IMPORTANT A/N – yes, I am aware that the age the main character is technically falls into the 'minor' category. However, the setting for this story is a fictional pre-modern times, where people would only live to 30/40 and you were considered an adult by your mid teens. If it still squicks you, I am sorry. Please use the pretty back buttons, because flames to this extent when I've already warned you will be laughed at and deleted.
Keil raced through the trees, desperately searching for any sort of landmark which would allow him to get back to his village. Unfortunately for him, there was nothing even vaguely familiar. This was his last day – if he didn't return by nightfall, then he would have failed his test and it would be a shameful year before he could try again. He slowed to a panting walk; his rush wouldn't get him anywhere if he was running in the wrong direction.
It was his own fault though – he was younger than any of the other boys who had tried to pass their manhood rituals, and his stubbornness was going to be his downfall. But he couldn't take the abuse anymore; the comments about how he would never be able to be considered a man, how he should go take the womanhood trials instead; then of course lewd remarks about how they wouldn't mind giving him those. They never truly attempted anything, but as the rest of the boys in the tribe got older, the beatings turned closer to molestation. Most of it was just the frustration of the wait until they could get their own women, but it was still embarrassing for him. A few of those had turned into minor scuffles, where all of the boys involved ended up going home bruised, and a few with broken noses. With the experience he had in that sort of fight, Keil was usually able to hold his own, but unfortunately they would usually gang up on him. None of them were willing to risk the shame of having someone as small as he was beat them, so they made sure there was no way he could win.
Thankfully, no serious harm was ever done – his brother, the head warrior, made sure of that. Crele was the only one in the village he could even stand to be around. His father had long since given up on him as hopeless and his uncle wouldn't acknowledge him any more than his father did. The warriors shared his father's opinion, even though they wouldn't say anything like that within his brother's hearing, and the hunters only grudgingly admitted he was a decent shot with a bow. The boys his own age he did his best to ignore; they were only following the examples of their elders, and trying to show off how strong they were. Keil never did understand the point in that – how did it show one was stronger when they went after the 'weakest' in groups? Still, he knew the fights would stop as soon as he passed the trial and got recognized as a hunter. Besides, at that point, he'd be spending most of his time in the woods anyway.
So, as soon as he was fourteen, he had gone to his father to ask permission to take the trial. It truly wasn't that hard; at least in theory. One of the hunters had knocked him out cold, then walked a week's distance away from the tribe's village with him blindfolded, and left him there with only a knife and a bow. For a real man, it would have been a fairly simple task to survive for a week and return to the village. He had already been out here three weeks, and that was the cut off. The tribe allowed for the boys to get slightly turned around; after all for most of them it would be their first time that far away from the village without a guide. However, Keil had gotten more than just a bit turned around; there was nothing even remotely familiar about anything; there were no tribe markings on any of the trees, and none of the raised platforms that the scouts and hunters used. Keil had started to think that perhaps he had been taken more than a week out, well out of the tribe's territory.
Slowing down, and then finally stopping altogether, he looked around him miserably. As the light faded, his chances of getting home were even less; this far into the forest he couldn't even navigate by the stars, and the last clearing was hours in the opposite direction. In the morning the hunters would set out to find him. He only hoped it was his brother that found him; the others wouldn't be kind. The one who had left him here certainly hadn't been. A boy two years his senior and recently passed his own trial, had left him with clothing and a knife as dictated, but instead of a loincloth and hunting knife, it was a dress and a cooking knife. No doubt it would have been spread around the tribe when he got back, but he had ignored the shame of it thinking how much better it would make him look to not only be the youngest to return, but to do it with such a handicap. Now he would be the laughingstock, his father would be shamed, and the torture would undoubtedly get worse. It was unbearable, and almost made him wish the hunters wouldn't find him. He would have to lose the dress and the knife before that happened; it would be embarrassing to be found naked and with only his bow as a weapon, but still better than the alternative.
At least it wouldn't be as bad as the week his uncle had him running errands for the women of the tribe. While they were considered lower than men, and treated mostly like property, they at least served vital functions; cooking, cleaning, and most importantly bearing children. They also had their own separate hierarchy that was almost exclusively based on the men that claimed them. The only exceptions were the girls too young to be claimed yet, and they were always scrambling, trying to get the best match possible. For that entire week, he had to endure their scorn as well – the men they couldn't treat that way, even if they wanted to, and the boys they wouldn't because their own positioning for status meant they needed to secure favour with the next generation.
Keil, however, was in a completely separate category – none of the girls wanted to be claimed by him, and since he wasn't going to give their daughters or sisters any status, the women had no reason to do anything for him. Most – loudly – voiced their opinion that he was worse than a woman – only good for warming a men's bed, and not even being able to give him children. He was glad to have the week be over, even when one of the older women, well past her prime and without any female descendents she had to worry about, came up to him and gave him a message from his sister – apparently she had wanted to speak to him, but was afraid of ruining her own chances of bonding favourably to do so. She had risked her position anyway by speaking to the older woman, so Keil couldn't have blamed her too much. It had at least been an interesting look into their own separate society – most of the men didn't think of their women more than making sure they fulfilled their daily tasks.
He looked up as he heard movement through the underbrush. Moving carefully and slowly, he put his back towards a tree and knocked an arrow to his bow. Keil didn't let his guard down when a hunter stepped into the clearing, followed by two more. They weren't of his tribe, which meant they were enemies. They didn't move towards him though, looking over him critically. He wondered what they saw when they looked at him. Keil flushed as he remembered exactly what he was wearing. The hunter in the lead smiled, and nodded to his companions. The other two looked confused at first, then smiled with the same sadistic light in their eyes.
"What! No, wait – "
His protests were cut off as the two men moved to grab at him. He was able to fire off one arrow, but the man moved and the shot only grazed his arm. Unfortunately, Keil was used to hunting deer and other animals, not intelligent creatures – that was left for the warriors of the tribe. Before he had a chance to do anything else, his arms were grabbed behind him, and his wrist twisted so his bow dropped to the ground. His hands were tied roughly behind his back, and he wriggled a bit to try and keep the rope from cutting into his wrists. A rag was shoved into his mouth, and another wrapped around his head, blinding him. Keil still attempted to struggle, but it was a futile effort and he knew it. As he was slung over one of the men's shoulders, and his ass was grabbed, much to the other's amusement, he tried to think of what he knew about the surrounding tribes.
One he knew was cannibalistic – if that was the tribe he had been caught by then he was well and truly screwed. There were rumours that they ate their captives while they were still alive, and Keil really, really didn't want to find out of those were true or not. The other two he didn't remember much about, which meant they probably weren't much different than his own. If they actually thought he was a woman, and not just making fun of his appearance, then that meant their tribe was low on women and they were raiding to even things out. Should that be the case, and he was able to get away rather than be killed once his gender was discovered, he would need to get back and warn his own tribe to guard the women. On the bright side, if he managed to do that, his lateness in returning would be overlooked. He would just downplay the whole getting captured part and just say he had come across another tribe capturing women and investigated. Of course, that was if he could get out of here. The blindfold would make that difficult. Still, he couldn't possibly get more lost.
He was concentrating so much on his thoughts of how to find his way home, that he was unprepared to be dumped unceremoniously on the ground. Wherever he was, there were a lot of tribe members. They all sounded male, no surprise there, which didn't work well for his half-thought out plans of escape. Had he just been thrown in with the women, it would have been an easy task to get away. Now he would have to wait until he wasn't in the centre of their village before making any escape attempts, and pray he wasn't found out and killed before then. Still, it surprised him that he had walked so close to another tribe and that he hadn't noticed any of their markings.
"Is hunter Grael here?"
"I am here." Keil shuddered; whoever this Grael was, he sounded pissed. That probably wasn't good for him.
"We found a suitable female for you, and gathered the tribe for your bonding." Having been the subject of ridicule numerous times, he could hear the sarcasm in his voice. Either they knew he was male, and shoving an unacceptable preference in his face, or they thought he was an altogether miserable looking woman – which was his opinion as well – and were insinuating that he was the best this Grael deserved.
With obvious reluctance, the hunter responded. "I will accept this female."
Keil tensed himself to run if he got the chance, unable to guess what would happen when certain aspects of his anatomy were revealed. Of course, if he could just get the damn blindfold off that would be a lot easier. He tried to slide it off, but the sound and presence of someone behind him stopped him cold.
Strong hands were on his hips, urging him to his knees. He shuddered at being in the position of a female, but there wasn't much he could do, bound as he was. He tried to kick back at the man behind him, but the move had obviously been anticipated, and he found both of his feet firmly held down by the other's legs. The dress was hiked up enough to expose his backside, and he could feel the man pause. A broad chest was pressed to his back, and he felt the man's breath on his neck.
"Don't say a word to reveal you're a male. Trust me when I say it won't be good for you. I am sorry for the pain, but preparation or pleasure would give you away. Try to relax as much as possible." His eyes widened; surely he wouldn't still be thinking of claiming him? He had expected the hunter to reveal his gender, and then he'd either escape or die trying. Either would be better than actually being claimed.
Before Keil could think to respond, he felt the other man's length press against his ass. He tried to struggle, but the bonds and the weight of the other man kept him nearly still. Slowly and painfully he felt the other man press into him. It hurt. Keil knew that there were tears streaming down his face, and if the gag hadn't been in place he would have shamed himself begging for it to stop. Instead all he could do was moan his pain into the rag. Finally, the hunter was fully embedded in his body, and he paused, both breathing hard. Far before he was ready, Grael pulled out, and then pushed back in, wringing another groan from the boy. He set a brutal pace, not giving Keil any time to adjust. After what seemed like an eternity, where his entire existence narrowed to that band of heat invading his body, he felt the man on top of him stiffen, and a rush of fluid fill his ass. Keil shuddered at the thought of the other man's seed in him, truly marking him as a bitch, a female, not a man.
Without waiting for more than a second, the hunter pulled out, and dropped Keil's dress back down to cover him. He slumped forward, grateful that it was over. The feel of the man's seed and his own blood made him want to gag.
The tribe slowly dispersed; their whispered conversations and footsteps fading away. There was laughter mixed in, and he wasn't sure if it was at his expense or the hunter's. Keil barely noticed or cared, too involved in his own misery.
He could hear one set of footsteps approaching, and instinctively curled into a ball. The sound of the hunter who had caught him reached his ears. "We saw her alone in the woods, all dirty and feral. Thought she'd be a good match for you. Glad to see I wasn't wrong."
Arms picked him up and he hated himself for wanting to melt into the other man's presence. Grael's voice came from above him. "You've traumatized the poor girl is what you did. I'm glad to have her, if just to keep her away from the likes of you."
With that, Grael turned away from the hateful voice and started walking, and Keil let himself relax minutely. Grael didn't seem like a cruel man; perhaps once he got the blindfold off and the gag out he could negotiate some way for him to get home. They walked for some distance, the sounds of the tribe dying down to nearly nothing. Even better; they were clearly on the outskirts of the town. If Keil could steal some weapons and proper clothing he could be gone and on his way home before the night was out. He would never think of this day again, and no one at home would need to know his shame. The hunter laid him down, and gently removed the gag and blindfold. He looked up into icy blue eyes, tinged with worry.
"Are you alright? I truly regret taking you that way, but if they had found a male wearing female's clothing...it's not pleasant." He looked to be considering something. "Why were you wearing females clothing?"
He blushed, and looked away from the hunter. "I... think I am okay. Or I will be okay, at least." A blatant lie, but he didn't feel like making the hunter feel guiltier than he already did. "I was on my manhood ritual. There are those in my tribe...well, they thought it would be amusing to send me out dressed and armed as a woman."
Grael blinked, obviously not expecting that response. "Manhood ritual? How old are you? And how long have you been in the woods – there aren't any other tribes close to us!"
Keil frowned; annoyed again that everyone assumed he was so young. "Fourteen, and three weeks."
"Fourteen! Kid, you could have been one hell of a hunter; to be that young and to survive that long with no real weapons? That's impressive."
His praise would have made him feel really good – no one but his brother ever said anything nice to him – except for the past tense part. "What – is going to happen now? What will happen when they find out I'm male?"
Grael shook his head. "You're going to have to stay here and pretend to truly be my woman. If they find out you're male and not only dressed like a female but submitted like one, well, let's just say they'll make you one in truth."
Keil paled, and could practically feel his balls drawing into his body in fear. "Will you help me get out of here? I want to get home."
The hunter sighed, and the boy could see his answer before anything was even said. "I think you've already figured out I'm not well liked. It will be bad enough when I can't sire any children on you, for obvious reasons; to add to that shame by allowing my woman to get away from me? No, I'm sorry, but I can't do it. I do feel bad for you, but I'll at least try to make your life fairly comfortable."
Keil shook, the sobs that had wanted to escape all day finally escaping. To think that just this morning he was worried about hunters of his tribe finding him. Grael grumbled, but gathered the boy into his arms, doing what he could to comfort him. Finally his tears dried up, and he fell into an uneasy sleep.
Second A/N - I think it prudent to mention that the views towards women in this fic are based on mindsets that are NOT MINE. It is just (unfortunately) the way that things are in this world/time.