Some Write It Hot

October 26, 2010

Master of the Abyss by Cherise Sinclair

Filed under: New Release — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

Blurb:

On the mountain, the watcher seeks out evil women. And then they die.

Two years ago, when Jake Hunt uncollared his slave, she committed suicide. Guilt-ridden, he will commit to a woman for one night only, devoting his energy to a mountain lodge that caters to a BDSM crowd.

Kallie Masterson is tough. Unwanted as a child, she worked hard to become a wilderness guide. She’s proud of who she is, and hurt that Jake frowns on her for acting like a man.

After rescuing the macho guide from a bar fight, Jake is stunned that the ugly men’s clothing hides a warm, responsive woman. A submissive woman. When guide business brings her to the lodge on BDSM night, and she is obviously aroused by the play, Jake takes the little sub right into his world of pain and pleasure. He warns her: one night only. But she responds so beautifully — so joyously — under his command, that one night soon becomes two, then three…

Then a missing hiker reminds Jake of his past lover, and he realizes he’s become too involved. He pulls back.

Meanwhile, the watcher on the mountain has rendered his verdict: Kallie Masterson is evil. The sentence: Death.

Excerpt:

“Uh.” Kallie’s face heated. Why couldn’t those floorboards crack open and let her disappear? Where was a good earthquake when you needed one? How much had he heard?

“Yes, Kallie, you do resemble her,” he said in an even tone. He’d definitely caught Simon’s comment. Her face was probably red enough to light the room.

“Oh. Well.” I look like an old girlfriend. Reassuring at first, then rather uncomfortable.

He set his foot on the couch beside her hip and leaned forward, his forearms braced on his knee, studying her until she had to force herself not to squirm. His masculine scent had the tang of a high mountain forest, clean and compelling, but he was intimidatingly close. She edged back against the couch cushions, realizing that after flinging her to the wolves, to Jake, Simon had abandoned her without a word. Her heart thudded inside her chest, more loudly than any spanking or whipping going on.

“I had planned to leave you alone,” he said, half under his breath.

Well, that hurt. “Then go.” She made a shooing motion with her fingers.

“But then you planted yourself in here. Asked questions.”

“I won’t ask any more.” If her heart would only slow down, she’d be able to think. “I don’t want to know anything at all about you or your girlfriend, okay?”

“She was also my submissive,” he said, his voice deep. Rough as a talus slope and as dangerous. “I was her master. Do you know what that means, sprite?”

Mouth too dry to answer, Kallie shook her head. Master?

He stroked one finger along her jaw, slowly enough that she could feel the warmth, the uneven skin of a man who worked with his hands. The strength. “I like the way you heat under my touch,” he murmured, then looked Kallie right in the eyes. “It means she did what I ordered her to do. Always. If I told her to strip and bend over the bed so I could take her from behind, that’s what she did.”

She could feel how his hands would hold her in place, his cock hard between her legs, demanding entry and… The air had completely disappeared from the room.

He gripped her chin, keeping her head tilted up, revealing her face. “I could tell her to lie on the bed with her legs spread, and no matter what I did, no matter how long, she wasn’t allowed to come.”

Kallie felt a burn start in her nether regions. And couldn’t help wondering what he had done. How had he touched her?

His eyes crinkled, and he rubbed his knuckles over her cheek. “You’re flushed, little Kallie.”

“I…” She put up a hand to push his away.

“Don’t. Move.” The command swept over her like a strong gale bending the trees in its path, pinning her into stillness. Her body froze…and yet grew even more sensitive. Awake. In fact, she’d never felt like this before…and he’d not even done anything.

He chuckled. “Little submissive.” With both hands, he grasped the front of her shirt and pulled her to her feet. “Simon was right. You do want to play.” It wasn’t a question.

Her heart pounding, her eyes captured by his, she tried to back away, shaking her head. “No. No, really.”

“Don’t lie to me, Kallie,” he said ever so softly, yet all the spit in her mouth dried up.

She averted her gaze and tried to think. She’d wanted him since the first time she saw him. Now she might have him. But here? How brave was she?

She’d never deliberately done anything really outrageous in her whole life, always tried to fit in and not rock the boat. But right now she wanted to swamp the boat completely. If she did some “you know” with Jake this one time, her cousins would never find out. Her lips curved up. And my dreams will be very interesting. God, yes, I want to try it. But when she looked back at him, at his level gaze, the words stuck in her throat, and she managed only a firm nod.

“Good enough.” His sky blue eyes darkened as if storm clouds had rolled in. “We’re playing together only this one time. Only tonight.”

“I know.” Jake Hunt’s infamous “one night only” rule. With the women he dated, months would go by before he’d call again, and everyone knew he wanted physical intimacy without emotional commitment. But at least he didn’t try to lie about it like some guys. She could handle it. “Not a problem.”

He studied her for a long moment, as if to judge her sincerity. “All right then.” One corner of his mouth turned up, his dark five-o’clock shadow making the half smile look dangerous. “Let’s start with this.” He grasped her country-western shirt, and the snaps spatted like gunfire as he yanked it open.

“Hey!” The air brushed against her hot skin, and she grabbed at the shirtfront.

“Leave it open, sprite. Happens that I like skin.” His devastating grin flashed, halting every single protest. Why did he have to be so gorgeous? “Now let’s find out what you like.” He turned, pulling her in front of him so that her back rested against his chest.

Kallie gulped when she realized he’d turned her to face the woman on the coffee table.

The redhead was still restrained, stomach down. One of the dom’s hands was between her legs, his fingers obviously inside her, thrusting in and out. With his other hand, he alternated swats on her butt cheeks. Hips bucking, she pulled against the restraints.

Kallie’s heart started to pound. She could almost feel the fingers pressing inside her, the stinging of the spanking, and she shook her head. This was way too…too…something. She tried to turn away.

Jake clamped his arm around her waist, an iron bar holding her pinned against him. “Watch, Kallie.” His warm breath brushed her ear.

The woman’s voice kept getting higher — “Oh, Sir. Oh, oh, oh.” — until she climaxed with a scream, her head back and spine arching.

Kallie realized she was panting, and heat pulsed through her with every inhalation. “Let me go.” Her voice came out husky.

“Nope.” He closed his teeth on the muscle between her shoulder and neck, and she gasped as electricity streaked to her groin.

“You’re just full of surprises,” Jake murmured.

No, he was the surprising one. Despite her hot, erotic dreams of him, she’d figured he’d never see her as a woman. He didn’t like her — he hadn’t liked her –so why had he changed his mind? Worry niggled in her stomach like hungry lake trout. “I’m not your old girlfriend.”

“Uh-huh,” he said, his voice a deep, warm rumble in her ear. He splayed his hand, hot and hard, against her bare stomach.

Every bone in her body dissolved.

But did he understand what she was saying? She tried again. “I’m not her.” And I don’t want to be a substitute for some old girlfriend.

He huffed a laugh. “You sure don’t have her personality.”

That didn’t sound like a compliment.

“Don’t worry. I know you’re Kallie ‘Macho’ Masterson.”

Despite the insulting term, warmth bloomed in her. He had actually, finally, seen her.

He slid his hand beneath her jeans waistband until his fingers rested at the top of her mound, and as with a match held to dry grass, flames erupted inside her. He pressed her back against him, and she could feel the bulge of his erection. Hard. He wanted her. Pleasure warmed her heart. He really did.

Her breath caught as his other hand slid under her bra, settling right over her breast. Her very small breast. She stiffened and tried to pull away, expecting the usual stupid guy’s comment: “Why do you bother with a bra?”

Instead he tightened his arms. “Don’t move, sub.”

The firm command sent heat streaking across her skin. She tried to move — couldn’t — and with the feeling of being immobilized came the realization that he could do…anything. Her insides melted into warm liquid.

He chuckled and bit her earlobe. The sharp, unexpected pain sheared straight to her pussy, and a moan escaped her.

“I think I’ll enjoy tonight after all,” he murmured. “So, short stuff, have you tried anything like this before?”

She barely kept from rubbing against him like a cat. Touch me. Why did he keep talking? Asking a question she didn’t want to answer. But his expectant silence forced a reply. “A few times. But I never liked it.” She’d known this was too good to be true. Be fair to him, Kallie. She added reluctantly, “I’m not submissive or anything, so it’s okay if you find someone else.”

“Sure you’re not.” He slid his hand another inch, one finger on each side of her labia. So close to her clit that she had trouble paying attention to anything but the throbbing bundle of nerves.

“Tell me about those times. What did you do?”

Her brain didn’t want to work. “I… One wanted to handcuff me to the bed, and I wouldn’t let him…although it had sounded exciting at first. Another tried to spank me, and I couldn’t stop giggling.” What else? “Um, pretty much that kind of stuff.”

“Uh-huh. Sounds like no trust and no true submission.” He turned her around.

The removal of his warm hands left behind cold places on her skin, and she ached down below like she’d wrenched something in a place where things didn’t get sprained. He’ll tell me to go home now; I should have lied.

He closed his hands on her shoulders. “How much do you trust me, Kallie?”

The question was unexpected, and she had to shift directions. Want, yes. But trust? “I –”

“Let me rephrase that. Can you trust me in here, surrounded by other people, to restrain you, spank you, and give you pleasure?”

Her mouth went dry. The thought of him — Jake — his hands on her, tying her, touching her… She frowned. But spanking?

His eyes crinkled. “You wear your emotions right out there on your face, don’t you, sugar?”

She thought of the dom and his sub, how he’d brought her to climax with his fingers. “Does pleasure mean us both or just me?”

“Well, now” — he slowly stroked his finger down her cheek, his gaze intent on her face — “I figured on just you, using my hands.”

The words welled up like a balloon expanding in her chest. “I want more; I want you in –” Couldn’t say it; just couldn’t… “Um.”

“You want my cock inside you. Is that what you mean?”

Run over and buy your copy of Master of the Abyss

September 24, 2010

Meet Jenika Snow

Filed under: Who we are — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , ,

Jenika is just your average woman. She lives in the too hot northeast with her husband and their young daughter. Thankfully, he shares her unusual sense of humor and naughty nature.

Along with taking care of their daughter, they have to keep an eye on Milo, their spunky cat. When not writing, Jenika works full-time at a hospital and attends nursing school. Writing is Jenika’s number one passion, but since life gets in the way, she isn’t able to write full-time (at least not yet.)

Jenika writes erotic paranormal, contemporary and sci/fi romances. Her publishing houses are Siren-Bookstrand, Total-E-Bound and Passion in Print publishing.

Jenika started writing at a very young age. Her first story consisted of a young girl who traveled to an exotic island and found a magical doll. That story as long since disappeared, but her passion for writing has stayed strong.

Blurb

When Kasia is taken to the BDSM club, Cimmerian, by her friend, she doesn’t realize that she isn’t the only one with dark fantasies. When she is approached by a Dom only known as Master, she doesn’t know if she is really ready to experience what she has always fantasized about.

Through him she is tempted with erotic pleasures, and tantalized with experiences that she has only dreamed about. Tonight is when she will finally know what it means be fully dominated, while she lets her mind and body submit.

Excerpt

Her breath seized in her lungs as her eyes adjusted to the sight, smells, and sounds. The smell of leather, sweat, and sex filled the air and instantly caused her to tingle all over, as if her very cells come alive with arousal and titillation. The sound of whips cracking in the air and hands slapping against flesh surrounded her. Moans and groans of pleasure filled the air and brought about realism for her that she instantly recognized. This place was right. She felt like there was no other place that could have described the things she felt or that could have made her feel so comfortable.

She took the time to look around, to actually take in every nook and cranny, every dip and hollow that made up this underground club. The air was thick with sex and made her senses come alive with want. Leather whips cracked against the ground, the sound causing her muscles to tense with vivification and a little bit of trepidation. Although there were not too many bodies in the room, the small space was intensified by the heat of each person moving to reach their pleasure.

Tatiana whispered in her ear about grabbing some drinks and she nodded. She was transfixed by everything, not able to pry her eyes away from everything that was being revealed.

A stage was set up directly across from the door she had just entered through. A woman stood on the stage, naked, arms above her head as a masked man took a crop to her caramel colored skin. Even from the distance, Kasia could see how much the woman enjoyed it, her body now covered with red marks, her flesh swollen as she withered and moaned. The chain that held her arms in place jangled loudly, her body thrashing as she spread her legs and thrusted her hips out at her masked lover. He never touched her though, just continued to slap her with the crop, the sounds of leather against skin loud in the room. Over her breasts, across her belly, and between her legs, he was ruthless in his pursuits. Over and over again he did this, never once touching his flesh to hers until soon the woman had her head thrown back and screamed out her release. It was intensely erotic and frightening.

Kasia took a step back, her hand going over her heart to will it to slow down. She felt like a voyeur for the way she had just watched that woman get slapped into orgasm. There had to be something wrong with her, something terribly disturbing going on with her for her to want to see these things, for her to desire to be the one strung up there. She pushed the thoughts away and looked around the room, noticing for the first time that the majority of the patrons were staring at her. She swallowed, suddenly feeling so overwhelmed that she couldn’t breathe. Her stomach was suddenly rolling with nervousness and lust. She looked around for Tatiana, trying to see through the thick, murky darkness that coated the inner club.

Aside from the stage, there wasn’t anything else going on. The inside of the club was set up much like any other club. Tables were strewn about, an impressive bar on one side, a dance floor on the other. There really weren’t too many people—at least, not as many as Kasia assumed there would be on a Saturday night. She noticed someone coming out of a side door, sweat clear on his body and a flogger in hand.

She shivered.

Whatever was behind that door was where the real party was. What was displayed out here was just an appetizer.

She finally spotted Tatiana leaning against the bar, a man dressed only in a pair of tight leather pants talking precariously close to her. Kasia made her way toward her friend, halting when she felt a prickling on the back of her neck. She stopped and looked around, her eyes stopping on a table that was pushed far against the wall. The shadows obscured the majority of it, but she could still see the massive body that was seated behind it. She couldn’t make out the face, but judging from the huge legs that were lazily stretched out beneath the table and the huge forearms that the shadows didn’t touch, it was a man – and a very big one at that.

Even though she couldn’t see his face, she knew he was staring right at her, knew that his eyes were boring right into her own. His finger played over the rim of his cut crystal glass, the fluid in the glass as dark as blood. She swallowed, her pussy suddenly growing damp, knowing that the man seated behind that table was powerful and strong: a Dominant. She quickly moved her gaze away from the shadowed table, feeling embarrassed and dirty at the fact that she had grown wet from her thoughts. She felt exposed, stripped bare, as if the clothes she wore were nothing in a place like this.

Even though she felt dirty and disgusted with herself, she felt alive and aroused, empowered by the feelings that this atmosphere conjured up in her. She was a big walking contradiction.

Learn more about Jenika Snow at her website

*Free ongoing vampire erotic read hosted at Jenika’s website! A new chapter is added each month.

September 16, 2010

Meet Evanne Lorraine by DA Kentner

Filed under: Who we are — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , ,

In Seattle, Washington, a gentle, demure lady quietly goes about the business of lovingly tending her flower garden. Her dog, having taken refuge from the sun under a tree, idly watches. Knees sore, back strained, she leaves her gloves on the gardening table, trades shoes for soft slippers, hangs her straw sunhat on a hook, pours a glass of lemonade, and sits down at her computer. The tranquil, flower horticulturist immediately transforms to Evanne Lorraine, a leading author of the books you don’t tell your friends you read.
Whether the characters are lonely businesswomen in search of what can’t be found from 9 to 5, dangerous men and the women who deserve them, or water demons who taste like chocolate, Evanne’s skillfully written novels capture the imagination, steal your breath, and set your heart racing.

You can find Evanne, her flowers, and her novels at her website

Q) When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

A) During the process of planning for retirement, I realized the thing I would miss about working as an accountant was the work. Although I love numbers and am very fond of money, I wanted to do something different. Something involving words and reading. I seriously considered a career in library sciences, but found the challenge of writing even more seductive.

Q) You truly possess an affinity for flowers and spend hours researching them and tending to them. Given your expertise, have you considered writing a book on horticulture?

A) I like to keep my hobbies and my work separate. Tending the landscape refreshes my spirit, If I wrote about my passion for gardening the process would become work rather than play.

Q) Your characters are solidly constructed, barely fictional. Where do you draw inspiration from for them?

A) Everywhere and anywhere, while the fictional people may be a tad larger than life, and their outsides a little more than ordinary, on the inside they are everyman.

Q) As well as the “Enyo Chronicles” series, the “Wicked” series, and the “Dangerous” series, you have written numerous single novels such as “Pirate Rules” that take us from the bedroom next door to ethereal worlds we could never envision ourselves. Please describe for us the process you use to construct your settings, be they our hometown, or a race of lusting demons searching for love.

A) Many of my stories are set in places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit. It’s a personal treat to return to a tropical paradise. I usually write those stories during the rainy season. In Seattle the rainy season is most of the year, leaving plenty of time to write about exotic locations. The futuristic story settings are imagined terrains, constructed of dreams.

Q) What advice can you offer those who believe they would like to write a book?

A) Write the story you want to write. Really. There’s no substitute for writing. There is also much benefit to reading–widely and often, English degrees, and creative writing courses.

Read more from DA Kentner

Pirate Rules By Evanne Lorraine

I wanted to pick a favorite title to share. Hard to choose when the heroes are all so demanding. But I’ve got a real weakness for pirates, and no one else writes modern pirate erotic romance, so I did. 😉

Excerpt

Boldly, Zara climbed onto a padded bar stool close to where she’d last seen the rugged pirate. She scanned the crowd with eager interest, hoping to catch another glimpse of the smoldering hottie. Aware her odds of success decreased in direct ratio to the rogue’s hunk factor, she optimistically searched for her dream man anyway.

Why not try for the best?

But, her screening of the bodies crowding the bar confirmed the bad news, no loose hunky pirate. Everyone seemed paired off already. No one’s fault but hers for letting Smiley’s intimidation keep her from playing Treasure Hunt game earlier. Her rumbling stomach reminded her she missed out on the crab feed too.

A rapidly moving waitress disappeared into the crowd with a full tray of gaily-colored cocktails with lime wedges, cherries, and miniature umbrellas. The pretty drinks made Zara thirsty as well as hungry.

“What’s your pleasure, Miss?” the bartender asked with a friendly smile.

“What kind of drinks were in those hurricane glasses over there?” She waved toward the decorated cocktails.

“Those are Caribbean Cruises, Miss. They’re very popular with the ladies.”

Zara hesitated for a bare second. “I’ll have one of those, please.”

“Do you want to run a tab? Or–.”

While she was considering her options, the smoldering hottie she noticed earlier wedged in next to her, claiming a previously nonexistent space. Then he gave her a thorough going over from her well-groomed hair to her cute sandals.

Apparently, she’d passed inspection because he tipped his head toward her in a brief nod of approval.

“Add it to my bill and bring us a plate of coconut shrimp too, and another Long John Silver, thanks, pal.” The intriguing pirate placed his order with an engagingly crooked grin.

“Thank you,” she said, swiveling toward her benefactor.

A seductive pair of dark eyes met hers, making the lively bar scene fade into oblivion.

This close, the man intoxicated her senses. He was so near a faint trace of bleach from his shirt mingled with scents of sandalwood and clean man. The heat emanating from all those hard muscles warmed her skin.

She tried to swallow, but found her mouth suddenly too dry.

The bartender placed her pastel drink neatly in front of her and she leaned in for a fortifying sip.

Casually, she checked out the hunk through lowered lashes. Like Smiley, the man with the sinful voice was dressed as a pirate. But on him, the costume worked. Her smile spread a little wider with relief as she realized the costume meant he had to work for the cruise line. Maybe, he was one of the cooks, since she was positive she hadn’t seen him on deck. She would have remembered.

A good head taller than her lanky five eight frame, and much broader, he made her feel positively dainty–a novel but pleasing experience. His open-necked white shirt framed a nicely rippled chest with a good sprinkling of curling black hair. Well-worn pants disappeared into supple leather boots. His waist was bound by a faded red silk wrap, complete with a wickedly authentic looking knife, tucked into the fabric. Dark curls swirled to his shoulders, providing the perfect frame for heartbreaker-eyes and the devil’s own mouth. At least one day’s growth of beard darkened his jaw. A rap-star sized diamond winked from his left ear.

“Razor Brinks,” he said, holding out a hand.

She accepted the offer to shake, darn near forgetting who she was as his warm grip engulfed her.

“Zara Sterling,” she managed to say her name. Then, because her tongue was faster than her brain, she asked. “What kind of name is Razor Brinks?”

“Mine, Sweetheart,” he drawled, taking her hand and brushing a thrilling kiss across her knuckles, and then rubbing the spot that continued tingling long after his mouth had departed.

Read more from Evanne Lorraine at her website

Pirate Rules is available from New Concepts Publishing and Amazon and Fictionwise

September 8, 2010

Meet Cherise Sinclair by Evanne Lorraine

Filed under: Who we are — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
Tags: , , , , , ,

The lovely Ms. Sinclair spends her days spreading cheer and comfort among the ill, the tired, and the huddled masses. All in a day’s work for this gracious wife, mother, and cat slave. Despite her many duties, night after night she applies her nimble fingers to the keyboard to produce another erotic masterpiece.

Her stories are beautifully written with endearing characters and abundant charm. Each new tale pulls me into an exciting world of masterful Doms and subs that wield more power than they realize. She does all this without ever making the reader feel lost or uncomfortable, except in the best possible way.

Simply because it was the first one I read and there’s no other way to pick which of her titles is best, my personal favorite is Club Shadowlands, Jessica is wonderful, brave, and funny. I adore Master Z. He’s tough, kind, and sexy–everything I want in a Dom and a hero. But then they all are when Cherise writes them.

You can read more about Cherise Sinclair and her stories at: Cherise Sinclair

I’m saving her latest release, Starlight Rite to read when I need to escape into a great fantasy.

Her voice is known throughout the galaxy; her face is completely unknown.

Fleeing her monstrous husband back on puritanical Earth and the police assassins he’s hired, singer Mella Archer becomes stranded on the frontier planet of Nexus. Desperate to survive, she picks the wrong target–Dain, the head of planetary security.

Dain is amused by the attempted theft, and when Mella is sentenced to serve time indentured as a bedroom slave, he buys her contract. As he introduces the repressed Earther to the pleasures of sex with a dominating warrior, he slowly comes to realize that the little thief has stolen his heart.

When the monster arrives on Nexus and has lunch with Dain, Mella is panic-stricken. Her owner must be part of the conspiracy to kill her, and it will only be a matter of time before the monster discovers that she’s still alive. She attempts to escape. She fails. Embittered by her lies and mistrust, Dain returns her to Indenture Hall to be sold again.

Now the monster has found her. And she has nowhere left to run…

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and elements (including/not limited to: bondage, caning, spanking), dubious consent.

Excerpt

Down the hallway waited a line of men and women attired in red tunics with white trim. Handler beckoned to a stocky man a few years older than Mella. “Abel. This one prepare for auction today.”

“Yes, Handler. Full prep?” The way Abel’s full lips curved into a pleased smile made Mella’s heart sink.

“No skills has she. Full prep.”

The first room Abel took her to held a huge open shower. “Strip. Leave your clothing on the bench. Clean yourself.” He leaned against the wall and crossed his arms.

He planned to watch her? Her hands went cold. “I can shower alone,” she said, lifting her chin and giving him a frosty look. “Go outside.”

“Doesn’t work that way, girl,” he said. “Get used to it, and fast.”

She glared at him.

“You know why Handler picked me to process you?”

She shook her head, too angry and too scared to speak.

“Because the sooner you get used to a man’s look — and touch — the better.”

Even though she’d known something like this would happen, she felt the blood leaving her head. No one had seen her naked since she was a child.

“Strip and shower.” He touched the three-foot metal rod hanging from his belt. “Next time you disobey, I’ll use this.” His eyes brightened, as if the thought of hitting her pleased him.

She had no choice. Mouth tight, she turned her back to him. After ensuring the monster’s last message to her was safely buttoned in a pocket, she pulled her clothing off. Naked, she walked into the shower, and the spray came on. His gaze made her skin crawl. A dispenser slid out of the wall, and she used the unscented soap. Quickly. She ignored how good the warm water felt. Maybe if she stank, she’d go to the mines and not some whorehouse.

“Enough. This is just to get you clean for the doctor’s exam.” The man jerked his head toward a small cubicle. When she stepped in, warm air blew out of numerous jets, drying her body. Her wet hair tangled over her shoulders when he pulled her back out. Naked.

“Next stop, the doctor.”

“What about my clothes?”

“You’ll get them back after your indenture is up.” He grinned, his gaze running up and down her body. “Slaves wear clothing provided by their owners. You have no owner yet, so no clothes.”

But…the holocard. Her proof of Nathan’s guilt. Her fingers twitched, and then she crossed her arms over her bare chest. Perhaps it would be safer here, locked away. Who knew what might happen to her belongings once someone bought her? “I understand.” Resigned, she followed Abel down a long hallway.

As Mella stared at the stained wall, a female physician examined her, poking fingers into her mouth, checking her heart and lungs, and examining her private areas as if she were an animal. After using a small scanner, the doctor passed her back to Abel, saying, “No disease. Healthy and strong, if a bit undernourished. Not a virgin. No pregnancies. The report for the buyer will be ready in a few minutes.”

And my teeth are fine.

Abel nodded, grasping Mella’s upper arm. When his fingers brushed the side of her breast, she tried to step back. “Nope, don’t bother, girl. Each time you flinch away, I’ll touch you more.” Still holding her arm, he ran his hand over her bare breasts.

Horror streaking through her, she gasped and hit him in the face as hard as she could. After yanking her arm from his grasp, she turned to run and got two steps.

His rod slapped against her leg.

Pain. Her muscles convulsed. Agony seared her body. She couldn’t even scream. When he pulled the device away, she crumpled to the floor.

He dragged her to her feet and waited until her legs stopped shaking. Stabs of pain shot through her with every movement.

“The z-rod has a charge in it, and that was the lowest setting,” he said. “Every person in processing and auctioning carries one.” And then, as she stood stiffly, he ran his hands over her breasts again.

She didn’t flinch, although her teeth gritted together so hard, she heard a grinding noise.

He patted her cheek. “Doncha worry, girl. Next time someone does this, you’re going to beg for more.”

He was wrong. He was totally wrong.

The next room contained attendants clustered by a round pool to the right. The left held more staff and several long tables with slaves lying on them. The people looked at her. When she moved her hands to cover herself, they laughed. Abel pushed her forward.

In the warm pool, attendants with soft brushes scoured Mella cleaner than the shower had. No wonder Abel hadn’t cared how well she washed. They shampooed and conditioned her hair again, then dried it and brushed the snarls out until it flowed silky smooth down her back. The lotion they used bore the light, airy fragrance of Nexan flowers, one of their prime exports. At each stage, the attendants handled her indifferently, treating her body as if they’d never heard of privacy. Other women and men also were being cleansed in an assembly-line fashion.

When the attendants finished, Abel led her across the room to a table much like a doctor’s exam table. “Sit here for a second.”

She gave him a suspicious look. “What now?”

“A word to the wise, girl. Your future owner will punish you for speaking without permission.”

An older man with dark brown eyes hurried over to them. Behind him followed a female attendant carrying a tray with a glass of fluid, a small jar, and some odd-looking machinelike things. Mella wrapped her arms around herself and stepped back. Dear Prophet. What were they planning to do now?

With a friendly smile, the female attendant handed her the drink.

“What’s in it?” Mella asked, peering into the glass. “Some tranquilizer?”

Abel shook his head. “I promise there’s no sedative or tranquilizer in there. It’s fruit juice. You’ll stay on the stage until someone buys you. The temperature is warm outside, and the Indenture Hall doesn’t let their merchandise get dehydrated.”

She eyed the glass. Her mouth felt like the Sahara in summer. With a sigh, she drank it. Sweet, almost like apple juice.

“Lie down, please,” the old man said.

Naked, on that table? She scowled at him. “No way, I –”

Abel slapped the rod at his side.

She lay back, the leather cold against her bare skin. Her breath quickened when Abel pulled a wide strap across her biceps and chest. Another one went over her forearms and stomach, almost too tight, and she began to panic. She couldn’t move. “Let me go.” She struggled within the restraints, jerking from side to side to try to loosen the straps, but nothing gave.

Ignoring Mella’s thrashing, the attendant helped Abel secure each of Mella’s legs. Then to her horror, the lower part of the table separated, splitting her legs apart into a V shape. She strained against the straps, futilely trying to draw her thighs together. She subsided, panting. Cold air brushed her private areas and made her shiver.

After pulling a chair forward, the older man sat between her legs, and she felt something warm moving slowly across her outer lips, tingling slightly. A depilator, she realized. He was removing the hair from down there as if she were a man with a beard. This was so, so wrong. She shuddered uncontrollably as the thing moved over her.

Abel and the attendant pulled her buttocks apart, and the depilator worked farther down, closer to her ass.

“There,” the man said. “All bare. She’s quite pale skinned, isn’t she? I like the pink coloration.”

“Short and round and pale — very exotic. She’ll bring a good price.” Abel took a scoop of lotion and rubbed it onto her nipples.

The man patted her down below, and she jumped at the feel of his warm hand on her bare skin. “Very soft. Yes, she’ll be popular. Give me the lotion.” The man dipped his hand into the jar and spread the cool lotion all over the shaved area, rubbing it in thoroughly.

The sensation was so…different with no hair between his fingers and her skin. She tried to squirm against the sensations beginning to roll through her at his intimate touch but couldn’t move.

“She’s starting to feel it,” he said to Abel and patted her bare leg. “Get her up onto the stage.”

* * * * *

Unhindered by the dry desert air, the sun scorched Mella’s skin as Abel led her outside into the noisy plaza. Stores lined three sides of the market area, and the far end held the colorful booths of the ship traders. Shouting and bargaining filled the edges of the square, and laughter came from children playing tag in the center near a fountain. The fragrances of spice, sweat, perfumes, and cooking food mingled in the air.

Outside the Indenture Hall stood the two auction stages, nearly filled with slaves, all tall and thin and dark. Typical Nexans. When the crowd around the wooden platforms turned to watch Mella, she flushed, all too aware of her nakedness and the way her full breasts jiggled with her walk. When she tried to hang back, Abel’s grip on her arm tightened. He pulled her past the first platform crammed with muscular naked men and women.

“Good workers. Be able to work from dawn to dusk. Healthy specimens,” the auctioneer on the stage yelled to the crowd.

Mella tried to stop Abel. “Put me up there. I want to be a worker.”

He laughed. “You don’t have the muscles to work the mines, and you wouldn’t bring nearly the price as a worker as you will as an unshuline. Sorry, girl.” He dragged her to a platform, which held tall, dark-haired women and one slender, pretty man — all Nexan. Two of the women stood quietly; two more had their arms chained overhead.

Chained and naked? Mella yanked against Abel’s grip. “Let me go. You can’t do this to me.”

One of the market staff in the distinctive red tunic trotted over. Abel pushed her to him. “She’s not cooperative. Don’t leave her unchained.”

“Thanks for the warning,” the man said. His hand, twice as big as Abel’s, wrapped firmly around her arm. “Come, little miss.”

He pushed her up the stairs onto the stage, and she heard the customers laugh as she struggled. Terror like a cold wave rushed through her, and her skin went clammy, despite the heat. Another muscular staff member hurried forward, and ignoring her struggles, the two men lifted her hands, clipping the snap ring on her cuffs to chains dangling from a bar spanning the length of the stage. She glared at them, pleased to see she’d scratched one man’s face. She tugged at the restraints. Nothing gave. How can this be happening?

To make everything worse, they knelt and cuffed her ankles too, pulling her legs wide open and fastening the cuffs to rings embedded in the stage floor. As they stood, one called, “Ready for viewing, Master Lucan.”

The tall, emaciated auctioneer strolled over and walked around her as he consulted the infounit in his hand, touching the keys to check the information. “Thirty-nine days. Healthy. She’ll bring a nice price.” To her horror, he fondled her breasts, ran his hand down her stomach, pressed between her legs, and even stuck a finger inside her. “Wet already.”

She felt herself quicken to his touch. Her hips uncontrollably tilted into his hand. “No,” she whispered as her breasts tightened to hard nubs. Her whole body felt sensitive. Even the gentle breeze that brushed against her skin increased her arousal.

He grinned and tapped her cheek. “You can’t fight it, little missy. We lace the drinks with an aphrodisiac, and the lotion on your skin contains something to make you very, very sensitive.” To illustrate, he ran a finger around her nipple, and the feeling shot straight to her groin.

She clenched her teeth to contain a moan. Sweat beaded on her brow.

The auctioneer turned to the crowd. “The slaves are ready for your inspection, gentle sirs.”

The stage filled with men and a few women, who walked around the slaves and examined them. A swarthy man in his sixties walked up to Mella. “Love the coloring,” he said to the auctioneer. “Look at how pink her nipples are.” He pinched one, and Mella squirmed as a craving for more filled her. “Ah, she’s a hot one.”

After a moment, never letting loose her nipple, he shook his head. “Too much energy for me. I prefer someone quieter.” He moved toward one of the unchained women.

Engulfed in a haze of need that heightened with each intimate touch, Mella lost track of the men and women. Some stroked her breasts. Some touched the V between her legs so intimately that she pushed against their hands, whimpering. One made the attendants lower her chained hands and bend her forward so he could probe her rectum. “Not used there before, I see. I’d enjoy instructing her in the delights.” He pressed a finger inside her, and she could only quiver with shock and hunger.

Returned to her standing position, she closed her eyes, wanting only to shut it all out. Yet her private areas throbbed, needing something so badly she could scream. A warm hand cupped her face, and she inhaled a familiar scent — light citrus, soap, and man. It was —

“Sleeping on the job, little thief?”

She opened her eyes to see Kinae Dain smiling at her, amusement in his gaze. Glaring at him, she snarled, “Go away. If you’d just let me go, I’d be free now. Not left here for brutes to maul.”

“Ah. I am sworn to uphold the law. Setting you free would have forced me to break my oath, and that I will not do.”

A man with honor? One who kept his promises? She found truth in his level gaze. He was no skulking coward like Nathan, but she hated the Nexan anyway. She tried to pull her face away, but he wouldn’t release her.

“I haven’t bought an indentured slave for several years, and never an unshuline. But looking at you…” His smile flashed white in the darkly tanned face, and crinkles appeared around his eyes, making him seem human, real, for the first time. “Looking at you, I’m thinking that I might enjoy your company.”

“You just want a body to have intercourse with.”

He tilted his head. “Well, yes, that is part of it. You have a lush body crying out to be savored.” Holding her gaze, he slid his hand from her face, down her sensitive skin, past her collarbone. Lifting one of her heavy breasts, he cradled it in his palm and rubbed his thumb over her peaked nipple. A surge of pleasure washed through her, and her eyes half closed as he continued the sensual assault. His other hand touched her lower, hard fingers stroking through her wetness.

She moaned, pressing against his touch, and her wanton actions horrified her.

Hand still pressed between her legs, he moved close enough for her to feel the warmth of his body and see a thin white scar over his eyebrow, another on his chin. “You think about it, Mella. I don’t whip my people or mistreat them. If you want to come home with me for your term, I’ll buy your contract…but you will be an unshuline, and I’ll expect you to uphold your part of the bargain.”

“I’ll rot in hell first,” she hissed.

Shaking his head, he stepped back, and she almost cried at the removal of his touch. Her hips tilted forward involuntarily, and when he saw the movement, he only smiled. “I’ll stay for a few minutes of the auction, in case you change your mind,” he said gently. “If not, then I wish you well and that your service not prove too arduous.”

Leaning on his cane, he limped off the stage, and a feeling of loss filled her, as if she’d driven away the only friend she had here. Only, he was no friend. But he’d said he didn’t whip his slaves. Maybe she should have gone with —

Then the next man stepped up to her. He stood so close that the auctioneer didn’t notice when he pinched Mella’s nipple hard enough to bring tears to her eyes. She bit her lip to keep from screaming. The lust filling his eyes as he relished her pain made her feel sick to her stomach. And scared.

He gave a cruel laugh. “You will do nicely for what I have in mind. I’d have liked to hear you scream before buying you…but that can wait.”

“Take your seats, please,” the auctioneer yelled. “The bidding begins now.”

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