He was alone again; he hadn't had so many chances at solitude in years. His master was always gone now, coming back every other night or so. It was… pleasant, though this time it was only for a few hours.

Kadyn, as he had been named upon purchase, went about the calming task of drawing himself a bath. He ran his pale, elegant hand through the water idly as the golden-crusted tub filled, mind blank. It was always best to keep a blank mind, he had learned. It was much easier. The only time he might slip and actually feel were when his master developed that look. He had wept at first, whenever that happened, but over the years it had become something that was only a minor comfort. Now he almost never wept, there was simply no point.

The water reached towards the top of the tub and Kadyn turned the spigots, stopping the flow of water. Shedding his black tunic and slacks, he sat carefully in the warm water. He stung a little, still bleeding and sore as he was from his master's fervor, but it was soothing. It let him know that he was still able to feel, that if he was ever freed he might have a chance to return to who he was, to the world he had been torn from.

Touching the silver band about his throat, Kadyn felt a small bitterness. He had been collared and fastened, turned into a toy for humans to play with. He'd been tamed and made into this thing for his master, with this collar. He'd lost all his abilities, all his connections to the world he'd known; the knowledge didn't hurt him as much now, not as much as it had eight years ago. His world was cold now, had been as long as he could remember; but it hadn't been cruel until he'd been caught and fastened. He was a slave now, jaded into the being that his master had created him into. One day he might escape, but until then it was best to remain jaded.

The door opened to his bathing room and he felt the smallest amount of anger at himself. It was against the rules to lock his chamber door, but his master was gone. He should have locked it to keep out the servants and Guard. It was a stupid move, one that would surely cost him. The servant who entered was one he recognized, one who was particularly cruel. The man's eyes slid over him eagerly, and Kadyn ignored him.

"The master wishes you to warm his bed tonight. You are to be in his private chambers in half an hour, as he likes you."

Kadyn nodded absently, already letting his mind go numb. Tonight seemed as though it would be worse than others already. His master was angry, frustrated at the goings-on of his day. Kadyn knew he would bear the brunt of that frustration, as he always did.

The servant still hadn't left; he was coming closer instead, trailing a hand into the water and touching Kadyn's knee, tracing circles that ever widened.

"A demon's skin is soft as down," the man whispered.

Kadyn rose, taking up the towel and looking over his shoulder at the man. He let his disgust show through his gaze.

"The penalty for touching the master's personal slave is torture until death."

The servant's face reddened in anger, then he spun on his heel and left. Kadyn listened to the slam of the outmost door, then went about drying himself. Preparations… his master would want him in the simple black robe, oiled and ready for him. Kadyn's hands went to the back of his head, gathering his hair and twisting it into the complicated coil that his master had drilled into him. It seemed as though he would be sleeping in his master's quarters tonight… True, this meant that he would be chained to the bed, but it would keep the Guard and servants from bothering him.

Kadyn's hands froze, his hair spilling from his fingers. He had felt something, he had felt another… were they searching for him, or passing by? He felt fear then; he wanted freedom more than anything, but to let another of his kind see him, see what had become of him… Was it worth it? If another knew, all would know.

The collar tingled in warning as he instinctively reached out his magic and he tore it back quickly. It dissolved into the constant static of the fastening as though he had never made it manifest. The opening he had worked at for so long had moved, the tiny tear in the fabric of the fastening, and he didn't have the energy to find it again in order to touch his power once more. He knew that the other would have moved on quickly, being so close to a human establishment. There was nothing to gain from doing it again, and so much to lose. Kadyn did not want to feel the pain of the fastening again.

Closing his eyes, he went back to working his hair into the coil. He had to stop thinking, or tonight would be worse. Letting the cold eat at him, Kadyn fell back into the half-conscious stupor. Until he had a chance to strike, it was safest; until he could tear into his flawed master, it was easiest.