A Huntress is Born, Lives, and Stalks Through My Fantasies…

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**Warning: This is a naked post about public nudity. If that’s not your thing, this is a good time to avert your eyes, to avoid streakers! **

Okay, if you’re still here, I’m assuming you want to be. =)

This post is part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest…an annual celebration of beauty in all its forms…for more, here’s August herself! =D

What makes you feel beautiful? What’s helped you embrace your body/appearance as it is? What area are you still working on—or should you? What makes you feel sexy? What helped you embrace, rather than shame, your sexuality? What’s stopping you? How do you define real beauty or sex appeal? Who epitomizes beauty and sexiness, IYO? What advice would you give your younger self or a girl in your life about beauty and/or sexuality?

I’m a person who feels more comfortable, much of the time, in my own skin than in clothing. That’s reflected, maybe, in the nudity that pervades my writing- my aroused Vulcans see little logic in wearing clothing that will only get in the way of their goals. And my Tribed characters – well, when they aren’t in the animal forms of their inner Hunters, they tend to be naked in all but the coldest weather.

There’s more than a little of my own nature in that, in imagining a culture that lives wild in nature, unabashedly naked and bare to the world.

This is me, in Oregon’s deep woods, against an ancient tree, celebrating it and myself. I’m the mom of a teen boy, so I’ve covered the bits that might be embarrassing to him, and others…so this becomes a modest nude. =)

It wasn’t a planned shot. I saw that magnificent tree, and some deep impulse surfaced. I stripped down to get elemental by this piece of the natural world. The only things I was wearing was my wedding rings and a headband.

At the time, I thought I looked fat, and I was embarrassed that I hadn’t shaved my armpits. Fifteen years or so further along life’s journey, I see it differently. Armpits grow hair; that’s natural. Whether to shave it is a matter of choice, or fashion – not an obligation. These days I either do or don’t, and I don’t think much about it, either way. And that body that seemed so unappealing, then? Reminds me of a Rubens painting, now – a lush and strong body, padded for pleasure! =) No Tacivaarii Huntress would be at all embarrassed to wear it.

Oregon is an interesting place for nudity…even of the public type. There are several clothing optional hot springs there, and we visited two of them in our pre-parenting years. McCredie Hot Springs was tucked just off a state highway, accessible by a nondescript dirt side road. It was a short trek through the woods, and the pools were of varying temperature, sprawled across a generous area, and kept natural. We shed our clothes before we got to the springs, and ran through the trees, soon immersing ourselves. I can imagine the Pride having a place like this, at the Pridekeep.

On one visit, while we were soaking, a middle-aged man arrived. We chatted for a bit – the empty conversations people have when they’re filling up space and attempting to present an image. And then my Accomplice moved to a cooler pool, and I was alone with this man…

For a moment, I was nervous, and hugely aware of my nudity. I hadn’t thought of my clothing as social armor, before that incident – but it is. We tell others how we want to be perceived, and how we perceive ourselves, by the way we dress.

Without clothing, I was truly socially naked – and so was he.

There was nothing sexual about it, but it was very intimate. Our conversation took a turn, and became far more personal. He spoke of his wife and her dog – not his dog, but hers, to keep her company when he was on the road. He was a trucker, and often stopped there for a soak before heading home. He spoke of his grown daughter; I talked about my still young marriage and our travels. We both spoke of our hopes for the future, and then we parted ways.

I can see the Tacivaarii, frolicking and connecting in those pools, lounging and washing one another, weaving new and stronger threads into their Huntthread, which sustains their Tribe.There’s something of beauty and honesty in being naked with other people in this way, being as naked and open and vulnerable as the living and growing things that surround us.

The social barriers fell away, that day, and we were two people, genuinely sharing. Two people who might never have connected, if we were wearing our respective suits of fabric armor.

Bare skin has greater powers than the ability to attract prospective partners…

Baring skin can lead to baring souls. To realizing that we’re all connected, beneath the layers of identity we don to get through our lives.

And there is something beautiful in that.

How about you? Do you have any beautiful, inspirational, nude stories? I’d love to hear more about them!

Find more Beauty of A Woman Girl Boner Edition here!

 This post is also for Love Is In Da Blog, Day 23.

 

Find more LoIsInDaBl here!

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I woke in starlight, and heard my breath hiss out as I realized I was aboard the shuttle that had been so much a part of my dreaming. Perhaps, then, I was dreaming. still….?

Niaan -!”

The cry rose within me, and broke from me – and I felt Mother and Father, rousing themselves from their own dreaming, readying themselves to meet my needs if they were able.

I was alone in their large bed, the sheets slipping cool against my sweaty skin, and ahnstav stirred within me. I shivered as I imagined Niaan, my own, once more wearing only the light of the stars, her skin glowing, tempting my fingers.

I trailed them in the air above her, feeling her, tracing the first hints of the promised curves that stirred my blood to sparking embers, and her eyes glowed, silvered blue, warm, sleepy, capturing me…

I dared to touch my fingertips to her lips, and she nipped and suckled – and then our bodies were straining to match instincts and desires they weren’t yet ready for – I could smell her arytana, as though I was back with her inside the woven-vine bower…

I stretched outward, and inward, at once, not certain how I was able to do this, only that I wanted nothing other than to be with her thus, forever, to be certain that she was truly more than my fevered dreamings…

~~Kaivelt..~~

A faint sighing whisper, like the call of an unseen silverbird through the thin air of the desert, and I stilled myself, afraid to breathe, almost, unless I lose the sense of her.

~~Always touching – ?~~

~~And always touched.~~

No, it was no dream. We touched, as Promised, with Everdeep no match for what breathed and pulsed between us, no matter how dimly perceived. No, she was not a dream. She was my reality.

I could feel her – could look directly to the point in the deep carpet of space – the one point that led to her…

I wanted that point, wanted to go where she was, this moment –

But it could not be now…

No, not now. The sense of her was fading, as wisps of steam upon the Forge. ~~But as soon as I am able to choose for myself, I will come for you, Niaan…~~

From far too far away, too far to reach, I felt the echoes of her answer. ~~I await you.~~

Then Mother and Father were with me, tending me without blocking my view of the stars, and, with their ministrations, reality shifted, and she was small and curled in the deeps of my soul….

But, when I fell back into sleep, later, after food, and drink, it was with the promise of the future held within me, and in the glow of the stars that would one day lead me to her…


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Disclaimer – This post contains mild sexual content, and is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

The dancing was nature – weaving, endless, lovely, all belonging and knowing. The feast of Souldance and the gorging glut of Matehunt…

The feast, the gorging…., then, sleep, and dreams….

Dreams flowing, out to the comfort of nearkin, in this place of wildness and freedom. They slept, wound together in their own weaving, and dreams of tending to us, to themselves…of sheltering, and feeding, and sustaining peace, that there would be no need or tension from without the dancing to pull us from it…

They sighed, and turned into one another, and safety and affection grew, embracing, surrounding….

Then the others…no – we did not want to go there, but the dream rolled on, carrying us, and they were there, a sharpness of scent that pooled within nostrils, whispering unknown danger, here….

Danger to the dancing and the weaving of souls and lives. Danger we must attend to…

They attracted and they repulsed, at once. Desire stabbed through them both like a thorn neither would admit caused hurt.

“You will return her to me, and to the Keep, at once.” Voice-lash, as though it were the leather cord, another weapon to wield.

“No.” Flat, back turned, but ahnstav threatened, with thoughts of sinking within, of vanquishing, of feeling the woman struggle beneath…

Grappling, the others, gone, for a time, Souldance surging, selves twisting, twining, in a dancing surely more ecstatic even than Matehunt, while clumsy too-young bodies struggled to echo, to attain what was yearned for, straining, hungry…

Welts on her hands were infected. She will stay at the Pridekeep.”

Now he turned, yellow eyes narrowed, unblinking, and the woman stepped back, shrinking and trying to not seem to. She did not know that her scent was a clutching, sour-sweat shiver.

“That is not the whole of the story, although I warrant I will never hear it all.” Fear made her reckless when she ought to be silent and learn. Her words bounded out, sharp, percussive – the lash again, and again – “The chit was back here a full twoday before expected, and clumsy as she never is. The kitchen mistress reports that she was running when she entered, and that her eyes did not seem to see the maid she knocked asunder. She has never before returned a grain afore the time she was required, and, often as not, comes dragging her slippers in the dirt of the Merchant’s Road. There is something to this that you are not saying, and it happened in your accursed Wildlands.”

“My ‘accursed Wildlands’ keep you and yours well fed. What passes within the Huntlands is no concern of yours. The child was not ill or injured, when she left them.”

“You accuse me of – !”

They faced one another, the man calm, the woman enraged. We watched, distant, unseen, as any hunter must be to learn the truth of the prey, gathering information as one must to test a hypothesis.

“I have worn the marks of your leather. I know their look, and the pain they bring. The child is Trueborn, the purest the Pride has had in several generations, and is not a resource to be wasted.”

~ Resource – ?~

“She is my Kaiess – also ‘not a resource to be wasted’.” Her scent was secrets hidden deep, dank and fetid, poisoning her…

“She is the child of my blood. She belongs to me, whatever the law. In her soul, she is mine.”

~No! We are- ours, and no others’!~

He knew it was not true; but would not accept. Only Niaan, daughter of his blood, his Trueborn, could beget him, with his blood, the Truestborn he longed for…and so he would command her, when she was of an age to bear…

Revulsion, in layers and levels. Wonder, that there should be revulsion.

Sudden shattering of unity, spiraling into a reality we could not share.

Alone….


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I fell into sleep, still tasting our mingled blood – blood! The very concept was alien, abhorrent –

And yet, not.

I had a dream – although Father had said, 470 times, thus far, that dreaming was ‘an undesirable human impulse’ I must condition myself to indulge in only at will, for a purpose, still, rebelliously, I dreamed, and refused those lessons.

We knelt upon the sands, at dawning, settled onto our haunches, and our fingers danced together in the positions of the childs’ poses. This was the prelude to Promising, which I knew, from the private lessons with Father’s Kiral.

We were being Promised. And she was smiling, her cheeks and chin indenting the way Mother’s did, when she was pleased too suddenly to practice restraint, the expression that always stirred me in a way that no other did, and in places a lifetime of training and correction demanded I hide from, as though there were any logic at all in hiding from myself…

I will have all of you, fierce one, or none at all. Hold back nothing, and hide nothing. I will not take only half a ferndeer, I must have all that you are.”

She was here – before me, within me. I see myself in her eyes, even with the coming of the red morning….and I feel her soul – vivid, watchful, welcoming.

I gave himself to her, dissolved everything that walled off parts of me, and then, daringly, I broke the pattern of Souldance, of the ritual, and she flowed into my arms as I pulled her to me, and we fell into the sand, everything abandoned for the need to touch, to join, to be one, wholly, unbreakably.

Voices. Our minds recorded; we heard the sounds. They held unknown meaning, and were sent, untended, to memory.

There was no danger to react to.

Spock. You will desist, resume the ceremony, and complete your Promising.”

.”Sarek, it is done.  More than Promising. It is childbond, of a particularly strong nature.”

“The ceremony – “

“Is for thee, and not thy child. There is no need to complete a ceremony intended only to ensure a lesser connection than that which exists already. Let us provide them shelter from the sun, and leave them to explore in privacy what they have wrought between them.”

All was well. The scents, strange, but readable, said there was tolerance if not yet acceptance….

We felt shadow fall over us, dimming sight, and so we looked instead within, began to dance to the rising tempo of the bells and gongs, wind sighing through rocks, the singing of silverbirds and the firepit.

Sheltered, we danced, one, nothing hidden, nothing denied, all accepted…

We were a creature of nature, one with fire and birds and wind and rock and the dawn….

I woke to a subtle shift in light and warmth, to her cool,slow breath tickling my ear, her body curled into me, with a leg thrown over mine, her knee grazing my stavrit –

Then, it was not dream. Not delusion.

I held her, and my body was alive with the feel of her. My blood flow shifted, and I groaned softly before I could think to repress the sound. I remembered, and hungered to feel again what I had not known existed, before last night. I wanted to touch my stavrit, as it hardened into ahnstav – but, more, I wanted to press against her, within her, and feel her body straining to join with mine in the flowing way of our minds…

There was something I was to remember about the light and the rock…something of import….

She shifted,in her sleep, her knee adding pressure, and ahnstav was suddenly complete, power and pleasurepain carrying another groan surging forth, breaking through the impotent barrier of my lips…lips that longed to taste her, everywhere…

Warmth. And shadows?

She was watching me, now, and in her knee and her mind I could feel knowing. “You desire Matehunt again, so soon, fierce one?” But laughter and delight in her mind, and she leaned over, her tangled curls brushing fiery sparks along my chest, and then we were kissing, and biting, and our bodies wound together with their own will…

“Is it not obvious, my own?” My voice was a gasp, fracturing into the spaces between the animal sounds we were making.

She laughed, and then there was only Souldance,and Matehunt, and sensation uniting, making of us both toucher and touched.

Endlesss discovery and unity. When we hungered, we ate; when tired, we slept; when desire ruled, we played at Matehunt and Souldance. We spoke little, our minds were joined, and so there was no need.

Something about light and shadow….

“So. Thee awaken, young one. I thought it might be soon. Come, refresh thyself, and eat. I have brought you clothing that will soothe you, and there are things we must speak on, before you leave us.”

I stared at the speaker, not understanding. Then, panic twisted my intestines, and I illogically searched the stone bedplace….

“Niaan!”

She was not here. I was alone except for the aged woman scarcely taller than me. “Where have you-”

“Look within your mind, young one. What you seek is there, if bedimmed. We have no means to recreate the state that allowed you to perceive her so fully, but she has not been taken from you, and will not be.”


 

It was always the smell of the vines, even before the blooms, that spoke to me of the Huntlands. The flowerswere everywhere in Kaitiiraan’s Keep – the scent of the blooms floating in tubs, sitting in delicate porcelain vases, wound around beds and the columns in the grand hall…..nay, there was no way to miss the stink of them, even those planted up into pots seemed dead, rotting flower corpses that blocked up my nose to all other scents…

“Maybe why my baths always reek of rosewater, and the dinners are so drowned in sauces, the story of the meat is befouled along with the taste.”

I spun around, heart battering my breastbone with the warning that came, always, too late…

But I could smell the vines, now – green, alive with leaves and buds that had no place in the Keep, roots sunk into lush forest soils, cushions of moss, powdering remains of bark, composting scat. So long as I could smell this life, I was safe to speak such thoughts aloud.

Freedom ran and skipped through my feet, carrying me to my favorite place, in the thicket just off the Merchant’s Road, where only a small body could easily fit….my place to shed the bindings of Mother’s world, and settle into the wild life of the Tacivaarii, before I joined them.

Only here was I in my own place, where I could simply be as I was, without the pulls of Tribed and Untribed tugging me two directions, at once, feeling forever part of each, and yet, neither….

“I want to simply be MYSELF!”

Again, my thoughts escaped my errant lips…but it was true. What matter if I was Trueborn, or Kaiess? Why did those things have to hold and pull at me?

“Am I not more than those things? Am I not myself, and my own?”

~You are, my daughter.~

I listened…the voice was within me, but from everywhere, too, sighing through me, carried in the breeze, the birdsong, the buzz of the nectarflies as they sipped at the arytana that grew afresh, quick as a tantaa bird’s strike – nay, quicker! – surrounding me, cocooning me within my lair as though I was a caterpillar readying for my Change….

“What is happening?” This morning’s overcooked and overspiced stew mixed with the lingering scent of rosewater from the forced bath, twisted my belly and threatened to climb up the back of my throat with stinging clutches and grabs.

Curiosity danced through fear; my soul alive with new, wilder energy, drawing me at once into the embrace of Aletris, the motherworld, and, at the same bloodpulse, flinging me away to soar through the always-night of Everdeep….

“Aletris?” I asked, although I knew it was she, however impossible it might seem.

The blooms’ fragrance caressed me, as the glittering dartwings came to feast and fight one another for the choicest blooms….

~Yes, Niaan my daughter. Rest, now, and know that you are enough. Just enough, just as you are. And that you are not alone, so long as I am here, and he is there.~

I grew sleepy, of a sudden; odd – I had been ready to Run, less than a sunlength, since….Now, though, the vines shaped themselves, the blooms stroked my bare skin to trembling life, and I was gentled down into my furs…

“He?” I yawned, mind muddled with arytana, with wanting, with the songs without and within me….”He who?”

~ Your body is safely sheltered here, daughter. Follow where your soul leads….~

And then, I was Running across the rich darkness of Everdeep, the always-night and dancing lights playing along my senses, filled with tantalizing awareness….how can I be Running, here?

But what matter?

A scent among many, twitching and tingling into my nose, exciting me, drawing me….to a hot, dusty, red place….a place such as my tutors in the Keep called “child’s nonsense”, with their minds full of creeping old terror they wanted to unfeel….in that strange place with its sharp-edged, gritted smells and tastes….a boy.

He lay upon sand, hidden by rock, sleeping. There was the spore of rotten fruit about him, but, on his lips, in the breath he breathed softly and hotly at me, only the freshest, sweetest juice…

His mind lay untended….beckoning me, singing in harmony to the music, his notes strange, and yet, not…without knowing how, I slipped within his mind, his soul….

Dark eyes reflected me, tiny, but aglow against his strange red night. He was almost as still as a waiting Hunter – or the fearfrozen ferndeer.

I set myself to wait, for whatever sima garo provided…and then, between one breath and the next, in the vulnerable waiting instant, our souls flowed together, as though we were two streams merged, blending, swirling….

We belonged, as we never had, to each other, in the next breath.

“This is our home.”


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They were together, now, but not Solemated. It was a step they would not take, yet, because neither was certain of where their healing lay.

~Sima garo provides.~

It was a thing that they had thought, many times. It seemed there was no rush, as they learned to fully rejoin their lives, as individuals. If it was meant, if there could be enough healing, sima garo would indeed provide the means of it.

Patience was not an easy thing for her, but she was preoccupied with the Otherworlders, and so could wait.

Patience was natural for him, and, when he was not engaged in helping her to understand the workings of the installation, and to plan for the eventual effort to excise them, he learned himself…

Still, though, danger lurked. From the Otherworlders, and from the new closeness between them, linking them more and more closely. Eventually, a Solemating might be inevitable and involuntary, and, for both of them, Solemating would eventually require nothing less than a physical consummation.

And he was readying himself for Everdeep, at last – but to go to the being that compelled him. He no longer longed to join with it, but knew now the dangers of it, because it was destroying and threatening more destruction, as it sought a connection that would fulfill it.

This mission might kill him, and there would be pain in being amongst his friends. He knew now that they might have pain and emotional discord regarding his exit from their lives. That would not be so on his world, but his friends were not of a kind with him, and he was beginning to brace himself from the coming onslaught of their feelings.

Jeniah felt him, attempting to hide within himself, and that was a thing that she knew and understood – from her days alone at Osiraan, or as a child alone in the Huntlands.

~If you must withdraw, Kaivelt, I understand. Sima garo provides.~

~You do not see it as further rejection?~

She pondered this for a moonslength – there was no hurry, just now, and time to learn and grow. He would not wish to rush the answer; he had far more use for truth than comfort.

~It is a rejection, of sorts,Kaivelt. And there is pain in it – but is there not pain in all such partings? ~

~I have found it to be so.~  There was something that spoke of surprise, as though it was a thing he had never before considered.

~I left my children to come to the diggings, and did not bid them farewell. Perhaps we all must, at some breath, make such farewells. So, go, if you must, even if that means no farewell. ~

~But there is a thing you would ask of me.~ He could feel the place in her mind, but she knew he would not enter without her bidding. Smiling, she opened it to him, and invited him to explore what was within.

He came inside hesitantly – for all of their involuntary sharings, they were yet shy in these spaces of self. Bathed in her, he seemed to grow stronger, and wonder filled his next sending.

~You offer me so much – with no assurances -?~

~I need no assurances, fierce one. It is my wish that you be well, and at peace, within yourself and without. If I can aid you as you are aiding Aletris, that seems a thing provided by sima garo.~

~And for yourself? Is there nothing you wish, for yourself?~

~You know there is. Do you wish me to describe a prey you can see so clearly?~

This time, it was he who paused, considering. ~Yes, you know that I do.~

~You must not withdraw fully, if you wish the sharing. Also,if I am to be able to draw on your knowing to rid Aletris of those who would dare to break her skin and suck out her life, leaving poison in her wounds, I must be able to touch you.~

~I will remain, as long as I am able. Will you study the stars, Jeniah?~

~I will. It will be so, whether you think me a dream or believe me real. I will watch the stars, as now, and share them with you.~

~There is more, between us.~

This was a mind-whisper, and hesitant. He trembled, in her mind, and there was a note in it that she knew well, and that he would not recognize – it was always hardest to see the danger one wished would not appear. Likely, the stalking would be near done before he knew the threat of it. She could ease it, and that would grow the link between them, even though he would not know what she did.

~Much, much more, fierce one. Let us be only in this breath, and then the next, and the one that follows. ~

Because he might think to protest, and was likely to put thinking ahead of Matehunt, she slipped into his mind, along the silvery threads that led to his places of pleasuring.

~My own !~ A delighted gasp as a shivering response began to tingle into her mind, hesitant but with a clear knowing of the paths that would most stir her. He had not known his own wanting until she had shown it to him, but hers was as a cherished prey, and he stalked it expertly.

~I am not yet yours, fierce one – and I ever shall be my own. But, perhaps, this is a way to Hunt our healing, for us both.~

But he had no words with which to answer, and would not, now, until the long journey of Souldance had wound down to the languorous and sensual sharing of the time after Sating, after Completion.

Public domain image by Talia Felix. Click for source.

It had ever been so, with him, and would be now, that she did not command their hunting. It was a thing they pursued, together. Sometimes, the Hunt demanded that they flow as one; others, it made of them almost enemies, plunging and grappling their way to the prey –

Always, he was pulled in so fully that no words were left him, only the sounds of a pleasuring animal, virile and fully present in the coupling. This was a thing she loved greatly in him, that his calm certainty held within it this elemental male, whose sole purpose was to live these moments with her.

She held those parts of him tenderly, even when they beat and crashed upon and within one another, and offered them shelter as they Hunted…

“Jeniah!”

Not her lover’s voice. No, he was no longer in her arms, and she was straining in the throes of the passion just before Sating. She groaned in pleasure and disappointment.

“Sister, leave off your pleasurings. Or, if you cannot, I bid you to find Sating quickly.”

Urgency pierced a tiny hole in the ecstasy of promised release; her hips bucked and thrust into her hand. Her fingers were frantic and would not obey her mind; he still sent the pulses of energy into her pleasuring places, and there was no resisting…

“Go ’way!” she hissed, desperately, and then gave herself over to the melting, gasping flow of tingling Sating. Yes, yes, more, more…

He was with her, his strange male Completion the counterpoint to Sating, the other face of her release. He clung to her in that moment of utter vulnerability, owned by what he felt as he seldom was, and his gaze was fixed on hers, searching, offering, pleading – and yet, victorious as all men were in the bloodpulse of release.

Bloodpulse and breath beating together, they quivered upon and within one another. She felt no desire to release him, or to rise, or to release his mind.

~We both have duties to tend to…~ He let the thought trail off and fall into the space between them, softly.

And Vaara seized the moment, thrust herself into it. “I’ve waited as long as I can. Come, sister. You must leave off your pleasuring, and come with me. Some wildlings are coming to kill the Otherworlders, and we may already be too late to save them from coming to death themselves.”

Shock, and a moment of not being able to comprehend what it meant. Then – ~ Stay with me, fierce one -please. Do not go yet. I have need of what is in your mind.~

~You go into danger?~ He asked, but he knew, already. She felt his helplessness, and his feat that after all that they had endured.

~Often – as you do, fierce one. But, if you are with me, perhaps danger can be avoided for all. ~

~I will remain with you so long as I am able. What are the details of the threat?~

Jeniah was beginning to remember how to function with him in her mind. “Vaara, will you share with us, that we may both have what you know?”

Vaara nodded and opened her mind, and the sharing began.


Public domain image that evokes the Huntlands surrounding Osiiraan.

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.

 



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