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 The Redlance Sagas Return

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wolfmoonsky

wolfmoonsky

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Age : 26

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyMon Apr 06, 2015 2:55 pm

Just readed chapter 7 and 8!

Dart just HAD to quote about '' Maybe there's an bear in the cave".

I love the part about that damn stick! Everyone laughing their asses off was very fun to read! Redlance sure knows how to create a havoc indeed :pike:

Redlance...the treeshaper....and apperantley an fruit hider! Laughing I love that part! I couldn't stop smiling with this chapter. It's so fun to read.

Love the conversation between Cutter and leetah, about Redlance. I can't wait to read how the conversation between Leetah and Nightfall will go!
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Wiseshaman

Wiseshaman

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Join date : 2012-06-23

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Nine   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyTue Apr 07, 2015 11:49 pm

@wolfmoonsky wrote:
Just readed chapter 7 and 8!

Dart just HAD to quote about '' Maybe there's an bear in the cave".

I love the part about that damn stick! Everyone laughing their asses off was very fun to read! Redlance sure knows how to create a havoc indeed :pike:

Redlance...the treeshaper....and apperantley an fruit hider! Laughing I love that part! I couldn't stop smiling with this chapter. It's so fun to read.

Love the conversation between Cutter and leetah, about Redlance. I can't wait to read how the conversation between Leetah and Nightfall will go!

Thank you wolfmoonsky I'm glad you picked up on our treeshaper's tricks, especially with fruit!  And Dart just seems to be on cusp of being a great hunter like his father...he just has to keep his foot out of his mouth! Laughing

But here's the next piece of the story...

Chapter 9

The eve arrived slowly, and with it, the dark of dusk pushing back the day. The Wolfriders stayed hidden well past the time they were normally used to. There was no rush to get ready to leave as there had been the nights before, no need to pack and cover their presence to ensure no one would stumble upon the evidence of their existence. No, the evening came with a light tensionless feel and soon, one-by-one, the elves crawled out of their sleep spots to greet the two moons in the night sky. Cutter and Leetah stayed in their sleep furs as long as they could, arm in arm, refusing to let go of each other. It had been so long since they had been like this, this in love, that breaking contact and this warm connection was unthinkable, unbearable. Yet, the need to feed and tend to the tribe would not be put on hold for long, and with a heavy sigh they rose and dressed.

This time though there was no coldness, no distance between them dividing their mood. Leetah tried unsuccessfully to tie her top, as every time she did her lifemate would quickly reach over and untie it. She giggled and tied it back, then slapped at his hands as his fingers would just undo all the work she had put in. Finally, it took the promise of a sweet kiss to allow her to dress and just before they left the sleep spot she rewarded her soul. The kiss was deep, long, and it took her breath away the moment it was done. Leetah smiled giddily as she left the tree holding Cutter’s hand and they met outside with the others. They saw their son first and called to him with a happy tone.

“Good eve Suntop, how are you?” Cutter asked walking over.

Suntop smiled and sighed as his mother leaned in kissing his cheek. “I’m good father. I was waiting on Moonshade and Newstar.”

“Why, where is everyone by the way?” Leetah asked with a lazy smile looking all around.

“Well, Strongbow went out with Dart and Nightfall to follow some tracks they found earlier and Treestump and Clearbrook are waiting to talk with you, father.” Suntop said pointing over to where the two elders were standing.

Cutter ruffled his young son’s hair and smiled with him. “Looking for something to do?”

“Moonshade said I could help tan the hides from this morning, or at least start. Do you want me to send for Skywise father?”

Leetah stiffened a bit at the request, the mention of the stargazer making her tense. Her nervousness eased though with a low sigh as she watched her lifemate easily handle the question, all without a bit of pain in his eye. “No Suntop, I don’t want you to send to Skywise for me. I don’t need to know where he is anymore. I would like to know where our treeshaper went though. Can you send for him?”

“I don’t need to,” Suntop smiled as he reveled in his father’s interest in Redlance, that his father was happy being with the treeshaper made him just as happy, “he went out to see something a tree showed him. Isn’t that a remarkable magic, talking to the trees? I never knew he could that.”

“Oh, there is much I intend to learn of our treeshaper kittling.” Leetah chuckled running her fingers through her son’s hair as well. It wasn’t hard to see her feelings for Redlance either the young magic user surmised as he smiled broadly. He was genuinely happy to see his mother and father joyful, to the point he would have to learn more about Redlance as well.

Cutter gave a quick nuzzle to his lifemate’s cheek while across a send to only her he passed his love and devotion. The healer smiled and made a small sigh, nuzzling back before watching her soulmate walk toward the elders to talk. The feeling of warmth in her soul and heart could only be surpassed if she had two others at her side Leetah decided, a special red-haired elf and his lovely lifemate. She was wondering where her treeshaper might be when she felt her son take her hand in his and speak warmly.

“Do you want to come help us mother?”

“Oh yes, I’ve wanted to learn how Moonshade makes our leathers for so long.” Leetah smiled and started off with her son to find the tanner. Soon she was helping Moonshade and laughing with the tanner as they worked on the hides.

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The dream from earlier in the day, when he slept, was long and sweet. He could see Father Tree and its boundless glory as he stood proudly by its trunk at Goodtree’s Rest. Redlance could feel the essence of the four oaks which made the grand old hardwood call to him, the magic used to weave them into what was Father Tree puling at him constantly. His beloved ancestor Goodtree had used the strongest of treeshaping magic to convince the four Oaks to reach out and blend to become one, weave and grow into Father Tree for her Wolfriders. This was their home, their true home, and it had been burnt to the very ground when the humans had set fire to the woods to drive them out that night so long ago, the night when he ventured too close to the human camp. He had never told anyone, but the treeshaper felt such guilt from that night. If he hadn’t been captured by the humans, then Cutter wouldn’t have had to rescue him, and kill one of the humans. And if Cutter hadn’t killed the human then the fire never would have been started and they wouldn’t have been driven off.

Always a cause and effect to all he thought as he walked among the tress, his hands held out letting the branches and limbs touch his palms. The treeshaper passed among the conifers and the pines and the oaks hearing all their unspoken words, their magic only he could sense. With the beginning of what would be a bright moon lit night Redlance used the serenity of his cherished woods to help him contemplate the part of the dream that still shook him at the moment.

Grow…grow…

The words of his Father Tree echoed in his mind and stirred his spirit. What did it mean? Was he supposed to make the oak do something? He would have to make the dens for everyone and that involved growing, but somehow the treeshaper was sure his Father Tree meant something else, but just what though, that was the question nipping at his heels…

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

The moons reached the apex of their nightly travel across the sky, and at mid-night Leetah found she was alone again. The tanning of the hides went quickly, to the point where the next part would be a few nights away, so she watched Moonshade and Newstar go and look through the woods for inspiration. Her son had taken an offer from Dart to go exploring in the woods, and she agreed reluctantly, as long as both promised to stay close and take no dangerous chances. Suntop jumped up and happily kissed her cheek before running off with the archer’s son.

A turn of the moon ago she might have felt so lonely at this moment, so lost and in need of attention. Tonight though, she felt so happy, secure, and it was because of her huntress and her treeshaper. The devotion she had for both refused to let her soul sink from heavy thoughts or be hurt. Their warmth for her only made her stronger, and at the moment she was searching for one of them to spend time with. Leetah wanted to talk with her huntress, to have the council for and about her heart Cutter said to seek, only it was becoming quite the quest to find her Nightfall. She had asked Dart where her huntress was after the cub had come back from following the tracks to another cave where a second group of deer might return in the morning. Dart said she went to get something over by her sleep spot, just before he ran off with Suntop following closely. Well, here she was and no Nightfall.

Good eve my sweet healer, are you looking for me?

Leetah turned to look up into the tree and standing out of the branches, high off the ground, was her huntress who smiled and waved. Why yes I was my precious one, but how did you get up there?

It’s our sleep spot, wait and I’ll be down. I want to ask you for something.

I’ll be here! Leetah giggled, and the time it took for her laugh to come and go, Nightfall appeared out of the tree with a broad smile and her pouch.

“You look very happy and content this eve!” The huntress remarked walking up and taking Leetah’s hands in her. Nightfall was just a bit shorter than her healer and smiled warmly while standing on her tip toes to nuzzle her healer’s cheek.

The healer purred from the affection of her huntress, then looked down into the eyes of Nightfall with a loving smile while squeezing her hands. “What did you want to ask me?”

“Come dance with me my sweet healer.” Nightfall asked with eyes sparkling excitedly in the moon light. “Let’s feel the night air on our naked skin as the woods shields us.”

The offer was just what Leetah had in mind, what her heart truly desired, and she let it show as she nodded to Nightfall and whispered earnestly. “I would love to dance under the two moons with you, my precious one.”

“And so much more my healer. I found the perfect place.” Nightfall remarked with a mischievous smile now and a chuckle. The healer only giggled with her huntress as she ran after her, hand-in-hand, heading into the night to dance and be free and maybe even council once they were done.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

The wolf chief looked over just in time to see his beloved lifemate and cherished huntress run into the woods, both laughing and looking so in love. His heart raced a little at the sight, at what he knew was going to occur in some secret glen Nightfall had found out there in the forest. Deep down he wished, longed to see them dance under the moonlight, but Cutter knew this was their ritual, their own bonding, and any intrusion on something that special would just be foul. He only smiled as he saw them disappear loving them both equally in devotion and strength in his heart.

“Where do you think those two are going?” Treestump asked with a sly smile.

“A place where two hearts can share and not be watched,” Clearbrook answered with a raised eyebrow and teasing grin to him.

Cutter chuckled and turned back to his council, his faithful and honored elders, smiling. “You speak the truth, but what did you find out with those tracks Strongbow?”

The archer smiled and sent as he always did, the spoken word more of an afterthought to the stoic Wolfrider. The tracks were same as the ones Redlance found. We tracked them to another cave. I say we do the same when the deer return, send in the treeshaper to drive them out and bring down the ones we can.

The wolf chief nodded as Treestump suddenly added. “Well he can go in alone this time. My head still has knots from his ‘lucky’ stick.”

“Oh, you’ve had those knots your entire life, you old wolf. You came into the Abode with a knotty head!” Clearbrook joked slapping her lifemate on the arm playfully. Cutter and Strongbow both laughed hard as their friend only smiled and eyed his precious lifemate with a mocking hard glare.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

The dance was slow and seductive, drawing out feelings both had kept at bay these last seasons. As Leetah twirled on one foot feeling the air whirl round her, cooling her naked brown skin, the light shining down from the two moons gave her a glow, a radiance just like a High One in the Palace. Nightfall leapt and spun with her, round her in small jumps feeling a release that she could never explain. It was only when they stopped their movement, when they looked deeply into each other’s eyes, did the true dance begin. Leetah took Nightfall’s hand in hers and pulled the huntress to her and without hesitation Nightfall wrapped her slender strong arms around her healer and hugged tightly. Leetah offered her neck with slight bend of her head and the huntress leaned in biting it so gently but firmly causing the healer to gasp. The pair stood there in the light of the two moons letting hands touch and caress tender points, fingers and palms caressing, remembering from so long ago where to stroke with a gentleness that heightened their sharing.

Leetah’s one hand pressed into the small of Nightfall’s back pulling the huntress in even closer to her, needing her so much. The huntress bit her love’s neck and suckled on the soft flesh, pulling at it with her teeth as the desire in her blood made her inhale deeply between breaths. The healer’s other hand slid up and into her Nightfall’s brown hair seeking and finding the huntress’s strong neck with her long fingers before squeezing and rubbing lovingly.

I love you Nightfall. I need you so much, friend of my body and spirit. Leetah gasped in her send feeling her knees go weak just like with Cutter.

I love you Leetah my sweet healer, friend of my body and spirit. I want you now, always! Nightfall responded with a growl from deep in her chest.

The healer only groaned and nodded in pure rapture as across their lock-send love and want flooded her soul. Leetah let go and fell into the emotions giving her own low howl as her huntress lowered her slowly onto the sleep fur. She gave herself over to the desire, sharing all she was with her huntress and Nightfall reciprocated giving all her love to her sweet healer, all that she was and would be. And when the loving was done, when they had satisfied just the need and not the want, the pair lay arm and arm, wrapped in bliss refusing to separate. Nightfall lay on her stomach, hip to hip with Leetah, kissing the soft brown breasts gently before working her way to her healer’s face where she kissed the strong chin before giving the lead to her sweet one. The healer took over kissing the neck and jaw line of her huntress with small sensual nibbles as she lay on her back with her hands still stroking her Nightfall’s neck. Then the huntress slowly slid off her healer to lie down on the sleeping fur next to Leetah, their bodies never breaking their loving connection, propped up on her elbows.

Nightfall took her healer’s hand she lay beside her and held it up in front of her face as Leetah rolled onto her side. The healer’s other hand beginning to slowly stroke her loves back in long flowing brushes. The huntress looked in awe at the small brown palm while slowly tracing the long lines the soft flesh created there with her a single fingertip. Nightfall sighed with joy as Leetah next to her smiled feeling her heart beat so strong in her chest, so forceful with the love there for her huntress.

“He came to us too you know, the stargazer. He came to our furs too, seeking sharing, to roll around a bit.” Nightfall whispered with a wistful smile, as if the memory only brought back both happy and lonely feelings. Leetah slid closer as the need to hear every word was only overridden by the need to take in the meaning behind them as the huntress continued. “It was always after someone else had turned him away though. Either you or Vurdah or Maleen. We would give him the warmth he sought knowing full well when the morning came he would be gone leaving us like we were just the scraps after the meal.”

“I’m sorry my love, if I had known...” Leetah whispered snuggling in close kissing her huntress’s shoulder. She felt a cold shiver slip down her spine as she remembered all the times she woke in her furs with the stargazer either gone or holding Cutter away from her. How cold she felt at those times, but then the huntress kissed her palm and the memories faded like smoke on the wind.

Nightfall shook her head and smiled wistfully whispering as she turned to her healer. “It is fine my sweet one. We knew he would never choose us over you or Cutter or the others. We knew where we stood with him and we were good with it. He was so energetic, full of spirit when he shared. He used to try and wrestle our treeshaper for who would be the lead in our joining, the two pushing and shoving like crazy in our hut, in front of me, fighting for me.”

“Who would win?” Leetah asked smiling while putting her arm around Nightfall’s waist and hugging her tightly. She could almost imagine the two Wolfriders clashing in the center of a hut at Sorrow’s End, and without any help to think so, Leetah could imagine her treeshaper getting the best of the stargazer.

The huntress continued to trace those long lovely lines in her healer’s palm as she whispered, continuing with her memory. “Skywise could never beat our treeshaper, truth be told no one in our tribe can beat him I think, maybe Cutter, but no one else. He would hold the stargazer down and bite into his neck, then stay there while sending so much desire to me and him that Skywise would relent gasping…then we would join like mad with hands and legs moving like snakes all over each other. It was so fast, so swift and false though, no pleasure to hold on to, not like when I share with you or with our treeshaper, where I feel my soul dance and fly. Where we all slowly climb, and climb, till our hearts are full with passion, releasing ourselves and our love to each other. No, it was nothing like this at all, so sweet.”

“I know,” Leetah whispered kissing her love’s shoulder again, “it was as if there was nothing below the flesh, no bonding…just the surface, enough to feel but not enough to experience and treasure. I woke so many times alone with him holding Cutter away from me and I would wonder if I was really needed, wanted, as if I had been cast aside, done with.”

Nightfall nodded and sighed. “I know my precious healer, there was nothing to hold onto, to savor, and then he left with Cutter on the quest and there was never another visit save one. Even when he came back with the Palace and he shunned us, I felt no remorse for not having his attention. As bad as that sounds, I felt nothing at his return except happiness that he was part of our tribe again, in a way, but with you I felt my heart leap at seeing you. When you came to us to tree those times, I felt my heart just bloom, like one of our treeshaper’s flowers. I was so, so very joyful…to lie with you and Cutter, even if it was just for sleep…it completed me.”

The healer gasped low as the words touched her heart and her soul, to know she had been loved like this and never returned it. She couldn’t speak as Nightfall leaned down and rubbed her cheek lovingly into her palm, nuzzled it so warmly. Leetah could only cry as such loving words moved her, to the very center of her being, as her huntress turned and looked at her finally with wet eyes. “I lost you my sweet healer and I lost a part of me, I lost Cutter and I almost lost myself. I have walked the dark with you this last season, been so torn, but now-“

“The light has come back to us, warming and throwing back the dark-“Leetah whispered with a content smile as her huntress leaned in letting their foreheads touch.

“And I will never lose that light again.” Nightfall whispered reaching up and caressing her love’s cheek softly noting the tears in the beautiful green eyes.

“No, I will never lose this light again” Leetah whispered and kissed her huntress deep. She felt so safe and secure the next words were easy to speak. “Cutter wants us to be lovemates with you and Redlance, to live in your den with our treeshaper and you.”

Those lovely brown eyes blinked once, in surprise at first, then turned sweet as Nightfall took in the words and then whispered. “And our treeshaper told him to wait, to grow stronger?”

Leetah nodded, took a shaky breath, and added. “Cutter won’t go unless I follow, and our treeshaper won’t let him in unless I go with all my heart.”

“And do you love my Redlance?” Nightfall asked sweetly with a whisper.

The healer took another shaky breath as she clung to the safe and secure feeling her huntress had given her, and whispered looking deeply in Nightfall’s eyes with a small nod. “Yes…from all the small wonderful loving things he has done for me…but I’m scared my precious one, I am so scared of being left alone again…of calling him mine and somehow hurting everyone...myself.”

With it out, with her heart finally revealed Leetah shook from a sudden emptiness she knew not why, only that Nightfall slid in close and held her while sending her love deep and warm. “You’ve been calling him yours all day and night my sweet healer. He has all ready found a way into your heart, made you happy with his love, and that makes me happy and joyful. I don’t fear you going to him my love, for to see you smile and laugh is the greatest desire I have. There is no need to fear, he loves you I know, with his enormous heart.”

Oh, those sweet, sweet words that touched the healer like nothing else. She closed her eyes savoring the love, the cherished feeling they brought when she smiled lovingly. It only took a moment for the healer to realize what her huntress said was true. How many times had she called him ‘my’ or ‘our’? She giggled and let the warm love fill her without restraint before letting it flow back to Nightfall. Leetah closed her eyes and thought of him, of calling him mine when they were together next time, and then words flowed across the send touching her deeply again. And I will never let you feel alone again my love, not after this night…for I am Twen, the huntress of your heart. It is all that I am and I will not let you feel alone again, ever, friend of my body and spirit.

Leetah’s eyes flew open at the name, the true name every Wolfrider was given at birth and then given to only a small few who were trusted and loved. A soulmate would know the name due to Recognition or a lovemate passing it to another to become lifemates when Recognition would not come to them. ‘Brothers in all but Blood’ exchanged them to deepen a bond already so strong to the point of never breaking. Leetah leaned in and kissed her huntress then whispered the sacred name to hear it, to feel it on her lips.

“Twen,”

Nightfall shuddered as the word caressed her soul then she leaned in and kissed her sweet healer nibbling on the lower lip before speaking. “Do you want to come to our Den my love and feel this way both day and night? Do you want to feel our treeshaper’s love every night and day?”

The clearing grew quiet as Leetah let the question pass through her mind. The healer waited a moment, was about to answer, when Nightfall abruptly rolled away and looked back toward the woods with a playful smile. “Are you going to watch us all night my handsome chief?”

From behind a tree Cutter stepped out with his hands held up and a small smile on his face. “I just walked up to say the morning is almost here. I would never try to sneak up on your time together in the woods.”

With a small laugh, Nightfall shook her head and held out her hand. “I would dance for you my chief if only you asked, but will you come and lay with us now?”

“Yes,” Leetah smiled sitting up next to her huntress, “come and lay with us and talk.”

The offer was small but meant more to him than he could ever explain. Cutter quickly crossed the distance to them pulling off his top as he did. The lifebearers moved to give him room to lie back and open his arms which both slid into without hesitation. As he hugged them both to him Cutter smiled and sighed feeling a small satiation to what he wanted, to what he needed so much. He felt Nightfall rub his chest with tenderness before taking his lifemate’s hand, the fingers entwining lovingly. Before he could speak, to say who he missed, his two loves spoke for him.

“Are you complete now my precious one?” Leetah asked with a long purr that made Cutter’s blood heat just a little.

“Almost my sweet one,” Nightfall sighed before kissing Cutter’s chest, “all I need is our treeshaper here and I would need nothing else.”

The three chuckled and held each other for a moment or two looking up at the stars that slowly began to fade with the coming day star. Then Nightfall rose and slid across her chief’s body slowly making his blood heat more to kiss her healer deeply and long. She broke from Leetah and moved to Cutter kissing him just as deep feeling her healer reach up and caress her cheek from one side while her chief did the other. As Leetah watched the two kiss so deeply she felt a tug of her heart for him, for her treeshaper, for she longed to be kissed like that from him. The healer smiled knowing soon that would come to fruition as well, with all the happiness she could want. When she finally broke Nightfall looked deeply to both and whispered. “Let’s find our treeshaper. I need him to hold us.”

Cutter only nodded as Leetah whispered warmly with conviction. “Yes, our treeshaper.”

“Yes, your treeshaper.” Cutter chuckled sitting up and pulling his lifemate with him. Oh, how in a short time had her outlook changed, and for the better he thought. Then Nightfall gasped and looked them both.

“Its morning almost?!”

“What is it?” Cutter asked quickly feeling a sense of trepidation at his huntress sudden gasp

She jumped up and quickly started to find her leathers as she spoke. “Our treeshaper found some new leaves and berries in the woods. He sent to me saying he was going to try them before we hide.”

Leetah jumped up with the help of her lifemate and started to look for her leathers as well while talking. “He’s going to eat something he found in the woods?”

“It’s the only way we know what is safe to eat from the woods my love, here is a boot?” Cutter answered holding up the boot.

“It’s mine,” Nightfall remarked taking it from him then leaning on him to put it on, “he’ll eat what he finds and if I’m not there he might hurt himself.”

The healer pulled on her green and brown top and tried to tie the leather strip to it but her fingers wouldn’t make the knot for some reason. She stopped trying giving Cutter a chance to tie it as she slid her leggings on while gasping. “He might hurt himself?”

“I never thought I’d be helping you put your leathers on,” Cutter chuckled, but the lifebearers missed the jest in their haste to get dressed and reach the treeshaper.

“He once ate two bites of a leaf and didn’t wake up for half a day.” Nightfall giggled, and then took off running. Cutter grabbed his lifemate’s hand and ran after his huntress following her closely, hoping they got to the treeshaper before he ate something and ended up like Brace from Blue Mountain.

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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Last edited by Wiseshaman on Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyWed Apr 08, 2015 12:55 am

Well to vastly but fun chapters.

Chpt 8: Love the story about the cubs running around looking for special fruits,

Cutter and Leetah sharing some serious quiet was wonderful.

I like how chpt 9 is going in depth with the closeness between Leetah and Nightfall. Looks like things are going to get a whole more interesting.

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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Ten   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyWed Apr 08, 2015 10:45 pm

Thank you G0lden for such great words...it always makes me happy when someone gets enjoyment from what I have written...

And now onto the next piece...


Chapter 10

It was easy to find him as the treeshaper had laid out a back trail right to where he was setup. Nightfall followed it with little trouble, hoping with each breath he hadn’t started yet, and when she came upon the small break in the trees and saw the leather square he used to place the various leaves, berries, or roots on he came across on, she sighed with a smile. On the square were the four objects he had told her in the send he was going to try, a small mound of berries, a leaf, and a pile of nuts and a long root. Nightfall turned to see Cutter and Leetah trot up. “Has he started?” the healer asked quickly.

“No, thank the High Ones.” Nightfall smiled, looking round for her soulmate, and not seeing hide or hair of him.

“Is he here?” Cutter asked just as a tree shook next to them. The trio turned in time to see Redlance pop out of the branches, his red braids swinging just a little wild as he stepped away from the conifer. As soon as the three saw him they smiled warmly as he looked back at the tree with a whimsical smile, as if it was playing a joke on him.

“Good morn my beloved,” Nightfall said happily walking over and kissing him.

Redlance smiled just as happily and kissed her back lovingly before looking up to Cutter and Leetah, still smiling warmly. “Good morn my chief, you look rested and content.”

“I am, thanks to you my treeshaper.” Cutter replied with affinity.

The remark made Redlance shake his head and whisper. “No Cutter, I did nothing but watch over you, my beloved chief.”

“No, you did so much more my treeshaper.” Leetah sighed with her own adoration, walking over and reaching up to touch his face sweetly, lovingly. Oh, how she wanted to kiss him, just as deep as Nightfall had with her beloved, and yet she faltered and only nuzzled his cheek whispering. “I will always keep you in my heart for bringing him back to us, for protecting him.”

He met her green eyes with his soft ones smiling so sweetly she felt her heart jump. “I will always protect him Leetah, and I will always protect you as well my healer.”

And there it was, the warmest declaration stated with such a casual fierceness. Now she wanted to kiss him even more, to show him how much he meant to her, and yet again Leetah faltered unsure if she should be so bold. Her fingers slowly scratched his face fur, rubbed the soft skin and hair longingly as she whispered with a fond smile. “Then my heart will always feel safe and secure with you, full and warm.”

Behind them, watching the scene with a misty eye, Cutter stood feeling his own bruised soul heal, gain its strength with each devoted moment. Beside him Nightfall, could barely breathe as she watched, so lost in the moment she was that there was nothing else. A sight more beautiful and more needed she could not remember and the pledge she made just moments earlier came back full in her mind. I will not let you feel alone ever again my sweet healer, never again.

“And that is all I want, that and to try these new berries.” Redlance chuckled after reaching up and taking her hand in his and reluctantly pulling it away from his face.

“So, you think these new finds are hurtful beloved?” Nightfall asked with worry as he walked back to the square.

Cutter’s mouth became a straight line as did his lifemates as his treeshaper only shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “Much like the cave my love, the only way to know is to try. You don’t have to stay and watch my chief, I understand if there’s something else the tribe needs of you.”

The wolf chief only shook his head quickly with his mouth still a taught line. “No, I want to stay and watch. I want to help if something happens.”

“Yes, I want to stay and watch too.” Leetah added, asserting herself like she did back in Sorrow’s End. Redlance only nodded and knelt by the large square, the others followed with Leetah sitting as close as she could next to her treeshaper on one side and Nightfall on the other, a small water skin within quick reach of the healer. Cutter made sure he was only an arm’s length away if it had to come to it.

The treeshaper nodded before taking in a deep breath. Nightfall tensed and looked for her love’s pouch, in it would be something to help him if he got in trouble, and then there was Leetah who could heal him from a poison. Still, all the precautions meant little if he took something in so terrible it killed him before he was ready. Leetah watched closely as she had never seen this done before, why she never even knew he did this. She watched with a keen calculating eye taking in every step he performed. Cutter did the same as his healer and with the same tension of the huntress. He had seen this twice before and both times it did not end well for his treeshaper, though the effects were not enough to end his life, the damage done was enough to make him hate this ritual.

They watched him pull out a root from his tunic, a long slender silvery stick that he took a bite out of and chewed on. They watched as he grew the bite of the root he took back with a soft glow, the tip growing out as if reaching out to take a hand. After Redlance swallowed the bite of silver root he leaned forward and without hesitation picked up the root on the square and took a bite of it chewing away. He chewed with an upturned face noting with each gnaw the effect and then smiled to the group. “No bad taste, it actually tastes like bumpy melon. Would you like a bite my chief?”

Cutter took the root with a slight smile now, one of anticipation, as he bit down on the root taking a bite. His eyes opened wide as he chewed handing it to his lifemate. “It does taste like bumpy melon.” Leetah took a small bite and gasped with a large smile and giggle before handing it to the huntress who did the same when she ate a small bite.

“Well, the root was good, let’s try the berry.” Redlance said reaching down grabbing one of the berries. He popped it in his mouth and bit down before looking around. “No poison,” he mumbled just before his right eye clamped shut and his face scrunched in.

“Oh no, too tart,” Nightfall whispered reaching over and rubbing his back. Leetah reached for the small water skin to give her treeshaper a drink but Redlance was all ready turning and spitting the berry out of his mouth. He took the skin and drank a bit to wash out the taste.

“It’s that bad?” Cutter asked with disbelief reaching over and taking a berry on his own. Leetah turned to stop him but it was too late as he plopped the pome in his mouth, bit down, and almost at once was blinded by the tartness. She did though have plenty of time to give him a shake of her head while handing him the water skin. Cutter spun and spit the berry out and into the woods with a great blast of air before turning back to the square with a look of disgust.

“I think we can toss the berries back to the woods.” Redlance smiled as Cutter nodded vigorously.

“I’ll eat dirt before that berry again.” The wolf chief laughed.

Leetah giggled more as did Nightfall while their treeshaper reached for one of the nuts he had found. He popped it in his mouth and bit down…and chewed…and chewed…and chewed. The others waited to see what he would say, but the treeshaper just chewed and chewed more before speaking. “No taste, I hope it’s a nut and not a piece of bark off a tree I mistook for a nut.”

Cutter snorted and laughed as did Leetah and Nightfall. The treeshaper took a small swig of his water skin then spit behind his lifemate to clean out his mouth. He took a deep breath and looked around. “The leaf is last.”

“Do you always eat the leaves last?” Leetah asked.

“Yes,” Redlance nodded with the smile that made the healer feel warm, “because the leaf holds the most mystery. I’ve all ready checked, and there’s no bright liquid that comes when squeezing it which means it won’t help skin problems like cuts or bites. The leaf’s skin is dry as well so there’s nothing to rub on which leaves the only step left, to eat it and see what happens.”

“Oh,” the healer whispered feeling her stomach clench at what was coming, and with a feeling of dread, she reached out and covered his hand with hers, “be careful please.”

“Always my healer, always,” he whispered with that smile and Leetah slowly withdrew her hand before nodding. She didn’t like this, not one little bit.

No one liked it, but they only watched as he ate the leaf, stem and all, on three chews and a swallow. They watched as he made a weird face and ground his teeth before whispering to them, a mumble of a warning, “hmm…a funny taste…I remem-.“ That was all the treeshaper was able to say because with a flash, he suddenly rose and spun back away from the group barely getting to the trees before everything in his stomach was making a return trip to the surface.

“Oh, Oh!” Leetah and Nightfall screamed in unison, jumping up, but both were second to Cutter who reached him and grabbed Redlance in a hug.

“What is it, poison?” The wolf chief asked quickly with panic.

Redlance shook his head no as a second wave of vomiting came on and he sent the rest of his stomach streaming into the trees. Nightfall slid around the other side putting her arm around him as well while whispering. “Oh beloved, is it bad?”

“I think the leaf is all out now,” Redlance spit, bent over, holding his knees as the healer knelt by him to look in his face.

“I can help with your stomach,” she remarked but as she finished her treeshaper only shook his head and whispered with his lovely smile.

“No, my healer, it’s my duty for the tribe and I’ll bear the consequences.”

Nightfall rubbed his back as did Cutter and shook her head. “Do you need to lie down?”

The treeshaper only nodded and stood up shakily as his lifemate guided him from the trees and the aftermath of eating the leaf. She stopped by the square to pick it up but Cutter shook his head, looking at his treeshaper with worry. “We’ll get that, just get him to his sleep furs and let him rest.”

“Thank you my chief,” Nightfall whispered before catching up with her lifemate who shambled on the way back to their sleep spot. The wolf chief and his soulmate quickly picked up the large leather square folding it neatly and placing it in Redlance’s pouch. They kept the root that tasted like bumpy melon and quickly tossed everything else. Leetah even cursed the little piece of leaf left behind by stepping on it before trotting from the small break in the trees.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

“Do you think he’ll be all right?” Leetah asked still staring at the tree she knew was Nightfall and Redlance’s sleep spot. They had dropped of the large pouch the treeshaper carried, watched him climb shakily up to the sleep spot, and now stood outside the tree they would sleep under.

Cutter only smiled a little. She had finally admitted her feelings for him and her actions showed a heart worried for a love that was out of sight. “I think there’s a limb up there that will hold us, a short climb as well.”

She turned and looked at him with true concern and a voice thick with it. “Please, don’t tease me…will he be all right?”

The smile slowly disappeared from Cutter’s face as he walked over, took her hand in his, and looked deeply into her green eyes. “I’m not teasing you my love, he will be fine. He’s done this so many times for us he knows how to take care of any problem, and with Nightfall by his side there is no one better to watch over him. Our treeshaper will be fine.”

“He’s done this before, as bad as this time?”

“He’s done much worse, with his father before I saw my first night, and before this day. I never told you what happened when you were taken from me and he did this for us, did I?”

The healer shook her head and whispered with more concern. “No, what did he do?”

Cutter chuckled and at first, he saw the fire in her eyes, anger for laughing at their treeshaper, but then those pretty pools of green slowly softened as he spoke. “He found a leaf in the woods where we made our new Holt, just like this morning, and he wanted to see if it would hurt us, so he did as he always does and has done. He took a bite of that silver root, then a bite of the leaf and swallowed it, almost.”

“What do you mean ‘almost’?” Leetah asked wide eyed.

He shifted his feet and shook his head. “He spit the leaf up, in a great green glob, just like this morning. The leaf was poison, filled with something that burned his throat so bad he couldn’t talk for a full day and night.”

A sharp gasp came from the healer and before Cutter could hold it back, a smile and chuckle slipped out from the memory, making Leetah growl as she spoke. “That’s not funny! He could have been hurt, or worse!”

That small hesitation, that gentle pause before getting angry, oh it was a sign as a big as the day star itself for her growing devotion for Redlance. Cutter shook his head and smiled still whispering with all his love. “He was safe, the silver root saved him from the poison, but there was no one to save him from Pike and Shenshen and everyone else. It seemed the whole tribe wanted to talk that very night to him, had to, and here’s our treeshaper acting like Strongbow sending every word and pointing here and there, nodding like a zwoot drinking water from a jug.”

A small chuckle came from her now that her hand racing toward her mouth, which wasn’t quick enough to catch as she smiled. She could easily see in her mind her dear sister rambling from one side while Pike prattled on from the other and Redlance in between unable to speak to either other. Oh, it must have been torture she thought as she whispered. “Beloved, you didn’t leave him at their mercy did you?”

Cutter shook his head chuckling more. “No, I called him away every chance I could to give him some peace and when I wasn’t there Nightfall found him and took him away. She’s always been the one to watch over him, after they found each other, and it was no different those nights or now.”

Leetah looked up at him whispering, her heart opening with each word, with closed eyes feeling little solace from her soulmate’s words. “I know Nightfall will take care of him…but my heart wants too as well now.”

And there it was, another spoken word of a feeling long hidden from the light, being spoke with genuine sincerity. Cutter reached up and caressed her cheek whispering. “It’s hard to think of him now as just Redlance, in just a normal way, when you want it to be so much more, isn’t it?”

“It is so easy to claim him now, to speak of him as ‘ours’ and ‘mine’ with a warm soul, so very easy.” She replied with a longing look before asking what she wanted to know most. “But why am I so scared to open my heart to him? Why am I so reluctant to take his love in?”

“We have so much more to walk my lifemate, so much more to learn before the day where we can enter his den, but that day will come. As I heal and grow strong you can find your way to him, to open your heart to our treeshaper. The only question is will you wait with me for the day when we are ready?” Cutter answered and asked putting an arm around her waist.

She leaned into the embrace and hugged him back while whispering. “I will my soul, till our last breath I will wait with you.”

The two stood hugging in silence, letting their pledge settle in for a moment before Leetah whispered again. “Do you think he is all right?”

Cutter was about to ask if she wanted to see if they could spend the day with Nightfall and Redlance, it was the only way she would get some rest he was going to say. Then a gentle send touched their minds from Nightfall and it was a welcomed relief to both. Cutter, Leetah, would you like to tree with us today?

They looked at each other with a smile, but neither answered the send, and for a moment it might have gone unanswered if not for Cutter’s prodding. “Go ahead, tell her.”

Yes, yes we do! We’re coming!

Wonderful, come over Nightfall replied so happy it made both of their hearts glow before closing off the send.

The healer only gasped and turned, trotting away before Cutter stopped her with a small pull of his hand. She turned back to see him chuckling and pointing. “We need the pouch with our sleep furs.”

“Oh, oh yes!” Leetah giggled letting him grab the pouch before pulling him in a trot to the tree where Nightfall and Redlance slept. The healer looked up and noticed where the tree branches above had somehow mixed and combined to make a flat area up high.

We’re here my precious one… she sent to Nightfall and almost instantly the huntress was looking over the edge of the flat area down at them.

Climb up, we should have just enough room my loves.

With a small hop, Leetah started up with Cutter right behind and both climbed quickly as what they both longed for was just up above them. She reached the small flat and saw where several of the large branches had grown inward and twisted while smaller branches with leaves grew so abundantly they formed a bed almost. She was looking at the amazing weaving of living tree when she heard Nightfall and saw a small hand reach down. Leetah looked up to see the huntress had removed her head cover and all the long trestles of brown hair fell around Nightfall’s beautiful face.

“Come Leetah, he might still be awake.”

The healer took the hand, and the help, getting onto the sleep flat, but she was lost in what the huntress was saying till she saw Redlance was all ready laying down on the furs. His tunic and boots had been removed leaving him just wearing his leggings. Leetah watched Cutter pull himself up as she whispered. “Is he well?”

“Oh yes, he took a bite of a leaf that will help with the sickness, but it makes him very sleepy. He drifted off as I was sending to you.” Nightfall smiled taking her hand in hers.

“The blue leaf, right?” Cutter asked in a whisper with a smile.

“You remembered,” Nightfall spoke low in return with a cherished look while carefully stepping over her beloved before going to her knees. Leetah followed with Cutter at her side as the trio sat around the dozing treeshaper. They watched his chest rise and fall for a moment then Nightfall sent to them. Its small up here so we’ll have to sleep on top of each other almost.

I don’t mind, Leetah sent blissfully looking at the treeshaper.

Neither do I, I like it actually. Cutter responded with his own similar blissful send.

Nightfall only smiled lovingly again at them, then nodded before slowly sliding down into the crook of her beloved’s arm. She moved her long locks so her head would rest on his bare shoulder. Leetah followed doing the same, lying down against the treeshaper’s side after taking off her boots and the bind in her hair. Then Cutter pushed her into him gently as he settled in, and suddenly her whole body was against her treeshaper’s. Her head was on his shoulder, her cheek resting on his bare skin as she smiled and her lifemate sent. Sorry, like our huntress said, we’re going to be sleeping close today while we rest.

Leetah just smiled as she settled in, like a hand fitting into a glove it seemed, as if this was her spot and had always been. She slowly reached up and put her palm on Redlance’s chest then she saw Nightfall looking at her with eyes filled with love as the huntress’s send touched her mind with the same emotion. He cares for you two so much, with all his heart. He was so worried he scared you both with what happened. He was going to ask you to tree but the blue leaf made him fall asleep too fast.

I never knew he did this, for us. Leetah remarked, rubbing small circles on his chest with her fingertips.

He’ll be fine by evening my sweet healer, ready to guard us like he always has and will. Nightfall added.

The healer smiled then watched with a warm heart as across her body her lifemate reached and took the hand of her huntress, their fingers entwining. Leetah looked over to see Nightfall close her eyes with a smile of such contentment it made her heart warm even more. She looked back to her treeshaper and gently reached up to scratch his chin and the face fur their lovingly as she thought to no one. What can we do to thank you our gentle one, for all you have given us, for bringing us to this point? She slowly drew her fingertips lightly down his neck feeling the muscles there, the beat of his heart, and she smiled even more. What could she do for him to even begin to show him how much he meant to her, to her Cutter and her Nightfall right now? She reached up and began the trip with her fingers again when he turned his head toward her and smiled so sweetly she felt her breath stop. A send touched all their minds as their treeshaper breathed deeply, the images swirling to a day all three had forgotten, a day so special it had never been lost to Redlance though.

It was her home in Sorrow’s End as Leetah recognized her quaint little hut that she shared with Cutter. The light of the day star was low as she watched her treeshaper approach her and her lifemate’s home with long eager steps. He knocked on the entrance once then entered, as was custom in the village, and when he was inside he froze to the spot. The fading light of the day star through the beaded drape gave the inside of the hut a dusky, smoky view as he saw his lifemate and Leetah preparing for the Festival of Flood and Flowers that very night. The pair was dressed in the small wispy garments the dancers wore, clinging to the proportions of their bodies in such a sensual way as to make his mouth dry from want. Then there was Cutter, dressed in the small trunks of the dancers, shaking his head with a handsome smile.

“Do we look silly beloved, me and our chief?” Nightfall asked.

”No…you all look so beautiful…I truly can’t breathe…your beauty has struck me numb.” He whispered in wonder making his lovely lifemate blush.

”Thank you Redlance,” Leetah replied genuinely feeling a warmth to her cheeks as well as she blushed.

”Yes, thank you Redlance,” Cutter smiled with his piercing blue eyes.

”Are you going to watch us dance beloved?” Nightfall asked.

”Yes, I would never miss you dancing my huntress. I would never miss the chance to see Leetah or Cutter dance.” Redlance whispered and through the send they could feel his awe, his sudden feeling of being struck speechless because his heart had completely stopped. They felt his love soar for them at that very moment, up through the twilight of the setting day star to the very twin moons themselves. A love he would gladly give to Leetah and Cutter if they just asked, and had given to his precious huntress so long ago.

The image swirled again and they saw the night and how all three leapt and glided through the air to the Oos’s and Aaa’s of the villagers, but there was one who watched with a tear in his eye at the back in the shadows. Oh, how he loved them and through the send they felt the depth of his heart and his soul. Cutter buried his face in lifemate’s hair as he felt a single tear roll down his cheek at the feeling of being so admired, wanted. He felt his hand squeezed by Nightfall who cried with him at all the warmth, but it was Leetah who whispered to him so sweetly and affectionately as she stroked his cheek. “I will dance for you my treeshaper. I will dance for you again I promise.”

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Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyThu Apr 09, 2015 1:57 am

Love the let's see if this makes me sick. Poor Redlance.

Love the memory from the Sun Village too.

This foursome will make quire the family when it happens.

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Reese's, Kashmir's, and Tequila's mommy.
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wolfmoonsky

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyFri Apr 10, 2015 10:16 am

Just readed chapter 9 and 10!

I love the closeness between Leetah and Nightfall! I love that she gave her soul name to her!

“Yes…our treeshaper.”
“Yes, your treeshaper.”

XD I can't help chuckle at that!

Poor Redlance getting sick, by an stupid leaf! I love the reason he didn't let himself get healed. Things between Leetah and Redlance seems to be very good! This foursome are going to make quite a nice family! I can litterly feel the love come out my pc screen! The end was kinda emotional too, made me smile much.
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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Eleven   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyFri Apr 10, 2015 10:20 pm

@wolfmoonsky wrote:
Just readed chapter 9 and 10!

I love the closeness between Leetah and Nightfall! I love that she gave her soul name to her!

“Yes…our treeshaper.”
“Yes, your treeshaper.”

XD I can't help chuckle at that!

Poor Redlance getting sick, by an stupid leaf! I love the reason he didn't let himself get healed. Things between Leetah and Redlance seems to be very good! This foursome are going to make quite a nice family! I can litterly feel the love come out my pc screen! The end was kinda emotional too, made me smile much.

Oh my, wolfmoonsky you have no idea how close these four will become but I promise if you keep reading you'll find out.  We have so much farther to go!  What a Face

But now, on with the next chapter and piece...


Chapter 11

A bird warbled close by waking Cutter from a deep and so pleasant slumber in which he had sweet dreams of love making, sharing deeply with all his heart.  His eyes opened to the changing light of the day, the day star slipping low on the horizon just above the tree tops.  He was lying on his side still with his soulmate under his arm tucked in cozily, but the other pair he had gone to sleep with had disappeared.  The wolf chief rose up on one elbow slowly looking for his family and through hazy half awake eyes he spotted one sitting on the edge of the sleep spot looking out at the forest.  “Nightfall,” Cutter whispered just as his lifemate woke beneath him to the empty furs and her old fears came back.

“Where is our treeshaper? Where is Nightfall?” Leetah asked quickly rising up with a snap off the furs.  Her hands that had been searching just the moment before gripped the furs tightly in balled fists as sleep filled eyes tried to focus too quickly.  

“It’s all right my love, she’s here.”  Cutter whispered warmly rubbing her arm and side with long reassuring strokes to comfort and sooth his cherished lifemate’s fears.  Her reaction, the panic in her voice, it all brought back the memories from the days before Leetah had returned to him, of sudden nightmares when he had found his treeshaper gone from his side.  He had felt that cold fear before and he knew instantly what his love was wanting, needing.

Nightfall turned and slid back over the furs with her beautiful healer and cherished chief whispering lovingly.  “It fine my sweet one, our treeshaper went to gather berries for us to eat.   He’ll be back before we’re fully awake.”

Leetah closed her eyes pushing the fear back of waking alone in the furs, felt her Twen’s loving send reach out to give her love as well as Cutter and she shivered.  “He just went for berries?”

“I think he’s back, listen.” Cutter smiled as his sharp ears picked up the slightest sound of hands and feet scraping tree bark.  The healer looked to the end of the sleep area where Nightfall had been sitting with eagerness, eyes now open and awake and needing to see him or these fears would wash her under.  Then she saw him thankfully, his red-hair popping up past the leaves and branches of the flat and Leetah smiled with relief as she saw one of his sacks gripped in his teeth swinging side to side just like his braids.

She watched as he climbed up with a quick pull of his strong arms, floating in the air for a moment before swinging onto the flat.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to wake you three.  I found some berries that taste very good and I thought we might be hungry. ”

Redlance slid over to his spot in between Leetah and Nightfall putting his back against the trunk of the tree.  His huntress wrapped her arms around him putting her head on his shoulder while the healer just grabbed his waist in a hug putting her head in his lap feeling him, savoring the musky forest scent of her treeshaper.  “These aren’t the berries from this morning?” Cutter asked making the lifebearers giggle, even Leetah herself, as he reached up and took the treeshaper’s neck in his hand lovingly.

“No my chief, “Redlance chuckled letting Cutter reach into the bag with his other hand and take a berry, “I made sure those berries will never darken our bole hole again.”

“How did you do that beloved?” Nightfall asked before letting him put a berry into her mouth with a small drop.  As she bit the most splendid taste hit her tongue and Nightfall made a long mmm sound.

“I grew the bush back to a seedling.  It will take some time for it to grow back. Do you want a berry Leetah?”

The healer only smiled and held her head up enough to have him drop one in her mouth and she made the same mmm sound as she bit into it, or maybe she made the happy sound because her treeshaper had started to rub her back with small circle strokes.  The healer ate three more berries while she lay there purring under the touch of Redlance and Nightfall, who was rubbing her hands slowly and gently.  Cutter pushed up against her gently and all those fears from just moments before faded as quickly as they began.  Leetah felt safe, secure, and so very warm.  There was no cold of loneliness that could touch her here as she listened to her loves talk.

“Did you see Strongbow?” Cutter asked chewing a berry.

The treeshaper nodded his head while putting another berry in his huntress’s mouth.  “Yes, he’s waiting on us to go and flush the deer out the cave.  He looks like the old Strongbow now, the gleam in his eye when you speak of a hunt.”

“Then no deer is safe in the forest,” Cutter chuckled reaching down rubbing his lifemate’s hip letting her know she was safe.  Leetah purred some more reveling in the feel of the start of the night, but it soon came to end.  Cutter gave the order to pack and ready to leave.  He gave Leetah a kiss and nuzzle before leaping down from the sleep flat to go and meet with the archer about the hunt.  They would hunt the cave and then travel the night on full bellies was the plan and after the wolf chief left Redlance helped gather all the sleep furs and belongings back into pouches.  They climbed down with the treeshaper in the lead and as he touched the ground he turned back to help Nightfall down giving her a sweet kiss before turning to Leetah.  

“Here Leetah, let me help.” He said reaching up and helping her down.  His hands took her hips in a firm stable grip that made her gasp just a little and with a slow descent.  She stared deeply into his dark green eyes just as he smiled that warm loving smile that made her soul glow and her knees went just a little weak before settling.  She grabbed his arms feeling the muscles there and whispered low as she felt overwhelmed.

“Thank you my treeshaper,”

Kiss him…just do it and savor it her mind screamed.  Kiss him and set yourself free her soul cried out.  And yet she couldn’t, what had happened this morning came back and the fear held her want at bay again.  What if she woke and he wasn’t there?  What if she went too far and hurt them all?  She rubbed his arms wanting them around her, crushing her in a hard hug and his love holding her safely, but how to get there safely?  She smiled and turned wanting so much and yet only able to walk and take Nightfall’s hand.

“May I ride with you today my precious one?” She asked with a pressed smile.  

Nightfall saw the smile for what it was and knew the pain there.  The huntress smiled back and squeezed the hand warmly.  “Of course my sweet one, I would love for you to hold me as we ride.”

Leetah felt the love for her Twen grow as she squeezed the hunterss’s hand and then he was beside her and the want to be held came back.  She looked to her treeshaper warmly as he smiled with them and chuckled.  “We better hurry and catch Strongbow or he’ll hunt the cave without us.”

“Are you worried you’ll miss out on the meal beloved?” Nightfall asked with an even wider loving grin.

The treeshaper shook his head with a mischievous grin holding up a stick he picked up off the ground.  “I want to use my lucky stick again!”

Both of the lifebearers giggled as he chuckled and for a moment Leetah reached out with her hand without thinking touching his shoulder.  It was quick and if seen by anyone else would have been dismissed as a friendly graze of flesh.  Only for her it was small attempt to quell the want for him and not face the fear of what to do next.  As they trotted to catch the tribe the day star fell farther into the horizon and night came.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

The hunt brought three more deer to the tribes kills, a buck and two more does.  Treestump’s prediction of not going in this time came true as Redlance went in by himself.  They ate till full, wolves and elves alike, before riding out in the direction the treeshaper gave them.  As the tribe started off Cutter and Leetah and Nightfall hung back as long as they could with their treeshaper, staying with him as long as they could.  No one wanted to part, if they could stay on the flat laying in each other’s arms doing nothing but never letting go it would have been the perfect way to spend the night.  Yet they couldn’t and as the tribe started to get farther away Cutter sighed heavily from his wolf friend and smiled weakly.

“Be careful my treeshaper, I need to see you safe in the morning.”

“I’ll follow and protect you my chief,” the treeshaper replied with a warm smile rubbing his chief’s leg.

“Be safe my soul, I’ll wait for you when you come in.” Nightfall whispered before leaning over and kissing him deeply.  

Leetah saw the kiss and felt a pang of jealousy because she wanted to kiss him like that, to feel her breath leave her like it does with her soulmate.  She only smiled though as Nightfall leaned back still unsure of what to do, then he reached over and with a gentle squeeze touched her leg making her heart skip as he spoke.  “Be careful Leetah, I’ll think of you all night and I will breathe again when I see you safe with my chief.”

His words touched her like a stroke of sky fire leaving her with no response but to nod and hold back a tear.  She reached out again and took his hand in hers and held it with a firmness she had only used when Cutter left to fight the Djun.  Leetah didn’t want to let go as Nightfall put her wolf friend to walking behind their chief’s wolf.  She held on as long as she could never letting her eyes leave his and as he started to fade from sight all three felt a send touch their souls giving each a love as fierce as they had ever felt.  It went with them it whispered, his heart, and it would be with them always till his least breath.  

Cutter closed his eyes feeling that love and soaked it up as he smiled and whispered to the energy around him.  “I love you my treeshaper…I’m coming…I promise…”  They heard him, Nightfall and Leetah, and both reached out for him taking his hand in a warm touch.  They all understood these three what waited for them at the end of the night and each needed him in their own way and as they rode on in quiet keeping the tribe now in view and with their heart back behind in the dark somewhere a single question came up.

“What was it like when you went to him the first time?” Leetah whispered with her head resting on her Twen’s shoulder.  Her hand, which rubbed the huntress’s stomach with gentle brushes of her fingertips, felt a jump as Nightfall giggled then sighed.

“That tale might make you think twice of going to him,”

Cutter had drifted back on his wolf friend on hearing the question, and answer, only smiled wide eyed.  “I think she would like to hear it as much as I would even though it was not my best night as a friend to you.”

“We were both young my chief and if not for you I would never have found him,” Nightfall giggled as Leetah behind her looked on confused.  

She looked from her lifemate to her Twen and back wanting to know just what would make her think twice about going to him and not be her beloved’s best night.  What tale could do both and if it did she mot certainly had to hear it.  There was no choice as she whispered.  “What tale?”

“Do you really want to know? I have never told anyone about that night I finally went to him, not even Cutter.” Nightfall asked quietly as she saw the look on her chief’s face, the curious little wolf coming out in his lovely blue eyes.

“If it is too close to your heart then you don’t have to tell us my precious one,” Leetah smiled hugging her huntress.

Nightfall just shook her head and smiled with a whisper, “Not as much being too close as it is silly and not my best night.”

“What did you do my huntress to get his attention?” Leetah asked but it was Cutter who spoke with those curious filled eyes.

“Yes…please show us my huntress…how did you go to our treeshaper?”  And across their lock-send the images of that night flowed to him.    

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

“I want a knife, a good knife.”  She answered.  Nightfall hated the troll caves, though not for the reasons the others in the tribe did.  She didn’t mind the dark or the closeness or the heat from the great fires the Trolls used to shape their bright metal.  No, her reason for loathing this place stood just over there in the shadows staring at her with eyes that seemed to bore right into her soul.  It was as if the eyes could see the truth in her soul, the real truth as to why she had come to Picknose to barter.      

The Wolfriders had no skill in shaping bright metal.  There was no need for it in their world.  For any duty or act that required bright metal the only place to get it was bargaining with the Trolls in the caves.  It was a simple process, go to the door, bang on it till one of the trolls opened it, and then tell them you wanted to trade.  It didn’t matter which Troll came to you at the door and brought you inside, any and all trading went through one master of the dark domain, Picknose.  To say the troll was heavy set was to say Father Tree was a sapling.  Picknose was the walking example of girth and roundness and it all surrounded a surly meanness as bad as her wild eyed chief Bearclaw, only she feared her chief more than Picknose.

“A good knife,” Picknose grunted looking down her, trying to intimidate her, before he looked back at the other trolls who were working in the great fire.  “Hey, the little elf wants a ‘good knife’.   Do we have any those lying around?”

“Drat, I just traded the last one to that black eyed cat for a brown nut!” One of the trolls by the great fire responded sending every troll in the room into a raucous laughter.  

She ground her teeth in frustration and a little bit of anger at being laughed at, and she snarled at Picknose.  “I want a knife that won’t break when we use it, like the last two you tried to pass onto us!”

“Hey, those were perfectly good knives we traded to you, don’t go talking bad about our metal!” Picknose shot back.

“How many hides for a knife that won’t break?” Nightfall demanded still snarling.  She was done with the caves, with Picknose, and with the eyes that watched her too closely.  All she wanted was a number and then she could leave.

Picknose threw up his hands and shook his head annoyed now with this elf, as he was with all elves.  “You’re becoming a pain in my backside, no knife and no deals!”

Nightfall clenched her fist as the frustration in her climbed right up into stark anger.  Picknose had no idea how important this knife was to her but he was about to find out…and then a voice that scratched and crawled under your skin spoke.

“Make the trade Picknose,” the eyes said coldly and the young huntress felt her blood go to ice, like the stream did in the Death Season.

“Why Maggoty, her sire came in and got one two nights ago!” Picknose bellowed.

“Oh this knife, it’s not for her father…no, this knife is for another special one, isn’t it sweet little elf?” The eyes chuckled and it was like hearing your bones crack after a long cold day in the forest.  Nightfall froze at the words too, the eyes knew why she had come to the caves to trade and it knew for whom.

“Six hides for the knife,” Picknose offered with a spit.

“Six?  I’ll give you three!” Nightfall huffed feeling her body warm as the anger started heat her again.

“Six little elf and no less…I promise Picknose here will make you the best knife he has ever made.” The eyes countered.

The young huntress bit her lip and stared at Picknose then to the eyes and back to the fat toll and hissed. “Six hides, no tanning.”

“Deal,” the eyes agreed still as cold as the Death Season and Nightfall left walking as fast as she could to get back to the night and the Holt.  

She needed six hides and she only had one, but she knew who had two and if she got his then she was almost there.  So she raced back to the Father Tree and asked where her friend and future chief Cutter was.  Everyone had seen him taking the trail out to go to the forest just a few moments before and Nightfall felt her heart jump, he was close which meant she was closer to getting the knife for Redmark, though when she found her friend he was not as receptive to the idea of trading his hides to her as Nightfall had hoped.

“I can’t trade both of my hides Nightfall.  I have a trade I need them for as well.” Cutter said with a shake of his head.

The young huntress sighed and knelt by him on the trail where he was looking at tracks.  She knew he was looking for Skywise and if he was doing that then the stargazer had chosen Foxfur over him for the night and the young chief would be alone and in a bad mood.  “I’ll get you two and another one if you give me yours tonight.  I promise Cutter.”

The young chief sighed and looked up from the trail shaking his head.  “I know why you’re getting Redmark the knife…it won’t work, he won't notice you.”

Her mouth went to a thin line and the frustration from the troll caves came back and set in.  “He will notice me!”

“No he won’t, Bearclaw says he’s alone because he chooses to be alone.  Mother said Rainsong and Foxfur both went to tree with him and Redmark didn’t take to either of them.”  Cutter snorted.

“That just means he chooses wisely!” Nightfall spat back.

“It means he wants to be alone!  If he won’t tree with Foxfur then he won’t tree with you either!”  Cutter growled back.

“Fine, one hide for two, final deal?” Nightfall growled just as hard back while holding out her hand to complete the trade.

“Fine! Agreed!” Cutter growled again taking her hand and shaking it once.

Well that didn’t go as well as she would have liked but Nightfall rose from the ground and started to run off.  She needed four more hides and the night was almost half over, the deer would be hiding soon leaving her with no chance to get the four she needed.  In her mind she felt Cutter’s send, worried and friendly now.

Where are you going to hunt?  Its late…

To the spot out by the large pool of water, She replied quickly running as fast as she could.

It’s too late now and that’s too far…just wait till tomorrow please Cutter asked back with a little more concern.  He had good reason, only the experienced hunters went that far out and she had only been once with the hunting party to the spot.  The trip there was long and marred with possible encounters with longtooth’s and bears and strangleweed but when she was there she had seen so many deer, oh it was the best place she could get her four hides by morning.  So she had decided to chance it and she would not be swayed from her decision.

I’ll be fine, see you in the morn! She finished with a smile running to get her hides and in the end his knife.

Yet her race ended so short of reaching the pool and its plentiful deer that it made her cry.  It seemed she was never supposed to reach the large body of water as everything that could go wrong went wrong and with spectacularly bad results.  Her bow was broken, her quiver ripped to the point it would hold no more arrows, and her ankle wouldn’t bear her weight which meant she was reduced to hobbling back to Father Tree and time spent with Rain to take care of it.  Maybe the healer could also look at the myriad of scratches all over her body.  There wasn’t one part of her that wasn’t itching from being scratched or cut.  And her face, it was probably as dirty as a tusk hogs.  It was enough to make you cry and Nightfall was just about to as she took another step and hissed as her ankle screamed in pain.

“I’m never going to get back before the day star comes,” Nightfall sighed as the first angry tear rolled down her cheek.

“Nightfall…is that you?”

Oh no, that voice…it was him.  She looked up with a scared face and there he was standing out like a glow bug in the darkest of night.  Of all the Wolfriders it had to be him.  He started to trot over with his braids bouncing as she felt so mortified she wanted to dig a hole and disappear in it, if her ankle could have held her Nightfall would have run like a deer into the woods.  He was going to see her like this, all messed and ragged and just dirty.  How was she supposed to get him to take her in when she looked like this?  The tears came faster now as she got angrier and angrier for this horrible night and the fact it would not end.  Then he was there, his hands on her and his sweet voice sounding so caring in her ear.

“Nightfall…are you okay?  What’s wrong?”

She shook her head as she started to cry more.  All she wanted to do was just yell so loud her voice would give out form the effort, from the anger.  She had ruined everything, how was he going to take her now into his den like this? No hides…no knife…no him.  She felt his arms pull her to him and with gentle ease sit her down on the ground by the tree as she sobbed and shook uncontrollably as all the bad energy from this night just crashed in on her.  Nightfall reached out and hugged him back, one hand on his neck and the other around his waist, as she heard Pike whisper to Redmark.  “Is she all right?”

“I don’t know…I think her ankle maybe hurt and the way she’s scratched from head to toe she must have fallen.” Redmark answered holding her and letting her cry into his chest.  

And so she did until the anger just left her tired and worn like an old piece of torn leather.  She slowly let go of him and swallowed.  “I fell down the side of a steep hill after a badger chased me…I was going to hunt the large pool of water.”

“The large pool?  You’re not allowed to go there Nightfall, especially by yourself.”  Pike responded, as if she had forgotten the order by Bearclaw like some treewee.

“I know that Pike.  I hadn’t planned on being attacked by a badger!” Nightfall said curtly trying to hold back more tears and being unsuccessful.  Why was he treating her like some cub, some fool that had to reminded of their place.

Redmark turned to the spear bearer and pointed to the woods. “Get me some vines Pike, I’ll make a carrier like before so we can get her back to Father Tree.”

Nightfall leaned back against the tree and watched as Pike ran off crying more as he turned back to her.  He smiled at her and her heart skipped, so much so she barely heard what he said.  “I have something for the cuts, just give me a moment.”  She sighed heavily getting herself under control as she watched him reach into that oblong pouch he always walked around with.  He pulled a leather square out and opened it pulling out a large red leaf from it.  He held out his hand and caught a drop of the juice that came from it then poured some water in his hand from his water skin and then rubbed the mix in both hands.  She sighed again as he began to rub her arms and then her neck and finally her stomach.  All the touching and caressing, in her state and the way she felt for him, made Nightfall breath deep and want so much she began to sweat.  She wanted him to touch her, wanted that feeling more than she did when she was with Cutter.

“There, does that feel better?” Redmark asked.

“Yes…thank you,” Nightfall whispered shakily taking his hand in hers without intending to, just needing to.  He squeezed it back holding it and a feeling of warmth started to grow in her stomach, grow like a small flower.

“Good, now why are you out this far?”

She shook her head and closed her eyes wanting nothing to do anymore with this night.  “Please, I just want to go back to Father Tree.”

Redmark only nodded and she fell even more in love with him for not prying and when Pike brought back the vines he made a carrier for her cutting and tying the vine into a basket almost.  They fitted it around her carefully and then stood her up gently before Redmark squatted low to give her a chance to climb up. They ran the vines over his shoulders as she lay on his back then with a steady easy heave he stood up and she sat comfortable in the carrier.  The trio started off toward Father Tree at a good walk.  Nightfall rested her head on the back of his neck closing her eyes as the vines held her up against his back.  One arm went over his right shoulder and the other went under his left side to meet up in the middle of his chest.  Redmark’s musty scent swam over her and soothed her like the touching he had done before, the frustration now a distant memory.  The night had been awful and she would not get his knife but in the end she got Redmark and in truth that is all she ever wanted.

“Mine…mine…” she whispered lovingly squeezing him tightly as her heart leapt in her chest.

“What did she say?” Pike whispered with a raised eyebrow.

“Nothing…now help me work on a story to tell Bearclaw so she doesn’t get into trouble.”

“Ok,” Pike smiled, oh how he liked telling stories.  

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“He carried you all the way back?” Leetah whispered with devotion.

“Oh yes…and we didn’t arrive alone, did we my chief?”  Nightfall chuckled low thinking fondly of her lifemate and the memory.

“No…like you, it was not my best night either.” He smiled blissfully with a shake of his head.

“Why, what happened next?”  Leetah asked looking from Nightfall to Cutter.

The huntress giggled and shook her head.  “We found our chief…and I found a way to make our treeshaper take me in.”

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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 11, 2015 2:40 am

History! I like reading back stories of the past. This one should prove very interesting.

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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Twelve   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyMon Apr 13, 2015 8:19 am

@G0lden wrote:
History!  I like reading back stories of the past.  This one should prove very interesting.

Yes G0lden, not only do we Entertain here at Shaman Enterprises, but we also educate!  lol!


And now, onto our next chapter...


Chapter 12

The water was so cold. He shook from the very inside, from his very bones it felt like. The frigid water numbed him, to the point where Cutter could barely hold onto the fallen tree he had been swept into and was now clawing at, just trying to hold onto to keep from getting swept under and away down the wide stream. Broken branches and chunks of other trees had been bouncing off his body almost from the moment he had grabbed this old rotting husk he was now pinned against. How long had he been hanging on here, clinging for his very life? Most of the night it felt like, long enough to lose the feeling in his hands and legs, even if he wanted to swim for the bank Cutter knew he’d never make it. The distance was too far and he didn’t have the strength to climb out, not now. Puckernuts, he thought shaking so bad his teeth chattered, if I hadn’t just been in such a rush to catch Skywise. If I had used my head I wouldn’t be here about to meet Mantricker.

Another chunk of something hit him and Cutter growled. He was suddenly so angry, at himself and at Skywise and at this stream and at every piece of whatever it was hitting him. He gripped the log tighter and with a grunt pulled himself up enough to yell out. “HELP ME!! HELP ME!!”

Then his arm, weakened by exposure, gave and he fell back into the water with a small splash and ended up inhaling some. Cutter popped back up grabbing the log again coughing and sputtering, gasping in air for a moment till he could let out a loud and long scream of pure anger. There was no frustration. There was no agitation in this bellow. No, it was fury and rage. Cutter caught his breath and leaned back to scream for help again when he felt a send scream back.

CUTTER!

He looked over to the bank and there he saw the most wonderful site, the best he could imagine or hope for this night, three of his tribe running to him. HELP ME! I CAN’T SWIM TO THE BANK!

HANG ON! WE’RE COMING TO GET YOU! Nightfall sent back to him, comforting him. Cutter breathed deep and thanked anyone who would listen to his stuttering prayer as he clung to the log with what was left of his strength.

On the bank, Nightfall sat down hard due the fact her ankle wouldn’t keep her standing before looking to Pike and Redmark with fearful look. “He can’t swim to us. He’s too cold!”

Redmark clapped Pike on the shoulder and both ran for the forest while yelling back to her. “Keep him talking Nightfall, tell him we’re going to get him.” She just nodded then turned back to Cutter sending to him, telling him to hang on. She felt helpless and scared, but Nightfall never let Cutter feel that on her send to him. She just kept telling him to hang on, to just hang on for everything he had, and then Redmark ran up with a long vine wound around his arm and Pike just a step behind. The maybe-treeshaper held on to one end then handed the other end to the spear bearer before calling out to Cutter.

“We’re coming Cutter! Hang on!” Redmark screamed before back to Pike. “We need the tusk hog Pike, pull on this when I tell you with everything you have.”

“I will!” The spear bearer grinned taking the vine and wrapping it around his waist. Nightfall looked over to Redmark who had just finished tying his end of the vine around his waist and before she could say a thing he ran up the bank a distance. Then he turned and dove head first into the stream with no hands in front of him or anything, just diving in like some red-haired fish. As he went under she gasped and then with a pop he came back up being carried by the swift stream, down toward Cutter. She smiled when she saw him take one small stroke with his arms to get lined up and when Redmark landed on the log by her friend she yelped for joy.

“Pull us in Pike! Pull!!” With the order the spear bearer started to walk backwards grunting with the effort, pulling with all his strength. Nightfall slid over and helped as much as she could, what with an ankle that couldn’t take a step. Redlance took Cutter in his arms and then put a foot on the log and pushed off trying to get to the bank, trying to help Pike. The first push off wasn’t much but then the second time he went with Pike’s pull and he glided against the current and got close to the bank. Nightfall yelped again with excitement as they were closer now and on the third push off and pull Redmark reached the bank with Cutter. Pike scrambled down the small slope and helped get the young chief out of the stream dragging the shivering elf up to Nightfall. The spear bearer turned back then to help Redmark climb out as Nightfall wrapped her arms around her dear friend and rubbed his wet body to warm him up.

“Your safe now Cutter, we have you! Your safe now!” She whispered over and over as they rubbed the young chief to warm him. And all he could say back was thank you, over and over, as the cold of the stream slowly faded from his body. His bones ached and his skin burned but Cutter was alive and as he shivered he stared at Redmark silently thanking the High Ones that they had sent the elf his way.

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“Saved from two streams by him, Bearclaw would be howling with laughter.” Cutter smiled with a shake of his head.

“He was when Pike and our treeshaper told him the story of how I was a mess and you were still dripping wet. “Nightfall giggled. Behind her Leetah rubbed her huntress’s stomach relishing in the story and the feeling of her Twen in her arms. Her chin rested lightly on Nightfall’s shoulder as she giggled at the image the huntress sent of that night through the lock-send. The four of them standing in front of a serious looking, wild eyed chief, who was about to punish both, until a young red haired elf told an outlandish tale of a badger attacking the two young, but able hunters, and driving them down a hill where one hit a tree and the other went into the stream.

And where is this hill they fell down the one’s fair haired mother asked with concern?

Oh, it was the large one just on the edge of where the young hunters were never to go past the red-haired elf told them. The hill with the large trees that grew the red hanging fruit, the other one’s dark haired mother asked with just as much concern? Yes, it was just that exact hill the red-haired elf replied with a nod and a smile, one that all three immediately warmed at.

And why were you two out by that hill a stout yellow haired fur chinned elf asked of the other two who helped with a raised eyebrow. The other elf, a strong spear bearer, stepped up quickly and held out a large leather sack that moved on its own and hissed loudly every few moments. From the way it moved, the snake inside it was fairly large and highly upset. Snake hunting the spear bearer pronounced loudly and proudly with a large smile. Almost at once every Wolfrider around them, and it was pretty much every one, shuffled back a few steps to get a safe distance and the ones with cubs pulled them away quickly. Even the lithe brown haired elf watched her father step in front of her mother, to the point she had to lean to see around anything, which was silly. It was a snake, she and her fair-haired friend played with them most every night.

The wild eyed chief looked at bag with the snake, and then at the four elves, two who were trusted and loved and looking like they had had the worst night of their young long lives. The other two, a known trouble maker and his willing red haired partner, looked to be the heroes. It was all too much of a...tale. Bearclaw chuckled as he looked them over, and then chortled right into a guffaw as he walked away laughing. There would be no punishments from the chief this night, or other nights...well…

“Joyleaf kept me in close to Father Tree for a full turn on the moon. She knew that story from our treeshaper was a lie so she punished me anyway, and here’s Bearclaw patting me on the back for the best story he had ever heard.” Cutter laughed.

Nightfall leaned back into her healer and giggled even more. “Mine as well. Mother had Rain checking on my ankle every night for that same turn of the moon, and father told me every day before we laid in the furs I was too wild sometimes.”

“You wild? No, my precious one, your absolutely perfect.” Leetah sighed, hugging her Twen while kissing her ear.

The huntress smiled and purred for a moment, then stopped and looked to Cutter with a worried eye. “Then don’t think less of me for what I am about to tell you. Don’t think I was foolish for doing what I did. For me, then and sometimes now, everything had to have a purpose and a reason. My father made me honor preparation and patience as a hunter, to never take the wild shot, but the well planned one. He taught me to look at everything with a careful eye, to learn and know all that I could before doing anything. He told me I had to be in control, to receive an expected answer to a prepared question, because there was no other way for the hunter. A buck track means a buck and nothing else, a scent of a buck tells me I’m hunting a buck, and when you tell someone you think of them constantly they should tell you the same in return. Only Redlance didn’t tell me I was in his mind and for the first moment ever I didn’t get the answer to a question I thought I would get. I knew I should get.”

“There is nothing that would make me think less of you my huntress, my heart, but you didn’t really expect him to take you in the first time you asked.” Cutter answered, looking back with love to Nightfall while behind her Leetah hugged her knowing too well the kind of life where control was as natural as breathing and had to be. She had been sought out to join in sharing with practically every Sun Villager since an early age, and rarely if ever for love it seemed. No, it was for her powers as a healer, the slightest possibility to bring forth life with a touch of her delicate fingers to desperate lifebearers, the smallest chance to bear a child worth anything. Or to heal a cut or sore back from workers in an instant was much easier than to wait for their bodies to rejuvenate on its own, it’s what she was supposed to do, right? So, she guarded everything, from her heart to her soul to her freedom, because if she didn’t they would have taken it from her for a child or less. Oh, how I know your life my huntress, for we are truly sisters in all but blood Leetah thought with a smile and hug of her hands.

Nightfall only smiled and sighed, telling how she had finally cornered her lifemate. “I was so sure he would say yes to tree and when he didn’t…I was scared. I was crazed. I tried everything to get him tree with me, to notice me. I was never able to give him the knife and after that nothing worked to get his attention. I asked mother what I should do and she started to cry thinking I was speaking of you my love Cutter, but when I told her it was Redlance she just turned white and wouldn’t answer my questions. I asked Moonshade and Clearbrook and even Rainsong and Foxfur what to do, and everything they told me to do didn’t work.”

“Is that when you rubbed the flowers all over your neck to attract him?” Cutter chuckled

“Oh High Ones yes, It was the worst idea because every biting bug that could fly chased me through the Holt trying to take a nip.” Nightfall laughed rolling her eyes.

“Oh my precious one,” Leetah giggled feeling so warm her heart glided along with every word.

“Then one day, in the middle of a Death Season, I had had enough and I decided I would stay in his den no matter what.” Nightfall smiled with a look of whimsy at the memory as she shared it all with her loves across the lock-send.

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She climbed into his den quickly with her small pouch looking around and noting he wasn’t there. She slid to the fur pile and picked up the top one sniffing it deeply taking in the scent and then smiling as it made her warm all over. Nightfall looked around his den noting where everything was, from the bowl of tallow with a wick that served as a candle to the furs she scented to the small wood outcroppings where he sat things he longed to keep. She saw a small gold bracelet on one and knew instantly it was his mother’s, a lone object to remember her by, and a small token to keep loss at bay on days when it could overwhelm you. Nightfall felt a pang of sorrow for him, her Redmark, for being alone like this.

Then she sighed and set her mouth to a taught line. The fight was coming, she had to prepare. She had chased him for a full turn of the season, then a half of this one, and this day he was going to hear her out. She reached into her pouch and brought out two sets of special leather bindings she had worked on for two nights. She had taken a supple piece of leather so it would not cut into her skin, cut it into long strips, and then with trial and error she had fashioned them into the perfect pair of restraints. Nightfall had thought of tying him up and then trying to talk with him, but what would that get her, one night at the most? No, she wanted to be in his den forever, nowhere else, and that would take a different kind of plan. Should she take off her leathers? Maybe…no…yes…she wasn’t sure and threw the thought out. There was no time to waste on being indecisive. She took a deep breath knowing she was giving up control, giving up her freedom to gain his heart. With a quick hand so she couldn’t turn back Nightfall took off one boot and then the other before putting one of the pair of bindings on her ankles and pulling the small leather tail to tighten them. As the circles slipped closed she felt a chill run down her spine, being tied up almost scared her more than a storm filled with skyfire, but she would not turn away from this path she told herself. Nightfall reached over and took a fur wrapping it round her shoulders pulling it in tight before taking the last step, the last chance to stop. She took the other pair of leather bindings and slid her wrists in, palm to palm, and then bit down on the tail of leather and pulled.

The bindings slip closed tightly and she was done. Her father had taught her how to tie a knot that once closed would not open again without some effort. That was the very knot holding her captive now. She’d never get it open without his help. So, she took a second-deep breath and waited for the flap to open and fight for her love and his den.

She didn’t wait long for soon the flap popped open and Redmark slid in letting it close behind him. Fresh snow lay scattered in his hair and on the shoulders of his thick tunic. She sighed as he looked so handsome, then his eyes met hers and he smiled warmly.

“Good morn tracker,” She smiled meekly at him.

“Good morn Nightfall, do you need something?” He replied shaking his head to knock the snow out.

“I want to tree with you today.” She stated more than asked. It drew an immediate reaction, a sigh from him that made her chill more than the cold. Maybe this wasn’t the best plan, forcing his hand and all.

He looked up and shook his head slowly with sad eyes, a look that might have told others no but to Nightfall she knew better. She knew he was conflicted, torn down the middle with part wanting her here and the rest for seeing her leave. “I said no before Nightfall, and I’m saying it again. Go back to your den and stay warm with your sire and mother.”

She shook her head never taking her eyes off him. “No, I know you better. You don’t want to be alone.”

“Your mistaken. I’m alone by my choice, now go please.” Redmark whispered with a shake of his head moving away from the entrance to her side where he began to take off his leathers.

“No,”

“Nightfall, stop acting like this an-“Redmark started to say when she tossed back the fur covering her and held up her hands.

“I can’t leave. I’m yours for the day.”

The sight of the bindings drew a look of utter disbelief for a moment from Redmark, but then he sighed and started to reach for her hands intent on untying her. “Why are you doing this Nightfall?”

A wave of anger lit a fire in her belly and Nightfall felt it in her voice. Frustration took hold and she used it to pull her hands away as she answered in a growl his question with one of her own. “No, no, no! You won’t hurt me by throwing me out of your den and I won’t leave on my own! I’m here for the day and that is it! Why did you tell Pike you cared for me?”

He stopped moving, hesitating, while trying to form an answer for her. She looked anxiously into his eyes as he fought something deep down. She gasped as the anger and frustration just pressed her stomach harder while she waited for him to say something.

“Squirrel cheeks needs to learn to keep quiet.” Redmark whispered finally, looking sadly at her and she could see the pain in his soul growing.

“No he shouldn’t, he promised me you said you cared for me and of all the tribe you are the only one who ever speaks from his heart. Skywise, Bearclaw, my father…they all can lie but you always speak from your heart. No, you care for me and I care for you.” She pleaded as the frustration made her start to cry, made her lose focus as the last came out before she was ready.

He sat down by her with one knee raised and a hand on it while looking at her. “It’s not that simple Nightfall…”

“Yes, it is, let me stay here with you…I love you…let me stay!”

“Do you even know what love is Nightfall, truthfully?”

And there was the first problem with her plan, her youth. She had thought of every question he might throw at her, including this one, but there was no lying to him to get by it. She couldn’t lie to him just as she knew he could never lie to her. “No,” she whispered as more frustrated tears came, “No, I don’t know…maybe it’s why Cutter and I broke apart, but I want to know. I want you to teach me.”

“Go back to him, back to Cutter-“

“No! Why won’t you listen to me? Why won’t anyone listen to me? I don’t want him, I want you!” Nightfall growled and pleaded with a wail shaking her head, sending her hair tussling. She had always been about control, about being the one who never became emotional, and yet here she was losing every ounce of it. The bindings made it hard to move as she cried, beginning to slide to him, refusing to give one step in this fight. “Why won’t you let me stay, truthfully?”

He closed his eyes and she knew he wasn’t thinking but judging what to say before speaking, and when he did his voice was low...truthful as she asked. “Something was torn out of me long ago Nightfall and I haven’t been able to put it back. It’s not fair to ask anyone to care for me.”

And that’s when she saw her chance, his blink. Nightfall got up on her knees, though not gracefully by any means, and pulled herself to his side finally to whisper. “I don’t want to replace what was lost, I never could. I want to give you something new to grow with, something that is yours alone that you grew with your love.”

“And how do you know what to give me if you don’t know what love is Nightfall? How can we grow if we don’t know what it is we’re trying to feed?”

She bit her lip in frustration and whispered giving one last try, one last plead from her heart and soul. “I know you care for me and I will not walk away from you because I care for you so much more than words can show. Please, show me what love is. I will listen to your every word so teach me so I can give back. I’m not leaving your den unless you throw me out and I know you Redmark, my sweet Redmark. You won’t hurt me or make me look foolish to the others in the tribe. And I promise you I will come back tomorrow and the next day and the next. I will tie myself up every visit so you can’t make me leave. I won’t let whatever’s inside of you keep me from you anymore, I won’t. I have waited long enough wanting you to hold me!”

The den became quiet and once again he closed his eyes. The frustration and the anger were gone now leaving just an empty shell that longed for an answer in Nightfall’s soul. She breathed deep forcing her hands not to tremble and then he was reaching and touching the binding with a slow touch, tracing the leather gently. “Tying yourself up, there’s more to it than making sure I don’t throw you out?”

“Yes,” she sighed whispering and smiling for the first time, the need for an answer fading just a bit for the briefest of moments. “I want you to save me again, like the night you found me and carried me back to Father Tree.”

He looked at her smiling in disbelief again, but this time the smile told her she was at least not being denied once more. Oh, High Ones thank you, she was not being denied again she thought as he spoke. “One day, and you keep the bindings on.”

“You’re not going untie me?” She asked with a giggle and lovely grin.

“No, and again, one day.”

Nightfall just smiled a little more and whispered feeling now he wanted her to stay; feeling assured in the smallest way was such bliss. “No, I told you…today and tomorrow and the next.”

“No,” he smiled a little more, a little warmer, while still shaking his head.

“Yes,” she replied putting both her bound hands on his knee feeling a warm glow begin to spread through her body.

He leaned forward closing the distance to her. “No,” he whispered.

She leaned in just as close, almost nose to nose, and whispered low. “Yes…I will not leave you alone anymore Redmark, my tracker.”

They stayed there just staring into each other’s eyes waiting for the other to blink, only neither did, and they only broke when Redmark finally moved sliding over to the fur pile. Nightfall tried to follow but the bindings made her fall to her side and end up on her back like one of the hard shells from the lake. She sat up just in time to see him slide over and pick her up into his chest. “Sorry…I guess I didn’t think this all the way through.” She whispered low.

“Oh, I think you thought this through with extra care. You are not one to do anything without being sure where you step.” Redmark replied setting her down on her side in the furs gently.

“Maybe, but it’s only because you’re the smartest of us all and I had to prepare for everything.” She giggled while propping herself up on one elbow to watch him. He removed the rest of his leathers except for his leggings and there on his side was a long scar, faint and just barely visible, she had never seen before. The mark suddenly concerned her and Nightfall’s voice was filled with it as she whispered. “What happened to make the scar?”

He took off the head band he wore in silence and placed it by the pouch he always carried and then his knife by it, the blade worn and chipped. It was only after talking with Clearbrook did Nightfall find out the blade was his father’s, cherished and honored so much that the new knife she had tried to get him would never have taken its place. He didn’t answer while he worked and once again Nightfall worried she had overstepped her bounds, which when thinking about it was kind of silly after what she had done to stay. Then he turned back to her and the smile was still there making her feel secure, breathing easier.


“I got a little too close to a great mouth fish once with Pike and it cut me, nothing to worry about.”

“Oh,” she responded with a shiver as the cold in the den started to seep into her tired body. She watched him closely, examining every move, as he crawled over to the fur pile away from her and laid in it, sliding under a longtooth pelt and several small ones on his back. She shivered again from the cold that seemed to settle into her now like some bird in a nest and now Nightfall wondered if her day of being in his den would be this, a spot on the fur pile without him.

Then Redmark turned to her and lifted the furs up with his arm giving her an opening to crawl in while speaking low like a lover. “Come, get warm and rest huntress.”

The offer never had a chance of being turned down as Nightfall took it as fast as blinking her beautiful brown eyes. She squirmed like a snake to get under his arm and the furs. Her head settled into the crook of his arm there and as he lowered the furs holding her to him she moaned just a little. The warmth that spread through her at that exact moment wasn’t all from the furs, not at all. It was from him and Nightfall knew there was no going back to her mother’s hugs or her father’s back rubs when she cried now. No, this was where she was supposed to be and where she would fight anything and anyone to stay.

“I’m coming to stay tomorrow,” She whispered low with love.

“No,” was all he said in reply and she knew he was smiling, the intent to keep her out nothing but a gesture.

“Then I will trade you, one question each night…anything you want to ask of me and anything I want to know about you…for a night here in your furs curled up next to you. I answer truthfully or you can send me away, and I won’t fight you.” She offered in one breath with the bitter taste of the unknown lingering on her tongue, oh how she hated it. She lived with her fate in her hands, her choices determining her path, and yet here she was giving up that control, but she did it because her heart was his now and she felt no fear from losing her control to him.

He lay there quietly with his eyes closed unmoving for a long moment or two, but then with a whisper he spoke. “Anything I want to know?”

“Yes, anything and all…” She answered low as her eyes started to close. It felt so good to be here next to him, being held in his arms.

“To stay the night here, in my furs,” He asked.

“Yes,” she suddenly yawned feeling her body start to fall into slumber. The warmth of the furs and his body made her weary soul unable to go any farther. She breathed deeply one last time feeling the world drift away, but then Nightfall remembered one last thing she had to have, and she was able to hold off sleep long enough to say it. “And you have to save me each day.”

The Den was quiet again except for the wind that blew by the flap and the entrance to his den. She was almost gone again, falling into the dark of sleep, when she heard him whisper one last time, his answer making her heart bloom with love.

“Agreed,”

Later as the day star crossed the sky and was just beyond its highest point she woke. It was so warm under the furs, so protected, and she noticed they had changed positions. She was on her side and he was behind her pulling her into his chest with one arm while his other braced her head. Nightfall held up her hands and the bindings were gone and when she tried her ankles moved freely. Oh, my tracker, you saved me again she smiled reveling and devouring the feeling of being in his furs. Nightfall breathed deep taking in his scent helping her to fall back asleep wrapped in his arms while behind her she never saw the dark green eyes look at her with love.

He had been awake for some time. He stirred early in the day which was his usual ritual, rise and go to the entrance of his den to look out at the Holt. Redmark would watch nothing in particular and yet notice all with his keen eyes. He loved his woods and watching the trees was his favorite act to do, the one task he never missed. Only this mid-day he chose to hold a young huntress instead, a much younger, prettier lifebearer than he should have had the right to embrace, refusing to leave her side. He had saved her she insisted but really all he did was help and if it kept her from chasing him, demanding to tree, than he would give in, and holding her was quite nice really.

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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyMon Apr 13, 2015 11:53 pm

What a sweet backstory. Love how Cutter and Nightfall get rescued by two of the tribes biggest trouble makers.

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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Thirteen   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyThu Apr 16, 2015 12:13 am

@G0lden wrote:
What a sweet backstory.  Love how Cutter and Nightfall get rescued by two of the tribes biggest trouble makers.

Ahh, yes it is a sweet back story and with the last we will know how our treeshaper and huntress forever chose love over Recognition...


And now, onto our next chapter...


Chapter 13

He stood in the falling white cold, looking up along the trunk of Father Tree to his den wondering.  Redmark chewed on his bottom lip trying to figure out just what he sensed was different now, what change to they’re arrangement she had so carefully bartered. Nightfall had proposed a trade with him, one night in his furs for the truthful answer to one question, a sweet exchange, which they had been playing now for just more than a full change of the moon with great joy.  They lay in the furs each day discovering one small piece of each other, one bit of the unknown that helped each walk the path to the other, to maybe even more.  She had asked about his sire and mother, what they were like, which he answered without hesitation and surprisingly, little inner turmoil.  She had asked about Foxfur and Rainsong and if they had tried to tree with him, to go to his furs, which he told her both had and he had turned them both away.  Why she had asked, and even though it wasn’t her ‘one’ question, he had told her it would not be fair to either to be with him.  He wasn’t Woodlock or Skywise, and he knew well enough that both of the young lifebearers had eyes only on those two.  Nightfall had smiled then, and with words that belied her young age, stated both lifebearers only wanted to see if they could make the ones chasing them run a little faster to catch them.  Oh, she had such a sharp eye this little fox, such keen wit, which is why he took his time before climbing to his den this morning, because something didn’t feel right to Redmark.  He wondered if she was changing the game, maybe ending their sweet trade.

“Are you heading up to your den Redmark?” A strong voice asked from behind.

The tracker turned back to see his chieftess, Joyleaf, standing there with a broad smile, her yellow hair catching the white cold as it drifted down.  On any other morning that smile of hers would have taken his breath away, but today it just made him think even harder.  She rarely stopped to just ‘talk’ with him.  “I was just about to my chieftess, how was your night?”

“It was very lovely Redmark, thank you.”  She smiled walking up to him and then past to Father Tree and that’s when he picked up on what he knew was out of place.  That grin she wore, oh it was pure anticipation of something, and that scared him a lot more than just a little bit.  “Your furs should be very warm today.” She smiled before starting to climb up.

“Thank you my chieftess,” he replied with a tentative look.  Redmark watched her climb up to her den she shared with Bearclaw and he waited just long enough for a single beat of his heart to thump before quickly climbing up to his den, and all along the path he found Joyleaf’s scent, right up to the bole hole and entrance.  With a slow hand, he opened the flap and peered in sniffing, picking up both Nightfall’s and then Joyleaf’s scent.  He looked in with just his eyes and nothing seemed out of place, all was where it should be, except for his little fox. At first, he didn’t see her, his Nightfall, and Redmark wondered still what had changed in their game. Then a sweet send touched his mind, meant only for him, filled with affection.

Redmark…is that you?

“Yes Nightfall, are you okay?” He whispered climbing into the den slowly, still not trusting the fact his chieftess had been in his home.  Everyone feared Bearclaw for his temper, Treestump for his strength, and Strongbow for his aim, but when it came to Joyleaf, you had to worry about her wicked sense of play.  Oh, she could leave a mark with little effort but it was never malicious or intended to hurt and the chieftess was more than able to receive when it came to playing.  We wolves of the pack, he thought, we play so rough with each other sometimes.

I am fine my tracker, just waiting for you in the furs.

Are you hiding from me now? He sent with the energy of a whisper while crawling over to the center of his fur pile, pulling the pelts back slowly to reveal what he had been assuming this whole time.  There was his little fox, tied just like these last few days, bound hand and foot, with her special bindings.  And, to his heart stopping surprise, Nightfall’s leathers were absent, every stitch and piece.  He looked up to see her face, just the tint of a blush crossing her high cheeks. Her bound hands rested under those tinged cheeks keeping her head off the furs as she lay on her side.

Please don’t laugh,

“No, I would never laugh at you Little Fox, I could never hurt you like that.” Redmark whispered staring into her eyes with love. He didn’t look her over, ogle her body, and only met eye with eye as she sighed anxiously.

“Thank you my tracker, for being so protective.” Nightfall whispered as she looked to him with devotion.

The tracker only shook his head, “I need no thanks, but aren’t you cold?”

“No, not yet,” she whispered low again, seductively, hoping he would find the trail she was leaving for him to follow and join her. And with warm relief, she watched as he began to take off his leathers, everything that kept his muscled body hidden from her. Then he slid up next to her in the furs, and she wriggled into him needing to feel him, as he covered both with a large longtooth pelt. Even bound, her hands still caressed his side as she took up her spot in the crook of his arm, taking in his scent and warmth.

“Why was our chieftess in the den? Were you two talking?”

“Yes, we talked, about...” she answered pressing into him more, if it were possible. He knows, she thought with a twinge of fear, he knows. I can’t turn back though, I won’t turn away now.  

A moment of silence passed and in the quiet Redmark realized what this change was, what it meant to the game. He slowly slid down in the furs, gliding along her body, never losing contact with her as he went. And when he was even with her, eye to eye with his head resting on his clenched arm, Redmark spoke with ardor and care to the huntress. “You’ve run out of questions, haven’t you?”

She looked back with a small smile, nodding just once, and speaking with the same love and care to him. “Yes, and yet there is so much more I want to learn of you.”

“And with no questions to ask, you’re afraid I will send you away from my furs, my den now?”

With the inquiry asked, the words on the air in the Den, Nightfall’s beautiful brown eyes began to show the fear in her soul. Oh, my little fox, your intent is so easy to read. She shuddered with a breath and spoke, the fear in her eyes now easy to detect in her voice. “No, I don’t think you will my tracker, but I am also scared you might. I am home here in your furs, in your arms, and I want to stay here with you always.”

“So, Joyleaf told you to come to me like this? To see if we were ready for a new game?”

“Yes, she said it was time to see if all this playing in the furs would grow to something else. She asked if I was ready to be yours deeply or if this was just like Skywise and Foxfur, two hearts running in circles.”

He reached over and wrapped an arm around her, cradling and reassuring his little fox that he was not leaving her. She sighed, gathered her strength, and hoped her next words would find the target she aimed at.  “Your den is my home now, where I want to live till my last breath. I give myself to you, heart and soul. I will even give you my soulname, all that I am and will be, if you take me into your den and your life.”  

Her words, the declaration, was sweet music to Redmark’s ears, what he knew would come of this game they played. And still, the offer of her soulname, made his heart skip just a bit in his chest as he hugged her to him. He leaned in and nuzzled her nose with his as he answered her with kind words. “Why have you never ask what happened after my sire and mother were taken that night?”

“Because it is still too painful my tracker, a memory that still hurts. I don’t want to make you relive that pain again.”

He looked at her with reverence, ran a hand up her side caressing the soft skin, and whispered lovingly. “Three nights after they were gone, after Clearbrook had brought me food to eat, I left my sire’s den intent on never coming back.”

The look in her eyes now, full of shock and some angst, made him hug her more, to comfort her with what he needed to say. “I tracked the longtooths who killed my mother and father to a cave just past where we were supposed to go. I went there with my spear to kill both, and I had no expectation of living through the fight. And yet, the longtooths were gone. I lost my father and mother and I could not avenge them, even that was taken from me too, leaving nothing but loneliness and pain.”

Nightfall pressed herself into him trying to give him her warmth, her love, as he continued. “That is what was torn from me, my very soul ripped and broken. I kept everyone away from me except Pike, my brother in all but blood, just like Skywise and Cutter. I lived this way for so long thinking all was fine, till a little fox slipped into my den one day teaching me that being alone is not the way to live a life.”

“No, it is not,” she sighed leaning in, nuzzling his nose now, “so please, do not ask me to leave.”

“My heart and my den are open to you Nightfall, always and forever, and I want you to stay with me, as long as you want and need. I will not take your soulname in exchange for my love, it is already yours.”

As he finished, as he gave her what her heart desired more than anything she could ever wish for, she cried tears of joy speaking low with devotion. “I can stay, with you, here in your den?”

“Yes, here, in ‘our’ furs and in ‘our’ den,”

Our den...our furs...what a wonderful thing. She couldn’t hold back the kiss she wanted to give, needed to give, as her heart flew so high into the sky. As her lips took his, she felt the magic of the send change between them, from mind-to-mind to soul-to-soul. A sweet lock-send, a connection so deep feelings flowed like sweet berry juice. She felt him, his love and need for her, and as his finger hooked the binding around her hands, the heat of desire. It flooded Nightfall’s soul causing her to gasp, turned her blood to fire, and for a moment she lost all sense to where she was. She moaned loudly as he pushed her onto her back while pulling her hands over her head, stretching her body out. Then, as if he knew he was sending her too much raw emotion, Redmark slowed the flow of his need letting the lifebearer catch her breath.

Do you still wish to give yourself to me, heart and soul?

The question crossed the lock-send, echoing with the roar of the blood flowing in her veins, and it needed an answer, which she gave in a hoarse pant. “Yes,” was all she could say as his free hand began to explore her body with long sensual strokes of his palm. He ran his hands up her side, to her neck, and then down to her breasts. With every touch, she hissed with pleasure. As his fingers touched the stiff flesh at the tip of both she inhaled deep and moaned more.  As he squeezed she exhaled with a purr of pure ecstasy.

Nightfall had dreamt of what this moment might be like, of what it might feel like, but what she was experiencing was so much more than anything she had imagined. She pulled slightly at the binding around her hands, which he refused to let go of, as her love’s hand slid down her body, fingers dancing lightly on heated flesh, till his hand arrived at her heat. Nightfall looked longingly into his eyes, leaned her hips toward his fingers as more words crossed the lock-send setting her heart ablaze.  

Then let the wolf come and claim you my little fox. Let us share our hunger and our hearts.

“Yes, I am yours...take me...claim me!”

Her answer was a cry of eagerness, a plea to let her feel more, and he gave her what she wanted turning her over onto her stomach. Across the lock-send the desire stoked again, the rising energy between them flowing back and forth like a raging stream. They joined, shared with a passion neither had expected or knew existed till this very day. The wolf took her, stretched out flat on the furs from behind, and both cried out with pleasure when the sweet end happened. Then, with both exhausted, she felt her love roll her over into him, into the loving space between his arm and side. He whispered loving words as he kissed her gently, covered her with the furs, and as he did Nightfall felt her soul bind to his across their lock-send, their hearts beating as one now.

“Mine...mine...”

Redmark held her to him, felt her legs wrap around his as best as the binding would allow, refusing to let space to exist between them, and caressed her with his hands and words. “Yes, I will always be yours my little fox, till my last breath.”

More sweet emotions crossed the lock-send, love and devotion, need and ardor. She fell asleep with a smile, her heart content and soul fulfilled. Then, sometime later, her hands felt for him and found her love missing from his spot. Nightfall raised up in the furs looking for him through half-open hazy eyes, worry and concern beginning to grow in her heart. So taken by the worry she didn’t realize he had freed her. “Beloved?” she called out, and getting no response only scared her more. She was close to getting out of the furs, just a step away from going to look for him, when the flap to the den moved and Redmark appeared. He was wearing just his leggings, a large sack in his hand, and fresh layer of white cold in his hair and on his shoulders.

“You went outside without your leathers?” Nightfall asked with shock.

“The berry bush is just by Moonshade’s tanning rack, a short journey. And I know you’re hungry, missing the hunt and all.”

“Yes I am,” she sighed as her stomach rumbled, “I didn’t miss much I think. The white cold has sent all the game to warmer places.”

“Not everything, Pike and I took a nice sized tusk hog and Strongbow felled a buck.” He said reaching into his pouch and pulling out a bundled broadleaf.

“You did?” She asked with a hungry smile and excited look.  The smell of meat suddenly touched her nose and her stomach grumbled.  Oh, how she loved tusk hog.

“Yes, and I have your part of the hunt here.”

She pulled back the furs to let him come sit by her, his scent and the meat so intoxicating at the same time. Just as he sat down with his back against the den wall, leaning away just a little bit with his hips, Nightfall slipped into the crook of his arm again as he lifted it for her, sitting up against him as he hugged her to him. Redmark put the bundle of meat and sack of berries in their laps and smiled as she looked on excitedly. The smell of the berries touched her sensitive nose and she giggled, “bitter berries, but how with the Death Season here?”

“The last of them I’m afraid. I was able to keep the cold off the bush for a bit, but everything green dies eventually with the Death Season.” Redmark sighed opening the bundle. The thick cuts of meat made Nightfall ‘Ooo’ which in turn made him chuckle.

She reached in first, taking a chunk of deer meat, wrapping it around a bitter berry just as he liked it, and then put it in his mouth. Redmark chomped down on the bundle, swallowed it all with a sigh, and then he did the same for her wrapping a large piece of the tusk hog around a berry with his free hand. She sucked on the tip of his fingers with a giggle, then as Nightfall bit down, she felt the pop of the berry, the taste of the meat instantly mixing with the juice making her purr with contentment.

“With no more questions, I guess there will be no need of ‘bound hand and foot’ anymore?” He chuckled reaching up and wiping some juice from her chin.

She leaned into the touch savoring even the smallest feel of his fingers before answering with a smile and a shake of her head.  “No, I still want to play our game with you, I need to.”

“If you wish it, I will play my huntress, but why?” He asked low, with all his love for her.

“Thank you,” she sighed noting the last bitter berry was gone, the small pouch of pomes shared between them. She took the last piece of meat then, and biting it in half, held the rest to his mouth, “eat with me, please?”

Redmark looked at her long in silence, looking deep into her eyes again seeing she was ready to tell him something.  It was her way, at least in the den, to move forward at her own pace and speak from the heart.  He opened his mouth and she gently laid the meat on his tongue.  As he chewed she laid the used leaf and pouch aside, and then touched his chest with her hands tracing the muscles and bone with a tender loving touch.  She smiled with bliss and pure joy as she whispered lazily from the emotion she felt.  “Do you think I’m beautiful?”

“Oh yes,” he replied quickly with strong devotion.  He gave her space letting her walk where she wanted and say what she needed.

“As beautiful as Moonshade or Foxfur?”

“Yes,” he said squeezing her to him just a little harder, “but every lifebearer is beautiful in their own way, like the many flowers of the Holt, and each is unique by itself.  One does not appear more beautiful than the other, and when in a group each shines in the day star equally.  You are a huntress and as such you are as bold and as striking as the tanner.”

She closed her eyes taking his words to her heart, his warmth, and letting it all help her fly before shifting, turning and moving to her knees so she could lean in and put her forehead to his whispering while looking deeply into his eyes yet again.  “And that is why I want to play our game, because I trust you so much I can let go and give you all my control, all of me. So I can find a peace here in the den that I will never find anywhere else, with anyone else.  You capture me every morning and every night Redmark, and then you release me to be what I want, what I need to be.  I come and give you all that I am, bound hand and foot, and you free me to leave with more than I came with my tracker…my heart.”

The den grew quiet in the wonder of her confession as he chose to keep her eyes to his, his heart beating with hers.  She was so striking at that moment, a beauty beyond any he knew he would ever see or touch.  She was strength and grace, power and presence, and all a Wolfrider should be, could be.  He reached up and caressed her face as he spoke.  “Is this what you see when look at your mother and father?  Do you think this is what they feel?”

“Sometimes,” she replied while leaning in to nuzzle his nose and cheek, “but this, what I feel now and every moment I am here in your den with you, is so much stronger I think.  Is this love Redmark, is that what I feel for you?”

He leaned into her caress while across a lock-send he let all his need and devotion flow to her hoping his words didn’t hurt or sting her.  “I can’t tell you that Nightfall.  Your heart will help you decide one day, and when you do, then you must choose if you want to be here with what you have learned, with a stronger heart.”

Nightfall knew what he said was true, felt her soul stir in a good way, and leaned back smiling, asking with a peaceful tone, because this was her den now as well, her home, and she felt so secure and free.  “Then here is where I want to be until that day, and thank you again my love.”

“For letting you stay in the den,” Redlance shook his head before speaking a solemn vow in his way.  “I would never send you away little fox. I promised you and I will never break my promise to you, ever.”

“No, for saving me once more my tracker, for always being there to save me and guide me,” Nightfall replied after blushing from his pet name for her while rubbing circles with her fingers on his chest.  She had taken a seat in his lap now, out of the furs, and quickly the cold sent a shiver down her spine.

Redmark shook his head slightly, chiding himself silently for letting her get cold. His hips dipped and moved against her with a small bump, making her squirm with pleasure just a little, as he covered her with a fur.  “I didn’t save you Nightfall.  I just helped you is all.”

And how you would like me to think that, of what you do as that small she thought feeling warm again.  Why do you hide such a fierce loving heart and deep wise soul behind a blind of meekness?  Nightfall shook her head and spoke low as she lay on his chest, her eyes locked to his.  “I would still be tied this day if you hadn’t found me. I would still be crawling toward Father Tree if you hadn’t found me that night.  You can call it what you want my love and I will call it what I will, being saved.”

The den fell quiet as he looked deeply into her eyes and Nightfall felt her stomach warm even more as he whispered back.  “Then I shall call it saving you because that is what my little fox wants.”

“Thank you my tracker,” she blushed once again, from the pet name or the fact he gave her what she wanted, it didn’t matter.  She was where she wanted to be every day and every night, in his arms and now their furs. The huntress leaned in and kissed him deeply and long, feeling her soul lit a fire at his care for her.  She slid down with his body as he also slid down the wall into the furs to rest.  He pulled up the pelts and covered them both to keep the cold away as Nightfall put her head on his chest to listen to his heart beat, to let its strong rhythm send her to a deep slumber where rest would revive her.  A sleep where she dreamt of being his forever, his huntress, bound to him with love and not bindings.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

As the send came to a close, and the image faded, Leetah felt a tear run down her cheek, the sweetness touching her and moving her so much.  She sighed gaining her emotional footing again, hugging Nightfall to her while Cutter whispered.  “You went to him everyday bound hand and foot.  You gave him all your control?”

“At first it I did it to make is so he couldn’t force me to leave…but then it became more…it became a way to learn what I wanted, what my heart needed.  Without the control, I had to open myself up to him.  I always trusted him, but I had to stop being the huntress and…be a fool in love.”   Nightfall explained with a smile.

Leetah, who had ridden in silence with her soul still floating along with joy from the images and the emotion of the send, hugged her huntress tightly while speaking with fierceness from her heart.  “Oh my precious one, you were never a fool being so brave to go to him like that.  I only wish I had some of that courage to do what is needed for my heart.”

Cutter reached out and took her hand in his smiling warmly and with love for her.  “And you are just as brave my love, for leaving Sorrow’s End so you could find me…for trying to save One-Eye…for choosing me so long ago over another.  I have never doubted your courage or your devotion.”

Leetah smiled feeling her soulmate’s love lift her high then a squeeze of her hand and a whisper from her Twen made her spirit feel even brighter.  “I asked before, my sweet one, if you wanted to come to our den and feel this way night and day, do you still want to wait to know where you wish to be?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Leetah spoke up with a proud smile and the strength she had been known for. She squeezed both Cutter and Nightfall’s hands with the fierceness from her heart as she shook her head and spoke.  “No, I want to talk with him today.”

Nightfall smiled and breathed deeply while giving a silent prayer to the High Ones for having her family returning to her, to no more longing for them.  She sent all her love to her healer and her chief as she felt them return it.  Cutter smiled feeling his broken soul heal just a little quicker as he spoke low with his fierceness.  “Home, it’s what we ride to now…our home.”

Without thinking and in perfect unison Nightfall and Leetah whispered together.

“Home,”

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Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyThu Apr 16, 2015 12:44 am

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Th?&id=JN.UxSIygiXPVyQbrSJwBwX4g&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1 Now that is funny. What surprised me is that Joyleaf got in on the act. Great story.

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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Fourteen   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 18, 2015 12:38 am

Ah G0lden I think once Joyleaf learned of the game Redlancer and Nightfall played the chieftess couldn't help but add a little push to speed things along...

And now, onto our next chapter...


Chapter 14

Redlance saw them waiting by the side of the trail, all three there with sweet smiles which made his soul glow. Nightfall and Leetah stood up from where they had been sitting together while Cutter kept a close watch by them, standing tall. The treeshaper's heart picked up in pace, as did his step, as he approached. He thought this might be the night when all that was needed to be said was finally spoken and the thought of doing so made him smile widely and happily. The treeshaper hopped along till he reached the trio and called to them.

“Good morn my strong chief, my lovely huntress…and my beautiful healer,”

The last made Leetah smile greatly as he stopped by Nightfall and gave her a kiss that made her giggle. “Did you have a nice walk beloved?” She asked as he turned to Cutter.

“It was very quiet which made it very nice,” he said reaching up and rubbing his chief’s neck lovingly while looking deeply into his blue eyes. “Good morn my chief, was your night good?”

“It was good, though I missed my treeshaper greatly.” Cutter replied after reaching up and taking Redlance’s neck in a similar loving embrace. The two stood in silence with foreheads touching, sharing and reveling in the warmth of their devotion for each other.

Leetah watched the scene with wet eyes taking every small bit of it in, feeling the love in her heart grow and spread through her center for Redlance. She savored the feeling, hoping to stash some away for the talk she wanted to have with him, needed to have with him. And when he finally broke and turned to look at her Leetah smiled even more. He walked over and before he could reach for her hand she took his in hers with an eager grasp. Before he could lean down and touch her cheek she rose on her toes and nuzzled his cheek lovingly and whispered fondly, “I missed you my treeshaper, so very much.”

“And I missed you, my healer, so very much.” He whispered back with the same love and a tender nuzzle of her cheek. She purred before finally stepping back breaking the embrace but holding his hand, refusing to let it go. The four stood in quiet for a moment before Nightfall leaned over and put her arm around her lifemate while taking her chief’s hand.

“I want us to tree again today my family, and hold each other as we sleep.”

Cutter smiled and nodded, “I see no reason to say no, do you my lifemate?”

“Oh no, I want nothing more than to be with my family beloved. What do say treeshaper?” Leetah asked squeezing his hand and smiling to him.

“To fall asleep holding and being held by my family, it is the greatest dream I know. Of course I say yes, just let me go to the stream and clean my hands.” Redlance answered with his warm smile.

The treeshaper had hoped the offer would be taken by the one who needed to talk the most, the one he saw as the last to say what her heart needed to, and he wasn’t surprised when the healer spoke up quickly. “May I go with you?”

“Why would I say no?” Redlance answered with a chuckle as Cutter nodded.

“I need to speak with Treestump and Clearbrook, would you get Strongbow huntress and tell him we need to council.”

“I most certainly will Cutter. We’ll meet you at the stream my love, leave us a trail to follow.” Nightfall replied standing on her tip toes to kiss her lifemate.

Redlance nodded and smiled hugging her then looking to Cutter, “I’ll leave a back trail for you both to follow.”

“Good, see you soon treeshaper,” Cutter smiled hugging his treeshaper before turning and taking Nightfall’s hand walking back to the others.

The healer watched her lifemate and her huntress leave, smiling brightly still, holding her treeshaper’s hand still, and her heart still floating as she turned to him. “How did you know there’s a stream near-by?”

She followed Redlance as he started to walk, taking her gently in the direction of the body of water as he spoke softly and calmly. “The trees told me of course.”

“Oh,” she laughed, then noticed he held out his palm brushing the limbs every few steps or so. Leetah reached out just like he did, letting her hand do as his, and tittered from the feel of the limbs touching her. “Am I doing it right?” She asked looking to him.

The treeshaper chuckled and nodded. “Yes you are my healer! Your sweet scent will lead Cutter and Nightfall right to us.”

Leetah laughed with him feeling so happy every step was like gliding. “I have a sweet scent?”

“I once found the most beautiful desert flower blooming outside the village, and it had the sweetest scent I had ever come across, but it could never match yours, a pure jasmine that fills my head with sweetness. I could follow you all over the Sun Village and never once lose you. Shenshen’s scent was close, but yours is stronger.” Redlance answered smiling at her.

Oh, how he could say the right word at the most unexpected time and knock you wonderfully senseless. Leetah had no reply for such a response, no words would come to her mind as she walked along, so the healer just leaned in closer and touched his shoulder with hers as they left a back trail with their hands. Soon, lost in her blissful world, the stream appeared as they stepped out into an open glen. Leetah looked around noting the Day Star hadn’t made it up over the horizon yet. “We get to greet the morning,” she whispered leaning into him more, putting her head on his shoulder

“A perfect end to a perfect night, come, there’s a spot by the stream where we can sit.” Redlance offered. Leetah only nodded and followed him, holding his hand in hers still, and only letting him go when he needed to reach into his pouch. She noticed the oblong leather pouch again, truly examined it now, with its long leather strap that went over his shoulder letting the bag hang off his opposite hip with ease. It was worn and looked so old, but then it also looked like it belonged on him, part of him, as he pulled a small fur from it and spread it on the ground. He sat down by it, on his right hip with his right arm propping him up and his left knee up as well, a position to face her and listen easily. Leetah smiled and slowly took the seat he had prepared, facing her treeshaper sitting on her right hip by his stomach leaning into him so she could feel him, taking in his warmth.

They sat quietly for a moment, Leetah looking around the small clearing and Redlance letting her decide when she wanted to talk. Just like Nightfall and Cutter before, this was her council and thus she went at her pace, what she wanted to say and when. Finally, after a moment or two, she turned to him and whispered. “I want to follow Cutter to your den, to be with you and Nightfall.”

The treeshaper looked at her with his warm smile and spoke with ardor, “then our den will be full and happy. Nightfall will be so happy she’ll chase her own tail.” He replied low, but he could tell there was more though, something much deeper she needed to say and he sat quietly listening, letting her divulge what it was when she was ready.

“I’m scared,” she whispered after a moment, closing her eyes, remembering all the times they had touched over the last night and day and how she wanted so much more of him and wasn’t able to ask. Leetah slid up the fur they sat on, up to his chest with her shoulder, and curled her legs into herself leaning into him more before continuing. “I want to come to you with all that I am…but…old fears have come back. I don’t know why, but I find my heart holding back from you?”

Redlance reached over with his free hand and took one of her hands in his, and again spoke so calm and soothing, from his heart as he always did. “You would come to our den even when this fear you feel silences your heart? You would follow Cutter to our den even if you’re heart would not open for me the way it has for Nightfall. Is that what you truly want Leetah, to be part in and part out like you have been these last days?”

She sighed shaking her head quickly and whispering, “No…I would follow because I know, just like our huntress, I would win over these old fears one night with your help. I would come because, like our beloved Cutter, I have no other desire than to be in your den with you. I would come bound hand and foot to your den like our Nightfall if you said it was the only way to enter.”

“You don’t need to be tied Leetah, my beautiful healer. You guard your heart and soul so well binding you would only make the cage stronger.” The treeshaper offered with love, which only prompted his healer to finally cross the last bit of space between them and lean completely into him with her forehead resting on his neck. He reached around gently with his arm and held her to him whispering lovingly, “I have to confess something. I watched you one night in the Sun Village after you chose Cutter, followed you quietly to Rafan and Ifra’s hut as you walked in the moonlight. How long had they begged you to give them a cub, days and days of endless pleading to come and join in their sharing and use your healing powers to produce that which Recognition would not for them? I stood there in the dark of the shadows outside the hut, watching for you, and when you came out crying and walking so fast back to your hut searching for Cutter I knew what they had done. They pushed you away when it was over, didn’t they? They left you cold and alone after sharing, cut off from them, without any warmth to hold on to?”

Leetah exhaled slowly, and heavy with surprise as he spoke. He knew, she thought warmly, he knew what had been hidden in her soul for so long. Just like the bumpy melon, he had reached right into her memories and pulled it out, only these images were like poison eating at her. She put her hand to his chest as tears began to freely flow down her cheeks while she answered him with a low voice between breaths. “They just rolled away from me…just left me alone and so cold…like I didn’t exist…”

The treeshaper leaned up off his arm to sit and take her in both of his arms, cradle her to him, letting his love for her flow across the send they shared now. The warmth spread through Leetah as she pulled her legs in even more, curling them around his side as she clung to him crying and listening. “Rafan and Ifra rolled away leaving you alone, cold, but how many others would take the other path? How many would try and hold you there in their huts wanting you to never leave? They would try and lay claim to you for what your healing magic had done during a joining, like trapping a beautiful bird in a cage because you just wanted to hear it sing?”

Something splashed in the stream, a small fish maybe, as Leetah breathed deeply again facing the pain and fear of her past as she spoke. “They would beg me to stay…offer me anything to be with them every night…every hut either became a cage or as cold as the hills at night to me.”

“The Sun Villagers, they never saw past what you could do for them, they never saw what you truly are, a beautiful flower who loves to greet the morning. You had to live so guarded, so in control because the Villagers just came to you every day and night, wanting you to join and share with them, and not out of true love but a desperate need for a cub, to join and grant them a gift, but then what? They left you with nothing to keep for yourself. You had to guard your heart and soul and all that you were or they would have taken that too, a beautiful soul trapped for nothing but the effects of your healing magic. They didn’t understand how it hurt to be nothing more to them than a path to having a cub, a small chance to force Recognition with your magic. It must have been like living in a cage that way. You, always making sure no one would take from you what you cherished…your freedom. I use to wonder if you looked at Savah and feared her, of becoming her one day, living a cold life always protecting yourself from those around you, wondering if it was you or your healing hands they wanted.” Redlance whispered squeezing her gently as she cried.

The world froze as she fought to get a breath against the rising emotion in her chest. She began to cry harder feeling her control give way, sobs so deep and hard Leetah couldn’t hold them back. She pulled her arms into her chest and let him cradle her as she cried letting all the pain go, all the fear. She gave up control and let him hold her as he talked so warm and loving to her. “Cutter, he was the first one who didn’t try to cage you and your heart took him in, but he had to prove it to you, had to show you he wasn’t like the others. I have to do the same my healer, to show you I won’t take your soul or your love and leave you cold.”

He sat there, letting her rid herself of the pain and the fear, and Leetah cried until she got control, until she felt all the pent-up pain and anguish just fade. She felt empty, a void where the pain had been and was now gone, and then she felt his send touch her just like before. She felt his love flow to her in a gentle wave. She felt his affection and devotedness fill her with warmth and sweet relief. Leetah turned her head to look up into his eyes and his smile letting both bolster her trust and love as he gave her all she needed. She reached up with her finger tips and touched his chin gently savoring the feel of his chin fur as she whispered with her heart. “When I shared with you and our huntress to bring Tyleet to us, I remember how you held us both afterwards, how you were there touching and caressing me and her. You pulled a fur over us both and laid there giving me such love…I have never forgotten that night. In all these long seasons, I refuse to let that memory go because of the way you treated me afterwards…such love.”

“And I will give you that same love every night and day my desert flower. I won’t give it to you because you’re my precious chief’s lifemate, but because I love you. I will give you all that I am, because I have made a place for you in my heart. You have a place in my soul my desert flower. You only need to trust in me and come when you are ready.” Redlance whispered hugging her tightly.

“Then you will wait for me, like Cutter? You’ll wait like you did for Nightfall?” Leetah asked closing her eyes feeling his love wrap around her and hold her, as sweet as she had imagined it would be when she saw him the morning before.

He nodded and hugged her tighter. “Yes, as long as you need me to wait Leetah, for one evening you will know where you want to be…until then I will be here, always.”

The words eased her, the emptiness of just a moment ago filling with his help, filling with his love for her. Leetah scratched his chin more savoring the smallest feel of his face fur, of the soft skin beneath. “Why did this come back to me? I buried it so deep to keep it away, why now?” She asked closing her eyes to savor his love flowing to her across the lock send. She put her palm flat to his chest to feel the strong thump of his heart as she rested and listened to him.

Redlance reached up and caressed the edge of her pointed ear as he felt her breathing slow and her body calm in his arms. “Because my healer, all things buried find a way back…all things come home. I think Skywise leaving and Cutter pulling away from you with his broken soul was like two arrows hitting you at once, your own pain so deep it brought back old memories of the same leaving, the same pulling away by the others.”

His words were a distant echo as Leetah let go and reveled in his warmth. She breathed deep his essence and released with a long sigh before feeling the last of the fear slip away. As the day star climbed slowly in front of them Redlance held her to him not willing to let go or look away from her lovely face returning her loving stare until the sound of small feet approaching from behind made him look up. Cutter and Nightfall stopped next to him, each on one shoulder looking down at their beautiful healer with fond smiles.

“Did she say what she needed to beloved?” Nightfall asked reaching down and stroking her healer’s hand, which was still on Redlance’s chest. Leetah sighed and took the hand in hers and squeezed it with all her devotion as she smiled.

The treeshaper nodded and answered with a smile as well, never turning away from his healer’s lovely face to look at his lifemate. “Yes, she did and with such courage, just like our beloved chief. She’ll be fine now I think.”

The wolf chief reached up behind his treeshaper and gently caressed Redlance’s neck while touching his soulmate’s cheek. “Thank you,” was all he said, all he knew he needed to as he smiled too. What needed to be done had been done and now it was time to heal and head to their new home.

“I wouldn’t have come this far without you three, my dearest family. To know you all will wait for me…there are no words to say what my heart feels.” Leetah whispered sitting up from her treeshaper but staying in physical contact.

“There is no need for words my sweet one, because what you feel now is what I felt in his den so long ago the day he let me stay.” Nightfall replied low still holding her healer’s hand.

“And what I felt in the clearing when he told me there was no anger for what I did, only love that healed me.” Cutter added still caressing his treeshaper’s neck. He looked down to see his precious soulmate regaining her strength and control and wondered if she had found the same peace he had, the same solace from a gentle soul.

The healer only nodded and then chuckled. Should she say something, no Leetah thought. Everything had been said and now she only wanted to be held in a loving embrace by her treeshaper and her huntress and her very soul. Yet, before she could mention her want the treeshaper’s eyes went wide and he held up his hand. “I need to look at something,” he quickly said and jumped up running to the stream as she turned to see.

The trio giggled and chuckled as they watched their treeshaper reach down into the water for a moment, making a quick but careful grab, and then he stood up and wrapped around his arm was a very large snake. Leetah gasped with a smile as Nightfall next to her gasped as well, jumping up to her feet. “Ooo, she’s so pretty, hold her for me!”

As the huntress trotted over and began to hold and pet the snake in her love’s hand Leetah looked to her soul with awe. “Is there anything that scares our huntress?”

“Sky fire,” Cutter answered with a distant grin after staring at the pair by the stream with love, “when she was a cub some flew from a storm and struck near Father Tree. It burnt the ground and made this terrible noise, she saw it all and it scared her so much that her mother had to sing to her while her father rubbed her back to calm her. Our huntress has never been afraid of any animal or human or even a troll for as long as I have known, but if a storm comes with sky fire she needs to be held.”

As the words passed between them Leetah looked to her huntress and then back to her love. She remembered how her mother Toorah would hold her when she was young as the day star would go dark, how she would cry and plead for it to come back in such fear while her father would hold her and speak softly, calming her. The terror, how it gripped her so tight she couldn’t breathe. Leetah felt her strength, revived from her confession to her treeshaper, swell as she looked to her lifemate with hard eyes. “Then we will hold her till the fear is no more. We will will make sure she knows she will not face her fear alone.”

“And I know she will love you even more for such devotion my soul.” Cutter whispered as the pair watched their loves let the snake go on its way. Leetah watched it crawl away in the grass looking for a meal or a home. She smiled brightly, but tiredly, as her treeshaper and huntress walked up smiling just as tired.

“I say we go back to our sleep spot and lay in the furs and sleep.” Nightfall stated holding out her hand to her chief. Redlance offered his to his healer as Cutter answered with a nod.

“Yes, we need to rest so we can reach home even quicker now.”

“Home my chief?” Redlance asked with a confused look as Leetah stood up with his help.

The healer giggled and looked at him with pure joy. “Yes, our home you show us the way to every night.” Before she could think, just riding on the emotion Leetah felt for her treeshaper, she stood on her toes and kissed him without fear. And it was so lovely, sweeter than what she thought it could be and more passionate than she could have dreamed. Her lips nibbled wanting more as she finished, then she sighed as she settled against him feeling his body shake just like she was. She felt his arm wrap around her waist as Leetah looked to her huntress and lifemate smiling warmly.

“Oh, that was so lovely,” Nightfall whispered as Cutter put his arm around her and pulled her to him.

“That it was, and I am so happy it is finally done.” Cutter added with his own sweet smile.

“So am I,” Leetah sighed as she put her arm around her treeshaper and as a family they left the clearing, one heart and one soul shared across four small bodies, entwined and wrapped together as a family now.

They reached the tree they chose to sleep in for that night and Redlance turned to Cutter and whispered, “I need to prepare the sleep spot, don’t be scared with what happens.” The wolf chief nodded slowly as his soul stepped into his arms gently and smiled wondering what he was about to see. Nightfall stood to the side as she watched her treeshaper walk over to the tree and gently place a hand on the trunk.

“What is he going to do, grow the tree like the ones in Sorrow’s end or Forbidden Grove?” Leetah asked with a whisper and as she finished she felt her huntress take her hand smiling with pure adoration.

“Watch my sweet one and see the magic that is our treeshaper.”

The healer nodded feeling an excitement and an eagerness to see her love work, with a smile that grew wider as Cutter held her in his arm with the same look, curiosity mixed with just the right kind impatient energy. They stood back and watched as the trunk where Redlance touched it glowed for a moment before the tree shook as if waking up from a deep lengthy slumber. The branches moved and the leaves undulated on their own, the tree swayed causing the wolf chief and the healer to watch in growing awe. Then the tree just calmed, became as still as before. The treeshaper smiled and nodded like he was talking with the conifer before a sound from above caught Cutter and Leetah’s ears. He looked up and saw movement, branches and leaves swirling to and fro for a moment. Then, just like before, nothing but stillness. Cutter stood quietly staring up at the spectacle before looking down to his lifemate who looked as stunned as he was…then to his treeshaper who acted as if this was nothing special. To his side, Nightfall had the same attitude as her lifemate, nothing new, as she walked up and kissed her lifemate’s cheek. Redlance kissed her back then walked over to Cutter and spoke breaking the wolf chief’s trance.

“I’ll go and see to the others, give them the same spot off the ground if they want. Do you need help in getting up to the spot my chief?” Redlance asked with a grin.

“No,” a small voice stated from Cutter’s arm and they both looked down to see Leetah who stood with an astonished grin, “we can climb up. Please hurry back though.”

“I will my healer, for I need to be near you, and my chief and my huntress.” The treeshaper smiled before turning and heading off to look after the others.

The huntress watched her lifemate run away before turning to her two loves. “Let’s get to our furs so we can rest and hold each other.”

Cutter nodded, as did Leetah, and all three headed to tree to climb, Nightfall grabbed their pouches and sleep furs heading up first while the healer and her soul followed. He kept a keen eye on his lifemate making sure each grip of Leetah’s hand was tight and each footing square on a branch. Nightfall also watched, and as soon as her healer was near, she reached over the sleep spot and held out her hand. “Come up my sweet one, I have you.”

“Thank you my precious one,” Leetah chuckled gaining the top and quickly going to work on pulling out the sleep furs. With help from her huntress and her love they quickly set the sleep spot with a warm base. Cutter began to slide out of his top and the healer was about to join him when Nightfall leaned over and whispered something in her ear.

“Yes…I would like that...” The healer responded and then went to work untying her top slower, blushing just slightly as the leather slid off her shoulders.

Cutter wondered just what his huntress had said when he heard a familiar scratching on the branches below and knew what it meant. He sat there in his leggings till he saw the red hair and braids pop up past the edge of the sleep flat followed quickly by the smile he loved. “Ah, there’s our missing heart, did you make many spots?” Cutter asked holding out a hand to his treeshaper.

“They all took one, even Strongbow. I think Moonshade is tired of sleeping on branches or the hard ground.” Redlance laughed as he crawled past his chief.

“And fur chin took one?” Cutter chuckled watching him move over to Nightfall kissing her warmly before sitting by Leetah.

“Well, Treestump was a little slow to climb up.” The treeshaper answered as he slid his tunic off then moved to his leggings, “but then Clearbrook said if he spent the day with her up there she’d make him a happy old wolf.”

They all laughed as the treeshaper pulled his leathers off never noticing his healer was moving slower than everyone else…or did he? Cutter went to take his leggings off but Nightfall quickly slid over, playfully slapping his hands away from the leather binding, whispering low and lustily, “let me take those off for you my chief.” Her fingers slowly slid down his muscled stomach, dragging her nails along each ripple teasingly and seductively, meant to make her chief’s blood boil. She leaned in and breathed her hot exhale into his ear sending a low groan through Cutter as her hands reached the edge of his leggings. He inhaled sharply, deeply as she ran her fingers below the leather hooking her thumbs into the sides and pushing down. Her wolf chief growled again as her nails dragged against his skin just enough to elicit what she wanted to hear as she growled back. His hips rose just off the flat, the needed distance for his leggings to slide down and off as Nightfall ran her hands under and on the inside of his thighs almost drawing a third growl from Cutter, and then if he wasn’t aroused enough, she sat down on his lap and put her nose to his speaking with a husky inflection. “Hold me my love, embrace me and protect me as we sleep.”

The scene made Leetah melt as her blood heated. She turned to her treeshaper and reached up stroking his cheek and face fur as she asked for her desire, “embrace me as well my love…hold me and keep me warm.” And with a slow move Redlance did as he was asked by guiding her to the spot between his legs where she sat and leaned back with all her weight against his chest, breathing so deep her small frame shook. She gasped as he reached down, running his hands down her sides ever so slowly, his palms gliding down her body to her leggings where his fingers dipped inside and began to push the leather off her hips. Leetah moaned with so much pleasure before reaching down with her hands to brace herself against his hips, the lusty sigh sounded across the woods stirring the birds. She lifted herself up with her arms letting him slide the leggings off her, but then with a gentle move he pressed her forward slightly as his arms wrapped around her and her legs pulling the limbs closer to her. She leaned back against him again, even more as he slid the leggings the rest of the way off with a gentle push of his hands and kick of her feet. Leetah fought to catch a breath as heat and want swamped her while he pressed his chest into her back, then his hands began to explore touching her here and there and in places that made her squirm. She was about to literally erupt like the rumbling mountain from the desert when Redlance slowed and gingerly pulled away, taking her hand in his, leading her to the furs where Nightfall and Cutter were all ready waiting.

“Come my desert flower, you are mine for the day and I want to hold you all through it.”

Leetah quickly crawled to him wrapping her arms around his chest fiercely while devouring his lips in a kiss so deep it threatened to swallow them both. Redlance lay back, letting her lay on him as she took hold of him like she had only once before with one other, with her soul when she had come back from being gone so long. She felt her treeshaper reach low and touch her again with a gentle stroke of her heat and Leetah growled just as her huntress had done moments before. When the healer broke the kiss to gasp for a breath, giving her neck to her treeshaper to savor, she saw her loves next to her in the same state of ecstasy. Nightfall was still on top of her Cutter, but the wolf chief was in control reveling in his huntress. Across the lock-send all four shared a love that flowed with such abundance it only seemed to grow and grow. It had no end and no beginning, just a continuous hoop of energy that connected them all as one, a circle that each gave to and took from with full permission.

There was no physical sharing between the lovers, this intimate joining being so much more for them. It was more than bonding and more than sharing. It was a marvelous love expressed in touching and sends without giving to the physical and sullying it. It was desire expressed without giving to the surface. It was deep and moving and later, as Leetah lay in the arms of her treeshaper sleeping so soundly and safe, she felt her soul fill with him and her huntress. She smiled knowing, as her Cutter had told her just the days before, this was where she wanted to be. A small crackle woke her and Leetah opened her eyes to see her huntress holding her in a tight warm embrace. It was still light but the day star was beginning to drift down and with the dying light she watched Redlance pack his leathers and Cutter’s in his pouch.

“Go back to sleep my soul, our treeshaper and I will be back before we leave for the night.” Cutter whispered as she looked up to him. She knew just what the pair was going to do, what she and Nightfall had done just the days before. It was time to give and share with the one he had been seeking.

“Go my chief, our healer and I will be fine. We’re not ready to let go of each other yet.” Nightfall murmured snuggling into Leetah more.

“Yes, go beloved…and tell him I love you both.” Leetah whispered just before falling asleep in her huntress’s arms. The healer barley heard her beloved or her love leave the sleep spot, but she knew that when she saw them tonight they would be closer to being home.

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Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Combo_1


Last edited by Wiseshaman on Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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G0lden

G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 18, 2015 3:52 am

Okay tissue time for how Leetah was treated by the Sun Villagers. Cads the lot of them. Was glad Redlance got her to open up about the experience. This foursome will make quite the family.

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Reese's, Kashmir's, and Tequila's mommy.
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wolfmoonsky

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptySat Apr 18, 2015 11:19 am

I forgot to comments on the last few pages, sorry shaman!

I love the past stories! I love Nightfall in these few chapters. She would really do anything to get Redlance *or should I say Redmark, since it is in the past?*. I really loved the 13th chapter!! Such a funny chapter, and Joyleaf was in it too! XD

I love the conversation between Leetah and Redlance! I'm glad she opened up to him! Sad about how she got threaded by the sunvillagers though.

Now, we had conversations between leetah and Redlance/Nightfall/Cutter. All we are going to need now are Cutter and nightfall. Most of all Cutter and Redlance! Laughing
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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Fifteen   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyTue Apr 21, 2015 11:35 pm

Thank you G0lden and wolfmoonsky for the great and kind words...it makes me old heart swell to know your enjoying this tale as I weave it...

And now for the next piece...

Chapter 15

Cutter followed his treeshaper, easily trotting behind him as they both ran silently along the path through the forest. His bare feet found the feel of the trail wonderful and the brush of the trees and leaves against his naked skin felt even better, if it was at all possible too. He chuckled and made every turn Redlance did, even ducking a pair low hanging branches with his treeshaper, getting lost in the happiness of whatever game this was. He had been asleep when he felt a hand slowly caress his inner thigh, the touch bringing him out of a beautiful dream with two dark green eyes loving him, right into those same eyes from the dream. His treeshaper smiled and squeezed again with a gleam in his eyes while sending. Want to go see something?

The wolf chief took all of a single moment to nod and slowly slide out of his embrace with Nightfall. He hoped that gleam meant what he thought, what he had been wanting and dreaming of these last days, and as they went deeper into the woods Cutter knew he was right in his thinking. It was just a question now of who his treeshaper wanted and it was a question that made the wolf chief chill just a little. Which Cutter did his treeshaper want, just the elf or the chief? The question faded as the pair broke into a clearing, a small opening in the forest with no obstruction of the twilight sky above them. Cutter watched Redlance come to a stop in the middle of the small dell while looking up at the fading stars with his old friend, the oblong pouch over his shoulder. He stopped by his treeshaper’s shoulder, touching it with his, as he looked to the sky. “Are you telling me you’re looking for Skywise now?” He joked nodding his head skyward with his top knot swaying.

“No,” Redlance said shaking his head and smiling before stepping behind Cutter and putting his head to the right side of the Wolf chief’s. The treeshaper’s left hand reached up and gently took Cutter’s left shoulder as he spoke and pointed with his right hand at a star up in the darkening sky. “Do you know that star?”

The question to Cutter, looking up to the sky, it all brought back the memories of when he and Skywise would talk in the woods. They might stare at the sky as the stargazer recited all his knowledge of the gathered stars and what each group meant. Sometimes they would talk, the stargazer counseling him on what he should do and not do as chief. Well, that was what he sought in his treeshaper now, and more. He looked up at the star Redlance pointed too, which seemed to hover so far away it might take the rest of his long life to travel to and rest under it. “No…should I know it?”

“No, but you may remember it soon.” The treeshaper smiled and Cutter stared at him wondering just what the cryptic statement meant. Then the wolf chief forgot all about the star as Redlance’s left hand slid down and around to rub the soft skin just above Cutter’s sacred.

The single simple move sent a solid message to the Wolfchief, and it was so welcomed as he turned slowly in the arm and reached up taking his treeshaper’s neck in his hand. The treeshaper stopped long enough of the sweet touch to undo his wolf chief’s loin cloth, taking New Moon away from Cutter with a slow pull as he spoke. “Do you want to share with me, a simple treeshaper Cutter?” Redlance asked after he opened the flap on his pouch and dropped Cutter’s sword in before closing it. As he stood back up the wolf chief could easily see the excitement in the treeshaper’s sacredness, the flaccidity slowly giving way to a rise. Across their lock-send the same desire from that morning when Cutter went to Redlance to ask for forgiveness flowed, an ache to share that made the wolf chief groan as his treeshaper reached and pulled him in slowly to a hard embrace.

“Yes, if all you want is the simple elf I am now” Cutter finally whispered after getting his bearings and then caressing his treeshaper’s neck which seemingly appeared in his hand even though the wolf chief didn’t remember reaching for it. The dell swam in a churn of lusty energy as he kissed his treeshaper deeply before putting his forehead to Redlance’s and whispering with all his love. “I want nothing more than that my treeshaper…nothing more than to be yours.”

“Then lead me Cutter, my brother wolf, and I will follow for all I want is the simple elf you are.” Redlance whispered leaning in to bite Cutter’s neck warmly, possessively, to show his want and desire.

For a moment, the wolf chief was lost in the burning desire that swam through his blood and pushed him on to a sweet sharing, but then he growled and shook his head. “No…you lead me my treeshaper…I only want to follow...to be loved by you.”

Cutter gasped then as Redlance bit harder and the level of desire coming from the treeshaper jumped clear up to the two moons themselves. The treeshaper’s hand slowly dragged down his chest and stomach, just as Nightfall’s had that morning, only now Cutter felt nimble gentle fingers take his growing sacredness and rub with warm tugs. The clearing exploded with the treeshaper’s want and need, making everything spin, and Cutter found it hard to stand. He clung to Redlance as his knees buckled from all the affection and love. “Lay me down…lay me down before I fall…” the wolf chief gasped and with an easy gentle motion Redlance helped him lay down in the grass. The treeshaper pushed Cutter down onto his back and continued with his affections driving the wolf chief’s fire in his blood higher and higher for a moment or more before rolling Cutter onto his side. Redlance reached around and under with his arms pulling his precious chief to him squeezing him hard, taking him with an audible loud growl. And then, it was all a blissful blur to Cutter as he moaned loudly giving himself to Redlance free of all control and constraint. Just like his huntress who had given her control to him by binding her hands and feet, Cutter had given up the lead in this joining becoming a devoted disciple. He had only followed letting his treeshaper do as he willed, as he wanted, and in return the bond between them grew stronger, deeper with trust and love.

When it was done, and both had spent themselves of the need leaving only the love and want for each other, they sat chatting with loving words. Redlance had found a tree to lay up against, the boughs just high enough let them see out into the clearing but low enough to protect them from someone trying to see in. The treeshaper’s back was against the trunk sitting up while holding Cutter who was laying between Redlance’s legs with his back to the treeshaper’s chest and his head resting easily by his cheek. The wolf chief watched the twin moons rise with a delighted fulfilled smile, which might have been from the sight or the slow finger strokes Redlance was doing to his neck and ear at the time, but whatever the reason so lost in rapture was Cutter he barely heard his treeshaper’s words.

“Are the bindings too tight?”

Cutter held up his bound hands and whispered. “No, but you tied a very good knot.”

“Well I learned from Nightfall, who learned from her father. I wonder, if Longbranch knew just what his knots were being used for if he’d be upset.” Redlance whispered in Cutter’s ear while his other hand reached over and rubbed Cutter’s chest in loving circles.

The wolf chief chuckled and smiled. “I’m sure he’d question why we all want to be tied up around you.”

“I ask myself that every day before I fall into the sleep furs.” Redlance smiled making Cutter chuckle again and lean in the hand at his neck. The pair sat in silence for a moment just enjoying the connection before the treeshaper spoke. “What do we call this Cutter?”

“What do we call what?” He asked back lazily.

“This,” the treeshaper remarked looking at the glen but not really looking at it as he spoke, “the way we are now? Do we call it being lovemates even though it feels like more? Has there ever been a mating like this, two pairs living as one loving this freely? Is it a four-mate?”

Cutter sighed thinking hard before answering. “I don’t know. Do we need to call it something?”

“I think family is too small,” the treeshaper suddenly whispered rubbing Cutter’s neck more, “we love with one heart and one soul. We know no other way, so we live the way we want, but I’ll call it a family for now, your second family my beloved chief.”

“No, not a second family anymore. You are my family my treeshaper, you and Leetah and Nightfall. You are all my family now, and I’m not your chief here my treeshaper when it is just us, like our huntress, I only want to be near and learn from you.” Cutter whispered reaching up with his bound hands and touching Redlance’s cheek lovingly.

The treeshaper smiled then whispered. “You don’t need to learn anything from me Cutter, but I will show you all that I know and all that I am. My heart is yours, just like it is for our healer and our huntress. It has always been yours my beloved chief, here for you to take.”

The wolf chief smiled rubbing Redlance’s cheek more, reveling in the love he felt cross their lock-send, when a second playful send touched their minds. Beloved, where are you and my love hiding?

Cutter chuckled at Nightfall’s fun emotion before replying, we’re under the big oak, our treeshaper said it wanted to shade us.

Yes, I can see you now. We’re coming over. Nightfall sent before she and Leetah ran out from behind a tree holding hands. The lifebearers made a straight dash to the tree ducking into the branches without stopping. They saw their lifemates and both instantly smiled, Nightfall stopping by Cutter’s side and Leetah going to sit against her treeshaper. The huntress noticed her cherished chief’s hands and smiled.

“What are you doing?”

“Seeing if I can be saved and leave him with more than I came,” Cutter smiled warmly leaning on his treeshaper more.

Leetah leaned down and kissed his cheek, “and have you beloved?”

The wolf chief only nodded and the look in his eyes was one the huntress knew well, one she still had to this day. It was more than could be explained with words, had to be experienced to be understand. It was a freedom she could never feel unless it was with him, her love and lifemate, and she hated herself with what came next. “You have to be freed now I’m afraid my love, Strongbow and Treestump need to speak with you.” Nightfall sighed.

Cutter sighed as well, reluctantly giving up his treeshaper and his love, for the duty of being the chief of his tribe. He felt a sudden coldness as Redlance slipped out from behind him, to kneel by his side and Leetah’s, a break in the connection they had been reveling in feeling like a lost limb. Then the treeshaper took Cutter’s hands in his and held them as he freed him speaking softly while sending to all of his family his love and heart. “I free you Cutter, to leave my den and my arms so you may return if you want. I free you to be what you want and need to be this night in hopes you come back to my den, to my heart.”

Before his hands could drop from being let go, the wolf chief reached up and cupped his treeshaper’s neck sending all his love to him, to his family all while speaking low. “I promise to return to you, to your heart, because it’s the only home I want to live in.”

A silence fell across the dell as the four shared on their lock-send the love they felt for each other, let their emotions flow to each without constraint, taking in the warmth and letting it fill their souls. Redlance felt a small hand touch his shoulder and knew it was his healer, just as he knew Nightfall had placed her hand lovingly on their chief, and he felt her love for him cross to him in their connection just as his love for his huntress went to her and hers for Cutter flowed to him. A circular force of warmth and energy made its way through all four, a family, binding them to each other with a bond unmatched in strength. They stayed this way, sharing again on a level so much deeper than the physical, for a moment longer before Cutter sighed and let go of his treeshaper.

Duty called, the need to be chief rising above the want to be held. So, he rose with the help of Redlance, hugged him one last time, then with a chuckle he began to dress. The treeshaper followed his chief in getting dressed as well, though found the task harder than usual thanks to their precious lifebearers. While Cutter fought off his huntress and her attempts to tickle his side with every move of his arm, Redlance was busy retying the knot on his leggings because his healer untied it with a giggle over and over. It was only when they grabbed their loves in their arms and kissed them deep did Cutter and his treeshaper finish dressing. Then, with smiles and laughs, the four trotted out of the clearing toward the tribe. The wolf chief led them with his huntress at his side holding her hand and beside her ran her healer holding her hand with fierceness and at the end was their treeshaper. He held Leetah’s hand never letting go, not a one of the four released their hold on the other, and as a family made their way through the forest back to the tribe.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

“It doesn’t look like anyone’s lived there for quite some time lad,” Treestump whispered looking down the hill to what was once a hut for humans.

After saying a long sad goodbye, the family finally broke leaving their treeshaper behind to protect them. Cutter and Leetah and Nightfall all had watched him till they could no longer see his shape from that of the forest. They rode in silence for some distance until Suntop, who rode behind his father so his mother could enjoy the company of her huntress, began to pull them out of their gloom with question after question about the forest. What flower is that? Can we eat that? And with every question his father would smile and answer. I’m not sure what that is my cub, we’ll have to ask our treeshaper when he comes back. Oh, I’m not eating anything our treeshaper hasn’t said was safe, unless it’s a big piece of tusk hog! The last made Suntop laugh as he hugged his father tight. With the mood lightened they rode on chatting and chuckling until Strongbow found the hut and then everything became very serious.

Now the tribe knelt just off a break in the trail, in a hiding spot, staring down an old path to yet another small clearing. There were no tracks on the path as Cutter looked out from the bushes down to the broken hut in the open space. The trees at one time had been cut back to create the small clearing where the hut sat, but any work to keep that distance had long been abandoned. New saplings and middle growth trees were growing in scattered groups here and there with no sense of care. The hut itself looked battered and beaten Cutter thought, with the roof falling in and ivy overtaking one wall in a mass of green, like the vines were slowly eating the hut itself, small piece by small piece. The wolf chief looked around seeing nothing that would say to him this place had been anything more than a forgotten den by a human, who may or may not be dead. Cutter sniffed the air and turned to his elder whispering, “do you smell anything?”

Clearbrook sniffed and shook her head, “no, but I still don’t like this.”

I agree, this place feels bad to me. I say we ride by and give it nothing more than what it takes to forget about it. Strongbow hissed while eyeing the hut with a hard, hateful eye.

“Aye lad, let’s just move on. There’s no scent here, tall one or animal.” Treestump whispered nodding to his chief.

Cutter looked to his elders with reverence, taking each one’s opinion and judgment in the highest regard. He knew with their age and experience they would know best how to handle each obstacle they might come across. They’re council gave him options, choices he could take and decide on, which every chief and leader wanted and needed, and at the moment all three wanted no more of this place. He nodded in agreement with them deciding caution and avoidance was the better choice. The wolf chief crawled back to his lifemate and son who sat next to their huntress, all three guarded by her bow and exceptional aim. The elders took up spots by their lifemates as well as Cutter whispered.

“We’re avoiding this place. Nothing has been down there for far too long to be of anything to us.”

“Good, I don’t want to be here any longer than needed.” Nightfall nodded, as did Leetah behind her. It seemed no one wanted anything to do with this place Cutter thought, which only made his decision to avoid it better. He was about to give the order to leave and instruct his son to tell Redlance to avoid this place as well.

The order though never left his lips.

With a sudden gasp his precious cub suddenly fell against his mother clutching his arms around his chest. He shook from his feet to his head, even his teeth chattered, as if the heat of the day was now the deepest cold of the Death Season. “Kittling!” Leetah hissed pulling him into her arms with a panicked voice. Cutter instantly moved to his son putting a hand under his head looking down into his eyes with fear.

“What is it Suntop? What’s wrong?”

“Magic…old…so very old…,” he stammered forcing the words out of chattering lips.

“Someone’s coming out of the hut!” Dart suddenly hissed.

All at once the Wolfriders moved into the brush deeper, father from the small overgrown trail they had followed. Leetah and Cutter carried Suntop to a safer spot as Nightfall slid in front of her healer and the cub with her bow at the ready. Strongbow looked down the trail in disbelief as, shambling out from the old hut, was an even older looking human, bent over and using a cane to take slow plodding steps. Treestump looked on with his mouth open as he watched the old human shake and shimmy with each step up the trail. The human looked like it might just drop and die with its next step it took. Clearbrook, who knelt next to him, felt saddened at the stats of the man, being dressed in old, torn, and obviously rotting rags that could provide no protection from the outside. And he looked bone thin, as if he hadn’t eaten in so long, with long wispy hair barely covering a mottled scalp. Moonshade put her hand to her lifemate’s back as the human started to approach them on the trail mumbling like he was crazed, talking like someone was there but wasn’t, answering each crackling word from his mouth with one of his own.

And the closer the human got to them the more Suntop shook. He usually laughed when his ‘magic’ feelings took over. He usually giggled and declared how wonderful it felt to be this close to magic. There was none of that now, laughing and smiling exchanged for closed eyes and shakes. Cutter cradled his son’s head as Suntop just mumbled uncontrollably, ‘old…old…old…”.

The wolf chief looked up snarling and sending, what is it?

It’s an old human, Strongbow replied keeping his bow string pulled back taught with an arrow at the ready.

That’s no human, it can’t be with the way Suntop is acting. Nightfall growled with her bow string taught as well.

The Wolfriders knelt quietly with weapons at the ready, to unleash an attack while watching the old human move along the trail. As he started to pass alongside them, just a few feet away, the Wolfriders sniffed the air and they all noted he carried no scent, no smell at all. As he began to cross in front of their hiding spot the old man talked as if he was still conversing with an invisible human by his side, and laughing with every step, and that’s when Leetah heard it, the human’s voice, and she realized it didn’t sound human at all. It didn’t sound like anything she had ever heard before and that scared the healer so much she couldn’t breathe. Leetah clutched her son to her, shaking with fear as well, watching the shuffling old human pass by…then come to an abrupt complete stop just across from the tribe.

Cutter? Strongbow sent using just his name, but the wolf chief knew what his archer was asking as he sent to everyone.

No one move…not one finger.

The old human stood still on the trail, the talking and laughing stopped now. Only the raspy sound of breathing could be heard as the old one drew each breath. Then that stopped as well and the trail went quiet, not a bird chirped or the winds stirred a leaf. It was quieter than Dart could ever remember it ever being in his life, as sweat dripped down his brow. His hand though was steady on his bow. His fingers holding the string taught giving no sign of fatigue. Newstar watched with terror filled eyes behind him, her hand placed in the center of his back. She was safe, would be safe the young archer vowed silently with a rock hard will just like his father. Out on the trail, they watched the human just stand there unmoving and quiet, but then with a slow turn of its head, a pair of pure black irises surrounded by milky white eyes looked right at them all.

“Well, well, good evening to you little spirits, good evening indeed!” The old human spoke and then cackled again.

Lad? Treestump sent and Cutter could see his elder ready to throw his axe right at the human.

No One Move! He ordered again. Whatever this thing was, Cutter wanted his tribe to leave it be. Something told him to just leave this thing be.

Then the human, or what looked human, began to stand, or better yet unfold. Gone was the old decrepit man so frail and aged he could barely walk. No, the Wolfriders watched as the human stood from the bent over stance it had been in to a height well over what Cutter remembered Olbar being. The crazed talk was gone as well as the thing stood looking at them, it’s stringy long hair adding to the frightening effect of its sunken cheeks and eyes.

“Where is the red haired treeshaper? I know he still lives, but is not with you.” The human asked slowly with his black eyes looking at all of them, directing the question to all the Wolfriders, with no one in particular the focus, and for some reason Cutter knew instinctively it wasn’t waiting for an answer. With a snap of its head, so fast no one could follow, the human turned and looked back down the trail to where Redlance would be following and the direction it had been walking. It sniffed the air loudly, twice, and then spoke. “Ahhh, there he is, a strong treeshaper, just like the one before.” The human thing moaned, almost purred, making Moonshade tremble and jerk.

She came so close to loosing her arrow at that instant, at the simple mention of him, putting him in danger. Nightfall would have hit the human dead in the center of its chest with her arrow, directly into its black heart. Her fingers twitched on the bow string ready to let go when she felt a hand touch her shoulder and a calming send. No my huntress, hold your bow. . She looked over to see Cutter and his blue eyes looking to her, telling her to be calm and hold. Nightfall breathed deep and slowly let her bow string ease, as did the others. She loved her chief, her Cutter, and she trusted him with her heart and her soul…and her lifemate now.

The human out on the trail snapped its head back suddenly raising its right hand as well, both moves so fast the Wolfriders could barely follow, but they could see the small round object he rolled over and over between his fingers. The object went up his fingers then down and back up again as he spoke in that voice Leetah would remember in dark dreams. “Please give him this when you call for him, a gift from me to him. Good eve little spirits, may your journey to your old home be safe.”

And then it was gone, just like the moves with its head and arm, so fast no one could follow, so fast the object it had been playing with hung for a brief moment in the air before falling to the trail. The object bounced once, rolled a small distance on its side, and then fell over. The Wolfriders watched it for a moment expecting who knows what to happen, maybe it would jump up and turn into another monster? In Leetah’s lap, Suntop came back as soon as the human was gone, the shakes and shivers form his ‘magic’ feeling disappearing, letting the young elf smile and the relief his mother and father felt lasted only a moment as their huntress whispered quickly.

“Is it going after our treeshaper? It asked about Redlance?” She whispered with worry.

Cutter pulled Suntop up to a sitting position as he watched the happy look on Leetah’s face switch to dread with the mention of Redlance. He looked to his son and hissed, “Tell our treeshaper to get here my son, get here now! Tell him to be careful and to look out for that…human!”

“Yes father, I’ll find him.” Suntop whispered and after a moment he nodded to his father that it was done. No one moved from their spot as they waited for the treeshaper to show, Leetah and Nightfall held hands sharing their worry. Cutter wanted to join them but his duty as chief kept him from doing it, the need to be seperate now taking precedence. The wait was almost unbearable, and the huntress had a thought of just running down the trail to find her love when Dart suddenly sent to them.

There he is! He’s coming up through the brush looking for us.

We’re here beloved, off the trail by the break. Please hurry! Nightfall sent to everyone and to her loving alleviation he replied back with a warm response.

I’m almost there, is everyone all right? Redlance replied slipping through the brush silently.

We’re all fine, are you all right? It was talking about you. Clearbrook asked.

They were waiting for a response when he abruptly popped through the brush by his lifebearers sides and next to Cutter. Leetah and Nigtfall both turned hugging him as hard as they could while the wolf chief reached over putting a hand on his neck, speaking low, “did you see it?”

“No,” he shook his head answering, “I kept my eyes and ears open, but there was nothing, at least not what Suntop showed me.”

“Could it have slipped by you, the human moves fast?” Treestump asked.

“Maybe…I don’t know…what did it leave on the trail?” Redlance asked back looking to his chief.

“I don’t know what it left. Let’s go take a look. Strongbow watch our front, Dart watch our backs.” Cutter ordered and as both archers acknowledged the order the rest of the Wolfriders slowly stepped out of the brush on to the trail.

There, just in front of them, was the object sitting in the dirt. Cutter looked at with careful apprehension before turning to his son, “is it made of magic Suntop?”

“No father, I don’t feel anything.” The young magic user answered. Suntop watched just like his father as Redlance got down on all fours and slid up to the object while his lifemate stepped over him and did the same from a different angle. His mother knelt between them looking at the object but refusing to get any closer. His father took the last spot with everyone else crowding in, even the archer and his son moved in to stand by them while keeping their eyes peeled.

“What do you think treeshaper?” Cutter asked leaning over to look at what he could easily see now was a round disc made from what looked like bone, lying on its side. Markings of some unknown words and images were carved into its surface and stared back at the wolf chief as he looked the disc over.

The treeshaper moved in and hovered over the disc with his nose just above it where he took a quick sniff. He sighed and looked at the disc with a keen eye while whispering. “It smells like a deer’s horn…but then not.”

He moved back and both Cutter and Nightfall inched in giving the same sniff test and both came to the same conclusion. “What do the carvings mean beloved?” Nightfall asked.

“I’m not sure my huntress, not till I take a closer look.” Redlance whispered reaching into his pouch. Treestump and Clearbrook also sniffed the disc carefully before looking to Cutter and shaking their heads.

“You’re not going to pick it up?” Newstar gasped with a shiver.

“That’s just what we’re going to do, right my treeshaper?” Cutter smiled, which in turn made Leetah and Nightfall smile.

“Yes my chief, that’s exactly what we’re going to do, only we will use one of our huntress’s arrows to do the touching.” Redlance smiled pulling a square of leather out of his pouch and holding it spread out in his hand. “Now my huntress, flip it onto the leather here.”

Nightfall took one of her arrows, the one she was going to use to kill the human actually, and with ease slid the point just under the disc. She looked up and noticed her love nodded meaning he was ready, and with a twitch of her wrist she sent the disc hopping upwards, spinning over twice, onto the leather square and her treeshaper’s hand. He caught it perfectly before standing up, his freehand taking Leetah’s and helping her up before letting her see the disc. “Do you remember the Sun Villager who did this kind of work with the animal bones?”

The healer nodded with a foul look on her face. “Azal, he used to scare me with all those bones hanging in his hut, but he never did any work this elaborate.”

Redlance nodded handing the disc around, each Wolfrider taking it carefully in their hands and studying the object by sniffing it and eyeing it closely. Strongbow looked up sending to everyone as he handed the object to his lifemate. It doesn’t have the weight of a deer’s horn…it feels lighter.

“There’s no tool marks either, no knife scrapings or sharp rock gouges.” Moonshade added standing next to Nightfall, letting the huntress look over her shoulder.

“I agree, that carving wasn’t done by normal hands.” The huntress spoke putting her hand on the tanner’s shoulder. She rubbed the flesh there and noticed the tanner leaned her head down to nuzzle the fingers. A small smile crossed Nightfall’s face as she listened to the others speak.

Clearbrook looked down to the old hut and then back to Cutter. “Do you want to check out the hut Cutter? The human walked out if it, it might be its home.”

He looked down at the structure with a harsh eye then turned back to his treeshaper. “Do you think there’s anything down there that might tell us what the human might be or what it is he left for you?”

The treeshaper looked at all the eyes that stared back at him and he felt his stomach tighten, like when he was a young cub at the councils and Bearclaw would call on him, or the night he suggested they start for Father Tree. Oh how he hated being the center of attention. “I don’t know my chief…I’d have to look inside.”

It wasn’t the answer Cutter wanted to hear, but it made perfect sense to him. He bit his lip and then nodded giving out quick instructions. Nightfall, Strongbow, and Dart would stay up here on the trail with Leetah, Suntop, and Moonshade and Newstar, guarding the trail in case the human came back. Treestump and Clearbrook would follow them down to the hut but not go in. He and Redlance would run in and take a quick look and see if there was anything there. The plan sounded easy, but as the group headed off Nightfall found herself hating the very idea, it was the second time her love would be going into danger and it was both of them this time. She nocked an arrow and kept an eye on the entrance feeling slightly helpless till she felt a small hand touch her shoulder.

They’ll be fine Twen, I know it.

She felt Leetah’s love across the send and smiled savoring it before responding. I know my sweet one…I just hate watching and guarding. I don’t know how my beloved does this, watching his loved ones go into danger.

I know my precious one…I know, Leetah sent with her love again.

Nightfall only smiled and took the love in as she watched the entrance to the hut, watched her loves enter. And just like when they were at the cave the night slowed to a crawl, every noise louder than it should have been, and evil intent seemed to lurk in every shadow. The huntress squeezed her bow tightly, praying the pair would hurry, and when they both popped out of the hut’s entrance she breathed an easy sigh of comfort, her first breath the whole time Cutter and Redlance were gone it felt like. Leetah sent to her again with a send full of the same relief. Thank the High Ones!

The group ran back to the others and knelt. There was nothing in the hut, not a bed or a table or anything Cutter told them. The roof had fallen in leaving half the hut unusable and the other half looked like nothing had lived in the place for a very long time. This left only one explanation Redlance offered, if the human had come out of the hut like Dart said, then it must have appeared right out of thin air. There was no way to tell though the treeshaper added, there were no tracks coming from the hut and none inside.

Whatever the human was, Cutter said, it didn’t leave any sign of its passing…not one track or scent.

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G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyWed Apr 22, 2015 12:04 am

Well, this was an interesting chapter. Cutter and Redlance having some private time with Redlance taking the lead in matters. It was also very well written too.

Now that old human must be a spirit of some form and has knowledge of the elves and Redlance in particular. Wonder how he plays into the scheme of things.

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyFri Apr 24, 2015 12:53 am

This.....

Quote :
Cutter sighed thinking hard before answering. “I don’t know. Do we need to call it something?”

This touches me because humanity always feels the need to "label" things.... where elves don't need to. I loved that part the most I love you I love you I love you

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Sixteen   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyWed May 20, 2015 4:04 pm

Ok...I finally caught a break and I can update this old thread.  Thank you G0lden and Kindred for the super awesome words.  It truly inspires me to keep this train rolling on...

And now for the next piece...

Chapter 16

The day star began its gradual climb into the sky, creeping over the horizon and the trees, inching along slowly toward its apex. Most of the animals and the forest denizens had retreated to dens and homes to rest, and thus it was the same with the Wolfriders. The small tribe had completed its journey for the night and sought refuge in their sleep spots provided by the treeshaper. Tired bodies and weary souls went to sleep on furs safely hidden high in the trees from prying eyes to slumber soundly.

All except for four souls who fought the need for sleep, instead to spend what they considered magical moments together, to bond and be more than just friends, more than just lifemates or lovemates or even soulmates. Whatever line, rule, or conception that defined those words blurred as the four shared with each other all they were and would be. One soul shared between four lives, one heart beating for four. It was the dream Leetah had experienced just days before, and now laying with her lifemate behind her and her huntress and treeshaper directly in front of her, its beauty paled to this reality. Nightfall was on her back with their treeshaper next to her, pressed protectively against his lifemate’s side, his head propped up on his elbow and arm letting him look over her to his family. Leetah laughed at the stories they exchanged while laying against her huntress on her side with Cutter behind her, propped up on his arm as well, pressing his chest gently into her back, molding his body to hers and laughing with her while rubbing her stomach with long wispy strokes of his fingers. Leetah purred with pleasure feeling so warm and complete as they talked about days from the Sun Village.

“No wait, you and Jobra did what?” Nightfall giggled when she really wanted to be concerned.

“Jobra wanted to see if a large lizard would become calm if you were to pet its stomach, much like our lovely healer there.” Redlance pointed out sending a laugh through his family, and the jest made Leetah feel unbelievably happy, so wanted and loved. “So, I caught him one, flipped it over, and found out that what I think petting is and what Jobra thought it was didn’t match.”

“He hit it, didn’t he?” Cutter chuckled loudly with his huntress remembering the old elf that was part crazy. Old Jobra would go out in the desert looking for things to tinker with and animals to play with, though most of the animals he found didn’t want him to touch them…like the lizard.

“Walked right up and slapped it across the belly,” the treeshaper laughed remembering how the lizard was perfectly calm one moment and then a snarling beast the next.

“Oh that poor lizard,” Nightfall giggled even more.

“Now wait, Jobra wasn’t that bad of an elf, maybe not the smartest, but he was an honorable elf to me.” Redlance tried to say seriously but failed due to chuckling.

Leetah laughed and nuzzled Nightfall’s shoulder with her cheek reveling in the feel of her Twen. “So honorable he let a lizard bite you!”

The treeshaper shook his head still chuckling and trying to stand up for his old friend. “The lizard was only defending itself from Jobra’s…touch, and when it bit me, the lizard was obviously confused.”

“Oh my gentle one you are such an amazement to me.” Nightfall purred reaching up to rub his face fur warmly before kissing him lovingly. She smiled sending him and her family all her love before turning to her healer whispering, “May we switch, I want to be held by our chief?”

“Yes, yes my precious one. I need our treeshaper’s touch.” Leetah whispered warmly in return. And as they traded spots, giving each a sweet kiss in passing, the huntress slid into the arms of her chief kissing him deeply before nuzzling into his neck to inhale his scent, closing her eyes and falling asleep in his embrace almost at once. Cutter laid his head on the bulge Nightfall had created in the sleep furs and sighed letting his arm stretch out with the palm up, ready for his treeshaper to settle his neck there. It was his chief’s small ritual of love and Redlance gladly gave him whatever he wanted.

The healer slid into Redlance and onto her back just as Nightfall had, snuggling into her treeshaper, and then reaching up with her inside arm to rub his neck lovingly before he gave it to her lifemate for the day. She took his free hand in her other one and led it down to her stomach to the soft skin between her naval and her heat, letting him rub it gently with his fingers. “Your touch soothes me my love,” Leetah whispered closing her eyes, feeling sleep begin to take her weary body away, but just before the warm dark could pull her down she felt her treeshaper shift above her. His fingers shifted to grab her hip and roll her over to her side, into him firmly as his arm she laid on hugged her fiercely suddenly. Leetah’s eyes opened just enough to see him look deeply into hers before leaning in to kiss her, a sensuous and slow caress which stirred a yearning in her, swept through her like a wave. The healer’s leg wrapped around him as his hand on her hip moved down to grab and pull her more to him. He nibbled at her lips with the kiss, devoured her want as she reached up with both hands to grab his neck and pull him closer. She inhaled deeply, drawing his kiss into her own voracious need of him, and with a gasp she finally had to stop, break from him to get her air.

Redlance rubbed her back with long loving strokes as he whispered. “I’m sorry, I just wanted a kiss before we fell asleep and I was swept away in you.”

His words were like sweet bumpy melon to her, filling and yet leaving you craving for more. She smiled and whispered to him with devotion, “as did I my love, as did I.”

The treeshaper sighed and then held her as she nuzzled his neck getting comfortable for the day’s sleep. His musky scent filled her as the last thing she felt was his slight push so she was against her huntress, feeling so secure before drifting away to dream of four souls, bound as one, running through an old forest to a grand old oak.

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They refused the call as long as they could. It actually took a send from Treestump and Strongbow both to finally make Cutter sigh and move. He had only wanted to rise and leave his family asleep in the furs, but when he looked up he saw his treeshaper up all ready sitting on the edge of the spot. The wolf chief smiled and quietly slid over by Redlance, letting his lifebearers hold each other and rest,” what are you doing up my treeshaper?”

“I was watching you three as you slept. It’s very beautiful and peaceful.” Redlance answered smiling as his chief sat next to him.

“Those two I know, but me?” Cutter chuckled.

“Oh you’re each beautiful in your own way Cutter. Our huntress looks to be held and protected as does our healer, but you my chief, you’re our shield. You protect us all and hold any nightmare away. Without you we would be fearful of the shadows in our dreams, but when you lay with us we can be brave and fearless. With you near us we can all feel safe.” The treeshaper answered with a warm smile.

The wolf chief looked at Redlance speechless. He could literally form no words in his mind as his soul flew so high he could touch the Two Moons themselves. Cutter just smiled, taking a deep breath before reaching up and putting his hand on his treeshaper’s neck with care letting all his love flow to Redlance over a send, touching his forehead to his treeshaper. There were no words spoken as none were needed, just the emotion flowing back and forth until it was time to dress and leave. The wolf chief put on his leathers still flying from the loving words then nodded to his treeshaper.

“I’ll see you before we have to part.”

“Yes, my chief, I’ll have our furs packed up.” Redlance smiled and nodded back.

Then with a leap Cutter was gone and the sleep spot was quiet giving Redlance the needed time to reflect. He sat thinking of where his family had come from, where it was going, and how it would be when they reached Goodtree’s Rest. Would they stay this close when each was given a den? Could they stay this close when the need to reach a home changed to being at home? There were no answers for the treeshaper because it was all out of his hands. If they stayed a family would depend on how strong Cutter would be, if he could help his precious chief heal and stand strong again. It depended on Leetah and if she could take him into her heart and to trust him enough not to lock her heart away. And it depended on Nightfall, if she could give up enough control to let them go and come back to her. So much love depending on just as much trust, so much happiness depending on just as much strength Redlance thought, and where did he fit in all this? Was he the center, the beginning, or the end? Again, he had no answer to the question.

“Do we need to get up?” A sweet voice asked.

The treeshaper turned back to see his huntress awake, looking up from where she held her healer, and Leetah held her back, both snuggled in to each other. Redlance smiled and shook hi head, sliding over and leaning over them, one arm around Leetah and one around his Nightfall. He looked down to each with love as the healer woke and returned the look. Then, with a careful slowness, he leaned down and pressed in, sniffing deeply of his huntress, on her neck before biting the soft flesh gently but firmly, drawing a moan of pleasure from Nightfall. When he was done, he turned and took in his healer’s scent with a similar deep inhale, swimming in her jasmine sweetness, before biting her neck with the same gentle but firm force. Instantly she gasped and leaned into him wanting more but smiling as he pulled away. “What was that for my love?” The healer cooed with a loving smile, hugging her Twen passionately.

“When I have to be away from you both this night, I want to remember how you smell and feel. I want to keep you as close as your scent when I am alone waiting to see you both again.” Redlance replied warmly and with all his heart.

How dare you make me feel this way and then leave me Leetah thought, her heart filling to bursting with love? She reached out from under the furs and up to his face to rub the fur on the side, needing to touch him suddenly. She only smiled when her huntress did the same, sitting up to greet him with the help of his arm to receive a long sweet kiss, and then he was pulling her up to him as well. Leetah wrapped her arm around him, as he did with his, pulling her to him and kissing her deeply taking her breath away just like the morning. The healer broke the kiss with a smile and felt her Twen lean in so all three could touch forehead to forehead, sending love freely to one and the other, no boundaries and no restraints, just warmth and devotion.

“It’s time to get dressed and greet the others,” Redlance whispered low, reluctantly.

“Yes beloved, we know,” Nightfall whispered with him just as hesitant.

“Help us dress my love?” Leetah asked nuzzling his cheek, refusing to separate just yet.

The treeshaper only nodded and helped his lifebearers dress before putting on his leathers and then packing up the sleep spot. Nightfall and Leetah both helped, and just as they finished they heard Cutter climbing back up, and upon seeing them smiled broadly, “Good eve my family!”

“Good eve beloved,” Leetah smiled kissing her lifemate deeply before he turned to his huntress.

“Good eve my love,” Nightfall greeted her chief before kissing him deeply too.

He took their hands in his and then smiled as they each took one of the treeshaper’s and all four held each other. Cutter smiled as he saw the beauty and the love in his family, and to him that was exactly what they were, no more a lifemate or a lovemate, just his loving family. “Come, Strongbow felled a nice buck and Dart got a small rabbit. We can eat before leaving for the night.”

“Nothing better than to wake with a meal like that,” Redlance smiled brightly.

“Good, let’s eat then.” The wolf chief smiled with him. He squeezed his love’s hands then slid off the sleep flat. He waited at the bottom of the tree helping each lifebearer to the ground before letting Redlance drop by his side. The four walked to the meal, hand in hand, raising only smiles from the others, and after eating as the tribe started off for the night’s travel, the family stayed behind waiting as long they could before having to part. And like the night before, as they parted and the treeshaper slipped from sight, he gave them his love and heart to keep them safe for the night.

After his family were gone and he could no longer see them, Redlance sighed deeply feeling his heart fall at missing them. He closed his eyes and remembered all three of their scents, the feel of touching each one, and taking it all in to lift his heart once again. He smiled and opened his eyes turning to get to work. He had to release each tree from its sleep spot, to let it grow strong, and he had to thank each tree for keeping them safe for the day. The treeshaper decided to start with the one his family had been allowed to stay with and he hummed as he stepped in between the boughs, happy to ‘speak’ with his trees. Redlance was ready to touch the trunk and thank it for protecting them when he froze as his eyes saw something sitting on a small branch. He found it suddenly hard to breathe as he stared at a second disc, just like the one the strange human creature left on the trail. Redlance forced air into his body with an inhale as he kept staring at the white circle with an ornate design carved into it. He forced an exhale as he reached out, and with a steady hand, touched it feeling the smooth but sticky surface. He forced another inhale as he grabbed it and drew it close to his eyes noting the carving looked different from the one that was left for him last night. There was no clap of sky growl and no stroke of sky fire when he touched it, so the treeshaper assumed it wasn’t meant to hurt him…and if it wasn’t meant to hurt?

It took a blink for Redlance to guess what the strange discs were. He turned and ran from the boughs of the tree he slept in to the tree where Treestump and Clearbrook had slept and after a quick search he found a disc there as well, carved from the same kind of deer horn, with a different design. He started to breathe faster as Redlance started to realize what this all meant. He ran to the tree where Strongbow and Moonshade had slept and found a disc for them, then ran to the one where Dart, Newstar, and Suntop had stayed. He found three there, one for each separate soul that slept.

Redlance smiled as he held all the discs to his chest and trotted out from the tree with a large smile crossing his face. “You were protecting us, keeping watch!” he chuckled looking at the discs then up to the forest.

“Yes, Red Hair, I was,” a voice whispered from somewhere, everywhere, at once.

The treeshaper spun in a tight circle looking all around him, searching with the turn, for any sign of whom or what spoke to him. A sound caught his attention to his left but when he looked over he saw nothing but forest. He heard another to his right and it was the same when he looked there, just the trail his family had taken moments before. Whatever this was, whoever their guardian was, it had magic Redlance knew. It was everywhere it wanted to be and all at once, just like the forest he was standing in.

“Thank you…for watching over us…thank you!” Redlance called out with a large grin.

“Father Tree waits for you Red Hair. He waits to grow under your hand, but beware, this forest ends just before the rise of your day star and you will have to cross a great openness there.” The voice whispered again, from everywhere around him, and the treeshaper laughed loudly as he felt a sudden joyous connection to the voice.

“Thank you!” He screamed happily before looking down into his hands where the discs sat. He had to tell Cutter, about everything. He reached out with his mind in a send hoping to reach the young magic user before they got too far. Suntop…do you hear me?

Yes Redlance, what is it?

I need to speak with your father, there’s something I need to tell him. Can you get him in a lock-send?

Oh yes…wait, [i] the young magic user replied before coming back with an extra energy into the lock-send [i],I have father Redlance.

What do you need my treeshaper? Cutter sent and Redlance could almost see the smile on his face. The treeshaper sighed and told his chief everything, the discs and the voice and its warning about the openness. The send went quiet for a moment and Redlance could imagine the smile slowly leaving his chief’s face. We’ll stop up ahead; catch up as fast as you can. .

It was an order that only required a quick ‘yes’ before the send dropped. Redlance quickly put the discs in his pouch in a spot they would be safe and then ran to release each tree. He quickly wiped out any trace of their passing before running from the clearing. He looked back once wondering if their guardian was watching him, wondering if it would follow once the Wolfriders were out of the forest. Redlance only smiled and trotted up the trail to catch his tribe and his family. He didn’t see the black irises watch his every move, observe each step, and the wave of a hand from a hidden spot. The being smiled knowing he would see his little spirit again, most assuredly so.

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“It left these…on the trees we slept in…to protect us?” Clearbrook asked, holding the small carved disc Redlance had said was on the tree she and Treestump slept at. The tribe knelt and sat off the trail, counselling over the discs and what Redlance had found and heard. Most of the talk had been by the elders with some of the young ones joining in. As always, Cutter listened to both sides, weighing his choices very carefully. The tribe had been scared at first realizing that something, what no one would even guess, had been watching them during the day while they slept, and the possibility it was the strange human thing from the trail made the fear just that much deeper. Yet, before the fear could run rampant through the small tribe, Nightfall and Leetah pointed out that their treeshaper told them the human was protecting them and when Cutter added it could have taken them all while they slept and did not, it brought most under control, but it wasn’t till a small tanner spoke up with a stern voice that all agreed not be afraid.

“I trust Redlance, just like Leetah and Cutter and Nightfall do. If he says the human was guarding us than I trust him.”

The treeshaper barely heard Moonshade’s words, but his family had, and each one smiled warmly at the tanner. She in turn blushed a little before smiling in return to each. Redlance was busy, flipping the disc that was left for his family, over and over in his hand. On one side carved into the white bone of the antler was the roughed-out image of a flower and a vine, nothing decorative or for show Redlance could see. He turned the disc over then, and on the other side was the image of a spear and a sword. Again, just like the other side, this image was rough and something not done for show. The treeshaper flipped the disc over and over in his hand, from flower to spear to vine to sword. The images made some sense, the flower for his treeshaping abilities, but the sword and spear? What did those have to do with him, or were those for his chief and huntress? He flipped the disc again as his mind chewed on the images. The flower…the sword…the spear…his beloved huntress had told him after the battle with the trolls in the Go-Back lodge he was the vine and the flower and she the spear and the sword. What she, and the rest of the tribe including Cutter, didn’t know was he had taken up practicing with both the sword and the spear and even the bow. He had no intention of being pulled from the dark again, by his huntress or his healer or his chief, because of losing a fight. He was the protector of the cubs, and soon Father Tree, so he had better learn to protect them both, to know how to fight, or it could end with disaster.

“What’s on the one the human left you Redlance?” Suntop asked and at first the treeshaper didn’t answer, with his mind so bogged down with contemplation. Then his lifemate nudged him and giggled.

“Beloved?”

“Huh?” The treeshaper snapped out of his thoughts and looked up with a confused look making the others laugh. Then he smiled and held up his disc for the tribe to see. “I have a flower on one side and a sword and spear on the other.”

“Why would you have a spear and a sword on your piece Redlance?” Dart asked with a chuckle.

Redlance’s eyebrow went up just a bit, inched up just a smidge, as he replied. “I know, what would a defenseless silly treeshaper need with a spear and a sword,” then he was back to looking at his disc and missing most of the evil glares being sent the young archer’s way. Redlance didn’t see the lifebearer’s, all of them, give the young elf the evilest eyes he had ever been victim too. He didn’t see Dart’s father or Cutter shake their heads or hear Treestump sigh loudly. No, Redlance was too busy running his finger over the disc again, and again trying to discern what the images meant. Then his fingers felt something that made the images fall to a distant lesser need, just as Dart spoke up with a swift nudge from his mother and Newstar.

“I’m sorry Redlance…that came out wrong.”

This time Redlance wasn’t so deep in his thoughts that he missed the words. He looked up smiling and waving his hand to the young archer. “There’s no ill feelings here Dart, but I would like to borrow an arrow my huntress.” He reached over and quickly pulled an arrow out of the quiver on her hip before kneeling, and with the large eyes his Wolfriders, watched as he took the sharp point of the arrow and drug it across the disc with a hard yank. Then he dropped the disc onto a rock by his foot, picked up a second larger rock, and brought it down as hard as he could, right down onto the disc. Nightfall and Leetah leaned over as he tossed the larger rock away and stood up holding his disc still smiling. There wasn’t a scratch on the surface from the arrow point, or a dent from being crushed by the rock, as a matter of just looking at the disc anyone could tell there was no damage to it at all.

“I don’t think this came from any animal or human we could kill. I think whatever walked that trail can’t be killed by our arrows or our swords at all, and I think Cutter saved all of us from this human by stopping us from using them.” Redlance grinned holding the disc up for all of them to see.

“What do we do now lad?” Treestump asked his chief with his eyes wide and locked onto the disc.

Without hesitation or indecision, the wolf chief spoke, with plain faith and trust in what Redlance had said. “We still travel toward our new home. I believe our treeshaper, we can’t kill whatever this is following us, and in some strange way it’s protecting us, so we just go forward.”

I agree, Strongbow added with a single nod in a send and next to him his lifemate smiled and nodded with him.

“I agree too!”

“Good, then let’s get back to going home my tribe,” Cutter nodded as well before turning to Redlance and issuing another order. “Ride up here with us, the night’s almost over and if the forest ends soon we’ll rest before moving out of the trees.”

Nightfall smiled and put an arm around his waist hugging him hard. “Ride with me beloved. I want to hold you the rest of the night.”

“I would be so honored my huntress, not to say happy enough to chase my tail in circles!” The treeshaper chuckled.

The others in the tribe laughed as well as the tension from before faded. Redlance hopped up on the Nightfall’s wolf friend then helped pull her up behind him as did Cutter with Leetah and with a silence the Wolfriders slipped back onto the trail and continued the journey to their new home and Father Tree. The tanner looked back at the two pairs following behind and noticed, as she had been these last days, at how close the group had become and she wondered just how much closer they would become. Moonshade watched with a curious eye wondering if she and Strongbow would ever find something like that with another pair, would anyone want to be like that with them. She knew her lifemate, and herself, were not the most sought after pair. Someone had said once they were closed off and aloof, and maybe they were, but there were reasons both had never been open though. She wasn’t sure she remembered them much now, once one lives as long as she certain memories become hazy and not so trustworthy. She heard someone laugh and turned back to see the healer reaching over and rubbing the treeshaper’s shoulder with a large loving smile.

Would we ever know something like that she thought turning back before smiling? A warm new feeling began to grow in her stomach and a new dream playing out in her mind.

Maybe we would…just maybe.

___________________________________________________
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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyThu May 21, 2015 12:47 am

Oh good chapter. So the human or whatever it is, is helping to protect the tribe in their travels to the new holt. I like the sound of that, they need a little good luck for a change.

Moonshade wondering if she and Strongbow could ever get close to others as Cutter, Leetah, Nightfall, and Redlance have. I guess stranger things have been known to happen and we'll have to wait and see.

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Seventeen   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyThu May 28, 2015 8:04 pm

As always G0lden, thank you for the great words...as for our tanner and archer, we'll just have to wait and see what happens to those burgeoning feelings they have...

And here is the next piece...

Chapter 17

They rode on through the last part of the night, and just as the day star began to rise from its long slumber, the plan was in full motion. Cutter and his family rode together staying close, talking and bonding as the tribe made its way in the direction the treeshaper gave them. Once, in the middle of the night, the lifebearers asked to switch, and with smiles from the wolf chief and the treeshaper, both quickly hopped down and then back up onto the other’s wolf friend trading places quickly, and always with a kiss while doing so. Nightfall hugged her chief hard, rubbing her hands over his muscled chest with a long sigh before sliding them down, around his waist, just as Leetah did the same with her hands resting both just tucked just inside the top of her treeshaper’s leggings. Both easily held their loves as the two wolves joined back into the small group, heading along the trail once again, both pairs staying side by side as close as possible.

Even before the change though, Redlance had spotted the secretive glances between his precious three. Cutter would look over quickly to his huntress trying to be sneaky, as if he was responding to a send from Nightfall, and then Leetah would nod with a small smile. Oh these three, they were up to something, and with a little digging Redlance felt he could find it out, but then that would ruin all the work they had had done. No, he thought, he’d just let them have their game and see where this all wonderfully ended up. He rode on in feigned ignorance, watching with inward pleasure as his family furiously planned in secret. Then, with the night almost gone, a send from Strongbow brought them to as stop.

No more forest my chief,

The Wolfriders took note, as they all brought their mounts to the end of the trail, that what the human told Redlance was the truth. The forest had certainly ended, giving way to a large open grass plain, openness as far as their eyes could see in the twilight. Cutter looked around then back to the forest and nodded. “Let’s make sleep spots for our tribe my treeshaper and then we rest here till night comes before starting to cross.”

“Yes my chief,” Redlance answered with a smile turning his huntress’s wolf friend back toward the forest. He hopped down then helped his healer down, who gave him a quick kiss before walking over to her huntress and both ran off to see to some unknown task. The treeshaper called out asking what they were going to do and drew a sly smile from each before being distracted by Cutter, who clapped him on his shoulder saying Strongbow had a track he wanted him to look at. Redlance nodded, and then his chief was gone as well, leaving him alone with the others.

What did those three have planned the treeshaper chuckled with a happy thought, walking off to help the others.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

“Is this the spot? How did you even see it?” Cutter asked, trotting up to his loves as the two lifebearers moved slowly through the trees.

Nightfall giggled, stepping out into a clearing that wasn’t very big and yet just the right size for their dance today. “Oh yes, this will be perfect…I saw only a glance as we rode by but now that I see it fully-” The huntress remarked as Leetah held her hand and looked around.

“It’s beautiful. We will dance so beautifully for him here.” The healer remarked with a loving smile reaching back and putting an arm around her lifemate. She sighed thinking how special this day was going to be for them.

“I just wish you had the gowns to wear for him again.” Cutter stated hugging his lifemate and taking his huntress’s hand.

Both lifebearers smiled even more at the memory the treeshaper gave them of the night he had seen them before the dance at the Festival of Flood and Flowers, which is what they based this little plan of theirs on. They were ready to move this mating to a new place, to cross into the physical with their family, to share and join without constraint, it was the next step on this path and all four were more than eager. “We will wear them for our treeshaper when we dance again for him.” Leetah smiled hugging her lifemate looking up into his blue eyes.

“Dance again?” Cutter asked with a raised eyebrow teasing his love, his soul.

“I will dance for him again- “Leetah started to say with the tone of certainty she was known for, that inner strength and conviction, when her huntress spoke up breaking in with a laugh.

“And again, and again, and again,”

Cutter started to laugh as his lifemate just added more ‘and’s as well with her laughter. Oh, how their treeshaper had turned them all back into giggling cubs. He took one last look around before turning back to his maidens speaking. “Then we’re ready?”

“Oh yes,” Nightfall smiled warmly as her healer nodded.

“Well then, let’s go and get him.” Cutter ordered, and his loves just nodded walking from the dell to find their treeshaper.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

He stood by the small oak feeling its energy ebb from its young limbs, a sure sign the tree would be a talkative one. Redlance touched the leaves and the small branch, feeling an instant connection with the force that was the tree’s life. It began to merge with him, speak to him with image after image, so fast it was a blur in his mind. Oh, this young sapling was a treat to ‘talk’ with.

“Yes, yes, I’m listening, but you talk so fast.” He whispered as the limbs around him shook, and not from the small wind that blew. No, this was from talking so fast the treeshaper could barely keep up. He did catch the last images, the ones of Father Tree. it knew, this young oak, it knew what his heart yearned for.

“Yes my friend, we’ll be there soon. I know he calls to us…soon we will return to him.” Redlance whispered again letting the branch go. He chuckled looking up and seeing this young tree shake again, proudly displaying its leaves for all to see. “No my friend, your too small to protect as we sleep, but grow strong and tall and one day we might pass through again and your limbs will keep us safe.”

The treeshaper stood back chuckling at his new friend as it shook one last time, then he felt a small, gentle hand touch his shoulder. He turned and saw the sweet brown eyes of his lifemate looking up at him with love and just behind her were his chief and his healer arm in arm, looking to him with the same warm attention. Redlance smiled back as she whispered, “Would you walk with us beloved? Maybe we can sleep under your trees and share together this day?”

The way she asked for him, the seductiveness of the proposal, matched the hopeful look on Leetah and Cutter’s face. It didn’t take much more than that for him to say yes to the offer. “How can I say no to such a request?”

“I found the perfect spot for us beloved,” Nightfall said warmly, leading him from the tree to his chief and healer where he took Leetah’s hand in his other. They followed the huntress as she led them through the forest and trees, easily finding her way back to the clearing, and when they emerged Redlance smiled and whispered.

“It’s beautiful,”

“Yes, it is, now go lay out our sleep furs my love while our huntress and I get ready.” Leetah spoke low, lustily, as she handed the pouch with the sleep furs to him. A lock-send touched his mind as all four became one through the connection, love and devotion flowing between them. The treeshaper felt his chief’s hand on his shoulder guide him toward a large oak as the maidens went in the other direction. He looked into the stark blue eyes of Cutter and noticed an excitement there, a thrill for what was about to occur. They reached the tree, and as Redlance touched its limbs, he felt its energy and began to ‘talk’ with it. The oak would look after them, keep them safe this day, and the image made the treeshaper smile as he broke the connection before kneeling and spreading out the sleep furs with his chief’s help.

Then Cutter stood and started to take off his vest and boots which prompted Redlance to do the same, removing his tunic and boots. As he did, he looked out at the clearing to where his loves stood facing each other, forehead to forehead, with one leg trailing. With the rise of the day star, and the first light of the fiery ball behind them, it was a scene that took Redlance’s breath away, such beauty from his healer and huntress that his heart literally stopped for a moment. He watched in awe struck silence as the two began to dance, slow moves at first with hands held just so. They swayed as one in perfect step, and then the treeshaper felt his chief’s arms wrap around him from behind. One went up under his right arm as the other over his left shoulder pulling his body into Cutter’s fierce embrace, his chief pressing his face and mouth into his neck. All at once Redlance felt an intense desire cross the lock-send and heat his blood to boiling. He gasped as it came from all three of his loves, his chief who now pulled him back to the tree to sit and lay between his legs while his maidens danced losing their leathers with each move, sweeping closer with each step and twirl to the tree.

The world swam in a hot arousal, a voracious hunger for all, which drove the lovers so very high into the sky with passion. Cutter sat his treeshaper down gently on the sleep furs, still holding him intensely, refusing to let him go. The wolf chief bit into his treeshaper’s neck loving and wantonly, all in the same motion as one ardor had become the other now, one and the same for his treeshaper. He sent his emotion and his need to them all, did Cutter, as his lower hand slid down and into Redlance’s leggings brushing his sacredness at the tip sending a spasm through his treeshaper then again, only slower. Out in the small clearing, Leetah and Nightfall spun and jumped and circled dancing with abandon, touching each other with long strokes as they passed, and all the while sending their own need and want to their loves by the tree through the lock-send. Then abruptly they were there by the boughs and the maidens broke from the dance they shared, and swept to their loves quickly, their hearts and souls. They moved so fast it took Cutter and Redlance by surprise, the desire shared by the dance driving the earnestness of the lifebearers to be with their mates to an inescapable frenzy.

Cutter barely had time to look up before Nightfall was beside him grabbing his neck with one hand, her fingers sliding around back, and kissing him deeply while her other scratched across her lifemate’s chest as she growled into her chief’s lips. All at once the fire in the wolf chief’s blood erupted as he finally let go of his treeshaper with one arm to now hold his huntress to him, pulling her to him with the same ferocity he had held Redlance with. The huntress just groaned as she devoured her chief’s kiss while their healer leaned in and across her treeshaper’s chest kissing him just as deeply, as needful, while her hands slid up his body then down sliding over his sacredness in his leggings feeling, it throbbed as she did. Across the lock-send she chanted his name imploring him to take her and make her his and the treeshaper did rising out and away from his chief. Leetah gave herself completely to him as he firmly but gently pushed her down onto the sleep furs on her stomach where she gasped looking back over her shoulder. She saw the look in his eyes as he pulled the last of his leathers off, the wolf coming forth to take her, and she moaned as Redlance took hold of her wrists while laying down on her, pressing down onto her back with his chest pushing her into the sleep fur. It was just like Nightfall’s confession, and Leetah only gasped as he slid her hands up along the fur to where they were above her head and he held them there crossed under one hand. The healer squirmed as she lay flat on the furs beneath him, as his other hand reached up and moved her hair back away from her neck, and when he bit down she gave out a loud moan of pleasure followed by a gasp, her legs came up at he knees as he filled her slow with his sacredness.

Across from them, Cutter had given in to his wolf as well, letting the beast loose as he slid between his huntress’s legs. She wrapped her slender limbs around her beloved chief’s hips as he took her wrists in his hands and held them above her head in the fur as well. She knew he was taking her as his, claiming her, and that’s what she had been wanting for so long. Yes, Nightfall was the lifemate to her Redlance and there was not a day or night that would pass where she could live without him, but as she told her loving healer one night, Cutter completed her fully, made her whole with her treeshaper. She knew now, like the rise of the day star, that she needed both of them in her arms, to wake with both of them each night, and to be both of theirs in any way they needed or wanted. She turned her head offering her neck to her love, her Cutter, and he took it with a growl against her skin that brought out a moan from Nightfall. The huntress looked over to see her healer and treeshaper loving with abandon and she growled again as words from her Redlance swept through the lock-send.

Ours…are you ours? The questioner needed to know, demanded to know.

“Yes,” Nightfall and Leetah struggled to say as they gave into the love flowing through the send, through them both. The huntress felt her soul unleash a cry of joy followed by one from her healer who gasped next to her in indescribable ecstasy under their treeshaper, her long brown fingers clutching and pulling at the furs as he held her in place.

Ours…ours till we no longer live… Cutter growled across the lock-send.

“Yes,” the maidens answered together, breathless.

OURS! The wolf chief and treeshaper charged, claimed with their wolf sides.

“YES!” The maidens cried out together one last time as they felt their warriors love them with all their heart and soul. They melted into them, felt their bodies being consumed by the desire between them, and then with the wolves fed, it was time to be let be free and to take control, and both Leetah and Nightfall did just that. As her hands were freed and she felt her treeshaper slowly roll onto his back Leetah moved with a slow confident air across his body letting hers drag seductively on his as she stared deeply in this eyes. She heard him groan and inhale and the sound sent a small growl through her as she leaned down and kissed his chest before sliding on.

The huntress watched her love, her chief succumb to his desire but not his want and she guided him down to the furs after he released her. She helped him lie on his back by her beloved lifemate then rolled onto him, straddling him for just a moment drawing a quick inhale as well from Cutter, and a smile from her.

“Now we begin to lead my loves,” Nightfall groaned with a voice full of lust that stoked the fire in her loves blood.

“Now we feed,” Leetah added with a sensual purr that aroused both Cutter and Redlance equally.

Then the healer rose taking her huntress’s face in her hands, and kissing her deeply, pulling at Nightfall’s sweet lips before breaking, and continuing to take her lifemate, sitting on his lap with a gentle but commanding drop. The huntress smiled, exhaled with lust as she moved, and then straddled her treeshaper rubbing his chest once before feeling him fill her, making her whole all over. She groaned as his hips rolled and her hands came up to rub the sides of his neck. Leetah felt the same as her lifemate moaned with ardor, his hands on her hips helping to guide her slowly along, filling her soul.

“Are you ours?” Nightfall suddenly asked with a heavy intake of air.

“Yes,” Cutter and Redlance growled, answering the question.

“Now and forever, till we no longer live?” Leetah asked rubbing her lifemate’s muscled shoulders, her hips rolling slowly.

“YES!” the warriors snarled.

“Ours!” Nightfall exclaimed, leaning down and biting the neck of her lifemate, of her very soul. Leetah joined her, suddenly dropping down and groaning her claim to her lifemate along with her huntress, kissing her beloved lifemate so deeply she couldn’t breathe.

They shared as one, to heights all four had never known. They climbed to the very moons themselves with their passion, till the end reached out and brought their furious lovemaking to an end, for now, for this day. Leetah slowly descended from her passion lying on Cutter and snuggling in his arms as he rolled her over on to her side where she felt her treeshaper’s arm. Leetah slowly rolled again in her lifemate’s arms to where her back was at his chest and then with a small from push from Cutter she was against him with her face resting on his shoulder. She looked lazily at her huntress, who was lying in the crook of Redlance’s other arm being held tightly, and whispered lovingly as she drew small circles with her fingers on her treeshaper’s chest. “Did we surprise you my love?”

“Yes, you took my very breath away my family…I may need our healer to save me again.” The treeshaper replied making them all giggle.

“I knew we could sneak up on you!” Cutter chuckled low, holding his soul tightly with his arm while his other hand lay outstretched holding his treeshaper’s neck, rubbing it warmly.

Nightfall’s hand rubbed her treeshaper’s chest with affection, dipping low for a moment to his muscled stomach before moving up to take her healer’s hand, the fingers entwining, and closing her eyes to sleep. “I don’t know what this is, this mating and joining, but I don’t want it to ever end my family.”

“No…neither do I…never to end.” Leetah whispered snuggling into her treeshaper more, feeling her lifemate cuddle into her creating such a secure and safe warmth she sighed and smiled speaking just once more before falling asleep, “Never to sleep or to wake alone.”

“No more no,” Cutter agreed burying his face in his soulmate’s hair inhaling her intoxicating scent before drifting off the sleep.

And they slept, rested from a sharing that deepened a love and a trust that bound four hearts to one and four souls to a single shining star. Their physical bodies tired and fell from the dizzying heights of their passionate ride, but their hearts only flew and beat with a love created when all feelings and hearts are open and all give freely. He wasn’t sure when he awoke, but Redlance knew what had startled him out of his slumber, a song long forgotten in a memory filled with foggy corners and false trails. It was the effect of living so long, to forget things that happened so many, many seasons ago, and yet hearing the song was like being thrown all the way back to Father Tree when he was a cub, back to a night he never wanted to remember. Redlance looked down to see a fur pulled up around them and the events after the sharing came back to him quickly. His desert flower had become cold from the wind, and as a family, they had moved to help her. Nightfall had crossed his body and taken Leetah in her arms as Cutter and he held them both tightly between them before drawing up the fur. His healer had sighed and slipped back into her dream, as did his huntress, and Redlance must have also because that song…it was his mother’s and she had long since passed to the other side.

Then a beautiful hand with long slender brown fingers reached up and caressed his chest and neck as a small sweet voice touched his pointed ears. “Is something wrong my treeshaper?”

Redlance turned to look into Leetah’s deep green eyes, which looked worried now. He saw Cutter, and then Nightfall, stir awake and the treeshaper chided his foolishness for waking everyone for what was just a dream, had to be a dream. “It was nothing…just a dream.”

“Oh my gentle one, come and lay back down with us and let our love help you rest.” Nightfall whispered taking his hand and firmly, but gently, guiding him to her gain. She felt his arm wrap around her as she pulled his hand to the spot between her breasts, to feel her heartbeat. The huntress smiled as she felt her healer take both hands as well, to send her love to him and then Cutter’s arm reached across rubbing Redlance’s arm lovingly and sending to them across the lock-send.

Was the dream about me…what I did my treeshaper? Cutter asked warmly but with worry.

No Cutter…that’s been forgotten. Redlance answered seeing his chief smile.

Thank you treeshaper…our treeshaper,

With the love flowing between them still they fell back to sleep, all except Redlance. He lay there holding his family while they held him, listening intently for the song, wanting to hear it just once more. She had been taken without finishing it that night, taken without giving him the last small piece he needed to close out his heart. He laid there listening as long as his tired body would let him before falling asleep too.

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To cross the open grass plain was the last choice he would take, Cutter thought as he stood at the end of the trail looking out at nothing but open twilight sky and grass. If it was possible to just skirt the plain he would have done that, had asked Redlance if they could somehow ride around it, but the treeshaper said there was none. Just like the last one, the tribe would have to cross this one, and from what the trees told him, this one was vastly larger. The wolf chief looked out across the swaying grass and openness as the last light of the day star let them see just what they were up against. Yet Cutter never wavered, and never backed away. He wanted to be home at this new tree, to be home with his family, and if their new home was in that direction then he would cross this great grass plain to reach it.

“We take the same caution as the last open plain, all eyes and ears open. No riding your wolves, just walk by their sides. This may take more than one or two nights to cross, but we’re going to cross this plain my tribe. We will cross it because our new home lies at its end.”

“Aye lad, let’s go.” Treestump agreed.

They all agreed with a nod or a send or a spoken word. Cutter smiled as he felt such pride for his small tribe, felt a joy that made him smile widely as he told them to begin the night. Then he felt it all crash as he turned back to see his treeshaper standing arm in arm with his huntress and his lifemate saying goodbye for the night. If he could change anything it would be this, to have his treeshaper ride with them like the night before.

Yet he couldn’t.

He couldn’t leave such an important task as making sure no one followed them to anyone else. The treeshaper made sure no one knew they had passed through and thus learned of their existence, this had to be above any want to have him ride with them. Cutter walked over and took his treeshaper’s neck in his hand lovingly while sending to him, no words just love. And then he called his wolf friend over and standing by its side waiting for his lifebearers to finish saying goodbye. They did, both together, and as one the three walked out onto the grass plain. Each stole a small look back, each taking what they needed to walk through the night without him, what they had to have until the morning till they saw him again.

And as he stood there watching them leave he felt a small pang of loneliness touch his heart, for this mating, whatever it was or would be called, was becoming deeper and deeper with each passing day and night between them. Being alone used to be no problem for him. He had grown up alone in the tribe after the loss of his mother and father and until his little fox had come to him Redlance knew nothing but a den with no warmth. And now…now he had so much love and warmth…could he ever go back to being alone again. As the last sight of them passed, Redlance only smiled telling his mind that question would not have to have an answer, at least not tonight. He turned and went to work on covering his family’s passing.

___________________________________________________
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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyFri May 29, 2015 12:49 am

Nice chapter. Wonderful how the four of them get along so well.

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Eighteen   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 04, 2015 10:31 am

It is amazing how well these four hearts beat together isn't it G0lden, we'll just have to see how close they get before this is all over...

And now for the next chapter...

Chapter 18

How far did they make it across the plain? Moonshade asked herself the question silently, to no one, as she and the tribe went about getting ready to rest for the day. Well, first, you had to know where the end of the plain was so as to know how far it was to get there, and no one knew where this plain ended, not even the treeshaper. She had voiced her concerns over blindly following a direction before the fire had taken their home in the old woods and the long journey had yet to silence a single one of those concerns. The tribe had no idea where they were going or what was waiting for them when they got there. They, her and the tribe, had no way to prepare for what this new forest or Holt would provide that Redlance was guiding them too. What if it was as bad as this last one? What if it was like the Forbidden Grove where hunting was as simple as popping open a preserver sack? Oh how she hated those woods, how it dulled their wolf spirit and the ‘Way’. What if this new Holt was that same kind of life, easy and dulling? Or worse, what if it was like the last woods and there was no food to be caught? So many questions and no good answers she thought as she laid out the sleep furs for her and Strongbow to rest on. They had stopped before morning could find them out in the open, and just like the other day on the other plain, the tribe had formed a tight circle in knocked down grass to rest.

“Can we sleep by you Moonshade?” A sweet voice asked.

The tanner looked up to see Leetah kneel by her with a pouch of sleep furs smiling happily. Moonshade smiled back and nodded. “Oh Yes, I’d like that very much.”

The healer pulled out the first of the furs from the pouch as Nightfall walked up beside them, then sat with her bow standing on end before speaking. “He should be here soon my love.”

“Good, I don’t like him being out there all alone.” Leetah smiled wearily.

“Redlance is near?” Moonshade asked helping Leetah with her furs as the archer walked up.

How do you know he’s near? Strongbow inquired in a send, as he always did, while taking a seat by his lifemate.

Nightfall smiled, reaching over and rubbing her healer’s shoulder. “My heart knows he’s near archer because it’s beating faster now.”

Moonshade smiled brightly understanding more about that feeling than anyone would know as she looked to her beloved lifemate. When he had left to fight the Djun, every bit of pain she had felt for his leaving, every scrap of fear she had endured during those long days and nights he was gone, the tanner had suppressed down deep inside herself. She had pushed it all far from her heart with all her strength so it could never surface and hurt her. Moonshade even choose to do any task the tribe needed, and some they didn’t, to rid her mind of the dark loneliness. She had tried to help counsel the new chieftess Ember, but was rebuffed so harshly by the young elf the tanner had retreated into herself more. Some had seen her words to Ember as aloof or conceited which was wrong. They whispered small hurtful things, like she thinks she’s better than our chieftess, and when the tanner drew away even more they took it wrong again, made it worse by whispering she was prideful and smug. They had never seen the tears she cried, Moonshade thought, as she looked to her lifemate and felt her heart swell. They, the tribe at Howling Rock, never saw the depth at which she and Strongbow shared and loved. Both tribes didn’t see how she and her soulmate loved with such intensity that it only allowed them both to see the other most of the night and day.

But lately Moonshade had started to see another, or others, and she had started to feel the want to venture past her lifemate’s touch. Albeit very slow, the urge to feel more with another had crept into her heart and was slowly blossoming.

The archer smiled small with a raised eyebrow at the huntress's last words while he started to try and setup a small patch of leather to block out the light of the day star, which was climbing higher into the sky above them. Do you think he might have some night berries?

“He always has a sack full, and I usually ended up trading whatever he wants for them all!” Cutter suddenly appeared speaking up with a smile before sitting on his sleep fur as his soulmate playfully slapped him.

“It’s no trade when he gives you the berries freely- “Leetah started to laugh before the huntress broke in, looking at Moonshade and Strongbow with a warm smile.

“-and our chief gives our treeshaper what he wants freely, no barter needed.”

And what is that they give each other freely? Strongbow asked again. It was the most he had said to them that wasn’t an update to an order or an answer to a question in, well, they couldn’t remember.

Leetah sighed and titled her head in a way that wasn’t condescending or conceited. She looked at them both warmly and Moonshade felt a connection to the healer and the huntress suddenly, the beginning of a deepening friendship. “They’re hearts.”

“One heart for two souls, now what night berry could be sweeter than that?” Nightfall commented lazily.

“You four are so close now,” Moonshade whispered, and in her voice was an abrupt longing that if one listened closely enough one could just hear it on the edge, “it seems that four souls share one heart.”

The healer smiled and nodded sensing that longing it seemed, “yes, yes we do.”

The group sat there smiling in silence for a moment as words seemed to fail this small break at the end of the day. Strongbow only smiled more, feeling the same budding friendship building his lifemate had felt. He looked ready to say something maybe when an anxious send touched all their minds. Humans Cutter! There’s Humans!

It was from Redlance and in a blink every Wolfrider hunkered down with weapons at the ready. Nightfall pushed Leetah down on the furs then nocked an arrow with her eyes wide, scanning in all directions, as did the archer Strongbow while Moonshade dropped to her belly after drawing her knife from her hip.

Where? Where are you? Cutter shot back and before he could get a reply the treeshaper appeared out of the grass from a different direction then he should have arrived from, running straight to his chief’s side. In his right hand was a long tree branch shaped into a crude spear.

Where are the humans? Cutter asked again as Redlance knelt by him.

The others stared intensely into the grass around them as the treeshaper pointed just off to the right of where he came into the circle, sending to all. There…I found some tracks and was following the marks when I saw the top of what the humans call a cart. That’s when I picked up the scent.

Did you see a human? Treestump asked quickly.

No, but I caught their scent on the air…it’s fresh…maybe the humans are sleeping and we can sneak away…go around them. Redlance answered with a shake of his head.

Cutter looked over in the direction his treeshaper pointed then back to him. We’ll check out the cart and the humans. You stay here with Leetah, Moonshade, and Newstar and Suntop. If you hear trouble or sense anything, take them and hide.

The treeshaper nodded and then with a silent signal from Cutter the Wolfriders moved out into the grass in the direction the treeshaper pointed, melding into the high stalks of green thatch like ghosts. Redlance moved over by his healer, the tanner, and Newstar and Suntop helping Leetah up to a kneeling position as Newstar whispered. “Is it really humans?”

He held a finger to his lips indicating silence as Redlance sent to the three lifebearers and young magic user. Only sending now my weaver, and I only stumbled across the humans’ scent. I never saw them. Cutter will check and he will decide what to do.

What do we do if a human comes this way? Suntop asked quickly, his send fearful but not panicked.

Redlance looked to him and replied with a seriousness he rarely showed. If I say ‘run’ then you four head for the grass. Stay together and find a place to hide until I or the others comes to get you, understand?

The young magic user nodded his understanding of what to do, but the healer looked to her love and shook her head. I’m not leaving you.

I’ll be fine Leetah. I need you to do what I say, please. Redlance retorted.

No, was all the healer sent back with a stern shake of her head and she was quickly followed by Moonshade.

We’re not leaving you. We can all run into the grass if we have to.

The treeshaper sighed trying to explain to the lifebearers why he wanted them to flee when a loud grunt suddenly came from just outside the circle of knocked down grass along with heavy steps and the sound of crunching stalks. Redlance quickly stepped past Moonshade before kneeling again, his spear at the ready in front of the group, as whatever made the grunt coughed now, a deep guttural sound that made Newstar gasp. The four watched the grass outside the circle with trepidation as the sound of the stalks being trampled suddenly stopped at the weaver’s loud exhale. Something turned from its course of just walking by and decided to see what made the noise. The treeshaper heard its approach, its raspy breathing, while behind him the lifebearers all knelt fearful of what was coming. Then the tall grass parted slowly as a large head and long mouth appeared in the circle, teeth gleamed with saliva from a powerful maw and black eyes looked at them with malicious intent. It was just shoulder height to Redlance and looked meaner than Bearclaw after Pike had eaten all his dream berries.

Leetah breathed in deep while slowly pulling her knife from its scabbard on her hip as Moonshade watched from a perfectly still position. Newstar felt for and found a large rock as she sent to them all. Is that a badger?

Do badgers get that big? Suntop sent trembling as the beast looked around.

It’s the biggest badger I’ve ever seen…if it’s a badger. Redlance replied eyeing the beast closely.

The maybe-badger sniffed the air once, then with two steps, started into the circle bringing its long muscular body with it. Its head sat on a wide neck that was attached to square muscled shoulders and long black claws protruded from its feet as it grunted and coughed. A long dull grey strip ran down its back, from the top of its cone shaped head to the end of its tail. Redlance noted along its body in random places were the shafts of crudely made arrows, the kind humans use. He watched as the badger sniffed the air once again and this time it turned to look right at him.

Run, get to Cutter and the others! The treeshaper ordered just as the badger decided a meal would be very nice at the moment. It hissed and grunted loudly, menacingly issuing a challenge in its own way before running at the treeshaper with a shambling bolt of rage.

Redlance did a quick side shuffle step away from the others, to draw the beast to him while screaming out, “Run! Get to Cutter!!” And as expected, the badger followed Redlance just like he wanted. Only, the lifebearers didn’t run for his chief like he ordered. As the badger came for him he watched Leetah jump up and throw her knife with pin point precision right into the side of the animal, the blade sticking with a pop as she screamed.

“Go away! Leave us alone!”

The badger, though, barely flinched at the attack, ignored it actually, and barreled right for the meal standing in front of it. It snarled and grunted louder in anger as it went to slash and grab the small thing waving the stick at its face. Redlance did another side step going back just enough to dodge the claws of the badger before he jabbed his shaped spear at the beast stabbing the animal in its left eye, screaming out one last time, ‘RUN FOR CUTTER!”

And yet the lifebearers and the magic user wouldn’t leave him.

The badger screamed in pain as its eye popped, howled with a growling sound in agony, but it never backed down or turned away. It just launched its squat powerful body at Redlance renewing the slashing by swinging over and over with its claws to kill him, to grab and maim him. The first attack missed but the second was right at the treeshaper’s chest, and if not for the shaped spear he used to block the slash from the badger’s claws, the attack might have gouged him deep into his body. The spear snapped clean in half and in an instant the treeshaper lost his only advantage in the fight, distance, and in the same instant the badger sensed its sudden gain and went in for the kill. Its mouth, full of teeth, gnashed and bit down trying to cleave the thing who hurt it in half, but the badger missed and when it turned and attacked again it felt a sudden searing pain in its chest just between its stout legs.

He wasn’t sure how he dodged the badger’s mouth, all Redlance knew it was by him and he had to stay out of the way of its claws. The best way to do that was get so close it couldn’t use its long nails on him. He pulled out his knife in his now empty left hand, and when the animal turned to come for him again the treeshaper charged in slamming the blade into its chest, up to the hilt drawing a shriek from the beast. Then he took the broken half of his spear and attacked with the point stabbing the badger over and over, between the shoulders as he yelled. The badger screamed again in pain and spun in a tight circle trying to get to the thing causing it pain now, only it was just out of reach past its shoulders. Redlance dug his feet into the ground trying to control the beast but it was useless. It was too strong and the loose dirt never gave him the purchase to try and fight back. The treeshaper only stabbed with his right hand again and again driving the spear into the badger as he saw the tanner come running in right at the beast.

Moonshade saw her chance. The treeshaper had the animal’s attention and she could hurt it now, maybe drive it off. So, she sprinted in screaming with her knife held downward in both of her hands, and with all her strength she stabbed the badger once and twice and was going for a third time when it bellowed in pain and turned toward her with a sudden quickness. Even as fast as the badger was though, it only came close enough to knocking Moonshade away, to the ground. The tanner’s knife was still impaled in the badger’s side as it snarled and came for her with a lunge snapping with its large mouth and teeth. Moonshade heard a second scream, not from the animal but from the treeshaper as he threw all his weight and strength against the badger to make it miss, and then the mouth was snapping down just by her side, close enough to feel its tainted breath on her skin. The tanner just rolled away in time feeling Leetah and Newstar grab her on the second turn over, pulling her out of the way as the badger went back to spinning, trying to get the treeshaper. Suntop threw a rock he had found with a perfect strike at the beast, but just like the others whose knives had struck successfully, it didn’t really seem to care about the rock or the damage it did.

He had to keep them safe, his healer and the tanner and all of them. Redlance saw the badger going for Moonshade, threatening her, and the treeshaper reacted with protective rage. He somehow dug his feet into the dirt enough to get leverage, and with a pull of his knife, so much so he never heard the snap of the blade, the beast’s head jerked and its mouth thankfully missed Moonshade. Then it started to spin again, and the treeshaper just held on stabbing when he could, when suddenly a pair of arrows flew in hitting the badger on its side opposite of Redlance, and a howl signaled the arrival of Cutter and the others. The wolf chief jumped over the kneeling lifebearers hitting the ground with one foot before jumping into the fray launching his own attack. He sunk New Moon right to hilt behind Redlance’s broken spear tip, and as the badger screamed, he did it again and again as Nightfall, Strongbow, and Dart unleashed a second round of arrows into the beast. Treestump and Clearbrook joined in with the hand-to-hand chopping with an axe and sword, over and over, before the wolf pack descended as well surrounding the beast biting and nipping at its legs.

The tide had turned and the badger sensed the fight was done for it, and if it didn’t escape its life as well. It growled back at its attackers and started off through the grass trying to flee, but with all of them following it, the beast didn’t make it far. One attack took out its back legs and any chance of escape disappeared as well. The badger gave one last try to escape pulling its body with its powerful front legs, but the Wolfriders wouldn’t let it flee. They brought the badger down with one last attack, its head falling to the ground as its front legs gave out. Redlance stumbled away as the beast fell over, holding his broken knife in one hand and the bloody spear point in the other, gasping for a breath, watching Cutter deliver the killing blow to the badger, a deep stab to its head with New Moon.

The healer and tanner sat on the ground watching the fight unfold and heard the noise as the battle took to foot, chasing the fleeing beast. Leetah pulled Moonshade up and held the tanner’s hand as they ran through the path in the grass the badger made as it tried to escape, over to where it had been felled. Newstar and Suntop followed and the weaver gasped as she came on the sight. Dart and Strongbow held arrows nocked on the beast while Nightfall and Cutter looked to the treeshaper.

“Beloved?” The huntress asked worried, running up to him as he bent over at the knees trying to catch his breath.

“I’m fine, where’s Leetah and Moonshade? Are they safe” He gasped as he felt Cutter put a hand on his back.

“Mother and Moonshade are safe, but what is that? It looks like a badger…but bigger.” Suntop asked in shock standing just a short distance away from the beast.

Leetah trotted over to check on her family as Nightfall looked up to her from Redlance’s side. “I can’t tell what blood is his and what belongs to the badger.”

“We’ll check on him, oh you’re covered my love.” She whispered looking at her treeshaper with a worried but loving expression.

“Are either of you hurt?” Cutter asked quickly, looking to his lifemate and then Moonshade. Leetah only smiled and shook head before turning back to Redlance.

The tanner shook her head as well and breathed deep getting her wind back. “No, Redlance kept the badger from coming for us. It would have bitten me if he hadn’t pushed its head away at the last moment. He kept us safe, like you told him to.”

What? Strongbow sent with worried emotion and even more worried eyes.

“It wouldn’t die…Moonshade stabbed it and Leetah threw her knife at it and Redlance stabbed it and stabbed it…it just wouldn’t die!” Newstar mumbled shaking her head.

“Just like old Bearclaw,” Treestump whispered eyeing the beast with a cold eye.

“Too stubborn to die,” Clearbrook finished with a deep inhale catching her wind as well.

“What about the humans? Were there any by the cart?” Redlance asked quickly, standing still as his healer looked him over.

Cutter shook his head rubbing Redlance’s shoulder as Dart spoke pointing his bow at the dead badger. “We found two, dead by the cart you saw…barely had a chance to look at anything though before we ran back to find…this.”

The treeshaper nodded and whispered. “Well, at least we don’t have to worry about the humans.” He held up his left hand and noticed his knife had broken off half-way up the blade and sighed. “Puckernuts, I broke my knife!”

The wolf chief chuckled and shook his head. “Maybe the humans have one to replace it.”

“We’re going back to see the humans?” Suntop asked.

“Yes,” Cutter nodded looking at the felled beast, “those two humans threaten no one now. They must have been chasing this badger and then High Ones knows what happened to them. Treestump and Dart can get the fur and any meat from our kill here with Moonshade’s lead. Clearbrook and Nightfall can come with me and our treeshaper to see what those humans have we can use. “

I’ll stay and help with getting the fur and meat my chief. Strongbow sent standing next to his lifemate, and as anyone could see, she was his reasoning for not wanting to leave. It only takes once to hear your loving soulmate was almost bit in half by a badger to make you think twice before leaving again.

“Good, just keep an eye out in case the badger has a brother.”

Suntop suddenly yelped and started to look around scared. “It has a brother!”

The Wolfriders laughed as they started to do what their chief ordered, and as Cutter walked away with the group to scavenge from the humans, he felt his lifemate take his hand in hers as she whispered. “We need to find some water so I can clean the scratches and cuts our treeshaper got from fighting that thing.”

Cutter nodded and looked concerned. “How close did the badger come to biting Moonshade?”

“Close enough, if our treeshaper hadn’t pushed the head away at the last moment it might have hurt her seriously.” Leetah answered just as concerned.

“Well, he did what I asked of him, though I wished it hadn’t come to our treeshaper being attacked by a…badger.” Cutter sighed with a shake of his head.

“That thing really was a badger?” Leetah asked as they walked up beside their treeshaper and huntress.

“Biggest one I’ve ever seen!”

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

The humans Redlance scented were locked in a last embrace, a deadly hug between brothers, just a short distance from the cart. One had an arrow sticking out his chest which had led to his death while the other had been stabbed over and over by the one with the arrow. The two humans had fought, and in the end, killed each other, but over what no one knew? That had been the mystery and would remain one, though not without an effort to find an answer from the two youngest of the tribe who just had to know what had taken place.

“Were they fighting over a lifebearer do you think?” Suntop asked sitting on his sleep fur, eating more Barhi fruit that Redlance had given him. He had just finished getting his spot ready, complete with a small cover to keep the light out of his eyes. His father moved the tribe farther away from the humans and the dead badger. The wolf chief wanted a new sleep spot and happily so did everyone else.

“Maybe it was over all those furs and hides?” Dart asked back eating a raw piece of meat from the badger.

The humans cart was stacked with furs and hides and pelts, more than Moonshade had ever seen at one sitting. She was a little lost for a moment after being called over to look through them all. There was a very large bear, four longtooths, and a bunch of tusk hogs and foxes and others. There were so many furs the Wolfriders replenished the ones they lost in the fire, and then some, and there were even some furs they left behind, ones that looked less than usable and thus were cast aside by the tanner. Moonshade actually giggled as she watched her lifemate and Treestump try to tie up the bundles, which was made possible due to the large pile of leather strips they found in the cart as well.

“Maybe, or maybe it was over the badger? It had arrows in it from the human’s bow, right? Maybe the humans were hunters and fought over who would get to kill the badger?” Newstar asked sitting next to Dart eating her sweet plumps.

Suntop nodded, then swallowed his piece of Barhi fruit, before turning to the treeshaper who was sitting by his new large bear fur, washing off the rest of the blood from the badger. Cutter had suggested the bear fur be given to Redlance for saving Moonshade from the badger and Strongbow had gladly seconded. No one dissented, and with a small nod of embarrassment, the treeshaper took the large fur with a smile. The tribe had also found three large water skins filled full and one that was half, more than enough water to cross this plain hopefully, so a little was spared to clean up the treeshaper. He had the usual small cuts and scrapes, but then there were some long scratches on his side where the badger’s claws must have hit him that had his lifemate and the healer concerned. Redlance was busy using the knife he got from one of the humans to cut up a plant he had grown from a mere seed, pulled from his oblong pouch. The handle, made from deer antler, and blade was bigger than his old one and thus needed getting use to.

“What do you think Redlance? Why did they kill each other?”

The treeshaper smiled, and as he continued to cut up the plant on leather square he had pulled from his pouch, he spoke. “I think if you if walk your path without seeing who is on it with you, well, than you walk down a short trail with a bad end my magic user.”

“What does that mean?” Newstar asked with a smile.

“It means the humans turned on each other, killed themselves out of greed probably.” Cutter stated sliding under two long pieces of leather he and his treeshaper had hung up on arrows to make a small tent, to block out the light of the day star while they slept.

“Over what do you think?” Suntop continued, needing to know.

Redlance finished mashing the plant up and making a paste on the leather while answering the question. “We’ll never know Suntop, but to take a life over furs or pelts seems so very small, a waste of even a human life.”

“That is does, is it ready beloved?” Nightfall asked as she turned to her lifemate. Redlance handed her the leather with a nod and the huntress took some of the paste on her fingertips and began to wipe it gingerly on the cuts on his chest.

“Here, let me help.” Leetah smiled taking some of the paste and rubbing it gently on her treeshaper’s back and side. A clean smell started to appear and move along the wind.

A growl went up from behind Moonshade where Strongbow was trying to fix the same kind of small tent to block out the light of the day star, like Redlance and Cutter had done, only his wasn’t staying up very well. Moonshade was about to tell him they would do something else when Leetah spoke up. “Stay under ours, we have more than enough room for you both.”

“Yes, please, you two, stay with us and rest.” Nightfall offered with a warm look as she finished up putting the paste on to keep the cuts from getting infected on her lifemate. She wiped her fingers off on the leather square letting Leetah do the same before folding it back up.

“Thank you,” Moonshade nodded with a gracious smile, then she slid over and under the leather tent. Done with getting treated the treeshaper took the large bear fur and turned it round where being rolled up it would be a soft spot for all to lay their heads on.

Cutter shifted onto his side as Leetah snuggled into him with her back against his chest. She let her treeshaper slide in letting her rest her cheek on his shoulder as Nightfall laid on his chest, resting her ear over his heart. The tanner moved right up next to him letting her head rest on the rolled-up fur as her nose touched Redlance’s shoulder taking in his scent. Strongbow ended the group snuggling into his lifemate, sighing as the light of the day star ended and the dark of the tent took over.

Moonshade smiled and sighed feeling the strange warmth in her stomach begin to glow, a need suddenly fulfilled, and she wasn’t even sure what the need was. Redlance’s hand bumped her waist and without hesitation she took it in her one hand while the other wrapped around his arm in an intimate hold. The tanner smiled as the closeness, the affinity of these four, seemed to reach out to her and her lifemate, beckoning to them to follow with a gentle and tender pull. It felt so welcoming, the way these four special souls approached her and her archer, so careful and delicate. Maybe it was a chance to seek that connection the tanner had been wondering about, wanting just a little more each night as she watched them from afar. And then Nightfall reached across Moonshade with her arm putting a hand on Strongbow’s hip. The tanner watched as her lifemate took it in his, giving the huntress’s palm a warm squeeze, before falling asleep. With a wide joyful sigh Moonshade drifted into slumber resting peacefully.

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Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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G0lden

G0lden

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PostSubject: Re: The Redlance Sagas Return   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyFri Jun 05, 2015 12:25 am

Sounds like a badger on steroids to tell you the truth. Glad to see that all are safe and sound so far. Now how is the Moonshade and Strongbow addition going to work out?

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Wiseshaman

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PostSubject: Redlance: Take us home Treeshaper - Chapter Nineteen   The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 11, 2015 6:50 pm

Those Honey Badgers are on steroids G0lden, they're like the version of Rasputin in the Animal Kingdom.  You can shoot, poison, stab, crush, and even try to drown one...damn things just won't die!

But enough of the fur covered Juggernaut...its time for the next chapter...


Chapter 19

The descent of the day star was more than welcomed, the heat from the giant ball finally started to subside, and the Wolfriders rose from what sleep they could get to greet the cool of the night. The treeshaper put on his tunic as his family rose to get ready and trotted out quietly to scout the surrounding area, to make sure no one had come across the humans or the spot where the tribe had fought the badger. He found no tracks around the cart or the bloody grass and made a quick return to his beloved chief, to tell him the tribe looked to be free of any one trailing or following then this night. Cutter nodded with a smile then asked his treeshaper to help pack up, he needed to speak with Treestump. Redlance only nodded and smiled going to help his huntress and healer pack up their sleep furs. As he did he noticed the archer putting up his and Moonshade’s sleep furs and leather covers, and with every move looking over to him, freezing for a moment like he wanted to say something before going back to packing. The treeshaper knew Strongbow wanted to speak a word or two, the elf was just finding his inner ‘Way’ to do so. The archer never had a problem saying what was on his mind, but when it came to the heart, well finding those words were just a little harder. He looked over to Redlance again and the treeshaper smiled back folding up a fur.

“Good eve Strongbow, did you get some rest?” He asked, opening the entrance to his den you might say, to let the archer take the lead and speak.

I slept fine Redlance, thank you for letting us use the cover for the day. Strongbow nodded with a grin, a very nice one the treeshaper thought.

“If the tribe has to stop again in the grass you can sleep under it with us. Our furs and cover are always open to you and the tanner.” Redlance nodded with a warm inviting smile.

Thank you, for thinking of us. I also wanted to thank you for keeping Moonshade safe, from being hurt by the badger. I don’t know what I would do if something were to happen to her… The archer sent letting the last trail off.

Redlance turned to the taciturn elf, knowing full well there was so much more to Strongbow, and put a hand high on his shoulder, smiling even more warmly. “I would never let anything happen to the tanner or you Strongbow. I made someone special a promise, to look after you two, and I intend to keep it.” Then Redlance stood after clapping the archer on the shoulder and walked over to see to the wolves.

It took a moment for the archer to regain his bearings, the statement knocking him slightly off his guard. He had never even considered something like what he just heard from the treeshaper, and he turned watching Redlance with wonder, whispering with his voice, something else he rarely ever did, “Who?”

“What who?” Moonshade asked looking at her lifemate with a titled head and confused look as she sat down by Strongbow, returning from checking on Dart and Newstar.

Yet before the archer could explain he heard a soft voice over his shoulder break in. “It was his sire and mother…he promised them right before they were taken.” The archer and tanner looked over to see Nightfall smiling and packing up the last of the furs.

“Promised what?” Moonshade asked getting more confused.

That he would look after us, the tribe, me and you...he promised Talltree and Starshower… Strongbow sent with such little energy it was something like a whisper.

The tanner just turned slowly to see the treeshaper by the wolves, setting the pouch with the sleep furs on his lifemate’s bond wolf. She couldn’t form words in her mind to respond, none would come due to the shock she felt from what had been offered by the huntress. Looked after…for so long? Why…why would he do that…and never say anything? From behind they heard a second sweet voice speak up mirroring what they all felt. “I learn a new piece of him every night and it makes my heart swell.”

Everyone in the group turned to Leetah, who only smiled and sighed while picking up the packs of sleep furs for them. Nightfall reached over and rubbed her back lovingly, which brought a bigger smile to the healer’s face, before rising from her spot on the ground while speaking warm words from her heart to Strongbow. “He’s always honored his sire and his mother, every night when he rises, and one of their last wishes they asked of their son was that he take care of the tribe…of you two and Cutter mostly. You’ve never seen it, but he has always kept that promise.”

Then Nightfall was gone, walking over to her lifemate and her bond wolf. Moonshade watched her go, feeling lost as to what she had just learned, and yet so endeared knowing someone had been caring for her and her lifemate from afar, silently watching to make sure they were…safe. Another may have found it a bit fearful. Others may have thought it odd that he would feel obliged to keep a promise like this. But to her it was an oath she had never considered. To Moonshade, and to Strongbow, there were only the laws of the pack and the ‘Way’ that governed most of their lives and this kind of ‘promise’ wasn’t part of that world. They were only two n the pack, just two who others rarely ever looked at. To be thought of enough though, by someone, to have their only cub look after you? A small tear formed in her eye as she looked back to Leetah, who only nodded in understanding, because the healer was still finding her path with what she was learning of the treeshaper.

The archer and tanner packed up their furs and belongings and set about getting ready to travel for the night, but when it came time to ride the archer took his spot at the front with a sudden reluctance. He jumped on the back of his bond wolf, and then sat watching the four elves he had shared the day with, the four who had bonded almost over one night it seemed. He sat watching his chief and healer, the treeshaper and the huntress, hold each other saying good bye for the night, sharing a connection he didn’t understand but wondered about. He thought about his own long life and if he had ever had that kind of deepness with anyone other than his precious Moonshade and Dart, and in honesty there wasn’t a single elf he could remember. There was Aroree once, when he and his lifemate tried to step out of their small circle, but that ended so sudden it hurt both he and his lifemate, a demand he would not and could not meet ceasing a chance at...what? He wasn’t sure, maybe he should have given in to her, Aroree, and seen where the three would go. As usual, there were more questions than answers, so he watched the new ‘family’, as they called themselves, separate slowly and hesitantly before Cutter gave the order to start walking toward the direction of the new Father Tree Redlance was taking them too.

“I want to walk with Leetah and the others, if that’s all right beloved?” Moonshade asked abruptly from his side.

Of course, I’ll be up front with Dart if you need me. The archer nodded before taking his lifemate’s hand in his. It wasn’t a loving nuzzle or a kiss, but to Moonshade, it was just the same, her precious soulmate showing his love in a way he felt safe with.

The tribe moved on through the night, walking beside their wolf friends, keeping side by side, keeping their shadows low inside the high grass. The less to see meant safer and to Cutter that was a law you always followed. Leetah and Nightfall talked fondly with the tanner as the wolf chief listened with a grin, noting the three were forming a nice friendship, a bond that he hadn’t imagined unless he had seen it happening with his own eyes. They walked through the night and for some it was a quick revelation of what the treeshaper had been doing for so many turns of the moon, what with following the tribe on foot. Newstar and Suntop both felt worn and weary as the day star started to rise signaling the end of the night. They were still on the plains with no trees in sight so, as they did what they had done the times before, the Wolfriders knocked down the grass to form a circle to lay down in for the day. Dart and Strongbow had each taken a nice sized rabbit, and then Clearbrook had felled a third with an excellent shot, giving the tribe a small amount of meat for a meal before sleeping. The tired elves were pulling out sleep furs and belongings as Cutter started to get the tent ready to sleep under when the treeshaper appeared with his walking stick and warm smile making everyone happy. Redlance gave up his share of the meat to the others of course, choosing to eat his berries and roots with Leetah and Suntop. He watched Cutter and Strongbow divide his part among the others with a smile. The treeshaper only smiled more as he started to get the tent ready to sleep under. He had a new idea he said with excitement, and after taking other pieces of leather and a few more arrows, Redlance had the tent big enough to cover them all easily.

The tribe slid under and took up their sleep spots with a deep sigh as the dark of the tent brought them relief. Leetah curled up next to her treeshaper as her loving soulmate put one arm around her and held her close while his other braced her head and held Redlance’s neck lovingly in his hand. The healer looked over her treeshaper’s chest to see the tanner had lain right up next to him again, maybe even a little closer this day. She smiled as she saw Moonshade breathe deep and sigh with closed eyes, pure contentment as her archer behind her reached over and put his hand on Redlance’s side. Leetah kissed her treeshaper’s chest one last time and reached up to rub the back of her Twen as the huntress lay on her lifemate’s chest listening to his heartbeat, letting the thump send her to sleep. The healer felt secure and safe as she slipped off into sleep, rest coming to revive her weary body.

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

Two more nights, and part of a third, it took before the Wolfriders crossed the great expanse of high grass and plain. The openness that Cutter sneered upon ended just after the mid of the third night when he saw the trees of a forest in the distance, the conifers looking small in comparison to the tall mountains jutting up toward the two moons out of them. The image drew a definitive, and prompt conclusion, to the wolf chief. It wasn’t hard to connect the lines, an image conjuring from his past, and his son who walked next to him spoke up before the others could say a word.

“It almost looks like Blue Mountain…before it fell.”

“Too much like that craggy hill for my liking lad,” Treestump hissed adding an opinion all felt to the magic user’s words.

There was one distinction Cutter thought, as they walked on getting closer to the forest and that mountain, or mountains he corrected himself, and that was the very difference between these peaks and that of Blue Mountain with the Forbidden Grove. Where the domain of the Gliders was, used to be, a single peak reaching for the sky these were three, like the fingers on his hand, with one tall peak in the middle and two smaller ones on either side. As the tribe drew closer and the twilight of the rising day star began to push back the night, to start yet another morning for the Abode, the mountains kept climbing to the sky, higher than Blue Mountain had. Strongbow looked up to see the circling birds around the mountain and trees and gave a long pause as his son asked if they could bring one down for a meal. It was only after he looked over with a raised eyebrow did the young archer realize what he had said, and with a sheepish grin apologized.

“Oh, sorry…I forgot,”

Its fine my cub, but I think giving the birds here a hold from the hunt for a day or two would only be for the best.

Dart smiled when his father grinned and nodded, “I agree father, I agree.”

He led his cherished son along, scanning the start of the forest ahead, looking for any sign of life that might show. He looked for the tall ones of course, but he also looked for a glimpse of game. A nice sized buck would feed them well, and after crossing this last open plain eating small pieces of meat from rabbits and ground cats, Strongbow needed a good meal. He sniffed the air and smiled as the smells of the woods drifted on breeze, the clean and musky scents that brought the wolf out in the archer. He would always be at home in the woods, and no flying crystal palace shaped like an egg would ever be his home. No, Strongbow would never fly inside their ancestral home. To him there was only ever one ‘home’, Goodtree’s Rest, and when the humans burned it down he lost it forever.

Just before the last of the night was gone, the tribe trotted into the trees moving quickly to get off the grass plain with a great relief, and excited to see trees again. Cutter had Strongbow take them in far enough to hide and then stop and wait. The wolf chief wanted to rest his weary tribe and this seemed like the best place, just on the edge of this new forest. He didn’t want to risk his tired elves to any new dangers these woods might have when they only wanted to rest and gather themselves. He gave the order to do a small search around them, only out as far as one could see the other, to look for any track or sign of life. Dart and Strongbow found tracks of deer and tusk hog and even bear which made the hunters smile. Leetah and Nightfall found the same tracks as they walked together along with berry bushes and what looked like black eyed cat’s markings. Clearbrook and Suntop found the same as did Newstar and Moonshade, but it was Treestump who spotted the true find, or not depending on how you looked at it.

Lad, you might want to see this?

The feel in the send didn’t sit well for Cutter, and he quickly ran over to find his elder and uncle, looking out onto another small trail that entered the forest from the plains. The trail looked just at the edge of being overgrown, like the forest was taking back what it had given because no one was using it anymore. Cutter sniffed the air and he could scent tall ones, but it was so faint, it was almost like an afterthought. He turned to his uncle and whispered, “What did you see?”

“That,” Treestump pointed and as Cutter looked across the trail his eyes finally picked up what his uncle had come across. It was covered by vines and ivy now, but back long ago, it was the stick version of a tall one, some kind of object the humans might dance around and chant too in their camps. There were the legs and arms out stretched, tied to a large circle, and a limb that had been bent to a second smaller hoop that was the head. It all hung from the branch of a tree looking out onto the seldom used trail. Cutter looked at the stick figure as the others gathered around him and looked at it as well, and then he turned to Strongbow and Nightfall. “Get your bows ready and keep your eyes open.”

“You’re going to go look at it?” Dart whispered.

Cutter nodded and smiled, “like our treeshaper says, it’s the only way to find out.”

“I say that a lot, don’t I?” A voice said suddenly sounded from behind them all.

Suntop and Leetah gave a low yelp as did Newstar while Moonshade and Nightfall gave a gasp from the abrupt appearance of the treeshaper. The wolf chief just chuckled and nodded over to the stick figure tied to the tree, “Treestump found it.”

Redlance walked past everyone to see what the elder had found and he studied it for a moment turning his head to the side and back upright before switching to his chief. “It looks like what you described on the cave wall of the humans who saved you after the squirrel bit your hand so long ago.” He whispered.

“Nonna and Adar, it does look like one of her drawings, but different.” Cutter whispered.

Newstar looked over to Dart with a smile, “What was the name of the tribe at Blue Mountain? The ones who thought Winnowill was their High One?”

“The Hoan G'Tay Sho,” Suntop answered quickly with a smile, and as everyone turned to him he realized what Newstar what was thinking, “They had those kinds of stick things all around the woods where they lived.”

“Yes, they did! It was like a warning to stay away!” Newstar giggled happily, excited she had remembered the stick figures.

Dart smiled with them and nodded, “I remember that too!”

Upon hearing the declaration Moonshade looked to Leetah and Nightfall before turning back to the three cubs with a stern eye. “And how do you three know about the humans from Blue Mountain so well?”

“Yes,” Clearbrook added with her own stern motherly tone as the healer and huntress looked on, “you three wouldn’t have gone to ‘look’ at them, did you? Because that would mean you broke one of our chief’s orders.”

The three young elves all lost their smiles at instantly, exchanging grins for an innocent look that easily said ‘What, me?’. The three quickly donned their best angelic looks and shook their heads speaking at the same time, “No”. It was enough to melt your heart, seeing the three standing there with eyes that beamed like theirs did, and it just might have saved them as Cutter spoke up with a chuckle.

“I can’t punish you now for something you did back then, but from here on, if you break my rules you face my hand in punishment, even you Suntop, understand?” Cutter looked at each cub with a strong but warm expression.

“Yes my chief,” Dart and Newstar snapped as Suntop only smiled and nodded. “Yes father,”

Cutter smiled just a little more as his pride for his son swelled before turning back to the trail and the strange stick figure. He scanned the area with a sharp keen eye trying to see what might hurt them, might come for them, and after a moment Cutter felt safe enough to venture out. He took a few steps out followed by Strongbow and then Nightfall and the others. They eased over to the tree with the figure and with an easy hand Redlance reached up and grew the vines and ivy back revealing the symbol.

“That looks just like what the Hoan G'Tay Sho had hung in the trees back at Blue Mountain.” Newstar whispered.

“I know,” Dart whispered with her.

“And you said the sticks were for warning other humans away?” Clearbrook asked looking at the strange image on the tree.

“Had to be, what other purpose would something like that serve?” Suntop asked watching the treeshaper work.

Redlance’s hands finished the work of removing the old growth and vines leaving just the strange stick figure tied to the tree. As the others discussed what it might mean, he reached up and with an gentle caress of his fingers, he touched the figure and almost at once images flowed to him unrequested, a flood across his mind from the sticks that made the figure as he ‘talked’ with them. At first, he saw two humans dressed like the tribe from Blue Mountain walk up and place the stick figure on the tree, tying it in place, but then the image twisted and swirled to the same pair doing the same, hanging another stick figure, only this figure looked different with the human’s arms both pointing down to the ground where it hung from a second different tree. The image flowed to the same pair as they hung yet another figure in a third new pose, one arm up and one down, on a third tree. The image changed again, and now the treeshaper could see a grove where all the brush and trees had been cut back, and in its center was a large oblong stone set on end so the other reached for the sky, and on its top rested a wreath of ivy and flowers with animal bones hanging down from it with small leather strips. He saw two humans, one a warrior and the other a lifebearer, dressed in long special robes made of leaves, like the one Leetah wore when holding the circle, singing while around the pair danced the others in the tribe to heavy drumming and flutes. The pair held up baskets full of fruits and flowers and pelts to the oblong stone as the day star shined down on them, graced them with its warm rays as the tribe honored it with offerings.

The treeshaper knew at once what was taking place, understood what had taken place so long ago in these woods. The images stopped there unfortunately, the rest of the ceremony remaining clouded from him as Redlance pulled his hand back slowly, smiling widely for a moment as he felt pure excitement with what he had been shown, and then with a small side step the treeshaper jumped out onto the trail staring down it. No one seemed to notice his movement as they all talked about what the figure was meant for, but he knew and the treeshaper felt a happiness rise in his stomach for that knowledge. They were a gentle loving folk these humans he thought as a laugh escaped from him. It was the Festival of Flood and Flowers for them, a celebration of life and all its happiness for the humans.

“Redlance, are you all right?” The treeshaper heard Suntop ask but he couldn’t answer as he reveled in the images, all the feelings the limbs from the symbol had shown them. He just turned and laughed again before pointing to the stick figure.

“There markers…It’s the Festival of Flood and Flower!”

“It’s the what?” Leetah asked with a smile just as her treeshaper spun and ran down the trail away from the tribe. She giggled as Cutter grabbed her hand and with quickness they ran after Redlance catching up just as he stopped by another tree pointing to another stick figure, the same one from the images the limbs showed him. He laughed again, running on down the trail dodging brush and tree branches that had grown out into the path without hands to prune them back these days. The treeshaper pointed to the last of the stick figures, the binding holding it to tree had long since rotted away, but the vines and ivy securely held it in place now, as he ducked into a thicket of deep brush and saplings. Cutter and the others followed laughing and giggling till they popped out on the other side and caught sight of why the treeshaper was running so excitedly.

Cutter and Leetah stopped once past the thicket and looked around in amazement, and just a little reverence, as did everyone else. The feel of the small clearing was just like walking into the Palace for the first time, a sense of wonder and marvel taking hold and gently squeezing your soul. Nightfall walked over to her soulmate, who was standing by a large stone, took his hand in hers, and whispered looking around with a small smile, “what is this place?”

“It’s where they danced to honor the day star my huntress, just like Leetah’s father would honor it on the Bridge of Destiny. They would come here on certain days and leave it baskets of fruits and pelts…gifts…and then dance like Leetah around the stone to show their happiness to the day star.” Redlance whispered with a large smile.

“How do you know this?” Newstar asked with a small smile of her own as she walked over looking all around in bewilderment.

“The trees told him, didn’t they?” Suntop whispered with a smile.

Redlance just laughed again, walking around the large stone, looking at its roughhewn shape, its pitted surface with a large smile. In the images, it had been a sparkling white but now it was faded and dull, the effect of no one caring for it anymore. The vine and ivy crown on its head was gone, but around the base at the ground were the remnants of the animal bone which hung down form the wreath. The treeshaper knelt and touched one feeling its coarse surface as he slid his finger along it, every bump and groove making him smile more. Not all humans were bad he told himself, not this tribe of tall ones. These humans were nothing like the ones on the plain who killed each other over pelts or the ones from Goodtree’s Rest who had come so close to ending his life. No, these humans revered life and the day star, which is why they hid this place from others, the only way to know of its existence were the markers. They had to hide, just like we do Redlance thought, because not everyone would abide their ‘Way’. Maybe that’s why it had been left alone for so long, no one could come back to dance round it ever again?

“What do you think happened to these humans treeshaper?” Moonshade whispered low.

“Did they die out?” Clearbrook asked looking at the stone and holding Treestump’s hand.

“Yes...maybe,” Redlance whispered standing back up and smiling to his lifemate, his chief and his healer, “I think they couldn’t come back here for fear of losing it to something evil, so with it hidden, they left its beauty and its peace to the day star which crosses over it every day, what it was made for.”

“Yes…that’s what I feel too,” Leetah spoke low with a small tear sliding down her cheek.

“Oh, that’s so sad,” Newstar whispered wiping away a tear.

“Let’s go…we need to rest and this place deserves to be left alone.” Cutter ordered with a smile and whisper.

The Wolfriders left the way they entered, through the large thicket, and just before being the last one to exit Redlance turned and took one look back. He could see the pair in the leaf robes giving their offering to day star while the dancers leapt and spun round the rock, and it all made him think, what you leave behind is sometimes more important than what you gather.

“Goodbye tall ones…may you always dance wherever you are,”

The Redlance Sagas Return - Page 2 Vignette

They had switched so it was past mid-day Leetah knew. She had been in a dream where she danced round a great white rock feeling the warm day star shine down on her, but now she was on her side in the furs with her Twen sleeping soundly just in front of her, Cutter’s arm around her lovingly, protectively. Leetah smiled feeling her treeshaper’s arms around her as well while she reached up to stroke her huntress’s cheek, just as lovingly as she would her lifemate, purring from being happy. The healer sighed and rolled over in the furs needing to hear his heartbeat and when she looked up his dark green eyes stared back with love.

“Why is my desert flower awake?” He asked with a warm smile that made Leetah feel safe.

“I want to hear your heart my love,” she whispered snuggling into him. He knew what his healer needed, and with a firm but gentle embrace, her pulled her to his body and held it there while rolling over onto his back, then still holding Leetah tightly the treeshaper slid over next to his huntress and chief. As Leetah heard the beat of her treeshaper’s heart she smiled and when she felt her Twen’s arm reach up and hold her, the healer sighed and fell back into a peaceful slumber knowing she was loved.

Across from them in another tree, in another sleep spot created by the treeshaper, a pair of eyes so blue they looked purple looked out into the forest longingly. Moonshade lay in the crook of her lifemate’s arms, and on any other day the feeling would have been a boon to her tired soul, a pleasure she could not describe. Only today she missed four others lying with her, she missed the noise that came with them and the sweet wheeze the treeshaper made. She missed their scent and the jasmine of the healer. She missed the way Nightfall would take her hand and squeeze it or Cutter would snore ever so lightly.

She wondered what his heart sounded like, would it truly make it easier to sleep? Would her chief’s arms hold her as protectively as her lifemates, as gentle as his did when she slept? Moonshade had so many questions, no answers, and a longing which seemed to grow every moment she was around the four souls. Then the tanner just closed her eyes, shutting out every thought. She snuggled in closer with her soulmate and tried to hold this new want at arm’s length, nothing would come of it anyway.

___________________________________________________
Dubbed Streaking ADD Cowboy of Awesome Sagas by KindredSoul and nibblet
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