The Dragon's Slave/C2 Chapter 2
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The Dragon's Slave/C2 Chapter 2
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C2 Chapter 2

Gayriel looked at the dangerous man, and, for a moment, his eyes latched onto hers. She had the impossible sensation he was somehow looking into her, that he could see her soul, her intent.

She broke eye contact first, sucking in a deep breath.

“Lord Firestriker, we have never had the pleasure of doing business with one of your...with...,” he coughed. “Can we earn your business, great lord?”

The room stood silent for long moments. Even the Lords, come for their choosing day, dared say nothing.

She wanted to look up, to see him again, what was he thinking? And would it affect her chances? Bannath and the bookish man had yet to approach her.

“That one.”

Now she did look up. That one? What did he think he was doing? Choosing? You had to wait three years to choose, not just stride in and.....he was pointing at her.

Fothmar coughed, or maybe he choked on indignation. It was hard to tell with her focus still glued to ‘Firestriker.’ Something shifted in her periphery. Hreth, at the end of the line, his arm outstretched and grasping the chin of a blond, forcing her face upward for inspection. She stood, allowing his touch, eyes lowered.

Ire rose within Gayriel, that ever-present irritation with the passive nature of the other girls, with her own charade. Oh, to be free.

Then she would never suffer a touch she did not desire.

What would she desire? Her gaze lingered on Firestriker’s broad shoulders and trim waist. Her body betrayed her. A deep pull of longing twisted her abdomen and settled into a warm pool between her legs. Her cheeks flushed, but she prayed to the Six Gods that it was not noticeable.

Hreth dropped his hand, the gesture choppy and abrupt. His lips pulled downward, stretching his handsome features into a frown.

He was angry, Gayriel guessed, a man used to getting his own way, especially when it came to respect. But he did not react, only stood there glaring.

Intimidated? That didn’t bode well for her, or her chances.

“My Lord Firestriker, that is not how this choosing house works. We first require a deposit, and they take three years to mature...,” Fothmar’s voice started out strong, but faded into nothing. Firestriker stared at him, unflinching.

“I offer three-hundred platinum quarry.”

A long silence filled the chamber. Not even a rustle of silk in the breeze defied the quiet. Perhaps even the winds gave this Firestriker a large berth.

Gayriel's mind stumbled. He must be bluffing. She had never even seen one-hundred quarry altogether, and that was her purchase price. Three-hundred platinum quarry could buy...well, an awful lot.

“That is more than three times what she is worth, my Lord.” Fothmar rubbed the cuff of his white robes, but he didn't say no outright.

Damn it. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. She had plans. She was going home with Bannath or the bookish Lord, and that night she would be free.

Firestriker was serious, however, a muscle twitching in his shadowed jaw. The fine stubble there caught her eye, and she wondered if it would feel rough, like the tongue of a sand-cat.

Would he be discouraged by defiance? If she could meet his gaze she might show him her distaste. If he was looking for a willing bed-mate, he would do better choosing one of the others. But what if disobedience intrigued him as it did Hreth?

It didn’t matter anyway. Since his first assessing study of her, he had not looked back.

“Then what is the problem?” he demanded, reminding her that, although Fothmar hadn’t said no, he had not agreed...yet.

“Protocol—” Fothmar began.

“Bullshit. You and I both know I am entitled to anything in here, including the women. All of them, if I so choose. Instead, I offer you more than fair compensation for one. And if you wish to keep the entire Amber Guard from taking whatever they wish, as is their right, I suggest you release her to”

Fothmar paled farther. His appearance, constructed as perfectly as everything else in the choosing house, took a turn for the worse. He ran his pale knobby fingers through gray hair, forgetting it was bound strictly at his nape. When he pulled away, several well-greased strands followed and remained sticking out.

The room seemed frozen, as her fate hung in the balance. Until, at last, Fothmar nodded, a tight, strained movement, his lips pressed firmly downward, either angry, or disappointed.

No. Her mind whispered, and, for a moment, she considered her range of options. She couldn’t run, and she couldn’t fight...all was lost.

Angry, she glanced at Firestriker. Why did he have to come along and ruin everything?

This time, he did turn, piercing her with his unique gaze. A black brow quirked, but he gave no other sign of being distressed by her attitude.

“Your request is granted, Lord Firestriker,” Fothmar sighed. “Go and gather your clothes Gayriel,” he commanded her.

“Don’t bother,” Firestriker interrupted, an amused gleam in his amber gaze. “She won’t be needing them.”


Dynarys Firestriker watched, with amusement, the look on the woman's face at his words. Her dark eyes flashed with alarm, perfectly contoured brows nearly reaching her hairline.

She was small, even for a woman, but Great Six but she was a vision in her red silk, edged with black lace, that led a man to fantasize about the naked skin beneath. Heavy lashes lowered, fluttering against her blushing cheeks, the flush creeping up her neck appealingly. Her dark hair flowed as if from a silken fountain and it was all he could do not to imagine running his hands through it.

It was the job of a choosing house, he knew, to present her thus, to tempt. But it had been the way she met his eyes, the defiance he saw there, that sparked his interest the most. The other slaves, lined up in their perfect, neat presentation, would likely have suited his purpose just as much. Perhaps even more. But something about this one, Gayriel, would not allow him to choose another. Nor would he leave her there to be molested by the disgusting excuse for men that stood waiting. To even consider her passion might be dominated, snuffed out by one of the humans, felt like a kick to the gut. A loathsome human habit, selling other humans, and especially women for sexual pleasure. He narrowed his eyes at the men.

Then, with greater satisfaction than he should have felt, he gestured to the woman, commanding that she follow.

Inside of him, something stirred, the beast was perking up.

Ruthlessly, he tamped it down. That was a complication he did not need. He might have bought her as a slave, but in the end, she was not for him.

He reinforced that thought in his mind and led her outside into the morning air.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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