime suspect and a perfect chance to do some more spying. “Which song did you like best?”

Baron Yuri shrugged. “It was nice to hear so many old songs again, you know? Nothing in particular.”

“Oh come on, there’s got to be one that you liked?” Playfully, Kendrik leaned forward and set a gently curious hand on Baron Yuri’s knee. “Tell me, which one? Gitano Boy? Or Moradi Nights?”

Yuri chuckled throatily at Kendrik’s playful remark, uncaring about Kendrik’s hand lingering on his knee. Through their connection, Kendrik could already tell that Baron Yuri was deeply melancholic, an odd sentiment when considering his overall good mood. But apparently, melancholy was a good thing once you’ve reached a certain age.

“Oh, let me guess,” Kendrik suggested. “Was it the Saber Dance? You like sassy boys, after all.”

But despite Yuri’s faintly amused expression, Kendrik could tell there was no emotional reaction coming from him.

“What about ‘In his Arms’, being the war hero you are?”

No reaction from Yuri, again.

“Oh I know!” Putting on a cheeky expression, Kendrik suggested: “It was the ‘Old Dancing Bear’, wasn’t it?”

It had been meant as a joke, nothing else, but much to his surprise, Kendrik felt a turmoil of emotion from Baron Yuri, even though his expression remained almost unchanged. And it was not the expected flustered outrage, but a deep and cutting pain that felt entirely unfitting. After all, the ‘Old Dancing Bear’ was a song of an old man and his dancing bear, coming to a tavern once every year to play the fiddle and dance for some coins. It took Kendrik a moment to connect the pieces – in the last stanza, the old man one year appeared without his bear, and then never again.

“I am sorry,” Kendrik said softly. “Lost too many friends along the way for that song to be funny, didn’t you?”

This suddenly brought Kendrik fully to the Baron’s attention. “You are the most peculiar pet I have ever met,” the old man wondered. “Are you sure you have no Habichtswald blood?”

“Quite sure, though I really wouldn’t know.” Carefully gouging his reaction to the emotional feedback he received from Yuri, Kendrik asked: “Is that what I remind you of? Of the old times?”

This time, Baron Yuri laughed out loud. “Yes, indeed. You remind me of simpler times, when it was clear who was friend and who was foe.”

“And, is it the lack of friends or foes that makes these times different?”

“Both, I’d say. The friends all died and the enemies all became pathetic.”

“That’s tough.” In a way, Kendrik genuinely felt with Yuri. But then again, this was an old fart who tortured slaves out of boredom, he reminded himself. Really no reason to feel anything but resolve. “No new friends?”

Baron Yuri snorted derisively. “I am too old to be ambitious and still way too young for the vultures to start picking my bones. Why would anyone bother being friends with me?”

“Normally people would try to be your friend because you were nice to have around,” Kendrik quipped, “though it’s quite obviously not your strong suit.”

“There was a time I was quite dashing,” Baron Yuri quipped, his somber mood every now and then punctured by brief sparks of horniness. So it definitely was something about Kendrik that seemed to get his juices flowing again. “You wouldn’t have mocked me, then.”

“But then we wouldn’t have had this conversation either.”

“No, we wouldn’t.” Kendrik could feel a languid wave of aroused thoughts run through Baron Yuri, some of them clear enough to actually come across as real images in Kendrik’s mind.

“You’d just ravish me, right there and then, would you?” By the expression in the old man’s eyes, Kendrik knew he was hitting home. “And every struggle would incite you even more, each time I’d try not to yelp with pain and lust?”

Baron Yuri chuckled, an actually nice sound, his face lively for the first time since Kendrik knew him. "Are you sure you’re not a psychic? I could swear you are reading my thoughts.”

There was so little suspicion in Yuri’s emotions that Kendrik felt entirely safe.

“You’re cute. If I were a psion, would I really be sitting here, on the floor of a brothel, entertaining horny old goats like you?”

Again, Baron Yuri laughed, lively and barely disgusting any more. “You’d be on the floor, cringing with pain,” he offered, nicely revealing that indeed he was aware what kind of protection the Secret Garden offered besides professional discretion. “But you were still right. So tell my, you cocky little shit, what’s an old goat like me got to do to get you into that white uniform?”

This was a genuine question, Kendrik could tell, and Yuri would be willing to go quite a distance to get what he wanted. Colin and Teagan had built him a perfect opening with their deal, he realized. An opportunity Kendrik surely would not want to see wasted.

“I will have to think about it,” Kendrik replied hesitantly. “Especially as you surely are not just going to look at me, then, will you?”

“Nah, I am too old to do much more, these days,” Yuri replied with surprisingly little bitterness. “But nothing that comes to your mind, no pretty things, no money, no little friend of yours that needs saving from a nasty master?”

“Property can’t own property,” Kendrik quipped coldly. “So of what use would money be to a slave? And right now I am not really sure that any friend of mine would be better off in your hands than the ones they are in right now, as nasty as they may be.”

Yuri harrumphed, a rather pleasantly surprised sound. “I always forget that you are much smarter than you look. What’s your name?”

“Kendrik.”

“Kendrik… It’s a good name, strong.” Yuri seemed to be rolling around the name in his head, trying to get a feel of the sound. “So what is it that you want, Kendrik?”

For an odd reason, that question was surprisingly difficult to answer, Kendrik found. A part of him wanted to name some silly price and be over with it, insisting on a lot of cuddling and talking so he would have a chance to goad Yuri into thinking about that conspiracy. After all, he was just an evil old Dracon drug pusher kingpin.

But there also was the problem – Yuri HAD BEEN an evil, torturing drug baron. Right now, none of his emotional reactions had been cruel or violent. He felt to Kendrik as if Yuri had just become too old, and maybe even too powerful to bother being cruel, and it had left him with little appetite for anything else. Nagging at the back of Kendrik’s mind was the half-formed idea that maybe, with the right incentive, Baron Yuri might discover that being nice to other people was a valid alternative.

Nonsense, Kendrik chided himself immediately. He wasn’t here for a personal mission to save whoever he could find, and he definitely shouldn’t start with the most hopeless case this god-forsaken brothel had to offer.

But still, what if? What if there was a chance that Yuri was actually looking for a way to change, and that he could spend at least the last years of his life at peace and maybe with some friends? It was an absurd thought. And yet, the nagging idea didn’t go away.

“I think I will have to get to know you better.” Kendrik heard himself say, causing Yuri to blink in consternation.

“Excuse me?”

“I would like to get to know you better.” Sensing Yuri’s genuine insecurity underneath his rumbling bluster, Kendrik actually started to like the idea. “You know, like a date. Like in every other healthy relationship.”

Not that Kendrik’s marriage had started with a date, exactly, but that was entirely beside the point right now.

“I don’t want a relationship.”

“I know. But I think that’s what you need.”

For a long moment, they both just stared at each other, slave and noble, servant and master, both silently wondering how the powers between them could ever have gotten so skewed.

“A date,” Baron Yuri replied flatly. “I have no clue what you expect from me.”

Kendrik laughed at Yuri’s honest cluelessness. “Usually, you’d invite me to something entertaining, like a movie, and then to something that offers the opportunity to chat, like dinner.”

“That sounds ridiculously expensive considering the hourly rates you demand.”

“You pay for entertainment and food,” Kendrik offered with a smile. “I’ll be free of charge as long as you are nice.”

“That’s the weirdest shit I’ve ever heard a whore say,” it burst out of Yuri, more fascinated than confused. “You sure your master will see it the same way?”

“I am to do with you as I please, as long as it is by my own free will.” Kendrik cited. “And I am not a whore, I am a pet. And if I remember correctly, I am going to be your date tomorrow night, so it would suit you not to call me a whore if you don’t want to be stood up.”

Laughing with surprise at this insolence, Baron Yuri nodded in agreement. “I can’t even recall the last time someone threatened to keep me waiting. But all right, we will play it your way. Tomorrow at seven, then?”

“Tomorrow at seven.” Kendrik replied, rising as elegantly as he could possibly manage. There had been so much curiosity in Yuri’s mind, so much excitement and anticipation for something he hadn’t experienced in what felt to him like a lifetime that Kendrik felt himself actually looking forward to their meeting, too. “I’ll most probably be there.”

“You little shit.” Yuri snapped back, affectionately. “I’ll be waiting.”

“Horny old goat.” He replied just as tenderly.

Then, Kendrik blew him a kiss, turned around tossing his hair over his left shoulder and left the dakka den as regally as he could, struggling hard to hide the wide smile on his face.

That had been a performance worthy of any courtesan. Misstress Ondine would have been so proud of him.

 
 
 
Meridaemeridae on June 16th, 2013 05:57 am (UTC)
OMG KENDRIK! YOU LIKE HIM! YOU ACTUALLY LIKE BARON YURI!!

(Not like as in 'sexually attracted to' but like as in 'see value in and think he's worth spending time with')

HOW COULD YOU!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 16th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
He is SUCH a naughty boy, isn't he?

(Maybe I ought to be sorry, but I am not. After all, there's still that sex scene between the two of them waiting in the wings...)
Charischarisstoma on June 16th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
SEX SCENE???!! Between Kendrick and Baron Yuri????!

It occured to me that Baron Yuri is not going to take a no at the end very well. He's going to want some payout when it's all said and done. You can only tease so long before the individual snaps at his prey or wanders away and I don't see the Bad Baron wandering away without something in his maw.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 16th, 2013 07:38 pm (UTC)
You DID read the header, did you?

You are right in so far as Baron Yuri will not leave empty-handed. But what he wants and what he gets, well, are two different things entirely. ^^
Charischarisstoma on June 16th, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
Ah but Kendrick/Yuri in the header doesn't necessarily mean sex. It could be something much worse that involves non-sex especially as there's M/m involved someplace in the storyline and this is Yuri we're talking about who enjoys inflicting pain to overcome the numbed lassitude of his emotions.

And linking two people could be just that they're doing what they are now...*scrunches face* flirting?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 17th, 2013 06:53 am (UTC)
True, all true. Anything else would be spoilers. ^^
Meridaemeridae on June 17th, 2013 07:07 am (UTC)
EWWW Baron Yuri is OLD and HORRID and YUCKY and not even HOT (like Sean Connery) Don't do it, Kendrik, don't doooo eeeet!!
jamies_ladyjamies_lady on June 16th, 2013 10:30 am (UTC)
Kendrick you deamon
that was perfect... and if he turns the Baron.. what an ally for the Emperor... I loved this chapter
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 16th, 2013 02:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Kendrick you deamon
Thank you, dear, glad you like it!

We'll have to wait and see if Kendrik manages to 'turn' Yuri. Old dogs and new tricks, you know? But maybe it won't need a full turn, just a litte nudge... ^^
debbiemethosdeb on June 16th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
loved it ,he is good at playing the game, maybe he missed his true calling.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 16th, 2013 07:36 pm (UTC)
His true calling... Err, ehm... No. But we'll be around for that one, too. Couldn't possibly pass on the chance to tell how he got his tail... :D
idolme922idolme922 on June 17th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
LOL... I like the comments here almost as much as the story!! Very much looking forward to you Kendrick/Yuri moment. "I'll most probably ..." be here to read it!

Awesome chapter.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 17th, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
Well, the comments is where I get most of my fun from, so yeah, you're totally welcome to enjoy them with me. :D

Thank you, dear, really looking forward to your reaction on the Yuri/Kendrik chapter.
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on June 17th, 2013 10:11 am (UTC)
Aha, this is awesome. Dating indeed, Kendrik; I have no idea what you're thinking.

Fabulous chapter, as usual. Sorry for being slack about reviewing the previous one--I've been crazy busy, but that's not a good excuse. Love your work!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 17th, 2013 10:16 am (UTC)
Admittedly, Kendrik isn't too sure what he is thinking, either. :D

Thanks for commenting, dear, and never mind being too busy to comment - this is meant to be fun for all of us, so please don't feel obliged. ^^
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on June 17th, 2013 10:24 am (UTC)
You're a peach. Thank you. :)
BerthaBlueberthablue on June 25th, 2013 10:19 am (UTC)
I love Kendrik and Yuri's banter! Totally on board with other things happening between them, too :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on June 25th, 2013 11:14 am (UTC)
Hehehe. Well, you'll get quite a lot happening. Glad you like it!