I woke to a pounding in my head and found it hard to open my eyes. I remembered screaming about Earth's invasion, but after that, everything was a blur. I discovered I had been lying on a blanket on a cold, hard stone floor. I surveyed my surroundings. A pot sat in the corner and I winced, realizing its purpose. Bars ran the length of what I had determined was a prison cell. Two other women occupied the space with me, a small redhead, and a tall blonde who had a hard and calculating look in her eye.
"Where are we?" I asked as I pushed myself to my feet.
"Vaaden." The blonde looked me over and then promptly dismissed me.
"Vaaden? Where's that?"
The redhead looked at me before answering. "In another galaxy. From what we've heard from the guards, it's a planet made up mostly of men."
"You can understand them?"
The redhead nodded. "They speak our language, or have a way of making it sound like they do."
I shivered and wrapped my arms around myself. Looking down, I frowned at my attire. Instead of the jeans and tee I had been wearing at the time of my capture, I now wore a short cotton dress; although there was so little material it was more of a shirt.
The redhead, seeming to read my mind, said, "While we were unconscious, they changed us out of our clothes and into these dresses."
"What are they going to do with us?"
"You'll see soon enough," the blonde answered.
"I'm Sorcha. What are your names?" I thought talking might help keep my fear at bay.
"I'm Enid," the redhead responded.
"Susan," was the terse response from the blonde.
"Susan, what did you mean we would see soon enough? Do you know what they have planned for us?"
"While the two of you were sleeping, I listened to the guards speaking with the women across the way." She gave me a cruel smile. "They made them strip and then looked them over like cattle. Some are being forced into prostitution."
"What?" I stared at her, stunned by her words. How could she remain so calm about it? Terror gripped me and my insides turned to ice.
"It seems the men on this planet are very virile and need to have sex on a daily basis. The few mates they have can't handle it, so the men go elsewhere for their entertainment."
"Do we have any other options?"
She shrugged a shoulder. "If you're lucky, one of the males will want you to himself. Either way, you're going to spend the rest of your life on your back."
I fought down the nausea that welled inside me. The idea of being someone's whore revolted me. I'd dated precious few men in my life, and none had sparked enough of my interest for me to have a sexual relationship with them. Yes, at the age of twenty-three I was still a virgin. To know I would lose my virginity to a savage from another planet, that I would no longer have any say over my life, was a blow to my mind and my heart.
Enid whimpered. "I won't survive."
I hunkered down beside her. "Yes, you will. We all will, even if it isn't a pleasant existence."
She shook her head. "You don't understand. I can't stand to be touched."
The fear in her eyes suddenly made sense. She knew what was to come, what we faced. If she couldn't stand to be touched, it was possible she would die at the hands of our captors. I doubted they would be caring enough to soothe her fears and ease her mind. The monsters would probably take what they wanted no matter the consequence to the young woman.
"Maybe they'll understand," I offered, knowing it was a lie. I wasn't sure what would become of her, but I knew it wouldn't be pleasant.
A metal door clanged open at the end of the hall and heavy footfalls sounded down the corridor. A guard with three men stopped in front of our cell. The men looked us over, as if deciding whether we were worth their time.
The tallest of the group had shaggy golden brown hair and turquoise eyes, an athletic build and golden brown skin, as if he had been working in the sun. On Earth, he would have passed for a model or actor. The second man was a little shorter but just as fit, with chocolate-colored hair and eyes the brilliant orange of a sunset. The last man left me feeling cold. Tall with a swimmer's build, his long black hair and violet eyes were striking, but he had a hardness to him that bespoke of cruelty. I fervently hoped he didn't select Enid, but I didn't want him to select me either. Honestly, I didn't want any of them; I just wanted to go home.
The guard opened the cell and gestured for us to line up along the back wall. The chocolate-haired man followed him, eyeing each of us from our head to our toes. When he stopped in front of Susan, he leered at her and reached out to fondle her breasts. Appearing to be satisfied, he shoved her to her knees and unfastened his pants. His thick, hard cock sprang free. "Suck me," he commanded.
Licking her lips, Susan did as he bade without the slightest hesitation. In appalled fascination, I saw her mouth move over him, heard the sounds of her sucking and licking him. He grabbed a handful of her hair and forced himself further into her mouth. I was unable to tear my eyes away as he ejaculated and told her to swallow every drop. Even more horrifying, she seemed to enjoy it.
Lowering my head, I gazed at the floor. Was that what would be expected of me? My heart was beating wildly in my chest and bile rose up in my throat. While Susan hadn't seemed to mind the act, I wasn't sure it was something I would be able to do.
The man refastened his pants and helped Susan to her feet. Grasping her arm, he faced the guard. "This one is mine."
The guard turned his attention to Susan. "Is that what you want? Or would you prefer a life serving many?"
"I'll go with him."
The guard nodded and motioned for them to leave the cell. Next, he allowed the black-haired man to enter. He stopped in front of me first, but dismissed me quickly enough. Stopping in front of Enid, he reached out to touch her red hair. When she recoiled, he stopped and his hand dropped back to his side.
"Why do you flinch away from me?" he asked in his cool, clipped voice.
She stared at him with frightened eyes and opened her mouth, but fear kept her from responding.
"She doesn't like to be touched, by anyone," I answered softly, hoping he wouldn't punish her for keeping silent or me for speaking out of turn.
The man's gaze never strayed from her face. Slowly, he moved closer, watching as her chest began to rise and fall rapidly ands the color seeped from her face. When she fainted, he caught her in his arms. "I'm taking this one," he told the guard and headed for the door with long strides.
"Bastian, you know you're supposed to give her a choice."
He gave the guard a cold look. "She fainted when I was still inches away from her. How do you think she'd react in a room full of men?"
The guard let them leave without another comment, obviously deciding Bastian was the lesser of two evils. For Enid's sake, I hoped he was right.
I was the only prisoner left, and there was only one man.
"Thale, you'll have to take this one or wait until next week to see some others. Assuming she wants to go with you."
The man called Thale stepped into the small space, stopping when he was a mere inch from me. With gentle hands, he traced the contours of my face and neck. Gripping my dress, he ripped it in half, exposing me.
I gasped and tried to cover myself, but to no avail. He pushed my hands out of the way and spread the dress open. As his warm hands caressed my breasts, I felt my nipples harden. I was embarrassed that my body responded to him when my mind was screaming for him to stop.
He fingered my long dark hair. There was something in the turquoise depths of his eyes I didn't quite understand, but I had a feeling I would soon. Whether I wanted to go with him or not, I knew the other option wasn't possible for me.
"I'll take her."
The guard looked at me expectantly and I knew he wanted my confirmation.
"Yes, I'll go with him."
Thale swung me into his arms and carried me from the cell. With long, determined strides, he carried me from the prison and out into the light.
I closed my eyes, the brightness of their planet's two suns too much for me after being in the darkness of the prison. Trying to force myself to relax, I laid my head on his shoulder. It was better to accept my fate than to fight.