NOTE: Although this one is listed as book five in a New Reality series, it is a stand alone novella. There is no connection between it and the other books listed under this "series".
Tomorrow the auctions will take place. Some women become brides, and some become nothing more than belongings who must do as they are told. Winter will have none of it. Taking the first chance of her life, she risks it all to escape, running into the desert and hoping to find something better.
When Roar, Scar, Gate, Shadow and Blade find Winter, they only plan to take her back to the safety of the settlement. But Winter isn’t going back. One way or another she will convince them there is no other option than to keep her.
The girl had taken shelter in one of the sand caves they’d built over the years. It appeared she didn’t even realize it was manmade. Yet another reason she should not be out here on her own. Was she seeking her own death?
Roar already had four men depending on him and who knew how adding a woman would change their dynamic. But he couldn’t leave her out here on her own. It was one of the reasons they stayed together. They followed a code of honor that most others who shared their nomadic life didn’t.
“Raven and his men have seen her,” Shadow reported. “I doubt they realize yet she is a woman. But you know what they have planned for the boy they must think she is.”
Yes, Roar knew. Raven and his men were a nasty crew. They cared little about raping the weak for their own pleasure. It mattered not to them if their prey was man, woman or child. Though it was rare to find a woman outside the walls of a settlement.
Women were more sacred since the wars that devastated their land. Many had been killed, others dying during childbirth or from disease in the aftermath. Those surviving had been taken to the settlements, to be sheltered and protected from the rougher element. There they mated with civilized men to see to the continuance of society. It was as it should be. Men such as he and his group were too rough to be allowed around a woman.
But she was here now. And with Raven and his men closing in, there was only one thing to do.
“Set up camp just outside the cave. We’ll have to claim her as our own. Hopefully, she’ll cooperate and play along as a young boy. It might get bloody even then. But if they realize she is a woman…” He let the words die out. He didn’t need to voice what would happen if her sex was discovered. Death would stalk them until either she was taken or there was no one left alive to guard her.
“The girl?” Shadow was the one to broach the question.
“I’ll have to go inside with her. See if I can wake her without her screaming. The rest of you set up camp as normal. Act like nothing is off. No change in how we would usually deal with them. Tell Gate and Scar to be on alert.”
Shadow nodded. “Do you plan to take her with us?”
Roar sighed. “I plan to find out why she left the settlement. After that, we’ll all discuss it and decide what the best course of action is.”
Shadow nodded and left. Roar used the glass to scan for Raven and his men. He could make out the dust of their traveling and knew time was limited. The sooner he talked to the girl, the better for all of them.
At least she’d stumbled upon one of their roomier caves. It would be easy for them all to move inside if needed, and easy to guard. Only one way in and one way out.
They were at the camp within the hour. He left the others to see to the little details that would convey they were all here, that the perceived boy wasn’t alone. Roar shook his head and sighed softly. It would be a fight to the death if Raven and his men discovered the “he” they’d seen was actually a “she”. Women were a rare commodity outside settlements.
The girl didn’t move when he entered the cave. He was quiet, but any one of his men would have known immediately someone else had entered a cave they were in. Had he been Raven or one of his ilk, she’d be naked with a cock in her before her eyes even fluttered open.
What was she doing out here? Women weren’t strong enough to survive the desert, certainly not alone. At least she’d had the good sense to rest in the day instead of trying to keep traveling in the heat.
He could see the softness of her skin without touching to confirm. And her smell, as he moved closer and knelt beside her, it surrounded him, wrapping around his balls and pulling them tight. His cock grew long and thick. He wanted to unwrap her, to discover each new inch of flesh. To taste and explore every curve of her. Wanted to wrap his hands in the blonde locks he’d seen revealed in the moonlight.
He’d have to touch her to wake her. Have to place his hand over her mouth to prevent her fear from echoing and drawing more attention. He didn’t have a choice.
But as he leaned closer, his eyes drifted shut, and he couldn’t stop the deep inhale of her scent. She smelled of something sweet and tempting, and he wondered if she would taste just as delicious.
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