I walked up behind Rainy, who was other oblivious to what was going on around her, and tapped her on the shoulder. "Hoya, kiddo."
She turned and squealed, "Daddy!" I jumped out of the way of her chair as she rose and pushed it clear so fast it scooted away from the table about two meters. I caught it before it fell over. Her smile went from Tindal ear to Tindal ear as she hugged me, jumping up and down gently. "Oh, its so good to see you!"
I hugged her back just as hard. "It's good to see you, too, sweetheart. So how's the PAS business?"
"You don't want to talk business, do you?" She nearly pouted. "How's mom? How're my brother and sister?"
I smiled. Rainy, for some reason I cannot fathom, has always had a fascination with her younger siblings. "Alexi and Elizabeth are fine, sweetheart. How's your girl friend?"
"Perry? She's fine." A small blush crossed her eyes. "We're getting reacquainted; I've been in space for awhile, you know."
I hugged her close. "I know, sweetheart. It's great when you come home again. Have you talked to Richard yet?"
She shook her head. "Not yet. But I will, I will. My leave is for a couple of months. It's a major refit of the ship."
"Good," I said. "I missed you."
"Missed you too, Daddy." She hugged me tightly and said, "I really hate to do this, but I have to run."
"So soon?" I asked. "I just got my lunch."
"I know, but I promised Perry I would meet her around six."
I bit my lower lip and sighed. "Okay, sweetheart. Go have fun."
She frantically assembled all her dishware onto her tray and headed back towards the Arc cafeteria. As she passed she kissed me on the cheek and said, "Take care, Dad."
"I will, sweetheart." I reached out and touched her ten gently. "Can I still have a night with you?"
She nodded, enthusiastically. "You and mom, if you'd like."
"I would!" I said, smiling.
She nodded her reply and headed off. I settled back into my chair and started to eat. It was sheer coincidence that I was in the Arc for class the same day Rainy was here for her assessment. Still, it was great seeing her again. I missed her a lot, when she was off in space, and sometimes the stories she brings us are more than a little scary.
I was making my way slowly through the incredibly thick stew when a lovely femFel entered my field of vision, opposite me. "Commander Shardik? May I sit here?"
"Sure," I replied, waving her down. There are time when I come into large public places like this when people come to me to talk- about life, politics, sex, whatever. Aaden refers to it as my 'holding court.'
She sat down and proceeded to eat, slowly, looking across the table at me. I kept glancing back. This went on for a short while, and finally she spoke. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Feel free. Since that sounded like an exchange of names, what's yours?"
"Good enough. My name is Ken, then."
"Okay... Ken. How does someone get to know you?"
"I don't understand."
"How does someone get to know you? I understand how busy you can be, and how private you want to be, but I've been trying to get just five minutes of your attention for a while now, without much success."
There are a few things I sometimes feel guilty about. One of them is my tunnel vision. I've got the worst case of tunnel vision I've ever seen. In itself, it's not a bad thing; after all, it's that kind of intensity that allows to get done all those things I feel have to get done. On the other hand, that intensity often leads me to ignore what's going on around me. So this young Felinzi sitting across from me got to me. "You have? How long?"
She nodded. "Several months." The look on my face must have been interesting. She shifted a little in her chair. "I guess I don't make that big an impression when I'm meeting people."
I looked her over; she was very pretty. But then so are a lot of people on Pendor; it takes a lot to be distinctive. But what she was saying still got to me; I don't like feeling like I've been ignoring someone, especially not when that someone has been actively trying to get my attention. There was something about her, though... something that seemed awfully familiar. I said "What have you been doing to get my attention?"
"Well, I've left you mail several times. I've attended at least one of your classes. I talked to you directly, in fact, a few months ago. I left my name with you. Don't you remember?"
I shook my head. I'm sure she did all those things, I just don't remember her doing so, and that's what really frustrated me. I resolved to do something about it. "Tell me, Hailli, why are you interested in me?"
She shrugged. "Why not? Let's be honest, Father, you and I. You view everyone who comes to you with suspicion, because you don't know if it's you their after, or if it's the Vatare' in you. Well, I'm asking. What does it take to get to know Ken Shardik?"
I laughed. She was so direct. "Well, that's part of it right there."
"Being direct. Forthright. Honest. I like people who know how to get into my personal space without threatening me, but that means I have to be comfortable with you first. Does that make sense?"
She nodded. "What else?"
"Well, that really covers it, I guess. There's very little else that I object to. I mean, I really can't stand obfuscation." I smiled. She did along with me, and I assumed she understood the meaning of the word. She nodded.
"Your lunch is getting cold."
"What? Oh, you're right." She smiled and stabbed at a piece of meat with her tine. We managed a few words throughout the meal, but they were minor. After we had finished, though, she stood and reached out her hand. "Will I see you again?" I asked.
She smiled and nodded. "Probably, sometime soon."
"I'd like that." And I meant it.
"I would, too."
Sometimes I like to wander around Rhysh just because it feels homey. And it does today. I mean, sure, it's a dungeon, and a castle, and all kinds of nasty, icky places where people come to ostensibly do nasty, icky, fun and loving things to each other. But sometimes I just like to wander around the quieter parts of the Castle and maybe wander into town and check out how things are going.
Tonight, however, was not about to be one of those nights. Already, I had twice been recognized and invited into one event or another, politely declining each time. And then the last straw came when I was sitting at a table in a saloon with the unlikely name of the Bloody Unicorn, when someone walked up behind me, placed his paw over my eyes and growled, "Remember me? Guess who?"
I recognized both the paw and the growl. "Hiya, K'Kritt."
The big snow leopard 'morph chuckled and sat down next to me. "Hello, Ken. How've you been?"
I shrugged. I really was not in the mood to deal with K'Kritt. "Not bad. Not bad at all. A little tiresome, but Terran politics will do that." Why did I say that? That's just what I didn't need to say... something about extraPendorian politics. K'Kritt is a Pendor First and Only member, and a rabid one at that.
He nodded. "You know my feelings on that matter."
I sighed. Like I said, K'Kritt is an isolationist, to the point where he doesn't believe Pendor needs colonies. One thing about him, though, is that he's never actually talked to me about those beliefs, except in the proxy of daily news. Obviously, I was more than a little aware of his extreme and outspoken attitude. Kritt would love to see Pendor closed off from the rest of the galaxy again.
He returned my shrug. "It's your business."
I blinked. In text, he's usually much more insistent, and I was told he could talk for hours on the subject, and would if I gave him the chance.
"So, what brings you down and out of Rhysh?" I asked, hoping to change the subject.
"Not much," he admitted. "I just wanted to spend some quiet time alone in town. Doesn't look like that's going to happen."
"Lots of invitations?"
"Yes," he replied, smiling. "The trouble with being a celebrity."
I laughed. "The same thing happened to me. I came down for some quiet, and instead the action seems to be finding me."
He laughed himself, and said "Well, we could always generate the action between the two of us, eh?" He poked me in the side.
"Stop that," I replied.
"What's wrong?" he asked, poking me again in the ribs, tickling. I laughed and tried to squirm away, succeeding only in burying myself deeper into the restaurant booth.
"Stop it, Kritt."
"Can't take a little tickling?" he asked, teasing.
"I. Don't. Want. To. Be. Tickled!" I growled as he continued tickling me though my thin shirt.
"Is that safeword?" he growled gently, looking down at me. I was trying to retreat further into the corner, to give him as little surface area as possible to work on. Despite that, he was still managing to find plenty of places where I was ticklish.
Among my other great weaknesses is the classic sin of pride. I don't like to call safeword when I know I can take what's being done, and this was one of those cases. "No, sir," I said through clenched teeth.
"Good," he replied, leaning over to kiss me. And his kiss was incredible-- his hot, thick tongue sought mine, playfully, fighting and struggling.
It was almost instinct as I returned the kiss, pushing against him. Sometimes I love to be assaulted like this, taken and swept off my feet. The fact that it was K'Kritt doing it didn't seem to impinge on my consciousness at all.
We sat in the booth molesting each other roughly when he suddenly turned and snarled, "What?" to someone behind him.
"Excuse me, sir," said a voice I took to be the tavernkeeper's, "but this place is set aside. Public displays of affection are quite acceptable, but I agree with AI Pamela that you two are about to cross that line and I think you should, if I may be so bold, get a room?"
K'Kritt stared for a hard second, then smiled... then laughed! "You are quite correct, sir. My apologies." He grabbed my jacket by the collar and stood up, hauling me along. "Come along, Ken."
"Yes, sir!" I replied, breathlessly.
He hauled me outside and pulled me down the street. We were completely silent as he found a SDisk and we teleported into Castle Rhysh. Rounding one corner, he led me through a doorway. As the door closed behind me, he whirled around, pushing me with him, so I spun around as well, facing that door. He pushed me up against the door and began grinding his hips against my buttocks, his breath on neck, his hot, furry body against mine. "I've been trying to get you for so long," he purred quietly in my ear as he worked his way down the side of my neck, nipping and biting.
"I know," I whispered back. Gods, but he was hot tonight. Kritt had never really had what it took to turn me on, but tonight he did, tonight he was just perfect. He pulled my shirt out from my pants and reached underneath, his claws digging in gently, not enough to break skin, not nearly, but my whole body shuddered and I moaned, leaning my head against the door, feeling the rush of pain, pleasure, lust, oxygen all mixing in my head. "Kritt... oh, fah..."
He growled gently, a sort of chuckle. "You're pretty warmed up, Ken." He turned me around again, facing him, but still pushed up against the door. His teeth closed gently on my throat, his hot muzzle pressed against my skin. I barely knew what to do with my hands; they hung uselessly at my sides. He slid his hand behind my back, shifting me from the door a little to pull my jacket off, then tore off my shirt in the process. "Now I've got you," he said.
"Yes, you do," I whispered.
He smiled and said, "Oh, really?" With a tug he ran his fingers under my hair and closed his fist. My legs turned to jelly, like they always do; I grabbed at his windbreaker and tried to hold on as I collapsed to the ground, slowly, only his hand in my hair keeping me from falling full-speed at the same time it caused my fall.
I leaned against him, against his thigh as he held me. "Please, sir..." I whispered, "please..."
"Oh, no," he leered down at me. "That's the second time you've called me 'sir,' Ken, and you know what that means."
"Yes... yes, sir," I replied. I began nuzzling against his crotch, gently, rubbing it with my cheek.
"Open it, with your teeth."
I smiled, grateful for his choice of clothing. A lace tie held his pants shut... with a pull of my teeth I had the knot open, and began pulling the laces out of their holes. When it was loose enough, I teased the cloth aside, hoping to get into his pants fast. I wanted him, so very much.
"Good," he sighed as his pants opened. I pulled them down, again with my teeth, and began nibbling on the base of his erect cock directly. "You're such a good slave, Ken."
I snarled at that, and he clenched his fist tighter in my hair. "Are you disagreeing with me?"
"No, sir," I replied, gasping.
"Good. Suck me, Shardik. Suck my cock." I slid my tongue along the length of his shaft before clamping down with my lips on the head of his cock and pressing down, pressing it to the back of my throat. Kritt has a relatively straight cock, and it bent just enough that I could feel it tickling the back of my throat. I pressed inward, feeling my epiglottal valve SLAM shut over my brachial tube as his cock ventured down my throat. He wasn't very thick, but his length was pretty good as I swallowed him, stroking back and forth. His hand in my hair guided me as he fucked my face with his cock; I reached up and held onto his hard buttocks with my hands, tears streaming down my face from my holding back the gag reflex-- it seemed to want to fight tonight. My body shook, shuddering.
He pulled me back, away from his cock. "Good boy."
"Thank you, sir," I gasped.
"Now that I'm hard, what shall I do with it?"
"I could what, slave?"
"You could fuck me sir."
"A capital idea, Ken," he said, removing his hand from my hair. "Stand and take off your clothes."
I slowly stripped off my pants as he did the same, removing them from where they had collected about his ankles. He threw aside his windbreaker and shorts.
As I disrobed I glanced around his home. A studio, which surprised me. K'Kritt has a small reputation for abusing his power, and I would have assumed he would have grabbed a much larger domicile for his use. It was done in gold and similar "big-cat" yellows and greys. The blanket was printed with tigerstripes, and the only distinctive artwork in the room was a painting, on the far wall, in what I would have guessed to be acrylics on glass, of all things, of a man standing in a field of jaguars, and around the figure's waist was a pair of claws, dug in and drawing blood, at just the right height to suggest a rather... dangerous... fellating.
"You like my apartment, Ken?"
"I do, sir." I stood naked in front of him. He stood at his full two meters plus, his grey chest fur cropped short, his cock erect and ready. His shoulders were broad and massive, his thighs equally so. There was hard sharpness to him that was hard to explain or describe. A harsh glint to his every muscle, his every angle. It was not at all like Aaden's muscular beauty, softened by fur and soul-- K'Kritt was all business.
"Come on," he growled, low and harsh, grabbing me by the hair and shoving me down on the bed. I moaned softly as I felt the bed rock with his weight, and then he covered my body with his own. "You're ready for me, aren't you, little Ken?"
"Yes, sir," I gasped.
"You really want it, don't you?"
"Yes, sir, please."
He ground his hips against mine; I could feel his cock rubbing between the cheeks of my ass, hard and insistent. He chuckled and then sat back on my thighs. I couldn't see what he was doing, but I felt a cold drop of something on my buttocks, and I guessed it to be lubricant. "Ready?"
"Yes, sir," I gasped.
He bore down, pressing his cock against my asshole. I waited for it, and then he slipped into me; I was grateful for Aaden, because he had gotten me used to a lot of things, once of which was size. I wondered for just a flash if K'Kritt knew I thought of his cock as 'no trouble at all.'
"Like that?" he asked as he pressed against me again, this time his shaft within me.
"Yes, sir," I moaned, almost purring with pleasure. It did feel good... hot and wonderful. He began stroking, his chest pressed to my shoulders all the time, just moving his hips. I started to moan, and press back.
"You DO want it, don't you? Anxious little slave, aren't you?"
"Yes, sir, yes sir," I panted. "Oh, gods, fuck me, Kritt."
He gave me one hard pounding, punching into my guts and slamming me to the bed. "Fuck me, what?"
"Fuck me, sir," I gasped. I buried my head into the pillow as he pumped me relentlessly, fucking me with everything he wanted, and I took it.
His cock was a long piston within me; At every downstroke I could feel the tip pressing against the bend inside my gut... it felt so good. And I was grateful he didn't push up with his body, slamming deliberately against my prostate.
He pushed up on his arms and began fucking me, hard and fast. It was so good, I started to float with pleasure as he pounded me. I heard little whimpers in the room, and it took me a while to realize they were mine. I just lay there, pushing back gently to his every vicious downstroke, and finally he roared, coming, shaking the walls with that deep, animal scream as he pummeled his semen into me, again and again.
I just lay there, quivering with the pleasure of having been his. He lay down slowly, again pressing his body against mine. "Perfect, Ken... you're just perfect."
"So were you, Kritt," I sighed. Then I yawned.
He chuckled gently. "You tired, Ken?"
"Well, I had come down to Rhysh for quiet walk. Yeah, I am kind of tired."
"You come to Rhysh for quiet?" he said, laughing. "You are a little crazy. I was walking the streets looking for you."
"I kinda figured. But I do go down there for the quiet. I like the company of Rhysh."
"I'll remember that," he said. "Should I let you sleep here?"
"Could I please, sir? You don't mind, do you?"
"Not at all," he replied. "I think I'll sleep with you."
"Good," I replied. We cuddled close and fell asleep together.
Later that night, I awoke, still lying next to him, the implications of what I had just done beginning to settle in. What had gotten into me?
That was easy to answer. K'Kritt had pushed just the right buttons. But was this a change in him, a change brought about by his recent, disastrous argument with Aaden, or was it merely an act?
If this sounds a little cynical, let me put it this way. Getting his hands on my body was relatively easy....I'm perfectly willing to be a competent player's plaything for a few hours, since I get out of it what I want and hopefully he or she does too. Earning my loyalty is another matter, and my love is nigh unto impossible.
But K'Kritt had never been able to push my buttons before. That's what kept rolling over and over in my head. Had he been coached? He must have studied me, for one thing. But he had....interacted with me so well. I've been told he can be a great actor, "all things to all people," when he wants to be, but that in order to be so he has to get near his target to study them. When had K'Kritt and I ever been so near in recent days....
The thought rolled over and over in my mind as I crawled gently out of his bed, hoping he wasn't a light sleeper. He wasn't. I managed to grab my jacket and other clothing and get out of there without waking him.
As I teleported home, the first thing I did was ask Dave for Aaden's location. "He is sleeping with P'nyssa in the main bedroom."
I nodded. "Can you wake him?" I asked.
"Of course, if you require it."
I mulled the thought over in my mind. No, I didn't require it, and I didn't want to wake him. This would wait until morning, whether I liked it or not. "No, don't bother." I stripped off my clothing and slid down the g-tube quietly, landing next to his side of the bed and climbing in, sandwiching him between P'nyssa and myself. He rolled over gently, mumbled something. "Goodnight, lover," I whispered quietly.
"Hmmph?" he replied. "Oh, hi," he managed to croak out, smiling. He leaned over and kissed me gently.
"Hi. You awake?"
"Guess so," he replied. "Where have you been?"
"Aaden..." Quite suddenly, something K'Kritt has said hit me right between the eyes. "Before I answer that, does Kritt have a slave named Hailli?"
Aaden thought for a moment. "I think so. Why?"
"Does he use her in b/r redering scenes?"
"I know he's done b/r scenes. He probably does them with her, then. What's with these questions?"
"Kritt today managed to seduce me."
"Did he?" He actually sounded amused.
I nodded. "He did. He was wonderful, Aaden....everything I could want in a one night stand, maybe even more. He was polite, didn't talk about politics, and when it came to seducing me, he was incredible."
"Then what's the problem?"
"Because he was everything I told a young vulpin this afternoon called Hailli."
"Vulpin. Female, almost classic vixen, little short, almost uniformly yellow?" I nodded. "That's one of his."
I laughed quietly. "I feel used, Aaden."
"Because he snuck up on me like that when I was determined to not let him. I don't like Kritt's style, and I don't like his politics, and I'm damned if I'm going to let him claim or even think that he got to me. And yet he did, by deceit. And you know how I feel about using S-slaves."
"Sounds to me more like study."
"Look at this way, Ken. Kritt wants your body because you are Ken Shardik, Vatare Ponder. Don't growl at me. He tried tactic after tactic until he found one that works. He studied you, and when he found the combination that gets you off, he used it."
"I know. But the s-slave route almost seems like rape, in a way."
"Why? It's just another resource."
"Aaden, biocybe is a wonderful invention. But s-slavery is different... taking over someone's body and doing what you want to it, then giving it back to the person who's been 'suspended?' Not knowing what your master made you do? Not my scene."
"So, that's your reason to dislike Krill? Did you say 'no' to him? Did you safeword at all?"
"I guess not."
"You guess not?" he asked.
"Okay....No, I did NOT safeword when Krill started tickling me. I should have, but I didn't."
"You enjoyed your encounter with him, then."
"Well, all the way through it I kept wondering why in Hell I was doing so."
"Why were you doing so?"
"Because....well, for one thing, he did have the right combination." I laughed, and Aaden chuckled along. "For another... Even though I dislike his playing style and his politics, he's never given me a reason to dislike him. Does that make sense?"
"Maybe you should explain it more."
"What I mean is... Come on, Aaden, you know what I mean. I'm almost always willing to give someone a second chance; I refuse to believe someone is irredeemable. Despite my dislike of a lot of Krill's behavior, I have no reason to dislike the mel himself. He's always been polite, at least. Yes, I do get tired of him, and I wander away, but I refuse to let that state last for long. I like people too much, and Krill qualifies as a person. So when he started playing with me, I had no reason to push him away, really. And when he started doing things, well, right, I guess I decided to play along."
He shifted forward and kissed me on the cheek. "Sounds like you were seduced," he laughed quietly. P'nyssa's a light sleeper, so we were still whispering as much as possible. "Don't be so hard on Kritt. He was doing what he wanted, and you were, apparently, doing what you wanted."
I sighed gently and sagged against the pillow, running my hand through his thick chestfur. "I love you."
He grinned in the dim reflected sectorlight. "I love you too. So, the question is, do you want to play with Kritt again, or not?"
"I don't think so."
"Because he leaves me with conundrums like this!" I said, smiling. "You're right, sexy. I should just tell him to leave me alone. It's never happened in the past."
He nodded against his pillow. "I have to admit," he mused, "that his actions bother me, Ken. It is deceitful, what he's doing with his s-slaves, but when it comes to Rhysh, deceit can sometimes be the name of the game."
"You worry he's stretching things too far?"
"I worry that he uses his s-slaves for more than fun. I don't even know if what you're talking about can be described that way. I think he's using his authority as a member of the Rhysh Control Council to dictate to Pamela once too often."
I nodded. "I think it's something we should deal with in the morning."
He returned my nod. "Come here," he growled quietly. I wriggled over to him; he wrapped his massive arms around me and hugged me tightly. "I love you."
I felt much better in his arms than I had I K'Kritt's. "I love you, too, Aaden. Goodnight."