The Halo Breed…
THE HALO BREED
IN THE HALOS
A WEEKEND STORY
Gus sat on his horse lightly on top of the mountain and looked down into the beautiful valley which was already shrouded with the glorious and beautiful gloomy mist so characteristic of that particular portion of Densu.
As usual, he was hit with a strong sense of déjà vu as he watched the beauty spread out below him, and for one wild moment felt the presence of his father.
The first time he had seen this valley was close to thirty years ago when, as a boy of ten years old, his father had brought him to the mountain at dusk and they had looked down into the valley together.
Gus Kukah had been terrified at that tender age. His fear had not stemmed from the valley but from the fact that the valley shared a border with that most hideous of places called the Pale Lands.
The Pale Lands was believed to be a place of evil, a place for the dead, a place where restless spirits and wicked principalities lurked, always moaning and groaning, looking for human beings to devour!
People were always being warned to keep away from the Pale Lands! Seasoned hunters who had ventured into the Pale Lands had never come back!
Once, a well-loved representative of the palace had gone missing inside the Pale Lands and a group of experienced warriors who had gone in search of him had vanished too, never to be seen again!
Since then, a great long wall of bamboo had been grown along the border separating Densua from the Pale Lands with warning signs telling citizens to keep off!
People, out of fear, had shunned the vicinity of the Pale Lands, a diabolical place that was always shrouded with a strange misty cover as if the land itself did not want to be seen and wanted to retain its privacy!
And it was this place, just in front of the bamboo wall, that Tobi Kukah, Gus’ father, had chosen to bring his young son! This was a place where people of Densua did not come to. Many had chosen to keep far away from the vicinity, but not Tobi.
And that fateful day as Gus sat on his horse beside his father, his heart beating with terror as he saw the pale mists swirling just beyond the great bamboo wall, he looked at his father with trepidation.
“That is the Pale Lands, Papa,” he had whispered as he vainly tried to keep his voice from trembling.
Tobi Kukah smiled wanly as he looked down at his son.
“Do not see the evil of the mists, my son,” he said in his deep, lovely voice. “Do not see the evil. Look closely and tell me what you see with your heart.”
And when young Gus Kukah looked, blotting out the horrors of the Pale Lands, he saw the valley for what it was: a thing of sheer beauty! The land was a lush green, the trees healthier and richer, the sheen of the lake beautifully meandering through. The place was filled with fruits and vegetables, a land rich in vitamins and minerals, the dream of every farmer.
“I see a land of milk,” Gus Kukah whispered with awe.
Tobi Kukah nodded and his hand dropped fondly down on his son’s head.
“That’s my boy,” he said gently. “For ages, people have lived in fear of the Pale Lands. Indeed, it breeds evil, son, and I won’t lie to you about it. I have spent countless nights camped out down yonder, and in the witching hour I have heard vile sounds from within that part of the land, and I have seen the vilest eyes lurking within.”
“You did?” Gus Kukah asked, and his terror slowly seeped back into his bones.
“Aye, aye, I did,” Tobi Kukah said with a chuckle. “Once I was with warriors, and in the night, they got on their horses and fled that place with their tails between their legs. But I just laughed and slumbered on!”
“Because you’re a Kukah,” young Gus said proudly.
The great man nodded his head as he looked down at his son, and his face had become serious and harsh in the golden glow of the evening sun.
“Aye, aye, son, because I’m a Kukah,” he said softly. “And you’re a Kukah breed, boy. Ordinary men have blood running through their veins…”
“But we Kukahs have fire in our veins!” young Gus Kukah said grimly through clenched teeth, and a look of pride flitted across his father’s face.
“Aye, laddie, we sure do,” Tobi Kukah said softly. “We have bloods of fire, and so we fear nothing! We soar where eagles can’t dare, and race where lions falter! That is why many men have fled from this valley, but you and I, laddie, we’re going to claim this valley and call it the Kukah Valley. Here, we will make our home!”
“Because we are Kukahs!” young Gus Kukah said proudly and grimly. “We have bloods of fire!”
“Aye, laddie,” Tobi said gently.
Gus Kukah smiled slowly in the gloom and looked around him wistfully as tears formed in his eyes. Yes, his father had been the bravest man he had ever known! Tobi had taught him the art of fighting and hunting, the art of stealth and a highly-developed intellect!
Many had thought them mad when they claimed the valley as theirs, but the two of them had taken pride to farm the valley and build their beautiful home! There had been times that Tobi Kukah had gone off to war leaving his young son alone in the valley. At first, he had suggested that Gus should go to the palace and wait for him, but Gus had refused.
After all, he was a Kukah with blood of fire in his veins. He had chosen to stay alone in the valley, much to his father’s pride and delight! Yes, it had been scary the first time. Gus had heard the horrible moans from the Pale Lands and had heard horrible sounds and movements behind his window.
But, one night, he had taken his bedding and walked all the way to the bamboo border to make camp and spend the night! The sounds had been horrible at first. He had seen the vilest of eyes peeking at him through the bamboo trees and had felt a strong inclination to get up and flee.
He had been twelve years old then. Gus had faced the bamboo wall and looked into a pair of evil green catlike eyes.
“You do not scare me!” he had said fiercely. “I am Gus Kukah, a descendant of the Kukahs, and I have blood of fire flowing through my veins! This is my home, so do your worst!”
And then he lay down again and slept!
And since then, he had claimed the valley as his!
Gus Kukah sighed and gently dug his heels into the sides of the horse and sent it galloping gently into the valley. The love of his love, Sarai, was in the house all by herself. Her mother had died after giving birth to her. Her mother had been a maid in the house of rich people and one of their sons had made the woman pregnant. When it was found out, the poor girl was thrown out and she eventually gave birth to her daughter with her last breath.
Sarai had grown up in the orphanage and had later gone to the house where her mother had been a slave, seeking her father. She had been beaten severely and thrown out with a warning to her never to return.
Sarai had been captured by slave traffickers and later sold as a slave to a cruel landowner. Sarai had been treated cruelly by this wealthy man and his family and raped severally by his uncouth sons.
Gus Kukah had been passing the wealthy man’s house on his way to see a friend when Sarai had come running out, face swollen from the beatings she had received, and she was being chased by some of the guards of the house. She had stumbled and fallen at Gus’ feet begging him to save her.
Gus had seen beyond the swollen face, the tattered garments, and her stinking body odour. He had seen the eyes of a woman in distress. His wrath had been palpable, and he had beaten the guards to a pulp.
He had stormed into the house, still furious, and beaten two of the wealthy man’s sons. Gus had threatened to summon the wealthy man to the palace for his cruelty, and the man and his wife had fallen on their knees to beg him because they knew how powerful he was, and how the king loved and respected his judgement.
Gus took Sarai out of the house that day to a physician.
Malnourished and badly-treated, she had spent several weeks receiving care. The bill had been hefty, but when Gus finally took her from the health post, there was a little bit more colour on her face and cheeks, although she had still looked emaciated.
Perhaps, even then, he had been in love with her.
He gave her to a woman who had no child of her own. Gus visited them frequently and saw Sarai blossoming into a most lovely young woman. She was hardworking and the woman who had adopted her loved her very much.
Love was incidental and undeniable between Gus Kukah and the lovely young woman.
He had sent her to the Kukah Valley once, and she had stayed.
She was that brave and told him she felt safe wherever his presence was. However, when he had to go to war or leave the valley for any number of days, she went back to the house of Madam Mary, the woman who had adopted her.
He was back from another war now.
And she was waiting for him now, he knew.
Oh, how he loved her!
Yes, he was going to marry her now and she was going to be the mother of the new generation of Kukahs.
Whistling happily, Gus Kukah descended to his valley.
He took the horse to its stable, unsaddled it and watered it down.
And then he went in to see his love!
She was standing at the entrance to the bathroom.
Her beauty, as usual, took his breath away.
There she was, a woman created with infinite care and love. Her features were dainty and precious. Every curve, groove, and point was finely-placed, turning her into a blazing beauty.
She was wearing a sheer nightdress made from the silkiest fabric, and with the lantern behind her in the bathroom, he could make out the gentle slopes of her incredible figure underneath.
Her hair was piled on top of her head and held in place with a pin so that her elfin-like face was in full relief, her round eyes in shadow as she gently raised a hand to a zipper behind her and gently pulled it down.
Her dress flitted almost in slow motion down her silky shoulders and down her hips, and a moment later she stood naked in the doorway. Gus felt his love for her exploding into a breathless blast of desire that made him choke.
He crossed the space between them in a hurry and his huge hands went to her waist and pulled her to him.
“My love,” she whispered tenderly. “I drew you a bath.”
“I took one at the palace,” he whispered, almost out of breath.
“But you rode,” she said with a sweet, gentle smile. “You sweated! First bath, then a meal, and afterwards…”
“My love for you, having missed you this much, wouldn’t allow me to follow that order,” he whispered fiercely as his lips sought hers. “Sarai! My heart craves you!”
“And not your heart alone, Gus, my love, for your desire does prod my belly deliciously,” she whispered, but her voice broke, almost in a sob, and suddenly she was kissing him back as fiercely as he kissed her. They exchanged their desires and the cravings of their flesh and her little beautiful hands moved anxiously across his clothes.
They worked the buttons and clasps in frenzy and a moment later he stood naked in front of her. His hands moved across her silky skin and gently cupped her pliant buttocks, roved across her bronzed thighs and slid gently against her moist netherlips.
She quivered mightily in his arms and at his touch as she pushed herself into him, her hands moving firmly along his girth, elongating him to a higher and mightier height. He made to lift her and carry her to the bedroom but she wound her arms around his neck and spoke fiercely against his lips.
“No, my love, here, right here!”
They kissed fiercely as he lifted her high into his arms. Her arms were strong bands around his neck and she wound her around across his lean waist, moving deliciously across his arousal and then she sighed with desire as he united their bodies. His arms were around her, holding her secure as they thrust against each other in frenzy.
She moaned gutturally as she kissed him in frenzy, moving her figure deliciously on him as they found a familiar yet exhilarating rhythm, a different cadence to the usual song, an explosive new colour in the familiar rainbow.
They gave and received with love as they raced higher and higher, straining fiercer and fiercer…thrusting, gripping, sharing and soaring!
And, as was usually the case, they hit a simultaneous wave, the strongest they had ever discovered and ridden. Her lips opened wide and she threw her head back as veins stood on her neck, her beautiful face gripped with the throes of her pleasure as her netherlips contracted and gripped him before a low scream tore out of her lips.
He grunted and held her hard to prevent himself from crashing to the floor and crushing her. His own pleasure ripped out of him and his moans of pleasure filled the room. They were tossed and buffeted in the throes of great passion for some time. Finally, the storm reached a flat terrain and they held each other. Their breaths came hard and the night air filtering through the slats of the windows cooled their frenzied skins.
Neither of them knew that even then sinister warriors were creeping through the bushes as they surrounded the building.
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