Excerpt from Enslavement!
Here is another glimpse into Enslavement by Ashley Lavering. Grab your copy here for a $0.99 pre-sale special! Coming to your kindle Dec 21, 2015:
A clang of metal was only a distant sound as someone wrapped their arms around her. “Breathe!” Bear’s voice commanded.
Azika gulped the thick air as if she was suffocating.
“What now?” Vince’s irritated voice barely registered as panic seized her.
Hands pried her fingers from the ragged stone wall she was gripping. She fought them but it was useless. The next thing she knew she was being carried back to cleaner air. The cool air was a soothing relief from the sulfur stench, but she longed for the fresh air of outside.
She looked up into Bear’s face, his eyes were soft with concern. Forgetting herself, she buried her face into his tunic and cried. Guric’s revenge was more than she could handle. She wasn’t going to make it down here.
She wasn’t sure how long she cried but when the tears finally stopped, embarrassment and unease replaced them. Bear hadn’t said a word and she was scared to look into his eyes, afraid of seeing them distant and cold.
She moved out of his embrace, but he held her fast. Azika dared a peek at Bear and shied away from his intense gaze. Sinking as far away as his arms would allow, she lowered her gaze to the cave floor.
Her small voice filled the air between them. “Sorry. I didn’t mean—I’m sorry. You didn’t have to help me.”
His grip on her loosened and she backed out of his arms. “What was that back there?”
Her hands rubbed her arms as if that would warm her. She didn’t look at him when she spoke. “I don’t like tight spaces.”
He barked with laughter. Azika jumped and her gaze flew to his face.
“You have got to be joking! How have you survived this camp being claustrophobic?”
Tight lipped, she pushed to her feet. “You wouldn’t understand.” She wasn’t about to explain to him how Guric had kept her from the mine as a child and how many times since entering the mine she was whipped by the guards for having an episode. Rene usually helped calm her down before it got too bad, but sometimes even she couldn’t help. People just weren’t meant to be underground.
“Azika, does this happen every time you go on shift?”
“No.” Azika paused, unsure if she wanted to say more, but then Bear’s eyebrow arched and she continued, “I’ve learned to deal with it.”
“Not very well from what just happened,” Bear said matter-of-factly.
Her energy seemed to leech from her and she sat down. “I try, but dirt was falling from the ceiling.” She pointed up to emphasize her point. “A whole crew died from a cave-in.”