Book One in Demoted Series
In a world where intellect and achievement are valued above all else, a young man makes a life-altering decision to save his brother from a life of slavery. Thrown into a harsh, unyielding world where slaves are treated as less than animals, Sascha struggles to come to terms with everything he knows being ripped away from him, but a life of success could never prepare him for his life as one of the Demoted. Sinking lower and lower, Sascha begins to lose hope, but the whim of a mysterious, wealthy man has the potential to change all that.
Cashiel has a dark history that he guards carefully. Between family and business and politics, he rarely has time for a slave, much less a lover. But when he sees a young man who reminds him of the very history he is trying to escape, he makes an impulse decision that he’s not sure whether to regret or not. The slave could expose everything, or he could be the most valuable asset that Cashiel has ever acquired.
Cashiel and Sascha share desires, hopes, and a home. Each man is limited by status, hindered by history, and desperate to succeed. The question is, will that be enough? (M/M)
He stares at me for another moment or two, long enough to make me want to squirm and hide. I resist the urge to cower, because I know he doesn’t like it when I cower.
“The reverse content blocker needs to go,” he says, matter-of-fact. “Do you really think I gave you a tablet so you could sneak around and do illegal things on it?”
I blush furiously and try not to tremble. “No, master.” Simple is better.
“It won’t happen again.” His words aren’t threatening, nor are they a question. It’s like he’s stating that the sky is blue, he knows it with that much certainty.
And he’s right. “No, master.”
He nods. He’s not angry, which is good, because I don’t even know what I’d do if he was angry. He just nods at me and keeps standing there.
“You obviously need more to do with your time,” he states. “Meet me in the dining room in twenty minutes. The content blocker will be removed by then.”
“Yes, master,” I mumble, as he strides away. I disable the content blocker immediately. He hasn’t told me to take away anything else, so I don’t, not yet.
He doesn’t seem angry, but he wasn’t particularly pleased, either. I hadn’t expected him to check, I figured he would have assumed I was just a stupid slave and never thought of it.
I wonder how long he knew before he told me.
With that taken care of, I have a few minutes to ponder his request to meet him. More to do with my time, he said, what does that even mean? I clean when he asks, I try to cook…
I wonder whether he’s going to fuck me or beat me.
I have myself in a blind panic by the time I arrive in the dining room, and I rush to drop to my knees at my master’s feet the second I get there. I don’t wrap myself around his legs, because I’m terrified he might kick me in the face if I try it.
He looks at me critically. “Is there a problem?” It sounds like an accusation.
I stare up at him, silent and stupid. Wait for him to hurt me. He raises an eyebrow, and it’s like I’m afraid he’s going to hit me with it, because I cower away.
“Go get me a soda, calm yourself down, and when you come back, show me some of the things you’ve learned in the training manuals. The ones I sent you and the ones you stole.”
I continue to stare at him, his words landing on my ears like an alien language. The meaning sinks in bit by bit, in little pieces. He knows I stole training manuals. Soda. He knows how terrified I am. He wants a soda. And for me to get it. Calm down. My heart is racing and I can’t breathe, and I realize I’m having a panic attack, which must be why he told me to calm down.
I nod, unable to speak because my chest is too tight and my tongue is too big and my mouth is too dry. My master looks on calmly, through me almost.
I finally manage to force my legs to cooperate, and I get up and walk into the kitchen. I start crying, even though I know I’m being ridiculous, and I go to my knees in there, too, just for a minute, just long enough to catch my breath. Get a soda. Calm down. Show off what I’ve learned.
It shouldn’t be this fucking hard.