"I'll be back around nine. Do we need anything?" I asked Aaden as I pulled on my flight-suit.
He looked up from his PADD just long enough to shake his head. "Not that I can think of. Are you going to give me a kiss before you leave or not?"
I leaned over and kissed his muzzle softly; he opened his mouth and our tongues met in familiar congress for a moment. I felt slightly dizzy and lightheaded from it, but I always do. Something about kissing him just makes my eyes spin in their sockets.
"See ya," I said. He waved as I walked out the door and headed for the beach. Out by the sand I'd dragged out one of my collection of hobby vehicles: a late 21st-century Nipponese ESWAT helicopter. I'd upgraded it, of course; the fusion plant was truly Pendorian and the ejection seat would actually work if necessary. The chain-gun on the chin-mount was gone, and some weight had been redistributed. This was a late model for ESWAT as evidenced by the lack of a tail rotor; instead, forced air over the boom provided control. Aaden referred to as "a collection of parts flying in tight formation." "Helicopters," he asserts, "do not fly. They beat the sky into submission."
But the reason I love these old vehicles so is the raw power of them. They're not ICE engines or anything like that, but the idea of using physical force to push air around and lift a vehicle I find invigorating. Like much the same reason I'm off on my errand today; as a man, a sentient being, I want to express my domination over the elements and my position at the top of the food chain explicitly.
I pulled the helmet over my head and attached the data cord to the plug in the back. Readouts came up in front of my eyes on the archaic external-projection heads-up display. I examined them carefully as the helicopter did its own preflight checks, then started the rotors turning.
In minutes I was airborne. Although I was wearing a full flight-suit and helmet, the feeling of being exposed in this tiny, one-man wasp of a 'copter made by heart race in a way entirely different from kissing P'nyssa or Aaden. It had been a long time since I'd been up in the air like this, dependent every step of the way on a fragile aircraft of ceramics and glass. I leaned the 'copter forward and headed out over Marbletop, finding the 'March and following it to Rocchodain. From there, I headed over to the large SDisk by the lake, diving for it.
The SDisk appeared before me and then gravity swung back nearly 180 degrees. Air density and direction changed and I was suddenly very busy. I was also headed almost straight up rather than straight down. I got the 'copter back under confidence and flew, slowly and with altitude, towards R'Rawl's home.
On my way there I passed over his herd of cattle; it had grown some since my last visit, but not by much. They took no notice of me, for which I was grateful; while my relationship with R'Rawl's family was good, starting a stampede could sour it quickly.
The house stood on the edge of the cliff that coincided with the Uncia Temperate Zone. A three-storied wooden structure that housed nearly fifteen Uncia, it hadn't changed in the centuries since P'nyssa and I had first visited here in '256 to meet with her old friend Rael so she could get pregnant. The memory made me smile; that had been a long time ago, and while Nyss and Aaden and I have had a few children since then, the memory of that first time will always be something special.
It had been a few months since my last visit, but the invitation he had sent me I just couldn't pass up. I pressed the RADIO button. "Utricht household, are you there?"
"I am here, Ken," a voice replied after a short delay. "Where are you?"
"Hovering overhead. I'm flying a rather noisy aircraft and I'm concerned about spooking the animals."
"Do you require much room to land?"
"Not really; I have a 10-meter wingspan."
"Then you can land behind the house, near the water shed. Can you see it?"
I spotted a small wooden building apart from the others with humidity collectors standing tall on the roof. "Yes, I see it. Be there in five minutes. Watch your head; I'm using rotary blades."
"Understood. Five minutes."
I landed the 'copter without much problem. The rotors came to a slow standstill and then quietly folded themselves up along the line of the rotor while I took off the helmet and stripped out of the flight suit. Four Uncia came out to greet me, including R'Rawl. "Ken!" he said as I clambered out of the blue flying beetle.
"R'Rawl!" I replied, laughing and extending my arms. We hugged each other readily, them separated. "You look good."
"I think you do too," he said. "Will you stay a long time?"
"I can't," I said. "I promised the family I would be home before nightfall. This is just a pickup."
"I understand," R'Rawl replied. "We are not much on visitors anyway. Still, I want you to meet my newest son, R'Cath." He pointed to one of the fems, carrying a young child in her arms. "You remember R'Mahn. She was pregnant when you were last here."
I nodded. "I remember. Oh, he's adorable," I said, reaching out a finger carefully, knowing full well that even infant Uncia can bite one off if I'm not careful. It would grow back, but the pain and annoyance just weren't worth the trouble. I turned back to R'Rawl. "May he be strong and bear witness to your land."
"Thank you, Vatare', although few want this land." He gestured to the dry, high country his family lived in. "They say it is too cool and dry for their sensitive natures."
I laughed, thinking of all the bugs in the first generations of Uncia and Centaurs that had needed working out. Temperature maintenance and water control had been the worst. "Still, R'Rawl, this is the finest land to grow what you do, and although it isn't hunted, it is fine meat."
"Ah!" he said. "You remind me. Thank you. Here." He reached down and handed me a small plastic box sealed with a lid. "The portion I invited you to have."
"We will honor it tonight," I said. I bowed. "Farewell, Rawl, Mahn. Bless your family for me."
"We shall, Shardik. We shall!" He waved as I reversed the process of removing my clothing and headed back into the sky, and back towards home. The flight was relatively uneventful, although I spent a good portion of it thinking about the ritualism that Uncia had started incorporated into their lives. I wondered if that were a good or bad thing, then decided it didn't make much difference anyway. It was how they wanted to live their lives, and as long as they didn't interfere with the neighbors, why should I care?
I landed the helicopter out by the beach again; a few friends were sunning themselves immediately by the opening so I landed about a hundred meters away and summoned the carrier to haul this thing back into the vehicle bay. The carrier sled slid out silently on gravitics, threading its careful way amongst bathers before reaching me. I hooked the winch clasp to the front of the 'copter and pulled the two items together until the carrier slid underneath and righted itself. The two items then slowly floated out of sight.
"Ken!" An exuberant young Felinzi bounded towards me over the sand, grabbing me in her arms and hugging me tightly, kissing me on the cheek. "Oooh, what's that? Smells good!"
"Hiya, L'Trahn!" I said, kissing her back. "It's cured beef. Aaden and Nyss and I are having it for dinner. What about you?"
"Oh, you know. Daddy's makin' pizza with some kinda goat's cheese."
"Yeah, that's the stuff." She stuck her tongue out and pulled her ears back tight. I laughed. "Mom likes it."
"I know," I said, nuzzling her soft cheek and giving her a tight hug before letting her loose. "I gotta get upstairs, Tranny."
"Okay," she said, kissing me back. "See ya later!" She bounded back towards her blanket and a rather attractive young MelFel who seemed to find her as lovely as I did. I found it damned refreshing that his jealousy at her attention towards me seemed to be outweighing his awe of me. I wondered what his name was.
I walked in and placed the plastic box on the table counter, adjusting the oven as I did so.
Aaden came up from the bedroom. "You didn't say you were home," he said.
"Should I have?" I asked. "Dinner will be ready in about an hour."
"I'll tell Nyss." He grinned as he walked by, his large tail bouncing behind him, reminding me of Tranny's breasts. They bounced the same way. The bushiness of it did nothing to hide the hard, sexy shape of his body or of his butt, hidden under the cloth of black denim shorts.
I laughed to myself, shaking my head. I sometimes wonder if there's ever a time when I'm not thinking about sex, and then I wonder if there's a reason why I would ever want such a time. I slit the steak, rubbed in spices, and dropped all three into the oven. I set the time and began preparing the vegetables.
An hour later, P'nyssa walked in almost on schedule. I returned her kiss when she entered the kitchen to greet me. She inhaled deeply. "Smells good."
"Good," I said. "That's what I want. I've set the table. Go sit, go sit. I'll bring it to you in a second. The soup is the barley I made a few weeks ago and froze, remember?" She took her seat, smoothing out the short, blue skirt that accentuated her blue fur delightfully. I brought out the bowls as Aaden joined us. "Sit down, you."
He took his seat at the table and I joined them. We ate in relative silence; after centuries of being together there's not much to talk about except maybe the weather and the kids, and we haven't got any kids at the moment.
I cleared bowls from the table, and returned with dinner. "Here you go," I said, placing the first before P'nyssa, the second before Aaden, and the third before myself. I also put down three small white crocks with spoons in them. "Spices," I said, pointing. "Traditional Worcestershire, Worcestershire with tomatoes, and horseradish."
"Horseradish?" P'nyssa asked, crinkling her small black-tipped nose at the thought. "Ugh."
As I sat back down and smoothed out my own skirt I smiled at her. "Hey, it's good for ya. Cleans out your sinuses."
She mock-shivered, tossing her tentacles about a little more enthusiastically then a real shiver would cause. "I love you, Kennet Shardik, but sometimes you can be so gross."
"In sandwiches," Aaden opined, "It's okay. In small doses. If you don't breathe." He pointed to the mound I was dishing onto my plate. "That's something else."
"Breathing is part of the ritual, Aaden. Horseradish isn't a pepper, remember?"
"Of course I remember my botany. Horseradish is a root."
"What I mean is, it doesn't burn the tongue. But the fumes react really strongly on the sinuses. It's a real rush, and when it's powerful enough you can get an endorphin hit in the bargain."
"Really?" he asked as I brought the piece to my mouth. Aaden's hand shot out and grabbed the hair at the back of my head. "Hold it, Ken." He reached with his other hand and took the fork out of my hand. "I've got a better idea." He tugged roughly in his direction, pulling my out of my chair and to my knees.
I heard P'nyssa chuckle and knew I was already in trouble.
He turned to her as his hand opened his shorts and pushed them down to his knees. They dropped to the ground. "Will this burn?"
She grinned. "I have no idea, Aaden. You're the botanist. You tell me."
"We pay for our pleasures," Aaden said, dipping the tip of his pinky finger into the horseradish. "I bet I'm going to pay for this one." One way or another, I thought. He slid his finger into his sheath, sort of swishing it around as he did so. "Now then," he said, looking down at me. "You like the stuff so much. Lick me clean.
"No 'buts,' Ken. Get me hard and lick me clean."
He pulled me forward, not that that was necessary. I pressed my lips to his furry prepuce, stroking the soft length with my tongue. "Harder," he growled. I pushed against his growing cock, nuzzling his crotch with my mouth and nose. The thick fur around his crotch was embedded with his soft, loamy smell, a sexual smell. And the presence of horseradish. I could feel his blood pumping into his cock, and as it extended fully I waited. Then he said, "It does burn a little. I suggest you lick it off. I could get... violent."
"Oh, yes!" I gasped. "Later."
He chuckled. I opened my mouth wide and pushed my head forward over his cock, taking the entire length into my mouth. I close my lips, pressed my tongue as hard as I could to the shaft, and slowly pulled away, licking up the herb as I went along.
And then I breathed. A billion mousetraps snapped simultaneously along the inside of my skull, my sinuses erupting in the incredible, painful rush of horseradish. It felt as if my hair had come alive and was desperately trying to crawl upwards off the top of my head. My eyes watered uncontrollably. I convulsed. I whimpered. The pain made self-control impossible. I simply knelt there on the floor, shuddering in agony as I waited for my suffering to ease.
It was wonderful.
Then the endorphins hit. I looked up at him, mildly stoned, grinning like an idiot. "Well?" he asked. "Are you gonna finish it?"
"Can it wait until after dinner?"
He stared. His smile refused to be suppressed and he leaned back, roaring with laughter. He reached down and grabbed my hair, pulling me halfway to my feet and depositing me in my chair. "Of course it can. I'm starved." He stepped out of his shorts, still about his ankles, and tossed them down the gravtube to the bedroom.
I leaned over and pressed my chin to his shoulder. "I love you."
He tousled my hair playfully. "I love you too." He smiled over at P'nyssa and patted her hand with his. "You too."
She nodded, laughing softly. We resumed eating, and the rest of dinner passed without incident.