“Okay John, you can come in now,” Kesley said, her voice muffled from behind the closed door he was staring at.
“Coming,” he said as he moved forward eagerly.
Kesley had come to get him from his and Yelena’s bedroom just a few minutes ago and told him that she had a surprise. Well, that Yelena had a surprise for him, really. He had an idea of what it might be, and as he twisted the knob and opened the door, he saw that he was right. Even though he was expecting it, what he saw was still a bit of a shock.
In the middle of a large, mostly empty room with earthen and rock walls stood a woman he and Yelena had once met in their travels several months ago and had a quick, but extremely satisfying, fling with. Tanis, a very beautiful redheaded elf. She was nude and looked spectacular. Except he wasn’t actually looking at Tanis.
“Holy shit,” he said.
Yelena laughed. It was odd to hear Yelena’s voice coming out of Tanis’s mouth. “So, I take it my transformation was successful?”
“Yes. Very successful. You look just like her,” he murmured, staring intently at her, (and also remembering that he really, really wanted to meet and fuck Tanis again someday). “I mean, just...wow! If I didn’t know, I’d have no idea that you were a demon.”
“Good. That is the idea,” Yelena said.
She closed her eyes, her face and body relaxing, and suddenly she began to change. She grew in height, filling out a bit more, her skin darkening from very pale to her natural reddish-brown color. Her hair went from red to black and lengthened a bit. Her feet morphed back into polished black hooves. When she opened her eyes, they were a flickering fiery red.
“I do believe I have taught you well,” Kesley said.
John glanced over at their benevolent hostess. He had never entirely gotten used to the fact that he was living with a dragoness. Let alone one who spent most of her time nude. He’d only ever seen her natural size once, when she’d shown him and Yelena and transformed into a thirty or so foot dragon with huge wings and an enormous tail. But she’d explained afterward that when she was at home, she largely had gotten used to her other state: an eight-foot dragon woman with very shapely curves and large breasts and beautiful scaly skin.
“You have,” Yelena agreed.
“You really have,” John said. “I honestly thought it would take longer. Not that I didn’t think you could do it, but more that I thought shape-shifting was a lot more complex.”
“Oh, it is,” Kesley said. “But Yelena is very magical by nature, and has an incredible discipline to her, and has spent decades and decades practicing magic. Plus, she already knew a little bit of it, so we were able to skip the basics and get to work on the harder stuff. Six months is a very short time to be able to do this.”
“Has it been six months?” Yelena asked, she stretched and popped a few of her joints. Behind her, her tail swayed gently. “It feels like longer.”
“It does,” John agreed.
“I’m afraid it’s been six months since you first arrived on my doorstep, half-frozen and bedraggled,” Kesley replied. She paused, looking first at Yelena, then at John, her lips pursed, as though considering something. “I’ve taught you pretty much all you need to know to transform into another person. You’ll have to practice to build up your endurance, because it takes focus and energy, but you can reliably do it. I would offer to take it to the next level, but I get the feeling that you two are very eager to get on with your lives. Am I right?”
John looked at Yelena. “Yes,” she said, locking eyes with him. “I know I am, and I’m fairly positive that John is even more desperate than I to get back out into the world. Especially now that this world’s accursed winter has lifted and spring is upon us...right?”
“Well, it should be that way,” Kesley said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some more heavy snowstorms hit us, but yes, you should be able to enjoy spring now.”
“Excellent. My love? Would you like to depart?” Yelena asked.
“Yes. I really, really would like that,” John replied, then looked over at Kesley suddenly. “Um...not that you’ve been a bad hostess or anything. I’ve greatly enjoyed your company, Kesley, it’s just...”
“You are eager to resume your nomadic lifestyle. Don’t worry, John, I completely understand. And thank you for your kind words. I definitely understand that desire of wanderlust. Given that it’s almost nighttime now, I imagine you’ll want to wait until tomorrow to leave?”
“Yes,” Yelena said. “We’ll need time to pack.”
“Good! In that case, I have something I wish to offer you. Both of you,” she said.
“What’s that?” John replied.
Kesley’s smile changed, going from pleasant and kind to kind of sultry. “I know that both of you, especially you John, have been wanting to have sex with me since you first got here. For which I am grateful. The reason I haven’t approached either of you is because in my older age I find that I’ve been hitting dry spells where I’m just not horny. I had been about a month into one of them when you two showed up. But my dry spell ended a few days ago and I find that I am very turned on and very into the idea of having sex with both of you. So what do you say? If you’d like, we can go back into my chambers and make love.”
“Emphatically yes,” John replied immediately.
Yelena laughed. “Yes, Kesley, that would make me very happy. I’ll go get my toy. I’ve been wanting to use it on you very badly.”
“All right. Come on, John,” Kesley said, turning and heading out of the room.
John and Yelena quickly followed after her. Yelena broke left, heading for their shared bedroom, while he moved right, following Kesley through the main chamber of her home. It was admittedly very strange to live for almost half a year with a dragoness in a cave at the top of a mountain, but not in a bad way. Especially considering that Kesley had spent years, if not decades, (or longer even), making it into a warm, comfortable, inviting home.
He studied Kesley as she led him into her bedroom, through about a nine foot tall door. He realized that she seemed a little bit shorter than normal. He guessed that for most of their time spent together, she was about eight feet tall, but she looked closer to seven feet now. Well, however she felt comfortable fucking.
Her bedroom was a large place, mainly dominated by an enormous sunken tub and probably the biggest bed he’d ever seen before. Kesley turned around and looked at him intently, standing at the foot of the bed. She was intimidating and beautiful. Her skin was somewhere in between that of a beryl and a serpentine, almost totally black and smooth, with the tiniest hints of green mixed in. She had pleasantly thick thighs and very broad, smooth hips. And a big ass, from what he had seen when she walked in front of him, given that she almost always walked around nude. And she had some very large, shapely breasts.
Her eyes were somewhat like Yelena’s, they burned red with a hint of yellow, and twin horns rose from her forehead. Behind her, her wings were folded. They were very beautiful and had a black-and-red coloring to them.
“Are you eager?” she asked, hands on her big hips.
“Extremely,” he replied.
“I thought as such. I can sense sexual energy, you know. You’ve managed quite admirably, I must say. I thought that at least you would proposition me.”
“Well, I mean...”
“Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad you didn’t, because I didn’t want to have to turn you down. I wasn’t even sure if my dry spell would last beyond our time together. Maybe Bliss is smiling on me. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. Anyway, this works out just fine. We get to enjoy sex together, and you get to resume your life tomorrow...take off your clothes,” she said.
John just nodded and started stripping down. By the time he was finished, Yelena walked into the room holding the magical strap-on sex toy that their dryad friends had crafted for her as a gift last year. She looked first at Kesley, then at him as she came to stand beside him.
“Wow,” she murmured, still staring at him.
“What?” he replied, glancing down at himself.
“I am really noticing how much you’ve changed since we first arrived here. You’ve always been in good shape, but there is much more definition now.”
“Yes,” Kesley said, “I’d say you put on about fifteen pounds of muscle, maybe more. You look extremely handsome.”
“I, uh...thanks,” he replied. About a week or two after they had arrived and Yelena had begun her training, John had decided that it wouldn’t do for him to just sit around doing nothing. For his health and his sanity. So he’d started seriously working out. His life of activity, especially since meeting Yelena, (activity in many different forms), had kept him decently fit, but even he could see it looking down at himself: he was easily in the best shape of his life. And yet...something was bothering him. Something had been bothering him for a few weeks now, but he couldn’t really put his finger on it. He pushed the vague feelings of discomfort aside and instead focused on the two exotic, exceptionally attractive naked women near him.
“How shall we do this?” Yelena asked.
“Could I go first?” he replied. “I really want to have sex with you, Kesley.”
“I’m okay with that,” Kesley said.
“Yes, love, you can go first,” Yelena said with a grin. “I will enjoy watching.”
“Come on.” Kesley got onto her bed and he eagerly clambered up there as well. He wondered how this was going to work as Kesley laid down her side and beckoned him closer. Well, probably just like every other encounter he’d had so far. He’d had sex with a woman taller than Kesley before and it had worked out.
He laid down beside her, staring at her reptilian face, into her fiery eyes. She was beautiful in an alien and dangerous kind of way.
“Kiss me,” she said, and he did, leaning in and pressing his lips to her smooth, dark lips.
She moaned softly and ran her hand across his body. He felt her tongue slide smoothly into his mouth, twisting with his own, and her taste came as well. It was a smoky taste, a strange one, but not a bad one. More exotic than weird. Wondrous. He laid a hand across one of her huge breasts. An expression people liked to use about women with big breasts were how they were bigger than their head. Often, it was an exaggeration, but with Kesley, it was true. They were huge. And they felt amazing to touch.
And she was a very good kisser.
He had no idea how old she was, but some hints she’d dropped seemed to indicate that she might be a thousand years old, maybe even older. How long did dragons live? He had no idea, but he figured it gave her a lot of time to practice kissing and sex and other things. Suddenly, she broke the kiss and opened her eyes back up.
“Something wrong?” he asked.
“I’m afraid that, ah...I don’t want to wait any longer. I very much want you inside of me,” she replied.
“That horny, huh?” he asked.
“Yes. That horny.”
“I’ll be happy to obliged.”
As he got up and then settled in between her massive thighs, Kesley beckoned to Yelena, who crawled onto the bed with sensuous, languid movements. “Kiss me. Touch me, Yelena,” Kesley said as Yelena drew closer.
“Gladly,” Yelena replied.
As John rested his rigid cock, which was absolutely throbbing with anticipation now and felt as hard as tempered steel, at the entrance of her dragoness pussy, Yelena got up against her and began to passionately kiss Kesley.
Both women moaned, and Kesley moaned louder, as they began to make out and John slipped his dick inside of her. A loud, intense groan of pleasure escaped him as he penetrated her. Dragon pussy felt simply fucking beyond amazing. She was actually a little bit hotter inside than Yelena was, he could feel that fucking heat coming off of her pussy. She wasn’t quite wet so much as she was slick. It was an odd feeling, and the texture of her vagina was bizarre but it felt so godsdamned good! It was somewhat like having sex with his beryl friend Elise, and also a little bit like making love with Brynne, his serpentine lover.
And yet different than both in a way he couldn’t properly articulate.
John stared going harder and settled into a good, smooth rhythm. He’d been fantasizing about this for the last six months straight, pretty much, and now he was living it. Her huge breasts bounced and jiggled as he fucked her, pounding her sweet, incredibly tight dragon vagina. She knew shape-shifting, which meant she had a lot of control over her pussy, like Morgan had...like Yelena now did. She’d been doing some really fun things in bed with her pussy recently that she said would become part of their usual sex sessions.
Something he was very much looking forward to.
Watching the love of his life kiss Kesley as he drove furiously into her just made the whole thing that much more erotic and stimulating. His entire body seemed to pulse with lust. He’d had sex today, first thing in the morning when he and Yelena had woken up. (Okay, when Yelena had woken up and then roused him for sex since she needed less sleep than he did.) But it felt like he hadn’t fucked in too long now that he was finally getting to make love with Kesley.
“That is wonderful, John,” Kesley moaned as Yelena began licking across one of her huge breasts while groping the other one.
“You feel pretty fucking great yourself, Kesley,” he panted as his cock throbbed in absolute pleasure from being inside of her, from thrusting into her over and over again, from feeling all that hot, wet perfection.
“Do not take too long, I very badly want my turn,” Yelena complained.
“I guess that’s fair,” he replied. “Although you’ll definitely need to wash up when I’m done, because this is going to be a huge load.”
“Good,” Kesley murmured. “I like that.”
That just made him even more turned on. He looked down at her body, her wonderful, curvaceous dragon body, enjoying ever second of their encounter, every sensation. Loved seeing her scaly skin and her huge breasts that Yelena seemed obsessed with, touching and groping and licking and sucking on them. Loved seeing her enormous, thick thighs. He ran his hands over them, then settled them on her huge hips. She was easily three times as wide as he was. Making love to her was unreal.
Even though he’d been building up a lot of endurance lately, John realized that it was still very easy to come before too long. Some of his sex sessions with Yelena had been pushing up to an hour some nights because they were both so fit and horny and wanted to try a lot of different positions. But he wasn’t even going to make it ten minutes this fuck session because endurance tended to crumble when you were faced with factors like having sex with a new woman, with a woman of a different species, with a fucking dragoness, and a damned shape-shifted that could make her pussy do all sorts of wonderful things.
Even now he felt her vaginal muscles coiling and clenching and sliding around his cock, squeezing and milking and massaging it, and he knew she was trying to make him come. He lasted maybe another ten seconds, then he let out a guttural sound of primal bliss as he that wonderful sensation of the orgasm, the climax, the release of his seed in a burst of absolute pleasure. He started coming inside of Kesley, emptying himself, his cock jerking violently as he felt a tsunami of pleasure wash through him.
Each time another spurt of his seed sprayed out of him, a fresh pulse of rapturous ecstasy flowed out from his core, filling him.
He felt his body going rigid, his hips jerking in automatic response to the orgasm, thrusting his cock deeper into her each time a contraction of release hit him, making Kesley cry out. It was a very good, very satisfying orgasm.
When he was finished, John stayed inside of her for a few seconds, resting on his hands and knees now, trying to get his breath back. Slowly, he raised his head and found both women looking at him. Kesley had a sedate smile on her face.
“I’ve still got it,” she said.
“What?” he replied, and slowly pulled out of her.
“The ability to make men have very intense, powerful orgasms.”
“Oh. Yeah. I doubt you’re ever going to lose that, Kesley.”
She laughed. “It’d be nice to think so. Although it will be a long time, I think. Mmm...you were right. That is a lot. And that’s saying something for me. Let me wash, and then Yelena, you may enjoy my body.”
“Hurry,” Yelena replied. “I really need it.”
“Oh yes ma’am,” Kesley replied with happy sarcasm as she got up. “She’s kind of bossy, huh?” she asked John as he got up slowly to join her.
Nothing quite like a good soak in hot water after hard sex.
“She can be,” he replied. “Although she really likes me bossing her around.”
“I know. I’ve heard you screaming at her,” Kesley said, settling down into the steaming water.
“Oh...I thought the walls were a little more, uh, soundproof,” John murmured as he did so as well, feeling a bit embarrassed.
“I have good hearing,” Kesley replied. “And it seems to me that Yelena is never going to learn.”
“What do you mean?” Yelena asked, amused.
“I can’t tell you how many times he’s told you how bad you are, how you need to be taught a lesson. You never seem to learn that lesson,” Kesley said, grinning.
“I guess I just need more punishment,” Yelena replied.
“I guess you do,” Kesley agreed.
“She definitely does,” John said. “Honestly, I think you’re right. She’ll never learn. But that’s fine by me.”
Yelena laughed. “I guess we’ll have to keep finding out.”
While he and Kesley washed up, Yelena got the magical sex toy pulled on over her hips. John was quick to finish up, since he was quite eager to see the two women go at each other. Although she didn’t move quite as fast as he did, he got the notion that Kesley felt the same way, given that the normally calm and reserved dragoness was moving more quickly than she normally did. As soon as they were both washed up, the pair got out and dried off, then moved back over to the bed. John sat on the edge and watched as Kesley moved back to her previous position. Yelena waited for her, a hungry look on her face.
“How would you like me, Yelena?” Kesley asked.
“On your hands and knees,” Yelena replied immediately.
Kesley responded by doing just that, getting up onto her hands and knees, showing Yelena her big ass and tail. She got up against her, resting a hand on her scaly tail and running it slowly up and down as, with her other hand, she guided the fake cock into Kesley’s pussy. Yelena gasped softly as she made contact and pushed her way inside. Her tail twitched and she reached out and grasped Kesley’s broad hips as the pleasure hit her. John stared intently, feeling his erection coming back again already. Well, Yelena would no doubt want to be fucked again, given her large sexual appetite, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
“Oh yes, Yelena...” Kesley moaned.
She unfolded her wings, stretching them up as Yelena began making love to her. She was breathing more heavily now, panting almost, as she thrust repeatedly into Kesley’s pussy. Now they could both say that they’d had sex with a dragoness, something probably very few other beings on this planet could claim with truth.
“Kesley...you feel so pleasurable...” Yelena moaned softly.
“You feel pretty great too,” Kesley replied, then moaned loudly.
Both women kept going, Kesley pushing her big ass up against Yelena, both of their tails twitching and swishing back and forth. Both women moaned and writhed in bliss as they made love, and they kept going at it, Yelena putting her powerful thighs and hips to good use, until each of them enjoyed a powerful orgasm.
It was quite a sight to watch.
When they were finished, all three of them slipped into the water again.
“Kesley,” Yelena said.
“I feel like we should repay you, somehow. You’ve housed us for months, fed us, kept us entertained, and trained me a great deal. It was a significant investment of time and resources,” she said, and John thought that she had a point.
He’d been thinking something similar.
Kesley just smiled. “Honestly, Yelena? I’m just happy for the company. And to be able to pass this knowledge on. Plus, the sex was good. But...I don’t know. I can’t really think of anything. If I think of something, I’ll let you know. For now though? You can repay me by going out there and helping people. Going out into the world and enjoying yourselves. Live a good life. You two are something special. There are a lot of lovers out there, some for life, some casual, but a love like what you two have is very rare. I have lived for a very long time, and have only encountered a relationship such as yours a handful of times.”
“I think we can manage being happy,” Yelena said, looking at John. Under the water, he felt her brush against his leg with her tail.
“Yes,” he agreed. “But, Kesley, in the unlikely event that you ever need our help, please don’t hesitate to find us, wherever we are.”
“Thank you. I appreciate the offer. And I will. I don’t think I will, but...” she paused, frowning suddenly, “sometimes I feel like something is on the horizon. Something big.”
“What do you mean?” Yelena asked, sitting up straighter. “What is on the horizon?”
Kesley sighed. “I don’t know. Live as long as I have, and you get to see a world-changing event every now and then. Cataclysms, world wars, evil ancient entities threatening to rise to power again. I’ve taken part in my share of wars when I thought it was necessary, when the natural order of things was threatened. We haven’t seen something like that, something world-changing, for a long time. Centuries, at least. But I don’t know. I feel like maybe something is coming.” She fell silent for several more seconds, then shook her head and offered a small laugh. “Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe I’m just getting old. But if something like that does happen, I have no doubt that I can count you among my allies in the fight for Good.”
“I don’t either,” John said, though Yelena hesitated, a thoughtful look on her face.
“A fight for Good,” she murmured. “For most of my life, I was convinced that I would never be accepted by any save for a handful of horny and adventurous souls, and even then tolerated more than accepted. And yet, since I have arrived here and fallen in love, I’ve been told by many that Bliss smiles upon me, that Vivian Herself favors me. I have fought evil and darkness. I have made friends. Real friends that I would trust with my life. I guess...hearing you say this, that you would trust me in a fight for what is right, it really underlines all of these experiences.”
“You are a good person, Yelena,” Kesley said firmly. “From what I can tell, you stand for what is right. You stand for empathy. For peace. For trust. You stand against evil, in its many forms.”
“She’s right,” John said, taking her hand. “You are a good person, Yelena.”
She sighed. “I like to believe this. It’s just that...I have done many bad things. I have killed so many. I have performed torture on my enemies. Not because they were evil, thought that is what we were led to believe, but because they were not the same as I. I...I don’t know if...”
“Yelena,” Kesley said, and she looked up, and John realized suddenly that she was close to crying. He wrapped an arm around her, holding her closed to him, and she squeezed his hand and sniffed.
“Yes?” she asked softly.
“I know your struggle. I do. I...have done things I am not proud. Things that I would everything to take back. I don’t want to talk about them, as much as I’m sure you don’t want to talk about what you’ve done. It hurts. I know that it hurts. Bad deeds are like a poison you will always carry with you. A stain on your soul, a scar on your spirit. Some people can at least try to make it right, but many of us can’t. I can’t. Those I have wrong are long dead at this point. As are their children, and their children’s children. I imagine those you wronged are similarly out of your reach.”
Yelena nodded. “They are.”
“Then it is my belief that all you can do is to no longer commit evil deeds, and to try to make the lives of those around you better. Remove darkness, add light. You are incredibly skilled at combat Yelena. Use those abilities to fight evil. To stop those who would visit pain and suffering on the innocent. And, with regards to your past, lay it to rest, Yelena. I know it may take time, a long time, but eventually you will have to forgive yourself for what you have done. You can’t escape your past, but you can at least make peace with it. Do you understand?”
“I...think so,” Yelena said softly. “Thank you, Kesley. That helped.”
“I am glad. As I said, you are a good person, Yelena. You deserve to be happy.”
She laughed, sniffed again, wiped at her eyes. “Well, deserve or not, I at least am happy most of the time. I have you,” she said, and kissed John firmly on the mouth.
“And I have you, Yelena,” he replied. “If you ever need to talk about this, or anything, please come to me. I want to help you.”
“I know. I know you do. I’m sorry I didn’t bring it up earlier to you. I know we talk so rarely about it. I just...it’s a problem that has no easy solution, and I hate burdening you with such problems. I have seen you get into bad moods. Something with make you sad, something that I can’t fight, I can’t explain away, I can’t just...fix. It hurts. I know you do not want that for me, but it hurts to see you suffer when I have no way of fixing it. And that is exactly what my problems are: suffering with no easy solution, no fix.”
“I can appreciate that,” John replied. “But part of a relationship is that you share burdens. You share suffering.”
“Yes...I am learning that. That is not true where I came from. To reveal that you are suffering, either emotionally or physically, even to an ally...it was potentially dangerous. Every ally eventually turns on you in my realm, and if they know your weak points, it makes it that much easier to take you down.”
“I really hate your realm,” John muttered.
“So do I. I like this much better,” Yelena said.
“It is pretty great, sometimes,” Kesley agreed. “Now, how about we wash up and you two can help me cook up a big goodbye dinner?”
“Does it have to be goodbye?” Yelena asked. “Goodbyes are sad.”
“They are,” Kesley said. “How about a ‘farewell for now’ dinner?”
“That is much better,” Yelena replied.
“Then that’s what we’ll do.”
“Is this everything?” John asked, looking at the pair of backpacks sitting at the foot of the bed he’d been sleeping in for almost half a year now. It was weird, thinking about that. In some ways, it felt like they had been here for a lot longer than that. But on the other hand...it still oddly felt like the events that had chased them across the continent had happened just a few weeks ago. Time was really fucking weird.
“I believe so,” Yelena replied, doing one more scan of their bedroom.
John decided to join her. If they left something behind, it wasn’t like it was gone forever. Kesley would keep it safe for them. Plus, they could just come back and get it.
Last night had been a great night. They’d made a big meal and had chatted for hours, long into the night. After that, he and Yelena had gone to bed, had a great round of happy sex, and had gone to sleep. After waking up, they’d fucked again in the bathtub, as was their usual routine at this point, and begun the process of packing.
It was time to leave.
It was time to get back to their life, to continue this wonderful journey that was their relationship. To move on to new territories. It was something that they still weren’t sure about, and for now they only had vague notions of exploring the northern portion of the current continent they were on. Kesley told them that although a lot of it was just bleak wilderness, there were definitely a lot of interesting places to see and visit.
“Yes, this is everything,” Yelena finally concluded.
“Great. Let’s go say goodbye to Kesley then,” he replied.
They picked up their packs and pulled them on, then, after taking one last look around the bedroom they’d spent so much time in, they left it. Kesley was in her usual spot in the main chamber: an enormous chair meant to hold her large frame beside a fireplace that held a magical flame. She smiled as they approached her.
“I’m very glad to have met the two of you,” she said, standing up and giving them both a hug. “And-” She paused suddenly, tilting her head. “Someone is coming into my cave.”
John placed a hand on his sword’s hilt and turned around. He hadn’t heard anything, and neither had Yelena apparently, but Kesley was a dragoness. “No,” she said after a few seconds, placing a hand on his shoulder, “it’s okay. A friend is coming. You’ll like her.”
“Who is she?” Yelena asked.
Before long, they began to hear footfalls. Then a female voice called out. “Kesley! You still in there!?”
“I’m here, Fiona,” Kesley replied.
“How’d you know it was me?”
“Smell. I remember all the smells of my friends.”
“I didn’t say it was a bad smell.”
“Should I hide my appearance?” Yelena asked uncertainly.
“No. She won’t mind...I have company, Fiona.”
The footsteps drew close enough that the latest arrival, Fiona, finally appeared around the corner of the entrance/exit tunnel. She paused there, looking at the three of them, a look of surprise on her face. “Well...that you do. Hello, I’m Fiona.”
“John,” John said, studying her.
“Pleased to meet you.” She kept walking closer.
Fiona was, as far as John could remember, the first kit he had ever seen in his entire life. He’d seen drawings and paintings of them, heard stories about them, but he had never actually seen one in the flesh. Or maybe in the fur was more appropriate. In the same way that felis were a cross between a cat and a human, and beryl were like a cross between a lizard and a human, a kit was a cross between a fox and a human.
This particular kit definitely resembled an adventuress. She had on leather armor, though it lacked the modifications he normally saw for cold weather environments. Which made enough sense, given that she had fur. She had a pack on her back, a sword on her hip, and a bow and quiver of arrows peeking over her shoulder. She regarded them with bright green eyes that seemed somehow playful and had an easy smile.
She was also tremendously attractive.
Yelena thought so too. Her tail was twitching against him now.
“What brings you back to my home and continent, Fiona?” Kesley asked as she walked forward to greet her. “Last I remember you were visiting the far elf homelands.”
Kesley wrapped her in a hug and picked her up, then set her back down. “I was there for awhile. Got tired of it. Went to Cypress for awhile. Had a lot of fun there. Kicked my way up and down Tomontica after that. Finally wound up back here. As for why I’m back here...well, I had an idea. And I wanted your help.”
“I’m always willing to help you, Fiona. Sit with me. With us, if you don’t mind.”
“I don’t...you two are adventurers, aren’t you?” she asked, sizing them up.
“Yes,” Yelena replied. “We are.”
“Maybe you can help me.” They all sat down around the fireplace. “So, I’ll cut to the chase. I’m a little anxious to get started. This whole region north of the mountains is shit. Lots of miserable people. No real infrastructure. Lots of dangerous creatures around, unsafe travel conditions, bad paths, all sorts of shit. I want to fix that.”
John raised his eyebrows. “You do? Um...how? That’s quite the task.”
“Yes it is,” Fiona replied almost eagerly. “It’ll take years and a lot of effort, but the thing is, I’ve been thinking about that precise question for almost a year now. And I have a plan. I’ve been doing research, figuring shit out, walking all over this damned place for the past four months or so. Getting to know the land and the people. There’s this old mine near the middle of the region, long abandoned, a platinum mine. Good stuff, rare stuff, platinum. At least around here. I want to get the mine up and running again, and the town around it rebuilt. It can serve as a hub, a waystation for weary travelers, a trading outpost, a place of safety. I think it could be the central support beam for the whole region. Obviously it would take a long, long time, but I think this might just be a way to kindle the first few sparks of the fire that will make this region more inhabitable, safer.”
“People have tried this before,” Kesley pointed out.
“Yes. Yes they have. I’ve looked into some of those. Some failed due to bad luck. Some failed due to corruption. Some people just gave up. I can do this, though. With the right people, I can do this. And I think I’ve found the right people, Kesley,” Fiona replied.
“And you want me to help? I’m flattered, and I will if you ask me to, but I do think that my help might be more of a hindrance than anything else. I’m afraid I have a bit of a reputation in the area. People tend to be scared of dragons. But...” She looked over at John and Yelena. “Last night, you mentioned you wanted a way to repay me...”
John looked at Yelena, then at Fiona. “You want us to help her?”
“Yes,” Kesley replied. “She’s a good person. She’s honest. This is a good cause.”
“Well...love?” he asked, looking over at Yelena.
“I am willing,” she replied after a moment’s consideration.
“If you’ll have us, we can help,” John said, looking back at Fiona.
“All right...what are your credentials?” she replied.
“I can vouch for them,” Kesley said. “They are both very strong, swift fighters with a lot of endurance and skill and practice. I trust them with my life.”
“Well damn, that’s quite the endorsement,” Fiona replied. She studied them a bit longer. “Okay. I get good vibes from you, and I trust Kesley. Although...not that I have a problem with race, but do you have the ability to hide yourself? An illusion amulet or something? Most people will react very poorly to a demon.”
“I can shape-shift,” Yelena replied.
“Okay, great! Then I accept your offer of help.” She stood up suddenly. “I really don’t mean to rush off, and I will totally come back and have a nice, long meal and conversation with you at some point in the near future, but I am very eager to get going.”
Kesley smiled knowingly and stood back up. “I understand, Fiona. You’ve always been a rather impatient girl.”
“I am a woman, not a girl,” she complained.
“When you’re my age, everyone else looks like boys and girls, I’m afraid,” Kesley replied.
Fiona sighed. “Fair point, I guess. Are you two good to go?”
“We’re ready to head out. We were just going to actually,” John replied.
“Perfect.” She gave Kesley a long hug. “Thank you so much for putting up with my impatient ass, Kesley. I have missed you very badly, and I do deeply appreciate this.”
“I understand, Fiona. Don’t worry. I’ll be here. I’m a patient woman.”
“Thank you.” She let go of Kesley and then whirled around, heading for the exit.
She really was impatient. John and Yelena each gave Kesley a hug and a kiss on the mouth. “Be sure to visit me sometime before you two leave the continent for good, yes? Last night was very invigorating and I would love to do it again.”
“Oh so would I,” John replied, and Yelena nodded.
Fiona paused. “What was so invigorating about last night?” she asked.
“I thought you had somewhere you desperately needed to be,” Kesley replied, smirking at her. Fiona sighed explosively. “Don’t worry. If you ask politely, I’m sure John and Yelena will be more than willing to tell you all about it.”
“Okay good. Let’s go, new friends,” she said, and resumed her walk.
They followed her out of the cave, and towards the next chapter in their life.