Phoenix sat working on the beading as Dancing Bear came back with Little Deer and Rose. She was happy that she hadn’t spilled fresh blood yet.
“It looks so good!” Little Deer gushed, sitting next to her on the stool. “Do you know how you’re going to finish it yet?”
“No idea. What’s your suggestion?”
“Depends on what you expect him to use it for. Is he to wear it like regalia?”
“I don’t know… I’ve not really thought that far ahead.”
“We can finish it with leather to wear or maybe felt instead… Felt, we can just glue and it would be done really quickly.”
“Quickly would be good. I want to give it to him tomorrow.”
“Then, gluing felt is probably the best option. I’ll choose a piece to match the sky, if that seems best to you.”
“Sounds good,” Phoenix replied, glad to leave some of the choices to someone else. She set another row of beads in oranges and yellows. “I’m going to be so glad to finish this, but I almost want to start another one right away! Maybe a bracelet for Skye.”
“Great idea! I’ll show you how to use a loom,” Little Deer volunteered.
Phoenix pricked her finger in her excitement. “Ow!”
“Pay more attention, my dear friend!”
“Yeah… Maybe I will put off more beading for a little while… at least until I get moved into my house.”
“You’re going to get to move in already?!” Little Deer asked.
“Next week, from what I’ve been hearing. I won’t believe it until it happens.”
“Disappointments make it hard, huh?”
“Yep. Planning is all well and good – until something goes wrong – makes you look like an idiot. So, yeah, I’ll wait until I have the all clear from your father. That’s when I’ll be excited.”
“While I understand you, I also think it’s sad that you’ve been so let down that you can’t plan ahead now. So, let’s plan ahead… We’re going to the Coast together next year, what do you think?!”
“Yes! I think we need to do just that, Deheyi! After my ex is no longer looking for me…”
“I forgot about that...”
“Woxi wants me to go to Rawlins with the guys on Monday… I know it’s silly, but I’m scared of running into my ex.”
“I’ll dye your hair on Saturday then! He would never recognize you like you are now – confident, beautiful…”
“He shouldn’t be in Wyoming, of course…, but it doesn’t stop me worrying.”
“You’ll be fine. For one thing, you won’t be alone. The guys will defend you – with any force that is required too.”
“I am grateful. Maybe I can relax and no longer be afraid.”
“This is why you are here – so you never have to be afraid again! But first, you need to stop being afraid of offending my brother.”
“I will give him this tomorrow, I promise. After that, the ball is back in his court. There’s nothing more I can do.” Phoenix sighed and picked up some more beads on her needle.
“I’ll take Rose and Dove out to the park for awhile, if that’s okay. I’ll bring the felt when I come back.”
“Thank you. I want to get this done.”
“Clouds stacking up outside,” Jade Wolf said, coming in. Phoenix looked up from putting lunch together for everyone. She was surprised to see him as she hadn’t heard the knock. It had been a number of days since she’d seen him.
“Has Nighthawk seen the clouds? They were putting glass in today, I seem to remember,” Dancing Bear asked, coming in.
“I believe so,” he replied. “Not a moment too soon if the clouds are any indication.”
“Early for thunderstorms.”
“Are they a cause for concern?” Phoenix asked, thinking of her girls – Skye in school and Rose at the park.
“Not generally, but they can cause flash flooding or even tornadoes – though the latter isn’t too likely this early in the season. One of the reasons we went with earthships here is because they are less tornado prone – they mimic small hills. Tornadoes like to bounce off,” Dancing Bear answered, leaving the room for a minute, then coming back with her light coat, more like a poncho in a colorful tribal print.
“You’re going out?”
“Groceries. Won’t be able to do that when the clouds take over,” she replied and left.
Phoenix finished preparing sandwiches, then grabbed her mug of lukewarm tea and went into the living room to rest her sore ankle, her crutches lying next to the couch. She would finish her beading tonight, then put the backing on.
Jade Wolf sat next to her. “You’ve done so very well,” he crooned.
Phoenix realized what he was doing. She knew he was not safe to love, yet she couldn’t help feeling the tingles between her legs as he sat close to her. She wasn’t an innocent underage girl. She knew! But had she truly gotten over the idea of loving him? Maybe not. He was warm and with her, Sage Eagle was not.
His lips pressed against her neck and moved forward. “Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten,” he murmured before taking her lips.
No, Phoenix had not forgotten! Especially with him giving her a fresh reminder.
Slowly, she felt herself lowering onto the couch until she was under Jade Wolf’s lustful body. She felt the bulge against her a moment before her pants were lowered from her hips, and his hand pressed between her thighs. He was going to make love to her!
“No!” Phoenix cried out, pushing him away. “You’re not doing this to me!”
“But Phoenix, you’re wet and needy,” he crooned, his hand quickly finding and stroking her intimacy. “You need relief… loving.”
“Not from you!” Phoenix growled, pushing him away with both feet. “Not unless you plan to marry me first! I have heard all about your exploits!”
“Sage Eagle will never be man enough to have you!” Jade Wolf growled in retaliation. “You may as well let me!” He moved closer again, his hands going to the front of his pants.
Him saying that angered her. How dare he say such a thing about Sage Eagle! Phoenix kicked him, hard. “No! I’m not some underage girl to exploit! I’m not afraid of you, Hooxa!”
“Kwitta!” he swore, retreating as Phoenix quickly adjusted her clothing back to decency. “You know nothing!” he grunted. “Nothing about me… nothing about Ba’a O’ng or the Neme’o’ng… Sage Eagle was right. He warned me!” He quickly left the earthship.
Phoenix feared he would tell Sage Eagle about what had happened – that she wasn’t willing to let Jade Wolf make love to her. She had refused the first handsome native to make her feel desirable!
Her ankle throbbed from fighting him off and kicking him. The tears flooded her eyes as the first large drops of rain struck the greenhouse glass windows.
Back to the prologue
Available to purchase at Books2Read. Print version will be available soon.
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Previous Swan Valley Stories:
- Native Concession either in ebook form or [print]( . (June 2014, approximately 9 months before Phoenix.)
Swan Valley is a fictitious American Indian reservation located in the Great Divide Basin of Wyoming, USA. The Neme'o'ng (Swan People) are based on the idea of blending the Shoshoni and Arapaho peoples - as might have happened if they were stranded in a desolate area as a small band of misfits. I have developed their language from the same ideas.
Please read my note on romance, teenage intimate relationships and underage sex. I apologize if my understanding conflicts with your sense of morality, but I'm only looking at things realistically, not ideologically. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing!
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