September 18, 2012 | Teaser Tuesday
The corridor let them out in a busy hive of Krinegi industry. Other slaves from the Maldorean ship already waited on a platform. A glance backward revealed more slaves being escorted toward the same stage. Cassandra was hurried up the steps and took her indicated place. A force field snapped closed around her with sickening finality.
Many species–some she’d never seen, jostled for position around the slaves for auction. Scanning the potential buyers, she shuddered with both dread and cold, and gave thanks for the force field that protected her from the spectators and bidders, at least temporarily.
A towering Krinegi male descended in a personal hovercraft, stopping just above the front of the platform. His amplified translator broadcast across the arena. “Welcome to the Slave Market.”
The crowd quieted as he opened the bidding with the offer of a tall Hakanese male. The humanoid did not wear a collar, but he stood passively, staring straight ahead as the Krinegi described him. From her position near the back of the stage, she saw only the back of head, neck, and upper shoulders. At the base of his neck the universal sign for a water demon’s servant had been embedded.
A surge of empathy for his plight washed over her and she wondered what had happened to his master. Perhaps the demon’s servant had been stolen from his home world as she had been. Maldoreans weren’t the only species to traffic in slaves. They weren’t even the worst. The Krinegi were said to hold that dubious honor.
Sounds of a scuffle pulled her attention to the area behind the platform. A pair of powerful males shimmered with aggression despite the heavy manacles binding their hands and feet. For a second she could have sworn they were covered in scales. She blinked and the illusion vanished.
The one closest to her met her gaze and flashed her a smile of dazzling brightness. His eyes glowed amber with an earth-dragon’s elliptical pupils. Drawn so strongly, she couldn’t have resisted, she stared at the other male. A fire-dragon’s ruby irises met her stunned gaze. An insane urge to protect them roared through her veins.
She forced her attention away from the dangerously compelling males. They’d awoken the wild yearning to erase the damage that kept her inner dragon permanently latent.From under her lashes she sought another peek at the gorgeous pair, but they were being dragged away by a squad of humanoid guards, wearing silver body armor with an air- dragon’s royal crest.
If powerful dragon males were held captive, then she truly had no hope. She tried to find comfort that they weren’t being auctioned off, but the strange feeling she’d failed the magnificent males persisted. With no distraction from her failure to save them or to escape her miserable slavery, her arm throbbed and although her skin burned with fever, she shivered.
Cassandra focused on her bare feet until her containment field moved, jerking her to the front of the platform. A fast scan of the bidders tightened her belly.