Forests of Eyulf: Instincts of Blue - Part 4
Zya's usual solemn demeanor was replaced by a small grin as she saw the small ferret roll in a ball through the grass where the black mare fed. "By the gods, you must have the favor of Aura on your side white one," Zya spoke after sheathing her sword and grabbing the linen cloth off the nearby tree branch. She wiped off the sweat of her work-out off eyes and laughed aloud. "I would not do that if I where you," Zya spoke aloud as she watched the white ferret creep behind the grazing black horse and bat its paws at the sweeping black tale. Nyka looked up at her master with irriated liquid eyes. The long tale connected with a swift snap to the small creatures face before the mare walked several paces away to less offending feeding grounds. Zya walked softly to the horse and whispered in her ear, "Be Nice."
"Your lucky she did not hit you in the head," Zya spoke matter a factly as she bent down to see if the creature was any worse for the wear. The small creature whined alittle as the warrior bent down but quietened when Zya handed it a strawberry. "Like that huh? Come on let me have a look at you," Zya spoke gently scooping the small creature up and carrying it to a fallen log. "Brielle wouldn't like it is you were hurt."
Zya refused to admit aloud that she had enjoyed the antics of the little creature all day today. It had stayed with Brielle through the night but when Zya arose so did the ferret. . It had started with the carting off of the bandages for Brielle's injuries even before the sun had risen above the sacred pines. Nyka had become an instant source of amusement for the small creature, much to the horses discontent.
"No worse for the wear I see. Hey your a girl," Zya spoke, "Your are definitely either the most favored of the goddess of the forrests creatures or either the luckiest thing I ever came across" Zya spoke into the black eyes sitting her down and handing her another strawberry.
"Thats it, your name will be Aura after the goddess who has looked after you so well and given you such good fortune, " Zya felt the pain in her breast and knew it was time to be getting into the cave. "Come on you two," she called behind her as she started back to her mate.
Zya let her fingers travel first down and then back up her mate's spine.
Crickets had begun the call to evening with the few stragling songbirds gone to roost. The warrior closed her blue eyes and listened to her mate's now familiar sounds of nursing. In her mind she traveled back to Brielle's mind path and the orgasmic pleasure they had both encountered. "Will you want and need me in the same way I need you?" she thought to herself. Zya sighed letting her hand travel once more down her young mate's spine before resting in a possisive hold of a rounded buttock. 'I can almost pretend that...' Zya's thought ended abruptly as she felt a smaller warm hand reach up to stroke her tanned cheek.
Zya stared into the green eyes that reached up to her and swam into them willingly. She dove down deeply into their deep gentle depths and let her self be swallowed by her young mate's growing awareness. The eyes that held her gaze did not have that glazed, drugged look but instead an attentiveinterest of her own blue orbs.
Zya's eyes closed involuntarily as her blood bonded fingers reached up to
touch her eyelids. Trembling, they brushed against the dark thick lashes with the softness of a tickle. The fingers pulled back quickly when the blue irises opened once more, but not before being grasped by the warriors own calloused digits. Clasping them gently, Zya lowered them to her lips with a kiss so light that it whispered of things unsaid.
"I love you ," she projected into the fastly tiring eyes. The green eyes flash of greater color, was not lost on the sharp trained she-wolf's eyes.
It still amazed the leader of the blacks how this tiny blonde effected her. This green eyed beauty carried the blood of her greatest foe but Zya knew she would protect her with her life, and nourish her with her soul. Just who posseses who?, she asked herself as she looked into the eyes of green. A blood bond had sealed Brielle to her less than 4 moonrises ago but Zya well knew she
carried her young love's blood essence too.
Strong feelings had sprouted in this hardened battle scarred heart. A heart that beat of vengence and with the pounding of anger's ways. This tiny woman had given her 'new blood' that night with that desperate blood bond ceremony. It had slowly travelled through all her veins till it circled back into her soul. More than a desire for this woman's bodies healing, more than the sexual longing that grew with each day. In truth this half Ulf that fed from her breast, had given her own body nourishment. Like Brielle, that of which she never knew she needed.
"Love you," Zya's ears heard a soft hoarse whisper. The green eyes that had held hers then closed shut. But not before soft fingers reached up and grasped to her left breast sighing.. The mate of Zya fell then to a healing peaceful slumber. Her deep breaths warming more than Zya's chest.
Nyka whinnied for her supper outside the cave's opening. Aura finally worn out from her day of excitement, burrowed in Brielle's furs getting comfortable, content to sleep with the half Ulf. Reina's words that first morning of Brielle's coming to her cave fell to Zya's mind like a heavy summer shower. I must talk to mother, she thought to herself ,placing Brielle softly in the furs and covering her up. Feelings of intense happiness wanted to flow as freely as the waters of the Kildr but quiet trepidation stalked her desire for celebration like a beast of great stealth.
The reds still would cry for retribution due to Zya's defense for her newly mated. Some may even work for her removal as the head of the blacks. Nadireans threatened the forest robbing from its resources and giving nothing in return. And then there was Nalek. Zya knew he may be the catalyst for spillt blood. If Nalek lived the guide he would follow would be an angry heart. Zya knew only to well of the call of blood's vengence and the destruction it could deal. Could Nalek let this attitude destroy all that he had professed being sacred? Zya truly wondered but knew only time would truly answer this.
"Mother, Mother!" the projected voice of her daughter sounded off in the blue eyed wolf 's mind despite the fact that her heir was a good nights full run away. Reina of the blacks bared her teeth at the threat that was keeping her from responding back. She then motioned with a swish of her tail to the black and brown males a few yards away to attack the yellow eyes that prowled ever so closer. Reds, she projected to her daughter before turning her attention elsewhere. She could talk to Zya later and for now the pack needed to protect its newly downed kill. It was a huge buck they had downed after a good night of hunting. And the tresspassing of these red cousins on blacks marked hunting grounds made them unwelcome for the later feast.
"The kill is partial payment for the kill that was taken from us," a bolder of the three red cousins projected snapping at his black cousin who attempted to run him off. "Submit this night to us and it will tell please Drad of the reds"
Not working together the three reds, each selfishly tried to get to the downed deer. Reina watched in disgust more of the reds return to the area than of these three stupid, brash males. She dug her nails into the ground pouncing on the demander of the three. Pinned by powerful jaws he searched with yellow eyes for his brothers who had rum off into the night.
"Go and leave the hunting grounds of the black," Reina projected . She dug her teeth in his neck just enough to draw blood then released him suddenly sending his head down with a thud.
Reina of the blacks howled loudly into the night for all the nearby reds to hear. The blacks would challange all those who dared trespass on what was theirs, be they Namdirean or Ulfyr.
The reds they had encountered had been hauty, young males. Reina knew that Drad's scouts presence was a message to Zya. He would have his retribution for the losses he percieved. Reina also knew that the blacks would not bow down to the reds, especially on their own territory. The only was that the blacks would ever again be driven off their land would be by blood and death. Reina let out another call this one she also let echo to her daughters mind a good journey away. More blood would be spilt before this was finished but Reina's call echoed the first victory was for the blacks.
He had had no sweeter catch in many a season. The blood was tangier, thicker than the usual fox, rabbit or deer his pack usually feasted upon. Maybe it was the fact he stalked and attacked his victim. The ways of the blue would never allow such an act of aggression. But he embraced it. It gave strength to his wounded soul as well as his beaten body. Maybe it was the fact that he
saw the smaller female frame of his newly sworn enemies mate. The taste of the meat was that much tender and juicy.
Nadirean blood ran deliciously down his chin and down his bruised neck. He let his soft paws sink in the gore imagining it was the carcass of his enemy, Zya of the blacks. He rolled his whole body into the blood letting its feel mix with its scent. This bath was better than anyone he ever took in the waters of the Kildr. He felt cleaner than he had in a long while. He had shed the rule of the blue like fur that molts off after a harsh winter. It had been replaced with the heart of an Ulf that had been lost centuries ago when the first blue had placidly left these same plains.
Injured but not dead, he again roamed these plains that had been home to his people before they weak-mindedly followed the orders of the blue eyed ones. Survival and a gnawing hunger had driven into this desperate act to kill this elder Nadirean hermit. He had watched him for hours that morning from the bushes. Assuring himself that his prey was alone and would not be easily missed by the others in the living group a half days walk away, he had attacked. In the end, the struggle had been minimal. The end almost to swift. Nadireans were all so weak in body. Even know his bruised body had bested this male.
Instinctually he rose from the gore and lifted his brown eyes at the waning moon. He pointed his long nose to the skies and let his ears fall against his head. The only sounds that came out was a high pitched squeak. His brown eyes flashed yellow as he quickly closed his mouth. Stripped of the dignity of calling in the wind. Zya would pay for her lofty ways and his brothers their cowardly support.
He would not content himself to roam these plains that should belong to his kind. The sweetest of the Nadirean blood lay nestled in the arms of her mate he would not rest till he saw deposed. His brown eyed brothers had made their positions clear. They had been the ones that took his voice and howl. They could die with her for all he cared. He must heal his body and build up his strength. Then he would seek out his red cousins and win them to his cause. For his cousins and he had a mutual enemy now. Zya of the blacks and all
that she cared for would be nothing when he was finished..
The lone tracker dropped his nose to the ground and inhaled deeply. Ahhhhhhh..... got it, he thought. His muzzle swept the ground in long sweeping strokes over the cooling earth. The fading sunlight shined through a puny tree lighting his red coat like an ember in a fire. Despite the distance he had traveled into Nadirean territory, his energy grew with every step. This night of spying promised to be fruitful. For the smell he had distinguished among the pungent Nadiereans was the of "Eyulf".
The smell firmly imprinted in his nostrils, he stealthily moved through the villages and fields. He passed up easy prey and instead let the scent peak all his senses and whisper to his very soul. Curiosity and patience spoke to him as he moved determinedly forward. He and his brothers had heard talk of an Ulf exiled into Nadirean land. Was this him?, the tracker mused. He jumped on his back hind legs as a strong wind blew past his wiry frame. Ahhhh, he thought. Crouching his frame, he jumped to a rockoutcropping and peered over the side.
Nalek was so content in his meal that he never saw his red cousin downwind from him. He never saw the yellow eyes flash white when they recognized Nalek's permanent marking of exile. He never caught a glimpse of his cousin as he nodded in thought to himself before turning to loupe towards the sacred forest. As the exiled male paused from his prey to burp, he thought he heard the call of his kind but dismissed it as the tricks of his tired body. It was commonly known his kind did not stray into enemy territory. Right?
"If you were not my sisters child you would be dead," Drad projected to the adolescent wolf he held down in submissive position. He let his eyes wander to the camp's nocturnal goings on, trying to gain rein over his boiling emotions. The blood of the war of the war god pulsed loudly through his veins. It would be so easy to bear his teeth in till he broke this coward's neck. But until he took a mate, like it or not, this pup was his heir. Drad had ignored the idea of taking a mate until now cause the idea of formal commitment to one Ulf turned his stomach. He relished his freedom and to care freely mount any of the bitches in heat in his group at any time. But inwardly since his latest confrontation with Zya, he was realizing that his strength and youth would not last forever.
Drad's evil eyes narrowed to slits as he watched young and old males alike chase down females that were breedable in age and mount them. Female in his pack knew their position, unlike Zya of the blacks. He watched a small still growing female grow still raising her buttock high in the air after being caught by one of his best fighters. Her screams at the brutal treatment made his own organ grow hard. The more reds born the better he thought, who cares if they do not all come from mated relationships. Drad believed a strong family of reds could one day bring all of Ulf in submission to them.
Out of the leader's perfeal vision, he saw some eager males dig into the carcass of an older red. Drad took in the scene with appreciation. He was a firm believer of the elimination of the weak. He himself had killed and eaten his own father. Drad let his nephew's neck fall out of his mouth and watched as he wheezed for breath.
"I gave you this opportunity to prove yourself and you come back with your tale tucked between your legs like an unweaned cub," Drad projected. He lifted his right paw and bore into his nephew's shoulder keeping him in submissive posture as well as muddying his pristine kept coat of fur.
"Listen to me....."
Drad growled ferociously and clamped down once more on his nephews neck. "Don't you EVER order me Tyr. Only my shame at your behavior tonight is greater than my anger right now. Time and Time again I have told you dont run from a challenge that you start and tonight you ran from that bitch Zya reinforcing to me that you are truly a whelp that you are. Speak!" Drad finished, glad the camp was to occupied to watch his family confrontation.
"Was not Zya.....," the younger male wheezed as he projected. "It was the older blue."
"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttt! Where was Zya? Why was she not out with the hunters especially now?" Drad projected aloud not really wanting an answer. "Out of my sight tonight cub, lets see if you can handle yourself without running home to your Momma."
Drad watched his nephew, Tyr, stagger off with disgust. The harder he pushed the boy, the worse he seemed to disappoint him. Tonight had been his way of giving his sister's son that special push. Again it had been another night where his heir had embarrassed him. The boy had the attitude to lead but not the deceit and fighting skills to win. Like it or not, Drad knew that he would have to start finding a mate . I will not loose all that I have worked for, he promised himself.
The leader of the reds lifted his ear to the calls echoing through the hills signaling the return of the spy from the outskirts of Nadirea.. Looking at the moon, Drad figured that the spy would be here by mid-day tomorrow. Things with the blacks were curious indeed. The older of the blacks out with the hunters AND also the rumors of an exile of one of the blacks own. Drad felt the throb in this sex grow stronger and promised himself answers in the days to come. Right now, he had a female to catch.
"Shut up Knut," the parti colored male of ten summers projected loudly as he entered the cave housing all the youngest where lodged while their parents hunted the night. A mixture of more black than brown, it was easy to see his blood-line came directly from the blue eyed blacks. His ears cocked back at the high pitched whimpers that reverberated through the long cave. Torrence knew that his little sisters nightmares were becoming a nightly occurrence. He also knew that young and old alike forgot that this heir to the leadership of the blacks was only a newly seven summers. He knew what it was like for others to expect more of him because of his mother. It was unfortunate that his little sister had even more expectations thrust on her, especially since the brutal skinning of Lai and the other Ulf barely a half a moon cycle back.
"This is our future leader?" Knut, son of Nalek, heckled Torrence following behind him to stare directly at the young black cub that struggled out of the cluster of young that lay together asleep.
Whoo, Wooooooooooo, Wooooooo, the young one bellowed loudly calling out to her mother
"Can't you keep her quiet, she is your sister you know," Knut balked joining a group of his friends who had come to the door curious about the noise. "At least she could project instead of giving the whole camp a head-ache"
"She is only seven Knut," Torrence responded with a turn of his head to look his biggest rival brown to brown eyes. "I seem to remember I projected before you and I was nearly ten summers"
The 12 summered male picked his sister up by the scruff of the neck and pranced quickly to the outer perimeters of the camp. The only sounds now where of his sisters whining and of the night owls that hooted overhead in the trees. He knew better than to try to reason with her to get her not to cry. He barely understood himself why half of the camp had gone out on this blood vengeance two days back. He had just lost a brother and with a father who had deserted them when Zya was born, he did not want to loose his mother too.
"Hey, little blue, look up, there is Lai's star. Its real bright tonight," he projected. His attempt at distraction worked as the little Zya let her blue eyes travel upwards and stare at the brightest star. "Wanna know a secret?" he projected dropping his sister out of his mouth and nudging her with his muzzle to sit down right in front of him. "Cant tell anybody, not even mother," he added curling his body around the smaller one. His brown eyes seemed to smile as he watched his sister's watery blue eyes flash with the curiosity that got her continually into trouble.
"Laiiiiis star can help us talk to Mother, little blue," he projected with a whisper licking his sisters left-over tears with his pink tongue. "Close your eyes and think about the star real hard. When you hear the wind blow call momma and she will hear you"
Torrence and Zya stayed there all night nestled together. He had projected to his mother himself after the small black cub had dropped of back to sleep. He knew his mother and the group should be home be sunrise by his mother's reply. So, Torrence and Zya nestled together to wait out the moon's descent.
Zya only remembered awakening at mid morning in human form safely tucked against her mothers warm large breasts. The milk that waited her when she woke never tasted so sweet and her mother's eyes never seemed so lovely. "I am only as far as the wind blows," Reina whispered sending her advisors away with a quick cold stare. "I will always be with you my child."
Zya let her bare back settle into the large back of the ancient pine. The smells that permeated her senses again this night grounded her to the land and her home. Soft scented wildflowers lightly masked the huge pine smell. No sweeter smell be found in this life or the here-after. The wind seemed to sing through the pines wailing a heartfelt tune. Zya's deep blue eyes watched the tall grasses dance to the sounds rolling like the waves of the Kildr.. The stars whispered the secrets of her brother and the wind blew the promises of her mother.
"It is still true today Zya," Reina's voice projected into her daughter's mind causing Zya to smile. "Your thoughts travel to me on the night wind"
"I was thinking of the time after Lai died. When Torrence showed me Lai's star and told me that it and the wind could carry my messages to you."
"You remember that? You where only seven. Ahhhhh, I remember that time too and how torn I felt to leave my grieving family." Reina projected in a reflective voice. "That was the control and drive that kept me focused when all I wanted to do was rip as many Nadirean bodies to shreds as my jaws could rip into. I had just cornered the leader of the group when your brother called to me that night. I already tasted his blood in my mouth. I planned on changing form and skinning him just as he did my youngest child. But my little daughter and impressionable son needed me, their mother, not some rabid beast thirsty for blood.
Zya nodded to herself taking time to stare intently into Lai's star. Not actually voicing her thoughts aloud, she remembered the serenity and security of waking in her mothers arms that morning after. The younger blue knew her mother probably was thinking of that same moment and smiled.
"You now have one of your own to consider every time you go into a challenge or fight for territory," Reina's projected voice rang into her head. "The time we live in has many dangers, potential wars both civil and with hated foes. Your young mate must be in the back of your mind and centered securely in your heart with every decision of leadership you take."
The younger blue let out an impatient huff. Waiting for progress reports was not an easy thing for her to do anyway. But waiting far away from the action and having to first deal with this philosophical advice was testing her nerves on respect of her elders.
As if sensing this Reina projected, "Patience young one. I will tell you the answers you wish to know. All is well with me and your brothers and sisters. Calm your blood that pulses so loudly that I sense it clear over the next hill."
"Mother," Zya projected irriatadely with out thought before reconsidering her outburst. Caring for Brielle and being away from the role that gave her such security and she felt comfortable with, was leaving her short tempered. "Forgive me," she apologized with a repentant projection. She tried to take deep breaths seeking to slow the pounding of the blood in her Ulf veins. It was hard to ignore the temptation to pack Nyka up and ride home with Brielle in tow.
"Two adolescent reds threatened and bullied the hunting party I led tonight. Ignoring the ownership rights to our hunting lands, they came upon us after we downed a good kill and demanded the prey as payment to Drad. They implied that due to our infringement upon their Nadirean kill they had rights to do so in kind." Reina's voice droned out in an emotionless projection. "They were weak and easily run off."
"Drad sent them to our lands to spy mother," Zya projected pounding an angry fist in the pine tree she stood under. Her mother was strong and she trusted her implicitly. But Drad's fight should be with her, not her family. And here she was sequestered away secretly away from answering that challenge. "He is just stirring up trouble and provoke a confrontation he can use to go to war with us."
"Yes, daughter. I suspected as such when I saw reds on our hunting grounds. This is only the beginning," Reina's projected voice seemed to thunder in her mind. She could tell her mother was not happy with the circumstances. "Here we are, Nadirea seeking our extinction and we, Ulfyr, fight among ourselves.... I have already doubled security around our holdings and no young ones are being allowed out of the caves or center fires. "
"Have not seen any of theirs but I know they will be dispatched by Drad," Reina projection resonated, "After all I sent some of ours to track his movements."
"Angry at the reds for lack of respect and ploys to make the blacks submissive to them," the older blue answered mentally. Brielle's absence from sight keeps blame away from her and you both. Daybreak I will start the preparation of our defenses and our offensive weaponry as well. I want us prepared for attack both night or day."
"Thank-you Mother," Zya projected, "There is no one I would have in my stead other than you right now. I know that my place needs to be here right now, bonding with my mate, entering her into our ways, protecting her from harm, especially from those who would use her against us. But it is so hard to be away"
"Ahhh, my child, so the gods are giving you a lesson in patience, yes?" Reina's voice quipped. "How is my new young daughter by blood? I can hear your heartbeat quicken even at the mention of her name."
"She grows stronger. Her fever is gone. She is not eating solids yet but nurses ferociously. Her wound is healing well. I think I should start excercising it in the warm springs soon."
"What have you noticed as far as Ulf qualities?" Reina's voice asked seemingly carrying in the night breeze.
"Mental things mostly. She understands my projections to her but answers verbally."
"She is talking?" Reina exclaimed with excitement. "Ohh that is good. What does she remember? Is she afraid of you? What have you told her?"
"No she is not afraid of me and I am not sure that she remembers anything. So why should I stir up bad memories that may be best left buried. She accepts me. She wants my attentions. Isn't that enough?"
"Zya she has the right to know the truth."
"Not yet, Mother. She and I are just growing close. Just tonight she told me that she loved me. I risk everything if I expose the whole truth of things. How I claimed her body as mine while I was a wild beast. How I slaughtered her people. How I claimed her as mate without her knowledge."
"Dearest daughter, you tread a fine line between what's easiest not to expose for her well-being and what is easiest for your own sake. I know it is important to gain and keep her trust. Just as it is important to mate physically with this marked half Ulf and validate your claim to her to the Ulf families. But use the judgment of the mind and not just the calling of the heart." Reina finished her projection.
"After we have mated and she is stronger. Its just not the right time yet." Reina projected to her mother.
"With the reds on the move and Nalek left alive to potentially survive. Time will not stand still my child," Reina reminded in her projection. :Remember why you are there and not here Zya of the blacks. Not just to be bonded and mate with your flesh but to learn to defend herself and fit into society. She hardly fit into her world before, I surmise. Now after drinking your milk and having you through it bring out her dormant Ulf traits. How would you expect to live there without freedom of persecution ?"
Zya threw her long dark tresses behind her ear and listened to the sound in the air. It sounded like a pups call of distress but the closest young ones where to far to be heard this clearly.
"Mother I gotta go. Are you still bringing supplies at high sun?"
"I dont think it is wise to leave the pack right now. Besides, the volunteers that dropped Nalek off at the border arrive back sometime today probably. I want to speak to them. I will have Nerri come," Reina projected in her daughters mind. "I will talk to you tomorrow night as the moon touches the treeline"
"Mother, I love you . Good Night," Zya ended her projection closing their communication. She walked softly towards the cave listening to the cries of what sounded to be a cub's whine calling for its mother. Zya cursed and side stepped a quick ball of white fur that scampered quickly out of the entrance.
"Darn you Aura," she muttered aloud, "Whats going on huh?" she asked lifting the white bundle of fur on her shoulders entering the cave curious.
"By the gods its Brielle," she smiled despite the sounds of distress the young woman was making in her sleep. The sounds were not Nadirean sounds but of an Ulf call. It was not a particularly good one mind you but it was unmistakably Ulf. Only Ulf could make such animal sounds while in their human forms. Bending to one knee, she peered into the half awake green eyes crowned with blond tangled hairs. (OOOWWWWWLLL) she answered back in a quick yip not loosing eye contact with her anxious mate. Brielle had started this and Zya was determined to have her bonded one learn her unique call in the pack. Brielle also needed to see not to be threatened by it.
Connecting with her loved one she put one arm around her pulling her into her frame as she sat down legs crossed. Her index finger on her other hand began its soft trace on the sweaty skin. "I am here," she projected. She gently pressed her fingers to her mates brow and tried to view the disturbance that interrupted her loved ones sleep.
Red Wolves , running through the darkness. Red wolves with long gnashing teeth...... blood so much blood
Zya pulled out of the dream murmuring endearments and rocking the smaller body in her arms. On and On she rocked, thinking of Drad and a fight that would come and she had more reason to win besides power of the region. The warm breaths grew deeper and Zya lowered them both down on the furs to pass the night. Her mother's words echoing into her brain as conscious thought fell away "You now have one of your own to dwell on and consider every time you go into a fight"
To Be Continued..
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