tagNonConsent/ReluctanceDaughter of Ziva Ch. 01

Daughter of Ziva Ch. 01


Hello all, a little preamble before you begin. This is a work of non-consent/reluctance fiction, so if that isn't your fancy, skedaddle. It is set in a medieval time frame. I happen to be using Slavic references and names for the most part and will be filling you in on things you might not understand as the story progresses. This is my first story, so constructive criticism would be lovely!

All characters are over 18.


Sienna took a deep breath, feeling the crisp ocean air filling her lungs, and smiled. The saltiness of the air and the caws of the seabirds felt nostalgic, even though she had only been away for half a year. There was a bit of sand between her toes even though the beach was a couple hundred feet away. She didn't need to go any closer, she could see it from the bluff she stood on. The waves were calm, just trying to lure unsuspecting swimming into the monstrous depths in Sienna's opinion. She couldn't see it, but she knew the undertow was still there. It had been there when she had been 7, and again when she was 16, and it would be there again now that she was 25. Only this time, she wasn't as willing to test out the waters - literally.

A speck cleared the horizon in her peripheral vision. Her eyes flicked to it, expecting it to disappear. There were plenty of animals in the sea, and when one big enough jumped that far away it created the same speck. It didn't disappear. She watched it for a minute, and at no point did the speck go underwater and resurface. Sienna frowned. She ran farther up the hill, to the cliff that jutted out above the sea. Her strong legs carried her quickly. The skirt she had decided to wear hampered her just enough to annoy her.

She hiked the two layers of her skirt up to her thighs as she sprinted up the hill, throwing herself to the ground a couple feet from precipice. She wiggled on her stomach, dislodging any rocks beneath her, knowing she may need to get comfortable. Sienna wasn't moving until she knew what that tiny moving dot was.

Her stomach lit up with excitement. Maybe she was about to discover a new animal. If the Mother was good, it would come to land and be large and slow. Something that could feed and clothe her village for the coming cold season. Last time the cold had struck, Sienna had found the little one that had frozen overnight. She couldn't help but feel like if she had hunted for just a bit longer, the child would have been fat enough to survive the night. It hadn't been her fault, there were more hunters that could have done the same, but she still felt a small rock in her throat whenever Sienna walked by the spot she had found her.

It took about half an hour for the figure to take shape, and by the time she understood what she was seeing, she was halfway down the hill sprinting for all she was worth. Sienna's village was at least a ten minutes run away, and she knew every second she wasted was a second their fate was sealed. Though the six months away she had spent their island scouting for new food had been a disappointment, she thanked the Mother for all the running she had done.

Grandma will know what to do. It's not over. Grandma will know. Sienna chanted every variation she could in her head, but that didn't stop the panic bubbling in her chest.

Sienna flew into her village at full speed, her skirt hiked all the way up her legs, dashing past the children playing and the hunters practicing their sparring footwork. A couple women gasped as she pushed through them as they walked. "Sienna!"

She ignored them, skidding down the pathway to her hut. Her home was old but built with stones, so it was one of the few that didn't have to be repaired every storm season. Her grandmother had built it with a toddler, her mother, on her hip. Tears blurred in her eyes. Would they have to leave their homes?

Sienna shouldered the driftwood door open. Her mother was near the fire, peeling potatoes. "Mother, where is Grandma?"

Her mother looked at her and gasped. She must have looked a mess. "Sienna? What's wrong-"

"Grandma!" Sienna ran to her favourite room, the room where her Grandma kept the book and the two comfiest chairs in all of the village. There was a wood shelf that held small knickknacks her mother and Sienna had gathered throughout their lives. She reached past them, to the back of the shelf, and grabbed the one and only book she had ever seen. The small sentimental things on the shelf scattered and she slammed the book onto the dirt floor. "GRANDMA!"

"Sienna, what is it?"

A quiet voice filled the room. Both her Grandma and Mother stood at the threshold of the room, staring at her with a deep concern in their eyes. Sienna flipped through the book viciously, with little regard to the antique paper and irreplaceable drawings within.

"I was at the sea, and I saw a speck. It was that thing you told us about Grandma-"

Her Grandma kneeled one knee at a time in front of Sienna. "What did I tell you about?"

Her panic was making her words stick in her throat. Instead, she found the sketch and flipped the book so her Grandma and Mother could see. Sienna's Mother's eyes filled with tears as she covered her mouth. Her Grandma's jaw clenched and fear scored across her face.

"A boat, Sienna. That is a boat."

"Voivode, we've spotted land!"

Rorik swung up onto the deck, met by Casmir, his Second. And there it was.

It was but a small blip, but he could already see the tall cliffs and the mountain that sat in the background. This was it. A thrill raced through him. He had been right.

"You were right," Casmir said, a small smile gracing his usually dour face. Rorik said nothing. He didn't need to. When he sent word back with the ship he came on and the Chief came, he would be given all he wanted.

He had spent years digging through the scrolls of the neighbouring villages he had claimed for his Chief, and he had finally succeeded in finding what he needed. It had been hell trying to convince the Chief to give him all of the resources the journey the required, the men especially, but when given the proof Rorik had found it had been hard to deny him. Especially with the clan growing thin. The growing desperation had been mounting since Rorik was a child, and he refused to let his clansmen perish. All the men on the boat felt the same.

"Get the horses ready," Rorik told Casmir. "When we land, I leave with within the hour. The men need to hunt and prepare for the journey back. You will be on that ship when it leaves."

Casmir's smile disappeared and fell to a look that was damn near affronted. Rorik was too pleased to care. "Listen, brother, you are the only person I trust to carry our clans future back to it." Casmir's face was dour again, but less affronted than before.

"You better be right about how many there will be," Casmir said, but nodded and left to give orders.

"Nikolai!" Rorik yelled, not taking his eyes away from the growing land mass. A man about half a foot shorter than Rorik clomped up the stairs behind him, stopping on his right side. "You and Casmir will come with me when we land."

Rorik caught the grin spread across the hunters face as he bowed his head. "Of course, Voivode."

The two men were silent as they watched. The deck behind them was filled with a different energy now. The men knew what Rorik hoped to find once they landed. Before, the men had done their jobs, sure, but with the energy of men unsure of whether or not all of their long days were worth it. They had all volunteered for the mission, but some of them out of desperation more than anything.

Rorik had not been offended by their uncertainty. Even his men, who knew and trusted him with their lives, were unsure about travelling farther into the blue than any generation before had. Rorik himself had been struck with the same unpleasant feeling, having brief moments where the blue sea that surrounded him had told him he had sent himself and all the men who followed him to die. The moment would pass after he reminded himself of the evidence he had found; of the confession he had wrenched out of the Dojil man. He was right. He was right.

Sienna's mouth was in a tight, angry line as she clutched her bow in a small nook that overlooked her village. She was on the north side, the side that would afford her the best view if they came the way she had come into the village today. Yasim had sent the five hunters who volunteered to stay to specific points surrounding the village so they would be able to watch and ambush if she ordered so. Sienna couldn't help but feel angry at her vantage point. She wasn't their best sparrer, but she was damn good, so she felt slapping a bow in her hands and telling her to only engage at a distance was a little insulting.

On top of that, watching the confused and scared families she had grown up around choose what to take with them was awful. They were being asked to leave everything they ever knew behind and walk until they couldn't anymore. The families did it, trusting their elders and knowing the possibilities of who might be on that ship.

It had been two generations since her grandmother and the 13 other women of the Gavali clan had escaped. They had crossed the big sea, manning a ship with most of them pregnant, only a few dedicated sailors to assist them. Sienna could only imagine the months they had spent on that boat, babies being born, food growing scarce, sailing with no way of knowing where they would end up. Her Grandma didn't talk much about her time with the Gavali men, but from what Sienna had pieced together, the women there were not equal to the men. The women who were able to give birth even less so.

Sienna's grandmother had been what the Gavali called a "Daughter of Ziva". She was born with the ability to bear children to these men. When Sienna had asked why they couldn't just have babies with their wives instead of these Daughters, her Grandma had given her a soft smile and said, "No one knows, Sienna."

If Sienna were honest, she appreciated the thought Yasim had put into her position. She was the only female in the hunting team other than Yasim, and the bits and pieces her Grandma had told of life with the Gavali made her shudder. Sienna loved children, but the thought of giving birth until she died made her heartache. Not to mention the conversation she had overheard between her mother and Grandma as she packed for them to evacuate had scared the shit out of her.

A low shudder in the dirt below her feet brought her out of her thoughts. She looked up the hill, watching for the dislodging of rocks or the big shudders of the Earth that typically followed the tremors. Nothing happened, and yet the tremors continued. The sounds of hooves hitting dirt confused her. She had travelled for months and hadn't seen any buffalo. What were they doing here?

She realized the sound was off, knowing buffalo didn't travel in such small numbers. Then three men atop of beasts trotted into the village. The beasts were all a similar tan, with long muzzles and longer legs. The beasts were tall, which made the men on top of them seem even bigger. All three men looked like they cut down trees for a living, with their broad chests and strong legs. The smallest one looked stronger than any of the men in the village.

The one in the middle, though, was the biggest man she had ever seen. Just as tall as Evander, the tallest man in their village, and twice as wide. The man on the biggest man's left had hair long enough to be tied back behind his neck. Sienna swallowed the lump in her throat she refused to acknowledge was fear.

An arrow to the head will do them just the same as a smaller man, a braver voice whispered.

The men slowed to a stop inside the village, the smaller one hopping off his beast as it moved, dismounting with the grace of a hunter. They were all wearing dark leathers and all of them had massive reflective weapons on their back. How had they made those? They looked like they were made of the shiny rocks she sometimes came across in her travels. All they had managed in their village were stone weapons. The middle sized man had a long sword, the hunter had a thicker, shorter sword, and what she assumed was the leader had a hammer the size of a 12-year-old. Sienna estimated the hammer must have weighed as much as she did.

She focused her breaths to calm her heart. In through her nose, out through her mouth. Arrow through the head. Arrow through the head.

The shortest one knelt in the dirt. "They left, very recently. More than 100 of them."

Why was he talking so loud? His lack of fear lit a fire in Sienna's stomach. Arrow through the head.

The middle one spoke. "Should I go?"

The biggest one shook his head as he looked around. "No, not yet." Sienna ducked behind the rock wall as his gaze swept above the houses.

"They don't have horses from what I can see," the smallest one said. "We can catch up before the sun sets."

Sienna peeked out from the rock wall. At the same moment, Yasim stepped out from the farthest house from them. Sienna watched their reactions as they noticed her mentor. They straightened and the two smaller ones looked at their leader almost excitedly. With their focus on Yasim, Sienna stepped back to where the shadow of her nook would best hide her. She stood and nocked an arrow. She pointed it with the smallest one's head in her sights. If he was their tracker, he needed to go first.

Yasim stood with one arm behind her back and a dagger held loosely in the other hand, visible to the men. Now standing, Sienna saw her hunting party spread out to surround the three men. Yasim's voice echoed through the village. "Who are you?"

The tracker straightened and put a hand on his horse. Behind him, at the entrance to the village, Evander shot an arrow. It skimmed the hand on the horse. The man stepped back from the horse and put his hands up. Sienna kept her arrow trained on his head, wanting to loose it as she watched a smirk spread across his face. Their leader watched the exchange in a slow, unhurried way that annoyed her.

Yasim spoke again as Georgy and David stepped out about 10 feet behind her. "You are leaving, but not before we have your names and intentions."

Their leader spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. "We are from the Gavali clan."

Yasim waited a couple moments until it was clear he wasn't going to continue. "And what do you want?"

He smiled a smile that churned Sienna's stomach. It was less of a smile and more of a baring of teeth. God, she was scared. "What is your name?" He said.

"Yasim. What are your intentions?"

"Tell me Yasim, do you bleed?"

The smallest man moved and then there was a knife in Evander's chest. Sienna's responding arrow was too slow. It bounced off the leather seat of his horse as he ducked. Chaos ensued. Michal dodged as he shot as he flung arrows like he would never run out. Georgy and David charged as they brandished their spears. Sienna shot three arrows at the leader, watching as they struck off his black chest piece. He and the long-haired man spurred their horses forward, toward Yasim and the two men flanking her. Sienna couldn't hear anything but the pounding in her ears as she changed targets to the smallest man as he stepped out from his horse. She breathed, drawing her string back to her ear, following him as he moved forward. His eyes were on Yasim, Michal with a knife sticking out of his forehead behind him.

Sienna loosed her arrow. The arrow pierced through where his neck met his collarbone. His hand snapped up to meet it and he stumbled back, grasping at the arrow. The shock on his face fed her bravery. Arrow through the neck works just as well.

Her hearing came back as, for the first time in her life, she heard people fighting to kill. She threw herself over the rock wall, aiming at landing on the roof of the house below her. Sienna's sense of falling only registered as she fell through the roof and smacked into the dirt. She landed on her knees and shot up before she could sense what parts of her were hurt. She blew through the driftwood door and drew her bow, shooting at the first person she saw on a horse. She pierced the leader's arm, but that didn't stop him swinging his hammer down into David's chest. The crunch of David's bones echoed through her head.

The long-haired man had dismounted and was swinging his sword at Georgy, whose spear was in pieces on the ground. Georgy dodged as Sienna tried to get a solid target on the man trying to kill him. She heard Yasim engage with the leader as he dismounted as well. Sienna swore and ran around the horses, trying to get a better shot.

The horse didn't like that. With barely a signal it was distressed, it raised one leg and kicked out. Sienna felt a hoof connect with her stomach and she was in the air. She hit something and crumpled onto the sandy ground.

The pain was everywhere. She saw black even though she knew her eyes were open. Her lungs felt like they were curling in on themselves. She was on her hands and knees as she took short, useless gasps, trying to blink to clear her vision. Someone yelled, and then they gurgled. A body hit the ground. Praying it was one of the invaders, Sienna blinked and tried to stand. Her knees collapsed. Her equilibrium was nonexistent. She could barely sense where down was, even with her hands and knees on the ground. The noises she made were much too loud.

Her vision came back before her breath did. Georgy was on the ground, staring at her, his blood spreading on the ground he had tread his whole life. Sienna could feel herself trying to scream. Instead, a sound that resembled a dying animal came out of her mouth. The leader tossed a bleeding, unconscious Yasim on his horse and the long-haired man walked towards the man she had shot, his hair not even mused.

The leader's eyes were on her, gleaming and intense. If she could have lost more breath she would have. He started towards her, his strides long and purposeful. She couldn't tell if her perception was right, but he didn't look any smaller off of his horse. The dagger at her hip was heavy. She fought the urge to brandish it, knowing that if she had any chance at killing this giant man, it would be when he was close and distracted.

It took all of her willpower to stay on her hands on knees while he approached, her grasping breaths matching his footsteps. Staying down fought every survival instinct she had. Yasim's voice floated through her head. Men will always underestimate you. Always, always take advantage of that, no matter how much it hurts your pride. Though it was everything but her pride that hurt, she knew if he saw the knife it was the end of her.

He stopped a foot away from her. He said nothing as she sucked air into her body greedily. She looked up at him, doing her best to glare in her vulnerable position.

His face was tan, his arms littered with scars, and his light eyes bore into her from what seemed like 10 feet above her. His lips twitched at her. He moved his hand to the back of his arm and grasped the arrow stuck there. He ripped it out with a twitch of his jaw and threw it behind him.

"If only you had been a better shot, your friends might still be alive." His timbre sent shivers through her bones and his words tore out her heart.

"Tell that to your dead friend behind you," she snarled between half breaths. He bared his teeth in an odd amused expression and crouched down to her level.

"He's not dead," he said with all the confidence in the world. As she doubted herself, she bared her teeth back at him, putting her arm on her thigh as if she were catching her breath.

"He is very dead," she responded, trying to match his confidence, but her voice shook. He was looking at her like a man does a woman he knows he will have.

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