Photo in the public domain by Jack Kurzenknabe
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Wolf Slave 12 – Alex Ankarr
Penn doesn’t see Ree – he doesn’t see his new master for another three days. He doesn’t enquire much, either. He knows better: and anyway, for a brief period, he’s a little heartsick over it. His life seems all loss and parting, sometimes: and this is just another incidence of it to add to the list. He could have done without it.
He does ask a little, can’t help himself. The master is not such a bad sort, he hears. A little temperamental, but not unfair. Not exploitative, capable of a thank you which is more than you can say of some. Does not get along well with all of the pack, and has to rule them with a harsher hand as a result of it. Unmated, with his dowager mother attempting, now and then, to get him paired off. At twenty-eight, a little old to still be a solo Alpha.
Penn ceases asking. He decides that the discrepancy is too great, the cognitive dissonance will only fracture his brain if he persists in pursuing the attempt to reconcile the old Ree with the present day Renally Hotstaat. They are two different people, he eventually decides: even if they have occupied the same body in terms of continuous occupation of space and time. There is no point in acting as if it is not the case: it will do him no service to remember his old playmate too well.
On the third day, a runner from the kitchen is sent to require Penn’s services, and he’s to be sent up to the master’s dressing room. It’s fair early in the day, and somehow that’s enough to arrest all the salacious and half-alarmed musings that float through his brain, based on sudden summonses to a master’s quarters. Brutal seduction, demands for sexual services, they hardly seem likely at ten in the morning with the scent of coffee wafting through from the kitchens.
So it proves, when he knocks on the door of the master bedroom and Hotstaat’s manservant allows him access. ‘Penn,’ Hotstaat greets him abstractedly, adjusting the top button on his shirt, smoothing his dark hair a little. ‘Good morning. I wanted you to accompany me on a ride around the estate: I need to assess the fences and boundaries for damage, wear and break-ins.’ It’s a moment before he casts a look Penn’s way, and a frown creases his brow. ‘Damn. I meant for you to be appropriately dressed, but – well, you’ll do well enough. I’ll remember to let my man know in time next time, he’ll find something for you.’ Himself, he’s wearing riding gear, jodhpurs and boots and a whip. It’s gleaming and dazzling and repellently perfect, the end result. Money and power and perfect ease, what a life a wolf leads.
© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2013 All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.