Home of Sword and Soul
"Sati-Baa is home now," Kadira said. Nguvu and I have given up the road. We have a child."
Omari slapped his forehead. "Okay, I understand now. I'm dreaming. No, I'm having a nightmare. Excuse me while I go wake up and find the real Kadira."
Kadira laughed out loud. "You always made me laugh, Omari." She reached out and touched his hair. It was straight like a horse's tail.
"What happen to your hair. It looks like a horse's ass."
Omari slapped her hand away. "I spent some time serving with the Mikijen in Kiswhala. Most of them are wearing their hair like this now, and the women seem to like it. You know how I am about pleasing women."
Kadira ignored his words. "Well, it was good seeing you, Omari. Don't get killed."
She turned to leave but Omari grabbed her arm. A pleasant tingle raced from his touch to her chest and she smiled before she realized it.
"Aren't you at least a little interested in why I am here?"
Kadira hesitated. Of course she was interested. The reality was she was terribly bored, despite her feelings for Nguvu and their child. She reluctantly faced Omari.
"Okay, so why are you here?"
"A Menu-Kash priest put out a call for all those skilled in weapons to accompany him on a journey to Watandu. He's willing to pay eighty stacks each...if we return."
Kadira's eyes went wide. "Eighty stacks?"
Omari grinned. "Eighty."
She shrugged. "For that much I'm sure mercenaries are falling over themselves"
"True, but none of them have your skills or experience."
"You don't need me."
"I need you," Omari admitted. "You're the best archer in Ki Khanga besides that Dogon priest woman in Kenja and a better sword arm than anyone I know. You would also be the only person I know, and I need someone I can trust."
"Any other reasons?"
"I did have a few others, but they've been dashed to pieces by your news of husbands and babies," Omari admitted.
"Eighty stacks is life changing money, but I have to decline. Besides, Nguvu wouldn't hear of it."
Omari looked shocked. "Since when did Kadira let a man stop her from doing what she wished?"
Kadira pointed out to plumb chickens to the poultry seller and he quickly cut them down.
"Since Kadira became a married woman," she answered.
Omari shrugged. "I'll be at the Simbala hostel if you change your mind, or if you want to revisit old times."
Kadira smirked. "You have no shame."
Omari winked. "Of course I don't."
Kadira paid for her chickens and headed home. She glanced back; Omari stood watching her, his compelling smile fanning a flame that had recently re-emerged. She was bored and restless but had done a good job keeping it in check. By the time she reached the farm, that flame was a raging fire.