The door opened. He couldn’t quite suppress a chill when the captain walked into the chamber. She gave him a long look, and he felt his skin start to burn. “Captain.”
“The crew say you’ve been cooperative.” She smirked.
“You made the consequences of behaving otherwise abundantly clear.” Julian nodded. Sooner or later the Silverfish would cross paths with another ship. He might get lucky enough for it to be an Alliance vessel, but frankly even a Palindor vessel would do at this point. They could leverage his rescue into getting some of their own people out of the zones, if not some other grand concession. He just had to stay alive until then.
“They also say you’ve got a smart mouth.” Her eyes narrowed.
“I suppose it was too much to hope they’d appreciate a clever ton —” He was cut off by a backhanded blow that left him staggering.
Her hand closed around his throat and she shoved him into the wall hard enough that he saw stars. “Do you actually think you can talk your way out of this, boy?” She laughed. “You’re kind talk and talk. Always so arrogant. You’ll talk yourselves right into the grave.” She flung him to the ground. “There is something I do want to hear from you.”
“And what would that be?” He remained where he was, certain if he tried to rise he’d only incur more violence.
“I want you…” She reached down and grabbed his hair. “To tell me you love being my ship’s whore.”
“I do apologize, Captain…” He swallowed, trying to put on a braver face than he felt. “But my parents taught me not to lie.”
Behind him, she started to laugh. Then she hauled him back to his feet and threw him face first into the wall. “But that’s the point, boy. I’m not going to stop hurting you until it’s the honest fucking truth.”
He cried out as her belt hit him across the shoulders.
“So, you’re hot and heavy with Goose, right?” Kyle raised an eyebrow at Rand.
“One bottle for the month.” Rand smirked.
Kyle chuckled. “Two months.”
“Hey, a month is nine hours of porking a rich kid, that’s worth a bottle.” Rand shook his head.
He refrained from correcting the math, and shook his head. “This isn’t refueling station hooch, Rand. This is prime Branthon Whiskey. It’s older than you are, and has sure as shit aged better.” He leaned in a little. “It’s exactly the kind of thing that can make Goose spread for you right there by the engines.”
“And you take my vent maintenance shift.”
“I don’t even fit in the damn vents, Rand.”
“You want to fuck the rich boy, you’ll find a way.” Rand chuckled.
The truth was he did want to fuck the rich boy. Once he’d had the guy on his knees, Julian had done everything he’d instructed. Ordering around a damn noble would have been one hell of an experience even if it hadn’t come with a couple blowjobs.
It didn’t seem logical, yet as bad as being at her mercy was being tied up and at her mercy was worse. The way his arms were bound put strain on his shoulders, and she used the rope harness to manhandle him easily. Free, he could at least entertain the illusion that he wasn’t helpless. Bound, bent over, and with a gag in his mouth stripped that from him completely.
And the worst part was he knew that was the point.
Yet for all that, it was the blindfold that made him shake. He couldn’t move, couldn’t protest, couldn’t even see what was coming next. Time fell away from him, with no way to track how long he’d been at the mercy of a woman quickly proving she had none. Julian screamed into the gag as she brought the belt down across him again.
Part of his mind railed against the simple degradation of the act. The nerve stim hurt more, but that was neat, controlled. On some level, he’d been prepared for such. Being held down while a leather belt was applied was pure brutality, senseless violence. The stim had a purpose, establishing control, something to show his grandfather.
When she finally removed the gag and shoved his mouth between her legs, he was horrified to realize she was wet and dripping. Julian felt sick as he realized she’d hurt him for no reason other than the act gave her pleasure.
She untied him before she left, but not before informing him of what she intended to do to him the next week, when he’d again be at her mercy.
Julian crawled to the hygiene unit and started vomiting. It took him four tries to inject the healing nanites. He lay on the floor of his cell, shuddering, while they did their work. Rescue had to come soon.
Kyle glanced up from the table when he heard a small commotion at the front of the mess. The doc was bringing the prisoner in for mealtime. And it appeared nobody’d bothered to get the guy a new set of clothes. He shifted his position to get a better view, then frowned just a little. The doc didn’t bring the prisoner to a table. Instead, he shoved him to his knees in the center of the room.
Then the doc went around scraping the crew leftovers into a bowl. A few of the crew started laughing when the bowl was placed on the ground in front of the prisoner. “Eat.” The doc folded his arms when he gave the order. Then the doc smirked, bent down, and picked the bowl back up. “Sorry. Forgot the sauce.” He made a great show of spitting into the bowl, then set it back down. “Eat.”
“I seem to have lost my appetite.” The prisoner shook his head.
Stelin stood and caught the prisoner by the hair, shoving his face toward the bowl. “Eat it anyway.”
“You heard the man.” The captain’s voice rang out.
His breath caught just a little as he watched the prisoner put his head into the bowl, eating the crew leftovers like a dog. Food in the zones was in short supply, and the ‘relief’ sent in by the Alliance was stuff the folks outside the zone wouldn’t eat. Somehow that made the scene in front of him rather fitting. Plus, it gave him an idea.
“Oh, how the mighty fall.” Rand said from next to him. “I think this is better than if it had been the Prime Minister.”
He picked up his dishes, and took them to the cleaning unit before looking back. Stelin had his foot on the prisoner’s neck, holding the man’s face in the bowl. Several of the other crewmembers were laughing and jeering. It didn’t take long before the prisoner was being hauled up to his feet and then bent over one of the tables. Well, if a freebie was being offered… Kyle shrugged, and got in line.
Julian started to stand when the door opened again. The crew man who entered waved at him to stay where he was. He frowned slightly. “I seem to recall you were here two days ago, or has someone perfected a cloning process?” The man had a build suggestive of having lived on one of the heavy gravity planets, but was considerably taller than any true heavy-worlder would be. He was thickly muscled, with unkempt dark brown hair and several days’ worth of beard.
“Traded a bottle of whiskey for someone else’s hours.”
“How flattering.” Julian shrugged. The guy actually gave him a brief smile, apparently being unfamiliar with the concept of sarcasm. “And will you be wanting your dick sucked again?” He rather hoped not. Getting it shoved down his throat was bad enough. Having to actively work toward getting his rapist off was just plain humiliating.
“If you want.” The guy was smiling now, the expression reaching his light brown eyes. Eyes that almost immediately turned to giving Julian a rather lustful look. “Unless you’d rather fuck. Which would you prefer?”
“I’d prefer a good game of chess. I do not suppose you happened to bring a board?” Julian raised an eyebrow.
The man laughed. One small bit of pleasantry. Everyone else struck him when he started mouthing off. It would likely be in his best interest to stop doing it, but it wasn’t like there were a lot of other entertainments available to him at the moment. “No, but I did bring something.”
He blinked when the man held out… an apple? And then he wished his mouth didn’t water at the sight of the unblemished fruit. Being taken to the mess for feeding time had him nostalgic for the first couple days of being given only nutrient paste. Julian looked up at the crewman. “And what, pray tell, is this wondrous bounty going to cost me precisely?”
“You’ve got a nice voice.” The crewman set the apple on the desk. “I want to hear it saying my name while I fuck you.”
It took effort to conceal the look of distaste. He didn’t want to know their names. He sure as hell didn’t want to say their names. The idea of calling his rapist’s name during the act as though they were lovers made his stomach churn. An apple was not worth it. “Unless your name is ‘no, stop’, I fear that hope may be dashed.”
“My name is Kyle.” And the man came and sat next to him. On the bed. Like he was a friend paying a social call. “Kyle Olesen.” Kyle Olesen put his hand on Julian’s leg, brushing the bare flesh before taking his hand away again. Then Kyle Olesen started undoing the zipper of his ship suit. “I’d like to fuck you.”
“Well, then, to return to a question I asked upon your last visit…” Julian took a deep breath. “Over the desk, against the wall, or on the bed?”
“Which way do you prefer?” Kyle shrugged.
“We’ve got three hours.” Kyle’s hand brushed his leg again, massaging his thigh. “Why don’t you lay down?”
Concealing distaste was difficult when Kyle laid down next to him, facing him. The man’s propped his head up with one hand, then began running the other over Julian’s side. Julian opened his mouth to make another sarcastic comment, and that was when Kyle leaned in and kissed him. The motion made Julian go still with surprise. Kyle actually laughed again. “You look like someone just hit you with a stun blast.” He chuckled. “What, you’ve never been kissed before?”
Rage filled him, and he forced the emotion back down. “What do you want, Kyle?”
“I like the way you say my name.” Kyle leaned in, his mouth coming down on Julian’s again. “I want you to kiss me back.”
He wanted to vomit into the other man’s mouth. He made his fists unclenched.
Then he kissed Kyle back.
He was humming a little when he went back to his quarters. It had taken the rich boy a bit of time to warm up, but feeling the man squirm beneath him had been more fun than watching the man suck his cock. Kyle passed Stelin in the hall, then frowned just a little when he saw Stelin going into the prisoner’s cell.
Then he shrugged and continued on his way. He had Rand’s hours… Maybe he could get Goose’s hours as well. Though she’d likely drive a harder bargain than Rand did.
The door to the cell closed. He much preferred that to the sound of it opening. The captain had left a datapad with the schedule on the desk. Julian hadn’t bothered to examine it closely, hadn’t looked at the names. One glance had been enough to show he would have no reprieve today. It would appear the novelty of having a ship’s whore was going to take some time to wear off.
He looked down at the bruises the restraints had left on his wrists. Six days, assuming he was correctly estimating the amount of time he’d spent unconscious. His hands clenched into fists, and he fought the urge to cry. The doctor had made it clear he was being observed at all times. The idea of giving the bastards the satisfaction grated at him. By now his family knew. It should have given him comfort. He could cherish the childlike hope that his brother would save him. Space, however, was literally an infinite void, and his grandfather was proscribed from negotiating his release.
No, he had to face reality. Rescue wasn’t an option. It would have come already if it had been. Too much political fallout. Still lying down and simply dying didn’t feel like an attractive option either. There was little he could do from within this room, but if his captors were convinced he’d given up, been broken and rendered harmless, perhaps… They’d never buy an immediate surrender though. Which meant he’d have to take more punishment for this to work.
Being out of the room was terrifying in its own way. If he wasn’t being taken to the med bay to be tortured, he was being held down for the crew to take turns. The idea of taking more of either experience was not an enticing prospect. It was best not to lie to himself, to pretend that such treatment would not ultimately break him. There had to be something he could… One chance to get a message off or something. These people were criminals even by Palindor standards. Being a prisoner of war had to be a better option than this, didn’t it?
Julian bowed his head, and waited for the door to open again. He did not have to wait long.