It’s Amazon Blessings Day and the twins are gobbling down the feast.
Especially Ale. Alika thinks his twin looks like a sand beast from one of their favorite stories. It’s a worm that devours even rocks!
Kiko and Newlin’s son, Dak, is unhappy, glaring at whomever gets in his path.
The little tot pushes Britta away and takes her food. Britta’s father, Horus, shakes a finger at him. “We do not act like that, Little Dak. You may give that plate back to your tribal sister and sit in time out for that behavior. Young tribal sons are to honor Amazons at all times, thinking of their needs first.”
The little boy stares at Horus obviously not understanding. Horus is struck by how much he looks and acts like his father, Newlin.
As Master Slave, Newlin checks in on the progress made by his brothers on the new room. “How are you doing, Finnegan? Do you need any help? I’d be happy to lend a hand if need be.”
This intrusion on Finn’s peace is unwelcome. He still can’t get over the fact that his mother actually put a Tribe Wahine slave over them. Brother or not, Finnegan would never accept him. “Thank you for the offer, but no. I’m doing just fine on my own.”
Crossing his arms, Newlin says, “At this rate, the room will take a few moons to complete. Four hands are better than two, are they not?”
Shaping one of the cornerstones that will be a part of the foundation, Finnegan says, “My brother, Vance, may need your assistance. Why not ask him if you are so inclined?”
Newlin walks toward Vance who is working a few yards away. “Annoying know-it-all bastard,” Finnegan thinks to himself. “He needs to learn his place.”
Brushing his chin, Newlin says, “Vance, I believe you are nailing those bits in the wrong place. If you wish, I’ll redo it and you can help our brother Finnegan with the cornerstones. We’ll be needing eight of them.”
Vance startles from the sound of this newcomer’s voice. What complete and utter nonsense. Who is he to tell Vance he’s doing things wrong? “I’ve done this before. I know exactly how to nail in a few boards.”
Whipping around to give a look at his brother, Finn, Vance sees an impish grin on his face. What is he up to?
The two do seem very capable, Newlin thinks to himself. Then his work is done for the day. Being Master Slave is heavenly! “Well, I guess you don’t need my help then. I’ll cook supper for us in the meantime. Would you like that?”
What we’d like is to be left alone, thought Finnegan, but instead, he answers, “That would be lovely.”
Alena is concerned about their new brother coming to live with them, especially with the impending plan they’ve painstakingly created on how to obliterate Tribe Wahine. He could ruin everything. “Mother, I’m flustered that you would make a total stranger the master over Finn and Vance. They will never accept him that way. Already, they’ve complained about him to me. They hate him. Add that to the fact that he was raised in Tribe Wahine, he would never be on board with our plan to wipe out their tribe.”
Not blinking once, her mother answers, “Oh, Alena, do you think I’m a simpleton? Have I ever made a rash decision in my life?”
“No, but now I’m beginning to think you’ve made a mistake with this one. Forgive me, Mother, but this Newlin deep down will be faithful to his tribe. Unless we make him feel like he belongs, he won’t side with us against Tribe Wahine. And now, Finn and Vance will never accept him. What a foolish thing to do! He should have been the lowest slave and earned his way up.”
“Alena, you don’t understand how Newlin was raised. He’s soft. Spoiled. Not worthy to be a part of the Rigan Tribe. But I’ve seen inside him that he is the worthiest of us all. He has the most mana I’ve ever seen in a man. But the way to refine him and bring out his mana strength is through fire. That will bind him to us.
“And furthermore, once he goes through hell, you’ll help him to feel loved.” The meaning in her mother’s words is clear.
Fire erupts inside Alena. “I will NOT be used to help a stranger. No, Mother. I am the general of the real Amazon army who will defeat the treacherous Queen Hawika and bring back the laws of old. This is beneath me. You promised.”
“Alena, if my plan works, Newlin will not only help us exterminate Tribe Wahine, but he’ll be the slave champion that will help catapult you on the throne. Not Leia. Now I suggest you get ready to salve Newlin’s wounds because I suspect your brothers will have their way with him very soon. And I do hope you will teach him our ways. Eh?”
Alena feels as she’s been struck in the gut. Her mother wants her to become queen. No doubt once Queen Hawika is killed, the Death Trials will occur and she’ll rise to the top as the best fighter, killing all the other Creators who would bid for the title. That is something Leia and Jozka have forgotten. “Yes…I…see now. I’ll make sure, Mother. He will be trained.”
A delicious spicy aroma fills the air. Even though Finnegan hates the sight of Newlin, he does appreciate his culinary talents. Once he and his brother finish with him, Newlin will be destined to the kitchen forever. Master Slave. What a joke. “Smells good, brother. What is it that you’re cooking?”
Smiling, Newlin says, “I’m making the cranberry glaze that I will baste over the ham I have in the oven. It should be delectable. I hope you’ll like it.”
I would like to punch you in that pompous face, Finn thinks. “Yes, I do love a good ham.”
Shaking salt into the bowl, Newlin laughs. “I expected as much.”
Ham finished, Newlin scrapes his chair over the wood and sits.
“Looks very delicious, Newlin. Thank you for cooking. No one in our tribe knows how to cook very well. How did you learn? From your last tribe?”
“No actually, I never cooked before in my life until I came to live here. Since I was by myself, I thought I’d better figure it out or starve to death. Remember, I lived here for a few suns until you came back. I learned a lot. How to garden. Sell produce at the market. Buy meat. All the things that had been done for me in Tribe Wahine. I discovered I love to cook.”
“That’s a good story.” Finnegan takes a plate and moves to leave. “If you don’t mind, I’ll give this to Vance. He was working late on his projects today.”
After the events of the day, Newlin is getting suspicious that his brothers don’t like him very much. They avoid him at all costs. And even after he’s tried to get along with them. He’s broken his back on being nice. What more could he do?
The reality hits him hard. He misses his old tribe. It’s as if darkness has swallowed him. He longs for the brightness of Tribe Wahine. If only they hadn’t cast him out. But these are aimless thoughts, not getting him anywhere. Glaring, Newlin thinks, “I’ll make you like me whether you want to or not, little brother. Just you wait and see.”
Meeting his brother on the porch, Vance says, “What was with your looks today? You have a plan on how to get rid of our asshole brother without making Mother angry?”
Finn smirks. “I suspect we’ll encounter Mother’s wrath, but the way I see it, Newlin would rather lie than tattle. How would it look if a Master Slave was bested by his little brothers? You know Mother doesn’t like weakness.”
Vance says, “So, you want to pummel him? I’m not sure that will work. He’s pretty stout. And he’s bragged about how gifted he is with mana. He could easily cream us in a fight.”
Finn laughs. “Not if we put something in the drink I’ll make him tonight.”
Vance smiles. “I like the way you think.”
Downstairs, Finn and Vance find their brother. “Ah, just the man we were looking for.” He pats Newlin on the shoulder.
“You were?” Newlin asks.
“Why, yes!” Finn laughs. “I was just telling Vance that I bet you didn’t like wine, but he bet you did.
“If you like wine, I’ll pour you a glass of our finest red that we made ourselves. If you don’t, tell us what is your drink of choice and Vance will make it for you. We want to show you our hospitality. After all, you are our honored Master Slave.”
Wow. This turn of events surprises Newlin. He thought for sure the two didn’t like him. Maybe he was wrong. “I love wine, my brother. I would welcome your vintage red. Thank you kindly.”
“It is my pleasure!”
Maybe Newlin doesn’t have anything to worry about. He was just feeling out of place and homesick. His brothers really do like him after all.
Vance looks at his brother with delight. He cannot wait to see his smug face full of bruises.
“So…who is the winemaker in this family? You?” Newlin asks.
“My brother and I both love to make it,” Vance answers. “Did you not see the grapevines on the side yard?”
“I had wondered if those were put to good use. I’m glad to hear of it.”
“Brother!” Vance calls out. “Your wine is poured. Come have a taste.”
Newlin swirls the luscious crimson liquid. He can smell the pleasant aroma.
Taking a sip of the smooth yet piquant drink, the fruity taste is most welcome.
Arching an eyebrow, Finn says, “I hope you appreciate its delicate flavor. Vance and I both worked hard on its ingredients.”
Because I’m going out of town this week, there won’t be another update until next week.