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Tamed for Their Use by Ivy Barrett – Sample

Chapter One

Annoyed by yet another interruption to his busy day, Minister Sintar Orellian crossed the spacious office and took the seat across from Chancellor Savator’s desk. Sintar nodded to his brother, who had also been summoned, then focused on their boss. As well as commanding the Ventori Protectorate, Bronsen Savator was one of Sintar’s closest friends. The dynamic made meetings like this a bit complicated. Had he been summoned by his friend or his commanding officer?

“I now have the results of the tests you requested,” the chancellor told Tarlon.

What tests? Sintar whipped his head around and looked at his brother. Tarlon hadn’t mentioned anything about requesting tests to him. And they were podmates. Members of Ventori pods were supposed to work together and share everything, including females.

“What’d you find out?” Tarlon sprawled in the chair, looking at ease, even bored. He was the most exasperatingly laidback person Sintar had ever known. It was one of the reasons they’d formed a pod. Their opposite personalities balanced each other out.

“You were right,” the chancellor said. He was definitely in chancellor mode. “Nichole Romano is a potential mate for both of you.”

Sintar turned back to the chancellor, shocked by his casual news. Had he heard correctly? “We’re genetically compatible with one of the human females?” His heartbeat tripled and his orvatta, the subdermal markings on his torso and neck, began to tingle in anticipation. He glared at his younger brother. “Why didn’t you tell me about this?”

Tarlon shrugged. “I didn’t want to get your hopes up in case it wasn’t true.”

Like all the Ventori, Sintar had given up on the infinitesimal possibility that he would ever find a mate. Ventori females, and all the males who weren’t in the military, had been annihilated by the Skarilians. So when the Skarilians targeted Earth, the Ventori had offered the helpless humans protection in exchange for female companionship. The often reluctant volunteers were called carnal companions.

But this was something different, something much more important to a species on the verge of extinction. The chancellor wasn’t offering a carnal companion. He was offering a possible mate, a lifelong partner, a female capable of bearing Ventori young.

A long, and somewhat strange, series of events had led to the discovery that human females with a negative Rh factor in their blood were able to bear Ventori offspring. A small group of Rh-negative women had been rescued a few days ago and brought to Protectorate Headquarters. Apparently, Tarlon had sensed a connection with one of them and this was the result.

“Don’t get too excited,” the chancellor warned. “Your pod is not her only option. In fact she has several thousand matches. They all do. However, you and Tarlon have near perfect compatibility scores, so it’s your right to court her first.”

Sintar’s cock hardened and his palm itched. He couldn’t wait to begin. She needed to understand the rules and accept their authority over her. They would protect and care for her, shower her with affection and tenderness, but first she would have to submit. He would tolerate nothing less than total surrender.

“Is she attractive?” he asked his brother. Not that it mattered. They would be thrilled with the homeliest female alive if she was willing to give them a child.

“She’s stunning.” Tarlon grinned, accenting the dimples in his pale cheeks. “At least to me. Light brown hair and big dark eyes. Her shape is perfect, nice full curves. I know how you hate bony females. And she’s feisty enough to give us lots of reasons to spank her, but I suspect she won’t stay defiant for too long. Wait until you smell her. I just about came in my pants when her scent hit my nose.”

Another wave of carnal hunger washed over Sintar and he groaned. “Where is she?”

“Not so fast.” The chancellor’s sharp tone cut through the sensual haze. “Nikki isn’t the only reason I summoned you two here. You’re both being reassigned.”

“Why?” Tarlon shot up out of his chair. “It took me almost a year to get this assignment. I don’t want to leave.”

“Well, unfortunately for you, I need your brother at Camp Accord and you go where he goes. Now sit down and listen.”

With obvious reluctance, Tarlon returned to his seat.

Sintar tensed; he wasn’t any happier about the reassignment than Tarlon. “I thought Drey pod had the settlement under control.”

“Drey pod was acceptable when Camp Accord was a semi-amusing attempt at integration. The situation has changed drastically thanks to Fortar pod’s discovery. The potential mates are now our top priority. We need a safe place to send these females until they’ve bonded with their pods. Camp Accord makes sense. It’s isolated and will be easy to fortify. Because of the heightened value of these females, and the political implications of a breeding program—”

“We can’t call it that,” Tarlon stressed. “Human media will spin it into something horrendous if we use the word ‘breeding.’”

“Another reason I want him there.” The chancellor turned back to Sintar. “Regardless of what we call it, the settlement must be run with discipline and strict order. As of this moment, you are Governor Sintar Orellian, the ultimate authority at Camp Accord.”

“Thank you, sir.” The response was expected, but Sintar felt anything but honored. The conditions at Camp Accord were primitive at best. He and his brother were highborn. They might be part of the military, but they were used to luxury.

“The good news is, you’ll be taking Nikki with you,” the chancellor continued. “Claim her as quickly as she’ll allow it. I have plans for you,” he pointed to Tarlon, “and she plays a vital role.”

Tarlon relaxed a bit, but he was obviously still annoyed. “Do tell. I was afraid you were going to stick me on some governing council. We all know I’d go insane.”

“You’re a field agent and I intend to continue using you in that capacity.” He glanced at Sintar then continued, “As Sintar already knows, there’s a traitor on the high command.”

Sintar hadn’t been sure if the chancellor would share the discovery with Tarlon or not. Everyone they told increased the chances that the traitor would find out and the element of surprise was their only advantage. Sintar trusted Tarlon implicitly, but the chancellor seldom trusted anyone. In fact, Sintar had been surprised when the chancellor had confided in him.

“A traitor?” Tarlon was clearly surprised by the news. “What’s the traitor hoping to accomplish? The vast majority of the defenders respect and like you. Even if this coward succeeded in neutralizing you, it’s doubtful anyone would accept him as chancellor.”

The chancellor offered Tarlon a rare smile. “I appreciate the vote of confidence, but there are ripples of discontent that we’d be foolish to ignore.”

“There’s a growing number of Ventori that feel we should move on rather than negotiating treaties with the humans,” Sintar explained. “They feel that revenge is more important than—”

“The survival of our species?” Tarlon shook his head. “Nothing is more important than that.”

“We both agree with you,” the chancellor stressed, “but there are some who would rather pursue the Skarilians until they’ve been wiped out of existence. One of my ministers is organizing these rebels into a potential mutiny.”

“And how can I help?” Tarlon finally relaxed enough to listen rather than argue, which allowed Sintar to relax as well.

“I’ve been unsuccessful in determining the leader’s identity from this end, so I’d like you to come at it from a different angle.”

“And that angle is?” Tarlon prompted.

The chancellor rested his forearms on his desktop and leaned slightly forward. “The traitor was involved in rounding up the compatible females. I have correspondence establishing the connection, but the messages fall short of identifying the minister who’s involved. I need you to come at this from the opposite direction. We’re relatively certain that Dr. Hienam Narrn has formed an illegal alliance with a human female named Roberta Nunez.”

“Aren’t they the ones who examined all the captured females?” Sintar remembered seeing their names in several of the reports the chancellor loved to write. At times his determination to keep everyone well informed just muddied the waters with details.

“They are, which is why we need to find out what they’re doing down there and what the traitor is hoping to accomplish. Narrn and the woman operate out of the El Paso induction center. We could do a mind probe on Narrn, but we need concrete evidence to gain jurisdiction over the human. Right now all the evidence we’ve found is circumstantial.”

“What’d you have in mind?” Tarlon asked, scooting to the edge of his seat.

“After you’ve claimed Nikki, or at least fucked her enough to saturate her with your scent, take her to Narrn. Tell him you and Sintar are both in rut and can’t figure out why. By then it should be true with a compatibility score as high as yours.”

“Is it wise to reveal to Narrn that we know about human compatibility?” Sintar asked, not at all sure that was the best strategy.

The chancellor shrugged. “I’ll leave the details to you, but we have to catch them in the act and take them alive. Speculation and supposition are not good enough for this situation. Interrogating Narrn is our best chance of identifying the traitor.”

“Understood,” the brothers chorused.

“Good.” The chancellor pushed back from his desk and stood. “Then I won’t keep you. Claim your female, govern the camp, and solve the mystery.”

“In that order?” Apparently accepting his fate, Tarlon smiled.

“You can’t do the second two until you’ve accomplished the first,” the chancellor reminded.

“Then we better get started.” Sintar tried not to sound excited, and failed. He slapped his brother on the back. “Take me to our mate.” And they headed for the door.

Nikki Romano sat on a vinyl upholstered chair in the shabby lounge at Protectorate Headquarters, formerly known as Fort Hood. This room was the only place she and the other eleven captives were allowed to spend time with each other. They took their meals here and tried to keep each other from dying of boredom. Supposedly this was temporary, and supposedly they were guests of the high command, not prisoners. But someone needed to explain that to the armed guards stationed outside the only door.

She should probably be grateful, not annoyed. After all, the Ventori had rescued her and the other females from a Mexican drug lord with doubtlessly nefarious plans for them. The Ventori had swooped in and saved the day, but instead of delivering each female to the defenders who had contracted her services, they’d brought the women to Protectorate Headquarters.

The reason for the high command’s sudden interest was almost as bizarre as everything that had gone on before. Apparently, Nikki and her fellow captives were Rh negative—whatever that meant. It had something to do with a protein in their blood. Females with the protein were incompatible with the Ventori, while women without it had a much better chance of carrying a hybrid baby to term. It was a polite way of saying they’d make good breeding stock. Nikki shuddered, disgusted by the entire concept.

There had been sixteen of them in the very beginning, but four had already been claimed or were currently being courted by their potential mates. Nikki missed Jessica’s calm wisdom, but was thrilled to see the last of Tracy, a foul-mouthed hooker with a horrible attitude. Hopefully her pod would teach her some manners.

With nothing to occupy her mind but frustration and negativity, Nikki looked at her companions. Their reasons varied greatly, but all of them had volunteered for the Carnal Compensation Program. A few were escorts, so trading sex for money was nothing new. Oh, sure, the program dressed it all up in patriotism and civic duty, but the facts were the facts. Volunteers agreed to trade the use of their body for planetary protection and monetary compensation. By most definitions, that was prostitution.

She sighed at the disquieting thought. Her disdain was hypocritical. Her reasons for joining the Carnal Compensation Program might have been very different from theirs, but she’d signed the contract just like everyone else. Trying to soften her attitude, she continued her assessment of the room. A bunch of the women were strippers or ‘internet performers,’ meaning they slinked around naked in front of a camera, so their customers could jerk off in the privacy of their own homes.

Nikki was fascinated by the way each group gravitated toward others of their kind. The strippers congregated by the folding table in the far corner of the room, while the internet performers always gathered near the useless TV. She hung out near the door with the other women who hadn’t been in the skin industry at all. They were by far the minority.

And then there was Erin and Kyla. Those two were the only true victims in this room.

Nikki looked at the sullen redhead and pity squeezed her heart. Erin sat in a chair identical to Nikki’s, but she had her legs drawn up, heels resting on the edge of the seat. She’d wrapped her arms around her legs and dropped her forehead to her knees. She hardly spoke anymore and only ate when someone, usually Nikki or Kyla, made her. Nikki was really worried about her, but the fucking aliens didn’t seem to care.

Erin didn’t even look up when Nikki moved to the chair beside her and lightly touched her arm. “You awake in there?”

She finally lifted her head and looked at Nikki. Erin’s baby blue eyes were bloodshot from crying, as usual. “They’re not going to let me go. Chancellor Savator told me this morning. The high council voted unanimously to force me to stay.”

Nikki shook her head, furious for the younger woman. “That’s so wrong.” She reached over and rubbed her back. “I’m sorry, hon. They have no right to—”

“Apparently, I’m the one without rights. They claim it’s a matter of survival and that I won’t be forced to bond with anyone, just meet a few of my potential mates.”

“So play their game. Meet your potential mates and tell them all to go to hell. Then they’ll have no choice but to let you go.”

Erin shook her head, bright red hair swishing around her shoulders. “I have to escape.” She leaned closer and her voice dropped to an urgent whisper. “Will you help me escape?”

Nikki sighed; she didn’t want to give Erin false hope, but this spark of rebellion was the only life she’d seen in Erin’s eyes for many days now. “Let’s say we sneak past the guards.” Which was unlikely. “How do we get off the base without anyone seeing us? This is Protectorate Headquarters. Any female is going to stick out like a sore thumb.”

“I have to do something,” Erin cried. “I can’t just give up and let this happen.”

Apparently hearing Erin’s outburst, Kyla left the table where she’d been playing poker with three of the strippers and sank onto the seat on the other side of Erin. The two were close friends and had been kidnapped outside a nightclub in Austin, Texas. They were both younger than the rest of the women and Erin was significantly more innocent. Though barely twenty-one like Erin, Kyla was more experienced. She’d spent the past two years on her own, which made her seem much older than her emotionally fragile friend.

“I thought we had this settled last night.” Impatience sharpened Kyla’s tone. She knew Erin better than the others, so she put up with less of her melodramatics. “I know you’re scared. We’re all scared, but there is no way to escape from this situation. Your only option is to go through the motions. Smile and flirt with your suitors, then politely tell each one to fuck off.”

“Ventori Defenders don’t take no for an answer,” Erin argued, her lips trembling.

“How would you know?” Kyla challenged calmly. “Have you ever spoken to one?”

A bit of Erin’s bluster dissipated. “No.”

Nikki was amazed by the exchange. Everyone walked on eggshells around Erin, treated her like she was a fragile china doll. She was a freaking virgin, and those were rare in this day and age. Still, Kyla’s strategy was very different. She called Erin’s bluff, forcing her to dial back the drama. And it seemed to work much better than coddling her.

The door banged open and a Ventori Defender strode proudly into the room. He was tall and brawny. Weren’t they all? And his strange black lips and slashing brows made his skin appear even whiter. Unlike most of the Ventori, who had dark hair and red squiggles in their dark eyes, this man’s hair and the marbling in his eyes were a shimmery silver blue. He was one of the ministers, but Nikki didn’t know his name.

A second male followed close behind and Nikki sucked in a breath. Tarlon Orellian. He’d been shadowing her for the past three days, ever since he sniffed everyone in the room and decided he liked her scent best. She shivered, trying to convince herself the attention bothered her. But it was hard to object to being the focal point of a handsome, virile male. Tarlon was different than the other defenders. He smiled and teased, not taking himself as seriously as the others.

Tarlon hung back, which was unusual. Tarlon was anything but shy. So who was this other guy? He looked slightly older than Tarlon and his uniform was more highly decorated, likely because he was one of the bigwigs. Both Tarlon and the new guy had customized their appearance, so they were likely rich as well as powerful. According to the talkative guard, it cost big bucks for those sorts of procedures. Tarlon had chosen a darker, richer blue that set off his pale skin, black lips, and flashing eyes.

The new guy walked straight to her and held out his hand. “You will come with me.”

If he was expecting her to flutter her lashes and lower her gaze, he’d be very disappointed. “Why? And where are we going?”

His gaze narrowed and his lips pressed into a disapproving line. “Because I told you to and you will find out when we get there.”

Ok. Arrogant much? She slowly stood, feeling vulnerable with him towering over her. It didn’t help. Her head barely came to his shoulder. “You don’t need to be so fucking rude. It was a reasonable question.”

She heard an odd, almost strangled sound come from Tarlon half a second before the asshole in front of her shoved his shoulder into her belly and lifted her off the floor. She kicked and twisted, not caring if he dropped her on her head. She would not be ordered around like some servant!

The jerk’s large hand smacked down on her butt. The blow was cushioned by the sturdy material of her ugly dress so the slight discomfort only pissed her off. “Put me down, you Neanderthal jackass!” She heard giggles and hushed conversations, reminding her that this was taking place in front of an audience.

He ignored her. Instead, he turned on the ball of his foot and carried her from the lounge. She continued to wiggle and rear up, unable to kick because his muscular arm now banded her legs, anchoring them against his broad chest. Damn, the male was big, and solid muscle.

“You warned me that she was feisty,” the jackass said, apparently to Tarlon. “This female is in serious need of taming.”

“And you’re just the Neanderthal to do it, brother mine.”

Brother? These two were brothers? Seriously? They were nothing alike. Tarlon had a sense of humor, while this guy… His free hand sneaked under her dress and cupped her bare behind. His thumb pushed between her cheeks and pressed against her anus. She froze, eyes wide, chest heaving. Is that a threat, or a promise? The twisted thought sent shame curling through her. A promise of what?

“That’s right, love, settle down.” His hand squeezed gently, that wicked thumb rubbing her in the most humiliating way. “Your master is in control now. There’s no reason to struggle.” His tone was suddenly dark and silk—

Did he say ‘master’? “You’re not my master, asshole.”

He smacked her butt hard enough to make her yelp. “These soft round cheeks will soon redden and glow beneath my hand. Who else but your master would dare discipline you?”

Surely he didn’t mean—of course he did. Trepidation eroded her anger, leaving her weak and dizzy. This arrogant jerk was one of her genetic matches. She lifted her head and looked at Tarlon through the fall of her long hair. Did that mean he was too? If they were brothers it was likely.

She let her head hang again and tried not to throw up, though it would serve him right for treating her like a disobedient child. You were acting like one, her inner voice chastised. She flipped it a mental middle finger and went back to sulking.

He carried her across a grassy area, then she saw asphalt, then grass again. Not being able to see where they were going was making her even more nauseous.

“If I promise to behave, will you please set me down? I’m about to puke all over you.”

To her astonishment the jackass chuckled and allowed her to slide down his body until her feet touched the ground. He hadn’t moved his arm, however, and it ended up around her shoulders. “This does not mean I will forgo your punishment.”

She made a face and tried to twist out of his light embrace.

“Continue to be disrespectful and you will lose the dress.”

Incensed, but afraid he meant every word, she looked at Tarlon for assistance. He just smiled and said nothing.

“The appropriate response is ‘yes, Sir’ or ‘yes, Master.’”

She started to remind him that she wasn’t anyone’s slave, but thought she better pick her battles. Doubtlessly there would be many of them. “Yes, Sir.” She added the title begrudgingly.

“The tone needs work, but it’s a beginning.”

Like hell it was. Her sudden cooperation was strategic. Battles of will were best fought in private.

The jackass finally moved his arm and started walking, clearly expecting her to follow. She looked around. They were at the edge of the massive field the Protectorate used to land small ships. Most of the spacecraft were shuttles. A few were stingers—compact, super-fast ships used for ambush attacks. One of their guards had been more than happy to answer questions, so she’d taken advantage of his willingness to share and tried to learn as much as she could about the enemy. She had no idea who the Protectorate fought these days. No one had seen a Skarilian in months. Many thought they were gone for good. And yet, the Ventori remained on Earth or nearby, ready to drive the Skarilians off again when and if they returned. But then, Ventor was now a burned-out ruin, so it wasn’t like the defenders had anywhere else to go.

She started to ask the jackass his name, then decided she didn’t care. How had Tarlon retained his cheery outlook with such an overbearing jerk for a brother?

The shuttle he led her to was slightly larger than the others, and much more luxurious, she discovered as she climbed aboard. There were three rows of forward-facing seats and a smaller section in the back where the seats faced each other. She moved to a center-facing seat and sat, wondering what came next.

She didn’t have long to wait. The two Ventori Defenders sat in the cockpit, which was separated from the other seats by a half wall. The engines powered on and Nikki’s safety restraints engaged. The automatic straps scared the crap out of her the first time she’d encountered them, but this was the third Ventori ship she’d been on so the novelty had just about worn off.

They ran through the pre-flight checks, speaking in rapid Ventori. She caught familiar words and phrases, but they spoke so quickly she wasn’t able to translate everything. She’d learned basic Ventori when she’d been accepted as a carnal companion. She hadn’t wanted the males she’d agreed to pleasure to be able to tell secrets in front of her.

They took off a few minutes later and she glared at the back of the jackass’s head. Master, my ass. Then she shivered. That was probably exactly what he had in mind.

A few minutes passed in tense silence as the males verified their course and locked in the destination. Then they both disengaged their safety straps and stood. She frantically tried to unfasten her restraints, not willing to be trapped once they reached her. Finally, she triggered the release and the straps retracted. She shot to her feet just as the two males reached the back of the shuttle.

The jerk stopped right in front of her. “Undress. I find that garment offensive.”

She just stared up at him in silent defiance. The dress was hideous. The guards had brought a stack of clean dresses each morning and she always chose the least attractive one, hoping to minimize her appeal. Still, she had no intention of making this easy for him.

“I give my directives once. Disobedience will be punished.”

She didn’t speak, didn’t move a muscle.

Without further warning he ripped the dress from neckline to hem and tugged it down her arms. She stared straight ahead, arms at her sides. Her body was far from perfect, but she didn’t give a damn what he thought of her.

He stared at her silently for a moment, his gaze moving boldly over her naked form. “You’re right, Tar. She’s stunning.”

Stunning? Her? The compliment shocked her. She was at least twenty pounds overweight and seldom bothered with makeup. Ever since her best friend and her best friend’s husband had died right in front of Nikki, she’d had a hard time caring about anything.

Jackass cupped her chin and tilted her face up. “Look at me.”

She ignored him until he pinched her nipple hard. She cried out and lifted her gaze as aftershocks of sensation pulsed through her breast.

“I don’t make idle threats and I will be obeyed. The sooner you cease this defiance, the better off you’ll be.”

He sat down in the seat she’d just vacated and pulled her down across his thighs. Shit! She’d heard these perverts liked to spank their females. She’d just never believed something so ridiculous could be true.

His open hand came down across her butt with a resounding slap and she went wild, kicking and screaming, twisting and digging her nails into his thigh. He swung his leg over hers, easily controlling her lower body. Then he grabbed both her wrists and restrained them in one long-fingered hand. That left his other hand free to continue her spanking.

The next slap was even harder than the first and she screamed at the top of her lungs. It was fury, not pain making her scream, but he didn’t know that.

“Stop it!” He brought his hand up so his fingers caught the underside of her cheek. The sting was intense and she gasped rather than screaming. “I will not start your punishment until you settle down.”

Start her punishment? What the hell was this?

She panted furiously, blowing her hair out of her eyes. Was he serious about this shit? Did grown men actually discipline mature females? “You’re going to punish me for asking a question and expecting a civil answer?” Her tone sounded almost shrill. She really did need to calm down.

“I answered your question and you have been nothing but defiant and disrespectful to me. Not to mention all the profanity. All of these behaviors are unacceptable. Do you understand me?”

Her butt was already throbbing and he’d only hit her a couple of times. “I understand.” She ground the words out as she clenched her teeth.

“The proper response is ‘yes, Sir’ or ‘yes—”

“Yes, Sir!” Just hearing him say ‘master’ would have threatened her control. She was a contract employee, not a slave.

“Now, these expectations were not explained to you, so your first punishment will be light. But know this, Nichole. I will not tolerate your defiance or disrespect.”

Before she could reply, he began her real spanking. His hard, steady swats warmed her backside and sent conflicting emotions twisting through her mind. She was furious, and yet she felt ashamed of herself for being so childish. She was a mature woman, yet she’d pitched a fit she wouldn’t have tolerated from a two-year-old.

Six. Good lord, how many spanks were in a ‘light’ punishment?

His hand moved back and forth delivering firm swats to each ass cheek. Tears stung her eyes, but she frantically blinked them back. She would not give the jerk the pleasure of seeing her cry. His hand fell four more times and then paused, or did she dare hope, stopped?

“Are you as wet as you smell, hellcat?”

She tensed against his legs. Her pussy ached, but wet? Had this ridiculous discipline aroused her? Her emotions were so screwed up right now, she honestly couldn’t tell.

Another set of hands pushed her legs apart and she jerked her head around to find Tarlon kneeling behind her. What the fuck?

“Oh, yeah,” he said, his gaze focused on her bright red butt and apparently wet pussy. He traced her slit with his fingertip. “She’s practically dripping.”

“Good.” The jackass released her legs and pulled her torso up. She landed on her knees between his legs and he tilted her head back until their gazes locked. “Life will be better for you if you find pleasure in the pain.”

She wouldn’t go that far, not even close. She’d been stripped naked and wrestled into place. Likely that’s what had aroused her, not the shameful spanking. She’d always liked sex a little on the rough side. She came twice as hard when her lover held her down and pounded into her than when he was patient and careful. Still, she kept her thoughts to herself.

His gaze searched hers for a long time. The strange silvery squiggles shimmered and his tongue swept across his black lips. “I want to kiss you badly, but I know you’ll bite me if I do.”

Was she supposed to respond to that? It hadn’t really been a question so she just met his penetrating stare.

“Well, I’m willing to risk it.” Tarlon pulled her to him and pressed his mouth to hers. One of his hands cupped the side of her face and his other arm wrapped around her waist. She waited for the demanding thrust of his tongue, but he caressed her lips instead, teasing and seducing rather than taking.

She raised her hands to his back and parted her lips, offering what he’d refused to take by force. Slowly, he pushed past her lips and traced the outer curve of her teeth as if to ensure that she really wasn’t going to bite him. She liked Tarlon, found him amusing and warm. Too bad his brother wasn’t more like him.

His tongue stroked over hers and his taste filled her mouth as hers was doubtlessly filling his. He groaned, pulling her tighter against his body.

“Enough!” the jackass brayed. “She’s only kissing you to anger me.”

Tarlon laughed as he pulled away. “Seems like it’s working.”

Not wanting to annoy the jackass, she asked Tarlon, “Does your brother have a name?”

The jackass grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled her head back. “My name is Sintar, but you will call me Master.” And then his mouth crushed down on top of hers.

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