Newlin is not happy to be saddled with the bubble headed Lilit on this trip as well as Kanui. Kiko made it very clear to Newlin of her preference for the irritating Master Slave. But he would be on his game, making sure they separate for training.
“Aww…isn’t he cute?” Kiko bends down to pet a stray boonie dog. Newlin hates the pests. The creatures would nose through their food stores, sometimes depleting them if they weren’t watching. But Newlin knows to keep these thoughts to himself. Kiko is an avid animal lover.
Turning toward Kiko to distract her from the dog, Newlin says, “I do hope you’re ready to venture to the falls tomorrow, my lady. Training should begin immediately in the morning.”
Beaming, Kiko answers, “Of course I’m ready. Why would you think otherwise?”
“Maybe because you seem to be obsessed with a flea bitten mongrel instead of currying your mana.” Bloody hell. Newlin curses himself for allowing his disdain for the yelping nuisances come into full view. What will Kiko think of him?
Pushing him, Kiko says, “Oh, come on, Newlin. Lighten up! I believe the jungle humid air is getting to you.”
Surprised by her joviality, Newlin answers, “So, you will be ready then?”
To say Kiko is frustrated would be an understatement. Newlin is already sucking all the fun out of this day. Kiko wants nothing more than to relax by a fire with Kanui, roast hot dogs, and tell scary stories. Why is he all work and no play? “Fine,” she grumbles. “I will be ready, if you must know.”
His features relax and he says, “Good. I expect nothing less than obedience from you in the future. You are, after all, my pupil.”
Kiko glares, even more infuriating feelings burn within her. “You do realize I’m the Amazon and you’re the slave. Correct?”
Newlin’s eyes pierce Kiko making her stomach flutter. “I am always at your mercy, my lady.”
She nods with satisfaction at this answer.
“Except during training. Then you will be at mine.”
“Hee hee hee!” Lilit laughs incessantly. “You always say the funniest things, Kanui.”
For the love of the Maker, Kanui wonders what possessed Creator Kalani to entrap him in the jungle with this giggle factory. Lilit has made it clear from the time she could talk of her crush on him. He worries she will ask to be bonded with him or at least mate once she comes of age. And he also wonders if the Creator has had these thoughts as well.
Arching his eyebrow, he states, “Um…I merely said what a nice night it was…?”
“Yes, but you say it with such inflection, I can’t help but laugh. I’m soooo looking forward to our time together, if you know what I mean, Kanui.”
He nods as a stone sinks within him. “Ah, quite.” Hoping to speak with Kiko and rid himself of Lilit for a little while, he spies Newlin chatting with her. He makes plans to sit next to her when they create a fire later.
Unfortunately for Kanui, Newlin made a fuss about Kiko needing rest, so they all retreated into their rooms for the night. Fire absconded along with any mischievous thoughts of a romantic time alone.
The following morning as Kanui was about to ask Kiko to go on a hike, Newlin thrust his body in between Kanui and Kiko, saying, “It is time, my lady. It will take us all day to venure up the mountain to the falls. We must make haste at once.”
“We will go with you then, Newlin,” Kanui says.
“Sorry, dear friend, but the trails are haunted by a mean spirit that will only allow two through at once. Unless you want to try vexing the spirit, be my guest.”
Lilit smiles at Newlin.
Turning to Kanui, Lilit says, “Newlin’s quite right about that. Oh drat. I did want to see the falls. Maybe when they get back you and I can venture forth?”
Defeated by an age-old legend, Kanui sighs. “Lovely.”
Newlin wasn’t kidding when he said it would take all day to hike to the falls. Sweat pours down his face as he rips jungle vines from the old, creaky fences enshrouding the tribal trails.
Kiko has to admit, the exercise enhances Newlin’s looks–brawny and strong, it is as if she’s just noticing Newlin for the first time.
The sun sets in the distance, displaying the beautiful violet and pink tones in the sky. “What is it, my lady?” Newlin asks.
Kiko’s cheeks color. He caught her gazing at him before she could look away in time.
Stammering, Kiko recovers, “I-It is noth…I mean…isn’t this a beautiful sunset, Newlin?” Her eyes lock onto his and her insides dance as though to the tune of a new favorite melody.
Newlin gazes upon the girl he so wishes to bond. Could his luck have changed? Does Kiko have eyes for him after all? “The sunset is lovely, dear lady, but not as beautiful as the light in your eyes.” Newlin stifles an urge to kiss at least her hand, but he knows it is not time.
She smiles hoping to change the subject. She does not know what has come over her. One minute she delights in Kanui and the next, Newlin. She doesn’t like her fickle heart. “Oh w-well, it seems we are here at the falls, are we not, Newlin? And right on time, too.”
The sound of rushing water roars in the mist. “Breathe in deeply, my lady, for your mana must strengthen before we begin.”
But instead of moving to position or even breathing deeply as he commands, Kiko merely watches the horizon.
She thinks about Newlin in a whole new way. How he only has a desire to make her a better warrior. And he was the one to lead her to such a place as this. Plus, he’s a prince with royal blood in his veins–not from an accursed line as Kanui. Why did she not think of Newlin in a better light before?
“What is wrong, my lady? Are you well?” Newlin asks, perplexed.
“I am blown away by the majesty of this place, Newlin. Can you feel it? The power? You were right in taking me here.”
And before Kiko knows what is happening, her hands are caressing Newlin’s warm chest as his soft lips sweetly kiss hers.
His kiss deepens as Kiko longs to tell him all the thoughts buzzing through her mind. All desires of Kanui are lost in the wake of Newlin’s touch.
This is the man she’s been longing for all this time.
It is Newlin she will choose for her mate.