"So," Garth said, looking around at his three companions, "What is there to do on Pendor on a day like this?"
Furry shrugged noncommittally, but the other two animatedly began making lists. Skii said, "There's skiing, sailing, swimming, flying. I could do any one of those. What are you interested in? Any places you want to go?"
"Well..." Garth concentrated for a moment. "Nickolai gave me a long list of things he did the last time he was here on Pendor. Like visiting the Rowan, watching the Tangent Arc hardware practices, maybe going to Backwater or Rhysh--"
Kiza cut him off. "I am not going to Rhysh."
"Okay, maybe not Rhysh," Garth agreed, "But I would like to see some of the places around here. I'd like to go sailing in Parma, for instance. That's something Nickolai never got to do. I'd like to watch sunset on Pandora, since that's what it exists for." He paused for a moment. "Actually, no offense Kiza, but I would like to go to Rhysh."
"I'll stay home that day."
"No problem," Skii replied, his grin splitting from ear to ear. "I've been there. It's... different, but nothing too horrible is out in the open. I'd enjoy taking Garth there."
"Yes, I'm sure you would," Kiza replied, returning his grin. "What else, Garth?"
"Oh, I don't know. Rocchodain, Alias... I'm sure you all have local favorites."
"We do," Skii replied, "But I don't know how many of mine would appeal to you."
"Some might," Garth said. "You can always suggest them and I can say if I want to or not. Oh, that's right. One other thing. I want to see a play."
"A play?" Skii asked dubiously.
"Yeah," Garth said. "I want to see something done with Pendorian actors. I think Uncia doing Othello or Felinzi doing Cats or Tindals doing Shibatsu, something like that."
"Ah," Skii said. "You want to see a Terran performance with Pendorian actors." He scratched under his chin for a moment. "Ken is very fond of those, although he has a taste for those awful Greek plays. You could ask him. Or Dave. Dave?"
"Thank you for remembering me, Skii," the AI answered calmly. "Yes, in fact, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing will be performing at the Carmeloch Theatre for the next two weeks. Henry The Fifth is showing at the D'Tangent theatre. No Othello, sorry. Other performances include a Jesus Christ, Superstar, Carthage, and Not the Worm Ourobouros, but they're at smaller theatres."
"There," Skii said. "You've got an entire collection to choose from. I'm sure if you want an different play, Dave can find a video archive somewhere."
"Guaranteed," the AI replied. "In fact, AI Webster Masters has a comprehensive library of Shakespeare productions performed on Pendor over the last two centuries."
"Thank you, Dave," Skii said. "You're getting faster."
"I do try," the AI replied.
"Anyway, that's just the beginning," Skii said. "I'm sure we can find more than enough stuff to fill your entire month. Ever gone mountain climbing?"
"Isn't that a little dangerous?"
"Nah, we'll give you a gravitics harness in case you fall. It's not a problem of getting to the top or falling off, it's how many times do you fall off. I never fall off. Kiza?"
"What about you? Did you have any ideas?"
"Well, I'd really like to go sailing. I've never done that before. But you're the one with the sailboat, I assume."
"Yep," Skii said. "I think I can teach you two how to handle the mid-tri." He glanced up into the air, looking at nothing in particular. "Dave," he said, "Can you call Ken for me?"
After a few seconds pause, Ken's voice came back through empty air. "What can I do for you, kiddo?"
"Gran, can I take the Succubus out?"
"Sure, if you bring it back in one piece. There's no cell on board, you'll have to swim one out yourself."
"No problem. Thanks!"
"See ya. Have fun, you four!" An audible click terminated the conversation.
"Three," Furry said, standing. She hadn't said a word during the entire conversation, and her one spoken word suddenly had everyone's attention.
"What?" Skii asked.
"No offense, Skii, but with Nickolai gone, I really don't feel like doing anything. I think I'll stay here and study until he gets back."
"That's not for a week! At least!"
"I'll do. Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow or something. I don't know. Anyway, you guys go enjoy yourself. I don't want to be a pressor field on your sunny day. I'll see you guys later." She slowly walked away.
"If you want to join us, Dave will know where we are!" Skii shouted.
"I know," Furry replied, not quite so loudly and certainly less exuberantly.
Skii stood up slowly and said, "Well, that's that. Come on, you two. Grab everything you'll need for an overnighter, too. I'll get the powercell and the waterproof bags. Dave, is there food in the Succubus?"
"I'm afraid not, Skii. You'll need a complete complement. The burners have been replaced with electric, however, so you will not need propane."
"Ring for small favors," Skii groaned, heading down the stairs with the two in tow.
A confusing ten minutes later, Garth found himself standing on the beach next to Skii and a brown cargo-net full of stuff, waiting for Kiza to show up. "I hope she doesn't get seasick," Skii said.
"I hope I don't," Garth replied.
"I hope you don't either," Skii replied. Kiza came running down the beach with a single, small bag slung over her shoulder. "I brought what I thought I would need. Just an overnight, right?"
"I hope that's all we're going to be doing," Skii replied, taking her bag and putting into another, waterproof bag. He tied the bag to the cargo net. "Okay, you see that boat over there? That's where we're going. It's not that far, believe me. It looks like it, but I bet both of you can swim pretty well, right?"
"I can," Kiza replied. Garth just nodded.
"Okay, good enough. Now wait until I get to the boat and give you a signal. Then push this net in and I'll pull it to the boat. Then just swim out to the boat yourselves. Okay, here I go!" Skii jumped into the water and began swimming. They watched as he disappeared out of sight, a line of rope following him from behind the net packed with stuff.
Skii reached the boat and signaled them. They pushed the net into the water, and he began hauling on the rope. They followed the cargo. Garth found himself enjoying the swim, the lankiness that he usually saw in his arms giving him the kind of power he needed to keep up with Kiza. Kiza, for her own part, swam like the Marten she was, a relative to Otters and other waterborne creatures. She did reach the boat first, but Garth had to admit to himself that he felt good about how well he'd managed to keep up.
"So," Skii said. "Give me five minutes and I'll have the shower rigged up and ready to go. First, help me pull the cargo onto the rear deck."
With six hands pulling at the rope, the cargo came up over the side easily, although a few times as it threatened to roll Skii snarled incoherently. "If that thing puts a hole in her, Ken will never forgive me."
"Has that ever happened?" Garth asked.
"There's a first time for everything," Skii answered. He pulled open the cargo nets and pulled out a cylinder of stainless steel with a blue, screw-on plastic top. "Power. Be right back." He walked around to the front of the boat. Garth heard the snapping of latches and the creaking of hinges and then he heard Skii's voice echo hollowly, as if from a cave. "Got it!"
Garth looked around. He and Kiza stood on the rear deck of a white trimaran sailboat, about eleven meters in length. A cabin sat right in the middle of the trimaran, rising less than a full meter from the rest of the boat. The boat was painted white. An outboard motor was attached between the center and starboard (Garth was proud of himself for remembering that word) hulls, and a thick power cable held down with half-circle clamps ran over the slat and down into the cabin.
On the top of the cabin Garth saw a bundle labeled "Inflatable raft" and an electrically powered pump.
"Okay," Skii's voice said confidently. "We've got a fitted Yohan sail and jib. Power is on-line, as is our remote networking gear. We're ready to move. Garth, Kiza, which one of you wants to go swimming?"
Both indicated they would. Skii tossed Kiza a set of goggles. "Here," he said. "Go find the anchor and pull us loose, would you? It's not more then six meters here. Well, maybe seven."
Kiza jumped into the water and disappeared. Skii smiled at Garth. "When she gets the anchor loose we have to pull it up fast. Then, handsome, you get to help me rig the sails. When Kiza gets back we'll have her drop the engine while we put up the jib and mainsail. It's really not that hard, either. Come on."
The boat lurched slightly. "Pull!" Skii shouted, hauling at the anchor line. They began hauling fast and soon had the anchor on the front deck. "Kiza!" Skii shouted. "Power up the engine and drive us away from shore. Garth, help with the sails!"
After another twenty minutes, Garth collapsed to the deck, exhausted. "I thought you said that wasn't that hard."
"You're out of shape, Garth!" Skii joked. "Come on, let's set sail."
"I guess I forgot to ask. Where are we going?"
"Well," Skii said, "I thought we'd head for the nearest Shipping Disk and transport over to Pandora at a synchronized time, then watch the sunset. Then we can find a comfortable island nearby, drop anchor, have breakfast on the beach, and do whatever we like. What do you think?"
"Sounds good to me," Kiza said. "Sandwich?" she asked, holding one out to Skii.
"I see you found the food."
"And the autopilot," she agreed, laughing.
Skii accepted the sandwich, taking a bite. "Come on. We've got a lot of work to do to get this thing comfortable. Garth, help me lay out some sheets. Kiza, we shouldn't stay on autopilot for too long."
She nodded and went back to the steerage boom.
The day sailed on uneventfully. The sun, always overhead, beat down on them as they took cover under a shading canopy Skii erected over the boat's wheelwell, an open rectangle that led down into the cabin. "There's a hundred and twenty quarts of pure water under those plates, in case you want any."
"That, I could use," Garth said. Kiza agreed.
Skii got up and checked the maps while Garth filled canteens for all three of them. "We're sitting on top of the SDisk," he said. "I wonder why it hasn't fired."
As soon as he spoke, Kiza gasped. "Wow!"
Skii and Garth poked their heads out. Skii laughed. "Figures. All you had to do was say something. That's it. Welcome to Pandora guys. Sunset in four hours, provided we don't sail too fast." He stepped back inside and checked the navigation screen mounted to the port wall of the cabin. "Kiza, the compass is the gauge to starboard on the floor there by your feet. See it?"
"Okay. You're going to want to come about until we're heading... what way is the wind headed?"
"It's headed southwest."
Skii poked his head out. "I thought you didn't know how to sail."
"Doesn't mean I can't read a compass. The way you act, you'd think I didn't know how to read."
"Sorry," Skii said. "Thanks. Okay, then, bring us about to a heading of twenty-six degrees and hold us there."
"The sail will swing."
Grumbling, Kiza slowly pushed the till away from her until the ship came about to the desired angle. "Twenty six degrees."
"Garth!" Skii said. "Pull on that line; pull the sail in a little more and let's see if we can't get some speed out of this tub. This is a good twenty-six knot wind; let's see if we can't pull nine knots."
Garth hauled on the sail, but Skii eventually came and helped him pull. The Succubus sliced through the water cleanly, rocking ever-so-slightly as the waves slammed up against it. "
And here, instead, the sun wasn't overhead. It shone at an angle. Garth found it comforting. "It's just like home."
"If you missed it so much, why'd you come here?"
"It's different," Garth shrugged. "I can always go home, too."
"It feels so weird," Kiza said. "I've never been offworld before."
"It's amazing how few Pendorians ever go offworld. Pendor's so big that there's this weird attitude about leaving. I can't figure it out. How could anyone not want to see this?"
"Does Parma get as many visitors?"
"Well, the recreational section of Parma says it's gotten at least five percent of the total cumulative population of Pendor. But that's only one in twenty, right? The rest have never really wanted to see it, I guess."
"That just seems so weird."
"Dunno," Skii said. "It just is. Anyway, even though it feels like the wind is dying down we're going to reach nightfall in about two hours. A little before that we should reach a set of islands that should be visible any minute now. And the weather service says that it's going to rain Canids and Felids tonight."
"Excuse me?" Garth said.
Kiza laughed. "Cats and Dogs, Garth. Canids and Felids. Well, dogs and cats in that order."
"Whatever," Skii said. "Stew for dinner sound good? There's some serious bread in here."
"It'll do," Kiza agreed.
"Then that's it," Skii nodded. "Okay. I'm going to put it on now and tie down the pot. Just don't ram us up on anything and it won't fall over."
"Garth, would you take the till?"
"Sure," Garth said. "What do I do?"
"Well, you hold it here, and you watch this thing here. It's your compass. We want to keep it on this line, twenty-six degrees west of north. Got that?"
Garth looked down, puzzled. Although he had heard of compasses many times, he had never before had to learn how to use one. "I think so."
"It's really easy," Skii said. "The one in the middle is your speed in knots."
"What's a knot?"
"About two point seven six kilometers per hour, Terran."
"It's an English measurement, isn't it?"
Skii smiled. "It's better than cubits." Garth shook his head while Skii scanned the horizon with a pair of binoculars. "There they are!"
"Where?" Kiza asked.
"Straight ahead. I told you I knew how to navigate. I can even do this on a low-tech world without a problem. Okay, Garth, we're heading for that low shadow on the horizon. See them?"
"Good. Okay, once we get near the reefline we'll find a place to drop anchor and secure for the night. I think we'll fly a lantern tonight; this is pretty popular spot according to the chart. Kiza, want to go swimming again?"
"To check the anchor? Sure."
"Good. Then it's settled."
They ate dinner an hour later, the boat secure between to wave-breaking reefs that they had had to navigate between more carefully than Skii would have liked. "Don't forget there's a tide here," he said. "The ocean will literally bulge in the center sometimes and flatten out at others. We don't want to suddenly find the Succubus high and dry next morning."
Garth and Kiza nodded. "Look, it's going down."
"I've never watched this," Kiza said, sitting on the edge of the slowly rocking boat as the sun headed towards the horizon. Although some clouds blocked its last couple of seconds of drop, others provided an almost explosively colorful background for the descending sunlight. Garth heard Kiza's breathing speed up a little as the sun came closer and closer to the edge of the horizon, the colors deepening into darker and darker red until, finally, it disappeared completely. "Wow." She sat back and shivered.
Garth sat back. "Okay, I've seen it. It seemed to affect you a lot more than it did me, Kiza. What got to you?"
"It's so... I don't know." She shivered again, grabbing the windbreaker she'd been wearing while minding the rudder and pulling it tightly about her. "It's so natural. Every day you see the sun disappear behind a shadow rec and you know what's happening. You know how it was made by sentients and you can look up the ring and see it happening everywhere. That, though," she said, gesturing to where the sun had vanished, "That's different. It's natural. It's what your people..." She glanced at Garth. "Well, Human Terrans, at any rate, evolved seeing every day. It's no wonder that they built complicated rituals around the disappearing sun and the advent of winter."
"It's not that man-made, Kiza."
"Huh?" Kiza turned to look at Skii quizzically. "What does that mean?"
"It means just that," he said. "Take a look at it. Pendor is not 'under control.' It hasn't been since..." He smiled. "Do you know where Alexandria is?"
"Yeah. It's one of the Pendorian library repositories, isn't it?"
"One of the main ones, yes. SI administration, solid-state construction, full-leach power sources. Have you ever seen it?"
"It's on Pandora somewhere, isn't it? I saw a picture of it once. It looks like it's in the middle of this huge burned circle."
"That's because it is. On the Day of Decant, Ken lit off a clean fusion nuclear explosive there."
"To burn the Library at Alexandria one more time. That's where it got its name from. You see, Pandora was the administration site for the millennial project, not Pindam. Pindam was where Ken and Oenone slept for all those millions of years while Pendor was being built. Most people don't know it, but life didn't evolve on Pendor. It evolved here."
"On Pandora?" Garth asked, surprised.
"It was the seeding point. Then the hardiest stuff was transported by Fawn and Halloran to the Vinyare' ocean. And bit by bit the ecosystem was established. But it was established here, not on Pendor. Pendor is too big to establish a working ecosystem that way."
"But... Then what's on Pendor now?"
Skii smiled. "Nobody knows. That's the point. Everything in the transportation and transplantation project was recorded in Alexandria, and Alexandria..."
"Was destroyed. That doesn't make sense. Why would Ken do that?"
"It doesn't make sense?" Skii asked. "Think about it. What happens to Pendorian curiosity if the name, genealogy, and identification of every animal, every plant, every landform around you has already been done?"
"Then..." What Skii was telling him hit Garth with surprise. "You're telling me that Ken destroyed that database because it would have made things too easy?"
"That's about right." Skii shrugged again. "I don't know. It makes sense to me. Maybe not to you, but it does to me."
"Oh, it makes sense in a twisted kind of way." Garth sat down, looked at his bowl. "I'm going to get more stew. Anyone want more?"
They both shook their heads. When he returned Kiza was already stretching and yawning. "I'm tired."
"Sailing will do that, especially if you're not experienced," Skii said. "Kiza, I have all these vehicles that we can use while Garth is here, but I don't know if you own any. Do you?"
"Uh..." Kiza blushed a little, wrapping her tail around herself. Garth thought she looked adorable. "Powered armor?"
"You have a suit of powered armor?" Garth asked.
"Yeah. You do?" Skii added, sounding equally surprised.
"Yeah," Kiza replied, blushing more. "It's an experiment we were working on in engineering. I'm part of a development team for high-pressure and caustic atmospheres."
"You should talk to my sister, Molinar. She's really into those experiments."
"I might have something that she's using as a production model now," Kiza admitted. "I know what Molly does; I talked to her at the picnic. Anyway, I can show you my silly suit later. I'm going to bed."
"Goodnight," Skii said. "I'm sorry for snapping at you earlier!"
"Thank you!" she said. "Goodnight, Garth!"
"Goodnight, Kiza!" He waved as she disappeared down into the cabin.
Skii looked over at Garth. "You know, we didn't make any sleeping arrangements."
"You don't suppose she assumes..." He gestured with his hands between the two of them. "I mean, that you... and me... I..."
Skii smiled. "I wouldn't be surprised," he said. "I told you earlier that I found you handsome."
"Don't tell me. You don't like boys."
"No, I do!" Garth felt flustered. "I mean, well, I didn't mean to make it sound like that." He threw his hands down into his lap in frustration, then stood up and walked to the edge of the boat, leaning over and looking out over the rapidly darkening sea. Overhead, the stars were coming in one by one, and the arc of the Ring of Pendor filled the sky from dark horizon to dark horizon. It glowed faintly in reflected light like the Moon he was familiar with. He looked around but didn't find Pindam. Finally he found words. "Look, I'm sure you're a nice guy and all, but I don't know."
"I don't understand," Skii said. "Was that too quick? Too direct?"
"No, no, nothing like that. Look, on Pendor, your species is common, right?"
"Yeah," Skii said. "So?"
"On Terra, Katckin is not a common species. Not even three hundred years after our... 'manufacture.'" Garth nearly spat the last word out. "People always want to sleep with me, just because it'll be something different."
Skii laughed softly. And then he laughed again, louder.
"I use that all the time!"
"That 'being different' bit. One of the places near Shardik Castle is a touristy little village. People live there because it amuses them to deal with Terrans and other offworlders, you know, tourists. It's a 'trap,' as people call it. I go to the hotel there sometimes to pick up Terrans and seduce them."
"Did you think it would work on me?"
"To be honest, I didn't know. Nickolai is very discerning; he sees through things sometimes when other's don't. He caught on very quickly."
"He's also not into males."
"Well, that too," Skii said. "Although he said he might be willing to try with me. Anyway, I figured a roommate of his is either completely dense or as crack as he is. Somehow you fall in between somewhere. You're an okay guy, Garth."
"Thanks," the Katckin smiled. "But I'm not like you, Skii. I sorta resent the fact that people just want me for my body."
"It's going to happen to everyone sometime, you know. Someone is going to want you for your body."
"Yeah, well, it's really rough on the Terran Genenned."
"'Jenenned?' That's a terran word covering Katckins and Neorats?"
"Yeah. It means Genetically Engineered. Gen-En'd. They either hate us or want us, and usually it's a mix of the two."
Garth felt Skii's hand touch his shoulder. "Hey, things are different on Pendor."
"But they're not!" Garth said, turning around. "Or, maybe they're too different. Look at you, Skii. You're everything I could ever hope to be."
Skii put his hand over Garth's muzzle, then closed the distance and kissed Garth's cheek softly. "So?"
Garth shivered slightly. "I have had only two Katckin lovers, Skii, and they were both female. I really lean that way most of the time," he said, his voice breathless.
"And tonight?" Skii slowly slid his hand down Garth's furred chest.
"I... I don't know." Garth steadied himself holding the jib cable. "I would... I do want to. I just..."
"I'll stop if you ask me to. It'll be that simple. I won't stop liking you. Tell me now, Garth."
"You stuck your tongue out, Skii, when you were talking about Greek plays. Did you ever watch any?"
Caught off-guard by the question, Skii took a second to form an answer. "A few. Why?"
"Imagine a twisted Narcissus making love to his perfect image. Would he be happy afterwards?"
Skii stopped his hand's slow descent. He looked at Garth and Garth felt the stare hit him like warm water. "Listen," Skii said. "You are not Narcissus, you are not twisted, and I am not perfect."
"You're closer to perfect then I'll ever be," Garth said. "Maybe I should walk the Hall with the morphing turned on."
Skii blinked, looked down at Garth, and began laughing again, only this time the laughter was full-strength and unrestrained. "Oh, Garth, do you know what would happen?"
"You'd either come out as a Tindal, a 'Taur, or as yourself!"
"Seriously!" Skii said. "You would! People who go through the Hall with body image problems always get a species that will give them the same headaches. It's part of the process."
"Learning to live with yourself." Skii sighed for a moment. "Look at me. I'm not perfect, but I've learned to live with it. I'm just this Katckin. I get furknots and a kinked tail and earburrs just like everyone else."
Garth nodded abashedly. "It's so hard."
"Look," Skii said. "All I said was that I wanted you. Can you give me a 'yes,' 'no,' or 'wait' answer?"
"You were getting pretty convincing there," Garth said.
"I was?" Skii replied. "When?"
"Guess," Garth whispered.
Skii smiled, and Garth could see that he was suddenly as much a part of the game as Skii was. Skii reached out a hand and touched Garth's chest. "Was it here?"
"Not quite there." Garth's heart beat faster. He did want this, but his anxiety was beating a loud drum behind his chest.
Skii's hand slid down further. "Then it was here," he asked.
"Actually, that's less convincing."
Skii looked puzzled, and then comprehension dawned in his eyes. Garth knew he had it figured out, and steeled himself for the anticipated moment. "Then..." Ski leaned over and kissed Garth's cheek. "It was here."
Garth didn't speak. Skii moved a little further down Garth's muzzle and kissed him just at the juncture of his jaw. "And if I do this, am I more convincing?"
"Mmm-hmm," Garth whimpered softly. Skii's hands caressed his chestfur, stroking against the grain and making him shiver. He turned his head slightly and kissed Skii's mouth back.
Skii parted his muzzle slightly and his tongue reached out to stroke Garth's lips. Garth did the same thing, tasting Skii's tongue for the first time with his. Skii's breath was warm and sweet in his feline-sensitive nostrils, and he found himself getting turned on by the proximity and closeness he felt with the Felinzi.
"It's warm out," Skii breathed.
"Didn't you say it was going to rain?"
"Later," Skii replied. "Right now I think we should grab a blanket and not bother Kiza."
"Good idea," Garth agreed. "You know where everything is."
"I even know where I've got oil."
"You don't like fucking?"
"I... I just don't know if I could take it."
Skii touched his cheek softly. "Then you can do me. I can."
Garth chuckled. "Go get the stuff."
Skii returned with a small pouch and a heavy sleeping quilt. Between the bows of each of the outer hulls and the center hull on the Succubus someone had strung netting. Each side had a different quality of netting, however; on the starboard side, it was thick rope with twenty to thirty centimeters of space on a side of the holes; on the port side, it was fine mesh, rather like a tight hammock. Skii threw the blanket over that one.
The night held a surprising amount of heat and Garth found himself willingly shedding his clothes as Skii did the same thing. Garth crawled onto the blanket, feeling a little frightened, really, by the sounds of the water lapping so close to him, even if he was at least a meter and half up from it. Skii joined him, crawling over the blanket.
They sat, looking at each other. Then they smiled, simultaneously, and fell upon each other, kissing wildly. Garth's tongue explored Skii's mouth, tasting his tongue and breath. They rolled over, Garth coming out on top, licking Skii's nose playfully. "You're so..."
"Don't say perfect," Skii interrupted quickly.
"No," Garth said, shaking his head. , "Just right." He leaned down and kissed Skii's muzzle. They rolled again, pressing furry body to furry body. "I... I've never done this with a furred male."
"I've never done this with a Katckin. We're even, okay?" Skii smiled and pressed in, kissing Garth's throat. "You smell good."
Garth didn't know what to say to that, so he didn't say anything; he just moaned instead. Skii kissed his way down Garth's body, finding all the little ticklish spots that made Garth moan and squirm even more. Skii's muzzle kissed the inside of his thigh, the tip of his nose drawing slowly across his scrotum. Garth's legs trembled with anticipation, but Skii just switched sides and kissed his other thigh.
Garth parted his legs further, and he heard Skii laugh aloud a little. "Don't be so anxious," Skii said. "You'll get what you want." Skii kissed his balls directly, his tongue caressing the light smattering of fur that covered the scrotum, his jaws open slightly and the warm breath passing over the balls and up between Garth's thighs.
Garth's cock was fully erect, poking out of its prepuce and lying firm against his belly. Skii's mouth kissed it at the base, then, one hand on each thigh for support, Skii rose and ran his tongue the length of his cock. Garth whimpered. Skii slowly tilted his head, picking up the tip of Garth's cock with his muzzle, easing down until he took all of it into his mouth and down his throat.
His head swimming, Garth's hands clutched at the comforter covering to their bed. He tried to control his hips; he wanted to thrust into the warmth and wetness that surrounded him. "Skii..."
Skii, his mouth full, didn't have room to talk, and instead slid down Garth's solid shaft, taking the head into the back of his throat and massaging the length of it with his tongue. Garth gasped.
Inside, Garth felt surrounded. That was the only word he could think for it. He couldn't believe that a Pendorian, even a male who called Shardik "Gran," was going down on him; was that close that he could reach out and touch him. He wasn't even on Pendor at the moment, but at the even more remote world of Pandora, where few people lived and even fewer Terrans ever ventured. As he lay there, looking down the length of his body and seeing Skii's head bobbing up and down, feeling the warmth of his mouth around his cock, he felt oddly... protected.
And excited. As Skii's mouth pressed down and swallowed his cock, he realized that he was already close to orgasm. He found the texture of the rope underneath the cloth and pushed against it, pulling his cock out of Skii's mouth. Skii looked up, curious, but Garth just smiled at him. "Now bear with me," he said. "I haven't done this in over a year." He slid between Skii's legs and found his cock. Although it was soft, he took it into a mouth and sucked down on it, feeling the pliable flesh on his tongue. It tasted warm and soft, but he could feel the blood pulsing within it, and as he played with it, running his tongue over it, he felt it grow and become hard. His motion changed from playing with just his tongue until he began stroking it directly, bobbing his head along the length and feeling the head reach until he almost felt like gagging.
Although he preferred females, he knew he liked Skii and he could perform well with males, and he did his best. Skii moaned and said "You're doing just fine."
"Thanks," Garth said, gasping for air and fighting to control his stomach. A few times his enthusiasm had led him to push down a little too far and Skii's cock hit the back of his throat, choking him slightly.
As he lowered his head again, Skii stopped him. "Wait. Come here." He reached under Garth's arm and pulled him up until they were lying side by side. "You're trying too hard," he said, kissing Garth's cheek. "I just want to get sexy with you, Garth. You don't have to prove anything."
"I'm not! I like going down on you, Skii."
Skii laughed. "Thanks. But it feels like you're trying too hard anyway."
"Maybe a little. Sorry I'm so inexperienced."
"Don't worry about it. Everybody's inexperienced once in their lives. At something." He chuckled slightly.
Garth could feel Skii's warm body pressed against his own. He sighed. "I know." His own erection lay against his belly and he felt a hand grope for it, then find it.
"I see you're still hard."
"Still horny, you mean," Garth said, nuzzling his newfound friend's throat with his muzzle.
"Fuck me with it," Skii said plainly.
Skii was smiling, but the request was so calm and direct it took Garth off-balance for a moment. "What?"
"Fuck me, Garth," Skii said, this time teasing him a little with his voice. "Come on." He rolled over onto his stomach and jutted his ass slightly into the air. "Come on."
Garth laughed. "Okay... where's that oil you said you had?"
"In the bag over there." Garth looked and found the bottle Skii had mentioned. He sniffed at it, and it smelled of olive oil. He tipped the bottle over above his cock, coating it in a thick, greasy layer, then looked down at Skii's waiting ass. Pulling Skii's tail up and out of the way, he dripped oil down into the crack and smoothed it in with his fingers. "Ready?"
"I've been ready for years," Skii said breathlessly. "Do it."
Garth straddled Skii's thighs and, aiming downwards with one hand, pressed in. Skii whimpered slightly as Garth's cockhead found the hole and he pressed downwards. Garth felt his cock slip past the tightened sphincter and into the depths of Skii's ass. "Wow..."
"What?" Skii moaned.
"Just... feels good. Hot; you're so hot inside."
"Glad you like it."
Garth held still for a minute, then began withdrawing. He looked down between them; in the light of the overhead ring and the stars he could see his cock as a dull shadow between the curve of Skii's cheeks. He slid back in slowly, and Skii sighed, rubbing his head against the blanket in a perverse imitation of feline pleasure. Garth took that as a hint and began a slow, gently rocking of his hips, his cock sliding in and out of Skii's ass with each motion.
"Ohhhhh...." Skii moaned. "That feels so good..."
"It does," Garth agreed. "Harder?"
"No, that's fine," Skii whispered. "Just keep it like that."
"For how long?"
"How long can you last?" Skii turned his head to look at Garth.
Garth laughed. "We'll find out." He continued fucking Skii's wonderfully tight and experienced asshole, feeling the head of his cock slide past the sphincters and then deep into his body, feeling the heat and the soft lining of Skii's rectum stroking his cock. He closed his eyes and just pushed, feeling his hips brush against Skii's boyish buttocks on every downstroke.
"Mmmm..." Skii moaned. "Wonderful."
Garth opened his eyes. "I'm going to come soon."
"I know," Skii replied. "Please... do..."
Garth nodded, stroking at the same rate as always, slowly fucking Skii, feeling his body tighten. His balls rose in their sac, tightening against his body as his climax grew, and suddenly with a soft shudder and moan he came.
He pressed his hips against Skii's butt, his cock buried deep into the young Felinzi. He leaned down and kissed the back of Skii's neck. "How was that?"
"Wonderful," Skii moaned, turning over. Garth slipped out and collapsed to the blanket. Skii pulled him close. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Garth replied. "You won't be upset with me if I tell you I'd rather convince Kiza next time, would you?"
"Ouch," Skii laughed. "No, I understand. You're not upset by my seduction, are you?"
Garth shook his head. "I let it happen." Garth felt a sudden splash of impact against the fur of his thigh and looked down. Another struck his shoulder. "It's starting to rain. Let's get inside."
Skii nodded, and the two of them collected the detrius of their lovemaking and hauled it into the cabin. "Share with me?" Skii whispered.
"Gladly," Garth agreed. They took the port bunk together as the rain came down.