Read Shattered Stars Online

Authors: Viola Grace

Shattered Stars

Hannah wants nothing
more than to pay off her bond and live free, but her patron has
other ideas and centuries to keep her. Body and soul.

 

 

After a planet-killing
asteroid, humanity has to huddle under shelters and live in the
dimmest of places. A year of brutal survival and the breakdown of
society leave Hannah less than hopeful of her prospects in the new
world.

A message in the darkness offers a
lifeline to those who wish to leave Earth to be bonded servants to
alien masters. For most, the price of their bond will be labour,
but for Hannah, it turns into something else.

With a
stunningly high sensuality rating, she is a prime sexual
bondservant and the bidding for her services ends with an amount
that breaks records.

Her patron is a
male with wings who belongs to a species that does more than need
sex; they consume it.

Mero only needs
to look at her, and he is hungrier than he has ever been.

 

The characters and
events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons,
living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

Copyright © 2016 by
Viola Grace

ISBN:
978-1-987969-17-7

 

©Cover art by Angela
Waters

 

All rights reserved.
With the exception of review, the reproduction or utilization of
this work in whole or in part in any form by electronic, mechanical
or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden
without the express permission of the publisher.

 

Published by Viola
Grace

 

Look for me online at
violagrace.com

 

Smashwords Edition

 

 

 

 

 

Shattered Stars

 

 

By

 

 

Viola Grace

Prologue

 

 

They had called it a
world killer, and they hadn’t been wrong.

Hannah sat with
her community around a fire and listened to the broadcast in the
silence only broken with the crackle of the wood.

 


In the wake
of the international disaster, humanity has been struggling to
survive. Now, today, there is a new hope for a few.”

 

Hannah looked
around at those who had managed to get to the outpost that used to
be a small town. The community hall was the best place to gather.
It had the largest food stores for a hundred kilometres and was
definitely a haven for those who still stumbled in from the
cold.

 


Aliens have
landed. That is right. Aliens. After our year of night, they have
come and offered a portion of our population a home in the stars.
Yes, I understand that it sounds unusual, but if you are willing to
try, to take the burden off other survivors by removing yourself
from the food chain, contact your local com officer and ask them to
find the local meeting site. We understand that you don’t want to
endanger your communities, but if you want to make the food go
further, those of you who are able-bodied should apply
now.”

 

The nightly
broadcast stopped as soon as it had started. The roar of
conversation took over, but Hannah wasn’t having any of it.

She looked to
the far side of the fire where her mother and sisters were huddled
next to the man who had taken them under his protection.

One year of
darkness had been all it took to unravel years of struggle to prove
women’s equality. When it came to the bulk labour necessary to
power the generators for heat and water, a man was needed.

She got to her
feet and walked over to the com officer who was standing near the
exit. “Taylor.”

“Yes,
Hannah?”

“Where do I
need to go?” She looked him in the eye, and he sighed.

“Damn, I
thought we had something.” He stroked her cheek.

She cocked her
head and stared at him, not showing the disgust she felt, not
showing anything at all.

He shifted
nervously and muttered coordinates.

“Can I get
rations for the journey?”

“Yes, two days’
worth has been authorized.”

“Good. Hand
them over. I may as well leave now.”

He frowned.
“You will get it when you leave the settlement.”

“Fine. Meet me
out front in half an hour.”

“There may be
others.”

She looked back
at those who were muttering and discussing their lives and the
likelihood of any chance of aliens. “Right. I am sure they are
getting right on it.”

She left him
and headed to her quarters, grabbing the cold-weather gear that she
would need to make it to the pick-up point. She put the clothing on
and attached the straps she would need to carry the supplies inside
the coat.

When she was
ready, she headed out to the outer gateway, through the maze of
tunnels that connected all of the homes in the small, nameless
town. She wouldn’t miss the stink of humanity jammed together.
There were probably new stenches in her future.

Taylor was at
the gate as promised, but he didn’t have two days’ worth of
rations. He only had one.

“Where is the
other one?”

He shrugged and
grinned smugly at her. “You are such a little thing that I am sure
you can manage to live on the one ration pack for two days. You had
better hit the target right on, though. You don’t have room for
error.”

She didn’t
argue. “Where am I going?”

He repeated the
coordinates twice before she nodded in satisfaction.

“One more
thing.” She made a fist and punched him in the balls. When he was
down, she kicked him in the face and felt his nose crunch.

He spit blood
and stared at her as he groaned.

“If I hadn’t
been half dead when you raped me, I would have killed you then.
Now, you are just going to have to explain how a little girl beat
your ass. By the way, we have witnesses. Explain it to them.” She
wasn’t keeping her voice down.

With a few
sharp tugs on her clothing, she put the rations away. One final
glance at what was left of the world she had known and she stepped
out into the blowing wind and acidic sleet. Two days were all she
could survive, but if she could make it through those two days, she
had a chance.

Chapter One

 

 

Bondservant classes
were nearly over. There was only one test left to be administered,
and then, they would be sorted as to their likely occupation.

Hannah had been
imprinted with five languages and the household etiquette of twelve
races. Her hair was clean and braided. The smock that she wore was
for training only, but she was clean, fed and had survived the
first three months off Earth without difficulty.

Two of her
living-pod mates had gone insane and had simply disappeared.
Keeping her mind on her goal was the only way to move forward.

“Hannah! Answer
the question.” Her instructor was a hot lavender, and he had spines
running down his arms.

“I am sorry,
instructor. I was distracted.”

He nodded and
made a note on what had to be her file. “What is the correct way to
greet a Hmrain?”

“Instructor,
you do not greet a Hmrain; you allow them to acknowledge you or
not. If they acknowledge you, you need to drop to the ground or
avert your gaze if the first is not possible. If they do not
acknowledge you, you do not acknowledge them. You simply step aside
and allow them to enter your master’s or mistress’s home.”

He frowned and
nodded. “Correct. The final test for all of you is today, and
tomorrow is the bond auction. Many representatives have come here
to take one of the new species home with them. You are collectors’
items.”

He lifted his
head. “This is a reminder, ladies. Your bond price is determined by
the profit over your training price. The base price for you is the
cost of your education and upkeep. The more medical intervention
you required, the higher your base price. You want a patron who
will pay over the base price but not too much. The price they pay
is what must be paid back to them in labour.”

He went back
and gave them the same speech he had when they had begun classes.
“There are three major classes of bondservants. The labourers, the
domestics and the intimate servants. The labourers are the least
expensive and soon gain their freedom. The domestics have an easier
life, but they take slightly longer as they have more education.
The intimate servants are not chosen by their education but by
their sensuality level and their ability to attract their patron.
They have the highest daily rate, but they also cost more than the
other two classes of bondservant.”

Hannah looked
at some of the other women in her class, and she pressed the query
button on her desk.

“Yes,
Hannah?”

“What is a
sensuality level?”

“That is what
we are testing today. Ladies, to your feet and follow the guards
down the hall to the med centre. It has been arranged for your test
today.”

They got up as
they had been trained to do and filed out row by row.

She wasn’t next
to any of the ladies of her sleeping pod, so she kept to herself.
Tomorrow, they were going to be shattered and spread across the
stars. Friendships could only start when they got where they were
going.

The guards were
female and of the same spiked species as their instructor. They
also didn’t enjoy small talk. Brrenal was not one of the languages
that Hannah had been able to learn. It was not one that was
available for flash loading. Hannah guessed that the Brrenal wanted
to keep their secrets.

The tang of
medical reminded Hannah of getting her shots as a child. She felt
the same kind of fear here.

They were split
up as they entered medical. Each one of them was given an
attendant, and each attendant led them further and further into the
sterile environment.

Hannah followed
the slender male with cream-yellow skin, and when he entered a
cubicle, she followed him. Her mind chanted,
Everything has a
price.

To her amused
surprise, the cubicle was only had a reclining couch and a small
chair next to it.

Her attendant
helped her settle in the chair, and when she was comfortable, he
wrapped his fingers around her wrist. “Relax, miss. Close your eyes
and relax.”

She jerked as
she felt a prickle against her skin everywhere that they were in
contact.

There was
something on his fingers. Something that pressed into her skin.

Her eyes opened
wide, and she stared into his swirling silver gaze. Her body fell
away, and she was left in a place where her senses were all that
mattered.

She was
panting, shivering and covered in a fine coating of sweat. Hannah’s
senses focused, and her attendant was pressing his lips to her
wrist, licking gently.

She felt the
slick cream between her thighs, and her blush fired up. She
remembered heat, passion and the tiny bit of pain that brought it
all together. It was the memory of the pain that sent her blood to
her face.

“I have your
score, miss. It has been a pleasure.” He helped her to her
feet.

She followed
him, her head down and the slick slide of her thighs betraying that
something had actually happened. It hadn’t been her
imagination.

Her attendant
spoke to the instructor, and Hannah was the focus of intense
scrutiny.

“Hannah, you
are being rehoused.”

Hannah looked
at him, but he was motioning to one of the guards. She was hauled
away before she had the chance to see if any of the other women
were being treated the same way.

The guard had a
grip on her left wrist, and she walked Hanna away from the training
centre toward the centre of the station. The light slippers that
went with the smock let her record every sensation under her feet
and the change in the rough decking to the smoother metalwork of
the guest area.

Asking where
they were going wasn’t going to do any good, so she absorbed the
details of where the guard was taking her.

The arrivals’
hall was on her left, and it had a large number of beings milling
around in it. A few looked at her with curiosity, but she quickly
lowered her gaze.
Don’t stare
was one of the primary
lessons.

She was so busy
not staring that she didn’t notice when a shadow crossed in front
of her. The guard noticed. She jerked to a halt.

Hannah looked
down at large, booted feet that led up to snug black trousers and a
floor-length, open vest hung from his shoulders.

She didn’t look
at his face. His collarbone was as far up as she was able to see
comfortably.

“What are you
leading, guardswoman?” The low rumble was in Heniahk.

“A bondservant
is being sent for grooming, sir.”

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