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Owned by the Billionaire

By:Lacy Dae

I gulped, knees quaking, as the auctioneer's distant voice echoed  through the waiting room. "Up next: Sandra Blake!" The dark-haired girl  next to me gasped and jerked to her feet, pale with fright. I met her  eyes briefly, reading my own jangling nerves in her flickering glance,  as the hulking escorts gently led her to the door. The chains on her  ankles clanked as she walked, but she rallied her nerve, and left the  room with her head held high, a sharp-edged smile pasted on her face.  You show them, girl!

Straightening on the thread-bare couch, I closed my eyes and tried to  slow my breathing. I didn't know "Sandra", hadn't even spoke to her, but  her bravery shamed me. I had been a huddling, hyperventilating mess for  the last hour, for no real reason. Taking a deep breath, I reminded  myself that despite appearances, I wasn't really being sold into  slavery. This was just an elaborate game of make-believe, a way for some  rich freaks to get their rocks off. I'd make some easy cash and be free  to go, nothing hurt but my pride and self-respect. Exhaling quietly, I  glanced around the room. The auction was nearly over and there were just  a few girls left, all of us carefully ignoring one another.

Idly, I wondered if they had all been recruited the same way I'd been,  with that odd online advertisement: "Virgins Wanted! Your First Time  Could Earn You Big Bucks!" I had nearly laughed when I saw it while  looking for free-lance work. What kind of sick weirdo would "buy" a  woman in an auction? And how desperate would a virgin have to be to  agree to that, anyways? But when I suddenly needed money, the crazy idea  just wouldn't leave my mind. And so here I was.

Lost in my thoughts, I jumped as one of the bare-chested men nudged me.  "Sophia Anders?" I hadn't heard the auctioneer call my assumed name!  Flushing hotly, I took his hand to stand between the two escorts. Both  men were heavily muscled and tanned, dressed dramatically in loose pants  and tight leather straps. The auction manager had given me a costume to  wear too, and a private room to change in, thankfully. The bandeau top  and gauzy pants were those of a harem girl, in a rich emerald that  glowed against my pale skin. My blonde hair was twisted high, with only a  few long curling tendrils tickling my back and shoulders. At his  request, I wore dramatic make-up, with dark smoky eyes and red lips,  very different from my usual look.

The harmless fantasy had taken a darker turn, though, when I left the  dressing room. The shackles that loosely chained my hands and ankles had  been non-negotiable. So, too, the leather collar around my throat, with  a leash attached that I currently held tight in my own hands. I'd been  appalled at the bondage gear, at first, but now I felt oddly grateful  for the over-done theatrics. I felt like a character in a cheesy play,  not a real person doing something really stupid. It helped. A little.

"Are you ready?" I nodded, swallowing hard, and walked towards the door,  the men on either side a step behind me. Opening the door, I entered  the long dark hallway. A warm light glowed at its end, revealing low  stairs that led up to the stage. The first man continued speaking,  issuing instructions. "Just stand on the stage quietly. You don't have  to do anything and no one will touch you. When the auction's over, walk  off the stage to the right, and the auctioneer will hand your leash to  the buyer. Then you'll go with him." The soothing, matter-of-fact tone  was comforting, and I nodded again.

The contract I'd signed had included a lot of safety assurances. The  auction house would know my real name, but the buyer wouldn't, to  protect my privacy. They'd record the details of the transaction,  including names, times and addresses. I was also instructed to check in  at a specific phone number every twelve hours until the contract was  satisfied. If I missed a call, for whatever reason, they'd take action.  As a back-up plan, I'd also arranged for my best friend to call the cops  if I didn't contact her within 48 hours. Despite all my precautions,  though, I certainly didn't feel safe!

My hands started to shake as I climbed the stairs, blinking in the  bright lights and fighting the urge to flee. Oh God, why am I doing  this?!? I forced myself forward, to stand in the spotlight in the center  of the stage. Through the dazzle of the stage lights, I could barely  see the shadowy figures in the theater seats, maybe a dozen people all  together. The bidders. In a few minutes, one of them would own me.  Trembling, I stared down at my feet.

The auctioneer quickly recited my virtues: tall, blonde, college  graduate, with verified virginity. That had been a particularly fun part  of the process! He went on and on, and I started to tune him out,  carefully counting the links on the chain connecting my ankles. Anything  to distract myself from this terrifying situation! But hearing the word  'submissive' yanked my head up.         



"Hey!" The auctioneer turned, scowling at my interruption. "I'm not  submissive!" Even as a virgin, I knew that submissive people were hurt  and abused during sex, and I'd be damned before I'd be sold to anyone  who expected that from me!

The auctioneer cleared his throat as I glared at him. "Fine! She's  feisty!" There were a few muffled snickers from the audience, and the  bidding started. As the adrenaline of my outburst faded, I just felt  sick again, dizzy and light-headed. Lights and sounds blurred together  into a chaotic mess that left me floundering, trying not to faint. The  solid bang of the auctioneer's hammer jerked me back to reality with a  start. "Sold! To number 34!"

I stumbled out of the spotlight, dazed. Who had bought me? And for how  much? Oh God, the money had better be worth this! The auctioneer yanked  my leash from my shocked grasp, and thrust it towards a dark-haired  young man in a black suit. He accepted the leash soberly, leading me off  the stage, then paused and leaned towards me. "Sorry, miss, orders!" I  stared at him, totally lost, then yelped as a black hood was pulled down  over my head. Ignoring my muffled protests, he pulled me forward by the  chains between my wrists. As I stumbled blindly, the door slammed  behind us, and cold air sent goose-bumps rippling down my bare skin. We  were outside. A few more faltering steps, and then a firm push on my  head had me ducking into a car.

Dread hollowed my stomach as the car's engine vibrations rippled the  cool leather seats. "W-where are we going?" My voice trembled despite  myself. I felt so helpless, blind and bound, the safety precautions I'd  taken comfort in revealed as the flimsy protection they truly were. The  young man's response didn't reassure me. "I'm afraid I can't tell you  that." Those cool, dispassionate words were all he'd say to me, and I  soon stopped asking questions.

The drive seemed to last forever. My shuddering breaths inside the hood  made the fabric damp and clammy, clinging to my skin claustrophobically.  The unseen turns of the car confused my inner ear, causing motion  sickness to churn in my stomach. I swallowed hard again and again,  desperate not to lose all control, while fighting down tears of stress  and fear. No one spoke to me, touched me, or even seemed to look at me,  an isolation that somehow made everything worse, even though my common  sense screamed that being left alone was the best possible outcome.

Finally, the car slowed to a stop. Doors opened, and I could hear  footsteps on a gravel driveway, and raised voices. An argument? It  seemed to last forever as I huddled in the seat. Finally, though, the  car door opened and gentle hands pulled and lifted me out, steadying me  as I swayed. After a moment to catch my balance, I was led forward once  more, up a short flight of stairs, and then through several doors. As  the last door closed behind me, the suffocating hood was suddenly yanked  off, and I gasped, intensely grateful to be freed of it. Hood in hand,  the dark-haired man met my eyes, frowning thoughtfully. I froze as he  raised his hands to my throat, but to my relief, he merely unbuckled the  collar, removing the horrid leash with it. Stepping back, he ran his  gaze over my face, then down my body, before nodding and turning away.  He closed the door gently as he left the room. I was alone.

Or was I? Wide-eyed with fear, I stared around the room. I was in an  exquisitely appointed bedroom, dominated by a huge four-poster bed. The  room was dark, lit only by the cheery flames crackling in the fireplace,  their inviting warmth luring me in closer. With a cautious look around,  I knelt before the fire, holding my cold hands up to its welcome heat.  The rattling of the chain I still wore suddenly infuriated me, though,  as a reminder of the helpless terror I'd felt in the car. I had to get  them off! Clawing at the smooth metal bands circling my wrists, I  searched in vain for the quick-release latches that I'd been assured  were built-in to the cuffs.

A sudden chuckle had me whipping around on the soft rug. He leaned  against the bed-post, lean and arrogant, a man in his late thirties,  with a few silver strands glinting in his dark hair. Holding my gaze, he  crossed to the room with a confident stride. I felt pinned in place by  the cold amusement in his eyes. He laughed again as he threw himself  into one of the armchairs facing the fireplace. "I have the key." His  voice was wicked, deep and resonant, and I shivered in helpless reflex.  "Would you like me to release you?"