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The love of a good owner is hard to find.
Starling envied the easy life of pets…until she became one. Kidnapped from Earth and sold to the highest bidder, she now belongs to an alien king. But she doesn’t want to be his pampered possession. She wants Bekion to see her as an independent woman with needs and desires of her own.
Only deviants break the laws barring sexual relations between owners and their pets, and King Bekion has no intention of succumbing to simple lust. But the long nights with Starling’s lush body pressed tight against his take a toll. Her strength and intelligence make it difficult for Bekion to remember Starling is human—and forbidden. He knows it isn’t right but he can’t stop thinking of his pet and all the pleasure he could give her, even if it costs him his crown.
Starling eased the bedroom door open–mostly because it was too heavy for her to open normally–and left. She pulled the door closed then faced the outer chamber. She could probably wander the halls for a little bit to tire herself out.
She looked down at her arm cuffs. They were inactive. She shouldn’t leave the safety of Bekion’s rooms without some way of calling for help if she needed it.
“Not tired?” Bekion whispered behind her.
Starling startled then whirled and faced Bekion. She hadn’t heard him open the door. He gave her a sleepy smile.
She whispered, “Why are you awake?”
“I’m a light sleeper.” He raised his gaze to the outer chamber door as though expecting someone to enter. “I’m not sure how to entertain a pet.”
“I don’t need entertainment. I’m not sleepy.”
Bekion placed his hand on her shoulder and gave her a sympathetic look. “You had another nightmare, didn’t you?”
She sighed and let her gaze fall to the floor.
They stood like that–Starling with her head bowed and Bekion with his hand on her shoulder–in silence. She greatly needed that small measure of comfort.
“You should go back to bed, Bekion. I’m fine.”
His hand left her shoulder and she felt an instant loss. Why should a man she just met be such a comfort to her? Maybe it wasn’t him but the act itself.
“Let’s go back.” Bekion stepped out of the doorway so she could pass him.
“I’m going to sit in the outer chamber so I don’t bother you.”
“Not obeying bothers me.”
She entered the room and went back to the couch. “I’m sorry I woke you.”
Bekion closed the door. “You didn’t. Your adornments reactivating did.” He went to his bedside table and picked up one of his cuffs. After punching a few keys, he reached out to her. “Your arm.”
She went to him and put her hand in his. He touched his cuff to hers. There was a soft beep.
With a sigh, he released her and tossed the cuff aside.
“But I thought you already deactivated it.”
Lying on the bed, he said, “I did. It would have remained that way except you opened the inner chamber door.”
“Sorry. You should have told me.”
Bekion wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her onto the bed. He situated her with her back pressed against his stomach and her head tucked under his chin. “We’ll talk about this later.”
She heaved a sigh and decided to relax. Bored in bed or bored in the outer chamber was still bored. But bored in bed meant she wasn’t alone. She closed her eyes. Sleep would come eventually.
Her eyes snapped open again when she felt Bekion’s hand roaming over her breasts. He cupped one, gave it a squeeze and then held it. She pulled at his wrist but he didn’t release her. She turned as much as she could with him holding her to tell him off. He was sleeping.
Her anger at his actions waned. Bekion probably slept with women he could grope. So long as he didn’t get any friskier, there was no point getting pissed about it. She settled down again.
The groping aside, Bekion hadn’t turned evil. But they’d only known each other for days. Time would tell if his good-guy routine was an act or real.
Despite not being tired, she slept thanks to Bekion’s warmth. No nightmares plagued her while wrapped in his arms.