Soliv Four is Part One of a series that continues in the next book. Each book will highlight a separate romance with some of the romances occurring concurrently. While the story will continue through three or more books, each romance will conclude at a happy-for-now point.
The split second, the starting gun sounded; Angie set off sprinting through the jungle. Run! Run! Run! Her feet pounded the dirt path, and her arms pumped in rhythm with every stride. A quarter span head start didn’t mean much when they were sending four burly males, each vying to claim her as their own.
Two of them only bore a passing resemblance to humans. They were reptilian and blue with tails. Number three had a face like a bulldog with a lion type mane and a heavily muscled body covered in short, smooth fur. He had been salivating as he raked her curvy body with his eyes.
Number four, Mr. Sexy Eyes looked human, and it did things to her insides when their gazes met. What were the chances he would find her first? One in four?
She kept running, veering off onto side paths of the jungle maze. Angie was sweating profusely within minutes in the humid tropical heat.
She ran until each breath felt like a stab through her chest, and she nearly doubled over from the stitch in her side. Stopping to listen, she could hear pounding footfalls from the way she had just come. She had to hide. Those big, fearsome males would catch up to her in seconds if she stayed on the path.
No way was this what she signed up for. The way they had looked at her was sinister. The looks passing between three non-humans, just before she left on her head start, made her think they had made a pact together… to share if one of them caught her.
She couldn’t catch her breath enough to run anymore, and she felt slightly nauseous. Something wasn’t right. Her head felt like she had a hangover, she was queasy, and she felt… Horny? Her female parts clamored for attention.
They did this to her, those assholes who set her up for a one-way trip to this hell hole. Whoever caught her first would probably fuck her on the spot. The mere thought of release made her almost want to let it happen.
Angie mentally shook herself. She wasn’t a xenophobe. Lizards and dogs just didn’t appeal to her sexually.
If she could stay hidden until the clock ran out, she would pick her mate. IF…
Carefully parting the thick foliage, she slipped into the jungle off the dirt path. The hard-packed earth was trampled over so many times, just that day; her pursuers might not notice she had gone off the trail. If she crept and didn’t disturb the plants near the path, no one would be able to see her a few feet in.
As she moved slowly further into the foliage, she breathed in and out as quietly as possible, fighting the urge to gasp repeatedly. The air smelled of wet earth and vegetation, so humid that she was surrounded by a fine mist. She kept pushing through the thicket until she could go no further.
Sitting down amid the plant life to rest, Angie used her forearm to wipe the sweat from her brow. She sucked in air and blew it out as quietly as possible, hoping what sounded like birds chirping high in the canopy would cover the sound.
One or more of the males would catch her eventually. They gave her a knife, supposedly to defend herself. What a joke! She was a biotech. What did she know about fighting?
The hunt was utterly barbaric. Worse, people all over the sector actually paid to watch the games the warden and keepers played with the prisoners. This one was immensely popular.
She would belong to one of them by the end of the hunt. Angie didn’t know anything about them except they were convicts. All of them had been there more than a star span without female companionship. If she could evade them for the three spans allotted for the hunt, it would be her choice. She wasn’t counting on that.
There were no rules that would stop those males from raping her on the spot when they caught her, or all taking turns. It may have even been encouraged for better ratings. Strangely, she felt her nipples tighten, and her pussy clench at the thought. But she didn’t think of it as rape; it was three of them giving her pleasure.
Damn, she wished she hadn’t gone there. The need for release throbbed in her nipples and her clit. For a moment, everything around her became distorted and a little blurry for a few seconds. She had no doubt she’d been drugged with a powerful aphrodisiac. Why would they do such a thing? The only reason she could think was so she would be amenable for what was coming.
She squirmed and squeezed her legs together. The ache there was getting worse.
Hoping she had covered her trail well enough; she finally caught her breath. Uncertain how long she had been there, she heard rustling through the thick foliage coming toward her. Angie stood and took a giant step into the undergrowth, then turned to see that it closed after her. She took two more and stopped to listen, leaning against a green tree trunk.
The rustling sound was getting closer. Angie froze and took slow breaths as quietly as she could, listening. The movements sounded softer, but it was hard to tell if they were moving away or not. She still didn’t see anyone.
A scaled hand clamped over her mouth, and she was pulled tight against a hard chest. She bit his hand and screamed when he grunted in pain and pulled away. She tried and failed to break his iron hold around her waist.
“Let me go! Let me go!” she screamed and twisted, kicking at his legs.
“Stop fighting, or I will hurt you,” he rumbled in her ear. Then he held a knife up so she could see it.
Angie shuddered. Reptilians were OK from a distance, but she didn’t want to mate one even though her body betrayed her.
No, no, no, no, no! This wasn’t happening. It had to be a dream. Wake up now. But she knew it wasn’t, even though it was like a nightmare that started when she boarded the ship for Soliv Four.
Then, as suddenly as the alien had grabbed her, he grunted and let her go. She bolted, crashing through the jungle without bothering to hide her trail. It was so obvious; a child could follow it. After several minutes, she stopped and listened. The only sound was the chirping in the canopy.
Angie started moving again, parting the dense greenery carefully and taking a giant step ahead, letting it close behind her, barely disturbed. She paused to listen every few feet and resumed picking her way through. Finally, she broke through the thick vegetation to one of the dirt paths of the maze.
Looking both ways and listening carefully, she took off running down the path until she came to a dead end. Satisfied that she was alone on the trail, she plowed back into the undergrowth several feet, backing out very carefully as she left the false trail.
She quickly crossed the path and slipped into the jungle foliage on the other side, letting it close behind her.
Three spans, she had to stay hidden for three spans. One span was roughly equivalent to one-hundred minutes. Three spans were about five hours. Angie had no idea how much time had passed since this new nightmare had begun, but it was passing almost as slowly as each rotation span on the prison transport ship to Soliv Four…
This wasn’t what she signed up for.
Tomak Bah’rin and Coraz Da’koff watched as one of their team sparred in the cage with an alien named Jax. They had finished their training regimen and were just passing the time. They stood at the barrier between the observation seating and the training ring.
“I don’t get it, Boss,” Coraz said. “Why are you going on the hunt if none of the females are your fated?”
Tomak Bah’rin shrugged. “The warden said it was good for ratings… and he hinted that there would be consequences if I didn’t participate.”
“You don’t really think we have a chance of finding a true mate here?”
“Maybe a small one. If things were different, I would simply pick one I would enjoy. But we are in prison; we could be killed any rotation. It’s been three star-orbits, and no one has come for us.”
“We always knew it could come to this. Breaking us out of this prison would be an act of war. If the situation were reversed, I’m not sure we could extract an entire team from this place.”
“It would take at least two teams, and there would be collateral damage. I’ve come to accept it’s probably not going to happen,” said Tomak.
“Even in this place, it would be nice to have a warm, willing female to share your bed.”
“They are all willing, with the drug they are given. It’s gotten a few of them killed from being gang fucked too roughly by all four males in the hunt. I go to make sure that doesn’t happen. That damn drug makes the females beg for it.”
“I know; that’s sick.”
“Management doesn’t care. They only care about the credits the hunts bring. I am surprised that they are sending so many females to prison for life.”
“Maybe they are stealing them.”
“Considering what they put us through, I wouldn’t be surprised. We were played, and someone got a big payoff,” Tomak responded ruefully. “Nothing we can do about it now. I will just run the hunt tomorrow and eliminate the males who are most likely to abuse the female.”
“I think when my turn comes around, I will take a female. If it doesn’t work out, she can choose someone else. At least I can enjoy her until the libido drug wears off.”
“I can’t say I wasn’t tempted, but once you have had the pleasures of her body, it would be hard to give that up.”
“Then you could still be challenged for her by one of the other warriors,” Tomak reminded.
“Who of this lot can take anything from one of us?”
“Yeah, but it could still be an annoying interruption.”
The soft whine of a shuttle engine drew their attention as it was coming into land. Tomak pushed off the barrier and started heading for the fence that separated the prisoner’s yard from the landing pad. “Let’s have a look at the new batch of females.”
“Might as well. It’s too hot to train outdoors anymore.” Coraz fell into step beside him, and they ambled across the soft green moss that covered the open areas around the compound.
The grounds were beautiful despite the chain-link fences that divided it. That’s because Zekrain, a small island continent, was the jewel of Soliv Four Prison Planet. This was the only part of the prison; they showed the outer worlds.
This part of the island contained three compounds in one plus the training arena and the competition arena. The men’s barracks were adjacent to the training arena, and the female dorm was on the far side of the landing pad.
Tomak and Coraz arrived at the fence just as the shuttle ramp door opened. The first thing they noticed was the chains tying them together. They all looked scared as they were lined up, almost as though they were about to be executed by firing squad.
Tomak frowned at their demeanor, wondering what they had done to deserve this. Once they stood side by side, the attendant went down the line and removed the chains from their necks. As soon as he returned to the shuttle, the ramp closed, and the shuttle lifted off.
There were fifteen in this group, some humans and some humanoid. Even the plainer ones had nice bodies. Tomak and Coraz bantered quietly back and forth, assessing the virtues of each one while Tomak was considering which ones he would cast his lots for. Four males competed in the hunts for each female.
The prison compound occupied only a small portion of the continent. A much larger part was a tropical jungle. Part of it was sectioned off for the female competition, and a maze of dirt paths had been carved out by inmate laborers star orbits before Tomak’s arrival with his black ops team.
“Any to your liking?” Coraz asked.
“They are all attractive, but none I would claim.”
“I didn’t scent mine, either. But you are taking the hunt anyway?”
“The promoter says they get better ratings when I do when any of the squad does.”
“Bloodthirsty lechers. They like it when you kill somebody.”
“That is what we were trained and conditioned for. Some of them deserve to die for things they have done to land here, and some have injured the females.”
“Some of these thugs don’t care,” said Coraz. “Have we seen enough?”
“Yeah. It’s almost time for the drawings.” Tomak nodded.
More men had gathered at the fence to view the women. Tomak and Coraz had to push their way through the growing crowd. With fifteen women, sixty men could compete for them. Those men were chosen according to their ranking in the games.
Tomak and the squad usually ranked high and participated. Only a couple had taken females from the hunt by default. They killed the competition, and they were the only ones left to claim the female. They weren’t descended from the original Drapan colony as Tomak. They couldn’t scent a fated mate as he could. There was just something that would not allow his men to stand by and let another claim those females.
The next day, Tomak was in the first hunt with three humanoid aliens from a rival gang. He watched their faces as the female for their contest was introduced. She was a humanoid with copper skin, platinum hair, and large blue eyes that dominated her elfin features.
The event host brought her to stand a short distance away from the four males who would try to capture her. Tomak watched as she looked them over. Her gaze seemed to rest on one of the other three, with a hopeful expression. Her reaction to Tomak seemed neutral.
The male she favored was named Frellag. He was a humanoid covered in short, smooth hair in black and white stripes except for his black face. His black and white mane hair looked like a long Mohawk ending at the base of his neck.
It appeared to Tomak; the striped male and their female prey had made an unspoken connection. That told him how he would play his part in this hunt.
The males went back to sit in their assigned seats to down electrolyte laced beverages, while the female was led to the starting mark. Momentarily, a sound device produced a loud bang like a small explosive that signaled the start of the hunt.
She jumped at the sound then started running down the dirt path into the jungle while the men waited out the required quarter span lead. If Tomak wanted, he knew he could easily pick up her trail with his keen sense of smell and capture her. In fact, he was in his element in the jungle. He’d led his team through jungles on several planets to get to mission locations. They had gone through training maneuvers on Drapus many times.
Except for the Frellag, the others had only ever been in this jungle on hunts. By the time the announcer called them, they had all finished their drinks. They lined up at the designated spot. When the start signal sounded, three sprinted down the trail while Tomak jogged casually behind them.
He was surprised at how far down the main trail she had gone before veering off on a side trail to the left. If she were smart, she would hide in the thick foliage off the path.
Sometime later, Tomak was sure he had found where she went off the trail into the jungle. He followed the scent, moving stealthily through the vegetation. He followed the trail until it broke through to another path. Circling the area, he sniffed the air until he caught her scent again.
Tomak had followed her trail through the jungle, down another path, and through more of the jungle. He didn’t hurry because it was a long time until the clock ran out. He knew he would catch up to her sooner or later. Then he heard a scream, and cries of “No… Stop… Let me go.”
That made him realize his mistake. Management dosed the females with a libido-enhancing drug to make them want sex with any male who accosts her. Maybe it didn’t work on her race.
Tomak paused to listen until he determined where she was. Soon as he did, he set off at a dead run. He found them just off a path in the jungle where the plants were tramped down to form a small clearing. The two goons from a rival gang had the female between them.
They had ripped off her clothes and held her naked between them. One held her under her arms with his big hands clutching at her breasts. The other stood between her parted thighs, trying to push his cock into her opening.
Running up behind the brute who had the female’s legs, Tomak pulled out his long hunting knife. He drove the blade between two vertebrae in the back of the male’s neck, severing his spine. The humanoid made a gagging sound and let go of the female and crumpled to the ground, breathing his last.
The other male, a Perarin name Rako roared at Tomak as he saw the other male succumb. He pushed the female aside and charged Tomak, who dodged at the last second. The would-be rapist lost his balance and caught himself by grabbing a tree trunk and keeping himself upright.
The same two inmates had killed a female in another hunt by being too rough fucking her. She hadn’t even fought them. That was all the reason Tomak needed to kill them. This one was going to put up a fight. That was okay; Tomak had time to kill. The female crawled away as the brute pulled out his long knife, a mate for the one Tomak carried.
They sparred a couple minutes while trying to stick their knives into each other. Rako moved in to stab him, and Tomak kicked him in the abdomen, but it hardly fazed him. It only slowed him down enough so Tomak could whirl out of striking distance.
Rako moved to strike again, catching Tomak in the side, dragging the tip across his left ribs in a shallow cut. Tomak plunged his knife into the other man’s side. The wound hardly slowed him down, as he tried to punch Tomak in the face before he would pull out the knife.
Tomak dodged and retreated, watching and waiting, to anticipate his next move. Rako lunged at him again with his knife. Tomak went low and thrust his knife under Rako’s sternum. That was the killing wound, but Rako had stuck his knife into Tomak’s deltoid muscle. It hurt like hell, but no severe damage was done.
Rako gasped and first sank to his knees, then fell forward, smashing his face on the ground.
Blood soaked the front, and the left shoulder of Tomak’s shirt looking worse than it really was. He went over to the female on her hands and knees, crying over her shredded clothing. It was just a pair of pull-on shorts and a shapeless shirt. But now, she was naked.
As Tomak approached, Ferllag burst onto the scene with a roar, his knife raised.
“Easy, Ferlag. I was just trying to help her.” Tomak sheathed his knife and backed away. “But now you’re here, so I will leave her in your capable hands.”
Ferlag sheathed his knife and pulled off his shirt over his head, squatting down beside the female. “Don’t cry, little one. Put this on, and I will take you out of here.”
“My name is Lizara,” she sat back on her legs and held up her arms for him to slip the shirt on over her head. Then Ferlag gently picked her up and held her against his chest.
Lizara wrapped her arms and legs around his and rested her head against his shoulder. Ferlag gave Tomak a curt nod and marched out of the jungle carrying his prize.
Tomak smiled wryly and ambled after them, glad he’d gotten there in time.
Continued in the book. Coming Soon!