The Savage King(6)

By: Michelle M. Pillow


read historical documents about such places as harems on Earth, long ago. She'd never

thought she'd live to see the set up firsthand.

Ulyssa eyed the women in disgust as she took another bite. She was again trapped with

simpering females who did nothing all day but primp and preen, as they waited for one

man to come and choose them for sex. She couldn't say they were worse than the women

on the Galaxy Brides ship, but they were just as pathetic.

Ugh, no thank you!

The harem just proved once more how barbaric a planet Qurilixen really was. She was a

little amazed to know they had the capability for space travel. Yet, they chose not to

employ the finer technological advances in life and instead opted for a simplistic existence.

She'd been all over the galaxies and had seen many things. The Var people were still too

primitive a race for her liking, but their talent for art and design had to be admired. Never

one to slow down and look at the finer things in life, Ulyssa was amazed to find herself

staring at the intricate carvings over the arched doorways leading from the harem, or the

particularly beautiful, symmetrical patterns of brilliantly displayed colors--blue, red,

orange, gold, green--inlaid into the walls. A particular circular design was quite dizzying

when stared at too closely. She blinked, reaching out to touch the bumpy surface in

fascination.

The imprisonment would have been bearable to Ulyssa if she still had a mission. She

functioned much better when she had a purpose to occupy her thoughts and keep her

busy. Now her only goal was to escape her prison and wait three months for a ship to

come pick her up. Good thing she had a back up communicator at her camp or the ship

would never be able to locate her. She was deep cover and that meant no body

transmitters. They were too easy to find in a full body scan.

Thinking about her situation, she frowned. With her camp under cloak, it might take three

months just to find the site. She'd been unconscious when carted to the Var palace, and

she had no idea in which direction to start walking. The dire prospect of her situation

didn't faze her. In fact, it did quite the opposite. It excited her beyond measure.

Seeing the opening she'd been waiting for, she watched as the harem guard helped a

servant carry in a large tray of what looked like a roasted pig. As they grunted and

strained under the heavy weight, Ulyssa slipped behind their backs and out the door

without notice.

If luck stayed with her, all the halls would be empty and she wouldn't be forced to fight

any of the man-cats. Not that she was too scared to try. They might be able to subdue her

in a group, but if it was one on one, then she was sure she could take them down.

The long hallway walls of the Var palace were smooth, inlaid with intricate tile mosaics.

The hallway itself was empty. She grinned, feeling her blood stir at the hint of danger.

Adrenaline pumped into her veins, electrifying her as nothing else could. Without pausing





to look around, she sprinted down the hall and took the first corner.





Chapter Two

Ulyssa continued down the hallways, rounding several more turns. She blindly tried to

navigate her way to something that would give her a hint of escape. The halls were like a

maze and she soon realized she was lost within them.

Hearing a noise behind her and fearing it might be the Var harem guard, she slipped

around a corner to hide. Almost instantly, she crashed into a warm, firm chest. Ulyssa

jerked back in surprise, just as two strong hands clamped about her arms like a vice.

"Relax," a voice said. The dark, rich sound sent chills down her spine, erupting beneath

her flesh in spurts of sensitive longing. Every inch of her tingled. She fought for breath.

The man chuckled, a seductively low sound, and asked, "Where do you think you're

going?"

Ulyssa jerked, turning around with a defiant scowl. Her mouth opened, ready to do battle

with whatever manner of creature dared to touch her. As her gaze met two dark, very

curious eyes, she froze. Her heart nearly stopped beating in her chest. She couldn't breath,

could barely think. Desire, hot and liquid, shot over her at the sight of the handsome man

who held her. Never had her body reacted with such fierce awareness, as to be struck both

deaf and dumb.

Dark stubble shadowed the man's chiseled jaw, matching the long black hair that spilled

down over his broad shoulders. He was perfectly built, not too broad and not too thin.

Even motionless, she could tell he'd move with the liquid grace of his kind. There was

something slow and seductive in the way the Var carried themselves--like hunters

crouched, ready to attack, stalking their prey. She'd seen the athletic quality in all the

warriors, but never did the prospect of being their prey excite her until that very moment.

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