Anybody got a spare time-turner? Or a clone or three? No? Eh, then I guess I'll just have to make do with lil' ole me and what my fingers can pump out in the next few hours.
I can give you a small sniplet of what is going on in the cave right now though. Yes, yes, the writing cave.
Right, so this is a sneaky peaky into The Enslavement of Luez, the second book in the Akanti series. It's unedited raw first draft stuff and so don't expect it to look a thing like this when it's all polished and purty and sporting (I hope) another amazing Reese Dante cover. Heh.
An Unedited Excerpt of T.E.O.L.: The Enslavement of Luez
Shael drew in a deep breath. Three more rotations in the deep black, and after that and he'd be done in the Nakanti Marine Service. His duty would be done and he could start looking for a Lawful Betrothed. By the Light, his very own betrothed, asked proper and when he was sure and no mistakes about it. His heart pounded against the walls of his chest.
Not like his mother. No, none of that slave to betrothed muck for him. Not on your life. He'd never give his heart away like that, just hand it over to someone who could walk away and never look back. He was no fool. He took precautions and used prophylactics so he'd be not be getting some slave girl pregnant. Elevating her to permanent freedom as his Temporary Honored Betrothed, only to have her state at the end of the trial year that she was not happy and wanted freedom.
Shae'el pulled the tattered still-vids from his pocket, grateful that Cary'sn had sent one every week since purchasing the pleasure slave he'd been threatening Shae'el with for years. There were seven of the stil-vids in total and in every one the same small man was the focal point. Honey colored curls and violet... blessed Light his favorite color... violet eyes. The petite man also had the prettiest pink lips Shae'el had seen in... well, in a very long time.
He'd never seen eyes and lips that lit a fire in his groin and known they were his to do with as he would. A full body shiver shook Shae'el. Thankfully he stood alone in the lift, so no one had witnessed his momentary lapse of control. He ran a finger across the mouth in the photo on top. Sweet Light, in days that mouth would be his to take, his to kiss, his to push his throbbing cock between as the little man knelt and took everything Shae'el chose to give him. Best of all, the man belonged to Shae'el now. Luez was his to keep for just as damn long as Shae'el wanted.
He'd not have to sell this one when he returned to duty, because after this he would only have two more short tours and the council couldn't say a damn thing to him. Bloody interferring council drove him mad, telling a bloke how he could run his life. That it was 'an act of cruelty' to retain ownership of a pleasure slave...
if your job took you off-planet for more than six months of the year. Ruling that such an arrangement didn't give the pleasure slaves a fair chance to bond and be satisfied.
A fair chance to get pregnant was what they really meant. And because some complete arse was on the council 750 some years ago, the law didn't discern between the sexes.
Shae'el was done with having to accept rulings from those bloody idiots. It was not like they were still trying to repopulate the planet--The plague was defeated, for the most part, over 800 years ago. The odd virus mutation cropped up every now and again. No one died though. Not unless they were very old or very young. Or frail...
Da with his strong back, and his keen golden eyes. Da, with his silent weakness of the lungs which waited 46 years to show itself. Then the virus mutated one last time, bonded with a simple cold and Da's lungs couldn't fight like they were supposed to.
Plaguing dammed cold that wouldn't go away until it took Da with it.
It had been just Shae'el and his Da for so long. No brothers. Not one. Not a single cousin twice or three times removed, and Da so heart-sore after Lianne (the slave girl who gave birth to Shae'el) left he never even looked at another female.
Then simply Da gone during Shae'el's first rotation in the deep black. Lung-sickness hitting so fast and hard he'd not even gotten to say goodbye. By the time they got the news of the illness out to his ship Da had been gone already. Shae'el made it home for the funeral. He signed all the paperwork that said he'd take up his duties as Jarl, and that he'd rule in the district that was his father's only a day before.
Cary'sn helped him get the council to listen that time, to allow him to finish out his term of service with the Marines. The silver-eyed man never explained how, he just made it happen. Shae'el had he'd been allowed to stay until his current NMS obligation was honoured, and he never forgot how much that meant. It was the only thing that held him together.
A gift from the Light.
Because back then? Shae'el didn't give a plaguing damn about the people, or the district, in fact he didn't give a single plague-ridden damn about anything. All he wanted involved getting as far from the place that had taken his father. The same place his mother had run from, leaving him at one year old with just his Da.
So, Cary'sn put papers in front of him, and even now Shae'el still just signed every plague-ridden scrap of paper. Exactly as he'd done with every single one pushed in front of him the day he buried his Da.
He trusted Cary'sn, relied on him and Cary'sn never let him down. The brooding man kept Shae'el from signing anything he'd regret later. He fed Shae'el and dressed him and had done since Shae'el's earliest memories. Good old Cary'sn.
Not a servant really, not when he'd served in the N.M.S. as a boy side by side with Shae'el's father. They both joined the same year, Cary'sn a boy of eight, and Shae'el's Da a young man of twenty something. He served his obligatory four year term and when Shae'el's father left to take up his training as Jarl, Cary'sn left with him.
Da had driven his own parents crazy by insisting on joining as an enlisted man. Come to think of it, Cary'sn never called him anything but the Sergeant. Just as he always called Shae'el Captain. He was only thirteen years older than Shae'el. Cary'sn was the closest thing Shae'el had to family since that awful day.
Shae'el floundered then at nineteen.
Thank the Light Cary'sn understood somehow, understood the Jarldom was too much, the two of them rattling around in the huge old house his father had left him, just them and a passel of servants...
By the Light as soon as he was released from active duty he was going to fill the old house with sons. Sons he'd be there to raise. He'd had a full med-exam done, right down to his DNA to make sure he wouldn't pass on weak lungs or the damn plague virus and he got back a go-go-go green light from the medics.
With his enlistment drawing to a close, he'd be able to be there with them. His sons. Sons who would have one another when his time among the living came to an end. Sons who'd have two parents. Shae'el wasn't going to allow some slave-girl to parent his child. No child of his would have a mother who had the option to simply run off when they were only a year old.
He ran his finger across the image again, and then slipped it into his breast pocket just as the heavy tilatthian steel doors of the lift slid open on the bridge.
It would be good to be home.