HAWK'S SLAVE CHAPTERS 1-3
Some days, being the captain of a slaver ship wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Sure, flying through space and kidnapping unsuspecting women was thrilling, but most days were spent trying to find ways to kill time between planet jumps.
That’s what Hawk was doing today, as he found himself strolling across the cavernous cargo bay to the row of doors along the ship’s hull.
He went straight to the containment unit on the end and peered into the holding tank where his favorite slave resided. She was seated on the floor with one long leg bent and her arms resting on her knee. Her head hung forward like she was asleep, causing her dark, shoulder-length hair to obscure her face. But Hawk knew she wasn’t. She always knew the precise moment he arrived.
Unlike the other slaves he had, this one hadn’t been captured. The Dark King had given her to him. Which was probably why she hadn’t bargained for her life or offered her body in exchange for her freedom.
Not that Hawk had expected the woman who’d betrayed her king to roll over so easily, but he was surprised. And perhaps, a tinybit disappointed.
Opal...her name hinted at her rarity and conjured all kinds of fantasies.
Fantasies he intended to live out—once he tamed her.
Thus far, getting Opal to bend to his will hadn’t been as easy as he’d anticipated, but Hawk had a new plan. One that would push her control to the very limits. He glanced at the room on the other side of the cargo bay.
It was a special room. A room he’d personally designed for this exact situation. The space held unique equipment. Equipment geared to handle the most stubborn of slaves...and the wildest females.
No one had ever left that room without begging him to ease their suffering. No one. Eventually, everyone surrendered.
Hawk had no plans to injure this woman or any of the others occupying the nearby cells. No, he intended to use the tools in the room to explore Opal’s limits. He planned to take her through galactic levels of pleasure, and if need be, staggering realms of frustration. Hawk was prepared to do whatever it took to tame her because he had no intention of releasing her.
“Why don’t you just go in there and command her to obey?” his First said as he came up beside him in the cargo hold. “You’re the captain. She has to listen.”
For all his experience, Fallon knew nothingabout women. He was from a planet where all the females were subservient. The males took their behavior for granted and believed women of every species should follow suit.
If the men on his planet wanted a female, they simply went to her family and demanded that she be given to them. With the men’s war-like natures, that wasn’t always the best course of action to take, but they accepted that it was the way things were done.
Hawk glanced at the green-skinned man beside him. “Your horns are sticking up.”
Fallon’s yellow gaze shot up to see, even though it was physically impossible to do so. “I just sharpened them. Thought I might pick out a female to test them on later.”
Hawk’s dark brow rose, along with the beast lurking inside of him. Fallon’s horns could be used for pleasure or savagery, depending on where he stuck them in a woman.
“And you thought this one would do?” Hawk asked. It was a simple question that was loaded with Zaronian explosives.
Fallon’s yellow eyes narrowed and his green skin darkened. “I’m not that foolish,” he said. “Everyone knows this slave is yours, Captain.”
She was...and his First had better not forget it. If he stuck Opal with those horns, Hawk would rip them off his head and shove them where they were bound to hurt.
Hawk’s lips twitched. “You know I don’t play favorites with my chattel,” he said, which had been true until Hades, The Dark King had given him Opal. Ever since she’d landed on his ship, she’d occupied much of his free time, but she’d yet to grace his rest pad.
“True.” Fallon stroked his horns, testing the tips’ sharpness. “But she isn’t exactly our usual cargo.”
He was right. As a shifter, Opal was unique and extremely valuable. Sure, she had done her best to set up the woman who’d captured the Dark King’s heart. She would have succeeded too, if she hadn’t underestimated the King’s feelings for the golden-haired Earthling.
Hawk had taken one look at the Dark King’s face when they were fighting and had known he’d go to war for that woman without batting a whisker.
As a Slaver, Hawk had no interest in war, but he did care about the credits his cargo would bring, which was why they’d had to raid two more planets after leaving Zaron.
The Phantoms hadn’t allowed them to leave with any female but this one. Hawk had seen what giving her to him had cost the Dark King, but the Phantom ruler had no choice. It was either act decisively or be seen as weak in front of his people.
Hawk knew something about that and had the scars to prove it. He tapped his finger on the front of Opal’s container. Her dark head never moved, but she did shift her lithe body giving him another tantalizing glimpse of her long legs. She never acknowledged his presence. It was a game they played. A game he was determined to win.
He closed the window to her door. “Have you set a course for the next solar system?”
“Yes, Captain,” Fallon said. “We’re just awaiting you on the flight deck.”
“Well, let us wait no longer.” Hawk glanced once more at the closed door before striding toward the transport cylinder.
“She’d fetch a fair price on Farn. They’re always looking for pets,” Fallon said. “Her cat form would make a good one.”
“That it would,” Hawk replied. “If she were for sale.”
Fallon smartly kept his silence.
“Have her transferred to the pleasure room,” Hawk said.
Fallon blinked in surprise, then his face carefully blanked. “Yes, Captain.”
Opal knew he was there. Felt him lurking outside her cell like a big cat stalking its cornered prey. Hawk came to her every day. Had been ever since he’d taken her captive. He never said anything to her directly. He simply stared at her like the predator he was and waited.
For what? She had no idea.
She could still recall the moment she’d laid eyes on the Slaver. Opal had been crouched in a tree, when Hawk stepped out the door of his ship. His long black hair had been braided at the sides of his head and tight leather pants hung low on his trim hips, exposing a sliver of his light blue skin.
He’d looked right at her cat form with those golden eyes of his and seen straight through her. Opal could still feel the heat of that stare on her skin. The distance didn’t diminish Hawk’s presence then, and it sure as heck wasn’t now, even though he was on the other side of the metal door.
One glance had told her that Hawk was going to be trouble. Her first instinct was to run for her life, but Opal rarely listened to her gut when it came to men. She’d always been drawn to dark ones. The more dangerous they were, the more alluring she found them.
It was why she’d worked so hard to become part of the Phantom Warrior royal guard. She’d found Hades, the Dark King attractive and was determined to get close to him. Opal had succeeded in more ways than one. She’d become Hades’ right hand, a position normally reserved for men, and over time, ended up sharing his rest pad. Too bad the latter position turned out to be temporary.
Her obsession with the Dark King had cost Opal her position, her home, and her freedom, which was why she found herself here on this ship, under the watchful eye of a handsome Slaver.
The constant observation was beginning to get to her. Opal wasn’t sure what she was going to do about it, since she wasn’t exactly in a position to stop him, but it couldn’t go on.
What did he want?
Stupid question, she thought.
Opal knew exactly what Captain Hawk wanted from her. He wanted the coordinates to Earth. If that were all he wanted, they might be able to strike a mutually beneficial agreement, but he wanted so much more.
The only true mystery was why he hadn’t taken her yet. He was a Slaver after all. They weren’t known for their restraint or for their compassion. If he’d wanted her bound and on her knees, then that’s where she’d be—willing or not. Yet it had been a month and he had not made a move. All he did was watch.
Opal’s body tightened and her skin stretched as her cat side threatened to surface. The sensation was occurring more and more frequently—thanks to the sexy, dark-haired bastard continually prowling outside her door.
To get Hawk off her mind, Opal thought about Zaron and Hades. When she did, a fresh wave of anger struck. The Dark King had betrayed her.
Hades had left her to the Slavers with no thought of whether she’d live or die. It mattered not that she’d betrayed him first.
That was different. His motives were selfish. Hers were not.
Opal had done what she’d done for the Phantom people, even if the Dark King didn’t see it that way. Given the chance, she’d do so again. Which Opal supposed was why he’d abandoned her in the first place. And to think, she used to lovehim.
She snorted at her own foolishness. Time and distance had allowed her to re-evaluate her feelings and they’d come up severely lacking. If her experience with the Dark King had taught Opal anything it was that she couldn’t trust any man with her two hearts, whether she loved him or not. Captain Hawk may be darkly appealing, but trusting a Slaver was out of the question.
Opal glared at the door as the voices rose. Who was he talking to this time? She strained to listen, but their footsteps were already fading.
“She’d fetch a fair price on Farn,” the man said.
Fear swept through Opal. Farn was known for its skin trade, exotic pet market, and sex slavery. Was Hawk planning to kill her and sell off her parts? Or did he have something else in mind for her, something far, far worse than death?
Blood roared in her ears. Opal tried to catch Hawk’s response to the question, but the thick metal door and the distance muted his words.
How long would it take to reach Farn?
She didn’t know, which meant she’d have to come up with a plan fast. Unlike Hades’ new mate, Opal would do whatever it took to survive...even if that meant seducing the enemy.
Opal pictured Hawk lying naked on a rest pad and quivered. The shape-shifting Slaver had featured in far too many of her dreams.
Nightmares, never dreams. Nightmares.
On the surface, seducing him wouldn’t be a hardship, but the captain was no fool. He wouldn’t trust her no matter what she claimed, which was good since Opal didn’t trust him either.
Her cat might be ready to lift its tail up to his beast, but Opal would never allow her instincts to override her good sense. Not anymore.
The only thing working in her favor was that the Slaver desired her. Oh sure, he needed her to give him directions to Earth, but his lust was a strong motivating factor behind his daily visits.
Heat practically rolled off Hawk’s hard body when he was around her. Opal smiled coldly. She would play on his attraction. Convince Hawk that she wanted him, then the first opportunity she got, Opal would betray him and escape.
She glanced around her cell. There were only a few boxes of clothes and the basic necessities, but they were enough to work with, enough to catch a Slaver’s attention. If need be, she’d wear nothing.
After all, men were men. And if Opal knew anything, it was how to manipulate male shifters. She’d been doing it her whole life. She’d had no choice but to in order to get ahead in the Phantom patriarchal society.
She heard footsteps coming toward her containment pod. Was Hawk returning so soon? She dropped her head so she wouldn’t be caught looking his way if he peered through the viewer hatch.
The door to her cell opened suddenly, sending glaring light into the room, temporarily blinding her. When her vision cleared, Opal saw two men standing outside the door. Neither of which were Hawk.
The tall and lanky of the two had fair hair and violet-colored eyes. He smiled at her, flashing two-inch fangs. Despite the color of his eyes, Opal inhaled, expecting to catch the scent of a Phantom Blood Clan member. It wasn’t there. Whatever he was, he wasn’t from Zaron.
Her gaze shifted to the man beside him. Ice green eyes with snake-like pupils stared back at her. The man’s head was shaven and had been imprinted with a multitude of symbols. None of which she recognized.
“Come with us,” the fanged one said.
“Where’s Hawk?” she asked.
The symbols on the man’s bald head shifted and his green eyes narrowed. “That’s Captain Hawk to you, slave,” he snarled and his body pulsed with power.
The small wave hit her and Opal spasmed. Her eyes widened and her hearts began to pound. There was only one being that she knew of with that kind of power—a Sorce.
She’d never met one in person. Most people who did ended up dead. Opal tried to hide her fear, but wasn’t sure she succeeded. Magic wielders were some of the most lethal beings in the galaxy. Their skills as assassins were legendary.
“Where are we going?” her voice cracked.
Had Hawk ordered his men to kill her?
“Just get on your feet or we’ll bind you and carry you,” the fair-haired man said.
Opal reluctantly climbed to her feet. She wasn’t a coward and she wasn’t stupid. Fighting these two men would most certainly lead to her death, but warriors didn’t just roll over and die without a fight. If they planned to kill her, she wouldn’t make it easy for them.
Her fists clenched at her sides. “I’m standing. Now what?”
“This way.” The man’s violet-colored eyes began to glow.
As she watched, Opal’s head grew fuzzy and she found herself wanting to comply with his order. Her muscles strained to resist the compulsion, but it was no use. It was too strong. She walked into the cargo hold. A quick glance told her no one was around.
“Where are you taking me?” Opal clutched her temple and tried to focus. There was a reason she didn’t want to go with them. What was it?
“You’ll see.” The Sorce put a hand between her shoulder blades and shoved.
Opal stumbled forward but kept her feet under her. They didn’t go far. The men walked her to the other side of the hold and opened the lone door along the hull.
“Get in,” the Sorce said, watching her closely.
Opal poked her head in the door and saw a table with straps anchored to it and chains secured to the wall. Below the chains were...she squinted...various instruments.
It took her a moment to recognize what they were. Oh no. Not that. Opal took a step back. She didn’t get far before a strong hand came down upon her shoulder.
“I’m not going in there,” she snarled. Death was preferable to what Hawk and his men had planned for her.
She struggled, but the men simply picked her up and tossed her into the room. The one with the violet eyes looked at her.
“Stop,” he said.
One word was all it took for her world to fade to black.
Lex pulled the chain down from the wall. “Get her clothes off,” he said to Shadow. “The captain wants her properly prepared.”
Shadow waved a hand above her prone body. The symbols shifted on his skin until they formed words. The second they stopped moving, the woman’s clothes disappeared.
“I see why the Captain likes her,” Shadow said.
Lex glanced nervously at the open door. “Keep your voice down. You don’t want him to hear you say that,” he said cautiously.
Shadow snickered. “It was simply an observation.” His gaze lingered on Opal’s nude form. “She would fetch a lot of credits. Cat shifters are rare in females.”
“Captain would never sell her,” Lex said.
“Pity,” Shadow murmured.
Lex tossed two of the chains to Shadow, who caught them without looking. “Help me get these on her. She won’t be out long.”
Shadow clamped the chains on her hand and foot, while he took care of her other side. “You worry too much,” Shadow said in a bored tone.
“And you don’t worry enough,” Lex retorted. He’d seen the way Captain Hawk looked at her. It wasn’t the way a Slaver surveyed his cargo. There was want in their leader’s eyes. Want that ran far deeper than simple desire.
Lex was concerned. So was the rest of the crew, since this woman had betrayed her leader. Shadow was the only one who seemed oblivious. He would do well to give Opal a wide berth.
Opal came awake with a start. Chains encircled her wrists and ankles. She pulled at them and her skin prickled. A quick look confirmed her worst fears. She was naked and she wasn’t alone. It took Opal a second to figure out where she was and what was happening. When she did, her anger returned with a vengeance.
She was going to kill Hawk the next time she saw him. No one did this to her and lived. The two men who’d transferred her from her containment pod into the pleasure chamber surveyed their handiwork.
“You’re both dead,” she snarled.
“That should hold her,” the fair one said as if she hadn’t spoken.
He stepped back and hit a button on the wall. The chains retracted, lifting Opal’s body off the ground. They didn’t stop until she was flat against the wall, arms and legs spread wide.
“There’s a drain on the floor if you need to relieve yourself.” The Sorce pointed to a stained slotted circle beneath her dangling body.
Opal wrinkled her nose in disgust and glared at them, but they ignored her as they checked the chains once more.
“The wall you’re secured to will tilt back automatically in a few hours so you can sleep,” the blond said. “You should probably rest while you can.” He chuckled knowingly.
Opal tugged at the shackles. The chains rattled and creaked, but held.
“You cannot escape,” the Sorce said. “I personally prepared those chains for the captain.”
She glanced at the chains and noticed a light green sheen to them. Magic...
The Sorce grinned, then stepped out of the room. His friend followed and shut the door behind them.
Gooseflesh rose on Opal’s arms and legs as she looked around the space. It was filled with phalluses of various sizes and shapes, along with whips, clamps, inserts, and feathers. Opal shuddered.
She’d heard about rooms like this. They were created to break people. Had she been brought here for preparation? Did they intend to get her ready for the slave market? A flash of disappointment washed over her. Opal ruthlessly brushed it aside, focusing instead on her anger.
Only one person on this ship could’ve ordered her transfer to this vile room. Hawk! She intended to make that blue-skinned, muscle-bound Slaver pay for this one way or another.
Hawk sat in his seat on the bridge, staring out the viewer screen at the vast wilderness of space. Stars twinkled in the distance, their golden light beckoning his wanderer’s soul.
His men positioned themselves in front of the bank of instrument panels that lined the curved walls, running diagnostics to ensure the ship was ready for its next jump. Hawk watched their fingers fly over the buttons and screens. Other than an occasional beep, they worked in silence.
Hawk had gathered the motley bunch over the years, handpicking them one by one to work by his side.
Fallon, his friend and First, had joined him when Hawk was just a homeless shifter out for revenge against the beings who’d blown up his planet. Reaper, a wraith-like being with a twisted sense of humor, found them while they were raiding a planet. He’d never had much opportunity to use his unique ability to lose form, so he’d jumped at the chance to be part of the crew. His gift had come in handy in more than one fight. Nothing Reaper passed through survived for long.
They’d discovered Lex and Mars drinking in a cantina. They were on the verge of being apprehended by the Authority, so they were more than happy to sign on and catch a ride off planet.
Lex was as fair as Mars was dark. Together the men made quite a striking pair for a couple of thieves. Not that many people remembered seeing them after Lex used his mesmerism abilities on them.
If that failed, Mars’ gift for diplomacy normally succeeded. His unique abilities had gotten them out of quite a few tight situations and his skill for languages helped with negotiations.
A loud squeak shattered the silence on the deck, effectively distracting everyone from their jobs.
Mars glanced down at the ferret-like creature circling his feet and quickly picked Echo up. He gently stroked the creature’s wedge head and cooed softly. Its red eyes glowed and it chirped contentedly.
When they’d first met, Hawk had thought the creature was a pet, but it turned out that Echo was Mars’ familiar. One didn’t go anywhere without the other being close by.
Hawk’s restless gaze moved over the crewmen. What was taking Lex and Shadow so long to secure Opal?They should have been done by now. Hawk’s imagination got the best of him. Sheer will was all that kept him in his seat.
A moment later, the transport cylinder opened and the men stepped out.
“Everything go well?” he asked.
“Aye, Captain,” Lex said. “As well as can be expected, but you may want to give her time to calm down.”
Shadow nodded in agreement.
“Did you have to use magic on her?” Hawk asked.
“Only enough to prepare her for you,” Shadow said.
The green-eyed assassin’s body was covered in odd symbols that no one understood but him. Even his shaven head displayed the marks. He possessed magic so powerful that it could rip the ship apart. So when he said he’d only used a little magic, Hawk tensed.
Shadow noticed his reaction and added, “She is well, but very angry.”
Hawk grinned. He had no doubt that his Little Cat was spitting mad. “Set course for Farn,” he said.
A holomap popped up, displaying planets, solar systems and galaxies. Fallon touched one of the bright points on the map and Farn came into view. The arid planet was the perfect spot to unload their precious cargo. It would only take a few suns to reach it. Soon he and his men would be swimming in credits.
Until then, Hawk planned to make good use of his pleasure chamber. He thought about the wild Phantom woman enslaved below. Why did he want her so much? Was it because she didn’t immediately fall at his feet? Hawk had a feeling his Little Cat would rather stab him with her sharp claws than do so.
His body’s relentless demands wore on his patience. Hawk yearned for the backstabbing beauty. She presented a challenge. One he could not resist. If that weren’t enough, her feline called to his beast, tempting his cat. Hawk hadn’t been with another cat shifter. His planet had been destroyed before he got the chance.
He’d tried to capture one over the years, but had been unsuccessful. Shifters were not easy prey. And female cat shifters were rare. But now he had one, had her.
Hawk wanted Opal’s long legs wrapped around his hips. He wanted her fingers curling around his thick shaft. Most of all, he wanted to bury himself inside her until her beast submitted. Once it had, he’d take her in both forms. Then he’d take her again...and again.
He wasn’t used to denying himself any kind of pleasure. Like all cats, Hawk was insatiable by nature. If he hadn’t thought Opal would be worth the wait, he would’ve had her already, but he didn’t want to force his Little Cat. Hawk wanted her to give herself to him willingly—though he had no doubt that would take some persuasion.
“Captain.” Fallon’s address shook Hawk from his carnal thoughts. “The coordinates for Farn are set.”
“Good,” Hawk said. Tomorrow would be soon enough to start Opal’s first lesson.
Opal felt his eyes on her. What was he waiting for? He’d already strung her up like a piece of meat. There was no reason to hesitate outside the door. As if he’d read her mind, the pleasure chamber hatch slid open.
“Here to admire your handiwork?” She stretched, arching her back sensually, making sure to hold the pose.
She heard Hawk’s swift intake of breath and had to keep from smiling. He might’ve thought bringing her to the pleasure chamber to seduce her would be easier, but Opal was determined to turn the tables on him. She wouldn’t be the one being seduced. He would.
The Slaver entered the room. His presence seemed to fill the space and automatically raise the temperature. Opal felt his hot gaze stroke her naked form. Despite her resolve, gooseflesh rose on her skin and her nipples puckered.
Hawk closed the door behind him and locked it. “I don’t want us to be disturbed.”
Like there was a chance of that happening. He’d probably already given his crew orders to stay away.
This was the first time that Opal had been alone with him since she’d been betrayed and imprisoned. It was more disturbing than she’d anticipated.
He glanced at her and his gold gaze warmed.
“Like what you see, Slaver?” she asked.
Hawk didn’t answer. Instead, he walked deeper into the room and began examining the various instruments. He placed some on a small table and put others into hidden hatches. His movements were unhurried, thoughtful and irritating.
“Why am I here?” Opal snarled. “Am I to be prepared for market? Do you plan to sell me on Farn?" she asked.
His dark head came up and he looked at her with those piercing gold eyes. “Where did you hear that?” he asked.
“There’s nothing to do but listen when you’re locked in a cage.” She glared at him.
For a monster, he was magnificent looking. Opal had thought so the moment she’d laid eyes on him. Some of the most dangerous things in the galaxy were the most beautiful. She needed to remember that when dealing with this man.
“Is that what you want?” he asked.
“I didn't think slaves' opinions mattered to Slavers,” she said.
Hawk lifted a particularly intimidating phallus off the shelf and held it up to the light. His sensual mouth canted into a cruel smile. That mouth seemed to haunt her dreams.
“They don't," he said.
“So you asked in order to toy with me?” She yanked on the chains again. They groaned but refused to budge.
Hawk’s grin widened as he stroked the thick phallus in his fist. “You'll know when I begin to toy with you, Little Cat,” he said. He brought the phallus over to where she hung and used it to softly stroke her nipples.
They crinkled even more and began to ache. “You’ll pay for this,” Opal hissed.
“I have no doubt that’s what you think,” he said, ignoring her threat. “But we both know that’s not going to happen.” He circled her breasts until she shivered with desire.
“What’s the matter?” he asked. “Cat got your tongue? Perhaps I can pry your mouth open with this.” Hawk used the phallus to caress her abdomen.
Opal’s entire body quivered. Would he take it lower? Would it go where she needed it most?
Hawk’s golden gaze turned molten as he followed the phallus’ progress over her taut skin. He seemed especially fascinated by the curls covering her mons.
“This is not a war that you can win,” he murmured.
Her eyes narrowed. “You’ve never seen me fight,” she snapped.
“Oh, but I have,” he said. “Remember?”
Opal’s lip curled and her gaze dropped.
Hawk continued to torment her flesh until she writhed in frustration. “Soon you will understand who owns you,” he said.
Opal rolled her head to look at him. “No one owns me.”
“We’ll see,” he said. “Seek.” Hawk released the phallus.
Instead of falling to the ground, the shaft-shaped object appeared to float on air. What was happening? Before the question could be uttered aloud, the phallus descended rapidly.
Opal watched in horror as it headed toward her entrance. “What’s it doing?” she asked, both frightened and oddly aroused.
“You obviously need incentive to see things my why,” he said, staring raptly at the zealous machine. “Let this be your first lesson.”
“Get it away from me,” she shouted. Opal tried to close her legs, but it was impossible with the chains holding them open.
The phallus burrowed through her crisp curls, its cylindrical motion vibrating the sensitive nerves as it sought her entrance.
Her hips bucked, but there was no dissuading it from its set course.
The thick phallus found her moist opening and began to slowly screw itself inside of her.
Opal groaned as pleasure struck. “Get it out of me!” she gasped and glared at Hawk.
The front of his pants bulged dangerously as he watched her being impaled. His breath was coming out in deep bellows, but he didn’t move.
“Bastard!” Opal spat, then threw her head back and bit her lip. “Make it stop!”
Now that it was inside her, she wanted it to finish the job. Already it stroked the tiny ribs in her channel, stimulating them with its boring motion. Opal just needed it to go a little deeper, but there was no way she’d give Hawk the satisfaction by telling him so.
The phallus had made burrowed halfway inside her and showed no signs of stopping, when Hawk grabbed it. “Enough,” he said and it instantly stopped.
Opal nearly screamed in frustration. The only thing keeping her silent was the pleased look on his handsome face.
Hawk pulled the phallus out of her slowly, making sure she felt every inch of it. He held it up so she could see it. “It’s wet.” His tongue snaked out of his mouth and he licked the base of the phallus. Hawk’s eyelids fluttered and something that sounded a lot like a purr rumbled out of his broad chest. “Looks like you enjoyed it despite your protests.”
Opal couldn’t seem to catch her breath. Her loud gasps filled the silence and her body ached with burning need. If she could just reach down and stroke herself once, she’d climax. The chains clanged as she moved her arm.
Hawk fondled the soft down between her thighs but made sure not to touch her where she needed it most. “No doubt you’re feeling frustrated. It’s to be expected.” He pet her some more. “I am the captain of this ship. You are mine. I, and I alone, will decide when you receive pleasure. The sooner you accept this, the easier things will be for you.”
Opal hissed at him.
Hawk laughed. “I’d hoped you want it the hard way.” He grinned, then pressed a button underneath the table. “I do so enjoy this room.”
A drawer popped open and Hawk reached inside. His wide shoulders blocked her view of what he retrieved. He shut the drawer and he walked over to a panel on the wall. Hawk touched a series of screens.
Suddenly, part of the wall behind Opal dropped into the floor. She was still chained, but now there was nothing behind her back.
Hawk turned, giving Opal her first glimpse of the object in his hands. The blood drained from her face as she stared at the flogger.
“I will not tolerate disobedience.” Hawk ran the long cattails over his palm, then moved behind her, out of Opal’s sight.
She yanked on the chains, but there would be no escape. Despite the fear pounding in her veins, Opal’s body flushed in anticipation.
Hawk stared at the round fullness of her ass and his hands clenched. He wanted to stroke her from head to toe and bury his face in her juices, but she wasn’t ready yet. He’d nearly spent himself when he’d tasted her on the phallus.
Goddess, she was sweet and tangy and perfect. Her long legs shifted as she tried to crane her neck to see what he was doing.
He brushed the flogger over her thighs and watched her flesh pucker. Her scent grew richer, moister, more enticing. His Little Cat was turned on, despite her protests.
Hawk had tamed a lot of women in here, but none like this one. He didn’t want to break her. He wanted to keep her spirit intact, but he couldn’t allow her to disobey him.
“I will not tolerate disobedience,” he said. “Every time you disobey me, you will be punished.” Hawk flicked his wrist and the flogger’s cattails sailed through the air. They struck her firm bottom, leaving a delicious red stripe behind.
Opal hissed and her legs strained.
Hawk ran the flogger over her lower back, then struck again. Her fair skin grew even pinker.
This time she whimpered.
He clenched his jaw to keep from moaning aloud and continued to whip her. By the time Hawk was done, Opal was writhing from a mixture of pleasure and pain. He put the flogger back, then examined his work.
Opal’s nipples were tight kernels on her chest and moisture glistened between her legs. Her lithe body trembled as she teetered on the verge of climax.
“You’re dead,” she snarled as their gazes met and wills clashed.
Hawk flashed his sharp white teeth, pleased by the progress he’d made. “And you’re mine.”
He walked over to the door and pressed his hand against the lock. It slid open silently. Hawk looked back at Opal before he stepped out of the room.
“I suggest you get used to the idea,” he said.
Opal’s body thrummed with the need for release. She couldn’t believe he’d just left her here like this. Her bottom burned from the spanking, but she wasn’t in pain. At least not real pain. She growled in frustration. She just needed... Opal wiggled, but it was no use. She couldn’t hit the right spot without help—without Hawk.
She curled her hands into fists. The evil bastard had done this on purpose. Opal wasn’t sure what Hawk had planned until now. She’d expected him to come in and play with her, then give into his baser instincts, but he hadn’t.
Instead, he’d toyed with her body. Played it against her, until she was ready to beg him for release. Opal shuddered. Damn him! She knew this was only the beginning.
How long would he keep this up? How long could she?
Opal didn’t like the answer that flitted into her mind. At this rate, she wouldn’t make it a week. She had to do something to distract him, but what?
She scanned the room, looking for an answer. The devices in here were made to torture women, but some could be used on a man. Opal pictured the bewitched phallus impaling Hawk and laughed.
No way would he allow himself to be dominated. Not even by an enchanted shaft. She’d have to think of something else.
Opal recalled the look on his face, when he’d licked her juices from the phallus’ base. He’d been in ecstasy. Perhaps that was the answer. Maybe she could tempt him to partake. Get him to lose control without losing herself in the process.
She cursed under her breath. “Then what?” she muttered. She’d still be chained to the wall.
There had to be something she could do. Opal refused to believe that she was defeated.
Hawk stared at the viewer screen, watching his Little Cat snarl and hiss. Her body was still flushed with arousal and would be for another hour or so.
He reclined on his rest pad and put a hand behind his head. Hawk could still taste her juices on his tongue and her rich musk still filled his lungs. If he hadn’t known it would destroy his plans, he would’ve dropped his trousers on the spot and impaled her on his hard shaft.
She’d been so ready that for a moment he’d expected Opal to beg. But he should’ve known better. His Little Cat wasn’t about to give in that easily.
Hawk grinned. He’d enjoyed turning her firm flesh bright pink. The extra blood had only increased her arousal. He was surprised the delicious scent hadn’t drawn some of his crew.
Fallon was particularly susceptible to a woman’s pheromones. Just the thought of one of his men sneaking into her chamber had Hawk’s blood boiling. She was his.
He glanced at the screen again. Opal’s head came up and she glared directly at the camera. Hawk was reminded again how she always knew when he was watching her.
Hawk opened the flap on the front of his pants and pulled out his engorged shaft. He wrapped his fist around his thick length and stared at his Little Cat. He began to stroke, watching her while he pleasured himself. It should be her hand around his shaft, not his. Hawk tightened his grip and increased his speed.
He wanted her lips wrapped around him, her tongue laving his length. He felt his muscles constrict and he stroked faster. Hawk wanted to bury himself so deep inside of her that she’d never get him out.
Hawk pictured the moisture dripping between Opal’s thighs. His lungs seized and his shaft pulsed. He clenched his jaw and grunted as his seed spilled onto his abdomen. He glanced down in disgust, then his head dropped back onto the pillows.
Why was he punishing himself this way? He could go down to the containment units and pick out any female. Most would be more than happy to join with him.
He glared at the dark-haired woman on the screen. It was her fault. Ever since Opal had arrived on his ship, Hawk hadn’t wanted another. If he were any other man, he’d be worried, but Hawk wasn’t just a man. He was a feline. And felines by nature were unpredictable.
Tomorrow, Opal would learn that firsthand. Hawk took one last look at her, then shut the viewer and grabbed a cloth to clean himself off. When he was done, he pressed a button on the side of his rest pad.
Fallon’s flushed face appeared on a small screen. The pupils in his yellow eyes were enlarged and he’d capped the tips of his horns. “Captain?”
Hawk stared at him a moment, then recalled why he’d contacted him. “I don’t want anyone near the pleasure chamber,” he said. “That’s an order.”
Fallon dipped his horned head. “I’ll inform the crew.”
“And Fallon,” Hawk said, before he could disconnect.
“That means you, too,” he said.
“Aye,” he said. “I know better than to go anywhere near that female.”
A naked woman walked behind his First on the screen.
“Sorry I interrupted,” Hawk said.
Fallon smiled and caressed one of his horns. “No problem. We hadn’t started yet,” he said. “I’ll make sure the crew receives your latest orders, before...”
“See that you do,” Hawk said, then disconnected.
Opal was going out of her mind. Hawk had come to her the past two days and each time he left, she was even more frustrated than she’d been the day before.
What did he want from her?
At this point, she was ready to give him anything he asked for. Which was probably his plan all along. They had to be getting close to Farn, but Hawk hadn’t mentioned the planet since their first conversation.
She’d tried everything she could think of to get him to lose control, but his will seemed ironclad. The metal scraped as the lock disengaged on the door. The sound brought Opal’s body to instant awareness. Even now, she could feel the moisture gathering between her spread thighs. It was embarrassing how well he’d trained her to respond in such a short period of time.
Opal let her chin fall a second before Hawk appeared in the doorway. “Back again?” she asked. “I thought perhaps you’d grown as bored with this game as I had.”
He arched a brow and a smile played around his sensual mouth. “If you’re bored, I must not be doing my job right,” he said. “We’ll have to see what we can do to change that today.”
Hawk shut and locked the door behind him, then pressed the button on the walls that controlled the chains. The chains groaned as they loosened, lowering Opal to the floor.
Her legs shook as she felt solid ground beneath her feet. Opal watched him, wondering what the Slaver was up to now.
Hawk pulled a key out of his pocket, along with a jewel-encrusted thick leather strap. He placed the strap onto the table and slowly approached her.
The heat of his big body touched her first. Despite her resolve to remain detached, Opal’s skin prickled and parts she’d rather ignore began to throb. She saw his nostrils flare, then a smile ghosted that savage mouth.
“What now?” she asked.
Hawk kneeled at her feet and slipped the key into the shackle encircling her ankle. With a snick, the lock opened and the shackle fell away. He rubbed the abrasion caused by the clamps, then moved to her other foot.
The second she was free, Opal stretched her legs and twisted her body. Her muscles were stiff from staying in the same position for so long.
He waited until she’d finished, then grasped her hand. The key opened the shackles around her wrists. Opal rubbed her arms and flexed her fingers.
Standing in front of her, Hawk was even more imposing. His long, black braided hair and sinewy muscles only added to his aura of danger. He reached into a different pocket and pulled out what looked like a whip.
Opal slowly backed away. Was he going to beat her? So far he’d tortured her by withholding sexual gratification, but he’d never purposely hurt her. What if he was changing tactics? She kept her limbs loose and spread her legs in a fighting stance.
Hawk’s gold eyes narrowed. “That won’t be necessary,” he said. “I’ve only come to take you for a walk.”
Her chin shot up. “What’s in your hand?”
His beautiful mouth tilted into an amused smile. “Insurance that you comply once you’re out of the room,” he said.
Opal examined the object. It wasn’t a whip as she’d first thought. “Is that a leash?”
Hawk held it up for her to see.
Her gaze immediately moved to the bejeweled item on the table. If that was a leash in his hand, then that meant that the jewel-encrusted strap was a collar. Her body stiffened. “I am not an animal.”
He looked at her from beneath thick lashes. “Yes, you are,” he said. “We both are.”
Opal’s jaw clenched. “You can’t expect me to wear that.” From the amused expression on his face, the answer was obvious.
“Only if you’d like to stretch your legs,” Hawk said.
It had been several days since she’d been out of the pleasure chamber. And weeks since she’d left her last room. The walls were beginning to close in on her. Opal wanted out of here more than anything, but she wasn’t sure if she could stomach being collared.
Hawk’s smile widened. “I promise it won’t hurt a bit.” His big hands fingered the hide and jewels lovingly.
Opal’s body quivered and her breasts became heavy. Even though he hadn’t touched her, she could practically feel his fingertips gliding over her skin.
“Your choice,” he said, all but daring her to put it on.
She sauntered forward, adding an extra sway to her hips. Hawk’s heated gaze followed the movements and he swallowed hard as she drew nearer.
Opal held out her hand.
Hawk stared at it, his expression incredulous. “Turn around. I want to put it on you.”
It took every fiber of Opal’s being to do as he said. She turned slowly and lifted her hair out of the way. At first, Hawk didn’t touch her, which only added to the tension rising between them.
The warmth of his breath bathed her skin as he stepped closer. When he finally did reach for her, the heat from his fingertips scorched her.
Opal sucked in a breath as Hawk slid the leather collar around her throat. His fingers lingered lovingly over her collarbone, stroking her fevered flesh before he fastened the clasp.
She wanted those strong hands to move lower. Opal wanted them to cup the fullness of her breasts while he ran those calloused thumbs across her nipples. She nearly groaned aloud, when he turned her to face him. There was a loud click, then the leash dangled between her breasts.
“Beautiful.” Hawk trailed his fingers over the gems and along the edge of the collar, then grabbed the leash.
His body radiated like the fire of a thousand suns. It was almost as hot as the molten gold of his eyes. The musky aroma of his skin surrounded her, making her lightheaded. Self-preservation kicked in and Opal took a step back.
“Ready?” he rasped.
Opal couldn’t seem to find her voice, so she simply nodded.
Hawk let the leash slide through his fingers until he had a tight grip on the end. He tugged, and Opal tensed. Her hands automatically reached for the leash. He shot her a warning glance, then tsked and pulled it away from her.
“That’s not how this works,” he said. “I lead. You follow.” Instead of yanking the leash, he waited.
Opal took a deep breath, clenched her small fists, and followed him out of the room. It felt good to stretch her long legs. She’d done her best to keep in shape, but there was only so much she could do in the confined space. And even that luxury had been taken from her once she was transferred to the pleasure chamber.
Her gaze traveled over the cargo hold. Other than a few extra containers, the large cavernous space hadn’t changed. “Why are you doing this?” she asked.
Hawk glanced at her. At first he didn’t say anything. She thought he might not answer, then he took a breath and said, “Unlike the others, you’re used to regular exercise.”
Opal wasn’t sure what she’d expected him to say, but that wasn’t it. “So you let me out to keep me limber?” Heat flooded her face.
Hawk perused her lithe form. “I’m not worried about you being limber. You’re a warrior. You are not about to allow yourself to get out of shape.”
“I don’t need to leave the room to stay in shape,” she muttered. “I just need to be unchained.”
“Would you like to go back?” Hawk stopped and the leash grew taut.
“No,” Opal bit out. “I’d like to walk for a while longer.”
Whimpers came from inside several of the sealed containment pods along the wall as they strolled by. The whimpers turned to hopeless cries as their footsteps faded. How many women had Hawk and his crew acquired since leaving Zaron? Opal glanced at the locked doors and shuddered.
“Cold?” he asked.
She glared at him. “No, just disgusted.”
“You don’t approve?” he asked.
Opal stopped. “Do you want the truth? Or would you rather I lie?” she asked.
Hawk shrugged. “Doesn’t really matter. It’s not like you can say anything that would change my mind.”
His harsh confession struck her in the gut. Opal made certain not to show her reaction. Slavers didn’t like weakness. When she was convinced that she could keep her voice from shaking, she spoke.
“What do you intend to do with me?” she asked.
Hawk glanced at her. “I haven’t decided yet,” he said then looked away.
His scent hadn’t changed, but Opal knew he was lying. “You can’t keep me prisoner forever,” she said.
That dark brow arched again. “I can do whatever I like,” he said. “I’m the captain of this ship. You are my prisoner. If I want to keep you in the pleasure chamber forever, then in that chamber is where you’ll stay.”
“My skills are being wasted,” she muttered.
He grinned. “I’m only interested in one of your skills, and soon, I plan to make good use of it.” Hawk’s fingers brushed her shoulder.
Opal gasped and her nipples hardened.
“Very soon indeed,” Hawk said.
Disgusted with herself and with him, Opal crossed her arms over her chest. “That’s the least impressive skill I have,” she said. “You should consider allowing me to join your crew.”
“You want to join my crew?” Hawk threw his head back and laughed.
Opal’s face flushed. “What’s so funny?”
He kept laughing.
She put her hands on her slim hips and glared at him. “You are like the hindquarters of a Zaronian mallmum. You even bray like one,” she hissed.
Though aimed well, the barb missed its mark. Hawk simply winked at her. “I’ve been called worse,” he said.
“My proposal was not outlandish,” she said.
“Yes, it was,” Hawk said. “The first chance you got, you’d try to escape or steal my ship.”
Opal’s gaze narrowed. Even though that had been her plan all along, he didn’t have to laugh at it, at her. “I could swear my loyalty to you,” she said.
His golden eyes were hard and uncompromising. “Loyalty doesn’t appear to mean a lot to you. You willingly betrayed your King and his chosen mate,” he said. “Your word would mean nothing and we both know it.”
Her hands clenched at her sides. “Contrary to what you might believe, I was being true to the Phantom people. Hades introduced an inferior breed into our bloodline. I could not stand by while he weakened the Phantoms,” she snarled.
Hawk closed in on her until they stood toe-to-toe. “It was not your place to make such a decision. If your King were truly damaging the Phantoms, then eventually someone would challenge him for leadership of the people.”
She shook her head in disgust. “No one is stupid enough to challenge Hades. The last man who did ended up buried behind the Keep.”
Opal couldn’t think with him this close to her. She raised her hands to push him back, but the second her fingers made contact with his hard chest she froze—and so did he.
Hawk couldn’t seem to breathe. It was getting harder and harder to keep his hands off her, especially with her touching him. All he wanted to do was pull her into his arms and kiss her senseless.
That smart mouth haunted his dreams and distracted him from his duties. He should take her and get it over with. He wasn't used to waiting. Hawk had patience for everything but women. He'd never had to have restraint in the past. Women as a whole tended to desire him. And if they didn't before they bedded him, they certainly did afterwards. Hawk had even had women fight for his attention in the past. More than one had drawn blood.
As he watched Opal, he knew she wouldn't be like the others, especially after what happened on Zaron. They'd both been burned, but for very different reasons.
This woman would fight him with her last breath. She might very well hate him, but one look in her eyes told him that she also desired him. Her scent changed every time he came near her. The spicy musk taunted him, taunted his big cat. It wanted to unsheathe its claws, hold her down, and mount her.
Even now, as angry as she was, her body radiated with need. The kind of need that he could assuage.
Soon, he thought. She’d only been in the pleasure chamber a few days and already she responded to his touch. It wouldn’t be long before she demanded that he take her. Eventually, Hawk would have her in every way he desired.
Once he possessed her body and soul, then he’d ferret out the location of Earth. Opal had purposely withheld the information, believing that she could use it as a bargaining chip. Hawk wanted the coordinates.
A planet that had a limitless supply of viable women could make him rich. Make him wealthy enough to buy his own planet and settle down.
Not that Hawk had any intention of settling down any time soon. He preferred life in space, life amongst the stars with his crew. Even if it did occasionally get lonely. Opal would ease some of that loneliness, if only for a short while.
Perhaps once they located Earth, he'd find his own woman to take as a mate. The Dark King had and seemed pleased by his decision. Hawk’s inner cat snorted in disgust.
Unlike the Dark King, his kind wasn't known for settling down with just one female, but then again, there weren't many of his kind left, so perhaps it was time to break from tradition.
His communicator chirped. Hawk pulled it out of his pocket and saw Fallon’s green face. “Report,” he said.
“We will soon be orbiting Farn. Should we prepare a landing party?” he asked.
“Yes,” Hawk said. “I’ll be right up.” He shoved the communicator back into his pocket and turned to Opal. “Sorry, we’ll have to cut our walk short.”
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