The air visibly changed. What had seconds before been a soft breeze, was now a heavy wind storm. Villagers stopped what they were doing and looked around, confused by the sudden change in the wind.
Bahiti stepped out of her cabin, her eyes blazed golden. Her golden locks swirled around her in the wind. She stepped forward and made her way through the village. Nuttah watched her, her brows pinched together.
“Bahiti!” she called over the winds. Bahiti continued to move forward as if she didn’t hear her. As if she were in a trance.
Chief Hiamovi stepped out of his cabin to see what the commotion was. Akecheta stepped out behind him. They watched Bahiti with curious eyes. Chief Hiamovi motioned for Akecheta to follow him. Akecheta’s hand rested on the hilt of his sword. The stepped forward and followed behind Bahiti, keeping their distance.
Bahiti moved through the woods, her feet carrying her forward. The deeper she got into the woods, the less the wind blew. She came to a stop in a clearing, Chief Hiamovi and Akecheta behind her. Three wolves, all different shades of rich brown, emerged slowly from the trees behind them. They stalked towards Bahiti before stopping.
The heavy winds stopped. Bahiti’s hair cascading down her back. Her eyes reverted back to their pale gray.
“Reveal yourselves,” she spoke.
As one, their bodies simmered before their were three beautiful men, one older, kneeling before her. Their heads tilted up to regard her. Bahiti waved her hands at them and they were clothed. Dressed regally in beautiful dashiki’s. They rose to their feet, smoothing their hands down themselves.
“You are powerful,” the older man spoke. “I have never before been forced to change, yet your command vibrated through my body and I couldn’t stop myself.” His skin was brown and resembled the fur he just wore. His hair, cut short, was nearly fully gray.
“Chief Naiser,” Chief Hiamovi spoke, stepping forward. Akecheta remained at his side moving with him. “I was expecting you and one other.” Chief Hiamovi regarded the two younger men and Naiser’s sides.
“You have vampires coming here. You do not think that I would travel with out protection,” Chief Naiser said.
“I guess that explains you arriving in your beast form.”
“The best way to protect ourselves.”
“I assure you there is nothing for you to fear here and Chief Athanasios has assured the same.”
“To believe one so young,” Chief Naiser mussed.
“As well as only one to compete in the games,” Chief Hiamovi spoke as if Naiser had not interrupted him.
“One,” Chief Naiser said. “My son Jabari will be competing.” Chief Naiser looked to the young man to his left. His eyes had not left Bahiti since they arrived. He shared the same brown skin as his father.
Nuttah stood in the shadows and watched them. She could not take her eyes off of the one named Jabari. Before becoming a striking male, he had been covered in fur only a few shade darker than the fur that Bahiti donned as a wolf. He was indeed the wolf she saw with Bahiti so long ago.
Jabari bowed his head to Bahiti in a show of respect.
“Wise choice,” Chief Hiamovi said. “My son will to be competing.” He patted Akecheta on the back. “He is a strong warrior. Our best.”
“As is my Jabari.”
“Only the best,” Chief Hiamovi stated. “Please, come. I will have someone show you where you will be staying.”
“Nuttah,” Bahiti said. She turned slowly and glanced over her shoulder. Everyone followed her gaze. Nuttah slowly stepped out from behind the tree she had been using to shield herself.
Chief Hiamovi regarded her for a moment. “Nuttah! Show Chief Naiser and his companions to their quarters. Bahiti, come dear.”
“This way Chief Naiser,” Nuttah said. She curtsied deeply. She turned and moved away. Chief Naiser stepped forward and followed her, his guard and son following. Jabari stole another look at Bahiti as he passed her.
Chief Hiamovi motioned for her to follow him and waited for her to step forward. He lead her back to her cabin and motion for Akecheta to remain outside. Chief Hiamovi closed the door behind him before he spoke.
“Why is it hard for you to understand that we want you safe?”
“It is not hard to understand. I knew they were no threat.”
“How to you explain the winds?”
“Simply the elements alerting me to their arrive,” she explained.
Chief Hiamovi had the power to heal. A gift that would pass to Akecheta when he took over as chief. His peoples power were waning. He did not want to lose the one thing that could save them and bring power to his people. Bahiti’s safety was his number one priority. Akecheta’s was winning the games, so that she would remain with them. Chief Hiamovi turned and left the cabin. He gave orders to Akecheta to have one of the men watch over her.
Everyone began talking in hushed tones as two men and a women moved through the village. The men were tall, with dark hair and large upper bodies. The men smirked as the continued on, their ears picking up whispered voices mumbling “vampires”. The woman trailed behind not quite matching their pace.
Akecheta stepped out of of his fathers cabin and regarded them an even star.
“Chief Athanasios,” he said, nodding his head in greeting. He stepped to the side to allow them to enter the massive cabin.
Chief Hiamovi stood and offered his hand. “So glad you could join us.”
“The please is mine,” Chief Athanasios said shaking his hand.
“This must be your warrior,” Chief Hiamovi said turning his stare to the man beside him.
“Yes. My brother Arsenios.”
“Chief Hiamovi,” Arsenios said nodding his head.
“And she is?” Chief Hiamovi asked referring to the woman.
“Mortal.” They all turned to find Bahiti standing just inside the door.
Chief Hiamovi turned and gapped at the vampires.
“She is here to ensure that both myself and Arsenios retain our strength. Unless, one of your village will be offering a vein.”
Bahiti stepped further into the room. She walked up to the woman and stopped in front of her. She raised her hands and placed them on either side of the woman’s head, stroking her fingers through her hair. The woman looked startled. Bahiti closed her eyes and let out a deep breath. The woman visibly relaxed. Bahiti removed her hands and opened her eyes.
“She is here of her own free will,” she said. “May I?”
The woman raised her wrist to her. Bahiti’s fangs materialized and she sunk them into the woman’s wrist. She drank just a taste before retracting her fangs and blowing on her wrist, sealing the wound.
“How do we know she is also part werewolf?” Chief Athanasios asked a bit breathlessly.
Bahiti turned to him. He watched as her gray eyes became a bright gold. Her skin shimmered and she dropped to all fours. He stared down at the golden wolf before him.
“Wow. That was incredible. Had I know just how powerful,” he said. “and beautiful you truly were, I would have put myself up.”
“Down, big brother,” Arsenios said. “She’s mine. He reached his hand out and petted her head lovingly. She leaned into his touch a soft pure rising from her throat. Arsenios laughed lightly.
“Nuttah!” Chief Hiamovi called. She stepped into the room. “You always seem to be where you are not supposed to be. Please take them to where they will be sleeping during their stay.” Nuttah curtsied and turned out of the room. Arsenios pulled his hand away from Bahiti reluctantly and followed her out with the woman and Chief Athanasios who cast a final glance at Bahiti before leaving. Bahiti’s fur shimmered as if an invisible wind passed over it. She transformed into human form and snapped her fingers clothing herself.
“What was that?” Chief Hiamovi growled when she rose to her feet.
“He needed proof,” she said simply.
“Are you sure that was all it was?”
“I read his mind through his link with the mortal. He was afraid that you would try to pass someone else off as the tribrid. He saw my power, me feed on human blood and my transformation. I proved that I am part werewolf, vampire and witch. Not who my mate is. As you fear.”
Chief Hiamovi didn’t respond. Bahiti turned and removed herself from the cabin. She returned to her quarters and closed the door. Nuttah stepped from the back of the room slowly.
“They are all so handsome. Akecheta included. They would all make a fine mate for you.”
“They would indeed.” She stepped further into the room. “They all respond to me. Akecheta excluded.”
Nuttah laughed. “He loves another, but he’s too honorable.” She stopped in front of one another.
“That, I understand.”
Nuttah reached out and tucked a stray hair behind her ear, her hand brushing softly down the side of Bahiti’s face. Bahiti stepped closer and wrapped her arms around Nuttah’s waist. She brought their lips together and kissed her softly. The kiss deepened. Nuttah ran her hands through her golden hair.
She loved her hair.
“Bahiti, your food-”
They jumped apart and turned wide-eyed towards the door to find Nuttah’s mother standing there, her mouth gaped open.
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