Free Fiction Friday: Growth, Part 26: Training Begins

freefictionfridayavatarWelcome to my very first post for Free Fiction Friday! Many of you will recognize the story I’ll be posting. Growth started back with the Wednesday Briefers and I have picked it back up for our Free Fiction Friday. I do hope you enjoy it!!

Growth, part 1 ~ Growth, part 25

growth

Ghalib turned back to see both Cyrus and Nadir watching him. He hadn’t heard Cyrus return, but he guessed he’d been too preoccupied with his own reflection. Nadir was wearing his tunic and pants again, as well. He considered their expressions for a moment. It could have been his imagination, of course, but he was almost sure he saw a spark of approval in their eyes. Whether he was seeing something or it was really there didn’t seem to matter because that same feeling he’d gotten earlier from Cyrus came back. He liked knowing they were pleased.

“So, have you eaten, Ghalib?” Cyrus asked as he and Nadir stepped closer.

Ghalib had been trying to ignore that very issue for a while, now. He didn’t want to inconvenience anyone and it certainly looked like they’d all already had their meals. He opened his mouth to tell them he had, but his stomach chose that precise moment to growl, givng his answer for him. He blushed. “Uh… No, I haven’t. It’s okay, though, I—”

“It certainly isn’t,” Nadir said, shaking his head. “You need plenty to keep you going. The training isn’t… hard, necessarily, but it does take energy.” He smiled to soften his words and took Ghalib’s hand. “We haven’t eaten, either. We’re used to putting it off, but I think it might be a good idea to stop now and have something, don’t you, Cyrus?”

Cyrus nodded. “Yes, indeed it is.” He turned to Teman. “Want to join us?”

“I’d love to, but I should probably get back to Bathasar before he thinks you’ve kidnapped me.” Teman picked up his tunic and pulled it on, buttoning it quickly.

Ghalib raised his eyebrows but they just laughed. “Don’t want to leave him alone too long. He’ll get bored,” Nadir said.

Teman grinned, tugging his pants on and shaking his head. “Can’t have a bored malik.”

Ghalib tried to step back when Teman leaned in and kissed Nadir, but Nadir wouldn’t let go of his hand. Teman shared a kiss next with Cyrus—and Ghalib squirmed a little as he watched, his cock twitching. The squirming got worse when Teman turned to him and dropped another kiss on his cheek then hugged him. “You’re going to do beautifully,” he whispered into Ghalib’s ear.

“Thank you.” Ghalib whispered returning the hug one-armed. “I… I hope so.”

“You will.” Teman stepped back. Then with a “Night!” and a wave, he left.

Leaving Ghalib alone with his new… masters.

He glanced over at the other two, realizing Nadir still held his hand. “So,” Nadir said, squeezing his hand, then letting go. “Let’s get something to eat.”

Cyrus opened the door, but when Ghalib hesitated, held a hand out. “Go ahead.”

He followed Nadir into the hall and turned, expecting to go down to the common room. But instead, Nadir crossed over to one of the doors they’d passed up earlier. “Cyrus, should I request…?”

When they stepped through the door, Ghalib saw a table with four chairs and the reason for Nadir’s interruption. In the center of the table a large platter of couscous, vegetables and a dark meat that Ghalib thought was probably lamb sat steaming.

“Have a seat, Ghalib.” Cyrus’s voice came from close behind Ghalib and had that ring of command to it he’d heard earlier, the one that made him want to obey.

As he moved towards a chair, he bought himself time so he could be the last to sit by glancing around curiously at the rest of the room. There were silks draped next to a window covered, like the rest, to block out the storm. One either side of it, two sets of shelves stood with books and other items Ghalib didn’t want to examine too closely. A lit fireplace provided warmth and had several cushions piled in front of it for seating. To his left, a door opened into another smallish room and Ghalib could barely make out the shape of a bed through the doorway.

When the other two had taken seats, Ghalib finally sat. But before he could come up with any more delaying tactics so his masters ate first, Nadir solved his reticence by putting a plate in front of him full of food. “Eat,” he ordered Ghalib.

Caught between following an order and protocol—though he wasn’t entirely sure what the exact protocol was for dealing with former slaves turned masters—he dropped his gaze to his plate, frowning. However, when he couldn’t figure out what took higher priority, he took a chance that following orders counted more and picked up a piece of meat.

“There, that’s not so hard, is it?” Cyrus asked.

Ghalib blushed but didn’t speak, grateful he was too busy chewing. He settled for a slight shake of his head.

“I do believe he’s a bit worried about eating with us. Am I right, Ghalib?” Nadir asked gently.

Ghalib, still chewing, nodded.

“Just to make it clear, you are not the first slave who’s joined us here. Bahi, Zayd and Khalida have all eaten with us here when they were left behind for an evening. We spend our time with who we choose.”

Ghalib blinked at Cyrus who nodded. Finally forcing himself to swallow, he said, “You… are unlike any other master I’ve heard about. Or known.”

Cyrus grinned. “Good. I’d hate to be typical.”

“Cyrus!” Nadir laughed.

The grin just widened. “It’s true. Am I typical, my love?”

“Hardly. But you never have been.” Nadir shook his head and popped an olive into his mouth.

“Exactly. I’m not about to start now, am I? Really, Ghalib. I know things are confusing for you but do try to relax and enjoy the meal. It’s different, I know, to get used to being on this side of things. But it is important, too. As you’ll see in the morning, there are servants who work here in the slaves’ wing. They bring fresh bathwater, provide towels and wash basins for morning clean up, clean the wing and bring the food for us. Among other things.”

“I… can’t say I’ve ever been waited on like that,” Ghalib mumbled.

“It’s another thing to get used to,” Nadir agreed. “I had trouble with it when we first came here. I kept expecting to be the one to get my own food or serve someone else.”

Cyrus chuckled. “Even I had a bit of trouble with that. But it’s one of the easier things to get used to, I think.”

Nadir nodded. “Indeed. Now, eat up, Ghalib. You’ll want your strength. Tonight won’t be very difficult, but it never hurts to eat a good meal.”

* * *

Make sure to check out the rest of the stories from Free Fiction Friday!

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