Filling the Gap
by Camille Sinensis (Teapot_
Author: Camile_Sinensis (email@example.com)
Spoilers: Shades and Ghosts
Caeru discovers that one Aghama is better than two Tigrons…
Filling The Gap
A long tendril of blonde hair tickled past Pell’s ear as he sat hunched over a pile of papers at his desk, and he felt the warmth of another body pressing into his back, hands gently encircling his neck.
“Not now, Rue,” he sighed, turning over another sheet of paper and staring intently at it
“But Pe-ell…” Rue’s voice took on a slightly petulant tone, “It’s been ever so long and I….mmmm….”
Pell didn’t know whether to be pleased about the fact that the insertion of Rue’s tongue into his left ear mean that the Tigrina could no longer continue his wheedlings, or annoyed about his consorts’s persistence and bad timing. Annoyance won the day.
“For goodness sake, Rue, not now – can’t you see I’m busy!
He felt the other har’s body stiffen, and experienced a small twinge of guilt at his curt dismissal of Rue’s amorous advances, but Rue could be just so… demanding… at times.
“Fine!” sniffed Rue. “I’ll find someone else! It’s not like I have to beg, or anything. Most hara find me quite attractive I’ll have you know!”
Pell was rewarded by a thump between his shoulder-blades which was not entirely playful. Rue’s voice had dropped half an octave, and his fluffy, feminine demeanour dissolved. Pell cringed inwardly. He knew what Rue was like when he was in one of these moods, and he almost felt sorry for the unsuspecting har who was about to be Rue’s victim.
“I think Cal is just next door….” he informed Rue. There’s a place in hell reserved for me now he thought morosely, but consoled himself with the thought that Cal was quite able to take care of himself, and should be able to mount a creditable defense against the aruna-seeking missile which was the Tigrina.
Rue flounced out determinedly, and headed straight for Cal’s apartments which were just next door. Without bothering to knock, he swept in past the unsurprised servants, who were used to such incursions.
“Ca-al…” he warbled, poking his head around the door to a private sitting room. As expected, Cal was within, wrestling with what appeared to be a large metal object.
“Rue how marvellous to see you come in why don’t you” Cal’s greeting was delivered with his customary charm, but his attention never left the strange object he was fiddling with.
Rue scowled. He was not in the mood for a lukewarm reception, especially after having just received the brush-off from Pell. He walked slinkily over to Cal, hips swaying seductively and planted himself on the other side of the low table upon which the object of Cal’s fascination rested.
Cal looked up, gave him a brief, feral grin, then returned to his fiddling. A few cogs and sprockets within the object went “poing”.
Rue knelt down and placed his elbows on the table, leaning forward with his face cupped in his hands.
“What are you doing?” he asked, feigning interest in the mechanism, all the while fluttering his eyelashes unsubtly at Cal.
“Well, you see….” Cal started off enthusiastically, then stopped as he noticed Rue undulating himself across the table top.
“More to the point, what are you doing, Rue?” he asked, running his hand through his short, unruly hair nervously.
“Well…” Rue sighed tragically, reclining his full length upon the table and staring up at a point somewhere near the ceiling with misted blue eyes.
“I went to see Pell. I was hoping we could have a little… excitement… but he wasn’t interested. He’s no fun at all these days!” Rue pouted prettily and rolled onto his stomach. He smiled his most winning smile, and blinked hopefully at Cal.
“Uh…that’s shame,” agreed Cal, hastily rescuing his treasured object from Rue’s table-top squirmings.
“Mmm.. ” said Rue, arching his back, causing his pert and perfectly rounded bottom to raise itself in the general direction of Cal’s face.
Cal screwed up his face in mock-anguish and groaned theatrically. “Oh put it away, Rue – that’s very distracting. I’ve only got this widget for a couple of hours before the Hegemony want it back and…”
“Widget!?” snapped Rue, gathering himself upright. “WIDGET?? What sort of har are you, Calanthe? Here I am, the Tigrina of Immanion, prostrating myself at your feet – Rue stood up and rose to his full height at this point – and all you can think about is…. is…. widgets!!”
Rue stamped his foot and glared at Cal furiously. Unfortunately, given his slender build and lack of stature, this was less intimidating than he imagined.
Cal grinned. He loved it when Rue got angry. He found the Tigrina’s flailings quite endearing, and more enticing than any of his contrived attempts at seduction.
“You’re really cute when you’re angry Rue…. I…. ooooww! What the….?”
Cal howled and grabbed his shin, where the pointed toe of the Tigrina’s expensive, hand-made leather boot had just made crunching contact.
“Don’t patronise me!” Rue shrieked furiously. I am not “cute”. I am the FUCKING TIGRINA and I have NEEDS!!” Rue delivered his rebuke with feeling, then turned on his heel, tossed his long mane of blonde hair, and stomped out of the room.
“Aw, Rue.. don’t be like that…” Cal called after him, grinning as he rubbed his shin. “I promise you… I’ll make it up to you later….. Twice!…”
Cal’s last enticement went unheard. The Tigrina had already swept out of his apartments like a miniature thunderstorm.
Cal chuckled quietly to himself and returned to his widget. “…one of those days,” he muttered wisely, to no-one in particular.
Caeru, meanwhile had stormed off down the long hallway leading from Cal’s apartments, muttering darkly to himself. Incensed and frustrated, he failed to notice anything or anyone else, until he collided with a tall and imposing figure who had just come from another doorway.
Caeru instinctively grabbed at the other har to prevent himself from falling flat on his pert and rounded bottom. His found his face pressed into a warm body. Long red hair poured down the other har’s chest, and tickled Caeru’s nose. Even in his four-and-a-half inch stiletto heeled boots, Caeru was still the shorter of the two by almost a foot. Caeru looked up cautiously and met the faintly amused gaze of The Aghama looking down at him.
“Tigrina.” Thiede greeted him politely.
“Yes,” sniffed Caeru, stepping back a little, but still holding onto Thiede’s sleeve. “I am the f… I am the Tigrina, and they don’t appreciate me!”
“I’m sure they don’t,” Thiede agreed calmly. Seeing that Caeru looked a little distraught, Thiede took pity on him.
“Come along my dear, let’s have a little sit down and you can tell me all about it…”
Caeru allowed Thiede to guide him back through the still-open door and into a medium-sized salon. He didn’t recognise the room, but Phaonica was a vast edifice, and there were many parts of it he had never seen. This room looked like a library, or a reception room of sorts. Books lined the wall, and two large, comfortable-looking couches faced each other in the centre of the space. A large window on the opposite wall was screened by a translucent blind, but let in enough light to give the place a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
“Now, what appears to be the problem?” Thiede enquired
Caeru let go of his death-grip on Thiede’s sleeve and smoothed his own clothing. He straightened his back and lifted his chin, attempting to regain his composure.
“My consorts, ” he announced, with great dignity “… are failing in their… conjugal duties”
“Their… what?” Thiede looked understandably bemused. Rue scowled briefly, then his expression became wistful. He looked up at Thiede, wide-eyed.
“It’s not much to ask, is it?” he demanded plaintively
Thiede sighed, and looked down at the small creature in front of him. He’d always had a soft spot for Caeru. Cal and Pell were both extraordinarily powerful individuals, and Caeru was really no match for either of them. Nevertheless, he was sweet and pretty and generally good-natured (when he wasn’t being denied his… conjugal rights…), and Thiede went more out of his way than he would ever admit to try to ensure that the Tigrina’s whims were indulged. Perhaps he still felt a little guilty for forcing Caeru to become Tigrina; perhaps he just spoilt him as one would a favoured, pretty child. Whatever the reason, Thiede resolved to have another word with Cal and Pell about their domestic arrangements. He patted Caeru’s hair, a little self-consciously, and smiled what he hoped was a reassuring smile.
Rue smiled back at him. His hair was his biggest vanity, and he loved to have it stroked, loved it when Pell or Call ran their fingers through its soft lengths. Cal’s hair was too short to do anything with, and Pell’s was gorgeous, but rather heavy and coarse. Rue looked at Thiede’s hair, which hung past his waist, and noticed as if for the first time its unusual colour. Red, but not the rusty shade found naturally in humans. Darker. More intense. More…. red. Almost the colour of bright blood, or velvety hibiscus flowers. Rue had the sudden urge to discover what it felt like, and not being a har who was good a practising self-denial, he reached forward and took a long strand of red between his fingers. It felt like water. Smooth and cool and strangely sensuous. Rue bit his bottom lip thoughtfully and looked up again at Thiede, his expression now curiously languid.
Thiede was taken aback slightly. He was not used to other hara touching his person. Technically, Rue wasn’t actually touching his… person… but still… The Tigrina rubbed the long strands of vermilion hair between his fingers and gazed up at him with huge, cornflower-blue eyes fringed by long, dark, fluttering lashes. His lips were full and softly pink, with just a hint of deweyness. His skin was creamy, fuzzed slightly like a peach, and delicately blushed. Thiede could imagine biting into it and the sweet juice running into his mouth….
He blinked, slightly surprised at himself. Caeru was lovely. Anyhar could see that. Not just one, but two Tigrons had found him irresistible (and most of the rest of Immanion too, if rumours were to be believed), so it was hardly surprising that even he would notice such beguiling attractiveness.. Thiede raised one hand, and with the side of his index finger stroked Caeru’s cheek. It was infinitely softer than any peachskin. He sighed almost imperceptibly.
Caeru felt a small, electric frisson run through him at Thiede’s touch. He could sense the other har’s power. It was something he’d always been able to do. He was drawn to powerful hara. Like Pell. And Cal. Somehow, it made him feel safe, being with a strong har. And there was no har more powerful than Thiede. He was The Aghama. And yet he was also…. Rue looked up at Thiede, ignoring the developing crick in his neck. He stared at his face directly – something he had rarely, if ever, dared to do before. He took in the high cheekbones and elegant, slanting eyes – good bone structure – and the soft, almost vulnerable curve of the lips which gave lie to the hint of cruelty in the eyes. He wasn’t just the Aghama, he was…
…beautiful… Caeru thought to himself.
Totally forgetting that, being the Aghama, Thiede could overhear his thoughts.
Rue let the strands of hair fall from between his fingers. Tentatively, he reached across and brushed his fingertips lightly over Thiede’s chest. He ran his fingers down and let them pause somewhere above the other’s midriff. It was scarcely necessary at this point to have the mind-reading powers of a Nahir-Nuri to know exactly what was in Caeru’s thoughts. Thiede grasped the Tigrina’s wandering hand gently in his own, before it could travel any further.
“Caeru,” he said gently, “It would not be a good idea for you to proceed any further. I am not like other hara. I am far more powerful, and the experience of physical union with myself would be more intense than you could possibly imagine.”
Thiede looked down into Rue’s wide, astonished eyes and realised he had said exactly the wrong thing.
Almost in slow motion, he saw Rue’s pupils dilate, felt his breathing quicken and his pulse begin to race. Rue’s small pink tongue flicked from his mouth, licking his lips nervously, leaving them glistening with moisture. Thiede could feel him quivering, like a wine-glass that had been stroked to sound a note. He could feel a need and a hunger in him, pouring out of him in waves. When he spoke, his voice was shaky, but it was not fear that made it so.
“I” he gasped “am the Tigrina. I have taken two Tigrons to my bed, and left them both begging for mercy, and I have had enough of being refused today!”
Rue made no attempt to free himself from Thiede’s grasp, but his other hand took over from where the first had been thwarted. His fingers stroked the smooth silk of Thiede’s shirt, then moved over his slender hips. The leather which encased Thiede’s lower half was butter-soft, and Rue could feel every contour of his body through it. He moved his hand deliberately between Thiede’s legs, and felt the hardness there. Rue made a small noise in the back of his throat, high pitched, almost pleading, and began to knead and stroke the swelling, feeling it grow ever larger under his encouraging touch.
“You want me,” he breathed, his voice low and shaky.
There was no way Thiede could deny it – his body betrayed his feelings. He didn’t move as Rue cupped and squeezed his growing erection. Even through the leather, it felt good. Rue was an expert at such things and it showed. Thiede had no doubt that the Tigrina’s claim to have left his consorts drained was no idle boast. A small, traitorous part of his brain whispered to him to go ahead – Caeru is no inexperienced harling – he has bedded Cal, Pell, Velaxis, and many others who are almost as powerful as you. And you do want him – you’ve wanted him for a very long time – but in another corner of his mind lurked an awful anxiety. Caeru was small and fragile, like a delicate flower. In his mind’s eye he saw that flower crushed and broken. It was too dreadful to contemplate. Paralysed by indecision, he hesitated, and was lost.
He made one last unconvincing attempt to repel the Tigrina’s advances, but Caeru, as it turned out, was rather stronger than his delicate appearance suggested, and Thiede was rather more unprepared than he had supposed, and with a sudden shove, Thiede found himself unexpectedly flat on his back on one of the well-padded sofas with the triumphant Tigrina straddling him, sitting heavily on his now all-too-prominent erection, which – he decided – was not an entirely unpleasant sensation.
A very small part of Caeru was mildly horrified by what he had just done, but that small part received a good kicking from the very much larger part of him which was screaming with unsatisfied desire, and left the building never to be seen again. Rue looked at his captive underneath him, and drank in the sight and smell and feeling – oh yes, the feeling! – of another har’s body. He could feel Thiede’s insistent hardness under him, pressing into the hot area between his legs, making it wet and eager in response, and he could feel that wetness seeping into his loose silk trousers, leaving them sticky and damp . He rocked his hips slightly and was rewarded by a small grunt of pleasure from his prisoner. Rue gave a wicked little smile. He felt powerful, and in control. Compared with many of the finest hara of Immanion, Rue was not especially gifted with preternatural abilities, but there was one thing he was good at – and knew he was good at – and that was the art of aruna. Rue could make a har squirm and writhe with ecstasy; could make him plead for release and beg for it to begin again, and he intended to do just that!
He grasped both of Thiede’s wrists roughly, and pinned them to the cushions behind his head. Thiede made no move either to prevent him, or to free himself and Rue trembled slightly as his mind supplied him with new and exciting fantasies. How would it feel, he wondered, to tie him up? – To have the Aghama, the most powerful har in the world, completely at his mercy. He shivered, and the wetness between his legs increased and spread.
Removing one hand from Thiede’s imprisoned wrist, he trailed his fingers across the other’s chest. He undid the top buttons of the garment covering Thiede’s upper body and laid an experimental palm on the exposed skin. It felt warm and soft and alive, a steady heartbeat travelling through blood and bone. Investigating further, his fingers grazed over a nipple, and he felt an answering pulse lower down. Slowly and carefully, he unfastened the last buttons. The material was loose and flimsy, and flowed away to the sides leaving the body underneath exposed and naked. Caeru admired the view for a moment, then turned his attention to dealing with the rest of the intrusive clothing.
There were 5 mother-of-pearl buttons down the front of Thiede’s leather trousers, and these did not give up as easily as the previous ones; they were already straining tautly, trying to contain the bulge within. Caeru worried at the top one for a few moments, pretending that the straying touch of his fingers over Thiede’s hardness was merely an accidental by-product of his concentration to the task in hand. The top button gave way finally, then the second and the third. Triumphantly, Caeru slid his hand inside and wrapped his soft fingers around Thiede’s erection. It was hot and tense against his belly, and also pleasingly large – his hand could barely encircle it. Rue almost purred in anticipation. He continued to deliver firm, encouraging strokes, and Thiede responded with an upward thrust of his hips, and a slight gasp of indrawn breath. No other sound. Rue looked down, and Thiede’s yellow, glittering eyes were watching him keenly, like a cat watches some invisible prey.
Not a screamer. thought Rue. Definitely not. Restrained. Repressed. Powerful. In a masculine sort of way. Rue smiled again. He knew how to deal with that sort of hot, male energy. He was the Tigrina, after all.
Ceasing his ministrations momentarily, Rue removed his hand and undid the drawstring around the waist of his own trousers. The loose-fitting garment slid from his hips, and with a couple of practiced shakes of the Tigrina’s legs, ended up on the floor, leaving Rue clad only in a flowing, embroidered blouse and his shiney black leather stiletto ankle boots. Rue had no intention of removing those. He opened the the fastenings of the blouse with deliberate, provocative slowness.
Thiede watched Caeru intently, feeling his arousal grow. There was something almost artless about the Tigrina’s performance. This was not Darquiel’s inexperienced fumblings; nor Pellaz’ aristocratic languour; nor yet Velaxis’ ruthless professionalism. Messy and uninhibited – that was what aruna with Rue would be like, thought Thiede, and for no discernible reason he felt just a little nervous about the prospect.
Rue wriggled forward a little, adjusting his position, and Thiede felt his wetness. He shuddered and arched his hips again, but Rue rose with him, riding him expertly, so that his aching flesh only rubbed teasingly against the slippery-soft outer folds of the Tigrina’s soume lam instead of sliding into him. He relaxed again, squirming slightly with frustration. Obviously this was going to be conducted on Rue’s terms, and there was very little he could do about it. Even if he had wanted to.
Rue gave a small, dirty laugh and leant forward. His soft lips brushed briefly over Thiede’s face, barely touching, then moved across to breathe warm, moist breath in his ear.
“You like that, don’t you?” he murmured, rocking his hips gently, each time pulling away fractionally as Thiede attempted to enter him. “I know what hara like… I know what hara… like you…. like… I can make it good for you…” His breathing became slightly ragged and he suddenly pressed his lips down forcefully on Thiede’s. He felt Thiede’s tongue enter his mouth, and he sucked it gently.
Peaches. Thiede though, as Caeru’s mouth descended. But he was wrong. Caeru didn’t taste of peaches. Caeru tasted of roses. Roses and violets. And in among the flower petals was all the messy, untidy, wrongness of Caeru’s thoughts, except it wasn’t like that at all – it was gentle and welcoming, and sweet and caring, and he could taste Caeru’s love for Pellaz, for Cal, for his children, for his friends, for his home, even – oh child, what did I ever do to deserve it? – for himself.
Caeru sat up again suddenly, a small trail of saliva leaking from the corner of his mouth, his eyes blazing. Thiede knew what the Tigrina had tasted in him. Power. Taken by surprise, he had had no time to shield it, and for a split second he thought that Caeru would run away in fear, but the expression on the Tigrina’s face told him otherwise. It was not fear, it was sheer, naked lust. Even without sharing breath, Thiede could feel it. You know what you like, too, Caeru. he thought with something bordering on amusement.
Rue took hold of Thiede’s hardness again, more determinedly this time. He was no longer teasing. He guided it to the entrance of his soume lam and slowly forced himself down upon it, uttering a series of small, hitching gasps. In other circumstances, he would have prolonged the foreplay, using his hands and mouth and tongue and lips to pleasure his partner almost to the point of orgasm, but today he had his own needs to satisfy
Thiede felt himself engulfed and possessed. The warm wetness surrounding him squeezed him hard, causing pulses of pleasure to ripple through him. His hips rose again, and this time Caeru did not pull away, but thrust down hard, seeking his own satisfaction.
Caeru arched his back and threw his head back, uttering a long, low moan of appreciation as Thiede penetrated him fully. His loose blouse slipped from one shoulder, revealing more of his perfectly translucent skin. Below his navel, however, his perfection was cruelly marred. Thiede gazed with detached curiosity at the lumpy network of scars scrawled over Caeru’s abdomen, like some obscene graffiti. The flesh was puckered and misshapen, but when Thiede ran his hand over the scars, they felt as soft as the rest of Caeru’s body. If Rue was offended by Thiede’s investigations, then he didn’t show it. He seemed to enjoy being touched there as much as he did everywhere else.
We are all scarred. Even if the marks are hidden. And few of us can bear to have them seen, or touched. Why are you so brave, Caeru, when the rest of us are such cowards?
Thiede knew that the damage was not just on the surface; there were parts of Caeru’s body that would never again function as they should. Diabolo had been the one to cut his body. The knife Pellaz had wielded had been sharper still, but he had refused to succumb to self-pity, refused to become embittered, or erect barriers. Rue’s warm, extravagant affection continued to wash over him in profligate abundance, without fear or wariness, as if he had never been hurt by life, and never would be. Finally, Thiede understood why his power would not crush and destroy the Tigrina. If there are no barriers, there is nothing to be broken
Caeru was not a har who was in denial about the dual aspect of his body. If asked, he would perform the masculine role without hesitation, for he was obliging, and liked to please. But he was rarely asked, and if truth be told, that did not bother him overmuch. His fantasies were always of penetration; of some large, powerful har filling him completely and touching all the soft, pleasurable places deep within him. He loved the feeling of another har’s heat and hardness inside him. He squeezed his inner muscles around Thiede’s swollen ouana-lim, causing them both to moan with pleasure. Thiede bit his lip and stifled the sound. Caeru did not.
Rue could see no virtue in being silent during aruna, and therefore never was. He wanted his partner to know how much he was enjoying it. He was also not averse to giving some advice if the desired results weren’t being achieved, but that, plainly, was not going to be an issue today.
He understood that not all hara were as forthcoming as himself, but he needed some reassurance that his partner was also experiencing the same pleasure. He curled a few, soft, enquiring tendrils of his consciousness around Thiede’s thoughts. It was different to anything he had experienced before. Harder. Sharper. More intense. A vast, dark ocean of power, of things unknown and unknowable. Caeru was not surprised to discover there was pain there too – all hara had their secret hurts and while Rue knew he could not heal such things, having neither the knowledge nor the power – he at least knew he had the ability, for a short while, to make others forget.
He began to move more purposefully, trying to find the right rhythm. Rhythm was important. Rhythm and flow. Many spiritually-inclined hara practiced such things for years to achieve the optimum results during aruna. For Rue, it was simply a happy natural talent, although he certainly took the opportunity to practice as often as he could. Thiede’s hips thrust upwards fiercely in response to Rue’s grindings, and as the two gradually synchronised and found their tempo, the thrusts became harder and more urgent, driving deep into the Tigrina’s body and eliciting from him a series of increasingly abandoned growls and squeals.
it’s…all… about… rhythm…, thought Rue, trying in his head to integrate the rhythm of his own heartbeat, pounding in his ears like surf, and the rhythm of Thiede’s increasingly forceful thrusts, …rhythm… and flow… and flow… and rhythm… andahugehothard….
“h…aaaah..ah.. harder! a-AAH!”
Rue’s scream was half demanding, half pleading.. It seemed to him as if all the little rills of pleasure he had been experiencing had suddenly decided to converge somewhere in his lower abdomen, joining together to form something bigger, something growing. It was outwith his control now – a chain reaction. He screamed again and his fingers spasmed and clutched at Thiede’s side, nails digging into skin painfully.
Thiede could hear screaming, and he wasn’t sure whether it was him or the Tigrina, but then the sounds ceased abruptly and Rue’s body locked in seizure and became silent and rigid except for the twisting of his face and the clenching of his jaw and the grasping of his fingers in a death-lock. In the same instant, Thiede ejaculated hot liquid deep inside Rue’s body and climaxed hard and fast. He didn’t even have time to worry about the possible consequences before the force of Rue’ orgasm hit him like a tidal wave, knocking the breath from him. He felt as if he was drowning, unable to breath, He tried to force the air into his lungs, but then another wave hit him, and another. He was beginning to feel as if he would never surface again, when Rue’s body went limp, and he collapsed on top of Thiede, gasping and shaking.
Rue lay still for a moment, his heartbeat still thundering in his ears. After some seconds, he remembered to unclench his fingers, which were still dug deep into Thiede’s flesh. He released his grip, as if surprised to find his digits had misbehaved themselves while he hadn’t been paying attention, and stroked the red marks on Thiede’s skin apologetically.
Thiede responded by draping his arm lightly over the Tigrina’s shoulders, and was rewarded by Rue hugging him tightly and nuzzling affectionately into the crook of his neck. It was an unexpected intimacy and he was taken aback slightly. He felt something twist inside him, like a blunt knife, but couldn’t quite be sure what it was. He pulled Caeru a little tighter, feeling the damp skin and hair and smelling the sweet scent of his body. The emotional storm which the Tigrina had carried with him earlier had blown itself out, leaving only summer skies behind, and Thiede could feel his contentment radiating like sunlight Caeru twisted in his arms, looked up at him and smiled.
“Better?” Thiede asked him
Rue nodded. His face was soft and pretty. Almost child-like. Happy.
If only all problems were so easily solved
Rue stretched his toes and giggled mischievously “… better than Pell..”
He touched the side of Thiede’s face, and placed a soft, gentle kiss on his cheek before whispering conspiratorially in his ear:
“but don’t you ever – ever – tell him I said so!”
Widget discarded like last season’s lover, Cal found himself in the long, high-ceilinged palace corridor outside his apartments. Almost simultaneously, Pellaz joined him, a look of concern upon his face.
“Did you hear that?”
“It sounded like Rue…”
They looked at each other for a brief moment, then simultaneous they began to run towards the sounds. Unspoken between them was the memory of another awful day. Pell felt his stomach twist. Surely this cannot be happening again…. He reached the source of the commotion first, with Cal only a few feet behind. By the time they tracked down the exact location, the screaming had stopped, and Pell burst through the door, his face black with foreboding.
He came to an abrupt halt, and Cal ran straight into the back of him. The two Tigrons stared in horror.
Thiede was calmly fastening the last button on his trousers. Having done so, he ran his hands through his hair to straighten it, adjusted his crotch and turned to the two interlopers with an enquiring look upon his face.
Caeru was sitting on the sofa, wearing nothing but a flimsy blouse, a pair of black leather stiletto boots and a blissful, vacant smile.
Pell opened his mouth, but no words came. Cal was similarly dumbstruck.
“Is there a problem, tiahara?” asked Thiede innocently.
“You… he… you didn’t….?”
Caeru’s smile only widened.
The power of speech returned to Cal more readily, being of the two the more used to awkward and embarrassing situations, but he did not look best pleased about the turn of events
“Oh, I’ll think you’ll find that they did!”
He glared at Thiede. The Aghama affected not to notice his hostility. He finished his adjustments, gave a brief smile to the distracted Tigrina and approached the two Tigrons, who shifted uneasily.
“My dears,” he addressed them carefully, as if they were both slightly hard of hearing, “I realise that the burden of running our illustrious civilisation is a heavy one, and your duties are many and onerous. I am only to happy to help out on those occasions when it all proves to much for you, and you cannot cope. However, do bear in mind that I am semi-retired from the social intercourse, as it were, of daily life in Phaonica, and also,” – here the very slightest edge crept into his tone “… there *are* two of you, Tiahaara – surely you can manage to keep up. – in shifts, if you have to! Good day to you both, I trust we shall have no further need to discuss these events.”
With this last riposte, Thiede exited in his usual grand and intimidating manner, leaving two chastened Tigrons, and one oblivious Tigrina.
Cal shrugged and picked Rue’s discarded pantaloons up off the floor. He tossed them to the Tigrina, who finally seemed to have come to his senses a little. His huge blue eyes blinked, as he realised the situation.
“Oops.” he said cheerfully
“Just… put your clothes on.” sighed Pell heavily.
Caeru smiled at him beatifically.
Pel noticed that the ivory-coloured fabric of the sofa was now stained with the residue of Thiede and Caeru’s coupling. Feeling somewhat aggrieved, he took Rue’s silk trousers and attempted, unsuccessfully, to wipe away the evidence.
“What we need,” growled Cal, “is some lemon juice”
“Oh,” said Rue, eyes wide with admiration at Cal’s cleverness “And will that clean it off?”
Cal touched his consort’s still-smiling lips with the tip of his finger. “No, but it’ll wipe that damned smirk off your face!!”