The Slavemaster's Woman
Excerpt
He could tell by the look in her beautiful green eyes and the tight expression on her lovely face that
she was filled with fury. A bad sign--belligerence was not a healthy asset for a slave to possess.

Tarken's eyes grazed her body, visible through the shear, full length cloak she wore, leaving nothing
to the imagination. Yet, she clung to it like the cloth was made of the thickest cremali cotton. He
indicated for her to remove the garment, but she stood motionless, her gaze riveted to his. Tarken
lifted a brow. A slave who had been owned as long as this one had, should bemuch more compliant.
Irritated he stepped toward her. In and of itself, his large size should have been enough to intimidate
the woman but she seemed unfazed, in fact, her chin lifted in defiance. Tarken snorted. Such
arrogance! Her prior slavemasters were incompetent at training her, or the woman did not understand
his direction. Either that or she was extremely brave or daft. Tarken had yet to decide. He didn't know
which he preferred, but there was something rousing about this female that he had yet to figure out.

"You're a bold one, mistress," he said to her. She should expect that he would activate her slave band
to punish her. It's what most masters would do.

Not Tarken.

Rarely did he use pain as a first method. Rather, he much preferred to soothe the savage beast before
resorting to corporal intervention.

"Would you like something to drink?" Tarken asked as he moved to the cellarette on the other side of
the room and opened it. He risked turning his back on her--testing her--well aware that many newly
acquired slaves often took advantage of a master's misplaced trust, attacking from behind in the hopes
of escape.

She didn’t answer his question. Nor did she move from the spot she chose to plant her feet on. Tarken
examined the carafes on the cabinet's shelves. Though he enjoyed a stronger spirit for himself, he
chose a subtle umbret wine, a drink much preferred by females, an expensive commodity, and one no
master would consider sharing with a mere slave. But Tarken had no regard for what other masters
considered proper. He was not a typical slave trainer. In fact, he was well known throughout much of
the galaxy for his success in bringing slaves to submission.

He poured the liquid into two crystal glasses, filling them half way. Turning he offered her a glass.
Still, she did not move, did not even look at him. Rather, her gazed was fixed to a point just past his
left shoulder. Tarken's mouth curled up on one side. It was obvious the woman trusted no one.
Gaining her confidence would be a challenge.

"I can promise you there is nothing in this glass save the wine." To prove his point Tarken took a sip of
it and then offered the glass to her once again. Drugging slaves to subdue them for sex was a common
practice, and after what Lavidis told him about her, Tarken could only assume that this had likely
been done to her previously.

She extended her hand and took the glass but did not sip from it.

"Cushla, it will do you no good to try to anger me. I do not anger." He closed the space between them.
Taking a finger to her chin, he tilted her face so she would have to look at him. "But I am not a soft
master either. You have obviously not been trained properly. Your other masters must have been very
soft indeed."

With that comment, Cushla gave a soft snort. If he had seen the beatings she had endured, the
torture, the use to the slave band, he would not have made that comment. Then again, he was a
slavemaster. He would know of her punishments, probably use them on her, as well. Cushla's anger
rose a bit higher, but she would keep it in check...for now.

Tarken watched her, but kept his face expressionless. Her reaction showed more sarcasm than
amusement. He tried again. "I have different methods, some you will enjoy, some you will not."

Nothing this man will do can effect me, Cushla thought to herself. I will go on as always and escape at
the first chance.

"Try the wine Cushla, you'll find it to your liking, I'm sure." Tarken purposely allowed his voice to
become low and silky.

Obeying, Cushla took a sip of the wine, knowing if she showed too much resistance it could work
against her. Surprisingly the drink was good, very good, and obviously expensive. She wondered at
that, but then it occurred to her why he would share a royal drink with a slave. He was trying to soothe
her, break her down. Her nostrils flared as she met his eyes briefly before averting her attention to the
side. The man was a fool if he thought he could woo her.

"Do you like it?" Tarken didn’t miss the deep suspicion in her gaze before she looked away. Not at the
floor, he noticed. Submissive slaves always looked down, but not Cushla. Now why did he find that
intriguing rather than annoying?

"It is very good...Master," Cushla said, pausing, nearly choking over the bedamned word.

"Call me Tarken, mistress." He inhaled deeply. Through the smell of the perfumes on her skin, her
essence caught his attention. It was far more arousing than any simulated scent could be. He smiled
gently at her, knowing his instruction to call him by name was highly irregular.

Cushla blinked at him, wary of his motive. Then her lip turned up on one side and she took two steps
back from him, stopping when she felt the wall behind her. "And is that your name master, or some
alien word for 'I'm a shithead?'"