Ma'asai village, Ahe’ey
Scout approached the Ma’asai village reluctantly. She would obey Amalia's command even as her entire body rejected the idea with repulsion. The Queen mother was known for her ruthlessness, and Scout feared for her life and the life of others like her. She looked for Bastian, hoping that she would feel less disgust for the Royal Ma'asai leader. Of all the men at Ahe'ey, he was the one most trusted by the Yi'ingo. She knew him well. They shared a mischievous sense of humour and love for outrageous practical jokes. Scout risked Sky's wrath by pursuing Bastian, a chance she was now willing to take, as she feared Amalia much more. It's not like they’re married or exclusive. His seed is too valuable to be wasted, she thought.
Shortly, she came across Bastian and his men returning from the fields. The men wore earth-colored tunics, now covered in dirt after a hard day of work. Their voices and laughter resonated throughout the forest. The good humour of the Ma’asai was contagious and welcomed throughout Ahe’ey.
Scout held her breath as she watched the leader of the Ma'asai. He exuded the confidence owned by those who win the top prize in the gene lottery. Bastian towered over the others, who naturally paid him deference, hanging onto his every word. His cockiness was tempered with kindness, generous gestures, and a smile that rarely left his face. He saw her coming and waved. His knowing smile was childlike and naughty, as if he guessed what she sought. He was not the only one presuming her motives; Scout cringed, listening to his companions mock him as she approached them. They all knew that he was the most prized object of desire for the women of Ahe’ey. He was a willing and welcoming target of both Yi’ingo and Ange’el women.
“I’m not sure Ahe’ey can deal with another one of your bastards Bas. Ahe'ey is full of kids with your handsome face. It’s a shame that they also inherit your lack of intelligence. Our race is getting dumber because of you.” They all laughed.
Bastian smiled, “Shhh don’t scare the girl.”
Scout bit her lower lip until it bled a little. She walked towards the men, clenching her fists.
“Scout, how are you, fine warrior?” He walked towards her as the rest of the men continued toward the farmhouse.
She didn’t know what to say or do. The panic caused by the closeness of his massive muscled body made her want to escape. She took a deep breath, placed a shaking hand on her shoulder and released the flap in her tunic, exposing one of her breasts.
“You are all business, aren't you?” he laughed stepping towards her. She reached to place her hand between his legs, but at that moment she lost his attention. He seemed to focus on something behind her.
“I’m sorry, I must go,” he said mindlessly as he walked around her. Scout turned around and saw Sky standing a few metres away. The Warrior Queen’s eyes were slits, her eyebrows lowered, and head cocked as her gaze held onto Scout for a long moment before shifting to Bastian. Scout pulled up her tunic covering herself; she bowed towards Sky. She feared the Warrior Queen but welcomed the interruption of a plan that she was struggling to execute. The young woman prepared to make a swift exit.
“Stay Scout; this will only take a minute.”
Scout held her breath and her body became stiff as Sky approached them.
“What is it my Sky?” Bastian asked anxiously, responding to the tsunami of emotions reflected in Sky’s face. He placed his hand on her hip, but she slapped it away with an expression of mild annoyance. His worry turned into a cocky smile. “It pleases me to feel the sting of your jealousy my Queen. It helps me deal with the resentment I have for all those lucky bastards that warm your bed at night.”
Scout rolled her eyes at Bastian's overinflated ego.
“Gabriel came to see me.” She said, ignoring his antics.
Bastian stood in silence for a brief moment, then cleared his throat before he replied.
“Gabriel? What did he want?”
“He dared to ask me to use the Yi’ingo army to protect some woman during a public event in Manhattan. He would risk our secrecy, the safety of our people because of some human.” Her jaw was tense. Bastian reached to touch her face. She stepped away from him, pacing from one side to the other.
“He must be very desperate to come to you for help. Will you answer his call?”
“He’s becoming increasingly careless and irresponsible. He must be stopped.”
Scout turned to leave. "Stay!" commanded Sky. Scout sighed at the obvious attempt from Sky to prove her indifference toward Bastian.
“He must have a good reason. Will you help him?” Bastian asked.
"I have my kingdom to protect, Hu'urei riots to end and perpetrators to hunt and jail. Civil unrest has increased since Marcus left Joshua in charge of the Hu'urei. Those men need to be on a very tight leash."
"It's been ten years since the war ended, perhaps it's time to end martial law and give them back some of their rights."
"They are dangerous; they can't be trusted," barked Scout, appalled at Bastian's suggestion.
Both royals admonished the girl with their eyes. Scout was exasperated with her feeble status; she wasn't allowed to leave and yet she couldn't join the discussion. She lowered her head and crossed her arms in frustration. Her hair fell over her face in a final gesture of solidarity.
"Most of the men were born during the war; they’re paying for their fathers' crimes. They rebel against their diminished status at Ahe'ey. They can't walk alone at night without being called rapists. The Yi'ingo lock them up without proper trial, and the ones that go to jail are probably the lucky ones. These men have no rights or privileges. They’re angry, and they revolt against the system."
"Yes, they’re angry. They are the same angry, self-entitled men that raped our women and kidnapped my mother and sister. It's easy for a male to take their hate lightly."
"I paid the same price you have Sky. I lost my family, fought the same wars, buried the same companions. Gabriel and I have been talking about reform. We think it's time to—"
"You do not have a say in how I rule this land. Under martial law, my word is truth, and only Viviane and Marcos can challenge it. The Hu'urei must earn their rights and freedoms. Why do you side with him? That coward has done nothing for you, for us. Nothing!”
"I owe him everything. Don't make me choose Sky. Because I won't. Will you help him?"
"Has he asked you for your help, because I—"
"Sky, you said this would only take a minute." Bastian pulled Scout toward him abruptly. He caressed the white and purple crest of hair that hung over her distrusting eyes. "I have other pressing matters to tend to." He smiled irreverently.
Scout panicked, and kicked Bastian in the shin, looking at Sky with some desperation. Bastian laughed. "Are you jealous my Queen? Is that why you are delaying my date with young Scout? Your possessiveness pleases me, my love." Sky's face reflected the orange-red tones of her hair and the fire in her eyes.
"Don't flatter yourself."
Bastian walked toward Sky, placing his hands around her waist as she grabbed the hilt of her sword.
"At least I have a reason to bed others; you have none. I do it happily, but also for duty, you do it merely for pleasure. Your duty is to birth my children."
"My duty, when the time comes, is to bear children of Royal descent with or without you."
"That's a low blow, even for you."
Scout could hear the hint of annoyance in Bastian's voice.
"You'd have to stop hating Gabriel for long enough to bed him. An impossible achievement on your part." Bastian released Sky, his expression tight, mouth twisted down.
"You underestimate me, Bastian. Enjoy your duties." Sky said with mild contempt, nodding her head to Scout.
"I would never underestimate you." A shadow of sadness loomed over his words.
Sky mounted her horse and galloped toward the forest.
"Why did you feed me to the dragon like that? She'll have my head on a plate by twilight." Scout shouted at Bastian, punching him in the chest. He grabbed her wrists and pulled her toward him.
"I'm sorry, warrior; I had to do it. Don't worry; your commander is completely indifferent to my sexual activities. She is more concerned with your needs than mine."
"You. Are. Blind," she said, wrangling him and releasing herself from his embrace.
"Am I?" a hopeful gleam flashed in his eyes.
"You’re the only man allowed to return to her bed more than once and to stay the night."
"Is this true?" The slight waver in his voice gave away the intensity of his feelings. "Tell me. Is it?"
"I have to leave you now; I have some matters to tend to. Come find me tomorrow night," said Bastian. His absent-minded smile told her he was gone even before he turned to leave. Scout kicked the loose gravel on the ground, defeated by the event. She decided that she preferred to face her death at the hands of Amalia than to become a pet at the mercy of the capricious royals.
Competition – Bring Ahe’ey to Life
Calling All Visual Artists!
I want to bring Ahe’ey to life using illustration, comic strip, painting, mixed media, photography, film, or any other creative craft. Choose a character or a scene and use your creative superpowers to make Ahe'ey come alive in your unique style. I'm delighted with the talented artists that have already pledged to participate in this challenge. The competition details are available here. The winners will be announced on the 30th of September.
You can check out the first competition entries here.
Have you missed previous chapters of Ahe'ey?
You can catch up here on Steemit or any of the channels bellow. New episodes are released here on Steemit first. Once a full chapter is released here on Steemit it is published in Amazon, IBooks and Smashwords for your reading convenience. You can also listen to Ahe’ey on Alexandria, iTunes podcast, Stitcher podcast and Soundcloud.
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Chapter 1 - Beginnings
1 - Sky Falling: Read or listen.
2 - A Surprising Reception: Read or listen.
3 - I Will Find You: Read or listen.
4 - The Interview: Read or listen.
5 - Royal Orphans: Read or listen.
6 - Breakfast with a View: Read or listen.
7 - Water Angels: Read or listen.
8 - Perfection: Read.
9 - Alone: Read.
Chapter 2 - Gravitational Pull
Chapter 3 - Disillusion
©Jamie Le Fay, 2016. Reproduction is strictly prohibited.