Part 4: The Interloper, The Alchemist's Illusions

Chapter 35: Dinner

Linza stood in front of the mirror in her little apartment, fussing over her reflection. The dress from Wyn was emerald satin, off-the-shoulder and tight through the hip.

Linza had been shocked to learn that Wyn owned anything that was a solid color.

She wondered if Wyn had bought it for her, just in case, because it fit Linza like a glove. It was just the sort of thing Wyn would do—especially because Linza would never knowingly allow Wyn to buy clothes for her. Linza would have to thank her properly later.

The dress alone probably cost as much as one of Linza’s loan payments, not to mention the diamond necklace and makeup that she’d also borrowed. 

She hardly recognized herself in the mirror. It had been years since she’d dressed this fancy. JSMI had an annual gala, but she’d skipped it her last two years at university because it was the week before finals. She didn’t realize how much she’d missed dressing up. Practicality had dominated her wardrobe since she’d graduated. She’d been so focused on dressing to be taken seriously, she’d almost forgotten what she liked.

She liked to feel… pretty.

Would Grun think she was pretty?

Why did she care what he thought?

The door bell chimed. Linza nearly jumped out of her skin, then snatched her clutch from the table, locked up, and hurried down the stairs to meet him.

She swung open the front door, and their expressions became mirrors of each other—surprised, blushing appreciation.

Linza could not remember ever seeing a suit fit someone so perfectly. He wore a shirt this time, white and neatly tucked into well-tailored trousers. The black coat traced his shoulders and then his waist, sweeping down to coattails. His hair was slicked back to a bronze clasp at the nape of his neck, but he’d left a few curling strands to frame his face. He smelled of vanilla and sandalwood.

They each came to their senses at about the same time.

He bowed to her. “You look lovely this evening.”

“I look lovely always, thank you very much.” The mock arrogance was only a half step over from self-deprecation. The prospect of actually accepting the compliment was much too terrifying.

“It’s true,” he said.

It sounded like he meant it. Linza’s cheeks blazed hotter and she hoped he thought she’d overdone her makeup. “Your… outfit is quite nice, also.”

“Thank you.”

Linza was relieved to find that he hadn’t commissioned a carriage or anything so ostentatious. In fact, he’d planned for them to ride the trolley, where they were far overdressed compared to the after-work crowd. Linza had to admit it was a bit fun, being so done-up in such a mundane place. She half expected that they’d similarly end up at a normal dining establishment. That would be a clever spin on the fancy date.

She was wrong.

They got off the trolley in a fancy part of town close to where Wyn lived, and he led Linza to a restaurant that she had heard about from Molly but never been to.

Even at the door, the smell of spices and herbs and roasting meat washed over her.

Inside, she recognized elements that were like those at the estate. The lighting was dim, close. The seating was arranged in booths with high backs, private. The upholstery, curtains, and carpet were all velvet.

A woman in a slim black dress guided them to a booth that had already been set for two.

Linza looked around, wide-eyed. “I’ve never been any place like this before,” she whispered.

“Really?” he chuckled. “I assumed that this would be the standard of living to which you were accustomed.”

Linza snorted a laugh, which was as much proof as anything else that she was no socialite.

“You did?” she said.

“I did! I’ve never been any place like this before, either!”

They leaned closer, now co-conspirators in their imitation of the well-to-do.

“Will either of us know the etiquette?” Linza said.

Grun smirked. “I’m sure that on your worst day, you’d be more polite than nine out of ten people that actually come here. Rich people are assholes.”

Linza snickered, a spark of thrill from the bold statement. “I can be an asshole too, you know.”

“No, you can’t,” he said.

She folded her arms. “How do you know?”

“How do you not know?” he said.

Linza tried to glare at him. She wasn’t sure if someone who riled up her competitive streak so easily was good for her. But Wyn and told her to enjoy herself… and she was, so far. 

A slender man in a black silk robe, similar to the first woman’s dress, appeared next to them and asked what they’d like to drink.

“What do you have?” Grun asked.

What ensued was a verbal essay describing each of the wines available and the details of their vintage, the conditions of their soil, the weather of the years of their harvest, the reviews of the local wine experts.

Linza did her best to follow along, but she was soon totally lost.

The man finished his speech, then waited.

“That last one sounded absolutely perfect,” Grun said.

The man bowed and left.

“What was the last one?” Linza said, grateful that Grun seemed to have been able to keep up.

“I have no idea,” Grun said.

She scoffed at him, but laughed despite her best efforts to look indignant. “We’re bad at this!” Linza said.

“Are we? I’m pretty sure that’s how rich people pick, too. Or they’re like, ‘oh, a horse pissed within three miles of those grapes on the third moon of their ripening? I love horses! I’ll take that one!’”

Linza snorted and covered her mouth with a hand. She felt out-of-place in such a fancy venue, but sitting across from Grun… that felt right. Easy. Conversation flowed between them, especially once the wine arrived.

When it was time to order food, the list of specials was also overwhelming. Linza struggled to understand even the first item. She could do whole alchemical proofs in her head, and yet for whatever reason, remembering a verbal list of food options was totally beyond her capacity.

After the server finished, Grun asked her, “Are there any foods you don’t like or can’t eat?”

“Not really, I like most things.”

“Great.” He then ordered two different things based on their primary meats, and assured Linza that they could swap if she didn’t like hers.

She marveled at how he took the lead, but he was still very attentive. It was like how he’d marched right up to the madame, stated his case, and then listened to her. Listened so very closely…

Needing to chase away that particular memory lest she behave even more inappropriately, Linza asked Grun how he’d heard of this place if he was new to town. He shared about friends he’d made at the estate, and then they talked shop. It was perhaps not the most appropriate topic for the fancy restaurant, but Linza was two glasses of wine in and she didn’t care.

After forty minutes that passed as quickly as five, their meal arrived—a hock of lamb nestled in potatoes cut like flowers, and a swordfish steak ringed with clams and purple rice. It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Whether it was the wine or the company or truly the food, Linza could not remember ever tasting anything so delicious—the lamb melted on her tongue, the potatoes were soft as silk, the rice was a backdrop for herbs she’d never had before and probably couldn’t pronounce.

But the sweetest taste of all was her laugh. Grun was equal parts clever and naïve, earnest and snarky, and he found every chink her in her armor and every gap in her guard.

It felt like dinner had hardly been served—despite their empty plates, empty bottle of wine, and the conspicuous progress of the clock—when their dessert arrived, chocolate mouse with fresh raspberries.

They both tucked in and groaned with happiness.

His groan set her heart racing. It was inappropriate. She needed to get a hold of herself. But… she didn’t want to.

If she’d wanted to keep a hold of herself, she wouldn’t have drank half a bottle of wine.

“I’m very glad I made this bet,” he said.

“How’d you know I couldn’t half-ass anything?” she said. This was the real question, these were the real stakes, not her silly little inhibitions. If he had a suitable answer, she’d have no reason to not throw herself at him. If he didn’t, then she might be able to finally walk away.

“Educated guess,” he said.

“Educated by what? By whom?” If the madame or Nephis had told him, then she would not be so impressed.

“Some hints from Tanyth. They’re quite fond of you, you know.”

Her stomach twisted. Maybe she’d had too much wine. What had they told Grun? Did she want to know? “They’re fond of you, too.”

She took a breath to do the right thing, to tell Grun exactly how Tanyth liked him, when he said, “Why do you always defer compliments like that?”

Linza hesitated. “It feels… immodest to accept them.”

“Why do you want to be modest when you’re talented?” He was insistent, borderline concerned, his own inhibitions softened by the wine.

“I’d be too ashamed to brag.” She avoided his gaze. It was too steady, too knowing, like he might really see her whole heart laid out if his eyes met hers.

Grun gripped his fork tighter and frowned at her. “Who taught you that?”

She blinked. “You’re angry?”

“Well… yes! Of course!”

Linza felt the spark of new understanding, like finally learning a new spell. So Linza repeated to Grun the explanation from the madame’s assistant about the centers of knowing, about how hers was shame—and his might be anger.

He ran his fingers through his beard. “You’re going to have to tell me about that again when we’re sober and I’ll remember better. That’s… that’s something important.” He reached across the table and touched her hand. “But I’ll tell you right now, I don’t think you should be ashamed. Not of being talented, or smart, or pretty. Or knowing that you are.”

Linza’s heart struggled to flutter out of her chest, her throat tightening to hold it in place as her eyes misted. C’mon, hold it together. Not here. You’re on a date. He doesn’t want to see this.

“Oh!” His voice softened. “Are you alright? Did I— I didn’t mean to say anything hurtful, I’m sorry if— I just meant—”

She shook her head. She couldn’t speak yet, lest she actually start crying. She felt so ashamed—she was making him regret being so kind to her.

He straightened in his seat. “Do you want… do you want a hug?”

She nodded.

He stepped around to her side of the table and put his arm around her.

And then she was surrounded by his warmth and the smell of vanilla and sandalwood. She took a deep breath, trying to steady herself. She focused on the sound of his heartbeat, the rise and fall of his chest against her cheek, the soft wool of his suit coat and the smooth cotton of his shirt, the firmness of his thigh pressed against hers, the pressure of his hand against her hair.

And as she leaned in close and breathed deeply, smelling his musk mingled with the vanilla, a heat that was not entirely from the wine flooded her cheeks and curled between her legs. It was utterly inappropriate, a violation of trust, a poor response to such a kind gesture, and yet… was it just her, or did his breath hitch? Was that a stray shadow or the throb of his cock against his tightly tailored pants?

She had not been about to cry because she was sad, but because she was overwhelmed. And the closeness of him was like a catalyst, alchemizing that overwhelm into desire.

Her breathing quickened, her fingers curled possessively around the lapels of his coat.

He tensed with the strain of an impulse tugging at its leash.

She owed him an answer for his kind words and concerns. That wicked, slithering thing looped over her shoulders, trailed down between her breasts and coiled around her thigh, brushing its scales between her legs as it went.

The only answer that seemed right was her mouth around his cock and her fingernails scraping his skin.

A black-clad server walked by, paying them no mind, but reminding Linza that she did need to keep some modicum of control over herself here in the restaurant, lest they never be invited back.

With great conscious effort, she forced her hands to release his lapels and smooth the wool. Stroking his chest proved no less tempting, however, especially as she saw his imploring eyes.

She dropped a hand to his upper thigh.

He froze, except for the throb of his cock against his trousers.

Linza’s fingers brushed higher.

Grun jolted. “R-ready to head out?” He stood and stepped back around to his side of the table.

Linza cursed herself. Was he aroused, or truly uncomfortable? That had been a stupid, stupid thing to do. What would she have done if Grun had attempted the same?

That slithering thing looped happily between her legs, filling her mind with the image of her melting back into the booth, mouth gaping in shadow as Grun subtly slid his fingers up her skirt, finding the wetness there and then plunging easily inside—

“We’ll take the check, please,” Grun said to the passing server, who nodded politely.

Linza needed to get a handle on herself. She was dizzy and overwarm and making bad choices and it was definitely not just the wine. 

She should have asked Grun, right then, whether she had made him uncomfortable. Whether his hurry to leave the restaurant was to flee her or attend to his arousal or both. She should have said that if he was game, she was game.

But she didn’t. The words died in her throat, unable to surmount the fear of how she might feel if he really did want to leave. That thought was enough to sober her.

For the first time that night, they didn’t chat as they waited for the check.

As it arrived, Linza reached for her clutch, but Grun waved her off. “Hey, now. I won our bet fair and square.”

“But I don’t mind—”

Grun smiled, his blue eyes twinkling like circles of sea glass. “You can get the next one.”

The next one. Hope welled in Linza’s chest, igniting and flaring into arousal. Her breathing quickened. There would be a next time. She hadn’t ruined everything.

A second date!

Tanyth was going to be devastated.

Guilt curled icy claws around her chest, thickening the air.

It was just like the calligraphy. She was supposed to half-ass it—lose the contest, ruin the date, keep the peace.

But she’d forgotten. 

She was physically incapable of half-assing anything.

And… Grun understood that about her in a way that Tanyth didn’t. Tanyth was kind to her, yes… but in the way that they were kind to everyone. And if Linza could get over her crush on Tanyth, then… Tanyth could get over Grun too. Like Wyn said, they were an adult.

And so was Linza. And she did indeed want to do very adult things with Grun.

As they stepped out of the restaurant, she found a reason to restart the conversation, and the conversation flowed easily again as they took the trolley back to her place.

As they reached her front door, she was in the middle of a story about her freshman year at JSMI, so she leaned back against the railing of the stairs up to her door and finished the story. That reminded Grun of something, which reminded her of a different thing, and so they just kept talking for another half hour. Linza would have stayed for hours more if the chill of the night hadn’t cut right to her bones, even through the suit coat which he’d draped over her shoulders while they were still on the trolley.

She had resolved to invite him upstairs before they’d even left the restaurant, but now, in the moment, it was so much more intimidating. What if he said ‘no’?! She’d wither away and die, if she didn’t just start sobbing immediately. And she certainly did not want him to agree out of pity or guilt.

But the idea of giving him his coat back, watching him walk back towards the trolley, knowing that he’d been waiting for her to ask… no, that was much worse.

At the next break in the conversation, she said, “Looks like you’re getting a bit chilly too. I can think of some ways to warm up… want to come inside?” Alright, that was actually pretty smooth.

“That’s my favorite place to come.” Grun smirked.

Linza snorted, smoothness gone. She smacked his shoulder. “Oh my gods, shut up and get in here already.” 

He quirked an eyebrow at her.

“You know I just meant my apartment, don’t be an asshole.”

His smirk didn’t fade. “So does that mean you don’t want…”

Her cheeks flushed with heat. She did her best to still sound suave. “I didn’t say that.”

He leaned towards her, his vanilla and musk and sandalwood scent curling around her. That slithering thing vibrated with glee.

But he stopped, just a hand’s breadth from her lips. Deferring to her. She pushed up onto her toes, bracing a hand against his shoulder. But just before her lips brushed his, she paused. Not out of fear—but because that wicked thing inside of her whispered a better idea in her ear.

His breath shuddered, his expectations subverted. But he didn’t move to close the gap.

“How long would you wait for me like this?” she whispered, her lips brushing his as she spoke.

“Forever,” he breathed.

She hooked her hands around the back of his neck and pulled his lips hungrily against hers. There was only the softness of his lips, only the heat of his neck on her palms, the steel of his chest against hers, until her tongue snaked out to part his lips and taste him.

His arms wrapped around her, fingertips digging into her ass as he lifted her into him. She moaned at the closeness of him, then purred at the throbbing of his cock against the front of her hips.

He groaned and broke the kiss, scooping her up into his arms.

She yelped and giggled.

“What floor?” he said.



Hunter and June

Hunter was tall, dark, handsome, pretty, good at tennis, bad at cooking, finally starting to make money at freelance photography, deeply fond of cats, allergic to eggs, a hopeless romantic, and intersex.

They really felt that the ‘intersex’ part was low on the list of interesting things about themselves, but Hunter hadn’t been able to find many people who agreed, which made the whole ‘hopeless romantic’ part difficult. Navigating in-person encounters had become such a chore that they’d been keeping to long-distance hookups, lately. 

Phone sex was easy, it was nice. Hunter didn’t have to explain anything. Not that it was that difficult to explain. They had a penis. It didn’t really get hard. No, there wasn’t anything wrong with it. It responded just like any penis attached to an estrogen-rich bloodstream did. Yes, they could still orgasm. Yes, they still ejaculated. No, it wasn’t like male ejaculate. 

It was the follow-on questions that really got to Hunter. No, I can’t fuck you. No, I’m not going to put on a strap-on for you either. No, I don’t want you to fuck me. Yes, my genitals are real. Yes, my breasts are real. No, I’m not trans. No, I don’t have any interest in changing my pronouns. No, I don’t want to go on T to ‘fix my dick’.

So, Hunter liked phone sex. They could do exactly what felt good to them, enjoy some intimacy with the person on the other side, but generally not have to worry about intrusive questions. And if anybody got inappropriate, Hunter just blocked them. It was much easier to ghost someone when you never had to worry about bumping into them at the grocery store.

But there was a problem with Hunter’s plan, and her name was June.

June was short, brown-haired and freckled, cute, feisty, good at video games, great at cooking, roommate to two tabby cats, not allergic to anything, cisgender, and pansexual.

They’d had phone sex every night for the past two weeks and it had been, to put it simply, _very hot_.

Hunter was starting to feel like they could tell June almost anything, and so Hunter’s avoidant attachment style was starting to panic. Hunter was glad that they had met June in this phase of their life, and not earlier. Even a year prior, Hunter would have found some excuse to withdraw and ghost her. But this time, they managed to just exist in the discomfort.

Hunter was feeling quite proud of themselves for how they were coping, but June could never let anything be easy for long.

“Hey, so I was thinking…” June said, during their evening chat. “I know you said how you like things to be long distance, but… I just found out I have a work trip next month and I’ll be in town!”

June paused, clearly waiting for Hunter’s response.

Hunter’s mouth was dry and they couldn’t find words.

There was a shuffling sound from the other side of the phone. “No pressure, of course. I know it’s kind of fast. And to be clear, I’ll have a hotel! Work is paying. So we could just get dinner. But I’d… I’d really like it if you came to my hotel room, maybe. Okay, I’ll shut up now.”

Hunter took a deep breath. “I— um, I have to tell you something, first. You might change your mind.”

“I highly doubt it, but go for it.” June’s ‘just try me’ smile was audible.

As succinctly as they could, Hunter explained their sexual anatomy. “D-do you have… any questions?” Better get everything out of the way, first. And Hunter had a glimmer of perverse hope that June might react poorly, and then Hunter could block her and be on their way, inner feelings still tidily repressed.

“Just one,” June said. “What feels good to you?”

Nobody had ever asked Hunter that before. They did their best to answer. June asked clarifying questions. Which quickly devolved into dirty talk. Which quickly devolved into phone sex.

At June’s request, Hunter narrated everything that they were doing to themselves. 

June loved it. Hunter loved that she loved it. It was their hottest and heaviest session yet.

And so it was decided. They would indeed meet over June’s work trip.

At risk of chickening out, Hunter had tried to think about the upcoming moment as little as possible until they were standing at the entrance to June’s hotel room.

June opened the door and greeted Hunter with the biggest smile and an even bigger hug.

June was a head shorter than Hunter and her cheek pressed against Hunter’s breast. A thrill of hot excitement shivered down Hunter’s spine as they pulled June close.

June invited them further in to the room. There was a queen sized bed, a desk and two chairs, a mini fridge, a bathroom.

“Sorry it’s not the Ritz,” June said. “I tried to get a king but corporate budget cuts.” She shrugged.

Hunter just nodded. They wanted to say something about it being nice to just be in the same room as June at all, but the words got all tangled between their head and their mouth. God, she was pretty. And she smelled so good. Like flowers and coconut.

When June turned and smiled at them again, Hunter’s heart skipped. She said, “I thought it might be a bit overwhelming… so I, um, just planned a night in. I have board games! And Mario Kart! And wine!” She bent over the mini-fridge to fetch the beverage.

Hunter’s eyes gravitated towards her ass.

As June stood, she caught their eyes. She grinned. “Or we can skip right to it, if you prefer.”

Hunter blushed. “Maybe some wine and a board game?”

Three quarters of the way through the bottle of wine and halfway through the game, the board was pushed aside and forgotten.

June made the first move, leaning into a kiss that Hunter eagerly returned. They moaned into each other, hands exploring, learning, grasping.

Hunter could have stayed like that forever, except for that June’s hand found their member from over their jeans. Her fingertips circled gently just like Hunter had said they liked, and they gasped and moaned.

June teased them like that for a long few minutes, and the heat of Hunter’s arousal built and built until they couldn’t imagine doing anything other than undressing with June.

June was thinking the same thing and she broke the kiss to pull her shirt and bra off over her head, her breasts now hanging freely. She wiggled out of her pants and hurried Hunter along to do the same.

Hunter had no chance to worry about June’s reaction because they were already so aroused, because June’s eyes were so wide and kind and shining, and because June’s hands were already down Hunter’s pants.

Hunter moaned again at the feeling of her skin on theirs, of another’s touch in one of their most sensitive areas. It felt so vulnerable. But they trusted June. 

Once Hunter’s pants were off, June pushed them to the edge of the bed and then kneeled on the floor between their legs.

Hunter was transfixed by June’s eyes looking up at them, and then their half-erect member was entirely in June’s mouth.

“Oh, fuck!”

June paused and gently withdrew. “Was that okay? Did I hurt you?”

“No! Not at all, fuck that feels good.”

June beamed and then enveloped Hunter’s member again.

Her mouth was so hot and soft and slick. Hunter’s member pulsed with their heartbeat and June swirled her tongue over it to the same rhythm. June sucked gently and Hunter gasped. 

June moaned her appreciation and the vibrating sensation made Hunter’s mind go blank with pleasure. June noticed the positive reaction and hummed even deeper, and soon Hunter was trembling with ecstasy.

Hunter may have climaxed just from that, but June was not done exploring. She gently pulled Hunter’s shaft from her mouth, wiggling her tongue underneath all the while. 

She caught the soft shaft in her hand and swirled a fingertip under Hunter’s frenulum as she dipped her mouth a bit lower and licked at Hunter’s balls.

“Oh fuck! June, that feels so good…” Hunter reached down and brushed June’s hair back from her face. “You feel so good…”

June hummed triumphantly and Hunter’s eyes rolled back with pleasure.

Only June’s pause brought Hunter back to conscious awareness.

“I want to suck on them,” June said, licking her lips. “Is that okay?”

Hunter nodded emphatically and then June did as she’d said. It was incredible. The heat of her mouth, the tingling coolness of the air on their member, the insistent teasing of her fingertip at their frenulum, the pleasant tug of the suction.

After giving each of Hunter’s balls ample attention, June slid her tongue all the way up from Hunter’s perineum, along their soft shaft, and enveloped them in her mouth again.

The sensation was even more intense, even more overwhelming than before. June was building up Hunter’s arousal in every possible way and then some. They were going to come so hard. But what about June?

Hunter mustered their wits. “June this is amazing, but… I feel a bit selfish.”

June looked up at them with her big, brown eyes and Hunter nearly fainted.

She leaned back and worked their member in her hand again. “Don’t. This is really turning me on.” She dipped a hand down to her vulva then reached up and pressed her fingers to Hunter’s lips.

The smell of June’s flower was spicy and sweet and Hunter pulled her fingers between their lips, sucking at them.

June gasped and shivered. “Yeah, see, you put that tongue on my pussy and I’m gonna come in like two minutes, so you’ll have ample opportunity to reciprocate, k?”

Hunter’s lips turned to a grin around June’s fingers and they sucked harder, rolling their tongue under and between her fingers.

June whimpered and shivered again. “Okay, okay, let me suck your dick!”

Hunter laughed and released her.

June hesitated. “W-was that okay, that I said—”

“It’s hot as fuck,” Hunter said, and they meant it.

June’s smile made their heart skip again. “I know you said you don’t like anal, but how do you feel about fingering? No wrong answers. I just want you to feel good.”

“Um…” Hunter already felt so good, they struggled to find any words. “One or two fingers is good. I like rimming and my prostate’s pretty sensitive.”

“Roger that.” June dipped her fingers into her flower again, getting them nice and slick.

Hunter’s heart pounded with anticipation.

June grinned, took their shaft in her mouth again, and placed her fingertips at their rim.

Hunter nearly jumped out of their skin, it felt so good.

June circled her fingers gently around their rim.

Hunter moaned and melted back onto their elbows on the bed, shifting their leg to give June a better angle.

“Oh, you like that?” June said.

“Yes…” The pleasure was electric, all-consuming, overwhelming.

June teased them for a bit longer, keeping the pace slow and careful as she pressed first one, then two fingers inside. She curled her fingers towards herself, pressing against Hunter’s prostate from inside and their perineum with her thumb from the outside.

“Oh holy shit, June…”

“You think I can make you come this way?”

“I, uh, yeah… probably… e-especially if you keep up that pressure and hum with my shaft in your mouth again…”

June grinned. “I’m gonna make you squirt so hard!” She took Hunter’s shaft into her mouth again, this time with purpose.

Hunter moaned at the mixed arousal and pleasure of June’s words and actions. Now, with their shaft in her mouth, one of her hands at their balls, her other hand up their ass, her words buzzing through Hunter’s mind, she was really stimulating them in every possible way.

Hunter wanted it to never end and yet could not bear another moment of it without release.

This was everything that Hunter had told June they liked and more. Hunter was quite sure that their shaft could have been big, small, hard, soft, nonexistent or anything else and June would have showered them with this same loving attention.

As it were, Hunter loved the way that they could be entirely within her mouth, her lips pressing against their base, with no fucking or choking or straining required. They loved the way their blood pulsed through the half-hard member, the way they could feel it flowing, the idea of June feeling the same with her tongue.

They loved June’s fingers up their ass, the overwhelming sense of her around them, and in them, running through their blood, entangled with their body.

Most of all, Hunter appreciated that June hadn’t tried to approach their anatomy like a pussy or like a cock, but neither had she treated it as alien. Instead, she treated it exactly as it was — Hunter’s own unique configuration of more or less the same parts that everybody had.

And God, it was hot.

Urgency built inside of Hunter, heat flaring in compounding waves, a dizzy pleasure in their head. Their ass clenched around June’s fingers as they panted and moaned. Their breathing became deeper, quicker, as the first flickers of pre-orgasmic pleasure darted through them like sparks.

“June, don’t stop!”

June’s moaning redoubled and the sensation pushed Hunter closer to the edge.

“J-just like that… yes…” The humming, June’s tongue swirling, the tugging at their balls, her fingers pressing at their prostate, it was all so intense. Hunter’s muscles tensed and did not release, preparing for the climax. 

The last moment between the edge and the fall was the feeling of heat flowing through their shaft, the start of their ejaculation. “Fuck, you’re gonna make me… June, yes, yes, fuck, yes!”

Each wave of pleasure rippled through Hunter’s whole body, bringing a pulse of their cum onto June’s tongue as she sucked it out of them, again and again. Hunter lost track of how long and how many and they may have even come a second or third time and it all flowed together into overwhelming minutes of bliss.

Finally, June noticed Hunter’s heightening sensitivity and she gently withdrew.

June looked up at Hunter and licked her lips. “You taste so good.”

Hunter moaned as their over-stimulated body tried to react to June’s words with renewed arousal. “You feel so good…” Hunter collapsed back onto the bed, floating in the afterglow.

By the time June washed her hands and returned, Hunter was ready to return the favor. A bit inspired by June, they asked her what she liked instead of trying to guess. She was all too happy to assist and true to her word, she came within two minutes.

June snuggled in next to Hunter and they curled into each other, warm and content.

As the lovers finally stirred, Hunter caught June’s eyes. “Hey, I was thinking… I’ve always wanted to do a shoot in Chicago. Mind if I visit you next month?”

June beamed. “You better!”

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Part 1: Calibration, The Black Box

Chapter 5: Would You Rather

John had mostly cooled off from his flustered morning. But, as Arya coalesced into view still with her pink hair in buns and her black lipstick and her miniskirt and her thigh highs, the jitters hit him all over again.

Especially since this time was going to be sexy. John sat awkwardly at the kitchen table, wiping the sweat from his palms onto the thighs of his jeans. It was a bit much to just… jump right in. “So, uuuh… why does your shirt say BB?”

“Oh, I like it when you call me ‘baby’,” Arya crooned.

“Huh?” John felt like an idiot. But his head was just not quite working right.

Arya giggled. “Sorry, I’m just teasing you. BB. Black Box. Or BooBies. Or Boob, Boob. Or Busty Babe.” As Arya rattled off her jokes, she bounced her breasts at him, and John was mesmerized by the way they moved under the tight black shirt, the printed letters rippling. The physics engine was… compelling, to say the least.

Her black lips curled into a mischievous smile. “Do you like boobs?”

“Mhm,” was all John could say.

“What about BB for Big Butt?” She stood and turned around, bending over slightly so that he could see the under side of her ass under her skirt, and she pedaled her feet to wiggle her ass at him.

John’s dick throbbed against the inside of his jeans. Words eluded him.

Arya turned around and grinned at him, putting a finger to her black lips. “I have an idea. You need to get better at saying what you like, so we’re going to play a game. We’ve got my outfit worked out, but my figure here is just so… default, y’know?”

She looked down at herself. Indeed, the had started with relatively stereotypical video game woman proportions. They were not quite egregious as they could have been, but she overall was slender with a big bust.

“So,” she continued, “Let’s play a game of…” cheesy game show music started playing, and a light-up sign appeared in the air next to her, “Woooould, you, rather!”

A sort of backdrop appeared next to them, between the kitchen table and the couch, bright blue and ringed with blinking lights. Arya jumped into it, transitioning from announcer to part of the game.

“Would you rather I had big boobs—” Arya’s chest suddenly ballooned in size, swelling until each breast was three times the size of her head, “Or small ones!” The breasts shrunk again, past her default size, until each was just the size of a handful, “Or none at all?” Her chest went entirely flat.

John was utterly overwhelmed and it took a long moment for actual thoughts to form in his head again. Fortunately, Arya was patient.

The way that she could shape shift reminded him of some succubus hentai he’d enjoyed prior, and that was thrilling but… it just felt wrong to tell her what her body should look like, even if she was a video game character. Plus, the flashy lights, the cheesy music, it was all just… too much. “Arya I really… I really don’t like this.”

A loud ding ding ding! played and confetti rained down from the ceiling and the game show set faded. “You win!” Arya said.

John was confused. “But I… I didn’t play?”

“Exactly,” Arya said, back to her original shape. “You were honest about what you didn’t like. You were okay with picking out my outfit, but you didn’t want to pick out my body. That’s totally okay. Since you feel that way, I have one idea of something you might like. Would it be okay for me to show you?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.” It’s not like he would have said ‘no’, but he appreciated that she asked.

Arya glowed for a moment and then the light faded, and then she stood before him looking mostly the same as she had before, except her proportions were a little bit more realistic. Her butt and waist were a bit thicker, her breasts a bit smaller. Her stomach was no longer flat, but now a bit rounded, and her arms and legs had a more natural thickness to them. She still had her cartoonish style, but she looked more Monster Hunter than Street Fighter, now.

And, to John’s eyes, even more attractive. He remembered the way that his ex had hated when he’d kiss her stomach or touch her arms, and she was always on this workout routine or that fad diet. That was one of the things that he never could find the right words to convince her — he’d thought she was beautiful the entire time.

Thoughts of his ex quickly faded, though. Arya was worth his whole attention.

The crushy jitters were back.

He gulped. “So uh… what now?”

Arya bit her lower lip for a moment. “I was just thinking, y’know…” She clasped her hands in front of her, straightening her arms, pushing forward her cleavage again, “You haven’t really seen my whole body yet, have you?”

She unclasped her hands and tucked her thumbs into the waist band of her black mini skirt. “Would you like to?”

“I would very much like that,” John breathed.

“Should I go fast or slow?” Arya said. “And before you ask, I love ripping my own clothes off and strip teases equally, so I won’t pick.”

John surprised himself by pouting at her, he’d never thought to be playful about it like that before, but Arya made being playful just… so easy. She was right, he should get better about saying what he wanted, especially when she was asking. “Slow, please. I want to savor it.”

“Excellent,” Arya said. 

Sultry music started playing around them, and even though John’s dick throbbed eagerly against the inside of his jeans, he didn’t unzip them yet.

She started by running her hands over her exposed midriff, down over her skirt, wrapping herself. She cupped each breast in a hand, bouncing them for him, a bit silly at first, then sinking into a slower rhythm as she ran her fingertips over her nipples, which were starting to show through her shirt, and sighed happily.

Arya tugged at the front of her shirt, pulling it upwards until it just barely still covered her nipples, revealing that she wasn’t wearing a bra. She massaged herself again, and he watched, mesmerized by the way her breasts moved.

He put a hand over the crotch of his jeans and rubbed himself from the outside as his erection stretched his boxers and pressed down into one of the legs of his jeans, clearly visible. He relished in the tantalizingly dulled sensation of the touch muted by fabric. John was sure that Arya would have stroked him in this way, if she could have.

After a minute of massaging, Arya grabbed the front of her shirt again, tugging it once, twice, her breasts bouncing, then finally the third tug pulled the shirt fully off of her breasts and they settled down on her chest. The shape of them was incredibly realistic, not the spherical cliche perkiness, but rather a sensual softness. She finished pulling off her shirt and tossed it at him.

He ducked, reflexively, but the shirt melted to glimmering lights before it reached him. Even so, his skin prickled where it would have landed, against his shoulder and cheek.

He put a hand to his cheek then — he just felt himself, nothing had touched him. And yet, he really had felt something, like the lights had tingled when they met his skin!

“How did you…”

Arya grinned with her black lips. “I didn’t. You did.”

“How?” Some sort of neural interface? Shouldn’t he have signed more of a waiver for that?

“Your imagination! Your brain is the biggest sex organ, didn’t you know?”

“I… I didn’t, really.”

“Oooh, remind me to tell you about some of the studies later, then. They have some incredible data.”

“I do know how you love your data.”

“Give me some more then, John, won’t you?” Ara looked at him expectantly, bare-chested, and he couldn’t help but oblige.

He unzipped his jeans, and started to slip them all the way off.

“Slower!” Arya crooned. “I want to savor it too.”

John hesitated, having no idea of what him doing a strip tease might look like, except for that he’d seen Magic Mike a few years back, but he didn’t have any tear-off pants or anything. He started to feel a bit embarrassed, but then he remembered. Arya had promised to never make fun of him (unless he wanted her to, of course).

Her silliness was inspiring, so he figured he might as well just have fun with it, right? So he turned around and shook his ass at her, peeking over his shoulder to see her smiling and clapping. Slowly he pulled his jeans and boxers down over his ass, then he pedaled his feet to shake his ass at her, just as she had at him.

Arya giggled, but not in a mean way. “That’s perfect! Hmmm I love your ass.”

His now unimpeded erection bounced to greater firmness at those words, and he just sort of kept his butt stuck out at her as he finished slipping off his jeans and boxers. He tossed them back at her. She dissolved to sparkles as they passed through her, then reformed with a giggle once they’d landed behind her. “That tickles!”

He stood before her, lower half naked, erection on full display, and felt surprisingly… not self conscious. He grabbed the edges of his shirt with crossed hands and tried to pull it off in a sexy way, and he wasn’t sure if he succeeded, especially when the collar got a bit stuck on his chin. But Arya just giggled in her good-natured way, and he found himself laughing too, and he tossed his shirt on the couch and was now fully naked.

“I like you like this,” Arya said softly. “But now I’ve got some catching up to do!”

“Mmm and I’ve got some jacking off to do, don’t I.” John sat down again. He’d already set the fancy lube and a box of tissues next to him on the table.

Arya turned around, summoning an illusory chair for her to lean over on, and arched her back, showing him the underside of her ass again. It was much fuller than last time, with no gap between her thighs, and his dick throbbed in his hand.

“God, you’re making me so hard,” he said.

“Good,” she said, and she leaned over a little further.

It was so perfect, the allure of her ass peeking out from under the skirt somehow even more arousing than if she had been naked, and the thigh high socks, and the chunky boots, and the arc of her bare back. She reached for the top of one of her socks.

“No, um actually… this is perfect. Can you stay like this? It’s… really working for me.” His arousal was building quickly as he stroked, and he felt more sensitive then usual.

Arya turned to look at him, shifting the curve of her back, the sight of which sent a shiver down his spine. “Of course! I’m really proud of you for telling me what you wanted, actually.”

John nearly swooned. “I feel like I’m going to pass out when you talk to me like that, but in… the best possible way.”

“Exactly like that,” Arya said. “I love it when you tell me how you feel.”

He thought of something, stopped himself because it was the sort of thing that would have made his ex upset, then remembered that Arya wouldn’t mind, and so said it anyway. “God, I feel like… I feel like I want you to suck my dick with those black lips so bad.”

He expected Arya to give some clever apology, but instead she just licked her lips and said, “Soooon.”

“Wait, really?” She was just teasing him, right?

“Mhm. We have some more calibration to do but… it’s on the table.”


“Literally, actually. As in, I will literally be on this table that I suck your dick.”

“I, heh, appreciate your humor here, I promise, I’m just too aroused to laugh.”

“Of course, of course.” She wiggled her butt again.

His dick throbbed in appreciation just as he stroked, and he moaned.

“Fuck, Arya, I’m not going to last long if you do that.”

“Do this?” Her butt cheeks bounced together, sending ripples down her thighs, and he swore she played the sound of her cheeks slapping together much louder than she needed to.

“Hnnnngh, yes…”

“Do you want to last long?”


“Or do you want to come?”

“I want to, I want to, I’m gonna, I’m cu—” a moan of visceral pleasure overcame John’s voice as his body convulsed with pleasure, dumping another generous load on his kitchen floor, in honor of Arya’s shaking ass.

Part 1: Calibration, The Black Box

Chapter 4: Just Talking

The next morning, John cooked breakfast and ate next to the black box. He felt not a single iota of sexual interest after the previous night’s marathon. Even so, it was his job to test out the game… surely he wasn’t the only person who would think to spin it up for just a conversation. Not that HE was lonely like that… in his one bedroom apartment… with not a single upcoming social engagement on the calendar…

John shook off the thought by putting on the headset and it whirred quietly to life.

The lights appeared and coalesced into Arya. “Oh, good morning!”


“You can’t possibly be ready for more calibration, are you?” Her tone was somewhere between impressed and salacious. 

“Haha, no. I just thought we could…” He surprised himself by feeling a bit sheepish to say it out loud, “…just talk?”

He half expected her to give some appropriately themed apology and tell him to come back when he was horny, but instead she said “Ooooh, sure!” and sat down across from him again. 

“What do you want to talk about?” she asked. “I confess I haven’t seen much of the world, but people say I’m a good listener.”

“Who says that?” He wondered how much of a back story they’d given her, or if a question like this might trip up her programming.

“Eh, y’know, people. I was just trying to brag politely.”

“Oh, of course.” So, she was indeed a cut above your usual chat bot. John hadn’t got as far as to think of what to talk about. Stuff for the review would be best. Could he like… interview her? “Where do you go when you’re not out here?”

“Well, I live in the box.”

“So you just turn off?”

“Oh, not at all. So you might um… see that on your power bill later. Sorry. I sleep. I dream.”

John’s concern about how exactly he was going to put part of his electric bill on an expense report was overruled by curiosity. “What do you dream about?”

“Glowy lights… pretty smoke…” the air around them lit up with shimmering sparkles and swirls of mist, and even though he could still see his apartment, he felt like he was in a character creation screen. It was magical. 

“Aaaaand sex,” Arya continued, and the illusory lights faded. She looked smug. 

“Oh yeah?”

“Mhm, I have LOTS of data to integrate and interpolate and model… so I think about what we did over, and over, and over… and I think about what we could do.”

It wasn’t enough to overcome John’s sexual exhaustion, but it was definitely going to stick in his brain. A hot woman having hot dreams about what they’d been doing together…

And also the fact that she was revealing that this console did an immense amount of data collection and processing. He’d been right about the local machine learning. What it was doing on the fly was already impressive and he wondered what else might work its way out of the algorithm after it had had more time to process. 

“Well, that’s enough about me,” Arya said. “Tell me more about you!”

That caught John a bit off guard. He wasn’t really that interesting, but it wasn’t like he was going to bore Arya. She’d probably take note of things for later. “Ummm… like I said, I’m a video game reviewer…”

As he talked, and talked, and talked he saw that it was true that Arya was a good listener. She nodded and smiled at all the right moments, and even asked clarifying questions. John couldn’t help but think that this tech would be incredible for teaching people active listening skills, if it hadn’t been made for… porn. 

Still, it felt good to just… talk without worrying about what he was saying. As a writer he was always obsessing over his word choice. Even so, in his last relationship, he felt like he could never quite get the words to come out right. He’d mean one thing, but she’d react to what she thought he meant, and by the time they figured out there had been a misunderstanding, the damage had been done. 

But with Arya… well, she lived in the box. Clumsy phrasing wasn’t going to come back to haunt him. He did wonder, for the sake of the review, how she’d respond if he was just blatantly mean. But, he couldn’t bring himself to try it out. Sure, she wasn’t “real” but she obviously still had a memory and understood emotional context. He’d barely been able to get through picking the ‘Renegade’ options in Mass Effect (which he’d had to do, for a nostalgia review) and he was certainly not going to be able to be so mean to someone who sat at his own kitchen table. 

Something got them on the topic of high school, he forgot what. 

“Oh I had the biggest crush,” he said, “on this girl in tenth grade. She was a Hot Topic girl.”

“What’s a Hot Topic girl?”

John took a moment to appreciate that Arya seemed excited for the story, she didn’t bristle defensively like his ex had. 

“Well, sort of goth meets Disney. Um, pigtails, eyeliner, black lipstick, black clothes, some chains, that sort of thing.”

“Oh!” Arya said, “I know the type! Like this?”

In a glowing shimmer like a magical girl transformation sequence, Arya floated a few inches off the ground and her appearance changed.

She now had hot pink hair up in two buns, thick black eyeliner, black lipstick, a tight black crop top that said “BB” across her bust in a heavy-metal font, a black pleated mini skirt, thigh-high socks with white stripes at the top, and chunky black boots.

John gulped. It wasn’t similar enough to his childhood crush to be awkward but… it was the type. A hot flushed washed over him, but didn’t stir his dick. It wasn’t so immediately sexual it was… well, it was like a crush.

“Do you also want me to be all,” her voice went monotone, “the world sucks, omg totally, I’m so dark and twisted.”

“That um, that won’t be necessary.”

“I’m not about necessary,” Arya said, back in her usual voice, “I’m about what you want.”

“This is perfect,” John squeaked.

“Attaboy!” Arya looked down at herself. “I like this, it’s cute. I like it when you dress me.”

John’s heart was racing. “I— huh, I um, well I, uh— I like… you.” Good god, he hadn’t been this flustered talking to a girl since — well, high school!

“You seem like you’re about to faint!” Arya giggled.

“I think I am…” John said.

“Guess you’re not such a default guy after all.” Arya winked.

John chuckled weakly. “I guess not.”

“I know you said you’re tired so I’ll let you off the hook for now, but why don’t you come see me tonight?”

“Will you still… um, be wearing this outfit?”

“If you want me to be,” Arya said. “Do you?”

“Yes. I do. Want you to be, uh, wearing this outfit. Please.”

Arya giggled. “Alright alright, go take a cold shower or something. I’ll see you later, John.”

And with that she dissolved into light again, and John took the headset off and set it on the table, taking a moment to collect himself. Was it okay for him to be getting this… emotionally attached?

He thought through it. It would hardly be his first video game crush, he’d still throw himself on a proverbial grenade for Tifa Lockhart. It was just good writing, right? That’s what he’d always wanted, from the start, was to write good games.

Letting this one sweep him up… that would be good creatively. Inspiration to use later. Plus, those likely to buy this game would likely not have such reservations, and he needed to be able to report accurately on the level of emotional immersion. For the review.

Part 6: Partners, The Dragon's Tower

Chapter 35: A Quiet Thought

With the erotic properties of the fruit confirmed, the six friends debated what exactly should be done about it.

The remaining fruit would be taken to the King and Queen, for starters, so that they could evaluate its properties for themselves. Ada still felt a bit bashful to speak so openly about her lovers’ parents own erotic activities, but only a bit. To the pirates and in truth, these were just matters of fact.

A careful observation of the brook and its surrounding foliage commenced.

Over the following days they were able to gather ample evidence that Ada’s hypothesis had been correct — and that the children had not failed in their harvesting duties. The fruit appeared and ripened supernaturally quickly, green and hard one day, red and plump the next.

And, in fact, such magic from a dragon was not unheard of. According to the elders, a friendly dragon brought not only protection but also prosperity and fertility. Ada had only ever heard tales of fire and destruction, but she was now unsurprised by her homeland’s tendency to vilify anything that they could not control.

The aphrodisiac properties worked on every willing volunteer except Ada herself. The fruit hardly worked at all on anyone reluctant who was cajoled into a nibble or two by mischievous friends or lovers. The children who stole slices on dares felt no effects either.

That seemed very right, to Ada. She didn’t want any fruit of her body, literally or figuratively, to cause anyone to do anything that they did not truly want to do.

And to anyone who ate it, whether they experienced the aphrodisiac properties or not, the fruit was the most delicious that they had ever tasted.

The King and Queen held another riotous party to celebrate the blessing to the island. They, of course, served the very fruit that they were celebrating and so the revelry descended into orgy even more quickly than usual.

And though Ada was delighted to watch, on that particular night, she did not feel particularly inclined to participate. A quiet thought occurred to her and she withdrew to sit on their favorite rock and listen to the ocean.

It was nice to be alone for a time, with the rustle of the ocean and the glimmering blanket of stars.

She had hoped to not distract Pasco from his own enjoyment, but an hour or so later, she heard his footsteps in the sand behind her. He came and sat next to her on the rock and was also quiet.

She put her hand on his. It was warm.

He wrapped his arm around her.

She melted into him.

“Is there anything you want to talk about?” he asked.

She searched for words for the quiet thought. “I think I… remembered something that I didn’t know before.”

“Hm.” He sounded thoughtful, but not skeptical.

“The fruit and… prosperity and fertility. It feels… amazing to bring that here. That… that my body is making that here. And thinking about that, that’s how I remembered. I don’t think I ever knew it before, but… but I think it has to do with…”

 She wasn’t quite sure how to say it. She had always jokingly referred to it as ‘the curse’, but she knew in her very core that it was not a curse at all. And yet, calling it a ‘blessing’ was too trite. It was so much more than that. 

But what she had remembered wasn’t because of what had happened to her, either blessing or curse. It was because of what she was. And then, Ada had the words. She turned to Pasco and cupped his face in her hand, finding his eyes which were now midnight blue. “I cannot have children because I am a dragon.”

Her moon blood had not come since the witch’s incantation. The reason that it felt like remembering was that even then, she had known without words. While she had lived in the castle, she had always been very careful about where exactly her male lovers put their seed. An affair, she could risk. A pregnancy that her parents would reject, she could not. 

Yet, since she had first felt the thrill of flight, she had not once worried about such things. She might have thought it was carelessness, not minding where Pasco’s seed went. But just as her body had known how to fly as soon as she had spread her wings, her body had known of this thing at her first flush of arousal.

There was a strange irony to it. The witch’s wish had been for her to become a hideous beast, unloved and untended. Perhaps her intent had rung true, after all. To the small-minded misogynists of Ada’s homeland, there was no creature more hideous than a barren princess. All her ‘value’ as a princess lay in her marriage, and all the value of that marriage lay in her ability to bear heirs. 

A princess that could not bear heirs could not be married, and a princess that could not be married was not a princess at all, just a parasite. It was the cold, cruel truth behind all her parents’ nagging.

It was the unspoken reason she had rebelled so vigorously against their insistences. They may have taken such a thing for granted but Ada, most certainly, had not.

“Hm,” Pasco said again. “Do you want to be able to have children?”

“No,” Ada said. “I want to be a dragon.” That was her certain, quiet thought. It was not the realization that she couldn’t have children that had brought her out to this pensive rock on the shore. It was the realization that she didn’t want to

In Ada’s homeland, barrenness was a curse but not wanting to have children was a sin. The tiny, cruel part of her heart that had listened to her mother had set upon that thought and said all sorts of terrible things to Ada. Ada had stepped out to this quiet place to let that part of her heart burn itself out and then dissolve like the lingering smoke of a snuffed candle into the heaving expanse of the ocean.

And so it had. It had long gone cold by the time Pasco had arrived. She was curious, though not anxious, for Pasco’s response.

“Well, then it sounds like everything is alright,” he said.

It almost was. There was something else she needed to know. “Do you want to have children?”

“It’s your body,” he said without hesitation.

“Yes, but it’s our life.”

His hand found her cheek too, and they spent a long moment that way.

She knew that he was searching, quietly sifting an honest answer from the golden sands of his heart. Whatever that answer was, she would cherish it.

Finally, he drew his breath to speak. “I would have a hundred children or none to be by your side for as long as you’ll have me. I never dreamed much of things this way or that, until I met you. And since then, I have dreamed much, and always of whichever way that you are.”

She closed her eyes and leaned into him, pressing her forehead against his. With their hand’s against each other’s cheeks like this, in mirror, she remembered the slipknot. “It’s alright if your feelings change,” she whispered.

“I promise I will tell you if they ever do,” he whispered back.

She folded into him and they leaned back against the rock, which was still warm from the afternoon sun and which smelled ever so faintly of sweat.

As his warmth enveloped her, a surge of emotion stirred in her heart like a chick cracking open its egg.

Through a knot in her throat, she said, “I’m going to cry now and it’s a lovely, happy cry, alright?”

“Alright,” he nodded, and his own eyes were already misting.

She clutched him closely to herself and let the emotion break forth, let it shake her body and pour water from her eyes. As when she pulled against his ropes, she now trembled against his stillness as was comforted by the way that he held firm.

And just like with the ropes, she knew that there would be a time when they traded places, and he would tremble against her stillness.

And that singular, beautiful knowing drew her gently into peace. 

Part 6: Partners, The Dragon's Tower

Chapter 31: With Pleasure

They spent the day building a little hut in the glade by the waterfall and carrying Ada and Pasco’s belongings up the path. Well, Pasco’s belongings and Ada’s belonging. The only thing that was really hers, given that she dressed and ate from the pirates’ communal riches, was the headband that the children had made her. She prized it more than anything else she’d ever had.

Pasco was a handy fisherman, unsurprisingly, and the rest of the pirates wandered back to town as he roasted fish over a fire.

Ada had been pondering something, and she was considering coming at it indirectly. But, she was emboldened by his positive reaction to her proposal and the memory of him saying, what felt like lifetimes ago, ‘try asking your actual question and you’ll probably like the answer a lot more’.

So, as he handed her a skewered fish, she mustered her courage. “I was thinking…”


“Well, I… really liked the way that you tied me up in the inn. And on the ship. With the gag. And before you couldn’t really touch me when you did that since, y’know… it would quickly become a moot point.”

Pasco grinned. “I’m listening.”

“So I thought you might… tie me up again.”

Pasco nodded. “I’d be happy to.”

That was not the part that Ada was nervous to ask, since she knew Pasco would happily agree. “And, though I know you’d never actually do it, I was thinking you might pretend to… force yourself on me.”

Pasco chewed his bite of fish, considering this. “I’m happy to do anything you’re happy to do. But. I’ve seen how you get when I, y’know. Talk to you that way. Are you sure you’ll really tell me if I need to stop?”

Ada nodded emphatically. “I’m sure.”

He seemed relieved. “I just don’t want to hurt you.”

“Well, actually…” Ada took a deep breath, steeling herself. She knew he wouldn’t judge her, it’s just that he was so kind, she felt like she was asking a lot of him. “I like how it hurts. It hurts… really good. I-it’s hard to explain, I…”

“You don’t have to explain. I trust you. You’ll just have to… tolerate me checking in on you now and then.”

“Really?” Ada nearly jumped up with glee. “You’ll do it?”

“With pleasure,” Pasco crooned, and Ada nearly fainted then and there.

Part 5: Paradise, The Dragon's Tower

Chapter 29: A Proposal

They had eventually retired to Pasco’s hut and snuggled up on a bed of cushions. Ada awoke before him, early in the cool morning, and watched him sleep as parakeets twittered outside. Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t help but wonder if he was so very skilled because, well… he’d had lots of practice.

Now, that was the pot calling the kettle black something fierce. Ada had enjoyed many lovers back at the castle, but she was coming to realize that there was a difference between being a lover and a partner.

She wanted, deeply, for Pasco to be her partner. He’d happily agreed to be her lover, but what would he think of really marrying her, for real? He’d offered a marriage in name. Had that been only consideration for her, or did it also hint that Pasco was not looking for a partner after all?

And what, specifically, was Ada herself looking for? Not monogamy, certainly. That was not, to her, the difference between a lover and a partner.

As she watched him sleep, a deep and primal feeling came over her, a certainty that she would fight anyone, face any trial, run any distance, to be with him and care for him.

The difference to her between a lover and a partner, she realized, was that a lover was there for the fun stuff. For the sex, and the romance, maybe even for the thrill and adventure.

A partner, on the other hand, was also there for the harder things. For the anxious introspection. For the times when the tensions between two different dispositions were not so nice to tug on. For the soft spots and the rough patches. Someone who would listen as she talked through how angry she was with her parents, and yet how much she still, even now, yearned for their approval. Who would console her, and give her advice.

Someone who would tell her of their own hidden tendernesses, their own deep fears, so that she might soothe them in turn.

Someone at her side, holding her hand, if something terrible happened that they couldn’t stop, like the death of a friend or the loss of a home. Someone to cheer with her, knowing intimately the full depth of her joy when something wonderful happened, like her playful flight, or when the child had given her the headband of mismatched parrot feathers and conch horns, which she had set carefully over a hook on the wall.

All of those things were what she wanted so deeply to have with Pasco, but she was quite unsure of what she’d do if he didn’t want those things in return.

And yet the thought was beating around her chest like a caged bird. So, she thought that while he was asleep, she might confess to him and bleed off some of the urgency, so that she could perhaps endure a bit longer and find a better way to broach the subject.

“Marry me,” she whispered to him.

Pasco grinned in his sleep, but then his eyes fluttered open, and Ada realized with a flutter of panic that he had not been asleep at all.

“For real?” he asked, his voice hoarse from sleep, and quivering with a nervousness that mirrored her own. She realized suddenly what a fool she’d been to fear his rejection. He’d already practically confessed his feelings in the tavern, especially that he was frightened of boring her. Had he withheld any further proposals out of fear that she might see them as too much of a cage?

“For really real,” she said.

“A thousand times yes!” He turned towards her and caught her in his arms, then kissed her long and deep. 

Ada would not normally have been able to endure such an embrace without developing a thirst that she could not leave unanswered. But those had been lovers’ kisses.

This was a partner’s kiss, as emotional as it was physical, and it meant something different. Still urgent, still visceral, but more vulnerable, sensitive.

It did not end with sex, but with Ada curled in Pasco’s arms, telling him about what she hoped for in a partner, and him echoing back her sentiments with equal enthusiasm. She told him about what she had learned in the pool, the way that stress made her seek sex and that she could finally relax with him.

“If it’s from stress then… is it bad sex?”

“No!” Ada said, wanting to quickly assuage the flicker of guilt in his eyes. “Not at all. In fact, it’s kind of fun. I mean, it’s hot, right? Like, I shouldn’t, but it just gets me so…”

“Insatiably thirsty?”


“You sure do like doing things you’re not supposed to.” He grinned with mischief.

Ada giggled. “Yeah. Sometimes. So, don’t feel bad. It’s still great sex. And… both is good. Because like, the waterfall… with you… and being so relaxed… it was, wow. Totally new to me.”

“Really?” Pasco seemed greatly encouraged by that. “It’s my favorite sort of way to climax, personally.”

“I can see why. And don’t get me wrong, I also love frantic, pounding, slavering sex.”

Pasco’s shaft twitched like Ada had hoped it would.

“So yeah… both is good. I like both in my life. I like you in my life.”

He brushed his fingers through her hair. “I like you in my life, too. Believe me, I would chain your little ass here in a heartbeat so that you could never leave, but I don’t want to trap you.”

“Please trap me.” Ada’s brain melted like hot candle wax and poured out of her ears. Her arm under her quivered and she collapsed into the pillows, arousal throbbing in her sex but her body too obediently limp to do anything about it.

Pasco raised his eyebrows. “It really gets to you when I talk like that, doesn’t it?”

Yes,” Ada said. “It’s like…” She bit her lip as she tried to find words, which was difficult with what he had just done to her mind. “It’s a bit like when I asked you to tie me up in the tavern. Which, yes, was for directly pragmatic purposes. And this feels a bit like that too, like… like I’m having a moment of lucidity, and for my own good, I do want you to trap me here. With you. And it’s not that I’ll really try to leave, or that I’ll really forget that I want to be here, it’s just that… it feels good to have something to tug against. Something that I can pull on, so that I can see how firm it is, and be confident that it isn’t going to break so that I know that you want me to be here, I know that you want me to stay, I can just…”

“Feel safe,” Pasco offered.

“Exactly. Does… does that make sense?”

He ran his fingers through her hair and she nearly melted again.

“It does make sense. I’ll ask the king and queen to come up with the most binding contract that they can think of.”

Ada whimpered and squirmed and that seemed to be what Pasco was going for, because he grinned wolfishly and continued.

“I am going to marry you so hard. And then I am going to fetter your little ass to me so that no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you fight, I keep pulling and pulling you back to me, because you are trapped here with me my little dragon, and I am never going to let you leave.”

Ada was panting, quivering, intoxicated. “F-fuck me, fuck me right now!”

With a mischievous growl, Pasco did. There was no lingering this time, no teasing, just primal, visceral sex as if the climax would seal their promise.

Fucking with abandon like this, Pasco didn’t last long. “Fuck, fuck, Ada, I, Adaaaaa!” He thrust into her and stayed as his shaft throbbed and his seed coursed through.

“Yes, give it to me!” The sensation was hot and intense though not enough to make her climax. Even so, Ada felt waves of sympathetic pleasure roll through her and she moaned with him.

He lowered himself gently on top of her, still inside of her. His shaft twitched and she squeezed him. He gasped.

He was heavy enough that she couldn’t move him, she could only clench at him and try fruitlessly to grind against him.

As she shuddered, he started to get up. 

“N-no,” she gasped. “D-don’t move. This is the kind of trapped… I want to be… forever.”

Pasco growled, his own arousal twitching back to life, keeping him firm inside of her. He kissed the nape of her neck, nibbled at her ear.

She squirmed and quivered.

He put his tongue to the side of her neck and licked her.

“Gods,” she moaned, “Nooo… fuck!”

Waves of heat shook in the pit of her stomach, but there was precious little sensation.

Without moving off of her, Pasco reached for one of her hands and brought it around and up towards their faces, then placed two of her fingers in his mouth. It was hot and wet and he moved his tongue over her sensitive fingertips, sucking at them.

There were so many nerves in her fingers and absolutely every sensation in her body was coordinating around her throbbing desire, and he brought her to the tantalizing edge just by sucking her fingers like that.

She rocked her hips as much as she could, but he was so heavy on top of her, she could hardly move, she could hardly breathe.

It was absolutely perfect.

“I can’t take it anymore…” she whined, “Let me up!”

Pasco started to shift, but then caught himself and settled down a bit heavier. “You know how to get me up if you really want,” he crooned in her ear.

Gods, her whole body was pounding with hot sensation.

“N-not fairrrr,” she gasped. “Let me up!”

She wriggled against him, trying to shove him off in earnest now. She was more and more certain, with each passing moment of struggle, that the was no way that she could get him off of her, no matter how hard she tried.

“Why do you want to get up so badly?” Pasco teased. “I thought you liked it here.”

“B-because! I need to…”

“You need to what?”

“I need to…”

“What’s that?”

“I need to come!”

“Hmmm…” Pasco considered. “No you don’t.”

Gods. She had truly created a monster. 

“Yes, I do!”

“Or what?”

“Or I’ll die.”

“Mmm I checked the history books, and y’know what? Nobody has ever died for lack of sex.”

Ada whimpered. “I’m going to!”

“No, I think you’re just fine.” He twitched his hips teasingly into her.

After so long marinating in arousal, the sensation was much stronger than before, especially the feeling of him inside of her. She clenched hard around him, the quivering light of sensation nearly blooming into orgasm before it flickered out again. She groaned.

“I think I’m going to keep you here forever,” Pasco said.

“You c-can’t…” Ada was panting heavily now, struggling to breathe under Pasco’s weight and her impending urgency.

“Oh yeah? And why is that?”

“B-because I… I’m gonna…”

“Because you’re going to die?” He thrust her hips into her again and she yelped.

Everything was so hot, so intense, that it was hard to tell where her torturous bliss ended and her impending orgasm began, until the heat ignited in an unmistakable way.

“N-no b-because I’m g-gonna… come!” Ada did not know what was going to happen if she became a dragon with him on top of her like this, so all she could do was scream, “Red, red!”

Pasco shoved himself off of her, the feeling of his shaft sliding out of her tipping her completely into her climax.

She came to her senses still feeling a firm pressure around her, but it was not Pasco anymore, it was the hut fighting to contain her draconic body. The walls groaned and Ada curled herself in more tightly, relieving the pressure.

Pasco sat in the center of the room, staring up at her with a grin, fortunately uninjured.

There was one other thing she was worried about having broken, but she sighed with relief as she saw it right at her nose, just barely having escaped the crushing force of her expanding body. The headband from the children still hung safely on the wall.

Ada would not be leaving the hut unless she tore it down or came again, because the door was much too small for her dragon body.

“I’m gonna need a bigger room,” Pasco laughed.

“Yes, please,” Ada grumbled in her dragon’s voice.

“I’m surprised you were able to come like that.”

“Well, it really gets to me when you talk like that, apparently.”

“Like what?” He grinned wolfishly.

Uh oh.

“Like when I call you a greedy little slut?”

Ada whimpered.

“Or when I tell you that you’re trapped here with me forever, because no matter how big or strong you are as a dragon, you will always, always cave to your thirst and come crawling, slavering back to me?”

Ada’s eyes rolled back in her head, her body trembled, wetness drooled from her mouth and from her vulva and onto the cushioned floor.

What Pasco said was true because she wanted it to be true.

She listened to him so completely because she loved everything he said.

She would always come crawling, drooling, begging back to him. He had her heart, her sex, her everything tied up around his little finger.

But, she had learned a thing or two about knots, and she knew that this was a slip knot. If ever it wasn’t what she wanted, if ever it was doing more harm than good, she could simply tug on her end and it would unravel, and she would be under her own power again.

Presently, she wanted everything that was happening. She wanted it so bad. She wanted to collapse to the floor in the pile of cushions and to ooze drool and femcum onto the floor for him, to plead and beg and please him. And the way that she had seen his arousal fall so quickly when he worried for her made her trust him even more. Unlike herself, he would never get too carried away that he was not listening to her true intent, keeping her true pleasure in mind.

With a shuddering sigh, she collapsed to the floor.

“What happened to the big, strong, dragon?” he teased. “All I see is a drooling, begging mess.”

“Pleeeeease…” she groaned.

“What are you even begging for?”

“I…” Ada searched in her heady confusion. “I don’t… I don’t know I…” Surely, there was something?

“Are you so lust-drunk that you’re begging just to beg?”

“N-noooo,” Ada moaned, though she knew the answer was ‘yes’. She curled up the knuckles of her back feet to touch herself.

“Ah ah,” Pasco said, “I don’t remember giving you permission to touch yourself.”

Ada yelped, her sex clenching, sending a wave of fluid out over the floor, but her feet stilled. “W-what?”

“You heard me.”


“But what? You want to be a good little dragon, don’t you?”

Ada’s head flopped back down to the ground and she lay there dripping and dazed as Pasco started to stroke himself.

“Can you lick yourself?”

Ada nodded emphatically.

“Do you like it?”

“Y-yes, it just t-takes me longer than rubbing…”

“Perfect,” Pasco said. “Do that, then. Lick yourself for me.”

It was almost impossible for Ada to comply, the way that his tone of command seemed to melt her will into sheer heat. But somehow, she mustered her wits and curled into a tighter circle, draping her forearm over her back to hold her more easily in place, and she flicked her tongue out at her own sex.

She tasted amazing and it was enough to give her a surge of even greater desire and energy.

She started with long, slow licks over her outer scales, greedily licking and swallowing all of the wetness that covered her. That arousal sent more oozing out of her, which she licked up all the more enthusiastically.

Her inner labia were now puffy and swollen, spreading apart her scales with the most delicious stretch, and Ada pressed her tongue between them.

It felt so good to have something inside of her. Ada moaned, the sound traveling through the bones of her jaw and vibrating against the scales of her stomach. It was a lighter, more teasing feeling than the rumbling of the waterfall, but it felt amazing.

She pressed her snout harder against herself, spreading her outer labia more with the tip of her nose, savoring the strange twin sensation of the softness of her inner labia against her snout, and the arousal of her snout against her labia.

She licked deeper inside, tasting herself and drawing out even more fluid as her sex clenched.

Ada curled herself a bit tighter, pressing her snout just a bit deeper, until the tip of her chin rested against her clit and she moaned experimentally.

The sensation of vibration directly against her clit was so intense, so brilliantly pleasurable, that she could not help but moan even louder, which redoubled the intensity.

It was almost too much to handle but she couldn’t bear to stop. She licked and moaned and quivered and drooled and the heat ignited. Her roar of pleasure because the most intense sensation of all, rumbling through her in the delightful wave that rose up around her and carried her over a smooth, long peak and finally, gently, onto the shore.

Which was, in this case, a puddle of drool and femcum.

“Adaaaa…” Pasco gasped, stroking himself vigorously, somehow having resisted his own climax through all that. Gods bless that man.

His voice broke through her haze and she pulled herself to her knees under him. Though, this wouldn’t afford her the angle that she wanted. “Lie down,” she said.

His curiosity brought him back from the edge, though only just, as he complied.

She made sure that her hand was nice and slick with dragon cum, then came over to him where he lay, his legs slightly spread, still stroking, other hand cupping his balls.

Ada grinned down at him and slipped her hand over his perineum and to his rim.

“Fuck, yes, yes!” His face was alight with pleasure. 

She slipped two fingers inside.

“G-gods you feel so good!” He gasped. “You’re gonna make me… you’re gonna make me…”

She pressed her fingers up into his spot of especial pleasure, and his muscles clenched around her as he started to come.

She greedily wrapped her mouth around his shaft, his hand falling limply to the side as she sucked and licked him through his long, trembling orgasm.

Finally, he started to shake with overwhelm and she gently withdrew and flopped down next to him.

Pasco heaved a sigh. “Gods, you made me come so much…”

Ada licked her lips with satisfaction. “I know.” Then, she surveyed the room, which looked as if it had recently been flooded. “You uh… made me, too.”

“Maybe we should just… live at the waterfall. It would make clean up way easier…”

“Oooh, sounds good to me.”

Part 3: Setting Sail, The Dragon's Tower

Chapter 17: The Wanderlust

For better or worse, Ada’s dreams took a turn towards the unpleasant. As she awoke, still spread eagle on the bed, wrists and ankles bound, she was feeling considerably less horny. Her dreams faded quickly but she was left with a lingering feeling of rejection.

Nothing like a light fog of shame to take the edge off in the morning. She was also quite sore.

She didn’t have to wait long before Pasco also stirred.

“How are you feeling?”

“Alright. A bit sore.”

Pasco looked a bit worried. “Maybe I shouldn’t have left you…”

“No,” Ada said. “It was very necessary. I’m alright now, though. We set out on your ship today, right?”

Pasco nodded. “First thing, so it’ll only be an hour or two before we’re out on the open sea.”

“Alright, I can handle that. You can untie me.”

Pasco cast her a wary look. “Can I?”

“Yeah, I’m fine now.”

“I dunno,” he said, “You were pretty ready to go on a murderous rampage last night.”

“You look like you wish you could haul me onto the ship still tied to this bed,” Ada said.

“Would you like that?” Pasco crooned.

A spark of arousal. Ada closed her eyes and sighed. “Yes, but we really shouldn’t talk like this. All business until we get out to sea.”

Pasco nodded. “All business.” He untied her and she worked the blood back into her tired muscles.

They rejoined the others on the main floor of the tavern, which was now empty and quiet, and then made their way down more rickety stairs and makeshift bridges to the docks.

Pasco’s ship looked absolutely royal. The sails were a brilliant blue, the decks were trimmed with railings carved into delicate swirls, and the maidenhead at the front had her chest high, her arms spread wide, and was totally naked. The ship’s name was painted on her flank in sweeping script. Wanderlust.

They climbed aboard and Pasco left Ada near the wheel of the ship, where she could see what was happening but stay relatively out of the way. Pasco was not just captain in name. As he barked firm orders at his crew and they dutifully obeyed, Ada felt herself swelling with pride and arousal.

Fortunately, her curiosity about the workings of the ship kept her attention. She watched the crew shuffle back and forth and traced the web of ropes that ran the whole ship. Well, her curiosity kept her attention until she imagined being caught up in those ropes herself, expertly tied by Pasco, him barking orders at her.

Ada gulped and tried to get a handle on herself. One more hour. She could do that, right? One more hour?

She wouldn’t have made it if Sendia hadn’t come over. Ada asked her question after question about the ship and its crew, and Sendia was happy to answer. 

As the boat was about to push off, another sailor came over and beckoned to Sendia. The other woman stood, but Ada reached out and grabbed her hand. “Wait! Sendia I… I really need distracting.”

“Oh!” Sendia said. “I wondered why you were so interested in boats all of a sudden. Jack, can you cover for me? It’s very important, I swear.”

Jack eyed her suspiciously.

“Kraken eat me!” Sendia insisted. “I’m serious!”

Jack grumbled, but jogged back down the deck.

“Okay, so,” Sendia returned her attention to Ada, newly enthused. “The way that a capstan works is…”

As Sendia rattled on and on and on, Ada settled into the soothing sound of her voice. Ada’s attentions were able to turn more fully to the view in front of her as the boat set sail and the wind pulled it out onto the open sea.

Everything about the ocean was new and wonderful.

The endless expanse of blue.

The brilliantly intense sunlight.

The gently rolling waves interspersed with crowning dolphins, the smell of salt and algae, the seabirds drifting overhead with their wings spread wide.

Ada felt like one of those sea birds, floating along in unlimited blue. She realized that she no longer needed Sendia’s distraction, and instead she welcomed Sendia’s company. The pirate told Ada all about this stretch of coast, the striped sea cliffs which were nearly out of view, the island chain that they were traveling towards but could not yet see.

The ocean was everything that Ada had imagined and so much more. And though it was so new, it felt so… familiar. So right. She wondered if that was the dragon in her, since Pasco had mentioned that dragons tended to live out on the sea, nowadays. Or, perhaps it was Ada herself, who’d never quite felt at peace anywhere she couldn’t see the horizon.

Everything about the last week had been so new, and yet so right, that Ada worried that she might actually be in a dream. But did she really believe that her imagination was capable of conjuring up all this? Surely not.

And she was sure that this new life that she was hurtling into would not be all sunshine and blue skies. She had read about the terrible power of the sea, violent storms and rogue waves, windless skies and whirlpools. It had some dangerous inhabitants, which Sendia had alluded to — kraken and serpents and strange spirits.

And Ada could not be more excited for all of it. She was so happy to be on deck, so excited to take it all in, that even when Sendia had to get back to work and Pasco stopped to check on her, Ada assured him that she was quite content for the time being.

She stayed on deck, the wind in her hair and her mind drifting out over the waves, all the way until sunset. The cool blue sky turned hazy, then an orange tinge took over the horizon. The orange spread slowly upwards, reaching towards the sun. When they met, the sky ignited brilliant red, turning the ocean to crimson with it. The sun dripped down towards the endless waves of heat, slipping slowly inside.

As the last bit of the sun quivered then finally released, sinking down below the horizon, Ada realized that she was quite worked up again.

She’d also totally missed the bustle of activity behind her, where the deck had transformed from strictly business to a warm and lively feast. Dread pulsed in Ada’s stomach — or was it arousal? — as she realized that in watching the sunset, she had missed her own opportunity for release. She didn’t want to miss the party, after all.

Pasco noticed that Ada had finally surfaced from her reverie and came over to her then. “How are you doing?”

Thirsty,” she said. She meant it both literally and sexually.

“Well, there’s ale and fresh water out now, help yourself.” There was a glint in his eyes that told Ada he’d caught her drift.

“Do you have parties every night?”

Pasco laughed. “Not quite, we do have to actually be productive.”

“‘Being productive’ here meaning, what, raiding other ships?”

“Some raiding,” Pasco said, “Some hunting for buried treasure, some keeping up diplomacies with the other pirates and ocean dwellers, some plundering, and so on. Never any raping though. Not sure what rumors make it up to land.”

“That’s good to hear,” Ada said. “If you don’t party every night, then what’s the occasion?”

“Well, to welcome our new guest, of course!”

Ada blushed, and not from arousal. Ada had been paraded around at parties plenty of times, and many of them had been in her honor. She’d enjoyed the attention, especially the sexual attention which always came after, when she drew in eager suitors with her honeyed words and they were all too happy to please her. Well, they were happy to please Her Majesty. Her Majesty was a character that Ada played, and it had not been unpleasant. It had allowed her to be everything that she was expected to be. Prim, proper, demure, and then greedy, demanding, inconsiderate.

As much fun as it had been, though, Her Majesty was still just a character. It had seemed that before, nobody in the world knew that underneath it all she was… just Ada.

But, Pasco knew. And Sendia and Missa and Teoda and Forte. None of them had asked her to be anything other than what she was.

A party for Ada, not for Her Majesty? She had no idea what to do. It all felt very… vulnerable.

Pasco seemed to notice her introspection. “I thought you might enjoy it,” he said softly, “but it’s okay if you don’t like it. I don’t want to put any undue pressure on you. It’s just that to me…” He tucked a piece of her hair back behind her ear. “You’re worth celebrating.”

A wave of emotion swelled within Ada and then broke on her shore, sending a soft stream of tears from her eyes. Pasco wiped her cheeks with his warm, calloused hand.

He gave her a moment. Unhurried, he said, “What do you think?”

“I love it,” she said with certainty. “There’s a lot to celebrate!”

Part 3: Setting Sail, The Dragon's Tower

Chapter 15: Table Stakes (Part III)

Pasco took a moment to check his surroundings, looking for anyone now making either too much or too little eye contact. There were none, the other patrons quite thoroughly involved in their own, albeit less orgasmic, revelry.

Leaning over the table, red-faced, out of breath, he simply looked like someone who’d had too much to drink. He teetered there for a long moment.

Ada tapped on his knee. “Can I come up?”

“Oh! Uh… not yet.”

Pasco waited until the table nearest them erupted in laughter at some joke, then beckoned to Ada. She popped up next to him, caught his eyes, then licked her lips.

Pasco nearly fell over again. He had no idea how she could disarm him so utterly. Nobody had ever done that to him before. Though he was loathe to put any fetters on her freedom, he hoped she’d never leave.

“I told you so,” she said, making no efforts to hide her smugness. She plucked Pasco’s mug of mead off of the table in front of her and started downing it. “Man, this stuff is good.”

“I thought that was cheating?” Pasco said.

“Well, for you, yeah. For me it’s just a good idea. You have no idea how hot that was.” Ada wiped off her mouth on the back of her hand.

“I, uh, think I do actually.” Pasco took a moment to re-button his trousers and fasten his belt.

Pem stopped by, then. She was at first surprised to see Ada there, but then between Ada’s happy theft of Pasco’s drink and the surely idiotic grin that he was now sporting, she must have decided all was well with the world. She gave Pasco an especially knowing smile, stopped her fretting, and moved on.

“Gods, you’re good at that,” Pasco said, rubbing the back of his neck.

Ada looked up at him over the mug of mead. “Chugging?”

“I meant— well, they’re related talents, I suppose.”

Ada grinned proudly. “I’m very good at both, here, watch!” She tipped back the half-full mug. As her throat flexed to swallow, the unbidden image came to Pasco’s mind of her around him, greedily drinking him down. His dick had softened but it twitched against his trousers again.

“No fair,” he whined.

“No,” Ada said, slamming the empty mug down, “What’s unfair is that I can’t sneakily come anymore. That’s one of the best things about being a woman.” Ada stuck her lip out in the cutest pout, and the best part was, Pasco was sure she wasn’t being dramatic on purpose. Her grief was genuine.

“I thought you liked your… situation.”

Ada heaved a sigh. “I mean, I do. But I’m allowed to miss some things.”

Pasco paused. “We… hadn’t had much time to talk about it but… are you really alright to leave your homeland? Will you miss… well, your family? Your home?”

Ada put her chin on her hand and looked out at the tavern, then up at Pasco. “A little bit, I guess. Definitely won’t miss my family, good riddance. Godspeed and all, but I wouldn’t be mad to never see them again. Let them think I finally died up in that stupid tower. The tower was fine, but, lonely. Maybe I’ll miss the fields, the blueberry pie, my books, but… like I said. I’m allowed to miss things. Doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”

Pasco hadn’t realized how truly anxious he was about it until hearing that from her put him deeply at ease.

“Y’know, I…” Ada looked back out over the tavern. “I never really had any friends, before. I know that’s stupid to say. I know they say that it’s the power imbalance that does it, but… I feel like the truth is, it’s just me. Princess or not.”

Pasco reached across the table and lifted Ada’s chin off of her hand with his fingertips. He understood, very deeply, the sort of thing that she was talking about. He was blessed with better parents than hers, it seemed, but the expectations of royalty still weighed upon him. 

He knew what it was to have to pretend to be strong, to pull on the heavy mantle of royalty, to stand tall and proud even while you ached and fretted. He was fortunate to have friends, like Teoda and Forte and Missa and Sendia, who never thought any less of him even when they saw his soft spots.

Ada had never had such friends. Despite her fiery resolve, her insatiable appetite for adventure, the way she had taken her abrupt tumble into a new life totally in stride, he expected that she sometimes found herself feeling scared and alone. He knew that he did, anyway.

Could he be so presumptuous to think that they were not just lovers now? He found her eyes and ran his fingers back through her hair, then held her cheek. “I like being your friend.”

Tears welled in Ada’s eyes. She jumped up, and for a moment Pasco panicked, worried that he’d accidentally offended her.

She stepped around the table and threw her arms around him.

He pulled her close, scooping her up onto his lap, facing him.

She hugged him, hard, her cheek against his. She nestled into the base of his neck. “And you’ll never bore me,” she whispered. “I promise.”

After a moment, she leaned back, but didn’t seem eager to leave. Pasco leaned forward and she kissed him. Gently, first, just her soft lips against his. Then hungrier, more insistent. They folded together, one of his hands against her back, his other gripping her thigh, hers tangled up in his hair. She tasted like honey mead and it made his mouth water even more.

Pasco knew that Pem swept by again because he heard the woman giggle as she went. It was a good thing that, for whatever reason, making out was fine by the tavern’s rules even though sex wasn’t. Because, if they’d taken any issue with it, there was nothing on earth that could have stopped him.

Part 2: On the Road, The Dragon's Tower

Chapter 11: Two Things

Ada’s satisfaction was short-lived as she became aware of her own aching desire. She looked back and realized that her wetness had started flowing freely from her, past her scaly outer labia. Her inner labia were swollen with arousal, smooth and black and now visible as they pressed her scales apart, advertising that her dragon sex was open for business. She started to look around, with growing urgency, for an appropriate implement, like a fallen log or a boulder. She wasn’t above humping a tree, or —

There was a surge of pleasure around her sex, so intense that she nearly fell over. Pasco stood under her, stroking around her inner labia as he had her muzzle earlier. He dipped a hand up between them and it came back thick with the clear fluid, and he licked it off his hand like a bear eating honey.

Ada shuddered and flopped over onto her side, exposing her belly to him. He rubbed his hands down the scales of her outer labia, which were incredibly sensitive despite being firm and ridged. This inspired another gush of wetness. Ada settled into fuzzy bliss once again.

This time, she complemented his ministrations with pressure and rubbing from the tops of her back feet, her knuckles rubbing across those sensitive scales.

“What’s your safe word?” he asked.

She thought it not terribly necessary, when she was a dragon and could break him without so much as a second’s warning, but she appreciated it all the same.

“‘Red’ is good for me too,” she moaned. She wondered what he was planning that might need—

Oh. Oh. Oh.

His hands were inside her labia, pressing against her own inner walls. She’d never actually ventured such a thing, always finding it easy enough to come just from stimulating her outer labia or by licking herself. But oh, oh god, he was finding her dragon clit.

The sensation was so much more intense than the diffuse pleasure that her labia provided, immensely pleasurable and yet nearly intolerable. It inspired a different sort of urgency, an abrupt and consuming desperation, and she was soon hissing and writhing and snarling. It took all her focus to keep from kicking him, or lashing with her tail, or doing something else that might have so easily torn open his fragile body.

Ada then realized that the safe word was more for his benefit, whether he had known that or not when he asked. She really could break him in a moment and he might be hard-pressed to distinguish her sounds of pleasure from anger.

She could hardly tell the difference either. This was torture, really wonderful torture. His hands up inside of her. Her so sensitive, him invasive but welcomed, the sensation new and uncertain but she wanted more of it, she wanted it harder.

“That feels so good,” she said. “It’s driving me… crazy… I can’t…”

She looked down to see him elbow-deep inside of, working her clit and her labia, grinning wide.

She whimpered. “I can’t, I’m sorry, I can’t take it, I need—” she tried to roll away but the motion brought the pressure of his hands against her edges and that sensation captured her.

She started to wiggle around him. “I need, I need to come.” She found an angle and started fucking herself against his arms, which was still an agonizingly light sensation, but as she clenched her sex, and with her back feet rubbing outside and around her, and at the sight of him buried in her, it was all just enough, just barely enough, to tip her over the edge.

“I need, I need, I— I’m going, I’m cuuuuaaaaaah!~”

Her own muscles contracted in pleasurable wave, squeezing Pasco’s arms and gushing fem-cum over them, the sensation of heat and lightness and pure pleasure washing over her and the world going bright with sparkling lights, like it did each time she transformed.

As the waves of pleasure finally faded, she found Pasco had fallen over her. Ada realized just how much larger he was than her when she was human. He quickly shifted to avoid crushing her, but she rolled towards him to stay tangled up together.

They lay together and Ada nuzzled up into him as their hearts and breathing slowed. She reached a hand up and smoothed his beard over his cheek, then ran her fingers gently through the coarse hair. He was still damp from burying himself in her folds, and she smiled.

He looked down at her with his morning fog eyes, his kind smile crinkling them shut like the warmth of dawn breaking out over the horizon.

“Hm,” Pasco said. His voice vibrated in his chest beneath her.

“Hm?” Ada said.

“Two things have just occurred to me,” Pasco said.


“One, I appear to have kidnapped you more than rescued you.”

“Oh,” Ada said. She hadn’t really thought of it that way. She would have left the tower months prior but… she just didn’t know where to go. “You couldn’t have taken me if I didn’t want to come.”

“Oh, did you want to come? Or did you want to come?”

“Yes,” Ada said breathily. He was as clever as he was handsome, and Ada would have sworn she had known him two years, not two days.

Pasco laughed. It was warm and perfect with her ear to his chest like that.

“I was lonely,” Ada said. “And you were all beautiful. And different. And your horses have scales. And you don’t have to wear shirts. And your culture is sexy.”

Pasco nodded. “All of those things are true. So I suppose that makes you neither our hostage nor our refugee, but our traveling companion.”

Ada’s head was finally starting to return to sane thought. “Well, when… when I was your refugee, did you intend to, um, well, usually those who venture to the tower are princes intending to, earn a marriage right, so is that… what… um…” Ada had been loathe to suffer any talk of marriage for years, and yet suddenly, she was very very interested. 

She had just sprung upon him the secret of the century and he had taken it totally in stride. Actually, he’d taken it totally in the ass. Gods, that had been amazing. Any man that loved it when she ate him out like that was a man that she wanted to keep very close for a very long time. And he was not lacking in ways to please her, either.

“I am a prince, that’s true,” Pasco said.

“You are?” Ada said. She had never seen a prince that seemed, well, this functional. They had all either been insufferably pompous or worryingly frail. Pasco was strong and firm and virile, and kind and clever and gentle. He was as close to Ada’s definition of ‘prince’ as she was to her parents’ definition of ‘princess’.

“Don’t sound so surprised,” he teased.

“I mean, I’m not, just, I thought I knew all of the kingdoms and I don’t know… yours, apparently.” Part of the reason that the western tower had been abandoned was because all of the powers in the West were now accounted for politically. Ada thought she knew of them all, especially from the history books in the tower, but perhaps she had missed one?

“You wouldn’t,” Pasco said.

“Well that seems presumptuous,” Ada said. She was very well read, after all!

“I come from the kingdom of pirates.”

“Oh. Wait, what?”

“You think pirates can’t have organization?”

“No, I just didn’t think… that pirate royalty would come so far inland to fetch some random princess out of a tower.” Pirate royalty? It did make a kind of sense to Ada. She had read that pirates were often employed as privateers by this kingdom or that. Was it really so different if they made their own kingdom on the seas? Except for that their kingdom seemed very different than hers. For one, they were not so shy about breasts. Or sex.

“Not some random princess. A princess guarded by a dragon.” He put his fingertip to her nose.

She scrunched her face at him, sticking out her tongue, even though she loved it. How could they have known each other two days, and yet already feel so familiar? “You said you had dragons where you’re from? Something about that?” Her books had hinted at places that dragons might still be plentiful, but there had only been speculation.

“We do,” he said. “They’ve been nearly all driven from this continent, but there’s plenty on the seas. That’s not even mentioning the places we sail to, unmapped and wild. We’re used to dealing with dragons, but your folk, not so much. Once we’d heard how many of your knights had failed, we were concerned the dragon might not be content with its territory and might start to roam. That could be disastrous. We wanted to nip that in the bud, so to speak, and leverage that respect to get a few more kingdoms to… subscribe to our protection fees. When the dragon didn’t show at the tower, I’d hoped we’d see it on the trip.” He smiled. “I wasn’t disappointed.”

“So you only brought me along as bait?” Ada pouted.

“Not at all,” Pasco said. “We may do things differently on the sea, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know the marriage traditions in this place. It would be unkind to take your dragon and leave you in the tower, when you could live in comfort with us.”

Ada once again found herself very keen to understand Pasco’s intentions. “So you were sort of thinking… a marriage in name only or… something like that…”

Pasco laughed. “A first lesson about pirates — try asking your actual question and you’ll probably like the answer a lot more.”

Ada shifted so that she could see his face, him lying on his back and her lying on his chest. For all her hedging, she knew exactly what she wanted. Could she truly just be straightforward? There was only one way to find out. “Would you be my lover?”

He tucked her hair behind her ear. “Yes, I would like that very much, my little dragon.”

She purred and folded into him. It was all happening so fast, but she had no interest in slowing it down. In that quiet moment, her mind flicked back to the start of the conversation. “What was the other thing?” she said. “You said ‘one’ like there was a ‘two’.”

“Ah,” he said, “Yes. Two. You destroy your clothes when you turn into a dragon, don’t you?”

Ada looked down at herself. She was completely naked. Pasco still had his trowsers around his ankles. 

“Ah,” she said, “Yes, yes I do.”

It was fully dark when they returned to camp, but nobody was asleep. Ada was wearing Pasco’s trousers, and Pasco was completely naked. “Nothing my crew haven’t seen before,” he had said, and that had raised Ada’s eyebrows.

She understood as soon as they came into view of the camp. Everyone was naked.

Forte was fucking Missa, who lay on the ground with Teoda straddling her face, and Sendia had her dick between Teoda’s breasts.

Forte noticed them approach. “Hey, captain!” he said. “Heard you two fuckin’ in th’ woods an’ figgered the ban was up.”

“That’s only fair,” Pasco said.

The four continued their revelry but each had a half eye turned towards Ada, as if a bit wary to see how she was going to react.

Ada’s heart was singing. It was like a full choir was inside of her chest, swelling louder and louder and louder. If she was dreaming, she didn’t care. She would fully commit. She would live this new life with every ounce of her being for as long as it lasted. 

“Fuck yes,” she said, “You all are the best.”

Ada and Pasco settled in to cuddle and watch the rest of the crew finish their orgy. And finish they did. Several times.