Outside the large plate window an Asimov-class starship was taking shape. Although technically this was a refit and not a buildup, much of the ship's outer plating and such had been removed to expose the vital components within. Both humanoids and robots worked steadily over the ship's surface, in some places handling large spools of wire, in others large tanks of fluids, and in others bright, hot suns of welding torches.
"What do you think?"
I thought I'd been alone in the observation deck, and the voice made me jump. It also sounded familiar, so either way I turned to see who had spoken. "Kerry!" I shouted as I grabbed the taller- than-average Mustela Lutra. Then I noticed the markings on his uniform. "You're foreman for this project?"
"Yep," he grinned, his otter-like muzzle pulling up in an unquestionable expression of amusement. "24 weeks is not a lot of time."
"Sorry," I replied. "It was what we needed to order. Will it be done in time?"
"Oh, it will be ready," he assured me. "There are no problems we anticipate. Shakedown in 18 weeks for the Ohadi engines, and six weeks of general flight testing. We'll be testing the internals all that time, too, to make sure it's ready to go." He paused. "How's home?"
"Your parents moved out years ago, you know."
"I know that," he replied. "I was asking about Aaden and P'nyssa and everybody else."
"We're all fine. Aaden and Nyss are coming along, the rest are staying behind. It's going to be just a small family affair, the Shardiks and two thousand of their closest friends. Goddess, Kerry, but you've gotten tall, especially for your species!"
"Si, Habla espanol tiembro," he replied cryptically.
I examined him carefully, wondering what in Hell that was supposed to mean. He was a Lutra Mustela, or otter-like Mustel. His fur was light brown and heavily matted against his body. His eyes were black, but bright, and his whiskers twitched with amusement as he waited for me to decipher his meaning.
And then I remembered. And I laughed, shaking my head and chuckling for a moment. "You've still got a great sense of humor. So tell me, is what they say about you Mustela Lutra Saros true?"
"Would you like to have dinner?" he replied, smiling and not answering the question. "I cook a great roast, and I would adore having my old sitter over for diner." He paused. "Then you could find out for yourself."
My eyebrows shot up. "Really?"
He blushed, looking away. "If it's... if it's okay with you."
I smiled. "Anything for an old friend. What time?"
"How about one?"
"That's fine with me. See you then?"
He nodded. "I've got to get back to work. I live in Pelcityran, room J-1902."
"J 1902," I repeated. "See you at one."
At one after dark, PST, I knocked on the door and it opened. "Come on in, I'm still in the kitchen!" The smell of freshly cooking meat and vegetables washed over me as I found my way to where he stood, cooking. He wore a T-shirt and white, cotton pants that reached to the floor. His feet were broad and powerful- looking, with thick toes covered in the brown fur that covered the rest of him. Then as my eyes scanned back upwards I caught the logo on his T-shirt, which read "SARO != SLUT." But he smiled as he noticed me reading it. "For you, I'll make an exception."
"That's a pretty strong come-on, Kerry."
He blushed. "Sorry. Guess I shouldn't get my hopes up, huh?"
I patted him on the shoulder. "It's okay. I'm just a little taken aback by it. I have no objection, if that's what you're wondering, but I am curious about why."
He shrugged as he sliced a carrot. The flashing knife made me edgy; you'd think after ten centuries I'd've gotten over that damned phobia, but it still comes back to haunt me now and then. "It's stupid." He looked up. "I'm just a little lonely out here right now; my last lover left me recently, and when I heard you were around, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to just... spend some time with someone friendly."
"Does that include sleeping with me?"
"If you wanted," he replied as he dropped the boardful of vegetables into the heavy steel pot. He put the knife down. "I'm sorry, I'm just... I'm screwing up badly, aren't I?"
"No, you're just sounding a little frustrated." I grinned at him. "Look, I'm going to go into the living room and wait for you so I don't get in the way of your making dinner."
"Okay," he sighed. "I'll be out in a moment." And he wasn't kidding; no sooner had I sat down than he joined me, sitting down in what appeared to be his favorite chair, across the table from me. His residence was small and comfortably furnished, done in muted tones of red and orange, including the someone mundane woven- cloth artwork that adorned his walls.
"No, no," I said. "Come here. Sit here, on the couch, next to me. Tell me what's been happening in your life since you moved out."
Looking uncomfortable, he rose up and joined me, sitting on the opposite end. "Well," he began, taking a deep breath, "I went to school at Mayaloa, and got my engineering degree. I graduated six years ago, about the same time Momma and Dad moved back to Triscalmi. And I basically moved here."
"But foreman, in only six years?"
"It's what I do well. I can read a blueprint and I can do the work, but apparently they think I'm best suited to being a people person. I do have pretty good judgment when it comes to people. At least, I think so." He shook his head. "I stop fights and stuff like that."
"If you're so good at putting people together, why are you so awkward with me?"
"Because I'm not good at putting people with myself. It's really hard to point my... whatever... at myself." He blushed. "I don't understand why."
I nodded. There was an awkward silence, where each of us waited for the other to say something. We were both saved by the chime. "Dinner's ready."
He rose, returning a few minutes later with a tray, and served me dinner, complete with wine. He put a platter down for himself as well. "Adequate?"
"I'll know when I've tasted it." He nodded awkwardly again as I cut myself a piece of meat, skewered a slice of carrot in the process, and stuffed the entire thing into my mouth. "It's perfect."
"Thanks," he replied. "I tried to make it work."
"You did fine," I told him, leaning over and kissing his cheek. "Stop fretting."
Dinner continued in silence. I enjoyed his cooking; he had a talent that I appreciated. As I cleaned off the plate and reached to pour myself another glass of wine, he said, "If this is seduction, I'm doing a lousy job, huh?"
"No, no, you're doing fine," I said. I picked up the bottle, poured a glass for myself and another for him, then leaned forward and covered his paw with my hand. "Look, if you want me to spend the night, I will. I just don't understand why. I mean, you grew up around me and you're not the sort to get starstruck with the idea of sleeping with me. That was always an option with you, you know."
He nodded. His shyness made me feel protective, like I should wrap my arms around him and hug him, not fuck him. "I wanted to..."
"When I was living at the castle." He hung his head down. Then he turned. "I never really had the courage to ask you, though."
"Why not? You were always surrounded by such incredibly beautiful people, Ken, all the time. Aaden and Nyss and even Mom and Dad. I was just this gangly Lutra. And that was before I reached 165 cents, even. I was all out of proportion."
I slid across the couch until I was close enough to smell him. "Listen. It's too late to correct what you thought back then, Kerry, but you're still one of the most beautiful melLutras I've ever met. You have the kindest smile I've seen in years and you've certainly grown into a healthy specimen."
"Thanks," he said, looking away again.
I reached down and cupped my palm under his squared ottermuzzle and pulled his face back to mine to stare into his eyes. Once again, I paused, at a loss for words where he was too, and finally a resolved the dilemma with a gesture, pulling him towards me as I leaned closer, pressing my mouth against his. He moaned softly just from that lightest touch, then pressed back, slightly awkwardly and overly hard. "Woah, easy," I said, smiling. "You don't have to force me."
"I'm sorry. Maybe I should just forget it."
"No, no." I rose from my chair. "Come with me. Um, actually, you'd better lead."
"The bedroom, silly." He looked dumbfounded for a moment. "Come on, come on," I encouraged him. "We haven't got all night. Well, we have. That's just an expression, you know. Of course, if we do take all night, you'll have trouble staying awake at work tomorrow."
I helped him to his feet, and he led me into his bedroom, which was decorated much like his living room. Muted. Functional. It was almost as if he were living in someone else's idea of a hotel room. I passed my hand over the control panel and lowered the lights until we could barely see each other. That was okay; our eyes would adjust. "Listen," I repeated, "I'm not sure what you're looking for out of this, Kerry. I'm willing to listen."
He sat down on the bed and took a deep breath. "Remember when I said my last lover had left me and I was feeling lonely?" I nodded. "I meant that almost literally. I... I haven't had a good relationship, Ken. Ever. My 'last lover' was some melMarkal I met down at the Arrow."
"The Arrow?" I said.
"It's a... club in Pelcityran. Mels only."
"Oh. You mean you've been having anonymous encounters all your life?"
He nodded. "Mels and fems, depending on my mood. I know where to go to get it easily. And they all want me 'cause I'm a Saro." He sighed softly. "I guess I wanted to invite you because you, at least, were someone I could talk to, someone who would understand."
"I... I understand, Kerry. But have you figured out why you're like this? I mean, have you considered professional help?"
"I'm going to a counselor. He suggested something like this. Well, not like you, I mean, but about getting in touch with friends. Getting to know people outside the clubs, the shallow places, he called them."
"Have you ever brought anyone home?" I asked.
"You're the first. Guess I failed this experiment, huh?"
"Only if you scrap it before getting the results." I crawled onto the bed, fluffing up a pillow and leaning against it, looking at him down the length of the bed. "Come here."
He joined me, hands and knees, then eased himself cross-legged next to me. He wore a manila-colored shirt and brown pants of made of some crude, natural cloth; it visibly varied in thickness in places. Both were tightened about his waist with drawstrings. I reached for the one that held his shirt closed and pulled it open, then grabbed it and tugged it over his head. It came off and I dropped it over the side of the bed. He was beautiful. Not in any athletic sense; he wasn't that masculine perfection that Aaden exercised for every day, nor was he especially shapely. Instead, his normality is what made me want to kiss his body all over. His chest was covered in the fine, brown pelt that covered his face and paws, his stomach was flat, and his shoulders broad. The smell of him, the slightly oily scent of his otterfur drew obscene images with a vidprojector on the inside of my skull. "You're very desirable, Kerry, without being a Saro."
"Can I say the same thing about you?"
"If you want," I replied, smiling up at him, now shirtless.
He returned the grin shyly, then tugged at my shirt and pulled it off, dropping it on top of his own. His hands caressed my chest, fingers closing briefly on one nipple. Considering how much I enjoy that, with him it felt all the more wonderful. I gasped softly as his broad fingertips trailed down my chest and over my stomach, stopping at my belt, then sliding back up. "Almost never..." He sighed.
"I almost never stop to look at the person I'm having sex with. There's a sort of democracy about that, I suppose. It doesn't matter what they are or what they look like. They're a hole to fill."
"You always top?" I asked.
"Almost always," he said. "It's what they want. What they expect from a Saro." He looked immensely sad, suddenly. "It's not my fault I was born into the species that, cent for cent, is the best hung."
I reached up and pulled him down to lie next to me. "Stereotyping sucks."
"But it's not just a stereotype, Ken. Among Mustela Lutras in general the proportion thing doesn't really get in the way, but Lutra Saro is doubly blessed." He snuggled close to me, one arm over my chest. "The average Saro has a 26 centimeter dick. Mine's thirty-one." He sighed. "After a while, that's all I am, really. A piece of meat with an engine attached to it. There are times when I'm glad I'm at work, where my brain is getting more exercise than my hips."
I nodded, stroking his back with the one arm that went under him. I reached down, finding the base of his immensely thick tail. Among their other attributes, Lutras have huge tails, often as thick as their thighs and very strong. They have to be, just to keep from dragging on the floor. I scratched at his softly and his eyelids fluttered and he gasped. "Oh, that feels good."
I smiled as I caressed him. "Off my arm," I whispered, and he rolled away. "On your stomach." I situated myself over his buttocks and began scratching his back. He moaned but held perfectly still. I started at his shoulderblades and vigorously worked my way down, over his ribs and spine, working my fingernails under his rich fur until I reached his tail. I began circling it slowly, scratching the length of it. He wiggled underneath me, moaning more as I worked my outwards, towards the tip, although the last thirty cents or so were more ticklish apparently because he broke out giggling. Not that he asked me to stop.
He squirmed a good deal, though, and finally I put it down. "You're very handsome," I whispered as I leaned forward and covered my body with his, kissing the back of his neck. The individual furs on his body are themselves very thick, with a slightly gritty texture to them that makes them stick together and provides a degree of water resistance. They tickled my nose, too.
He pushed back against my pelvis with his, whispering "I'm glad you think so, Ken." He turned over slowly, letting me slide off of him, and lay down on his back. I looked down at him. He looked away. I kissed him softly and he turned his head back towards me, mouth to mouth. This time his right hand groped for my crotch, finding my hard cock through the pants and squeezing gently. He eased down slowly, opening up the tie of my pants and freeing my erection.
He looked at it closely, then gave it a playful lick. I laughed softly and he decided that a lick wasn't enough; he opened his muzzle and descended, closing again once he had the head in his mouth. I sat myself down to a more stable position and watched his head bob up and down, feeling the little shocks of pleasure as his tongue swiped the underside and his lips closed about the root of it.
He slid off my cock to nibble along the underside of it, eventually licking my balls with that agile tongue of his, taking the sac into his mouth and rolling them about. I gasped; I love having my balls played with. I was surprised at just how sensitive I felt tonight; it was like everything just came alive. Maybe it was the "monogamy thing," as Aaden had called it the other day; until recently, it had been years since I'd slept with someone outside my two lovers. Now, for the second time in a month I was in someone else's bed and the response was just wonderful.
He closed his warm hand around my shaft and stroked it slowly. "Ken?" I looked up into his eyes. "Would be it asking too much if... tonight... you made love to me, and not the other way around?"
"Of course not," I responded, smiling, then leaning in to kiss him again. We rolled on the bed and I felt his hard cock against my thigh. It was long, but length wasn't the whole story, because it was only of average thickness, much like mine. I grappled with him, feeling for it. The knot holding pants closed brushed against my hand and I closed my fingers, pulling it open. We wriggled him out of his pants and over the side they went, soon followed by mine. Laughing, we fell onto one another passionately, kissing and hugging. I eased him over onto his stomach as we rolled about and I was soon atop him, my cock pressing against the cleft of his butt, his tail draped between us.
I pushed back and lifted his tail up, kissing the base. With one hand I held his cheeks slightly apart as I kissed my way between them, reaching out with my tongue to caress his asshole. He moaned loudly, then began gathering he legs up underneath him. I backed off enough to let him get comfortable; now, instead of lying on his belly he kneeling on his knees, toes down, chest still pressed to the mattress. "You're anxious," I observed, giving his furry butt a kiss. "Are you comfortable like that?"
"Uh-huh," he replied. "Please... keep doing what you were doing."
I parted his ass again slightly to press my face between them, kissing and licking his asshole, pressing my tongue against it and feeling it give way. His rich animal smell was coarser between his thighs, strong with sweat and pheromone. I ducked down to lick his balls and his substantial cock hanging halfway out of its sheath.
Then I righted myself and knelt between his legs. With both hands I caressed his cheeks as my cock slid between them, throbbingly hard and anxious to take him. He moaned again as I pushed his legs slightly apart, lowering his butt a little and bringing it in line with my crotch. Then I aimed my cock against his asshole and pushed.
Slick with our salivas, I met strong resistance as I pressed inwards. "Take a deep breath," I offered, and as he exhaled I pressed harder. Suddenly his hole twitched and gave way, and the head of my cock popped into him, eliciting a whimper of pain. "Okay?"
"Yes," he gasped. "More."
I watched, excited, as my cock slid deeper between his asscheeks and into his hole, into him. The walls of his rectum gripped my cock like a hot, welcoming glove until my pelvis was pressed hard against him. "Easy," I said. "Take it easy. You've got it all."
"I know," he said hoarsely. "Please, take your fill."
"Oh, I will," I said. "In my own time." I slowly pulled out, watching my cock emerge from between his golden-brown-furred ass, then slowly pushed in. I took my time, going tantalizingly slow, feeling the intense grip of his hole along the length of my shaft with every cycle. His body shuddered at the intensity of the demands I was putting on it, although I was still being gentle at this point.
I decided to take my time, stroking him slowly. I wanted his asshole to know the feeling of my presence for a long time. So instead of forcing myself to go faster, I forced myself to go at the same speed, a slow, steady back-and-forth. I rocked on the bed, holding his hips with my hands, pulling and pushing.
"That feels wonderful," he gasped. "Faster?"
"In my own time," I replied, smiling. "When I'm ready."
"Oh, fah, that feels good. I needed this!"
I smiled as I looked down the length of his body, admiring its shape and color, then looking straight down at where our bodies were joined, my cock deep inside his vulnerable asshole. I felt very much in control, yet also very giving. As long as he was enjoying himself, I was happy.
The head of my cock began to hurt with the combination of sensitivity and the delay of orgasm and I decided it was time to reach a resolution. I sped up slowly, controlling both thrust and withdrawal, still feeling the incredible tightness of his anus around my cock, pulling out just enough to feel that tightness grip the head before shoving back into him. He moaned as I increased the pace and I saw his hand reach under his body to grab his own cock. It stopped being lovemaking, became man-to-man fucking, my thrusts ending only when my hips met his ass, my withdrawal stayed only by my lust to stay within his hot grasp. I could feel my blood pounding in my heart, my head, and my cock. I was very close to coming.
But Kerry came first, shouting his climax and coming over the bedspread, his body tensing and shuddering. The spasms in his asshole were enough to send me over the edge as well, and I moaned, "Oh, Kerry!" as I came inside him, shooting my semen up into his body. I felt every strong pulse of come as it spurted into him.
And then, gulping for air, I slid out and collapsed onto the bed next to him. "Oh, Kerry," I repeated. He looked at me, his face indescribable, and I reached out for him. My arms were weak from my efforts, but I found the strength to pull him to me, holding him close, kissing his face and nose. "Oh, Kerry."
He began crying softly as I held him. I think I'll never know what to do when someone cries, but I do my best; I held him and waited until he was done and could talk to me again.
His sobbing went on for a long time, but finally it slowed down and faded away. "Kerry?"
"I'm... I'm okay, Ken. I'll be okay. I just... I just needed to do that, to get it out. It's been so long since someone loved me and held me."
He took a deep breath and started to pull away, but I held onto him. "No, don't go anywhere, you. We're spending the night together."
"No," I repeated. "You're not allowed to suddenly excuse yourself, or to act as if this is some... transaction... that's just ended. Understand?"
He looked at me, his expression one of surprise, and then he nodded. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay. I just want to break this cycle you have. I've seen it in some of Aaden's friends, and I'm not going to see it in someone who grew up in my house. Got that?"
He nodded. "Still, I have to get up."
"Bathroom." That one single word made me release him immediately, and he rose to make a run for it. I followed him, found him sitting on the commode. "I'll be in the shower," I told him. He nodded.
He joined me in the shower and for the first time that night I got a good, close look at his cock. It was rather long, and I couldn't resist the urge to kneel down and take the head into my mouth, slowly sword-swallowing much of the length. He gasped as the water ran down over our bodies. I closed my eyes and tried not to inhale it as I crawled my way down until I buried my nose in the soft mound of fur at the base. Then I slowly slid off. "Sorry," I said.
"I don't think I could get it going again."
"You don't have to. I just wanted to see if I could swallow all of it."
He nodded, then pulled me close and kissed me. "Thank you."
We prepared for bed. As he pulled the sheets back and slid under them with me he said, "Now, I'm not used to sleeping with someone."
"That's okay," I replied. "I am."
"I mean, I'm apologizing if I take up the whole bed or something like that." He grinned. "Not that I'm trying to get rid of you or anything."
"In the morning, I'll cook you breakfast. Then you see to it that the Nyano Handele is the fastest thing in space."
He surprised me by cuddling me close, his arm over my side, his soft penis resting against the back of my leg. "I will. Goodnight, Ken."