Putting on my friendliest smile, I knocked at the door. My boss had called me at the last minute, asking me to fill in for him at a client’s dinner. Going by the look of the place, this one was very rich and therefore important.
The door opened. I tried not to stare at the attractive shirtless man who waited for me to announce myself, but I’d never seen someone like him before. His skin was blue from his fingertips to his elbows and from mid-torso down. His waistband prevented me from seeing how much lower the beautiful shading went.
I cleared my throat. “Uh, I’m Ben Bowright. I’m expected for dinner.”
He stepped back and gestured for me to come in. “Follow me.”
He led me across a marbled foyer, through an expensively-furnished living room, and into a formal dining room. The table was set with crystal and fine china. The cut-glass chandelier laid shards of light across polished oak wood.
My host, Mark Sheldon, already seated at the head of the table, rose and stuck out a hand. We shook, and he waved me into the chair adjacent to him.
“Sorry I’m late,” I said. “Traffic was bad.”
“It’s always bad. It’s why I rarely go into town anymore. Can Moon get you something to drink?”
Sheldon pointed at the man with the blue skin. “I just acquired him.” He sipped amber liquid from a heavy tumbler. “I decided to call him Blue Moon. Get it?” Laughing, he glanced at Moon, who kept his eyes downcast.
“Didn’t he come with a name?” I asked dryly, distaste growing.
“Doesn’t matter. Once I bought him, he became mine to do with as I pleased, and I chose to gave him a new name.”
I began to understand why my boss had bowed out of this invitation at the last moment and wished I’d had the option to do the same. Blues, a mutant form of human that had shown up about thirty years ago, were bred and sold to the wealthy the world over. They were not numerous and so were very expensive and much coveted.
“Moon is a rarity, as you can see,” Sheldon said. “That skin color… so wonderfully different. Moon, drop your pants for our guest. Give him a good look.”
I held up a hand. “No need.”
“Nonsense. He won’t mind. Moon?”
Moon unbuttoned and unzipped, then shoved his pants down. His skin, including testicles and uncut cock, was blue from half a foot above his waist to his knees. There was no pubic or leg hair, and I looked at his arms. None there either. Was that natural, or had Sheldon ordered it to be removed? I felt an almost uncontrollable urge to touch him.
Our eyes met, and the depth of despair I saw in Moon’s caused a chill to go through me. Mindful this was one of my boss’s favored clients, I phrased my comment carefully. “Owning another human is considered wrong by many.” The idea was abhorrent to me, and it was difficult to keep the censure out of my voice.
“Once, long ago, it was common,” Sheldon said, rattling the ice in his glass. “Moon, more scotch.”
“And our country fought a war over it,” I couldn’t help pointing out, noting how taut Moon’s muscles were as he refilled his owner’s glass. Moon was angry and trying to hide it.
Sheldon shrugged, oblivious. “Ancient history. We treat them better now.”
He commanded Moon to serve, and dinner proceeded. I was immensely uncomfortable, to the point where I only picked at the perfectly-prepared food. Sheldon drank a lot and didn’t notice. He also touched Moon frequently, telling me over and over without words, he owned this man.
When Moon showed me to the door, I couldn’t wait to escape, but I hesitated. I wanted to know if he was okay. I wanted to ask him to come with me. But I said nothing, and neither did Moon, and then I was moving out into the humid evening, alone.
The next day, my boss stopped by to thank me for filling in for him with Sheldon. “There’s something about the man I can’t stand, but he’s largely responsible for the success of this company.”
“That’s too bad,” I said and pointed to the article on my holoscreen. I’d been catching up on the news and saw it moments before he appeared.
Mark Sheldon had been killed, and his murderer was still at large. There wasn’t the slightest doubt in my mind who’d done it. How long could a beautiful man with blue skin remain hidden in a world of spies?
That evening, there was a quiet knock at my back door. Not expecting anyone, I opened it cautiously. A man stood there, head bowed, covered neck to foot with an over-sized coat. His hands were shoved deep into its pockets.
He looked up. It was Moon. “I need help.”
I pulled him inside, and closed and locked the door.
Word count: 837
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