The Stonewatchers, Book 1
by Bey Deckard
Blurb: Following the Prentish/Nemarri war, Kes is rejected by his homeland under the guise of religious purity laws. Though he’s spared execution, the proud Nemarri’s fate is only marginally more merciful than death when he is sold into sexual slavery at a prosperous pleasure house.
Despite his stoic endurance, Kes knows he’s reaching his breaking point, but there is nothing he can do—there is no path to freedom in the Holy Prentish Empire, only a lifetime of humiliating servitude.
That is, until a beautiful young slave and his formidable master approach Kes in the marketplace and make an astonishing offer to take him home with them. The only problem: “home” is the accursed Horthmont Castle from the scare-stories of Kes’s childhood.
Thrown into a world of living myth, powerful magic, and ancient gods, Kes learns the secrets kept hidden by Horthmont’s thick blackstone walls. There he discovers something he thought he’d never know again: hope for the future.
Kestrel’s Talon is scheduled to release May 23, 2016!
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An Excerpt from Kestrel’s Talon
Kes tensed as the man with the soiled shirt approached. Though it might mean respite from the provocative pose that he was forced to keep for long stretches, the thought of coupling with someone so unabashedly filthy turned his stomach. If the customer was that dirty on the outside, Kes could only guess what horrors awaited him beneath the begrimed tunic and muddied trousers. However, like the good little slave that he was, he only smiled brightly when the man came to a stop in front of him and turned around obediently when he was asked to. Kes shifted his hips slightly so that the fringes of sparkling paste diamonds circling his waist swished and slid becomingly over his bare skin, a few of the cold strands coming to rest in the cleft between the rounded, muscular cheeks of his best asset. When he faced forward again, the diamond strands tinkled quietly against the wrought-silver cage that kept his second-best asset bound tight.
“Kestrel here is very clean,” said Banto, tapping Kes lightly on his backside. “And he has a very talented tongue… speaking from experience.” This last was delivered with a grin and an exaggerated wink.
It was a complete fabrication, of course. None of the slave handlers could use what they sold for their own pleasure. It just wasn’t done. Surely the merchant ship captain—for that was what his grimy cap proclaimed—knew this. However, Banto’s line was met with a grunt and a nod of interest.
When the man was given permission to touch Kes, he immediately jammed a thick, dirty finger into Kes’s mouth to stroke his tongue, as if to somehow test Banto’s high claims for himself. It was all that Kes could do not to gag in horror and disgust at the foul taste and the stink, redolent of rotten fish, which assailed him. He blinked rapidly a few times to dry his watering eyes as the merchant captain nodded to himself, seeming satisfied. However, when Banto held firm on Kes’s rate, the man just shrugged and wandered away, seeking out a cheaper diversion.
Kes wiped his mouth quickly on his wrist and shot a baleful look at Banto.
“At least get a guarantee of some money before you let a filthy bastard like that touch me,” he whispered with a scowl.
“Shut your goddamn mouth and get that look off your face,” growled Banto. “You haven’t brung in any business yet today. If some bastard wanted you to clean his shit-covered backside with your tongue, I’d let him. So’s long he paid.”
Kes bit back an angry retort and schooled his features. Banto was in fact one of the better handlers; he always tried to keep Kes from the more demeaning work, and it was in Kes’s best interest to mollify him.
“I’m sorry, Banto. Please forgive me.”
In response, Banto just nodded and went back to watching the crowd.
Kes shook his hips to straighten out the diamond strands before he resumed his pose, but when he lifted his gaze, he froze with a sharp intake of breath. Across the small square was one of the most beautiful creatures he had ever seen. Staring at Kes with obvious interest was a young man with creamy pale skin and hair like burnished copper. The stranger smiled, and without looking away, he casually but deliberately turned to the side, as if wanting to show Kes his body in profile.
Startled, Kes jerked out of his trance, face aflame, and quickly averted his eyes. However, the image of the young man was seared into his brain. The long lithe legs, rounded backside… the graceful curve of his back. Kes could almost feel the way his hands would span the narrow, supple waist. The jewel-like eyes with dark lashes. Freckles across the bridge of his nose. Lips that were a dusky blush against his pale skin… the same colour as the head of the cock hanging unfettered between his thighs.
That meant the boy was a slave, just like he was. Kes had no business looking at someone else’s property.
It’s not as if you could ever have him, you imbecile.
Kes swallowed. Concentrating on placing himself just right atop his low stool, Kes tried to clear his thoughts, but he found he was unable to keep his eyes from returning to the same spot where he’d seen him. For a moment, he couldn’t see the red-haired slave and was genuinely disappointed, but then he caught sight of the bright hair through a gap in the crowd. The bewitching young man was with a great bearded giant who stood arguing at the silk merchant’s tent. When the slave saw him watching and gave him another coy smile, Kes’s heart jumped in his chest, and he glanced over at Banto nervously. Thankfully, the man was busy finalizing a deal for another slave and was not paying Kes any attention. Then, in complete astonishment, Kes saw the red-headed slave touch his master’s arm politely and point towards Kes. The bearded giant gave a single, dismissive nod and went back to his haggling as the young man left his side to cross the square.
Kes couldn’t sustain his habitual fake smile. It was pure artifice, and he had a foolish, desperate desire to convey to the beautiful creature approaching that he was more than just a fuck slave. That he was a man with a mind and a soul and desires of his own. That he was…
Who are you kidding? he chided himself, his mouth set in a grim line. Even if you could get your freedom somehow, you’d never be able to afford such a gorgeous slave for yourself.
As the stranger came closer, Kes could see no mark or blemish on him, save his slave brand, and he walked with a self-possessed grace, holding his head rather higher than most slaves. However, it wasn’t done in a haughty manner, and the young man kept his eyes on Kes, unaware or unmoved by the blatant admiring looks that followed his long strides across the cobblestones.
Kes flared his nostrils and swallowed convulsively as the slave came right up to him.
“You’re a pretty one,” said the young man, his green eyes friendly and flirtatious. “What’s your name?”
In a heartbeat, Banto was at Kes’s side, his beefy arms crossed over his chest.
“Now then… Who d’you belong to?” asked Banto, suspicion beetling his brow.
“He’ll be along,” replied the slave a little dismissively. He pointed to Kes. “What’s his name?” It was virtually taboo for a slave to address another without permission, but the young man acted as though he was used to speaking to free folk without his master present. When Banto’s brows rose, Kes held his breath. However, the handler was shrewd when it came to a deal, and he could obviously smell one in the making.
“He’s called Kestrel,” Banto replied curtly.
“Oh! A pretty name for a pretty slave,” said the redhead with a smile. He reached out to touch Kes’s arm but stopped short at a tsk of warning from Banto. Money to be made or no, he was still a slave and, as such, wasn’t allowed to touch Kes. With a sly smile, the young man moved his hand through the air, following the curve of Kes’s bicep, just above the skin, so close that he could feel the heat of his hand. Kes broke out in gooseflesh from the proximity but managed to stifle the gasp of breath before it betrayed his excitement. Banto frowned, though he said nothing when the slave shifted to hold his palm, fingers splayed, in front of Kes’s chest. Bit by bit, he moved his hand further down.
“Kestrel,” said the slave slowly, like he was savouring the taste of it. “So lush. Muscular. Beautiful tattoos. Is he naturally this hairless or do you groom him?”
Kes gritted his teeth. The young man’s hand hovered just above his caged cock, causing him some growing discomfort.
Get yourself under control.
“Yes. He’s from southeastern Nemarra. They’re none too hairy,” replied Banto gruffly, obviously suffering discomfort of his own at being interrogated in such a manner by a slave. “What did you say your master’s name was?”
“I didn’t,” said the young man smoothly, turning his gaze away from Kes for the first time. He smiled at Banto. “But here he is.”
The large man that Kes had seen earlier walked up to the three of them. He had untamed long black hair and a big russet beard that nearly hid his mouth. Piercing jet eyes glared out from beneath thick black brows, appraising Kes.
“Did you find something you like, Talon?” he rumbled.
Kes blinked. Talon? It was a rather aggressive name for a slave, though the same could be said of his own.
“I did, Master,” Talon replied, all manners and diffidence as he folded his hands and bowed his head. “May I have him?”
About Bey Deckard
Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires, and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.
Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy.