tagNonHumanThe Witch's Want Ch. 05

The Witch's Want Ch. 05


**This had to happen sometime, this one love scene, but I've been trying to handle a lot of things in the world of the real, not the least of which was the passing of someone very close to me. With what's been going on in my life lately, I'm a little surprised that I'm still writing at all.

For the few who follow what I write, I apologize for the delay. o_0


Around eight, the rain began in a sudden downpour that beat heavily on everything outside as she watched. Fifteen minutes later, she heard the heavy beat of a Harley-Davidson rumbling up the long drive.

Bart was dry in his rainsuit as he rolled to a stop, looking for the best place to park. He almost laughed out loud when he saw Farah wearing a bright yellow hooded rain slicker, holding an umbrella and beckoning him to park inside the open barn door. He just got his bike parked and shut down inside, and getting off it, he found her in his arms laughing at how they were both dressed.

"I think we must look like a couple of sailors," he said, "All that's missing is the tilting deck and the huge waves."

He watched her nod with the sort of delighted smile that just thrilled him. He wondered when it was, the last time that anyone had looked so happy to see him. He didn't want to go too far into the thought, but he acknowledged that it was such a long time, so very long ago since someone had cared enough to show delight and happiness only to have him against her.

She threw her arms around his neck and she kissed him. Farah was thinking the very same thing, though the frames of her references were more recent, and anyway, she had to go back to before her ill-fated marriage to find a memory that matched what she saw in his face. She had to struggle for a second to even remember the boy's name now. Bobby Carleton came to her as his name, probably the only boy who'd really held her heart and returned what she'd given him. It didn't matter anymore. He'd married someone else afterward and they'd moved away long ago.

The memory passed and she was back, looking up at someone who was much, much more complex. A law officer, a warrior-priest, and a conquering general of long ago. A man who had been a loving and protective husband and father once.

Almost all of that was gone now, leaving only the lawman, a complicated male here with her, but it didn't matter. She could see and feel that he was just as overjoyed as she was. And the very best part to Farah was that he was really there with her, in her arms and happy to be there.

"Come," she grinned, "this rain won't stop us tonight."

"I've brought something," he smiled as he opened one of the saddlebags and drew out a plastic shopping bag that obviously held a few bottles. They walked to the house. "What did you bring?" Farah asked.

"I wasn't sure about what to bring," he said, "so I went with some red wine, and, ... well, something else as well."

"'Something else' is a wide category," Farah smiled.

"Ok," he sounded a bit uncomfortable, "I'll fess up. I had a hell of a time with this one. I couldn't decide, and so I had to buy two kinds." He held up a bottle of clear fluid and another quite oddly-shaped bottle.

Farah gasped, "Arak! How did you get these? I haven't had any of this in ... well, it is a long time."

"I had a friend ship them to me. The Syrian one is made using just anise. The other one here is from figs and the anise is added during the process. I didn't know better, but I think I was able to tell that it would be more like what you might have had before. From what I was able to find out, it's made with figs in Iraq."

"It doesn't matter, both are good" she smiled, "that you tried to learn what you could is enough. I'm sure that either one will be fine. But this isn't something that you just throw back," she warned.

"I have no intention of it, "he grinned.


They stood inside the foyer of Farah's home. The rain gear was off and he looked at Farah with a soft smile, feeling a little foolish to be there a little ironically wearing slacks, a dress shirt and even a tie, not anything even close to matching what she was wearing.

She stood there wearing the long hooded cloak that he'd been a little surprise to find under the rain slicker. She looked like a walking mystery to him like that with her hood over her head and drawn close.

He looked down, "I um, ... I had a feeling that you'd try to go more uh, cultural in what you'd wear tonight, but I don't really have anything, um, ..."

"That doesn't matter a bit," she grinned, "I even knew that. The culture we have in mind goes back a lot further, doesn't it? Please come," she said softly as she took his hand and led him to the family room where a CD player played low, bringing them some rather traditional Sudanese music. She turned and slid her arms around him, "It's still you and I," she said, "the demon and the witch."

She kissed him again and held herself to him tightly. When she pulled back a little, he looked at her as she stood wearing her hooded cloak. "Nothing matters here, "she smiled. "Set the arak there on that low table. I'm going to bring the food that I promised you, and I only hope that at least some of it reminds you a little of what Ur-Nammu ate once, and I hope that it's good enough."

He tilted his head at that. "Why wouldn't it be good enough, Farah? I'm sure I'll be happy with anything you've done. Are you kidding?"

She shook her head. "I made things such as I remember my mother making, plus a few more from some recipes that I found. We're probably just like any two people who are at a stage like this, but you know that we're a little different at the same time."

She pointed to a chair near the wall. "There's a cloak like mine there on that chair. I would like it very much if you could dress like me here tonight while I get the food."

She'd said it in a very quiet and hopeful way that wasn't lost on him. He knew what she was wearing under that cloak, and he understood her perfectly. He touched the beaded hair that showed from her hood and smiled. "You look so beautiful, Farah," he said, just as quietly.

She smiled her thanks and took his hand to hold it against her cheek. "Feel," she sighed, "learn."

He watched her smile widen a little as he felt her thumb caress the back of his hand for a moment and he saw her tiny nod to him as she finished the thought.

"And know me, Demon."

They stood for a moment like that, and then Ur-Nammu felt her. He felt many things about Farah as they came to him through his touch. He knew what she'd told him of her past, but now he felt what she was, much farther back that she knew herself.

He saw nomads and early agrarian people in a land that he'd once known intimately -- every hillside orchard and meadow, every mountain and dusty depression. He saw herders and soldiers, women and children. And then it was gone.

"Sumerian," he whispered, and her eyes told him that he was correct.

"Azeri, and, ... and, "his eyes widened, "Assyrian, and, ..."

Her eyes shone in her pleasure that he was seeing something that she'd never been able to see, but it was important to her that he see it all. She nodded very slightly as he continued to stare.

He blinked, and in her eyes, he saw heat shimmering from the ground and moving blobs that turned into cattle and a different people who tended them. He felt coolness in a river as he stood with a queen in the flow of it in the evening, and she walked past him to step out onto the bank wearing little more than jeweled bands here and there and water droplets on her immaculate skin. He felt his breath taken away from him by the queen's beauty, and he knew then just what sort of ancestor the queen was to Farah.

She felt her heart swelling inside her as she saw the expression on his face. The black eyes looked into her own and his eyebrows were raised in wonder and fascination.

It said a lot of things to her. She was happy that someone like her could elicit these things from someone like him. Hell, she'd been happy that he only liked her. It wasn't as though she was nineteen anymore. But to have him here before her and be able to even have something in herself as she knew that she had -- whatever it was that he was seeing - was an honor and she felt the humblest sort of happy pride in herself.

She listened as his awed voice continued quietly.

"Beja tribeswoman with a blood tie to Hatshepsut, woman Pharaoh, worshiper of Sekhmet the lioness goddess" he said, barely moving the air out of his throat to make the sound of it.

"Kermian... "

"Nubian ... "

"Kushite, " he whispered, nodding his own head once very slightly in recognition.

"Daughter of the Candace of Meroe," he whispered, "warrior queen of Kush, who turned the armies of Alexander leading her vast hosts herself from the back of a war elephant with a war bow in her hand to face him."

He drew back a little and bowed his head slightly in recognition and deference to the ones that he felt himself in the presence of in her there.

"Pharaoh's daughter -- queen, and, -"

He gasped, and her hand went to his cheek.


She nodded as her smile widened, "Yes," she said, suddenly knowing a little of what he'd seen in amazement, more than a little awed herself from the knowledge of it and understanding now that Dimme had told her the truth.

"And a little of thousands of completely ordinary people as well. We are a little different, aren't we, Ur-Nammu?"

He nodded, still in a bit of shock as his hand lifted from her cheek. "Yes," he breathed, "You are from my half-brother's line as well."

"I guess that must make us cousins hundreds of times removed. So put your clothing there and please dress appropriately, Lord Ur-Nammu," she said as she took the hand that she still held and kissed it softly, "And I'll take a little time to bring our food," she smiled at him as she began to walk to the stairs. "Please throw some more wood on the fire too. I've had the fire going all day to keep it warm down here and to drive off the damp of the rain."


They stood facing each other and then she led him to her little altar inside the house. They knelt together and she made her abbreviated observances and listened as he made his. Farah took his hand and led him back to the fire where she served him some of the many dishes that she'd prepared before she chose something for herself and they sat together eating.

"You didn't have to serve me like that, Farah, "he said, "From what was shown to me, I think that I should serve you."

She shook her head as she looked down, "Yes I did, Ur-Nammu. I don't know what you saw in me, and I would like to know all of what it was sometime. I only knew that I have a past that stretches out behind me longer than I knew." She looked over at him, "But between the two of us here, you are the one who is to be honored. You are the lord here and I am pleased and happy to have one such as you as my friend."

He shrugged smiling and Farah wanted to fall into those black pools before her for a moment as she struggled a little against the pull that she felt as his words began.

"All of that is gone, Farah. What I was once is past, all of it, and it means nothing here and now. What means everything to me is you. I see that many of your ancestors would have had people bow or fall to their knees to find themselves in such a presence, but it has no meaning here today, and nobody would know of it. It's the same for me," he said, sipping his arak after a bite of the Egyptian ful that she'd prepared for him.

He sighed, "I really like this," he said, indicating the dish.

Farah smiled, "I have read that the best ful recipe that I've found goes back to the Middle Ages in Cairo. There was a public bath house near the fountain of Muhammad 'Ali Pasha, a block north of the two minarets of the Mosque of Sultan Mu'ayyad Shaykh above the eleventh-century Bab Zuwaylah gate. During the day, bath-attendants stoked the fires heating the huge pots of bath water. When the baths closed, the embers of the fires kept burning. That's when the cooking started. Large pots were filled with fava beans, and the cauldrons were kept simmering all night, and eventually all day too, to provide breakfast for Cairo's population. Cookshops all over Cairo would send their people to the baths to buy their fūl.

Once it's cooked, you can eat it plain or with butter or oil and any of about a thousand sauces."

She put her hand on his wrist, "I think that you're wrong, by the way. Nobody today knows of all of these things that are in our pasts, but you're here with me right now. Yes, you're a man, just like you were then, but you're also still the same man at the same time," she smiled, "and that man was many things, of which I'm sure that I've only learned a little, but to me, you're still Lord Ur-Nammu, lord general of the Martu hosts. They might be gone, but you're not, and I still want to acknowledge you."

"Besides," she chuckled, "I'm having a lot of fun like this with you, and I have to tell you that it's a pretty romantic feeling to spend time like this here with you. I've decided that I'm going to cook like this a lot more where I can afford it."

Ur-Nammu smiled, "Then please, Witch, pull your hood back for me. I wish to see your hair now."

"As you wish, Lord," she grinned a little as she complied, watching his eyes and his smile widen. Somehow, he'd missed seeing the choker-type necklace made of three rows of cowry shells, and the longer fourth row lower down. But he saw it all now.

"Oh Farah," he sighed as he gazed at her cornrow hair, "You're amazing. I've never known anyone like you."

"Are you sure?" she smirked in a way that made him smile, "I mean, I thought that I was a pretty wide mix for a mongrel before we knew each other. After what you said a little while ago, I think I ought to be surprised that anyone might have been left out."

"Well if you're a mongrel," he grinned, "then you're a pretty noble one, I think, and I'm back to having never known anyone like you."

She leaned forward to kiss him once, "What about the many women who must surely have offered themselves to someone like you? I'm sure they must have been pretty lovely to even get in the gate."

He shook his head, "I had a group of assassins from a tribe out of the dunes as household guards. All of them were beautiful, and there were not many who would have been able to even hold their heads up next to them. And even if they could, they'd find themselves tossed right back out of the gate -- or over the wall. Each of my guards was a very dear friend to me, beside the nature of their duties, and they did not allow any hopefuls to even approach my home. They were assassins themselves and knew the danger. Most often, I didn't have the time anyway and I usually wasn't even there."

"Well what about the women who were sent to you as tributes to a mighty warrior and a king's son?" she asked quietly as he looked into her eyes.

"I have seen some rare beauties," he nodded, "tributes for far-off lands, each one a mystery to me, speaking tongues which I didn't know. Some brought exotic scents and perfumes, some played music and sang songs for me such as I had never heard as they danced." He looked at her closed eyes. Farah was trying to visualize the scenes in her head.

"I always liked it when they chattered at me in their soft and hopeful way to get me to let them bathe me and rub my body with oils. It was all very nice."

He smirked as he remembered, "And to tell the whole truth of it, I would come home from some long ride after a hard fight, worn out from the road and the strain of having to keep thousands of fighters moving. Most often, I'd have been wounded a little, so it felt wondrous to let them soothe my tired body."

He chuckled, "And there I'd be, soothed and cared for in the midst of likely a few incredibly lovely women, snoring the house down and sleeping like a dead man. Not so romantic then, I'm afraid, but feeling well-rested the next morning, nevertheless."

Farah laughed a little, "Oh come on, Demon. You're ruining my little daydream. Surely you weren't always completely worn out. You must have enjoyed what was offered at least sometimes."

"I did," he smiled, "I would have had to be dead otherwise, and some of the purpose of receiving their tributes was to enhance the reputation of Ur-Nammu the mighty. I couldn't have just snored my way through it every time. It would be seen as an insult to the woman, her king or queen, and her country to refuse the willing offer of women like that, who had travelled so far and long."

Farah sipped her arak and set the chilled glass down, "Well that's what I'd like to do," she said, "I want to be a tribute to you. I like the idea, to be a human tribute to somebody that I've developed a lot of feeling for. I was having a lot of fun all week and I really enjoyed it every time that we spoke on the phone.

I almost felt like I was a teenager again, but I have to say that it was better than that. I did as you asked and I found out a lot about you. That was fantastic to me as well, since I'd read about something that you did and then I could think and knowing you personally gave it all a lot of meaning, so I had the thought of doing this with you the next time that we could be together.

So, will you accept my tribute?" she asked, holding her gaze steadily.

He reached for her hand and smiled, "I would have," he said, "but after seeing more of you and who sits before me, the descendant of so many high bloodlines, I'd have to say that it would be a little unfair. I think and it would be more correct to offer my tribute to you, Witch." Farah's eyes widened a little to see him bow down to her.

"Oh no," she laughed, "It was my idea first. You may offer the second tribute between us and I'd like that -- as long as you tell me as much about what you saw in me as you can. I'd really like to hear that then."

She reached for the CD player and turned up the volume a little, hearing one of the songs that she liked. He watched as she got to her feet and began to dance just a little. A minute later, Farah looked at him in the light of the fire and sighed to herself. By likely any woman's standards today, he was just awesome, half --reclining as he watched. She gave in to an impulse and came to him, kneeling before him for a moment.

Farah leaned forward and touched his cheek with her hand softly. "Show yourself to me, Demon," she said, "Show me the mighty lord here with me tonight." She kissed him quickly before she grabbed his cloak and pulled it down past his shoulders. She grinned at the beauty of what she saw. "This is the Ur-Nammu that I wish to see, covered with henna for only me. Thank you for this."

It was all that she could do to tear herself away and begin to dance for him again.

She looked at him, seeing what he'd had done, the lines of his old tattoos brought forth clearly once more by the henna to rise and ripple over him. The welts and the scars were there too, lines and ridges over hard muscle. In that instant, Farah knew with certainty that what she'd planned for them would almost certainly come to pass -- barring an earthquake -- and even then she wasn't sure that it would stop anything. She turned away from him and let her own cloak fall from her shoulders.

His breath caught in his throat as he stared. The general inside the powerful body already knew how he felt about her. When she turned around to smile at him a little enigmatically, he knew everything with certainty.

He was far past wanting her and deep into need now.

He looked at the lines and patterns as she danced, quicker now in time with the next selection on the disk. He'd seen ones such as this before, but never one like her. She danced a little nearer and he saw that the artwork on her body extended to even the most intimate parts of her. The mesmerization of it locked him in, as though to look anywhere else would be heresy, or a crime of some sort. He couldn't have torn his gaze from her, ...

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