For this week’s WIP It Up Wednesday, I’m sharing the Prologue from the sequel to The Fall of Lady Westwood (formerly titled A Lady and a Maid). The sequel’s working title is Chattel Slave in a Vampire’s Kingdom, but it’s likely to be changed somewhere down the line.
I won’t include much set-up here other than to say that as the story opens, Owen Galt, the hero from The Fall of Lady Westwood, newly captured by the hated, and feared nocturne, now finds himself in much worse circumstances than he could ever have imagined the day he set out to rescue his paramour, Sophie McClearn…
* * * *
“So, the unexpected bounty of a successful raid, eh Damon?” The tall, raven-haired woman leaned against the gray, weathered wood of the pens. Her hair and the uniform blackness of her form-fitting clothing only served to emphasize the ghostly paleness of her skin, the almost purple lips. “I haven’t seen this many to choose from since the last Incursion.”
Dozens of naked men and women shivered inside the wooden stockades, exposed to both the elements and the harsh, appraising gazes of the gathered nobility.
“I do love an auction,” the muscular Damon said. “Makes me long for the days of the war.”
“Be careful what you wish for, brother.” Laying her hand on Damon’s muscled chest, she rose on her toes, whispering in his ear. “There’s more to this than you suspect.”
He looked down at her, a dark brow raised. “What have you heard, Aurora? Viktor’s strike was successful by any measure, was it not?”
She raised a shoulder, looking out upon the terrified humans. “He retrieved her, yes — but at what cost?”
Damon snorted, extending a hand toward the captives. “This is the cost, sister. Word has spread. These humans? They weren’t brought back by the raiders.”
“No?” Aurora’s eyes flashed. “What then? Trades?”
“Their own people. They sold them to us. Protection.”
Aurora laughed, a lilting, relaxed sound.
“And there’s this, sister.” Damon pulled a sheaf of tattered parchment from his coat, extending it to Aurora. “Taidon’s scouts found this on one of the human riders they brought down on their Border Road.”
Aurora opened it, scanning the contents. Her eyes widened, and she glanced up at Damon. “Truly?”
He nodded, the corner of his mouth lifting in a sneer, a flash of canine. “All over the realm, since the raid. Keep reading.”
Aurora read in silence, her pale fingers tracing the curve of her lower lip.
A lanky man with shining dark brown hair brushed past the two, a struggling woman in his wake. She was half-naked, her shirt torn almost to the navel, plump breasts wobbling as she was hauled toward the pens. The tattered remnants of her brown dress swirled around her pale legs, occasionally exposing the glistening curls of the pubis, the rounded curves of her buttocks.
The man looked back at his charge. “Stop your struggling, human! You’re going nowhere. Accept it.”
“Let me go!” She pulled back vainly at his arm, her face flushed. ”I just want to go home! Please!”
The man stopped, turning to her. “Your people have forsaken you. This is your home now.”
“No!” She yanked backward, her bare heels scrabbling in the dirt.
The man’s hand whipped out, striking her across the cheek, the sound of the slap ringing out across the yard. Her head rocked back, her long brown hair flying.
“No, you bastard! Let me GO!”
He slapped her other cheek, jolting her once more. Her legs crumpled, head lolling. Only the grip of the man’s hand around her upper arm kept her on her feet.
“No, no,” she moaned, her head bowed. Her weeping could be heard clearly.
The man grasped her by the hair, pulling her head back so that he could look into her eyes. The light in his dark gaze flared, a silvery shimmering lighting the darkness. The woman’s lips moved but no sound issued forth, the streams of her tears bright on her skin under the guttering torch light.
“Yes,” she whispered, her body relaxing. The grip of her hands on his forearm slackened, then her arms fell away, limp.
The man let her fall to the ground, his fist still in her hair. He hauled her motionless form the rest of the way to the stockade, the captives inside screaming as the door crashed open. He left the woman sprawled in the dirt, her long hair a crazed halo fanned out across the ground.
“One with spirit, my brother,” Aurora whispered.
Damon’s eyes glittered and he strode to the edge of the stockade. The torches sputtered in the stiff evening breeze, sending dark shadow playing over the rugged features of his face, the strong jaw clenched.
The prisoners shrank away, forming an arc of clear ground before him. He laughed. “Which one of you will it be, hmm? Perhaps we’ll have the lot of you. It doesn’t matter in the end, though. You’re lost. You’ve been set adrift by your own rulers — Gods knows why. That won’t matter either.” He looked back at his sister, pointing at her. “She’s your ruler now. Obey her. That’s all you have. It might save your miserable little lives … or it might not. But obedience is the only chance you’ve got.”
Damon turned to two of the other tall men surrounding the stockade. “Get them out of there, we need to have a look at them.”
After much screaming, crying and pleading, the captives were trussed up as usual. Along the outside of the outdoor enclosure stood a series of wooden frames, chains and manacles depending from the uppermost crossbar of each one. The prisoners had been affixed to the frames, their arms drawn toward the heavens by cruel manacles binding their wrists, their bodies stretched until their toes just touched the ground.
Additional nobles had arrived, several couples standing nearby, murmuring to one another. Damon and his sister walked slowly down the long line of bound captives, their eyes scanning the flesh displayed before them. The others followed suit, weaving in and out through the line of frames to get a look at the prisoners from all sides.
“There that one,” Damon said, waving a hand at one of the women. She was a tall, blonde girl of perhaps twenty winters, long-limbed and slim of hip. The breasts stood neat and high on the narrow chest, the pink nipples standing up in fear. She whimpered as tears tracked through the dirt caked on her cheeks.
“I really wish they’d wash them before auction,“ Damon said, sniffing, his brow furrowed. “What do you think of her, sister?”
Aurora slinked forward until she was nose to nose with the girl. The bound captive’s hands clutched at the chains as she tried to cringe away from the raven-haired woman. She laid a single long finger on the girl’s bright cheek, bringing the wetness to her lips to taste. Aurora’s cold smile revealed canines already beginning to lengthen.
“Fear,” Aurora said, pursing her lips over the tip of her finger. “A powerful drug indeed. Perhaps another time then, young lady.” Aurora patted the girl’s cheek. She moved along the line, looking at each bound body, her gaze traveling up and down, never lingering long with one specimen.
“Looking for your next meal — or your next fuck?”
Aurora stopped, her gaze sliding up to the man hanging before her. He was powerfully muscled, but quite young. Nude but for a dirty cloth wrapped loosely about his hips, his strong thighs flexed as he tried to gain some purchase on the ground.
“Do you know who I am?” Aurora stalked up to him, a smile playing at her lips, her eyes glittering pools of blackness.
“Filthy nocturne. Nightcrawlers—”
Her hand was around his throat in a flash, squeezing. His mouth gaped, a choked gasp escaping him.
“Quiet that tongue, boy. You should know better.” She stroked a hand down the side of his ribcage, her fingertips edging over the scarring across his back. “Someone’s been at you before, I see.”
He jerked his head against the grip, the blood congesting in his cheeks, his color darkening. Rage flashed in his eyes.
“You struggle so.” She drew closer, her lips against his chest. “You liked it, didn’t you? I’ll bet that cock of yours stood tall and proud even as the blood ran down your back.”
His grunt was loud, pained.
She leered back at her brother. “He objects too much, no?”
Damon chuckled, moving further down the line with a dismissive motion of his hand.
“Did the whip teach you something about yourself?” Her lip pulled back and one of her fangs nicked him, a bead of dark blood welling on the twitching pectoral. She licked it away quickly. “I wish I’d been there, boy. To see you crying out at each stroke, even as your balls drew tight, your cock twitching, aching for that release you didn’t know you were looking for. That release in the pain.”
“Fuck … you,” he ground out, even as his eyes began to turn up.
“Shh, time for quiet now, boy. You and I will speak again. But not now.”
She continued squeezing his throat a few moments longer and his head finally drooped, one leg jerking spasmodically.
“You need to stop doing that.” Damon laid his hand on her arm, easing it down. “Leave him be, sister. It’s not good for them.”
The boy’s head rolled wildly, his eyes fluttering. Then he finally focused, his gaze falling upon the cruel beauty of Aurora. “What … ”
“Shh, now.” Aurora moved close, slinking her body against the bound planes of his. Turning her back to him, she ground her bottom against his groin. She felt his cock stir immediately, and she smiled. “Yes, I see. The body betrays what the mind will not. You have much ahead of you, boy. Much you can’t even contemplate. But you will.”
“Where is she? Where is Sophie?”
Aurora looked to Damon, who shrugged. “Must be the one Taidon’s men brought in with him. Well-fleshed girl, to be sure. Viktor wouldn’t allow her in with the others — he’s got a weakness for the big-titted ones, as you know.”
“You — you saw her?” The boy’s body struggled in his chains. “Where?”
Aurora turned to him, looking into the boy’s eyes. “Tell me your name.”
“Where is she?” His gaze moved from Damon to Aurora and back again. “My father — he’s a powerful man. He’s–”
“The politics of your people don’t interest me,” she said, waving a dismissive hand. Flicking aside the rag at his hips, her hand closed around his scrotum, the hot shaft of his erect penis laying across her wrist, pulsing. Pleasingly heavy, she squeezed his testicles firmly, and he groaned through clenched teeth. “Now these. These interest me very much.” Her grip tightened, his body jerking with a bitten off cry. “Your name. Or shall I continue?”
“Owen Galt.” His face twisted at the words, and she gave him another squeeze simply because she could.
“There that’s better, is it not?” Her hand released his scrotum, and took the hard shaft, working it slowly. “Now, Owen, I want you to tell me why you’re here.”
“By the Gods, how would I know that?”
Aurora’s thumbnail menaced the sensitive slit at the tip of his cock, making him draw a sharp breath. “You can do better than that, boy.” She turned her head, scanning the naked mass of prisoners trembling in their frames. “Why do we go to such lengths? For mere humans?”
A husband and wife, both dressed in thick sable furs, nobles from the Uplands whom Aurora hadn’t often seen, stood to either side of a weeping woman, splayed helpless in her frame. They spoke in low tones to the victim, their hands fondling her heavy breasts, the man’s long fingers catching hold of the captive’s chin, turning her head this way and that.
“What do you think is happening here, Owen? Do you think that poor girl knows what awaits her?”
“Death. Just as it awaits me.” He stirred within the tight stricture of his chains, Aurora’s fist holding him fast around the base the thick cock. “I only ask one thing before you kill me.”
Aurora turned, meeting his gaze again, her hand continuing the languid stroking of his sex. “What makes you so brave, Owen? Facing your death? How does a young lad become so hardened?”
“There are worse fates than death.”
“You have no idea, Owen.”
“But some things … live on.” For the first time, uncertainty shadowed his gaze. “Tell her … ”
“So touching,” Aurora murmured, smiling, her head tilted. “Tell me. This paramour of yours. Is she beautiful?” She drew close, nipping his ear. “Have you fucked her?”
Owen’s jaw clenched, and he looked away.
“Ah, you have then. Lost lovers, to be reunited on the other side. Together, at last, in death.”
“I know she’s alive.”
“Perhaps my brother lies though?” Aurora gave Damon a wry grin. “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
“Dawn nears, sister,” Damon rumbled, the night wind flapping the lapel of his black coat. “Is this your pick — or shall you find another?”
“I know she lives.” Owen glared at them both, lifting his chin and looking off into the night. “And no matter what you do to me, she’ll know I loved her.”
Aurora took hold of Owen’s cock once more, impressed that his ardor had not flagged, even when facing death. He was a strong one.
Perhaps he might be interesting after all?
Copyright © 2014 Trent Evans
All Rights Reserved.
* * * *
I hope you enjoyed it. I’m not even going to hazard a guess as to when this one will be released. Hopefully sometime in 2015, but a lot more work is needed on it between now and then:)
If you’d like to be notified when this or any new Trent Evans book is published, the single best way to do that is to sign up for my New Release Alerts Newsletter. This list is the very first to be notified of a new release — and it’s been known to get some screamin’ deals too:)
Now, please take some time to visit the other stops on this week’s hop.