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Virgin Tribute: A Dark Sci-Fi Romance by Delta James – Sample

Chapter One

Raegan Yesler shook her head at the silliness of the young women with whom she lived. The sounds of their giggling and high-pitched teasing were something she found annoying.

“Raegan, get your nose out of that musty old book and come along. They’ve prepared the bath water. They say the elders are coming today.”

Raegan snorted and closed the ancient text. She ran her hand lovingly down its leather-clad spine. While most books were available on electronic devices, there was something she found appealing about the obsolete texts. There was a certain sensuousness and comfort in feeling the leather and embossing on their covers and turning the actual pages that pleased her.

“Come, girls,” called one of those who had gone before, “it’s time for your bath. The water has been prepared.”

Reluctantly, Raegan rose and headed toward the bathing area. It was a large, well-lit room with entrances from the communal living area, the two dormitories for those in the program and the area that housed the individual rooms of those who had gone before. At each of the entrances, one of the massive warriors who helped to provide for the security of the Sanctuary stood guard.

One of the few things Raegan appreciated about being considered to be the Chosen One was having unrestricted access to bathing water and being clean. What she didn’t like was all of the ritual that came with the annual ceremony to select the Chosen One.

Those who had gone before spaced the women evenly around the large shared bath. Their leader, who had once been the daughter of an elder, cleared her throat and clapped her hands to silence the young women gathered around her.

“Today, you will all be allowed to play and enjoy your time in the water. This is the first of several steps that will result in this year’s annual tribute for the Protector to be chosen. It is important that you recognize the importance and sanctity of the honor that may be bestowed on you this day.”

Raegan muttered under her breath, “Honor, my ass.”

The women up for consideration giggled and those who had gone before scowled. Despite her derision of the young women with whom she lived, she was popular as her sarcastic and scathing remarks were often a highlight of any gathering.

“That is enough, Raegan. There are those among you who will never be considered and will deem themselves a failure because of it. You are coming up to an age where you may never be selected and so should be putting your best foot forward.”

“Let me see, fucked by a mutant freak or by some guy with more muscles than brains whenever he wants. That’s not much of a choice if you ask me.”

“No one is asking you,” the woman hissed.

One of those with whom Raegan had entered the program many years before shook her head. “Stop egging them on. Without the Protector the Sanctuary will fall to the mutants. The Protector demands an annual tribute.”

“So why is she chosen?” argued Raegan. “Why not ask for volunteers?”

“Because the elders know what is best for all of us and this is our way. It has been so for many generations.”

“Ever notice that all the elders are men and it’s women they sacrifice?” continued Raegan.

“Raegan! That is enough. Most of us are aware of your feelings. Now be silent,” commanded the leader. She turned to engage the other women gathered around the bath. “One of you will be the Chosen One given to the Protector as tribute and concubine. In so doing, you guarantee the safety and continuation of the Sanctuary for the following year.”

Wisely, Raegan decided to hold her tongue. That seemed to be the answer to many things: that whoever was selected would be the Chosen One given to the Protector as tribute and concubine. The women, both those who had been tribute and those in the selection program, had that drilled into their heads so they could recite it without thinking.

As a group they stepped into the warm water and luxuriated in it. All around her, Raegan heard small groups of girls gossiping and giggling as they played in the water. She watched as several water fights broke out, but kept to herself.

The girl who had been beside Raegan came to sit with her. “You really don’t want to be here, do you?”

“That’s the hell of it,” said Raegan. “I like being here. I’m well aware that we have it better than most women at the Sanctuary, but the idea that I have to remain a virgin until they decide to hand me off either to some monster or offer me up as the sexual plaything for one of the warriors isn’t my idea of fair. I think we ought to have a say in it.”

“That’s the way it’s always been.”

“But that doesn’t make it right,” argued Raegan. “And what happens that is so awful that our society exiles those given to the Protector? They are isolated from everyone except each other and those that might have to endure the same fate.”

“They say he ruins a woman to be with other men. Those who were here when they tried to deny him his annual tribute say his cock is enormous and has barbs on the lower portion. And,” she said, lowering her voice, “they say he doesn’t just use a woman’s sacred sheath to breed her.”

Raegan laughed bitterly. “In other words, he mutilates and tortures women. Then when he can’t get her pregnant, he returns her and our men have such small dicks they know they’ll never measure up? Has anyone ever asked if the almighty Protector can even father a child? How do we know all of the Chosen Ones have failed? Maybe he’s the failure.”

“That’s not true; I’ve heard the warriors are quite large as well.”

“Oh, joy!” Raegan said sarcastically. “So, if your private parts aren’t damaged by a freak, you get to endure the rest of your life being repeatedly mauled by one of our own.”

Once their bath was over, the young women were readied to have most of their body hair, save their eyebrows, a small patch at the juncture of their thighs, and that on their head, removed. Each woman was given a towel and then was attended by two of those who had gone before. The attendants would press the towels against their young charges’ naked bodies to remove some of the water, but ensure there was enough moisture left to aid with the removal of the hair.

“Remove the towel, Raegan. We must prepare your skin to be smooth as silk.”

“Exactly why is that?” she asked.

The two women looked at each other and intoned, “Because that is the way the Protector has deemed it should be.”

“Do you two dream in lockstep with each other?”

They did not answer but waited for her to hand them the towel.

“Why not just give me the stuff and I’ll do it myself,” said Raegan, reaching for the warm depilatory cream.

“That is not the way it is done. If you will not comply, we will ask that you be held by one of the warriors.”

“Come now, Raegan,” said the other one, “we go through this every year. You have done this before; you know there is no pain involved.”

Raegan knew she was no match for the brute strength of the warriors. She knew that those who wished to remove her body hair would not hesitate to call for reinforcements. She sighed in resignation and handed over the towel.

The woman had been right, it wasn’t painful, but it and all that followed were exceedingly embarrassing. Having to submit to having her body hair removed and then being examined by the elders who talked about the women in front of them as though they weren’t in the same room was humiliating.

The warm cream was applied and removed with warm cloths, leaving behind only slick, smooth skin. All body hair was removed, even most of that between a woman’s legs and the inside of her thighs. When they were finished, the only body hair remaining was the small nest of curls at the apex of those up for selection’s legs.

Once the women to be considered to be the Chosen One were denuded of most of their hair, they were helped into thin, loose robes that were open down the front and closed only by a tie around their waist. It was at this point that most who had been through the ritual before would become antsy. Additional warriors would file in to stand in front of the line as the pool was directly behind them, effectively trapping them in place. It was a boon to the warriors to be present during the selection process—a reward for service given to the Sanctuary. It was said that these were the warriors who those not selected would be offered to.

Raegan stood in line with the other women. She hadn’t had to worry about being among those chosen for the more intimate examination until the past two years. She wasn’t unaware that her body had developed more curves during that time. She hated this. Hated being put on display and being pawed by the elders.

The last two years when she hadn’t been chosen, she had breathed a heavy sigh of relief. It had taken every ounce of will power she had not to swat the hands of the old men who had gone down the line hefting at least one breast of each of those to be considered. She was not sure she could exhibit the same level of control this year.

Elder Stanley, the leader of the elders, spoke. “We have come to select those three women who will move on to the next phase of selection for the honor of being tribute to the Protector. He has charged us with inspecting you to make sure you are blemish free and that your body appears to be capable of childbearing. This will be confirmed by the medical examination of the women selected for further consideration.”

Raegan snorted. “These old buggers get off on all of this.”

“Shh, Raegan. There is nothing sexual in their touch.”

“You don’t seriously believe that, do you?” she smirked. “Haven’t you been paying attention? If they don’t get off on it, why are most of them having trouble breathing normally by the end? Why do they wear loose trousers? For that matter, why do they all come along and so many of them need to put their hands on us?”

Raegan watched as the elders moved down the line, running a hand down the flank or throat of the woman in front of them. Many women had their robes opened and several elders would lift a breast, cup a bottom, or even stroke the inside of a thigh. They were careful to never touch the clitoris, labia, or any of the erotic zones of the woman’s nether region.

“Raegan,” intoned the elder. “We have had our eye on you the past two years. Let us see how you have developed.”

He reached for the tie on her robe and Raegan stayed his hand. A warrior stepped forward but stopped as the elder held up his hand.

“Compliance is not optional nor will interference with the process be tolerated. As you seem reluctant to allow us to see you better by simply opening your robe and lifting it out of our way, it will be removed.”

The elder stepped back and before Raegan could so much as make a retort, she was grasped by one warrior as another stripped her bare before all those in attendance. She didn’t fail to note the sharp inhalation of breath from the men present—elder and warrior alike.

“Her body has ripened this year. Note how she nips in at the waist before her hips flare out.”

He lifted her breast in his hand and squeezed it. With a warrior standing at the ready on either side of her, she did not have a chance to remove his hand before he did so himself.

One of the other elders lifted her breast in his hand as well. “And the heft of her breast has increased,” he said to the others.

The remaining elders did the same with several running their hands over her naked backside and making comments about the round firmness and how that would please the Protector.

Turning to Raegan, the leader of the elders said the words she had prayed never to hear. “You will be considered for tribute.”

“Thanks, but I’d prefer not to be.”

There was a startled gasp from most of those assembled. The elders turned back to her.

“What did you say?” Elder Stanley challenged in an authoritative tone.

“I said,” Raegan responded in a strong, firm voice, “I would prefer not to be.”

“That is not for you to decide, girl. If you are so honored you will be the Chosen One…”

“I know. I will be given to the Protector as tribute and concubine. What bullshit! I’ve never been asked if I wanted to be considered. It’s my body and I’ll be the one who has to endure whatever it is he does to those given to him. It can’t be good, as it causes those so chosen to go into seclusion for the rest of their lives and have little contact with anyone who hasn’t gone through the same thing. I think I ought to have a say. And I’m saying thanks, but no thanks.”

“No one refuses the honor of being the Chosen One.”

“As I recall the story, your sister did but you bastards let that monster carry her away.” Raegan challenged him not only in her words and tone but by refusing to break eye contact.

“What you want is disappointing and immaterial. Our pact with the Protector is to offer him the best of our women as annual tribute and concubine for a period of three to four months. Does your knowledge of the night my sister was taken away include a vivid memory of how close this Sanctuary came to being destroyed?”

“Obviously I wasn’t there,” retorted Raegan.

“Well, I was,” continued Stanley. “When the Protector discovered my father had withheld tribute, he withdrew his protection. The mutants began to besiege our stronghold. They were able to break through the gates and made short work of the warriors sent to defend the Sanctuary.”

“That was twenty years ago,” argued Raegan.

“The leader of the mutants was a horrifying beast that seemed to be a cross between a gorilla and a bear. He had great claws and tremendous upper body strength. He could tear a human apart as though it were nothing. He was closing in on the last of our warriors, when the Protector intervened in his shifted state—a long-extinct saber-tooth cat crossed with an enormous eagle. The leader of the mutants stood mostly erect leaning on its extended forearms; the Protector was on all fours rearing up to slash with his impressive claws and extended canines.”

“And this is the thing you want to sacrifice us to?” challenged Raegan, squaring off against the elder.

“The Chosen One is not killed. And anything she goes through is revered and rewarded upon her return to us.” The elder’s eyes dimmed in light of the fearful memory he seemed intent on relating to all who were present. “The fight that followed lasted no more than a few minutes before the leader of the marauders was torn asunder by the Protector who drove the remaining mutants away before confronting my father.”

Elder Stanley slowly shook his head. “We watched in a kind of fascinated horror as the Protector morphed from beast to human. When he stood erect, he was revealed to be a heavily muscled man who towered over even the largest warrior. He was naked and his large staff, erect from the adrenaline rush of the fight, jutted out from his body. It was enormous and rows of barbs protruded along part of the shaft directly behind its head. He demanded to know which of those present was my father.”

Raegan, and she assumed the rest of those under consideration, trembled at the idea of being subjected to being bred by the beast described.

“My father offered his life in exchange for the Protector resuming his safeguarding of our people. But he refused. Instead, he demanded my sister be given to him as tribute. The Protector demanded that all those offered in tribute from that time forward be over the age of twenty-five and virgins. He threatened to kill us all should he ever be denied again.”

“But…” Raegan tried to interrupt.

“There are no buts. My sister was dragged forward terrified and screaming. When she saw the Protector’s engorged phallus, she was rendered speechless. He reached for her, closing his strong hand around her wrist. He drew my sister to him, telling her she would service him for the next season. My father had to be restrained. The Protector grew tired of my sister’s histrionics and hefted her over his shoulder, like a rag doll, and delivered a stinging blow to her upturned rump that echoed down the tunnels of the Sanctuary.”

“So, he beats those you give to him?” questioned Raegan.

“No. He punishes disobedience. The Protector left the Sanctuary as those of us left behind began the task of rebuilding, thanked God that he had delivered us from a greater evil, and tried to ignore the screams of my sister.”

There was a collective shudder as the story of the year the Protector had been denied his tribute was common knowledge, but few had ever heard it told from the perspective of one who had been there.

The elder who had been examining Raegan continued, “The Protector killed the marauder’s leader in the blink of an eye. We were told that should tribute ever be withheld or not be to his specifications that he would eradicate us himself. You have been heard to say that you wish to be among those who protect the Sanctuary. If you are chosen, you will be able to fulfill that desire.”

“Not exactly what I had in mind.”

“That too is immaterial.” He turned to the group of warriors present. “Take her to the examination room and help her to prepare.”

One of the men stepped forward. As he grasped Raegan’s upper arm, she stomped on his instep, causing him to bend forward. She head-butted him hard enough so that he staggered backwards. She turned to sprint away but was quickly brought down by two other warriors who between them subdued her.

Elder Stanley looked at her with disgust. “You ungrateful, stupid girl. It is a high honor to be the Chosen One.”

“Then you be the Chosen One! You offer yourself up as tribute and concubine.”

“Take her!”

The others watched as Raegan was forcibly removed from the room to be subjected to further testing. They knew she would not return to their ranks. Either she would be given to the Protector or she would be offered to one of the warriors.

The two warriors half carried/half dragged Raegan down the hallway to a small medical examination room. A woman Raegan knew to be among those once given as tribute entered the room.

“Leave us, but remain outside the door in case I need your assistance. I’m hoping that won’t be necessary. It won’t be, will it, Raegan?”

“Depends entirely on what you think you’re going to do,” Raegan responded.

The woman nodded her head toward the door and the brace of warriors removed themselves from the room.

“I am Millicent Denny. I am the doctor for those of us of the Sisterhood.”

“Sisterhood? You mean the despoiled and exiled.”

“We choose to live separate lives as those who have not been tribute will never understand.”

“What you mean is we’re removed from our homes and families, forced to live in isolation, and then handed off to some monster or to one of the warriors as his personal fuck toy or broodmare. And those who never make the cut to be the Chosen One end up warming the bed of some schmuck. Why is that?”

Millicent shook her head. “You do not understand.”

“And I never will. If you people think I’m going to let that ogre take me off to do whatever it is he does with his tribute,” she spat the last word, “for three or four months, you are sadly mistaken. I will not go willingly; you’ll have to drag me from the Sanctuary kicking and screaming. The damn chains you use to bind me to those crumbling arches better be in good shape because I will find a way to escape…”

“And then what?” demanded Millicent. “Subject the Sanctuary to either being attacked by roving bands of mutants or decimated by the Protector himself?”

“We should have been coming up with better ways to protect ourselves. What happens when your precious Protector can no longer ensure your safety? Then what? Will you find some other beast to offer a virgin sacrifice to?”

“We are not sacrificed. We are given as tribute and concubine. We are returned to our home and what we give to the Protector ensures the survival of the rest at the Sanctuary.”

“I’m not inclined to be brutalized by some mutant freak for a bunch of people who not only willingly allow this to happen every year, but try to tell those who are being ruined for any kind of happy future that we should feel honored. Bullshit in its finest form.”

“If you are found to be the best of what we have to offer him, you will be given no choice. You can either submit to the testing in privacy between us or I will recall the guards and they will force your compliance.”

“So, he returns you as depraved as he is. I see now what it is that those of you who are chosen as tribute sacrifice.”

“Will you submit?”

“Fuck you.”

Millicent stepped away as Raegan took a defensive stance. The two warriors stepped back into the room, locking the door behind them.

The larger of the two, an enormous blond called Karl, smiled.

“I was hoping you’d need to be subdued. I was hoping to get my hands on you before that fiend has his way with that beautiful body of yours. Or perhaps they won’t choose you at all and you’ll be given to me.”

“That is enough, Karl,” scolded Millicent. “You are to leave and are to send another. I will not have Raegan subjected to your leering. You will be dismissed from those who look after the Sisterhood. Remove yourself at once.”

Karl thought to say something more when the other guard stepped between him and Millicent. “That’s enough. Go now and you will retain your place as a warrior. One more word and I will have you cashiered from the guard.”

Karl turned and left the room.

The other guard turned to Raegan.

“Do I need to get another to help me subdue you or can you submit to Dr. Denny’s examination?” he asked gently.

“How can you call yourself a warrior when you will stand by and do nothing to stop this? And how do you, as a woman and one who was sacrificed, participate in helping them do this to another?” asked Raegan softly, addressing both the warrior and Millicent.

“Because I saw what the Protector did that night. I saw him tear an opponent limb from limb. An opponent who meant to see every man in our Sanctuary dead and every woman raped. We don’t stand a chance against those things that rule the land above us. He is the only thing that keeps us safe,” said the warrior, clearly still haunted by what he had seen so long ago.

“That was more than twenty years ago and you and your kind have done nothing to improve the situation. You’re more than willing to hand over some woman so that you don’t have to be bothered. You’re no better than those that you say we need protection from. Do any of you even know if the mutants still exist?”

“We cannot afford to find out,” he admitted. “Will you submit?”

“No,” Raegan said, shaking her head slowly. “I will not give you even the slightest reason to believe that this is anything that I’m agreeing to.”

The warrior shook his head and stepped outside. A few minutes later he returned with another. Once again, they locked the door behind them and Raegan took a defensive stance.

“Raegan,” said Millicent pleadingly, “you cannot win. They will force you into the restraints and will have to remain while I examine you.”

“Jesus, you’re a sick bitch,” snarled Raegan.

The next few minutes moved too swiftly for Raegan to remember exactly what took place. She knew from later observation that she had bloodied both of the warriors but it had been in vain. In the end she was forced onto a medical examining table with her feet placed in obstetrical stirrups with her legs spread. The two warriors had held her down while she was placed in full body restraints. When she had begun screaming, she was gagged so that her protests were muffled.

Before she was gagged, one of the warriors had pried open her mouth. He wedged her jaw open so that Millicent was able to examine it. The doctor grasped her tongue to move it out of her way. Once that was done, the gag had been put in place. Millicent had drawn several vials of her blood and handed them to someone outside the exam room.

Millicent’s knowing hands then moved down the column of her neck along the tops of her shoulders and down each arm. She probed and prodded, feeling for what Raegan was not sure. After her arms, Millicent began to examine Raegan’s breasts; she used the pads of two fingers to gently push on the tissue of each one. She started at the place where the flesh connected with her frame and then lightly pushed in a circular pattern, moving closer and closer toward Raegan’s areola and nipple. The exam room was chilly and Raegan’s nipples had stiffened in reaction to the cold. Millicent probed the areola thoroughly before pulling gently on Raegan’s nipple and then giving it a sharp pinch, causing Raegan to gasp at the sudden pain.

“That was for misbehaving. The Protector will not be as gentle should you displease him.”

Millicent then examined the other breast with equal interest and again squeezed Raegan’s beaded nipple hard as she tugged on it.

Once she was satisfied with everything above the waist, Millicent moved to the soles of Raegan’s feet and examined them as well. Finding calluses, she used a cooling gel to soften them before scraping the rough skin away with what looked to be an old-fashioned cheese grater. Once her feet were smooth, Millicent warmed some lotion smelling of mint in her hands before rubbing it into Raegan’s feet, making Raegan moan in pleasure. Millicent smiled.

“It’s good to see you respond positively to pleasurable stimuli.”

Millicent began examining Raegan’s calves and thighs. Restrained as she was, Raegan hadn’t tried to fight overly much. It wasn’t until Raegan felt the table onto which she had been strapped down begin to elevate her legs and pelvis that she renewed her struggles.

“Calm down, Raegan. No one is going to hurt you. I need to examine you more thoroughly and confirm conclusively that your maidenhead is intact and that you are capable of conceiving.”

Raegan could feel the blush start at the tips of her toes and move all the way up her body. It wasn’t that she hadn’t explored her nether regions with her hands, finding pleasure at rubbing her clitoris, but to have someone else do it—a woman—while two men watched was mortifying.

Millicent focused first on finding her clit and moving its hood out of the way to expose it for her gaze and her touch. What little resistance Raegan could offer, she did by trying to buck her hips and twist away from the soft probing touch.

To her shame, Raegan could feel the first signs of arousal beginning to pool between her legs. It seemed to her that Millicent was taking far more time examining her clit than she needed to. Either it was there or not and given the sensations Millicent was forcing on her, it was definitely there. Millicent did a cursory visual review of Raegan’s entire body.

“This is very good. Even though she doesn’t want any part of this, her body is responding to stimuli. Her nipples are remaining hard and I suspect are beginning to be desirous of attention,” she said to no one in particular. “All right, Raegan, let’s see what we’ve got down here.”

Raegan’s legs were pulled wider apart, causing Raegan to fight that much harder. Millicent stroked one finger down from her clit to her private channel and smiled.

“Very good,” she chuckled. “I won’t have any need of artificial lubricants to finish the examination. It seems Raegan is producing more than enough of her own to make the last portion of her examination as pleasant as it can be under the circumstances.”

Millicent donned a pair of sterile gloves, plunged one finger inside of Raegan, and then pulled it out to insert two. With her other hand, she pressed down on Raegan’s abdomen so that she could fully assess the status of Raegan’s reproductive organs. She smiled as she found the thin membrane she had been seeking. Raegan would have gladly died at that moment as her body reacted to the gentle probing and stroking in the only way it knew how—by producing more of her thick moisture and beginning to move toward a climax.

Raegan closed her eyes and prayed that the examination would be over before she completely shamed herself by coming all over Millicent’s fingers. She felt the support from under her bottom being withdrawn. Her eyes flew open as one of Millicent’s fingers probed her darkest hole. Raegan clenched her butt cheeks.

“Easy, Raegan, normally he only uses that hole when he is in rut or as a form of punishment. I must make sure that it too is healthy enough to provide him with what he needs and desires.”

Millicent pushed her digit through the tight ring of muscle, making Raegan’s anus sting and begin to burn.

“Relax and breathe. Quit fighting and this will be easier.”

Raegan continued to struggle.

“Can I have one of you steady her hips so I can finish this? I need to get a little deeper and get her to accept something being up inside her ass.”

The big warrior took hold of her hips and Raegan’s only remaining struggle was within her mind. Millicent’s finger probed deeper and then stopped as she allowed Raegan’s body to accept the foreign invasion. Raegan began to breathe deeply and noticed that the burning sensation had given way to a somewhat more pleasant feeling of being stretched with only a bit of a sting to it. Feeling Raegan relax and accept, Millicent gently moved her finger forward and back, smiling as Raegan’s private hole began to accept the pleasure being given. Satisfied, she removed her finger and took off the gloves, folding them inside out and then tossing them in the garbage.

“Can you lift her off the table for a moment? One last thing to check.”

The warrior lifted her by her legs so that the lower portion of her body was completely off the table. Without warning, Millicent delivered two sharp blows, one to each of her bottom cheeks. She cocked her head and smiled as Raegan felt Millicent’s handprints cause a pinkish hue to bloom.

“Good girl. I think she’ll do very nicely. But I will examine the others. I think one of you had best remain with her.” She came up to Raegan’s head. “If I have them remove the gag, will you promise not to go back to screaming?”

Raegan nodded and Millicent removed the gag before walking over to the sink and thoroughly washing her hands. The warrior who had lifted Raegan up for examination of her bottom opened the door and they exited.

Silent tears began to fall down Raegan’s cheeks as she looked at the impassive face of the remaining warrior. “You won’t help me, will you?” she asked quietly.

The guard regarded her with a sympathetic gaze but said nothing.

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