Darbis Martin is a dead man if I get my hands on that lying, two-faced son of a bitch. Venice crept around the corner, straining to hear any sounds of booted feet. Her fake husband had his men searching for her on the space station, and sadly, they’d find her within a matter of hours. The place wasn’t big enough to conceal her for long.
She reached the automated pleasure center and darted inside the door of the reception area. The sex bot inside was a tall thing, had a pretty face, and smiled. “How may I please you?”
“I’m reporting for duty,” Venice lied, hiding her stolen weapon behind her skirt. “I’m going into the back and you are to delete any knowledge of my being here.”
The pretty bot kept her smile in place. “Of course.”
Venice figured it couldn’t be that simple but she lunged through the interior door, hoping the thing would actually erase the fact that it had seen her. She was in a world of trouble and her fake husband was the source of it. She should have listened to her sister.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
She hid behind a large replica bush inside a lounge area for clients of the automated brothel, and tried to think up a plan. First in order would be to get off the station before Darbis found her. Second would be to find a safe place to go after that. Earth wouldn’t be on her itinerary.
It had all seemed so simple in the beginning, when Darbis Martin had charmed her during all their vid chats. He’d been funny, intelligent, and handsome. Too bad it hadn’t really been him talking to her. The ink on their false marriage decree had been dried and dated for over thirty days by the time she’d arrived at Colton Station to meet the real puppeteer.
He had her over a barrel, too, completely trapped. That’s when he’d shown her what a devious bastard he truly was by luring her out into space to make her a slave laborer in his private brothel. He invited special visitors to the station he owned, and they wanted real women. Darbis figured she couldn’t put up a fight. She had nowhere to go and was stranded on the station.
Her hands clenched around the knife in her hand. She wasn’t a whore—and wouldn’t become one, either. She’d been desperate enough to marry a stranger, willing to sleep with him, but being passed around to a bunch of men wasn’t going to happen. She’d done enough lying on her back, her body being used in another way after the accident that had trapped her in a bed for four years.
Venice moved her legs faster, happy to have some again, and memories surfaced.
She shivered, remembering the vehicle accident on Earth that had disfigured her by taking three of her four limbs and leaving her with no life to speak of. She’d been scarred, crippled, and hidden away in some medical center. She’d become a virtual prisoner, until her sister had found a hacker good enough to discover her location. They’d rescued her and taken her into the underground system.
Darbis had fully taken advantage of her dire situation, and she wondered how many other women he’d sworn to love and cherish, only to force them into sexual slavery to make a profit.
She lifted her chin, knowing she’d gone through too much to end up dying on a distant station, being abused.
The doors to the lounge opened and fear gripped her as two men entered the room. They were both huge, their bodies draped in baggy clothing—but the fact that their faces were covered terrified her more.
She’d seen them walking around the station, the first sign that her new fake groom wasn’t a law-abiding citizen, since pirates were banned from all decent stations. Of course it hadn’t been shocking, considering he’d married her. She’d excused it by wanting to believe Darbis wasn’t biased against any living beings. It had even elevated her opinion of him—until they’d met face-to-face.
“It will be fine,” the slightly shorter pirate urged in a soft voice. “They are sex bots, programmed not to keep records. That’s the positive thing about artificial beings.”
The taller one shook his shrouded head. “I don’t wish to be here. This is humiliating, Father.”
Venice held her breath and watched them through the thick leaves of the artificial plant. They didn’t seem to realize they weren’t alone, which was perfect for her. The father and