A Big Shiny Blue Marble Ch. 27byTaLtos6©
***This was a chapter which gave me a lot of trouble, since it takes one of my fave characters in this to where she needs to be while at the same time leads her away from something that she really wanted. It took a few tries to get this as I wanted it. I`ve stopped it at a point for length, but if you`re big on Selena, just hang in there. Her journey isn`t done after this - and she`s still the same girl, just really embarrassed after this part. 0_o
Book of the Merren Part 15
Shaevre lay low in the bath with her long legs hanging over the sides of the tub as she talked quietly with Selena and allowed herself to be sponged gently, since regular washing was out of the question until most of the bits of shrapnel had been found. "One of the first things that I will do is seek something which I can use as a bathtub for me. I know that I am too large for the humans to have thought about when they made their bathtubs, but I ache for something better."
Selena nodded, "How was Arrax? I wish that I could have been there too. I'm not afraid of a fight if it has to be, but I think that I'd have been pretty useless out there. I would have liked to get another look at him, though."
"Well I looked at him on your behalf," Shaevre grinned, "and I can say that he still looks as fine to me as ever. Better even."
She sighed, "There are moments when I look at that male and I almost ache to be the one to give him whelps."
Selena laughed softly, "I'm not even the right kind for him, but I know what you mean. I've had the same wish before in a passing moment. He's huge and so strong, but he's always so gentle and friendly. I've seen him with my sister and I've had the same thought then. He`d make the best kind of father. From what I've learned, Xer have such a strong family structure. I'm not a Xer, but somehow I'd love to be able to hold the place in his heart as the one who bears his children."
"Would you?" Shaevre asked as she sat up for a moment, "Do you mean that truly, or is it only a little wish?"
"Well you know that it's not possible," Selena chuckled, "but I guess it's been a little daydream that I've had with some sort of longing to it. I do know that I'd love to be his -- as long as I still have you in my life. Why are you asking this? I wouldn't admit this if it wasn't just us here."
Shaevre took Selena's hand in her wet one and leaned forward, "You know of what was said between us all outside before Arrax left to go back. I heard it as it was said, and I had a thought, so I approached him. If he is successful, he will need to hide as well for at least a time."
Selena nodded, understanding it up to that point, "Go on."
Shaevre leaned back to enjoy the soothing heat of the water before it cooled. "I mentioned that if he could do this, then he would need a place to stay in this mountain fortress. I reminded him that he had no female for him on this world. I suggested that he might wish to stay with us -- you and I, and he told me that it was a thought that would warm him before he returned."
"What -- what does that mean? Selena asked, "I think there's a Xer turn of phrase in there."
"There is," Shaevre smiled, "If it happens and he accepts, then my half-demon girlfriend will have to make a choice. I will not leave you, but I wish to mate with Arrax and he has as much as accepted since he said the correct phrase and then he took my hands in his and he kissed them. It ought to tell you something of how he regards you and I. He is too refined and polite to accept in the way that a common Xer male would.
If you would give life to our daydream where we share him, then you and I will need to try to think a little differently because it is very possible. It will be different for me as well, but I have decided how it must go with a male such as Arrax for us.
"What?" Selena laughed in her astonishment, "OK, you'll have to explain all of the mysterious Xer things in this for me. You're telling me that you've what? Offered yourself to him? I know you already, Shaevre. How do I fit into all of this?"
Shaevre shrugged, "It cannot be that hard for you, Selena. I know you to be a very shrewd girl. But I understand how the 'Xer things' can confuse you. I only laid out the facts that he and I are the only Xer here. We say other words to each other, but I was certain that we liked each other long ago, and I have a strong feeling that he likes you. In fact, I know that he does.
I used all of the careful Xer speech, but in so many words, I told him that he and I should mate, and he agreed in a careful way, because we are Xer after all. But then I told him that you and I are as a pair. He knows this already. I only said that such a pairing would need to last long for the whelps and that even though you cannot give them to him, it changes nothing in my eyes. He would have to accept you as well as me."
This was growing more strange to Selena by the moment, but she knew that she could never wend her way through the canyons of Xer conversation for something like this. "Now I wish I'd been there even more," she said with a grin, "I'd have loved to see his face at that point. Did he stare? What was his reaction?"
Shaevre tried to remember exactly, and after a moment, she looked at Selena and said, "As I recall it, he blinked once and he agreed to this level of the courtship."
Selena's jaw dropped open, "He agreed?"
"You must remember something," Shaevre said, "We have both admitted to each other that we would want him. There are no Xer other than he and I. We would likely mate under these circumstances if we hated each other at first. I only saw our chance. Between two Xer all alone here, we would find ways to love each other. He likes us both. Why not pair this way? The only thing here is that it is for long with us. Our naughty little daydream can be ours to have, but he gets two females, and we get one wonderful male.
You must do as I do and take my lead. He is worth the trouble of it and more. We will make him an evening of food and company at some point, and then you and I will kneel before him and offer ourselves for our lives if he will do the same. The kneeling is only because we both wish for him. Without this, it would be he who would kneel. If he accepts, then he will have two females for a very long time."
She smiled, "Xer courtship is sometimes direct and sometimes hidden. For something such as this, it must be more talk before anything else, so that all in it know clearly. I decided and said words to him. He accepted in a preliminary fashion. We made our compliments to each other over our bodies, and he told me to tell you that in the framework of this discussion, that he is honored to be considered by such a fine bitch as you. Those are the Xer words that are to be said in such a case by the male."
"You -- you've negotiated for me?" Selena gaped. She didn't know what to think, she --
"Why not? I saw the chance for us after our talk of wanting to share him." Shaevre said, "I am only speaking plainly. You and I are friends and though it surprised us both, we are lovers and have the chance for this, Selena. Tell me that you do not want Arrax for your own. After the dark day that I have had, I need a good laugh.
All that you need to consider is whether you want to take him as your mate and if you think that you could share him with me. You and I would have a strong and powerful male for us both. He knows the way that we are between us. I know that he longs for a good female, and he knows that he has the chance at two. It must be done in this way because we normally only take one. The words are to prepare us all for this sort of multiple pairing, him as well as us.
He does not want anything less than our love for a long time. He has passed the point where a Xer male's nose turns into the wind to sniff for a bitch. He knows us and we are what he desires. He is not a stupid male and he had a heart in him, a big one. He has to prepare himself by considering this. That is where it lies at this point. Oh!"
Shaevre sat up and took both of Selena's hands in hers, "I am to do this for you from him. He told me very carefully to make sure that I show you this as his response, just as he showed it to me." She lowered her head and Shaevre kissed Selena's hands very gently for a long moment, licking them carefully as well.
When she looked up, she smiled, "I know that this means little to you, but if you were a Xer bitch, this is a gesture that you would smile softly at and hold the memory of close to you forever. It means that he has love for you in his heart.
He also gave me words to say to you. I do not know what they mean, but he said that you would know. He said that you have already chosen wisely for the time ahead and that if this begins between us all, then your choices would never fail you. I think that he meant that he and I are your choices for something."
Selena nodded and was silent for a moment. She tried to see herself with the men that she'd had in her life, and even any that she might wish to have. Dahlgren had chosen Faith. It had been terrible for them all, since they'd all liked her so much after so short a time. Faith had been just that sort of girl. Now they were all very saddened as Dahlgren mourned his loss, though with the help that she planned to give them, Nahl'een now had her family. Selena knew what she had in her heart, but this was a new wrinkle that she hadn't seen coming.
With a little thought, Selena decided that as much as she liked Dahlgren, there was likely no way that she could get closer than her role as the sister of his adopted daughter, especially since it was rather well-known that she was with Shaevre. The two of them didn't think that it was a barrier, but Selena thought that from a male's point of view it could very well be one. There wouldn't be a barrier at all from Arrax' view and thinking practically -- which meant setting the downright sexiness of the thought aside with difficulty, she'd have one beast of a male who had already shown that he could handle having a female of another species and quite obviously liked her as much as she liked him.
Then she thought of Arrax and Shaevre. They weren't like her on the outside, but there was something like kinship between her and Shaevre that was more than two females who made love together. Whenever Shaevre said that she wanted to spend her life with Selena, she felt such a good feeling in her.
Then she thought of Arrax. The thought of being one of his females brought a want out in her only to hold in her mind. The thought of him with her legs around him, ...
It was the strangest thing. She'd had a few men in her day and she liked a good tussle in a bed. But that was nothing to her like the way that it felt to her when she wrapped herself around Shaevre and held on tightly. It had to be like that with Arrax as well, but with all of the pure maleness added to it. It was hard for her to do, but she slowly pushed that from her mind and tried to see Arrax in her life, day after day, night after night, eating with him, traveling together, hunting and anything else that came to mind.
She thought about how it would be to be seen with her two mates as they walked into an inn for a tankard of ale. It was another hypothetical situation in Selena's mind. If this happened, she'd likely never go into a place like that again. If she did, they'd be stared at and she'd see the thoughts of the males as well as the females plainly on their faces. She asked herself if she thought that she could handle something like that and she had her answer in a heartbeat.
Let them all stare. She'd feel nothing other than pride to go anywhere with the two Xer. Then she had the crazy thought where she saw herself there with Dahlgren as well. She had no idea where it had come from -- she only saw them all walking into a place like that and everyone knowing that she belonged to them all.
She pushed the thought away quickly, deciding to consider it later in a private moment. There was something there which intrigued and enticed her, and it was the strangest thing because she wasn't the sort of girl who could manage to have even one person interested in her at the best of times. Something always went wrong, and to her mind, it was usually her who ruined it anyway.
When she slept in Shaevre's arms, she felt so safe and warm. She loved it when their limbs were intertwined and they slept with Selena's face against Shaevre's powerful chest. She smiled to herself. Something as strong as that would likely seek the same comfort against the massive chest of Arrax. She could see them together asleep.
Selena sighed and Shaevre heard it as she watched her lover consider. The Xer wanted to hold her rogue tightly for the sweet little smile that she saw as Selena looked up into her eyes. "I'll really never be cold again," she said.
"I want it. Just as you said, if you were all alone here, you'd find ways to love each other. I can do the same."
Selena was shocked as she felt Shaevre reach to pull her. She did her best to help and her world blurred around her for an instant and then she was soaking wet as Shaevre eased her into the tub with her. They laughed and then Selena threw her arms around Shaevre to kiss her.
They stood in the trees at the edge of the woods together waiting. The gray dawn was just barely past and the air was still and cold as snowflakes danced down slowly around them. Shaevre stood ready with Meg just in case and Selena hugged her cloak to her and shivered. They'd traveled all night and were tired and cold.
"This is miserable," she said, "I've always been able to take the cold my whole life, but I can't stand to freeze in one spot standing up while I'm falling asleep. I hope that nothing's gone wrong. It's been a week."
Shaevre looked over with a small smile, "It was supposed to be a week, Selena. He is not late yet. We are early. Save your fretting until he is overdue."
They stood for maybe twenty minutes in silence before Selena turned to the Xer, "When would you consider him to be overdue?"
"When it begins to grow dark," Shaevre said, almost knowing that her reply would bring a response. At times such as this, she thought to herself, she could see something of a family resemblance between Selena and Nahl'een. The rogue had all the patience of her kind, but even so, ...
"Well I'll be dead and frozen by then," Selena grumbled, "I'd much rather fret now while I can." She turned to walk away.
"Where are you going?" Shaevre asked.
"I need to pee," came the reply.
Shaevre smirked, "Again? You always need to pee. I think it comes from your craving for tea."
Selena said nothing as she trudged off to find a suitable spot. She settled on a birch which had grown as two trunks and she kicked the snow away from the base.
Shaevre thought that she could hear something far off down the long meadow. From where she stood, she could just make out the ridge of mountain foothills there as white shapes in the softly falling snow. She wasn't sure if she'd heard anything.
She pulled out the little transmitter from her own cloak and turned it on, hoping that the battery was still at least a little alive in the cold. When the indicators came on, she checked to make sure that the beacon would stay off and then she turned on the transmitter. She heard nothing but soft background, and she pressed the transmit key very briefly three times about a second apart.
The radio responded instantly with two quick clicks of its own.
"He comes," she said over her shoulder.
"Well of course he'd come now," Selena groused, "I'm in the middle of a piss. I should have thought of this an hour ago. It would have brought him here sooner." She did her best and got to her feet to pull up her pants and leggings before kicking the snow over the spot.
"I cannot understand it," Shaevre grinned a little, "This should be easy. Your kind has no fur there. Why do you not just stand? Xer girls do this, as I have said."
"I did try it," Selena said, "You convinced me and I tried. You had a wonderful time laughing at me as I wet myself. I'm not doing that again."
She heard Shaevre make an impatient tsking sound, "I told you to try so that you would learn. It takes a bit of practice since you have not done this your whole life. You should have tried without clothes the first time. But you just drank yourself full of tea and then you gushed everywhere standing with your pants around your knees. What was I supposed to do? You looked silly, even though I felt for you. Are you ready at last?"
Selena nodded as she scooped up a handful of snow to wash her hands with, grimacing, "Where is he?"
Shaevre pointed off toward the mountains, "Hear it?"
Her friend saw nothing, but she heard a soft whine far off, "I can't see him."
"He is a minute or so out," Shaevre said as she looked.
"A minute? I rushed because I thought that he was here."
Selena saw the faint smile on Shaevre's face, "And now you are ready, no? Come, back up into the trees. We still need to be careful."
They hid themselves under the edge of the forest in a spot where they could still see a wide view of the meadow. About a minute later, they heard the quiet roar and saw the snow as it kicked up around a large object which hovered over the meadow nearby.
"What's that?" Selena asked, "That doesn't look like what we rode here on."
"It is an old supply skiff," Shaevre said, "Arrax said that he bought it. These are still used today, since they are a good design, but I have not seen one fly in a long time now. I can see that it is old, but it wears new paint, and there are no unit markings."
Her eyes widened as they went to the pods which hung under the wings inboard of the engines for a moment. It was hard to see in the blowing snow.
"This one is armed," she said in surprise and a little alarm, "They are never armed outside of a war zone. We are dead if that is not him."
They watched as it hung in the air for a moment, looking like a foreboding thing. Then they saw the strobes begin to flash and Shaevre keyed the button on the radio three more times. Selena noted that the muzzles of the meg never wavered from where they pointed at the craft -- dead center on the windscreen, as far as she could tell.
"Communicator check," Shaevre heard in a voice that sounded like Arrax but the transmission had been too short to be sure.
"Functional," she said carefully, "Authenticate."
"Mornia has one very cold moon."
Shaevre grinned as she heard the tone of his transmission. "As I have heard," she replied.
"What does that mean?" Selena asked.
"Mornia is a dead world with no moon," Shaevre said, "The war left it ruined -- another shining example of why the Merren are haughty fools. It is Arrax. I hear his voice clearly. Look, he lands now."
They saw the skiff settle onto its runners with the cargo door facing them. Shaevre was still careful as she watched the ramp come down. The rear of the craft looked to be loaded, but at least there were no Xer troopers there with weapons. "Come Selena," she said, "Let's go."
They walked out from the woods and up the ramp. "What is all of this?" Shaevre called forward to Arrax.
"Food," he grinned, "if I have a new home now, then I wish to have something in my hand for the landlord. Take off the meg and help Selena into a seat. Join me here. I think that this is the only Xer craft on this world now, but I will not be happy until it is hidden."
Shaevre nodded, "How is Xhan? Was he sent back to Xer?"
"Yes," Arrax said, "He joins the same brigade that you and I served in. He has a new commission, and he says that he hopes to do a better job at leading because of you and I."
"I wish him well," she said.