Disclaimer: This is a story of pure fiction. If you are not allowed to read this in whatever part of the world you are living, then try not to get caught, and legally you shouldn't be reading this. If you are not 18 or older then again, do not read. Lastly, this will contain gay sex between consenting people and if this offends you then click back and ask why you're on here in the first place.
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Tears trickled down the side of Kiri's face. Rich reddish brown curls, danced around a pearlescent face with hints, of a pink undertone. Eyes the colour of lightning shone with misery. His heart was breaking. Two paths had been put in front of him. Stay with his father's Clan and wait for his Royal cousin Sonny, who secretly had his heart, or leave with the man that had been father, mentor, and confidante, Kale of the Heron Bird Clan. Who was the last connection to his priestess mother from the Bird Clan and, his protector since he was a babe.
But in order to understand his dilemma further we must go back to the beginning.
Kiri was conceived during a raid. His father, Cain, was a prince of the Panther Clan. Kira was a High priestess of the Bird people. It was rare for their species to cross breed. But on the night that Cain and his followers ransacked Kira's village. She used one of the Clans oldest mating dances to capture the attention of the prince in an attempt to spare her people from murder or raping; for they were a magical race, and Cain made sure that all his men were protected against their magic.
But the dance she wove, was not made up of the magic that flowed through the veins of all in the Bird Clan. This dance was much older and therefore beyond the sigil of silver that the Panther Clan used as magical protection. With it, she seduced a Prince of the Panther clan, Cain, a bearer of the silver sigil.
In the process, her village was spared. But the cost to her was grave, for she found she was pregnant with a crossbreed Panther/Heron human child. The unborn child was to be sacrificed for her sins in desecrating the rituals that had been passed down to her. Even for the sake of the village it was sacrilege against their Goddess. There was a price to pay.
However, the turning of the seasons changes a woman's mind, as the child slowly grows within the womb. She could not kill her child; this child was conceived using one of the oldest rituals known to her people. She intuitively knew that the goddess had something in store for her child, besides an early grave.
It was here that she set in motion Kiri's destiny.
On the night of the birth, she bade her closest and dearest friend Kale, to whisk the child away to the father. As the umbilical cord was cut from the mother, the new born male babe was placed into Kales hands and the two of them fled in secret. Off to the lands of the Panther Clan they went.
Once there, Kale handed over the child to Cain and broke down sobbing, saying that the life of Kira had better not go in vain. Kira had sacrificed her life to protect her child. And to appease their Goddess, her own people spilled her blood with no child to act as sacrifice. Kale in return only asked to stay by the Childs side until he grew to manhood.
Cain was doubtful to the possibility of cross breeding and whether the child was his. He stared down into the blue eyes, which were still too young, to know what eye colour they would turn out to be. He gasped with joy.
Upon the forehead of the newborn male was the silver diamond sigil that represented a royal of the Panther Clan, and protection against magic. Touching his finger to the mark, the sigil on Cain's head shivered to life glowing bright silver in recognition.
Cain embraced his son and in honour of the sacrifice his mother gave. The child was named Kiri. The male noun of his mothers,' and blessed Kale with the title of Prince Protector.
Children born to the Royal Panther family were growing less and less with each successive generation. Half breed or not, he was a welcome addition. In fact, the only addition to the royal blood of Kiri's generation was a first cousin, who was four years older and therefore the heir apparent; Prince Sonny.
Cain had an older brother, now, King Connor. Their late father died before he could see the birth of his first grandchild, Prince Sonny, but had declared Connor the next king. Many of the finest doctors around the districts were at odds, to discover the cause of infertility, plaguing the royal family. Hence, the raids into the magically inclined Clans. But even those who had been captured to cure what ailed the royal family, were as confounded as the royals. The Predator Royal clan were dying.
Two weeks passed, Cain was sorely tired of a crying babe whenever he came home from hunting. Less and less time was spent with the babe. It was Kale who sang him lullabies from his mothers Clan, taught him to walk and talk, became the father that Kiri needed. With the help of a wet nurse the child although sickly, began to grow.
When Kiri was five, Kale began secretly training him in mage craft. At first they were introduced to the child as nursery rhymes. But as he matured and grew, Kale introduced many of the Dances that made up Heron clan tradition. Instinctively, Kiri knew that no one must know about the things they did together. But that wasn't all that Kiri did.
He spent as many hours of the day with his favourite and only cousin, close to his age, Prince Sonny. The other Clan children were wary of him and Prince Sonny was the heir. All games played with the clan children meant, deference to Prince Sonny. Sonny hated this and no matter how many times he asked the clan children to play a fair game, they always deferred to him as their parents bade them do. He always ended up wining, fairly or unfairly. Kiri had no qualms in trying to beat his cousin, so the two became peas in a pod.
They went hunting through the forest one warm summer day. Kiri was a lanky skinny child at eight, whereas Sonny at twelve was true to his panther heritage. Hair so dark it was almost purple, gold eyes with flecks of green, swarthy skin and a young supple body that carried grace and speed like a coat. At nearly six foot three he was an impressive sight to behold.
Kiri watched his cousin with envy, and felt more like an outsider everyday. At the age of seven, all panther children developed a keen sense of night vision and strength. They also began to fill out from the skinny children they had been, into the warriors they would become. Kiri was still seen as a child. His scent still smelt like prey and not predator and it was becoming increasingly easy for many of the Clan children, trying to prove themselves warriors, to play pranks on him.
Sonny helped when he could, but he knew if he interfered directly, the clan would see Kiri as weak. Not able to defend himself against those that were younger than him. It was a disgrace that neither Kiri, nor his father, Prince Cain would be able to stomach. And so Kiri endured the traps, cuts, and bruises in silence.
Sonny watched in sympathy and sometimes anger. It became a game for the entire Clan children. If Kiri went out to the lake with Sonny; points were scored if they could hit Kiri on the head without Sonny noticing. If he caught them, he naturally gave them a beating and swore if they told, he would make sure that they were exiled from the clan. As the years went by and Kiri still remained a skinny youth with eyes too big for his face; the kids became more adept at making sure they went unnoticed and undetected.
Sonny's anger exploded one day. Kiri was 14 and although he had grown in height to five foot ten, he was still so skinny, and with his long auburn hair covering half his face in the shy way he hid himself, he screamed victim and many in the Clan smelt that.
"Why do you let them do that to you Kiri?" Sonny shouted. Grabbing his cousin, he lifted him off his feet and shook him. Kiri's teeth rattled and his head bobbed with the fierce motion of Sonny shaking him.
"Stop acting like a victim and fight back" Sonny continued, his beast rising with his fury. "I know you and Kale have lessons, he is a great huntsman, use the bloody skills he has been teaching you!"
Kiri whimpered, his luminescent face, turning pasty white. Sonny let go of him abruptly. Kiri began rubbing his ribs where Sonny had been holding him tightly, and breathed in a ragged breath. Sonny put his hands behind his back, trying to push the beast that was always so close to the surface these days, into the back of his metaphysical cave.
Kiri looked down trying to take slow breaths. His hair fell forward and he peered at Sonny through a curtain of curly locks. "Do you think I haven't tried" Kiri whispered fiercely, silver eyes glinting through a waterfall of red hair.
"Not hard enough," Sonny snarled; his face only inches from his cousin. "I am on my quest journey come next full moon and where the hell will you be without me to watch over you."
Kiri pushed against Sonny but it was like hitting a brick wall. This enraged Kiri even more at the unfairness of it all and he kicked Sonny in the shin. A low growl rumbled from Sonny's throat and the beast rose towards the surface.
"Get out of my way Sonny" Kiri said his eyes steely and full of ire.
The beast rose and surged through Sonny. Grabbing Kiri by the throat and shoving him up against a tree, claws extended; he grazed them against Kiri's neck. "This is the kind of thing that will happen when I am not here, and how will you stop it? Answer me Kiri, How Would You Stop This!"
Kiri slumped his body, the fight drained out of him as tears trickled down his cheeks. Sonny felt sucker punched. Pulling back he watched as Kiri dropped to the ground silent tears wracking his body.
"Kiri, oh god I'm sorry." With shaking hands Sonny tried to touch his cousin. Kiri jerked and tried to crawl away from the hand that was coming towards him. Little mewling sounds escaped Kiri's mouth. Something inside Sonny shrivelled at the sight of his only cousin, and closest friend, scuttling away from him in fear.
He had to get out of there before he made things worse. He stood up and stumbled away. Something was clouding his vision as he ran. It wasn't until he felt the wet splashes dripping off his cheeks that Sonny realised he was crying.
That night, Kale, Prince Protector, spoke of how, in the Heron Clan, it was at the age of fifteen that the children grew into their power. If Kiri stayed here, the way things were going, he would not last the year to find out. It was time to leave for his safety.
With that, Kiri waved goodbye to the village that had been home and his private hell. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the village, his rich reddish brown curls danced around a pearlescent face with hints, of a pink undertone. His eyes the colour of lightning shone with misery. His heart was breaking for the cousin that secretly had his heart.
However, it was time he learnt how to walk on his own feet without the shadow of his cousin there to protect him.
Turning away, he watched as Kale wove his magic around the both of them. Inside the village, all magic was null and void. But they were three miles out of the radius of the royal sigil. Kiri watched as the land wrapped around the two of them, concealing them from sight.
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Thanks as always goes to Richard for his fine work in editing!