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The Tribe's Bride
The Necklace Chronicles
By: R.E. Butler
Copyright 2012
Smashwords Edition
The Tribe’s Bride (The Necklace Chronicles)
Copyright © 2012 by R.E. Butler
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be
re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this
book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please
return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the
hard work of this author.
**Cover Design: Deer Watson Media**
This e-book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the
product of the author’s imagination and not to be construed as real. Any resemblance
to actual persons, living or dead, events or locations is coincidental.
Disclaimer: The material in this book is for mature audiences only and contains
graphic sexual content and is intended for those over the age of 18 only.
* * * * *
Many thanks to Alexis Arendt at Word Vagabond for editing this book. Her
guidance and insight were invaluable. Thanks also to Deer Watson Media for the
fantastic cover.
For BB, who bought a fishing boat so I could have weekend mornings free to
write, and to BL who continues to be my biggest supporter.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Contact the Author
Chapter 1
"So just what does one do with a degree in ancient Native American languages
and cultures?" The man across the desk from Carrie folded his hands slowly, resting
his arms on the blotter. The look on his face was one she had become accustomed to
since graduating.
Ignoring the “are you an idiot?” look he gave her, she swallowed her sarcastic
comment that he was the Human Resources recruiter and therefore should have an
idea of where a person with such a degree could work within the college. Instead, she
said, "I'm hoping to take on a Teaching Assistant post while I pursue my master’s in
education."
He gave her a puzzled look. "So you can teach languages that no one has used
for many, many hundreds of years?"
"Yes, sir." She mentally checked out of the interview. Bradford University had
no department even close to her degree program and they certainly weren't going to
open one for little old her. She’d known her major choice was a gamble, but she just
loved ancient languages and learning about primitive cultures. She was grasping at
straws, really. But she would take a TA job in any department to get her master’s.
He perused her resume again and then set it down. "Unfortunately, Miss Wade,
we don't have any TA positions available that match your qualifications. I'll keep your
resume on file for ninety days and let you know if something comes open."
She stood up and hid her frown behind a false smile as they shook hands. He
walked her out of his office and down the long, winding corridor towards the double
doors that led outside. He was at least a foot taller than her five-foot-three frame, and
his legs were long enough that she had to jog to keep up with him. He swung the door
open for her and gave her a tight smile, and she jumped as the door clanged shut
behind her.
What a fucking rotten day.
Her shrew of a great-aunt had passed away three years ago when Carrie was
nineteen, and the only nice thing she ever did for Carrie was name her the beneficiary
of her life insurance, which was enough to pay for an undergraduate degree in the
subject she truly loved - ancient Native American civilizations. The odd thing was that
there were some ancient civilizations that were acceptable to study, like Egypt. Tell
people you wanted to go dig around in pyramids and they'd write you a check and tell
you to watch out for curses. But say that you wanted to learn how to speak Indian
languages that had died out sometime in the 1600s and they looked at you like you had
sprouted horns.
The main tribe that she had studied had disappeared in the late 1600s. They
settled in the Badger Claw Mountains of Montana, and were a fierce group known as
the Bloqui, or the Blood-Ones. A small tribe, they were nearly wiped out by disease and
those that remained left the area and eventually joined other groups of disbanded tribes
to form a loose conglomerate. Eventually the melding of the various smaller tribes
meant that very little remained of the originals and that always made her a little sad.
She wasn't really sure where her love for Native American culture came from, but
learning about it had become nearly an obsession. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly a
lucrative profession, and her great-aunt's money was starting to run out.
It would have been nice to work at Bradford, but there were other colleges to
apply to, so she wouldn't give up. She had hoped to be placed in the linguistics
department at her own college, but there were no openings. Gathering her coat around
herself to stave off the spring chill, she walked away from the college and decided to
stop for a bite to eat on her way home to the small house she had shared with her aunt
in Elizabethtown. She saw an exit sign on the highway that said there was food ahead,
and she pulled off the highway and into the small town of Jamboree.
She sat down at the counter in Edna's Diner, tossing her long, dark brown hair
over her shoulder. After ordering the special, she plucked her cell from her purse and
checked to see if she had any messages. Her neighbor and closest friend, Bea, had
texted her, asking about the interview. Bea was a recently divorced thirty-something
travel writer with three cats. Carrie texted back that it was a bust and Bea promised that
she would take her out when she got back from the Caribbean. Carrie told her the
kitties were fine and that she was jealous of her job.
Carrie had been raised by her elderly Great-aunt Ellen after her parents died in a
car accident when she was twelve. Ellen was the only surviving member of her family.
Neither of Carrie's parents had siblings, and their own parents had died before she was
born. With no siblings of her own, and then suddenly no family, Bea had come into her
life at just the right time. She purchased the home next door just weeks after Ellen died
and took Carrie under her wing, acting like the older sister she had never been blessed
with.
When her food arrived, she tucked into a thick slice of pot roast, freshly mashed
potatoes, and hot buttered rolls. Edna herself brought a piece of apple walnut pie and
refilled her coffee.
"You new to town, darling?" she asked, peering over her half frame glasses. Her
thick black hair was streaked with gray and curled around her ears, giving her a
decidedly pixie look.
"Passing through."
"You should check out the antique shops on Dulcea. Turn left at the stop sign.
Some of them have some real interesting things. Jewelry and whatnot."
She smiled politely. "Thank you, Edna, I'll check it out."
Paying the bill, she got in her car and stopped at the stop sign. Going right would
take her back towards the highway, but the mention of jewelry made her heart go pittypat. She did love jewelry. And she did love antiques. Turning left, she parked at a
meter on Dulcea and fed a few quarters into it.
Her sensible heels clicked on the sidewalk as she window-shopped. She passed
a window display for a consignment shop that boasted clothing from several decades,
as far back as the twenties. She stopped and faced the window and looked at a flapper
dress hanging from a plastic, headless mannequin. The dress was fun and flirty, but
made more for stick-figured women and not those like her, with lush curves that no
amount of dieting would take away. She cast her green eyes down the window and saw
something more her style, a simple peach sundress with a ribbon at the waist that would
accentuate her curves.
She wandered through the various antique stores for about an hour, not seeing
anything that didn't look like it hadn't come from someone's grandmother's basement.
Mildly disappointed, she was heading back to her car when something caught her eye in
the window of a store.
It looked like a heishe necklace. She pushed open the door of the shop as her
excitement rose. "Can I help you?" the older woman behind the counter asked.
"Is that a heishe necklace?"
"Oh, yes. How did you know?" She put down the magazine she was reading
and walked around the counter to the display in the window. Carefully, she pulled the
necklace from the display to show her.
"I studied ancient Native American culture in college. May I?"
"Of course." She handed Carrie the necklace and she held it reverently. Small,
hand-carved beads made of bone and wood were strung on a narrow strip of leather to
make a necklace. They were often used for trade, although she had read that some
tribes, including the Bloqui, used them as gifts from a man to his intended bride.
"Oh, it's just lovely."
"It's very old. I came into possession of it a few years ago at an auction. It was
in a false bottom of an old wooden jewelry box. Some of the things came from colonial
times and even earlier. It was quite a find."
It felt warm in her hands, as if it was a living thing. The small beads were multicolored, from the pale white of animal bone to the honey and amber colors of different
types of wood. Although it appeared delicate, the weight of it in her hand was
comforting. She suddenly wanted it as badly as she'd wanted anything in her life.
"How much?"
The woman gave Carrie a critical look and she had a sinking feeling that the
amount would be too high. "I was going to ask three thousand, five hundred, but seeing
as you are a student of such things, I'll take three thousand dollars."
Her feet itched to run out the door with it.
"I can't afford that much. It would wipe out my savings and I'm without a job right
now. I couldn't go higher than two thousand."
The woman reached for the necklace to take it back and Carrie felt the hot press
of tears in her eyes. Suddenly, the necklace was everything for her. "No, wait, please.
I'll, I'll pay."
The woman's face softened suddenly. "Two thousand is fine. I've already made
up what I paid for it anyway by selling some of the curios from the box. Come; let me
wrap it for you."
Heaving a sigh of relief, Carrie gave the necklace back to her and followed her to
the counter. She wrapped the necklace in a slip of white cloth and tucked it carefully
into a long cardboard box. Tying the lid with a black ribbon, she took her check and
smiled sweetly. "Enjoy the necklace, dear."
"I will, thanks."
Carrie laid the precious package in her lap as she drove home and couldn't wait
to look at it.
Once home, she opened the box and looked at her treasure. Hundreds of years
ago, a man had carefully cut and polished the beads and strung them on the leather,
with a special woman on his mind. The idea of one of the warriors of the Bloqui tribe
doing something so purely sweet sent shivers down her spine. With a happy sigh, she
carefully laid the necklace back inside the box and set it on her nightstand, heading into
the shower to wash the stink of failure from her body. Yes, she now only had a little
over a grand to last her until she got a job. That wasn't good news. But she did have a
standing offer to wait tables at a coffee house nearby, and that would pay the bills. The
house was thankfully paid for, and she was sure her degree would pay off eventually.
Wiping the steam from the mirror, she looked at herself critically and wondered
what people saw when they looked at her. She turned away from the mirror with a sigh,
deciding that, right now, it didn't matter what she looked like because no one was
looking at her anyway. She hadn't had a date in months. She always appeared to be a
studious bookworm, and guys just didn't see that underneath the proper clothes was a
sex goddess just waiting to be released. She was pretty sure, anyway. The only action
she'd seen between the sheets lately was between her and her vibrator.
Tossing on a pair of pajama pants, she pulled a sweater over her tank and went
to feed Bea's cats. When she got back, she called the owner of the coffee house and
accepted his offer. He wanted her to start the next day. Knowing that she would spend
twelve hours the next day on her feet, she settled into bed and drifted off to sleep,
thinking about the necklace.
Chapter 2
The necklace beckoned to her as she dressed in a black skirt and a white shirt,
the "uniform" of the staff at CoffeeBeanz. She picked up the box and took the necklace
out, letting the beads slide over her hands and twist lightly between her fingers. Putting
it away, she chided herself for even considering putting it on. It was hundreds of years
old and had drained her savings. It wasn't a trinket she'd picked up at the mall.
She arrived a few minutes early for her first shift at CoffeeBeanz, covering a
yawn. The owner, Brent McCoy, smiled at her as he made an espresso for a customer
and handed it across the counter. Moving behind the counter, she watched him while
he attended to the handful of customers in line and then asked another young man to
take over for him.
Several hours later, she was quickly learning the coffee house lingo, and her feet
ached even though she'd chosen to wear her most comfortable flats. The other
waitress, Angela, who also worked the 7-to-7 shift, was Carrie's age and friendly. When
work was over, she and Angela went out for ice cream and talked about everything but
coffee.
The topic slid from the latest movie to dating. Carrie admitted she'd never been
with a guy long enough to fall in love, and that she'd had a few one-night stands that
she wasn't exactly proud of.
"What is an unintentional one-night stand?" Angela chuckled, her blue eyes
dancing.
"I mean I met him and I went home with him, but I totally thought he'd call the
next day."
She arched a brow in confusion and then laughed, covering her mouth with her
hand when a few customers glared at them. Carrie amended her statement, "But there
were a few guys that once I test-drove them, well, I wasn't interested in a repeat
performance."
They both laughed at that, Angela wiping tears from her cheeks as both of them
struggled to rein in the fun. Carrie hadn't laughed so much in a long time.
She dug her spoon back into the two-person sundae filled with four different ice
creams and several toppings. "Anyone special in your life?" She asked Angela.
"Nah. My last boyfriend wanted to marry me."
"You don't want to get married?" She asked.
"Well, yeah, sure I do. But I mean, we're young. Could you imagine being
married at twenty-two?"
Carrie smiled. "Actually, I could. I mean it would have to be the right guy, but if I
loved him I'd want to be with him forever."
"Right guy? Is there such a thing?" Angela snorted, rolling her eyes.
"Somewhere. He'd have to be strong so he could protect me. Funny so he could
make me smile. Sweet and attentive, and gorgeous, of course. And it wouldn't hurt if
he could cook, too."
"And don't forget the bedroom." She winked, making Carrie chuckle.
"Heaven forbid."
"I think that's a tall order," Angela put her spoon down with a sigh. The sundae
was nearly gone and Carrie couldn't eat another bite either. "You might find a man with
one or two of those qualities, but not all seven."
"Maybe." She shrugged and split the bill, leaving a nice tip for the young man
who had made the sundae.
They walked back to their cars in the parking lot of the coffee house and said
goodbye. Carrie headed home, checked on Bea's cats and went into her house. She
stopped at the kitchen counter and looked into the bowl at her goldfish, Rex. He swam
lazily to the top and she dropped in a pinch of food and watched him eat.
A long, hot bath and a glass of wine called to her, and she relaxed until the water
cooled and the glass was empty.
The next few days followed much the same, with long hours on her feet handing
out steaming mugs of coffee and small plates of biscotti, muffins, and Danish, and
evenings with nothing much to do. She and Angela made plans for Saturday, their
mutual night off. Dancing was in order, according to Angela, and since Carrie hadn't
been dancing in a long time, she happily agreed. Bea came home only for a day before
she set off to Canada to document some kind of secret fishing spot that could only be
reached by a tiny plane.
Carrie continued to send out her resume to other colleges, not ready to accept
that she would have nothing to do with her degree except look back at all the money
she had spent going to college.
On Saturday morning, she pulled out a book she hadn't read for a long while,
about the myths of many of the lost tribes, including the Bloqui. Many myths explained
things such as the creation of the world or their various gods and goddesses and
connections to the spirits of their ancestors. She especially liked the Bloqui's
explanation of the sun and moon. The sun was the god of the day, providing light and
warmth to his people. The moon was the goddess of night, sister to the sun, and
guardian of her people while they slept.
She was so engrossed in the book that she forgot about lunch, until her
grumbling stomach reminded her that she needed to eat. She'd grown hungry for
something comforting, so she thawed a plastic tub of beef stew and made a small pan
of cornbread.
The day passed slowly but pleasantly, and she eventually headed back to her
bathroom to take a shower. When her long hair was dry, she wrapped the towel around
herself and went to the closet to find something to wear. While she rifled through her
things, a poem from the mythology book she had been reading floated through her
mind.
Give me your hand and I will sing of us forever
Give me your heart and I will never die.
I give you all I have to hold in your hand,
Until the wind ceases to play across the trees.
She liked to think that the poem, which had been found on a piece of broken
pottery, had been inscribed by the woman who had made the pot for her husband. To
think that something written so many years ago was still known today gave Carrie
shivers.
Nothing in her closet looked good to her, and before she settled on something,
her eye caught the box on the nightstand. The desire to open it erased all other
thoughts.
She picked up the box and pulled off the ribbon. Lifting the necklace from the
fabric, she held it gingerly in both hands, her arms tight to her sides to keep the towel
up. It felt so wonderful to have the necklace in her possession. She could lose the
house and still be happy, as long as she had such an amazing piece of history. Walking
to the mirror over her dresser, she put the necklace on. It was just long enough to slide
over her head, the beads settling halfway down her chest.
She admired her reflection in the mirror, enjoying how the light colored beads
looked against her skin.
She put her fingertips on the beads and said, "If only I could meet whoever you
really belonged to, I think I'd be in heaven."
Suddenly too sleepy to think straight, she stumbled to the bed as the towel fell
away, mentally screaming at herself to take off the necklace because it was too
valuable and delicate to be worn to bed, but she couldn't do anything except close her
eyes and fall asleep.
******
1654, Badger Claw Mountains
Coyote Chasing Deer looked at his two brothers and the heishe necklace given
to them by their grandmother before they were exiled from their tribal camp less than
one moon ago. They looked at him eagerly, as he was the eldest, but also in mild
disbelief at whether the claims of their grandmother could really be true.
She had run out to them as they were leaving and handed him a pouch,
promising that if they laid out the necklace it contained and chanted the magic spell she
had written for them, it would disappear. When it reappeared, it would be around the
neck of their future bride...a woman that they could all share. He didn't think there was
such a woman, magic or not.
Their banishment meant they were alone in the world now, facing the coming
harsh winter with few supplies. They hadn't time for silliness like casting a magic spell
to bring them a woman, but there was no woman in all the tribes that would take any of
them now. A shunned male was worthless.
Their banishment came because their youngest brother Hawk That Soars had
wanted to put his length in the bottom of one of the tribal women and she had run to the
elders and said he was perverted. He and their middle brother, Bear Who Fights, had
stood up for Hawk and when the chief ordered Hawk whipped for his depravity and then
banished, they fought against the men who had tried to string him up. The end result
was that all three of them were banished, a cut made across their biceps with a blade,
to scar and show they were not welcome any longer.
He wouldn't have it any other way, however. Hawk and Bear were important to
him. And before Hawk had made the mistake of trying to take a virgin's bottom, they
had all three shared in many wicked fleshly pleasures with the women of their tribe.
Sharing a bride was something they had considered in private, but knew it would not
happen in the tribe. Tribe law was clear. One man and one woman until death parted
them.
"Will it work, brother?" Hawk looked at him with pleading eyes.
"If it does, then we'll have a woman to share. If it doesn't..." he let his voice trail
off. He wasn't sure how to finish his thoughts.
"If not, then we'll be alone for the remainder of our days." Bear said ruefully.
With that pleasant thought, Coyote and his brothers grasped hands and began to
chant the sacred words over the necklace. Closing his eyes, Coyote willed the Great
Spirits to bring them a woman that would love them all equally and make a life with
them. He was certain they would not survive without the love of a good woman.
Bear and Hawk gasped and Coyote opened his eyes in time to see the necklace
fade away. They finished the chant and dropped each other’s hands, staring at the
place where the necklace had lain. That was real magic. It was powerful and
frightening to witness.
"What now?" Hawk whispered.
"Now, little brother," he said quietly, "we wait."
Chapter 3
She was incredibly warm as sleep edged away from her. Possibly as warm as
she had ever been in her life. Refusing to open her eyes, she snuggled further into the
warmth, trying to hold onto that last bit of sleep before she had to wake up and go to
work. A very male-sounding sigh sounded next to her, and her brain stuttered back to
life. She sat up abruptly and found herself in bed with a man. A naked man!
She screamed in alarm and scrambled from the bed. But it wasn't a bed; it was a
thin pad with blankets. A low, banked fire in the ground cast sparse light against the
walls of the teepee.
Teepee? She rubbed her eyes. She had to be dreaming.
Three male voices spoke in surprise at once. At first their words didn't make
sense but then, suddenly, they did. They were speaking the language of the Bloqui.
She raised her head from her hands and looked at the three men crouched in front of
her. They were Native American, with coppery skin and jet black hair. Their faces
weren't carved with anger at her intrusion in their teepee, only curiosity and what looked
a hell of a lot like arousal.
She found her voice, but just barely. "Where am I?"
They looked at her curiously and spoke in their language. She shook her head
as if she could rattle her brain back to consciousness. One of them spoke again, more
slowly, and then the words made sense. Her brain finally remembered that she spoke
their language!
"Do not be afraid, little fox, we mean you no harm," the largest of three, who
looked like a linebacker, spoke with a gentle tone.
She answered him back in his language. "My name isn't Little Fox. It's Carrie."
"You can speak as we do. But your skin is so unusual," the middle one said.
"I studied your language in school."
"School?" the third one said. He appeared to be the youngest.
"A place where I was taught by elders," she supplied. She hadn't realized she
had slipped into English for the word ‘school’. They had no equivalent, because they
had no formal schooling.
They nodded, but looked confused. The middle one said, "You learned our
language? Why?"
"Because I'm from the year 2012. Your tribe, the Bloqui, disappeared in the late
1600s. I studied your tribe because I thought it was, um, interesting?" Interesting?
More like lifesaving.
"2012? That is a long time from now?" The first one said speculatively.
"Yeah. And just how the hell did that happen, anyway? Am I dreaming? Or
dead?" She pinched her arm hard enough to make herself grimace.
"Stop that, please. You are not dreaming. You have our heishe necklace. We
cast magic on the necklace and we were promised that the woman that appeared
wearing the necklace would be our bride," the middle one said.
Her mouth dropped open. "Excuse me?"
The large one said, "Brother, we need to introduce ourselves to the little fox first.
You will terrify her beyond measure if you speak of loving."
"My name isn't Little Fox!" She growled.
The large one smirked. "I know your name is Carrie, but you shiver like a little
fox in the snow. It is endearing."
She snorted and realized that she had forgotten that she was naked and so were
they. She slapped her legs together and covered her breasts with her arms. The
youngest one reached to the sleeping mat, pulled off a hide blanket and brought it to
her. He draped it around her and she smiled thankfully up at him.
"Carrie," the middle one said, but it sounded like ka-air-ee, "my name is Coyote
Chasing Deer, and I am eldest. This is Bear Who Fights, and our youngest brother,
Hawk Who Soars. You may call us by our animal names if you wish. We are banished
from our tribe. Our tribal council tried to whip our brother and banish him and we stood
up for him and they banished us all. As we left, our grandmother brought us the
necklace and spell and told us it would bring us a bride to share. This morning, I woke
up with you in my arms."
She looked down at the necklace and lifted it in her fingers. It looked like new
now, not the antiquity she had purchased. Her brain warred with the reality in front of
her. She was no longer in her bedroom and was now in a teepee with three members
of the Bloqui tribe. They said the necklace was meant to bring a woman for them to
share. Did that mean that she had been destined to find it? That somehow their magic
had put the necklace in her path? Was the reason that the necklace had felt so very
right in her hands, because she was meant to be with them?
Impossible!
She shook off the science-fiction like thoughts of time-travel and magical
necklaces and stood up abruptly. She had to see for herself what was outside the
teepee, see it with her own eyes. Gathering the blanket around herself, she stalked to
the opening, which was covered with a flap. She struggled with it awkwardly, eventually
wrestling her way through, and stepped out.
Please be home, please be home, she chanted. Her hope shattered as her eyes
lifted and she found herself surrounded by mountains and forests as far as the eye
could see. The sky was crisp, gray and clear, a perfect fall morning. The trees had
turned brilliant colors for fall, orange and red and golden-hued. There were no electric
towers, cell towers, turbines, smoke stacks from factories, or buildings in the distance.
No sounds of cars or machinery. No evidence of man’s inventive nature at all. There
was absolutely nothing but earth and sky. She turned in a slow circle and felt tears fill
her eyes. The three men stepped from the teepee but said nothing. Her eyes landed
on them just seconds before she felt like her brain overloaded and everything went
black. Again. Damn it.
Her senses started to come around as voices echoed distantly around her.
"Is she ill?"
"She was just overwhelmed, brother."
"Can you believe that the magic of the necklace went forward as it did? Her
coloring is so beautiful. Do you suppose our people are gone by that time?"
"Why would our people be gone?"
"Well, we could have been driven away from this land or died out, or she's from
another place where her coloring is normal."
"She did say she was taught our language by her elders. That sounds as if it is
something that is not in use anymore. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps our people die
out from this place."
"Or perhaps, brother, it is beautiful women such as our bride that mold the future
coloring of our children. Could you imagine a child with her lovely skin and hair?"
"He or she would be well prized for their beauty. We are lucky men."
She felt a cool cloth placed gently across her forehead and let out a soft moan
that she had been holding in. Opening her eyes slowly, she hoped upon hope that
she'd just dreamed overhearing the conversation - that she'd dreamed the whole damn
thing - and that she'd be staring at the crack in her bedroom ceiling. What greeted her
instead were the center pole of the teepee and the tanned hides that made the walls.
"Ah, she awakens." Coyote said. "Are you ill, sweet?"
She shook her head. The cloth was removed by Hawk, who helped her to sit up
and brought a wooden tumbler to her lips, filled with cool water. She drank it greedily.
She was thankful to see that they had wrapped the blanket around her again. At least
that was something. Waking up naked twice in a row just wasn't going to make her day
any better.
Was it really true? She didn't dare to believe it was possible to travel back in
time with a necklace, but the evidence was irrefutable. She was in a teepee with three
banished Bloqui tribesmen, and they wanted her to be their bride. She'd fallen asleep in
2012 and woken up in the late 1600s.
"I want to go home," she said bluntly. "I'm sorry that you're looking for a wife and
everything, but my life is in the future and I want to be there, not here."
"We cannot send you home." Coyote said. "The necklace brought you here.
We have no idea how it happened or how to reverse it. And in all truth, even if we knew
how to send you back, I am certain we would not. You are ours, Carrie. Our bride.
You are here, with us, for the span of your life."
Hawk picked up her hand with a tender look in his eyes. "We will make you
happy, Carrie. I promise."
She tugged her fingers from his grip. "No. I don't accept that. I have friends.
They'll miss me."
Coyote shrugged, his broad shoulders rising with the motion. "We cannot send
you back, Carrie."
She argued, “You mean you won’t.”
Bear frowned, his dark brows drawing together. “We cannot, and we would not.”
She felt tears again and fought not to cry, but she just couldn't help it. Scooting
back along the floor as far away from them as she could get, she tucked her head into
her bent knees with her arms wrapped around them tightly and wept.
She was aware that they watched her as she cried, but except for Hawk
whispering to the others quietly before leaving, they said nothing. They left her alone as
she wept bitterly over the loss she had suffered through this odd twist of fate. Buying
the necklace had cost her everything. But she'd wanted it so badly. If she hadn't
bought it, she would have obsessed over it until she went back to the shop and bought
it.
Her first thought was of Bea’s cats, but she chased the worry away. She’d fed
them plenty and they would be fine for the remaining few days that Bea was gone. But
she hated knowing that Bea would worry. When she came home from her latest trip,
she would call the police when she discovered that Carrie had disappeared. Her job
would be gone at the coffee house. Surely her boss would think she had just flaked out
and not given him notice. And Angela? Would she think that Carrie had stood her up?
How much time had even passed in the future?
She didn’t have an exciting life, but it was hers and she wanted to go back to it.
Her mind suddenly shifted to her goldfish Rex. She felt fresh tears spring up at the
thought of Rex dying of hunger in the fish bowl on the counter. And then she chided
herself for crying over a fish that had a brain the size of a pinhead. Also, she knew that
Bea would take care of him, because she was kind.
A warm hand touched her shoulder and she lifted her head slowly. It was Hawk
who knelt in front of her, wearing only a breechcloth like the others, with his long onyx
hair tied into a thick braid. He smiled shyly and lifted his hand, a single white flower
between his fingers.
She sniffled and looked at him. He ducked his head and pressed his lush lips
together, his chocolate eyes looking up at her through a veil of thick lashes, with an
almost fearful look.
It looked as if he thought he had made a mistake approaching her with the
flower, that he worried what her reaction would be. She took the flower from him,
admiring its six velvety petals, and dark peach interior. “Thank you, Hawk.” She gave
him a small smile.
Relief spread across his features, and he let out a slow sigh as if he’d been
holding his breath. He stood up, and her eyes followed him as he walked across the
tent to a small woven basket and pulled out a scrap of hide. He was lean and muscular,
his skin a beautiful coppery shade. On his right bicep was a scar several inches across,
and she had noted that same scar on his brothers as well. From what she knew of their
people, they had been marked by the leader of their tribe in that way to tell others that
they were banished. It was a sign meant to humiliate them, to be a constant reminder
that they had no tribe to call their own. He turned back around and caught her staring at
him, and his cheeks darkened in a blush as he knelt in front of her and handed her the
hide. It was soft, like cloth, and she wiped it under her eyes.
"Are you sad for your family?" He asked quietly. His eyes were large and filled
with worry. His face was slightly rounded, giving him a youthful, boyish look.
She looked at him and what she saw in his eyes was surprising. He genuinely
looked concerned. "I, uh," She sniffled, feeling silly, "I was just thinking about my pet
fish. My friend will take care of him, but it just all seems so unfair. I didn’t ask to be
brought here."
"The Great Spirits brought you here, Carrie. They do not make mistakes. In
time, you will see that we will make you happy." Coyote joined them and smiled
reassuringly at her. She didn’t share his confidence.
Chapter 4
"What did you mean when you said you had a fish?" Hawk asked, his brows
drawn in confusion.
"I had a little yellow fish in a bowl. He was a pet. I took care of him." She wasn't
sure how to explain it any better. Their people had no pets, so it was a strange concept
for them.
"You took care of a fish?" Bear asked incredulously.
"I fed it and kept its bowl clean."
"How strange," Hawk murmured.
She snorted a laugh. Of all the things to think of as strange in the last few hours,
that she had a pet fish in a bowl hardly seemed worth pondering.
"Come sit by the fire and tell us about your life. Bear is going to hunt something
for our midday meal. Everything always seems better after a full belly." Coyote said,
decidedly.
Very manly thinking. She was going to ignore Hawk’s offered hand, but once
more she had the feeling that he was worried about her response to him. She
wondered what had happened to put that fear in his eyes. She took his hand and let
him pull her gently to her feet. She wrapped the blanket around herself tighter, before
sitting down near the fire, which Coyote was adding more wood to. Bear disappeared
out of the teepee, and Coyote and Hawk peppered her with questions about her life and
the world she came from. While she talked about the things she thought they could
understand - her friends, her home, and grocery stores - she asked them questions
about their tribe.
The things she had learned in college paled in comparison to what they shared
with her of their lives before they left their tribe. She noticed that Coyote wore a single
braid at the side of his head adorned with carved wooden beads. It signified that he
was the eldest and therefore the leader. When she asked, she found out that Coyote
was twenty-seven, Bear was twenty-five, and Hawk was twenty-two.
Hawk disappeared with a roughly-carved wooden bowl after a while, leaving
Coyote and Carrie alone. He twirled a twig in his fingers, leaned on one elbow, and
stretched across the sleeping mat as he stared at the place where Hawk had been
sitting. “He wanted to...shri-shlaieen...a woman. Do you know that word?”
She shook her head.
His brow furrowed slightly and he said, “To love her? In her bottom place?”
She stared at him mutely for a moment and then understood that Hawk had been
interested in anal sex. “Your people don’t approve of that sort of thing?”
He shook his head. “In our tribe, to love that way is an abomination. The seed of
a man should not be spilled except inside the woman, to create life. The woman was
completely untouched, but he did not know that. None of us did. She spoke as if she
had bedded many men. Hawk thought he was safe to ask her for such pleasure, but
she screamed and cried and ran to the elders and said he was perverted and wicked.”
She’d only once had a man take her that way. She could imagine that for a
virgin, it would be a shock to have a man touch her like that if she wasn't expecting it.
After learning about the reason behind their banishment, she began to
understand a little more about Hawk’s shyness. The woman had probably railed
against him so much to the elders of the tribe that he was ashamed of what he had
done and now doubted everything he did. He was probably worried she would be upset
that he hoped she would stay and become his bride.
“Does he...like love only that way?” She found it odd to say the word love when
she meant sex, but it was their wording, so she went along with it.
Shaking his head, he turned his gaze to hers, and it was sad but understanding.
“He has desires, sweet, that is all. To love a woman in that way, is...something he has
wanted to try for a long time. If he had known it would cost him everything, cost us
everything, I am certain he would not have done it.”
He seemed lost in his thoughts as he stared into the depths of the fire. The
flames cast flickering lights across his handsome face. His high cheekbones and
straight nose gave him an almost aristocratic look. A shock of long onyx hair fell across
one broad shoulder, glistening in the firelight. She could see he was a strong person,
not only physically, as evidenced by his tall, muscular frame, but also in his character.
He had gone against his tribe for his brother, when death could have been the result.
Warmth skated through her. She’d never had anyone stand up for her the way
that these brothers stood up for each other. She moved over and kissed his cheek and
then settled back to her spot by the fire.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him touch the place where she had kissed
him, a little bit of awe on his face.
They talked more, about the brothers’ family and the lives they’d left behind.
Their parents and grandmother were still alive, and they had a sister who was younger
than Hawk. She was married and had children.
“I can’t imagine letting my family leave and not go with them, too,” she said.
He shrugged and tried to hide the disappointment that colored his features.
“They are older. It would have been a hardship for them to leave their comforts behind.”
“You did.”
“Hawk would not survive by himself. He is a good cook, but his skills don’t lie in
hunting and surviving. We took only our horses and the clothes on our backs, and the
few things we could grab quickly, like the sleeping mats and cooking tools. It was better
for three of us to be without the tribe, than for just one. The cold will come soon, and
without proper shelter and supplies, a lone man would die quickly. I would not have
wanted to live my life in comfort, never knowing what befell my brother.”
"Do you miss your family and tribe?"
He scratched at the dirt with the twig before saying, "I miss a great many things
about our old life, Carrie, as I am certain you do as well. I miss the smell of the many
cooking fires, the chatter of the tribe as the sun rose in the sky. But I would miss Hawk
more if he were not with us. As eldest it falls to me to take care of my brothers, and I
could not do that if he were banished from the tribe, alone."
She had opened her mouth to tell him she thought it was a very noble thing that
he and Bear had done, when they heard Bear come back. Coyote stood smoothly and
held his hand out to her. She took it without thought, keeping one hand on the blanket
wrapped around her, and followed him outside. She caught sight of Bear just as he split
the belly of a rabbit open, and she turned with a gasp and put her face into Coyote’s
smooth chest.
Coyote’s arms went around her slowly, and when she didn’t protest, he hugged
her lightly. “Have you never seen a rabbit killed before?”
“No. In my time, most people don’t hunt for their food and kill it at home.”
He tipped her chin up until she was looking at him. “I would not have brought
you out here if I had known you were not used to such things. I’m sorry, sweet.”
She smiled at him, and for a long moment, neither of them said anything. He
moved closer to her, dropping his head as if he would kiss her, when a rustling nearby
grabbed their attention. She cleared her throat and stepped away from the shelter of
his all-too-appealing arms. She wasn’t ready to admit that she would have welcomed
his kiss. Hawk came through the brush, carefully holding the bowl he had taken earlier.
He was smiling to himself, but when he saw them standing close, he frowned and
stopped moving.
“Are you ill, precious flower?” Hawk asked, concern furrowing his brow.
“Hmm?” she asked.
“You look as if you may be sick.”
Coyote laughed lightly and told him that she hadn’t ever seen a rabbit killed
before. Bear said, “I will have to kill more than a rabbit to dress you, Little Fox.
Perhaps you should stay in the tent when I return from hunts?”
She turned to look at him where he knelt in what was clearly their slaughter area.
Now that she looked more closely, she could see the grass and dirt was stained red
with blood. She lifted her eyes quickly from the body of the rabbit and watched, instead,
his abundant muscles rippling as he quickly stripped the fur from the rabbit and
prepared the body for cooking.
Momentarily lost to the play of the early afternoon sun on his tree-trunk thick
thighs, she realized what he had said and looked at him in surprise. “You’re going to
make clothes for me?”
He laughed and shook his head, standing up with the hide in one hand and the
spitted body of the rabbit in the other. “You are beautiful, and I would enjoy you being
naked for the rest of our lives. But winter comes soon and it would be a shame to
freeze any part of you.”
“Thank you,” she said, feeling her cheeks heat when he called her beautiful.
Coyote touched her cheek with his rough fingertips and said, “We told you we
would take care of you, Carrie. You are sad to leave your life behind, but the magic of
the necklace brought you to us. You belong to us, and we belong to you. Your
happiness is everything to us now.”
He kissed her, just a brief press of his mouth to hers, and then ducked down and
held open the entrance flap for her. Hawk and Bear were already inside, the rabbit
resting across the fire, which had been fed with more wood.
Bear was preparing the rabbit fur by scraping a dull blade down the inside of the
skin, and she turned away slightly so she didn't have to look directly at it. Eventually
she'd get used to it, probably, but right now she kept thinking how cute bunnies were.
Then she realized her own thought process. Only hours here, and she was already
thinking of having a life with them, staying in the tent? Having three husbands? How
the hell would that even work?
She watched as Hawk cooked the rabbit meat over the fire, tending it carefully so
it didn't burn. Coyote moved near Bear and began stripping bark from thin branches.
She knew he was making arrows; she'd read how they were made when she'd studied
their people. And here she was, living in the same place she'd read about and, hell,
fantasized about, for a long time. Ever since she first read about the Bloqui, she had
been fascinated by their people, curious and insatiable about their history.
"You said the necklace's magic brought me here. Did you do something with the
necklace that made it work?" she asked finally.
Coyote looked up, a stone blade in one hand and a thin branch in the other. "We
spoke the magic over the necklace and it disappeared before our eyes. In the morning,
you were with us, wearing the necklace. How it worked? I do not have the answer."
"What magic words?"
Hawk turned the rabbit carefully and sat back on his heels. "Our grandmother
gave us the necklace and a scrap of hide with the magic written on it. After we spoke
the words over the necklace, her instructions said we should destroy them afterwards,
so we tossed the hide into the fire."
Oh.
"You thought the words might help you get home?" Coyote narrowed his dark
eyes slightly, accusingly, and then went back to peeling the branch.
She felt guilty for asking, but she couldn't explain why exactly. "What would you
do if you went to bed in your own time and woke up the next morning hundreds of years
in the past? It's normal to want to go home." Even if she was beginning to feel like the
home she had known before would never feel like home again, after being with them.
Hawk turned slightly, his eyes sad. "We cannot send you home."
Coyote grunted, "It would be better for you to get used to the idea."
"Fuck. You." She said in English, and scooted back to the wall of the tent, as far
away from them as possible.
All three stared at her. She shifted slightly so she didn't have to look at them,
and stared instead at the hide wall that was now going to be her home. Tears
threatened again, self-pitying and bitter, but she ground her teeth until the feelings
disappeared.
She suddenly wished she had a place to sit by herself to think, but there was only
the large open room in tent. No bathroom where she could splash cool water on her
face. No bedroom where she could slam the door so they knew just how upset she
was. No car so she could go for a drive, something she liked to do to clear her head.
None of them spoke. They just worked quietly and she stared mutely at the hide,
noticing every crack and imperfection. The smell of roasting meat filled the tent, and
her stomach growled embarrassingly loudly. Hawk moved in front of her with a small
wooden platter, a wedge of meat sitting on it, along with what looked like tree nuts and
wild berries. In his other hand was a wooden cup filled with water.
"I've lost my appetite." She said stiffly.
Coyote said loudly, "Your belly says otherwise."
She glared at him, ignoring the hunger that suddenly twisted her stomach in
knots. "I don't want anything to eat. What I want is to not be here anymore." She
grabbed the necklace and jerked it off, snapping the thin leather. "I want to never have
set eyes on this necklace or been foolish enough to put it on." She threw it at him in
anger and regretted it the moment it left her fingers. They all watched as the necklace
failed to clear the flames and landed on the burning logs instead, catching fire instantly.
The leather string disintegrated, and the flame-covered beads slid down through the
wood and into the coals, lost forever.
"That was a gift from our grandmother," Coyote said hotly, standing up abruptly.
He crossed the tent to her and jerked her to her feet by her upper arms. She gasped at
how fast he moved and at the snarl on his lips. He glared down at her, holding her
close, which prevented the blanket, now loose, from falling away completely. "Your life
is here now, Carrie. What you knew before is gone, and all you have is us."
"I didn't ask for this life!" She shouted.
He growled and his whole body tensed, his fingers digging into her arms. "It is
the life you have now." Suddenly, the anger disappeared from his features and he
looked as if someone had shoved a knife into his heart and twisted it. "The magic
brought you here. It could not have been wrong. You know our words, you know of our
people. It is as if you were made for us. Save us, Carrie. Do not be angry forever. Be
ours. Let us love you with our hearts forever."
Her heart cracked painfully at his plea, and the reality of her situation set in.
They didn't know how to send her home, and she had no idea how to get back herself.
Even if the necklace might have done something, it was destroyed now, by her own
hand. She was truly stuck here, brought back in time by the strange power of the
necklace. Her voice came out on a whisper, edged with tears. "You'll take your time with
me?"
He let go his bruising grip on her arms and pulled her close to him, wrapping his
arms around her. He bent slightly, his tall frame engulfing hers as he held her tightly.
"As much time as you need, sweet Carrie. Bright Sun. I swear."
She hugged him, her hands digging into his back, and let the tears fall for the last
time as she mentally said goodbye to her life as she'd known it, and embraced the
future as a bride to three brothers.
Chapter 5
Bear and Hawk were nearby, and she moved from Coyote's arms to theirs in
turn, kissing them gently and letting them hold her. Bear's arms were as strong as the
steady beat of his heart, and he crushed her against his broad chest while their lips
touched. By the time that Hawk had kissed the tears from her cheeks and whispered
sweet things in her ear, she felt better. It wouldn't be an easy life, but she had three
men that were vowing to take care of her forever. She could have done a lot worse.
"Come and eat, Bright Sun," Coyote said, relief and happiness evident in his
voice.
"I need to, uh, relieve myself?" She said, chewing on her bottom lip. She
actually had no idea what they used for bathrooms, but she had a good idea she wasn't
going to like it. She wasn't one for camping in her old life, and now she was going to be
camping permanently.
"I'll take you, Little Fox." Bear said, taking her hand. She nodded and followed
him out of the tent. Like his brothers, he was at least a foot taller than her, with
muscular legs and a long stride that made her have to jog to keep up. He noticed
immediately and slowed his gait, shortening his stride to match hers so they walked
together. She winced as her unprotected foot grazed a sharp stone and he stopped her
with his large hand on her arm.
Toeing off his shoes, he knelt down and put his hand on her calf. Looking up at
her, he said, “I should have made certain you had shoes before we left. You will wear
mine.”
She couldn’t help but smile and melt a little inside at his protective - and bossy nature. She had a feeling that when he thought his family needed to do something to
be safe, he didn’t take no for an answer. It warmed her that he was already thinking of
her comfort and safety. She rested her hand on his broad shoulder, his skin smooth
and warm under her palm, as he helped her into the moccasins. They were several
sizes too large for her, but she curled her toes into them and shuffled as they continued
on their journey to the bathroom. He took her hand again, guiding her as they walked a
long ways along a path cut through the woods. When they breached the edge of the
woods, they came out into a clearing. Bear gestured towards a stand of thick brush.
"Go behind there, Little Fox. I mean...Carrie."
She let go of his hand. "I don't mind Little Fox."
"Good." He nodded approvingly and turned his back to her.
She scooted quickly behind the bushes and found what amounted to a long
trough cut into the ground. Oddly, it smelled just like freshly tilled earth. It was clear
that they frequently layered dirt on top of the waste. She gathered the blanket up
around her hips and squatted awkwardly over the trough and peed. When she was
finished, she stood up and hopped over the trough, and walked to Bear.
They walked through the clearing and into another section of the woods, away
from the makeshift toilet. Bear kept close to her as they walked for what felt like a really
long time, until she heard water. They walked down a small slope to a wide creek that
meandered through the trees.
He smiled at her and waved towards the water. "It is cool but you can clean up
quickly here." He turned his back to her and she stepped into the water and gasped as
his version of cool was down-right cold. Squatting again with the blanket high on her
hips, she scooped water in her hand and cleaned herself as best she could. Modern
plumbing was going to be something she missed dearly.
Chilled all over, she stepped out, shivering, and Bear turned around and swung
her up into his arms. "Tomorrow, we can bathe in the creek if you wish. There's a small
pool further up that is warmer and we can bring blankets to dry off with."
She rested her cheek against his broad shoulder and snuggled into his warmth.
It sounded heavenly. “Thank you, Bear.”
He carried her easily back to their tent. "You must make sure to never go alone,
Little Fox. There are dangerous animals around here."
"I won't. Are there any tribes around?"
"No. We walked for many days away from our people before we stopped. We
have scouted the area completely and we are alone."
"How many days did you walk before you stopped?"
His square jaw clenched before he seemed to visibly shake whatever memory
had upset him. "Fifteen."
"They wanted you gone that badly?"
"It was best. If we did not go far enough and our tribe came upon us, they could
raise coup and kill us. Leaving the area far behind was best. They were in their
summer high grounds. They never went further than that and they were nearly ready to
head away for the winter times. They go where it is warmer, many days' travel away
from the area."
He ducked down inside the tent with her in his arms, maneuvering easily in the
tight space. Setting her down in front of the fire, he told Hawk to give her another
blanket because she was cold. Quickly, the younger brother grabbed two and layered
them over her shoulders. She smiled up at him in thanks.
"You will eat now, Bright Sun?" Coyote asked.
"Yes." She smiled at him as well, and he returned it easily, happiness glowing in
his eyes.
Hawk gave her the platter again.
"Do you have something to eat with?" she asked, when she couldn't think of the
Bloqui word for fork. When it was clear they didn't know what she meant, she picked up
the two-pronged cooking fork that Hawk had used to pull the meat from the spit.
"Ah." Hawk smiled in understanding. "Cooking tool."
"I am used to eating with one,” she explained. The cooking tool itself was too big
to use for eating.
"We eat with our fingers." Bear said, holding his own platter in one hand and
picking up a rabbit leg and taking a bite out of it.
Okay. She could get used to that. She picked up a berry and popped it into her
mouth. It wasn't very sweet, but it was pleasant tasting, like a blueberry that wasn't
quite ripe yet. After trying the nuts and deciding they were some kind of walnut, she
picked up the wedge of rabbit meat and bit into it. Gamey flavor exploded across her
tongue. The rabbit meat was dark and sinewy, but after chewing her first tentative bite
carefully, she decided it wasn’t all that bad. She’d never had a man cook for her before,
and freshly roasted rabbit was a far cry better than the frozen meals she was used to
eating for lunch. Taking another bite of the rabbit and deciding she liked it, she leaned
over and kissed Hawk's cheek. "Delicious."
He grinned and blushed. Coyote laughed. "The food or Hawk?"
It was her turn to laugh. "Both."
While they ate, she listened to them discuss hunting for deer and elk to get large
hides to make clothing. From her research, she knew that the women in the camps
were expected to do everything to take care of the men, from dressing the kills to
creating the clothing. The men were responsible for hunting and protection...and
fathering children. When she said she didn’t know how to do any of the things that the
women of their tribe would do, they assured her that they would teach her how to sew
and cook, but that the handling of the kills would be their responsibility alone. They had
three horses, and they were planning to create a shelter for the winter for them, but
clothes were the first priority. Stocking up on food for the winter months was also
important. They would dry meat, wild grains and vegetables, so they would keep.
“I have a gift for you,” Hawk said after he put their dishes into a woven basket
near the entrance. He picked up the bowl he’d carried into the tent and brought it over
to her. Setting it into her hands, he smiled nervously as she looked down into it. It was
filled with water...and a fish!
“Oh! A pet fish!” She grinned, looking down at the small fish swimming in the
water. She put the bowl down carefully and kissed him. “Thank you.”
“I do not think he will live long in the bowl,” he said ruefully.
“We could set him free.” She offered, and he agreed. They took the bowl down
to the creek and released the little white fish, and then all four of them went for a long
walk. Bear had exchanged the moccasins Carrie had worn earlier for a pair of Hawk’s
that were slightly smaller, adding torn hides inside to make them fit her feet better.
Hawk had fixed her blanket over one shoulder and tied it around her waist with a length
of leather cord, so it looked more like a dress and freed up her hands.
They walked together around the area. They showed her where they hunted and
fished. They walked to the highest hill and looked down into a lush valley where the
trees had already dropped their fruits for the winter, but come summer would yield
much. As they returned to the tent, Coyote declared that some work needed to be
done, and he and Bear went hunting while she and Hawk took the dirty dishes to the
creek and washed them.
Back in the tent, Hawk showed her how to grind the dried field grains to make a
rough flour blend using a mortar and pestle. They mixed it with water from the creek
that was kept in a skin hanging on the tent wall. On a stone that was set into the fire
until it was hot, he melted fat from the rabbit and fried lumps of the rustic dough. In the
meantime, he used a large stone pot laid into the fire to make a stew, adding water,
dried meat, and root vegetables from a woven basket, and fat. She looked around the
tent and recognized several tomahawks made from stone, with wood handles; bows
and clutches of arrows with feather tips; long spears; and knives made from sharpened
animal bones and stone. There were three sleeping mats and several rolls of blankets.
“You do not need to be frightened,” Hawk said carefully, turning the fried cakes
over.
“Frightened of what?” She turned her attention back to him, watching as he
stared intently at the food he was cooking, as if it were the most important thing in the
world.
“Of us. We will treat you well. We will never hurt you. In time, you will love us, I
know.”
“You really think that the three of you can share me, physically?” Every time she
thought of the three of them with their hands on her, her stomach flipped. Excitement
and nervousness fought for dominance in her mind.
His eyes met hers slowly across the fire. He said nothing for several moments,
but she could see his feelings - worry, hope, fear - scatter across his face as he tried to
decide what to say. “It is not a normal thing, but we are family and there is no one else
for us. The magic brought us the woman meant for us, and it is you. I think it may be
hard at times, but being alone for the rest of our lives would be harder.”
He paused for a moment and then said, “We cannot go home again, precious
flower. There is nothing there for us any longer. We only have each other, and you.
That is enough to make a home. It has to be.”
As she stared at him quietly, she saw his eyes shimmer with unshed tears. He
dropped his gaze back to the pot he was stirring with a long, spoon-like wooden tool.
She sat down next to him and put her arms around him. He stiffened at first and then
relaxed with a soft sigh, hugging her arms to him. “I can’t go home either, Hawk.” She
kissed his ear. “I’ll help you make a home here.”
He turned his head and looked at her, his dark brown eyes shining with affection
and hope. He kissed her on the lips once and turned his attention back to the stew. For
a long time they said nothing, and then he began to tell her about the things that needed
to be done to get ready for winter, including things she could help with, like harvesting.
He promised that they didn’t expect her to help, but she wanted to. She wanted to be
useful, and if this was her new life, then she needed to know how to be a contributing
member of the family.
Family. What an odd thought: that a magical necklace would send her back in
time and possibly give her the one thing she’d been missing for so long.
By the time the stew was done, Bear and Coyote were back with a large buck.
They worked well past nightfall taking off the hide and the usable parts. While Bear
worked on the meat of the buck, Coyote set up a huge woven basket that he filled with
water from the creek. It was made water-tight by some sort of natural glue they made
by melting down parts of deer. The brain of the buck was cut up, put into the water, and
used to make the agent that would tan the hide and let it remain pliable. It would soak
overnight, and in the morning, they would stretch it out and scrape it until it was soft.
That night, the four of them stared at the three sleeping mats and Hawk said,
“You can take my mat. I will sleep on a blanket.”
“Thank you,” she said. She wouldn’t have actually minded sharing her sleeping
mat, because with the fire banked low for the night, the tent was starting to feel chilly.
But she also knew she had nothing to sleep in and didn’t want to be naked in bed with
one of them, tucked under the covers and in near darkness. It would be far too
tempting, and she wanted to take things slowly as she adjusted to her new life. She
kissed them all goodnight and climbed onto the mat. Pulling off the blanket that was
tied around her, she used it, along with another blanket, to cover herself. On the other
side of the fire, Hawk, Coyote, and Bear slipped off their breechcloths and laid down to
rest. She had not watched them undress, but she saw the piles of cloth when she
turned back over.
Sleep came quickly - it had been a long, stressful day - but it didn’t stay with her,
and she woke up shivering in the chill of the tent. The fire was down to red coals, and
when her eyes adjusted to the faint light, she saw that all three men were still sleeping
soundly. Curling into a ball under the blankets, she tried to go back to sleep, but she
was far too chilled for that, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep if
she didn’t warm up. Ignoring the part of her that thought climbing into bed with any of
the brothers was going to cross a line she wouldn’t be able to uncross, she gathered the
a blanket around herself and went to Coyote.
“Coyote?” she whispered loudly, touching his warm shoulder with her cold
fingers.
He jerked awake immediately, his eyes roving wildly before landing on her. “Are
you unwell, Bright Sun?”
She smiled at the nickname. “I’m cold.”
He looked over at the fire and then said, “Lay back down on the mat; I will add
more wood to the fire and join you.” He got up quietly as she returned to the mat with
his two blankets, adding them to hers. The fire crackled back to life as he added wood
to it, and in moments he was under the covers with her. He turned towards her and
pulled her against him, covering them both with the blankets and wrapping his arms
around her. She shivered until his warmth began to seep into her, along with the heat
from the fire.
“Thank you.” She yawned.
“It is my pleasure,” he promised, and kissed her forehead. Although arousal
poked at her, much the same as his hardened cock did against her hip, she was too
sleepy and warm to do anything but fall back asleep.
Hawk and Bear said good morning to her and gave disgruntled looks to Coyote,
who was smiling broadly when she woke up in his arms. After they dressed in their
breechcloths, they left the tent while she stretched. A peek through the open flap
showed her that Bear was inspecting the hide, and Hawk had walked into the woods.
Coyote dressed and added more wood to the fire. She fixed one blanket around herself
like a toga, wondering what her hair looked like. With no bathroom and no mirror, she
didn’t have the luxury of checking on her appearance.
She left Coyote in the tent and ducked out into the crisp morning. She walked to
the edge of the clearing and looked into the depths of the forest, touching the cool bark
of one of the trees. Something caught her eye and she noticed that in the next tree,
someone had carved totems into the wood: rustic drawings of a bear, a coyote, and a
hawk.
Her fingers touched the rough bark and traced the patterns. She knew from her
studying that when a new tribe settled into an area, the leaders would carve their names
into something such as a tree or a large rock or mountainside, as a request for
blessings and protections from their spirit guides and a warning to others that the area
belonged to them. Like a “No Trespassing” sign, the totem was often the only warning
that a visitor got to stay away.
She wondered what time it was, and her hand strayed to her hip where her
phone would have been clipped to her pants. She quickly realized that she had neither
her cell phone nor her jeans. There wasn’t any technology here. The most advanced
things they had were handmade tools and weapons. The horses snorted from the posts
nearby where they were tethered, and she saw Coyote feeding them, running his palm
affectionately on the nose of the one that was dark brown and white.
She knelt next to Bear on the cool grass and watched him tend to the soaked
hide, stretching it between buried pegs and working it over with a tool carved from bone.
“You slept well, Little Fox?” He drew the tool down the length of the hide in one
smooth, slow stroke. She watched his body more than the hide, appreciating his
smooth skin and thick muscles. His long, thick hair lay loose down his back.
“I woke up cold and Coyote put more wood on the fire and lay with me for
warmth.”
Bear cast a sideways glance at her, his brow raised, as he made a suggestive
sound in his throat. She blushed. He sat back on his heels and his teasing smile slid
into what could only be considered a sinful grin, complete with arched brows. “My mat
is also warm, Little Fox.”
She kissed his cheek with a laugh and said, “I’ll remember that.”
Hawk came through the trees with a pile of twigs cradled carefully in one arm,
two dark purple flowers in his hand. He smiled broadly when he saw her and she stood,
brushing the dirt from her knees. Handing her the flowers, he held open the tent flap for
her. She went inside first and he followed; they both knelt in front of the fire. The
flowers were a pretty violet with a golden interior and smelled sweet. What she had
thought was a pile of twigs was in actuality a nest, containing five eggs.
She tucked the flowers behind her ear, aware that Hawk was watching her from
the corner of his eyes as he cracked the eggs on the flat stone that Coyote had set into
the fire. He cooked efficiently, lost to his work. When the eggs were finished, and a
fresh batch of the rustic fry bread cooked as well, Bear and Coyote joined them. She
had to wait a few moments for the eggs to be cool enough to handle with her fingers,
and she took her first bite of their version of breakfast. The eggs were bland. I would
kill for some salt right now, she thought with a sigh. Their food tasted so different to her,
but it was hearty and she knew she would grow accustomed to it with time. The days
when she could go to the drive-thru for a burger were long gone.
After breakfast was finished, they took her to the part of the creek where they
bathed. It was a wide section that had been carved out over time by rushing water and
was deep enough for them to stand in past their waists. They all carried spare blankets
to be used as towels. Hawk pulled some fat leaves from a nearby bush and gave one
to each of them, and then they dropped their breechcloths and walked into the pool.
Her mouth fell open and her eyes widened in surprise at seeing them so casual in their
nudity.
Coyote held out his hand to her. “We have already seen your lovely body without
covering, Bright Sun. We are just bathing. Nothing more will happen.”
She liked that reassurance, even as a little part of her thought that it wouldn’t be
the worst thing ever if something did happen while they bathed. She dropped her
covering and took his hand, stepping into the cool water. It was warmer than the creek
water, but not by much. Hawk cracked open the leaf and showed her how to scoop out
the clear gel inside. It lathered like soap and smelled fresh like aloe. She ducked under
the water to get her hair wet and they washed themselves as if it were the most natural
thing in the world. She supposed that for them, it was.
They dried quickly, wrapped themselves in the towels, and returned to the tent.
Hawk began to cook the afternoon meal while Bear and Coyote went back to tending
the buck from the night before. She watched them for a long moment. This was their
job, she realized. It wasn’t as if they were working on the hide as a hobby, or that Hawk
was cooking because he enjoyed it, even though she could see he took pride in what he
did. They had duties to attend to because there were things that needed to be done so
they could survive. Clothes to be made, weapons to be fashioned, food to be prepared,
cooked and stored for the coming winter. Now that she was here with them, they
immediately began factoring her into their plans. She was no longer going to work so
she could buy things to wear and food to eat. She was going to be working for all of
them so they could survive. She’d not considered how truly dangerous the untamed
world that she now lived in was, but she knew it was true. There were no real
medicines here. Although their people had knowledge of natural medicine, if one of
them became seriously injured, they could die from it.
She shivered as the implications of not only her fragile life, but those of the three
men that she was now living with, coursed through her. Even though she’d only just
met them yesterday, she didn’t want anything to happen to them.
Shaking the dark thoughts from her mind, she used a carved bone comb to work
through the tangles in her hair, braiding it into a thick length and tying it with a strip of
leather that Hawk had given her.
After lunch, Hawk asked her if she’d like to join him at the creek to wash the dirty
clothes. As she knelt on the grassy bank of the creek with a pair of wet leggings in one
hand and a palm full of the soap in the other, she asked who taught him to cook and
sew.
His shoulders hunched as if he were expecting a blow, and his gaze darkened as
pain shadowed his face. He wouldn’t meet her eyes, and the desire to comfort him
stole over her.
She set the trousers down, wiping the gel off on the material, and put her arms
around him in a tight hug. “What is it, Hawk? You can tell me anything.”
One of his wet hands gripped her arm, not to push her away but to draw her
closer. “My father,” he said thickly, “was a great warrior in our tribe. He had seen many
battles and killed many men. He trained us to be warriors, to have high status in the
camp so that he would be filled with pride for his family. I worked hard to please him,
but I was not as skilled as my brothers, especially Coyote, who showed promise at a
very young age. I did not want to kill other men, but I wanted to be able to defend my
future bride and I kept working, kept trying, but I could not master the blade or the
arrow. My father thought that ridiculing me in front of the others would work, but all it
did was make me ache inside.
“One day, my mother was preparing and cooking fish on the fire in our family’s
dwelling. I watched her skin the fish and cut the meat from the bone with swift fingers.
She told me that perhaps my hands were not meant to kill people in war, but to turn
those same tools to animals to provide for the camp. She did not mean hunting, she
meant tending the kills, gathering, and preparing the meals. I was young, but not so
young that I did not know that it was not common for men to work in this way. She
taught me in secret for many moons."
He went silent, and she rested her head on his shoulder, squeezing her arms
around him tighter. After a few quiet moments, he continued, "My father found me early
one morning, where I had gone to sew a vest for myself for a celebration. He dragged
me back to the camp, yelling loudly so that all would wake. When a crowd had
gathered, he shouted that I was a disgrace to the seed of his loins and threw the vest I
had worked so hard on into the nearest cooking fire."
His voice cracked as emotion flowed over him, and he trembled in her arms.
"He stripped my clothes and tied me to a post in the center of the camp. H-he
told the men that he did not think I was a man at all, because I chose the work of the
women over the honorable duties of the men. He said a few days tied to the pole would
harden me, and he forbade anyone from helping me."
Tears blurred her vision as she listened to the horrible things his father had done
to him. "How old were you?" she whispered.
"Ten years."
She dropped her head to his shoulder and pulled him closer into her arms. "Bear
and Coyote came to me at night, Precious Flower. Bear kept watch over me so that no
one would bother me while I was helpless, and Coyote made sure that I had food and
water. After that, my father would not look at me. I hid myself away and did not touch
the work of women again until it became necessary for our survival."
"All those years," she shook her head and pulled away slightly, seeing the track
marks of tears on his cheeks, "your father did not speak to you at all?"
She brushed the tears from his cheeks and he sighed, cuddling her palm against
his cheek. "Not much. When I became a man, he told me that I would redeem myself if
I had a son and did not teach him to be a woman, but that he had doubts that any
woman of worth would want me as her husband."
She brushed a length of his long hair from his shoulder and smiled at him. "Well,
he was wrong."
Hope bloomed in his eyes. "He was?"
"He was wrong about everything, Hawk. In my time, men do all that you do
without fear, and women love them for it."
"I wish that I might have lived in your time."
"I don't. I wouldn't have met you otherwise."
She stared into his sweet, brown eyes and realized how much he had told her in
such a short time. He'd been emotionally abused by an overbearing father, and forced
to become something he wasn't in order to please his father and tribe. Every time he
tried to do something to make himself happy, he suffered for it: first with his inability to
excel in fighting, later when he was tormented by his father, and then when he tried to
have anal sex with that woman. He couldn't hide his feelings, he wore his heart on his
sleeve, and everything about him told her that he was praying feverishly right then that
she wouldn't reject him. She had known she would grow to love them eventually,
because they were all kind and caring, but she hadn't known the feelings would come
so quickly, or be so strong.
Tracing the swell of his lower lip with her thumb, she said softly and earnestly, "I
like the man you have become, Hawk Who Soars. I would not change you in any way."
Before he could say anything, she pressed her mouth to his, tilting her head and
licking at the seam of his lips. He pressed his trembling hands to her back and opened
his mouth, touching his tongue against hers in a slow, tentative stroke.
Her stomach fluttered and her senses exploded as the rich, dark taste of him
filled her. His warm skin under her hands bunched and contracted as she drew aimless
patterns over his bare back, sifted his hair through her fingers, and smoothed her
fingers down the line of his taut, smooth belly.
He groaned and leaned back, lifting her hands and kissing the palms. "You are a
wonder, Precious Flower, and I am blessed to know you."
They returned to their work, the tension of the conversation easing as they talked
about the coming winter and the new life that lay ahead of her.
Chapter 6
The next few days progressed much the same as the first one had. In the
mornings, she and Hawk went to gather fall grains, root vegetables, nuts, and berries.
When they found birds’ nests they took the eggs, and they were fortunate to find a bee
hive in an old tree stump, from which they extracted a thick wedge of honey-comb that
he wrapped in dried corn husks. The four of them talked often, and eventually the
sights and smells of their hunts stopped bothering her and she watched them tan the
hides and dismantle the animals with skill and ease.
She’d been there about a week and nothing more had happened between them
besides occasional kisses and hugs. Each night, one of them shared their sleeping mat
with her, wrapping her in their warm, strong arms. She had asked them to take their
time with her, and they were doing just that. Every morning, Hawk brought flowers for
her, sometimes just one single bud but often a handful, handing them to her sweetly
and shyly. Even though he seemed more at ease with her, he still seemed to worry
about her reactions. After knowing how his father had behaved, she knew he'd had a
lifetime of being put-upon, and a few days with her wasn't going to change that right
away. She hoped that eventually he would not constantly question his worth and
feelings.
Bear hunted rabbits, intent on making her a cloak of their fur. He finished tanning
the first hide, and Hawk made it into a long-sleeved, tunic-style dress, loose and
comfortable. Although it was plain, Hawk said he would show her how to decorate the
tunic during the winter. Bear promised that the next buck he killed would provide the
hide for trousers for her for the coming winter.
Hawk untied his horse and Carrie looked up from where she was separating
seeds from dried corn to save for planting the following spring. "Where are you going?"
"Scouting. I have not been since you arrived, and it is not wise to let our guard
down."
She put the handful of seeds back into the basket and stood up. "Can I come
with you?"
Coyote's face lit up with a smile and he reached his hand down to her. Although
it was awkward in the tunic, she managed to sit in front of him, and after waving
goodbye to Bear and Hawk, Coyote put one arm around her, grabbed the rope that was
used for the horse's bridle, and whistled. The horse kicked off, heading through the
woods on the path they used to go to the creek.
The horse moved at a leisurely pace until they reached the creek, where Coyote
let him drink, before turning him to follow the creek as it wound through the trees. She
could see mountains from the camp, but she hadn't been allowed to go exploring alone
because of the danger, and there was so much work to do that she didn't want to be a
burden by asking one of them to take her out for a walk. This horseback ride was an
unexpected pleasure and she drank in the sights, sounds and smells of the forest.
Coyote's arm was comforting around her, even if her butt already hurt from bouncing on
the thin blanket used for a saddle.
Coyote scanned the woods as they moved, looking for signs that people had
come by. Carrie wouldn't know what to look for, so she kept quiet so she didn't interrupt
him. He stopped abruptly after a while and jumped down from the horse. He stalked to
a bush thick with dark green leaves. One of the branches had been bent and he leaned
forward and plucked a tuft of dark hair from between the leaves.
"What is that?" She asked.
"Bear," he said, his brows furrowing as he frowned. He looked around silently,
his eyes narrowing.
Her heart sped up. "Could it come to the camp?"
He dropped the fur, brushing his hands, planted his palms on the horse's
haunches and leapt back up behind her. With a swift kiss to her cheek, he whistled at
the horse and led it away from the bush. "Bears do not come to where people live
unless they are hungry. The creek is filled with fish. We will keep you safe, Bright Sun."
His words reassured her some, but as she glanced back at the tuft of fur, she
wondered just how dangerous the forest was.
They rode in silence, twisting this way and that through paths that had been cut
back by blades. He stopped at the base of a hill, part of the mountain range that rose in
the distance. Tying the horse up, he helped her down and led her up the slope to the
flat top of the hill. The rock was dark grey and smooth under her feet when they
reached the top, several stories from the ground. Thankful she was not afraid of
heights, she took a deep breath of the crisp, fresh air and turned in a slow circle.
Treetops below them, the mountain and clear skies above - she'd never seen
anything more beautiful in her life. As far as she could see there was only nature. It
was so awesome, so breathtaking, that she wanted to cry.
"It's so beautiful," she said when words finally came back to her.
"Yes, you are," Coyote said huskily and she looked over at him and laughed at
his wolfish smile.
"I meant the view." She gestured with her hand towards all that surrounded
them.
"As did I, Bright Sun." He pulled her against him so fast the breath whooshed
from her lungs as her hands planted on his tight pecs.
"You're very...smooth," she giggled, when he bent and kissed the space behind
her ear, sending pleasant tingles racing up and down her spine.
"What does that word mean?" He asked, lifting his head and quirking his brow.
She hadn't realized she had switched into English for the word. The man's
kisses were enough to drive her to distraction. "Sweet," she offered, unable to come up
with a way to explain it better.
"Only for you," his voice lowered and he kissed her, wrapping her braid around
his hand and holding her close. In that moment, she felt as if she were the only woman
in the world, and for Coyote, Bear and Hawk, she supposed that she was. As Coyote
kissed her, tangling his tongue with hers and driving her mindless, she knew her
feelings for them were growing even stronger, to the point that she was falling in love
with them. Coyote with his good nature and sometimes bossy way, Bear with his
constant worry for her safety, and Hawk with his shy smile and patient teaching.
Coyote sat down on the rock and pulled her into his lap. He pulled a skin of
water out of a small satchel he had slung across his back, and handed it to her to drink
as he set out a bundle of hide, which he opened to reveal two apples and two pieces of
fry bread.
She was amazed at his thoughtfulness but not entirely surprised. Being
prepared was very important to him, not only for himself, but for his family. He packed
food because he knew they would be out for a long time and didn't want her to be
hungry. The knife strapped to his side told her that he didn't take anything for granted,
including their safety.
As they traveled by a different path back to the camp, she asked him about the
horse.
His hand flexed against her stomach for a moment, and he didn't say anything for
long enough that she thought he hadn’t heard her. When he finally spoke, he said,
"When I was sixteen years, the warriors of the tribe, including my father, took me on a
raiding party. It was the way of our people for young men to prove themselves as men,
as members of the tribe, by going to war. We traveled all day. There were two other
young men that had just become the age of men, and they were as excited for the raid
as I was. All our youth, tales were told of the great raiding parties of the elders of the
tribe.
"The tribe we were to raid was large, but the scouts from our tribe had watched
them and discovered that a group of males had left to go hunting. Instead of attacking
the camp, we were going to attack the hunting party because our warriors said it would
be their strongest and best who had gone out to hunt."
"More of a challenge," she offered.
"Yes. It would ensure that none of the youths killed an old man for his horse and
claimed it as spoils of the raid." He paused again, and the only sound in the woods was
the horse as he moved along the path. "We attacked when the moon was low in the
sky, taking the group by surprise. And they were very surprised, because they were
also a group like ours. A few warriors, but mostly youths. I stopped and I grabbed my
father, asking him to stop the raid and for us to go back to their camp instead. My father
grabbed me by the neck and pointed his blade at my eye. He said that those boys
would grow up and come after me, after my children, and that it was my duty to strike
them down while they were young. And he promised that he would kill me himself, if I
did not protect my tribe."
"Oh Coyote," she groaned. She'd heard some pretty shitty things about his
father, and she was glad she would never meet him.
"This horse, Bright Sun, belonged to a youth who was many moons younger than
me. I pulled him from it and pressed my blade into his throat. He begged me to let him
go, he asked me to set him free and he would give me the horse. I do not remember a
great many things after that, but I do remember the look of painful surprise that crossed
his face when I chose my own life over his, and the bile that rushed up my throat when
his life spilled out onto the ground."
He stopped speaking for a long while after that, lost in his memories, and she let
him have the quiet. She knew a little bit more about him then, knew that as a child he
had a sense of right and wrong, even mired up in a bloodthirsty tribe that thought
nothing of killing the children of their enemies in hopes of crushing their numbers. She
could see the logic in that cruel train of thought, but that night had scarred Coyote.
Instead of turning him into a psychopath, though, he had become a man who would do
anything to protect his family.
When she woke up alone the next morning on the mat that she’d shared with
Hawk the night before, her sleepy eyes scanned the tent and found Bear squatting near
the entrance and looking out the opening. He turned when she stirred. “We can go
bathe together, Little Fox. The others have gone hunting. Last night I heard buffalo
running when I relieved myself and Hawk and Coyote went while I stayed with you.”
“You must have wanted to go hunt, though.”
“I do not mind staying with you. Hawk should not have all the fun of taking care
of you.”
“Isn’t the wife supposed to take care of the husband?” she chided, standing up
and reaching for her dress and a towel.
“We all take care of each other. And we are not husband and wife yet, Little Fox.
We are waiting for you to love us and to accept our marriage.”
She mused on that as they walked. “Is there no more ceremony than that? Just
me saying yes?”
“We will pledge our hearts to you, Little Fox, and then we will have a celebration.”
"Do you think your tribe would have accepted me?"
"I would wish as much, but I do not believe so. Even though it was clear that the
magic of the necklace brought you to us, they might have believed you were an evil
spirit sent to ruin them."
"Then it's a good thing I'm not." She smiled at him as they stripped in front of the
pool and got into the water. She turned away from him and stared out into the woods
as she ran her lathered hands over her arms absently. She really didn't miss modern
plumbing as much as she thought she would, not when bathing out in nature meant she
could have one or more gorgeous hunks naked in the water with her. Bear's warm
hands pulled her quickly from her musings as he cupped her shoulders and slid lather
down her arms. His thick fingers trailed up the smooth expanse of her belly to cup her
breasts. The large, ivory globes looked perfect within his large hands. His breath
skated across her skin as he whispered into her ear, “You drive me to madness, Little
Fox. Do you not know how badly I want you?”
“Tell me,” she whispered, a knot forming in her throat. Desire rose up inside her
quickly, her skin prickling and her nerve endings going haywire from his simple touches.
His hands smoothed across the swell of her breasts and his fingers teased her
hardened nipples. He pressed closer to her back and she felt the rigid length of his
cock. She tipped her head back and he kissed down her throat, nipping at her neck and
increasing the pressure on her nipples as he rolled and pinched them. “I crave you from
the depths of my spirit, Little Fox. You are so lovely. I want to bury myself inside you
for days, to feel the joy of your delight as you fall apart in my arms.”
She turned in his arms and threaded her hands around his neck. Their mouths
met, parted instantly, and their tongues slid together in a heated caress. His soapcovered fingers kneaded their way around her back, pulling her tight against his
hardened arousal. She cupped his broad shoulders with her hands, going on tiptoe to
draw closer to him. He pulled away slowly, his dark eyes glazed and a small, heated
smile curving his mouth. "We should stop, before we go too far."
She knew what he meant. She had overheard them the day before, talking about
what they would do when she finally agreed to marry them, and how their coming
marriage night would go. They were planning to have sex with her in age order, first
Coyote, then Bear, and then Hawk. And, to her chagrin, if she was up for it, one more
time. From that point on, they planned to ask her to share their mats individually,
rotating each night. She'd been a little annoyed that they hadn't asked her to join the
discussion, and instead chose to talk about her like she was a toy to share, but the
annoyance disappeared as quickly as it had come. She recognized that they were
trying to be fair with each other and also not overwhelm her. While she was enjoying
getting to know them in a non-naked way, she was also very attracted to them, and her
desire to share their beds was becoming hard to ignore. She couldn't have stopped
from falling for them if she'd tried, and she wondered now whether even if she had the
opportunity to go home, she wouldn't just stay here.
I think I would, she decided, looking up into Bear's eyes. If I could go home, it
would be here, to the tent, because that's where home feels like now. When I say I
want to go home, I think of the tent, not my apartment. It had been a slow process, but
the things she had missed from the future were gradually replaced with things she loved
here in the past. Including Coyote, Bear and Hawk.
After rinsing off, she and Bear used the hides to dry their skin as they stood on
the grass-covered bank. She had just slipped the tunic over her head when she heard
a loud rustling from the woods. She pulled the tunic over her head completely, just in
time to see a very large black bear wander out of the woods.
Bear jerked a stone blade from a sheath on his belt and stepped in front of her as
she hastily shoved her arms into the sleeves and grabbed their towels. Bear stepped
backwards slowly and she stepped with him. The woods had gone quiet and the only
thing she could hear were the loud snuffling pants of the bear that stood twenty feet
from them.
Bear whispered, "Slowly walk through the creek to the other side. Once you are
on top of the hill, run for home."
Her hand gripped him as fear washed over her. "I don't want to leave you, Bear."
He moved back again, forcing her to step down into the creek. "You will go, Little
Fox. Now!" he hissed at her, knife at the ready, his body hunched forward towards the
bear, which was lumbering closer.
"Bear," she whispered, as a tear slipped down her cheek.
"Go," he growled without looking back.
Gathering her courage, she backed away slowly through the water. Her bare
foot slipped on a stone and she stumbled, splashing a little before she could stop
herself. The bear swung his big head in her direction and began to come towards her.
"Go!" Bear yelled, picking up a large rock and hurling it at the bear. She
scrambled up the small hill as fast as she could and stopped for a heartbeat to see the
bear rear up on its hind legs and bellow, swiping at Bear as he dodged out of the way.
She spun and ran as fast as she could towards the teepee, screaming for Coyote and
Hawk the whole way.
They met her before she reached the tent, and with gasping breaths she told
them what had happened. They raced to the tent to gather weapons, then leapt onto
the backs of their horses and took off, ordering her to stay in the tent until they returned.
Her heart pounded loudly in her ears as she sat numbly in the tent and waited for them
to return. She had no idea how much time passed, but she trembled with worry as her
mind replayed all the horrible things that might happen. She could lose them all.
She had no idea how much time passed, but it felt like hours before she heard
the horses and lurched through the opening of the teepee with her heart in her throat.
She saw Bear walking behind the horses as they pulled the dead bear behind them.
She ran to Bear, leaping up into his arms and hugging him tightly, letting her tears fall
freely.
He laughed, but the sound was tight and forced. "You did not think I would die,
did you, Little Fox?"
She squeezed him tighter, "I was so scared. It would kill me to lose you."
Coyote and Hawk jumped down from their horses and Coyote pulled her away
from Bear gently, and she saw that his shoulder was cut with claw marks that were
bleeding. "I'm sorry!" she gasped.
Bear looked down at his shoulder as if he had not noticed the wound. "It is
nothing, Little Fox."
"Let me clean it for you," she protested as he unwound the length of rope that the
horses had been pulling the bear with.
"After the kill is tended," he said seriously, disappearing into the tent and
returning a few moments later with tools.
Hawk pulled her back further as Coyote joined Bear in front of the kill. Hawk put
his arms around her and pulled her into his chest. In her ear he whispered, "The bear is
his spirit animal. He must honor the animal's sacrifice and the spirit world."
From her studies she knew that when the children of the Bloqui reached age
twelve, they were taken deep into the woods, far away from their people, and left alone.
They were given nothing but the simple breechcloth that was their standard dress in
good weather. There, alone, the young man would commune with nature and pray,
asking the spirits to give them a spirit animal to guide them. They would have a vision,
although modern thought was that it was usually exposure, dehydration, malnutrition, or
a combination of things that caused their minds to spin out and concoct an animal form.
Carrie now knew that the Bloqui took their spirit animals very seriously, and whether
they did commune with spirits or not didn't really matter because they believed they did.
When they had had their vision, they returned home to their families, one step closer to
becoming a man in the eyes of the tribe. And many times they would take on the name
of their spirit animal as a way to honor the animal that was to be their guardian.
She watched in silence as he cut open the underbelly of the beast and reached
inside its chest cavity. She wasn't surprised when he cut the heart loose with a stone
knife. Coyote began chanting quietly, asking the spirit world to guide the animal to its
final resting place and to bless their home and family. Bear cut a piece of the heart off
and ate it, and then swiped his bloody fingers across his cheeks. Coyote brought a
bowl to him and he put the heart inside the bowl and it was set aside. They would later
burn it so that the heart of the animal would be returned to it in the spirit world. Without
its heart, the spirit would never find peace in the afterlife.
"Let me take you inside, Precious Flower," Hawk whispered. "They are going to
skin the bear and tend to its meat."
She nodded at him, but first she walked forward and knelt next to Bear, her body
trembling as she once more realized how close she had come to losing him, to
potentially losing all of them. He turned to her, his arms covered in blood up to his
elbows, a calm resolve in his eyes. She put her hand on the head of the bear and her
other hand on Bear's cheek. "You saved my life, Bear. Thank you."
"You are my bride, Carrie. I would cut my own heart out to see you safe."
She kissed him and stood up, taking Hawk's hand and joining him inside the tent.
He steeped leaves in a cup of hot water for her, making a light herbal tea, and she
drank it as they sat inside by the fire with the flap open so she could watch them take
care of the bear.
Hawk joined them in helping as the day drew on, but it was still nearly nightfall
before they were finished. The hide was stretched out to be scraped in the morning.
Bones were put into boiling water on a fire outside the teepee to clean them, and meat
was sliced and hung up to dry from the top of the inside of the teepee while large roasts
cooked over the fire. She helped when she could, but they were single-minded and
worked faster without her interfering.
She waited for Bear to come inside after the three of them had rinsed off in the
creek. She cleaned his wound as best she could and wrapped a strap of soft hide
around the area. After they ate, they settled down to rest, and she didn't even ask if she
could lay with him; she just climbed right in. She hugged herself tightly against him,
careful of his injured shoulder.
In the darkness of the tent, with his bicep under her cheek as a pillow and his
warm breath on her face, he said, "I am well, Little Fox. The bear did not injure me
badly."
"I know, Bear. It just scared me."
"There are three of us to keep you safe. If something had happened to me, then
my brothers would have kept you from harm."
She put her finger on his lips. "Don't say that. I don't want you to die. I don't
want any of you to leave me."
Coyote said from nearby, "We were not planning to go anywhere, Bright Sun."
"Good."
She listened to the crackle of the fire as she traced her fingers on Bear's
collarbone. "I'm sorry that you had to kill the bear."
"I am not." He kissed her forehead. "When I went on my spirit journey at twelve
years, I had a vision that I stood in a creek much like ours. Three birds were with me,
one white and two brown. A large black bear came to me, standing on its legs and
bellowing. He told me I would be the protector of my family and that someday, he would
come back to me and I would take his life to keep my family safe." He tilted her chin
with his finger until she was looking into his eyes. In the low light from the fire, she
could see the seriousness with which he spoke.
"I know now, Little Fox, that the two brown birds were my brothers and the white
bird was you. The spirits of my ancestors gave me the strongest of animals to guide me
in my life, knowing that one day I would take the life of the very creature that watches
over me. I have no regrets today. We are safe and the bear will provide for us. There
is no sorrow in an honorable death, even the death of an animal."
"Then I won't be sad for him."
A small smile lifted the corner of his mouth and she kissed it before snuggling
down further against him. She had thought earlier about the way that modern man
explained away supernatural things such as visions, by saying they were induced by
deprivation. But there was no way to explain a vision that Bear had had thirteen years
ago, of a bear attacking him in a creek with three birds representing the rest of them.
Then again, she had been magically transported into their lives by a necklace and an
ancient chant. She'd definitely seen her share of supernatural things in the last week.
But more than anything, she was grateful for his safety and the safety of the
other two men, who had come to mean so very much to her in a short amount of time.
As sleep came on her, she realized that, today, she understood love and family,
perhaps for the first time.
Chapter 7
Although the last thing she wanted to do was to go down to the creek again,
nature called the next morning and she had no choice. They went together this time, all
four of them, and while they were bathing in the pool, she said what had been on the tip
of her tongue the whole day before.
"My heart is yours." She tossed the soap leaf to the creek bed and turned to face
them. They paused in various motions of cleansing themselves, surprise coloring their
features.
"What?" Coyote asked.
"I want to be your bride. I love you, all of you. And I want to make love and be
yours forever."
They stared at her in silence for long enough that she thought she'd said
something wrong, and then they whooped loudly and splashed towards her, laughing
and hollering that they loved her, too. Rightness settled over her while she accepted
their hugs and lingering kisses, as promises were whispered and bodies heated.
Coyote declared, "Tonight we feast and celebrate, and we will join our bride to us
and chase the moon from the sky with our lovemaking."
She liked the sound of that very much.
Back at the teepee, Hawk began to prepare the food for their celebration with her
help, while Bear tended to the bear hide and Coyote worked on something for their
version of a marriage ceremony.
As evening came, they ate outside of the teepee on hides in front of a large fire.
They wore their trousers and she wore her tunic. After the meal, Coyote helped her to
her feet and they stood in front of the fire. From a pouch on his belt, he pulled out a
length of leather tied like a necklace. Small wooden beads were threaded onto the
leather, along with a dull bear claw.
He dropped it over her head, adjusting it carefully on her chest. "I vow my heart
to yours forever, Bright Sun. Will you be mine as long as the water laps on the land?"
The beginnings of tears pricked at her eyes. "Yes, Coyote."
He kissed her, just briefly, and then stepped aside for Bear, who took her hands
in his. "I vow my heart to yours forever, Little Fox. Will you be mine as long as the hills
stand?"
The first tear slipped by her defenses, and she smiled. "Yes, Bear."
He kissed her, mashing her against him before releasing her for Hawk. He
stroked the tops of her hands with his thumbs, and when their eyes met his were also
shining brightly. "I vow my heart to yours forever, Precious Flower. Will you be mine as
long as the clouds dance in the sky?"
She grinned and the tears fell freely. "I will, Hawk. Of course I will." He pulled
her into his arms and kissed her, and then turned, with her in his arms, to his brothers.
Hawk stood behind her and Coyote and Bear stood in front of her. They each
took one of her hands while Hawk laced his fingers together on her stomach. Coyote
said, "We want you to choose a name for yourself. Often, when a woman joins a new
tribe, she picks a name that is new and special for her. This will be your name should
we ever meet anyone that asks what your name is, but we will promise to continue to
call you by our names for you if you like."
"I do," she nodded. She looked down at the hands that were touching her. Dark
copper, smoothed to perfection. Hands that had comforted her, fed her, taken care of
her, and saved her. She would honor all of them. "Little Precious Sun."
Their answering smiles told her that they liked her choice. Hawk pulled her
towards one of the hides, and she sat down, her fingers touching the bear claw
necklace reverently. They danced for her, a ceremonial dance that young braves
performed for their prospective brides, keeping time with their stomping feet and
chanting. The dance honored not only the bride, but also the spirits that watched over
them. With their chanting, they thanked the spirits for bringing her into their life, and
asked them to keep her and their family safe. As she watched them move around the
fire, she was awed and humbled. When the dance finished, Coyote stooped and picked
her up, carrying her inside the tent.
Someone had pulled the three sleeping mats together and laid blankets on top of
them for a softer surface. He put her on her feet and cupped her cheeks with his hands.
"Bright Sun, are you untouched by men?"
"No."
"Good." He chuckled lightly. "If it pleases our bride, this night, we would all bring
you pleasure together and then each love you."
Warmth skated through her and she licked her lips. "It pleases me, very much."
Coyote bent slightly, and grasping the hem of her tunic, lifted it off her slowly. He
tossed it aside, and she stepped out of the moccasins while he pulled her close and
kissed her. His tongue stroked inside her mouth with skill and possession, and her
body heated further while her hands fumbled at the tie of his belt. She pulled back from
his mouth with a soft moan when she felt both Hawk and Bear put their hands on her.
Coyote stripped off his trousers, joining Hawk, Bear, and her in their nudity, and Bear
picked her up and went to his knees, laying her down on the soft mats.
He leaned over and kissed her, dropping one hand to caress one of her breasts,
while Hawk touched the other as softly as if it were made of glass. Coyote's strong
hands parted her legs and he kissed slowly up the inside of her thighs, peppering soft
kisses back and forth between them. Bear left her mouth, trailing kisses down her neck
to her chest, lifting her breast with his hand to hold the tight peak for his tongue. Hawk
tilted her chin and captured her mouth with his, cradling her right breast with his hand
and plundering her mouth with his tongue.
She pulled away from his kiss as Coyote spread her body wide and dragged his
tongue up her sex. Her lower body followed the action as her back arched with the first
spear of pleasure. His tongue circled around her clit and her body responded
immediately, heat washing through her as her hands dug into Bear's and Hawk's arms.
Coyote slipped a finger inside her and she moaned. He sucked her clit into his
mouth and held the sensitive bud with his lips and lashed it with his tongue, adding
another finger as he pumped inside her. Shivers wracked her body and she cried out
as her orgasm thundered down on her.
"Beautiful," Hawk whispered huskily into her ear, and she opened her eyes to
look at him, smiling breathlessly.
It had felt damn good, too.
Hawk and Bear moved away from her slightly, and Coyote trailed his fingertips
up the center of her body, rounding her breasts and teasing her nipples with his thumb.
She caught his lean hips with her legs and pulled him down for a kiss, swiping her
tongue across his lips before delving inside, tasting herself on his tongue. He guided
himself into her, and for the first time she realized just how large he actually was. True,
she'd had sex before, but he had a huge cock. She relaxed her body and pulled him
towards her with her legs, and he groaned through pressed lips as his cock slid home.
"Tight," he growled in her ear, nipping the lobe.
She squeezed her arms around him and then clenched her pussy until he
groaned again. "Mine."
He breathed out a chuckle and pressed his mouth to hers, mating their tongues
together in a hot dance of sensations that soon matched the thrust and pull of his cock
in her pussy. Their mouths stayed together until he drove into her faster and she
couldn't breathe with him sucking on her tongue. Wrenching her head away with a soft
gasp, her nails dug into his back as his cock slammed into her over and over and over.
"Oh, Coyote," she ground out between halted breaths, "so good."
She felt the beginnings of an orgasm deep in her belly. She'd never come while
having sex before, without playing with her clit, and wanted to grasp that little pulsing
orb of heat and make it bloom. When his hips swiveled and his cock hit a place inside
her that made her heart stop she shouted, "There, there!" He didn't move his position,
but drove into her faster and faster, slamming his body into hers until the sound of their
bodies coming together was louder than their panting cries. Her body tightened around
him and then stars exploded behind her eyes and she screamed, "Coyote!" as ecstasy
poured over her and took control. He let go and pounded into her until he came, his
cock spasming inside her for what seemed like hours but could only have been bare
minutes. Panting and slick with sweat, she kissed his closed eyes, the tip of his nose
and his lush mouth, whispering, "I love you, my Coyote. Leader of my heart, lover of my
spirit."
His eyes opened slowly, dark brown like coffee and swirling with passion and
love. "I love you, Little Precious Sun. My only love. Keeper of my heart."
He kissed her once, a soft smile touching the corner of his mouth, and slipped
out of her. He moved over to the side where Bear and Hawk were waiting. Bear stood
up and gathered a cup of water for her. She was touched at his thoughtfulness when
she could see how hard he was and how tight his balls were. She emptied the cup and
Hawk took it from her as Bear straddled her legs with his knees.
He grasped her breasts in his hands and kneaded them roughly. The tender
nipples chafed against his calloused hands, but the rough touch was welcome and
needed. He bent over and latched onto her nipple and she gasped when he bit down,
hard enough to leave a slight mark but not so hard that the pain lingered. Flattening his
tongue over her nipple, he licked across the mark with soft strokes until the bite of pain
eased and all she was left with was a tingling feeling. He tended the other nipple in the
same way, so that both nipples tingled and ached.
Widening his stance across her legs, he laced his fingers in her hair at the back
of her head and pulled her to his mouth, taking her breath away with his hard kiss. His
tongue dominated her mouth, tasting and touching and teasing, until her mind spun and
her lips felt numb from the pressure. Releasing her with a light growl that rumbled in his
thick chest, he said, "Onto your belly, Little Fox." The heat in his eyes spoke of a hot,
twisting need spiraling through him, and she was right there and ready. She flipped
onto her stomach and wriggled forward slightly until she could go onto her knees and
spread her thighs apart.
He moved his legs between hers and smoothed his hands down her ass. "Rest
your head on your arms, Little Fox."
She dropped her head to her forearms, lying as far down as she could
comfortably, until her nipples brushed the fur under her. Her eyes found Hawk and
Coyote watching with interest, a satisfied look on Coyote's face, a hungry look on
Hawk's.
"Fuck!" she cried out in English as Bear slammed his cock into her without
warning, burying his thick length inside her in one hard push. He pulled out almost
entirely, until just the head brushed her entrance before pounding in again until the head
of his cock bumped her womb and her stomach clenched. He slammed into her again
and again, holding her hips in a bruising grip as he drove the breath from her lungs and
her aching nipples brushed back and forth over the fur rug. She panted and moaned as
heat twisted through her like little tendrils of lightning and fire.
The orgasm caught her unaware, and she screamed his name and dug her
hands into the mat while she sobbed through the climax. He grunted and flexed his
hands on her hips and chanted her name as his cock emptied inside her. Her body
trembled as she struggled to remain on her knees. He hooked an arm around her and
rolled them both onto their sides, chests heaving and eyes blinded with passion.
Bear tipped her chin until she looked back at him. "Sweet Little Fox," he tried to
catch his breath, "I love you to the tops of the highest hills and the depths of the lowest
valleys."
"I love you, Bear. My warrior protector. My heart is yours forever."
He kissed her softly, his gentleness belying the pounding he'd just given her, and
slipped away from her to join Coyote. Hawk, face full of need and eyes dancing with
hope mixed with the pain of denial, handed her the refilled cup and helped her sit up
enough to drink.
His brow furrowed as she swallowed the cool water. "Your body is too weak for
me to love you, Precious Flower. You must rest. I will love you tomorrow." Her heart
swelled as she knew he really would just hold her in his arms all night and let her sleep,
rather than hurt her or wear her out further. It made her want him that much more.
"I'm not done loving my husbands. I want you, Hawk. Please."
She didn't give him a chance to argue, pulling him down to her mouth as she
slipped onto her back on the rug. He moved over her eagerly, his body easing into the
cradle of her hips as his cock nudged her soaking pussy. She spread her legs further
and accepted him into her heat, enveloping his cock as if they were made for each
other. He groaned into her neck and she played her fingers down his back and urged
him deeper into her.
He thrust into her slowly as if he was afraid to hurt her, and she knew that he
wouldn't take her in any way other than tenderly. She wanted to come again, with him
this time, the way that she had with his brothers. It seemed only right to share that
pussy-melting great climax with all three of them, even if it was also a little selfish. She
shifted them quickly, rolling him to his back and dislodging his cock from her body. He
let out a surprised gasp to find himself on his back and she smiled at his expression.
She kissed him, licking across his lips before kissing her way across his cheek to
his ear. "I need you so badly, Hawk."
His voice came out hoarse with need, "I belong to you, Precious Flower. Take
what you need, please."
She kissed him once more before standing up slowly and turning around, and
then dropping down to her knees facing away from him. She grasped his cock in one
hand and guided it into her pussy as she lowered herself down on his hot length, using
her other hand to caress his balls. He moaned loudly, shifting under her as his hands
went to her hips and tightened slightly. Using her knees and hips, she lifted from his
body and slid back down, leaning forward until she found a rhythm and angle that felt
amazing.
His hips thrust up into hers, meeting her demanding body as she struggled to
reach that next highest plateau. Her body protested another climax as sweat dotted her
brow and her breasts bounced painfully hard with each thrust. She groaned and
pushed herself further, afraid to tell him that she wouldn't be able to come again, when it
occurred to her that he could help her, even from his position.
She pushed his right hand from her hip and tried to shove it towards her ass.
Coyote said Hawk liked anal sex, and she was really wet from the come that had
dripped down her body. She knew a little play of his finger inside her would send her
over that much-wanted edge of passion.
He didn't move his hand from the middle of her cheek and she growled and
reached back and pushed his hand again and then leaned forward to bare herself more
to him. "Please, Hawk, please touch me." She moaned loudly, massaging his balls and
slipping her other hand to her clit. Her fingers spread on either side of her tight nub and
the friction made her pussy clench on his cock.
Then she felt his finger swirl around her tightest hole and she moaned and
relaxed her body, fucking him as hard as she could to take them both to the edge and
beyond. For a second his finger broached her hole and retreated, and she groaned in
annoyance.
"Hawk." She begged, "Please!"
He pushed his finger into her and she let her head fall back and cried her
pleasure to the sky outside their tent. "Yes, yes!"
Withdrawing his finger just a fraction, he pushed in all the way and then back out
again, fucking her with his finger as she slammed herself down on his cock. Her
stomach clenched in hard waves that bordered pain as her fingers slid against her
engorged clit and he speared her in two places. She shrieked in bliss as the climax
took over, like hot water pouring from the sky and sliding all over her. He shouted out
his own climax, pulling his finger free and holding her still as he thrust a few more times
into her, his hot seed and her fingers against her clit setting off a prolonged orgasm that
made her vision go dark. Her head swam with pleasure and she almost fell forward, but
hands pulled her safely to the mat and cradled her close.
With a voice harsh with emotion and raw from pleasure, Hawk kissed her temple.
"My Precious Flower. I love you from the very deepest part of my heart. Thank you for
the gift of your body on our marriage night."
She let out a sigh of happiness, rolling over to face him, "I received a lot more
gifts than you did."
He chuckled, eye shining with happiness, and Coyote and Bear joined in. "I love
you, too, Hawk. Provider of my life."
Although they all tried to discourage her from attempting to have sex with them
all again, she wasn't too easily swayed. They loved each other again until dawn lit the
sky outside the tent and their bodies were too weak to do anything but rest. She slept
splayed across Bear’s broad chest with Hawk and Coyote tucked close, her hands
touching both of them in sweet sleep.
Chapter 8
Several days after their marriage ceremony, Coyote yawned and rolled away
from her to his back. She was instantly chilled on that side of her body so she turned
over to Hawk and cuddled against him.
"You only love me for my warm body," Coyote chided her, leaning over to run his
hand up her back.
"Do not," she promised, glancing back at him. "I also love you for your horse
cock."
He and Hawk laughed, and so did Bear, who was tending the cooking fire. Hawk
kissed her cheek and whispered, "What about me, Precious Flower? What do you love
about me?"
She looked into his sweet, warm brown eyes and saw that little bit of fear that he
tried to hide. After all that he had suffered in his life, it was no wonder he worried over
what people thought of him - especially her. She brushed her fingers through his hair
and snuggled into him. "I love how you kiss me and touch me. I love that you bring me
flowers every day, even with winter coming. And I'm so very glad that I landed here in
the teepee with you three."
When she looked up at him, his eyes were bright and shining and he had a look
of awe on his face. "I love you more than the sun in the sky, sweet heart of my heart.
Forever. Promise to stay forever."
"I do."
A feigned cough from Bear made her smile and she went up on her elbow and
said, "I love you, too, Bear. You know that. I love how strong you are, how fierce a
protector you are."
He grinned and then he huffed. "I also have a horse cock, Little Fox. Or should I
remind you of its size and my stamina now?"
She laughed and blushed and then Coyote spoiled the fun. "We must go to hunt
if we are to complete the covering for the horses for winter."
"Can I come?" She asked.
"We need to move too fast for you to come. You should rest; we spent a lot of
time up last night." Bear said, standing and moving over to her with a wooden platter of
fresh-cooked eggs, a few pieces of fried pan bread, and some bear roast from the night
before.
"I would stay with our bride," Hawk said.
Coyote looked down at them, and a little jealousy streaked over his face, but it
disappeared quickly with a smile. "Of course, brother. Someone needs to watch over
our lovely wife to make sure she does not escape."
"I promise to behave." She smiled sweetly up at him as she settled the platter on
her lap, picked up the pieces of scrambled egg and began to eat. It had taken her a
while to get used to eating without utensils. Now she didn't mind so much.
"Somehow, brother," Bear said as he moved to the opening, "I do not think she
really means that."
She and Hawk ate from the platter and talked about the coming winter. They
were hunting often now to gather enough skins to make the covering for the equivalent
of a horse barn, and to have enough hides to make suitable winter clothing for them.
She and Hawk were harvesting wild grains to dry for their winter feed, along with fruits
and vegetables.
The coming bad weather was going to see them mostly stuck inside the tent,
where she was told that Bear and Coyote would work on their weapons and tools, and
Hawk would teach her how to sew clothing and cook. She had never pictured herself as
a housewife, but now it was all she could think about. Just a week with them, and she
was already well on her way to a happiness she couldn't have pictured in her life before.
Hawk pulled the empty platter from her lap and placed it across the tent in the
basket containing items to be washed in the creek. "Come, my sweet bride, let us go
bathe in the water and then warm each other up."
The water was cool but not freezing as they stepped into the pool. He cracked
open the soap-plant leaf and they lathered each other well. She loved to play her
soaped fingers across his body, tracing the individual muscles. When their baths were
finished and they were both panting with arousal, he scooped her up in his arms and
carried her back to the tent. After rubbing off with dry towels and braiding their freshly
combed, damp hair, Hawk pulled her into his lap and kissed her. The brothers were
similar in many ways but where she could always tell they were different was in their
lovemaking. Coyote liked to be in control, even if she was on top of him; he liked to be
in charge of how fast and hard she rode him. He always made sure she was well
pleased, but he was in charge of that, too. Bear was aggressive, and pounded into her
body like he wanted to be on the other side of her. She always reveled in that hard
claiming. And then Hawk was tender beyond compare. Although he had been with
women before her, he still behaved like an inexperienced youth; as if his feelings were
wrong, or the things he wanted to do would make her afraid of him. He wore his heart
on his sleeve more than his brothers and she cherished him for it.
He laid her down gently and rolled her to her stomach on the sleeping pad. He
kissed down her back slowly, his fingers kneading a hot path towards her ass. She
moaned softly as he reached the dip of her back with his mouth before sitting up
slightly.
"My heart," he said quietly, running his fingers between her cheeks as she
shivered. "I want to love you here."
She peeked over her shoulder at him. His face was full of need, desire streaking
through his eyes like wildfire. But underneath that heat and want was fear. She knew it
took a great deal of courage for him to ask her for this, not really knowing how she
would react.
Suddenly, nothing was as hot as having Hawk take her ass. Once, years earlier,
she'd allowed a man to penetrate her that way and hadn't enjoyed it. But she trusted
Hawk even though they hadn't known each other that long. She knew he would take his
time with her.
"You'll be gentle with me?" she said softly.
"Always," he promised.
"Take me, Hawk. Love me in every way."
His smile was both thankful and sultry as he parted her cheeks and bent forward,
licking across her tightest place. She shivered again as he licked once more, and she
relaxed, parting her legs to give him a place to lie down. He settled between her legs
and began to lick and probe her hole, gently fingering her pussy at the same time. The
sensation was amazing, tendrils of fire that speared through her every time his wicked
tongue delved inside her. Who knew that such a taboo place could feel so incredible?
She looked back again and saw the look of rapture on his face as he tongued her
like she was a piece of his favorite candy. "I love seeing you there, Hawk," she smiled
at him, "between my legs and loving me."
He groaned his happiness and fingered her faster. She relaxed, resting her head
on her hands. When he began to probe her with a finger wet with her own honey, she
moaned, pushing back against the invasion as he slid through her wet hole and buried
his finger deep.
"Ah, that burns." She moaned, pressing her forehead to the mat.
He paused, "Do you wish me to stop, my heart?"
"No, it burns but it feels good, too. Keep going. Please."
"My sweet bride does not have to beg for my favors. I gladly worship your sweet
flower."
His finger pulled out of her and his tongue returned for a while, wetting her again
before his finger slipped in, easier this time. His free hand moved under her to find her
tingling clit and he began to keep pace with his finger inside her, flicking her clit as he
thrust into her. He removed his fingers from her and reached for a small wooden bowl
that contained a clear liquid. He told her it was the oil pressed from vegetables as he
dribbled a line of the cool liquid along her tender hole. She groaned at the chill as it
splashed against her heated flesh.
Freshly coated in the silky oil, Hawk eased his finger back inside her, lubricating
her and slowly relaxing her tightest place. He never rushed her, taking his time and
adding more oil, flicking her clit with his free hand to distract her as he added a second
and then a third finger inside her. The pressure of three fingers made her gasp for
breath and wince at the invasion, and he paused until she relaxed her body as the fresh
ache eased into pleasurable pressure.
She was meeting his thrusts now, pushing herself back against his fingers with
gusto, need twisting and writhing in her belly.
He removed his fingers from her and grabbed the bowl with shaking fingers. "I
must have you now, sweet love. I cannot wait."
She pulled her knees up under her, spreading her thighs wide apart and baring
her most tender place to him. Looking over her shoulder at him, she smiled. "I'm yours,
Hawk."
The shiny head of his thick cock, coated with the oil, breached her hole and he
powered into her. She moaned loudly, gripping the pad under her hands and trying to
relax. He leaned over her, panting for breath. “You are the tightest pleasure.”
She smiled and let out a slow breath, relaxing her body and giving herself to him
completely. As his hips met her body and he was buried completely, he leaned over her
body and hugged her with one trembling arm.
"I love you, Little Precious Sun."
She gripped his arm and squeezed. "I love you, Hawk."
He pulled out of her slowly and thrust in equally slow, holding her hip with one
hand and sliding his other hand down her belly to her clit. He rubbed her clit in time with
his thrusts, slow at first and then increasing in pace.
“Oh, I’m so close,” she groaned, meeting his thrusts with her own.
“I can feel it, my heart, your body sings for me!”
The orgasm slammed down on her, locking her body around his cock in a grip
that filled her with pleasure edged with pain. She shrieked at the sensations, shouting
his name to the heavens. He thrust harder into her, his body slamming against hers as
he took her tightest place roughly. His hips slapped against her body as he put his
fingers back on her clit.
“No, I can’t, I can’t anymore,” she moaned.
“You can and you will,” he demanded, and set in on her clit again with hard flicks
that matched the intensity of his cock in her ass. Her body clenched in waves and her
clit protested the rough touch but the tingling of coming climax had her ignoring them
and letting go.
She screamed, “Hawk!” as her body came apart in a blast of white hot light.
Stars winked behind her eyes and she felt him stroke a few more times before his cock
emptied deep inside her as he shouted her name out like a prayerful chant.
He dropped to the side, pulling his cock out gently, and rolled her to face him.
Kissing her forehead, he cuddled her close and then kissed the tears from her cheeks.
“Tears of joy, my heart? I did not hurt you badly?” His dark eyes shone with love and
worry.
She sniffled, not even realizing that she had teared up. “It was worth it. I loved
it.”
“I thought I would never know a woman who would let me love her that way."
She nodded with a smile. “I definitely would like to do this again.”
“You honor me with your body, Precious Flower.”
He got up and dipped a small bathing cloth into a pot that was kept in the outer
edges of the coals of the fire so that the water was always very warm. Wringing it out,
he brought it over to her and carefully tended her sore bottom before cleaning himself
with the cloth and then tossing it in the basket of clothes to be washed. He joined her
on the mat again and they cuddled together, the quiet noise of the fire the only sound in
the teepee.
When Bear and Coyote returned some time later, she was stretched out in front
of the fire with Hawk tucked against her. He'd fallen asleep and she was playing her
fingers through his soft hair.
She moved from Hawk carefully so she didn't wake him and got up, her body
aching in new places. When she stepped out of the warmth of the tent, she wrapped a
blanket around her shoulders that she’d grabbed on the way out, glad for a cover
against the fall chill.
They grinned at her and she joined them, hugging and kissing them. Between
them, they had killed four bucks. “Where is Hawk? We need his help to strip the
hides,” Coyote asked, lashing his horse to the post.
“He’s asleep.”
“Is he ill?” Bear asked, pulling one of the deer over to the area where they
butchered them.
“No, just tired. I don’t think he’s been sleeping well.”
Coyote said, “His guilt is great. He worries he has condemned us all. But you
have saved us. Without our banishment we would not have known you. He can rest for
a while longer.”
“Can I help?”
“You can come tell me stories about your old life, Little Fox,” Bear said as he
quickly cut the hide from the buck.
She smiled at him and walked over to sit down just outside of the area where
they butchered the animals. She winced, forgetting for a minute she’d had a cock in her
ass, and rolled to her hip.
“Are you injured?” Coyote asked suspiciously.
“Just sore. It will heal in a while.”
They exchanged looks that weren’t entirely too happy and she said, “I wanted to,
I promise. He didn’t hurt me; it’s just a little aching right now. I’m fine, I promise.”
Coyote walked away without a word and into the woods. He returned a few
moments later with a thick green leaf. Kneeling next to her, he cracked the leaf open
and scooped out a white creamy liquid and lifted the blanket up. “This will soothe your
aching bottom, Bright Sun.” His finger gently rubbed the liquid around her hole and she
hissed at the touch until it melted into a soothing warmth. He scooped more liquid onto
his finger and gently probed her hole, rubbing it around the inside with slow movements.
“Ah, that feels so good.” She breathed, feeling herself grow aroused all over
again.
He chuckled and kissed her shoulder, placing the leaf in front of her. “You are so
lovely. We are lucky men.”
The bucks were butchered quickly. The hides were strung up between posts on
the ground to be scraped and prepared. Large portions of meat were spitted and set up
to roast over the outdoor fire. Bear began to clean the muscle and meat from the
bones, separating what was useful into piles. The bladders would become water bags.
The bones and antlers would become tools and weapons. The hides would become the
roof and door for the winter barn for the horses, which had been partially built already,
with walls made of saplings tied together.
While they both worked on the bucks, stripping them with skill and speed, she
told them about her family and her life, sharing the things that were so common and
normal for her, like cars and television, but so foreign to them. Hawk joined them after a
while, making sure she was feeling okay and thanking Coyote for finding the healing
leaf. She suggested they put a few of those plants in a pot to keep alive in the tent for
the winter, and they agreed it was a good idea.
Hawk began to slice the meat thinly and put it to dry inside the tent. With four of
them, they needed a lot of meat stored for the winter. Animals could be found in the
winter, but it was best to be prepared for when they became scarce.
That night, they insisted she rest her body and Hawk held her all night in his
strong arms.
When winter hit, they were well prepared. They spent their days inside the tent,
making goods like clothing and blankets out of prepared hides and furs, and talking
about their lives and the future. They taught her with patience she wouldn't have
expected, until she was adept at fashioning clothes and cooking implements and
cooking. She even introduced them to dumplings, which she cooked in a large stone
bowl with meat and root vegetables to make a hearty stew. They called her their clever
bride.
The harsh winter led to spring and the world came alive again. They increased
the size of the tent so it was several times larger, which gave them more room to move
around and more storage. Outside the tent was the work area. When they weren't
talking or playing games they taught her or making love, they were always busy. There
were clothes and dishes to be washed, clothing to be made and repaired, the horses to
tend to. Seeds from the last seasons' crops were sown into freshly dug earth and then
carefully tended. She couldn't believe how much she loved the life she'd once thought
was harsh and nearly barbaric. She could recall sitting on her couch in front of the
television for hours, bored out of her skull. Now, she watched the flowers bloom from
their winter slumber with as much enthusiasm as she'd once watched a TV show.
Summer passed and they spent the cool mornings working outside. They didn't
let her hunt, but they did let her come with them sometimes, and she carried the kills
back when they were small enough. They shared everything together. Bear told her
that it was as close as he'd ever been to his brothers, and that he cherished her all the
more for bringing them together. Whatever things they'd lost because of Hawk's
youthful indiscretions, they weren't sorry for now.
In the fall, a threesome passed by and asked if they could stop to rest for the
night. The two men were clearly married to the one woman, who was large with child.
They were not of the Bloqui tribe, but another one she knew had disappeared around
the same time, called the GrouseFoot. They had been banished for sharing their
woman. Their scarred backs and the cuts across their biceps told them their story was
true. They'd been wandering for several weeks, after their camp further west was
attacked by a group of their own tribesmen, their supplies destroyed and their horses
taken. They were curious about her skin and hair color, and she worried at first that
they would reject her out of hand for it, but was pleasantly surprised when the woman
said she was lovely like a flower in winter snow and the subject was dropped. Clearly,
because they’d been shunned for the way they chose to share a wife, they weren’t in
the habit of condemning anyone else for being different.
Winding Moon and Yellow Star were husbands to Lily Blossom, who was petite
and chubby, looking more so with her rounded belly. She was sweet and friendly, and
their dialect was similar to the Bloqui, so they had no trouble understanding each other.
They invited them to join their camp for the night. The three newcomers set up
their sleeping mats across the fire from theirs while they left them alone in the tent to go
to the creek to bathe. When they came back inside the tent, they found them tangled
together in the throes of sex, Moon supporting her large belly as she lay sprawled in his
lap and Star eating her pussy as he crouched between her legs.
Carrie blushed scarlet and was startled to see such openness, but as her men
led her to their side of the tent and began to take off their clothes, she remembered that
they'd told her about the things they were used to. For their people, when generations
of families lived in the same large tent, husbands and wives didn't worry about who was
watching, because it was a part of life and something to be celebrated, not tucked into
the darkness and shamed. Her nerves prevented her from relaxing at first. As much as
she wanted to make love to her husbands, having an audience was not exactly what
she'd had in mind.
Bear pulled her dress over her head with a quick, practiced motion and pulled her
close so he was whispering in her ear. "There is no one here but us now, Little Fox.
Cast all from your mind but your three husbands."
She smiled and looked up at him. "I might need some help with that."
His eyes darkened further and he let out a low growling hum. "I am pleased to
see to all of my bride's needs."
As she made love to her husbands in the tent with another group sharing their
bride in the same way, for the first time she felt a real sense of family. It wasn't just the
four of them against the world; there were three more who were in a similar situation as
her and her men. Their family was perfect, but adding friends to the mix would only be
helpful as winter drew near. This was a life that required as many working hands as
possible.
In the morning, she wrapped a blanket around herself and walked out to where
her boys were talking. "I want them to stay, if they want to," she said, coming to stand
with them. Bear wrapped his arms around her, kissing the top of her head.
"We were going to ask you how you felt about that. We could help them make a
teepee, so they can have their own home." Bear said.
She smiled up at him. "Don't like other men watching us make love?"
Coyote chuckled, "It would be fine for a little while, Bright Sun, but not forever.
Our people are not afraid of the sight of lovemaking, but eventually it would be nice to
be alone again."
Hawk grinned. "Did you like being watched, my heart?"
She blushed. "They weren't watching me."
Bear barked out a laugh. "Of course they were. Your skin is so lovely and
uniquely colored, and you are glorious in your passion. And Lily Blossom was definitely
watching, too."
She blushed harder and then laughed, shaking her head. It was amazing to her
that men were really the same everywhere, no matter the time.
When they returned to the tent, they joined the newcomers at the firepit, where
Lily Blossom was trying to make breakfast while Moon and Star were trying to stop her
from exhausting herself. She slapped Moon's hand with the cooking fork and said, "You
were not worried about me being exhausted last night when you plundered my body."
Moon grinned sheepishly. "Perhaps not, but it is why I want to help you now, my
bride. Please, rest a little while longer."
She sighed and relinquished the fork, easing back and rubbing her hand across
her belly.
Coyote said, "Our family would like to extend an invitation for your family to join
us. We have time enough to make a teepee for you before winter, and the extra help in
hunting and gathering before the cold sets in will be most welcome."
Lily gasped, "Really? Oh, Moon, can we?"
Moon and Star looked at each other over her head and were quiet for a moment
before smiling. "As if we would say no to our bride," Star said, with a smile. "She is due
by the next moon with the child. We were very worried we would not find shelter. With
only our knives and the clothes on our backs, it was hard enough to find food to eat."
"You honor us. Thank you for letting us join your tribe," Moon said, bowing
slightly.
"Tribe?" Carrie said, looking at her men.
"I guess we are our own tribe," Hawk said. "And maybe you will not be the only
ones that will find us. Maybe other banished peoples will come our way and want
refuge and friendship."
"With no territory problems, no cares about tribal ancestors. We all had nothing
separately. We can have everything together," Coyote said.
"That sounds nice," she said, smiling at Lily. "What's a good name for a tribe of
people who aren't welcome anywhere else?"
Bear said, "Quolay."
That meant "home".
"I think it's perfect. The Quolay tribe." They all agreed it was fitting, and that was
the first time that she didn't feel like it was them against the world.
Over the next few weeks, they worked tirelessly to prepare their teepee. She
and Lily sewed blankets and mats and clothes, and helped prepare the tools for their
new home. By the time her baby girl was born, their teepee was finished and Carrie
was there to help deliver her into the world. She was terrified, but the boys assured her
it was the woman's place and that she would know what to do. She frantically searched
her brain for things she'd read over the years about childbirth and thankfully helped to
deliver her safely. Lily promised to return the favor to her with her own child. Watching
Star and Moon with their newborn girl, whom they named Gentle River, made her want
that with her own husbands, and several months later, she became pregnant with her
first child.
As the years passed, the Quolay Tribe grew in size, and their family grew as well.
By the time she turned thirty, she had four children, three boys and a girl, and there
were seventeen tribal members. Always the members had been banished from their
own tribe for supporting their loved ones or for loving the wrong person. She was so
happy to have female friends, and counted Lily Blossom as a dear sister.
Whenever she missed something about her life in the future, she just had to look
at her children and her husbands, and she would remember how much more she had
gained in finding them than she had lost in the first place. Here in the past, with her
three loving husbands, she had passion and love and family.
And it all was thanks to one very old, very special necklace.
The End
* * * * *
Contact R.E. Butler
By Blog: www.rebutler.wordpress.com
By Email: rebutlerauthor@gmail.com
On Twitter: @rebutlerauthor
* * * * *
Other Works by R.E. Butler
The Wolf’s Mate Series
Jason & Cadence (Book 1)
Linus & The Angel (Book 2)
Callie & The Cats (Book 3)
Michael & Shyne (Book 4 - Coming Fall 2012)
Wiccan-Were-Bear Novella Series
A Curve of Claw
A Flash of Fang
A Price for a Princess
A Bond of Brothers (Coming August 2012)
* * * * *

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