A royal sex slave has escaped and Lexa Clash of the Protectors of the Realm is ordered by the Queen of Malrann to bring him back alive and healthy. Lexa doesn’t approve of slavery and is disillusioned with the crown, but a Protector must follow orders.
Regus Anchon is on the run, headed for the safety of the Wildlands, a rebel stronghold. A confrontation between hunter and hunted has unexpected results, the hunter is now the prisoner.
Lexa blinked and looked up into the fierce eyes of Helisan’s sex slave. She was lying on a coarse blanket beneath the shade of a tree, her wrists cuffed behind her back. Her helmet was missing, and he’d taken Helisan’s com-link off her wrist.
“Who are you?” he asked.
Lexa tugged at the cuffs. She figured he’d found her airglide and had taken her cuffs.
“Don’t bother hurting yourself,” he said. “I’ve reset the release sequence.”
She’d never get them off. Not only did he have the audacity to use her new cuffs, he’d removed her windsuit and boots, leaving her in nothing but her underwear, a gray tank top, and fitted shorts.
Lexa managed to sit up and look around. He’d carried her out of the canyon to a high mesa, looking out upon the barren valley of the Wildlands below. The horse was nibbling on a small patch of dry grass, but Lexa didn’t see her airglide. Her pack and laser rifle were hanging from the saddle.
“Who are you?” he asked again, his voice even and without a hint of irritation
Lexa’s mouth was dry, and she wanted a minute to clear her head and assess her situation. “Water.” He pulled a container out of the pack, removed the cap, and hunkered down beside her. He let her take a sip of water then capped the container.
“I know you’re a member of the Protectors,” he said, rising to place the container inside the pack. “I recognize the tat on your arm. What’s your name?”
“A Protector sent after a sex slave. I’m flattered.”
“You belong to the queen and she wants you back in one functional piece.”
He nodded. “That’s why you came after me with a stunner instead of your standard issue blaster.”
“You seem knowledgeable about the Protectors.”
“Do you think you can walk?” he asked, ignoring her statement.
“I can walk.”
He leaned down, extending his hand to help her up. Instead of taking his hand, Lexa struck out with her right leg, aiming her heel at his face. He caught her foot in one hand and jerked it to the left with so much force her leg twisted and her body followed. Slammed to the ground, she landed hard on her chest. Lexa grimaced and swore. With her hands cuffed behind her back, she had a difficult time getting off her belly and into a sitting position. Instead of helping her, he let her struggle.
His penetrating gaze met hers. “Do that again and I’ll break your leg.”
“Like you, I don’t enjoy being a prisoner.”
“I’m going to put on your boots. If you fight me in any way you’ll walk barefooted. Understood?”
Believing his threat, Lexa nodded.
After he’d put on her boots, Regus stood and gathered the horse’s reins. “Let’s go.”
Lexa got to her feet. She noticed Regus wore moccasins. Her boots were heavy, but far better footwear considering the terrain. “Where are we headed?”
He pointed to the hills across the valley.
“You’re not serious.”
His gaze slid over her. “You look fit enough. Start walking.”
“What about the airglide? We’d make better time.”
“Airglides can be tracked.”
“I can disable the tracking device,” Lexa said.
“The Wildlanders would kill you for a high performance airglide.”
“They might kill us for a horse.”
A slight grin curved his lips. “Or they might spare the horse in exchange for a beautiful slave.”