Most Wanted Page 1

Chapter One

Earth, 2255 CE Ryan Henderson looked up at the camera and shivered as a cold breeze blew right across his naked balls.Christ, why couldn’t they put some heat on in here? This had to be the coldest planet he’d ever visited. He shivered and tried to stand up straight under the spotlight shining down on him and not bow his head. He was used to being on camera with no clothes on, but not in a situation like this, where he was literally putting himself up for sale.

Because of the lights shining in his eyes, h e couldn’t see a thing further than the cameraman, so hecouldn’t see anybody in the audience. The number of people actually seated in the audience had thinned, but as for potential buyers online, there were probably hundreds, if not thousands across the universe. They weren’t actually in the big hall with him, though, like these others,so he could pretend they didn’t exist for few moments while he put himself on display. He’d drawn an unlucky high number tonight, so he was one of the last to be shown in the long line of love slaves. Many would-be buyers had already left or logged off.

The loud voice of the auctioneer called out to him to hold up his number, and he reached for the card hung around his neck to stick his price up in the air above his head. Two hundred thousand diamond standard, too high to attract a lot of bidders, but still he was hopeful. Viewers bid on the slaves by sending in blind bids either electronically or by way of runners standing by in the audience. If no one was willing to meet his price, Ryan would be advised of the highest bids he’d received that night and it would be up to him to decide whether or not he wished to take them.

Ryan had put himself up for purchase for one galactic cycle, or a period of a little more than a year in Earth terminology. Once the auctioneers received the bids,the bidder’s name went up on the board, but hewouldn’t know the amounts bid until the end of his time slot. Ryan could see a few names had already appeared up on his board. Thank the gods there were a few bidders, at least. He prayed that someone would bid high enough tonight. This was his second attempt in as many days,and though he’d received a number of good bids, so far none had matched the amount he was asking. Time was running out, and whatever the highest bid was tonight, he had to take it. He couldn’t afford not to.

He had barely managed to escape from Earth to this small moon, called Lunar 53, in the southeastern part of the galaxy, because he knew the pilot personally, a friend of a friend from his college days.He hadn’t been able to bring much with him, lucky to escape at all, so when he got to Lunar 53, he was dead broke. After trying unsuccessfully to get a job for the last three weeks, he’d spent all the moneyhe’d had in his wallet that last night and had become desperate enough to sell himself, the only commodity he had left.

Still, despite his desperation, Ryan had a few stipulations on his ownership. First of all, his buyer needed to be male, since that was where his sexual interests lay. Considering love slaves were on duty virtually twenty-four hours a day and were at theirmaster’s beck and call, he wanted to be sure he could get it up every time. He liked girls just fine, and thought they were cute, even adorable.But if a female purchased him, there wouldn’t be much he could do for her except give her suggestions on her hair and makeup.

The second thing he needed was to stay off-world, and whoever became his master would have to agree to keep him away from Earth for the entire cycle’s term, with an option for longer. Most of the buyers were off-world anyway, in faraway mining settlements, or about to embark on a long, boring space journey where they would have little to do to occupy their time. Often these men, called Voyagers, were shuttle pilots, ferrying supplies back and forth from Earth to planets and lunar stations all over the galaxy. A very lucrative job, but one which could get pretty lonely. These were the men who were most interested in love slaves, so this requirement shouldn’t be a problem.

Thirdly, Ryan wanted to remain anonymous, and he stipulated that no one, not even the auctioneers, know his true identity. Of course, he was doing something now that was pretty damned public, standing here naked in front of the gods and everybody, but he’d taken some precautions against being recognized. He was known now simply as John Smith, and he wanted to leave his former identity far behind him. His normally long blond hair had been shaven down to the length of a marine’s on the Allied Forces. He was wearing dark brown eye daubers to cover his normally very green eyes, and though he’d never had much of a beard, he’d managed to grow a lip shadow, as they were called, just a little postage stamp of hair beneath his lower lip. It wasn’t much but anything to disguise his looks was a bonus, he thought.

Another stipulation was that payment had to be in cash only. He would sign a video contract, complete with DNA sample to ensure legalities, but his anonymity must be respected. Because of these somewhat unusual requirements, along with his non-negotiable hard limits, bidding on him had not reached the levels he needed so far. Please dear gods, let tonight be different. I need to get the hell off this moon.

Ryan glanced up at the screen and saw the auctioneer was closing off his bids to get ready for the next slave. Each slave only had five minutes to sell himself to the audience and Ryan had been so lost in his thoughts he’d done little else besides stand there. He hoped it would be enough. He knew he looked good. People had been telling him all his life how nice-looking he was. He was rather well known in some circles as an up-and-coming young star in gay films, up and coming being the operative words. Okay, it was gay male porn, but it was nicely done porn with a fairly high production standard, and the guys he’d appeared with were smoking hot. So was he, he’d been told often enough, and he’d really enjoyed his job. Or at least he had until everything went to hell in a handbasket.

He had come out in college, and joined a liberal, open-minded fraternity that consisted mostly of hot guys, some of whom were exploring their own sexuality. To say that he’d fucked his way through his last two cycles in college would be not be an overstatement. He had no real interest in his chosen major, physical education, but he’d been a jock in high school, not really good in any other subject, so naturally gravitated toward a degree in PE. He had vague plans to be an upper school football coach. Or maybe middle school. Okay, so perhaps he hadn’t thought it through thoroughly. He’d been too busy having a good time in college to worry about it overly much.

He was just out of college and trying to parlay his degree into a coaching job in Los Angeles when he was approached by a guy in a bar with an offer to do a solo film for a rather tempting amount of money. He was broke at the time, andthe job hunt wasn’t going well. So when the offer of a job in a porn film came up, he’d accepted it with alacrity and made a few quick bucks. Easy money, just him and the videographer in a hotel room and all he had to do was jack off, which, let’s face it, he did quite frequently anyway. No problem.

The next time, he had to be with another guy, also not a problem, considering said guy was gorgeous and hung like a horse, and after the shooting they went to a hotel nearby and fucked like bunnies till the next morning. The next thing he knew he was getting a lot of calls to appear in little porn films. He was young, horny, hot as hell and everybody was having fun until the night he’d got the call to join his friend Blaine in a little scene with a good “friend” of his.That’s when the shit hit the fan, and nothing had been the same since.

He moved off the small platform under the spotlight as they signaled his time was over and walked toward one of the auctioneer’s assistants who was wildly beckoning to him. He reached for his robe, but the young assistant stopped him. She smiled at him sympathetically, popping her gum.“No, sweetie, don’t put that back on yet. The highest bidder met all of your requirements and even bid more than what you asked, but he wants to talk to you before he sends the money electronically. He wants to see you up close and personal, he said. We have him on holo-cam over here, so just follow me.”

Sighing, but hopeful, Ryan put down his robe and followed her to the small holo-cam on the side of the room. Projecting a holographic 3-D image, the camera gave the illusion of being in the same room with whomever you were talking to. Which meant, of course, that he was about to be naked in a room with a stranger, a stranger who was trying to decide if he wanted to buy him. He felt a hot blush starting down at his toes and slowly travelling all the way up to his cheeks.

Gingerly, he sat down on the cold metal chair in front of the camera and the assistant turned on the holo-cam. He wants to see me up close and personal, huh? Jesus, does he have any idea how friggin’ cold these chairs are? Suddenly appearing in front of him was a devastatingly handsome creature, tall, muscular, late twenties, with dark blond hair. One of the most remarkable things about him was his size. He was at least six foot five and he outweighed Ryan by quite a bit, most of it muscle, though Ryan was no slacker in that department himself. The other unique thing about him was his eyes. They were a dark, glowing red, and they marked him as a Lycan. Ryan had heard stories and rumors about these mysterious people for a long time, though he’d never actually seen one.

Only recently, the planet Lycanus had made an uneasy truce with the Alliance. For many cyclesthey’d been at war, but after an Alliance ship was captured by the Lycans, with the president of the Alliance on board, the Lycans had finally agreed to enter into negotiations with the Alliance for his safe return. This complicated series of talks had reopened a diplomatic channel with the warlike Lycans that eventually led to a tenuous trade agreement.

Lycanus was incredibly rich in minerals needed by the Alliance, and the government was anxious to do anything to keep the trade agreement in place. While the war raged between the Alliance and Lycanus, the Alliance warships had attacked the planet with everything they had, but were driven off time and again by the fierce and savage Lycans. The gorgeous creature in front of him was sitting at a table of some kind, his large hands folded in front of him. Ryan wondered what he was thinking as his strange, glittering gaze raked over him. The Lycan stared at him for a minute without saying a word. He had a look almost of distaste on his handsome face. And suspicion. Where was that coming from? Had Ryan somehow already made a bad impression?Fuck, he’d just sat down! Impatiently, the assistant leaned over and spoke into Ryan’s microphone.