Chapter 6.26 The Fight

“Let me kiss you, my lovely queen,” Runoi says as he pecks his love on the cheek. His insides are churning, though, for what he’s about to ask her.

But he will do it over a full belly. “Come with me for I have much to say to you, my rose petal. I want to treat you to a special lunch at The Tiki Torch. You know you love the atmosphere there.”

Eyeing him with adoration, Kalani says, “What is all of this, my sweet mate? I love you with all my heart, but I’m quite busy. I have a meeting with Temon.”

Pulling her over to sit, Runoi throws on his charm. “Oh, so you’d rather spend time with that barbaric killjoy than spend some precious time with me? I see how it is now.”

Pumping his arm, Runoi adds, “Look at what you’ll be missing, darling. Need I remind you what a stunning specimen I am?”

“Seriously, Runoi, what’s gotten into you?”

“Nothing at all. I just want to shower you with my love…and my most excellent body later.” He winks knowing the effect it will have on her.

Rolling her eyes, she huffs, “Fine. I’ll reschedule my meeting for tomorrow then.” She kisses him on the cheek, so thankful he still thinks of her like he did back when they were young and he was wooing her amongst all her other suitors.

*****

Unfortunately, no sooner had they finished their lunch, Runoi blurts out his request.

But Kalani takes it exactly as he feared she would. Her eyebrows draw in angrily. “How dare you manipulate me like this, Runoi. You didn’t want to shower me with love. You wanted to butter me up. Well it didn’t work. Absolutely not. You will never leave Tribe Wahine. Is that clear?”

Raising his hand, he backpedals. “Whoa! You’re taking this all wrong, darling. I just wanted us to talk rationally in a private place. I did want to spend some private time with you. This was not about buttering you up. Won’t you listen to what I have to say at least? Do I not deserve that attention after all these suns together?”

Sitting back and crossing her arms, she says, “Fine. I’m listening.”

“Queen Hawika’s situation is desperate. She called for ALL fighting Amazons and slaves. Am I not a slave, my lovely darling? Do I not have muscles that could aid in the fight? Yes, I can cook, but I’ve had a bit of sword training in my youth as well as I am very industrious and can lend a hand in tactical administration. Kandor would listen to my advice and welcome it.”

Setting her jaw, Kalani hisses, “You would get yourself killed. The answer is still no.”

“You aren’t even listening to me. How fair is that?” Runoi spits.

“This is not about fairness, Runoi, it’s about your life. Even Kandor told me to never allow you to join the army. Did you not even listen to him?”

“The situation was different when he left. We are at war now. If the other side wins, I won’t see you or our daughters anymore. Is that what you want, Kalani? Allow me to help and preserve the little dignity I have left as a man.”

Tears welling up in Kalani’s eyes, she shakes her head. Kalani has never had a cross word with Runoi before. This fight stings her at the core.

She’s so upset her mate would even entertain the idea in the first place. And she’s hurt he’d even want to leave. Now she understands Ina’s feelings on the matter. But Horus is a hulking man who would be an asset to the army. Runoi was bred as a breeding slave. They are very different people. There’s no debating this further.

Pointing at him, she declares, “For the good of the tribe and yourself, my answer is no. Drop it Runoi. At once. Do your duty to the tribe and our family. That is your only obligation.”

With that, she jerks the chair back and storms out of the room.

“Good Maker, that didn’t go well at all,” Runoi mumbles to himself. Mixed feelings of anger and helplessness rush through him. How can Kalani not see the desperation of their situation? He is destined to sit back while others fight for a cause so dear to him. It’s unfathomable.

*****

Makana notices something off with her parents. Usually when they’re even five feet away, one of them is either eyeing the other in an embarrassing way or they at least blow kisses. Tonight, they won’t even look at each other let alone speak.

And just now when her mother passed by her father, she glared then looked away.

Catching her eye, Runoi asks, “What is it, princess?”

Sitting on the couch, she pats the space beside her. “Daddy, I know something’s wrong. Did you and Mother have a fight?”

Arching an eyebrow, Runoi says, “Your mother is a very beautiful woman and I love her very much, but she can be so remarkably, infuriatingly stubborn sometimes.”

“I do know how stubborn she is,” Makana agrees. “What happened?”

Shaking his head, he says, “All I asked was to be allowed to join in the fight against the rebel forces. It’s hard for me to sit here and do nothing when others are ready to join in the fight. If our side doesn’t win, our family will be ripped apart.”

“But Daddy, you aren’t a fighting man. What good would it be if you lost your life? That would hurt us worse than if you had to leave. At least then, we’d get to visit you.”

“Makana, there’s an old saying, it’s not the size of the Amazon in a fight but the size of the fight in the Amazon. I have heart enough for this, my dearest daughter. But no one believes in me.”

His words pierce Makana’s heart. He’s right. No matter what happens, he should be given the right to fight if he so wishes it. Obviously, he yearns to help. Maybe she could talk to her mother for him.

******

Knives slice through Mist’s back and through her stomach. It is time. The baby is about to arrive.

When she tells Temon, he is beside himself. “Are you sure? What should I do?”

But she’s overcome by another wave of pain and she bolts to the nursery.

Hours later, their daughter arrives. “We’ll call you Meadow for you are as lovely as the green grass and beautiful wild flowers!”

Temon cannot believe this day has come. And she’s as beautiful as her mother with her shiny silver hair. But she has his dark eyes.

A tingle of pride flows through him. He’s never felt such love for another person in his life. “You will be well cared for, my dear sweet princess. And showered with all my adoration.”

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Chapter 6.26 War Imminent

Before the sun rose in the sky, Makana meets with Kanui for training. She knows she’s in for sore muscles and tired limbs but she’s ready. Makana wants to be a powerful Amazon Creator like her great grandmother Hawika. With war on the horizon, she will need every minute Kanui can give her.

“What is it today, Kanui? Weights? Running?” Makana asks. She’s been training with Kanui for weeks now. He loves to push her until she’s about to drop. It’s the way he was taught by former Tribe Wahine slave Kandor who is now the general of the Royal slave army at the palace.

With a slick smile, Kanui says, “I have something different in mind. I’m going to teach you hand to hand combat. I bought a new machine. It’s from the North Tribe. They made it and it works really well. You can hit it hard without worrying about bruising your opponent.”

Instantly, Kanui goes to battle with the contraption. It is the silliest thing Makana has ever seen– put together with simple parts and tree branches for hair.

But it moved its paddles to hit and Kanui had to duck and weave like going against a real person. Makana guesses it’s fairly good to use but she’d prefer combatting Kanui himself. If she could best him, could she not battle anyone for he is the most muscled man she’s ever seen. She’d heard his father, Tonai, is a large man. No doubt his son inherited his body.

Barely breathing even after a fifteen minute bout with the strange gadget, Kanui says, “Now it’s your turn.”

“Humph,” Makana chides, “this should be easy.”

Makana hits the paddles in succession. “Ha!” she cries.

But the thing catches her off guard and she ducks. “Whoa. Is it going crazy?”

“That’s how it works. Keep going. It’s good to test your coordination.”

Jabbing it in the middle, Makana thinks the round should be over.

But instead, one of the paddles knocks her in the jaw painfully and sends her reeling back.

“I hate this thing!” she yells. “Can we do something else?”

Kanui laughs. “Okay…this was a good first session. Now let’s use the boxing bag.”

Makana’s muscles are so tired now, she can barely move.

“Punch it hard!” Kanui implores. “That’s how you’ll grow stronger.”

But after twenty minutes of pounding, Makana is ready to give up. “No more, Kanui. I cannot lift my arms.”

“Do you not want to be the best Amazon fighter? You must train. Harder. Faster. It is the only way.”

“But how can I go harder and faster when my arms are like wet noodles. No, Kanui. This is folly.”

Smiling like he’s enjoying watching her pain, Kanui says, “I understand, Creator Heiress. I once thought as you did when the great Kandor trained me. I wouldn’t be the fighter I am today without his strenuous tactics. Don’t you want to succeed in your goals?”

Makana hates it that he’s making sense. “Very well, but I’ll remember this day, Kanui. You might suffer one of my painful punches when you least expect it.”

Laughing, Kanui says, “I would welcome it, my lady. Any time.”

Makana goes back to beating the boxing bag, cussing with every punch and hoping this work will not be in vain.

******

Kalani’s stomach drops at the news Horus just shared. He’s leaving Tribe Wahine.

“If I didn’t feel this cause to be most important, my Creator, I would not by any means leave the tribe most dear to my heart, my true love, and my daughter. But the situation is desperate. I hope you understand.”

Her grandmother had sent word out to all tribes that the army needs every available fighting Amazon and slave. They’ve suffered many attacks and a declaration of war from rebel tribes has been formally issued. The main tribe in charge is the hated Tribe Hanalani, the former trecherous queen’s tribe. The rebels want to go back to the old ways, including banning any attachments to slaves, killing tribal sons, and fighting for leadership. Everything Queen Hawika has worked for until this day would be swept away.

Kalani answers, “Believe me, I do understand your plight, Horus, and I will give you my hearty support even though I will be sad to say good bye to you.”

“How can you say that, Creator?” Gatherer Ina counters. “We cannot afford to lose another man! It would be one thing if we had fighting Amazons among us, but we don’t! Tribe Wahine will be at the mercy of any renegade thief or crook. No. I do not sanction this at all.”

“My love, we’ve been over this. If the rebels win, I will never see you or our daughter again!”

“He speaks the truth, Ina.” Turning to Horus, Kalani adds, “You have my leave to go in peace, my tribal brother, and make sure to come back to us for it would grieve us deeply to lose you.”

At this final proclamation, Ina shudders, trying to hide her tears.

Horus is in pain watching her cry. He doesn’t know how to make her feel better.

Wiping her face, she gets up, angrily glaring at Horus as she leaves the council meeting. She cannot take seeing him for another moment. She is beside herself at him wanting to leave her.

Kalani shrugs helplessly at this terrible situation. “I’m sorry for the way Ina is taking this news, Horus. In time, I know she will be proud of your decision. I find it most worthy of your character.”

After Horus excuses himself, he searches out his love. He finds her jerking the fruit off the trees in the garden.

Gingerly, he approaches her. “Sweetheart. Please understand why I must go. It is my duty. I owe it to my fellow slaves.”

Whipping around she retorts, “But you are not a slave, are you, Horus! You would not suffer any of the punishments nor would you have to leave us. We need you here more than ever. First Kandor leaves us now you. Do you not care what happens to your family?”

He shakes his head. “You know this is not true, my love. I would be forced to leave. As a free man, yes, I cannot be put to death but no man would be allowed in the tribe if he does not forgo his freedom. I would become a slave and then because I sired a child, I couldn’t stay. Understand this, please. Think through it logically.”

Pointing at him, she yells through tears, “It is YOU who are not thinking logically. We cannot…bear to live without you. What if….what if you get killed? Then what?”

Grabbing her hands, Horus says gently, “Then it is the Maker’s wish for me to give my life for a great cause. I love you more than anything but how could I live with myself if I didn’t help? Please understand. For me.”

He pulls her into him, kissing off her tears. “I love you, my precious Ina. Remember that always.”

Draping her arms around him, Ina kisses her love, not wanting to ever let go.

******

With news of Horus leaving, Runoi feels the heavy weight of duty and honor gripping him. He knows what he must do but unlike Horus, he isn’t free. Kalani would never agree to allowing him to serve in the Queen’s Royal slave army.

And although he knows it is a long shot that she would consent, he must ask this of her. And he will use all his charms to convince her to allow it. For he would not ever see his two daughters or his mate again if the rebels win. He must go.

“There you are my sweet lovely queen. Could you spare a minute of your precious time for your most devilishly handsome and absorbingly charming mate?”

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Chapter 6.25 Triple Threat

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.”

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Because I’m going out of town this week, there won’t be another update until next week.

Chapter 6.23 The Creator Heiress

Today is a most important celebration. Makana is turning into a teenager. Oh how the suns have passed. It seems like only a few moons ago when Runoi and Kalani held their first born daughter in their arms.

“We aren’t getting any younger, are we, my rosy queen?” Runoi says with a laugh. “But I must say, you look as if you could be our daughter’s sister, not mother, you’re so beautiful.”

Kalani grins at the sweet words of her mate and gives him a kiss on the cheek. She walks over to the table and says, “You outdid yourself on her cake, my love. Do you like it, Makana?”

“Yes. Father made it exactly as I asked. Cranberries are my favorite.”

Runoi throws confetti and says, “Make a wish, my darling sweet rose petal!”

Makana thinks for a while. She decides to wish for the curse that’s been hovering over her mistake to be lifted. Then with a shrug, hoping that impossible dream to become possible, she blows out the candles.

“Whoo hoo!” Runoi hollers then rips a loud blast on the celebration horn.

With a magical twirl, Makana grows taller. “Tada! How do I look?”

“Like a gorgeous ruby queen. Kings will bow down before you, my beautiful daughter. I would expect nothing less coming from your exquisitely striking parents.”

Makana laughs at her father’s joke. He always spoke positive words or clowned around and was never cross with her. How lucky she is to have such a family.

Sitting at the bar, she says, “Well, what is everyone looking at me for? It’s time to dance and have a good time!”

Leading the way, Makana lets loose with everyone bobbing to the jungle music Kanui and Lilit picked up from their journey a few suns ago.

Hoku is a masterful dancer already, just like her father.

Parties are especially fun for her. She cannot wait until she becomes a teenager. But she’ll have to wait two more suns.

In a few minutes, the whole tribe joins in the festivities. It’s a pleasurable time for Tribe Wahine.

Growing weary of dancing, Makana leaves the room to find one member of the tribe not joining in. Cocking her head, Makana says in a motherly tone, “Ale…what are you doing out here?” The twins were always getting into trouble. One person needed to keep an eye on them at all times. Seems he slipped away somehow.

“Nofing,” the tot says with an impish look on his face. Makana is sure there’s paint all over the grass somewhere in the gardens.

“Are you mad?” he asks with big brown eyes, making Makana’s heart melt.

Picking him up, Makana says, “Not today! It’s my birthday and you look like you’re in need of cake!”

“Yummy!”

*****

Days later, Temon is feeling the lowest since his arrival to Tribe Wahine. His arms ache, his legs feel as if they’ve lifted too many weights but worst of all, his heart weighs on him. Kanui notices and asks, “What’s wrong with you, my tribal brother? Are you not well? For it is a joyous week. All duties are finished. The sun is shining. Our tribal coffers are full. If you wish anything, all you have to do is but ask.”

“I do not know, Kanui. Could it be that the burden of fatherhood is upon me like a demon sitting on my chest? What if Mist bears yet another son? I do not think I could take trying again only to be cursed with nothing but male children.”

“Sons are not curses, Temon. Not anymore. The queen needs sons for the Royal Guard. Or better yet, they might be given the special honor of serving at the queen’s court. Tribe Wahine’s sons are always given favor. Think of me. I have two sons, but already, Queen Hawika has asked to see them. I am not downcast. You shouldn’t be either.”

Temon thinks this over. The words Kanui speaks are true but…Temon isn’t the grandson of the queen like Kanui. Would his son be granted such favor? He can feel it in his bones. He will be cursed with a boy.

Sighing then straightening his back, Temon mutters, “I must go, Kanui. Although you say all the work is done for the week, laundry waits for no man.”

“Take Aley with you to lighten your load this time. Okay, Temon? And cheer up!”

“Of course, Master Kanui. Thank you.”

Temon’s mate lovingly goes with him to see to his laundry tasks. “You do not have to do this, darling. It is my lot to finish the laundry. You are to help with the children. It is what you love best.” A cloud seems to rain over Temon’s head. He cannot shake this heavy feeling.

“Nonsense, my love. I want to help you.” Aley grabs a heap of clean clothes to hang dry.

One by one, Aley pins each parcel. He loves getting outside in the cool breezes for a change. He worries for his mate, though. Sometimes a demon takes hold of Temon for moons and nothing can console him.

Once they’ve finished, Aley pulls Temon aside. “Hey…what is it, my love? You know you can share with me.”

“My burdens are mine alone, I’m afraid. I do not wish to push them on you.”

“Then why am I here, Temon? You saved me from certain death at the hands of the Northern clans and from all kinds of atrocities. I am your mate. For life. I wish to carry burdens right along with you. Is it something to do with Mist? You can tell me. You know I am not jealous.”

Looking down for a while, Temon finally lifts his head and answers, “I…I am worried we will bear a son. And that my position in the tribe will sink even lower. It is as if the Maker hates me. I feel unloved.”

Grabbing Temon’s hand, Aley whispers, “Why don’t you meet me in our bedroom and I will rectify that situation, hmm?”

Tingles swoop through Temon and his spirits are lifted if only for a minute. He smiles. “You do know how to make me feel better.”

Grabbing onto Temon in a hug, Aley says, “I love you, Temon. Never forget that.”

*****

It is Makana’s desire to revive the old way–that the Creator be the strongest in her tribe. She awaits Kanui for her mana lessons, but he is detained having to fix the pipes in the cellar. This compound groans with age. She hopes to one day renovate the old place.

A horrible wail takes her from these thoughts. She almost laughs at the hopeless scene in front of her.

Poor Temon is literally dying on the treadmill and Aley keeps pulling on heavy weights to no avail.

“Temon, why must you continually burden yourself on these machines. It seems like torture. I believe your talents lie elsewhere. It is obvious you’re not a fighter.”

“With all due respect to your cousin, but it is his brilliant idea to wrought this tired piece of clay into gold. Obviously, his plans are without much intellect. But no one asked me what I am talented at. If they had, I would have told them outright.”

“What are your talents, Temon?” Makana asks. She feels sorry all this time has passed and she really hadn’t gotten to know the newest members of her tribe.

Aley answers for him, “He is brilliant with numbers and with managing. He could have Tribe Wahine running at tip top condition without so many things breaking down. He was Master Slave over the best slave hold in all the Amazon. This was due to his talents, my Creator Heiress.”

Arching an eyebrow, Makana says, “I will keep that in mind then, Aley. In the meantime, I think your talents are best suited for the showers?” She winks.

“Hoo boy, I guess I do stink. Forgive me, princess, I will retire to the bath right away.”

Makana laughs and waves him away. “I think I’m going to have a talk with Kanui about both of your situations.”

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6.21 Home Sweet Home

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!”

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Chapter 6.20 New Slaves

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.

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Chapter 6.19 New Bonds

Warning: NSFW pic at very end

Sexual situations, nudity

After spending almost every waking moment with her new love, Jozka, Leia feels it’s time to do the right thing. She walks into the bedroom she shares with Tonai.

“Tonai?” she says gingerly, not in the commanding voice she’d like. Guilt ripples through her as she looks on the man she once loved. “Tonai, please wake up.” Her words are a bit more forceful.

He clears his throat then raises to a sitting position, yawning. “Yes, my love? What is it you wish from me?”

Pausing, she feels her pulse quicken as she speeds on with what she’s rehearsed in her mind. “I’m…um…I am following a different path for my life now, Tonai. The true Amazon way. Therefore…it is with regret I must inform you I am no longer in need of your services.”

Flinching and casting a wicked glare at Jozka, Tonai shakes his head, eyes blinking. He mutters to himself at this news then hisses, “She’s twisted your mind, Leia. Don’t listen to her. You can do what you wish. You are queen! Don’t throw me away. Not now. Not when you know you still love me.”

Arching an eyebrow, Jozka says, “She’s seen the truth. She has no use for slaves anymore. She is beyond child bearing years and that’s only what a breeding slave is good for after all.”

Leia adds quickly to try to make things better for Tonai, “I have contacted the slave hold in the Red Basin. They are the best in all the Amazon. You will be well taken care of. The master slave there isn’t fond of my mother and therefore, will not blow the whistle on your whereabouts to her. I have paid for your quarters–they are the best money can buy. You will have all you need. I’ve made sure of that.”

“Put out to pasture like an old horse. Is that it, Leia?” Tonai spits the words at her.

Leia’s heart pricks at the sight of his stricken face.

“I’m sorry. You’ve had a good life, Tonai. Once I take over, things are going to change for all slaves. I’m going to enforce true Amazon culture. Most slaves will be killed once they breed. You will be spared this.”

Rising to his feet, Tonai’s eyes pierce Leia to the core. “You will regret this.”

*****

Mist ventures for two weeks, following the map to the renown slave hold in the Red Basin. If she’s being tasked with finding a breeding slave, she might as well pick the best.

Finally, in the cool early morning as the clouds hang heavy in the sky, she is welcomed by a nicely adorned slave with cute curly locks and a wide smile.

The man greets her. “Ah…a lovely alabaster treasure has meandered into our midst. What are your desires, my lady? All you must do is ask, and we will be happy to provide.”

Knitting her eyebrows, Mist answers, “I didn’t know this was a brothel. I don’t want a plaything. I wish to purchase a breeding slave.”

“Then you’ve come to the right place, white princess. We specialize in training our breeding slaves to serve in that capacity of any passion your ladyship might desire. We aren’t renown throughout the Amazon for nothing.”

Mist laughs to herself. She likes this one. And he’s as cute as a tiny bear cub. “Let’s make this easy on all of us. How about you? I live in one of the largest compounds in all the Amazon. Tribe Wahine. You may have heard of it?”

The slave bows reverently. “Of course I’ve heard of the great Tribe Wahine. The queen’s tribe. But I’m but a Master slave and not bred for the task of breeding. Come. Follow me. I will bring you to the best of the best.”

Disappointed, Mist obliges the slave, wondering what his name is. He brings her to a circle of very handsome slaves, eating breakfast by the fire.

Stopping, he mutters, “Now, not all of these are fine enough for you. Therefore, my advice is to go with the one with the red locks. His name is Lash. He’s the son of Rayna Saan, Creator of Saan tribe. Unfortunately, they died off in a plague and he wandered into our ranks. His manners are most high. He is worthy of a Tribe Wahine lady.”

Grinning, Mist says, “Oh, thank you…er…what is your name, please?”

“It is Temon,” he answers curtly and bows.

Mist eyes all of the slaves. So much beauty. She wonders which red head is Lash.

One slave notices and greets her, saying,”Welcome, dear lady! What do we have the honor of your presence? I am Zephyr, here to serve in any way I can.”

“Hello, Zephyr. I’m looking for a breeding slave. May I speak with Lash? He comes highly recommended.”

Standing up, the most handsome slave of the group towers over her. “Over here, my lady. I am Lash.”

“I am Mist of Tribe Wahine. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lash.” Mist looks down awkwardly, thinking about breeding with this slave sends tingles through her whole body.

“No, my beautiful damsel. The pleasure will be all mine.”

*******

Kanui’s stomach growls, but the only food he finds is some stale popcorn. Why did Runoi request his presence? “Er…Runoi, I’ve come but dinner isn’t served, is it?”

Runoi chuckles as he chops some tomatoes for tonight’s supper. “No, you dolt. I’m obviously not finished. But your presence is requested in the gardens, I believe. You must go there at once!”

Kanui groans. “What is it now? I thought Horus was in charge of the slave garden duties.”

“I believe it’s your strength that’s required?” Runio turns and winks at him then goes back to wrangling vegetables and whistling.

Shaking his head, Kanui grumbles. He didn’t realize how much work Newlin actually had performed until he was lost. Now, Kanui worked full time, not a moment of leisure to be had. Being down to three slaves and really two working slaves is too much. His body aches thinking about all the digging that is obviously going to be required of him.

But when he enters the gardens, instead of Ina and Horus greeting him, it’s his beautiful Lilit. His breath is knocked out of him.

“Hello, handsome.”

Not believing what he’s seeing, his mind catches up to what is happening. His mouth dries. “H-Hello.”

Arching an eyebrow, Lilit says, “Are you just going to stand there or are you going to come when you’re called.”

Feeling foolish, he rushes over to her, heart pounding. “W-When…uh…is it your birthday? Already?”

“I wanted to surprise you. I mean…I thought you’d be happy but…anyway, I know I’m not the prettiest girl here, and I know I’m not the smartest…um…and if you don’t want to then it’s okay, Kanui. I won’t force you, but…I have to ask formally anyway.” She stops and gulps then says, “Will you be my mate? It would make me the happiest amazon on the planet.”

Chuckling at Lilit’s sweet awkwardness, something that used to annoy but now he treasures, Kanui answers, “Of course, sweetheart. I cannot wait to be your mate. For life, if you’ll have me.”

Through ritual, Lilit kisses Kanui on the cheek.

Elation filling him, Kanui whisks his love up in the air, kissing her deeply, passion zinging through him.

As they hit her room, clothes fly off and before he knows it, Kanui is making love to the only woman of his desires in total and complete ecstasy.

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Chapter 6.18 Conversations

A jolt spiraled through Kalani when she sees her Shaman, Mist Mountain, walking into the living room. “Dearest Creator Kalani, it is with great honor I’ve arrived home. Finally.”

Without another word, Kalani embraces Mist, squeezing her, thanking the Maker for her return. Without the woman’s sage advice, Kalani has felt lost having to make decisions without the experience only a shaman can give. “You have been sorely missed, my tribal sister. Please, tell me how things are. How are Dilabi and her Tribe Cisneris. Is her mate, Mattias, well?” Kalani last heard he was on the brink of death at the hands of the evil Simon Le Boeff.

Mist stayed on to take care of the ailing slave.

But that was suns ago and since she hadn’t heard back, Kalani thought maybe Mist wanted to join Tribe Cisneris.

“All is very well, my Creator,” Mist answered. “In fact, Dilabi is expecting her second child. I’m very sorry for my delay, but the budding tribe needed me and I felt I couldn’t leave until we found a proper replacement.”

“Of course. My mother told me not to expect you back. So having you here even after all these suns, is a blessing!” Kalani waves toward the bar. “Come. Let us chat for a bit before you settle into your room. We’ve changed things around here since you were last home.”

Mist laughs. “I can very well see that this tribe has the full blessing of the Maker. I will be lost. The grounds are vast indeed.”

“We are doing well, but we’ve had a few bumps. Still, that treacherous Simon Le Boeff, has not been captured and there is talk of war. But all in all, we’re managing. With only three slaves to clean and take care of our extensive grounds, we’re in desperate need of more. But I’m too busy to go to the slave hold to buy a new one.”

At this, Ina sits down after she gives Mist a warm welcome hug. “My dearest Creator, we don’t need more slaves. We need more babies. If we fetch another slave, he must be a breeding slave. He will do his duty, then we must cast him out. We cannot have undue meddling with our tribal daughters here. Our Tribe Wahine compound is too big.”

“Very well,” Kalani agrees. “Mist, why don’t you fetch the new slave for us. He will be your mate as you haven’t produced an offspring. As Ina says, our tribe needs new members. I’d love for little Hoku to have another playmate in addition to baby Britta.”

Mist’s stomach clenches at the thought of having a child at her late middle age. She always thought the duty of child bearing would be left for the other younger women of the tribe. But with so few sisters left in the group, she knows she cannot refuse.

She swallows and says, “Yes, of course. I’ll…leave straight away and bring back a mate.”

*****

“Does that feel good, my queen?” Jozka’s cool fingers soothingly dig into Leia’s tense shoulders, sending ripples of relaxation throughout her body.

“Mmm…yes, dear Jozka. I’ve never had such a nice massage. Tonai’s hands are always too rough.”

“That’s because he’s a man. Men have no place doing things of this nature.” She suddenly slows the pressure. “My queen, may I ask a question?”

Arching an eyebrow, Leia answers, “Of course. You’re always welcome to speak freely with me, Jozka.”

“Why do you have a slave as a mate who stays with you? Is that not against our ways? I believe your mother has cursed your tribe in giving slaves too many rights. In the end, if you’re not careful, his influence will rule over you. That is against everything we’re about to fight for.”

Leia has never thought about this. Her tribal sisters have always loved their slaves, always been attached to them. It’s the way she’s known. But history dictates that it wasn’t always this way. In fact, in the histories of Tribe Wahine, Abra Wahine, the first creator, left the tribe to stay with her love, Kai Pakala, a woman. And any bond between a slave and an amazon was strictly forbidden. Jozka speaks truth. Has she been living wrongly this whole time? But…Leia loves Tonai. How could she give him up? “I…um…know no other way, Jozka. An amazon rules, yes, but…men are a part of our tribe just like family.”

Leia thinks about how her own son, Kanui, would have been sacrificed with the old laws. Is it not good that this law has been abolished? Plus, in her mother’s rule, any partner, no matter the gender, was not forbidden. Leia is conflicted. How far would she go, embracing the ancient ways?

Moving toward Leia, Jozka says in a sultry voice, “You must follow the true Amazon ways now, Leia. Without men.”

Leia’s heart flutters as she gazes into Jozka’s light eyes. Her lashes are so long, and her face so near, she can almost feel them. Her skin prickles at the thought of being with Jozka like this. “What are you suggesting?” Leia whispers.

“Be with me. I will make that slave leave your mind for good.”

*****

Betrayal. Anger. Fury. Heartbreak. Misery. These are just a few of the emotions running through Makana after the unjust treatment of her uncle by her mother. He is her mother’s brother! How could she throw him away like an old toy? He isn’t some slave they bought at the hold who has no manners and only wants to breed–he is blood. Royalty. Grandson of the queen!

Makana is so furious she’d spit venom if she could.

Hearing the dinner bell ring throughout the compound, Makana storms down the steps, each footfall an exclamation point on how she feels.

The one person she desperately doesn’t want to see strides over to her. “Ah, there you are, Makana. Time for supper. Everyone is looking for you.”

Makana glares. “I was already on my way.”

Kalani lurches her head back. “Makana…is something the matter?”

The cauldron that is building inside Makana blows. “OF COURSE something’s the matter. My uncle. My FAVORITE uncle is gone! You tricked me into telling you. You lied! And now I’ll never see him again!”

“Oh, Makana…we really need to talk this out. You cannot bluster about in a fit. Come. Let us chat. Okay?”

Makana doesn’t want to chat. But she follows her mother into the gardens anyway. She’d get into a lot of trouble if she disobeyed. “Yeah,” Makana thinks. “She’d probably cast me out, too, and make Hoku the next Creator.”

“Makana…this anger you’re feeling…it’s not right to hold it in. You don’t understand that sometimes as a Creator, we must make hard decisions. Decisions that go against our own wishes. I didn’t want to cast out Newlin. It grieved me abominably. I want him back with us with all my heart, but…”

“But what?” Makana interrupted. “You are the Creator. You can do what you want. Why did you have to do it, Mother? He did nothing wrong!”

“You’re wrong, Makana, and it’s a prudent thing you learn now. Slaves and amazons are not allowed to have children until the woman comes of age. This is to protect the amazon. It is only a woman’s choice whether or not it’s time for breeding. It is a strict thing. If I allowed Newlin to get away with breaking our laws, then slaves as well as tribal sisters would not abide by my rule. There would be no end to it. Rules are there for protection. You will understand this more as you mature.”

“I don’t understand. It’s a dumb rule. I’ll make it change when I’m Creator.”

Kalani sighs. She feels she has failed as a mother to Makana. Maybe she’s been too lax on rules with her. But how can she train her better? Maybe Mist could help in this.

Eyeing Makana, Kalani says, “When a woman and a slave mate, it is a special time, done in ceremony with the blessing of the Maker. There are rituals we must follow or the tribe will fall under a curse. Do you want our Tribe to suffer?”

Narrowing her eyes, Makana says, “I don’t believe in curses.”

“They’re real, Makana. You better believe it or you’ll anger the Maker.”

Waving her arms, Makana says, “The Maker wouldn’t care if Newlin stayed with us. It would be better! He loves babies. He could help take care of his baby, too. He used to help all the time in watching Hoku and Britta. I think you cursed us by making him leave.”

This conversation is going nowhere. Makana is too young to understand. “I’m done discussing this with you. One day, you will understand the wisdom in my decision. Until then, I’ll hear no more about it or you will be punished. Do you understand, Makana?”

Defeated, Makana simply nods even though in her heart she doesn’t wish to.

“Good.” Her mother stands, brushing out the wrinkles in her dress. “Now it’s time for supper. I’m sure your father is not happy that we are going to be late for the meal he’s worked very hard on for everyone.”

Tears pool in Makana’s eyes for she knows she’ll never see her uncle again and there’s nothing she can do about it.

Hey, Amazons!

I’m having a casting call for new slaves for this story for when Makana takes over. If you want to participate, please read the instructions on the sims forum. If you want to submit but don’t belong to the forum, please join my discord server and you can submit them there.

Click here for submission guidelines: TRIBE WAHINE GEN 6 CASTING CALL

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Chapter 6.17 New Plans

“The monsoons are about to begin,” Hanalani’s Creator, Jozka, says as she walks alongside Leia near the ocean. The surf roars as the waves crash against the huge rocks. Leia had never lived by the sea. She wishes she wouldn’t have to go back to the desert. Maybe once she became queen, she’d build a massive castle right here where she’d always get to listen to the comfort of cawing seagulls and smell the salty sea air.

“There you are,” Mor says as she skuttles around the women like a spider. As the weeks pass, Leia has grown more wary of her partner in this quest. She wonders if Mor is jealous of her new comradarie with Jozka. “You should retire inside. It’s about to rain.”

Turning to her new friend, Leia says, “She is right, Jozka, maybe we should go back, much as I like it out here.”

“We have plenty of time, sweet Leia,” Jozka says, grazing her fingers along Leia’s arm, making goosebumps in their wake. Turning toward Mor, Jozka smiles. “We are quite capable of figuring out when to go back on our own, Mor Rigan. Is there something on your mind?”

Leia could hear the undertone of a challenge in the woman’s voice. She wonders how Mor will take the subtle threat.

Leia notices Mor’s hands turning to fists, but Mor keeps a calm demeanor. “It’s just that for the protection of our queen, I think she should not wander so far from the compound. It is folly without a guard.”

Smirking, Jozka retorts, “I am quite capable of guarding the queen. She is safe with me.”

Before Mor could respond, Nob hurries toward the women and makes a curt bow. “If I may, Creator. I have urgent news.”

“Yes, Nob, what is it?” Jozka asks.

“We’ve got word Amazons and slaves from all over the empire are streaming into the royal palace. They’re assembling for war. Someone alerted them to the building of our army.”

“Damn,” Leia mutters as pins prickle over her, thinking about her mother preparing to war against her. Although Leia knew this would happen, planning a thing and actually doing it are so different. A part of her wishes to retreat back with Tonai, live a quiet life and never think about Tribe Wahine and the throne again. But she’s gone too far for these silly notions.

“What can we do? We don’t have the numbers to defeat my mother’s original army yet and now with more troops…” Leia says, dread blanketing her like a dark tomb.

Jozka raises her hand, “We’ve predicted this, but not so fast. When will your daughter have our warriors ready, Mor? The longer we wait, the stronger this imposter queen grows.”

Without a shred of worry in her voice, Mor says, “It is a simple thing. Anyone with half a brain would know what to do in such situations.” Mor stares at Leia, implicating that she’s chosen the wrong woman to follow.

Leia swallows and asks, “What should we do then?”

Lifting the side of her mouth, Mor answers, “We simply wait until the quarry settles. Forgets we’re even in the shadows.” She arches an eyebrow. “Then we strike.”

*****

Kanui strips Newlin’s binds and frees him as they stop at the edge of Tribe Wahine’s property. He spies his cousin’s melancholy face and feels a sorrowful pang. He and Newlin never got along growing up, but the man wasn’t truly evil. Kanui feels the punishment was too strong for what had happened. With Lilit’s young adult birthday only moons away, it’s easy for him to wait, but what if it was two suns? He wonders if he wouldn’t have followed the same fate. He believes the laws are too strict. They don’t belong with the liberal rule of allowing intermingling of slaves and Amazons. Maybe the Amazons of old knew what they were doing with separating slave and woman. But now…Kanui feels only misery never getting to see his tribal brother again. He thinks they might have become friends in time once they both matured.

But as the tribe’s Master Slave, Kanui has a job to do. He cannot let his own emotions color his duty. “I bid you farewell, slave. Dare not to tread on these grounds again for I will have to chain you and throw you in the pit of death.”

Newlin doesn’t respond. He only gazes at the beautiful oasis, something Kanui often loved to look at. In fact, he’d come out here not long ago with Lilit, kissing her as the sun set. Kanui realizes this is the last time Newlin will see this scene.

Another pang of regret washes over him. Kanui’s muscles relax and he says, “I’ll miss you, my…friend.”

Sighing, Newlin mutters, “I’ll miss you, too.”

Not wishing to stand there any longer, Kanui turns on his heel, ambling up the hill as the dust swirls in the whisper of the wind. A knot forms in his throat. These are the darkest times for Tribe Wahine. He hopes Newlin will make his way out there in safety. He prays this earnestly to the Maker.

*****

Weeks pass. Newlin has slept in caves, eaten ants, caught fish with his bare hands, and suffered bitter cold winds as he wound his way to his mother’s hut. But finally, he sees the glowing skulls of the entrance welcoming him.

HIs mother had sent him a detailed map and drawing of the place several suns ago, imploring him to run away, but he never would.

And now, the tribe he loved, the tribe he was so loyal to, cast him out so he had no choice. And Kiko will not meet him. He knows that deep in his heart.

Even if he sent a messsage, Kanui would fetch it first from the mail and destroy any communications. It was hopeless. He would never see his love or his child.

“Mother!” Newlin calls as he walks on the wooden deck. It’s strange not to be greeted. He knew his siblings would be guarding the grounds. Surely they aren’t all asleep, leaving this place to theives and vagabonds. No wonder his mother begged him to live with her. His younger siblings must be a spoiled, lazy lot! She needs a proper Master Slave.

He searches every room but no one is here. The place is deserted. An ominous feeling creeps over him. What if they were all killed by marauders. Since they lived in such a remote place, it was a possibility.

Newlin’s stomach growls like a hungry leopard. He had no time for worries. His mother was a formidible witch. There had to be a reason they weren’t here. Newlin is sure she’ll come home soon enough. In the meantime, his stomach has to be satiated. He picks through his mother’s stores, finding some rations that hadn’t spoiled.

Slicing some vegetables, Newlin groans thinking he’ll have to cook for himself, but he’ll gladly do this. He hadn’t eaten anything decent since he left the tribe.

A pain slices through his fingers and he hollars, “Ouch! Damn it!” He grabs his throbbing finger, blood dripping.

“Where the hell is Runoi when you need him?” But even the thought of his former tribe’s cook and mate of his hated sister squeezes his heart. “I will not think about them. I won’t!” he groans at himself.

But as he eats, he sees how dark and dingy his mother’s place is. The feelings of homesickness devour him. Is life worth this? he wonders.

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Chapter 6.16 Judgement

Dark clouds form above as Alena trains the generals of the Amazon Rebel army she’s about to command.

She proclaims, “It’s time to lay down all of your fear, great warriors, for our time has come to seize the royal castle and take down the growing pestilence of change.”

“Marza, are you without fear?” Alena asks the first woman. This is typical protocol before training. Alena knows these women are the finest warriors bread throughout the land. Tribe Hanalani is renown for their cunning and vicious fighting skills. None will have any fear within them.

Marza gives a curt nod. “I am, Commander.”

Alena whips her blade through the air. “What about you, Definia?”

Definia does not answer. In fact, the woman trembles.

This will not work. Alena must tear out any weak Amazon warriors or her fear could spread to the others.

“You dare not to speak, Definia? That could mean your death. Face me!” she orders.

The woman obeys, brandishing her weapon, readying for the fight.

Alena puts the sword point toward her neck. “Tell me why I don’t impale you right here. Your weakness disgusts me.”

Bowing, Definia says, “I feel my training is beneath yours, my gracious commander. I have much to learn before I can lead my own division.”

This surprises Alena. She’s seen Definia’s fighting style. It is above all of the generals here. “How can you say that? I am here. To train all of you. Why do you not believe in yourself?”

“I do believe in myself, but…” she stops herself. Her lips move but nothing comes out.

“What is it? Tell me.”

Wiping the tears that form in her eyes, Definia still does not answer.

This form of weakness ignites rage inside Alena. She raises her sword to kill Definia, but the warrior easily rebuffs her strike.

Then Definia stabs her sword into the ground in submission. “I have a request, honorable commander.”

Stunned with heart quickening, Alena asks, “What is it?”

“I humbly request that you train me in addition to our regular regimen. Alone.”

*****

Everything Newlin feared is coming to pass right before his eyes. There aren’t enough tears he could shed to make anything better at the moment. He wishes he could go back in time to the falls where he made the first step to his and Kiko’s doom. What was he thinking? He knows he took precautions, but Kiko is right. They were cursed by the Maker for their folly and were found out. Now, his Creator is staring at him with fury in her eyes.

“I’ve been told you are pregnant, Kiko. Is this true?” Creator Kalani asks in a fierce voice. “Remember, if you lie, the penalty is death. Be careful.”

Kiko shivers and stammers, “I…um…uh…”

Looking down at her, Kalani orders, “Out with it!”

Shoulders falling, Kiko nods. Newlin wishes she didn’t have to suffer. It is his fault. She just went along with his desires.

Eyebrows knitting, Kalani asks, “Why would you do something like this, Kiko? You had a whole future as this tribe’s Champion!”

Eyes glistening, Kiko answers, “B-Because…I… love Newlin. I know it’s wrong, but…I couldn’t help it, Creator. I can only hope you will forgive me…us. Please. This child will be loved. I’m only two suns younger…I don’t understand the law anyway. In the days of old, amazons younger than me sired children.”

“Kiko…” her mother Ina says with a sigh. “The laws were put into place to protect you. Young girls can be manipulated by untrustworthy men. Newlin is much older than you. He should have respected you but he didn’t. This proves you aren’t old enough to make these kinds of decisions for yourself.”

“Did you come to Newlin first or did he?” Kalani asks.

Glancing down in defeat, Kiko answers, “He did.”

“He’s an adult slave who broke the laws and you allowed this. An Amazon ALWAYS makes the first move in mating, not the other way around. This protects the tribe. It is for everyone’s good.”

Kalani then says, “It is with a heavy heart that I must make a judgement on this but the law is clear. An Amazon who is sixteen suns old and goes against the tribe in mating loses all honor within the tribe. Take your things from your room. You will go to the smallest room in the basement. You will be allowed to give birth in the tribe. But your shame will follow you the rest of your days.”

Tears trickling down her face, Kiko nods then walks sadly to fetch her belongings from her beautiful room in the highest floor of honor. If only she would have told Newlin no in the first place. But…she wanted to be with him so badly. And now she’ll have to suffer for this wrong for all her life.

Once Kiko pads away, Kalani’s gaze burns into Newlin. “And as for you, slave, what do you have to say for your actions?”

Here it is. Newlin’s time to plea for his life in the tribe. His heart beats painfully as his mouth dries like sand. “Dear Creator…m-my sister…I meant no harm. Truly. It was not out of malicious intent or disrespect that I sought out Kiko. We’ve had an attachment since we were children. I…forgot myself out there when I was training with her in the mist of the jungle falls.

“I will say that you’re doing our tribe a disservice in stripping Kiko of her title as Champion. She is truly gifted and will be an asset in protecting the tribe. If she cannot do her duty, who will replace her? As it is, you’ve lost your strongest fighting slave, Kandor. If I may be so bold…I would offer that you cannot afford losing even me. I’m very skilled in fighting even more so than Kanui. With war on the horizon, I think it unwise to adhere so closely to the law….”

Arching an eyebrow, Kalani hisses, “You would have me turn a blind eye to your infidelities, slave? And allow your cancer to swallow up even more of my tribal sisters? I wouldn’t trust you with my worst enemy. No…you are no asset to this tribe. You’re a blight that needs to be cut off.”

“Then may I ask to be allowed one parting moment with the mother of my child? I plead on your most noble mercy as your blood kin, your brother. Please, Creator.”

Ina answers instead, “If you even draw near to my daughter, I will make it so you will never have children.”

Kalani adds, “Mercy is not mine to give. You’ve dishonored me in the most grievous way. I’ve been too nice to you since you are my brother. I’ve turned a blind eye to your slothful ways, your malevolence toward Kanui, your apathy to the running of this tribe. Not anymore. You are hereby banished from Tribe Wahine. There will be no honors. Tribes who come upon you will know as I will send the word. And if you ever come back, you will suffer your miserable end in the Pillar of Death. Do I make myself clear?”

Newlin nods, casting his eyes downward, face heating up at the gravity of his conviction. If a mean tribe comes along who likes to punish dishonored slaves, he could be drowned in their pit of death or worse.

He can’t believe the folly of Kalani’s decision. She’s leaving her tribe open with hardly anyone to defend it against invaders.

Stupid fool, he thinks as Kanui binds his hands and forces him to his feet.

His sister will one day regret this decision, he vows. He knows this deep in his soul.

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