Bo ran her hands over the collar. It was, frankly, beautiful. Glittering garnets adorned the thick black leather, swirling in patterns of some ancient Fae aesthetic. Light tinkling came from two small bells on either side of a large metal ring on the front. Dangling from the ring was a silver tag, declaring in a fancy Fae script: KENZI.
Bo felt sick. She set the collar back down in the box Ryan used to send it to her. It was an apology for that whole Niagara kerfuffle. A collar. For her pet.
She sat down on the bed and stretched out. She'd been expecting something sexy. Maybe an outfit or a toy. Instead, he sent her this!
"Fuck you, you fucking Dark Fae," she muttered through clenched teeth. This was why it was a problem to sleep with the enemy!
She would have to get rid of it at once. She would toss it in the dumpster, under a mountain of trash. She sat up and grabbed the collar, but as she examined the extravagant item, she began to reconsider. It felt crude beyond measure to simply trash something this pretty, even a…
She held up the collar. Though its purpose was… disturbing, Ryan didn't mean it as an insult. He just didn't understand how to treat humans. And it wasn't just because he was Dark. While the Dark Fae were quick to snack on humans, most Fae, whether Light or Dark, considered them pets at best. Hell, she should probably be pleased he didn't send her To Serve Man.
The collar was a gift, plain and simple. It was jewelry given to a pretty girl. This was purchased specifically for her, for her pet. He would have put in the effort to determine what it was Bo cared about and thought about her affection for Kenzi. It was really quite sweet, in the twisted way only the Fae could manage.
No, she wouldn't toss it. She would give it back in person. She would do so nicely and explain to him why humans were not to be considered either lunch or pets, but actual people.
When she thought about it, the opposition to slavery must seem quite strange and radical to Fae. Even humans couldn't ban slavery on a societal level until about two hundred years ago. Fae measured their lifespans in millennia.
More than that, Fae were at the top of the food chain. They had abilities and ancient culture entirely superior to humans. To them, humans were just animals, and it made perfect sense of creatures so powerful to view humans as pets…
It made sense, but it wasn't right. She had lived as a human for years, thought of herself as one, and she understood that humans and Fae were equal in their hearts, where it counted. Kenzi was wonderful, so full of life, and playful, and loyal, and cute, and lovable. She was a touch annoying at times, but fun to live with. So what if she wasn't strong, powerful, long-living, or at the top of the food chain?
She ran her thumb over her friend's name. Kenzi would look cute in it. There were a number of outfits it would go with. It wasn't like she never wore Gothic or kinky outfits. For a brief moment, she considered giving it to Kenzi and just suggesting she wear it if she wants.
"God, no," she hissed at herself. What was she thinking? This collar… All it meant was that Kenzi was her pet. She didn't think of Kenzi as a pet! Even if she was technically superior as a succubus, she wasn't superior as a succubus!
Spinning around quickly, Bo stashed the collar under her pillow. "Hey, Kenzi!"
She stood up and walked toward her friend to draw her attention away from where she ditched the offensive item. "New outfit?"
Kenzi scrunched up her face in confusion. "Not since last week." She ran a hand over her black top. "You didn't notice?"
"No, no, I noticed," she said. "It's just, uh, I've been kind of busy."
"Trying to bang everyone in Toronto?" Kenzi offered with a wink. "Hey, speaking of, do you want to go out tonight? We could hit the club scene."
"Sounds great," she said easily. It would be a good way to get her mind off of… that. She could even use her pheromones to give Kenzi a pickup advantage. Not that Kenzi needed help, but she would feel better with herself if she could give her friend a night of great sex.
A sudden buzzing sound broke her out of her thoughts. She looked over at her nightstand for the errant vibrator and saw the glimmer of an improperly concealed collar. Shit.
"It's a trick," Kenzi said.
"What?" she yelped, turning to see her holding her mobile phone, vibrating as it rang.
"It's Trick," Kenzi repeated. She held out the phone.
Accepting it, Bo tried to calm her nerves. She didn't do anything wrong. She answered, "Hey, Trick."
She listened as Trick told her about the string of burglaries suspected to be the work of a Fae in possession of a ring of invisibility, and how said artifact would be much better off in the Blood King's possession. "I'm on it."
She hung up. "Sorry, Kenz. Trick's got a favor he needs me to do. Guess you'll have to take a raincheck on the two-for-one clubbing."
"Hey, no problem," Kenzi said, making a "Pfft" sound. "I loves me some Trickster. You do your thing, Bo. I'll hold the fort."
"Well, don't let my thing ruin your night," she encouraged. "You should go out, get some drinks, and pick up some guy…"
"Maybe I'll hit the Dal," Kenzi mused. "Free booze, you know?"
"Great," she said. "Have fun."
Hopefully, Kenzi would leave without ever realizing Bo had a collar that was built for her. She could hide it more properly later on and then give the fucking thing back. She headed for the door.
As Bo was about to pass Kenzi, she paused. On a sudden whim, she leaned over and kissed Kenzi's forehead.
Kenzi jumped slightly. "Bo, what…?"
"You're a good friend, Kenzi," she said. "My best friend. I really appreciate you, and I just need to know you know that."
Kenzi nodded. "Oh, I know that." She smirked in a goofy way, "I just have that effect on people…"
She snorted. "See you later, Kenz," she said, giving her friend a pat on the head.
Grabbing a sword, she headed out. She had to stay positive. Their friendship would remain intact. Kenzi would go to the Dal and never, ever see the collar.
Kenzi waited until Bo left. When she was sure the succubus had left the building, she made a beeline for Bo's bed. It was clear that Bo was trying to hide something from her, and that just wouldn't do!
She pulled away Bo's pillow and looked inquisitively at the object sitting below it. It took her a moment to realize what it was: a collar. No less, it was a kinky-type collar meant for the neck of a person.
"Wow," she muttered under her breath. She knew Bo was all kinds of kinky, but she never imagined she'd get a collar for someone.
She picked it up to examine it closer. Soft bells chimed as she moved it, which struck her as weirdly cute. She ran her fingers over the intricate patterns made from what seemed to be real jewels. Yes, it was bizarrely pretty.
She wondered who it was for. She imagined Bo getting it for Dyson, pictured the walking beefcake in the jeweled collar. While it made sense to have a dog-like guy (wolves were dog-like enough) in a collar, this collar was far too girly for someone like him.
It made more sense that Bo got it for Lauren. She imagined the doctor in the collar, perhaps kneeling next to Bo, and smiled at the thought. Though girls weren't exactly her thing, she liked the idea of the rather cold and rude Lauren being taken down a few pegs. In her fantasy, the doctor looked up at Bo, uncertain, while Bo smiled down at her warmly.
Of course, there was a third possibility: that this collar was actually for Bo. She imagined the succubus in the collar, kneeling before Lauren and looking up at her with lust while the doctor just patted her head. Frowning, Kenzi shuffled through the possible partners, imagining the dominant role occupied by Dyson and Ryan, even Hale and a handful of one night standers (succupussy got around!), but she couldn't decide on anyone she liked in that role.
She turned the collar over in her hands, listening to it jingle. She examined the bells on the front, small but effective. She cupped the tag dangling beneath the collar and bent to read it.
"Oh my fucking God."
She sat down hard.
She couldn't believe it. Her neck felt weird. She rubbed it absentmindedly as she gaped at the collar.
Bo got it for her. Bo wanted her to wear… this…
She swallowed. Why…? How…? Why in the world would Bo think this was a good idea? She could see it happening with Lauren because she and Bo were actually having sex on a regular basis. How could Bo think her relationship with Kenzi would allow Kenzi being collared?
Memories came of Fae of all sorts calling her a pet, Bo's property, asking her where her owner was, what it felt like to be a pet. The Fae thought of her as a pet, a slave. Well, most Fae. She thought Bo considered her a person like her. It seemed like she was wrong.
"I'm not a pet," she said to the empty room. "I'm not."
And yet she held a collar with her name on it.