Betrayed A Dark Steamy SciFi Romance by DM Yates

I've begun to post the chapters from one of my newest novels, 'Betrayed' on Wattpad. I really love Wattpad and enjoy sharing my works there. If you're on Wattpad or would like to read my stories and poems, here's my link and I encourage you to follow. If you have an account, of course, I'll follow you back. DM Yates Wattpad

I'm putting chapter one here for you to read. If you like it, please go to Wattpad and read the other chapters.

I will warn you about this book, though, in Wattpad's words:
Story may contain graphic depictions of violence, sexuality, strong language, and/or other mature themes.

I have removed parts of Chapter One because it is unsuitable for certain audiences. However, I have posted the real chapter one on Wattpad.



Chapter One

Abandoned



I was standing in the parking lot of the mall trying to talk sense into my friend Lucy, who was sitting behind the wheel of her car with the engine running.

“Lucy, try to be patient. There isn’t anything I can do.” I explained the situation to my friend again. “…and the return lines are still long. They’re not moving quickly.”

“I have to get home. My children will be getting out of school.”

“Can’t you give me just a few more minutes?”

“You know what? Find another ride.” Lucy put her car in gear and sped off leaving me stranded at the mall.

I had ordered backpacks for my children. Jaden was 5-years-old and nervous about his first year in Kindergarten. His favorite subject was space and he picked a blue backpack with a grey spaceship. His was fine. His sister Violet had just turned 3-years old and excited to start pre-school. She wanted her favorite cartoon character, a grey mouse wearing a black ninja outfit on a pink backpack. When the items arrived, Violet’s was the wrong color. They’d shipped a green one with a white puppy character in a green bowtie instead. She’s a fussy, moody, temperamental little girl and adamantly refused it.

I didn’t have time to return hers in the mail and order in the replacement, but she had her heart set on the pink one and wouldn’t touch the other. She wasn’t happy about being away from me anyway, even for those few hours and I wanted her to stay excited about school. I knew if I could make her first day perfect, she’d love making friends and learning new things. Luckily, the company had a store in a mall about an hour from my city.

My friend Lucy had wanted to visit the same mall and offered to drive me, but Lucy is impatient and rash. It was just like her to drive off and leave me stranded. I was sure she’d come back, so I waited in the hot parking lot for half an hour worrying about my place in the line, but she didn’t return.
I’d already handed the backpack to an employee in the store and received a ticket number for the exchange for when I got to the counter. What was I supposed to do now? Go back in and hope that when I came out with the right item that Lucy would have come back for me? Well, I didn’t. I started walking along the road.

Alright. I can be rash too and Lucy’s impatience angered me, and maybe I shouldn’t have just taken off on foot. After all, it was late August and an unusually hot muggy day. Still, I thought she’d turn around at some point and pick me up. I was pretty sure I knew how we’d gotten to the mall and at first, I watched for her car as I continued along the road, but soon enough the road divided into several roads all going in different directions. “No problem,” I thought. I started off on a road that rose up a hill. “I’m sure this is the right one.” It didn’t dawn on me that all those roads would have come down from the same hill and I didn’t take the time to check.

I don’t know how long I walked. I think somewhere along the way I realized that I did take a wrong turn, or maybe a couple of wrong turns. I was lost and on a deserted road that seemed to go on forever. I had no idea what time it was, but the afternoon sun’s rays beat down harshly on me. I could have turned back, but I didn’t remember how I even got to where I was.

I was getting disoriented and suffering from dehydration and possibly heat stroke, but what choice did I have? I had to keep going. Sooner or later, I’d run into a house, a farm, a business, even a car passing by. After all, I wasn’t that far from the mall. Or was I?

My shoes were a pair of lavender espadrilles. You know, the shoes where the sole is made of flexible jute and the rest is canvas. Very showy and fun, but not made for long distance walking. My feet were killing me and after a while, I could feel every stone I stepped on.

I wasn’t prepared for a hike. I’d dressed for mall shopping. My straight, shoulder length chestnut colored hair stuck to the sweat on my neck and shoulders. The bangs felt like they were glued to my forehead and I had no hat to stop the sun from baking the top of my head. My sterling silver heart necklace stuck to me too and I removed it and the matching earrings and put them in my purse. The green contacts I wore over my plain brown eyes were hurting and I paused to remove them. However, the case was home, so I had to just discard them. My lavender chiffon blouse was pasted against my skin and I could tell I was sweating right through it, but at least my calf length denim skirt was comfortable.

You probably wonder where my cell phone was. At home, on the kitchen table, of course. My husband Bill teases me for my forgetfulness to take my phone with me. We’d had many a good laugh over it. In this case, it wasn’t funny because I could have called him to rescue me. I should have asked to use a phone from one of the mall stores, but like I said, I can be impulsive.

As I hurried along, I reached an area that looked like it had long been deserted and I’ll admit, I was becoming frightened. I gripped my purse close to my stomach protectively and walked faster, but the road was old and uneven and full of potholes and I tripped constantly. Honestly, with no one else around and not a car in sight in all this time, and barren dry land on each side, it was eerie and instead of watching where I was going, I watched around me for any activity.

At one point, I actually fell and landed on all fours, scuffing my hands and my kneecaps, but I’m a trooper, so I got up and kept going even when my vision became blurry and my throat was parched. I dug through my purse full of receipts and wads of paper for a stick of gum or a piece of candy. I read that helps a dry throat. Just my luck. I had none.

I don’t know what happened. Maybe I tripped again. Maybe I started to black out. All I remember is that I stumbled into a short cement blockade that separated the road from a sheer drop, and somehow I managed to tumble over it. I rolled across rebar, nails, fencing, thistles, broken branches, sticks, and old garbage that had been discarded from the road above, unable to stop. I remember my forehead colliding with a boulder at the bottom and my body at a weird angle, but I don’t remember the whole trip down.

I fought my way out of the chicken wire fencing that had tangled around me when I landed. My blouse was ripped down one side and I noticed several holes in the shirt as I worked to free myself. My denim skirt was filthy and I brushed it off the best I could. I pulled out a long, rusty nail stuck in the side of my shoe. It came out bloody. The other shoe had come unglued around the top so I took my shoes off. My arms were bleeding and so were my legs. My head was throbbing and I had a lovely goose egg on my forehead. I hurt everywhere and I imagined I was also quite bruised and grimy. If I wouldn’t have struggled against gravity, I might not have ached so badly. And boy, would I be sore tomorrow, but what a story I’d have to share with my friends.

When I stood up, I felt strange. Maybe woozy is a better word. The humidity and heat were worse down here. I tried to look up to where I fell, but vertigo hit. I glanced around at my surroundings. Thick, dark green grass waved in the balmy breeze as far as I could see. That meant water had to be nearby, didn’t it? I walked on, or I should say limped because that’s what I did as my wounded foot began to throb and ache. I couldn’t climb back up, but in soil this fertile, there’d be a river or farmhouses close by and I could get a glass of water and use a phone.

I’m sure I was quite the sight with the ripped and torn blouse, dirty skirt, pulling garbage and twigs out of my hair, barefoot carrying my shoes and my purse, and over-all scrungy. I had no idea how long I hobbled on or how far, but I was tired and my dry lips were cracking.

The humidity and high heat were making me lightheaded and thirstier when I’d suddenly come upon farms. Unpainted wooden poled fences defined the plot of one farm from another. I followed a dirt road past a dark brown two-story wooden house. Someone would give me water and let me use their phone so I could reach Bill. Why wouldn’t they?

Why didn’t I go to that first house? Because I saw a stream up ahead and I could only think of drinking from it. I didn’t even care if it was clean. I just desperately wanted to quench my thirst, splash water all over me, and soak my aching feet. When I reached the stream, though, I saw a farmer ahead with his back to me. He was wearing a black fur coat, of all things, in this unbearable heat. His property was divided from the house I had just passed, and his parcel sat up about two feet. I started across the stream to crawl up the small incline thrilled to find help.

Naturally, I tripped in the debris in the stream and fell on my face. I was soaked but at least the water felt good. I started to black out again and, silly as it seems now, I became fearful that I’d drown, so with great effort, I crawled out and clambered up the hill in a panic. Just as I reached my hands to the fence to pull myself through, I was grabbed from behind.

The arms that seized me weren’t human, but long and muscular and black, thickly covered in short viscous hairs. The hands had four long digits and one shorter one, similar to ours but black. The palms and inner sides of the fingers were hairless and padded. The monster held me against its body and I could tell its physique was the same as its arms – burly and covered in profuse short viscous hairs that poked through the back of my wet blouse.

I screamed, but my throat was raw and barely a sound came out. I tried again, but only a weak moan escaped. The creature ran with me back towards the house that I’d passed. I fought it. I kicked at it and scratched at its face, but it didn’t seem to care. It dashed in the house and up the stairs and threw me roughly on a bed.

I looked up traumatized at the hideous thing as it glared at me. Short black viscous hairs covered a round face. My clawing hadn’t left a mark. Its mouth was shaped like a human’s with rose colored lips but tinier teeth. Thick dark eyebrows and brownish black whiskers around its huge black orbed eyes moved as if it were thinking or scowling and I could see my reflection in its bulbous eyes. There were longer brownish black hairs across the upper lip, trimmed and combed neatly like a mustache. Its ears were curved like ours, but covered in those short viscous hairs again, and the ears moved back and forth like when an animal listens in rhythm. I was breathing in and out quickly in fear and I realized that its ears were reacting to me, to my sounds. Longer thicker reddish black hair was combed sleekly from its forehead straight down its back, behind its ears, to its waist and held in place by some sort of tie.

The being was tall, taller than my husband, and Bill is 6-feet. And it only wore blue cotton bibbed shorts with straps that hooked in front. A closer look at its body showed that its short hairs were silky and that it was well-built and toned. It had large flat feet with the same short hairs and three thick plain black toes, and I decided that it was either an alien or I was hallucinating. Now it was yelling angrily at me in a language that I didn’t understand. Couldn’t it tell that I was hurting badly? That I wasn’t one of its kind? It had to be an alien. Definitely, a male alien. Here. On Earth. I wasn’t hallucinating. This was too real. I had to escape. I had to warn our government.

It was studying me just as curiously as I did it, both of us looking each other over. It took its time looking at my chest and I realized it could see through my wet chiffon blouse. I hoped my bra wasn’t see-through but still, I wrapped my arms across me. It frowned at me, pulled out a black box from one of its many pockets and hit three buttons, then yelled into the machine.

That’s all I remembered before I passed out. I came to when the strange brute tried to get me to drink a black gooey ink-like liquid. I refused to open my mouth, and it struggled with me, grimacing. I pushed the drink away and it spilled onto the bed. That act enraged this thing. It ripped the sheet off and stomped to a drawer, retrieved a clean one, and fluffed it on the bed, throwing the stained one aside and tossing me from one side of the bed to the other as it fixed the new sheet. It was oblivious to my painful yelps. Obviously, gentleness wasn’t one of this alien’s attributes.

There was a knock from downstairs and the creature called down. I heard feet padding up and then there was another alien, also in bibbed shorts with an unbuttoned cotton white coat like a doctor’s. It was chunky. It didn’t have a moustache, but its hairs were white and grey and I wondered if it were older. It stood next to the first one and they had some sort of conversation. The second one opened what looked like a doctor’s bag. It took out a round black object and set it on a table and clicked it on.
Two of them. Was I scared? Terrified. It was a horror movie in 3D and their eyes were on me. I started shaking and couldn’t stop.

This new beast spoke at me. Not to me, but at me. In a few seconds, a translation sounded out in monotone from the object on the table.

“Who do you belong to?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, confused. “I don’t belong to anyone.” Now my words came out of the black box in their strange language.

“Razan asks that you show us your mark.”

“What mark?”

The first creature irately ripped off my left shirt sleeve. He grabbed my arm tightly and twisted.

“Ow!” I tried to yank my arm away, but it did no good. His grip was firm.

They peered closely at my upper arm. The second one turned off the translator and they had another conversation.

The chunkier one turned the translator on again and asked me, “You’re not one of our prisoners?”
“Prisoners? Where am I? Isn’t this the American Continent?”

They seemed to be intelligent males and I decided it was wrong to think of them as ‘its’.

“How did you get here?” the second one asked without answering my question. Only he spoke to me, not this Razan fellow.

I explained my day and how I fell down the hill. Off went the machine again while the two conversed. On went the translator.

“This is most peculiar,” said the second one. “You shouldn’t have found us.”

“Will you kill me? Are you going to eat me? Are you aliens? Are you a doctor?”

Razan scoffed at each of my questions.

“I am what you call a doctor. My name is Fryebye and this is Razan. You’re in his home. We’re guests of your world. We consider you an alien in our territory. We don’t eat humans and we have no reason to kill you. Your government has granted us land and workers from your prisons and naturally, we assumed you were one of those.”

“I’ve never heard about this.”

“It’s kept quiet, so we have a dilemma. What do we do with you?”

“Please. Could I have a glass of water? My throat’s parched.”

The doctor took a bottle of water out of his bag, opened it, and handed it to me. I gulped down the entire bottle.

“Thank you,” I said, wiping my mouth.

The first creature, called Razan spoke. “I gave her eel juice, but she refused it.”

“Humans don’t drink eel juice,” said the doctor. “They drink water.”

“Strange custom,” answered Razan.

“Razan was kind enough to bring you here out of our sun. I must examine you,” said the doctor. “I won’t hurt you. I’ve been trained to care for our humans.”

At that, he wiped the grime and mud off my face, my arms, and my legs then checked over my bruises and cuts. He felt my various organs and my goose bump, which caused me to holler “ouch.” For some reason, both found that funny and laughed.

The doctor pulled up my skirt and checked my thighs. I was mortified because Razan carefully watched everything he did. When the doctor finished with my thighs, I pushed my skirt down, still embarrassed.

I was still clutching my shoes and purse and the doctor threw them aside and discovered where the nail had penetrated my foot. He prepared a shot. “Tetanus,” he said, and promptly shot it in my arm. He tore off my blouse although I struggled to no avail. He pushed on my ribs and I winced. “Good. They’re not broken, only surface bruises.”

I covered my chest with my arms, but Razan slapped them away. The doctor pulled out a stethoscope and listened to my heart. Razan’s gaze wandered from my chest as it moved up and down with my frightened breaths to my eyes and I looked down, my face turning red. I clasped the bottom sheet in my hands as if I needed to hold on to something for security.

The doctor checked my ears and felt the back of my neck and shoulders, then turned me over. “A nasty large bruise on your back. I’m sure that hurts.” He let go of me. “She’s terrified and I don’t blame her, falling into a strange world. Well, Razan, she’s your responsibility. You found her.”

“I don’t want it. What am I going to do with it? I don’t use prisoners. It’s a she, is it?”

“She’s a human female, and not a prisoner. I’ll have to go to our ambassador and notify him of this situation, but until her government reclaims her, she stays with you.”

“I won’t be responsible. I have work to do.”

“Our rules apply to you too. I can’t keep a female in the clinic, not with male prisoners in there, and the guards would be too rough on her. You’ll have to clean her and fix her wounds. I’ll leave you bandages and ointment. I’ll send a box of human food and one of their work outfits. You shouldn’t have to watch her longer than a week.”

“No, I tell you. I won’t do it.”

“Sorry. If I don’t get an answer in a week, I’ll have her committed to our auction.”

Did he just say auction? I bit down on my lip and it started to bleed. The doctor wiped the blood gently off.

“You sure it’s a female?”

“Yes, that’s obvious, and she’s been hurt. Will you not take pity on her?”

“Fine, but only for a week and only because their females are easier to handle. She can sleep on the floor.”

“Lock her in your barn, for all I care. Just don’t harm her and don’t let her escape. We wouldn’t want certain others finding her. She seems well-behaved and gentle so I’m sure she has a family. Someone must be missing her by now.”

“If I could just use your phone,” I interjected, “I could call my husband and he’d come and get me.”
“We don’t use phones like yours, and you shouldn’t even know about us. No, it’s best we keep our community a secret,” said Fryebye.

“But my husband’s probably worried about me.”

“Can’t be helped.” The doctor took out bandages and another bottle of water. “You need to stay down. Our humidity and heat are difficult to get used to. I’ll check on you tomorrow.” He set a couple pills on the table. “Make sure she takes these tonight. They’re for pain and they’ll help her sleep. She needs rest.”

At that, the doctor left, leaving me alone with Razan. He put his hands on his hips and frowned, his mustache twitching.

“Don’t give me any trouble,” he said, “or I’ll punish you. And don’t try running away. I don’t have time to chase you.” He went to a room next to the bedroom and I could hear water running. He came back, picked me up, and sat me in the tub, clothes and all.

“Wash,” he said. “Take those garments off. I’ll give you a few minutes.” He brought in white cotton shorts that tied in the front and a white cotton frock from his closet. “These are mine. They’re for sleeping, but men and women wear the same. They’ll be a little big on you, but they’ll do until you receive fresh garments from your government. They’ll be more comfortable and certainly cleaner than what you’re wearing. When you’re finished bathing, put them on.” Then he left.

I was exhausted and the water felt good, although it burned on my wounds. I ducked my head under and came back up, washed off the dirt from my hair and body with what looked like a bar of soap, and gingerly climbed out of the tub. I became instantly dizzy and sat on the floor. I put on the clothes he gave me and attempted to stand, but collapsed on all fours.

Razan heard me fall and ran in and picked me up. He had made a bed from blankets on the floor next to his bed for me, but when he laid me down, the hardwood floor hurt my back and I cried. He turned me over and ran his hand across the large bruise in the middle of my back. I inhaled sharply when he touched it. He must have sworn because the translator didn’t interpret those words. He picked me up gently and placed me on the bed instead.

“My bed,” he said. “Now, I have to sleep on the floor.”

“I’m sorry. I can lie on my side on the floor.”

“Forget it, and you hurt yourself again, clumsy human. If you couldn’t stand, you should have called for me.” He checked me over quickly then held out his hand. I had no idea what he meant.

“Your rings,” he said impatiently. I covered my wedding rings with my other hand.

“No,” I said emphatically, but before I could stop him, he’d removed them and set them on the table. 

“Don’t put them back on. I don’t want you scratching yourself with those stones.”

“They’re diamonds,” I said defensively, “and high quality too.”

“I don’t care. Don’t touch them or I’ll take them away for good. You have enough cuts and scratches.” Using ointments and bandages, he attended to my wounds tenderly. He put a cold compress under the huge painful bruise on my back.

“Ice. It’ll help. I have work to do.” He handed me the bottle of water which he opened. “You stay here. I’ve wasted enough time today and I’m behind already. Obey.”

He clomped down his stairs and I drifted off to sleep. I awoke as dusk was turning into night. He had entered downstairs and I could hear him banging things. Then I heard another voice, higher and softer. They continued talking for quite a while before they came upstairs.

Razan was carrying a rather large box and set it on the floor. He opened it and went through the items with peculiar interest. “Your foods and water.” Inside were canned foods and dried crackers. It looked like old-time military rations. He sniffed at a can. “What’s this?” He read the label out loud and the translator called it stew. Then he laughed. The date was from decades ago.

I explained about rations and what they were used for. He threw the can and a package of crackers at me then watched to see how I’d eat it.

“I need a can opener.”

He didn’t understand and turned his head from side to side looking at me quizzically.

“Something metal with a sharp end to open this.” I held the can and illustrated opening it.
He searched through the box and held up a can opener.

“That’s it.” I reached for it, but he took back the can and tried to figure out how it worked.

“You push the blade in the top along the edge and turn the handle,” I explained.

Once he’d opened the can he gave it back to me. “Eat.”

“I need a spoon or a fork.” I demonstrated holding something and dipping it into the food and then my mouth.

“A paddle tool?” He rummaged through the box again and held up a white plastic Spork. I nodded yes and he gave it to me.

He took out an orange prison suit from the box. He looked at me and at the suit and threw it aside. “You’re not one of their prisoners. I’ll not insult you by making you wear that grotesque garment.”

“The human’s ugly,” said another voice.

It was then that I spied the smaller alien hiding behind Razan.

“All humans are,” answered Razan.

“What’s it eating?”

“Her food.”

“It stinks and so does its food.”

They gawked at me as I ate and I was quite embarrassed, but too hungry to stop.

“What is that goop?” asked Razan.

“Meat and vegetables.” I munched on a cracker.

“What kind of meat?” he asked warily.

“Who knows?” I answered.

I hadn’t noticed their noses before until they both crinkled them. They were hairless, tiny, round, black, and flat against their faces. I wondered what they must have thought of humans’ long noses. Theirs reminded me of guinea pigs even with the two slots for breathing.

“Your food smells terrible,” said Razan. “Are you sure it’s safe to eat? Don’t you cook it?”

“You can, but you can eat it this way too,” I answered.

“What’s that crunchy flat thing?” he asked.

“A cracker.” I held the pack out to him. He took one, broke it in half and shared it with the other alien. They both bit into it and immediately spit out the pieces.

“It’s hideous to look at. Why’s it in your bed?” the second one complained.

“She bruised her back badly and the floor hurts her. I’ll sleep on the floor instead.”

“I don’t want it in here. Get it out. Put it outside.”

“I have to watch her until Fryebye comes back, so she stays.”

“I don’t want it in the house. It’s too close to my room,” the alien wailed. That’s when I realized it must have been his child, and probably a girl. And she was also in the cotton bibbed shorts. Is that all this race wore?

“I won’t hurt you,” I said gently.

“Don’t ever speak to my daughter. Don’t look at her. Don’t open that hideous mouth unless I ask you something or you need help. You have no rights in my home, ugly, hairless beast.”

I quaked, insulted by him. Tears formed in my eyes and I sucked on my lower lip, staring at the can. Like they were so beautiful to look at? They were just as revolting to me. Where was I? How long would I have to stay here and be treated this way?

“Chain it or something,” said the girl.

“It’s a human female. She can’t run very fast. They don’t jump high. They doesn’t even have sharp teeth for biting. They’re a rather useless species. Besides, she’s hurt.”

“Can I bite it?” she asked.

Razan slapped the girl hard and she fell backwards, rolling down the stairs. I stared at him, wide-eyed and terrified.

“I told you, I have to take good care of her. Listen to me when I speak,” he said.

The girl was back at the top of the stairs in an instant and didn’t seem to be bothered by her father’s actions.

“Where have you been anyway? You were supposed to help me today,” said Razan.

“Zake’s.”

He hit her again and down the stairs she rolled. “I told you to stay away from him. He’s no good.”

And again, she was right back next to him. “I like him and he’s funny.”

“Get cleaned up and go to bed.”

The girl stomped off to the bathroom and slammed the door.

“You. Take one of those pills the doctor left you and go to sleep.” He placed two bottles of water on the table.

I did as I was told. I was in their world and it was best that I obey. She came out of the bathroom and stomped to her room, which was right next to his. It looked like a much smaller room with accordion doors.

Now he and I were alone, and I’ll admit, I was scared. He was watching me. Was he going to touch me? Stare at me all night? But I didn’t have to worry. He turned away and ignored me as he went through the box organizing the contents on the table then went to the bathroom. When he came out, he was wearing a pair of cotton shorts.

“I sleep in these,” he said. “I don’t like to wear the frock, but you have to. I don’t need to see your repugnant bare human body. Disgusting.” He laid down on the floor and turned away from me. “Don’t get up tonight. I’ll know, and you’ll be sorry.”

I was too sore to move and I would have been too frightened to get up. The whole thing seemed like a badly written Science Fiction story where you can’t figure out the plot or have some idea on how the story would end. And I was exhausted and emotionally drained to attempt to walk around anyway.
I lay there quaking, afraid to breathe, but soon the events of the day hit me hard and I sobbed. Only I tried not to let him hear me. I sniffled and covered my face with my hands to muffle the sounds, but I couldn’t stop the tears. I felt his hands pulling mine down.

“What’s wrong?” Razan asked.

“I’m sorry, but I’m scared and I can’t stop crying.”

He sighed and went to the bathroom. He came back and wiped my face with a damp cloth. “You poor human. Stop crying. It won’t help you.”

His cold words made it worse and I wept. I bit my lip and shook, inhaling deeply. My lip bled again and he wiped off the blood. His touch was gentle, but I was still upset and got the hiccups and he jumped back.

“What’s the matter with you?”

“Water. Hic. Give me water.”

He handed me the bottle and I drank and the hiccups stopped. He dialed a number and said, “Help me.” Then he just watched me with a scowl on his face, unsure what to do.

Soon, there was a light tapping at the door downstairs and someone climbed the stairs. I couldn’t really make the new one out clearly in the darkened room, but he looked thinner and taller than Razan.

“Whose is this?” The new alien asked when he saw me.

“No one’s. She got lost from her world and wandered here. I was heading to Zake’s to look for Palain and this human woman was sloshing in the stream, grasping at Zake’s fence, afraid of something so I brought her here.”

“Good thing she didn’t touch Zake’s land. Was Palain there?”

“Yes.”

“Disobedient child. You’ve been too soft on her since you lost your wife. What are you going to do with this human?”

“I don’t know.”

“You could keep her. She’s well-bred, I think. She’d bring you company and you’d have someone to help you. If I found this, I’d have many uses for her. She’d take away your lonely nights. Or if you don’t want her, she’d earn you good money at auction. A handful of tokas at least.”

“Fryebye’s going to talk to Bayzar. We’re hoping somehow to get her back to her family.”

“You know you can’t. It’s against our rules, and her government won’t take the chance. They’re idiots. Dumbest race I’ve ever dealt with. They think they’re equal to us. Arrogant species.”

“Can you calm her? She keeps crying. You work with prisoners.”

The new one squatted by me. “She’s different from a prisoner. She’s refined and delicate.” He pushed the covers off and examined my body, running his fingers lightly down my arm. He lifted the frock and I didn’t dare fight him, but I tensed at his authoritativeness. He ran his hands over my body and down my legs. I shuddered, but was too afraid to move. Could those bulbous eyes see that well in the dark? And what right did he have?

At that moment, I discovered something about myself. Did you ever wonder if you were brave or a coward? It was obvious to me that I was a coward. No way was I going to fight them.

“No scars,” said the stranger. “Her body’s not covered in tattoos. She looks healthy.” He opened my mouth and checked my teeth. “Perfect teeth. Nice shape to her, but I bet you noticed.” 

“Of course I noticed her shape. First thing before I even grabbed her. Her top was soaked and see-through.”

They both chuckled. The new one pulled my frock back down.

“But they’re hairless. It makes them ugly,” said Razan.

“Not really. The females have fine hairs that don’t show as much as the males, and they shave in certain places.” He held up one of my arms. “Look closely.”

“Ah.” Razan ran a finger over the hairs on my arm and I got goose bumps. “I see them now. Shave? Why would they do that?”

The second one shrugged. “It’s their way.” He lifted one of my arms high. “Especially here.” He ran his hand along my armpit and I shivered again. I tried to pull my arm away, but it was like he didn’t notice. “Their legs too.”

“Their chests?”

“Their females don’t grow hair so much there like the males."

“Very nice indeed. Believe me, I noticed that,” said Razan, as if that meant something to them.

The new one was getting a little too friendly and I shrugged away, but it didn’t faze him.

“Hey.” I smacked his hand away.

They both laughed.

“She’s definitely well-bred and good morals. She won’t be sexually active with other prisoners. That’s good,” said Razan.

“She’s not one bit wild like the females we usually get. I expected her to try to bite, but she didn’t. I don’t think she’s much of a fighter. If she were mine, I’d guard her carefully. There’ll be Yardans who will hope you send her to auction.  If she were mine, I’d be tempted to make her go naked,” said Razan’s friend. I blushed and gulped. “She embarrasses easily. Good sign. Well-bred, definitely. Is she strong?” He reached his hand towards my face and I cowered. He ran the back of his hand along my cheek. “Such soft skin. She takes good care of herself.”

“Not at all strong. I do think she comes from a good home though,” answered Razan. “She seems well-trained. She was married.”

“Is,” I interrupted, but they ignored my comment.

“Then keep her. Her government sends us trash to deal with. They’re unruly and tough, but sometimes we’ll get one that breaks down like this when they first enter our world. She’s terrified, so I’d go easy on her for a couple of days. My guess is that she’s never been in trouble a day in her life. Leave it to you to find such a perfect specimen. If I had found her, I’d claim her right away.”

“I haven’t decided yet. I didn’t want to have to deal with servants and prisoners again.”

“But she’s a rare one, Razan. Pretty too. Maybe spoiled by a better life than most of her kind.” 

Razan’s friend ran his fingers through my hair. “So many of their females wear their hair short like this. Too bad. If I were you, I’d make her grow it out. The way she looks at us, I’d say she’s smart also, but she's exhausted and traumatized.” The alien hummed softly and ran his fingers through my hair again, and for some odd reason it calmed me. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I relaxed and yawned as he continued humming and playing with my hair. My eyes closed and I drifted off, but still tried to listen to their muffled voices.

“Come down and have a drink before you leave,” said Razan, walking to the stairs.

The alien stood and somehow I knew he was still watching me. “She reminds me of two of my daughters, overly emotional and difficult. I punished them often. You might have trouble when you start training her. I bet she’s stubborn. Spoiled females tend to be.”

“I don’t have time to work with a stubborn female.”

“I’ll help if you need me. This race thinks that all living beings have the same rights. They speak of freedom and independence and test us to the limits. You must be strict with her. Don’t let her get away with anything. Call for me whenever she gets difficult. I’ll help you.” He bent towards me and with his hand on my forehead he traced around me eyes, down the bridge of my nose, traced around my lips, and ran his hand gently down my neck. I tried to push his hand away, but he took both my hands with his other and held them above my head.

“Please,” I said. I could sense him smile.

“What a lovely voice she has.”

He brushed his hand down my body.

“No,” I whined.

“Hard to resist you,” he whispered. He stood and walked away. “I think you’re both very lucky.”

“If you want her, I’ll gift her to you.”

“She’s very tempting, but  you’re the right one for her. She deserves you.”

As I fell deeper asleep, I heard them talking in their language downstairs and I hoped that every part of this adventure was nothing more than a nightmare. At some point, I woke again hearing Razan walk back upstairs and to my disappointment it was all real. He tucked the covers around me, smiled at me and whispered, “Sleep,” before lying down on the makeshift bed on the floor. My last thought as I again fell asleep was how terrible my family must feel, not knowing what happened to me, and I pictured escaping right back into Bill’s arms.

I was awakened in the dark by something large biting my arm and I screamed out in fear and pain. Razan flicked on a light. His daughter was leaning over me. I grabbed my arm, which was bleeding.
“I just wanted to see what it tasted like,” she said, but Razan had a murderous look on his face and walked slowly towards her. She backed up to the window and jumped out. I gasped. We were on the second floor and I feared she’d be hurt.

“We climb easily,” he explained, “and can jump high. She probably went out her window and came in mine.”

I looked up at the window. It was an octagon with a framed screen that was pushed opened.

He must have sworn again which the translator couldn’t interpret. He rubbed a salve gently on the bites and bandaged them. “She was curious.”

“How old is she?” I asked.

“In your years, a teenager. Since her mother was killed, she’s been difficult to raise.”

“I have a young daughter and she’s very difficult already. I’m sorry about your wife’s death,” I said sincerely.

He looked at me kindly. “You do have children?”

“I have a husband and two children. My son is 5-years-old and my daughter is 3-years-old.”

“I’m sure you miss them and they miss you. I pity your situation. Go back to sleep.”

The next day when I awoke, he was gone. On the table, he’d opened another can. I heard him come in and walk around downstairs during the day, and his daughter peeked in the window several times. I heard him yell at her from outside and I could hear her scurrying off, but he didn’t check on me until evening.

He clomped up the stairs, went to the bathroom and filled their tub. He came to me and pulled off the frock and shorts. I covered myself with my hands in embarrassment, but he picked me up without seeming to care about my nakedness and sat me in the tub. He watched me for a moment.

“Can you sit up by yourself or do you need assistance?”

“I’m fine,” I murmured, bright red.

As he left, he said, “Bathe. Put on clean clothes. You stink worse than yesterday. Then I’ll change your bandages.” He walked away mumbling about all the laundry he had to do now.

I pulled off the old bandages and soaked in the cool water. It felt so good, except for the sore on my foot which throbbed harder. When I limped out of the bathroom still naked, he was waiting for me and he picked me up, placing me gently on the bed. He fixed the shorts and frock on me, then put another ice pack behind my back and laid me down as he re-bandaged my sores. He took his time carefully combing my hair.

“I’m sorry I’m causing you so much trouble. Thank you for your kindness.”

He studied my face and I warmed up to his gentleness. I smiled and he smiled back.

“Eat,” he said as he tromped down the stairs. On the table, he’d opened another can. It should have been funny because he just opened the cans randomly, so I never knew what meal I would have – a breakfast or a dinner - but my situation was anything but humorous.

After eating, I laid there, still frightened and unsure of my future. I figured if he hadn’t hurt me yet, he wasn’t going to, but I wanted to be home with my family. He seemed to be a caring individual. I actually began to like him and looked forward to seeing him again.

He came upstairs late at night with his daughter. She gave me hateful, fearful stares. I looked down at my bedding. After getting ready for bed, she went directly to her room.

The next day was the same, but in the late afternoon, his daughter entered through the window with another one of their kind.

“Look, Zake. It’s gruesome.”

“It should have been mine. It was crawling towards me, but your father stole it.”

“I bit it.”

“Does it taste good?”

“Not really. The skin’s hard to break through. Go ahead. Bite it. Father’s not here.”

I tried to move away, but the male leaned down, held me in place, and bit my palm and I screamed. The girl made a sound I can only assume was a high pitched laugh as he bit me again, this time in my shoulder and then my upper chest. Suddenly, he was flung against a wall.

“Zake. You don’t come to my house,” said Razan crossly. “Get out or I’ll kill you.”

“It’s mine,” said Zake, pointing at me. “It was crawling to me.”

“Take it up with my sister,” said Razan. “Leave. Your last warning.”

“Wait. I love him, father.”

“Then you leave too and never come back.” Razan tossed both of them out the window. “Either of you step on my property, you’re dead.”

“But what about my belongings?” asked his daughter.

“I give them to the human. How does that make you feel, Palain?”

I could tell by the sounds the girl and Zake made that that was a major insult. Yet they scurried away.
Razan sat on the bed and huffed. “Look at these new bite marks. They’re bleeding and they might leave scars. More work for me. Go bathe and I’ll lay out clean clothes, then I’ll fix you up again. All this extra work and no one to help me.”

I stood, but tottered, dizzy. I looked at him, terrified, holding my new wounds. He huffed and gently picked me up and carried me to his bathroom. He leaned me against the wall then filled the tub.

“Will you ever walk on your own again?” he asked sarcastically as he undressed me and sat me in his tub. This time, he carefully washed me with a sponge. I was mortified, but afraid to object.

“You’re docile. Good. Obey and we’ll get along.” He took his time bathing me as my tears plopped in the water. “Is that all you do? Cry?” He asked, frustrated. “It does you no good, so don’t.”

Like that was so easy to do, but I wiped the tears away and did my best to stop.

More days passed. I was getting worse instead of better and I felt feverish. The aching in my foot kept me awake and I could even smell a foul odor about me. His daughter and Zake never returned and that, at least, was a relief.

One day I heard voices from downstairs. They trooped up to my room. Razan was with the doctor, another alien, and a human dressed in a suit. I was relieved to see the human and I smiled at him, but he only studied me coldly.

“Hello, human,” said the new alien. “I’m Bayzar, ambassador to your government. I represent our people, the Yardans.”

The human shook my hand. “I’m George Stevens, ambassador to the Yardans. As you’ve probably noticed, they’re quite different from us. Do you have identification?”

I pointed to my purse and Razan handed it to me. I pulled out my wallet and Mr. Stevens snatched it from me, looked it over, and tucked it in his pocket.

“Mrs. Aubrey Jensen, I regret to inform you that your government won’t allow you to return.”

“What?” I asked, shocked.

“We can’t let knowledge of our guests get out; therefore, you’ll have to live here.”

“You can’t do that to me. I won’t say anything. I’m a good citizen. I have a family waiting for me. I’ve never done anything wrong. I have rights.”

“We do feel badly about this. Your family has been informed that you were hit by a car and mutilated beyond recognition.” He picked up my wedding rings from the table and put them in one of his pockets. “I’ll need these as proof. Your friend Lucy has been arrested on abandonment charges even though she did return to the mall to find you. If it’s any consolation, we’re holding a very nice funeral service for you in a couple more days.”

“It’s no consolation at all,” I said, offended. “Give me back my rings.”

“I don’t understand,” said Razan. “She’s right here, alive.”

Bayzar whispered in his ear.

“That’s an appalling way to treat your people. We would never do that,” said Razan.

“Give me back my wallet and rings,” I demanded again, wiping away the tears. “I have a picture of my family in my wallet.”

“I’m sorry,” said Mr. Stevens. “It’s better that you don’t remember them. Hey!”

Razan had reached in Mr. Steven’s pocket and took out my wallet. He found the picture and handed it to me, patting me on the head. He gave the wallet back to Mr. Stevens.

“My rings?” I asked Razan.

“They’ll do you no use here, and they’d only be taken away from you. At least this way, your family will have them,” answered Razan.

“I should take your purse with me,” said Mr. Stevens.

“There’s nothing of importance in it,” I argued.

Mr. Stevens took it away from me and Razan took it from him. Razan went through the contents and removed a comb, travel hair brush, a makeup kit and tissue. Then he gave the purse and the rest of the contents to Mr. Stevens.

“Now, just a minute,” said Mr. Stevens.

“My house, my rules, my human,” said Razan.

“You’ll keep her then?” asked Bayzar.

“I haven’t decided, but she hasn’t caused me one bit of trouble, and I hate to see her sold at auction.”

“Here that? Sold at auction?” I glared at Mr. Stevens. “I’m a U.S. citizen.”

Mr. Stevens looked uncomfortable. “We intend to send you better boxes of food, drink, and clothes than the prisoners that we give to the Yardans.”

“Wonderful,” I said cynically. “At least I won’t starve and I’ll look nice.” I wiped more tears off my face.

“Razan, Zake has filed a complaint with your sister that it belongs to him,” said Bayzar. “Here’s the paperwork. You’re to report on Wednesday morning with it. The queen will decide then who it belongs to.”

I wrapped my arms across my chest. “She,” I said.

“What?” asked Bayzar.

“I’d appreciate it if all of you would quit calling me an it. She or her,” I said, not looking at anyone.
Razan laughed. “Now,” he said, “you Bayzar and you human Ambassador Mr. George Stevens, leave my house.”

“As you wish.” Bayzar motioned to Mr. Stevens to leave.

“Can he tell us to get out like that?” asked Mr. Stevens.

“You can leave or I can throw you out,” warned Razan.

“Razan is the half-brother of our queen. Out of respect, we don’t argue with him.” Bayzar led the ambassador out.

“Doctor Fryebye,” I said, “my foot is throbbing and I’m not getting better. I feel worse.”

“Just Fryebye.” The doctor examined my foot and squeezed the wound. Pus oozed out. “Infected.”

Razan squinched his nose at the sight and the smell. “So that’s the stink.”

The doctor opened his case and fixed a needle and gave me a shot in my arm. “This is an antibiotic. It might make you a little nauseated. It’s quite a common malady among your race since shoes aren’t allowed here, but this should help.” He took my temperature. “You have a fever.” He put some pills in a packet. “Take one every four hours. I’ll check on you tomorrow.”

“Can you get me chains for her?” asked Razan.

I looked at Razan, terrified and humiliated.

“The humans we have are violent criminals, so it’s required when you’re out in public. Just behave and I won’t have to tow you along or hit you when we go to my sister’s,” said Razan.

I stared at him, shocked. What kind of race was this?

“I’ll bring a set tomorrow,” said Fryebye.

Once the doctor left, Razan looked at me sympathetically. “I feel sorry for you, Mrs. Aubrey Jensen. I understand the pain when you lose a loved one. You may have my daughter’s room and, if I choose to keep you, her belongings too.”

“It’s Aubrey. Just call me Aubrey.”

“Aubrey,” he responded compassionately. He carried me into her room and sat me on her bed.

“I don’t feel right taking her room. It’s my fault she’s gone.”

“You must not argue with me. It’s not permitted. You’ll start to learn our rules right now. Realize that you’re a lower species. This isn’t your fault. I expected this would happen. Don’t worry about my daughter. She’s old enough to be on her own and she’s made her decision.”

“Thank you again for your kindness and for letting me stay.”

“I saved your life, I’ve taken good care of you, and I’ve let you stay here. Yet, you’re sad.”

“I believed in my government and they betrayed me.”

Razan was amused. His mustache twitched. “That was your mistake, trusting in a government. I’ll bring you a can of your food and water at dinnertime.” He left and I could hear him go outside.

And I was alone. Alone with an alien. In a strange land. Alone with no family. With no friends. I sobbed into the pillow. Alone. Homeless. Abandoned. Betrayed. That was my new life.

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Love, Honor, and Respect
 

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