Seventeen year old Mahree Bennett glanced around in the dim, flickering light of the pawn shop cellar. Despite the fact that no possible ‘clients’, as Mahree heard the shopkeeper referred to them, examined her or the others like her she periodically caught sight of, Mahree stayed on high alert. Or as high alert as she could, considering the strain it put on her hazel eyes. She heard a myriad of noises and conversing from the floor above, and...what if someone asked the shopkeeper for what he kept hidden? Mahree was pretty sure she hadn’t been there a week, but it seemed obvious to her that the shopkeeper saw something he liked. If the constant calls, periodic grabs, and continuous attempts to show her off to ‘clients’ meant anything. Even while the shopkeeper stayed away, Mahree kept herself as far from the front of her cage as she could, quite literally flush against the bars at the back wall. Her long dark brown hair still sat in the same braid she’d worn when brought here, although it lay a bit more messy over her right shoulder. Her head gently swiveled from side to side, hazel eyes blinking as she examined the various other men and women--most older than her, and, she noticed with horror, some far younger--in their own cages. But no one was there to buy, and, as vigilant as Mahree kept herself, for that she was grateful. Mahree tried to reach up and push a brown bang out of her eyes, only to wince and hiss in pain at the painful stab the motion sent through her arm. Looking down, she remembered too late that her wrists were bound. The bindings did nothing--that injection the shopkeeper had used, Mahree thought, was what kept her from doing those things she...didn’t really understand anyway. Mahree thought the bindings, along with the uncomfortably revealing green set the shopkeeper had forced her into when she’d come, an attempt to present her sexually. And an unsettled and downright frightened feeling overcame her as she thought about that suspicion. Given the situation, she would much rather be bought--Mahree grimaced at the thought of being purchased--by someone who needed a cleaning person or...something equally as harmless than by someone stimulated by seeing a young girl--a child, technically, even if she had the body of a woman--bound while in a cage. The entire situation terrified her. And she wanted to badly to curl up in a ball and cry. She had spent a significant amount of time doing so already, in fact, and some dried tears slightly painted her cheeks, streaking the sultry makeup she had been forced to apply. She wanted to cry again, but crying would only draw more attention to her, and she couldn’t have that. Mahree had to stay as unnoticed as possible, if she were to make it through. She would do her best to act much older and mature than she thought she, as a seventeen year old, should have to given the fact that she was to be sold. She had no other choice. The door to the cellar opened, and a man in a suit followed behind the seedy shopkeeper. The suit appeared no older than thirty-five, with generic, unmemorable features. And his quick purchase of her made it obvious that he had known what he was looking for. The shopkeeper and the suit disappeared once more, presumably to complete the transaction, and then Mahree was removed from the cage. The suit unbound her hands--he seemed to know that she wouldn’t have the courage nor the strength to legitimately try to fight back or run--and Mahree started shivering slightly, the blood and feeling rushing back to her hands. She undid the braid holding her hair back, it cascading messily over one side of her head. Mahree cautiously stuck one arm and then the other through the sleeves of a coat the shopkeeper draped over her shoulders, blinking heavily as his hands skimmed over her collarbone. “You can take it out through the back,” the shopkeeper told the suit, handing the man a compact burlap sack that seemed full of...something. Mahree quickly tied the coat tightly around herself. “One a day’ll keep it from fucking around with whatever it can do. Great doing business with your guy again.” And the suit pulled Mahree, who now tried to slightly pull out of the suits’ firm grip before complying as she realized that that wasn’t going to happen, to a black limousine discreetly parked in an alleyway behind the shop. He stowed her in the back, saying no words to her and answering no questions as he drove her. And as they drove up to a mansion, he looked back to her through the rear-view mirror, sighing very lightly before putting the limousine into park. He took her arm once more, leading her up the pavement, to the front door, and inside the mansion to her new master.