Taming the Raven's Son (Galactic Lust)

Taming the Raven’s Son

Kathleen
Lash

 

Galactic Lust, Book Four

Sage needs a vacation from her
grueling responsibilities as CEO. After years of service, she spends one
luxurious day away before she’s kidnapped and sold into submission. The only
events in her immediate future appear to be pain and torture in a dungeon of
sexual perversity.

Jacob Ryker and his people have
been enslaved for nearly fourteen months. In a perverse move of control, his
captor gifts him with a fire-haired woman to train in the ways of submission.
But Jacob plans to regain control of his remote outpost and he cannot afford to
be distracted now—and Sage is nothing if not a distraction. If they are both to
survive the coming days, Jacob and Sage must reach an agreement and act the
part of a Master and meek under the watchful eyes of a brutal captor. As they
navigate their unusual relationship, both come to realize the biggest danger to
their future may just be the unexpected love between them.

 

A Romantica®
science fiction erotic romance
from
Ellora’s Cave

 

Taming the Raven’s Son
Kathleen Lash

 

Chapter One

 

The beguiling scent of arousal hung in the chilled air of
the castle’s dungeon. It beckoned yet repelled Jacob Ryker as he absorbed the
scenes playing out before him. The Domineer blood in his veins surged. The
intimate displays of sexual drama between Masters and their meek—those who had
chosen a lifestyle of learning, compliance and submission—woke something inside
him. Unfortunately, anyone leaving the planet with their entourage would have
their needs met with certain misery. He loathed participating in the process of
finding Sovereign another victim. Jacob wasn’t there by choice.

The compliance chip in his brain dictated a portion of his
actions. He fought the remainder of his ingrained tendencies to give the
appearance he cared little one way or the other to what would come from this
latest expedition. With or without him, however, Sovereign would choose a
woman.

“There.” Sovereign Grimm pointed to a lovely, long-legged,
dark-haired woman chained to a wall, receiving measured discipline from the
well-muscled Master wielding a short whip. “She’s exquisite. Don’t you agree,
Ryker? She appears perfectly suited and well trained.”

An answer should ensue, however Jacob monitored the scene
before rendering an opinion. To speak and give a flawed estimation could cost
not only him, but any woman not prepared for the likes of the sadistic
Sovereign. He chose to study the situation a moment longer and err on the side
of caution.

“Speak, man, and tell me you find fault with that beauty.”

“Sovereign, if you’ve chosen, my opinion won’t matter.”
Jacob made sure to utter the statement without the slightest hint of
condescension. He’d grown wiser of late and knew how to appease his captor.
Perhaps outward disinterest would cause the bastard to move on.

Sovereign Grimm sighed. “Talk. I’ve come to value your
observations.”

“Her body is indeed perfect. However, I question the extent
of her training and her desire to submit. Her hands are balled into tight
fists. The subtle trembling as she anticipates the whip makes me believe she
hasn’t full trust in her Master and that she objects to the discipline. She’s
fighting him.”

“I’m not looking for a woman whose inclination is toward
pain. I’ve no want for a torture addict. Reluctance is to be expected.”

No, you aren’t looking for a creature that might enjoy
discipline. You’re searching for a victim. A woman just like this one who will
provide little resistance and offer up screams and fear under your vicious
hand. Regardless of what you say, you want a woman unable to bend.

“I’m simply stating I don’t believe she’ll please you and
satisfy your—cravings.”

Sovereign Grimm stared at the woman, watching as her Master
raised welts upon her perfect ass. Such a delicate creature would never
withstand an entire eve under Sovereign’s hand. A woman like her would best
serve under a reluctant Master, such as the one commanding her.

“Then find me a suitable one.” Sovereign waved his hand,
dismissing Jacob.

Jacob remained motionless. His captors seldom turned their
backs on him, let alone permitted him to wander through a crowded area. Could
it be they had figured out he’d never take a route of escape strictly for
himself? On some level, they understood he could never leave his people back on
the nearly deserted outpost. If he ran, help would never arrive before the
remainder of his followers would be slaughtered. Sovereign would see to it.
After months and months under the bastard’s dictatorship, Jacob had gained
insight into the warped mind of the maniac.

Under different circumstances, Jacob might’ve welcomed a man
like Grimm into the folds of his well-planned community on Prevelor. Grimm
hadn’t been born evil because he’d served in the Governance for a number of
years as a highly decorated general. A wrong decision that cost the lives of
nearly one hundred of his crew ended his career. The renegade Governance
soldiers who remained loyal to their once powerful general gossiped about his
dismissal. It cost Grimm his marriage, children and family. Rather than atone
for the mistake and work in the private sector to erase his shame, he chose
instead to retain his authority and wield his control where he could.

“The guards will keep you in their sights. Browse the
delectables here and find my next submissive.”

Perhaps he tortured woman who couldn’t run away like his
wife had.

“As you wish, Sovereign.” Jacob scanned the alcoves,
glimpsing the many bodies on display before sauntering off at a moderate
stride, following the flow of beings. The thought of placing
any
woman
with the cruel bastard disgusted him. He’d been brought to places such as this
before and only ever rendered a negative opinion on any woman Sovereign showed
interest in. Ultimately, the bastard would choose one and Jacob would begin
scheming to help her escape. It appeared as though tonight would be no
different.

Regardless of a man’s history, he should devote himself to a
single meek, caring for her needs and development. Sovereign didn’t live in
that manner. Those serving him were used at will to satisfy either sexual
cravings or his insatiable appetite for suffering. At times, Jacob believed the
Sovereign’s craving for inflicting agony superseded his lustful urges.

Since Jacob had adopted the Bendolian lifestyle, he’d been
able to shed years of trial and error at fitting into predetermined molds. The
role of a dominant suited him. It satisfied genetics stemming from his Domineer
father. The strict etiquette of behavior between a Master and his meek also
helped contain the wild Raven blood coursing through his veins. His Raven mother
had come back from a feral state. In practicing control and discipline, he’d
ensure the ever-present animal portion of his basic makeup would never find
freedom.

He’d never belonged in conventional society. But he’d found
a way to live that felt right. He’d found peace and a sense of belonging. The Bendolian
lifestyle suited him and the others on Prevelor. They’d lived a good life until
Sovereign and his men infiltrated their home.

A commotion gained his attention and he moved through the
crush of bodies to gaze upon the spectacle. A heavyset man wrapped a length of
cloth around his bloody wrist. The curator of the cavessaid to the man,
“You’ve been warned about abuse. Leave. Now.”

“Not until that bitch receives punishment for biting me! I
paid for twenty strikes and she’ll receive them. She’s due ten more!”

“Where is her Master?” the curator called out, scanning the
crowd.

The man who controlled her should have a say about her
punishment, especially because she’d been ill used and beaten. Looking her
over, Jacob hoped her Master would return the coins he’d collected from the
abuser and take her to a med unit. Much of her back and legs held angry welts
that had already turned purple. If her skin looked that bad, internal injuries
were more than likely present too.

“Step forward and claim your sub!” the curator yelled at the
crowd.

No one approached.

Where in the hell is her Master! Ten more strikes with
the long rod would finish her with the abusive man wielding the implement.

The buzz of voices rose from those in attendance. The
growing whispers of anticipation emanated from the crowd. The savages delighted
at the prospect of watching the woman receive the impending punishment. It
mattered little to them she’d likely die in the process. Perhaps more people
were like Sovereign than Jacob knew.

Vibrations of anticipation bled into him from the onlookers.
He’d experienced these palpable waves of emotions while serving the Governance.
An inner part of him would remain a hunter. He could never turn it off or tune
it out. Interpreting the emotions of those around him was necessary when
seeking out adversaries. His gut told him everyone in attendance were foes.

Heathens!

The abuser raised the rod.

Jacob swallowed, envisioning the pain she would feel.
Regardless of her past, he could not allow this vulnerable woman to suffer
more. The impending display had nothing to do with discipline, submission or
learning. It had everything to do with satisfying an inert bloodlust possessed
by those in attendance.

The crowd murmured in unison, coming together to form one
anticipatory voice, raising the hair on the back of Jacob’s neck. Time stood
still, frozen as his mind warred with instincts learned over many years. If he
interfered, he could lose the facade of compliance he’d worked so carefully to
portray. If he did nothing, he could lose far more. His very soul perhaps.

Before the man could swing, Jacob stepped forward and tore
the rod from his hand. Beings stepped aside as Jacob delivered ten blows to the
man’s torso and head. The abuser howled as he dropped to the floor to curl onto
his side. Jacob grabbed the rod between his fists, raised his knee and broke
the implement in half, tossing the pieces at the bastard lying in front of him.
“She’s taken as many strikes from you and doesn’t scream like a child. You’re a
coward and if you don’t take yourself from my sight, I’ll turn her loose to
bite more than your wrist.”

After so many months of tolerating Sovereign and his men,
taking action against a wrongdoer ignited a fire in Jacob’s belly that rose to
his chest, clearing his mind of the constant buzz from the compliance chip. For
the first time in months, Jacob regained control and became the man who’d once
ruled a quiet, peaceful society.

The man swayed as he sat. With some effort, he managed to
rise. He wasted no time limping away.

“Are you her Master?” the curator asked.

Before Jacob could answer, Sovereign Grimm sauntered to his
side. “I believe for a time, he will be. How much for her?”

Jacob’s heart raced. If the guards had witnessed Jacob’s
actions, it might’ve been overlooked. Sovereign had seen. What would saving the
woman cost him? More lives on Prevelor? More suffering?

“She’s not mine to sell, good sir. A Master has yet to come
forward to claim her.”

“My time here is limited, curator. I’m willing to make a
substantial contribution to the house for her. If her Master shows up later,
pay him what you feel is fair and keep the rest for yourself.”

“How much are you offering, fine sir?”

Sovereign reached into his cloak and pulled out a heavy bag
of currency. He tossed it to the curator. Bouncing the bag in his palm a few
times as he listened to the jingle of coins, a wide smile formed on the
curator’s lips. “I believe you’ve purchased this woman, sir.”

“Then remove her from those restraints. I wish to take my
purchase now.”

Jacob turned to face Sovereign. He needed to make the
situation right somehow. “Retrieve your coins and leave her here. She’s not
what you want.” The thought of the already abused woman landing in Sovereign’s
domain turned his stomach. She’d never survive and Jacob remained almost
powerless to stop her from receiving further abuse.

Sovereign studied him. “Perhaps she’s not what interests me,
but she certainly provoked something in you. I’ve decided to reward your
loyalty with a plaything, Ryker.”

Jacob stared at his captor. Why would Sovereign gift him
with a woman? Jacob couldn’t afford the distraction. Not now. Plans for their
freedom had begun taking shape. Could Sovereign have sensed the increasing
restlessness among the survivors on Prevelor? Did he suspect a revolution
looming in the not-too-distant future?

Jacob recalled why he’d intervened on the woman’s behalf. An
uncontrollable urge forced him to protect her. By interceding in the beating, he’d
drawn attention to her through his actions. He feared she’d suffer a much worse
fate than death if she left the castle with him and Sovereign Grimm.

“She’s not to my taste, Sovereign.” It was all he could
manage to think of quickly. Once he’d spoken the words, he realized it would
only drive Sovereign to greater lengths to attain his goal.

“It’d be best if you acquired a fondness for her. I’ve spent
quite a sum to provide amusement for you. If you’re too stupid to indulge in my
gift, I’ll use her for the diversion of my men.”

Thoughts of any woman being tossed to a group of
bloodthirsty savages blinded Jacob as his chest burned with hatred. He kept the
anger from his expression and forced himself to calm down. It would best suit
everyone involved if he appeared to begrudgingly accept her. Perhaps she’d
remain safe for a time until he could devise an avenue for her escape. “As you
wish, Sovereign. I’m most appreciative of the gift. Of course I’ll make use of
her.”

“Your service until lately has been reluctant. I probably
wouldn’t admire you had it been otherwise. You deserve her. Besides, I have an
ulterior motive in giving her to you.”

Jacob waited for Sovereign to state his objective. After
more than fourteen months in captivity, he’d learned a great deal about just
how sick a mind could be.

“If she pleases you and you find distraction in her, you’ll
be less likely to cause trouble.”

The guards laughed. Even after interfering with the woman’s
punishment, they must still believe they’d broken his spirit as well as those
remaining on Prevelor. A few months ago, he’d been unable to gain leverage by
offering
cooperation
. Sovereign had loosened security. The more Jacob
appeared to oblige, the more liberty he had to lay plans for the revolution.
Nothing must stand in his way.

In the near future, Prevelor’s beings would find themselves
either free of the tyrannical overlord, or dead. Most agreed if the revolt
resulted in the extinction of those remaining, it would be preferable to the
manner in which they’d been forced to live. They needed to calculate a way to
dispose of their captors without engaging in direct combat.

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