Bondage

Cover of Dragon's Fall: Bondage

About Dragon’s Fall: Bondage:

Dragon’s Fall is a novel in five acts. Bondage is the first act and is included in the novel Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order.

Set in Hellenistic Athens, Bondage is the story of the slave Alexandra. Sold to Theron, a mysterious banker, she wonders about her new master who is never seen during the day. As time goes on, she notices that slaves called upon to serve Theron in his chamber in the night do not return the next morning.

When Alexandra’s turn comes she learns Theron is a vampire who binds his slaves, takes his pleasure with them, then drinks their blood. She refuses to be a victim, but as she fights his embrace, Alexandra ingests some of Theron’s blood. Now a vampire herself, she becomes Theron’s concubine. Yet even as she learns the ways of the vampire, Alexandra yearns for freedom …


Reviews of Dragon’s Fall: Bondage:

“A thoroughly engrossing, fast-paced and laudably well-written read.” Chris at Romance Junkies. Read the entire review at the Romance Junkies Website

“The first thing I noticed while reading this story was how well written it is.” Claudia Rhyes at Manic Readers. Read the entire review at the Manic Reader’s Website


Excerpt from Dragon’s Fall: Bondage:

Syntyche was not back in her bed the next morning, or even the morning after. On the third day, I found Pelagia packing up Syntyche’s belongings. I swallowed hard. “What has become of her?” I asked.

Pelagia shook her head. “I do not know.” She licked her lips and took a deep breath. “All I know is that Democritus has told me that she will not be returning and I must clean out her things so there will be room for a new slave.”

I felt Pelagia was holding something back. “Has this happened before?”

“Every week or two, a slave is called to serve Theron at night. Sometimes two slaves are called. Of the eight I have seen called, only two have returned the next morning. One of them was a man whose spirit was so badly broken, Democritus had to sell him to the slaver. Another was a woman who grew distant. Theron called her back a week later and she didn’t return that time.” Pelagia frowned deeply and a tear ran down her cheek. “It can only be a matter of time before Xenia or I are called.”

My mouth fell open. “That’s terrible. Is there anything we can do?”

Pelagia shook her head. “I do not know. I have spoken in private to Democritus. He says little, but he gave me the impression that there is some kind of trial for the slaves that Theron calls. If the slaves pass the trial, Theron sets them free.”

My heart felt as though it skipped a beat. Freedom. Was it possible that we could be set free? Then I thought of what Pelagia said about those who returned changed. “What are these trials that Theron sets before us?”

“I do not know and from what I have seen, I wonder if freedom is worth the price.”

I sensed Pelagia knew nothing more, so I gathered my resolve and set about my appointed tasks for the day. While sweeping the floor in one of the rooms furthest from the courtyard, I wondered again what lay in the rest of the house. Setting down my broom, I began to examine the walls, searching for a hidden door. A man cleared his throat and I jumped. Turning around, I saw it was Democritus.

“Sorry to startle you,” he said. “Are you looking for something?”

I blinked a couple of times as I thought how best to answer. “I was just wondering if there are other chambers that I should be cleaning? I do not wish to be negligent in my duties.”

Democritus smiled. “The master is most pleased with your work—especially in the bath. You have taken much initiative and he is impressed.”

Thinking about my conversation with Pelagia, I wondered whether it was good to have impressed the master such. I swallowed hard. “I’m pleased.”

“You only need concern yourself with the four rooms closest to the courtyard,” said Democritus.

“There are other rooms, then?” I asked before I could stop myself.

He inclined his head. “You’ve been outside the house. Surely that must be obvious.”

I simply nodded and retrieved my broom. “I apologize for being lax in my duties.”

He waved off the apology. “I was seeking you for a special task. I was wondering if you would be so good as to help Kallius fetch the water for tonight’s dinner.”

“I would be happy to,” I said.

I stepped from the room, feeling Democritus’ eyes on my back as I left. Putting the broom away, I met Kallius in the courtyard. We each took up a pair of urns and left on our errand to fetch the water. It was a sunny day with a bright blue sky. I had not realized how much I had missed the sun, cooped up as we were in our dark rooms within Theron’s home. Working the fields had been difficult, but it meant being outside where the sun warmed my hair and skin. I looked down at my arm and frowned. I wondered if I would become pale and thin like Syntyche if I continued to work indoors.

We made our way to the public cistern, passing several people. I found myself thinking how different life was on these city streets from the way it was out in the fields of the countryside. On the farm, you might not see another person besides your family for the entire day. There, the fields rolled away until they came to the mountains or a stream. In the city, people brushed by me and my view was obstructed by buildings on all sides.

I looked over at Kallius. He was tall and I couldn’t help but notice his long, beautiful legs, bare under his chiton. I liked seeing how the light played across his muscles as he carried the water urns. He saw me looking and my breath caught. For a moment, it felt as though a small fire had been kindled in my belly as I imagined those arms holding me instead of the urns. I smiled back. Just then, from one of the buildings, I heard a baby cry for its mother. Memories of my brother came rushing back to me and I found myself looking forward once more. I strode quickly to the cool shade beside the cistern and filled my urns.

I felt Kallius come up beside me. He put his arm around my shoulder. “What’s the matter?” he asked.

I shook my head. “Nothing.”

“Then why did you suddenly rush ahead?” He reached out and gently touched my cheek and turned my head so that I found myself looking into his eyes.

“It was nothing.” His gaze was so earnest that I wanted to laugh, but I also found myself wanting to trust him. “Just bad memories.”

He pulled me into his arms and I was happy to let him do so. “I would like to help you chase away those memories, if they distress you so.” He kissed me atop the head and then on the cheek. Then I felt his lips meet mine. My arms wrapped around him and I delighted in the sensation of the cloth of our tunics rubbing against my breasts. As our kiss deepened, I felt his sex grow rigid against my belly. In spite of myself, I could feel the moisture of desire build between my own legs. For a moment, I wanted nothing more than to feel Kallius within me.

As that thought came to me, I also thought of what that could mean—of what a coupling could bring. Gently as I could, I backed away from beautiful Kallius. My breath was heavy and my lips still tingled.

He looked at me, his head cocked to the side. “Why do you retreat?” He took a step closer, but I stopped him with a hand on his chest. “I sense that you desire me as much as I want you…”

I sighed and looked past him, toward Theron’s house. “There are no children in our master’s house.” I turned away and retrieved the urns.

He smiled knowingly. “Ah, you’re concerned about children.” He went to the cistern and filled his urns with water. “I would be proud to be a father.” His smile was sincere as he continued his work.

“I know you would, but that raises another problem.” I set down the urns and stepped up next to Kallius. “The slaves of Theron’s house do not seem to stay long, do they?”

Kallius’s smile melted into a frown. “No, they do not. Syntyche was called to serve the master but did not return.”

“And what of the two who did not return shortly before we were purchased? Do you suppose they were set free or sold over the course of the night?” I put my hand on his forearm.

He set the full urns next to mine, then turned toward me and took me into his arms again. He made a show of comforting me, but he was the one who trembled.


Order Dragon’s Fall: Bondage:


Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Bondage

  1. […] bookmark sites and visit often. Click the badge below to visit the trailhead. Otherwise, visit the excerpt for Bondage, read that, and click the banner at the end of the excerpt to discover more exciting […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s