Chapter 4 - Two Hearts, One Family
The day the family moved again to a fresh nesting area, Tarzan and Jane constantly kissed, walked hand-in -hand and arm-in-arm everywhere, and were inseparable nearly the entire day. Everyone noticed, and let them alone. With a lingering hand hold, Tarzan very reluctantly left her for awhile to scout ahead from their family's newest nesting place, to assure that there were no predators in the area. He launched himself noiselessly into the trees to get a better overall view from above, especially to see if there were arboreal predators. Jane watched him until he disappeared, clutching the hand he just released to her chest. Terk mused to herself that you could cut the emotional attraction between them with Tarzan's knife.
Almost as soon as Tarzan left, Jane wanted to surprise him by making the nest for them for the first time. She needed help, so it was a perfect time for another 'girl talk' with Kala and Terk. While Jane constructed the nest, Terk and Kala instructed her. They had a delightful conversation in their language with Jane while she labored. Now that she knew their language pretty well, she learned all about how Tarzan was found and raised by Kala and befriended by Terk and Tantor. Jane got to tell them how she was raised. They didn't understand most of it, not having words for cities and homes, and she still made mistakes with the words, some of which were highly amusing to Terk, but their growing friendships were the only things that really mattered.
It was starting to be late, and they expected Tarzan to return any time, but the nest was done and Jane was pleased with her efforts, but worried.
"Kala, will Tarzan like this nest?" she asked anxiously.
"You did wonderfully, Jane," praised Tarzan's mother, soothing Jane's shoulder.
Terk was more blunt, "Yeah, girl, he's gonna love this. And you in it."
Terk winked suggestively, and ribbed her gently.
Jane was confused, "It's just a nest. I don't understand."
"Don't you know, Jane? When the girl makes the nest, it means something," Terk grinned.
Jane's eyes grew wide, and she blushed heavily as the implications dawned on her, "Something… like… uh, hehe… Oh, goodness! That something?
"Could there be any other something?" Terk smirked.
She wrung her hands, "Oh dear…I had… I had no idea. I just wanted to do something special for him."
Terk shook her head at her friend's naivete, "Well that you did, Jane. A hand-made nest by a girl is about as special as it gets for a male."
"Are you really ready for this, dear?" asked Kala, "I could tell him it's not time yet. He will wait until you are ready."
Jane had already decided about what was going to happen tonight, "No, Kala, don't stop him. It's all right now. I… I am ready. I need to be ready. He's been so very patient. This is just an added surprise. But a nice one."
"Everything will be all right, Jane," Kala praised and hugged her.
"Tell me all about it in the morning! I know you're shy. I promise I won't peek," teased Terk.
They left, and she sat with her legs folded under her next to the nest, waiting for his return. She was distracted in her anxious wait for him, and munched absent-mindedly on a few unlucky crickets that got too close to their nest, enjoying their shrimp-like flavor. But she wasn't really hungry, as she'd prepared dinner for him when he returned. She was intentionally wearing the outfit Tarzan liked best – her slitted red skirt and revealing white sleeveless bodice, and was barefoot as usual. This time though, she pulled the skirt far up her legs while still being modest, so that their shapeliness was fully exposed. He swung in from overhead on a vine, but stayed suspended above her and his eyes widened. He paused for a moment at this new, more revealing sight of Jane, and admired her legs and overall shape. He dropped silently to the ground right next to her.
"We'll be safe here tonight," he said suddenly, and startled her by his stealth, but she jumped up and kissed him long and deep. The little pecks were fun, but he loved kissing that way.
It was time for another surprise from Jane, as he eyed the new nest. He cocked his head to the side with a very pleased look as he often did and smiled, "Jane, you've been busy!"
"I hope I did it right, Tarzan," she stated nervously.
Jane held her breath as Tarzan tested the nest. He relaxed and stretched comfortably on his back, with his hands behind his head, and complimented Jane, "This feels perfect, Jane. I could not have done it better myself."
She blushed and said, "Thank you."
He reached for her, she reclined beside him, and he kissed her. She realized that she'd been talking so easily in Tarzan's gorilla family language, and didn't even notice she hadn't said a word of English all day.
Jane smiled and offered Tarzan a large coconut shell of bee larvae still in the honeycomb, so the larvae were covered with the wonderful taste of honey. Jane combined the dish with some coconut meat and wrapped everything in banana leaves. On the side was a sliced banana, covered with coconut milk thickened with crushed nuts. It was a very hearty meal.
Tarzan was fascinated by Jane's ability to combine jungle foods into what she called 'courses', like human meals, like he had tasted when he first met Jane and her father. Everything together was much better than anything separately. While they ate mostly what the family ate, sometimes she did 'something special' just for them.
"Everything about today is special with Jane," thought Tarzan.
But he said to her, "Jane, this is delicious. You made this yourself?"
She blushed a bit, proud of her effort, "I did. Thank you, Tarzan. You haven't eaten all day. I knew you'd be hungry. I didn't get stung once. I was careful with the hive, just like you showed me."
They fed each other, licking and nipping each other's fingers playfully. The few gorillas who were still awake were amused by their loveplay. Terk was intrigued by observing the behavioral differences in Jane and Tarzan's reactions. She smirked, feeling like today she was the anthropological scientist.
After dinner, they settled closely to each other as always, lit the lantern with the flint and steel, and started their normal nightly routine. A rising brilliant full moon enhanced the illumination. Tarzan thought her best drawing of the day was of the porcupine, especially how she captured his really annoyed look, when Jane insisted he sit still for his portrait. There was not an animal in the jungle would could say 'no' to Jane's charm, even the cranky ones.
Reading the book together started off like normal, until Jane got closer. She interlaced her bare legs with his, and Tarzan found it very hard to read together with the warmth and smoothness of her legs against him. She only smiled, noting his happiness, as they continued to read. Jane insisted in shaving her legs and arms as she did in England, though she used sharpened fresh water mussel shells to do it now, since her razor lost its sharpness weeks before. The gorillas thought that was a very curious human habit. Humans were strangely hairless enough without doing that, except for her long auburn hair, which everyone in the family envied. But Tarzan loved her doing that, knowing Jane said she wanted to 'stay pretty' for him, and Jane would let him watch once and awhile until she had to shave higher up, but then she always shooed him away. The other day he couldn't resist glancing back, and was astonished at her beauty, and it was like she meant for him to see her clad only in her scant undergarments. Unknown to Tarzan, she did.
Both were bathed by the lantern's dim light and moonlight, and they finished the last of a book called 'The Pickwick Papers'. Normally they would say goodnight, but Jane didn't seem like she wanted to, as she just looked up into his eyes expectantly. This emboldened Tarzan, who spoke in English, and asked a question he'd wanted to ask for some time, encouraged by the fact she had made the nest, "Jane, these books and the Bible we've read all talk about 'love'. Why are there so many kinds of love, but only one English word for it?"
He was worried that his question would stop the conversation. Topics like this always did. Instead, she sat up in their nest and looked directly at him. She folded her legs underneath as when she greeted him earlier, rearranged herself and her skit politely, but she continued to leave her shapely legs in full view. Deliberately. Tarzan sat up on his haunches. They were within inches of each other, face to face. The slight flicker of the lamplight and the intensity of the moonlight, filtered only by a few leaves of the lighter canopy highlighted her beauty. Her eyes sparkled at him, and she smiled broadly. This took his breath away.
He could see her blush even in the moonlight, but instead of being shy, she explained, "Well. Love is a lot of things, Tarzan. First there is love for things and powers greater than all of us in the universe, like we read in the Bible. Next, there is love for family members and best friends - you love your mother, your cousin Terk, and your friend Tantor."
"I do love them. Are there other kinds of love?" he inquired, keeping total attention focused on Jane to keep her talking.
She felt self-conscious, and looked away for a moment. Tarzan knew that all too well when she got nervous with her stammers, but she looked into his eyes seriously. She felt really self-serving by what she needed to say next, but said it anyway, "Hehe, umm. Oh my. Well, Tarzan, there is love between a man and a woman who want to be together as husband and wife."
"Tell me about that kind of love, Jane," he encouraged, crept closer to her in his stance, and gave her an intense look.
It melted her heart for him. As she said the words, she finally stopped being nervous. Both of them knew that what she said next was mostlly a confession by Jane of how she felt in addition to being a definition, "My mother explained that kind of love is when you have feelings so great for another person that you want to give them everything you have all the time, want to make them as happy as you can, want to share every part your life with them more than anything or anyone else - giving up everything to be with them, and wanting to have a family together of your own."
He raised his hands gently to cup her face very gently into his powerful hands. He realized he finally had the English words and what they meant to go with how he had felt for a long time. Tarzan poured his heart and soul into every word he said, as he gazed deeply into her blue eyes and said emphatically, "Then, Jane Porter, I love you."
She choked up with happiness, hearing the words for the first time from him, wanting to hear them, and knowing it was true, she responded, "I love you too, Tarzan."
They gathered each other into their arms and hugged and kissed.
With his captivating smile, he stroked her hair, and admitted, "Jane. I've felt like this for a very long time. Tonight, you showed me the words. I could only show you how I felt every day."
"I can feel your love every day, Tarzan. I was the same way. I could only show you my love. I… I was too afraid to say the words."
"Afraid? Afraid of me?" he was shocked.
She took his hands in hers and held them tightly, "Oh dear, Tarzan, no, no, no. Not ever. I love you too much to be afraid of you. You make me feel safer than anything in the world with just a look. I was afraid of all the dangers and uncertainties that are ahead for us. I am still afraid of not getting to be with you - things that might yet conspire against us to keep us apart. I was afraid of loving you - someone that my society might not approve of, or let me be with you the way I want to."
Tarzan replied soothingly, "You will never have to be afraid again if we face it all together, Jane."
They hugged again, both in tremendous contentment at their admissions of love.
Wanting to seal the permanent bond with her that he sensed they both wanted, he had the courage to ask, "Do people mate, Jane?"
Tarzan knew about marriage from the books and pictures, but they never really talked about it, and danced around this subject for so long that he had to make absolutely sure that Jane wanted the same thing he did, and wanted it now. He was not going to make any mistakes by pressuring her. He'd waited. He could wait more.
She cleared her throat nervously, but stated clearly, "Yes, they do."
"What is the word for 'people mating'?"
"Marriage, Tarzan," she said while shaking, but it was anticipation, not trepidation.
"Does it last forever?" he increased the grip on her hands. He could feel them quiver.
"Yes it does, Tarzan. People marry for life."
Her pulse surged and her breathing became ragged, very anxious that he was going to ask 'the question'. Tarzan knew he had to take his chance, "I would love to be married to you, Jane."
"And I would love that too, Tarzan," she responded with a dreamy look.
"Will you marry me now, Jane?"
"Yes, Tarzan. Absolutely. Right now," she said as the last shred of self-doubt and fear left her.
Tears streamed down her cheeks while she smiled and laughed at the same time she was crying. She threw her arms around Tarzan and hugged him tightly. Women were so enigmatic to Tarzan, but he knew he couldn't live without 'his Jane' beside him.
He was worried, and asked, "You are crying, Jane. Are you not happy?"
Jane wiped her eyes while giggling, and stroked his forehead.
"Oh yes, Tarzan, yes, I am deliriously happy. You just told me you want to marry me. I want that so much," and she hugged and kissed him again just to assure him.
He smiled broadly, completely fascinated by Jane's emotions, but was also thoroughly confused, "Why are you crying then?"
"Sometimes women just do that. We get so happy we cry," she explained, trying to catch her breath, still laughing softly and crying simultaneously.
Her teary eyes gleamed at him, as she cradled his cheek with one hand, and ran her hand through his dreadlocks with the other. She couldn't keep her hands off him, ecstatic about his wonderful, heartfelt proposal. They touched foreheads, breathless for each other. Tarzan was so excited about her happiness and response to him. He couldn't believe this was really happening. For a few minutes they just adored each other, living the moment, hugging and kissing.
As if she wasn't excited enough, he couldn't wait to ask the next question, trying something else he had learned about marriage in the slide shows, "Tell me, Jane. Do people give gifts to each other to be married?"
"Yes, they do, Tarzan. Usually rings for their hands, that they wear their whole lives together."
"Like these?" Tarzan pulled them from a small pouch tied to his loincloth strap.
She gasped. They were matching wedding bands.
"How did you get these, Tarzan?"
"From my parents. I didn't think they needed their rings anymore. Their spirits are together forever now. Was this wrong?"
She took his hands in hers tenderly to assure him, "No, it wasn't. That is just fine. They would be very pleased. It's like a gift from them. Oh, Tarzan. This is such a wonderful, thoughtful surprise!"
"Are you still happy, Jane?"
"Oh yes, Tarzan, yes I am. I could never be happier."
She realized that he had been carrying those rings for this moment for months, so she kissed him longer and deeper than ever before. He felt physically excited as they broke the kiss.
"I want to give you this now, to marry you," and he offered her the ring.
"I accept," she agreed excitedly, extended her left hand to him, and she showed him where it went.
"I am now your wife, Tarzan," she smiled, and her eyes gleamed at him in the moonlight.
The ring was a perfect fit.
"It's so beautiful," she cooed at him.
She admired the ring. It glinted as she held it up in the full moonlight. Tarzan watched her every excited move. Getting married was obviously a very big deal for women. The slides taught him a lot, but this actual moment with her was even more amazing for him. It seemed like he was doing everything just right to make this special for both of them.
"And now, Tarzan I give this one to you. To be my husband."
He studied the ring on his hand, and smiled lovingly at Jane, a look she returned.
"So we are married now?" he asked happily.
For months, Jane had balked and hesitated, skipped and ignored or even hid some of the more detailed slides about marriage. She'd stammered, made excuses, remained shy, and tried to dodge and delay things to live up to the strict manner of 'the proper British way', but right here and right now was the right time and the right way. It was all very sweet, and Tarzan was so innocent of all the social 'norms' of her society, trying so hard to do things correctly. She would never forget the surprise of their rings. Deep in her heart she wanted this, and wanted it for a long time, but she just was not brave enough, even with an undeclared love that flowed so easily between them. Until now. She looked deeply into his eyes, clutching his hands tightly.
"Yes we are. We'll do something very special that married people do next time we get to the treehouse. There is something we need to read in the Bible - just for husbands and wives."
She swallowed really hard but stated with conviction, "Now we need to do something else Tarzan, my dear husband, to be married. Something else I was afraid of too."
"What is that?" asked Tarzan with anticipation.
"It's the final kind of love. Turn out the lamp, Tarzan."
Tarzan nearly knocked over the lamp in anticipation. As they gazed at each other in only the moonlight, she let her hair down gently and shook it all around her shoulders and down her back, and looked at him invitingly with her eyes half-closed and a slight smile. He'd seen her let her hair down a thousand times on a daily basis, but never like this. She guided his hands – that were shaking - to remove her outfit piece by piece until there was nothing left.
He could barely contain his elation at seeing all of her. She pulled off his loincloth, and smiled demurely as they admired each other, just sitting and holding hands in the moonlight. They leaned forward to embrace, and let go completely of all their pent up emotion and desire for each other. Jane nestled underneath Tarzan and guided them together, pulling him close to her, feeling his chiseled physique against her. He was truly amazed at her wonderful shape that was incredibly soft to his touch, and attractive in a way he never dreamed possible.
In her entire life she never thought her wedding night would be consummated under the stars and the moon in the midst of a gorilla nest with the most handsome man on the planet who just happened to be a wild ape man. What would her friends back home say? But she realized she had no friends, just social acquaintances. She was in love with her best friend and he was making love with her for the first time. She was ecstatic with how gentle he was, and how incredible it felt. They were both learning.
As they continued, he did ask tentatively, "Aren't we doing this wrong? This isn't the way the others…"
She stroked his neck and hair and interrupted, "No, Tarzan. People like it better this way. We can keep kissing. And we can look at each other, and you can touch me more."
He found all that very compelling and the intensity of their passion grew. They made subdued happy noises so as to not wake the others. She would get used to the gorillas' innocent open ways of loving among their kind, since she was now the leader's mate, but not tonight. Tonight needed to be just them. When they had finished, they couldn't bear to let go, and went to sleep completely tangled up with each other.
Because the pair had seem particularly affectionate all day, the Professor suspected this would happen, so he quietly stayed awake, and discreetly listened to their marriage pledges to each other and the tender bonding that transpired between them. He was proud of Tarzan's wonderful ring exchange idea, but he looked away in their private moments that followed.
It was time. Archimedes knew he needed to act tomorrow.
Kala couldn't be happier that they finally decided to seal their pledge as mates. Parents always know what their children are doing. No matter how old they get. Kala and Archimedes exchanged smiles across the family nest, and slept well as their son and daughter shared their first married night.
Right next to Tarzan and Jane was the nest for Kirok and Terk. Despite her best efforts to keep her promise to her friend Jane, Terk was too curious, and did peek, amazed at everything that transpired between her two friends. Humans made a very big deal about the 'first mating', especially with those shiny things on their fingers, and was intrigued with the odd way - as shy Jane would say - they 'did that'. As Jane drifted off to sleep, she noticed that Terk was still awake, and winked at her. Terk was deeply moved by the tenderness of it all, and how much her human friends clearly loved each other.
Terk concentrated for a moment on everything the Professor had asked her and Kirok to do when this beautiful act finally happened between Jane and Tarzan, and happily snuggled closer to her snoring mate for a sound sleep.