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ONE - Who was she?
Arana


You know why she called us here, don’t you? Beast’s grating voice swirled in our head.
   In front of us, the entrance of the Serenity garden was bursting with vibrant colors. True to its name, tranquility emanated from this sacred place affecting us; the beautiful fragrances providing a feast for our senses. 
   The well-worn path was full of millennia-old trees on its sides, the Giants. Wisteria grew on their enormous trunks. The parasitic vining plant protected and fed off of them. It snaked around the barks and decorated the lower branches with cascades of pink, purple and blue flowers. The blooms weighing its long vines down.
   We looked up. Past the beautiful blossoms to the dark green leaves. The tops of the trees mixed with the sparse clouds and appeared to touch the sky; the rays of our suns barely broke through the dense foliage. Such magnificence made me and my troubles feel insignificant in comparison.
   Beast, my very vocal and annoying at times sabertooth half, exhaled; our body ridden with tension, relaxed and sagged. Hollow pops sounded as our muscles unclenched and our breathing evened out. Despite the constant sense of danger subsiding, he kept swishing his tail slowly from side to side in wide arcs. 
   Not a good sign. 
   Whenever I met with Aarthi in the past, he’d remained silent. Not interested, but not murderous either. So hope she might be a female he’d accept blossomed.
   But if his intent wasn’t made clear by his tail, his annoyed tone told me what I didn’t want to hear.
   This argument again, Beast? I cannot fathom why you’re the only Saberian who doesn’t value family.
   I value family. He contradicted. Why couldn’t our body be just my own? Life would be so much easier.
   My bitter laugh sounded more like a bark and caused a flock of Cashodians nearby to take flight.
   I ignored his hurtful jab. It wasn’t the first time he’d expressed his wishes. Our souls were connected, and we shared a body. That was the way for Saberians. Not ready to give up, I continued hoping to persuade him.  
   She is a good female. A strong one.
   If she tries to make me submit, I will kill her.
     
   His statement, similar to what his other replies regarding females were, squashed all hope to smithereens. I pushed him back to the recesses of our mind and took over our body. I shifted to my biped form, picked up one of the palliums stacked near the entrance, and draped it around my waist and over my left shoulder, leaving the other one bare. 
   Saberians weren’t averse to nakedness, but I didn’t want to encourage Aarthi further. I did not trust Beast to not act on his threat. Heaviness returned with a vengeance. No female would ever accept a mate whose sabertooth was a danger to them.  
   A solitary existence was the least appealing option, and not my choice. Nonetheless, I was heading there, and it could only end one way. Lethe. Every male Saberian’s dread. According to the Elders, it would be the end for me and madness for Beast, before another warrior put us down.
   I started along the path. The ends of the longer vines caressed my face, their ambrosial aroma overpowering all others. 
   Is Lethe what you want? Because if you keep pushing every female who takes a liking to us away, that is where we’ll end up.
   Silence. Great. Just great.
   The deeper I walked into the garden, the path became narrower. Deep oranges, vibrant reds and different shades of green replaced the pinks, purples and blues. A citrusy, woody fragrance replaced the blooms’ pleasant scent. The trees were shorter than the Giants earlier, and the landscape brighter as the light from the suns touched the ground. Warmth emanated from the soil and I bet, if I stepped into the pond on my right, the water would be warm. Colorful fish, as big as my arms, swam unperturbed. Maybe later I would join them.
   Across the small wooden bridge and under a Wandalh, Aarthi waited stroking her thigh, the rhythm of the fingers sensual. The crown of the tree was full of five-petaled flowers. Their color, a dark red that appeared black from afar, contrasted with her ivory skin full of golden stripes, which was on full display. I gulped my nervousness down and trudged toward her.
   “Aarthi.”
   A dazzling smile playing on her lips, she wrapped her arms around me, and hugged me tight, pressing her perky breasts on me while rubbing her cheeks on mine.
   I put my palm on her back and squeezed before disengaging discreetly. She frowned but hid it quickly. She was a few decades younger than me and as far as I knew, inexperienced with males. It was one of the things I found appealing about her. I hoped this way my sabertooth’s quirkiness would go unnoticed. 
   “Hello Arana. Thank you for meeting me here.”
   She looped her arm through mine as if I’d offered her my elbow and tugged me toward the path around the edges of the lake.
   “I’ve been thinking,” she said while her sabertooth’s purr vibrated in the air.
   Great. Straight to the point. How on Saber am I going to get out of this one? Beast, this is on you!
   A deep growl started in my belly, and I coughed loudly to smother the sound.
   Let me out and I’ll do it, no problem.
   He had the nerve to sound nonchalant, as if killing a female wasn’t the worst crime for a Saberian.
   She couldn’t have missed the snarl, but she continued as if everything was all right. “I enjoy your company. We have been having a great time so far, haven’t we?”
   I did not want to lie, but telling the truth would give her the wrong message. My morals won the fight. 
   “Yes,” I agreed, hiding my reluctance.
   “And we’ve known each other for a long while… my feelings for you have grown. My Sabertooth approves of you and she wants to meet Beast. We’ve never run or hunted together.”
   A snarl rattled in my throat and she stopped in her tracks. She looked around, sniffed the air and returned her gaze to me.
   “I don’t detect a threat. Does Beast?”
   I am the threat; I wanted to tell her, but at the same time I didn’t want to crush her. She hadn’t shown preference to another male before. I needed to handle the situation with care.
   “Pay him no mind, he is agitated lately. He will calm down.” Not a lie, but not the entire truth either.
   I changed directions and pulled her gently along toward the exit of the Serenity garden.
   “Is it the Council meeting tomorrow or the coming battle that has him worried? It’s been over fifty rotations since the last time the females did not fight.” 
   I did not detect arrogance in her voice, just the statement of truth. She was a worthy female. She would make another male happy.
   Damn you, Beast.
   He pushed to take control of our body, but I was alert. I pushed him back in the recesses of my mind.
   I won’t let you dishonor us and our family. Settle down!
   She slid her palm downward and laced her fingers with mine. Claws sprang from my fingertips and sliced the top of her palm. She cried out and released my hand. Her sabertooth growled menacingly.
   “I’m sorry Aarthi.” 
   Her eyes bulged, and her breath caught. She clutched her hand on her chest. Being a fierce warrior didn’t negate the fact that she was a sensitive female. Trails of blood ran toward her elbow and fell on her taut tummy and thigh. 
   Beast, you worthless cur!
   “Why did he do that?”  
   “He is… agitated, out of balance, because of the forthcoming battle. Neither of us looks forward to the upcoming separation.” My poor excuse did nothing to chase away the clouds in her eyes. “Let’s take this up again when we return from Zirg,” I pressed, trying to salvage the situation. 
   I felt like a monster.
   She inclined her head and shifted. Her sabertooth’s fur was a beautiful ivory color with dark gold stripes and spots, and in total contrast to Beast’s gray fur with silver tips, and black markings. I watched as she disappeared in the dense foliage. 
   Beast I swear to the Creator if you ever hurt a female again, I will-
   Do what? The shift healed her wound. She is perfectly fine. 
   You’re lucky she didn’t shift on the spot and sting you.
   Ha. She could have tried. 

   Our bickering faded as I stepped out of the Serenity garden, and a foreboding weight settled on my shoulders again. The sensation unsettling. Was this what my mother experienced before she had a premonition? Each Saberian was born with various gifts, which manifested in different ways. But in all my years, I did not remember having premonitions.  
   I shifted and let Beast take the reins, as our senses were far superior in this form. He patrolled around the edges of the forest. There he caught a whiff of an elusive scent that stood out, because it was so foreign. We both took turns scrutinizing the area, but neither of us could pinpoint precisely whose or what it was. We proceeded in tighter circles inward until we approached the caves my people called home. 
   Time flew by, and as we reached the entrance of our den, I took the reins once again, shifting swiftly. Exhaustion weighed my limbs down. The lower temperature within the walls offered some relief. I headed straight to the natural pond deeper in the cavern. The dark blue liquid inviting. I jumped in and stayed under for a while, enjoying the peace the lack of sound offered. The cold water chased away the ache in my muscles. I surfaced and remained there until my skin turned wrinkly and my eyes threatened to close on their own accord. 
   Dragging my feet to the bed, I was asleep before my head hit the furs.
 
——  
   “Easy big kitty,” she purred, “I can free you.”
   Her melodic voice, cajoling, woke up a hunger in me unlike any other. Beast approached her. My sabertooth brought his enormous head to her center and sniffed, then retreated. Her scent reminded me of our forests on a rainy day. Her aroma was rich and alluring.
   Ha! He didn’t attempt to kill her. A good omen. 
   I shifted on the spot. Her face was blurry, making discerning any emotion impossible, but she hadn’t run away from us. Another good sign. 
   My thirst for her ignited. I would self-combust if I didn’t have a taste. I knelt in front of her and lifted her top garment. She let me. I got lost in the electric sensation coming from my fingertips touching her smooth, unmarred skin; until my eyes locked on her breasts. The two round globes, big enough to fill my hands. The center, along with the protruding nipple, was a few shades darker than the rest of her peachy-beige colored body.  
   I licked my lips and leaned forward, placing a gentle kiss on her right nipple, before surrounding it with my lips. I tentatively touched the peak. The velvety soft texture, in contrast to the rough surface of my tongue, surprised me. Her nipple beaded and hardened. I trailed my lips to her left one. I circled it with my tongue and pulled it in the cavern of my mouth. She gasped. Arched her back. She threaded her fingers through my hair and the action drove me crazy. My arms, two bands of iron ore around her, trapped her. I pulled her closer. I kept sucking and biting her nipple, softer then harder. Her squirming and her moans egged me on. I needed more. I held her on edge, not letting her tip over.
   My palms traveled to her waist. I hooked my thumbs on the waistline of her pants, dragging them downward while revealing inch after delicious inch of her skin. When the garment pooled on the floor, I pulled back, holding her nipple in between my lips. Her soft cries intensified as it stretched. I let it go, and she moaned and pulled my hair, trying to get me on her breast again.
   I had other plans. Looking at her bare pussy, drool pooled in the corner of my mouth.
   I turned her around and applied pressure on her back. Bending her body brought her treasure right to my face. Her pussy was glistening, her juices smeared all over her nether lips and her inner thighs. Her alluring scent driving me insane. I did not make her wait. Not this time. I needed to taste her. 
   She startled when I kissed her vulva reverently. She rose to her toes when I licked from her clit to her labia, to her entrance where I tasted her nectar, before pulling her toward me and returning to her clit once again. My lips formed a tight seal around her nub and I sucked gently. The action drawing her clit out. I lightly scraped my teeth over it, then used my tongue to lavish it. The quick come-hither move drove her high. Her breathing turned ragged. Her moans echoed around the walls of my cave. My nose was right at her entrance. Her scent driving me higher. Creator, I needed to feel her sheath surround me. She was shaking. My arm around her waist was the only thing holding her from collapsing. A gush of fresh juices flowed out of her. Letting her clit go, I speared her with my tongue, the way I wanted to do with my cock. Drinking her nectar only made me crave for more.
   She screamed and came apart on my face. I did not stop. I made her climb to the top again and made her fall a second time. 
   Her taste was addicting, but I could not hold back any longer. She was slick and ready for me. I stood, not allowing her to move, and brought my cock to her slick sheath. I stroke the puffed-up lips of her pussy, smearing her juices all over my dick, then guided it to her entrance.
   Before I entered her, the cave walls started dissolving into smoke. I tightened my hold on her waist, but my hands went through thin air.
   What? Where is she?

——

   I jolted upright and glanced around, my eyes jumping from one shadow to the other. 
   I was in my cave. 
   Alone. 
   It was merely a dream. 
   She felt important, yet I couldn’t remember her face. 
   Who was she? 
   What species was she?  
  As my heartbeats calmed, and my breathing settled, I looked south. My cock was rock solid. I wrapped my palm around it, closed my eyes and pumped a few times. But no matter how hard I squeezed, or how fast or slow I went, it did nothing to alleviate my desire. I could not picture her face and trying to jack off just wasn’t enough. 
   I wanted her. 
   No.
   I needed her.

 

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