"Kennet, I have a message for you."
I pushed away from the desk and looked up at the ceiling. It was a habit borne of centuries of living with AIs, and I wondered if I would ever break myself of it. "Yes, Hal?"
"It is from Tylia. She would like to know if you're available to see her in her room this evening."
Without my even thinking about it, my schedule appeared before my eyes, the block of time she was asking for highlighted in green over a comfortable wooden theme, a yellow note with blue-black writing stating that nothing was scheduled for me for many hours afterwards, time enough for sleep to recover from anything Tylia might have in store.
"Sure," I said, wondering if I even had a choice in the matter. I did, I suppose, but Tylia at sixteen has become so irresistably lovely that the very idea of my putting her off seemed ridiculous. "Tell her to come on up."
She probably wouldn't have appreciated my thinking so, but her outfit looked just a little silly on her. While I've seen her wear socks before, the patent leather shoes just didn't look right on her Felinzi feet. Whoever gave her suggestions did a good job with picking a light-colored plaid skirt, however, and the medium-blue blazer over her blouse accentuated rather than clashed with her fur color. I liked the tie too. Rust-red colored, handsome.
A Catholic schoolgirl from an alternate universe. Cute. And deliberately designed to give me an erection from the moment I walked in the door. Given that I hadn't seen her in nearly eight months this was definitely something to treasure.
"What's this?" I said, expecting the obvious. Dressing up for me has always been one of Tylia's favorite games. I think she just likes to dress up and I give her good excuses for doing so.
But she suprises me still. "Well," she said, her hands behind her back as she trippingly sauntered over to me, "I thought that we could make up for your being so mean to me recently."
"I'd like that," I said. "I didn't mean to, you know. It was just the requirements of, you know, holding off the rebels." Coming back from the dead. The fatigue of memory washed over me, passed, left me feeling grounded.
She nodded. "I know. I forgive you. But... I want you to do something with me." I waited. She pulled something out from behind her back, a tall black bottle with a cork. "Get me drunk?"
I looked down at the bottle. A very handsome label on the cover announced that whatever the drink was, it was named Nen Mezil. Further down the label I read the contents: 'Strawberry Tequila Liqueur,' and an alcohol content by volume of 18%. "Whew, powerful stuff," I said. I looked up into her lovely black eyes. "Why?"
"Because," she said in that plaintive voice all teenagers have used for millenia when the answer is obvious, at least to themselves. She realized I wasn't kidding and said, "Because I want to. Everyone gets drunk sometime, right? I figured now was a good time for me. And I wouldn't trust anyone more than you to be around me and help me get to the bathroom in time. Besides... They say a little lowers the inhibitions and makes you feel horny."
"'They' say a lot of things," I said with a laugh. "So, tell me, are you looking to get really, totally, falling down drunk, so drunk that you end up puking your guts out and wishing you had done something less painful like gouging your eyes out with dull cafeteria forks? Or do you just want to get a little drunk, the kind of drunk you were talking about, where you start feeling sexy?"
"The second," she said. "I don't want to get sick."
"I didn't think so," I said with a smile. She grinned back at me and held out the bottle. I looked over at the table and said, "Get two glasses, the kind used for whiskey. I don't want you going too fast on this stuff."
She nodded, smiling, the schoolgirl again as she bounced over to the cupboard and took out the glasses that I recommended. "Will these be right?" she asked, holding out a pair, one for human mouths, one with the triangular point for muzzles. I nodded and she flounced over to the table, sitting down, looking the coquette again. "What's it like?"
"What's what like? Being drunk? Well... It's a loss of control, your brain tells you it's fun, you slobber all over yourself, and if you do too much of it you regret it in the morning. For all sorts of reasons."
She laughed and then pointed. "Pour?" she said. I opened up the bottle and was instantly tranported to the land of pigtails and sailor suits. This was the kind of sweet stuff made for seducing hardly innocent ingenues like Tylia. I looked over at the kitchen SDisk and said, "Dave, get me a decent scotch."
A bottle of Laphroaigh appeared on the disk. I picked it up and poured myself two fingers worth while giving Tylia three of her own. She looked at me dubiously. "Hey," I said, "I'm older and more experienced. I drink what I like, you can drink what you like."
She nodded and pulled the glass up to her muzzle, looking at me dubiously, then tipped her head back and poured that pink stuff over her tongue. She closed her eyes as it went down, shivering visibly as it slid past her throat. She sighed. "Wow."
I pulled back my own drink and let it sear its way into my belly, feeling it burn all the way down. It was a wonderful feeling, one that I can't do that often, and almost immediately the effects began to spread through my body. I am, I'm afraid, a very cheap drunk and the little I had in front of me was more than enough to get me pleasantly buzzed pleasantly quickly.
Tylia pointed at her glass. "More?" she said.
"What are you feeling?"
"Nothing, yet. Why, should I be feeling anything?"
"I would think so, by now," I said. "But I could be wrong." I poured her some more. She downed it, then less than a minute later looked up at me and said, "Now I feel it."
I nodded, the stuffed-brain feeling spreading from the knits of my skull down over the cerebrum, a yarmulke of cotton inside my head. I smiled at her, leaned elbows down onto the table, and said, "What does it feel like?"
"Good," she said with a grin. She giggled. "Silly."
"Just silly," she said, giggling again. Another drink from her tumbler, emptied it, and she dropped it next to the bottle, whack. She rose, then gripped the edge. "Whoo..."
"Hoo," I offered. She wrinkled her nose at me as she swayed. If she was feeling the way I was, this was already becoming interesting. Damn, but she's a gorgeous creature, all black fur and glittery golden eyes too damned clear for...
"You okay? Your face looked so sad for a second there."
"I was just thinking. You deserved something better then me."
"No, no," she said, kneeling at my feet, her head in my lap. Goddess, but despite my feelings I could not keep from stroking her head. "No, you were the best thing that could have happened to me."
"I'm a pervert."
"And people love you for it. I love you for it." She looked up, took my hands, held them. "I'm drunk."
"I know." I smiled.
"Everyone knows about you and me, Ken. They did from the very beginning. You made sure of that. You told Hal and Dave and P'nyssa and Aaden. You told my Mom before you told me!" She giggled. "You're not hiding me behind some secret door. Everyone knew I wanted to fuck you a long time before you wanted to fuck me." She put her head down in my nap, nuzzled her cheek against my thigh, the back of her head and her left ear caressing the obvious bulge in my pants.
"But what will you do from here? Who will you fall in love with now?"
"Whoever I want. The same as you. Besides, I've already fallen in love. With you."
"Sure it can," she said. "Just because I can't have you because you have P'nyssa and Aaden doesn't mean we're not gonna love each other f'r ever an' ever." She picked up her head and took the glass, looked at it. "More?"
I poured her a little more and she drank it. "Can you get so drunk you don't know you're gonna get sick but you are?"
"Am I there yet?"
I looked down at her. She was wheeling, the checkered red of her tie oscillating in patterns in my eyes that an AI might have interpreted as obscene. "Might be." I stood up, my back cracking, then picked her up. "You're little, and inexperienced, and so probably as cheap a drunk as I. As me? As I am."
She giggled, looked at herself rested in my arms. "Dave helped you do this."
"Prolly," I said.
"You are drunk," she said.
"You said that already."
"No I didn't."
"Don't argue with daddy," I said. "Shit. Didn't mean to say that."
She giggled. "I like the way you said that."
"You have a father. I like him. He's a good man."
"Yeah," she said as I dropped down the gravitics hole to the bedroom. "But I would still like it if I could call you daddy."
"You're really drunk," I said. "Are you gonna regret that tomorrow?"
"I dunno." She pouted, and I wanted to kiss the pout away, so I did. It was a sloppy kiss, the kind drunk people do. She liked it, giggling, but it wasn't... I don't know.
She laughed as she tossed off her tie, her blouse, her skirt. In seconds, she was naked on the bed, no longer a kit, not quite a full-grown cat, something ineffably in-between, indescribably beautiful. She crawled towards me on the bed, tail held high and waving. She shook her head. "I'm having trouble keeping my balance."
"That happens," I said.
"Take off your clothes."
"Yes'm." I obeyed, tossing aside my kilt and my shirt, my shoes and socks. She watched this all with intoxicated interest, her eyes intense, my thoughts weltered with alcohol. She didn't pounce as she normally would. Instead she slid up along me, caressing her fur along my belly until her face evened with my own. She advanced one leg over mine, straddling my hips.
She pouted again. "You're not hard."
"Does that mean... ?"
"Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't."
"Lemme see." She slid back and took my cock in her mouth, her warm tongue slithering about its soft, textured procrastination. I couldn't will it into hardness as much as I might have wanted, but she had no such resistance. Blood fled from heedless corners of my body to supply the erection that came on strong and hot as the summer storms above the Castle. She soon had my member standing with the kind of pride reserved for beautiful girls.
Without pausing for permission she rose up and straddled my hips once more, plunging herself down onto my cock. She was a sea of desire, wet and comforting, and my cock knew her insides as a haven of safety. The slick chamber of her cunt welcomed me. I was drunk but I knew what was asked of me here.
She rose up, then plunged down again. It was the kind of rhythm that could only happen between familiars. Her mouth was open, her eyes a vortex of expression, and I was sinking into her, her eyes, her cunt, her mouth, lost to the kitten need of this beautiful young woman. I thought, once upon a time I could have destroyed her but I didn't. Instead, I sent her somewhere, made her into something different. My hands reached up for her thighs and her ears fell. "Ken..."
She shook her head. "Just... tiring."
"Let me," I said. "We're wired for this kind of thing, we men." I guided her down to the familiar mattress where between us a million words of love had already been borne. She opened for me, an orchid framed in black to be shafted by my desire. She was eager. So was I. She bore my weight eagerly as I plummeted into her, crushed her, held her down. She was mine now. I withdrew and plunged, withdrew and plunged, repeating an act that ridiculed cruelty with parody by sending her into ecstacy. She moaned my name as she came, her lissome legs pulling upwards, inviting me deeper. We were already deeper, our hearts conjoined by our commonality of purpose. It was clear then: Aaden, P'nyssa, they sustain me: Tylia is me.
In that moment of realization we both disappeared into the rapture of climax, each of us alone, both of us convicted of our togetherness. I held her, nuzzled her fur, caressed her soft little ear, murmured love into her. She gasped, looked up at me, her eyes alight. She had felt it, she had seen it. I smiled. She knew the truth as well as I did. "Ken..."
"I think I need to... " Her eyes suddenly slitted. I knew. I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the bathroom where she emptied the contents of her stomach into the throne. I knelt next her and asked Dave to SDisk as much of the offending material away as possible. He silently agreed to do everything he could, then mentioned giving her a hangover relief. Be about it then, I told him.
He laughed in my head.
In a few minutes the care and medicine took hold and she stood up, her eyes tired. "I don't think I want to do that again."
"Me neither," I muttered. "I feel awful."
"You didn't get sick," she said.
"No," I agreed. "Go rinse your mouth. The acids'll hurt your teeth if you don't."
She did as I said, then followed me back into bed. "Ken..." she said. "I'm sorry."
"I think... I think I felt my psi get loose in there."
"Did it feel good?" I asked.
She nodded. I could tell she was miserable with the confession. I guided her back to the bedroom and into bed, then lay beside her and held her close. "I didn't feel anything like psi in there," I said, not sure if I believed my own words or not. "And you have my permission to do whatever you feel with me. I trust you, Tylia, as much as you trust me."
"No 'buts', young lady." She pouted, angry at me. I could see what was going on in her head. Didn't I understand? Of course I did. She had raw talent that could fire up a man for his future-- or crush him utterly under the weight of failures yet to come. Everyone had those hopes and fears, and she knew she could feed them... if only she knew how. She knew now only how to overwhelm a fen with whatever was already overwhelming-- hope or fear. She took the greatest of risks with me, betting that I had more of the former than of the latter. She had been right.
"But you're drunk."
"Doesn't change who I am. Did it change who you are?" She shook her head. "There, see?" I kissed her forehead. "Now go to sleep." She snuggled down next to me.
To me, there's always the question of the Tylia that might have been if she had never met me. I like the person she has become and so do most people who have met her, and so does she. But that still doesn't ease the question of who she might have been, had she had a chance at a normal life.
As if there were such a thing.