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.My heart drops, drops so low as I watch the Nyabasi prince rush our way, shouting out a war cry to which his peers answer in support, spear in hand, and my sister right ahead.He is to propose to her! I realise with failing resolve, and love her as I may, I have never hated anyone as much as I hate her at the moment.However my heart stops, literally stops when he runs on past her, surprising everyone among my peers as there are no more maidens past us here at the beach.The means it is one of us.“Oh gods, thank you!” I hear Nyangi call beside me, and now there is once again one I dislike dearly.How dare she? How dare he? My sister deserves him more than the philandering girl in my group does.I’ll never forgive him if he chooses to marry anyone else in the kingdoms and scorn my sister, yet she’s the most deserving.She’s princess.All semblance of thought escapes my mind when he sinks the head of his spear into the sand beside my feet, and drops onto one knee, his gaze holding mine.Chapter 29“Nyangi, of the house of Umbe-Daughter of kings and queens!Bearer of my heart, and all I hold dear.Be gentle now, my ailing heart appease,And accept me now, none else will I have.Long have I loved, and within me I’m without doubt!It is you I will have, it is you I love!”My heart beats faster than the tomba drums during the mating at a wedding ceremony as I hold her eyes.Never have I experienced true fear as I do at this moment.Never has anyone terrified me as much as she does.I watch her eyes, pleading with them.Please don’t deny my, my eyes beckon.For if you will, I will plead.For you I will grovel, and a fool I’ll appear, and with that you’d have broken me.Please don’t break me, I plead.Her eyes are unreadable, her gaze unblinking- shock the only emotion I read.Shock? How dare she be shocked, when I’ve so evidently been taken by her.She must know, surely she must know that I’m enslaved to her affections.This cannot come as a shock.Surely she must know!“Please.” I start to say lowly, but have no chance to complete for her lips begin to move.“I will,” I think I hear her say.No! I still my heart against soaring.No, she can’t have, can she? I question myself, remaining on my knee as I look up at her, hand around my embedded spear beside her.“I will,” she says again, much louder this time, enough that her peers hear her and begin cheering exuberantly.She must have agreed, I convince myself.Why else would they cheer so? They wouldn’t be so cruel as to celebrate were she to refuse me.When I meet her eyes this time, I see the affirmative answer in them.She will marry me, that much those large pools say.Whether I misheard the words from her lips, the message in her eyes I wouldn’t mistake.“I have something for you,” I say in a ragged whisper, ignoring the cheering, singing and dancing in celebration going on around us.Her whole group of peers are now singing songs of her praise that I do not pay much attention to, as all my peers are now singing.They knew I’d be proposing as I’d alerted them earlier, they just had no idea to whom, except for Chacha of course.“You do?” She asks in a shocked whisper, her bare breasts heaving visibly with the emotions she’s keeping locked up inside.“I do,” I confirm, oblivious to all the celebrations around us.I then reach into the nook I have in my shield, and bring out the string of cowry shells and a large ruby that I’d personally made.“It is crudely made,” I say regretfully, puzzling on whether she can hear me above the singing around us.“But I made it while thinking of you,” I say.Her eyes widen as though in surprise.It still shocks me to think that she had no idea of my deep interest in her.“I know you have more than enough jewellery.”“I love it!” She says nearly breathlessly, her affected tone warming me up, her eyes nearly brimming with tears.I must hurry, I remind myself.She doesn’t like so much attention, and the last thing I want is to embarrass her in front of her peers.“I thought you could wear it, as a symbol of my affections for you,” I tell her, my heart beating so loud and fast that I fear it will burst, my hands now shaking as I tie the string around her ankle, her skin smooth and soft to touch, driving me mad with a desire to possess her, to let all know that she’s mine.“I will wear it forever, my prince!” She whispers.My prince! Oh how lovely it is to hear her term me so.She isn’t my subject, so as per customs she’s only to term me as the Nyabasi prince, or prince Makena.However to hear her now say my prince.A promise in itself.“Farewell, my princess,” I tell her, loving the smile I see her display, right before the first fat tear rolls down her face.Her peers immediately break in between us then and bare her away, and I’m left on my knees right where I’ve been since I proposed to her, my heart bursting with so much joy than I thought it possible for anyone to feel [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]