Exclusive Excerpt from Sweating Lies
by Emma Jaye
Jiao frowned. “Why are you bothering to tell me all this? I don’t suppose you have coffee and chat about your business with all the people you enslave.”
A crease appeared between Vladimir’s eyebrows. “The devshirme is a time-honored, almost sacred tradition, around three centuries older than your country. We recruit unsung talent, people rejected by modern society, and we give them something to belong to, to believe in, where they are wanted and appreciated for who they can be. But you are correct. I won’t be drinking coffee with the other acemi unless they are serving it naked while on their knees and begging to please me in any way I desire.”
Jiao took another bite of the quite magnificent pastry. “Acemi is such a fancy title. I think Kaspar got nearer the truth when he called Giallo a hole.”
Vladimir’s nose wrinkled, and Jiao wished he’d kept his mouth shut. Had he just condemned Kaspar to more pain?
“Tabor pages are so much more than that. They are the best trained, most accomplished, loyal, and dependable male servants on the planet. And Kaspar is the most accomplished among them. He can quote Wordsworth or Shakespeare while being fucked if his partner wishes it. He can also dance, sing, perform a tumbling routine, play a variety of instruments, hold an informed discussion on world economics or global warming, and is an accomplished chess player. He also has a talent for massage and observing body language. It’s a shame he has certain… attention issues, although thankfully they don’t often interfere with his most outstanding talent, giving head. Simply magnificent.” His eyes refocused on Jiao.
“I take unwanted, often incredibly vulgar, lumps of human clay like yourself, and turn them into elegant, accomplished masterpieces of obedience. The second brand is a quality mark that all acemi come to strive for, although not all reach it.”
The haze of fanaticism in Vladimir’s eyes sent a shiver up Jiao’s spine. “You won’t be able to do that to me.”
A slow smile spread Vladimir’s lips. “You have no idea how often I’ve heard that. It’s almost as if you all read the same script.”