I knock on Rina’s door. “Rina, can I talk to you?” No answer. I knock again. Louder, this time. Total silence.
I lose my patience and open the cherry door. She always locks the door. The room is empty, the bed not slept in. “Where are you, Rina?” I stand there in shock. I ring the bell above the desk. A moment later, Sylvia runs in.
“Yes, miss---” She stops and looks around.
“Do you know where Rina is?”
“Yes.” Realization falls over me like a falling wall, and my heart stops for a moment. “She’s gone.”
“Well, milord, I think she was taken.” The tan woman points at an overturned chair. My eyes narrow.
“I think I know who did it.” I walk out.
“--will now begin.” I groan. “Princess Katarina Youngblood, bidding starts at 3.8 billion.” What? “314B…..918C……..15A...Sold to 15A!” Someone walks closer to me and stabs something cold into my skin. My limbs become heavy, and I’m gone.
“Come on, get her in those restraints.” The person talking has a scratchy voice. “Get to it!”
“Yes, boss!” Someone yells back.
“Keep ya mouth shut, Darby!” This time I’m smart enough not to make a sound. Someone picks me up, and I make myself go limp. “I didn’t get off that hell of a planet for this to get screwed up.”
“Boss,” a voice comes from the lump carrying me. “How’s she not so heavy?”
“I don’t know.” The person trips and almost drops me. They sit me down in a metal seat and strap my ankles down, and my arms up. My head falls forward. “Probably don’t eat all the time like you.” They tap on my head, and I flinch. “Open ‘em up, I know you’re awake.”
I do and I blink a few times to acclimate myself to the bright light. “Who are you?”
“You don’t know?” he grins. “I’m Toombs.”