As afternoon stretched into evening, I found myself wishing more and more that my owner would come for me. Meeting Denes had left me torn. Heartened as I’d been to hear his voice, his eagerness over my master’s trial had churned up the fear that sat in the pit of my stomach. Miss Aura’s exchange with my… with Mister Justik had only fueled my worries, even as the sage had put fresh humiliations into my mind to try to distract me. So, despite my unease, the cleft between my legs burned and lurid thoughts of the young guard danced in my mind, making my ears and cheeks flush. Thus, with the setting of the sun, so sank my mood.
To her credit, Miss Aura noticed my disquiet soon after we returned to the market, but her gentle touches and soothing words could only do so much. By the time we returned to Miss Rena’s rooms after supper, I wanted nothing to do with Krolik, Baris, trials or war. I found myself, with a touch of shame, longing for the moments spent between my past and present masters, thinking only of pleasure, giving it to others and yearning for it myself. It was, I realized, the last time I had truly felt secure.
As my master stretched out upon his cot, I curled up beside him, but despite the familiarity of his scent and the sound of his breathing, I could find no peace on my thin mat. As the night stretched onward, I tossed and turned, rolling from one side to the other. I tried lying on my chest, then on my back, but the stones remained stubbornly hard and cold, and the air seemed unsettlingly still. My shoulders ached, and even the skin beneath my fur felt tight and uncomfortable.
“You’re not sleeping, pet.” My master’s words were soft, but in the abnormal stillness of Miss Rena’s sitting room, they were deafening. I looked up to see him lying on his side, propped up on one elbow, his head resting on his paw.
I lowered my gaze quickly, rolling onto my side. “I’m sorry I woke you, master,” I whispered into the stillness. “I’ll try to be quieter.”
“It’s okay; I wasn’t either,” he confessed. “What’s on your mind?”
“It’s nothing, master,” I replied as I squirmed down against the mattress. “I’m sorry I—”
My master’s paw gently touched my shoulder, and a fresh wave of discomfort rolled down my spine. “Tell me, Taneh,” he murmured over my protest. “That’s an order.”
I sighed and closed my eyes. “It’s… Mister Erik. It’s everything.” Miss Aura had told him at supper of all that had happened, but she had no way to convey the twisted knot of emotion within me. “Relief, guilt, fear, shock, lust, shame… it was so many memories in so little time that I felt unable to juggle them all. I still don’t think I can. It’s too much.” I clenched my arms more tightly around me. “It’s just too much, master. I just—” My voice cracked, but I couldn’t hold back the words or the tears that followed. “I just want to be safe again!”
I bit down on my tongue to try to stop the sobs, but they forced themselves through despite my efforts. My master’s paw slowly drew down my side, then again, petting me slowly, and then suddenly his arms were around me as the cot clattered loudly against the unyielding stones. He pulled his blankets over us both, then slid one arm beneath my head and pulled me to his chest with the other. “Easy, Taneh,” he crooned as I cried into his chest. “Easy, pet. Just relax. It’s going to be okay.”
As he held me, the tension in my shoulders began to ease, and his touch on my spine was like permission, and I slowly relaxed into my master’s embrace. I sunk against the floor and into his arms, and for the first time in weeks, I began to feel completely at ease. “I’m sorry, master,” I whispered, over and over. I cradled my stubby paws to my chest and buried my muzzle into his shoulder, shivering despite the warmth of his shared covers. “I couldn’t hold it any more. I just couldn’t.”
“It’s okay, Taneh,” my master soothed. “Sometimes, I can’t either. Even Erik used to break down. You saw it, you remember.” I nodded, and he rubbed his cheek against the top of my head. “Listen, pet, I think things are going to be okay, but you’re going to have to trust me. I spent the day talking with Rena, and I think I’ve got a plan that will save Erik, but it’s going to take you admitting some things to Baron Jazinsk.” He hugged me to his chest to forestall my protests. “It’s not going to be easy, but Rena thinks it has a good chance of shocking some sense back into the old man.”
I shivered and nodded again. “Yes, master, but… what about Miss Datsia? Once we’ve rescued Mister Erik, we still have to—”
My master leaned back and lay a finger across my muzzle. “One stress at a time, pet. If Baron Jazinsk is willing to let Erik go, then it’s likely we’ll have his help in dealing with Datsia.” He smiled faintly. “If he’s not, then we’ll have bigger problems than Datsia. Aura’s not going to take no for an answer, and my oaths won’t stop her.”
That made me chuckle, and the laugh, however small, helped relax the knot in my stomach. “Yes, master,” I sighed, snuggling against my master’s chest. “Thank you.”
My master chuckled softly. “You’re welcome, little light.”
“I am ready,” I whispered as the world fell away from me. The warmth of the blankets suffused me, and his scent filled my mind as I sank into his words.
“Very good, pet,” my master replied. “Lift your leg.” I complied, and I felt him shift against me, positioning his shaft against the opening of my sex. “Tell me how you feel.”
“Aroused, master,” I moaned softly; even the thought of his cock within me made the heat roll down my spine. “Still scared but… safer. Wa—ah!” My voice rose into a whine as he began to press himself into me. “Warm, master,” I breathed as I slumped forward.
One of my master’s paws found my rump and clutched it, holding me in place as he took me. “Good. Oh, so very good, Taneh.” His own voice was thick, muffed by the fur of my shoulder. “Such a good pet. Relaxed and safe.” He gasped as he hilted himself in me. “It’s been too long.”
“Yes, sir,” I agreed, trying to focus on my training, counting the strokes as he took me. One… two…. His motions were slow and steady, tenderly filling me over and over. He held me to his chest as he pleasured himself with me, sending wave after wave of lightning up from my sex and throughout my body. Eleven… twelve…. I lost count of his motions, every thrust sending me deeper and deeper. I felt as if I could see myself from far away, cradled in my master’s arms, and the sight and thought of it filled me with a glow, deep inside.
This wasn’t sex; this was lovemaking. My master held me as he took me, then caressed me as he pulled away. His touch was gentle, his claws sheathed. He kept the arm beneath my head as steady as he could, but his fingers curled against my back in intimate patterns. Even the pace of his thrusts spoke of intimacy and tenderness. If he desired me, he could have had me any way he wished. If he didn’t, he had no need of me. He would only have given this to me because he wanted me to have it. I had to have realized it before, but somehow it only felt real in that moment, after all the barriers had been broken down.
Distantly, I became aware that my body was responding, that the ache within me was almost pulsing in its urgency. I drifted closer, and I could feel my own arousal, as well as my master’s, the need building within my sex to be taken. The waves of lightning were coming faster and faster, and my I was beginning to pant. My master, too, was responding to his own desires, as his thrusts became quicker and shallower. “Taneh, pet,” he moaned into my shoulder. “Not… much… longer….”
“Master,” I breathed, and then suddenly I shuddered, my back arching sharply as I climaxed. Caught by surprise, I snapped back to myself, eyes fluttering open as I gasped. I tensed, tightening around my master’s shaft, and he groaned in response, driving himself into me as he came. A fresh flood of warmth filled me, need washed away in my master’s release.
“Such a good pet,” my master whispered. He hugged me tightly, then carefully adjusted the blankets over us. “Listen, I think I’ll sleep down here tonight; we could both use it. Get some sleep; tomorrow is going to be busy.”
“Yes, master,” I replied around a yawn. “Good night.” Then I closed my eyes and let myself drift to sleep in the safety of my master’s arms.