“This is where your kind belongs, y’know. It’s the only thing you are truly good for.”

For half a second he froze, hopeful and terrified all at once that he’d finally been recognized but his client just kept talking, hands threaded through his hair and curling into fists to get a better handhold to keep him moving. Kept talking like he hadn’t frozen for that half second. Which was well and good because he wasn’t supposed to be anything but a sounding board, but a warm body to fuck and abuse and use until the client was tired of it and left. The perfect partner that one could have whenever one wanted that was all of the pleasure and none of the work.

The silver collar made a muted thunk against his collarbones with each thrust into his mouth, the thick square edges catching at his skin with a soft shick shick that made him want to claw at it. But he knew better than to try.

“After all Imènians don’t do much for the Worlds besides take our resources,” he tried very hard not bite down around the flesh in his mouth hearing the disdain that fell around his client’s words like broken glass. Only the knowledge that he’d be punished severely for it kept the urge truly at bay. Only the knowledge that this Dhaoine was barely better in the eyes of the rest of the races than the Imènians he despised kept him from showing his own disdain.

“If you ask me,” oh but I wouldn’t, “we should make all your kind slaves. There’s no other good you do.”

He didn’t do anything to acknowledge the comments, just remained on his knees, mouth and throat loose, tongue moving just enough to urge the other male along. The quicker the bastard finished, the quicker he was allowed some reprieve.

“By the Feather, you’re the best lay I’ve had in ages.”

Clearly. Why else would you come back each and every time? It hurt to keep from rolling his eyes. He’d heard these lines often enough that he had them memorized and then some. Had heard every excuse in the book for why these worthless Dhaoine came to him again and again and again. Why they sought out the companionship of a noticeably unwilling slave, one that was held in a magickally locked room, who wore a collar that kept him confined to said opulent prison better than the wards woven into the walls and ceiling and floor ever could.

At least they told him things they’d never have told him if they believed him to be anything other than Imènian. It made it somewhat bearable.

But only somewhat.

“Qishir Xitlali should up your price again,” he grunted and sped up the pace. “You’ve gotten a lot better at this. By my wager, you’ve earned the pay raise.”

Bold of you to think I keep any of the money you fucks give me.

He just hummed low in his throat, wishing that he could divest the un-male of his genitals and then feed him his own spine. But he knew that his punishment for even trying wouldn’t be worth it. That even the thousands of silvers a week Micjal spent for him wouldn’t be enough to keep him alive.

Though Micjal had managed to answer one of his questions: he’d always wondered how none of the clients who came to him had realized who he really was.

One of his working theories had been that they’d been Oathed to secrecy. After all, he was the only Dhaoine in the Worlds with the scarring that marched across his body, with the hair-bells Xitlali couldn’t cut out no matter how many times she’d tried. And that wasn’t even touching on the god-Marks that were still plainly visible on his inner wrists and his chest and half finished gretluos on his right bicep. Had wondered how no one commented that the fabled Grey Qishir had fallen so low as to become a common pleasure slave.

Now he knew. The collar around his neck hadn’t just taken his magick it had taken his magickal signature, too. Taken the very thing that would have given away who he was, the one thing that no glamour, no Oath, no Bond could alter.

Nameless prevailing, how can I get out of here when no one will believe who I am?

Micjal grunted above him again, hands convulsing around the hold on his hair pulling this side of too hard, before he slammed all the way to the hilt and into his throat. He stared up at the silver-eyed Swan Shiftkin and fought to keep the hatred and disgust off his face. Fought to remember that this was temporary. That he’d escape eventually. That he just had to keep trying.

But temporary was no longer applicable after three hundred years. Not really.

Micjal stepped back and tucked himself into his breeches before tossing a bag of silvers onto the hearth table. “See you need week, nashyah.

He didn’t watch him leave, just stared at the coin bag on the table and watched the fire shadows dance around the room.

He’d always wondered if Imènians had something equivalent to a Dhaoine’s magickal signature, had always wondered if they, like their Laeden and Dhaoinic cousins, had a distinctness to them that told them apart from their fellows. Now he knew they didn’t.

The knowledge was far more demoralizing than he had expected it to be.

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