Addergoole
Interlude: Conrad

“The team of mixed cy’rees will consist of Kailani cy’Regina, Wren cy’Maureen, Nydia cy’DJ, Taro cy’Akatil, Caity cy’Akatil and Renata cy’Akatil.” Kaia had been sitting straight up in her chair since Regine started talking; when the Director listed off her team, she grabbed excitedly for Taro’s arm. “Come on,” she demanded, “let’s go find everyone.”

She barely stopped to hug Conrad one-armed and a little uncertainly. “I’ll see you back at the suite later?”

“Yeah, okay,” he nodded. At least she was excited. He was pretty sure cy’Luca didn’t stand a chance; sure, Tolly was pretty booksmart and would probably be their captain, and Alexander was kind of a math geek, but for the most part they weren’t brainiacs.

That got him a clearly worried look. “Oh! I wanted to ask you about something Jamian said in the locker room.. maybe later tonight?”

“Jamian? Sure...” Jamian, in the locker room? Conrad wasn’t at all sure he approved of that. Well, okay, he was probably in his girl form at the time, but that didn’t make it any different. He still thought like a guy.

“Thanks!” She hugged him again, and then, tugging Taro along like a balloon on a string, went off in search of the rest of her team.

Conrad walked away in the other direction. Maybe he should talk to some of the guys, at least make a go at it.

“Did your girl scout get sick of you already? Or did you finally get tired of her and make her let you go?” He hadn’t seen Sima come up to him, and now she had her hand on his chest. A quick glance around showed that they were essentially alone now. Wonderful. Of course, Sima wouldn’t actually resort to physical force with him... right?

“No, I’m still with Kailani.”

“No collar.” Her hand slid up his chest to his bare throat. “You might still be with her, but do you still Belong to her?”

“Yes. Yes, I do.”

“She’s not keeping a very good hold on you then. I thought we’d been teaching her better than that.” Her hands weren’t wandering off of him. “I think that makes you fair game.”

Oh, shit. This was the last thing he needed now.

“No, it doesn’t. You can’t have me, Sima, and I don’t want to play with you.”

“Aaw, what’s the girl scout gonna do, tear down our door and come get you?” She wrapped both of her hands around his throat.

Shit, she was serious this time. He did his best to remain calm. “If she has to, Luke will help. And you still won’t get what you want from me. Hands off, Sima.”

She moved her hands slowly back down to his chest. “You know I’ll get it one way or another. Why not save all of us some trouble and come willingly? I’ll send you back to your little Fifthie in one piece… if you still want to go.”

“No disrespect to your skills, but I’m not cheating on Kai. Do I have to change your mind?”

She chuckled. “It’s not my mind that needs changing. Come on, Conrad, don’t be naïve. No-one would fault me if I dragged you back to my suite tonight.” She grabbed his ponytail in one hand and his belt in the other. “She’s already getting sick of you, isn’t she? She might welcome me taking you off of her hands. I mean… she took the collar off, didn’t she?”

“There were extenuating circumstances...” God, that sounded weak. He couldn’t sound weak to her, she might actually do it. “I mean it, Sima, let me go or I’ll make you.”

And that got a laugh from her, a deep throaty sound of angry amusement. “Conrad, there isn’t a man in this school that’s been able to make me do anything since my first Hell Night here. Come on, I’m going to show you.” She pulled impatiently with both hands.

This was it, then. Hopefully he’d guessed right what he needed to do. “Aistrigh hugr Massima cy’Doug,” he began, but the bitch slapped one hand over his mouth and wrapped the other one around his throat before he could finish.

“None of that,” she snarled cheerfully.

Oh, fuck. He couldn’t take her in a fair fight, not by a long shot, and she wouldn’t fight fair anyway.

“Hey, Conrad.” Tolly’s voice boomed cautiously from behind him, and Sima, hissing and spitting, released him. “About this cy’ree challenge thing… oh, hi, Massima.”

“Tolly,” he said with evident relief. “Yeah, you’re just the man I was looking for.” Big and strong and intimidating, and much as he hated him at the moment, he was cy’Luca.

“Later, Conrad,” Massima purred angrily, stalking off.

They were safe, for now, but one thing was for certain: he needed to get another collar.

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