Warning: violence, blood
Everything is happening so fast. One moment Makana is asleep, the next she’s on the ground looking at her murderer. There is no way out. She’s doomed. Oh why does the Maker hate Tribe Wahine? The curse that has wound its way through generations is upon them. This is it.
The assailant raises her arm for the death blow but Makana isn’t ready. “No!” she cries.
But the strike doesn’t come. Makana hears gagging and some muffled words. Who is her savior?
“It’s no use in struggling, sister. Your mana is weaker than mine, and I’ve got you in my death grip.”
Makana recognizes that voice but is so disoriented. She cannot see his face.
Newlin knew his folly once he stepped a boot on Tribe Wahine soil. He was going to murder the tribe. He had vengeance in his heart. Hadn’t the tribe deserved this when they cast out his mother? And all his siblings as well as him? But staying with Tribe Rigan clouded his judgement. And once he’d arrived at the Wahine compound, he knew which Tribe was good and which should be taken out.
When he approached the children’s quarters he’d heard Kalani’s screams. His sister moved swiftly. Damn it, he couldn’t save her. He would have her blood on his hands for all eternity. He decided he would not survive even if he managed to save most of them. He would make sure he paid for his treason.
His brother, Finn was supposed to wait on Newlin before he slayed any of the babes for fear they might wake up the others.
But instead, Finn raised his knife on the first one and Newlin had to move quickly to stop him.
Sliently, Newlin used the power of his mana to subdue his brother.
Then he slashed his neck before Finn knew what hit him.
And before Finn’s body grew cold, Newlin was shocked to see whose baby was about to be taken.
It was a boy who looked a lot like him. He knew this was his son.
“Don’t worry, little one,” Newlin whispered, bringing up the covers, “I will not allow anyone to hurt you.”
And now he holds Makana’s hands, heart beating in his chest. She has grown into a woman in the suns since he lived here. “I’m very sorry, Makana. I wish I could’ve done more to save everyone.”
“Newlin?” Makana is so shocked to see him. Mixed feelings of gratefulness and confusion pepper her. Her uncle is wearing the same assassin’s robes of the woman who was about to kill her. Why is he here?
And then shouts ring out on the west side. It sounds like Kiko!
Instantly, Newlin rushes away and she follows.
Newlin knows that voice. It is his love. How foolish is he to bring his siblings here on a death hunt. He would never forgive himself.
Makana is shocked to find Kiko–wounded and bleeding.
It looks as if she killed the assassin. She did her job well. But what of her? All the blood rushes out of Makana’s head when she surveys her wounds. Why is this happening?
Newlin races to her side. “Get your healer. Now, Makana!”
As the healer, Mist Mountain, is taking care of Kiko, Newlin wanders through the compound surveying the destruction. His sister moved swiftly. And she’d escaped. When he walked back to the Creator’s bedroom, he noticed Alena had vanished.
He wonders if she kept up her killing spree, but the babies as well as the one slave who had been asleep were unharmed. Unfortunately, Alena had killed all the women who slept near the Creator’s quarters–Elue, Ina, and Lillit. Thankfully, Mist’s quarters were in the basement, so she made it out alive.
And when Newlin arrives in Kalani’s bedroom, his stomach clenches.
Kalani, his sister and Creator, is dead upon the bed, blood oozing from her chest. And Runoi, her mate, has his neck slashed, no doubt he tried to fend off Alena. But he was no match for her.
In defense of Tribe Wahine, Kanui fought valiantly, Newlin could tell, since the evil Simon LeBeoff’s still body lay in the hallway. But unfortunately, Kanui suffered too many wounds and there was nothing Newlin could do to save him.
Fresh pangs of guilt and sorrow riddles through him. He will miss his old friend.
Although they didn’t see eye to eye most of the time, at the very end, Kanui was good to him.
Makana walks through her tribe’s compound in a haze. Is this not just a horrible nightmare? Makana wishes she could wake up. Her insides are screaming and she wants to throw up.
Her uncle would not allow her to see her mother’s or her father’s bodies. But he assured her they were gone to the Maker. She shudders.
No more will she ever see her father’s rich smiles and hear his silly jokes or hearty laughter.
How she will miss their talks even if he is being stubborn. Oh that she would see her parents even quarrel again!
How comforted she was as a child. They both saw to her every need.
And she will never see her father’s talented dancing.
Nor hear the laughter of her tribe at parties.
There will be no more laughter in Tribe Wahine.
Her parents loved each other more than any couple she had ever witnessed.
Her mother only had eyes for her father–a rarity in her culture.
Tears stream down Makana’s cheeks.
Her mother! The sickness grabs at her with this sinking reality.
The best Creator Tribe Wahine has ever seen is gone. How could the Maker take her away from them? She ruled with beauty, grace, and justice. All looked to her and felt secure.
Now all is lost.