Brought together by tragic circumstances, separated by misunderstanding and now brought back together by young love Running Wolf, Chief of the Arapahos and his Little Bear, the white woman his people took in as a child must find a way back to each and the people they both love. But at what price? Can their love survive their people the whites and destiny of being a Warrior Woman?
There was silence for a long moment and just when Little Bear was about to speak Running Wolf turned to face her. The heated look he gave her sent pure heat rushing through her body. For an instant she thought the cabin was on fire. He had never looked at her that way before.
With one swift move he joined her on the floor and sat in front of her. If she did not know any better she would think he was a real wolf and not the man she loved with all her heart.The buffalo robe was thrown over her head to land on the bed behind her.
"Courting you is not what I intend to do."he said then hauled her against him as his mouth ground into hers. Her body felt like it went up in flames.
He had never done this before. In seconds the blankets she was using to dry her hair and her buffalo robe were gone and she sat in front of him stark naked. He groaned as he felt her naked flesh against his shirt. He pulled her closer. His hands were everywhere as his tongue and teeth ravaged her mouth. Before she knew it she was on her back and he was moving on top of her.His mouth moved to her neck.
"Wolf."she breathed unable to believe what he was doing.
"I want you."he whispered in a voice she did not think was his at first. It was horse and raspy as if something was caught in his throat.
"Now?'she questioned as his hands found and squeezed her breasts.
"Yes. Now. Right now."he answered in that strange new voice.
"Are you sure?"she asked uncertain.
His response was to crush his mouth to hers again. She heard nothing more then. Not from him or from her own thoughts.
The morning sun began it's ascent over the horizon as one lone rider made his way slowly across the plain. The sun's rays beat down on his raven black hair as he rode toward the ridge that would take him the last few miles home. Home, he thought, it had been only a few days but a few days too long to be away from his mother and people; especially his mother. He always missed her the most when he was away. He figured it was because hers was the first face he saw when he returned and the last he saw when he left. He hated leaving her but as Chief of his people it was his duty to protect them. This trip was to ensure once again that the land the white man allowed them to live on was still their home. Luckily no treaty was broken from the latest infraction with the soldiers at the nearby trading post. He had met with Colonel Stateman himself to ensure all was alright. He laughed to himself that his mother would be glad to hear all was well as she would be furious if it were not.
Little Bear had a history with the hated Colonel. A history she neither liked to recall or discuss. The Colonel had on several occasions tried, though unsuccessfully, to convince his mother that she belonged back with her own people and not on some reservation with heathen Indians.
But Little Bear had made her choice and it neither included the Colonel or the world she had left behind. She was one of the people whether her white skin told different or not, it was an acceptance she had fought for most of her life. She had always believed in her heart that she was one of the people and now she was accepted as one as if she had been born with dark skin instead of white.
He stopped the stallion on top of the ridge to give the animal a little rest before slowly descending, down the other side. He had ridden the horse hard all night long in an attempt to get home as soon as he could. After he had finished his meeting with Stateman he had made camp outside the fort to try and get some sleep before heading out for the reservation. His sleep however had been short as his dreams were filled with images that disturbed him. A great desire to return to home and his mother filled him. He had not liked the way she was when he left. She did not give him specific words to say to Stateman as she had the last time he saw the man. He found that strange because Little Bear hated Stateman with a passion and he knew why.
Lawrence Stateman had kidnapped her from her beloved husband, the Arapahos chief. Once Stateman had her he used the chief's rescue of her as a reason to start a war with the Indians. She knew too her kidnapping was a ruse to get the Arapahos chief out in the open for no one ever saw the famous warrior or even knew who he was. He had always felt that it would hurt the people if his identity was ever known.
Little Bear rarely had anything good to say about the white people of her birth and most especially the Colonel. He understood that perfectly because he hated the man himself and refused to trust him. None of his people trusted him or the white man. None of the tribes ever had. 3
He dismounted his horse as he reached the small creek at the entrance to the Arapahos camp within the reservation. Luckily no enemy tribes were living on the reservation all due to his mother's intervention with the white man. She used the color of her skin to help the people and over the years she had been of great assistance where the white man was concerned. She had convinced the General at Fort Laramie that putting Crow and Pawnee on Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahos land would be trouble and if in fact they did try to put them on the same land she'd be the one leading the fighting. Of course the General knew she meant it and not wanting to give the papers or Washington any reason for interference decided that the best thing was to make the once Arapahos Chieftess happy. It was a wise decision on the Army's part and a separate reservation were set some fifty miles away from Arapahos land.
That was not the first time that Little Bear had made her son proud of her. In fact Little Eagle respected her so much at times it worried him that the other warriors still thought he relied on his mother to make decisions for the tribe. Of course he did not but in secret he always asked her thoughts and opinions on most matters. She enjoyed the talk of circles that she had at one time had a voice in and he was pleased that she was happy.
She had trained him well along with the other council members but upon his fifteenth summer she stepped down from her temporary role as chief in union with the elders and let her son take his rightful place as chief. A place he was born for.
He took the reins of the stallion he had named Wolf though only his mother knew he named him in honor of his father. It was forbidden to mention the name of the dead, except when telling of his or her deeds and life story around the ceremonial fire or fires gathering for such purpose. With these rare exceptions the Arapahos dead were sacred and it was considered dishonorable to them and believed to interrupt their journey on the Spirit road. But being half white his blood called him to honor his father and he did so. Some may have suspected his reason for naming his horse thus but their love and respect for Little Bear kept any suspicions at rest. They did accept, and it was true, that Little Eagle had a vision. The vision had given him the name of his horse as well as confirmed the spirits wanted his birth name of Little Eagle to remain his warrior name. But he did not reveal all of his vision to his people only to his mother. Little Eagle believed the vision was given to him from his father. His choice of Wolf for his stallion was a message from his father for protection in this life and would one day lead him to the spirit world and reunite him with his father. His mother believed this too.
Little Bear spoke of her late husband often but never to anyone other than Little Eagle and never where anyone could hear. Little Eagle also knew she thought and dreamed of him all the time. But never did he reveal her secret for he would never wish to bring shame to her. He understood that even though she knew the ways of the people forbid it she was also white and the white world grieved all their lives for a spouse who died. In truth he would not have it any other way for he was proud of his white heritage as well as his Arapahos and he too grieved for the father he never knew.
As horse and rider walked through the creek all you could hear was the hooves of the stallion through the water. The camp was abuzz with activity as it was every morning. Braves and young warriors attended the horses while many of the warriors who had just arrived from an early morning hunt took their captured prey to the women to prepare. Young girls played games in front of their lodges while the women not preparing the day's catch did various chores around the camp.
He saw her long before he made his way to his lodge in the center of the camp, although he would have known where she was even without looking for her. She sat on a pile of buffalo robes in front of their lodge. She looked radiant sitting in the morning sun with its rays shining down on her long blonde hair now tinted with streaks of white. She was sitting very still and was looking in his direction. He suddenly became concerned for if she was seeing him she had not made a move to acknowledge him and this was not like her. He would soon have his answer as he slowly walked to his lodge after giving Wolf to one of the young braves.
"My love…." Little Bear whispered as he approached. The sun blocked his face although she'd know him anywhere. His long black hair, powerful body and strong legs were etched in her memory from her childhood. She had waited so long for his return.
"Mother!" Little Eagle replied in a warning tone to her words.
He knew long before her words that it was not him she saw though she was looking right at him. Her mind saw another. One she knew she was forbidden to speak of. He smiled as he saw her come out of her day dream and recognize him. He could never stay mad at her but he only hoped that if anyone heard they ignored her words. However, no one did hear.
He should have known her thoughts were on him. She'd had been sitting out here every day for months waiting for the man she loved. It was not that she was waiting for death but she truly believed he would come back for her.
After she'd lost him at Little Big Horn she had a vision that he would come for her when it was time and for the last few months she said, much to Little Eagle's displeasure, that the time was close. She also believed the warriors motto that today was a good day to die. And, he had to remind himself she was after all a warrior; the only woman ever to be honored as one. "I'm sorry my son. You just look so much like you...
"Mother, don't. Remember...
"Of course I remember. I can't help it, the time is coming you know." Little Bear retorted, causing Little Eagle to laugh at the fact that she was as feisty as ever. The smiled quickly faded as her words sank in.
"Yes you've told me. But I don't like this anymore now than I did then. Now come inside it's too hot out here." he said no longer enjoying this little talk.
"Nonsense, besides you need to be with the council they're waiting for you. You don't need to be here in idle chatter with an old woman." Little Bear stated. Little Eagle laughed out loud.
"Oh please mother. The one thing you're not is an old woman. No one would dare call you old. Not their beloved Chieftess. Really." Little Eagle laughed sitting beside her.
"Funny Eagle I still cannot bring myself to accept that term. I mean what is a chieftess anyway. I only did what your fa...what the people needed. You were too young to take care of the tribe and who better to teach you than the wife of a chief."
"They love you mother as do I. Now come inside it's blazing out here." Eagle said.
"Blazing? Eagle it's not even midday yet. You young ones are spoiled. Why I had done three times the work you all do by this time."
"Yes I know between going out before dawn with the hunting party, preparing the food with the women, sitting with the council, going on war parties...
Little Bear reached over and swatted his arm.
"Are you making fun of your mother? Just because you're chief don't think I can't take a stick to you." Little Bear said smiling.
"Make fun of you never. I've only heard these stories for twenty two summers."
"Don't tease me. Besides soon it will be you telling my story around the fires and yes I'm going to break a sacred rule now in saying his name for soon you will tell the great Running Wolf's story too around all the fires. Do make us proud son for it will be up to you to keep our spirits remembered around these fires."
"Yes mother I'm very proud of both my parents as well as both my heritages."
"He would have been pleased I sent you back east to get the white man's education. It has served you well in dealing with them. And if you need to you can always go back there."
"No thank you mother, I've had, all of the white man's world, I can take. I much prefer life here among our people. They don't hate the way the white man does. It's so much different and better here." Eagle said looking around over his land.
"Don't be too careful son. The people can hate too just look at me. There was a time I never thought they'd accept me. They're hatred of me was very real. Speaking of that what are you going to do about her?" Little Bear asked as a tall, thin woman appeared coming from the creek. Her long blonde hair hung down her back and glowed in the morning sunlight. Little Eagle had met her while he attended school in the east. Little Bear knew he loved the woman whether her son knew it yet or not. He had been so pleased that she agreed to spend the summer with him on the reservation. But even though she liked the girl, Little Bear was worried for both of them.
"Oh mother old memories plaque you. Everyone loves her." Eagle said.
"Yes but does everyone know of your heart?" Little Bear asked.
"What does my heart have to do with it? They already accept her." Little Eagle questioned.
"Don't be too sure son. Please be careful." Little Bear said worried.
"Mother you worry too much. Remember I'm the son of Running Wolf." he whispered in her ear before rising and walking to the woman. Little Bear watched him go; knowing full well he was his father's son; that's what worried her the most.
Little Eagle pondered his mother's words as he approached Rebecca Albright. Yes the people had accepted her or at least it appeared so, though it matted little to Eagle. As for his heart, he thought to himself as he closed the distance between them, he wasn't sure of his heart. More importantly he was not sure of hers. But he sure intended to find out.
"Your back!" Rebecca said trying not to show too much enthusiasm. Her words were greeted with a smile by Eagle as another woman looked on with a smile and a little worry. The pair never saw her though for they only had eyes for each other. No oneelse seemed to notice.
"Just rode in. You didn't see me?" Eagle asked.
Unable to lie to him she just shook her head no slowly. She had seen him ride in. In fact she'd watched him unable to take her eyes off of him. But she wasn't prepared to tell him that yet.
"How did it go? That is if I can ask?"
"You can ask and it went fine. But I wish I didn't have to go. I don't like that man with all his done to mother." Eagle said.
"I know Eagle but it's important for the survival of your people." Rebecca said.
"Thank you." Eagle said suddenly wanting to take her in his arms.
"Thank me. For what?" Rebecca asked.
"For caring about my people." Eagle said smiling.
"No need. I like your people, especially your mother."
"Oh yes mother. Quite a woman she is. I'm glad you like her she likes you." Eagle said.
"I'm glad. But shouldn't you be meeting with the elders or something. Little Bear said they'd be waiting for you."
Little Eagle smiled before saying, "Something like that. But they can wait. Walk with me?"
At Rebecca's nod Little Eagle took her hand and glancing around the camp led her off toward the creek. Just before they reached the bank he stopped behind the trees and pulled her into his arms. She was taken by surprise at first but when his lips found hers she instantly relaxed in his arms.
A moment later he broke the kiss for both needed to come up for air. But he still held her close.
"I've wanted to do that for days. I had a strange feeling you might have left for home or that mother would have you working your fingers raw by now." Eagle said quietly.
"Neither, Eagle. I'm still here and your mother has been very kind to me. This is my home at least for the summer or till you ask me to leave, whichever comes first." Rebecca said.
Eagle smiled and brushed a strand of blonde hair from her face.
"You're amazing. Who would have thought you'd spent the summer on a real Indian reservation with real Indians no less?" Eagle said.
Rebecca laughed and he pulled her closer.
"Stop teasing me Eagle." she chided.
At that he smiled devilishly then captured her lips in another heated kiss that sent chills down her spine.
"Teasing you? Woman you have not yet begun to be teased." Eagle said then proceeded to tickle her.
Breathless from both the kiss and the tickling she squirmed away from him only to have him grab her again and pull her close this time though he did not tickle her.
"Beck, tell me something. If my people had not accepted you as they have what would you do?" Eagle asked suddenly becoming serious.
"Eagle what's this?" she asked confused.
"Beck what would you do?" he asked again determined.
"Eagle if they did not accept me, and it was important to you to have me be accepted then I'd do everything I could to find favor in their eyes. But why are you bringing this up now?"
"Something mother said. It doesn't matter." Eagle shrugged.
"Eagle you told me your mother had a hard time fitting in here but I never thought it was this bad." Rebecca began.
"But it was Eagle. She told me. But that was a long time ago things may have changed. At least they seem to." Rebecca said before continuing.
"Why are you so worried about this?" Rebecca said wondering why the people's acceptance of her was so important. Little Bear said she would tell her the story of her life with the Arapahos but she never thought it was all that difficult a life. Little Eagle's worry over this concerned and thrilled her at the same time. She had hoped for so long that Eagle loved her but he never said the words and she didn't want to push.
Eagle walked them over to a large rock by the bank and sat her down then joined her. He took a deep breath and tried to find the right words to say.
"Beck, oh how do I say this?"
"Just say it Eagle you don't think I'd fit in here."
"No Beck that's not it. That's not it at all. It's just... it's the difference of life here. I've seen the white world, your world." 8
"It's partly your world to." Rebecca said.
"Yes.. and no. Yes my mother is white but she gave up that world a long time ago and Beck I've seen the world she left I don't want that world. I have no home there. I have a home here and a people that need me to survive this treaty situation not to mention this damn reservation. Do you realize I am chief and I've never been off this land? Never seen the hills my tribe once called home. I belong here Beck, do you understand."
"Yes I do. Eagle do you remember everything I told you about myself?" Rebecca asked taking his hand.
"Of course I do." Eagle said holding the hand she offered tightly.
"Then you know that back there all I have is school and once that is finished I have nothing, no one to go home to as you do. That's the price you pay for being an orphan."
"You have me." Eagle said putting his arm around her.
"Yes thank you. Oh Eagle if your saying we're from two different worlds your wrong." Rebecca said settling into his embrace.
"Am I?" he asked more to himself.
"You don't think so?" she asked turning away as tears formed behind her eyes. She could care less that he was an Indian but obviously, she thought, he doesn't see it that way. Her one hope of having his love seemed to be slipping away. She wondered if Little Bear had felt the same with her Indian love.
"Beck what's wrong?" Eagle asked sensing he'd said something wrong. This wasn't going very well at all, he thought. He was supposed to be finding out if she felt for him what he felt for her but something had gone wrong somewhere. He wondered if his father had this much trouble talking to his mother about his feelings. He sure hoped not for if his father was as big a failure at this then he was it was a wonder that he had ever been born. He couldn't help but think that perhaps it was his father who unwittingly caused the great division between Little Bear and the people. If that was so he vowed he would not repeat that mistake.
When Rebecca didn't answer him he turned her to face him. "Tell me?" he ordered.
Then drew back as he realized he'd never talked to her so harshly before.
"I'm sorry Beck but when you didn't answer me... please tell me what's wrong." Eagle pleaded now feeling quite the little boy.
"Nothing. I'm fine." Rebecca lied.
''Forgive me love if I don't believe you but I know you remember." Eagle said softly. He totally misread the look of surprise on her face at the fact he'd called her love. He'd never said that to her before.
"What did you say?" Rebecca asked unsure she had heard him right.
"Forgive me." he replied. 9
"No... Oh never mind." she said not wanting to put him on the spot.
The look on her face finally broke through and he realized what had caused her changed mood and her question of his words. His mother's earlier words echoed in his mind, did they know his heart. His heart! His mother was right. His heart did have something to do with this. In fact it had everything to do with it for she was his heart. He had never told her this before. All of a sudden he felt like an idiot. Why, had he never told her he loved her he always thought she knew how he felt? But until this very moment he wasn't sure himself how he felt. Now it was so clear. So clear that he kicked himself for the pain he just caused her and probably had caused before a long time.
Then to Rebecca's total surprise he jumped up and grabbed her hands. With her hand in his he started running through the creek to the other side ignoring the fact that her skirt hems were soaking wet. Once he reached the other side he walked them through a patch of trees and came out overlooking the prairie.
"Eagle wait a minute let me catch my breath. What about the council they are waiting for you?" Rebecca said breathless.
"The council can wait. I'm the chief here. Let them talk about old times while I'm here talking about a future with you." Eagle said.
"What?" Rebecca said astonished.
"Yes a future. Oh Beck you fit in here. I'll make you fit in here. All you have to do is say you'll want to stay."
"Eagle what are you saying?" Rebecca asked confused.
"I'm saying... I'm saying... I love you Rebecca Albright."
Eagle didn't give her time to respond he pulled her in his arms and kissed her with renewed,
passion that took her breath away.
But he didn't stop there. In moments they were on the ground. Eagle held her gently under him and tried desperately to control his raging emotions. Rebecca helped him.
"Eagle we…. we can't." Rebecca breathed pushing him away. "I want you so Beck." Eagle said rolling to his side.
"I know." she answered allowing him to pull her tightly to his side.
"When?" was all Eagle could say.
"Eagle!" Rebecca exclaimed.
"I can't help it woman I've wanted you for so long. I just never realized how much or how you felt."
"You mean you couldn't tell." Rebecca said, raising up to look into his eyes.
"I guess not. How do you feel?" Eagle said and found her fist in his side for the remark.
"Tell me." he said responding to her by rolling her under him again.
"I love you Little Eagle , Arapahos chief." she proclaimed.
"And I love you." he said as his mouth descended to hers.
The pair returned hours later to find a very angry Little Bear waiting for them.
"Where have you been. You're neglecting your responsibility." she said none too quietly.
"Relax mother. I'm in love and you should congratulate me, us, we are to be married." Eagle said tighting his arm around Rebecca's shoulder.
"Married! Oh Eagle we must talk." Little Bear said causing Rebecca to tremble at his side and look at Eagle.
"We do not need to talk. I am a grown man and I'll do as I please. You know no man tells another what to do."
"Even when you are chief? Did you forget the people?" Little Bear said.
"Of course not. We'll live here." Eagle said then guided Rebecca around to the entrance to his lodge leaving Little Bear outside.
It took two whole days before Little Bear spoke to her son after his big announcement. Rebecca didn't know what to make of it all. But Eagle assured her that his mother would come around so Rebecca continued busing herself with learning all she could about Eagle's people and their customs. For the first time in her life she felt she belonged somewhere and was a part of something. Her only regret was Little Bear did not want to talk to her about her upcoming marriage to Eagle. But Little Bear was the only person in the camp that was aware of this. Rebecca longed to talk with her soon to be mother-in-law for she wanted to learn everything about how she became accepted by the people. But as Eagle had told her she would just have to wait until Little Bear came around and Eagle was certain that she would. If not today, Eagle would say, then one day.
When Rebecca was not learning the ways of the people from Eagle's aunt Morning Flower or the other women she was in the company and arms of her beloved Eagle. Since his revelation about his love he couldn't stay away from her. In fact he spent more time with her now than he did seeing to his duties which of course did not find favor with Little Bear though she kept her comments to herself her displeasure was evident whenever the two of them returned from their quiet time together. But even with the strain of Little Bear's quiet disapproval this was the happiest Rebecca had ever been in her life. She had dreamed of this moment and that Eagle would return her love for so long that now that it was really happening it seemed like it wasn't real. But it was and Rebecca knew it if not for the way Eagle took her in his arms way then the way Little Bear now coldly reguared her.
One day unable to stand it any longer Rebecca saw Little Bear sitting in her usual spot outside of Eagle's lodge. She put down the buckskin material she was learning how to make clothes for Eagle with and stood to go talk to her. Morning Flower, Eagle's aunt was sitting beside her and realized the direction she was heading.
"My dear I wouldn't if I were you." Morning Flower said softly. "Excuse me." Rebecca said her thoughts being interrupted.
"Go and talk to Little Bear." Morning Flower continued, "I wouldn't dear, not yet."
"Why?" Rebecca asked sitting beside her.
"Because child Little Bear is not ready. I've known Elizabeth
Meyers all her life and she is very stubborn."
"Elizabeth Meyers?" Rebecca inquired.
"Yes Little Bear. Elizabeth is her white name. One she hasn't used or spoken since she returned to us years ago. She despises that name and refuses to answer to it." "Why?" Rebecca asked.
"Because of the cruelty she faced growing up among them."
"But I thought..." Rebecca began unable to finish as she glanced in the direction of Little Bear.
"Well my child there is a lot you do not know about her or you would understand that it is not you she hates or that you are white but that you are so much like her and are now in love with her son and he loves you and the two of you are planning to be married even if the people do not accept you."
"Of course Rebecca I am family. Besides Little Bear told me herself and why she is having trouble accepting it like wouldn't figure that one out for myself." Morning Flower said with a shrug and a comical grunt of sarcasm.
"So she doesn't hate and despise me?" Rebecca asked.
"No child but you can understand how you might feel so. She likes you very much she's just worried."
"About?" Rebecca asked.
"Well child that you will have to ask her. But I feel you will soon get your chance. She's determined he's returning for her, any day now as a matter of fact, she'll want to make sure her son will be alright before she goes."
"Goes? You mean she is dying?"
"She thinks so. Maybe she is those two have always had a strange connection that no one ever understood. She could be right she always knew when he was near perhaps he is."
"Your speaking of her... I thought you were not allowed to speak of him?"
"Ordinarily we are not but the entire camp knows why she sits there and some believe if they believe hard enough than he will come for her and they'll see him, crazy fools. Me, I just want her happy and if being with him helps her then maybe he will return as he said he would."
"You believe this?"
"Well yes I guess I do for Little Bear at least. I mean I don't think my dearly departed will come me but with those two anything is possible. Now Rebecca be patient she will come around. In fact let me see if I can help." Morning Flower said.
"You could?" Rebecca asked.
"Well I will give it a try. She use to listen to me maybe I can get through. Besides everyone knows she's waiting for him and whether her or Eagle know it or not we all know she talks of him."
"But I thought...
"Child after everything Little Bear's done for our people she could almost get away with anything. They've known for years but no one ever said anything. They all just pretend not to hear it or to be more specific they ignore the talk."
"Does Eagle know?"
"No and I would appreciate it if he did not learn of it until after Little Bear passes over. It would hurt them both to think the people knew and broke a sacred law to let it continue. But they love Little Bear enough to do so." Morning Flower said looking over her shoulder at Little Bear sitting on the buffalo robes in front of Eagle's lodge.
"Of course I understand. Thank you Morning Flower."
"Don't thank me yet dear let me see what I can do first. No time like now. Keep working on your sewing I'll be back." Morning Flower said standing. Rebecca watched her walk toward Little Bear.
Morning Flower could tell Little Bear's thoughts were far away and no doubt on another place and time but she knew that if anyone could get her to talk about her feelings it was her.
"Sleeping in the middle of the day Elizabeth?" Morning FLower asked using the name she knew Little Bear hated.
"You were the only one who ever could get away with calling me that." Little Bear balked glancing up at Morning Flower.
"Yes I guess I am." Morning Flower responded sitting beside her.
"Well what's the reason this time for calling me that ridiculous name?"
Little Bear asked noticing Morning Flower didn't ask her if she could sit down.
"Well sister when was the last time you somehow displeased me?"
"Oh so this is what's going on. I should have known you'd side with them."
"Why are you being so stubborn about this?" Morning Flower asked. "I think you know Flower." Little Bear said looking at her.
"Yeah I just wanted to hear you say it."
"She's white. There are you happy." Little Bear stated.
"Yes and so are you. But if you will recall the man who loved you didn't care and neither does your son."
"The people Flower the people." Little Bear retorted.
"I don't see the people objecting to this only you."
"Well the people don't know. Or do they?" Little Bear asked.
"They see they're in love as they saw two others."
"Yeah and look what happened to them?" Little Bear said.
"Yes look what happened to them. She became a warrior and helped our people by being their chief until their son was of age. And if I recall he loved her very much and she loved him as well."
"Okay what's your point?"
Morning Flower sighed. This was not going as she wanted but knowing Little Bear as she did she couldn't have expected less.
"Bear stop this. Tell these children about you and Running Wolf so they'll be prepared. Then bless this marriage and hope the people will too. Speak to the people if you have to but stop hurting your son and his future wife. You know we wouldn't be having this conversation if you hadn't gotten ill as a child and we sent you back to the people of your birth." Morning Flower said.
"Of course we would. She's still white. And who is to say that the people wouldn't have been just as hard on me marrying their chief." Little Bear protested.
"Oh Little Bear the people have told you time and again how sorry they were for the way they treated you when you returned. Especially the way they acted at your and Wolf's love for each other."
"I know and I accepted their apology a long time ago. But I just don't want them to go through the same problems; that's all."
"I know that's why I want you to tell them. Besides don't tell me that you have not been remembering it all these past few months." Morning Flower said.
"Yes I have; so many memories so long ago." Little Bear sighed.
Morning Flower put an arm around her sister as silent tears fell from Little Bear's eyes. Many men and women passed by in the time the two sat there and shared their memories of a man they both loved. No one bothered them though all knew and shared their pain. They sat for a long time until Morning Flower noticed the sun was starting to set.
"Bear tell them. Tell them please. Share with them, all of your story. I'm sure Eagle hasn't heard it all and he is a man now he can hear everything of his parents love and life together. Do it for yourself too. Remember it all one more time. Relive the love and the happiness. I'd love to hear it all again too. I can do some reliving of my own. Tiger was his friend as well as the only warrior I ever gave my heart to."
Little Bear sat there staring at the darkening sky and thought about all her sister had been saying. Finally with a sigh she faced the one person who had stood by her through everything. She wanted to remember and relive it all. She needed to. She felt he was very close and Eagle needed to know all about the father
he never had a chance to know and why he could never know him. If Eagle really loved Rebecca then this information could be very helpful where the people were concerned.
"Okay Flower I'll tell them, for them and for me. Eagle should know it all. Besides they made need this knowledge to protect them from both worlds. Yes you too can relive it with me." Little Bear said softly. Morning Flower smiled in response.
"Go find them and tell them I need to see them." Little Bear said standing and going inside the lodge.
A couple hours later Eagle and Rebecca came inside the lodge arm in arm and Little Bear couldn't help but smile. They reminded her of her and Wolf. A tear threatened at the sight.
Morning Flower followed and soon the three of them sat around the
fire Little Bear had prepared. Little Bear served them their
supper then sat back as they all waited for the purpose for her gathering.
"Son, Rebecca I know I've not been too enthusiastic at the prospect of your marriage and I hope to fully explain why. I don't despise you Rebecca I'm only worried. I had a very hard time being accepted here and it almost cost me the only man I've ever loved in my life. I don't want that to happen to you."
"Mother!" Eagle protested.
"Eagle let me finish please. I think the only way you can understand my concerns is if I tell you the story of my life with Running Wolf."
"Mother you shouldn't."
"Yes son I should. This fire will do for this purpose. You need to know it all and I must confess that I need to tell it all. So I'll start from the beginning. The very beginning...