Night Wolf Ch. 03byLady_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.
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
As a gut wrenching scream split through the silence of the night air, Night Wolf lurched to his feet. A female! But who had her? He'd recalled passing by the burnt out remains of a few wagons during his hunt. He knew it could only mean that another white family from beyond the big water had died. They were fools to ride onto Indian lands, killing game for sport, fouling the rivers with their mining equipment and taking what wasn't theirs and not expect to pay for it with their lives.
When a second ear splitting scream wrenched the night, he grabbed his weapons and silently headed in the direction in which it came. His thoughts turned to the woman who haunted his dreams. Where was she this night? He longed to gaze upon her loveliness once more as he recalled the sight of her bathing in the waterfall.
His senses came alive as he neared the camp. As the wind shifted, he caught the acrid scent of a fire burning. He crept closer while focusing on a lone warrior crouched amongst the trees away from the camp. Night Wolf paid close attention to the markings on the other man's clothing and knew they had to be Crow. This was his chance to count coup on one of his enemies. He stealthily made his way over to the man and jerked him down to the ground, covering the man's mouth before stabbing him in the neck.
Night Wolf continued on, sneaking behind a large box elder tree, and peered into the camp. Two Crow and two females remained. He could see the desperate struggles of the women, one already being raped and the other... he moved from tree to tree to get a better look at her.
It was SHE!!!!
His vision woman.
Night Wolf's heart raced. He fought for control over his raging emotions. She needed him. He had to free her... she was his destiny and he could allow no harm to come to her. But what of the other white woman? The Great Spirit had told him nothing of her. Nonetheless he had to act!
Whirling Cloud didn't know what hit him as Night Wolf jumped out of the brush and buried his tomahawk between the shoulder blades of the distracted warrior. He let out an ear splitting war cry, pulling the tomahawk back out. Whirling Cloud screamed in pain as Night Wolf yanked him off Tessa's writhing form and threw the man to the ground, planting the tomahawk's blade deep into the chest of his enemy.
Then Tessa screamed and curled up, trying to cover her naked body. "Don't hurt me!" She bellowed loudly.
Night Wolf shook his head at her and hurled his tomahawk at the warrior wrestling with Ione. The sharp blade lodged deep into Black Tail Eagle's shoulder, nearly severing his arm. Black Tail Eagle screamed in utter agony, wrenching the tomahawk free with his remaining arm and flinging it back at Night Wolf. The volley went wide, missing Night Wolf by several feet.
That didn't matter to Night Wolf. He grabbed his war club and advanced on the injured foe, who had stumbled away from Ione and now lay on the ground bleeding from the mangled shoulder wound. Black Tail Eagle cursed at Night Wolf and gripped the war lance that rested beside the pallet of furs, holding it out before him defensively. Night Wolf sprang around the lance, bringing his war club down across the throat of his enemy. He listened to the sickening snap of bones and heard the warrior gasping for breath. Night Wolf repeated the action, crushing the other warrior's windpipe. To finish the fallen warrior off, Night Wolf pulled his knife from its heavily beaded, quilled and fringed sheath. In one motion, he removed his defeated foes scalp, holding it in the air triumphantly and shouting his victory.
Turning, he speculatively eyed the two girls before making his way over to Whirling Cloud and relieving him of his scalp as well. He placed them both in a pouch before squatting in front of the fire. Ione and Tessa sat huddled together, both trying to shield their nakedness from him.
"I won't hurt you," he spoke in his native Cheyenne language as he wiped his knife on the ground and put it back in its sheath.
"What did he say?" Tessa whispered to Ione.
"How should I know?" Ione shrugged and began to shiver.
"Wonder if he speaks English?" The silvery blonde haired female questioned, eyeing Night Wolf curiously.
"I doubt it!" Ione scoffed derisively, wiping away her tears. "He'll probably finish what his companions began. That is before he kills us!"
"Something tells me he's their enemy. He wouldn't have killed them if they were friendly." Tessa replied, turning her attention back to Night Wolf who still sat across the fire from them.
He watched there every move, his eyes resting upon their mouths as if he were trying to understand the words they spoke. Then he stood up and headed over to the horses that belonged to the Crow warriors, disposing of any Crow markings from each horse. He then motioned for the girls to mount up.
"Nénáasêstse," he motioned once more and pointed at the horses. "I won't hurt you."
Both girls shook their heads furiously, refusing to budge from the fire.
"Nénáasêstse," he repeated, touching the flanks of the horse.
"I think he wants us to get on the horses," Ione whispered to Tessa.
"No!" Tessa rallied, her cheeks burning with indignation. "I won't be violated by another savage. We can't go with him. We don't have decent clothes."
"He did save us from those other three," Ione interjected thoughtfully.
"No, Ione! He'll only to do the same. Besides, we're naked. Do you want to ride a horse with no clothes on? It's indecent, I tell you. And I'm cold!" Tessa shrieked, shivering even more.
Night Wolf's brow furrowed and he tapped his foot. He repeated his command a third time before rummaging through the packs of the dead Crow, finding garments for the girls to wear. He tossed each girl a buckskin shirt, a pair of leggings and a loincloth.
Eyeing him warily, Ione cautiously picked up the long sleeved fringed buckskin shirt and examined it. It was made of animal hide and decorated with elk teeth, bear claws, beads, dyed quills, buffalo hair pipes, and scalplocks. She bellowed in disgust, throwing the garment back to the ground. Then she turned her anger to Night Wolf.
"Aaghh. How dare you expect me to wear that thing with scalps on it?" Her screech pierced the air with all the spine cringing finesse of fingernails scraping down a chalkboard as she frantically pointed at them.
Night Wolf leveled a glare upon her, motioning for her to put the clothing on. He chuckled to himself at her refusal and rage. He watched as her chin went up once more, refusing to do so. He rolled his eyes and drew his knife, stepping toward her.
Ione screeched and backed away, bravado rescuing her fleeing pride. "Don't you dare come near me with that knife."
Ah, she had such fire, his little spitting kitten. He sent her a level glare and knelt down to pick up the crumpled shirt she'd thrown away, proceeding to remove the offending scalplocks and graciously handing it back to her. Once again, he made the hand sign for her to put them on.
Ione gasped aloud, surprised by his actions. Was it possible he understood her words? Her jaw dropped in awe. She wasn't sure what to think. Her gaze shifted to her friend, who had quietly begun to don the buckskin garments Night Wolf had given her, happy to have something to cover her body. With a sigh, Ione did the same.
"Maybe he'll take us to Fort Bridger." Tessa whispered, as she looked Night Wolf over thoroughly, a scowl gracing her weary features.
"That would be nice!"
"He'kotoo'êstse!" He barked at them, frustrated with their unwillingness to comply.
The two girls stared at him frightfully, clinging to each other. First, he grabbed Tessa and shoved her up onto the back of the horse. She struggled erratically while he tied her hands around its neck. "Let me go!" She screeched.
"Tessa!" Ione shrieked, attempting to flee across the campsite. Night Wolf caught her quickly, propelling her towards the second horse where he repeated his actions with her. He touched her flaming hair and spoke to her softly in his Cheyenne tongue. "You are my destiny and I would never hurt you. Someday, you will understand. You will become my woman."
His voice soothed her. She gazed upon him with bated breath. He held her awestruck. His demeanor was gentle, his voice soft. It gave her the feeling that he didn't mean her any harm. She nuzzled her head against the horse's withers, feeling the coarseness against her skin as a pale pink blush stained her cheeks, and sighed.
Night Wolf drank in the beauty of her face. The corners of his mouth turned up with the hint of a grin. He nodded to her and walked away, bounding up onto the back of the third house. He grabbed the reins to the remaining two horses, leading them away from the scene of the battle.
Ione watched their rescuer for a few moments before whispering to Tessa, "I think we'll be okay. I don't think he'll hurt us."
"How do you know?" Tessa shot back, irritated that he'd tied them to the horses.
"It's just a feeling I get. He hasn't hurt us yet. I don't think he will." Ione whispered in response. "We'll make it, you'll see."
"He'kotoo'êstse," he repeated in a low commanding tone. He knew he had to make the females understand how their voices carried during the silence of the night. He didn't want to alert anyone or any thing to their presence.
After traveling a short distance, the trio reached the campsite Night Wolf had chosen for the night. Silently he untied the girls and helped them down, guiding them to the blankets he'd laid out for himself earlier that evening.
"Hámêstoo'e!" He spoke sharply and clearly, pointing to the bedroll beneath them. He watched as they sank to the ground, cuddling close to each other. Then he dug into one of his packs and pulled out several strips of dried venison and pemmican, handing them to each girl. "Méseestse!"
Although frightened, Ione accepted the food he'd given her and stared in awe at the tall, bronzed skin man whose skin seemed to pour over his body like molten gold. Her eyes were drawn to his masculine form like moths to a flame. His untamed raven black hair, which held many coup feathers secured by a strip of leather to a lock of hair at the back of his head, fell loosely to his waist. Thick black eyebrows framed his arresting liquid jet black eyes. From his high cheekbones to straight aquiline nose to his full, sensuous mouth, strong square jaw and chin, Ione searched over his features, locking him into memory. The perilous journey her eyes took caused her to wonder if she'd taken complete leave of her senses. What was it about this handsome stranger –this savage – that affected her so? How could she be feeling anything but fear for him?
Knowing she must remember everything about him in case she and Tessa were rescued, she continued to look him over. I have to know how to describe him once I'm rescued, she reasoned to herself.
Night Wolf was dressed in full Plains Indian regalia. His heavily fringed elkskin vest and leggings were ornately decorated with ermine and quillwork. The wolfskin loincloth did little to hide the growing male appendage; a testament to his desire for her. She blushed profusely and looked lower, taking notice of his knee high moccasins heavily beaded with bands of blue, grey, black and red. Someone had put much love and care into the making the exquisite garments. The detail astounded her. The outline of a howling wolf graced one side of his vest. Looking upwards, she caught sight of the gorgeous black and white buffalo hair pipe breastplate adorned with gold hued beads and bear claws that hung from his neck beneath the vest.
The Cheyenne warrior noticed her blatant perusal of him. He could tell by the delicate brush that settled on her ivory cheeks that she found him to be to her liking. Night Wolf smiled widely and whispered boldly in his native language, "Do you like what you see?"
"I don't understand," Ione replied. She looked away from him and took a bite of the pemmican her gave her.
Night Wolf chuckled behind his hand, watching her closely. It was now his turn to look over in the flesh. After seeing her twice already, once in his sacred vision all those years before, and secondly at the waterfall a few suns prior, he recalled her flawless ivory flesh. Her fiery mix of burnished copper, red and brown hair could easily outshine even the most beautiful of sunsets. Her vibrant green eyes smoldered with flecks of brown and gold. Her high forehead, delicately arched brows, small nose, perfect shaped full pouty lips was highly appealing to look upon.
She was beautiful.
He remembered well her small, perky apple sized breasts as he'd looked upon them at the waterfall and earlier as she'd dressed in the garments he'd given her, and felt the stirrings of desire sweep through his loins. Closing his eyes, he recalled her bathing in the waterfall again, bringing to focus her naked body shielded only by the cascade of flowing water. He remembered her graceful limbs, rounded hips, flat concave stomach, her long shapely legs and brilliant copper colored mound at the juncture of her thighs. A slight groan slipped from his lips. Oh, how he ached to possess her.
He opened his eyes and swept them over her as she looked now. Never before had the clothing of his enemy look so tantalizing. The buckskin shirt fell to mid-thigh, completely covering the loincloth as she wore beneath. He was surprised that the leggings fit her slender legs so well, considering he'd taken them from the possessions of a much larger man. He smiled as he glanced over her small feet, knowing they had to be swimming in the beaded moccasins he'd handed her. He noticed, however, that she'd managed to tie the laces as tight as possible to hold them on.
Yes, she was beautiful. No female in his village compared to her.
Ione stubbornly closed her arms across her chest and scowled at him. Her blush deepened. She knew this magnificent looking man had been eyeing her breasts. She huffed at the thought of him seeing her naked after he'd saved her from the one who'd tried to rape her. He watched her change into the buckskin clothing. She licked her lips.
Night Wolf groaned at the sight of her pink tongue flicking out to moisten her lips. Quickly he stalked away, grabbing up his waterskin, that he promptly presented to her. She nodded, accepting it, taking a long drink from it to quench her thirst. He motioned at Tessa as Ione handed it back to him. Reversing her action, she handed it to her friend. Once Tessa was done, she handed it back to Night Wolf.
"Thank you," she murmured, moving away from him.
Night Wolf nodded and walked toward the fire he'd built, banking it for the night. He then made his way over to the horses he'd taken from his enemies, brushed them down and hobbled them for the night. He gathered a few more buffalo hides that were big enough to serve as blankets and brought them back to the fire. He spread them out, uniting them with his own, and motioned for the girls to lie down.
"Tâhéovešêstse!" he said.
As both girls warily obeyed him and snuggled down upon the fur blankets, he sat down between them. Grasping Tessa's right wrist, he looped a strand of leather around it and secured it to his own. She squawked a protest, shaking her arm angrily. He bore a hard gaze upon her, silencing her swiftly. Taking another rawhide scrap of leather, He secured it to Ione's wrist before looping it to his breechcloth. With a grunt, he settled in between them for the night. "Tâhéovešêstse!" he repeated, then closed his eyes.
Minutes passed as Ione stared up at the star-filled sky. She sighed wistfully, ruminating on what had become of her life. Was this to be the rest of her existence, held bound to some Indian warrior? Would she end up like Tessa, having her innocence ripped from her violently? Would she ever see her own people again? Have the chance to give her family a Christian burial? A glimmer of a thought niggled in her brain. She dared not to think it wasn't true. When she looked upon the devastation wrought by her family's attackers, she couldn't recall seeing John amongst the dead. Could it be that he'd somehow survived? Hope flared within her.
"Ione," Tessa whispered across Night Wolf's chest. "Ione!"
"What?" She asked, breaking away from her thoughts.
""Let's go. We should take some horses and leave." The blonde haired girl suggested. "We could make it to a fort and be safe."
Ione paused for a moment before she spoke. Could they make to a fort all by themselves? She, for one, had no idea of where they were and had no clue of which way the nearest fort was. "But how will we find the fort?"
"I remember Thad talking about it. If we head back to way we came and then head west, we should be there in a few days. Let's go!"
Ione chewed on her lip, surprisingly torn on what to do. She knew she had to find out if John were alive or not, but something deep and primal urged her to stay with the handsome warrior who'd rescued them. "I don't know, Tessa. We could end up in a worse situation on our own. What if the other men who attacked the wagons catch us? What if they think we killed their companions? Who knows what would happen to us?"
"Ione Gillen!" Tessa squawked vehemently in protest, her voice shooting up a few octaves far past that of a whisper. "I can't believe you'd want to stay here with him after all that's happened! Who's to say it wasn't his people who murdered your family?"
"All I'm saying is he hasn't hurt us yet. He saved us. Surely he'd protect us. Once we get a better idea of where we are, then we can make our escape." Ione reasoned, looking up at his face.
His eyes were open, his expression stern. "He'kotoo'êstse," was his firm response as he sent a fierce look at the blonde girl.
Her eyes widened, "You can't do this, you big heathen brute!" Tessa retorted, her courage rallying.
With an exasperated sigh, he severed their bonds and dragged her to a tree on the far side of the clearing. He pressed her against it face first, despite her struggling, then pulled her arms around the trunk, tying her hands together as they met. Tessa balked and squealed, forcing him to gag her as well. He covered her body with a blanket, tucking the ends under her shoulders and between her body and the tree.
Night Wolf grunted, and then spoke softly. "Né'áahtovêste!"
His soft warning in her ear caught her attention. She stopped for a brief moment, listening to the rapid pounding of her heart.
"He'kotoo'êstse! Tâhéovešêstse!" He ordered before he walked away, turning a deaf ear to her startled weeping.
Tessa sobbed quietly into the rough bark of the tree. She cursed him softly, wishing she hadn't listened to her friend. This was a step up from being raped, she begrudgingly admitted to herself. She could deal with being uncomfortable better than she could deal with being violated. It just wasn't fair, though!