Captured in Space 1
Copyright © 2014
Garin Avon leaned negligently against the white-washed wall in the marketplace next to the spaceport on the planet of Gallifris. He was studying the blonde-haired girl coming out of the shop opposite. He squinted at her, sure that this was the person he sought, the person he had been paid to recover.
She was certainly beautiful. He tilted his head to one side to look her up and down, noticing her pert bottom beneath the leggings she wore and luscious breasts tight against her green tunic. His cock hardened in response and he grunted.
“Down, boy. You have to return her to her master. She’s not for keeps.” It was a change to have someone so lovely as her to track down.
Bounty hunting was his profession. It paid well, but it was also fraught with danger and everyone disliked him. Nor was it glamorous. One or two of his jobs had been recovering priceless jewelry, but many more were hunting down missing pets and chasing recalcitrant wives. His work had taken him through asteroid belts, jungle planets, and graveyards. He’d got into it by accident, soon after completing his schooling, but hadn’t considered doing anything else in the following decade. Well, his first job has been working down in the sewers, but he gave that up after just one day. Bounty hunting suited him so much more, even when it was old women he was chasing and not young ones.
He made a face when he remembered finding the elderly mother of an Alliance senator whom everyone thought had been kidnapped for ransom. Garin finally heard her voice shrieking down the corridor of a brothel.
“I dare you to hit me again!”
That stopped Garin in his tracks. What the hell is going on in there? Is she being tortured?
Hurriedly flinging the door open to rescue her, he’d then stood dumbfounded in the doorway. She was in bed riding on top of a young companion, going hell-for-leather. The poor bastard beneath her seemed harassed. He felt quite sorry for the man, even more so when the old woman saw Garin enter and grabbed her laser pistol, pointing it in his direction. He made a swift exit, leaving the poor guy to her tender mercies.
Pushing the memory aside of his pathetic attempt to explain to the senator what his mother had been getting up to, Garin pulled up the file of his latest job on his wrist-comm.
Employer: Melvin Arakis
Job: Hunt down contracted slave, disappeared two months ago. Runaway, not believed kidnapped.
Description of person/object: Felissa De Lenn, age 23, blonde, gray eyes, average height, attractive.
Warnings: Will fight, verbally and physically.
Fee: Only 20,000 credits, but vital information negotiated hence the vast reduction from original reward of one million credits, to cover expenses.
There was also a picture of the girl. Attractive was vastly underrated. She was downright beautiful. No wonder Melvin wanted her back. Garin understood that she was his sex slave, and winced. He couldn’t understand why anyone would sign a contract to let someone do what they wanted to them sexually.
Suddenly he stood upright, his body tensing as a man came up and talked to the blonde girl. This was his woman. He didn’t want another person taking what was his. Not after he’d been double-crossed by his partner, Rayn Dargo, in a previous job.
“Dammit.” Clenching his hands, Garin stomped forward a few steps, ready to claim his bounty, but the girl gave a venomous look to the man who’d approached her, and he quickly backed away.
Garin snorted and settled down again, feigning interest in the merchandise on display in the shop before him. He grimaced. It was a ladies’ underwear shop.
Thankfully the girl moved off and he cautiously followed her as she meandered around the colorful market, ruminating on her being the slave of a notorious gangster. Her planet, Dunet, had been settled some five hundred years ago. One of thousands of planets that had joined together to form the Planetary Alliance, humans and aliens, it was infamous for its crime.
Forced slavery was outlawed under Alliance laws, but people were allowed to put themselves into servitude or contract with another person depending on the planet they were on. Their masters could beat them, kill them, even eat them, or sell their contract. These were job contracts like any other, except a person couldn’t resign until the end of the term of the contract—if they were still alive. They covered a variety of jobs including the most lucrative, body slave—like that of Felissa. He snorted. “Body slave” was usually a euphemism for “sex slave.”
Garin was so busy pondering how someone like her could get mixed up with a snake like Melvin that he fell over a kid on a hover-bike.
“Mommmmmy. That man swore at me.”
Scrambling to his feet, he picked up the annoying boy and quickly darted away before the angry mother could bear down on him.
Now where the hell is Felissa?
During that incident he’d taken his eyes off her and she had disappeared. Dammit! He clenched his fingers in his short, spiky dark hair in frustration.
It was a shame that this particular planet forbade bounty hunters, so he couldn’t just claim her and take her away. That would have been entirely too easy. The people here believed in freedom and that nobody could own or kidnap another person. It made his job harder as he had to grab her when no one was around and quietly steal her onto his ship. It was a pity that matter transporters still hadn’t been invented, or he would have simply beamed her onto his ship, the Falcon, and saved himself a lot of aggravation.
Sprinting to the last spot he had seen her, his heart thumping in dismay at losing her, Garin had started backtracking when a flurry of movement down a side street caught his attention. A muffled cry confirmed his suspicions, and sidling up to the corner he casually peered around the side.
Felissa was up against a wall with the man who had previously shown interest in her holding her tight as he attempted to kiss her. Garin reached for his laser, and then cursed silently when he remembered that guns were forbidden too.
Okay, time for a different strategy.
Quietly sneaking up the alleyway, trying to avoid the discarded trash around him, he came up behind the man who was intent on holding the struggling girl, and lifting a hand, he hit him on the edge of his neck with the side of his hand.
“Ouch.” Dammit, that hurt. Garin shoved his hand under his armpit. Thankfully the man had crumbled to the ground without a sound. Turning to the girl, Garin nearly stepped back a pace at the frosty expression on her face, her eyes a deep stormy gray.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” Her voice was a deeper tone than he’d thought it would be. He sort of expected it to be light and soft to match her fair beauty.
Uh-oh, this isn’t good. She had her hands on her hips.
“Saving you, that’s what I was doing.” He put his own hands on his hips in retaliation.
“Oh really! I can take care of myself.”
“Didn’t look like it to me.”
There was a grunt of exasperation from her, and then pain sliced through his body as her knee connected with his balls. It was excruciating and he bent over in agony as his hands reached down to cup his throbbing genitals. The last thing he saw of her face was an expression of satisfaction before wooziness came over him, and he had to prop himself against the wall to avoid fainting.
When he glanced up next she had disappeared again.
“Damn the girl!”
But she hadn’t gone far and it only took him ten minutes to find her again. However, when he became aware of who she was talking to now, he cursed mightily—it was his erstwhile partner, Rayn Dargo. His ex-partner.
Striding toward them, he watched as Rayn rested an arm on the frame of the market stall they were standing at and bent his fair head to say something, his long hair kept tied back with his usual ponytail falling over his shoulder. Garin gritted his teeth and lengthened his stride, faltering momentarily when Felissa put her hand on Rayn’s chest.
Shit. Rayn was up to his old tricks again, flirting with the merchandise. When they had been partners he had literally stolen someone from under Garin’s nose, leaving him penniless. He’d nearly lost his ship that time.
But before Garin got close the girl saw him coming and moved away. Garin smiled maliciously when Rayn reached out a hand to try to grasp Felissa but she evaded him and darted off.
When he got closer, Rayn clearly noticed him and propped himself against the frame, crossing his arms, with his usual broad grin on his stubbly face. Why was it that girls found fair-haired men handsome and dashing with stubble, but he, with his dark features, just seemed evil?
“Garin Avon, as I live and breathe!”
“What the hell are you doing here?” Garin demanded uncharitably.
“Well, that’s a nice warm welcome for your partner.”
Rayn dropped his arms and shrugged. “Sorry about that. The lure was too great.”
Garin narrowed his eyes. Oh yes, he knew Rayn was a sucker for beautiful women, but he had stupidly trusted him when they were tracking down the stunning young wife of a quadrillionaire that had absconded with a priceless family heirloom that was supposed to be passed from one generation to the next.
Snorting at the memory, Garin stepped forward. He was not only a couple of years older, but taller and much more imposing than Rayn, and as he leaned in snarling, he could feel Rayn shrink back. “This one is mine! Come near her again and I will shoot your dick off.”
Rayn held his hands up. “Okay, okay. Message understood. Jeez, man. I’m out of your hair.” With a cheeky wave he strolled off.
Garin frowned and watched him move away. He didn’t trust that man for a millisecond. When he was sure Rayn was out of sight he turned to stare in the direction that Felissa had gone.
“Now where is she?” He couldn’t see her so he started scouring the marketplace once more.
It was several hours later when he caught sight of her this time. He was very tired and quite furious. But his rage dispelled the instant he noticed that she was standing by herself, looking away from him at the sunset. For a moment he was lost in his study of the lovely girl, her long hair actually more red-gold than blonde, or maybe that was because of the light. Glancing around him, he then became aware that the crowd had thinned out considerably. He also noticed a very convenient, dark alleyway close by, and that they were very near the spaceport.
Moving quietly into the shadows behind her, he prayed that she stayed where she was. If anyone else came up to wreck his plan he’d kill them.
Luck was on his side, and he took hold of his self-binding rope that, once affixed, sealed tightly to itself. It was state-of-the-art for bounty hunting, and could only come apart with an electronic key. He came up on her from behind, encasing her in his arms, holding her wrists together as he wrapped the tape around them.
“What the fuck?”
Before she managed to say anything more or scream, he clasped a hand over her mouth, his other arm around her waist holding her kicking feet away from his sensitive parts this time. He wasn’t going to get caught that way twice.
Garin laughed harshly at her frenzied attempts, but she was no match for his massive bulk. “There’s no escape, my vicious vixen.”
Felissa struggled, but there was no way he was letting her go.
“It’s time for you to go back to your master.”