The Artifact (Book 2, Time Trilogy)

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Chapter Thirty: Chocolate

July 2023
Morgan’s Home
Richmond City, Virginia

}}}-----> MORGAN <-----{{{

The lighthearted flirting Wahya had instigated with the ice cream thievery takes a much more serious turn, and Morgan now finds herself ensnared in the handsome brave’s dark eyes and his clean, masculine scent, mingled with hints of chocolate and vanilla from their dessert. Her heart races as she sees his eyes drift down to her cheek, now smeared with the chocolate ice cream he so cunningly swiped there. Both their laughter and smiles falter, and Morgan swallows heavily.

“I don’t know what he just said with that raspy, sexy tone, but if he doesn’t do something soon, I might just die!”

Her eyes, glazed over with sudden desire, close automatically as he draws closer. She can’t help but inhale sharply as, instead of the desired kiss she thought he’d give her, she feels his warm breath against her cheek, just before the equally warm and light sensation of his tongue runs gently over her skin. Far from sloppy or obnoxious, it’s a sensation she never anticipated - slow, tender, and yet deliberate, and oh so sensual. Starting just above and to the side of her lips, Wahya moves upward to the top of her cheekbone, causing her to shutter with pleasure.

Disappointment floods her when he finishes licking the chocolate from her skin, and Morgan audibly exhales before relief finds her as his thumb runs over the same area, smoothing across her skin. She leans into his hand, now cupping her face, and with her eyes still closed, Morgan’s slightly parted lips allow a more shaky breath of a sigh out. She senses him watching her and trembles softly, though her heart continues to pound heavily in response.

Blinking her eyes open, she finds Wahya staring down at her appreciatively. He gives her a gentle smile and his eyes twinkle with knowing, and she realizes that there’s no turning back on her feelings for him now. Instinctively, she wraps her arms around his neck and stands on her tiptoes, pulling his face to her, while his hands rest simply on her hips. Glancing from his gorgeous black eyes to his full lips, then to the still-wet vanilla ice cream near the side of his mouth, Morgan decides to return the favor.

Starting at the corner of his mouth, she delicately uses her tongue and lips, planting small kisses, as she works her way down to his well-defined jawline with her gentle lapping. Simultaneously, his fingers grasp her waist a tad bit tighter and she feels bold as he sharply inhales in turn. The taste of his skin mingles with the flavor of the vanilla bean confection, and she knows she’ll never think of ice cream in the same way again.

“Mmmm...,” he moans softly in her embrace as she nears the edge of his jaw, free of stubble per Native American genetics, and she feels as though she could consume him and his soft skin like this forever. Withdrawing slowly, she looks up into his eyes again, and their foreheads come together as they mutually gaze into one another’s soul. Words would have been impossible to find at this moment had they even been useful or necessary, for Morgan had never felt so connected with anyone in her life. Yet, the depth of the situation far from stifles the lighthearted joyfulness between them, and they both break out in smiles, quietly laughing into their embrace.

Wahya releases her and Morgan smooths her hands down his chest before stepping back again. Biting her lower lip through the smile she can’t contain, she moves to pick up their dishes and says in a still unsteady voice, “If you think you like chocolate and vanilla, wait till you try ’em with hot fudge drizzle.”

Clearing her throat and moving to the sink, Morgan rinses off the dishes and silverware she’d brought over, while Wahya watches intently from the other side of the bar, still looking at her sexily, but soon coming back to reality, obviously wanting to help now that their moment is over. Motioning for him to bring over the rest of the dishes from the table, she shows him how to load the dishwasher, pour soap into the dispenser, then start the machine.

As she watches him finish with the dishwasher, Morgan can’t stop thinking about the blossoming relationship she’s embarking upon with the handsome time traveling man, and she wonders what exactly was bothering him in the car after they left the farm, for surely, he’s more than told her that it wasn’t her kiss making him solemn.

“God, I was really being selfish thinking it had to have been about me. He could have been down and out for something else completely.” Thinking that he seemed more bothered than sad, she now wonders, “What if something were wrong?! Samantha and I were so preoccupied with the site, if something was wrong, I don’t know that we would have known unless he went out of his way to get our attention or was obviously laid out. What if he had another warpy episode and I missed it?! He probably wouldn’t have been able to explain it to us, would he?”

Wahya finally turns to her, done examining the lights and sounds the dishwasher makes - his interest in the workings of her world apparent. Leaning against the counter contemplating, Morgan looks at him seriously as she points to her own stomach, then his, “Um, how do I ask this? Uh... Wahya, are you okay?”

It’s apparent that he thinks she’s asking if he’s still hungry and he smiles widely, shaking his head and rubbing his belly, “No! No!”

Morgan can’t help but grin in return at his wide-eyed expression, glad he isn’t still hungry, for she was stuffed. She tries again shaking her head, “No... Not hungry. Um, hurt? Pain?”

She makes a grimacing face and clutches her stomach, then points to him, asking once more, “Are you okay?”

Hoping he doesn’t think she’s asking if her cooking made him sick, she’s relieved to find that he understands her completely, and Wahya reaches into his pocket, producing the gorget for her to see. Nodding emphatically, as he clutches the stone to his chest, “Vv. Y-es, Wahya okay. Gorget.”

He then holds the stone gently between his large hands and again tells her, more seriously this time, “Wahya okay.”

She regards him seriously, willing him to know that she really needs to know if everything is alright. His deeply thoughtful expression tells her that he wants to say more, as he takes a deep breath, and a more serious look comes to his eyes. Finally, obviously not knowing how to say what he wants to, he simply takes her hand in his, raising it so that she can see their palms together and raises the gorget in his other hand, “Wahya okay. Gorget. Morgan.”

He squeezes her hand as he says her name, and she believes him to be saying that he’s okay so long as he has the gorget - and HER! Now Morgan really feels like a fool for not asking what was bothering him before, thinking that if she were paying more attention, maybe she would have been able to help him with whatever his problem had been. He most likely needed to be consoled and she had been self-absorbed.

Swearing that even if communication between them is difficult, she’ll try to be more conscious of him and will find a better means to communicate, she takes his word for it for now, for that’s all she can do at this time.

“Alright. I’m glad you are okay, Wahya. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you stay okay,” she promises as she thinks about the gorget and wonders if it really does have some sort of ability to shield him from the effects of whatever that electrical event was at the lab yesterday. “Even if it’s only a placebo effect, at this point, I don’t care. I would rather not risk it.”

Suddenly, Morgan has an idea, and her eyes light up as she tightens her grip on Wahya’s hand, excitedly dragging him out of the kitchen and into her small office. She opens a drawer in the large built-in and pulls out a plastic box with a bunch of craft supplies she hadn’t used in ages. She’s going to ensure that he doesn’t lose that gorget!

Sifting through the contents, she finds what she’s looking for, “Ah-ha! I thought I had some more of this!” Pulling out a spool of brown and black parachute cordage, she finds her scissors in the desk drawer and unrolls a long length of the cord. Unsure of how long to leave it, Morgan drapes the long rope down her own shirt front, then motions to the gorget still in his hand.

“You wear it around your neck, right? How do you...”

But Wahya is already ahead of her, happily taking the spool from her. Sitting at the desk, he adeptly threads the cut end of the cordage through the gorget holes, while Morgan watches with interest. In one hole, then across to the second hole and back through the other way. After measuring the cordage around his own neck, he wraps the length through and around the gorget to secure it, then motions to Morgan that he’s ready to cut the cord.

“Oh! Here!” She grabs the scissors, snipping the heavy rope-like cord where he shows, as he visually examines the cutting tool with immense interest. Next, he proceeds to tie a couple of intricate knots so that he can easily lengthen or shorten the cord as needed. Finished, he loops it over his head, laying the stone flat on his chest. Patting it appreciatively, he smiles graciously at Morgan, who’d expected to do more, and instead mostly watched him work with fascination.

She suddenly realized that while she’d been busy trying to get him situated in her time period, as an archaeologist and collections manager, the opportunity to see historical technology and objects in use by the person who owned and used it is a treasure beyond words. Not that she thought of Wahya as an artifact or relic, but in the spirit of the situation, this was history happening in the present.

He proudly holds the gorget out from around his neck, interrupting her thoughts, and says with heartfelt appreciation, “Wado. Wado, Morgan.”

Not sure why she’s blushing at his gratefulness, the young collections manager smiles sweetly in return, happy that she’s beginning to recognize some of his words, “You’re welcome, Wahya.”

He stands again, and gives her a quick, but genuine kiss on the temple, leaving Morgan with butterflies and warm fuzzies anew. Looking at the clock above her desk, Morgan knows it’s getting late, and she notes that Wahya is starting to look exhausted as they leave the office. “He’s had another long day. At least we have all day tomorrow to relax and recoup!”

Opening the linen closet on their way down the hall, Morgan grabs him a pillow and some blankets, telling him with words and gestures that he can use the bathroom to clean up while she makes his bed on the couch. Tucking the length of beige sheet into the back of the couch, she wonders how she’s going to work it out so that he can keep the artifact, especially if it is a protectant against electrical warps. Considering that he might be here longer than any archaeological project would last at the Billings Farm, and the fact that Ned would eventually want the artifacts back, surely missing the gorget of all things, she knows she’ll have to figure something out. As unethical as buying an artifact is to modern archaeologists, perhaps she could buy it from Ned herself after the project finishes - should Ned agree to have them come and do a full archaeological investigation - just so Wahya could keep it.

She finishes with the couch just as the brave comes back into the room, and sweeping her arm towards the makeshift bed, she motions for him to see his accommodations, “Well, here you go!”

Wahya graciously acknowledges her attempt at making him feel at home, and moves to the couch, watching her as he sits at the foot of the bedding and removes his socks. Suddenly, nervous about how to go about saying goodnight, Morgan chatters on.

“It’s probably not as comfortable as James...and... Sa...,” Morgan stumbles on her words as he stands again, deftly removing his shirt in one swift move, laying it at the end of the sofa where the excess cushions are piled. If it weren’t for the dimmed lamplight, and the two sultry moments she’d already shared with him today, Morgan could possibly have continued her train of thought. But, in admiring how his defined muscles ripple with the slightest movement and how his flowing ebony hair brushes his smooth, sun-kissed and masculine frame, she finds him to be quite hypnotic.

He obviously knows the affect he has on her, and the slightly predatory look he gives her turns her legs to jelly. She thinks just how appropriate ‘Wolf’ is for this man’s name, for he seems quite adept at stalking his prey - which at this moment seems to be her - easily taking down her defenses with his sleek sexiness. Not that she’s tried to keep up much of a defense, but he blindsides her easy enough, nonetheless.

Morgan seems to be frozen in place as he steps the few feet in front of her, and her breathing nearly stops. She swears she can hear his heart beating in his massive chest only inches away, as she raises her eyes to his face, waiting for him to do... What exactly, she isn’t sure... Perhaps devour her?

Lifting her chin with the inside of his curled index finger, Wahya runs his eyes over her features then smiles softly, “Walela... Wado.”

It comes out just as soft and tender as his expression, and he carefully moves towards her, pressing his lips tenderly against hers for a much too brief kiss, effectively taking the last of her breath away. Pulling back again, Wahya releases her chin, turns her towards the doorway, and whispers in her ear from behind as he nudges her out of the room, “Osada enoyi, Morgan.”

}}}-----> * <-----{{{

Cherokee Words to Know:
Osada enoyi = Sorry, you’ll have to wait for the next chapter!! ;)

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