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Analu
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[*] posted on 16-4-2011 at 12:09 PM
Kitchen




Leah's domain. All the pink makes me a little nauseous.






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[*] posted on 24-10-2014 at 04:25 PM


She couldn't do this! She was three months pregnant and even though the fatigue and moodiness was passing, she still found herself relatively upset with the fact that her parents still knew nothing about their future grandchild. She only wanted to tell them, but Lu had told her no one could know. She didn't know what the big deal was! It wasn't like they would tell anyone and they would be so happy for them and...she needed the support. Not that Lu wasn't supporting her as best he could with everything he had going on, but she knew her mom had remedies that would have helped with her morning sickness. She knew she would know things about what she should be doing for the baby while it grew inside her. She wanted that comfort because she had no idea what the hell she was doing! She had tried explaining that to Analu before to no avail, but this time would be different.

She placed their plates on the kitchen table just as she heard the front door open. He was home just in time for fresh passion fruit pancakes, his favorite. She was going to have breakfast with him and they were going to talk like adults about her telling her parents about the baby. Then he would get the rest he needed in the sheets that were freshly washed and still warm from the dryer. Had she gotten up super early to make sure their home was completely spotless and everything was perfect when he came into it? Yes. And that meant he'd be in better spirits than he had been lately. The Pueo had been extra heavy on him lately and of course he could say anything about why to her, but she wanted to do what she could to make things a little more comfortable for him...before she asked him if she could tell her parents again.

"Hi baby!" Leah shouted toward the door hoping to catch his attention before he made a beeline for the bed. She smiled as he appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. "Come. Sit. I know you're probably sleepy but I made breakfast." She approached him, a kiss quickly meeting his lips as she pulled him toward a chair. She sat across from him, her smile never faltering.

"How are you baby?"




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[*] posted on 25-10-2014 at 04:27 AM


Sleep was going to be gladly welcomed as Analu's night had been long. Of course, every night on patrol was "long", the responsibility of the Pueo a great one. But lately? The nights had been longer, stretching endlessly and tirelessly. Maybe it had something to do with the new "job title" that his uncle and leader had given him. Sadira's new caretaker. It took everything in Analu to not spit on the ground in disgust at the thought as he neared the home he shared with his promised...and the mother of his child. It seemed as if the Gods were punishing him. Punishing him because of his disobedience and disrespect toward the gift they bestowed to him. Entrusted him with. The future leader of his people. He and Maleah's secret was a slap in their face. He knew it. That kept him from complaining when he'd found out what his uncle wanted to discuss with him. "I want you to take Sadira under your guidance. Show her the way. There is a battle raging inside of her. Help the side with loyalty to her people win." There was a side of Sadira that was loyal to anyone but herself? If it hadn't been an insult to do so, Analu would've laughed in his Uncle's face. But the survival of the Moku people was no laughing matter and Sadira was- "important". So, Malo's orders were important, no matter how much Analu wanted to ignore them. The days after had been filled with Sadira and her biting disrespect. She was like a puppy. Young. Reckless. Constantly yipping. But for the tribe and for his people, Analu took his new orders...his new, silent orders that Maleah knew nothing about. Which was why when she looked at him, curiosity and pity in her eyes at his exhaustion, he hid his face...and the truth from her. Again and again.

Pushing the door open to their home, he inhaled the inviting aroma of passion fruit pancakes and sausage cooking. He couldn't help but smile as his mouth all but watered on the spot. She was cooking his favorite. The smile slipped from his face a bit as he closed the door and began to take off his boots. Why...was she cooking his favorites? Maleah hadn't been...too happy with him lately, their constant fights making her more sullen and quiet around him. The topic of discussion? Always the baby. When could they tell their parents? She was starting to show (which wasn't true) and maybe they should think about telling their parents! People are starting to notice her baggy clothes. When could they tell? Their arguments weighed, the battle always warring inside of him to keep her happy or try to appease the leaders of their tribe. But he couldn't do both...and Maleah knew as well as he did that his choice would always have to be tribe first and her second. But that answer was starting to work less and less when it came to her, which made them fight. The cycle was tiring. Even more tiring than his nights with Sadira. But he loved Maleah. He loved her enough to waste the last bit of energy left in him. He was strong enough...wasn't he?

"Morning, love." He half groaned, stretching as he walked through the living room and into their small kitchen. He was hungry, but his hunger was powerless against his exhaustion and even though he could've met the bed, fully dressed, he sat at the table as instructed, his lips lifting to Maleah's for a quick kiss. His eyes watched her carefully as she moved to the seat across from him.

"Tired." His simple, usual answer to her question as he picked up his for and speared a sausage link.

"How are you?" He spoke between chews. His eyes roamed from her face to the place where his child slept hidden by one of his shirts that wore big on her. He looked for a second, his voice lowering as if people could hear through the walls of their home.

"How is the baby?"





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[*] posted on 25-10-2014 at 02:49 PM


Tired as usual. Her poor baby. Analu seemed to wake up tired with this schedule his uncle had him on. For the past week or so Lu had been leaving earlier for duty. No longer did he leave when the sun set. She saw him less. He rested less. How was that good for the tribe? She often wondered, but she never asked of course. That wasn't her place. What he was doing as a future elder was supposedly for the good of the tribe and she had to believe that as fact. It was just hard knowing that what he was doing to them was also for the good of the tribe...She hated herself for thinking it sometimes; she knew Analu was doing the best he could to keep her happy and them out of trouble, but this baby couldn't stay a secret forever. She was three months in and despite what Analu said, she was starting to show. They needed to say something soon at least. All of these thoughts swirled around in her head as she watched him eat. Her train of thought was broken as he turned her question back to her. How was she? Frustrated, lonely, worried about him. Not that she would ever actually tell him that.

"We're fine-," Maleah answered easily, her smile still constant as she placed a hand on her stomach. She did that a lot more lately; touched the baby. All the more reason to tell her parents because her father caught her doing it at the diner the other day. He was going to figure it out on his own eventually and Maleah knew it would crush him to find out instead of her telling him. Lu just had to say yes today. She didn't know how much longer she could keep this to herself. He was never here to talk about it with her and when he was here she never felt right burdening him with her worries. Because she did worry. Was she taking the right vitamins? How long before she could touch her boobs and they not be so heavy and sore? Questions she was sure her mom could easily answer...if she knew.

"He missed his daddy I think though. I was cramping a little earlier-" Something else her mom might be able to tell her about.




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[*] posted on 26-10-2014 at 02:08 PM


A ripple of unmistakable joy crossed Analu's weary face as Maleah answered him, telling him how their child missed him. His daddy... Even in the fear and the uncertainty of hiding Maleah's pregnancy, Analu couldn't help the feeling of pride in his chest when he thought about having a son with his anela. The thought of a strong boy, carrying on his last name was one of the things that made everything...less frightening. But then, remembering that his son would surely bear the same calling at his birth that Analu had from his own father and uncle made reality return. His son would grow up the same way he had. Under responsibility. Under the law. Under expectations that were heavy and most of the time, unfair. And he feared for his son, which made him fear for the family he was soon to have with Maleah all over again. It was selfish, anyway. The pride he felt over his secret child that he hid from everyone that should've know. The child that it wasn't time for.

"Cramping?" He asked, Maleah's words catching up with him. Cramping didn't sound good, even though Analu knew as much about carrying a child as he did about making Lilikoi pie. Absolutely nothing. Maybe it was normal to cramp a little? Or maybe he was trying to make cramping okay to avoid the nervousness he felt at her words. What if it was something serious? What if the baby was in trouble? He couldn't ignore that. Maleah and his son were...they were Analu's life. What would happen if this was... He had to stop. He had to stop and think, Maleah's eyes watching his face, lines of worry etching into his skin. Strength was what he needed right now. Strength and a wise decision.

"Wel...if it happens again, we will go to the hospital off the Shore." The disgust was hidden from his face as he spoke, a decision so radical that he knew it would surprise Maleah. They NEVER went to the haole hospital. Never. They had a Healer in the kapuna elima that would know more about what Maleah was facing than any non-Moku doctor would. But...they couldn't chance things coming out now. They couldn't chance someone so close to his uncle finding out that Maleah was pregnant. Not until Analu knew that the time was right to reveal their secret.

"We can't chance it, Leah. You know this..." He spoke slowly, seeing the slight disappointment on her face.





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[*] posted on 26-10-2014 at 02:40 PM


Leah watched his features change from tired to prideful the way they always did when she called their child a boy and said how much he missed his father. Was it horrible to use their child as a means to getting Analu to let her tell her parents about him? She didn't think so. None of the things she was saying weren't true. She was sure she would give Analu a son. She and the baby had missed him...the cramping. All of it was true and he had asked how she was doing. So she was telling him what little she could in the hopes of convincing him that just telling two people could be a huge help. A help Analu obviously knew the two of them needed.

She nodded, her fork cutting into her pancakes as she shrugged a little listening to Lu repeat the word meant to catch his attention. She had been cramping. And it was scary as hell not to know why! Maybe it was normal, but what if it wasn't? WebMD could only be of so much help and seeing the healer was obviously out of the question so what? What did he really expect her to do when things like this happened. Telling him was completely out; he already had too much going on with the Pueo and they both knew whatever was happening with his position would have to take precedence over the baby they weren't supposed to have made...she couldn't take the stress alone. Analu had to unde-what?!

He couldn't be serious! Off the Shore? Analu Ikaika never went off the Shore by choice. And for something so important? She couldn't believe that. He would rather trust someone he hated than let her tell her mother what was going on? Leah dropped her fork on her plate and listened as he told her again that they couldn't chance it. "Analu...be honest. Is the time ever going to be right to tell them?" He said it often. That he was waiting for the right time and he would eventually tell the elders she was with child...but what did "the right time" look like? No, she didn't know what the hell they talked about at council and she probably couldn't imagine the shit that went on after hours on the Shore that he dealt with, but with every day that passed and he didn't speak up, Leah wondered if she would be in labor before she was allowed to talk about her pregnancy.

"I'm not asking you to say anything right now, I'm just...If you just let me tell my mom she could help me with this..."




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[*] posted on 26-10-2014 at 03:02 PM


The timing was wrong and it annoyed Maleah whenever Analu reminded her of that fact. But that was the truth. Things like an child that had been conceived out of the order of things was no small problem. It wasn't something that he could go out and spread like the other men. Normal men. Everything in their lives, he AND Maleah's, had been directed and planned by the Gods. And any deviating was asking for more than just "a firm talking to" and "a slap on the wrist". They could be playing with their very lives...including the life of their unborn. And Analu wasn't ready to make that sacrifice. In fact, he wasn't ready to even figure OUT how to make that sacrifice. He had been racking his brain, handling this thing on his own. Even though he was a future leader and strength had to be his way...he was afraid. He was overwhelmed. He had never had so much responsibility on him as he did now. Sure, he balanced the lives of the people in his tribe and sure, he protected them as the slumbered from threats unseen, but not unknown. This was different. This was his future. His lineage. He didn't know how...he didn't know how to protect something so precious. And until he figured it out, they were going to be smart. They would NOT move because of fear.

"There will be a 'right time'. It's just not right now!" He said, his voice elevating as he heard the bite in Maleah's words. He got it! He understood her fear. She was carrying a life. He wasn't blind to that. She didn't know what to expect or do and she needed guidance. He GOT IT. But...so did he. Analu had no idea how to deal with this situation and there was no running to Malo and asking the questions that plagued him. He could not run to the Kapuna Elima, fall on his knees and plead for guidance. And...he couldn't ask his own father...even though he would have never done that in the first place anyway.

"No...Maleah." He sighed heavily and leaned back from the table, dropping his fork and knife in his not nearly empty plate. She wanted to tell her parents. This, Analu already knew. He'd heard this argument for so long that he just...he was tired of it. He was tired of her second guessing the way he'd decided to handle the situation they'd found themselves in. Sure, he could understand her loneliness. She wanted to share the joy of carrying life, she wanted to ask her mother for advice...she wanted to tell her parents they would soon be grandparents. But that was what normal people did when they became pregnant. They did not have the luxury of what "normal people did". They were chosen...and they had defied the law and the rules. They were rulebreakers...

"It's not as simple as you try to make it. I've told you this time and time again." He repeated, rubbing the side of his rough, stubbly cheek.

"I can't tell you to go ahead and tell your parents and then..." He paused again. "Do you know what we face if the truth is somehow found out before I reveal it to the Kapuna Elima? Exile. For all of us. Me. You...even your parents. And that is not even the most harsh scenario. We can't be hasty."





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[*] posted on 26-10-2014 at 05:47 PM


And the yelling began. No. She did not want them to do this today. She couldn't take another loud back and forth with him about the same thing. Analu had to see reason! He had to know how scared she was because despite all he did to hide it from her, he was afraid too. She sometimes thought he forgot. That Analu forgot how long the two of them had been together, how well she still knew him despite all of the changes they'd endured. He didn't have to put up this "I know what I'm doing" front with her, because she knew he was just as lost as her. She got that he felt like he couldn't tell the Elders about the baby. She knew that it was killing him not to tell Malo at least, not only for the support in all the questions the two of them had, but because Lu knew his uncle would be ecstatic. Angry first probably, but he would be so excited about meeting the next generation of his lineage...But no. Analu always said no. Just like he was doing now.

"I cannot do this alone Analu! You're never here!" That was an awful thing to say. She knew Lu wanted to be with her. She knew he would rather be at home than tending to the tribe, but that didn't negate that he couldn't be here. She was still on her own in this save for the few minutes he had for her between naps. She wasn't saying he was a bad boyfriend, she was just stating a fact. She couldn't figure out this baby thing by herself and he couldn't be here. Someone needed to be.

She sighed as he told her it wasn't as simple as she was making it out to be. There are bigger things at play Maleah! I can't tell them about our child without knowing what comes next...He'd gone on, but it was just another way for him to say no. No, she couldn't tell her parents because no one could know about their child before the right time. There were times when Maleah thanked the gods that the tribe's seer was...lost. Now was not one of those times. Everyone knew Sadira wasn't exactly...great...in her position and this situation kind of confirmed that rumor for Leah. The Elders should have known long ago about this baby. They should have suffered these "consequences" three months ago. Surely, the seer would have gotten some kind of vision about this if she weren't so...ugh. This wasn't Sadira's fault. She wasn't mad at her.

"Would it really be so bad?" Leah clapped a hand over her mouth, her eyes widening with her response to Analu's threat of exile. Of course it would be bad! It would be fucking awful! Forced to leave home, a broken lineage for their tribe. It would be the worst. "I didn't mean that." Leah stood up, a restlessness coming over her as she tried to backtrack and explain. "I would never want to leave the Shore, you know that. Sometimes I just...The thought of just you and me and the baby getting the chance to be a real family...-," she let her voice trail off as she placed her hand back on the baby. A silence settled between them and Leah allowed it for a while. A short break in yet another stressful argument with the man she loved.

"I'm sorry, Analu, but I worry that...I just worry." She did. About everything.




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[*] posted on 27-10-2014 at 04:09 AM


You're never here! That wasn't fair. It wasn't fair for Maleah to throw things in his face like they weren't obvious, like they weren't things that he if he could, he would change. Analu knew that he was never home. He knew that the Shore and the Pueo received more attention from him than Maleah ever would, his responsibility as the future of his tribe at fault. But was that something he could change now? No, it wasn't. Maybe when he was older and he was finally the leader of his tribe. Maybe when his voice became as heavy in weight as his uncle's. But not now. Not when they were still finding their place inside of their purpose. Analu stared at Maleah as she sighed, wondering if these were the things she felt and never told him. Things that her pregnancy made it even easier to admit. That she'd always felt angry with him about him not being with her and now, her condition and her fear made it easier for it to tell him. Well, it wasn't easier to hear, his eyebrows knitting together as he frowned. And he told her what he knew to tell her. That nothing was simple for him...for them. That he was doing the best he could. If she could even see that anymore.

"Would it be so bad?" Analu repeated her answer after he'd reminded her of the consequences of secrecy and betrayal towards the tribe. Exile? Exile wasn't "so bad"?! What the hell was she thinking? This was their HOME. Not only did their parents families live on the Shore, but their legacy, their culture...everything existed here. NOTHING existed outside of the Shore for them! And that was okay for her? To be cast out and banned to see everything that they knew? To have to live and make a new life in a place that was so foreign and an exact perversion of everything that they were? He didn't...what was wrong with her?

He shook his head as he watched her hand fly to her mouth, admitting her obvious error. They stared at each other for a moment before she told him that she didn't mean what she said, rising to her feet in nervous pacing. As Analu watched her, he wasn't quiet sure if she meant her words. He wasn't sure if she'd meant to take them back, either.

"We are a real family...or we will be. When we are joined. When the Kapuna Elima blesses us...and this child. But doing things out of order...it will ruin everything." He said to her as patiently as he knew how. She had to believe that what he was saying to her was true. That even though he was fearful of what was to come, he was waiting for THEIR safety. He was waiting for...he was waiting for the Gods that he barely believed in, but wholly trusted, to tell him when the time was right.

"I know you worry. I do too..." He admitted. His eyes watched Maleah's hands touch the baby the way she'd begun to lately.

"But this...none of this is going to work if you don't trust me. And that seems like...Leah, don't you trust me?"





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[*] posted on 27-10-2014 at 07:56 AM


We are a real family...we will be...Would they? She wasn't going to challenge him on the subject because it would do nothing but upset the both of them, but she wondered. Look at Malo. He'd never taken a family because of what the tribe asked of him. He knew there would be very little time to dedicate to a wife and children and...he couldn't be normal. Analu couldn't either, but he had always been willing to try for her, stressing himself to the point of exhaustion to ensure he was doing what he had to to keep both the tribe, his current wife, and his future wife happy. She saw him. She knew what he was trying to juggle and she tried to understand as much as she could, but he had to see it from her perspective too. This was too much for her to handle on her own and he was too busy. There had to be some kind of compromise they could reach, because "tell no one" was no longer acceptable.

Leah sighed again, her pacing stopping as she leaned against the kitchen counter. "Analu...Things are already out of order. I'm not your wife, this is your child. We're already ruined..." Her final words came at a whisper. It was true according to his logic. They had ruined themselves. They seemed more cursed than blessed at this point and Mahleah had to agree with him. They were ruined. Whether the Elders found out about the baby or not, whatever plan had been mapped out for them was no more. He couldn't keep clinging to the hope that not saying anything about the life inside her would make the problem go away. There would be trouble for the two of them. It was just a fact. Leah was sure the longer they waited the more trouble there would be. Lu...thought differently. They disagreed but that didn't mean she didn't trust him.

She looked at him, her mouth open in slight shock that he would ever think she didn't trust him. "Don't do that to me-," It was his turn to be unfair it seemed. Disagreeing with Analu did not mean she didn't trust him. She trusted him with everything. Her life. Her son's. "You know I have 100% faith in you Analu. This is not a trust issue for me." It wasn't. As she just told him, she worried and he'd said he did too, but she knew their worries were different. His considered the tribe. Hers? Only their unborn child. "I want the best for our baby. To give him that I need help and I know it's not your fault, but you're busy. My mother is not. My father is not." According to Analu, all her parents would do once they discovered their daughter's secret is share it, but that wasn't true. Not if she told them not to. Not if he asked them not to. She paused, her next words clear in her mind as she considered how much truth was too much truth for him.

"It's not me who's having problems trusting their family. It's you."




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[*] posted on 27-10-2014 at 05:38 PM


Trust. That was what it all boiled down to in the situation between Analu and the mother of his child. It was her trust in him. Regardless how shocked she looked when he asked her if she trusted him or not, he he felt the pang of...inadequacy in his chest. Because no matter how he tried, no matter how many different ways he attempted it, he would never be able to do everything. He could not lead the tribe with wisdom and direction and lead his family with the same conviction. Mostly because it seemed that both were pulling in opposite directions. They were pulling away from each other, splitting him in two as they parted. And he couldn't...he couldn't do both. It was amazing to him how he carried both of these roles. The future leader and also, the future replenisher of his line. But how was he supposed to do both? How was he supposed to protect and guide the households of his tribe when he couldn't even find the time to guide his own? Maleah said it. He was "busy". Too busy to take care of her and his son growing inside of her. Too busy to focus on the family that she was nurturing every day. And what was he to do? Leave it to her mother and father, instead?! Give her father another reason to look at him with hidden hate and regret in his eyes? Because he saw it. The look Leah's father gave him whenever he came around.The look he would give Analu the second he found out about the pregnancy. The look of doubt. Doubt that Analu could lead the tribe and doubt that he could take care of Leah.

"Me? You think this is because I don't trust our families?" He expression crumpled with disbelief, pushing himself away from the table as he stared at Maleah.

"Is that why you think I don't want you to tell your parents? Or mine? Or even Malo?" Again he stared at Maleah, wondering how those words could even leave her mouth. It wasn't "trust" that kept him silent about their situation. It wasn't the lack of it that made him toss and turn in his sleep before patrol because of the lies he carried.

"You're not listening! I'm protecting them!" He blurted out, standing up as he slammed his chair into the table.

"If anyone knew that your parents and mine had been hiding our secret, too? Maleah, exile is for traitors. Them knowing and hiding it from Kapuna Elima makes them traitors! Or are you SO BLINDED by your need for your parents in MY ABSENCE that you've forgotten that!?"





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[*] posted on 28-10-2014 at 07:48 AM


"Not our families, Lu. Our family." Why was he still making this distinction between his and hers? They were all one now. The baby had done what their union was supposed to; joined them. This was why she thought Analu didn't fully understand what was happening here. There was no yours and mine anymore. There wasn't a division between what was his and what was hers anymore. Her parents were his. His parents were hers. They were ONE family. So was was Lu pretending this was about Leah wanting to tell her parents? "I want to tell our parents and Malo about our baby. I want us to tell our family about their new member."

She was rambling and it was annoying him. She could tell as he stood from the table, telling her that she wasn't listening and that he was protecting them. From what?! He had no idea! That was the whole reason he'd given her for not telling. He wasn't sure what the consequence would be for Maleah carrying his child before she was supposed to be. He didn't know what the Elders would do to them so he'd chosen the safer option, but safe for how long? Safe for--oh...

He was right. Telling their parents meant more than just having their support. It meant burdening them with their secret as well. She wasn't thinking. Lu was right. They may not have known the consequence for having this baby before it was time, but they did know the consequence for treason and Lu was being polite by suggesting exile. She'd never wanted to get anyone else into their mess. She just needed...she needed the help. She needed her parents to know what was happening in her life. She needed to not look at her father while working and ACTIVELY remind herself not to say anything about the baby to him. She wanted permission to speak freely again to the people she loved the most and she thought Analu was the only one who could give her that...but he wasn't. Even if he said yes now, she still couldn't, in good conscious, tell anyone. Maleah shook her head, her eyes rolling as she silently cursed herself, the gods, Analu...This whole situation. All she could do was suffer. She had to deal with this shit on her own.

Her eyes connected with his again as she finally responded to him. "You're right." She shrugged, sighing and realizing how much energy she'd just put into this argument. Talking to Analu these days was exhausting and from the look on his face, talking to her wasn't exactly a spa day either. They needed a break. "I've got work in an hour. I'm going to take a shower." Maleah pushed away from her space on the counter crossing the kitchen and hopefully escaping this conversation.




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[*] posted on 28-10-2014 at 04:18 PM


Our family. There was simplicity in Maleah's words. Their family. That was how she saw it. That was how she'd always seen things. Easy. Uncomplicated. Her life was his life and his, hers. That included their family. Their son was only a physical symbol of the thing that she'd always felt when it came to she and Analu. Their destinies were so joined, so entangled in each other that there was no separation of the two. They were one. They'd grown up together, gone to school together, lived together. They knew each other inside out. They were bound, no joining ceremony ever truly necessary in her eyes. And in a way, Analu felt the same...about them. Just them. Her family had never truly felt like his and the way that his father treated her like the invisible necessary in his family, Analu was always surprised that she didn't feel the same way. But somewhere inside he'd hoped that one day, the joining would make things different. That instead of only being a "piece of their destiny", Maleah would become his wife and his parents' daughter. And maybe, he would finally become a son to her father. Worthy of her. Strong enough and brave enough for her. But this...the child. Their son...things were complicated now and words like "our family" weren't so simple. Nor was protecting them.

You're right. He didn't want to be. He didn't want the things that he was telling her to be the absolute truth. That they couldn't talk about one of the proudest moments in their lives...parenthood. Even though it was scary and unknown, it was supposed to be...beautiful. It wasn't. It was something else that Analu had to piece through because of who they were. No. Who he was. Because regardless how "chosen" Maleah was, she was only who she was because he was who he was. And there was guilt in that. Sometimes...he had thoughts, too. Of being away from the Shore. Of being some simple guy with a normal job. Something stupid, like a plumber. He'd have normal hours, come home to Maleah, who would've been his wife as there would've been no tribe telling them they "weren't ready" to be joined yet. They'd have dinner, they'd love each other to sleep and then...he'd stay there, in their bed and wake up with her in the morning. But it was a fantasy. That was all it was. Because he was who he was. And she was who she was and even though it was hard to see, there was pride in that. He was the future leader of a bloodline that spanned centuries. And Maleah carried that blood line in her belly. He understood why she wanted to tell. He got it. He was just...afraid of losing what they were so proud of because it wasn't time yet.

"Maleah...wait." He spoke, his voice losing the edge it'd had before as he saw the defeat weigh on her arms. He hated doing this to her. She had to know that he hated it. No matter how much the tribe meant to him, her emotions, every sigh and every frown meant so much more. And she was so unhappy...because of him.

"Just...let me speak to Malo first." He rubbed his head roughly, steadying himself for what he was finally about to do.

"Malo first...and then your parents."





High off my love,
drunk from my hate.

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