Athena Rochan can't believe her father strolls back into her life after years of being away at war, resumes his seat at the helm of Rochan Shipping then hands her over to Barik Lugaren. Lugaren specializes in training women to conform to Elecian custom, which dictates that women please their husbands--and their guests--in any and every sexual manner.
Athena has no choice. Either she cooperates with Lugaren's training or her father will disown her and she'll never see her mother again. She has ninety days to learn to please Lugaren, with her tongue, her lips and every other part of her body. Then he brings his friends so she can demonstrate her skill, and they can show her that pleasure can be a two-way street. Or three, or four...
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
April 17, 2012
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Excerpt from In Training by India Masters
Rochan Shipping, Inc.
Elecia V, Electra Sector
Athena Rochan paced the luxurious antechamber, waiting to be admitted to the inner sanctum--her father's office--the office she'd occupied for three years while the selfish bastard was off fighting yet another war. He hadn't been home a day before relegating her to the role of obedient daughter, hiding her behind the stone walls of their estate to languish in frustrated boredom. Damn him. Why hadn't he just stayed away? Why did he have to come home and ruin her life? And what kind of life could she possibly hope for if her father decided to marry her off? Single women of a particular class enjoyed certain rights, if their parents allowed them, but married women were reduced to the dual role of hostess and sex slave. She'd tasted freedom during the time her father had been away, and losing that freedom was her greatest fear. Her head jerked around at the sound of the intercom's chime.
"You may send her in now, Shomar."
"Yes sir," her former assistant said, shooting her a smarmy smile. "The general will see you now." The word bitch went unspoken but Athena could see it in his eyes.
"Have a care, Shomar," she warned, palms flat on the sparkling glass desktop. "I'll be in the pilot's seat again one day and you'll wish you'd kept in my good graces." She didn't give him a chance to reply, but turned and shoved through the glass doors to confront her father.
"Father, what is the meaning of--"
"Watch your tone, woman," Ezel Rochan roared, his face mottled red with anger. Gritting his teeth, he turned to the man lounging in one of the visitors' chairs. "You see what I mean, Barik? No sense of propriety. No respect for her elders."
Athena felt a heated flush rush to her cheeks. "Don't you mean my betters, Father? Isn't that what this is all about? I ran your company more efficiently than you did and now you're going to put me in my place because of it."
She watched as her father's friend slowly rose from the chair and walked toward her. It was all she could do to hold her tongue as the man circled 'round her, inspecting her person as though he had the right.
"You're right, General." The man possessed a lazy drawl. He raised a lock of her red-gold hair and brushed it across his cheek. "She's lovely and very much in need of my services."
Athena was certain her eyes must be bugging out of her head. What was her father up to? She folded her arms across her chest and let her gaze roam over the man. No doubt about it, he was smoking hot in his formfitting breeches and stretchy shirt. He had a soldier's body, sculpted and hard with slabs of muscle in all the right places. Shoulder-length black hair framed a face that wasn't exactly beautiful but damn close to it, and his bottle-green eyes reflected humor as she focused on his engorged cock. She quirked an eyebrow. "Your services?" She swiveled her gaze toward her father, gave him an innocent look. "Did you hire me a stud, Daddy?"
It was all she could do to keep from laughing. She might be running the company sooner than expected if the vein throbbing in her father's forehead meant anything.
"Sit," the general bellowed, then took a deep calming breath. "Your mother has always been too lax with you, Athena, letting you think you could choose your own path in life. You know as well as any Elecian woman what is expected of you. She has done you a disservice and will answer to me for her transgressions. In the meantime, you've reached marriageable age and there's not a man on all of Elecia who would have you."
No way was she going to sit down like an obedient little mouse. "Good. Because there's not a man on this barbaric planet I'd consent to marry."
The general's face turned a peculiar mottled red and she thought for a moment that perhaps he was stroking out. "Father--"
"Silence!" Her father's meaty fist slammed down on the desktop so hard the framed family picture bounced and quivered before tumbling over. "By the stars, you will be silent or I'll have you gagged." He pointed at the chair. "Don't make me repeat myself, Athena. I've made a decision about your future and I expect your cooperation."
She would have protested but her father cut her off and gestured to the man called Barik, who grasped her arm and led her to a chair facing her father's desk.
"You're going to want to sit down for this, princess," Barik's deep voice taunted.
Athena frowned at her father. "What have you done? Who is this man?"
"His name is Barik Lugaren, and I've hired him to be your trainer."
Oh, Sabin's Comet! He couldn't be serious, could he? But one look at her father's face proved he was determined to bend her to his will. She glided to her feet, struggling to maintain a serene pose. "I refuse to participate in this farce."
Barik's hands snaked out, forcing her back into the chair. "You will sit and listen to your father, woman, or pay the price for your disobedience."
Athena choked in fury. "You dare touch me, you piece of filth."
His lips twitched but he shoved her chair right up the edge of her father's desk. "Please, General." His tone was smooth as silk. "Give her the contract to sign so we can be on our way."
Athena watched the papers slide across the desk and knew she was doomed. Her mouth moved but nothing came out as she sat there and listened to her father make his pronouncements.
"This contract binds you to Barik for a period of ninety days. You agree to adhere to his rules, obey his every order and learn all you must in order to be a proper Elecian wife and mother. After the terms of the contract are fulfilled and Barik has determined your behavior is fitting, you will accept my choice of a husband, marry and eventually inherit my estate. Refuse and I will disown you. You will be banished and never see your mother again."
Athena actually felt faint. Never see her mother again? She didn't want to believe her father would go so far but one look at his face told her the general was serious. Her hand shook as she picked up the pen. Dazed, she scribbled her name on the contract.
"Why, Father? Why would you do this to your own flesh and blood? Do you hate me so much?"
The old man's voice softened for a moment and he closed his eyes. "It is because I love you, I do this. Perhaps you are right and we have been overzealous in protecting our women but you do not know the outside world, daughter. We are a small planet in a star system rife with civilizations that would not hesitate to take not just our resources but our women and children. All we hold dear. We restrict your lives, choose your husbands and dictate your manner of dress as a means to keep you from those harsh realities."
"I'd sooner take my chances amongst the savages than live in a gilded cage like a pampered pet you share with your honored business associates. Tell me, Father, who do we need protection from? The savages of the outside world or the men of my own race who turn their homes into seraglios and their women into concubines? I will do this thing rather than break my own mother's heart, but I no longer have a father. As of this moment, you are dead to me."