tagSci-Fi & FantasyA Slave to the Servants Ch. 34

A Slave to the Servants Ch. 34


Welcome back, Lit!

As always, many thanks to Steve150177 for his tireless efforts to make the story better. The finished draft is always better than the original!

I hate to do it, but the moms I know tell me I should...

I apologize because the next chapter will be out at the end of June. I should be stoned for keeping the last several chapters like this, but I don't think I'll be in any condition to have a hobby for several weeks. My delivery is scheduled for Thursday - which is about a week sooner than initially planned. The time has just run out.

Most of the last chapters are at least partially written, but they need work. I thought I could get it done, but I'm just not that fast. The story will absolutely NOT be left hanging - that makes me nutty. I do hope you all return to read the ending!

Please vote and comment and again - I apologize for the hold up. I know it's no consolation to those who enjoy the story, but I think my little girl will be worth it!

Thank you! DW

Chapter 34

We walked up the Administrator's steps and marched into their hall. It felt a little like the first day as I approached the head of the room, but today I had no fear. Gunth's family stood with Hassar and Reed staring at us with obvious frustration and irritation. The other Administrators stood at their tables busily working. They tried to ignore us and failed. My stomach was quite the attention getter.

Hannah and Ra stood to the side. I heard Hannah's shocked sounds as she saw how truly large I'd gotten. I looked like a woman at least seven months pregnant, but it had been nowhere near long enough for me to look like that.

Kennedy and her Sisters entered behind Rose and me. They stood to the side, as though waiting for something. This was not their battle, so I was glad they were letting us fight it on our own.

"Children," Hassar announced formally, "must be planned for carefully. We do not encourage unsanctioned breedings in our camp."

"Moreover," her Sister, Reed, continued, "if this breeding occurred with the men we think it did, that is even worse. You were forbidden to have contact with your former owners-"

Rose interrupted and the sound of her voice carried. "Only YOU," she said with great authority, "still call them owners. They do not think of themselves that way and neither do we. You are unaware of what has been happening in your camp, Administrators."

"I am not unaware of what has been happening in this camp, Rose," Reed answered sharply. "You were tricked and trained. We thought you were learning freedom from us. It is evident neither of you have learned anything!"

Rose snorted and lay her hand over the hilt of her sword. It was clear she was pointing out her obvious changes.

"I have had other options," Rose said blithely. "I talk with many men and I made my choice. Basin and his Brothers have made mistakes, but they have atoned. We enjoy each other and I wish to be with them."

The sound of foot steps got my attention and I turned to see Damien's family and Basin's family come into the hall. They were running and looked worried.

"You defied us," Hassar said simply, addressing the men. "We invited your families to experience freedom and you have kept a slave-"

I shouted, but didn't mean to be so loud. "I - AM - NOT - A - SLAVE!"

The undercurrent of the men's feelings flowed through me and I felt their pride. I was strong and powerful, certainly a good addition to the family.

"We will separate you permanently," Reed said cooly and I shook my head at her.

"No, you won't, it isn't your place to make my decisions for me. I am not a slave to anyone. Besides that, I am carrying a female and she needs her male breeder. I will not leave these men. They have learned to respect me and love me. Send us out of your camp if you wish, but don't think you have the power to separate us."

Rose spoke next and what she said stunned me. "You can't separate mated creatures, anyway. It wouldn't do any good. No matter the distance or the space you put between us, we are bound together. As a family, we are joined."

I turned to look at Rose and she smiled that calm smile she had. I had kept private the bond I shared with my family, even from her. It would have seemed like bragging to tell her what we had, but apparently Rose and her family had the same thing. I should have asked.

"We are not so different," Rose continued, "Paterians and humans. I am part of this family now and I will NOT leave them."

The Administrators all made a variety of sounds. Humans didn't do that sort of thing, only Paterians did. They thought Rose was lying about having a mate bond. Before Rose or I could correct the Administrators, Kennedy barged into the fight.

"A mate bond with a human is more than possible," Kennedy said putting her hands behind her back and walking between us and the Administrators. "We know humans share many of our traits. It is not impossible. In fact, my Sisters and I have long thought this a possibility. I will tell you why."

The Administrators looked livid, but talking out turmoil in the camp was always how it was done. Kennedy's calm demeanor and level speech got their attention. She was handling this correctly.

"We noted how quickly Mama grew," Kennedy said. "It is unusual for human fetal growth and only matches the rate of growth in one of our mountain cousins."

Kenned paced casually like a lawyer in a courtroom. She talked about each of Damien's Brothers in turn and discussed their unique family tree. My daughters had put a lot of thought into Damien's family's genealogy for some reason.

"You will note," Kennedy continued, "that Mama, my female breeder, has not seemed overly distracted these last few moon cycles."

No one cared. The Administrators were still frustrated and angry as Kein placed a hand on my belly. He smiled as I looked at him. Kein rubbed the baby inside gently. Family was always cherished. Any amount of trouble was worth this.

Kennedy would not be ignored, though. She snapped her fingers and demanded attention.

"You all talk to Armant and his family. I know you have surreptitiously kept a watch on these females. No one has ever told you they seemed...strange or confused. Am I correct?" Kennedy asked pointedly.

Hassar looked like she wanted to roll her eyes, but she politely answered we had seemed fine, then added, that was not the point right now. Kennedy disagreed. It was the point, she was building her case.

"Carrying a female of our species is difficult for a female human," Kennedy interjected. "The influx of the mens' collective mind is quite disruptive. Mama has done it twice and been very bothered both times. My birth sister, Hannah, can tell you that when Mama carried me, she was impossible to talk to."

The Administrators looked to my oldest and she begrudgingly agreed with Kenndy, even Ra agreed. I had been quite distracted when I carried Kennedy. The older girls told the Administrators how I'd fade in and out of conversations as the men's thoughts invaded my mind. It seemed like I was present one moment and gone the next. It had been hard to ignore.

"But not this time," Kennedy finished. "Mama is growing more rapidly than normal and she has been calm and focused the entire time. It has been very rare for her to have those moments where she loses focus. My Sisters and I believe this is because of the mate bond she shares with Damien and his Brothers."

The conversation made no sense to me, but I saw Hassar suddenly furrow her brow. Reed did the same thing and I heard murmured conversation among women in the hall.

"This time is faster?" a woman said from the side.

I had met her briefly and knew her name to be Ganta, she was an Administrator, but not with the same authority as Hassar and her Sister.

"Much faster," Dara said. "By the look of things now, we believe the offspring will be of T'vailk Mountain heritage."

"It isn't possible," Reed said firmly. "What you claim is not something that can happen. Ciara has merely been carrying a child longer than you have known."

Kennedy's teeth showed as she smiled. "I know when this started," she said. "The day Abram's family was saved from death. I know about humans and I know about Paterians. That stomach is too large to be anything other than female and of T'vailk heritage."

My men didn't know what the point of this conversation was and neither did I. Whatever Kennedy was saying was very interesting to the Administrators in the room, the rest of us were confused.

"Kennedy, I don't understand your point," I finally addressed her.

"Females of T'vailk heritage," Kennedy said with flourish, "will not be conceived outside of a mate bond. We don't know why, but only men with T'vailk Mountain heritage are born from men in the compounds. In the camps, only two Sisters of this line have been born to a mated family."

I didn't say anything and just nodded. That was interesting, but I wasn't sure of what her point was. She seemed quite sure of herself as she talked. The Administrators were starting to look less angry and more puzzled.

"Do you need to sit?" Kein asked softly putting a hand on my lower back.

I really did and wan't surprised he'd picked that up. My feet and back were a little sore. The rapidity of this pregnancy had not given me much time to adjust to my body's demands. Still, it seemed impolite to sit in front of the Administrators.

Bane huffed and smiled before turning to the side. The Administrators should be respected, but family came before them any day. I needed to sit for my comfort and my family had no issue catering to my needs. Bane brushed past several men and picked up a chair, bringing it back to me.

I was settled comfortably as Kennedy continued her talk about what sounded like genetics to me. My men stood calmly around me as we watched our daughter make her point. This had become her show entirely. We were watching just like everyone else was.

Much of what Kennedy said, we didn't understand, but it didn't matter. What I'd told the Administrators was the truth. I would not be separated from my family again. I'd rather leave this camp.

A rustle of feet came from behind us as several men entered. It was Mund and his Brothers with several of our friends. The men walked boldly forward and stood behind Damien after clasping my men on their shoulders and me on mine. The symbolism was not lost on me. Our friends were coming to our defense and it made me smile.

I kept an ear out and men continued to enter and stand with our families. The men that came were all friendly with us and had seen the change in all of us. They knew that Rose and I were not slaves to our respective families and they were not owners. We had made this choice because we wanted to be together.

The push and shove behind me became louder and I turned my head to see Armant and his Brothers striding purposefully through. The younger men either stepped aside or Armant moved them bodily. The old Warriors were as resolute as I'd ever seen them. Our coworkers walked in front of me and I saw the concern on their faces.

"You want this?" Armant asked me firmly, interrupting Kennedy at the front of the room. "This wasn't forced on you? You are safe with us here. We will protect you if this is not what you want."

I smiled and took in the concern on our coworker's faces. "I love them, Armant. I've forgiven them and we have moved on. I most certainly want them."

After assessing it was also what Rose wanted, Armant grunted as he and his Brothers took a spot beside me facing the Administrators. They stood for my right to decide this on my own.

Kennedy finished her monologue, finally. Her point was that if we had truly bonded, then there was no way our men thought of us as slaves anymore.

"They have all changed," Kennedy had announced at the end. "The women have found their independence and their strength. The former slavers have atoned for their bad behavior and put that way of thinking behind them. While these relationships are not what you wanted to see happen, it is what the individuals involved wanted. We must respect that choice."

The Administrators didn't seem to want to believe her, but the camp felt differently. Ratru's and Arik's families had showed up and stood next to Rose. Even Rayn and his Brothers came inside and made their stand with us. We had a right to our own choices, even if it wasn't the popular option.

The Administrators watched Rose and me for a moment before Hassar spoke.

"We do not want you with slavers," she said stoically and I sighed taking Kein's hand in mine.

It didn't matter what they thought and I told Hassar so.

"I appreciate all you've done for us, but we won't stay apart. This isn't your choice to make. It is ours. If we can't be together here then we will leave this camp and find another that will accept us."

The Administrators just stood and stared at us all. They didn't want to let us go. Hannah and Kennedy had worked hard to get this camp ready for a human. Other camps were less safe. Letting Rose and me leave may be our death sentence.

"This is an impasse, then," Damien said, voicing the thoughts I had.

"Quite the stalemate," Basin agreed while nodding.

Hassar and Reed cocked their heads and Gunth crossed his arms. "What are you two saying?" Gunth asked the men curiously. "You both used words I do not understand."

Damien was surprised as he looked at me and shrugged.

Basin looked at Rose and smiled. He explained the word he'd used was in English and he had not meant to offend. Rose's way of looking at this situation was so clear. We were not coming to an accord. The English word was so clear in her mind it was hard to ignore.

"As I stated already," Kennedy said happily, "they are bonded. That word Basin used refers to a game on Earth. When you reach that point in the game, neither side can win."

The Administrators were a cross between angry and surprised, but that single word Basin had used changed their minds. They looked to Hannah who had to admit the word was English and it had been used correctly. There was no way Rose had taught them an English word to fit this exact situation. She was bonded to her family.

Somehow, someway we had managed to connect our minds across the species barrier. It was strange and unheard of, but it did attest to the respect the men must feel. It was impossible to bond with someone that you didn't respect. Everyone knew that much was true.

The decision was made and the Administrators weren't entirely happy with it, but I was thrilled. Rose and I were free to make our choices and stay where we were. The former slavers respected us and we loved them.

"And what of Fuji?" Hassar asked in a resigned fashion. "Will she also be returning to her...family."

"Hardly," Stayne snorted from along the far side wall. He and his Brothers were here to watch the proceedings, but had not really taken part. "She comes to us and uses us when she has sexual needs, but we have no other attachment. Fuji is entirely a free creature."

Hassar promised to talk to Fuji. The Administrators didn't like the way Stayne described his relationship with her. A coupling was something both sides should be agreeable to. Stayne made it sound like he and his Brothers were at Fuji's disposal.

"Go back to your chores," Gunth ordered to the general crowd once Hassar was done talking. "Get everything settled before nightfall."

"And sanctions for the unplanned pregnancy?" Kein asked as the men behind us started to disperse.

Gunth's eyebrows shot up and I knew we'd used a word he didn't know.

"The new child," Damien clarified. "We created a child without the Administrators' consent. In Ciara's native language the word is pregnancy. Our owners never taught us the Paterian word, we have always used the human equivalent. What are our sanctions?"

I shook my head and smiled. My men were always willing to take punishment they felt they deserved. Now was no different.

"Go to the evening meal," Gunth said gruffly. "You already take the jobs I would send you to do if I wished to sanction you. You have taken your punishment already. My only warning is I do not want this...situation to cause distress in the camp."

I shrugged and smiled at my men as I stood. The day had been a strange mix of stressful and exhilarating. In addition, I had missed the midday meal. A nice, quiet evening meal would suit me fine. I was hungry and I didn't feel all that well right now.

"Hannah," Damien called, "will you come sit with us later in our rooms? Perhaps we could talk?"

My oldest was livid. I wasn't quite sure exactly why. She glared at Damien and huffed off with Ra right behind her. Their talons practically dug into the stone as they stalked away. They had no intention of speaking to any of us right now. It made me sad.

"We will join you, Uncle," Kennedy said, smiling as she strode past. "My Sisters and I wish to feed, but we will return to your rooms later. Many congratulations to all of you on the pregnancy."

Damien and his Brothers murmured thanks to Kennedy as she passed. We were all curious about her impassioned speech. Whatever she had said must have had some weight to it. We would have to ask her later.

It was habit the way I traveled with my family. Damien at the lead and me following, surrounded by his Brothers. We started to walk that way and Kein realized what it would look like. Before we had made it out of the Administrators suites I was walking next to Damien as the family followed.

The hallway was crowded with men heading to the evening meal. Unlike usual the bustling hall was quiet, though. The only sound was the tread of boots on stone. It was unnerving.

"So," a strange man announced loudly sidling up next to us, "what now? Is she back to being your bed slave full time? Will you put your slave bands back on her?"

"No," I stated firmly before Damien could answer, "I am a free woman. I just happen to enjoy spending my free time with Damien and his Brothers."

The man had a mop of dark brown hair and thick stripes. He was really angry, as was his family. I saw the hint of their fangs as they threatened to drop. These men wanted to fight.

"Listen, buddy," I said stopping in my tracks and putting up my hands, "Damien and his Brothers are very special to me. I get that you don't understand our relationship, but it is not what you think. None of us should have to justify this to you. It isn't your business."

The men stood staring at me and I felt my family's desire to put my fragile body behind theirs. A fight was looming in the crowded hall and I stood at the center of where it would be. Grabbing me and moving me may infuriate the other men, so Christof was ready, but not moving for now. A free woman would stand where she wanted to stand, even if it was dangerous.

"What," the dark hair man asked, "is bu-ddy?"

Unbidden, English was sneaking back into my vocabulary.

"Friend," Bane answered calmly, "it is a word from her native language for friend."

"How do you know it?" the man's Brother asked.

Damien spoke and explained that we had a bond. It was stronger now because of the little girl growing in my belly. Even without that we had a mate bond, Damien and his Brothers had access to my knowledge.

I bristled at the conversation and crossed my arms impatiently.

"Our mate bond is not his business," I snapped angrily and loudly. "It isn't anyone's business except ours!"

Kein's hand smoothed down my back. I was being quite temperamental right now. The family had a reputation for steady reserve and they really wanted me to be like that, too. I'd been erratic all day.

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