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The boy turned, scooping his hair to one side. “I imagine your Masters will be here to collect you soon.” 
Jim flushed. Why wasn’t he running? “No man is my master.” Jim defied. 
The boy smiled, something sad in his eyes. “These are not mere men, Human.” He takes a strip of cloth from the bathside and ties his hair back. “I hope you will forgive my nakedness.” He said, levering himself out to wrap up in his robe again, “But you have come upon me in the bath.” Good god, this Vulcan is lovely, tucking his robe close against his dripping skin. Some ghost of shyness. 
Jim backs up a step and the boy raises his hands. 
 
"Come in," he offers, "Drink and wash away as much of your scent as you can or the le-matya will have you before the slavers." 
Jim steps into the bathhouse, turning to the shallow bowl against the wall. The water is clear and cool and Jim tries so hard not to over fill his belly. “What is it to you?” he gasps, rising from the bowl, wiping at his face with the back of his arm. 
The Vulcan hands him a soft cloth and gestures that he wash. “I disagree with slavery.” He says simply, “You may not be Vulcan, but you are a sentient being. You deserve your freedom.” The boy spreads out a towel on the floor and turns to Jim. “Remain here and finish washing. I will bring you a few provisions.” Jim nods and trickles water down his neck. 
The boy leaves and Jim downs as much water as he can bear and bolts for the back wall. Jim is desperate, but not desperate enough to wait for that man to come back with friends to get him caught. Climbing the wall is harder with a belly full of water, but Jim manages, straddling the top just long enough to glance around. 
Not five hundred yards from where he sits, four slavers stand, searching the crevice he had not long ago occupied. One turned to glance about and froze, dark eyes no doubt locked on Jim. He shouts, drawing the attention of the other three and Jim lurches back. He falls six feet to the garden’s sandy floor. 
"Wake now, human." The Vulcan was shaking Jim’s shoulder, pushing back his sweat slick hair, "You must wake, human. The slavers are at the door. Oh, human, awaken!" Jim blinked, finding dark doe eyes over him. "The slavers say they saw you on the wall. If you don’t want to go back with them, you must listen to me." 
Jim nodded, dazed. 
"Get up and do as I say. Do not question me." He heaves Jim up by one arm and steers him to the bath house. "You will stay in the bath until I call you. When I call you, you will pull on a robe and join me. You will refer to me as Master and you will not defy me, do you understand?" 
Jim tries to jerk away. “You are not my-“ 
"I know that!" The boy hissed, shaking Jim hard. (God he was so much stronger than he looked.) "But you will do this or those slavers will whip you bloody and walk you back to the camp." 
"And stay here with you instead?" Jim knew he couldn’t fight this man, but trading one form of slavery for another was not his plan, "Such a gracious Master!" 
The Vulcan hisses, enraged. “Ungrateful slave!” He growls, “I’ll beat you senseless!” Jim struggles, pulling back. “Get in the bath!” The Vulcan shoves him hard, tripping over the towel still on the floor. 
Jim falls back, throwing a wave of water over the edge on impact. When he rises, gasping and gagging on half swallowed gulps, the Vulcan is standing at the edge. He’s… If Jim weren’t so terrified, he might be beautiful. He’s flushed with anger, robe loose with Jim’s struggles. 
"You have quite a spirited dog, Lord Spock." 
Whirling, Jim pales. 
Two of the slavers stand in the door way. 
"He will be made obedient soon enough." The Vulcan called Spock turns to them, drawing his robe tighter around him. 
"We lost a slave not long ago." One says, crossing both arms over his chest, "A fair haired beauty much like yours." 
Spock turns to Jim and throws a towel at his head. “Dry yourself and return to my quarters. I will deal with you when I am finished speaking with my guests.” 
Jim bundles up the towel, prepared to throw it back in a rage. But Spock is gone. The slavers with him. Jim hurls the wadded up towel at the door they passed through and realizes with the motion how much he aches. His shoulders hurt and the multitude of shallow scrapes down his back burn in the lukewarm water. 
He’s hurt. 
Jim’s hurt and the Vulcan called Spock just whisked the slavers away to convince them that Jim is not the runaway they seek. He’s going to convince the slavers that Jim belongs to him. The same Vulcan that offered provisions that Jim had so foolishly reject. The same Vulcan that had let him drink and wash and was prepared to let him run because he didn’t agree with slavery. 
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