"We must travel as though you are mine," Shikar said as he pulled out a leather shirt. He set about the task of remodeling it and a pair of leather boots to fit her.
"I would have called those moccasins, in my day," she spoke, thinking out loud as she watched him cut the leather up with his knife.
"Moc-ca-sins," Shikar repeated slowly.
She smiled. "It was a Native Indian word referring to the things you put on your feet to protect them. We called them shoes or boots ... or sandals ... or slippers." She stopped for a moment, tapping her chin with a finger. "Come to think of it we had a lot of names for that." She laughed. "Then there were all the styles. High heels, flats, wedgies, platforms, flip flops ...."
"And you wonder why we need somebody to explain all these words to us?" He looked up from his task. "Who were they, these Native Indians?" He repeated the word several times liking the way it felt on his tongue.
She thought for a moment before she answered his question. Shikar had a point. How could any of them know what wedgie meant? "They were the original people of a land before another race came and settled." Sabol hoped she had explained it clearly enough. She added, "Just as you are the native to this land, the ...," she groped to remember who he had said came from the stars, "Rounairians are the new comers."
"Then you would be a native and I would be the newcomer." Shikar handed her the leather shirt to put on. She looked around for somewhere to change. She moved to the back of his horse, deciding its rear quarters sufficed as a screen.
"In a way you're right, but I'm the newcomer since I do not know the ways of your people," she said, coming out from behind the great beast. The tunic he had altered came down to her knees. She felt like a child playing dress-up.
She thought about discarding her shirt and jeans. The last pair of jeans known to mankind, she thought as she held them. No way! She might need them later. She folded her clothes and placed them in Shikar's leather bag then put on the leather slippers Shikar tossed to her. He loosened the ties of the shirt and placed her pendant beneath the leather. Her senses were acutely aware that his fingers brushed her skin gently.
"The Amberfire will give you away." He then circled her waist with a leather strap to act as a belt. Sabol held her breath at his nearness.
He pulled her closer than he intended and her body stiffened against his on contact. Sabol looked up at him with a heart beating wildly. She was about to say something when his lips captured hers, causing her words to die caught in her throat. Her hands caught his face not wanting him to retreat.
Shikar drank in her earthy scent. His senses reeled as though he had consumed too much Mantra Ale. His overwhelming need to taste served only to whet his appetite for more instead of sate the craving. He moaned when she melted into his body with her soft frame while her arms went about his neck.
Sabol felt something deep within her awaken. It spread throughout her body. It was a warm sensation that intensified as his hand stroked the small of her back. It became an unbearable craving. She ached for his hands to caress her skin. She desperately needed to feel his touch, his body and his kiss upon her to satisfy the fires of her primal want.
As quickly as the kiss began, however, Shikar abruptly pulled away and moved past her. It left her confused and dazed momentarily.
"I am sorry," he said without looking at her. "I had no right to do such a thing."
Sabol stood trying to catch her ragged breath and gain control of her awakened body. Everything from her heart to her limbs was reeling from the effects of his kiss, She didn't want to hear it. It would only infuriate her.
"Don't apologize." Her voice was husky and eyes still smoldering.
"It will never occur again."
"You kiss me like that, and then tell me it will never happen again?" Sabol's desire instantly sparked into frustrated anger.
"It is not my place as your guardian."
"And where exactly is your place?" She asked through gritted teeth. Her body was still tingling from his touch. This only maddened her more so.
"In front of you or behind you but never at your side." He answered harshly reminding himself of his place.