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Sabra is captured, to become a slave for the warlike Kirabi. She and some other young women of her race, the Vastara, are taken by the frustrated warriors whose own powerful, muscular women have long ago lost interest in sex except for the minimum necessary to reproduce.

They were once all one tribe, the First Tribe, but grew apart over many, many generations, with the Vastara, the spiritualist and thinkers, becoming smaller and weaker while the Kirabi became stronger, taller, broader and more muscular. The custom of the Kirabi of taking lesser intelligent races on the planet as slaves, even as sex slaves, became unacceptable to the Vastara, and centuries before Sabra was born they separated and found their own way of life far away. Now, it seems that Sabra and her friends will be forced to serve the desires of the Kirabi men – and the Kirabi women – but a very special bond develops between her and the warrior who captured her.

Dasheen had waited a week, hiding at the edge of the forest on the other side of the valley. The Kirabi were restless and bickering among themselves as to the soundness of the mission, and they grumbled about the foolishness of the improbable quest. Then, one morning, the Vastara walked out from the trees through the pre-dawn mist, onto the tall grass.


“They still exist,” Masan whispered in awe. It had been many, many years since a Vastara was sighted. Most in their generation thought the tribe was a myth, or surely extinct. Every other known tribe had been conquered, and they traded their safety with the Kirabi for whatever the fierce tribe commanded.


The other tribes had slowly absorbed the addition of meat into their diet. They did not work off the added sustenance, and the added fat gave them a more substantial physical structure. Their backs and chests broadened, and their thighs and arms thickened for traveling long distances and carrying supplies and possessions.


Only the Kirabi dared to harness the banta and tame them to ride. The jagged teeth and clawed front feet of the beasts were razor sharp, and it required the speed and strength of the Kirabi to capture them. Once a warrior had trained his animal, it remained loyal to him alone. The claws and teeth worked like machetes, thrashing through overgrown vegetation… or enemies… and clearing a path without stopping.


“On the ready,” Dasheen ordered. The men beside him were paired off, with fifteen-foot nets spread between them. They were tied to the saddles of their bantas and fisted in one strong hand. Dasheen noticed the fixed stare of his brothers, some swiping their tongues across their lips in excitement.


This was the first capture for many years, and although they would not be conquering the tribe, they would be acquiring new slave women. The men had seen the petite, alluring women outlined across the meadow. Even from the distance, they could see these females did not have the bulky shapes of the captives they already possessed.


The first of the gatherers broke out onto the meadow and Dasheen raised his arm, holding the ambitious riders back. “We wait until our brothers emerge from the trees. If not, the women will see the trap and turn back towards the forest. Our nets will be useless.”


The bantas, sensing their riders’ impatience, began pawing the grass with their hooves. More women ran in panicked terror, beginning to group together. Dasheen narrowed his eyes, trying to see across the distance. It was true. The Vastaras’ hair color was like a rainbow, with browns and yellows instead of the bluish black shared by the tribes they knew. Dasheen wondered if the stories of the colorful eyes would be accurate. His cock began to get thick, pushing his resolve to hold his beast riders back.


Perhaps twenty gatherers were gliding through the grass, trying to move sideways when they saw Dasheen and his file in front of them. The Kirabi chasing them, smoothly closed ranks on the edges, funneling their tiring run straight towards the nets.


Dasheen smiled, his white teeth shining against his tanned face and showing through his trimmed black beard and mustache. He drew his arm down. “Go, beast riders,” he yelled. With triumphant cries, the men rode forward, dipping their nets low and scooping two or three gatherers in their mesh.


Sabra had burst out onto the grass, sure she would feel the claws of a banta tearing through her spine at any moment. She had made it close to the shifon tree with only Anali managing to make it further. It had done her no good, as Sabra caught the terrifying sight of a giant on the back of a beast and close on Anali’s heels. The panicked woman ran towards Sabra, and the two of them tried to reach the rest of their tribe.


The beast riders did not stop them from trying to group together, but all efforts to get around the bantas and head back to the forest were quickly diverted. They were being herded further onto the meadow, further than Sabra had ever gone.


“Oh, Mother of Life,” Sabra sobbed. Anali began wailing beside her, gulping in tired breaths. The two women watched a line of beast riders galloping towards them with huge nets spread. Several women screamed as they were scooped up. Sabra caught sight of two such captures before she twisted to the side to escape.


Rough hemp swept under her feet, lifting her as a banta passed within inches of her face. Anali rolled into her as the net closed, being drawn tight at the top by a rope threaded through the mesh. “Your knife,” Sabra screamed. Her own sobs were drowned out in the chaos. Her trembling hand worked frantically at the thick vines, sawing jagged cuts while the net basket swung between the beast riders.


“I dropped it,” Anali cried. “It fell when we were scooped up.”


Sabra could not get a steady stroke on a vine to cut through, and her other arm was twisted behind her and pinned by Anali’s back as they were crushed together. It seemed too soon, when the bantas stopped and their net was lowered to the ground. Now, the knife was caught under Sabra’s own weight and useless to even raise to cut her throat.


Sabra could hear the cries of victory over the fearful wailing of her friends. It was several moments before the cheering died down. Sabra stared through the vines at a giant on a banta lifting the green and black horn of a kilara and blowing the hollow echo of triumph across the plain.


A sinking feeling of despair chilled her. Felana would return to the Vastara with the tansas safe, and there would be a ritual of loss in the young gatherers’ honor that would last several days. There would be no attempt to rescue them, as the Vastara had neither the skills nor weapons for such an exercise. Sabra and her captured group of gatherers would become another Vastara legend.


“Watch for their knives,” a deep voice boomed, but Sabra could not turn her trapped body to see its source.


Dasheen had warned them many times that the harvesters carried knives. He was not worried that the beast riders might be injured, but he was extremely concerned the frightened women might prefer an honorable sacrificial death to a position of captive.


Sabra felt a strong hand wrap around the arm trapped between her and Anali. A strap of leather was looped around her wrist and cinched tight. The beast rider gripped her other arm, and Sabra fought to hold her blade. Before she could strike at the man… or herself… it was plucked from her fingers and tossed onto the grass in front of her. Sabra shook in fear as her other wrist was tied, and they were latched together behind her.


Anali was wailing, and Sabra could tell by the tugging that she was being secured in the same manner. The net was loosened on the top, and then it was spread flat on the grass around them. Sabra was too shocked to move. The glimpse she had dared of the beast riders was terrifying. A fleeting thought of a nice boring life with Zifan melted away.


It had already been decided that Dasheen and his troop of beast riders, would have first selection of their captives. Several of the men would not be honored with a slave, but the exhilarating chase was worth the trip north while the winds were still cool.


Dasheen dismounted and his banta stayed close, searching the ground for veran. “Raise them so that we might see these elusive creatures.”


Sabra felt a hand grip the lashing binding her wrists, and another threaded through her long hair. She was raised to her feet, and she tried to control her buckling knees while she stared at the Kirabi beast riders. Their leader, at least she decided the red emblem on his vest declared him to be, was walking down the line of terrified women, studying them. Anali’s legs did give way, and the man behind her held her up by her blonde braid.


When Dasheen was in front of them, Sabra stared straight ahead, directly at the emblem on his vest. No way was she going to lift her eyes and risk fainting. She was already quivering so hard that her teeth were chattering, even under the hot afternoon sun.


Dasheen was delighted to see the colored hair and eyes. Over generations, the trait had bred out of the Kirabi. At first, he expected his decision to be difficult, and then he saw a flash of fire in one of the nets. There was only one with this flame colored hair, and he knew that would be the captive he would select. He walked down the line, observing all of the Vastara. Like his brothers, he was amazed by their small size and womanly shape. His fingers itched to caress their curves, and his cock pressed hotly against his leather breeches.


At last, he stood in front of the fire siren, basking in her fear. “Raise your eyes, girl,” he demanded.
Barnes & Noble


Posted August 11, 2011

A Great, Sweet Story! Not like the picture!

I liked this book, but not as much as Harvesting Rue (which made me laugh alot!). However, it has an intersting twist in the plot, with everyone having their own agenda and at the basis young men like the young girls!

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