For disclaimers see part 1.
Warning: this part contains a scene that's sort of….cruel. It's about Mor, Titus and a tiny, very sharp dagger.
Dedication: as always, thank you Cyndi!
Even though it had been raining quite a lot the previous morning, the night sky was clear. Happily twinkling stars and a bright shining moon adorned the velvety black background that stretched out for eternity.
A soft breeze slowly moved the leaves on the trees, hardly making any noise. It was quiet. Only the rodents that searched for food in the safety of the night, were busy filling their little stomachs. They froze in place when a tall form cast a shadow over their hiding places, but quickly continued their activities when they noticed the intruder meant no harm and they were left alone.
The Roman army camp, or castra, was situated in the valley, simply because it was the only place a camp of that size could be build.
In the center of the square enclosure, that consisted of a pallisade wall alongside a ditch, were the headquarters of the legion, surrounded by a multitude of barracks and tents.
The light of the moon illuminated the surface of the two main roads leading to the heart of the camp, the via principalis and the via praetoria. It was one of the trademarks of Roman efficiency. No Roman soldier would ever get lost in an army camp, no matter where he was stationed, because every castra was the same, no matter where it was set up.
Mor's eyes scanned the pallisade, looking for signs of Roman guards. She knew for certain that the four gates of the camp would be well guarded by a cohort. No one would be able to get pass them unseen. But the walls were an entirely different story. Mor knew there would be guards alongside the structure that was made out of wood and dirt, but somehow it seemed like the Romans felt really comfortable in their castre. According to Roman rules and regulations, the wall should have been guarded by a long line of soldiers. But Mor's keen sight could discover only a couple of guards, strategically placed on the walls. She could clearly see the light of the moon reflecting on a helmet. It would only be a matter of time before she would discover the other guards, since the night was clear and there was an abundance of light.
" Arrogant bastards," she hissed. " They think they are untouchable."
Mor slid down the hill towards a spot she had picked out before. Somehow the entire area around the camp had not been cleared of all bushes and shrubs. It would be a perfect hiding place, close to the pallisade.
Without making a sound Mor had reached within a few feet of the pallisade. The bushes provided a natural shield and her black cloak made her almost invisible. Slowly she pulled a rope from underneath her cloak. It had been coiled up and attached to her belt, alongside her daggers. Her long fingers industriously attached a little hook, that was wrapped in cloth, at the end of it and with a satisfied look she weighed the tool in her hand.
Again she scanned the wall. She was positioned between two soldiers, who did not seem to be very alert. From the close distance Mor could hear one of them yawn.
" Good. Keep dozing off," she whispered to herself.
She got back on her feet and within a few steps she was near the pallisade, her back pressed against the wall. Holding her breath she waited for a sound. Any sound. But everything remained quiet. Slowly she let out her breath, mentally shaking her head at the slackness of the Roman conqueror.
Having gained a bit more confidence she suddenly threw the hook up in the air. With a soft clank it fell right in place, securing the rope to the wall. Again Mor waited for a sound. Her heart was hammering in her chest and the adrenaline was pumping through her system, making her muscles tense. She was ready for a fast escape.
Mor grabbed the rope and quickly climbed up the wall. Without hesitation she continued to move when she reached the top. She rolled over the wall, jumping down on the other side and landing in the soft dirt of the ditch. Still no sound. No one had noticed her presence.
Mor knew the rest of her journey inside the camp would be hazardous, but not as dangerous as climbing the wall. She made quick work of the hundred feet distance between the pallisade. She passed the stables and ended up at the first row of tents. But those were not her destiny. Mor's plan was to infiltrate the heart of the camp, where she knew she would find the Optio, Titus.
The easiest way would have been to cross alongside the outer line of tents, but Mor knew it would be easier for anyone to see her then. So she went for the more difficult approach. She slid in between two tents, which were so close together, that the stakes had to overlap. They presented an obstacle, because it would have been easy to trip over them. But Mor knew her way around. She carefully avoided the stakes and effortlessly crossed the camp towards the center while making no sound at all.
Mor knew that Titus was the Optio, that meant there were only two men in the camp that outranked him. The centurion and the Primus Pilus, the leader among the centurions. They would all have their private tents. All she had to do was look for the tent that would be set up at a lookout, made from the dirt that came from digging the trenches. That tent she would pass. For now. That would be the Primus Pilus' one. That would leave only two tents. She would have to take some risks, but Mor was willing to do just that.
After what had seemed like forever, she finally reached her goal. Without looking over her shoulder she quickly stepped inside, making sure not to make a sound.
At the far end of the tent she could see the outline of a sleeping form. The sounds of heavy breathing filled the air and involutarily Mor raised one eyebrow. Could this really be so easy?
Mor stepped closer to the bed, making sure to keep the soft light of the oil lamp at her back. Her cloak was covering almost her entire body and the hood was obscuring her face from view.
She looked down at the person in the bed and her instincts told her she probably had found the man she was looking for. He was tall and bulky, with well defined muscles and he looked like a person who would know how to handle a weapon or two.
Without thinking twice Mor balled her fist and hit him against the side of his head. With a soft grunt the Roman's body went limp. Quickly Mor securely tied up his feet and hands. When she was finished she took a cloth and forced it inside his mouth. Her eyes scanned the tent and fell upon a waterskin. She grabbed it from it's hook and poured the contents over the unconscious form in the bed. He immediately responded and started shaking his head. His eyes flew open and when he noticed he wasn't able to move at all, Mor saw the panic rise in his eyes.
" Don't move," she growled in a low voice. " Or I will slit your throat."
The Roman had heard the words, because he immediately stopped pulling the ropes that held him pinned down and looked at Mor with fear in his eyes.
" You Titus?" she asked, her voice low and void of any trace of emotion.
The Roman nodded and Mor smiled, but the eyes under the hood were cold.
" I have a message for you. From now on you leave the villagers alone. And I mean, all of them. One more story about you hurting anyone and I will be back. I could kill you now, but that wouldn't punish you, now would it?"
Very slowly Mor reached underneath her cloak, pulling out a small, pointed dagger. Titus eyes almost popped out of his sockets when he saw the soft light of the lamp being reflected on the steel. His experienced eyes could tell the weapon was razor sharp.
" I'll give you a reminder," Mor purred, leaning closer to the Optio, who was profusely sweating.
" From now on everyone will be able to see that you are marked!"
With her left hand Mor tilted Titus' face to the side and pressed it into the bed. That left the right side of his face unprotected.
Using the sharp point of her dagger, Mor carved the skin of the Optio, who was breathing heavily and struggling not to lose consciousness. With a secure hand she continued her torture, not feeling any pity for the victim of her knife. Blood started to pour out of the cuts in Titus' face, coloring the side of his face and neck. Staining the bedding underneath his head.
Concentrating Mor carved a triple spiral in Titus' cheek. Making sure it would be deep enough to leave a scar.
" This is a sign that tells you to change," she growled. " Appropriate, don't you think?"
Titus could only grunt in pain and tried to pull away from the dagger, but Mor's vice like grip effortlessly held him in place. When she was finally done, she wiped the bloodstained dagger on Titus' night shift and rose from the bed. Her face set in a grim mask.
" Next time you will die."
She turned around and walked towards the entrance of the tent, when her eyes fell on an item that was placed on a small table. Mor stopped dead in her tracks and seemed to freeze. Slowly she turned around and walked to the item that had drawn her attention, carefully picking it up.
Her fingers trembled when she touched the beautifully carved leather pouch, that was attached to a leather strap. It was just slightly smaller than her thumb. The leather was worn, from years of wearing, but the carvings were still clearly visible.
" What do you keep in there, Jaali?"
" If I tell you it will lose it's spell, Sauda. You do want me to be protected, don't you?"
A low rumble rose up from deep inside Mor's throat and with two strides she was back at the bed. The little pouch clenched in her fist. Her other hand grabbed Titus' throat and she shook him violently.
" You," she breathed. " I should kill you! He would never have taken that off voluntarily. You are the one who killed him."
Mor was visibly trembling and Titus, who could still not see her face, feared for his life. His nostrils were flaring from the effort to get a little more oxygen into his lungs. Perspiration rolled off his forehead, mingling with the blood that was still pouring out of his cuts. But all of a sudden Mor let go of his throat. She slapped him in the face and turned away from him.
" I will let you live, but only because I want you to live in shame. But one day I will find you and cut you up in pieces, so small, even the worms won't have any problem digesting you. So make sure you are at peace with your Gods, because from this day on, you will never have a peaceful night again."
After those words Mor disappeared through the entrance, leaving a panting and bleeding Titus behind, who realized to his shame, he had soiled himself.
It was almost morning when Mor finally returned to the cave. The sky was clear and the sun was about to rise. It looked like it would be a nice, warm day.
After her visit to Titus, Mor had spent the rest of the night wandering through the woods, until she finally had reached a rock, that was overlooking a creek. She had sat down and lost in memories she had relived some of her childhood years. The amulet still firmly clenched into her fist.
When she finally had returned to the cave, Isa was still asleep. One long look at the sleeping girl had taught Mor that the fever had broken and her young patient would probably recover just fine. Although she would have to live the rest of her life with the scar the javelin had caused, when the sharp steel had penetrated her skin.
Exhausted Mor had set down next to the dying fire, bringing it back to life with a few dry pieces of wood. She had boiled some water to make a cup of tea, slowly sipping the hot drink, while staring into the dancing flames of the fire. The warm beverage warmed the inside of her belly and brought relief to the coldness she had felt ever since she had sneaked into the Roman army camp. It was such a thin line between control and outrage. She had come so close to taking Titus' life and looking back, she still didn't know what had stopped her. Maybe it was the idea of the Roman Optio living the rest of his life in shame, with a sign carved into the skin of his face. That would always remind him of the way he had treated Isa. And hopefully it would prevent him from ever hurting the girl again.
Mor's eyes traveled to the sleeping form on the ground and her eyes softened. Isa looked so innocent. So peaceful. Her youthful features relaxed in sleep. Her light colored hair was tousled and in her sleep, she slightly wrinkled her nose, which made her look even younger.
With a sigh Mor turned her gaze back to the fire. Her thoughts went back to a dark time, that seemed a lifetime ago. Her brows furrowed and her face was grim when she let the forbidden memories flow through her system. It had been a long time since she remembered. And after all the time that had passed, it still felt like there was poison flowing through her veins, making her cold inside and nauseous
Isa woke up to the sound of a crackling fire. She could feel the warmth spreading through her and when she carefully stretched her body, she was surprised to notice that most of the agonizing pain was gone. What was left was the throbbing in her shoulder and the pulling of the stitches when she tensed the muscles in her left arm.
Opening a pair of sleepy green eyes she was almost shocked to see Mor, sitting next to the fire. She had not even heard the other woman.
Isa blinked a few times to let her eyes become accustomed to the light and stared at the tall, dark woman who had saved her life.
Mor was sitting so still, Isa could hardly see she was breathing. Her blue eyes were half closed and she was staring into the fire with a faraway look in her eyes. It was like Mor's body was there, but her soul had gone away.
Isa shivered and her forehead creased when she tried to figure out what to do next.
She pushed herself in an upright position, glad not to be overtaken by dizziness this time. Still Mor did not respond.
Isa pushed back the covers she had been sleeping under and struggled to her feet. Slowly she stepped closer to the fire, her eyes never leaving the dark, silent figure across from her. She carefully sat down and looked at the woman who had saved her life. She was wearing her cloak, but the hood was pulled back, giving her long, dark hair free reign. Her blue eyes were expressionless while they stared into the flames. Her left hand was clenched into a fist, while her right hand was holding an empty cup.
Isa bit her bottom lip. She was puzzled by the tall woman. Mor looked so strong, impressive and.dangerous. But deep inside her pounding heart, Isa somehow knew she had nothing to fear. If Mor would have wanted to hurt her, she would have already done that. Besides, Mor did take her to her cave and tended her wound. She helped her ease the pain and made sure she was warm and relaxed enough to sleep.
Suddenly Isa remembered how Mor had held her the previous evening, when she was changing the poultice on her wound. She remembered the strength of the taut muscles, but also the softness of the tall body she had been lying against. It had felt so comfortable and safe.
With those memories in the back of her mind, Isa decided to take a risk. She reached out her hand and slowly took the empty cup out of Mor's fingers, setting it next to her on the ground. The only reaction was a quick blinking of a pair of eyes that were so blue, it reminded Isa of a clear summer sky, early in the morning.
Isa carefully took the pot that was still hanging over the fire and poured some of the tea that Mor had previously made into the cup.
" You look cold. Maybe you should drink some more", she encouraged, her voice sounding strange to her own ears.
Finally Mor showed some kind of reaction. She slowly turned her head and looked at the young girl, who was sitting by her side. Looking up at her with gentle, green eyes, seemingly unimpressed by Mor's dark mood.
Isa held out the cup in a silent invitation and slowly Mor's eyes traveled from Isa's face to her hand. Without saying a word she took the cup and brought it to her lips, sipping its contents. She visibly relaxed and Isa let out a shaky breath. She didn't know what was wrong with Mor, but she was glad to see that the woman was gradually thawing. The tense muscles in her upper body relaxed, as did the ones in her face, changing her expression from grim, to stoic.
"I should tend to your shoulder," Mor spoke, unexpectedly, nearly making Isa jump.
" Oh, just..just drink your tea," Isa stammered. "I am fine. My arm already feels so much better than yesterday. And I don't think I have a fever...I...thank you Mor."
Mor simply nodded, staring in the dancing flames, again she seemed to be miles away.
Isa frantically searched her mind for things to say, but she found nothing. Only questions she knew would not be appreciated.
With another shy look at Mor she got to her feet and looked around in confusion. When Mor had brought her in the previous day Isa had not seen much of the cave. But now her eyes took in every little detail with growing amazement.
Lined against the wall were a few low tables with jars and viles of all sorts, shapes, and sizes. There were also little reed baskets, neatly stacked against the wall.
Isa's eyes caught the glimmering steel of a weapon and curiously she stepped closer. Spread out on the little table, resting on a thick cloth, were a multitude of daggers. Some of them with no distinctive marks, but a few of them had beautifully carved hilts, with signs and symbols Isa had never seen before.
"Don't touch them," a low voice suddenly sounded right behind her.
Isa spun around to find Mor standing close behind her. She brought her hand to her throat and gasped for breath.
"Gods, I didn't even hear you move," she breathed.
Mor reached around Isa and picked up a small dagger that perfectly fitted in the palm of her hand. Its hilt was designed in the shape of big, leaping cat. It's front legs fully stretched, while the hind legs were slightly bend, displaying strong muscles.
"It's beautiful," Isa whispered."What is it?"
"It's a cheetah," Mor explained, while her index finger traced the outline of the feline. "They live very far away fom here, in a land called Africa."
"Africa", Isa slowly repeated, liking the sound of of the word.
"Is that where the knife comes from?" she inquired, feeling a little more relaxed now her heartbeat had settled down again.
"It's a dagger," Mor corrected her."Yes, it's from Africa."
Isa looked up at Mor from close distance and could clearly see the strain in the other womans face. Suddenly she felt the urge to stretch out her hand and gently stroke those lines, that spoke of pain and fatigue.
Mentally kicking herself for even thinking something like that Isa turned around and stepped away from Mor. A bit of distance seemed like a good idea. The tall dark woman had a very strange effect on her and Isa did not know whether that was a good or a bad thing.
"Um.Mor,"she started hesitantly." Where is.? I..uh.I need to go outside.I guess."
Mor returned the dagger to its place on the little table and turned around to face Isa, one eyebrow arched.
"Why would you need to go outside?"
Isa didn't immediately answer, but looked at her feet, feeling a blush creep up her cheeks. She shuffled her feet and when she finally did look up again, Mor could see the embarrassment in her eyes. Then it became clear to the tall woman and her eyes snapped open wide.
"Oh, yes, of course," she answered, trying not to show her amusement."Follow me."
Mor quickly stepped towards a dark corner, grabbing a torch while she passed it and lead Isa into a narrow shaft, that lead towards an alcove, that was so small it would only fit three people at the same time.
Mor put the torch in a holder that was on the wall and pointed towards the corner. There Isa saw a small wooden stool that was placed in such a way, its opening was above the little stream that carved its way through the soft mergle stone.
"The Romans might be arrogant and highly annoying," Mor said, with a trace of humor in her voice."But they have come up with some great inventions. I copied one."
She stepped back and gestured Isa to walk to the stool.
"I..uh..I will be in the main chamber. You think you can find your way back?"
Isa just nodded, her eyes still wide with amazement and Mor quickly disappeared into the dark, not bothered to take a torch with her. She knew the way.
All night Titus had fought the ropes that kept him bound to his bed, but to no avail. Even though he was a big, strong man, he could not undo the knots that Mor had used to tie him down with. A few times Titus thought he might choke, since the cloth that was stuffed inside his mouth didn't allow the intake of oxygen. But after a while he discovered he could breath a whole lot better if he would lay still. So, he did. Occassionally wiggling his hands and feet to try and loosen the knots.
After what had seemed forever the darkness was slowly replaced by the light of the morning and Titus knew his torture would end soon. He had never felt worse or more humiliated in his whole life. Not only was he tied to his bed, like a pig ready to be roasted, but his face was painfully throbbing and to make matters even worse, if possible, he had soiled himself and he was bound to be found in that situation.
When the Optio had not showed up early that morning, one of the soldiers was sent to his tent, nearly running in panic when he saw the menacing glare Titus shot his way.
It was a smart soldier and he made quick work of slicing the ropes and removing the cloth out of his Optio's mouth, trying not to wince when he smelled the stench of blood and urine. His eyes were drawn to the side of Titus' face and his eyes grew wider when, through the crusts of dried blood, he could clearly see the symbol of a Celtic triple spiral.
The soldier swallowed and averted his gaze, waiting for Titus to speak.
"Tell the centurion I have been attacked and sound the alarm, Titus croaked,trying to sound at least a little dignified.
" No one enters or leaves this camp without me knowing it."
"Yes, Optio," the soldier crossed his right arm in front of his chest and made a hasty retreat, glad to be able to get out in the fresh air again.
" Have you ever been there?," Isa tentively asked, sitting in front of the fire while
Mor was inspecting her wound, carefully peeling away the poultice that stuck to the skin of Isa's shoulder.
" To Africa, I mean."
Mor's fingers lingered on the soft skin underneath her hands and she sighed, almost inaudibly.
" No, I haven't," she answered in a low voice.
"Then...how do you know?" was Isa's next question.
Mor, who was not used to interacting with people on a regular basis, let alone curious young girls, gritted her teeth, but tried very hard to be patient.
" I once knew a person who came from there."
"Did...that person...give you that kni...dagger?"
" Yes," was the short reply.
Mor continued her work, glad that the questioning had stopped, while Isa stared into the fire with a pensive expression on her face. The silence did not last long.
" Are you a warrior?"
" What makes you think I am?" Mor slowly replied, inwardly sighing.
" You have all those weapons."
" I like to be able to defend myself," Mor explained.
" Do you have to do that a lot?"
" What?" Mor almost snapped, feeling more uncomfortable with each question.
" Defend yourself," Isa whispered, hearing the impatience in the low voice.
" Sometimes," Mor sighed, covering Isa's wound with a fresh poultice. " Do you always ask so many questions?"
Isa shrugged her shoulders and winced when she felt the stitches pull her still tender skin.
"Sometimes," she replied, mimicking the answer Mor had just given her
Mor sighed again and turned Isa around so they were facing each other. Her blue eyes were hooded, hiding the irritation she felt when Isa was asking question after question.
"Listen, Isa, " she started, warily. " You don't know me. I know fate made our paths cross yesterday and I am glad I was able to help you. But believe me, the less you know about me, the better it is. For everbody."
There was no fear in the deep green orbs when they looked up to the tall, dark woman, just gentleness and a hint of curiosity.
" I am grateful, Mor, for you helping me. If you hadn't I, well, I don't think I would have survived. I will always be in your debt for that. "
Isa cast down her eyes for a moment and Mor saw her bite her lip.
" I know I sometimes talk too much. I am sorry."
" Don't worry about it," Mor heard herself answer, to her own astonishment. "My...grandmother always told me that if you don't ask, you won't know. I am just....not used to this. And there are a lot of things about me you don't want to know. Believe me."
Isa hesitated and looked at her feet fidgeting with the torn sleeve of her dress. She was dying to find out all there was to know about the beautiful woman, who was standing so close to her. But Mor's words had made her cautious.
" I..um..I have one last question," Isa stammered, not daring to look up. " I mean, you have so many herbs and...this really big, black horse and things and I...I...Are you...are you...a witch?"
Those last words were nothing but a whisper and Isa felt her cheeks burn. She did not want to make Mor angry, but she simply had to know. Ever since she was a young girl she had heard stories about the magical powers of witches. Their dark sides and seclusive lifes. She wasn't prepared for Mor's reaction. For the first time since they had met, Mor laughed hardily.
With eyes full of wonder Isa looked up and saw the mesmerizing blue eyes twinkle with amusement. Mor's face was split in a big grin and it made her look so much younger. And so beautiful it was almost breathtaking.
" You mean, do I kidnap virgins in the middle of the night, to offer them when the moon is full? Do I have little children for breakfast?" Mor laughed. " No, Isa. I don't. I am no witch."
Isa let out a sigh of relief and visibly relaxed.
"I believe you," she answered, a serious expression on her face.
" Good, " Mor answered, still smiling. " You don't have to fear me Isa. Ever."
" I didn't," was the soft reply.
" Good," Mor replied again, much softer this time. " I think it's time for a bath, don't you?"
Isa looked down at her body and wrinkled her nose in disgust. Her dress was torn and dirty, with big stains of blood, that kept reminding her of Titus' brutal assault every time she looked at it.
" I don't have anything clean to wear," she hesitated, her voice a little shy and sad.
"I think I might have something that will fit you."
" Don't tell me you have a bathhouse as well," Isa tentively joked, looking around to see if she could spot some more alcoves.
" Sorry," Mor smiled. " But it is a warm day and and I do know where to find a nice creek with a little waterfall."
Mor had not been exaggerating. The creek was beautiful. It was fully enclosed by high trees and dense bushes and once they had passed those natural barriers, they arrived at a small pool, fed by a little waterfall that seemed to spring out of nothing.
The water was so clear that even from a distance, the pebbles and small rocks on the bottom of the creek were visible. The high trees were filtering the sunlight and cast an almost unearthly glow on the surface of the water, making it shine like crystal.
" It's beautiful," Isa whispered. " I have never been here before. How did you know of this place?"
Mor looked up from unlacing her boots and shrugged her shoulders.
"I get around," she casually explained and Isa could have sworn she saw a flicker of amusement in the clear blue eyes.
Isa tilted her head to the sky and closed her eyes, enjoying the warmth of the sun on her cool skin. The light cast reddish highlights on her hair and Mor couldn't help staring at the picture Isa presented. The young girls' face had an expression of utter contentment and a small smile decorated the soft features of her face. The filtered light of the sun seemed to embrace her and wrap her in a blanket of light and warmth.
Mor shook her head as if to scare away an annoying insect and made quick work of shrugging out of her clothes.
When Isa heard a loud splash she opened her eyes to see Mor coming up from beneath the surface of the water. When she rose millions of droplets were scattered about when she shook the water out of her hair.
Isa could only stare. She was not unfamiliar with the sight of a naked woman, since a few seasons ago when she was much younger she used to spend a lot of time swimming in the creeks with her friends. But the vision of Mor rendered her speechless.
The broad muscular shoulders, the tanned skin that looked like silk and seemed to be tightly wrapped around her muscles, that were moving smoothly underneath the skin. The firm backside and legs, so long and strong, as they cut the surface of the water without effort.
Isa caught herself staring and hid a blush by turning her face away from the sight in front of her. She used her right arm to try and pull her dress over her head, but got tangled up in the fabric when she was only halfway through.
Muttering Isa tried to free herself of the dress that suddenly started to live a life of it's own, trapping her inside.
" Here, let me help you," Mor's voice suddenly sounded behind her, almost making Isa jump. She had never even heard the tall woman approach.
" How do you do that?" she nervously chuckled. "I never hear you coming and suddenly you are there."
" I have many skills," Mor's voice rumbled, sounding slightly amused.
A pair of strong hands carefully pulled Isa's dress over her head and immediately Isa felt the warmth of the sun caressing her skin. Behind her she felt the heat that Mor's body was radiating and involuntarily she held her breath, while she was hit by a wave of different emotions. Somehow she couldn't shake the image of Mor rising up from the water, with the body of a goddess and the strength of a warrior.
Isa's heart raced and her mouth was dry. Desperatly she tried to make her body listen to her mind, who kept screaming at her to start moving and get into the water.
Mor looked at the smaller woman in front of her and mentally kicked herself for staring. But how could she not? The girl she had saved was so much more than a girl and suddenly Mor realized that Isa wasn't the young girl she had assumed her to be. She was a girl allright, but with a very mature, beautiful body.
Isa was a lot smaller than Mor, but her body was well defined, not as muscular as her own, but strong, with soft curves in all the right places. The wound on her left shoulder stood out, a red and angry mark, discoloring the smoothness of the creamy skin. Remembering how the wound had been inflicted, Mor felt her anger rise again. Suddenly she was hit by an emotion that threw her completely off balance. She wanted to protect this woman. The thought of anyone hurting Isa was so unsettling, it almost took her breath away.
Mor felt her heart rate pick up and she realized she had been holding her breath. Confused blue eyes looked at the sky as if trying to find an answer to the turmoil within her soul.
What is happening to me?
Mor's thoughts were interrupted by Isa's soft voice, that sounded a little timid.
" Is it okay to get my shoulder wet?" she asked. " I would like to wash my hair."
Mor swallowed hard and told herself to get a grip. Fast. She cleared her throat and stepped away from Isa.
" The water won't harm it," she answered, her voice a little hoarse. " As long as you don't stay in the water too long. Come."
Without saying another word Mor walked passed Isa and jumped back in the creek, thankful for the way the water cooled her heated body.
She didn't have to look around to know Isa was carefully making her way into the creek as well. When she heard a soft splash, she finally turned around.
Isa came to the surface again, her long hair dripping wet and a broad smile on her face.
" This is wonderful," she sputtered, wiping the water out of her eyes.
Mor couldn't help smiling when she noticed the sparkling green eyes. She tried hard to concentrate on those eyes and not let her gaze wander down to a pair of firm breasts, that were only partly hidden in the water.
Mor softly groaned and ducked her head in the water, not knowing what to make of all the sensations that were running through her body. She decided to swim around for a while to help her body concentrate on other things. But when she looked at Isa again, her determination melted right away.
The girl was trying to lather her right hand with some of the soap Mor had taken with her. Obviously she wanted to wash her hair. Apparently it wasn't easy to do that with just one hand. The bar of soap slipped from her hand and disappeared into the water. Isa muttered and sank down to pick up the slippery piece of soap.
" You need a hand with that?"
Continued in part 5
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