Cut and Run Ch. 14

Cut and Run Chapter 14

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 “Uuuuhhhmmmm.” I began, looking between Frazziss, Pirin, and Angelique, as the Were-cat and I lay in a post-coital afterglow, atop of Frazziss’ nest-bed.

I was floundering for a reasonable explanation, as I suddenly observed that Frazziss was starting to blow smoke out of her nose.

“She followed me home?” I quipped.

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With that snarky remark of mine Frazziss’ eyes, which were already burning a dull red, flared into a nova-like intensity. She then jumped forward lunging towards me with a fierce snarl bursting from her lips, while simultaneously transforming herself into her native Dragon-form mid-arc.

‘UH, UH, UH!’ I shouted soundlessly, my mouth agape. It was all I could manage as her body mass increased by an order of magnitude, landing atop and pinning me to the granite slab, nearly cutting off my ability to breathe. I tried to push her off of me, but I came up far too short.

Where an instant before was the succulent-kissable mouth of my hot-babe/Dragon-wife. Now, lay a mass of slavering fangs protruding from a T-Rex sized reptilian maw. It became painfully obvious to me in that moment, that she was easily capable of biting my head off.

My already spiking heartbeat, tripled when she reared her head and opened her mouth, exposing a seemingly endless number of razor-sharp teeth. She then plunged forward and encased the front half of my head with her jaws.

This action of hers gave me a momentary grand view of the interior of her mouth. In that half-second, I had an inkling of what the Jurassic Park lawyer must’ve felt like, just before his terrifying shredded end.

I froze up, as she resolutely slowly sealed her lips around my head, then pressed them together cutting off my view. I could feel her upper incisor/fangs pressing tightly upon my scalp, and her lower ones pushing up under my chin in an ever-tightening slow embrace.

I shut my mouth, I had to. For in that hellishly endless moment the pressure of her jaws clamping down tight, were forcing my jaws to shut together in an ever increasing ache. Thankfully, she stopped when I started to whimper with the pain of my teeth being crushed into each other.

For some reason, her tongue darted forward then and she molested my face with several saliva-laden swipes, forcing me to clamp down my eyelids. After several heart-thumping seconds, she loosened her bite and pulled her head up and back, leaving several ropes of Dragon-drool bridging between my face and her lips.

It was then in that moment, that I finally got to see my Dragon in her ‘true-form’, and it was truly an awe inspiring sight. She appeared to be a combination of a Portugese Man-of-war, and Godzilla. The 1998 version, not the earlier Zipangese ones.

As she pulled her head still further back from me, I managed to take in more of her majestic glory. In my peripheral vision I noted with annoyance, that her wing claws were scratching grooves in the ceiling of our voluminous bedchamber.

Panting heavily, she forced my gaze to lock with hers. Somehow, I became aware that her forward paw-claws were pinning me underneath her heaviness. She continued to balefully stare down at me, daring me to challenge her dominance!

It was then, that I first felt and then noticed a flicker of movement off to one side in my peripheral vision, allowing me to break Frazziss’ eye-lock. As I glanced over with my eyes, I noticed Angelique starting to scuttle fearfully away from us both. Following my eyes, Frazziss noticed her as well.

Without letting up her overwhelming pressure on my shoulders and wings, she shifted her substantial weight. This allowed me to move enough to view my wife’s Dragon silhouette still further, as Frazziss craned her sinuous snake-like neck up to loom down at the Were-cat, who immediately stopped in her striving to flee.

Frazziss then lowered her head down far enough to bump the granite slab with her chin, as she made a lip-curling snarl that was directed at Angelique.

“MMMMIIIINNNNNNEEEEEE!” she growled gutturally with a fierce territoriality, as her wings flared up to the ceiling and far walls of our bedroom chamber, and then bent partially down and back due to the lack of space to fully accommodate them. I felt her growl more than I heard it, as the granite slab underneath vibrated in tune with her body-churning rumbling.

In that moment, I thought that Angelique was done for. But, luckily for her, the Great Maou’s influence over all of Monster-kind could not be denied any longer. For it was then, that Frazziss’ form wavered and then retracted to her ‘normal’ humanoid form.

Thankfully, I was able to start breathing fully again, as Frazziss’ extra mass went wherever it had come from originally. It must have cost her a substantial amount of energy to do what she’d just done. Frazziss started to shiver with fatigue from her dominant position atop of me, as she dropped her head and wearily closed her eyes.

I tried to move my arms to support her, but that was when she snapped her head up, and her eyes shot open as she began to snarl once more.

“ALLEN!” she yelled, at a level much easier on my ears, “there are search parties out looking for …FOR!!!” she began fiercely, panting with exhaustion. But not letting up with her pinning of me one bit.

“For me?” I asked after a moment, prompting. She got an outraged look.

“FOR YOUR BODY!” she howled, then stopped to catch her breath.

“I thought I felt you die!” She panted/gasped. I gaped like an idiot.

“I felt your pain! It was terrifying in its intensity for a long instant, and THEN IT STOPPED!” she said with a sob. I noticed that she was crying then, as her tears started to drop down onto my face.

“I had no idea where to look for you!” She said with a blazing intensity in her reddened eyes.  “The Home Improver store personnel said that you and Pirin, never came by!” she panted. “Then Pirin showed up! ALONE!” Frazziss yelled, with a quick glance towards where Pirin’d been standing a moment ago.

“She said she saw you get washed away by a flash flood!” she sniffled hesitantly as she let up on my arms, then she got down onto her elbows looking at me all the while. 

“What happened to you?!” she said loudly, as she gripped my face with both her over-sized paws, pressing her head to mine. I noticed that despite her eyes still being red with anger, they were fading enough that I could start to see her irises’ natural purple.

After several seconds, I managed to convince Frazziss to let go of me so that I could sit upright, and she mirrored my stance. I then explained to her and Pirin, what had happened: The thunderstorm, the heating of the rock and Pirin’s need for insulation.

I went on to mention the flash-flood, and that was when Frazziss grabbed me into a rib cracking bear-hug, whimpering. After a moment or three of my attempting to comfort her, she let go and I then continued with my account.

Frazziss listened to me with rapt attention as I described Angelque’s drowning, what I did to bring her back eventually, and the cost. It wasn’t easy for me to explain what I did, as words simply weren’t enough to describe it properly.

During that part of my recitation, Frazziss’ hard look softened when she glanced over at Angelique, then she returned her stern attention to me.  After I described as best I could, the pain of splitting off a portion of my soul and depositing it within Angelique, I felt a soft paw place itself upon one of my wings. Turning, I knew without knowing that it was Angelique’s.

“You did that for me, nyan?” she said, looking at me worshipfully, as tears threatened to overflow her eyes. After I nodded silently, she buried her head into the space between my shoulder and a wing, clutching gratefully at me with both paws. I could feel her quivering there as she sobbed.

It was kinda hard to put an arm around her then, and after a couple of fumbling attempts I gave up. Turning my attention back to Frazziss I noticed her staring at Angelique with a disapproving frown. But, I also saw her give off a momentary smirk. Which heartened me a bit.

 “Allen,” she said after several long seconds with her eyes closed in thought, “don’t you EVER do anything like that to me AGAIN!” she wailed.

“I’m sorry Frazziss, but I was tired…” I began, but I was interrupted.

“Exactly Allen! You were tired from working all day!” she grumbled. “Pirin!” she shouted, turning her head slightly. Pirin was there in an instant alongside us both. She glared at me momentarily before turning her attention to Frazziss.

“Pirin!” Frazziss began again, “From here on out, I’m placing you in charge of minding Lokhnarr’s energy levels.” She commanded.

“Huh?” I asked, perplexed and annoyed by the thought of needing a minder.

“HUSH!” Frazziss snapped at me. I backed off. She returned her attention back to Pirin, who stood at silent attention.

“If at any time, Allen- I mean Lokhnarr, looks fatigued or tired I give you the authority to make him rest!” Frazziss said with a glare in my direction, daring me to contradict her.

I dared.

“I DON’T NEED A BABYSITTER!” I groused, loudly.

“YES YOU DO!” Frazziss and Pirin yelled back at me in unison.

“I saw that you needed a nap before we went flying Lokhnarr!” Pirin chided me with a squeak then. “You should’ve taken the time to do so!”

“I noticed it too!” Frazziss barked at me, joining in. “But I didn’t say anything, because I thought you were your own best judge. Apparently, I was wrong!” she grimaced painfully at her admission. It must have taken her a lot to do that, a Dragon’s pride and all.

“I’m an adult, and I know damned full well that I don’t need a minder!” I half-shouted back, while staring resentfully down at the granite bed between us.

“Lokhnarr.” Pirin began, “you need to dispose of some of your Dragon-pride, it’ll cost you too much if you don’t.” she continued, speaking in reassuring tones. Looking over at her, I could see that she wasn’t happy about having to say that, her arms crossed and all. I turned my head away.

“Please…” she began again, her voice cracking to an even higher pitch, “..be reasonable!” she continued with her eyes closed. Then they snapped open, staring at me accusingly.

“Both of us could’ve died!” she continued angrily. “All because of your pride!” she hissed resentfully.

“I don’t know this realm all that well, and I thank you for coming to rescue me like you did! But, even though I was somewhat all right after you were carried away by that flash-flood, it was still touch and go!” she said, looking up at me through her scaly eyebrows, I saw some of her tears starting to well up in her eyes.

“I came so close to crashing several times, as I flapped back to report to Frazziss! And that was after I tried to find you, but I couldn’t! I tried to find you, even as cold as I was!” she sniffled loudly through her tears, and the Dragonewt-snot that was starting to drip from her nose.

“Damnit…” I groused, then I relaxed, “Well, yeah I can see your point.” I admitted.

“My judgment was clouded due to my fatigue.” Looking up, I saw that both of them were starting to get a satisfied look on their faces. But, I knew that I had to disappoint them. I crossed my arms and sighed deeply. I didn’t like the notion of needing a minder, even though I could see things from their side.

‘Maybe we can work out a trade.’ I thought suddenly to myself.

“Frazziss?” I began. “What about Angelique?”

“What about her?” she asked, confused.

“Are you going to arrest her?” I asked absently. At the moment, I felt Angelique tense up, and look over my shoulder in the direction of Frazziss. I looked too.

“I have to Allen. She broke the law, it’s my duty.” Frazziss intoned. Angelique gave off a little fearful mew, then she spoke.

“But I want to stay with Allen, nyan!” she half-yowled, as Frazziss got up off of our nesting bed, and moved around behind me.

“Frazziss!” I warned. She turned her head to glare balefully at me.

“ALLEN!” she growled menacingly back. “She’s a criminal, and she invaded my…I mean to say, she invaded other people’s homes and campsites. She stole from them, and caused no small amount of damage! I have to take her into custody!” She said, reaching for her handcuff holder.

Angelique spat at her then, as she pressed herself into my wing/shoulder space for protection.

“Allen!” she protested, looking to me for help. “I don’t want to lose you again, nyan!” she wailed.

“Allen!” Frazziss yelled at me indignantly, reaching out for Angelique.

“HOLD IT BOTH OF YOU!” I shouted, placing a wing in between Frazziss and Angelique.

“Wait Frazziss, You’re wasting a valuable opportunity. I think we can work out something mutually agreeable.” She stopped, glaring at me expectantly.

“If you arrest her, where are you going to take her? Yosemite Jail? Some other place? You told me before, that Were-cats can’t be held anywhere.” I reminded her. She got a rueful look on her face, then seemed about to say something. I interrupted her.

“We both know where she wants to be at, she said it herself.” I pointed out. “Give me the authority over her. That way you can ‘officially’ arrest her, and still know where she’ll be at all times. Isn’t that right Angelique?” I asked, looking over my wing at her. It took several more seconds, but eventually Angelique looked back at me with a frown, then nodded her head once, reluctantly.

“I’d have to go out on a limb for that. What’s in it for me, Lokhnarr?” Frazziss grumbled, severely annoyed by my imposition on her authority. I looked back at her for several seconds, thinking.

“Well?” she demanded.

“Well,” I answered. “If you allow this, then I will agree to Pirin being my….my….” I sighed angrily as I glanced back at Angelique momentarily. “Babysitter.” I spat out, annoyed.

“Very well then, Allen! I place her into YOUR custody!” Frazziss readily agreed with a growl, somewhat mollified. “Whenever or wherever she needs to be, it’s up to you to make sure she’s there!” She continued, glowering.

I refused to meet her eyes. But Frazziss wasn’t having any of it!

“I’m serious Allen! If she misses out on something, I or another Ranger will have the authority to arrest her, and we will!” she warned, sternly.

Well, it took a bit, but after a while Frazziss, Pirin, Angelique, and I were able to work out a set of mutually agreeable terms. Angelique cheerfully agreed to stay with me at all times. She, would be my ward, and my responsibility.

Eventually, she’d be allowed to spend a night or two down in Yosemite Valley, with us in our Dormitory room. But only after she submitted to whatever the Park’s Magistrate felt was an appropriate punishment. Thereby to eventually make reparations to whom she stole from. Angelique agreed to it all.

After that, Frazziss called in to the Search and Rescue Squad to report that I’d been found. I couldn’t tell then over that radio if the Raiju Ranger in charge of such, was happy with the news or not. But I found out her feelings soon enough.

“You were screwing a Were-cat when everyone thought you were dead!?” she screamed at me unfairly, blue sparks shooting from her furry ears. This occurred after she and the rest of the search parties arrived at Frazziss and I’s Nest. Even after having the details explained to them all.

Their field medic seemed to be amused, as she gave both Angelique and I a Medical inspection after my Tail-Chewing. She then concluded that I was just fine, but that Angelique needed a more thorough medical inspection. She called in to make an appointment with the Valley Medical Clinic.

Luckily, the Search Party volunteers took it all in good stead. Though I was informed by their supervisor that I was expected to ‘compensate’ them all for their time lost, by ‘keeping them company’ overnight, a time or two each. Her nibs included. Strangely enough, she kept her hands in plain sight during her speech.

‘Oh damn. Is there anyone who doesn’t want a piece of me?’ I groused silently, while I forced a diplomatic thankful onto my mug.

‘It’s going to take a while to placate three athletic Kobolds, two Minotaurs, a Griffin, a Raiju, and a Dark-Elf!’ I thought nervously. Particularly at the last one, as she was wearing the biggest shit-eating grin I’d ever seen on an Elf.

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A couple of hours later, Angelique and I were waiting for some time with Mitzi the Shoggoth-Medical Doctor, at the Yosemite Medical Clinic. Pirin had agreed to give us some time alone. There in the waiting room, Angelique curled herself up half onto my lap, waiting for her turn to be called in.

“Angelique?” I began, “Why didn’t you go home after you saw me,…you know?” I asked, motioning to indicate my nose-dive.

She didn’t say anything at first, instead she just reached out with her arms and hugged me close. I returned the hug as best I could.

“Because it broke me.” She whispered mournfully. I was about to say something more, but that was when she turned her head up to me and silently pleaded for me to allow her to continue. I did.

“When I saw the man I loved, kill himself. It broke me.” She said looking down at the floor. “I can’t explain it any better than that.” She continued, shaking her head, her pointed ears waggling in unison.

“Yet, even then I still felt my connection with you, my love-prey.” She said, as she laid her ears slightly back onto her head, recalling.

“I just stared down into the valley for what seemed the longest time. Part of me was in denial at what I’d just witnessed. Another part of me was so very angry at you!” Angelique glared resentfully up at me in that moment. I could feel her claws sinking somewhat painfully into my leg.

“Hurting me like that! AGAIN, nyan!” She spat out, as she drew herself away from me and hunched over, I didn’t reach out.

“I thought that I had missed my opportunity for love yet again, and I just wanted to mourn. So I went back to gather all that I had left of you; Your backpack.” She chirruped.

“Then THAT DRAGON came along and took it from me!” she growl-frowned, as her whiskers drooped sorrowfully.

“All I knew then, was that I wanted it back, no matter what it took!” Angelique turned and smiled at me ruefully.

“So I scented her, and followed as best I could. But she led me on a merry chase the next couple of days.” Angelique continued, tilting her head in recollection.

“You made it difficult enough for me to track you, what with your leaving your undergarments all over the other trains!” She sneered at me momentarily.

“But her! She could fly! That made it much more difficult for me to catch up to her, but I did!” she said proudly, sitting tall. What she said next, surprised the shit out of me.

“I followed her into the Valley and up the other side. When I caught up with her, I told her what I wanted, and she refused! Imagine how surprised I was, when she told me to stay away from you! I still thought that you were dead!” she gaped then.

“Wait wait wait!” I said, interrupting her. “You mean you and she talked? Frazziss never mentioned that!” I sat back, shocked.

“Yes, we did then Allen, and many times more over the next few weeks.” She replied, looking confused. “I followed you and her, every time the both of you went hiking. You mean to tell me, that she never once mentioned it?” she replied surprised.

“Not even once.” I replied in shock, shifting myself back onto the chair, overwhelmed with the news.

“Holy Shit.” I continued, “I thought it strange that she seemed so possessive, even for a Dragon.” I said, befuddled at this revelation.

“Did she ever, you know,…?” I asked, looking over at her.

“Threaten me?” Angelique asked, I nodded.

“Many times, yes.” She replied. “I continued to try and track you and her. It seemed like every time I caught up, she’d spit a fire-ball at me or try to grab me! I think I can guess why. She did take hold of a number of trees and tore them up in front of me, to demonstrate what would happen if she did get a hold.” I gulped at the thought of it.
Thinking back about how many times we, ok scratch that. I went onto a hike, and I’d not see her for a while. Then out of the blue, she’d snatch me up and fly us both to our intended destination. Now that I knew more, it began to make a little more sense why she did it.

‘She was snatching me away from Angelique!’ I realized.

“Holy Shit Angelique, I had no idea! I,..I,..” I began, wavering. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault Allen, Frazziss told me many times that Dragons are greedy, particularly when it comes to love-mates. She got especially violent in trying to drive me off around mid-February.”

“February? That was the time that she insisted on my taking the Succubus Nostrum.” I replied, wondering about the timing. Angelique gave me a quizzical look and I then explained about it, and its effects. She was most surprised.

“Allen! That would explain why it became so difficult for me to track you after!” she gaped, her mouth hanging open far enough for me to see her tongue bristles.

“Your scent changed! It became more like hers!” she sniffed me a couple times, wrinkling her nose.

“In fact you still do, smell like her and hers!” she frowned. Then she smiled. “But even now, you still smell faintly like mine.” She replied happily.

“I still smell like yours?” I wanted to ask, but I was interrupted by the nurse in charge, calling her and I back into the examination room. It was Angelique’s time.

Mitzi was her old self, a semi-amorphous purplish Horror with a cheerful personality and a saucy attitude. Even though she always had a her ‘hot-babe’ form on at all times, I still couldn’t maintain eyes contact with her. Not matter how long I could keep staring back into any of her eyes, I kept getting the notion that she was peering deep into my soul with a deep, and barely restrained hunger.

My train of thought was derailed, as Mitzi the Shoggoth Doc, began inspecting Angelique, while simultaneously hitting on me. I had to slap away a number of her purplish-black tentacles, several times over the course of the next hour. They kept ‘accidentally’ finding their way to my crotch.

After a while, Mitzi gave Angelique a clean bill of health, which left me flabbergasted.

“Hey Doc! How can that be? It was just hours ago that she was dead from drowning!” I asked, all confused.

“Oh that!” Mitzi burbled. “Mamono aren’t like humans Allen! They’re much more resilient when it comes to near-death situations. What matters now, is that she’s alive! So there’s no need for you to worry your scaly head about it.” She replied, patting me on one cheek condescendingly with a tentacle. Then she turned her attention to Angelique.

“Oi! I guess that you’re down a couple of your nine-lives now, eh there Were-cat?” Mitzi joked. Angelique gave her a pained smile by way of response. Then she gave me an eye roll as we got ready to leave. I shrugged apologetically at her.

“Where are we going now Allen?” Angelique asked me cheerfully, purring, after we had stepped out of the Valley Medical Clinic. Thinking about her question, I realized that there was something important.

“Well Angelique, there is a person I think you really need to meet.” I said with a thoughtful look. She narrowed her eyes, and stopped purring.

“Who’s that?” she asked me, suspicious enough to lower her ears down just a touch.

“His name is: Armand Poirier.” I said quietly. She jumped back away from me as if I’d given her a hotfoot.

“Papas here, nyan!?” she yowled, evidently surprised as the fur along her spine raised and she started jerking her tail about. I crossed my arms.

“Yes he is, or at least he’s in a town nearby. He doesn’t know that you’ve been found.” I told her, as she started looking around herself wildly.

“Angelique.” I said patiently after a few seconds. “Please try to calm yourself down.” She turned and locked her dilated eyes with me.

“Allen! I’m scared, nyan!” she replied, curling herself into ball on the ground in front of me. I crouched down and placed a paw atop of her. I could feel her quivering underneath, as I began to pet her. She stopped shaking after a few minutes of reassurance from me.

“Oooh, Papa is probably very cross with me!” she fretted.

“Actually, I think he’s more concerned with your safety.” I replied.

“Maybe, maybe, nyan, nyan!” She mewled piteously.

It took no small amount of coaxing on my part. But, I was able to get her motivated enough to agree to go and meet him, eventually.

“Well, if we time it right we can arrive at where he’s staying, along about the time he’s sitting down for dinner.” I suggested. “Thus buying you some more time.”

“How do you know that!?” she gasped, looking at me with her eyes all wide. Then she blinked. “He talked to you, didn’t he?” I nodded to answer both of her questions. She looked down momentarily, then she swiveled her eyes up to meet mine.

“Oh, MY Allen, still as thoughtful as ever.” She smiled, standing up as she raised her arms to embrace me. I accepted her offer, and hugged her close. We stood there together for a short while. She sighed contentedly there in my arms.

“Well, uuuuhh Angelique?” I began, she turned her head to listen. “I’m not technically yours, you know…” I hesitated.

“Oh pooh Allen! I know you’ve got a Dragon wife. I’ve smelled her scent on you for some time now.” She chirruped into one of my scaly ears, while scratching a trail in my hair.

“And I know that you’re a Dragon-Incubus, now too.” She said looking sadly into my eyes, as she trailed that nail onto one of my head horns, it tickled when she did.

“But I found you first!” she huffed. “I’ll share you with her, I’m not greedy. Not like Frazziss has been!” she giggled.

“Well there’s also Pirin,…” I began. She giggled again.

“I know about her too. I saw the way she looks at you Allen, back at your cave.”

“Well there are a lot of other details…” I began, but was silenced when she put a paw onto my lips. I looked down at her.

“Just tell Frazziss and Pirin, that you’ll feed me, exercise me, and give me lots of love.” She smiled cutely. “We’ll work out the other details later as we go.” Her face turned somber. “Frazziss has no choice now.” She added. Then she sighed.

“Though right now, I need to be the adult again. I’ve been a naughty kitten for far too long, acting like one of those strays I always found when I was growing up.” She said, remembering. “Papa and Mama always indulged me with them.” She said, half to herself while wrinkling her nose and removing her paw.

“Papa.” She sighed, shaking her head. “When do we leave?” she asked, I smiled.

“Hop on, and we’ll go to him after we check in with my babysitter.” I answered, spreading my wings in preparation.

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It didn’t take long to fly her and me to Grover. Luckily, I’d scouted out Mr. Poirier’s motel earlier, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that his ‘room’, was in fact a furnished cabin. Furnished with an attached kitchen that was currently in use, if the aromas that I smelled coming from the roof chimney be any indication.

We landed fairly silently, which allowed me to surprise the shit out of a small group of nearby redneck Tour-ons, (Tourist/Morons). Who, naturally, had to start taking a kazillion photos for their Mace-book accounts.

Angelique had enjoyed the flight along the way, enough to hug me something fierce. She’d clung to me so hard, that she managed to ‘accidentally’ rub herself rhythmically along my spinal ridges many times. She did that so many times, that by the time we arrived she was sporting a goofy grin.

‘Bloody cats and their scent marking.’, I groused, upon sniffing my back as best I could after she had ‘got off’.

After blinking away the Tourons’ phone-flash strobes out of my eyes, I quickly relocated Mr. Poirier’s cabin. I positioned myself in between Angelique and the door, while raising a finger-claw to my lips to request silence from her. She looked oddly at me, but complied. I then knocked resoundingly on the door. It didn’t take long to get an answer.

“Oui! Oui!” came a voice, as the door cracked open, and a familiar looking eye peered out at me. The eye blinked upon seeing me, the door closed and I heard the metallic sound of the chain latch being drawn back. The door was flung open, and I saw Mr. Poirier standing with an apron tied onto him.

“Yes, Monsieur Belushi.” He said, frowning sternly at me. “I assume that you have some news of my daughter?” he demanded with a tightening of his eyes. The kind of tightening one would make as if steeling for bad news.

“Indeed I do!” I replied, I then raised a paw, and stepped out of the way. Angelique was still there, thankfully. She looked back at him with her paws behind her back, and her head lowered.

“Hello Papa.” She said remorsefully, not looking at him. Mr. Poirier didn’t say anything beyond a rapid intake of breath. He then reached out with his hands, and gently took her in his arms. She didn’t resist. They stayed like that, and murmured to each other for a little while, talking.

I smiled indulgently as I turned and made to saunter off a short distance, so as to give them some privacy. But, I was prevented from that, when I felt a hand upon a wing. Looking down, I saw that it was not Mr. Poirier who was holding me, but instead was the most-regal looking Inari I’d ever seen. 

She was about Angelique’s height and body-size, though she had much more meat on her bones.  She had brown-reddish hair cut in a bob, and she sported a mere three tails, that were poking out from the behind of her modest dress.

“Stay.” She said simply, commandingly. I obeyed. We stayed silent for a couple more minutes, as we watched the Father/Daughter reunion.

Satisfied, the Inari gently yet firmly led me inside the cabin. Looking around, I noted that it seemed to be a themed cabin. What theme exactly, I couldn’t quite put a claw on. It seemed to be a combination of American Kitsch, and Gothic Creole.

There, she let go and indicated that I follow her. I did, and discovered something interesting. There was a major meal being prepared. It was as if they were preparing for guests.

“Allow me to introduce myself,” the Inari said, “My name is Anais-Saya Poirier. I am one of Angelique’s step-sisters.” She explained, as she returned to her task of making and presenting the evening meal.

“I assume you have other guests coming?” I asked upon seeing the number of table settings laid out already.  Anais-Saya looked over her shoulder, and shook her head, making her vulpine ear tips wiggle.

“We don’t.” she smiled. “But, my Inari sense still works well enough in this world, that I knew a pair of famished ‘some-bodies’ would be arriving soon!” she replied with a knowing grin, as she returned to her preparations.

“Well I have to admit, that whatever it is you’re cooking, it does smell delicious!” I said honestly, my mouth watering in remembrance of when I could eat human foods.

I sighed a heavy sigh, as I looked down upon the items already on display. Some kind of Beast-Roast with potatoes, heavy with the gravy. Several assorted greens of steamed broccoli, kale, and mustard greens. And (heavier sigh!) a round of cornbread, and some honest to goodness blueberry cobbler.

‘Ah man! This sure brings back memories!’ I thought to myself sadly. ‘Its too bad I can probably only eat the meat.’ I silently whined to myself, frowning.

I jerked when I felt a hand on my shoulder, “Monsieur.”, came the sound of Armand Poirier’s voice. “I apologize if I startled you.” He said. I waved off his apology, explaining that I was so engrossed with the sight and smell of so much delicious food, that I couldn’t think anymore. He then formally invited me to join in on the meal, and I accepted. But, I told him that I couldn’t eat anything other than meats.

Instead of his being offended by my preemptive rejection of his food, he merely smiled indulgently. He then surprised me once more. He gently reached out with his arms and hugged me down to him. Then, he spoke.

“I forgive you, Monsieur Belushi. For you have kept your word; You have brought my daughter home.” He spoke quietly, his voice quavering just a little. What he did next surprised me one final time.

He then drew back and grasped my head. He then planted a pair of air kisses over my scaled cheeks, one on each side.

“May I call you Friend, Allen?” he then asked, his eyes watery. I smiled then, as I realized the depths of that man. He smiled back when I nodded.

“I would be honored, Monsieur Poir…” began.

“NO!” he shouted, then hesitated. “Call me Armand! I will accept nothing less!” he continued, giving me a frown with his mouth, but a hopeful look with his eyes.

“I would be honored,…Armand.”  I replied, watching his frown disappear, which was replaced with a smile as he blinked away some tears.

After that, we all sat down for the meal that had been set out. They even had a tree stump for me to sit upon. Of course, I made sure to leave my tail on the right side, as was proper. It was easy to eat then in that moment, as I was famished. As I’m sure Angelique was as well.

I have to admit, that I rather enjoyed the break from Frazziss’ near constant moodiness. I also enjoyed the sight of Mr. Poirier,… excuse me, Armand and his family sitting down to their repast.

Angelique, Anais-Saya, and Armand chose to catch up with their family’s news and gossip over their respective meal. Everyone was relaxed, no recriminations were made, and a good time was had by all. Which, unfortunately, was so completely unlike the dinner table ‘conversations’ I had growing up with my Old Man.

At first, I enjoyed a more than generous portion of the yummy Beast-Roast. But, I made sure to not eat any of the vegetable products, as I was so sure that they’d still taste like crap.

I tried to politely refuse a portion of the blueberry cobbler when it was placed before me. But Armand insisted that I at least try it. I gave off a secret sigh when he did. So I accepted, after remembering my manners.

I looked down at that cobbler with a heavy heart, steeling myself for the inevitable throat clenching first taste. Looking up, I noticed that Armand and his family waited expectantly for me to begin.

‘Ah crap.’ I thought to myself sadly. ‘Hopefully I won’t hurl like the last time I ate some.’ I thought to myself, thinking back to that humiliating dinner party at Tallia’s. I then raised a portion of the cobbler to my lips and took a bite, determined not to insult my host with a refusal.

I then chewed, trying desperately to hold back the waves of inevitable nausea that I knew would arrive. And then, the taste hit me with both barrels!

“HOLY SHIT!” I exclaimed around a mouthful of cobbler, “That’s fucking delicious!” I cried aloud in delight! Then I realized that I just broke a table taboo by cussing.

“Pardon my French!” I babbled, desperate to excuse my fucking etiquette lapse. I then slapped a paw to my face, mortified when I realized what I’d just said. I then heard everyone at the table laugh. Looking out between my finger-claws I saw Armand laughing and waving at me, excusing me my slip of the tongue.

“I am quite pleased you find my cooking so excellent, Monsieur Belushi.” Anais-Saya simpered, looking pleased with herself. I then continued to scarf my portion down rapidly, thoroughly enjoying every bite.

“Oh, my Maouness!” I exclaimed in shock after I finished, “that was incredible! How on earth did you manage to accomplish that feat!?”

“How did I manage to make plant material taste good to a Dragon’s refined palate?” Armand asked me, smirking. “C’est un secret. A good teacher not only teaches, but learns as well! I have learned many things during my times as a Cooking instructor for Mamono!” he replied smugly, pleased with my praise.

“Oh, c’mon Armand, give me a hint!” I asked, almost begging, desperate for a repeat performance. “At least give me the recipe for that cobbler!” I whimpered hopefully. Armand merely shook his head regretfully.

“I am sorry Allen, but there are limits that must never be crossed.” He replied, shaking his head sadly at my bummed-out expression. Then he smiled a mischievous smile, and looked up at me through his eyebrows.

“However,” he began with a grin, “my daughter Angelique is my first, best protégé when it comes to all of my cooking secrets.” He whispered in a tone that made my heart thunder in hope.

I then looked over at Angelique, who up until that point had been committed to catching up on her eating. Seeing me look at her, she nonchalantly licked her shoulder at me and smiled sultrily.

“Is what Armand says true, Angelique?” I asked, trying not to let my drool overflow my mouth, and failing slightly. She nodded at me, as she continued to smile at me through her whiskers.

“If you can cook that well, you could’ve worked as a Chef in some of the finest restaraunts!” I praised. Her smile turned to a slightly embarrassed grin.

“She did, for a while.” Anais-Saya spoke.

“What!?” I exclaimed, surprised. “Then how did you end up working as a Prison Guard?” I asked, shocked. Angelique reached out across the table from me and took my hand/paws in hers.

“That’s because I had been so single minded on at being the best chef that I could be,” she began, looking at me sadly, “That I ignored several chances at finding a male I desired.”

“Once I realized my error, I decided to not lose out again. I was originally supposed to go to work at the prison cafeteria, but the paperwork got mixed up somehow. Instead, I was offered a job as a guard. I guess you could say, that I became a guard for a prison full of strays.”

“Oh, my goodness.” I exclaimed, surprised. “How long were you there, before I showed up?”

“Six months.” She replied, not looking at me.

“What? Surely you could’ve found someone better than me in that amount of time.” What I said must’ve angered her, because that’s when she contracted her paws around mine with her claws vainly sinking into my palms.

“There wasn’t anyone better!” she screeched mildly, staring at me in the eyes. “Everyone else that was there, wasn’t worthy! Especially that Pedophile wass-his-name.”

“Larry.” I reminded. She rolled her eyes up at me resentfully.

“Larry! Him, yes. Especially him.” she growled. “Then you showed up, with that Green Ogre practically dragging you in.” Her face and voice softened. I grimaced in remembrance.

“At first I thought that you were no better than the others, especially with that,…that,…vile operation you willingly had done to you!” she frowned at me, tightening her grip once more.

‘Even now I can’t find a Mamono willing to say ‘Vasectomy’ out loud.’ I secretly smiled.

“But, I began to notice little things. That unlike the others, you didn’t like hurting people.” She tilted her head. “You were kind, even to Larry, whom everyone else treated terribly.”

“You were also kind, to me.” She replied.

“I most certainly was NOT!” I protested, outraged. She smiled.

“Yes, and No!” she replied mischievously. I screwed up my face, confused.

“I noticed that you were in pain, and I was astounded once I read the report in your records. I learned about your wife, and your,….” She trailed off, not continuing. For which I was grateful. Anais-Saya looked confused for a second, looking between Angelique and I. Thankfully she settled down after Armand whispered into one of her fox ears. Angelique drew in a breath.

“I wanted to help you, like I did with so many strays, growing up. You dealt me enough indignities to drive me away from you, but no more than necessary!” she pursed her lips thoughtfully. “Except, of course for that shaving cream incident!” she growled.

“Well it did keep you off of my bunk for a few days.” I replied, not quite ashamed. We stared back at each other for several seconds in silence.

“I also noticed that you were diligent in your assigned work tasks. Everyone else always slacked off with theirs. I couldn’t help but admire your work ethic.” She praised, blinking fondly.

“Is it any wonder why I followed you, after you managed to pull off an escape? How did you do that, anyways?” she asked, with one ear laid back. I smiled.

“I’ll explain later. Right now I’m curious, how did you always manage to locate me? It seemed like you always knew where to look.” My question seemed to make her uneasy, as she wouldn’t meet my eyes.

After a bit, she sighed and replied.

“I guess it’s time for me to be completely honest, Allen. Do you remember those chocolates I left for you?”

“Yeah. What about them?”

“I doctored them with sedatives.” She replied, drawing into herself shamefacedly. Armand, her step-sister, and I all gasped. She looked at them both apologetically, and then turned to me.

“I’m sorry, Allen. But I raped you. I took advantage once, and left my ‘mark’ upon you. I guess you never noticed.” She said quietly.

“Holy Shit!” I replied, utterly shocked. “It all begins to make sense now. Why you kept coming after me! Why you wouldn’t go home. And, and…” I stood up at the realization.

“Why Frazziss was, and has been, so possessive of me!” I said to no one in particular as I stared off into space.

“She’s a Claim-Jumper!” I realized, disappointed with her.

“Allen!” Angelique cried, standing up. “Don’t be upset with her! I don’t blame her in the least for what she did and didn’t do.”

“I would’ve done the same, if given half the chance! That’s the way some Mamono are! We always have wanted the best male for a husband. She just managed to make you hers, first!” she replied, trying not to cry, while coming to my side of the table.

“How can you say that Angelique? Especially after all that she’s done to drive you away, make you live the way you have?!” I demanded. Angelique smiled hesitantly as she took my paws in hers. “How can you be so forgiving?”

“How can I not?” she asked me back, placing a paw alongside my head. “She kept you from dying, didn’t she? I owe her for that!” After a few seconds, I came down from my peak of moral indignation and replied.

“We both owe her for that.” I echoed, embracing her. She hugged me tight in return. We stayed like that for the longest while.

“So now what?” I asked, my nose in her neck fur. Angelique drew back to look at me. “Even now, she’ll still be hostile to having you around. In fact, I’d not be surprised if she didn’t try to keep driving you off.”

“I have an idea.” She smiled.

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Later, I stomped carefully into Frazziss’ and I’s dormitory room carrying a cloth bag full of food. Frazziss was there on the couch in the living area, all drawn up into herself. I stopped and stood still till she looked over at me, we then looked at each other in silence. She spoke first.

“Where is she?” she asked.

“She’s spending the night with her father and sister.”

“She’ll need to be at the Magistrate’s court tomorrow morning, 8 0’clock sharp.” Frazziss said coldly.

“She’ll be there, I guarantee it.” I replied, not moving an inch closer to her. Finally, after several seconds Frazziss spoke.

“She told you.” She said, not looking at me.

“Yes.” I said simply. Her face screwed up as she hugged herself with her arms. I couldn’t help it, I sat down next to her then and tried to put my arm around her. She refused, knocking my arm away with a wing.

“How can you do that!” she cried, sniffling. “You must think I’m a Monster!” I coughed then, trying not to hurt her feelings any more than they already were.

“Well yeah, you are a Monster Girl, after all.” I snarked.

“ALLEN!” she cried indignantly, trying and failing to keep from laughing. After a few seconds her chuckles turned to sniffles, and then on to full on sobbing. I reached out and pulled her to me, she didn’t fight. In fact, she hugged me fiercely back this time-wings included.

“Are you going to leave me now?” She asked out of the blue.

“No.” I said exasperated and shaking my head. “I still love you as much as I did before, maybe even a little bit more.”

“Why?” she sniffled, looking at me with sorrowful eyes.

“Well, now I understand more fully what you meant by ‘Greedy-Love’.” I replied, holding onto her tight. “And you did save my life, in more ways than one.”

“Though.” I began, “we’re going to have to deal with a few changes.” She drew back away from me then. After a moment she met my eyes.

“But, before we get started discussing that! I want you to do something for me.” I stated, as I let go and pulled a container out of my cloth bag.

Sitting up, I uncovered it and handed it over to Frazziss. After several moments of looking at it, then me and back to it, I shook my hand to encourage her to take it. Finally, she did so hesitantly, and gave it a sniff.

“ALLEN!” she said screwing up her face, and thrusting it back into my hands. “What is that?”

“It’s blueberry cobbler.” I replied. “I want you to take a taste of it.”

“Allen! Are you out of your mind! I’m a Dragon, not a fruit-eating Mud Monkey!” she replied indignantly, I sighed and grimaced.

“Frazziss, please, all I’m asking is that you take a taste. Nothing more.” I said, pushing the container back out to her.

She met my eyes, and frowned back at me resentfully. Finally, after she saw that I wasn’t going to relent, she slowly reached out and broke off the smallest possible piece she could manage with her claws.

It took even longer, for that portion to make it into her mouth. But it did manage to make it inside, eventually. I waited patiently the entire time, betting that she would be happily surprised with the outcome.

I was right.

For when she chewed that small portion, she got the most surprised look on her face, and then she swallowed. She then snatched the remaining cobbler away from me, and made it rapidly disappear down her gullet!

“Oh my Maou, Allen! I had no idea fruit could taste so good!” she said cheerfully. Then she got a suspicious look. “Wait, I remember trying human fruit when I was a whelp, and it tasted awful. In fact, you hate fruit too! Now that I think of it.”

“I found someone who knows enough about cooking, that she can make many things that Dragons consider inedible, delicious.” I replied, smiling smugly.

“Who?!” she demanded. I could see the wheels turning in her mind then.

“Angelique.” I answered. Angelique made that cobbler. Frazziss gasped at me then.

After she recovered from her shock, we then began to discuss in earnest the possibility of having Angelique come to live with us. Even then, Frazziss wasn’t too keen on the idea. But, she relented after I pulled out several other items that Angelique had cooked up in preparation, prior. She Were-wolfed them all down after a taste.

“All right, Allen, she can come to live with us.” She said, licking her chops. “But, is she willing to forgive me for what I did?” she asked. I nodded.

“As am I.” I said, reminding her as I snuggled next to her. “It’s all water under the bridge as far as both of us are concerned.” I said, reaching over and fondling one of her breasts. She moaned achingly then.

“Though I imagine Pirin won’t be happy with a rival in the kitchen.” I said as I bent down and nuzzled a nipple. Frazziss then began to pant as she guided my head with a paw to other strategic points on her.

“She’ll have to get used to it.” Frazziss replied, as she reached out and began undoing my loin-cloths, fumbling in her eagerness. Finally, after several seconds of not getting anywhere, she simply grabbed a hold of the cloth and loudly ripped it apart, freeing my best buddies.

“Frazziss!” I cried, “those cost money!” she smiled.

“Don’t worry about it Allen! We’ve got a whole bunch more in supplies. They’re all meant for you anyways!” she then got a serious look.

“Speaking of money. Dain, from the Merced Home Improver store, called. He said that your shipment of sandstone is in, and he just needs you to come in and verify it’s what you’ve been looking for.”

“Fine! Fine!” I said, distracted. “I’ll attend to it tomorrow, after I drop Angelique off at the Magistrate’s Court. Right now I’ve got other things on my mind!” I growled, eager to get into those more interesting matters.

Frazziss soon began to match my growls, and then my moans.

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The next day I stood outside the Merced Home Improver store, and tried to blink away the sight of that gods-awful, eye-watering color scheme.

“Hey Allen! Fancy meeting you here!” I was startled from my reverie, by a familiar voice behind. Looking over my shoulder, I was happy to see that it was Dain, the store’s Contractor Services Super. He was a middle-aged somewhat muscular Human male, dressed in blue jeans and a flannel shirt. He also had just a hint of Dunlap’s Disease.

“Hey Dain, it’s good to see ya!” I replied honestly. “I take it your friend from Visalia was able to make good on his promise?

“Ayup! That he was!” he smiled back, “Just come with me back into the goods yard, and we can see what you think of it!” I followed him along as we made our way there.

“Uh, one question Dain!” He turned to look at me questioningly as we wended our way over. “I don’t suppose you’ve got any control over the Store’s color-motif?” I asked hopefully, pointing out one particularly disgusting-looking banner. Dain stopped then looked over to where I was pointing, and then he winced.

“Sorry Al,” he replied. “The chain’s owner, Druella, picked it out. I’m not suicidal enough to try and convince her to change it.”

“Yeah, Ok. I guess.” I sighed. “But do you have any idea WHY she had to choose such a fucking obnoxious shade?”

“I think you just answered your own question, Al.” Dain laughed. “She’s not only a Succubus, she’s a Lilim after all.”

“Yeah, I guess I did.” I admitted, shaking my head. Then I turned and continued following him, all the while trying desperately to avoid looking at anything purple. We then shortly came to the stacks of sandstone that he had promised.

Looking it all over, I was thrilled to discover that it all was of the make and quality, that I’d been hoping for. They were all virtually indistinguishable from the Dragon-Realm sandstone that had first inspired me.

“They’re perfect Dain! I’ll take it all.” I smiled in anticipation.

‘Finally! Something that’s good enough to make Frazziss smile!’ I thought to myself happily. I looked over at Dain who was holding a clipboard with the invoice clipped to it. I eagerly reached out for it.  He then did something I found odd.

He pulled it away from me at the last second. Which surprised me.

“Uh, Dain.” I began, reaching out for the clipboard again. He snatched it away again. I looked at him resentfully.

“Ok Dain, cut the shit.” I growled. He ignored it. Instead he looked up at me and crossed his arms, frowning. After a second I matched him.

“What?!” I demanded. He glared back at me and spoke.

“I bumped into a mutual acquaintance yesterday, Allen.”

“Yeah, so?” I said, crossly.

“It was your Father.” He said quietly. I jerked in surprise when he said that, and didn’t reply. Dain waited a few seconds for me to respond, and when I didn’t he continued.

“He and I shot the shit for a while.” Dain continued, looking at me. I wouldn’t meet his eyes. I knew what was coming. “He seemed to be in pretty good spirits, all things considered.” I licked my lips, and pulled my wings in tight.

“Or, he was until I brought your name up.” Dain said coldly. I turned my head away then. I kept my silence.

“Imagine my surprise, when I found out he didn’t know a thing about you, or where you were.”  I could Sense Dain’s anger rising then. “I can’t remember the last time I’d seen someone so sad over the thought of his son going missing. Nearly a year and a half ago, apparently. He seems to think that you fell off of the face of the earth!”

‘Something like that.’ I said to myself. I spoke finally.

“Did you tell him?” I asked, quietly.

“No. I did not. It wasn’t my place to.” He replied, glaring at me through his eyebrows. “Don’t you agree?” I kept my trap shut. He stepped forward and stuck his face up into mine.

“Chief-God-Damn-it Allen! You need to tell your Father where and what you are!” Dain shouted in frustration, his hands turning into fists. His outburst garnered several nearby customers and associates’ attention. He ignored them.

“You don’t know what he’s like Dain!” I yelled back. “He HATES Mamono! If he sees me as I am now, he’ll shit an entire brickyard!” I cried with my wings flaring out slightly.

“Maybe so, Allen! But at least HE’LL KNOW YOU’RE ALIVE!!” Dain screamed back up at me, then he closed his eyes and stepped back. He tilted his head and calmed himself.

“I didn’t know about your first wife and,…and…” he began, then stopped, not looking at me. “I’m sorry about your Family, Allen.” He finished. I nodded back at him. He kept looking back and away at me several times, but then he got his composure. I did too.

“So, if you want this sandstone, and I think that you do, Allen.” I’ll release it to be shipped to you on one condition.” He said, Danuki like. I frowned at the tone in his voice.

‘I think I can guess.’ I thought silently.

“You go and tell your Father what’s up with you. Right now, today!” he said sternly to me.

“You can’t do that!” I replied, indignant.

“Oh yes I can Allen, and I will!”

“But, but that’s unprofessional!” I shot back.

“Yes it is, Allen. Yes, it is! In fact, it’ll probably cost me my job! But you know what?” he asked, pinning me with one eye on mine.

“It’s worth it. I consider your Father to be a friend. Distant, but a friend nonetheless! He NEEDS to know about his only child!” he stated fiercely. We just stood like that silently staring each other down, for several seconds longer. He gave in first.

“You know where you can find me, once you’ve done your duty Allen.” He said as he turned around and walked away. I followed his progress with my eyes, resenting him every step of the way.

‘Asshole!’ I thought silently to myself.

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It took me awhile, but eventually I got over my silent temper tantrums. Though I did locate Dain’s rig, and I scorched some of the paintjob off of it by spitting out a small fireball. I took to the air, and flapped my way over to the side of town that I’d been avoiding. Avoiding, every time I came down to Merced.

I silently landed a block away in a park and clomped my way over. I noticed that the old neighborhood looked smaller now, seedier. There weren’t any kids playing in the park.

‘Wrong time of day, probably at school.’ I noted, stopping a couple of houses away from my destination, almost bolting away, despite.

‘Dain’ll probably blackball me from every other rock provider.’ I realized unhappily. ‘Damn it! Why the fuck does this shit have to happen?!’ I groused silently.

“Well, time to face another fear.” I said aloud. Finally realizing that I’d been irresponsible in the face of all this.

I then stopped one final time on the sidewalk in front of my childhood home. I stared at it then, remembering bits and pieces of my time growing up. I noticed that the place still was kept up better than every other house in the neighborhood.

But, it still looks like someone lost his heart, in the upkeep details at the very least.’ ‘I conceded, while looking at the house’s chipping paint with a frown. ‘The Old Man normally would’ve never allowed things to get bad for this long.’

I stopped procrastinating and stomped my way to the front door, knocked resoundingly and stepped back.

It didn’t take long.

“Chief-God Damn it!” shouted an all too familiar voice, from within. The door was yanked open inwards and I saw an old, yet heavily muscled man stepping out, his face livid-red with anger.

“Get off my Fucking lawn, you Fucking Mamoomoo!” he screamed while shaking his fists. He focused his eyes on me and he raised his voice even louder, somehow.

“What the Fuck do you want, you fucking fre….?” He stated, cutting himself short as his eyes took me all in, stopping at my face. In that moment, I saw all of his anger, all of his tenseness drain away out of him. His eyes went wide, and his mouth fell open to hang as he realized who it was that was standing in front of him, finally.

“Allen?” he said hoarsely, incredulous. I sighed heavily.

“Hi Dad.”

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