Tuesday, March 26, 2013
This chapter pushes Amara's lines of perception, her time with the Raepuwa, notably Graw is quickly changing her thoughts and actions. And the heat is building, but will it ever be satiated?
While the Raepuwa cleaned themselves and each other with licks and paws, Amara did not warm up to the idea, even as Graw offered.
“A bath, Graw, like with warm water and a tub.” She winced gently pushing his head away from her face, even as he tried to lick the blood of the animal from her brow.
He pulled back, a determined look on his face as he stood upright, looking left then right. “One. Wait here.” His gestures demanded as he set off toward the cart that held his tent and wares. He picked up the large barrel that held the tent and rods when in transit, dumping the contents on the ground before bounding back to Amara, putting it down in front of her.
“And what is that?”
Her face was a half turned smile. “Uh huh, and where-“
Graw grabbed her by the arm dragging her and the barrel down to where the bonfire was being started. She watched as he took the piles of cleared snow and scooped it up filling the barrel. It made sense to her; the barrels were once used for wine. So melted snow would be of no problem. Once the barrel was full, Graw left it where it stood. Taking Amara back to aid him in building their tent, of which she mostly watched, although healed, the exertion of skinning the Woolenbeasts left her tender. Just as he was finishing up, and getting ready to move his things inside Khane appeared with Enwa, turning Amara’s attention.
“Come with us?” Khane asked as Enwa kept his gaze to the ground.
Amara got up from the blanket, following the pair back to Khane’s tent. Of the Pride group, Khane and Graw were the ones who regularly engaged her. The Shaman Bas a’ Rhinn, having made it clear he wanted no part of her. Inside Khane’s tent, Amara was nervously surprised to find him, smoking a pipe, awaiting her arrival. Khane and Enwa dropped their hands to the ground, their heads low and hindquarters high, Enwa’s tail curling downward and to the right. This was the Raepuwa way of bowing. Amara bowed her head, bending as much from the middle as she was able.
A low double snort came from Bas a’ Rhinn, she had often heard this from Graw, and knew it to be their equivalent to a laugh. She looked up, as he took in the smoke, his nostrils flaring.
“Have you learned enough, they tell me you have proved useful to us?” Bas a’ Rhinn asked, ending his gestures bidding the other two rise.
“As useful as I can be.” Amara answered calmly, glancing to Khane and Enwa, who appeared to smile.
“You could be of greater use; we did after all save you, as Enwa here has reminded us.”
Khane pushed Enwa into a subservient sit. “Do you think this youth speaks out of place?” Khane asked. “He nearly cost us our celebrations tonight, what Amara, do you think should be done to such an insolent whelp?”
Unease crept over Amara, as she looked at them puzzled. “Why ask me? He is not speaking an untruth, only pointing out the obvious debt that I owe.”
“Are you not a leader where you come from?” Bas a’ Rhinn questioned. “Is that on your thighs flesh not the mark of a High Priestess?”
Her chest tightened, her breath halted, as she searched for an answer. It was true that she bore the glyph of the High Priestess, but she was not yet possessor of the title.
“We have not told the others of the Pride, do not worry for your safety, but we must know if it is true that a summoner has come from the Lost Isle.” Bas a’ Rhinn leaned toward her, using the end of his pipe to lift her skirt enough to see the tattoo.
Amara jerked backward. “I am from De’ Corlen, but am far from its leader or summoner. I do not know what you want from me, in regards to each, but I assure you there is little I can do in either respect.”
“But they aim to keep you wounded.” Khane stopped her, we tried to take the object from your arm, but it would not come, it has a mind of its own, as though the insect still lives.” From inside her cloak she pulled the jar that held the Queen Hymenopteria, still encased in the Trialade. “This is how we knew from where you came. These only live on the lost Isle.”
Amara hesitated briefly, seeing the Queen again, causing her to think of horrors she wanted to forget. “I am thankful for your aid and allowing me to remain with you, but as you know I am quite alone. Now, if there is something I can do to return your kindness as I am, I will try, but I do not speak for the isle, and am only a Priestess by tutor.”
“Do you not have an opinion on how Enwa should be dealt with? Have you no knowledge on the subject?”
“If it were left to me, I would consider that no one was hurt by his words or his actions. From what I witnessed, it was his precocious action, which helped to divide the herd, and he, like Graw, made a killing blow. Perhaps, what he did could prove to be a useful tactic in future hunts.”
Enwa lifted his gaze, his pale green eyes picking up the low fading rays of the sun that entered the tent beside him. Amara smiled small then looked back to Bas a’ Rhinn, who scratched his graying chin before responding.
“Perhaps, you are correct. You did after all have an excellent vantage point, you’re honest, and merciful opinion satisfies my curiosity. You may have your weapons back.”
Enwa moved behind Bas a’ Rhinn, and as he did so the Shaman ran a hand down his back gently, an act of acceptance and consolement. When Enwa turned back to face them he held Amara’s sword and dagger as well as a short bow and a bundle of arrows.
Amara let out a gasp, her hands to her mouth. “I thought I’d lost them to the snow.”
The three Raepuwa laughed. “The young one found them, because they, like you pulsed.” Khane assured her. “He is touched by the magic, like his father.”
A stature of pride filled Bas a’ Rhinn, and Amara understood, this was his son, he was putting the fate of his own child in her hands to satisfy as he put it a curiosity. She wondered what would have happened had she made a cruel decision. Enwa handed the weapons to her, along with a bundle of clothes tied up.
When Amara took the bundles, he leaned in close to her, rubbing the side of his face against hers. His lip curled upward, leaving a small amount of saliva on her cheek.
Her first instinct was to wipe it away, but Graw taught her that this touch was one of appreciation and affection; if she wiped it off in front of him, it would have been most offensive. She gathered the items into her left unaffected arm, before lightly stroking Enwa’s arm in a platonic “Thank you.”
Enwa received the message; her return was to put the space of friends between them. Bas a’ Rhinn nodded to Khane who took Enwa away with a soft gliding of her tail, leaving Amara alone with the smoking Shaman.
Bas a’ Rhinn checked her wounds, her back was more than well off now, but there was little he could do for her arm, except keep it wrapped up, so it would not continue to infect and weaken her. He believed that it was the reason she had such trouble with conjuring her magics, but also believed she could overcome it and gain at least some control.
As to what transpired between her and Enwa, he assured her that the whelp would not try for her affections again. That her return was understood as a kind rejection. When they were back in their territory, in a few days he would help her to master her magic as much as he could, but for now, she should clean up before the festivities in whatever way she intended.
Returning to the bonfire, Amara found that a curtain had been put up around it to afford her some privacy, and rocks arranged to let her step up and into the makeshift tub. She did not take long, although she would have liked to stay in the soothing water, the notion that there were so many around her keeping her anxious. It took only a few moments outside the barrel for the bonfire heat to air-dry her body as she took out the clothes. The key to her chastity belt falling out of the bundle. The useful item sending her back into the water.
The clothes were a little large, but everything had ties, so she was able to keep it secure. Someone had fashioned a leather bodice and britches, which with their wide legs covered the tops of her boots. As she made her way back to Graw’s tent, it occurred to her that with a needle and thread she could easily make better use of the fabrics, especially if she were given the time. Her mind was so wrapped up in patterns and thoughts of colorful cloths that she did not realize that she had walked in on Graw while he was cleaning up from the days events.
His back was to her and although he had no doubt heard her approach, he made no motion to acknowledge her as she rambled on about how she could help with the ill fitting clothes many of them wore. Tired of talking to his back, she stepped in front of him, and he rolled his eyes upward, as he licked down the length of his powerfully built thigh.
“Oh! I'm s-s-orry!” Amara stammered, stepping away, turning a full flush, of all of him she spied, she realized in his total nakedness, that while much of him seemed feline, he was built like any human male, which quickly helped her to make the connection as to why they did in fact wear pants.
Graw touched her leg and she turned her head slightly, the embarrassment radiated off of her and her temperature rose.
“What’s there to be sorry for? You had your bath, so I was having mine.” He stood up, hunched slightly by the low point in the tent ceiling; he moved so as to right himself.
“Yes, obviously, I'm sorry for not letting you have the time to finish... Privacy to finish.” She looked away again, but Graw turned her toward him, she kept her eyes high.
He let out a snort. “Are all your women so ashamed of the uncovered form? We've adapted so you need not avert your eyes.” He grabbed her face, making her look at him.
His black and white markings covered him entirely, but the fur that was covered most often by clothing was finer than that which was on his head, arms, and paws. The muscles of his chest and abdomen were the same as a man, but far better defined, and he had three sets of nipples that traveled down his length to... Nothing. Amara was at once confused, she knew what she had seen, but as she looked at him now, all that sat between his legs was barely haired skin. Her mouth hung open ever so slightly in question.
“We are built like you and not, for necessity, but unless we are moved there is the protection of our form. We dress as men if only to add another barrier, while we journey.” He stepped toward her, as her eyes followed his speech. “We are more than capable of coupling when it suits us; it is why so many of our children can speak. We are feline, but also human.” He let out a low purr and Amara trembled.
Her body and mind were in conflict, her heart thumped hard against her chest, she could hear the blood as it rushed through her ears. His breath was warm, and his grasp on her shoulders firm, as he rubbed his face against her as Enwa had.
“Graw...Please, I can’t.” She pushed him away, her face visibly troubled, as she headed for the exit. “Everything I touch burns.”
Saturday, March 16, 2013
This uncommonly short chapter builds upon the character development of Chapter Six, and we get a sense of who and what the Northern Ridge Pride is, what they are doing in the region as they prepare for a hunt. Amara is made aware of the Western Ridge Pride, a source of a drawn out feud, and finds herself of some greater use.
In Dreams The Solitary Road A Serial Novella By S. I. Hayes
Copyright 2013 Shannon I. Hayes
With the ice sufficiently broken the questions were traded, it was explained to Amara that they called themselves Raepuwa, which roughly translated to Stripes and Spots, being the over all characteristic of many of the Pride group’s bodies of fur. Their colors ranged from Graw’s black and white stripe to tawny auburns and pale blondes. For the most part the males were not capable of speech, but the occasional throw back did occur. When it did, those males often ventured far beyond the scope of the rest of the Pride. The Pride group Amara traveled with was only a small part of the whole; they were thirteen in all, including Graw. The group had been traveling back on a supply run, gathering wood and stone for building and herbs for their specialty wines. Something Amara quickly came to appreciate. The wines were sweet and spicy, combined with cinnamon and allspice, bayberry, chokeberry and many other herbs. Each distinct, smooth and very potent, which came in rather handy, as it dulled Amara’s senses during her healing process.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Pain, survival, and scars. The introduction of characters who will carry the story with decriptions that I can see, but was hard pressed to decribe. Does it show that I may have stumbled or does the ferocity of the decriptions come across?
In Dreams The Solitary Road A Serial Novella By S. I. Hayes
Copyright 2013 Shannon I. Hayes
The warmth was peculiar, Amara eyes strained in the low light around her; she found she was in a large tent made of well-tanned hide, outside, were the outlines of two tall figures. She scrunched her nose at the pungent muskiness of the animal furs on which she lay face down. There was a burning in her throat, and her body was wrecked by pain. She tried to call out, but no sound came. Again, she tried to lift her body, but fell back into the deep furs. This action forcing a hard yelp from her. The figures outside stopped moving, listening as it were, and finally Amara managed a weak almost inaudible “Hello?”