Amanda no longer cared that she was stark naked and on a spaceship filled with alien warriors. She would not put up with this arrogant jackass another minute. “Fuck you!” When Loax stared back at her in stoic silence, she added, “Tront was right. This nonsense isn’t for me. I’m enacting the thirty-day clause. I demand transportation back to Earth.”
A triumphant smile slowly crept across Loax’s black lips. She’d actually found him handsome until his domineering behavior had changed her perspective. His features were symmetrical and well-shaped, different from a human’s yet appealing. And his body-hugging black-and-red uniform left very little to the imagination. The commander was built like a professional athlete, all well-defined muscles and lean flesh.
“Did you actually read your contract? Or did Mr. Tront explain it to you?”
She froze, trepidation dropping into her belly like a brick. “I… everything happened really fast.”
His strange eyes gleamed so brightly they almost glowed. The colored portion was much larger than a human’s, leaving very little white. His irises were black marbled with shimmering red, and his pupils were slits rather than round. It would have been easier to forget he was from another star system if not for his black lips and Ventori eyes.
“The thirty-day clause allows you an escape,” he conceded. “However, it can only be enacted after the first thirty days have elapsed. We are guaranteed thirty days to train our females, without any interference from Earth. The condition was one of the original stipulations and it will never change.”
“But this female is no longer willing to be ‘trained.’” What a repulsive word. Pets were trained. Horses were trained. No one trained their sexual partner.
He crossed his arms over his chest and studied her silently for another long moment. “You surrendered your right to refuse when you signed the contract. You are ours to do with as we will for a minimum of thirty days. Then, and only then, can you break the contract.”
“That’s insane.” She took a step back, crossing her arms over her breasts in a much belated attempt at modesty. “You can’t keep me here against my will. That’s kidnapping.”
“You agreed to these conditions, Amanda. You wouldn’t be here if you had not. Did you willingly sign the contract?”
“Were you dragged onto the shuttle in restraints or sedated somewhere along the way?”
She just glared at him.
“You arrived of your own volition and signed the contract willingly. If this were not true, I would not have laid a hand on you. I know you’re afraid, but it’s too late to change your mind.”
She looked around, feeling trapped and panicked. “I didn’t know, didn’t understand.”
“That can’t be true. I know Ealin Tront. He goes out of his way to make sure there are no misunderstandings. It’s one of the reasons we chose him to broker our offer. And the entire point of this conversation was to detail my expectations of you. You were not tricked into any of this.”
“I don’t want to fuck anyone but you,” she cried, coming back to the reason for her resistance. Her heart was beating so fast she was afraid she’d pass out.
“What about Rentar?”
“You know what I mean. I agreed to having sex with you and your brother, not being lent out like a garden tool.”
His lips twitched; he pressed them together, then allowed the smile to form. His angular features softened and warmth filled his strange red-and-black eyes. “I don’t intend to share you, but it would be within my rights if I did.”
Relief so intense it left her lightheaded rushed through her system. “Thank you. I appreciate the honesty.” If he didn’t intend to share her, she might be able to deal with the rest.
“Good. Now bend over the chair.”
She felt her eyes round and took another step back. “Why? I’m not arguing anymore.”
“Really?” One of his silky black brows arched. “Sounds rather like arguing to me.”
“I was afraid. You intentionally frightened me.”
“That’s why you’ll be spanked instead of paddled.”
She looked at the chair, then back at her intransigent employer. “But—”
“Keep arguing and I will use a paddle.”
Knowing there was no help for it. Not for the next thirty days, anyway. She moved to the chair and started to bend over, but she couldn’t make herself do it. She’d bent and begged, compromised and sacrificed for her father, and look where that had led. She hadn’t even been safe in protective custody. Her life was in tatters, and a drug lord’s henchmen were hunting her!
“Amanda.” A detailed warning wasn’t necessary. His tone said it all.
“I can’t.” She sounded as defeated as she felt, but her pride and frustration were insurmountable. “You provoked me. This isn’t fair.”
“I decide what’s fair. You are no longer in control.”
He moved so fast all she could do was gasp. Suddenly, he was sitting in the armchair and she was facedown over his lap, her arms neatly trapped between his strong thighs.
His open hand landed across her upturned bottom with resounding force. Shock kept her first reaction to a startled yelp, but the second spank dragged an enraged cry from deep inside her. It hurt. This wasn’t a game. He was actually hurting her. Never in all her twenty-four years had anyone laid a punishing hand on her.
“Stop it!” she screamed, desperate to escape the stinging spanks. “What the fuck is wrong with you! I’m a full-grown woman, not a child.” She twisted and thrashed, bucking and kicking, but he hardly seemed to notice. The twisted fucker was seriously strong.
He spanked her again and again, hard, skillful swats that sent heat and pain radiating up her spine and down her legs. Spanking was supposed to be fun, a titillating game used to spice up a boring sex life. Tears flowed from her eyes and fear overwhelmed her anger. What if he didn’t stop spanking? She was utterly at his mercy. No one would interfere. He commanded this ship, and no one on Earth could rescue her even if they knew she was in danger. Her silent tears turned into shuddering sobs as the reality of her situation crashed down upon her.
She’d fled Earth because her life was in danger. She’d honestly believed that two years of sexual servitude was an acceptable price to pay if she regained control of her life once the ordeal was over. Anger shattered her other emotions. As usual, she’d jumped from the frying pan into the fire. She wasn’t safe here. She was in more danger than she’d been in on Earth. These aliens could do anything they wanted and there was nothing she could do to stop them.
He paused and rested his hand on one burning cheek. The heat sank deeper, triggering an unwanted ache between her thighs. What was wrong with her? Nothing about this was arousing.
“Why am I punishing you?”
“Because you’re a sadist pig.” She regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth. “Wait! I didn’t—”
The next spank was even harder and landed on the back of her thigh.
She screamed and renewed her struggles, trying desperately to free her arm enough to elbow him in the balls. His legs were solid muscle, easily immobilizing her. Emotions churned, threatening to abolish what little remained of her composure. It was too much. It was all too damn much. She sobbed, feeling helpless and abandoned.
After four hard swats he stopped again. “Why are you being spanked?”
“I was disrespectful and argumentative.” Each word tasted bitter, so she whispered under her breath, “After you intentionally provoked me.”
He firmly held her down with one hand as the other pushed between her thighs. She tensed, expecting to be finger-fucked with punishing force. Her inner muscles fluttered and her clit tingled. Despite her humiliation—or perhaps because of it—she was seriously turned on.
Instead of forcing his fingers into her pussy, he collected her wetness and moved it up to her other opening. Her eyes rounded and dread paralyzed her struggles.
“Discipline can take many forms.” He drilled into her tight rear opening without further explanation. His finger was wet, so it didn’t really hurt. But she felt invaded, shamed and embarrassed as never before. Her cheeks pulsed with heat and discomfort, and his finger felt enormous in her ass. Then he pulled his hand back, slowly sliding the offending finger nearly out. He bent closer to her ear and whispered, “Ass play can be incredibly pleasurable, or it can be more humiliating than you can imagine.” He thrust in fast and hard, forcing her to take his entire finger. It took no imagination at all to picture how mortifying it would feel to be punished by his cock ramming into her ass.
A deep voice snapped from across the room in a language she didn’t understand. Amanda looked to see who had spoken, wishing she were anywhere but here. Her hair hung across her face so all she could make out was a tall Ventori standing by the door. Then unshed tears blurred her vision, creating a shapeless mass of black and red. It had to be Rentar. Who else could enter the commander’s private quarters without permission?
Or had Loax given the stranger permission? Invited him inside to witness her humiliation?
The possibility was too horrible to consider. “Let me up,” she begged. “Please, Sir, stop.”
Loax responded in the same harsh language, but kept his accursed finger right where it was.
Amanda turned her head back around, hiding behind her hair. She could just imagine what the stranger was seeing. A naked female, behind bright red, draped over the legs of his commander while he forcefully fingered her ass. She willed herself to pass out, ready for any escape from the degrading scene.
The stranger spoke again, obviously angry.
Loax finally removed his finger and dragged her to her feet as he stood. She backed away, covering herself with her hands, but the men were focused on each other. Their hostile exchange quickly escalated into a shouting match.
Unwilling to stand there naked while the two duked it out, she snatched her dress off the deck and pulled it on over her head. By the time she’d gotten her arms into the sleeves and started working on the buttons, the stranger stood in front of her, as if to protect her from Loax.
“Is this about me?” She had to shout to be heard over the rapid-fire argument, but their verbal joust halted.
Surprising her even more, Loax answered. “My brother is dissatisfied with my conduct. He feels that your behavior did not warrant such a hard spanking.”
Chest still heaving with barely suppressed anger, Rentar pulled her to his side so he could see her and Loax. “I am Ventori. I believe misbehavior deserves discipline, but you did not misbehave. You reacted naturally to intentional provocation.”
She glanced at Loax, but said nothing. This was an impossible situation. If she agreed with Rentar, she’d piss off Loax and vice versa. Sibling rivalries frequently ended in bloodshed and her contract obligated her to meet the needs of both males.
She turned back to Rentar. She had to deescalate the argument, but she wasn’t sure how. “He warned me that I would be punished and I lost my temper anyway. I deserved the spanking.”
Both males looked shocked by her attitude.
“Now what he did with his finger was unnecessary and extremely unwelcome.” She should have stopped while she was ahead.
Loax shook his head and snarled a parting shot to his brother, then stormed from the cabin.
She stood there with her gaze on the floor, trembling with uncertainty.
“Are you harmed? Ventori are much stronger than humans. Did he injure you?”
Rentar’s voice was so different from Loax’s, caressing, almost tender. It sent a shiver down her spine, then a fresh rush of raw emotion inundated her being. It had been so long since anyone had cared about her, worried about her, much less put her wellbeing above their own. Rentar had just taken on his podmate and brother in defense of her. A harsh sob tore through her and she turned around, unwilling to let him see her crying.
He didn’t allow the retreat. His touch was gentle yet insistent as he turned her back around and pulled her into his arms. His offer of comfort only made her sob harder.
“I’ve got you now. You’re fine, love. You’ll be just fine.” He stroked her hair, patiently waiting for her emotions to run their course.
Amanda drew in a deep breath confused by her own behavior. She wasn’t usually a crier, felt grand shows of emotion were a waste of energy. But the spanking had shaken something lose inside her that she didn’t understand. She felt vulnerable, almost desperate, but she couldn’t identify what she needed.
Rentar brushed her hair back from her face once her sobs subsided. “Better now?” She nodded and tried to step back, but he tightened his hold and pressed her against his chest. “Not yet. This feels too good.” He whispered the admission as if he didn’t want anyone else to know.
“Thank you for stopping him.” It was easier to speak without his piercing gaze assessing her.
“Loax is strict and demanding, but he’s not cruel. It’s important that you know that.”
He’d been ready to go to blows a few minutes ago and now he defended the same person? “Then why did you stop him? He sounded really angry.”
“You just arrived and you were clearly terrified. I can’t stand seeing a female that upset.” His long fingers curled beneath her chin and he tilted her head back until she looked at him. “Did he tell you my name?”
She nodded. “May I use it or do you also prefer being called Sir?”
He smiled and strange emotions churned within Amanda. Their features were similar, though Loax’s hair was much longer. Their eyes were almost identical, yet she found Rentar more appealing.
Which was probably why he’d intervened.
The realization came to her suddenly and she took a step back. This was classic ‘good cop, bad cop.’ Her father was a policeman, or had been for many years. She knew all the dirty tricks they pulled to garner information. Had the brothers worked out the strategy together, or was Rentar manipulating Loax? If their argument had been for show, they were both damn good actors.
“Loax requires many things I don’t,” Rentar told her, but she was wary of his subtle charm. “When we’re alone, you may call me Rentar. When others are present, I prefer Sir, or Commander Drey.”
“Isn’t your brother Commander Drey also? That could be confusing.”
“We work opposite shifts, so we’re never on duty at the same time.” His gaze narrowed as she continued to stare at him boldly. “Don’t let my actions confuse you. I also require respect.”
She immediately lowered her gaze. “I’m sorry, Sir. You raised my eyes when I kept them downcast, so I thought you wanted me to look at you.”
He chuckled, the sound as warm as his voice. “I’m beginning to see why Loax spanked you. Your helpless appearance is misleading. Beneath that angelic façade burns the heart of a warrior.”
Angels were warriors. There were more stories about them waging war than delivering messages and comforting virgins. But she managed to keep the observation to herself. Unfortunately, she didn’t like being manipulated and lost the battle with the instincts begging her to keep her mouth shut altogether.
“Was Loax in on it too, or was his anger real?” She raised her gaze just far enough to see his reaction, but avoided direct contact with his eyes.
He crossed his arms over his chest. The position made him look even more like his brother. “Was Loax in on what?” Yet the irritation in his gaze told her he knew exactly what she meant.
“I was raised by a detective, Sir. I recognize ‘good cop, bad cop’ when I see it.”
His features tensed, making him look older and meaner. Why was she provoking him? He’d rescued her from the unwanted attention of his brother. Unless Loax’s attention hadn’t been entirely unwanted. She wasn’t nearly ready to face that possibility.
“I’m not familiar with that game.” His tone grew gruff and his eyes narrowed.
He might not know it by name, but he sure as hell understood the concept. “You rescue me so I would feel a connection with you, a sort of indebtedness. Often the harsher person is in on the scenario as well.”
“Do you prefer dealing with angry males? Your distress seemed genuine. Loax enjoys taming females. Did you provoke him so he would demonstrate his dominance?”
She started to answer, then really thought about what he’d said. “How long were you standing there? Or were you watching from somewhere else?”
“I know how easily Loax loses his temper. I was monitoring the situation.”
“Is he ‘monitoring the situation’ now?” She took a deep breath, then forced assertiveness into her tone. “I’ll be blunt, Commander. This feels like a setup.”
Loax returned, still looking irritated. “Unlike me, little brother, our Terran hellcat saw right through your pointless game. I think we’ve both underestimated her.”
“Apparently.” Rentar studied her with new interest, all pretense forgotten. “You’re beautiful, and clearly intelligent. Why did you agree to become a carnal companion? You’re not at all what I expected.”
“May I have another glass of wine? I’m feeling sort of queasy.” It was true, but it was also an evasion. She wasn’t sure how much they needed to know about her life on Earth. She wasn’t sure a month would be long enough to ensure her safety, but there was no way she was putting up with this for two years.
“Have a seat,” Loax instructed. “I’ll get the wine.”
She glanced at the chair where he’d spanked her then moved to the sofa instead. Lowering herself very slowly, she still hissed when her weight renewed the throbbing in her derriere.
“I have an ointment that will ease the sting,” Rentar told her as he sat down at her side. “I’ll fetch it after you’ve explained.” It was a not-very-subtle reminder that she hadn’t answered his question.
Loax handed her a fresh glass of wine, then returned to the armchair. “Rentar is right. You’re not what either of us expected. Why are you here?”
A selection of smartass remarks popped into her mind, but she’d already seen where that road led. Their curiosity was understandable. Maybe they’d be more compassionate if they understood that she’d had no other option. “As I mentioned before, my father was in law enforcement for many years. He was a good cop, well respected. Then my mother died.” She lapsed into silence, lost in memories. She’d only been eleven when her mother had lost her battle with cancer, but Amanda cherished the memories they were able to make.
“The loss changed your father?” A certain catch in Rentar’s voice made Amanda look at him. His gaze, however, was fixed on Loax and his expression was filled with pity. How strange.
“What happened,” Loax prompted, clearly annoyed by his brother’s sympathy.
“He started taking bribes and making deals with really dangerous people. It was as if he just stopped caring.” She felt disloyal airing her father’s dirty laundry in public. But the rest wouldn’t make sense unless they understood the context. “It cost him his badge, which only made him more self-destructive. He became reckless and—”
“Were you an adult when his behavior changed?” Loax wanted to know. “With your mother gone, he was solely responsible for your safety and wellbeing.”
“That’s not true, or not entirely true. My grandmother was still alive until I was fifteen, so I wasn’t completely abandoned. Besides, things didn’t get really bad for another few years. I was seventeen when he checked out completely, old enough to take care of myself. I could drive and I could—”
Loax shook his head and anger gleamed in his eyes. “Seventeen is not old enough to be on your own. Your needs should have been met. You should have been protected.”
She stared back at him, confused by the vehemence in his reaction. He wasn’t angry with her. He was angry for her. She didn’t want to like him after the way he’d treated her, but his reaction brought emotions surging to the surface. Despite her denials, she’d always felt robbed of her childhood. Between her father’s selfish neglect and her grandmother’s fanaticism, her formative years had been anything but carefree. They each affected her in ways she didn’t like to admit, but couldn’t seem to escape completely. Still, she refused to make herself vulnerable by admitting her innermost feelings to anyone. Tears flooded her eyes and she frantically blinked them back.
“Go on,” he urged. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
He’d misunderstood her expression. She wasn’t upset. She was grateful for the unexpected compassion. Instead of embarrassing herself with the admission, she moved on. “A Mexican drug lord named Asesino de Tormenta got ahold of Dad and dug his claws in deep. Dad not only let himself be used, he encouraged the abuse. Tormenta made his life a living hell, but Dad has no one to blame but himself.” She sighed. The closer she drew to current events, the more painful the story became. “By the time Dad realized he was not only endangering himself with his recklessness, he was endangering me, it was too late. He tried to buy his way out, but Tormenta wasn’t interested in his money. Dad’s connections and knowledge were more valuable than a onetime payoff.”
“Your father is a coward. Does this Storm Killer still live?”
More compassion from Loax? Did he use cold indifference to mask his pain? Was this the real Loax, or was the coldhearted brute who’d held her down and spanked her a truer reflection of his nature? It was very confusing. “When all else failed, Dad ran back home. He threw himself on the mercy of the police and begged for protection in exchange for information on the cartel.”
“Protection for himself or protection for you?” The red lines in Loax’s gaze began to glow and he was clearly clenching his jaw.
“For both of us,” she stressed. “Tormenta’s men had been following me for weeks. It was just a matter of time before they made their move, so the police took us both to a safe house.”
“Only the safe house wasn’t very safe?” Rentar guessed. “How long did it take the Mexicans to find you?”
“Four days, the first time.”
Loax gaped. “The first time? These ‘cops’ were incompetent.”
His obvious anger pleased her more than it should have. It was a novel experience to have someone be protective of her. “It took them longer to find the second safe house, but they came much closer to killing us. The cops who were guarding us fought off the Mexicans so we could escape. Still, Dad was convinced someone on the force tipped off Tormenta. And I think I agree. They aren’t incompetent. They’re corrupt. Anyway, we couldn’t trust the police, so we had to protect ourselves. Dad disappeared, and he told me to do the same.”
Loax shook his head, obviously disapproving of the action. “He left you alone and unprotected. He does not deserve to live.”
“In his own way, he was trying to protect me. He was afraid that he’d give up my location if Tormenta’s men caught up with him. If he didn’t know where I was, he couldn’t inadvertently betray me.”
“He has no honor. You should not make excuses for him.”
“You needed to disappear,” Rentar digressed, likely trying to deescalate the building tension. “Which led you to us.”
“It’s actually very clever,” Loax said. “Even if this drug lord figures out where you’ve gone, he has no way to pursue you.”
“Not unless he hires a Ventori assassin,” she muttered, then gulped. “How well do you know your crew?”
They exchanged startled looks, then Rentar insisted, “You have nothing to fear from our crew.”
Loax stood and stalked toward her. “Our crew is loyal, but even if they weren’t, it would make no difference. Until the danger has been eradicated, either Rentar or I will be at your side.”
“Absolutely.” Rentar nodded, his expression almost as fierce as Loax’s.
“Eradicated?” Her heart was pounding again but her emotions were so convoluted she couldn’t identify them. “You can’t create an international incident because of my idiot father.”
Gaze boring into hers, Loax wrapped his hands around her upper arms and pulled her to her feet. “We care nothing about your father. You belong to us. And we protect what’s ours.”
Rentar stood too, but remained a short distance away.
She only belonged to them until she enacted the thirty-day clause, but pointing that out seemed foolish. Possessive hunger burned in Loax’s expression, making the red lines in his eyes even brighter than before.
“Am I allowed to know anything about you two?” She was curious about her employers, but mostly the question was meant to slow him down. She was still struggling to accept that this was real, that she was about to be fucked by two alien warriors.
“You’ll soon know how my cock feels deep inside you and the taste of my cum. At the moment, nothing else matters.”
He silenced her reply with his mouth. His fingers tangled in her hair, pulling her head back as his lips sealed over hers. The kiss was harsh and demanding, just what she expected from Loax. But his hold on her hair was careful, restraining without hurting.
Her first reaction was to struggle, to resist his bold advance. She was here because her life was in danger, not because she wanted what they obviously intended to give her. But that was such a lie, her conscience objected. This was exactly what she’d always wanted, what she ached for and dreamed about.
He quickly unbuttoned her dress with his other hand, then cupped her breast as his tongue explored her mouth. His fingers were strong and warm as they moved over her body. He gave her no option but surrender, which freed her from any doubt.
Rentar lifted the back of her dress and pressed his body against her bare bottom. The sting was starting to fade, but her skin was unusually sensitive. She moaned into Loax’s mouth, feeling restless and needy.
Working together, they stripped the dress from her otherwise naked body. Loax continued kissing her while his free hand caressed her breasts. He pinched her nipples, rolling and pulling on the responsive flesh until the tips hardened. Soon her breasts felt heavy and her nipples tingled, ready for his mouth.
Rentar touched her everywhere. His hands wandered up her arms, across her breasts, and over her abdomen, then up her sides and down her back, lightly stroking her tender bottom. Then he knelt behind her and pressed his face against the backs of her thighs.
“She smells so good.” His breath teased her folds and made her squirm. “I have to taste her.”
Without explanation, Loax took her wrist and led her into the bedroom he’d identified as his. Rentar scrambled to his feet and hurried after them.
“Get on the bed,” Loax suggested as he pulled her into his arms. “She can ride your tongue while she sucks my cock.”
A vivid image of what he proposed formed inside her mind and lust cascaded through her body. She shivered and groaned, helpless against the forbidden nature of having two demanding lovers. They didn’t ask her what she wanted or if what they wanted would be all right with her. She was here for their pleasure and had no control over how they achieved it. The realization sent another shudder racing through her body.
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