Kidnapped comes out Wednesday ^__^ I hope peeps like it! Everyone has been waiting a very long time, and the rewrite includes a great many changes. But my beta-readers and editors assure me it’s great, so I think you will be pleased with the results 😀
Have a snippet!
Custom class star ship X-11944654, the Dragonfly
Cyan was handcuffed to a wall and more than a little pissed about it. They were heavy cuffs, thick, wide, and stiff. They were also the kind that required a code to unlock, too tight to maneuver out of easily and prone to cause permanent damage if worn too long. Even Rehab didn’t use them very often. The minute he managed to get free, he was going to murder someone, starting with that stars damned Fornarian. He jerked at his cuffs, annoyed when they stayed in place, then forced himself to subside. He’d get nowhere if he damaged his own wrists.
On the far side of the holding cell, near the door, a slight-statured Draconis and his Vrill lover—and match, Cyan suspected—huddled together. Cyan frowned at them, pensive, wondering what in the stars was going on.
He was still fairly certain no one was after him; it was too much coincidence that the Fornarian he’d fucked had been sent after him. One, he wasn’t IG. Two, he was definitely a criminal, probably a pirate or mercenary. Three, if he had been sent after Cyan and was under orders to take him back home no matter what, he would have taken him before they fucked.
Well, possibly after; morals and ethics were not always preferred in IG goons, especially magics capable that were not officially on the payroll. What a pity the Fornarian—Einn, that was his name—was turning out to be such an annoyance because he’d definitely been an excellent fuck. Cyan huffed irritably and wondered when someone would come along to talk to them.
He looked at the couple again and asked, “Any idea why they’ve kidnapped you?”
“N-no,” the Draconis said.
Cyan narrowed his eyes. “You’re lying. I don’t have time for bullshit. Tell me what you know, or I can’t figure out a way to help you.”
“There are rumors,” the Vrill woman said, ignoring the scowl the Draconis shot her.
“Rumors?” Cyan pressed gently, as though he were talking to the scared prisoners in Rehab that had committed petty crimes and were really only locked up to serve some politician’s agenda.
“That Draconis are vanishing—being kidnapped,” the woman said. “Always matched Draconis. No one knows how many people are actually missing. We thought it was just a paranoid rumor, a scare tactic, since the IG hearings on the Draconis are coming up later this term.”
Cyan grunted, turning that over in his mind. It would not surprise him to learn there was something that fishy going on. He could name half a dozen politicians on Zero who would not hesitate to use the Draconis and the raging debate about them for personal agendas.
Memories, a too-familiar face, flooded his mind, and Cyan hastily turned away from things he had sworn never to think about again. He had left that life behind. He was Cyan McCracken, Rehabber—and currently, prisoner.
He was going to fracture that Fornarian’s face in ten places. “So you think you’re the latest victims. Anything else you can tell me about these rumors?”
“No,” the Vrill said. “So far as I know, no one knows anything, just that Draconis and their matches keep vanishing. What’s going to happen to us?” She started crying quietly, milky white tears trailing down her pale green skin. The Draconis, who had dark skin and blue-black scales, cuddled her close and whispered words that Cyan could not quite catch.
Not that he really needed to catch them. He left them alone and looked more carefully around the holding cell, but it remained a fruitless endeavor. Einn and his Helior buddy knew their work and had obviously known it would be suicide to give Cyan even the slightest bit of leverage.
He could not believe he was handcuffed to the wall of a holding cell on a pirate ship because Einn had dropped on him from the ceiling. Cyan wanted to beat his head into the wall for being taken so fucking easily. He was a first class Rehabber—he didn’t lose because someone dropped on him! Fucking rock spiders. “Have they come by and said anything?”
“They brought food a little while ago; you were still asleep,” the woman said.
Cyan frowned. “That doesn’t make sense. Were they keeping me unconscious?”
“Yes,” the Draconis said. “The Helioran came in shortly after we flew off—and I think they blew up our ship—and cuffed you, then force fed you a pill.”
Mentally adding ‘break Helioran’s face after Fornarian’s’ to his to-do list, Cyan asked, “Can you tell me anything about them? Is it just two of them?”
“Just two, sweetheart, and it’s rude to gossip.” Einn beamed when Cyan glared at him. “I see you’re finally awake. Don’t start causing trouble, or we’ll put you back to sleep.”
Cyan beamed back. “Come on in and try it.”
Einn chuckled, winding his long fingers around the bars of the holding cell. “I’m not quite that stupid, but nice try. Stop causing trouble in the ranks, Rehab. I knocked you out once, I can do it again.”
“We’ll just see,” Cyan retorted.