The pounding in his skull inexorably pulled Dain surely back to consciousness.
The most pleasant feeling he’d ever felt kept him there. Something warm and pleasant was pressed against his injured side, and though there was still pain in his chest, he could feel it slowly abating, each wave of pain crashing against him with slightly less force than the last and he knew he was somehow being healed.
“Hello, my handsome man.” Came a lilting, feminine voice that was slightly gravelly. A gorgeous face with scarlet hair and eyes the color of glowing coals appeared over his head, the scaled and clawed hand holding a skin of water to his lips. “Drink. It will help you recover faster.”
Despite his reservations, Dain found himself pulling greedily at the skin. The liquid was just slightly warmed, like bathwater, but was as sweet as mead. It rolled down over his tongue and seemed to spread from his chest outward, the pain in his chest all but disappearing and the pounding behind his eyes lessening more than a little. He gasped as the Salamander pulled the water skin back with a small giggle and a heavy flush still on her face.
“Now, now, we can’t have you getting sick. It just wouldn’t do.” She nuzzled her face against his neck.
Dain groaned aloud in pleasure, and had to bite his tongue to prevent himself from begging for more. More what, he didn’t know, but he had an intense desire for more of this monster. More contact. “Where…”
“Sshh.” She placed a claw upon his lips silencing him while lifting her head to smile down at him.
It was then that Dain noticed that they were both unclothed and the feeling of her breasts against his chest threatened to unman him. The soft flesh of the globes at odds with the hard perkiness of her engorged nipples that were digging against his now uninjured side.
Star smiled sweetly at him and gave him a chaste kiss upon his lips. “I can heal by rubbing my body against someone. We’re at my cavern, which has some hot springs just outside of it. The water of the springs has become infused with my demonic powers and I’ve been feeding it to you to speed up the healing process. You’ve ignited me—gave me the greatest fight I’ve ever had. The flames of my scales and my flush for you won’t ever go away. You’ve ruined me, my handsome man.”
Against his will, Dain flushed. Star had straddled his waist and he found himself pushing his groin up against her, his body demanding he be as close to her as possible, despite what his mind or will said. With her finger over his lips, he was still unable to speak, but he was sure the desire in his eyes spoke volumes. His body was betraying him, his mouth hungering for a taste of her skin and his fingers actually itching at the lack of contact. As his cock made contact with her skin he gasped as its soft and supply texture. It was by far more perfect than any woman he’d ever touched.
Star smiled pleasantly as his engorged loins rubbed against her. “But we still have that head wound to take care of. Will you be a good boy and let me see to it?” She said with a slight pout, removing her finger from his lips.
Dain’s mind screamed for him to run, but his body screamed for him to do anything she wanted. He felt a new desire rise in him, something he was unfamiliar with. It wasn’t lust, but it was a desire. “Y-yes…” he managed to say at last. His chest was rising and falling quickly with his hurried breaths. He wasn’t exerted yet his heart was pounding in his chest as his ears began to roar.
Star patted his face. “Good boy,” she told him as she suddenly lurched upward and spun around. A knee landed on each side of his face and she sat her sex down upon his face. It was soaked and her scent was absolutely intoxicating, both spicy and sweet. She began to rub herself against his face. Her burning tail was coiled about his skull gently rubbing him.
The pounding in his head and the soreness at the back of his skull immediately began to recede each time she slowly and languorously rubbed herself against his face, her tail tightening gently. Her clit starting at his forehead and running down until it met his chin, his nose slipping between her moist lips and filling him with her scent—and the Monster that she was, could just be an intoxicant. Dain certainly felt intoxicated. He wanted to take hold of her, throw her down and force himself on her, but at the same time he wanted to stay right where he was. Dain had never submitted to anyone, but he was rather close to doing so in that moment.
“It’s all right, my big, strong, handsome man. I know you want to lick it. Go ahead.” Star told him as her hands began to roam his chest.
Dain groaned as he felt her touch. He’d expected the scales of her hands to be hard and calloused like his own, but was surprised to find them soft and smooth, the texture just slightly pebbled, and they were just as warm as the rest of her. With his mouth open he slid out his tongue over her clit and fastened his mouth around it and began to suck it into his mouth for the ministrations of his tongue. He lifted his own hands up and laid them on her hips, feeling her heat and the incredibly soft and smooth skin of her more human features. He nuzzled his face further into her sex so that his nose passed her lips and was teasing the entrance of her pussy.
“Oh!” Star cried out immediately in orgasm. Her juices ran down further drenching Dain’s face. She began to push herself more tightly to his face as she placed her hands over his and began to gently stroke them. She then tilted her hips forward, forcing Dain to let go her sensitive bud and caused his tongue to slip deep into her sex, his nose now buried in the pucker of her ass.
Dain in breathed in deeply through his nose and savored the musky scent of her ass, even as the taste of her pussy threatened to overwhelm him. Her clit was now on her chin as he fastened her lips and began to suck at her pussy even as his tongue lapped deeply within. He ran his hands up over her hips and rested them on the globes of her shapely buttocks and began to gently rock his head..
Star cried out and laid her head down on his stomach, and Dain found himself wondering what her mouth would feel like wrapped about his cock before going back to the task at hand, eating her until she was at the precipice of orgasm once more. Just as she was about to crest over, he took his tongue from her pussy and immediately slid it into her ass.
“Don’t! That’s–” Star interrupted herself with a passionate cry of orgasm, her body shaking and stiffening for several long minutes before she was able to speak again. “Oh, who cares what it is. Don’t stop.” She pleaded.
Squeezing her ass in time with the twisting strokes of his tongue in her ass, Dain ate her hungrily. She was a delicacy he just couldn’t tire of despite his own arousal, which was aching painfully. Which was remedied when she wrapped her soft and tender hands around him and began to gently stroke.
The scales on her palms and fingers were soft and warm with that strange texture that proved to be far smoother than a human hand, but her claws were actually smooth, like glass, and nearly as chill, providing a contract to the warm she was emitting. She had strangle cushioned pads covering her hands, that shaped themselves to his cock.
Dain slid his hands into the fiery tail above his head fearlessly, his hands gripping her smooth scales and digging down into the muscle, providing what he hoped would be a massaging effect.
Star cried out as orgasm reached her yet again and Dain chuckled, his tongue in her ass.
Star twisted about again and Dain was face to face with the gorgeous fire-lizard. Her eyes were the color of hot coals and he knew then that he had no desire to be somewhere he couldn’t gaze into those eyes.
“My tail…” Star told him in a trembling and pouting voice. “How did you know it was so…”
Dain leaned up and kissed her. Hips lips touched hers, and as they parted he slipped his tongue into her mouth. His arms wrapped around her and he held her as he’d never held anyone before. Her tongue must have been inches long, as it wrapped about his a few times and he groaned against her mouth with the new experience.
After all, despite his romps with whores and some general trollops, Dain had never lain with a woman he had not paid before, and never going further than just physical gratification.
Losing his submissive nature for a moment he slid his right hand up her back and into her hair, where he twisted it as he tightened his grip, causing them to break the kiss, a line of spittle dripping between their lips.
Dain stared into her eyes. “I’ve…I have never lain with a woman like this before…and I have never kissed anyone, but you.”
At his revelation Star felt her heart swell again, and though his powerful hand gripping her hair in an ever so lovely fashion held her, she pulled him towards her and again locked their mouths an a passionate kiss. She swept her tail against his cock as she raised her hips and slammed herself home down upon him.
She could barely make his groan out against hers, locked together as they were at the mouth. Her claws digging furrows into his back and his hands pulling her hair painfully as they became one at the groin.
They both came, with no more stimulation necessary and their kiss broke so that they could both cast their heads back with beastial cries of satisfaction and release.
Star fell atop Dain’s chest with a small giggle, even as he fell back against the moss-covered stone slab she used as a bed. She was panting, and felt almost exhausted, but she knew she would recover soon enough and decided to just enjoy basking in the afterglow of the most intense sex she’d ever had.
“MY handsome man.” Star cooed to her love as she nuzzled her face into his scarred and muscular chest.
She felt his heartbeat, could hear his panting breaths, her fin-shaped ear pressed to it as it was, as well as his growl of contentment.
Star felt her head snap up, being snatched again by the hair and found herself staring into her lover’s icy blue eyes. There was something primal and wild in them, as well as something soft and caring.
“Again.” Dain told her with a growl.
Francesca spat in disapproval, glaring down at the pool of Monster’s blood and the scene of the fight. “He’s been taken by a monster. At least a day ago. Even a monster that likes her prey live will already have eaten enough of him to have killed him.”
The king’s guardsmen that had hired her were scared enough as it is. They’d needed her protection nearly every step along the way, yet they’d still lost more than half a dozen in the forest alone to the monstrous bitches who resided there. All in all, she still had at least thirty of her men left.
Francesca tightened her grip on her halberd in frustration at the loss of her opponent. She’d always wanted to best Dain Rictus, or Dain Deathsmile as his moniker translated in the old tongue of Latin. By all accounts, no normal monster should ever have bested him. The assassin had killed more capable warriors of renown than were currently alive. He’d also never failed one of his contract killings, including Fancesca’s uncle.
One of the more capable soldiers, a man named Faulks, stood up from his crouch after finishing his inspection of the tracks. “The Deathsmile fought well. There are copious amounts of monster blood lying around, but just a bit of his. Over there it looks like he lost his footing and was stomped into the ground with tremendous force. The monster’s footprints are heavy as she must have carried him off. I’d rather not linger.”
It irked Francesca’s nerves that the soldiers around her all looked rather pleased as they began to prepare for the journey back. Francesca stormed over to Faulks.
“What are you doing?” Francesca demanded of him.
Faulks sighed at her. “Pardon, I hired you to help offset the Deathsmile’s capabilities, but I have little confidence of this force facing something that not only defeated him, but was well enough to carry him off to who knows what fate.”
Francesca gritted her teeth and glared at him. She was of the order of the holy maidens, the finest monster hunters and fighters of the land.
Faulks waved off her anger. “You’re still going to be paid, so bugger off. The Deathsmile has reportedly killed three members of your order, which gives me little confidence in you. My plan was to have you distract him long enough that all my veteran soldiers could fill him with crossbow quarrels. You say he was taken by a monster and is dead. Good enough for me. But make no mistake, I want nothing to do with a creature that could defeat Dain Rictus in a fair fight. And I looked at the tracks myself. He had a conversation with this creature and it allowed him to enjoy his lunch before attacking.
“All due respect, Mistress Francesca, but I’ve seen Dain Rictus fight before.”
Francesca still seethed, but she’d never encountered a firsthand account of the man who had been her life’s goal in prowess of arms. Forcing her tone pleasant, she calmed herself. “Could you tell me about that? Please.”
Faulks nodded and they mounted up to head back towards human civilization. “It was last year, during the incident in Clavicaust. An unmounted Deathsmile was charged by half a dozen cavalry. He had been wounded in the fighting, and thankfully he was fighting on our side then, an arrow in his shoulder. I had sent my scouts to assist, but had remained upon the hill with my fieldglass, thinking someone ought to witness the last moment of the Deathsmile. I could see him let out a cry to war and he charged the charging cavalry. He cut them down, men and horses alike. No blade could touch him, even with an arrow in him. He caught a ride with us back to the field surgeon’s and sat telling jokes while they were forced to cut the barbed arrow from him.”
Faulks bowed his head to Francesca respectfully. “I honor your order for your protection of us against the Monster incursions, but make no mistake, my lady. I wanted to bring a full regiment after him, not the forty I started out with. A man afoot besting a single horseman could thought to be skilled or even lucky. But a wounded man cutting down half a dozen heavy horseman…That man is a demon in flesh.”
Francesca flushed in irritation. She was more than a little disappointed. Yet another tale of legendary prowess from the man she had become enamored with. Well, at least his legend and prowess. The only thing she wanted to do was cut him down, adding to her own legend. Despite what she wanted, the man deserved better than he was getting at the hands of one of the abominations.
Musing over the past few rather interesting days Star felt her drool dripping off her chin as she panted, her hands gripping the volcanic moss that covered the stone slab she used as bed. Her breasts were swinging to and fro as she felt her ass cheeks bounce from the hard pounding she was receiving from Dain, his cock deep in her ass and her tail wrapped around him adding her down force to his delicious thrusts.
Star could only inwardly appreciate that Dain had taught her the glory anal sex could bring, and she was only slightly embarrassed she liked it just as much as vaginal. The feel of those rough hands holding tightly to her hips and pulling her against him even as he thrust mightily just set her off, causing her to orgasm every several thrusts making their lovemaking session nearly a continuous orgasm, at least for her.
She’d discovered that her handsome man, Dain, was quite a bit less experienced than she was, having only slept with a few women a scant handful of times. Hell, he’d never even been kissed until they’d met only having known brief carnal pleasure, which she could relate to. The lovers she had taken before paled in comparison to how he made her feel, though some of them had better physical assets they hadn’t possessed the raw strength of both body and spirit that Dain had. Even the best lover among them had only been able to bring her to completion a handful of times before they’d become spent.
Not so with Dain, who was now panting and she felt his sweat dripping down upon her, now having spent hours fucking her with no reprieve, despite his repeated ejaculations. Much like herself, he was just a force.
“Fuck me! Oh, please fuck me, my handsome man!” She begged him as she used her arms to push herself back harder as she felt another orgasm roll over her, sending chills across her hot burning body, her long tongue lolling out of her mouth as her eyes rolled back.
Star felt Dain slide his hands in from her hips over her stomach to reach up and roughly grasp both of her breasts and pull her up to lean against him as his cock throbbed roughly and began to spurt inside her. Her growled into her ear in satisfaction and lust.
“Cum for me, my love.”
The growling whispered words echoed in her ears causing her flush to so deepen that Star thought her face had gone aflame in reality. Waves of pleasure shot from her sex, even as a great contentment and happiness spread out from her chest. Tears briefly came to her eyes at his very first admission of love. A satisfaction beyond mere orgasm came over her. The feelings did not compete, but worked together to bring her such an intense pleasure that her eyes rolled back into head as she passed out in bliss.
Dain was so surprised by both his realization and admission of love that he nearly dropped Star when she was overcome with pleasure and fainted. He felt as if his face should be as bright as her perpetually burning tail as he held her up by her large breasts, his arms wrapped beneath hers. His cock was still throbbing in satisfying orgasm deep within her ass, his balls pulsing out more of his seed causing him to groan deeply.
They remained that way for several minutes before he gently disentangled himself and laid her down upon the soft volcanic moss, a soft plush lichen that could not be burned and thrived in great heat, that covered the stone slab they called a bed. Dain had found out that her flames were real, and often burned things that it came in contact to that weren’t her clothing or she wasn’t concentrating on.
Star was atypical from other Salamanders he had heard of. They only gave the appearance of being on fire, and despite their prowess they weren’t supposed to be nearly as strong or fast as she was.
What surprised Dain was that even after their full night of lovemaking he was not left tired or weary, but invigorated and strong. He supposed that it was the transfer of energy, his human spirit energy being consumed and replaced by her demonic.
He was confused, because by all accounts—especially considering how strong she was—Dain was supposed to begin becoming an Incubus, concerned only with sex with monsters, but he still felt normal. His desire for Star had become more intense, but it was really only for her. The thought of someone else just didn’t appeal to him. He pushed these thoughts aside and went back further into the cavern and pulled a strip of dried meat from the last boar in the cavern with a sigh.
Like other Monsters, Star couldn’t fathom planning ahead for the winter to come. Food would need to be gathered for storage as the hunting would become poorer during the winter months to come. Star was a creature of passions unlike some of the more logical Monsters, she didn’t possess the wherewithal to plan.
He returned to the living area of the cavern and looked down at his sleeping beauty. The peaceful and dreamy look on her face tugged at his heart and caused an unfamiliar feeling he had only recently come to recognize in his chest.
“Oh, well.” Dain said with grim acceptance as he began to clothe and arm himself.
Star felt a warm hand gently shake her shoulder. “Star. Wake up.”
She smiled as she recognized the voice of her handsome man and looked up, seeing him fully clothed and armed she panicked, leaping onto him and knocking him to the ground.
“No!” She screamed at him and held him down with all her strength. “You’re mine. You can’t leave!” Unbidden, tears came to her eyes.
Dain sighed and looked up at her. “We’re short on food. Moreover….I have no desire to be anywhere else.”
Star blinked away the tears in her eyes and saw a pained expression come over his face. Her tears had upset him, and he’d briefly been unable to hide it. For some reason it made her happy and she nuzzled her face into his unarmored neck. “Don’t worry, I’ll go hunting soon.”
She felt him sigh. “Not that I don’t appreciate that, but humans need more nutrition than just game and sex. Yes, I know your bodily fluids and energy helps to nurture me, but I actually like eating vegetables. And fish. Not to mention game is going to become scarce in a few months when winter sets in. I figured we’d go hunting together, so I was woke you.”
Star pondered this for a few moments and finding no fault she grinned. The thought of hunting with her mate rather pleased her. She hoped she could see him fight something fierce other than her and thoroughly enjoy the experience. She kissed him thoroughly for several minutes before standing and began to dress and arm herself.
“Where do you think we can get the human items that you need,” She asked as she strapped her sword onto her back in lieu of her side. She always wore it this way when hunting so she could carry a quiver of Elven made arrows and a hunting bow.
She saw Dain strapping his own sword across the small of his back where he could easily pull it around for a proper draw, but wouldn’t snag on the foliage. He also picked up a few of the cured hides and pulled them around parts of himself.
Star was too curious not to ask about the hides, so she did.
Dain smiled. “You threw off my pursuit, but no one would be surprised to hear that I escaped a Monster girl. I’m disguising my armor in case we meet other humans. To answer your other question, there’s a wealthy merchant who often transports lots of goods from nearby villages. A little banditry should get me what I’ll need.” At her disappointed look he smiled. “He’s a pompous ass. He cheats and intimidates the farmers so he can sell his good at a better price than his competitors and bribes the officials to look the others way. Me setting upon them alone would cause fighting, but the Holy Order still thinks and preaches that Monsters devour humans, so the guards are going to run away. Though getting a wagon full of goods back here may present some problems.”
Star sighed in relief. Dain wasn’t the kind of man to lie, even to help him get what he wanted. She just felt that about him. She’d been upset that he would continue to steal, which was counter to the way she’d been reared. “Don’t worry. There’s a nest of Giant Ants in the forest and they won’t mind doing me a favor…or else.” She smiled sweetly.
Dain grinned at her as he checked his pack and secured it over his shoulders. “I knew there was a reason I loved you…” He shook his head to clear it looking confused for a moment, and embarrassed he’d spoken.
Star shot across the intervening distance and wrapped him in her arms kissing him all over his face. “I like to hear that. It makes me happy.” She told him with a blushing smile.
Dain looked uncomfortable as he gave her an awkward and warm smile back. “Anyway, we need to get down to work.”
He did however give her a sweet kiss upon her brow, which made her feel coy for a few moments.
“So, what are those things you’re setting down?” Star asked watching closely as Dain did something with some kind of metal string. She admired watching his deft hands work before he turned around to face her.
“I’m setting snares for smaller and larger game. You set a trap for prey so that you can hunt something else. This way you have more chances of bringing home more game. This is braided steel cable set along game paths. The higher ones are for deer, even elk. They walk through the noose and when it slips about their neck, they panic, taking off at a run and when the cable snaps tight they break their necks or strangle. Most hunters believe only a larger trap can catch bigger game, but I’ve had a lot of success with this, though I’ll show you how to set some of the bigger traps as well. Then we only need to check the lines every other day while hunting and see if we got anything.”
Star was impressed with the system, though she still wanted to believe her method of hunting was the best for providing food. “You know a lot about hunting. And a lot about Monsters. No offense, but most humans are rather ignorant.”
Dain shrugged as they moved to another game trail to set some more snares and even a couple small pit traps. “My mother died shortly after I was born and my father was a woodsman. An Amazon attacked our small cabin and took him. I suppose he was able to beg off or something, because they came back and took me with them. I was raised in an Amazon village, which is rather out of the norm. The gender roles for men and women are reversed there, so I learned to care for home and hearth in my early years. Just before my teen years I took an interest in hunting and the tribe saw it as their duty to teach me, since they thought I’d be married off to one of their warriors in a few years anyway.”
Star saw Dain finish digging a pitfall for small game and she handed him the cut reeds that would form a springing lid, trapping the game inside and he began to weave them together defly. She suppressed a small shudder as she watched him work with his hands. She didn’t know why, but his hands always aroused her for some odd reason.
Dain continued the story. “They thought it amusing to teach me how to fight. Though they weren’t he best of teachers in that aspect. They found my flailing to be amusing. But I practiced at home and their laughter galled me, and I became good. Soon, the younger girls could barely keep up with me, so the older girls decided to put me in my place. And they did. But every time I lost, I only got better. I was avid hunter, so they allowed me to continue as I wasn’t quite old enough to be taken a husband.”
Star nodded. “That’s true. Monsters can instinctively recognize when a male is an adult. Though we ourselves reach maturity at a far younger age.”
Dain didn’t speak as he tested the trap, dropping a small stone onto the covering, which sprung down and opened up the stone falling into the hole before popping back into place and closing up. “Well, my mother didn’t like that one bit. So, she started training me personally.” At her confused look her smiled. “Sorry. I should have explained. The woman who took my father had adopted me as her own. I had two younger sisters who adored me, as well. So with lessons of someone who actually wanted me to improve I got much stronger and skilled. When I reached adulthood, there wasn’t a female around who could best me and claim me, though my sisters seemed to be tempted to claim me themselves. Incest doesn’t cause problems for Monster-kin, I’ve heard. But I had really learned all I could from the village and wanted to see the world, so I bade my family goodbye and left. Though I and my mother had to physically restrain my sisters from following me.”
Star smiled at his story and tried to picture him in those early years. She wistfully regretted she hadn’t found him then, though she had discovered that she was ten human years older than he was, although she appeared ten years younger than he was. “So that’s where you got your skill with the blade.”
Dain thought for a moment. “Some. Amazons are really masters of the spear, though their swordplay is up there. No, I ended up in a human-monster village for a while. Learned a lot about the sword from a lizardwoman and a kunoichi. Eventually I found my niche as an assassin. I killed people for pay. I’m good with weapons, but if I have some time to set my ground, I’m unbeatable.”
Star gave him an uncertain look. She wasn’t sure ANYONE was unbeatable.
Dain saw her uncertainly and took a small wooden tube out of his pack. He held it up briefly before pointing it at a tree and it jerked firing out several small metal projectiles which stuck into the wood. It was relatively silent and struck with a good bit of force. “I can either fire these by hand, or set it up to be triggered. I can even poison the projectiles. Now, I know Monsters have very high resistances to poisons, but if I used several different poisons and managed to hit you a few times, at the least you’d have been slowed enough to make a difference. But I’d have had to known you were coming, and you were suppressing your aura. I was also out of poisons.”
Star looked at the device. “It seems a very dishonorable way to fight.”
Dain shrugged. “Calling a skill I possess and you don’t—knowledge of poisons and the ability to craft traps and unconventional weapons—dishonorable doesn’t make it any less effective. For example: I don’t possess monstrous strength and reserves of energy, nor the ability to heal wounds in a matter of moments instead of days. You don’t hear me crying.”
Star was taken aback. She hadn’t exactly thought of it that way. While she was highly resistant to poisons, the thought of fighting Dain hindered wasn’t an attractive one. “I see your point. Can you use those to take game?”
Dain pondered that for a few moments. “I’d have to build a more powerful one. I can’t exactly use poisons on game. It would transfer over to me and would make me ill over time. Though if I could get hold of some venom it would be possible.”
Star shook her hair to and fro. “What’ the difference?”
Dain collected the projectiles and reloaded the device, placing it back into his pack. “Well, poisons affect the body no matter how they get into it. Venom, on the other hand, doesn’t effect the body if ingested. Like a snake’s venom. They can safely kill their prey with it, because it doesn’t bother the digestive system. Unless someone has an ulcer or sore in their mouth, but the chance of the transference from food is low that way.”
Star was about to say something else when Dain got excited and moved over to examine a large stone.
Star squatted next to her handsome man noting how cute he looked when excited. The stone was oblong and probably weighed fifty pounds or so.
Dain moved over and found some fallen branches of a hardwood tree and began to trim them in a way she was unfamiliar with.
“What are you doing?”
Dain smiled at her as he worked. “I’m making a deadfall trap. There’s a boar’s trail around here that they seem to frequent. The idea is to cut notches into two poles and flatten a cross beam. You wrap a noosed snare around it and hang a stone from the end. Now fifty pounds wouldn’t normally bother a boar…” he held up a small series of wheels connected by wire. “But this pully increases the mechanical advantage five times. So the stone will work like two-hundred and fifty pounds once the wire slips into it when the trap is sprung. The boar runs through the noose and pulls the cross member away from the stays holding the stone. The pully then engages when the slack is lost. The boar gets lifted up and strangled. Even if it can’t be lifted, the small wire will cut its throat.”
Star was enrapt in the death machine. “That means I won’t have to worry about replacing arrows for every boar. How many of those pull-things do you have?”
Dain shrugged. “Just a couple. But they can be reset once the trap has been sprung.” Once it was set up he demonstrated how it worked by tossing a small stump through it. It worked just like he said, and with the speed increasing on the falling stone when the wrist thick stick hit the wire look just before the pully, it was snapped in half.
Star stared in wonder. “The Amazons taught you that?”
Dain shook his head and he reset the trap. “The deadfall? Yes. However I saw the pully at a shipyard on the coast and thought I could get some smaller ones make so I wouldn’t have to lug around such large stones. I also readjusted it so it won’t have a chance to break the pully by hitting the wire. The stone will set on the ground and just keep the prey suspended in the air.” He cut a small piece of cloth and hung it on the contraption.
“What’s the cloth for?” She asked inspecting it.
“It can be used for scent to attract prey, but it’s really there to let someone know about this trap. I’ve put them near all of them. A woodsman will see it and be on the look out for snares and trap, so they won’t set them off or take someone else’s game. Amazons do the same thing, but with a cloth that has their symbol stitched onto it.”
Star followed him as he continued on through the forest and she marveled at the way he was able to move so silently, but still so quickly his bow in hand and at the ready. Though he had warned her that he wasn’t a very good hand with one, but to be ready with hers in case he missed or shot poorly. “So, why doesn’t yours have a symbol?”
She saw him shrug without turning about. “Though they let me hunt, only women get a symbol of war. The first part of my life I learned to cook, clean, sew, and farm the land. Though I did learn a fair amount of carpentry from one of the other men in the village who had been a woodwright before he’d been taken.”
An elk suddenly bounded to their left and Star snapped her bow up and loosed an arrow. She took it through the heart, the powerful bow pushing the arrow all the way through and out the other side. Dain’s less powerful arrows impacted the creature low, hitting no vitals but still close to a kill shot.
Star nuzzled his neck as he sighed in frustration. “I never could get anywhere with the bow.”
Star smiled as she slid her hand over his groin. “It’s all right, my handsome man. You never miss with this one.” She tugged open the laces of his pants as she slid to her knees and opened her mouth wide, a flush on her features.
Watching him in another of his elements had been arousing for her. And if his traps worked half as well as he said they would, they might have enough to stay in the cavern for most of the winter. A thought that both excited her and made her want to show her gratitude.
Dain eased back into the hot water with a sigh. He was sore from all the work involved, but it had been well worth it. Whatever Star had said to the Ants had worked, and they’d agreed to do the transportation of goods, and it had cost them little.
Though convincing them to not jump the first few wagons had been rather difficult, and instead to wait for one of Marques’ convoys of wagons to come through. And all it had cost he and Star was the men from the convoy.
Dain thought it was a small enough price to pay, as the men who worked for the merchant Marques were pigs in general. They should be getting their just desserts about now, for having taken advantage of regular people.
Being forced upon by several dozen Giant Ant girls will have a negative effect, one should think. Should tell them something about taking advantage of the weak and people too good natured to do anything about it.
Despite the fact that he had killed scores of people for money, Dain did have a moral compass. He only took contracts on people that were…not nice people, he supposed. For every contract he had taken, he had turned down thirty or forty.
He slowly eased his shoulders beneath the hot water and winced as the sore muscles began to loosen painfully.
The convoy had held much more than he’d needed. He now had several hundred pounds of various grains, and a stone wheel-press to grind small amounts at once within. Potatoes, carrots, dried peppers, sacks of corn, several sealed vats of oil and grease to cook with, salt, a crock of butter, and an iron cookstove. Not to mention the cookware, knives, and generalities. Marques must have been getting ready to start his own general store somewhere.
Of course there had been several VERY illegal items: A few monster fruits of varying kinds, Alraune nectar by the decanter, and a small collection of books by Saphirette Spherica. He was looking forward to teaching Star to read during the long winter months where they would be isolated in the cavern by feet of snow, only venturing out out of necessity or boredom.
The stove was the reason he was now tender and sore. There had been a portion of the cavern too hot to use due to a vent that spewed air so hot it would cause paper to ignite if left. So they’d placed the stove over after some clever modification and run its chimney to a hole at the side of the cavern using the flue to regulate the temperature. They’d sealed the base and the chimney vent both with wet clay, allowing the hot air to harden and seal the clay. It would take some time, but with a little playing around with the oven door and the vents, he thought he could manage to use it for its intended purpose.
Dain smiled when he thought about Star’s face when he’d baked her a loaf of sweetbread once it had been done. The loaf had been hard on the outside and just barely done on the inside, but she’d devoured it with wild abandon.
He really did love the girl, after all.
It turned out that she really liked fish as well. He had crafted a couple decent fishing arrows, having sharpened the tip and used his dagger to split it four ways, using a few small stones tied into it to keep the tines spread open and taken a fairly nice salmon as it was running up the local river. He’d talked her into waiting until he’d built a fire to cook it in one of the pots and prepared it with a little butter and dill. She’d been so pleased she’d molested him for hours.
Dain never thought he’d actually enjoy cooking for someone else. He was a bit conflicted by it, as the Amazons so long ago had set him against domestic chores by expecting it of him, but Star was different. She was genuinely pleased with everything he’d done and was eager to show him how pleased she was.
The thought of her slightly forked tongue snaking out and wrapping around his cock before she began to swallow it in her mouth brought him chills, even in the hot bath. The things she did with her mouth alone were impossible for humans. The things she could do to him with her powerful vaginal and anal muscles…
He had talked Star into going to a local dwarf community with an order for the making of a bed that couldn’t catch fire as she slept. It would a style of rope-bed. A metal frame, with holes drilled in equal intervals down each side and at the foot and head. In those holes he would string more metal cable and cover it with a fire proof matress stuffed with the volcanic moss. They had no need for blankets, so that would work.
Star had molested him for two hours at the promise of a more comfortable bed, sitting on top of him, his cock deep within her, and grinding her hips down onto him. She’d also started talking dirty to him, saying everything she could to make him blush, though he’d relished the experience.
Finally feelings his hands and arms fully loosen, Dain looked around and took out his sewing kit and black silk scarf he’d found and set to work.
Star used a piece of frayed black cloth to tie her hair. Evidently things she wore as clothing wouldn’t catch on fire even if she lost her concentration, but the hair tie should long ago have been replaced, so Dain began to embroider the black silk with yellow thread. He’d come to learn that her name was actually Starthistle, a beautiful flower that was so spikey you needed gloves to handle it, which fit her rather well. He’d promised her he wouldn’t leave the cavern except to go to bathe while she was gone. He wanted to have it finished to surprise her when she got back.
Dain didn’t know if he could keep that promise as it had been a long time since he’d done any sewing that required dexterity and grace, but after poking himself a couple dozen times his work began to speed. Though he refused to settle for anything less than perfect, especially where Star was concerned.
He’d also given her some gold to pick him up some cordage so that he could build some fishing traps. She really seemed to enjoy fresh fish, and he thought she would love the succulent little shelled creatures called crayfish.
Star had also been terribly excited when more than three quarters of the set traps had yielded. Evidently this region wasn’t overpopulated with hunters, and Dain had expressed his opinion. Star had then tutored him on the local regional wildlife. They were in Whorlie’s forest: a large region that ran well over six-hundred miles, north to south, along the eastern coast. If you traversed the varying breadth of the forest you’d come close out just a mile or so from the sea. This volcanic region was centered around a small volcano that had erupted some hundred years past, and it encompassed relatively little area. Around a twenty mile diameter from the volcano itself.
The creatures of the forest had an unspoken truce: The carnivores would follow the migration patterns of the game, and the herbivores would be left alone to settle where they would. Though to both the northern and southern regions the forest climbed up into mountainous regions.
He’d also found out that his assumption of territories in the volcanic region had been wrong. While Star did share it with other Monsters, it was hers and hers alone. There would have been no way of treading deeply enough into the boundary of a subconsciously marked territory for her to come out and face Star. She’d defined her borders with physical features and any residual demonic energy traceswere just incidental.
Though Dain, upon reflection, was rather glad he hadn’t taken much note of Star as she approached him with her presence subdued. Had he known, he would have set his fighting ground and things may have turned out differently.
Dain was excited about her return. He longed to see the look on her face when he presented her with his gift. A fact that should trouble him, but didn’t, was that he didn’t feel the embarrassment of home making with Star that had prompted him to train as a hunter and leave his home village. It was just no longer important to him. Love makes one see the world differently.