A FOREST TALE 31: What You See Is Me
By Bernard Doove © 2009

"Oof! Not so rough, love!" Goldfur protested as hir mate and shi made love.

Garrek stopped, shocked at having started to lose control yet again since his feral episode with Malena. His ardour cooled and he slid off Goldfur’s torso and crumpled into a miserable heap. "It’s no use, Goldie," he said as tears started to well in his eyes. "I can’t seem to get rid of the urge to take you as hard as I can. I’m losing control of myself again."

"Nonsense!" Goldfur said as shi moved around to cuddle and comfort hir distressed mate. "You’re just reaching the peak of your rut and it’s pushing you too hard so soon after the event. I never expected you to return completely to normal so fast. In fact I don’t expect you to be ever quite the same again. But hon, I know that you’ll get a handle on this, and I still love you. No relationship ever stays exactly the way it started out, and I think that you should concentrate on adapting rather than trying to return to something that is forever lost."

"But I don’t understand what I am any more," Garrek protested. "How am I supposed to know how to adapt if I don’t know that?"

Goldfur kissed him. "I adore you, my big handsome tod, but I’m a chakat and right now I think that you need someone of your own kind to guide you through this. When we get back to Earth, you should call your mother and ask her if she can recommend something or someone who can help you. Your case can hardly be unique."

Garrek thought about it for a bit, then nodded. "You’re probably right, and doing that is better than trying to do it by myself."

"Good. And now that that’s decided, you left me feeling incredibly aroused, and I need you to finish what you started."

"But what if my self-control starts to slip again?" Garrek asked worriedly.

"I’ll take that risk, beloved. That’s part of being life-partners. Right now though, I want you inside of me. I need you, Garrek."

Garrek smiled softly. "Not as much as I need your love, darling."

They made love once more, and this time Garrek kept control and it was beautiful.

Chakat Swiftwalk had offered to teleport Goldfur, Garrek, and their cubs directly home from the spaceport, and they had been happy to accept. Forewarned, many of their family were there to meet them, and they were greeted most enthusiastically. Garrek was relieved that Malena wasn’t amongst them though as he didn’t want to confront her immediately. First he needed to call his mother. A short time later, he disconnected the comm and let Goldfur know that he needed to go back to the village.

Goldfur nodded and said, "I expected as much. I’ll make arrangements for us to fly there tomorrow. We have the rest of the day to catch up with the news and deal with other matters."

Other matters of course included dealing with Malena, and his sister-mate soon took him aside into a private room where he confronted her with the harsh reality of the consequences of her actions. Yet although he made plain his anger, a part of him was still longing to hold her and love her the way he had before the feral mating. He couldn’t, of course, but it added to his determination to make things right again.

When Swiftwalk heard that Goldfur and Garrek were planning to fly to America, shi insisted on taking them, asking only that Goldfur give hir a tour of the area while Garrek was otherwise busy. Shi was always keen to see new places, and incidentally add to hir store of locations that shi could teleport to. Using the same empathic link technique that they discovered would give the Teleporter the necessary "fix", they had materialised on one of the trails into the village, a location that wasn’t likely to have any witnesses to their bizarre arrival. While the skunk-patterned chakat’s secret was out, shi still preferred not to advertise hir Talent. They walked until they reached the point where the path opened up onto the commons. Goldfur gave Garrek a parting kiss and then headed off with their cubs and Swiftwalk to give hir a tour.

Garrek did not suffer from Territorial Attachment Syndrome, nor had he felt homesick since his first weeks at the Star Corps academy where he had gotten his final training, but he was always very happy to return to the village of his birth. He just wished that it wasn’t under such unpleasant circumstances this time. Nevertheless he cheerfully greeted friends and acquaintances whom he encountered on his way to his parents’ den. The sense of normality soothed his fears and bolstered his optimism. There was no one to meet him in the yard, but Garrek realised that his young brother was probably in school at this time. His father was definitely out on business and wouldn’t be back until just before dinner time. His mother was expecting him though, and if she wasn’t in the kitchen preparing a big meal, he would probably keel over in shock. Not that she was always there, of course, as she had a business of her own which she ran from her workshop elsewhere in the den. She just tended to dote on her eldest son and couldn’t resist turning his visits into a big production. Lately Garrek had begun to wonder why she was so obsessive about that.

Lorene by Opal Weasel

Garrek wanted to give her a little surprise though, so he didn’t announce himself as he entered. He was the one to get the surprise however. His mother wasn’t alone – her half-sister, Lorene, Garrek’s golden foxtaur aunt, was there with Jaleth, and she was bare-breasted as usual. Garrek had encountered several other vixens en route who preferred not wearing tops, but he had been braced for those. Lorene was unique though in possessing a double set of breasts, the legacy of her golden foxtaur sire, and Garrek had had a big tit fetish for her as a youth. Encountering them unexpectedly hit him hard and, in his current condition, he got an instant erection. He hastily backed away before they noticed him and manfully tried to clear his mind of the lustful urges that had inundated him. When he felt that he could maintain control once more, he made a second attempt at an entry. He carefully kept his gaze up at eye level as he greeted his mother and aunt.

"Hi mom. Hi Aunt Lorene."

Jaleth’s face lit up with happiness. "Garrek! It’s good to see you again!" She gave him a fervent hug. "How are you doing, son?"

"Mostly good, Mom. Still got that little problem to work out though."

Lorene came over and gave him a hug also, and Garrek’s self-control came perilously close to failing as he felt the nipples of her four pert breasts pressing him through his fur.

"Welcome home, Garrek. When are you going to stop calling me ‘Aunt’ though? You’re a big adult tod now, and I’m only a few years older than you."

"I’m just used to calling you that. Lifetime habit, y’know?"

"Try breaking the habit, OK? You make me feel ancient!" she replied with a grin.

"I’ll try, Lorene," Garrek promised.

Jaleth said, "Take a place at the table, Garrek. I’ve got a big meal ready for you."

"When did you ever not have?" Garrek said with a smile that told her that he appreciated the thoughtfulness.

"I thought Goldfur was going to be here with you?" Jaleth queried.

"Shi’s here, but shi’s showing around the person who gave us our ride here. Shi will drop by a little later."

"I see. I’ll save some for them then," she said as she served up the food.

The meal helped Garrek keep his mind off Lorene’s attributes, and they chatted away with small talk. When the meal was over, Lorene got up and excused herself, saying that she needed to get back to work again.

"I’ll be seeing you later, Garrek," Lorene said gaily as she left.

Not too much,’ Garrek hoped fervently.

With her sister gone, Jaleth’s mien became more serious. "You told me that you were having relapse problems from the feral mating?" she said questioningly.

Garrek nodded. "Self-control issues. Having Lorene here was not helping one little bit."

"I’m sorry about that. She dropped in shortly before you arrived, and when she learned that you were visiting, she insisted on staying to see you."

"Mom, the moment I laid eyes on her, I was just about ready to mount her on the spot! The least little thing has been setting me off lately. I even came close to hurting Goldfur a few days ago while making love. I must find out if there’s some way of repressing those feelings so that I can get myself under control again."

"I know, dear. That’s why I insisted that you come here instead of talking over the comm."

"I don’t know what you can tell me in person that you couldn’t tell me over the comm, although I don’t mind the excuse to visit."

"Oh, it’s not me that you need to talk to. If I had had any advice to give you, I would have done so long ago. It’s someone else far more qualified."

Garrek looked puzzled. "Who then? Doctor Jomander? I’ve been to see doctors already. They’ve given me drugs to try to ameliorate the problem. I don’t think Jomander will be any more help, even if he’s a foxtaur."

"No, Son, you need to talk to Sarsha. She will be able to help you in ways that a medical doctor can’t. While Jomander is a very competent tod, there are things that the village shaman is better qualified to handle. She will be able to help you, I’m sure."

"Really?" Garrek was a little sceptical – he had more faith in science than the semi-mystical methods of the village wise-woman.

"Go see her, Garrek. It’s the best advice that I can give, and I have faith in her abilities. Besides, what have you got to lose?"

Garrek had to admit that his mother had a point. "Okay, I will. I love you, mom."

Garrek turned to leave and Jaleth replied, "I love you too, son. Never forget that."

Garrek wondered about that reply. He would have wondered even more if he had seen Jaleth burst into tears when he left.

Although he’d never had reason to visit her, Garrek knew exactly where Sarsha lived. She had a den at the edge bordering the forest, with herb gardens surrounding it. Many foxtaurs still preferred her alternative medications to the more modern pharmaceuticals that Jomander prescribed. As he approached he saw a vixen tending to the gardens. She was not the shaman however, but her apprentice, Silvanna. She looked up as he approached and smiled at him.

"Good afternoon. You’re Garrek, aren’t you?" she asked.

"Yes, I am," Garrek acknowledged.

"Sarsha is expecting you. Please go right in and go into the first room on the left."

"She’s expecting me?" Garrek asked in surprise, then realised that his mother must have forewarned the shaman.

Silvanna nodded and said, "Don’t keep her waiting."

Garrek did as he was bidden and found himself entering a windowless room lit dimly by candles – scented ones he surmised from the pleasant smell in the air. The walls were totally covered in shelves and cupboards, all jammed full of books, jars, boxes, and assorted paraphernalia whose purpose he could not guess. More stuff hung from the rafters, and a workbench was fully utilised. There was so much to take in that at first he failed to notice the elderly vixen lying amidst a pile of lounging cushions. Her eyes were closed and Garrek thought that she was asleep, which wouldn’t be a surprise considering that she was the oldest resident of the village, and probably slept half the day at least. A moment later though, her eyes snapped open and she looked directly at him with a soul-piercing gaze.

"Welcome, young tod. I knew that you would need to be coming to see me soon."

"Thank you, Sarsha. Did Jaleth tell you that I would be needing your services?"

"No, Garrek, I have not talked to your mother, nor your sire, in many years. Nor did she send me any message."

"Then how did you know that I would be coming?"

"To look and to listen is to know," Sarsha replied. "You are here because you have reached an inevitable crisis point as a result of your feral mating with Malena."

Garrek barely controlled his surprise. "How could you possibly know of that? Almost nobody knows of that besides me and my parents, and those that do won’t talk about it."

"I have my ways, my boy. I did not get to be the clan’s shaman by being ignorant of what happens to the people whom I try to help."

"Then you know what I need?" Garrek asked hopefully.

"First I want you tell me everything from the beginning until now," she said as she poured a steaming hot brew into a mug from a pot on the table. "Here – drink this. You’ll need it."

Garrek looked at the aromatic brew suspiciously, then asked, "What’s this for?"

"A dry throat," Sarsha said with a grin. "You’re going to need it with all the talking that you’re about to do."

"Oh. Okay." Garrek took a sip and although he could not identify the taste, it was not unpleasant, so he took a larger swig from the mug.

"Now tell me where all this started," Sarsha ordered.

"I thought that you have ways of knowing?" Garrek pointed out.

"I make no claim to omniscience, cheeky youngster, and you have a need to tell the story," she answered.

So Garrek told her everything from the time that Malena kept asking for a kit, the trap that she had laid, the terrible loss of self to his animal side, the horror of realising that he had enjoyed it, and his consequent struggle to regain normality. The mug was refilled twice during the tale, but his throat still ached from the intensity of his story.

When he was finished, he sank weakly to the floor, emotionally drained. Then it occurred to him that unlike previous times when he had discussed his problem, he didn’t have the urgent desire to have sex. He looked at the empty mug in his hand and asked, "Are you sure that this was just a drink?"

Sarsha smiled slyly. "Well, perhaps there was a little something to help quell the urges I knew you’d feel," she admitted.

"Thank you," Garrek said fervently. "Now that you know everything, please tell me what you can do to cure me."

Sarsha sighed and looked at him sadly. "It distresses me to tell you this, but there isn’t a cure for your condition."

"What?! Mom told me that you could help me. Did I just pour my heart out for nothing?"

"I can help you, but you must not hang onto the false hope of ever returning to the way you were. Unfortunately you are far from the only foxtaur to have this happen to him. The result is always the same, and the changes are permanent and irreversible."

Garrek’s voice began cracking with despair. "What am I going to do then? I’m losing my self-control to urges that are utterly alien to me!"

"No, my dear tod, that is the problem. Those urges may be unfamiliar, but they are you, the you that has emerged from that experience. How you learn to cope with those changes will determine whether your future will be a happy one or a miserable one. Some tods never learn to cope, and their lives and those of their mates are ruined. That is why I needed to know every facet of your experience so that I can be sure that I am recommending the best course of action."

"How can you say that these urges are mine? They revolt me and make me fear for my mates. Goldfur is very understanding, but I dare not even think of being intimate with Kassi or Thayla. Despite my best efforts, the urges have been getting stronger lately. We think that the onset of my rut is just making things worse."

"Not exactly. Your rut is just the trigger for something that has been building since that day. The first thing that you absolutely need to believe and accept is that you are no longer the same tod that you were before this happened. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. Everyone grows and changes, or else they stagnate. Feral sex is not a way that any sane person would recommend, but it is actually just a very fast and very deep change that you haven’t had the time nor experience to cope with."

"But these are changes… feelings… that I would never have accepted in my life!" protested Garrek.

"That is true, and you would have been an entirely different person in the future, but clinging to that idea now is just a cruel fantasy. You must learn to understand what you are now, and only by doing so will you ever be at peace with yourself."

Just then, Silvanna appeared in the doorway. "Pardon me, Sarsha, but she has arrived."

Sarsha said, "Tell her that I will see her soon. Wait for my call."

Silvanna nodded and departed.

Garrek meanwhile had been thinking about what Sarsha had said. He asked, "So what am I now? Some kind of sex-mad tod? You seem to know better than I do."

"Your problems are not due to self-control – you have regained most of that already. In fact the main problem is too much self-control at the wrong time."

"What?! Too much? What the hell are you talking about?"

"Calm down, dear boy. I will explain. Your nature has changed, as I have already said, but instead of adapting to it, you have been repressing it. So when you should have been indulging your needs, instead they have been shoved down and building up pressure until they are ready to explode. If you continue this way, somebody is going to get hurt."

"Some people will get hurt if I just let myself go," Garrek said bitterly.

"No, it’s not as bad as you fear. Garrek, you have always been a quiet, almost shy, tod, and Ketta’s foolish mischief did much harm to your psyche. Unlike several vixens, I was delighted that you took that chakat for your mate. Shi was able to bolster your spirit and make you stronger, but you were still different from other tods. You lacked a force of will, but you balanced it out with your kind intelligence. Now that more forceful side of you has been unlocked and you fear it, but there are those who find that kind of thing attractive."

"Not my mates, I don’t think. What will they think of the new me? That isn’t the kind of relationship that I’ve built with them. How can I expect them to put up with this all the time?"

"They won’t have to. I told you that your problems are caused by failing to indulge your new urges. I did not say that you will need to do so every day with everyone. You must find someone with whom you can relax and be your new self. Once you have done that, you will need to adjust your relationship with your mates only in a minor fashion."

"And if I don’t find someone?" Garrek asked.

"Then at best you will spend the rest of your life taking drugs to control yourself, avoiding situations that might set you off, and being prepared for the consequences when you inevitably do get set off anyway."

"That’s the best? What’s the worst?"

"Destruction of your relationships with your mates, estrangement from your family, maybe even suicide."

Garrek shuddered. "No, I won’t let that happen. Do you have an answer for me, or am I going to have to find one for myself?"

"Actually you have been staring at the answer for a long time," Sarsha replied cryptically.

"Could you be a bit more specific," Garrek asked irritably, not in the mood for the shaman’s enigmatic manner.

"I can do better than that." Sarsha picked up a small bell on the table and tinkled it briefly.

Silvanna quickly answered the bell. "Yes, Sarsha?"

"Please send in our other guest now," Sarsha said.

Silvanna left and a few moments later another vixen pushed past the curtain door and said, "Silvanna said that you wanted to see me, Sarsha."

Garrek gaped and blurted out, "Lorene?" It was indeed the golden vixen, wearing a top for the first time that he could recall. It was a simple double-halter, not much more than a bikini top, but on her it looked very exotic.

In the dim light, Lorene had failed to notice the tod seated to one side. "Garrek? What are you doing here?"

Sarsha answered for him. "He came to see me about his problem, just as you came to see me about yours."

Lorene got a ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look on her face and she hastily said, "Perhaps this isn’t the best time to bring that up."

Sarsha shook her head. "No, dear, it’s actually the perfect time. You see, your problem and Garrek’s are convergent."

"They are?" Lorene and Garrek chorused, looking at each other in surprise.

"Yes they are. You two can be the solution to each other’s problem."

"I don’t see how," Lorene said doubtfully.

"Nor I," Garrek added. "In fact I would think that she would be the opposite." His fear of having an embarrassing erection right there was allayed though when he realised that Sarsha’s herbal tea was still having its calming effect.

Sarsha said, "You two have been honest and complete in your description of your problems, so I am confident that you will be able to help each other. Now it’s time for you to go and start working that out together."

"That’s it? That’s all the advice that you’ll give?" Garrek asked incredulously.

"It does seem a bit vague," Lorene agreed.

"Just be totally honest with each other, and you will see for yourselves what you need to do," Sarsha said confidently. "Oh, and Garrek – one piece of personal advice. Self-hate is the worst and most damaging of all hatred. Don’t let it destroy relationships."

Garrek nodded acknowledgement, but wasn’t sure how it applied. While he might be deeply worried about what he might have become, he didn’t really think that he hated himself. "Thank you for your time, Sarsha."

"You’re welcome. Now get on with you! An old vixen like me needs her rest."

Garrek and Lorene left. They waved farewell to Silvanna who was back tending the garden, then they walked away together in silence for a while. Eventually Garrek spoke up.

"Do you understand what Sarsha was referring to?" he asked.

"Partially, although I’m not sure about how it relates to you. I might have a bit of a clue however from what my sister has told me."

"My mother confided in you?" Garrek was aghast at the thought.

"Not directly. She was looking for some emotional support though after an incident involving you, and she let slip some hints."

"I suppose we’d better stop guessing then and do as Sarsha said. Which of us should go first?"

"Please, I’d prefer it if you go first," Lorene said earnestly. "I need to be sure before I tell you all."

Garrek shrugged. What was one more person knowing his dark secret? And so he retold the story as they ambled over to Lorene’s den, steered subtly there by the vixen without interrupting him, but knowing that they’d both appreciate the privacy.

When Garrek finished, Lorene was looking quite distressed. "I’m so sorry that you went through all of that. It must have been horrible." She gave him a comforting hug. "It all makes sense now – Jaleth’s slip of the tongue, Malena’s disappearance, your strange actions, and Sarsha’s solution."

"Great! Now would you kindly tell me your side of things so that I can understand also?"

"Of course. First, you must realise that I’ve told nobody about this other than Sarsha. Not even Jaleth knows about this, and I don’t want my family to learn about this."

"You keep my secret and I’ll keep yours. Now get on with it!" Garrek said irritably.

"Yes, sorry. Look at our society, Garrek. The first unwritten but inviolable rule is ‘Vixens’ Choice’. Females dominate every aspect of our way of life. Vixens fill the majority of the positions of authority. Vixens run the family. Vixens compete with each other for the best tods. Vixens do the proposing. Vixens insist that the males service the unmated vixens every five years. We are almost always the ones in control… and I hate it! I don’t want to be in games of dominance with other vixens. I don’t want to claim a tod as mine. I want one to see me, desire me, take me. I want him to know that he can ask me to do anything and I will do it because he is my purpose in life."

Understanding dawned on Garrek. "You’re a submissive."

"Since I hit puberty, I have always felt this way, but there has never been anyone to whom I could surrender myself. Every tod in this village, and in the golden foxtaur village, is too docile. They imagine that they have a choice when they have so many vixens after them, but there’s invariably one whose personality dominates their desires, and so they choose them. Not one of them will take a vixen of his own choice. Hell! They won’t even look at one with healthy lust in fear of having the vixen’s wrath fall upon them. Or at least most won’t." Lorene looked at Garrek with a crooked smile. "Do you know why you never see me wearing a top?"

Garrek hazarded a guess. "Because you were trying to motivate a tod to take the initiative?"

Lorene nodded. "Yes, that was part of it. The other part is that I got a morsel of what I wanted from you."

"Me?" Garrek asked in surprise.

"Yes, you. I never let on that I knew, but I’ve been aware of how you’ve been staring at my breasts since you hit puberty. You’ve always been a bit different, Garrek. In a village where half the vixens prefer being nude, bare breasts are very ordinary, and yet you have a tit fetish. In particular, you like looking at my double endowments. I loved that. I could almost feel your lust, your desire to touch them. I took every opportunity to give you an eyeful, hoping that you would be the one to finally give me what I needed." Lorene sighed. "But you never did. Maybe it was because I was your aunt, even though I’m only about three years older than you – a trivial amount. Maybe you got too involved in the vixen power games. I know that you got burned there and you were vixen-shy ever since. My chance was lost, but I still took those crumbs whenever you visited."

Garrek would have been embarrassed at how badly he had failed to conceal his furtive viewing of Lorene’s tantalising boobs if he didn’t feel so extremely aroused by knowing how she felt about it. He realised then that Sarsha’s herbal brew was wearing off. Still he wanted to know more. "There are plenty of sub & dom relationships in the outside society. Couldn’t you have found someone suitable there?"

"How many of them are foxtaur tods? You might like having relationships with other species, but I want a foxtaur tod to claim me as his own."

"I can’t believe that no male in this village can be assertive enough for you," Garrek said sceptically.

"Garrek, you don’t fully understand the depths of my needs. Please come with me – I want to show you something." She led him to a closed door. "You’ve been in my home many times, but you have never seen inside this room because I let nobody inside." She unlocked the door and ushered him inside. "Does this show you how serious I am?"

Garrek looked about him and his jaw dropped in stunned amazement. The wall was lined with bondage devices that ranged from the playful to the extreme. Some of them Garrek didn’t even want to know what they did. In the middle of the room was a low trestle that was padded on top, with leather cuffs attached to the base of each leg. Above one end hung a pair of cuffs secured to the ceiling. Garrek realised that it was intended to totally restrain a taur – Lorene in this case.

The vixen continued when she judged that Garrek comprehended what he was seeing. "I desire to be utterly helpless to the will of the one that I give myself to. I want to feel his need to dominate me totally, and I will give him everything. I will do anything for him, Garrek. Anything at all."

She looked at him expectantly, and Garrek realised that this was the solution that Sarsha meant. He had the urge to dominate, she the need to be dominated. But could he be that extreme? Had he really changed that much? Then he recalled the incident that spurred him to seek help. He loved Goldfur more than anyone in the world, and he would never deliberately harm hir, and yet that was what he had almost done in spite of himself. He shuddered. Sarsha had told him to be totally honest, but now he realised that she hadn’t been referring just to telling Lorene about his problem. She had also been warning him to be honest with himself, and the truth was that he did want this. His erection grew to painful hardness, but he made no effort to conceal it. It would have been hypocritical to try. He felt the desire to take this vixen who had been tantalising him for so many years. He felt the irresistible urges growing, threatening to overcome his reasoning. He knew that he could never inflict this upon Goldfur, nor any of his other mates, but he had someone right here who wanted nothing less. He made his decision. "Get on the trestle!" he growled.

Lorene obeyed with an alacrity that indicated that this was exactly what she had been waiting to hear. She put her legs into the cuffs and snapped them shut. She then put her left hand into one of the ceiling cuffs and locked it. The final cuff had a key in the lock which she took out and held out to Garrek. "This key opens all the cuffs. Once you put this last cuff on me, I will be totally at your mercy."

Garrek took the key and put it carefully aside. He then took Lorene’s free hand and deliberately placed it into the padded cuff. Looking her square in the eyes, he firmly closed it. She shut her eyes as a wave of unbearable emotion at achieving her dreams of a decade and a half swept over her. A moment later, she reopened them and said, "I am yours to do with as you wish. Use me in any way you desire."

Lorene bound and at the mercy of Garrek

That was a no-brainer for Garrek because there had always been one thing that he had desired that had always been out of reach until now. He unfastened the double-halter she was wearing and gazed upon her fascinating breasts, admiring their every aspect. They were not as big as Kassi’s, nor as delightfully firm as Goldfur’s, but they were very shapely and the pink nipples were pleasingly large and pert. He fondled the upper set first, rubbing his thumbs over the nipples, feeling them harden under his touch. Then he did the same with the slightly smaller lower pair, finding them just as responsive. While continuing to fondle and squeeze those, he licked and nibbled one of the upper tits, eliciting a moan of pleasure from Lorene. His ministrations quickly grew more forceful as he sucked and groped each tit, exciting the vixen even more. Then he abruptly pulled her chest to his, feeling four hard points poking at him, and he brought his muzzle to Lorene’s. He kissed her long and deep, leaving her gasping for breath when he finally broke loose. As she panted, Garrek went over to the wall and took off a muzzle that he had noticed there. He drew the straps around Lorene’s head and fastened them firmly while she watched him in adoration.

The moment of climax

Now they were both fully ready for the next stage. Garrek moved past Lorene, trailing his fingers through the fur on her back. When he reached her tail, he grasped it and lifted it up, revealing her sex to be very wet from desire. She was more than ready, and Garrek knew that subtlety was not what she wanted, nor was it what the persistent urge within him needed. He surged up onto her back and mounted her without ceremony. Putting his arms around her torso, he took one of her tits in each hand, squeezing them hard, then started fucking her powerfully. He did not hold back. He let that primal domineering part of him have full rein as he claimed her as thoroughly as any male could claim a female. Once he had a twinge of guilt as Lorene made a cry of discomfort as he slammed into her, only to have it allayed when it was followed immediately by a spasm of orgasm clamping down hard on his penis. She truly did get turned on by being used thoroughly! That pushed Garrek over the edge and he orgasmed also, filling her with his seed, and triggering another climax in the vixen.

Garrek paused briefly to savour his triumph. He had let go his inhibitions, allowed his most primal desires to come to the fore, totally enjoyed his complete dominance over Lorene… but he had not turned feral. He was still in control, and his fears and doubts were washed away in the relief and pleasure of that knowledge.

One side-effect of the feral mating was that his body not only was far more reactive to sexual stimulation, it also recovered very quickly. Frequently that had been an annoying trait recently, but now it meant that he was ready for another round very quickly after orgasming. He was soon pounding away again inside Lorene, and he brought her to climax several times before he allowed himself to climax again, then slumped on her back, panting from his exertions. Then he had an idea and he dismounted from her. Grabbing the key to the cuffs, he unlocked her bonds as she gazed upon him worshipfully.

When he took off her muzzle, she said, "Thank you, Garrek. You were wonderful. I could do more for you if you wish?" she added hopefully.

Garrek could tell that she would be disappointed if he was done already. "Oh, we’re far from finished, Lorene, but you can’t do what I want you to do while bound there."

"What is your will?" she asked excitedly.

Garrek laid down on the lounging pillows in one corner, rolling over onto his back. With one forepaw, he poked at his half-flaccid penis. "I want you to give me the best muzzle-job that I’ve ever had."

Lorene moved to obey, but said with a little doubt, "Yes, Garrek, but… the best? I’ve never done this before, you realise?"

"Then you’d better learn fast," he said seriously.

"Yes, Garrek!" Lorene bent to the task.

Garrek was pleased to be able to continue making Lorene feel used as she desired while taking a break from exerting himself. He laid back with his eyes closed while Lorene sucked on his cock and fondled his balls. He was no stranger to this treatment. He was often the recipient of such from Goldfur who liked to bring him to climax that way, and he even returned the favour occasionally to his herm lifemate. Although he was basically straight, he did not have any qualms about pleasuring hir that way. So he was quite familiar with how good it could be, and Lorene was doing a very creditable job for someone with no experience. He credited it with her enthusiasm and desire to please. Much more quickly than he anticipated, she brought him to orgasm once again, and she even swallowed the semen which spurted into her maw. Garrek was surprised that he even had any left after the previous orgasms.

Lorene looked at him expectantly. "Was I good enough?" she asked.

"I’m pleased, but you will practice so that you keep improving," Garrek told her.

She smiled happily. "I will! I’ll keep practicing until I’m the best you ever had. Do you want another now? I think I know what else I can try."

"No, not now." Garrek badly needed to give his penis a rest, but he had figured out what to do next while enjoying himself. He got up, pushed the trestle aside, then pointed at the cuffs hanging from the ceiling. "Get back into these."

She did so eagerly, and Garrek took a few of the sex toys from the wall. Lorene’s eyes brightened with anticipation. Garrek had had no experience with using such things, but like Lorene, he used his imagination to give her the best erotic experience possible while maintaining his ‘dom’ persona. While she remained helpless to escape him, she could still move around to make the experience better. Sometimes he was forced to ask what a particular piece of equipment was supposed to do, occasionally rejecting one. In the end, he employed every toy that he was prepared to use on her, bringing her to orgasm many times until she was nearly spent, but he had recovered. Then he released her from the bonds and pointed to the cushions. "Lie down on your back," he ordered.

Despite her weariness, Lorene obeyed with alacrity. Garrek bent down to play his tongue over her labia before pushing it inside. He built her up once more, but before she came, he got up and straddled the vixen, and entered her once more, but gently this time. While playing with her tits, he slowly built her up towards a climax, but then eased back. He built her up again a little more, then eased back again. In this manner, he continued to tease her, drawing on his years of experience with Goldfur to prolong this wonderful torture until she pleaded with him to make her come.

"No," he said firmly. "You will come when I decide." That was the one big difference between his approach with Goldfur and this one with Lorene. He would never be anything but the considerate lover with the chakat, but with this particular foxtaur, only complete and utter control of her was the ideal approach. He continued bringing her to the brink but denying her release for several more minutes until she started begging him to bring it to an end. By that time though, Garrek could no longer hold himself back, so he rapidly brought them both to a huge simultaneous orgasm. Lorene literally screamed in ecstasy.

The lovers collapsed together, Lorene’s chest heaving with gasping breaths, and Garrek panting heavily also. For several minutes, neither said anything, too spent to make the effort. Eventually it was Lorene who broke the silence.

"I wish with every fibre of my being that I had known that you could be like this a decade ago," she said fervently.

"I wasn’t like this a decade ago," he pointed out.

"Still, you were the only tod who ever showed the kind of interest in me that I wanted. I should have taken the chance."

"Why didn’t you then?" Garrek asked curiously.

"A little bit was because you were my sister’s son, but mostly it was fear."

"How so?"

"In a society absolutely dominated by vixens, how would someone like me be treated if they found out? At best I would have been mocked or spurned. At worst, the reactions could be downright hostile. Look at how some of them have treated Goldfur or Lupu. Many vixens are extremely nasty and have no qualms about acting on their belief in what is right or wrong for our society. I feared for myself, but I also feared for what they might do to you, so I did nothing."

Garrek shuddered. He could well imagine what she meant. He said, "Well, I hope it was worth the wait because you belong to me now and for always." He hoped that he had phrased that right. He was still getting used to his new status.

"Yes, I am yours, and it was worth the wait," she said dreamily.

Garrek knew that the fatigue that he was feeling was at least matched by Lorene, so he said, "Sleep now. We will talk about your future later."

"Yes, my love," Lorene murmured sleepily.

Garrek pillowed his head in the middle of her four soft breasts to go to sleep also. Lorene stroked his head lovingly a few times before slumber swiftly claimed both of them.

When Garrek awoke, daylight was still peeking around the thick curtains. He realised though that they had missed the darkness of night, sleeping from before sunset until after sunrise, they were both so tired. Now though, he felt better than he had in months, since before the feral mating with Malena. At last he was at peace with his new self. His new urges had their place, and he knew now that there would never be another loss of control. He could spend time with all his mates without fear of compromising their relationships.

Of course there was the new complication of being the ‘dom’ to an absolutely submissive vixen. He was not completely unfamiliar with such relationships in others, but it did not come naturally to him, although his new self was much more comfortable with the idea than his old self would have been, and he would be able to draw upon that. He spent some time contemplating what to do about the situation, rehearsing in his mind what to say and how to say it.

He was startled to feel a hand stroke his head-fur, only then realising that Lorene had awakened also. He turned his head to see her gazing lovingly at him as she caressed his head. "Good morning. How are you feeling?" he asked.

She smiled. "I ache in many places," she replied, and Garrek felt a pang of dismay until she continued, "but it’s a good kind of ache. I haven’t felt this happy since I was a teenager."

"Then we both got what we needed," Garrek said with relief.

"I’m so pleased that I was the one who could do that for you, and hopefully many times again." Just then Garrek’s empty stomach gurgled and Lorene giggled. "Perhaps there’s one more thing that I can do for you. What would you like for breakfast?"

"Bacon, eggs, and buttered toast. Coffee too if you have that."

"I can get some coffee if you wish, or I can offer you fruit juice instead?"

"The juice will do." Garrek reluctantly raised his head from the comfortable pillows of Lorene’s breasts, and she started to get up. He grabbed her arm before she could leave though. "First go clean up and brush your hair. I want you to look pretty for me." ‘And give her the chance to do anything else necessary,’ he mentally added.

"Yes, Garrek," she said gratefully.

Garrek pondered his position, wondering where her statement – ‘I’ll do anything’ – drew the line. Was it relationship-wise, or quite literal? He would have to feel his way carefully.

When Lorene finished in the bathroom and headed for the kitchen, Garrek took the opportunity to clean himself up properly. He had just finished when Lorene called out to say that the food was ready.

"Mmm! That sure smells good," he commented as she served up a generous portion, then proceeded to give herself the same. They both ate ravenously, which was hardly surprising considering the amount of energy they had both burned the previous day. Lorene had cooked plenty with this in mind.

Garrek eventually sighed in repletion. "That was excellent, Lorene."

"Thank you. Is there anything else you would like?"

"Not to eat, but there’s a lot for us to talk about. Grab a couple of grooming brushes and join me back at the room."

Lorene did so and asked, "Where do you want me to start grooming you?"

Garrek held out his hand for one of the brushes. "Not just you. We are going to groom each other while I tell you a few things. Lie down here."

Lorene settled down on her lower belly and waited expectantly. Garrek put his hand under her chin and held it so that she looked directly into his eyes. He began his rehearsed speech.

"As of yesterday when I locked you into the cuffs, I have claimed you as my own and you are now my fifth denmate." It was not a question nor a proposal. It was a bald statement of fact which gave her no choice. "Unlike my other mates, though, you are mine to do with as I please, now and until death do us part."

Lorene looked as if she was going to burst with happiness. "Yes, I am yours forever, my love."

Garrek was relieved and pleased that he had gotten that right. Being the dominant partner seemed to be a lot harder than being the submissive. With an internal sigh of relief, he settled down beside Lorene but facing the opposite direction. He started grooming her fur, and she his, while he continued with what he had prepared to say.

"Do you suffer from Territorial Attachment Syndrome?" he asked.

"No, I’ve been travelling between clans for business purposes, and visiting my relatives in the golden foxtaur village, so TAS has never had the chance to settle in."

"Excellent! I want you to start winding up all your business affairs and sell your den and whatever possessions that you no longer want. You will be joining my extended family in Australia when that is completed. Your place is with me now."

Lorene hesitated, then said, "Yes, of course it is, but how quickly do you need this done? I could get a proxy to deal with some of it if you want me there sooner?"

"No," Garrek said firmly. "You will take as much time as you need to do the job properly and thoroughly. Not only don’t I want you leave with a hasty job marring your reputation, but I also want you to get the best deal for your home and goods. You will be bringing your assets to add to our family, and that will be your contribution to our greater good."

"I understand, but I’ll still do it as quickly as possible so that I can be with you again."

Garrek said, "Good. Next – those sex toys and bondage devices." He waved his hand at the objects. "Any of those that I used on you and you really enjoyed, you may keep if they please you. All of the rest offend me. You will dispose of them immediately." The purpose of some of those gadgets had actually made him feel sick, but he used them as a yardstick to indicate the extremes to which Lorene had been prepared to go to submit herself to a tod. However he had not changed so much that he could ever consider using them, and he never wanted to see the revolting things again.

""Yes, Garrek," Lorene said without hesitation. He suspected that even though she had been prepared to let him do anything to her, there were still things that she would prefer not to do, given the choice. As far as Garrek was concerned, he was glad to see that she had some limits.

Garrek stopped grooming Lorene and got up onto his forepaws, indicating that the vixen do the same. He put his arms around her in a hug. Then he fondled one of her breasts. "I believe there’s a way to get these lactating," he said.

"Yes, there is. I didn’t know you had a milk fetish too."

"I don’t really, but I’d like to taste you and feel your breasts filled with milk while I make love to you. Forestwalker is the one who has the real milk fetish. I think I may have her suckle on you while I fuck you and play with your other tits."

They're all yours

Garrek felt her shiver with the excitement of being used in that manner. "I’ll arrange it as soon as possible. They’re all yours to do with as you wish."

"Better get used to being suckled. You are going to be a wet nurse for Malena’s triplets when they are born. There’s no way that she could feed them by herself, so you will take up the slack. I got offers from both Forest and Quickpaw to help out, but I think that foxtaur kits should have foxtaur milk, don’t you?" Actually he was perfectly happy to feed them chakat milk, but he wasn’t going to let Lorene know that.

"That makes sense," Lorene agreed, "although I would still have done it without that reason. Your desires are mine to fulfill."

"Yes they are, and they will be put to further use when I choose to put a kit in you too."

"Ooh! How many do you want, my love?"

"As many as I desire," he answered vaguely. It made it sound as if he would breed her often, but he personally didn’t want too many kits. The idea of having four-breasted daughters intrigued him though, and he allowed himself a little extra fantasy. "Perhaps I’ll get your co-mate, Goldfur, to breed you. I’d like to see a chakat with four tits."

"I will do whatever you say," Lorene answered undeterred.

Garrek realised that he could still be surprised at the extent to which she would bow to his will. He kissed her and groped her breasts possessively. "Yes, you will, and we will be great denmates. However, it is now time for me to leave. I have other mates who need attention, and now that I am feeling whole once more, it’s time that I give them their share."

Lorene reluctantly let him go. She followed him to the doorway of the den and watched him walk away, knowing that all that mattered to her in her life was now bound inextricably with him. She sighed tremulously as she dreamed of their future together.

Garrek pulled out his comm from his hip pouch and called Goldfur. Before they had parted company, they had already arranged that he be left alone if necessary to deal with his problem, and that he would call only if he needed Goldfur’s help. Thankfully that had not happened, but it was still time for him to check in with his lifemate.

Goldfur answered so quickly that he guessed that shi had been eagerly awaiting news. "Garrek! How did things go? Do you need me?"

Garrek replied, "I always need you, darling, but not in that way. I can tell you that the news is wonderful. I have found the answer to my problem and I am mentally sound once more."

"That’s fabulous news, darling! I’m so happy for you. What are you going to do now?"

"I’ve got to see my other denmates and let them know also. I expect that they’ll want me to stay a while. Frankly so will I."

"I’m not surprised. I’ve already arranged to take Swiftwalk on a long hike if you were otherwise occupied. In fact I’ve just been waiting for you to call before leaving."

"Sorry about that, love. I overslept from tiredness. It’s a long story though, and I’d better tell it to you later."

"What? Not even a hint?"

"OK. You have a new co-mate who will be moving in with us in a few weeks."

"What?! Who? What have you been up to, Red?"

"Are you jealous already?" Garrek asked innocuously.

"Chakats can’t feel jealousy, you know that. We get as curious as hell though. You can’t just leave it at that. You have to tell me more!"

"Nope. You asked for a hint, and that’s what you got. Now I have other things to do. Talk to you later, darling."

"Wait! Garr…" Garrek disconnected with a huge grin on his face. He loved his chakat mate, but sometimes shi needed a good teasing.

Garrek intended to go see Thayla first, and his route took him past the village market. As he took in the lively mood of the market, he got an idea and stopped by the shop of Purteshka the Leatherworker. There he placed an order to be collected later, then continued to his goal, happily whistling tunelessly.

He reached Thayla’s den and yipped at the doorway, hoping that she was home. Moments later, Thayla came to the door, smiling happily.

"Garrek! I heard that you were here, and I was hoping that you would be visiting me soon. How are you feeling?"

Without saying a word, Garrek swept her into his arms and kissed her passionately. She melted into his embrace and returned the kiss with enthusiasm. Then they parted before they got too short of breath.

"I’ll take that as meaning you feel wonderful," Thayla said as she dragged him inside. "Considering the last news that I heard about you, this comes as a happy surprise."

"I came back seeking an answer to my problem, Thayla, and I found it. You’re looking at a whole person again, and I am eager to resume my relationships with those I love. And speaking of that, how are you and the kit doing?"

Back when he had first learned that Thayla was expecting, she was already four months pregnant but it didn’t really show unless you looked hard. Three more months later and it was impossible to miss. Thayla had really filled out with the kit growing inside of her, and she was loving it. "It has been a perfect pregnancy so far, dear. Otherwise I would have let you know. We’re both fit and healthy, and speaking for just myself…" She came up close to him and whispered in his ear, "I’m terribly horny."

Garrek grinned widely. "It seems a common trait amongst my pregnant mates, but I assure you that I am ready, willing and able to do something about that."

"I was hoping you would say that," Thayla said as she led him to the bedroom.

Garrek made love with Thayla with tenderness and care for her condition. Some time later, two very happy and satisfied lovers lay cuddled in each other’s arms, talking about all that happened to each other since they’d last been together.

"So I now have another co-mate? That isn’t terribly surprising, but I didn’t expect it to be Lorene. She hid her secret well."

"I’ve had a lot of surprises lately. Thankfully this turned out to be a good one. Anyway, now you know why I will be acting rather differently with Lorene, and I hope I have your understanding and support."

"Of course, dear. I’m not so old that I can’t accept some changes, and I certainly don’t condemn Lorene for how she feels. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me."

The two chatted some more before Thayla eventually said that she was hungry and that she would make them some lunch. Plans were made over the meal, and Garrek promised to try very hard to be there for the birth of their kit. Although not as reliable as chakat births, he could be fairly sure of being there a few days before it was due, as long as something else didn’t happen to upset his plans. Garrek invited Thayla to come over for a family meal at his parents’ den the next day before he regretfully had to leave. Garrek caressed Thayla’s swollen belly one last time, promising her or him that daddy would be back soon, then he kissed Thayla once more and departed.

Next stop was the home of Kassi and Zendak. He yipped as he had at Thayla’s den, but there was no response. He then went in search of them at their place of business. He had tried their den first as it was close to where Thayla lived, but he wasn’t completely surprised that they weren’t home at that time. He thought that at least Kassi might be there, and he wished he’d been able to let her know that he would be visiting now. Of course he had no way of knowing what his circumstances would be, and he hadn’t wanted to be near them while he was still suffering from his urges. Now though, it was imperative that he see his denmate and best friend.

Kassi and Zendak operated a business selling foxtaur goods to the outside world. As such they had a large office in the business centre. He had been tempted to go there first when he was at the nearby market, but he had wanted to see Thayla first because he expected that Kassi and company would monopolise him for the rest of the day. He entered their office and there was Kassi behind a desk, working on something on the computer monitor. Beside her in a basket on the floor was the reason that he needed to see her so badly, but not before he felt whole again. An infant foxtaur lay curled up asleep – their son.

Kassi turned her attention to the newcomer and her eyes lit up. She leaped to her feet and nearly bowled Garrek over as she charged in to hug him nearly to death. She was laughing and kissing and crying all at the same time, and truthfully, so was Garrek. It took a while for both to calm down, and Kassi took him over to the basket. Lifting the sleeping kit carefully, she put him into Garrek’s arms. He gazed down lovingly at the child whose fur was the same bright red as his sire’s.

"I named him Kazengar for the three most important people in his life," she said.

"It’s a good name. I’m so sorry that I could not be here for his birth."

Kassi put her arm around him and they both gazed at the child they’d conceived together. "Hush. We understood why you could not be here. Zendak was proud to stand in for you at the birthing."

"Speaking of Zendak, where is he?"

"He’s picking up a shipment. He ought to be back any minute." Kassi went to the door and hung up a sign that read – ‘Closed.’ She said, "There’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. We four are going home to celebrate. Oh! I can’t wait to hear what has happened with you since we last saw you."

"There’s quite a lot, some of it hard to believe."

"Then it will make interesting telling, won’t it?" Kassi replied.

"Of course he might be telling one of those space yarns of his," came a voice from behind them.

Garrek turned to see his old friend who had just entered from the rear storage area, apparently after unloading the shipment at the freight door. "Zendak! How are you doing, you curmudgeon?"

Zendak grinned. "Better now that you’re back, and about time too!" He clapped Garrek on the back but refrained from anything else while Garrek was still holding the kit.

"Lock up the shop, ’Dak," Kassi said. "We’re going back to the den and give Garrek a real welcome home."

"Good as done, hon."

Garrek carried his son all the way back to their den, unwilling to let him go now that he could hold him at last. The kit woke up as they tried to settle him down in his basket again, mewling hungrily. Kassi was quick to oblige, doffing her top to feed the kit. Garrek admired Kassi’s ample bosom, larger than ever with milk now filling each breast. Zendak insisted that Garrek take it easy while he got them all drinks and snacks.

"We have a big meal planned for later," he told Garrek. "We knew you would visit if you could, and we laid in all the ingredients."

"I never starve here, that’s for sure," Garrek said with a grin.

"But you have to sing for your supper, or at least talk. Tell us everything that has happened since we last saw each other."

So Garrek once again told his story, and they were saddened by his plight, elated by his recovery, and bemused by the fact that the family had grown by one more denmate. They were also sceptical about his claim that he had teleported here, sure that he was now pulling their legs. He decided that he’d have to ask Swiftwalk for a demonstration.

Zendak showed pictures that he had taken of the birth of Kazengar. Kassi had insisted that Garrek would have at least that much. They interrupted their conversation only to prepare and consume a feast, and later to feed Kazengar again and put him to bed.

Eventually it was time for the adults to go to bed also, if not to sleep.

Zendak said, "I’ll be spending the night with your son, Garrek. You go give Kassi what she’s been missing badly since his birth."

Garrek clapped Zendak on the shoulder and said, "Our son, ’Dak. Kazengar has the good fortune of having both a sire and a father. Thank you, my friend." He then joined Kassi in the other room where they made love until both were too tired for more.

"I’ll see you later for dinner," Garrek said as he said goodbye to Kassi and Zendak. He tousled Kazengar’s head-fur and the kit swatted at his hand. Garrek grinned and said, "See you soon, son."

He then set off for Lorene’s den. Along the way, he once again called Goldfur, advising hir that the planned family get-together was definitely going ahead, and shi would soon be getting the answers shi was seeking.

He entered Lorene’s den without announcing his arrival as he had at the other dens. Although he felt a bit odd about it, by Lorene’s standards, this was his den now, and he didn’t need to ask to enter his own place. He gave another kind of yip though once inside – a kind of ‘Honey, I’m home!’ call that he used back in Australia. Lorene came out of the private room like a shot and hurled herself into his arms. Garrek enjoyed the hug for a long moment before asking, "What’s happening?"

"I’ve made a start on what you told me to do. I’ve also disposed of the offending sex toys, and I’ve seen Sarsha about getting a medicine to start lactation. She says that it would take two days to come into full effect though. Do you want me to start using it now?"

Garrek shook his head. "I will have to leave tomorrow, and there won’t be any point having you in milk while you are still here, so save the medicine until shortly before you are ready to come over to Australia."

"Yes, Garrek."

Garrek continued, "We are having a family dinner at my parents’ den this evening. You will talk with my other mates about your joining the family, and your place in it."

"You wish me to tell them that I have given myself utterly to you?"

"Yes, Lorene. There will be no secrets between co-mates. They will not tell anyone outside of the family though."

"I understand, and I will do as you say."

"Good. Now there’s one last thing – I won’t have many other chances for a while, so you and I are going to use that room again right now."

"Yes, my love," Lorene said joyfully.

All the loose ends were tied up now except one, and it was niggling at Garrek. Some things that people had said had made the situation even more prominent – why hadn’t his mother warned him and Malena especially about the perils of overdosing tods with mating pheromones? He had decided to confront his mother, something the old Garrek might never have decided to do, but his more aggressive new self had no qualms about doing.

However, the first faces that he saw were not adults.

"Daddy!" Eudora cried out happily. Shi came running up to him and leapt into his arms, closely followed by hir sister, Tailstalker, who glommed onto one of his forelegs.

"Hiya, Squirt," Garrek told the cub in his arms.

"Not Squirt! I’m Dora!" the cub objected.

"You are ’Dorable indeed. And Tailstalker, dear, I can’t walk with you hanging on to my leg like that." Garrek swung Eudora around to put hir on his back where shi happily clung on for a pony-ride. He then picked up hir younger sister and continued walking through the yard where he encountered Goldfur sunning hirself as shi watched the cubs play.

Goldfur got up to give hir lifemate a big hug and kiss. "They missed you almost as much as I did," shi said as shi took Tailstalker from him. Shi put hir back on the ground, and then punched him hard in the upper arm.

"Ow! What was that for?" Garrek asked as he rubbed the sore limb.

"That’s for keeping me on tenterhooks all this time!" shi said with exasperation.

"Next time don’t ask for a hint then," Garrek said unrepentantly.

Goldfur smiled. "I suppose I shouldn’t. Now how are you really?" Shi put hir hand to his cheek, focusing hir empathic ability through touch. "No lust. No turmoil. No fear." Shi looked at him with relief. "You really are cured."

"More like fully adjusted. Sarsha had the answer that I needed."

"Is Sarsha this new co-mate?" Goldfur guessed.

Garrek laughed. "No. Sarsha makes Thayla look like a kit. She’s the village shaman – a wise-woman."

"So who is it then?"

"You know her already. She was right under my nose all the time," he replied as he lowered Eudora to the ground.

"Aargh! Am I going to have to punch you in the other arm?"

Garrek grinned widely as he backed off out of reach. "Just wait until I tell the whole tale to everyone at once." He then quickly trotted off in the direction of the den.

"Garrek Redfox! You come back here and tell me right now!"

"Nope!" he called back as he disappeared inside.

"Mummy," Eudora said, "are you mad at Daddy?"

Goldfur caressed hir daughter’s head so that the cub could directly sense hir true feelings. "No, dear. I’m actually happy that your father is back to normal again, odd sense of humour and all." Shi then winked at the cub. "But it won’t stop me from getting even with him for teasing me."

Eudora giggled, then ran off to play again.

Garrek found his mother in her workshop. When she saw him, she immediately put aside the instrument that she had been repairing and came over to hug him.

"Goldfur called me to say that you were okay. Are you truly cured?" Jaleth asked with desperate hope.

"I’m back to normal, or at least what is the new normal for me," he answered her with a reassuring return hug. "I feel fine and everything is back under control now, although there will be a slight change in my lifestyle. I’ll have a new mate to deal with that side of me though, so my relationships with the others won’t be affected."

"I’m so relieved. I was sure that Sarsha could help you, but this is far better than I dared hope for."

"Yes, and now that things are back to normal, it’s time that you reconciled with Malena," he said firmly.

Jaleth stiffened in his arms, then backed away. "No I won’t. You may have been fortunate to have recovered so well, but she nearly destroyed your life."

"I admit that she did, but I have forgiven her, and so must you."

"I don’t know how you could forgive being violated like that," Jaleth said angrily.

Something clicked inside Garrek’s mind. "Why are you so angry? I’m the one that she did it to."

"Of course I’m angry. Malena’s selfishness nearly took you away from me."

"Selfishness, yes, but ignorance more so. Why did you never tell us about the perils of feral mating?"

"What? Of course I did. You must have forgotten," Jaleth objected.

"No, I would have remembered that, especially as it was so important. So would have Malena. I have other questions, such as why, when entire foxtaur families normally sleep together, did Malena and I get our own room from an early age? Why am I so different from other tods? I have a breast fetish in a society where nudity is normal. Also, even counting Malena’s triplets as one conception, I’ve sired as many males as females. And what about Dad? He’s got two sons in this family, and how many others through Obligation, and yet you’re the only denmate that he’s ever taken. Why? Normally the vixens would have been beating down the door to get at him back when you were mated. Why were you so sure that Sarsha could help me when doctors couldn’t? And then there was the comment that Sarsha made as I left. She told me that self-hate was the worst and most damaging of all hatred. At the time I thought that she was referring to me, but now I think she was giving me a clue. Do you want to know what I think?"

Jaleth’s mouth opened, but no words came out. The more Garrek had talked, the more paralysed she had become. Finally she managed to croak out, "What?"

Garrek went in for the kill. "I think that you are so angry with Malena because you are using the incident to deflect anger from yourself. You hate yourself and you have never forgiven yourself, so you can’t forgive Malena. And you hate yourself because you did the same thing to Dad. You overdosed him with mating scent. You endured the same horrible result, and Dad was left with the consequences. Dad has the same urges that plagued me, but he didn’t want others to be harmed by them, so he never took any other mates, and he kept us children from seeing what happens when he loses control. Worse yet, during my research to try to find a cure, I found that feral mating induces physiological changes not only in the sire, but also in his progeny. That’s why I’m different. That may be why Malena has her unusual desires too, I suppose. Now tell me that I’m wrong!"

Jaleth’s face was stricken with grief, then abruptly she burst into tears and howled with sorrow, collapsing against Garrek’s chest as huge sobs wracked her body.

Garrek wrapped his arms around his mother, a little sorry now that he had been forced to bring it to this, but still determined that the situation be resolved once and for all. He comforted Jaleth as best he could as he reflected that his old self probably could not have done this, but his new more aggressive self had what it took to bring everything out into the open.

"It’s okay, Mom. Let it go. You need to forgive yourself and move on. It’s been long enough."

Jaleth looked up at her son with eyes red from tears. "I can’t, Garrek, for my sin was much worse than Malena’s."

Garrek was startled by that admission. "How could it be worse?"

"When we were still teenagers, I was vying for Rik’s attention with other vixens. I had virtually won the competition for his heart, and I knew that he would decide soon, so I decided to do something special to guarantee the result."

"That’s when you overdosed Dad? You didn’t know the consequences then."

"Oh, but you’re wrong. I had been taught that it was dangerous, but I had heard rumours and gossip from other vixens about the how intense sex was that way, and I figured that the adults had exaggerated the problems and consequences. Don’t you see? I knew better, but I still did it. I maimed my beautiful tod because I was so selfish and stupid. I have no one to blame but myself. Rik left me, and I did not see him again until the day I gave birth to you. He came to see the child we’d conceived, and miracle of miracles, he stayed. It would be several months though before he told me that he still loved me. I promised him that I would do everything in my power to help him, and I will always do so, because no matter what happens to me, it will never balance out what I did to him."

Garrek winced inside when he realised that his mother had been enduring some brutal matings for decades to assuage her denmate’s needs when he succumbed to his urges. His father apparently had never regained total self-control like Garrek had because, unlike Lorene, his mother merely endured the matings and his father knew that, so he could never give free rein to that new part of him and accept it as part of himself, and thus could never completely heal his psyche. He’d always wondered why his father would occasionally get broody and shut himself away from the rest of the family. His shame must have been too great for him to ever talk about it. He’d never hurt any of them as cubs though, so his mother must have been able to help him more than she gave herself credit for. Or maybe his love for her and the cubs had been enough to tame his urges. "Getting pregnant to Dad might have been inevitable under those conditions, but it was still lucky. It brought you back together and gave you both a reason to fight the problem. At least you didn’t have a multiple pregnancy like Malena."

"But I did."

"What?" Garrek didn’t think he could be surprised yet again.

"You had a twin brother. It was a very difficult birth and he was stillborn. We almost lost you too. That’s what made Rik stay. He worked so hard to make you live. It made him realise that he still cared for me and our son, so he stayed to make us a family."

At last it made sense to Garrek as to why his mother was so overprotective towards him. She had lost one son, and his mere existence had turned around an intolerable situation, and brought a family together. His mother feared that losing him would mean the breakdown of everything important to her. "I’ve never known Dad to ever be anything other than a loving, if stern, father. You made a difference, Mom. We kids would never have had such a good childhood if you hadn’t been looking out for us and helping Dad. I’m just sorry that he didn’t have access to the solution that I found, but you were the next best thing. I don’t think Dad would have stayed with you even with me there if you didn’t truly love him. Believe me, I know what it’s like, and it was Goldie’s love for me that got me through the worst of it until now."

Jaleth sniffled, then said, "You’re too kind to me, Garrek. You are a better son than I deserve."

"Then listen to me, Mom. Don’t keep making the same mistakes. Stop torturing yourself and bring this family back together. I’m going to bring Malena over here and you two are going to make peace, okay?"

Jaleth smiled wanly. "Okay Garrek." She hugged him tightly. "I never realised that you could be so strong."

"Adversity can build you up or tear you down. I’m a stronger person than I used to be, but I could not be so without the help of the ones I love, and that includes you. Now I must go call Malena, and there are a couple of things that I need to do before the family dinner."

"Please warn Malena about the problems of bearing multiple kits. I don’t want you to lose any of them like I did," Jaleth said with deep concern.

"Better yet, tell her yourself. You have much to discuss – you have so many experiences in common now. And also, why don’t you have a talk with Dad and bring this to a happy conclusion."

Jaleth nodded. "Yes, I’ll do that. I’m proud of you, son."

"Thanks, Mom."

Garrek left feeling as if a huge burden had been lifted from his back. With a spring in his step, he went to find Goldfur. He found hir still out in the yard with the cubs, and as he approached hir, shi gave him a curious look.

"There were some pretty intense emotions coming from the den, even for non-empaths. I could pick them up from here!"

"You’re right, but the final result was a good one. I’ll explain it all to you in private later. Where’s Swiftwalk?"

"Shi popped back to Australia – said shi wanted some of our coffee!" Goldfur said with a grin. "Actually shi’s just taking a break and shi’s probably having a nap in the guest room."

"I need to ask hir for a favour."

"Shi said to call anytime. Shi reckoned that Swiftwalk Express doesn’t strand its clients."

Garrek grinned. "I reckon now that the cat’s out of the bag, shi’s enjoying using hir Talent for a change."

"You could be right. Anyway, what did you need hir for?"

"I want to fetch Malena. Mom is ready to make peace with her."

"Fantastic! And that means we can have the whole family together for dinner tonight. I’ll call hir up right now."

Fortunately Swiftwalk had finished hir nap and wasn’t disturbed. Shi went to find Malena and, in just a few minutes, the vixen appeared out of thin air inside the den where Goldfur and Garrek were waiting for her. She had also brought along Blaze, her cub sired by Goldfur, and both looked startled by their abrupt transition.

"Whoa!" said Malena. "That sure felt weird. A third of the way around the world in nothing flat!"

Blaze recovered more quickly. "Daddy!" shi yelled as shi charged over to hir sire, smothering Goldfur with lick-kisses as shi was being hugged.

Garrek said, "Mom is ready to make up with you at last, Malena."

Malena looked immensely relieved. "How did you get her to have a change of heart?"

"It’s a very personal thing which I’ll only tell you and Goldfur in strict privacy. Goldie, can you get someone to mind Blaze while we talk?"

That was arranged, and the three went to Malena’s room and closed the door behind them. Garrek then filled both in on what had happened.

Malena was shocked at the revelation of their mother’s transgression which overshadowed even hers. She was also angry at Jaleth’s hypocrisy. Eventually Goldfur and Garrek calmed her down and she agreed that it was time to make peace with her mother.

Garrek then turned to Goldfur and said, "Goldie, my love, I’ve got just one more loose end to tie up. Could you leave Malena and me alone for a little while?"

Goldfur gave him a kiss and said, "I understand. Take your time." Shi then hugged Malena before leaving the room.

The vixen looked at Garrek with a little trepidation. He said, "Malena, it’s time for us to fix our own relationship."

"I thought that you said that you needed time to learn to like me again?"

Garrek nodded. "But that was before I found myself. I am a slightly different person to the tod who told you that just a few days ago, and I’ve been thinking about the situation from a fresh perspective. Among other things, I owe you an apology."

That truly startled Malena. "You owe me?"

"Yes I do. This all started back when you asked me to sire a kit, but I would not commit to anything. Answer me honestly – if I had told you a flat ‘No’, would you have done what you did?"

Malena shook her head. "I would have been extremely disappointed, but no, I would not have tricked you into siring one."

"I thought not. Another question to answer honestly – if I had told you ‘Yes’, but I wanted to leave it until a definite date, let’s say next Christmas, would you have been prepared to wait all those months, or would you have tried to get it earlier?"

"I might have been a tad impatient, but I would have eagerly awaited the appointed time. All I ever wanted was a firm commitment to having a child. I know you would have kept your promise."

"Exactly, but that’s what I didn’t do. I said that we’d have a kit some day, but gave no commitment to when. I pushed you into forcing the issue. True, you did it in a very selfish manner, but it would never have happened at all if I’d only been fair to you, and for that I sincerely apologise."

"How could I do anything but accept your apology? I love you, Garrek, but you can be so frustrating at times. I think we need to understand each other better so that these mistakes never happen again."

"Agreed, and that’s one mistake that needs to be rectified."

"How’s that?"

"Ask me once more for what you want."

"You mean…?"

"Ask me."

Malena felt a thrill of hope mixed with uncertainty. She said, "Garrek , will you please sire a kit with me?"

"I would be delighted to do so, Malena. When do you wish to have this kit?"

A smile grew on Malena’s face. "I would love to have one right away."

Garrek gazed tenderly at his sister-mate. "Then I had better get started immediately. Malena, would you join me on your bed? I wish to make love to you and to sire a beautiful kit with you." He winked. "Or maybe more."

Malena could hardly contain her joy. "Yes, Garrek!"

The couple made love with a depth of passion that they had not ever had before. Garrek showed her his new sexual strength which was nevertheless tempered with his old tenderness. The moment of ritual conception was as glorious as she had dreamed it could be before the terrible incident.

Garrek and Malena laid entwined together for a long time without talking. Eventually though, Malena broke the silence.

"Thank you, Garrek. Thank you for the kits, but thank you even more for coming back to me."

"I wanted to as badly as you, Malena. I couldn’t do so until now, but I think we’ve gotten this reboot of our relationship off to a good start. I hope that we don’t have any more misunderstandings though."

"I’ll promise to tell you if I think we do, if you promise to listen."

"Deal! By the way, I’ve arranged for someone to help feed those triplets we ‘just’ conceived."

"Oh? Who?"

"You’ll find out when I explain to the rest about what brought about my recovery. Try guessing before then. It’s more obvious than you might think."

Malena rolled her eyes. "Now I know you’re back to normal when you started pulling this kind of thing once more."

Garrek grinned. "What you see is me, my dear."

Garrek took Malena to confront their mother. At first they stared at each other wordlessly, but then Malena said with a touch of anger returning to her voice, "Garrek has told me everything."

Jaleth's head drooped a little in shame. She seemed smaller to her children than they could ever remember. "I am sorry, Malena. It was wrong of me to take out my fears and shame out on you."

"It's hard not to be angry after what you put me through, Mom."

A little defiance returned to Jaleth. "It's nothing compared to what I have had to endure over the years, not to mention your father. He nearly had a relapse after discovering you that morning. I had to work off his urges in a rather brutal mating after that."

"You would not have had to if you'd only warned me," Malena shot back.

"I should not have had to warn you to not abuse Garrek!" Jaleth said in a harsh tone.

"Ladies!" Garrek shouted.

The two vixens were startled and looked at Garrek, who said, "We're here to patch things up, not start this all over again. Mom, make your apology. Malena, stop baiting Mom."

"Yes, Garrek," they chorused, then giggled nervously at each other.

Jaleth then continued, "Malena, while you did deserve some of what I said to you, I admit that I made even bigger mistakes of my own. One of them was shunning you, and I regret that now. You reminded me too much of my own folly, and it was too much to face then. However Garrek has made me face up to it and forgive myself, but to do so I needed to forgive you too. Please come home again."

Malena was mollified, and a little sorry that she had pushed her mother so hard, even if she was justified. "Mom, I thank you for your forgiveness and your apology, but I won't be coming home again. These weeks that I've spent in Australia have made me realise that it is time for me to live with my family on a permanent basis. I'm very happy knowing that this den remains open to me though. I've missed our old relationship."

Jaleth moved up to hug her daughter. "Me too. I'm sorry that you're staying in Australia, but you're right – it was time for you to move out. I hope that you visit often."

"I will, Mom. As often as I can."

There were tears of emotion welling in each vixen's eyes, and Garrek decided that it was time to leave the two to have a good cry, or whatever vixens did when they made up.

Garrek almost forgot to pick up his order from Purteshka, but he had it safely in his hip pouch when his other mates started to arrive for the family dinner. He had used the intervening time to fully apprise the rest of the family of the story of his route to recovery. He had debated not telling his mother about his exact relationship with Lorene, but in the end decided that it would be impossible to keep that secret, especially as he had taken her as his denmate. He made Jaleth promise not to bring up the subject with her sister though. Perhaps Lorene would guess, but they would turn mutual blind eyes to the matter. It was nobody else’s business.

Thayla was the last to arrive, apologising for her tardiness due to council business running overtime. A few of Garrek’s mates had been helping in the kitchen, but he asked them all to join him in Malena’s room for one last formality. He had a private word with all his mates except Lorene, forewarning them of what he had planned and for what reason, so they wouldn’t think that he’d gone a little nuts or anything.

When the door had been firmly closed behind them, Garrek began his little ceremony.

"I’ve asked you all to come together like this to celebrate a happy occasion. Goddess knows that there have been too few lately. I am a whole person again, but I could not have been so if not for the love and support of my denmates."

He turned to Goldfur with love shining in his eyes. "Goldfur, my first mate, yin to my yang, you brought out my potential and filled a void in my life. You will always be first in my heart and soul."

Goldfur smiled happily and gave him a kiss, but shi didn’t interrupt him with any words.

Next Garrek turned to the ample-bosomed vixen. "Kassi, we were teenage sweethearts, but I thought that I lost the battle to win your heart to my best friend. True love never dies though, and now you are my second denmate and have given me a beautiful son."

Kassi followed Goldfur’s lead and kissed her mate.

The elderly vixen was next. "Thayla, having you become an important part of my life was a delightful surprise. Your maturity and wisdom have helped me look at my problems with a new perspective. I hope our child will inherit her mother’s traits."

Thayla took her turn to kiss Garrek.

Malena was next and Garrek said, "In a way, my love for Malena surpasses all my other mates, for I have loved her since she was my baby sister. However our love grew beyond mere siblings, and it should not have come as a surprise to me when she asked me to mate with her too. We have had some rocky times, but I have never stopped loving her, and the kits she bears will always know this."

Malena’s eyes were moist with emotion as she also kissed him.

Garrek then turned his gaze upon Lorene. "However today we celebrate the addition of a fifth denmate to our family. As a youth I lusted for her, and even as an adult I still made furtive glances at her. But it wasn’t her physical endowments that were to bring her into my arms. She was able to heal my psychological wounds in a manner that no one else could. Her very nature was what I needed to make myself whole again, and what I desire to keep. As such, I have claimed her as my own. She belongs to me now and for the rest of her life. Lorene, please present yourself to your co-mates."

Lorene drew herself up proudly. "All of you have known me for a while, some of you all your lives, and yet none of you knew the real me. I have never been truly happy since I came to realise that there was no one to give me what I wanted and needed. Then when Sarsha told me that Garrek was my answer, I knew that I finally had my chance. You now know that I am a submissive. Only by giving myself utterly – heart, mind and body – was Garrek able to heal himself, and I was given my purpose. At last I am truly happy. I belong to Garrek now. He commands my love, my obedience and my body. It is Garrek’s will that I join his family and I will do my utmost for the betterment of the entire family because it pleases him, and thus me, and I am content. This is what I want. This is what I need. This is my choice. I hope that you all will respect that decision, and I will be honoured to be counted as your co-mate."

Garrek’s mates all came up to hug her at once, some thanking her for healing him, other welcoming her into the family. None disparaged her choice, although some were glad that they had been forewarned about her nature and that life-decision.

Garrek then stepped in and said, "It is frequently traditional to exchange a ceremonial leg or tail band to celebrate the mating, but I have come up with something more appropriate for the occasion." He reached into his hip pouch and pulled out the item that he had purchased from Purteshka, and held it up for the others to see clearly. It was a broad leather collar finely tooled with a fancy pattern. It had no buckle, but it had two pair of matching holes for rivets. "Bend forward, Lorene," he instructed the vixen.

Lorene’s eyes had lit up when she had recognised what he held. She bent over to allow Garrek to put the collar around her neck, and he put the rivets into place. He had borrowed a hand-riveting tool for the occasion which he had set aside for the ceremony. He used the tool to close the rivets to permanently lock the collar in its place. With that done, Lorene straightened up with her chin lifted proudly to show her badge of bondage.

Garrek said, "Let this collar be a reminder that you are mine to do with as I please, whenever, wherever and for whatever reason that I want. Now lift your tail."

Lorene complied unhesitatingly and Garrek mounted her. His cock slid in effortlessly as she was wet from excitement. He had intended this to be just a token gesture of his dominance of her in front of the others, but she was so aroused that she almost immediately orgasmed. Garrek realised that his new self was just as aroused by the situation, and her orgasm triggered one in him also. A little reluctantly, Garrek dismounted and said, "I think this is going to work out beautifully. Welcome to the family, Lorene."

With the ceremony completed, the mood abruptly shifted to a lighter social tone, and the vixens immediately started discussing how the family would fare with Lorene in it. Garrek was happy to see that she seemed carefree and happier than he could ever remember seeing her in a social situation before. They started filing out of the room to get on with the preparations for the family dinner, but Garrek and Goldfur hung back.

"Well?" Garrek asked Goldfur when the others were out of earshot.

Goldfur said, "I had my empathic senses pushed to the max to make sure that I read her right. I admit that I don’t really understand the mind-set of someone who wants to totally subsume their will to another, but my senses tell me unequivocally that she not only is happy about the situation, but she also nearly had an orgasm on the spot as you put that collar on her. Then I had to reel in my senses before I got caught up in your little climax there. Garrek, my love, you sure get yourself into some odd situations, but at least I can say for sure that you seem to be doing the right thing by both of you to take her like this."

"Thanks, Goldie. I needed to cast that last niggling doubt from my mind, because to retain my new psychological stability, I will be needing her probably for the rest of my life. As Sarsha told me, there is no cure for the effects of a feral mating, but there can be an adjustment to find a good balance to live a normal life.

Goldfur laughed. "There’s nothing normal about you, dear. That’s one of the reasons that I love you."

Garrek grinned. "Let’s go join our nutty family, shall we?"

That evening’s family dinner turned into a huge celebration that would be remembered with fondness for many years to come.


Lorene is a co-creation of Bernard Doove and Richard Thatcher.
All other characters and this story are copyright © 2009 Bernard Doove.

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Next we find out what has been happening with Goldendale and Swiftwalk in A Swift Decision.

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