“I told you not to damage her.” The expressionless voice was so cold that a sliver of ice ran down Cam’s already trembling back.
“We didn’t damage her. We just played with her a little,” the alien to her right protested. Cam bit her lip to bite back the furious protest. Played with her? Every inch of her body was sore and bruised, bite marks marred her breasts, and her bottom and inner thighs were covered with claw marks. The aliens hadn’t raped her, not quite, but they had done everything else their sadistic minds could envision.
Aliens. She still couldn’t believe that she had been kidnapped by aliens—but the two massive figures who had captured her were definitely not from Earth. One minute she had been taking a quiet walk along the beach, the next she woke up naked in a dark cell with an enormous figure looming over her. She had kicked out and flinched away, only to discover that she was chained to the wall. The figure had slapped her across the cheekbone with a casual gesture that, nevertheless, sent her reeling back into the wall. As the tears cleared and her eyes adjusted, she got her first glimpse of the alien and her nightmare assumed horrific proportions.
The alien was blue-skinned, with red eyes and a crest of dark hair running across the top of his scalp and down his back. His teeth were sharp and yellow and his fingers tipped with equally sharp, yellow claws. She had become frighteningly familiar with both over the interminable time spent in the cell. She had no way of knowing how long she had been there—the lights never brightened and there was no routine other than an occasional delivery of foul-smelling gruel and the all too constant presence of her captors.
A short time ago, she had been freed from the chains—although they left the cuffs around her wrists and ankles—dressed in a brief white garment, huddled into a long cape, shoved down a ramp, and swept through a maze of corridors. Now she was standing in a blindingly white, bare room, flanked by her two tormentors, and facing a different alien. Something warm and disgustingly soft had been shoved in her ear and, for the first time, she could understand her captors—not that the conversation was in any way encouraging. Her cloak had been removed and cold seeped into her aching body through the flimsy dress. Each of her captors had a hand clenched painfully around one of her arms and she was almost grateful since she could barely stand.
“That was not part of the agreement,” the cold voice spoke again, and she forced herself to raise her head to view the third alien. He was just as large as the two flanking her, but, unlike them, he was stunningly handsome. His skin was a warm gold which shimmered softly in the brightly lit room. No hair marred that perfection, revealing a strong, well-shaped skull. An open white vest revealed more gold skin covering the muscled perfection of his broad chest and powerful arms, while matching white leather pants highlighted equally muscular legs and narrow hips. For a fleeting second she caught his eyes, a bronze so light it was almost white, and she flinched as if he had actually touched her. Her head dropped and she swayed in her captors’ grip.
“We brought her to you. Now pay up, or we’ll start looking for another buyer,” the alien to her right growled in response, but she could hear a note of uncertainty beneath the bravado. His hand clamped down even harder on Cam’s arm and she couldn’t prevent a soft gasp of pain.
“I don’t think so.” The voice was no longer expressionless but full of menace.
A charged silence filled the room and Cam forced her head up again, just in time to see the golden alien move with almost unbelievable speed. His hands dropped to his hips, a knife appeared in each hand, a flash of light reflected off each blade as they flew across the room, and two soft thuds sounded. She barely registered the sounds before a warm spray hit her from each side and her captors crumpled, taking her to the ground with them. The impact knocked the breath from her body as she landed painfully on one hip. She gasped and tried to roll and came face to face with a very dead blue alien, blood pooling around a knife blade buried deep in his throat. Unable to process what had happened, she extended a trembling hand and saw blood splatters across her arm. A sickening stench filled her nostrils, black spots appeared in front of her vision, and she descended into darkness.
Kievan swore under his breath as he crossed the room to the prone bodies. He should have known better than to trust this mission to such an unreliable pair, but they had been available, fast, and cheap. Apparently, they were also incapable of following directions. He removed his knives from the dead Derians’ throats and wiped them clean before returning them to his belt. Turning his attention to the female, he lifted her carefully, angry all over again at seeing her small figure sprawled between the two large bodies. Her body jerked as he lifted her but her eyes didn’t open. Gently, he pulled her closer, tucking her head into his neck. She breathed deeply a couple of times, sighed, and then her body relaxed against his. Despite the obvious mistreatment she had suffered, her delicious floral scent teased him as soon as he stepped away from the dead men. Holding her carefully, he studied her features.
Beneath the dirt and the wounds, she was exquisite. Long dark lashes lay against softly rounded cheeks and her lips were ripe and luscious. A wild tangle of red-gold curls fell down over her shoulders. In spite of her small frame, her breasts were plump and inviting, tipped by rosy peaks visible through the thin slave gown, and the soft curves of her ass were a promising warmth against his arm. His groin tightened as the combination of her enticing scent and his detailed survey had the inevitable effect on his body.
Sublimating his desires with practiced discipline, he kept her cradled in his arms but fingered the communication pad on his belt to summon his assistant. J’Ssett entered the room moments later, his gaze taking in the woman nestled in Kievan’s arms and the two dead bodies without a change in expression.
“Dispose of the bodies. Impound their ship, wipe the logs and remove any trace of their previous destinations, and put the ship up for sale at the next auction,” Kievan ordered.
“Very well, my lord.” J’Ssett bowed his head briefly before his eyes flicked to the female. “And the woman? Her room has been prepared.”
“She has been injured. I will take her to my rooms.” The words were out of his mouth before he considered them, but as soon as he spoke he realized that he was not ready to relinquish his prize yet.
“Do you wish the doctor to attend her?”
“No,” he growled, an instinctive reaction to the idea of another male in close contact with his female. He clenched his teeth as he realized that he had reverted to acting like a typical possessive Sardoran male. Giving in to his instincts was unacceptable, not only because of the unpleasant reminder of his heritage but because they would interfere with his plan. With more effort than he anticipated, he modulated his tone. “The wounds are superficial. I will take care of them.”
J’Ssett bowed his head again and left without further words. One of the many reasons he appreciated J’Ssett was the fact that he never wasted time on unnecessary conversation. Kievan followed him out of the room and through the security veil to the passage leading to his private quarters. His rooms were dim and he kept the lights low as he laid the female on the white silk covering his bed. She still hadn’t stirred but her pulse was strong and he decided not to try and wake her. Stripping the slave gown from her body he was momentarily distracted again by her beauty. The gown had not concealed much but she was even more delectable naked. Unfortunately, her nudity also revealed her wounds in more detail and a snarl rose in his throat as he took in the bite marks that covered the white swells of her breasts. He had killed the Derians much too quickly.
Pushing aside his anger, he brought damp cleansing cloths from his bathroom and proceeded to clean her delicate skin. Still unconscious, she didn’t respond to his ministrations. When she was as clean as he could make her without running water, he smoothed healing gel across her many wounds. As he massaged the green gel into her breasts, her nipples hardened and for the first time, she stirred restlessly. He studied her face as his fingers gently rolled the taut peaks but her eyes never opened. Her delicious scent intensified and he let his fingers drift lower as her legs parted, surprised and delighted at the wet heat he encountered. Stroking a careful finger though her damp folds, he watched in fascination as her hips arched into his hand and a soft moan parted her lips. Her eyelids fluttered but remained closed.
Increasing the pressure on her nipple with one hand, he circled the swollen bud of her clitoris with the other hand. Another moan escaped her and he almost matched it. His shaft pressed painfully against his pants. He was tempted to take her immediately but he preferred his partners to be conscious. Of course, that didn’t mean he couldn’t continue to play. He twisted her nipple slightly, swept his thumb directly across her clit, and she shuddered and came, convulsing against his hand.
For a brief second, her eyes flashed open, startlingly blue against her dark lashes, but they immediately closed again and he felt a fleeting pang of regret. She sighed and her whole body relaxed into the mattress. Amazing. Kievan had no idea that she would be this responsive. Training her would be remarkably rewarding—and necessary, he forced himself to remember.
He removed his thumb and smiled as she sighed again at the loss. Reaching for a throw to cover her sleeping body, his eyes caught on the wrist and ankle cuffs. Cuffs were acceptable, but those provided by the Derians were not. The Derian cuffs were easily removed, although he scowled at the red marks they left behind. With more healing gel rubbed into the marks, he opened his private safe to look for replacements. A set of wide gold engraved bands met his eye. They would be perfect against the creamy paleness of her skin, and yet somehow, they didn’t seem quite right. He brought them back to the bed anyway but hesitated as he noted how inflamed her wrists and ankles were. Decision made, he set them aside until he could come up with more appropriate signs of his possession.
Covering her with the blanket, he moved to the desk set up in one corner of the outer room. He could work and keep an eye on her at the same time. When she woke up, it would be time to begin.