THE ASTRAL MAGE - BUY LINK COMING SOON!
Release date - June 25, 2014 - Secret Cravings Publishing
They weren't moving any longer. Even though Kyrus was in the bowels of the space freighter, he could definitely tell they had come to a stop. It probably wasn't a good thing. He had felt a shudder under his feet a little while ago, like something had possibly hit the hull. Kyrus tried again to look out the tiny laser-barred opening in the high density aquacite door to his cell but just like the hundreds of times he had done it before, he could see little of the hallway, much less anything else. And all he could hear was the constant groan of the engines. This close to them, he could feel their vibration too. The pulsation made him feel off balance and just a little nauseous.
He flopped back down on the small cot provided him. It was little comfort but why make merchandise comfortable? A commodity was all he was: an item of value, at least to some, to sell. But, he had to admit, this cramped, stagnant cube was better than the dark, musty, wet cell he had come from. He surely would have caught some incurable disease had he been made to stay there much longer. Luckily, unlike the Fera Nobi slaves he had been housed with who basically went on the block for auction the second they came to port, the transaction that sold him to the Captain of this freighter called Araeli, was done in private. Kyrus had been bound, blindfolded, and gagged, dragged up and out to the cold space docks then down to the bowels of this ship, and unceremoniously dumped into this cell.
They had uncuffed him so Captain Falland, himself, could "inspect" him—that having been extremely uncomfortable. He had been stripped to his boxers and made to stand spread-eagle while the captain walked slowly around him, touching and caressing him in ways Kyrus didn't think appropriate for anything, much less "live" cargo—and certainly not something you did in front of crew members. But according to Falland, he was searching for "concealed weapons". He paled remembering the painful squeeze to his buttocks, both cheeks—then the slow finger dropped into the back of his boxers, sliding along his crack, finding and going dry into his hole, pushing hard. He also didn't think the several painful ins and outs the captain did with that finger had anything at all to do with "finding a weapon" but he had been in no position to argue. He had simply screwed his eyes shut, concentrated hard on showing absolutely no fear, and failed miserably.
Thankfully, since then, the captain made no visits to his cell. Kyrus felt sure he would after that weapons search. But maybe Falland was just busy and hadn't taken the time. Kyrus had no idea how long this trip was going to be. It was something none of his captors evidently thought he needed to know.
Still, no matter where they were headed, four days out from the Great Simbos spaceport on New Titania did not get you to the next spaceport. Not even close. In fact, it only put you into deeper space far away from any civilization. The only reason a ship stopped mid-space like this was engine trouble and Kyrus was pretty sure he would have been able to hear it if something had gone wrong with the engines, so that wasn't the case. Or they were waiting for someone, which could be a possibility since he had no idea who Falland was selling him to. If it had been the Confederated Authority, or the ConFed as they were so lovingly referred to, they would be docking at an official CFA Space Dock, of which there were plenty, but not out here in the middle of nowhere. So that left any number of "others" who could possibly have an interest.
The only problem was in order for a transfer to happen out here the buyer's ship needed to be fairly large because it would have to have its own docking capabilities or, at the very least, house a runner in order to take in an escape pod. He had no idea how big the Araeli was, most likely a common enough freighter, so escape pods would be the only other way off the ship. However, jetting even one of them off a common freighter when there was no emergency did bad things to the stabilizers. Even he knew that. Escape pods were only used as a last resort.
Not to mention selling an Astral Mage, or a 'Soul Giver', to anyone other than the ConFed was considered illegal, so having that kind a transfer take place out in the vast wide open would not be a good plan. Even out in deep space the ConFed still had eyes and ears. So he doubted that was what was happening either.
The only other possibility was a bad one—a really bad one.
Suddenly a door was opening. Kyrus bolted back up and to the door of his cell right as the captain came into view. And he was in a hurry.
"Get back away from the door," the captain barked.
"Why? What's going on?" Kyrus tried to see out the tiny opening how many of the crew were with the captain.
"I'm not kidding, Kyrus. Get back. I have the wing tazer and I'll shoot you if I have to. Now get back."
Fuck. The wing tazer. No way. The use of a wing tazer was how he was finally captured this last time. The damn thing did something to the nerves in his body, shutting them down or numbing them somehow. All he knew was there was enough pain to make him pass out and independent movement was impossible for at least a couple of days. He stepped quickly away from the door as he heard the beeps and hum of the locking mechanism shutting down. When the door opened, Falland ran in, grabbed Kyrus by the shoulders, spun him around, and slammed him into the hard wall. The force was enough to take his breath away for a second, long enough for Falland to pin his arms back and bind them in laser cuffs. He spun him again and jammed a visor over his eyes, clicking it on, effectively blinding him. "What's happening?" Kyrus' voice sounded shaky and panicked—even to him.
"Just shut up and do as you're told." He was shoved forward; he assumed toward the door. It was then he realized Falland brought no one with him. He had come alone. What the hell was going on? He was pushed again, this time to the right then pulled hard as Falland took him by his upper arm and made him almost run. He had seen the narrow corridors of a ship's belly. Walking fast would have been difficult, but running was fucking dangerous. However, he had little choice. The captain was heads taller than he was and outweighed him by fifty plus pounds. Not to mention Falland was even stronger than he looked. The near-death grip he had on Kyrus' arm would definitely leave angry bruises.
Then Falland pulled him to a stop and a second later he heard the doors to a lift open. He was pushed on board and they were moving again. Up—the only way there was from this level. Shit. Where is he taking me? Why is he alone? Where the fuck is the rest of the crew? A few seconds later the lift lurched to a stop and once again they were running.
But at this level Kyrus could breathe in fresh, cool atmosphere. He was not used to the dank mustiness of the dungeons and now, smelling this crisp wonderful oxygen-filled air, he remembered why. Suddenly there were shouts from up ahead. Falland cursed and once again threw Kyrus against the wall. The shock of the same air lighting up when the wing tazer went off right beside him surprised Kyrus so much his heart jolted as well. Never having operated one himself, he had only ever been shot with the damn thing, never standing next to it when it went off. The air had become so electrified at first he thought he had been hit, but after Falland was pulling him forward at his breakneck speed again, he realized Falland must have shot someone else. Even so, he now felt wobbly on his feet. But he managed to keep up with the fast-moving Falland. Well, maybe Falland had actually slowed down.
Once again Falland pulled him to a stop, nearly taking his feet out from under him. A firm hand came down on the top of his head and pushed. "Duck down. Get in." He allowed the hand to guide how far to duck then he was falling. He hit the floor and rolled but quickly came up against what he thought was a wall. He scrambled to try to rise back to his feet but evidently Falland had other ideas. A booted foot pushed hard on his chest. "Stay right there where you're not in the way." The foot quickly came off. "Get in my way and I will shoot you. Do you understand?" But his voice was no longer aimed at Kyrus although he knew the words were. He heard pings and beeps and stutters and sighs. Suddenly there was a very close hum, in the very walls themselves. A shudder shook the floor. Then he knew. They were in an escape pod.
"Where…?" Oh gods, they were leaving the ship. Just him and the captain. "Wait. What happened to the ship? Where's the crew?" Wasn't the captain supposed to go down with the ship? Shouldn't the women, children, and elderly have the pods? But maybe it was one of those ships where families weren't brought on board. Maybe their territory didn't take them so far out families on board would be an option. But still, except for whoever Falland shot in the corridor, they had been alone the whole time. No one else seemed to be on board the pod either except for the two of them, and he thought even small pods would be able to handle at least eight crew members, more if Tsion stases were available. Plus, who the hell did the captain shoot?
Kyrus heard the whir before he felt the jolt. Something had gone radically wrong. The pod jetted forward then stopped dead, the wrench enough to slam Kyrus back into the wall, banging his knee hard on the surface. Then the damn thing tipped and gravity let loose. Well, not all of it. There was still enough to allow them to stick to the floor but he knew a stabilizer had malfunctioned. And it wasn't the pod stabilizer either because that wouldn't have engaged until they were fully ejected. A ship stabilizer would be bad news.
"Fuck." He could hear Falland swearing under his breath as he was frantically punching sequences and pushing switches in an attempt to manually force the ejection. But they both knew it was useless. The pod ejection had been aborted and abort signals only came from the bridge. Had there been a mutiny? Suddenly Falland was on him, grabbing his arms and pulling him to his feet, which was not easy given the crazy angle the pod sat in. Then he felt the whoosh of air as the pod door came open. Falland started to push him up but Kyrus was suddenly hearing the sound of pounding feet, could feel the shake of the unstable pod as those feet came closer. A presence loomed in front of him as people seemed to fill the exit point. He heard shouting, most of it he didn't understand. It seemed to be in another language, but what he did hear and understand was the word "Halt!" which came from directly in front and above him. Cursing yet again, Falland pulled Kyrus back, as if by doing so he could hide him. Then in Kyrus' ear he ground out, "Keep your mouth shut about what you are, you got me?"
Falland shouted when he was wrenched away and Kyrus fell back as Falland's hands jerked from his body, leaving what felt like would have been deep scratch marks in his skin had he not been wearing a long sleeved tunic. He heard more frenzied movement, more of the weird language. Kyrus thought it sounded Emeth, he couldn't be sure. Languages had never been a strong talent for him.
But there was no longer any question. They had been boarded—obviously, not friend to Falland. Friend or foe to him remained to be seen.
Then he felt a presence descend into the pod—a powerful presence. This existence was like no other he had experienced and, strangely enough, he felt no fear. He always felt fear. He was always on the verge of panic. But in this case it was as if Kyrus' very blood responded to this presence, his nerves pinging. The air moved with the being and flowed around Kyrus, enveloping him, caressing him, and he breathed deeply, committing the scent to memory. He spent a good deal of time alone so he liked to imprint pleasant things in his brain to be relived later.
The presence moved close and gentle fingers lifted Kyrus' chin. "Tell me, little one." The very male voice was low, calm—nearly hypnotic—and came from above Kyrus, washing over him. Apparently the man was taller than he was, not a big surprise. Most beings were and thankfully the being spoke Bantys, pretty much the only language Kyrus knew. "Why are you bound and visor blind? You do not seem dangerous. Are you?"
How could he answer that question? He had not needed the captain to tell him to keep who he was a secret. He wished it was still a secret from Falland. But being bound and blinded and apparently in the process of being kidnapped by a captain who was, for all intents and purposes, abandoning his ship, leaving his entire crew behind, spoke volumes about things he could not make up any stories for. But what it also said was, at the very least, this man did not know who he was and if this man was with a band of pirates, it meant they were thankfully not after him.
Silence would be his only defense.
"Ahhh," that perfect voice rumbled. Sweet, warm breath washed over Kyrus' face. "You do not understand me?" He chuckled. The fingers holding Kyrus' chin traveled slowly, lightly down his throat to his chest, pushing the flimsy fabric of his tunic apart. Kyrus found he was holding his breath as he trembled. "I think you understand perfectly." Kyrus shivered from the intimate touch. The fingers traveled to Kyrus' left nipple, tweaking and fondling. Kyrus jerked back out of reach, the very seductive act slamming into his cock with such speed it nearly made him dizzy. But the fingers followed, the tall man stepping closer, his presence that much more overwhelming.
Kyrus found himself pressed up against the pod wall with nowhere else to go as those fingers made the journey to his other nipple, fondling and pinching until a slight moan escaped Kyrus' mouth, forcing him to bend forward, as if he were leaning into the stroke. The man loomed over Kyrus and breathed into his ear, "So responsive. Do you like the way I am touching you? I like touching you… but how do you taste?" Kyrus knew what was coming next, the man pushed him back and Kyrus felt the man's hot tongue caress first one then the other nipple, wetting them, sucking on them. Kyrus would never have believed he could come from just nipple stimulation alone but he had to bite down hard on his own tongue to bring himself back under control.
With a final flick, the man in front of him chuckled again and stood back up. "I think I will enjoy taking the time necessary to extract information from you, my little one. But until then…" He took a hold of Kyrus' right elbow and pulled him up and out of the pod. He did not hand him off to others as Kyrus expected but propelled him forward himself, the grip almost gentle but Kyrus somehow knew, unbreakable.
As Kyrus battled his nerves and his throbbing hard-on, he was lead farther up, then down several different corridors and at one point through a noisy area—probably the main deck—until he was finally asked to sit down. No words had been spoken along the way; a simple signal conveyed through varying pressure on his arm was all Kyrus needed to follow where this tall man wanted him to go. At the moment, Kyrus had no choice but to be obedient.
"Now, my pet"—a large, firm hand squeezed his shoulder—"perhaps you could at least give me your name?"
No. He would give him nothing. He couldn't. It's what he had decided. He really wanted to, though. He really, really wanted to. He bit into his lip until he tasted blood.
A thumb rubbed across his battered lips and pushed into his mouth, effectively stopping the self-abuse. "Ahhh, little one, don't do that to those luscious lips. I may have use of them later." He chuckled. "But I can see you are not willing right now to give me… what I desire." The last part was nearly whispered and once again the tone and the words went straight to his cock, which started to fill again. The motions the man's thumb was making on his tongue, moving in and out of his mouth, making him think very wicked thoughts, was not helping at all. "But you can know mine, in case you need to use it. My name is Tilbarr. Say it."
Kyrus raised his head as if he could see Tilbarr's face; Tilbarr's thumb pulled from his mouth, and Kyrus moaned in disappointment. Lightly, the wet thumb rubbed Kyrus' parted lips, slowly the top then the bottom, as Tilbarr waited. Kyrus felt Tilbarr bend and come near. "Say it," he whispered, harshly this time, taking his thumb away completely.
"T-Tilbarr," Kyrus whispered, as he licked his suddenly-abandoned lips.
Tilbarr moaned. "Oh, I so want to hear you scream it. But we will save that for later." He stood back up but did not step away. Instead he started to hold court as presence after presence came to talk with him. Kyrus let the sounds wash over him as he once again battled his panic. He understood nothing of what was being said anyway.