Joining the Circle Ch. 03

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Northwest Hunters: Book One, Joining the Circle

Chapter 3: Settling in.

As Junie walked out to the front of the house, she looked around and really took in the space for the first time. Wide picture windows spanned the front of the whole house. The whole front of the house was open, with a couch and pair of matching chairs arranged around a fireplace on one side. Smooth stone floors and handcrafted furniture made the space warm and inviting. A bar with stools separated the large kitchen on the other side. Junie ran her hand along the top of the beautiful dining room table. Bob pointed toward a doorway leading off the kitchen, “There is a pantry on that side, and the office is over there.” He pointed toward the living room side. “It is a nice space, Sir. It is inviting. I need my bag from the car. What I want to change into is in it. Is it okay to go out naked?”

“Sure it’s fine to run around naked. No one has a place on the opposite side of the lake. It’s all national forest over there. We run around naked all the time. Sometimes there will be someone in a boat, but Donna just waves.” Junie giggled and headed out the door. Bob called after her, “Remember don’t let the dogs push you around. The sooner they accept you as boss, the better they will behave around you.”

“Yes, Sir.”

All four dogs were draped around on the front deck. They jumped up and came to meet her, but Junie ignored them and walked briskly to the garage. Bump tried to pull his rude dog greeting again, but Junie barked “Bump, no!” and shoved his big head away. As she did that, all four dogs backed up a few steps and let her by.

On the way back she grabbed her clothes off the chair on the deck. “Where is my room, Sir?” “I guess we will put you in the guest room for now, but later we will show you the space we were thinking about converting into a suite for you.” He led her to a small room that held a double bed, a chest of drawers and a desk.

Junie quickly changed into a clean pair of pink panties and a matching bra. Pulling on a soft knit pair of shorts and matching tank top, she padded out into the front of the house in her bare feet.

Junie paused and looked around the kitchen grinning in delight. “Oh Sir, I feel like a girl in a candy store. I could make anything in this kitchen.” She washed her hands and began to explore, making happy coos and giggles of happiness. She noted that there was a glaring lack of prepared food. She absolutely crowed with delight when she opened the door to the pantry. Neatly arranged and labeled, most of the food was purchased in bulk and stored in glass containers. Junie turned to Bob who had been watching her indulgently. “Sir, would I be far wrong if I guessed that this is all organic?”

Bob nodded, “We try to buy locally grown and organic as much as possible. It’s all part of treating our mother with respect.”

“Were you and Donna ever vegetarians, Sir?” Bob laughed and shook his head. “We tried it for a while but it drove me crazy. I started dreaming about steak and bacon. We try to avoid beef and pork, and buy organic. We eat a lot of venison. I liberate a deer now and then that becomes a little too in love with my garden. I have to confess a weakness for bacon.”

“Liberate, Sir?”

“I… um… I free its spirit to move on to a higher plane?” Bob had an impish grin on his face. “Just don’t tell the game warden.”

Junie giggled, “Your secret is safe with me. What is the plan for dinner?”

“Plan? There is a package of venison steak thawed out. Donna may have had something planned but I would like to let her sleep.”

“I will figure something out, Sir.”

“That’s what I was depending on.”

“Sir, did I see rhubarb in the garden? I could make a crunch for dessert.” “You did. How about I go pick something to make a salad with and get some rhubarb for you.”

“That would be awesome, Sir. I would like some chives and basil too, if you could please, Sir.” Junie stopped and put her hand over her mouth. “What’s the matter, Junie?”

“Am I being too bossy?”

Bob laughed. “No not too bossy. I did offer to do it. Don’t worry if you get too bossy, I will paddle your bouncy butt.”

Junie froze and then gave Bob a grin. “I think I will look forward to that, Sir.”


Junie opened the refrigerator and exclaimed with delight. A bowl of morel mushrooms sat right on the top shelf right next to the package of venison. Putting on some brown rice to steam, she quickly cut the venison into bite sized chunks and put it to marinate with a little dry wine and olive oil. The chives and basil went in as soon as Bob brought them in. Bob sat at the kitchen bar and watched happily as Junie cooked. “I don’t get to cook with wild mushrooms very often. Did you pick them, Sir?”

“It was a lucky find on one of the walks with the dogs, a gift from the earth.”

She quickly put together a fast crunch topping with oatmeal, honey, whole wheat flour and spices. She diced up the rhubarb and poured the topping xslot over them. She slipped it in the oven. There was no ice cream or whipping cream, so she made a quick recipe of custard to pour over the crunch. All it took was a quick rinse to make a quick salad of spring greens.

“What time do you want dinner served, Sir?”

Bob looked at his watch. “Let’s let Donna sleep another half hour and plan on eating a little while after she wakes up.”

“That would give me time to take a quick shower, Sir, if that would be okay.”

“Perfectly okay, perhaps I might join you.”

Junie flashed her eyes up at him and dimpled up. “How could I refuse? My Master’s wishes are my commands.”

“You are a tempting appetizer but on second thought, I will take the dogs out for a quick walk and feed them their dinner.”

Junie put on a silly pout, sticking out her lower lip, “As you wish, Master.”

Bob arched a brow. “You really are a flirt. Go take your shower.” He gave her a firm swat on the bottom.

Junie yelped and giggled, heading off to her room, her hand rubbing her stinging butt. She quickly showered and washed her hair. Pulling her yellow dress back over her head she headed back into the kitchen.

She put the morel mushrooms to sauté in butter and olive oil and set the table with the pretty handmade stoneware she found in the sideboard. Finding a vase she went out into the garden and picked a handful of Nasturtiums and made a simple arrangement. When the mushrooms were done she pulled them from the oil and butter and arranged them on a platter. The rhubarb crunch was done and she turned off the heat and let it stay in the oven to keep warm.

Bob came in and smiled. “Things look nice. You look pretty.” He walked up and pulled her into his arms and rubbed his face into her damp hair and then leaned down and kissed her neck. “I like how you fit right in around here. You take pride in what you do. Dinner smells delicious.”

Junie snuggled up close to him, “Thank you, Sir. I hope it tastes as good as it smells.”

“I am sure it will. Let’s go wake up Donna.”

Donna had curled up into a little ball under the blanket. Bob had a soft look on his face. “She always curls up like that, like a puppy.” He gently stroked Donna’s hair out of her face and called her name.

Donna blinked and stretched; a happy smile lit up her face. “Oh, I feel so good. That was just the right nap. Not too long. Something smells good, cinnamon?”

Bob spoke up. “Junie has been busy. She is a whirlwind of creativity in the kitchen. She even made dessert.” He pulled the blanket off her and pulled her out of bed. “Get up sleepy head and get ready for dinner.”

“Sounds wonderful.”

Junie looked toward the other room, “If it would be permitted, I will go finish up in the kitchen while you get ready, Ma’am. All I have left is to cook the venison and put the food on the table.”

“Go on then.”

Junie quickly seared the venison in the oil left from the mushrooms, careful to not overcook the lean meat and then added the mushrooms at the last minute. She made a bed of the brown rice and served the venison and morel mushrooms with the butter sauce over the top. She quickly pinched a couple of the nasturtium blossoms for garnishes and sprinkled some chopped chives over the top.

Dinner was a huge success. Donna raved about the mushrooms and venison. “I have trouble keeping the venison moist like this. You are a better cook than I am.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. I love cooking. I read cookbooks a lot and I love to eat. I am just happy to have people to cook for.” “Well I am guessing you will be doing a lot of the cooking around here.”

“That would make me a very happy girl, Ma’am.”

“I plan on keeping you a very happy girl.”

Junie swallowed and nodded. Her eyes suddenly grew big and solemn. “Would you like dessert now…” She paused and stumbled over the words, “…Sir and Ma’am.” She giggled a nervous sound. “It is hard to talk to you both and say both words. I guess I will get used to it.”

“It all will take some getting used to. I do want you to continue to use Sir and Ma’am when you speak to us. It is a good habit.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“I think we will take a walk. We will eat dessert later.”

Junie picked up the plates and began put them in the dishwasher. Donna stood impatiently at the door. “Leave that. It will be dark soon.”

Junie hesitated, frowning at the kitchen for a second. She sighed and turned to follow Donna and Bob. It was hard to walk away and leave the kitchen a mess. “I should really stay and clean this up, Ma’am.”

Donna’s voice was instantly cool and crisp. “Junie, I said leave that.” She turned and headed out the door.

Junie flinched and spoke up, “Yes, Ma’am. Sorry, Ma’am.” She trotted to catch up with Donna and Bob as they headed toward the driveway. They took long brisk strides and Junie had to hurry to keep up.

As they got onto the driveway, Junie became painfully xslot Giriş aware she was bare footed. The gravel of the driveway stabbed into the soft bottoms of her feet. She was not used to going without shoes, she limped as quickly as she could, regretting her distraction and hurry to obey, that had her forget her sandals. She did not say anything and tried to keep the expressions of pain her face. She could sense Donna’s impatience.

Both Bob and Donna walked quickly, hand in hand, their long legs swinging briskly as they walked down the long driveway. Junie had to almost trot to keep up with them, forcing herself to ignore the pain in her feet. It was a warm late spring evening; the first stars were just starting to show in the fading sky. Deep between the tall firs and cedars it was already pitch black. After what seemed an infinity of walking on knives, Bob and Donna stopped and waited for Junie to catch up. Donna spoke, her voice still held that crisp cool tone, “Junie, when I tell you to stop doing something, trust it is because I have a good reason. Do not try to dissuade me.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Your hesitation, your reluctance to obey immediately resulted in your forgetting to wear shoes. It appears you have suffered a pretty natural consequence.”

Junie’s lips turned down and she agreed sadly. “Yes, Ma’am.”

“There is a trail into the woods here. Bob and I know it by heart but it will be too dark for you to see. We will help you but you must relax and let us guide you.”

Junie peered into the darkness, “Yes, Ma’am.”

“This will help you.” Donna reached into her pocket and pulled out a blindfold and covered Junie’s eyes. “You won’t be trying to see with your eyes. I don’t need to tell you to leave it there.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Junie gulped and nodded, suddenly enveloped in total blackness, she realized how much she had been able to see in the starlight. She felt Bob take her hand and Donna’s hands on her shoulders. Bob spoke for the first time. “Just follow me. It’s not too far. If there is anything to step over I will tell you. Trust us. We won’t let you fall.”

Junie felt herself led off the gravel and onto the cool smooth pine needles and leaves of the forest. Her sore feet could sense the textures of moss and small branches, her ears could almost hear the echo of her heartbeat reflecting from the tall trees. On two occasions Bob helped her step over logs, his soft murmurs loud in the silent forest. It had not seemed like a long distance, maybe a hundred yards when Bob brought her to a stop. “Just stand there, Junie. I am going to take your dress off.” She felt his hands pull the dress over her head and then he unclasped her bra and removed it. Last he eased her panties down and helped her balance as she lifted her feet out of them. “Good girl.” He took her hands again. “Carefully step backwards until you feel something against the back of your legs.” He eased her back until she felt a firm cool ledge pressing against the back of her thighs. “That’s right. I want you to lay back. Donna and I will help you slide back and lay down.” She could feel their hands easing her up and onto a wide flat surface. It felt cool and damp against her skin. “Don’t move, and for now I want you to not speak.”

Junie heard the soft scraping strike of a match and smelled the scent of burning wax. Listening carefully she could hear the sounds of Bob and Donna moving around her.

Donna placed Junie’s hands crossed across her chest and spread her legs a few inches apart. She smoothed her hair out, her hand lingering gently, almost lovingly on Junie’s face. “I am glad you bathed, it is good to come here bare of the artifice of makeup. I am going to remove the blindfold but I want you to stay still.” Junie felt the blindfold slip from her eyes and she blinked, the half dozen thick white candles surrounding her seeming almost blindingly bright. She could see Bob standing at her feet and could sense Donna at her head.

Bob began to speak, his voice soft and normal, “I want to introduce a friend to you. She is Junie. She has promised herself to us. If she proves worthy she will become one of our circle.” Junie tried to look around to see who he was talking to, but as far as she could tell it was only Bob and Donna there with her. “We beseech you to lend your strength and patience to her spirit, calm her heart, teach her acceptance, and give to her your pride of self and eternal wisdom.” He placed his hands on the surface of the wood she was on. “Thank you for your gifts and your love. We exist to serve and protect.” Bob smiled down at Junie’s big eyes, “That’s all. I just wanted to introduce you to my friends, the trees.” He held out his hand. “Sit up, Sweet Junie. Let’s get you dressed and go home now.”

Donna stroked her face. “You did well, daughter. Bob loves his rituals.”

Junie sat up, she looked down and realized she was on a carefully smoothed off top of a huge tree stump. It was easily six feet across. Bob was picking up the candles xslot Güncel Giriş and blowing them out one at a time. He left one burning and helped Junie down from the altar formed from the base a huge tree. Once she was on the ground, Junie turned and placed her hands on the remains of a huge tree. She looked up at Bob with awe.

“This one’s spirit moved on long ago, Sweet Junie. It is a lesson that our bodies are mortal but our spirits are eternal.” He took her hand and, picking up the last candle, he led her to a small cedar sapling. “Perhaps he lives on here or perhaps here.” Bob touched Junie’s forehead, a gesture of love and reverence.

Bob kept the last candle burning as they walked through the woods. They made their way back to the road and when they were once more back on the cruel rocks, he blew the candle out. “Wait a few seconds. Your eyes will adjust and you will be able to see the road.” Soon the road began to show, a river of silver gray between the deeper darkness of the trees. Bob and Donna set off. Junie clenched her jaw and trotted off after them, turning her mind away from the cruel stones as they stabbed and cut at her feet.

Junie sighed in relief when they reached the house and she could step onto the cool grass. Her feet really hurt from walking on the sharp gravel of the driveway. She thought to herself that she hoped that she would never have to do that again. She grimaced. She knew herself well enough to know it would never be easy to walk away from an unfinished task. Already her fingers were itching to finish up cleaning in the kitchen.

She obediently followed Bob and Donna up to the house. As they walked into the house she could not help but take a step toward the kitchen. She stopped herself, a quiet thought bringing her to a halt. Bob had mentioned calm, patience, and acceptance. All qualities she knew she needed. “Ma’am, what is your desire for me now?”

“What would you like to do, Junie?”

“I would like to finish cleaning in the kitchen, Ma’am.”

“And if I told you ‘no’?” Junie’s eyes flashed to Donna’s face, a pang of discomfort and alarm making her lips tremble. “I would obey.” Her voice shook.

Donna raised a brow, her eyes measuring Junie’s anxiety. “I am learning about you, Sweet Junie. I am learning what makes you tick. Do not panic. I will let you finish your cleaning, but first I want you to sit and let me look at your feet. Are you injured?”

Junie sat and pulled up one of her feet to look at the bottom. They were dirty and stained with green grass stains. “I don’t know. They do hurt, Ma’am.”

“Go and wash them with soap and water. Scrub them good. Then come back and show me.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Bob headed back out. “You girls have fun. I am going to let the dogs in and then I am going online to check on some stocks and email.”

The hot water and soap felt soothing but she found two small cuts that stung as she scrubbed. She came back into the front room and sat on a chair and held her feet up for inspection. “There are a couple of little cuts, Ma’am. They are not bleeding.”

“Show me. Sit on the floor and put your feet in my lap.” Donna had a small first aid kit on the table. Sitting at her feet, Junie lifted her feet into Donna’s lap. “Good girl. This will sting.” Donna opened a small envelope and took out a disposable alcohol swab. She rubbed the cuts, cleaning them thoroughly. The cuts stung, but worse was the ticklish feeling of having Donna’s hands on her feet. Junie pressed her lips together, forcing herself to breathe slowly through her nose. Her legs trembled but she managed to hold her feet still.

Donna looked at her puzzled. “It can’t hurt that bad.”

Junie gritted her teeth, and gasped out. “Not hurt, Ma’am, tickles.”

Donna arched an eyebrow. “Ticklish?” She ran a nail up the center of one of Junie’s feet. It was more than Junie could bear, her whole body convulsed and she jerked her foot away. She instantly put it back.

“I am sorry, Ma’am. I don’t know if I can keep still if you tickle me.”

“And if I told you to?”

“I will do my best to obey, Ma’am.” Junie’s eyes looked panicked.

Donna laughed, “I am so going to love tormenting you, Sweet Junie.” Junie swallowed, “Yes, Ma’am.”

Donna quickly put band aids over the little cuts. “Go finish up in the kitchen. Dish up two small servings of the crunch. Bob isn’t much of a one for desserts.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

As Junie finished cleaning up in the kitchen, Donna brewed a small pot of coffee. “Take a cup to Bob in the office and come back. He likes it black.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Junie carried the cup into Bob. “Mistress Donna said to bring you this, Sir.”

Bob looked up from the screen, “Oh nice. Thank you. Tell Donna I will be done with this soon. I am just checking on some investments before the exchange closes.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Donna was waiting at the table when she came back. “How do you like your coffee, Junie?”

“Black will be fine Ma’am, but just a half a cup please. Master Bob says he will be done soon.”

Junie was putting the bowls and her coffee cup into the dishwasher and turning it on when Bob wandered into the kitchen. He put his arm around Donna and asked, “How was the crunch?”

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