Chain of Kisses
Angela Knight
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Angela Knight

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I gave the manacle on my right arm a restless tug, and it responded with a musical rattle. I couldn't see a damn thing. A blindfold bit into my temples, wrapping me in sensual, intimate darkness.

The lack of vision only made me more aware of him -- his scent, that faint tang of spice and masculinity, the heat of his big body standing just to the left of the bunk he'd chained me to, the slight rasp of his breathing. I have always been acutely aware of Prince Arles of Tor, once my intended, now my captor.

The bed dipped under his weight as he sat down beside me. I quivered like an animal, imagining his nudity. The way he'd looked that night ten years before was branded on my memory. Arles's broad back had flexed as he'd used the light whip, the perfect, tanned hemispheres of his bare ass working in concert with the leap of thigh muscles and the snap of brawny arms.

The girl had squirmed and sighed every time he hit her. Even as young as I'd been a decade ago, I'd known she loved it. The smell of sex hung in the air like some kind of musky, exotic spice.

"That's what he'll do to you," my sister had whispered as we watched from the secret chamber. "And he'll make you want it. Mother will be appalled."

Our mother might have known Arles dominated other women, but it would never occur to her that one of her daughters would feel the need to submit.

We, after all, had been born to rule.

"Never," I'd snarled, with all the melodrama of the seventeen-year-old I'd been. I couldn't drag my eyes away from the prince's feral strength. "I will not shame my blood." I could feel myself going wet.

"You will. He'll weave his alien magic, and you'll bow that proud little head."

I feared Isa was right. Even if I hadn't been in love with him, Arles was too much for me. I'd end up sacrificing everything I was to his dominance and raw male power. My mother would turn from me in disgust and revulsion. I couldn't bear the thought of her disappointment.

But I also knew my mother would force me to abide by the demands of the treaty. Saying no at the altar was not an option.

Two hours later, I slipped from the palace, abandoning my world, my family, and my life. The Capital Spaceport was only a few blocks away, and I meant to seek passage off world. I was too well known to take a flitter taxi -- any capital cabbie knew my curfew and would refuse to pick me up, for fear of the Royal Guard's wrath -- so I decided to walk.

A block from my goal, I was attacked by a pack of throat slitters who dragged me into an alley. I survived only because a passing mercenary heard my screams and charged to the rescue. He killed every one of the slitters and flew me to his ship for treatment of some ugly injuries.

Captain Galon Teve had a merc's hard eyes, but his heart was soft. When I told him my story, the big, gray-haired cyborg took pity on me and hired me on as crew.

My new mentor taught me how to fight, how to kill, and how to pleasure. Yet no matter how I tried, I could never love Galon as he came to love me. My heart was already captive to a boy with a Paladin's eyes -- and a man with a devil's smile.

Under Galon's tutelage, I discovered a talent for tactics and strategy. Eventually I became his second-in-command. When Galon fell in battle against the Fafnar, I succeeded him as captain of the Valkyrie Quest.

Through it all, Arles haunted my shamed fantasies. I'd lie in my lonely bunk with one hand stroking between my thighs, remembering the shadows rolling across his big body in time to the snap of his whip.

Now it was no dream.

Arles touched my nipple, brushing calloused fingertips over the hard nubbin. Just once, but I still caught my breath at the liquid heat that rushed through me.

"Sensitive little breasts." His voice rumbled in the intimate darkness of my blindfold. "I wonder how you'll taste. Shall I find out?"

Saliva flooded my mouth, and I swallowed. I didn't answer.

"I asked you a question." His fingers closed over my flesh in a pinch carefully calibrated to give more pleasure than pain. Yet the potential sting floated just beneath the delight like a dark promise. "I want an answer. Shall I taste you?"

"You'll do as you please. You always do."

"True." He twisted, released, flicked the nipple back and forth, sending warm delight lapping along my nerves. "But a show of submission on your part might appease me."

"I rather doubt it."

"But can you afford to take the chance?" Another hot pinch, this one with a hint of sting. Perversely, I felt heat flood my belly. "My reputation is not exaggerated."

"I never thought it was."

"Perhaps a silk flogger." He brushed his hand over the sensitive flesh of my left breast, gave me a caressing squeeze. "Right across these pretty tits. I would enjoy watching you dance."

"I've heard that of you." I tried for a tone of mild contempt, but my voice sounded too high, too breathless. I silently cursed myself. I could usually act more skillfully for my enemies.

Unfortunately, I'd never seen Arles as a foe. Even now, bound and naked, I remembered the thoughtful boy who'd first taught me strategy over endless games of Conquest. The prince was even more skilled now, a conqueror of two worlds who'd driven the Fafnar from Torrean space with his ruthless, brilliant tactics. When Arles tracked me down three days ago, I'd known I was in trouble.

I wasn't really surprised, though. I'd known the prince would demand a reckoning one day; my actions had done too much damage to his reputation. Anybody who watched the news vids knew that.

I'd also known winning a fight with him wasn't likely. Arles commanded a huge, Starbreaker-class warship that was the pride of the Torrean fleet. Bristling with blaze cannons and thermal torpedoes, the Mjˆlnir outgunned the Valkyrie three to one. Naming that ship after Thor's Hammer had been entirely too apt.

But though the Valkyrie was small, she was fast and nimble. She proved it as the Mjˆlnir chased us for three days through the thickest asteroid field I could find. Arles caught us just as we prepared to escape into superlight space. A salvo of thermal torpedoes blew Valkyrie's quantum engines, leaving us dead in space.

The prince demanded my surrender as the price of my crew's lives. I didn't want my people to pay for my sins, so I'd agreed. Leaving the Valkyrie in the hands of my executive officer, I flew to meet Arles in my personal launch.

When I stepped off the small craft's ramp onto the Mjˆlnir's squadron deck, I found him holding a collar and a set of magnetic slave bands equipped with chains. The golden restraints were engraved with erotic images and studded with emeralds for maximum barbaric glitter. He'd chained and collared me as his grinning crew watched. I could only grind my teeth in rage, trying to ignore the heat in my cunt.

Now Arles traced one finger down my torso, dipped suggestively into my navel, and paused at the neatly trimmed edge of my bush. I managed not to squirm. "I have a suspicion you're wet," he said, his voice dark and low. "Are you? Do I arouse you, Gisel?" He laughed. "Odin knows you've made me hard and hot."

His fingers dipped between my spread thighs. Both of us groaned at the slick, tight flesh he found.

"Ripe," Arles murmured. "Ripe as a peachango. Ready for my cock. Is that what you want, Gisel?"

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