Vaaden Warriors: Randar
|by Jessica Coulter Smith
My eyes adjusted to the dim interior as I entered the building where all new slaves were kept. I’d never been inside before, as I’d never purchased a slave — until now. I had thought of taking a slave for a while, especially after getting to know Susan, my cousin’s slave. But I’d been dragging my feet over it. I already owned a unit in the slave quarters, the one where Susan had stayed, and had had it redecorated. Now it was time to actually select a slave of my own.
It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the harems, but there was something more intimate about owning your own slave. I wanted the opportunity to get to know the woman I was with, and as I hadn’t thought of taking a wife, I hoped to find someone close to my age, someone who could possibly become more than just a slave at some point in the future. My cousin had come to love his slave, as had several of my friends, and I had to admit that I wanted that for myself.
Rheul had told me about a slave a few days ago. A quiet young woman in the holding cells, purchased and returned for unknown reasons. He didn’t know her name, or really anything about her other than what she looked like, but it seemed important to him that she be saved. I’d promised I would take a look at her before I made my selection.
As I entered the holding cells, I nodded to the guards. I studied the occupants of each cell until I spotted a woman matching the description Rheul had given me. She looked like she would barely reach my shoulder, and her honey blonde hair hung halfway down her back.
I stepped into the cell and stood before her. Gently, I reached out and lifted her chin, forcing her to look me in the eye. When her eyes met mine, the brilliant green of them astounded me. The stark terror in her face was nearly my undoing. I had no idea what she’d experienced since being on Vaaden, but it had obviously been bad.
She flinched when I reached to take her hand, but I kept my touch gentle as I grasped it and tugged her closer. With her body a mere inch from mine, I reached out and stroked her hair. She was trembling from what I assumed was fear, and I wished I could take it away.
I nodded to the guard. “I’ll take this one.”
The guard looked at her. “Is this acceptable, or would you prefer the harems?”
“I’ll go with him,” she whispered. Her voice was soft and musical, delicate like she was.
Lifting her into my arms, I carried her out of the holding cells and into the light of day. The brightness of the double suns of Vaaden was brutal to someone not of my planet, and she hid her face against my neck.
“It isn’t far,” I told her.
“I’ve been there once before,” she reminded me.
“Why did your owner return you?”
“I didn’t please him,” she whispered.
After we entered the slave quarters, I should have set her down and let her walk, but I found that I liked carrying her. Her weight was slight, and it had been a while since I’d felt feminine curves pressed against me — not including my brief visits to the harems. I went there for a service and nothing more. Being with a slave was going to be more intimate, even more intimate than having a wife. Not that I had one of those offending creatures. Vaaden wives were horrible things, cruel and vicious, cold and heartless. Not something I planned to inflict upon myself any time soon.
When we reached the apartment Sylon had given me, I put her down and opened the door. She hesitantly stepped inside, and I followed her, making sure the door closed behind us. I watched as she took in her surroundings, trying to see it through her eyes.
I knew it was a simple apartment compared to some of them, but I’d had it redecorated and hoped she liked it. The floor was plush like the fur of Earth rabbits we’d seen on previous raids and was a dark lavender color. The walls were pale lavender, nearly white. The chairs were a soft aqua and lavender print, with a small round table in front of them. I’d made sure there was a bookshelf installed and had filled it to capacity. There were card games and games of chance to keep her occupied when I wasn’t around.
She moved toward the bedroom, which had the same color scheme as the main living space. Her fingers trailed across the bed. When she faced the closet, she hesitantly placed her hand over the door and opened it. Inside were several slave garments, but I’d made sure they were the best, all of them made of silk and a little longer than the one she currently wore. I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible in her new home.
“I don’t even know your name,” I said softly, not wanting to scare her.