"Nervous?" Garth asked him.
"Liar." Garth shot Nickolai a grin. Nickolai thought it was the first he'd seen on his friend in nearly a week. "You told me how good you were at hiding your nervousness a year ago. Remember?"
Nickolai nodded. "I remember." He took a deep breath, held it for a second, then released it. "Okay, yes, I'm scared out of my wits. I'm shaking in my plastic boots. I'm also exhausted."
"You should have slept," Garth suggested.
"I tried, but I couldn't." Nickolai fidgeted. "I mean, I know it's late, but..."
Garth nodded and shouldered his carry-on bag, heading for the door. Nickolai did the same. Garth palmed the control; the door slid open for them and closed just as efficiently behind them. The hallways of the Off-Centaur were the same muted blue they had been for the past two weeks. Nickolai found the color oppressive, although he couldn't really say why.
They made their way to the elevator and down to the forward boarding bay. The crowd waiting for the doors to open amassed about half of the tourist traffic on the Off-Centaur. Nickolai looked around, feeling annoyed at the press of Terrans with their four-lens cameras and their ugly outfits. In defiance of their "comfortable clothes," he had worn denim, boots, and the T-shirt Shardik had given him two years ago, printed with a matrix of gene-compatibility lists and percentages; the lowest percentage compared Dolphins and Dragons; that was 94%. Over that he wore a leather jacket, and the feel of animal hide against his skin was one of those pleasures he enjoyed with obscene indifference to the discomfort of his fellow Terrans. With the banning of beef herding centuries earlier, few Terrans had even heard of leather, much less seen it.
The doors opened with a mechanical hum that reverberated through the deckplates under Nickolai's feet. His heart beat faster as he remembered two years ago when he had walked through this gateway, or one just like it, going the other way, leaving Jofuran behind, separating them both until he could come back, could really consummate the love he felt for her. It had been too long since he had seen her or heard her voice.
Garth nudged him. "Doors are open, Nickolai."
He looked up as the crowd shifted forward, walking out the door. Outside he heard a voice repeat the welcoming introduction he had heard two years ago. "Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. As you have been informed, this is now late in our nighttime cycle, and we would appreciate if you would move towards your hotels and become situated. My name is Illyana, and I am your tourguide."
Nickolai found the guide's presence reassuring. She emphasized for him that Pendor really did start right outside those doors, and he was ready for whatever happened once he was there. He stepped forward, pushing his way with the rest of the crowd through the four-by-four meter portal onto Parma Space Station. As the crowd flowed leftwards, another voice, this one ringing even louder bells in his memory, whispered "Nickolai, turn right." He looked around, wondering who said that. "Sean?"
"Yes. Turn right and walk through the crowd. Step over the barrier when you get to it."
Nickolai grabbed Garth by the upper arm. "Come on!"
"Where are we going?"
"Following instructions!" He pulled the bewildered Felinzi until they found a barrier of rope supported on posts. He stepped over the barrier and walked out onto bare carpet of a presently unused portion of the concourse. Garth followed. Suddenly free of the crush of humanity, he looked around. Two figures were approaching them, and his chest grew tight; the taller one was Jofuran. She still dressed much the same; a loose-fitting blouse with a soft collar, desert-yellow dress and boots. Still an archeologist and archeologists' daughter, and still the rodentine Markal. He dropped his bags and walked, then broke into a run; she did the same. They crashed into each other. "Furry!"
"Kolya!" she shouted as he hugged her tight. They laughed together. "Oh, I missed you!"
"I missed you too!" he shouted, picking her up off the floor. He held her in his arms as she peered down at him, then bent to kiss him. He craned his neck to kiss her back.
Finally, she lifted her head and he lowered her back to the floor. "I saw you in my dreams" he said.
"Uh-huh!" Furry's reply made Nickolai smile. That particular pair of syllables had been the first thing about her that he had found attractive. "I saw you there, too," she continued. She smoothed out her skirt and turned. Nickolai watched her as all of his feelings, all of his dreams of the past four years flowed through him. Like so much that had happened in the past ten minutes, just staring at her felt perfectly right. She was still the same humanoid he had left, her hips a little wider than the human frame, just a head shorter than he was, with lovely rounded ears and a long furry tail. Her fur was the same grey (he had learned from one of her letters that the polite term was 'steel') he remembered from two years back. Her short muzzle and whiteless eyes completed the mouse-like design of her species.
She gestured to the shorter fem standing next to her. "I guess I'd better introduce you since I've talked so much about you both. Kiza, this is Kolya. Nickolai, meet Kiza."
"Hi," the shorter fem said. She was as Furry had described her; a marten, or weasel-variant, with bright black eyes and quick, nervous movements of her head. Her fur was deep red and very long; she wore a complimentary black shirt and baggy pants over it. He reached out a hand, and she shook it.
Then he turned around, gesturing to the tall melKatkin to walk up and join them. "I guess I'd better do the same. Kiza, Jofuran, this is Garth, my roommate. Garth, this is Furry, and this is her roommate, Kiza."
Garth shook hands with Kiza first, then with Furry. "I've heard so much about you. It's like I know you."
Furry giggled. "I don't know if you know me, but I'm flattered that Kolya talked about me."
"I don't think I could have talked about much else for a few months after leaving back in 2800," Nickolai interjected. He smiled as Furry blushed visibly, the tips of her ears reddening, as did the edge of her muzzle about her whiskers.
Garth laughed. "No, you couldn't." He turned to Furry. "Don't worry, he was just depressed. I forced him into the fencing class and the local video game tourney. That got him out of his depression. I haven't seen him quite like this in a while, though."
Nickolai slid his arm around Furry. "What do you want, Garth? I've been feeling like a part of me has been..." Nickolai stopped; an urge he had been desperately trying to suppress just would not stay down anymore and he yawned. "Oh! Sorry... Like a part of me was many light years away." He said to Furry, "And I did miss you so."
"You look tired," Furry observed, stating the obvious.
"I am," Nickolai replied with exasperation. "Exhausted even." He looked at his watch. "Shiptime, it's nearly 2400 hours, and I've been so nervous I couldn't take a nap all day."
"Let's get you to bed, then." She took his hand and smiled.
"That's the best invitation I've had all year."
Garth, on the other hand, had reservations looking for expression. "Um, shouldn't I be finding the tour and getting my hotel room ready?"
"You don't want to stay with me?" Furry asked, breaking her starry-eyed mutual stare with Nickolai. "I've got two spare rooms right now. Mom and Dad are off-world for the next decade or so."
"Come on," Furry encouraged him. "It'll be fun. You don't have to go with the tour." She reached out and took Garth's hand in hers. "You won't get into any trouble, okay? Look, it's just what I did with Nickolai two years ago, and he didn't get into any trouble. I mean, other than that he got stabbed and fell in love with me."
"That second part was very troubling," Nickolai added, laughing.
"You're sure I won't get into trouble?" Garth didn't sound convinced.
"Positive," Furry said. "It's perfectly legal. I'll even teach you how to use the SDisk system. Or maybe Kiza will. I dunno. It's late. Come on."
Garth looked around, took a deep breath to mirror one of Nickolai's, and nodded. "Lead me to my doom," he smiled.
"Wonderful!" Furry said. "This way!" She lead them down a corridor that widened after about two minutes of walking; along one wall six white circles, each about five meters across, waited for passengers. Nickolai smiled and leapt onto one. "I'm ready," he announced.
"Good!" Furry said. "You navigate, then."
"Gladly. Sean, I want to get as close to her house as possible."
"As easily done as said," the AI's voice said as it teleported them to the blue-carpeted corridor that lead to Jofuran's home. "Lex?"
"Welcome back, Nickolai. Here to stay this time?"
"I certainly hope so. Blue line to Jofuran's house please."
"It's yellow these days." A line of light appeared at Nickolai's feet.
"They recarpeted," Jofuran explained. "And Lex needed a new color."
"I can live with that. Follow me!" Nickolai broke into a run and Furry chased after him, leaving Garth and Kiza behind.
She chased him down the hallway and when she finally did catch him, he was waiting at the door to her home, grinning. "You!" she gasped, catching her breath.
He pulled her close as she palmed the door open. "What about me?"
"I love you," she sighed. She led him by the hand through the thematically white living room, with its high arches and broad glassed walls looking out over the plain, and into her bedroom.
As the door closed behind him, he said, "I missed you, Furry."
She wheeled around and pulled him close to her. Sobbing through tears that he hoped were joy, she managed to say "Kolya, oh, I missed you too." She looked up into his face, and he smiled down, dropping down slightly and kissing her nose. They closed the gap and mouth met muzzle, tongue met tongue. Her hands roamed along his back and butt freely; his hands did the same with her. They walked almost in synch to Furry's bed, which was now appropriately sized for an adult Pendorian. Two years ago they had both been coming from Earth, and her bed had been a leftover from her early childhood, a little girl's bed complete with cartoon bedspread. They had made love in that bed, and he had gotten a perverse pleasure from doing so, but he much preferred tonight to have a real bed in which to make their reunion.
She pushed against him, and he let himself fall to the bed with an unceremonious "whoops!" He giggled and she fell upon him, pulling at his shirt where it tucked into his pants, kissing his stomach as she exposed more and more of it. "Oh, Kolya," she gasped, "I've dreamed of this day over and over and over. I can't believe you're really here, with me. I missed you so much, I've needed you so much."
He stopped her with his hands, picked her head up and looked into her eyes. "Furry, I did too. I missed you; I hung your picture over my bed, over my desk; I kept an image of you in my notebook at all times so I could look at it. I love you."
"I love you too!" She struggled with his jacket, which she now realized was stopping her from removing his T-shirt. He laughed and sat up, helping her with both, then flopped back down onto the bed. She fell to kissing his chest, his belly.
But Nickolai had other plans; with a quick shift of his weight, they rolled over on the bed and he found himself on top. Her shirt was a simple loose pullover, and he tugged it up. She raised her arms above her head, and he soon had it off of her, struggling with his own to take it off at the same time. He fell onto her as she had him, kissing her nipples, then nipping his way around her breasts, grazing on her fur. She tilted his head and let her fur run along his cheek, closing his eyes and sighing. "You know, Furry, nothing really reminded me of what you were like. Nothing. I needed this; I need to touch you to know just how wonderful making love to you can be."
She stroked his hair. "I know," she whispered. "I know. I've missed you too. Now come on, take those pants off and let's really remind ourselves of what we've been missing."
He smiled and stood up, unbuckling his pants; they fell to the floor and he stepped out of them while she undid the loose cotton skirt she had been wearing and tossed it aside. She looked at him, her eyes ablaze with lust and desire as his cock jutted out from his body at a ninety degree angle. She slid off the bed and onto her knees, her head just a millimeter away from his erection, her eyes glued to it rapturously. "I don't even need to do anything to get it hard," she said. "Just be here."
"Penises are the lightest things in the world," Nickolai said, laughing. "Even fantasies can make them rise."
Jofuran laughed, then opened her muzzle and engulfed Nickolai's cock in her mouth. "Oh, Furry," he gasped.
She slowly opened her mouth in slow, easy steps, taking as much of his length as she could manage without choking into her mouth. He reached down and placed his hands atop her head and felt her slowly stroking along the length of his shaft with her wet tongue.
"Furry," he whispered. She didn't change. "Furry!" he said aloud.
"Hrmmm?" she said, her mouth full.
"If you keep doing that I'm not going to be able to stay standing much longer. Can we move somewhere more comfortable?"
"Umm-hmm!" she said, slipping his cock out of her mouth and grabbing it with one hand instead. "Onto the bed, then."
He smiled and jumped onto the bed, like she suggested, laying down on his back. He fluffed her pillow up behind him so he could watch as she lay down on the bed next to him and, her hand still around the base of his cock, leaned over and again sucked his cock deep into her mouth. He sighed, his hands stroking her back. "Furry, what's gotten into you?"
"One thing I missed about you, Nickolai," she said, raising her head just enough to talk, "Is your beautiful cock. I've dreamed about having you, and it, with me again. I just want to get all of you into me at once, and..." She stopped, sliding up to kiss his mouth again. "I... I want to swallow all of you, make you a part of me."
While she talked, while they kissed, her legs straddled his body and with one hand she aimed his cock towards her sex and slid downwards. Nickolai arched his back as the incredible pleasure of her warm, wet cunt slid down over his erection.
Jofuran whimpered softly as they hit bottom, her buttock pressed hard against his hips. "Oh, Nickolai," she moaned.
He pressed up deep within her, and she raised her head, gasping, as his cock reached into her and pressed against her cervix. "Yes," she gasped. "That's beautiful."
"You're beautiful," Nickolai countered. She smiled down at him and began stroking with her body slowly, stroking his cock with her cunt. He hissed at the soft grip of her sex and the feeling of her weight above his, at the silky feel of her beautiful grey fur against the palms of his hands as he stroked her breasts and belly.
She stroked him slowly, never rising in speed or in strength. She seemed to be able to go on forever, and Nickolai found the slow, painful rise to orgasm frustrating, but he wasn't about to complain. "I forgot how much stamina you have," he said instead, laughing.
"I know," she smiled down at him. "I'm going to make this last a long time, Nickolai, because I know that it'll be another couple of hours before you can do it again."
He laughed. "We can try for twice in a row," he said, clamping down on the thought that Liz had often managed to get him to go twice in a row.
"We can," she agreed. He looked up at her and he knew for sure that he loved her. Her wide hips, her soft waist, her small breasts were all his for the playing. He wanted to play with her rounded Markal ears, but he couldn't quite reach them. He found himself staring at her diamond-shaped face with her huge eyes, and she stared right back, panting slowly. "Getting closer?" she asked.
"Yes," he gasped. "Oh, yeah."
"Good," she said. "Because I am, too." She smiled down at him and he began pushing back with her every downstroke, adding force to their lovemaking. "Hey," she said. "Maybe I should tie you down and do this someday."
"Someday," he agreed, smiling up at her. His vision of her was hazy, his eyelids fluttering halfway between climax and exhaustion.
"Kolya..." she gasped, and a small shiver ran through her. "Yes!" she gasped, stopping her motion.
She shook her head, her fur waving wildly, then started moving again. "Your turn," she said, grinning. He nodded, smiling back into her beautiful eyes, and they began a quicker, more demanding motion. He could feel her cunny gripping his shaft like they belonged to one another. Maybe, he thought, they did. Slowly his orgasm rose inside his groin. He could feel his balls tightening as he got closer. As she began to just fall onto his hips with every downstroke he thrust back, making love with passion and abandon. He could feel his whole body tightening, and she reached down and grasped his hands in her own as suddenly he came! He cried out her name as he shot his come into her body, "Oh, Furry!" The final spasms flowed through his body, and then he rested again on the wide bed..
"Oh, Furry," he said again, looking up. He released one hand from hers and stroked her cheek. "I love you."
"I know," she said. Between them, he felt his erection subsiding, and decided to do something about it. He reached up and slowly turned her over, settling her down on her back and himself between her legs. He began stroking her cunny slowly with his semihard erection. "Two?" she giggled.
"Why not?" he said. But despite his efforts, his manhood never returned to full hardness, and after a few minutes he gave up trying. "It doesn't seem to want to, though. Sorry."
"It's okay," she said, kissing his throat gently. "I didn't expect to be able to go twice so soon," she said. "Come on, let's get some rest. You said it was nearing your sleep cycle when you got off the ship."
"What about... Um, what about our roommates?"
"OhMiFah. I forgot all about them. Lex?"
"I have arranged something," the AI assured them.
"Thank you," Furry said. She scooted off the bed and began to pull the covers off. Nickolai stirred and realized what she was trying to do; he got off the bed just long enough to allow her to pull the sheets up, then crawled under them with her. She was right; he was feeling physically exhausted. She had drained him.
Everything about her felt satisfying; her body was warm next to his, her fur was soft. This was Jofuran, and his heart was lost to her utterly. "I love you," she murmured softly.
"Mmm-hmm," Nickolai said. But as he fell asleep, something nagged at the back of his mind. Why hadn't he been able to get it up a second time?