Axel Rex Chapter One

 

Chapter One

 

“Let me go you fucking robot! I live here… I didn’t do anything! Let me go!” the female screamed as Axel Rex escorted her from what was once a luxury apartment building in a city called Farringay.

“I am not a robot,” he corrected. “I am a cyborg in full battle armor.”

“I don’t care who you fucking are. You have no right,” she hissed. “I don’t wanna go anywhere. Let go of my arm.”

“I apologize if I have caused you pain. If you are in that building when we demolish it, you will die.” Axel didn’t stop until he had her outside the building.

“No, you can’t Sammy’s in there. You have to let me get him. Please don’t kill my cat. He’s my best friend,” she pleaded.

Axel receded the helmet of his armor and looked down at the disheveled and dirty female in his grasp. Her amber flecked green eyes shimmered with the hint of tears as she said the last, and something stirred in him as her scent reached his nostrils. Even under the smell of her unwashed body, a more subtle scent that put his body on alert.

The foul-mouthed female in his grasp was his female. He blinked and wondered if fate was playing a joke on him. My female? This is my female!

For a moment, the utter joy of the discovery stunned him. He sniffed to catch the scent again to be sure he wasn’t mistaken. He wasn’t.

“Please, you can’t kill my cat,” she cried, trying to wrench her arm from his grasp.

“Your cat?” he said, frowning as he stared down at her, thinking she might be attractive under that stringy dark hair and layers of dirt.

“Yes. I’ve had Sammy since he was a baby.”

Axel looked back at the tattered building he was about to destroy and scanned it with his internal sensors. There was a small feline hiding in some rubble at ground level. From previous observations, he knew that people living in the ruins valued their animal companions.

“I have orders to destroy all the buildings in this area. I will let you go back to get your cat if you agree to come back out,” Axel told her. “Do you also have belongings you wish to recover?”

She shook her head, staring up at him. “Nothing worth saving except Sammy. But where are we going to live if you destroy my building?”

“Go get your cat, and we will talk about it.” He released her, and she nodded. He watched her pick her way through the rubble as another shock of excitement raced through his mind and body. Mine, he thought.

Her body was lean and graceful, a bit too lean, but not surprising considering how people lived in the ruins of Farringay. Her hips swayed just a bit, clad in a ragged pair of shorts that barely covered her ass. Her muscular legs were shapely and her back straight. Her stringy brownish hair that hung to her shoulders.

Axel’s mind was racing as joy continued erupting inside him. He didn’t even know her name yet, and he was wondering how to break it to her that she was his. At least she wasn’t gravely injured and defiled as Jolt Somber’s mate had been. But he didn’t think this claiming would be so easy as Bodee Flint’s had been either. His mate had come looking for him.

He used his cybernetic internal scanner to follow her progress, waiting patiently for her to emerge with the cat she claimed. She picked up the cat from its hiding place, only instead of coming back to where Axel waited for her, she exited through a window at the back of the building.

Spark,” Axel called over the internal cyborg network. “The female is running. I’m going after her. The building is clear. Take it down.”

“Yes, sir,” his lieutenant responded. If his second in command wondered why he was going after the female, he didn’t ask. Axel would tell him if he wanted Spark to know. But it was unusual. People frequently ran when the cyborgs commanded them to leave the ruins of buildings, they called home. Axel had never gone after any of them. Then it dawned on Spark that the female must be his.

Axel ran in a parallel direction from the female, calculating where he could intersect with her route. He cut through an alley just ahead of her, stepping out in time to catch her before she ran smack into him.

She squealed as his hands gripped her upper arms. “Let me go,” she screamed. “Let me go.” Her eyes sparkled with anger as she stared up at him, clutching a big yellow tiger cat to her chest.

“I can’t. I won’t hurt you,” Axel asserted, staring down at her. “But someone else might. I can protect you.”

“I’ve done fine by myself until now,” she muttered. “I run fast and hide well. I don’t need your help.”

“Yes, you do. Where are you going to live? What are you going to eat? You are only one female. You have no weapons. If the gangers catch you, they just might kill you after they all rape you.”

“It hasn’t happened yet.”

“But it has happened to other females here. I can take you to a safe place where you can get food and shelter.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t want to go with you. Why do you even care, cyborg?”

“Clearly you don’t sense it the way I do, or you wouldn’t ask.” Axel hesitated. If he just blurted it out, she probably wouldn’t believe him. “Just come back to the barracks with me, and I will explain it to you while you have something to eat. Then, you can get cleaned up.”

“And if I don’t want to stay?”

“I hope I can convince you that you do.” He gave her a faint grin and loosened his hold on her arms. “Will you tell me your name?”

 

 

She caught her breath as she looked up into his steel-grey eyes. The faint smile he gave her softened his features and stirred things inside her that she didn’t know she could feel. …Things she didn’t want to feel for the big cyborg. A man like him could kill in the blink of an eye with no weapons. Would he do that to her if she didn’t do what he asked?

“L-Layne Rose,” she stammered. The way he was looking at her made her realize that killing her was not what he had in mind. He wanted her, and he wasn’t going to let her go. That excited her almost as much as it frightened her. “Can bring Sammy?”

“As you wish,” he said. “Come, our transport isn’t far from here.”

Just then, an explosion sounded from one of the buildings being demolished. Layne’s cat startled and dug his claws into her arm, trying to get away. “Sammy, no. Shh, it won’t hurt you.”

“We should go,” Axel said. “There will be more explosions. We have to clear four square kilometers from this area for the new starport and employee residences.”

“Where are all those people going to go?”

“There is an Enclave near New Chicago. We have been transporting people to join one of their communities out there,” Axel explained. “This way.” Axel pointed and rested a gloved hand low on her back to urge her to walk with him.

While they were walking, he summoned the pilot for the hover transport to take them back to the industrial complex that served as their base for the starport project. It was the closest building intact near Farringay that was large enough to hold the 500 cyborgs who were doing the demolition work and securing the perimeter of the project area. Axel was more than capable of flying the transport, but his crews would need it to return to base at sunset.

He didn’t want to leave Layne on her own until he settled some things with her. As they boarded the vehicle, Axel considered that it might all go better after she had a meal, a shower, and fresh clothes.

Ten minutes later, they were landing at the cyborg base. The old industrial complex consisted of four enormous connected buildings set in a rectangle with a once-grand court in the center. The courtyard was overgrown with weeds and tall grass.

The cyborgs made little effort to improve the place. It only needed to serve them for several months while demolished the ruins and built the starport, with housing for the employees, and support businesses for the community. It would be a gated community with security.

“It’s not much to look at,” Axel said as they went inside. “But it’s safe here. Do you want some food before you get cleaned up?”

“Yes, I would. I haven’t eaten since yesterday, and all Sammy had was a small mouse he caught,” she said to him.”

“Okay,” he said, “I will take you to the mess station.”

They walked through a wide corridor with large rooms on both sides that were filled with rows of bunks stacked two high. The mess area was located in the open area past the bunk rooms. Food processors were set near the wall to the right with six rows of long tables set back from the bank of food dispensers.

Axel led Layne to the food line. “Can you read, Layne?”

“Only a little. My mom started to teach me, but she was gone before I learned more than basic words.”

“Is she dead?” Axel asked.

“I don’t know. Mom disappeared one day and never came back,” Layne said with a sigh. “I’m sure something happened that she couldn’t come back or she would have. She could be dead.”

“I am sorry for your loss,” Axel said sincerely. “What would you like to eat?”

“I mostly eat meat, whatever I can catch or kill, mostly small animals: squirrels, rats, rabbits. I find greens and fruit sometimes in the growing season.”

“Here we have cultured meat and eggs, vegetables, and fruit, pasta and various mixtures of everything. We also have coffee, tea, and various fruit drinks.”

Layne looked up at him and shrugged. “Pick something that you think is good. And some meat for Sammy.” She set the cat on the floor now that they were away from the blast zones in the city. The cat generally followed her wherever she went.

 

Copyright©2019 by Clarissa Lake and Christine Myers

 

 

Rader’s Bride

 


AMAZON

Available on Kindle Unlimited

 
 

      Skye Carter’s life changed abruptly when the Drayids attacked Earth and cut a one-mile section out of a dozen cities all over the world. The hole they cut in Washington, D.C. took out the bookstore/internet café business that she had worked five years to build. It was all gone, leaving her a mountain of debt. She decided to sell her house and look for a job to pay for her losses. Then she found an ad for the Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking Service. It promised a ninety-nine percent guaranteed her match would be her soulmate. 

      Rader Knight was a cyborg warrior in the Alliance Defense Force, retired after thirty years’ service to a backwater colony with a shortage of females. He applies to the service hoping they will find him a soul mate. After two years, they found Sky Carter, and she was willing to make a leap of faith and accept his proposal and take a three-month space journey to be his mate.
Did Skye Carter really know what she was getting herself into?

Excerpt: 

 

     Rader was on patrol when he received Skye’s acceptance of his mating proposal from the matchmaking service. The usually calm and stoic cyborg commed Makus excitedly after he had reviewed the acceptance several times to be sure his new emotions were not causing him to misinterpret the message.

     He now had a mate, and she was coming to Glasica to be with him!

     Impatiently, he signaled Makus’s com a second time, and the other man answered.

     “Yeah, Rader. What’s up?”

     “Skye Carter from the dirt planet has signed the mating contract, and she’s coming on the next ship. It will take three months.” Rader said grinning.

    “Man, that’s great Rader, I am happy for you. Jhenre will be almost as excited as you are. She wants you to be as happy as we are. I don’t know much about Earth—just that the people are human like we are. But I’ve heard only good things about the matchmaking service. It could be rough getting to know each other at first, but you’re smart. You’ll figure it out.”

     “I have studied everything I could find about Earth culture of the people indigenous to the area around our base there. They seem a lot like us but low tech. But Glasica is very much Earthlike. It will all depend on how we do together. I worry that she might not like me in person.”

     “Don’t do that, boss. Jhenre said any woman with half a brain will see you have a lot to offer in a relationship, not to mention that all you cyborgs are good to look at.”

     “Jhenre thinks I am attractive?”

     “She does, but she’s mine,” Makus chuckled.

    “Of course, I know that. If Jhenre thinks I am attractive, then Skye may think so too.”

     “Right,” Makus said. “Don’t forget that you will be able to com with her interactively once she leaves Earth. That will give you time to get to know each other while she is traveling here.

     “I have not forgotten. Is it normal to have this much apprehension about the esteem of a female?”

     “I believe it is.”

     “Life was so much simpler when all I had to do was kill the enemies. I really want this female.  I feel like she is intended to be mine.”

     “Apparently Narovian Matchmaking came to the same conclusion. Don’t worry Rader. After she comes all this way, she can’t just turn around and go back. She could have the same feelings about this as you.”

 

***

     “Are you crazy?” Janie squealed when Skye confessed her plans. “You’re going to another planet to be some man’s wife you never met?”

     “But the service said he is my soul mate. They match people by DNA.”

     “Why are you doing this? Is it because of the attack last month?” Janie asked.

     Skye sighed. This was exactly the reaction she expected and the reason why she’d waited so long to tell her. “That’s part of it. Janie, I lost everything in that attack. When I was looking online to see what had happened, I found the matchmaking site. Then I thought why not?”

     “Why not use one of those dating sites here? Skye, you’re beautiful. You should be able to find a husband right here on Earth.”

     “I haven’t had a date in two years. I can’t even remember how long since I got laid,” Skye told her. “I’m twenty-eight years old. I don’t have that many more years to have kids. If I started dating a man right now who I could marry, it might be two more years before that happened.”

     “They couldn’t find a man here on Earth out of seven billion people?”

     Skye shrugged. “There might not be that many in their database from Earth yet. I don’t know.”

 

     Skye took out her smartphone and scrolled through her pictures until she found the ones of Rader. “Here, this is him.” She handed Janie the phone.

 

     Janie took it and groaned as she looked at Rader’s handsome face and broad shoulders. “Well, they sure picked you a pretty one. Ooh, wee. But still, three months in space to another planet. I wouldn’t do it—not even for this handsome hunk.”

     “Well, I am. I’ve already signed the mating agreement. It’s all arranged,” Skye said. “Anyway, I didn’t call you here to have you talk me out of this. I wanted to see if there’s any of my stuff here you want before charity comes to pick it up. I’ve got kitchen stuff, clothes, any of the furniture. The appliances are staying.”

     “When are you leaving?”

     “Day after tomorrow,” Skye said with calm determination.

     “What about the closing on your house?”

     “The lawyer will handle it, and the money will be deposited in my account. It will be converted into Alliance funds as will all my savings.”

     “Will that be enough to get you home if you find you have made a colossal mistake?”

     “Possibly,” Skye said, “Or it might be enough for me to start a new business on Glasica.”

     “That’s the planet name?”

     “Yes.”

     “Will I ever see you again?”

     “Possibly not, but we can keep in touch on the internet.”

    “I’m going to miss you.” Janie suddenly hugged her.

     “You are one of the few people I will miss,” Skye said blinking against the sudden prick of tears. Janie had always been more than an employee. She had been with Skye since the beginning five years ago when it was just the two of them running the “Books and Data Stop.”

    After their hug, Janie started looking through the clothing on the living room sofa that Skye was getting ready to pack in boxes for the charity pick-up. Janie picked a few things, and Skye packed the ones she rejected into boxes.

 

Argen’s Mate Farseek Mercenary Finale

AMAZON

Argen

Argen Trematu was home on leave from Farseek Brigade when the Sargan’s attacked his home world. After they destroyed the Farseek colony, Argen was scooped up with the rest of the survivors and sold into slavery. Uatu warrior, Lieutenant Commander Trematu didn’t make such a good slave. He rebelled at every turn which landed him on the Julconi prison planet fighting in the pit.

He thinks his life is over until an old friend comes to tell him the Farseek Mercenaries were coming to the rescue. Argen never thought landing on the prison world would be his lucky break.

…. And he never expected to meet her on the rescue ship.

Zoey

Zoey Addison was kidnapped from Earth to be sold into slavery. She rescued with four other Earth women by the Farseek Mercenaries. Zoey joined the Mercenaries with her three friends because they had nowhere else to go. Her friends all found their soul mates among the crew and Zoey was feeling left out.

….Until she was checking in the rescues from Julconi. Dressed in rags and so dirty she could barely discern what color he was Argen walks up to her table and takes her hand. The attraction between them all most crackles.

The two share the dreams of the rest of the Farseek Mercenaries to return to Farseek with their people and build a life together never sure it will really ever happen…

Preview:

Argen Trametu

The stench of unwashed bodies and smoke hung heavy in the air. The crowd was a noisy bunch, and a lot of them were drunk. If one didn’t know better, they might think they were in a rowdy bar in a seedy port city. But it was a prison planet, and we were all prisoners.

I was in the fight pit. It was my second fight of the night and his first. My last match didn’t last nearly long enough. I needed to punch someone or something for a lot longer than I got to punch him. I thought Alarian warriors were a tougher lot than that. Our match barely went three rounds, and most of his punches didn’t land. He smelled of rotgut whiskey, so maybe he was drunk. But I pounded him without mercy.

Even that was not nearly enough to assuage the rage I still felt at landing here on the prison planet of Julconi. I am a Uatu warrior from Farseek, and I had done nothing to warrant going to a prison planet for the rest of my life.

I was on leave visiting Farseek, my homeworld when the Sargans attacked and left our world in ruin. I remember walking with mother at the open-air produce market in the town square.

My next memory was waking up strapped to a bunk on a slave ship. I was no slave! I am an Uatu warrior of the Farseek Brigade! I escaped every chance I got.

They punished me, tortured me every time, and every time I did it again. I didn’t know the slavers put a tracker chip under my skin. I could never get to a starport to steal a ship and get off world.  They used flying drones to track me. The drones had shockers that shot me and dropped me wherever I stood.

That was painful enough. Then the punishers shackle me naked by my wrists and ankles to what can only be called a torture frame. I’ve been whipped, beaten, and repeatedly shocked until I wished they would just kill me.

I hated being helpless to defend myself. The Sargans knew I would kill them had they left me unrestrained. They always tortured me unconscious before they took off the restraints and threw me in a cell until they could sell me off.

Finally, they must have grown tired of torturing me, so they sent me here. At least now I could fight back, sometimes three fights a night. So, far I haven’t lost, though sometimes I take a good beating before it’s over. Sometimes the pain is better than feeling nothing at all.

The next fighter was new and looked more evenly matched. The first round we danced around each other throwing and blocking punches. He was pretty good, but I was better. He clearly had training in hand to hand combat, but few styles compare to that of an Uatu warrior. I toyed with him for a while letting him think he was actually blocking me. The next round I made my move landed more blows than he could block. I pounded him and roared like a crazed animal when he fell, and the rules said I had to stop.

The rage just welled up inside me. He was no innocent. Duck, block, punch, pivot kick. He lasted five rounds, and I knocked him out. Then I got a thirty-minute break. The next guy was bigger and meaner and had horns.

This one was hard to beat, and I took a lot of hits, but so did he. We each got in two knockdowns but I got the last one in the twelfth round, and he didn’t get up for another.

No, I didn’t kill him. I really had no grudge against him. He was just someone to hit… to pound out my rage at what the Sargans had done to my family and my world. It was not enough. It would never be enough!

The next day everything changed. I dragged out of my hovel to find some food and fill my plastic jug with water at the community well.

Then I heard someone call my name and I turned to see who it was,

“Trametu, is that really you?”

“Pegitu, what the hell are you doing here?” I murmured, hardly believing my eyes.

He nodded his head, silently asking me to go with him, so I did. He was probably the only man on Julconi who I would trust.

* * * *

It was midday before I saw Argen again. He was downright handsome all cleaned up and rested. I couldn’t help smiling up at him when he came and stood in front of my table. I felt giddy as pleasure and attraction bubbled up inside me at his presence.

“Hi sweetheart,” he said. “I had to see you. Do you think we could have third meal together in the mess hall today? I would so like to get to know you better.”

“I would like that. You look much better. Did you rest well?”

He shrugged.

“Sometimes it’s hard to rest in a new place. I’ve only been here a couple days myself. The accommodations are actually nicer than mine on Dread One, but the bed’s not the same. And the smell is different.”

“It’s a new ship,” Argen said.

“It is. We stole it from Tegliar Station,” I told him.

“I wish I could have been there for that,” he grinned. “I hope they don’t catch up to us.”

“You and me, too.” I smiled.

It was hard not to smile while I was talking with him. I knew he was handsome under all that dirt but cleaned up he looked so good I could hardly stop staring. All the Uatu men were stunningly attractive even with their odd colored skin and hair.

His skin was a pale lavender, and his hair was a darker lavender color. It had been pretty long when he came on board, but now it was clipped close to his head in what seemed to be the universal military cut.

I hoped the way I was looking at him made him feel as good as I felt at how he was looking at me.

“We’re finished here. Would you like to go to the mess and get a cup of tea?” I offered. There was no such thing as coffee out here, but the tea had about the same kick as coffee, and it tasted good.

“I need to stop at my cabin on the way, but I would love to have tea with you,” he grinned.

Farseek warriors were seldom demonstrative in public. Argen walked beside me down the corridor to the lift to level three where his cabin was. When we got there, he invited me in, and I fell right for it.

As soon as the door closed behind me, he pivoted and held my head between his large hands pressed those sexy lips to mine. I just melted against him and put my arms around him like I wanted to do the first time I saw him.

Solmatu! As soon as our lips touched and my arms went around him, I knew it was true. I felt such elation just to be in his arms for the first time. His tongue slipped between my lips, and I opened for him, giving him free reign to stake his claim. Mine! Mine!

Copyright © 2018

Clarissa Lake

Sahvin’s Mate – Farseek Mercenary Series Book 3 by Clarissa Lake

 

AMAZON

Description

Savin Kazza, a Narovian feline humanoid was an alien undercover on Earth when he was kidnapped by alien slavers thinking he was human. He was sold into slavery and sent to the mines on Breskaa where he thought his life would end.

Enter the Farseek Mercenaries, who are traveling through the Sargus Empire, searching for their stolen people who were kidnapped from Farseek and sold into slavery throughout the Empire. The mercenaries hate slavers and slavery, so while they are freeing their enslaved people, they free all the slaves on Breskaa. Sahvin readily agrees to go with them.

Nora Reed has also been kidnapped from Earth by Alien Slavers and now she is working for the mercenaries recording the refugees as they come aboard Dreadnaught One. Known for the irresistible pheromones felines give off when they find their soulmates, Nora is stunned when Sahvin’s innocent touch sets off an uncontrollable urge to mate with him.

From there things heat up.

Contains explicit sex scenes.

SAHVIN

An explosion shook the whole building, and I awoke to chaos. The barracks guards came running from their rooms at the four corners of the mens barracks, pulling on clothes and with weapons drawn. Someone turned on the overhead lights as we started rousing from our bunks. We didn’t have to dress. Slaves only got one set of clothes and one pair of shoes.

Not knowing what might happen, next, I pulled on my boots. Suddenly, both the front and back doors of the barracks crashed open and four armored beings stormed in and took out the guards. I thought we were next, but one of the beings receded his helmet and spoke in a calm even voice. Except I didn’t understand a word he said. By then my friend Bill was up. I waited until he stopped talking, then asked “Bill, who is that and what did he say?”

“They are Farseek Mercenaries, looking for people from their world. There are quite a few of them here, but they also said they will take all of us slaves with them.”

“As slaves?” I wondered.

“No, as free people. They can’t promise they will get us back to our homeworlds, but we will be free to make new lives for ourselves.”

“Thank the Gods,” I said gripping his arms as he grasped mine. “We’re going to be all right.”

“I sure hope they have some decent food,” Bill said. “Look at me, I’m wasting away to nothing.”

I just grinned at him. He was a big guy and more than a little overweight when we arrived on this gods forsaken planet called Breskaa. His excess body fat probably helped sustain him through our ordeal. He was now at an ideal weight for his body type.

I had lost weight, but my species has a slower metabolism and our bodies are better as regulating our weight than homo sapiens.

“He said pack up our stuff as quickly as possible then he will lead us to the shuttles that will take us up to their ship.”

“That won’t take long. We are wearing practically all we own,” I said. “All I have to do is put on my jacket.”

We had to wait about an hour while the Farseekans secured the area around the barracks, then we were loaded into a troop shuttle to go up to their starship orbiting the planet. I didn’t know where they were taking us, but anywhere was better than here. But I am getting ahead of the sequence of events that brought us here.

I am Sahvin Kazza, a feline humanoid from Narova. I was stationed on Earth as an operative for the United Alliance of Planets Law Enforcement. I was off our base there on reconnaissance at a tavern where we suspected Tenzari agents were kidnapping Earthers to sell into slavery. I was disguised as a homo sapien, wearing contact lenses to cover my feline eyes and my blue hair had been dyed a dark brown.

Walking back to the lot where my assigned vehicle was parked a dark SUV with tinted windows pulled up beside me and asked where the visitor lot was for a business I did not know. When I stepped a little closer to tell them to ask at a nearby restaurant, they shot me with a stunner and the next thing I remembered was waking up on a starship strapped to a bunk. Wearing only a thin pair of shorts and a shirt.

I knew immediately I was on a slave ship; I had been stolen from Earth to become a slave. But by whom? This wasn’t a Tenzari vessel. The language printed on the signs that I could see, was a language I didn’t recognize. I am a trained agent with seven years’ experience, but I was off duty. The car driver looked like an ordinary human. I had no reason to suspect any harm from him. I only turned my attention away for a second to point out the local café when I was zapped. I was armed with my own similar weapon at the time.

Now I had nothing but the clothes on my body and a horrible headache. There were many bunks like mine in the room with other males strapped to them. Some were homo sapiens and others were of humanoid species I did not recognize.

  *****

Nora Reed

I am Nora Reed from Earth. I was abducted from there by alien slavers which is still hard to believe even as I write it. A nurse by profession, I lived on the edge of our small southern Ohio town where the rural delivery mail route begins. I stopped my car at the end of the drive and got out to pull any mail out of my box and a dark SUV pulled up beside me. The middle aged man rolled down his window and zapped me with some kind of stun gun.

The next thing I knew I was waking up in a large room filled with bunk beds three high strapped to one. My own clothes were gone and I was wearing a dress made diaphanous material under which I was naked. I felt like I had a bad hangover, and there was a spot behind my ear that was sore. Shortly after I woke, a being that looked like a catfish with arms and legs came in and told us we no longer on Earth and were slaves of the Sargus Empire.

Now I’m not usually a crier, but I just burst into tears like many of the other women. How could this happen? I always thought those alien abduction stories were a load of crap. But there I was.

After fish guy left the room, the straps holding me fastened to the bunk were released automatically. I saw up and looked around me. All of us looked relatively humanoid, but we were clearly not the same species. I saw three other humans nearby who looked like they were from Earth. The rest even those that looked human had peculiar colored skin and wildly bright colored hair. Teal seemed to be a recurring color, neon yellow, purple, orange and blue. Skin colors varied and some of the females had ridged foreheads and some were light purple and bald.

There was one pretty little alien that was telling us all, “Don’t worry. My father is governor of Halor and he will send someone to rescue us. This lot has taken the wrong female.”

I hoped that was true. But even if it were, would they take us back to Earth?

I climbed down from my bunk and padded over to two of the women who looked like they were from Earth. They looked as disoriented and disheveled as I felt. I introduced myself and they told me their names, too. There was Scarlet Andrews, a tall blond with short cropped hair, Harper Avery, almost as tall with longer blondish hair, then Zoe Addison about my height with medium length black hair.

We decided we were either on some scifi movie set or these were for real aliens. They looked pretty real to me. Even with the evidence right in front of us, we found it hard to believe it was really happening. We each had a story remarkably similar. We’d all been grabbed off the street going about or daily routine. They took me with my car still running in the driveway. I wondered how long before it quit or someone noticed I was gone.

I don’t know how long before we got to the planet where we would be sold. It was at least a few weeks and that was an ordeal in itself. We were stuck in one large room with bunk the only furniture. Twice a day a autocart brought food in the form of hard biscuits. Scarlet said they tasted like the dog biscuits you buy in the bulk food department. They were dry and bland but we ate them because that’s all they gave us with bottles of water to wash them down.

It was probably just as well. We only had four toilets between at least one hundred of us. There was little for us to do to pass the time but tell stories. By the time we shuttled down to that world where we were going to be auctioned off, the four of us from Earth had shared our life stories. Sometimes we speculated about what was going to happen to us.

It didn’t make sense they would kidnap us to be working slaves when they had the technology to go between star systems. Of the four of us, my profession was probably the most technical, but surely their practice of medicine was far in advance of ours. Kyanna Evzen of Halor told us that the Sargans used slaves for all types of manual labor as well as entertainment and breeding more slaves.

It sure didn’t sound good. The journey seemed endless, but we had developed a daily routine and a social structure. I was amazed to find that most of the females of the other humanoid species were reared in families not unlike ours.

Sure, they had different social customs and some had different marital practices. Some were matrilineal and some were patrilineal. Sexual practices varied where courting was initiated by the female instead of the male. One species practiced group marriage with multiple males and females.

We knew the game was over when we landed. They made us all get naked and put us through a mass washing system sorta like a car wash then gave us back the filmy sack dresses to wear then took us to this building and lined us up.

Shortly after that, all hell broke loose. We could hear weapons fire and there was a small explosion. A few minutes later this big robot came strolling into the corridor where we were waiting for the auction to start. He stopped in front of Harper and then his helmet folded into itself and revealed a big gorgeous man under there.

He seemed kind of stunned as he looked at Harper, then seemed to mentally shake himself before he called for Kyanna Evzen. She was telling the truth. Her father had sent Commander Zared Maktu and his mercenaries to rescue her and her friend, but he said that we could come too if we wanted to be free. Damn right we did!

It was cold walking outside with no shoes and no coat or even real clothes. But no one was complaining as the hot commander led us to a shuttle. There was only seating for about twenty-five and there were a hundred of us. Most of us ended up sitting on the floor in the cargo hold, but we were damn glad to get away from the slavers.

Accommodations on their warship, I heard later it was called a dreadnaught, were not as good as the slaver’s bunk room, but we didn’t care. We were so relieved not to be sold into slavery. Soon after we arrived, a young mercenary came for Harper. Zoe, Scarlet, and I gave each other knowing looks and giggled because we knew the moment that hot commander set eyes on her that he wanted her. She looked as stunned as he was.

When she came back just after it fell like the ship took some kind of hit, she was blushing and she looked like she had been thoroughly kissed.

“He said I am his soul mate, and he wants to court me,” she told us. “Just like that.”

“What did you say to that?” Scarlet asked.

“He didn’t give me time to say much of anything before he was kissing me,” she said, blushing.

“And of course, you beat him off,” Scarlet teased. “Does he kiss as good as he looks?”

“Way better,” Harper laughed self consciously. “The thing was, he was dead serious. He wants me to be his mate.” She shook her head.