Dakota 2 - Defending Yourself

by Ri

Disclaimers: I had been playing with the idea of writing another western for weeks when my muse tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me I already have one so please relax enjoy this Dakota and Jackie really wanted to come back and say hi to everyone again. I also wanted to mention a couple of the strip teases in this story was due to a complaint from a fellow bard who says I never have my characters take off a Jacket.Enjoy J


Jackie carefully avoided each attack her assailant threw at her with freshly learned skill. She weaved and ducked to avoid each blow. When she saw the opening that she was looking for she took it and threw a punch right at her attacker's midsection.

With a huge smile Dakota caught the little hand just as it was about to hit full force against her own gut, "Excellent."

Jackie smiled back, "Thanks but I have an excellent teacher."

Dakota laughed and shook her head, "You move very well Jackie. You're a natural at this; all you needed was some one to take the time to teach you."

Jackie blushed at the compliment and if they weren't in public she would have thrown her arms around Dakota and tenderly shown her the gratitude she felt. Dakota loved the pretty pink flush of skin on her beloved's face and she winked at the young woman knowing that it would deepen that pink shade to a lovely red.


"What?" Asked the gambler innocently.

"You are something else."

"Ain't I though….Um, Jackie are you going to come with me tonight to watch me play?"Dakota asked suddenly shy. She loved when Jackie watched but she didn't want to bore the poor girl to death.

Jackie smiled and Nodded, "Sure, Of course I am,"She loved to watch the gambler play she found it so fascinating.

Dakota walked over and put her arm around Jackie's shoulders as she went through the back door of the hotel,"Ok, Lets change and get some dinner. I know your hungry, Little one."She said with a knowing grin.

Jackie playfully slapped the gambler on the stomach, "Are you saying I eat too much?"

"Nope, I love a girl with a healthy appetite."

"Any girl?"

"Nope, just one girl."

"Oh, Anyone we know?"

"Yep, intimately, "Said Dakota as she lead them up the back steps of the hotel to their room.

"Really, How intimately?" Asked Jackie as they walked through the door to their room.

"Very,"Said Dakota as she closed the door behind them passion burning in her eyes with a move so subtle Jackie didn't even see it coming Jackie found herself in an embrace within the gambler's arms.

"Wanna see how intimate "She asked the blonde as she began to slowly undo the back of Jackie's dress their lips barely apart

Jackie nodded slightly and then connected their lips with equal passion as she felt her dress fall from her shoulders on the way to ground beneath them. ..

*** *** *** *** ***

Steely blue eyes observed each person surrounding the table under a tilted black Stetson. Today's game included Dakota, The Mayor, A gambler named Mcraw, A farmer named Huntington and the owner of the tavern Hank Reynolds. This was a serious game of equal players not the silly game she played with that lout of banker, no wild cards just pure skill. Exactly like the gambler liked it. "I'll raise you old friend." Dakota said to Mcraw with a lopsided grin.

Mcraw was a gentleman. He had played Dakota many times and he respected her skill, intelligence and luck. "Will you?" He replied with an amused grin. "I'll match it. Ok, My friend I have now paid for the privilege, What have you got?"

The most beautiful smile Jackie had ever seen suddenly appeared on the gambler's face as she laid down four aces and king bumper. A loud groan was heard from around the table and the Mayor in a tired voice said, "I think its time for a short recess."

Everyone agreed. Jackie walked up to her love with a huge smile of her own, "Well done."

Dakota actually blushed, "Thanks, Are you hungry?"

"After the dinner you fed me, No I don't think so," She replied with a grin.

Dakota shrugged, "Well I have to keep my best girl happy, don't I?"

Now Jackie blushed, Dakota laughed and put her arm around her shoulder and

Said," Come on Love, I'll buy you a sasprilla."

Jackie eyes lit up, She loved those and since she had been with the gambler she had gotten at least one every night.

"All right Injun, Enough is enough. Do I get my daughter back or not?" Said the harsh voice of Jackie's father from behind them.

Two backs stiffened and Dakota suddenly became a dangerous woman in blink of an eye.

"Not," Said Dakota twirling around to face the older man.

"I told you, Injun, not to try to steal my property. Sheriff."

Dakota looked at the sheriff with an upraised eyebrow, The sheriff wasn't afraid of her since he's

known the gambler most of her life but he was stunned at the look of scorn in her eyes. He'd never seen her look like that. Not at him, He shrugged his shoulders and tilted his head to the side to show he was just doing his job.

Dakota was not going to let her friend off the hook that easily,"Bill, I didn't know you were in favor of slavery."

Bill blinked not expecting that remark, he pointed toward Jackie's father and said, "Well he says she is under age."

Dakota snorted and turned toward Jackie and said, "Tell Bill how old you are Jackie."

"Twenty three," Said the young woman crisply looking with angry green eyes at her own father."It's really sad when a father doesn't even know how old his own child is. Pa, please just hire a maid and leave me alone. I don't belong to you or anyone I only belong to myself."

The older man took two steps with his hand raised toward his daughter looking for all the world like he was about to slap her. Dakota moved so fast it even threw the sheriff who thought he knew his friends every move. She had the older man in a headlock with his arms behind his back.

"Now apologize to your daughter for threatening her," She growled in his ear.

"Why?" He growled back.

"Because if you don't I'll break this arm," She whispered in a deceptively sweet voice in his ear.

His eyes widened and he looked at his daughter and said in low growl, "Sorry."

Jackie didn't say anything she was too mad. Dakota shoved the man toward the sheriff and said, "Take him out of my sight before I do something he will regret."

Bill nodded and escorted the man out of the tavern.

"Mayor, would mind if we put a hold on the game till tomorrow night. I'm…I uh…need to…well I…"

"I understand, Dakota. Ok, we will continue the game tomorrow. Will everyone agree I take care of the cash till then?"

There were nods from all the players. Dakota and Jackie briskly left the tavern. Dakota had her arm around Jackie's shoulder this time in a sweet comforting way. She wanted to get her back to the hotel before she broke down completely.

*** *** *** *** ***

Once safely inside they're room and the door was firmly shut behind them Dakota enfolded her beloved in her arms and waited for the damn to burst. Slowly Jackie began to cry then sob then she was just falling apart and Dakota gently and comfortably picked up each piece as it fell. She picked up the distraught young woman and brought her to their bed cradling her in her strong arms stroking her hair and whispering soothing words into her ear. She lowered her arms and rubbed tense shoulders as her mind raced with thoughts of the man who did this to her beloved. That Bastard! I should have broken that arm and his leg too! How can he keep doing this? Jackie is the kindest, sweetest, most loving woman I have ever known. How can he treat his own flesh and blood like she was cow to be traded for a price? The idiot! The unfeeling Bastard. I may still break him in two!!!

Jackie was calming down she pulled back from her beloved's warmth and looked into loving and compassionate blue eyes. She smiled shyly and said, "Thanks Dakota."

Dakota smiled back slightly confused. She gently brushed some golden hair behind a pretty ear and asked gently, "What for?"

Jackie was grateful for so many things she couldn't seem to form the words, She just spread her hands out and said, "Everything."

Dakota shook her head and kissed Jackie's cheek, "Well I love you so thanks aren't necessary. I only want one thing from you and you give that to me without my asking for it, Love. I don't want or need anything else from you."

"Not even gratitude?"

"Especially not gratitude." She then kissed the younger woman so deeply and passionately that Jackie almost forgot what had just happened. She fell back against the pillows as Dakota continued down her neck to her pulse point where she sucked gently enjoying the taste of the sweet skin she found there.

Jackie didn't care about her father she had something far more pleasing on her mind. That something was lovingly undressing her and slowly working her to parts south and to Jackie Heaven ward.

She closed her eyes and allowed her self to just dive into the sensation of loving bliss her partner was gently creating for her.

"I love you, Dakota." She said in breathy whisper that was almost inaudible.

Dakota smiled she heard her perfectly and replied, "I love you too, Jackie." She replied clearly as she moved down the beautiful body to the now exposed and aching breast. She lowered herself and lost her awareness delightfully in the distraction of her own creation…

*** *** *** *** ***

The next morning as Dakota carried a tray with breakfast from the restaurant back to the hotel she was stopped by a brave from her tribe. She smiled and greeted her old friend in his own language. He smiled back but he spoke to Dakota in English.

"You look well, Blackbird."

"So do you, Lonewolf. How's Father?"

"He is very well, Thank you. He sends you much love. You will be coming home as unusual during the quarter moon?"

Dakota nodded, "Yes, I want him to meet my beloved."

Lonewolf's face lit up, "You have finally found a mate? Is it a sqaw?"

Dakota lifted an eyebrow and her face broke into an amused smile, The tribe accepted her love of woman, but some of the braves felt a good man could change her mind. Lonewolf who always had a crush on her since they were kids knew better. He knew she wasn't going to change but he did harbor a tiny flame of hope, which she allowed and even sympathized with, "Yep."

"Is that for her?"

"Oh Shit, Its getting cold. I'll see you in a couple of weeks. old friend," She said as she turned to go into the hotel.

"Wait Blackbird, We need your help."

Dakota stopped and turned concern suddenly crossing her face, "What's wrong?"

"One of braves was out hunting and he got attacked by a bear. We need your healing skills.

Prancing Bird, actually asked that I seek you out."

Now both eyebrows rose into the brim of her black hat. This was shocking to the gambler.

The healer had always been jealous of Dakota's natural healing skills, "She did?"

Lonewolf nodded his head, "Yes, Please come Blackbird, we need you."

"Ok, Let me get this to my beloved and well come out to the village by noon."

Lonewolf smiled, "Thanks."

She nodded her head and rushed into the hotel. I wonder who captured the heart of that wild one?

Thought the brave as he shook his head and returned to the village to tell Dakota's father his child was returning home.

*** *** *** *** ***

The person in question was still fast asleep as Dakota hurried into their room. Dakota looked down at the sleeping girl and shook her head as placed the tray on a table by the bed That girl would sleep all day if I let her. She smiled and sat on the edge of the bed and tenderly stroked an exposed arm till sleepy green eyes fluttered open.

"Goodmorning Sunshine, "The gambler said smiling down into the beautiful expressive orbs.

"Hi," Jackie mumbled.

"Come on Sweetheart, Get up all the way. We have to eat and pack a few things we are going to visit some people today."

The younger woman's natural curiosity woke her the rest of the way, "Who?" She asked as she rubbed her eyes and then stretched.

"My family."

Jackie's face registered shock and then excitement, "I get to go too?"

Dakota laughed at the expression and then leaned in and kissed a pert little nose, "Yep."

"Wow! That's great."

Dakota smiled and winked, "Come on Little one, Eat and get dressed. I need to go and find the mayor to postpone the game for a week."

"Dakota, Why do you want me to go?"

Dakota stopped in her tracks, she was almost to the door but she was very surprised by the question. "Well several reasons. I want you to meet my family. I have to go help them and I may gone for several days and I don't want to leave you . And…I want you to meet my father."

Jackie was not out of the bed and engulfed the gambler in a bear hug, "Thank you!"

Dakota returned the hug but her expression was confused, "What for?"

"Wanting me to meet your family."

"Sweetheart you are my family." She pulled back and looked deeply into her eyes and then their lips met in passionate kiss. She then pulled back and smiled, chucking the younger woman under the chin.

"Besides I want my father to marry us."

"Can he do that?"

Dakota nodded and affectionately caressed Jackie's cheek, "He can do anything he wants he's the chief of the tribe."

*** *** *** *** ***

Meditation was gently trotting toward Dakota's tribe. Dakota was prepared to be greeted by braves that were guarding the outskirts of their village, But she wasn't prepared for who was leading them

She stopped her horse looked the leader right in the eye and with out any accent she spoke in his language,

"Greetings we come in friendship and offer our help."

The leader was a tall man who looked up at the gambler on her horse with no expression on his face, It was a mask of calmness. The man was much older then Jackie expected the head of the guards to be,"You are most welcome to enter our camp in friendship, Blackbird."Then the man's face broke into the most beautiful smile that Jackie had ever seen on a man.

In english Dakota replied, "Thanks Dad." Her expression had blossomed into a matching smile.

She turned to Jackie and said, "Dad, This is the love of my life, Jacqueline O'Brien. Love, This is my father, Wise Owl."

The tall man walked over and shook Jackie's extended hand, "Nice to meet you, Little one. When you're adopted into the tribe we will have to come up with an acceptable name for you. You and my daughter should put your heads together and think of one."

"Nice to meet you too, sir. Dakota… I mean Blackbird said that I would but I have no idea which animal represents me…"

"I have one or two ideas, "Said Dakota as she got off Meditation. Then she reached up and helped Jackie down smiling down at her as she set her gently on her feet.

"I just bet you do,"Replied Jackie with a huge grin as she looked up into sparkling blue eyes.

Dakota was so happy to be home and to be there with Jackie made her homecoming twice a sweet.

She winked at Jackie then put an arm around her shoulders and looped her other arm through her fathers as they headed toward the village. "So Dad," She said knowing that her horse would be taken care of by the braves, "What happened?" She asked as she watched Meditation being taken to the caral she knew she would check on her beloved horse after she and Jackie had settled into their tent.

"Luck Deer, was out hunting and he ran into a little trouble…"

"Dad, a bear isn't little."

"Daughter, Do you want to hear this or not?"He asked Dakota with a look that only a parent gave a child.

"Sorry, Go ahead," Dakota said looking sheepish.

Jackie marveled at the loving relationship between father and daughter. She wished she had a parent like Dakota's.

Wise Owl smiled and rubbed the back of his daughter neck affectionately, "Anyway, He was attacked. Pretty badly. He was bleeding several places and Prancing bird fixed all his wounds and cleaned the cuts but he is still not healing. He has a high fever and she has tried all her herbs to no avail. She finally admitted defeat to me and allowed me to send for you. You know that if you hadn't left you would have been our healer…"

"Dad, Don't go into that.'' Admonished his daughter.

He nodded, "Do you want see your patient or get settled?"

"I want to see my patient," Said Dakota firmly.

Wise Owl nodded and they headed for the healers tent.

*** *** *** *** ***

The three entered the healers tent and was greeted by a small woman with a very unwelcoming expression on her face.

"Prancing Bird," Dakota said quietly slightly nodding her head toward the smaller woman.

"Blackbird,"She replied doing the same.

Wise Owl shook his head paternally and said,"Play nice girls." He had a great deal of humor in his voice as he gave his daughter a wink.

Prancing bird bowed her head and said solemnly,"Of course, Sir."

Dakota lifted and eyebrow and answered in a highly amused voice, "Yea, of course, Sir."

Jackie watched it all from the doorway of the tent, She didn't want to get in anyone's way once they started to work on the patient.

Dakota winked at her beloved and then turned to the healer all business, "Ok, what's the situation?"

"His wounds are healing nicely but I can't get his fever to break. All of my healing herbs are failing at the task. Your father seems to think that your knowledge surpasses mine…"

"I didn't say that," Interrupted the older man from the door way beside Jackie. He smiled at the girl affectionately and winked. Jackie smiled back she relaxed in his presence he was so kind to her. They silently watched as the two healers bickered and examined the sleeping man on the pallet.

Dakota pulled back the blanked and began a careful examination of the small skinny man on the table before her. She gently felt his throat and swallowed there was a noticeable lump in it. She took a deep breath to steady her nerves she knew what she had to do, The man had a goiter and there was only one thing she knew of that would save this brave.

"Jackie, have father show you where you can wash the instruments in my medical bag."

Her father's eyes widened as he realized what his daughter intended but he nodded briskly and led

Jackie out of the tent.

"He has a growth in throat which must be removed surgically. It was a result of the wounds from the bear combined with his size and his own breathing at the time of the incident. We will open him up immediately if he is going to live…"

"No, You…"

Dakota grabbed the smaller woman by the shoulders and looked into angry brown eyes, "This isn't about us. Do you want to save his life?" The healer nodded briskly anger still flaring from her eyes.

"Then prepare yourself,"Dakota said as she released the healer and left the tent in an angry rage.

*** *** *** *** ***

Jackie was in Dakota's tent cleaning the instruments when the angry gambler stormed in.

"Have you finished?"She asked briskly.

Jackie nodded and handed the tray to the older woman. Dakota looked into eyes that were about to burst into tears and mentally kicked herself in the butt, "I'm sorry Love. I'm angry at Prancing bird not you. ..Come here."She held her arms and hugged the now crying smaller woman. Dakota stroked the soft blonde hair and kissed the top her loves head, "Forgive me?" She whispered.

"Of course, What are you going to do?"

Dakota pulled back slightly so she could look into red rimmed green eyes, "I need you to stay here, Love. I have to open the man up and you don't need to see that. Just stay here and unpack…"

"No, I want to help…"

"Jackie, It's not going to be pretty…"

"I don't care! I want to help." Jackie's eyes were now determined.

Dakota shook her head and smiled slightly, "You're something else."


*** *** *** *** ***

The operation was a success now they waited for the fever to break. Dakota had changed into the clothes she wore when she was home. She was dressed as a brave, which surprised Jackie, but she found the black buckskin very attractive on her beloved. For Jackie however Dakota provided a beautiful dress in white buckskin. When Jackie came out from the changing area Dakota relished the beauty she saw before her. She enveloped the smaller woman in a warm hug and said quietly in a small ear, "You look so beautiful."

Jackie blushed, as Dakota knew she would and replied, "You look pretty stunning yourself. Why are you called Blackbird? Why are you dressed as a brave?"

"When I was adopted into the tribe my father had to come up with an appropriate name for me," Dakota had taken Jackie's hand and led her to their bed. She sat them both down and took a brush from the nightstand and started to brush the beautiful blonde hair. "I was only six when my parents were killed by Raiders from the army who roared through our town they stole and killed as some kind of a kick. My father found me and loved me on sight. He adopted me as his daughter and heir, which was his right as the leader of our tribe. Apparently when I was a little one I loved to chase and play with blackbirds. Dad said I even wanted to bring them into our tent as a pet. He thought that since I had such a love for the beautiful birds it was an appropriate name. " She started to separate the blonde hair and braid it into a long pony tail down Jackie's back. "As for the clothes, When I was a teenager I achieved warrior status by my ability as a hunter and my abilities on the battlefield. Dad discovered I was very good at planning a counter attack."She said with a smile remembering her Dad's shock at how naturally she came up with sneaky effective plans for their warriors.

Jackie began to turn her head but Dakota stilled it as she continued to work on her beloved's hair.

"Why did you leave? I mean… They love you so."

Dakota smiled sadly and replied, "And I love them." She reached into a bag by the bed and pulled out a bunch of green ribbons and started to weave them though the pretty hair, "Did you ever hear of group of people called searchers?"

Jackie began to turn her head again but Dakota stilled it and cleared her throat. Jackie giggled and replied quietly, "No."

"They are a group of white men who feel it's their duty to quote unquote rescue every white child from the quote unquote savages. "Dakota's voice had a touch of anger though her hands were gentle as they continued to work on her loves hair. "Even if that child didn't need or want rescuing. When word came to them that I was with this tribe I was already eighteen and a full warrior. I fought beside my fellow warriors against them. Unfortunately one of their number was smart and they not only figured out I was white but a woman. They kept coming back and raiding my village to capture me and talk some sense into me. The idiots never thought I could have been raised by love, Taught not only customs of my people but the history and the heritage of the white man as well. My wise father taught me so much Jackie, I know three languages thanks to him, I was taught more by him then I ever would of learned in a white man's school." Dakota shook her head as she remembered the huge fight she had with her Dad, "Dad and I had a raging fight about me leaving home. I knew if I left on my own those men would stop attacking my people and no more braves would be injured in the name of rescuing me. I took my family name which Dad had found for me long before and I left to find my way in the world." She gently turned Jackie around put her a little ways from her so she could see the affect of her new look. "You look ravishing."

"Yes she does,"Said Wise Owl quietly from the doorway. Neither of the women had heard the older man enter. This surprised Dakota but she wasn't shocked she deeply trusted her father so he and Jackie were probably the only ones who could sneak up on her. "Have you told her the story of how you became the great white gambler yet?" He asked with an amused expression on his handsome face.

"Nope, I'm saving that for another time…"

"Awww…"Jackie moaned which cause the other occupants of the tent to laugh.

"It will have to wait little one, its time for dinner."

*** *** *** *** ***

After dinner they retired to Wise Owl's tent to relax. Jackie smiled at the older man and asked, "May I ask a question?"

Dakota laughed, "Don't worry Sweetheart, Dad loves questions."

"I had to Blackbird, You had so many of them," He replied laughing as well. "What's your question Little one?"

"Why does Dakota have a permanent tent here? I mean she only visits once a month it seems strange to me." Jackie eyes dropped to her hands in her lap she hoped she didn't say anything wrong. Two long fingers lifted her chin till she met affectionate blue eyes. Dakota smiled at her shy beloved, "Please don't ever fear asking a question, Jackie. I love you and I want you to know everything."

"The tent is my doing, Little one." Said Wise Owl smiling at the relationship his daughter had developed with this sweet girl. "One of the conditions of her leaving home was that she would have to visit once a month. I keep a tent for her visits because as tough and self sufficient as she is, She is still my little girl. I love her and I want to see her as often as I can."

Dakota eyes had tears in them as she met her fathers beautiful hazel eyes. "I love you too, Dad."

She moved over to her father embracing him and he returned it with equal force. Jackie had silent tears slide down her cheeks watching the affectionate display. Dakota noticed the tears and immediately embraced the smaller woman asking, "What's wrong?"

Between hiccups of emotion Jackie replied, "I wish I had a father who loved me like yours does…"

"You do now, Little one," Interrupted Wise Owl with a smile.

Dakota smiled and nodded; "When we're joined Dad becomes your father too. To me we are already joined so you are his daughter right now."

"Yes you are,"Said the chief as he hugged his two daughters. They pulled back and sat silently for a few minutes till Wise Owl asked Dakota, "Did you think of a name yet, Sweetheart?"

Dakota nodded, "Swallow, she's strong and beautiful and pure and she will always come home to me."

"Good Choice."

Jackie just hugged Dakota fiercely to herself."

*** *** *** *** ***

The joining ceremony took place the next evening. Blackbird left her tent dressed all in white buckskin. It was striking because Dakota never wore anything other then black she glowed in the beautiful white outfit.

The radiant bride was dressed in a soft white silk dress, her hair was in blue ribboned braids and she looked ravishing. The wedding parties eyes met in pleasure and approval and then they turned in unison toward Wise Owl. He was dressed as the chief of the tribe and looked quite regal. He smiled at his daughters as he got the wedding mug from one of his warriors. He began by holding up the mug with which he would officiate the ceremony so the whole village could see it. Then he held it out for the brave to pour wine in and held it out for Blackbird to sip. She took her sip and then smiled brilliantly at her father.

He winked at Dakota then turned to Jackie and held the wine mug for his other daughter to sip. She did so blushingly and smiled shyly at her new father. He smiled sweetly at his new daughter and her smile widened and her eyes shined brilliantly.

He then handed the mug to the warrior and took a blue silk cloth and handed one end toward to Dakota and said, "Here Blackbird." She nodded and took her end humbly. Then he gently held the other end to Jackie and said, "Here Swallow". She took the other end bowing her head and then looked over to

Dakota who smiled brilliantly at her new bride and led Jackie to her tent closing the flap. They were joined and the whole village broke out in celebration. A feast was furnished for all to partake some of which was left at Dakota's flap. The two occupants of the tent were a little too busy to worry about food, it remained untouched till late the next morning. Dakota opened the flap and picked up the tray and then closed it again. A sign of successful wedding night which no one in the village doubted.

*** *** *** *** ***

"This is plain kidnapping, Sheriff. Maybe she gave my little girl drugs? Now the she demon has disappeared with her victim."

Bill Hodges the town Sheriff had known Dakota since they were both kids. She was honest and kind as well as tough and he knew she would never hurt an innocent much less give her drugs. Bill also knew from seeing Jackie and Dakota together that the girl was with her willingly. In fact she looked devoted to the gambler from what he observed during their last encounter. Bill's eyes became slithers and his usual kindly expression became one of distaste.

"Joseph if you don't stop this insane vendetta I am going to haul you in for disturbing the peace."

"You wouldn't dare."

"Test me."

Joseph O'Brien was a coward. He backed off from the younger man. He was so full of anger he could only focus on one thing getting revenge on that injun. I'll get the County Sheriff then…"

"I already cabled him and told him the girl went willingly…"

"Why you…" His face red with rage he threw himself at the younger man. The Sheriff moved quickly and had the offensive man's hands behind his back, "Joseph, Stop being an idiot. Go home," Then

he shoved him towards the door.

"I'll go but not home. I'm going to get the county marshal." He said as left the office in a huff.

Bill knew where Dakota was, "I better warn her,"He said to himself as he barreled out of the door on his way to the indian village.

*** *** *** *** ***

Dakota and Jackie were asleep in their tent nestled against each other under a warm blanket.

Jackie woke up first, which was unusual, but the gambler had been taken yesterday afternoon by her fellow warriors for a bit of a celebration and she was a bit more deeply asleep then was her custom. When she returned from her evening of heavy drinking around midnight. It was a sleepy drunken brave who fell onto their bed and mumbled to Jackie, "I love you, my wife," as she drifted off into a deep, deep sleep.

Jackie smiled affectionately as she brushed the dark hair off the beautiful sleeping face beside her, eyelashes fluttered and red rimmed blue eyes looked up at her a bit sheepishly. Jackie kissed her forehead and asked very quietly, "Hangover, My Love?"

The eyes closed and there was a slight moan as she replied, "Yep."

Jackie gently tried to pull out of her mates arms as very strong arms wrapped around her waist keeping her in place beside the hurting woman."Where do you think your going, My wife?" She asked quietly her eyes still closed.

Jackie kissed the gamblers nose and replied, "To get some tea for my mate's headache."

The blue eyes opened again and Dakota smiled at her mate sweetly,"That is very kind of you but I'd much rather snuggle with you then have your warmth leave me. Even for medicinal purposes." Dakota rolled slightly so her body was on top of her mates. She smiled into the twinkling green eyes that met hers, the need to kiss this woman was far more compelling then pain in her head. Once their lips met and the kiss deepened it almost made the gambler forget her pain. She slowly moved her hands up the warm back of her wife's naked flesh pulling the beautiful woman even closer to her.

Just as they really began to enjoy themselves there was a coughing at the flap of their tent. Dakota glanced at the door and said tersely, "What?" in the language of the people as she continued to stroke her wife's belly while waiting for a reply.

"Its important, Blackbird."

Dakota knew it was her father she looked into Jackie's eyes that were full of compassion and she shrugged. Jackie smiled and reached down to retrieve the silk robe from the floor a wedding gift from her mate. Dakota was still dressed in her black buckskin that she had been wearing when she went out to celebrate with her friends. When Jackie was properly clothed she said," Sorry Father, Come in."

He came in and smiled at his two children. He looked at Dakota and with a huge grin said, "You have red eyes Blackbird."

Dakota rolled her eyes and said, "That's what's important, Dad?" She asked switching to english not a little annoyed at the interruption of her honeymoon.

"No Sweetheart," Replied her father also in English "The Sheriff from town is here. It seems Swallows father is causing trouble. He's going to get the marshal. He claims you drugged and kidnapped his daughter."

"What?" Said both women exactly at the same time.

The older man sadly nodded his head, He walked over to Jackie and stroked her hair looking into his new daughter's eyes, "You look far more coherent then your supposed kidnapper."

Jackie was very mad but she adored Wise Owl and to get a compliment from was big stuff.

She blushed prettily and with a twinkle in her pretty eyes said, "I am."

"Hey!" Said Dakota defiantly then she bent down and moaned in pain from the beating that had given her head. The other two occupants of the room looked sympathetically at the crouching woman.

"Let me fix that tea for you now, Love, It will help," Said Jackie as she crossed to the fire to make tea from the water bucket by the fire.

"Thanks Sweetheart. Dad, what did Bill say?"

"He is still here. Why don't you drink that and then come and talk to him. He's in my tent."

"Ok, That's a good idea. Thanks."

The older man nodded and left.

Jackie brought a steaming mug of tea to her mate. "What are we going to do, Dakota? Daddy isn't going to let this go."

Dakota accepted the tea and drank deeply from the mug. Then she looked up at the love of her life and sighed. "I know. He doesn't seem to understand what he is now up against. It's not just me anymore. Now it is all of my people. I am a warrior and you are my wife if he tries to start something he will start a war. We can't let that happen. I need to speak with Bill. I need to cut him off at the pass before he starts a war and causes blood shed."

Jackie swallowed and the tears fell unbidden from her eyes. Dakota put down the mug and embraced her wife, "Why are you crying?"

"It's my fault. He's my father…all these young warriors…they could get hurt….because of me…"

"No!" Dakota said a bit too loudly she closed her eyes and thought, I really need to get rid of this headache. "It is not you, it's him. And no one is going to get hurt because of your idiot father. I promise you Darling. I have a plan," She caressed Jackie's cheek and pulled back so she could see into the teary green eyes. "Now we both have red rimmed eyes to greet Bill with." She observed with a huge smile.

Jackie laughed just as Dakota wanted her to, "I love you Blackbird," She whispered quietly into the gambler's ear as she hugged her tightly.

"As I love you my little Swallow. Lets get my head straight so we can have a chat with Bill." She kissed her wife then sighed as a waive of nausea overwhelmed her.

"Come on Blackbird lay back and drink this so you can feel better," Said Jackie as she helped her love drink the tea making sure she drank each and every drop. Then she helped her lay back on the pillows of their bed. She followed her down and with their eyes almost hypnotically locked the gambler brought their lips together in a passionate kiss sinking into the healing sensation of their love.

*** *** *** *** ***

Bill was in Wise Owl's tent sipping his coffee having a friendly chat with the older man. Bill liked the wise old chief he was intelligent and kind with a great sense of fun. He was a great father to Dakota who was always wild. He remembered her playing with the braves and ignoring all the white kids with the rest of the tribe. They met in the general store she was a tall beautiful sixteen year old. She was a full warrior and dressed as brave. He was an apprentice to then the sheriff and a more shy and awkward boy never walked the earth. Bill smiled as he remembered the beautiful girl walking into the store full of confidence. Smiling and chatting with old Ben Carter the owner of store and buying supplies for the village. A few of the older boys from a ranch just outside of town came in and started making rude comments about Dakota. Bill watched the friendly blue eyes suddenly turn to ice and decided to jump in to stop her from getting into trouble. He shook his head remembering how those cowhands started beating the crap out of him right in the store. Suddenly they were all off him and flying out the door into a heap on the

ground outside. The beautiful girl held out her hand, "Thanks for coming to my rescue," She said in perfect english.

"Me coming to your rescue, Ma'am you came to mine."

Dakota shrugged and said, "Well you tried and that's all that counts. My name is Blackbird."

Bill smiled and said, "Bill Hodges, Nice to meet you Blackbird." They were friends from that day on. Bill knew that this man didn't know what he was up against, Dakota was a true leader and strategist that's why she was so good at her chosen profession.

Wise Owl broke into Bill's thoughts asking, "How long has Swallow's father lived here?"

Bill looked confused for a second, "Swallow?"

"That's my name here Mr. Hodges,." Said Jackie from the door. "We've lived her about 5 years since my Mom died of Typhoid."

Bill looked up and his eyes widened. They were both in their Indian clothes and Bill had never seen them look more stunning. Dakota in black buck skin looking dangerous and beautiful. Jackie was in her white buckskin dress with green ribbons laced through her hair looking sweet and angelic. It was an interesting contrast to her mate whose hair had a tiny braid through the front and the back wild and free befitting Dakota's personality perfectly.

"Wow, You both look beautiful."

Dakota laughed," Even our kidnapping victim? Please note how mistreated she is?"

Her voice ringing in sarcasm.

Bill laughed at his old friend, "I should be so mistreated. So old friend what are we going to do?"

He asked cocking his head to one side and looking at the tall imposing woman.

"Has he left to get the marshal yet?"

"No, He tried to get a posse from the saloon last night and the brothel. Everyone in town knows how he treated Jackie and so he is going alone today."

"Excellent, "Dakota said with a glow in her now pale blue eyes that gave him the shivers.

"I have plan, would you like to help old friend?"

Bill smiled and nodded.

"Great, would you mind dressing like a brave for it?"

"Are you kidding? I always wanted one of those snazzy buckskin outfits."

Wise Owl laughed, "Under every white man is a brave struggling to get out. Come along, William." And he led the younger man out to get him the appropriate garment.

"Do we have time for this?"

"Oh Yeah, He's part of my follow up flank. You and I are the first wave. Come on my love I will explain our plan of attack on the way," She said with a wicked smile as she led her mate out of her father's


*** *** *** *** ***

Joseph O'Brien started later then he wanted to go see the marshal. He was on his way now and more determined then ever to get his revenge on that woman.

Suddenly he heard an Indian war cry and what at first appeared to be a brave standing fearlessly in front of his galloping horse. With a single movement she used her whip to stop the horse by wrapping it around the rains that were in the older man's hand. He then saw that it was Dakota who dared stop his horse and sneered at her saying, "Well it about time you dressed the part, Injun."

Dakota laughed at the man then in a flash she unseated the older man and had him on the ground in a headlock. "Yeah, it is ain't it." She replied in her most steely voice. "So old man are you still determined to start a war?"

"What in Sam Hill are you talking about? What do you mean a war?" He asked as struggled to get out of the woman's firm grasp.

"I'm the adopted daughter of the chief of my tribe and the heir of that title. You start something with me you declare war on out whole tribe. Now old man do you want all that blood on your slimy hands?"

"All I want is my God Damned daughter back!!"


"Because she belongs to me not you…."

"You still don't get it do you, Daddy?" Jackie asked her father shaking her head. He turned to look at her and his mouth fell open. His daughter had never looked more beautiful. "Your dressed like one of them!"

"No Daddy I am one of them. The tribe has adopted me and if you start this war I will be on their side. You are under a false impression I do not belong to anyone but myself. You are my father and I guess a part of me will love the memory of how you were with me when my Mother was alive, but since her death you have treated me like a servant not a daughter. You have shown me no love. That is what I get from Dakota and her tribe. Her father treats me like a daughter he shows me love and he hardly knows me.

Dakota loves me, I know you don't Daddy. I think its time you let me go, I really don't think you want to start this war, do you?"She looked at her father sadly.

Dakota caught her eye and winked making the upset young woman smile slightly. Then she brought the old man on his feet and pointed him in the direction of hill beyond them."Look, Old man"She said pointing to the braves that gathered at the top of the hill.

Joseph O'Brien looked up and saw the hill filled with braves their focus was on him. He swallowed and looked at Dakota.

Dakota shrugged, "They are ready to go to battle against you. That's what your facing Mr. O'Brien and there are many more where that came from. Are you ready?" Dakota asked from behind him. She could feel Jackie stiffen. She turned and smiled at her mate and Jackie instantly relaxed and smiled back.

The old man could not take his eyes away from all the warriors. "I…Ok….Uh….Ok, Injun you win…"He twirled and said savagely to his daughter, " But you are no longer my daughter. I am not your father or even your kin. I disown you injun." He turned abruptly and walked to his horse, Then he looked at Dakota and asked, "I am free to leave?"

Dakota whistled and the braves left the hill, "Yes, but you listen old man, Your going to regret what you said to Jackie…"

"Are you threatening me?"

"Nope. I don't need to because it has nothing to do with me. You will know in your heart sooner or later that you just let go of the best thing you created on this planet. Jackie is the best part of you. I really do pity you, old man." She then walked over to her wife put an arm around her shoulder and escorted her back to the village.

Joseph O'Brien went back on his horse and headed back for the Motel T all alone. He was now all alone in the world and he knew he would regret that for the rest of his life…

*** *** *** *** ***

Jackie was with some of the squaws of the tribe trying to learn how to sew. She was really happy to be apart of the tribe but Dakota wanted more for her mate. She was in her father's tent watching him work on a pipe he was carving while she cleaned her guns. She sighed and her Father looked at her compassionately asking, "What's wrong, Blackbird?"

"Dad, do you… I mean…Can I…What I mean is…"

"Daughter you speak three languages do you think you could try and communicate with me in a clearer fashion?"

Dakota laughed lightly at her Dad. Then she sighed again and looked down at the gun she was cleaning, "Dad, Do you think its fair to have some one like Jackie tied to rudderless soul like me…"


"You know what I mean, Dad. I have no roots, no home, nothing to offer her. She deserves the best and I'm…"

"The best. Sweetheart, If your worried about offering Swallow a home," He raised his arms indicating the village, "You do have one."

Dakota nodded, "I know, I just would like to offer something from the white world too…"

"So you have a lot of white money, build your a mate a house."

Dakota's blue eyes grew bigger, "Dad, That's right! Your brilliant." She jumped up and

Threw her arms around her father kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you!"

"You're welcome,"He replied shaking his head. He was amused his daughter was brilliant, but sometimes the simplest solutions went right over her beautiful head.

*** *** *** *** ***

After dinner that night Dakota fidgeted while helping Jackie clean the dishes from

their shared meal.

"What's wrong? "Jackie asked after she wiped her hands on towel.

Dakota looked down at concerned green eyes that were oh so very close to her. "Jackie, I have an idea I want to discuss with you. I don't want you to say yes till you think about it though,ok?"

Jackie nodded and sat down on the bed looking deeply into Dakota's nervous blue eyes.

Dakota sat down next to Jackie taking her hand into her own. She gulped a couple of times and took a deep breath and then plunged in, "Would you like to homestead near town or stay here in the village?"

Jackie looked surprised she didn't expect it. She had an answer though because she had been thinking about where they would settle too. "I know what I want I just don't know if it's possible."

"What do you want?"Asked Dakota breathlessly.

I would like to homestead near the village not near town. I don't think it possible though because I think its all government land." She replied unsure her green eyes looking a bit bewildered. Jackie found herself engulfed into a big bear hug by her mate. "It's more than possible, consider it done. I own land right outside the village. Jackie I love you!" Tears where pouring down Dakota's face, "You are just too wonderful for words." Dakota was now stroking and caressing every part of her wife's flesh till Jackie was beyond responding. Lips met in a passionate kiss, Clothes were quickly discarded and soon the discussion was now on whole different level but the same message was put across, Love.

*** *** *** *** ***

Meditation was now entering Dakota's property. She was bare back and her riders were in buckskin. Jackie was in front of Dakota and the tall woman had her around her waist holding on tight.

Once they reached the property line Dakota whispered in Jackie's ear, "What do you think, love?"

It was beautiful green valley surrounded by trees with a lake in the middle. "I thought we could build the house right there, "Said Dakota pointing to a clearing just beyond the lake. "What do you think?"

"Its perfect, Its home."

Dakota gently kissed her neck and said contentedly, "Yes its home."

The End

To be continued...

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