Disclaimers: Oh yeah these again…ummm mine?
Thanks: Y’all know who you are. Thanks. Really. There are times I know I’m insane and y’all keep my feet grounded and help me keep my focus.
If you think I’m good or I royally bite let me know at email@example.com flamers will be sacrificed to the Celt gods for shits and giggles, they like it really, the offering I mean...I’m good little Celt what can I say.
Please forgive the delay but Texas/OU weekend wore my wee little arse out and the hotel has been busy since then.
Cage woke slowly to the sound of rain still pelting against the roof of the tent. For a long moment she didn’t know where she was or why. Slowly the recollection came back to her and she smiled a rare soft smile. She moved with stealth as she turned her head to take in the sight of a naked natural tanned back spooned against the length of her front and the long dark hair that fanned in broken lines along it.
A thin thread of some Celt oriented song she knew she should recall but could not popped into her mind, as so many things she could not remember. She eased an arm cautiously around Olivia’s body and snuggled close. This was what her grand father had always said was the best part of his day. She closed her eyes and could almost hear his words. When I wake and I’m scared or unsure, just my arm around her makes it all fine; t’ere is nothing t‘at fash with t’at. Cage blinked her eyes and finally knew he was right. It was nearly painful and she had to blink several times.
She clung just a bit tighter to the mixed nation woman in her arms and felt the comfort of her warmth. She basked in it for long moments just breathing.
“For having such a wonderful night, you are way too tense.” Olivia mumbled in her now half awake state.
“You make me remember.” Cage deflected with a whisper of breath against Olivia’s neck.
“Forget to remember woman. It wakes me up and I’m not a morning person.” She grumbled back and pushed her body closer to Cage’s.
Cage chuckled and kissed the smooth expanse of neck after sweeping away a length of hair. “Go back to sleep.” She whispered.
“Hmm, sleep, ravish you, sleep, ravish you…choices, choices.”
“Now I know what it means, baile.” Cage sighed softly.
“What does that mean?” Olivia yawned.
“Really?” Olivia was not nearly as sarcastic as she could have been without coffee.
“It means home.” Cage answered in a flat tone.
“Home huh?” Olivia burrowed closer if it were possible. “Sounds good to me.” She closed her eyes. “Am I home to you?”
“Do you doubt that after last night?” Cage answered with her ears tuned into the storm.
“Home can be many things, many places. Are you ready to have them be one and the same?”
“If you had asked me that two maybe three years ago I would have laughed. Today, I know my home, where it is and who she is. She is a mixed nation woman I have no business talking to, much less making love with half the night.”
Olivia rolled over with great effort. “About that.” She fully opened her eyes and traced the tips of her fingers along Cage’s face. “You owe me breakfast. I’m not that kind of woman you know,” she lifted up to kiss Cage softly and then pulled back. “I don’t give it up and then you can kick me out. You’re heating up the water for instant oatmeal at the very least.”
Cage let go of the breath she wasn’t sure she was holding. “I did tell you I can’t cook right?”
“Boiling isn’t cooking Cage.” Olivia reminded her.
“Yeah in your book.” The solider muttered under her breath.
In the next moment Olivia again stole her breath with a kiss. A kiss that was returned with full enthusiasm. They pressed into each other as the sleeping bag fell away to their hips. Hands touched skin and skin scorched senses. Finally they pulled away.
“So,” Cage breathed “no regrets.”
“Not a damned one.” Olivia answered. “Except…”
Cage was suddenly worried. “Except?”
“It took so long.”
Cage smiled slowly as she lowered her face. “I was playing hard to get? Hmm, I was trying to be a gentleman, so to speak?” She lifted away from Olivia just before their lips touched. “I know, I was running scared and didn’t want you to see that you touched something inside me.”
Olivia chuckled. “Choice d. You knew you’d never win an argument with me and you wanted to run.”
“Oh yeah that was it.” Cage murmured then kissed Olivia again. A slow soft kiss that displayed muted passion but respect at the same time. “You know, I used to be one of those on the outside looking in.” she sighed. “I’m not outside anymore because of you.”
Olivia stroked Cage’s face gently. “Tell me what you mean?”
“We were always moving ‘cause of Da and the army. I never fit in anywhere. We’d get settled and then we’d be gone again.” She sighed. “Not that it was a bad life. We had mom and granda and gremam, but we were always outside you know? And then I joined the army and everyone knew that I was Special Forces Sergeant Major retired Quinn’s daughter. Like I never earned what I earned. I never used my Da’s name to make my life easy, I fought against it.”
“Like I fought against being the little sister of the Shadow Wolf brothers.” Olivia said while she nodded. “I understand.”
“Do you? Because I was and still am set in paving my own name and way, it put me on the outside.”
“Yes I understand it.” Olivia said simply. “You are not a shadow of who have gone before but you have been carved by who and what has gone before.” She took a breath. “My great, great grandfather rode against Custer, my family has always borne boys and then I came along and I had this gift.” She sighed and lay back looking at the ceiling of the tent. “Then I commit a stupid marriage, get divorced and then figure out I’m a lesbian. Talk about outside looking in.”
Cage nearly laughed. “I thought my life sucked.” There was a small smile on her face. “I think I can do one better than your instant oatmeal.”
Olivia looked over. “How’s that?”
“Instant army food. Did I mention heat tabs?” Cage crawled out from under the warmth and rummaged through one of the bags. “One of the perks of having a father who was Special Forces. They get all the perks and the better food. How does a western omelet sound?”
“It sounds better than instant oatmeal even if it is raisin and cinnamon.” Olivia smiled in a way that melted Cage every time. She didn’t show it often. It was the smile that let Cage know that the native woman’s full attention was all on her and nothing else mattered.
Cage leaned over and licked her way softly over an exposed collarbone. “Mmm…nice and tasty.
Olivia smacked her away playfully. “Feed me woman. Then we can play more.”
“Mmm, feed you, ravish you, feed you…”
Olivia tugged at Cage’s hair, pulling her up slowly. “Feed me.”
Cage did not pull away from her; instead she intensified the kisses until they were breathless. “Feed you what?”
“Omelet.” Olivia laughed and pulled away and then pulled on a thick pair of sweats.
“Good idea.” Cage muttered in the confines of the tent. “I’ll feed you then I’ll feast on you.”
“You sure you can take me?” Olivia challenged with a half grin.
“Take you? Only if you let me always if you give me a chance.”
The look on Olivia’s face was classic. It was a combination of honesty and indignation as she tried to come up with a reply.
Cage almost laughed. “I was right you are baile. And that gives me hope and faith.” Her face was animated but her words were low and sincere.
Olivia settled her knees on the sleeping bag and brushed Cage’s a little too long hair away from her forehead. “I love you and if that’s how I make you feel then it’s a good thing.” She settled a gentle kiss on Cage’s forehead. “Now feed me, I’m hungry.”
Cage quickly dressed and ‘prepared’ breakfast going so far as to open Olivia’s feast first and handing it to her before she worked on her own. She watched in fascination as Olivia dug into her food. From the happy sounds the woman was making she guessed the prepackaged meal met with approval.
Once the initial edge of hunger was sated they sat across from each other talking of nothing and everything, the conversation interrupted only by bites of food. It was easy and comforting. It was something that Cage rarely experienced. She was still used to stilted conversations revolving around missions or secrets.
Taking out the trash consisted of tossing the packages in the food bin secured in a large zip lock baggie. Then with shy looks they cleaned up with water from one of the water canteens as the rain still pelted the tent with a muted steady sound.
Finally clean Olivia pulled a well-worn book from her backpack and settled in to read for a little bit.
Cage merely zipped open the front of the tent and stared out into the soaked wilderness and just stared. They spent the better part of an hour this way until Cage tired of staring turned her head.
“What are you reading?”
“It’s book about my people.” Olivia answered simply. “The Cherokee.” She clarified. At Cage’s confused expression she continued. “My father is Cherokee. My mother is the force of nature.” She offered a shy smile.
Cage zipped up the tent and plopped herself next to Olivia. “So tell me about him.”
Olivia smiled. “He’s a gentle man. He makes flutes and sells them as his living. I guess you could say he’s an artist. When I was little he didn’t quite to know what to do with me, but Mom says that he always wanted to carry me in his arms. And when I would get beat up by my brothers he did not scold them or warn me off. He let me take my lumps. I remember one time when I was crying on the porch because I got a little banged up playing with my brothers and their friends, he took me in his arms and told me that if I wanted to keep playing with them I would have to find the strength to be better than a girl.”
“What did he mean by that?” Cage wondered out loud.
“He meant that if I was going to continue being a pest to my brothers then I would have to live in two worlds. I would have to learn to live in my brother’s world and a girl’s world. It was a good lesson to learn.” Olivia explained. After a moment of thought she looked at Cage. “Will you continue the self defense lessons for me and the girls?” She knew that it was a guilt point for the soldier.
Cage nodded. “I’ll continue, only this time, I’m teaching the stuff I’m not supposed to teach.” There was a certain determination in Cage’s voice that almost scared Olivia.
“It’s all right. I’m not going to leave you or them without the knowledge you might need. I’ll take my ‘lumps’ if I have to.”
“No.” Olivia sat up. “You will not teach us something you’re not supposed too.”
“You won’t win this one Shadow Wolf. I will not have you or them in danger again. I will teach you how to do more than just disable and run.” Cage muttered and turned her eyes away.
Olivia tugged Cage’s face to her again. She searched those eyes carefully. “You can’t do anything that will get you into trouble. Not for me and not for the girls. They wouldn’t want that and neither would I. I don’t want to lose you now that I’ve found you. Promise me.”
“I can’t.” Cage closed her eyes. “I’ve failed so many times. I won’t fail you or them again.”
“If you can’t promise me that then you’ve already failed and we have no us.” Olivia muttered and pulled away to unzip the tent and stalked out into the rain. The steady down pour soaked her instantly.
Cage followed immediately and followed even as she listened to Olivia’s harsh words. “You don’t understand.” She offered into the wind.
“What don’t I understand?” Olivia shouted as she turned fast to face the woman she loved.
“You could die if I don’t teach you these things.”
“And you could go to prison if you do. Do you think that’s what I want? To maybe visit you once or twice a month and not be able to touch you?”
Cage had no answer so she let her head hang. “I don’t know what else to do.”
“You only have to do what you have been doing. Teach us to defend ourselves. Nothing more. It worked for Lindy and Jane. You gave Lindy the knowledge and the confidence to fight back. Don’t forget that.” Olivia demanded with hard eyes.
Cage looked back with equally hard eyes. “And she’s still in the hospital with brain injuries. I know what that’s like. She might not remember anything; she might not even be able to breathe on her own. Because I’m not ‘supposed’ to teach the good stuff.”
“She could have run. But she chose to protect Jane. It’s on her soul not yours. Don’t take what isn’t yours damn it.”
“She’s my responsibility.” Cage rasped in pain.
“And she’s mine too. But she wouldn’t want you to do this. You know I’m telling you the truth. You just have to accept it.”
“Not sure I can. I’m used to being in charge.”
“Get used to not being in charge.” Olivia pointed to the sky. “Father of the skies is angry and sad so the rain falls in hard sheets, but Mother Earth takes his wrath and absorbs it, letting his wrath feed all of her children. Yes she suffers some of his anger as a few of her little ones take the brunt. But Mother Earth knows she is in charge. She might act meek but she gives life even if Father of the skies is selfish and does not give rain, or thunders down to bring natural fire.” Olivia took a breath. “You are like Father of the sky. All anger and bluster.”
“Is that so bad?” Cage nearly shouted.
“Tempered? No. Without control yes.” Olivia reached out her hand and touched Cage’s face. “With control you could save everyone, without control you will only be scorched by your own fire.” She closed the distance between them and kissed Cage’s lips. “I don’t want you burned.”
Cage wrapped her arms around Olivia. “And I don’t want you dead.” She managed to rasp. “I will not lose you.” She echoed Olivia’s words.
“Then we are at an impasse.”
“Give me another option.” Cage nearly begged.
Olivia thought for a few moments. She lifted her head. “You can teach us more offensive moves and in return for not teaching the girls how to kill I will give in and let you teach me how to shoot.”
Cage let out a heavy breath. “Done.” She managed. Low thunder rumbled in the background. “We’re standing in the rain.”
“Yes we are.” Olivia reached up and kissed her lover gently. “Do you mind?”
“Never.” She wrapped her arms securely around Olivia and pulled her off her feet. Her lips found a matching pair. One hand sneaked under the front of a soaked sweatshirt to find the warm swell of a breast.
“Please. Harder.” She nearly begged.
Cage gave in to the plea and settled her hand with a firm grip. “Like that? Is this what you want?” She rasped into Olivia’s ear.
“Quit teasing me. Yes, just like that.” Was the answered whimper.
Cage pinched a tight hard nipple just under the point of pain. “You react to my touch so nicely.” She did it again when Olivia closed her eyes in pleasure. “But you want more don’t you?” she asked the rhetorical question then let her hand slide lower quickly. “Open up for me. I want to be inside you.”
Olivia did as she was asked spreading her legs wider leaning into Cage. When two fingers entered her she sighed. For a moment she remembered that she was supposed to be angry but the pleasure that was given stole that thought away. She felt fingers slide out and then back in with a little more force. Yes, this is what she wanted. She was filled again and again in the driving rain until she leaned her head back a screamed her pleasure.
Cage held her in shaking arms until Olivia came back around to the land of the living. “God, woman. You are so beautiful when you come.” She whispered with reverence.
“You made that happen.” Olivia challenged. “Tent now. It’s my turn to make you as beautiful.”
“Lead the way.” Cage whispered.
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