He took a step towards her, his manner menacing. She did not draw back like he thought she would, an apparently frightened child. Fear shimmered like a mask on her face; she shook with it but faced dread head on. She had assessed the situation with wisdom that belied her age and came to the conclusion that escape only lies in accepting what biter fate had thrust on her young lap. A fate already sealed.
In that moment of ultimate realization, she found escape, taking a route that lead painfully where he could never hope to reach. She closed her mind’s eye to his rough touch, willing stubborn body give but not partake in his desire. She took his fierce kiss, opening her mouth when his hot tongue probed her throbbing lips, parting teeth to it slide rudely in.
She winched at the stab of his urgent fingers in her private, trying her best to obey the urgency of his demanding hands. Somehow, she seemed to leave her body, floating towards the tent roof, detached, not a part of this debauchery.
From above she looked down on her body, saw it beginning to respond to his rough touch, and heard her cry. Pain, pleasure or dread – she was too far away to tell.
He seemed to animate at her cries, becoming more animalistic in his needs, allowing his dark fantasy run amok
She was forced back into her body when he unceremoniously tore through her maiden head, making her cry again, this time surely with pain, hot unaccustomed pain that raced through her, driving him harder, cursing and swearing in his native language which she was thankfully privileged not to understand.
In his language he bid her cry more or even beg him to stop.
She rode that pain to it ebb, which wasn’t sudden. Eventually her young body, gifted with the essence of youth, recovered enough to start feeling again.
It started with the stirring of a strange kind of heat right inside her core that spread through her body slowly, like fever, but hotter. She tried, but couldn’t stop pleasure from voicing its onset.
Adl el-Hasm heard her, but it was later than he wanted, needed.
By that time he was done with reason, only heading towards a distant land that strangely had her face centered within its gate.
She stopped fighting the pull and went with it, all thought lost. Not even her betrothed’s face or keeling cry as she was snatched from his very arms came to mind, all she lived for was this mad rush to freedom.
Adl el-Hasm knew his time was now. He wanted to punish but it was passed that now, he wanted blood but couldn’t stop to see if she bled, he wanted to humiliate her but lost his way within her cove. Then his well filled to brim. Bursting forth before he could stop himself, not that he would have if he could, was she not his for as long as he wants – a gift given to his whim?
She wrapped her legs about him, forcing her delicate hips to ride towards him even as her mind called to her from afar, to come back and not be a part of this abomination, but body and soul has since divorced with the onset of fire.
As Adl el-Hasm heaved his last, he heard himself calling her his angel, knowing even then that she had taken hold of him in the most intricate way and even if she wanted to let go he could not bear to let her go.
She heard the sound of his explosion and felt the crush of his powerful arms as she fought to touch the light that was bent on making her liquid. Just when she thought the worst was past, the ceiling came down on her. She unconsciously thrust her pelvis against his softening member with an urgency that matched his former one, giving herself up to blind pleasure that should have been someone else’s.
It took a few second for the spasm to subside and her to come back to her shattered senses. She gently pushed the prone Adl el-Hasm from atop her and gathered torn loin cloth and broken waist beads from the earthen floor.
That little bit of loin cloth and waist beads were all she was allowed to wear, she was due to wear her first clothes a market day away. That was when she was to wed. Now all that was gone, her pride was lost, she cannot be a free maiden no more.
It was then that the tears threatened, but she checked it, was she not a woman now, had she not tasted that that was meant for the wedding chamber, does she not know now what it was that makes Amy’s father beg his youngest wife on his knees when the cold season looms?
No, she won’t cry. Well, not in front of the sleeping gold eyed slaver who took her from all she loved and made her feel this heat.
She shuddered at the thought of what transpired before and heat rose within her again. Biting her tongue, she moved to a corner, placing herself where he would see her when he came awake, she recalled her mother telling her and her sisters to not go away after the act especially if they are sure that their husband found it all too pleasing. He was not her husband, but he took her maiden head and he owned this camp, with the power to take her life and her sisters also.
She knew it pleased him, she knew because he acted like she was told they would act. She had thought him a god; skin golden like sunset, but he felt mortal. Now she had him within her powers. If only she could tame the fire that burned within her. If only, she thought as a gunshot went off in the far distance. Not alarming her, not here. Here she was safe…as long as the fire lived in him.
She sat, knees drawn up with her head resting on it, waiting for him to stir.
Adl el-Hasm stirred from his lust encrusted dream, forcing sleep laden lids open. For a moment or two, confusion loomed as slit eyes battled to pierce the gloom beyond the light of the tinny camp lantern that was burning low on a side table.
Initially, he was startled by a movement at one corner, but when he turned the wick up a little he saw her huddled there, hazel eyes beating back the light as they stared back at him. He found that he could not look away, captivated by that same liquid innocence that had him spell bound in the first instance. Was that why he had chosen her? Maybe, he mused, he wasn’t even sure. It was true that the other girls were older and much more filled out, probably more beautiful, he was not sure either, he could only recall now that she was the only one that had looked him in the eye. She has got pride in her, which was as obvious as the breeze on his face.
May ‘haps it was that pride that he wanted to take, to rip out from her brutally, to humiliate her and teach her humility. He knew even then that she was a virgin, as her breasts, those pear shaped, large nippled beauties, were bared as was the culture in these parts, and she wore one of those elaborately carved ivory neckpieces of the betrothed. He recalled the raving young man that needed four strong hands to subdue and put two and three together. ‘A virgin bride’ he had whispered to his his henchman Tul who immediately ordered her brought forward, reading his intent in his eyes.
She had come, not physically resisting, but with defiance marking every graceful movement. Even then, fear only flashed in her eyes only once, and it was not for her sake, but for the fierce young man who was being softened up by his men. He recalled that it was more or less the slight shake of her head that doused the young man’s temper than the beating he was receiving.
‘Why did I choose her?’ he asked himself again, finding no answer other than that which hid in his soul, an answer that he did not want to face.
He found he had been staring into her luminous eyes; forcing his eyes away he found more temptation waiting on her supple bosom and knew lust again.
Rising slowly from the bed, his trailing hands brushed against a piece of cloth probably torn from her in the heat of their not too distant war. He wrapped the piece of cloth around his fingers and brought them slowly to his face. Enthralled by the musky scent of her that it retained, he turned once more to look at her.
Muskram! She is beautiful, he screamed inwardly.
Her skin was as dark as cam-wood, only smoother, with a sheen that one cannot hope to get from cam-wood even after a thorough scrubbing. Her lips, yes her lips. He had kissed them yet it was not enough. How can one describe a shape probably sculpted by the gods? It told of things that can only be had by tasting. Yet, when you taste you find that taste was not enough, they leave you gasping for more. Her body was young, yet, holds all the delights one can hope to find in a woman’s body, full bosomed with hips that was already curvy and fleshy and retained yet the promise of further growth that later teen will bring.
Adl el-Hasm sighed as blood rushed again to his centre, fueling his raging lust. Will he ever be able to rid himself of this lust? He knew then, as he had known that morning at the slave round up, that she was tied somehow to his very future.
Adl el-Hasm lost all will power, and took the four strides to reach her at the far end of the small room where she was huddled though apparently alert, his intent flashing wildly in his pale eyes.
Ada watched him as he came; her face devoid of expression, like before when she had watched him in his sex induced slumber. She had taken that time to weigh her options, which were not much. She knew that the elders would be in the camp later in the day to pay the usual ransom for her and the others taken from the village. She would be able to go home then, but, can she go home now? No! She can’t possible go home now, no, not after this.
Yes, it was not her fault, but who will have her now, her betrothed? Hah! Chindo the brave! He would want her still; he will want her against the wish of everybody. No, she must spare him that ordeal. She does not have the will of the women of the hills that are said to willing give themselves up to die in the caves of the gods in the depth of Muchu after their mates are taken – given up to serve the lion guardians.
She did not want to die yet, no! Not before she had taken revenge on the slaver and his people. How? She does not know, but somehow, somewhere this very man that was coming to quench his lust inside her will pay for this crime, and she will be there when it occurs and she will have a hand in the plotting. Only, she screamed inside, let the gods help me tame this fire he lights inside me, for if I don’t, then I am doomed.
As her body was wrapped once more in the solid grip of Adl el-Hasm, her mind wavered again, she thought for the last time of a family she was leaving behind and allowed one tiny tear to fall down her dainty cheeks, then as he took her hand, gently this time, she couldn’t help responding to his call and right there in the dim corner where the light played with the dark, she lost all thought in his embrace.
She had wanted to rush to her father, to clasp his knees and beg to be taken home, but knowing the sight of her would be more pain for the old man, who could never stand the tears of his favorite child, she had stayed back, watching out of sight. She had earlier heard his loud bellow of anguish when her waist bead and torn loin cloth were handed over to him. She had requested that they be given to him so that he can have such comfort as can be had from the fact that the blood stained loin cloth meant she had kept her honor intact, up till recent events that is. But his cry made her wonder if her brave action was wise after all.
She was sure her father would understand that staying back was her choice and probable grieve less on that count.
Her father, Mazi Bulu, was a proud man, everybody knows that. It was said that his third daughter got a double dose of his proud streak, a fact obvious as day light in before the rainy season. His outrage was a result of deeply felt frustration for his inability to defend his daughter’s honor, not that he would not have fought all the same.
The elders had earlier made him swear to hold his temper and even forbade him his customary machete, a wise move if there was ever any, for his massive hand went to his left side where it normally hangs in its special leopard skin scabbard, only to clutch wildly at empty air. If looks could kill, then Adl el-Hasm and the elders would have been six feet below by nightfall. Still, he raved, cussing in the foulest language ever, tossing the elders who restrained him here and there, in his bid to reach the slaver.
If not for the intervention of Mad’ka his childhood friend, who knows what would have happened, for though Bulu was well built, the Northman, though unarmed, did not appear to be any body’s pushover.
Mad’ka it was, who talked down his friends rage, the very reason the elders asked him to come along, using his pride as a weapon.
‘Bulu the proud, who would say your daughter is without honor?’ he had asked, his voice low but clear ‘is it not the blood of pure maiden head that I spy on that clothe you are bent on throttling?’ he stopped to clear his throat and allow his words sink in, for Bulu had stopped struggling as soon as his friend started speaking. He glared at Mad’ka who pointedly ignored him and continued ‘no one I dare say, no one!’ he paused again to look towards the other elders who were all nodding their heads in silent agreement, ‘did she not send her broken waist bead along, so that you will know that though it was taken unasked, if you ask me, she remains the proud daughter of her father.’.
Mazi Bulu did not respond to his friend’s speech he only hung his head, refusing to take the money the slave raider offered as bride price for his daughter.
His head was still hung low as they made their way across the strange wooden bridge the slaver had built across the Mmamu River. He wondered if he can ever lift his head again.
Beyond the bridge the road curved sharply to run adjacent to the river for several meters. It was when they had almost crossed into the bushes that marked where the road left its river brother that he chanced a look back, hoping only to take a last look at a place that has invariably become his daughter’s prison, but what caught his eyes instead was Ada’s figure standing as tall as she could manage.
He turned fully now, meaning to run back and get her even if it cost him his life doing so, but she appeared to gauge his intention because she shook her head firmly, silently telling him that staying was her choice.
They stood there looking at each other, her dry eyes hiding the tears that flowed in her heart while his tears appeared to flow endlessly.
Suddenly she turned and walked away, back towards the camp, and was soon hidden by the shrubs that grew thick along the river bank.