Sierra doesn’t want to wear her collar, but Master Kade won’t brook disobedience from his naughty pet. As much as she tests him, she finds him equal to the task of taking her in hand. This excerpt is from A Short Leash.
Over the following weeks, Sierra regained much of her strength. Frequent meals, plenty of rest and an abundance of care transformed her completely. Just one month after her arrival she had put on weight, her skin was clearer, her eyes were brighter and her hair was so shiny and healthy she couldn’t help but admire it at every opportunity.
Master Kade had kept her confined indoors, something she had not minded at first for she had not had the energy to go running about anyway, but as her strength returned, so did her native curiosity and her desire to explore his compound.
“Before we go out,” he said after she begged for the umpteenth time. “You’re going to have to wear this.” He held out a thin strap of leather with a dark circle attached to the center and a fastener on one end. She knew instantly what it was, and she did not want anything to do with it.
“No more collars,” she said, shying away.
“I know you don’t want to wear one,” Kade said with some sympathy. “But I promise you will only wear it when you’re out. The moment you come home, the collar comes off.”
“No.” Sierra was not often defiant, or stubborn, but she found both traits at her disposal when confronted with the thick black band he wanted to put around her neck. She put her hands to her neck and shook her head emphatically. “No collars.”
“Don’t be naughty, Sierra,” he said, his tone cajoling. “A collar is sometimes a necessity. If you’re wearing this and you get lost, I will be able to find you.”
“You mean if I run into the wilds you’ll be able to find me,” she said, screwing up her nose. “I don’t want to wear a collar.”
“This isn’t optional,” he informed her. “And this isn’t a collar like your old owner put on you. It’s much lighter and much more comfortable. You won’t notice it once it has been on for a few minutes.”
“No!” Sierra took further refuge in refusal.
“Well in that case,” Master Kade said. “You can go to your room and you can stay there. I wanted to take you out around the compound today, but if you’re going to be a brat, I won’t bother.”
Sierra bit her lower lip. “But I want to go out.”
“Then you have a choice. Wear the collar and go out. Or go to your room until it is time to eat.”
They had just eaten, so it was not going to be time to eat for another four hours. That meant four hours of daydreaming and napping instead of going out where the plants and the wild winds were. Or maybe… maybe she could go to her room and then go out anyway. The doors of Master Kade’s home were not locked, so far she had stayed indoors only because he told her to. She had been a good, obedient little pet, but that was going to change if he insisted on putting that collar on her.
“I can practically hear you thinking, Sierra,” he said. “Go to your room and scheme there. Perhaps this afternoon you will be in a better temper.”
Sierra went to her room as he had told her. There was little point in directly defying Kade, but indirect defiance was always an option. Once in her room she dressed in the best sneaking around clothes she had. She had long ago discarded the silk clothes the citizen had provided her with and instead wore what Kade had on hand, of which there was rather a lot. She selected a green tunic and dark underwear, eschewing pants altogether. Then she opened her door, went to her belly and began crawling across the floor. In such a fashion she could move practically silently and she did so all the way down the hall and through the living room. She did not know where Kade was, but she kept an eye and an ear out for him as she went, face pressed flat to the carpet as she listened for his steps.
“OW!” Sierra screeched as a hand came down across her bottom hard. She looked up and saw Kade towering over her. How he had moved so silently was a mystery to her, but was probably just one of his hunter tricks.
“This is not your room,” Master Kade said. “Naughty girl.”