It was a gorgeous day. You were out riding your mothers horse. You really wished you had your own horse, but you would take what you could get. Sometimes you felt your father was far too protective of you. He just barely let you ride your mothers old horse alone, though you were a very good rider. But on the upside, it had also drove him to teach you how to shoot arrows, throw tomahawks, hunt, and all of the necessary survival skills that normal girls from your tribe did not know.
The meadow you were riding in was wonderful. The backend was surrounded by forest and to the front were hills until they faded into mountains in the distance. The sun was high and there was a slight breeze blowing. The temperature right now wasn't too warm or too cold.
You could almost smell winter on the wind. It wouldn't be long before it set in. That wasn't a problem since your tribe was already bunkered down for the winter. You were even looking forward to it. The cool blanket of white across the familiar area was always a nice change.
"_____!" your favorite brother, Thunder Cow, er, Crow, came galloping across the field on his giant black stallion. You were the youngest child of your family and had two older brothers and one older sister.
"What?" you asked, annoyed at his interruption into your time.
"Something has happened! We need to go back, and right now." he said breathlessly, stopping next to you.
"What has happened?" what could be so urgent?
"I don't know, I couldn't see, there were too many other braves in the way. Father sent me to get you."
You sighed and started the tired old mare back towards camp as quickly as she would go, Thunder Crow's stallion prancing impatiently. If father said to come back, he meant come back now.
It only took a few minutes to get back to camp once your horse had gotten started, and you saw that the camp was indeed in quite a tizzy. You stood in the crude saddle, but even from atop the gray speckled mare you couldn't be entirely sure what you were seeing.
Finally Chief Moon Walk (A/N I just could not resist. He's not really important anyway) approached the crowd. The women and children stopped their pushing and shoving and made a path for the tall man, followed by the men and braves who were the center of the action. You and Thunder Crow had a pretty good view of what was happening from atop your horses.
In the very center of all of the attention, your oldest brother, Roaming Fox, and his biggest rival, Jumping Frog, were holding something-or rather, someone- firmly between them.
Chief Moon Walk examined the captive closely, as did you. The first thing that caught your attention was his hair. His head was bowed so you had a very clear view of it. It was unlike any hair you had seen before in your life. Even though it had a thin layer of dirt in it, it was golden. You had seen this color before of course, but seeing it in hair had a mesmerizing effect on you. You had never thought it was possible for a human to have such a color for hair. The thought crossed your mind that maybe he wasn't a human, but you quickly dismissed the ridiculous thought.
The man lifted his head a little and looked at the chief for a moment, receiving nothing but a steely, frightening look in return. He lifted his head slightly more and looked around the crowd, pausing a little every now and then.
Suddenly you found yourself staring right into his eyes. They were a brilliant blue, like the sky. This man truly stood out amongst your dark haired, dark eyed, dark skinned companions. Your eyes stayed locked with his for a moment as they seemed to ask you a question you could not comprehend.
His skin was so pale. There were dirt smudges in various places all over his face. A small stream of blood flowed from somewhere above his right temple. He looked as if he were in terrible pain, and on a second glance you realized he couldn't be much more than seventeen, only a year older than you.
Chief Moon Walk's deep voice carried out over the silent crowd as he looked at the two braves holding their captive. "Erect a pole and tie him there while I decide what shall be done." He then turned to address the crowd "As you know, we are currently at war. In consideration of that we cannot afford to have one man unable, or slow to respond. This being so, are there any women or elders willing to watch this white man?"
Everything was quiet for a few minutes as the crowd seemed to digest his request. The Chief wanted a woman to take care of the man? Maybe you should... Did you want to? You were strong, and you knew you could take care of him; tied to a stake and beat up as he was, most anyone could. The question was, did you want to?
After a few dreadful moments of indecision, you nudged the beast you were on forward a step, and sitting up as tall as you could, you called out "I will do it sir."
The crowd parted, giving the middle aged chief a clear view of you. "Come here my child."
You swallowed nervously and slid off your horse. You had only spoken to the chief a few times, and you only got to do that because of your fathers high standing. Taking care not to show any of your uncertainty you strode towards the Chief and bowed your head. "Great Chief." you greeted, as was proper.
"You are the daughter of Soaring Eagle and Tender Flower correct?"
You lifted your head and nodded "Yes sir."
A slight smile crossed the aging man's face. "I should have expected such from an offspring of his. You are a brave woman. I know you will do well."
Being praised by the chief made a warm feeling spread through your body. You had only ever received praise from your family before. It felt good to receive it from the most important person you knew. "I will try my best sir."
"Anything less would be unacceptable." the chief said, his smile still a tiny bit evident. You bowed your head slightly as his face went back into its normal stoic look and he strode out of the circle of people, who began to lose interest in the scene and move on.
Roaming fox smirked at you. "Better not let him escape little bug." you snorted at his use of the nickname he had given you years ago.
"Oh please, like I would be that careless."
"You shouldn't treat her like a child." Jumping Frog spoke up. He was 19 and one of the most popular braves in the tribe. He was strong, fast, clever, and had deadly aim with any kind weapon. His hair was to his shoulders and his sharp features made his piercing black eyes look deep. He was a perfect rival for your older brother, who had similar looks and abilities.
"She is a child!" Roaming Fox yelled.
"No, she's not. She is old enough to marry."
You shifted uncomfortably. Jumping Frog had hinted at having feelings for you a few times. You would be okay with marrying, really you would, but even though you were old enough to marry, you weren't sure you wanted to yet. It didn't feel right. Luckily, no one had made any serious attempts to charm you. Yet.
Unfortunately, the changing of the seasons was coming. This meant you would have a large party the night the last of the harvest was taken in, and have a dance. This dance had several names, none official, but it was for young singles. All people over the age of fifteen and unmarried would gather in front of the fire and dance. If a boy had feelings for a girl, they would would do what was considered flirting in a way. Each brave had a special stick that they whittled until it was flawless and collected feathers, beads, stones, and other decorative objects to attach to it. Then, whil dancing they would take this stock and place it on the girl they likes shoulder. If the girl likes the guy she would keep it balanced while she danced. If she didn't like him, shed knock it off. When the girl doesn't knock the stick off this is basically an invitation to the guy to make advances on her in the future. A girl could accept two sticks at a dance, but it wasn't required to accept any, nor was it required for the boy to put a stick on a girls shoulder.
You didn't like it because you always felt pressured, even though it was really fun. You didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings though.
"..." Roaming Fox didn't like the idea of his little sister being marrying age.
You cleared your throat to remind them of your presence. They instantly clammed up but continued glaring at each other. Luckily two more braves came up at that moment with one of the stakes the tribe carried around to tie captives on when there was one. It didn't take very long for the muscly braves to dig a hole and secure the stake in it.
Now you noticed that the white boy was watching the whole process with wide, frightened eyes. You tried to mentally place yourself in his position. It wasn't a pleasant one. He had to be terrified. If you were him, you'd be pretty sure you wouldn't survive the ordeal, and while you did live your life would be a living hell. The uncertainty alone would be enough to torture you. You sort of felt sorry for him.
They firmly tied his pale hands behind the stake. There was no way he could escape now. It would take intervention from the spirits at the very least, and you had to be some kind of person if they would intervene.
The four braves walked off together, whooping and talking happily about their victory. You on the other hand, stared at your charge for a few minutes. He stared back at you. He was the most wondrous creature you had ever seen. He was also the most beautiful human you had ever seen. You smiled a little. This looked like it was a job you would enjoy.