Desert Sun


Chapter 1


          "What did I do to deserve this?" Dust spat up form the parched ground, ages since it has seen a drop of water, and oft trampled by brigades of slavers, bringing home their catch of the day. A relatively small group, cuffed and chained to one another, trudged sorrowfully through the arid mountain pass. Winds stirring clouds of dust licked their struggle torn, and whip slashed skin, leaving grainy rashes and horrible lumps of sweat-matted hair from days of walking in a steaming desert heat. Eyes to dry to open, fluttered aimlessly to combat the offending sand, to squint out the perhaps slaver and slaves surrounding him in both curious pity and delight. Never in his many years of battle and war could ever be something so unearthly cruel about this land he found himself lying in one bizarre morning, lying in a stranger's bed, and tossing about wildly, arms flailing and voice screaming under some unseen hand's or mind's control. He knew for certain, after looking around in unfamiliar territory, he was not safe, and not where he was when he went to sleep. "Look at what we have here. A pretty little one indeed. He'll make master happy." The man remembered hearing from a short burly man, not a few more than a few years his senior, and yet, strikingly, the voice ran a bell of familiarity before his mind, in protection of it's own sanity, shut down, refusing to ingest more than what he should ever see in his lifetime.


His eyes forced to open again, in hopes of finding a destination ahead, somewhere to rest, or perhaps that the sun has finally lead its way to west and over the large mountain range that he figured, was where the troop was heading. Donning the shirt he was wearing when he woke on his head, wrapped up in some make-shift hat, he raised his chin to lightly flip off the sagging material that had long since drooped over top his eyes. He shivered subconsciously at the cool air kissing his irises, the sun hidden behind a sand dune, his skin numb from the sandstorms could not even begin to tell him whether he was in Antarctica or in Hell, he chuckled to himself " definitely Hell". He drew a long breath, anticipating the next sandstorm; he could now see, however, he wished he hadn't. The grains tore at his flesh mercilessly, being less clothed than all the other slaves adorned in thick robes much like burlap, whom felt no sting safe a slight tick on their well weathered cheeks, he screamed a scream mixed with conflicting emotions and thoughts, the pain numbing his body and mind, letting out an obscure method of release, his scream. As what he could tell you, a mere second had passed, the winds calmed, and the slaves returned to marching a somber beat, in a direction they all honed in, almost mechanically. "Psst... Where are we going?” he whispered sharply to the trudging drone of a man unceremoniously chained to him. The grizzled visage looked up from hooded lids to him and gave a quick jerk of his head foreword, his eyes narrowing at an unseen destination. "That doesn't tell me anything. I know we are moving forward", he thought to himself. Pinching his brows in frustration, he sighed inaudibly and thought aimlessly of what his loved one would be doing at this moment. Perhaps, he would be searched for, or even perhaps his lover conspired against him. He could never really tell what was on his mind. "So infinitely quizzical he is", he added to himself, whether he spoke aloud or not didn't seem to matter much. Every man around him seemed all too engrossed into their own thoughts to concern themselves with him. As if by telepathic strength, they all halted systematically, unwavering for a second, awed by it all, and by sheer mental fatigue, he slammed into the short burly man whose voice still rang quietly in his head. The man seemed not to notice the collision, in fact, he didn't flinch. "Curiouser and curiouser, when's the little white rabbit going to show up?" he thought deliriously.


The ground began to shake, the sand parted, the party stared on glaze eyed, as the mechanical miracle took place. A large doorway rose out of the ground and extended a well-needed shade from the searing hot sun. He sighed again at not only the relief of stopping which made his legs go numb immediately, the blood in his veins finally given the chance to settle and circulate undisturbed, but also for the grand door offering his once pale complexion a reprieve from weather beatings, that made his tender skin red, sore, and blistering. Just as he was getting comfortable with his body slightly returning to normal, they began a quickened pace through the doorway the very second it was fully emerged from the sandy deep. The chains attached to his neck, wrists, waist, and feet, pulled him violently forward, he tripped clumsily and nearly landed face first into the white-hot desert floor if it were not for a fellow slave, tightening the chains to his waist from behind. He didn't look back to thank the kind man, for perhaps, the man had ulterior motives behind saving his 'pretty' little face from further damage. At this point, nothing could surprise him; even the raising of the large door in the middle of the desert seemed to bring any reaction out of him.


Soon, they were assembled inside a large underground community, resembling not a detail different than a tropical oasis, with the exception of lamp made sunlight, nonetheless, spectacular. Huddled in a large clearing in a market place, the 'slaves' were instructed to form a large circle facing outward. He shifted nervously from foot to foot as he could hear the sounds of an auction taking place. He craned his neck as far as he could so he would perhaps catch something tangible of what was happening to him. He grew afraid; a small phrase rolled off a man's tongue in the far corner, the man barely visible from where he was standing, yet fully aware of his presence. Teams of young male servants huddled around him lustfully, drawing the gaze of many jealous onlookers. The man perspired wealth, success, and respect, so much as people, not only his slaves but commoners as well, bowed to him in his presence. He shook slightly under the weight of the man's unseen gaze, something nightmares where made of. In one swift motion, the shadowed man raised his arm and all eyes followed onto the young man, who was attempting to keep his self-control in check. His insane desire to take the chains and entangle them around his neck, suffocating him, seemed a good idea. The air was filled with music and joyous noises, and yet, he could only smell the hanging of destitution, forced poverty, and struggle, he's seen all too many times during war in dictatorship countries, he didn't have enough fingers on his hands to count. He closed his eyes tight, avoiding the stares that were aimed directly at him, he wished they were guns in a firing squad than the leers he felt crawl up his body and down slowly again. He wanted to die, to clean his body of such filth. As much as he adored being looked at in a lustful manner, it was for one and one alone that he could allow looking at him in such ways, "But he's not here." He told himself over and over again as his mind forced him to think of better places than this hell.


The chain around his neck was tugged tightly, forcing him to pull ahead like a horse readying for a race. He waddled, legs sore from all too much use since he woke. He looked around, noticing he was no longer attached to all the other men he traveled with, the chain tugged again. "I told you Blondie... keep your eyes front", the keeper of his leash commanded. He cowered unknowingly of his weakness; he never realized he was even spoken to. The large thick man that held his chain with a grip to be reckoned with, sneered at him, yet strangely, a slight hint of pity could be read on his lips as they pierced together in a reluctance to pull him too tightly. They closed the space between where he was standing in the middle of the market place to the man shrouded in an ominous mystery. Once in earshot distance, the man stood up to receive his prized purchase, he wanted nothing but the very best he could ever find, and always paid quality price for it too. The young man growled internally at the thought of being purchased as an item... "A thing off the corner store shelf".


"Young man what is your name?” a gentle voice called to him. His head propped up and his eyes searched for someone to match the voice with. The man that was once so ominous and dark took a step out of his shaded area and made his face seen to his newest conquest. "I shall ask again. What is your name? I have heard you are not deaf, so answer to me, I will not harm you if you not give me reason", the man stated flatly, not often dismissed. The young blonde opened his mouth to speak, his lips cracking all the while trying to form words with them, his mouth and throat parched, leaving him unable to speak. The man took due note of his attempt to speak and ushered one of his servants to fetch a canteen of water. With a wave of his hand, the nearest one took in full stead for his mission. He cocked his head sweetly to the side and smiled genuinely at his new servant, bringing his right hand up to stroke the young man's soft weather beaten cheek. The blond jerked as his face was smoothened by the gentle and almost affectionate finger brushing his cheek. The owner grinned in such a childlike manner, when a puppy is pet for the first time. The servant rushed back with a canteen of water as per his master's order. The man snatched it from the servant before he even reached a slowdown pace, and handed it to the young man eagerly, unscrewing the cap all the while. He watched wide eyed as most of the water poured out of his mouth onto his bare chest and pants, other than hydrating his aching throat, sharp and dry, not even salivating. He whined loudly as the cool liquid made its way to tingle his sanded nerve endings, slapped too many times by windstorms. As the canteen reached its final few drops, his body began to cooperate with his desires for water, and he swallowed a large, painful gulp. He nearly doubled over in pain, realizing just how much dust he had previously swallowed on the trek, and hacked and coughed until he felt his system cleared. Breathing heavily, he looked at his new master, nodding a thank you for the water.


"No thanks needed, I can not have my men sick and dehydrated before I even know their names", he said with an innocent chuckle. The blonde blushed, not knowing quite why or what innuendo the man was intending on that comment, but blushing felt like the only proper response, judging by his entourage. "Q...q..qua...Quatre" he stammered. His lips couldn't help but turn upward in this young man's presence, he shook his head knowingly. "Well Quatre, my name is Salem, you may call me Master, only my mother calls me Salem and she is dead, along with the last person who has called me that." The throng of servants chuckled nervously as he let out a hearty belly laugh. Salem combed his thick hair with his long delicate fingers and sighed, motioning to Quatre to follow him, wherever he was going. The master paused a moment before leading his little Quatre to his new home. He called over his head servant or it appeared, the one who bid for the blonde himself. “Insure that you get the blue-eyed one, he appears to be very nimble, and perhaps quite useful. However, do not remove his chains, he may escape, there is a lot of fight left in him thus far.” The servant nodded obediently and held out his hand, and a large satchel of coins was dropped into his palm. “Do whatever it takes” he added.


Chapter 2 >>>