At two, Julia escorted a man and a slave into John’s office. The slave was nude, handcuffed behind, and on a leash. She looked familiar: a tall, slim blonde. Then he recognized her. She was the survivor from the slave execution session that he had taken Delia to see, and the man was her owner, the one who had purchased her just before the executioners got to her. He decided not to bring it up. She looked better than that day, with some color instead of dreadful paleness. She was easy to look at. He said, “Hello. I understand that you are interested in the bookkeeping gig.” He spoke to the man, not to the slave.

“Yes. This slave is a trained accountant. I can provide an employment history and letters of recommendation.” He passed a set of photocopies across the desk.

John skimmed the papers and noted that all the employment was as a free woman. He mentioned that fact and asked how she had come to be enslaved, already knowing the answer.

“She was convicted of driving while impaired. I bought her. I was her boyfriend. The purchase contract I had to agree to mandates that she remain a slave for at least five years, under my ownership, not be allowed to drive even if the state were to permit it, be kept nude as much as possible, be forbidden to drink, and maintain employment. There are other provisions that don’t apply to employment. When I found that you were looking for a bookkeeper and that you would accept a slave, I called and asked to see you.”

“That explains why she isn’t for sale, but only for lease. If I lease her, what conditions apply? Does she stay here or commute to your place? What are the limits on punishment? Is she a general or a corporate asset slave? Must I have her work nude, even though I don’t have my slaves work nude to avoid distractions? And why should I entrust something as important as my accounting to someone who was judicially enslaved?”

The slave looked scared, and started to tear up, but didn’t speak. Good, it appeared that she had learned a little discipline.

The boyfriend answered. “I’d like her to commute, but staying here on weeknights would be acceptable, especially if the workday went late or the weather was lousy. I’ll deliver and pick her up most days. When I can’t, I’ll send her by taxi. There are limits on the work day — ten hours. I want her at my place at least for weekends. I doubt that you’ll need to punish her much, because she’s a good accountant, and she’s well aware of the consequences of bad behavior. If you must, you can apply what the state determines to be minor punishments, which gives you a lot of leeway. You may not snuff her. She’s a general slave; that was a condition of sale. She can work with clothing, but she has to travel nude, except for protection from severe weather and cold. You are free to chain her or restrain her any way you like, but it may affect her efficiency if you get too severe. She is available to you for sex, but not to anyone else on your staff, and you have to wear a condom if you penetrate her. And for the question of trust, she has never been in trouble before, she has never worked drunk, and she isn’t allowed alcohol. I’m looking into getting an alcohol sensor on the electronic collar she wears. The collar has a built-in cell phone, a GPS device, and can provide shocks. I’ll provide you the contact and control codes, but I’ll disable your control codes while she’s with me. If the alcohol sensor works out, it will shock her and have the cell phone call me if it detects any alcohol.”

“I’ll take her on a trial basis for a month. I’ll have my outside auditor check her work. I also want her available to my slaves. It makes things more interesting.”

The slave looked like she was going to object, but then jerked and remained silent. John saw that the boyfriend had his hand concealed and was looking at her with a warning look. He had given her a shock through the collar to remind her to be quiet. This could be fun.

“I’ll agree to that, but just your slaves. How many is that?”

“Right now, two. I may get one or two more.”

“That’s OK. I’ll have a contract drawn up for your review. Could we come back tomorrow about 10AM to sign it?”

“I’ll check if my lawyer can come for that. I’ll call you in the morning.”