Many clients. Many .. different interests .. differing desires.
A good market for sweet-looking white boys. Selling them on to good houses .. where tastes alternated from girls to boys. Always intent on avoiding boredom. Girls .. boys .. and back again.
These white slaves .. little experience in the ways of the world .. innocent young men discovering the power of their attractions for the first time. Made to explore the seduction of a fine-rounded arse.
Always work for a male slave. Plenty of palaces being repaired. Raw materials to be quarried out. Transported to building sites. Times were good, trade was brisk. A new house .. built of fine stone .. a message to tell the world, business was going well.
Rais had a bunch of regulars. Who knew they could depend on best-quality meat. Most demanding were the fight-schools. The mob needed entertaining. Betting was good, profits were high. Infidels pitched against valiant Arab muscle — it went down a treat.
A slave rarely lasted long in the pits. An unbeliever put up against impossible odds. Broken, slaughtered .. cheers from the crowd. A smile on every face in the house.
Always demand. Always the need to replenish the stock. A fresh cargo had been spotted. There was always a rush for muscled infidel meat.
A half-dozen half-naked men had come rushing into the courtyard. Heading straight for the ring of freshly-naked slaves. Practised, they quickly grabbed an ankle and tied it to the base of a stake. Then the other foot .. spreading the captive’s feet. They rushed around, under pressure. Mitchell got the idea they were slaves themselves. And woe-betide any who did not get things right. Or let one of the marines get uppity.
Mitchell felt the need to protest .. having watched some of his mates fastened to the stakes .. feeling the protest growing in him as a work-slave approached. He could have kicked, he could have slapped the man away. And where would it have got him? Locked inside these walls. The marines could have fought back, these tame slaves were nothing, skin-and-bones. And those handlers with their clubs .. not enough of them against a gang of bad-tempered marines. They’d easily have overpowered the slave-handlers. But they’d have been trapped .. sitting ducks. No wonder the gang of them .. fighting men .. little surprise the marines had been isolated behind these walls.
Next those iron collars were thrown at each marine’s feet. Deftly the work-slave had it clamped and fastened around Mitchell’s neck. He felt a pulse of anger as he heard it click closed on him .. making himself breathe deep to calm his sense of indignation that this was happening to him.
Thin cord was looped around a wrist. Then Mitchell fought the urge to resist when the hand was passed up behind his neck .. the cord fastened in the back of the collar. The other arm was secured the same way. He looked across the ring .. at a mirror image of himself. A marine-mate stood with his legs spread, ankles fastened to a stake either side. Arms up, bicep pressed to a cheek, hands behind the head tied to an iron collar. Stark-naked. The guy looked vulnerable. Just like Mitchell felt. Anything that fell into the head of one of these heathens they could do to him. And none of them could now do a damned thing about it. Incapacitated. A ring of them .. all his marine mates .. burly, strong, hot-headed too. But stood like this …..? These damned slavers had got them where they wanted .. where the trouble-makers couldn’t make any trouble.
But what was this game all about?
It had been an endless wait stood in that ring of naked bound men. Nothing had been happening. Was this some part of the game .. blatantly tormenting the fighters with their loss of freedom .. winding them up .. provoking the natural instincts of fighting men with evidence of their helplessness. A living demonstration that they’d have to suck it and bear it.
One of the marines finally lost patience.
“What the hell you reckon is going on, Sarge?”
It took no time for one of the slave-handlers to come forward. He thwacked his club across the breadth of the marine’s lower back. Another quick blow slammed into his bare thigh. So hard it knocked him off his stance .. breaking his legs under him .. awkwardly collapsing into the dirt.
The slave-handler was pointing at each at every one of them .. bare-arsed naked .. stuck in this ring of helplessness .. angry but stood powerlessly looking on while their mate groaned out his pain.
“Not a word. Or else.”
And .. safe in the knowledge that not a single one of them could come to their shipmate’s help .. the slaver thwacked his club down at the thigh of the marine stuck helpless in the dirt.