A Big Shiny Blue Marble Ch. 31byTaLtos6©
***Cha'Khah's life has taken an upswing and, being the Drowess that she is, she never forgets to show her thankfulness to her goddess.
She's just not prepared for the other things that come with it all. 0_o
Book of the Mountain Clan Part 8
The morning was one of many surprises for Cha'Khah as she learned more about Barrett. He found out in their conversations that she didn't really have much more than what she wore to come to see him, and it was obviously suited more to combat. "If I have a little money, I seem to buy weapons or what I need to keep mine in good repair," she shrugged.
He looked at her with a smile, and led her upstairs to the loft where she stared and laughed, "I could have been lying with you in a fine featherbed instead of rolling in front of the hearth with you? Cha'Khah is still a fool, but now she is a happy fool. And where we were last night was where I have always wanted to be."
In a closed section at the back, he dragged out a trunk.
"My mother never threw out a thing," he smiled, "and you might find something that'll fit you. Take a look, and if you still love me by the spring, we'll go into town and buy you something new when the passes are clear and we can get there."
His world spun then and he found himself under her on the bed, and she was serious as she glared at him.
"You have done it again," she said, "and I wish for you to stop it. If we are not together by the spring, it will be because I have killed you by accident in my rage over how you speak about yourself.
You are mine, Barrett, and I keep what is mine.
I know that you meant what you said to me last night, but I meant it too and you need to know it. I listened as you spoke of what happened to you. I thought about what I found in my arms after so long with no hope of ever finding something so much less than you are in your heart. I made my choice then.
I will never leave you, never. From last night, I am Cha'Khah Dreile no longer. I am Cha'Khah Ransom and you are my man. Tell me that you understand me. I wish for no mistake over this.
You are mine, yes?"
He nodded, "Yes, Cha'Khah. I didn't mean to make you angry. I'm sorry."
"I am not angry, Barrett, I am annoyed, but it passes now. I am sorry if I sound hard to you, but it is important to me. Think a moment. We are our own now. When you lower yourself, you lower me as well."
He was a little shocked, but he saw it now, "You're right."
"I know that I am," she smiled, "and if we are to quarrel and bicker, then I want a better fight from you than this the next time," she chuckled, "or I will never be able to stay angry for very long and what is the good of that? I am yours just as much, and you are the only one that I will ever take hard words from, because we love each other and I am your female. I would kill anyone else."
He looked as though he was in a trance then.
"Are you alright?" she asked, "What have I said?"
He shook his head, "I just felt funny right then, I don't know what it was. And I also realized that you're right again," he said as he threw his arms around her and pulled her down to kiss her. "How do we do this?" he asked seriously, "How do Drow people get married? Or do you want to get married in town? I don't care, I'll do whatever you want."
"Then do nothing," she smiled, "but begin to think of me as your wife, since I took you as my husband from last night. I did say that I had decided.
Drow give each other rings, but I think it is more of a show than anything. I knew a girl who married a boy, and the wedding helped them both in their positions and how they were seen afterwards. It was a fine show to watch, and by the next afternoon, they were each back in the arms of their lovers again.
When they wished for it, they fucked together, and they made drowlings, but he had already fathered at least two with his lover, who was married to another, and of course, he had to try not to look at his own drowlings too hard, in case he saw who the father might be, since she fucked with his brother most often as well.
I need no ring from you, Barrett, if a ring buys me something like that."
"I have my mother's rings," he said, "You can have anything that you want, but if there is one that fits you and you like it, then take it and wear it for me until I can get you a good one. The box with her rings is over there."
Cha'Khah saw that he was serious, so she got up to look. As she looked, she found several which appealed to her. "I can have any one of them?" she asked.
"Are you my wife?" he smiled, "Then they already belong to you, all of them." He began to look through the chest, wanting to find something for her to wear. He didn't think anything there was good enough to offer her, but they were here in the mountains, and as far as he knew, she needed clothes.
"Which of them are suitable as a wedding ring?" she asked, "I do not know the custom here, and do not wish to embarrass you."
"How would that embarrass me?" He asked. "Try to narrow it down to what will fit on the third finger of your left hand," he said, "and it can be anything from simple to fancy. My mom and dad weren't rich, but I think there ought to be several. Pick one if you like it, and you won't embarrass me. I'd be proud to be with you anywhere. It's only until I can get you one that you'd want."
"Then if these have no meaning to you, I would sell them in the spring and buy something practical. I have a ring that I would want as my wedding ring. I've had it from when I was a maiden, just as I came into my own as a fighter. It is what I always wanted as a wedding ring. Would that be alright?" She asked, "I do not wish to insult you either."
"I'm sure that it'll do fine, then," he smiled, "I'd just like to have my wife wear a ring, but only if you want to."
"What ring will you wear for me?" she asked, taking the pendant from her neck that he'd seen in the light of the fire the night before and that she'd known that he'd wanted to ask her about. It was a silver one which bore a nude dancer with a sword on it. The motif was set above two circles in the background. She found the tiny catch that she sought and pulled the rings free. "Would this one be alright?"
He'd watched her and now he understood a little better. He supposed that he'd better get used to being amazed. "This person here," he pointed to the pendant, "This is the Dark Maiden, isn't she?"
Cha'Kha said nothing, she only nodded a little hopefully.
"And the ring that you spoke of is here, isn't it?"
When she nodded, he said, "Then these are the rings we'll use. You should have just told me. I know that you're probably going to want to teach me about this, and I'd love to learn, Cha'Khah. You should have said something. Don't always let me stumble to things. I know that I'm not supposed to say that I'm not very bright around you. Sometimes things take me awhile, that's all."
"Sometimes one's slow thought brings out a deeper meaning than what a quick thought shows," she smiled as she looked at him softly -- just before she pushed him down.
He was back on the bed again, laughing with her in his arms. Before long, she was on top of him, but she didn't want anything but slowness from him now. They didn't notice the passage of time very much. The previous night, Cha'Khah had found that if she was careful, they could copulate very slowly with her on his chest, and she could put her head down. It was amazing.
Barrett found that he liked it when she sucked his nipples then.
He didn't know when it happened, but the rings were on their fingers then, and he was amazed to find that the one on his hand fit perfectly.
"How do you feel now?" she asked him.
"Uh, married," he smiled, "I feel married, pretty much."
"No," she said, "I meant what you said that you felt earlier."
He shrugged, "I feel a little odd, but in a nice way. Why?"
"Nothing, Barrett," she smiled, "just as you are often a little obvious, I am a little hidden. I seek to solve a problem for us before it begins, and I believe that I know the way. I will not tell you, so you will have to guess," she grinned, "but I can say that it is not bad thing."
"I'm gonna have a headache over all this deep thought," he said, "that's what usually happens. Can I at least have a clue?"
She thought about it coyly and then she nodded, "When a Rivvil is most of the way to becoming an adult, but is not quite there yet, it can be a time of trouble, no? The body of an almost adult and the mind can still be prone to making childish decisions. Mistakes can be made then which might take a lifetime to undo -- if they even can be at all. You know the time of which I speak? How is this called for Rivvin?"
"I think that what you're talking about is what we call being a teenager," he nodded.
"And how old would a young Rivvil be then," she asked, "in years?"
"Let's say from fourteen to eighteen," he said.
"How old do I look to you, husband?" she smiled.
He thought that he was a dead man, but she laughed at him when he said, "Twenty-five at the outside."
Cha'Khah began to look through the trunk of clothes, "We grow slower than Rivvin," she said, "The troublesome years to you, we do not reach until we are well-past forty. I am over a hundred years old," she smiled, "yet by the length of our lives, I am your twenty-five year old wife. There lies the trouble for us. We will have to see, but it is my hope that what I give will keep you young."
She shrugged, "We will have to see."
She found many articles of clothing which would fit her and were still in good shape. "I like so many of these things," she sighed, "but I do not know how to wear them -- what goes with which. Can I bring my friend Rachel to help me one day?"
Sure," he smiled as he led her to a door off to the side, "Open this and take a look. I'm a little proud of this."
Cha'Khah opened the door and gasped as she walked inside. At the rear of the house was a greenhouse which flourished all year round. She wandered through slowly and looked around in wonder, "It is so warm here, "she said," How cold does it get at night?"
"At this time of year, it cools off a lot," he said, "but it's still well above freezing in here every night. In the summer, it's like being in a jungle late at night.
But the two main surprises came to Cha'Khah later on in the day, after he'd spent some time checking on his herd. The first thing was his knowledge of electricity and electronics, something that he'd taught himself from books out of his fascination with the subject. It didn't serve much of a practical function, but it was his passion. By then, to a world which had forgotten its own technology, this was arcane wisdom, to know of such things.
The second thing was his collection of old firearms. It wasn't extensive, but he had a few. "Why, Barrett?" she asked as she looked at them.
"It's a bit of a look back at the way that things used to be for people, I guess, just like electronics. I had a business once, fixing things for people, but there isn't a way for a lot of things to be used anymore and it turned onto something where folks would just bring things in to me to ask me what they were used for. Of course, none of them wanted to pay for that, so I went out of business. These old guns, I don't keep one if I can't keep it in good shape and if there's nothing useful about it. Also, I need to be able to get a mold to cast the right size bullets so I can load ammunition for it."
He picked up a slightly chipped box and handed it to her. It looked well-made and it had been polished and it was a bit heavy, but it had once seen a less proud day, she thought. She wondered what was in it, so of course, she asked.
"A wedding present to the only woman who would likely appreciate it -- I hope. Don't open it yet. Let's bring it back to the front room. I want to see your face when you open it there."
Cha'Khah wanted to rattle it, but thought it best that she didn't. When they got to the table, she set it down and asked if she could open it. He nodded.
She clicked open the old latches, and slowly lifted the oiled walnut lid, lowering her head to peek a little as she went. The smell of ancient velvet and oil came to her nose, but she gasped when she had it open enough to know what was in it.
It was two sets of small pistols, one gleaming and reflecting the light, and the other absorbing it. They carried a lot of fine filigree work on them and were inlaid here and there with gold. The grips were ebony wood. A girl like she was knew that they were weapons and the work that they carried on them told her of their worth, but as she lifted one, she wondered about their practical value.
"These are Derringers," he said, "they were valued because they're the smallest practical weapon. This design is the most famous. They were favored by women and gamblers because they're easily concealed. Women called them muff guns because they could be kept hidden in a muff if one was out walking on a cold night, but they could also be carried about anywhere."
"What is a muff?" she asked.
"It's a tube of fur," he smiled, "You carry it in front of you and you stick one hand into each end to keep them warm."
He pointed to the pistol which she held, "each of them holds two shots, but they're not the same. That one holds two small calibre cartridges. They don't make much noise, and they were used by some assassins. They work best if you hold them up against someone's head, just behind and a little under the ear. It leaves a small hole and the bullet doesn't usually leave the skull -- though I can't say as I've ever tried it.
The other one carries the surprise. One barrel holds a good-sized pistol cartridge, enough to kill like a regular pistol, and the other barrel holds a small shotgun shell. Small package, big surprise."
"They are all lovely," she said, "You will teach me to use them, yes? Why is one set shining and one dark?"
"A matter of personal choice for where the gambler or the lady was going to be spending the evening, I'd guess. Maybe it was to match the choice of clothing, I sure don't know, but I thought you'd like them. I have ammunition for them so you can practise if you think that they'd be of value to you, otherwise, I'd suggest that you just have fun with the small-barreled ones," he shrugged with a smile.
Cha'Khah's violet eyes shone as she grinned, "Show me."
He took her outside and taught her how to load and select the barrel that she wanted to use. Afterwards, he showed her a small board that he'd set up, and it took her no time to become proficient, since they felt like her crossbows in her hands and were even smaller.
"You'll have to make sure that you're holding on well when you use this one," he said as he handed her the other one of the set that she'd chosen for this, "and you can forget all about being quiet too."
She smiled as the bullet from the first barrel left a large hole in the board. When she used the other barrel, the board disappeared and her hand stung. She smiled and took his arm as they walked back to the house, "Cha'Khah is a very happy girl. Thank you, Barrett. I have seen Shaevre fight and it makes me feel a little old-fashioned with my weapons, though they are not for the same purpose. These are not either, but now I also have weapons which spit death and mine are so beautiful."
He showed her how to clean them and after cleaning her hands, she made love to him all afternoon. Barrett made the dinner that evening and she sat nearby, looking at each of the four little pistols, one after the other and admiring the beautiful workmanship in each one of them. She'd never been given anything so wonderful as a gift.
Their visit to the mountain went a little strangely at first, but Barrett found himself welcomed and Cha'Khah's fears turned out to be unfounded since she'd prepared him for it. Vadren took him aside for a few minutes and the conversation surprised Barrett a little, but the Drow mage smiled, "My cousin and I are close and we have both always wanted and hoped to find a mate for ourselves here on the surface. That she has found love with you gives me much hope for myself."
After talking with Vadren for a time, Barrett looked for Cha'Khah and found her with Rachel and Selena. All that he knew was that Cha'Khah had asked a question but he hadn't heard what it was. Rachel was nodding with a grin as she answered, "Oh, he's a cutie, all right." The rest had been lost in their laughter.
As he was shown around the complex, Barrett grew a little excited after getting over his initial awe of it, and he asked for some portable source of light which didn't involve an open flame. Vadren provided a shining jewel and Barrett was off with the pair of Drow and Azrael behind him as he walked quickly looking at the overhead conduits and following them until they stood in a large room which had been largely ignored by them all. Barrett went to one of the large object which sat in the middle of the floor and followed a set of tubes from there elsewhere.
Finally, he turned and grinned at them as the others caught up, "Those two large tanks are full to the brim with diesel fuel," he said, "and I don't know why, but it still smells good. I've never smelled any that was this fresh-smelling. Maybe it's the air here, I don't know. Over here," he said, leading them back to the objects, "These are diesel engines. Attached to each one is a generator to make electricity. Once the engines are running, they turn the generators and the electricity powers this whole place for as long as the fuel lasts.
You might want to decide if there's anything here that you want powered up. You give me a day or two, and I can give you some light. I'd suggest only using a very few things. Out of that bank of motor generator sets, using the small one there, you could have power for a long, long time, if you were careful. The small one was put here to be started first if everything failed. The power from that one would be used to start the others. I might need to re-route some cables, that's all. I'd need some help with that - it's a bit of work."
"Why would we need it?" Azrael asked, "We've been here over a year, half of us, and Cha'Khah, Vadren and I have been here for years before that. We've never needed it."
"I've only been here maybe an hour," Barrett said, "but I've seen a lot. How would you like to be able to cook a single meal with no fire in a few minutes? There are microwave ovens here. I'm sure most of them would still work."
He turned to the females, "I'm sure that every single one of those living quarters has a hot water tank." He turned to Azrael and smiled, "How much would it be worth to you to be able to have a hot bath or a shower?"
The look on only the women decided it for Azrael, "How long would the fuel last?"
"I don't know," he said, "but I think this place was built with the idea of being able to be lived in by everyone who was inside when it was closed up for at least a month, at some reduced level. If I can get everything working for you, and everyone is careful and only uses what they need when they need it, I'd say it would last you years. There aren't a couple of thousand people here. You'd never have much power, because the small generator wasn't made for running the place, but it's what you'd want to do. I could use it to start one of the big units, but these things use fuel even if no electrical things are on. I'd suggest just the small one, and shut it off every night."
They went back to the bar to eat, and it was decided to try, with all of them helping with the cattle if they were successful. "If this all works, you could keep a smaller herd, only what we'd want, and we'd provide you with whatever you'd need. Arrax needs help to maintain his skiff, someone who understands technical things as he does. With that, we've already made ourselves a lot of gold."