It had been a threeday since she had been Solemated to Arys, a threeday since she had begun to draw together the loose threads of the network of Tacivaarii minds. A threeday since she had conceived their child.
She was gravid and filled. Somehow, no matter how much she gave to the Pride, yet more was returned to her.
For the first time in her life, she felt truly that there was nothing more she could want for herself in this moment that what there was. Sima garo had provided richly for her.
She found herself smiling as she moved among her people, as she felt their growing health and vitality, smiling as she ate, smiling at the tenderness and her breasts and her frequent need to relieve herself….smiling, and singing softly to the new life growing within her.
“You are so lovely,” Arys, whispered into her ear, and then nuzzled her neck, and she quivered beneath his touch, feeling desire blooming yet again, rolling through her with a power she had never felt with Tacivaar, because the old Huntleader had never released his obsession with owning his Trueborn, to create his Truestborn, to press her into a service she had never wanted, and compelling her to stay there, with no regard for her freedom…
And he had left her, spurned, carrying a child of his blood that she would have given him in Solemating, had taken her in her furs, then left to scheme for his child’s body and her soul, although he knew that she had already given it to another.
~~There is no need to think on it now, is there, Shinjao? Cannot these musings wait for later?~~
~~They can indeed. Shall we go to my bower, our yours?~~
He looked around the area where they had been eating with several others. It was well covered in furs and cushions, and couplings here were a commonplace thing.
“Because we Solemated as we did, we have not yet had our Witnessing, Shinjao…what say you to here and now?”
She had not thought about it, but it felt as though the Pride had, and she simply unaware of it. She didn’t answer with words, but instead tugged him down into the furs, their plates scattering unheeded. Her hands, suddenly fevered, raked and clutched at his skin, which prickled as he began to add light bites to his nuzzling, and his hands were pressing against her, feeling her muscles, his hands big and warm on her, his soul dancing against her, through her…
Their breathing began to blend, to become one, one breath and one rhythm joining them together, body and mind and soul. Their bodies flowed into the dancing, striving and moving against one another, Matehunt a delightful counterpoint to the blending.
They savored each other, delighted in one another, sought their pleasures together. They soared, in leisurely loops, toward Sating, toward the highest degree of sharing….
They remained wholly open, allowing any and all of the Pride who wished to participate to feel all that they did, to be a part of their union, to judge the quality of this Solemating that would mean they coupled and conceived only with each other.
Sating rose up, swallowed them whole, and they cried out their joy, the bliss of release and joining, their bodies touching, pressing, wanting more and more…
And then they were sagging against one another, sweating and spent, and laughing with the depth of feeling.
They came back to themselves to find the Pride laughing with them, seeming more animated than they had been since Jeniah had abdicated.
“We are still alive, Arys.”
When his laughter had subsided into chuckles, he stretched luxuriantly, getting kalaana fat on his haunch. She twisted to lick it off, and then they were washing one another, which, despite the fatigue of what had gone before, led to Matehunt once more…
And, through it and around them, they were aware that, for the first time since Jeniah had left, the Pride was joining them, in singles and couples and groups throughout Osiiraan , binding the Huntthread more firmly to them all.
- Sima Garo Provides – Prologue (shanjeniahstruebornjottings.wordpress.com)
- Changes and Progress…-ROW80 Goals Update, Oct. 24, 2012 (shanjeniah.com)
She drew a deep, steadying breath, as Huntlust surged up and nearly rolled her under. “You’re going to do what?”
Of course, she hadn’t actually spoken – it was the dream that translated thought to speech, gave the impression of a lean, somber man standing beside the raised platform that held her sleeping furs. He was not truly here; they had never met, never touched, for all that his soul was known to hers, and hers to him.
Or – his soul had been known to her. Once, they’d been closer than even lovers coupled in Matehunt could possibly be. Now, as he stood there, wanting both to turn and leave her and sink with her down into the furs and the pleasures they promised, he was a stranger, and the emptiness that was swallowing everything else within him terrified her.
“I must Sever our bond, Jeniah. I cannot go on this way – there is no reason or certainty in being mated to a woman whom I may well be imagining.”
It had been two sunrounds at least since he had allowed doubt to tickle his disbelief, and Jeniah knew she had been a fool. In her memory’s eye, the image of her wetnurse, Trinii, who had first helped her to learn the ways of the Pride. “It is when you think the prey certain vanquished that attention fades, child – so always be certain of the kill, before you begin the feast.”
“You would Sever what we share – because of your lost woman? Because of what happened to your Huntleader? How will Severing undo either, or help you now?”
He stood for a pair of tenbreaths, his gaze on the furs, but she knew from his mind that he was no more seeing them than hearing her – the sight and sound reached him, but there was no sense in either, for him, now.
She stepped closer, as though drifiting to peer out into the night, at the moons that hung half- camouflaged by scudding layers of fast moving cloud. The stiff breeze carried whispers of frost, and prickled her skin to alertness.
“I do not know.” He had moved soundlessly, but, of course, she had known he was there, knew that he would come. No matter his words or his choices, he could not resist the pull of her, any more than she could the need now to turn to him, to lift her hand in a silent invitation, letting her fingers slip into first pose, as he had shown her so long ago.
He made a sound that was almost a fractured sob, and his hand began to tremble as he lifted it. He watched it, his eyes glittering in the moonslight, as though it did not belong to him; as though he, too, was waiting to see what it would do.
And yet, when his fingers touched hers, his breath left him in a long sigh, and the clutching desperation she had been scenting shifted into another she knew well, musky sulfurous, spiced in a way that always aroused her, as well…
“My own- ”. He stepped in as she did, meeting her, and this time he did cry out softly at the press and coolness of her against him. The fingers of his other hand tangled in her hair, just at the point of pain.
Jeniah thought to remind him that he could not call her his own, if he Severed what was between them; that, having shared what they had, she could never play at Matehunt with him as though this were just some random man whose gift she had accepted, and invited to share her furs. No, it could not be that way, for them. There must be more.
“You need not remind me.” His voice was a soft, deep, rough caress. “I know it well, my own. Let us – not think on it, in this moment.”
She had held first pose, knowing that forcing him was never a wise choice, knowing too that she would never want him if not of his own free will. No, there were men aplenty, right here, even in the Huntlands, who felt she had the right to command them. Her Everdeep mate, though, chose for himself, and she would have it no other way.
“Give me your word that you will hear – and ponder – all I have to say on the matter, when we have done, Kaivelt, and I will not speak it. Promise that you will give me your thoughts, first, and allow me to think on them.”
“I do not wish to cause you pain, my own. I will give them, as well as I am able, and I will ever consider your opinion. But, now….”
He said nothing more, but Jeniah could feel him loosening, releasing some of the suffering he carried. But there was still an unseen distance between them, something she felt keenly in the almost flinching movement of his fingers as they danced over hers, offering her second pose.
Even now, he could not release what so deeply troubled him. Nor, even in his own soul, could he give it voice to speak its sorrows and furies.
But the room was draped in arytana leaves, and there was undilute nectar in two small drinking bowls. “Leave off with words, Kaivelt my fierce one. Will you drink with me, and share in the comforts and pleasures of my furs?”
A soft smile, more a thing of eyes than lips, loosened some of the weight of his melancholy. “I will share them, and drink with thee, my own. Perhaps, even now, thee may hold some answer beyond Severing, some path to peace.”
He said no more nor did she. His fingers left her hair, and he reached instead for one of the bowls, offering it to her with a small bow, in the way of the children of Aletris. He took up the other, and slowly, in the deliberate way of his own people, somewhere out there in the points of light that were Everdeep, he placed his lips upon it, then waited for her to do the same.
- Changes and Progress…-ROW80 Goals Update, Oct. 24, 2012 (shanjeniah.com)
- Activities and Projects – 10/10-13, 2012 (shanjeniah.com)
- The Sundering (The Swarm Trilogy #3) by Megg Jensen (creativedeeds.wordpress.com)
- Forward, Ho! – ROW80 Goals Update, 10/14/12 (shanjeniah.com)
- Two Lives, Two Rings – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 30 (shanjeniah.com)