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PREDATORS’ HUMAN – 31Chapter 31: TIME OF ADJUSTMENTA good month later. And a lot has happened in quiet ways.b**st has healed, finally. He does have a permanent limitation in his right thigh caused by the muscle healing around the bullet. His range of motion is somewhat limited as a result but he is no longer in pain from it. He once again is as fierce as ever but he is not as quick or agile as he once was. But life for him has gotten back to normal, at least for the most part. Including sex, thank goodness. Now we have sex without creating pain for him. But, Alex is an issue for us and we find we have to be creative by sneaking outside the lagoon for quickies or wait until she spends an evening with Landda (to help her, as I put it). If we are quiet, we move to the pool but I am nervous about knotting with her around. We don’t want to leave Alex alone even in the lagoon for long.The month since Landda’s giving birth certainly showed b**st’s recovery. And in that time Alex took to our life. Especially as her strength and agility increased. Her play with Gongin became even more active and began challenging Gongin. His overpowering strength started to be overcome by her application of quickness and agility and anticipation. I taught her how to anticipate, to study actions and movements to identify patterns of behavior that could be used against an enemy. She applied those lessons in her play with Gongin, often surprising him by getting to a place even though he was the leader just because she could anticipate his actions from previous moves and determine where his next moves would lead him. And she took all this with the grace that we also discussed. Her thought process should be much better and as a result, her ability to use that skill should not be an ego thing for her. Her ability to get ahead of others in the interspecies group should never be something that is held up over any others. It should always be handled as a delicate difference in the interspecies relationship. Every species has its advantages, the true effectiveness of the Team is when those differences and advantages can be maximized. For a young person she accepted and put into practice these concepts.The morning swims seem to be the cement that bound many of these concepts together. With just the three of us at the lagoon, Alex slept in the hut or with b**st and I as she might feel. Many nights she was so tired and physically exhausted that she used the hut to get alone, quiet and isolated. Although the hut was largely open, shuttering a couple windows on one side allowed her sufficient darkness and muffling of sound for her to easily block us out and fall asleep. I think she also came to understand that b**st and I needed our time together, as adults so to speak. We needed our time to be ourselves and to express our love. Although we never dwelled on the sexual part of our relationship, she was getting old enough to understand the concept. After Landda gave birth, we had numerous talks and many were very detailed and graphic about the process of birth, pregnancy, and becoming pregnant. Her time of coming of age was only three plus years off.I woke as the morning light began to fill the sky on the other side of the cliff, a glowing indication of the morning coming from our location on the beach of the lagoon. I was pressed into the front of b**st. I wiggled against him, feeling him along my naked back. At the same time I felt a similar movement along my front as Alex wiggled herself into me in response to my movement. Her bare back pressed into me. She rolled onto her back along me and gave me a lazy, sleepy smile and kissed my shoulder. We both got up carefully, so as not to wake b**st. We went down to the waterfall pool, washed the sleep out of our faces and drank. I took her hand and led her into the water of the lagoon. We both dove into the water after walking out to our waist. Alex has been with us now for about two months and her swimming has improved amazingly. Joining me on morning swims and the time on the rocks has been one of the most wonderful parts of our relationship. The raft was still anchored out in the lagoon but we seldom used it as a staging for getting all the way across the lagoon. She was getting closer and closer to being able to cross the entire lagoon with the crawl stroke and she definitely was able to cross the lagoon without stopping.This morning, as she was climbing out of the water onto the rock and I climbed out after her, I watched her, really watched her this time. Her body was getting so strong and toned. She was still straight but muscled. Her back showed her muscle strength from the pull-ups, weight lifting and repeated push-ups, not to mention the swimming. He legs, quads and calves, were well defined. And, her ass was firm and defined. She was gorgeous.As we sat talking, she threw a few little rocks into the ocean. I reached out and found a flat one and said, “Watch this.” I threw it side-armed and it skipped a couple times.She picked up another and threw it kind of like I did but not quite and it didn’t skip. “How did you do it, Alexa?”So I showed her how to hold it, how my arm moved, and getting low so the rock would go out along the surface and not fall as sharply into the water. She finally did it! She was proud and should be. She might be older to be learning these things but nobody did these things, these frivolous, just for the pleasure activities. She enjoyed being able to share with me these activities that were just fun and didn’t really serve a purpose other than the moments of experience.And then we talked more and she got very quiet. I knew she was working on something. Something that had been in her head and she was working to get it out, finding the way to ask it, to approach me with it. Despite reassuring her that all topics were okay, she recognized that not everything was as easy to discuss. And some things she was still working through from the old prejudices of her upbringing in the village.But, she finally just asked what she was struggling with, “Mom? Can I asked a really, really personal question?”“Of course. I said you could ask anything and I would try to answer it for you.”“You don’t have to this time if you don’t want. But, I was wondering … I guess I wanted to understand … I mean, you and b**st … well, you know how we’ve talked about babies, pregnancy, about Landda giving birth and the baby and … well …”“Ask it, Alex.”“Do you and b**st … you know … do it? I know you and he are like wife and husband, right? So, you’re like Landda and Gongon or my Mother and Father?”“Yes, dear. We are like that. I chose b**st and he chose me. In fact we got married on that beach with Gongon, Landda, and the family here to witness it. And, yes, we do it. We are mated.”“That’s what I thought.”I watched her, studied her for a reaction. I didn’t really see one. She seemed peaceful, thoughtful. “How does that make you feel?”“Make me feel? I don’t understand?”“I mean, does it bother you that b**st and I are that way?”“NO! No … okay, maybe it would have before. No, I am sure it would have before. But being here with you two, you are clearly deeply care for each other, I can feel it, I can see it. I don’t know that I really know what that ‘LOVE’ is but I see what it is in you to me and to him. No, it is different than what I knew before but not what I know now. No, the reason I asked was trying to understand. I am wondering how … I mean when do you two get a chance with me here? I am always around, it that a problem, am I a bother to how you were living?”“Alex, dear, no, you are not a bother, we love having you with us. You are loved very deeply. After only a couple months I don’t know what it would be like not to have you here with us. Honestly, I mean that. Has our life changed? Yes, it has, of course, but wonderfully. Honey, we love you being with us. I am still getting used to you wanting to be here with us, still trying to understand, accept how I could be so lucky to have you in my life.” I give her a hug and hold her to me as we look out over the ocean. “Satisfied? Did that answer your question?”“Yes. Mom?”“Wow, you don’t know how wonderful that makes me feel.”“What? What makes you feel?”“When you call me ‘Mom’.”She smiles at me and gives me another hug and kiss to the cheek. “Well, I love everything you’re giving me.”“So, sorry, you were going to ask me something.”“Yeah, well … I have been thinking and that is why I asked. I want to give you and b**st time, time for yourselves, time to be together.”I hug her to me and cry a tear which she notices and I am embarrassed, “I am silly, sorry for the emotion, Alex. But that is very considerate and very grown-up, very much a woman’s consideration. Thank you.”And I am so proud of her, her adjustment to all this. From an only c***d of a loving human couple in a like-minded peaceful community of people to this life equally shared by a****ls of various species and a bent toward defensive aggression. And she was maturing, growing up, changing in her body and her relationship to this world. Soon she would become a woman and I was convinced she was going to be a wonderful woman in and for this world.Alex’s training was progressing well. Keeping my promise, I began the instruction of Alex in the art of war. We began with martial arts which directed her attention to developing control, balance, and power coming from within and being able to project that outward in defined movements. I introduced her to the bow first and then the lance followed shortly after, although the ‘lance’ we worked with was a sapling cut from small trees which approximated the correct weight and length. It added more complexity to her training and she developed more sore muscles especially from the lance training when she took hits from me. But in all my times of training I never saw someone take to training in such diligence and enthusiasm as she did. She took seriously that her ability to join us on our patrols and scouting trips depended on her ability to take care of herself and support the others in the Team. She asked to borrow my bow and a few arrows and would go to our isolated training location in the lagoon to practice technique. When she wasn’t doing that, she might be found moving through either martial arts or lance fighting movements. Her real mother couldn’t have felt prouder then I felt.All that going through my mind bumped right into b**st’s mood on that day. My high feelings about Alex and the joy she was bringing to our life in the lagoon and the pride in the dedication she showed and the questions and thought process she put into our education efforts put me in a mood of optimism and positively imagining a world of peace and cooperation among all the species. And with those high feelings and thoughts, I didn’t immediate identify the literal bumping from b**st. b**st would bump me and look at me and I would touch him, maybe even stroke him, but my focus remained on Alex and the future I was seeing through her. But finally he stopped the subtle bumping and put his face right in front of me. When I focused on him, finally, he licked my face. In fact, he licked my face so deliberately that nearly my entire face was covered.Then, at last, I understood. My big, black, overpowering b**st was in the mood! As the day was slipping into evening, I looked at him, I smiled and nodded. I looked over my shoulder and saw Alex at the end of the beach deliberately moving through her lesson of our day and fluidly moved into the past day’s movements. I turned back to b**st, put my hands on the side of his massive head and kissed his snout, then his mouth. I pulled myself into him and hugged his head to me and quietly thought, ‘I want you, too. I want you so much now that you are feeling so well, again. And, I have a surprise.’‘What kind of surprise?‘Our Alex is growing up. She approached me today. She asked a lot of questions about us and ultimately about our sex life. She recognized that since she came we have probably been restricted. She wants us NOT to feel that way and she intends to give us the time we need.’‘She said that?’‘Yes. Tonight, sarıyer escort we’ll try it. I will hint to her that you and I are going down to the pool for a while. She wants us to be able to be alone while still being in the lagoon area.’And that’s what we did. As darkest was settling over the lagoon, the moon reflecting brightly in the still water of the lagoon, b**st came up and bumped me, again. He thought, ‘Tell her, Alexa.’I playfully slapped him on the shoulder, ‘Hush. You know she can communicate the same way.’And on cue, Alex thinks, ‘What is going on with you two? What does b**st want you to tell me, Mom?’“This is awkward, honey. But you brought it up this morning and I mentioned it to b**st this afternoon and now … well, now he’s all …”“Now he’s horny. It’s okay Mom. I was an only c***d in my parent’s hut. It was small. The last years, I knew what was going on.”“Thanks, honey, for being so understanding.”“Of course you know I am getting older. We are going to have to have more talks.”“I know. And we will. But please keep talking to me and don’t go around me or hide things from me.” Damn, I was sounding like a mother with a quickly maturing teenager. I guess I was. I sometimes worried what kind of example I was setting, though. Us living naked, now opening discussing having sex … with an a****l no less. But this was our life. This was our world community. By her own acknowledgement she was handling this dramatic change.I looked at b**st who was a bit further down the beach toward the waterfall pool. I nodded to him and he continued down the beach. She saw it and commented, “That’s where you’re going? That would be nice. How come b**st stayed away?”“Males, honey. They have no stomach for these talks.” Which caused both of us to laugh. And then to hug. “I do love you so much, Alex. You are growing up so fast. Maybe too fast for me. I wish I could cuddle you like a little girl sometimes but you are turning into such a young woman. It is so obvious after just these few months. I am going to get all mushy, again.”“Well, go to b**st then and shower him with it. He is finally feeling like his old self and it has taken a long time. I sense he was more worried than he let on.”I kissed her and hugged her to me. I turned and walked several steps before looking over my shoulder at her and smiling, blowing her a kiss. Then I ran after b**st and as I passed him he started running alongside me. When we stopped at the pool, I turned and looked back to the hut to see Alex walking inside and shuttering the window on our side. I smiled at b**st and attacked him. Well, like every other time I tried knocking him off his feet, I just bounced off. I moved to his head and kissed him on the mouth, pushed my tongue out and he opened his slightly to allow my tongue into his mouth. Then he did the same and I let it in, nipping the end and sucking on it. I pulled back slightly, ‘She is a wonderful girl.’‘Yes, she is. And you are doing a wonderful job raising her to your customs and expectations. Now, we can talk later, now I want to ravish your body.’‘Ravish away, my darling.’ I looked around us and found what I was looking for, a rock at the right height for me to lean against to give him the right angle for penetrating me. I smiled at him and kissed him again, but kissing was something he did for me. It didn’t have the same erotic effect on him as it did with me. And I needed him hard. I was already gushing with juices from his bumping me during the afternoon, my consideration of how to approach Alex, it all kept the thought close in my mind. I kissed the side of his head, hugging his neck, shoulder, and down his back, rubbing my bare breasts and chest along his black skin. The feel of his hard, taut, muscled body. Oh, it seemed like forever since it was effortless and without fear of pain for b**st. As I approached his hind quarters, I reached underneath, ducking down slightly. I could just see the tip of his cock coming out from just this action. I knelt down in the grass around the pool and ducking down further kissed it, licked it and continued until more of his cock came out as reward for my efforts. Soon I had enough in front of me to allow me to get several inches into my mouth, which allowed me enough to suck, which caused more cock growth out of the sheath, which allowed me to take his cock deeper into my mouth. And as I sucked him I could feel him growing inside my mouth and soon hitting the back of my mouth. When I let his cock tip go slightly into my throat, I felt him tense. I smiled around his cock. It has indeed been a while since we had this quiet, easy approach to sex. Lately it had been so much concentration on his position to avoid his injury while still giving us some, if not complete, relief.I pulled my mouth off his cock and kissed the tip, then licking it to take up the precum that sat there ready to drip off his rigid member. I stood up and ran my hands up his body to his head. There I kissed him, ‘b**st, I need you now. I need you take me.’ I took the few steps to the rock and bent forward, resting on the rock with my elbows, spreading my feet to open myself to him. He came up behind me and I could feel his breath on my ass as he sniffed me. Took in my scent as I was bent over for him, blatantly exposed, offering my pussy for him to take.‘Hmmmm, my female is ready.’‘No, your bitch is ready, more than ready. Needy. I need to be taken again, to be owned by you again, to be used by you again. Please, b**st. Please just fuck me, dominate me with that magnificent cock of yours. Mate me and tie me to you with your knot.’He let out a muffled roar and mounted me. He thrust at my ass bouncing off one cheek and then the other. I slipped a hand between my legs and provided guidance for him to find my hole, to penetrate me like I needed to be. And when he hit between my pussy lips, I gasped. When he slid inside half way, I shuddered. And when he thrust completely into me, I muffled my own cry. I could feel hesitancy in his movements like he was holding back. I thought to him, ‘No, b**st, please, just take me. Fuck me like we did. I know there is pent up energy, need for release. Let it go. Use me as your bitch. Fuck me the way you need to fuck me. I won’t break. Get it out, release everything that has been held inside for so long.’And he thrust into me hard, very hard. He moved me against the rock. In moments I felt him inside me growing, lengthening, growing in size, filling me fuller and deeper. And he continued to thrust into me. And he continued to grow. Filling me with his cock like never before. Then I felt it. Oh my god, I finally felt it again. His knot, at my pussy lips, knocking for entrance, pushing my lips apart, spreading my lips. Ohhhh, yessssss, his knot felt sooooooo bigggg. How I want this. After all this time to again feel him in his power and control and domination. He was pushing and I was pushing back to meet him. I put my urgency up to meet his. Both of us wanting the same thing. Both wanting to feel our sex, our mating again at the level of bonding and mutual commitment to each that we had always shared from the first time on that planet.And then it was in, the knot spread me and slipping inside and in that exact moment of entry, his cock went deeper still, maybe even as deeply as the Predators but I doubt it. It was my euphoria at having him again, energize and active and completely a full participant. But he was so deep, the knot inside sending his cock that much further up my hole. And at the same time I cried out … and came. I orgasmed on his cock and knot. My cunt clenching and spasming on his cock, milking it and I could feel him tense, too. I felt him tense and then thrust deeply into me and hold himself deep and I pushed back. Somehow, through my orgasm clouded mind I sensed the moment and pushed back onto him and he came, spurting into me. I felt each initial spurt deep inside me. I love him inside me when he comes. So much. For so long. I feel bloated by the volume and even with the knot inside I feel it seeping out of my cunt, dripping along the inside of my thighs.And then he is quiet. We are both panting heavily. I feel him pull back and pushing into me. I feel him lift up and then push down. I match him, wiggling out joined parts together and he is hitting the right spot often enough and I shudder and shake each time my g-spot gets hit. My body is on fire once again. I moan and beg. Not even knowing what I am begging. I am just muttering, blubbering, not coherent. I am coming again. My body shakes and my mind reels. My legs begin to buckle but I am still tied to b**st. I can’t collapse. Although my legs threaten to fail me, my cunt is joined to his knot and cock. And that pressure is the added stimulation that sends me into another full orgasm. I cry out to b**st and he slows his actions, slowly coming to a stop. He pushes us forward until my thighs hit the rock and I relax, fully taking the effort off my shaky legs, still bound to him but now supported. I feel him periodically testing the tie and then waiting. When he has shrunken enough for us to separate, I am almost unaware. I slip to the ground, shaken, exhausted, totally spent.In the morning I am disoriented. The cliffs don’t look right, the sounds aren’t right. Then it occurs to me that I must have fallen asleep at the waterfall pool. I feel b**st near me not as close as when I am the one who cuddles in. I sit up and take stock. There is a large puddle of cum under my ass. I feel like a mess. I knee and look over b**st. I look down the beach towards the hut. I see Alex sitting on the wet sand lazily drawing something in the sand with her finger. She looks and notices me. She doesn’t move but watches and tentatively she raises her arm and waves. I stand and wave back. But I have dried cum along my legs. I walk around b**st and head straight into the lagoon, waist deep I dive in and start swimming for the center. Alex, seeing me, does the same to meet me in the center. Meeting there we swim the rest of the way across to our spot on the ocean side together.Sitting on the rocks I am quiet. I remember making noise last night in releasing our pent up needs. I don’t know if she heard, I don’t know what to say. And worse, she is quieter than normal. What is she feeling, is she upset, is she even more curious about it? What if we made her more curious about sex before I am comfortable with her being ready? By my calculations she should it should be over three years.I can’t take it anymore. I ask, “Honey, you are so quiet. Is something wrong? I saw you sitting outside the hut waiting this morning. Was last night a problem? Talk to me, please.”“Mom, relax, okay? Listen, I know I said I wanted you and b**st to have time together and I will give you that time. It is clear how much you two need that time. Believe me, after last night, I fully understand the need you two have. But …”“But what?”“But … EWWWWW! I don’t really want to hear it. It is bad enough that I know it. I know I told you that I knew my parents were active, and they were. They were like rabbits, too. The thought, just the thought, of your parents being sexual is … yeah, just ewwwww, yuck. So, just not so much noise from now on, okay?”I sigh deeply. What a relief. “I am so sorry, honey. Really, I am. b**st and I … well, you don’t need the details.”“No, I don’t. Mom, you know how much I love you and b**st. You know how much I loved my other parents. You all are so much of who I am and who I am becoming. I couldn’t ask for more love and respect from two sets of parents. What you and b**st are giving me now is what I have dreamed of all my life. The chance to let my real self out, not be forced to live a stereotype. Is that the right use of that word?”“Perfect! Listen, honey. I have said before, you are a miracle to us. b**st recognized a need in me that I didn’t face up to. He always said I had too much love inside me for just one being. I needed to share it with more, but … well, clearly he and I weren’t going to have any offspring of our own. You coming esenyurt escort along to us, despite my reluctance at first was truly a miracle. So many others saw it, encouraged me, but b**st was the first, the most important because he knew me more intimately, in my mind, more than I was aware myself.”“Take your time together, but …”“I know, be quieter.” And I laughed.She laughed, too, but “Yes, but … Mom? …”“Ask. Anything.”“I still like sleeping with you and b**st. Wrapped in your arms, his front leg over us, his heavy breathing close by, the feel of your body against mine … I feel so safe.”“I know, that’s how I feel with him, too. I love you in my arms, so more often than not, much more often than not, that’s where you’ll be. Okay?”She turned and kissed me and hugged me. I looked into her eyes and added, “Besides, we’re old and won’t have the energy for much alone time.”“Yeah, right! You two could hold off an army. And I heard quite different last night, remember? Besides, look at you. I see how other village women look at you, envy in their eyes. Will I look like you?”“No, not like me. We aren’t really blood related, but you are going to be gorgeous, I know that. Your body will be strong, energetic and agile. Your muscles will be toned and defined. The rest is up to your genetics. But don’t worry, dear. True beauty shines from the inside and you have a lighthouse beacon of beauty to shine out.”When we return from our swim, b**st says he is going out. He needs some meat and he will patrol while out there. We walk him out to the other side. At the other entrance I give b**st a hug and kiss on the mouth and another bigger, more meaningful hug and stroke along his shoulders. I step back and I see Alex looking shy. She looks at me and I nod. She walks to b**st who is watching her approach. She puts her hands on either side of his face and kisses his snout and hugs him. I ‘hear’ something but not quite. He looks at her and licks her face and she giggles. He turns but looks back. At the same time we both think to him ‘Be careful.’Walking back we are holding hands and I ask her, “What did you say to him that he responded like that?” She is quiet and I add, “No, it is your conversation not mine.”“I said that I loved him and that I needed him and he should return as soon as he could.”I misted up, again. “Thank you, honey. I sometimes worry that b**st might be too much for you to relate to, to accept as part of your family now.”“It is strange, you know? I mean he is an a****l. But he is your mate, like your husband. When I look at him, I ask myself, is he your father now if Alexa is your mom? It seems weird. But then when it is just he and I, just talking, just working things out, he is so gentle, so a part of me, in my mind. Okay, he is in my mind, that’s how we communicate. But I mean he somehow understands me like I haven’t understood things about me. His perspective is so unusual and clear.”“That’s my b**st, honey. I can’t describe it, either. There is a bond with him that I have never had before. He is my most trusted confidant, guide, council when I need it the most. He is strong enough to oppose me, but smart enough to understand a human’s thought process will be different. Like combat strategy. He attacks, I plan encounters. Together we merge our different ways and come out ahead. I am glad you feel that, too. Look past what you see. He is so much more.”Much of the rest of the day is spent on training. I put her through a series of physical challenges to test her advancement and readiness of the next stages. I lay it out for her to test her muscle stamina. The course I lay out: 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups with her feet on a rock 2 feet above the ground, 5 squats with a full bucket of water, ended with sprints to the waterfall and back, swim to the raft in the middle of the lagoon and back; short rest, repeated.She understands and she is pacing back and forth, stretching, flexing, breathing in and out, and measuring her intake, slow exhale. It is mid-afternoon now, I feel the sun hot on my bare back, and she will be dripping with sweat by the end. I stand back, “Whenever you are ready.”She looks at me but is not focused on me, her focus is inside herself. She walks to toward the pull-up bar, jumps to the rock and to the bar, hangs and cleans her first 5, dropping she puts her hands into the sand and jumps her feet onto the rock behind her and presses out the push-up, then the squats, setting the bucket down so not to spill any, she turns and sprints down the beach. My god! Look at that body. Taunt, firm, golden by the sun she is exposed to each day, her long hair trailing behind her. She touches the tree I identified and she is streaking back. From the front, her legs are churning, her stomach is flat and defined. She touches the pull-up bar rock, turns and runs into the lagoon and dives in, coming up stroking for the raft. Her strokes are powerful, she is breathing on every third stroke, and she turns and kicks off the raft and returns. Running up out of the water she doesn’t hesitate but runs up onto the rock and jumps for the pull-up bar. She finishes the second routine by collapsing in the shallows of the lagoon. I walk and stand over her smiling. She looks up shading her eyes with her hand to see my face. “How did I do, Mom?”I tried to look serious, “I think there was one pull-up you cheated a little on.” And we both burst into laughter. I got down into the water with her. Nice thing about being naked all the time. I pulled her into me and hugged her. “Honey, I may not be challenging you to any competitions. That was amazing. I knew you were getting into better shape, that you have been training when I haven’t instructed you, but to complete all that without stopping when I said you could … you showed me. You can handle yourself and responsibility.”“Thanks, Mom. But, what are you saying?”“What to go hunting? There is still light for a quick trip out. You make the kill with the bow.”She spun around and sat up. “Really? Come on.” And she was racing for the supply cave.I met her there and she had pulled out the bow and the quiver of arrows. “Your feet coverings. You can’t be walking around the jungle bare foot.” I put my boots on and strap on my gun, checking the charge and the extra clips attached to the holster. I strap on the lance and helpher put the quiver onto her back. This was the first time she had worn the quiver. I handed her the bow. She took it like a prize trophy. “Ready?”“Yes! Thank you, Mom!”We walk through the tunnel and it was like I couldn’t walk fast enough to keep up with her. At the other end I had to stop her. “Remember to always be ready when you go out. You never know what might be on the other side by accident.”I use this opportunity as a teaching moment. Letting her take the lead, but watching closely to make sure she was checking ahead and to the sides appropriately. Making sure she was properly checking for tracks. I noticed a track in the mud to the side and pointed it out to her. “The lead in formation or the hunter out searching for food must be always aware of the small details but at the same time aware of the big picture around her for danger that might be ahead or to the sides.”She studied the print and looked at me. “It kind of looks like a wolf but not big enough. Might it be a dog?”“Good. Even I can’t be sure. It might just be a young wolf, right? Or, it could be a dog. One would be no problem to us, the other would definitely be. So stay aware.”Further we found many more. It looked like several had been gathered. We saw signs of a kill. I was now concerned. The site was fresh. Then I heard movement ahead. I pointed it out to Alex. She instinctively took an arrow and strung it in the bow but still held it easy. I unclipped my gun and charged it but left it in the holster. More movement ahead. I crouched down and she duplicated my movement. We both watched and listened. Watched ahead where the movement was but listened for more around us. Nothing around us, just ahead. Then I saw one, a big dog and then another not as big, then a third. I heard her breathe out slowly, controlled and she thought to me, ‘There. Ahead, three of them. Tight, together.’‘Excellent, Alex. Using your mind to communicate. Quick thinking. Sorry, no pun.’‘Mother! Is this the time for joking?’‘How are you feeling? Tense, scared, or aware?’‘Aware, primed.’‘Your training. Use it. Are you ready to make your first kill of an enemy?’‘For real? Yes, I am ready. I know it.’‘Okay. Ready yourself. Remember your training. Use your routine, don’t rush and skip part of it. This is the time for accuracy and steadiness. Make sure your next arrow is ready. And breathe to steady your muscles.’She took two more arrows out and stuck them in the ground in front of her. ‘Ready.’I thought to her, ‘I will stand first to attract them. Then you. As you are rising, you should be going through your routine so you are ready to shoot quickly. On two. One. Two.’I stood and moved to the right to give her room and to further distract them. She stood but I was focused on the dogs. They saw me and turned. The lead was two steps toward me when he stopped and fell, an arrow in his head. The other two jumped him and were coming. I pulled my gun and aimed but gave her a moment. Another arrow was on the way but missed into the tree right beside it. I aimed and saw the second dog go down, an arrow in it shoulder. I shot the third and it dropped immediately with a hole where it snout was supposed to be.I look at Alex. She had another arrow strung and had it aimed at the dogs. Her arms were steady. I put my hand on her arm and pressed it down. She looked at me, her breathing becoming faster. I said, “It is over, Alex. You did it. That was excellent shooting and under stress.”She started shaking. She couldn’t hold her hand steady and she was mad. “Why am I reacting this way? I wanted to show you I could handle this!”I pulled her toward the dogs. “First, we make sure we did kill them. We don’t want a surprise. Don’t assume anything.”Then I hugged her, hold her at arm’s length and smiled and hugged her again. “I am so proud of you, daughter.”“But, look at my hands. Why are they shaking like this?”“Honey that is not you not handling this. That is adrenaline your body is trying to burn off. I looked at you when you thought there might still be danger, before I told you we were okay. Your arms and body were rock solid. Not a shake to be seen. You were perfect.”“And I missed on one.”“Okay, not perfect. Almost perfect. But look at what you did. You missed and you recovered and got it right the next time. Nobody is perfect all the time. Be easy on yourself. I miss, too. It gets wild, as this did, and you were wonderful.”“Really? So, am I ready?”“Ready? To join b**st and I on a patrol? The family together?”“Am I? Yes, that’s what I have been training so hard for.”“Yes, you are ready. Still a lot to learn, though. But, yes, you are ready to take on patrol responsibilities as long as I am with you.”I hugged her again. We forgot about the hunt and headed back to the lagoon. I had my arm around her shoulder. She kept looking at the bow but she was thinking about something but not concrete enough for me to discern. Then I heard in my mind, ‘Daughter’.“Mom?”She stopped and turned me. She put her free hand on my face and smiled at me. She stepped into me and buried her face into my chest. I wrapped my arms around her. “What’s all this about?”“Mom … call me that again.”I thought hard, what did I call her? When did I do it? Then it hit me. When I hugged her and told her I was so proud of her. I called her ‘daughter’. I pushed her slightly back so I could look into her eyes. “I love you. I love you, my daughter.” And I crushed her in my arms. I felt moisture on my chest, then sobs and her breath clutching. We stood in the jungle as darkness was beginning to settle in, but we hugged, unaware of anything else but being mother and daughter. And I cried with her.We awoke the next morning to a light rain falling on us. It was morning but the sky was a dark grey, heavy with the clouds avrupa yakası escort and rain. We would cuddled on the mat on the beach like normal. Our body heat keeping us warm. I hugged this marvelous girl to me. I stroked her with my hand, relishing the glow I felt that this girl was now my daughter. We both acknowledged it. We both accepted the inevitability of it. How could it be otherwise, kindred spirits somehow finding each other? I cuddled in tighter, not wanting this to end but feeling the light rain falling. I stroked her in part to keep her warm but in part to love her, to know her, wishing she was a little girl but so proud of the young woman she was. Then … my hand passing over her chest … how could I have missed this? Wanting her to be a little girl? My little girl wasn’t. I felt her chest, again. No. My little girl wasn’t. A tear ran down my cheek.I kissed her cheek. I squeezed her. She opened her eyes slightly. I kissed her cheek, again. She turned in my arms. “Hey, it’s raining!”“Yes, but not lightning. Let’s go for our swim. Who cares if it’s raining when we are in the water?”She stretched. Oh, what a wonderful young woman. How I loved her. I heard in my head, ‘I love you, too, Mom!’‘Damn. This is definitely awkward when we can hear each other’s thoughts.’“How’s this? I love you Mom! I will try not to eavesdrop on your thoughts.”“Ditto.”I reluctantly separated myself from her and stood up, walking to the water and turning to her. She struggled up and came to me. She put her head to my chest and sighed. “What if I just stay right here and my Mom just cuddles me?”“I’ll cuddle you. You know that. I love you in my arms. But we have a ritual. And it is on the other side of the lagoon.”Sitting on the rocks looking out into the ocean, light rain falling around us, we talked as was our routine. She asked questions and I answered. We reviewed the killing of the dogs, her responses. She mentioned something that Landda said about her helping with the young. Then she said very innocently, “I wish I could communicate with the species like you do. I know it is because of the implant the ‘others’ gave you, but I wish I could. It would be so much easier.”“Yes, it would be but we have to assume we will be on our own.”“Tell me about them. The ‘Predators’? That’s how you got here, right?”So I told her. The whole story. My first acceptance to join them. Meeting b**st on that mission. The assault on the ship that gave me the scars on my back. The decision by the High Command that I (and b**st after he nearly killed the Predator who did it) had to leave the ship. Ending up here.I stand up. “I hate to say this because I am not nearly as confident as I once was, but … I’ll race you to the beach.” I beat her but not by much. It was raining harder now and I looked at her. “You have goose bumps. The temperature is dropping slightly. We either put clothes on or build a fire.”“Build a fire.”“You like being naked? I have a convert on my hands it would appear.”“I do. It is so free feeling. You know what we could do is organize the supply cave. You said you’ve never really been through all the crates, just found what you wanted based on the inventory given to you. Since it is raining and b**st is off, let’s do that. We’ll be dry and we can have a warming fire at the entrance.”So we did. We ran up to the cave as lightning started. I sent her out to the wood pile and we started a nice little fire to provide just the little warmth we need occasionally to take the chill out. All the time here and this was the first time I had been really chilled. So this place was only nearly paradise.We were to find that the supply cave holds many surprises. I only investigated enough of the supplies for things I felt I needed at any time based on the official supply summary published by the ship’s supply crew when they landed us at the lagoon. Apparently, many of the crew had hidden away other things that were not noted on the official listing. Alex was convincing in her argument that we should take the opportunity of the raining day to thoroughly catalog the contents so we would know the status of the supplies. Not that we couldn’t adapt without them, but it would be good to know so there would not be any surprise when something like gun charge clips or arrows were needed. If we saw we were running down on arrows, for instance, we could again begin recovering more of them. So we did as she suggested. We started at the entry and created lists which I wrote out as she was just now learning, but she took her turn as part of that learning to grasp written language. It would have been easier for me to do it but she was a bright girl and was learning fast. And as we emptied crates we reloaded into other crates with like things and posted on it the detailed contents. It took a while but it was actually good to know what was there. And I was thoroughly enjoying the activity with Alex. She was a hard worker and had many questions about the contents.Toward the back of the cave, where I seldom ever went, we discovered surprises. Crates containing items not on the listing and apparently snuck in and hidden by several of the Predators. In these crates we found:•Extra medicine and bandages, healing creams, antibiotics, pain medication, etc. Which was really good because we had use a lot of our existing supply on b**st and the others after the last major battle.•Boots. I had several extra pair of boots which were on the listing. These, though, were a mix. There were a few that were my size, but also some of sizes that were smaller than mine. It would appear they had trouble predicting my foot size and were figuring it out by trial and error. And all the boots that weren’t the right size were thrown in. They certainly weren’t going to be used by a Predator warrior. I looked at Alex and handed her a pair, told her to sit down and try them on. The boots I gave her fit, they happened to be the smallest in the crate. She looked at me with wonder in her eyes. “Can I keep them?” “They won’t fit me”, I replied. She was now well stocked in boots of her own. Even to grow into. “Honey, now I will feel even better about you going out into the jungle with us. Your feet will be protected like mine.”•More charge clips for the gun. How many did they think I would need? But that was just a layer apparently to hide the contents below. The next was several layers of a larger charge clips, which I thought curious. I didn’t have a weapon for anything like that. The battle armor cannon required clips even a little larger still. Underneath was the answer: A field rifle that we were experimenting with for long, accurate shots that we used on the planet where we found b**st. And next to that, another gun and strap on holster. Alex was drooling and I saw it. I told her, “Yes, dear. This will be yours but you have to wait until you are properly trained. These are much too dangerous. I need you to promise to NEVER open these crates without me.” She did and I trusted her. But I could see in her eyes the added dedication for training. I could see her imagining us side-by-side together. I was both scared and proud.•The last two unknown crates had a bunch of clothes and I immediately put the cover back on and walked away but then stopped. Why would they not list clothes? We went back to it and removed the clothes. It was just a layer. Below was another surprise stockpile. The next layer were three battle lances. One smaller like mine and two full sized ones. I could see them justifying if caught that they couldn’t use the smaller items created for me. But the larger lances were a different risk. Alex looked at these and looked to me. “Yes, dear. But, again, these are real, not pretend like the sticks we have been training with.” I pull out the smaller one like mine and hand it to her. She held it like a treasure, more than the look on her face about the gun. She had seen me train with the lance and saw the fluidity of the moves, the power and deadly effect of the blade. She replaced it. I smiled. When we went to the last crate of “clothes” and we removed them, what was below made Alex’s eyes truly light up. We found a nearly full crate of arrows and on top was another bow, just like mine. I looked at her and her eyes met mine. They were pleading without saying a word. I looked at it, picked it up, smiled and handed to her. I picked up the quiver and filled it with arrows and handed it to her, also. “You’re ready for this, daughter. But remember, there is always need for continual training on all weapons and techniques.” She threw herself into me.Alex’s training kicks into an even higher gear after these discoveries. Not by my pushing her but she is more intent than ever to prove herself to me and b**st. She wants to be a full part of our efforts and to share in our lives to the full extent of participating in our patrols and scouting activities. She understands that it depends on her ability to perform and keep up and contribute. With the discovery of these other items in the supply cave, she sees the opportunity even more plainly in front of her. Every day she takes care of all her duties and chores around the lagoon by getting food, wood for fires, or cleaning the camp or the weapons we train with. But then she pours herself into her training. Whether physical training, educational, hand-to-hand or weapons, she sticks to the schedule and works with me. But when the assignments are complete, she will request to be able to practice the bow or the practice lance. Week by week she gets even better. Stronger, smarter, more accurate with the bow, quicker and more precise with the lance movements.After another month, the three of us go out on our first patrol together going to the West to meet up with the wolves. Alex is beside herself with excitement. b**st and I are almost as excited. We are like proud parents seeing their c***d taking on the first big career responsibility. We let her take point after our extensive training. I watch her ahead of us. Her hair tied in a ponytail, the arrow quiver and lance harness strapped to her back, and a battle knife strapped to her right thigh where someday a gun will be located. In her hand is her bow, already comfortable and natural like an extension of her body. Her taut, lean body only covered by her weapons and the boots on her feet.While on the edge of the plains, Thorrass flies overhead. We only see a massive shadow at first causing all of us to crouch down and look around. Then it occurs to me to look up. I see him and stand. He lands near and I hear Alex say, “I had forgotten just how big he was.” He says to me, “The other groups want you. They need to communicate but you are the only one who can share the different languages.”“Is there a problem? A new danger from the new people?”“No problems or known danger. It is just strategy and preparation I think.”“You don’t speak the other languages, either. How do you know this?”“I don’t know Alexa. But I have stopped questioning these things.”“Can you take me there? It will be faster.”“That is why I came. Tell them, your family. That I will return you directly to the lagoon.”“You know about our safety place?”“Alexa, we have started soaring high above to watch over the island. But it is safe with me until you are ready to let others know.”I relay the message to b**st and Alex and ask them to continue the patrol. b**st is fine but Alex looks worried. I open my arms to her and she comes. “What’s the matter? You wanted to be a part of this. Sometimes it means I have to do things separate from the others. I will be back before you know it. It might be a few days, though.”“I think I am going to miss you, though.”“I have been away before, Alex. This is just another time. Take care of b**st for me. He might just be better at hiding his worry. Okay? Will you do that for me? You two be there for each other. It is part of being a family.” And I remembered that Thorrass said that. He referred to us as a family, not a group living together, but a family. We are. I give her a kiss on the forehead and she goes to b**st and hugs him. I turn and walk to Thorrass as he lowers his front and I climb onto his shoulders. He jumps into the air and beats his wings and we climb. They are already out of sight when I can turn to look back. I refocus on what the other groups are needing. The sooner that is done, I can return to my family. I like the way that sounds.* * * Part 32 will follow * * * Thanks for reading.

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