Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Jamie, Edmund Caldwell, Harrison Caldwell, Brendan Murphy, Dick, Alfred, Lex Luthor, Lionel Luthor
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. As Bruce and Clark try and adjust to being lovers as well as Master and slave, on a warm spring night a new member of the Wayne Household is added: a little boy whom Bruce sadly identifies with. Dick Grayson further pushes Bruce along the path of Abolitionism as the child brings further Light into the Manor. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Protection comes in many forms.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): January 23, 2008
Date Of Posting: October 19, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2274
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
They offer, in addition to bedroom skills,
Companionship for a lonely man or woman."
Professor Arlen Cox
"The Art Of The Pleasure Slave"
GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP
Bruce watched the parade of slaves come and go, making token bids and thankful the Caldwells had not bought anyone yet.
Then Jamie was brought out.
Beautiful, delicious, virginal…vulnerable…
Immediately Edmund put in a bid. Bruce was grateful that Lionel was not here, no doubt at another private auction, as this day was the one for slave-buying and selling above all days.
Bruce waited, and another man put up a bid. Edmund topped it. The man re-bid, but after the next round he dropped out.
Bruce saw the fear in the green eyes looking out from under long blond lashes. He had no doubt that the guards had told him the Caldwell reputation.
Edmund smiled slightly while Harrison glared. Edmund re-bid.
The bids flew hard and fast until suddenly, Edmund stopped.
“Sold to Mister Bruce Wayne!” the auctioneer announced.
Jamie nearly sagged in relief.
Bruce beckoned Silas Bracken over. “Please ready him with clothes and partial Veil.”
Silas nodded, snapping his thick fingers and relaying the orders to an employee who scurried off.
There were two rounds left, and Bruce intended to stay right here until they were finished. He might not ultimately prevent the Caldwells from buying anyone, but they were not going to get one in this session.
The next two rounds passed without incident, and Bruce prepared to leave.
He was stopped by Edmund, who tapped his cane as he approached. “So, Bruce, tired of your pretty piece already?”
“What do you mean, Edmund?”
“Buying another whore. Has your first one bored you?”
“Hardly,” Bruce laughed. “I just liked the look of that boy.”
Edmund’s gray eyes glittered. “Two sluts in the sack causes trouble.”
“Thank you for your concern, Edmund, but things will be fine.”
“You have a taste for virgins.”
“Don’t we all?”
Bruce left the auction room as quickly as possible. He met with Bracken in the anteroom and signed the ownership papers, requesting another set, and receiving the receipt as he handed over the check.
Bruce waited as he balanced a velvet bag of heavy chains. Bracken returned with his new slave.
Jamie was Veiled with dark glasses, his manacles chained together. Bracken handed him the length of chain attached to the manacles.
“Thank you, Mr. Bracken. A pleasure doing business with you.”
Silas beamed. “An honor, Lord Wayne.”
Bruce left with Jamie trailing behind.
Once he left Braddock Hall, he tugged Jamie to his side. He would have unchained him but the large crowds made him nervous.
Bruce raised an eyebrow. Bold, speaking without permission, but he allowed it.
“Thank you for purchasing me.”
The relief in Jamie’s voice did not surprise Bruce. However, he decided that this young man needed to know his fate.
“Hey! Leave him alone!”
Brendan ran forward, grabbing the attacker’s arm. The man swore, pushing Brendan back. Dick scrambled off the ground and the Master’s Prize was suddenly at Brendan’s shoulder.
In that instant, Brendan remembered that he could order the Prize to fight as long as it was in his defense. The man was in good shape even beyond the bedroom.
“I don’t think Mr. Wayne would appreciate his slaves being battered.”
The attacker sneered. “You toadying to your stuck-up boss?”
“I am loyal to my boss.”
The man looked at the Prize and grinned. Brendan shifted slightly in protective mode.
Dick was glaring and the man’s partner pointed at him.
“You’re bein’ insolent, kid.” He moved toward Dick.
Brendan heard the Prize’s intake of breath and Alfred’s anger. He gently shoved Dick behind him.
“Hands off.” His eyes narrowed. “You’re on the gardening staff on the Caldwell estate.”
“Yeah, ask the slut there how he knows me and my buddy here.”
The smirk set Brendan’s teeth on edge. “I think you should leave.”
Both men laughed and sauntered away.
Brendan let out a whoosh! of breath. He scowled over at Malcolm and Carlin, who had not lifted a finger to help him.
“Dick, are you all right?”
The Prize was checking the boy out with obvious concern.
Alfred was there, checking Dick’s leg. Satisfied, he clapped a hand on Brendan’s shoulder. “Good job, my boy.”
Dick suddenly hugged him and the Prize smiled at him.
“I’m…I’m sorry. I should have kept a closer watch.” Guilt flamed through Brendan.
“What counts, lad, is that you came through when needed.” Alfred looked at the Prize and Dick. “Let’s get this mess cleaned up before Master Bruce returns.”
Brendan watched the three slaves return to the picnic area. He turned and stalked down to his fellow chauffeurs.
“Thanks for the help.”
Malcolm shrugged. “You seemed to have things under control.”
Brendan’s lip curled. He turned and walked away without a word.
Lex arrived and was pleased to see everything set out for lunch, Alfred keeping the food in the picnic basket until Bruce returned.
Lex raised an eyebrow as he saw broken crockery in the paper grocery bag they had brought for trash. “Accident, Alfred?”
The butler responded, “Quite, sir.”
Lex regarded Alfred’s placid expression, nodding. He noticed Brendan several yards away talking to Clark and approached quietly.
“Were they the two who dragged you to the whipping post?”
Clark nodded. “One of them was the whipmaster.”
Brendan squeezed his shoulder.
“Okay, guys, what’s the story?”
Brendan turned, his hand falling away. “Um, story, sir?”
Lex’s expression was very cool. “Yes, story, Brendan. ‘Fess up.”
Brendan and Clark exchanged looks.
“I’m sorry, sir, there’s no story to tell.”
Lex knew something was up, but for whatever reason, no one wanted to talk. He debated probing further but decided against it. Everything seemed all right now, and if there was any danger, they would have talked.
“Good. I think we can persuade Alfred to let us have a preview of lunch while we wait for Bruce.”
The three men walked back to the picnic table.
Lex’s eyes widened as he saw Bruce approaching with a slave in tow. Even partially-Veiled, he could tell that he man was gorgeous.
He glanced back at Clark, whose expression was unreadable. Alfred, Dick, and Brendan were surprised.
Lex sauntered over to Bruce, looking at the beautiful slave clothed in simple light-blue shirt, dark-blue pants and sandals. Silky blond hair framed a face with porcelain skin. A good body. Hell, a great body. Bruce knew how to pick ‘em.
“Hey, Bruce. Guess your meeting was productive.”
Bruce’s smile was bright. “I guess so.” His smile grew even brighter. He handed the end of the chain to Lex. “Consider him an early birthday present.”
Stunned, Lex stared at the chain in his hand, then up at Bruce. “Bruce, I…”
“I know you don’t keep pleasure slaves, considering your father’s poaching…but if you don’t want to keep him, I know you’ll find a good home for him.” Bruce whispered in Lex’s ear, “Just get him away from the Caldwells.” A beat. “By the way, he’s a virgin.”
Lex’s pale blue eyes widened slightly and he nodded. “Well,” he said with a smile, “It appears I have a Prize of my own.”
Bruce smiled and Jamie relaxed.
“Your name?” Lex asked.
“Hmm, a good name. I’ll think about letting you keep it.”
“Just sign these ownership papers, and he’s all yours.”
Lex carefully wrote his name, excitement skittering along his nerves. He had given up on the idea of pleasure slaves, never able to keep his father from poaching on his property.
Maybe it was time to try again.
He was going to enjoy the unVeiling later.
Lex took the papers and the bag of chains and followed Bruce to the picnic table. A smiling Clark happily accepted Bruce’s hug.
“Well, let us all sit down and eat,” Alfred said.
As they were settling in, Lex directing Jamie to sit on the bench as the slave had begun to sink to his knees, Lionel appeared. Immediately his eyes ravished Jamie, who was tentatively taking a seat.
“My, my, my. I didn’t know you were planning on making a purchase, son.”
“I wasn’t and I didn’t. Bruce gifted me.”
“Bruce?” Lionel smiled at him. “What a generous gift.”
“Thank you, Lionel.” Bruce patted the empty space next to him on the bench. “Have a seat.”
Lex hid his amusement that Lionel was not sitting next to Jamie or Clark.
He might not be able to keep Jamie away from his father, but he was going to try.
Lex felt content sitting here at this picnic table with his old friend Bruce, both sets of slaves, and even his father.
The food was excellent, but he expected nothing less from Alfred: chicken, herb potato salad with delicious spices, mixed vegetables, all good and fresh.
“Quite a variety of merchandise this year,” Lionel commented after complimenting Alfred on the chicken.
“Many off-world offerings?” Lex asked.
“Not as many as in past years. Now you know I have a good eye for such things, but I didn’t see anything special.” Lionel’s eyes flicked to Jamie.
“Are you going back after lunch?”
Lionel nodded. “I’ll meet you at the train station at 5:00.”
After lunch Bruce said to Dick, “Help Alfred clean up and when you get back home, do whatever you like. It’s a holiday, after all.” Dick grinned. “Be ready when it’s time to return here to the park for the fireworks.”
“Yes!” Dick nearly bounced up and down with joy.
Bruce laughed and ruffled the boy’s hair. “Lex, let’s go for a walk.”
Bruce attached one end of Clark’s chain to his belt. No way was he going to let Clark be in peril with these crowds.
Lex did the same, the two slaves walking behind their Masters. Bruce hoped that Clark could relax Jamie. The young man was understandably jittery.
“Too bad you aren’t staying for the fireworks.”
“I have meetings in Metropolis tomorrow.”
They stopped in front of the watchmaker that Bruce had visited earlier.
“Wow, I hear Mr. Gunter’s a craftsman. I’d like to see what he’s got.” Lex looked at the display window.
“Oh.” Lex stopped. “NSA.”
“That’s okay. I’ll stay with our Prizes.”
Lex smiled. “Thanks.” He unhooked the chain from his belt and handed it to Bruce.
“Take your time.”
Bruce led his charges to the bench by the hitching post. The three of them settled onto the bench.
“How are you doing, Jamie?”
“Fine, thank you, m’lord.”
Clark grasped Jamie’s hand and squeezed. The blond looked at him shyly and smiled.
Bruce felt at peace despite the chaos of the day. A light breeze blew, ruffling his hair.
He hoped that he had done the right thing. Jamie would most likely end up in Lionel’s bed, but that was far better than the bed of Edmund or Harrison Caldwell.
He had sensed Lex’s loneliness. Perhaps he was ready again for a companion.
At any rate, Jamie was far better off with Lex, Lionel notwithstanding.
Lionel has never sent a slave to the hospital, at least.
Or the morgue.
Jamie was sitting between him and Clark. Bruce took hold of the blond’s other hand.
Lex came out of the watchmaker’s shop and the quartet started walking again.
“Did you get what you wanted?” Bruce asked.
“I did. I ordered Dad a pocketwatch.”
“Lionel likes fine things.”
Lex glanced back at Jamie. “Yes.” He turned back. “You know, I was accepted onto the Hunt Committee.”
Bruce frowned. “Lex…”
“I know.” Lex waved a hand. “Unpleasant business. But it’s just a steppingstone.”
Comprehension dawned in Bruce’s eyes. “To your real goal: the Kryptonian Control Committee.”
Lex nodded. “Unfortunately, we’re supposed to oversee the other Hunts, too.”
“I guess if the Hunt Decrees expand, they will. Active Decrees are a small list right now. Some are so old that it’s a wonder they haven’t been taken off the books.”
“You mean like the Roma Decree?”
Lex nodded. “Back in the early 20th Century the Decree against the Roma was initiated because Europeans were complaining they were inveterate thieves, liars, and baby-stealers. All countries had their own Decrees within their own borders but once all nations united under one Government, all the Decrees became worldwide.”
“I thought the Roma were exterminated.” Bruce frowned. “Shouldn’t the Hunt be shut down and the Decree removed?”
Lex sighed. “Apparently enough Roma managed to melt away into the general population, pretending to be different ethnicities.”
“Wouldn’t DNA expose them?”
“That’s the thing. Apparently a little ‘gypsy magic’ was employed.” At Bruce’s quizzical look, Lex continued, “Some kind of concoction, passed down from generation-to-generation, masks the Romany genetic elements and keeps the authorities from finding out their secret.”
“And if they’re discovered?”
Bruce shuddered. What a nasty business!
“Good luck with this.”
“Thanks, I’ll need it.”
That evening Bruce welcomed his Family back, and they settled at the picnic table to enjoy the fireworks.
“Lex!” Bruce stood up in surprise.
Lex and Jamie walked over.
“I thought you were going back to Metropolis.”
“Changed my mind,” Lex said with a grin. “Saw Dad off. I’ll try and get a room, maybe through bribery.” He winked.
Bruce grinned. “No need. You’re staying at the Manor.”
“Thank you, my friend.”
The fireworks were magnificent, Bruce sliding his arm around Clark’s shoulders in the dark.