Newlin’s sweetheart is so sad. He wonders what might have happened. Maybe she got into a fight with Lilit. Wouldn’t be surprising seeing how that girl never lifts a finger to help in the tribe unless someone hunts her down and asks. “Hey…would you like to walk near the creek later on today after training? Maybe I can take your mind off your worries.”
She sighs loudly. “No, Newlin, that’s the last thing I want to do.”
She must be angry with him, he thinks, but what did he do? His mind races, but he comes up with nothing. “Darling, what is it? Did I upset you somehow?”
Instead of answering, she races away from him, running toward the rock alcove to a dead end where she stops, turning her face so he cannot see it. He follows, bewildered on what to do next. She is definitely upset with him. But why?
Suddenly, she breaks into sobs, her body shuddering with every breath. He can’t stay away. He must comfort her.
“Kiko, my darling…what’s wrong? Please tell me! If I’ve caused you pain somehow, I’m very sorry. I’ll do better next time, just let me know what it is.”
Her voice warbling through tears, she cries, “It’s…nothing you can do now. You can’t help. It’s…just…I’m afraid.”
Cradling her in his arms, Newlin wipes away her tears, looking into her eyes. “You’re scaring me now. Tell me! What’s wrong?”
Taking a deep breath, Kiko confesses, “I think I’m pregnant.”
This news knocks the wind out of him. He pulls her even closer. “Are you sure? We’ve been very careful. I don’t see how…”
She cuts him off. “Yes, I’m quite sure. I’ve got the sickness. I can feel it. I’ve been cursed. We shouldn’t have done this wicked thing.”
Newlin sighs, looking away, mind spinning on what to do next. If this news is true, they both are doomed.
Wrapping her arms around Newlin, trying to seek comfort, she adds, “I won’t be the Champion of this tribe…I’ll be stripped of any honor and you…” Kiko gulps. “We’re in so much trouble, Newlin. My heart is broken. We should have waited. Only two more suns!”
Kiko cries again as Newlin’s heart squeezes in his chest. He hates that he didn’t wait. He knew it was folly, but…he just couldn’t stop himself. He feels the sting of his guilt bitterly. “Shh…” Newlin whispers, trying to calm his love. “I’ll think of something, darling. There might be a way out of all this.”
“But how? There’s no way out. We’re going to be left without honor. Shunned. Paying pennance for this crime for the rest of our lives.”
Pulling her even closer to him, he says, “No…we can seek sanctuary with my mother. She’ll take us in. Mark my words. There, we’ll be able to live in her tribe with honor. Never fear, my love. We’ll get through this.”
But instead of agreeing with his plan, Kiko sobs into his shoulder making him feel helpless at the situation. He could only hope his mother would allow them sanctuary. He knows she’s even more conservative on Amazon law than Tribe Wahine. His best bet is to play on her hatred for the tribe. It would be like spitting in their face if Mor would accept an underage pregnancy.
It is a gamble he will have to take.
Kalani smiles with the deepest respect and pride at her friend, Kandor. He has been especially chosen by Queen Hawika to lead the Royal Army of Slaves.
“It is with much regret but with the deepest honor that we part with you, my dear friend,” Kalani pronounces next to the tribal gong.
Kandor beams. “I am filled with sadness to leave you as well, my Creator. This has been the most special home I’ve ever known. That is due to your sweet face and charming smiles.”
“Hey, now, friend,” Runoi interjects, “that’s MY sweet face and those are MY charming smiles. Let’s not forget that.”
Everyone chuckles at Runoi’s joke.
“Yes, of course, my friend Runoi,” Kandor says, smiling.
Kalani takes a present she’s hidden away from under the bushes. “The tribe wishes to bestow this gift upon you, Kandor, for your service here and so you will not forget which tribe you belong to as we will welcome you back after this sad war is over.”
“Thank you, dear Creator,” Kandor says as he receives the blue package.
Opening it, his eyes widen. “These must be worth a lot. How can I accept something of this value, my Creator?”
“They are the earrings my great grandfather Haipo wore as the first Master Slave of our Tribe. He was a good man and as Kanui doesn’t wish to wear them, I want to pass them onto you.”
“I will wear them with honor, my Creator.” Kandor bows graciously.
“All right, all right, now the sappiness is over, how about everyone come and eat my delicious feast I’ve slaved over for the past seven hours, eh?”
Kalani laughs and gives Kandor a hug, ending the ceremony, looking forward to the celebration dinner.
As the adults gather around the huge dining room table, Kalani asks Makana to find Kiko and Newlin. They’re to attend the feast in honor of Kandor.
Makana searches everywhere, but they’re not in their usual spots. This time of day they should be in the gym, training. But then she spies someone at the rock alcove and she sprints to find them.
When the two come into view, she stops in her tracks.
Her mouth hangs open at what she hears the two confess to one another.