New Dream Dawning, Part 14
As the moon dipped below the horizon and the sun started to rise, the brown-eyed outlander warrior started to stir. His lady with the starry green eyes was sleeping soundly. He suspected it was the first she’d felt safe.
He got up and went to check on his bundles. Finding charcoal and scrolls in one of his bags still outside the tent flap, he jotted some scrolls. First, he scribbled a message to the warriors who escorted him to their tent. Then he jotted messages to the lady’s daughters; even if they weren’t his blood, he felt in his heart they were given him to love as if they were. The final message was to his friend in supply to get what he would need.
He grabbed a passing young warrior and handed him the messages with the instructions. This warrior had a small wiry frame and eyes that were both green and brown. As he was receiving the instructions, his jaw dropped.
“Sir, are you Lady Star’s union mate?”
“Good. I have to talk to you about her younger daughter.”
The brown-eyed outlander warrior sighed and groaned inwardly. “Son, I have to take the lady to the mountains for a long season. The War God gave me the instruction. I don’t have time before I leave with her. Would you wait?”
The younger warrior looked crushed.
“Do your duty, son. My answer if you listened wasn’t no. It was just not now.
The green and brown eyes brightened, “Yes, sir.”
“And who knows? There might be a bonus in your tasks for you today.” The older warrior responded with twinkling eyes and a touch of glee in his voice.
As the younger warrior disappeared, the brown-eyed outlander warrior went back into the tent and slipped into the same position beside his lady union mate. He was still avoiding the chee-chin circle.
After a long time, he heard some scratching on the tent flap. Pushing himself quietly away, he went to the tent flap. His original bundles were gone. He saw two pack animals loaded with supplies tied to a tent post. Beside that was a sack of moonberries, chasm cow cheese, and water.
He grabbed the fruit, cheese, and water and pulled them into the test. As he laid out the simple meal, the chee-chin broke rank and filed out of the tent. When he finished, he went to the tent flap; they were now circling the pack animals.
He returned, and started to call her name, “Snowcat, snowcat. We’re going to leave camp soon. If you sit up, I’ll feed you some food.”
She moaned. “No. No eat.”
He replied, “You must eat. Your body is broken. Your spirit is broken. If you don’t eat, you can’t heal. Snowcat, for me, please eat.”
She sat up. He brought a piece of chasm cow cheese about half the size of his palm. She started to shake her head, but he responded, “This isn’t much. Please just a bite at a time.”
She sighed and tentatively took the small bits he proffered.
When the chasm cow cheese was finished, he smiled. “Okay, snowcat. Water or moonberries?”
She glanced away. He could hear her licking her lips and smacking her tongue off her teeth. “Water please.”
He grabbed the skin containing the water and handed it to her. She drank about half the skin, not nearly enough for the morning.
“Should I bring the fruit, snowcat?”
She snorted. “You will. Even if… I no.”
“I love you, snowcat. This is what you need now.” He began giving her the moonberries, one by one. She took them, not happily, until they were gone.
They sat looking at each other. She turned her green starbursts and looked at him. In the old days, the look would have been enough to start a union. But now, he knew it was a kind of gratitude.