Fiction~~The Last Pure Human~~Ch. 22


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The Last Pure Human
Chapter 22 - Wishing for Normal

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Passing the green rooms, Waran shifted his eyes to glance at the opposite wall. He didn’t acknowledge anyone standing guard. Head down, with a clutch-sack over his shoulder, he shuffled past another set of rooms, then the last of the North residences and into main storage. A few guards recognized him well enough to call out and he nodded, mournfully, without a pause. The closest Kyashin eyed the sack.

Waran gave him a wan smile. “A few things to trade at family storage. They’ve got one of those teal lamps from down south and Shoru….  He’s been meaning to try and buy….” Waran’s voice petered out and his ears flattened jerkily. “I wanted to make sure Shoru had something nice to wake up to.”

The others all nodded; a few of them patted his shoulder. Waran extricated himself with suitable reluctance. His shoulders were slumped as he turned away. 

Storage was empty of people but for one older man behind the old stone-slab of a desk. He grunted at Waran, standing up to take the sack and sliding over until he was standing at the door, facing the hallway. Neither said a word as Waran’s stride changed. Ears sharp and erect, feet slapping the ground angrily, he stomped into the cavernous maze of permanent shelving and headed to the far side. Dodging small items that had yet to be returned to their proper places, Waran started growling as he walked.

He turned left at the fifteenth shelf in, then started counting under his breath each time he passed another opening. A turn to the right and then he swore, his shin bumping up against a small cabinet in the aisle. He kicked it so hard it tumbled down the space between the shelves, cracking audibly against stone. Swearing again, he stomped after it and shoved it out of the way, clearing a space against the back wall.

This edge of the room was exactly the same as the other three walls, the ever-present creamy stone older and less polished than most places in the citadel. Waran glanced back at the shelves to his back, shifted one step to the right and verbally marked the stone blocks up from the bottom, counting under his breath again. His fingers tapped in seemingly random spots and then with one push on a rougher block, low on the left side, a small section of the wall slid aside. Waran walked into the shadows, waiting to continue until the door closed behind him.

He stopped at a harsh whisper from the dark.

“Where’s Antal?”

“Dead, I think.”

“Dead?” The shadow voice snarled a few times. “Did he give us away?”

“I doubt it. I’m pretty sure a shokan got him.”

There was a long pause. “A shokan. In the Hinta citadel?”

“Right in Prince Kasan’s garden.”

“What happened?”

“I gave the map and the guards’ schedule to Antal, waited for over an hour for him to meet me here, but he never showed. Then a shokan was spotted in the citadel and blood found in Prince Kasan’s gardens.”

“Nasty way to die.” Another long silence. “There was nothing about an attempt on the human?”

“Not a sound. I doubt Antal even got into the room.” Waran shrugged.

“Still, it puts us in a difficult position. If any part of his body is left to be identified, it could expose us.”

“I’m keeping an eye on the situation. So far, they have nothing.”

“Yet. We need to get the human immediately, before they do find anything. You’re going to have to take care of this.”

Waran’s ears flattened. “Me? That’s ridiculous. My training isn’t for-”

“You’re here, you’re trusted, and you have access. And we don’t know how much time we have.”

“Pay Antal’s family for another professional,” Waran snapped.

“Negotiations take weeks. We were lucky last time that we’d already hired Antal when the news broke about the human’s authenticity.”

Waran’s eyes were slits, his ears flat against his skull. “The human isn’t going anywhere, and the lab is well hidden. We have plenty of time to hire another from Antal’s family. But if I do it now, everyone will know exactly who took the human.”

“Obviously.”

“That’s not acceptable.” Waran growled low, a deep rumble in his chest.

There was a matching rumble from the darkness. “It’s not negotiable.”

“I might agree with the True Kyashin, but that doesn’t mean I’ll give up my name for it. And we agreed that having me in this position was better for us all! With Shovak gone, I’m fourth in command of the military. Without Kasan, I’ll be third, and with the sympathy from Shoru’s ‘permanent’ disability, I’ll make second or first. I’m not giving up everything I’ve worked for, dammit.”

“That was before we knew about the human. Having access to him is more valuable than having you here. We won’t need you here, once we have him. And you knew what might be required of you when you joined. ‘Whatever it takes, to purify the race,’ even if that means being cut off from your most distant mother’s cousin.”

Waran growled again, his teeth grinding audibly. “That was never part of this. I will not do it.”

There was a shift in the unseen Kyashin’s voice. “I’m surprised you let Shovak’s fate frighten you into running like a squickling.”

Waran’s ears stayed low and flat. “Shovak has nothing to do with this. He’s always been an arrogant ass, and he paid the price. I have no intention of doing the same.”

“Don’t be nave.” The voice hardened. “And don’t be more of a fool than you already are. It’s too late to change your mind now. That human is our best chance to finally prove which genes have been corrupting our bodies all these centuries. You will get him.”

“No! I can get the family to understand once Kasan is gone, but not if they know I was the one who took his consort.”

“You don’t have a choice.”

“I won’t.” Sweat dripped down the side of Waran’s face. “They’ll strike my name from the family record.”

“It can be reinstated, when the Hinta realize what a service was done for them.”

Waran shook his head. “Prince Kasan will be dead. They won’t forgive that.”

“His father is the Lord King. He has greater concerns than the well-being of one tainted child out of many.”

Waran didn’t speak for a moment, his ears still flat. “You…can’t really believe that? He’s family.”

“A small sacrifice, paving the way for the cleansing of the race? It may take a while, but I fully believe the Lord King will understand in the end. Once the truth comes out, they will reward you for it. Have you forgotten the story of Ayame? She was reviled, too, her name stricken, until everyone realized what she’d done for the clans.”

Waran’s ears shifted enough for the tips to be seen above his hair, but his voice snapped as he spoke. “That’s a fairytale, not history. I won’t sacrifice my place within the family on the slim chance that-”

Hard, bare feet scraped rapidly against stone and a long spear darted out from the darkness to nearly touch Waran’s throat. “Would you prefer to make your sacrifice here and now?”

Waran stumbled back and the spear followed. “What are you doing?”

“You are either loyal to us, or you are not.”

“Of course I’m loyal! I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me.” Waran’s hands twitched, clenching, but the rest of his body was still.

“Then continue to do so. Bring the human through the tunnel tomorrow.”

“I told you-”

The other man stepped out from the darker shadows of the tunnel. Dressed in a green tunic and pants, the small blond male stared at Waran with cold eyes. His ears were perfectly still, and the hand holding the long-handled blade never wavered, keeping it close to Waran’s throat. “Loyal or not, Waran. Decide here and now. You’ll be rewarded as greatly as the rest of us if you see this through, but only if you see this through.”

Waran opened his mouth and the man smiled coldly. “I’d think very carefully before you answer.”

Waran’s eyes darkened. He stared at the spear a long moment. “I’ll do it.  But you’ll still have to wait. I need to get my consort. I can’t smuggle both he and the human out that quickly.”

There was a long pause as they stared at each other, and then the man let the spear drop.

“As you say. Another half-day, then. Shoru hasn’t awoken?”

Waran’s eyes left the spear and stared at the other man hard. “Not yet. Not for another day, at least. The family thinks I’m sending him to a relative in the town proper. I need one of the cells for him.”

The man stepped back into the shadows. “Pick one, then. Get him taken care of, and get the human. Don’t disappoint us on this, Waran. Actions speak louder than words, when it comes to loyalty.” The voice was retreating down the corridor. “And True Kyashin do not suffer disloyalty.”

Waran glared coldly into the darkness, waiting. The sound of footsteps grew fainter, and then there was silence. Hitting the wall with his fist, he turned with a snarl and headed back to the storage room.

~*~*~*~*~*~



Leero woke up humping the Lord King’s leg.

He should have realized who the limb belonged to, but the thick, muscled thigh, with its faint furring of crisp hair, felt so fucking good that Leero couldn’t think at all. He just kept humping, rubbing his cock against it so hard that he could feel his foreskin slipping off the weeping head as he tightened his buttocks and thrust.

Something shifted and he tightened his legs to keep the friction in place. His arms wrapped around a broad waist, pulling the body closer so he could nuzzle it. The skin smelled so much like sex that he growled. He wanted to lick it all over and then he’d keep pumping his hips until he found something to slam into and then-

“Sorry to interrupt-”

The deep, amused voice stopped Leero’s body in mid-thrust.

“-but I’m afraid I’ll be needing my leg back now.”

Leero jerked away so fast he probably pulled out some of Kyoru’s leg hair. He blinked in speechless horror at the large man next to him in bed. This was worse than Kasan’s consort pissing on him. Worse than the time Kasan had glued his loincloth to his ass. Worse than Service.

He’d been humping the Lord King’s leg! And he had to dig his hands into the mattress to keep from doing it again!

Kyoru met his frantic stare with an amused smirk, shaking his head. “It’s a natural reaction.  You needn’t act as though you’ve eaten my youngest child.”

Leero closed his eyes and tried not to moan. His dick was still stone-hard and crying to keep rubbing up against Kyoru’s massive leg. The Lord King’s lack of outrage only made it that much harder to keep away. Leero’s body was clamoring for him to go back and finish what he’d started.

Dammit, this never should have happened! He should be out of Service and searching for a consort, right this minute, but every damn time he tried to tell the Lord King that he was in heat, something interrupted him. One of the Princes, the Elders, or even a simple “Quiet, Leero,” from Kyoru.

And now his heat was making him sexually assault the Lord King in the man’s own bed. Leero was taking this as a sign. He had to get the words out. Now. No matter what tried to interfere. He had to end this before he attacked someone.

“Lord King?”

Kyoru lay casually on top of the silken sheets, watching him with half-lidded eyes. “Yes?”

“I’m…” Leero paused, almost surprised that nothing stepped in to cut him off. “I’m in heat.” He waited to be relieved, his emotions swaying with the realization that he would have to go search for a consort now. No more time with the Lord King; Service would be put on hold.

He didn’t feel as relieved as he’d expected.

“I thought as much.”

“I know it’s a sur-  What?”

Kyoru chuckled. He sat up, stretching and getting out of bed as though Leero had told him that they were low on cinnamon for firstmeal. “You’re not the first person who’s gone into heat, Leero, nor the first to wish to keep it private for a time.  The signs are fairly obvious.” His eyes twinkled as he smiled. “I think the Elders were about to take bets on how long you’d last before you told us.”

Leero’s ears flattened. He should have known. The Lord King had seen four sons through their heat and an untold number of siblings and cousins. He probably knew the signs inside and out.  Why should Leero be exempt from his notice, especially trapped in close proximity with him nearly every hour, for days?

Leero raised his hand to his collar and dropped it with a start as Kyoru’s voice stabbed out. “What are you doing?”

He’d thought it was obvious. “Taking the collar off .”

“You have to be given leave.”

“But…I’m in heat.”

Kyoru stared at him hard.  “As I said, I’m aware of that. That doesn’t negate your Service unless you’re in the final stage. Are you?”

Leero shook his head slowly. “But usually-”

“There is ‘usually,’ and then there is the actual law. And according to the law, you need to be given leave. The collar stays on.” The Lord King turned his back and walked across the room to choose a loincloth, his nude body drawing Leero’s eyes along like a cord. His voice softened. “If this situation were ‘usual,’ I’d have taken your collar off the moment I knew about the heat, whether I was told or no, but your circumstances are…complicated.” Kyoru stared back at him after an odd pause, his eyes running over Leero’s face.

Leero heard him, but it was difficult to focus on his voice when the man’s body was right there. All this time with the Lord King had finally made him realize why the older guards were always teasing the newly-ripe about older men. The idea that Kyashin didn’t reach their sexual peak until after heat was over, at forty, was a common boast.  At fifty was even better, when the heavier muscles developed fully.

The Lord King was an uncomfortably good example of that; his muscles were harder than his sons, somehow. More defined. And Leero shouldn’t be noticing, so he shifted his eyes to stare past Kyoru’s body at the far wall. He ran back the conversation in his head. Complicated circumstances, yeah.

Leero nodded, slowly. That described his life, these days. Shovak’s betrayal, the discovery of other humans, the shokan still at large, and Leero’s heat following so closely on Kasan’s heels? ‘Complicated’ was an understatement. Because if  Kasan and Leero were unable to fulfill their duties, Shovak should have stepped in. Now, it would be Davi, and with everything happening so quickly, Leero hadn’t even had a chance to speak to him yet about what was going on.

If Leero mated now, it could be a disaster.

He glanced at Kyoru’s body again and swallowed heavily, yanking his eyes back up. Complicated. Definitely complicated.

Leero addressed the wall, just above the Lord King’s ears. “I-  I can see what you mean. It, uh, it will be difficult for Davi to step in before he’s brought up to date.” 

Kyoru’s ears stilled, and then quivered oddly, almost as though he were laughing. “Yes. Davi’s new role would definitely be part of the difficulty.” He stared at Leero’s face again for another moment. “Are you able to keep from going feral for another week? Or at least until we choose a contingent for Tien’sa?  As you say, it would be excessively difficult to lose… two Kyashin of high position at the same time.”

Leero made the mistake of looking back at Kyoru to answer and found it impossible to look away again. He nodded absently as his eyes drifted down.

Months ago, he remembered seeing Tisu playing with Roto, down in the baths, and he’d been impressed by the man’s ‘size.’  Now he knew with absolute surety that Tisu had come by his assets naturally. Leero stared at the Lord King’s cock, thick and long between heavy thighs.

“Leero?”

“Hmmm?”

“Can you last that long?”

Leero’s cock twitched and sucked more blood from his brain. Could he ‘last?’ “Of course. I can last a long time. A really, really long time….”

The Lord King’s impressive example of male endowments rose under Leero’s scrutiny. It disappeared as Kyoru turned away. “Leero, are you focused on the proper subject right now?” His voice was definitely amused.

Leero swallowed as he stared at Kyoru’s ass.  It was very round, so muscled he would never be able to span it with his hands. 

“Leero?”

“Don’t worry,” he mumbled. “I’m…completely focused.”  And damn, Kyoru still smelled fantastic. The smell was getting stronger as the man turned again and started coming towards Leero. He was- “Ow!” 

Leero’s head snapped back. He rubbed at the tip of his nose where Kyoru had flicked it.  Hard. 

“Leero,” Kyoru’s eyes were very dark, all amusement gone.  Leero attempted to push aside the hot blood taking over his body so that he could listen.  “I’m truly sorry that I have to ask this of you, but I need to know if you can wait for a partner a few more days.  Can you do this?”

Closing his eyes, Leero made another attempt to regain control. He couldn’t imagine not doing what the Lord King asked, but it was hard to imagine what good Leero would be to anyone. Every part of him was focused on sex, and on top of that, his body was spending too much time with Kyoru.  It was starting to attach itself to Kyoru, and that was a very, very bad idea.

Not that late-stage matings didn’t happen – usually before 150 years of age, of course – but not with the Lord King. 

“Sire, I’ll do what I can, but with the heat, I’m not sure….” His body didn’t feel like it was his own to command anymore.

“If you feel as though the heat is taking over, you can let me know. I have no desire to see you act so precipitously that you choose an… unsuitable partner.” Kyoru’s ears twitched oddly again.

“Thank you. I’ll make sure and keep you informed.”  Leero would just have to look for consorts while he was finishing up his service and preparing Davi for his new role.

“Do that.” Kyoru’s head tilted, and he smirked suddenly. “Would you like a little time to take care of that before we start our day?”

Leero stared at him stupidly until Kyoru gestured. It took him a moment to remember he was still nude, and his erection was standing as tall as a pine. He flushed; only his collar kept him from growling at the joke. There would be no relief from ‘that’ until the moment he took a consort, no matter how much Leero needed the release.

“I appreciate the concern,” he said, his ears flat.

Kyoru laughed, already on his way out the door. “Come find me at firstmeal when you’re dressed.  And no straying. As I said, I don’t need you getting out of control and taking a consort before everything is properly prepared.” 

The door closed on the sound of renewed chuckling, but Leero ignored it.  He was already grabbing his cock, no matter how futile it was, and thinking of that round, bubble ass and the musky sweetness of adult Kyashin.

~*~*~*~*~*~



Lying in bed next to Kasan, Max wondered when a ‘morning after’ would feel normal. Not that he’d had many of them with his husband, considering Kasan loved sneaking away before Max even had a chance to wake up, but ‘normal’ had to happen some time, didn’t it? This was his life, now, right? Maybe it had only been days since he had been woken up with vague dream-like memories of Kasan making love to him, and maybe everything after had been like a rollercoaster of sex and giant aliens and sex and marriage and dogs and pink blobs. And more sex.

But this was what his life was going to be like now.

Max really wished his nerves didn’t feel like tassels at the whole concept. And not the pretty, silky, braided kind of tassels, but the ratty, half-chewed ones that his cat had mauled while Max slept. Everything was so strange and overwhelming, was it any surprised he felt at the edge of his rope?

He’d get used to it eventually, though, right? Of course he would. Every cross-racial, uh, cross-species couple probably just needed some…

Kasan mumbled and pulled him in close, his cock pushing against Max’s ass, and Max bit his lip to keep from moaning.

… needed some adjustment time.

Purring in his sleep, Kasan cuddled Max closer. He started to thrust leisurely with his hips.

“Oh crap.” That felt really, really good. “K-Kasan?  Uh- Kasan?  A-Are you awake – Aaaah, God!”

“Mmmm, no,” Kasan said. He kissed the top of Max’s head and thrust again.

“Kasan!”

There was a chuckle against his hair. Kasan scooped Max up onto his chest. “You are too adorable, Gisho.” He pulled Max higher and looked at him, something bright in his eyes. Max licked his lips, bracing his hands on Kasan’s shoulders and stared. Something was different.

Wait, the scratch across the face. Where the hell was the scratch. Max squinted, staring, and just caught the faintest line over Kasan’s face, as though the cut from the night before was weeks old.

“You have freaking super-fast healing, don’t you?” Max sighed before Kasan said anything. “Why am I not surprised?” Couldn’t Kasan do anything like a normal, non-superhero person?

Kasan blinked at him slowly and it completely derailed Max’s inner-gripe. Was Kasan’s face a little closer? It was, wasn’t it? Were they going to kiss? Or his hands, Kasan was moving his hands, definitely. Maybe not kissing. Maybe something else, something more…penetrative?

Or was Kasan going to smile blindingly at him, squeeze him tight, and then roll them both off the bed to stand up and head over to their discarded loincloths, taking off his velvet collar as he walked. “No dawdling, sweetheart. Time for firstmeal; we slept in late, today.”

No sex? Max frowned until he realized what he was frowning about, and he tried to focus finding where in the heck he’d tossed his clothes the night before.

Okay, so Max was going to need a lot of adjustment time before he figured this all out. And it was for more than the whole marriage thing. There was the entire culture, and the barbarian cats, and the freakazoid animals, and the weird, incomprehensible blend of computers and freaking spears. And, again, the cats, who watched him constantly whenever he wasn’t alone with Kasan.

He wondered if all barbarians were natural voyeurs.

The thought hit him again the moment they left their room; he heard the guards whispering amongst themselves across the hall.

Kasan’s voice cut in. “Has the shokan been found?

No, Prince Kasan.”

And…the person it injured?

No body, and no one has been reported missing, although we haven’t heard any news since the last fifth.

Kasan nodded, his ears low against his head. Max wished he could figure out what was so upsetting, but no one said anything to him as Kasan led him away. Max couldn’t stop glancing back at the guards. No one was looking - for once - but three sets of ears swiveled in their direction.

He thought that counted, when it came to catmen. Like…like peeking, rather than staring. Looking up at Kasan, he noticed the black ears flicking back once before they rounded a corner. So Kasan was peeking, too. What Max wouldn’t give to be able to understand a little more, though.

Kasan’s hand reached down and took Max’s. His calluses were a little rough, in a comforting, my-husband-could-kick-your-ass kind of way.

What’s wrong, sweetheart? Are you upset we didn’t have time for some bed fun this morning? I’ll do my best to meet you earlier, today, so we can have time together, but I’ll need to finish the inventory first. And we have to take care of the shokan so you can be safe in the gardens. I’ll need you to stay inside until it’s found. I think you can…

Max let the words flow over him, not really trying to pay attention for once. It was rather nice just listening to Kasan’s deep voice, even if he was worried about what had Kasan so tense. The big man was looking like he had last night, before sex. On edge and tense.

Max squeezed Kasan’s hand to try and let him know he was there. Not that Kasan necessarily cared, but what else could he do? And when Kasan squeezed it back, he figured it meant, well, something. Maybe not much, but something.

They turned a corner and Max bumped against Kasan’s hip. The hairs on his arm stood on end where they’d touched, like his husband was made of static electricity. Dropping his head, Max tried to look at their feet instead of Kasan’s naked thigh. If they weren’t having sex, then he needed a distraction. A boring distraction.

Nothing was more boring than dirty feet.

Like Kasan’s. They were broad, the same caramel as the rest of his skin, with nice toes that looked odd at the same time – the toenails were claws. Max hadn’t really noticed that before. And it should have been really weird, or disgusting, or reminded Max of just how alien everything was, of how alien his husband was.

Instead, like everything else with Kasan, it made Max’s insides quiver. Because it was actually a little hot.

“That is so completely unfair. You should at least have ugly feet.”

Max’s feet were ugly. Skinny things with long toes. A girlfriend had once called them ‘elegant.’ He figured that was a classy way of saying ‘your feet look like they belong on an anemic, inbred Duke.’  Not that he cared.

Who cared about feet, for God’s sake? That was just stupid. No one went around comparing their feet to their husband’s and giving themselves a complex just because their husband had sexier feet.

“Besides, feet aren’t sexy. Good skin is hot and sexy. Asses are hot and sexy. Cocks are hot and sexy.” Max choked on his own words as he heard them out loud. “Uh, that is….”

Glancing up, he realized Kasan had stopped talking and was watching him. Max’s entire body tingled as a flush started working its way down. “Oh God. I didn’t mean….” He couldn’t help it. He didn’t want to, but he’d just said it, and he couldn’t help looking at it. Covered by the loincloth, it didn’t matter. Max could imagine Kasan’s cock in his head…well, sort of. He hadn’t seen Kasan’s cock all that much, actually.

He’d done a lot more feeling it. Inside. Huge and thick and… “Okay, fine! Your cock is hot, too, dammit.”

Kasan smiled at him, rubbing his thumb over the palm of Max’s hand. “Gisho? You’re not speaking Hinta. What are you saying, little one?

Max was going to blush a hell of a lot worse if he met Kasan’s eyes so he looked at the ground again. And got hit with the attractive cat feet like a slap. “Even your freaking toes really are sexy. Everything about you is… Dammit, how can you be so sexy and hot and-  and I’m just so…me?” 

A hand ruffled his hair, drawing Max in close and chuckling at the same time.

“It’s not funny,” Max muttered.

You are such a quirky little thing.”

“I have no idea what you just said, but I bet it would annoy me if I did. And don’t think that smiling-kissing-fabulous sex thing will make it better, either.” Even though it probably would.

Max’s glare should have helped make himself understood, no matter what language he was speaking, but Kasan didn’t seem to clue in.

He only pulled Max in closer, still chuckling. “I am so looking forward to understanding when you tell me off, little one.

They stared at each other until Max blurted out something just to break the tension. “I’m hungry.” 

Ah, of course. My apologies, Max.” Kasan loosened his grip and his hand moved up until it was resting gently on Max’s shoulder, guiding him into a right turn in the maze of golden hallways.

Only a few turns later, and Max recognized the door to the dining room, although only one of the guards was familiar.

“Davin, Loro.”  Kasan frowned at the two guards. “You had a double shift, Davin?

The cat nodded. “The frenzy – there were too many new matings to compensate for immediately. I hear they’ll have the schedule set by tomorrow.

I thought Shoru was supposed to be with you?

The other cats’ ears flattened.  “You haven’t heard, then?

Heard?

He was attacked last night in the pleasure quarter.

Kasan sighed heavily. “By himself, I’m guessing.

Davin’s ears went low.  “Yeah – not that anyone ever said he was a good consort, but I was still surprised that he went down there alone.  He got hurt bad.

How badly?

I don’t know.  Korosh spoke to Waran about it. Shoru was still in a coma this morning; Waran is going to take him to a cousin in town who can look after him until he regains consciousness.

Kasan frowned again and Max reached out for his tail. He wasn’t sure why he did it; his own cat would have kicked his ass for it. But Kasan’s ears were so flat, his body tense all over again, and the tip of his tail had started twitching. Max just grabbed without even thinking.

The velvet-furred tail settled down in his hand, and Kasan’s body softened.  The other two cats stopped speaking and both guards stared at Max’s hands with huge, rounded eyes.

Kasan spoke as though he hadn’t even noticed. “Not that I’d wish Shoru more than a regular beating to get some of the attitude out of him, but…he would be the one to run into trouble. I only hope his stupidity doesn’t put Waran in danger.

M-me either.” Davin’s eyes drifted down to Kasan’s tail again, where Max stroked the fur softly.  “Have a good meal, Prince Kasan.

Kasan nodded to them as they passed through the door and his tail pulled itself from Max’s hand, slowly, like a happy little snake reluctantly sliding away. His loincloth was noticeably swollen in the front. Max glanced back at the tail.

Had that…?

Max reached out behind Kasan to stroke it again and Kasan’s stride hitched. The big cat glanced down and deliberately pulled his tail away again.

Not now, Gisho,” he whispered. His hand stroked the edge of Max’s ear. “Later.” He ushered Max ahead of him, and this time, when Max reached back, the tail flicked out of the way. Kasan grunted at him.

Okay, fine. Later.” Max whispered back. It wasn’t like he wanted sex now. It was just…he’d never managed to touch something like that and see Kasan react, like that.

He looked around, and was suddenly very, very glad that Kasan had stopped him. Because as usual, barbarian voyeurism was everywhere. The room was mostly full; hordes of cats, of all ages, stared at them both.  Max avoided their eyes until he saw the table Kasan was aiming for. He could recognize most of the people. Zonta, and the Aosh jerk, Jolan and the pale haired Ko, too.  Roto cast him a smile and waved his fingers like a little kid – the gesture was weird from such a large guy, but it matched his eyes.

Sitting down, Max was thinking it would be easier this time. He knew these people, right? He’d gotten drunk with some of them; he was pretty sure that was male bonding no matter what planet you were on. But as they sat there, he couldn’t forget that every eye was on him, studying him silently.

Hadn’t they seen him enough already?

The largest one there, the one holding Roto’s hand, started talking. “How much did you tell your consort about the Niandrin?

Kasan shook his head quickly, glaring and pouring a drink for himself and Max without asking. Max could feel his shoulders hunching defensively the second Kasan looked irritated. He didn’t want to be around the cats when they were pissed off; the first time in Kasan’s room had been scary enough.

Was the table big enough he could duck under if things got too rough?

Everyone started talking at once, too fast for Max to follow, even if the tension at the table made it clear this was not a happy subject. He thought he saw one of the cats poke the big one who’d spoken first.

Roto gestured widely and Max had to duck to avoid an elbow in the eye. Kasan dragged him against his side and growled.

Everyone ignored it and kept right on arguing. Max found himself on Kasan’s lap – scooped up, plopped down, and wrapped up in Kasan’s arms like a present. He shivered as Kasan leaned over him.

Don’t worry, Max. They’re just upset. Not mad. I’ll keep you safe.” Kasan kissed the top of Max’s ear and Max shivered again, shifting to try and get out of Kasan’s lap. He was not coming in front of the whole room.

Except…it felt so private. With Kasan’s hair draping over both of them, Max could barely see anyone. The large arms made a warm cage around Max’s body. And his cock was long and getting harder under Max’s ass.

With a swallow, Max reached up and put his hands on Kasan’s arms. They were hot – Kasan was always hot – but they weren’t doing anything.

He wasn’t even paying attention to Max anymore. Kasan had lifted his head and was talking with everyone else, now. Quieter, yeah, but that just…sucked.

He just tucked Max on top of his dick, made him think of sex, and then what did the big ass cat do? He talked. What the hell was up with that?  If you were going to make your husband think of sex in public, then you should darn well have sex in public…

Okay, maybe not - definitely not - sex, but, well…there had to be something Kasan was doing wrong, because now Max was really horny and he didn’t get to do anything about it. Last time he’d been horny, Kasan had taken him out and they’d screwed against a wall. What made today so different?

And why did it even freaking matter? There was no wall-sex today. He should be glad.

“I am still a nympho,” Max muttered, not feeling glad at all.

No, he wasn’t going to let this get to him. He didn’t have to think about Kasan’s cock! He had plenty of stuff to think about. Things that would help everything seem ‘normal.’ Right. Normal, that was it. He could…he could eat the food.

He was hungry anyway. It didn't take him long at all to get started, trying different dishes, picking out the words he knew from the conversation around him.

All perfectly normal for breakfast with in-laws.

His eyes drifted around as he listened, noting the little kids running all over the place, the adults following suit at a walk, and everyone talking a mile a minute. It really was kind of normal, wasn’t it? Just one big - really big - family.

He looked at the bodies, trying to see them as ‘people’ rather than ‘scary-ass, half-naked aliens.’  The hair caught his eyes first, something that had more variety than the ever-present loincloths. Most of it was fairly simple. Kasan’s black mane was down his back in a long, flowing waterfall. Zonta had a simple braid down his back. Most of the women had braids that were wound back up against their scalps. And a lot of the men had a braid like Zonta’s, but Aosh’s was braided into small, intricate twists and pulled up high before falling over his shoulders.

There was no makeup, no piercings, and only a few big pieces of gold or silver jewelry. Armbands and torques and a couple circlets here and there – he wondered if they were worn to highlight the tattoos, because almost everyone had those.

Those were gorgeous. Brilliant silver and gold scrolls and curls in some small symbol, with very little variation that he could see, even for the placement. You either saw it on someone’s chest, or on their ass.  There was so little variety, he wondered if they might be clan markings.

And if they were, was he going to have to get one? God, he hoped not. Needles made him queasy.

He twisted his head behind him to look at Kasan; nothing on his chest.  Max had stared at Kasan’s ass enough to know that the big cat didn’t have one there.  Did they not have to get one, or was it something that happened later?

Like, after marriage?

“Kasan?”

Kasan had been glaring at the big cat next to them – Tisu, that was it – but he looked down as soon as he heard Max. “Yes, little one?

You get…” He sure as hell hadn’t learned the word for tattoo. “You get little body picture?

Kasan and the others stared at him blankly, and Max pointed to the large cat with Roto. “Like him?  The color, on front. You get body picture like him?  Or not like?

Kasan stared at the larger man and glanced down at his own chest.

Ah, the marks. Of course, It’s—Here, let me show you.” Max was scooped again – what was he, ice cream? – and put on the cushion next to Kasan. Sweeping his black hair behind his back, Kasan gestured to his bare chest and then slowly flushed.  Chuckles spread across the table in a dark wave.

He hasn’t ever seen your mark?” Roto asked.

Kasan shrugged, and Max yelped as he was grabbed up again and popped back onto Kasan’s lap. “I…don’t think he has,” Kasan muttered.

Roto squealed. “Ever? That’s so romantic!

Tisu snorted. “Because my ‘big’ brother is so horny he can’t stop being aroused near his consort?  I don’t know if romantic is the word I’d choose.

Max squirmed a little closer to Kasan’s stomach. That cat was just too damn big, even in giant cat land.

You’re only saying that because you’re not romantic, Tisu.” Zonta smiled.

Roto was doing some sort of happy dance on his cushion, his ears flickering back and forth. “What about his?  What does his look like?  Is it different on a human?  I didn’t pay attention last time.

Kasan blinked at them, and Max wondered what had been said.  What was a mark?  Were they talking about him? Everyone turned to look at Max and he gulped. Yeah, talking about him, definitely.

Max looked up at Kasan to gauge if he should be worried. The smile that broke out over Kasan’s face made heat pool low in Max’s belly. When Kasan turned that smile on him, with eyes just as bright as his smile, Max had a hard time catching his breath.

I haven’t seen it since the Greeting.” Kasan said the words as though they were a surprise to him as much as anyone, and when he reached out and drew his finger down Max’s nose, ending at his lips and pressing there gently, Max couldn’t say anything at all.

Not that anyone would have heard him as Roto squealed.  “The two of you are just adorable! Tisu, isn’t it so romantic?

Tisu grunted. “So they are both so horny for each other that their nanites hardly ever stay out of their private parts. Again, I don’t think-”

Well I think it’s romantic.” Roto glared up at Tisu and the big man wilted. Max was stunned to see him actually smile after a moment and kiss Roto’s forehead.

Then I suppose it has to be.

Max bit his lip. He didn’t think it would be a good idea to laugh at what was obviously an ‘I’m so whipped’ moment, although he heard a few others snorting into their hands. It seemed to break the tension, whatever it was. People’s voices fell in volume, their ears came up off their skulls, and Kasan’s arms around Max lost their tension.

Which meant that Max’s brain could focus on sex all over again. And he didn’t want that. His whole life here was not going to be about sex. It couldn’t be. Could it? There had to be other things that he’d learn to do here.

He had to think of something, like…activities. Non-horizontal activities. Maybe Max could go outside on a walk, see the sun, in some non-blob area? No one was running around anymore, so that had to mean good things about the blob-infestation, didn’t it?  There had to be, like, blob-free zones or something. And right now, Max could really, really use some space where he wasn’t staring at the inside of a building.

Max squirmed, feeling Kasan grow hard under his ass again. He lacked that empty feeling that he’d started to associate with Kasan’s ‘need sex’ times, but the heavy length against him was filling his head with images that were going to make it impossible to walk without limping.

His voice hissed between his teeth. “I can think of things other then sex. I am not just a nympho, dammit.”

Not sex. What the hell did he want aside from sex? Max’s mind blanked for a minute. Oh, yeah…he wanted to go outside. He didn’t want to have to go near the blobs. He wanted to spend time with Kasan. That made him pause.

He really did. Max wanted to go on a walk with Kasan. He wanted it to be simple for once, with no one watching him, nothing attacking him. A plain old walk in a garden, like any stupid cat on this stupid planet would do with their stupid husband. Because he wanted to be just like any stupid person on this stupid planet, if he was going to live here. Just…shorter.

He wanted to fit in, the way he’d never quite fit in back home.

Max swallowed, closing his eyes. Yeah, like that was going to happen? The only human on the planet; sure, he’d fit right in. Like a crab on a tricycle.

Kasan shifted, pulling Max in close, and Max bit back an embarrassingly aroused sigh. It was so strange that he felt like he ‘fit’ with Kasan at moments like this, no matter how nervous it made him at the same time. But he was pretty sure that was…that it was just… the mind-blowing, amazing, gay sex.

Which didn’t count. Knowing an alien in the biblical sense still didn’t mean that- 

Wait…could you call anal sex ‘biblical?’ Maybe it was more ‘anti-biblical.’ 

Not that it mattered, because he just wanted to go outside, that’s all. His gay sex life with his giant husband wasn’t the problem.

“I can’t believe I just thought that.” Except…was it? Or wasn’t it? The damn sex was so intense that it scared him, but at the same time-

“Max?” Kasan’s ears swiveled his way.

“N-nothing.”  Flushing, Max sopped up some sour lavender sauce off a plate using a spongy little piece of bread.

Eating first, walk second, and sex…

He looked up at Kasan and swallowed the food in his mouth with an audible gulp.

Sex…as often as Kasan wanted it?

“This is going to take a long, long time to feel normal,” he muttered, and grabbed another piece of bread.

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