She rode as far into the woods as she dared, away from the tree houses and the shouting people celebrating their happy return. Families held each other tight and women lay with men on the open forest floor and the rain washed the animals into their homes.

The river that she came to was fast and high but her body was tired, sticky and muddy. She let her horse wonder and eat as she undressed and slide into the cold water. Her hair caught in the water as it had grown long past her butt and her nipples tightened at the tight water as she lowered her entire body under holding on to a small branch that dipped by the river to keep still. She rubbed the mud that clung on off and sang one of her favorite Zanaes songs with her high sweet voice. It rang off the water and into the woods as the rain slowed she could see the deer and squirrels that fled their hiding holes and birds sang with her as their songs mingled in the air. The forest was silent but for the animals and her song until she heard a stick break and spun around to see him standing there. He had his horse held still as he stopped on the river bank and watched her in the thrashing waters it seemed a thousand moons had passed while they gazed on each other before the Rhazaki turned his horse away and dug his heels into it's side and galloped through the woods.

The water grew cold and she reluctantly pulled her body out with the water dripping off the tips of her breasts and rolling down her long legs she pulled her body on her horse and pulled her cloak out of the pack on her horse and tied it about her shoulders and shoved her clothes in it's place in her pack.

The city was alive with people and fires glowing among the trees, the smell of meat was tickling her stomach with hunger and she promised herself she would get something to eat after she dressed. She saw her hand maid Shasa run forward to help her down from her horse.

" Where am I to sleep tonight Shasa?" She spoke with a commanding voice still angry about the imposing Zanaes Rhazaki.

" I will lead you, Rhazaki Aron was apologized for his behavior by granting you a stay in one of his tree houses. But, don't worry you won't be putting him out." She spoke in an excited tone and Amaranthea knew it was an honor to go in a Rhazaki's house in the ancient city but even more of one to stay in one. The house was far larger than others and higher up the tree to avoid danger it seemed.

The stairs she climbed where so many and so steep she was winded by the top, they where obviously made for a man of the Rhazaki's size. The house was connected to two other trees but the bridge was rolled up on her side. It was far bigger than she imagined one of the houses could be, with two rooms with beds carved into the floor and basins for bathing in. A room was set apart from the others and filled with books from floor to ceiling, a large piece of shined metal sat above a basin for washing hands and face and the windows were covered by thin furs. The beds that were in the tree floor were pillows and furs all together all smelling sweet and clean.

She took off her robe and dressed in her leather vests and rough spun pants. Her eyes were growing heavy and the journey had been washed from her skin but clung to her bones.

The light streamed into her window the next morning and she found Shasa unpacking her clothes for her chest. Her maid had laid out a thin dress and her favorite hair dressings to pull her long blonde hair out of her face. The pale peach dress looked so pale against her tanning skin and she marveled at the way it hugged her new curves. There was sweet smelling perfume sitting on the basin and she patted it on her breasts and wrists. She snatched her bow and ran out the door.

The day was broiling as she light shined through the upper tree layer and played fun designs on the floor that she traced with her bare feet. The town was asleep save for the women gathering food and the men sparring in the training field. She ran to the field and the men turned to watch her as she pulled her bow string back and fired an arrow straight at the target that sat in the grass a field away. It zipped to its mark and hit with a thud before she strung another breathed out and let it go again, this on hit the other snapping it to pieces before she smiled and pulled yet another and let it fly this one hitting a bird that sat in the tree nearby, it fell to the ground and Amara ran to clean it.

It was a large bird that she had never seen before with dark red feathers. She plucked them and started a small fire to cook it over. By the time the meat was done she had almost lost her hunger. The bird was sweet and she shared some of it with Shasa who brought her a wine skin to share. The meat brought a small cat out of the woods, meowing with it's small brown mouth. It was skinny with hunger the thinning brown and orange fur threatened to fall of in places.

" Come sweet kitty." She wagged meat in front of it before it warily came forward.

"You should not feed it your highness, it will not leave you be." Shasa warned her but Amara never listened. The cat was hungry and she was not anymore.

It purred and rubbed it head against her head after it ate. Her curiosity drove her toward the city where there was shouting and fire. The Rhazaki sat around the fire that was sending all the smoke up and the screaming rose from the people that stood about the. There was no order to any of it and Great Bear seemed to grow more angered every minute.The council was deciding on a new house to hold the great moon feast. Rhazaki Ture wanted Rhazaki Aron's house to hold the feast and he did not want to hold the feast, probably because he was selfish or a complete recluse that wouldn't want the attention.

The tribe ws screaming with anger, to refuse the request was to shame them and both Ture's house and Aron's were upset about the shame and the disrespect that it brought both sides. A man stepped up from the crowd sword in hand.

" You have shamed your family, bastard man. You have no right to the claim Rhazaki of the Zanaes. Let your mother weep and your family die as you disrespect Rhazaki Ture!" He held his sword above his head as he screamed the words moved forward. Amara held her breath as Rhazaki Aron stood and faced the man looking down opoun him with his towering height and his strapping muscles. The man held his sword not lowering the sword even though the metal shaked with his head.

" You are not fit to hold a sword, lie it at my feet and beg I leave you be for you have shamed your family." The man roared a war cry and swung the blade only striking metal when Rhazaki Arons curved blade swung up with a fierce speed, throwing the sword out of his head. The man dropped to claim it back but quickly caught his hair and pulled him up. Throwing his sword to the side he reached to the man throat and ripped his throat straight out, blood pouring down the mans chest and on to Arons hand. He threw it aside, " Does anyone else question my decision now? ", he walked into the woods when no one answered and the birds let off their warning songs of passing danger.

The only thing that ran through her head was not that the man had just died or been killed as she had seen some people killed on the journey; once a man had stolen a goat of another and Rhazaki Great Bear had killed him the same way, another had raped anothers wife and the husband tied the man up only to shoot him with arrows until he was dead, but rather that he had done it with such control, no yelling or threats, only action.
She sat beside the others on the ground and plucked the grass playing the scene over in her head. She's do well to remember his anger next time she stood up to him.
She felt something brush on her arm and nearly jumped out of her tanned skin, it was her kitty, and unfortunately everyone was now laughing at her expense.
Her mother brushed her hair back," it's seems the lioness has a cub now."
Amara cracked a smile," seems so."

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