Ghalib’s Decision, Part 2
Poor, poor, Ghalib. I feel so sorry for him. (No, really, I do! For now… 😉 )
Ghalib spit it out before he could change his mind. “Important to someone.”
Teman glanced over his shoulder and raised an eyebrow. “I can see that.”
Ghalib frowned. “Qadi Adel finally convinced me to tell him what has been on my mind, but I couldn’t tell him that part.” He paused and scowled. “He does not behave like most of the nobility. He confuses me.”
“That’s because he’s not like most of the nobility,” Teman replied, shaking his head.
“He asked me about apprenticing, about all manner of things but, Teman…”
“Yes, I know. You are a bit old for that.” He turned around and Ghalib saw the frown. “That still does not explain the comment you made earlier. What did you mean about doing something similar? Surely you don’t wish to go to the dungeons!”
Ghalib quickly shook his head. He’d hoped Teman would let that go, but he should have guessed. Teman was sharp, picked up on way too much. “Oh, no. No, uh…” he paused feeling his cheeks heat. He couldn’t look at Teman’s face and focused instead on washing neck, chest and arms.
Ghalib sighed. “I would hope to be given the choice.” His face felt hot and he couldn’t look up for anything.
“I see.” Teman’s voice was neutral and this, more than anything, dragged Ghalib’s gaze up. He frowned at the expression on Teman’s face, then he realized the problem. Teman chose to come back to the palace after being given his freedom, but Ghalib suspected, as did a few others, that if Teman truly wanted to leave, Bathasar wouldn’t stop him. So, in essence, he could still choose freedom.
But as a Gypsy, he’d never truly choose slavery.
Ghalib swallowed, dropping his eyes again. “I… please, forget I said anything. I wouldn’t really, I couldn’t, I mean…”
Teman put a hand on his arm again. “Ghalib, I’m sorry. It is not for me to judge you. You were not raised with the same values I was.”
Ghalib shook his head. “No, it was wrong of me to suggest it, I—”
“Ghalib stop.” He reached up and tilted Ghalib’s chin until Ghalib was forced to look at him. “The fault is mine. I shouldn’t have reacted like that.” He paused to tilt his head. “What is it that makes you want that?”
Ghalib looked away and picked up the soap for something to focus on. “You seem… compared to what I can be, you seem… freer. You once told me that people can do a lot of things they don’t think they can.” He frowned. “When I’d said I didn’t think I could be a slave. But… I feel…”
“Trapped?” Teman asked.
Ghalib looked up and nodded. “Yes.”
“Do you remember what I told you that we give up as slaves?”
Ghalib nodded again. “Yes. You have no control over your bodies in some things.” He nodded his head, indicating Teman’s still-hard cock. “Your conditioning, your training.”
“I can not, and I doubt I will ever be able to, give myself an orgasm.”
Ghalib nodded. “I’d heard something like that.”
“As a pleasure slave, you have no control over who you can be with. If you are requested by a mistress—a woman, you must please her.” He frowned. “Though, Cyrus and Nadir are trying to learn the preferences of the nobility and slaves and match them accordingly.” He looked up again. “Are you saying you want to be a pleasure slave?”
Ghalib smiled sadly. “I’m not even sure I’m pretty enough to be one.” He looked up, eyes widening as soon as it came out. “I don’t mean… It was not meant…” he dropped his face into his hands. “I believe I should use this bar on my tongue.
Teman laughed and touched Ghalib’s shoulder. “First off, I am not offended by ‘pretty.’ I don’t think of myself that way, but that’s fine. Second, you are a very good-looking young man, Ghalib. And I am quite sure that you would find yourself requested quite often.”
Ghalib looked up. “You think so?”
“Yes.” Teman nodded. “But…” He paused and looked Ghalib over for a long moment. He shook his head. “There must be something else you are good at?”
Ghalib chuckled. “The only thing I am good at is taking care of people.”
Teman’s eyes narrowed briefly. “I think I understand.”
Ghalib raised his eyebrows. “What do you understand?”
“Something I don’t think you do yet. Hurry, finish bathing me. There is someone you should talk to.”
Ghalib looked in puzzlement at Teman for a long moment, but found out quickly Teman wasn’t giving any more information, so he turned his attention to finishing the bath then brushing hair and arranging clothes.
When Teman was once more caged and dressed and Ghalib’s shoes were back on, he took Ghalib’s hand. “Come with me.”
Ghalib, confused, did as he was bid and in very short order, found himself climbing the steps of the tower to the slaves’ wing. By the time they stood in front of the third door in the hall, he was thoroughly baffled. “Teman? Why are we here?”
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