And we clung to one another like roots to the damp Earth; nails into skin, my fingers curled around his arms with the strength of some feral beast. The small clearing was no stranger to cries of passion and tonight was no different to the trees than any other. The only innocence was that we each followed instinct. He smelled of the forest and his breath on my neck was awakening some lost part of me…massaging old knots from my shoulder, a stranger giving comfort to the healer. I felt the hitch of my breath as I eased into his rough hands. No one had ever touched me so softly…no, that wasn’t right. He wasn’t soft at all, I could feel each callous on his palm, each scar on his fingertips against my skin. The moon was full and our small campfire burned brightly in the middle of nowhere that we’d chosen for rest. Without thought I turned to face the Hunter, the only kindred Spirit I’d come across in all my years. There was no fooling him and I knew he could read me clearly…I saw myself as a phantom, cupping his face in my herb-stained hands and bridging the small gap between us. The wind was picking up, my hair whipping about us both as I drew his lips to mine and released the last of my falsehoods.
I felt my facade burning away beneath the heat of his body. The ashes of who I’d made myself into for the Court were scattered with my skirts and his weapons, careless and forgotten around the hot embers at the center of our camp. We were, for a moment, more than our bodies could contain. Life and death were meeting in physical form, exchanging breath and soul. One. We were acting out an intricate dance, finding one another’s scent and chasing it. I was the prize doe, and he followed me, houndless; Cernunnos among courtesans.
I always knew she was inside of me…desperately calling out for the hunter. The rhythm of our bodies matched the forest song…chasing one another in anticipation, teasing slowly like the meandering river, coming together like the clean death-stroke from predator to prey. I leapt and danced beneath the moonlight. My brown skin was almost hidden amongst the trees, a wolf in doe’s skin. He stalked me, quiet and focused. One with his surroundings, the Hunter sought me out and snatched me between his teeth. My fight was fierce but for show, and I accepted my death at the hands of a predator greater than I.
Slight rest. Trembling together beneath the stars, our blood rushing to fresh bruises. It was a ritual, an offering to the old gods, a wordless binding. Animals don’t speak. He cupped water from the stream and brought it to my lips, sweet and cool. I could still taste myself on his fingertips, floral and sharp. Together the water and I created the fertile earth. As he bent to the river again, moonlight falling softly on arched back, I saw the aftermath of my frenzied feeding – my needs were met. The wolf’s hunger sated for now, the beast slain by something stronger. The Hunter sat back on his heels, splashing water onto his face before resting. Our campfire was naught but small embers, a glowing welcome to the sunrise and a a sign of time spent. He walked back to me, a man again. Easing to the ground, the Hunter met my lips once more before collapsing. I felt the warmth of his breath on my thighs as he eased into the deep sleep of one who had given himself entirely. Every kiss, every bite, every stroke…surrendered willingly, hopefully.
“Take it, take it, please.” Whispers from one soul to another, met with warm invitation.

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