Vordak turned back to the crowd. "The bid is sixty-five hundred veenok. Do I hear sixty-nine?"
The tall giant’s gaze spanned the room, his stance and expression daring anyone to bid. No one spoke, no one looked at him directly and who could blame them? If it were possible to kill someone with a look, he could do it. Who was this man?
"Looks like you win her, Karmase."
Vordak handed her leash to the man he’d called Karmase and quickly moved on to the next woman. Alyssa followed, trying to recall where it was she’d heard the name before.
Karmase? The mines
, she realized with a start, her heart hammering in her chest at her luck.
She’d researched the mines before arriving here and Karmase was the new overseer. Things couldn’t have worked out any better. Well…it would have been better if she wasn’t going in as a damn sex slave.
Her new owner stopped at the table and tugged Alyssa to his side. The heat from his skin flowed into her naked body and she unconsciously moved closer.
"Karmase," the cashier grumbled. "How are you paying for her?"
Karmase dropped his currency chip on the table and it clanged against the glass, bouncing twice before settling just at the edge of the electronic books. She looked up, her gaze scanning the room and the people moving around them. Men and women alike openly admired her naked body as they passed by. Some even stopped to boldly ogle her, giving her the creeps. She tried her best to ignore them, to somehow forget she was naked, but she couldn’t.
She scowled, wishing she could remove her shackles and cover herself against the multitude of prying eyes. "Would you at least be kind enough to give me a cover? I’m cold."
Karmase snorted. "How can you be cold? It’s a hundred and twelve degrees."
"Then I’m embarrassed," she growled.
Karmase glanced down at the man watching them, then turned narrowed eyes at her. "Quiet, slave," he snapped.
Sticking her chin out, she met his stare with equal anger. He was so tall she had to crane her neck to meet him head-on. Her efforts were useless though. Her anger only seemed to amuse him, as well as those around them.
The man at the table chuckled, his golden eyes dilating then snapping back to normal as he stared at her breasts. "I think your slave needs a lesson in manners. I have a whip, if you need use of it."
"I’ll handle it," Karmase growled and a shiver of fear ran down Alyssa’s back.
A whip? Please let him be joking.
Once the money exchanged hands, Karmase led her from the table and back toward the crowd. Cold clammy hands slid along her skin as men passed them, making her feel ill. "Can we please get out of here?" she asked.
Karmase’s amber gaze flicked to her, a hint of amusement twinkling in its depths. "Anxious to begin pleasing me, slave?"
She snorted. "In your dreams." She was loath to admit it but the thought of pleasing someone who looked like him was more of a turn-on than she’d expected, especially in a place like this.
"You have a lot to learn about being a slinoy, woman," he growled close to her ear.
"I’m new to this, so I’m winging it. Okay?"
"I’ll give you one thing," he said, his voice dripping with barely controlled laughter. "You’ve got balls."
"Please," she whispered. "Just get me out of here and into some clothes and I’ll be the perfect slave."
Karmase chuckled. "I doubt you will ever be the perfect slave." His intense whiskey eyes stared down into hers and her heart lodged in her throat. "And that makes you worth every veenok I paid for you."
"Like your women feisty?" she asked snidely.
"No." His lips twitched and she wasn’t sure if he were teasing or not. "I like breaking them."
Alyssa swallowed a sudden lump of dread. What the hell was she in for?
Taron almost regretted his comment as he watched fear cloud her eyes. He would never hurt her, or any woman for that matter. But if this was going to work, he needed her to be a true and obedient slave.
Now that he’d bought her, he was stuck with her. And keeping her obedient was the only way to protect her as well as himself.
Grasping her leash, he led her toward the entrance. Men stared and more than once he heard her grumble to herself, he was sure cursing him to oblivion, but as she was his slave, he could not show her any kind of consideration. She would have to walk naked behind him for now.
Just thinking about that body of hers in his bed, lying next to him, there to do his bidding, made his cock harden painfully beneath his coarse pants. "I can’t think like that," he mumbled.
"What did you say?" Alyssa asked.
Taron came to a stop and rolled his eyes toward the stars in exasperation. She needed training. "Do not speak to me, slave, unless you are spoken to."
"Well, I thought you were speaking to me."
With a sigh, Taron spun to face her. Narrowing his eyes, he stepped closer. His nostrils flared as he inhaled her flowery scent mixed with the smoky smell of the bar.
Hell, even her scent aroused him, and a muscle twitched in his cheek as he fought hard to keep his reaction to her neutral. She was under his protection and he wouldn’t cross that line of protector. He’d promised her brother he’d keep her safe and he’d keep his word. Even if it drove him insane.
To her credit she didn’t back away, but raised her chin, meeting his glare head-on. She was going to be the death of him, he had no doubt. "Don’t push it, Alyssa, or I swear, I’ll put you over my knee right here and beat your ass until you can’t sit for a week," he growled quietly.
Her eyes widened then narrowed into gray slits that sparked fire from their depths. She was absolutely breathtaking and it would take every ounce of his control to keep his hands to himself—especially if he had to spank her. "Say ‘yes, Master, I understand’," he growled.
Her full red lips dropped open in shock, and if not for the nosy eyes around them, he would have found her comical. "Don’t," he snapped, "even think about saying something smart. Repeat what I said, Alyssa."
She clamped her mouth closed, her jaw working in anger. He could tell she was gritting her teeth and her spunk amazed him.
"Now!" he bellowed, making her jump.
"Fine," she hissed through her teeth. "Yes, Master, I understand."
He nodded and began to once again move toward the door. "That you’re an ass," she said with menace behind him, just loud enough for him to hear.