Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus have a new MM sci fi space opera romance out: “The Pet and His Duke”, and they’ve gifted me with a unique excerpt!
About the book
Robert is a pet, a human pleasure slave, and well past his prime.
So when teenage Duke Thomar of Aylian buys him via mail order, Robert first suspects a dreadful misunderstanding. The duke is young, handsome and headstrong, and the very last thing he needs while struggling to secure his reign over his planet is an aging bargain bin pet by his side.
Only, the more time Robert spends with Thomar, the more he learns that the young duke rarely makes mistakes. Unless, of course, Thomar dashes off on one of his mad adventures, which Robert increasingly becomes a part of…
‘The Pet and his Duke’ is a standalone m/m romance novel in the ‘Virasana Empire’ universe. Written by Rainbow Book Award winners Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, it is a story of self-determination and love, and Happily-Ever-Afters in the most unlikely places.
For any slave, being traded was one of the most terrifying periods of time possible.
It was a moment of utter vulnerability. No attachments to any master equalled the lack of any protection. And the trader would virtually do anything to sell you.
The trader would want to get rid of you as quickly as possible, for as high a price as possible. The buyer would want to get you as cheaply as possible. That mostly resulted either in haggling – if the buyer was already hooked – and having your potential new owner point out all your flaws aloud was never a good thing. Or the buyer would walk away if they considered you too expensive. Though depending on the potential buyer, that could be a good thing. Mostly, the main risk of not being sold immediately was an assortment of punishments, a lowered price, and finally a change of traders to someone who dealt in lesser-grade goods.
And then there were the auctions, of particular horror to any slave. Being paraded in front of an audience, often unable to see who was bidding, sometimes forced to perform on stage – those were things slaves’ nightmares were made of.
But Robert had been bought and sold so many times he considered himself above that fear. He had grown so accustomed to the situation that it didn’t bother him much anymore.
Born and raised as a pedigree pet on a specialised breeding farm on Malicorn, he had been trained to become the perfect pet for a high-ranking noble or filthy rich commoner.
At his first auction, he had been sold as the evening’s prime piece. His price had been astronomical. His first owner had treated him accordingly, locking him up, enjoying him privately and only showing him to his most esteemed guests.
Consequently, there had never been an opportunity for Robert to create any sort of personal attachment in his owner, those emotional ties which were so crucial in ensuring you would not be resold.
So, at some point, the novelty had worn off and Robert had been passed on as a precious gift. Not that it had mattered how precious he was by that point. Used goods were used goods and his best shot at a permanent owner had been wasted.
But he had been young and foolish and hopeful. Teenagers were like that.
Foolish had gone first.
He had been passed on, sold, resold, inherited, even stolen. Every possible way for a slave to change ownership had at some point happened to him, his price dropping a bit each time, eroding like a mountain worn down by the rain.
He had grown too old to be a cute pet, too old to be an experienced pet, then simply too old, finally ridiculously old. He clearly remembered that dreadful morning he had stood in front of a bathroom mirror and noticed the first lines around his eyes.
That had been years ago.
He was still handsome, but his youth was unquestionably gone. He was still sinewy and poised, his dark hair still in short, thick curls. But there were the first flashes of grey in his hair, a sprinkle of salt in the pepper of well-groomed goatee that he hoped would give him a bit more sophistication. He had to watch his diet not to gain weight, and more often than not, he had to struggle to keep up with his exercises.
Robert had been thirty-eight when his last owner – a man he had never even met, locked up in his serail with much younger boys – had died from poisoning.
The cute boys had passed into his owner’s son’s possession, while Robert had been sold once more. For a pittance, considering what he had been worth to start with.
But none of those countless changes of owner had prepared him for the latest turn of events. He simply hadn’t been prepared for the utter humiliation of being picked out from a catalogue and ordered via mail. You bought a pack of field slaves or miners from a catalogue. But a pet? That was the definite low point of his career.
That the buyer had not bothered to show up in person, that buying him was so insignificant – it got to him much more than he would have expected.
Of course, he should have been happy to have been sold at all. He had spent nearly a year in this latest trader’s stock and the trader had already joked that he would keep him as a lucky charm because everything else had been selling exceedingly well since he had picked up Robert.
As slave traders went, he had been pretty nice, making sure his stock was kept not just in good physical shape, but also providing enough mental exercise for his high-grade slaves so they didn’t go insane from boredom. Reader pads were cheap on Floor and allowed the trader to improve his stock’s quality by making his slaves learn useful new skills. In Robert’s case, that had meant newspapers and magazines from all over the empire to keep him up to speed on current gossip. After all, it was unlikely anyone in their right mind would buy a pet his age for mere physical entertainment.
And from one day to the next, he had been sold with no warning whatsoever. He hadn’t been told whom he had been sold to. Just to pack his few personal belongings and get ready to move out of the tiny cell he had called home for much too long.
We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.
Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.
An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.
An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.
Author Website: http://www.brackhaus.com/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011014541510
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brackhaus
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brackhaus/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427435.Osiris_Brackhaus
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Brackhaus/e/B00IVTRO2E