Malachi, p.1

Malachi, page 1



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  eBooks are not transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.

  This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

  Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

  2932 Ross Clark Circle, #384

  Dothan, AL 36301


  Copyright © 2006 by Shiloh Walker

  Cover by Scott Carpenter

  ISBN: 1-59998-125-4

  All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  First Samhain Publishing, Ltd. electronic publication: May 2006


  By Shiloh Walker

  Chapter One

  Long after his memories of her face faded, Malachi could still remember the way his mother’s voice sounded as she sang him to sleep. Her voice had been magickal. It had soothed away countless nightmares, had sung silly songs that made him laugh, could heal almost any hurt.

  Truly heal. Malachi’s mother had been magick. He was centuries old before he understood just exactly what she was, a witch—one with Healing powers.

  Too bad she had not been able to heal herself.

  Malachi had been hiding with the animals when it happened—he had seen it all. Watched as the big men took his older sisters, laughing and fighting off the furious efforts of their mother. Watched as she stopped trying to fight physically and resorted to the power nobody ever spoke of. Fire had struck one of the big men square in the chest.

  But there were too many. Malachi could remember screaming as somebody stabbed his mother in the back, the bloodied end of the knife coming through the front of her chest.

  They’d found him hiding then. But even if he had not screamed, they would have found him. The men had come to the small village looking for merchandise. Slaves. They’d chosen a good time—when most of the men were not there.

  What men remained behind had been slaughtered. Any woman who fought too hard was slaughtered.

  He had no idea how old he was when that happened. Time had no meaning for a child that young—and even less for a slave.

  Malachi did not remember much, but he did remember her voice.

  And as the whip came flying through the air, coming down on his back, he tried to focus on the memory of that voice. The pain from the lash was not immediate. It took a few seconds before it began to hurt, usually right as the whip came cracking down again.

  Blood ran in rivulets down his back. He could smell it.

  The whipping was worse this time. They got worse every time. The sadistic bastard who owned him would likely kill him.

  All Malachi could do was hope it would happen soon.

  * * * * *

  But the death he prayed for did not come.

  No longer the skinny boy he had been when the Master had first purchased him, Malachi had grown tall, much taller than other slaves, taller than most of the Master’s soldiers.

  Deeply tanned from so much time spent laboring under the sun and heavy with muscle, he had caught the eye of many of the slave girls. It was a brief pleasure he found when one of them sought him out.

  Yet the slaves were not the only ones who had noticed.

  The Master’s pretty young wife began to notice.

  “You better watch it, boy,” said Joshua, the slave in charge of the vineyards. It was a sunny day and Malachi had been sent to the vineyards to assist with heavy carrying.

  Joshua’s face was lined and tanned from years spent under the bright sun, a harsh contrast with the shock of white hair on his head. His tired old eyes held a knowledge that made Malachi leery.

  “Why?” he asked quietly, although he suspected he already knew. The Mistress was there. He could feel her eyes on him. She watched him far too often of late.

  When Joshua’s pale brown eyes flicked the woman watching from afar, Malachi knew he had been right.

  “She likes slave boys,” Joshua said softly. “No matter what you do when she sends for you, it will not go well for you. Not at all.”

  “I do not wish to touch that lily white flesh.” Indeed, Malachi would rather use his fist than rut on one of them. The cruel, selfish people who beat the slaves for the smallest mistake. The Mistress had beaten one of the slave girls just a week ago. Ruth had been heavy with child and the beating had caused her to go into early labor. Both mother and child had died.

  All because the Mistress had not been happy with her meal.

  Ruth had simply brought her the meal. She had not prepared it. Had not even placed it on the trays she carried to the Mistress.

  No. He had no desire to mount that woman.

  “It does not matter if you wish to touch her or not,” Joshua said flatly. “If you do, sooner or later, the Master will learn of it. And he will beat you to death. If you do not…” The older man’s voice trailed off and he reached up, rubbing a hand across the back of his neck. “The last slave who tried to refuse her paid dearly. She told the Master that the boy had tried to rape her. The Master gutted him.”

  * * * * *

  It came to neither.

  Just a few days later, Malachi was sold.

  The Mistress had not been subtle in her study of Malachi. The Master had noticed. Malachi could remember hearing, “The one is worth too much. I will not throw away the money he could bring me.”

  It all came down to the fact that Malachi was big and strong, good in the arena.

  “He would bring a pretty bit of gold on the block,” the slave master had agreed.

  So that was where he went.

  Sold. Again.

  But this time, Malachi actually looked upon it as a relief.

  As much as he might wish for death, he did not wish to meet his own by having the slave master cut him open and spill his guts out. A slow, painful way to die.

  * * * * *

  It was not the first time he had been woken with a foot kicking him in the ribs. It would not be the last. As he rolled to his feet, Malachi imagined grabbing the bastard who had kicked him, knocking his legs out from under him, taking him to the ground and choking the life from him.

  The Master was not a cruel owner, especially not compared to the last one who had the fondness for the whip. Still, Mal fantasized about killing him. About running away and living in freedom.

  Enough time had passed since the last brutal whipping from his previous owner that the scars on his back had faded from angry red to pale white. None of the beatings he had received since had been as bad—they had not left any scars and none of them had been with one of those damned whips. But Malachi had not forgotten the pain.

  And if anybody saw the look in his eyes just yet, he would most surely be beaten. So he kept his head bowed as he waited for the orders.

  With this new Master, his life had become routine. Two days ago, he had fought in the arenas. He would not fight again for another five. So he was either needed for heavy lifting—or because it was time to lay with the Mistress again.

  He sincerely hoped it was lifting.

  The Mistress had a taste for pain that turned Malachi’s stomach. Even thinking of what she liked to do during sex made his skin crawl and his testicles shrivel.

  He would almost rather step into the arena again. Almost. Since he had been bought by the new Master, he had stepped into the arena many times. He had won each bout.

  But winning was not enough.

  Taking the lif
e of the fallen fighter had made him ill for days. But the man would have died anyway, and it would not have been anything as merciful as having his neck snapped.

  The only good thing about the bouts was the knowledge he would have a respite after each win.

  Malachi was wrong. He was not needed for lifting or for mounting the damned Mistress again. By mid-evening, he was face to face with the man in charge of preparing men for the arena. The man was small and dark with slanted eyes and an odd accent. He moved like nothing Mal had ever seen.

  “Too slow. Too slow. You too big to ever move fast enough,” Yen said, shaking his head as he circled around Malachi. “You no business fighting tonight—still bruised.” He poked a slender finger into Malachi’s multi-colored rib cage and smiled when Malachi did not even flinch. “Last fight was close miss.”

  Malachi did not bother saying anything. The man he had fought had moved in a manner oddly similar to Yen’s but had stood nearly as tall as Malachi. He had been deadly. A few times, Malachi had seen his life flash before his eyes.

  And it had been a pathetic thing, too. Because there was very little in his life worth fighting to live for. All that kept him on his feet had been sheer stubbornness.

  “You stiff. Moving slow.”

  Malachi met Yen’s eyes briefly and said, “What do you expect?”

  Yen scowled. “No business fighting so soon. Come—have medicine for bruise.”

  Hours later, Malachi was once more lying on the small pallet that made up Yen’s bed. From the knee down, his legs were on the bare earth. The sharp scent of the weird herbs Yen used saturated the air. Thick cloths soaked in the herbs were wrapped around his torso. Malachi knew from experience—Yen’s odd concoctions would have his bruises feeling days old and he would be moving around normally in very little time.

  But sadly, it was quite likely the rapid recovery would just end with Malachi back in the arena that much sooner.

  That much sooner he would have to face down another man and kill him.

  He had no idea how many men he had been forced to kill, but their faces haunted him. Many had been hardly more than boys.

  There had been a time when Malachi had refused to deliver that final strike. But it had resulted in one outcome—the fallen were still killed, right in front of him, usually in a slow and painful manner. And Malachi was beaten.

  He could handle the beatings. He had been raised a slave. Beatings were something he was used to. But the last time, he had watched as one of the centurions eviscerated his fallen opponent. Then castrated him. Those screams would haunt Malachi until the day he died.

  How much longer…

  * * * * *

  Nearly a week passed before he was summoned again. He was left alone, left to heal, left to brood. Malachi was not summoned to the Mistress’ bed and he was not forced into the arena either.

  When he was finally summoned, he was prepared for one or both duties.

  Surprisingly though—it was neither. He was sent to the baths with hardly a word.

  Before sunset, he had been sold.


  * * * * *

  “Oh, he is worth every single bit of gold you paid.”

  The new Mistress was not a chore to look at, but the way she stared at him made Malachi feel dirty.

  “If he does not please you, we can always use him in the arena,” the Master said, barely glancing at Malachi. “That is where I first saw him. I have watched him many times. Julius did not wish to sell him, but I knew you would enjoy him. I paid a heavy sum of gold for him. Julius did not wish to let his best fighter go. He fights as if he were born to do it.”

  Big blue eyes sparkled as the Mistress ran her hands down Malachi’s chest, over his belly, then his naked genitals. Malachi stared steadfastly at the floor the entire time, even when somebody tugged on his hair to try to force him to raise his head. He had been beaten more than once because an owner had not liked the look in his eyes.

  Defiance, they called it. Malachi was not completely certain what the word meant, and he cared little. But he tired of the beatings rather quickly and he would avoid them when he could.

  The Mistress closed cool, pale fingers over his cock and worked him until he grew erect. She giggled like a child with a new toy and said, “I think there is something else he was born to do. I cannot wait to see just how well he does it.”

  The Master waved a hand at them, smiling. “Take him, dearest. I have business to attend to.”

  That business, Malachi learned quickly enough, was his own lover, a blond haired man who was nearly as pretty as the Mistress. The Master was content to let the Mistress do as she pleased with her new toy, provided an heir was produced.

  And quickly.

  Malachi had been the fifth slave purchased for just the reason. The last four had been put to death for failing the Master and Mistress.

  Like a stallion in rut, he was to service her. And he was told she had best get with child.

  * * * * *

  Fucking her had become something he did without truly thinking about it. Malachi stared a hole into the wall in front of him as he pumped against her, his cock moving a slow, steady rhythm as he waited for her to climax. She liked her pleasures, this Mistress. If he climaxed before she had taken her own release, he would be beaten.

  He had been with these owners a long while now, and he had not been beaten once. Making her come was an easy enough chore. Sometimes it was reaching his own climax that was difficult. But it was required.

  She had born one child already, and both the Master and the Mistress desired more.

  Malachi suspected she was already pregnant again, but that offered no reprieve for him. She had wanted sex almost until she delivered the first babe. No doubt this would be the same.

  The Mistress arched under him and her sheath began to convulse around his cock. Her nails bit into his flesh and he could feel the hard press of her nipples against his chest. Now was the more difficult part. Hunkering lower over her body, Malachi blocked out the scent of her, the sight of her, picturing another woman in his mind.

  This woman was unknown to him—her face always hidden by shadows, her long, pale body with its subtle curves. But it was her he imagined whenever he climaxed. Without thinking of her, he did not know if he could achieve release.

  The first time she had come to him was truly the sweetest memory he had. Touching her was a pleasure, not a duty, not a chore and she gave as much pleasure as she received.

  At first those dreams had been welcome escapes. But then he began to wish for more than just dreams. Much more.

  To truly hold her. To truly touch her.

  To know her name.

  In his self-induced fantasy, she wrapped slender, strong arms around his neck and cried out his name as she came. Who are you…

  He did not make a sound as he climaxed and the second it ended, he rolled away and moved to his pallet on the floor. Lying with his back to the Mistress’ bed, he closed his eyes.

  Perhaps tonight, he would dream of her again.

  * * * * *

  The Mistress was with child.

  Malachi stared at the room the Master had led him to. “Yours,” he had been told. “We are pleased.”

  Pleased. Malachi kept his eyes on the floor and hoped nobody could see the sneer.

  “Perhaps tonight you could provide some entertainment,” the Master said as Malachi finally stepped into the room before him.

  Entertaintment—Malachi suppressed a bitter smile. In other words, they wanted to see one of his other skills at the celebration tonight. The celebration was in honor of the Master and the Mistress. The entire household was moving at frantic speeds to get ready for it.

  Entertainment—a fight. Truly, he did not understand any of these people. Their idea of entertainment was watching as Malachi beat the life out of somebody.

  How was that an amusing thing?

  Until then, though, Malachi was allowed to go into his new room and rest. He
spent the afternoon lying on the bed and staring out the window at the mountains.


  That was all he wanted.

  His mind drifted and he found himself dreaming of her again. The room was dim and he could see just the vague outline of her body as she came to him, lowering her warm, soft body against his. She was soft, but there was a strength in her that was unlike any he had ever felt in a woman.

  Her laugh rang in his ears like angel song as they mock wrestled, their tussle ending with him flipping her onto her back. She gasped as he touched her. Vicious hunger ripped through him as he covered her mound with his hand and felt how wet she was. Making her sigh and moan with pleasure was a pleasure all its own. Listening to her cry out as he brought her to climax had him wanting to throw back his head and scream out his triumph.

  Touching her was like nothing he had ever known. “Who are you?” he asked as he pushed her thighs wide and moved between them.

  “Shhh…” She never spoke to him. In all the months since he had first dreamed of her, this was the first time she had any sort of response when he demanded to know more of her.

  “Tell me,” he urged as he pushed into her. The slick wet tissues of her pussy clenched around his cock like a greedy fist. Pulling nearly completely out, he said it again, “Tell me.” Driving back in.

  The only answer was a hungry female cry. Malachi tried to pull away—he wanted to have her name before he came inside her again. But he did not have the strength.

  Anger flooded him and his control went flying out the window. Hunkering low over her body, he fucked her. He was greedy, quick and demanding—taking his own pleasure without much regard for hers, but she came anyway, arching against him and screaming out his name.

  The silky wet folds of her sex clenched around his cock, milking him, drawing his climax out until he thought he would die from the pleasure.

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