Drone (Deridia #7) Read Online Catherine Miller

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Deridia Series by Catherine Miller
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Total pages in book: 131
Estimated words: 124359 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 622(@200wpm)___ 497(@250wpm)___ 415(@300wpm)
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Chained.
Forgotten.
Wilful.
Proven useless in the breeding rooms, Gwynn is relegated to the tunnels for punishment. Left to toil—or maybe to die, if no master returns for her. If only she could let herself.
A desperate escape, the barest taste of freedom.
Only to find herself ensnared by another. Not as a thrall. Not as a drone.
But as something else entirely.
-x-
He was helping her. Again. He wanted the best for her, even if her nerves made it difficult to eat as quickly as she should.
“All right,” she murmured, unable to bring herself to look at him, her fingers tangling in the fur in her lap since he’d deprived her of her previous distraction. “So you were waiting for one of us. A slave.”
“No,” Gesper corrected, his voice firmer than it had been. “I already told you that is not your position here.”
Her mouth formed a firm line and she made her eyes meet his. “If you did not come for a slave, then what did you come for?”
He held her gaze, but there was something in him that betrayed his unwillingness to speak it.
But he was going to. For her. Because she insisted.
It was a foreign power she seemed to possess. Maybe that was simply the magic of today, and tomorrow it would flee from her again.
But not yet. And so he made himself answer. Grim-faced and reluctant.
“A wife,” he answered. “I came for a wife. And I found you.”

FULL BOOK START HERE:

“You will produce this time,” the master was instructing her, and she forced herself to listen lest part of the order somehow differ from the previous attempts. “What is your purpose?”

She swallowed thickly, not expecting to be questioned but knowing she now needed to respond. “To serve.”

He paused, looking down at her. “And have you served properly?”

“No,” she admitted miserably, staring down at the floor.

“And you will do better?”

“Yes,” she was quick to assure him, but her stomach roiled. It was not a promise she could make. She didn’t know what she was doing wrong and why the implantations had failed. Perhaps it really was that she was a bad thrall. She bit her cheek hard. The master had implied it, so likely it was true.

“This one has produced many offspring. Hope that you are equally receptive.”

Ness bowed her head, wanting to obey but finding it almost impossible.

She didn’t want any of this. Didn’t want to be locked in that room ahead. Didn’t want another man looking at her, didn’t want him touching her, forcing her, frightening her as he completed his task.

But as she had always known, what she wanted did not matter.

And so it happened anyway.

–Thrall, Prologue

Arrange

Poisons. Medicines. Herbs to heal, those to kill. Lined neatly in padded fur, wrapped further into leather. Protection from impact and cold alike.

A quiver, a bow. Blades that would line legs protected by woollens and yet more fur so flesh would not burn against the frosts.

He would shed more layers the further he went down the mountain. It would have to be soon, they’d told him, or else the pass would close and he would be trapped amongst the lowlands. Only the most foolish amongst them would have allowed it, and rarely were they seen again come the melts. Spoken of with shaking heads and tsking mouths, pitied rather than mourned.

He would not be one of them.

Another pack he situated with equal care. Clothing. A bedroll. Smaller in size than his own. They were all small when they arrived. Frail even. With too-wide eyes and fear in their hearts that took longer than even the frosts to ease.

But they did. Eventually. With time. And warmth. And a great deal of patience.

He prayed he possessed enough of each.

◆◆◆

They were angry again. Hissing, chattering, pinchers flaring as they pressed her away, the cloth in their hands red with blood.

It wasn’t her fault, she told herself, arms wrapped about her middle, head bowed. She hadn’t tried exactly, but she hadn’t fought either. Held still. Waited for it all to be over.

Only to be thrust back into the tunnels, a pick in hand, and a harsh hand at her shoulder, hissing cool air in her direction that she’d work there until she rotted.

Worthless lump of flesh.

Which wasn’t true, she murmured to herself. Her arms were strong, and her body was slim for some of the tighter spaces.

It was just her womb that didn’t seem to work quite right.

Or at all.

Was she supposed to care? Probably. A better thrall might.

But better the tunnels and the dark and the dust and rock than the breeding rooms.

The chain was new. Thrust into the rock by an impossibly strong arm, the other end slapped around her ankle. Heavy and tight against her flesh.

Perhaps they meant it this time. That she’d be here until...

“Work.”

A pick was thrust into her hands. Familiar and smooth against her palms. Their numbers were growing and they had need of more chambers. Others would join her, eventually. Males, mostly. Older females who could no longer carry.


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