Story Excerpt
Beauty and His Beast

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Jynx shook his head as yet another pet was brought before him. This one at least looked like he had been given a decent meal recently. He might be able to defend Jynx as well as himself.

In the last few days he had seen pet after pet. Most of them seemed to be pleasure slaves, which was definitely not what Jynx was looking for. He needed someone that could protect him, not give him a good time between the sheets.

"Do you have anything a little sturdier?" Jynx asked as he turned to look at the lab agent standing next to him. "I'm looking for someone to keep me safe, not warm my bed. The commander said you might have a guardian beast I could purchase."

Just saying the words made Jynx's stomach roll. He was beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea. Maybe he should rethink his idea of hiring another bodyguard. At least with a bodyguard, they could think for themselves. Jynx didn't want some mindless slave.

"I'm certain we can find something that meets your requirements, Seer K'Vada," the smarmy little man replied. "If you will just come this way?"

Jynx rolled his eyes and followed the lab agent down the hallway to another wing of the laboratory. All those white walls were starting to give him a headache.

"I'm sure I can find you something to meet your needs," the man began saying as if it was an everyday occurrence to be discussing the purchase of another human being. "We have a thirty day guarantee on all of our products. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase you can bring it back and exchange it for another."

The man flashed Jynx a smile.

Jynx barely stopped from shuddering. He didn't like the lewd way the man looked at him. It was even creepier than the idea of buying someone.

"Are you sure you wouldn't rather purchase a pet? They can be very useful in relieving stress. Our training program has the highest rating."

I'll bet. Jynx plastered a smile on his face. "Positive."

"Very well." The man led Jynx to a large metal locked door. He typed in a code on the keypad and the door swung open. The man walked in, hit a button near the door causing a red light to flash and then gestured to the long hallway. "All of the specimens in this wing have been micro-chipped and are ready for purchase."

Jynx glanced where the man pointed, grimacing. Lining each side of the long hallway were small cells. Each cell held one person. The moment the red light flashed the men and women stood at attention in front of the large glass doors keeping them in their cells.

They looked like perfect little automatons.

Jynx walked down the hallway looking into each cell as he passed. The agent was right, everyone here seemed to be hardy, healthy, and in some cases, downright huge. Still, Jynx wasn't feeling a connection with any of them.

He knew that wasn't the point. Whichever one he chose would have their microchip adjusted to match his biorhythms, making them basically answerable to only him. Until Jynx either sold them or died, they would belong to him.

"Do any of these specimens fit your requirements, Seer K'Vada?"

"Just K'Vada, please," Jynx said. "Seer is my designation, not my name."

"As you wish, Mr. K'Vada," the man said, bowing his head slightly.

Jynx ignored the man and continued down the hallway. He hated it when people referred to him as Seer K'Vada. Just because he could read thoughts and emotions didn't mean that was all he could do. He was more than his ability.

Jynx turned sharply when he heard a commotion at the end of the hallway. There seemed to be a lot of yelling and banging. His jaw dropped open when a man flew through the air, hit the far wall, and slid to the floor. There was blood on his face.

"Oh, my," the agent beside him whispered.

"What's going on down there?" Jynx asked.

"I'm sure it's nothing," the agent said quickly, placing his hand on Jynx's arm. "Why don't we go back down here and look at some of these specimens? I'm sure we can find you what you're looking for."

 Jynx shook the man's hand off his arm and started down the hallway. The farther he went, the more anxiousness welled up inside of him. He couldn't tell where it was coming from. He was shocked that he was feeling it at all. The gold band he wore around his head was designed to suppress the thoughts and emotions of others.

It wasn't helping. The thoughts and emotions that bled through were jumbled, incoherent, but their meaning was clear in all of its intensity. Their desperation clawed at me. Someone was terrified, screaming out for freedom.

They were also angry and hurt.

The noise grew louder the further Jynx walked. He could hear men laughing, prodding and teasing someone or something. Whoever it was roared in outrage, sending a spike of apprehension shooting down Jynx's spine.

Jynx rounded a corner and felt more shocked than he could ever remember being. He looked into a small square room. Three rather large men in uniforms stood between him and the creature crouched in the corner on the far side of the room.

He was pretty sure it was a man, a very large man, but it was hard to tell. Besides the numerous electrical burn marks on his body, the lacerations and abrasions, the man was totally naked except for a long curtain of matted blue-black hair.

Jynx quickly realized that the three men torturing him didn't know he stood behind them. They were laughing and pointing at the man in the corner, making all sorts of rude and derogatory comments.

When one man stepped forward and started stabbing at the crouching man with what looked like a cattle prod, Jynx clenched his hands as rage flared through him. He used his strongest, most intimidating voice. "What the hell is going on in here?"