Two Worlds Ch. 08byvixenfurry©
I'm sooo sorry this took so long to post! I had a hard time working on this one and trying to figure out whose point of view I should do this in and finally figured it out and got the inspiration to actually write down everything that I had been planning. I've also been working on several other stories so while this one is quickly coming to an end (this is the second to last chapter of this story) there will be more to come. I'm already on the third chapter on one and they are rather long chapters, at least long for me.
Again I'm so sorry for taking so long but here it finally is! Hopefully you'll enjoy it. It's a lot longer than most of my posts. Let me know what you think!
I woke up at the sound of little coos and smiled as I heard Natu talking softly to Losy. I rolled over and saw him playing with her little feet as she cooed happily at him. I sat up and looked around for Kael and saw him still asleep.
"Wake you?" Natu asked softly when he saw me up. I shook my head and then leaned onto his shoulder, smiling down at our beautiful little girl. She was wiggling around happily while my mate stroked her foot gently.
"She is so beautiful." I sighed happily. Natu chuckled but nodded in agreement before Losy started to fuss a bit.
"Hungry?" Natu asked. I nodded and picked her up before sitting back and relaxing as I fed our little girl.
"Eene?" I heard little Kael mumble as he started to wake up.
"Morning zeezu." I smiled as he sat up and looked around. He crawled over to his father and curled up in his lap as Natu chuckled and held him close.
"Good dreams?" he asked him while kissing his forehead. He nodded and started to tell him about a dream he had of hunting with the men when he was older. Natu laughed at some of the silly things in the dream as I finished feeding Losy.
"Hunt today Neena?" Kael asked his father.
"Not today. Still have good meat from Jawek Isaac killed. Won't have to hunt for many days." Natu explained.
"Can I come next hunt?" Kael asked hopefully. Natu chuckled and hugged our son.
"Not so soon zeezu. Now let's get up and get Eene some food, yes?" Kael nodded happily and I smiled at them as they left to go get food. I stroked Losy's hair and she cooed happily, making me smile. Soon my mate and my zeezu came back with food and we all ate before getting up to get started on the day. I wanted to meet with my brother and talk to him about his mating ceremony and also talk to Charles about his issues with staying here.
I had spoken to Mother about the mating ceremony and my brother's insecurities and she had told me that if he was that insecure about it they could hold a private ceremony where only the family of the two mating and Mother and Father would watch. I wasn't sure if that would help too much but at least it was something.
I got dressed and then tied a cloth around me to carry Losy in while keeping my hands free. Finally I stepped out of our hut and started to look for Charles. I went to the hut him and Erik had been staying to see if he was still there and found Shelly standing hesitantly at the entrance.
"Good morning Shelly." I said with a smile. Shelly's face broke into a huge smile when she saw me and she rushed over.
"Good morning Jess! And how's little Losy today?" she asked as she looked at her and started to coo. I chuckled and pulled Losy out and handed her to Shelly.
"She is just the cutest thing. I only hope my children are as adorable as this little one..." she said while playing with my daughter's little feet.
"I'm sure they will. You and Erik have great genes." I teased with a knowing smile. She blushed before handing Losy back to me and shuffling her feet a bit.
"So. Um... What are you doing here?" she asked, trying to hide her embarrassment and obviously change the topic.
"I'm here to talk to Charles. I'm hoping he will choose to stay but I am giving him the option of staying or going. If he wants to go back we will get a group together to try to find the way we came in." I explained before giving her a smile.
"Now what are you doing here?" She blushed and shuffled her feet again before looking at the hut Eric and Charles were staying in and then looking back at the floor.
"Well... I know all of you have been saying that you think me and Erik are... you know... Um... mates and all so I... well I was thinking about talking to him and... um... asking him, you know... what he thinks of me and all..." My smile widened as she explained and a few people came out of the hut.
"Well sooner is better than later, right?" I whispered before nodding to behind her. Her eyes went wide before she turned around and squeaked slightly. Erik smiled kindly at her with a slight blush.
"You wanted to talk?" he asked before offering his hand. She blushed and took it, glancing at me as he led her away, a mixture of excitement and fear in her expression. A few of the tribe men that had come out with Erik chuckled slightly.
"It is about time. She is all he talks about." Kin told me. I smiled and then chuckled as well.
"They have been in love since they met. It is about time." I agreed before turning back to him. "Is Charles still in there?"
"No." he said with a sigh. "He comes late and leaves early. I think he hides from Princess Unari."
I sighed but nodded and decided to instead go find my brother. I headed towards Masu's house and stopped when I saw that there was a slight crowd in front of the house. They were all standing around Kael, Masu and one of the tribe men, Loen. Kael was looking at him with wide eyes and Masu looked a little scared and they were both kept glancing down. It was then that I noticed what was at Kael's feet and I gasped.
It was a mating rug. Kael was being challenged for the right to mate with Masu.
I was shocked. I hadn't seen a challenge yet and from what I've heard they are incredibly rare. Everyone else looked pretty shocked as well, except Loen, who just looked angry and determined. I suddenly realized that Kael could easily lose the challenge. Loen was one of the best hunters and strongest men of the tribe. He had to accept, though, or he would automatically forfeit his right to mate Masu.
Masu had obviously explained all of this to my brother because he slowly stretched out his arm and said the words that would seal his fate.
"I accept your challenge." He said in the tribe's language before Loen grasped his forearm and smirked at him.
"And you shall fail." He said in a voice that sent shivers up my spine.
"Someone get Queen Mana and King Ju!" I heard someone call out before shaking my head and calling out to Natu.
Natu. Loen has challenged Kael for Masu! Hurry over here and bring Mother and Father! I thought before hearing a slightly shocked response from him saying that he would be here soon. The crowd started to head towards the main center of the village and some people started to get excited. A few minutes later Erik, Shelly, Isaac and Opy came running up to me.
"What's going on?" Shelly asked as her and Erik looked around in slight excitement. Opy gasped as she saw Loen holding the mating rug in front of Kael.
"Kael's been challenged?!" she asked in shock.
"Yes. And Kael has accepted." I said, worry twisting in my stomach. At that moment I felt the calming touch of my mate and relaxed slightly into his embrace.
"He will be fine my mate. He just needs to win two of the three events and he gets to choose one." He reassured me. I sighed and nodded as I heard Opy trying to explain the challenge to the others and Mother and Father approached Loen, Kael and Masu. Masu looked worried and was clinging to Kael but Mother motioned her over and she reluctantly let go. The look that passed between the two mates was almost heartbreaking and I could see at that moment that Kael realized just how much he loved her.
"Loen has challenged Kael for the right to mate Masu. There shall be three events. Loen chooses the first one because he is challenger." Mother announced to the village, which cheered, before turning to Loen. He smirked and told her his choice before she turned back to the village.
"The first event shall be a hunt! Each will get a spear and the first to bring back a large hunt shall be winner." She announced as everyone cheered. Masu was sat on a small throne between Mother and Father to watch beside them. Kael looked slightly panicked as he was given a spear and then a path was cleared for them so they could run out to the forest to hunt. I clung tightly to Natu as I watched him, knowing that he probably wouldn't win this event.
"He chooses next one mate. He will choose something he will win at. Then they have last event." Natu said while rubbing my back.
"What is the last event?" I asked.
"I do not remember..." Natu looked a little worried then and I sighed before turning back to my brother.
"You may begin the hunt!" Mother called out before the village shouted and cheered. Loen quickly ran into the woods with Kael close behind him.
"Kael has never hunted before..." I told Natu.
"He did well in training." He reassured me. My son looked up at me and smiled.
"Bru Kael will be okay Eene." He told me, seeming so certain. I did my best to smile at him before hearing Losy start to fuss. I pulled her out and sat down to change her cloth. I sat there feeding her as I watched the forest, looking for any sign of my brother. The whole village was silent as we tried to hear or see any sign that either had caught anything.
A way's off there was the sound of a wild pig dying and I held my breath slightly but knew that it would probably be either Loen or another animal that had killed it. Several minutes later my fear was realized as Loen appeared, dragging the pig behind him. The village cheered and I felt Natu massage my shoulders gently. A bunch of the men ran ahead to help him drag the pig to the center of the village and in front of the thrones. Mother and Father stood up and motioned for Masu to stand up as well. They inspected the pig and then inspected Loen, who had several cuts on him from fighting the pig. Mother declared the kill good and everyone cheered. I saw Kael drop from a tree holding a rabbit and a squirrel and looking ashamed. I wanted to run over to him but instead I watched as he walked over to Mother and handed her his kills.
"You made a very good effort." She told him. He nodded but looked down, shuffling his feet slightly. The men then took the kills off to be taken care of before Mother turned back to Kael and spoke to him. After a moment she looked confused and then motioned for me to come over. I blinked in surprise before getting up and handing Losy to Natu.
"What is it Mother?" I asked.
"What is the word for swimming?" my brother asked. My eyes widened before my face broke out into a smile.
"We don't really have a word for that. But that is a good choice." I told him with a slight laugh.
"It's what I'm best at." He said shyly. I smiled and then turned to Mother to explain. She looked a little confused but then nodded and turned to announce it to the village.
"The next event shall be a race in the river!" She called out. The whole village looked slightly shocked and a bit confused. After a minute many started to look curious though and started to head towards the river. Loen looked confused for a moment before putting back on his mask of determination.
"Race in the river?" Natu asked, slightly confused as we headed towards the river as well.
"Yes. In our world it is very common, especially where it is hot. The cold water helps it not seem so hot." I explained. "It can also be an event and it is one that Kael has trained well in."
"Then he shall win this event." Natu said with confidence that made me smile.
"I'm sure he will." I said before realizing that others had been listening in to my explanation. As we made our way to the river a few of them asked me questions about it and I did my best to answer. Finally we arrived at the river and I saw Kael explaining swimming strokes to Loen, who didn't look to happy about it.
"What is he doing?" Opy asked.
"I think he is trying to make things more fair." Isaac tried to explain. We all lined up along the river as Mother, Father, Masu, Kael and Loen approached it. Mother, Father and Masu stopped at the edge but Kael kept going until he was in deep enough water. Loen hesitated and I could see his fur standing on end as he approached the water. He seemed to shove down his fear of it though and followed Kael into deeper water. Mother then nodded to Father and started to move further down until her and Masu were at what would be the finish line.
"For your mate! Begin!" Father called out before both males started swimming. Kael dived right into it and started swimming under the water as Loen tried to figure it out and finally decided to follow Kael's advice. He started to swim weakly and Kael disappeared from sight for a moment before his head popped out a ways ahead for air and he continued swimming strong. Loen started to slightly get the hang of the movements and started to move a bit faster but he wasn't a seasoned swimmer like my brother. He reached the finish line in what I know would have been record breaking time in our world and everyone cheered for him loudly, complimenting him on his skills in something that no one else had done before.
"It is a tie. That means we must go into the next event." Natu said in a slightly quiet voice. I nodded and everyone started to head back towards the center of the village as they all realized this as well. Everyone wondered about the last event as we all gathered and waited for Mother and Father to return with the others.
Finally Father and Masu sat down at the thrones and Mother looked at the two males before turning to Masu.
"Masu. These two males are fighting for you. Each has won an event. The last event will decide who you mate. You are who they are fighting for, so you shall choose the last event." She announced and Masu looked stunned for a moment before thinking it over. After a moment she looked up with a smile and I realized what she was going to choose.
"Dancing." She announced happily. Mother laughed and much of the village joined in.
"What else could we expect from her?" Opy asked with a giggle. I smiled and looked at the two males and saw that both were now showing signs of nerves. This could be anyone's game but I had faith that Kael could win it, especially after seeing him dance with Masu the other night. Maybe she had thought the same thing.
"The last event shall be a dance. Each will dance with Masu and whoever the village thinks is the best dancer shall win the right to mate Masu!" Mother announced as the village cheered and then moved to form a circle around the two males and Masu.
"Loen shall go first since he is challenger." Mother announced before sitting down to watch. Loen approached Masu and bowed his head to her before offering his hand to her. She took it with a weak smile and the village began chanting and making music. As they began to dance I started to move slightly up towards Kael.
I watched them a bit and saw that Loen was good and had rather fancy footwork and much of the village was joining in on the dance. But while his dancing was good it didn't quite match up to the grace and beauty of Masu's. I smiled and quickly approached Kael as the music started to slow.
"Kael? Listen to me for a moment, okay?" I said as he faced me. He bit his lip as he looked at Masu, looking incredibly nervous and like he might fall apart at any moment.
"I know you can beat him but you must let you. You must give in to the music and let it take over. Give in to the movement like you did with Masu before. Don't pay attention to anyone else, just Masu, okay?" I held his head between my hands and made sure he looked me in the eyes. I saw worry there but also understanding.
"Okay. I'll do my best." He said as the music died down and Loen bowed his head to Masu again.
"I know you can do it." I told him before letting him go. He walked out towards Masu with a smiled and bowed his head to her before offering his hand. She smiled one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen and quickly took his hand.
As the music started up again Kael was a bit hesitant and I became worried. Then he looked up into Masu's eyes and suddenly it was if another person had taken over my brother's body. He started to match her moves and add his own, both of them getting lost in the music and each other's bodies. The whole village chanted and was caught up in their graceful dance. A few even tried to match some of their movements.
Suddenly Kael picked Masu into the air and spun around before setting her down and twirling her, both of them laughing, their faces full of joy. Several people cried out joyfully to add to the dance and soon the dance turned into something full of incredible love and happiness. I laughed and looked to see Natu dancing lightly with Losy cooing happily in his arms. My son grabbed my hand and I laughed before picking him up and dancing with him as well. After a few minutes Mother called for the dance to die down and Kael ended the dance by dipping Masu and kissing her passionately. The whole village cheered before Mother silenced them and called them both to the stage.
She stood between Kael and Loen and looked over the village as I held my breath. She put her hand over Loen and there was a loud cheer as I bit my lip in worry. Mother silenced them again before putting her hand over Kael. The noise the village made at that moment had my ears ringing and I cheered enthusiastically with them. Mother silenced the village before smiling slightly.
"The village has decided! Kael is the winner!!!" She announced before another deafening cheer went out. I laughed happily and little Kael hugged me tightly before sliding out of my arms to go congratulate his uncle. I followed him quickly and found Masu and adult Kael in a passionate embrace with my son clinging to his uncle's leg. I chuckled before going over and realizing something.
"Congratulations Kael. But I must talk to you now." I told him as they broke their kiss. Opy, who had apparently followed me, smiled before taking Masu's hand and pulling her away. Kael watched her go before turning to me.
"What's up?" he asked with a smile, obviously still on his high from winning.
"Well I thought you should know what usually follows a challenge..." I bit my lip and then saw his eyes go wide.
"What do you mean?"
"Well you were just challenged for the right to mate..." His eyes went even wider at that.
"You mean... they expect us to mate tonight?" He asked, looking nervous again.
"Yes. And... well the village expects you to mate in front of them..." I told him as gently as I could.
"I-in front..." he looked almost terrified at this point and I sighed before pulling him off to my family's hut, which would take Kael in and represent his family for the night. I sat him down in the main room and sat in front of him.
"Listen to me Kael. Don't think about the people watching, okay? It's just like dancing with Masu. Concentrate only on her and no one else and you'll get through this just fine, understand?" I waited and finally he nodded. I sighed and then left him to have the men prepare him. I took Losy and little Kael out to play while everything was being prepared for tonight. I laid Losy out on a blanket near me as Kael played with some of his age mates and I worked on a mating rug that I would give to my son some day.
After about a half hour Losy started to wake up from a nap and fussed lightly. As she started to cry and squirm around, obviously hungry and looking for me, I set the rug and my supplies down. I turned back to her as I suddenly started to hear these loud pops and cracking noises from her. I started to panicked and reached for her before suddenly black fur started to sprout from her skin. As I stared there in shock I watched as my daughter was quickly replaced by a little black panther cub that started to crawl slightly towards me.