Ashitaka sat on his perch high above the new reconstructed Iron Town. He loved to stare out into the darkness of the forest. Lady Eboshi had a group of her best warriors on shifts to keep lookout over the village. Ashitaka didn't mind as much as the other men did, he found solace in watching the forest. Although the forest was still too quiet for him. The trees were still young, so little life inhabited them, the kodama had not yet returned to these parts and that saddened Ashitaka, for he knew that meant it would be a long time before larger life could return.

Many of the villagers believed that the spirit of the forest had disappeared; even Jiko himself was unable to feel the new pull from the forest. Jiko had left to return to his home where the emperor lived, leaving the people of Iron Town alone. Ashitaka could feel it though; he could feel the presence of the spirit of the forest, though it was not as powerful as it had once been. The feelings of life and death had pulled him to the new woods a few months past. He journeyed deep into the fast growing forest. Ashitaka knew that in just the short time the forest had had to grow back was still not enough for the height and foliage that the forest already contained. On his wanderings Ashitaka came across the sacred pool, and upon the nightwalkers island was a new mother tree, already taller and thicker than all other trees in the surrounding forest. Beside the tree Ashitaka noticed movement, so he circled the island from across the pool. To his amazement a small creature lay there in the shade of the tree. A small fawn, covered in red fur with small rounded antlers upon his head. His face was one Ashitaka knew well, and the small goat like features turned his head to look upon Ashitaka, and they stared at each other for a long time. Then the young spirit stood up and took a few steps closer to the edge of the island, small flowers blooming and falling at his feet. Ashitaka removed a flower from his pack and pushed it across the water to the spirit. The spirit touched it with his nose and stole its life; he then turned around and lay back under the tree. As Ashitaka left the forest he noticed a path of his flowers blooming before him.

It had been two years since he set out from his home and his people. Two years since the spirit of the forest had been renewed. Two years since Iron Town was destroyed. Two years since San had said her farewells…

Ashitaka shook his head of the visions of her piercing gaze. In two years Iron Town had been rebuilt, the forests had grown tall, but still thin and weak; the city had grown immensely, and almost doubled in population. Ashitaka was one of the towns' heroes now, mothers told stories of his and the wolf girl's heroics to save the forest from the greedy emperor. But even though many of the mothers were there themselves, the details had already gotten blown out of proportion. It still made Ashitaka smile when he saw children pretending to be him, San and or the spirit of the forest.

The scar on his cheek that San gave him had never healed, just like the scar from the curse mark left on his hand. They were constant reminders of his days in the forest traveling with San and her family. Sometimes he dreamed that he awoke on the floor of the cave with San curled under her fur blanket next to him. Her peaceful face the most angelic thing he had ever seen. It had broken his heart to let her leave with her brothers to find a home in the forest to the east that had not been destroyed by the fury of the nightwalker. For weeks after their parting he had cried himself to sleep, though he held strong during the day. Only Toki, now pregnant with her second child, had been able to see through his unmoving face during the restoration. She knew he longed for her, and she comforted him when she could.

Ashitaka was a man now, lifting and building the city had made him strong and broad shouldered, he was much taller now, and his voice had dropped considerably. But inside the boy he once was yearned to lay eyes on the girl he fell in love with, the wild, fierce, untamable princess of the wolf god.

It was early in the morning when Ashitaka finished his watch. The moon was full and bright, which made his watch much easier. Since the city's construction had finished he spent most of his time listening for the cry of the wolves. Hoping some time soon the forest would be dense enough for the pack to return. For San to return.

He walked blindly through the sleeping town. The lights were all blown out, and the only sounds were that of snoring and the constant pulse that echoed from the bellows on the hill to the west. Ashitaka arrived to his home, a great home he himself had built. He got in and lit a few candles around the kitchen as he prepared himself some hot tea and rice. With his mind on his meal, Ashitaka was startled by the noise he heard. His surprise caused him to splash boiling water on himself as he nearly dropped his tea.

A wolfs cry.

Ashitaka put his nearly empty cup down and ran outside, even though he knew he would not be able to see anything over the wall of the city. He stood numbly out in the cool night air for a long time, but as he predicted nothing happened. No wolves bounded into the city, no San appeared on the edge of the wall. With a sigh, he returned back inside to heat his food again.

It was nearly time for Ashitaka to wake up. He opened his eyes and stared at his wood ceiling for a while, tired still, but knowing there was work to be done. He sat up and dressed and walked to the living area, thinking about the wolf's cry. He turned to sit on the boar hide couch that Jiko had given him as a joke before leaving, only to see a large bundle of fur he did not remember putting upon it.

His mind raced. It can't be, it can't be! Ashitaka screamed in his mind. San? Can it really be San on my couch? He went to splash water on his face, but when he returned, she was still lying there, fast asleep, the peaceful angelicness of her face had not changed one bit. Her beauty stunned Ashitaka. Her features were not what he was expecting. In his dreams he saw the face of the young girl, but in reality, just like him, she had also grown up in the two years they were apart. Her hair was longer, but she still adorned the same headband. She had gotten a new fur coat, and she had remade the mask to its full size again. Ashitaka couldn't see the rest of her, for it was hidden under her pelt, but he could only imagine the woman she had become.

Not wanting to disturb the sleeping princess Ashitaka slowed his movement and went to make breakfast. But his excitement made it hard to keep his hands steady. Ten thousand questions and thoughts flashed through his mind. The only one that mattered though was why she was here.

Being as quiet as possible Ashitaka prepared eggs, ham bread and tea, enough for them both, all the while watching her sleep. As the ham began to cook Ashitaka noticed San's nose twitch a little. He smiled to himself, and continued to watch her. It was nearly midday; Ashitaka wondered when San had arrived. The grease from the ham popped in the pan and San's eyes shot open, Ashitaka had been staring at her, and her eyes pierced his just like they used to. San did not move, she only stared back.

As Ashitaka came out of his happy daze, he smiled at her. "Good morning." Was all her could say, not breaking eye contact with her. Her gaze began to soften, something he had only seen happen once or twice. She sat up on the couch and stretched; tongue out, like a wolf. Ashitaka held back a laugh. She was stunning. She had certainly grown up in the two years they were apart. Her old dress had been thrown out in place of one more accommodating of her bosom, which appeared to be bound in cloth. She still wore her tooth necklace, and the crystal dagger he had given her hung around her delicate neck as well. She no longer painted the red marks on her face, but Ashitaka did notice the design from her daggers was marked on her left arm. She stood, and walked over to him in the kitchen. She was much taller as well, but not as tall as he was, her muscular legs and arms were well defined, and she was still as skinny as she had been.

Ashitaka could barely restrain himself from running over to touch her, but if she was anything like she was two years ago, he knew that was a bad idea.

San had also been eyeing Ashitaka. Her keen eyes had taken in his muscular frame, his slightly shorter hair and manly features. His deep voice, and the adult eyes that she stared into. He was still clean-shaven, which she was happy about, and he still had her scar on his cheek. San's eyes darted to the floor, then back to his eyes. And she said simply, "Ashitaka." With eyes filled with loneliness, Ashitaka had to restrain himself more. He walked slowly around the kitchen island to her, and he grabbed her hands in his. She looked up at his face, feeling more comfortable then she thought she would be around him.

"San." Ashitaka replied, both staring into each others eyes. He dropped her hands and moved them to her face, cradling her soft head, but his longing took over, and with a slight force, he pulled her closer and kissed her with more passion than he ever knew he had in him. At first, San was unmoving with shock, her emotions exploding with sensations she never felt before. After a few seconds, she began to kiss him back. Their kiss continued until Ashitaka was left gasping for breath and he had to pull away.

San cursed under her breath, and stomped away, leaving a confused Ashitaka panting where he stood.

"What's wrong?" he half choked out.

"My stupid brothers were right. It's nothing. Forget it okay?" She spun back to face him.

Ashitaka knew that tone in her voice, he remembered it well, and he dropped the subject. Instead he went back to cooking breakfast, and soon he served it up and brought it to the table. He pulled out a chair for her and she sat down. Ashitaka picked up his fork and started eating, he found himself much hungrier than he thought. San on the other hand stared at her plate. She then picked it up and starting sniffing its contents. "What is this?" she asked, slight anger in her voice.

"It's egg, ham and toast. And some tea too." Ashitaka answered.

"You eat this?"

"Usually…is it not to your liking?"

San picked up a piece of ham with her fingers, and put it in her mouth. Trying to be considerate, she didn't spit it out, but her face held nothing back. "You say this is pig? Why is it so tough?"

"It's cooked pig, San. Not raw. Humans don't eat raw meat, we usually get sick."

"I don't get sick, yet the wolves call me human." Her eyes darkened.

"I can fix you something else if you want…"

She cut him off. "No. I can eat this." Then she picked up her plate and slid the food into her mouth. Ashitaka couldn't help but laugh a little. And he thought to himself: A wild one indeed. San swallowed hard and drank down the tea; choking a little on it's bitter taste. Ashitaka retrieved some water, which she readily gulped down. "That wasn't terrible."

Ashitaka gave a chuckle. "I'm glad my cooking is tolerable for you Princess Mononoke. " He said with a bow as he cleared away the dishes.

"Don't call me that! I'm not a princess!" She growled and hit the table with so much force the water glassed tipped over.

Startled by her outbreak, Ashitaka defended himself, "I was simply making a joke San, don't make so much of it."

"Don't joke about such things," She hollered.

"I won't I won't. But can we…can we talk San? It's been a long time since…"

"Ashitaka I can't talk yet. Can I just stay here for a while? I'll sleep on the couch, I can work…"

It was Ashitaka's turn to cut her off. "Sleep on the couch? What do you take me for San? You are a woman you will take my bed, I will sleep on the couch. You are my guest!"

"NO!" She almost yelled. "I am sleeping on the couch. I feel comfortable there. I have never slept in a bed and will certainly not take yours from you." She retorted, as strong minded as ever.

"Will you sleep beside me at least then? The bed is big enough for two."

San scoffed at him, but did not answer. Ashitaka's heart sunk, but he knew the idea was a bit extreme.

The next two days were spent much the same. They reminisced about the war, and San told Ashitaka stories about the forest, and the new spirit that grew there, which Ashitaka was proud to say he had seen. San stayed in the house, afraid of what Lady Eboshi would do to her; despite Ashitaka's reassurance the Lady would do her no harm. As Ashitaka went to work each day, San made arrows for him, and began a few small woodcarvings. On the third night, Ashitaka had lookout duty again, and he told San he would be back very early in the morning.

He had never hated lookout duty so much, for he knew it meant San was sitting alone in his house, waiting for him. But just as his anxiousness was getting worse, he heard the creak of the wooden steps that led up to the lookout. He drew his weapon, only to see the familiar features of the one he had been so anxious to see.

"Can I join you Ashitaka?" San asked, her voice quiet and withdrawn.

"It would be my pleasure." He told her, and she took a seat beside him on the watchtower bench.

Thirty minutes had passed, and Ashitaka began to wonder why she had come to join him, when she began to speak, as commanding as ever. "Ashitaka how did you do it?"

"Do what?"

"Leave your home and your family back then?"

"I don't really know. The curse on my arm was going to kill me, but to try to stop it I would have to leave the village, and my villages' customs said that anyone who left the village was dead to its' people. So I had little choice. I was deeply pained to leave my family, and my sister broke the rules and saw me off. She gave me the dagger you wear around your neck to protect me and bring me luck."

"This is your sisters? Why did you give it away?" San asked angrily, reaching to untie the necklaces knot. But Ashitaka's hand flew up to stop hers.

"I gave it to you so you would not forget me, and so it could bring you the luck it brought me."

"I wouldn't call the mess you got yourself into luck Ashitaka."

"Maybe not, but it brought me to you, didn't it?"

San blushed and looked down from his gaze.

"You're all I have now Ashitaka." Her voice beginning to quiver.

"What? What do you mean? What of your brothers?"

"They grew up Ashitaka. On our travels to find a new home, we crossed paths with another pack. Moru my other brother found a mate in the pack, and soon after Yama did too. The other wolves however did not accept me, and Moru was entering into the fight for pack leader, and he hadn't time to fight for me. I told Yama I didn't want to be the reason Moru lost pack leader, and I said I would return to the old woods, and to Ashitaka." Tears began to run from her eyes, though her voice had steadied. "Yama volunteered to run me back, and we set off at dawn. He promised me that if the pack was ever near by he would call for me, but other than that, we said our farewells and he ran off that night. He gave me a word of warning though. He told me that if you were a father, I should just leave and live in the wilderness. That's why I entered your home and looked around, to see if a mate or offspring slept within your walls."

"How did you find me?" Ashitaka asked curiously.

"Your scent, it's something that never changes. But Ashitaka do you know why I am here?"

"So you have a pack again?"

"No, Ashitaka. I am here, amoung the humans to mate."

Ashitaka swallowed loudly. " I see."

Footsteps could be heard on the stairs again, and San sprung into action. She jumped over the side of the tower, scaring Ashitaka half to death, but he saw her scurry away over the rooftops toward his home. Okami, the next shift of watchman had arrived. He nodded to Ashitaka and they traded places. Ashitaka ran down the steps and sped toward home. He composed himself and walked through the door, San sat perched on the dining table, one knee pulled close, the other hanging off the table, giving Ashitaka a plain view of her undergarments. He walked to her and took a seat on the table beside her.

"To mate huh. Well, there are many worthy humans in Iron Town, I can introduce you to some in the morning, or whenever you are ready…"

She cut him off yet again, "Ashitaka. There is only one human I want to mate with." Her eyes pieced his very soul, deeper and more smoldering than they had ever before. He jumped off the table and grabbed her head between his hands. This time she kissed him back right away and with vigor and passion. She lightly bit his lips and he forcefully drove his tongue into her mouth. She tasted like the wilderness. She tasted free and alive. A sensation and feeling that Ashitaka had longed for so badly.

Still on the table, she moved her hands through his hair and down to his neck. Her fingers traced the facets of his muscular shoulders and then her arms wove around to his back. She grabbed the bottom of his tunic and twisted it over his head.

His nimble fingers untied her pelt and it fell to the table behind her, her legs twisted around him, squeezing him tightly. Her muscular legs nearly bound her to him with her arms also wrapped around his flexing torso. He hugged her tight and walked to the bedroom with her attached to him. As he put her down on the bed his fingers grabbed the hem of her dress and pulled it up to her mid section, San continued the undressing as Ashitaka untied the rope holding up his pants, which fell to the floor. Both of their breathing was quickening every second, Ashitaka nearly found himself gasping for breath at the mere thought of having the woman he loved lying in his bedroom. He climbed on top of her and buried his face in her neck, licking and biting at her skin. But San didn't miss a beat, she used her tongue to reach his soft earlobe, and she playfully pulled at it, just like a wolf cub would do to its siblings. The sensations sent shivers of pleasure down Ashitaka's spine and only drove him more mad with desire.

Ashitaka's hands were everywhere. In her hair, on her neck, at her sides. He broke his nuzzling to look down on her from all fours, he ran a hand over her bound bosom, and it sent shivers down her spine. Shivers San had never experienced before. They radiated through her all the way to the apex between her legs, she began to squirm a little. He perched himself on just his knees and he grabbed the top of her binding and ripped it clean down the center. San let out a little scream but he soon silenced her with a rain of deep kisses. His hands moved around her breasts, now free and beginning to perk up after being confined for so long. He nipples were hardening and her legs were beginning to tremble.

Ashitaka shifted himself down so he could give more adequate attention to her blooming nipples. San's entire body bucked when his tongue began to swirl around them. He sucked them and lightly bit at them. Her face was gorgeous, her eyes were shut in ecstasy and her moaning was growing louder with every one of his touches. Ashitaka was fascinated with every movement and sound she made. He never wanted this night to end.

He moved back up to kissing her tenderly, but San had other ideas, her hand wandered below his waist and untied his under wrappings. Unable to look down she felt his manhood and gasped through his kisses, "Ashitaka…" she then gripped him in her hand. Her animal instincts and his had both begun to take over. She stroked him until he was very hard.

"San…" Ashitaka moaned into her ear. "San I can't wait anymore."

She whispered back to him, " You are my only mate Ashitaka."

Ashitaka's moan was almost a growl, as he planted a passionate kiss on her raw and tender lips. Then he moved over and undid her undergarments as well.

Her womanhood was exposed and Ashitaka placed his hand over her folds while bending to kiss her gently. She was ready for him, her breathing was loud and her bosom heaved as she watched him spread her juices over himself and positioned himself at her entrance. "I've waited so long for you San. Are you sure you want this?" He didn't want to wait for her answer, but nor did he want to harm her in anyway, he wanted to be by her side forever, and he would wait for eternity if he had to.

"Ashitaka!" She howled at him. "I want to be yours forever!"

That was all he needed to hear, with a small shove he entered into her warm center. He only barely got his tip inside before she contracted around him. She howled out in pain, squeezing him, making it impossible for him to continue onward. Ashitaka's face held a pained expression as he watched the angelic face he loved so much contort with pain. He held steady for what seemed like ages, gazing at her features, which slowly began to relax. Her tight opening began to release him and he pressed into her once more, she twitched in pain again, and Ashitaka stopped. "Don't. Stop." San ordered through gritted teeth. So he pressed on.

San's face became almost expressionless as he slowly proceeded deeper within her. Her opening was small, but bit-by-bit she swallowed up this length. Ashitaka had almost reached her inner depths, so close to the core he was, but he wanted her to feel the pleasure as well. He slowly began to pull out, and as he did he watched the tension in her face release a bit. But when he was nearly out, he plunged back in with more force than San had anticipated and she let out a howl like Ashitaka had never heard.

Ashitaka's thrust had nearly made San forget the great pain he had brought her. She focused on the warm feeling his manhood brought her. Her breath caught in her throat and she uttered a low growl as he once again withdrew with from within her. "No…" she began to moan. So Ashitaka pounded into her once more, and after that he could no longer be as gentle as he tried to be. His thrusts quickened and soon he could tell San was enjoying it as much as he. Her hips began to meet his rhythm and in time they made love like neither had ever imagined. Finally San opened her eyes to see Ashitaka staring lovingly back at her.

"Does it hurt anymore?" He asked her tenderly, still moving inside her.

"No not anymore." San managed to say, a little haggardly from her labored breathing.

"I'm going all the way San."

And before San could even respond Ashitaka grabbed behind her knees and bent her legs back to the bed, lifting her womanhood off the bed and allowing Ashitaka full access to the deepest recesses of her body. With one powerful and desire fueled thrust Ashitaka filled San to the hilt with his cock. He waited for a moment inside her, feeling her contract around him. He had once again knocked the wind out of her and forced her eyes shut, but Ashitaka wanted to look at her. "You feel amazing, and you look amazing too San."

She opened her eyes and they smoldered into his soul again. She was finally herself again. "Ashitaka MOVE!" She ordered him.

Caught off guard Ashitaka gave a little chuckle, but obeyed nonetheless. With speed and timing he pulled out and pounded back into her, sending shocks of pleasure through both their bodies. They continued with their perfect rhythm for quite some time. Ashitaka would tease San and slow down. Eventually she grew tired of this and slashed at his chest with her sharp nails, Ashitaka reacted like a beast with sand thrown in his eyes and withdrew completely from inside her for the first time.

He grabbed her and flipped her over, she stayed on her hands and knees on the bed and Ashitaka re-entered her with great force that she howled out in new pain again. This time he didn't care however. Soon their rhythm matched again and he leaned over to message her bosom as well.

The brutality of it all was beginning to push San over the edge, her arms gave out, but Ashitaka still had hold of her breasts, he was working her nipples to keep them as hard as stone. However Sans falling provided him deeper entrance into her pussy and her gasping breathe made it hard for him to resist penetrating her harder and faster. Their breathing and the colliding of their bodies was the only sound until San's loud deep moans filled the room. She screamed out to him, "Ashitaka! Ashitaka! Faster"

Ashitaka summoned all his power and pounded her from behind with desire of a beast. His quickened pace also brought him close to oblivion. He began to groan with pleasure, "San…San…San!" His great member began to twitch with each fast pump. She was contracting around him, more and more. Both of them were seconds away from climax, when Ashitaka grabbed her waist, and without removing himself from within her spun her around onto her back. He lifted her legs up again and penetrated her with such vigor the friction of their connection was actually heating up.

After moments worth of power filled thrusts both Ashitaka and San were at their limits. Moaning in simultaneous pleasure San's back arched as she let out a cry of pure joy and love while Ashitaka also released his seed inside her, crying out her name, "San! San! I love you…" and he collapsed on top of her, growing weaker by the second.

After they both caught their breath and their tremors had subsided Ashitaka rolled off of San, laying several tender kisses on her lips and cheeks. "Ashitaka that felt amazing." San whispered to him.

"We both have some demon within us I suppose." He chuckled, and San joined in. San rolled toward Ashitaka and nuzzled under his arm. Her free hand ran down his hairy chest, almost petting him.

"My brothers told me humans were hairless except for where I have hair. But I am glad they were wrong." She stroked his stomach again. "If you were as hairless as I, you could never keep me this warm."

"You mean you like me because I am hairy like a wolf." Ashitaka stated.

"No! I didn't say that did I? Now don't start putting words in my mouth or I will make you pay."

"What could you possibly do to make me pay little pup?" Ashitaka teased, but San didn't approve. She reached down to his tired manhood and squeezed him hard. And evil grin dancing on his lips.

"Ah! Stop it, it hurts!"

San laughed out loud. "There, that's payback for making me bleed tonight and for calling me a pup."

"Would you prefer bitch?"

San pinched his left nipple with no warning. And Ashitaka yelped in pain. He grabbed her hand and mounted her bringing both her arms above her head and pinning them to the bed. As he straddled her and looked upon her face he expected to see either anger or fear, but the look on the wild wolf girls face was lust.

Ashitaka felt himself getting harder again. Talk about demons within, he thought to himself. "You want more already?" He gapped at her.

"I never had enough the first time." She breathed out.

"You really are a dog in heat aren't you? "Ashitaka laughed, but obliged her longing. Hands still pinned above her head Ashitaka moved to bury his face between her breasts. He sucked at bit at her tender nipples and she squirmed beneath him. With his free hand Ashitaka slid down between her legs and inside of her, leaving San breathing hard as he pumped one then two fingers in and out of her dripping wet pussy. He brought his hand, dripping from her juices to his mouth and licked them clean. "You taste amazing San." He muttered as he released her hands and moved down between her legs. He buried his face in her sweet fragrant hair and lapped up the juices of her cunt. He found the small round knob he was looking for and swirled his tongue around it, stimulating her beyond anything she had imagined.

"Ashitaka how did you…?" She moaned a deep moan as he lightly bit her clit.

"Instinct." He told her. He replaced his mouth with his fingers once more, but this time he just watched her face as she squirmed from his touch.

"Ashitaka, Ashitaka faster please I'm so close…"

Ashitaka's hand beat in and out of her; he added a finger and her insides began to contract. In a matter of seconds she reached a second orgasm and screamed, "Yes! Yes! Don't stop!"

"You still want more? Oh I really do love you." Ashitaka said evilly. He pulled his fingers out and began to jerk himself into erectness again. But San couldn't wait.

"Ashitaka don't stop…" she complained, watching him beat himself, her juices flowing out of her red pussy. She couldn't wait, her hand flew between her legs and played with her clit until she climaxed again, but she still did not stop. The sight of her fucking herself made Ashitaka want her very badly, and his arousal had finally fully returned. He grabbed her hands and pinned them above her again. "Yes, take me again Ashitaka. I want you inside me again!"

"We need to teach you some patience Love." A demon grim on his face. He positioned himself at her entrance, but didn't enter her, she squirmed and squirmed. Ashitaka rubbed his length in her juices, teasing her. Her cries and screams driving him mad. Oh how he loved her! The beast that she was, the woman he desired above any other. She was not just a girl; she was a wolf, with desires like no human he had ever heard of.

He drove his cock to the hilt in the very first thrust, leaving San screaming his name. He buried himself in her repeatedly, bringing her to her climax two more times before joining her on the 3rd. Finally, with her breasts heaving and falling as if she had just run for miles, San was exhausted, as was Ashitaka who had left his mark inside her once more.

Nuzzled under his arm once more, San and Ashitaka fell into a deep sleep.

It was nearly midday when Ashitaka finally awoke. There was a banging on his front door. Carefully he shifted the sleeping princess and threw on his robe to answer the door.

"Ashitaka! Open the door! Where are you!"? The voice of a very angry Toki bellowed at him.

Groggily Ashitaka opened the door and immediately shushed Toki. The anger was clear on her face, her cheeks were cherry red, one hand was on her lower back and the other rested atop her very pregnant stomach.

"Ashitaka what are you doing! You were supposed to come fix the boilers hours ago! It's not like you to…" Toki's eyes diverted to something behind Ashitaka. A sleepy San had just poked her head from behind the bedroom door. Her eyes widened in surprise, as did Toki's. She turned from San, who she didn't recognize, which she thought odd, to Ashitaka, who she punched full force in the shoulder and said in a whisper, "I'll tell the boss you didn't feel well." With a wink, she waddled off, laughing to herself.

Ashitaka sighed and went back to the bedroom. He kissed San who was still standing by the door and said, "I think we need to clean up, don't you agree?" San nodded and Ashitaka went to the washroom to start the fire under the tub to heat the water.

"This is the first time since I left my village I have had someone to scrub my back." Ashitaka told San who was curled in his lap in the tub.

"This is the first time I have bathed in water that wasn't ice cold or full of fish."

"Is this not this much more pleasant?" Ashitaka asked.

"Bathing in a cold stream would be much more fun if you were there, but this works too." San turned a bit to kiss him, and they stayed like that for while. They bathed each other, but eventually the fire began to smolder and the water began to cool so they had to get out. When Ashitaka returned from draining the basin he found San wandering around the kitchen naked. She was holding something in her hands. "Ashitaka what's this?" In front of her, San held a kimono, though he had no idea where it had come from.

Toki. That sneaky witch. He thought. I bet she knows its San too.

"It's clothing San, what woman wear. But neither of them could figure out how to tie the bow, so San just wore it like a robe.

That evening Ashitaka and San had a surprise visitor. Toki returned. Although she didn't knock this time, she just barged in. "Ashitaka!"

Ashitaka, who had been preparing dinner while San watched, nearly brought his knife down on his hand. "Toki! A little warning please!"

"Who is she Ashitaka? Is she who I think she is?" Toki exclaimed.

San rose off her perch on the countertop and walked over to Toki. "I'm San. Thank you for the kimono."

Toki laughed in amusement. "It's not like it fits me anymore!" Toki bellowed, patting her swollen stomach. " And Ashitaka, don't tell me you can't even teach your woman how to tie her own obi. Sheesh." Toki grabbed the cloth, still on the table and spent a few minutes teaching San to tie her obi. When they were done, she asked for the whole story.

A few weeks later, after Ashitaka had spent much time teaching San how to act more like a human woman, San was ready to meet the town, but the morning they planned to go out Ashitaka awoke to find San nowhere to be found. Worried he ran outside, but it was still early, and he didn't want to scream her name in fear of waking others up. Frantically he ran through the village, until he saw a distraught Kouroku, Toki's husband, asking to be let back in the house, and from outside he could hear Toki telling him to shut up.

Ashitaka ran up and asked what was wrong.

"I don't know! I was asleep, there was a knock at the door, Toki got up to answer it, then the next thing I knew she dragged me out the door and won't tell me what happened! Ashitaka you gotta get her to let me in! Please, it's cold out here!" Ashitaka noticed Kouroku was wearing only undergarments from being in bed. He was also jumping up and down and rubbing his arms to keep warm. Ashitaka had not even noticed the cold morning chill after he ran through the town in search of San.

"Toki, it's Ashitaka, is San in there with you? I've looked everywhere for her!" Ashitaka's voice was raised in panic.

Toki came to the door and let them both in. Kouroku was staring at Ashitaka like "Who's San?" but Ashitaka ignored him.

San was crouched over a bucket in the family washroom; a rope tied her hair up. She wiped her mouth and said, facing away from Ashitaka, "Ashitaka go home. I'm sick."

But before Ashitaka could say another word, Toki ushered the men outside to the living area. Their youngest child started to cry from the other room, and Toki motioned for Kouroku to deal with it.

"Ashitaka," She said, "San has been vomiting all morning, but she has no other signs of illness."

"Then what's wrong with her?" Ashitaka asked innocently.

"Why are all men so stupid!" Toki bellowed, then she lowered her voice again, "Ashitaka. San is pregnant."

Months later, the child arrived, a beautiful baby boy, his soft brown hair and perfect body a lovely combination of the two wild humans.

"So the Princess holds the little Prince." Ashitaka laughed.

"I'm more like a queen now don't you think?" She almost scowled at her adoring husband, who laid a sweet kiss on both her and their sons' foreheads.