Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday First Chapters 'Wife for Three'

Here is another first chapter - the first in the 'Duoterra' series.

If you like what you read and want to buy the full book it can be purchased via the publisher's website in a variety of e-book formats including PDF or on Amazon.

Alternatively the first two books in the series including this one are available in paperback on Amazon.

Here is a review from a reader: "Unlike a lot of this type of book, the story was intriguing and engaging. The love scenes were well written, but the story could have stood alone without them which is a big plus. I'd certainly read more from this author."



Copyright © 2012

Chapter One

Wife wanted. Three brothers aged twenty-six to thirty-five are looking for a young woman to be shared jointly between them in all aspects of their life including looking after their home. Healthiness is a must as we have a farm in the wild region, a long way from the nearest town. Good looks and a decent figure would be nice, but not essential. However, you must be able to cook. Contact Curt Hollis via the general store, Frontier.
Brianna suddenly sat up in her seat as she read the small advertisement, her heart thudding. Wife wanted!
She looked around surreptitiously to see if anyone had noticed her abrupt movement. Her uncle, who had the countertops in the kitchen of their home covered with the various tools of his trade, glanced over at her, frowning. Marcus was the town blacksmith. His small, wiry frame was not typical of a man of his profession, but Goldtown had need of the various implements he made in order to mine the abundant minerals and metals that existed in the area to aid the colonists. Ignoring his look, and with a pounding heart, she folded the newspaper, her hand shaking slightly, trying to pretend nonchalance.
Tucking the newspaper under her arm, she casually strolled over to the counter to pour herself another drink of hot moss bark, which was a favorite of hers, and sauntered toward her bedroom sniffing the woody aroma, pretending to ignore the paper and its intriguing advert.
“Hey, missy, don’t take the newspaper away. It might only be a single sheet, but you know how expensive paper is despite having an abundance of trees on the planet. I’ll want to read it later.” His stern voice rasped. Marcus was the head of her household and her guardian, her parents having died when she was young.
There was only one state-owned paper industry on the planet they had named Duoterra, which was colonized sixty years ago. It was set up to make paper from trees when they became aware that they were running out of the few precious supplies they had brought with them. Goldtown was the fourth town to be settled, about fifteen years into the establishment of the colony at a time when the population was growing exponentially. Her grandfather, Joshua, had moved his family to each of the towns in search of a place he could happily raise his family. Goldtown was his last move, although not the last town to be founded.
“Sure thing, Uncle Marcus. I just wanted to give you some more room in the kitchen. I’ll bring it back shortly when I’ve finished reading.”
“Don’t forget you’ve got the bread to bake yet,” he shouted after her.
Escaping to the safety of her bedroom, Brianna jumped onto the bed, pushing her old teddy bear to one side, to read the captivating and slightly scandalous advertisement again. As she wrapped a lock of her long, dark-blonde hair around a finger, she was aware of an anticipation throbbing through her body, reaching down to her nether parts. Her nipples started to harden as she thought about what it would be like to make love to three brothers, and she felt a flush rise up her face. Would they take turns or would they do it at the same time? She had to fan herself with the newspaper as she suddenly felt very hot!
The item she had read was hidden amongst various other adverts selling produce and crafts of all sorts. She hadn’t been particularly interested in the adverts but devoured any reading material she could get her hands on. There was a community library that swapped the few precious print books that the colony had back and forth between towns. But Brianna was sure she had read all of them now.
Brianna was a fourth-generation colonist. Her grandfather had been a teenager when he had come to the world and she clearly recalled him telling her stories of the landing.
“I came with my parents in search of a cleaner place, the previous generations having ruined Earth with their industries and over-mining of the planet’s resources, which destroyed the ecology, and many animals became extinct.” Her grandfather and his parents were now dead, along with his wife. “Your grandmother travelled out with us on those first colony ships, but, as you know, she died giving birth to Susannah, our fourth child.” Only she and the eldest child, Marcus, had survived childhood. Lack of medical facilities and living a colonist’s life took the lives of many, young and old—some through illness, others injury. Death in childbirth had also been a major factor.
By the time her mother had grown, many of the original colonists had died due to the hard life they had undertaken willingly. About the time Brianna had been born twenty-two years ago, the subsequent generations were beginning to realize how few women they had left. Her school teacher had explained to the children, “It had been hoped that more people would join us from Earth, but the cost of fuel to launch such huge ships is so exorbitant that there have only been two more colony ships, and those were in the early days after colonization.”
Brianna had listened in a state of fascination back then. The idea of spaceships and people flying many, many light years from home had sounded exciting and adventurous.
“It doesn’t mean we are totally without contact from our home planet, as drone ships come by every few years, but those are small, and the price for sending those supplies costs us high in natural resources from our planet that we could use ourselves.”
By the time she got to her mid-teens Brianna’s enthrallment had diminished as she became aware that girl children were in high demand—as wives and mothers mostly. Her dreams of being elected to the government and making worthy laws, or discovering some new plant life that would cure all ills, were going down the drain. Not that she really wanted to be a politician or doctor. She knew that those had been childhood dreams of being famous.
Life was still hard, and boys were naturally stronger so thrived better. Unfortunately, her mother never got the chance to have any more children as she and her husband were killed in a rockslide leaving Brianna, aged just six, to be raised by her uncle. An uncle she didn’t particularly like, but he was the only family she had left.
Two years ago, the situation had come to a head, and a planet-wide law was introduced whereby polygamous marriages were allowed.
Brianna shivered and her thoughts returned to the newspaper and the fascinating advert. She picked it up to read again, biting her lip as she did. She knew that the law had also stated that every marriageable woman must take out a marriage contract with one or more men by the time they were twenty-three. If they didn’t take out a contract out of choice, then one of the options was that they would be forced into a contract by the local town mayor or the head of their household. In her case, this meant her uncle Marcus. With so many men compared to women on the world, their society had become rather patriarchal, with women expected to do what the men told them.
She scoffed and clenched a hand in the bedclothes. She knew from history lessons that it hadn’t started out that way. Women had had parity with men in the early days of their community and were doctors and scientists, but somehow this had been eroded away by the life they had chosen. A few women could be found in managerial roles, but generally women had become housewives, or occasionally, schoolmistresses. The life of being a homemaker, in truth, was one Brianna quite enjoyed. She just wanted the choice of whom she did it for.
On the other hand, her grandfather, who had died when she was five, had spoken about how wonderful their new world was. “Ah, Brianna, my child, you don’t appreciate what a stunning planet this is with its clean air, fresh water, and abundance of flora and fauna.” Although she adored the old man and followed him around like a pet, somehow she couldn’t quite bring herself to join in his enthusiasm—at least not when Marcus had become her guardian and she began to resent everything her grandfather had taught her because of her uncle’s domineering ways.
Actually, the law only referred to women who had not yet married. If they were a widow, they didn’t have to find another man, but were strongly recommended to do so.
Brianna had heard a story that the only other option for women was, if no one wished to take a contract out, they could go to the main town and original landing site, Eden, where there were licensed brothels.
“Not that someone as innocent as me is supposed to know that,” she stated out loud to herself, aware how wry her comment was.
She often had conversations with herself, not really having anyone she could discuss these issues with, even if the men had allowed it. Instead she chose to talk to Mortimer, her tattered teddy bear that her grandmother had brought from Earth. She reached out to fondly stroke him. He provided the comfort she never got elsewhere.
If the rumor was accurate, most of those were older women whose husbands had died and their homesteads had been taken over by younger family members. Well, younger male family members. Or women who were convicted criminals who chose that life instead of hard labor.
Shivering, she clenched her legs together compulsively. There was no way she was going to do that, particularly as she was still a virgin. She also suspected that many of those women in the brothels weren’t happy with the man or men they had married, but since divorce was against the law, they had few resources. Brianna also knew of several women who were unhappy with the way things were going, but there was little they could do.
It had been suggested at one stage of introducing marriage contracts for fixed terms. At the end of the chosen time, the parties could renew or go their separate ways, but this proposal had been voted down by the planet’s small elected parliament. They had been worried about those now-free women making sluts of themselves to draw the attention of the available men and all hell breaking loose.
Brianna giggled and turned her head to Mortimer. “It’s more likely that men would have lost their dominance over women in those circumstances.”
There was no one left in her small town that she was interested in, and her twenty-third birthday was in a few months. She knew her uncle wanted her to take out a contract with a man called Quinn Ford. In fact, he insisted on it, practically taking it for granted that she would sign the contract and marry Quinn. But he was a hard, domineering man, similar to her uncle, that she steered well clear of whenever she could. But there were no other alternatives—the only other single men in her town were four older men who were widowers of varying ages from forty-five to eighty-six, one really seedy man in his late thirties with a pockmarked face and a leering expression, and two gay men who lived together. And her uncle, who needed her to marry someone of his choosing so he could continue to control her. That and the money Quinn had agreed to pay for her. They called it her dowry, but to her, it felt like she was being sold.
She looked back again at the advert before turning on her stomach to face the bear. “You realize, of course, if I leave town to see this Curt and his brothers, I’ve no way of knowing if they are already married. Okay, so the newspaper is only six weeks old, but another girl could have jumped at the chance.” She sighed and rested her forehead against the bear. “It would be really good if you could answer me here.”
Brianna raised her head and bit her lip as something occurred to her. She could be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The three of them could be even worse than Quinn or any of the other meager alternatives she had. For all she knew, they could be murderers and rapists. Not that either were common on this world, as anyone committing murder was sentenced to death—unless a woman and then she was put into the brothel—the same place that Brianna wasn’t supposed to know existed.
As for rapists, if caught, they were simply castrated. No, this Curt wouldn’t be a rapist. If he was, he wouldn’t be putting an advert in the newspaper! She sat up and thought about what these three brothers might be like. The age was good. The younger one not much older than her, and the eldest she could cope with. Anyway, she wouldn’t be better off with Quinn as he was thirty-six.
Lifting the newspaper, she read it once more. These brothers lived in the wild region. Twirling her hair in her fingers, she wondered what they did there—trappers maybe, or loggers? Either way, she imagined they were used to being outdoors and could imagine they were well tanned.
“Okay, so I know they are youngish and bronzed. And most likely very fit if they work outdoors. Hmm, that would be good, eh, Mortimer. Well, for me, not for you. You’d just be jealous!”
She grinned at the bear and let her imagination run riot. Each of the guys would be incredibly good looking, very hunky, all oozing sex appeal just like in one of her late mother’s precious paperback books she had gotten from the community library, like the science-fiction novel where the heroine landed on a planet full of gorgeous, Vikings. She remembered seeing it lying on the table and had picked it up. She couldn’t read it at that stage but had enjoyed looking at the picture of the half-naked couple on the front.
Of course, when they found her with it, all hell had broken loose, but she had remembered it, and when she was older, she had snuck the copy out of the library so she could read it. Wow!
Sighing, she threw herself onto her back, resisting the need to stroke her body in response to its urging. Naturally, just like in the book, these brothers would be stunned by her beauty and make mad, passionate love to her one at a time, making it the most wonderful experience in the universe.
She snorted at her thoughts. She knew she wasn’t particularly lovely. There had been a few young men in town her own age or slightly older, but they had all chosen other girls—girls who were prettier than her. Either that or they were put off by her uncle’s scowling expression whenever they had tried speaking to her.
Groaning at her predicament, she folded the newspaper carefully and put it away in her bedside drawer. As much as she wanted to answer it, Frontier was a long, long way from Goldtown, and anyway, she wasn’t brave enough to go through with it. Of course, that meant she was back at square one. There was still no one else she wanted, and she knew she did not want Quinn.

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