Mors Funebris Finale, Part 1 of 8 (Arawn Cycle 41/Mara Cycle 12)


Mors Funebris Finale 1 of 8

Solve Et Coagula


Nightmares, Night Terrors, Bad Dreams

Demons have received blame for many a human’s disturbed slumber.

So, what can disturb a Demon’s sleep?


Mara, Lilim in Exile, now apprentice to Doctor Iron (Ne Annwyfnn Arawn), also Mistress of Juanita Banderas, instantly transitioned from a potentially satisfying Wet Dream, into an intuitive survival mode.

It was a mode that allowed her antecedents to survive many a surprise attack, either from an Order Hero, or something worse. Now, on this darkened morning in Los Angeles, Earth. Intuition warned her that she had an undesired companion.

That instinct also insured that her eyes remained tightly shut and her body utterly still. Because the trait of jerking awake, had long since been weeded out.

Then, over the ensuing seconds, without moving a muscle or altering her breathing. Mara absorbed her other senses input.  With her ears, she listened. With the breath flowing in her nose, she scented. With the rest of her body, she felt vibrations.

With all three combined, she reached an inescapable fact.

It’s not just a bad dream.’ She decided. ‘My lair has been invaded.’ She thought sourly, as her anger began to flare dangerously.

That, was when she noticed the absence of the warm human that should’ve been locked within her arms. 

‘Where is my Juanita?’ Mara thought breathlessly, as she began to expand out her Demonic sense tendrils to locate her recent prize.

‘Bathroom?’ she wondered as she focused her awareness in the direction of same. After several seconds her ears picked up the complete lack of any sound of a toilet flushing or the creaking of the floor tiles nearby.

‘No.’ Mara decided, as she shifted her attention elsewhere. In that moment her ears perked up when she heard the sound of an owl hooting.

‘Outside, rooftop.’ She deemed, then dismissed it.

‘Where then?’ she demanded as her anger continued to grow. Unaware of it, her lips pulled back slightly from her teeth.

Then suddenly, one of Mara’s sense-tendrils encountered something painful! As soon as it did it retracted back into her within half a second, there to spasm painfully.

As unexpected as that agony was, it was one she had experienced before.

The pain caused by someone Holy.

 ‘Where are you Holy-person?’ Mara thought malevolently, as she dared to raise her head, then turned her nose in the direction of what she’d encountered. Her breath caught in her throat, when she caught the familiar scent of an Order worshipper.

‘The Order?’ She wondered fearfully. ‘Have they have followed me here? To this world?’ she almost hissed aloud, but stopped herself in time.

In that moment, her fear swiftly transformed into outrage. It had been less than a year since her kingdom had been ripped away. But the wounds on her pride were still raw.

‘Haven’t they taken enough?!’ she fumed, as she flexed her claw tipped hands, eager for revenge.

‘This time,… I shall prevail.’ She decided resolutely, as she began to recall every one of the warnings her mother, the Great Maou, had given to her when she was but an Imp.

‘Darkness is your advantage, Mara. Those of the Order cannot see in it like we can. Ears and Nose first for affirmation. Eyes second for location.’ She recalled, with every word recited in her Mother’s voice.

‘Locate!’ she told herself, as she eased open her eyelids to slits, so as to hide her irises’ blood red glow. She carefully moved her head from the left and to the right, to scan the darkness that dominated her room.

‘Did they get Boto?’ she asked herself suspiciously.

‘She would’ve warned me.’  She decided. Carefully, she took another long slow sniff through her nose. Then her breath ceased, when she didn’t detect the distinctive scent of her Vadhagh ward.

‘No. No, not Boto.’ She breathed out silently, her lips narrowing. ‘But that other someone is close by. They are not moving.’ She decided.

Silently, she slipped her naked form out from underneath her encumbering blankets and bed sheets. Crouching upon all fours atop her mattress, she made ready to pounce.  As she did, her wings began to automatically unfurl themselves, both for intimidation and to make them a more inviting target.

Lose a wing or lose your life.’ Mara recalled her mother’s voice again.

As she shifted herself in preparation to launch, her tail began to slowly lash to and fro in the air behind her.

 She breathed in once again to catch the scent of her quarry, and nearly gave out a low growl of frustration, as she realized she couldn’t get a fix on the invader’s precise location.

‘Yet their scent! It’s so pungent! So large!’ she thought in puzzlement.

‘It reeks of sanctimony!’ She almost muttered, as she decided to shift her method of attack.

Daringly, she chose to fully open her eyes for a better chance to find that distasteful ‘Holy’ person.

The room may have been pitch black to human eyes, but not to Mara’s. She could see the outline of every item there. Starting with her door, she gave the place a quick once over, alert to any sudden out of place movements.

‘Closed, and locked.’ She noted when she saw the deadbolt’s position, then continued with her scan. Then her eyes caught an incongruity.

‘There!’ she thought, as her eyes fixed and locked themselves on that one unfamiliar shape. Luckily, whomever it was, they were facing away from her. Sitting in a lounge-chair a few feet away from the edge of Mara’s bed.

Carefully, without ruffling so much as a single fold of the bedsheet that now lay underneath her, Mara oozed her way off her bed. Once free she stood up to her full lean height. Silently, she began lightly placing one foot in front of the other-toes first, kunoichi style.

‘Prepare to die, trespasser!’ she thought eagerly as she came closer and closer to her quarry. ‘When you die, I shall feast upon your soul!’ Mara gloated eagerly as her saliva surged.

‘Cut the neck.’ She decided. ‘That would be most sweet.’ She thought as she prepared a killing blow. Then Mara froze when she heard the interloper sniffle once, and give off a low pain filled moan.

‘Distracted with pain? Even better!’ Mara smiled then in the dark. ‘Now is the time to strike!’ She decided as she took a couple of quick silent steps closer to her prey.

She raised one claw-tipped hand, and poised to lash out with her hand held high over her head. At which point she began to growl audibly. As soon as she did, the interloper’s sniffling stopped, and they began to speak just as Mara’s killing blow began its descent.

“MarAAAH!” the stranger screamed shrilly when she noticed Mara’s eyes glowing hotly in the darkness before her. Coincident with her scream, she jumped out of her chair. Which caused Mara to miss her target by scant inches.

As Mara raised her hand for another strike, the other then stumbled backwards several steps. Until finally, she tripped over her feet, then loudly fell loudly onto her rump on the floor.

“MARA!? What are you doing?!” she squealed as she tried to crab walk herself away from Mara.

‘What?’ Mara thought in surprise, as all traces of that ‘Holiness’ she’d detected, diminished significantly.

Quickly she inhaled through her nose in an effort to identify this stranger’s scent once more. Then after a moment’s befuddlement, Mara identified her.

“Juanita?” she spoke aloud in surprise, as she froze herself in place, her next strike ready.

“Yes?” Juanita stammered, as she kept her eyes focused in the direction of Mara’s voice.

“Why aren’t you in bed?” Mara demanded angrily.

“W,..why aren’t I in bed?” Juanita asked, incredulous. “Why are you sneaking around in the dark and scaring me!” Juanita demanded back hotly. “It’s so damned dark in here! I can’t see anything. Turn on a light or something!” Juanita yelled tremulously, and then she began to cry.

At the sound of Juanita’s tears, Mara forgot her outrage. Without a second thought she reached out and turned-on a nearby table lamp. After which she had to blink away her eye’s dazzlement as they adjusted.

 ‘What happened?” Mara wondered. Why didn’t I recognize her? I was trying to kill her!’ she realized, shocked at her behavior. She then knelt down by Juanita and laid a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Juanita.” Mara began, and then was surprised when instead of replying, the young, naked Latina immediately reached out and pulled her close. Mara automatically encircled her arms around Juanita and hugged her back.

Once Juanita felt the safety of Mara’s arms, she buried her head into Mara’s neck and began to shake and sob in earnest.

“Juanita? What’s wrong?” Mara asked, as she did her best to try and comfort her lover and submissive. First by patting her on her head.

“Just hold me.” Mara heard the sound of Juanita’s muffled voice, “Please.” Juanita begged as she continued to clutch at Mara and weep into her Mistress’ shoulder.

“All right.” Mara whispered as her look of concern melted into sympathy. “You go ahead and do what you need. Just let me know when you can talk.” Mara replied as she shifted her wings and began to envelop Juanita and herself within her wings.

‘Wing-hugs.’ Mara recalled from her childhood. It was a comfort that her Mother had given her after some bad dreams. Just as her wings had enfolded them both completely, Mara noted a change in the aether.

‘What?’ she asked, when she noted it. ‘Wait! That holiness. It’s gone!’ She realized. She then lifted her head and looked about the room, but try as she might she couldn’t redetect that obnoxious ‘Holy’ scent anymore. It was almost as if it had been a figment of her imagination.

‘Yet I know that it wasn’t.’ Mara determined, as she felt Juanita’s warm tears fall down her shoulder and onto her chest.

‘It was akin to the Order, yet different.’ She deemed. But, as she made the determination, she also noticed that Juanita’s crying had begun to slow, and then after several hot breaths, Juanita shaking stopped.

“Mara?” Juanita asked finally, but she didn’t pull away. Mara smiled and kissed Juanita on the top of her head.

“Yes Juanita? Are you feeling better now?” she asked. She felt Juanita nod her head a couple of times.

“I don’t understand this.” Juanita paused as she sniffled once and swallowed some of her tears. “A second ago, I was in agony. But now? It’s gone.” She said as she tried to snuffle herself closer into Mara’s embrace.

“There’s something so very comforting about being in your arms. I wish I could stay here forever.” She spoke, which caused an indulgent smile to spread across Mara’s face.

“We’ve discussed that before.” Mara remined her. “Do you feel up to talking now?”

“Yes.” Juanita nodded as she pulled away and sat back. As she did Mara unfurled her wings from them both.

“Oh!” Juanita smiled when she saw it. “So that’s what that was. You’ve never done that before. Wrap me with your wings.”

“Ahem!” Mara cleared her throat significantly, as she tried to make herself comfortable on the floor next to her sub.

“Oh right.” Juanita replied meekly, as she avoided Mara’s gaze “This is going to sound strange.”

“Fine. Then let us face this strangeness together.” Mara encouraged. After several hesitant seconds and many an embarrassed look, Juanita began.

“Well, I woke up a little bit ago, and I realized I had to go to the bathroom, so I did.” Juanita said. “It wasn’t easy peeling you off of me.” She added with a grin.

“But just as I was coming back to bed. I thought I sensed someone else in the room with us. So, I turned on the light quickly, and I couldn’t see anyone. So, I turned it off. Luckily it didn’t wake you.”

“But just after I turned off the light, and was about to get back into bed? Suddenly I was feeling the worst case of guilt that I’d not had since I was a ninita.”

“Guilt?” Mara asked, “What were you feeling guilty about?” she wondered.

“That’s the thing! I don’t know!” Juanita exclaimed. “I just suddenly got this big feeling of shame, along with an urge to pray for forgiveness.”

“That is odd. You can’t seem to formulate the reason for your guilt. Yet you said you’ve felt like this before?”

“Yes.” Juanita replied. “The last time I’d felt this bad? Was just after I first changed into a Chupacabra!” She said, which caught Mara off guard.

“You should never feel guilty about who you are!” Mara stated fiercely.

“You sound like Doctor Iron.” Juanita simpered. Mara raised an eyebrow.

“I know.” Juanita replied when she noticed it. “As I recall, that’s one of the first things he told me after we first met.” She recalled fondly.

“Unfortunately, it was a long time between when I first changed, and when he found me. During that time, I had prayed something fierce for,…’that god’”, Juanita paused and gave Mara an apologetic look.

 Mara nodded encouragingly. Juanita continued. “I begged HIM, for a miracle. To either change me back, or at the very least.” Juanita frowned. “To kill me and release me from my hell.” Juanita admitted, and gave Mara a morose look.

“What?!” Mara demanded, shaking angrily at the thought.

“I know better now!” Juanita admitted. “Thanks be to Iron and his Foundation. But then I didn’t know any better.”

“So, this praying you mentioned? Did it do you any good in making you feel better back then?”

“Somewhat. But I could never make my guilt go completely away. It’s stayed with me for many years.” She finished. Then Juanita stopped and looked at Mara with adoration in her eyes.

“Until something happened.  There was that one time that my guilt did go away. It was when you and I made love. In fact. every time we make love, or I drink some of your juices.” Juanita grinned widely. “My guilt goes away.”

“Well, I guess that explains why you like the taste so.” Mara smiled pridefully.

“Partly, but also because you taste that good.” Juanita said wickedly then, as she reached down and cupped Mara’s vulva with a hand.

“Now! Now!” Mara chided her. “You mentioned you felt guilt. Do you still feel some of it now?” she asked. Juanita released her hand and thought about it.

“Yes.” She said carefully. “I do.” She acknowledged, and gave off a small frown.

“Well, I can understand your desire to banish it.” Mara began as she reached down and covered the hand that Juanita had put over her nether-folds, with one of hers.

“But,” she began, “We can’t always be making love to keep it at bay. Much as I’d like to.” Mara amended, when she saw Juanita give her a pout.

“Unfortunately. This isn’t my world, where I could whisk you off to my lair and have us make love until the End of Time.” Mara began, but Juanita interrupted her.

“We could do that?” Juanita asked hopefully, as she placed a hand alongside Mara’s face. Mara nodded.

 “Then let’s go!”

“We can’t.” Mara said sadly with a shake of her head. “First off. The Gateway to my world only works intermittently, and there’s no guarantee we’d make it there together.” She said regretfully, as she remembered recent events involving Boto and her Mother’s messenger dildo.

“Oh.” Juanita replied, crestfallen, as she allowed her hand to drop to her lap.

“Well, the best we could hope for, is to continue Arawn’s work. Which is to help bring my Mother and her world here.”

“Fair enough.” Juanita grumped, as she folded her arms. “But what am I supposed to do until then?”

“You mentioned that praying helped you feel better, yes?” Mara asked as a notion occurred to her. Juanita nodded, suspiciously.

“Well, here’s a thought. Try praying to me instead.” Mara instructed. At first Juanita was outraged.

“Why should I do that?!” Juanita replied, shocked at the notion. “You’re not a god!”

“No. I’m not.” Mara smiled. “But that’s hardly something to worry about now, is it? Considering that you’ve bound yourself to me.” She pointed out.

“Oh yeah. Good point.” Juanita conceded, her lips pursed in thought.

“Now, which God was it that you’ve prayed to all of your life?” Mara began.

“Jeho,..”Juanita began. But was interrupted by Mara placing a finger on her lips.

“Ssssh!” she shushed, “Don’t say it aloud. Just saying a god’s name is enough to get their attention. When you do, it gives them power over you.”

“What should I say instead?” Juanita asked.

“How about the name of that church you were a member of?”

“Ummm, the Catholic God?” Juanita mused. “Technically, he’s supposed to be the ONLY God, but opinions differ.”

“That former God of yours, sounds a lot like the Chief God of my world.” Mara said thoughtfully.

“Chief God? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well, in the world where I’m from, there are many Gods worshipped. But the Chief God is supposed to be the most powerful of them. Their ‘Boss’.”

“But why would my God,…oops.” Juanita stumbled. Mara jerked once. “Sorry, old habit.” She apologized when she saw Mara’s reaction.

“Hmmm.” Mara mused. “That’s interesting.”

“What?” Juanita asked.

“When you referred to that God as ‘my’, I felt a momentary push back from my corruption of you, almost as if it was stymied a tiny bit.”

“My corruption? What? I don’t understand.” Juanita asked, confused.

“Well, do you remember my talking about my ‘cultivating’ you?” Mara asked. Juanita nodded.

“That was in reference to what I, as a demon, can do to you.” Mara began to explain. “In order to make you more receptive to what I want out of you. Which is not only your love, but also your Essence.” She informed her.

“Ok, corruption/cultivation. I think I understand that now.” Juanita acknowledged.

“Yes” Mara nodded. “In my world, I wouldn’t have needed to perform the Great Rite; binding you to me; to corrupt you. Instead, just us making love once would’ve been enough to start the process.”

“Really? You sound like you’ve done it before. Have you corrupted anyone else?” Juanita asked, curious.

“Yes, I have. Many humans, both male and female. In fact, all of my sister Lilim have at one time or another. But I’ve only done so in my world. I guess you could say that I’m trailblazing, in learning how to do so in this one.”

“Oh. I wonder why there’s such a big difference?”

“I don’t know for sure, but Arawn might. He’s lectured me that even though our two worlds share many of the same rules. There are also many that are different. Sidewise Rules, I think he called it. Here for instance, I have to put a lot more effort into corrupting you.”

“Why is that?”

“I’ve been getting something I’ve encountered only a little bit before. Some kind of ‘push-back’.”

“Push back? From where?”

“I believe it may come from that God you referenced. Tell me, does this God of yours ever refer to itself as a jealous one?”

“Yes, it does, quite often.”

“Well, that’s another piece of the puzzle. The gods of my world have no problem sharing worshippers. Now.” Mara smiled, “How often are you required to pray?”

“Five times a day at a minimum, but more is expected. In fact, my getting up this early in the morning, is what I usually did, when I was in the orphanage. Matins prayer time.”

“Everything you’ve told me, leads me to one unavoidable conclusion. That god of yours.”

“Not mine anymore!” Juanita insisted firmly. Mara grinned proudly.

“Not yours anymore? Good” Mara echoed, fondly. Then she continued, “I believe that that ‘push-back’? I think it does that, simply to be spiteful. And not necessarily because it feels anything akin to responsibility for you.” Mara stated.

“Why do you say that?” Juanita demanded.

“Because, many of the humans of my world who have been partly corrupted? They prayed for intercession from their Chief God, like you did yours. Unfortunately, some got their desire.” Mara said sourly, her lips pressed into a frustrated frown.

“Oh.” Juanita huffed, her nostril flaring as she sat back and thought about it. Juanita opened her mouth to speak, and then closed it again without saying a word several times. Until.

“What you say makes sense.” Juanita began finally. “The only times I felt like that God was interested in me, was whenever I started to stray away from it.” Juanita replied slowly as she thought back.

“Even though you continued to pray to it, it never once did anything to intercede on your behalf?”

“No.” Juanita sighed. “Not even once.” She admitted dejectedly.

 “Well then, perhaps it’s time to take a trick from its book.”

“What do you mean? Trick?”

“Well, if I may point out. The only thing that God seems to want, is your devotion and prayers.”

“Yeah, the way you put it, does seem kinda one sided. The best I ever got, was some good feelings. Occasionally.” Juanita grumped.

 “Then. Pray to me instead.” Mara encouraged. Juanita blushed and giggled.

“That would be Blasphemy!” Juanita exclaimed in shock.

“I think I like that idea.” She added, then a thought occurred to her. “Do you think it might help you? My transferring my devotion to you?” she asked.

“Well, there’s only one way to find out.” Mara shrugged.

“What should I do?”

“Well, what did you do when you prayed to the Catholic God?”

“First? I get down on my knees.”

“I love it already.” Mara smiled wickedly. Which was soon answered with one from Juanita.

“I suppose I could also go down on you at that point.” Juanita suggested hopefully, as she licked her lips suggestively. Mara laughed.

“That is a possibility to explore in the future, yes.” Mara replied. “But for right now, I want you to get into the habit of praying to me instead, for your sake, not mine.”

“Ok.” Juanita pouted.

 “Are you up to trying right now?”

“Yes. Please!” Juanita said eagerly.

“Good, because my tail has gone numb from all this sitting on the floor.”

“Oops. Sorry.” Juanita apologized. “Oh Mara? I just thought of something. Sometimes in church, before we were allowed to pray, we used to anoint ourselves with ‘Holy Water’. If I may make a suggestion?”


“Perhaps you could arrange, to provide me a bottle of your love-juices? That way I could anoint myself with them before praying to you.” Juanita grinned. “In fact, I wish I had a bottle of it at my side, that way I could sip at it all day long.’

“Now that!” Mara said with a delighted smile, “Is an intriguing idea! I promise I will explore that notion! But one thing at a time.” Then with nary a thought, Mara stood shakily up, stretched her extremities, then walked over to the lounge chair and sat down. She slouched herself down until her hips were over the edge.

Once Juanita saw her do that, she kneeled down in front of her. There the two of them smiled at each other.

“Nice position.” Juanita said then, as Mara shifted her hips until she saw Juanita’s face ‘just above’ her genitals. Then as she put her hands together in benediction, she hesitated. Mara noticed it.

“What’s wrong?” Mara asked.

“What should I pray about?” Juanita asked feeling lost.

’Why not simply try saying an old prayer. But instead of using that god’s names, use mine instead.’

“Ok.” Juanita replied. “I’ll give that a try.” She said as she prepared herself.

“Glory to you, oh,…uhhh,..Mara, Glory to you.” She began to recite hesitantly.

“Glory to you, who gave me sleep to refresh my weakness,” she paused, doubtful. “And to repay the toils of this weak flesh.’ Juanita paused again in frustration and sighed despondently. But, she persevered

‘To this day, and all days, a peaceful, healthy, sinless,…’ Juanita stopped, sighed, and shook her head.

“This just isn’t working.” She decided as she leaned back and dropped her hands to her sides.

“Well, that’s not going to work.” Mara decided. “Hmmmm.” She frowned in thought, her arms folded with one finger tapping her mouth. Then she stopped as an idea came to her.

“I take it you have something else in mind?” Juanita asked after several moments.

“Yes, I do.” Mara answered, and turned her attention back to her. “I want you to try something more extemporaneous, but be sure to add something erotic as well.’

“Ooh! I like that idea. In fact, I’ve been working on writing you a love poem.’” Juanita admitted shyly.

“Excellent, I look forward to hearing it!” Mara said brightly, with an approving nod. Her platinum tresses bouncing when she did.

After a few more seconds, Juanita got herself into the right frame of mind. She then kneeled in front of where Mara sat in front of her. When she did, she gazed adoringly at Mara’s vulva and thought about how much she enjoyed the taste and feel of them within her mouth.

“Oh, my Mara.” Juanita began again, this time with much more enthusiasm. “I kneel before you this morning because I worship you.” Juanita continued, as she stole a glance up at her owner.

She was pleased to see Mara looking down at her with a lustful look that promised much for later. She then closed her eyes and began her devotion in earnest.

“I thank thee my Mara, for accepting my offering of my Mind, my Body, and my Soul. Once more, I affirm my submission to you. I eagerly give everything that I was, everything that I am, and everything that I might ever be. To You and I do so willingly, gladly.” Juanita said honestly. Then she paused in her devotion and gave Mara a quick glance.

“Good?” she asked with just a tinge of uncertainty in her voice.

“Good.” Mara replied with a nod. “Do continue.” She instructed. Juanita beamed with reassurance as she closed her eyes and continued.

“I thank thee Mara, for your Passionate Embraces. They make my heart sing. I thank thee Mara for your Silken Tongue and the way it winds itself into my deepest crevices.” She breathed in deeply as she remembered the last time Mara had lapped at her vulva.

‘Just a few hours ago.’ She smiled.

“Aaah!” Mara gasped suddenly.

“Is something wrong?” Juanita asked, as she paused in her prayer. Then she saw that Mara had a surprised look on her face.

“No!” Mara replied in wonder. “Something is right!” Mara gaped, as she looked down at herself. She flexed her arms and hands, and panted a bit.

“I don’t know what it is you did just now. But I just felt a surge of energy come from you, into me! It tasted like your Essence. But it had a lot more,…more,…’zing’ to it!” Mara decided as she breathed in and began to stroke her tummy. “I like it. Continue.” She ordered her sub huskily.

“Yes, my Mara.” Juanita stated with a smile, as she bowed her head and resumed.

“I thank thee my Mara, for your Love-Juices!” She continued, as she deliberately thought of licking the same off Mara’s vulva.

“Aaah!” Mara exclaimed again with a shudder, her eyes flaring darkly. Juanita paused only for a moment.

“I thank thee my Mara, for the opportunity to taste your folds in my mouth.” Juanita breathed deeply as she remembered the way they felt and tasted on her lips and tongue.

“YES!” Mara growled shudderingly then. “Whatever it is you’re doing. You’re onto something!” Juanita smiled wickedly as she continued.

“I thank thee my Mara, for the Demonic Energy that you have profaned me with. I eagerly await the hour in which you have desecrated me completely.” Juanita continued as she felt her corrupting accelerate.

“AAAAHHH!” Mara yelped then, as she lunged forward and grabbed ahold of Juanita’s shoulders. She then roughly pushed her to the carpeted floor, and pinned her to it with her legs.

“I feel so much more energized now! More than I have in the longest time!” Mara cried happily, as she straddled herself atop Juanita’s face with her crotch; her tail lashing wildly with glee.

“I’m so glad to hear that, Mistress!” Juanita stated happily up to her from her position between Mara’s legs. “Well, since I’m down here.” She suggested, as she gave her Mistress’ vulva a quick lick. Mara gasped and shuddered with the pleasure.

“Hold on!” she breathed as she grasped ahold of her breasts, and gave them a good squeeze. When she did her nipples erected.

“I do have a suggestion for improvement on your prayer.”

“Yes Mistress?” Juanita asked, her voice sounding muffled.

“I want you to say my name.”

“Uhhmmm, yes Mistress?” Juanita asked, puzzled.

“Go ahead.”

“Mara?” Juanita asked tentatively.

“No, no! Say my name with my pussy in your mouth.” Mara instructed.

“Oh!” Juanita said as she realized. She then shifted her head in preparation. “Mmmmmaaahhhrrraaahhhh.” Juanita mumbled, as she gently worked Mara’s nether-lips within her mouth. ‘Oh, I just love the way they feel under my tongue.’  Juanita thought, as she licked and suckled at them.

“Again!” Mara hissed.

“Mmmmmaaahhhrrraaahhhh.” Juanita mumbled again.

“Again! But this time I want you to memorize the taste and feel of my pussy as you lick.”

“Yes Mistress.” Juanita agreed. “Mmmmmaaahhhrrraaahhhh.” She did as she was bade.

Then Mara did something Juanita didn’t expect. Instead of allowing Juanita to continue in her oral ministrations, Mara instead broke contact and stood up.

“Wha,,,,?” Juanita protested, feeling bereft at seeing her favorite meal rise up and away from her.

“Now,” Mara grinned as she got to her feet and then stepped lightly over to lounge chair. “Pray to me again.” She continued as she sat back as before.

“This time whenever you say my name. Say it like you have my vulva in your mouth.” She ordered her.

At first, Juanita looked at her in befuddlement, but then It took her a few seconds to understand what Mara meant.

“Yes, Mistress!” she said gleefully, as she readied herself for her task. She rolled over and knelt herself before Mara in abject supplication. Then just before she began, she and Mara shared a smile.

“Oh, my Mmmmmaaahhhrrraaahhhh.” Juanita purred as she reimagined Mara’s vulva in her mouth. She then lowered her head, broke eye contact and resumed her devotion in earnest.

“I kneel before thee in the hours of darkness before morning. Because I worship you,…Maaaraaa.” Juanita began again happily. As she did, she could hear Mara take in a shuddering breath.

Juanita smiled at the positive results of her worship, and then she continued.

Shortly, Mara let out a long scream when she reached the height of her pleasure.


As the first rays of dawn began to peek in through her bedroom windows, Mara was pleasantly awoken by the sound of Juanita’s voice calling to her.

“Mistress? Oh Mistress?” Juanita whispered lovingly. “Wakey! Wakey! Eggs and,…’ahem!’ Sin.” Mara heard her say. As she opened her eyes, she was surprised to see Juanita kneeling alongside her bed with a breakfast tray held out, almost as if it were an offering to her.

Automatically, Mara raised her head and breathed in. Her mouth watered when the wonderful scent of fried eggs and bacon filled her nose. Of course, the fact that Juanita was holding the tray wearing nothing but a smile, added to the effect.

“Good morning Mistress.” Juanita smiled, as she looked down at the tray and then over to Mara.

“I trust you’re hungry?” she asked suggestively. Mara smiled and licked her lips.

“Good morning. Yes, I am hungry. I didn’t expect you to serve me like this. But I’m glad you did.” She said as she pushed herself up to a sitting position. As she did the bedsheet that covered her, fell to her waist. This left her chest exposed to the morning’s light that sneaked through the curtain cracks.

Normally, she’d have left herself bare. Alas, Mara was still rather self-conscious about her emaciated body, and quickly clutched at the sheet to draw it up.

“Oh, please don’t Mistress.” Juanita pouted when she saw.

“I was rather enjoying the view.” She frowned. Mara hesitated and pursed her lips. But after seeing Juanita’s earnestness, her lips slowly turned into a smile. After a second or two she relented and let the sheet drop. Juanita smiled anew.

“Thank you, Mistress.” She replied, and then stood up. “Sit back please.” she asked as she hovered the tray over Mara’s legs. Mara smiling obliged and scooted herself backward, then relaxed back against her pillow.

Once the tray was in place and she was set to eat, Mara got a puzzled look on her face as she looked over the contents.

“What? Is there nothing to drink?” she asked.

“I didn’t know what you like to drink. So, I made a variety. Most of its still in the kitchen.” Juanita replied.

“So, what are my options?”

“You have a choice between, Cocoa, Tea, or,…Me?” Juanita said hopefully.

“Hmmmm.” Mara hummed as she tapped a finger to her mouth. “My decision will be,…Yes.” She smiled and licked her upper lip.

Juanita smiled, stood up and curtsied. She then began to turn around to hurry off.

“Wait.” Mara interrupted, Juanita stopped and looked expectantly.

“Kiss.” Mara demanded, as she tapped her mouth once. Keeping a straight face, Juanita leaned over and gave her Mistress a kiss. As she did, Mara grabbed lightly ahold of her head with both hands, then she initiated a long slow one that left both of them breathless.

“Wow!” Juanita said when Mara finally let go. “You’re feeling a lot more vigorous today.” She smiled. In response Mara shifted her hands down to Juanita’s dangling breasts, and clutched at them tightly.

“Ooh!” Juanita let out, and jerked upwards and widened her eyes. Mara, in response forcefully guided Juanita forwards her, until she had one of Juanita’s close to her lips. Whereupon she opened her mouth and began to suckle at it rather forcefully.

“Ooohhhh.” Juanita moaned, as she half-closed her eyes with the volume of pleasure Mara’s teeth and tongue elicited within her.

 Mara began to growl with pleasure at the taste and feel of Juanita’s nipple and areole in her mouth. As the seconds ticked by, she continued to suckle harder and harder. Finally, she suddenly let go with a soft ‘pop’. Then she transferred her mouth to the other nipple and performed the same treatment there, all the while Juanita shuddered with her pleasure.

After Mara was done, she looked up at the still leaned over Juanita, who by now had an aroused blush running across her face.

“That’s a good start.” Mara grinned wickedly. “Now go and fetch me my Cocoa, six of those tiny marshmallows.” She ordered as she released Juanita’s breasts.

Juanita hurried off to obey. A minute later she returned with a steaming mug held in both hands. She kneeled before Mara and transferred it.

“Now, my pet.” Mara said as she took the cup in her hands. “Sit down on my bed near my feet.” She ordered, as she took a sip. Juanita hurried to obey.

“Ah!” she sighed. “Good.” She smiled as the taste of the cocoa hit her tongue. Juanita finally shifted to a sitting position.

“Good, now spread your legs open.” Mara ordered, as she took another sip of Cocoa.

“Mistress?” Juanita asked, puzzled. But she did as she was told. As soon as her knees were wide apart. Mara’s spade ended tail wormed its way out from underneath the blanket and began to crawl snake-like towards Juanita’s nethers.

“Oh. My.” Juanita said in surprise as her eyes tracked Mara’s tail tip’s progress. Mara grinned.

“Yes, Juanita.” Mara announced, “I’ve decided that every morning during breakfast, I should have a meal with some entertainment.” Mara stated as she bit into a piece of toast.

“Rye, good choice.” She said around a mouthful.

“Now lean back a little. I’m finding it a bit difficult to enter you.” She said as she tilted her head and watched Juanita lean back. Mara smiled when her tail tip finally found its way to Juanita’s vaginal opening, and began to idly stroke at Juanita’s nether lips, up and down.

“Oooh.” Mara frowned then. “You’re still a bit dry.” Mara observed as she took another drink of Cocoa. “Try pleasuring yourself a bit first.” She ordered. Juanita grinned, then reached out and began to finger herself.

“There’s a good subbie.” Mara beamed, as she heard the sound of Juanita’s fingers begin to make their squishy manipulation. Every time Juanita’s fingers made their trip up, Mara’s tail tip followed and vice versa. After several seconds, Mara sighed.

“Ah good, I can feel you moistening.” She said as she finally began to gently probe Juanita’s vaginal opening with her tail-tip.

Once she was sure that both Juanita’s vagina and her tail end was sufficiently lubricated. Mara began to insert her tail-tip into Juanita’s vagina.

“Oh, I see that I’ve overslept.” Mara observed as she took a quick glance at her digital clock, and then bit into some bacon. “Has Boto eaten yet?” she asked.

“I took the liberty of making her breakfast.” Juanita replied breathlessly, and then she swallowed. Her masturbation slowed momentarily as she did. Mara noticed and frowned.

“Don’t stop pleasuring yourself.” She warned, as she fixed Juanita with a stern glare.

“Yes, Mistress.” Juanita replied, as she redoubled her efforts. Mara smiled indulgently when she complied.

“I take it that one of the Vadhagh elders has collected her already?”

“Yes Mistress.” Juanita said as she half-closed her eyes and moaned once. She then began to pant softly. “Oh Mistress, I love the feel of your tail in me.” She moaned, as she began to shift her hips. Mara smiled.

“I have to admit I rather like having you wait on me hand and foot.” Mara continued, as she took another sip of Cocoa. “It’s been too long since I’ve made Tail-love with a woman.” She said as she plunged her tail even deeper into Juanita.

AAahhh!” Juanita groaned as her face began to flush with her pleasure.

“Oh Mistress? I’m getting close.” She stated as Mara grinned lewdly.

Mara could feel Juanita’s essence beginning to flow, so she allowed just the tiniest bit of it to be absorbed through the very smallest point of her tail. She heard Juanita give out an involuntary moan then.

“Mistress?” Juanita breathed as she did her best not to move around too much and disturb her Mistress’ breakfast tray. “May I be allowed to come?” she begged.

“Not yet my dear.” Mara teased. “I’m enjoying myself too much right now.” Juanita whimpered once in response, and pouted. Mara then plunged her tail even further into Juanita until her tail tip began to bounce off of Juanita’s cervix.

“Mmmmmmeee!” Juanita squeaked as she clutched at the sheets and blanket.

“Oh, I just love the sounds you make when I torment you.” Mara said with a flourish. “I especially like the way your teeth clench when you try to pant through them.”

“Yes,…Mistress.” Juanita squealed as she did her best not to come without Mara’s permission.

“That’s right my pet.” Mara said then. “Let your frustration build up. Hold off on coming, just a little bit longer. I want your Essence to flow and build up.” Mara said wickedly, the red of her black eyes glowing with her lust and her hunger.

She then twisted her tail ‘just so’. Which allowed the spade end of her tail in as deep as she could manage within Juanita’s depths. Once there, she began to slowly twist her tail-tip left and right in ever-increasing arcs. Within a minute she had managed to turn her tail-tip around a full 360. The effect on Juanita was most pleasing to Mara.

“Ah! Ooh! Ah!” Juanita began yelping and grasping at the sheets and blankets, as she began to buck and convulse. “Mistress, it hurts so good!” Juanita began, “It feels so wonderful!” she cried out in between gasps, and exhalations.

“Do you truly wish to come?” Mara asked her lightly.

“Y,,,,…yes, Miss,..Tress!” Juanita managed to say finally, as tears began to well up in her eyes. “P,..Pl,..Please allow me!” she begged.

“Keep pleasuring yourself then.” Mara said patiently, as she pointed to Juanita’s hands. With a supreme effort, Juanita somehow managed to release her grip on the bedsheet, and began to stroke her labial folds once more.

“Now, Juanita.” Mara began as she sensed she wasn’t going to be able to hold off much longer.

“When you come, I’m going to siphon off some more of your Essence and replace it with some of my Demonic Energy. Do you comprehend?” she demanded. Somewhere, deep within Juanita, a part of her heard her. She nodded furiously. Mara smiled and continued.

“Now. You’ll feel it when it happens, don’t fight it. Allow it.” she coached, Juanita managed to hear her enough to nod her head. Beads of sweat flew off her brow when she did.

“Remember! Allow it to permeate you.” She instructed, as an ever-growing smile began to form on her face. The wider her smile got the closer Juanita reached to her peak of ecstasy. Mara smiled because she too was forcing her own Demonic Energy to build up as well.

“Come!” Mara ordered her finally.

“AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” Juanita screamed out as she began to thrash to and fro, bucking and heaving, and spasming fiercely. As she did, Mara siphoned off just enough of Juanita’s Essence that she dared. Naturally for every drop she took, she replaced with just a little too much Demonic Energy in turn.

Both she and Juanita let out an orgasmic squeal in unison, though for differing reasons. After nearly half a minute of orgasmic bliss, Juanita finally relaxed, and fell onto her back to pant furiously. Her mind having nearly blown a gasket from the pleasure overload.

Afterwards, it took her the better part of ten minutes before she could manage a coherent thought. All during that while, Mara kept her tail inside of her, with just the occasional swirl or twist of her tail tip.

“Very good Juanita, I can feel that your corruption is coming along rather nicely.” Mara observed, pleased with her efforts. “At this rate, I’ll have a free hand to alter your form within a month.”

 “Oh, and you made the eggs nicely too. I like the way they’re a balance between crispy and chewy.” Mara described as she raised her cup of Cocoa.

She toasted Juanita with it, and took a sip. On a whim, she began to draw in still more of Juanita’s Essence through her tail. Which had the nice effect of causing Juanita to orgasm once more.

“Best breakfast I’ve had so far Juanita.” Mara smiled. “I look forward to supping on you and your efforts in the future.” She stated with a heartfelt sigh.


Finally, the better part of a half-hour later. Juanita managed to get her thoughts in order enough, to lean forward and shakily prop herself up on her elbows. When she looked down between her legs, she smiled at the sight of Mara’s tail still lodged deep within her.

“Thank you, Mistress.” She chirped gleefully. Then she got a thoughtful look on her face. “Oops, I forgot.” She continued, “When I was making you breakfast, Ms. Augustine called.”

“Oh?” Mara stated as she finished her breakfast and set aside her tray. “What did she have to say?” she asked, curious, as she daintily patted her mouth dry with her napkin.

“Apparently, Doctor Iron has required everyone who lives in this section of the building? To report in to him.”

“Really?” Mara replied, puzzled. “Did she say why he felt it was necessary?”

“Hmmmm,” Juanita mused as she thought about it, “there was an ‘incident’ yesterday afternoon that he’s concerned about.”

“Odd.” Mara mused. “I wonder what it was?” she asked. Then she shrugged. “Oh well, did she say when I’m supposed to go?”

“As soon as we can make ourselves presentable.”

“We?” Mara asked. “Why did she include you?”

“She asked if I’d been here since yesterday. I said I was, more or less. So, she told me to come along, ‘just in case’.”

“Right.” Mara replied with a thoughtful look. Then with a sigh, she eased her tail out of Juanita’s vagina. Juanita gave off a pout when Mara’s spade end popped out.

“Since we’re supposed to do that, I imagine that we should probably go ahead and get cleaned up.” Mara stated as she easily got to her feet. “For some strange reason, my face feels like a glazed donut.” She smiled knowingly.

“What a coincidence.” Juanita replied. “So, does mine.”

“Perhaps we should shower together? I’ve had problems getting some of my wing crevices properly cleaned.”

Juanita grinned.


“Which room did Ms. Augustine say we should report to?” Mara asked Juanita as she came to a stop in an intersection.

When she looked around, she realized that they were in one of the emptier, lesser used sections of the complex. One that was devoted mostly to conference rooms and storage areas. As she did, she took a look around the faux-wood paneled walls and grimaced once more in distaste.

“I think it’s this way.” Juanita barked back curtly as she pointed a middle finger up in Mara’s direction, and then used it to point straight ahead. Mara raised an eyebrow then at Juanita’s uncharacteristic sauciness.

“Juanita?” she asked as she raised an eyebrow at Juanita’s uncharacteristic sauciness. Juanita shot her a warning glance.

“Mind-speech.” She whispered, as she looked suspiciously up and down the currently empty hallway.

‘Mind-speech it is then.’ Mara thought at her then.

‘Thank you, Mistress.’ Juanita thought back. ‘Please forgive me my rudeness. We’ve passed by several other people already. And I want to keep my rep of being a tough-ass. I hope you understand.’ She replied with a timid mental apology. All the while she kept her chin raised as she stared back at Mara with a defiant look.

‘Of course, my pet.’ Mara thought back with a smile. ‘I will back you up and follow your cue.’ She thought replied.

‘Thank you for understanding, Mistress.’ Juanita replied as kept her frown going but her eyes softened considerably.

‘Careful Juanita.’ Mara reproved her, ‘Keep looking at me like that and people will notice. You’ll just end up destroying your public ‘tough-girl’ persona.’

‘I can’t help it Mistress.’ Juanita replied, as she finally managed to keep her eyes straight ahead. ‘I just can’t get over how wonderful the last 24 hours have been for me.’

‘As it has for me as well.’ Mara replied inwardly. Then they both went silent as they heard footsteps approaching.

“Ah! Lady Mara!” came the sound of Fantine’s cheerful voice. “Bon Jour! And to you as well Juanita.” She addressed them both with a pleasant nod.

As she approached from a fair distance, a casual observer would’ve stated that Fantine appeared to be nothing more than a frail seeming human female. One who stood about five feet and some change. Even though she was dressed in a knee length conservative skirt and blouse, she still cut a fine figure in it.

[Prior to the establishment of the Iron Foundation, the only ‘casual observer’ who did get to see the Rougarou, was usually her intended prey, and then not for very long. The last thing they’d have seen, would be the milky pallor of her serrated teeth, her blood red eyes, and their still beating heart grasped in one of her clawed hands.]

 She came to a stop and looked wondrously at Mara. As she did, a sharp toothed smile appeared on her face.

“Good Morning, Fantine.” Mara replied with a return nod. Juanita did the same. “You seem to be in a good mood this morning?” Mara asked her.

“Your cane, Lady Mara.” Fantine replied happily as she gestured at Mara’s arms. “It appears that you are healing well, and quickly.” She whispered as tears began to well up in her eyes.

“Fantine?” Mara asked when she noticed the Rougarou’s tears. “Is something wrong?”

“No, Lady Mara.” Fantine replied as she stepped forward and reached out with both of her hands in supplication. Mara looked at them and tentatively reached out with one of her own. Fantine immediately gripped it with both of her own.

 “It does my heart well to see you improving.” She sniffled, as she raised Mara’s hand to her face and kissed it once lightly.

“Uh,…ummm….” Mara floundered then, embarrassed by the display.

“Forgive me, Lady Mara.” Fantine stated when she realized what she’d done, she dropped her eyes and continued. “I am still very much in your debt for your saving my Cossette.”

“It’s all right Fantine.” Mara replied, trying desperately to hide her blushing. “How is she doing by the way?” she asked.

“She is doing well, and has asked about your health many times. Now I can give her some good news.” Fantine nodded, “Perhaps one night you will come and pay us a visit?” She stated hopefully.

“I’ll be sure to.” Mara replied, surprised and pleased at the unexpected invitation. “Perhaps you can help me?” She inquired.

“I take it that you are looking for Doctor Iron?” Fantine replied. Mara nodded. Fantine turned and pointed back the way she came.

“He is in the Main Dojo, three doors down on the right.” She said as she released Mara’s hand.

“Ah of course.” Mara replied, “If you’ll excuse me? I need to go and see him.”

“Of course, Au Revoir Lady Mara.” She nodded, and then turned and walked away briskly.

‘See Mistress?’ Juanita thought then, after the Rougarou departed from sight. ‘The Nightbreed are finally starting to warm to you.’

‘That is good to know.’ Mara thought back, relieved. ‘I’m sorry it took so much to get them to do so.’ She thought as she started walking towards their destination. Juanita soon followed and tried to keep up with her.

‘I’m sorry too.’ Juanita thought sadly, ‘But it’s only in the worst of times do we discover what people are really like.’ Juanita replied. ‘Mistress? Fantine is right! It is good to see you so energetic!’ She smiled as she hurried to keep up with Mara.

‘I owe it all to you, Juanita. Between your Essence and your Prayer-Worship; I feel remarkably better now.’ Mara thought as she stopped walking. As she did, Juanita stumbled to a halt.

“Is something wrong?” Juanita asked aloud.

“No.” Mara smiled mischievously as she glanced quickly up and down the hallway. Assured that the two of them were alone, she quickly reached out and gave Juanita in for a quick kiss. ‘Thank you.’

‘Oh!’ Juanita replied aloud, shocked. ‘Uhmmm, I liked that Mistress. But what if we were caught in the act?’ She thought nervously as she looked around herself. No one else was present, so she relaxed.

‘What if we were?’ Mara asked as she resumed her walking. ‘I am not ashamed of us or our love.’ She thought. Juanita hurried to catch up and keep pace with her.

‘Neither am I.’ Juanita shot back. ‘But homophobia is still prevalent in this country. We have to be careful to avoid harassment.’ Juanita replied regretfully. But before she could continue, they both arrived at the open entrance doors to the Dojo. Just outside the doors were two sets of shoes.

‘Oh, that’s right.’ Juanita realized, ‘THE Dojo.’ She thought as she leaned over and began taking one of her shoes off.

‘What are you doing?’ Mara asked, confused.

‘Dojo etiquette requires that we take off our shoes before entering.’ Juanita instructed her. Mara followed her lead.

Once they both had their shoes off, they peered inside and looked around. To their eyes the place was akin to a conference room in size. But instead of the usual carpeting, there were a number of turquoise-colored rectangular mats arranged neatly on the empty floor.

The walls were mostly bare of adornment, with the exception of a portrait of a bearded old man at the far end. Sitting underneath the portrait was a low table upon which sat some artfully arranged flowers in a vase. Alongside the portrait were two signs written in a script neither Mara, nor Juanita could decipher.

“Doctor Iron?” Juanita called out; her voice echoed slightly as she did. She took a step and stopped when she noticed that her feet sunk slightly into the mats. She grinned impishly as she bounced herself a couple of times on them, they were so springy.

“Ah Juanita! Mara! Good.” Came the resonant voice of Annwfyn Arawn. Both women then turned to the source, and noted that Arawn was sticking his head out of a doorway they’d not seen previous. Alongside the door was a picture window to an office.

“Please try to make yourselves comfortable.” Arawn stated somberly. “I will be with you both in a moment.” He stated, then he pulled his head into the doorway.

Mara and Juanita shared a grin, and began to look further around the Dojo. Unfortunately, there was no sign of anything approaching a chair.

So, Mara, as curious about new environments as a cat, began walking around the interior. Occasionally, she’d stopped and bounce herself on the mats a couple of times, just for the fun.

‘What are those?’ Mara asked as she pointed to a rack alongside one wall. Juanita glanced over and smirked.

‘Those are Bokken.’ Juanita replied, ‘Wooden swords.’

‘Swords? That’s interesting, why so many?’ Mara wondered.

‘Well, Iron teaches a number of weapons classes. Including the use of swords.’

‘What?!’ Mara thought, surprised. ‘I had no idea he did that!’

I’d imagine that there’s a lot about him you don’t know.’ Juanita shot back. ‘I’ve known him for nearly twenty years, and I still only scratched his surface.’

After a few more steps they stopped and turned around when they heard Arawn’s voice. They saw that he’d come out of his office and was talking quietly with someone else. A Hunter by the looks of his worker’s outfit.

Mara had to hide a snort of laughter behind one hand, when she saw what Arawn was wearing. To her eyes, it appeared to be a large set of white pajamas. Even worse, there was something akin to set of blue cloth chaps hanging from his hips.

‘What on earth is he wearing?’ Mara thought to Juanita, with just a barely restrained giggle. ‘It looks ridiculous!’ She continued as she turned her face away to hide her smile from him.

‘That’s his Gi’. Juanita sighed. ‘His martial arts outfit. I’ve no idea why he feels the need to wear it right now.’

At that point Arawn and the Hunter nodded their mutual thanks. As the Hunter exited the room, Arawn remained standing, while he wrote some notes onto a metallic clipboard.

“My apologies, Mara, Juanita.” Arawn murmured off handedly while he continued writing. “I will be with you both in just a moment more.’ He continued as he gestured at the pair to remain where they were. After a moment more, he stopped and closed the clipboard with a sharp ‘snap’!

“Now, to answer your unasked question, Mara.” He began absentmindedly. “I am wearing these clothes, for the express purpose of beginning your tutorials in Blast-Punch and Shield Buckler abilities.”

“Ah good.” Mara smiled. “I was hoping to do that, soon.”  Arawn glanced up at her once and gave her a quick visual assessment, and gave her a small smile.

“It is good to see you progressing in your healing.” He continued. “Unfortunately, I will be unable to give you much of a tutorial today. As it has been rather hectic, since the Incident last night.” He yawned wearily, as he made his way over to them.

“Incident? What’s been going on?” Mara asked, curious. In response, Arawn looked up at her with a confused look.

“Really? You are not aware of it?” He marveled. “That is surprising. Considering it happened almost directly over your apartment.” He then turned to Juanita and opened his mouth to address her.

Then he froze in place as his eyes widened. After several seconds, he didn’t resume either his talking or writing. All he did then was stare at Juanita, open-mouthed.

‘Mara? He’s staring at my throat. Any idea why?’ she asked, as she tried not to fidget.

“Hey Doc!” Juanita let out after too long a pause, “You’ll catch flies.” She snarked. At that comment, Arawn closed his mouth and dropped his clipboard to one side.

“What is this?” he demanded as he stepped close to Juanita and reached out an exploring finger to her throat. Juanita frowned when it got too close for her comfort.

“Back off!” she shouted as she slapped his hand away and moved backwards.

“Remain Still.” He ordered her icily. Despite her trepidation, she found herself obeying him. Looking up at his eyes, she noticed that they seemed to be glowing slightly. Juanita gulped fearfully.

“I,..I,..uhhhh.” was the most she could say.

“Arawn? What are you doing?” Mara demanded as she came to Juanita’s rescue.

“HSST!” Arawn replied, demanding silence. Mara found herself unable to say anything more for a second. As she went quiet, Arawn re-raised his hand and tentatively touched Juanita’s throat.

“And what do we have here?” he asked speculatively as he focused his eyes closely.

To anyone else’s eyes, Arawn was examining nothing. But to Mara and Juanita, they could see him touching the supposedly invisible leather collar.

“What are you talking about?” Mara demanded, determined to play dumb.  Arawn ignored her as he took ahold of Juanita’s collar tag and read it aloud.

“Juanita, Banderas.” He repeated somberly. Then he flipped it over and read that side too. “I belong to,…Mistress?” he goggled.

“This.” He said as he leaned closer and narrowed his eyes at the supposedly invisible collar. “is infused with Devil’s Mark essence.” He stated firmly as he let go of the tag. “And one not lightly crafted, I observe.” He frowned.

“The pieces of the puzzle, are finally starting to fall into place.” He huffed aloud as he paused and breathed in deeply, his nostrils flaring angrily.

After a second, he slowly looked over at Mara. When she met his gaze, she saw him gave her a speculative look. Then his face melted into one of resignation, and to Mara’s surprise, one of disappointment.

“Or in this case. A Demon’s Mark!” he sighed as he shook his head and gave Mara a sidelong glance. He then took a step back and stood facing them both with a speculative look. By then, both Mara and Juanita were getting a bit nervous, and backed up a step.

‘Mara!’ Juanita demanded mentally, ‘You said that only you and I could see it!’ she fretted.

‘I didn’t think he could.’ Mara thought back as she returned that glance and shrugged despondently.

“Of course, I can see it!” Arawn spoke gruffly. “I am a Majin, Mara!” he reproved her. “Surely you have not forgotten that all Majin have Truesight?” he asked, incredulous.

“I guess I have.” Mara admitted. Then she realized something else. “I take it you’ve been overhearing us all this time?” Mara asked, shocked.

“Yes, I have overheard you!” Arawn he said with a roll of his eyes. “The pair of you have been thinking so loud at each other, that I practically do not need telepathy!” he complained as folded his arms at Mara.

“All right! Fine!” Mara shot back, more than a little embarrassed.

“What is this ‘Incident’ you’re going on about?” She demanded back. In response Arawn glared at her, then he closed his eyes and took a calming breath. Once he was assured that he could speak levelly, he continued.

“The ‘Incident’.” He began. “Occurred a day ago. About an hour after you and I had our little,… ‘talk’.” He evaded, as he looked significantly over at Juanita once.

“Yes.” Mara nodded, after she turned her eyes to Juanita as well. “Go on.” She requested.

“Ahem.” Arawn continued. “The ‘Incident’ consisted of, not one, not two, but three increasingly violent peals of thunder that happened overhead.”

“That’s it?” Juanita barked. “That’s the ‘Incident’?” she sneered. “What’s the Big-Deal about that?” she laughed derisively. Arawn turned and glared balefully.

“Are you quite finished?” he demanded coldly after enduring her laugher for several seconds.

“Yeah, sure. Whatever.” Juanita smirked.

“Thank you, Juanita. I ask, because the adults in this room would like to have a discussion.” He replied quietly.

“Hey! I resent that.” Juanita began to complain, but bit back her next statement when Mara placed a restraining hand on her shoulder. Instead, she frowned furiously at him.

“Now.” He began again. “You are partially correct. Thunder, in and of itself, is not a big deal.” He said as he made eye contact with Mara’s lover. She snorted in reply. “Their effects however, are.” He paused.

 “I am afraid that I was not topside when that thunder occurred. So, I am unaware of who, or what, precisely caused them.” He sighed despondently.

“Which is an answer, that none in the Council wishes to hear.” He said to himself. “However, from what I have been able to ascertain with the resultant Morphic Resonance fallout. They were caused by a singular individual conducting Major-Binding. I do not know who was involved, or if it was voluntary or not. Which technically, could be a potential security breach.” Arawn grimaced.

“Uhhhh.” Mara grimaced, as she hunched her shoulders and refused to keep eye contact with Arawn.

“Oops.” She whispered, just barely audible for Arawn to hear. His face froze when he heard. Then he bowed his head and covered his face with his palm. After a few seconds, he uncovered his face and gave Mara a withering glare.

“It is obvious, that you have put your Mark on her.” He said as he gestured at Juanita “That is one thing, yes.” He acknowledged. 

“But I have to ask. Did you Bind her as well?” he huffed in exasperation.

“Uhhmmmm,….maybe.” Mara stammered as she avoided meeting his gaze.

“GREAT MAKER!” Arawn shouted then, his voice echoing loudly in the room. “That is unacceptable!” he said so harshly, that tears began to well up in her eyes.

 “Do you have any idea what problems you have caused!?” he thundered.

“Uh,…no.” Mara squeaked, as she began to sniffle. At that point Juanita had had enough.

“Now just a god-damned minute Iron!” Juanita shouted then, determined to defend her mistress, as she interposed herself in between Mara and Arawn. “Who the hell do you think you are?” She demanded, her eyes blazing furiously.

“Juanita.” Arawn began patiently.

“Shut up!” she shouted her teeth flashing. Which surprised him enough to do just that.

“I’m an ADULT, Iron! You have no right to cast judgment on me or her!” Juanita continued hotly.

“Juan,…” Arawn began again. But he was interrupted.

“SHUT UP!” Juanita continued as she stuck a finger into his face.

“You may be the Boss of the Iron Foundation! But you’ve no right to interfere with my personal choices,…or,… or hers!” she continued as she pointed to Mara. When she paused to take in a breath, Arawn tried to speak again. But before he could, she yelled at him again.

“I said SHUT UP!” she yelled. Finally Arawn got the point and kept his mouth closed.

“Juanita.” Mara began quietly, but Juanita waved her off, and turned her attention back to Arawn.

“Did she bind me to her?” She demanded rhetorically. “Yes, she did!” She shouted. “You know what else? I’m glad that she did!” Juanita continued raging.

“But what you’re probably not aware. Is that she did everything she could, to try and convince me to not do so!” She breathed furiously.

“Obviously, it didn’t work! So, you’re just going to have to get used to the idea, that I BELONG to her now! For Now, and FOREVER!” she yelled heatedly, her voice echoing loudly in the cavernous Dojo. Then after several seconds of silence, Arawn chose to try to speak up again.

“Are,…are you finished?” Arawn asked Juanita quietly. She responded by opening her mouth to continue her yelling. But after several seconds of not saying a word, she changed her mind.

“Yeah. I guess so.” She grumped, but she kept her intense glare going.

“Good.” He answered. “Now, if I may be allowed to speak?” Arawn asked. Juanita nodded once.

“I am not condemning you for your accepting Mara’s ‘Devil’s Mark’.” He began. “In fact, I find that it makes me rather happy that you have done so.” He smiled indulgently.

“Uhmm,….What?” Juanita chuffed, her eyes blinking confusedly. Arawn’s smile grew wider at the sight.

“Juanita Banderas. I have known you for a long time. At least by human standards.” He said proudly.

“Indeed, I am quite well aware that you have reached the age of Majority several years ago. You have demonstrated yourself capable of acting maturely and responsibly, many times over.” He praised, and then bowed to her once. Juanita opened her mouth in shock. Arawn saw her reaction, and continued.

“I cannot, nor will I ever, condemn you for allowing yourself to be bound eternally to Mara.” He said approvingly.

 “In fact, it is my fervent wish that you and Mara will continue happily with your relationship for a long time to come.” He finished.

“Then why were you condemning her just now?” Juanita asked, utterly confused. Arawn’s happiness faded, as he sighed.

“The three peals of Thunder.” He began as he glanced over at Mara then, who tensed up in response.

“Uhhmmmm,…yeah?” Juanita said confused. “What about it?”

“Uh-oh.” Mara spluttered. “I just remembered something.”  She swallowed nervously. Juanita caught it and looked over at her.

“Why? What’s going on?” Juanita demanded. Arawn spoke up.

“Those three peals?” He interrupted. “That, was reality rewriting itself. It was doing so for both for your and Mara’s respective edification.”

“Naturally, ‘ahem!’” He coughed. “Or in this case, supernaturally, it is always an obnoxiously loud process.” Arawn continued as he stared sternly at Mara. Mara looked down and blushed furiously.

“After Grendel’s recent attack.” He began, as he continued to cast the disappointed look at Mara. “Would you not say, Juanita, that everyone here, both Nightbreed and not, are on edge?”

“Yeah I’d guess,….” Juanita said, and then stopped when she realized where Arawn was heading. “Oh.” She swallowed.

“Yes.” Arawn smiled humorlessly then. “You begin to comprehend. I shall illustrate it a bit further.”

“So, yesterday afternoon was a typical, Los Angeles summer day. Namely, a perfectly clear day, if one does not count the inevitable smog. Out of which resounded without a single warning,..” he glared once at Mara, and returned his attention to Juanita.

“Not one. Not two. But THREE!” Arawn enunciated. “Ever increasingly louder peals of lightning-less thunder. All of which just happened to occur over your building. I might add, that the last peal caused no small amount of window damage!” He said hotly.

“Damage bouth here, and in the surrounding neighborhoods.” He grimaced and sighed.

“Mara.” He began as he shifted his attention to her. “Daughter of the Great Maou.” He continued somberly. “Look at me.” He requested her softly. After several hesitant attempts, Mara managed to look at Arawn somewhat steadily.

“What were you thinking?’ He asked her in exasperation. “The Iron Foundation needs to keep a low profile, and not attract undue attention. I have enough problems keeping the local Fortean Society at bay.”

“Yes, I realize,…now.” She sniffled. 

“I guess I didn’t think that far ahead.” She said morosely. “All I could think about when I came up with the idea. Was Juanita’s willingness to bind herself to me.” She admitted. Juanita stepped up and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

“Oh!’ Mara said, startled, then she smiled as she covered Juanita’s hand with her own.

“Mara,” Arawn sighed, “do I have to remind you? That this is almost the same lack of planning on your part, which led to the loss of your kingdom?” he queried.

“Yes!” Mara cringed. Arawn frowned internally then when he saw that Mara’s lower lip began to quiver.

‘Damnitus.’ He thought, ‘I am being the proverbial ‘shit’. But I must press the point.’

“Mara,” he continued, “Please, do not be the cause of the loss of mine.” He begged her, his lips pressed together in resignation.

“Wait!” Mara said slowly. “How is Juanita’s Binding supposed to lead to the loss of the Iron Foundation?” She demanded.

“Yeah Iron!” Juanita chimed in. “What’s with the guilt trip?”

“The Guilt Trip?” Arawn demanded incredulously with a raised eyebrow. Then he pressed his lips together angrily.

“Very well then!” He seethed. “As I said before, everyone has been on edge!” he began, his lips peeled back from his teeth,

“My problem is that since last night, over two dozen altercations have broken out between the Hunters, the Nightbreed, and various other non-human guests and residents!” He lectured. “Someone even dared assault one of the Vadhagh Matriarchs!” He growled.

“Eep.” Mara squeaked.

“Luckily. Most of the fights have not involved bloodshed, YET!” He fumed. “And why have these fights occurred?” he asked rhetorically.

“Because each and every one of them have accused one or the other sides of instigating the thunder! Those thunderclaps were not just atmospheric phenomena, Mara! Juanita!” he growled as he looked at each in turn.

“Oh no! They were palpably Magical in nature!” he continued, his voice shaking with his ire. “Meaning: That every single person who has a trace of magical ability has sensed it, in one form or another!”

“And who here, in the Iron Foundation, is supposed to be the authority of all things magical?” He half-shouted.

“Uhhmmmmm, you.” Mara replied, cowed.

“Yes.” Arawn grinned maniacally. “Precisely.” He replied snidely. “The Council heads have demanded an answer, to the nature and origin of those Thunderclaps. And the only honest answer I have been able to tender to them thus far, is: I do not know.” 

“Oh, I supposed I could have lied to them. Give them some ‘bullshit’, as the locals say. But the problem with liars, is that they need good memories! Eventually I would be caught in that lie. Thus, my reputation would be destroyed.” Arawn folded his arms, and fumed away, and started marching aimlessly.

“I have built the Foundation on the bedrock of honesty. If I started lying to cover my ‘ass’, then I would be unworthy of the trust the Hunters and the Nightbreed put into me. Inevitably, the coalition between the major parties would dissolve.” He stopped marched, closed his eyes and took in several calming breaths.

Finally, he opened his eyes and looked back at the newlybinds.  When he did, his anger was unapparent.

“I’m sorry.” Mara said then, it was the only thing she could think of then to say.

“Yes, I am aware of that.” Arawn replied coldly. “You are sorry, now. What I need from you in the future Mara. Is for you to be sorry ahead of time.” He shuddered and sighed.

“How am I supposed to do that?” Mara questioned.

“That is for you to decide. Clearly my instructions to you thus far, have fallen on deaf ears.” He replied, disappointed.

“So, I assume you have a form of punishment in mind?” Mara asked, contrite.

“Punishment?” Arawn goggled. “No Mara. I am not your Mother.” Arawn replied heatedly as he stepped back and turned himself away from her. He then slowly walked in silence around the Dojo floor with a thoughtful frown on his face. As he did, Mara could hear the sound of his bare feet padding on the mats.

After several moments, she felt the need to follow after him. After she caught up. He looked at her and slowly opened his mouth.

 “Do you truly wish to redeem yourself?” he inquired. After a few more seconds, Mara set her shoulders back and lifted her head.

“Yes.” She said clearly. “I will accept anything you demand of me.” She finished. Arawn tilted his head and lifted an eyebrow.


“Interesting.” He said absentmindedly. “There may be hope for you yet.” He replied as he stared back at her.

‘I will not cry. Poker face.’ She decided.

“Very well.” Arawn replied finally. “This is what I would have you do. Go and request a meeting with the respective leaders of the Hunters and the Nightbreed. Once you have done so, you will explain to them what caused that thunder.”

“What should I tell them?” Mara asked, unsure. Arawn fixed with a quick glare.

“Tell them?” he chuffed. “Whatever you want!” He huffed. “But whatever you choose to say, I want you to come back to me afterwards. Then tell me what your choice of explanation is.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Why else?” Arawn sighed. “So that when they come to me afterwards, I can back up your account.” He said gruffly. “Fair enough?” he demanded.

Mara nodded.

“Good. Dismissed.” He sighed as he turned away, then remained standing perfectly still. After several seconds Mara got his point and silently departed the Dojo with Juanita following closely behind her.


Once they were both out of earshot, Juanita turned to Mara and began to complain.

“I’ve never seen him be such an asshole before! Don’t you think he was being too harsh?” she began. At first Mara didn’t reply. After several seconds of not receiving a reply, Juanita turned to her.

“Don’t you agree?” she tried once more.

“Actually, I think he was being generous.” Mara admitted. “He’s right you know.” She sighed, and pouted.

“Right? What about?”

“About this being what I was like when I was misruling a kingdom, and probably a good reason why I lost it.” She confessed. “I shouldn’t have done the Great Rite without doing some planning, ahead of time.”

“Are you regretting it now?” Juanita whined.

“No!” Mara half-shouted. “Absolutely not!” she said forcefully as she grabbed ahold of Juanita by her shoulders, and then drew her into a bear hug. “I will NEVER regret binding you to me! EVER!” she hissed fiercely into Juanita’s ear.

At first, Juanita tensed and blushed with embarrassment. Then she sighed with relief.

“Well, do you have any idea of what it is you’re going to tell the department heads?” Juanita asked after several seconds of hug time. At that Mara released her hold and stepped back.

“As a matter of fact. I do.” Mara smiled impishly as she looked at Juanita. Juanita’s heart fluttered at the look she saw on her Mistress’ face.






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