Vaaden captives 2 enid, p.1
Vaaden Captives 2: Enid, page 1
Vaaden Captives: Enid
Jessica Coulter Smith
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Enid is terrified of men, but she finds herself falling in love with the man who claimed her.
Having been abused by men, Enid doesn’t trust easily and cannot stand to be touched. When she’s claimed as a sex slave on another planet, she fears what will happen to her. Bastian is a pleasant surprise -- patient and caring, he’s not what she expected in an owner. As she gets to know him, she finds herself doing the unthinkable -- falling in love.
The large Vaaden warrior entered the cell and stopped in front of Sorcha. I could tell she was scared, but I was glad he hadn’t noticed me. Then, he continued past her and stopped inches from me. My heart hammered in my chest and my eyes were wide in fear.
He reached out to touch my hair and I flinched. I hadn’t meant to, but it wasn’t something I could control. I wished I could show Sorcha’s bravery.
He frowned at me and I knew I had displeased him.
“Why do you flinch when I try to touch you?” I opened my mouth, but no sound would come out. It was as if my vocal cords had frozen in my throat. I felt paralyzed with fear.
“She doesn’t like to be touched by anyone,” Sorcha told him, and I silently thanked her.
The warrior stepped closer, and I forgot to breathe, dots danced in my vision and then blackness overtook me.
* * *
I awakened some time later in a lavish bedroom. Looking around at the foreign surroundings, I spotted the warrior in a nearby chair.
“You’re awake.” His voice was deep and dark, smoky like whiskey.
I trembled, knowing I should speak but I couldn’t.
I watched, helpless, as he stood and came closer. He stopped at the edge of the bed and sat beside me. Slowly, he reached a hand toward me and gently stroked a lock of my hair. I felt proud of the fact that I was able to hold still, even though I was terrified and trembling.
“Easy,” he murmured, and I realized I was hyperventilating. So much for my bravery. “What’s your name?” he asked softly.
I swallowed hard, forcing down the knot in my throat. “Enid.”
I stared at him, uncertain of what he wanted. I’d heard Susan tell Sorcha what to expect, but the idea of being intimate with a man petrified me. What would happen when he realized that I wouldn’t be able to please him?
“Why are you afraid of me? The woman in the cell said you hate to be touched.”
“It… it isn’t that I hate being touched. It scares me.”
“Why?” I looked away. When his fingers grasped my chin, I jumped and looked at him, wide-eyed and ready to run, not that I had anywhere to go. “Why does my touch scare you?” he persisted.
“Not yours, specifically. Anyone’s.”
He stared, waiting on my answer. My heart felt like it was going to pound right out of my chest and I wished he would move further away. I felt my palms grow moist and queasiness rolled through me. I only hoped I wouldn’t get sick. Even though I’d been stuck in the cell for weeks, I suddenly wished I was back there.
“I… I… On my way home from work one night, a group of men dragged me into an alley… they…” I closed my eyes against the memories. “They held me down and…” I stopped, unable to complete the sentence. The horrors of that night still lived in my mind, but putting voice to the events made them even more real.
“They raped you.”
My eyes flew open at the steely tone of his voice. Anger sparked in his violet eyes and a muscle twitched in his jaw. He really was a breathtaking man. Even as terrified as I was, I could appreciate his masculine beauty. Once upon a time, his attention would have flattered me, but not now. “Yes.”
“Was that your first time?”
I blushed and nodded, my gaze remaining trained on his face.
Slowly, he reached for me and gently cupped my cheek, his thumb caressing me.
Surprisingly, I didn’t flinch or pass out. I didn’t think he meant me any harm, and while I didn’t know for sure, he had been gentle with me so far. At least for the moment.
“I’m sorry for your pain and what you had to endure. No woman should ever go through that.”
I stared at him in surprise. “Isn’t that what… what you’re going to do to me?” I cringed at the fury I saw in his face and waited for the blow I was sure would follow. When it didn’t, I relaxed a little, watching him warily. He didn’t seem to be as horrible as the man who had claimed Susan. If anything, he seemed gentle, even if he didn’t look it. No, he looked like a god ready to do battle, a man who could command the thunder and lightning.
“I will take my pleasure in your body, but it will be nothing like your previous experience.” He grinned. “You may even like it.” I doubted it, but I didn’t voice my opinion. I had a feeling it would only anger him, and I knew I didn’t want that anger to be directed my way. If anything, I’d prefer that he ignore me all together. It didn’t seem that I would get my wish. When the time came, I only hoped I didn’t throw up on him.
“It’s late and I’m sure you’re tired. While you wash, I’ll get something for you to wear.”
I looked down at the tattered, grimy dress I wore. Anything had to be better than this, I thought ruefully. It was little more than a sack that hung from my shoulders to the tops of my thighs, covering very little of me. I had been embarrassed when I’d first woken to discover myself clothed in such an item. Now I wasn’t embarrassed, but I was very aware of the man staring at me. “I’d like that,” I replied softly.
He stood and walked to a metal door. After placing his palm against the center of it, it whooshed open, sliding into the wall. After walking into the pristine white chamber, he reached over and started what appeared to be a shower. Water emerged from jets in the ceiling and floor of the sunken area.
Rising unsteadily to my feet, I slowly walked into the small room. Steam rolled out of the shower area and I nearly sighed in pleasure. It
As Bastian walked out, I stared at the open bathroom door. I wanted a shower, but not with the door open. Uncertain what to do, I waited.
When Bastian returned, he was carrying a shirt, which I assumed to be his. After setting the shirt down on a long counter, he then removed a towel from a cabinet on the opposite wall.
Bastian walked to my side and stared down at me a moment before slowly reaching for me. “I won’t hurt you,” he whispered.
I held my breath, my body tense, as I watched his fingers curled into the hem of my dress and began to lift it in small increments. I stood frozen like a statue, wanting to cover myself but unable to move. My chest rose and fell, and I felt unable to get enough air.
He pulled the dress over my head and dropped it on the floor. Slowly turning my body, he gave me a gentle nudge into the shower, never touching me anywhere intimate.
Even with my back to him, I could feel his eyes boring into me, making the hair at the base of my skull prickle. Was he going to watch me the entire time, I wondered?
If so, it was going to make bathing a nightmare. I couldn’t imagine him watching me as I washed my body. Considering what I’d heard of Vaaden males, though, it was possible he got off on that kind of thing.
A moment later, I knew he no longer stood a few feet away. As I glanced over my shoulder, I looked up into a pair of violet eyes and my breath left me, as did my courage and strength. My knees weakened and I sank to the shower floor, huddled against the wall.
“Easy, Enid. I promise I won’t hurt you,” he crooned as he crouched before me, his hands turning my face to his.
My eyes focused on his chest. Broad and heavily muscled, it made my mouth run dry. If I hadn’t been terrified, I might have gladly welcomed him into my bed. He was definitely the best looking man I’d ever laid eyes on.
Bastian tipped my chin up so I was looking him in the eye once more. With his fingers, he traced my cheekbones and jaw, a caress as light as a butterfly’s wings. “Let me wash you, little one.”
I made a strangled sound in my throat and knew if my eyes opened any wider, they’d pop out of my head. After what I’d told him, surely he had to be joking. It had taken everything in me to allow him to undress me and touch my arms and back. The thought of his hands caressing my body was enough to make me pass out. “I… I can’t.” His jaw tensed a moment, but he watched me silently. He pulled me closer, and with our bodies nearly touching, I once more sank into oblivion.
I felt weighted down and couldn’t move. When I shifted, I felt something hard and warm behind me. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that Bastian was sleeping soundly, wrapped around me. The weight I had felt was his arm draped over my waist.
His eyes slowly opened and he smiled, tugging me against him. My muscles ached with coiled tension. I tried to relax, but it was impossible.
“Easy, little one. I just want to hold you.”
He reached up and caressed my cheek. “You have nothing to be sorry for. Trust will come in time.”
“But how much time do I have?” I asked softly.
Bastian studied me a moment. “I’m not going to get rid of you, Enid. If I did that, you would suffer horribly, and I won’t put you through that.” He brushed my hair from my eyes. “Don’t feel rushed.”
“Why are you being so kind to me?”
He looked puzzled. “I’m not really sure. There was something about you that spoke to me. It’s not something that’s ever happened to me before so I don’t know how to describe it.” He hugged me tighter. “When I saw you, I wanted to protect you.” No one had ever protected me before. It sounded like a nice concept, but I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to trust him. I was scared… scared that I would forever be scarred mentally and emotionally, unable to ever care about anyone. But I wanted to care, wanted to be the woman I once was. He seemed like a good man, with a gentle touch.
Bastian rolled out of bed and quickly dressed. Coming back to the bed, he leaned down and kissed my forehead. “I’ll be back in a little while. There’s food in the kitchen if you’re hungry and some books are stacked in the living room if you get bored.” I nodded and watched him walk to the front door. Before he left, he turned to me. “You’re safe here, Enid. No one can get into your quarters except me. I had a special lock installed that won’t open for anyone else.” I thought it was a little extreme, but at least I knew I wouldn’t have any surprises. If Bastian was the only one allowed in or out, then I would be safe as he said.
The thought of food made my stomach rumble, and as he walked out of the door, I got out of bed and went to explore my new home.
I was sitting on the bed drying my hair with a towel when I heard the front door open. Looking into the living room, I saw Bastian come in carrying a large bag. Relief washed over me. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how worried I had been over the past two days.
“You’re back,” I said softly as he walked into the bedroom.
He quirked a brow. “Did you miss me?”
I blushed and looked down at my lap. “If you disappeared, I would be stuck here, with no way to escape. The food was running low…” He chuckled. “I doubt that’s all. I have a feeling you missed me.” Maybe I had, but I wasn’t about to admit it. I’d sooner chew off my arm.
“What’s in the bag?” I asked.
“Food, and something special for you.”
He nodded. “I know you’re afraid, Enid, but you’ve done well. It will take some time before you welcome me into your bed. I know we’ll get there.” I fought the rush of panic and smiled at him, hoping to appease him. He hadn’t given me reason to distrust him, had been kind to me so far, but I was still uncertain.
He pulled out a short peach tunic style dress. It wasn’t much longer than the horrible thing I’d worn in the cell, but the material looked soft and pretty. “This is for you. I had it made with you in mind. While you can’t wear the clothing of a Vaaden woman, I don’t like you wearing the typical slave garment either.” I reached out and touched the material reverently. “Thank you,” I whispered.
With a smile, he tugged me to my feet and slowly slid the shirt over my head, dropping it on the floor. I shivered, feeling exposed and vulnerable, but he quickly reached for the new dress and slipped it over my head.
The material was cool against my skin and so light I couldn’t tell I was wearing anything. “It’s beautiful,” I said softly.
“Not as beautiful as you.”
I looked at him in surprise, shocked to see the warmth in his eyes. I could tell he meant what he said. He’d surprised me with the kind gesture of having a dress made for me.
Showing false bravado, I smiled. “I bet you say that to your wife and other slaves too.”
He shook his head, his expression serious. “I have no wife, nor slaves except for you.”
“But, I thought… don’t Vaaden men have to…” I couldn’t say the words. I’d heard the men had to have sex on a regular basis or their health would suffer for it.
“Yes, we have to have sex often, otherwise we falter and eventually die.”
“But… if you aren’t sleeping with me and you don’t have a wife or another slave, aren’t you going to become ill?”
He shook his head. “As much as I hate using the public harems, I’ll go there until you’re ready. As it is, I’m only going every few days.” He caressed my cheek. “I would prefer to be with you.”
I blushed and looked down at my feet. “I wish things were different, that I was different.”
“I don’t. It will get easier with time, and before long you’ll be ready.” I looked at him skeptically. No matter what he said, he wouldn’t be able to convince me that I would ever get over the rape. I wanted to be a normal woman with n
nightmares. They had eased some since Bastian had come into my life, but they remained, hiding in the shadows of my mind.
“Come on, let’s get you fed.” He took my hand and led me into the other room. I noticed the food containers out on the table and my stomach rumbled. I hadn’t lied when I’d told him the food was running low. Before he’d returned, I was ready to ration my meals to make sure I had enough to last, not knowing how long he would be gone.
* * *
Sitting on some pillows on the floor, he read to me. I wanted to know more about the planet I now had to call home. When I’d relaxed, he reached out an arm and pulled me close. I immediately stiffened again, but he didn’t release me. After a few minutes, I settled against him, convincing my body he wouldn’t hurt me. In my mind, I already knew he would never harm me. He’d been far too kind for a monster to be lurking within him.
He closed the book and looked down into my upturned face. “I promised you I would be slow and patient.” He reached out to caress my face and my heart thundered in my chest. “I’m going to kiss you, Enid.” Fighting against the lightheaded feeling and the black dots that swam before my eyes, I felt his lips touch mine. He was gentle, his lips coaxing me to kiss him back. I tried to respond to his kiss, but my lips wouldn’t cooperate. My jaw locked.
Somehow, I managed not to pass out. When his tongue touched the seam of my lips, I sucked in a large breath, air filling my oxygen-deprived lungs. I hadn’t realized until then that I had been holding my breath.
“Kiss me back, Enid,” he whispered against my mouth.
“I’m trying,” I answered softly, and I really was. I wanted to make him happy, but my body refused to obey. Bastian was kind and patient, the type of man I’d always wanted to find. He was always gentle with me and I knew he would never hurt me intentionally, and yet I was unable to submit to him completely.
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes