Note: I’ve made a change to the cover. For some reason the cover for this book gave me fits. I just wasn’t satisfied with the design and kept having do-overs. This is the design I’m going with, so it’s the one you can expect to see at online retailers.
Copyright © 2011 by Tessa Tremaine
This story is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and incidents are invented by the author or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental. All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the author.
Chapter 1: Lucifer’s Castle
The stateroom was first rate, with a full bathroom and a bed big enough for two people to sleep comfortably. The carpet was a hand-woven Turkish reproduction, the furniture upholstered in creamy ivory white mohair, the glassware real glass. It was the best money could buy, and Genevis was beginning to hate it.
She hadn’t even been there very long—just overnight. Belle Station, where she lived, boasted a near-by wormhole that had in fact been part of the incentive to build in that location. Travel to and from Belle was quick and easy. She simply didn’t want this assignment to Earth.
If she could convince the captain to turn around and run back to Belle without ever entering Earth’s system, she would be delighted with the stateroom. Thrilled. She’d savor every minute she spent in it.
Her view screen pinged and an image of her uncle, Warren Belleren, popped up. He wore his usual dark suit and was smiling, which only served to underscore how much weight he placed on her mission. That smile didn’t bode well for her request for a change.
“Hello, Genevis. I imagine you’re getting pretty excited now that you’ve almost entered the solar system.” He winked. “It won’t be long now until you’re at Lucifer’s Castle and you finally have the male attention you’ve been craving.”
He never missed a chance to remind her how unlucky in love she was. “Actually, I wanted to let you know that I’m reconsidering this assignment. I’m just not suited for it.”
She braced herself for his response. Refusing an assignment and being indecisive were two of the greatest sins a member of the Belleren family could commit. Her behavior in this matter wasn’t going to do her career or her standing with Uncle Warren any favors.
The time delay in communications meant that she had ample opportunity to observe his expression changing from smug to stern. He leaned toward the view screen. “You know how important this is to the station. We need you to move forward on this.”
“I understand that. But I’m not the right person. I don’t know anything about brothels and I find slavery reprehensible.”
The long pause between her statement and his reaction made her stomach churn.
At last he waved his hand in dismissal. “You don’t have to know about brothels. You’re an expert in hospitality. These are transferable skills, Genevis. As for your political ideals, they’re irrelevant. The needs of the family and the station have to come first.”
She sighed at the guilt that swamped her. It was true—Belle Station came first. Always. She would let down the family and the station if she backed out. But she had a compelling reason to ask for a reassignment.
“Uncle Warren, I’m fat. None of the men in that place are going to want to—um—be intimate with me.”
Waiting. Waiting. Genevis tapped her fingers nervously on the stateroom’s satiny built-in desk of real Earth cherry wood.
Warren made another dismissive gesture. “It doesn’t matter if you’re fat. The Demon Kin will happily pleasure anyone. And if they won’t, we need to know that. You’re the perfect person for the job.”
Wow. Thanks, Uncle Warren. Just once it would be nice if he would tell her she was attractive, even if it was in spite of her size. Get over it, Genevis. You’re a grown woman and a professional. You don’t need reassurance that you’re pretty.
The fact was that, given his attitude, she wouldn’t be able to squirm out of the assignment without causing an irreparable breach with her uncle. She should have known.
“Alright. I’ll do my best.”
“That’s the right answer. Remember, Belle is more important than any of us individually. We all must do our part.”
She’d been hearing that since she was five years old.
“I look forward to your full report.”
Genevis nodded. “I look forward to presenting it, sir.” The standard response.
So she’d just humiliated and made herself look weak for nothing. She still had to present her rotund self to the Quert Industries liaison, still had to endure the eye-rolls and expressions of distaste she got from men who inevitably preferred slender, delicate women over her. This was going to be fun.
Lucifer’s Castle, here I come.
For crying out loud, couldn’t they have picked a better name? Talk about crass. But it probably brought them a lot of customers who were titillated by the idea of fornicating in Lucifer’s domain.
Perhaps she could negotiate for any Demon Kin they purchased to be freed after a certain number of years. She could put up with some humiliation if it meant even a handful of slaves would go free. That would make this travesty of an assignment worthwhile.
Well, here she was in the garden of Lucifer’s Castle. Who would have thought that the Lord of Hell kept a garden? With flowers and everything. From what she’d seen of the place, it was overwhelmingly Gothic in theme, dark and decadent, except for this enclosure surrounding a generous, sparkling-blue swimming pool and fountain. Here was sun and bright flowers in every color, and a mind-boggling array of Demon Kin.
There were dozens of gorgeous men in the garden, and she had to have sex with at least one of them. They’d probably have to draw straws, and the poor sucker with the short straw would get her.
She was the wrong person for this job. She knew it, and the oily representative of Quert Industries standing next to her probably knew it too. But she’d be damned if she admitted it. Genevis gazed at the milling throng of sex slaves populating the sunny garden and forced a smile.
“Impressive.” She nodded, to reinforce the illusion that she knew what she was talking about.
Bob Tate grinned. “They are, aren’t they?”
A small, buzzing insect flew right by her ear. She clamped down hard on the urge to yelp. “Oh, yes.”
There must have been a hundred of them, male and female, standing in small groups under rose-covered arbors, sitting on benches and the coping of the elaborate central fountain, even reclining on the velvet-green grass of the walkways. All of them stark n@ked in the Southern California heat. She’d never seen so many n@ked people in her life, and they were all beautiful.
Although they spoke quietly, there were so many that their voices completely drowned out the sound of the fountain.
Demon Kin. That’s what Quert called them. And they looked the part, with curling horns on their heads—some sticking out to the sides and others up toward the sky—and long, serpentine tails that swished gently back and forth as they walked. They were so surreal that she had to fight an urge to stare—she who’d met representatives from every alien culture in contact with Earth.
The males also possessed hard, muscular bodies and c*cks so thick and long that it was all she could do not to gape at them. Her p^*sy gave a sudden, embarrassing throb at the thought of one of those c**ks inside her body.
The Demon Kin were looking back at her, obviously curious about her. Probably wondering who she was and why her visit entitled her to a private viewing of the assembled slaves. Or had Quert announced her family’s interest in purchasing some of them in order to establish a Demon Kin brothel on Belle Station?
Of course, no brothel under her command would sport tacky devil imagery. If she had to establish a place like this, it would be tasteful. Elegant. Beautiful. And because it would be on a space station, there would be no nasty little bugs to fly or creep about stinging and biting people.
Her gaze came to rest on a large male standing with his back to her about ten yards away. He possessed hair so dark it was nearly black, even in the bright sunlight, and a body of such perfection that she caught her breath. The tight rounded globes of his a$$ made her wish she could caress him.
I probably could. Isn’t that why they’re here?
But it would be wrong. Slavery was wrong. Unfortunately, her uncle Warren didn’t agree with her on that point, and family loyalty and honor demanded that she play the part of an interested potential buyer.
I just have to get through the next week. Then I can take my vacation and forget all about this place.
The dark-haired male turned toward her. Even with the distance between them, the bright sapphire of his eyes was obvious. She’d never seen eyes so blue. He glowered at her, his close-cropped goatee and mustache making him seem Satanic. Resentment and barely suppressed fury seemed to radiate from him.
Genevis suppressed a shudder. “Are you sure they’re not dangerous?”
“Absolutely sure.” Tate pointed to the neck of a nearby female. “See the collars? They provide complete control. In addition, all our slaves have undergone extensive obedience training.”
A narrow golden band around the blue-eyed slave’s neck glinted in the sunlight. So that was what controlled them? How did it work? It couldn’t be direct mind control or he wouldn’t be glaring at her like that.
Genevis’s pulse rapped out a steadily increasing beat as they stared at each other. The deep parts of her body grew warm and heavy and moisture pooled between her thighs. She wanted to take that arrogant, staring bastard down a notch. He was a slave; he had no business staring at her that way.
She saw him bending over her, taking her mouth in a brutal kiss, mastering her with his powerful body, his hands all over her, delving between her legs. The fantasy brought another throb of yearning from her pussy.
The man next to him turned as if to see what his companion was looking at. This one’s hair was chestnut brown. His eyes were brown, too, his features just as beautiful as his blue-eyed friend.
Brown-eyes smiled. It was a flirtatious gesture and Genevis smiled back at him, but underneath his friendliness was something predatory. His smile broadened, showing a hint of his long, sharp incisors.
Fangs? They have fangs? Her sources had said nothing about that.
“The Demon Kin are highly sexual,” Tate continued. “We bred them for enhanced sexual appetites, to make them better at pleasing our customers.”
“A wise choice.” Her voice came out in an unenthusiastic monotone.
She needed to look away from the two males, but her gaze seemed to be pinned to them. Captured. They were not human. That was obvious, so why did she find them so exciting?
Many customers patronized Quert’s brothel for that very reason—because of the exotic appearance of the Demon Kin. That much she’d learned from the research she’d done on the ship from Belle Station to Earth. Evidently some humans derived sexual excitement from the idea of making love to a demon. Or, in the case of the Demon Kin, creatures who looked like demons.
The two men both had dark horns that curled away from the sides of their skulls in graceful, spiraling arcs. Their tails were dark, too, covered in silky hair and ending in forks covered by puffs of fur.
Like lion’s tails. The tails flicked back and forth, reinforcing the cat-like image.
I am not the kind of person who gets off on screwing freaks.
Genevis winced at her own crudity. The Demon Kin weren’t freaks. They were a new, genetically-engineered race of humanoids.
A thought occurred to her. “Are they sterile?”
“Oh, no. They are quite a fertile race. However, we keep both males and females on long-acting birth control except for those we’re breeding. And the breeding pairs are kept out of rotation in the brothel. We at Quert do everything possible to ensure the Demon Kin genome doesn’t escape our compound. You needn’t worry about a pregnancy.”
“That’s a relief.” She tilted her head. “Can they reproduce with humans?”
“Yes, they produce fertile hybrid offspring. But as I said, you don’t need to worry about that. You must be tired after your long journey.” Tate took her by the elbow. “We have refreshments waiting in the lounge, if you’ll come this way.”
He led her along one of the grassy paths that wound amongst the flower beds and re-entered the brothel. Inside, the floors were of cool black marble and the light came filtered through the louvers of black shutters covering the tall windows. A Demon Kin male pushed a broom down the hallway, while a female with a basket of cleaning gear on her arm opened a door and disappeared into a side room.
“You have them working as janitors as well?”
“We find they are better adjusted if they have work in addition to their sexual duties. They rotate tasks, and take care of all the maintenance of their building and garden.”
The male, who wore a pair of snug black shorts and nothing else, glanced over at her and smiled. So they weren’t all as angry as the blue-eyed male in the garden. Genevis smiled back at him. He was shorter than Mr. Angry, with sandy hair, caramel-colored horns and a deep tan. His body was just as beautifully developed as all of his peers, with a taut waist and bulging arm muscles. The fit of his shorts had an opening in the back to allow for his golden tail and revealed most of the shape of his generous sex. She blinked and turned her gaze away, scanning the hall for something else to look at.
“Do you like Nick?” Tate said.
“He’s very attractive.”
“I’ll assign him to you for tonight, then.”
Her face burned, and she knew she was blushing. No man as good-looking as Nick would want to spend the night with her. She wasn’t exactly the stuff of male sexual fantasies. But she couldn’t refuse, could she?
Genevis forced herself to meet Tate’s eyes and smile. “Thank you. That would be lovely.”
Tate gestured toward a large room that opened directly onto the hall. Its open windows looked out onto yet another garden, this one shaded by a huge tree and full of tropical-looking plants with enormous leaves in a profusion of shapes. Here and there, brilliant orange flowers peeked out of the greenery.
The room itself featured an enormous painting, dominated by black, orange and red tones, of a gorgeous male Demon Kin clasping a fainting human woman in his arms. Exotic ancient weapons hung on the other walls. A marble-topped table in dark gleaming wood already loaded with food and drinks stood next to one of those windows.
“You certainly have a beautiful setting here,” Genevis remarked. “I couldn’t have done better myself.” If I were filming a horror vid, that is.
“Are you in the hospitality business, Miss Belleren?”
“Didn’t my uncle tell you?” The rat. “I’m the director of hospitality on Belle Station.”
Tate raised his brows as they strolled toward the table. “That’s a position of great responsibility for one so young.”
“We Bellerens start working in our mid-teens.” And of course they had nepotism on their side, but she wasn’t going to say that to Tate. Instead, she picked up a strawberry and held it to her lips.
Outside, a man shouted. Genevis jumped, her head swiveling to look out the window. The shout came again, two voices this time, loud and furious. Two men strode into the sun-dappled tropical garden, their faces distorted with rage as they brandished signs reading “Death to Satan’s Minions.”
“Son of a bitch,” Tate muttered. He pulled a voice link from his pocket and hit the numbers.
The men outside both noticed her at the same time. They pointed at her through the open window. “Slut! Whore of Babylon!”