The Halo Breed…
THE HALO BREED
IN THE HALOS
A WEEKEND STORY
After a while, Gus released her long enough to reach for his slacks on the floor and retrieved a small box from it. He lifted her up again, kissed her tenderly, and carried her to the huge, beautiful sofas in the living room. He put her gently on the biggest one and slid beside her, gathering her into his arms again.
Slowly he held up the purple box in his hand.
“Enough of wars, for now, my love,” Gus Kukah said tenderly. “Time to do what I should have done a long time ago. Marry me, Sarai. Make me the happiest man on earth. Let us fill this valley with little versions of ourselves. I love you so much, with every beat of my life, and I can’t stay a moment longer if you’re not my wife!”
He pressed the catch and the box opened slowly to reveal the diamond-encrusted golden ring within.
Sarai suddenly shut her eyes tightly and tears squeezed slowly down her lovely cheeks. Her lips trembled and from the glow of the lantern, he saw that there was a real pain on her face, a pain that he did not expect at this moment! He had expected her happiness, her ecstatic joy…but this pain filled him with sudden dread!
His hand trembled and his handsome face was crushed with sudden trepidation.
“My love?” he whispered softly.
With a little cry Sarai got off the sofa and fell on her knees in front of him, then she gripped his naked thighs tightly as she bent her head.
Gus was in such emotional distress that he could hear her tears hitting the wooden floor with ear-splitting bombing sounds.
His heart, for one horrible moment, seemed to be cutting up in his chest.
“Forgive me, Gus, my love!” she whispered frantically. “I’m not fit to be loved by you, and any pain I’m going to cause you will surely kill my heart a thousand times over!”
Hands trembling, Gus Kukah slowly put the ring beside him on the sofa and looked at her with tortured eyes.
“What’s the meaning of this, Sarai?” he asked softly as he tried to keep a level head. “Make me understand what is happening here.”
Slowly she sat back on her haunches and looked at him with a tragic expression on her face.
“Alas, Gus, I cannot accept to be your wife,” she whispered painfully. “Another man asked me to be his wife…and I accepted. Please, do forgive me.”
Gus Kukah scowled painfully and came off the sofa with a little cry. Blindly, he gripped her upper arms hard.
“Sarai, surely you jest!” he murmured painfully. “Did I hear you right? Did you just kill my soul?”
“Forgive me, Gus, please do!” she whispered and got blindly to her feet. “Oh, surely the gods are going to punish me for this, Gus! Surely, for breaking the heart of a nobleman like you, death itself will not spare my dark soul! But forgive me! Find a place in your heart to forgive me!”
She turned and raced painfully towards the door.
“Sarai!” his tortured scream stopped her at the door.
She shook her head painfully.
“Gus, please, do not make this any harder than it already is!” she whispered.
He walked towards her with bleak eyes.
“Are you telling me that you love another man?” he asked harshly as he fought down his agony.
She turned to face him and her expression was desperate and pained.
“No, Gus!” she whispered. “My heart will always be for you! You’ll always be the only man I’ll ever love!”
“Then explain to me what is happening!” he bellowed painfully. “I love you! I’ve always loved you! I promised to marry you before leaving for the war, and you accepted! So, how come you have accepted another man in marriage in the month I’ve been away? Is somebody blackmailing you?”
She opened her eyes and looked at him defiantly now although tears still glittered in her eyes.
“No, my love,” she whispered softly. “The prince made me an offer I could not refuse. He offered to make me a queen. Queen Sarai of Densu.”
If anything, his face became even more pained as confusion and shock became etched sharply on it.
“Dan?” he asked with abject horror. “You accepted to marry that oaf?”
“A queen, Gus,” she whispered tragically. “He’s going to make me a queen, and that is an offer I can’t refuse!”
“A queen in how many years?” Gus exploded as he gripped her upper arms again. “Sarai, have you gone out of your mind? The king is still alive, and would be alive for several years to come! You will wait decades just to be the queen of Densua?”
“You’re hurting my arms, Gus!” she cried with pain because his huge hands were squeezing her upper arms quite hard. He released her immediately and took a step from her. “The king is sick, Gus. He has less than a month to live, and then the prince would be the new king. He will marry me next month, Gus!”
Gus Kukah looked at her with a face twisted with contempt as his jealousy took over his soul.
“Did you sleep with him?” he asked through tight teeth.
“Gus!” she screamed with shock and pain. “Have I sunk that low in your opinion? I am no fool! You’re the only man I gave my body gladly to and continue to! I let him be aware that he will see my nakedness only after the sanctity of marriage!”
“You’re hurting me, Sarai!” Gus Kukah, the proud and terrible warrior, cried plaintively. “I have never loved as I love you. You’re my life and my joy. You will betray the love I have for you just to be a queen?”
Her face hardened perceptively and she wiped tears from her eyes.
“You don’t know me, Gus!” she whispered frantically. “I grew up in an orphanage, thrown away like rubbish by a family that despised me and my mother. I am the slut daughter of a rich boy that didn’t want me! There was a great shame as I was trampled on, raped, abused! A rich landowner bought me and his sons used me like a slut, like a whore! They said I won’t amount to anything in this accursed world! But I’m going to be the most powerful woman on this land, Gus! I will have the power of a queen! And then I’ll have my revenge on all those who did me evil!”
Gus stared at her with horror!
He could not believe his ears!
How had he been so wrong? Had she always been filled with such hatred and bitterness, seeking so much to wreak havoc on people she hated?
“Your father was at best a bastard, Sarai!” Gus said passionately. “Your ordeal was regrettable, but it is over, my love! I love you! Don’t do this to me, Sarai! Vengeance isn’t worth it!”
“It is worth everything, Gus!” she screamed at him with tears once again raining down her cheeks. “My poor mother died like a mad dog soon after giving birth to me! That bastard that raped and made her pregnant is still out there having fun and treating other women with the same cruelty! My father and his parents whipped me when I showed my face in their house! You don’t know the hell I went through when I was a slave in the house you rescued me from!”
“I know, my love, I know!” Gus said as he tried to take her in his arms. “But revenge, as glamourous as it may sound, only dents our soul, my love! It is not worth your breath!”
She pushed back from his arms.
“It means everything to me, Gus!” she said in a passionate, high-pitched voice. “It means everything to me! I’ll make them pay, yes, I will!”
He stopped moving and looked sadly at her.
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