Kalani thinks on Makana’s words for a few days. But her insides scream for Runoi not to leave.
Unfortunately, Makana is right. She will lose Runoi’s respect if she doesn’t allow him this wish. For better or worse, she will grant his request.
Kalani strolls up to her mate. “Runoi, are you busy right now? I’d like to speak to you.”
“I am not busy,” Runoi says in a clipped tone.
“I think you’re going to like what I have to say. Please, baby, do not continue with this anger.”
Softening, Runoi says, “I am not angry, my rosy queen. What is it you wish from me? I’ll do whatever you like as is my duty to our tribe.”
Taking Runoi by the hand, Kalani leads her mate to their bedroom. Candles lit, Kalani hopes the ambiance will settle him as well as her.
“I have given the matter much thought, Runoi, and I believe you may join the Royal Slave Army and fight for my grandmother. You are right. All slaves must battle these rebels or all will be lost.”
Eyebrows raising, Runoi sputters, “R-Really? I never thought you’d change your mind so quickly. What happened to entice you to such a thought? I do not want to go if you really don’t want me to, my beautiful precious flower. I am truly sorry for fighting with you about it.”
Kalani shrugs. “Makana talked it over with me. You see, if I don’t allow you to have your way then I’m no better than the Amazons we’re fighting against. Truly. You are within your rights to go, my love. I will not bar you from it.”
Cocking his head, Runoi counters, “Will you not miss me then? No crying fits of anger. No wailing that you won’t have your beautiful handsome mate warming your bed? I don’t know how to take this change of mind.”
“Runoi…are you toying with me? Because I truly am unhappy about this decision. If anything happened to you, I would die inside, I love you so much.”
A great smile sweeps over Runoi’s features. “Of course not…I’m ridiculously joyous that you believe in me and I promise I’ll not die in battle. Mostly, I’ll probably man the fires and cook potato stew for the ranks. I’m sure that’s all Kandor will allow me anyway. Thank you, my rosy queen, for granting me this request!”
Kalani arches an eyebrow. “You know you’ll have to pay me dearly for such a request.”
Runoi draws nearer to Kalani’s face. “And YOU know I’m adept at any pleasurable payment you might require. I just hope you’re up for it, my darling.”
“I’m always up for it,” Kalani whispers, kissing her love with all the passion she can give.
The following morning, Kalani is basking in the afterglow of the previous night as Runoi meticulously rubs the aching tension out of her muscles. “Oh, Runoi, that feels so good. You’re spoiling me. If you don’t watch it, I may retract my previous decision.”
“And I will abide by that decision, my lovely adoration, even if you command me to stay here and rub oil all over your stunning body, it would be my most absolute pleasure.”
Kalani giggles. “You’re being way too tempting, my love. Maybe we need to stay here just a little longer?”
Runoi knows Kalani is teasing but the thought of leaving her and what might happen in the unforseen future fills him with dread. But he accepts what he must do. Making a serious face, Runoi says, “It is with admiration that I’m even allowed to be your mate. Please forgive me of this duty for if it wasn’t so imperative, I wouldn’t step one sandalfoot outside of Tribe Wahine.”
“I know, baby. And I want you to know that I truly am proud of your decision. I have no doubt the Maker will bring you back to me unharmed.”
Mist smiles at the decision Kalani has made.
“What do you think, Kiko? We are in desperate need of your talents and besides, I believe the old ways are wrong with these devastating consequences to one sin done at a young age. With such turmoil at hand, Queen Hawika could hardly blame me in this decision.” Kalani came to this idea as they will be down to only two slaves–Kanui and Alethualpa. With Runoi about to leave, the tribe needs more people to guard them.
Kiko cannot believe what she is hearing. Could the Maker’s face finally be shining upon her? Reestablished into the tribe without a curse dooming her every move? Yes! “With every respect imaginable, Creator, I am without words at your kindness to me.”
“Then it is settled. You will be working with Kanui and guarding our tribe at once as our official Warrior.”
Elation fills Kiko. She wants to jump up and shout to the highest mountaintop! “Thank you, my Creator. I will do my best to fulfill this honor.”
As Makana does every morning, she’s working on her mana so she may be a strong Creator one day. The times she grows up in are very difficult and unstable. She does not know when she may be expected to join in the war against the rebels.
The rain pitter patters behind Kiko, making her even more ready for her workout. “I am here to train with you, Master Kanui,” Kiko says, almost embarrassed that she’s had to take a step back these past two years since her love, Newlin, was expelled.
“I’m well pleased to welcome you, Lady Kiko. Come. Let us see what your mana is made of today.”
Instantly, Kiko goes to work on the sparring machine, adeptly dodging and weaving with the grace of a deer.
Kanui is pleased to have help from such a talented Amazon in guarding the tribe.
Newlin outlines the plan on infiltrating and taking out every member of Tribe Wahine.
While it sounds precise, Alena is unsure she can trust her brother. “What makes you think we know you’ll do your part in this? After all, these people raised you.”
Newlin answers, “You forget, sister, that I ran away, wanting to be a part of this tribe. All ties were broken once I left. You can be assured, I probably hate them more than you do. I was the lowest of the lows in their eyes. Cursed by my birth mother to them. I never could fit in. Nay…you can trust me in this. It will give me glee to watch their blood spill.”
Mor warms her hand by the crackling fire. “Alena…we’ve talked about this. Newlin has the most mana of all of you put together. And he knows his way around the compound. Stop resisting and listen to him.”
“But he’s going to slay the children? Really? I highly doubt that.”
“It is not only I who will do this but I’ll have Finn to help, if that will make you feel better. We will infiltrate the women’s compound with the children as one sector while Simon LeBeouff and Vance will take out the guards. You, sister, will have the honor of killing the Creator.”
“And let me tell you, Alena,” Finn growls, “I will watch him kill at least two babes or it will be his head that will pay.”
Alena almost snorts thinking about how Mother had to fix Finn’s broken jaw with magic–due to Newlin’s mana induced punch, but she says nothing. If Newlin double crosses them, she’ll take him out herself with an arrow. She’s a reknown marksman. Newlin won’t even see it coming. But her mother seems to trust him and she does have her Luminous that can peer into hearts. If his was divided, she’d know it.
Simon LeBeouff stands. “I remember when you were a little boy, I left you to die in the Pillar of Punishment. How can I trust you won’t seek revenge on me?”
“I remember that day and I was frightened, but since have grown to understand you suffered pain at the hands of the tribe. I do not harbor any animosity toward you. I hope to call you ally and friend once this duty is done.”