Alex is trapped. His life has been one bad decision after the other, and now he's forced to work off his debt with a spaceship captain or risk a fate worse than death.
Captain Tracht is respected and well-connected. Unfortunately, he also has some very questionable private interests, and makes no secret that he intends Alex to participate in them, whether he likes it or not.
It's an experience of pain, humiliation, and tears, but somehow Alex finds himself growing less and less interested in his eventual release...
Note that this book contains dark themes. Read at your own discretion.
- 4 To Be Read lists
- 2 Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Mind Games
Word Count: 106000
Languages Available: English
Alex wanted to slump forward on his stool, but he had to make a good impression. For now. So he sat up, smiled when it was required, and then shrugged when the other person decided nope, they didn’t want to buy Alex after all.
Not that Alex particularly wanted to be bought. But it was the only way to get rid of the debt hanging around his neck like a noose, and if he wanted to get back to his brother he had to suck it up for now. Suck it up, and find a sucker willing to buy the debt.READ MORE
The debt-leasing center was pretty straightforward about how it all went down. Alex had his picture taken, a few details uploaded to some online database, and now he had to sit around and wait while people came in and browsed. Every debtor got their own little private room to meet potential bond-buyers, with one broker assigned to each room to oversee the process. Apparently buyers wanted to be able to chat with their potential purchases rather than just go in on somebody based on looks alone, and the furniture had been chosen to make everything seem a bit more intimate. Nice couch, a stool for Alex, a chair for the broker, and a cabinet with coffee and drinks.
The next guy who came in was a bit older than all the others who had come to check out Alex. Those men—and one woman—had all been young and eager for a servant, but they’d balked at either Alex’s looks or the price he was requesting. This new guy had to be in his late thirties at least, probably early forties. He had a touch of gray in his black hair, and his face was clean shaven. Alex scratched at his own stubbled chin and smiled.
Alex’s broker gave a nearly inaudible sigh, with a hint of disapproval, as if it was Alex’s fault that the last few guys hadn’t been up to snuff. She did stand up and greet the new customer. “Captain Tracht, hello. What brings you around here again?”
The guy, Captain Tracht, smiled ruefully. “Ms. Stiegler, a pleasure as always. I had to cancel the previous contract. We were incompatible on a very fundamental level.”
Incompatible on a fundamental level? Hmm. Maybe Alex could work with that. A guy who was desperate for a specific type might be willing to pay out the nose for it. “Good afternoon,” he said as he stood and he held out his hand.
Tracht looked down at the hand, then up at Alex’s face. Yeah, Alex wasn’t the prettiest mofo out there. The scar on his cheek made most kids and a bunch of women recoil in horror, and his nose had healed crookedly after the fist fight he’d gotten into a few months ago. But his eyes were a pretty hazel color, and his badly-cropped hair was that kind of reddish-brown tone that all the women were trying to imitate. Surely there was something there that could be considered halfway decent
Besides, even if Alex was a butter-face, he knew his body was attractive. He kept fit, and even through the tank-top he was wearing his abs would be obvious. Not to mention his arms. He resisted flexing.
Tracht was about the same height as Alex, a bit skinnier, though he wore some sort of dark gray uniform that made it impossible to tell what was underneath his clothes. After a quick once over, he grasped Alex’s hand for the handshake.
“May I see the terms of the contract?” Tracht said to Stiegler. She hesitated, and Alex almost told the bitch off. But no, he had to be super nice and pleasant during this stage. Later, he could rage all he wanted, but he needed somebody to buy his fucking debt yesterday.
“Um, here’s the outline of it, in plain language. If you’re interested I’ll send the detailed contract over.” She passed Tracht the tablet, and he settled down on the guest couch to read. Alex sat up straight on his stool and forced himself not to fidget.
The room was silent while Tracht read. “It says here you’re willing to give up full bodily autonomy for the duration of the contract? That’s a fairly serious offer. May I ask why?” He raised his head and settled his gaze on Alex, no hint of emotion on his face.
Right. Alex tried to keep his voice steady while he talked. “I figured I could get the debt paid off faster that way. I don’t mind doing whatever somebody requires of me, but I can’t be away from home for too long.”
He and his brother had calculated it out. At the current level of debt, Alex had to offer something extreme to get the terms settled down to a manageable five years, rather than a more standard ten or fifteen. Alex thought the ten-to-fifteen might have been okay, but his brother had hammered into him how dangerous that length of time was if things went wrong.
Tracht tapped the contract. “If that was your goal, you might have offered body modifications along with that.”
Oh fuck no. Was that what Tracht had been looking for with the previous one? Alex forced himself to keep smiling, even as he internally shuddered. “I need to be able to function in society when I’m released from the contract. Offering body modifications is too risky.”
He’d met a girl once who had come out of a full body-mod contract. She’d had a split tongue and was tattooed from top to bottom. The worst part had been her missing pinky, which she said had been extracted from her in punishment for something she’d done. No fucking way.
“I can work with that, I suppose,” Tracht said. He kept reading, and Alex saw Stiegler tap her fingers nervously. Was she nervous on his behalf, or on Tracht’s? But she seemed on friendly terms with Tracht, so maybe she thought Alex wasn’t good enough.
Whatever. Tracht was pretty soft-spoken. Not weak or lilty or anything like that, more like the dude permanently spoke at a volume just barely above a whisper. Sure, it was a clear voice with a certain kind of confidence in it, but Alex had met his fair share of scary fuckers and he didn’t think Tracht could even come close.
Alex started a bit when Tracht cleared his throat. “Can you read, Mr. Stone?”
His full name must have been on the contract, but it felt weird for Tracht to address him by his last name when they were in negotiation for a full-service contract. The other potential buyers definitely hadn’t bothered even calling him by name. Alex shrugged to hide his discomfort. “Yeah. Went to school, anyway.”
If he had to choose, he’d take vids over text any day—people used big fancy words way too often, and it really frustrated him. Like his full contract, which he’d tried to read when it was getting written. If Stiegler hadn’t been there to explain it, he probably wouldn’t have been able to understand it at all. He’d shown it to his brother too, who filled in the rest of what Alex hadn’t understood.
“Because I’m going to need somebody who can take notes for me. I can easily train somebody to please me sexually, but I don’t have the time or patience to teach somebody to read.”
Tracht’s eyes met Alex’s in an intense stare that had Alex breaking away just a few seconds later.
“Yeah, I can read and write. I said I could.” It took everything he had not to lash out at the broker when she snorted a laugh.
“Read this, please,” Tracht said, handing the tablet over to Alex. He’d switched over to a text program, and in large letters it said, I consent to a full body inspection.
Alex almost sneered. “What?”
“Read it out loud, please.”
He almost didn’t. But he’d struck out with the previous four potential buyers, and if he couldn’t find somebody to take on his debt, Alex would be screwed. Might end up in prison, working off the debt for the next twenty years. Or he might end up having to clear the debt with the people he owed.
He cleared his throat and enunciated, “I consent to a full body inspection.”
The broker laughed. “I guess you find him suitable, Captain Tracht?” She took the tablet out of Alex’s hands and went to the small cabinet in the corner of the room. “Are there any tools in particular you would like?”
Tracht stood up and approached Alex. After a few seconds, Alex stood up too, because having Tracht looking down on him was a bit unnerving. They hadn’t signed the contract yet. For some reason, though, Tracht smirked.
“Just gloves should suffice, I believe. And you, Mr. Stone, please strip.”
Already? Alex looked over at the broker, but she was pulling out the latex gloves and obviously not going to argue that this was inappropriate. Because, right, it wasn’t. This was what he was signing on for. It wouldn’t be for that long, Alex reminded himself. He’d just have to hold on for a bit.
He pulled the tank top off first, letting it fall to the stool. This time he did flex his muscles a bit, and he didn’t miss the appreciative look on Tracht’s face. Good.
And now… the rest. He stepped out of the flip flops and pulled off his slacks and briefs in one go. No need to prolong this. If Tracht wanted a strip show, he’d have to make it an order. After they’d signed the contract.
Tracht took the thin latex gloves the broker offered him and pulled them on with a loud snap. “Ms. Stiegler, would you pull up his chart and make notes, please?”
Alex couldn’t help the scowl. “Notes? What notes?”
“The contract says no body modifications. We are going to note which modifications already exist, so you can’t accuse me of breaching contract at a later time.” Tracht tapped Alex’s scarred cheek. “This, for example. One large scar, badly healed, from right temple down to chin.”
The broker typed away on the tablet, and then she took a few pictures too. They repeated the procedure for his nose, the burn scars on his left shoulder, the three scars across his right thigh, and even the small scar on the back of his hand that he’d received from a dog bite when he was a kid.
Alex was starting to sweat a bit, despite being naked, and he felt a flush every time Tracht touched him with his latex-covered hands. He’d never been ashamed of his body before, didn’t even usually mind people touching him, but, fuck, this entire situation felt weird. Like he wasn’t human, just an animal getting checked over. Tracht even briefly fondled his dick and balls, remarking that he was uncut—and would stay that way, thank you very much—all while Stiegler took photos.
Tracht circled around behind and touched Alex’s sides with a light touch, making Alex squirm.
“Are you ticklish, Mr. Stone?” Tracht asked in that same mild tone.
“Yeah. Isn’t fucking everybody?”
Alex couldn’t see the guy’s face, but he heard a soft “hmm.” The next touch on his ass wasn’t light at all, but a hefty grab. Alex forced himself to stay still. This was what he was signing up for, he reminded himself. For just a while, but he had to sell it. He had to make Tracht want him. His ass cheeks involuntarily tensed when Tracht ran a gloved finger down Alex’s crack, but he managed to relax while Tracht pulled his cheeks apart and poked at his hole.
“Nice,” Tracht murmured. He let go and circled back around front.
Alex thought the inspection was over when Tracht removed his gloves, but he looked at the broker and asked for another pair. The snap as Tracht put them on seemed stupid loud in the room.
Then Tracht tapped on his jaw and told him to open up.
It wasn’t any worse than the rest of the inspection. Definitely not worse than his ass getting poked and prodded. Alex still wanted to balk. He didn’t even realize that he had brought his hand up to cover his mouth, not until the broker was saying something in a sharp tone.
Tracht subtly raised his eyebrows. “Mr. Stone,” he said, in that same low-key voice he’d been using the entire time, “Please remove your hand and open your mouth. If you do not allow me to inspect your teeth, we’ll have no frame of reference. This is for both of our protection.”
Right. Right. So that if Tracht did do something to Alex’s teeth, there’d be proof that they’d been fine before. So that Alex couldn’t try to screw Tracht over by claiming he’d breached the contract. His hand shook as he forced it back down to his side. It took him another two breaths to pry his jaw apart, two breaths during which Tracht simply watched him.
Once his mouth was open, latex-covered fingers were inside, forcing his jaw wider. They touched everywhere—his gums, his tongue, the back of his throat, and yes, his teeth. They found the spot where Alex was missing a molar, and Alex shuddered hard when a finger pressed in there. The spot still felt tender and raw.
“One missing tooth,” Tracht said to the broker. “First molar, lower jaw, left side.” He withdrew his fingers. “Have you had dental work done at any point, Mr. Stone?”
Alex was this close to punching the guy. He shook his head instead, not trusting himself to stay civil if he tried to speak.
That seemed to satisfy Tracht though. “I’ll have the ship’s doctor do a full x-ray when we get in and send those records over,” he said to the broker, and she responded with an affirmative noise.
“All right. I believe I am willing to accept this contract. I have full rights over your body, with the exception of any modifications to that body. You obey me, you fulfill my needs as I request them, regardless of how trivial or non-trivial they appear to you. In exchange, I will, over the course of the next five years, pay off this, frankly, exorbitant debt you’ve somehow incurred, and keep you housed, fed, and in general good health. Is this as we both understand it?”
Still unnerved from the fingers in his mouth, Alex almost flubbed it. But this was better than the alternative. So he swallowed, forced a cocky smile on his face, and accepted.COLLAPSE