Sunday, October 02, 2011

Vaaden Warriors 3-- Thale by Jessica Coulter Smith

Vaaden Warriors: Thale

by Jessica Coulter Smith 

Cover art: ReneƩ George
ISBN: 978-1-60521-581-5
Genre(s): Futuristic, Sci-Fi
Series: Vaaden Warriors
Length: Novella

Thale has allowed his friend to talk him into purchasing a slave from the harems. At first, he isn't sure if he'll follow through on his promise or not, but once he sees the beautiful Moira he knows that he must have her. Thale craves her and can't keep his hands off her, but is it enough to make him change into the man she deserves? And more importantly, why does he suddenly care?
Vaaden Warriors: Thale
Jessica Coulter Smith
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Jessica Coulter Smith

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

I stared at Rheul and wondered if he'd lost his mind. What made him think I was the right man for the job? If he wanted someone who was all about pleasure, my own mostly, then I was the right guy. But this?
"No, absolutely not."
"Why not?" he asked.
"Rheul, think about it. Why would you ask me of all people to rescue that poor woman? Do I really look like the type?"
"You could be. I know you're a good man."
"Sorcha might not agree with you. Have you spoken with my brother and the love of his life? I'm sure they would give you a different perspective of me."
Rheul shrugged. "I don't need to hear from them. All I know is that you're my only hope of getting Moira out of there. I promised her I would try my best and that's what I'm going to do. She deserves a better life than that of a harem slave."
"And you want me to go and buy her? To claim her as my personal slave? Have you not noticed that I didn't replace Sorcha? I learned my lesson. I don't keep any women these days, not even a wife."
"There wasn't a lesson to learn, except that you have a heart. I talked to Valen afterward so I know exactly what happened. I know that you decided to give Sorcha to him, to make both of them happy. And your wife doesn't count. You didn't have anything to do with Staisha's death. Dorne cleared you. So you can stop acting like you're the most evil man on the planet."
I sighed and looked away.
"Moira is sweet and willing. You'd have a slave in your bed and wouldn't have to visit the harems anymore. Would owning her really be so bad?"
Rubbing the back of my neck, I shook my head. Something told me I would regret this. "What does the blasted woman look like?"
"She's small, has long black hair, blue eyes. And like I said, she's sweet."
I knew that being with me had been rough on Sorcha at times, even if she hadn't said anything. I'd taken what I'd wanted from her and hadn't thought much about what she wanted or needed. What if it was the same with Moira?
Rheul would never forgive me if I hurt the slave he was trying to save, regardless of whether or not it was intentional. I'd never hurt a woman on purpose, but I did have a tendency to care about my own needs more than those of others.
"What if it doesn't work out, Rheul? Am I supposed to make us both miserable if we hate each other?"
He grinned. "Moira would never show hatred toward someone. I'm honestly not sure she's capable of it."
I paced the floor. "I guess I can always go see her and talk to her. There's no harm in that. And if it doesn't look like things will work out, then I don't have to buy her. There's no harm in spending a few days with her, right?"
Rheul narrowed his eyes at me. "But it will work out."
"There's no guarantee."
He stepped closer, blocking my path. "Yes, there is. I'm not leaving her there, and obviously I can't buy her, not with Darcy. Randar purchased Lyssa for me, then fell in love with Sophie. That only leaves you. As it is, I haven't been able to find another owner for Lyssa and poor Neerden is still stuck as her temporary owner."
"Why does she have to be saved? Do you know how many slaves there are on Vaaden? How many there have been over the years? What does it matter if this one particular woman is the slave of just one man or in the harems?"
"Because she deserves better, Thale. She helped me when things were out of sorts with Darcy, and I owe her. Besides, I got to know her and I can't stand the thought of her being treated the way she is."
"What are you talking about? You know most of the paid slaves are treated like royalty compared to the others."
"She has a man who visits her who likes to abuse her, and another likes to bring a friend along with him. While some women might enjoy being with more than one man at a time, she doesn't. I don't want her having to face that each week. You might be rough around the edges, but at least you won't hurt her."
I grinned. "Rheul, you know I've brought a friend along more than once when I went to the harems. How is that going to make her better off than she is already?"
"You won't do that with Moira."
I snorted. "Get real. I'm not going to change just for you, or for some slave. I am who I am."
Without warning, he slammed me against the wall. "Let me rephrase this. You will go to Moira. You will purchase her. And you will treat her right."
I narrowed my eyes. "Or what? Big, bad Rheul is gonna get me? As if I'm afraid of you." I shoved him away. "I told you I would go and see her, but that's all that I'll promise."
He grinned. "You'll have worse than me to face. I'll sic the women on you."
Well, he did have a point there. The thought of Sorcha and her friend Enid, Sylon's slave Susan, and the others who had recently ensnared their masters, was a terrifying thought.
I sighed. "Fine. I'll go see her and see about purchasing her. Where can I find this paragon?"
Rheul rolled his eyes. "I never called her a paragon, and she's in the third building on the fourth floor."
"Fine. I'll give you my answer by the end of the week..."

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