The White Squaw

indianWoman_0.jpgThe White Squaw
By Anon Allsop

A young settler is captured by Indians while wearing women's clothing. To keep from being killed, the boy is forced to assume the role of the white female he is pretending to be. Donovan becomes friends with a white female who has been living with the Indians for many years, however, his ruse only worsens as he desperately tries to ward off the amorous advances of his friend's step-brother.

The White Squaw

At the bottom of a hill, the young man stopped his motorcycle and waited for his beautiful new bride to climb from the seat.

"Why are we stopping here Chris?" the young beauty asked, her voice soft and feminine.

"I'd like to show you something," he said, as he hung his helmet from the handlebar and waited for her to remove her own. Shaking her long fiery red hair free, the movement caused her stunning breasts to draw his attention. Finally, she handed her helmet to her husband and he hung it on the other side.

"Come on," he said, taking her small hand in his. "What I want to show you is up here!"

She followed him up some cement stairs, placed long ago by the state, for those who took their native heritage very seriously. He walked with her, eyes fixated upon her stunning profile...her deeply tanned, smooth legs stepping in unison with his own. They moved past a plaque and beyond, ignoring the words written completely. Where the hill became even steeper they stopped and he paused, turning to her.

"My ancestors are from this area, long ago we lived near this land." He looked around, she could sense the pride he felt in his heritage. Deep down, she felt the pride in her as well. "This once belonged to the far as your eye can see my people claimed."

"It's beautiful." She sighed, following with her eyes his sweeping arm.

"Do you remember when we joked about your red hair?" he asked, gently raising a lock of her hair upward.

"Yes." She laughed. "You had said that you think your...great...great...great...great grandmother had red hair."

He nodded, proud of her remembering what he had said so long ago when they were still getting to know each other. "She was Irish..."

"But raised by the Indians...right?" she added.

He smiled again, "I just wanted for you to know a little bit of my family history."

"I can see that you're very proud of it." She hugged his arm, leaning in and giving him a quick kiss.

He leaned over and gently patted a large round rock, warmed from the sun. "What I found...that I want to show you is under this." Chris rolled it aside and showed her. "I found it quite by accident when I came to find their burial ground."

Beneath the rock was several long strands of bright red hair, each one went straight into the hard packed earth. "I believe this hair belongs to my great...well, you know...grandmother."

"She was buried? I thought they placed them on high platforms?" the beauty asked, pulling aside her own fiery tresses to get a closer look at the red hair embedded in the earth. "This hair, it's so close to the surface..." she whispered.

"I think that since she was white, they buried her on the hill. But, all around us they had their platforms...she must have been the exception." He gently, almost reverently, rolled the large stone back into place. "Her being so near the surface, probably has more to do with erosion than anything. But the fact that the hair survives...I find completely amazing!"

"I just wished I knew more about her..." he sighed.

It was late May, 1851, the sun was warm, and a light breeze blew in from the south. Thirteen-year old Donovan Kincade stood on the upper bank of the Platt River, somberly holding his hat in his hand. Long, fiery red hair gently blew across his head and shoulders. His pale face, dotted with a small spattering of freckles, wore a frown as he sadly looked at the three long earthen hills that he had just created. In his emeraldgreen eyes, he showed only pity for the family, most likely dead because of sickness...never to step foot upon the green grasses of Oregon.

All about them, abundant blossoms danced in the soft breeze, coloring the steep banks. Brilliant hues of gold and blue burst forth in great splashes of color, ever swaying in the slight breeze along the Platt. From one of these waving beds, he broke a sprig and gently dropped it onto the center grave.

Donovan moved to the hill and began his ascent to the top. Once there, he again glanced back toward the graves and whispered a silent prayer. Had he not stopped for water, the bodies might have never been discovered. He had seen worse, for it was to be expected along the trail. If it wasn't the Indians, most likely it would be one of the illnesses that put you under.

Donovan slowly rode away on his ancient horse, leaving the wagon standing alone like a silent sentinel, watching over those poor souls that lay beneath their earthen graves. If there had been anything worth taking, he would have grabbed what he could. This time there was nothing; someone had already spirited away the horses...or eaten them long before he came.

What had befallen that poor family was much like what had happened to him; one by one he buried a member of his family until there was no one left but himself. They were all gone, and only he alone would carry on toward Oregon. Donovan sighed deeply, following the ruts that were carved into the ground by the countless wagons that had gone before him. As long as he was able, he would continue westward until some similar fate would claim him, or he placed his shoes upon the fertile green sod that drew so many hopeful souls.

As the sun climbed higher to the sky, Donovan began searching out cool shade to rest both he and his horse. Perhaps he could find a bit of grass suitable for it to eat as well. Ahead he could see a line of bushes, low and still far away, so he rode toward them. After almost a half day, he finally came to a river, much like the one he buried the poor family beside. The bushes he thought he saw were in reality the tops of several trees that grew along the river's bottom.

At one point along the river, Donovan spied an area where several wagons had taken advantage of the area as a ford to cross onto the other side. Down the bank he rode his horse, stopping at the bottom to allow for a cool drink. Climbing down, he scooped several handfuls of water and drank them down slowly. As he was standing back up, he spied a break in the rocky edge and began to lead his horse toward it. Tying the horse out of view, he ventured back inside the crevasse and was surprised at what he found.

To Donovan, it was apparent that someone had lived here at one time, but it was clear that it had been abandoned for many weeks. To the left of the crevasse stood a small cave, and scattered about the cave were several items of comfort: a rocker, an old chest, a tall oval mirror and a long flat desk. He fingered the mirror, tilting it slightly downward, then back up again. He assumed that someone had stored their items inside to protect them from the elements, not wanting to leave them along the trail like so many others had, and exposed to the weather.

He returned to the opening, standing in the sunlight and looked out toward his horse, "Looks like we can lay up here for a few days...would you like that, Buddy?" The horse only nickered its answer.

Donovan returned to the shadows where he left his horse and removed the saddle, carefully carrying it back inside the cave. Placing it to the side, he tested the strength of the dusty rocker; it held his weight. Leaning back, he propped his feet on the saddle and closed his eyes.

After what seemed like only minutes, he opened his eyes. He knew from the position of the light coming through the cave that it was very late into the afternoon. He stood and stretched, grabbed a canteen and walked down to the water's edge and filled it. Once finished, he carried it back to the dark cave and hung it on the arm of the rocker.

He knew that it would be dark soon, so he returned to the river and began to gather up a few dry branches for a small fire. Again and again, he carried bundles into the cave until he was satisfied that he would have enough to last through the evening.

By dark, he had a small fire going at the opening, illuminating the interior of the cave and creating an eerie glow at its mouth. Removing a piece of dried meat from his saddlebag, he again walked back toward the rocker and took a seat. Beside his saddle lay the big wooden chest, so he focused his attention on it.

Slowly he stood and moved toward it, his curiosity piqued. Flipping open the hasp, he gently raised the lid. Before his eyes, the chest revealed its contents, entirely filled to the top with clothing!

Even to his young eyes this wasn't just common clothing. This was very feminine clothing unlike any of the prairie women wore, but rather those of a gentile woman...a refined lady. He had seen women who wore this type of clothing, and none of them would rub elbows with the likes of him. "But why would they be way out here in the middle of nowhere?" he wondered.

Surely the possessor of these clothes must also be moving west, paring down her belongings to lighten up the wagon for the river crossing. Donavon smiled; it was too bad he couldn't take this clothing with him and sell it, because he was sure that it would fetch a pretty penny in some western town.

He fingered an item in the trunk and slowly removed it, holding it away at arms length, then he realized that it was a long, lacy petticoat. With his other hand, he picked up a silky pair of bloomers. He smiled and placed them upon the lid, and began tugging at a rolled up item tucked into the was a white, whalebone corset. Never before had he seen anything so overtly feminine before in his entire life, still...he continued to dig. More and more items were removed from the chest, carefully placed in the lid to await his eager scrutiny.

Beneath the corset was a pair of silk shoes, tangled into its long strings was a pale calico print bonnet with a wide lace band around the opening. He found two long silken stockings, a silver brush and comb set, and a strange looking hair clasp of some type, also made of silver.

Donovan knew that this clothing was quite expensive for its owner, probably making her greatly sad to leave it behind. Further into the wooden chest he dug, removing a stunning yellow silken dress with a short vest. From the copious amounts of material, Donovan could tell that the dress was quite beautiful, with very fancy elaborate hand stitching.

He wondered who had possessed such a garment? Had it been worn at some grand ball back east? Was it a wedding costume? He fingered the silken embroidery, running his fingers along the intricate patterns in the pale material. He picked up the dress, holding it at the shoulders. The young female who had owned this dress couldn't have been any taller than he was. He stepped in front of the mirror and held the dress out.

He studied the image reflected back, had his own long hair been pulled back, he could almost imagine what she may have looked like wearing that fanciful item. He placed his hand under the sleeve and pulled it over toward himself, making it look as though he was the wearer and placing his hand upon the waist area of the dress.

He looked outside and saw that the darkness enveloped his cave like a shroud. Again he looked back at the feminine pile of clothing, then to the mirror. A plan began to form in his youthful mind, a plan that would take advantage of being alone, a plan where no one else would ever know what he would do.

He carefully walked out to the edge of his cave, and he scanned for any sign of movement. Seeing nothing amiss, he climbed quickly to the top of the riverbank and peered into the darkness to see if he could detect any campfires burning in the distance from other travelers. Seeing nothing, he returned to his horse and checked to see that it was secured to its picket line; it wouldn't do to have him wander away during the night.

He entered the cave, tossed a few more sticks onto the fire and with a strange thrill of excitement, he began to remove his clothing and placed it onto the seat of the rocker. Donovan laughed with embarrassment as he stood entirely naked and pulled on the silky feminine bloomers. He fingered the corset and slowly wrapped it around himself, cups in the front, laces in the back.

Drawing them as tight as he could, he frowned as he eyed the square illusion it provided in the mirror, "Needs to be tighter to make it look right!"

He walked back to the opening and sought out a sapling about the size of his arm and tied the string to it. Reaching around his back, he took the slack from the laces and began to draw it tighter. Leaning away from the tree, he felt the laces growing tighter and tighter until it finally began to make it harder to breath. With one extreme lunge forward, he felt the strings pull to their tightest yet. Carefully, he reached around at his waist and held the strings tight with one hand, while he untied the strings from the tree with the other hand. It took some time as he had almost pulled the string on the tree into a knot, yet somehow he was able. He quickly retied the strings into a bow at his lower back.

He purposefully avoided the mirror as he passed it upon entering the cave, instead heading directly toward the two lacy petticoats that lay across the chest's lid. Quickly he stepped into the shorter petticoat and pulled it up to just over his hips. Donovan gently picked the elaborate garment, obviously to be worn over the shorter one. At its bottom was a wide band of yellow silk, to that was attached a scalloped lace trim with intervals of little yellow bows every six inches.

As this item settled upon his hips, he gathered the shoes and headed carefully to the rocker. With a quick sweep of his hand, his male clothing was deposited upon the dusty floor of the cave. Trying to mimic those females he had known, he smoothed flat the petticoat beneath him, and sat down. He held out a foot and carefully drew up a silken stocking on his leg, upon his foot he placed the feminine shoe and laced the long strings around his ankle. He held out his foot, admiring how the tiny pointed shoe with the short heel made his male leg look entirely feminine. His heart beat faster as he continued this process on to the other leg and foot.

He finally gained enough courage to spy at himself in the long mirror. He studied the form reflecting back. Donovan decided that he looked somewhat like his mother dressed in all of this feminine garb, although he thought he was still lacking somewhat in his womanly appearance. He stood up and turned the mirror so it caught more of the light from the fire, then quietly stared into the reflection for quite some time.

He returned to the lid and carefully picked up the brush, comb and hair pin. Returning to the mirror he pulled the rocker close and began to brush out the tangles in his own shoulder length, fiery red hair. The pain of the brushing was unimaginable for him as he worked at his feminine 'look' for almost an hour. First he braided the hair in two sections at his temples, then he pulled these together at the back of his head with the silver clasp to hold them in place. The effect was amazing, creating the feminine look with the addition of the hair jewelry. Donovan smiled, feeling success at his attempt...set off now by a hair style that gave him an extremely elegant, female appearance.

Donavon carefully tugged at the skin upon his chest, drawing it up and giving him the illusion of breasts. As he slowly pulled his hands away, he was surprised that the effort and tightness of the corset had awarded him with a slight bit of cleavage...looking very similar to those of a young woman his own age!

Finally he returned for the gloriously beautiful dress. Carefully, he placed it over his head and pulled it down. The dress was tight but not enough to be unwearable. He smiled as he fingered the dozens of little buttons that rose up from his waist, and one by one he pushed these through the tiny holes adjacent to the other side. As they were fastened, the higher up he went, the tighter the chest became. By the time he was at the top, the material, along with the corset had pulled him into a modest looking feminine bust-line, slightly more than that of the corset alone.

He returned to the mirror and smiled, shaking his head at what looked like a young woman in the mirror! Dressed as this, he would be very passable on the streets of Boston or New York. He slowly ran his fingers along the curves of his chest, down into the crease that looked like cleavage.

He stepped away from the mirror and slowly spun in a circle, and the movement caused the dress to billow out in a great circle. Laughing, he returned to the mirror and let his eyes drift along his reflection. From the tiny silken shoes upward his eyes were drawn, his waist now much smaller as it was confined in the whalebone corset. Then it gradually tapered outward as his eyes drifted up to his rounded chest. With the help of the corset, he now had a very pretty hourglass figure.

He held out his hand and began to pretend to dance with a gentleman, twirling in a girlish circle and ending with a low curtsey. He began laughing uncontrollably, falling back into the rocker until he could again regain his composure.

Outside his horse whinnied, quickly his eyes were drawn to the opening of the cave. With the stealth that kept him alive for this long, he crept toward the entrance and peered out into the black night. His horse stamped its foot with nervous energy, causing the boy to slip into the shadows of the trees and out of the glow from the fire.

Donovan's heart beat wildly, scanning the river's edge for whatever was making his horse so nervous. Slowly the youth lifted the hem of the dress so he could move quietly, and quickly. Carefully picking his way along the shadows, he didn't stop until he was at the top of the riverbank. Using the light of the moon, scanning as far as he could see, there was nothing moving on the evening horizon. He slipped back into the darkness and began to pick his way back toward the cave. Realizing that he was still wearing the feminine clothing, he was glad that he wasn't truly a girl because stealthy movement in these garments was cumbersome at best.

As he neared the cave, he paused, glancing into the corner where he had picketed his horse. It was gone! He quickly darted into the shadows and studied the ground; someone had been here and with them, they had taken his horse!

A great glow permeated from the cave, causing Donovan to gasp at what he was seeing. Flames were leaping out of the cave's mouth, as if there was a fire of un-imaginable magnitude inside. He felt his own heart drop, because inside were all of his belongings!

Scrambling to the opening, he was held at bay by the intense heat, on top of his fire lay the rocker, the chest, saddle, desk...everything! As he stood before the raging fire, he felt one strong hand grasp his waist, and the other clasp over his mouth.

With the fury of a being possessed, Donovan kicked and fought his attacker with all the strength he could muster. He flailed his pinned arms in a vain attempt to get his assailant to release his grip. Finally he was able to bite upon the hand that covered his mouth. As the youth clamped down hard upon the finger, he was roughly thrown against the ground, the force knocking him unconscious.

He awoke as the sun began to rise above the horizon, his eyes locked upon the grass he found himself laying face-down upon. As Donovan raised his head, he heard movement to the side of him. Standing beside his own stolen horse, stood a tall bronzed-skinned, Indian warrior. As the warrior turned, his eyes locked on Donovan who suddenly was trying to get up.

The man laughed and slowly walked to the boy's side. He grabbed him by the wrist and pulled them up to the boy's eyes, they had been bound together to prevent his escape. The big Indian gently reached out and held a lock of the youth's hair, then said something intelligible to the boy and smiled.

"Tse mao," he said as he bent forward looked at the lock he held.

Donovan couldn't understand the language of the Indian, but from the body language, assumed he was commenting on the boy's red hair. He also realized that the Indian thought he was a woman, had he known the real sex of his captive...Donovan knew that he surely would have been killed on the spot.

The Indian pulled Donovan to his feet. Then, picking him up as if his weight were nothing, the Indian placed him on the back of his horse. Seeing a moment of escape possible, he kicked his heels into the horse and took off like a bolt of lightning. Behind him he heard a whoop and knew that the Indian was in hot pursuit. In only seconds he leapt to his horse, and riding bareback, he caught up to the boy and gathered the reins in his hand, pulling the horse to a slow trot.

The warrior scowled at the boy, grabbed him by his upper arm and jerked him close to his bronze face. The Indian's hardened stare was slowly replaced with a toothy smile as he roughly shook the boy's shoulder, then released him with a slight push. As Donovan was released, the silken material slid across the bare back of the horse and he fell onto the ground with a painful thud.

"Oh tha tha?" The warrior laughed and leaned against his muscular thigh, again saying something that Donovan couldn't understand. The big man dropped to the ground and lifted Donovan up by his slender waist, and placed him lightly onto the back of the horse. As he released his grip, he pointed at the boy and sternly said something then began laughing. Donovan hung his head, looking down at the binding upon his wrists.

With the reins securely in his hand, the Indian vaulted onto the back of his horse and began leading his captive toward the south, away from the Platte River. Donovan swallowed hard, his long red hair billowing gently about his face, having lost the silver pin in the struggle of last night. He knew he would die as soon as this Indian warrior discovered his sure as the sun rises and sets, Donovan knew he would die.

The sun was straight up as they stopped at a small stream, and the big warrior swung his leg over the head of his horse and lightly dropped to the ground. He held onto Donovan's elbow as he directed the youth to do the same, although without his help, Donovan would have most likely fallen upon his face.

As the youngster stood, pinned between the horse and the Indian, he cringed as the Indian gathered up a handful of his hair and gently twirled it in his fingers. "Tse mao," he whispered, prior to letting the hair fall back to Donovan's shoulder. It was the second time that Donovan heard the Indian say that about his hair.

"Tse mao? What does that mean?" the youth asked, stumbling along behind the Indian as he was led by rope to the stream. Following his example, Donovan bent down, supported upon his elbows, and drank the cool water. With his hands tied, and because of the tightness of the 'borrowed' corset, the boy had trouble standing up. The big Indian gently grasped his upper arm and pulled him lightly to his feet.

The Indian then reached into a pouch and removed some dried meat, and again he spoke in a language that was alien to Donovan. "Wa non bre gue they." Finally in frustration, he pushed the meat into the mouth of the youth. The meaning couldn't be clearer - he wanted Donovan to eat.

The bronzed warrior stood studying the youth for several long minutes, then gently patted Donovan's stomach and indicated his 'breasts'. "Gaho?"

The boy frowned as he looked down toward his flat, tapered stomach and almost negligible teenage breasts. "Gaho?" he said aloud, repeating what the Indian had said. Then, as if it dawned on him that the word meant 'woman', or something like that, the boy nodded vigorously...fearing that if the Indian believed he was anything other than female, he would slit his throat and remove his fiery hair in the span of a heartbeat!

After chewing up the hardened meat, the youth realized that he needed to relieve himself soon or he would soil the dress. He cleared his throat loudly, to which the warrior glanced up. "I need to pee." The Indian's brow furrowed slightly in response. Donovan frowned and tapped his stomach with his bound wrists. "I have to go..."

The Indian stood and folded his arms, frustrated at his own inability to understand the young woman sitting upon the rock before him. Again Donovan stood and pointed to the rear of his horse, then pointed to several large droppings laying in the dust.

This put a smile on the Indian's face. He pointed toward the tall, swaying grass. With a laugh he lead Donovan toward it, pushed his foot around in the grass, apparently clearing an area for him to relieve himself. The boy stood in stunned silence, "You expect me to go with you standing right there?"

The big Indian pointed to the clearing and crossed his arms. Donovan realized that to stay in character, he would need to 'go as a woman'. Slowly he crouched down and pushed the billowing dress away far enough that he wouldn't soil it, yet keep his secret well hidden. Like a female, he expelled himself upon the ground, pushing his penis back so its flow was under his body and not out in front. Suddenly an arm was thrust by Donovan's face, in the hand was several leaves. Their purpose was quite evident.

As Donovan slowly stood, the Indian used his foot to bury the feces and cover the urine. Then he flipped aside the flap of his breeches, and urinated on the ground right in-front of Donovan. His large penis was in plain sight of the youth.

The Indian laughed at the shocked look upon Donovan's face. Turning toward the disguised youth, he shook free the last few remaining drops. He walked toward the boy and said something again that was unintelligible to him. But Donovan could feel his face growing red with embarrassment, he was sure that the color of his cheeks now matched that of his hair. With a great laugh, the Indian gently pulled at the rope until Donovan began walking back toward the horses.

"Gash-kon!" he spoke as he again lifted Donovan onto the back of his horse. With a great bounding leap, the warrior seated himself upon the bareback of his horse, turned and looked backward at the youth as he struggled to seat himself upon the back of his own horse. "Kakona?"

Donovan said nothing, and the Indian gently kicked his moccasins into the side of his horse, spurring him forward as he began to lead his captive once again.

That evening as they finally stopped to make camp, Donovan stood helpless, his wrists tied to a high tree-branch. He studied his captor at great length. The warrior was tall, much taller than most Indians that he'd ever seen. Donovan guessed that the warrior stood close to six feet in height. He had one narrow band of peppered hair that grew from his head and tapered all the way back to his neck, standing only a couple of inches high. Both sides of the row of hair were completely shaved. It almost looked as though he had no eyebrows, those too most likely shaved as well. At a guess, Donovan thought he might be in his mid-thirty's or early forty's.

There were three beads in his ears, in colors of red, yellow and blue. At the last bead was a single pale feather, dangling directly down. The Indian had a single pattern tattoo of intricate design that wound completely around his biceps, above and below it was a black line. His clothing was of a pale leather, deerskin most likely, stitched along the length looking like an open pant, with only a flap to cover his private parts.

In the firelight, the glow reflected from the warrior's bronze chest as he pushed a stick through a skinned rabbit that he impaled only moments ago. Slowly, the warrior stood watched Donovan for a few long, agonizing seconds. Then he slowly approached the bound youth. He glanced back toward the fire and began speaking, gesturing toward it. Slowly his eyes returned to the bound youth, briefly dropping to the swell of the corset where Donovan's immature feminine breasts should have been.

Again the big Indian spoke, yet the strange words held no meaning to the youth. Finally in a fit of frustration, the Indian drew the long silver blade from its scabbard. He held it out, just at the base of Donovan's neck. The warriors touch was gentle, yet wary. He slowly slid his hand the length of the boy's arm, as soon as he reached the wrist, he cut the binding.

Donovan held his breath, afraid to move for fear of being stabbed. The Indian again touched his hair gently, holding it in his hand and spoke a strange word, "Hoesta!" Donovan scarcely breathed, unable to understand a word the Indian was saying and afraid to attempt to interpret it for himself.

The point of the knife poised near the slender throat of the youth, the Indian leaned away so he could take in his captive in 'her' entirety. Gradually, the knife-point was lowered until finally returned to its sheath. Donovan held his breath, afraid to move an inch.

The Indian gently took him by his elbow and led Donovan toward the fire, finally pointing toward a log for 'her' to sit down. After several minutes of gesturing, Donovan understood that he was supposed to cook for the both of them...thankfully, this was something that he felt he was quite capable of doing.

The Indian sat upon the ground, his legs crossed at the knees. He tapped his finger upon his beaded breast plate, "Misae ee jah jeh le." Donovan said nothing, slowly rotating the rabbit upon the support sticks with his fingers, almost as if he were afraid to make eye contact.

As the flame leapt up, it caught Donovan off guard and he jerked his hand away quickly. This caused the Indian to chuckle, "Mon she wa le!"

Again the youth tried to turn the stick, quickly touching the wood before taking hold of it. "If you're trying to say that it's're a little late," he whispered softly, afraid to irk his captor.

The Indian only smiled, finally touching Donovan's dress covered knee. "Misae," he said once again, tapping his chest.

Donovan pushed a lock of his hair away from his face, tucking it behind one ear. "Are you trying to tell me your name? Misae? Is that your name?"

The warrior smiled and nodded, again touching his chest. "Misae!" Then he tapped Donovan's leg and said, "Da han."

"I suppose you're wanting to know what my name is...If I try and say my true name, you might figure out that I'm not really who you think I am." Donovan studied the meat for a moment, as tiny droplets of grease fell and sizzled in the flickering flames of their campfire. He placed his hand upon his chest, trying to do it as femininely as possible. "My name is... Amber," he said, making up the name on the spot.

The Indian thought about it for a few seconds, then sat up straighter. "Am-bear." He smiled and touched his chest once again, "Misae..." then pointed toward his captive "Am-bear."

"Am-bear," he whispered as he mulled the word over in his mind. Misae was proud that his captive now had a name, for he had grown tired of not knowing what to call her. He knew very few 'white-man's' words, yet one that he did know was the word 'bear'. He knew that it was associated with the great beast that lived in the caves toward the southeast of his village. 'Am-bear' sounded like a fitting name for a girl who lived in a cave, and fought like a little bear! He took his two index fingers and locked them together, "Misae...Am-bear."

Donovan's heart dropped as he took in the suggestion that Misae was making. Unsure of whether he intended to mate with him, or he was saying that he was now the possession of the Indian. Either way, the end result would be the certain death of Donovan.

For almost four full days the two rode, Misae leading his 'precious' captive onward, toward certain doom. During the entire time, the youth was in extreme pain from the tight corset. After being in it for so many days, Donovan felt that he was now rubbed raw in several areas where his skin came into contact with the whalebone stays in the garment.

Every slight movement or jar upon his body caused the youth to flinch in agony. This didn't go unnoticed by Misae, although the Indian attributed it to 'her' being a helpless female unaccustomed to a long tiring journey over rough terrain.

As they broke over a slight rise, Donovan saw a small village before them, with teepees dotting the landscape across the flat plain. Misae pulled Donovan's horse up beside him, sweeping his hand across the air he spoke to his captive. "Wazhazhe sanee!" he said proudly, then frowned when he couldn't get a responsive expression other than fear from the 'girl'. Again he repeated, "Am-bear...wazhazhe sanee!"

"Your village?" Donovan muttered sarcastically. "Great. Here's the place where I die!" The words were said low, his young voice almost whispered.

Still, nothing could be understood between them nor read upon the face of the 'girl'. Finally giving up, Misae nudged the flanks of his horse and began heading into the village. The closer they came, more and more people gathered about the horse of Donovan. Each one tried to touch the long red hair of the young white captive, almost knocking him from his horse in their efforts.

Misae slid from the back of his horse, and quickly made his way to the side of Donovan. In one movement, he took hold of Donovan's waist, and lowered him to the ground. The sudden motion caused Donovan to cry out in excruciating pain. Misae shouted to several younger women who ushered the teen into one of the many teepees.

The squaws took Donovan from the bright sunlit outdoors, suddenly into a dark teepee and forced him to sit down upon a thick fur hide. Misae stepped into the area behind the women, where he addressed them all. For several minutes Donovan heard him speaking, his voice and tone demanding their rapt attention. Finally as he was close to finishing, an older Indian woman pushed aside the flap of the teepee and entered.

Misae acknowledged her with a cordial nod of his head, and the woman sat. For once the room was quiet. She studied Donovan for several seconds, turned and exited the room, behind her walked Misae.

The old woman moved away from the teepee and looked up at the towering warrior. In her native Indian language, she addressed Misae. "She is young; how did you come upon her?"

Misae smiled, "I tracked a great elk down into a ravine, and found the graves of her family. Her track was small, I knew she would never survive out here alone. Forgetting about the elk, I followed her trail as she moved along the Platte and finally caught up with her where the white wagons cross onto our lands."

"What became of the great elk?" she asked slyly.

"The elk's spirit was strong. I think he wanted me to find the girl instead." Misae glanced toward the teepee where his captive was being held.

"Does she have a name?" she asked as the two began to walk.

"She calls herself Am-bear," he replied.

"She was bound, there are still marks upon her wrists. Why?" The old woman looked at Misae scornfully.

He looked away under her glaring gaze. "She fought me like a panther when I captured her...I felt that given the chance, she might try to kill me, Na-hao."

Na-hao pursed her wrinkled lips and nodded, "Her spirit is as fiery as her hair. You were wise to take precautions with this one." She patted his arm with approval, "What are your intentions with her?"

"If the elders approve, I would like to add her to my squaws. She is a sturdy one who can help my women out with their chores. Someday, she might accompany me in my bed, I find myself aroused by her fiery red hair! Or, I could use her to trade with my Osage brethren!"

Na-hao paused beside her own teepee, and looked up toward the brave. "The elders would never allow you to have a squaw that young, especially one who seems so unseasoned. Let me think about how you can use her and still keep her among your women. Ask me when Grandfather sun is high, and I will give you my answer then."

Donovan sat quietly and watched the flap that both Misae and the old woman walked through. After several minutes, a light-skinned squaw scooted close to him. "Havay. Da han ba gi?" she whispered softly.

Donovan said nothing, only stared back blankly. She frowned and looked down into the small fire that was in the center of the teepee. "Ke-sato ee jah jeh le." Again Donovan said nothing, only glancing from one face to the next of those who were intently staring at him.

Again the squaw tapped Donovan's arm, "" she asked in broken English.

His head quickly swung back, his hair fell forward of his shoulder. "You speak English?"

She began searching with her mind, words that long ago were once familiar. "I...I once was." Her eyes began examining the clothing Donovan wore, "Long ago...when very young...I have dress." Her gaze caused Donovan to look downward at what he was wearing. She continued, "I once named...M..Mary."

Donovan knew that she was most likely taken captive while young, perhaps as a small toddler. Her memories of her old world, distant and gray with the haze of time. She straightened up, smiling away those fading thoughts. "Here, I am"

Donovan's eyes continued to search out the room, looking for any avenue of escape. He hoped beyond hope that he could gain some idea of the tribe's location. "Where am I?" he asked desperately.

"W...we are,, Osage." She smiled to the others proudly, as each of the squaws leaned forward slightly, intently listening to the strange, foreign language. "Misae is he who"

Again she frowned as she sought out the words that she once knew long ago, ""

Donovan felt his heart skip a beat, once again realizing that these people thought of him as female. "I am called Amber."

She nodded slowly, then turned to face the others seated around the fire. "Wazhazhe sanee...Am-bear." Suddenly there was a chorus of whispers from the females, at one time or another the words, 'Am-bear' were mixed within each sentences that the Osage women uttered.

Donovan studied the lighter face of the squaw who had been speaking to him. "Who taught you to speak my language?"

She listened, then sat for several seconds as his question was absorbed. Finally she shrugged, "I came to...the...Osage many season ago...your language is...uh...slightly known to me." She began tapping on her leg, as if the motion would help her recall. "I may...once live with your people."

Donovan glanced quickly at the flap of the teepee, "What will happen to me?" His eyes searched with fear.

The squaw looked into the faces of the others and began speaking the Osage language, finally after they all had replied, she turned to face Donovan. "You young. Misae want many sons. You give him."

The reply was short and to the point; now more than ever, he needed to escape as quickly as he could! From the corner of his eye, he saw a hand touching his hair. "Ho esta!" she whispered to another.

The female laughed and pushed the first woman's hand aside, "Hon ka zhi tse mao!"

Donovan's eyes returned to the squaw who knew his language. "What are they saying? The warrior you call 'Misae' said those words more than once when referring to my hair."

"Mota say, your fire. Ona-aheto, say it just red." Even she couldn't resist the urge to touch the fiery red hair. "I think...both right. Never see red hair."

One by one the women returned to their daily chores, and only Donovan's translator remained. After several minutes, a young girl came inside and handed the squaw a small bundle. The bundle proved to be a tiny Indian baby. As soon as she had the infant unfolded, she untied the collar of her doe-skin dress and let it fall. To Donovan's surprise, she began nursing

As the tiny baby suckled upon her left breast, she studied Donovan. "You have child, Am-bear?" Donovan desperately shook his head no causing her to laugh. "No worry. You will."

Once again the flap was thrown aside, in walked the same little girl carrying a gourd full of water. Tehya said something in her language and the girl placed the gourd on the ground and took a soft hide and began whetting it down. After a few moments, she started to wipe the hands of Donovan.

After several uncomfortable minutes with the girl cleaning him, she was finally done. Scrubbed only those areas in view, from head to foot, she cleaned the dirt of their many days ride from his pale skin. "You need learn how!" she spoke, indicating the infant clinging to her teat. "Misae want many sons!"

"I don't think that's going to be possible." Donovan listened, watching the young girl as she gathered up the gourd and quietly left them alone again.

"You forget white are Misae's squaw now." She laughed. "You do this soon."

Donovan smiled and watched the nursing infant for several seconds, "I doubt that seriously."

"You see. Misae good be happy with him. He give you many strong child." The little one left go of her breast and she gently placed it on her lap and began patting its back until it burped.

"I know nothing about....that," Donovan chuckled. "I'll never be able to do what you're doing."

Finally, she grew bored with the red-headed captive and returned to mothering her child. Donovan rose to his feet and slowly moved about the tee-pee, to them his escape was impossible. Should he try, he would be instantly they had relaxed their watchfulness.

They let Donovan move about within the tent, always watched by at least one of the many squaws. Finally, bored with studying the interior for escape, Donovan sat back down on the big hide. Laying out flat, he tried to make himself as comfortable as possible, with the painfully strict unforgiving corset that was hidden beneath the dusty dress.

Wincing, he lay down and propped his head upon a folded hide. His tired mind working frantically; he had to find a way to escape, before they found out who he really was!

As morning arrived, Donovan sat up and held his side. He had been wearing the corset for many days now, and his skin felt bruised and rubbed raw. The pain was very intense, so much so that he thought he would cry. Several of the squaws were moving about on their daily chores, a few were even gone. One or two were like his interpreter, Tehya, nursing a tiny infant at her breast.

Suddenly, the door flap opened, and in walked Misae and the old woman. She headed right over to Donovan and began to speak very rapidly to him. Donovan instantly turned toward Tehya and waited for her to answer. She was listening intently to what the old woman was saying. During a brief pause, she began her translation.

"Na-hao too young. Wants Misae wait full season." Still in the background the old woman droned on, "She say you...we teach you how feed."

Donovan frowned, "I don't think I understand."

The young squaw replied back to the old woman, who nudged Donovan upon the chest with the back of her knuckles. The boy's face grew ashen, "I can't...I..." Suddenly, he thought better of saying anything that would cause his early demise.

"We teach," she said smiling, still holding the baby. Again the old woman spoke several words, then the young squaw turned back to Donovan. "Na-hao want you to..." Again her eyes wandered, trying to come up with the word that best described what she was thinking. "...learn feed Misae's child...until you are...kakona...uh...ready."

Donovan stood up quickly, ignoring the pain caused by the corset. "I can't feed a child! I have no...milk! The baby would die!" His fear held him close to tears. He knew that should he be responsible for the care of an infant, and not being able to sustain it as a 'real' woman would. The child would die and he would most surely be killed!

Again he watched as the young squaw spoke with the old woman, finally the ancient one rotated her palm outward and spoke her Osage language softly. Inside her hand she held a ball of what looked like paste or possibly dough. Tehya translated, "She eat."

With a trembling hand, Donovan took the offered ball and hesitantly placed it into his mouth with all of them watching. As he chewed it up and swallowed it, he wondered about what it was that he had just eaten. The old woman smiled her toothless smile, and nodded. "Tha-le!"

Removing the sticky dough-like residue from the roof of his mouth, Donovan swung his eyes over to Tehya. "What was it that she made me eat?"

"It is from plant." She smiled and began burping her child. "It is something...given...uh...woman who no...have milk."

"I don't understand!" he practically cried. "What will it do?"

"You soon make feed baby." She slowly rotated the infant to her other nipple, "You see...learn soon!"

It was as though Donovan's legs were knocked from under him! He sat down hard and stared at the thick hide. Slowly the old woman turned and walked out of the tee-pee with Misae. Partially fearing that what she said might actually happen, he trembled. But Donovan knew that there was no way on the planet that he, a male, could ever produce milk!

The sun was just breaking over the horizon; the day was still young. Morning found Donovan crouched in the weeds, expelling himself, trying his best to mimic the way a female would. Not far away stood a young brave close to his own age. The brave was politely looking away, but close enough to stop Donovan should he attempt to escape. It had been almost two weeks since Donovan had dressed himself as a girl, and it was two weeks of pure pain. The once beautiful dress was now soiled and stained green from constant kneeling in the grass, doing the few chores assigned to him. Soon he would have to dress in the clothing that had been offered every day since he arrived, thin leather dress with intricate beading. Still, Donovan knew that to change out of what he was wearing, someone might see his hidden surprise and his life would soon be forfeit.

Finally finished, Donovan pulled himself up slowly and held his breath until the strain of the corset eased its gripping pain. The young brave turned his head and studied Donovan. From the look in his eyes, it seemed he had never seen a white this close to his own age. Gently and respectfully, he took Donovan by his elbow and ushered him back to the trail which would take them toward the village.

As they walked, the brave lowered his voice and spoke softly the strange language of the Osage. Donovan recognized a few of the words, but still not enough that he could feel comfortable carrying on a conversation. The youthful Indian smiled from time to time, and to Donovan, it looked as though he was smitten with the 'female' he was guarding.

Donovan said nothing and let him talk, forcing himself to smile once in awhile. As the two approached the tee-pee, the young man pushed aside the flap of leather and allowed Donovan to pass. Behind the dress-clad youth, the flap fell. Once again, Donovan was trapped within the interior of the tee-pee.

Tehya was gently rocking her child, humming a song that Donovan recognized as a lullaby. She looked up, her large eyes taking in the captive female. "Am-bear, Na-hao come. Leave this." She handed the familiar white ball of sticky dough to Donovan. As per the routine of the past several days, he inserted it into his mouth and chewed it slowly. After it was swallowed, Tehya pushed the clothing to him once again, "You need."

"I can't," replied Donovan, ignoring the items she offered.

"Misae say so." She frowned, flipping them into his lap. "He change." Her mouth slowly curled into a mischievous smile. "Or...he change."

It was pretty obvious to Donovan that either he change on his own, or he would be changed by the big Indian. Stalling for more time, Donovan ran his hand across the dress. "I can't wear something so nice without being clean myself." He was hoping that a bath might provide the chance for escape that he was looking for.

Tehya smiled. "You change...if clean?" Even before he could respond, she called out to the young brave who was guarding the door. After a quick string of the Osage language, she stood and gently pulled Donovan to his feet. "We clean now," she said as she handed the infant to a young girl who was kneeling on the fur hide, threading beads upon a string.

The three of them walked to the edge of a small river, the youthful brave took his post on a high rock outcropping and 'tried' to look away. Tehya pulled Donovan's hair back over her shoulder and tied it with a leather string. Quickly she began to unbutton the dress that Donovan wore, while he tried to push away her nimble fingers.

"I can do it myself!" he gasped, turning away from both of them. His hands were shaking as he unbuttoned each button on the long dress. Hesitantly he pushed it onto the grass. Tehya quickly rolled it into a ball and tossed it aside. One by one the petticoats were treated similarly. At last, Donovan stood with his back to them, only wearing the corset and bloomers.

Tehya stepped up and began to untie the corset, loosening the laces until Donovan thought he would cry aloud in pain as his ribs tried to once again return to normal. Quickly covering his chest with his hands, Donovan bolted into the water as soon as the corset dropped from his body.

The young brave looked over his shoulder as Donovan squealed upon hitting the icy water of the stream. A slow smile crept across his bronze face as he watched the naked girl swim out of the shallows to where the water was at her slender neck, her fiery red hair floating about her shoulders like live tendrils on some mythical beast.

Donovan's breath was coming in short gasps because of the cold water, great patches of gooseflesh danced upon his pale skin. He shivered and shook as he watched Tehya gather his belongings and walked back toward the village, leaving behind only clothing that a young squaw would wear.

His eyes quickly glanced up toward the rock, where the young brave was sitting upon his haunches, watching him. A smile played upon the Indian's face.

Donovan quickly turned and faced away, not sure just how clear the water was from his higher vantage point. After several minutes in the icy water, Donovan could stand it no longer and bolted to a bush that grew near the clothing that Tehya had left. He placed his hands near his waist, attempting to hide his maleness from the brave. From above, an audible laugh could be heard.

From his hiding place, he snaked his hand out to retrieve the clothing. Shaking from chill, he quickly dragged it back into the concealment of his leafy shroud. Huddled under the canopy of the foliage, he prayed that the brave hadn't seen enough to make him suspect his true male identity.

As Donovan sat shivering, he took stock in the sores left from wearing the corset too long, rubbed raw and irritated by its tightness. He winced as his finger traced the outline of one sore on his hip...he had been wearing the garment so long that it had left him with a perpetual hourglass figure, from the constant pressure, almost as if it had molded his body into a confined girlish form. Donovan winced as he looked back over his shoulder at the young brave on the rock. "Had he seen?" he wondered.

He slowly stood, keeping well within the bush, hidden under its canopy, yet confined by position from escape. He gathered up the soft leather dress, accidentally brushing across his chest with his arm. In stunned surprise, he examined the reddened nipple...somehow, it was raised and just a bit swollen. If it were possible, it even looked as though the entire surface area had expanded slightly.

Once again his eyes were pulled toward the young brave on the high rock. Donovan felt that he could no longer chance the vast amount of time that he was taking. He knew that the longer he allowed himself in the watchful scrutiny of the Indian boy, the better the chance of being discovered. He hesitantly held the material close to his chest, afraid of what the brave might have already seen. Still, from the shape of his now tapered waist, the soft, miniscule swell of his chest...he almost looked like the teenage girl he portrayed. Again he shuddered with chill as a cool wind blew down the small river. With a great amount of hesitation, he quickly donned on the Indian clothing.

For three weeks, Donovan had to endure the sticky dough balls every morning. For three weeks, he had to put up a courageous, feminine front so he wouldn't be discovered by the young Indian brave, Misae or those few squaws left to guard him. For three weeks, he was forced to change and bathe the little Indian baby of Tehya's. For three weeks, he was compelled to hide behind the mask of the feminine guise of 'Amber'. The only real bright side was that the Osage language was slowly coming to him, enough so that he could at least understand a few words. Yet Donovan let no one know that he knew their language, keeping that to himself for the time being, for it may be handy at a later date.

Donovan knelt at the fire and stirred the coals, and beside him watched the young Indian brave. Slowly he stood and brushed the dust from the knees of the soft leather dress. As the coals began to glow, Donovan moved to a small woodpile and retrieved several bent and twisted sticks. Behind him followed the Indian. "You will be my squaw someday!" he whispered.

Donovan never acknowledged his comment, trying to keep them off-guard about his understanding their words. Still, the Indian carried a few sticks to the coals as well, pausing silently beside Donovan. As he leaned forward, the disguised youth only let his eyes waiver toward the brave's leggings. "I will talk to Misae, see what he wants for you?"

Donovan swallowed hard, and his hands began to tremble. He knew that for an older man like Misae to try and breed a young girl was frowned upon. However, a young brave like this was perfectly acceptable. He pushed the sticks into the coals, slowly working them under the glowing embers, trying to get them to flame. Donovan closed his eyes; he knew that he was slowly being drawn into a quagmire of deceit that would only end in his eventual discovery and sudden death.

Suddenly a new pair of legs were on his left, from the way the boy backed could only be either Misae or the old woman. It was the old woman, Na-hao...Donovan's heart fell into his stomach. He didn't want to look up, but a sound caused him to quickly glance upward. Na-hao was holding a very tiny baby...a white baby!

"Come," she commanded, using one of the very few white words taught to her by Tehya. With respect of Na-hao's station among the squaws, Donovan stood and brushed the dust from his dress. With great trepidation, he followed her into the tee-pee.

She walked right up to Tehya and stopped, this action caused the young squaw to look up from her beadwork. Seeing the old woman holding the baby, Tehya asked, "Na-hao, where did the baby come from?" Pushing aside her project, Tehya quickly stood and looked toward Donovan, who was still pretending that he didn't understand the language. His look danced between the two women...and responded with an animated shrug.

"The white's wagon rolled down the ravine, the fall wasn't too great, but both the mother and father were killed." She looked at Donovan and gestured with her thumb. "Tell her." The words weren't as clear yet, but Donovan understood enough to know what she said.

Tehya turned toward the girl she knew as Am-bear, "The child...was found. Parents die."

Donovan felt good, reassured that Tehya was telling him actually what the old woman said. At least she could be trusted...up to a point. Nahao again spoke in her native tongue, "She will care for the white child; this will be her son." She pushed the baby into Donovan's stunned arms. "Tell her!" The old woman spoke with finality, to her, the subject was beyond discussion.

Donovan turned toward Tehya, " care for child," she said, brushing her finger through the auburn hair that seemed to float around the baby's face.

Donovan felt the fear churning in his stomach, because he knew that the baby would die without proper care! "I can't, Tehya!" he cried, looking down at the helpless infant. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do!"

The young Indian rolled her eyes, "It simple." She began untying her dress at the neck and let the soft material fall. Gently she worked her swollen breast free, "Put baby here!" She smiled as she held the child before her lactating nipple. "See, it easy!" She held him there as she sat down, "He already know...what to do!"

Donovan's hand hovered at his chest, almost as if he were trying to protect himself from attempting something so female. "But, Tehya...I have no milk!" he cried. "This child needs a mother's milk!"

"You now his mother. You will have milk," she said smiling. "We start slow. You see."

She watched him, the tiny muscles in his temple moving as he nursed. After several minutes, he let go and allowed her engorged nipple to fall from his mouth. She scooted toward Donovan and gestured for him to sit down. As he took his place on the furry hide, she handed him the child.

"He need burp." She laid him down upon his lap and took Donovan's hand and began to lightly tap upon the white skinned baby's back. After several uncomfortable minutes of patting, they were rewarded by a audible belch. "Now you."

Even before Donovan could resist, she had began to untie the boy's dress. Pulling his short fiery braid out of the way, she sat down and waited for the boy to take his 'maternal' initiative.

With a pleading glance at Tehya, he held the baby away. "He not bite...much." She laughed.

Once again Tehya reached across and pulled at the flap of the dress, causing it to fall forward and expose the top of Donovan's chest. He looked down into the gentle swells that were hidden under the dress, the swells that made up his 'breasts'. Tehya grew frustrated and pushed the material lower to expose his entire left side. Then, she pushed the baby closer. "You mother now! You feed!"

Using his elbow, he gently pushed Tehya away. "If I have to do this, I'll do it myself!" Slowly he moved the baby into position and held him there, unsure of what he was doing was entirely correct. Tehya pushed against his slender arm and guided the infant toward his exposed flesh.

To Donovan, it seemed impossible that he could ever sustain the life of this child! He would fail, be discovered, and promptly killed. Slowly the tiny mouth approached his puffy reddened nipple. Donovan looked on, unsure of whether its size was a result of the strange dough balls made by the ancient squaw, or if it were the natural growth, color and shape it should normally be.

The infant latched on, the resulting wince caused Tehya to laugh. Still, it pulled itself in hard and began to suck in earnest. It was strange to the boy -- never in a million years would he have ever imagined he'd have a tiny child suckling to his chest! Sadly he shook his head, the long red braid only swayed over the child's tiny face. He looked up at Tehya, "He's not getting do realize that?"

"Not yet...but soon." She sat back and smiled, "You finish start on other. Now you see how it do every day!"

Donovan flinched again, the pain upon his nipple was excruciating...if this was the life he would have to face, maybe dying would be preferable! He sighed and bit at his lip to hide the pain he was feeling, "What about its milk? Without it, the baby dies!"

"Your son not die. I help until you...your milk come." She smiled and watched the baby suckle at Donovan's nipple, "He look like you. He have hair too!"

Donovan expelled a deep sigh from his pursed lips..."It's not red...It's auburn!"

"Maybe like his father..." she sighed wistfully.

Donovan had no moment for himself. Gone was the quiet plotting time for escape. Now, his entire day was filled with the 'feeding' and constant supervision of the baby. Over the next several weeks, Donovan had come to calling the baby 'Nodin', which is Osage for wind. He would have much preferred to use a white name for the boy, but the old woman forbade it completely. So, he continued to exist, just like many of the other squaws around him, carrying the tiny baby in a pouch secured to his chest.

It was bad enough just trying to do chores dressed like this female, but to do it with a infant strapped upon your chest was near impossible for Donovan. He was uncomfortable, as his chest ached from the constant feedings. For the child, he felt he was nothing more to Nodin than an oversized pacifier, there to keep Nodin content and quiet.

Na-hao tapped him on the shoulder as he was grinding maze in a small bowl. In her hand she held one of those sticky white dough balls. "Eat."

Without a word, Donovan pushed it into his mouth, chewing it slowly until it could be swallowed.

She then pointed a gnarled finger at Nodin. "You feed boy now." Donovan only nodded, long ago losing hope for any escape. He stood, and began gently lifting Nodin from the pouch. He removed him from it, as he walked, all while heading toward the tee-pee. As he took his place on the hide, he laid Nodin down near his legs. Now a habit, Donovan dropped the side of his dress down and quickly gathered the infant to his chest. With a heavy sigh, he sat and nursed the child. A noise outside of the tee-pee caused him to look up, and as the flap was pulled aside, Tehya walked in.

"Havay, Am-bear. Da heh ninksha?" the light skinned squaw spoke, moving her child to the other hip.

"Havay, Tehya. I'm fine," he replied, no longer hiding the fact that he knew their language. He had been conversing regularly over the past week, understanding much of what they were saying.

For several minutes, Nodin nursed upon Donovan's nipple before letting it fall from his mouth. Under the watchful eye of Tehya, Donovan rolled Nodin over onto his lap and began to pat his tiny back. As Donovan looked down, he couldn't help but notice that shadow that was cast upon his stomach from the light through a small hole in the tee-pee. Over time, whether it was from the dough balls or the constant nursing, Donovan's chest was being slowly transformed. No longer did his chest show the flat muscles that he once had, now they were gently swelling outward, able to cast a shadow of their own. The nipples had become longer, and darker red, extending out by a quarter inch. Even his chest area was now puffy, taking on the appearance of budding breast tissue.

Donovan felt dejected, as he pulled Nodin to his other nipple. Just yesterday, when he had a moment to explore himself sexually, his body wasn't responding as it once had. Instead, the slim waist had never really regained its shape prior to the corset's removal. It was as though it refused to return back to its original flatness, instead maintaining the feminine curves that the corset had once provided alone.

Still, if the changes to his body had only stopped there, all would be fine. Now though, his skin had become more supple, and all of his body hair was slowly fading into nothingness... except for that upon his head. That particular area of hair has become thicker and longer. On top of that, the old woman, Na-hao, made him keep his hair long. It was now almost six inches longer than when he arrived. His legs and arms had somehow grown a graceful quality to them, no longer bulky and gangly as had they before he was captured, but rather slender and lithe...and soft like a female.

Even Donovan's hands weren't left untouched. The palm was still as small as it always had been, however his fingers were slender and long, each nail itself, was narrow and elongated. They seemed to grow profusely, so much that Donovan resorted to chewing the tips shorter in an attempt to keep them maintained. A noise beneath him caused Donovan to look down.

Nodin pulled his head away and cried loudly, Donovan knew that attempting to feed him was futile. Tehya placed her child on the floor and quickly untied her dress, allowing Nodin to suckle at a full breast. As the baby nursed, in walked Na-hao.

"Why aren't YOU nursing your son?" she questioned Donovan.

The boy scrambled to his feet and quickly looked from the old woman to Tehya. "I...I have no milk!" he cried.

Tehya nodded, "It is true, Na-hao. She still doesn't make milk."

The old one eyed Tehya, "How long have you been nursing her?"

Tehya lowered her gaze to the floor, "Since the beginning," she replied softly.

Na-hao frowned and looked back toward Donovan, "No more. You feed!"

"The child will die!" Donovan argued vehemently. "I can't have that over my head!"

The old woman clenched her jaw, her temple pulsed. "The child would have died in the ravine if Misae wouldn't have found it. If that is what the Spirits want, so be it!"

"That's cruel!" Donovan shouted.

"Then nurse the child!" She eyed his uncovered chest, "You have the teats of a young girl, maybe no older than ten seasons. Tomorrow you begin taking three of the little white balls. If you're concerned about the child, you will take them." With the finality of her proclamation, she removed herself from the tee-pee.

The very next morning, Tehya had the young girl stand beside the tee-pee door, watching for the old squaw or Misae. While the girl was preoccupied, Donovan was forced to eat three of the sticky white balls. "I won't be responsible for Nodin's death, if there's a chance...I'll take it!" He grumbled as he forced the last one down.

Tehya turned toward Donovan and smiled. "Am-bear, I will still help you...but you must try harder to suckle your son." She stared at the infant and wondered aloud, "I have never known for one of Na-hao's medicines to fail. I think that your body's stubborn results might be embarrassing her."

"Thanks, Tehya!" Donovan forced a smile as he slowly began to untie the top of the dress. "But it wasn't like I didn't try to warn you...I just can't produce milk. It's as simple as that."

Donovan walked with Tehya to the river, behind them walked the young brave. Both infants had been left in the care of the squaws in the teepee. As they walked, Tehya leaned over and whispered. "I think Ouray likes you, Am-bear."

Ouray was the young brave who appeared to be so smitten with Donovan, the same brave who sat upon the high perch and guarded the swimming girls. Ouray was also Tehya's step-brother, becoming that when she was adopted by his parents. All of this was hidden from Donovan until very recently. Donovan glanced quickly over his shoulder; sure enough, the youth was smiling. "He has told me so. He also said that he intends to barter with Misae for my hand," he replied softly, embarrassed to find that he had an enamored suitor.

"You are lucky. Ouray is young and handsome," she said while giggling. "Like all men though, he wants many children."

"I can't! Children are out, even with Misae or just won't be possible!" Donovan replied, speaking low.

She said nothing; to her it was Am-bear's immaturity around men. Eventually, she knew the youth would change her mind, and grow to love them as much as any beautiful squaw does. It was these thoughts that coursed through Tehya's beautiful head as they stood before the river.

Ouray climbed to his post on the rock and lounged in the warm sun, occasionally glancing down toward the two women. Tehya took Donovan by his slender hand and pulled him toward the water. "Let us cool ourselves, sister. The water is warm!"

Donovan pulled his moccasins off, and laid them across a fallen log. Holding his dress up above his knees, he began wading into the water. As he walked slowly across the smooth pebbles and stones of the river bottom, Tehya dashed past.

"You will never be able to enjoy the warmth of the water, Am-bear, unless you remove your clothing!" Tehya began to remove her leather dress, tossing it up onto the bank of the river. Finally laughing at his reluctance and splashing water as she dove beneath the water's surface.

With a quick, hesitant backward glance toward the rock, Donovan lowered himself enough that his genitals were completely submerged below the water. Then, in one quick movement, he removed the dress, tossing it up onto the bank of the river. 'Tehya was right about one thing...' Donovan thought, 'the water was warm!'

From high above, Ouray lounged on his warm rock, his young eyes feasted upon the beautiful squaw he wanted, lounging in the water beside his sister. He would try again to speak to Misae about this young creature, perhaps he would offer two horses this time. He only knew that he desperately wanted to make this lovely girl his bride.

Down below, the two swam only feet apart, Am-bear's young breasts exposed to his hungry eyes. It was true that his own sister, Tehya, was larger on top than the white was just something about her pale skin and fiery red hair that held his interest. Still, he thought, the pale white female was coming along nicely as she entered her season of womanhood. Soon, he hoped she would be laying next to him in his bed, doing those things that only a man and his woman would do.

Ouray smiled, looking down at his lovely prey. Her breasts, while still small, floating and bobbing in the water. He imagined that they were suspended out from her delicate chest almost a full finger's length...and that was plenty enough for him. He would redouble his efforts with Misae, talking to him as soon as he returned from the hunt he was on. Perhaps three horses would sway his friend's decision.

Donovan stood in the water, his 'breasts' floating up and down with each gentle ripple of the stream. "How could this have happened to me?" he wondered. Over the last several weeks, these breasts had ballooned outward, growing heavier and heavier on his chest. The nipples were much larger and darker than he remembered, almost spanning half of a finger's length across. But that was not all, no longer was his waist like a boy's, now it was gently tapering like that of his friend, Tehya's. Even his hips weren't beyond change, they too were wide and closely resembling that of any young female he saw in the village.

His hair now hung to the middle of his shapely shoulder blades, yet the hair upon the rest of his body, refused to grow at all. Now, what did grow was sparse and pale in color, almost negligible upon his legs and face. But the worst part was that he could no longer become aroused, his penis lay limp and a fraction of its normal size! Something was indeed wrong with him, as if a strange illness was transforming him beyond recognition. More and more he was resembling a girl, and Donovan was sure that the sticky white balls were the reason for his dramatic change.

And now, to top it all off...his 'breasts' were starting to seep minute amounts of a cloudy white substance. Fearing what the old woman had said was true, it indeed appeared that milk was now a possibility. Somehow, they were producing milk, enough that little droplets hung from his nipples. He dipped down and washed the surface clean, rinsing the milk away. As he slowly turned around, he was almost knocked over by Tehya as she swam close by, her body touching his as she passed. Tehya rose up out of the water, giving him a strange look as she wiped her hair backward.

"Why are you looking at me like that, Tehya?" Donovan asked.

"Why do you pretend?" she asked.

"Pretend?" he replied, fear beginning to bubble to the surface.

"You are not a woman? Why should I not scream for Ouray right now? Tell me!" she demanded, yet kept her voice low so not to draw attention.

"This whole ordeal has been nothing short of a nightmare!" he whispered frantically. "When Misae found me...I was wearing the clothes you saw me in. I was afraid to say anything because I was sure I'd have been killed!" Donovan sobbed, knowing that as soon as she told the tribe, he would be put to death, but thankful that he now had someone he could tell...even if it did mean instant death.

"True, you would have been killed," she growled. "But now, you are stuck caring for the infant." She glared at Donovan and folded her arms across her breasts. "You have put me in a very compromising position, a place I don't want to be in at all!" Her anger quickly softened, for she could see the hurt in Donovan's eyes. Finally she pinched her lips together in thought, "I will help you...hide your secret. But at some time, either that young man up there...," she pointed at the youth stretched out on the rock, "...or Misae will discover your secret!"

Tehya looked back toward the bank where our clothes lay, "We must remove ourselves from the water, let me shield your body with my own, so we can walk up to get our clothing." She slipped beside Donovan, hiding his secret from Ouray's watchful gaze. "As soon as we return to the tee-pee, we must decide what we will do next!"

Donovan nodded, quickly pulling the dress over himself, effectively hiding his secret...for now.

Once inside the safety of the tee-pee, Tehya sat watching Donovan nurse the child. "Am-bear, if you were born male, how do you explain your form? If you were born male, you should not be able to do what you are doing now."

Donovan frowned, "It must be something in those sticky balls of dough that Na-hao is giving me, transforming my body to look like that of a female. Remember, she did say that it would cause me to make milk...I just guess that it wasn't tried on a boy before."

Tehya sat up. "If it is something that she's doing to make you become female, maybe that is your answer!" She scooted closer, their elbows almost touching. "I could find out how to make the little balls, you could eat more of it and become a complete woman. That way, if either Ouray or Misae takes you to his bed, none will be the wiser..."

"You're forgetting one thing. I don't want to become a woman!" Donovan cried. "And besides that fact, what if it only makes me look like a woman...and I'm stuck as a boy in a girl's body?"

"It may already be too late for you to decide, you are practically there now. Besides, you have a son to care for. What will he think when he knows that it was a man who he suckled upon as he grew? No, you must at least look as a woman to save your son from embarrassment. I will find out what it is that you are being given, then you will eat more and more until you are like me...female...or at least, look as one!"

Donovan didn't answer; he was stunned that the only way to survive was to become a way or another!

It took Tehya only three days to discover the ingredients to Na-hao's concoction. Once the secret was learned, she mixed up a batch, packed it into a small bowl and sat it in front of Donovan. "You eat this, it will change you!"

"And if I don't?" he replied defiantly.

"Misae will discover what you hide, then...will kill you," she answered bluntly.

With great hesitation and resignation, Donovan picked up the bowl and began to scoop the contents into his mouth. As he ate, Tehya spoke. "We don't know how long the changes will take to happen. Hopefully it will be soon. Already today, my brother said that Misae will return from the hunt. As soon as he does, Ouray is prepared to ask for a trade."

"A trade?" Donovan asked between mouthfuls of the sticky substance.

"Four of his best horses for you." She smiled as the last of the concoction was shoveled into Donovan's mouth. "Ouray's horses are prized among our tribe, I think Misae will trade."

"That isn't a very comforting thought," he said softly. "I don't want to belong to either man."

"Welcome to the world of women," she shrugged.

"What happens if Misae does trade and gives me to Ornay? Your brother will expect to bed me as he would any woman!" Donovan spoke as he continued to chew.

Tehya smiled and reached behind her back, slowly bringing around a long dark green, jagged edged leaf. "We will feed him this and it will make him drunk with pleasure. He won't know if he did bed you or not...we will convince him that it happened."

Donovan cleaned the mouth of his son, removing the spittle with a soft hide. "Why would you do this to your brother? Aren't you afraid of him being hurt or embarrassed by me?"

Tehya considered Donovan's words for a moment. "In the Osage culture, it is rare to find people, who, like you, possess both spirits of male and female. They are looked at with much respect." She lowered her eyes gradually, then began nodding, "I think that Ouray would be honored...eventually."

"Once he finds out...he'll kill me!" Donovan groaned, "I'd kill me if I were him."

Donovan didn't feel very confident of Tehya's plan as he again raised Nodin to his shoulder and burped him the way he had seen white women do. He smiled as he heard an audible burp. "And what will happen if he wants...what I don't have, more and more...are you planning on drugging your brother each and every single time? For the rest of our lives?"

"You can't be expected to spread your legs for a man every time, there are those periods of time that you don't feel well or aren't in the mood for his pestering. The other times..." She only shrugged.

Donovan placed the infant at his other breast, Nodin quickly drew the swollen nipple well into his tiny mouth. Looking down, he wondered aloud, "What will happen to Nodin? Will Ouray let him still stay with me?"

"Do you care?" she asked.

"Of course I care! I wouldn't have gone through any of this if I didn't care!" He scolded his friend. "Well...that and the constant threat of imminent death."

Tehya smiled at her friend, "Nodin will stay with his mother. You will be expected to raise him."

Twice a day for almost a full three weeks, Donovan was fed that strange white substance. That it was working was apparent, because slowly as if he were a beautiful butterfly, he was being transformed. His waist was now slightly more narrow, and his breasts became just a hint larger, making him look like those of any woman in the tribe. His hips were becoming very shapely, and his legs were long and sleek. His hair was growing thicker and longer, almost reaching the small of his back. It had been a year since his capture, yet he looked nothing like that gangly white dove that first entered their tribe. Now he was a young beauty.

His face had become softer, rounder and more shapely. His voice, never given a chance to reach the baritone of a boy...was now locked forever in the soft and gentle timbre of a high alto. His hands were slender, his nails had become elongated like those of the other women. Even his penis was miniscule, the sack and balls long ago giving up their struggle for a presence...instead retracting up close, nearer to his body.

Donovan no longer had fear of being seen while swimming, his tiny penis buried under the thick red hair of his crotch. He sighed, knowing that he would never have a lock on fatherhood, forever to be sealed inside the feminine embrace of the woman's world, once and for all.

One afternoon, as he sat playing with Nodin, Tehya quickly knelt beside Donovan. "Am-bear, Misae is back. Ouray is on his way to talk with him."

Donovan felt his heart fall into his stomach, "What do you think Misae will do?"

"Ouray is prepared to offer six of his best horses." She glanced toward the end of the village where the two men gathered, nearby was the lead with the strong, prancing horses. "Misae is looking them over right now." Donovan could no longer stand it, he swiveled his head back and looked over his shoulder at the men bartering for his hand. Donovan felt like he was a common animal in the stockyards back in Chicago.

"Oh...damn!" cried Donovan quietly. "Ouray's coming this way...without the horses!" He dropped his head, for his fate was now sealed.

"Na-hao is walking behind him," she observed. "They are finished talking."

"Where are the horses?" Donovan asked, raising up slightly to get a better view, hoping for a chance in Misae's refusal.

"He is leading them back to where he keeps his own horses. The trade has been made. You belong to my brother now."

With a slight tremble in his voice, Donovan spoke softly. "Get your leaves ready, Tehya."

She stood quickly and slipped back into the tee-pee as Na-hao and Ouray walked up. She looked down at him and smiled. "Ouray is taking you as his bride. Prepare yourself for your wedding."

There was no asking if Donovan was interested, no kneeling, no romantic words...nothing. As any dutiful squaw would do, Donovan stood and slowly made his way back into the tee-pee to retrieve his belongings and prepare. As he entered, he only exchanged a glance with Tehya, who was frantically grinding up several of the dried leaves with a stone.

The Indian bridal dress was tanned very pale, the fringe along the side was beaded and long. The calf-high leggings were made from the same pale colored material, ornate beadwork created a design along their fronts. Donovan carried Nodin with him into the ceremony, Tehya carefully took him from Donovan as he approached her brother. The old woman stood beside Ouray and pointed where she wanted Donovan to stand.

"Am-bear, you are joined by the spirits to become Ouray's bride. You will do as he bids, in each and every way. You do this, and the spirits will favor your union. Ouray, you will take Am-bear into your bed, be gentle with her for she has never been alone with a man. Treat her kindly. Your new son, Nodin, whom you will raise as your own, must be taught the Osage ways. You will become his father."

She began to wind a braided rope around their wrists, "This rope signifies your union as one, you are joined forever in the eyes of the Great Spirit." She then turned and picked up a gourd where it was behind her, held by the young girl from our tee-pee. "Drink the waters of your union, together it will set you at ease, and allow you to join as one."

She held it first to Ouray, he drank from the gourd until she touched his arm, then passed it to Donovan. "Drink up, Am-bear, so you can prepare to meet your husband."

Donovan drank down the very last of the water, from where he stood, he could see Tehya give him a slight nod. She had been successful slipping her brother the crushed leaves. As they finished the ceremony, Tehya first hugged her brother, then Donovan. As her mouth was close to his ear she whispered, "I hid the leaves in his meal, you will have to give into his desires until the leaves take effect."

Donovan gave her a quizzical look, wondering what she meant by what she had said. However, he was slowly pulled away by Na-hao and Ouray. As the three walked, Na-hao spoke softly. "Once the ceremonial water takes effect upon your systems, your inhibitions will be softened. You will be at peace with your new union."

"What does that mean?" Ouray asked, "What was in the water?"

She smiled and stopped before a new tee-pee, set further away from the others. I assumed it was for our privacy. "Thank me later," she whispered softly.

The old woman held aside the entry flap, and gestured with her head, indicating that they should go inside where they could be left alone.

As the flap closed, with it went most of their light. Ouray stood quietly on one side of the tee-pee, Donovan stood on the other. "Is it warm inside here, Am-bear?" he asked nervously.

"It's stuffy," Donovan replied, trying to keep his distance as he wiped the tiny beads of sweat that glistened his soft upper lip.

"What do you suppose was in the water?" Ouray asked.

"I don't want to know," replied the pale form in the dim lighting, taking his slender hand and drawing it across his forehead.

Ouray grew quiet, then finally it was his voice that broke through the stillness of their wedding chamber. "I have wanted you since the first day you arrived in our village."

"Oh?" Donovan asked hesitantly.

"At first, you were gangly as a young bird. Now though, it was as if you grew into a beautiful eagle." He smiled, even in this dim light, his penetrating eyes were deep brown and traveling slowly over Donovan's body. "I love the fire of your hair."

"Great...thanks," Donovan replied nervously as he began to fan himself with a crow's feather he found braided into his own hair.

It wasn't as if Donovan observed any outward changes to Ouray, it was very subtle at first. But the young Indian was growing increasingly uncomfortable, but left the transformed youth to wonder whether it was what the old woman gave them to drink or if it were what Tehya added to his meal.

"What's wrong?" He finally grew the courage to ask Ouray.

Ouray frowned, "I'm...I'm feeling really tired...and yet, incredibly aroused."

Donovan knew that the leaves were the item that was making him so left something in the water that was making him so aroused. If it was affecting Ouray, what would it do to Donovan?

Discretely, Ouray was trying to maintain some semblance of his own shy decorum with his new bride, but failing miserably. Donovan on the other hand, was beginning to feel the effects of the old woman's medicines in his own body.

The transformed teen stumbled, holding himself up against one long pole inside the chamber. At that same instant, Ouray lunged toward him in an attempt to keep his bride from falling. Donovan clung to the pole and shook his head, trying to release the confusion that was rapidly clouding his mind.

" okay?" asked Ouray.

"I'm...fine," Donovan stammered. "I...I warm," he responded, while wiping his face on the back of his own slender hand. Perspiration glistened from his face and neck, and his breathing was coming in short, rapid bursts. Each erotic sounding breath was only making it harder to fight off the hunger that was building in both of their bodies.

Ouray fell to his knees and pulled himself to the great hide that lay nearby. "I...I want you...but I can hardly keep my eyes open."

He slowly eased himself down, and then rolled onto his back. "This isn't fair...I'm supposed to be making love to my new bride." His hand moved toward the flap on his breeches, already it was beginning to be pushed aside by an incredibly aroused penis.

Donovan felt the pull, drawing him nearer to the man on the floor. Ouray's hand slowly slid off of his body and dropped to his side, it was evident to Donovan that he had passed out.

Donovan sat down beside Ouray on the big hide, and studied the young man that had become so smitten with him. It was a shame that he wasn't actually a female; at least he felt that he owed that much to Ouray...for the vile secret that he hid from him.

Ouray's breathing grew more regular, sliding him further into a deep sleep. Donovan's eyes wandered over the man lying beside him, his lips were soft and inviting, begging to be kissed. His chest was solid, filling out with manhood, and it convinced Donovan that soon Ouray would have a great stature, much like Misae's. Donovan reached out and touched the beaded breastplate of Ouray's, then allowed his hand to drift upward to his bronze-skinned neck. Leaning forward, he hovered over the sleeping man, one hand resting against his warm chest.

Without knowing why, Donovan bent down and tenderly caressed the face of Ouray, still locked in sleep. The feelings inside Donovan were strong, and the induced hunger was still un-sated. Donovan leaned down and surprised even himself by kissing the lips of Ouray.

Inside his chest, he could feel his own pulse race, pounding a beat so loud that he could hear it with his own ears. Deep down a need was building, growing stronger the more he lingered over this man. How could he allow himself to do this, what was it the old woman said? "S...something about...inhibitions being softened?"

Stronger and stronger grew the feelings, as Donovan couldn't even compel his own body to leave the prone male. Again his lips tasted the kiss from Ouray, slowly the kiss grew longer and fell to the neck. "...Have to stop..." Donovan whispered into his passionate kiss.

Still Ouray slept. Donovan threw a slender leg across the Indian's chest, relishing the sexual way the beads felt against the soft skin. Still the kisses continued, burning hotter and hotter with each passing moment.

A moan escaped Donovan's lips, sultry and feminine-sounding to even his own ears. It only proceeded to push him further with desire, further into the bliss that was building from within. Letting his lithe fingers trace Ouray's neck, he let both hands slide down to the young brave's chest. With wonderment, Donovan realized that he was now sitting upon Ouray's stomach, riding low, just ahead of the towering penis. Quickly he was fumbling with the strings on the beaded breastplate, frantically trying to remove them from Ouray.

"What's me? Why can't I stop myself?" he whispered lustfully, his knees placing pressure to Ouray's hips. "I...I can't..." He valiantly fought the old woman's medicine with all of his passion. It was a vain attempt, and he knew it as he fell prone against Ouray! Stomach to stomach he lay, his heaving breasts to the Indian's warm chest.

Donovan tried once again to get away. He backed up, the crease between his rounded cheeks came into contact with the stiffness of Ouray. The Indian's ridged penis was pointing straight up, as if locked into that position by some unseen hand.

Without any conscious effort on his part, Donovan moved to a position behind the object of his desires, holding it firmly against his crotch. His now feminine looking hips began to move with seduction, a dance of passion that only lovers make. Try as he might, he couldn't prevent the gyrations of his gentle movement. A movement that continued to build, faster and faster as the stiffness rode directly against the tiny button that was left of Donovan's own diminished maleness.

Further and further, Donovan's mind became separated from his body, and his male thoughts fell into a great abyss that swallowed him whole. No longer were they Ouray and Donovan, two members of the same sex trying to mate as if they were true opposites. He had become the bride, he was now Am-bear, making love to her husband, Ouray. Fading into nothingness was the boy once known as Donovan, replaced by the feminine form of Ambear.

With a soft grunt, she shook with unbridled passion. Her body accepting its position as the female of the two. It was at that very moment that a heat began to build into a flame that could only rival her fiery hair. The explosion that she felt, collapsed her onto him. It was as though her very soul had burst forth with a brilliance that transcended all that she had known.

Yet she could not compel herself to stop, rocking upon him as if her very life depended upon it. Finally, in one super-human effort, she threw herself off, slowly sliding down his left side to the fur hide beneath Ouray.

Still Ouray slept, unable to enjoy what she had done with him.

She lay panting, her sweat glistened face, resting upon his chest. Below her gaze stood his impressive penis, like a sentential of passion over them both. Gently she reached out and touched its thick surface, her hand tracing the veins then hesitantly pulling back as if it were some strange rabid animal. Gradually she overcame her fears and scooted closer, its ridgedness seemingly begging for release. A release that only she, the bride, could accomplish.

She pulled herself nearer, close enough to smell the musky odor of her husband. She sat up slightly, her blazing hair cascading across his tanned leg. One braid had fallen, with her free hand she removed the other. Now both sides were as free as she, each spilling across his waist and looking much like a wavy river of fire.

She inched closer, glancing upward to see if he had awakened...he had not. As if being pulled along by the very spirits that these people revered, she was drawn over her husband's penis, an instrument of hot flesh held so tenderly in her hands. Caressing it gently with her cheek, she soaked up the warmth as she moved from top to bottom, then back up again.

Her soft lips touched the tip, parting ever so minutely. A tongue gracefully danced outward, whetting their surface. Slowly, her bottom lip pulled across its surface until it returned with a bouncing snap. Am-bear fell over her husband, her lovely hair, now long and luxurious, splayed about his neither region like the canopy of a tree. There she held him like the dutiful squaw, only stopping when his own sweet release had finally been sated.

In each other's arms they slept, only the morning birds brought them to wakefulness. It was Ouray who awoke first. He looked down upon Am-bear as she stirred, her beauty was only surpassed by his desire for her. She rolled her head aside, trying to gather her bearings to thought.

"I'm sorry I have failed you on our wedding night," he whispered sadly. "I don't know what overcame me."

Am-bear sat up quickly, the flap on her dress falling forward. Ouray's eyes drifted toward his wife's exposed flesh, a slow smile pulled at his mouth. "We...we could make up for last night...if you want," he suggested.

Am-bear gathered her top and retied it once again. "Even though it may mean my own life, I have something to tell, something that just might cause you to despise me."

Ouray raised his head. "Nothing you could ever say, would make me despise you! You are all I dream of since I first laid my eyes upon you!" His own eyes glanced at the flap of his breeches, there lay his flaccid penis. Somehow he knew that more than he could ever imagine, had happened last night.

She looked away, down toward their feet as if gathering her thoughts. "I am not who you believe me to be...I have deceived you, Ouray."

His smiling eyes narrowed, "Deceived… How?"

She scooted away a few inches, placing distance between their warm bodies. "If your anger grows beyond control, please kill me as quickly as possible."

"I would never..." he began, only to be stopped by Am-bear.

"When I was captured by Misae, I...I was as male as you." Tears began to cloud her eyes as she spoke. "Misae caught me in the white woman's dress and brought me here." She waited for any outburst from Ouray, but he only looked down at the hide. "It was all a misunderstanding,.. I never meant to be mistaken for a woman!"

"You...then..." he stammered, a tear fell onto his leg. Am-bear felt as though she had crushed his heart under her words.

"I'm sorry!" she whispered emotionally, her voice trembling.

He sat quietly, and his lip trembled. Am-bear bent low to see into his eyes, to look for the hatred that most surely was now there. Finally, after several minutes he looked up, his eyes glassy from tears. "Ambear, it is I who has deceived you."

She gave a start, then tipped her head like a small puppy. "How could YOU deceive ME?"

"Misae...he is my Uncle," he began. "He knew of my...desires. He only pretended to want you, thinking this would confuse the village."

Am-bear's face relaxed slightly, her concern for her own safety slowly fading.

"When Misae found you, he thought that since you enjoyed dressing up as a white female...he would bring you to me. Later, with the help of Nahao, they began changing you to look more and more like one."

Am-bear looked away, her intent gaze was against the side of the teepee' s interior. Ouray continued, "They thought if they could provide you with the form of a woman, you could blend into the tribe and agree to become my wife. After Na-hao's medicines allowed you to suckle, Nodin...we felt you were ready to begin being my squaw. The entire village thinks you are a white female."

Am-bear looked down sadly, "I can't take you inside like a woman, even if I should remain as your squaw."

Those simple words spoke volumes to Ouray, as he looked toward his bride hopefully. He had been so sure that once she knew his deepest secret, she would have nothing to do with him. Yet, he had pinned all his hopes upon Am-bear's wearing of the white woman's clothing, as a sign of his willingness to live as a woman. Now, it was as though she was accepting herself as a woman and he as her husband.

The look she gave her husband held no contempt. Deep within her soul, she knew that this was the only place on earth where she could live as she wanted, and still have a family. Happily playing the part of the dutiful female, in more ways than one. She smiled at Ouray, it was as though a great weight was lifted from both of their shoulders!

"Then, you will remain as my bride?" he asked softly.

"I was out there alone on the prairie, and my family is buried out there along the Platte River. I am as happy now as I could ever hope to become. If you want me to stay...I will stay."

Ouray's smile grew, and he gathered up Am-bear and smothered her soft face with kisses. "Hold on there...wait a minute," she spoke softly, her words being swallowed into his neck.

He held her, smiling playfully. "You haven't already changed your mind?"

"No. I'll be your Am-bear for as long as I live...but what about Nodin?" She looked up into his eyes, like beautiful emeralds glistening in the sun. "I'll not stay unless Nodin stays."

"Nodin will stay. He is our son." He hugged her, against his neck she spoke.

"I'll never be able to give you any other children, I will always be barren." There was a slight sadness in her voice.

"You have Nodin, we will find our children out there on the prairie." With a sweeping wave of his hand, he indicated the entire outdoors. "Where there is one...there are many."

She pushed away, her slender hand against his chest. "I'll not have anyone stealing a child for us!"

He smiled and took her chin in his hand, kissing her lips lightly. "I know of a young female who is hiding out in the prairie, in a cave much like the one you were found inside. She has learned that she is with child, the father is from a neighboring tribe. She is young and afraid to tell. Should her parents know, they will be could result in war between our tribes."

"Is she safe, out there all alone?" she asked, her green eyes dancing in the dim light.

"She is safe, she will be fine." He took his finger and tapped Am-bear's nose. "Na-hao says she will have her child in eight moons. Na-hao said that the child will be raised by us should we want it. They will tell her parents that she was captured by renegades. She will return, though...escaping only after she gives birth."

She sat up and gave Ouray a narrowed gaze, "The old woman, Na-hao? How long has she known about me?"

"She knows," he replied as a matter of fact. "She suspected early on, when you didn't produce milk right away. When she spoke about it to Misae, he told her everything." He smiled slowly. "Don't worry, your secret will be safe with her."

"I think, dear Ouray, that you forget I don't have a woman's womb. I can't look like a woman who is with child." Am-bear said as she ran her slender hand along his strong calf muscle.

"She has said that if you wear a deer's bladder under your dresses, it could be filled with water to make you swell as if the child were your own. Then as the time grows closer, she would take you away and bring you back with the other squaw's child. We could do this as many times as we you as many children as you desire."

"Who else knows beside Na-hao?"

"Misae and Na-hao are all that know," he said smiling.

"And your sister, Tehya. She thought she was helping me," she replied, causing him to smile.

"That would explain why she tried to make me sleep through my wedding night." He laughed, taking a fiery red lock of her heir and letting it brush against his cheek.

"She was only trying to protect my secret," Am-bear said with a smile. "She is innocent."

"Your secret is out now...I am the only one you need concern yourself with anymore," he laughed.

Am-bear leaned against an elbow, "You probably didn't miss much...I am very naive when it comes to matters of love."

He smiled and pushed her onto her back, "I think you should let your husband make that decision for himself." They began kissing, a slight movement caused Am-bear to look down near his waist.

"Perhaps I should show my husband what he missed?" she asked playfully.

"Perhaps you should." He laughed as he threw a leg across his bride's thighs. Loving in the only way they could...completely, passionately...forever.

They walked down the steps hand in hand, content with the little bit that they knew of the bright red hair beneath the rock. The newlyweds would move onward, raising a family of their own somewhere out west...who knows, perhaps they would end in Oregon? Chris glanced back towards the summit of the hill, as he was returning his gaze downward, his eyes caught the gleam of his lovely brides own green eyes.

Chris' ancestors, Ouray and Am-bear Trueax, would be happy if they knew that their children had carried themselves forward, proud in the fact that they upheld the family name with the honor of their native heritage. Now as the newest members of the family pulled away from the burial site, Am-bear could be proud knowing she had a firm hand in shaping the lives of her own children, and children's children.

Somehow Chris was positive, she was looking down at him and smiling.

The End - Happy Holidays Everybody!

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