“Good.” He pulled Tina’s arm. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Hey,” she tried to get away from him. “That hurts. Let me go.”

He ignored her pleas until they were out of earshot of the pilot. “Why? So you can run away again?”

She lifted her chin. “That’s not such a bad plan.”

His fingers dug deeper into her arm. He pulled her closer to him. “Do you know what that Rasdonian would’ve done to you?”

“I’m fully aware of his intentions. That’s why I was about to leave and find another pilot.”

Grekon snorted. “He wasn’t going to let you go anywhere.”

“I can take care of myself. I would’ve gotten away from him.”

“Yeah, right. Because you were doing such a great job of that.” He nodded to her arm where the blood was beginning to dry.”

“This?” She lifted an eyebrow. “This is nothing. I’ve been through worse. I wasn’t going anywhere with him.”

He pulled her through the dispersing crowd, navigating back to the transporter. “You think you’re so smart.”

She snorted. “I was just thinking the same about the two of you,” she mumbled to herself.

He glared at her but didn’t slow his pace. “He probably would’ve done whatever he wanted to you then sold you to the nearest brothel.”

She batted her eyelashes. “Why, Dallas. Are you worried about me now?” she said with a Southern twang to her voice.
“Yeah, you’re my asset.”

She growled and tried to pull out of his grasp. “You motherfucker.”

“Listen,” Grekon said, putting a hand on her shoulder. “You’re a human female. By yourself. And to make matters worse you look like a…”

She glared at Grekon. “So what if he was going to do God knows what to me then drop me off at a brothel. At least at a brothel there would be rules and regulations. The Galactic Council would be looking out for me there.”

Grekon pulled back appalled. “You wouldn’t mind being a brothel whore?”

She sniffled. “What’s the big difference between whoring for Luxo or whoring for many? At the brothel I would get fed and I wouldn’t be beaten or chained.” She ripped at the ribbon binding her breasts. Her breasts sprung free. “It doesn’t matter where I go. That’s what I am regardless.”

“Good Lord. Stop being so fucking dramatic.” He took off his jacket and draped it over her shoulders. She tried to shrug it off but he wrapped his arms around her, holding it in place. “You are not a whore.”

“Yes, I am, Dallas.” She pushed him from her and in a defiant move threw his coat to the ground. She stood naked save for the small shorts. Anyone passing might’ve guessed her a whore, but with her head held high and the wind whipping her hair around her face, she looked majestic.

“Is that what you want? Should we start treating you like a whore?” he asked her. He stepped back. “Look, I told you. It’s nothing personal here. We’re just doing our jobs.”

Grekon sighed and picked up the jacket and wrapped it around her. “Come on, let’s go.”

She let Grekon cover her and went with him as he led her away, leaving Dallas to stare at their back.
This is just a job, he reminded himself.

Grekon turned around and gave him a look that said, “See I told you that we shouldn’t have taken a human bounty.”





Indebted by Sharon Cooper