Kiko’s child weighs heavy, making her joints ache. Already two weeks late, she wonders if she’ll ever give birth.
Turning around, she spies the Creator Heiress staring at her.
“What is it, child? Did you need me to do something for you?” Kiko asks.
“I just wanted to let you know you don’t have to worry. You won’t be cursed once I become the Creator.”
Waving her arms Kiko explains, “It’s not up to you, little one. I have broken the sacred laws. The curse cannot be lifted. Even by you as a Creator. Didn’t Mist explain all of this to you?” Mist’s absence has really put Makana’s education at risk.
Cocking her head, Makana answers, “I don’t believe in curses, so you don’t have to worry.”
Kiko shakes her head. “Makana, you could get yourself and this tribe in trouble if you don’t abide by Amazon law. Your great grandmother was chosen by the Maker as well as her council to create laws for us to follow. You may think them unfair but if you want change, you must seek out the queen. I do not want to be the cause of shame falling down upon our tribe. Please don’t say such things.”
But the little princess only smirks at Kiko then saunters away. Kiko takes a plate of food, thinking to herself. “That child! She’s so headstrong. She may be the folly of us all!” She decides to pray to the Maker, asking for an abundance of mercy for she can see they all are going to need it.
Lilit is swelling with twins. Kanui worries for his mate. She can barely move and is always in a bad mood. He decides to take her to the jungle village park where the flowers are in bloom this time of year.
“Oh, Kanui, it’s simply amazing!” Lilit gushes. “The smell alone puts a smile on my face.”
“The flowers cast a glow about you, my love. I’m so glad you like it. Nothing makes me happier.” His mate really does look so beautiful under the pink lights.
Staring sweetly at him, Lilit asks, “What do you wish to name our children, Kanui? I’ve been thinking a lot about it and I want you to name them. You are the Master Slave, after all, and I wish to bestow this special gift. You treat me with such honor and love. I’m so happy.”
Leaning toward her, he whispers, “It is my honor just to have been chosen by you. But if you wish to give me a gift, I will not throw it away. If they are boys, Ahe, which means gentle breeze for I would wish him to be gentle in his strength. And the other boy will be Alika, which means guardian, for our tribe will need strong tribal sons who will guard our great tribe.”
“I like those names very much. But what if they’re girls, my love? What should we call them?”
Taking her hand, he says, “Since they will be as beautiful as their mother, I think we should name one Kaliko which means beautiful bird and the other, Keao, which means light of the morning sun.”
With that, Kanui kisses Lilit sending butterflies through her. She adores him. How lucky is she that the Maker gave him to her!
A sudden twinge pokes her back. “I think I need to find a bathroom.”
“Of course. I’ll wait here,” Kanui says, smiling.
As she waddles toward the outdoor restrooms, a knife seems to stab her in the back. “Oh no! I think the twins are coming!”
Mist brings home not one slave, but two! Kalani asks Runoi to greet them and show them around. Alethualpa or Aley for short, takes right to the babies and asks if he can help the Provider. Eila is thrilled.
Temon is a different story. Kalani tells Runoi that the man is a bit of a curmudgeon and might have a harder time adjusting. With Runoi’s wit, Kalani thinks he might be able to draw the man out of his shell.
Shaking Temon’s hand vigorously, Runoi says, “Welcome, dear Temon, to the great Tribe Wahine where queens are born and legends arise. I am very pleased to make your acquaintance. I’m the Creator’s mate, Runoi Iki. Just let me know how I can help you get settled here in this rather large compound. If there’s a special dish you’d like me to cook, please feel free to suggest. The women of this tribe do allow us men to have a say in the menu.” Runoi winks at him, hoping to melt the already cool vibes he’s feeling from the man.
Temon wonders why this slave is chattering at him like a squirrel taunting a dog. Mist is a lovely woman and he very much is grateful to her for allowing him to take his love with him, but to endure someone like this Runoi, well, he isn’t sure it will be worth it. His nerves are already screaming at him. Maybe if he makes it clear he is to be left alone. “Thank you, Runoi. I am most pleased to be here. If you could show me my quarters, I would be most obliged.”
The red haired man answers, “Well, Temon, my already great friend, I’m about to make our dinner. Slave quarters are all the way on the other side of the compound on the second floor. You cannot miss them. But why don’t you get acquainted with one of the little ones? Hoku, my lovely daughter, is ready for someone to read her a story. I cannot for I am too busy but here you are with a voice as rich as any songbird. Would you do that for me, old chap?”
“I…erm…despise children.” Maybe that was a bit harsh but how is Temon supposed to get through to a person such as this? The nerve that he’d think Temon, a former Master Slave, would take on helping with the children. Give him a toilet to clean or a fence to mend.
Runoi’s smile turns to a frown. “I did NOT just hear you say that, did I, good man? All tribal members help with the children. We are a family after all. Or do you think you’re above all its members? If so, please, take it up to our Creator. I think she would very much be interested in this attitude.”
The threat rings in Temon’s ears.
“Fine.” Temon flops onto the couch, eyeing a particularly chubby baby girl who is staring at him like she wants to sit in his lap. Temon can already feel how sticky she’ll make his skirt. He’d have to wash it right away after this unseemly duty.
Inching closer to him, the little girl says nothing making Temon nervous. “What is it you want from me…child?”
“Read this.” She plops a book in his lap.
Sighing, Temon opens it and starts to read. “Once upon a time, before the time of the Amazon, there was a dinosaur named Moondogle. All Moondogle wished for was a friend.”
“Will you be my friend?” the sticky little child asks him.
A slight smile works itself on the edge of Temon’s mouth. Maybe he could endure this one child, Hoku, but no others. He would be adamant about that.
Finally, the Rigan Tribe arrives home. Alena feels like they’ve been away for too long. But the hair stands up on the back of her neck. Something’s wrong.
“Mother…we have an intruder. Do you see what I do? There’s male clothing hanging out to dry on a line, and that damned cowplant has been recently fed. I thought the viscious thing would be nothing but bones by now. I hate that plant.”
Finnegan’s stomach jolts. “Those are MY clothes on the line. The thief is very brave indeed.”
“I’ll handle this,” Alena sneers. “You stay here. I’ll bring you his head as a prize, brother.”
Stealthy as a cougar, Alena skulks into the kitchen, catching the intruder. Readying her weapon to slice off his head, she says, “Give me your last words before I cut you down. Why are you here? You better not lie. I can make your death very painful.”
Heart in his throat, Newlin raises his hands. “Please do not kill me. I am your dear lost brother, Newlin!”