The mention of a leash put visible tension in the young wolf's shoulders. He was still learning how to control all the minor ticks and twitches that gave him away.
But at least for now he had the sense to keep his jaw tightly clenched while she circled him. Reminding himself he had to tolerate this for Alice... Maybe daring to hope that if he cooperated well enough maybe Liz wouldn't force her to come here again.
Seth caught the object reflexively and looked down at it. He could already feel the heat rising as he fought silently with himself until an impatient sound prodded him into moving. He swallowed thickly, setting his jaw as if it might keep some of the humiliation at bay as he finally obeyed.
Somehow being forced to snap it in place himself was worse than having it forced on.
Even if Seth had taken any time at all to consider what he'd been getting into, it probably wouldn't have been this. Of course he'd reacted aggressively when one of her dolls had produced a collar and tried to get it around his neck.
"You don't really expect me to wear that?" Seth protested.
"Wait, I thought-"
But Liz slammed the door shut before he could say anything further. The first of what would likely be many harsh lessons in learning how to negotiate with the vampire. Seth's mistake this time was failing to specify himself as a replacement. His stomach sank as the driver pulled out, and he realized that he'd effectively jumped off the boat to save Alice and only succeeded in drowning them both by forgetting to lower the ladder first.
He looked out the window anxiously as the drive to the mansion began.
For a moment Red's composure started to slip, the frustration and pressure of being subservient to the vampire starting to reach a tilting point the more she manipulated the children. He ground his teeth sharply, the sound almost audible as Red glowered at the vampire.
For a brief moment Seth made eye contact with his dad as he was pulled off. Red only glared at him and shook his head once before they were out the door.
"What are we doing?" Seth frowned.
Seth shifted as he gaze fixed back on him. He side eyed his parents, looking for some sign of what to do - he caught the edge in her tone but he wanted to escape.
He missed the days when Elizabeth hadn't paid too much attention to him.
"I mean... It's kinda drawing attention," Seth answered, making an attempt at not giving a definitive answer either way.
"Yeah," Seth cocked his head slightly as he looked at the boy on the ground. He looked annoyed that their fun was over already, "Didn't even put up a fight. What a waste," he muttered with an edge of disgust, "come on, let's get back to the match. Not much sport left in it now that he's gone and fainted."