Barbarian's Mate(7)

By: Ruby Dixon


And I could not bear to have my mate’s hatred. Already the desire to please her floods through my body and my mind, the need to care for her and make her happy foremost in my thoughts.

I nod slowly. “It will be as you say. I will not touch you until you ask me.”

She bares her teeth at me, furious. “You think I’m going to come to you begging for you to touch me? You have another think coming to you, buddy.”

I tilt my head. Why does everything I say enrage her? “You say you want to wait. I will leave it in your hands.”

“Don’t throw this all on me! You mean to tell me that if I said ‘go ahead’, you’d toss me down on your furs right this moment? Me?”

“Of course.” I am puzzled by the question. Why does she think there is a choice? “The khui has decided. It does not matter what I want.” Nor does it matter that the thought of touching her makes my cock ache, or even the sight of her makes my blood pound in my veins. Already I cannot separate my need for Jo-see from the resonance. She is my mate, therefore she is mine.

Nothing else matters.

She throws her hands in the air. “I’m done here.” She turns to walk away.


“Where are you going?” Her soft mane brushes over her shoulders and my fingers itch to grab a handful of it, to pull her back against my body and bury my face against her soft skin. Everything I am rebels against the thought of her walking away without fulfilling resonance. I clutch at the wall again for support.

“Away,” she says, and there’s desperation in her voice. She hugs her small body and doesn’t turn to look at me. “Say nothing of this, all right? I’m sure it’ll come out eventually but…I just need time.”

And because she is already my mate, I can refuse her nothing. “Very well.”

Jo-see leaves my den and it feels as if a fire has gone out the moment she disappears from sight. I am filled with a keen sense of loss so great that it staggers me. The ache in my body has not decreased, and my khui’s song seems to have a lonely sound to it before it stills in my chest. It is as if it misses its mate as well. I stagger to my furs and drop to my knees, tearing at the ties to my loincloth and leggings.

If she will not let me touch her, my hand will have to do for now. Yet even as I pull my cock free and take it in my grip, I know it will not be enough.

It is never enough.





3





JOSIE


I sleep in Chompy’s cave that night. It’s not that I wouldn’t be welcome back in my own cave, but Tiff and Salukh are probably having a throw-down to end all throw-downs and I don’t want to listen to it. Not tonight, not when my body’s freshly aching and full of need from my own resonance. I could stay at someone else’s cave, too, but that would involve questions I don’t want to answer. I hug the furry dvisti close and let it lick the salty tears off my cheeks.

Tonight, I’ll let myself cry. Tomorrow is a new day.

When I wake up the next morning, I’m a little disoriented. The smell of fresh dvisti poop far too close nearby reminds me of where I spent the night, and I crawl out from under the borrowed fur blanket and stretch. My entire body feels feverish, and when I press my thighs together, my pussy feels wet. Well, isn’t that just ducky. I suck it up, because I’m done crying over my lot. I’ll figure something out. Somehow.

The rest of the cave is busy, and I can hear the sounds of people rushing around. I fold up the blanket and open the pen so I can get out. Chompy pushes his way past my legs and bounce-trots away, likely to find his favorite person, Farli. The thing’s more loyal - and more smelly - than a dog. Cute, though. It’s hard to be sad watching his fuzzy butt bound away, and my mood lightens a little.

“Where’s Josie?” I hear Tiffany ask. “Is she packing?”

I emerge into the main cave and there’s a flurry of people cramming stuff into baskets, packing sleds, and adjusting backpacks. Looks like I slept late. Today, we’re taking the hike back to the main cave and reuniting with the rest of the tribe. I should be excited. I can’t wait to hold all the babies and talk with all my friends again, but my mind is on other things.

Against my better judgment, I glance around the cave, looking for a familiar pair of horns, dark blue skin, and a surly attitude. I don’t see him anywhere, though, and I feel a pang of disappointment, though I’m pretty sure that’s just my cootie reminding me of what it wants.

“There you are,” Tiffany says, and hurries over to me with a backpack and my fur wraps. Hers is already strapped to her back and she’s wearing her traveling furs. “Come on. We’re not dragging sleds so we need to hurry up and move ahead with the hunters. They’re waiting on us.”