The citizens of Thalanamei bustled about beneath a cloudless cerulean sky. The twin suns poured the heat of their blue fire upon the city, making the tall white buildings blinding to look at.
Red Passion squinted through the tinted glass of the transport, his eyes watering slightly from the intense glare. Still he couldn’t keep from gawking at the unfamiliar surroundings. Vendors’ canopies lined either side of the cobble-stoned street, the blue sun-blocking material reflecting the bright sky. The food and wares set out under the canopies echoed every color of the rainbow.
What held his fascinated stare most were the people. The caramel skinned citizens wore flowing white robes with gold sandals strapped to their feet. He also noted both Mistress and male sported their ebony tresses in elaborate coifs, which defied gravity. Frowning, he gripped two handfuls of his crimson hair and pulled it straight up. It only poured from his fingers to spill down his back once more. How did they ever get it to stay up that way?
His eyes widened in the next moment when he noticed the Mistresses of this land conversing with their males. None of the males had leashes so he couldn’t distinguish pets from slaves.
Red Passion’s fingers closed around the gold leash attached to his jeweled collar, feeling the comforting weight of the links. “Night Moon,” he began, “do you suppose our beautiful Mistress Azana is from this land?”
Their Mistress’ skin was deep mahogany, much darker than the citizens of Thalanamei. She liked to converse with Red Passion—of course, never in public. Mistresses from the southern regions of Utuduo never bestowed such honor upon lowly males, at least none he knew of.
He sighed in wonder when a female laughed with her young male escort, feeling longing flutter in his gut. How would it feel to have such attentions? He would surely swoon to the floor like an untried youth if Mistress Azana displayed such affection toward him in public.
Red Passion’s face flamed in shame. Mistress Azana was good to him, sweet and loving. He shouldn’t aspire for more. She more than spoiled him already.
He turned to look at his young companion.
Once again, the young pet fussed over his reflection in the dark glass of the transport enclosing them. Red Passion didn’t understand Night Moon’s lack of self-confidence. The boy was beautiful. His hair fell to his waist in a mass of black gloss that only served to heighten the azure of his eyes and paleness of his creamy skin.
“I-I’m getting a blemish.”
Red Passion heard the threat of tears in the whelp’s voice. “Nonsense—you’re fine.”
Night Moon turned horrified eyes to him and pointed to his chin. “Right there, Red, it hurts there.”
Already, the whelp hyperventilated with mounting distress. He’d work himself into frenzy if Red Passion didn’t do something quick.
“Night Moon, I see nothing,” he chastised. “Keep up your frantic whining and you’re going to render yourself impotent for our showcase. Our beautiful Mistress will be shamed.”
His eyes widened and he shook his head. “No—never. I would never shame her in such a manner.” As if to prove himself, he dropped to his knees before Red Passion and divested himself of his robe. Head bowed with difference, Night Moon sat back on his haunches and lifted his arms in the traditional submissive position of a sex pet. Immediately the whelp’s cock thickened and lengthened until it pressed fully erect against his muscled belly.
“You’re a beautiful boy,” Red sighed, caressing his cheek. “You’re going to worry yourself into an old man before time.”
“I’m not as beautiful as you,” the boy sighed with a dejected pout.
Red Passion smiled at the silly boy. “Our mistress would not have acquired you if you weren’t.”
Night Moon turned his face into Red Passion’s caress, his lip quivering as the first tear rolled down the smooth curve of his cheek. “She only allows you to couple with her. She barely touches me.”
Red chuckled. “You’re just a whelp.”
Night Moon’s eyes flashed in anger as he stood, bringing his erection up to the level of Red’s face. Red Passion tried to suppress his laughter at the boy’s show of male bravado. “My cock’s just as big as yours. I’m fully capable of pleasuring her as well as you.”
“And the day she decides to purge you of your virginity, I’m sure you will,” Red replied in a soothing voice. “For now, it pleases her to see your ardor for her. Mistress wants to own your soul as well as your cock, Night Moon.”
* * *
Golden sunshine flowed through every window in Emily’s house, making her hardwood floors gleam. She sat on the third step of the stairs in the foyer, and pulled her jogging sneakers on, tying them with determination. Next to her, Tabitha, her miniature Collie, smiled, tongue hanging out as her tail beat a happy tune on the floor.
When done tying her sneakers, Emily hopped to her feet. Pride made her grin. She had survived the entire week without ruining her diet, and even accomplished the incredible feat of going to TGI-Friday’s and not hoarding down a plate of her favorite nachos with cheese. She promised not to weigh herself until the end of the month, but the temptation to see if she’d lost any weight was overwhelming. Had her weeklong martyrdom of diet and exercise whittled away any of the twenty extra pounds she had padding her goddess-like
She stepped in front of the mirror in the foyer and turned from side to side, hands on hips.
“I shall bring out the hidden goddess,” she said with a nod.
The recent self-help book her best friend Joyce had given her required she always view herself in a positive way, even if she thought she looked more like a manatee than a goddess. Emily bit her lip, her eyes looking at her waist. Taking a deep breath, she sucked in her belly and held it. Think good things. I am a goddess not a manatee.
The goddess thing had also come from Joyce, who claimed that somewhere in the universe women were goddesses and men little more than servants and pleasure toys.
Emily let out her breath in a frustrated rush, her smile waning. God, this was so hard. She’d once had a dainty figure, loved to paint, swim, play tennis, and had even been a cheerleader in high school, but that girl didn’t exist anymore. Now she saw a plump woman with sad brown eyes and long, blond, stringy hair who thought she could erase the past five years of horror by losing a couple of pounds and reading self-help books.
“Where did you go, Emily?” she whispered to herself. “What happened to that girl who wanted to be a famous painter, and saw nothing but beauty around her?”
She touched a faint scar on her right cheek, knowing it was nothing compared to the ones on her soul. Would she ever stop looking behind her shoulder, waking up terrified, sobs choking her?
Tabitha’s warm tongue on her hand brought her back to the present.
The doorbell chimed, announcing the arrival of her jogging buddy. Tabitha barked in excitement, pirouetting before the front door.
“Easy, girl. Don’t wear yourself out before the run. Besides, it’s just Rio. He’s one of us.”
She threw open the door smiling at her best friend. Six feet of raw sinew and legs, Rio’s stylishly tousled blond hair fell into sapphire eyes. His lush lips pulled back revealing a dimple-bracketed flash of teeth over a square chin. Totally hot… unfortunately, for her and female kind, he was also gay.
Today he wore a dark purple jogging set that had the word Juicy
in silver glitter splayed across his cute ass. She would be happy if her own butt were at least half as firm and tight as his.
“So, are we ready to rip today?” His smile stretched from ear to ear, wispy puffs of mist curling into the chilly morning air. Rio leaned forward and gave her a loud kiss on her cheek.
“Rippin’ ready, Blondie.” She gave him a playful swat to his stomach, and then turned to her dog. “How about you, Tab?” Tabitha bounced around on her paws, her eyes bright with excitement when Emily baby-talked to her. “Go get your collar, girl,”
Tabitha’s nails clicked on the hardwood floors as she scrambled away, doggie tags jingling. She disappeared into the kitchen for a few seconds then ran back with her red collar in her grinning jaws. Emily laughed. The collie’s tail looked like a blur, and she couldn’t sit still, making it almost impossible to secure the collar around her furry neck. Her whole body wagged along with her frantic tail, her golden eyes gleaming with barely suppressed delight.
“Silly girl,” Emily chuckled, straightening. “Alright, let’s go.”
Autumn leaves swirled around the motley trio, cushioning their steps in a carpet of crimson and gold. Rio’s nose turned red from the chill in the air. She could only guess that hers was just as bad, and running to boot. They headed down the wide driveway that lead off her property to the road. There weren’t too many houses on this road, just lots of tall trees, pines, and mountain views. Most of the deep green had given way to the tones of autumn, painting the world around them in vibrant tones.
Emily grinned, taking a lungful of chilly late October air. Soon, snow would blanket Rochester in the crisp white embrace of winter, turning the pond at the back of her house to ice. Memories of snowball wars with other kids from around the neighborhood filled her mind. The snowmen her sister, Emma, and she would make in the front yard, and the smell of her dad’s pipe and mom’s blueberry pancakes Sunday mornings were just a few of her fondest childhood recollections.
Her heart tightened, feeling joy at having come back home. Even though her parents had passed away four years ago in an accident, she was grateful she had friends like Rio and Joyce in her life, as well as her sister, Emma.
* * *
Red Passion bowed his head as the slaves placed a wreath of flowers upon him. Once again, he was crowned winner in the interplanetary competition of Most Beautiful Pet. He looked at Night Moon, who’d won the rounds for Most Beautiful Whelp. Mistress Azana had ordered her slaves to place colorful ribbons in Night Moon’s black hair. Next sun orbit, Night Moon would be old enough to compete at Red’s level. Perhaps this would be Red Passion’s last year as most beautiful pet.
He smiled at Night Moon, who grinned back. Red knew their mistress would initiate the whelp into manhood that very night. She’d confided the secret to Red during their morning coupling. Red’s smile grew wider. He couldn’t wait to see the look on Night Moon’s face when he buried his young cock into the Mistress. The whelp would probably spill after a few thrusts. Mistress Azana wouldn’t beat him, though. She was not like her older sister, Mistress Betana, who beat Red Passion his first time for spilling too soon. He’d only been eighteen sun orbits, much younger than Night Moon.
Mistress Betana had whipped him, had her other pets sexually abuse him, and then shaved his red locks afterwards, leaving him in the courtyard without food or water for five sun cycles. Mistress Azana found Red Passion there, more dead than alive, and made her slaves bring him to her quarters. Since Mistress Betana had stripped him of his collar, Mistress Azana claimed him for herself.
The young mistresses’ mother almost ordered him euthanized when she saw how gaunt he’d become. The twin suns had turned his pale skin into a mass of boils and peeling, sun burnt flesh. He’d wanted to die too, from shame and humiliation, but Mistress Azana begged her mother to allow her to keep him as an experiment to see if she could restore his beauty—an experiment she managed to accomplish with her gentle hands and patience.
Now, he stood before the throngs of intergalactic creatures, receiving the winners garland for the fifth sun-cycle in a row, joy filling him at the honor he brought his dedicated Mistress.
A commotion within the audience drew his attention. Fear gripped his gut, almost making him fall to his knees. He watched his former Mistress arguing with Mistress Azana, her long-nailed hands gesturing with jerking motions. Her deep red gown clashed with the soft blue of Mistress Azana’s simple sheath. While Mistress Betana’s voice boomed angrily, Red Passion could barely make out his Mistress Azana’s dulcet tones.
He longed to listen, but the slaves were already escorting the pets away from the arena. His worry increased when he wasn’t taken to Mistress Azana’s pet holding chambers. He found himself in an empty room, alone. No one came to bathe him or give him food and refreshment, not that he thought himself capable of eating at the moment. His stomach knotted in anguish.
Taking a deep breath and mentally admonishing himself, he turned to gaze at his refection in the mirrored wall to one side of the room. “Everything will be fine, Red Passion,” he whispered, doing his best to be brave.
However, he still saw fear in his bright green eyes and the way his once rosy lips paled—a sure sign of his distress. He combed his blood-red hair forward, letting it flow over his shoulders the way his mistress liked. She’d allowed it to grow to his ass, males with long silky tresses being one of her fetishes.
The door behind him opened and he knew a moment of relief when Nolon and Ozno, Mistress Azana’s slaves, walked in. He almost leapt in joy into their arms, until he saw Mistress Betana’s prime pet, Kiss of Pain, saunter into the room behind them.
Red Passion tamped down his urge to break into tears.
A silver, spiked collar adorned Kiss of Pain’s neck, and trails of blue-black curls flowed over his shoulders and chest. Kiss folded his arms, muscles bulging, his slit pupils growing narrower in amber eyes as they locked on Red Passion. He’d come in second place in the competition. From the glower he wore, Red knew it was a position Kiss did not appreciate.
The slaves came up to Red silently, none looking directly into his eyes. Ozno wiped Red down with a damp cloth as Nolon watched.
“What happened?” Red Passion searched the slaves’ solemn faces. “Mistress resolved the issue at hand, right?”
Kiss laughed, his thin lips twisted into a cruel sneer. Red’s eyes were immediately drawn to his snake-like fangs.
Ozno began to cry, throwing his arms around Red. “I’m sorry, Red Passion. Truly I am.”
Nolon eased him away, clicking his tongue, and shaking his head. Red Passion gasped, staring in bewilderment when Nolon began to remove Red’s jeweled cock ring and collar. “It’ll be alright, Red. You’re the perfect pet.”
Red Passion’s fear hit ten-fold as the familiar warmth of the collar left his neck. Ozno and Nolon kissed his cheeks and hurried out of the room, leaving him with Kiss.
“How pathetically touching,” Kiss said, his voice laced with contempt. His upper lip curled, baring his fangs. “If you think for one moment I’m going to allow you to replace me as prime pet, you’re horribly wrong.”
Red Passion covered his genitals with his hands, suddenly feeling very exposed.
Two more of Mistress Betana’s pets came into the room. Red remembered Love Bite and Black Thorn, the same pleasure pets who’d held him spread-eagled after Mistress Betana whipped him, so Kiss of Pain could sodomize him.
Red Passion shook his head, taking a step back. “She’ll beat you if you ruin me.” Even as the words left his trembling lips, he knew they were foolish, a childish attempt to instill fear into one incapable of feeling it.
“But she sent us to beat you, Red Passion.” Kiss stepped up to him and caressed his face, even as Red’s tears began to drop. “Mistress Betana would never dream of allowing your soiled cock to enter her now… after it’s been in every orifice of her own sister.” Chapter Two
Emily stripped and stepped into her shower. The hot spray felt good against her clammy skin. With a sigh, she grabbed a bar of soap and began to lather herself. She let her hands trail up her torso, feeling her ribs with a thoughtful frown. They felt more noticeable, less padding over bone. With a smile, she let her slick hands slide up to cup her breasts—the only part of her body she was actually proud of. Taut round flesh filled her hands to overflowing, her thumbs running over the erect tips of her nipples. She bit her lip, feeling the pleasure echo between her legs. Of course, as she lost weight, they’d most likely begin to sag.
Emily looked down at her breasts with a shrug. Nothing was perfect.
A naughty smile tugged at the corners of her lips—nothing, except the painting of the beautiful man she was working on up in the attic. She’d named him Red Passion, because she’d used that very color to create ribbons of long hair trailing down his perfect torso. Naturally, men didn’t wear their hair that long anymore, nor sported that particular color—unless they were Goths and into vampirism. She’d used the color on a whim wanting her fantasy man to look exactly like… a fantasy—someone that couldn’t possibly exist, someone who couldn’t hurt her.
Emily leaned against the cool tiles, imagining Red Passion sweet and sensual. Closing her eyes, she pictured him there in the shower with her. She could almost feel his long fingers running over her wet flesh, his tongue lapping the water running down her curves. She pictured him cupping her breasts in reverence, before latching onto a nipple and suckling like a famished babe.
She felt her face flush with embarrassment when a loud moan escaped her. Slapping her hand over her mouth with a gasp, she put her ear against the tiled wall, wondering if Rio had heard her. He was just on the other side in the adjacent guest bathroom.
Minutes later, after showering and throwing on a clean pair of sweats, she skipped down the stairs intent on starting lunch. To her surprise, Rio was already whipping up something healthy for both of them.
Emily smiled, slipping onto a stool at counter, and watched Rio sauté chicken in her skillet. His blond hair was still damp from his shower, and he let his blue plaid shirt hang open, showing rippling muscles perfectly delineated under his snug t-shirt. She knew he was gay, yet her mouth still watered. Emily was a sucker for good masculine physique, and hadn’t been with a man since…
She closed her eyes, refusing to allow herself to keep dwelling on her failed marriage. That was done and over with. Now was a different time, a new beginning.
The early afternoon sun poured in through the windows that lined the back of her kitchen. Framed by the hunter-green Priscilla curtains, nothing but red and gold covered trees swayed in the gentle breeze, loose leaves fluttering like butterflies. Her gaze fell once again on Rio, who was humming to himself and swaying side to side, immersed in the tune in his head.
Emily’s grin widened, warmth tugging her heart at how sweet he was.
“Well it’s Saturday night.” Rio suddenly grinned looking up at her, switching the jut of his lean hips the other way. He looked almost flirtatious. “What’s on the agenda of social activities?”
Her heart fell, knowing what was coming. He and Joyce had been trying to get her to go out for the past month.
“Oh, I don’t know, Rio.” She sighed and looked down at her hands clasped on the black granite counter. “I was thinking of doing movie night again at home,” she shrugged, looking at him from beneath her lashes, “like last week.”
Rio rolled his big blue eyes with a shake of his head. “Baby-girl, at this rate, I’ll never get laid before the end of the year. Come-on, let’s hit the city this weekend. We can stay in my uncle’s condo in Manhattan. He’s off in Greece somewhere with his current squeeze and told me I was welcome to use the condo whenever I liked.”
“I’m really not in the mood for partying.”
She lied. She was just terrified of running into her soon-to-be ex-husband, Mark Gianello.
Rio had turned to deposit the now empty skillet into the sink, leaving steaming plates of chicken and steamed vegetables on the counter before her. At her words, he turned to regard her with a steady gaze, letting her know he’d read right through her phony words. “You can’t hide forever, Em. He can’t hurt you anymore. If you keep hiding, you’re still giving him that power over you.”
Emily turned away from his searching stare. “I know. I’m just not ready to face him yet.” She couldn’t help the shiver that coursed through her, and closed her eyes so Rio wouldn’t see the sheer terror she felt at the possibility of running into Mark.
She heard him sigh. The next thing Emily knew, he was slipping his ropey arms around her from behind, pressing a soft kiss to the crown of her head. “Alright, we’ll stay home, but I get to pick the flicks this time,” his deep voice murmured behind her.
She smiled, her heart melting just a little and clasped his arms around herself tighter. “You don’t like Joyce’s taste in movies?”
Rio scoffed. “If it isn’t one of her BDSM flicks where some poor unsuspecting dude gets screwed over by some gargantuan female, it’s her all time favorite. Kill Bill, parts one and two.”
* * *
Red Passion lay broken and bleeding on the floor. He floated in and out of consciousness, listening to the angry voices of women over him. Nothing mattered anymore. Nothing could save him now. After Kiss and the other pets had beaten him within an inch of his life, he’d felt the cold blade of a knife slice open his face from temple to chin. He was useless now as a pet. The only thing he was good for was a swift and merciful death.
What would death feel like? He wondered about it the time he lay beneath the punishing rays of the suns seven years ago, gasping for breath through a parched throat. He wondered about it now.
He felt himself being turned over, the pain making him whimper. It was such a weak sound. Pathetic. Something soft was wrapped around his entire body and he was lifted. The jarring movements made him black out, but he awakened later surrounded by silence and darkness.
Everything hurt so much, but it would be over soon. Ruined pets were tossed into the sea. He imagined the creatures living beneath the surface of the waters consuming what was left of him. Would it hurt—being eaten? He never pondered this before. Could pain be any more intense than it was now? It hurt to breathe.
The silence was deafening, nothing but his breathing and beating heart sounded in his ears. He considered lifting his head to look around, but the very thought of the pain that would spur made him want to vomit. That would only bring about more pain, unless he blacked out first.
Time lost meaning as he awaited the watery grave that never came. Perhaps they’d discarded his body elsewhere, but where? Darkness and silence surround him, so they hadn’t abandoned him in the desert.
He felt hungry… and thirsty, even as his mind tried to take stock of his situation. Maybe he was inside a trash incinerator, but whatever he was lying upon felt soft.
Had his Mistress Azana entombed him? Some mistresses encased their most prized pets in tombs, showcasing the memory of the pet for eternity.
How kind of her, especially after seeing how hideous he’d become when Kiss sliced open his face. She was a good woman. He felt he didn’t deserve such an honor. Mistress Azana spoiled him more than she did her other pets. He wondered if she placed the tomb in her garden where she’d enjoyed their moments of pleasant fucking. No other pet could make the Mistress come as hard as he did. It was why he’d become her prime pet, and eventually the reason why Betana had grown to envy Mistress Azana. He wasn’t just another pretty face. At least he hadn’t been. Now he would become food for maggots. How long would it take? Was she outside of his tomb right now?
He was being silly and conceited. Mistress had better things to do than waste her time mourning a pet. He should be grateful she’d entombed him instead of feeding him to the sea-creatures or tossing him into the city incinerator as they did other males.
Red Passion drifted in and out of consciousness, awaiting death. He no longer felt the burn of hunger, but his tongue felt heavy and his eyes dry behind blood-swelled lids. Feeling brave, he moved his fingers, slowly pulling the sheet covering him. Cool air caressed his face. He tried opening his eyes, but only managed to open one—barely. The other was swollen shut. He didn’t know what he expected to see, but stars certainly would not have been one of his guesses. He was in mistress Azana’s space pod—out in space.
* * *
Joyce had grown tired of the celery sticks and carrots, and headed out to town for “some real goodies”—her drawled words on the way out the door. Meanwhile, Emily watched Rio put on a sci-fi flick, and then make himself comfortable by lying on her overstuffed couch. Once he had his head comfortably set on her lap, he hit the play button.
She stroked his hair absentmindedly while they both watched the movie.
Like the majority of cheesy movies Rio rented, this one was about a hot male alien who’d crash-landed on Earth. A dumb, busty blond finds him and gives him refuge in her home. She cares for his wounds and feeds him, and before long, they’re falling in love while running from authorities trying to get their hands on the sexy alien.
She didn’t know exactly when she drifted off, but the moment she saw the space pod fall into her pond, she knew Red Passion would be inside it. Emily ran to the pod and there he was, kneeling in the muddy bank, his head bowed in deference with his crimson tresses flowing over his gorgeous body. He was naked and aroused—for her.
“My Mistress,” he sighed.
She knelt before him, sinking her fingers into his mane. His hair was so silky, soft. She wanted to lift his face, to glimpse the beauty she suspected the red locks hid. Emily licked her lips, wanting desperately to kiss his shyness away. “You don’t have to call me mistress.”
A bark of laughter had her snapping her eyes open. Rio’s shocked blue eyes were mere inches from hers because she had her fingers tangled in his hair, pulling him in for a kiss that he evidently didn’t want, meanwhile, Joyce’s laughter bounced off the walls.
“Oh-my-God, Rio,” she gushed releasing him as Joyce continued to hoot. “I’m so sorry.”
Joyce wiped the corners of her dark eyes. “Honey, you definitely need to get laid if you’re trying to seduce little-ole’ Rio in your sleep.”
Rio rolled his eyes at Joyce. “I tried to convince her to go into the city, but…”
The lights in the house flickered off.
Emily blinked in the sudden gloom, confused.
“Emily, hon, did you not pay your light bill?” Joyce drawled somewhere in the dark.
Emily eyes widened when she saw a fiery streak through the windows that lined the back of the kitchen, growing bigger every second. “W-what is tha…”
White light, so intense it stunned Emily into silence, blinded her. Eyes hurting, she turned her face away, instinctively shielding herself with her arms, all the while aware of a droning sound coming from outside. The second the light died away, the power came back on in the house with a hum.
“What the hell was that?” Emily finally finished saying.
She rushed to the back door and flipped on all the outdoor lights. The ones surrounding the pond flickered but remained unlit.
“Rio, grab the flashlights,” she shouted, trying to squint into the darkness surrounding the pond fifty feet away. The wind made the trees rustle and sway, making goose bumps raise on her arms, but she couldn’t make anything out.
“You’re not thinking of going out there, are you?” Joyce said, her voice shrill with panic.
Emily looked over her shoulder to see Joyce’s eyes wide with fright. She stood a few paces behind Emily, while Rio made a racket trying to grab the biggest and heaviest copper frying pan from the rack above the stove. Once he’d found his perfect weapon, he hefted it over his brawny shoulder like a baseball bat, eyes round with fear.
Emily shook her head and turned to squint into the darkness around the pond. Though there wasn’t much light, she could make out the form of something big and egg-shaped at the edge of her pond. Upstairs, Tabitha barked and howled frantically. “There’s something out there.”
“My point exactly, woman. Let’s stay in here and call the police instead,” Joyce insisted.
“And tell them what?” Emily put her hands on her hips with a frown, casting them a glance over her shoulder. “A flying saucer just landed in my back yard? Besides, we have Rio. He’s strong.”
Rio’s grin looked more like a grimace, but he nodded, tightening his grip on the frying pan.
Joyce snorted, one dark brow shooting up.
Rio frowned. “Hey, I resent that snort,” he called out from the other side of the kitchen, one hand on his hip as he pointed the frying pan at Joyce.
“Stop fighting, you two,” Emily scolded. Had the situation not been so scary, she would have laughed.
Emily opened the door wider. She could hear Tabitha still barking up in her room. She’d locked the collie away because Joyce hated when she jumped up on her. Now she wished she’d thought of setting her free first. If there was anything out there, Tab would find it fast… but maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Her sweet Collie could get hurt.
Taking a deep breath, Emily stepped out the back door onto the wooden deck. She heard Rio and Joyce’s feet scampering across the kitchen floor until their body heat pressed against her back. They walked like one unit until they reached the steps leading down into her yard.
Rio’s hand wrapped around her bicep, making her pause. She patted it reassuringly, and kept moving, her eyes narrowing on the dark shape over the pond.
Just as they stepped off the wooden deck, the lights flickered again, and then turned off. Emily’s heart slammed against her ribs as all three of them gasped. There was a loud whirring noise, and the blinding light stabbed shards of pain into her eyes.
Joyce cursed tightly and Rio gave a squeak of alarm. Emily fell under the weight of Rio’s body when he tackled both her and Joyce to the ground shouting “duck.”
They covered their heads when a gust of hot wind stirred up the leaves around them. The whirring turned into a droning along with a high-pitched squeal. The scent of moist earth, water, and something else Emily couldn’t quite place assaulted her nose.
She squinted from under the muscled arm trying to cover her head. A small, glowing orb floated over her pond for a second, then zipped straight up into the sky, disappearing amongst the stars. Holy shit.
Emily gaped, unable to believe what she’d just seen.
“Run-run, before they come back,” Rio cried out.
She had no choice in the matter as he practically lifted both women and hightailed into the safety of the house.
Tabitha was still barking and howling. Joyce ran for the phone with Rio behind her.
They were both shouting into the receiver so she doubted that whoever had answered the call would understand them.
Emily felt uneasy, her head snapping around to stare toward the pond. Tabitha continued to howl without consolation. My Mistress
She didn’t understand why she felt the overwhelming urge to cry, her fingers gripped the edge of the counter to keep from running back out to the pond. Something in her heart stirred; desperation, anguish…?
Choking back a sob, she ran up the stairs to try to soothe her dog. Her feet pounded on the beige runner covering the steps until she reached the second floor.
Her heart beat a frantic staccato against her ribs as she yanked the door to her room open. Tabitha was in her crate, but she barked at the window and didn’t turn to acknowledge Emily when she came in. Tabitha continued to howl, looking at the window that faced the back yard and pond.
The collie wouldn’t do that unless…there was something down there still.
Emily turned and dashed down the steps, this time not stopping until her fuzzy slippers sloshed in the edges of the pond.
The moon was just a tiny sliver in the sky, making the darkness absolute. She panted, unable to see a thing. Behind her, she heard Joyce calling out and a pair of heavy feet pounding across dried leaves coming in her direction. Rio was going to play at being a hero again—bless his heart.
The glow from Rio’s flashlight hurt her eyes.
“Baby-girl, don’t move. Stay right there,” she heard him shout from across the yard.
But she did move, and found herself tripping over something… big.
Emily fell, face first, into the icy pond. She felt the distinct sensation of cold, wet flesh against her legs and scrambled away. Immediately, her teeth began to chatter. Rio’s light flashed across the muddy bank searching for her. It swept over the body of the naked man she’d just tripped over. Her eyes widened when she saw his hair.
“Oh-my-God. It can’t be,” she gasped.
“Em, stay away from it.”
She paid Rio no mind, her hand reaching out to feel for a pulse. For a moment, she held her breath, not being able to feel anything, but then there it was… very faint and weak. He was alive, but barely.
“Call 911, he’s dying,” she shouted out.
Rio finally reached her, panting. “Joyce is already calling.”
The man’s flesh felt icy cold, and his pale skin had a bluish hue to it. “Rio, get a blanket.”
Rio snorted. “I am not leaving you here alone with this…” his free hand waved over the prone body, “person.” He flicked the light around the rest of the yard, his eyes narrowing. “Hell, there could be more around.”
She began pushing aside the long tangles of hair. He was lying face down in the mud, half in, half out of the water. “Shine the light on him.”
“How do you know it’s a him
The light revealed a sinewy body covered in welts, bruises, and blood. Deep red hair spilled down a V-shaped back, tapering down to a lean waist and narrow hips. The man’s buttocks curved enticingly to strong well-shaped thighs and calves. He was definitely male, beautifully so. The murky water of the pond hid his feet. He had to be so cold. Emily bit her lip, splaying her hands over his shoulders.
“Never mind.” Rio crouched down. “Is he alive?” Even as he asked, he slipped his fingers into the curve between the man’s neck and shoulder, feeling for his pulse.
“Just barely. It’s too cold out here for him.” She tried to move the tangles of impossibly red hair to see his face, but the shadows kept it obscured.
“A blanket isn’t enough.” Rio shined the light down the man’s body again. “He doesn’t look heavy at all. Maybe I can carry him inside.”
Emily nibbled her lip, wondering who’d beaten him so savagely, and why. “He’s just so bruised. He could have internal bleeding. Moving him around might do more harm than good.”
“But by the time the paramedics get here he’ll die from exposure.”
Joyce was approaching, lighting the path with sweeping motions. She seemed to be speaking—Emily guessed she was using her cell phone.
“Oh-God, Rio,” Emily blurted, “I don’t know what to do.”
“He’s probably like some musician. What do you think the aliens wanted him for?”
Emily’s perplexed gaze snapped to Rio’s face. “What?”
“Look at the color of his hair…” Rio nodded toward the stranger, and then one of his golden brows lifted, “unless he’s
“Oh, Rio, stop,” Emily scoffed.
Joyce finally reached them, carrying a blanket.
Emily hopped to her feet with a clap. “Joyce, you’re an angel.”
“The paramedics will be here in a few minutes. Who the hell’s that?” Joyce frowned, planting her fists on her ample hips.
“We don’t know. Rio, grab the other side of this blanket.”
“What are you going to do?” Rio looked skeptical. I” don’t think he’s generating enough body heat for the blanket to work at this point.”
“We’re going to put the blanket down, roll him onto it and carry him between all of us into the house,” Emily explained.
“Are you crazy? That man could be an escaped convict,” Joyce protested.
“Or an alien,” Rio added.
“Oh, come-on. If we leave him here he’ll die from exposure to the cold.” Emily stomped her foot. “If you don’t help me I’ll drag him in myself. Move out of the way.”
“All-right-all-right. Don’t get your panties in a twist,” Rio huffed, reaching for the blanket she was shaking.
They unfolded the blue blanket and placed it beside the unconscious man. Rio, along with Emily, rolled him onto it. Mud and leaves clung to his pale battered body.
Joyce shook her head, making a disapproving sound. “Uh… shouldn’t he be in the middle so he won’t fall off the edge, folks?”
“Look,” Rio sighed, “I’ll just grab him under his arms and pull him into the middle of the blanket.”
Emily’s eyes widened. “C-careful, Rio. Don’t hurt him.”
Her heart raced when Rio lifted the man under his arms and pulled him over to the center of the blanket. “Hurry, let’s get him inside now,” she said in a rush.
Emily didn’t know if it was the adrenaline coursing through them, but they lifted the stranger as though he weighed nothing and made it to the house faster than she ever thought possible.
“By the fireplace. Careful. Joyce, get me some towels and a bowl of warm water. Rio, get Emma on the phone.”
Emily used her hands to wipe away the muck and dirt from his face. His eyes were swollen shut, black and blue bruises almost making the face seem inhuman, that’s when she noticed the gash. It ran from his upper left temple, near the outer corner of his eye to his jaw. Dried blood and mud caked the deep gash. “Good-lord. Who could have done this to you?”
“Em… your sister.” Rio held out the phone to her.
Emily grasped the phone in relief. “Emma. Oh, thank goodness.” Her knees began to shake. Rio came up behind her and helped her sit on the big tan lounger by the fireplace.
“Emily? What’s going on? What happened?” Her sister’s voice sounded clipped and controlled, ever the doctor.
“I need you to get here as fast as you can, sis.”
“Are you hurt?”
“No. It’s a…” she swallowed looking at the prone form before her fireplace, “man. He looks like he’s been beaten and his face has a nasty cut.”
“Is he bleeding?”
“No. The blood looks like its clotted, but he’s unconscious. His pulse is very weak and his skin is almost blue.” It suddenly occurred to Emily that if he really was an alien that could very well be his natural color.
“Get him warmed up,” Emma instructed, “but no rubbing or moving him around. Keep monitoring his breathing and pulse. I’ll be there in five.”
Joyce set the towels and water on the floor.
Emily turned the phone off and left it on the ottoman. “Cover his head, neck and…” Her eyes drifted down to his groin.
Joyce followed suit and gasped. “Wow. Can you imagine that when it’s…”
“Joyce, really. He’s half dead.”
“Ain’t it a shame.” She clicked her tongue as she proceeded to wrap the towels around his head neck and groin.
Emily folded a quilt over him and looked at Rio. “Lie against him and warm him.”
“Hey, why can’t I do that?” Joyce protested.
“Because I’m bigger and hotter than you, girlfriend.” Rio’s smile was priceless.
Emily shoved more logs into the fire crackling in the hearth. By the time the paramedics and Emma arrived, the man’s coloring was pinker.
Emma barked out orders like the doctor she was. The man had tubes and hoses inserted everywhere by the time they carried him out on a stretcher.
* * *
Red Passion kept hearing a hypnotic blip-blip sound. His entire body felt as though a herd of Gorgolan beasts had trampled over him. His face felt afire with pain. Kiss had cut him—split the side of his face like ripe fruit. He groaned in misery. Why was he still alive? How could that be possible?
He felt a hand upon his arm and the voice of a Mistress near his ear. He froze. He opened his eyes but his vision was blurred. Again, the feminine voice. He felt a curl of shock surge through him when he felt her lips touch his forehead, her fingers touch his hair, then skim down his arm. This was confusing. Mistresses didn’t touch males in this manner unless… she wanted to couple? He swallowed. Surely he was being tested. A potential Mistress wanted to test his virility. He would not fail her.
As his cock hardened, the blipping sound increased in tempo. He would not fail. Red Passion could hold his erection for hours.
Breeding. Perhaps they wanted a sample of his semen to breed more males with his beauty. Mistress Azana had once talked about this to him. He would have sons. He awaited the firm touch of a slave’s hand upon his cock to milk him, but nothing happened.
He must have drifted off once more. When he reawakened, he was releived to be able to open one of his eyes, just barely though. There was a male dressed in strange blue clothing wrapping something around his arm. The strange cloth began to squeeze his bicep then released with a hiss.
“Where am I?” Red asked the man. His voice surprised him. It was a dry raspy croak.
The man spoke to him, but he didn’t understand the strange language. He placed a thin tube in his mouth for a few seconds then withdrew it and looked at the thing. What a strange practice.
A Mistress walked in. At least he thought it was female. She was small and frail looking.
Red panicked. He wasn’t sure he had the strength to climb down off the bed he laid upon to prostrate himself before the female. Metal bars surrounded the bed. He closed his eyes in shame.
* * *
Emily stared in horror at the ravaged face before her. Her sister’s words were still going round and round in her head. His blood type is unique, one of a kind. The color of his hair is natural.
Emily’s eyes went to the mass of silk flowing over his shoulders. It was the same color of a deep red rose. No human had hair that color.
He only had one eye barely open, the other so puffed with blood, the lid didn’t even twitch. The little bit of iris visible through the slit revealed a gold flecked green eye that almost looked like hammered metal. The color was both unusual and mesmerizing.
Other than those uncommon traits, he seemed human. His body was lean, muscled, had ten fingers and toes, two pale nipples on a nice chest, and a belly button. Emily had even checked his ears while he was unconscious, finding them well shaped and normal looking.
The male nurse nodded at her. “We were just about to freshen him up. Breakfast will be here in a few minutes.”
Another nurse came in carrying towels.
Emily noted her stranger’s mouth looking very parched, his bruised lips cracked. She turned to reach for the plastic pitcher she saw when she walked in, and proceeded to pour water into a disposable cup she found on the table next to it. The nurses walked out, leaving her alone with the stranger. Emily busied herself tearing the paper cover off a straw and tucking it into the cup.
“You look thirsty…” She turned with a smile, but frowned when she found the bed empty. Where did he go?
Her eyes followed the intravenous tube down the side of the bed and circled to the other side.
He was kneeling on the floor, head bowed, arms uplifted in offering.
Emily gasped, the cup of water falling from her fingers.
“Im Sheknia,” he whispered before he swayed and collapsed to the floor unconscious again.
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/supernatural/red-passion.aspx">Red Passion</a>