Jael had always dreamed of becoming a hi'icha, a brave strong guardian who would protect his tribe and ki'ita, his beloved one who was given to him by the One who is All. But Jael was only the seventh son of Di'lat, the youngest and least likely to be chosen as a Guardian. Jael resigned himself to being the best hunter possible and keeping the tribe well provided with food. He was determined to get Naki, a beautiful young widow, to notice him and chose him for her new mate when her mourning period was over.
In order to be noticed, he needed to become the best hunter for the tribe. While out on a hunt, he found Quan, a strange ba'chi (holy man) who was treed by a bear. Jael quickly killed the bear and offered to help the stranger down, but Quan needed a little persuading, as he was afraid of falling. Still, Jael couldn't just leave the stranger there and not only got him down from the tree, he also dressed his wounds and helped him bathe in a nearby river. While sharing a campfire in the evening, Quan told Jael that he was searching for his hi'icha who would become bonded to him and would ease the pains that racked his body every time he used his magic, for Quan could draw water up from anywhere in the earth and could find it no matter where he was. Jael knew that the Elders of his Clan would want to meet Quan and promised to take him to his village.
Quan was thrilled to meet Jael and knew that his search was over. Jael had to be his hi'icha and they would soon become ki'ita, lovers blessed by the gods who literally glowed to others in their happiness. Jael's touch eased Quan's aches and he rested well for the first time in years as they shared a bed by the campfire. But when Quan tried to explain to Jael what he would become, Jael gently brushed him aside and explained that he did not lust after men's bodies, but that he loved women and wanted children.
Devastated, Quan tried to determine whether he was mistaken and wondered if his hi'icha was still out there somewhere, waiting to be found. But the longer Quan was with Jael, the more certain he was that Jael was meant to be his. When Jael brought Quan to his village, Quan immediately informed the Elders that Jael was his hi'icha and they agreed with him. Jael was astonished and tried to tell the Elders that they were mistaken, but reluctantly agreed to be bound to Quan so his family's honor would not suffer. Jael worked hard to provide for Quan, giving him food, shelter, clothing and all the care and comfort he could provide – but he did not share his body and his love the way Quan yearned for him to. Jael was sure that he could never care for a man in that way, but Quan was just as positive that Jael could. Quan tried to move slowly and give Jael time to adjust, but as time passed by with no change, Quan decided to take matters into his own hands and try a little old-fashioned seduction...
This report prepared by Debbie