"When the world was new the First Man looked upon the First Woman and saw that she was fair. The world was barren and without life and he longed for beauty around him to equal her own.
He called to the woman and asked her to lie with him that she might bear him children to cultivate the earth. But she laughed and ran away, and he grew angry at her.
He chased her through the long days and nights until at last he caught her, and piercing her with his fleshy spear, planted the first child in her belly.
The wound he made between her legs never healed, and unless her belly was swollen with child, it bled each month, like when he had first pierced her. She was angry with him but looked upon her child, a fair haired daughter, with joy. And so, when the First Man bid her to lay with him again, she consented.
And so she bore him many sons and daughters, and their children spread out over the face of the world, planting and reaping, and caring for the land.
And it came to pass that the First Daughters came to the First Woman, who was now called Mother, and asked her how they might bear children of their own, for they saw the joy she had in them, her own children.
The First Woman told her daughters that the First Man, who was now called Father, had planted his seed in her belly, and a child was born. "Go and ask him how a child is made," she said. And they did.
Father laughed and said that the daughters would have to let the sons pierce them with their fleshy spears and plant the children they sought in their bellies. But the First Daughters were afraid, and ran, and the First Sons did chase them, and catching them, did pierce them with their fleshy spears.
And the First Daughters had many daughters, and they grew, and spread upon the face of the world, planting green things and sowing and reaping. And the daughters of the First Daughters saw the joy their Mothers looked upon them with and were envious.
So they went to the First Mother, who was now called Grandmother, and asked how they might have sons and daughters of their own. And Grandmother laughed, and sent them to the First Man, who was now called Grandfather.
Grandfather told them of a game he had invented, a game that would give them sons and daughters, and the daughters cried to him to tell them how to play the game. And he bid them gather around, the sons and daughters of the Sons and Daughters, and told them the laws of the game.
And the first law is that what a man catches and spears he may keep, to bear him children.
And the second law is that...
Sa'at stood in the predawn chill, clad only in the white robe of those who'd completed the purification ritual. He listened as the priest droned on and on from atop the large rock, listing the rules of the Game.
They were simple really, he thought, and wondered why the old man had to take so long laying them out. The game began with the women dropping their robes and running, nude, toward the rising sun. When they reached the tree line, some hundred paces down the hill, the men would drop their robes and give chase.
If a man caught a woman, and took from her the veil that covered her womb, she was his. Sa'at was glad he was a man, for the thought of running through the woods with men intent upon raping you close behind was not a pleasant one.
But it was the Game that the First Man, now called Grandfather or Old Man, had given them for the choosing of wives. It ensures that strongest and fastest of the men got the most wives, and therefore bred strong and fast sons and daughters.
He watched the eastern sky as the Priest droned on, his withered face lit by the torches. When the sky began to lighten in the east, the red robed acolytes called the men, boys really, Sa'at thought, forward to where they tended a large kettle of steaming brew.
"It will make you run faster, but more importantly, make your spear stiffer that it has ever been," his father had told him once. "You will be able to lie with a woman many times, or many different women, after a draught." He didn't mention the mind fogging lust that came over those who drank, or how they became almost like animals, wanting only to rut.
Sa'at found the draught to have a bitter taste, and made a face before handing the cup back to the acolyte, who dipped it to refill it for the next boy in line. Returning to his place before the great rock, he noticed his heartbeat quickening, and a curious lightness in his head.
It was almost like the time he'd gotten into some cider that gone hard. He felt slightly drunk, yet almost like he was walking on air, instead of the ground. He felt he could run faster, jump higher, and as the cloth of his robe brushed his engorged spear, fuck longer, than anyone ever in the history of the world.
He glanced to where the girls were gathered, the daughters of the nobles dressed the same as those of the peasantry, all alike in virginal white robes. One of the Mothers was talking to them, and casting an eye toward the east, began lining them up, facing the distant tree line.
The old man had fallen silent, his often quoted speech over, and he stood, staff raised high, watching the eastern sky. When the orange disk of the sun appeared above the horizon he struck the rock with his staff, his trained orators voice intoning the ancient words, said to be a quote of the Grandfather's own on the day of the first Running Game.
"Let the Games begin." With those words the women who were prepared, mentally, for what was to happen dropped their robes as one and rushed for the still dark edge of the forest. They knew the men would be released as soon as the first hit that line, and all wanted to be first.
Sa'at kept his eye on one, he'd made a promise to her weeks past, and intended to keep it this day. Blood pounded in his head and loins as he toed the line, untying his belt so that his robe hung open, loose on his shoulders.
His stiff shaft bobbed in the cool air, swollen larger than he ever remembered it being in the past. The wind shifted and he caught the scent of the females and fought the urge to give chase now. He must wait for the signal, he knew, and he crouched, ready to spring at the first note of the Hunter's Horn.
Princess We'mai ran like the wind, glancing neither to the right or left. She remembered her Father's words on the day the acolytes came for her. She had to make it to the river, she must run fast, straight, and true, for the fate of the Kingdom rested upon her shoulders.
A woman who reached the river untouched by a man was free to choose her own husband, but reaching the river untouched was not easy. To make it more unfair, in We'mai's eyes, the river was a day's journey by the good road from the city. To reach it, running over the rough terrain they would be traversing, before nightfall was nearly impossible.
For more than a year she had trained herself, running daily in the King's Forest, over hills and streams, jumping fallen logs and ducking low branches. Ever since Le'verte, her cousin and next in line for the throne, had cornered her in the kitchen pinning her body against the stone with his own, she had prepared for this day.
She had felt the bulge of his hard spear pressing against her buttocks as he pressed her breasts to the wall. "This is how I'll take you when we run in the Game," he'd bragged. "I'll take you in the back hole, so that you become my slave and all that you have becomes mine, including your father's kingdom."
She'd told her Father of it straight away, and although he was angered, he could do nothing. It was the law of the Game, if a man speared a woman in the back hole, she became not his wife but his slave. All that she owned, or would inherit, became his.
"Even if he made you his wife it would be a total disaster for the Kingdom," her father had said wearily. "Once you bore him an heir, he could take the throne, acting as the child's regent." Of course, all of this supposed the death of the current holder of the crown, a thought that troubled the King and Princess both.
Now she felt the first slap of a lithe bough as she ducked under a larger limb as the night was rent by the sound of the Hunter's Horn. A great cry rose up behind her, but she ignored it, running was the only thing that mattered now. None could claim her, or her father's kingdom, if they couldn't catch her.
Onward she ran, as fast as she could and yet conserve enough strength to run the day through. A burst of speed now, to give her a sufficient head start on those chasing, and then settle into a steady pace that would eat up the distance between here and the great river.
The ground blurred beneath her feet, streams gone in a flash, as she ran. Ever down hill, following the path of least resistance, for thus she'd been told to do in a dream. It made sense, for the little streams flowed into the bigger, and the bigger into the creeks, and the creeks into the river.
She'd not loose her way like this either, and end up running in great circles until some man pulled her down and made sport of her. She slipped on a mossy stone, catching herself with her hands, sharp flint cutting her palm. Pay attention to where you are going she admonished herself.
What else had the Crone said in her dream? "Ware the Jackal, else the Kingdom shall suffer all the days of his life, and his son's, and his son's sons'. Trust the Smith and surrender yourself to the Wolf, for you shall need a warrior at your side in the coming years."
Ware the Jackal indeed We'mai thought, slowing to a fast walk and sucking on the cut on her hand. The Jackal was the totem of Le'verte's house, she needed no warning concerning him. "But who is the Smith I can trust and what Wolf should I surrender to?" Her mind turned those things over and over, recalling the dream as she walked, catching her breath.
"The Smith is trustworthy, surrender to his Wolf, open yourself to him and turn not your back upon him. Down that way lies pain and suffering for you and your kin, yet even then happiness shall be found. Trust the Smith, suffer the Wolf his prize, and Ware the Jackal, for when you think him beaten he shall rise up and attack you from behind."
None of it made sense to the Princess, yet she knew that the old woman who came to her in the dream the night before was Grandmother, who was now called Crone, for the bearing of the sons and daughters of the Old Man had withered her body.
The sun was straight up in the sky when she slowed again to a walk, breathing deeply of the forest air, scented heavily with pine. She didn't know how far she had come, and fought the temptation to ascend one of the ridges along the creek she followed to see if she could make out the light glistening off the distant river.
She'd taken less than a dozen steps when far behind her she heard the triumphant cry of a man followed by the pain filled scream of a woman. Someone had claimed a wife, or a slave, she thought for that cry had been filled with true agony.
Almost she ran again, but stilled the nervous twitter of her heart, run, walk, run, walk, that was the way to cover great distances. The cry had been far behind her too, not a near thing at all. It had the muted quality distance gave such sound, she told herself.
She walked for a hundred count, and then began to trot, a ground eating pace that would allow her muscles a little rest. She followed the creek, keeping it on her left shoulder as she ran, trusting it to lead her to the Great River, and freedom.
The creek joined a larger one, and at the joining she met another runner, her skin scratched from the branches and thorns of the undergrowth. Her knees were scraped from a fall, reminding We'mai of her own hand. Her shock had barely abated when a second girl burst from the heavy brush along the creek, cursing as she stumbled to a halt, her own eyes wide.
For a long moment the two stared at her, and she at them. She gulped air in great gasps, nodding to them, and turning, began to run again. The two fell into line behind her, running single file. Not a word was spoken, none were needed, for they all knew what they had to do.
As she ran Wa'mei wondered who the two were, they were not of the noble families as she knew them all by sight. They seemed to be fit, and had no trouble keeping up with her although she increased her pace a little, not really wanting company.
She slowed as the ground became damp, almost marshy, the mud sucking at her bare feet in places. She angled away from the creek, seeking firmer footing, but was foiled by a steep rocky bluff. Stopping, she stared ahead as she bent over, hands resting on her knees.
"What's wrong?" one of the others asked.
"There is a marsh ahead I think," Wa'mei said, pointing out the increasingly damp soil. "I thought to skirt it, but the bluff has us pinned in. I'm going to head for the creek; perhaps if nothing else we can wade or swim it for a ways."
The others just nodded, following as she turned, heading back the way she'd come. She hated retracing her footsteps, but it couldn't be helped. Just keep going, she told herself. She knew the creek wasn't far off, and wasn't surprised when she came to shallow water.
"From here until we get to the main channel we're going to be wading in mud," she said, getting nods from the other two. Unfortunately, her prophesy turned out to be very accurate. For what seemed like hours they waded through knee deep mud that sucked at their legs, and sapped their strength.
At long last they came to firmer ground, a shelf of rock and just beyond it, the creek itself. It was then that the dull roar they'd been hearing became even louder, and Wa'mei realized what it was. There was a small waterfall ahead, and she prayed it wasn't too high.
Slipping into the cool water she found the bottom was sandy, and the stream was no more that waist deep. Moving in the water would slow them a bit perhaps, unless the others could swim. She could, and struck out, using a gentle but powerful stroke.
As she turned her head to breath she glanced back, seeing the two behind her, swimming as well or better than she. Since they were traveling downstream, the current helped them some. As they rounded a bend the creek narrowed, the earthen banks giving way to stone. The roar grew louder as the water picked up speed, and Wa'mei wondered now if her idea was a good one or not.
Fighting to stay in the center of the stream now, letting the current carry her along, she glanced back, seeing that the other two were doing the same. The roar grew louder still as they rounded the last corner, and Ma'wei realized her mistake.
They were actually in a tributary of one of the lesser rivers that flowed into the great river, and several streams joined together here, at the head of the falls, before plunging over the rock shelf to the river valley below. The fall would be great she knew, perhaps as high as jumping from the watchtower of the castle.
"I just hope the water is deep below," she mumbled to herself as the current carried her closer to the lip of the falls. She tried to fight the current, to swim to shore, but saw that it was futile. The others gained on her during this time though, and the three floated close together as they struggled to maintain their position against the current.
"When we go over," one of the pair shouted, "swim as fast as you can. You want to land far out from the falls, or the water will smash you down, making it hard to come back up." Ma'wei nodded, it made sense, and realizing they were wasting time, she turned and struck out, swimming for the falls.
There was a moment she seemed suspended in space, floating high above the pool of water below, and then it rushed up at her. She twisted her body as much as possible, getting her feet pointed down and then the breath was driven from her lungs and she clawed at the water, kicking frantically.
Disoriented from the impact, she wasn't sure what way was up, and feared she was swimming deeper. She looked up, and it appeared lighter that way. Forcing herself to remain calm she struck out for what she hoped was the surface.
She lay, gasping for breath, on the sandy shore, to spent to even look around to see if the others had made it. For a minute, maybe two she lay unmoving before pulling herself to her feet, brushing the sand from her buttocks as she stood.
"You better get all that off you can, or it's going to chafe when I spear you," a gloating voice said. Spinning, Wa'mei saw Le'verte standing there, his shaft bobbing in the air, swollen and angry looking. "You lead me on quite a chase bitch, but now your mine." He began to move toward her, and Wa'mei fought panic as she looked for an escape.
Water splashed as her two recent companions surged from the pool to collapse in a heap on the sand. It appeared one was practically dragging the other, and for a long moment silence reigned as La'verte took in this new development.
He paused but a moment, and then began stalking Wa'mei again, leering as he moved to cut off her only escape route besides the water itself. "If you surrender yourself to me, I'll make this as painless as possible," he said, smirking. He reached down, taking his throbbing shaft in his fist.
"Oh, who am I kidding," he said with an evil laugh, "I'm going to hurt you, to make you bleed and I shall laugh at your screams." He stepped around the two girls laying spent upon the sand, ignoring them as he closed in on Wa'mei. One of them moaned, and with a snort of disgust he kicked her in the side, causing her to cry out in pain.
I must not let him take me, Wa'mei told herself as she fought the soul numbing despair that churned in her gut. "Mother aid me," she said softly, looking around for anything she could use as a weapon, a branch, a rock, anything. "Ware the Jackal," she heard again, an echo of the Mother's warning.
"I don't know where the Wolf or the Smith is Mother," she mumbled, "but I'd be pleased to see either of them at this point."
Sa'at hit the edge of the forest at a full run, ignoring the whip of smaller branches as he weaved his way between the trees. He headed for the great burr oak that towered above the rest of the forest. It was there that Ta'mar said she would wait for him.
They had played together as children, for their father's were best of friends, and they lived next to each other on the narrow merchant's way. Sa'at's father was a renowned weapons smith, fashioning blades for the nobility and the rich.
Ta'mar's father was a farrier, and a skilled one. Even the Royal Stablemaster was known to bring a horse to him when all else failed. The two had grown up in comparative luxury to those around them, and had been fast friends all their days. Years ago, when they first began to understand what the Running Game was really all about, Ta'mar swore to not run from Sa'at.
"I will wait for you there," she said, as they had stood on the top of the wall, pointing to the great oak that towered above the rest of the forest. "You shall spear me and I shall be your wife and we will live here next to our parents and you can take over your father's shop when he gets to old to swing a hammer."
Sa'at leaped a fallen log, landing lightly on his feet as he approached the great oak. His eyes swept the area, searching for Ta'mar. Less than three days ago she'd reaffirmed her oath to wait for him here. He did not understand her absence and he bent his head in the dim light searching for signs of her passing.
There, that was her print, for he knew it from playing at the running game as children in the park. The little toe of her left foot turned in, and he could see the mark it left in the dirt. There was another set of prints there also, prints that looked vaguely familiar, but he could not place them.
It was another female, and she paused here with Ta'mar for a moment. Then, the two began to run, hard long strides from the look of the prints, and Sa'at wondered what had scared them into flight. Search as he may he couldn't find the prints of what ran them off, and as he widened his search, their prints disappeared among the pine needles on the forest floor.
The blood was pounding in his head and his groin, calling him to the chase. Other's crashed by and he fought the urge to run blindly, to chase after the females who'd ran this way before. "Help me," he thought to the great Wolf who was the totem of his house. "You are the Hunter, I need your skills."
It seemed as if he recalled a similar time from when he was younger. His sister was lost in the woods and his Father called him to help in the search. Taking Sa'at aside Ma'usu placed a firm hand on the young boys shoulder. "You must slip the reigns on the beast son, he will lead you to your sister. Darkness comes soon and the wild things of the forest will take her. Let him loose, and let him guide you."
He'd believed no one knew of the wolf that lived in him. His father smiled at the look on his face, explaining that one male of every generation was blessed, or cursed depending on who told the tale, by the Great Hunter, the Father of all the Wolves. He lived within them, and would guide and aide them if they but asked.
Sa'at centered himself, feeling the hum in his chest that he'd felt that day, and his head tilted back, the call of the hunting wolf issuing from his throat as he seemed to grow stronger, more in tune with the forest around him. His head came down, a scent, Ta'mar's scent came to him on the wind, and with a feral grin he began to run.
"Thank you," he thought to his constant companion, as he leapt a small stream in a single bound. His blood sang, if he thought the draught given him made him feel invincible, he now felt like a God. He slipped his hold on the Wolf a bit more, feeling by the increase rush of the wind by his cheeks that he was running faster than he'd ever run before.
The Wolf chuckled, his lips drawn back in a grin. "It has been long since I was allowed to hunt," he thought, testing the bindings in Sa'at's mind. "The draught has him, and he's loosened his grip on me, perhaps enough. I will let him run for now, but when the time comes, the kill is MINE!" His thoughts he kept from Sa'at of course, or the boy would have bound him tightly once again.
Time seemed to have no meaning, yet one part of him admired the skill and determination of Ta'mar and her companion. They were covering ground quickly, sticking to lower ground, and working their way down streambeds and such, moving ever down hill, no matter how slight.
They'd had a head start, and he'd lost time while investigating the area around the oak tree. Now, he needed to make up time, and he sensed he was gaining on them, not as quickly as he'd like, but he was gaining. He tested the mental bindings that kept his wolf in check, finding them looser than he'd ever allowed since the day he'd wrested control of his mind from the beast.
He saw where Ta'mar slipped, scraping her knee and the smell of her blood on the ground made him howl. It wasn't quite dry, but not fresh either, and he knew she was but moments ahead. Why did she not wait as she promised, Sa'at wondered. Had they fled from someone, but that could not be, for he was one of, if not the first into the forest.
Perhaps she lied, he thought, and then pushed the thought aside. Yet, it kept bubbling up as he ran, the thought that maybe she'd lied to keep him from knowing where she was really going to be. Perhaps ... NO, I trust her, he thought, even as doubts circled like vultures above his head. I will not doubt her, he told himself.
"She lied," the Wolf said, "she's not to be trusted, and those we cannot trust we hunt." He sent the lust for the hunt, for blood, surging through Sa'at's viens, smiling as the young man growled low in his chest. "Find her, and we will have her blood," he said softly.
She did not lie, Sa'at told himself. He recalled the last time they lay together in the hay loft of her father's barn. Naked as the moonlight that bathed their skin they kissed, hands slipping and sliding along each others skin. They could not do everything they longed to do just yet, but there were things they could.
"Sa'at," Ta'mar called softly, urgently as he lowered his head to the sparse patch of hair between her legs. His tongue drove her to heights of pleasure that left her breathless and longing for more. After, as they lay side by side she promised once more to meet him there, at the great oak.
Sa'at's blood boiled at the memory of their time together, the potion he'd consumed feeding on the lustful memories until his organ seemed to be pulling him along as if it sensed the object of his desire ahead. Lust and Anger, anger and Lust, round and round, and the beating of his heart the drumbeat to which they danced.
The Wolf felt his control slipping, and rather than fight Sa'at, for he knew the other had a strong mind and even now could still lock him back away with but a thought, he decided to join him, for now. He fed the lads lust for the hunt, for the female, and watched with glee as Sa'at's anger, doubt, and lust melded together in a single ball of ... something.
She was close now, but moments ahead, and Sa'at skidded to a halt at the bank of the stream. The mud that had slowed them hampered him none at all, as his feet instinctively seemed to know what clumps of grass hid solid ground, and which did not. Ta'mar had taken to the water here, and he could still smell the faint scent of her pointing downstream.
Bounding from rock to rock, fingers and toes finding purchase where even a goat would pause, he followed, jumping into the water when the banks became walls of rock not even vines could get a purchase on. He heard the roar of the fall, knowing it for what it was, and kept close to the bank, out of the main current.
Where the waters of the other streams converged he lunged for and caught a stony protrusion, pulling himself from the rushing waters to stand upon a large boulder. No doubt it had been left here by some past flood, and some future one would carry it over the falls, where it would join others in the pool at the bottom.
As sure footed as his totem brother he leaped to another rock, and another, until he stood on the precipice, gazing down into the pool below. Here Ta'mar's scent seemed to disappear and he gazed into the pool below, wondering if she'd been swept over.
His eyes fell on a small sandy beach, scarcely twenty yards long, and half again as deep. Sprawled on the sand were two women, and a third was backing away from a male who had her cornered. The only path from the beach lay up the hillside behind him, and Sa'at growled deep in his chest as he realized his desire for Ta'mar might be thwarted by another male claiming her.
He bounded from stone to stone again, scrambling up the bank and working his way along the cliff face until he found the path that led to the beach. His rage built as he ran down the path, eager for battle. "Let me have him," the Wolf whined, but he knew Sa'at had firm control now. So he fed Sa'at's lust and anger, making him near senseless with rage and desire at the same time. "Surely I will have my blood now," the Wolf reasoned.
Sa'at hit the sand at a full run, howling a battle cry. La'verte turned, startled, and snarled when he saw the other male advancing on him. He sprang forward, meeting Sa'at's charge with one of his own. Flesh smacked into flesh, hands grappled at sweat slick skin, feet danced as each sought an advantage.
La'verte knew a few wrestlers' tricks, but everything he tried the other just countered swiftly and with ease. He felt his strength tested and found wanting as his brawny challenger began to push him backwards. In desperation he attempted to back heel his opponent, tripping him, and failed.
"This one is weak and not worth our time," the Wolf whispered to Sa'at. "Toss him aside and let us have the woman. Surely she will be some sport."
With a roar of rage Sa'at grabbed La'verte's throat in his left hand, his right dropping low, catching the other in the crotch. He lifted him overhead and tossed him against the stone wall, La'verte's head making a hollow "thonk" as it hit. He slumped lifelessly at the bottom of the wall, but Sa'at didn't notice, he was already turning toward the sprawled figures on the sand.
His nose told him what he already suspected, one of the two was Ta'mar. He recognized the other scent now, and struggled to make sense of her presence. He knew she was to run today, she was his twin after all, but he did not understand why she would lead Ta'mar away from their meeting point.
Wa'mei could not believe her good fortune. She did not recognize the newcomer, so he wasn't of noble blood, but he handled La'verte like a warrior trained since birth. She almost felt sorry for her cousin as he sailed through the air and crashed into the stone cliff. She sincerely hoped he broke his neck in his fall to the ground.
Freedom beckoned, just beyond the man who'd defeated La'verte. She longed for it, and searched for a way to gain it. If she could just get by him and up the path, she would be free. It wasn't far to the river, she'd glimpsed it off in the distance as she went over the falls.
Grasping for anything to use as a weapon, not to kill, but to slow him down long enough for her to get a head start, her eyes searched the sand. A piece of driftwood, worn smooth by it's journey in the water, stuck up from the sand near the wall, and she began to move that direction. The man seemed to be interested in the other two girls, and Wa'mei considered just running for it.
Perhaps he was distracted enough he wouldn't realize what was going on until she'd gotten a good lead. She sighed as she realized she couldn't leave the others to the fate that awaited them. Grasping the chunk of driftwood she pulled it from the sand, turning and swinging with all her might at the man's head.
Fate had other plans though, and a stone turned under her foot. Her blow, aimed for the back of his head struck him across the shoulders, knocking him to the ground. He rolled, seeming to twist around as he came to his feet facing her, his grey eyes now an icy blue. She shivered as he approached her, the club forgotten to fall from her fingers.
"Take this, tie it around you neck and wait me over there," he growled, tugging upon one of the silk ribbons that hung around his neck. The thing parted with a snap and he held it out in his fist, the medallion that would proclaim her as his dangling from the doubled ribbon. It spun, flashing a hammer crossed with a sword on one side and a wolf's head on the other.
"No," she said, backing away from him. She would not surrender, would not allow anyone to take her to wife. She was going to make it to the river and win her freedom. With a cry she charged him, lowering her shoulder and slipping past him in a desperate bid for her freedom.
Her cry and her dash for the path up the cliff was cut short as he spun, pushing her in the back as she passed him and sticking his foot out to trip her at the same time. She sprawled on her face, the sand harsh upon her nipples and spitting the dirt and sand from her mouth she started to crawl.
Something landed on her back and she felt hands upon her shoulders, pinning her face first to the ground. He planted his feet beside her hips, pulling backward with his hands and halting her forward progress. She felt the wet slap of his engorged spear against the small of her back and she remembered the Crone's words.
Her eyes went wide in fear and realization as he hunched against her, his shaft slipping along the cleft of her backside. The fluid he leaked was slick, and he rubbed more, enjoying the sensation. Instinct, fueled by the Wolf and the drink given him caused him to begin to shift his weight, seeking the opening he knew should be there blindly.
His shaft found a spot that yielded a bit, but slipped when he thrust forward eagerly. He pulled back, angling his hips a little better, holding the woman down despite her attempts to crawl away. He thrust at the spot that had yielded, and it gave a bit more before he slipped again.
Growling in furious lust he tried again, this time gaining an inch or more before he slipped, making the woman cry out in pain.
"WAIT!" she cried, "I'll surrender, let me roll over, please, not like this WAIT! NO! NO! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!"
This last came as Sa'at found the soft spot again, and tilting his hips just right, thrust with all his might, hard and fast. His previous attempts had loosened her a bit, and his copious precum had coated her back passage, making it slick.
Wa'mei felt something tear as he thrust inside her, and she screamed in pain and loss as her dreams were destroyed. "I'm sorry Mother, forgive me Father, I have failed," she sobbed as her captor continued to thrust in and out of her battered back passage. She lay unresisting, the pain numbed by the knowledge that she had failed until she felt him stiffen, buried deeply in her bowel.
She felt a warm flush as his seed erupted into her, filling her back passage with his spend. "I should have listened to you Grandmother," she whispered. She felt his member soften a bit and he pulled it from her with a pop. She whimpered as he picked up the medallion she had refused, tying it around her neck with his own hands.
Sa'at turned from the woman he'd just taken, one part of him wincing at the mixture of blood and semen that leaked from her slowly closing back passage. But that part of him was no longer in control. The Beast was in control now, and he wanted answers.
"WHY?!" Sa'at roared as he advanced on Ta'mar and his sister as they crouched on the sand, faces pale in fear and guilt. "You promised to wait for me there." Pain and anger caused his words to come out harsh, accusatory.
"I was going to wait and Na'nate showed up and said you told her to tell me that you'd changed your mind. I didn't believe it at first but she said you'd seen a woman among the nobles you wanted, and that you sent her to tell me this." Ta'mar's face flushed with guilt as she stammered her excuse.
"You KNEW I would come," Sa'at growled as he loomed over her, looking like a beast ready to pounce. "You knew I would keep my word, even had I changed my mind I would have told you myself," he ground out through clenched teeth.
"Rend her, tear her heart from her chest, let her blood stain the sand," the Wolf howled, his lust fully inflamed. Sa'at's anger fed his own lust and he struggled against his bindings, wanting to wrest control of this body from it's owner and kill, kill, kill.
Ta'mar quelled before her lover's righteous anger, and she hung her head in shame. Na'nate, seeing this jumped to her feet, fist clenched in rage.
"You don't love her like I do," she cried, her face going white as the admission left her lips. Sa'at, despite his anger, paused. Taken aback by her statement he stared at her in disbelief. Those women who refused a man's touch, who clung to other women, who did the things with them they should with a man, were shunned by the people.
"Na'nate?" He shook his head, his features pained as she stood defiant, head held high. Ta'mar's guilty look told the whole story and Sa'at's rage simmered. His sister, his twin who'd sucked at his mother's breast beside him, had betrayed him. Not only had she committed crimes for which she could be executed, but she'd seduced his love as well.
"How ... but you said you love me," Sa'at said, pain and anger making his voice harsh. He stood over Ta'mar, his eyes boring down into her own.
"I do," she replied softly and he snorted in disbelief. "I don't know how, but I love you both, neither more than the other, equally in all ways," she said, breaking his gaze to glance at Na'nate. "I would have shared with you, you knew that. We talked of it many times."
Na'nate shrugged, nodding. "Yes, but it is unlawful for a brother and sister to lie together that way," she said. "Besides, I have no desire to lie with a man, to have him plant his seed in my belly."
"But, if he claims you during the Game it is allowed," Ta'mar said. "You knew this, we even spoke of it." She turned to Sa'at who realized that his sister and the woman he thought was faithful to him had been carrying on behind his back.
"After I had surrendered to you, and you had taken me as wife, I was going to touch you, inflaming your passions again. Once you were nearly blind with lust, Na'nate would reveal herself from where she was going to hide in the trees boughs. You would take her, making us sister wives."
"You had it all planned out did you?" Sa'at growled. He was having a hard time controlling the Beast. Brother Wolf had been betrayed before, and had no mercy on those who did so now. He howled for blood, pleaded and begged Sa'at to loose him that he might take his revenge on both of the women.
"Did you not think to ask me? Did you think me to stupid, to naïve to realize you were lovers as the years progressed? Did I ever really hold your heart as you swore Ta'mar? Or was it all lies that you might be closer to Na'nate?"
Ta'mar hung her head in shame, her tears fueling Sa'at's rage. She had lied, and now shed her tears in a plea for mercy, one he had no intention of hearing. "I'm sorry," she said at long last but he ignored her as he studied first her, and then his sister.
"I should leave you here, to be captured and dealt with by another," he ground out. "But I loved you with my whole being, and despite your deceitfulness, I still wish you happiness." He turned from the sobbing Ta'mar, meeting Na'nates gave with eyes filled with fury.
"You stole her from me, fed her lies about me, and have seduced her into acts that she could be killed for. I should ... I should ... You are my sister, we shared a womb, and I will not see you dead if I can help it." He turned from them, fist clenched so tight his fingernails bit into his palm, little drops of his blood falling to the sand beneath them.
For long silent moments they fought, Sa'at and his Wolf. The Beast howled with rage, fighting for freedom, for the chance to kill. Long ago they'd had this fight before, and Sa'at had won then, retaining his sanity. Now the Beast tried again, hoping that the blind lust brought on by the draught had weakened Sa'at's control enough he could take over.
It was a close thing, but Sa'at won in the end, giving the Beast a choice. Banishment into a dark corner of his mind, to never be seen or heard from again until Sa'at's death, when he would be reborn in the mind of another or give up his identity, his separateness, and become one with Sa'at.