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Amazoni #25 Stealer's Price

Story ID:6967
Written by:Lisa Godin (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Serial Fiction
Location:Cleveland Ohio USA
Year:2011
Person:me
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OurEcho Preface This post deals with a mature theme or contains explicit language. While the post is not extremely violent or pornographic, it does contain language or explore a subject matter that may offend some readers. If you do not wish to view posts that deal with mature themes, please exit this post.
Amazoni #25 Stealer's Price

1999
Lisa Godin

Chapter 1
Ojah timidly poked his head out of the tepee, peering through the dissipating morning fog to check if the coast was clear. He glanced at Ohna. Unfortunately, an Amazoni man didn't have the luxury of sleeping in, having domestic chores to tend to. Ojah's first chore for today was laundry.
The lake was outside of camp, and Ojah dreaded the walk there since he feared being accosted by the warrior Coochax-oot.
For weeks, Coochax-oot had hounded Ojah, not because he was any prettier than the other Amazoni men she actively pursued, but because he was the mate of a leader--a special conquest.
Ojah hurried to the lake with his armload of laundry. Busily scrubbing his clothes with lake sand, he didn't hear Coochax-oot creep behind him.
Coochax-oot was an ugly warrior, her muscled body marred by battle wounds, a jagged scar pinching her face from the bridge of her healed broken nose down her left cheek. Daring to be different, she had shaved her head, leaving a long, greased, tawny scalplock which she had dressed with raven feathers and large white trade beads. Scarred arms folded across her chest, Coochax-oot stared hungrily at Ojah.
"I have clothes for you to wash."
Ojah, eye wide with terror, leaped to his feet.
Coochax-oot yanked Ojah toward her.
"It is foolish to fight me when you know how good I can make you feel."
"You have a mate!"
"Doe-nah cannot satisfy my needs so I have taken many Amazoni men. You are what I desire most, Ojah. The mate of a tahna knows how to please a warrior."
Ojah wrenched free of Coochax-oot's steely grip.
"Leave me alone or I will tell Ohna you pursue me!"
The scarred warrior laughed in derision.
"You are but an Amazoni man whose complaints mean nothing. Ohna will not believe your whinings about me."
Coochax-oot forcefully kissed Ojah, further aroused by his struggling. Laughing, she abandoned him.
Ojah sank weeping to his knees, too terrified to back up his threat to tell Ohna, as it would be his word against Coochax-oot's and a warrior's word always carried more weight.
Chapter 2
Ohna sat smoking her pipe as Ojah entered the tepee after hanging their wet clothes. She set aside her smoldering pipe to study Ojah as he built the breakfast fire. His eyes were red and puffy.
"You have cried."
"I had dirt in my eyes."
Ohna rested a dark hand upon Ojah's shoulder, only to have it slapped off. She scowled.
"What is wrong that you shun my touch?"
Ojah fervently stirred his stew.
"Answer me," Ohna demanded.
"Nothing is wrong," Ojah hissed.
"You cannot hide your true self behind excuses," Ohna countered. "You become nervous and short-tempered. Now you do not welcome my touch. Tell me your trouble."
Ojah stared at his bubbling stew.
"So be it," Ohna growled and stood. "As you choose to keep your heart from me, I will leave you to wallow in your misery."
Ohna angrily stormed out.
Cradling his face in shaking hands, Ojah wept.
After breaking a stubborn bay stallion, Ohna's next task was to instruct a warrior in the making of a war shield, demonstrating the toughening of the shield's hide by fire. During the lesson Ohna's mind chewed upon Ojah's disturbing behavior, and she decided to visit Medicine Woman whose wisdom and knowledge extended far beyond potions, herbs, and incantations.
The shaman put aside a refilled herb pouch as Ohna seated herself beside the fire.
"I greet you, daughter of Codot."
Ohna inclined her head slightly.
"You do not come for yourself with illness. It is a family matter."
"You see well into my heart."
Medicine Woman shrugged.
"I see many things in many people."
"I come about Ojah. For days he acts strangely. He no longer smiles and becomes short-tempered and acts as nervous as a hunted rabbit. Today he shunned my touch. For the first time we exchanged harsh words."
"You show impatience with him."
"It is hard not to."
"Ojah is torn, yet you think only about yourself."
"I did not come here to be told I am selfish, shaman," Ohna snapped.
"What did you come here for, warrior? To be told what you want to hear? I will not lie to spare your feelings when it is Ojah who suffers."
"What do I do?"
"Nothing."
"Nothing?" Ohna roared.
"The answer to Ojah's behavior will find you sooner than you think. I have nothing more to say on the matter."
Frustrated, Ohna left in a huff.
Chapter 3
Ojah occupied himself with feeding succulent grass to Appaloosa.
"Dah, Ojah," Coochax-oot hissed.
Ojah ignored the scarred warrior, preferring the crunching of the horse's chewing to the intruder's harsh voice.
Unaccustomed to being ignored, Coochax-oot slapped Ojah.
"I will wait no longer for you to come to me. Today I will have you!"
Walking toward her tepee, mulling over Medicine Woman's cryptic words, Ojah's screams pierced Ohna's thoughts, spurring her to the corral at a run with freight train velocity. Vaulting over the corral gate, she ripped Coochax-oot off the prone Ojah by her tawny scalplock.
"You will not touch Ojah!"
Coochax-oot scrambled to her feet.
"I will kill you for assaulting my mate!"
"I have no fear of you, Ohna. To fight you would be an overdue pleasure. Ojah will be mine to bed in celebration, and he will enjoy my lovemaking."
"I will meet you in the center of camp, Coochax-oot."
Hefting Ojah into strong protective arms, Ohna stalked off.
Coochax-oot hurled a defiant war cry at her rival's back.
Ohna gently eased Ojah onto silky bed furs.
"It was Coochax-oot upsetting you, Ojah."
"Yes, my warrior."
"Why did you not tell me?"
Ojah lowered his eyes.
"Look at me, Ojah."
Slowly Ojah raised his eyes.
"Your word is sacred to me."
"Coochax-oot said--"
"I do not care what she said to make you fear telling me. There is nothing I would not believe if you tell me it is so." Ohna planted a tender kiss upon Ojah's lips. "If you are bothered by anything in the future, will you tell me?"
Ojah nodded.
Ohna smiled.
"Good."
"May I ask a favor of you, my warrior?"
Ohna stood.
"Anything."
"I wish Coochax-oot's scalp."
"You shall have it. After this day, no warrior will bother you."
* * * * * * *
Ohna met her arrogant combatant in the center of camp. A braggart, Coochax-oot had made sure the people had heard of the fight. A crowd surrounded the fighters.
Scowling, growling, Coochax-oot padded around Ohna like a long-toothed cat, spicing her stalking with a challenging war cry. Unimpressed, Ohna feigned an exaggerated yawn, promoting a chuckle from the watching crowd.
Predictably, Coochax-oot roared and pounded her chest in rage.
In mocking contempt, Ohna stuck out her tongue.
Teeth bared at the insult, Coochax-oot drew her knife.
Chapter 4
Capable of defending herself barehanded, Ohna kept her knife sheathed.
Circling her hated foe, Coochax-oot repeatedly swiped her wicked blade. Ohna avoided each attack, frustrating the scarred warrior who had expected an easy kill.
Taking advantage of Coochax-oot's mindless knife-thrusts, Ohna penetrated her nonexistent defenses and slammed her in the jaw with a mighty fist. Coochax-oot collapsed onto her hands and knees. Teeth bared, Ohna kicked her opponent in the ribs with all her might. The crackle of shattered bone resonated like a thunder clap.
Screeching in agony, blood dribbling from her mouth, a bone fragment slicing a lung, Coochax-oot thudded onto her back.
Over and over the fighters rolled, Coochax-oot painfully straining to plunge her knife into Ohna's heart. In a burst of energy, she buried her blade into Ohna's massive right shoulder.
Ignoring her pain, Ohna threw Coochax-oot off her, then ripped the knife from her shoulder and tossed the weapon aside. Weakening rapidly, she straddled Coochax-oot. Nabbing her adversary's head in Herculean arms with a growl she twisted snapping her challenger's neck like a brittle twig.
Breathing hard, glistening with blood and sweat, her injured shoulder throbbing, Ohna drew her knife. Teeth bared, she sliced off Coochax-oot's long scalplock, the effort exhausting her. Staggering to her feet, plagued by waves of nausea and dimming sight, she hoisted the blond scalplock overhead. "Hear me," she shouted, "I have killed the one who assaulted and dared try to steal Ojah from me. Let her be a lesson to all not to pay the same price!"
Her arm numb, blood oozing from her sliced shoulder, Ohna sheathed her knife. Fumbling with the numb fingers of her right hand, she temporarily added the scalp to her belt cord. It needed to be dried and combed for proper presentation to Ojah.
Overcome by blood loss, Ohna collapsed.
Et-esh, Chooka, and another rushed to their tahna to transport her to Medicine Woman.
Hours later, Ohna regained consciousness. Her shoulder had been neatly stitched and marinated with a thick layer of healing salve. Ohna smiled at Ojah beside her.
"Do not tire Ohna with too much talk, Ojah."
But there were no words spoken by the grateful Amazoni man. His loving hug to his triumphant warrior spoke volumes.