Just before Christmas, Nayara’s parents present her with the most explosive present ever…
Nayara’s parents have sold her to a king on another planet who bought her for his son.
Shocked, Nayara is devastated at the thought of joining with an alien prince.
This Christmas was going to be one that nightmares were made up of.
Naya’s mug of tea slipped from her fingers. It shattered to pieces, the liquid splattering everywhere. The shock at her parents’ revelation had blown her mind. She stepped back and gazed at her mother and father, the blow of what she’d just been told making her numb and incapable of speech.
When her parents had told her just before going to bed that they wanted to speak to her in private in the kitchen, she had no idea what it was they were going to say.
They had sold her!
Auctioned her off to the highest bidder!
“Nayara, it is for your own good,” her father said in a firm tone.
Naya managed to pull herself together. Without a word, she crouched to pick up the shards that had scattered all over the floor. She dumped them into the garbage can under the sink, then finally turned to face her parents again, nervously twisting a cloth in her hands. “I will not do it.”
“Honey, you know we have fallen on hard times. It is the only way we can keep the farm. And we were very lucky. The king of Dukora was searching for a special kind of woman to mate with his son, Prince Emrys,” her mother said softly. “We did not make this decision lightly. But, honey, think about it. You will be a princess, and because Prince Emrys is heir to the throne, one day soon, you will be a queen.”
“Why not auction off one of your prize bulls or horses! And why was I not informed of this insane scheme?”
“Girl, you have no say in the matter. You are eighteen and of age where we can choose a mate for you,” her father said in a terse tone.
Naya had dreaded the day when her parents would marry her off. Still, she had never expected to be sold like cattle. And worse, to some alien on another planet. “Do you even know anything about Dukora? What kind of species are they? For all you know, you have huckstered me off to some really weird alien race. I won’t go. I will go away to a place where you cannot find me. That is all there is to it.”
Her father frowned. “If we have to lock you in your room, we will do so. They are arriving for you in three days. The joining will take place on Dukora.”
Naya glanced at the back door, but her father anticipated her move and jumped, grabbing her by the arm in a tight grip.
“To your room. Now!” he thundered.
“Now, now, Nelias. Take it easy. She is just a slip of a girl.” Her mother tried to intervene.
Her father began to pull her toward the stairs.
“What is so special about me, anyway? What was it that king was looking for in a woman?” she said over her shoulder to her mother.
“He wants a woman who can play the flute, an elf, one who has magic. She has to be pretty, have blue eyes and long blonde hair, and must be no older than eighteen. You fit all of the requirements,” her mother answered.
“Enough talk. Up to your room,” her father said, forcing her up the stairs.
With a leaden heart, Naya heard the key turn in the lock. There was no escape. Well…there was. If she used her powers. Except, she had not had magic for very long and was not experienced. But even if she could do it, where could she go? Her father would alert the authorities. He had most likely signed a contract with that king, and it would be binding according to universal law. How much had the king offered for her parents to make such a devastating decision?