Disclaimers: Mine, Mine, Mine, all Mine….and I don’t share…lol.
Language: Yes I use language…English American mostly…though I do toss in some Irish.
Hurt/Comfort: Well this is Cage so there’s always gonna be that…
Thanks to Cheyne and Montana for clearing the writer’s block…to Froglet for always being my friend. Janet and Joyce and Molly G for just being there, to MK who gets it when I’m writing, to my roomie Rita and the Rip man for understanding me.
Onward with the story.
Olivia shut the door on the car and walked to the trunk, waiting for Cage to hit the release button. After a moment she heard the click and pulled up on the car lid. As she tugged on one of the rucksacks Cage came around and yanked them both out. Olivia quietly shut the trunk of the car.
“You sure you want to do this?” she asked as she pulled up on the lip slightly just to make sure the trunk was shut tightly.
“Yep. I like camping.” Cage answered. “But you have to make breakfast.”
“Hope you like freeze dried food.” Olivia shot back nearly under her breathe.
“I like anything I don’t have to cook. I gave the rangers our plan for the trip, so we should be good.” Cage grinned as she shrugged the large pack onto her good shoulder. “You sure you don’t mind just camping and not going to see your medicine man?”
Olivia looked over at the woman she was coming to see as her own. She pulled the only slightly smaller bag onto her back. “I don’t mind. You say you’ve come to terms with what you do and don’t know, I have to trust that. If I see you sliding back, I’ll tell you.”
Cage eased her bad arm into the pack strap carefully. “That easy?”
“That easy.” Olivia smiled softly. “I told you, it’s that easy. If at any point I think this is not what it could or should be I’ll walk away.”
“You know you’re going to have to explain that to me sometime.” Cage looked down as she buckled the pack in place.
“I will.” Olivia’s voice held the sincere promise. “Let’s hike.”
“You got a map?”
Olivia laughed slightly. “Don’t need one, I’m a mixed nation woman.” She turned backward with a sly smile and started walking. “Don’t tell me the fearless black Irish warrior is acting like a cowering grandmother.”
“Nope, just wondering if I have to bring a gun.” Cage shot back as she made sure the car was locked.
“Are you serious?” Olivia lost her playful tone.
“No. I know I can’t bring a firearm in here, but I did get you to stop messing with me.” Cage flashed a triumphant grin.
“Not nice.” Olivia grumbled.
Cage chuckled. “Neither are you. It’s part of why I like you.” She started to walk to the trailhead.
Olivia decided that one-day she would get the last word with Cage Quinn, maybe not today but some day for sure. She followed with a small smile. If she listened to everyone then they would not be taking this camping trip, she was only listening to herself and to what she wanted. She wanted time alone with Cage without outside interference, without jobs or fears. She wanted to just talk with her as they had on board game nights, sharing what they felt like sharing.
“Come on Olivia, follow your woman.” She muttered out loud and propelled herself forward. “Wait up you meanie.” Cage’s evil laugh was her only answer as she raced to try and catch up but she did so gladly feeling like a teenager again. “I’m cooking, I can poison you.” She shouted as she rushed ahead.
Cage dropped an armload of firewood close to the fire but not too close. She settled down with her back to a huge log and relaxed. To her right sat Olivia sipping on a cup of hot cocoa. “You could share that you know.”
“And I would do that why?” Olivia teased.
“Because you say you love me.” Cage whispered slyly.
“Don’t love you that much.” Olivia cradled her tin cup tighter in her hands and pretended to inch away.
“Yeah but you owe me.”
Olivia turned her head while still protecting her cocoa. “How do you figure that?”
“Could have told me I was humping that air mattress and the freaking pump in my ruck.” Cage answered easily.
“Oh, yeah that.” Olivia grinned without guilt. “You’re the bad ass here, you get to carry the heavy stuff. Besides, you’ll thank me in the morning when your back isn’t screaming at you.”
Cage groaned dramatically. “Do you always have an answer for everything?”
“Probably.” Olivia was sounding smug. “I have four brothers.”
Cage laughed and settled in. “Yeah, how was that. I mean I only had Tommy.”
“It was painful and now that I think about it, very good for me.”
“How so?” Cage wondered out loud.
Olivia had to think about the answer for a long moment, sipping on her cocoa. Finally she settled the tin cup down. “They did not want a girl. They wanted another brother and boy were they surprised. So were my mother and father. So they didn’t know what to do with me.” She sighed. “I was this thing they had no idea what to do with. My family are warriors so to have a ‘weak’ girl was unexpected. By the time I was walking and talking I was living in two worlds.” Olivia shifted uncomfortably. “Pampered because I was the little girl, and beat up because I was chasing after my brothers and not wanting to be left behind.”
“Remind me to say sorry to Tommy. I used to kick his ass and try and ditch him all the time.”
“You are the older, and the family leader now if what I remember is true. That’s what the older siblings do.” Olivia reasoned.
“And when did your gift come into play?” Cage asked softly. She knew that the woman to her side was sensitive to her abilities.
“I think I was seven. I kept seeing and hearing things that weren’t there. My mother finally figured it out. Of course speaking to her in the old language might have been a clue.”
“The ‘old language’?” Cage asked as she slid closer to Olivia.
“Comanche. I didn’t really learn it until I was twelve.” Olivia had to admit.
“For a while I just wanted to be me. Not the little sister of the Shadow Wolf brothers, not the one who can hear the ancients, not a mixed nation girl.”
Cage wound her arm around the woman who was her world right now. “I do understand that. I didn’t want to be Sergeant Major Quinn’s daughter, didn’t want to be the new ‘heir’ to the Quinn clan, hell half the time I wonder if I ever wanted to be a soldier. Sometimes I think it was what was expected of me and I just caved. And I didn’t learn the Irish language until I was fifteen.” She admitted.
“We are a lot alike then.” Olivia sighed.
After a long time Cage leaned further back into the log. “Yes, I think we are.”
Olivia did not say anything; she simply leaned against Cage to feel the warm energy flowing from her body. It had been a very long time since she had felt this comfortable, this acceptance from anyone.
“So tell me,” Cage smiled into Olivia’s hair “why can you say you can just walk away if I’m gutter snipe.”
Olivia breathed in suddenly. She wished that this would not have come up so soon, but then a second later she knew and understood that she would have to be completely honest with the leader of the clan Quinn.
“You know what I do.”
“Yeah, not crazy about it.” Cage huffed and kicked a burning stick back into the fire pit.
“I was married once to a man.” Olivia admitted and held her breath.
Cage held her flash anger and decided to listen. “Tell me.” She nearly begged.
“I was young and rebelling, in college, away from home for the first time…” she faltered and took another deep breath. “I was stupid.”
“Yer not stupid, don’t ever say that.” Cage rasped even as she lapsed into her grandfather’s accent.
“Everything was fine until he started working and suddenly having a mixed nation wife wasn’t what he thought it could be I guess.” Olivia blinked back tears she thought she had banished long ago. “It started innocently enough I guess. A wrong word to his boss and he’d grit his teeth, then later it was yelling telling me I had to do better, be more ‘white’, and after that even if I was perfect it was his fists.” Olivia almost laughed. “He didn’t even have to have drinking as an excuse. Hell he was just mean.
“I wish I had known that early on. I never would have agreed to date him much less marry him.” Olivia sagged.
“Why did you?” Cage asked softly.
“He didn’t seem to see the ‘mixed nation’ girl. He acted like he just liked me.”
“Where is he now?” Cage asked as she still held Olivia.
“Last I heard he was in New Mexico managing his father’s ranch. Medium money I guess you could call them. Enough to get by not enough to get rich.” She sighed. “His father was a nice man and he seemed to like me, but Jason always could get around that. I didn’t even think about leaving until I found him in bed with another woman.”
“Can I ask or should we leave it off?” Cage asked.
“I promised you I would tell you.” Olivia whispered to the wind.
“You don’t have to. I think I can guess the rest.” Cage countered.
Olivia shook her head and sat up nearly proud. “I came back from the hospital, a Jason special night you know, and found him in bed with a neighbor. I walked into our bedroom and found him fucking her. He didn’t even have the decency to look half sorry. He looked at me and then at her and then laughed.”
“Why do you look so pleased?” Cage asked as her traitorous hand brushed along the back of Olivia’s neck.
“I had my brother with me. He half beat him to death. There were no police, nothing to stop me from leaving. Jason signed the papers without a word. Like I said, I was foolish. And I will never have that happen again. You lie, you cheat, and I am gone.” There was steel behind her words.
Cage lifted her arm from around Olivia and rolled over in front of her on her knees. “I am a Quinn, I am Clan Laird according to clan law, I really am honorable. By proclimation of the US Army I am an officer and a gentleman, I do not lie, cheat or steal and I am not going to give you a reason to be ‘gone’”.
Cage leaned in to seal her oath with a kiss. It was meant to reassure the woman in front of her and turned into something even more. She felt the responding lips, the body pressing a little closer than was smart. Olivia breathed into her mouth and she was lost. She kissed and turned her body to receive the gift that was offered. Cage pulled back with great effort.
“My good gods. You kiss like the devil himself.” She sighed. “You make me forget all that I don’t know.”
Olivia held on like a limpet. “I’m not sure where that came from.”
“Does it matter?” Cage asked and scooted back a few inches. “I’m not rejecting you, I’m just trying to behave.”
“Sounds like a good plan. I don’t usually throw myself at women.” Olivia whispered with a slow smile.
“I didn’t think you did.” Cage brushed aside a curl of hair that had fallen over Olivia’s eyes. “I am crazy about you, you should know that. I’ve never felt like this before.”
Olivia leaned her forehead against Cage’s. “I think that’s a good thing and I think I could get used to it.”
Cage leaned into Olivia and captured her lips again and again. “I’m getting very used to it now.”
“You do lie, cheat and steal.” Olivia reminded her companion when she could think again.
“Ok, when it’s not a matter of job description, I don’t do those things. What you see with me is what you get and who I am. I think. I’m brain damaged you know.” Cage smiled to take the sting out of her words.
Olivia tightened her hold on Cage. “And I love every single little damaged brain cell. Even if you aren’t Native American.” She breathed in the scent of cocoanut and lavender and sweat. “God, I need you.” She sighed in a low tone.
Cage kissed her again, lips playing against each other, her tongue teasing a path over teeth to touch and arouse. “I need you too and want you so damn much.” She admitted.
“But it’s too soon.” Olivia whispered as she laid her head on Cage’s shoulder. “I don’t want us to be all about sex.”
Cage groaned in frustration. “I have to admit part of me agrees.”
“And the other part?”
“Needs to take a dip in that really, really cold stream.” Cage half joked. She turned them so that her back was again to the log while keeping Olivia in her arms. “I know you’re right about this but it’s hard to reconcile that at this very moment.”
Olivia chuckled in agreement. “Believe me I do understand. It’s taking everything inside me to hold back and not drag you into the tent.”
“I didn’t need to hear that you know? It’s not helping.” Cage had to laugh even if it wasn’t completely funny.
“Yeah, didn’t help me to say it out loud either, but I want us to be honest with each other. I could very happily take you into that tent and yet in the morning we would both probably wonder if it was too much too soon. I don’t want any regrets with you Quinn.”
“I don’t want those either. So I’ll just sit here in agony and be damned happy for it.” Cage tightened her embrace to take any possible sting out of her words.
“You are a shit head sometimes Quinn.” Olivia laughed and snuggled in close to the woman.
“Yeah, well that’s what Tommy says. A lot actually.”
“Somehow that does not surprise me.” Olivia fell silent for a few minutes. “You’re not mad are you? That I want to take it slow, to wait?”
Cage gazed up at the night sky and thought about the question for a moment. “No. I’m not. I’ve had too many nights that were just about sex and release.” She brushed a kiss over Olivia’s head. “I told you, for so long it’s been about anything that kept me from feeling fear. I don’t feel fear with you Olivia Shadow Wolf. If anything, I feel safe. And admitting that scares the hell out of me.”
“Well, that’s an oxymoron. But I think I understand the sentiment.” Olivia answered quietly.
“You should know that I’m still insane and I’m still going to do my job until I can’t do it anymore.”
“You are a soldier, I know that and while I might not like it I accept it.”
“Just like that?”
“Are you sure you want to ask that question again?” Olivia asked as she turned her head to eye her tin of cocoa.
“I’m consistent?” Cage asked as she reached a hand over and barely grasped the cup. She finally curled her fingers around the handle and managed to get it to the woman in her arms. “That what you were looking for?”
“Yes, thank you.” Olivia sipped on her now lukewarm beverage. She leaned back. “You are an honorable woman and I know you honor your vows and oaths. I don’t have to like it. I’ll be here.”
Cage nodded. “I believe you. And I’m still crazy about you.” She smiled despite herself.
“That’s good to know.”
“Right now sitting here with you like this in front of the fire seems like heaven to me.” Cage said softly. “I’m not sure I’ve felt anything this good in a very long time.”
“Then we will stay here like this for as long as we can.” Olivia yawned and settled as deep into Cage’s form as she could.
“We should crawl into the tent at some point.” Cage pointed out with a yawn of her own.
“Just a little longer out here and then we can go in.” Olivia said softly.
“Okay.” Cage answered as her eyes drooped lower. “Just a little longer.”
The fire had burned down but the two sleeping figures didn’t notice. They were oblivious to the world. Ellen walked around the two with a tender smile. “I guess you two didn’t make it to the tent.” She chuckled and noticed that the temperature was beginning to drop. “You two almost make me wish I was still corporeal. And you’ll probably hate me for this but not nearly as much as you’d hate me if I left you like this. It’s going to get really bad soon, so please forgive me.”
She knelt down and blew on Cage’s ear. Cage didn’t move. Ellen wrinkled her brow and was about to try again when a hand closed over her own.
“I’ll make the coffee, don’t worry about the trash.” Olivia mumbled in her dream. “But you’re making breakfast.” There was a half smile on Olivia’s sleeping face.
Ellen took a chance leaning over to whisper in the woman’s ear. “Time to find your tent, weather’s turning bad. Wake up mixed nation woman.”
Olivia jerked awake and even in her slumbering state she could swear that someone had tugged on her ear. Looking around with squinted eyes she saw no one except the woman she was using as a mattress. But she knew someone had been there, she knew it deep in her bones. Then she looked up at the sky and nearly cursed. The clouds were thick and low to the ground with an ominous gray and black tint to them.
She shook Cage and nearly had her head taken off as a fist came in her direction only to have it stop of it’s own accord. In the time it took for her to close her eyes in anticipation of pain Cage stopped her trained nature and lowered her hand.
Olivia opened her eyes and shook her head. “Later. Storm’s coming in and it looks to be a bad one. We have to rescue the gear.”
Cage was alert instantly. “How long you think?”
“Not very. Get the stove and the white gas. If it’s lightening we can’t leave them out.”
“I’m on it. You get the food.” There was no take charge in Cage’s voice just pure worry.
“We have time.” Olivia assured the woman who was already in reaction mode. “Just get the white gas, we can give up the stove.”
“Not in this lifetime. I like stoves.” Cage mumbled as she propelled herself up and forward.
The low rumble of thunder made itself known a few seconds later.
“Okay maybe I thought we had plenty of time.” Olivia warned as she moved to gather their food stores that were hung high in the trees. She grunted as she worked with a too tight knot.
She didn’t watch as Cage separated the white gas from the camping stove and dragged them into the tent, the action filled her ears. Normally she would not have liked having white gas where she slept but she knew they didn’t have a choice. She was about to ask Cage to come help her when the knot finally gave way and their food slid slowly to the ground as she handled the rope.
A flash of lightening took her by surprise and she cringed for just a moment. After it was done she was up on her feet and pulling the rope free of the limbs. She knew how bad it could get up in the higher elevations. She wanted to save the rope just in case it flooded and they needed it.
A strong hand closed over hers and took the rope. She looked up and found Cage there, no sign of anger, nothing else other than concern. In that moment Olivia Shadow Wolf knew her life was forever twined with a black Irish woman.
“Get the food, I got this.” There was no arguing with the expression on Cage’s face. Thunder boomed again and she watched Cage’s lips count out numbers. When she reached three lighting struck close by. “Three miles. Get moving we don’t have much time.”
Olivia moved like her ass had been lit by her mother’s wooden spoon. She dragged the food bin for all she was worth even as the wind started to really kick up but she ignored the wind driven leaves and sticks that struck her back as she saved their food.
She knew that it would be needed even if they had to eat cold. She didn’t try to brush off the debris as she fell onto the air mattress.
Cage stuck her head into the tent seconds later. “What style tent is this?”
“The best money can buy.” Olivia answered.
“Did it come with a lightening rod?”
Olivia understood after a second. “Yes. Hang on.” She rolled over and rummaged around in one of the many side pockets until her hands found the sack she was looking for. She rolled over with it in her hands and literally tossed it to Cage. “That’s it.”
Cage untied the metal piece and dropped the cloth on the ground. “If this doesn’t work, tell my family I love ‘em.”
“Trust me.” Cage disappeared from view and Olivia could only hope, pray and fear.
Another roll of thunder and a lightening strike later Cage propelled herself into the tent and stripped off her soaked sweatshirt. She looked up at Olivia.
“It’s raining.” She laughed as she fell onto air mattress.
“You really are insane.” Olivia muttered after a moment. “Totally freaking, fucking insane.” She rummaged in her bag and found a dry sweatshirt and threw it at Cage. “Put that on. Otherwise you’ll get something I know I can’t cure.”
Cage took the shirt and tugged it over her body. “I told you that. You should have listened to me.”
Olivia tried to stop her shaking hands. “I heard you, I just didn’t think you were serious.”
Cage took Olivia’s hands in her own to steady them. “I am insane but I know my limits. We needed the rod on the tent to keep us safe. I can count seconds between thunder and lightening. It had to be done and I’ll not risk you ever. You are too important to me.” Cage’s eyes were intense in flashing concern.
“I’d rather you didn’t risk your life for any reason.” Olivia’s voice trembled as she reached out to trace the scar around Cage’s eye.
“It’s who I am Olivia Shadow Wolf.” Cage answered as she closed her eyes. “I cannot change who I am as much as I’d like to.”
Instead of answering with words Olivia surged up and pressed her lips to Cage’s. Then she pressed her body closer. “I don’t have to like it.” She murmured.
“Nope, you can hate it all you want.” Cage answered just before she kissed back and wrapped her arms around Olivia, dragging her down to the air mattress. She looked up at her. “Tell me to stop and I will.” Her eyes were bright with desire and adrenalin and want.
“Don’t stop and I won’t regret this later.” Olivia swore with all that was inside her body and spirit. A moment later she stripped off her sweatshirt to bear her upper body to the woman she loved.
“Oh goddess.” Cage breathed out slowly. “You are so damn beautiful.” Her hands moved with a certain reverence as she tentatively roamed. “Are you sure?” she rasped.
“More than sure.” Olivia breathed out and pressed herself into Cage.
“What happened to slow?” Cage had to ask.
Olivia took in a breath. “Forget slow. I nearly lost you out there. I know what I want. I want you.”
Cage did not answer with words instead she answered with her mouth and the touches that followed. They were the things that brought Olivia to satisfaction slowly and with as much of her desire and feelings as she could show physically.
And later in the sound of the rain Olivia brought her to satisfaction as well. It was nearly a force of nature that she felt, poised over Olivia, grinding against her, sweating, staring into her eyes when the moment of no return hit.
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