A Slave to the Servants Ch. 28byDoctorWolf©
Hello again, Lit!
Here's the next chapter to whet your appetite! Please enjoy and let me know what you think!
Many thanks to Steve150177 for his reading and rereading to get it right!
Thanks for reading! DW
"It must not be a girl again," Evan said happily, "we have not bonded to Ciara. The women said that only happens with girls. It must be a male offspring. Which of us is the Daddy, then?"
I stood fuming as they placed bets with one another. It wasn't Christof, they were certain. Kein had made a son they knew of and Bane had made one too. No one was sure what Evan had made, he was an unknown in this.
"What if it's not a boy?" I hissed, still mad as Hell. "What if it's a girl with no wings or strength?"
"Unlikely it is a weak woman," Christof said frowning, "they would not breed you just to make more human women. Obviously the women know you make Paterian offspring."
My temper threatened to spill over, but Tyle's family was approaching. I was forced to school my features as Damien's family greeted them heartily. Bane slapped his son on the shoulder and then hugged him. The young man was taken aback by the greeting, but he reciprocated. Bane happily explained the Earth tradition to the boys as we started.
We really should not have stayed tonight. At least, I should not have stayed. I couldn't focus on the training, because I couldn't calm down. I couldn't stop making mistakes and I snapped at Bane several times. Considering my supposed position in the compound the young boys found it very odd.
When we finally left the stadium, I refused to speak with my family. They tried to soothe me, but it did not work.
"Why so upset?" Christof finally asked. "You adore your children and look forward to contact with them. Why fight what you love so dearly?"
"They-are-taken-from-me," I said through clenched teeth. "I am not permitted to see them when I like. If this is a boy, after they take him, I will never see him again."
Damien snorted at my 'obvious confusion' as he called it. Hannah was a fine member of the family, so was Kennedy. They would take the boy for me once they saved us. It was so simple.
Kein dropped us off at our rooms and I stalked in ahead of Damien. I brusquely moved to shower by myself, cleaning my body before they had a chance to join me. Once I was done I grabbed the pad Kennedy had sent and stalked into the bedroom. Christof tried to follow and I wouldn't have it.
"I want to be alone!" I shouted and closed the leather drape, leaving them to their dinner.
I wrote long notes to both Hannah and Kennedy. I told them everything. My anger and fear poured out to the two girls who knew me best. It felt wrong complaining to my young daughters, but I really had no one else.
Kennedy's response was instant. She wrote to stand by and wait for her transmission.
A few seconds later lines wiggled across the screen until I was looking into Kennedy's concerned face. Her Sisters stood with her. They wanted to know what had happened.
"The men," I whispered harshly, "let my contraceptives lapse. When Nu-reeh forgot they did not remind her. Damien and his Brothers wanted this to happen. They want more family," I cried almost breaking down. "I have no connection to the men. It's a boy."
"Mama," Kennedy soothed, "it will be okay, we will take this little one away as soon as we can. You mustn't stress yourself."
"What if it is a weak woman?" I asked petting my belly, "What if she is like me? Will the women destroy her?"
My voice was laced with fear and dread. If this baby turned out more human than Paterian, I wasn't sure what would happen. I wasn't sure my mind could withstand the destruction of my child.
Dara spoke up and did the soothing then, "Mama," she addressed me, "That will not happen. We have learned much over the years and forgotten none of it. The human...I believe Kennedy would use the word 'genome' is very flexible. Every single offspring from mixed Paterian-human pairings has taken the best of both species."
I nodded and wiped away tears. That was relieving to know.
"We believe this compatibility is related to the portals," she continued. "Early in our history there were numerous natural portals between this world and several others, including Earth."
"Mama knows that," Kennedy reminded her.
Still, this was quite an interesting and distracting conversation.
Dara continued to explain how creatures developed and grew sometimes wandering into portals and being deposited in different realms. Some creatures on this world still resembled their Earth ancestors. Women here actually vaguely remembered the giant asteroid that hit Earth and nearly destroyed it. Something about that occurrence had closed many portals, but not all. Things still came and went freely for many eons after that.
"Dinosaurs, Mama," Kennedy said happily, "still exist in a form here."
Eve interjected and told me some women even surmised that the portals had shifted the living cells around that originally had seeded both Earth and Pateria. There was no proof of that, but it was a theory the scientists sometimes played with. It was hard to tell because the portals had allowed creatures to come and go so freely between the worlds for so long.
I wasn't crying anymore and just sat looking at my girls. They had done quite a wonderful job distracting me. I had not even noticed as my men came and sat on the bed around me. Christof sat next to me and looked at our daughter on the pad.
"You were deceitful, Daddy," Kennedy said harshly. "You should have told Mama what you were allowing to happen. Family does not act that way."
He agreed with her. It had been wrong and they were ashamed. They thought it would be better to just let it happen. There would be less stress this way. I had been so upset when they bred me last time. My men worried about the sadness affecting me again.
"No more secrets, Dad, promise me," Kennedy demanded. "Family does not keep secrets. Mama can deal with the truth. What you did is not protecting her; it only hurts her more. She put her trust in you all and look what you have done."
I nodded sadly and looked at my daughter. Doing this only proved that the men still thought of me as less than them. They thought my life had to be arranged and protected. I looked sadly at Christof.
"I am not family when you do this to me," I said looking around at the men. "I am only part of you when you allow me to be. You all have kept me apart in this and that is not helping me."
Kein sat in a chair across from me and looked at his Brothers before looking at me. "You were so upset when Nu-reeh forced us to breed you last time," he said softly. "We didn't want you to break again. The children make you happy. We hoped when you had the child inside of you, you would be happy again."
I shook my head as I looked at him.
"The sadness is normal," Kennedy intoned from the pad in my hands. "Mama will feel it until we free you all. Make her stronger by giving her freedom. The way you men have been trained is wrong. Mama needs your support and she needs to know what is going on."
My men looked quietly at one another. I wished they understood, but I was fairly certain they did not. Our relationship was still so new, nothing like it existed here, there were bound to be mistakes and misunderstandings. My men just could not figure out how to treat me and stick to it.
"Besides, it is much too soon," Eve said carefully and the sound filled the quiet room. "Humans need time to recover between births. Nu-reeh should know this. It is probably part of the reason she wanted to wait. It will cause weakness and illness if Mama is bred too frequently."
Damien was horrified at that. No one had told him that. Eve explained the energy and minerals it took to make a new living creature was intense. My body would literally digest itself to provide for the baby. It could make my teeth break and my blood thin. I needed rest between these breedings.
The pad flashed and indicated Hannah was trying to get through. Kennedy sent her love and support, but knew I had better get to Hannah. My oldest girl wasn't patient and based on what I'd sent, she was probably pissed.
Closing my connection to Kennedy opened one to Hannah's fuming visage.
Hannah cursed Damien until she ran out of words. She used such foul language I wanted to scold her, but I knew she wouldn't hear it. My first child was livid that Damien had kept this from me and done this without my knowledge. It was bad enough Nu-reeh used me like a slave. She would destroy Damien for doing it, too.
"Stop!" I demanded. "Damien and his Brothers are learning. They admit they made a mistake and did something wrong-"
"A MISTAKE?!" she roared. "They did not make a MISTAKE, Mama. They did this intentionally. They deceived and abused you so easily because you trusted them! I swear to God, Daddy, next time I see you, I'm drawing blood!"
I felt awful for making her so upset. She was obviously reacting to the note I'd sent her. Desperately, I tried to soothe her, but she ignored me. Shockingly, Damien agreed with her. If she punished him, that would be fine, he could see now he deserved it.
"We never meant to hurt you," he said to me. "Hannah will exact revenge for you."
"Nobody needs to exact revenge for me," I said trying to placate my daughter. "I overreacted, Hannah. Damien loves me-"
"He LIED!" she roared. "This is not a joke, Daddy," she said coldly. "You owe me."
Hannah's transmission ended and her line went quiet after her final statement. I sat staring at the blank pad, but she didn't come back on. I sent her a note asking her to be calm, but got no response. It worried me, but not the men. Hannah was just upset.
"She probably went to go calm herself somewhere," Damien shrugged.
"Or she's flying here to come hurt you," I fretted, tapping on the pad.
I had no idea how to contact the girls if they didn't pick up. They seemed to be the only ones capable of initiating the videophone link. I fussed with the pad for a while before Bane took it from my hands.
"You need to eat," Kein said pulling me to stand.
I went willingly and sat with the men at the kitchen table. Everything was as it had been when I stalked into the bedroom. They had not even touched dinner yet. I remembered as I was settled in a chair, family eats together.
My plate was piled high with nutrient rich foods. I was not given any choices tonight. Kennedy's Sisters had scared my men. They hadn't realized the pregnancies could weaken me. None of this was my favorite food, but I understood why they gave it to me.
We ate in silence. The men seemed to be deep in conversation between one another. In no small way I missed knowing what they were talking about, so I asked. Damien smiled at me looking guilty before he answered.
"We are glad for more family," he said simply. "We are sorry you were upset, but we hated to torture you, as we did last time."
I had to smile sadly. They loved their daughters and Bane's son. More family was just someone else to love.
Bane grunted loudly before he spoke, "Nu-reeh will want to know. We could hide it from her, since she did not want it yet, but that may be unwise. We will have to talk to the General in the morning and he will let her know," he said.
"She will be angry," Evan said picking up some food from my plate and putting it at my lips. "She will say we knew and she will be right. We will take whatever punishment comes for this."
I wanted to fret, but the men wouldn't allow it. They'd done something they knew they weren't supposed to. If it resulted in punishment, they'd take it. Telling me they were breeding me had always made me sad. This time they'd accomplished it without upsetting me, at least until now.
After dinner I was cajoled back into the bathing room. I'd rubbed my body to remove the dirt, but I'd barely cleaned the surface. My skin was still dingy and I had not treated myself with the cream. My hair wasn't cleaned yet either. In the shower room I was rubbed and pampered. Once they were done they put me in my linen shift.
The day had been long, stressful, and exhausting. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
I woke the next morning and sunlight was spilling into the bedroom. It was markedly late. The apartment was quiet as I rose and stretched. The space was unoccupied, except for me. I smiled seeing a large handwritten note stuck to the front door.
Do not open the door. Do not go outside. There is food for you in the blue bowls in the kitchen, your drink is in the cup. We will be back shortly.
In Damien's style the note reiterated the instructions about not going outside several more times. It was explained that other men would hurt me if I was found in the compound alone. My family had errands and I had seemed so tired when they woke up.
The largest blue bowl on the counter was that funny wet bread mixed with the red sprouts. A note next to the bowl stated they knew this was not my favorite. The men also provided an orange in the second bowl. I was instructed to eat both and drink the fizzy drink they had left.
I had my breakfast in silence and then took the pad and wandered into the sitting area. Once more I tried to contact Hannah and let her know I was fine, but she did not answer. I just sat and absently read an article on sea dwelling creatures while I waited for the men.
After a while sleepiness crept up on me again. I curled onto the chaise under a blanket and decided to doze for just a few moments. My eyelids drifted closed as I watched the low fire flicker in the hearth. It was so peaceful.
"She is still tired," I heard Kein whisper and I opened my eyes.
Damien and his Brothers stood in the room staring at me. I had not even heard them enter. I stretched and smiled looking up at them. They weren't smiling back.
"How tired have you been?" Christof asked crouching in front of me.
His long fingers skimmed my cheeks and settled an unruly lock of hair behind my ear.
"It's been getting worse," I answered sheepishly, waking up. "I nap at the Keepers after Rose and I swim. I always do my laps in the water first, though."
I'd been exhausted for a long while, but never thought to tell them. Damien was furious they had not been more attentive. It was so obvious. They had been focused on Arnold's family and Tyle's family and ignoring their own.
I was sleeping the way I did every time I was pregnant. My men were upset they had not noticed. They were even more upset they didn't know it was because the children weakened me. It would have been better if they'd done as Nu-reeh wanted and waited.
"Nu-reeh wants us in the mountains," Damien said, "but we do not leave today. She does not want us to travel in the dark, which we would have to do if we left now. We leave tomorrow."
"It is very strange," Christof said settling on a chair across from me. "We are to be escorted by four other families of Warriors to the cabin. You will rest there overnight and the other families will watch the cabin. In the morning the other men leave and the women will escort us to Nu-reeh's home mountain."
That was odd. The convoy made sense with the disappearances, but the staying overnight did not. We'd never broken travel to the mountains into a two day event.
"Oh no," I moaned pitifully, "I hope she isn't putting us in a cave again."
I flopped unceremoniously back down on the chaise and the men chuckled. Evan picked up my feet and then pulled them across his lap as he sat down.
"I doubt it," he said seriously rubbing the soles soothingly. "Nu-reeh has become unduly interested in your comfort. She even requested we bring cushions so you could rest during the transport ride."
Odd for the men, but not for me. I told them about cars and how humans sat to travel in them. The men shrugged and stated Nu-reeh must want me to act like we are in a car.
I spent the day relaxing. Damien called off the House Cleaners and I just rested in our apartments. Most of the day I slept, I was exhausted.
Damien and his Brothers apologized for lying to me during lunch. It had never been their intention to cause me pain; they only wanted to protect me.
"The sadness the breeding caused you was too strong and we feared you would break again," Christof said solemnly. "We wanted to protect you."
I shook my head and picked at my plate absently.
"The truth is important between us," I told him. "You can't tell me I'm free and still make all my decisions for me."
They didn't understand and I knew the root of their confusion. In their hearts they didn't believe I was strong enough to be free the way they were. My family still had my position caught somewhere between slave and free, but not entirely either.
After lunch they left me to go talk to Tyle and his Brothers. When they got back they told me the young men were upset their mentors had to leave for a time, but Damien had promised to return. He asked the young men to continue to do extra work and gain strength. We would return and expected them to be ready when we did.
We'd trusted Tyle's family with a lot of knowledge about the outside world. Nothing we ever said to them leaked out. They were loyal and discrete. Damien told me that's what made him decide to trust them with our greatest secret.
In hushed tones outside the view of the cameras in the Children's area Damien had told them some women could be trusted. The boys had been right and the world was not what it seemed. He'd told them if a young woman named "Hannah" or "Kennedy" wanted them to go somewhere, they should go. There was a life beyond these walls and it was better than what we had here. The boys had solemnly swore to keep the secret and heed the advice if they ever had need of it.
There were boots the men preferred and other things they liked to have. Those things were packed up to take with us to the mountains. We decided to risk taking Kennedy's pad with us.
"No one can see this," Christof told me seriously. "We will hide it in the sleeping area of our lodgings. Your friends cannot be told about this."
Damien made me swear I understood that the pad could be dangerous. He knew it could burn and made me swear to throw it in the fire if anyone got too close. No one could find this secret.
"I understand now," I told them. "Some things must be kept in the family. I would not endanger you all or my daughters."
It was the truth. I'd learned a lot about how to keep a secret. There were just things I could not go blabbing about. The family came before everything else. This secret protected Hannah, Kennedy, and all of us; there was no way I would not keep it.
The men were satisfied and continued to pack while I sat and watched.
I was upset about this unexpected pregnancy, but I knew my family had done this out of love. It was a misguided attempt to protect me from the pain of a forced conception. I mourned the larger problem and wrestled internally with how to handle it. They still did not see me as an equal.
Still, for all their faults, Damien and his Brothers cared deeply for me. I cared for them, too. I wished that one day we could love one another equally. It seemed that time was a long while off.
We played a card game in the evening and went to bed early. The next morning as we ate our morning meal there was a knocking at the door.
I was surprised by a guest this early. Fredrick and his Brothers greeted Damien and strode in. It was evident the men did not know why Fredrick was here either. Damien and his Brothers were polite, but indicated they had ordered nothing recently.