Chapter 10 - May I Have this Dance?
Snuggled in each other's arms in their bed in a very lazy morning, Jane sighed sadly, "I suppose we should get back to the family, Tarzan."
"Yes, Jane. If we don't, Kirok is going to think he can lead the family," Tarzan snickered.
"We haven't been gone that long," she mused.
Reflecting on their time together, Tarzan asked, "In England, what do honeymooners do on their last day before returning to their normal lives?"
Jane observed in amusement, "Oh, let's see…. Well, they usually repeat the things they liked best during the honeymoon."
"So what do you want to do then?" Tarzan asked, playing with her center bang.
Jane thought wistfully, "I love swimming with you in our special way. Let's take a long walk seeing the animals and sights. Then I'll cook you a quiet dinner with several courses to just celebrate being a couple. We can gaze at the stars and end our day with…"
"I know all about that part," he interrupted.
She giggled, "I certainly hope so, my dear. If not, then you haven't been paying enough attention to me."
He raised his eyebrow at her and smirked at that reply and asked, "I have a request also, Jane. I like learning about how you lived in England. Let's skip the star watching part. I'd rather dance tonight after dinner while you sing to me, like on our wedding day."
"Dancing? I love dancing!" she exclaimed.
"I know you do. But show me how people really dance. Just like the slide of the couple."
"Very well, my dear husband. What else? You get to choose too," she offered.
"You know how much I like your yellow dress and your hair done up. That dress was the first thing I saw you in… and almost the last... You were so beautiful the first time I saw you in it. Can you wear that tonight?"
She smiled at his compliment, clasped her hands anxiously, and was delighted he wanted her to 'dress up' for him, knowing this was for her too. She wanted to look like an English girl one last time before going back into the deep woods, "Yes, Tarzan. As long as you put on one of your father's suits. You are so handsome in those."
"Of course Jane," he smiled.
She returned the smile and said, "Looks like we're all set, Tarzan. Like my American cousin always told me, "'Let's go! Time's a-wastin'!"
She yanked him out of their bed with both arms urgently. They dressed in their new jungle outfits quickly and greeted the day, rushing hand in hand to the beach. They were excited to do everything on their 'list'.
They spent the morning at the beach one final time. Their playtime in the waves had become their favorite activity. With their deep tans, they didn't need the protective oils anymore, but applied them anyway just for the fun loveplay. While they ran along the surf/sand line, Jane spun around in the shin-deep shallows, and showed off her completely tanned body to Tarzan, "Look at me, Tarzan! All your medicines made me pretty again. No more scratches or bruises."
It was hard to tell she ever had her awful fall in the forest, since the healing herbs and plants left barely a scar, and the sun was tanning her remaining discolorations.
Although Tarzan didn't need a reminder to look at his wife's body, he grinned, "Jane, you are always pretty to me no matter what."
"Flattery will get you everywhere, ape man," she snickered, rushed toward him, leaped, tackled him on his back, and planted a huge kiss on him in the cool soft sand and water. He was no more prepared for her flying tackle than he had been the first time.
While the water drained off the pair, tangled together from the tackle, Tarzan sat up on his elbows, while she propped her head on her forearms, and smiled at her mischievously, "Jane, I think we've been here before."
She gave him a look of passion as she repositioned herself across his hips, and said softly, "But not like this, Jonathan."
He leaned back against the sand and the shallows and enthusiastically wrapped her into his arms with as deep a kiss as he could possibly give her. They'd indeed been here before in soaking wet clothing barely four months ago with that first exciting kiss, but this time there was nothing to hold them back. Swimming would have to wait.
After swimming, they spent the next part of their day just walking in the jungle observing the forest creatures and staring out into the ocean from the cliffs, simply enjoying each other's company arm in arm.
As they walked through the jungle, the green and yellow colors of a little friend flashed by Jane, and alighted on her shoulder. It was the female cape parrot she'd drawn and then seen her flock in the jungle tree canopy from above. Jane had learned some of the parrot's language, and how to squawk, tweet, and warble a number of words, thanks to Tarzan and face to face practice with the little parrot over the past few months.
"Greetings, Jane, mate of Tarzan."
"Hello Noni. I've missed you and our lessons," Jane chirped and the two females cheerfully nuzzled each other. Jane snatched a bug in mid-air and fed her friend.
"Come to the trees. You must see something new. Something wonderful."
Jane looked at Tarzan, and with his nodded assent, replied to Noni, "I can't wait. What is it?"
"It's a surprise," and the parrot took off and flew far above them.
Jane and Tarzan looked for the nearest vines. Jane insisted on climbing, but became exhausted about three-quarters of the way up to the highest point, so Tarzan took her the rest of the way as they had climbed before, with her embracing him around his torso as he took them both high into the trees. That had its effect on her the first time, at the very beginning of their lifetime love affair.
"Thank you Tarzan. Someday, dear, I will climb all the way with you," she promised.
"While I like carrying you, I know that you want to climb, and I will be very happy for you," encouraged Tarzan.
When they arrived at the top of the rainforest canopy, the limbs were alive with the huge parrot flock. But there was something very different about the flock this time. Surrounding Tarzan and Jane were dozens of delicate nests, and each had two to five nestlings, hungry for their parents' feedings. There was a cacophony of incredible sounds from the adults and hundreds of chicks. She understood only a fraction of the conversations between the birds and their hatchlings. Adults gave their chicks names with differentiated chirps for each one, something new to science of the time.
Noni called to Jane, "Over here, Jane."
Carefully Jane and Tarzan approached her nest, not disturbing the other parrots' nests and chicks. As Jane went along the branches, she congratulated all the mothers and their offspring, and ruffled the adults' top feathers, which she discovered before that they all liked. The birds all were impressed that other than Tarzan, only the human Jane had the ability to communicate with them.
Jane beheld Noni's nest of four, with their mouths open for food, with their mother standing watch over them. They were so newborn that they didn't even have any fuzz on them.
"Noni, they're so beautiful. You are such a fine mother," Jane praised her little friend, patting her. She knew this was her first brood.
As she did the first time, Noni squawked happily, flew up and stood on Jane's head and looked at her human friend upside down, and got a little kiss and nuzzle from Jane.
Jane gave Noni's blind hatchlings a soft, sweet greeting in their language like their mother would. Interestingly, they responded to her voice, not really caring if it was Noni, her male mate, or Jane who fed them, as long as they got fed.
But as Jane looked around, there were a lot of babies but not much feeding going on by the adults.
Jane asked, "The babies all look hungry. There's no food. What's wrong?"
"We can't gather food. There are predators about. Cats… ," Noni lamented.
Jane and Tarzan looked at each other knowingly. Jane got an idea, and carefully crept to a rotted tree jutting up between the living trees, punched her fist through it, and reached deep inside the trunk. She pulled out a big handful of grubs, larvae, worms, and soft-shelled beetles, held out the handful for a grateful Noni and her mate to take them and start to prepare the soft food for their chicks. Jane started to rip away at the rotted tree's soft bark. The other birds looked at Jane anxiously.
Tarzan suddenly realized what Jane had in mind, and got up to help tear away several feet of the outer bark, exposing a wriggling mass of larvae, grubs, and other bugs perfect for parrot chick food. The stress on the old tree from this abuse was too much, and a huge twenty-foot long section of one of the sides of the tree split off and crashed to the jungle floor. The remaining part teemed with creatures for the parrots to eat.
With the crash, Tarzan and Jane saw that it nearly crushed the caracals hiding below. Startled at being discovered, they ran at full speed away from the trees into deep cover. They growled angrily as they ran. Tarzan and Jane hadn't seen that the big cats were stalking them, as well as scaring the parrots gathering food for their newborns.
Jane grinned, "I think we just solved three problems, Tarzan – one for us, one for our parrot friends, and another for the chicks".
"I have the smartest wife in the world," Tarzan praised.
They turned back to the huge open area of the dead tree trunk to see the entire parrot flock was grabbing the bugs from the inner part of the dead tree as fast as they could to feed their young. The dead tree was a mass frenzy of green and feathers. The pair hugged on the branch they were balanced on.
If a parrot could ever have a look of pride at what Jane and Tarzan had done to save the chicks and the flock, it showed as Noni vowed, "In all my life, Jane, you will always be my friend."
She called out in happiness in honor of Jane's quick thinking, and all the other adults joined Noni in praise of Tarzan's mate. Jane teared up at their beautiful calls for her.
When it appeared the parent birds had gathered enough for their chicks, Jane reached for a handful of beetles and shared some to Tarzan. She joked, "Needs salt, Tarzan."
"Beetles are pretty boring, but they will fill you up, my dear wife," Tarzan said with complete amazement with what he had just witnessed in her helping the birds. Jane was truly his soul mate in the jungle.
She smiled at Tarzan, blew him a kiss, and spoke to the new mother parrot, "Noni, we should leave you to tend your family now. I will never forget this moment. It really was wonderful, and I am happy I could share it with you. Take care of them. They are all so sweet. I want to see them again soon."
"Goodbye for now, Jane. As soon as they can fly we will visit you. I would like to see your and Tarzan's hatchlings someday as well. Please let that be soon."
The human pair both blushed and exchanged glances, but Jane promised, "I will call for you and your chicks on that happy day, Noni."
With goodbyes said, Jane turned and looked for the sturdiest long vine, grabbed it, and was ready to swing, "This is going to be a great ride, Tarzan!"
Tarzan could tell there was no talking her out of this long distance swing, and he saw no fear in her. They started together and went more than three miles through the jungle, and continued to work their way lower with each vine transfer. They eventually alighted softly on the jungle floor, breathing heavily, very close to the treehouse for their next activity. Jane grinned from ear to ear in her achievement. Tarzan praised and her and hugged her tightly, "I think you've got it, Jane. You looked like you've done this for years!"
"Now, Tarzan, I can go anywhere with you!"
Next they started to gather the ingredients for dinner. Tarzan chased down some crabs and picked the vegetables Jane requested. They caught some fish together, including one by Tarzan, who was very proud of himself, and brought them to the treehouse, where they roasted them in the early evening over an outdoor fire overlooking the sea cliffs.
As he finished the last bite of his grouper and a crab claw stew, with veggies and some adult ants to spice up the broth, Tarzan reflected, "I love my family's food, but I have to admit, Jane, that there is nothing better than having a grilled fish that you caught and cooked. And all the other courses you fixed with it. 'English food' is great. Are you considered a good cook in England?"
He reached for a piece of honey-covered bee larvae comb, broke it and offered half to Jane. This had become their favorite jungle treat, despite the challenge of collecting it safely from a hive.
"Yes I am, Tarzan. Our servants taught me. I wanted to know how, even though Mother thought we as nobility were above such menial tasks. English cuisine together will always be a special time for us, Tarzan. Are you ready to dress up for our 'night on the town', husband dear?"
"Yes, I am."
Helping each other into their complicated attire, they looked resplendent: Tarzan in his suit with a silk cravat tie and shiny black shoes and spats; Jane in her beautiful yellow shin-length dress, with all the petticoats and bustle, her hose and button up shoes, and her hair done up. Tarzan admired the delicate lace ruffle that edged her dress.
Her eye shadow and eyeliner makeup was long since gone, but she had crushed some blue/purple berries she'd found in the jungle and dabbed her eyelids and eyelashes. They looked perfect in the mirror, and she knew he liked her with a little makeup. The dye from the berries was far more permanent than ordinary makeup, and she intended to keep applying it for him, even wearing her simple jungle garments. He played with the curled tendrils draping down from her hair and caressed the nape of her neck, exposed with her hair up. It sent happy chills up her spine with that simple tender touch.
She broke their embrace for a moment to dig deeply into one of his mother's chest for some accessories to go with that dress since her matching yellow parasol was now a baboon scepter, "Oh my goodness. Look what I found!"
She held up an intricate square box of the finest wood. It had a metal crank on the side.
"Open it, Tarzan," she said, and could not contain her excitement.
He carefully opened the top. There came from the box the most melodic metallic sound Tarzan had ever heard, with harmonies. It surprised him, and he nearly dropped it.
"What is this? Such pleasant sounds."
"It's a music box. With a wonderful old waltz. It's playing the music of the English, Tarzan."
He bowed to Jane with a smile, remembering the lines of courtship in one of the books, and offered her his arm, "I think I am supposed to ask, 'May I have this dance, madam'?"
She curtsied politely and responded, "Oh my, Tarzan. You are such a fast learner. Yes, I would be delighted, kind sir, to dance with you."
She placed her gloved hand on his shoulder, and offered her the other hand for him to guide her, and they danced in the treehouse to the music box 'concert'. There were several metallic discs in the trunk and they started to play them all, each with a separate set of dancing moves. She showed him how to do the steps for a waltz and Foxtrot and several other dances. Jane always dreamed of dancing in the strong arms of a handsome gentlemen, and Tarzan once again fulfilled her wishes.
They were holding each other closely as they glided about the treehouse floor in perfect synchronization, and Tarzan observed gently, "You are so beautiful to me, Jane. Just as you were when I first saw you."
She blushed, and asked, "Well, was I as beautiful in this dress even when I had a baboon army chasing me and drenched by the rain?"
He snickered, "Even then, Jane. Why do you think I saved you?"
She giggled. They danced silently just holding each other for awhile, listening to the music as they circled, but Tarzan got curious, "Are you considered pretty in England? I've looked at all of the slides a lot, and I think you are the prettiest of all the pictures of women."
She raised her eyebrow and teased him, "Excuse me, Mister ape man, sir, you aren't supposed to be looking at other women now that you are married. Even pretend ones."
"Oh, well, ah…" he flustered.
"Just kidding," and she kissed him on the nose and ruffled his dreadlocks, which he had drawn into a pony tail, colonial style like the Americans did.
"Well that's hard to answer, Tarzan, without sounding conceited. But I guess I am considered pretty. I always thought my rear end was a little too big, though."
Without missing a beat, Tarzan moved his arms from the classic dance style to her bottom, and squeezed her like selecting a grapefruit, even through the layers and padding of the bustle. He got a whimsical pondering look on his face, "Well I certainly don't think so. This feels juuust about right to me."
Giggling, she gave him a pretend annoyed look, "That is not where those hands are supposed to be, Mister," but she thought she'd play the game further.
He shot right back, "Well, before tonight you never have given me proper English dancing lessons. I don't know where to put my hands on my wife politely."
"Oh great, put the blame for your bad behavior on me, ape man?" she interjected with a raised eyebrow.
He just smiled sheepishly, waiting for her next move in this enjoyable game.
She decided to let him have some more fun, "It's all right. I should teach you better. Do you have any other questions about girls?"
"So what other differences are there about you and English women?" He asked suggestively, following her open invitation.
She decided to play right into his plan, "Well Tarzan, I also tend to think my bosom is a little larger than normal, too."
Tarzan thought so too, but was very pleased about that. He started to move his hands to the obvious places, and she glared at him, "Don't you even think of doing that! Did I invite you to put your hands there?"
"Oh, so when I'm all dressed up now like a gentlemen I need an invitation?" He asked slyly, but his hands quietly made it 'there' anyway, with no objection from her, and in fact, with her help.
"No, dear husband, you don't," she said softly, and she pressed closer together with him, burying her head in his chest in a tight hug, savoring his gentle touch, but pretending not to.
She forced a sigh in feigned upset, muttering her complaint as if addressing all of her fellow women everywhere in the world, "Ape men and Englishmen. They're all the same. Men… and they only think about one thing."
She looked up at Tarzan with a glint in her eyes and just shook her head at her husband as they laughed together.
"I am not sure I know what I am going to do with you, Tarzan." she giggled in a fake upset tone, shaking her head.
"Love me?" he asked with puppy dog eyes.
"I can do that, Jonathan," giving him a look of total devotion.
They kept dancing and she put her head on his shoulders, closing her eyes contentedly, smiling as they just swayed in time to the music. She savored his tender touches so much. And Tarzan knew for a fact, with Jane in his arms, he was the luckiest man in the world.
Jane put on the last metal disc. It was a very up-tempo Irish jig. She was very excited, and showed him how to do Irish line dancing.
Fully dressed, even in the slightly cooler air of the evening, they were sweating profusely at the end of the energetic Irish dance, and she switched the discs back to the waltz music to calm things down, "It's really warm in here Tarzan."
She fanned herself and Tarzan vigorously with a ceremonial fan she'd found.
"Yes, it is. Very," he agreed. Now would be a really good time to be back in their loincloths, he decided.
"I love my dress, but perhaps a little less of it might be better," she said, needing genuine relief from the heat, thinking as Tarzan had.
She removed her white, stiff starched high collar with its miniature tie that emphasized her long neck, and folded back the collar underneath, revealing her deep cleavage, which drew Tarzan's eyes. She let him look, and just smiled. She appreciated how much he loved her completely: heart, mind, soul, and body.
"Why is it Jane, when clothes hide things, it just makes me want them more?" he asked innocently.
"That's something you should probably ask an English gentleman, but I guess it's the temptation of 'hidden treasure', Tarzan," she gave in an honest answer.
He took off his tie, and said, "I'm 'hot' too," but he said it this time not so innocently.
"Yes you are, Tarzan," and they laughed together, enjoying his deliberate play on words. Even Terk would have been proud of Tarzan's line.
They gave tempting looks at each other, thinking exactly the same thing. They inadvertently invented a new private game. As each metal disc finished playing on the music box, they'd take one more thing off, laugh, and kiss. They'd change the disc, and repeat the next round of the game.
Tarzan did a mental count, and while dancing to one of the tunes he said, "Jane, you have so many things to wear in layers. I'm going to run out of clothes much sooner than you."
She looked at him seductively and winked, "And that's a problem? From my point of view, I rather like that arrangement. You, dear husband, better pace yourself if you don't want to be 'caught with your pants down'."
They laughed so hard that they had to start the music box over.
Soon they were down to their foundations, and not long after, less than that. Clothing surrounded them, strewn all about on the treehouse floor. As the last waltz finished, Tarzan silently picked up and cradled Jane in his arms, doused the oil lamp, and opened the bed canopy curtain. They gently lay down together, smiling fondly on their last night alone. They didn't sleep much at all on their final private night together.
Off in the distance, two sets of glowing eyes watched the dim lamp-lit shadows of the humans dancing in the treehouse.
"We could take them now. They are defenseless when they mate," Naima's mate suggested.
"Patience my love. Give them another night of false peace. We will take them when they return to their family. We could get the old outland male, a few of his family, and have plenty of fresh meat."
"You are ever so clever, Naima. That's why I love you," he snickered.