He is perfect on his knees, his proud head bowed until his blond hair touches his smooth stomach. He sits motionless, feigning patience or captivation. When the anticipation finally ends he leaves his quiescent state and obeys unquestioningly.

Every evening, he must say, "I have chosen this." That is his rule.

He allows his limbs to be bound; he kisses strangers and allows them to fuck him mercilessly; he accepts blows and curses as his due.

After midnight, when he is unbound, cleansed, dressed, Grantaire kisses him gently and says, "I love you."

It is all the payment Grantaire requires.

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