tagNonHumanNight Walker's Woman Ch. 04

Night Walker's Woman Ch. 04

byTara_Neale©

Rex guided Jaycee towards the truck and horse trailer where Hector was already working to soothe the excited animals with small pieces of apple and carrot. Her silence and acquiescence were as worrisome as her thoughts. His Jaycee was anything but quiet and docile. She was the most beautiful mustang filly running free across the rough terrain of the Hill Country. She was...she was perfect for him.

But he recognized too how accurate her thoughts were. In less than two days her world had been turned on its head. She had been asked to understand and accept things that were beyond explanation. He smiled as he thought of the trouble she would make when this telepathy became a two-way street. He sighed, but there was much that they needed to settle before that could happen.

And these horses were the first thing. "How are they doing, Hector?" he asked the older man, who had much more experience with this quality of horse flesh than either he or Jaycee.

The man nodded, "The road was not easy on them, Senor Rex. The gelding is very skittish. He will not even take the food from my hand." The man's voice was barely more than a whisper and Rex thanked his ancestors for his heightened senses that allowed him to catch each word. "The filly, she is much calmer. But that may just be an illusion. I can feel her heart bounding still."

Rex smiled, was the man speaking of the horse or his mate? His arm about her waist was the only thing holding her up at the moment as she struggled to make sense of things which defied explanation. "Which do we move to the barn first?"

"Not yet, Mister Rex. Let me speak with them a bit more first. If you and Miss Jaycee will make certain that the stalls are ready for them," he replied as he reached a hand slowly through the small open window of the trailer.

Rex nodded as he led the still silent woman towards the barn. He needed to rouse her from her cogitations. Her beautiful mind was like a prize old hunting hound who had lost the trail and was circling round and round trying to find something to ignite its memory once more.

Once they were inside the barn, he pulled her into his arms, pinning her against the wooden door frame as his mouth took hers. He had meant to be gentle and coaxing, but the hours without her, the long night with the distant but never-ending scent of her anxiety had eaten at his mind. He needed to taste her as much to know that she was still real as he did to shake her from her ruminations.

For a moment she remained that docile compliant softness beneath him. It was her soft whimpers that fed his soul as his hand came up between them to cup her breast. His thumb found her hard nipple and brushed back and forth across it through the layers of her shirt and bra. He was sorely tempted to tear them all away, to claim her and put it all to an end.

But it was not this submissive and confused creature he wanted, he longed for her biting words and that strong spirit that challenged him to be more than he had ever been before. He needed her strength as much as she needed his. She was his very breath, his Mitawa Naya.

Then he felt it...the shift inside of her mind as her own hunger overcame the confusion of her earlier thoughts. Her actions followed suit as her hands wrapped about his shoulders drawing him closer. Her tongue came to life as it battled with his. But when she arched her chest into his caress and growled like a bitch in heat, it was nearly his undoing.

He fought for control as she fanned flames inside of him that threatened to ignite them both. But the inferno would be a hell of a way to go, he thought as he gained enough self-control to slow the pace. His kisses becoming the tender caresses he had meant them to be in the beginning.

Then he found himself flat on his butt in the hay and dust of the barn floor. He laughed as he picked up a handful of the straw and threw it at her. "Vixen."

***

Jaycee was not sure what she expected of this man. How could she be really? She barely knew him even though something inside of her screamed that she knew him better than she knew herself. Then again her marriage should have taught her that you never really knew anyone.

One thing was certain a handful of hay was not what she had expected when she had shoved him away and sent him spiraling towards the indignity of that dusty barn floor. Then again she supposed she deserved that tiny bit of retaliation. She hugged her side as she looked down at the big man sprawled so indignantly upon the ground.

"What's so funny, woman?" he demanded, though she could see that he too fought to control his mirth.

"Nothing," she mumbled through fits of laughter that threatened to bring tears to her eyes. "Absolutely nothing."

She watched as he rose to his full height, dusting off his jeans as he smiled at her. "We don't want them thinking we were just having a quick roll in the hay, now do we?"

She shook her head, "And I thought you said that a roll in the hay with you would not be quick, lover boy?"

His face lost its lightness as it clouded with the passion that they had shared only moments before, "It won't be. And neither will it be a literal roll in the hay, Mitawa Naya. You deserve silky rose petals, not rough hay."

She shook her head, "You know with a silver tongue like that you could do much better than a bitter single mother with a sick child and the weight of the world on her shoulders." She squared her shoulders and turned her back as she fought back tears at the thought of this man with another woman. Even as her mind listed every single one of the reasons that this could never work.

But the soft hand that rested comfortingly upon her shoulder made a lie of every last one of them as did his soft words whispered next to her ear, "You forget the only one that matters, Mitawa Naya. You are mine. The other half of my dark soul created by the Great Spirit from the beginning of time. And if you think for one minute that I am letting any of those things stand in our way, well, you will just have to see."

He turned her gently and stared down at her as his finger brushed the smile lines around her mouth, "You are even more beautiful when you laugh, Jaycee."

She shook her head as she tried to remember the last time she had laughed, really laughed. Not the bitter sweet chuckles of irony that accompanied each small victory that she and Angel grasp from cruel Fate, but genuine, honest to goodness laughter that came from the heart.

"I will consider it my job to make certain a day does not go by for the rest of our lives without laughter then, Mitawa Naya," he whispered as he placed an almost solemn kiss on her forehead.

Jaycee fought back tears but even harder she fought back hope. Hope that for once she would not be alone, would not face every damned burden that seemed sent just to break her all alone. But she knew it was just an illusion. She was the only person that she could count on in the end. Sure she might have good friends like Hector and Lupe to help out, but in the end they went home each night and she was left alone in the darkness to face her demons. Alone.

***

Rex thought about arguing with her but he realized that it would be futile. Words would never convince this woman. She was a master wordsmith, she crafted them for her purposes, to win cases for her clients. Her opponents used those same words to try and wrest that victory from her. Words were not real, they were merely weapons to be used, lies to be carefully crafted to suit the purpose.

Only actions would convince this woman of his true intent. "Everything looks fine in here. Let's go back to the house and check on Angel and grandfather until Hector is ready for us."

She nodded, but this time it was she that took the lead. He smiled as he watched her assume the reins once more. There was his woman. His strong, brave, if slightly cynical Mitawa Naya. She paused for just a moment to confer with Hector before leading them back to the small house.

As they entered, Rex took the opportunity to look around for the first time. He had been too focused upon the little girl...and his woman yesterday to notice anything beyond the fact that the room was warm and safe for his charges. But now he noticed the wood burning stove that gave a cozy warmth to the place even when it was not in use.

The rest of the place was like his woman functional though he guessed that most of it was a pish posh of odds and ends that she had found at yards sales and thrift stories. But they were all arranged to make the most of their country feel. Despite all that or maybe because of it, this place felt like...home.

She led him into the kitchen where Lupe was working away busily. He smiled at the fragrant reminder, "Mole?"

The older woman turned with a smile and nodded, "Si, senor. It is my Hector's favorite. And his reward for working so hard for Miss Jaycee."

He tried for his best boyish grin as he snuck up to the stove and dipped the end of his finger around the edge of the bubbling brew, "I don't suppose there will be any extra?"

The woman laughed and swatted at his hand with the back of her wooden spoon, "Not if you keep sneaking around like that. I doubt that after feeding three hungry men there will be any left though."

He smiled and kissed the woman on her weathered cheek. It was not just the food or her genuine care for his woman's child or even the devotion that this couple showed them. It was the knowledge that there were still good people in this world...and that they had been there for his women when he had not even known they existed. It was a humbling thought as he swore that this couple would come under his protection as much as his Mitawa Naya and Angel.

"You can stay and try charming Lupe if you want, but I am going to check on Angel and your grandfather," Jaycee said. Rex smiled, did he detect just a hint of jealousy?

He followed the gentle swaying of her hips in the tight jeans, hypnotized by its seductive call until his brain was throbbing with need as much as the hard ridge behind his zipper. His woman was leading him a merry ole' chase...and he would not want it any other way. Because it would only make her final surrender all the sweeter.

***

Jaycee fought back tears as she watched the tiny dark head with its hallo of tight curls bent so close to the grey streaked one. It was as if the two of them had known one another forever. As if they alone shared the secrets of the universe as they bent conferred over the pages of Angel's favorite book about horses.

Rex's grandfather looked up at her with a soft smile as her daughter tugged on his shirt, "Read, read," she commanded.

Jaycee returned the smile as she stepped into the room. "Mister Wild Horse probably needs a break, sweet heart...and you need a nap."

She could tell by the pout that immediately rose on her daughter's full lips that a storm was brewing. She was tempted to give in...to allow the child her story. She was never comfortable with her child's meltdowns. She had adopted that term because temper tantrum simply was not accurate. There was little manipulative about her daughter and these outbursts had nothing to do with getting her way. In fact, once a meltdown began, not even giving her what she wanted would stop them.

But there were other reasons as well. Her carefully kept seizure diary indicated that there was some correlation between these outbursts and her fits. Which was the cause and which was the effect she could not seem to fathom though. At times it seemed a little of both, like a vicious cycle.

And especially around strangers, she was never comfortable having people see her child at her worst. Hell, even her ex-husband had blamed her, calling her an over-protective and permissive mother. Sean had even blamed her for their child's illness, claiming it was probably the effect of some drug that Jaycee's mother had done when she was pregnant with her. No, the stings of being a 'bad' mother were bad enough from the man she had once thought she loved, she did not need them from total strangers.

There it was again. That damned calming hand on her shoulder. She shrugged hard, trying to dislodge it as she fought to regain control of this situation.

"Your mother is right, my little warrior. This old man must help the others with those horses. But by the time that you wake from your nap, they will be in the corral and we will watch them run together. I will show you how to read their spirits," the old man said in the softest of tones as if he were actually hypnotizing her daughter...and perhaps her as well.

She shook her head and tried to fight off the comforting feeling as if they belonged. As if she and Angel were tied somehow to these strangers. It was foolishness. They barely knew the older man or even his grandson. And Jaycee had never been the type of woman to engage in flights of fancy. Except maybe when she indulged in her books.

But this was no book. This was her life...and her daughter's. She shook off that web of deception and walked over to her daughter's bed. Its big pink princess canopy was the one luxury that she had indulged in when setting up this new home on the tightest of budgets. But she had put all that she had into this room, just as she had her only child. And that was how it should be, how it was going to remain she told herself as she took the book from the old man's gnarled hands. "Mommy will read to you until you go to sleep, Angel Princess."

She watched the tension drain from her child's face and she sighed a deep breath of relief that one disaster had been diverted as she settled into the bed next to her daughter.

The old man slipped from the room with a nod to his grandson, "I will see you outside, my son."

Rex nodded but rather than follow behind his grandfather he walked to the bed. He bent and lightly kissed the top of her little girl's curls. "Sleep well, Angel mine." The way that her child just accepted this intimate show and word's of possession ate at her. She knew that her child thirsted for her absentee father's affection.

As a foster child it was a feeling she knew all too well. And she had done absolutely everything she could to make up for Sean's lack. At times she had convinced herself that she had succeeded, that her love was enough for both mother and father. But less than an hour with these men shattered that illusion and made Jaycee feel as inadequate as a mother as she had as a child after each meet and greet with prospective parents, who never wanted to take her home.

Then it was her turn, he lips brushed her cheek softly, "You are a wonderful mother. But you can never be a father. That is not how this world works, Mitawa Naya." He drew back slowly and smiled down at her almost sadly, "You are not alone anymore. And I swear that I will do everything I can to make you see that. I very much want to take you home, Jaycee."

Then he turned and left. And she was left alone with her daughter to read the story to the sleepy child. As she neared the end of the chapter, she stared down into Angel's brown eyes as her lids drifted lower, "Grandfather says that I am a very special little girl, Mommy. Just like you do."

Jaycee fought back the anger as she gently arranged her daughter on the bed. She kissed her head gently in stark contrast to the rage boiling in her gut. "Grandfather indeed. Time for a showdown Mister Ranger."

***

Rex heard her coming before he saw her. The loud slamming of the front door announced her presence as surly as the hands upon those curvy hips that swayed so beautifully in the early afternoon warmth. Damn, the woman was even more beautiful when she was mad...if that was possible.

She was upon him in less than thirty seconds. Her dainty little finger poking into his chest as her checks flamed scarlet. He knew he should be listening to every word that she said, but he was too busy listening instead to what she thought.

His woman was scared, mortally terrified, that he and now his grandfather were getting too close. He shook his head and fought back both rage and tears. Not at her, but for her. His woman had been alone so long that it was all she knew. This new feeling of needing someone else was so foreign that it frightened her more than she wanted to admit.

"And who does your grandfather think he is coming in here and telling Angel that she may call him 'grandfather'?"

Rex drew a deep and calming breath. Only one thing was absolutely clear, the one thing he could not do was the one thing she was trying to make him do...back down. She wanted him to leave. Or rather that was what she had decided was best...that he should leave before she came to actually need him.

Truth was that she was trying to force him to do the one thing that she did not want him to do. Inside her, deep inside, she longed to be able to lay even just a tiny bit of her burdens on his broad shoulders. The problem was that she had been carrying them all alone for so long that she did not know how to let them go, any of them.

His job was to show her that path. His task was to teach her honor and faithfulness in a world that had robbed her of such things from birth. It was a monumental task, but one he could not afford to fail at.

His grandfather tapped Jaycee softly on the shoulder and she spun around, glaring at him for a moment as well. "I apologize, child. I am sorry if I offended you. Grandfather is the name which I am called much more often than Ray. It is not just my grandson and nephews who use it, but half of the town where I live and many of those among the nation. It is more of a title of respect than familiarity. I am sorry that I did not explain that to you as I did to the Angel."

Rex watched his woman. He was proud of the way that the great oak could bend...both of them. He knew her words before she opened her mouth. "I am sorry too, Mister Wild Horse. You are right I did not understand that."

His grandfather smiled and took his woman's hand, "Is it too much for this old man to hope that you too might be persuaded to call me Grandfather?"

His arm went about her waist immediately. He knew it was all that was keeping her upright in that moment. How had his grandfather shattered the wall that he thought impregnable? But he felt it, he knew it. Even as she smiled, nodded and whispered, "Yes, Grandfather."

Rex knew something else too. This was only a temporary truce in their battles of love. She still feared that which she wanted the most. Love. Trust. Need. Him.

But right now, it was her physical needs that battered at him most. "Excuse me, Hector, Grandfather. Can you finish putting the horses away? I need to speak with Jaycee alone."

The men nodded but he did not bother to wait. He wanted to scoop her up into his arms and carry her into the house before she collapsed. But that was certain to lead to a fight...an unnecessary one. As it was, his arm about her waist did much the same thing as he led her through the front door.

"Where is your room?" he asked.

She shook her head, "Please, now is not the time for another round of kissy face, Mister Ranger. I am too confused and tired to handle it or you."

He smiled. It was a breakthrough of sorts. Did she realize how completely honest she was being with him? "I know that. But beds are for more than just making love, Mitawa Naya. And right now, you need sleep even more than your body needs mine."

She shook her head, but he noticed that even those movements were slower, less sure than usual. "I can't. I need to help ya'll settle the horses. I have to check on Angel. I should probably see if Lupe needs anything in the kitchen. I have a court appearance next Tuesday."

Her list was exhausting even to him. And for the first time, he truly understood the depth of his woman's responsibilities and their weight upon such tiny shoulders. His respect for her grew accordingly.

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byTara_Neale© 5 comments/ 14252 views/ 24 favorites

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