Something gives just behind his skin. Cartilage crackles, ruined under the impact. Copper wells around his teeth. Nero leaps down, half falling on him, clutching, scrambling for softer parts to hit. On his chest shoulders stomach, around his throat, in his mouth, every damned place. There's nowhere for Ayel to get to, not an inch for him to breathe that isn't heavy with the tang of his own blood.
Escape is for weaklings.
He gasps, can't keep from panting, squirming on lifted hips to get more weight on the bruises as his captain's fist whips back and crashes hard across the side of his face. It happens again, and again, and again. He doesn't plead--he leans into it. He stays strong. It's not more than he can take. It isn't. Stars spatter his vision; his jaw slithers out of joint and his captain's fingers coil tight around it, pressing, prodding for the soft roots of his tongue.
This is why he stays.
Nero knows how to make him scream.