Evanne Lorraine
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The Slave Market’s Back Door

The following scene never happens in Slave Market, but if the story had gone a different direction….


“Belz, you’re acting as Cassie’s Dom,” Xyn said flatly.

Cassie saw that coming–he’d made his disgust with her plain enough. Still she couldn’t control the wild racing of her pulse as she peeked at Xyn to see if he might change his mind.

The Fire Dragon’s expression was as flat as his tone and her hope sank. Then she noticed how tightly clenched his fists were and her foolish heart fluttered faster with fresh hope.

“If that’s the way you want to play this,” Belz drawled. “Come on over, Sweet thing and let’s see how well you can follow orders.”

She moved toward him, keeping her gaze lowered and promising herself that whatever they required of her, she would do. After all it was her fault the young dragon princess had been taken. She’d been too slow and too weak to save her. Captured by Maldorean pirates, Cassie could imagine what the princess was suffering much too easily. Her stomach knotted with her own memories of the slavers’ torture and she prayed to the Goddess the princess was spared those kinds of soul eating levels of pain, humiliation, and terror.

The least she could do was cooperate with the rescue team. The King had promised her that it was just role-playing. She could certainly handle a cameo acting part.

Thank the Goddess she wasn’t required to actually have sex. Although for those few moments she’d been alone with Xyn, he’d touched her so carefully–almost reverently as if she were truly desirable– not just plain old Cassie. Her body had grown soft for him and whispered insane yearnings–and wild longings.

Belz cupped her shoulder and she jumped, jerking away from him. He took a step back. Shooting a silent question to Xyn, he moved further–giving her a lot more space.

“I want to try it again, I can do this,” she said before Xyn dismissed her. When he didn’t say anything right away, she added, “You need me. I’m the only one who will recognize the kidnappers.”

Without bothering to answer her, Xyn stepped away too. After signaling Belz to join him, he glanced at her–pinning her in place with his gaze. “Chill.”

Easier said than done, she fumed to herself. Although Xyn had a point. She needed to at least act cool. If she couldn’t manage that much, then she’d endanger the whole rescue operation and that meant death for her. Worse for the princess.

“Keep your eyes closed,” Xyn said.

Cassie obeyed instantly, determined to do her part this time.

A rough palm cupped her shoulder. She didn’t flinch–didn’t even want to escape the caress. She sighed with relief and something more she didn’t want to examine too closely. Although the male’s skin was callused, the point of contact tingled with awareness, carrying heat and strangely a sense of comfort–safety. A clean, faintly musky, and very male scent teased her nose. Her body softened, melting into his hard planes without any conscious intention on her part.

When he moved away, she had to fight to hold herself still rather than cling to him.

“You can open your eyes.” Xyn’s voice sounded deeper–as harsh as sand–and much closer than she’d expected. She looked over her shoulder, desperately wanting him to acknowledge approval of her performance. But Belz grinned at her from a few feet away.

Xyn stood close enough for her to feel his banked heat. It was his casual touch that had lit her inner fire.

Heat streaked up from her straining breasts, scorching her face.

“Guess that settles it,” Belz drawled.

“Looks like,” Xyn growled not sounding even a tiny bit pleased.

Belz inspected her thoroughly. “She makes good bait, might want to lower the neckline a little.”

Xyn made a frightening noise somewhere between a growl and snort.

“Or not,” Belz said, taking another step backward.

Xyn held out an open palm. “Give me the remote to her collar.”

“Already gave it her, sorry.”

Xyn’s laser glare focused on her.

Dropping her gaze, Cassie fumbled for the remote unable to resist the command in his eyes.

“How about this instead?” Belz pulled a choke chain from his pants pocket and tossed it to Xyn.

“Absolutely.” After looping the chain, Xyn carefully gathered her hair, holding it off her neck while slipping the second collar over her head. Then, he pulled a Jolly Roger pave diamond charm out of his pocket and fastened it on the dangling end.

Admiring the effect, his lips quirked into one of his fleeting crooked grins. “Looks good.” His smile vanished as fast as it had appeared. “The rules are simple. You do whatever I tell you to, instantly. You don’t speak unless I ask you a direct question. All questions will be answered one way–Yes, Master. Got it?”

“Yes, Master.”

His mouth twitched almost as if he wanted to smile again. Instead, he hooked the short end of her chain with his finger, tugging her gently behind him as he strode into the back entrance of the Slave Market.

Too late, she wondered how she was supposed to let him know if she spotted one of the kidnappers.

Xyn stopped just inside the rear entrance, as if he’d picked up her thoughts. “If you see one of the Maldorean pirates, then lean into my right side.”

Wonderful, now all she needed to remember was to only melt into his left side, unless she’d spotted a kidnapper. This not talking rule was already a lot harder to obey than she’d expected. A private smile curved her lips when a wicked inner voice whispered enjoying her role would make her more believable as Xyn’s slave.

Instantly she felt guilty for taking pleasure from anything while the princess was still in danger. No matter what she felt about it, she couldn’t deny that her body responded to Xyn on some primal level that she hadn’t even known existed for her. What a shame she wasn’t the kind of woman who inspired his passion.

Just once in her life, she’d like to live dangerously and feel the heat of a male’s desire instead of being scared of her own needs and every male she met.

They passed through an unlocked door, when she glanced back she read the staff only designation and met Belz’s hypnotic gaze. Hastily, she faced forward. When hallway intersected. She followed Xyn to the right. The passageway they’d just entered was wider, dimly lit, and crowded with couples locked together, and thick with the smell of mood mellowing Twilight smoke, the latest favorite Stardust energy popper, and sex.

Belz stepped closer, placing one hand on her hip. Xyn slowed down. Their combined moves sandwiched her tightly between the two massive males.

Her fingers itched to stroke Xyn’s broad shoulders and to see if the hair curling against his nape felt as soft as it looked. But, she didn’t have permission to touch him and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to stop if she started.

To distract her wayward thoughts, she glanced at the closest couple. The woman was propped against the wall. Her partner’s broad back shielded her from view. A long shapely leg snaked around his flexing hips. A soft feminine groan followed. Then the man’s hips pumped energetically in an unmistakable rhythm.

After scanning the rest of the area, Cassie’s face heated even more. The other couples were all either very close to or actually having sex.

In a flash of clarity, she realized there would be no acting a role for her. She’d already promised to obey Xyn instantly. He would demand public sex, she would freeze, and the princess would die.


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