Since Wamblee wouldn’t shower with her, they made it to her dads within an hour.
“Monica? I’m here?” Cara called out as she opened the door.
Monica poked her head out of her bedroom and smiled. “Cara! I’ve been waiting and was just about to call and see if you were still coming.”
“Yeah, well, after working all week, I just wanted to lay about for a while,” Cara told her. “I don’t really have a lot though, so it won’t take long to pack.”
Monica followed her to her room and stood in the doorway as Cara unfolded the flat boxes and put them together.
“So, when is the big day? I mean, I know you’re just going to the court house, but you father and I would like to be there,” Monica stated.
Cara looked up for moment before she started unloading her bookcase. “Tuesday at eleven. I don’t really want a big wedding though, so this is fine. I want you and dad there…”
Cara snorted. “No. I want her nowhere around me,” she looked over at Monica, seeing the sad look on her face. “I’m sorry, but she went too far this time and I don’t think I can come back from what she did.”
“I know, and I understand, I really do,” Monica said. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Cara shook her head. “No, not really.”
Monica hummed. “Alright. If you should change your mind, you know I’m here for you.”
“Thanks Monica,” Cara answered.
“Okay, well, I have an appointment to have my nails done, so I’m going to leave you with it,” Monica said, turning. “Unless…do you need help?”
Cara shook her head once more as she threw papers off the floor into a second box. She’d sort through them later. For now, she just wanted to get out of her as quick as possible. Robyn wasn’t here, but that could change. “Nope, I’m good. Thanks though.”
Monica said one more good bye, then she left.
Cara began to hum a bit as she hurriedly dug her journal out of it’s hiding place and buried it under the clothing she pulled out of a drawer and tossed in the third box. She then continued to pick up scattered items Robyn had strewn everywhere. “Wow, I’ve got more junk then I thought I did.”
“Yes, you do,” a voice sneered from the doorway. “Junk is all it is. Worthless, just like you are.”
Cara turned slowly and let out a shaky breath at the sight of her sister. “I figured you’d be with the boyfriend.”
“Oh? Is that why you’re just throwing things in a box instead of being your usual neat self? Hoping to finish before I got back?” Robyn asked stepping further into the room.
Cara grunted and rubbed at her forehead. “Look Robyn, I really don’t want to get into it with you today. I’m leaving and will be out of your hair, so leave me alone.”
“You don’t think I know what you did? It’s your fault that dad’s kicking me out you know!” Robyn yelled, stepping closer.
Cara watched as Robyn’s face turned red with anger and her fist clinched.
“No, it isn’t,” Cara disagrees. “He’s probably just tired of you living here and doing nothing to help out.”
Robyn laughed a humorless laugh. “Oh, and you do so much around here! All you are is a waste of space, always have been!”
Cara shook her head, puzzled at the look of pure hate she was receiving. So, she asked, “What did I ever do to you Robyn?”
“You exist!” Robyn yelled. Then she punched Cara!
Cara hit the bed behind her, tumbling a box off onto the floor, its contents dumping. She heard something shatter inside it and vaguely wondered what it was.
Robyn stepped closer, her hand raised.
“DON’T YOU TOUCH ME!” Cara yelled.
Robyn paused, then smirked before trying to hit Cara again.
Cara came up off the bed and threw her shoulder into Robyn’s gut.
“I’m tired of you thinking you can treat me anyway you want,” Cara snarled as she looked at her sister who now lay sprawled on the floor. “I have sat back and taken it to keep the peace around here, but enough is enough! I’m leaving, and you don’t have to put up with me, so let it go!”
“No, I won’t let it go chunky! I won’t let it go until you are laying bloody on the floor!” Robyn screamed back. “That man is mine, you hear me!”
“Oh, since when? You told me he belonged to Becky a few days ago,” Cara said with a snort.
“Becky has her own man now, she won’t be needing Tonto. I, on the other hand, have never been laid by a red man, so I think I’ll give it a try,” Robyn informed her with a smirk as she got up. Then she looked Cara up and down, giving her a sneer as she said, “You though, you don’t deserve to have a man, period.”
Cara snorted again. “Oh, are you jealous that he likes me? Maybe even loves me? Mad because someone’s head hasn’t been turned away from me to stare at you?”
“Like he’d ever love a chunky monkey like you!” Robyn laughed. “And trust me, his head will turn soon enough, they all do. He’s no different than any of the rest. Once he realizes the pathetic body that lays under those hideous clothes of yours he’ll be more than happy to warm my bed.”
Cara shook her head. “Do you even hear yourself? You have a boyfriend Robyn! I don’t know much about your relationship with him, but I see the way he looks at you. He looks at you like you hung the moon because he’s crazy about you, and you go and do this to him! How could you do that? I could never do that to Wamblee because I love him, and he means everything to me,” she whispered.
Robyn laughed. “Love! I don’t need or want love and my boyfriend is my business.”
Then, moving forward, she tried once more to hit Cara.
“I suggest you step away from my winyan,” a cold male voice said.
Cara smiled. She’d know that voice anywhere. Turning, she moved swiftly across the room to hug Wamblee. “You’re back.”
“And just in time it would seem,” he almost growled.
Robyn soothed her hair back and plastered a smile on her face. “Hello again, come back for more? I knew you’d get bored of chunky here. Well, you’re probably grossed out by her disgusting figure…”
“The only disgusting thing I see around here is you,” Wamblee interrupted in his same cold tone. “Now, I would suggest you leave so my winyan can finish packing in peace.”
Robyn looked shocked and Cara put a hand to her face to keep from laughing out loud. Oh, her love sure had a way with words. She’d have to make sure and praise him for it later!
Robyn almost ran from the room.
Cara tightened her grip around Wamblee’s waist as she told him, “I love you.”
“I love you also, now let’s get this finished, so I can take you away from here,” he murmured against the top of her head.
Tuesday had finally arrived, and it was now ten minutes until eleven.
It was the day of Cara and Wamblee’s wedding.
Cara stood outside the courthouse with her arms around Wamblee as they waited for her dad and Monica.
Peggy, Ramona, and Leslie were already there and stood quietly talking.
“Wamblee?” Peggy called softly.
Wamblee turned to look at her.
“I-I probably shouldn’t have done it, but I did. I called your mom and your unci and invited them. I don’t know if either will defy your dad and come, but I felt they should know,” Peggy admitted.
Peggy and Ramona were tribe and the only reason they had been given permission to be around Wamblee was because it was their job.
Cara felt the hurt go through Wamblee. She knew he wished this was happening in front of all his family on tribe lands.
“It’s fine Peggy, but I doubt…” his voice trailed off as he stared into the distance.
Cara turned to see what he was looking at and saw two women. As they moved closer, she could see it was Ms. Dolly and his mom.
“They came…” he whispered.
His mother heard though and gave a slight nod as Monica and Cara’s dad also joined.
“Are we ready?” Cara’s dad asked.
Wamblee gave a nod and everyone followed him and Cara inside.
The wedding was short as vows were repeated and rings exchanged.
Within ten minutes if seemed, everyone was once more outside.
Wamblee’s mom and Ms. Dolly quickly left.
“Um…Wamblee? How come they never said anything?” Cara asked.
“Because if they spoke to me, then father would have known,” he told her with a sad sigh. “This way they won’t have to tell him anything because they didn’t actually speak to me.”
“Oh,” she said. She didn’t understand but let it go.
“When someone is banished from the tribe they become…well, it’s almost as if they don’t exist anymore Cara. How do you speak to someone who doesn’t exist?” Peggy asked, as if trying to explain it more.
“So, it’s like Wamblee is no more, so they can’t talk to him?” Cara asked.
Peggy nodded. “Not unless they wish to be banished also.”
Now she understood better the growing pain she seemed to feel every time she touched her husband. He was hurt more than she had realized. She wished she knew how to fix things, but she didn’t. All she could do was love him, and she knew she could do that because she did.
Life continued with them both working hard and making a life together.
Things were good, at least Cara thought they were until she came out of the clouds enough to realize something was wrong.
It had been roughly a month since the wedding and the practice was growing by leaps and bounds. That’s when she first noticed the dark circles under Wamblee’s eyes.
She’d teased him about working to hard because of his work load.
He’d smiled and agreed he probably was.
Now, another month had gone by and she began to realize he wasn’t eating as he should and seemed tired all the time.
“Wamblee, what’s wrong?” she asked him one night as they lay in bed.
They’d come home and, eaten a light dinner. Well, she had eaten, he’d mostly just picked at his food. He’d then gone straight to bed.
Cara wasn’t tired, so she’d stayed up a bit later to do laundry. When she did make it to bed, she found him still awake.
He turned to look at her where she lay propped up over him and his eyes looked flat and listless.
“Cara…I don’t…I don’t know how to tell you this,” he whispered.
“Tell me what mihigna ki (my husband),” she said as she brushed his hair back. “You look so sad and tired all the time. You barely eat anymore, and your clothes are beginning to hang on you. I’m worried.”
“Cara, my eagle…he’s dying,” he said then.
“What? No! He can’t die!” she cried.
“He is. Haven’t you noticed I don’t transform into him anymore? It’s because I can’t, he’s too weak and I’m heading that way,” he explained.
Cara felt the tears fall fast and sobbing she fell onto his chest. He wrapped his arms around her, but not tightly. It was as if he no longer had the strength.
“Why Wamblee, why?” she cried out.
She felt him take a deep breath, letting it out slow.
“When my father banished me from the tribe, it took something away from my eagle. Tribe, family, is all he’s ever known. He can’t survive the breaking of the bond between the two. I knew the separation would hurt him, but I didn’t know it would eventually kill him.”
She raised up, scrubbing at her face. “We need to talk to your father! He needs to make this right!”
Wamblee shook his head. “It won’t matter what we say. He did what he thought was best for the tribe as a whole, that is what he does, right or wrong. There is nothing that will change his mind. I will not beg him, but I’m hoping that even if my eagle is gone that I can survive being human. I don’t want to leave you mitháwichu ki (my wife).”
“You…you mean, you could die too?”
“I don’t know, but I feel as if I am. Everything takes so much effort anymore. Just getting up is getting hard. I’ve had Ramona lighten my work load, but by the end of the day I can barely go.”
“Maybe it’s because you hardly eat,” she said.
He shook his head. “No, it’s more than that. Let’s not think about it right now though, let me make love to you. I’ve rested a bit and now I want to love you,” he whispered as he pulled her up on top of him.
Then he slowly and sweetly made love to her.
The next day, he called out sick because he could barely stand.
The day after that, he made it to work, but he collapsed at lunch.
“Cara! What is wrong?” Peggy asked as she found Cara standing over Wamblee where he sat on the floor.
Cara looked up even as she listened to the rasping breath of her husband. “Here isn’t the place to talk Peggy. Help me get him to the truck.”
Peggy helped her get him off the floor as Leslie walked out of one of the rooms.
“Leslie, have Ramona cancel all of Dr. Claw’s appointments for the next couple of days please,” Cara said.
Leslie, who was human, gave a smile. “Just like a man, pushing himself to hard.”
Cara forced a light laugh. “Yeah, something like that.”
Leslie turned to head for the front and Peggy and Cara began to walk to the door.
Once they were outside Peggy said, “Explain.”
Cara looked over at her. “His eagle is dying, but I fear he is too, and so does he.”
Peggy gasp as she looked at the man she was holding up. She didn’t say anything else until they had him in the truck. Closing the door, she turned to Cara. “Are you sure?”
Cara gave a sad sigh and held up her ankle. “I’d noticed the claw marking was slowly fading, but this morning when I looked, this is what I found.”
Peggy looked down also. The mark Wamblee had given Cara was completely gone, all of it.
“I figured when he said his eagle was dying that, that was why the claw mark was gone, because it was made by his eagle. But Peggy, he made the other one and it’s gone now too. I also noticed his is fading, will he be gone if it fades? Or will it just mean he’s completely human?”
Peggy shook her head. “I don’t know because I’ve never seen this happen before.”
Cara looked around, chewing the inside of her cheek. “I love him Peggy, I need him. I don’t want him to die.” She took a deep breath. “His dad did this, he needs to fix it!
She turned to look at Peggy then.
“What are you thinking?” Peggy asked, looking nervous.
“Take me to his parent’s house. Maybe if they see what is happening to their son…” Cara began.
“Oh, I don’t know if that is a good idea Cara,” Peggy stalled.
Cara stood straight and told her, “I don’t care! You are going to take me there Peggy, so his father can see what he’s done! Now, let’s go!”