Dakota 3 - Settling Down

by Ri

Disclaimers: This is part 3 in my Dakota series, The girls really wanted to come out and play again and of course who am I to deny them anything. Again it would be best if you read parts 1 and 2 to understand who the girls are and the time they live. This is of course my tale born out of my overactive imagination though there is a flavor of favorite our girls it is my belief that Dakota and Jackie are completely there own individuals so don't swipe them. There is a same sex relationship and a little violence I personally don't think its offensive but if you do read some nice general stuff. Enjoy the story J


The poker game was in its 6th hour and all of the other occupants of the saloon had left since it was now 1am. Dakota's eyes flicked to beautiful blonde curled up in a chair fast asleep. I need to get her to bed she looks so uncomfortable that I'm uncomfortable, Thought the gambler to herself. She looked at the others around the table with cool blue eyes and said out loud, "I'll call you on that, Bill, "Dakota said with a slight smirk as she confidently pushed 500.00 worth of a chips in the pot. The four men looked at the gambler in astonishment and threw their cards down in disgust.

She smiled sweetly and pulled her winning to her. Bill shook his head and laughed out right. Between chuckles he asked his old friend, "You did that on purpose didn't you?"


The mayor was an old friend of the gamblers too but he felt frustrated by her actions, He grunted and asked, "Why Dakota?"

Dakota sighed and looked at him sympathetically replying quietly, "Jack, I have responsibilities now. And the most important one is sleeping uncomfortably in that chair. I had end the game so I could take care of her, so I did."

With one exception all the men knew and loved both Jackie and Dakota so they understood her needs. The only one who grew angry was the towns new barber Tom Carrie, "That ain't no reason to outbid us out of a God damn game, Woman!"

Bill looked at the outraged man and said, "Tom calm down Dakota was very fair she didn't go over our limit…"

"No she went to the God damn limit!" He stood up making his chair tumble back as he left the saloon in a huff.

The commotion woke Jackie up who walked over to Dakota and asked softly, "What happened?"

Jonas Wilkins the town black smith smiled at his pretty friend and replied, "It seems our new town barber doesn't like to be out thought by a woman."

"Then why on Earth did he play her?" She asked reasonably as gently stroked her wife's tense shoulder, bringing a smile to a face that was glowering a second before. Dakota looked into hypnotic sea green eyes and caressed her loves cheek as she replied, "Because the man's an idiot."

She gathered her money from the Mayor and said to her wife, "Come on Hon, Lets get some sleep," She put her arm around Jackie's shoulders and led her toward their hotel.

Bill's smile broadened as he watched his friends and he shook his head in wonder, "Now ain't that a pretty sight? "

Jonas nodded his head with a matching smile, "Who would of ever thought it possible? The gambler in love."

Bill looked at the tall man and winked, "Me, I would. Thank God for Jackie," He replied and reached for his coat. "Come on I'll buy you some orange juice at the Tavern."

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

Gentle fingers were combing out the gamblers long black hair as she felt the tension of the last hour drain from her she also felt a heat rise within her body. She gently caught the arm that was combing her hair and brought the little body she loved into her lap. She cradled her love in her arms and looked deeply into sparkling eyes, "I love you so much Jackie. Sometimes I simply can't believe that you feel the same way. I am such a flawed person, I…" A tiny hand interrupted the passionate speech as it covered the gamblers mouth.

"Stop that please, I love you too and I hate it when you say stuff like that. You are the kindest, smartest, bravest human being on Earth and I'm the lucky one."

Dakota playfully nipped the fingers still covering her mouth and gently began to suck on each finger till Jackie's eyes closed and she nestled deeper into the taller woman's embrace. Dakota smiled and bent her head to kiss her love gently on the lips. The green eyes opened and she brought her arms around the dark woman's neck to bring her down for a deeper kiss. Little hands began to pull the gamblers shirt from the waist of her pants as larger hands untied the pretty blue dress that Jackie had worn that night.

The vest now lay on the floor as the little hands moved to the front of the stiff black shirt undoing each button with nimble little fingers pulling the black shirt off to reveal a black sleeveless undershirt.

The ties were now undone on the beautiful dress and Jackie could feel the gentle pull to remove the garment from her shoulders and down her arms. They both pulled back from the kiss, breathing deeply as they quickly removed the rest of the garments till their bodies were as exposed as their hearts had been all the time.

"You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen except in the dreams I had of you every night, but your real and your mine, "Whispered Dakota as she brought her love as close to her as possible relishing the feel of skin against skin.

"I think you're the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am so blessed that you are all mine, " She replied as she gently began to kiss the neck beside her tenderly.

Dakota chuckled as she felt the nips and kisses along her neck and whispered huskily, "I know for sure that love is blind."

At this point Jackie was enjoying her current occupation far too much to respond to that, but she would later, much later…

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

Dakota woke up with a comfortable weight of her beloved on her chest with a beautifully peaceful expression on her face. She smiled happily, as she smelled the delicious scent of her wife. She was so happy that she just didn't know what to do with herself. She was consumed by the love she felt for her soul mate. She gently began to stroke the beautiful blonde hair as she thought happily about their new home that she was building near the village.

She sighed because she was going over the top with it, She knew that her dad thought it was ridiculously big for just two people, But this was just so important to her, to them. This had to be perfect it was their dream house. When Jackie looked at the plans that Dakota laid out in front of her, the beautiful green eyes widened, "Sweetheart, Its beautiful, but isn't a bit big?"

"Yep, It's my dream house and I really wanted to give you something special…"

"Thank you, "She hugged Dakota to her fiercely, "But you know I really don't need…"

"I really just needed to give you something special, Sweetheart…"

"You already did, I have the most special gift of all, You!"

"Oh God, "She kissed Jackie deeply and said into her ear as she pulled back slightly, "No, you're the one that's special…"

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

"What are you thinking of?" Jackie asked quietly with her eyes still closed.

Dakota smiled and kissed her on the crown of her head," How did you know I that I was thinking?"

"I could feel all your thoughts chasing into my sleep and it made me curious," She said as green eyes fluttered open.

"They did, did they?" She asked as she kissed those luscious lips, deepening the kiss till the smaller woman was completely on top of her.

Jackie pulled back when she needed to fill her lungs and kissed the pretty nose beneath her, "Yep."

Dakota lips gently moved down Jackie's cheek to her ear nibbling gently on the lobe she said," It was about our house."

As Dakota continued down to her neck Jackie stretched it so she had more access, "Oh, any problems?" She mumbled.

Dakota was now on her way down to a waiting breast and gave a beautiful nipple a lick, "Nope, none…" She then began to suck gently and slowly with more and more passion till Jackie forgot about the house or anything but the delicious sensation zinging through her body. Well go back to the house later…

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

They were eating breakfast when Jackie brought up the subject of their house again, "Are there problems?"

Dakota was brewing their coffee and looked at her distracted, "With what, Love?"

"The house."

Dakota smiled and shook her head, "Oh…No, I was…I was just thinking about how big it is and the way you and Dad reacted to its size. You are happy with it, aren't you? "She asked her love shyly.

"Of course I am," Replied Jackie sweetly as she hugged and kissed the gambler with all her heart.

They sat down to eat after enjoying a satisfying morning kiss ,"You know I do understand about how you feel about our dream house, I'm so proud of you for what you've achieved I really am. I'm proud of anything you do. You don't need to do anything to show me that you love me though, You do know that by now? Don't you?" Jackie's voice got higher and squeakier the more emotion she had pouring out of her mouth. She wanted Dakota to know she didn't need anything but her love but didn't know quite how to say that.

Dakota looked up from her meal recognizing that her love was upset, "Of course I know that..I..I just want you to be happy," Said Dakota as she swept Jackie into her arms enveloping her into a loving embrace and stroking her beautiful hair.

Tears started to flow from the green eyes as Jackie nuzzled her beloved's neck, She whispered, "But I'm already happy."

Dakota suddenly began to tickle Jackie till she began to wiggle and bob and then she hugged her close again, "Now you sound happy."

Jackie rolled her eyes and looked deeply into loving blue ones, "Like I said I am…"The rest of the response was muffled by Dakota's soft lips that were kissing her deeply almost wiping out any hurt that Jackie had from their conversation. Dakota lifted her bride during their kiss and headed back to bed when there was a knock at the door.

Dakota pulled gently out of the kiss and rolled her eyes at the beauty cradled in her arms as she yelled, "What," toward the door.

"Its Lonewolf, Blackbird, "Said her old friend quietly.

Dakota gently put her wife back on her own feet and said, "Wait a minute you big oaf," Then Dakota grabbed Jackie's silk robe that she had just removed from her wife's body and gently held it up so she could slip it back on. When Jackie was fully clothed she said, "Ok, Come in."

Lonewolf came in and smiled at his old friend she was dressed in her black town clothes. Then he looked at the lovely blonde in blue silk and lifted an eyebrow toward his old friend.

Dakota smiled and said, "Lonewolf, This is my wife Swallow, Darling this is my old friend Lonewolf."

Jackie put her hand out and said quietly, "Its nice to finally meet you."

Shaking hands with the small woman Lonewolf replied, "Its an honor to meet you. I'm sorry that I missed your wedding I had some trading I had to do with a tribe outside of Los Angeles."

"Its ok," Replied Dakota with a wink, "It was important trading. Dad told me you were making a deal for some of our over crops for their horses. Was there any trouble?"

"Nope, It was smooth as silk. "He replied glancing at Jackie's robe, He winked at her making her blush then continued as Dakota rolled her eyes and put a comforting arm around her wife's shoulder, "We will get our horses next week. I hear that you two are building a house, Do I get to see it…"

"When it's done…"

"Hey, Why then I'd like to add my two cents…"

"That's exactly why you can't see it till then. It's our house. Even Dad only gets to see the finished product," Dakota brought both arms around her wife and drew her as close as possible in gesture of deep love and protectiveness. She wasn't at all worried about Lonewolf, she truly trusted her old friend, She just wanted to show him that Jackie was now her whole world and she knew that he would understand the gesture. Jackie rested her head on strong shoulder and enjoyed the display understanding what her mate was doing.

So did Lonewolf, He was a bit jealous, not of Jackie or there obvious bond but he wanted that for himself and he couldn't get the woman he loved to even notice him. He decided he needed help and he knew Blackbird would be honest with him, "Um… Blackbird, would you like to go hunting with me today?"

Both Dakota's eyebrows lifted, she knew this meant her friend needed to talk and by his expression it was very serious. She looked from Lonewolf's troubled expression to her wife for approval, She stroked her arm and waited patiently, Jackie looked into the questioning blue eyes and smiled sweetly. Dakota breathed a sigh of relief that she didn't even realize she was holding and squeezed Jackie closer. "Sure, we're leaving in about an hour, how about two p.m. at that village?"

"That would be great, thanks," He said with a big smile and a nod of thanks to Jackie and he was gone.

"Thank you, Love, "Said Dakota gratefully.

"It was no problem, I understand. He needs you."

"Damn, you're smart, I love you so, Sweetheart."

"I love you too," She mumbled as she was swept back up into strong arms knowing the hour would not be wasted.

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

The two braves tracked quietly through the forest they were silent as they carefully kept a visual on they're preys movements. One touched the other hunter gently on the shoulder and two arrows swiftly left bows each making a clean kill on two startled deer. Both braves knelt by their prey each saying a silent prayer of thanks for the food that the brave animals just supplied the village with and their great sacrifice toward that effort. They then busily began to ready each of the deer for the long trek back to the village one brave looked at the other with startling blue eyes and asked in the language of their people, "So?"

Lonewolf looked at Blackbird and smiled sheepishly, "I need some advice from you old friend." The tall brave just looked at her friend patiently waiting. Lonewolf shook his head and asked quietly, "You're not going to make this easy for me are you?"

"I don't know what it all about so how can I make it hard?"

Lonewolf silently watched as his friend tied the deer and readied it to be lifted onto her shoulders for the trek back to the village."I…I care for someone. I have for a long time but she barely acknowledges my existence."

Dakota stopped her work and stood up, "Who?"

Lonewolf worked busily on his kill and replied quietly, "Prancing bird."

"What?" Said Dakota quietly her voice full of disbelieve.

Lonewolf still diligently working on tying his prey said, "You heard me," He had still had not met her startled blue eyes.

Dakota swallowed and bent down to pick up her prey and waited for Lonewolf to do the same. Of all the woman in the village why did my best friend choose my worst enemy to fall in love with? As she watched him stand up and head back to the village with out waiting for her to join him. Dakota quietly asked from behind him, "What did you want to ask me?"

"How did you win Swallow's heart? How did you achieve getting such a good woman to love you as much as she obviously does? Your Father told me how wonderful and intelligent she is and I know we are a lot alike in our attitude and charms…Um …maybe you would help me? How did you do it?" Was the stuttering confused response.

Dakota smiled sweetly and replied very softly her face was glowing as she spoke of her love, "Swallow is very different from Prancing Bird. I don't think it will be the same for you…I ….Uh…dreamed of her all my life. I was just kind to her, protected her….I loved her….I didn't do anything special."

Lonewolf turned and smiled at his old friend, "I think that sounds pretty special, Blackbird."

Dakota actually felt herself blush and she shrugged, this time she lead the way to the village not waiting for her friend. Then she stopped and waited smiling at her friend as they continued side by side. "I loved her all my life, Lonewolf. I dreamt of her before I met her and all I wanted was to kiss her in my dreams to take her in my arms and hold her forever. We were platonically sleeping in my big bed at the hotel in town, and in my sleep…I….um…I finally got my wish and I kissed her. When I woke up during the kiss I realized she was kissing me back. We never stopped loving each other from that moment on." Explained Dakota simply looking at the ground as she walked.

"That will never happen with Prancing Bird."


"So what do I do?"

"I think we should talk to the smartest man I know, my Dad."

Lonewolf nodded and they silently walked the rest of the way back to the village.

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

Wiseowl was carving a something in his tent when he heard the knock on the flap of his tent, "Yes?" He asked in the language of his people.

"Its me, Dad and Lonewolf," Replied Dakota in English.

"Come on in, Sweetheart," Said Wiseowl as he swiftly hid his daughter's and her bride's housewarming gift under pillow near his arm.

The two braves entered the chief's tent, Lonewolf smiled and slightly bowed his head. Dakota casually walked her Dad and gave him a hug and kiss, which was returned with equal affection.

"And where is my other Daughter?"

Dakota sat beside him and blushed, "She is in our tent perfecting the art of her newly learned skill of sewing. She used to darn socks but now she has to learn to make her own clothes and she is enjoying it greatly. About now I think she is probably going to start our dinner."

Wiseowl nodded and gestured for Lonewolf to sit down."You've had no time to change yet, Blackbird?" He asked noticing his daughter was still in her town clothes.

Dakota rolled her eyes at her father, "I…Um…well we were delayed leaving town and I promised Lonewolf that I'd go hunting with him at a specific time. So I had no time to change when I got to the village," She replied blushing a rather charming but deep shade of red. She remembered the reason for her delay was that their lovemaking had gone way beyond what they planned and they barely made it to the village before two.

Wiseowl was bursting inside to laugh but he replied in a calm voice, "I see."

Dakota studied her own hands thoroughly as Wiseowl and Lonewolf's eyes met across the room the older man winking at the younger man causing Lonewolf to cover his mouth to keep from laughing out loud. "Busy little brave, aren't you Sweetheart," Teased Wiseowl knowing full well that only he and Jackie could get away with teasing his lethal daughter.

"Dad," Said Dakota now fully embarrassed. She reminded him of the teenager that she once was as her big blue eyes came up, She boldly looked both men in the eye and shook her head, "Get on with it all ready Lonewolf, Damn it!" She said her eyes flashing annoyance at his friends amused look and her Dad's teasing.

Lone wolf suddenly lost his smile as he was forcibly reminded of why they were in Wiseowls tent. "I need advise, Sir."

Wiseowl bowed his head, he had a twinkle in his eye as he sagely asked, "In what capacity?"

"I need advise on…well I need some help on how to….What I really want to know is…"

"He needs advise on love," Said Dakota quietly putting a comforting hand on her friend's shoulder. Lonewolf smiled gratefully at her and then looked at Wiseowl, "I'm in love with a squaw and she doesn't know I exist. Dakota thought you might be able to advise me sir."

Wise owl looked at his daughter and said, "You are much more experienced at this then I am, Blackbird."

"Um, Dad the Squaw and I have a sort of a history…"

"You didn't?"

"No! Not that sort of history. We really don't like each other…much."

Wise owl looked confused, Everyone loved Blackbird. Everyone but…His eyes widened and met his daughters in astonishment. "You don't mean?" When his daughter slowly nodded her eyes met her fathers with matching expressions of shock and concern, Wise owl then turned toward Lonewolf and asked very quietly," Prancing Bird?"

Lonewolf nodded his head.

"Well that is an interesting problem but I think I have a better idea then my advice. Blackbird go get your wife."


"I think only a squaw could figure out a solution to this dilemma. A squaw that has been around our woman for a while and is trusted by them. Also a squaw that we can trust with this information. That's Swallow."

Dakota nodded and left the tent.

Lonewolf looked even more uncomfortable then he did before, "Would you like a drink?"

The younger man nodded and they sat in silence while they waited for Dakota and Jackie to return.

Jackie was briefed on all that happened on the way to Wiseowl's tent and was now seated between her wife and her adopted father. "Um, Lonewolf I think the best thing to do is show an interest in her work. help her as much as you can. Say that you have an interest in the healing arts it will give you a chance to be around her more and for her to get to know you in safe environment. It will show her what a good kind and caring person you are. I can't guarantee it will work though. It really depends on how she feels about you."

"I don't think she cares anything about me, Swallow. I'm just another brave…"

Dakota shook her head, "No your not, You are a very special guy. You just need to show her. I think Swallow is right, Dad would be difficult to set up an apprenticeship for Lonewolf?"

"No," Said the older man with a grin, "If he wishes it, It is done."

Dakota lifted an eyebrow and asked, "Don't you need to consult with Prancing Bird?"

Wiseowl smiled sweetly at his daughter and heir, "No Sweetheart. One thing you need to learn is that an advantage of being chief is that I order and the tribe follows. You'll need to remember that when you become chief."

"Not for many, many years, Dad," Replied Dakota with a lot of determination. Jackie and Lonewolf nodded their heads in agreement. Wiseowl looked at the love and respect he inspired and shook his head in wonder. "Well make a note of it Blackbird because some day you will be their leader."

Dakota nodded her head and bent it. She couldn't stand to think about the day she would assume the roll of chief. It would mean her father was dead and she didn't want that to happen. She loved him so.

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

Jackie and Dakota were alone in their tent in the village. Dakota was carving some tongs for the fireplace of their new home. Jackie was showing off her newly acquired sewing skill by making the curtains for their new bedroom.

"Dakota?" Asked Jackie as busily worked on the curtains.

"Mmmm?" Dakota muttered as she concentrated on the wood she was working.

"Do you think Prancing Bird cares for Lonewolf?"

Dakota looked up at her wife and shook her head, "I'm the wrong person to ask, Sweetheart. You know the woman despises me."

"Are you upset that your dearest friend loves someone who dislikes you?"

Dakota gently put down the tong and the knife and gave her wife her full attention, "No I guess I'm more astonished that he loves her. We always had very similar tastes in…well everything. I fell in love with you and your completely different from Prancing Bird in almost everyway. She is cold and distant and you're sweet and open. In fact you're so friendly I worry that people will take advantage of you. Not very many people like her and with in the first 24 hours of your moving here everyone was head over heals in love with you," Dakota had to laugh at the deep red blush covering her beloved's face. She got up and sat beside her on the bed and put her arms around her embracing her till there wasn't any space between their bodies. "You are my angel. I just can't see anyone as I do you. I love you so completely there is no competition on this earth, "Then she bent her head till their lips met in a passionate kiss.

Jackie returned the kiss with equal love and passion, then she nuzzled her head against her partner's shoulder. "Everyone has different tastes, My Love. Maybe Lonewolf sees something wonderful in Prancing Bird that no one else does?"

Dakota nodded her head and smiled meeting the beautiful emerald eyes that looked up at her so earnestly, "Yea, I guess." She suddenly had her mind on other things and decided to concentrate on a more easily accessible mystery.

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

Prancing Bird gracefully accepted Lonewolf's apprenticeship and the two did become inseparable. However Lonewolf was frustrated because the woman seemed to go out of her way to talk of nothing other then healing and Lonewolf was running out of ideas to bring up for discussion. She was just too good at avoiding them.

Dakota was returning to the village after a day of working on their house, when she heard her name called from behind. She turned to see Lonewolf heading her way as she settled her horse Meditation in her stall. She smiled at her friend as she turned to head toward her beloved, she had a lot to tell her about how their new place is shaping up. She finished almost the whole exterior and wanted to consult Jackie about all the interior rooms. She was stopped by Lonewolf, "May I have a word with you and Swallow?"

"Sure, Come on that's where I was heading, "She said as she lead her friend to their tent. Then she stopped and called inside, "Sweetheart, Are you descent? Lonewolf is with me."

"I'm decent and clothed, Come on in Darling," She replied with a smirk on her face.

Dakota had a matching expression as she entered her tent and kissed her wife and the rubbed noses with the her impertinent wife."Cute, really cute."


"Hmmm"muttered Lonewolf.

"Ooops, Sorry, "Said Dakota with a sweet smile and nudge toward her beloved. "What Up?"

"She won't talk about anything other then healing. I am so frustrated. She is very kind toward me and gentle, but she shows no affection. Am I making an idiot of myself?"

"No," Replied Jackie, "Maybe she is unsure of how to do that. I mean all she knows is healing. She has no friends really and no knowledge of how to display affection…Hey wait a minute? I think I have an idea." She looked at her wife and then at Lonewolf again, "It's sneaky, underhanded and dishonest but it might work."

"I'll do it," Replied Lonewolf desperately.

Dakota smirked, "You are promoting deception to a woman?"

"Not deception…well not really. It will only work if Prancing Bird really loves him, so it is basically legitimate."

"What do you want me to do?" Asked Lonewolf willing to try anything at this point.

"Well you'd have to take that herb that is very strong that Dakota told me about…"

Dakota's eyes widened, "Your kidding?"

"You said if given by an expert it was harmless and you're an expert…"

"Yes but…"

"Just do it, Damn it, "Said Lonewolf beyond anxious now.

The other two occupants of the room looked at him astonished, Their eyes met and a silent communication went between the spouses, "Ok, Lets get started," Said Dakota in serious but quiet voice.

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

Two braves rushed Lonewolf into the healing tent under Dakota's instruction, "Prancing Bird?" She called anxiously.

Prancing Bird was ready to be annoyed at the invasion of her territory by Dakota till her eyes fell on the wounded brave. "What happened?" She asked anxiously.

"I don't know exactly, we separated while we were out hunting. I think he must have eaten one of the poisonous berries. He needs some serum of the dicato branch."

"Yes…um…its over there…" Said a suddenly nervous healer.

Dakota's eyebrows raised as she went to get the serum. With out the healer seeing it Dakota switched the flasks so the healer would give the antidote to the herb she had given her friend earlier. She handed the brew to the healer who tenderly attended the man on the stretcher. Dakota smiled inwardly and thought, Looks like my beloved did it again. Jackie's plan is working like a dream. Out loud she said, "Now all we can do is wait, " She took the flask from a distracted Prancing Bird and put the serum on the shelf and the antidote in her pouch. She then nodded toward the healer and left the tent.

Prancing Bird was keeping a constant vigil over Lonewolf. She would not allow any of her assistants near him. She was constantly hovering over the fevered brave and silently sending prayers to the Gods. Slowly confused brown eyes opened and what the man saw filled his heart with hope. Concerned and tear-filled warm brown eyes met his, he smiled shyly and asked, "What happened," In a horse voice he barely recognized as his own, even though he already knew the answer.

Consumed with relief and an emotion she didn't recognize she found she had to swallow a couple of times to talk over the lump of emotion in her throat. "Um… You were out hunting with Blackbird and you got separated. She said she found you unconscience and brought you right here. She thinks you ate poisonous berries."

Lonewolf nodded and said, "Yes, I was very hungry for some reason. I thought they were safe, you know blackberries. I guess I was wrong," He said smiling sheepishly.

Prancing Bird smiled sweetly and Lonewolf fell even more in love with her seeing how beautiful she became when she smiled. The smile really transformed her face. She bent forward and gently brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes as she replied quietly, "Well we all make mistakes."

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

Dakota and Jackie were eating dinner with Wiseowl in his tent. The Chief turned toward Jackie and asked, "Has my beloved child told you how she became the great white gambler yet?"

"Dad," Dakota protested gently throwing a small piece of bread at her father.

He smiled at her and shook his head saying, "Now I know I taught you better table manners then that."

Dakota rolled her eyes and looked at her beloved. Jackie was smiling with her head to one side slightly waiting for her wife to begin the tale. Dakota rolled her shoulders and took a sip of beer, "Oh ok, After I left home I was with Bill in the town saloon watching a game. I had started wearing the clothes that I wear in town and because I was so tall and such a good fighter the idiots stopped trying to throw me out of the saloon. I became excepted as one of the boys," Dakota rolled her eyes again and Jackie and her Dad laughed at the thought of any one thinking of her as a male. "Anyway, Bill and I were drinking a beer and watching a game and I was fascinated. I always played games well here in the village and I was a very quick study. I also learned how to gamble and be very strategic about it, I also found that I was intoxicated by the game. It enticed me, I watched them like a sponge for about an hour, and when one of the players had to leave the table I asked the Mayor, our newly elected Mayor if I could play. I showed him my money that I had earned hauling things for my friend that owned the general store. Their eyes all glowed with greed and since I was girl they thought I was an easy mark…"

"They were wrong weren't they?" Asked Jackie her voice full of pride.

Dakota winked and smiled affectionately at her wife,"Yes my love, very wrong. I had them wiped out by the end of the game. They were all playing stupid by doubling their bets figuring I had to lose sooner or later. I didn't. Then I took half my winnings and put it in the bank and then used the other half as a stake in another game. I just kept it up and the same savings plan, I started to make more and more money, I used it to follow the circuit, then I began to win tournaments and well…um…you know….I…."

"You became the best gambler in the whole world," Said Jackie with such a loving look on her face that the gambler went over to her wife and embraced her kissing her deeply. Then she looked deeply into her eyes and continued, "Not the world, Sweetheart just this side of the Mississippi. And there are many men who would dispute that belief me…"

"Because you're a woman?"

Yes, my love and because I'm so young. And because I was raised here and because they think they are the best. There is a lot of ego in gambling…"

"No really?" Asked Jackie with fake innocence.

"Come here my love, " Said Dakota as she began to tickle her wife into submission.

Wise owl just sat in his seat and quietly ate his dinner. He had a smile on his face as he watched his kids playing with each other. Suddenly there was a knock on the flap of his tent and he said, "Yes," in the language of his people.

"Its Lonewolf sir, May I come in?"

"Yes, come in." Said the chief as he took his pipe out and began to set it up to smoke it.

Dakota had Jackie on her father's bed with her hands above her head and she was tickling her till she called uncle. When Lonewolf came in she looked up and then she went down to kiss the luscious lips of her wife. It was a sweet and gentle kiss not passionate since they were on public display at the moment. She then sat up and pulled her wife in her lap putting her arms lovingly around her wife's waist and putting her head on her wife's shoulder with a cocky smirk on her face as she looked at Lonewolf who was seated next to Wiseowl.

"You get interesting entertainment, Wiseowl." Said Lonewolf to the chief with a smirk.

"Yes, my girls are quite amusing aren't they?"

"Dad," Said Dakota with the look that everyone knew so well from the gambler. The effect wasn't too strong since the one giving the look just had a lovesick look on her face seconds before.

Jackie just looked embarrassed and hid her face in her wife's shoulder. The chief smiled and went to his daughter and lifted her head up till he met her eyes and said, "No need to be embarrassed I love seeing my girls having fun." And he gave his shy daughter a kiss on the cheek.

Dakota's arms tightened around her wife and she whispered in her ear, "Not as much fun as we will have later."

Jackie turned around surprised and Dakota smiled kissing her on her nose. "That's enough my playful pups I am sure that Lone wolf has come here on an errand."

"Well…I yes….Um…..thank you….I, uh…."

Jackie and Dakota looked at each other and said "Congratulations!" at the same time then they burst into giggles. Wise owl looked confused, "What are you congratulating him for?"

"Prancing Bird and Lonewolf are betrothed." Said Dakota calmly to her Dad.

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

Dakota gently brushed her wife's hair but her mind was on her friend's engagement. She just couldn't get her mind around it. Worst enemy is a bit much, She thought to herself reflectively; It's more like she is the most annoying woman I know. I find she has no imagination and I don't find her attractive. She is a very good healer, she's very skillful but she has no imagination or independent thought outside the norm. As long as they are happy together that's what counts, it not whether she is my favorite it rather that she is the woman of my best friends dreams, God I hope that's what she is.

"Dakota,"Jackie said trying to turn her head, Dakota gently stopped her with a smile and asked, "What is it, love?"

"What's wrong?"

"Why would you think that anything is wrong?"

"Dakota." Dakota couldn't see her wife's eyes but she was pretty sure that she rolled them.

"Well, I was thinking about Lonewolf's announcement…I wonder if I will lose a friend."

"Why would you?"

"Sweetheart, You know Prancing Bird despises me."

"No, I don't…"

"Oh Jackie, Come on the woman can't stand the sight of me…"

"I really don't think so. I do think she is very jealous of you but I can't see why anyone would want to hate you."

Dakota turned Jackie around and said gently to her wife's face, "Jacqueline O ' Brien Nozama, You know there are a lot of people who hate me…"

"Dakota Nozama, No I don't" They were now nose to nose and they both started to giggle. They then began laughing and hugging each other in pure mirth. Dakota shook her head and licked her wife on the nose, who said, "Yuck" and gently hit Dakota on the arm.

"I have the silliest argument with you. Now my love you know I am not liked by several people. I'm a woman, a gambler, a warrior who was raised by Indians, it's just not a way to win popularity contest in this territory."

Jackie leaned in and rubbed noses with her beautiful wife as she said," Most people both here and in town are fascinated by you. Of course I am a bit biased I think you're perfect and adorable what this will do to your ego I shudder to think."

Dakota gently pushed Jackie forward till she was lying back on the pillow and brought their lips together for a deep passionate kiss. When she pulled away for a breath she whispered in her loves ear, "My number one fan. You are so adorable. How on Earth did I get so lucky?"

"I'm the lucky one."

Dakota pulled back so she could look deeply into sparkling emerald eyes, "God, I love you so much."

"I love you too," As she pulled the tall woman down for another kiss. Her quick little hands started to untie the buckskin that Dakota had on as, Long elegant finger deftly removed the buckskin dress from the body below her. All thoughts of anything other then each other was forgotten for the moment.

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

Dakota was walking to the coral to get Meditation she wanted to see what progress the painter had made on their house.


Dakota turned at her name and saw it was Prancing Bird heading toward her she took a deep breath and carefully placed her poker face on for the confrontation. "Yes?"

"I….I want to …um apologize." She said sheepishly.

Dakota was stunned, "What?"

"Yes, I am very sorry I have treated you this way all these years and I wanted to apologize," She said putting her hand out in a gesture of good will.

As gingerly as she could the gambler shook hands with the small healer. "Um Why?" She asked after letting go and stepping back slightly.

"Why what?"

"Why all of the sudden? I mean this has been going on since we were kids." Asked sincerely confused Dakota.

Prancing Bird lowered her head ashamed, "I know. But I am to marry your best friend and I need to become at least tolerable to you and your wife. I thought since I started it I should end it."

Both eyebrows shot up into Dakota's dark bangs, She swallowed and said, "Wow…I….Wow, yes, that would be good…I…Uh, my wife definitely would like to…"

Prancing Bird smiled and Dakota eyes widened she looked human, "Good, then truce?'" Prancing Bird asked meekly.


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

After Dakota returned from the homestead she excitedly told Jackie all about it, The tall dark woman was very happy with the latest development and that made Jackie happy. She was a little afraid there might be some problems between the friends because of Prancing Bird's jealously. But some how it all worked out. She hugged her beloved she was so happy to see her relaxed and pleased again.

Dakota pulled back smiling she said, "I am ahead of schedule on out house we will probably be able to move in soon, maybe a couple of weeks at the most. Sometimes life can be very good, lets celebrate, shall we," and at her wife's nod she carried her to their bed to celebrate their new life in the most special way she knew.

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

Dakota and Jackie took Wise owl on a tour of the house. Dakota proudly showed her Dad every nook and cranny and breathlessly turned around and asked him, "So?"

"Its beautiful, Sweetheart."

Dakota's face broke out in the most beautiful smile and she threw her arms around her father and hugged and kissed him, "Thanks Dad!"

Then he was pulled into a hug by Jackie who said sweetly, "Yea, Thanks Dad!"

"Your both welcome, "He said smiling and pulled a present out of his pouch and handed it to Dakota, "For your new home."

Dakota went to a counter to unwrap it with Jackie looking over shoulder, with an excited expression on her face. Once unwrapped it was revealed that it was wooden plaque in a style of cartoushe in the style of their tribe. In the center was an owl on the right side was a large black bird and on the left side was a swallow, The bottom was full of corn, The corn was prosperity that the owl was wishing to his heir the blackbird and her mate the swallow. Tears were falling from both women as they both hugged their father and kissed him, "I love you both and I'm so proud of you. Please have happiness in this home that will last forever."

The End

To be continued...

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