In just a few short minutes, Lash spills every detail about the sad illness that struck his family tribe and more than once he mentions that he was a Creator’s son. He is a beautiful man who should go to a mate that adores him. Mist does not wish to make an attachment as the other women in Tribe Wahine. She doesn’t wish to upset him. Maybe he would be fine with the arrangement?
“Lash, what are your thoughts on attending me as a breeding slave?”
Without glancing up, the man answers, “I have been trained fully, my lady. I will make you happy if that’s what you’re concerned about.”
Her words were too vague. Shifting in her seat, she says, “What I mean is…I have no wish to bond. Once I conceive, it will be my right to sell you to another tribe. What are your thoughts?”
His countenance falls. “I…er…that is your right indeed. But if you want my opinion on the matter, I would be very downcast as I’ve heard of Tribe Wahine and wish to be a part of it. I’d work very hard. If you would give me a chance, Lady Mist, I won’t let you down.”
“Thank you for your honesty, Lash. I like you very much, and I don’t doubt you’d make a fine addition to our tribe, but…I think it would be best if I chose someone else.”
Anger colors his eyes as he makes a curt nod, turning to leave without another word.
Mist feels sorry to hurt his pride but this is for the best. Now…she wonders if she’ll be able to find a slave who would wish for this arrangement. Are all slaves these days wanting relationships? Times have changed since Queen Hawika took the throne.
She picks her way toward the front of the slave hold, finding the Master Slave yet again. “Lash will not work for me, Master Temon. I need a breeding slave who doesn’t wish for attachments. Can you help me?”
Flipping his hands to his shoulders, he says, “Your wish is my command, winter princess. Any one of the slaves sitting by the fire will do whatever you wish.
“Forgive me if I thought you wanted permanence in your slave. But these men will do their duty once or however many times it takes.” He winks.
Mist walks over to the circle of men once again, but the cute face of the master slave won’t leave her. There must be some way to convince him to come with her. But what?
She thinks through her interactions with him and something remarkable hits her. She’s got a hunch on what might please him. It is only a hunch though. If she’s wrong, she could embarrass herself and the slave but it’s worth a chance.
Finding his office, she watches as he writes in an accounting booklet. “You’re a very efficient person, I see.”
“Mmm, yes, I find keeping track of the slave hold’s finances comforting.” Not looking up from his task, he asks, “How may I help you, my lady?”
Lifting an eyebrow, she says, “I want to make an offer you cannot refuse. Come with me to Tribe Wahine. We could use a slave with your skills.”
Closing his booklet, he says, “Madame, I do not wish to grieve your spirit, but I regretfully and with much honor must refuse your request. Of course it is your right to command me, but it will be against my wishes.”
‘What if I said you could bring…a friend?”
Temon’s eyes widen, understanding the underlying implications. “A friend…that is…an odd request. What do you mean by it?”
“Merely that I wish to make you comfortable. I am in no need of a man in my life and it seems you are in no need of a woman. Am I correct? If I’m not, please forgive my rudeness.”
“You are serious!” A smile swishes over his face. “Yes! I do have a friend I would like to bring. You wouldn’t tease me now would you?”
“I am not a viscious woman. I do not tease the nice man who will be my child’s future father.”
Suddenly, a slave steps into the office. “Your breakfast is ready, Temon.” Then he looks at Mist with suspicious eyes.
Temon announces, “Lady Mist, may I present, Alethualpa Tupaq. My friend. Aley, please meet our newest mistress. We’re going to Tribe Wahine!”
Elation floods his eyes. “Together?”
Mist grins inside, patting herself on the back for guessing correctly. And she’s bringing home two slaves. Won’t her Creator be happy about that?
A wave of nausea hits Lilit. The worst part of pregnancy is all the weight she’s put on and the sickness.
Her mother asks, “Are you well, Lilit? Please sit down and rest.”
Scooping her hands to his lips, Kanui kisses them, making her forget her troubles. He’s been the most attentive mate throughout this ordeal. She hates pregnancy with a passion. She hopes the babe is a girl for she doesn’t want another one.
Anger floods Kiko. How dare they display their happiness when she’s about to give birth to Newlin’s child? Every day underscores her misery. She misses Newlin so much.
She stalks away. Only a few more moons and she’ll have her baby to keep her company. Maybe that will distract her from her troubles.
“There you are,” Kalani says as she finds Runoi dancing with the toddlers and Kanui. “Isn’t it supper time, my love?”
“It is indeed, my rosy queen. The roast is almost done. In the oven as we speak. But these little ones have been giving Lilit headaches, and you know she’s a bit under the weather these days. They are in need of working off all their wiggles. Come join us!”
“And make a fool of myself? No thank you. I’ll leave all the dancing to you, my love. You’re so good at it, I’ll amuse myself by watching.”
“Well, in that case…” Runoi shows off by gyrating, shaking his derrière in front of her, making her laugh.
Then Britta copies him. “That’s how you shake it, sweet girl!” he jokes.
Kalani swells with pride watching Runoi with the little ones. He’s such a perfect mate. He’s always surprising her with how much he cares for every member of the tribe.
As the sun sets, Kalani smiles at the beautiful antics of her tribal family. She feels the blessing of the Maker wholeheartedly and is very thankful.