sci-fi romance book
genre: sci-fi romance book
length: 16111 words / short
released: May 2008
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Sons of Lyra: Slave Princess
Captain Lyra II, known as Balt to his family, is one of the famed sons of Lyra, the handsome princes with passionate hearts that every girl in the galaxy wants to catch. The second eldest son, he’s content with the freedom and adventure that life in deep space and the Lyran Imperial Army offers him. What he isn’t content with is the current situation he’s found himself in. Not only has he been forced to stop at a backwater port for supplies, but he’s leaving with more than he expected!
Kayla is a slave but can still vaguely recall what it had been like to be free. It’s something she believes that she’ll never taste again, and when she finds herself handed over like the piece of property she is to a complete stranger, a Lyran prince no less, she’s convinced her life is about to get a lot worse. Taken onboard his ship, she quickly finds herself torn between fulfilling a promise she made to her friends when she was young, and falling for his chivalry and good looks.
Balt, not wanting a woman as his slave and not wanting to become the laughing stock of the admirals, intends to dump Kayla at the first decent planet he comes across, but as he starts to learn more about her, he finds it harder to fight his growing attraction to her. A passionate kiss from her only makes things worse. When Minervan mercenaries demand he hand her over, he discovers her true heritage and realises that things are more complicated than he’d believed.
Will Balt let her go, sending her into a life as a pleasure whore for the highest bidder, or will he fight to protect her? Will Kayla take revenge for her people, the Terrans, who were almost exterminated when Lyra destroyed the Earth system? Can love between a prince and an enslaved princess ever have a fairytale ending?
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Two fingers rested on the muzzle of his laser pistol. His other hand held the inventory pad, thumb cycling through the screen of items they needed while the Sekarian trader who owned the store did his best attempt at flattery. He didn’t listen to anything he had to say. All he wanted to do was get what they needed and get out.
He hated these backwater space ports but his ship, the Namrus-Lyra, needed supplies and it was too far to an imperial planet. His fingers tensed against the gun when something clattered to the dirty dark floor nearby and he shot around to see what had happened. A young woman went to pick up the items she’d dropped and then curled up into a tight ball with her hands over her head. His eyes widened when he realised that the man had left him and was heading over to her. His fingers locked around his pistol. Before the man had a chance to use the shock-stick on the woman, he’d pressed the muzzle of the pistol against the side of his ugly blue head.
“Leave her be or we’re through doing business,” he whispered, deadly and serious. He wasn’t about to stand by and let a man beat a defenceless woman because she’d dropped something.
He really hated these backwater ports. They had no manners or breeding.
The man smiled and slipped the stick back into its holster. He babbled on about the lack of good hands in the port and other things that he didn’t bother listening to. His concern was wholly with the woman. Bending over, he caught her around the upper arm and hauled her to her feet.
She immediately turned her face away from him, gathered the things she’d dropped, and hurried off.
Not exactly the appreciative response he’d expected. He’d saved her from a beating after all. She could have at least shown a little thanks. A smile would have done.
He finished checking off the inventory while the man continued to talk about supplies. A high pitched whine in his ear and a fizzing noise made him flinch. He tugged the translator out and glared at it. A thin column of smoke was coming out of the small sky blue device. He removed the secondary device from his throat. Without the translator working to detect the language being spoken to him, the voice alteration system wouldn’t work—it wouldn’t be able to change what he was saying into the appropriate language.
The man continued to talk. He could only pick up the occasional word. A cursory glance around him revealed that none of his crewmen had their translators on them and he knew none of them could speak Sekarian. He frowned as he listened hard, trying to catch the few words he’d learned during his tutelage on Lyra Prime. He wished his parents had let him have the memory injection he’d wanted for his twenty-first birthday. The knowledge of all those languages would have made his life a lot easier.
He tossed the broken translator and voice alteration device over his shoulder. There was a scuffle but he didn’t look around. Lyran technology even in its broken state was worth a lot to the people who lived in places like this.
The man grinned at him, revealing a double set of broken and black teeth. Sekarian males really were a vulgar species—thin blue skin, rolls of fat, matted black hair and the worst hygiene he’d ever come across. He’d hate to see their women. He swallowed and smiled, taking the inventory pad back but never taking his hand off his pistol. The man gestured towards something and he looked across the cluttered low-lit room full of ship parts to see the woman he’d helped stand. The man said something with an ever-widening smile. He didn’t understand a word of it. He smiled and nodded, wanting to get away and presuming the man was saying something about the fact he’d been kind enough to spare her a beating.
He handed the man two gold Lynans and then walked away, signalling for his men to join him. The man grabbed his arm. He turned on the spot with his pistol raised, a frown marrying his dark eyebrows. The man shook his head and said something. He cursed the broken translator. Did he want more money? He went to put his hand into the pouch at his waist to get more but then stopped when the man left him. He holstered his pistol and watched in fascination as the Sekarian grabbed the woman’s arm and dragged her over. She struggled, whimpering and trying to prise the man’s fingers off her.
When the man stopped in front of him with the woman, he didn’t know what to do or say. It definitely wasn’t more money he wanted. He looked around him again, desperate to find one of his crew that could understand what was happening and wanting nothing more than to get back on the ship as quickly as possible. All of his crew had gone off with the supplies, leaving him alone to deal with the shop owner.
“I don’t understand,” he said.
The man grinned and lifted the woman’s arms, prodding her curved sides and toned stomach. He frowned when the man squeezed the woman’s breasts and the woman hung her head forward and tried to turn away, as though ashamed. The man muttered something and grabbed her jaw, forcing her head up. She looked at him with emerald eyes rimmed with long dark lashes. They would have been beautiful had there not been so much fear and disgust in them. The man squeezed his fingers into her cheeks, making her open her mouth. He gestured lewdly towards his crotch and the woman snapped out of his grip. The man grabbed her by her hair and dragged her back to him.
He’d had about enough of this. It was sickening to see this man parading the woman as though she was nothing but flesh for pleasure or profit. His hand went to his pistol.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Captain Lyra II.”
He turned sharply to face the newcomer. A Minervan mercenary. It was easy to recognise one. The black and silver flight suit and malicious glint in the man’s all-black eyes gave him away. His hand locked tight around his pistol but he didn’t draw it. The Minervan man grinned at him, exposing the sharpened points of his glistening white teeth. If it weren’t for such a disgusting habit as that, the Minervans would have been comparable to Lyrans in their beauty.
He’d hoped that no one would know him here. His heart thumped hard against his chest while he waited to see what would happen. The Minervan mercenaries loved nothing more than trying to kidnap him or his brothers. The ransom his parents, the king and queen of Lyra, would pay for their safe return would set them up as one of the foremost powers in the galaxy. They knew this and they were intent on getting their hands on the money one way or another. Not even the Minervan military were above attempting to kidnap them at times.
A few of his crew members returned, their guns instantly locked on the Minervan.
The Minervan smiled. “I’m not here to fight. I am here to amuse myself. My ship is in no state to battle yours.”
“Amuse yourself how?” he said.
“With your ignorance,” the Minervan said.
The Sekarian trader babbled something and his attention was back with him. The trader cupped the woman’s crotch and she whimpered and tried to escape him. He turned his gun on the trader, torn between protecting himself and protecting her.
“I said I wouldn’t do that... all that education must have gone to waste on you.” There was a laugh in the Minervan’s tone.
He’d learnt enough about the universe on Lyra Prime to spend years practicing the Minervan language so he’d never be in a situation with one where he didn’t know what was going on.
“Why not?” he said.
The Minervan laughed and turned away. “Because you own her. The little whore is yours now. Another time, Captain Lyra II.”
He stared at the woman. He owned her? When he got back to the ship, he was going to write an angry letter to the scientific institute on Lyra Prime. It was time they made him a translator that didn’t break after barely a week’s use.
“Captain, we must leave.” The crewman nearest him gestured in the direction of the ship.
He continued to stare at the girl. The Sekarian grabbed the chain attached to the collar around her throat and held it around to him. He owned her? Had the man offered her along with the supplies? Did he think he wanted a pleasure slave?
The woman lowered her head so her matted long jet black hair covered her face. Her arms wrapped around herself. She looked so incredibly small and hurt. His eyes traced the numerous pale scars on her dirty flesh. He couldn’t leave her here. The Sekarian would probably kill her if he did.
He took the chain, bowed stiffly to the man, and then turned towards the docks. He kept the chain tight at first, dragging her along with him at a swift pace, and then slowed once he was out of sight of the Sekarian. The chain slackened and he looked back at the woman. She was walking behind him, her head bowed and air subservient. He hadn’t realised just how little clothing she was wearing. Nothing more than thin scraps of material covered her crotch and breasts. He wasn’t going to enjoy walking onboard his ship with her. The scientific institute were going to get a very angry letter.
He ignored the jeers and wolf whistles of his crew as he walked up the ramp of his ship and through the corridors. A tinny echo followed him as he stormed towards the rear of the ship, his boots heavy on the black metal walkway. He opened a door at the end and went to enter.
The chain tightened and he turned to see the woman had braced her bare feet and hands against the doorway. He walked back to her. She gave him a fearful look and then her eyes flickered to the room. He looked at it, at the point where her eyes had darted to. The bed. When he looked back at her, she was shaking her head, spilling tears onto her cheeks.
“No... no... that’s not why I brought you here,” he said but she continued to shake her head.
Clearly she didn’t understand. He growled in frustration and she flinched, curling up into a ball. He didn’t have time for this. He wanted to be out of this system as soon as possible. There was no time for fooling around with translators and women.
He grabbed her, restrained her arms, and carried her through the room and into the bathroom. He dumped her down under the shower and turned it on, keeping hold of the chain that connected to the collar around her neck.
She hunched up, the warm water bouncing off her and plastering her hair against her face.
“Wash,” he said and she gave him a confused look. He ran his fingers through his hair, cursed under his breath, and then leaned towards her. “Wash!”
He grabbed the soap dust and shoved it into her hand.
She still looked confused.
Hadn’t she ever showered before? The amount of dirt on her said she probably hadn’t. He wondered what she looked like underneath all that filth. Taking some of the dust, he ran it under the water a moment, until it became a gel and swelled up. He took a deep breath and then applied it to her shoulder. She tried to get away from him, dragging him into the shower and dousing him. He growled and tugged on the chain, wrapping it around his hand until she was forced to remain near him.
He rubbed a patch of her shoulder with the gel and was surprised when pale skin was revealed.
“Wash,” he said, glancing into her eyes to make sure she understood now. He took her hand and poured some of the dust onto it. It swelled up. She stared at it and then her gaze followed his hand and hers as he made her wash herself. “Wash.”
She swallowed and nodded.
He was getting somewhere at least. He released his tight grip on her chain, letting it go slack.
His eyes widened when she stripped off her little tan coloured top and he turned his back on her. He stared at the far wall, trying to erase the sight of her round breasts from his mind. His cock twitched and his eyes slid to the mirror on the wall. She’d turned her back too. He struggled to keep his breathing level while he watched her washing, the soap suds skimming down the luscious curve of her bare back.
Dropping the chain, he left the bathroom and went straight to the door. He needed to get out of this system. He hated these backwater ports.
He closed the door to her room and locked it from the outside so she couldn’t escape. He’d get one of the female officers to tend to her and bring her food and clothes. The less he had to do with her the better. At the first available and half-decent planet, he’d drop her off with a few gold Lynans and she’d be out of his life.
He walked up to the bridge and issued the order to leave as soon as they had everything onboard.
Before a handful of minutes had passed, they had blasted out of the atmosphere and were heading into deep space. It was several days journey to the nearest imperial army space station. Hopefully they could find somewhere to set the girl down en route. He didn’t want to have to explain about her to the admirals at the space station. He’d be the laughing stock of the fleet. His brothers would never let it go.
He handed out orders to the crew on the bridge and then walked down the corridor towards the mess hall. The moment he entered, he looked around for a female crew member. There was only one. He recognised her as one of the co-pilots.
“You,” he said and stormed towards her. “I presume word has spread quickly and you’re aware that we picked up more than spare parts at that port?”
She nodded, her eyes showing her smile even when her lips weren’t. He was already the laughing stock of his crew. Great. By Iskara’s wings, the scientific institute were in for a beating.
“She’s in the room by cargo bay three. Take some water to her, get her some clothes, do whatever needs to be done. Lock the door on your way out.” He turned away before the woman had a chance to protest and went to his quarters.
The door slid shut behind him with a sigh and he walked across the room to his desk. He slumped into his chair, wiped his hands over his face as though that action alone could erase all his stress, and then pressed the button to open the shutters across the window. The black of deep space greeted him, comforting and reassuring as always. It was just a few days, possibly even less.
He poured himself a glass of sapphire blue Lyran Aquan, the strongest liqueur in the Lyra system, and leaned back into his seat.
His thoughts drifted to the woman.
Would she understand when he dumped her on some planet where she didn’t know anyone?
Perhaps he should talk to her. She didn’t look Sekarian or Minervan, and she didn’t appear to be a Lyran. She hadn’t spoken a word to him so it was hard to tell where in the universe she came from. She could be from any one of the humanoid species. He wondered if she’d talk to him even if he tried to talk to her. Could she talk?
In Iskara’s name, how had she got herself stuck in that port as a slave anyway?
He remembered the Minervan and hoped that he wasn’t going to be trouble. Even with running repairs to the ship, it was in no state for a battle. All he wanted was a quiet trip back to the nearest space station for maintenance and a break. It had been three months since they’d left Lyra Seven, the outermost planet in the system, and they’d faced nothing but battle after battle. He was weary of them now, and longing for the stretching blue skies and warm volcanic baths of his home world.
A little pampering wouldn’t go amiss either.
Sometimes he thought his eldest brother, Sebastian, had things right. Stay at home on Lyra Prime and live a life of luxury and safety.
Other times, he wanted nothing more than to embrace the adventure and excitement that being a captain in the Lyran Imperial Army offered him.
Today, he just wanted to shut himself away until everything blew over, everything including the woman.
The door intercom buzzed.
“What is it?” he hollered.
“Sir,” a female voice came through the speaker and he realised it was the woman he’d sent to check on their new guest. “I think you should come and see this.”