Night Wolf Ch. 04byLady_Blackhawk©
Disclaimer: I have tried to make sure my historical information is correct and I'd like to think I haven't offended any Native Americans peoples with the telling of this tale. I am 1/8th Cherokee and am proud of that heritage. I'm not trying to show any Native Americans in a bad light... that is not my intention.
Author's Note: The English-Cheyenne word translations come from the Cheyenne Language Web Site, one that I've found extremely helpful for the telling of this tale.
Nénáasêstse: Come here
He'kotoo'êstse: Be quiet
Hámêstoo'e: Sit down (plural; spoke to more than one person)
Tâhéovešêstse: Go to sleep (or Get some sleep)
Né'áahtovêste: Listen to me!
Mahpetana'ôtse: Falling Water
Néá'eše: Thank you
Taa'evâho'nehe: Night Wolf
Mo'kôhtavo'ha: Black Horse
Va'ôhtama, néséne: Welcome, my friend
Tósa'e nétao'sêtsêhe'ôhtséme: Where are you going?
Hotohkenestoohe: Howling Star
The next seven days followed the pattern of the first. They rose at dawn, ate a morning meal, broke camp, rode for a few hours before stopping briefly to eat the midday meal and to rest the horses, and then continued on until Night Wolf found a secluded place to camp for the night. He fed the girls, generally letting them wander the campsite or instructing them on how to help him scrape, cure and tan hides or dry strips of venison over the fire.
This night, he chose a sheltered glade nearby a babbling stream. He assisted the girls in brushing down their mounts before he hobbled them for the night and let them graze on sweetgrass that blanketed the ground.
Returning to camp, he noticed both Ione and Tessa were gathering wood for the fire. He smiled widely. He hadn't told either to do so. Yet he remained alert, and considered the fact that their ready acceptance of their captivity may be a ruse to loll him into a false sense of trusting they would not run if given the chance.
"Néá'eše!" He said, thanking them, as he motioned to the girls to sit down. They dropped the wood and did as he had bid them. He quickly built the fire, using a piece of flint and his tomahawk blade to produce a spark. Then he dug into a pouch and pulled out some corn cakes, several strips of pemmican each, and a few strips of dried buffalo meat, handing the girls their share.
Tessa groaned at the offering. "Many more days of eating this and I think my ribs will be showing," she whined and rubbed her stomach. "I'm hungry for fresh meat!"
"I know! I'd love to have rabbit stew and skillet made corn bread and mama's cobbler. I miss it so much. I miss her so much." Tears formed in Ione's eyes and she quickly brushed them away. "Why did this have to happen?"
"I'd just like to know if Chloe's still alive," Tessa commiserated, reaching over to hug her friend.
Night Wolf watched them intently, listening to their words. He sensed the melancholy that had fallen over Ione. He knew she missed her family, and pledged to do whatever he must to make her happy. He'd show her that he was her family now and he'd protect her until he walked to the Spirit Path and joined his ancestors.
He reached out to her, touching her chin softly, and lifted it to look at him. When she started to protest, he placed a finger over her lips and gazed deeply into her eyes. Then he spoke, his voice gentle. "You have me, and I will take care of you. I will bring you happiness if you'd only open your heart to it."
She didn't understand his guttural words, but sensed he was telling her to cheer up. She cracked a shy smile before looking away, nibbling on a piece of pemmican. He smiled and stroked his hands over her burnished hair.
Then he pulled away from her quickly, bounding to his feet. Grabbing his tomahawk, he scanned the area. The sound of horse's hooves clip-clopping on the ground had caught his attention. Someone was nearby. He held his tomahawk in one hand and pulled his knife with the other, slipping into a defensive position while guarding the two girls.
"Taa'evâho'nehe," a voice called out. "Taa'evâho'nehe, it is Mo'kôhtavo'ha. I ask to join your camp."
Night Wolf relaxed and called back to Black Horse. Soon another tall, bronzed warrior wearing a heavily decorated buckskin shirt, breechcloth, and leggings with elbow length twin braids on each side of his head entered the clearing, leading a black and white painted horse.
"Va'ôhtama, néséne." Night Wolf smiled, meeting his hand halfway and clasping the others forearm in greeting. "Join us!"
Night Wolf moved back to the fire and sat down before it. He removed his pipe from one of his packs and filled it with tobacco. Then he motioned for his friend to join him.
"I see your hunt has been successful, a travois full of meat and furs, extra horses and two captives who dress like the Crow." Black Horse quipped as he removed his blanket and hide pouch off his horse, dropping them on the ground beside the fire before he led his horse nearby where his fellow Cheyenne warrior had hobbled his.
When he returned, Black Horse offered his friend a share of his food in exchange for a smoke off his pipe. "Tósa'e nétao'sêtsêhe'ôhtséme?"
"Home. You are welcome to travel with me." Night Wolf replied as he accepted the pipe back for another draw off of it.
"I'd like that. So tell me, friend, how did you capture the white woman who dress like the Crow?" Black Horse asked, as he longingly eyed Tessa.
"The flame haired one is my vision woman. She is my destiny. Three Crow held them captive. I killed them and took the women. The Crow had torn up their clothes so now they wear the extra clothing from the parfleches of the dead warriors," Night Wolf related. "They've had a rough time."
Black Horse nodded thoughtfully. "I see. What are your plans for the other one?"
"I thought to keep her in my lodge with her friend. I have no interest in her. I only want the flame haired one. I call her Mahpetana'ôtse, because of the waterfall I first saw her under. The one with hair like silver was with my vision woman when I found them. They seem to be close as sisters. They were traveling when the Crow attacked their wagons."
"I want her, my friend. I will give you five ponies for her," Black Horse offered sincerely as he turned his eyes back to Tessa.
"Done." Night Wolf agreed, "But I ask you to be gentle with her. Two of the Crow had raped her before I found them."
"I will take care of her. I'll be good to her." Black Horse replied. "I have never seen hair or eyes so lovely before."
"What about Aamêhe'e?" Night Wolf inquired, "Your wife will not be kind to this white woman."
"Aamêhe'e has divorced me. She took her things and left my lodge. She waits to join with Shadow Walker." Black Horse told him, "She was young and made a mistake. There was no peace in my lodge with her. He was her true love. I hold no ill will toward her either."
"I'm sorry to hear that, my friend."
Black Horse shrugged, "That was in the past and now I will once again fill my lodge with a woman. For she is more beautiful than Aamêhe'e." Black Horse flicked his eyes over Tessa and couldn't believe he'd come across such a beauty. Luck had smiled upon him.
Tessa leaned toward Ione. "I wonder what they're saying," she said, noticing the leer from Black Horse.
"I don't know, Tessa."
"That other warrior keeps staring at me. I'm not sure I like it either." Tessa shivered, running her hands up and down her arms.
"He certainly is a handsome man, just like the one we've traveled with these past few days," Ione giggled, sneaking a look over at Night Wolf and Black Horse.
"Yes, he's fine-looking. They both are. Who knew that wild Indians could be so handsome?" Tessa agreed, stifling a giggle. "I wonder what their names are. What tribe they're from."
"I wish we could talk to them," Ione sighed as a pink blush covered her cheeks.
Tessa finished her meal and reached for the waterskin. She quenched her thirst and moved away to lie down on a blanket near the fire.
"She is most lovely," Black Horse said as he glanced her way, drinking in the beauty of her young female body hidden within the buckskin clothing. He admired her silvery blonde hair, for he'd never seen such a color. He searched over her pretty face. Her sky blue eyes intrigued him along with her pale pink lips and voluptuousness he imagined through the buckskin shirt. The loincloth and leggings did little to hide her curvaceous hips and slender legs. She was the perfect bud of womanhood. He vowed she would be his before the night was through.
"What will you name her?" Night Wolf asked, watching his friend watch Tessa.
"Hotohke," Black Horse declared proudly.
"Star. It suits her well. Although the first few days I would have like to call her Hotohkenestoohe." Night Wolf laughed jovially before glancing back at Ione.
"Héehe'e." Black Horse quipped, "Those must have been seven interesting suns."
Night Wolf patted his friend on the back and stood up. He motioned for Ione to go to the blankets as he banked the fire. Ione blushed profusely, her heart racing as she caught the unmistakable look of desire in his coal black eyes. Would he touch her tonight? Would he do things to her? Ione's mind raced as she tried to swallow the lump that formed in her throat. She stomach fluttered as she walked the few short feet to the blankets. The past six nights he'd only required her to sleep beside him. Would tonight be the same? The questions clouded her thoughts and she wished her mother were there to console her and comfort her fears.
Ione looked back at him and blushed to the roots of her fiery hair. She watched, her cheeks blushing, as he removed his vest, leggings and moccasins, leaving on the wolfskin breechcloth. He walked to the blankets and settled on his.
"Tâhéovešêstse," he ordered, pulling a buffalo hide over both their bodies. Having heard the word before and knowing it meant for her to lie down and go to sleep. She followed the order quickly, snuggling into the blanket. She let out a yawn as she stretched out on her side and made herself as comfortable as possible on the hard ground.
Nearby her, she watched Black Horse approach Tessa's blankets and place his near hers. Like Night Wolf he stripped down to his loincloth and settled in beside her. Night Wolf touched Ione's face, drawing her attention to him as he softly stroked her hair. He whispered words she didn't understand in a soft crooning voice. Pulling her close, he rubbed his cheeks against hers and felt her stiffen.
"I won't hurt you," he murmured in Cheyenne as he continued to stroke her fiery hair. His hands dropped lower and began to stroke her supple young form, touching her everywhere. He caressed her face, learning the contours of her features. He smoothed his hands over her shoulders and down her arms to her waist. Then he embraced her in his arms, holding her close to him, and whispered sweet words of love. The heat of his body soaked into her, making her very drowsy. Soon she drifted off to sleep.
Sleep didn't come easy for Night Wolf. He knew what he wanted, but didn't want to rush her. Much had happened to her since her family was killed. He pulled her closer, glancing over at Black Horse and Tessa. He watched them pick up their blankets and move to a more secluded spot. Night Wolf grinned. Black Horse would have her like he said he would. He chuckled before closing his own eyes. His time with Falling Water would come soon. He planned on taking his time with her. He would make her want it.
Ione awoke a few hours later with the sudden urge to empty her full aching problem. She wriggled out of Night Wolf's arms and found a spot behind a few small bushes. As she righted her loincloth, she heard a moan and a giggle. Who else could be out here? Ione's brow furrowed as she wondered if other settlers were nearby. Perhaps she could hide with them and be taken to the fort before she came too attached to the handsome warrior who'd stirred within her such tumultuous emotions that she didn't want to feel, emotions she was quite sure she'd never felt before.
Putting those thoughts out of her head, she walked closer to the noises. Coming to the stream, she gasped as she caught sight of Tessa with Black Horse, clearly illuminated by the moonlight. Black Horse grunted loudly, working himself between Tessa's widespread legs. The handsome warrior was making love to her friend. She knew she should walk away, but something held her frozen in place. How could Tessa be enjoying this when just a week earlier she screamed her lungs out while the Crow had raped her? It puzzled Ione and she shook her head as she decided that Tessa had to be willingly allowing this handsome man have her body so intimately whereas the Crow had forcibly taken what he wanted. Whatever the case may be, Tessa seemed to be enjoying it. Enjoying it so well that Ione heard her murmur words so erotic that Ione blushed red to the tips of her hair. Tessa's words of utter passion dazed Ione. It was obvious her friend had experienced these emotions, even before the Crow forced her. Things began to click in her mind. The looks between Tessa and Thad, the kisses and the secret embraces... and the fact that Thad had planned to marry her. She remembered the night Samantha had spoke of seeing Thad follow Tessa beneath her family's wagon. She couldn't have been a maiden when the Crow raped her. Indignation burned Ione. She thought Tessa had been a maiden, but she was wrong. How could she put up such a fuss? Was it all an act? Was her friend one of those immoral loose women her mother had often chastised? The kind that Reverend Alton had said would burn in the fires of hell when judgment day came?
Her indignation turned to embarrassment when Tessa and her bronzed warrior changed positions. Tessa straddled the hips of her lover, rocking upon him. They moved together as one. He caressed her breasts and kissed her mouth, his hands constantly moving.
She sighed, shaking her head, and took one last look at her friend, who moaned loudly and threw her head back from the pleasure she was experiencing. To each her own, Ione surmised and headed back toward the camp. She wasn't surprised to find Night Wolf standing a few feet away from her, watching her intently. He knew she'd been spying on the two lovers. Grasping her hand, he silently led her back to the blankets by the fire.
The next morning when the traveling foursome stopped for their midday meal, Ione sought out Tessa as she washed her face in a shallow brook.
"Tessa," she spoke up and sat beside her.
"Yes, Ione," Tessa's brow furrowed in response. Why had Ione chosen to speak to her now after a morning full of silence and cold reproach? She knew she was about to find out.
Ione pondered her next words carefully. Though she knew it wasn't any of her business, she needed to know why her close friend given herself to the handsome warrior. Ione thought for sure they'd try to make their way to a fort as soon as the right opportunity presented itself. Surely Tessa couldn't be thinking of staying with these people? And though Ione had never been one to beat around the bush when she had something to say, but this was so far from anything she'd ever experienced. She hesitated for a second until she caught glimpse of Tessa's inquisitive look. "I ... uh... I saw you last night... "
"Huh? Ione, of course you saw me last night. We ate dinner together and ..." Tessa interjected, not catching her friend's meaning.
"No, Tessa. I mean, I saw you with him... with that savage," Ione snapped, pointing at Black Horse.
"Oh... OH! His name is Black Horse." Tessa replied, acting as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
"Black Horse?!?!?! How do you know his name?!?!"
Tessa grinned widely. "He told me, silly. He speaks a good bit of English. We talked for quite a long time."
Ione's brow ceased, her face turning red. "You did more than talk!" She scolded her hotly.
Tessa sighed, wondering where to begin. "There are a few things you don't know about me, Ione. Please don't judge me unfairly by what I'm going to tell you. Truthfully, I was not a maiden when those Crow raped me," the blonde confessed.
"You weren't?" Ione's voice trembled and she bit her lower lip.
"No, I wasn't. I lost that when I was fourteen. A man my father hired to do some work around the farm was my first. From that moment on, I enjoyed it. I craved it. Soon I learned I could get what I wanted by using sex," Tessa explained and watched as Ione's eyes widened incredulously. Then she continued, "Please don't think of me as a whore because I'm not. I like sex. I'd only known three men before my family started on our trek westward. I admit to having secret trysts with Thad before and after he asked me to marry him. He knew I wasn't a pure maiden and he accepted that. Thad loved me and I loved him. I was looking forward to being his wife. When that one Crow raped me, I screamed and fought him because he was too largely endowed. He tore me and I bled. It was very painful. Black Horse wants me. I may be his captive, but he will protect me with his life. He promised me that."
"Truth be told, I suspected you had relations with Thad. He was far too casual in his affections to be just courting you. Samantha saw you and Thad go beneath a wagon together and that was before the flooded river." Ione confessed to her friend. "You said he speaks English. What did he tell you? Who are they? And who is he?"
Tessa looked in the direction that Ione motioned and smiled widely. "Ah, the one that is sweet on you is called Night Wolf. Black Horse told me they are good friends. He also told me that Night Wolf is the second son of the tribal chief."
"And who attacked our wagons?" The hunger for knowledge sent her mind into a ravenous tailspin of questions.
"They were the Crow. The two tribes are bitter enemies. That's why Night Wolf killed them."
"And where are we going?" Ione chewed on her lip nervously. She wasn't sure she wanted to know what plans Night Wolf and Black Horse had for them.
"To their village. Black Horse said we'd be there by tomorrow evening. He also said that he saw signs of a Crow war party. It could be the one that attacked us."
"By god, I hope not." Ione bemoaned, mulling the prospect over in her head.
"They'll protect us. Black Horse promised me. And Night Wolf wouldn't allow any harm to come to you."
"Does he... Night Wolf... does he speak English?" Ione ventured to ask, hoping Tessa's would say he did.
"Truthfully, I don't know. Black Horse wouldn't say. At that point, he grew weary of my questioning and wanted to... well, never mind that." Tessa giggled, leaving Ione to fill in the blanks for herself.
"Will they ever let us go?"
Tessa shook her head, "No, I doubt it."
A sign slipped from Ione's lips. She buried her face in her hands and rubbed her face while she fought back to tears. "I need to find Samantha. I need to know if she's alive or not. And I don't remember seeing John amongst the dead. I think he may have survived. I am hopeful, but worried about my sister. The Crow who took her could have raped her and killed her for all I know. And aren't you the least little bit concerned about Chloe?"
"Of course I'm concerned about my sister. How could you think I wouldn't be? I told Black Horse about both Chloe and Samantha being taken captive. If they were going to kill either, they would've done it during the attack. Most likely Samantha's will become that warrior's slave and Chloe, being a child, will most likely be a replacement for one that's died. I miss her just as much as you miss Samantha."