Ogres and Ogresses Ch. 10bystubborn_dreamer©
Chapter 10: Lust
When night fell Zyra felt she could not sleep. She stayed this way, anxiously awaiting some foul omen or trick that would send her back into the hellish realms she was now enslaved. In the moonlight she examined the markings that now ran along her arm. They seemed to glow, flourish in the supernatural light. Nature itself seemed to be calling to her. It was frightening to be able to sense everything she loved in triplicate, but part of it served to deepen her love. She was unsure if she had closed her eyes long, but when she opened them the first lights of dawn were drawing.
Zyra walked to the stream and sure enough saw Rell. He too had become attached to it. Chances were he had spent the night in Ginger's tent. She made it a point to step on a twig and he turned to her. Giving a small smile at her indulgence of his whims, he sat down, beckoning a spot for her. She sat beside cross legged him and they gazed out into the new day.
"You..." Rell's eyes didn't move from the stream as he spoke. "You can feel it too yes?"
"Which feeling?" Zyra asked. "Quite frankly there are many."
Rell nodded and searched to find his words.
"They've...changed us somehow. They're inside us. I can feel them."
Rell frowned and touched his chest, the sunlight dancing on the hay colored lashes of his eyes.
"It's as if the whole of me is warm, but... they, the part of them is cold."
Zyra put a hand to her own chest and closed her eyes. Yes, he was right. She too could feel it. Just beside her heart she could feel the foreign object replacing what was once her.
"How did it feel?" Rell asked suddenly. He turned his blue eyes on her. "When the white foam consumed you...how did it feel?"
Zyra sighed, the breath pulled from deep within her weary bones. She wanted to tell him he would never need to worry about feeling it. She wanted to assure him that she would never fail her duty, but she could not.
"It felt like what I imagine dying feels like."
Rell frowned, pulling up a knee to lay his chin on it. "Are you worried that your sisters won't accept the new you?"
Zyra hadn't really thought about it. She regarded her tribe with unconditional love and expected them to do the same. Even so, the fact that they had made her cover the mark had hurt her feelings just a little.
How could any part of her be a foul omen? She felt alienated now more than she had ever before. She had never quite fit in, now she never would.
"I never really fit in with my sisters," she admitted to Rell. "Even as a child. I had a lot of admirers but, very few friends. I was always...different, especially from Kyzu."
She smiled at her memories.
"She was always the delicate feminine one. Levelheaded and full of wise advice. I was the wild one."
"I can relate," Rell said with a small smile. "Though I am more like your sister."
She watched as his smile died and was replaced by a concentrated serious gaze.
"How does it feel... to have your sibling be Chief?" he asked.
She shrugged. "To be honest it doesn't bother me. Once though some of the villagers did try to contest that I should be Chieftess despite her being eldest."
He looked at her with sudden interest.
Zyra smiled at him. "Well, I said I had no interest in being Chieftess because it was Kyzu's job and not mine. Then I went off to play."
He let out a chuckle and they looked at each other in companionship. He had never heard of such a thing.
"Perhaps you were born to stand apart," Rell said affectionately. "That must be your purpose."
"I suppose...what is your purpose friend Rell?" Zyra asked frowning. "Surely it's not to coddle your older brother for..."
"He's not my older brother."
His face had turned serious, tortured even in the span of seconds.
Zyra was confused. It seemed apparent that the Ursies favored Hanto. She assumed it was because he was eldest and thus heir of the Chiefhood.
"I am weak for Chief. I know." Rell said bitterly. "That is why Hanto is mostly uncontested in this."
He began nibbling at his thumb, a habit she could see was developed from years of repressed emotions. She would not be shocked to learn this was the first time he had shared his thoughts on the matter.
"You see, even though my Father does not outrightly say that Hanto will be Chief, I feel it is destiny."
Zyra drew herself up, resting her hands on her crossed knees like a village elder.
"Do you want to be Chief?"
Rell paused then sighed. "Yes. Some pathetic part of me desires what cannot be mine."
"It is yours!" Zyra said furiously. She had never heard of such a thing!
"The eldest is the heir, it is written in the law. Contesting you is tribe treachery. If you want it you must proclaim yourself clearly! Let it not be unknown!"
Rell laughed, amused by her righteous anger on his behalf.
"Not everyone is blessed to have a sister like you Zyra," he mused. "In tribes less honorable they would have expected you to let both Kyzu and her heir die. You would take her position uncontested and with your own child the bloodline would run through you."
Such thoughts appalled her, but she could see that Rell thought he might be right.
"You're not weak anymore," Zyra pointed out. "This thing inside of us, it has taken from us but it also gives. We are stronger than before."
She touched where he said he had felt the chill on his chest and looked at him firmly.
"The only one keeping you weak is you Rell. You have the choice to be strong. Perhaps you did not before, but you do now. You must harness this curse."
He scanned her for any sign of lies or deception, but he could see she was sincere and earnest. Gently he reached over to her and loosened her bandage. He unraveled it until he could see the brilliantly reflective tattoo that encompassed her arm. He loosened his as well. Then he took her hand. They could feel an energy running through them. Something that connected them in their souls, something as deep, and red, and true, as blood.
"We are connected for all time," Rell whispered softly.
Zyra nodded, love shining in her eyes. "It seems so."
He gave her a kind smile and they walked back to the camp hand in hand.
Nothing was said of their strange behavior nor as to why their tattoos were visible. Zyra tried to ignore the looks of distrust that were directed at her arm. It wasn't that they didn't trust her, they didn't trust the witches. They felt the same. She knew this.
When Hanto came out with his pack she bid him the necessary goodbyes. She even indulged him in a lingering hug.
"May you be safe," she said genuinely.
He nodded to her with a coy smile. "Not to worry dear one. I shall return for you."
She forced a smile on her face.
Fuckta...I feared this.
When Rell came forward she was struck by a choking of emotion. Attacked by her inhibitions, she was suddenly overwhelmed with the irrational fear that she would be alone!
It wasn't true of course, she was in her village with her tribe, her sister, Ginger, and Nima, but no one from their fellowship would be present. She had spared her sisters the details of her ordeal. Until Gharla and Enui came back there was no one who could truly understand. Even losing Hanto became a strange thought to her.
She grasped Rell, burying her face in his chest as the tears escaped her. Clutching him desperately she fought the panic, the violent necessary need to never let him go. He hushed her, feeling her shake in his arms, concealing her sobs, and waited until she forced herself to let her grip...loosen.
"There there," he rumbled in a low comforting voice.
She peeked up at him, wretched in her despair. Was this love for a brother? Or something more?
Why did she feel so lonely?
He pulled her hands forward and in her palm placed a cord. It was the same cord that had been bloodstained around his hand. Now, it was clean and adorned with a light blue stone. She had seen such stones by the valley stream's edges. They were smooth and beautiful, seeming to absorb the light. In its center was the scratching of the Ursie tribal symbol.
"I couldn't resist," he quipped. "I...had to make sure it was real." He smiled. "This cord has soaked with my blood. It is a part of me."
She reached the cord on her neck and gave him the cord and key that had bound the ogre. Gently she placed it in his hand.
Silently he put the key around his neck as she put his stone around hers. With a kind smile he wiped the tears from her eyes and placed a chaste kiss on her forehead.
"Be safe my sister."
"Be safe my brother," she warbled in an unsteady un-Zyra like voice.
Looking on she saw Hanto watching furiously. Realizing her mistake would need rectification, she turned and ran to him, letting him take her into his arms. He hugged his form to hers.
He held her snuggly, too snugly in fact but she bore it for Rell's sake. When she pulled back he crashed his lips into hers.
She froze, trying to avoid undoing everything she had worked for.
Vile! Absolutely vile!
When she did pull away he looked deeply satisfied. He smirked at Rell as they both headed on the trail.
She laughed when Rell rolled his eyes.
Their bond was deeper than physicality. It was of kinship, a cutting from the same cloth, something Hanto may never understand. Even so, she walked back to the sounds of her sisters' jeers about her love affairs. She tried to be jovial, but she couldn't help but notice how they all kept their distance.
Then Ginger grabbed her by her tattooed arm and glared at her sisters. She was shocked and numbly followed Ginger to her tent. Ginger spoke to her about something irrelevant as she curiously touched her marks.
"It hums sometimes," Zyra remarked. "Do you feel it?"
Ginger nodded. Then she wrapped it for her again, tightly with two rolls of bandage.
She watched the broken part of herself being patched up by her friend, and listened as she warned her again, to leave the symbols covered.
A week had passed since Rell and Hanto had departed. They sent word that they had returned by word of tribe. The closest tribe to them, the Wakai had delivered the message. The Wakai were also all female and on occasion they would join them in joined hunts if times grew hard.
Hard...right, she was in a hard situation.
The ogre had been at the back of Zyra's mind, just where she had placed him. She tried to not dwell much on him. Since she had not sought him but she had not seen him. Part of her demanded that she accept that he was her responsibility and see to him at once. Most of her was hoping he'd die of natural causes.
Both desires were slim possibilities.
Nima had been talking in broken sentences, but she was picking up quickly and able to say pretty much anything she wished. Most of her sentences were questions. Thinking on Nima's wellness brought her back to her agreement.
Yes, she was a keromedio...or something or another.
She had to check on the ogre.
She walked out into the trees and reluctantly began to call out.
How far had he ventured?
Was this blasted thing ignoring her?
Before she could yell again a shout pierced her ears.
She ran towards the source, knowing exactly where it had come from. Breathless, she tore open Kyzu's tent and saw that Nima was awake, but coughing uncontrollably.
"Kyzu what happened?" Zyra demanded.
Kyzu simply shook her head, once again escaping inside herself.
"Not again...not again."
"Oh lord no...not again, please not again."
Angry she gathered Nima into her arms and rubbed Nima's back as she looked for the dried elixir pulp. Finding it she added water and ground it until it began to weakly steam. She slowly fed Nima between coughs. Looking up she saw Kyzu looking at her with a strange negative emotion.
Why was she angry? Or was it...jealousy?
Suddenly Nima retched. The elixir juice and splotches of red came dribbling out of her lips. Blood, Nima was bleeding from inside. She knew fear again as she wiped Nima's mouth and tried to apply the elixir again.
"Come on Nima. Hold it down. You must do it for us yes?"
Nima nodded weakly and they tried again.
The results were the same. She sent someone to fetch new herbs, she had her chew settling roots before she gave her more but it was to no avail. Before long the elixir stopped giving steam, its potency run its course.
A gnawing fear chewed up the side of her body.
What if she was still in the valley? What if she had never left? Or if Nima had died and this was all an illusion?
What if the witches had lied to her and preserved Nima just enough to get inside her and take away her life?
Maybe she was about to die too.
Hot tears forced their way down her face. She was powerless, powerless!
She clutched at Nima frantically as she held her up so she would not cough blood upon her sheets. The red mix of bile and sickness fell onto her skin but she ignored it, needing to feel the realness of the girl.
This was reality, this was reality. You're in your village Zyra, they are real.
Kyzu reached her hands out, the unsteady look of anger and resignation drying up. Zyra was shocked to feel that she did not want to.
That was when he came in.
Big, green and silent as a huntress the ogre hunched over, suddenly inside the tent. She hadn't even heard him! And there was something in his hand. Kyzu gave a sigh and she watched her faint. The sight of him was her undoing. Laying Nima down Zyra shouted, pushing him out of the tent and away from her.
"No! Get out! Stay back"
"I won't hurt her Zyra," he said holding up his hands.
He had a pouch of something in his right hand. Her mind would not listen to reason.
"NO!"she growled. "You can't touch her!"
This was she could do. She could fight, she could keep them safe. She wasn't a healer like Rell, this was all she could offer. She gasped when the ogre grasped her shoulders and shook her much like she had done to Kyzu before.
"Listen to me," he said firmly, his yellow eyes boring into her. "I can help her. Let me help her Zyra. You want to help her don't you?"
She nodded dumbly as her face screwed up in anguish. She could not stop her tears no matter how much she willed herself.
But I can't. I can't.
"Then move aside." He placed her on the ground and his big body filled the tent.
When had he...he had lifted her feet off of the ground? And she... hadn't noticed?
Perhaps she was out of sorts.
She peered inside to see him open the pouch and pull out some berries, herbs and strange dusts. He fed Nima a few berries and to Zyra's surprise she stopped coughing. When she did, Kyzu awoke and her eyes widened as she took in the large green mass beside her. He moved slowly, a gentle giant to the little girl who watched him curiously from her nest.
"Shh," he shushed. "I'll tell you later."
He gave her a long drink of what he had made and Zyra watched her eyes flutter closed.
"She has to sleep it off."
He addressed Kyzu who blinked rapidly in shock. He began giving her instructions on what to do to make the potion and when to give it to her. He explained that this was a normal occurrence due to the severity of the illness she had been afflicted with. In time, each outbreak would lead to its fade. He was purposely boxing her out. He was making her useless.
Zyra pulled away from the tent. She had been useless.
What could she have done? Make another trip to the valley? Pick up Gharla and Enui on the way?
Play nice with Etaceh?
She hated him! Hated that she had cried and shown weakness in front of him. He had shaken her and she had allowed it. She had allowed him to belittle her, but she too had belittled him.
Why did he help her? How did he know she needed help?
Before she could continue, he exited the tent and stood to his full height. He was like a tree towering over her.
She heard Kyzu utter a weak but heartfelt, "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he rumbled.
Then he looked at her.
She could feel the weight of his gaze leaning on her because she would not meet it.
Shame, shame and regret filled her. She had wronged him by leaving him out there, and he had still come to their aid. She had silently wished his death, and he had restored what she treasured most.
Oh the shame. Shame she became. She became her shame.
When it became evident she was going to remain silent, he walked past her and back into the forest. She knew immediately when he was beyond her reach. Kyzu did not call for her to come back.
After several moments she walked away and stalked into Ginger's tent. Ginger jumped up yelling since she had been pleasuring herself with another village girl, but Zyra ignored them. Sighing she went to a corner where she had piled furs and buried herself in it. She heard Ginger making apologies and asking the girl to leave. The girl scoffed and shot her a dirty look. Then she walked out.
Zyra sighed again. She felt so strange. Why was she being so emotional? This was so unlike her, what had those witches done to her?
"Zyra? Sweetie what's wrong?"
Ginger pulled up a fur off her head.
"I was useless," she mumbled.
Ginger frowned. "In what? What happened? Tell me about it."
"There's nothing to talk about. Only things to do."
"Honey you have to give me more than that.
She didn't. She closed her eyes and took a nap.
When she woke she found that it was late afternoon. She could smell the fires from the preparation for the evening meal. Sliding out of the furs she found that Ginger had put a used wooden phallus next to her head. She frowned as she slunk away from it.
Disgusting, Ginger's way of getting revenge for ruining her fun.
Zyra supposed she was selfish but she wasn't sure. You couldn't be selfless and selfish at the same time. Would any attempt on behalf of herself seem selfish in her eyes?
Yawning she stretched, knowing she would have much work to do. Chances of her finding sleep that night were bad. She peeked on Nima first. She was alone actually and sleeping well. She learned that Kyzu was off gathering the things the ogre had instructed her. She was a bit startled.
Kyzu never left the tribe grounds. She couldn't even fight! She immediately sought to go after her but something inside her paused. Actually this was good. It was a step up from Kyzu lying beside Nima in restless agony. Yes, this was very good. Kyzu could gather herbs by herself, she wasn't completely clueless. She had never thought of her sister as competent in anything other than Chieftess. Maybe she could add Herb Gatherer to the list.
Running along the village she began to gather supplies. A spare tent, rope, healing balm, 2 of the unshorn furs...
"Zyra Sister of the Rovian tribe you look at me right now!"
Turning like a captured thief she saw Ginger charging at her like an angry bear. Stomping up to her she jabbed an accusing finger at her.
"How dare you ignore me when you sought me out for comfort!"
Zyra tried to stifle a grin. "Actually I found your comfort beside my head this evening, thank you. As for my own I am gathering it as we speak."
"Planning to flee the village eh?" Ginger asked, eyeing up the pack she was filling. "You'll never make it past the stream. I'll personally assure this."
"It's for the ogre." You incredibly insane woman.
"Oh?" Ginger's anger seemed to vanish with this newest bit of gossip. "Why? Did you finally soften to him? You know for a green sharp toothed creature he's pretty handsome, and big. Do you know if he has a big..."