Authors: Xssa Annella
A Total-E-Bound Publication
Vision of Love
ISBN # 978-1-78184-183-9
©Copyright Xssa Annella 2012
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright December 2012
Edited by Amy Parker
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2012 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
This story contains 33 pages, additionally there is also a
at the end of the book containing 9 pages.
VISION OF LOVE
Their love is more than she’d imagined, a way to talk to the gods, but will the price be too high?
Sacrificing her shyness and worn dress may be a way to talk to the gods, but it also opens up the way to what’s under young Redbush’s loincloth. In his warrior arms she feels safe, loved, wild. Freeing her own shamanic power to talk to the Allfather, she will come to understand a terror that might come to pass, and the high price of loving someone.
Though he creates heady sensations she has never known before, she will learn that everything has a price. Love opens many channels and closes many doors.
Though his touch can make her see heaven, she will learn that you can’t create without sacrifice. In the wilderness there are many dangers, the least of which might be losing her heart to her handsome young buck.
Full of bravery, passion, and fear, she will aid her people—or destroy them. In the untamed wilds before America as we know it, history isn’t just written—it is lived through blood and tears and love.
“What are you doing?”
The voice. It’s Redbush. I didn’t hear him approach. Today his skin glistens with a sheen of sweat, the sun striking him from behind, as though it too loves the shape of his body, the graceful curves of his legs under his loincloth.
I stare at him, a shy maiden.
“Don’t give me that. You are as talkative as bluejay.” His tone is humorous.
“At least you didn’t compare me to a crow,” I say with a sigh. His eyes see through to my inner heat, making me squirm while I gaze at him. I love to admire him.
“Why the sigh?” he asks. He sets his bow down and squats beside me. His muscles ripple like the sides of a deer. His chin looks as hard as the rock I am sitting on, which is far enough away not to be found by any of my tribe—or so I had thought.
And yet he is here. Great.
“I was thinking. I wish for the makings of a new dress. I would sacrifice this one to the gods, but then, what would I wear while waiting for the answer?” My dress is hideous. The wooden beads are broken and worn, the hem frayed. I feel the material for wear, especially across the chest where the decorations are falling off. The buckskin fringe is worn and cracked from too many washings, dancing unevenly under my fingers.
“Would they listen to you?” He laughs.
I don’t hit him because secretly, I have always had a feeling for Redbush—as in, I have a feeling declaring my love for him would make him laugh. I’m too shy to talk to him much, ever since he turned more desirable to the young girls of the tribe than any other male in the tribe. His red-fletched arrows stick up above his right shoulder. He carries no meat, I notice.
“How was the hunt?” I ask, avoiding his question.
Do the gods listen to women?
I finger a rip at a seam of my dress, the one that connects the shoulder to the sleeve. Grandpa used to say if I made a sacrifice they might talk to me, a woman. He knew because he was a great shaman, and his wife had told him to tell the gods she would give anything for a son, but he hadn’t. When she’d become pregnant, he’d known they’d heard her. When his wife had died during childbirth, he’d known they had taken something. My mother had told me not to listen to Grandpa, to only pretend to listen. But I’d listened.
“Did you catch anything?” I ask.
“It was a good hunt. I stopped to watch clouds, to see their beauty. I missed the rabbit.” His voice is casual, that of a man confident in himself.
I laugh. “Beauty?” I love clouds, but only the dark grey ones, the stormbringers with their many shades of grey, the troubled ones.
I pull a thread, a long piece of sinew, and the dress unravels slowly, the arm coming loose. Fine. But then the chest starts to fall away and I freeze, holding the thread taut.
From the corner of my eye, I see Redbush watching intently.
The air is cold on my breast—cold and delicious like a quick dip in a still lake during summer. My breasts are half covered by shadow, the tops peeking out like sloping mountains, the nipples just hidden by the folded, stiff hide.
“Maybe you should sacrifice something after all,” he says in a husky voice. He pulls on the sinew, his fingers so firm on mine.
When did he grab the tie?
I wonder dizzily, even as I watch the thread slide. I hear the gentle puffs of material ripping. I can smell Redbush, so close, a scent of pines and male. He pulls until the thread is free in his hand, dangling.
My dress falls away on one side, my left breast exposed. The nipple contracts from the cold. I let the sleeve slide off my arm and drop to the grassy ground.
“What will you do now?” he asks me, dipping his head closer.
I want to run. Whoop. Jump in a lake. Huddle by a fire. What is this strange sensation inside me, filling me? It’s not hot, but it’s not cold. It’s yearning, but also trepidation, and a deep sense of something potent and old. In my dreams that I tell to no one, this was what I wanted, for him to look intensely at me. To touch me. What maiden doesn’t long to be touched, especially by one such as he?
His lips brush my face, just grazing the apple of my cheek, and I shiver, gasp softly. I want more. So much more. I want to drown in this feeling. I want his lips all over me. Like a heartbeat, I want, I want, I want—
Even in the bright light of day I see his pupils are full, as though he is standing in a dark teepee, but I don’t think his eyes have lost their focus on my breasts once. Then he raises his gaze to mine. I can’t read his expression. It’s as hidden as the inner depths of a cave—dark, alive.
This, I will offer. My innocence, my sweet cheeks, untouched by men. He stands up and greatly daring, I lean forward and touch my face to his. The touch is searing. Enlightening. The tightening of my body—I feel it in my stomach, my thighs, my breasts. The inrush of breath—I feel it filling me, spreading warmth and life. Our lips touching—I feel as though I am caressing the sun.
I sit back. A vision flashes before my eyes, too quick to see.
This is strong medicine.
He laughs and runs off. The air is so empty in front of me.
My breasts ache and down below, by my stomach, is a wanting. I can’t describe it.
I must have more.
No other male could have pulled that piece of sinew and made it feel as if it was so close to my heart. Redbush has always been my favourite among the young males, ever since I have been old enough to start noticing men. Only he could have gifted me with that maelstrom of emotion.
I hold my dress together and walk back home. Mother sighs at the destruction and I claim a tree attacked, the branches catching and ripping the shoulder as I had pulled away. Now I only have one dress.
Later I catch him in the woods with friends, and we walk back to the village together. I can’t get enough of his voice, of his strange sayings. He touches me in odd ways, makes me wonder. I make him laugh once, and am triumphant to have given him something. I want to spend more time with him—just him and me.
* * * *
It’s a few days later before I see him slip off on his hunt. I have sacrificed something—an innocence, perhaps—certainly my dress, which is now tied at the shoulder, barely staying on. Dancing Dawn has been teasing me all morning about it, that bitch. She is friends with Redbush and has the nicest dresses. Her mother and the chief’s wife grew up together, old friends, and Dancing Dawn is friends with Redbush. For his sake, I try to be nice, even though what I really want to do is claw my nails into her face for having the right to touch him. Who knew that getting a man’s attention was as easy as losing part of a dress?
I wish he had ripped it off me completely. It’s a thought that keeps me awake at night. Only now can I admit how much I have wanted him.
I dream of his touch, a fiery ache in my sleep. I wake and want to touch myself. I am different, and often I catch myself with my fingers on my lips, unaware they’re there until I feel the tingle, remember his heat on mine. The gods seem to favour the offer of my maidenhood. Did I not feel something, see a possible glimpse?
And really, I want to feel them again—those dizzying sweet sensations, those drops in time that feel as though they last forever, yet pass too quickly. I want to see things, to know. I want more than a vision, too quick to glimpse.
I want him. To hear him laugh. To listen as he talks. For us to just be together.
After watching Redbush go, I quickly grab my things and follow. The trail winds away through the prairie and to the woods. He has taken the fork that doesn’t go past the river. This one goes to the base of the mountains, and probably up into them. I see his moccasin prints for a while before the trail fades away, lost in grass and rocks.
Only hunters leave the grasslands. The woods can harbour bears and mountain cats, and most women never leave the small area around our teepees. Only with a hunter’s strong arms around me would I feel safe.
I can’t see him. He is gone. Too fast for me. I stand on the trail, disappointed, with the sweet scent of pine everywhere, the wind in my hair. I am exposed, my dress slipping off my shoulder to hang across my nipples, scratchy and rough. There is a touch of winter in the air, the barest hint of frost. The days are no longer scorching.
I could go hunting myself, but I have no weapons. The only things I can gather are berries—if I weave a basket—but I don’t want to. Or I could gather some more roots for tonight’s stew.
It has taken me hours to follow him that far, and now half a morning has been wasted. With a sigh, I decide to walk back down the trail and to the lake. I see a deer bounce by and think,
If only I had—