Vedera was surprised by the gentle touch of their hands on her body, as they moved from her toes to her head in a strange, synchronized dance, tickling every nerve ending in her body—every one—with their rough, large hands and the minute bit of fur between their fingers. Their mouths began to nibble at her skin, one at her toes, encircling them in his hot mouth and making her whole body rigid with pleasure. The other one breathed on her earlobe and neck. They worked their way up and down her body again, and her abdomen began to quiver in uncontrolled pleasure.
Eventually, they came together to sandwich her between their muscled bodies. The heat of the larger one was at her back, electrifying her skin. They pressed her gently, protectively, and the one who faced her guided her hand downward…
She breathed into his skin, inhaling the musky scent of him, attempting to gather her thoughts as her hand moved over his flesh and ever downward, to where she knew she would find his enormous cock. She had heard the rumors: it was thick, ribbed with sensitive ridges that made the aliens shudder to the touch and grow wild with hunger. The ribs also pressed against the inside of a human, in just the right places…
Vedera tried to shake herself out of her mindless stupor. What was she doing? These were her captors, slave traders, and she hated them. Not to mention that there were two of them, and they were so large and so powerful that being between them was asking for it.
Her fingers reached the pulsing member that was hard against her belly, and her fingertips slid over the raised ridges. They were smooth, hot, and did just as the rumors projected: her fingers ignited the alien she was touching and he gripped her with his hands, pulling on her hair and lifting her up to feast on her neck with his surprisingly gentle mouth. In her hand, the enormous member pulsed; she could feel it growing even larger.
She had a desire to fall to her knees and try to capture the alien’s cock in her mouth. In fact, her mouth watered for it, but the alien held her suspended between their two bodies. The even larger member of the one behind her was against her thighs now, rubbing along her inner leg.
She was so wet she could feel the moisture dripping between her legs, and the alien behind her swept it up with his finger. The one in front of her spread her legs and held her by her bottom, teasing her clit with the erect crown of his cock. He made circle after circle over the sensitive face of her clit, and she kept riding up, up, up to the crest of a climax. But there was always more to go, always more until she—
A heavy metal clang shook Vedera from her light sleep. The heat that had enveloped her dissipated as though someone had thrown cold water on her. There was nothing but the cool floor, an empty crate, and a streak of light thrown into the room by the open door.
Vedera acted fast to scramble to the corner of the crate and make herself as small as possible. Her dream was one thing—and a thing she didn’t like to admit to thinking about—and reality was another. They were there again, the two hulking, muscled creatures from her dream. But in real life, they were peering through the bars, their eyes raking across each of the naked women around her. She was unsure of their origin, of their species, and most frighteningly, of their intentions. They were mostly human in appearance. The contours of their body were hard and sculpted with thick muscles and blood vessels that protruded on their well-built arms and legs. Their hands, human in appearance at first glance, had a smattering of fur between their fingers. The same fur ran in a line down their backs, and it spiked with arousal of any kind; a reminder of their animalistic nature. The larger one was dark-haired with piercing amber-colored eyes; the smaller one a lighter brown color with blue eyes that shifted eerily to green when he was excited.
Late at night, Vedera had heard the girls whispering to each other: there were rumors that beneath the loincloths they wore like barbarians from Old Earth, their manhood was twice as large as an Earth human’s and covered in ridges that gave women incredible pleasure. Vedera had dreamed about it more than once, but she had never seen it for herself.
She couldn’t be sure how long she’d been here. Long enough to sleep enough times she lost count; not that it would have helped. There was no natural light in the room they were being held in, no way to know how much time had passed. She had no idea why she had begun having fantasies about her captors: she suspected that it was because she was experiencing some sort of psychological breakdown.
She risked a glance at the two dark forms again. They were fearsome, because no one knew exactly what happened to the women they took away, only that they were never seen again. But Vedera—who knew she must be going slightly crazy—was certain that she detected something almost caring inside of them.
She scoffed at herself and did her best to be invisible. This was all just fantastical thinking, and she would do herself a favor to stay away from them. She knew that.
Thankfully, they were busy staring at one of the other girls. Devena, she thought her name was. She recognized her from the sewing circle.
Devena was huddled against the wall much in the same way she was, trying to disappear under their gaze.
“You have nothing to fear.”
The sentence, growled in a near perfect Earthen, sent a ripple of whispers through the group.
Vedera’s eyes widened with shock. Neither of the creatures had spoken before, certainly not in Earthen. The only sounds she’d heard them make were the low clicks and grunts that constituted whatever language it was they spoke.
The stockier one scanned the group with dark eyes and waited for the commotion to subside. “We’ve found a buyer for you. He is honorable and will not hurt you, he has assured us.”
A silence fell on the women around her.
Devena watched each of them for a moment before her eyes settled on Akas, who at twenty-five was the oldest of the group. She had become a sort of keeper to them all since they’d been captured. She’d spent a lot of time reassuring the youngest ones that everything would be alright in calm and soothing tones. “How can you be sure?” Akas asked the alien, a hint of defiance in her voice.
The stocky one shook his head. “Nothing is certain anymore. With the alliance dismantled, might and money rule the stars. But he has given us his word that…”
“Ha!” Akas scoffed. “His word? Someone trafficking with slavers has given his word and that’s supposed to make us feel better?”
The taller creature scowled. “We are not sla—” He stopped and looked to one side at his comrade’s touch. “This is for your own good,” he muttered.
Akas shook her head and tucked her knees under her chin.
They were naked, all of them. They had been since they’d arrived; stripped of the rags they’d sown together from scraps found in the ruins of a decimated Earth. They’d been hosed down, washed with an antiseptic whose scent stung their nostrils, then led into the cage.
The only good thing was that they’d been fed. Fed well, certainly better than she’d eaten in the months back on Earth after the Fall. Food was a small consolation, though, not knowing where they were going or how much longer they’d be alive. Who cared about a full belly when the future seemed hopeless?
“You will have to be examined before you can be sold,” the taller one growled. “Your new keeper has demanded to see a clean bill of health for each of you.”
Some of the girls exchanged nervous glances and more whispers rustled through the group.
Akas put a hand on the arm of the girl next to her in reassurance.
“We will start with you,” the stocky one said, nodding at Akas. He punched a thick finger against the keypad.
Vedera craned her neck slightly, as she had any time the cage had been opened, trying to make out the combination. Even if they did escape the cage there was most likely nowhere to go on the ship where they could hide. Still, it would give them some hope, if only until they were discovered.
Akas raised herself up off the ground and stood up tall and proud. She had a beautiful body, pleasantly round in her chest and buttocks with muscled thighs that narrowed into sculpted calves. She straightened her back and didn’t flinch as she walked out of the open door of the cage and past the creatures.
The stocky one swung the bars shut. They locked into place with a soft clicking sound.
The others all seemed to slump, some sighing in relief as the creatures led Akas out of the room.
“What do you think they’re going to do to her?” Devena asked, turning to Vedera.
Vedera shuffled across the cold floor and huddled next to Devena, putting an arm around her shoulders. “I’m sure she’ll be fine. They probably just… need to see she’s healthy like they said. For… so the new… keeper knows what he’s getting.”
The word made her stomach twist into a tight knot. A year ago she’d been in her last year of law school, with an apprenticeship lined up at a reputable firm and now? After the Fall everything had changed, the world as everyone had known it was gone, replaced by a forever clouded, lawless place, some spots on it so polluted they would kill you if you breathed the air.
Small groups had formed, tribes of people that realized they needed each other to survive. Clan wars broke out as people fought over shelter and supplies.
She’d been lucky to have found a group of men and women who were strong, that knew survival meant sticking together and laying low.
Then the hunts began.
They started one morning, the nasal whine of the alien ship just a whisper on the horizon. As they got louder no one knew what to make of the sound. Mechanical sounds were a thing of the past, replaced by the squawks and growls and screeches of the forests that had already begun to reclaim the spaces civilization had stolen from them.
That first time Vedera had been lucky. As they ran through the woods with the slaving ship engines roaring behind them, others had been taken and she had not. Nearly twenty had been taken in that first hunt.
She’d been lucky enough a few other times, too. But with each successive hunt she realized that luck had nothing to do with it. As more and more of her friends and fellow survivors got plucked up into the ships, Vedera realized that it was only a matter of time before she met the same fate.
And so she had.
When they’d come for the last of them she barely had the strength to run anymore. She did her best but was one of the first ones to be trapped in the nets and dragged up into the belly of that dark ship, stripped, scrubbed, and locked into her cage.
The memory of it haunted her at night and made her throat tight during the day. She’d cried a lot the first few… what had it been, days? Weeks? She’d cried so much that now it felt like she had no tears left.
Instead she began to spend time wondering if there were any animals that had felt like this when things were still normal, whatever that meant. She wondered if dolphins or elephants or monkeys in zoos had felt the same thing she was feeling now, the sinking, hollow feeling of knowing that there was no hope of freedom. That they would live out the rest of their lives caged.
That she would live out the rest of her life a slave.
Vedera clenched her jaw to keep the tightness in her throat from overwhelming her. She looked down at Devena, who was looking around at the other women with wide, scared eyes.
Devena must have sensed her watching because she looked up. “How much longer do you think we’ll live?” she whispered, her voice sounding as tight as Vedera’s throat felt.
Vedera forced a smile. She brushed a lock of hair out of the girl’s eyes and touched her cheek. “Don’t think like that. Just try to stay calm. Maybe… maybe what they said was true. Maybe whoever it is that we end up with is honorable. Life will get better than…” She looked around at the figures hunched over around her. “Than this,” she added quietly.
Devena returned the smile with a weak one of her own but look unconvinced. There really was no use lying but sometimes it seemed like those lies, the ones they told themselves to hold out some sliver of hope, were all they had.
The sound of the outer door opening startled all of them and they all looked up.
Devena reached over and clutched Vedera’s arm.
Vedera held her breath.
Akas walked in, followed by the two creatures. She still held her chin high and her shoulders proudly back. But her cheeks were burning red and she walked with a strange gait, as if it were uncomfortable to do so.
Vedera wanted nothing more than to spring up, run over to her, take her in her arms, and ask her if she was alright. But the fear of drawing attention to herself kept her from doing it. Instead she huddled closer to Devena, once again trying to disappear, not making eye contact with the creatures behind the bars.
She felt their eyes roaming around the cage again, felt the heat of their gaze as it settled on her, then drifted to another side. When a sudden stillness gripped the room she did her best to keep from looking up. When the silence became nearly unbearable she couldn’t resist her curiosity. She looked up and froze.
The tall one was standing just past the cage door with the stockier one at his side. They were both staring directly at her.
She looked back at the floor, hoping they hadn’t noticed her look up. When she swallowed, the sound seemed to fill the entire room.
“You in the corner.” The deep growl proved irresistible, drawing her attention and gaze up until she was staring directly into the tall creature’s eyes, unable to look away. “You,” he said again, nodding at her.
Panic gripped her. She felt frozen in place. The room began to spin.
“You’ll be next. Come with us.”
She began to shake her head. Slowly at first, then in a wider arc. She wanted to scramble back, cry out, kick and scream and punch so that they couldn’t get her.
Suddenly Akas was by her side, as if sensing her panic, her low voice soothing and her soft hands caressing Vedera’s shoulders. “It’s okay. It’s alright. Everything will be fine. Just do as they say. You’ll be alright.”
Akas’ whispers sent shivers down Vedera’s spine. But it did what it was meant to; her muscles relaxed, and her thoughts slowed. She glanced at Akas to see her smiling.
How could she smile at a time like this?
“Everything’s going to be alright,” Akas whispered. She helped Vedera to her feet and touched her on the back, urging her to move toward the door.
Vedera’s heart began to pound as she neared the two imposing creatures. With each step they seemed to loom larger and more ominous until she was right next to them and saw that they were easily eight feet tall.
She did her best to stare straight ahead as she walked out of the cage for the first time since she’d arrived. That thought was some small consolation. At least she was going to see something other than the cold steel bars she’d been staring at for so long.
The door in front of her opened to a blinding white light as she heard the bars of the cage close with a soft click.