A Mate for the Savage

By: Jenika Snow

Chapter One



Earth

Present day

Alternate dimension



It was the sound of her mother screaming that had Audrey waking up. Her heart raced, and the voice in her head said to run. But she couldn’t leave without her mother and brother. They’d been prepared for this, or as prepared as they could be.

The slavers have come for us.

Audrey was out of the bed and rushing toward the door in only a matter of seconds. She held her breath as she gripped the handle and pulled the door open as silent as she could. There was a flickering of light from the candle in the center of the kitchen table. Her mother insisted on leaving one lit throughout the night.

But the shadows were thick, and the sound of another scream had Audrey reacting. She couldn’t run, even if her mother had told her to if the slavers ever came to their village and took them. No, Audrey couldn’t just leave her mother and brother to a fate worse than death.

Because her mother was older she’d be sold as house stock. And her brother, because he was male and in good physical health, would be used as field stock.

But Audrey wouldn’t be used in the house or field. She swallowed, her fear rising. She’d be used as sex stock, and that was not what she was going to allow herself to be. Before leaving the room she grabbed a large log that was over by the fireplace in her room. Curling her fingers around the rough bark, she took a steadying breath. Audrey would not allow her mother or brother to be used as slaves either. She’d rather die than see them end that way.

Without thinking about it anymore, Audrey left the room, careful of her surroundings. She didn’t know how many slavers were in the house, but she knew there was always more than one.

Her mother screamed once more and then there was a sickening thud, the sound ceasing. Audrey’s heart stopped, her throat tightened, and her mouth went dry. The rough wood flooring beneath her bare feet made her steps soundless. Her long red hair was in loose strands over her shoulders and falling to her waist, and she wished she’d tied it up, not wanting any obstructions.

Audrey’s mother’s door was open was partially and through the flickering of the candlelight she could see large shadows moving around. If they’d been wealthy and lived in a city they wouldn’t have slavers kidnapping and killing them. But being poor, living in a small village, and having no electricity or the common comforts the rich had, made Audrey and others like her easy prey. It also didn’t help that her government was corrupt, even condoning and encouraging slavers to hunt down and “get rid” of the poor, as they saw them as nothing more than vermin.

And just as she was about to push the door open, something in the corner of her eye caught her attention. She stilled, turned her head, and her world fell away as she saw the lifeless eyes of her brother staring at her. Tears instantly welled in her eyes, and a small sound escaped her.

Then her mother’s door opened, and Audrey turned her head to look into the cold, black eyes of one of the slave traders. Audrey looked around his shoulder and saw a puddle of blood on the ground, followed by her mother’s body. Audrey looked at the man again and saw the grisly smile on his face. He stepped to the side, and that’s when she knew he’d killed her mother. The tears fell down her cheeks, and as much as she wanted to scream, run, fight back, all she could do was stand there frozen, with horror, agony, and despair filling her.

“Shame about the boy,” the slaver said. “He would have made good field stock.” He looked over his shoulder at her mother. “But the old woman put up too much of a fight. She should have come and she would have had a cushy position as house stock.”

Audrey swallowed, the tears falling harder and faster down her cheeks. The slaver reached out and grabbed the white nightgown she wore.

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