Red hair decides to replenish her purse by looting the Sa di Sani Priestess temple and finds she is not the only one with this idea.
The two women locked eyes for a moment, each sizing each other up, Red hair noticed the Ja lina feathers in the woman’s hair, they said and did nothing. Then a bell started ringing from somewhere deep inside the SDS temple.
“That’s an alarm”, Red hair observed dryly.
“So it is” , Orinaa returned “We should leave”
“Not until we reach an agreement”
“We haven’t got much time”
“So decide fast”
Orinaa rolled her eyes in exasperation “Do you want us both to be captured by the Sadi?”
Red hair pursed her lips and pointed to the leather bag that Orinaa was carrying over her shoulder “I want a third of whatever you have in that”
“Agreed. Which is the fastest way out of here?”
This proved simple Red hair recalled how she had entered the temple and motioned to Orinaa to follow, hastily running through the courtyard and scrambling up the stone wall.
Once outside the wall “Time to leave Sadi lands and hide out for a while” Orinaa said “There is a deserted farm just a few pasangs from here” Without waiting for a reply from Red hair she ran off into the forests.
Afterwards Red hair could never work out how far they had travelled. As well as being dark and moonless now, the forest was filled with an unseasonal fog. There was a piercing chill in the air as well, causing Red hair to wrap a bit of fur tightly around her body.
They ran for what seemed an eternity, Red hair had no idea where they were going, she muttered angrily under her breath that they had been travelling much longer than just a few pasangs. She shivered despite her thick fur. The fog grew thicker, seemed to coil around them which Red hair found disquieting. Droplets of moisture form in her thick red hair and a numb feeling crept into her fingers and toes. For reasons she could not fathom , she felt desperately weary. Certainly she had only had a short sleep, but that was hardly a new experience. Her body had grown accustomed to the strained life of being a panther girl, had developed reserves which she now tapped. Nevertheless it was becoming a strain to keep up with Orinaa.
When Orinaa finally stopped running they had reached a non-descript single story building, standing by itself in the fields that seemed otherwise empty.
“By the way, my name is Orinaa of the Ja lina’s , you should know who you are travelling with”
“My name is Red hair, of Forest Moon”
“I have heard of you”, Orinaa grinned cheekily at her.
The inside of the house or barn, whatever you would like to call it, was equally unimpressive. What was not bare was shabby and tawdry. Orinaa opened the door and gestured “We sleep here tonight”
Red hair looked through the door way. The room was small and contained a bed which at a pinch might have been considered big enough for two. Orinaa lit a candle on the table nearby hung a faded painting of a farmer and his wife.
Red hair grunted , she recognized the couple in the painting, she did not remember them fondly. It seemed to her like a fool errand to break into one of Talena and Zandy’s farms.
“We sleep here? The wealthy farmers place?”
“Well I plan to” Said Orinaa, who was already sitting on the bed and pulling off her boots. Red hair frowned watching Orinaa strip down to nothing more than a linen loincloth and climb into bed. She rolled onto her side so she had her back to Red hair’s half of the bed. Red hair hesitated, the floor was hard and cold, the bed on the other hand would be warm and comfortable.
A fresh wave of weariness came over her, she yawned hugely, the Priest Kings be damned she thought , she pulled back the corner of the blanket.
“Of course you are going to join me”, Orinaa said without looking at her, “you can damn well take your boots and leathers off. I also don’t fancy your bits of steel digging into me all night. And blow the candle out”
Red hair hesitated for a moment, she didn’t like the Ja Lina ordering her about, but it was late, she was tired , she shrugged inwardly and blew out the candle first, then stripped. It wasn’t that she felt self-conscious of her body or prone to self-embarrassment, but she did feel vulnerable without her leathers and preferred to remove them in the dark. Beneath her leathers and fur she also wore a brief loincloth, of soft leather. She got into bed and pulled the blanket to under her chin.
She lay on her back, keeping some distance between her and Orinaa, whose slow and rhythmic breathing suggested she was already asleep. Although desperately tired, Red hair kept her eyes half open for a long while. She tried to remember when she had last shared a bed with a rival panther girl, she couldn’t , this was a first. On which thought Red hair fell asleep.
Consciousness returned slowly, this was unusual for Red hair, the life of a panther girl was perilous so usually she woke fully alert from her sleep in less than a heartbeat.
Still with her eyes closed she stretched out and yawned loudly.
“Stay in the bed as long as you like sleepy head” , She heard Orinaa say “I don’t mind” Red hair’s lips curled up in a faint smile. She gingerly opened one eye – and then sat bolt upright.
“What in the name of the Priest Kings do you think you are doing?”, she exclaimed.
Orinaa looked at her, a playful smile on her lips “Do you think it becomes me?”
“Becomes you? Those are my leathers AND furs! Take them off right now!” Red hair shot out of bed. Her dagger still laying on the ground where she had left it. She drew it from the sheath and pointed it at Orinaa, who did not seem to care in any way.
“I wish I had a mirror, judging from your reaction I must look as pretty ….if not prettier than you do”
“I said…take them off!”
Orinaa seemed unimpressed by Red hair’s fury, “It’s a little snug around the hips, but I suppose an adjustment could be made. But….”, she frowned “I would imagine it would start to chafe after a while. Does it chafe you? Or do you get used to it after a while?” She gave a small laugh as something occurred to her. “You must be the only panther girl I know that goes to the Di Jan Cove Blacksmith to have her clothes mended”. Oh do stop waving your dagger around. You can’t hurt me. Not here anyway”
These last words were spoken in a very different tone of voice. Her earlier remarks had been light and frivolous, even if overlaid with a hint of mockery, but that suddenly changed to something more sinister and threatening. Orinaa’s expression changed too. Her eyes darkened, her features became stern.
Red hair’s blood chilled. Her sense of danger told her that she had walked into a trap. Her grip around her dagger tightened.
“Who are you?”
“I told you. I am Orinaa of the Ja Lina’s”
“That’s just a name. Maybe your panther name. Who are you really?”
“Can’t you guess?”
“Not yet. Now take my leathers off”
Red hair aimed her dagger at Orinaa, then hesitated. Despite the stories of how dangerous Red hair could be , she was not a cold-blooded killer. She had in her brief lifetime probably spilled an ocean of blood, to be sure, but she could not bring herself to strike down some-one who was unarmed and who had up to this point done her no harm.
“Be sensible……Just take my leathers off”
“I don’t want to harm you”
“This is your last chance…..take them off”
“Oh please” There was the sound of a door opening behind her , followed by the cracking of a whip and Red hair felt herself flying backwards. She landed on the bed with a thick thud, momentarily confused. There was a pain in her jaw, she could taste the blood as it trickled down into her mouth from her split lip.
She looked at the wealthy farmer Zared, who was still standing by the door. Next to him stood his Tuchuck wife Talena with a superior expression on her face.
This ongoing story is set in the second life universe of Gor. Featuring some famous and infamous places and characters of second life Gor. Loosely based on my role play experiences as the panther girl known as Marli “Red hair”
More of this adventure to follow soon.