Sinagua Skies, part 4

I’m sorry about being so slow, but my Muse is dead. Every word is a struggle right now. I type a paragraph or two and can’t write any further because anxiety hits me.

Parren looked in wonder at the vast ocean before her. As far as she could see was water, rolling and crashing in thunderous waves on the shore. Never had she imagined such a view. Birds screeched above her, angry at their intrusion. Jopa stood next to her, equally enraptured by the ocean. Their mentors smiled indulgently, secretly just as thrilled at the view as they were, even after all these years.

Hanpa patted them on the shoulders and urged them to travel up the coast towards the Shalopa villages. A startled sand creature scuttled across their path, making Parren squeal in surprise.

“It’s harmless young Parren. There’s no creatures to fear on the land here, but be careful in the water,” he advised. Like most of their village, they never learned to swim. The only water in their territory was brooks and streams, certainly nothing deep enough to swim in.

The elderly Trader took off most of his protect clothing as he walked, enjoying the cool breeze coming across the Great Ocean. He took in a deep breath and smiled, eager to reach the Shalopas. Perhaps, if the fates were kind, the woman he sought would still be unwed. If so, he planned on arranging for her to join them and become his second wife to warm his later years.

Mid-morning, their group spotted the first village in the distance. They had hopes of visiting all three of the communities along the coast. As they drew closer, an eerie horn bellowed, echoing against the cliffs and announcing their arrival. The deep tone of the horn would carry for miles. The villages had long ago developed a language with the instruments. The long steady tone merely announced visitors that posed no immediate threat.

Had the guard issued a warning, the men fishing at sea would have paddled furiously to return home. As it was, the village was mostly occupied by women, children, and the elderly. The children hung back shyly as the adults watched their approach. Several of the elders recognized the experienced Traders and shouted greetings. The other people of the community relaxed and began pouring out to welcome the Sinagua Traders.

Surrounded by excited people, the Traders attempted to greet one and all. One child, a boy of about fours seasons old, reached up to Parren, wanting to be lifted up. Accustomed to youngsters, the young woman lifted him up and grinned as she tickled his plump tummy. Jopa, on the other hand, managed to find himself taken by each arm by husband-eager girls. He winked at Parren and walked off with his new friends. The Emissary chuckled, well aware of her friend’s good looks and winning ways. Their competitive relationship was good-natured, neither actually jealous of the other’s successes. Parren had to admit that had she been born differently, she would have been attracted to the warm-hearted young man.

An idea tickled the back of her mind. One that surprised her. Perhaps, since they were good friends, he’d consider being a co-mate with her with another woman or two. He’d be a good father and she’d happily help support his children as her own. She wondered why she hadn’t thought of it before. Having settled it in her mind, she shelved the idea until later. She greeted several pretty girls herself, getting a feel for the possibilities.

It was just after sunset and Parren was pleasantly settled against the plump breasts of a young woman. The quiet feast for the Traders had trickled down and most were wandering off to their homes. Parren half listened to snapping fire and drifted between sleep and dreams as the steady rise and fall of the woman’s chest  left her perfectly content to stay exactly where she was after drinking their strong brewed beer.

The woman smiled indulgently and allowed the young trader to remain. She snagged a woven cloth and pulled it over them to ward off the cool breeze and closed her own eyes.

Several hours before sunrise, the woman became aware of something, perhaps a dream, tickling at her consciousness. She didn’t want to awaken. Her body felt languid and heavy as she became aware of ever so slight sensations along her skin. Humming in her sleep, she enjoyed the warm touches along her body. She felt a warm palm travel the length of her, from shoulder to knee, its heat welcoming on her skin. Shifting a bit in her sleep, she felt engulfed by warmth as the hand began exploring her back and buttocks.

Now half awake, she snuggled closer as a soft voice asked her a question. Not yet awake, she made a sound and snuggled yet closer. The warm puffs of a chuckle heated her temple. Burying her face deeper into her pillow, she found a half-erect nipple against her lips. Feeling the prick of awareness tap her further awake, she brushed the skin with her lips and felt it rise up. Still feeling a bit lazy, she took it softly into her mouth and worried it gently. A hum of pleasure came from the Trader and her hands began moving faster against her skin.

Tauss didn’t need to be told her actions were welcomed. She shifted until she could prop herself up onto one arm and took control of the dark nipple, pulling it deeper into her mouth. Parren said something in her own dialect but it didn’t sound like a plea to stop. The villager rasped the skin of small breast with her teeth until Parren gasped loudly and grabbed her hair between strong fingers, holding her tightly against her.

Pleased, Tauss tugged on the stiff peak with her lips until it escaped with a snap and rushed to claim the neglected breast. Both women were breathing heavily as their excitement grew. The villager no longer felt the chill of the night air, only the need to take possession of the tall stranger until she begged for mercy.

Her mouth continued the torment on her breast, leaving several bruises on the tanned flesh as her fingers slid along her belly and found the treasure below. She slipped her finger between damp thighs and found what she sought, the eager nub that stood stiffly and wet. Grinning against Parren’s breast, she began teasing the node softly, causing the Trader to jump with each flick. Her hips rose, silently begging for more pressure.

Feeling devilish, she began tickling the spot quickly, causing Parren to breath fitfully as her hips and thighs shook. Somehow, Parren managed to remember to speak Shapolan and begged for release.

“Spread your legs more dear traveler,” Tauss commanded, and pleased when Parren’s strong thighs parted. Her slick fingers found her entrance and gathered in a point before slipping partially inside. There, she stopped and watched the Emissary’s face. Parren struggled but her need was too much. She begged Tauss to take her.

Watching her face carefully, the villager plunged her fingers into her roughly. Seeing no pain on her lover’s features, she withdrew them slowly and repeated her movements, entering slow at first then thrusting inside. Her rhythm kept Parren on the edge, never allowing her to find her release. After several moments of the torment, Parren lowered her own hand between her thighs and found the relief she wanted, crying out as her body spasmed. As she recovered, Tauss chuckled and tweaked Parren’s hard nipples.

“I thought Emissaries had infinite patience,” she teased.

Parren rolled her eyes. “I have yet to undergo the final ceremony. But even then, I doubt I’ll have the patience to withstand your torture.” Parren suddenly rose and pinned Tauss to the blanket. “But for now,” her deep voice whispered, “it’s time for retribution.”

People began stumbling from their huts late in the morning, still groggy from the celebration of the evening before. Jopa shielded his eyes against the sun and wobbly made his way to Parren, who was now alone on the woken blanket. He nudged her with a toe and ordered her to move over. Collapsing next to her, he used her shoulder for a pillow and groaned.

“Never, ever again,” he said cryptically.

“What?” Parren croaked.

“Never, ever, let two pretty women convince me to let their sisters join in the fun. I feel like someone rolled a boulder over me,” he whined.

Parren managed to chuckle, then choked as the breeze shifted. “Ugh, we need a bath. Now, without delay,” she grimaced as the odor of stale sex assailed her. She pushed Jopa from her shoulder and struggled to her feet.

Heading for the ocean, she waded into the salty water and began rinsing off her body, wincing as the salt stung the scratch marks on her back. Her friend laughed behind her and swatted her bottom.

“You have teeth marks on your butt. Did your lady friend take a bite of you?” he teased. Her reply was to spin around and push him backwards, chuckling as he splashed heavily into the water. Jopa reached out and grabbed her by the shin and yanked her off her feet. It took but a moment for a wrestling match to begin.

Although smaller, the Emissary was agile and fought dirty. Jopa only laughed harder as he found himself at a disadvantage. He managed to utter a surrender. Both were out of breath. Settling down at the edge of the water, they watched the ocean waves in silence until Parren spoke without thinking, the moment carrying along her tongue.

“You know, I was thinking earlier,” she said seriously, causing Jopa to curb the teasing reply on the tip of his tongue. “I was wondering if one day you’d consider being a co-mate with me. If I met someone…” Parren’s eyes met his, hoping he didn’t laugh.

His eyes returned her look, all teasing gone from his own. “May I ask why?”

Parren looked away, not able to look at him as she spoke. “Because someday I want children. You know me well my friend. If I found someone special, it would be hard for me to share her, even for that. But you are a brother to me. I feel closer to you than to my own family,” she confessed. Her eyes remained on the great waters, afraid to look at the young man. A hand came to rest on her shoulder.

“I would be honored to raise a family with you Parren,” his soft voice answered. The Emissary felt tears brim her eyes. Unable to speak, she nodded her head in acceptance, feeling a weight lift from her soul.

In spite of the overly warm reception the Traders received from the first Shalopa village, they managed to finish their business. They bid their farewells and headed north, towards the next village. As they departed, the village guard sounded the horn, telling the distant settlement  they were on their way.

Hanpa was eager to get there because the woman he sought lived at that village. He sent a silent prayer to the gods, hoping she was still unattached. The image of her beauty and spirit still haunted him, recalling her wonderful eyes and bell-like laughter. The Trader sighed happily and hurried his pace. The other master Trader chuckled, knowing why Hanpa was in such a hurry.

Jopa walked faster until he was abreast of Thrana. “What’s the hurry Master? Hanpa is walking like the evil spirits were after him,” he observed.

The older man chuckled. “He has a personal reason to reach the next village young man, but it is his business to speak of if he wishes.” Thrana wasn’t going to reveal his old friend’s secret. To speak of it aloud may cause the fickle Gods to play havoc with fate. His apprentice gave him an odd look but didn’t say anything more.

As they traveled along the soft beach, the younger Traders spoke softly to pass the time. Because they were distracted, it took a moment to realize a strange noise came from the sea. Stopping in their tracks, they looked towards the vast waters, trying to see what made such a sound. Thrana walked up behind them and spoke softly into their ears.

“It is the great fish called a h’le. The Shalopa’s tale keepers say the h’le were brought to this new world with the People by the Gods when they brought us here. Shalnar-pa forbade hunting them, telling the People that the great beasts were our brothers. The h’le sing their prayers to Shalnar-pa and that is what you hear.

“I thought only the People were brought here,” Jopa whispered in shock.

“No, several other species were also chosen to travel here with us. The aguila of the skies, the rocas of the mountains, the h’le of the seas, the kan of the land above, and the dilla of the earth below. The Gods knew we would be lonely without them in this new place so they placed them here as well. I have told this to you for a reason, but Jopa, do not repeat this knowledge to others.”

Parren had learned this during her time training with the Rangar. They kept certain knowledge to themselves and she was surprised that Thrana revealed this information to Jopa. She hadn’t realized the old man had heard their conversation on the beach. The Trader, she remembered, had once belonged to the Rangar but chose a different path among the Traders.

The former spiritual apprentice believed if Jopa indeed became co-mate to the Emissary, it was necessary that he understood her world a little better. She would need a strong man that would support her when her spirit was weary and to be able to hear her words that were forbidden to others. Jopa had also been considered for the Rangar and Thrana knew the priests would accept him having forbidden knowledge. Over time, before he retired, he would pass on more secrets to the young man as needed. It wouldn’t be wise to overwhelm him now.

Thrana looked forward and past Parren’s tall form. His eyes searched for Hanpa but he wasn’t in sight. Worried, he called out to his old friend, who didn’t return his call. Now worried, he rushed forward, the apprentices close on his heels. Something had to be wrong.

To be continued...

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