Transcendence, p.19
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       Transcendence, p.19

           Shay Savage
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Page 19

  Beh closes her eyes and sighs as she tightens her grip around my shoulders and lays her head against my chest. We are close enough that I can feel her heart beating through my furs. I lay my head on top of hers and just hold her for a moment.

  Again, the sense of contentedness and completeness encompasses me.

  She wraps her hand around mine as we continue our way to the lake. When we get there, she digs up more cattail roots and bulrushes. She still can’t weave anything that looks like a basket, but she keeps trying. We can still eat the roots and the end of the bulrush stems anyway.

  While she does that, I sneak over near a sandy part of the lakeshore and turn my back to her. I pull out the little piece of fur that contains the wood carving with the three prongs I hope Beh will be able to use to get the tangles out of her hair. I pick up a handful of sand and rub it into the edge of the wood with the pads of my fingers. I glance at Beh frequently, not wanting her to be out of my sight for very long, but still work diligently on my task.

  I want it to be done so I can give it to her as soon as possible. I never gave her a mating gift, and I want to give her this today so I can put a baby in her tonight.

  Just the thought of it is enough to make me hard and leave me wanting to give Beh a baby even when I’m not looking over at her as she kneels next to the shore to pull out roots. When I look at her and see her backside raised in the air as she reaches out to pull up another handful of bulrushes, it takes every bit of control I have to stop myself from just rushing over to her and taking her now.

  I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t like that.

  The thought brings a lump to my throat and leaves me soft.

  I rub vigorously at the carving, pleased at how smooth it is becoming. The rounded part where Beh can hold onto it is nice and soft to the touch, and the long parts don’t have any more rough spots around them to catch on her hair.

  I look back over my shoulder to check on her, and she is standing up, brushing dust from the fur wrap around her legs. She looks so beautiful in normal clothing, and I love the way it hangs from her hips. She still has those strange foot coverings on, but I don’t mind them so much. My eyes move up from the fur around her waist to the antelope hide around her shoulders. Her long, dark hair lies on her back in contrast to the light tan hide.

  I feel my heartbeat in my chest, and I hope she will like her gift. I look it over again, turning it around and around in my hands as I check for any additional rough spots. I don’t find any, so I decide it is as good as it is going to get. I tuck it back inside the fold of my wrap and go over to where Beh sits. The day is getting late, and we should be heading back to our cave.

  Our cave.

  I smile to myself and wonder how I survived without her.

  Between the cattails, bulrushes, pinecones, and grains, we have quite a load to carry back with us, so I can’t hold her hand as we go. It has been a very successful day for gathering though, and Beh makes noises with her mouth all the way back to the cave, occasionally looking up at me and smiling.

  I wish she weren’t so noisy, but I’m willing to endure the noise to have her with me.

  When we return, most of what we have gathered goes to the back of the cave where it is the driest. Beh selects some of the food and adds it to a pot of water near the fire. I follow closely behind her, sit as close as I can next to her, and bend forward so I can look her in the face as she leans over the pot.

  Beh looks at me sideways and pushes her lips together to curb her smile. I’m not sure why she tries to stop it, but she looks pretty when she does that, and I want to put my mouth on hers again. Instead, I reach inside my wrap and grab hold of the wood carving. I take a long, deep breath and look into Beh’s eyes.

  Finally, with a slight shiver, I give Beh her mating gift.

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  Watching Beh’s face, I pull the wood carving out slowly, unwrap it from the scrap of fur, and then carefully place it in front of her before I shuffle back a little to sit away from her. I can feel the tightness in my muscles as I wait to see how she will react.

  Beh sits back from the clay pot on the coals and looks down to the little object in front of her while my heart pounds. Her graceful fingers cover it and lift it closer to her eyes, and her brow furrows as she turns it around in her hands. Her mouth moves and sounds come out as she tilts her head to look at me. My eyes dart from her face to the carving, trying to figure out if she likes it or not. She seems to just be confused.

  Then I realize she may not know its purpose, so I reach out tentatively and place my palm against the hand holding the carving. I gently maneuver her hand to the side of her face, make sure her palm wraps around the carving in the right place, and push the prongs between strands of her hair. I pull down slightly, just until the prongs of the hair carving come into contact with a snarl.

  I sit back again and watch Beh’s face. Her expression is unreadable as she pulls the hair carving the rest of the way through her hair. She brings her hand back around in front of her again to look more closely at the gift. Her eyes widen as she glances from the carving, to me, and back again.

  My hands start to sweat, and I rub them against my legs.

  Beh brings her other hand up and cradles the hair carving for a moment, turning it around again and running her fingers over the whole thing. Again, her eyes move to mine. Her brow is furrowed as she makes hushed sounds, ending with her pitch increasing slightly as her breath seems to get stuck in her throat.

  In the light of the fire, I can see a tear in the corner of her eye.

  She doesn’t like it.

  My body feels like it is collapsing inside of itself, and I drop my eyes to the floor of the cave. How was it wrong? Did it pull too hard and hurt her?

  I made her cry.

  I only want her to smile and be happy and not have to look for a new stick that is the right strength to smooth out her hair. I don’t mean to make her cry. I want her to like it. Why doesn’t she like it?

  Does she just not want a gift from me?

  I glance quickly up at Beh again and notice her eyes are back on the hair carving. She makes more sounds, and I hear my name-sound at the end of them just as she looks back up. I can see tears in both of her eyes now, and my heart drops further in my chest. I look away, wondering again if she really doesn’t want to be my mate, and suddenly I feel a terrific force against my chest.

  Beh’s arms tighten around my neck, making it almost impossible for me to breathe and nearly knocking me over in the process. Her legs circle my waist, and she holds on tight and mutters the same noises over and over again. When she pulls back, she is in my lap and looking down at me, her eyes still wet with tears, but sparkling along with her bright smile as well. Her hand lies against my rough cheek as she looks into my eyes for a moment, her smile never faltering, then leans in close to me and touches the tip of her nose to mine.

  My chest relaxes, and I can breathe again.

  She has never done that to me before. She has accepted my nose-touches but never touched me back—not like that. She will put her mouth on mine, even if I don’t make the kiss sound, but she has never touched my nose with hers before.

  Her fingers scrape gently through my beard, scratching at my cheek in the process. It feels good, but I am distracted by the feeling of her nose running up the center of mine, stopping between my eyes. Her lips replace the tip of her nose, and she presses them against the spot in the center of my forehead for a moment before she looks back into my eyes.

  “Ehd…” She whispers my name-sound before she places her lips to mine briefly. More sounds, but I barely notice them. I am captivated by her eyes as she looks at me. I reach up with my finger and brush away the wetness that is still in the corner, and Beh’s cheeks are tinged with her blush as she closes her eyes for a moment.

  She’s so beautiful.

  A sharp hissing sound brings our attention from eac
h other and back toward the pot on the fire. The water is spurting out of the edge of the pot and falling into the coals. Beh laughs softly as she disengages from my arms and picks up the scraps of cloth to remove the hot pot from the fire. As soon as it has been moved, she picks up her hair carving again, turns it around in her hands, and then tries it out.

  It moves easily through her hair, and I can tell right away that it works better than the jagged sticks she has used. She makes very quick work of the tangles—much faster than usual—and then reaches out to grab my hand. She brings me to her side and twists me around so I am facing away from her. She gets up on her knees and starts pulling the hair carving through my hair as well.

  I can’t believe how good it feels.

  As she works the knots out of my hair, her free hand wraps around my shoulder, massaging the muscles there and around the front of my chest. I relax against her, leaning back a little and looking up and over my shoulder into her face. She pauses in her actions for a moment to move her hand up to my chin and place her mouth on mine.

  When she is done with me, she brings over one of her bowls full of warm water and washes the scratch on my arm and also both of our hands. Using one of the clay cups, she scoops the stew into a bowl and then moves to carefully straddle my lap with the bowl still in her hand. She raises her eyebrows a bit as she looks at me with her lips turned into the hint of a smile. She blows gently on the stew to cool it and then holds up a flat piece of driftwood about the size of two long fingers. She uses it to scoop up food from the bowl, looks to my face, and holds the driftwood out toward my mouth.

  The smell of the cooked food is delicious—the hint of nutgrass and grains mixed with the boar meat is making my mouth water. My mouth opens automatically, and Beh places the driftwood between my lips. As my mouth closes around the food, she slides the driftwood back out again, leaving the stew in my mouth.

  I chew and smile up at her, then watch with wide eyes as she takes another scoop of the stew and places it in her own mouth. Her lips wrap around it slowly, and she twists the little piece of wood over. I can see her lick across the edge of it as the food coats her tongue. The strange grunt escapes from my mouth again.

  “Hoh!”

  I have no idea why, but just watching her place the food on the driftwood and then into her mouth has made my penis stiffen underneath her. As she continues to alternate back and forth—first offering me a bite and then taking one herself, I find myself more aroused than I have ever been before.

  We eat the entire meal this way—Beh serving me first and then herself, one bite at a time.

  By the time the bowl is empty, I can hardly move. My muscles and my mind seem locked and awaiting whatever Beh will do next. I have this feeling that if I move, there is only one thing I will be able to do—haul her off to our furs and take her.

  She places the bowl down beside her and runs her fingertips up my arms. Wanting to feel her hands on my skin, I quickly shrug off the warm fur around my shoulders and let it drop behind me. There is only a little sunlight still shining through the crack in the rock, but it’s enough to see her cheeks darken as she looks down at my chest. Her hands descend, and I wonder why her touch makes me shiver even when her hands are warm.

  The pads of her fingers brush over my flat nipples and cause me to suck in my breath. I look at her face and see her lower lip caught between her teeth. She watches her hands intently as they flow evenly over the skin of my chest and stomach. She brings them slowly back to my shoulders, and a shudder runs through my entire body. I wrap my fingers around her hips and pull her down against me as I revel in the warmth of her body against my hard flesh.

  Her mouth is on mine again, and I’m not even sure who initiates the act. It is as if we both move together this time. The touch of her lips against mine and the taste of her tongue in my mouth is almost enough to make me ignore the burning between my legs and the overwhelming desire to flip her over.

  She pulls away, breaking the contact with our lips but continuing to look into my eyes. I still my hands though it isn’t easy. I want to pull her down against me. I want to push up against her. I want to bury my length in the warm channel I know is just a little piece of fabric away.

  Her fingers run through the hair on my face as she makes more sounds. I watch her eyes carefully—they are so intense as she continues. Beh shakes her head from side to side, makes more sounds, and then lets out a long sigh. She leans in and rests her forehead against mine.

  I can’t help myself; I push up against her.

  The friction feels so good.

  Beh’s eyes close, and her hands drop to my shoulders. When she opens them again, she looks sad.

  “Oh, Ehd…”

  “Beh…khhhz?”

  Her lips brush over mine before she climbs out of my lap, but it is not near enough. She turns around, and for a moment my heart begins to pound as she leans over a little. I rise up on my knees, but just as I think she wants me to give her a baby now, she moves to adjust the position of the pot near the fire and stands back up.

  She turns to face the entrance to the cave with her hands running up through her hair and pulling at the roots a bit. She is frustrated—I can tell—but I am frustrated, too. I knew I wanted to mate with her the first day I saw her and brought her back, but Beh doesn’t seem to know if she wants a baby or not. Sometimes she seems like she does, but other times I don’t know what to think.

  I stand as well, and Beh looks over her shoulder at me. I see her eyes run from my face down to my feet and back again. I quickly remove the wrap around my waist and let it fall, leaving me bare before her. Her eyes widen, and she takes me in with her eyes again.

  “Beh. ” I take a step closer to her. She does not move away, but doesn’t move toward me either. My eyes are locked with hers, and I take another step. My heart pounds and I am panting like I have just run all the way back from the lake, but all I can see is Beh. In my mind, all I can feel are her lips against mine and the warmth of her bare skin as her hands roam over me.
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