PREDATORS’ HUMAN – 41Chapter 41: THE NEW DAY … AND A BIG CHANGEThe new day brought a new awareness. To all of us. And it was obvious by the reactions of all the species as they milled around the commons area of the settlement. The day before we were in the fight of our very lives. Although I gave us even odds for the initial battle as I had it planned, even odds is also just as good that we would lose. Then, when it was clear they had held back half of their force, I believed we were doomed. If not right there on the field of battle, after many months of skirmishes and fear haunting our days and nights.But, instead, we are all mixing together in peace and renewed cooperation. We had succeeded against all odds. In large part to the extraordinary effort to foresee the need for and then to establish a functioning inter-species cooperative. And it was that cooperative of species functioning together despite instinctual differences and fears that allowed the success in the first battle. Our survival of the second battle was only the result of the timely arrival of the Predators. Another species, or sub-species perhaps, that selflessly came to our rescue and fought alongside us because of a similar pact created much earlier between me and them. And, as we all slowly awoke to what this new morning was to bring to us, there was a sense of wonder at the potential. It had been a long time since there was no fear of either the dogs or the new people invaders. I suspect many have forgotten the feeling of a ‘normal’ day. But any that really did remember would now have to factor in a whole new element of what was to come for us. For now and going forward, we were stronger and more resilient than any of the species had ever been. Now, we also had each other. And the experiences of the recent past have clearly shown that the cooperative was real and could be depended on. How that cooperative would exist into the future was up to us to formulate. I already had some ideas and in the coming days, weeks, and months it will be monumental perhaps as we establish a functioning governing body of species for our island. That, at least, was my idea.And I was even more encouraged at the potential for our future by the memories of the previous night. Not only did I see species in casual celebration somehow enjoying the moment despite a lack of common language, but species celebrating in one of the most basic, trusting and emotion sharing ways possible … freely sharing sexual encounters between them. Something I have found very free and giving since I have been on the island, it apparently was a stifled but natural expression for them all. For even in the new light of day, the individuals and groups who had shared their bodies with each other the previous night were not now threatened or ashamed. Naked human females walked among the other species, male and female, giving knowing touches of tenderness and thanks. And many were coming to where b**st and I had spent the night. And our location was a haven of naked human females for Alex, Tessra and the new women, along with Addama and Helman had found us and joined our group late in the night.I stood and moved into the opening. The rest in our group followed. The commons area quickly became filled as the word spread and they came to join in hear anything new about what to expect now. I was nearly bowled over by Landda’s young as they finally found me after so long from them as I prepared for this last day. I bent over and picked up Landdi who was no longer so little. Even the baby made her way to us with the help of Gongin, her older sibling. Alex bent down and picked up the little one. It was a further reinforcement of our inter-species life. And possibly a reminder that we don’t change now. And, then I knew what I should share with them.Alex agreed to help with the translation so all the species, gorillas, wolves, and dragons, would all hear. “When you started assembling here, I wasn’t sure what should be said. What could be said that we didn’t already experience.” I looked at Landda and Gongon and smiled at them. “But when these young ones came rushing up, their innocence of all that has happened here, I understood. What has happened here and near here should become hallowed ground for us. What happened here and the ones who we lost in that effort must become sacred reminders to us, all of us, of how easy our freedom and way of life can be lost. And it also must remind us how working together as one cooperative, standing firm and resolute for each other created a powerful force in the face of evil. For that is what I believe happened here. We defeated evil. A force of beings with no guilt about what pain and suffering they might cause as long as they achieved what they wanted.”The crowd was very quiet as the translations went out. And they remained quiet. I looked out at the crowd around me and tears spilled from my eyes. Seeing this, Landda rushed over to take Landdi from me, and before retreating gave me a kiss on the cheek. I saw villagers standing next to, and often touching with body or hands, individual members or families of gorilla or wolves. I saw village women standing proudly and comfortably naked, many with c***dren in their arms, some with babies suckling from a breast. I walked along the inner circle of the gathering touching individuals, babies and mothers. And the tears continued to flow. And as they did females of all the species reached out to touch me as I passed. The gorillas and villagers with their hands, the wolves with a quick lick of their tongues.“Standing here in the light of this new day, I am humbled by the sight of you. You have suffered so much over this time. And, yet, you have persevered. You would not quit. And because of that you have succeeded. You have your home once again safe.” As the translations went out, there were calls supporting me and my role. “Thank you. Yes, I have played a role here. As has b**st, Alex, the East and West Teams. But the success was not because of them. It was because of you. All of you. For without you it would have been hopeless. And that is what we need to take away from this. That is what these young showed me as they rushed up. The reason we did all of this, suffered through all of this, accepted our fate at the end for whatever it might be, was for them, the young, our future.” Now there are more tears on the faces of the crowd. I turn to look at as many as I can, to make the connection at this moment with as many as I can. And I even see the young women, new to us, tears streaming down their faces, several of them holding other young who have wondered up. I smile at them.“I want this to continue. I believe it is what Eewa intended by bringing us all together. Not just for this danger, this threat, but forever. I believe she wants us to maintain this cooperative, this harmony in our future existence. I would like to meet with representatives of all the species and all the groups within the species from both ends of the island to further discuss this idea of how we move forward together. Is that something that sounds like a good thing to pursue?”The crowd erupts in agreement. I smile to myself and to them. I wonder what an inter-species governing body is going to look like. And how does it get maintained? Right now Alex and I can act as interpreters, but what about the future? But those are things to work out as we go forward. We don’t have to rush on anything.“So, today, thank you. All of you for being who and what you are. Now we can go home, restart our lives, and plan for the future.”And I am again reassured. The species are saying goodbye to each other in any way they can, even if it is only a touch. Some are hugging. Inter-species hugs of villagers, gorillas and wolves. Yes, this is going to work. Seeing them leave is heartwarming. Those going to the West side are travelling together mixed up, side by side. Village women are picking up garment discarded the night before but very few are putting them on. This truly will be a new, brave world. One the males are certainly going to enjoy.Once the rest have s**ttered, Alex and I retrieve our equipment and weapons. The women offer to assist us as we collect the battle suits, lances, bows and arrows, guns and knives. One young woman comments as all this is picked up, “You two are like your own army!”As we started away from the settlement, I looked at our little group. All that naked human female ass wiggling ahead. Despite how much I enjoy cock, I was definitely going to have to try some of that. And despite all the sexual activity of the night before, I was again feeling that feeling and my pussy quickly getting wet. Can’t turn a slut off for long, I guess.Then I heard the shuttle and I look around for it. There would be no reason to be in stealth mode any longer and I do find it coming from behind us, rapidly descending from the sky. It lands to the side of us and everyone stops and watches. I watch the door descend and Otton come out. He is indicating me to come over. And b**st. I put my hand on b**st and turn to the others. “Alex, you know the way back to the lagoon. Take everyone there and we will catch up to you or meet you there. We’ll have to arrange living accommodations for the ladies. But that can wait. We have the room at the lagoon for now.”They continue to the South jungle and b**st and I move to Otton. ‘I wonder what this is about.’‘He didn’t say anything to you before?’‘No, only that he needed to talk to us. But I wonder what it is that he just wants us?’‘Alexa, patience, remember? We’ll find out.’Otton bilecik escort didn’t waste time. He never did. A warrior requires quick and clear communication and it becomes just part of the way life is. “Inside. I need you both to see something that came over the system on our way here. It didn’t seem like the time to share it before the battle or during the celebration. You deserved that.”We followed him inside the shuttle to the communications consoles. The Predator manning the systems moved to the side. He was watching me intently and that made me nervous. Otton pushed some buttons and gave a voice command for specific files and they came up on the screens in front of us. “The images you are going to see came from your home planet b**st.” Otton knew that as I process the words they would be ‘heard’ by b**st. After the battle we had there, Central Command sent in additional forces and completely turned over the governing group. It turned out that the people in the region just needed some support and the controlling government was overthrown. Once peace and freedom was established and governing was returned to the local region, we started noticing interesting changes. For one thing many people began appearing from the surrounding mountains. That made us curious about what else might have escaped and may also return. So we began monitoring with satellites. This is what we think will be of interest to you, b**st.”The screens then came to life with the start of a video. I was almost afraid to watch. What could be of such interest that would want them to make this effort to show us? At first I didn’t recognize anything of what I was watching. It showed landscape from high overheard and all that could be discerned except for landscape were small black dots moving together from the mountains. Then I could see that there were several grouping of them. The view quickly moved in, however, and I knew immediately what we were looking at. And tears were again flowing from my eyes and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to control them.b**st had thought he was the last of his species. That the others of his species had been killed by those beings. And that was what had made him the ‘fierce b**st’ that they associated to him. All his species had been killed. Destroyed in the quest for control, absolute control over the land. Now I can see that is not true. We are told that the new governing group had forged a new understanding and relationship with nature and the environment. As a result quite a number of species thought to be killed off have returned to their native environments. They had retreated to the far mountains. When b**st’s species was noticed, they were tracked and it was found that they returned to a specific region. That region was b**st’s home region. He is stunned. As am I. Not only has his species survived, but ones from his home region have. As evidenced by the video, there are more than just a few like him. There is awkward silence. b**st is too stunned yet to react, to fully comprehend what this means. I am unsure what to think, to consider what this might mean, or more accurately, what this might mean to us.Now I understand why the Predator manning the communications had been watching me so intently. He knew about this and was just as interested in my reaction. I find I had leaned forward so far to be sure of what I was seeing that I was leaning on the console in front of me. b**st viewing a separate screen. As I stand straight, I see Otton watching me intently. He is also glancing to b**st but I am sure he believed he could discern my reaction much easier than b**st’s.“Alexa, b**st, I know this is a shock. I have only a little more information beyond the video evidence. We have tracked them. And we have reports from a recon group that went in to investigate. We all thought your kind were killed off, b**st. We wanted to know more before bringing this to you. The numbers are not huge, but there are a number of them. Unfortunately, it appears that most all are females. The only males verified are classified as immature, yet. They will mature, of course, but there doesn’t appear to be strong leadership. They are merely wandering. We don’t know much about your species, b**st, but you are carnivores and that doesn’t seem right.”‘It’s not. Alexa, they should be acting like your lion pride. A firm leader controlling the group of females and young.’I translate that to Otton. He looks at me long before the next words come out. “We can take him back. Take him back to the survivors. But we have to leave tomorrow, Alexa. And then we will be going right by that planet. But if we do, it will be goodbye. What do you want to do, Alexa?”“It isn’t my choice, Otton. It is his. And he already knows what we said.” I don’t want to look at b**st because I am afraid. But when I do I see something I have never seen. Tears have formed in his eyes. Suddenly, it occurs to me. “By tomorrow? We can’t even make it to the lagoon by tomorrow.”‘b**st, should I run and bring Alex back? Are we going to talk until tomorrow?’‘Yes, Alexa. I want Alex here when we talk.’I turn and run out of the shuttle and catch up with the group and startle them. I try to remain calm as I make the last approach. “Alex, I need you to come back with me. The rest of you meet us at the lagoon. Addama, Helman, you have been through the jungle from the Plains. Will you be able to find the way?”“Yes, but what is wrong?”“Nothing, just something we need to take care of first. We’ll catch up to you there.”As we walk back to the shuttle, I relay everything we have learned. Alex stops in her tracks. “Do you think he might actually leave?”“Honey, I think he might. Do you remember the conversation we had with Tessra on the breaker rocks? The reason I gave for being afraid to get close to the village males? The instinctual desire to be with our own kind? You convinced me that I was too strong and logical and devoted beyond the species issue for that to come between me and b**st. But that is a commitment, a decision to honor. We even said it, that b**st didn’t have any others in his species for that to be a threat. We recognized that as a potential different than for me.”“I hope he doesn’t, Mom. I don’t want him to leave. Addama and I want to be married soon. I wanted him there for me.”“You what?”“I’m sorry, but we wanted to tell you both and we planned on doing it with Tessra there when we got back to the lagoon. It would be a perfect time. We didn’t know this was going to happen.”“I know. I am sorry, I didn’t mean to snap. But do me a favor, please? Don’t say anything about this to b**st unless he decides he is staying with us. We can’t hope he stays. We have to hope he makes the best decision for himself and his species. Promise me.”“Okay, Mom. I promise. But it is going to be hard if he wants to leave. I will be feeling like I have holding something from him he would want to know.”“I know, but that may cause him to make a decision he doesn’t want to make.”Now we jog to the shuttle where b**st is standing, waiting. Otton is standing with him. As we are coming down the near rise, Otton pats b**st on the shoulders and walks up the ramp of the shuttle and moments later it rises and soon disappears into the sky. It now feels much quieter than it probably actually was.b**st walks up to us and puts his massive head between us. We both fall into his neck and hug him tight. ‘I guess, Alexa already told you.’‘Yes. Of course she did.’ When she rises up, I see tears flowing from her eyes as she tries to deal with the situation. ‘What are you going to do, b**st? Do you know? Can we help somehow?’‘Yes, you can help. That is why I wanted you here, too. Can you two just listen to me as I try to work this through? And when I need it, to give me a counterbalance in my thinking?’I hug him again, but I was still leaning on him. I never really stopped. ‘We’ll give whatever you want from us. Let’s go over by the stream we just passed through. We can at least get water. I think it will be a long night.’The three of us talked long into the day. Or at least b**st talked long into the day. We mostly just listened. b**st had wound through a series of remembrances. From his planet which ended up fascinating Alex, as she learned from him what it was like before the evil forces took over the land. What it was like when his kind were plentiful and the dominant species. Then he went through memories of his time with me. Some things that we had never discussed. Horrible details of the time when I was captured and abused in the large hall before he came. And then the early times on this planet and the lagoon, happier times. Now it is early in the evening. He has talked through much of the day. And it is becoming clear that b**st is very interested in his species, his own kind. Alex and I are slowly adjusting to the potential that b**st may leave. The more he talks around in circles, the more it appears that is what he is circling around. Then, it becomes quiet. Very quiet. All the talking has been done. And nobody seems willing to commit their feelings any more specifically. It is Alex who ultimately states the obvious, ‘b**st, it is clear to me listening to you that you need to rejoin your kind. But tell me I am wrong. Alexa made me promise I wouldn’t say that. I know you are going to leave, go back home. I know even that you need to. But I don’t want you to.’‘Thank you for your honesty, Alex. But you are right, I have the opportunity to be with my species, to mate and continue the cycle.’He has been avoiding me and escort bilecik I have been quiet, not trusting my voice or my ability to be supportive. But I know I will be. That is what love means sometimes, to support even when it hurts. When he looks at me, finally, he sees that my cheeks are wet from tears. I have known for some time now and I have, for now, cried myself out. I take his head in my hands; I kiss his snout and then his lips. ‘I love you, b**st. I will always love you. You have given me so much in our life together. Not just saving my life numerous times, but keeping me warm and loved and supported during the times of self-doubt and questioning. You have been my rock through all those times. I truly don’t think I could have done this here if it had not been for you going through it with me.’‘You know that the concept is not known to me. But you also know that in my own way, I love you, too. And you are wrong, of course. And you will know it in your heart. You have been the one. You always were. I am pleased that I could support you and help you. We saved each other’s lives equally. You will be fine, Alexa. I know that. You are too strong. There have been many changes in your life. Leaving your planet, proving yourself against the strength of the Predators, accepting me, leaving the Predators for me, being exiled here knowing there was conflict on the island and that we would be in the middle of it eventually. You came through each of those stronger. You will this change, also.’‘I am sure you are right, b**st. It just doesn’t feel like it right now.’Almost unrecognized by us, it has become very dark except for the full moon overhead. And I am thankful for that. I find I want to be able to see his face. I want to remember it. And we are again very quiet. The decision made, no one seems to know what to do with the remaining time. It becomes awkward.But Alex comes through with her youthful enthusiasm. ‘Guys, this is not a wake! Nobody is dying. You are right, b**st, it is another change. For all of us. I have suggestion. We only have the rest of the night before the Predators return. Anyone interested?’I smile at her and pull her into me. I know what she has in mind and only her youth could cut through this heavy emotion with such enthusiasm. ‘Yes! Yes, we are interested.’‘There is something I have wanted to do and I saw you doing it again last night.’‘And what is that young lady?’‘I want to be knotted to b**st and suspended underneath him like you were. That looks awesome and none of the a****ls can do that.’‘Actually, the dragons can. But they don’t have wonderful knot the size of b**st.’‘Can I b**st? We have lots of time; let’s make good use of it.’I watch b**st get up and walk up to her. ‘You are like your adopted mother. Of course we’ll do it. And whatever else we can think of.’This would have been difficult for b**st and I if we were alone in the middle of the Plains like this without support to use to get into the proper position. But I am here to help Alex. And the first thing we had to do was getting him erect and ready so he could push his knot into her pussy and provides the anchor. And that wasn’t something I was going to just leave to her. I was determined to participate in this part as well. With him standing before us, we both approached him, kissing his snout and each other as our faces came together at his lips. Then moving down opposite sides of him we stroked his body and underside until reaching his belly. We both then went to our knees and stroked his belly to his sheath which was, predictably already showing cock sticking out. But our mouths came together on the several inches of cock. Our tongues and lips licking, kissing and sucking on the portion of the tip that we could access. As we devoted our mouths, lips and tongues to this, our hands and fingers were equally busy stroking his sheath and massaging his heavy balls. We pushed at each other for access to the cock that was long enough to truly suck on and back and forth we traded, mouthing and sucking the cock until he was nearly fully out of the sheath and the knot formation was evident.At this point we separated with Alex continuing to love this cock and attaining even more readiness in him while I went to my backpack and retrieved the rope I learned to always have available. I cut an appropriate length for our needs and returned to see b**st groaning at the manipulation of his cock. “Not too much, Alex. You don’t want him climaxing before you have had the opportunity to experience this ride.”I put the rope over b**st’s back, got her well secured on the front so she was firmly secured with the rope, then I got under her and raised her ass up into the air and moved her to his erect cock pointing to her. A little manipulation and he penetrated her. I held her steady on the shoulders so his thrusts drove his cock deep into her. When his knot was forming and began hitting her pussy lips and she call out with expectation and need, I pushed on her shoulders to his rear, giving him a solid object to push into. And slowly he did. From her gasps and sighs, moans and groans, his knot made steady progress, spreading her lips and forcing its way into her pussy. When my pushing yielded a sudden lack of resistance and we moved forward several inches, I knew his knot had finally successful passed into her tight pussy.With my body already at her shoulders, I asked, “Are you okay, Alex? Do you feel like you have good support against falling?”“This already feels so amazing. That wonderful knot inside me, feeling his body tight against my naked body, his breathing and just the little motions moving his cock inside me. Yes, wonderful. Yes, please, I want more.”I smiled and kissed the top of her head. ‘Okay, b**st, she says she’s ready. Give our girl the ride of her life.’I raise my head and he is looking at me. ‘More tears, Alexa?’‘This is going to be hard for me, b**st. It just will. You leaving might be the right thing, but it is still going to be very hard for me. But, enough please. Give our girl something more to remember.’He nudged me and rose up and dropped back down, bringing an immediate groan from Alex. He then began walking around the area in a wide circle. Each step seemed to bring a sound from Alex as b**st’s body moved in shifting weight and foot drops. He trotted a few steps and then resumed walking. Always changing his gait and speed, tempo and pace. From somewhere in the darkness I heard Alex scream out, moaning and groaning her release in orgasm. When b**st came back into view in the moon glow, she was relatively quiet, again. But her breathing was fast and irregular. Again b**st rose up onto his hind legs and dropped forcefully back to the ground. Rising up slid Alex further down onto his cock and dropping down caused it to move wildly and dramatically inside her. Her moans were loud and long. He moved forward and backward. Short, sharp changes in direction sending his cock into and out of her pussy except that it couldn’t really with the knot firmly holding them together, but the effect was the same. And then I saw b**st freeze in place and his hips rotate into her urgently as she was pressed tight against his stomach. And when I saw him stop and his head rise up to the sky and Alex again screamed into the night, I knew that she and b**st were climaxing together. She for the second time and him finally.I walk over to them and supported Alex while b**st’s knot shrinks sufficiently to pull out of her. As I am helping support her rear when the knot does come out, I am amazed at the amount of cum that runs out of her gaping pussy. I ease her down to the ground and cover her with my kisses. I work my way to her splayed out legs and lick and suck her pussy of the leaking cum. She is constantly moaning while I do it. I shift my body around and lie alongside her, pulling her body into mine as she murmurs her way through the last remnants of her second orgasm. b**st meanwhile is now laying on the ground next to us, his cock slowly shrinking.I whisper to Alex, “I will be nearby. Just rest for now.”I then move over to b**st and again kiss his snout, his face and hug him tightly to me. ‘I love you, b**st. I don’t mean to say that to make you feel bad or to influence your decision. I believe you have made your decision and I believe that for you it is the right decision. Right for you. Right for your species. Alex and I have each other and Alex has Addama. I just feel like I need to keep saying it. Soon I won’t be able to tell you, anymore. Do you understand?’‘Don’t fret, Alexa. I understand and know it is not to make me feel bad. You are always so supportive of everyone. I hope you find your own happiness, too.’I lay on him as we talked. Then there is silence. And the silence is okay. Even good. To just lie here on him, feeling his body rise and fall with his breathing, the beating of his heart, the warmth of his body. It really is good. But then my mind goes back to that indisputable fact. In the morning he will be gone. And I need to be with him one more time.I slid down along his body and kissed and stroked him as I went until I again was at his sheath. His cock had completely retreated inside. I debated whether to rest and allow him to naturally recover or to proceed. I was afraid to rest. The recent days had been extremely stressful. Last night was extremely short. I was afraid I might not wake during the night and would sleep through and then not have time in the morning before the Predators returned. I proceeded. I stroked his sheath and he moaned, perhaps bilecik escort bayan even a protesting moan but I didn’t care. I was going to have him. One more time.Slowly, by careful manipulation and teasing, his cock started again to emerge from its protective sheath. And as it did, I teased it with my tongue and lips. Initially just sucking the tip, getting a little pre-cum and continuing to suck. Soon, more of his cock was out and I sucked it with determination. Pulling it fully into my mouth and then out to the tip, in and out, over and over. The more I did, the more cock I got to suck on, and the further into my mouth it penetrated. And despite his protests I had a hard, long cock in my mouth. But now what? There wasn’t a tree or rock sufficiently large to lean into for him to fuck me from behind. And, yet, that was how I wanted to be fucked this time, this last time. From behind, the way he would naturally fuck one of his own.I encouraged him up and I got underneath him. I moved back until I bumped into his hard, rigid cock. I put my hand between my legs, grasped his cock and worked it into my pussy. I didn’t feel like I was stable against his powerful thrusts like this. I reached out, grasped his front legs and braced myself. ‘Fuck me, b**st! I want to feel you in me when you are gone.’ And he did. He thrust into me and I braced my arms against his legs and he pounded my pussy. Why didn’t I think of this before? It was so obvious now, but before we experimented with different things and positions and we were in comfortable situations, if we knotted. But this was working. Ooooo, yesssss, it was working … He plowed his cock into my pussy, fiercely and powerfully. And each thrust into me sent him deeper and deeper into my pussy until I again felt his knot hitting my lips on the outside. Pressing into my lips and stretching them, intent to get inside me, again. He pressed and pushed and I resisted his pushes, pressing myself back into his short thrusts at me. I felt myself, my pussy lips, stretching, opening, yielding to the pressure from the knot. And slowly but steadily, I gave way to it. It was in me and in that moment I screamed out, gasping and crying as the knot stretched me completely and popped in. And with my crying out, I stirred Alex from her exhausted rest. She saw me and smiled. She came to me and bent over onto her hands and knees. I moved my hands from b**st’s front legs to Alex’s back under me. This provided much needed, easy support and I now took his thrusts much more easily. With the knot inside me, his thrusts were short but strong as he moved inside me. Alex reached out with one hand, balancing herself with the other and reaches out and between my legs and flicked my pussy and clit, sending new jolts from my clit, my pussy, through my body and soul. And I came, violently, wonderfully.But, I was still knotted to b**st and he was still moving inside me. Still pushing his knot and cock inside me, pulling it as if to pull me inside out, but then pushing again deep inside. It continued like this, me not really fully recovering from my first orgasm as his continued thrusting and pulling kept my orgasm just on the edge, never quite releasing again but never quite dissipating for relief. And with increased intensity, b**st renewed his powerful thrust, his knot only moving a little but the knot and cock both filling me so entirely, the friction intense, the feelings immense. As his thrusting increased, my feelings of intensity of stimulation increased, my impending orgasm again coming quickly upon me. Then I felt him, felt him tense and then go rigid as his hips twitched and his hind legs shook and his breath was held and then expended in great exhales of air. Then he shot his cum into me in huge spurts, long streams of cum into my pussy. At that moment I again exploded into another massive orgasm that shook my entire body. My arms quivered as I held my body up and my legs shook. And … it was dark.When I came to, I felt b**st’s body against my back and the warm body of Alex against my front. Like we had so often slept before. And content in the comfort and security of the ones I loved, I slept again, encircling my arms around the young woman I had called daughter, friend, lover, and warrior.With the morning light, birds singing their morning songs of rising, the night quiet is pushed aside by all the sounds of a waking world. Our world, a new, safe world at peace. We stretched our bodies to that morning’s rising … only to be broken by a very unnatural sound for this place. A sound I knew all too well. A sound I now regretting having to hear so soon. The Predators were apparently serious about morning. As b**st rose to his feet and watched the shuttle settle onto the ground, Alex and I stood with him. On each side of him, our hands on his shoulders. We watched with him. Our eyes again filling with tears, tears streaming down our cheeks. And despite the tears we remained quiet. Not sobbing or gasping. We couldn’t hold back the tears but we held ourselves strong as we stood with him. At the last moment, I saw Alex wipe away the wetness as I did the same.We walked b**st to the waiting shuttle door where Otton stood. Waiting. Quietly, patiently waiting for us. b**st stopped at the entry ramp, turned to us. ‘I am sorry, Alexa. I don’t know if I wish this never happened or if this new chance didn’t happen. But it all did. And this did. I know this is right, Alexa.’‘I know it is right, too. Honestly, I really do. I am very happy for you, for the chance you have with your species and for your species. What this can mean for your species.’It was too much for Alex. ‘I love you b**st. You have been a wonderful dad for me. You were so helpful as I grew and learned. Thank you, b**st. I’ll wait for you, Alexa.’ And she walked off toward where the lagoon would be.Turning back to b**st and looking over to Otton, ‘b**st. If I never see you again … please know how very special and important you have been here, to everyone here … but mostly to me. I don’t think I would have made it without it.’‘You would have, Alexa. You would. But, thank you. Goodbye, Alexa. Thank you for all you have done.’And … just like that … b**st is gone from my life.I walk backward, watching the shuttle close the door behind Otton … and take off into the sky.- – – – – – – – – – -Fast forward six months.On what was just another normal, beautiful, peaceful, ordinary day at the lagoon I am just walking out of the lagoon water with Alex. We are just returning from our ritual swim and talk on the breaker rocks. After six months, we talk less about b**st and more about the future. A future that is changing, again. Primarily, for Alex this time. As we reach the beach, she waves to Addama who is busy building a new hut with the help of Helman. Tessra sometimes joins us but has lately been primarily allowing this early morning time for Alex and me. And I enjoy it. I am loving this time. For as we reach the beach, I look over at Alex and the beautiful woman that she is, whether a daughter, woman, wife or warrior. And soon to be mother. Alex is five months pregnant; her belly is quite pronounced already. So, obviously, our talks are focused more on the upcoming birth and her life. But, just then, she hears it as I do and we both look out over the ocean beyond the breakers and search the sky until we find it. The Predators have returned.We watch as the shuttle lands. Otton and Danna exit the craft quickly. They have news about b**st. They have periodically tried tracking his ‘pride’ and they have him located, they think. If I want to go, this is likely a last chance. I rush up to the supply cave and grab my backpack that I know has some clothes in it and am heading for the shuttle shouting to Alex that I will be back. The trip to the planet isn’t as far as I had imagined. The Commander has made it known that there is not much time to spend. Once we arrive to the planet and land on the surface, my old Unit takes me in search of him. Actab sees a****ls on the rigid ahead. His zoom indicates the large male is similar to b**st. It is a large group with several females and young. They get closer as we move closer.The a****ls see us approaching and turn to leave. No, not after all this. I have to know. I call out in my mind, ‘b**st?’The large male turns and stops, ‘Alexa?’The females also stop, his new mates, I suppose. I see that there are several young cubs scurrying around them. He takes several steps towards me and stops, looks back at the females. I walk up to him and hug my former mate and kiss him. The females are wary but the cubs come closer. I get down onto the ground and they crawl over me. I laugh; it brings back the memory of the young gorillas that came right to b**st when the adults were so wary.‘Remember on the island when the young did that to me and you smiled? Now it is you who is playing.’We talk for a while and the Predators wait nearby, giving us space. b**st is happy. About his life with his kind. That makes me happy for him. Then we get quiet. And when he is looking at his females more frequently, I know it is over. I know this is it. The last time I will probably ever see him, again. I watch them walk away. b**st and his family group. The females and the young who are running around them all. They look good, healthy, and secure. He looks like a noble b**st in this wild place. I sense it truly is right. He stops as he reaches the rise and looks back at me, ‘Goodbye, Alexa. Thank you for saving me and allowing me this new chance.’ When they are out of sight, I collapse to my knees on the ground and cry, unable and unwilling to stop. It aches. ‘This has to be the right thing. He seems so happy and content.’And then, I leave that planet. Perhaps for the last time.* * * Part 42 will follow * * * Thanks for reading.