Coalition Mates, Book 2
by Sarah Marsh
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-63259-031-2
[ SciFi Romance, MMF ]
Talia finds herself abducted and sold into an alien slave auction. Asher and Grae happen to be in the right place at the right time, they’ve been looking to complete their family and Talia is exactly who they want. But can she accept a prince and a dragon shifter?
Note: Prologue omitted.
Talia had counted fifteen days that she had been inside this cell. The first week or so had been shocking. She’d finally come to terms with the fact that she was no longer on Earth and that it wasn’t looking good that she was ever going to make it home. She had been enjoying her Saturday afternoon of hiking in the mountains, thinking about how decadent it was to be there all alone, no phones ringing or reports to write, and then the next thing she knew, she was caught up in the alien slave trade. What the heck had she done in a previous life to deserve this?
When she had first awoken and a strange, small, fat, purple man had brought her some food, she had screamed and fainted. When she was revived, he was mumbling and scolding her that she had fallen and scratched the “merchandise,” and she abruptly fainted again.
Once the initial shock had worn off and she was able to get a better look at the odd little alien, it was almost comical how nonthreatening he actually was. Some of the females, at least she thought most of them were females, in the cells surrounding her were way more frightening. Talia was in the middle of a menagerie of captive alien women and she had no idea how she had gotten there.
Every day, the little man would come and lecture her that he offered the most rare and exceptional females in the known Universes. She was told she needed to pull herself together so her training could begin, as she had been acquired late and he had a special occasion in mind for her unveiling.
So, naturally, she put all her energy into irritating the jerk and doing her best to make an impression of what Earth females were capable of. In the other cells around her, she saw a wide variety of female species, but no other humans. She was rather surprised at how complacent and cooperative the other captives were, as they seemed to be training hard and taking all his instructions to heart. What idiots! How could they not be upset that they had been kidnapped and sold into slavery?
“Female, are you ready to train now?” the little man sidled up to the bars and asked her again, just like every day before that.
“Sure thing, you little eggplant. As soon as you drop me back on my own planet, I’ll get right in my time machine and travel back a hundred years to go to finishing school and become a proper little slave,” she answered him in a tone dripping with sarcasm, arms folded over her chest.
He looked back at her with a confused, then exasperated face, “You make no sense, female. Your primitive planet is nowhere near capable of time travel. You’d best resolve yourself to the fact that you will never again be seeing your home. The other females are training to make the most of their price and ensure an advantageous placement. If you have no skills, I will have no choice but to sell you as a straight pleasure worker. Try to understand that this is for both of our benefits. I took a sizable risk acquiring you from the poachers, as humans are virtually unknown to us, but there has been a recent discovery that one of your females was able to successfully breed with a Zornan clan. Proven breeding species are extremely valuable, and until the United Coalition Council approves approaching Earth directly for breeding stock, then black market humans such as yourself will make me many credits.”
Talia couldn’t believe what the horrible little man just told her. “Earth would never let you take people for breeding stock! That’s disgusting! You call us primitives, but we outlawed slavery ages ago. You can’t just steal people and sell them!” she spat in his face, wishing she could get her hands on the awful little male.
“When I get out of here, I’m going to beat you to another shade of purple, you little cretin!” she continued.
With that threat, his eyes lit up. “So you are trained for battle, then?” he asked excitedly, while bringing his tablet up to his face to make notes. “That’s very marketable, very good.”
He was still mumbling happily to himself as he walked away. It was obvious she was going to have to try a different approach. She lay back down on her cot and covered her eyes with her arm, trying to figure out what to do when she heard a quiet voice to her left.
“You shouldn’t try to aggravate him, female. What he says is true. You need to begin to train. The summit is only two days away,” said the small woman in the next cell who’d previously ignored all of Talia’s attempts at conversation.
“So you can speak English, huh?” Talia answered her with a note of irritation.
“No, silly female, you speak United, since you have a translator chip in your stubborn head,” the stranger said as she stood and walked closer to the bars. “You need to adapt and catch up, or I promise you will find yourself on a brothel cruiser servicing some of the vilest creatures you can imagine.”
The fear that Talia felt must have finally shown through the bravado, because the strange woman’s face softened and she seemed to rein in her own frustration.
“I don’t say these things to merely frighten you, human, but most of the females here are either paying for crimes or here to earn an income. There are only a few of us that have been captured against our will. You must try to make the best sale you can and pray to your gods that you will survive the life that has now been chosen for you,” the woman said before she settled herself on the floor beside Talia’s cot.
Tears finally leaked past her eyes and Talia said in a small voice, “I don’t know what’s happened to me. What am I going to do?”
“Well, that’s the easiest question to answer, my dear. You’re going to survive,” the stranger said as she smiled gently.