Housecat

© 2017 Snekguy. All rights reserved.

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Disclaimer: This work of erotic fiction is intended for adults only. The story contains the following themes: maledom, toys, maid outfit, lingerie, bondage, handjob, blowjob, deepthroat, oral, kissing, biting, scratching, size difference, large breasts, muscle, long tongue, creampie.

Please note that this is an older story that has not yet been edited to bring it up to my current standards.

CHAPTER 1: SHORE LEAVE

Why must we go on shore leave?” Zhari asked, trailing behind McGregor as he walked down the Pinwheel's rotating torus. The massive lamps that were embedded in the station's painted ceiling shone brightly, their warmth and golden light approximating that of Earth's sun. There was a gentle curve to the floor, sloping up and out of view in both directions, planters filled with trees and flowers breaking up the monotony of the white metal. The buildings to either side of them were made to resemble those that one might find on a city street, going some way towards making the inhabitants feel like they were on a terrestrial planet, rather than a giant military installation that was floating through open space. Beyond the scant few meters of metal and armor that made up the station's hull was vacuum, but one could almost forget that fact if they suspended their disbelief and let the Pinwheel's quaint decorations fool them.

McGregor found himself unable to indulge in such fantasies, as he was a pilot by profession, more accustomed to seeing the station from the exterior than the interior.

The torus was always crowded. Throngs of humans and aliens rubbed shoulders, going about their business, military personnel and tourists alike. You got used to seeing the different species with time, but walking around the station was never boring. Giant Krell lumbered about, eight or nine feet tall despite their hunched posture, the smaller races clearing the way lest they be crushed underfoot by the reptiles. There were also Borealans like Zhari, towering felines that usually roamed about in tight knit packs of five or six.

Zhari was different however, her pack only consisted of two people.

We're going on shore leave because I'm not a workaholic like you are, hairball,” he replied. “I need some damned vacation time or I'll go stir crazy.”

You're a pilot, your job consists of sitting in a cramped cockpit for hours on end. Surely the Pinwheel is reprieve enough?”

Listen, I get a few weeks of vacation time a year, and I'll be damned if I'm going to miss out on some downtime because you can't pull yourself away from your job for five minutes.”

I am a-”

Yeah, yeah,” he scoffed as he cut her off with a dismissive wave of his hand. “You're a proud Borealan warrior and you have duties and honors and other such things that make sense to you but which inconvenience me massively.”

Despite towering over McGregor at eight feet and weighing half a ton, it was immediately obvious to anyone who saw them interact that the smaller human was the one in charge. Talking to a Borealan in the way that McGregor did would usually see the offense answered with a swift claw swipe, if not an outright dismemberment. The aliens were hardwired to live in a strictly hierarchical society where even something as minor as a lingering glance could be considered a challenge to an individual's status, a challenge that must be answered with violence.

They had to undergo strict integration training once they arrived on the Pinwheel, which they must complete before being released into the general population, and before being allowed to serve in mixed species units. Many were sent back to their homeworld, unable to adapt to human social conventions, and even those that passed with flying colors sometimes encountered problems here and there. When an equilibrium was found between a human and a Borealan, it was usually tentative and precarious. But that was not the case with Zhari and McGregor.

Some months ago they had been stranded on an uncharted planet, she had been a commando, and he had been her shuttle pilot. As the only survivors of the crash, they had been forced to survive together in the depths of the planet's primordial jungles, their bickering eventually reaching a head that saw the pair battle for dominance. It was a battle of will as much as it was a battle of physical strength, and it was one that McGregor had won.

Overcoming her made him Zhari's 'Alpha' according to the customs of her people, the leader of a pack whose word was law. While Borealans usually clawed each other into hamburger meat in an attempt to seize or maintain that position, McGregor had won it through more...cerebral means.

Aren't you supposed to do everything that your Alpha says?” McGregor chided, and Zhari bowed her head in deference.

It was...interesting to the say the least, having a giant alien who would obey his every whim. She was a monster of a woman, built like a damned tank, the high gravity of her home planet giving all of her people the bodies of Olympic athletes by virtue of simply existing. She was strong enough to flip a car, and yet she was sworn to him, servile and submissive.

The Navy life was a busy one, and the two companions served in different branches, which meant that getting some alone time was difficult. Fortunately they both served on the same jump carrier, the UNN Shiroyama, which meant that their shore leave coincided. The old girl was currently undergoing a refit in the Pinwheel's dry dock, and so the crew had a couple of weeks of downtime.

To Zhari and her ilk, duty was everything. They loved to fight, and to Zhari especially there was no such thing as leisure. When they weren't deployed they were training on the range, sparring, or doing rigorous exercise to keep their bone and muscle density healthy in the Earth-standard gravity.

She was his subordinate however, and she would obey any command that he gave. They hadn't had more than a day alone together since they had been rescued from the surface of EE-4, and McGregor was planning to make up for lost time.

They followed the painted arrows on the curved floor of the station, heading towards the residential quarter. There was permanent and semi-permanent housing for personnel and civilians who were stationed on the Pinwheel, separate from the barracks where the majority of the troops lived. Some were spartan and consisted only of what the occupant needed to perform their duties, and others were as large and as lavishly furnished as an apartment that might be found on any one of the more developed colony worlds.

McGregor had saved up enough credits to rent one of the nicer apartments for a week, suitably sized and furnished for a Borealan, with a raised ceiling and reinforced furniture that could handle their weight. He had been planning this for a while, but he had only just let Zhari know about it. He had wanted it to be a surprise.

But what will we do for a whole week?” Zhari asked, incredulous.

Don't you have hobbies?” McGregor replied, dodging through a group of Marines who were headed in the direction of the military quarter. “Is there nothing you like to do besides fighting and training?”

I am a soldier, fighting is my purpose.”

Yes, but outside of fighting. You don't watch movies? You don't like music? You don't...knit?”

She raised her eyebrows at him, and he shrugged.

Well you can't have been a soldier all your life. What did you do before you joined the military, back on Borealis?”

As a kitten I played with my siblings, as all kittens do. When I came of age, I joined the military. After I had proven myself worthy, I was sent here, and I underwent integration training in order to serve the UNN on behalf of my Patriarch.”

Hang on, how old are you exactly?”

Nineteen.”

McGregor was surprised. He had never asked a Borealan their age before, but he had expected her to be older than that. She was so...developed. Perhaps it was just her stature that made her appear older than she really was from his perspective. The lifespans of different species seemed to vary dramatically, with the Krell being the outliers. The reptiles would keep living and growing until something killed them, potentially living for hundreds of years.

Wait,” he said, scratching his chin as he did the math in his head. “That's in Borealan years, and they're like...four hundred days. Nineteen times four hundred, minus nineteen times about forty, divide that by about three hundred and sixty five...”

Zhari waited patiently, curious as to what he was trying to calculate.

Yeah, I figure you're about twenty, going on twenty one in Earth years. I'm four or five years your senior.”

Is that important?” She asked, stepping around a startled technician whose eyes had been glued to a tablet computer. He hadn't seen her coming, and he looked up at the towering feline with wide eyes, skirting out of her way as she strode by on her long legs.

It wouldn't be, but you talk and act like you're forty five. I think you need this shore leave more than I do.”

They walked in silence for a little while longer, until the residential quarter came into view, mock houses sculpted into the walls of the station lining either side of the promenade. They extended further into the hull of the station, with only their facades visible from the street, made up to look like town houses and apartment blocks. Many of them had planters by the doors and other such decorations, all the better to sell the illusion and to remind the occupants of home.

As well as being a major military base and a dry dock for the UNN's largest classes of ship, the station had been built with extended deployments in mind. When the journey to the nearest habitable planet might take two months, shore leave became a major problem. People would get cabin fever if they spent too long in the confines of a spaceship, which were laid out more like submarines than the way most civilians imagined them. They needed to stretch their legs, both for their physical and mental well-being. With that goal in mind, the space station had been constructed to provide an environment that approximated the feeling on walking around in a city.

If people were going to be stationed here for extended periods of time, might as well kill two birds with one stone. There were bars, stores and restaurants, gyms and recreational facilities. There was even an Olympic sized swimming pool that McGregor was sure must be heavy enough to throw off the station's rotation.

They made their way along the rows of mock buildings, until McGregor spotted the one that he had rented.

This is us, number two seventy five,” he announced as he walked up to the door. He fumbled in the pocket of his Navy blue uniform for a moment, searching for his ID card, then pressed it against a scanner that was embedded in the door frame. Despite being made up to look like they were built from brick and mortar, the apartments were as much an integral part of the station as any of the other facilities, hardwired into the station's central computer system.

There was an affirmative beep, and then the door slid open, granting them access. Zhari didn't have to duck under the door frame, as the apartment was built for her kind, and she followed behind him as he stepped inside.

It was remarkably spacious, considering that they were on a Navy space station, with a high ceiling and expansive rooms. It was open plan, the living room and the kitchen sharing one large space, with the bedroom and bathroom sectioned off behind their own sliding doors for privacy. Besides the lack of windows, it could have been mistaken for an upscale apartment on Earth or Franklin.

The human apartments had to be booked months in advance, despite being far more numerous, but the ones designed for Borealans and Krell were often empty. Very few of the Borealan personnel who were stationed on the Pinwheel were civilians, with the majority being Equatorial troops from Elysia who were housed in the barracks. Accommodations had been made for the Krell, but the UNN had soon learned that the species did not produce any ambassadors. The aliens were far more content to lounge in any large body of water that was available.

He looked up at Zhari, and she seemed to be impressed. McGregor wasn't sure what the living arrangements were like on Borealis, but the apartment was a damn sight better than the barracks, or the cramped crew quarters on a carrier.

As well as renting the apartment, McGregor had arranged to have some things delivered in advance, mostly food and other amenities. The boxes of goods were waiting for them on the kitchen table, which was about a foot higher than was convenient for a human. All of the furniture was the same, massive and reinforced in order to handle the exaggerated weight of a Borealan. There were no mixed race apartments, the options were either to have a ceiling that was too low for Zhari and chairs that would snap like twigs under her bulk, or for McGregor to live like he was in a forced perspective movie for a week. He had chosen the latter, if only to ease the suffering of his wallet.

He was majorly out of pocket on this one, but it wasn't like the money was doing anything besides fermenting in his bank account. For all he knew his next mission would be his last, and you couldn't take it with you.

He had no idea what Zhari and the other Borealans spent their paychecks on, probably dumbbells and bullets, those were the only subjects that seemed to be of any interest to them.

His towering companion walked about the living room, examining it as McGregor looked on.

So, what do you think?”

Why is it so large?” She asked.

What kind of a question is that? It's large so that you have more space, it's better.”

Why is more space better? It's unnecessary, they could have fit two apartments into the same amount of space if they had designed them to be more functional.”

That's not the point,” McGregor sighed, fearing that his investment was being wasted on the alien. “It's supposed to be luxurious, relaxing.”

I do not feel relaxed.”

He rolled his eyes and walked over to her, taking her by the wrist and maneuvering her onto the couch, which was about twice the size of the human variant. She sank into the soft cushions, the frame creaking under her weight.

Sit down, relax. That's an order from your Alpha.”

He snatched a remote that was resting in a recess in the arm of the couch, examining it for a moment before hitting a button with his thumb. A hologram flicked to life in front of them, projecting a three dimensional image of a marble fireplace, dancing flames crackling in the hearth. There was an almost inaudible whir as the heating system kicked in, projecting warmth to simulate the presence of a fire, very convincing despite the subtle shimmering of the projection.

See? We have a fireplace and everything.”

That's not a real fire, I don't smell anything,” she said skeptically.

I know it isn't a real fire,” he scoffed, “you think they'd let us have a real fire on a space station? Listen, this is a marvel of technology, do you know how much it costs to install one of these?”

So you pay more for a pretend fire that doesn't smell right?”

Clearly Borealans have no appreciation for the finer things in life,” he grumbled.

You've never seen an Elysian feast before the winter,” she said. “Dozens of meat dishes broiled over a wood fire, stocked with logs that have been selected for flavor, glazed with all manner of traditional oils.” She stared into space, reminiscing. “Those are fine things, not pretend fireplaces and wasteful lodgings.”

I can't help but feel like you're taking this to a racial place,” he said, then he looked away poignantly and put on an exaggerated pout. “I guess if you don't appreciate human culture, you won't be interested in any of the special food that I ordered.”

Special food?” Zhari asked, her ears perking up at the prospect. “What kind of special food?”

Oh, nothing much, I just had a few delicacies delivered is all. It's traditional human food, probably not something that a proud Elysian would be interested in. Guess I'll just have to eat it all myself...”

I-I'm interested,” Zhari stammered, teetering on the edge of her seat.

Alright, well come help me put it all away, and I'll let you have some.”

She rose to her feet obediently and followed him over to the kitchen table where the boxes were stacked, watching eagerly as McGregor began to unpack them. There was beef from Earth and fish from Europa, chicken from New Pennsylvania, and a few other assorted treats. Ordering these things would have been prohibitively expensive, and so McGregor had searched around for anything that was available at the time rather than trying to have the goods shipped in advance. The Pinwheel had never been intended to serve as a trade hub, but due to the amount of traffic that passed through the station and the amount of humans and aliens that were crammed together like sardines, it was an inevitability. Many restaurants and food stands had opened up in the tourist quarter, and it hadn't been too difficult to find what he needed.

She eyed the food greedily as he handed it to her, packing it away in the freezer. There were a few bags and packets that didn't need to be refrigerated, and she brought those to her nose, sniffing curiously before placing them in drawers and cupboards.

Borealans were notorious gluttons, requiring a phenomenal quantity of calories to maintain their enormous bodies. No vacation would be complete without a selection of exotic food for her to sample. Exotic to her at least, she might not be impressed by the accommodations, but impressing her with cooking would be easy. He had seen her eat a tuna sub like it was laced with heroin.

When they had finished with the food, there was one large cardboard box left conspicuously on the table.

What's in this one?” Zhari asked, picking it up and shaking it. It rattled, obviously full of several sizable objects. McGregor took it from her hands and placed it back on the table.

That's for later. Now we're gonna do human stuff.”

Human stuff?”

He took her giant, furry hand in his, and led her back over to the couch. She sat, and he picked up the little remote again, squinting as he examined the buttons. He found what he was looking for and pointed the remote at the far wall. Above the holographic fireplace a panel slid back, exposing a large monitor. He turned it on, and an image flared to life, displaying the station's home page.

Did you know,” he began, walking back towards the kitchen as Zhari turned her head to watch him. “That the Pinwheel has a complete copy of the Human Heritage Archive?”

What's that?”

It's a record of human cultural artifacts and entertainment, going back hundreds of years,” he explained as he pulled a large bag from one of the drawers. “It was compiled with the intention of preserving human history and culture by spreading it across all the different colony worlds. That way, if something catastrophic happened on Earth, the information would never be lost. It's traditional to bring a copy to each new colony that's founded, both in the spirit of preserving it, and so that children born there maintain some cultural connection to the homeworld.”

He reached up and placed the bag into a microwave, the counter top a little higher than was convenient for him as everything was scaled up to Borealan proportions. He set the timer, standing with his hands on his hips as he watched the bag rotate behind the glass panel.

Do you have cinema back on Borealis? Movies?”

Oh, you mean like the videos that they show us in integration training?”

A little like that, yeah, but they have stories and characters rather than just a guy telling you not to claw people's faces off for looking at you funny.”

So it's a historical record? Like a tapestry?”

I guess so, yeah, if you want to get Medieval. Some of the stories are real, and some are fictional, just for entertainment purposes.”

She was startled as the bag began to pop, her feline eyes widening and her round ears flattening against her head. McGregor pulled the bag from the microwave, tearing it open and pouring popcorn into a waiting bowl. She watched him curiously as he drizzled melted butter over it, steam rising from the snack as he carried it back over to the couch.

Are we eating?”

This is popcorn, you eat it while watching movies.”

Why?”

You just do, ok? It's tradition, and we're doing human stuff.”

He flopped down beside her, navigating the menus displayed on the monitor with the remote, and Zhari reached over with her clawed fingers to take a handful of the popcorn. He batted her hand away, wagging his finger at her.

No eating until the movie starts,” he chided. “I figured you'd like war movies, there are lots of classics here. Platoon, Black Hawk Down, Zulu, The Battle of Britain. That's a personal favorite of mine. Oh, The Tau Ceti Rebellion, that's good. Looks like they have Heroes of San Francisco too, that's about the American-Chinese war of twenty one forty six.”

I don't know what those are,” she said, her attention more focused on the popcorn than the screen.

Ok, well let's watch something historical. You'd probably like Zulu with Michael Caine, it's all long rifles and melee combat.”

Who is Michael Caine? A great Earth hero?”

Yes,” McGregor replied resolutely, “yes he is.”

***

Zhari had not understood the purpose of 'movies'. It had seemed like a pointless distraction to her, a waste of time that would be better spent training at the rifle range, or lifting weights to maintain her muscle mass. She found herself transfixed however, licking the melted butter from her furry fingers with her rough tongue as she watched the story play out before her. The red men in the white helmets fought like Borealans, wielding long powder rifles with bayonets as they endured wave after wave of attacks from the darker skinned humans, who charged their fortifications with a reckless bravery that she couldn't help but admire.

She wasn't quite sure what they were fighting over, territory perhaps, but she found herself fascinated by what was happening on the screen. The humans had an old civilization, their technology and their society had changed so much. These red men had almost nothing in common with the UNN Marines that she served with in terms of technology and tactics, and yet they were distinctly human.

It made her culture feel a little inadequate in comparison. Her people weaved masterful tapestries that recorded the exploits of great heroes and the outcomes of historical battles, and they had an oral history that sometimes approximated the way that the actors on the screen talked. Stage plays, McGregor had called them when she had made the comparison. No humans would ever see them however, not unless they visited Borealis. Perhaps her people should create movies too, so that the humans might know of their own battles and heroes.

She grew restless after a while, the 'movie' was exciting, but her Alpha had bade her to sit quietly and so she did. Zhari might have been the only Borealan in the galaxy who had a human Alpha, at least one that had not been appointed to her by a superior.

Some of her kin found the way that the humans did things to be unusual, even nonsensical, but Zhari had never had much of a problem understanding the 'chain of command' as the humans referred to it. Back on the homeworld, and amongst the Borealans in a private capacity, the leader of a pack was decided through strength. Those who wished to lead would face off, fighting with tooth and claw until one of them gave in, and the winner was crowned Alpha. It remained that way until he was challenged by another who sought to claim the mantle from him.

In human society, the leader was decided through bureaucracy and meritocracy, those who were most accomplished and experienced rising to the top of the hierarchy. It was not too far removed from the Borealan way, but once one attained a rank, he could not be challenged and deposed. In a human squad, if you didn't like your leader or you thought that you could do the job better, it was tough shit.

Zhari obeyed, as did all of the Borealans who had graduated the integration program. It was the will of the Patriarch that they give the UNN their full cooperation, and so an order from a superior was treated as an order from the Patriarch himself, the Alpha of Alphas. In this sense it was possible to bypass the usual pack dynamic, and in doing so create a parallel social structure that made taking commands from someone so much smaller and weaker than themselves more tolerable.

As well as deciding who would lead the pack, Borealan dominance battles also had a reproductive purpose. The victor usually mated with the defeated party, rigorously and violently, passing on their dominant genes and improving the stock of the species as a whole. Confrontation, blood and pain, these were as aphrodisiacs to the feline aliens. There was nothing more frustrating than a sassy human, talking back and teasing, begging for a punishment that could never be administered due to their comparative frailty. Because of that, the tension and lust that preceded a fight never abated, the urge could never be satisfied.

While cuts and lacerations from the curved claws and sharp teeth that her people possessed were trivial injuries to a Borealan, and commonly healed overnight, it was more than enough to maim or even kill a human. Their hides were tantalizingly clear of scars and imperfections, like a canvass begging for the stroke of a painter's brush. Their tiny, weak bodies almost seemed designed to frustrate Borealans, and all of that was coupled with an attitude that was inherently aggravating.

They insulted as a friendly gesture, touched and grabbed without permission, being around them was both infuriating and arousing. Taking human lovers was becoming more and more common amongst the Borealans who were stationed on the Pinwheel, an easier solution than trying to suppress such powerful and overriding instincts on a daily basis.

Zhari's own instructor was one such case, someone who she had thought to be a deviant before succumbing to the same vices herself. Raz had planted a seed in her brain that had incubated, coming to a head during her time on EE-4 and resulting in McGregor's victory over her. Her loins still ached when she thought about that day. Half crazed with lust, she had tried to take the human, with the intention of teaching him his place and satisfying the urges that she could not yet admit to herself.

McGregor was not like any of the other humans that she had met, however. He was tenacious, willful, sly. He had pulled her from the crashed shuttle on EE-4, and the two had taken refuge from enemy search parties in a shallow cave. She had outranked him, she was larger and stronger than any human, and yet he would not submit to her. He had goaded her, antagonized her, refusing to obey her orders and eventually provoking a violent reaction.

In the end he had overcome her, exploiting her weaknesses to gain the upper hand. Despite her size and her strength, he had brought her to heel, a feat worthy of any male from the homeworld. It had been humiliating in a way, and yet oddly exciting. The taboo of being overcome by such a physically inferior specimen still filled her with a kind of guilty arousal.

He knew how to push her buttons. The little demons had agile fingers that were devoid of claws, and smooth tongues that seemed almost engineered to drive her kind crazy. He was chatty, sarcastic, he always had to have the last word. A 'wise-ass' as his friends and colleagues referred to him. It drove her to distraction, a constant background radiation of barely contained lust.

Even sitting beside him on the couch was an exercise in self-control and restraint. She wanted so badly to tear into him with her claws, but that would injure him. She had to fight the urge to challenge him, knowing that he would overcome her yet again. He seemed to know her own mind better than she did.

Zhari had no idea what he had in mind with this 'vacation', but she knew his character well enough to suspect that his motives were less than honorable.

CHAPTER 2: LESS THAN HONORABLE MOTIVES

Bon appetit,” McGregor declared, slamming a large pan down on the table. Zhari examined the contents, it looked like the carcass of a bird of some kind. The skin was golden brown, with white meat protruding here and there. It was resting in a bed of assorted vegetables, none of which she recognized.

What is it?” She asked skeptically.

Roast turkey, with a side of roast sweet potatoes and turnips. I figured a chicken wouldn't make much of a meal for you. Try the vegetables, they're cooked in the fat.”

She reached out towards the turkey with her claws, intending to tear the pale meat from the bones, but McGregor tapped her hand with a serving spoon.

Alpha goes first,” he said with a grin. “And use your cutlery, eating with your hands is impolite in human society.”

Coming between a Borealan and its next meal was dangerous indeed, but McGregor knew that she wouldn't hurt him. That confidence was part of what made him so irritating.

I have claws, what do I need with these tiny knives?” Zhari complained, lifting her knife and fork in her oversized fingers. They were the size of scalpels to her. The apartment had not come with cutlery because Borealans didn't use it, and so McGregor had brought his own.

Consider it a punishment for getting hair in the popcorn. Gonna have to get you a pair of latex gloves to use next time we eat some finger food.”

He picked up a larger knife, and carved himself a slice of breast meat, Zhari's mouth watering as the crispy skin pulled away along with it. He selected a few choice pieces of sweet potato, then gestured for Zhari to proceed. The majority of the meal was intended for her, mostly because she ate about five times the quantity of food that a human did in one sitting. She fumbled with the knife and fork, baring her sharp teeth as she became frustrated with the fiddly implements. Eventually McGregor relented, letting her use her claws, and she tore into the succulent meat. She pulled away strips, savoring the golden skin of the creature, and dipping the pale flesh into the grease and oil that had pooled in the bottom of the metal pan.

It wasn't half bad, all it needed was a touch of fish oil and it might have passed for an Elysian dish. The vegetables weren't bad either. Her people didn't care much for sweet things, their taste buds were more sensitive to salty and savory flavors. But she liked their texture and they had been roasted in the bird's juices, picking up some of its aroma.

So, how did you like the movie we watched?” McGregor asked over a mouthful of turkey.

Good,” she replied, nodding as she chewed. “Will we watch more later?”

If you want to, yeah. There are enough movies to last us years, never mind the week of shore leave that we have. Fortunately for you, and unfortunately for the last thousand generations of humans, our history has been pretty tumultuous.”

But you work together now?” Zhari asked, spearing a piece of turkey meat on one of her black claws and placing it on her tongue. “The red men and the black men fought in the movie, but I see them working together on the station.”

Red men? Oh, you mean the English soldiers and the Zulus? Yes, they're on good terms now, though neither empire still exists.”

Who defeated them?”

Well, the British Empire defeated the Zulus, and then a world war ended the British Empire. Turns out trying to maintain a planet spanning empire is really difficult and expensive.”

But what happened to make all of the Earth territories come together?”

McGregor seemed pleased by her questions, this must have been what he had wanted, to get her interested in human history and culture.

How many Borealans are there on Borealis?” He asked, and Zhari took a moment to think about the question.

Maybe a few hundred million.”

At the end of Earth's twenty second century, there were twenty billion humans living on the planet. It couldn't support them, there wasn't enough living space, the resources were stretched thin. To compound those problems, environmental changes were displacing populations, forcing disparate groups together who had nothing in common and who were competing for the same limited resources and land. Entire societies and ecosystems collapsed, what land remained was ravaged by wars and famines. More than two thirds of the human population died off.”

He started on another piece of turkey, washing it down with a cup of red liquid before continuing.

Some people call it the third world war, but it really wasn't organized enough to be considered one war, it was more like a hundred smaller conflicts that all added up. It took a century before technological and social progress got started again, and all of the remaining world powers had one goal in mind. Get the hell off Earth, because one planet can't support the entire human species, and nobody wanted the same thing to happen again in another hundred years.”

Twenty billion? Zhari couldn't even conceive of a number that high. Even the streets of the Elysian capital could feel overcrowded and claustrophobic at times, and she doubted that more than a few million people lived there.

And so a period of time began called the great expansion. Everyone went skyward, searching for habitable planets and colonizing every rock that they could get their hands on. With access to new resources came wealth and prosperity. War and conflict practically ended, because why fight someone over land when there was infinite land to be had? If a group of people had incompatible political or religious ideas, then they could simply leave and found their own civilization where they could live as they saw fit. That was about when the United Nations Navy came into being, intended to be a peace keeping force made up of soldiers and vessels from all of the different countries and colonies. They would act as police, maintaining order in interstellar space. For a long time we were doing pretty well, with only a few disputes and conflicts between colonies. The Jovian moons seceding from the PRC was probably the biggest upset.”

And then they joined the Coalition?” Zhari volunteered.

Hang on, I'm getting to that. So humanity was spreading all over the known galaxy, and so far we hadn't encountered any other sentient species. For all we knew, we were alone in the universe. That was when we came across the Betelgeusians. A colony ship arrived in the Betelgeuse star system to find that the planet it had intended to populate was already occupied. They tried to make peaceful contact, but the Bugs destroyed them. Forty thousand people were killed, all for no apparent reason. We realized then that just like living space on Earth, the galaxy was finite, and that there were other species out there who were competing for the same habitable planets. For the first time ever, humanity had an external enemy, an alien threat that everyone could rally against. It's strange to say, but we've never been more united as a species. We still have our disputes and internal problems of course, but away from the front, things are pretty peaceful.”

They chatted a little more about human history as they ate, Zhari taking special interest in the 'Medieval' period, when the humans had fought using tactics and technology that were remarkably similar to that of Elysia. She had often criticized humans for their penchant to fight from orbit and at extreme range, leveraging their advanced technology to avoid dirtier and more dangerous combat. It had always seemed cowardly to her, lacking in honor.

Now she realized that for much of their history they had fought as Borealans did. There had been bayonet charges and massed battles with humans wielding bladed weapons, it was all so exciting. That was what she would ask to see next, the 'knights', as McGregor had called them. Ancient human warriors bound by a code of honor to serve their rulers, it was almost identical to the way that her own people lived.

Before long she had demolished what remained of the turkey, eating everything but the bones, and licking the grease from the pan with her textured tongue. McGregor seemed pleased that she had enjoyed the meal.

He stood, collecting the plates and cutlery from the table and placing them beside a sink that was embedded in one of the wood counter tops.

I cooked, so you can wash up,” he announced. Zhari rose from her seat obediently, striding over to the counter and turning on the faucet. She ran her hand under the water, waiting for it to warm, and then reached for the dish soap.

Stop,” McGregor ordered, and she found herself standing still. Damn it, the more he acted the part of an Alpha, the more she found herself responding to him. He was learning to take advantage of her instincts. Not obeying one's Alpha would be seen as a challenge, which would result in a punitive clawing in most cases. While McGregor had no claws to speak of, and was not capable of physically overpowering her, she still had that same gut reaction that had been instilled in her over the years.

Something is missing,” he mused, and Zhari could hear him pacing behind her. “Oh, I know what it is.”

She turned her head to watch as he retrieved the mystery box that he had placed on the counter before dinner, tearing open the cardboard packaging. She craned her neck, curious as to what might be inside, but McGregor snapped his fingers at her and pointed at the sink.

You are forbidden from looking inside this box, understand?”

Y-Yes,” she replied, turning away. Damn, he really was playing the role of Alpha, had he been doing research or something? She wouldn't put it past the sneaky shuttle pilot. Her round ears swiveled like furry radar dishes to listen, both for more commands, and in an attempt to figure out what was in the box. She heard him break open the cardboard, then fumble with what sounded like a plastic wrapper of some kind.

Ok, turn around.”

She turned to face him, and saw the human standing before her with a pile of black and white fabric in his arms. He thrust it into her hands, and she examined it more closely. Was it clothing?

What is it?” Zhari asked, sifting through the pile of thin material. There hardly seemed to be enough of it to constitute an outfit.

A traditional human uniform, I want you to wear it during our stay here.”

A uniform? But it's just...strips of fabric. There isn't enough here to cover me.”

Oh, that isn't the point,” he replied with a wide grin.

Why do you want me to wear this?” Zhari asked, confused.

Because it pleases me. You want to please your Alpha, don't you?”

She had no doubt at this point that he must have been poring over information about her species and their social system in preparation for this week, he had planned it all in advance.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go change.”

She bowed her head, and made her way towards the bedroom.

***

Zhari emerged from behind the sliding door, her cheeks flushed red as she stood before McGregor in her new getup. It was another hit to his bank account that had been difficult to justify, but looking at her wearing the specially made clothes, he knew that it had been worth every credit.

The eight foot tall alien was clad in a revealing maid outfit, little more than a brassiere and a short skirt made to resemble the traditional garment, her body language betraying her self-consciousness. Borealans did not generally dress pretty, they either wore uniforms or armor, and McGregor was unsure what the fashions were like back on the homeworld. Gender roles on Borealis were less distinct than they were in human society, and they were a little less sexually dimorphic than humans, with the females able to match the males in size and strength. For those reasons he doubted that they were accustomed to such sexualized clothing, he couldn't picture a Borealan wearing a bikini or a ball gown.

The skirt was made from black fabric that barely served to cover her, with a trim that was made from white lace. There was a white half-apron on the skirt's front, similarly decorated with a white ruffle, a facsimile that served no real purpose. Her midriff was bare, exposing her impressive musculature, twin rows of abdominal muscles bulging from beneath her pale skin as if they had been chiseled from marble.

Her thighs were similarly muscled, thick and round in order to support her immense weight, a pair of black garters decorated with red bows struggling to encircle them. A pair of garter belts disappeared beneath her skirt to hold them up, presumably anchored to the lingerie that he knew lay beneath.

Her sizable breasts were suspended in a brassiere made from white lace, with decorative ruffles that extended up her shoulders. A tiny corset that served no purpose other than to titillate rested beneath her boobs, so small that it scarcely reached the top row of her abs. It was black in color and held together with red string.

There were black cuffs on her wrists that stood out against her orange fur, similarly decorated with white frills and sporting gold cufflinks. On her head she wore a ruffled, white headpiece with red bows, perched between her round ears. Around her neck was a black choker, decorated with white lace and held together with a red ribbon. A small, golden bell dangled from it, the kind that one might find on the collar of a pet cat.

Borealans had fur only in specific places, most notably on their digitigrade legs up to their knees, and on their hands and forearms up to the elbow. It sometimes gave the impression that they were wearing furry gloves and socks. Besides the long, fuzzy tail that protruded from beneath her skirt, the rest of her skin was clean. As with most of her kind, she was covered in faded scars, pink claw marks that criss-crossed her exposed skin. They were on her thighs and belly, her chest and upper arms, there were even a few on her face. They were not disfiguring, the Borealan healing factor was impressive and even the deep lacerations incurred during dominance bouts mended quickly, but her body told a story of fights won and lost.

Y-You're staring,” she stammered, McGregor delighting in her embarrassment. She was so massive, impossibly powerful, and yet she looked like a teenage girl wearing her prom dress for the first time. He had eyeballed her dimensions when he had sent off for the custom clothing, and she was practically spilling out of them, especially in the chest area. Her breasts were larger and probably heavier than his damned head, the fabric that contained them so thin and soft that he could make out her nipples through it.

She reached up and tapped the little bell with a curved claw, listening to the ringing sound that it made.

What is the function of this?”

It's so that I know where you are.”

This clothing is...purposeless. It does not cover, it does not protect, it doesn't warm me. Is this apron supposed to protect me from dirt? It's too small.”

And how does it make you feel?” McGregor asked, admiring her conspicuously as she rubbed her thighs together and averted her gaze. Her face was beet red, he could have cooked an egg on her cheeks.

Exposed...”

Sexy?” He volunteered.

She crossed her arms over her chest, grumbling under her breath. She was doing her best to look aloof, but failing. McGregor could read her like an open book, and he knew arousal when he saw it. Just like that time in the cave, she was putting on an act, feigning disinterest in an attempt to save face. That was one of the things that he enjoyed the most about their strange relationship, tearing down the walls that she liked to put up.

Borealan society was one of inherent power play. Whether they were submitting to an Alpha, or dominating the pack that lived under them, someone was always on top and someone was always on the bottom. Yet despite the obvious sexual component of their pack structure, he wasn't sure that they had ever really explored their sexuality beyond that simple dynamic. They gleaned enjoyment and satisfaction from overpowering a foe, and even in being overpowered, yet McGregor had come across nothing that might indicate a deeper understanding of their own sadomasochistic tendencies during his research.

He had never visited Borealis, and so for all he knew there could be fetish parlors on every street corner, catering to all manner of fantasies and taboos. It didn't seem likely however, and if that was the case, then Zhari was certainly uncommonly naive.

That was about to change, however.

Now that you're appropriately dressed, you can do the dishes,” he said.

Seeming pleased to have something to occupy herself with, she returned to her position in front of the sink, filling it with hot water and dish soap. She began to wash the dirty plates with a sponge, needing no further instruction, which led McGregor to believe that the household chore was common to both species. They must use plates back on the homeworld, and they must wash them after the fact. What else had he been expecting?

He let her work for a few minutes, and then sauntered up behind her, noticing that one of her round ears had swiveled to track him. Their senses were sharper than those of a human, making them very difficult to sneak up on.

He eyed her long tail as it waved idly back and forth, covered in puffy, orange fur that had faded stripes like those of a tiger. He could just make out the barest peek of her black lingerie beneath the short skirt, the movement of her tail lifting the fabric.

He reached out a hand and gripped the appendage by the base, feeling her fur puff up like a surprised cat, her body tensing as she felt his fingers wrap around her tail. He gave it a hard yank, hearing a stifled moan escape her pursed lips, and watching as her trembling thighs pressed together. She would never admit to it, but she loved it when he pulled her tail, or when he massaged her lower back. There must be a nerve cluster there or something, she reacted so strongly to it.

I didn't say stop,” he said, and she took a moment to compose herself before starting on the next dish. Her hands were submerged in the soapy water, so she couldn't do much to ward him off.

He waited for a few moments with her tail resting in his hand, enjoying the tension as she anticipated another tug. He let it drag out, and just when he felt her begin to relax, he gave her fluffy appendage another hard yank. Her head rolled back and her muscles tensed, her claws digging into the edge of the wooden counter top as she gripped it for balance. He heard another stifled grunt that tapered into a low sigh, her legs trembling slightly as she recovered and resumed her task.

Her muscles were like coiled springs, he could practically hear the thoughts that were roiling in her head as she waited for another jolt, fumbling with the plates with trembling hands.

If you break a plate, you won't get any salted ice cream,” he teased.

Salted ice cream? I want some sal-”

He interrupted her mid-sentence with another tug, watching the muscles that carved a deep channel down her spine tense and flex, her thick thighs squeezing together. He could read her body language like a book, whenever she was aroused she moved her legs, twitching her stubby toes or rubbing her smooth thighs together. She would be soaking her lace panties under that skirt, he could probably get her off right here by slipping a couple of fingers beneath the fabric, but the game was just beginning.

She was trying so hard to concentrate on the dishes, but he knew that all of her attention was consumed by the sensation of his light grip on her tail. Her chest was rising and falling more heavily now, her breath becoming ragged and less regular, as if she was afraid to breathe.

There wasn't very much to wash up, there were only two of them after all, and before long all that was left was the metal pan that McGregor had cooked the turkey in. She had cleaned up most of the grease when they were sat at the table, using her rough, textured tongue to lick it away. Again he waited until she became more relaxed before hitting her with another harsh yank.

This time a distinctly sexual moan escaped her lips, and her legs gave out, her knees buckling as she slid down the side of the counter. She gripped the edge of the sink to save from falling, soap suds sliding down the wooden paneling as she kneeled on the tiled floor. McGregor reached out a hand and delved into her hair, now at chest height to him, scratching her behind the ear with his fingers. She shivered contentedly, her long tail winding across the floor like a furry snake, every movement punctuated by the ringing of the tiny bell that hung from her choker.

Good girl,” he whispered, his tone low and placating.

***

Zhari found herself on the floor, the insubstantial underwear that McGregor had commanded her to wear sticking to her groin as her juices soaked it, little more than a mesh of lace and silk. The clothing had made her feel oddly warm, as if her body was being put on display for her Alpha's pleasure. Why he would tease himself like that rather than just taking what was his escaped her.

The human knew exactly what to do in order to get a reaction from her. The base of her tail ached with a dull, satisfying pleasure from his tugging, and now his fingers were combing through her hair. He tickled her furry ears, his lack of claws making his touch gentle and pleasant, her excitement leaking down her inner thighs as she tried in vain to cover herself with her hopelessly inadequate skirt.

Her heart was pounding in her chest, her mouth was dry, her loins ached with an emptiness that only he could fill. She wanted him desperately, but it was not her decision to make. A subordinate did not make demands of her Alpha, no matter how great her desire.

Good girl...”

The words cut through her fog of arousal like a hot knife, a strange fluttering sensation rising in her belly. The pack's reason for being, their purpose, was to serve their Alpha. McGregor was pleased with her, she did not know what she had done so right, but he was praising her. There were no other pack members with whom she had to share the attention, she was the sole recipient of his affection, his favorite.

His hand left her hair, and she struggled to her feet, her legs unsteady as she picked up the metal pan and finished cleaning it. She was on edge, awaiting another tug of her tail, another jolt of electrical pleasure shooting up her spine. It never came however, McGregor simply watched her, she could feel his eyes playing up and down her body as she scrubbed.

She finished her task, drying her furry hands on a towel, pressing them tightly together to squeeze out all of the soapy water. She wanted desperately to reach a finger between her thighs, to push aside that flimsy garment and rub until this tension left her, but she knew that McGregor had other ideas. Nothing he did was unintentional, without purpose. He wanted her to feel this way, and so it was her duty to oblige him.

Her face burning, she turned to face him, fumbling with her short skirt as she tried to straighten it. She was so conscious of the strange, alien outfit. It was not necessarily uncomfortable or cold, and yet the fabric was soft and delicate enough to bother her in other ways. The top was too tight, the lacy material brushing against her swollen nipples, teasing her every time she moved. The skirt was revealing, and the bands around her thighs and neck served no purpose other than to titillate. Borealans found no shame in nakedness, as was a common trait in humans. Yet something about being so sparsely clothed, at risk of exposing her sodden panties to him with every step...it filled her with a blend of shame and an almost giddy excitement.

She liked the way that his eyes played across her exposed body, more covetous than when she was simply nude. It was as if revealing so much, while keeping her most intimate anatomy covered, was more pleasing to him. Again it was like he was teasing himself, prolonging his desire rather than taking her as he pleased.

It confused her, but she liked it. She felt almost drunk.

I'm done,” she stated, struggling to keep her voice from wavering. “W-What would you ask of me now?”

The question was risky, it might have been taken as a challenge by a Borealan Alpha, but she was starting to understand that McGregor was different. He lacked that gut reaction to perceived insubordination, the clip around the ear or the claw swipe that she anticipated never came.

She waited with bated breath, hoping against hope that he might just order her to all fours and take her on the kitchen floor. He knew what she wanted, she could see it in his eyes.

Now we're going to eat some ice cream.”

CHAPTER 3: SALTED CARAMEL

Zhari shoveled a large spoonful of the cold dessert into her mouth, her eyes fixed on the screen in front of the couch as two sides of a Medieval battlefield met, horses braying and metal clashing as they fell upon each other. She seemed to be enjoying the ice cream, as well as the movie. McGregor knew that her people weren't too sensitive to sweet tastes, and so he had chosen a salted caramel flavor instead of the usual chocolate or vanilla.

He laughed as she swallowed a hunk that was too large, sticking out her long tongue and screwing her eyes shut.

You'll give yourself brain freeze, slow down!”

She set the bowl down on the armrest and waved her furry hands, licking her palate like a dog trying to eat peanut butter as he laughed at her.

It'll stop soon, don't worry. Don't you have refrigeration where you come from?”

Not like this,” she sputtered, the sensation finally abating. “This is really cold!”

It's ice cream, that's the point.”

She returned the spoon to her mouth as soon as she was able, watching as the armored knights in the movie fought one another, banners flapping in the wind as the soldiers battered their foes with shields and flails. Cavalry charged into the fray, horses speared on pikes as their riders swung swords into the crowd below.

Tell me again what they're fighting over?” She asked, her sharp teeth clicking on her spoon.

Territory mostly, King Henry is leading the English against the French at Agincourt. The two countries fought for over a hundred years.”

He's their Patriarch?”

In a way. He's the King, back in those days the right to rule was decided by blood.”

That seems inefficient, what if he was a bad leader?”

You're right, there were many bad leaders. It wasn't a very good system of government. There was Henry the Eighth, King John, Ivan the Terrible and King Leopold. That system lasted for a significant chunk of our history, however.”

You like history?” She asked, swallowing another mouthful of ice cream. “You know a lot about this stuff.”

I guess I do, yeah. We humans like to share our hobbies with the people that we like.”

And these two factions, they're allies now?”

Close friends, yeah.”

She pondered for a moment as she watched the battle play out, basking in the heat from the holographic fireplace as the digital flames licked at the hearth.

I don't understand how they can become friends after fighting for so long. They fought for a hundred years, and then they just stopped one day?”

It's not really that simple,” McGregor chuckled, “and the hundred years war was only one of many. All things considered, they probably fought on and off for a thousand years. Countries become allies for various reasons, to unite against a common enemy that threatens them both for example, or because they realize that cooperation is more fruitful than war.”

Like what you said about all of the colonies uniting against the Bugs?”

Exactly, it's a similar situation.”

She looked thoughtful, mulling over what he had said as she sat there with the spoon in her mouth. McGregor could tell what she was thinking.

You're wondering if the same thing will happen on Borealis,” he volunteered, and she nodded. “It's possible, likely even. Borealis hasn't been directly threatened by the Bugs yet, you have no offworld colonies to defend either. While you serve as auxiliaries in the Coalition, I get the impression that the reality of the situation hasn't really hit the homeworld yet. They're still mired in old rivalries that would be made insignificant once they realized the real threat.”

If all of the territories united, we would be unstoppable,” she said as she stared into space.

Not without a fleet you wouldn't. If the Bugs wanted to take Borealis, they could bombard it from orbit and your people wouldn't be able to do a damned thing to stop them. That's why there's a UNN fleet stationed in the system at all times.”

Elysia has a fleet!” Zhari protested.

Junkers,” McGregor laughed, “and your pilots have no training or combat experience. I hate to think what the upkeep is like, don't you land them in the desert because you have no orbital installations?”

She pouted, and he patted her thigh apologetically.

I'm not trying to put you down, we need you as much as you need us after all. Our Marines used to get torn up by Bugs in close combat before we started using Borealan shock troops.”

That seemed to cheer her up, and she finished off her ice cream as she watched the end of the movie, licking the bowl clean with her long tongue.

Good?” McGregor asked, and she nodded contentedly. Borealans were so easy to please, all it took was a few treats to make them happy. He had bought a gallon of ice cream, and she would probably have eaten the whole thing in one sitting if he wasn't rationing it.

I've got another treat for you,” he said, and her ears perked up.

What is it?”

Stay here.”

He rose to his feet, walking over to where the mystery box was waiting on the kitchen counter.

***

Zhari kept her eyes forward, remembering that McGregor had ordered her not to look inside the box. The first item that he had brought from it was the costume that she was currently wearing, would it be a different kind of clothing? He had said that he had a treat for her, and the outfit seemed more for his benefit than hers. Was it more food maybe? Her mouth began to water as she imagined new and exciting flavors of ice cream.

She heard him rummaging through the box's contents, and then his footsteps as they transitioned from tile to carpet, McGregor making his way back to the couch. There was some kind of...device in his hand that she didn't recognize. A rubber wire with some kind of ball on the end of it.

She eyed it curiously as he sat down beside her and unraveled the coiled wire, taking the bullet-shaped end between his thumb and forefinger.

What's that?” She asked.

He reached down and slid a hand between her legs, parting them. She gasped as she felt his fingers trace the glass-smooth skin of inner thigh, her muscles tensing as he roamed higher, tantalizingly close to her loins. She leaned back into the plush cushions, tingling pleasure shooting through her as his questing digits reached the band of lace and fabric that was coiled high on her leg.

He lifted it with a finger, sliding the bullet-shaped device beneath it, and then wrapping the long, flexible wire around it. There was a block on the other end, and he let it hang from her garter, the wire wound tightly enough to prevent it from falling.

Zhari was too aroused to ask questions now, her breath becoming ragged as his hand strayed higher, his fingers sliding beneath her skirt and brushing the fabric of her panties. She shivered, her juices flowing as her arousal mounted, leaking forth to dampen her lace underwear. He pressed his fingers against her loins, the 'squish' audible to her sensitive ears, and perhaps to his too. He brushed her swollen clitoris through the fabric, and she arched her spine as a wave of excitement tore through her.

Was he finally relenting? Desire burned inside her like a smoldering fire, she felt so woefully empty. It was if there was an itch deep inside her that she couldn't reach, her thighs closing around his hand as he teased her.

He hooked a finger around her insubstantial panties and pulled them aside, linked to her swollen lips by a sagging web of fluids. She felt something cool, textured, and she realized that he was pushing the bullet-shaped device on the end of the long wire inside her.

It was ribbed, made from flexible plastic or perhaps silicone, dragging against the sensitive walls of her passage as he pushed it deeper. Her muscular tunnel closed around it, a tremor rolling through her body, sparks of pleasure searing her nerves. She was so wet that McGregor's progress was scarcely impeded by her clenching, and he continued on until the device was buried in her most intimate depths.

He withdrew, her amber eyes following his finger as he brought it to his mouth and sucked her juices from it, leaving her aching and wanting. What had been the point of that? Was he just teasing her? He seemed to see the question in her expression, and he withdrew something from his pocket, brandishing what looked like a smaller version of the remote that he had used to control the movie screen.

Before she could ask what it was, he pushed one of the buttons, and she was filled with a sudden burst of unexpected pleasure. The object that he had pushed inside her was moving of its own accord, shaking and vibrating as her muscular passage tightened around it, the sensation so sudden and powerful that it drove a pitiful mewl from her lips. Her spine arched off the couch, her claws digging into the fabric of the armrest, her thighs squeezing together as she writhed.

The vibrations spread through her in waves, washing up her torso and down her legs, as if everything between her chest and her knees was being massaged by a thousand tiny hands. It penetrated her muscles, she could feel it in her bones, her syrupy emissions seeping through her panties and falling to wet the cushions beneath her.

McGregor pressed the button again, and the vibrations ceased.

She sank into the couch, breathing heavily, rubbing her now sticky thighs together as she recovered from the sensation. She had never felt anything like that before, it must be some kind of human machine, designed to dispense pleasure. She was constantly surprised by the gadgets and trinkets that the little aliens came up with.

The wracking pleasure had been intense, almost unbearable, but he had ended it before she had been able to get off. She turned her head to look at him, her cheeks red, her feline eyes pleading for more.

Good girl,” he whispered, and she bit her lower lip as she felt a fresh flare of lust rise up inside her. It made her feel funny when he said that, turned on, but also oddly acquiescent. She was a good girl, or at least she tried to be, and she was pleased when he praised her for her good behavior. Serving her Alpha was her primary purpose after all, the greatest aspiration of all Borealans.

Now I want 'you' to say it,” he said, a sly smile curling his lips. “Who's my good girl?”

I-I am,” she stammered, her heart beating so hard that it was making her chest wobble in her frilled brassiere.

Her toes curled as he pressed the button, the tiny egg that he had pushed inside her vibrating violently, making her feel as if every nerve that she had down there was being stroked simultaneously. As abruptly as it had come, the sensation abated, leaving her frustrated and desperate for more. Her loins were drooling like a hungry mouth, she couldn't stand much more of his teasing.

Say it,” he repeated.

I-I'm your good girl,” she repeated, her passage spasming and twitching with residual pleasure. Why did those words make her so hot, why did they make her face burn and her loins ache?

He hit the button again, sending her into convulsions of ecstasy, the couch's wooden frame creaking its displeasure beneath her as she shivered and whined. McGregor played with more buttons, and she felt a change in the device, the violent shaking growing weaker and leveling out into a dull buzz. It still kept her on edge, the slow throb making stars dance before her eyes, her thighs pressing together reflexively to match its pulsing rhythm.

She reached a hand between her legs, intent on rubbing out the orgasm that she had been building towards all day, but she hesitated as she heard McGregor give her a stern command.

No. Don't touch yourself.”

But...” She whined, torn between pleasure and obedience.

Zhari,” he growled, “obey your Alpha.”

Reluctantly, she did as she was ordered, letting her hands fall limply at her sides.

You're not to touch yourself unless I give you permission, understand?”

She nodded, her expression sullen.

Don't worry,” he continued, “a good Alpha never gives with one hand and takes with the other. Be a good girl, and your obedience will be rewarded.”

She let out a stifled groan as he dialed up the vibrations again, the device dancing and oscillating inside her. Its textured surface was maddening, rubbing against her silken walls as they did their utmost to squeeze against it, drawing it ever deeper. She couldn't help but contract her muscles around it, and the tighter her loins became, the more she felt its maddening resonance. As amazing as it felt, and as much as it turned her legs to jelly, it wasn't enough to make her climax.

She was jolted back to alertness by the sensation of McGregor's hand resting on her leg, his fingers stroking her, enjoying her velvet skin and the firm muscle that lurked beneath. He watched her convulse for a moment, before lowering the intensity so that she could function again.

Do you want to come?” He asked, her round ears swiveling to listen intently.

Yes,” she whined, quivering as he squeezed the soft meat of her thigh.

Remember when we talked about table manners? What do we say when we want something?”

P-Please,” Zhari begged, practically foaming at the mouth. The foreign object still buzzed and pulsed inside her, heat radiating through her body like a fever.

Phrase it as a question, and I might consider relieving you.”

P-Please may I come?”

And who is your question directed towards?” McGregor asked, his fingers sliding up her damp thigh and halting near the warmth of her crotch.

Please m-may I come, my Alpha?”

Very well,” he sighed, “but only because you asked me so nicely.”

He rose from his seat beside her on the couch, kneeling on the floor in front of her and parting her legs with his hands. He leaned down close to her, Zhari craning her neck to watch him over the mounds of her bust as his cheek brushed her thigh, another tremor rolling through her as she felt his hot breath through the thin lace of her underwear.

***

McGregor pushed his head beneath Zhari's skirt and pulled her lace panties aside, the thin fabric soaked with her excitement, strands of it dripping free as he exposed her flushed lips. She was feverishly hot, so swollen that she looked sore. He felt her massive body flinch as he brushed his fingers against her sensitive anatomy.

She got excessively wet on the best of days. Despite her size, her muscle tone made her unexpectedly tight, and the males of her species were well endowed. She was gushing now however, her loins glistening with a layer of slime, thick ropes of it clinging to the fabric of her underwear. It felt as if someone had soaked her lingerie in personal lubricant.

She was so large, so powerful, but she trembled like a leaf as he spread her labia with two fingers to expose the pink flesh within. He had never seen her so aroused before, it was like she was being touched for the first time, her opening twitching and spasming around the egg vibrator's cable as it vanished inside her.

He thumbed the remote, upping the frequency of the vibration to a low buzz, feeling her thick thighs tense against his cheeks as a wave of pleasure tore through her like an electric shock. It was a little alarming, she was strong enough to pop his head like a ripe cherry if she wasn't careful.

He could feel her warmth on his lips, smell her familiar musk, her feminine scent enticing him as he pressed closer. He raked his tongue between her labia, made slippery by her juices, tracing the lines and folds of her sex as he roamed higher. She groaned, her tension palpable, beads of sweat welling on her burnished skin as her muscular belly clenched and flexed. She was almost hot enough to scald him, and he felt the vibrator's cable on the tip of his tongue as he began to lap, jerking and moving as her inner walls wrung the toy with a desperate fervor.

Borealans had rough tongues, and it took uncommon skill for them to perform oral sex on a partner without it becoming unpleasant. Like a cat, the upper surface of their organs were lined with tiny barbs that were used to comb their fur, and perhaps to aid in eating. It made them less than ideal for gently teasing a clitoris, or curling around a tender glans.

A human tongue however was smooth and soft, making even a clumsy and inexperienced human partner a rare and coveted delight. McGregor knew his way around a woman well enough, and he knew Zhari's lush folds like the back of his own hand, he knew exactly how to make her swoon.

She bucked her wide hips, grinding her loins against his face as he licked and mouthed, her thick juices hanging from his chin in ropes. He pushed his tongue into her opening, feeling her muscles seize around his organ, too slippery to get a grip. The toy's cable was cool against his tongue, contrasting against her burning flesh, he could feel the vibrations from it as they flowed through her.

He withdrew, hearing her croon and purr, taking a moment to plant a kiss on her inner thigh before sliding higher. He felt her engorged protrusion on the tip of his tongue, hearing her loose a sharp gasp and feeling her body tense as he grazed its smooth surface. He pressed his lips around her clitoris, sucking it out from beneath its protective hood of skin. It felt large and prominent in his mouth as he circled it with his tongue, painting it with his saliva, her clawed fingers shooting down to delve into his hair. The curved talons tickled his scalp as she took handfuls, guiding him as his lips roamed across her sensitive vulva.

He took advantage of her affected state to slide his hands across her meaty thighs, slick with her juices, her skin as smooth and as luxurious as velvet. Beneath the subtle layer of fat that made her so inviting and touchable was firm muscle, like bunches of steel cables as they flexed with every stroke of his tongue. They were so thick that he could wrap both arms around them and his fingers would scarcely meet on the other side, like a pair of tree trunks, entirely necessary to support her immense weight in the high gravity of her home planet.

His fingers crept higher, tracing the wide curve of her hip and playing across her taut belly, her developed abdominal muscles protruding from beneath her satin skin. They were wet with a sheen of fresh sudor, making her body glisten in the low light as it twisted and writhed. He rested his hand just above the silky tuft of orange fur that passed for her pubic hair, he could feel the vibrator beneath his palm, able to distinguish the rhythmic pulsing from her own muscle spasms.

He decided to switch things up, keeping her clitoris trapped between his lips as he pressed buttons with his thumb. The remote had a lot of settings, and McGregor intended to get the most out of his purchase, changing the vibration from a constant buzz to a pulsating throb that made the silicone egg beat inside her like a tiny heart. She reacted strongly, her eyes widening and her feline pupils dilating into dark circles as she gripped his hair more tightly, her furry fingers trembling.

McGregor took the opportunity to slip a finger inside her, feeling her narrow passage ripple and clench as his digit parted her walls with some difficulty. There was so much resistance, she was so impossibly tight, he was surprised that her powerful contractions hadn't crushed the toy to dust by now. His digit shared the space with the vibrator's flexible cable, her viscous excitement leaking around his knuckle as his pushed deeper, finding the toy with the tip of his finger.

He began to curl it in a 'come hither' motion, probing the upper wall of her tunnel in search of a weak spot that he knew from experience to be present. He kept up his ardent sucking all the while, circling her engorged clitoris with his tongue and coating its firm surface in his saliva, every glance drawing a gasp from her lips as she shuddered and moaned under his relentless assault.

Zhari was close to the edge, he could feel it in the way that her muscular tunnel gripped him, rolling up his finger in wracking waves as he teased her. He had kept her hot and ready all day, a little cruel perhaps, especially for a Borealan who was so accustomed to sex being a fast and brutal affair. He had achieved the desired result however, he delighted in the way that she was reacting to his long delayed attentions, her paw-like toes curling and uncurling as her puffy tail waved back and forth.

She looked good in the lingerie, he had gotten the dimensions spot-on. The lace garment could scarcely have been referred to as clothing, a net of black silk designed more to entice than to preserve the wearer's modesty. The floral patterns were arranged in such a way so that they only covered what they needed to. He longed to have her undress for him, slow and teasing, until all that she was wearing were her black undergarments. All in good time. He was playing the long game here, and he intended to enjoy every minute of it.

Zhari had sunk deep into the plush cushions of the couch, her knees resting on the carpeted floor as she thrusted and gyrated, her body seeking out more stimulation. Her clawed fingers had left his hair and were now sinking deep into the faux-leather, another expense to add to the bill. He decided that it was about time to end her suffering, drawing on her protruding nub of flesh and driving his finger into her g-spot. With his free hand he dialed the vibrator up to its maximum setting, feeling the powerful oscillations travel through her loins, penetrating deep into muscle and bone.

She mewled desperately, a weak and pitiable sound coming from such a proud creature, her spine arching as she lost herself in the pleasure. He felt her climax around his finger, crushing it with a force that was almost alarming, wringing his digit with waves of muscular contractions that sought to drag him deeper. He dropped the remote, wrapping his free arm around her waist in attempt to keep his mouth locked to her loins as she bucked and jumped, her fluids gushing past his hand as he drew out another decimating orgasm.

She just kept going, pushing the heels of her hands into her eyes as she bared her sharp teeth, a strand of drool escaping her lips as she endured the overwhelming sensations. She cursed in her native tongue, the meaning of the alien words obvious enough to McGregor as he lapped at her swollen clitoris. He withdrew his finger from her passage, no longer able to tolerate her squeezing, her burning loins fighting to keep him inside as his movement solicited another burst of ecstasy.

Her long legs trembled, her abs flexing under the strain, glistening with sweat as she fucked the air with a hopeless zeal. McGregor finally relented, pulling away from her roiling body, his lips linked to hers with a fat string of her come. He fumbled for the remote, decreasing the intensity of the vibrations to a slower, more placating rumble. He watched excitedly as she slowly lowered her trembling body back down onto the couch, tremors passing through her impressive musculature.

Her breath came in ragged gasps, the alien wetting her pink lips with her long tongue as she collapsed, her furry hands roaming across her belly and thighs as she rode out the last pulses of pleasure. She was red-faced, exhausted, her body dripping with sweat. He hadn't seen her come this hard since that first night in the cave. Seeing her this way made him as hard as a damned rock. It was a struggle to prevent himself from tearing off his clothes and plunging into her inviting passage, her loins splayed and dripping, the sight of it making his mouth water with anticipation.

He had to stay in control, that was the whole point of this exercise. All of the tension that he had built up so far would melt away if he allowed himself to succumb to her charms. No, he had to play the role of the stoic Alpha for now. He would enjoy her later, in ways that she could not even imagine, all in good time.

He crawled up beside her on the couch, stroking her burning cheek with his hand, feeling her twitch as she responded to his touch. She looked up at him with her amber eyes, adoring, almost worshiping. She seemed expectant, waiting for something, and he slid his hand down her slippery stomach as her muscles twitched beneath the surface of her wet skin. He pushed beneath her skirt, enjoying the silky texture of her lingerie as he searched for her clitoris, rubbing it slowly and pushing his face into the nape of her neck. He bit her, painful for a human, but Borealans went wild for it. That was what their Alphas did, they sank their sharp teeth deep into the flesh of their subordinate's necks and shoulders when they fucked them ragged, leaving scars that marked them as their own.

She came again, her eyelids fluttering as the tingling pleasure spread through her, an almost inaudible sigh escaping her throat.

Good girl,” he whispered in her ear, and she crooned contentedly at the sound of his voice.

They lay together for a few minutes, McGregor cradling her head, almost apologetic as she recovered from her ordeal. She was grinning however, giddy, awash with a deep and permeating euphoria. When her afterglow finally subsided, she reached down to remove the toy, but McGregor stayed her hand.

Keep it in,” he said, brandishing the remote. Her face flushed with a new heat, her eyes glazing over as she stared at the wireless controller, no doubt coming to grips with the idea that he could cripple her with pleasure whenever he pleased. She would never know when it would come, or how intense it would be, she only knew that McGregor had his finger on the button.

Y-Yes,” she croaked, her voice hoarse. “As you wish...”

You'd better get cleaned up before dinner,” he said, patting her thigh. “There's a Borealan sized shower in the bathroom. Don't worry about your toy, it's waterproof...evidently.”

She rose to her feet unsteadily, putting her weight on the armrest, swaying drunkenly as she proceeded towards the sliding door. McGregor eyed the sizable puddle that she had left on the cushion. Better get some towels, or he could kiss his deposit goodbye.

CHAPTER 4: A BATTLE OF WITS

So what other kinds of movies are there?” Zhari asked, forking a cut of steak into her mouth. She was getting the hang of cutlery now, McGregor would make a proper lady out of her yet.

That's kind of a vague question,” he laughed, “and pass the gravy.”

She reached across the table with her long arm, placing the condiment in front of him, and he lathered his mashed potatoes with the brown liquid. They had eaten turkey for lunch, and McGregor had made grilled porterhouse steaks along with potatoes and greens for dinner. One for him, five for Zhari. Fortunately the apartment had an oven geared towards Borealan needs, and it was scaled up appropriately.

Let me think,” he continued, chewing on a mouthful of mashed potato. “There's drama, that's usually about relationships and romance. Horror, those are designed to scare you. Comedy, they're supposed to make you laugh, fantasy and science-fiction are about fictional scenarios. Westerns, action, musicals. There are too many to list. Why, did you have something in mind?”

No, I just wondered if they were all about war.”

There's other stuff that we can do besides watching movies you know,” McGregor said, helping himself to another spoonful of steamed vegetables from a bowl on the table. “I have a bunch of games that we could play.”

Games?” Zhari asked, her ears twitching with interest. “What kind of games?”

McGregor looked her up and down, considering his reply.

I don't think that video games are quite your thing, your hands are...enormous. How about we play an ancient human strategy game?”

Strategy?”

Yeah,” he said, putting on a mysterious tone. “It's been passed down for hundreds of years, a combat simulator that pits your wits against an opponent in a battle to the death.”

I'd like that!” Zhari announced, mumbling over a mouthful of steak.

Do try not to talk with your mouth full,” he said, “and you shouldn't eat the-”

There was a loud crack as Zhari snapped a T-bone in her powerful jaws, crunching through it like it was nothing more than a pastry crust.

Sorry,” she mumbled, “what shouldn't I eat?”

Never mind...so, do you want to play?”

I do,” she replied.

Don't go easy on me, you hear? I know you guys are weird about showing up your Alphas, but I expect you to give me a fair fight.”

She nodded enthusiastically, her mouth too full to talk she speared another steak and ate it whole.

***

Zhari narrowed her feline eyes, examining the readout in front of her. A bead of sweat dripped from her brow, furrowed with concentration, the gears in her head turning as she considered her next move. She picked up a yellow peg between her sharp claws, slotting it into a hole on the game board as she bared her carnivore teeth in a grin.

E-6!”

Miss!” McGregor announced, and she cursed under her breath.

My turn,” he said, examining the plastic representations of spaceships that were laid out on the numbered grid. “I'm gonna guess...B-9.”

His alien opponent placed a red peg on her toy carrier, grumbling angrily.

You destroyed my carrier...”

Score another one for humanity.”

It's not fair. You've played before,” she complained, peering over the top of the divider that separated their two sides.

Hey, no peeking! You're not doing that badly, you got one of my frigates, and my courser. It's all about predicting what your opponent will do, getting inside their head and understanding how they think.”

F-8,” she snapped.

Good guess, good guess, you damaged my battleship.”

Ha,” she exclaimed triumphantly, “I can still win.”

You could still win...if I hadn't figured out where your frigate is. H-3, if I'm not mistaken.”

Damned humans and their ships,” she grumbled, placing a red marker in the slot.

It's a simple game, be glad that I didn't break out the Chess board or I'd really be trouncing you. Don't Borealans have games like this?”

Mostly we just play fight. There is one game though, it's called 'razzjat', and it's supposed to teach patience to kittens.”

Razzjat?” McGregor repeated, fumbling with the alien word. The Borealan language was guttural and rolling, full of hard consonants. “How do you play?”

A wooden cube is carved with six faces, and on each face are four patterns. The box rotates, scrambling the patterns, and the player must turn the faces until they all line up. It is a frustrating game, but that's the point. The kitten learns patience, strategy. It is taught that sometimes planning is required to achieve a long term goal.”

Rubix cube!” McGregor laughed.

What?” Zhari asked, confused by his outburst.

We have that game too, it's called a Rubix cube.”

I am not surprised. Humans are a patient race, it stands to reason that you would create a similar game.”

Our version is a little different, our cube has nine colored squares on each of the six faces, and the goal is to match up all of the colors.”

F-7.”

Now you're getting the hang of it,” he said, placing another marker. “You'd be able to destroy my battleship next turn, but I'm afraid that you've lost. H-2.”

You got my whole fleet,” she grumbled. “Again! I can beat you this time.”

Care to make it interesting?” McGregor proposed, leaning across the table with a sly grin.

A wager?” Zhari asked suspiciously.

Yeah, let's bet on it. We'll play another round, and the loser has to give the winner head.”

He saw her cheeks redden as she considered, her furry ears twitching, no doubt excited by the prospect of having him bury his face between her thighs again.

Deal,” she replied, a fresh determination in her eyes.

They began to set up their pieces on the board, placing the little plastic ships in patterns and configurations that were intended to fool the other player. Zhari lined up her pegs, yellow for misses, red for hits, and narrowed her eyes at McGregor as she waited for the game to begin.

Ladies first,” he said, waving his hand in a mock gesture of deference.

She scratched her chin with her curved claw, thinking as she played her eyes across the board.

F-5.”

Right in the middle. Not a bad opening move, but you're out of luck. Miss.”

She growled, placing a yellow peg on the game board.

I'm guessing D-6,” he added, smiling as she frowned at him.

Hit,” she sighed, placing a red peg on one of her ships. McGregor placed a red peg on the board, and then reached into his pocket, thumbing a button on his wireless remote. Zhari shuddered, shaking the table as she gripped it to save from falling off her chair, a low moan escaping her lips as she rubbed her round thighs together. He had given her a strong pulse from the vibrating egg that was still lodged deep inside her, its receiver coiled around one of her lace garters.

She took a moment to bask in the pleasure, exhaling slowly, then opened her eyes to glower at him from behind the game board's divider.

What?” McGregor asked, shrugging his shoulders. “You took a hit.”

C-Cheater,” she stammered, “I can't think if I'm distracted.”

She sounded angry, but she looked dazed, red-faced. She was no doubt putting on a front, as she so commonly did, hiding her arousal behind a tough exterior that would melt away when the right pressure was applied.

It's your turn,” he said, watching as she hesitated.

B-2.”

Miss.”

Now that it was his turn again, he paid close attention to her expression, watching it change as his fingers hovered over his stock of colored pegs. He knew what the anticipation was doing to her. Zhari's heart was thudding in her chest, her juices beginning to flow as her excitement mounted, unsure of when the next burst of pleasure would come.

E-6,” he announced, smiling as he saw her eyelids flutter.

Hit...”

He reached into his pocket and turned on her vibrator, her eyes rolling back into her head as the pulsating waves resonated through her body. Her legs twitched as she bit down on her lower lip, her clawed toes curling beneath the table. He switched it off, both relief and disappointment evident in the way that she leaned her weight on the table, breathing hard as she tried to compose herself.

That's gotta be a battleship or a carrier,” McGregor mused, “you've not removed the piece yet.”

He would give her another one or two bursts from the vibrator, and she knew it, looking at the board with unfocused eyes as she made her next move.

H-10,” she mumbled, and McGregor shook his head.

F-6.”

H-Hit,” she stammered, her anticipation palpable.

He thumbed the remote, giving her a short throb of buzzing pleasure, Zhari resting her large head on the table as she shivered and crooned.

Oh, it's your carrier then? You didn't remove the piece.”

She shook her head, climbing to a sitting position again, her ample chest rising and falling heavily beneath her frilled brassiere. Her nipples were tenting the soft fabric, no doubt rubbing against it and causing her all kinds of discomfort.

Don't dawdle,” he continued, “take your best shot.”

The game was clearly the last thing on her mind as she struggled to focus on the board.

Um...J-6?”

Congratulations, you got a hit on my courser.”

She reached out and placed a red peg in the corresponding slot, her clawed fingers trembling.

Now where am I going to send my next shot?” McGregor teased, scratching his chin as he pretended to mull over his strategy. Zhari watched him hungrily, the promise of another cruel burst of oscillating pleasure making her heart skip.

It could be G-6, or it might be C-6, it's a fifty-fifty shot. I'm gonna go with G-6.”

Hit,” she gasped, tensing as she awaited the push of the button. McGregor slowly placed a red peg on the board, and then gestured to her.

You should remove the piece from the game.”

He waited until she was occupied with removing the plastic carrier before hitting her with another burst. The model slipped from her fingers, her eyes screwing shut and her thighs clamping together. He let it go on for a little longer, Zhari balling her furry fists as she endured, her entire body trembling as the waves of pleasure tickled her senses. He finally relented, watching her sink into her chair with a satisfied expression on his face.

They continued on that way, and before long Zhari was a shuddering mess, having lost all of her ships but one frigate. Unable to concentrate on the game, she had gotten in a few lucky hits, but the match was clearly won. At this point killing her last ship was just a formality, another excuse to tease her. She leaned her elbows on the table and cradled her red face in her hands, awash with euphoria from the constant stimulation, but never getting enough to push her over the edge.

A-2,” he said, and she nodded. She removed the final piece from the board, and he rewarded her with another pulse from the vibrator. She almost slid off her chair, mewling as he turned up the intensity of the pulsations, before quickly shutting it off again.

Good game Zhari, but it looks like you lost. Remember the wager that we made?”

You c-cheated,” she stammered, a droplet of her flowing juices falling from between her thighs to land on the tiled floor beneath her.

Don't be a sore loser” he chided, hitting the remote again and sending her to the floor. She fell to her hands and knees beneath the table as her chair skidded aside, her mouth open in a silent moan as he dialed it up to the maximum setting, her claws squeaking as they scarred the linoleum.

Borealans are honorable, right? You have to honor the agreement that you made.”

McGregor reached down and unzipped his pants, pulling his shorts aside and letting his member bounce free, erect and prominent. Zhari gazed longingly at it, wetting her lips with her pink tongue.

Here?” She murmured, her voice cracking as the vibrator did its work.

Yes,” he confirmed, beckoning to her with his finger.

She shuffled closer to him, ducking to avoid hitting her head on the table as she sat at his feet, or where his feet would have touched the ground had he not been sitting on a chair that was too high for him.

He felt the familiar softness of her fingers as she cradled his member in her furry hand, as fluffy and as plush as a mink coat, the delicate strands tickling his member. She began to slide her fingers slowly up and down his shaft, it was like being jacked off by somebody wearing fur gloves, and he felt the warmth of her breath on his glans as she drew closer.

She pulled back his foreskin, exposing his head, already welling with a bead of precome. While he had kept Zhari hot and wanting all day, he had suffered much the same fate, his endless teasing precluding his own relief. She brushed his member against her cheek, her skin smooth and silky, looking up at him with imploring eyes. She was adorable, in full submissive mode, awaiting his permission before so much as planting a kiss on his erection.

Go on,” he ordered, trying not to sound as turned on as he was.

She leaned in and kissed the sensitive underside of his glans with an audible smack, her puffy lips lingering there for a moment as she felt him pulse in her fluffy palm. Slowly, torturously, she slid her smooth lips over his tip and engulfed it in her warm mouth.

He felt her long, serpentine tongue slowly paint his tender flesh with slippery saliva. It was rough on the top, but not unpleasantly so as long as she was doting and careful. It gave the organ an odd, stimulating texture, one that made his toes curl when she dragged it across his skin. The underside was just as soft and as slick as that of a human, and her dexterity let her make good use of it.

She curled the organ down his shaft, winding around it like a snake, careful to keep the rough side away from his member as it throbbed and jumped. She moved it around in her mouth, brushing it against her palate and pressing it against the fleshy lining of her inner cheeks, her drool pooling and escaping from her lips as she lathered his length with viscous fluid.

She drew back, pausing with his glans locked between her lips for a moment, lashing it with the tapered tip of her tongue. She released him with a wet pop, gliding her furry hand up his shaft, her wet fur creating an oddly pleasant sensation against his skin. She pressed one of the fleshy pads that protruded from the fur on the tips of her fingers against his glans, evolved to help her grip objects, circling as she used her slaver to make her contact slippery.

McGregor reached down a hand to scratch her behind the ear, hearing her croon as he petted her, the little bell that was hanging from her neck ringing gently as she moved. She circled his head with her tongue, her slow lapping sending harsh pleasure coursing up through his body. He couldn't help but arch his spine, his fingers gripping her hair, Zhari's lips curling into a smile around his member as she took him deeper.

He winced as his glans pressed against the back of her throat, her tongue wrapping him in a prison of soft flesh as she guided him. Her lips kissed the base of his member, forcing him as far as he would go, her slick muscles seizing as they contracted around the foreign object. Her gullet trembled and twitched, Zhari suppressing a gag as she held him deep in her throat, her smooth flesh rolling up his shaft as she swallowed around him.

Saliva leaked from her mouth, clear stands of it hanging from her chin as her eyes began to water, her alien lung capacity dwarfing that of a human woman. She held him for as long as she could stand, and then withdrew, her lips scraping the bubbling drool from his length as she pulled back. She took a few deep breaths, wiping a strand of saliva from her chin with the back of her furry hand, shivering softly as McGregor ran his fingers through her orange hair affectionately.

He reached into his pocket and turned on the vibrator, setting it to a constant, low hum. Zhari reacted strongly, her thighs snapping shut and her eyelids fluttering as she took his cock in her hand and brought it back to her mouth.

Her teeth were sharp and her tongue was rough, but she was so gentle, nursing at it with a care and devotion that set his head spinning. The touch of her textured organ seared his nerves with raw pleasure, every lick and kiss sapping his strength, making him lose focus as his brain fizzled and popped.

Borealans might favor human tongues, but in McGregor's opinion they had their own merits too. Zhari's organ was about a foot long, tapering into a point unlike the dull tongues of humans, so dexterous and flexible that it could be better described as an appendage. She had such fine control over it, curling it around his erection and teasing him with all the skill and finesse of a hand. She could stroke and lick, even while he was trapped deep in her throat, the stimulation so intense that it made him weak at the knees.

She pressed down on him again, thrusting his cock into her mouth, the feeling of his sensitive glans grazing the back of her throat forcing a groan from his lips. Her muscles trapped it, made slimy by her saliva, rolling up his shaft in waves as her body struggled to reject him. It was like being massaged by a hand gloved in wet satin, the powerful suction making his eyes roll back into his head.

Zhari's dexterous tongue slid down the underside of his member, its rough surface scouring him, before snaking out of her mouth to caress his balls. Its warmth and wetness surprised him, squeezing and tickling as an appreciative shiver rolled up his spine. She knew exactly what he liked, knew what he wanted almost before he did. She watched him carefully with her amber eyes in order to better tailor her movements to his desires.

Apparently Borealans found this kind of submissive behavior boring, little better than assisted masturbation. McGregor couldn't imagine ever getting tired of it, even after a lifetime. He had never met a human partner who had been so eager to please, so ready and willing at all hours of the day.

Unable to resist the allure of her velvet throat, he took a handful of her hair, guiding her as she began to bob her head on his shaft. It was so tight, her tongue wriggling and battling his member for space as he pushed in and out, her flowing saliva making their coupling slippery and wet. She opened her mouth and relaxed her throat, letting him have his way with her, his pace growing faster and faster as she looked up at him with tears in her eyes.

She let him continue for a remarkably long time, before finally placing a hand on his thigh, a silent request for him to slow. She took the base of his member in her furry hand and slid it out of her mouth, connected to her lips by a web of sagging drool that broke to fall to the floor. She swallowed hard, catching her breath, and then lapped adoringly at his glans to keep him on edge as she recovered.

She looked goddamned adorable sitting there between his thighs, glancing up at him with her reflective eyes, her frilled headpiece perched upon her head and the little bell on her choker ringing as she slid her tongue up and down his aching erection. He had to struggle to maintain his composure, he was supposed to be playing the part of the stoic Alpha.

He turned up the setting on her vibrating egg, watching the change in her as she began to tremble, her head sinking into his lap as she shuddered and moaned. She did her best to continue despite the distracting euphoria that was washing through her, sliding his member back into her mouth and resuming her ardent sucking.

Her silky cheeks pressed around him, her tongue drawing slow, teasing shapes on his glans as she held him there. It was divine, exquisite, so warm and wet that he might have mistaken it for her loins was it not for the incessant movement of her slimy tongue. He doubled over, resting his head on the table as she moved beneath it, making an effort to hide his red face and his pained expression from her.

She crawled her lips from the base of his cock to the tip, his organ throbbing and flexing against the confines of her mouth as her pace reached a fever pitch. She moaned softly, the vibrations tickling him, her demeanor becoming all the more passionate and desperate as the sex toy teased her. She was licking and mouthing as if her life depended on it, he could feel her shivering as the toy did its work, buzzing and oscillating deep inside her. He reached into his pocket and changed the setting, switching it from a constant hum to a throbbing pulse, Zhari's pained mewl muffled by his manhood. She gripped his hips with her furry hands, her claws poking holes in his clothes as she forced him to the base, her throat spasming around him as her face pressed into his groin.

McGregor groaned like he had been punched in the gut, holding on to the edge of the table for dear life as her throat muscles gripped his tender glans. It was so tight that it almost hurt, as if a phantom hand had reached past her flesh and was crushing her windpipe, with his erection lodged inside it. She drew on him as if trying to suck his emission from the source, swallowing and gulping in wracking waves. He could hear the rain of her drool as it pattered against the tiles below them, she was shameless, wanton. Zhari acted as if servicing him was the most wonderful and engrossing thing that she had ever done, as if she was more aroused than she had ever been.

Let me taste it,” she mumbled, almost inaudible due to the throbbing member that was currently lodged in her mouth. Her tongue curled around the base, sliding between her lips to lap at his balls again, and suddenly the stimulation was too much to bear.

He gritted his teeth as the first ropes of his ejaculate hit the back of her throat, Zhari drinking it down as it came, her eager tongue circling the tip to draw more out of him. His muscled wrenched, pumping his emission into her waiting mouth, every thick wad accompanied by a searing rush of burning pleasure that set his nerves aflame. It was like someone had dialed up his sensitivity to eleven, every cruel lash of her tongue making him buck and writhe. Pleasant shivers shot up his spine, and he slammed his fist on the table, doubling over as she drank. An orgasm was one thing, but to have your very essence sucked out of you was quite another, he felt as if his heart was about to explode.

She was so tender and indulgent, dragging out his climax for longer than he would have thought possible with her gentle tongue and slow rubbing, her throat milking him as she swallowed. She held him tightly, as if afraid that he might escape before she had her fill, her cold nose pressing against his belly as she swallowed his member to the hilt.

Every spasm of her throat and every twitch of her tongue sent a fresh bolt of acute pleasure tearing through his body. It was like he was no longer in control of his own faculties, his heaving erection pumping load after load into her narrow gullet, her muscles clinging to him with a cruel pressure.

She held him there for what felt like an eternity, lapping eagerly at the underside of his member as she let it rest in her warm mouth, keeping up the stimulation until he had given her every last drop that he had. Finally she drew back, catching a stringy mass of her clear saliva and his pearly come as it fell from her lips, watching the gelatinous mass wobble in her furry palm. She made sure that he could see what she was doing, and then her sinuous tongue snaked out of her mouth, lapping at the mess to clean it from her fur. Her little bell rang all the while, and she batted her long lashes at him, leaning in to plant a sucking kiss on his still rigid cock when she was done. He was sore, aching, but one last jolt of pleasure lit his nerves up like a Christmas tree all the same.

He sank into his seat, wallowing in the afterglow as she kneeled eagerly at his feet, as if awaiting praise. He reached down and took one of her fluffy ears in his hand, rolling it between his thumb and forefinger, hearing her sigh appreciatively.

Good girl,” he muttered.

CHAPTER 5: RESTRAINT

I can't believe you wanted to watch Gone with the Wind,” McGregor complained, Zhari shushing him as she leaned forward in her seat. She was transfixed, watching the two leads as they argued. Apparently she had found her preferred genre; romance.

Rather than forcing her to wear gloves, he had given Zhari her own oversized bucket of popcorn this time, and she was currently engaged in licking it clean of butter with her long tongue. There was a final swell of music as the movie came to a conclusion, the ending title crawl beginning to roll past.

If she wanted him so badly,” Zhari began, “why didn't she just take him? Put him on his back, he'd stop protesting before long.”

That's not how humans do things,” McGregor sputtered, choking on his drink as he began to laugh at the thought of it.

What's so funny?”

I don't know,” he replied, wiping his mouth on his sleeve. “It's just the idea of Scarlett sexually assaulting Rett in one of her frilly gowns, it's absurd.”

Well maybe humans should do things that way,” she shot back, crossing her arms and leaning back into the couch. “Nobody got what they wanted in the end. He might have decided to stay if she had taken the initiative.”

I think period dramas might be lost on you,” McGregor chuckled.

You humans create so many problems that need not exist. You make simple things complicated, and you make easy things hard. It's like you self-sabotage without even realizing it. Two people who like each other should just fuck, that's all there is to it. But you introduce all these factors that make it more complicated, class and race and social standing. You tiptoe about, never saying what you're really feeling, never communicating.”

Hang on,” McGregor said, “social standing plays a huge role in Borealan courting.”

That's not the same. Social status doesn't mean that you can't be with someone. Anyone can be with anyone if they're strong enough to take them. But with humans, the social castes can never mingle.”

To be fair, things are different now,” McGregor explained. “A lot of these movies are very old, and human society has changed a lot since they were made.”

I still see it now,” she protested, “the officers are off at their own tables in the recreation center while the ground pounders keep to themselves. The pilots have their own clique, the engineers don't play pool with the Marines. It's like the different groups are afraid of mixing.”

I don't think that a pilot is going to overlook a girl that he likes because she's an engineer. You're a shock trooper and I'm a shuttle pilot, yet we're together.”

Well, that's my point,” she stammered. “You're very...direct. You behave more like my people than your own at times.”

I don't know if that's true, I'm just learning to understand how you think, and what you expect of me.”

Well, you're doing a good job so far.”

It was a rare compliment from the usually reserved alien, and it put a smile on his face. She seemed embarrassed, as if she had slipped up, and immediately changed the subject.

So, what are we doing next?”

It's pretty late now,” he replied, “we probably have time to watch another movie or play another game if you don't mind getting up late tomorrow. Not that we have anything to get up for. Might be nice to have a lie-in actually.”

That'll be a nice change,” Zhari said, staring into space. “Not having to get up at oh-five hundred sharp for duty. You know, back on the homeworld we slept quite a lot, much more than we do here. Maybe the higher gravity put more strain on us, made us more tired. It never gets cold on the station either, the temperature is always constant. It kind of messes with my internal clock.”

Isn't Borealis a sweltering desert?”

For most of the time, yes. But twice a month, the secondary star eclipses the primary for a couple of days. The temperatures plummet, because the secondary is a lot cooler than the primary, and everyone sleeps through it. We gorge ourselves the night before the eclipse, and then we hibernate until it gets warm again.”

Interesting...and do you respond to cold temperatures that way in general, or is it more of an internal clock thing?”

When it gets too cold, we get tired,” she replied. “In fact, it's a very useful parenting technique. If you have a kitten that gets excited before bed, or won't go to sleep, just shut them in a meat locker for a few minutes. It slows them right down.”

McGregor laughed at the mental image of a struggling kitten being lifted by the scruff of its neck and thrown into a walk-in freezer.

Does every home on Borealis have a meat locker?”

Yes, where else would they store the meat?”

You've got me there. So, what next?”

He watched her consider, noticing that she was pressing her thighs together. Bed usually meant sex, that was the way things usually ended up. Borealans had a voracious appetite for sex that was matched only by their love of food, and scarcely a day went by that she and McGregor didn't make love at least once or twice. When neither one of them was deployed at least. To her, asking for sex would be presumptuous, and so he decided to make the decision for her.

Let's go to bed.”

Her face lit up, and she nodded enthusiastically. She rose from her seat, straightening her skirt, and waited eagerly for him to follow behind her.

Go on ahead,” he said, “and keep your clothes on. I have some more...items, that I need to get from the box.”

Her face reddened at the prospect, and she lingered there for a moment before scurrying off towards the sliding door that led to the apartment's bedroom. She vanished into the room, and McGregor hopped to his feet, sauntering over to the cardboard box that was still sitting on the kitchen counter.

***

Zhari closed the bedroom door behind her, leaning against it for a moment as she composed herself. She could hear her heart pumping in her ears, and she was feeling that fluttering sensation in her belly again. What would McGregor pull from that mysterious box next? What other maddening toys and implements of pleasure had his people invented?

As much as she enjoyed the toys and costumes, she was starting to long for him. She missed the feeling of his warmth inside her. She hoped that he would make love to her tonight, fill her with his seed as he usually did, though she wouldn't mind if he kept the vibrator in...

What should she do before he arrived? He had told her to keep the clothing on, should she make an attempt to look 'sexy' for him? The more she saw how he responded to the clothing, the more she began to understand what about it appealed to him. Should she spread her legs on the bed, an invitation for him to mount her when he opened the door? No, the purpose of the clothes was to conceal, not to reveal. Its design was strategic, showing choice parts of her body, but covering others.

She looked herself over, trying to determine what McGregor must be most attracted to. He had chosen the garments after all, had them specially made, and so the result must in some way reflect his tastes. Her midriff was showing, exposing her abdominal muscles. She knew how much he liked those. He would lick them, rub his face on them when they made love, take any opportunity to rest his head on her belly when they were relaxing together.

Her skirt was hopelessly short, exposing her long legs, accentuated by the bands of lace that rested high on her thighs. He liked those too, always squeezing and touching them, kissing them when he went down on her.

There was also her chest, the frilled top cut low to expose her cleavage. They were at head-height to the little human when they made love, and he was fond of burying his face between them.

Humans seemed more...particular than Borealans. They had varied tastes, and they tended to fixate on certain body parts. When her kind made love the focus was only on a fast, brutal copulation. Humans took their time, it took some getting used to, but given the choice she would go with a human every time.

She came to a decision, riding up her skirt a little on her thighs and shifting her breasts in their brassiere so that they were more prominent, sitting on the edge of the bed and crossing her legs. When he came through the door he would get an eyeful of thigh and cleavage, and hopefully that would incite him to jump her bones.

Zhari heard his footsteps approaching, pressing her upper arms together to puff out her breasts a little more, making herself as desirable as possible as the door slid open and McGregor stepped inside. He was holding something long in his hand, and something else was bundled in his arms.

She felt his eyes play over her body, drinking down every curve and bulge. She could smell the arousal on him. He walked over to a dresser by the wall, and deposited the items on top of it, Zhari's ears twitching as she watched him eagerly.

Are you coming to bed?” She asked, waiting for his reply with bated breath.

Yes, but I have some more surprises for you first. Lie back on the mattress.”

She hesitated for a moment, wondering what he was going to do with her, then her submissive instincts kicked in and she lay prone on the Borealan-sized bed. The frame was built from stainless steel rather than wood, heavily reinforced, not only to handle the extra weight but no doubt to withstand any coupling that might occur during their stay. The humans had made an effort, but Zhari could tell that it wasn't strong enough. Two Borealans going at it in earnest would probably trash the entire bedroom. They should have built it from chalky stone, so that one could buy their claws in it while being taken from behind.

She was distracted from her memories of past encounters as McGregor walked up to the bedside.

Put your hands above your head.”

She did as he asked, raising her arms, and she watched as he brandished a pair of fluffy cuffs. He secured them tightly around her wrists, their inner surface padded with plush material for comfort. They were linked to a flimsy chain, which he wrapped around the metal bars that made up the headboard, tugging them tight as he strapped her down.

She watched curiously as he did the same with her ankles, securing padded cuffs around them and pulling the chains taut as he tied them to the bottom of the bed. She might have been alarmed, was it not for the fact that she could easily have broken free if she so desired. The chains scarcely seemed sturdy enough to hold a human, let alone a fully grown Borealan.

Is this more 'human stuff'?” Zhari asked, perplexed.

Submissive humans are into this, I figure maybe you will be too. I realize that you can probably snap these chains like they're made of plastic, but humor me.”

What's it supposed to do?”

Heighten your sensitivity, make you feel vulnerable, put me in control.”

But you're my Alpha, you're always in control.”

Confident that her bonds were as secure as he could make them, he stepped back, looking her over. It did make her feel a little vulnerable, unable to protect herself, and she flinched as he reached down to brush his fingers lightly across her belly.

Damn it,” he grumbled, “I might have gone a little overboard on the maid costume. You look so fucking good that it's hard to keep my hands off you sometimes...”

You're my Alpha,” she insisted, “you need never keep your hands off me.”

She sensed a change in the human, a new aggression rising inside him, and she gasped as he reached down to tear her brassiere open. The insubstantial fabric seemed to be designed to come apart, and her breasts burst forth from their confines, the silken garment falling away as they wobbled gently.

McGregor wasted no time, delving his hands into their yielding meat and mauling them, her spine arching off the bed sheets as he kneaded and squeezed. His fingers sank deep into her delicate fat, taking cruel handfuls and pinching her sensitive nipples, watching lecherously as her massive form bucked and writhed under his touch. He always seemed transfixed by her bust, the soft globes were larger than the human's head, larger than any possessed by females of his own species. She had no doubt that they were a symbol of fertility among the humans as much as they were in her own culture.

He leaned over the bed, squeezing her flesh so that it spread between his fingers, and plunged one of her erect nipples into his mouth. She felt his smooth tongue lash it, trapping it between his lip and his teeth as he tweaked and teased, her furry toes curling.

The little human could be so aggressive when he wanted to be, so commanding. Something about such a physically inferior creature treating her like this made her loins ache. She had fought so hard to suppress her attraction to him when they had been stranded together on EE-4. When her denial had come to a head, her desire had exploded, and she had come up with all manner of excuses to justify having her fill of him. She would have fucked him ragged on the floor of that cave in order to satisfy what she thought to be a sick xenophilia at the time. She would have left her mark on every inch of his skin, made him beg for mercy in the same breath that he pleaded for his ordeal to continue. He had come out on top however, and now she was the one on her back, a slave to his alien whims.

He always knew just what to say, just where to touch her. He could bring her to her knees with little more than a salacious whisper or a yank of her tail. He reveled in it, and perhaps that was why he was so similar to an Alpha, and why she responded to him in the way that she did.

Her human lover released her nipple from his mouth, watching her boob bounce as it settled, and then his hands began to roam lower. She lurched and gasped as he brushed her ribs with the back of his hand, tracing the channels that her firm abdominal muscles cut in her skin as he slid his fingers across her belly, his digits roaming beneath the waistband of her skirt.

She strained against her bonds, her meaty thighs snapping together as his clawless fingers slid beneath the damp lace of her panties, seeking out the hard nub of her clitoris between her swollen lips. Her juices were already flowing, making his fingers slippery as he probed, finally locating his target and rubbing slowly in the way that he knew would drive her crazy.

She rose from the mattress, baring her sharp teeth and loosing a rumbling growl, McGregor sliding a finger inside her as she struggled. There was something to be said for being restrained, it really was making her more sensitive to his touch, as if the idea that she couldn't protect herself was making her more receptive.

He teased her for a minute or two, and then released her, Zhari gasping as she sank back into the sheets. Was he going to make love to her like this? The prospect was exciting. He watched as a string of her excitement clung to his finger, breaking to fall to the bed, and then he turned away to retrieve something from on top of the dresser.

When he returned to her side, he was holding some kind of blue rod. It was about as long and as thick as his forearm, smooth and rounded, with a shovel-shaped tip.

What's that?” She asked, furrowing her brow as he approached. It was a little floppy, as if it was made from a flexible material like rubber or silicone.

This,” he replied, “is a life-sized replica of a Krell's dick.”

What!? How? Why?”

I figured that since you get off on xenophilia, I'd find you a suitable toy so that you can explore your fetish in a safe environment.”

I-I do not!” She protested. “Why would they make something like that!?”

He held it up so that she could see it better. It was enormous, bigger than both that of a human and a Borealan. The shaft was smooth and featureless, with no veins or bumps, and the glans was flared widely. The whole assembly was anchored to a round base, and from the base hung a transparent tube that trailed out of sight.

She couldn't wrap her head around why the humans would make something like this, or how they even knew the exact dimensions of a Krell's reproductive organ. She realized that her face was practically on fire, her cheeks burning bright red and her mouth drying up as she looked the brutish member over. He let it rest on her belly, and she felt its weight as it flopped down onto her stomach, it was enormous and hefty.

I had to go out of my way to find this,” McGregor continued, “turns out there's an adult toy company that makes these things. They had all kinds of models, but this was the one I went with. You've been with Borealans already, and you know what a Krell is.”

Her muscles flexed beneath it as he dragged it slowly down towards her skirt, her skin tingling as it neared her loins.

Look what it can do,” he announced, lifting the other end of the clear tube. There was a large syringe on the other end, and Zhari thought that it was opaque at first, before realizing that it was full of milky liquid.

Is that...”

Oh, don't worry, it's not real. It is very realistic however. You know, Krell semen is especially thick and potent, and they ejaculate in quantities that will probably surprise even a Borealan.”

He pressed the top of the syringe in with his thumb, and after a moment Zhari felt something warm on her belly, looking down to see a blob of gooey liquid oozing from the tip of the replica penis. It looked...felt...just like the real thing. She watched it slide down her hip, falling to the bed sheets beside her, and she realized that her heart was hammering in her chest.

It's safe to use. I could fill you to the brim with no ill effects, and I took the liberty of warming it up before we got started.”

He must have planned this days, weeks in advance, the wily little deviant. Why did she want it so badly? Was McGregor right? Was she an incorrigible xenophile? The taboo of mating with an alien set her loins on fire, she felt drunk when she made love to her human partner. His body was strange and alien, feeling his oddly shaped member pulsing inside her filled her with a kind of giddy excitement. What would other Borealans think if they could see her in that state? Defeated and writhing beneath an inferior creature, her toes curling as he pulled her tail and manhandled her.

Now she was about to feel a Krell's member inside her, its strange, alien contours rubbing against her most intimate and private depths. Sullying her, filling her with...whatever that fluid was made from.

McGregor would have his fill of her first however, and she squirmed as his hands ran across her body. He left not an inch of her burnished skin untouched, knowing where she was most sensitive and taking full advantage of her compromised position. He slid his fingers lightly across her belly, grasping her in inner thighs, skirting her aching loins as her juices soaked her panties.

She writhed and squirmed, bound more by his will than by the flimsy chains. He had commanded her not to break them, and so they might as well have been made from welded steel for all the good it would do her.

He traced the wide curve of her hip, sweat making her skin slippery and shiny in the low light, his fingers delving into her layer of soft fat as he followed the contours of her muscles. Unlike her own kind, his clawless fingers left no marks on her, he didn't scratch or cut. His hands were small and as naked as the rest of his body, his dexterous fingers able to reach...everywhere...

He clambered up onto the bed, kneeling between her parted thighs with the heavy toy in one hand, and flipped up her skirt to expose her. He took a moment to admire her underwear, her porcelain skin visible beneath the mesh of black lace, the thin fabric sticking to her flushed lips. He hooked a finger around her lingerie to pull it aside, Zhari wriggling as he brushed her tender lips.

She fucked the air desperately as he pushed his fingers between her dripping labia, stroking her as she rolled her hips, her beleaguered body desperate for more stimulation. She expected him to stop after a moment, but he just kept going, his fingers slick with her honeyed emissions as he rubbed furiously. Her breathing became ragged, her plump butt rising from the sheets as she thrust, her steely thighs trembling as they trapped his arm in a vice grip.

He leaned closer and planted a lingering kiss on her belly, not an inch above the black silk of her underwear, the contact of his tongue as it flicked her skin sending a jolt of pleasure crawling up her spine.

He was driving her crazy, was he going to get her off this way?

He let the replica Krell member flop heavily onto her belly, still leaking a trickle of white fluid onto her pale skin as he made use of both hands, sliding a finger inside her twitching tunnel. Damn it, she was so aroused already, she could feel an orgasm welling deep in her body like a dam that was about to burst. Just when she thought that he might finish her, he pulled back, wiping his sodden hands on the sheets as he watched her tremble and croon.

What are you doing?” She mumbled, scarcely able to formulate a sentence as warm pleasure bathed her in its glow.

Without answering, he trapped the cable of her vibrating toy between his thumb and forefinger, slowly dragging it out of her. Her muscles clenched around it reflexively, its textured, silicone surface scraping against her sensitive walls and making her head spin. It appeared that McGregor had not expected so much resistance, having to tug harder as the object slowly made its way out of her, finally falling to the mattress along with a fat strand of her excitement.

I want to go down on you,” he muttered, her heart skipping at the prospect. “But I don't want you coming too soon. We have a long night ahead of us.”

He brought his lips down towards her loins, and she felt his warm breath on her swollen sex, McGregor planting a gentle kiss that sent a tremor rolling through her body. He reached up and retrieved the replica Krell organ, sliding it down her belly to leave a trail of milky fluid. Zhari shivered with anticipation as he rubbed the flexible material against her vulva, wetting it with her slimy emissions as he pressed it between her pink lips.

It was large, really large. She wasn't even sure that something that big would fit inside her.

She had thought about it before of course, maybe even fantasized about it once or twice before she had been inducted into McGregor's pack. The Krell were enormous creatures, even larger and stronger than the toughest Borealan warrior. Being pressed beneath one as it rutted would feel amazing. Having its large, reptilian organ scrape against her insides as it gripped her roughly with its many fingered hands would have been an experience like no other.

Unfortunately the creatures were completely harmless. They wouldn't even swat a fly that landed on their snout, never mind respond to a challenge in the way that would excite a Borealan. If she ever managed to anger one to the point that it reacted, it would probably just squash her flat, rather than give her the intense sex that she wanted. Completely boring.

Oh God, was McGregor right? Maybe she really was a xenophile. The idea filled her with an odd brand of excitement, guilty and lurid.

Tell me how it feels,” he said, pressing the flared head against her opening. It felt even bigger now that it was touching her, her imagination inflating its size. It didn't feel like it would fit, McGregor slowly applying more and more pressure as he struggled to push it inside her. Maybe this was why he had teased her so, gotten her so wet, so that they might stand a chance of using this shameful toy.

It felt so strange, cool against her lips, the material that it was made from as soft as flesh and oddly flexible. It contrasted with the heat that radiated from her, she was on fire, already beginning to push back in a desperate bid to get it inside her.

There was a moment of resistance, and then the shovel-shaped head of the alien penis slid inside her, spreading her wide open. Her passage contracted reflexively, attempting to close around it, but its odd shape dug into her silky flesh and seared her nerves with stabbing pleasure. She opened her mouth in a silent wail, pulling the chains taut as she writhed, every tiny movement making the phallus rub and grind against her. It was digging into her most sensitive spots simply by virtue of its shape.

You doing ok?” McGregor asked, looking up over her mound as she panted and writhed.

I-I like it, don't stop!”

You're so big, how are you this tight?” He gumbled.

He pushed it deeper with some effort, splaying her apart, her thighs trembling around his shoulders as she squeezed him. He managed to get the flared head all the way inside, her passage closing around it and pressing down on the smooth shaft that followed after. Now that he was deep enough he pulled back, the shovel-like head scraping against her velvet insides, her flowing juices doing little to ease its passage.

She loosed a low mewl, the bed frame shaking as she bucked, her spine arching and her toes curling as every nerve that the monstrous organ grazed lit up like a supernova. It was almost unbearable, so intense that it bordered on pain, scouring her delicate insides to leave her aching and wanting.

The flared glans reached her opening, and sensing that she was getting into the swing of things, McGregor forced it back inside. His thrust was cruel and deep, the azure shaft vanishing into her body, half of the immense member engulfed by her spasming loins.

She wanted so desperately to reach down a padded finger and rub herself to competition, a maddening thirst overtaking her, but as the chains clattered she was reminded that her Alpha had bound her. She could not disobey, if he willed her to suffer then she must suffer, and delight in her obedience.

Don't break those chains,” he warned, twisting the replica organ inside of her and making her croon as harsh pleasure tore through her. She felt like her legs were melting, her entire lower body going numb save for the feeling of the object that was inside her.

He withdrew again, watching her large body convulse, fresh sweat making her smooth skin shimmer as she moved.

This time he forced it as deep as it would go, the round base slamming against her loins with a wet splash, the monstrous organ forcing its way into her reaches. It touched places that no male should have been able to reach, her eyes bulging and her tongue lolling from her mouth as she took in a sharp breath, releasing it as a pained moan.

She flinched as McGregor kissed her thigh, his tongue leaving his mouth for a moment to taste the salt on her skin, holding the toy as it filled her to capacity. Just when she was getting accustomed to the sensation of having the brutish thing inside her, he pulled it back out again, slow and teasing as if he was relishing her turmoil.

How does it feel?”

B-Big,” she stammered, the words catching in her throat as he forced the dildo back inside her again. It was such an odd blend of pleasure and discomfort, keeping her on edge, but too uncomfortable to let her come.

Do you like having this strange, alien organ inside you? Can you feel its shape?”

She declined to answer, her face beet red as she struggled to contain her lust.

It's scandalous, so improper,” he continued. “What would the other Borealans say if they could see you like this, bound and subdued, letting all manner of aliens have their way with you?”

Quiet,” she muttered, trying in vain to conceal her arousal and her embarrassment.

Oh, is that insubordination I hear? Are you challenging your Alpha?”

He thrust the Krell organ deep into her tender passage once more, and she yelped, her thighs quivering.

No, I'm...I just-”

He reached a hand beneath her and gripped the base of her tail, Zhari freezing like a statue.

I just want to hear you say it.”

S-Say what?”

Don't play coy. I want to hear you say that you're a hopeless xenophile, that you love aliens, and that even the idea of having this weird phallus inside you makes you gush.”

That's not true!” Zhari protested, gasping as he twisted the toy. She could feel its flared head rubbing against the limits of her tunnel, the textured base pressing into her labia from the outside.

Be a good girl, Zhari.”

She felt that odd fluttering in her belly again, it happened whenever he said those words, her loins contracting around the toy and her heart thumping in her chest.

He pressed his face between her thighs and dragged his tongue across her glistening vulva, her muscles seizing as the slick, smooth organ glanced her swollen clitoris. Her brain fizzled with the realization that he could use his tongue on her while the massive toy was buried inside her, she would surely lose her mind if he did that.

Do you like that?”

Y-Yes...”

Do you want more?”

Please...”

Then you have to admit that you like aliens.”

She felt like she was about to explode, an irresistible pressure building inside her that demanded release, her cheeks burning and her passage rippling around the smooth shaft as she finally gave in.

I love aliens!” She wailed, taking McGregor by surprise as he kneeled between her legs. “I love you McGregor, I love that even though you're smaller than me, you talk back to me like you're ten feet tall. Your skin is as clean as paper, there's not a mark on you, it drives me crazy. It's like you've never been touched. I want to carve you up and cover you in scars, but I know that I can't. You have no claws and your tongue is smooth, it's like some deity designed you for no other purpose than to torment me.”

He gave her another slow, teasing lick, Zhari so sensitive that the throb of pleasure darkened her vision. She bit her lower lip, a little too hard, tasting the copper flavor of blood in her mouth.

Honesty will be rewarded,” he whispered, urging her to continue.

If my old pack, my friends and siblings, if they knew that I let such a small and weak creature overcome me I would never live it down. It's shameful, taboo...”

But you love it?”

I...I love it. All my life I had to fight to be the best, the strongest, to take charge and be in control of every situation. Now I have no control. I'm the lowest and most debased, the bottom of the pack...and it's wonderful.”

She had never put it into words before, never articulated the thoughts that had lurked for so long in the deepest recesses of her brain. But now she understood. The constant pressure, the stress of maintaining her position as Alpha, beating down all comers that attempted to take her mantle...that was all over now. She could relax, rest easy and let her guard down. McGregor was her Alpha now and he would take care of everything.

Good girl...”

She gasped as he began to move the replica phallus inside her, finding a slow and heavy pace as his tongue returned to her swollen sex, the two-pronged assault driving her to distraction. She tried her best to stay still, he couldn't keep his lips locked to her if she bucked and threw him off, but the tension was making her brain melt.

Every inch of her skin was awash in tingling pleasure, her insides aching as they clamped down on the Krell member, her contractions only making its contact harsher and more brutal. The flared head dug deep into her silken walls, scouring her on the way in and out, hammering her sweet spot by simple virtue of its size and odd shape. She could see that McGregor was struggling, her pelvic floor muscles strong enough that he had to apply force to drag it out of her, his tongue darting and lashing at her sensitive anatomy as he fucked her with the toy.

She felt so full, she could feel the thing bulging beneath her flat stomach. She had heard McGregor comment that deep, rough sex would hurt human women, but Borealans craved it. This artificial organ was bumping against her deepest reaches, spreading her wide open like nothing before it. She missed the heat of McGregor's member, the way that it flexed and throbbed inside her, but this was a unique and pleasurable experience. To have him using that maddening mouth of his on her all the while was the icing on the cake.

He had kept her teetering on the edge for so long that she was already about to pop, a familiar warmth rising deep inside her as she struggled to save from rolling her hips.

Tell me when you're close,” McGregor mumbled, peering up at her from between her thighs with a strand of her fluids hanging from his chin. He could feel her insides trying to wrench the toy from his hands no doubt, her muscles rolling up the object's shaft in a primal effort to drag it deeper.

He pursed his lips around her clitoris, sucking it into his mouth and drawing shapes on its smooth surface with the tip of his tongue, Zhari clenching her fists and letting slip a guttural growl. His pace became frantic, throwing all of his weight behind the Krell cock as he forced it harder and deeper, Zhari collapsing into the damp sheets as bursts of ecstasy flared in her depths.

Harder,” she gasped, “harder!”

Her human companion was breaking a sweat, gripping her hip with one hand for leverage, clearly struggling for her benefit. He was a good Alpha in that way, a kind leader. He seemed to understand the give and take of the pack structure that was lost on so many humans. She was at his mercy now, the cuffs binding her hands above her head and tying her ankles. She loved it.

Imma come,” she grumbled through gritted teeth, her muscles bulging beneath her wet skin as she writhed and bucked. McGregor pulled away from her loins, wiping her slime from his face with his sleeve before dragging out the dildo so that its shovel-shaped tip rested tantalizingly against her splayed opening. He put all of his weight into one final thrust, pushing it as deep as it would go with the heel of his hand, then he fumbled for the syringe as the searing pleasure pushed her over the edge.

She started to come, muscle spasms wracking her body, her excitement gushing around the replica organ's girth to spill onto the sheets and coat her inner thighs. She was feverish, as if someone had set a fire inside her and its heat was slowly spreading up through her body. She teetered on the edge of sanity for a moment, lost in that split second when one feels a tide of intolerable pleasure rising, and in that moment finds themselves transfixed.

Like a dam breaking it flooded her, an unbecoming moan of desire escaping her lips, one that she would have preferred that McGregor not hear. It was weak, pathetic, adoring and pleading. She sounded like an upset kitten, crying for a toy that had been taken away from it.

Through the intense heat she felt a new sensation, warm and syrupy, and she realized that McGregor had the syringe in his hand. The clear tube that linked it to the base of the silicone penis was now opaque, white fluid pushing its way into her.

She crooned and growled again, the alien organ pumping a thick, heavy load deep inside her. She could feel it seeping into every crease and fold, every detail of her trembling passage. There was so much of it, it just kept coming, warm and viscous as her velvet walls tried in vain to clench around the foreign object.

Wave after wave of euphoria tore through her, like she had been hooked up to the station's electrical grid, her mouth agape and her eyes watering as pleasure that bordered on agony made her its plaything. All the while the toy emptied its load into her eager passage, buried to the hilt as it released a steady stream of wonderfully gluey, soupy fluid. It scratched every itch, her most base instincts convinced that she was being inseminated, and rewarding her with a torrent of chemicals and hormones that made her feel like she was floating on a cloud.

There was so much come that it was forcing its way out of her despite her iron grip on the silicone toy, she could feel it pouring from her, mingling with her juices.

She rode her climax for as long as she could, McGregor slowly fucking the mess deeper inside her, scraping the flared glans against her sensitive tunnel and drawing out every last tormenting throb. Finally she fell to the bed, spent and exhausted, her skin wet with sweat and fluid. Her human lover dragged the member out of her, along with a flood of milky ejaculate and clear fluid that had been trapped behind its head like a plug, the mess leaking out of her ruined hole in thick ropes.

McGregor was undeterred, casting the heavy toy aside and delving between her thighs, licking and mouthing to ensure that every last twitch of her orgasm was eased out of her. She felt his warm tongue teasing her, drawing out another pleasant tremor that made her toes curl. He ran his hands across her damp skin, his eyelids drooping, in awe of her body as it writhed and rippled beneath his fingertips.

He wanted her as badly as she wanted him, she could see it in his face. But they were engaged in some sort of game, the purpose of which she had not yet discerned. He had more in store for her before this week was through, that much she knew.

She felt giddy, euphoric. McGregor took a moment to free her from her cuffs, and she opened her arms to him, bathing in the warmth of her afterglow.

My Alpha,” she crooned, her red face brightened by a loving smile.

Zhari wrapped her arms around him and rolled onto her side, trapping him in a tight hug as she thrust his face between her breasts. She ran her claws through his hair, stroking him, slow and gentle as she pressed her nose against his head to take in his scent. She didn't care that it was presumptuous to drag one's Alpha into such an embrace, she felt so flowery and happy, she wanted to feel him close to her.

McGregor didn't complain, nuzzling between her ample boobs, his arms struggling to wrap around her far larger body. It was like trying to hug a tree for the smaller human. He tickled her, his hands gliding across her slippery skin, grabbing handfuls of her flesh as if she might somehow escape him. She could feel his erection pressing against her belly through his clothes, and she shivered as another lingering aftershock jolted her senses. It seemed like she wasn't the only one who had been teetering on the edge for far too long.

Can I do anything for you?” She whispered, her lips an inch from his ear. “You need only ask...”

***

McGregor found himself trapped in Zhari's strong arms, his face thrust between her breasts, her skin slick with fresh sweat as the soft globes pressed against his cheeks. She smelled so good, musky and feminine, he couldn't help but push his face into her inviting bosom. His hands clawed at her flesh as they roamed across her massive body, tracing the curve of her spine and reaching beneath her skirt to delve into her yielding cheeks.

Watching her come like that had gotten him more riled up than he had planned for, and his stoic persona was slipping a little. He had wanted to drag this out for longer, really tease her, but now he wanted her too badly to refuse the invitation that she had whispered so sensually into his ear. She seemed almost drunk, her powerful muscles still trembling slightly as she held him, her biceps quivering as they enclosed him.

No sex, he had something special planned for that, but he needed something to get him through the night or he would go crazy.

He reached down and fumbled with his pants, freeing his erection to bounce against her belly, Zhari flinching as she felt his rigid organ brush her skin. She crooned happily, feeling him rub against the contours of her abdominal muscles, her sudor making his contact slippery.

It was like rubbing his member against a rumble strip, the firm bumps of her abs protruding from beneath skin that was as soft as silk and as smooth as polished wood. She was so warm, he could feel her breath blowing on him as she buried her nose in his hair.

She knew what he wanted, they had done this before. He felt her shift her weight as she reached down between her legs, cupping some of the mess that was still leaking from between her burnished thighs, McGregor exhaling a sigh into her cleavage as she smeared the fluid on his shaft. Her wet fur tickled him, and she spread the rest of the sordid mixture on her belly, a blend of her own juices and the fake ejaculate from the syringe.

It was hot, slimy, the veneer of goop making his erection glide tantalizingly against her stomach. She placed her hand on the top of his shaft and pressed it tighter, his member trapped between the plush fur of her palm and her slick skin.

He began to thrust, rubbing against her belly, the sensation of his member sliding against the bumps of her abdominal muscles was wonderfully slippery. Her fur tickled his glans, matted with globs of syrupy fluid, Zhari applying more pressure as he rolled his hips.

His hands roamed across her inviting body, following the wide curve of her hip as she lay on her side beside him, his fingers sinking deep into her plush fat. She was lean, powerful, sculpted from hard muscle and sinew. She was also soft however, her delicate fat distributing to all of the right places. It made her pliant and touchable, it was a struggle to keep his hands off her at the best of times. Her thighs were as soft as pillows despite the steely muscle that lurked beneath the surface, her ass and hips a veritable playground, plump and yielding such that her fat spilled between his digits like fresh cookie dough.

He roamed down towards her butt, struggling to reach due to her exaggerated stature, and he felt her jump as he took a generous handful of her soft cheek. She crooned as he dug his fingers deep into her flesh, seeking out the firm muscle that lay beneath. Her rear bounced back to its original shape as soon as he let go, she probably had more muscle in her ass than he did in his entire body.

His face was still pressed between her breasts, and so he sank his other hand into one of her heavy boobs, resting against his head and sandwiching him as she lay on her side. Each globe was perhaps two or even three times the volume of his own head, heavy enough that lifting just one of them would have been a challenge for a full grown man, let alone two.

It was like playing with a water balloon wrapped in satin, the tender meat deforming and spreading as he mauled and kneaded, his giant partner pressing her thighs together and breathing more heavily as he teased her. He could hear her massive heart pounding like a steel drum inside her chest as he rested his face against her, using the lower breast as a pillow.

His thrusting grew faster, Zhari taking the opportunity to stroke his sensitive glans with her fur, watching him intently with her yellow eyes to gauge his reaction as he frotted against her taut belly. There was such a contrast of sensation, tickling his senses as his member slid against her body. Her sodden fur pressed down on him from the top, Zhari stroking and teasing his tender glans, and beneath him was her slippery skin and the protruding mounds of her six pack. She was chiseled, her muscles carving deep channels into her belly, the harsh gravity of her home planet endowing her with a body that would have made the sculptors of antiquity green with envy.

It created a wonderful friction when he increased his pace, the bunches of firm muscle beneath her thin layer of satin fat grinding against him in all the right ways, made slippery and wet by the copious fluids that she had smeared on herself.

She was getting into it too, gleaning little pleasure from his rubbing of course, but delighting in the way that he rolled his hips and writhed in her embrace. Her reflective eyes pierced the gloom, peering down at him as his face lay between her breasts, her free arm curled beneath him as they spooned on the oversized bed.

He felt her fingers delve into his hair, taking a tight grip, turning his face up towards her as he emerged from her cleavage. Her long tongue snaked out of her mouth, a clear foot of sinuous muscle winding its way down towards him, as flexible and dexterous as a tentacle. It parted his lips, pushing into his mouth and curling around his tongue, her lips following behind it as she leaned closer.

She trapped him in a deep, wanton embrace, her skilled tongue stroking and teasing as it roiled in his head. She glanced his inner cheeks, stroked his palate, its rough texture making his head spin as her copper flavor pricked his taste buds. She smacked wetly, sighing softly as he made a futile attempt to meet her passionate kiss, his organ a fraction of the size of hers.

Where human tongues almost seemed purpose built to turn the giant aliens into shivering wrecks, the felines were artists when it came to kissing. Zhari could reach deeper than any human, with much finer control over her tongue, the organ twisting and curling with alarming finesse. It bulged his cheeks, more and more of its fleshy length piling into his mouth, stars dancing before his eyes as she licked and stroked.

She was relentless, wanton, her smooth lips locked to his as her slimy tongue explored his mouth. The tapered tip tickled the back of his throat, his eyes watering as she pushed deeper, withdrawing slightly when she felt his gullet reject her invasion. Her fluffy hand cradled his head, as large as a dinner plate. She could have completely engulfed his skull in her furry fingers if she so desired. She drew him closer, the slow and sensual pace of her kissing becoming more frantic and lurid, her fingers stroking up and down the length of his member as her abs flexed and shifted beneath it.

She sometimes forgot that humans had a more limited lung capacity than her own kind, her tongue sliding out of his mouth for a moment, linked by a fat strand of sagging saliva as he caught his breath. When she was confident that he wasn't going to suffocate, she drew him in again, her slippery length parting his lips and slipping back inside.

He gripped her more tightly, sliding his hand from the small of her back up to her muscular shoulders, following the deep channel that her definition cut in her spine. Her furry tail wrapped around his leg like a snake, her drawn out kiss filling his head with white light.

McGregor had held off for so long that he now felt hypersensitive, his nervous system kicked into overdrive, every strand of her soft fur and every glance of her serpentine tongue making him tingle and shiver. His hips were moving mechanically, thrusting against her belly, her fingers teasing him gently with their downy texture.

Sensing that he was getting close, she closed her hand around his member, beginning to pump her fist in time with his movements. His fingers dug into her flesh, McGregor taking in deep lungfuls of her comely scent as he plunged into the tight prison of wet fur, matted and slippery.

She drew back from her kiss, releasing him with a wet pop to let him breathe, and he pressed his head into the soft meat of her bust. Her skin was smooth and cool against his burning cheeks, the taste of her sweat on his lips as he rubbed and mouthed. Zhari leaned down to nibble his ear, trapping it between her sharp teeth and licking gently, her warm breath tickling him.

His thrusting reached a fever pitch, a long delayed wave of pleasure crashing over him as he succumbed to the sensation of her furry hand as it squeezed him. He hugged her massive body, clinging to her as a rope of his come erupted from her fist, splashing against her taut belly. She wrapped her free arm around him, holding him tight as he writhed and bucked, milking him with diligent strokes of her hand in order to ease out every last throb. His milky emission clung to her fur, joining the slimy mess that had resulted from their session with the toy, his muscles wrenching as they forced more of it out of him.

He loosed a growl that was muffled by the meat of her boobs, the firm massage of her fist wringing another rope of come from him, Zhari watching him intently with drooping eyelids as she felt his warm emission between her fingers.

Every time that he thought he was spent, another crippling tremor tore through him, his member aching as he pumped another load into her soft hand. It was like being jacked off with a mink glove, luxurious and inviting. He couldn't help but keep pushing into her fist as she stroked and tugged. He gave a final heaving thrust, a thick strand of pearly come spraying onto her orange fur, and then he sank into her arms.

I love to watch you come,” she whispered, his heart skipping a beat as the lurid comment pierced the haze of his afterglow. She ran her claws through his hair, scratching his scalp, the gesture oddly calming in his euphoric state. Despite his compromised position, she was still being submissive as her biology dictated, pleasing her Alpha being her one goal.

Good girl,” he whispered back, and she squeezed him tightly enough that it was almost uncomfortable. She wiped her hand on the sheets, they were both lying in their own mess now and it hardly mattered, then she trapped him in a bear hug as he exhaled into her bust.

Their lust sated, they clung to each other, adrift on tides of euphoria. It wasn't just the pleasure, McGregor felt that Zhari had made progress. He had broken down another of the walls that she so often put up to keep him and others out of her more private thoughts.

Maybe Zhari was a minority amongst her people, or perhaps many Borealans felt the way that she did, simply hiding it behind a veneer of toughness and hyper-aggression. Their society and culture, even the instincts that were coded into their DNA, revolved around an endless battle for supremacy. Every day was a struggle to rise through the ranks and to maintain one's current position, bouts of very real violence deciding the victor. If you were sick the day that someone happened to challenge you, if you had slept late and you were tired and unprepared, it could cause you to lose your social position and in doing so drastically alter your quality of life. They always had to be at their peak, always aware and ready for a fight at all hours of the day.

It seemed that in Zhari's case, she preferred life at the bottom of the pile. Whether that was a quirk of her personality, or if the years of stress and intense competition had taken their tole on her, McGregor couldn't say. When he had met her she had been wound up like a spring, ready to explode at the slightest provocation. But now she was free of the stress and responsibility that went hand in hand with being a pack leader, she was relaxed, she even seemed happy at times.

Perhaps her case was more akin to that of a high powered executive, shouting down employees and making ruthless buyouts by day, but visiting a dominatrix in order to be degraded and dominated by night. Either way, he could sense her tension melting away, this was good for her and he was going to keep it up.

CHAPTER 6: HIDDEN TALENTS

McGregor woke up alone, feeling tiny as he sat up in the massive bed, Zhari's bulk conspicuously absent. The toys and bonds were still strewn about, and the dried fluids from the night before made the sheets stiff and scratchy. He wondered where she was for a moment, then he smelled food, dropping off the edge of the bed and making his way towards the kitchen.

He stepped out from behind the bedroom door, the wooden panel sliding closed behind him. Artificial sunlight from the station's lamps was bleeding in through the blinds, the only windows in the apartment facing the torus, as the station's hull was directly behind them and there were other apartments to their left and right. It must be late in the morning, probably close to midday.

Zhari was standing in front of the stove top, preparing something in a large skillet, the smell of cooking meat filling the room. Her furry ears swiveled to face him as she heard him enter, McGregor rubbing his eyes as he approached. She was still wearing her maid outfit, as dutiful as ever, and she had done her hair up in a bun which probably meant that she had taken a shower. He should probably do the same pretty soon, they had made a real mess of each other the night before.

You're making 'me' breakfast?” He asked, hopping up onto the one of the oversized chairs at the kitchen table to watch her. “That's a first.”

You usually do the cooking,” she replied, flipping whatever it was that she was frying with a spatula. “I thought that I might make some homeworld food today, since you were asleep. I assumed that you enjoyed cooking, so I never offered.”

I know my way around a kitchen, yeah, but I won't object if you want to help out. Don't think I've ever eaten any Borealan food before, what are you making?”

Well...it's not 'really' Borealan food, I'm just cooking human food in a Borealan style. I found these large hunks of meat in the freezer, I cut them into strips and I'm cooking them in oil.”

You're frying beef? Interesting...”

It'll be good, you'll see.”

She seemed happy today, her tail was waving back and forth beneath her short skirt, the garment scarcely long enough to cover her shapely rear. That costume had been a good investment, just the sight of her made him consider foregoing breakfast and having a taste of her instead, but there would be ample time for that later.

She finished cooking, spooning the strips of meat onto two large plates, and bringing them over to the table. McGregor was hungry, and so he wasted no time digging in, spearing a piece of beef on his fork and taking a tentative bite. It was juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, salty and very oily in the way that the cats preferred. They didn't care much for sugary food and so barbecue sauce and sweet meats were lost on them. They preferred the savory variety, and they were especially sensitive to fats and oils in their meal.

It was a little greasy by human standards, but it tasted good. Some sweet sauce like barbecue or ketchup would have made it downright delicious. She noted that he was wolfing it down, and she seemed pleased, starting on her own significantly larger pile of fried beef as she sat opposite to him at the table.

So what's the plan for today?” She asked, her voice muffled by a mouthful of meat.

I had some ideas. Your hands are too big to play videogames, at least until some company designs a controller aimed at Borealans, but I bet we can adjust some VR goggles to fit you.”

What are those?”

They're like electronic goggles that have computer screens inside them. You wear them over your eyes and it makes you feel like you're in another world.”

Why?” She asked, chewing on a piece of beef as she watched him quizzically.

Well think about it, you could use it as a combat simulator, or you could visit a representation of somewhere without having to travel there physically. In fact, I know just what to do with it.”

He took a couple of minutes to finish off his meal, and then hopped down off his chair, heading over to the living room.

What are you doing?” Zhari asked, craning her neck to get a look at him as he crouched beneath the wall mounted screen and pushed his hands through the holographic fireplace. There was a cupboard down there that contained more electronic goodies, and he rummaged for the VR sets.

You'll see soon enough, by the time you've finished eating I should have these set up.”

She shrugged, returning to her food as McGregor retrieved two pairs of goggles, finding the remote for the screen and beginning to scroll through the option menu. He remarked once again that Zhari seemed to have little interest in human technology. Devices that should have been as magic to her were at best curiosities, and at worst completely ignored. It wasn't what he had expected, but perhaps it was more a reflection of his environment than hers. He had grown up surrounded by toys and gadgets, his eyes always fixed on a monitor or a display, his fingers always typing at a keyboard or swiping across a touch panel.

Zhari's upbringing had been very different, the technology level on Borealis was far lower than it was in UNN space. She had no doubt explored a wealth of natural beauty while he had been locked his bedroom playing flight simulators, and their career choices reflected that. He had become a UNN pilot, and she had become a shock trooper. A love of computers and gadgets would not help her out in the bush any more than an interest in hiking would be of use to him in a cockpit.

Still, it amused him how she seemed able to just block everything out, as if she didn't even see the blinking lights and flashing displays that surrounded her on a daily basis.

Fortunately he had some other ideas of how to wow her.

***

So I put it on my face?” Zhari asked, holding the device between her clawed fingers disdainfully.

They're goggles,” McGregor protested, “you what to do with them. Don't be difficult, I'm trying to show you something cool here.”

She sighed and pulled the elastic strap around her head. It was adjustable, but clearly built with humans in mind, and she had some difficulty getting it to fit. McGregor helped her out, the larger alien leaning down so that he could make adjustments to its length, and to the distance between the two lenses. After a few minutes of struggling, they finally got the goggles to fit her, and Zhari found herself looking at two dark screens that were displaying nothing but a standby message.

It's not working.”

I didn't turn it on yet! I have to select a program to run from the main computer, and then it'll stream a scenario to our goggles. There's a gyroscope in the headset, so the computer will be able to track your moments, which means that you can look around organically. It'll be like you're really there.”

Zhari wasn't convinced, and she stood with her arms crossed as she waited for something to happen. She could hear McGregor pressing buttons, and after a moment the two screens flared to life. Now she saw a status bar that began to slowly fill. After a few more moments, there was a sudden rush of color and movement, making her reel as her field of view was filled with scenery.

She was no longer in the apartment, with its matte white walls and its wooden furniture. Before her she saw a vast expanse of sand, reds and browns with dark outcrops of rock protruding from the earth. She might have mistaken it for a Borealan desert, but the horizon was strange, and the atmosphere looked oddly thin and hazy. The sun was a tiny point of blue light in the sky, nothing like that of her home planet, and the desertscape was pockmarked with what looked like impact craters.

She looked up, noticing a dark shadow in the distance, a wave of vertigo rocking her as she realized what she was seeing. That was not part of the sky, it was not a cloud formation, it was a mountain of such scale that her brain could scarcely process it. It rose high above the clouds, a sheer face that must have been thousands of feet tall tapering into a rough cone, its cap flat rather than the point that she had anticipated.

She lurched as she heard McGregor's voice. He was in the room with her but she couldn't see him, she couldn't wrap her head around the fact that her eyes were seeing one thing while her ears were hearing another. It was disorientating.

Olympus Mons. You're looking at the largest volcano ever discovered. It's twenty two kilometers high, so tall that it actually protrudes from the planet's atmosphere.”

Is this...Earth?” Zhari asked, awestruck by the sight. “I imagined it differently.”

No, close. This is Mars, one of the other planets in Sol system.”

She looked around her, scanning her feline eyes over the barren desert. It would have felt like she was really there, was it not for the sensation of hard wood beneath her feet and the scent of the apartment filling her nose. She stared for a minute longer, before McGregor's voice once again snapped her out of her stupor.

Shall I show you something else?”

She nodded, but then realized that he couldn't see her through the goggles.

Yes.”

She heard him press a button, and then there was a sudden rush of color and movement, as if some invisible hand had gripped her by the scruff of her neck and had yanked her a million miles away in the space of a second.

Now she found herself standing on ice, the horizon completely flat before her. There was no atmosphere, the stars were bright and naked, cold points of light that stood out against the velvet darkness of space. It was an ice world, frozen and inhospitable. Why bring her here?

Her question was answered as she turned to look behind her, seeing a giant ball rising into the sky. It was massive, even larger than the volcano had been, taking up her entire field of view. It hung in space, oppressive and imposing, its surface ringed by colorful bands and spots that bled into one another like running paints as they roiled. It was a gas giant, she was standing on one of its moons. She felt as if the great planet was about to fall from the heavens and crush her.

Jupiter,” McGregor explained, “another one of the planets in our solar system. We're standing on Europa, one of its moons. Life evolved both in Earth's oceans, and in Europa's. Beneath our feet is a liquid ocean about thirty miles deep that harbors all manner of exotic marine life and extremophiles. The low gravity makes them especially large, it's not a place that you'd want to go swimming.”

Zhari looked at the ground beneath her feet, seeing ice, but feeling the wood floor of the apartment under her clawed toes. She suddenly felt nervous, imagining aquatic terrors lurking beneath her. In her mind she knew that this wasn't real, but her eyes painted a convincing picture.

There was another rush of color and movement, dizzying her as the computer switched scenes, and a new environment materialized around her. Now she was on the shore of a gigantic lake, white sand beneath her feet and tall trees with green fronds waving in the wind behind her. The blue water was remarkably clear, and it was full of colorful fish that darted to and fro beneath the surface. It looked warm, the sun was harsh and bright, hanging high in an azure sky that was spotted with wispy clouds here and there. The lake was truly massive, extending all the way to the horizon. She couldn't even see the far shore from where she was standing.

Now we're on Earth,” McGregor explained, “a Caribbean island to be exact.”

How big is this lake?” Zhari asked, awestruck by the beauty of the landscape. She couldn't take her eyes off the little fish, they were swimming so close to the shore, in such shallow water. They were decorated in all manner of bright colors, blues and greens and yellows. She could have reached down and plucked one from the lake with her claws, had this been real and not an illusion.

That's not a lake,” he replied, “that's an ocean. It's hundreds of miles wide.”

They didn't have oceans back on the homeworld, only great lakes, around which Borealan civilization clustered. How many of their lakes would fit into this ocean?

It's salt water,” he continued, “you couldn't drink it like you can lake water. Lots of animals live in it however.”

Her mind was playing tricks on her, she could almost feel the breeze on her face. They lingered here for a little longer, Zhari drinking in the wealth of natural beauty. It was all so striking, more like a painting than something that could really exist. The border between the white sand and the blue ocean was so crisp and harsh, as was the boundary between the ocean and the sky on the horizon. She wondered if she could kneel, finding that she could, and she steadied herself with her hands as she brought her goggles down close to the sand.

It was so fine and delicate, unlike the deserts of Borealis. There were tiny shells interspersed between the grains, in beautiful spirals and patterns, no doubt shed by tiny animals. She wanted to pick one up, examine it more closely, but as her claws grasped at nothing she remembered that none of this was real. She was still standing in the apartment, pawing at thin air.

She stood again, grateful that McGregor couldn't see her, and after a few more moments he snapped them to another location.

Zhari was yet again faced with a completely new landscape, a mountain range that rose high into the clouds. She was standing on the tallest peak, many of the mountains beneath her disappearing into a layer of thick cloud that hung over them like a mist. At first glance it was hard to distinguish cloud from snow, but the dark smears of exposed rock gave the mountains away, protruding from the wisps of vapor like broken teeth. The sun was bright and harsh, casting sharp shadows across the jagged rock, and the sky above her seemed to taper into a deeper blue that bordered on the black of open space. They must be high indeed.

What planet are we on now?” She asked, and McGregor chuckled in response.

Still Earth. Do you not have mountain ranges on Borealis?”

We do, in the North. I've never seen them myself.”

This is Mount Everest, you're standing on the peak of the tallest mountain on Earth. Below you is the Himalayan mountain range. If you were to visit this place in real life, you would need an oxygen mask to breathe. The air is so thin up here that you would suffocate and die without it.”

She noted that, as bright as the sun was, it never hurt her eyes. This scene was being output by a computer screen that could only simulate the heat and brightness of a star, she could stare directly at if she wanted to.

There was another disorientating flash of blurred colors and shapes, and once more she was thrust into a new and alien environment.

This one was distinctly artificial. She was standing in a street, the ground beneath her pathed with some kind of black, tar-like substance. There were walkways to either side of her that were bustling with humans, hundreds of them, maybe even thousands. They were wearing all manner of strange clothing, carrying bags and playing with devices as they went about their business. This was doubtless a human city, overpopulated and crowded, just as McGregor had described them.

To her left and right were what she had assumed at first glance to be canyon walls, but she now realized to be man-made structures built from glass and steel. They towered above her, such that she had to crane her neck to see the tops of their pointed spires. The constructs were of such scale that they looked as if they shouldn't have been able to support their own weight. How could something so tall and thin stand upright without keeling over?

There were awnings at street level, colorful tarps and signs with all manner of logos and human text that she couldn't read very well. There were flashing lights too, colorful displays that were mounted on the faces of the massive structures, it was mesmerizing. It was as much a bazaar as a street, with vendors towing carts accosting the pedestrians, selling them food and strange items of alien clothing. She thanked her stars that she couldn't hear it, the din would have been deafening to her sensitive ears.

She noticed that many of the humans were entering and exiting doors at the bases of the giant towers, which meant that they must be hollow inside. They were buildings, human dwellings, and the glass that she could see was made up of innumerable windows. Did they live inside these things, like insects in a hive? How could one tolerate living in such close proximity to so many other individuals?

It was giving her vertigo, making her feel claustrophobic and anxious. So many people, such large buildings, how could the aliens live under such conditions?

Let's move on,” she said, the tone of her voice betraying more of her uneasiness than she would have liked.

Don't like cities?”

It's...a bit too much. We don't have tall buildings like this back home, the gravity is too high. Our cities are flat compared to this, made up of short, stone buildings.”

He hit another button, and they were whisked away, the ground falling out from under her as she closed her eyes and reminded herself that none of this was really happening. The dizziness and the vertigo certainly felt real, but she wasn't really tumbling through a technicolor void, she was standing in the apartment beside McGregor as he operated the computer.

To her relief they appeared in a peaceful meadow. There was a sea of green grass leading up to a forest in the distance, colorful flowers growing in clumps everywhere that she looked. There were mountains on the horizon, tapering into rolling hills, a blue sky littered with streaks of white cloud above her head. It was picturesque, fertile, and she watched as a colorful insect fluttered by her as it hopped from flower to flower.

Still Earth?”

Yeah,” McGregor replied. “It's a wonky planet, lots of different biomes, varied seasons. When we set out into space, we expected every planet to be as diverse as ours. What we found was quite the opposite. Desert planets, forest planets, ice planets. The galaxy seems to be dominated by planets that have a single biome with little variation in conditions.”

Zhari's attention was drawn to movement in the distance, and she watched as a lanky, four-legged animal emerged from between the gnarled trunks of the trees. It was covered in brown, downy fur, and two decorative antlers protruded from its skull. It seemed timid, its ears flicking as it examined her, inching closer across the meadow on its dainty hooves.

It drew nearer and nearer, Zhari holding her breath so at not to startle the skittish creature, losing herself in the illusion for a moment and forgetting that it couldn't really see her. She reached out a hand towards its snout, intending to let the creature sniff her, but the movement was not reflected in her field of vision. The creature blinked its long lashes at her, and then scurried away, bounding gracefully across the grass before vanishing back into the darkness of the forest.

What was that?” She asked, resisting the impulse to chase the creature.

A stag. It's a herbivore, they live in herds.”

I think I'd like to hunt one, can you eat them?”

Yes, their meat is called 'venison'. Maybe we should take our next shore leave on Earth, and you can bag yourself a nice big buck.”

I'd like that,” she replied.

***

McGregor watched as Zhari removed the goggles, blinking as her amber eyes adjusted the light.

What did you think?” He asked as she straightened her hair where the band had ruffled it, combing the orange strands with her claws.

It's more interesting than most of your other toys.”

She was obviously downplaying how much it had impressed her, but it was as much of a compliment as he expected to get from her. The deer had been a nice touch, it was a shame that the goggles didn't come with gloves or she could have interacted with it.

Alright then, what do Borealans do for fun?”

She gave him a quizzical look, one of her orange eyebrows raised.

Hunting, fishing, sparring. Things like that.”

Come on, you must have more culture than that. You told me that your people make tapestries, you brew wines, you must have masons and carpenters.”

Well of course, but those are jobs.”

So you're telling me that Borealans don't see cultural pursuits as worthy of their time?”

That's...not what I meant,” she replied. “I'm a soldier, I don't weave tapestries or carve reliefs, I don't play music. I train in order to keep my skills sharp, because that is what is required of me.”

Surely that can't be your whole life? There must be something creative or recreational that you enjoy doing.” His tone became more serious suddenly, McGregor imitating what he imagined a stern Alpha to sound like, and her demeanor changed immediately. “Zhari, I hope you're not lying to your Alpha, that would make me very upset.”

She cowered, and he had to stifle a laugh, struggling to maintain his serious expression.

Well...there is 'one' thing...”

What's the holdup? Out with it!”

Y-You'll laugh at me.”

I promise that I won't laugh at you, even if you're into crochet.”

She was really dancing around the issue, just what the hell was she holding back? She looked like a nervous little girl who was about to go out on stage at a school play.

Well...you know of our long rifles, yes?”

The large bore powder rifles that you guys use? Yeah I've seen them before.”

The Borealans had a fairly low level of technology compared to the UNN, and before humans had made first contact with the planet, gunpowder rifles had been their favored brand of weapon. They were extremely long and too large for a human to lift, usually made from wood and stamped metal. Despite the weapons being made obsolete by railgun and plasma alternatives, they were still used back on the homeworld in a traditional and ceremonial capacity, usually for hunting. The aliens liked to replicate the design when they assembled their XMRs once they arrived on the station, modular rifles with components that could be swapped out on the fly in order to accommodate all manner of aliens and battlefield roles. The Borealan shock troopers chose the largest barrels that were available, as long as a man was tall and lined with magnetic coils, commonly tipped with a wicked bayonet that could be used as a spear in close quarters.

Have you ever seen one up close?”

I've seen pictures,” he replied, curious as to where she was going with this. “They're carved from wood, they have stamped metal parts, they're usually pretty elaborately decorated with engravings and embellishments.”

I...like to decorate them,” she announced, as if it was some shameful confession. “I like to carve reliefs into the wood with my claws, and I like damascening.”

What's that?”

It's when you inlay different metals onto one another to make a pattern or a picture. I usually use silver and gold, sometimes gemstones. I decorate the rifles with hunting scenes, battle scenes, maybe patterns that I think look good.”

So you're like...some kind of artisan? Why on earth would you be ashamed of something like that?”

She seemed taken aback by his positive response, growing more confident as she elaborated.

Well...it's not considered suitable work for an Alpha. The leader of a pack shouldn't be doing menial tasks, they should order a subordinate to do it in their place. But I enjoy it. It's intricate, and complex. I can occupy myself for a whole afternoon just scarring the metal and hammering in the patterns. I can forget about all of my worries for a while.”

So why is that looked down upon? Don't Borealans want their weapons decorated?”

They do, yes, but that task is usually reserved for a professional. It is...unorthodox for a soldier to take an interest in art, rather than dedicating all of their time to training.”

Aren't you all soldiers?”

Not professional soldiers, no. Our society still needs butchers, masons, doctors. Every Borealan can fight, but that's just...what we are.”

So the other Borealans didn't like you decorating weapons?”

As an Alpha, everything that you do matters. Every gesture and glance can assert dominance, or expose weakness. If you engage in an activity that might be seen as beneath you, or reserved for the lower echelons of society, then people will see that as a vulnerability to be exploited. I did it mostly in private for those reasons.”

He could see it in his mind's eye, Zhari barking orders and intimidating her subordinates one minute, then hiding away in some secluded workshop while she worked on her art in secret the next. It was endearing, tragic in a way. She had a talent, an art form that she was passionate about. Yet ironically, her elevated status in the social system in which she lived forced her to suppress that facet of her personality.

It perfectly aligned with what he knew about her behavior. Zhari was a square peg that had been forced through a round hole, a sensitive artist on the inside, but forced to project a facade of toughness and aggression on the outside. Her pride would not let her accept a lower position in her pack, she was compelled to be at the top of the hierarchy, and yet her personality was so unsuited to that role. The constant stress of maintaining her position kept her on edge, she didn't want that responsibility, it wasn't a lifestyle that suited her. Yet she had no alternatives, at least not until she had met McGregor...

When she was with him she could let her guard down, relax. He was her Alpha, but far from being a domineering beast who would swipe her with his claws for every minor infraction, she could be his subordinate without surrendering her pride. She could still be the biggest and the strongest, the proud Borealan warrior, but in his company she could put a temporary hold on the tension and posturing.

Another one of her walls had been torn down, and he wasn't about to let her retreat into her shell again.

Show me,” he commanded, and her tail twitched nervously.

What do you mean?”

Let's find something for you to carve, and you can show me how you do it.”

Before she could mount a protest, he set off into the apartment in search of something that she could carve, leaving her to put the VR goggles away. A bar of soap maybe? No, it should be wooden, in case he wanted to keep it when she was done. He searched around the kitchen for a minute as she watched him across the open plan apartment, and then he found something suitable. There was a wooden bowl on one of the counter tops, designed to hold salads and snacks no doubt. It was fairly large, with a lot of surface area, the wood looked soft enough for carving.

He brought it over to her and raised it above his head so that she could see it.

Will this work?”

Yes...”

She took it from his hands, examining it for a moment as she turned it over.

Do you need to sit at the table?”

She shook her head, her feline eyes still fixed on the bowl.

No, I can do it on the couch.”

She sat down heavily, the frame creaking under her weight, McGregor hovering nearby. She hadn't started carving yet, she was just look over the bowl, no doubt planning what she was going to carve and how she would go about it.

Do you need a knife or anything?”

I'd need a stamp for damascening, but I can carve wood with my claws.”

Like finger painting,” he commented. As he watched her, her face began to redden, almost as if she was embarrassed to be seen.

I've...never done it with anyone watching before,” she stammered. He was still amazed by her shyness, it was so jarring coming from a creature that was eight feet tall and weighed as much as a Bengal tiger. In one moment she acted like a ferocious drill instructor, and in the next she behaved like a quiet schoolgirl.

Well you'll have to get used to it, because I want to watch,” he said as he clambered up onto the oversized couch beside her. She hesitated for a moment longer, then she extended her furry index finger and brought her claw down towards the bowl. Her talons were wickedly sharp, as black as onyx and curved like meat hooks. A swipe from one of her hands would have cleaved flesh from bone, probably taken his head clean off his shoulders, but she was using that killing implement with such care and dexterity now. Their big hands and fat fingers made them look clumsy compared to a human, but that wasn't the case at all.

Her claw sank easily into the soft wood, and as he watched, she began to carve. She cut furrows in the bowl, drawing lines and patterns, blowing away the excess dust every so often as she worked. McGregor had seen humans whittle to create little carvings and sculptures, but this was entirely different. Rather than using a knife or a tool to cut away the unwanted wood, their fingers themselves were knives. He wouldn't have been surprised if this practice dated back to the earliest days of their species' evolution, it seemed like something that came naturally to them.

Slowly a scene began to unfold before his eyes, the furrows and cuts taking on a coherent shape. She wasn't just drawing in the wood, she was carving a relief, removing layers of material strategically in order to raise the characters and objects that she was creating from the surface.

He sat patiently for perhaps an hour as she worked, what was clearly a mountain range slowly taking form. It was impeccably detailed, with blankets of snow and craggy peaks that jumped out at him, very nearly three dimensional as she chipped away at the bowl. He remained silent, not wanting to disturb or distract her. She was so engrossed in her work that she never once looked up.

As well as raising the shapes from the surface of the bowl, the wood beneath was a lighter shade of brown, no doubt because the top layer had been varnished or treated with some kind of chemical that had darkened it. In this way, she was even able to add some color to the piece, like a greyscale picture in shades of nutmeg and beige.

Over the next hour she meticulously carved out a mountain range that tapered into rolling hills and highlands, then a forest that encircled a meadow that was dotted with flowers. It was accurate as anything that McGregor had seen painted by hand, and it was impeccably detailed, her sharp claws allowing her to make very fine carvings.

When she began to detail the stag, McGregor realized what she was making. It was the scene from the VR program, the deer reaching its nose out to sniff her. Due to the curvature of the bowl, it almost looked like a shot taken through a fish-eye lens, a perspective which must have taken a lot of careful planning to pull off so accurately.

Now it was McGregor's turn to be awestruck, he would never have imagined that she had such hidden talents. She went to such lengths to look tough and mean, when all she really wanted to do when given a choice was make art. She was a warrior poet in a sense.

When she was done, she blew away the excess dust, and handed her piece to McGregor. He turned it over in his hands, examining her carving, the giant alien looking on nervously as if she expected him to be overly critical.

This amazing,” he said, running his fingers over the rough surface. “I can't believe that anyone would try to discourage you. How did you learn to carve like this?”

When I was an adolescent I would train with the rifles at the range, as soon as a Borealan is strong enough to lift a weapon, they learn to use it. I always liked the carvings and metalwork on the guns, each one was different. Some had scenes depicting famous battles and great figures, others were reliefs of hunts, some were just attractive geometric patterns and inlays. I wanted to make something like that for myself, and so when I raised enough money to buy my own rifle, I also decorated it myself. I practiced on miscellaneous pieces of wood and other household objects before ever laying a claw on my precious gun of course, much to the ire of my mothers. I copied what I had seen and gradually taught myself to carve.”

You learned to do this by yourself? That's incredible.”

Well, my first attempts weren't anything like this,” she admitted, gesturing to the bowl. “In fact I surely ruined my first rifle, but it was mine, and I loved it. Borealan kittens are raised communally, we have many mothers. It has its benefits, no kitten ever need be neglected. When they're hungry or upset there's always a mother available to soothe them. They share everything however, toys and possessions included, and the biggest and baddest kittens usually end up with the best stuff.”

She noticed McGregor's sympathetic expression, and waved her hand dismissively.

That is our way. Borealan kittens are not like human children, they're little demons. You could drop kick one across the room and I doubt it would suffer any injuries. Anyway, coming of age and owning something that is yours alone is a big part of growing up for a Borealan. My first possession was my rifle.”

Reminds me of when I bought my first car,” McGregor replied, leaning back into the couch as he reminisced. “When I was seventeen I worked a summer job and earned enough credits to buy an old Nissan convertible. It was a piece of junk, the lithium batteries were shot and they had melted through their housing and eaten a hole clear through the chassis. Took me the rest of the summer to get the damned thing roadworthy, and by then it was too late to pick up girls. It was mine though, the first real thing that I bought with my own money.”

A car is a vehicle?”

Yeah, think of it as a shuttle that moves along the ground on a set of wheels.”

Oh, they have those in Rask, desert crawlers. But if you have spaceships, why do you need vehicles that move along the ground?”

A shuttle is great for traveling long distances, and spaceships travel between planets, but what if you need to travel a shorter distance? What if you need to travel say, fifty miles? Too far to walk, not far enough to justify a shuttle?”

Then you use a car? I see. In Elysia we rarely need to travel outside of the territory, and so we have no use for cars.”

I understand the sentiment, in any case,” he said as he leaned forward to set the bowl down on a nearby coffee table. “Your art is really amazing. You could probably make money doing this, you know. I'd bet that people back on Earth and the core colonies would pay out the wazoo for alien artifacts. I'm sure all of the socialites would fork over thousands of credits for authentic, hand-crafted Borealan reliefs that they could display in their homes. The fact that you can carve anything wooden is a big selling point. You could make bowls, furniture, hell anything that you can imagine.”

You think so? Why would they want such things from me? Can't they buy those things on their home planets?”

Yeah, but that's not the point. It's rustic, exotic, and more importantly none of their rich friends will have one. Have you ever considered maybe...leaving the military and going into business for yourself, even if it was just decorating other people's guns back on the homeworld?”

She looked off into the distance for a moment, mulling over what he was saying. So much of her pride was wrapped up in her identity as a warrior, he hoped that he hadn't taken things too far and struck a nerve. It was necessary however, he could plainly see that the military life was doing her no favors. Her own drive to succeed and to be the best was making her miserable, every second spent in the company of a Borealan pack compounding her stress and anxiety. She was too proud to let herself be supplanted as the leader, but the position brought her no joy, no happiness. It was a Catch-22, being a subordinate was intolerable to her, but being an Alpha was scarcely any better.

The only time that she seemed to be happy and relaxed, the only time that she could pursue her creative drive, was when she was with him. He was the only person that she felt that she could submit to without sacrificing her pride.

You think that I should...leave the military?”

I'm suggesting it, yes, out of concern for you. As a friend, as your Alpha, and as your lover. Whenever they give you some shore leave, whenever you get back from a deployment and you have some time to wind down, you're like a bomb that's ready to explode. You always seem irritable, angry, stressed out. It takes you days to cool off and become your usual self again. I know why, it's because you feel that you have to be Alpha, you have to be the top dog and you have to beat down anyone who tries to take that position from you. You're too proud to submit to any of your packmates, and yet being the Alpha doesn't make you happy.”

She was still staring directly ahead, but McGregor was going all-in, he couldn't stop now.

What if there were more than just two options? What if you could choose to be something other than an Alpha or a subordinate? Go into business for yourself, be your own boss. Do what you want to do, when you want to do it. You've already proven yourself a capable warrior, you've already demonstrated that nobody in your pack can challenge you. How many tours have you completed by now? More than enough to earn an honorable discharge if you wanted one, I'd bet.”

But...what would they think of me back home?”

Who says that you'd have to go home?” McGregor asked. “You've got an account full of wages that you've never spent because the UNN pays your way. Use it to set up a store in the tourist quarter, sell your carvings to the people who pass through.”

She leaned forward and picked up the bowl, staring at the relief as the gears turned in her head.

You really think that I could do that? That people would want to buy something like this?”

Absolutely,” he replied adamantly. “And every soldier on the station will want their sidearm damascened, assuming you can get the tools and materials that you'd need.”

She set the bowl down again, obviously conflicted, and McGregor reached over to pat her on the thigh.

You don't have to decide right now, give it some thought and take your time. It's a big decision. Just remember that you aren't on Borealis anymore, you can choose where you want to live, and how.”

I will...think about it,” she said. “Nobody has ever really asked me what I wanted to do before. I was always either part of a military unit, or at the head of one. I fight well, and I'm a good leader, but I guess you're right when you say that it doesn't make me happy.”

While we're on the subject of hobbies,” he began, wanting to brighten the mood again. “You said that you guys do sparring. What is that, like claw fighting? Wrestling?”

Yes, we practice close quarters fighting. Mostly claw attacks.”

I'm told that Borealis doesn't really have any martial arts to speak of, is that true?”

To an extent,” she replied. “I am aware of human martial arts. You must use throws and other such techniques to defend yourselves when deprived of your weapons. A Borealan is never deprived of their weapons, you would have to pull out their teeth and cut off their hands.”

That's a...morbid thought,” he said with a grimace. “But it sounds to me like you don't think much of human CQC.”

He noticed a spark of that pride in her eyes again, the same one that usually preceded a comment about Borealan martial superiority.

Let's just say that against a Borealan, it would be useless.”

Perhaps, but what if you were deprived of your claws?”

Then I would still be two feet larger than a human, and weigh thrice as much.”

Pilots are taught hand to hand combat these days, you know,” McGregor said as he walked over towards the couch. “Help me move this.”

Move it?” Zhari asked, cocking her head at him. “Why?”

Because we need to clear some space so that I can show you up.”

What? You want to spar with me? You can't be serious.”

He gestured to the couch, and she did as she was asked, moving closer and hooking her fingers under one of the armrests. They scooted it towards the wall, and then moved the coffee table along with it. When they were done with that, they moved to the kitchen and slid the table across the tiles to clear more space. The apartment was not large, but they had made enough room for a Borealan and a human to wrestle.

We should probably do this in the gym,” Zhari said, “and I'm not sure what you think you'll accomplish.”

Oh, I have some ideas,” he replied cryptically. “So how do you guys spar?”

She walked around the open plan space, seeming to gauge where all of the furniture was, and how much room they really had.

Two Borealans enter a sand pit, they must fight until one submits. The rules are the same as a dominance fight. Claws and teeth are permitted, intentionally aiming for vital points like the throat is not.”

So it's not really sparring, it's just a dominance battle without the resulting loss or gain in standing?”

Essentially, yes. Borealans need a way to train without risking losing their position, and sparring is the best way to go about it.”

Very well, then this area that we've cleared is our sand pit.”

It can't be a sand pit,” she complained, “where will the blood drain?”

Jesus, there's not gonna be any blood,” he shot back. “You know that humans lack your healing factor, if you carve me up like a piece of steak I'll have to go to the infirmary.”

With respect,” she began, McGregor knowing that everything she was about to say was going to be anything but respectful. “You're small, weak, you have no claws. What do you hope to accomplish? I will win easily, it won't be a fair fight.”

He just smiled at her, and again she cocked her head like a curious dog. She watched him as he made his way over to one of the kitchen drawers beneath the counter, standing on his toes to reach as he rummaged through it.

Aha, I knew it.”

He returned to her side with a pair of oversized oven mitts, patterned with little yellow ducks.

What are these?” Zhari asked, giving them a distasteful glance.

Oven mitts, they're used to prevent you from burning your hands when you're handling hot food. They're full of insulating padding, and as I suspected, they're big enough for a Borealan to use. This is an apartment made with Borealans in mind after all.”

You want me to...wear these?”

He nodded emphatically.

Better take your maid outfit off first though, you don't want it to get torn.”

She narrowed her amber eyes at him, and then began to remove the garment. McGregor suppressed a grin, watching as she started with the cuffs, popping the gold buttons that held them on her wrists and dropping them to the floor. Next she reached up and slid her headpiece off, placing it beside the cuffs. She hooked her black claws around the garters that clung to her meaty thighs, lifting one furry paw, and then the other as she slid them off. She began to untie the tiny corset that was secured around her torso, pulling apart the red ribbons and then letting it fall to the carpet to join the rest of the accessories.

Her milky skin contrasted so nicely with the black and red, accentuated by it, the taut muscles on her exposed belly flexing as she reached behind her back and untied the frilly brassiere. She shrugged it off, the ruffled top falling away to expose her shoulders, and then the black lace of the lingerie that lay beneath it. It left little to the imagination, more of a mesh of silk than a garment that was intended to preserve her modesty. Her heavy breasts bounced enticingly as she leaned forward to place it on the carpet, giving him an admirable view of her cleavage, the two globes pressed tightly together by the bra.

Finally she came to the skirt, doing a little dance as she attempted to wriggle out of the tight piece of clothing, the little half-apron flapping as she struggled. She managed to get it past her wide hips, and then slid it down to her thighs, exposing the lace panties that she wore beneath it. As lean and as powerful as she was, she still had pleasant stores of fat in all of the places that count, complimenting her feminine figure. They wobbled as she moved, her breasts, thighs and ass rippling like the surface of a pond. She finally got the skirt down around her ankles and stepped out of it, stooping to collect the pile of clothes and placing them safely on the couch before returning to McGregor.

He held up the oven mitts, and she reluctantly took them from him, sliding them over her furry hands.

They're stiff, how am I supposed to grab you?”

McGregor shrugged as she stared disdainfully at the duck patterns.

It's called a handicap, deal with it.”

He wasn't done however, and she eyed him apprehensively as he walked over to one of the kitchen counters and opened the cardboard mystery box. Zhari averted her eyes, remembering the order that she had been given. Under no circumstances was she permitted to look inside the box.

McGregor grinned, finding what he was looking for. He walked back over to her, holding a bright red ball gag in his hands, the leather strap that would secure it around her head spread between his hands.

What is it?” She asked.

It's so that you can't bite, call it another handicap.”

You want me to put that in my mouth?”

He nodded, and she rolled her eyes, crouching so that he could reach her face. He placed the red ball in her mouth, and then reached his hands behind her head to secure the belt, feeling her blowing warm air on his neck through her feline nose. He stepped back, admiring her as she rose to her full height, clad only in her black lingerie as she batted at the ball gag with her duck-patterned oven mitts.

I 'ook 'idiculous,” she mumbled, almost inaudible through the gag. She wiped away a strand of saliva that had escaped past her lips with the glove, glaring down at him indignantly.

Well, you expressed concerns that the fight wouldn't be fair. This is much fairer, you can't scratch and you can't bite.”

I 'asn't going do!”

Maybe not, but now you can't hurt me unintentionally. You have to fight on your knees by the way, so that we're the same height.”

Dis is so stoopid,” she sputtered, complying and dropping to her knees.

Sounds to me like you're just scared of losing to a human,” he said, and she responded with what might have been an exclamation but sounded more like she was blowing raspberries at him.

McGregor shrugged off his jacket and kicked off his boots, stripping down to his tank top and his Navy issue pants, taking up a defensive stance as he began to circle her. Zhari shuffled on her knees, her long arms spread wide, all business now that the fight had begun. She might look laughable right now, but she still weighed around five hundred pounds, and she had the strength to snap his spine like a twig if she were so inclined.

Of course his goal was not to beat her in a fair fight, nor was it to humiliate her or to make her look foolish. If there was one thing that made Zhari a shivering, twitching wreck, it was being overcome in a fight. It was her most closely guarded secret, a shameful fetish that she would admit to noone, especially not another Borealan. It was something that she could never indulge in, as proud as she was. Losing her status for the sole purpose of getting off was not an option in her society.

It was an option with McGregor however. The first time that he had overcome her in the cave back on EE-4, it had been a close fight. She had completely overpowered him, he had been at her mercy. She had him pinned beneath her massive body and she had been about to live out her repressed xenophilic fantasies at his expense.

He had turned the tables using psychology. He had recognized her repressed desires, leveraging them in order to weaken her resolve, almost as if admitting to the feelings that she had kept hidden for so long was physically weakening her.

Since that night in the cave, he had been her Alpha. While they took every opportunity that presented itself to rut like rabbits, she always let him win. He was on top because she allowed it, he threw her over beds and tables, and pulled her tail while he fucked her because she wanted it to happen. Had she wished to reclaim her dominant position over him it would have been all too easy, the circumstances in which she had been defeated had been so unusual and specific.

She didn't want to reclaim her position however, because McGregor was the only being in the galaxy that she felt that she could submit to, the only Alpha that she could tolerate. Through him she could live out all of her most secret and socially unacceptable fantasies, free of the judging gaze of her kin. She was the equivalent of a masochist, living in a society where sadism and ambition was demanded of everyone.

Now Zhari was going to lose. This would not be psychological trickery, he was really going to put her on her back. While the circumstances of the fight were downright farcical, the important thing was that she tried, and failed.

CHAPTER 7: TABOO

They squared off, Zhari struggling to keep her balance as she shuffled on her knees, her hands confined to the stiff gloves. How the hell was she supposed to fight like this? She had to wonder if McGregor was really trying to level the playing field with his antics, or if this was another one of his elaborate schemes. It was more likely to be the latter, considering that he had retrieved this strange gag from the box, the contents of which all seemed to be associated with sexual deviancy.

It was distracting, blocking her mouth so that she couldn't bite down, her saliva leaking from her lips as they struggled around the ball and her tongue lashed against its inner surface. It was made from some kind of plastic or silicone, secured around her head with a band of leather. She felt that she could crush it, it was no doubt made with humans in mind, and her powerful jaws and sharp teeth would have made short work of it.

It was McGregor's will that she wear it however, and she would not disobey.

Borealans were less suited to kneeling than humans due to the shape of their digitigrade legs, and she balanced precariously as he circled her, his fists raised in an offensive stance. She had seen the humans fight before during their training, they used fancy moves and complex combinations of throws, kicks and punches to incapacitate their enemies. She often wondered why they bothered. They couldn't take on a Betelgeusian drone in close quarters, wasn't that the entire reason that the UNN employed Borealans as auxiliaries? Stop dancing about and just let the Mad Cats handle it, that was her advice.

McGregor surprised her, darting forwards in an attempt to grapple with her. He was faster than she had anticipated. She batted him away with the back of her massive hand, the padded mitten softening the blow. He was sent reeling regardless, regaining his equilibrium as he began to circle again.

This was not a dominance battle, it was sparring, and thus there was no standing to be gained or lost. That fact had been drilled into her since her youth, only rote memorization and practice allowing her kind to suppress that side of themselves for even the small amount of time that it took to engage in a mock fight. She would hold back a little of course, even with the 'handicaps', as she was strong enough to throw him across the room and dash him against one of the walls.

Human rules,” McGregor said, hopping from one foot to the other. “First one on their back for a count of ten seconds loses.”

She nodded her understanding, her feline eyes dilated wide and fixed on her prey. She could pin him under her weight easily, he wouldn't have the strength to throw her off, but actually catching him when her faculties were so limited might be a problem.

He danced towards her again, and she reached out her long arms to trap him in a hug when he drew close enough. He ducked under her, gripping her by the fur of her forearm and hooking his hand behind her neck, turning and pulling her arm over his shoulder as if trying to wrench it out of its socket. He was trying to throw her, she realized, pulling her over his shoulder and sending her tumbling to the ground. She was far too heavy however, and she batted him away easily.

A fight between two Borealans revolved around fast claw strikes and leveraging their weight and their powerful legs to knock enemies to the ground. The opponent would give in either when they were downed and no longer able to mount a defense, or when sufficient pain was inflicted from cuts and lacerations. Humans seemed to find the practice barbaric, but they couldn't seem to wrap their heads around how fast Borealans healed. A scar from a Borealan talon would knit practically overnight, it was little more than a bruise to them.

Her claws were covered by the mittens however, her ability to grapple similarly hampered, and being on her knees stopped her from taking an aggressive posture. She would have to respond to his attacks, try to nab him between her arms when he drew near.

McGregor darted around to her right, Zhari struggling to keep him to her front as she shuffled on her knees, the little human out-maneuvering her. He got behind her, and she felt his arm hook around her neck, this time using one of his feet to knock her off balance.

It was surprisingly effective, and he managed to trip her, pulling her over backwards. She toppled to the carpet, McGregor careful to avoid being squashed beneath her bulk. One she was on her back, he wrapped his arms around her wrist, hugging her long limb against his body as she felt his legs close around her neck. He applied pressure to her throat using his thighs, no doubt in an attempt to choke her out, but his limbs weren't even as strong as a Borealan's arm.

Zhari could see how such a move would have completely immobilized a fellow human, but she was far stronger than any human could have hoped to be. She lifted him clear off the floor as he clung to her arm, her bicep bulging, flinging him off her as if he was little more than a clinging kitten.

He rolled across the carpet, ending up on the wooden floor of the open plan kitchen. He rose to his feet again as Zhari struggled to her knees, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

Almost had you,” he panted.

No 'ou didn't,” she mumbled in response, her gag muffling her speech.

He ran at her, and this time she was ready, anticipating that he would try to duck under her arms and clotheslining him. He was knocked off his feet, landing heavily on his back, the air forced out of his lungs as he wheezed. She fell upon him, one gloved hand resting on the carpet for balance, and the other laying across his chest to stop him from getting up.

Ten seconds he had said, those were the human rules, and she began to count.

One, doo, free...”

She couldn't stop herself from drooling with this damned ball in her mouth, and a strand of it rained down on his face as he struggled to catch his breath.

Her knees buckled as she felt a sudden burst of pleasure, her muscles turning to jelly as McGregor slipped a hand beneath the lace of her bra and sank his fingers into the meat of her breast. His digits dug deep, teasing the sensitive tissue that lay beneath the fat, catching her nipple between his fingers and squeezing it in the way that he knew she liked.

He took advantage of the distraction to wriggle free, climbing to his feet and scampering out of range of her arms as she shook her head in an attempt to clear it of the lingering pleasure. Her cheeks felt warm, her nipples hardening and brushing against the delicate fabric of her lingerie.

Cheater!”

Hey, I didn't lay down any ground rules about conduct,” he said, with a wide grin on his face. “You Borealans are so concerned with honor and playing fair, you forget that people can fight dirty.”

She grumbled under her breath, preparing herself for the next attack. McGregor cracked his knuckles, weaving back and forth like a boxer, trying to keep her guessing as to where he would strike next. He wasn't faster than she was, no chance, Borealans had reaction times and quick fire muscles that made humans look downright sluggish in comparison. But she was being forced to fight in such a compromised position, she couldn't bring any of that speed to bear.

This time he ducked left, and she reached out a hand to bat at him, catching him in the face with the padded mitten. He stumbled, dazed by the blow, and she leaned forward to grab him. He skirted out of reach, avoiding her by a hair, shaking his head to clear it. She was pulling her punches, so to speak. If she used all of her strength she could give him a concussion or snap his neck, even through the mittens. It wasn't too different from sparring with a Borealan, going for the throat or the eyes, or any other vital point was against the rules. McGregor was just one big vital point.

Her human partner attempted to dart around behind her again, but this time she was ready for him. Her serpentine tail shot out to trip him, tangling around his feet and sending him toppling to the floor. He scrambled to his hands and knees, but in the time it took him to right himself, Zhari was upon him. She spun around, rolling him onto his side and knocking him off-balance, pouncing on top of him and pinning him against the shag carpet.

McGregor struggled ardently, the little human surprisingly slippery, but she managed to trap his arms at his sides, pulling him upright and squeezing him against her body in a bear hug. Her strong arms wrapped around him, compressing him as he tried in vain to wriggle loose, her heavy breasts squashing against his chest and deforming as they enveloped him. She gave him a hard squeeze as a warning to stop struggling, his face resting in the nape of her neck as he caught his breath.

Surely he would give in now, there was no way for him to escape her grip.

Zhari realized that she was actually breaking a sweat, the odd limitations that McGregor had imposed on her demanding more effort than usual, making her skin slippery as she held him tightly against her chest.

Her quarry lay still for a moment, and just when she expected him to throw in the towel, he leaned forward and sank his teeth into her neck. They were dull, unable to break her skin, but the possessive bite of an Alpha sent a burst of tingling pleasure shooting down her spine. Her muscles immediately relaxed, her legs turning to jelly and a low sigh escaping her lips as he bit her as hard as he could manage.

A bite to the neck or shoulder was a deeply sexual and provocative act in Borealan culture. It was usually performed either shortly before or during sex, commonly to anchor the submissive party and keep them still while the dominant one had their sordid way with them. A bite also served as a mark, the scar signifying that the Borealan in question had been claimed as a mate, and that a very deliberate and exclusive breeding would soon ensue.

It was like a switch had been flipped in her head, her demeanor changing immediately, a wave of warmth spreading through her body as she released her hold on him. The plucky human kept up his biting, doing his best to approximate how an Alpha would have done it. His jaw was weak, and his teeth were flat, but the dull pain set her nerves aflame with passion. Her thighs snapped together, trembling as her juices began to dampen her lace panties, McGregor standing level with her as she kneeled before him on the soft carpet.

Taking advantage of her new weakness, he trapped her in another grapple, throwing her to the floor and looming over her. It was like all of the strength had been sapped from her body, Zhari finding herself unable to mount a resistance.

This wasn't more of his mind games, she wasn't letting him win, he was beating her. Her loins burned and ached at the prospect. She might have been handicapped to the point of uselessness, but she had been convinced that his efforts would be futile. Even under such odd conditions there was no way that a human could have overcome a Borealan, it was impossible.

Yet here she was, on her back, as malleable and overwhelmed as a youth who had just lost their first bout.

***

The eight foot tall alien squirmed beneath McGregor as she lay on the carpet, her muscular body writhing and flexing, beads of sweat glistening on her pale skin as they caught the simulated firelight. Her eyelids fluttered as if she had just taken a hit of some drug, her cheeks flushed pink, the red indent of his bite mark prominent on her neck.

He had done his research, and Zhari had responded in exactly the way that he had anticipated. She must be swimming in a soup of arousal, anticipation and shame right now. She had lost a fight to a human, and she had been bitten, every cell in her body would be screaming for her to submit to him. This was a fantasy that she could never express, and now he was making it a reality.

McGregor was just as aroused as she was. Seeing her lying on her back like that, knowing that he could do whatever he wanted with her, it made his erection strain painfully against his pants. He quickly slipped out of them, pulling his tank top over his head and exposing himself, Zhari's golden eyes playing over him covetously as she lay there.

Beating her in a fight was only the first stage of his plan, now the difficult part began, maintaining the facade of a powerful and domineering Alpha without letting slip how adorable he found her. He couldn't throw her around like a chew toy in the way that a male Borealan could, but McGregor had other, more subtle tools at his disposal.

He straddled her chest and reached down to grip her lacy brassiere, tearing it open, her heavy breasts bouncing free as she loosed an anticipatory moan from behind her ball gag. Gravity immediately wrested control of them, but they were surprisingly firm, maintaining their shape despite their exaggerated size. McGregor always expected them to sag like a pair of water balloons, in the way that a large pair of human breasts might, but these were appropriately scaled up for her stature and they were wonderfully pert.

Her black lingerie now discarded, he mauled her breasts, feeling her massive body writhe and squirm under him as he squeezed and clawed at the malleable flesh. He could feel her nipples beneath his hands, hard and erect, pressing into his palms as he delved deeper. Her skin was as smooth as glass, her meat as pliable and as elastic as a stress ball. He dug for the firmer breast tissue that lay beneath, Zhari's saliva bubbling around her gag as she arched her spine, almost lifting McGregor clear off the floor as he straddled her chest.

She was trembling like a leaf, her massive thighs rubbing together as her juices dripped down onto the fluffy carpet, her body warm to the touch as if she had a fever.

He slid down her torso, his erection pressing into her skin, the veneer of sweat making it glide across the prominent bumps of her abdominal muscles. He brought his head down level with her bust, taking one of he mammoth breasts in his hands, her flesh spilling between his fingers as he struggled to lift its weight. It was as heavy as a fully laden military rucksack, how she could even stand with two of these hanging from her chest was beyond him.

He wasted no time, sucking her erect nipple into his mouth, trapping it cruelly between his lip and his teeth as he manhandled her. It might have been rough treatment by human standards, but Borealans were as tough as nails and they liked things rough, generally rougher than a human could hope to be.

He circled the fleshy protrusion with his tongue, biting softly, sucking and mouthing as Zhari warbled and groaned beneath the gag. After a moment his gentle chewing abated, and he moved lower, planting lingering kisses and teasing her with soft bites as he crawled down towards her loins. He traced the deep channels that her abs carved in her belly with his tongue, tasting the salt on her skin as he roamed lower, pausing to push his tongue into her navel. Her wide hips rose off the floor for a moment, crashing back down to the carpet, the impact of her heavy ass making her thighs shake like a plate of jello.

McGregor bit her hip, feeling a shiver roll through her as she lay her head back on the floor, reveling in the sensations as her human lover explored her magnificent body with his lips and fingers.

As he neared her loins, his cheeks brushing the burnished surface of her inner thighs, and he felt her tense. The powerful muscles in her legs and belly froze up, Zhari shivering with anticipation as he hooked his finger around the waistband of her lace panties and pulled them down. They were glued to her, the fabric soaked with her excitement, ropes of it breaking to fall to the carpet below as he tore them away. She raised her knees in order to help him, the damp garment sliding over her furry feet to be discarded on the carpet behind them.

Now exposed, she propped herself up on her elbows, watching with a covetous expression as he hovered an inch from her swollen sex. He breathed warm air on her dripping loins, Zhari so ready and so sensitive that even his breath set her nerves alight with tingling pleasure. She was as wet as he had ever seen her, a thick strand of her clear fluids leaking from her glistening vulva, her puffy lips glazed with glistening moisture as she waited for him.

There was no more need for foreplay, that had been the purpose of the sparring, and so he wrapped his arms around her hips and delved between her parted thighs.

Zhari's spine left the carpet once more, the alien loosing a muffled moan through her gag as his tongue lashed at her sensitive anatomy, pushing between her lips and scouring her vulva. Her tail flicked back and forth, her toes curling and uncurling like a house cat kneading its favorite blanket. He was wanton, shameless, licking and kissing as her juices dripped down his chin and coated his cheeks in a sticky sheen. He strayed from her pink flesh, mouthing at her inner thighs, dragging his tongue across her mound as he skirted the tuft of delicate fur that served as her pubic hair.

She was beside herself, slowly fucking the air reflexively, her hips moving on their own as he dug his fingers into the meat of her ass for purchase. Her sour taste filled his mouth, but he didn't care, leaving no stone unturned as he coated her lower body in a mixture of his saliva and her flowing juices.

He felt one of the oven mitts on his head as he found a fervent rhythm, her hand pressing him deeper, urging him on as he pushed his organ into her winking opening and licked the inside of her slimy passage. Her muscles attempted to take hold, but the combination of drool and her slippery lubricant hampered her efforts, her tunnel contracting desperately as he teased her.

He moved higher, seeking out her clitoris and lapping at it, forcing two of his fingers deep inside her. They sank up to the knuckle, her loins gripping him with all the strength of an angry fist, like slimy velvet as they did their utmost to crush his bones into powder with their violent seizing. With considerable effort, and only because she was so damned wet, he began to move them in and out. He found a harsh rhythm, fucking her with his fingers as he drew her clitoris into his mouth, battering it relentlessly with his tongue as she cooed and mewled.

Zhari's saliva was leaking past the gag, unable to close her lips due to the obstruction, trailing down her cheek as she watched him over the twin mounds of her breasts with wild eyes. Her thighs closed around his head, strong enough to crush a watermelon as if it was a grape, but she was careful not to apply too much pressure. It wouldn't do to crush her lover, not while he was engaged in her favorite activity in the world, at least when salted caramel ice cream was off the menu.

Sensing that she was taking a little more initiative than was appropriate, and wanting to remind her who was in charge, McGregor moved his hand from her supple cheek up towards the small of her back. His fingers found fur, and he gripped her by the base of the tail, holding the fuzzy appendage in his hand for a moment as he felt her insides clench around his buried digits.

He gave her a rough tug, Zhari immediately melting into a puddle on the carpet. All of her muscles relaxed as if he had just hit her 'off' switch, her eyes rolling back into her head as she collapsed onto the floor, mewling softly as he resumed his ardent licking. It bugged him that he was too short to reach her head and her tail at the same time, biting her neck while pulling her tail would really have rocked her world. Oh well, he had to work within his limitations.

Confident that she was now sufficiently primed, he raised his head from between her legs, his lips linked to her loins by a sagging web of fluid. He wiped it away with the back of his hand, a futile gesture, there was just too damned much of the stuff. It had matted the shag carpet beneath her, and globs of it were sticking to her inner thighs. He struggled to remove his fingers from her tunnel, the suction was immense, and a tremor passed through her as his digits slid against her tender walls.

He gave her ass a slap, jolting her back to reality, Zhari breathing heavily as she peered down at him expectantly.

Face down, ass up,” he commanded.

Zhari didn't hesitate, rolling onto her front and raising her haunches into the air, presenting herself to him. She lowered her rump a little, ensuring that her dripping loins were at waist-height to the kneeling human, her face buried in the fluffy carpet as she waited for him to take her.

He took a firm grip on her tail, using it as leverage as he pressed the head of his member against her burning sex, ropes of her excitement hanging between her trembling thighs as he dragged it up and down her vulva. She was molten, the heat that she radiated and the consistency of her fluids as they wet his cock bringing to mind images of lava flows and liquid metal.

Keep the mittens on,” he muttered, “I don't want you clawing up the carpet.”

Using her tail for purchase, he pulled himself towards her, burying his member up to the hilt in her quivering tunnel. He felt her powerful pelvic floor muscles grip him, watching as the defined musculature on her back and shoulders tensed, bulging through her damp skin as she rocked forward and emitted a pained grunt.

McGregor had to stifle a grunt of his own. She was so damned tight, it was like she was vacuum-packing him in slimy silk. Her insides rippled and churned, massaging his length with muscle spasms and tremors, as if her loins had a life all their own and they were struggling to accommodate him. She had such fine control over them, she felt almost as narrow as when he had used the Krell dildo on her, its length and girth dwarfing his own.

The toy was not warm and alive however, it couldn't flex inside her, she couldn't feel its blood coursing through it as it jumped and throbbed.

He began to move, slow and heavy at first, his hips clapping against her rear as his erection plunged her depths. Gradually he began to increase his pace, holding the base of her tail in his hand and using it to pull himself into her. Zhari was powerful enough to flip a car, and yet she seemed defenseless as she lay on the floor, shivering and purring with every impact.

Her insides fit him like a glove, so tight that her soft flesh scoured his member, suction making her walls cling to him despite the copious lubricant that flowed from her opening to spill down her thighs. McGregor felt oddly bestial, a kind of aggression and yearning rising inside of him as he felt her twitch and the rumble of her contralto moan made her insides vibrate.

The holographic fireplace cast her in its synthetic glow, its flickering light playing across her writhing body, reflective sweat and dark shadows accentuating her already impressive physique. He could see the flames dancing in every bead of sudor that clung to her satin skin, the lines of her musculature jumping out at him.

He clawed at the supple meat of her ass, sinking his fingers deep into her springy flesh. Her cheeks were just as shapely and as exaggerated as her breasts, so pert and firm that he could have bounced a bowling ball off her butt. Beneath the doughy fat that gave her such a comely figure were muscles like iron, necessary to support and propel her massive body in the high gravity of her home planet.

She cooed and mewled as he squeezed, McGregor feeling her slimy passage contract around his member as he played with her, his hands roaming where they pleased as he fucked her as deep as he could manage. Zhari was slowly getting lower and lower to the carpet, her face pressed into the shag rug, her saliva leaking around her red ball gag and causing the strands to stick to her pink cheeks. Her previously tight bun had been messed up by their sparring and the subsequent sex, her orange hair falling over her face as she bucked and squirmed.

He noticed that her ears were swiveled to point behind her, ever obedient, waiting for any command that he might give her. The incessant waving of her tail tickled his chest, batting at him as he held the snaking appendage in his fist. He gave her another harsh tug, wincing as her loins clenched, her spine arching as she thrust back against him.

McGregor had been with a few partners who had liked to have their hair pulled when things got especially heated, it was a common fantasy among women, but the way that Zhari responded to having her tail yanked made them look refined. It was a direct link to her spine, it probably set her whole nervous system alight.

His alien lover was really getting into it now, knocking into him with enough force that he had to hold onto her tail for balance lest she send him toppling to the carpet. It was hard to stay on top with these damned Borealans, they were so overwhelmingly large. He hooked his hand around her hip for a little extra purchase, pushing back with all of the strength that he could muster.

They were going hard and deep, the lewd sound of their wet coupling rising to his ears as the friction sent bursts of pleasure winding through his body like errant embers from a bonfire. There was so much heat, her body was burning up and the warmth from the fire wasn't helping things. He grimaced as she began to roll her wide hips, changing the angle of his thrusts and making his cock grind against her walls. She was like a bear scratching up against a tree, his exposed glans sliding against her velutinous insides, every wrinkle and bump making points of light float before his eyes as she scoured his tender anatomy.

Zhari gyrated and shimmied, dancing as she engulfed his manhood to the base, the combination of her taut muscles and her incessant movement creating a veritable whirlwind of sensation. The pleasure was intense enough to force his eyes closed, his breath coming in sharp gasps. It felt like a pair of hands were wringing and massaging his lengths through her tunnel, a numbness spreading down his legs as his excitement mounted.

All pretense of higher thought and sophistication left them as they rutted on the shag rug, hammering together with enough force to bruise, the clapping of her plump ass against his belly echoing through the apartment. It was as if a fever had overcome them both, McGregor couldn't concentrate on anything but the wracking pleasure that was cramping his muscles, Zhari seemingly lost in a fugue as she rocked and bounced. Her juices rained down from between her spread thighs, her legs open wide so that she could lower herself down to the human's height. Strands of clear goo hung from her sodden mound in ropes, breaking to fall to the carpet as the two of them went at it.

They were silent save for primal grunts and affected moans, verbal communication no longer necessary. Their bodies knew what to do, running on autopilot as their minds reeled, like rafts on a stormy ocean attempting to ride out a storm.

Her insides were milking him, powerful muscle contractions sucking him ever deeper. He could feel them rolling from the base to the tip like a farmhand milking a cow. The bite had her operating in some kind of reproductive mode, submitting to him completely, her body attempting to drag out his emission through sheer force. It was making his head spin, as if an eager mouth was sucking on him, teasing and swallowing as he pushed in and out of her.

He noticed that her claws had torn through the padding of the duck-patterned oven mitts, the insulating material no match for their sharpness, and she was digging her black talons into the carpet for purchase. Her thighs trembled and her stubby toes curled and uncurled in time with his thrusts, McGregor hammering her depths as he threw all of his weight into their impassioned union.

Human girls were generally more fragile, it was oddly liberating to be able to go at it without fear of accidentally hurting his partner. He suspected that Zhari's cervix was placed differently to that of a human woman's, because she seemed to crave taking him as deep as he could go. It was possible that her vaginal canal was just longer in order to accommodate the larger Borealan males, but McGregor was certain that he felt some kind of limit in the reaches of her passage when things got this heated.

He gave her tail another harsh yank, delighting in the way that it made her convulse, her red face turning to look back at him over her shoulder. Her expression was imploring, almost desperate. It was more than desire, it was a need, he could see it in her eyes as she begged silently for more.

McGregor could feel her muscles spasming, wringing him as she twisted and gyrated, his member digging into her tender walls in new and exciting ways. They were rubbing together like they were trying to start a fire, and they very nearly might, judging by how hot she was. Even with her juices flowing such that they were pooling on the rug beneath her, there was so much friction, every scrape and thrust sending pleasure coursing up his spine like the teasing fingers of a masseuse.

Don't stob,” Zhari whined, her speech slurred by the gag. “Fug me 'arder...”

Her salacious request was impossible to refuse, his member surging and throbbing inside her with renewed vigor as he pounded her into the carpet. Despite being so toned, she was still soft in all the ways that drove him wild, every impact followed by a ripple that spread through her ass and thighs. He took cruel handfuls of her supple flesh, clawing at her butt and waist as he leaned over her, pushing her to the floor. She seemed to get lower and lower the longer it went on, now practically prone, her knees supporting her weight as her furry feet waved in the air.

She was getting close, he could feel it in the way that her satin flesh clung to him, her contractions coming faster and harder. It was enough to daze him, crushing his member in a vice grip, so tight that it made him ache. He leaned forward, resting one hand on the carpet beside her to steady himself, the position a little awkward due to her immense size. It was a struggle to reach around her front as thick as she was, his hand sliding down her taut belly, her smooth skin damp with sweat. He felt the soft tuft of fur on her mound, his fingers roaming lower as he sought out the heat and damp of her sex. She shivered as he slipped his middle finger between her swollen labia, made slick by her leaking excitement, probing for her clitoris as he kept up the pace.

She growled when his digit glanced the smooth protrusion, a low rumbling sound that shook his bones. It was a little intimidating, awakening some primal fear of large predators that had been coded into his genes after generations of evading primordial bears and lions. McGregor knew it to be an expression of desire however, and encouraged by her strong reaction, he began to rub.

Zhari danced beneath him almost as if she was trying to break free, jumping and shivering like someone had hit her with a taser. He feared that he might lose his grip on her, but her long legs crossed behind his back, pressing him closer to keep him inside her. Her fuzzy tail coiled around his waist like a tentacle, clinging to him desperately, locking the pair together as their furious lovemaking reached its apex.

The sound of tearing fabric was drowned out by her appreciative moans, her claws shredding the carpet as she clung to it. McGregor was too consumed by lust to care about his deposit, mauling her clitoris as he plunged deep into her eager tunnel, Zhari's loins seizing and clamping down on his shaft as she took him to the hilt.

They were locked together, pushing one another higher and higher towards an inevitable climax, every shudder and throb that passed through one felt by the other. They found a punishing pace, Zhari's voice cracking as she mewled and cursed in her native tongue, her lurid tone betraying her arousal. Her breathy voice rose in pitch as he redoubled his efforts, her impressive body tensing as the first wave of her orgasm tore through her.

McGregor was close behind, her rapid, brutal contractions and her pained writhing pushing him over the edge. He gripped her hip for dear life, his fingers sinking into her doughy flesh, and he doubled over as the ceaseless wringing of her slimy muscles forced a flood of ejaculate from him. His knees might have buckled under the wave of pleasure that spread through him like a fire, if it wasn't for the tail that was tightly wrapped about his waist to hold him close. Despite his distraction, he made sure to keep his finger moving between her thighs, rubbing at her hot flesh as she bucked violently.

Zhari felt the thick wad of his emission pour into her depths, loosing a satisfied groan that seemed to shake the floor. She crushed the plastic gag between her pointed teeth like it had been nothing more than a ping pong ball, the hollow sphere of plastic crumpling between her jaws. Far from slowing her thrusting, she only went faster. She tore at the shag carpet with her claws and dug furrows in the fabric, lost in her fugue as her passage wrung him of another rope of come.

Its warmth spread through her like magma, her silken passage drawing on him as if her body was trying to swallow him deeper, every caress of her seizing muscles sending a flare of nigh unbearable pleasure coursing through him. McGregor reeled, feeling her tremble beneath him, her loins milking him inexorably as he filled her with his seed.

Every time he felt sure that the ordeal was over, another wracking throb tore at him, each more powerful than the last. He was hypersensitive, so tender, his member aching as her damp flesh gripped it and her insides stroked him from the base to the tip. It was like she was stimulating his nerves directly, bypassing his skin and hooking into his nervous system, the pulses of ecstasy so strong that they sapped his consciousness and darkened the corners of his vision.

He found himself thrusting into her just as she was pushing back against him, their bodies locked in a kind of mechanical waltz, sharing the same goal of fucking his emission deeper inside her burning passage. The sound of her growls was punctuated only by the ringing of the little bell that she still wore around her neck, bouncing back and forth as she moved.

She looked back over her shoulder at him, one of her red cheeks buried in the carpet as she pushed her face into the soft tufts of imitation fur, her amber eyes fierce and hungry.

The trembling of her mammoth body was almost a vibration, flurries of pleasure tensing her already prominent muscles, her comely figure shining with fresh sweat in the dancing light of the holographic fireplace. Their musk filled the air, the scent of exertion, the smell of sex hanging over the room like a mist. Suddenly he wanted to taste her, his desire overriding and inexplicable, and he brought his lips down to kiss the small of her back. She lurched as she felt him mouthe and bite, even more overwhelmed than he was. His climax couldn't compare to the series of orgasms that were tormenting her, the proud warrior reduced to a shivering, gasping heap as she endured the sensations.

Their perception of time seemed to warp, the two lovers trapped in an endless feedback loop for what might have been minutes or hours, the world around them melting away until they were the only people that existed in the universe. When McGregor finally returned to his senses it was like waking from a dream, Zhari lying on her side on the carpet beneath him as he knelt over her, her ample chest rising and falling in time with her labored breathing. A sordid blend of their come leaked from between her meaty thighs, oozing forth with the consistency of syrup, like someone had upended a bottle of liquid soap inside her. The remnants of the gag were hanging around her neck now, little more than a squashed ball and a leather strap.

His erection was beating like a second heart, jumping almost imperceptibly in the air as a strand of that same goo dangled from it, a bruise forming on his right hip where she must have thrust against him especially hard.

Afterglow warmed him, as if he was kneeling beside a space heater, and he realized that he too was drenched in sweat. Zhari's feline eyes opened, and she gazed up at him drunkenly, as if she was only half aware of his presence. Before he could utter so much as a word, she reached out with her furry hands and grabbed him. His stomach lurched as she pulled him to the carpet, trapping him in a bear hug and pressing him against her body. She was so warm, so wet, one of her legs hooking around him as his still rigid member pressed against her slick belly. She placed a hand in his hair and pushed his face between her breasts, her flesh smooth against his warm cheeks.

Did you really mean it when you marked me?” She mumbled, her breath blowing his hair.

I know what it means,” he replied, his voice muffled by her cleavage. That seemed to please her, and she squeezed him even more tightly, forcing the air out of his lungs as she compressed his chest. She realized that she was crushing him, and relented, settling in as she shifted her weight and rested her nose on the top of his head.

The carpet was as good a place to sleep as any, he supposed, using one of her cushiony breasts as a pillow and relaxing. Apparently she wanted to sleep on the floor, and he couldn't deny her the request. Who knew, maybe her people slept on pelts under normal circumstances, and beds were alien to her.

They basked in their shared euphoria, letting exhaustion and satisfaction overcome them as they drifted off to sleep.

CHAPTER 8: SUB SANDWICH

I want...tuna,” Zhari said, pointing at the menu beside the window with one of her curved claws.

They had decided to eat out today and stretch their legs on the station's torus. She was wearing her usual Navy blue uniform. Even if the maid outfit wasn't currently going through a much needed wash cycle, McGregor would not have made her wear it outside.

There were all kinds of cafes and restaurants in the tourist quarter, and it was a popular destination for the ever ravenous aliens. This sandwich shop especially was a hit with the Pinwheel's Borealan denizens, serving subs and sandwiches of monumental sizes. While Borealans were certainly a niche demographic, the store no doubt made up the difference in the sheer quantity of food that they sold to each customer. It was built into the station's wall, as were all of the stores and buildings on the torus, this one quite small and designed to resemble something that one might find on a beach-front promenade.

McGregor swiped his credit card, and the man staffing the counter handed his eager partner her foot-long tuna sandwich, Zhari wasting no time taking a huge bite out of it. Her people were very fond of fish, not just because they so resembles the cat species of Earth, but because their societies were built around the life-giving lakes of Elysia where the micro-climate created by the surrounding jungles shielded them from the desert heat.

She ate happily as they made their way through the throngs of people, the station so crowded that it was hard to go five feet without running into another person. There was privacy in a crowd however, there were so many people and there was so much noise that eavesdropping on a conversation was practically impossible. Everyone had somewhere to be, something to do, and so nobody paid attention to the masses that surrounded them.

The pair stopped at a bench situated beside some planters, sitting together as the leafy saplings provided them with some measure of cover from the ever present lamps that were embedded in the painted ceiling. It was a human-sized bench, and so Zhari had to sit somewhat awkwardly, but she was too consumed with eating her tuna sub to complain.

It was refreshing in a way, she had such simple tastes and she was so easy to please. His last girlfriend...God, how long had it been since he had shared a bed with a fellow human? Her tastes had been extravagant, she had demanded candlelit dinners in the most exclusive restaurants, elaborate and expensive gifts that had cost him a small fortune. He never had to bribe Zhari to get her into bed, never had to coerce her into spending time with him, and it wasn't merely because of her submissive position. He observed the same behavior in the more dominant Borealans too. Their kind just had a laissez-faire attitude towards relationships that was a breath of fresh air to the comparatively stuffy humans.

I gave it some thought,” Zhari said, finishing up her sandwich as she sat beside him.

Oh?” McGregor asked, surmising that she must be talking about their conversation concerning her future in the military the day prior.

I think you were right. Maybe the military life isn't for me. My entire life I've been doing what others expected of me, what I thought that I was supposed to do, not what I really wanted to do. I wanted to be Alpha, but I was letting outside factors dictate my behavior. That isn't what an Alpha does, not really. I might have been the master of my pack, but their expectations were my master and I didn't even know it.”

McGregor was taken a little off-guard, that was some impressive introspection coming from the usually tight-lipped alien.

Yes!” He exclaimed. “Sometimes taking charge can mean saying no, it can mean swimming against the current and doing your own thing, even if other people don't like it.”

I will do as you suggested,” she continued, “I will become my own master and make my living through my own means.”

And...you're ok with not being part of a pack? I know that's a pretty big deal for Borealans.”

I 'am' part of a pack,” she replied, reaching over and ruffling his hair with her massive hand. “One does not commonly get the opportunity to choose their own Alpha, and I couldn't imagine a better one. Once I've finished my tour, I'll send in my resignation and get my honorable discharge. With the money I have, I can afford a small store on the station, and the Borealan apartments are never occupied.”

Yeah, they built way too many of them after first contact. Your people aren't really the tourism types.”

We'll be able to spend more time together too,” she added. “No more waiting weeks and months, hoping that our shore leave will coincide. If I'm self-employed, I can take time off whenever you have leave, and we can hang out.”

McGregor hadn't thought of that, and his heart swelled at the prospect. He had never really worried about her all that much when she was on deployment. She was a capable soldier and there weren't very many things in the galaxy that could kill a Borealan shock trooper, but it would be a load off his mind to know that she wouldn't be put in harm's way anymore. Finally she could pursue her passion, a talent that she had kept hidden for fear of being ridiculed by her peers, and as a bonus they would be able to see each other far more frequently.

I worried that I might be pressuring you,” he said, “I thought that you might take it as an order rather than as a suggestion.”

No, you just helped to clarify something that had been bothering me for a long time. Living on Borealis, I never really had an opportunity to see that there were different ways of living, different ways of going about things. The more time I spent with humans, the more I started to ask myself why I was adhering so strictly to the old ways. You put it into words, and I guess I kind of...couldn't keep it suppressed any longer.”

Well I'm glad,” he replied, patting her thigh affectionately. “I'm proud of you, I know that honor and duty are a huge part of your culture. It must have been a hard decision to make.”

I've done my duty thrice over,” she said as she licked a blob of residual mayonnaise from her furry finger with her rough tongue. “Oh, I have something for you.”

Something for me?” McGregor asked, watching curiously as she delved into one of her pockets.

Yeah, I made it this morning, while you were asleep.”

You do get up early...”

She passed him a small, oval-shaped object that was attached to a length of string. He took it from her furry hand, holding it up to examine it. It looked like a wooden kitchen spoon with the handle shaved away. No, she had left a small stub of handle, and she had made a hole in it through which the string was threaded. Upon the concave surface of the spoon she had carved an intricate relief, turning the cooking implement into a finely detailed work of art that resembled a locket without the lid. It was a little large by human standards, but he hadn't been awake in order for her to take a measurement, and rousing him would have ruined the surprise.

There was what looked like a rune or a series of scratch marks in the center, raised from the wood below where she had removed layers of the material, and the strange symbol was framed by what looked like intricately carved foliage that reminded him of a tropical jungle. It was very ornate, she had managed to pack so much detail and texture into the tiny amount of space that the spoon afforded her.

She leaned closer and pointed to the carving with her claw.

See, this is the Borealan symbol for 'marked', so that others of my kind know that you're spoken for. I can't mark you in the usual way, I might injure you, and so I thought a pendant might do the job. If you meet any Borealans while you're working and they come on too strong, just flash this at them and they should back off.”

And what about the leaves?”

That's the jungle, where we met. Do you like it?” She asked, a little hesitantly.

Damn straight,” he replied enthusiastically, throwing the wooden pendant around his neck. “Nobody has ever made me anything by hand before, it's beautiful. Dress code be damned, I'm not taking it off.”

She beamed at him, her cheeks flushing pink.

What about you?” Zhari asked, with a sarcastic smile. “Any hidden talents that I need to convince you to pursue?”

Nope,” he replied, “I'm a Navy pilot through and through. Fortunately for me, crash landing on alien planets isn't something that happens very frequently. You done with your sandwich?”

She nodded her head.

You want anything else while we're here?”

This time she shook it, McGregor suppressing a smirk. She was so large and dangerous, but she often behaved like an oversized child.

Let's get back to the apartment then. We've still got plenty of shore leave left, and lots of movies to watch.”

I want romance,” she said, as they both stood up from their seats on the bench.

Oh no, not again. I don't know how many more scenes of two people kissing accompanied by swells of emotional music I can take. Don't you want to watch more war movies?”

Nope. You said I could pick.”

I know, I know,” he said as he waved his hands dismissively. “How about we watch Casablanca? That's kind of both genres. We'll go back through the tourist quarter and pick up some more salted popcorn, you went through a supply that was supposed to last us for our entire stay in about four days.”

It's good,” she replied with a shrug.

I know it's good, but pace yourself.”

They walked side by side, the crowds of smaller humans parting to let the giant alien pass. Zhari kept glancing down at the pendant that was bobbing about his chest, smiling warmly.

The other Borealans will make fun of me for wearing this, won't they?” McGregor asked, examining the wooden carving again.

Probably. Remind them that you're mated to a shock trooper that can probably slice their faces off if they give you a hard time.”

Former shock trooper,” he added, nudging her thigh.

Hey, I've not sent in my resignation yet. According to the books I'm still a ground pounding Mad Cat.”

As they made their way along the torus, McGregor spotted a group of Borealans coming downspin, the curve of the station's floor letting him see over the heads of the crowd in front of him. It was a pack of what looked like younger Borealans, all redheads, from Elysia no doubt. They were probably recruits who had just shipped in and were here to do their integration training. He sensed that Zhari was reacting strangely, her ears tracking her fellow aliens as they drew closer.

Well well well,” McGregor heard, a female Borealan's voice that he didn't recognize rising above the din. “If it isn't Zhari, my number one student.”

The pack changed course, moving to intercept them, and the leader of the group came to stand before Zhari. The throngs of station personnel parted to give the aliens space, like water flowing around a stone. She was of a similar size and build to McGregor's lover, sporting the same orange fur and faded tiger stripes that he recognized as Elysian. He wasn't sure if the aliens had distinct races as humans did, but the colors and patterning of their skin and fur certainly denoted which territory they hailed from. She was wearing a blue UNN jumpsuit, her insignia that of an instructor or a drill sergeant.

Zhari seemed deferential, almost embarrassed in the presence of this stranger. The woman looked her up and down, and then turned her piercing, amber eyes on McGregor.

Oho, and what do we have here? Have you finally come around after all this time, Zhari? Couldn't resist a taste of the forbidden fruit?”

The woman crouched, putting her at head-height to McGregor, and reached out with a clawed hand to examine his pendant as the gaggle of students rubbernecked intently. He wasn't quite sure how to react. He knew enough about Borealans not to bat her hand away and possibly provoke a confrontation, but this stranger was parading around like she owned the station.

Well isn't this cute. You've got a flair for carving, Zhari. You know that you can scar them, right? They're fragile, but you don't have to treat them like they're made of glass. Stanley's always telling me not to do it above the collar, but it kind of turns me on to know that it makes him self-conscious.”

And you are..?” McGregor asked, a little irked by the invasion of his personal space.

Raz Elysiedde, at your service,” she replied with a mock curtsy.

This is Raz,” Zhari explained, “she was my instructor when I underwent integration training on the Pinwheel.”

Oh, so she's the one who...” McGregor trailed off, remembering Zhari's stories about how her instructor had introduced her to the idea of interspecies relationships as a way to further her training. After being initially repulsed, the idea had slowly germinated in Zhari's mind, culminating in their encounter on EE-4 after the dam had broken and she could no longer repress her desires.

Zhari,” Raz said, putting on an exaggerated pout. “I hope you've not been telling stories about me. Unless they're flattering stories of course.”

She leaned down closer to McGregor, lowering her voice so that her students couldn't overhear them.

Your friend here was my star pupil, but we didn't part ways on the best of terms. She did what was required of her in order to complete the program, she excelled in most areas, but I was worried that she might have some...difficulties dealing with humans down the line. I gave her some advice that had worked for me, but I think that it offended her. Not everyone back on the homeworld has quite gotten their heads around the idea of relationships that cross species lines, if you catch my drift. I'm glad to see that she's doing better.”

One of her pupils began to lean over, eager to hear what was being discussed. Raz noticed, rising to her full height and clipping the juvenile Borealan around the ear with a swipe of her clawed hand, alarming McGregor.

Back in formation, Kutz, or I'm gonna put you on latrine duty.”

The youth cowered, returning to the group, the rest of them standing to attention.

I got places to be, Zhari,” she continued. “But since you're back on the station, maybe you and your new buddy would like to join me and Stanley for dinner some time? Call it a double date. You still remember my vidphone number, right?”

Zhari nodded, bowing slightly to her superior.

Of course, we would be honored.”

Raz waved her pack forward, the aliens following her as she moved off in the direction of the military quarter. McGregor waited until she was out of earshot before commenting on the strange encounter.

Well she was certainly...uh...nice?”

Raz is...willful,” Zhari replied as she watched her old tutor for a few moments longer. “She's the closest thing to a Matriarch that we have here on the Pinwheel, and she's related to the Patriarch of Elysia by blood. Most of the Borealans who are stationed here were trained by her, and they see her as their unofficial leader. Her mate is also a human, he works at the gun range.”

You going to take her up on her offer?”

It would be rude not to. I suppose I owe her a lot. I was resistant to her advice at the time, I should have listened to her. She was right about humans in the end.”

I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear it,” McGregor grumbled. “How do you think she'll react when you tell her that you're resigning and going into business for yourself?”

Oddly enough, I think she'd be more ok with that than anyone,” she replied. The idea seemed to put her in a good mood, and McGregor could only assume that the approval of the pushy instructor was valuable to her. He reached up and took Zhari's furry hand, her cheeks flushing as he tugged her along behind him.

Let's get going, that popcorn isn't going to eat itself.”

-THE END-