Ignoring her frantically thudding heart, Amanda Powell pulled open the door to Carnal Compensation Headquarters and walked inside. Despite the ordinary, unassuming atmosphere, Amanda felt as if she were walking into the bowels of hell. She tried to appear casual and confident even though her legs wobbled and her hands trembled. How in God’s name had her life been reduced to this?
She knew the answer, of course. But if she stopped to think about all the second chances and bad decisions that had resulted in this day, she’d lose her mind. Or worse, she’d lose her nerve and run in the other direction.
The headquarters was nothing unusual. Shouldn’t a business that bartered away human females appear more nefarious? Located on the thirty-ninth floor of a high-rise in downtown Denver, this was one of nine Carnal Compensation offices in the U.S. alone. There were more in other parts of the world. The space had been divided into shoulder-high cubicles. The perimeter walls were lined with traditional offices and the space closest to the door served as a reception area.
Amanda was greeted by a middle-aged woman in a conservative dress and flat slip-on shoes. Her short brown hair was simply styled and compassion warmed her dark eyes.
“Do you have an appointment, dear?” the receptionist asked with a tentative smile.
“I wasn’t aware that I needed one.” Did they really have so many volunteers that they needed appointments? That seemed unlikely. There was no one waiting and many of the offices appeared to be vacant. Still, there were a lot of desperate people in the world. Unfortunately, Amanda was one of them.
“What’s your name?”
“Have a seat, Miss Powell. I’ll see if one of the counselors can fit you in.” She walked off, leaving Amanda alone in the reception area.
Looking out over the cubicles, Amanda found several curious faces turned her way. The receptionist had been human, but most of the workers were Ventori. Their pale skin had a subtle pearlescence that shone beneath the harsh fluorescent lights and contrasted sharply with their raven-black hair. Their lips and fingernails were black as well, but she didn’t know if the coloration was natural or just popular among the alien race.
She dragged her gaze away from the onlookers and sat on one of the chairs arranged against the front wall.
It had been fourteen months since the first Skarilian ships had appeared in the sky above New York City. There had been no attempt to communicate, no grand reception celebrating humankind’s first contact with an alien race. Without warning of any kind, the Skarilians decimated all five boroughs, killing eight million people in a matter of minutes. Attacks on Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, and Mumbai soon followed, creating panic and chaos around the world.
The world’s governments had united in a frantic scramble to defend what remained of the planet, but all the diplomacy had been in vain and human weapons had been useless against the alien horde. The only position the Skarilians would accept was unconditional surrender. They were conquerors, intergalactic marauders that moved from one star system to the next, establishing their dominance through force and fear. Any planet foolish enough to resist them was destroyed.
“Mr. Tront has agreed to see you.”
Amanda gasped, then smiled. She hadn’t heard the receptionist return. She’d been lost in memories of those first few weeks, so many dead, so much destruction. It had all seemed hopeless. In many ways, it still did.
“Thank you.” She stood and followed the older woman toward one of the offices along the perimeter wall.
“You’re fortunate, young lady. Mr. Tront is the top-ranked counselor. He successfully recruits more carnal companions than anyone else in the U.S.,” the receptionist announced to Amanda, then moved aside.
After pausing for a deep breath, Amanda walked into the office, unsure what to expect.
Mr. Tront sat behind a wooden desk, watching her silently. His charcoal-gray suit looked expensive and he had the slicked-back smarm of a used car salesman. With brown hair, green eyes, and ordinary features, there was nothing unusual or even interesting to distinguish him from any other businessman. He motioned to the chairs in front of the desk, gaze sharp and assessing. “Have a seat.”
Amanda sat, not sure if she was comforted or angry that the person who “successfully recruits more carnal companions than anyone else in the U.S.” was human, not Ventori. She perched on the edge of the chair and folded her hands in her lap, not wanting to touch anything.
“So what brings you by this fine afternoon?” Sarcasm rippled through his cheerful tone, putting Amanda on the defensive.
“I want to know more about your program. I might be interested in doing… what you do.”
“And what is it you think we do?” His brief attempt at civility fell away as scorn narrowed his eyes.
“Your ‘carnal companions’ reward Ventori Defenders for protecting Earth against the Skarilians. We would all be dead without the Ventori, so this is our way of demonstrating our gratitude.” She tried to make it sound noble for her own peace of mind. That was how the commercials justified this sort of degradation. It was every young woman’s civic duty to contribute to the cause. Young men joined the Global Security Force. Young women became carnal companions. It was all very patriotic.
The Ventori had arrived six days after the Skarilian horde, driving the marauders back and offering assistance—for a price. They were mercenaries, ruthless warriors, and fellow victims of the Skarilians. Humans from every nation had little choice but to accept their conditions and start arranging for carnal compensation for more than two million Ventori Defenders. The alternative was enslavement by the Skarilians, or death.
“I’ll be blunt, Miss Powell. Two kinds of females apply for these positions. The first, and most common, are young women already involved in the pleasure industry—strippers, porn stars, escorts, that sort of thing. They have realistic expectations, and that makes the situation more satisfying for everyone.”
Amanda in no way qualified for that category, so she asked, “And what’s the second type?”
“Good girls, like you, who are convinced they have no other choice. They think they understand what will be expected of them, but they’re completely unprepared for the reality awaiting them on the Ventori ships and outposts. They inevitably call in tears after the first few days, begging to be released from their contract. They’ve seen the error of their thinking and want to come back home.”
Raising her chin, Amanda met his gaze and used her most assertive tone. “That won’t happen with me.” It couldn’t. Her life was in danger, thanks to her father. If she stayed on Earth, it was almost guaranteed that she’d be dead within the week.
Tront just stared at her, green eyes assessing as they moved from her face to her body and back.
The longer he stared, the more self-conscious she felt, and the louder her grandmother’s voice became. What are you doing, Mandy? I brought you up better than this.
Not now, she pleaded with the ghost. Don’t make this any harder than it is already. I have no other choice.
Grandma Nellie’s image was nearly as clear as her voice. She shook her head, disappointment clear in her expression. There are always other choices, young lady, if you’re looking for them.
“This isn’t for you, princess.” Tront motioned toward the door. “Enjoy your afternoon.”
Now he’d made her mad. He didn’t know anything about her other than her appearance. He couldn’t just dismiss her like a reject from some mass casting call. “I wouldn’t have come here unless I knew what will be expected of me. I’m twenty-four years old. I won’t panic. I promise.”
The smug jerk laughed. “Really? What do you think a carnal companion does?”
Amanda licked her lips, refusing to be intimidated by his abrasive attitude. “Companions offer physical pleasure to the defenders in exchange for Earth’s protection. I’m not afraid of sex. In fact, I find it quite enjoyable.”
Heat cascaded through her body at the gross exaggeration. Just the word sex was enough to make her blush and ‘indecent’ thoughts often sent her rushing for her rosary. Her mother had died when she was a child and her father was useless, so much of her adolescence had been spent with her devout Catholic grandmother. Amanda’s experience with sex was limited at best and each awkward incident had been tainted by overwhelming shame. According to her grandmother, sex was dirty, sinful, something to be endured for the express purpose of conceiving children. If Amanda’s life weren’t literally on the line, she wouldn’t have considered this program.
“You make it sound civilized and polite.” Tront shook his head. “I assure you, it’s neither.”
“I know what sex is like,” Amanda insisted. “It’s sweaty and—”
“The Ventori are animals. They’re savages used to taking whatever they want whenever they want it. My girls get fucked. They suck cock. They have their pussies stuffed so full they want to scream, then they take it up the ass while they’re bound and helpless. Are you ready to welcome a cock into every hole you’ve got, all at the same time?”
Another wave of tingling heat washed over Amanda, but she refused to consider the cause. Her grandmother’s continual lectures about the evils of sex had had an unintended effect on her curious granddaughter. The more Grandma Nellie had railed, the more determined Amanda had become to find out what all the fuss was about. Fear of discovery had kept her exploration restrained and mostly innocent while Grandma Nellie was alive. After the dear woman’s death, however, Amanda grew bold and adventurous.
Forbidden images had led to video clips, and the teasing clips led to actual porn. Amanda shivered. She’d been eighteen or nineteen and still she felt horribly guilty about the hours she’d spent locked in her bedroom with her laptop and a discreet vibrator. She felt as if Grandma Nellie had created a robot and programed it with her strict belief system. Then when Nellie passed away, she locked Amanda up inside the robot, expecting her to accept the programing as her own.
Amanda loved her grandmother, but she also felt trapped inside the robot. She knew what Nellie expected her to think and feel, but Amanda’s true self, the self she never shared with anyone, didn’t always agree with the teachings her grandmother had instilled with such determination.
That was why Amanda’s internet exploration had eventually led to darker, more ‘deviant’ pleasures—bondage, power exchange, even multiple partners. The more taboo, the better. She devoured the information and savored the images, hoping one day to escape the mental prison her grandmother had constructed for her.
Still, it had all been harmless rebellion, a way of proving to herself that she was finally free of her grandmother’s authority. She had never dared to bring any element of her fantasies into reality. Until now. Was this the chance she’d been waiting for, a way to break free of her grandmother’s expectations and live life on her own terms?
She forced the memories aside and focused on the present. Tront was trying to shock her, dissuade her from her chosen path. Well, she wouldn’t be bullied by a foul-mouthed salesman, and he couldn’t frighten her off by describing her deepest, darkest fantasies. “Why would the last be true if each companion is assigned to her own defender?”
He laughed again, pressing back into his chair. “Do you really know so little about the Ventori?” When she just glared at him, he explained, “They live in pods, sweet innocent, pods of two to five males. And pods share everything.”
Despite her best efforts, Amanda felt her eyes widen. “Five? Some of your girls have to pleasure five warriors?”
“Yes. The most common pod size is three, but there are plenty with four and five.” Challenge arched his brows. “Do you really think you’re ready to submit unconditionally to the sexual needs of five dominant males?”
She shook her head, but her pulse was racing. The thought of two lovers was tantalizing. Three was intimidating, but still arousing. Five? An all-out gangbang was so far outside her comfort zone it left her paralyzed with fear. “I can’t do five. I didn’t realize…”
“What about two?” His expression changed, became more calculating.
Anger returned in a calming rush as she realizing his strategy. By accenting the worst-case scenario, he had made the situation he was about to propose more appealing. No wonder the son of a bitch was their top recruiter. “Why do you ask?” She already knew the answer, but continued to play along.
“You’re a sweet, innocent girl next door, just the sort of female some of my upper-level clients have requested. Have you ever been with more than one—” He cut himself off with a soft scoff. “Have you ever had sex before?”
“Yes,” she snapped. “I’ve had three different lovers. Thank you very much.”
He opened his laptop and stared at the screen for several minutes, expression intense. “Have you experimented with any sort of kink?”
She shrugged, but averted her gaze. In her mind or in reality? The two required very different answers. Her actual sex life had been vanilla as catechism, but her fantasy life had been downright decadent. “A little.”
“I’ve been handcuffed and one of my lovers used a toy to arouse me.” Heat crawled up her neck, blossoming across her cheeks. This was so embarrassing.
After typing a bunch of commands, Tront asked, “Are your breasts natural?”
She snapped her gaze back to his face, incensed at his rude question. “That’s none of your business.”
He smirked and shook his head, pushing his laptop aside. “I’ll say it again. This isn’t for you, princess. Go wait tables or become a nanny. The Ventori would devour you.”
She couldn’t stay on Earth. If she wanted to live, she had to make this work. “Yes, they’re real. I’m wearing a pushup bra, but that’s all.”
It was a test. She could see it in his eyes. If she refused, he’d dismiss her. Well, she’d have to do a whole lot more than bare her breasts if she made it past his humiliating interview. She’d have to ‘suck cock’ and ‘take it up the ass.’ A forbidden shiver dropped down her spine. She’d fantasized about those sorts of things for years, but she’d known it wasn’t real. Was she brave enough to let it happen in reality, to submit completely to her Ventori masters?
With her gaze still locked with Tront’s, she unbuttoned her blouse. She didn’t wait for his prompting, but unhooked the front clasp of her bra and moved the cups aside. Her breasts were on the small side, thus the pushup bra. But they were nicely shaped and sensitive. In fact, they were one of the few parts of her anatomy she wouldn’t change if given the option.
His gaze dropped to her breasts and a salacious smile parted his lips. “Very nice. This client warned that he’ll reject anyone with augmented breasts. He and his podmate are both high-ranking officers, so they can afford to be choosy.”
She quickly refastened her bra and buttoned up her blouse, face flaming. “How long is the contract?”
“Two years?” She’d heard most contracts required a six-month commitment. Six months would give her father time to testify against the vicious drug lord threatening them both. Two years would be intolerable.
The police had put her father and her in protective custody and promised new identities once the trial was over. It had taken four days for the drug lord’s men to find them, and they’d narrowly missed killing Amanda. The police swore it was a fluke and moved them to a second safe house. It had taken the drug lord’s men eleven days to find that one. They’d slaughtered the cops who’d been guarding the house while Amanda and her father had barely escaped.
Her father was convinced the only way the drug lord could have found them was if the cops had a traitor in their midst, so he sent them a message saying he would still testify, but he didn’t trust them to keep him, or his daughter, safe.
So her father had disappeared, using skills he’d learned while working decades undercover. And he’d urged her to do the same. In fact he wouldn’t even let her tell him where she planned to go. He didn’t want to be able to give her up if the drug lord’s men managed to capture him.
She knew she couldn’t trust the police, and she couldn’t contact her father. She needed to disappear, and the Carnal Compensation program was her last option. “Two years is a long time to be cooped up on a spaceship.”
Tront shrugged. “They have a suite at Shadow Mountain Lodge. I’ve heard it’s beautiful up there. You wouldn’t spend the entire two years on their ship.” He looked up from the screen, expression bland. “Many of my veteran companions will find this offer appealing. I won’t have trouble filling the position. However, I stress again. These are not human males. In fact, they aren’t just Ventori Defenders. They’re both commanders. They’re used to being obeyed. Can you submit without question or argument? That’s what it will take to please these two. It’s what they’ll demand.”
Submission. Being with a lover, or lovers, strong enough to take control had always fueled her fantasies. But could she actually keep her rebellious thoughts and sarcastic comments to herself? Could she obey? She’d successfully convinced her grandmother she was a good girl all those years. This shouldn’t be any different.
What choice did she have? Stay here and be hunted like an animal? “What happens if I disobey them?”
Humor gleamed in his gaze, making his eyes look vividly green. “A nice hard spanking is the Ventori’s favorite punishment, but they also use paddles and floggers, even an occasional whip.”
She swallowed past the lump in her throat. Was he just trying to frighten her? Somehow, she didn’t think so. Still, she didn’t have the luxury of refusal, so she moved on to practical matters. “As I understand it, the companion’s expenses are always covered for the duration of the contract, but some agreements also offer a salary or signing bonus provided by the sponsoring government or the Ventori themselves.” Her heart sank as she heard her own words, and her grandmother’s disapproving image surged to the front of Amanda’s mind. Grandma Nellie’s ghost shook her head and held out a rosary. If Amanda was paid for giving pleasure, didn’t that make her a whore? She wouldn’t be a patriot; she’d be a prostitute.
“These are top-tier customers. The recompense is quite generous.” He turned his laptop so she could see the screen. “This is the monthly stipend associated with the current offer. There is also a clothing allowance and the possibility for bonuses if the clients are well-pleased.”
Her eyes widened again as she saw the figures. Generous and then some. Was she less of a whore if she only had two customers and was paid extremely well for keeping them satisfied? She shuddered, disheartened by the brutal honesty of her thoughts. This was enough money to pay off her school loans, credit card debt, and start over somewhere new. To hell with witness relocation. All she had to do was survive two years on a Ventori battleship at the mercy of two lusty commanders.
“What about STDs and pregnancy? Will they agree to use condoms?”
He chuckled, clearly amused by her concern. “I’m not sure interspecies breeding is possible. However, contraceptive injections are offered during induction. As for STDs, the Ventori eradicated most known diseases centuries ago. It’s my understanding that our government is frantically negotiating for access to their vaccines and gene therapies. The commanders are much more likely to catch something from you than the other way around. Which is why a battery of immune-boosting injections is also part of the induction process. I hope you’re not afraid of needles.”
She wasn’t, and she’d just about run out of reasons to refuse the offer. “Have you shown this offer to anyone else?”
He shook his head. “The proposal came in about an hour before you arrived and requested me personally. Some might call that destiny.”
“May I have a day or two to think about it?”
Again he shrugged. “Take as long as you like, but I won’t hold the contract for you. Call me before you return and I’ll let you know if the position is still available. Offers like this don’t come along every day.”
She hated being pressured, but he was probably right. This offer wouldn’t last. Thanks to the Skarilians, there were too many desperate people in the world. “I’ll do it.”
“Wonderful.” He flashed his first real smile. “Your clients are currently aboard their ship, so I’ll have to arrange transportation.”
“But I thought they had a house down here on Earth.”
“They do, and I’m sure they’ll take you there, eventually.” He motioned to someone outside the office and the receptionist returned. “Take her to Induction Center Six.”
“Right now?” He made her sound like a slab of meat. Trepidation gripped her belly and chills crawled across her skin. She’d just agreed to be the sex slave of two alien males. A slab of meat might be a preferable fate.
“They’ve requested immediate delivery, and thanks to you, I will be able to deliver immediately.”
Loax Drey turned from the daily update he’d been studying as his brother Rentar walked into the war room. Shift change wasn’t for another hour, so something must be wrong.
“Nothing’s wrong.” Rentar smiled, apparently guessing the direction of Loax’s thoughts. It wasn’t surprising. The brothers knew each other so well they were often accused of being telepathic. “I just received notification. Our CC proposal has been accepted.”
“That was fast.” He’d allowed Rentar to compose the offer, making it much more generous than Loax would have liked. Rentar was three years his junior and much less jaded by loss. “When will she arrive?”
“Anytime now. That’s why I’m here. Someone needs to meet her shuttle, and your shift is nearly over. Besides, you’re older. It’s your right to fuck her first.”
Loax narrowed his gaze on his brother’s face. Rentar was up to something, which wasn’t surprising. Rentar was always up to something. “Neither of us has been inside a female for well over three solar cycles. Why would you postpone such pleasure?”
“We’ll be mounting this female for the next two solar cycles. Rules need to be established and no one is better at that than you.”
That was certainly true. Establishing order and enforcing rules was his specialty. That was why their joint command worked so well. Rentar was cunning and good-natured. He had a mind for strategy and effortlessly built comradery while Loax maintained discipline.
“Did they send an image?” Loax felt his long-neglected body stir at the thought of a female, any female. He didn’t really care about her appearance as long as her submission was real and she understood the benefits of stern discipline.
“I can do one better.” Rentar grinned. “Her shuttle just docked on level three.”
Loax’s heart momentarily lost its rhythm and he turned toward the door. “Aren’t you coming?”
Rentar shook his head. “I’ll watch on the security feed, but it’s better if you do this alone.”
No longer caring about Rentar’s motivation, Loax hurried from the war room and made his way to the nearest utility access tube. Their ship was sprawling, one of the largest in the Ventori fleet, so ladders were often faster than waiting for a lift. Two levels down and back to mid-ship, he rushed into the arrival bay as his carnal companion disembarked from the shuttle.
She looked around, brilliant blue gaze wide and uncertain. Her sleek blonde hair barely brushed her shoulders and was tucked behind one dainty ear. Her features were delicate, giving her a fresh, untouched appearance. And her modest dress only added to her virginal appeal. She licked her bottom lip and lust cascaded through his body. Very soon that pink tongue would be circling his cock while he pumped between those soft-looking lips.
He stepped forward, drawing her attention. “I am Commander Loax Drey. You are responding to my offer.”
She started to proffer her hand, but changed her mind. “Commander. My name is Amanda Powell. It’s nice to meet you.”
He swept his arm toward the doorway, fascinated by her timidity. Of course she was afraid. Any human would be. The question was, why did he find her uncertainty so arousing? “Shall we?”
She didn’t ask where he was taking her, which pleased him greatly. Hopefully, her shyness would continue. He tended to gravitate toward spirited females, but the shy ones were much easier to train.
He led her to a lift and watched her carefully as they ascended to the topmost deck. She glanced at him then lowered her gaze, then glanced at him again.
“Do you have a question?” It was good that she hadn’t just blurted it out. Had her instructors at the induction center warned her to remain quiet or was she naturally submissive?
“I was told there would be two of you.”
She sounded relieved by the development, so he almost hated to enlighten her. “My podmate is also my biological brother. His name is Rentar and he’s on duty. You’ll meet him in the morning.”
Her lovely blue eyes shifted downward again and he immediately missed their expressiveness. He’d expected someone more guarded, more experienced, more jaded. More like himself.
The lift door parted and he escorted her to his quarters, then pressed his hand over the security scanner.
She paused to look around as the door slid shut behind them. The cabin was large compared to the other on-board accommodations, but still compact and utilitarian. No wasted space, no frivolities. Each cabin had been designed with pod living in mind. There was a common living area, with a sofa and matching chairs, as well as a small table and chairs. This pod had two bedrooms, one for Rentar and one for him.
“Is this where I’ll be staying?”
She didn’t have permission to speak, but he’d yet to establish the rule so he let it slide. This time. “For the most part. That bedroom is mine.” He pointed toward the appropriate door. “The other is Rentar’s. Each bedroom has its own bathroom.” When her only response was a silent nod, he asked, “Would you like something to drink? Have you eaten?”
“I’m not hungry, but something to drink would be wonderful.” She kept fiddling with her dress, clearly nervous to be alone with him.
He crossed to the beverage dispenser and ordered a glass of viskara, a sweet yet potent wine. She clearly needed to relax and his shoulders were unusually tense as well. A sip or two of viskara might do him good. “Are you hiding from someone?”
She looked at him, eyes wide and filled with secrets. “Why do you ask?”
“You’re young and beautiful, clearly not a call girl or a stripper. Why else would someone like you offer yourself to a couple of alien warriors?”
“I’m a patriot.” A hint of a smirk ruined the claim. “All your people asked in exchange for saving my world was the comfort of willing females. I felt it my duty to—”
He closed the space between them and caught her chin in a firm grip, tilting her head back. “Don’t lie to me again. Dishonesty will be punished.”
“I’m sorry.” She lowered her gaze despite the awkward angle of her face. “I was trying to be amusing.”
“I didn’t contract you to make me laugh. I expect you to obey.” He returned to the beverage station and retrieved the wineglass. He started to hand it to her, then had a better idea. “Undress first. I want to see what my credits bought.”
Her lips pressed into a disapproving line and her hands clenched at her sides. Oh, she didn’t like that at all. Was it the directive or his rude comment that had angered her? Now was probably not the best time to test her limits, but his dominance must be established from the start. Rentar would have given her a day or two to adjust to her new circumstances. So why had Rentar delivered this treasure to him?
She raised her hands to the buttons on the front of her dress. Her fingers shook so badly that she could barely complete the task. Per his instructions, she wore no undergarments. She pulled her arms from the sleeves with obvious reluctance and let the dress fall to a pool at her feet. Her breasts were small and round, just the way he liked them. Small pink nipples contrasted sharply with her ivory skin. Her torso narrowed to a trim waist, then flared to nicely rounded hips. Her body hair had been removed, also by his insistence. He wanted nothing to distract him from his pleasure when he had his face buried between her thighs. She’d grow wet and flushed, then start gasping as he explored her pussy with his tongue.
Their gazes clashed for a moment before she grudgingly obeyed.
Her back was beautiful, long and graceful. And her ass begged for the firm slap of his hand, or maybe a paddle. He saw flashes of spirit in her eyes, but so far she’d chosen to obey him. It wasn’t fair for him to continue provoking her, but he couldn’t seem to stop. He wanted her to rebel so he’d have a reason to spank her, master her.
He moved up behind her and reached around, bringing the wineglass to her lips. She started, brushing against him as she hesitantly accepted the beverage.
“You’re perfect, much more than I imagined.” He took a sip of the wine then a deeper drink, using the distraction to reinforce his control. His free arm wrapped around her waist, anchoring her trembling body in place. Everything within him wanted to bend her over the nearest piece of furniture and ram his cock deep inside her waiting cunt, but someone this skittish must be handled carefully. Like it or not, he needed to earn her trust. “Drink,” he urged when she just stood there.
She tried to take the glass from him, but he moved it out of reach until she lowered her arms and allowed him to control what she received. He pressed the glass to her lips and she took a sip, body tense and shaking against his.
“Are you sure you’re willing? You seem awfully tense.”
“I’d never been off my planet before and now I’m naked and about to be fucked by an alien. It’s unnerving, to say the least.”
He chuckled, finding her candor surprisingly endearing. “You didn’t answer my question. Did you sign the contract of your own free will? Are you here because you want to be? Forget that, I’m sure you don’t want to be here, but were you threatened or coerced in any way?”
She shook her head, her soft hair swishing against his chin. “It was my choice.”
“Good.” He rewarded her with another drink of wine, then drained the glass himself and set it aside. “Let’s go over the rules. I cannot expect you to obey if you don’t understand what’s expected of you. Does that seem fair?”
“I prefer verbal answers. The proper response is, ‘Yes, Sir.’”
He detected a tiny hint of rebellion in her tone, so he tightened his hold on her waist, pressing his erection into the small of her back. “For the next two years you belong to my brother and me. Any directive we give, you will obey. Is that clear?”
Cupping her breast with his fingers, he lightly teased her nipple with his thumb. “You will always wear skirts or dresses and you will never again wear undergarments. Your body must be accessible at any time night or day.”
“I understand, Sir.”
He descended from her breast and cupped her smooth mound. “Whenever our hands, our mouths, or cocks venture near your pussy or ass, you will open and welcome us.” After a noticeable pause, she moved her legs apart. He’d intended to explore her pussy with his fingers, maybe give her an orgasm to break the tension. Instead he moved his hand to her hip and said, “You hesitated. Why?”
“I’ve never been… taken like that.”
Lust spiraled through him, making his cock buck against her back. “You’ve never accepted a cock in your ass?”
“No, Sir, or yes. I’ve never done that.”
“Then we will prepare you, train you, before we fuck you at the same time.” A violent shudder made her body quake. He chuckled, unsure if it was excitement or dread that had caused the reaction. They would overcome dread and build upon excitement, so it didn’t really matter which she was experiencing. “We will take you together. Pretending the outcome can be avoided serves no purpose. It’s something we enjoy immensely. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Sir. I was warned that podmates share everything. It’s not my usual custom, of course, but I will submit to your wishes.”
She sounded dismissive, as if the practice was beneath her. He decided to push even harder, drive the situation home with an unmistakable, though extremely unlikely, example. “Just to clarify, your body belongs to us alone. You will not share pleasure, in any form, with anyone else, unless specifically instructed to do so by my brother or myself.”
She turned around, eyes wide, expression turbulent. “I was told that wouldn’t be an issue, that Ventori Defenders are possessive and share only with their podmates.”
He had no intention of sharing her, but he wasn’t willing to ease her fear either. She needed to understand that control of her lovely body now rested with him and Rentar. Anything they wanted, she would do, whether she liked it or not. “For the most part that is true. We are territorial and possessive, but your body belongs to me and my brother. If it pleases us to show you off by fucking you while others watch or to have you demonstrate your skills with one of our friends, you will do as you’re told. Disobedience, for any reason, will earn swift and severe punishment.”
Indecision took over her expression. He wasn’t sure which aspects she was deliberating, but she was having one hell of a time making up her mind. Finally, her shoulders squared and her chin lifted. “I will obey any order you or your brother give me, but I will not offer my body to anyone else. My contract only obligates me to compensate you and your brother. I am not a mindless toy to be passed around at parties.”
He found her rebellion so utterly adorable it was nearly impossible not to smile. Still, if he relented now, it would seem weak and would encourage further rebellion. “If you please us well and often, we will be less likely to let anyone else touch you.”
Her beautiful eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared. She was much more spirited than he’d first thought. The next few days would be interesting.
“Are you threatening me?” She was clearly ready for a fight.
“It’s not a threat,” he stressed. “It’s a challenge. Rebellious females must be chastised. Obedient females are rewarded. The choice is yours.”
“I have done everything you asked me to do. Why did you bring this up?”
It wasn’t her place to question him. However, there were more important points yet to be made. “I wanted to make your situation perfectly clear.”
“By threatening to share me with your friends?” She placed her hands on her hips and arched her brow, her demeanor downright belligerent. “That’s disrespectful, and I’ve done nothing to deserve it.”
“Your attitude is unacceptable.” He’d lost control of the conversation, which had not been his intention. Her initial passivity had given him the wrong impression of her personality. She wasn’t shy or introverted. She was a firebrand. “I will not tolerate insubordination.”
“And I will not be treated like a street-corner whore.”
He’d backed himself into a corner, but there was no help for it now. If he reassured her, it would be that much harder to establish control next time they had a disagreement. She’d think rebellion would be rewarded with compromise. Such was not the case. Rebellion was a serious offense, and he must act accordingly, even if his own strategic misstep was responsible for the needless conflict.
Glaring into her eyes, he pointed to the armchair beside him. “Bend over the seat and spread your legs, ass in the air.”