Slayter looked past her to where Dunai stood. “Okay, Agus, enough with the games. Where is my payment?”
“Standing right in front of you,” the man said.
Behind Slayter, his men murmured among themselves, but he barely heard them. He was too busy trying to wrap his head around what Dunai had said. Surely the man couldn’t be offering his daughter as payment. “Run that by me again.”
The portly man drew himself up. “My daughter Teyla is very beautiful. She’ll bring you a fortune from any man looking to possess her.”
Slayter narrowed his eyes. “You’re suggesting I sell your daughter as a slave? That won’t bring the money you owe me.”
Dunai lifted his chin. “It will if you sell her in the markets of Arkhon.”
Slayter looked at him incredulously. The slave markets of Arkhon were only known for two things—the buying and selling of sex slaves. “Are you serious?”
Beside Dunai, his wife choked back a sob, but the man ignored her. “You said if I brought you something valuable enough to cover my debt, then it would be paid in full. You set the terms of the deal.”
Slayter ground his jaw. That was before he knew it was Dunai’s daughter they were talking about. Damn the man to the lowest depths of hell. He knew Slayter wasn’t a slaver. Then again, maybe that was why the crafty businessman was offering Teyla up as payment. Maybe he was counting on Slayter refusing. If he backed out on the deal because he was squeamish about selling her on the blocks, it was as good as forfeiting the money Dunai owed him. The man was right about Teyla bringing a good price in the sex slave markets. Slayter couldn’t make as much from selling off Dunai’s company, that was for sure, which is what he would end up doing if he demanded the man’s business as payment instead. Selling the girl would be a hell of a lot smarter, not to mention easier, even if it did leave a bad taste in his mouth.
He looked at Teyla. “Did you agree to this?”
She seemed taken aback by the question for a moment, but then she nodded. “Yes. It’s my duty.”
As he watched his first officer escort Teyla up the steps and along the catwalk, Slayter felt another twinge of guilt. He’d never stooped to the selling of another human being before, but it seemed as if that last moral barrier was about to go by the wayside like all the previous ones. Hard times made for hard men, though, and life in the outer reaches of the Imperial realm definitely qualified as hard times.
That didn’t mean he had to like it, though. He sighed. Just one more stamp on his passport to hell.
Olin’s gaze strayed to her as he placed the basket of bread on the table and he gave her a shy grin.
“I made the bread myself,” he said. “Hope you like it.”
Slayter’s mouth twitched. “Thank you, Olin. That’ll be all.”
Olin gave him a nod, then glanced at her once more before leaving the cabin. Teyla couldn’t help but smile as she picked up her spoon.
“They recruit pirates young, I see,” she said.
Slayter chuckled. “They usually do.”
“How old is he?”
“Fifteen.” Slayter helped himself to a slice of bread. “I picked him up on Nennor when he was twelve. He was living on the streets and tried to pick my pocket. I figured I could either try to scare him straight or give him an honest job.”
She looked at him dubiously. “With a pirate?”
“I prefer to think of myself as a businessman with flexible ethics.”
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “This is very difficult to ask, but do you think you might be able give me some advice on how best to please a man?”
“Advice?” His eyes went a little wide at that, and he cleared his throat. “Uh, actually, sex is more of a…hands-on thing.”
Teyla chewed on her lower lip. She couldn’t believe she was even contemplating what she was about to do, but the thought that one of her sisters might end up where she was if she didn’t earn enough money to cover the debt was enough to give her the courage she needed.
She lifted her gaze to look at Slayter. “Would you be willing to give me hands-on experience then?”
He arched a brow, but didn’t say anything. From the expression on his face, though, it was clear he was taken aback by her request.
“I know I probably shouldn’t be asking you for favors, but I just want to make sure you receive the money my family owes you.” When he still didn’t answer, she added softly, “If you don’t find me pleasing enough to bed, I understand.”
She was afraid to think what that would mean when it came to her value on the auction block. What would happen if no one bid on her at all?
The corner of Slayter’s mouth curved. “I find you quite pleasing, Teyla. Perhaps more than I should.”
Her pulse quickened. “Then you’ll teach me?”
There was a very long pause, then, “Yes, I’ll teach you. If that’s what you really want.”
“Have you ever given a man a blowjob?” he asked.
Teyla shook her head. She’d heard of the sex act before from her girlfriends back home who had performed it, though. From what they said, it was both fun and highly erotic, and she suddenly couldn’t wait to get her first lesson from the handsome pirate.
“Get on your knees,” he commanded softly.
Teyla did as he instructed, then sat back on her heels and gazed up at him. She was a little surprised by how easily she fell into the submissive role. Despite her willingness to pay off her family’s debt, she’d never thought of herself as particularly subservient. She wondered if it was because she was subconsciously preparing for her new life as a sex slave, or whether it was because Slayter was so incredibly dominant.
Just when he thought it couldn’t get any better, she took him all the way in and he felt himself slide deep down her throat. Oh shit. He didn’t think he’d ever felt anything so incredible. He never wanted her to stop. He damn sure wouldn’t last long if she kept doing what she was doing, though.
Wrapping his hand in her silky hair, he took charge, guiding her movements more slowly. Teyla let out a soft, sexy moan at his show of dominance, and the sound made him throb. Did she even know how hot she made him?
He covered her mouth with his in a hard, hot kiss.
“God, you’re remarkable,” he breathed when he finally came up for air.
“I’m glad I can please you,” she said softly.
He grinned. “You certainly did that. And after giving me an orgasm like that, I think it’s only right that I return the favor.”
Excitement flashed in her eyes, but she quickly hid it. “That’s not necessary. You’re supposed to be teaching me how to please a man.”
Taking her hand, he urged her onto her back. “Perhaps the lesson I want to teach you is how to come over and over again until you scream with pleasure.”
Hands braced against the wall to either side of her, Slayter slowly trailed a path of hot kisses down the curve of her arm. Even though she had no desire to free herself, Teyla couldn’t help but wiggle against her bonds a little, just to see how secure they were. They weren’t tight, but they weren’t loose enough for her to free her hands, either. That knowledge excited her even more and she almost wished Slayter would forget about his promise to make love to her whole body and bury himself inside her instead. As he very carefully licked and nibbled on the inside of her elbow, however, she changed her mind. This slow exploration of his might be fun.
He threaded his hand into her hair, tilting her head back so he could kiss her. He tasted of her juices, sweet and just a little bit musky, and she was amazed at how pleasant the flavor was. He sucked her bottom lip into his mouth, giving it a little tug.
“You drive me crazy, do you know that?” he demanded hoarsely, his breath hot against her cheek. “Your scent. Your taste. Your kiss. I can’t get enough of you.”
Teyla opened her mouth to tell him he affected her just the same, but his mouth was on hers again. When he finally lifted his head, she was breathless and weak in the knees. She blinked up at him, waiting for him to untie her and take her to bed, but he surprised her by spinning her around so she was facing the wall. Confused, she looked at him over her shoulder, but he slid an arm around her waist, molding her naked body against his fully clothed one. His cock strained against the front of his breeches, hot and hard where it pressed into her ass.
Slayter slid his hand up her stomach to cup her breast, his thumb and forefinger squeezing the stiff nipple he found there while he ran his other hand over her ass in a loving caress. Teyla sighed, only to let out a startled gasp when she felt his hand come down on her cheek a moment later. Then, before she even realized what he was doing, he lifted his hand and brought it down in several more quick smacks. The spanking caught her off guard and she was about to ask what he was doing when she discovered the feel of his hand smacking her ass was creating the most delicious throb between her legs.
She wondered if sex would be as breathtaking with the man who bought her, but sadly dismissed the thought. As a slave, her pleasure probably wouldn’t be part of the equation. It would be about pleasing her master. Even if she was fortunate to have an owner who considered her needs, she couldn’t imagine how the sex could ever be as wonderful as it was with Slayter. She might not have a lot of experience on the subject, but instinct told her the ship-shaking good sex she and Slayter had been engaging in had everything to do with the man she was with. It made her wish her father had handed her over to the pirate as payment instead of suggesting he sell her on the auction block. There was no guarantee Slayter would have agreed to the deal, especially since apparently women weren’t common on pirate ships, but she certainly would have been happy with the arrangement. Besides being an animal in bed—or wherever else they made love, she thought with a grin—he actually listened to her when she talked, whether what she had to say was as important as suggesting he barter with the Thracians or as simple as what she wanted for dinner. That was rather unusual trait for a man, at least in her experience.
Beside her, Slayter’s face hardened to stone. He opened the link on his com. “Do we have our sensors up yet?” he asked whoever was on the other end. The man must have given him the answer he was looking for because he nodded. “Good enough. Do you have any life signs on that damn ship still stuck on us?” A pause as he listened. “Get a team of men assembled at the main hatch.” Then, “No, I’m taking them over. I want the team briefed before I get there. There will be no mercy offered and no quarter taken. They need to learn what happens when they attack a real pirate ship.”
Teyla felt a shiver run through her at the murderous look in his eyes. Slayter had every right to be angry with the men who had attacked his ship and killed and injured his crew, but that didn’t make it any easier to know he was going to walk onto that ship and execute every single person he found. It only reminded her that despite all his good qualities, Slayter was still a pirate himself. He made his living with violence, weapons and a merciless heart.
Yet none of that changed how terrified she was for him.
She impulsively reached out to grab his arm as he turned to go. “Be careful.”
The thought that someone would come onto his ship and take what was his, attack his crew, endanger his woman—it had made him seethe with a level of fury he’d never felt before in his life.
It was only after he’d taken out that rage on the pirates who had attacked his ship and stood here now with Genoone watching Teyla tend to his injured crewmen in the medlab, that he realized he had subconsciously called her his woman. Where the hell had that idiotic idea sprung from? Teyla was a beautiful and amazing woman who was not only courageous, talented and business savvy, she was also a natural-born enchantress in the bedroom as well. The one thing she wasn’t, was his woman. She was payment for a debt and she’d be the first to remind him of that.
As he watched her stand vigilantly beside Olin’s pod, though, he had to ask himself if a woman who was nothing more than payment for a debt would have done what she had done—for the ship, for his men, for him.
Slayter mentally shook himself from his musings. That kind of introspection was not only pointless, but dangerous, too. It could make a man think about things he shouldn’t, want things he couldn’t have.
Slayter said little on the way back to the spaceport. Teyla wanted to ask him about the pirate Rommel and whether Slayter thought the man would attack his ship again, but he didn’t seem to want to talk.
“We’ll be landing on Arkhon tomorrow morning,” he said when they were alone in his cabin.
Teyla’s heart seized in her chest at the thought of leaving him, and she was glad she had her back to him. If Slayter knew she was upset, then he might feel guilty, and she didn’t want that. None of this was his fault. It was just how things were meant to be. Tomorrow would bring what it would and there was nothing either of them could do about it. At least they had this last night together. And she meant to enjoy every minute of it.
Forcing a smile to her lips, she turned and put her arms around his neck. “Then that means I have tonight to show you how much I’ve learned.”
She didn’t wait for him to answer, but instead pulled him down for a long, deep, intoxicating kiss.
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