In this unedited snippet, Lucky is gearing up to fulfill his prophecy. He has to prepare his tribe to face an as yet unnamed enemy. I hope you like this glimpse into the special skills of some of the most valiant members of the Natoroi tribe, valiant demons who will play a major role in the upcoming conflict. All of that is very serious. But Lou realizes that even an intense sense of pride in her demon isn’t enough to dim her desire for him… Enjoy – SS
He gestured silently for two of his warriors, both females trained by his mother, to move far and wide, left and right. They nodded, instantly leaping onto the thick trunks of nearby trees to make their way to the top of the forest where visibility was best.
He gestured for four others to spread out in every direction on the ground. In plant speak he told them to scout 50 miles and to leave no leaf unturned.
“You should have sent them farther,” said his mother.
“To make that run and return will take them the rest of the day. They’ll be thirsty, and water is not always fresh outside the village this time of year. It’s molting season. We will be doing this every day until we are certain the threat has passed. 50 miles gives us enough time to marshall an adequate defense. There is no need to discomfit our soldiers.”
She smiled slightly. “You are a good leader.”
He slanted his mother a look, then turned his attention to the rest of his warriors. The three who remained were special.
Taru could manipulate plants better than anyone in the village. She could make vines split into shards as thin as air, but stronger than steel. Then she could tighten them around a demon so quickly he never had a chance to fight before he was neatly subdued. If she chose – “Though I can’t imagine such a scenario, my Lou.” – she could choke the life from a body or sever a limb altogether.
Lystra could control water. Wherever it was, even if it was soaked into the earth or resting in droplets on top of a leaf, she could make water do what she wanted. At will she could make it as hard and protective as tree bark, or as sharp as a shard of stone. She could also take a tiny amount of liquid and manifest a deluge forceful enough to knock a team unconscious, and then drown them.
And Huko? Huko was the tallest demon in the village, so broad he cast a shadow when he walked. He was also strong enough to push over a thousand year old tree with roots that stretched for a hundred miles without breaking a sweat. He could leap nearly a 100 feet straight up with just a bend of his knees or break branches as thick as a well fed demon with a swing of his meaty fist, and then very casually dust off the splinters.
“Follow me,” Lucky told them in plant speak. And with his mother by his side, he scouted the 25 miles in every direction immediately around the village.
The sun was starting to set when one of the female demons returned. Wordlessly, she handed Lucky a single leaf. He handed it to his mother and sent out a single shrill whistle. Within minutes all of the scouts began to return. Most of them had already begun their journey back before they were summoned, and two others carried leaves.
“What is it?” Lou asked, when Lucky returned to show their find to the elders.
To her they looked three slightly shriveled leaves. But every demon who came to look, and that was nearly all of them, recoiled, shaking their heads as though they smelled something bad.
“Your human eyes cannot see it,” said Sucire. “But the leaves are stained, and each holds the taint of the enemy.”
“A smell,” Lou surmised.
“Yes,” Lucky said softly. “It would seem our enemy has done some scouting of his own.”
Lou couldn’t believe how quickly things happened after that. You’d have thought the village was threatened by an unknown enemy every day everyone reacted so seamlessly. Demons who lived on the outskirts of the village were brought into the square and rehoused. Perimeter guards were established, shifts manned and weapons made ready in what seemed like minutes.
She knew it wasn’t the time or the place, but her easily roused body thought Lucky looked absolutely stunning standing there in the midst of it all. He was born to lead, tall and proud, but loving and thoughtful as he gave quiet orders in plant speak, and he set all of her bits tingling like mad. She was hard pressed not to dip out and rub off a quick one. But she knew he would follow, and ever mindful of her comfort, he would make love to her when he should be here, tending to his tribe’s defenses.
So, she distracted herself by taking mental notes of what was happening around her. She’d already half envisioned a new book set in an alien world, and she knew it was only a short jump from there to a hero as dashing and dynamic as her Lucky.
She’d always thought him happiest at home, surrounded by the innards of some recalcitrant machinery – unless he was hip deep inside her; his professed favorite place in all the universe – but here he was in his element. He seemed a thousand times stronger, sharper, faster, and she realized it was being around his own people that had done it.
The Natoroi demons were fabulous as individuals, but when they stood together they seemed virtually unstoppable. Lucky seemed to have absorbed that strength, his natural kindness amplified along with everything else as he soaked up the collective strengths of his community. She liked that he listened, adapting his plans when other demons made viable suggestions. She laughed at herself when she felt her meager chest poke out with pride as she watched him, but she could see the pride in his mothers’ face as well, and that made it easier to push her unrelenting desire for his beautiful self aside until a more appropriate time.
It had been dark for awhile, their evening meal eaten, and the comforting glow of the village lights burned to create interesting shadows on the outskirts of the square. The smallest children had been abed for some time when Lucky finally snuggled up behind her on their pallet. He smelled fresh, and his soft skin still felt damp from his nightly bath.
“Are you sleep?” he whispered.
“No. I was waiting for you. Everything alright?”
“What does that mean?”
He laughed softly and began to snuggle her, gently squeezing her breasts and rubbing her belly. It wasn’t sexual per say, but she felt that ever ready desire for him kindle like dry tinder before a match as he pet her. “It means there is only so much one can do with no enemy to fight.”
Busy rubbing her bum against his rising erection, Lou stopped. “As in, all that’s left now is to wait for an attack?”
He considered, still petting her. “More or less, yes.”