Wins and LosseseBook - 2013
In episode five of The Flesh Cartel, Nikolai is well on his way to undermining the bond between Mat and Dougie, but theres still a long road ahead. Training slaves is a process full of setbacks, and with these two, the situation is more complex and precarious than usual.
Walking the line with Mat is especially challenging. Too severe a hand leaves him fearful, even broken, but too light a touch leaves him disobedient and full of fury. Dougie, on the other hand, wants desperately to end his suffering and loneliness and fear. But his unwillingness to disappoint his brother means he cant bring himself to submit.
Controlling Mat with pain alone is futile, so Nikolai must take a defter route by decoding Mats deeper desires: why does he fight, and why does he want so badly to win? By contrast, Dougie may need a firmer touch than the pleasure and affection Nikolai has so far shown him. To convince Dougie of how much he stands to gain by giving all of himself to Nikolai, he must first teach him how much more he has left to lose.