It took three more days of fear and uneasy sleep before Trellen finally found shelter in the form of a tiny island. It was barren, little more than sand and rocks rising a few feet above the water, but the shallows around it would provide a temporary haven where he could finally rest and refill his empty net. Exhaustion claimed him the instant he reached the shallows—but Trellen’s dreams continued to be filled with nightmare images of sharks and Men and monsters with tentacles.
“Do you really still fear me so much?”
“Master?” Shadows danced around Trellen, taunting him, forever out of reach. He swam toward one, only to have it retreat into the distance; he turned and swam after another, but it too vanished. He turned and tried for a third and it slipped out of his grasp. “Please, where are you? Don’t leave me alone.”
“You’re the one who left, sweet.”
Pain stabbed at his heart. “I had to! You robbed me of my freedom. What was I supposed to do? Remain your slave forever?” Forever. Could he have had forever?
A hand caressed his cheek. Trellen melted into the familiar touch.
“If I had not taken you, would you have given me a chance to seduce you honestly? Would you have allowed me to love you?”
Trellen woke, shaking and cold. Above the waves, night had fallen and when he breached the surface, he saw a storm brewing on the horizon. He ate the last clam in his net and went searching for more before it hit.
His little island didn’t provide enough for much of a meal, but he was able to scrounge a few crustaceans out of the sand and find a better shelter under a narrow rock ledge before the sea swelled and rains came crashing down on him. He cowered there in the dark, pressed back against the hard rock, while above the waves thunder crashed and lightning seared across the angry sky. All he could do was wait it out and pray the rising waves didn’t sweep him back out to sea.
Strong tentacles held him close—secure—as long smooth fingers ghosted over Trellen’s chest and stomach, making him shudder. “So good,” he murmured.
Master’s chuckle was a warm rumble in his ear. “Not half as good as it’s going to be in a few moments, my sweet. I promised I would make it up to you when I got back.” He pinched Trellen’s nipple so hard that Trellen gasped—but his cock responded, surging to life. Master grasped hold of it and Trellen bucked his hips.
“Please. Please say I can come.”
“So soon?” Master teased.
His whole body ached with need. “Please, it’s been so long.”
“I know, my sweet.” Unexpected sorrow filled Master’s voice and he pressed a soft kiss to Trellen’s temple. “I am sorry I left you. I would have brought you with me if I could. Please believe that.”
Pain swelled in Trellen’s chest at the heart-felt words. “I miss you. Freedom isn’t what I thought it would be.”
“I miss you too, sweet. So very much.”
“Please fuck me.”
Master smiled and eased himself into place.
But then wakefulness began to stake its claim. Trellen struggled against it, wanting to remain within the dream for as long as he could, because there, he was happy.
Please don’t go. Not yet. I’m not ready. Please. Master…. Trellen reached out, but Master was already gone. Come back.
He opened his eyes to find sun shining down through clear blue waves.
Trellen breached the surface and crawled out onto his little island. He hugged his tail to his chest, and gazed down at the ring Master had put on his finger. It sparkled bright blue in the sunlight. Trellen squeezed his eyes shut. Every time he dreamed, it was always the same. He felt his Master’s hands, his cock. He heard the sweet words and for a moment, Trellen was happy again. He was safe.
But then sleep left him and he was alone in the shallows of his tiny island, aching for his Master’s touch. The first few times he’d woken like that, he’d tried to satisfy himself, pumping his cock until he came, imagining Master’s mouth, his hand. His body. But no matter what images Trellen painted for himself in his mind, his orgasm felt empty. So now he masturbated only so his cock would ease back into its slit. There was no pleasure in it, no joy; it was merely a necessary chore, like foraging for food.
Was it too late to go back? Over a week had passed since he left the safe haven of Master’s home. Surely Master had returned by now and found him gone. What must he think?
Or does he even care? After all, Trellen had been nothing more than a play thing. A slave.
“I hope I please you as much as you please me.” Master’s soft, tender words echoed through his head.
“You do,” Trellen told the empty air. “I only wish I’d said it when I had the chance.”
He gazed out over the open sea. For so long, this was all he’d dreamed of. Freedom from the colony, from feeling like he would never fit in. Freedom from expectations of the Elders.
Freedom from the monster who enslaved me.
But was he truly a monster if all he did was show Trellen his own true self? Trellen didn’t know. He only knew how much he regretted leaving.
Would Master take him back if he returned now? Trellen had broken his promise. I said I would obey and instead, I fled.
Could he even find his way back if he tried? Was it worth the risk? His little island didn’t offer much—muscles and crustaceans were scarce and there were no kelp beds nearby, only clumps of tough, floating sea grass—but it was safer here than the open water.
He clenched his fists in anger at his own cowardice.
Is this what I wanted to leave the colony for? To cling to a dismal little rock in the middle of the sea? Trellen had dreamed of adventure and exploration. He’d dreamed of meeting someone who would accept him.
And I did.
With Master’s guidance, he had discovered a great many things about himself, truths that as much as he willed it, he couldn’t un-learn. I need his touch. His kiss. Goddess help me, I even need his chains.
Trellen scoured the shallows for what food he could find and set off, praying that if She hadn’t abandoned him, Kaia would guide his way home.