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Note: A Lady’s Submission is Book 1 of a five book series entitled The Warriors of Ar’mora. The series should be read in order for the proper perspective to be gained.
A Father’s Legacy
The wind whipped viciously back and forth across the land ever strengthened by the rising tempest of the ocean and beat against the rocks of the foundation of the last of the Sea People’s fortresses. A fortress that now lay shattered even as fires consumed the rest of what had once been a proud people’s heritage.
They had been a free people until this day that had seen them brought low by the greater empire of the day. England would have no other power present within her borders to claim the authority that she viewed solely as her own.
She’d come to this last holdout among the rocks along the far seacoast of Ireland to destroy the pride of a people that surrendered to no one. A people who refused to be slaves.
A people who would serve the God of their forefathers and not accept the meddling or oversight of anyone else in matters of either the heart or soul. Their pride had taken them far in the ages of antiquities past, but it had also been there undoing.
Too little and too late, they had learned the art of humility. Now they were few left to carry on the names and legacies of those who had once ruled over nations and governed the trade of the entire world over 2000 years before.
The People from the Sea, for that was what they were called by the inhabitants of the land they had come to live in along this remote island off the coast of Ireland, now numbered only six and one was dying.
I held father up as more bloody bubbles came up to froth about his mouth and get stuck in his beard. It was a struggle for me to listen to every labored breath, as much as it was for him to keep breathing.
I thought him beyond speech as he lay staring up into my eyes with all the love of a father that I had yearned to watch grow old and enjoy playing with the offspring of my loins. It would not happen now though, and the moment was pressed so the much more full of bitterness because of it that I despaired of the depression of it ever managing to be lifted from off my life.
His voice rough and slurred with the effort of speaking, even as his lungs lay half full of blood jarred me, “You must be strong son! We yet have a destiny as a people, and it falls to you to see that it’s accomplished. You are the oldest, you know what must be done! Go from this place of solitude and storms. It was never our home and yet it has been a good resting place for us, but no longer. You must… go… go back. You know of what I speak of.”
I did, but as if I didn’t he went on to say, “Ar’mora. It was our home. We lost it, when we lost our souls to darkness and how we have paid dearly for that! Never again! You must keep your faith son or all is lost and Ar’mora will never be reclaimed. It is only by faith in the Creator that you will manage to succeed where our fathers of old failed. You must promise me, son!”
“I promise father!” I said passionately, even as I lacked the faith to know how I could manage to promise that, when I myself was angry with the God in heaven that could allow this day of horrors to unfold as it had, and yet I gave my word and I would do my best to honor it.
My father must’ve seen that as he lay gasping for continued life, for I saw the intense passion of his gaze upon me relax and with that I saw a measure of peace come over him.
“Look to your brothers and sister now. Lay me to rest with your mother on the hill over where she liked best to watch the sun rise.”
I nodded, clutching tightly to his hand, as tears fell from off my face to splat onto the torn and bloody remnants of armor still hanging in place across my father’s ruptured chest. His eyes had wandered from me, but then they swung back to me and with earnestness he said, “This has been a good land to us and even as my flesh and that of my fathers before me lay buried in it see that you take a bride of the people of this land. They are a fierce and noble people and such a woman’s blood will only go to strengthen our own. Subdue her in gentleness, possess her in kindness, and love her beyond limitations and it will go well with you. May you sire many children with her and let them all be blessed even as I pray that she will be a fitting match for the passion that burns within you. Promise me that you will do this!”
“I promise father.”
“That is good, as I have taught you to be a man of your word. Now not much time before I go. You know where the gold is kept. They did not find it. Almost, but your uncles killed them all before they died of their own injuries. In truth, I die with pride in knowing how many of the enemy that you my young son have in truth killed for yourself! You are a man of war, but in truth my blessing for you is that when your last day comes that it will be a day of peace and not of loss such istanbul escort as this day has held for all those I love most. Now let my children come to me. I wish to pray over them one last time.”
I looked up past the tears in my gaze over to where Sean stood with bloody sword hanging down. Tears fell from off my brother’s face in a steady dribble that reflected the cold rain that had already begun to fall and hiss loudly as it splatted into the flames consuming what had once been our home.
I gestured and he nodded silently before turning to a stone wall beside him and engaging a series of stones that pivoted inward until with a rolling click an entire door-way of stone came out of the wall and pivoted off to the one side. Out came my other two brothers and my sister.
Till now only had they been able to hear the horror of the destruction of our home, but now their young faces saw the proof of it in a way that they would never be able to forget. Stumbling in our direction I watched my third oldest brother, Torin, fall to his knees beside my father even as Sean my brother of less than a year in distance knelt down beside me.
I glanced to the blood running down Sean’s arm to wet the sword that he still had not let go of. My gaze lifted worriedly to his, but he shook his head as if to say he was fine, but truly I despaired of anything being what one could call fine ever again in life.
Father spoke to Torin, who was awash with tears that rocked his body with the emotion he felt at beholding his home destroyed and his father dying, “Son. Son. You are the esteem of my wisdom and more, even as Mahlon is my strength and Sean my reserved fury for injusticeness. You must use the sound mind and hearty spirit that the Creator has given you in order to win the day. You are not a warrior best, as in the flesh, as you are one in the spirit. You must guard your spirit and let the Creator make of you whatever He would. Help your brother Mahlon bring our people’s name back to life and then claim your prize for doing so. There is work to be done in the land to which you and your brothers and sister are returning to that I am convinced that only you can do. Stay true to your faith above all else.”
“I will father! I promise!”
“I know you will son. I see everything clearly right now. Never before has the future been so open to me as it is now. Don’t hesitate to claim your prize son when it is given. Press your seed in deep and let it claim new lands through the yoking of a heritage as old as ours with our own.”
“Father?” Torin asked in puzzlement at what his father had just said.
“You will understand when the time comes Torin.” Father coughed, then and let go of my hand. I thought he would die then, but with desperate strength beyond what surely could be the strength of a normal man he reached back to grip Sean’s hand, which still held the sword he had fought the enemy with valiantly for as long as I had this day.
My brother’s other hand closed over the top of my father’s equally bloody hand and gripped hard. The two stared hard at each other and then unbelievably my father smiled. His voice even more strained than before he said, “To my son, of few words and many hidden strengths I say this. Things will get better and you will have peace and comfort will be yours, but help your brother Mahlon first before you claim your own destiny.”
Sean shook his head affirmatively in a nonverbal gesture that was characteristic of him. Father let go of his hand to bring his gaze to his two youngest children. Francesca was but 12 years old and Tyree a boy of 10.
Together they knelt upon the bloodstained cobble-stones of our former home. Now motherless and soon to be fatherless, they wept together as they held on to each other. My father wept openly at the sight of their loss and emotionally said, “Come my loves!”
They came forward crawling over him sobbing. The blood that was everywhere didn’t seem to matter as with strength I could only imagine at my father raised up to kiss each one of them on the forehead.
Looking into their eyes, he said, “Mind your older brothers and know the truth that one day the home you’ve lost today will be restored in a new land. A land new for you, but a land that was ours of old. There you both will grow and be nourished and your offspring will never know such a day of loss as you now go through. There will be hard and desperate times in your journeys to reach fulfillment, but happiness awaits for you both if you only choose to overcome and not let the desperation of a single moment in time overwhelm you. Tyree you will know the jungle’s fury and yet you will overcome it to make it your wife and the seed of your offspring will journey through it without fear. Francesca, my love, my words for you are hard. The man who plants his seed deep into your womb is the man you will call husband. There will be no avcılar escort ceremony for you, and it will be hard, but I am not sorry that you are to be the wife of a warrior. Submit to him in everything, even your heart and you will in the end have all that your mother and I have prayed so earnestly for you to have. These are my blessings to you my children. I… cannot go… any further with you… but my prayers are for you always. Re-member how your mother and I raised you and be different than the world around you and make your way through it with confidence, as your belief in the Creator is the source of the strength by which you will all over-come. I love you, but now I must go.”
Father’s eyes closed and the intense struggle to breathe stopped. Tenderly I lowered father down to the ground as all of us continued to cry out our grief for what had been taken from us this day.
Responsibility like never before settled down upon me and caused me to rise and walk away from the blood soaked ground of my father’s last moments. I had to be strong now!
Weakness could not – would not be tolerated!
For the sake of my promise to my father, I whispered, “Creator help me for I am without the strength to do what has been required of me this day.”
Strength mixed with peace eased into my soul so much so that I felt my breath taken away and I seized a hold of the comforting indwelling of my Creators Spirit, as if it was a lifeline meant just for me to pull me out of a deep well which I had been struggling to keep my head above water.
I’d closed my eyes, but now I opened them to stare out across the moors that stretched beyond the shattered walls of the last surviving castle of the People from the Sea. My fist tightened in the sudden fury that I felt as I looked out over the rows and rows of the dead bodies of our enemies that had fallen prey to our arrows and swords.
My children would not be refugees left defenseless in a foreign land! No, I would fulfill my father’s words and claim back the land of our ancient heritage and if England for any of the powers that be sought to come and overtake us again, they would be sorely mistaken if they thought it would be an easy thing to do. Truly their mistake this day had been retreating without ensuring that every surviving member of the Clan of Arn had been slain.
Even though what they had done this day was unconscionable my war was not with them. No, I was at war with anything that stood in the way of securing the future of the clan that had now fallen to me to lead.
Sean’s voice broke into my thoughts, “What now brother?”
I glanced to the side to see him as resolute as I was in concern to the future. Even now as the tears dried from off our faces we stared into each other’s eyes gaining strength from each other. We were not alone for Torin had also made his way over to where we stood.
His gaze reflected the resolution of our two spirits. Our father had not allowed him to take part in the fight today, but it hadn’t been for lack of begging on his part.
That said, I knew if father had not done so Torin even now would be dead along with all our uncles and cousins and kinfolk that lay strewn about the ramparts of the castle with their bodies broken and their eyes sightless to ever see the sun rise again upon these lonely moors.
“Mahlon what is it that is to be done first?” Torin asked with a readiness to accept whatever responsibility I gave to his 16 years of life consciousness to accomplish.
A few things were clear to me, but many were not. I spoke out of what I did know, “For the five of us to re-turn to Ar’mora now would be unwise, as it is likely very dangerous. No, Sean and I will go back first. We will take only a little of the gold for our needs. You will take the majority of it and go somewhere that the name of Arn is not well known.”
“America. It is a new land. I will not be discovered easily there.” Torin offered matter-of-factly, as his quality mind started to work on the problem that I had given him.
“Good!” I nodded affirmatively before adding, “You will take Francesca and Tyree with you and…”
But before I was done speaking Torin was shaking his head no. In interjection he said, “I should take Francesca only. Tyree should be with you. He is young, but the heart of a warrior is in him.”
Then, before I could object Sean said, “I believe he is right. Let Tyree come with us. I will make it my job to look out for him, until he is better able to do it for him-self.”
“And who will look out for you Sean?” I asked, as I viewed over what my brothers proposed as an uncertain thing.
Sean shrugged, “Why who else but you big brother. Hasn’t that always been the way?”
It had been and nodding I said to Torin, “It will be as you have said. Truly, you have more wisdom than I do. Now I want you to use the money for your education and advancement as well as for you and Francesca’s needs. See that she şirinevler escort is raised a lady even as our mother was.”
Torin nodded, but then asked, “When do we come to Ar’mora?”
“Later, when it has been subdued and I think it’s stable enough. I think I will find the treasure needed there among the ruins by which to restore it, but I may need to send to you for funds from time to time.”
Torin nodded and said, “I will see to the investment of some of the money to ensure that it increases, so that there will be money for your needs should you have need of it.”
“Good.” I said, feeling at peace as to what would occur next. Turning back to the body of our father, I said, “Let us bury the dead and be together as a family for one more night before we separate and go our different ways tomorrow.”
As one we three brothers headed back to her little brother and sister. As a young man of nineteen, I felt ill-equipped for the road ahead, but my father had been right.
My sword had slain as many of the enemy as any of my uncles or kinsman had done. I was a man fit for war and it was to a war for regained unity of family that I would apply all my strength to the accomplishing of. The future of that reality would start tomorrow.
New Orleans, Ten Years Later
Anna McLean hurried along the shadowed boardwalk. This was without fail the moment that she dreaded most within a month’s time.
As always this time of the month she used the bulk of the salary that she acquired in the care and teaching of a young lady of high society to be spent in the payment of a debt to a member of the worst of what society had to offer. Such were the lingering effects of her dead husband’s weaknesses in how they continued to poison her future.
A debt no matter how illgotly gained was still a debt and she would see to it being paid off in full so that once and for all she would be free of the past that had robbed her of the future she had dreamed away the days of her childhood in earnest expectation of.
To make a long story short, she had simply married the wrong man. She’d known it almost instantly, but she’d stayed as it was only right in her eyes to do so.
Eric had been a gambler. She hadn’t known it when she’d married him, but it had become quite apparent afterwards.
The debts had mounted up increasingly, until he feared for his life from those he had bonded himself to as a debt slave. When she had married him she had truly loved him, but her early life with him only bore testament to the fact that she’d never really known him.
Still, she had tried to love him and care for his needs, but that had all changed the day that she’d come home to see him fidgeting about nervously. She’d asked him what was going on and that was when he had laid out a plan before her that would get them out of debt.
All the plan required was for her to go over the course of five nights to his debtholders and allow herself to be used sexually by them. As if that hadn’t been enough, she was also supposed to act like she liked it.
That had been the last straw and without a word she had left the house never to return. The following week she received word that Eric had killed himself and try as she might and God forgive her for being so, she just couldn’t even bring herself to overly care about his pas-sage from the land of the living, other than the fact that she was sure that heaven hadn’t been his ultimate destination. For that she did mourn, but for the man he had been she cared not a thing.
Gathering a deep breath, she eased her way into the office of the town’s mayor. He had been the chief financier of her husband’s carefree life in the saloons and no doubt elsewhere.
She made payment to him each month without fail and without fail his eyes rose to undress her in such a lustful fashion that caused her to ache against having to restrain herself from the urge to club the man half out of his senses and hope that something potentially good might be discovered. That was nothing but a wild fantasy, though she feared.
“Good morning, dear Widow McLean. Don’t you just look as luscious as ever!” He remarked salaciously.
Without saying a word of welcome she went up to his desk and dropped the money onto it before then turning to leave. He rarely let her escape so easily though.
Calling out pompously he said, “Stop!”
She stopped, only too prepared to move on if needed.
“Now turn around.”
Grudgingly, she did so.
The mayor’s eyes raking down her form he said, “Take off your dress. Do it now, since I’ve played this game for far too long!”
Anna blinked in startlemeant. He had never been so bold in his lust for her before. The act of such bold presumption on his part though had her spitting out, “I most certainly will do no such thing! Good day Sir!!”
“Oh yes, you will! You will, if you don’t want the news of what a loose woman you’ve been getting about all over town, if you know what I mean.”
Feeling the fury that bespoke of the curly flame red tresses of her hair, she spit out with the savagery of an enraged cat, “I have been loose with no man as you and everybody else well knows!”
“I know, but what is the word of a governess against the word of influential men? Now take that dress off and let me look at you!”
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