OMGah!—yes, I’m channeling Jessica Simpson—I have Internet! And it’s fast! It’s only because EVERYONE’s downstairs dancing with the Cavemen. Yeah, it’s actually Friday night right now, but since I had connection, for once, I’m not wasting it.
I’m having a wonderful time. My daughter’s downstairs, pretty, and you know the guys are enjoying that—I don’t expect to see her until much later. My sister’s probably right up there on the dance floor with her, grinding on a Caveman. However, I shall remain virtuous. I have work to do. Copyedits are due for Five Ways to Sunday.
I’m here with another excerpt, trying to whet your appetite for the book coming October 4th. One click on the cover will take you to Amazon.com where you can purchase your copy while it’s still being offered at a reduced price. And yes, it’s print and full length, and the sexiest thing you’re gonna read this Fall.
It was a long-standing joke among Ulfhednar warriors that when they perished on a battlefield, they would tell the Valkyries who came to deliver them to Odin’s hall that they’d prefer the fiery underworld of Muspellheim. For Icelanders had lived so long on their frozen world that searing heat seemed a more fitting paradise.
However, Eirik Ulfhednar knew the truth. The realm of fire wasn’t a mythical land. Due to one fateful error, he’d landed there, and the sultry heat of this godless place wasn’t anything to be envied.
Despite the fans circling high above the garishly appointed salon, the temperature of the room where he stood was sweltering, the air stifling and thick in his lungs. Sweat gathered on his forehead and glazed his bare chest.
For the first time, he was thankful for the inadequate and embarrassing clothing he’d been given. The linen garment draping his hips allowed air to cool his nether regions.
However, the fabric was so thin he might as well have stood naked before those gathered to examine the new arrivals—or “offerings,” as the whore-mistress called them. A term that somehow made him and the men standing in a straight rank behind him seem less human, more like a feast spread out on a banquet table to be devoured. A feast of twenty rugged Icelanders—all with their long hair slicked back in queues behind their heads, their muscular bodies oiled and perfumed like women, and wearing the same transparent swath of fabric about their hips and silver cuffs around their wrists that proclaimed them the lowest order of slaves—sex-thralls.
Every trace of their proud heritage had been erased except for their large, rugged builds—the very qualities that had precipitated their capture and enslavement.
“I count only two guards inside this room,” Hakon murmured beside him, lifting his chin to point toward the tall wooden doors at the entrance of to the salon.
Called Hakon the Bold on their former world, Eirik’s new comrade was just another of the captives being paraded to satisfy the lusty appetites of the Heliopolite elite. All female, thank the stars.
Eirik gave an equally subtle nod toward the windows overlooking the landscaped grounds. Lush green grass, oases of tall flowers and leafy trees, couldn’t hide the armed guards patrolling openly around the facility’s perimeter. “I’ve counted six soldiers so far. Armed with stunners. We haven’t shields to protect us should we try to make a break. They could take us all.”
Hakon grunted. “But we have hostages. Or are you too squeamish to harm women?”
Eirik gave him a narrowed glare. “I wouldn’t hesitate, not for a second, to do what I must to secure our freedom.”
His companion’s casual shrug belied his sharp scrutiny. “I thought I should ask, given how eagerly your body reacts to the vicious bitch that brought us here.”
Not accustomed to having his motives questioned, Eirik bristled. “If I grow hard in Fatin’s presence,” he bit out, “it’s because I envision all the ways I will make her suffer.”
Hakon chuckled. Suspicion cleared from his face. “Good to know you will not shed a tear over her death.”
However, as furious as Eirik was with the woman they discussed, the thought of standing over her lifeless body gave him a moment’s pause. His chest tightened uncomfortably.
Perhaps he felt a connection to her because of the way they’d met. She’d been a gift from the men operating his family mine, a companion to warm his bed while he visited. Due to the hesitant way she’d mounted his body, he’d thought her young and untried. That first impression had been obliterated by what had happened next. He’d felt the prick of the needle she’d used to subdue him, experienced his body disintegrating into molecules as he’d been transported to a ship orbiting his planet. When he’d next awoken, he found himself caged inside the hold of a cargo ship bound for Helios, the Outlanders’ home planet.
Even enduring the humiliating auction had done little to blunt his desire for the woman. He just wanted to punish her, he told himself. To visit untold demeaning acts upon her supple body. Only then would his thirst for revenge be quenched. His hesitation to end her life existed only because he didn’t want her suffering to end too quickly.
“I think I could take the first thirty or so,” Hakon murmured dryly beside him, eyeing the throng entering the room.
“But will you fuck them or beat them to death?” Eirik muttered, watching eyeing the scores of wide-eyed, feverishly animated women streaming inside like water breaking through a dam. The doors had just been opened, admitting the first customers.
Hakon snorted, his chin jutting upward. “I’ve never struck a female, but I am sorely tempted now,” he said, his tone filled with disgust. “I’m a Berserkir, not a sex-thrall.”
Not for the first time, Eirik reflected on the fact that he’d grown close in a very short time to the cousin of the enemy king. They’d raised swords against each other in “friendly” skirmishes back on their home world. Neighbors, Berserkir and Ulfhednar had warred for centuries, but now they were bound by their shared plight. And although he Eirik was the only Ulfhednar in their midst, all the assembled Icelanders turned to him for leadership. He was, after all, a Wolfskin prince, the fiercest clan among the Icelanders and brother to the legendary Black Wolf.
Too restless to stand still, Hakon rubbed his chest and grimaced. “Do you think it is true?”
“What?” Eirik ground out, only part of his attention on the conversation as he studied the curvaceous crowd filling the large room, wondering how many he would be expected to pleasure.
“Do you think our hair will never grow back? I’m as smooth as a woman.”
Eirik grunted. He’d been every bit as dismayed as Hakon to awaken and discover his current smooth-skinned state. “My friend, I think that’s the least of the indignities we will suffer.”
The Norsemen were lined up in the center of the salon. Because they were close in stature and musculature, Hakon and he had been placed just in front of the line of new offerings. The most valuable prizes among the men who’d been procured for this event.
“Hymir’s bollocks!” Hakon whispered furiously.
Eirik glanced down to where Hakon stared and noted that his companion’s cock tented the linen, a fact that had the women strolling by to examine them tittering.
Hakon shrugged, a blush staining his cheeks. “I can’t help it. I haven’t enjoyed a release since that white-coated witch Miriam milked me like a dairy cow aboard the frigate before we arrived on this frigging planet. After she finished, I thought my manhood would remain shriveled forever.”
The scientist hadn’t come near Eirik, but only because another cold bitch had seen to stealing his semen to test its potency. Eirik searched the throng of robed women, wondering if the heartless bounty hunter would dare show herself today.
Still, as furious as he was with Fatin, Eirik’s own man-staff thickened at the memory of her mouth tugging at his sex to coax him into spilling his precious seed.
The last time he’d seen her had been two days ago when she’d stood beside him on the stage erected in the arena and whipped away his clothing to display his attributes to the bidders gathered there.
Dark eyes flashing with triumph, she’d been beautiful.
He’d been furious, blood pounding at his temples and racing south to harden his cock. He’d glared daggers her way, promising her silently that one day she would know the same humiliation. That one day she would be at his mercy, and he’d show just as much of that tender emotion as she’d spared him.
“Do you think they did more than remove our hair?” Hakon whispered.
Rage made Eirik tremble anew at the thought of how he’d awoken that morning, feeling sluggish from the remnants of the drug that had been slipped into his food, his entire body denuded of his its manly fur, his arse sore. He’d wondered if he’d been taken in his sleep, raped by some unknown person, and for those first waking moments, he’d felt a searing despair.
Everything else he possessed had been stolen—his clothing, his rank, his standing among his people. Had they also taken his pride?
But he’d been assured by the female technician who’d loosened the bindings around his wrists and feet securing him to a gurney that he’d only been examined to assure his health. Had the pink-cheeked woman read his dismay? He was accustomed to hiding his emotions. The shame of her recognizing his weakness had hardened his resolve.
He was Eirik, heir to the Wolfskin kingdom of Thorshavn, and he’d not remain a slave for long.
“We could take them,” Hakon repeated in a whisper. “There are only the two guards, and we could use the women as a shield when we rush the gates. You only have to say the word and the men will follow your lead.”
Eirik nodded, his gaze sweeping the room again, looking for clues as to how their Helio captors intended to keep the Vikings subdued. The room was large and airy with rich red- and brown- upholstered sofas and thick carpets strewn on top of smooth gold marble floors. The large windows were unbarred and opened to display the grassy lawn surrounding the facility. Cool air spilled from vents in the ceiling and was pushed downward by the whirring blades of the fans.
Cool enough to suit the Heliopolites who were accustomed to the heat of their planet. Not for the Vikings who were fresh from New Iceland, a cold, ice-bound world.
Hakon was right. There were only two armed guards. How did they intend to force the Norsemen to do their will? “We wait,” he whispered. “Something isn’t right.”
Hakon growled beside him, but nodded. “Do we cooperate? Do we let them command us like thralls?”
“For now. Use them as they intend to use us. Find your pleasure, but keep your eyes and ears open. We must discover how they intend to keep us confined.”
“Yes, milord,” Hakon gritted out, clearly unhappy at having to wait.
Eirik gave him a sharp glare. “I’ve said it before. Don’t call me that. And don’t use my name. I do not want them discovering too soon who I am.”
“Do you think they would kill you rather than letting anyone know they kidnapped a noble?”
“I don’t know, but it’s possible. The offense is punishable by death among the Consortium worlds. To be safe, for now, simply call me Wolf.”
Hakon chuckled. “A slur the men will have no trouble remembering.”
“Ugly Bearshirt,” Eirik rumbled, suppressing a grin. He panned the room again, and then caught a fleeting glimpse of a familiar slender figure. His entire body tensed. His fists curled at his sides.
That his cock stirred right along with the rest of him reflected only his zeal to exact revenge.
The crowd of painted and perfumed women swelled, drawing closer, and then parted. Now he saw her clearly.
Fatin, the bounty hunter. Fatin, the procurer. An enigma he hoped was more than the sum of her beautiful parts. He wanted a worthy adversary upon which to concentrate his anger.