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830 I Make This Look Easy


About HinderToyBL

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  1. Chapter 4

    Yes, in spite of the different species and cultures, all of our stories are humane at heart. Many heartfelt moments and, hopefully, several funny ones along the way.
  2. Chapter 18

    If all goes well, the final chapter SHOULD be up soon (within the next couple of days soon). Keeping my fingers crossed.
  3. Chapter 18

    Sneaking Finian into the Montcroix estate in a way that the others wouldn't see him was not as complicated as the group had previously thought. Without thinking about it twice, Fin showed them the way through the window of Alistair's childhood room. Raj then led them to a guest room where they wouldn't be disturbed. Jack approached his friend cautiously. "You want a shower?" the teen asked. "Maybe some clean clothes? And I'll let Al know we're here. He'll be really glad to see you." Finian felt as if someone held his heart in a tight grip at the mention of Alistair. He gave a slow nod. "I'll go find him some of my clothes to change into," Lee suggested as he rushed over to the room he shared with his mates. Before the young man realized it, he found himself being sprayed by hot water. Despite the temperature and despite how hard he scrubbed himself everywhere, Finian still felt as if Elder Galamin's essence still clung to his body somehow. He would have stayed under the shower long enough for the hot water to be used up, but Lee'en knocked on the bathroom door and called for him. Finian dried himself off and wrapped a towel around his waist before opening the bathroom door to let the pink-haired Unicorn inside. He was relieved to see that the clothes consisted of a pair of boxers, cargos, and a shirt with a hooded vest attached to it. They felt as comfortable as they looked. Thank you, he signed to the Unicorn. You're welcome. Lee'en signed back. Though his knowledge of sign language wasn't as advanced as Jack and Fin's, he had learned quite a bit of it during the two years he spent with them. When they first met, he had no other way of communicating with Jack otherwise, after all. "How is he doing?" Alistair's voice drifted through the door. "Do you think he'll be out soon? I don't want to burst in there. I know he likely needs a little time to wrap his head around everything. Not seeing him is killing me. Are you sure it was right for me not to go to him right away, Jack?" "Yeah," Fin heard his best friend answer. "Just give him a chance to realize he's safe and get his head wrapped around that. He's not gonna like it if everybody hovers over him." Once again, Finian felt as if his heart was being squeezed too tightly. He swayed on the spot, unused to the sensation of losing his balance. But, Lee'en was right there to steady him. "Hey, just say the word, and you don't have to see him," Lee offered. "Do you want him here?" Finian gave a sharp nod and stepped out of the bathroom. "Fin!" Alistair stood up from the bed and took two quick steps toward the teen before stopping, clearly wanting to sweep the human into his arms but afraid it wouldn't be welcome. "I can't tell you how good it is to see you." The Nightmare looked like he hadn't slept in days. His cobalt hair was a mess, and there were dark circles under his eyes. Finian reached over, before even realizing it, and gently tugged on a section of Alistair’s hair. He then held that lock to the side of his face as tears began to fall from his eyes. The Nightmare looked torn for a moment, his hands hovering over Finian for long moments before gathering the teen close and tucking him under his chin. "You're alright now," Alistair soothed. "You're safe. It's going to be alright. I swear it." Finian's fingers curled into Al's shirt as he clutched the fabric. He merely continued to weep. The sound of Alistair's voice felt like an oasis after being hopelessly lost in a desert. "I'm so sorry, Fin." Alistair's voice broke. "It's my fault...I should have been there. I should have protected you. I didn't watch over you. I knew the Elders were corrupt. I should have known they would have tried something." The Nightmare's tears made silvery tracks down his cheeks. "They hurt you because of me. This all happened because of me." The human's eyes widened, and he tugged the shirt down hard. "N-No!" He gasped, speaking out loud for the first time in over 48 hours. "Don't say that..." "This was HIS fault and his fault only!" Finian suddenly growled. Then, as quickly as the anger rose up, sorrow engulfed him. "A-Al...I lost the promise mark," he confessed in a low whisper. Lee'en spoke up immediately. "That's impossible. Once a promise mark appears, it doesn't go away. It might fade or hide, but it's still there." He walked over to Jack and shamelessly lifted the green-eyed man's shirt. "See here? It only solidifies into its richest hue after a complete mating or maitings..." He trailed off and frowned when he realized that Jack's mark wasn't the vivid green he had expected after having mated with Raj. The pink-haired unicorn stroked the skin over where the marking was laid, and his lips formed a tight line. "Jack Kierny, you have some explaining to do." At the sound of slight distress he heard in his peony's voice, Raj walked over and peered at the promise mark over Jack's heart, as well. "Only two of the arrows are a solid, olive hue...the heart should be as deep a hazel as Jack's eyes," he explained. "Are we missing a mate?" "Raj and I aren't enough!?" Lee huffed, his cheeks poofing up like a child as he folded his arms over his chest and turned away. "Of course you're enough," Jack answered quickly. "You know I love you guys." The teen looked down at the promise mark and frowned. "I guess I never noticed before." He shook his head. "I'm sure it's nothing big. I'm totally committed to both of you." Jack looked from one of his mates to the other. "You believe me, right?" Raj reached out to gently grab the back of Jack's neck as he pressed a kiss to the human's forehead. "According to your promise mark, it seems you were destined to have three mates," he began as he reached out to gently tug Lee'en towards them. "But, what our lovely peony hasn't come to terms with yet is the fact that it means that both of us were also destined for three mates. Jack and I couldn't possibly be drawn to someone that you wouldn't be drawn to, as well, Lee." Lee'en took a sharp breath through his nose as his lower lip lifted his pout further up his face in a rather funny and childish expression. "It just better not be another full-fledged Nightmare..." he grumbled. "I won't be able to stand so much reasoning and logic." "Pretty sure I balance out most of the reasoning and logic, babe." Jack couldn't help but grin, leaning down to press a kiss to Lee's soft, pouting lips. Lee'en melted into the kiss. If they were meant to have another mate, then he had to cherish the attention he got from Jack before it divided three ways. He then let out a sigh and turned back towards Finian. "As I was trying to explain, the promise mark can't really go away. But, it can hide whenever the carrier's not ready..." he gazed up at Jack as he continued. "And it can remain faded if the mating's incomplete." Finian snuggled further against Alistair's chest as he finally relaxed. "I'm so relieved..." he whispered. "See, love?" Alistair nuzzled Fin's damp hair. "Everything will be fine. I'll wait for when you're ready. Forever, if that's what you need." Finian nodded. "Can we donate all the white sheets in the estate to charity?" He asked softly. "I don't ever want to see another set of white sheets ever again." Alistair blinked but didn't question it. "Of course, I'll have it done immediately." The cobalt Nightmare gave Fin a gentle squeeze. "And whenever you're ready to talk about it, I will always be here." He paused, thinking. "You've been through a lot. It would ease my mind greatly if you would speak to a healer who specializes in the mind and trauma. Would you consider it?" "Yes...I'd like that very much," Finian agreed as more tears gathered in his eyes. "Thank you." "I would do anything for you, love." Alistair stroked the teen's cheeks, catching the wetness and wiping it away. "I'd dye my hair pink as Lee'en's and dance around if I thought it might make you smile." Finian's navy blue eyes widened. "Don't you dare!" He gasped as he reached out to gently tug the ends of Alistair's hair. "It's beautiful as it is." "Allie, I think both you and Finian should get some rest," Raj suggested. "In fact, we all should. There is much at hand, and we should face it with sobriety and restored strength." "That sounds like a very good idea," Alistair agreed. He looked down at Finian. "If you're alright with it, I'd like to rest beside you. If you'd be more comfortable, I'm more than happy to sleep on the couch." "Stay with me, please..." Finian pleaded. He more than trusted Alistair to keep his word. The warmth of his body was also soothing. "Come on, sweety-pies." Jack threw one arm around Lee's shoulder and the other around Raj's waist. "Five's a crowd." "And four's not?" Lee'en scoffed as they headed toward their shared room. "You've yet to tell us who this potential new mate is. You had to have come across him recently." "I don't know!" Jack hunched his shoulders. He hated feeling like he was making one of his mates, or maybe even both of them, unhappy. "I met some new people at the farm. Oh, and that cute little chef..." The human stopped in his tracks. "Crap. Umm, how do you tell if someone's your mate again?" "Chef?" Lee'en muttered to himself. Raj, however, placed a supportive hand on Jack's shoulder. "Usually by an irresistible scent," he explained. "Lovely scents, especially strong ones broadcasted by Maidens are quite the lure." "I...He smelled like food. He was really cute, though." Jack appeared somewhat bewildered as he looked up at Raj. "He was the only reason I got Fin out. Shit, he's still there! What if he's supposed to be with us and I left him behind?" Raj tugged Jack into a tight embrace. "Then, we'll retrieve him. The three of us...together," he suggested. "If he helped you and Fin out, I guess we should try to get him out, too," Lee'en grudgingly admitted, as well. "I love you, both of you." Jack yanked Lee into a group hug, with the human holding Lee'en and Raj holding both of them. "You know that, right?" A devious smirk formed on Lee's face. "We'd know that even more if you showed us you did," he teased as he tugged Raj and Jack's wrists and dragged them into their room. "Right, Colossus?" "Absolutely," Raj responded, not missing a beat. "Perhaps by having you between us?" "Mmm," Jack hummed happily. "I could get behind that, and in front of that. Yum." Lee'en gracefully leaped onto the bed, pulling his shirt off in the same fluid motion. He drew the gazes of both his mates as he trailed his fingers up his chest and over soft pink nipples. "On my back or all fours?" He asked Jack. "Ahn," Jack gasped, pushing on the bulge that had suddenly appeared at the front of his pants. "Fuck, baby. You're going to make me cum in my pants and embarrass myself or faint from the blood suddenly rushing to my cock. That would probably be embarrassing, too. Feel free to enjoy my unconscious body, though." Raj let out a low chuckle. "You could never embarrass yourself in front of us, love," he insisted as he walked over and helped Lee'en tug off his pants. When he returned his heated gaze to the hazel-eyed man, his voice fell another octave. "You should know by now that we'd be up for anything you'd like to do." "Damn, I'm so taking you up on that sometime. Fuck, you're hot. I think right now I want to do our sweet pinky and have you do me." Jack's cheek flushed, his breaths coming faster as he tore off his shirt, flinging it away from himself before whipping off his pants. "First, I want to lick every inch of both of you." Lee'en quickly stood up on the bed and all but forcefully tugged Raj's shirt off. "You heard him, get nekkid!" The mixed Nightmare couldn't help but chuckle once again as he rid himself of the rest of his clothing. As Jack clambered onto the bed and headed towards Lee'en, Raj came up behind him and began to gently rub the human's shoulders and neck. Jack practically purred at the touch as the human pinned his pink-haired lover beneath him to nibble Lee's throat. It was amazing to him how he felt between them. Lee'en made Jack feel protective, dominant, and somehow tender. Raj brought out the opposite in him. When the human was with both of them, the feelings didn't clash. The combination of submission and dominance, protector and protected, top and bottom left his body and mind thrumming with pleasure and excitement before they had even shucked their clothes. "God, you're so fucking perfect," Jack moaned as he nibbled south to catch a pert pink nipple in his mouth. "I want to eat you up and make you scream." Lee's legs were already wrapped around Jack's waist, grinding against him while he still could. "I don't think you'll be able to get me to shut up after you start!" He confessed. Raj's large hands continued to make their way down his path was blocked by Lee's crossed legs, but one mindful tap urged the Unicorn to spread his legs on either side of them. The mixed Nightmare made his way right down to the human's gorgeous ass, kneading and squeezing the flesh to his heart's content. Jack groaned, arching his back and rolling his hips, pushing into his larger mate's skilled touch before the human rubbed his dripping length against Lee's, nibbling and nipping the pink Unicorn's nipples hungrily. The look on Lee's face was of sensual abandon. He breathed through his mouth, and his eyes were low-lidded, the magenta irises nearly darkening to a red hue. His fingers and nails raked through Jack's hair and scalp as he moaned appreciatively after every suck and bite. "Jack!" Raj bit his lower lip as he watched the interaction with hungry eyes. The two lovely men beneath him belonged to him, just as he belonged to them. He slid his thumb across the Ares crest on Jack's right shoulder blade, sending a shock of sensual pleasure through the human's body. The human shivered, his cock throbbing. Jack shoved Lee'en upwards on the bed. The human wiggled his ass at Raj as he sucked Lee's perfect pink tip, moaning at the taste. The mixed Nightmare let out a low growl as he gave one of Jack's cheeks a sharp slap. He shifted into his faun form and drew a finger along his long shaft to gather some of the natural lubrication. Raj then reached down to wrap his hand around Jack's member and began to stroke it ever so slowly. Lee'en whimpered as he squirmed. He didn't care if he released too early. All he cared about was the sight of his mates before him and the sensation of Jack's lips on his flesh. "More!" He begged. "Ah, fuck, I'll give you all you can take if Raj will slap my ass some more," Jack gasped out, bucking into Raj's fist while flicking his tongue teasingly up and down Lee's hot shaft. "Think you can convince him, baby?" The pink-haired Unicorn didn't need to be told twice. "Celestials...Raj, you better slap him till his butt's as red as a strawberry!" He demanded. Raj snickered. "As you command, my peony," he purred. After every few strokes, his hand came down on one butt cheek and then the other in tandem. Jack yelped, his eyelids fluttering. The human took a deep breath and threw his mouth onto Lee'en's cock. Every moan and cry vibrated the pink-haired Unicorn in delicious torment. Jack widened his legs wantonly. Every smack seemed to go straight through the human's balls and zinging straight up the teen's shaft. Jack delighted in the lurid sound of Raj's pumping fist getting wetter and wetter from the precum dribbling from the human's tip. Lee'en could barely take the sound of Raj's hand coming into contact with Jack's plush backside in conjunction with the heat of the human's mouth around his fully hardened cock. "Yes!" He cried out as both his hands clutched the back of Jack's head. "I just...I...ugh!" He gave a thrust into Jack's mouth. Raj continued his pattern of alternating butt cheeks, but his hand shifted its hold so that his fingers swooped over the tip of Jack's shaft with every upward stroke. "Such lovely sounds, Lee." Jack sucked hard, moaning as Raj squeezed his shaft tight while delivering a quick series of thudding thwacks to the human's lovely ass. The teen shuddered, clutching Lee'en's thighs as he nearly saw stars as he shot all over Raj's talented fingers. Lee'en himself all but blasted his seed down the back of Jack's throat. "Ahn!" The Unicorn keened as his fingers tightened against the human's scalp. "Yes, loves," Raj rumbled, feeling content. "Such a lovely sight." Though he had yet to cum himself, he had more patience than the two of his mates combined. Jack slumped forward, going immediately into cuddle mode and wrapping his arms around Lee'en's waist as he nuzzled the petite Unicorn's chest. Lee'en kissed the top of his mate's head. "Mmm...you never answered my earlier question, Jack," he urged. "Do you want me on my back or all fours? Raj's still waiting." "And I'll wait for as long as it takes, my peony," the mixed Nightmare, who was still in faun form, replied. "Gah, fuck. Too sexy, gonna die," Jack moaned, his cock twitching with interest despite the orgasm that was still sending delicious aftershocks through his body. "Back, baby. Gotta see your perfect face and kiss that pretty pout some more." "Then stay where you both are," Raj suggested as he leaned down to press his horn against the heart crest on Lee's forehead. Both their magic mixed for a moment before a wave of intense pleasure rolled over the Unicorn and human. Though they had both released but a moment before, their bodies responded almost immediately to it. Jack gasped, back arching as he slid up Lee's body to catch the Unicorn's lips. Something hard and hot nudged at Lee'en's thigh. "You want to shift, sugar?" Jack purred, nipping at the pink-haired man's full lower lip. "Because I'm going to fuck you so hard while Raj is pounding into me..." Lee'en felt his heart race at the very thought. For once, he said nothing and merely nodded as he shifted into his faun form and once again spread his legs wide for him. Jack grinned ferally, leaning down to devour Lee's mouth. The human swiped his fingers through the cum smeared across his Unicorn's chest and stomach, then grasped Lee'en's hard shaft. Jack stroked and pumped, gathering his faun lover's precum in his other hand. The human kept stroking as he began slicking Lee's entrance. By that point, Lee'en was panting. He bucked into Jack's hand eager to have the human inside him. "Please, Jack...I don't need much prepping in this form. Just get in me!" He urged. The human's cock jumped as a surge of lust shot through him. Jack wasted no time, lining himself up. He caught Lee's eyes, pinning the Unicorn with the intensity of his gaze as he breached the willing body beneath him, not stopping until he was completely buried in Lee'en's hot depths. It took everything Lee had not to wrap his legs around Jack. He reached over to take hold of the back of Jack's neck, tugging him into a hard kiss. While his two loves kissed, Raj took some more of the natural lubricant off his cock and gently slid a finger inside Jack. A second and third finger followed as he diligently worked the flesh open. Though the slickness of his shaft eliminated any concerns about friction, it would still be quite the stretch due to its size. Jack moaned into Lee's mouth, torn between pushing back onto Raj's fingers and holding himself deep inside his pink-haired mate. The human ended up circling his hips, gasping when Raj's fingers skimmed his sweet spot. A smirk tugged the corner of the mixed Nightmare’s lips as he continued to rake his fingers along the same sensitive area. “How does that feel, my pumpkin?” He asked while Lee’en squirmed beneath them. "Hnn, not deep enough, hard enough," Jack groaned. "Not enough like your cock." "What he said!" Lee'en agreed readily. "Get to the shoving so I can have it deep and hard, too!" He practically ordered. Raj chuckled and continued to stretch the human to his liking. "I think that will be enough to get through," he mused out loud as he gave a few gentle thrusts in order to slip the head of his large faun flesh into Jack's entrance. He waited but a second before sliding further and further into the depths with a low, husky moan. Jack sucked in a breath, not realizing he was holding it until his head spun. The human groaned as Raj sheathed his impressive length deep inside him. Jack wriggled, trying to tempt his big mate to be a bit less slow and careful with the teen. Jack's chest heaved as he pulled in air and peeked over his shoulder. "That's a shame," Jack smirked, eyes twinkling and voice rough. "But I understand if you are too tired to fuck me so hard I'll feel it for days. Just take it at your own pace, sweetheart. Do you want me to be on top? Lee could sit in my lap, and we'll do all the work." Jack had to turn away to hide his ridiculous grin, tipping his head down to whisper in Lee'en's ear. "Better brace yourself, baby." Raj let out a low, rumbling growl as he held the headboard with both hands. "You'll feel it for three days, my loves," he warned just before he pulled half out and back in again. The flesh that surrounded him felt so tight that it was a wonder how it gave way for his large rod to pierce its way through. Jack's brain short-circuited for several heartbeats. His irises rolled toward the ceiling, lost behind half-dropped lids as a ragged moan fell from his lips. He felt strangely languid and electrified at the same time. There was something about Raj's power over him made him feel safe and loved. And turned on. If Jack hadn't cum once, already, he'd have been embarrassing himself by going off like a rocket with that first impaling thrust. "Yes, yes!" Lee keened as he felt Jack move through Raj's momentum. "Harder, Colossus, I wanna feel more of him!" He urged. The older man complied, his hips snapping with each of his fierce thrusts. His movements were so deep that his balls brushed against Jack's skin. Lewd gasps and grunts fell from Jack's lips with every slam of Raj's hips. The human's head was floating in a euphoric buzz. He clutched the sheets above Lee'en's head, locking his arms to brace himself, so the pounding didn't throw him forward across the bed. Jack let every thrust transfer to Lee, who was clutching him tightly. Jack wasn't going to simply cum, he thought wildly, he was going to fly apart like a dandelion fluff caught in a tornado. Lee'en lifted and bent himself enough to be able to catch one of Jack's nipples in his mouth. He gave it a gentle bite and a tug, dragging his tongue over the tip afterward. But, then Raj's thrusts increased in intensity and he was barely able to lift his head through the force of it. "Celestials!" the Unicorn cried out as he suddenly spurted right between his lower body and Jack's. Raj lifted his broad hand, bringing it down with a loud thwack against Jack's already reddened backside as Lee tightened rhythmically around him. A strangled cry fell from the teen's lips as his cock swelled, twitching and spurting as he followed Lee'en over the edge. The mixed Nightmare gave a few final rough thrusts that drew forth sounds from both his mates and then released hard into the human beneath him. Raj held his body above theirs for a moment, and then slowly shifted off of Jack. The larger man then placed a kiss on Lee and Jack's foreheads and laid beside his two lovers, draping a long arm around them both. Jack slipped from Lee'en's warm body with a soft moan, squirming into a comfortable position with his sated lovers. He snuggled in happily, eyes closed. "Mmmm, love you guys," Jack murmured. "Lots and lots." "As do I," Raj responded in his deep voice. Lee'en gave a loud yawn and snuggled closer. "Ditto," he agreed. :::::: After a shared warm bath in a tub that was plenty large enough for the both of them, Alistair and Finian helped dried each other off. Finian had tensed up for a brief moment, but he relaxed into the Nightmare's touch. The human then dried and brushed out Alistair's long hair. Every time his fingers ran along the lovely indigo strands, he felt at peace. The Nightmare noted as much, so he allowed Fin to take as long as he wished. When the human finally placed the brush down, the fleur-de-lis marking on Alistair's forehead glowed a bright cobalt as the older man used magic to finish drying his hair. When they were through with the bathroom, they walked over to the bedroom, and the Montcroix laid out a soft set of pajamas for Finian to wear before pulling on a pair of pajama pants himself. Finian dressed himself quietly, feeling strange moments of guilt and frustration, along with a tiny tendril of fear. But, when the two of them laid down on the bed, Alistair was careful not to brush against Fin. The platinum-haired man turned to look at the Nightmare. With a trembling hand, he took Alistair's hand and lifted it to his lips, pressing a kiss to it. The scent of the older man hit his senses...freshly baked bread, spices, and wine. It soothed him deep inside and caused a burn in his chest. "Ah!" Finian hissed, which caused Alistair to sit up immediately and look him over. "Finian! What's wrong? Where does it hurt?" The Nightmare gasped, his hands hovering above Finian's form, as if afraid to touch him and make the pain worse. The human unbuttoned a few of the buttons on his pajama top, where his navy blue compass promise mark glowed. Tears began to brim in Fin's eyes. "Lee was right," he whispered in awe. "I was just so ashamed of what happened...I wasn't able to keep my promise, so I thought..." "Finian Fair," Alistair growled as he carefully took hold of one of the human's hands. "I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Yes, I was able to find you because you were a Maiden. But, that status itself means nothing to me. I love you. I love who you are. Your grace, your kindness, and even your scent will always draw me in." Finian's tears rolled down his cheek as he sat up, but before he was able to say a word, Alistair pressed Finian's hand against his bare chest, right over his heart. "Would you please mark me, Finian?" Alistair urged. "Even if we are never able to fully consummate our mating, I want everyone to know that you are the only one for me." The younger man took a shuddering breath as a warmth seeped through his hand. When he lifted it, his intricate navy blue compass was displayed on Alistair's tanned skin, more solid and saturated than he had ever seen it. He wiped away his tears with the back of his hand and leaned over to press a tender kiss on the marking. Alistair nearly bit his tongue at the rush of pleasure that permeated from that innocent kiss. He had never realized just how potent a mating mark could be. Matings were such a private manner that no one had ever told him just how powerful the markings could be. So, he held himself as still as possible and hoped to the cosmos that his shaft wouldn't awaken any further. "Do you mark me now?" Finian asked in a nervous voice as a blush streaked across his nose and cheeks. But, the older man nodded in affirmation. "Our kind can't overlay a mating mark over one that is already there...so, we usually avoid marking the face," he explained. "But, if a human wears another's mating mark on their forehead as their own crest..." he continued as he gently placed his hand over Finian's forehead. "It is an ancient honor that has long been forgotten. It can only be bestowed by royals to bestow the family name onto a human intended." Finian felt a tingling warmth on his forehead that lasted even after Alistair removed his hand. Though he couldn't see it, he knew without a shadow of a doubt that a cobalt fleur-de-lis now rested there. He reached up a few fingers to touch it and felt a strange rush of energy. "Finian Montcroix," Alistair announced. "We are officially mates." The younger man wrapped his arms around the Nightmare's shoulders in a tight hug. "I love you," he whispered into Alistair's ear. After a moment, he pulled back in a sudden movement and gasped. "Won't Mother Penelope be upset that we did all this without telling her again?" A shiver rolled down Alistair's spine, but he assured Finian that she would understand...eventually. Still energized from the exchange of markings, the two of them talked of things that Finian had missed. The Nightmare told him of Synan making fast friends with Felix, and how both Synan and Quinton were ready to join them in any of their endeavors. He even told him how Habacuc had crossed over his father, Robert, from Fin's old dimension to theirs. They talked for hours before the human finally gave in to a restful sleep. Alistair gently rubbed Finian's back, feeling a mixture of amusement and relief when the human subconsciously snuggled up to him. The poor thing was exhausted. Though Al hoped that Finian would rest peacefully the entire night, he was glad to be in a position that allowed him to calm Finian down should he awaken with any fitful dreams. Matings were a mystery in many aspects...it could help ground all the intendeds involved, or it could strain under the pressure of a mating built on hatred. The Nightmare would never regret his decision of asking Finian to mark him that night. A lot would be at stake that following morning, after all. :::::: Elder Galamin was seated at his cherry wood desk. He held a letter beneath his green lamp. As he continued to read it, the corners of his lips tugged upwards into a vicious smile. Elder Galamin, It has come to my attention that you've been untoward with my grandson Alistair's current mate. You know as well as I that Maidens are to be treated with respect, especially humans that have chosen to cross over into our world. It is the one ancient rule that has persisted to this day, and you have dishonored him in the foulest of manners without offering him anything worthwhile in return. Let us speak about this matter in person. signed Armand Montcroix The aged Unicorn stood up and fixed his suit as he walked out of his study. He couldn't remember the last time he felt so pleased. Galamin was quite eager to see Armand Montcroix face to face after so many years. :::: As he waited for Galamin to meet with him at the restaurant, Armand's concern over his beloved grandson and his mate could be read all over his mature and handsome face. The Nightmare was the tallest of the Montcroix. His shoulders were wide, but his frame was a bit slimmer than in his youth when he sported quite the musculature. His eyes were the same cobalt hue as Alistair's. But, his hair was a non-reflective black with silver tips that fell just below the nape of the neck in straight strands. The crest on his forehead was a cobalt new moon with lines dashing around it as if it were eclipsed. Armand's thoughts drifted to the moments before he set up the meeting in the restaurant's most private room. - The retired head of the Montcroix had found Alistair at the door of the Healer who had attended Finian. The Healer was one of the best in all of Zirao Zion and was also a certified therapist... "Are you sure you don't need me to be in there with you? I would cancel all of my other plans with just a word," Alistair insisted. "I'll be fine," Fin responded as he stood on the tips of his toes to give the Nightmare a soft kiss. The smile the human gave him was forced as he tried to put on a brave face. Their attention was then drawn to the Healer. "Master Finian will be in safe hands," Healer Nigel pointed out. Finian gave Alistair a quick hug before finally walking into the room with the Healer. Alistair watched him go with a torn expression on his face. As Armand looked on, he felt his heart break for his grandson's woes. "Come with me, Allie," Armand urged as he led them to the library, where many were already gathered Quinton was there, along with two Elders that were the most loyal to the Montcroix. Armand's three daughters were there, along with their mates. Lucien and Habacuc were also there. They were all pouring over old and new legal documents that would hopefully help them reinstate their royal power. - A disturbing expression of cruel joy was firmly planted on Elder Galamin's face as he entered the private room. "To what do I owe this pleasure?" He asked in a nearly gleeful manner. Armand Montcroix merely frowned. :::: Lee'en paced around in his empty room. He had awoken to find that both of his mates were gone. They left him a note saying that they'd return soon. But, in the pink Unicorn's gut, he could feel that the two lugheads were doing something dangerous...perhaps somethin like storming Elder Galamin's mansion without him! Feeling frustrated, he barged out of the room they shared and froze in his tracks when he heard some familiar voices down the hall. "They're not gonna know what to look for!" "Then we'll have to find our own way of sneaking into that freakshow's mansion!" The Unicorn puffed up his chest and burst his way into the room, to the surprise of Felix and Synan, who were both gaping openly at him. "Whatever it is you two are doing, I'm so in!" he all but demanded. :::: Jack didn't expect to be so lucky that the kitchen door would be open again, yet it swung open, and he stepped inside Galamin's home, unseen. He crept carefully, fighting the urge to call for the lovely chef that had helped him before. His absence made worry burn in Jack's gut, though he knew it could simply be Vilas's day off or he could be off doing something else. He frowned, unable to shake the bad feeling, deciding to follow the path Vilas had taken to get to Finian. The human hoped he might come across the chef along the way. He needed Vilas to help him deactivate the alarms so the others could get in without as much trouble. "Be grateful that the Elder got what he wanted even after you let the human escape!" "Yeah, we're lettin' ya off easy!" Jack's eyes widened as he carefully made his way over to the sound of the voices. He peeked his head around the corner just as two of Galamin's thugs marched out of a room and headed towards the yard. The hazel-eyed human let out a sigh of relief that they didn't head his way and quickly rushed over to that same door. The chef was dangling from the ceiling with ropes, but his ankles were cuffed together. The lovely face was marred with bruises and swelling. Blood trickled down a corner of his swollen lips. Though the rest of his body was covered with his uniform, Jack was certain that there were many more injuries hidden beneath them. "Shit," the human hissed, sudden rage bubbling in his chest as he rushed over to the young chef. "Vilas, I'll get you out of here. Dammit, I never should have left you behind." The mixed Unicorn let out a soft grunt as he opened his only un-swollen eye. "The human's thief friend?" He wondered out loud, feeling a bit out of it. "Yeah, Jack, remember?" The human pulled out a slender dagger Raj had given him and carefully wrapped an arm around Vilas's slender waist. "I've got you, sweetheart," Jack said gently, reaching up to slash the ropes attaching Vilas to the ceiling. The chef slumped against Jack. He caught the strangest scent of pumpkin pie and the thought of food made him remember a few things. "The soufflé! It's surely charred by now..." He grumbled. "Damn, honey, fuck the souffle," Jack said in a gentler tone than his words implied. "We'll get you out of here and take you home. I'll get you any ingredients you want to make whatever you want. I promise." The teen held Vilas to his chest, wanting nothing more than to get the poor chef to a healer then tucked in his bed next to Lee'en. Lee would make Vilas feel better. Seeing the chef so broken made Jack want to shut the petite pair in a room with Raj guarding the door and Jack barring the window. As the mixed Unicorn's mind slowly regained its senses, Vilas realized something. "I can't walk properly in these," he pointed out with a cough due to his dry throat. "And you can't carry me out of here...the alarm system..." "Shit, yeah." Jack set Vilas down on a nearby chair as though he were made of glass. "Is there a key to these?" he asked hopefully. "And can you help me disarm the alarm?" Vilas held onto his knees as if he were using his arms to keep his upper body propped up. He let out a low hiss at the pain that continued to shoot through his arms, since his muscles were stiff from being in the same position for so long with limited blood flow. "Yes, alarm...more important..." He thought about the few times other Elders had to pass through the doors with Nightmares in tow. "The screen is on the wall in the hallway after you make a left. There are symbols on it, crests that look like letters of the alphabet...I know the code." "Looks like I get to carry you at least a little," Jack announced, carefully lifting Vilas into his arms. "I'm not fucking leaving you behind again. I'll punch in the damn code with my toes if I have to. Help me keep an eye out for assholes until we can get the cavalry in here." The skinny chef couldn't remember the last time he was carried. When he was a toddler, perhaps? If the situation weren't so dangerous, he'd openly argue. "There's the screen over there," he whispered when they approached. "I can stand, just set me down near the wall." Vilas leaned back against the wall, trying his best to fight the odd dizzy moments of lost equilibrium he felt. "Alright, the letters should be displayed on the screen already, A through Z. Just press the letters in the order A-r-m-a-n-d and that should do it." "That's it? The alarms are off?" Jack asked. When Vilas nodded, the human scooped him up again and hurried furtively toward the kitchen, eyes and ears peeled for anyone who might try to stop them. "Then I'm getting you the fuck out of here. Our people are watching the building, just waiting for my signal." "Your people?" Vilas questioned as he was once again picked up. Their luck ran out when a group of Elder Galamin's men headed back into the mansion after their lunch break. They rushed over to them immediately. Jack quickly sat Vilas down on the ground behind him and turned back around to defend him. Both of Hazeth's sisters immediately began to attack two of the Unicorn guards, and Raj punched out the Unicorn that was the closest to Jack and Vilas. "My pumpkin, are you alright?" Raj questioned as he took Jack's face in his hands and assessed him for damage. Jack's eyes widened when he saw yet another Unicorn guard rushing towards Raj. "Watch-!" But, before he was able to finish his warning, he was treated to the glorious sight of an airborne Lee'en smashing the bottom of his combat boot against the side of the attacker's face in an incredibly high kick. Jack never knew that the pink-haired unicorn could even jump that high. Though the chef could barely see through his only un-swollen eye, goosebumps rolled over his skin at what he was hearing and sensing around him. Vilas heard more than he saw two wild women defending their brother. The only reason he knew they were related was because they kept declaring things like 'leave my vagabond brother alone!' On the other side, Vil could have sworn that he heard the sound of men fighting for their lives. "Are you crazy?" Lee'en chastised his tallest mate. "I'm glad you protected Jack, but you have to watch your own back as well, you big lug!" "My deepest apologies, my peony," Raj responded. "Wait, what are you even doing here?" Jack asked aloud. Lee'en snorted. "Oh please. Like I would really allow the two of you to leave me behind just like that." He pointed out a bush several yards away from the group's original hiding spot. "Sy, Felix, and I were right over there the whole time." "Felix, you say?" Lucien asked in an icy tone of voice as he approached them. The area behind the Scholar was littered with unconscious men. "And just where is my young, careless mate?" Lee'en rubbed the back of his neck in a nervous gesture. "Right, about that..." :::: "If my memory's not all fucked up, I think Galamin's study is down this hall," Synan whispered to Felix. The two of them had snuck into the mansion from a side entrance while the rest of the gang distracted the Elder's thugs. Felix looked around before scooting over to a desk and yanking open the first drawer he touched. "What are we looking for?" he asked, holding up a packet of papers and flipping through it. "Anything that sounds real shifty," Synan responded as he dug through his own pile. "Found one! Look at this...a contract that actually allows Elders to pick off Nightmares off the streets for their own enjoyment!" He growled as he clutched the sheets tightly enough to wrinkle them. The two of them managed to find other nefarious contracts and receipts and gathered them all up. Just as they were heading out the door, they walked right into a very tall and handsome Nightmare. Lucien Montrcroix hefted Felix over his shoulder. "It's time to evacuate," The Scholar insisted. "We found a valuable witness that will make taking the Elders down an easy process." "And we found these documents!" Synan added as he held up several file folders. "Lucy!" Felix hissed, struggling. "You're embarrassing me in front of all the hot fighty-type guys!" Lucien didn't hesitate to give the younger Nightmare a slap on the backside. "You have much to answer for, Felix Elliocutious Montrcroix," he rumbled. "And even more to apologize for, like the damn near heart attack I had when I heard your name fall from Lee's lips out on the field. Do you have any idea of the fear I felt just then?" "Yeah, I fucking do!" Felix shouted. "That's about how I felt when you just announced that you'd be coming in here as part of the first bastards in!" The teen's voice dropped as he stopped struggling. "You didn't even talk to me about it. You just pretty much said, 'Hey, I'm going to go do this really dangerous thing. See you later. Here, have a kiss, that makes it all okay. Bye.'" Felix rubbed angrily at his stinging eyes. "And Fin is my friend. Nobody will tell me what happened to him, but it was something bad. I'm not stupid, even if everybody older than me seems to think so. You think I could look him in the face if I didn't do something against the fuckers who hurt him?" Lucien immediately set Felix onto his feet. He wiped away the rest of his tears with his larger thumbs and bent down on one knee to give the younger man an apologetic kiss and to look him in the eye. "I'm sorry. You have every right to be angry. I meant to protect you, not exclude you. Will you forgive me?" Synan blushed at the sight and focused his attention around them, looking out for any other possible employees under Galamin. He hoped the couple figured things out. He was really getting to like them as friends. "You'll have to prove you're sorry," Felix pouted, crossing his arms. "And promise you won't do it again." The teen sighed, looking around and seeing Jack and Raj rushing their people out of the building. Most were dragging the unconscious bodies of Galamin's men. "But you can think about the best way to apologize and do it later," Felix announced. "We gotta bounce." Lucien smiled before lifting Felix back into his arms, this time in bridal style. "Agreed," he affirmed as Synan led the way back out. Jack waited until the bodies of all of Elder Galamin's Unicorn thugs were hidden inside the mansion. When asked where the rest of Galamin's employees were, Vilas explained that most of them were shopping for supplies and food. When the Montcroix crew was out of range once again, the human snuck back inside to the alarm panel. He entered the code that Vilas had given him to turn all the alarms back on, which was simply Galamin's name spelled out. When it was time to reunite with the crew, Jack didn't spare a backward glance and ran out of the mansion for good. :::: "For a man in my position, a Maiden is of no use to me," Elder Galamin insisted as he regarded Armand's cobalt blue eyes. He was fascinated with the way the Nightmare's pupils shrank with each of his words. "I knew that your young Alistair, your heir, would gain quite the status with a Maiden at his side. A human Maiden? That would have the public changing their opinions of the royals...enough, perhaps, to give Alistair and his human a higher position." "So, you admit that you defiled that innocent young man to stop that from happening?" Armand asked calmly, despite the rage that flashed through his eyes. "Yes," Galamin responded. "However, nothing else will befall your precious grandchildren if you agree to do something for me." "Something for you?" The Nightmare questioned. "Spend one night with me in my mansion," the Elder urged. "One is all that I would ever need. Just you alone." Armand Montcroix's eyes narrowed. "We shall see," he answered. The Unicorn stood up with a smug expression on his face. "Then, I expect your call," he said in parting as he left the restaurant. The aged Nightmare let out a long sigh and waited a good few moments before waving his hand over the glass of water on his table. The water changed to a blue hue before forming into an orb. As Armand tipped the glass so that the orb fell into his large hand, images appeared on the surface of the blue sphere. He had recorded their entire interaction, and it would serve as further evidence against Elder Galamin and any other corrupted Elders in Zirao Zion.
  4. Chapter 28

    We are very glad that others love our characters about as much as we do. Thank you muchly.
  5. Chapter 28

    Yes, the sequel is confirmed.
  6. Chapter 28

    Yes, our goal is to finish the story at chapter 30. But, the sequel is a sure thing...we just have to figure out where to place what event.
  7. Chapter 28

    More like in the sequel, which has quite a few surprises already.
  8. Chapter 28

    Yes, Phen's family definitely used to seeing large families. They'll be more than welcome there.
  9. Chapter 28

    Though it hasn't been mentioned, amidst the crew's travelling, they stop by Phen's planet often. They're not going anywhere for a while until after the babies are born, but they'll definitely stop by Phen's planet to show them off.
  10. Chapter 28

    Yes, they will be born soon. We have charts longer than my arm on those babies, ha ha ha.
  11. Chapter 28

    If I'm not mistaken, only 2 of them are trouble with a capital T. The rest are better behaved, though I can't say the same for their future mates.
  12. Chapter 28

    Yes, it's good to see Etsu reach this point. His maturity's worlds away from what it was at the beginning of the story. Orin and Etsu will raise Liam well...he'll probably be spoiled quite a bit, though, ha ha ha.
  13. Chapter 28

    Overall, the mission had been a success. The Enforcers were at the ready and swooped in to capture the leaders of the Mavit mafia along with many of their followers and soldiers. Kyle's team went in to retrieve Caspin's crew along with the thieves and Loxias. Those with injuries were treated in the Medbay units provided by the Enforcers. But, Adrian insisted that Caspin be treated by the Medbay unit in his own ship since it was far more advanced than those of the Enforcers. Nix went into hysterics at the sight of Caspin in the Medbay. The Civek recognized fatal injuries at a glance, and the Vulpan that was in the tube was barely even alive. He attacked Kyle upon their return and managed to give him a black eye before he was finally held back. The entire crew, including the thieves, Loxias, Sifta, and Liam spent the first several hours in the bay looking over the captain. However, hours became a day. One day became several days. Everyone began to wonder if the unit would be able to heal Caspin at all. ::: "Prince Cameron and his cousin liked the princess. But, the princess was really Irvine in disguise!" Liam read out loud, seated on Sifta's lap. Every day, he would come read captain Caspin stories while he recovered in the Medbay. The little jaguar didn't know if the Vulpan could hear him, but Sifta assured him that Caspin could hear everything. Adrian was lying down on a bed next to the unit. He slept next to Caspin every day. The rest of the Seraglio alternated day after day, since the bed could only fit so many of them. That particular day, Rios and Nix were next to him. Liam finished reading the story, closing it and setting it on his lap. He turned his head to look up at Loxias. "Mr. Fluffy?" The boy fiddled with the book, opening and closing the cover. "When is Mr. Captain gonna wake up?" "When the Medunit finishes healing him," Loxias responded as he gently ruffled the top of the little boy's head. "It could be any day now." "It won't be," whispered Nix, looking up with his yellow-green eye. "He's not waking up. Ever." When tears began to pool in Liam's large, yellow-orange eyes, Sifta spoke up. "Of course, he will," he countered. Adrian and Rios stirred awake at the commotion. "What's going on?" Rios wondered aloud. "Don't lie to him," Nix hissed, standing. "He may be a kid, but he's not stupid. It's cruel to give him hope when there isn't any. If foxie could be healed, he would be by now. The tube's the only thing keeping him alive, and he can't stay in there forever." Adrian felt that comment like a dagger right through his heart. He couldn't even formulate a response. Falorios, however, drew his attention elsewhere. "Couldn't sleep, guys?" Mycha and Phen walked in wearing their night clothes. The Murisian shook his head. Liam then began to cry. "Hey," Phenner hurried over to the jaguar cub, crouching down and petting his ears. "What's wrong?" Liam sniffled, but he couldn't stop crying. "Mr. Kitty s-said Mr. Captain's n-never gonna w-wake u-up!" "It's understandable that at this point, it feels that way," Loxias agreed as he turned a stern gaze towards Nix. "But, you shouldn't push your lack of faith onto others, young one." "Fuck you, dog," Nix snarled, standing his hands curled into fists, his ears laid flat. "You don't know shit. Always acting like you're so wise and smarter than everyone else. I've been around the fucking block." He stalked forward, his half-tail lashing the air behind him. "I've seen shit that would make you piss your puppy pants. There are no happy endings, not really." The Civec shook his head harshly, his body trembling. "I fooled myself into thinking that maybe it was possible for a while. I was stupid.” “There can't just be happiness. I couldn't just be given all of them and live happily ever after,” Nix concluded in a broken tone. “At least one of them had to be taken away from me." "Nix!" Phen shouted, horrified. Rios took hold of one of Nix's hands and squeezed it, offering his support. "He's still alive right now, Nix!" Mycha insisted. "And he can hear you. If he really does pass away today, is this the last thing you'd want him to hear?" "How do you know he can hear me?" the Civek demanded, whirling on Mycha and dragging Rios with him. "You all just make shit up to make yourselves feel better, and it just makes things worse!" "Ugh." There was a soft, muffled cough from behind them. "How could I not hear you? Jeez, you guys are loud. Blech, my mouth tastes like I licked something I really shouldn't have licked." Adrian was the first to rush over to the Medbay unit just as the glass rolled away. "Cas!" He cried out as he reached over to gently cup the Vulpan's face in his hands. The human didn't realize that tears were streaming down his cheeks, falling freely from his periwinkle blue eyes. "We are never infiltrating a mafia base ever again!" He all but demanded before crushing his lips against Caspin's. Liam began crying again, tears of joy this time, as he buried his face against Sifta's chest. Mycha shook his head. Due to all their arguing, the usual music that the unit used to announce a full recovery hadn't been heard by any of them. "Okay, sure," Caspin replied, wishing Adrian would kiss him like that again. Yowza. "Is everyone else alright? What happened?" "The Enforcers handled the rest. They captured the leaders and the majority of their soldiers on the base," Rios summarized. "Everyone's fine. But, you really gave us quite the scare. Especially Nix. He punched Kyle over you!" "Nix!" Caspin's eyes widened as they found the Civek in the center of the room, hugging himself. "Why would you hit Kyle?" "It was those damned Enforcers' fault that you were gonna die," he said softly, his head turned away. "I wanted to hit him more, but nobody will let me near them now." "You shouldn't be picking fights with anyone in your condition," Loxias pointed out, undaunted by the Civek's hormonal mood swings. "You're still a know-it-all, Loxie," Nix snapped. Rios brought Nix over to Caspin. "He was just really, really, really worried. We ALL were," he defended. "We're on our way to Invaer as we speak. If you think Nix punching Kyle was bad, Adrian was all chewed up by Etsu over the com," Mycha mused. Caspin blinked in confusion over Nix's snide comment towards Lox and then looked over at Adrian. "It was great!" Phen chirped. "Etsu knows lots and lots of swear words!" "I'm so sorry. Etsu is just...Etsu. He's always been protective of me, ever since we were kids and I got picked on so much." Cas shook his head and frowned. "I'm really sorry I made everyone worry. I couldn't let them get away." He looked down at his lap, picking at the sheet pooling around his waist. "Can you all forgive me?" "I'll forgive you if you bake more of those yummy honeycake balls!" Liam chirped, prompting a scattering of laughter. "I'll only forgive you if you promise you'll never go anywhere without one of us with you," Adrian added. "You don't need forgiving." Phen insisted as he leaned forward to rub his nose against the Vulpan's. "I'm just happy you're finally okay." "I'm with Phen on this one," Rios said as he reached over to ruffle the top of Caspin's head. "Your being alive is more than enough." "I agree," Mycha affirmed. "Nix?" Caspin asked carefully. "Won't you forgive me?" The Civek's back was turned, his shoulders hunched. He finally turned, wet tracks shining on his dark cheeks. Nix took a shuddering breath and ran to Caspin's side, throwing himself onto the startled Vulpan. "I don't...I don't understand," Nix said in bewilderment, his voice thick with tears as Cas wrapped his arms around him. "Does this mean we really get to be happy? All of us?" The entire Seraglio closed in and huddled together in a supportive group hug. "So long as none of you ever leave the ship without a partner," Adrian agreed, his paranoia still at full force after the previous traumatic events. "Yeah, we can be happy." "O-okay," Nix whispered, burying his face in the tall soccer player's chest. "I'll try to believe it and not freak out so much anymore." Adrian pressed a kiss to Nix's forehead and gently scratched the Civek's ears. "That's my kitten," he commented. Liam squirmed in Sifta's lap as he reached his hands out. "Can I hug Mr. Caspin now?" He asked. The Vulpan captain grinned, hopping down from the table, checking to be sure he was wearing shorts before dropping the sheet. He crouched on the floor and opened his arms to the jaguar cub. Liam rushed over and hugged the captain tightly. "I'm glad you're ok. Mr. Sifta and I read to you every day!" He exclaimed. "I think I heard you while I was asleep," Caspin told him, pulling back to ruffle the boy's hair. "It gave me nice dreams. I think it helped me get better. Thank you." At the sight of Liam, Adrian's face fell. He gulped loudly. "That reminds me...we should be nearing Invaer by now. Etsu's going to kill me." He nearly whimpered. "He's not going to kill you." Caspin rolled his eyes, looking up at his mate. "Maybe just some minor maiming. Oh, and watch your shins. He's a kicker…and a biter. Maybe you should just stand behind me. I'll run interference." "That sounds like a good plan, actually," Adrian quickly agreed. "Is Etsu really that violent?" Mycha asked Phen. "Uh, only with his mate, from what I've seen. Orin hardly seemed to notice the smacks. He looked more hurt by Etsu being unhappy with him." Phenner lowered his voice to a whisper. "Have you seen Etsu's eyes, though? He's kind of got crazy eyes. I mean the colors, yeah. I can't look too long into them, or it makes me dizzy. I like Caspin's much better. But Etsu's also a little, you know, yeah..." "Don't worry Ade. We'll protect you!" Mycha announced, prompting the human to blush a bit. "You should have seen how brilliantly Phen fought off a dozen soldiers! I still feel a little weak in the knees whenever I think about it..." A lopsided grin appeared on the bunny's face. "Yeah?" Phenner sidled up to the Murisian, wrapping an arm around Mycha's waist. "Maybe we should, you know, go lay down..." "Can Nix and I join?" Rios volunteered. "Cas? Ade? You in?" "Maybe after Caspin gets some food in his system," Adrian pointed out. The captain's stomach took that opportunity to gurgle angrily. Cas slapped his hands over tummy with a blush. "Looks like I need to get some dinner in me before I get anything more fun in me." His emerald eyes darted to Liam, blushing brighter. "Like dessert! Which is what I mean...That would be in me after I eat...Oh, dammit..." A glint of mirth formed in Adrian's eyes. "Then let's get you fed," he prompted as he lifted the Vulpan into his arms and headed towards the kitchen. ::: "I'm gonna kill him!" Etsu growled as he paced around the house, waiting for his cousin to return with his crew. "Especially if Caspin doesn't fully recover!" Orin followed behind his mate, the Vulpan's state cranking up the large Kaynen's tension. It almost made Orin wish there was a threat he could pound into the ground for his lover. "Baby, the last message said he just needed a little more time in the tube, and the computer assessment expected him to be fine." Orin shook his head. "And if you kill Adrian, your cousin wouldn't like it very much." The last statement made Etsu stop right in his tracks, almost causing Orin to bash into him. The Vulpan turned around and looked up at his mate, a pout on his lips. "You're right...he would be mad at me if I did anything to his human." Orin let out a relieved sigh. "Right." He pulled Etsu into his arms, tucking the Vulpan under his chin. "So, maybe we can go to bed now?" he asked hopefully. "But, they'll be here any moment!" Etsu whined, despite snuggling against the larger Kaynen. "And your dad said he might have a surprise for us." Orin looked at the clock, rubbing a weary hand across his eyes. Dammit. "Right, sorry, love. Are we meeting them at the station?" Etsu shook his head. "They're just coming right over. Your dad said he had transportation covered." "When should they get here?" Orin asked, wondering if he had time to distract his mate with something pleasant. "Adrian didn't give an exact hour, just that they were nearly here," the Vulpan pondered aloud, one of his black ears flicking in thought. Orin leaned down, pressing a kiss to Etsu's forehead, then peppering little pecks across the Vulpan's cheeks, over his nose, even his eyelids when Etsu closed them for a minute. Long fingers caught the Vulpan's slender hips, tugging him closer to Orin's large, warm body. "Or." Etsu couldn't help a little giggle. "What are you doing?" "Ah, well." Orin cleared his throat. "Comforting you?" The big Kaynen looked so endearing when he blushed. Etsu was one of the few who could bring a flush to his tan cheeks. A small smirk formed on the Vulpan's lips. "I'm not sure I'd call that comforting...I'd say you're fanning flames." He purred, his dark, silver-patterned tail swaying behind him. Orin slid his hands back, his fingertips digging gently into Etsu's perfectly rounded backside. The tall Kaynen dipped his head to lick a hot path along Etsu's throat. "Would your flames like to be fanned a bit more?" Orin whispered, voice rough. The Vulpan's purr rumbled a little louder. "No need, I'm lit," he confessed as he promptly climbed up his mate's body and wrapped his smaller arms around the Kaynen's shoulders. Orin walked forward until his mate's back was pressed to one tastefully decorated wall. He caught the smaller man's mouth, teasing Etsu's tongue with his own. The Kaynen's hips ground forward roughly, delighted when the decidedly hard bulge in his trousers rubbed against Etsu and found him in a similar state. "How are you so perfect?" Orin asked, pulling back and looking at his mate in wonder. Though, his hips continued their rhythmic roll. The friction was delicious. A wide grin formed on Etsu's face. He pressed a hard kiss to Orin's lips before answering. "Well, we are soulmates, you know," he pointed out. "We're special." "You're the most special," Orin murmured, nipping his favorite spot on Etsu's throat. Etsu's breath hitched when he felt Orin attack one of his more sensitive spots. "S-soulmates don't work that way. We're on the same level. I'm no more special than you. We're equal." Orin didn't bother voicing his disagreement. Preferring to pop the fastenings of Etsu's pants open. He wriggled his hand between them, unwilling to pull back, catching Etsu's hot length in his hand and squeezing gently. "Orin!" The Vulpan keened as he all but bashed the back of his head against the wall. His hands reached up to scratch and gently tug on the base of the Kaynen's ears. "More," he begged. "I want to fuck you so much, baby," Orin growled, his voice rough with desire as his hand teased up and down his mate's shaft. "Th-then stop with the hand job and get with the lubrication tablet already," the Vulpan huffed, feeling overheated and frustrated. Orin didn't even have to set down his lover, holding Etsu up with one arm and roughly yanking down the Vulpan's pants with his other hand. Orin tugged a small bottle from his pocket, yanking the lid free with his teeth and catching a tablet with his lips. He dropped the bottle, uncaring of the sound of the container and the rest of its contents hitting the floor. He hoisted Etsu higher, propping the Vulpan's knees over his broad shoulders and nuzzling between Etsu's warm thighs. Orin spread his mate open and dipped his head, pressing the little pill to the Vulpan's entrance and chasing it inside with his hot tongue. The Vulpan's heart raced. He felt as if his entire body boiled down to the pucker and Orin's tongue. His hands latched onto Orin's head for dear life as he keened loudly. "You're gonna make me cum!" He squeaked. Orin pulled back, kissing the inside of Etsu's trembling thigh. "Then cum," the Kaynen rumbled. "And when I take you, deep and hard, I'll make you cum again." Etsu's eyes felt like they were trying to roll up into the back of his head as Orin went back to what he was doing, plunging his tongue further inside, thrusting it deep as his strong fingers dug into the Vulpan's smooth skin. It wasn't long before Etsu really did cum, all over Orin's hair and ears. "F-Fuck!" He hissed. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "I just couldn't..." Orin just gave his mate a lopsided grin and tossed Etsu over his shoulder. "Oriiiiiiin!" the Vulpan squealed, letting out a soft, "oof" when he was dropped facedown over the back of their plush couch. "I need you," the Kaynen growled. Without needing to look, Etsu knew that Orin's brown eyes would have darkened to nearly black. In any other situation, only rage could make his eyes glint like onyx. Orin gripped Etsu's soft tail and lifted it. The Vulpan whimpered when he felt something hot and hard at his entrance. "Stars, yes. Please, Orin!" Etsu pleaded as he tried to shove back against the heat. He wanted him inside so badly, he could barely even think. The big Kaynen growled, low in his throat, sending a shiver down Etsu's spine and leaving the Vulpan's tail poofing in Orin's hand. The dark-skinned man held his lover still with one hand on Etsu's hip, pressing himself forward just enough to begin to breach the Vulpan's slick, tight entrance. He withdrew and pushed forward again, groaning at the tight heat trying to capture the rounded head of his cock and pull him in. The Kaynen's gaze was trapped, watching the slender body beneath him opening beneath him, over and over, but pulling back every time before the flared head could be captured entirely. It was mesmerizing. The oddest keening noises came out of Etsu each and every time. He was going absolutely crazy. "Stop with the teasing and fill me up already!" He grumbled as his orange-purple gradient eyes peered over his shoulder to glare heatedly at the Kaynen. Orin gave his mate a feral grin and squeezed Etsu's hip tighter. "You want this, baby?" the Kaynen teased. "You want my cock in you? Nice and deep?" Orin gave Etsu a few quick thick inches, then pulled back again at his mate's gasp. "Should I make you scream my name while I knot you?" Oh, damn. Etsu knew that tone of voice, the look in Orin's dark eyes. When the Kaynen started talking dirty and looking at him like that, it meant Orin was going to take him deep and hard, leaving Etsu a satisfied puddle at the end. But he'd do it at his own maddening pace. The Vulpan gulped hard as he took a shuddering breath. "Fuck, yes. So deep, Orin," he admitted as his ears lowered down and his tail swayed. "Knot me so hard we'll be stuck together for hours!" Etsu knew how to play this game. And he knew just how to get exactly what he wanted from his big lover. He was instantly rewarded as the Kaynen slammed his hips forward with a roar, nearly tipping the couch over as he rammed himself fully inside his mate. "Orin!" Etsu cried out. He lowered his face on the side on top of the sofa cushion as he bit his lower lip and reveled in the bliss of the pleasure, the sting, and the throbbing of his husband's flesh inside him. "So good..." "I'm going to fuck you so hard," the Kaynen growled, pulling back before snapping his hips forward again, pushing the couch forward several inches. The Vulpan let out another keen as his tail plastered itself against the Kaynen's chest. He then gently grinded back against Orin, his body begging for more. Orin released his hold on Etsu's tail to hold his mate's hips with both hands, controlling the Vulpan's sexy movements. The Kaynen tipped his head to the side, slowly drawing his thick length from Etsu's greedy hole, watching as the Vulpan's body tried to draw him back in. "God, you're beautiful." Orin stabbed deep, taking wicked delight in the noises he could make his perfect little love make. The Kaynen shifted his stance, spreading his feet slightly, testing his balance and the leverage it would give him. "Beautiful and all mine." Orin sheathed himself deeply again, the change in angle making the head of his cock slam so perfectly into Etsu's sweet spot that the Vulpan's head felt dizzy. His eyes didn't want to focus, so he closed them as he cried out. This time, Orin didn't stop. He took up a pounding rhythm that had the sofa scooting across the floor until it lodged itself against the heavy coffee table. "Y-yes! Please," Etsu whimpered as he tried desperately to meet Orin's thrusts. In no time at all, he felt the familiar heat building up. "A-hanh!" He moaned as he came hard all over the sofa. "Don't...stop..." The Kaynen groaned as his mate clenched around him. Orin fucked him hard through Etsu's orgasm, fighting off his own. He wanted the hot little Vulpan to feel it when he spilled inside of him. When Etsu's muscles unlocked, the big Kaynen grinned fiercely. It was his turn. Orin yanked his mate back by the tight grip on the Vulpan's hips as he thrust forward, pounding into Etsu's oversensitive body. The Kaynen leaned forward, hips slamming and retreating, catching the back of his lover's neck in his teeth. He growled as he carefully set his teeth into warm flesh, careful not to break the skin. When Etsu wailed beneath him, it was too much for Orin. He rammed deeply and held himself there, the base of his cock swelling to knot his mate as he shot deep inside the Vulpan. "Orin!" Etsu whimpered between gasps of air. "Fuck..." he mewled as he reveled in the fullness he felt. “Stars, do I feel complete." The Kaynen grunted, not yet capable of speech, as he lifted Etsu to press the Vulpan's back against his broad chest. They were still locked together, to Orin's satisfaction. Etsu squeaked and moaned as his mate shifted him, the thick heat inside him nearly overwhelming. Orin walked them around the couch, kicking it to move it away from the coffee table, before laying back on the soft cushions with Etsu laying on top of him. The Kaynen reached over to the chair next to them, tugging a soft blanket from the armrest. He carefully laid it over his mate, fussing with it until Etsu was covered and comfortable. He wouldn't let his love catch a chill. Etsu appreciated the effort as he felt encased in a coccoon of warmth. Not a moment later, the Vulpan passed out, asleep. ::: Sometime later, Etsu woke up to the sensation of warm droplets falling on his form. He squirmed in Orin's arms and snuggled closer to the Kaynen, still feeling drowsy. "How many... yawn...times you gonna cum all over me, Orin?" he asked. "That's like asking how many stars are in the sky," Orin answered with a chuckle as he set his lover on his slightly wobbly feet. The Kaynen began washing Etsu's lovely hair. "Hmm, do you mind it? Do I do it too much? I'm afraid I can hardly help myself," he admitted sheepishly as he tipped the Vulpan's head back to rinse the bubbles away. The more that Etsu regained his senses, the harder he blushed. "N-no, I don't mind at all. Sorry, I was still a bit out of it," he admitted when he finally realized that they were in the shower. Orin just gave him a rather self-satisfied grin, knowing he was the reason for the Vulpan's current state. He eased Etsu from under the spray and wrung out the Vulpan's hair before rubbing in the conditioner that was Orin's favorite on his mate. The scent nearly made his mouth water at times. He scratched the Vulpan's scalp lightly, his grin widening as Etsu's eyes closed in bliss. The big Kaynen rinsed his hands and set to washing Etsu's tail and body while the conditioner sat for a bit. He loved taking care of his mate in this way. Etsu had resisted the Kaynen washing him at first, telling Orin he wasn't some baby or invalid. After several days of the Kaynen looking absolutely pitiful whenever Etsu bathed himself, the Vulpan had relented. Orin had eventually made him understand that it wasn't about thinking Etsu wasn't capable of caring for himself, it just made the Kaynen very happy to do it for him. It was sweet, really. At first appearance, Orin certainly wouldn't be thought of as the giant softy that he was. It made Etsu think of how his mate would be with children. While Orin busily washed him, Etsu gently washed the Kaynen’s front, standing on the tips of his toes to reach taller areas. "Thank you for distracting me tonight...I'm just so worried about Cas," he admitted. A small frown formed on his face. "Wait, is it still night time? I'm still a little disoriented." "It's morning, love," Orin replied, rinsing himself off and stepping out of the water. The Kaynen pulled a fluffy towel off the warmer and held it out for his mate. Etsu quickly stepped into the towel and began to dry himself. "Morning? Then, they should be here soon!" He exclaimed. "Let's go get dressed." He urged. Orin followed after his lover holding a second towel as his own body dripped water on the floor. "Baby, dry your hair," the Kaynen called. "You'll catch a cold!" In no time, the couple was dressed, with Etsu's hair mostly dry. Orin had convinced his mate to stop pacing for a moment to allow Orin to brush out the Vulpan's tail when the doorbell chimed musically. All of Orin's effort nearly went to waste as Etsu's tail puffed in surprise, and the Vulpan rushed over to open the door. Instead of his cousin, however, the first people at the door were Loxias, Sifta, and a small jaguar child in Lox's arm. "Dad, Sifta, it's so good to see you," Orin greeted, resting a soothing hand on Etsu's lower back. "And hello to you, little one," the Kaynen said with a gentle smile to the cub. Liam glanced nervously at Loxias, but at the large Kaynen's nod, he reached his arms out towards Etsu. "Daddy!" The Vulpan's eyes went wide, and then his hands lifted to his hips as he sent a suspicious glare up at Orin. "Did he just say, daddy?" Since Etsu seemed too stunned to act, Orin responded to the boy's outstretched arms, scooping up the young jaguar and settling him on his hip. "I think you'd better come in and explain some things, Dad." Loxias reached down to gently ruffle the top of his son-in-law's head. "Relax, son. Orin does not have any abandoned children. This young cub has had a rough life in his side of the galaxy. Sifta and I felt that you and Orin would be the perfect candidates to raise him." Etsu's face changed from a disgruntled and confused mess to shock. "You mean for us to adopt him?" He asked. Liam smiled at Orin and then down at Etsu, reaching out his arms towards him once again. "Will you be my daddy?" The Vulpan felt something tug at his heart as he subconsciously reached his hands out to hold Liam in his arms. "Y-Yes...Orin, can we?" He then asked his husband, still reeling from the sudden situation. "Oh, thank goodness," Orin said breathily before wrapping his mate and his brand new son in his arms. "I was afraid you might not...I mean, we haven't really talked about it. But I've been thinking about it for a while, now. Thinking about what a good father you'd be, how amazing it would be to have a pup- er, cub with you. I didn't know how to bring it up. The timing never seemed quite right, and..." "Son," Loxias interrupted. "You're rambling." "I'm happy," Orin responded with a grin so wide it almost hurt. "I'm allowed to ramble." Liam was quite content being squished by the warmth of his two new fathers. Mr. Fluffy and Sifta had explained that they'd be his grandparents if his two new daddies accepted, and he'd still be able to see the rest of the crew whenever they visited. His new family would be huge! "I'm so relieved," Sifta said softly, leaning against Loxias. "Look at them...But, you knew." He smiled up at Orin's father. "You knew all along how perfect they would be together." Loxias nodded before leaning down to whisper into Sifta's ear. "I wouldn't be averse to adopting future pups with you, either." Sifta squeaked and looked up at the tall Kaynen with wide, shocked eyes. "You...What? With me? And...I thought, since you already had Orin you wouldn't want, but... And I'm a mess half the time... I didn't think..." "We have plenty of time to think it over, love," Loxias assured. "We only will if you feel you're ready." "O-Okay," Sifta answered, still somewhat dazed. Having a pup of his own had never crossed the Vulpan's mind. He'd never thought he'd ever have a mate, let alone make a family with one. But now that the thought had been planted, it seemed to explode in Sifta's head. Having a little boy or girl...maybe an orphan, a throwback like him. Maybe a dozen. A dozen sounded good. A moment later, Adrian, Caspin, and the rest of their crew came through the door a few at a time. As soon as Etsu caught sight of his cousin, he handed Liam back to Orin and nearly tackled the other Vulpan to the ground. As he squeezed him tightly, he began to weep. "You're ok, thank the stars you're ok!" All thoughts of attacking Adrian for his incompetence in protecting him fled his mind. When he pulled back, he sent Cas a bewildered look. "And you brought me a son! You're gonna hafta explain that to me later. But, first, how are you feeling?" "Uh, kind of squashed, Ets." The smaller Vulpan grinned up at his cousin, who was sitting on his stomach. "It's really good to see you, though." Etsu stood up and brought his cousin up with him, giving him another tight hug as he sent Adrian a little glare. "You lucked out this time. But, there better not be a second time, you hear?" The human held his hands up in a defensive manner. "Agreed, if I can help it." Etsu's attention was then drawn to Nix. "And they found you!" He gasped as he gave the pregnant Civek a hug. "I was so worried about you, too!" "Thanks." The cat accepted the hug, patting Etsu's shoulder a little awkwardly. "I was fine, though. The guys who snatched me weren't so bad." "And it's not the Stalker-homes syndrome," Phen was quick to add. "And thank you for not biting our Adrian." "Snatchers? Stalker-homes?" Etsu asked, confused. "We'll explain more later," Mycha added. "For now, just know that our three new friends will be staying with us at Lox's place until our children are born." The Murisian motioned towards the trio. "Jason, Daniel, and Pedro." Jason and Daniel responded with a 'nice to meet you.' Pedro shook Etsu's hand. "Truly a pleasure to meet the captain's cousin. Un honor de verdad," the Chihuahua stated. "So, about the little boy..." Etsu pointed out. "How did that come to happen?" "Liam? Ah, that was partly my fault," Rios responded. "I had left him with the authorities, and they promised to take him to a good facility. Cas and Phen then sprung him from the orphanage, and here we are?" "I'm very glad we're here," Orin grinned, tickling under Liam's chin and looking like a proud papa. Liam giggled and clutched Orin's shirt tightly in his tiny hands. "Mr. Leon and Mr. Noel knew lots of fun stories. Can you tell me stories, daddy?" He pleaded as his large orange-yellow eyes peered up at the Kaynen. Orin nearly melted into a puddle on the spot. "We'll get you every book you might want," the burly Kaynen promised. "And until then, your other daddy and I have plenty that we can tell you, even without a book." "That's right!" Etsu agreed as he rushed over to kiss the cub on the cheek. "We know lots of fun stories, too." "Awww, I'm so glad everything worked out with you two and Liam," Phenner said happily. His eyes grew wide and excited. "And did you see Nixie? Isn't he huge now? I'm so excited!" He gave a joyous little bounce on his toes. "Hey!" the Civek snapped. "I'm not huge! I'm healthy and glowing, dammit." "Definitely glowing! Everyone must be taking great care of you," Etsu added with a smile. "I'm as excited as everyone for the babies." "I don't even know how much longer I have," Nix muttered. "Gonna be big as foxy's friggin' ship at this rate." "I know, right?" Phen responded to Etsu, thoroughly enthused. "I can't wait!" "You can't wait..." the cat's grumpy mutterings continued. Etsu shuffled over with a tender smile. He held out his hands as if to touch Nix's belly. "May I?" he asked softly. Nix immediately looked happier. "Careful, though, they're kickers," the cat said with pride. "Even the ones that aren't Ade's. They'll give you a whack." The Vulpan's colorful eyes fell to the Civek's midsection as his hands gently touched the skin. "Hello my future baby cousins," he whispered. "I'm looking forward to meeting you. You can call Orin and me your uncles since Caspin, your mom, and your other daddies are like my brothers." Etsu's face beamed when he felt some movement. Nix smiled back. Etsu blinked, a little surprised. The Civek looked different somehow, beyond his expanding middle. The tightness that always seemed to be around the cat's eyes was gone, as well as the patch that had always hidden one of them. The blind eye wasn't startling or ugly, as the Vulpan had expected. It just seemed to be a part of Nix. The black Civek had always been attractive, Etsu could admit. Without the patch hiding part of his face, it was easier to notice the soft curve of his jaw and the height of his cheekbones. He looked softer, in some way, as well. That wasn't just the baby weight, either. Something had changed in the cat, and it seemed to suit him. He looked happy. Etsu was then distracted from his thoughts by a hard thump against his palm. "Whoa," Nix laughed. "That one has to be Ade's. I told you they're kickers." The Civek made a sound that could only be described as a giggle. "I bet he's already ordered a bunch of tiny balls just like that human sport he played." "Yes, I got soccer balls in quite a few colors, for all of them to play with, whether they like playing the game or not," Adrian agreed. "And when we decide on names, they will also have their initials." "On the subject of names, Nix and I have been thinking..." Rios piped in. "And we think it'd only be fair if we named one kid each. For example, I have the name Faustir in mind for one of the boys." Everyone jumped when Phenner let out an excited squeal. "I get to name a baby?!" His face suddenly went paler, if that was possible for an albino, the pink in his cheeks draining away as he swayed where he stood. "The... he responsibility...what if they don't like their name? What if they're mad at me forever because I named them something dumb?" Mycha reached over to gently tug on one of Phenner's ears and then placed a gentle kiss on the tip of it. "Any name you give him or her is bound to be beautiful," he assured him. "Besides, there are many nicknames that they can decide on as they grow." "You don't think the other kids will make fun of them if I don't pick right?" Phenner questioned. "Of course not, we're raising them together, remember?" Rios countered in response. "They'll be way too busy teasing each other as siblings to worry about what any other kids might say, in any case." "Teasing each other?" Phenner looked absolutely horrified. "They're going to make fun of each other?" The bunny tugged on his ears with worry and looked like he was about to burst into tears. "But...I want them to love each other and take care of each other...like my brothers did for me." Mycha quickly reached over to take Phenner's hands away from his ears. "Teasing is another way of showing love. It's playful love," he explained. "My brothers and I tease each other all the time. Does it look like we don't love each other?" "You...You definitely love each other." The rabbit glomped Mycha, hugging him tightly. "Okay, if you say it'll be alright, then I know it will be. Wow, I have to think of a name...it has to be perfect..." "I'm excited, too," Caspin chirped. "I never thought I'd ever have a baby, let alone name one." The Murisian melted on the spot and tried not to swoon as he hugged the rabbit back. "I have to think of a name, as well." "I know plenty of names, for both boys and girls," Adrian mused out loud, also eager to name one of the children. "And Nix gets to name one, as well," Rios pointed out. "I don't care what they're named. I want to play with them all!" Liam announced promptly before his stomach gave a loud grumble. He placed his small hands on his own stomach and peered up at his new parents. "Daddies, I'm hungry..." "I think we all are," Loxias admitted. "Orin, Etsu, we leave Liam in your care. Everyone else, come home with me and I'll have my cooks make us a hearty lunch." A look of panic passed over Orin's face at the thought of his father leaving. "Uh, dad? Are you sure you should go?” He asked. “I mean, don't we need a book or something on how to take care of Liam? Maybe some videos?" The poor Kaynen looked lost. "I don't think they come with an instruction manual," Nix snickered. Etsu shook his head and tutted at Orin. "Honestly! I've taken care of my baby cousins before. I'll show you how." "You'll be fine. Raising a child is like a trial by fire, you have to figure most of it out on your own," Loxias teased. "Stars, I hope he doesn't set anything on fire," Orin muttered under his breath. "I'm hungry and tired," Nix piped up, sounding awfully similar to a certain little jaguar cub. "Come, my driver's waiting just outside," Loxias insisted as the crew began to file out of Orin's house. "Vid call us if you're having any trouble, son." Orin still looked rather adorably uncertain as he waved goodbye to the group. When the door closed behind him, he turned to his mate. "Etsu, you have to tell me everything you know about children...right now."
  14. 06

    Thirdly: It will be done!
  15. Chapter 27

    Most of our cliff hangers are unintentional. The good news is we are well into the progress of the next chapter.

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