“Your highness, there’s just one last thing before we leave. It doesn’t matter how incredibly sexy she is it doesn’t matter how good she is in bed, and it really doesn’t matter if you’ve foolishly fallen in love with her. Your highness, all that matters is tomorrow, your coronation at noon, where you are going to be crowned emperor. I know you believe that you’re in love but your majesty she’s just another of the brothel’s submissive sex slaves. Just another woman abducted from one of the neo-barb frontier worlds, her mind altered to make her more willing, more submissive, more to your majesties liking.”

“And yes my Lord, I understand that you have feelings for this woman but you are to assume the throne tomorrow and you can’t permit a beautiful slave girl to stand in the way of your destiny. Please your highness, think of your people, your dominion stretches across more than a million inhabited star systems and over four hundred trillion sentient beings. Compared with that, what value does the life of a mere slave girl hold?”

“I understand your reluctance your majesty but this responsibility falls entirely upon you. You need to do this, the eyes of the Senate and the Admirals of the Imperial fleet will be watching, hoping for a sign of weakness to exploit. Do not allow this woman, this mere pleasure slave, to become the wedge that your opponents exploit to keep you from the throne.”

Marcus recognized the sudden look of cold understanding in his future emperor’s eyes, a look he’d desperately longed to see for far too long. Taking a deep breath, the Prince slowly nodded, “Thank you once again Marcus for you insightful council.” Marcus watched as the Prince’s fingers brushed across the gold inlayed hilt of the sword sheathed at his hip as he continued, “Give me a few moments alone with her before you send for the brothel’s disposal team.”

Later as the Prince boarded the shuttle for the flight back to the imperial palace he happily considered the future, his imperial coronation followed at sunset by his royal marriage to lady Amelia, the empire’s future empress. Perhaps, after their yearlong honeymoon aboard the imperial family’s starship, he’d speak to his personal physician and arrange for his blushing bride’s mind to be altered, to make her more willing, more submissive, more to the emperors liking. He was already imagining how fetching his future empress would look in chains...