A vignette following my historical romance, Tiopa Ki Lakota. Anpo returns home and expresses her joy to Ketlin after their separation.
Anpo restrained a smile as she rode her pony into the village. She had been away for four days, talking with a man who had three wives, none of who worked well together. As wicakte, two-spirited, gifted with both masculine and feminine traits, Anpo was able to speak with the man about things his wives could not. She explained how women looked at the world, how they reacted to his demands and desires, and how his future interactions with his wives could make life easier for all. Whether or not her counseling would result in an easier life for all of them was up to the man and his wives. She had done what any good wicakte must do.
Now she returned home, and the sun had not reached its zenith in the summer sky. She did not speak in response to greetings from her family and friends. They had long since become used to her laconic ways, a result of the terrible separation she had endured while among the whites. They called and waved, and Anpo waved in greeting. Her sharp eye caught a glimpse of her son, Teca, as he darted into a thicket of heavy grass. He was joined by a handful of hoksila his age, intent on some game or other. His behavior reminded Anpo of her youth, leading a pack of boys in all manner of mischief. In a few more winters, he would begin behaving as a man instead of a boy, and she wondered what kind of man he would become.
She approached her woman’s ti ikceya, pleased to see Kathleen beside the fire. Only now did Anpo pause, sitting straight to signal her horse to halt. From a distance of a few lengths she watched her woman, basking in the glow of sunlight upon yellow hair.
Kathleen ground grain into flour. She sat with legs wide, her leather dress hiked up to her thighs to accommodate the position. Between her legs lay a flat rock, concave from many winters of use. She worked back and forth over the grain with another rock, the muscles in her arms flexing with her exertions. Her skin was a deep golden brown, even on her thighs, contrasting the luminescent flesh Anpo knew lay hidden beneath the cuwignaka.
Anpo watched until her woman sensed the audience. Kathleen looked up from her task, brushing a stray bit of hair from her forehead. When she spotted Anpo, she smiled, her face lighting with the same joy the wicakte felt in her heart at their reunion. The white woman set aside her grinding stones and rose. Anpo caught a flash of skin, white where sun peeked at Kathleen’s intimate area before the dress fell to its natural length.
She urged her pony forward, coming up beside the fire rather than dismount as she normally would. At Kathleen’s questioning look, she made the sign for silence, not wanting to break the spell of their encounter with common greetings. Instead, she reached down and grasped her woman’s hand, pulling her onto the pony and into her lap. Once Kathleen was comfortably ensconced, Anpo took the reins and guided the pony back out of the village.
Nuzzling the blonde hair, Anpo ignored the ribald remarks of various warriors they passed. She could see Kathleen’s skin redden, her white upbringing causing her to feel embarrassment for what Anpo considered a natural course of life and love. Her woman was no longer among her people, however, and Anpo had learned to refuse to let Kathleen’s inhibited values interfere with their lives. The last time that had happened, it had almost destroyed both of them.
She urged the pony into a run as soon as they were away from the village. Kathleen gasped and held onto Anpo’s arm and shoulder to keep from falling, though the wicakte’s arms safely surrounded her. Anpo enjoyed this closeness, her body tingling where it brushed against Kathleen’s, waking from its forced slumber of leave-taking. She had been offered one of the man’s wives during her time away, but could only think of returning to the winyan ska she called wife.
The smell of water roused her from her preoccupation, and she slowed the pony until it walked. Anpo kept one hand around Kathleen’s waist, guiding her mount with the other as they dipped into a hollow along a slow moving river. Shade from a thick stand of trees made the small spit of sand cool in the summer heat. At the edge between sand and grass, Anpo stopped the horse and helped Kathleen dismount, following close on her heels. Unwilling to release her, she took the woman’s hand, deftly tying the reins to a branch with the other.
Now unencumbered with friends, family, or ponies, Anpo turned her full attention to Kathleen. Deep blue eyes met hers, sparking with a cool fire she recognized. Smiling, pleased Kathleen still did not speak, Anpo walked backwards, drawing her wife along until they stood at the edge of the river. The currents and erosion had created a shallow pool here, a sand and gravel shoal that swirled lazily without the force of water pushing downstream a few lengths away.
Anpo leaned in close, her cheek lightly brushing Kathleen’s, inhaling deeply. She smelled the rich odor of her woman – salty from the sweat of her exertions, smoke from the cook fire, and an herbal undertone from the unguent she used to combat insects. Overlaying these scents were those of water, soil, a breath of beech wood, and Anpo’s natural smell. She closed her eyes, sinking into the familiar, finally allowing herself to experience her true homecoming. She did not know when things had changed, when her home no longer consisted of her fire, her parents, her friends and family. Not even Teca held the same level of sense of self that Kathleen did.
But now was not the time to think. She had brought her woman to the river for one purpose, to rejoice at the end of their separation in the ways of a joined couple, to celebrate the sharing of life and love.
Anpo stepped back, a smile on her face. She untied the belt at Kathleen’s waist, drawing it away, letting it fall to the dry sand. Her hands traced from jaw to throat, from shoulders and along bare arms to the hidden waist beneath the now formless dress, over the swell of hips, and down to the hem of the cuwignaka. She squatted before her wife, caressing the skin of her ankles and calves. Then she stood, bringing the leather up with her, baring legs and buttocks and belly in her wake. Kathleen raised her hands, and Anpo slid further, past the soft skin of breasts, and up the tender undersides of her arms until she held the dress in her hands.
Knowing her woman well after ten winters, Anpo paused to carefully fold the garment before setting it aside. She wanted no distractions from Kathleen, and carelessness with her clothing would constitute such an act. They shared a momentary smile, both knowing the true reason for Anpo’s consideration.
Then Anpo’s eyes followed the well-worn path of Kathleen’s body. Golden skin faded to white at her neck, a not quite abrupt shift where the loose collar of her cuwignaka occasionally allowed a peek of sunlight. Yellow braids, wrapped in rabbit fur and tied with red cords, dangled past her breasts and to her waist, a bright contrast to the paleness of her flesh. In ten years, her body had changed, as had Anpo’s. Kathleen’s belly was no longer flat as it had been upon their first meeting. Instead, it curved outward, a reminder of pregnancy and childbirth. Her breasts had remained heavier after Teca’s birth, her thighs becoming thicker and stronger from traveling on horseback and foot through the summers. A yellow patch of hair still hid a treasure Anpo could not live without.
Kathleen was as breathtaking as she had been when Anpo had first laid eyes on her.
Anpo quickly shed her shirt, leaving her in her loincloth and moccasins. Her negligence as she tossed the item to the ground earned her a vague disapproving croon, but otherwise Kathleen did not speak or move. Anpo’s smile became mischievous, though she did not stop to correct her imprudence. Instead, she took her woman’s hands in her own, and led her into the pool.
Cool water swirled about their ankles, soaking their moccasins, but the leather would protect them from any sharp rocks. She sensed Kathleen’s shiver, and continued into the water as it rose to cover their calves and then their thighs. When the water reached the bottom level of her loincloth, Anpo stopped. She had left it on for a reason. Her desire was not to experience the tender loving of her wife, her mahasanni; Anpo wanted to feel the chill waters on Kathleen’s skin, to feel the heated waters of her woman’s arousal on her own. She wanted to drink deeply of that heat, bathe in it, and refill herself after her absence.
She released Kathleen’s hands, bending slightly to reach the water. Anpo cupped her palms, scooped the river away from its bed, and brought it up to caress her woman’s skin. The water left itself in a glistening wake, a thin sheen of moisture marking its passage. As she continued wetting Kathleen, she watched with fascination as the skin pebbled in response. Anpo circled, making certain every bit of flesh received attention. Kathleen’s graceful neck arched in enjoyment, and she shivered again. River water sped fast over her shoulder blades, slowing at the base of her spine, rolled over the curve of her buttocks, and burrowed into the cleft there.
A fat drop coursed down Kathleen’s chest, stopping poised at the tip of a puckered nipple. Anpo watched for a long moment, suddenly thirsty. She bent, and used her tongue to catch the water as it released its hold, barely brushing Kathleen’s skin in the process. When she resumed the bathing, she finally touched her woman, following the path of the river, forging her own. She continued to circle, neglecting nothing as she felt the contrast of cool water and warm flesh against her hands.
Anpo admired Kathleen, worshipped her. She caressed upper arms, cupped smooth shoulder blades, followed the spine hidden beneath flesh with her thumbs. She massaged the stiff muscles of Kathleen’s lower back, receiving a sigh that was audible over the gurgle of water. Again Anpo wondered if perhaps her woman had too much work, considered the option of bringing another woman to her fire to help. But the thought flickered away, replaced by far more important concerns. She stepped forward, felt Kathleen lean back into her. Anpo’s skin sang at the contact, and she closed her eyes to better listen to her body as it reveled in coming home.
Her fingers dipped in water as she caressed Kathleen’s flanks, feeling them quiver like a yearling horse being tamed for the first time. She smiled, bringing her hands forward, sliding along upper thighs, barely brushing the crisp curls with her thumbs. She traveled, palms flat, across the rounded belly and encircled her woman in her arms at the thickening waist. Kathleen’s arms settled on hers, and they remained there, hugging as a bird called from a nearby tree and the world continued on without them. Where they were pressed together, Anpo’s body rejoiced in the contact. Her now sensitive nipples ached for more, but she ignored her physical demands, other desires foremost upon her mind.
Among her people, men had little to do with a woman’s breasts in matters of intimacy. A child suckled there; a man did not need suckling, did not want it. Anpo, however, was wicakte. Her body was feminine, though she embodied the spiritual aspects of both genders. She understood the true nature of a woman’s need, and had little qualm in ignoring the standard practice of men. Anpo relaxed her embrace, slipping out from beneath Kathleen’s arms. She cupped her woman’s breasts, welcoming the weight of them, the feel of them as she gave a gentle squeeze.
Kathleen finally found her voice. She moaned, leaning further back, her head braced by Anpo’s shoulder behind her. Anpo could see the muscles of Kathleen’s arms flex as she hugged herself tighter, could feel Kathleen’s buttocks pressing against her thighs. Hard nubs pushed against her hands, and Anpo squeezed again, rolling swollen nipples between her fingers, knowing from personal experience the sharp arousal that stabbed through Kathleen’s body as a result. Her wife whimpered, no longer able to remain still. Anpo watched as golden hands caressed pale skin. One slipped over hers in an effort to provoke more massage, and Anpo wrapped their fingers together before complying.
Kathleen sagged a bit in her arms, her chest moving rapidly with her labored breathing. Anpo debated taking them further into the water, where they would be buoyed by the waves. But the water was cooler than she would like, and she decided against it. She released Kathleen’s hand and breasts, pausing only long enough to encourage her to continue fondling herself. Wrapping one arm around her woman’s belly to support her, Anpo dipped into the water and began bathing Kathleen anew. She followed the path of wetness with firm strokes, pulling away just enough to also pay homage to Kathleen’s back.
Her woman’s panting and gentle moans became stronger, enticing Anpo to do what was necessary to elicit more. She cupped Kathleen’s behind, slipping down the crease, feeling damp heat against her fingertips. Here the consistency was thicker than water, slick and inviting. Anpo closed her eyes, lost in the sensation of Kathleen’s flesh closing around her fingers, the different texture of skin coupled with the heavy evidence of arousal. She found Kathleen’s san, and dipped two of her fingers inside once, twice, three times. The woman shuddered, groaning as she tilted her hips, wanting more. Anpo’s fingers eased out, resulting in a disapproving croon that made her smile. She slid her hand forward, teasing Kathleen’s sex as she began kissing the lithe neck.
Anpo continued her attentions along pale skin, eventually pulling away from her woman’s body to reach more. She squatted in the water, hands braced on wide hips to support herself against the gentle waves in which she submerged. Here she lavished equal adoration, licking and kissing, smelling the unmistakable odor of Kathleen’s ardor only inches away. She nibbled a particularly succulent bit of flesh, feeling her woman partially turn, and looked up to see sultry blue eyes watching her. Anpo nipped a little harder, smiling as Kathleen’s face contorted with pleasure.
She stood, water dripping down her half nude body, the leather of her loincloth cool against her desire. With her hands, she turned Kathleen; with her lips and tongue, she adored her. Their first kiss in four days felt as if it had been uncounted winters since their last. They tasted one another with eagerness, opening to the familiar swirl of tongues, seeking to convey without words the joy of their reunion. Anpo’s breasts fit neatly over Kathleen’s, and her arms circled her wife’s body, cuddling, protective, enamored of the erotic sensations coursing through her blood.
Breaking away, hoarse breathing echoed by her woman, Anpo continued her attentions, her hands and mouth roaming restlessly. Kathleen tasted of the river, chill water mixed with the salt of her skin. As Anpo caressed her woman with her mouth, following the curve of her delicate throat, biting and suckling aching breasts, she squatted in the waters once more. She gave Kathleen’s flesh her undivided attention, her hands firm in their caresses along sides and thighs, the small of her woman’s back and flanks.
Kathleen was not idle. She touched everywhere she could reach as Anpo covered her with kisses. Finally, as Anpo nuzzled dusty yellow curls, Kathleen’s hands rested on her shoulders, restlessly stroking through thick black hair.
The smell of her wife was strong now, a rich aroma of lust that never failed to excite Anpo. She licked her lips in anticipation as she rubbed her cheek against the crisp hair guarding Kathleen’s sex. She ducked a little further, water slipping over her shoulder as she eased sideways between Kathleen’s legs, forcing them further apart, but not enough to compromise either of their balance. Closing her eyes, she inhaled deep of Kathleen’s essence before parting the delicate folds with her tongue.
Her woman gasped aloud, clutching at her shoulder. Pleased by the response, Anpo’s touch became more forceful, enjoying the adventure as she explored every crevice, reacquainted herself with every sensation. She basked in the arousal of her mahasanni, her second skin, sliding along Kathleen’s essence.
Kathleen’s cries were louder now, silencing the birds in the trees, her voice singing a passionate song that had no words, no meaning other than the love she held for Anpo and the nearing ecstasy that threatened to overwhelm her. Anpo, after carefully paying homage to every bit of her woman’s sex, narrowed her focus, concentrating on the distended bundle of nerves hidden beneath a protective hood. She gently suckled, receiving sustenance on a spiritual and emotional level as Kathleen’s hips began to move. River water sloshed at the motion, splashing over Anpo’s shoulders as she expertly tongued her woman’s clitoris, bringing her closer to the world of the spirits. One of her hands remained splayed on the back of Kathleen’s hip, guiding her thrusts as well as keeping their balance. With the other, she explored the heated san of her wife, once more filling her with long fingers.
Her mahasanni’s actions became erratic, her voice hoarse, her hands holding Anpo’s head tight against her as she climaxed. Anpo did not stop, continuing to pump her fingers into her woman, loving the sensation of smooth muscles gripping her as Kathleen convulsed in ecstasy. Her wife’s second orgasm seemed stronger than the first, and Anpo let the feel of it flow through her heart as well an over her hands and mouth.
She slowed, carrying Kathleen’s weight on her shoulder as she disengaged from tender flesh. The river was still cool, but she felt hot, knowing her woman was sweating from her exertions. When Kathleen seemed able to support herself, Anpo eased out from between shaking legs and stood. A gentle breeze chilled her skin but did nothing to extinguish the fire in her soul. She gathered Kathleen into her arms, holding her close for long moments.
“Welcome home, love.”