Ocean's Seven

Chapter Two



                "So, none of you have any proficiency with martial implements of any kind?  Blades, shields, staves… I suppose that also rules out any experience with firearms?”


                Caramel, Satin, and Chris were trailing after Gwen down a bustling Oslo street after having had a particularly filling breakfast at the hotel dining room earlier in the morning.  Chris grabbed Caramel’s hand to pull her out of the way of an oncoming centaur pokegirl pulling a heavily laden cart as he spoke up.  “Where I come from, I didn’t have the need.  Obviously.”  Gwen looked back over her shoulder at the trio she was leading, one eyebrow raised.  They were a motely bunch, holding hands in a line, with Chris in the center.  They were on their way to shop for clothing for Caramel and Satin, as Caramel had categorically denied accepting anything fashion related from the Archmage/Dominantrix splice, insisting that anything magically created would be inferior to something hand-made. 


                Gwen, from the few memories she had of her Dominatrix side, tended to agree.  She had the skills to fashion her own leather clothing, and the black leather waist binder she wore atop her pencil skirt and blouse was more fashion than functional.  So she appreciated Caramel’s desire to choose her own clothes, even though she had overheard the two young women conversing in hushed tones about what style of clothing they thought their new tamer would appreciate most.  As it was now, Caramel and Satin were wearing spare clothing of Chris’ that he hadn’t really even had a chance to wear himself yet.  The bunnygirl had settled for only a pair of her tamer’s boxers, straight from the new packaging, and a long, knit sweater that dwarfed her petite frame and practically swallowed her up from her chin to her mid thighs.  Caramel had managed to salvage some sense of fashion, wearing a pair of Chris’ jeans and cinching them tight with his only belt, and wearing the same button-down white shirt Gwen had met her in last night, now tastefully cinched at her right hip with an orange ribbon she had procured somewhere.  Neither was wearing footwear, and Gwen made a mental note to make sure all three of her charges procured multiple sets of footwear that would allow them to adapt to every situation. 


                “Well, you’re registered now as a foreign tamer from Sunshine living and operating in the Ocean League.   Meaning you can’t carry one even if you wanted to.  Of course, that doesn’t preclude any of your pokegirls from carrying armaments, so long as they have the innate ability to do so.  If Satin evolves into a Gun Bunny, for instance.”  Gwen stopped in front of a shopping center that had people streaming in and out of it.  “In here.  Clothing, camping gear, essential taming gear.  I’ve got lists for everyone, and we’ll meet back up by the registers in two and a half hours.”


                Chris, Caramel and Satin followed Gwen into the multi-level building, coming to a stop in front of a rack female undergarments displayed prominently at the first intersection of the department store-like complex.  Chris positioned himself close to Gwen, leaning towards her as people milled around their group, all in search of some item or browsing some particular sale.  “I think we’re leaning more towards needing a Moon Stone, actually.”


                Gwen looked at Chris, and then at Satin, who had plastered herself to Chris’s back to try and avoid the rapidly moving lanes of people hurrying about their day.  “A Spellbun?”  When Chris, and then Satin nodded, Gwen smiled.  “A young woman after my own heart, then.  Of course.  I’ll see to it.  Here.”  Gwen passed out three slips of paper she had earlier prepared, handing one each to Chris, Caramel, and Satin.  “You’re each responsible for gathering the items on these lists.  Some of it, like clothing, is up to your discretion.  Though I would advise you that spring is approaching here on the Scandinavian subcontinent, but it can get deathly cold well into even the typically summer months of the year.  Plan your purchases accordingly.  You don’t need to buy summer clothing now, and please refrain from buying bikinis, either of you.”  Gwen cut her eyes between Satin and Caramel.


               Satin frowned and pouted, and Caramel simply rolled her eyes.  “We’ve lived here all our lives, we know what we’re doing.” 


                “As I thought you might.  But Chris hasn’t.  And I don’t need him trying to convince you that you’d look better in some strappy two-piece swimsuit when what you really need is a heavy sweater and a pair of snow boots.”


                Chris held up his hands pleadingly.  “Hey, I’m a better man than to suggest something like that.  I’ve done enough camping and hiking in my youth to know what to pack for what kind of weather.  It’s when we get into a discussion of the types of dangers you might include in the wilderness while out in that weather that I’m deficient.”


                Gwen nodded, and then pointed over Chris’s shoulder.  “Over there is the women’s clothing section.”  The three turned around to look where she was pointing, and indeed the entire section seemed to be swarming with women and young girls, and some young men, picking through racks and stacks and shelves of clothing.  “Give yourselves a two-hour time-limit, no more.  Go quickly and start with the essentials.  I’m sure that Caramel will decide that she can create better garments for all three of you once she acquires the needed materials.”


                Caramel was looking down at her list, checking off each item in her mind.  She had been to this department store a few times, only once with Satin.  She had grown up on the other side of the sprawling city of Oslo, and more often than not had people in the employ of her father’s company to do most of her shopping for her.  “I notice that there aren’t any actual materials on my list. Fabrics, thread, supplies.  What’s up with that?”


                Gwen looked down her nose at Caramel, arching one eyebrow imperiously.  “I assumed that you would know better than I what you needed.  I work primarily in leather and other more ‘exotic’ materials.  Simple cotton and polyester aren’t my specialty.”  Caramel started to say something, and then held her tongue, nodding instead and grabbing Satin’s hand, pulling her towards the racks of clothing.  Gwen caught Chris’s shoulder as he moved to follow them, holding him back and turning him back around to face her.  “Mr. Wallace, I would ask that you assure your Alpha that I have no intention of usurping her position.  We are merely pressed for time, and until such a time as she is able to give these sorts of commands herself, I will be acting in your best interests.  And I mean that in the plural sense.  You are in my care.  And by extension, so are they.  My first duty is to your well-being.  They come second, but they are no less important to me.”


                “Yeah, well I…”


                “I’m not finished, Mr. Wallace.  Because they are important to you, they are by default important to me.  I have seen too many young people flounder because they have surrounded themselves with individuals who, either through ineptitude or deliberately sabotaging acts pull them down.  You say you have chosen Satin and young Miss Lindor, and I believe you have every intention of doing everything you can to give them a good life and to be a good companion to them.  But remember that they did not get to make the same choice you did.  I will train you, all of you.  But it is up to each of you individually to pull your fair share of the proverbial weight, or the rest of you will most certainly fall.” 


                Chris looked over his shoulder where Caramel was already stacking various items of clothing into Satin’s outstretched arms, the young Bunnygirl following her friend from rack to shelf and back to rack again.  “We’re going to do what we need to do to survive.  Together.  I don’t know what that entails.  And I’m sure I’ll have problems with some of it, given my… situation.”  Chris folded up his list and stuck it in the pocket of his jeans.  “But we’ll deal with those types of situations when they come.”  He looked up at Gwen, again marveling at just how tall she was, almost a full head taller than he was.  “What’s on your list?”


                Gwen sniffed and pushed her glasses up on the bridge of her nose with a fingertip.  “As I mentioned, the Moon Stone.  If that is Satin’s decision?”  Chris nodded.  “Then that is my first stop.  Then I’ll be visiting the pharmacy, to stock up on medical supplies for each of you.  I already have a well-stocked provision of everything I might need, but we will need to put together bags for each of you.  Then I’m going to see about camping equipment and whether or not there are any items in the store’s armory section that would help me ensure you stay alive rather than the basic warding spells and amulets that I already possess.”


                Chris nodded slowly, before jerking his thumb back towards Caramel and Satin.  “I’ve been told I have to sit and pass judgement on every piece of lingerie they try on.”


                Gwen scoffed, but looked away to prevent Chris from seeing the amusement in her eyes.  “Well, do try to have fun with that, Mr. Wallace.”


                “Yeah.  Yeah, I’ll try.  Listen.  I brought it up with Caramel last night, and we need your help.  I still have one of the two vouchers for a starting pokegirl that Yssabella provided me with.”


                Gwen frowned.  “How is that?”


                “Some sort of package deal arranged by Caramel’s father for her and Satin.  When I selected one of them, the other one was paid for out of an account he had set up, according to the pokecenter attendant.  So I’ve still got that one voucher, and Caramel and I have decided, after balancing the fact that we don’t want to add another person to this… three-way relationship we’ve started developing, we need someone who has actual fighting abilities.  I mean, Caramel and I are useless in a fight, and Satin can’t be expected to handle everything once she evolves.”


                “Are you forgetting that I will be present in almost any fight you may face, standing right beside you three?”


                “Yeah, but you won’t be there forever, right?  So, we’re hedging our bets now, and we want your input on who to select.  I’m just hoping by telling you now, you don’t have the time to set up something like what Yssabella tried to pull.”


                Gwen scoffed again.  “I don’t have any agents who could conceivably pull off pretending to be a starter pokegirl. No.  If you want my help, we’ll do this the old-fashioned way.  I do have access to the entire Ocean League Pokecenter network, though.  If some ornery attendant decides to get in our way and obstruct a transfer of the starter stock from another pokecenter, I have someone who can pull rank and override them.”


                “So… we’ll be able to get a starter pokegirl from any pokecenter in the league?  No matter if we don’t find someone suitable here in Oslo?”


                “While I find it unlikely that we would be unable to find someone who would mesh well while here in Oslo, yes, that is what I’m saying, Mr. Wallace.”  Gwen looked up.  “Now, I believe I have some equipment to gather, and you have two young women waiting for you to tell them that they look pretty.”  Gwen motioned with her chin towards the direction Caramel and Satin had walked off too, and Chris turned around to find Caramel waving impatiently in his direction while Satin teetered back and forth under an armload of clothes almost as tall as she was.  “And Christopher?”  Chris looked back over his shoulder at Gwen.  “Do tell them they look pretty.”






                “I’m glad to see that the shoe-obsession stereotype still exists.  I was afraid the local cobbler might go out of business.”  Chris commented dryly as he and Gwen stood together at the entrance to the shoe section of the department store, the section itself taking up almost the entirety of the third floor of the store. 


                “I’ve never heard it called a stereotype, just a fact of life.”  Gwen stood beside him, a heavy canvas back slung over her shoulder as they watched Caramel and Satin bounce between aisles and lanes, accumulating a stack of shoeboxes that was quickly rivaling the number of pairs of shoes that Chris had owned over his entire lifespan. 


                “Well, yeah.  The stereotype where I come from is every woman, no matter who she is, goes crazy over shoes.  So much so that people have more shoes than they do pairs of underwear, or socks to go with the shoes.  The visual gag in most media is you walk into a woman’s closet and the majority of the items contained within are shoes, at the expense of everything else.  Or hell, that they’ve built an entire separate closet just for their shoes.  Not that I’ve ever seen such a thing be a reality.  Though I have known some women who own a lot of shoes, it’s never been something to that extent.”  Chris shrugged.  “Then again, my experiences are not the end-all, be-all of the world.”  His brows furrowed as he watched Caramel and Satin squeal together over a pair of heels that Satin had discovered on a shelf.  “Maybe it’s like a collection thing for some people.  Some people collect baseball cards, some collect cars, or vinyl records from bands they like.  I’m sure some people collect shoes.”  Chris shrugged and looked at Gwen.  “Did you find the Moon Stone?”


                She nodded and gestured towards the men’s shoe section to their right.  “You need a pair of hiking boots, don’t you?”


                “Maybe.  We haven’t really decided what we’re going to do.”  He looked at Gwen curiously.  “You know I don’t like you paying for all of this, right?”


                “I know.  But I also know that I’m personally not expecting you to be beholden to me for this.  It’s all part of keeping you alive long enough to maybe one day be useful to me.  Besides.  I had to make up for the petulant nature of my bitch of a coworker, so to speak.”  Chris, Caramel and Satin had awoken the next morning to find that the nearly five million credits that had been in his bank account the previous night had disappeared, and Gwen had been able to confirm that it was Yssabella who had put them there in the first place, and Yssabella who had removed them, likely out of spite.  Gwen had insisted that money was no object for her and that she would pay for everything until they could themselves, but neither Chris nor Caramel were comfortable with the idea of living off of her good will.


                “Ah.  A long term investment.  Have to put money in now to make money later.”


                “I don’t really expect to earn any money from your actions in the future, whatever they may be.  But yes, that is the general idea that I’m working with.”


                Chris grunted and folded his arms over his chest, the bags of clothes that Caramel and Satin had picked out at his feet.  “I don’t like the idea of wandering around in the wilderness looking for trouble as a way to make my living.”


                “You were training to become an engineer, yes?”


                “Yeah.  I was going to design and build bridges and buildings.  That was the plan.”


                “I’m afraid there won’t be much of that for you to do here.  There are, perhaps inevitably, too many questions that will come up during the licensing procedures.  Not to mention that any university you could get into without a school record wouldn’t accept that you have any formal training already.”


                “And I’m sure the building standards, the technology, and even the math is different when you’re building things that have to stand up to the kind of destruction that a pokegirl can cause.”


                “That is also true.”  Gwen looked thoughtful for a moment.  “Then again, there are many places in this world where no one asks questions.  Or there isn’t anyone there to ask questions in the first place.”


                Chris looked over at her curiously.  “What do you mean.”


                “Nothing, for now.  Just a thought that I would have to investigate further before I presented it to you and your pokegirls.”


                Chris shook his head.  “Sure, that doesn’t sound ominous.”


                Gwen smiled.  “Have you given any thought to what you’re going to call them?”


                “What do you mean?”


                “Your pokegirls.  You dislike the common terminology.  Harem, Alpha, Beta.  You have to have some way to refer to them as a group.  Because they will be a group.  Clan and clique behavior develops rapidly when more than two pokegirls gather together in one space, or around one individual.”


                “Oh god they’re not going to start fighting over me, are they?”


                “Not if you put your foot down.  But they will attempt to repel any outsider who tries to penetrate the group.  Myself included.  You’ve already seen it with Caramel, as you mentioned.”


                Chris thought back to the previous night, with Caramel laying across his chest as they discussed her dislike of adding a third woman to their relationship.  “Yeah.  The problem is that I tend to agree with her.  Adding another pokegirl to our… group is a necessity, nothing more.”  He looked at Gwen.  “We do need a name for ourselves, don’t we?”


                Gwen chuckled and swung her bag around to dangle it in front of her legs.  “Indeed.”  She looked down at him over her shoulder.  “Might I make a suggestion?”


                “About a name?”


                “About a name and about something else.”


                “Sure.  Couldn’t hurt.”


                Gwen looked thoughtfully at Chris for a moment, studying him in profile as he watched Caramel and Satin trying on shoes.  When he turned to stare at her, eyebrow furrowed questioningly, she smiled.  “A family.  Call yourselves a family, and soon enough you will start to act like one.  It is certainly better than calling the women in your life your harem, and them beginning to act like slaves, is it not?”


                Chris blinked, and then looked back at Caramel and Satin.  “A family.  I’m not sure I’m ready for that, to be honest.”


                “It was just a thought.”


                Chris exhaled through his nose in a short sigh of acknowledgement.  “And your other thought?”


                “Don’t treat the new addition to your family like a necessity.  If you do so, she will automatically become an outsider, like I myself am.  If she is young, or inexperienced, as most starter pokegirls will tend to be, that is not something you want.  She has to have a reason, an investment in protecting your family to do so well.  If she is fighting to protect her sisters and her… well, her boyfriend, perhaps, then she will do so with even greater conviction.  Give her purpose and love, just like you have with Caramel and Satin.”


                Chris snorted.  “I’m dating two women, soon to be three.  And I have an ageless blonde dominatrix looking over my shoulder telling me how to survive in a world full of bloodthirsty women who would just as soon rip my entrails out as they would fuck me.  What has happened to me.”


                “You told me once that you were convinced you were in a coma.  Do you still believe that?”


                “Maybe.  But if it’s a coma, it’s a good one.”  He smiled at Caramel as she waved at him, holding up a pair of high heels and flashing him a questioning look.  He held up his hand in a thumbs up, and she grinned and set the shoes aside into a growing pile she and Satin were making.  “It’s a good one so long as I have them.”


                Gwen stared at him for a long moment, and then looked away promptly when she saw her blushing reflection in the waist height mirror set into the shelf on the other side of his legs. 









                “So… how does this work exactly? I’ve never seen it done.”


                Chris looked up at Caramel from where he sat on the floor beside Satin, the young Bunnygirl having swapped his boxers and sweater for a pair of comfortable leggings, calf-length boots and a more appropriately sized sweater in a pastel pink that complimented her skin tone.  “How would I know?  I know less than you do, I’m pretty sure…”  Chris broke into a grin as he watched Caramel’s blank face slowly resolve into an annoyed pout. 


                “I was asking Gwen.  You just sit there and keep playing with your toy.”  Caramel patted her tamer on the head and he laughed before turning back to the screen of his pokedex, he and Satin re-reading through the entry for the Spellbun pokegirl. 


                “The application of an evolution stone to a compatible pokegirl triggers the release of the stored energies of the stone.  There are still some disagreements over how the exact process works, but recent studies have shown that it is not the stone, but the pokegirl who causes the evolution.  Something in their DNA, a trigger protein or some other sort of catalyst ‘awakens’ the stone, and causes it to release the stored energy.”  Gwen was seated at a café table behind the trio, holding the Moon Stone she had bought in her hands.   It had come in a little wooden box with an embellished glass top that opened on hinges to allow access to the dark purple stone cradled in yellow silk within. 


                Caramel moved around and crouched down in front of Satin, the leather of her newly purchased pants creaking slightly as she balanced on her tiptoes, her boots digging into the gravel that the outdoor café had used as a ground covering for their dining space.  Chris watched as she reached out and took Satin’s hands in her own, whispering quickly and quietly to her.  Satin had already reaffirmed her intention to evolve multiple times over the past half hour, every time that Caramel or Chris had asked.  Chris reached out and plucked a stray strand of hair from the shoulder of Caramel’s new orange sweater, tossing it aside as the Seamstress stared deep into the Bunnygirl’s eyes.  “One more time.  I need to hear it one more time, sweetie.  You never wanted to evolve before, even when I asked if you wanted to.  Even when our father asked if you wanted to.  You turned us down, because you said you were content with who you are.  What’s changed?”


                Satin looked down at her best friend’s hands where they clasped her own, smiling slightly.  “Everything’s changed.  And I want to do this, Caramel.  Orange ice cream, remember?”


                Chris looked back over his shoulder at Gwen who was picking at a salad she had ordered for lunch, the box with the Moon Stone cradled in her lap.  When he refocused his attention on Caramel and Satin, he wrapped his right arm around the Bunnygirl’s back and shoulders, leaning in to whisper to both of them.  “You’re going to have to explain this whole orange ice cream thing.  You said something similar last night, remember?”


                Caramel laughed and twisted around to sit on the ground next to Satin, sandwiching the teenage Bunnygirl in between both her current tamer and her former one.  “Would you like to tell the story, sweetie?  Or should I?”


                Satin shook her head vigorously, long brown hair flying wildly as she blushed and grabbed Caramel’s hands again.  “No, no!”  She sat quietly for a moment, hunched over her knees before moving her left hand out of Caramel’s grip, and instead taking Chris’ hand.  “I’ll tell it.  I should tell it.”  Caramel reached up and brushed Satin’s long hair out of her eyes as the brown-eyed bunny looked at her tamer.  “When I was… when we, were little, Caramel tricked me.  One of our father’s cooks had made orange ice cream.  When I was little, at the ranch where I was born, I didn’t eat ice cream, because I thought it would freeze my teeth.”  Caramel smiled and placed her free hand on Satin’s knee as she spoke.  “But, you know, being a bunnygirl, carrots might be one of my biggest weaknesses.”


                Caramel smiled and looked at Chris.  “Her other weakness is foot rubs.  Just so you know.  Mine is backrubs.”


                Chris grinned.  “Ahh.  I’ll keep that in mind.”  He hugged Satin gently.  “Keep going, I’m listening.”


                Satin blushed and rested her head on his shoulder, while Caramel shifted to sit on the Bunnygirl’s opposite side, wrapping her own arm around her as well.  “So Caramel told me that it was carrot flavored ice cream.  I believed her, because she kept eating it and telling me just how gooood it was.”  Shifted her head to look at Chris, her nose wrinkling cutely as she pouted.  “It wasn’t good.  And it wasn’t carrot flavored.”


                Caramel laughed and hugged Satin tightly, kissing her shoulder.  “It was just regular old orange flavored sherbet, and you literally dropped your spoon when you realized it.”


                “I remember.”  Satin blushed and turned her head back so she could rest it on Chris’s shoulder again.  “I was furious, for almost a day.  I actually refused to get into bed with you that night, even though there was a thunderstorm and I was scared and wanted to cuddle with you.”


                “But the next day, I found you in the kitchen eating orange ice cream, didn’t I?”


                Chris’s eyebrows rose as Satin smirked.  “Uh-huh.  I decided I like the taste after all.”  She squeezed Chris’s hand.  “It’s how Caramel taught me not to be afraid of trying something new.”


                Chris paused for a second.  “So last night…”


                “Was my first time with anyone other than Caramel.  And my first time with a man.”


                Chris blanched.  “Oh, sweetheart.  I’m so sorry.  Why didn’t you say something?  We could have waited, or…”


                Satin cut him off with a quick kiss, promptly shutting him up.  When she pulled back, her wide, dark-brown eyes were staring directly into his.  “I wasn’t a virgin.  I wasn’t a silly young pokegirl who had never been tamed before.  I knew what I wanted last night, and…”  She turned to look at Caramel.  “I know what I want now.”  She blinked and looked over her shoulder.  “Uhmmm…” 


                Gwen looked up from her salad, trying very hard to pretend that she hadn’t heard a word of what had just been said.  “Hmm?  What is it?  Are you ready?”


                “Yes… yes Ma’am.”  Satin extracted her hand from Chris’s grip and reached backwards, hand outstretched.  Gwen handed her the little wooden box gingerly, making sure it was secure in her grip before withdrawing her own hand.  She scooted back in her chair, legs crossed as she watched Satin pour the Moon Stone out into her lap, handing the box to Chris.  He shut the glass lid and carefully set it aside before turning back to Satin.  He and Caramel watched as she reached out, delicate fingers stretching towards the surface of the smooth, dusky purple stone.


                Caramel suddenly shifted to extricate herself from bodily contact with Satin, and when the Bunnygirl looked up at her in confusion, the shorter haired brunette blushed sheepishly.  “This is your moment, sweetie.  And you know… just being safe.  It’s not like I can evolve anyway.”


                Satin’s wrinkled brow smoothed, and she nodded before looking at Chris.  He smiled back at her, hugged her once with his one arm around he back, and then nodded.  Satin looked down again at the stone in her lap, cradled on the line where the hem of her pale pink sweater met the black leggings Caramel had picked out for her.  With a small sigh to steady herself, Satin gulped, and then reached out and laid all of her fingertips onto the stone.


                The reaction was immediate, as the previously dark stone, so purple that it was almost black, shone with a golden-white light that caused Chris to flinch away, even as he tightened his grip on Satin’s shoulders.  Within the time-frame that it took him to close his eyes, the light was already spreading up Satin’s arms, and he heard her let out a gasp as the light swallowed her up.  He felt nothing in his arm around her shoulders, but he tugged it away nevertheless out of pure instinct if nothing else.  Chris and Caramel both tried to focus on the glowing ball of light that contained their friend, but the sheer brightness was so intense that neither could look directly at her.  Several moments later, without a sound, the brightness began to slowly dim, seeming to retract into the core of the shadowy figure at the center of the nebula of light. 


                Chris and Caramel blinked away the afterimages as Satin began to shift, stretching her legs out in front of her, checking to see what had changed.  As far as she could tell, she still had all of her toes, and her legs didn’t feel any longer.  “Oh my god, Satin, your hair!”  Caramel gasped, and Satin reached for her hair, pulling a handful of locks around to hold them in front of her face.


                “I…”  Satin’s hair color had changed from a lustrous brown to a shade of silvery-blonde, and her face scrunched up with unabashed disgust. 


                “I can fix that.”  Chris twisted around to watch as Gwen stood up and drew her wand.  Once more he found it incredibly ironic, on the nose perhaps, that the ‘wand’ that the Archmage/Dominatrix mix chose to use was really a telescoping riding crop.  Its existence was apparently a surprise to Satin and Caramel, though, as both of their eyes widened as Gwen flicked her wrist, the folded leather flap at the end of her wand wobbling as she triggered the telescoping mechanism, the ‘wand’ locking into place with a perfunctory motion.  “You want it changed back, yes?”


                Satin looked up over her shoulder at Gwen, eyes shifting from the woman’s bright green eyes to the riding crop in her hand.  She shifted her eyes back to her hair for a moment, and then nodded curtly.  Gwen nodded back, and then lifted her wand and tapped the crown of Satin’s head once.  Chris and Caramel both gasped as vibrant color began to creep down through Satin’s hair where Gwen had tapped her head, the silvery blonde caused by her evolution reverting to her natural dark brown.  Chris reached out and took her hand.  “Better?”


                The former Bunnygirl nodded, licking her lips and then standing up.  Chris rose with her, and then both of them came crashing back to the ground as Satin lost her balance and collided into him. “Sorry!  I’m sorry, sorry, sorry!”  Chris wrapped her up in both arms and sat up, grunting.


                “What happened?”


                “I don’t know, I just lost my balance!  I’m sorry!”


                “Take off your boots, young lady.”  Gwen had collapsed her wand and slipped it back into the holster strapped to her left thigh.


                “My boots?”


                Caramel’s eyes widened, and she giggled, before sitting down at Satin’s feet and beginning to unlace the brand-new boots she wore.  “Remember the entry on Spellbuns?  They like to wear high heels, and sometimes they physically have to because of the way the muscles in their legs work.”  She pulled off one, then the other boot from Satin’s feet and then hopped up, extending her hands and helping the newly evolved bunny to her feet.  This time, Satin stood straight up, but was standing on the balls of her feet, wobbling slightly. 


                Chris gathered Satin’s boots and tucked them under his arm, standing up beside her.  “Can you try and stand with your feet flat on the ground?”  He reached out to place a hand on her back as the young woman tried as she was asked, and promptly began flailing until Caramel used her grip on Satin’s wrists to pull her straight back up. 


                “Uh… no.  No I can’t.  And oww.  I don’t like standing on gravel without shoes.”


                Chris laughed and slipped his arm around and under Satin, lifting her bodily and spinning so that he could deposit her next to a chair that she promptly collapsed in, pulling her legs up to her chest.  The brown haired Spellbun reached down and began to pick gravel out of her sensitive skin, and Chris sat her now useless boots down on the ground in front of her and reached out for one of their shopping bags.  “I notice that you can lay your feet flat so long as you’re not putting any weight on them.”


                Satin looked down and nodded, peering over the arm of the chair as Chris dug around inside one of the large plastic shopping sacks.  “I can.  What are you looking for?”


                “Uh…. Here we go.  I was looking for these!”  Chris withdrew a shoebox from underneath a pile of clothes, flipping open the lid and pulling out the pair of black peep-toe heels that Satin had settled on earlier.  “These are the only shoes you got that have high heels, right?”  When Satin nodded, he looked over his shoulder at Caramel.  “Guess what, we get to go shoe shopping again!”


                Caramel’s eyes lit up, and Gwen sighed.  “Might I suggest we save that second shopping trip to coincide with purchasing clothing and gear for the third pokegirl you were going to acquire?”  Caramel’s happy expression instantly clouded, and Chris shook his head as he gently helped Satin don her high heels.


                “Of course, of course.”  He stood up and then held out his hands to Satin, and when she took them, he pulled her to her feet.  “Well?”


                The quiet rabbit-eared girl looked down at her feet, and then gingerly took a step back, then one forward, and then hopped from side to side quickly.  “Much better.  It feels as comfortable as wearing any normal shoe.”  She frowned.  “Back when that was a possibility.”  Chris smiled and hugged her, before turning to Caramel. 


                “Notice that she’s still shorter than both of us?  Even with the high heels?”


                Caramel smirked at the blush that quickly graced Satin’s face.  “Four-and-a-half inch peep-toe pumps.  I think if you went up another half inch, then we’d be eye-to-eye.”


                Gwen raised an eyebrow.  “Past that and she might as well be wearing stilettos.  But as it is, I certainly wouldn’t wear something like that for combat.  You’ll have to visit the boot section when we return to the store.”


                Caramel opened her mouth to say something, but Chris cut her off before she could speak.  “When we return to the store.  Right now, I say we go back to the hotel room, drop everything off, and then head to the pokecenter.”  He looked at Satin and then Caramel, careful to avoid eye-contact with Gwen.  He had a feeling that Caramel had been on the verge of starting an argument over who was in charge between herself and Gwen, and he was trying to heed Gwen’s advice to make it appear like Gwen wasn’t calling the shots.  Truth be told, he wasn’t entirely certain that that had been what she meant during the conversation they had when they entered the department store, but he didn’t want Caramel, or Gwen, or anyone arguing just for the sake of arguing.  If he could diffuse the situation now, that was preferred.


                “Of course.”  Caramel seemed to accept his logic readily, and he bent down to collect two armfuls of shopping bags. 


                “What’s that?”


                Chris looked up when he heard Satin’s voice close behind him, standing up and turning to face her.  “What’s what?”


                “That.”  She was pointing to his left shoulder, and he looked down.


                “What?  I don’t see anything.”


                “It’s a… it must be part of my evolution.  It’s a green… cloud, almost like a neon green.  Like smoke, or mist.  Hanging around your shoulder.  At first I thought it was just there, but it’s following you everywhere you move.”  The newly evolved Spellbun leaned down and sniffed the air around his shoulder, and then shook her head.  “It doesn’t smell like anything, it just looks...”  Satin frowned, and then spun around to look at Gwen.  “It’s the same color as your eyes.  Does that mean it’s something you did?”


                Gwen cocked her head to the side and then stepped forward, waving her hand over the indicated area as Caramel placed her hands on her hips.  “It’s where my tracking spell has attached to his body.”  She looked around at everyone’s questioning faces.  “Oh, come now.  You didn’t think that I wouldn’t be keeping tabs on Christopher after yesterday?  He took a teleport taxi halfway across the planet and it was only dumb luck that his pokedex pinged on one of the coven’s networks to let us know where he was.  If I’m investing my time and energy in training, teaching, and protecting you, I’m not about to let you just up and disappear on me.”


                “Can it be removed?”  Chris wasn’t outwardly angry, though he certainly was more than a bit annoyed.  So far his relationship with Gwen was much better than the brief one he had with Yssabella had been, but that didn’t mean he wanted to have a proverbial leash around his neck so they could tug on it whenever they wished.  Gwen had been the main individual from the coven that he had interacted with since being kidnapped a little more than a month ago.  The two of them had talked almost every day, sometimes hours on end.  She had wanted to know everything about him and the world he came from, and had eventually begun instructing him on the world he now lived in.


                “Of course.”  Gwen looked at Satin.  “Eventually I’m sure that she will be able to remove it, as well as fashion her own tracking spells that function in a similar manner.”  The shy bunny’s eyes lit up at Gwen’s words.  “Of course, they likely won’t be as powerful, as the spells I weave are incredibly complex and informed by centuries of experience.  I’m also inherently stronger, magically, than a Spellbun.”


                “Is that part of the plan?  Make sure that no pokegirl Chris gets is stronger than you?”


                Gwen almost looked taken aback by the accusation from Caramel.  “Absolutely not.  And while I understand your concern, and even your jealousy, because yes, I can tell that you are…”  Caramel’s face twisted in a scowl.  “… you have nothing to be concerned or jealous about.  I’ve already told you, repeatedly, that I have no intention of ever sleeping with your tamer.  I have no intention of replacing you as his Alpha.  And I have no intention of ever, ever siding against you in a fight unless you give me extremely good reason to.”


                “And what might that extremely good reason happen to be, just so we know what to expect?”  Caramel’s tone was acidic.  Chris set down the bags in his right hand and grabbed Caramel’s shoulder, getting her to look at him as he peered into her face.  She was refusing to meet his eyes.


                “Attacking me, for one.  Or trying to coerce someone else into attacking me.  Not that I hope to ever give you reason to do so.”


                “Gwen.”  The tall splice looked at Chris as he spoke her name.  “Can you give us just a moment, please?”


                Gwen’s eyes flicked back and forth between Chris and Caramel.  “Of course.”  She picked up her own shopping bag and headed inside the café, leaving Chris and his pokegirls alone on the café’s terrace dining area. 


                Chris spoke first, even though Caramel already had her mouth open.  “Okay, what’s going on?”


                “I don’t like her.  She is not… she’s not one of us!  She’s not…”


                “Part of our family.”


                “Our family?”


                “Gwen suggested it, actually.  Though I suppose I was already thinking along those lines already.  I don’t like calling you two my ‘harem’.  I don’t like the slavery connotations, even if this world’s societies are steeped in them deeper than my grandfather’s iced tea.”  Chris shrugged.  “So, we’re a family.  As I’ve already stated, I chose both of you.  And while I was unable to give you the chance to choose me, I’m going to do my best to make myself worthy of being chosen by both of you.  I…”  Chris set his bags down.  “I’m not going to say that I love you.  Either of you.  Simply because we’re not there yet.”  Caramel crossed her arms under her breasts as she stared at him, and he reached out and picked at a loose fiber on the shoulder of her orange sweater.  “But I’ll get there, I know I will, it will just take a bit more time than two days for those feelings to really grow.  But, because you didn’t have the chance to choose me like I chose you, I’m going to try and be a man about the next statement I make.  If you want to leave me, I’ll accept it.  I’ll question it, and your motivations for doing so, and I’ll do everything I can to make you change your mind, but I won’t stop either of you from leaving me if you really and truly choose to do so.  I’m not going to force you to stay with someone you don’t think that you can love.”


                Chris paused to collect his thoughts, and just as he was about to speak again, he was nearly knocked off of his feet by Satin colliding with his back.  Her arms slipped around his waist tightly and she hugged him so hard that he gasped from the sudden strength in her arms.  “Oh, sweetie!  Satin, stop, you’re too strong now!”  Caramel grabbed Satin’s arms around Chris’s waist and gently pulled, and Satin began to yank her hands back like she had been burned.  But Chris caught her wrists, pulling her around in front of him and hugging her back.


                “That’s going to be a new thing we have to get used to.  Not only can you choke me out with your thighs, but your arms now too because you’ve evolved.”  He looked down into Satin’s eyes, and noticed with a start that they were no longer brown.  “How did I not notice your eyes changing color?  They’re silver now, just like your hair was…”  The Spellbun’s face went slack as she registered what he had said, and he took the opportunity to kiss her on the forehead.  “You didn’t hurt me, Satin.  Don’t worry.”  He pulled her into his chest and then reached out for Caramel.


                The slender Seamstress looked at him for a what seemed like an eternity before taking his hand and allowing herself to be drawn into the three-way hug.  “We’re not going to leave you.  Never.  We’re… I’m more frightened that she is going to take you away from us.”


                “Ah… there it is.  That’s what’s been bugging you.”  Chris reached up and stroked Caramel’s cheek with the back of his index finger, the knuckle gently running over her high cheekbone as he kissed her forehead as well.  “I will promise you this.  I will fight like hell to keep her or anyone else from taking me away from you.  Hell, if it comes down to it, I’ll just make sure that wherever I am taken, you come with me.”


                “Please do.  I’ve…”  Caramel rested her forehead against Satin’s.  “I’ve never had a tamer before.  And Satin has…”


                “Never had a tamer before Caramel.”


                “Right.”  Caramel looked up at him.  “So, imagine our surprise when we end up with a tamer that treats us in the exact way that every pokegirl dreams about.  The type of man that bends over backwards to make us happy, to protect us, to do everything he can to make us feel like we’re his equals, human like him.  It’s something out of one of those cheesy romance novels that Satin likes to read.”


                “That’s a secret!”  Satin’s voice was shrill as she pouted, cheeks puffing up and her eyes narrowing as she gently shoved her best friend.


                “From him, maybe, but who do you think kept buying all of those books and leaving them in the library for you to find?  It sure wasn’t Dad.”  That didn’t seem to mollify Satin, who buried her blushing face in Chris’s sweater. 


                “Well, ladies.  I’ll promise you this.  There are no pokegirls where I come from, so I have, from the day I was born, been raised to treat you like humans.  To be honest, I don’t understand why people would think that you’re not, but that’s a discussion for another day.  I intend to treat you better than I treat myself.  Let that sink in.  I’ll eat all the junkfood in the world to prevent either of you from having to eat any.”


                Caramel looked at him, confused for a moment, and then burst out laughing.  “That’s how you’ll protect us? By eating all of the junkfood?”


                Chris smiled and nodded.  “Uh-huh.  And I’ll even watch all the bad movies and listen to all the bad jokes to protect you from them, too.”


                “But not the ice cream, right?”  Satin looked up at him, and he could tell immediately that she had been silently crying into his shoulder from the tear stains running down her cheeks. 


                He looked at her evenly, and then leaned down and kissed her, using the arm around her to hug her tight.  When he finally broke the kiss, she gasped and hiccupped.  “Not the ice cream.  I’ll let you deal with that, sweetie.”  Satin grinned and then buried her face back against his shoulder.  “Look, Gwen is not going to replace either of you.  No one is, not even this other woman we’re going to try and add to our family later today.  You both know where I stand.  To have two women to share my life with is more than enough for me.  Where I come from it’s even frowned upon by most people to date two different people at once.”   Chris hugged both of them.  “We will do whatever is necessary to keep each of us safe, no matter what that takes.  Do you understand me?  If that means that I have to let other women into my bedroom when I really don’t feel comfortable doing so, then so be it.”  He paused when he heard Caramel snort against his shoulder.  “I know, I know, that’s such a hard thing to ask of me.”  He nudged her cheek with his hand and got her to look up at him.  “But it is.  It might be normal to you, but it is far and away into the realm of the perverse and the strange for me.  What if she doesn’t fit in?  If she, whoever she is, tries to drive a wedge between the three of us, then she’s gone, just like that.  I’ll dump her back where she came from faster than you can blink.”  He nudged Satin as well, and when both girls were looking back up at him, he stared evenly into their eyes.  “I promise you.  The two of you come first in everything I do.  Okay?”


                Caramel looked at her best friend, and Satin looked back at her.  In unison, then nodded, and then looked back up at Chris.  “Okay.”




                “Okay. So.  Back to the hotel room?” Chris smiled softly.


                “For make-up sex?”


                Chris blinked rapidly as he tried to process Satin’s question.  “Uhm… as much as I might enjoy that, no, not right now.  Sorry.”


                Satin managed to make her face look even more crestfallen than she really was, something she had plenty of practice doing with Caramel.  “Oh.  Okay.”


                Caramel looked at the rabbit-eared teenager and smirked.  “Hey, don’t do that.  He can’t tell that you’re teasing.”


                “She’s doing what now?”  Chris looked confused, and grew even more so when Satin looked up at him, grinning from one long ear to the other.  “I… oh, you’re good.  I’m going to have to start paying closer attention to you, little miss tease.  You almost had me saying yes.”


                Satin giggled.  “Well, I wouldn’t turn it down, you know.”


                Caramel rolled her eyes and laughed, pulling out of the hug and taking Satin with her, going to gather up a handful of shopping bags.   Chris shook his head as they went, and then looked up to find Gwen watching him from inside the glass door of the café.  He smiled at her and jerked his head towards the exit to indicate that they were ready to go, and the tall blonde smiled and nodded herself.  Perhaps this would work out after all.










                “So, what do we think?”  Chris slid into the cafeteria booth beside Gwen, across from Caramel and Satin.  The three of them were pouring over a tablet computer that the pokecenter attendant had provided them with, scrolling through the profiles of the available starter pokegirls that the ‘center had on offer.


                “I think that we’ll be able to find someone here, rather than having to look into the wider Ocean League network for someone who will fit our needs.”


                Chris nodded as Gwen tapped away at her own personal tablet, having called up the availability list from the pokecenter’s website.  “And Gwen’s verdict on Satin?”  When they had returned to the hotel room to drop off the items they had purchase earlier in the day, Gwen had pulled Satin aside and given her an impromptu magical lesson-slash-screening to determine where the Spellbun’s magical aptitudes might lie.


                “Satin is of the Spellslinger archetype of Spellbuns.  It means she’s not particularly suited to frontline combat, though she’ll be able to hold her own in a pinch.  Her specialty will be to attack from a distance, either acting as a supporting member of a combat team or as something that we refer to as ‘magical artillery’.”  Gwen rubbed her temples slowly as she stared down at her tablet.


                “So, dropping fireballs on a target from a distance is what you’ll be best at?”  Chris began passing out the bottles of water he had acquired from the cafeteria’s self-serve fridge.  Satin took the bottle offered to her and removed the cap, before slipping a straw into the opening and beginning to suck the water down, nodding in response to Chris’s question as she did so.


                “So we need someone to complement Satin’s skillset.  And Gwen’s, while she’s with us, I suppose.”  Caramel was engrossed in the tablet in front of her, scrolling through the list of available women.


                “I suppose.  Just for the record, I’d like it known that I really don’t like the way this whole system works.”  Chris yawned and stretched his legs out, entangling them with Caramel’s.


                “It’s slavery.  Plain and simple.  I understand, and I commiserate.  But remember, I’m still hoping that somehow, someway, your presence will help to change that.  Someday.”  Gwen pushed her glasses back up onto the bridge of her nose.


                “I’d prefer to just tear it all down, if I was able.”


                “Ripping the rug out from under a global civilization that’s built its back upon it?  As much as I agree with the underlying distaste that would drive such a drastic action, I cannot ignore the destruction and death it would cause.”  Gwen tapped her fingernails on the table.  “Moving slowly and deliberately with an eye towards the future is the best course of action.”


                Chris looked at her for a long moment, trying to poke holes in her rationalization, but realized he couldn’t.  He didn’t know enough to understand the full scope of the situation, much less enough to change it effectively.  With a quiet grumble, he reached for the tablet Caramel was focused on.  “I wasn’t done with that!”


                Chris looked up at her, before standing up and moving around to slip into the booth seat beside her, sandwiching her between himself and Satin.  “So show me what you’ve found, then.”


                Caramel frowned at him and then lifted herself into his lap, squeezing her legs into the small gap between the top of his thighs and the bottom of the tabletop.  She took the tablet back from him and deftly flicked through the various windows she had pulled up before handing it back to him.  “We’ve narrowed it down to three.  Each is a physical combat focused breed.  Two specialize in weaponry, and one utilizes a form hand-to-hand combat to fight.” 


                Chris tapped on the picture of the first woman on the list.  It zoomed in on her headshot, and Chris realized with a start that what he had thought was just an effect of the fingerprint covered screen on the woman’s skin color wasn’t unnatural at all.  “Her skin is… grey?  Almost like a really light purple, really.”


                “She’s an Amachop.  That’s their natural skin color.”  Chris nodded as Caramel continued.  “She’s the hand-to-hand fighter.  Amachops have a strength enhancement rating of eight.  Meaning she’s eight times stronger than the average human in their prime.  For reference, Satin’s strength enhancement rating is a three.”


                Chris looked over at Satin and reached out to pinch her thigh, smiling at her as she squirmed out of his reach with a grin of her own.  “Our little bunny? Nah. There’s no way.”


                Satin pulled her straw away from her mouth and smirked.  “Don’t tempt me.  I might hug you again.”


                Chris laughed and took her hand as Caramel shook her head and called up the second profile she had put onto her list.  Chris leaned forward until his mouth was near Caramel’s ear.  “Is it just me, or is Satin a bit more… outgoing all of a sudden?”


                “I heard that.”  One of the Spellbun’s ears cocked to the side, pointed in his direction.  She squeezed his fingers tightly for a split second, making him suddenly tense when she reminded him just how strong she was now.


                “As did I.  You need to work on keeping your voice lower.”  Chris looked up at Gwen, scowling as she looked down at her tablet to hide a smile. 


                Caramel picked up her water bottle and tried to open it, frowning when the plastic seal proved too much for her.  The Seamstress in his lap shot a sidelong glance at her friend, and then held out the bottle towards Satin.  The bunnygirl absentmindedly took the bottle and opened it effortlessly before handing it back.  “I’d say it was just the evolution, but even though she’s generally shy by nature, she warms up to people rather quickly so long as they treat her properly.”


                Satin shrugged and leaned back in her seat, drawing her legs up to her chest.  “I don’t like Gwen yet.  But I think I will.”


                Gwen glanced up at the Spellbun briefly before looking back at her tablet.  “I would suggest this young woman as a complement to your strengths now, and to cover your existing weaknesses.”  She slid the computer across the table to Caramel and Chris, and he lifted it up.  On the screen was a young woman with hair as vibrantly red as a ruby, lightly tanned skin, green eyes, and a soft, almost subdued smile. 


                “She’s next on my list, actually.”  Caramel looked up at Gwen, and though she didn’t quite smile, Chris got a sense that she was happy that she and the older woman had reached the same conclusion about who to pick.  Caramel tapped on her own screen to bring up a brief biography of the young woman in question.  “She’s an Amazon pokegirl.  Originally from the Amethyst League… a late threshold, just like I was.  She’s seventeen, two years younger than Satin.  Red hair, green eyes, five foot ten.”  Caramel turned to look at Satin.  “So she’d be taller than us.  By a lot.”


                Satin shrugged again.  “I’m perfectly fine with my height.”


                Chris hugged Caramel around the waist.  “Don’t tell me you’re self-conscious about how tall you are?”


                Caramel shifted abruptly in his lap.  “No, no.  Not at all.”  Chris turned his head to look at Satin, who was rolling her eyes as Caramel continued talking.  “It says here that she’s trained in the use of a quarterstaff, the sword and shield, and the use of a javelin.  Javelin.  Who uses those these days?”


                Gwen set her own bottle of water down on the table.  “She’s from the Amethyst League.  The ancient Greek pantheons are still worshiped in some areas of that league, folded into the existing pantheon of the Thousand Gods.  All of those weapons are prominent in Greek martial traditions, so that might explain her knowledge of their use.”


                “What’s Greek?”


                “Oh!  I know this one.  The ancient Greeks were an empire that existed for roughly fourteen thousand years, though there were plenty of periods where they weren’t the most powerful actors on the world stage, and the term ‘Ancient Greece’ can refer to many different periods of time throughout the nation of Greece’s history, but usually stops and changes from ‘Ancient Greece’ to ‘Modern Greece’ around 600 A.D. In fact, Greece was the first democracy, and most modern nations, at least in the timeline that I’m used to, use some form of the Greek model in their governments. In modern times, Greece is an advanced western nation on the south coast of the European continent.  They were having quite a bit of political and economic trouble last time I checked, to be honest.”  Chris frowned.


                “The Greeks, as a society, ceased to exist sometime during the Revenge War, along with almost every other civilized nation on the planet.”


                “Oh, right.  I guess they’re not having trouble any longer then.”


                Gwen scoffed at Chris’ attempt at dry humor.  “What is left of the land once claimed by the nation of Greece is these days part of the Amethyst League.  About the only things that survived the war was their style of dress, Greek cuisine, and the records of their ancient gods and goddesses, since they were so well studied by societies around the rest of the world.”


                Chris shrugged.  “There’s no way I would have known to include that in history report I did in eighth grade.”


                Caramel set her tablet down on the table, and Chris tapped on the redheaded girl’s photograph to enlarge it.  “Well, she’s pretty.  She’s got that going for her.  But I wonder about her personality.  Will she fit in?”


                Gwen folded her hands in front of her.  “We’ll never know until we meet her.  Shall I arrange for that to happen?”  She looked at Chris, who in turn looked at Satin and then Caramel. 




                Caramel nodded, and Satin broke the silence by draining the last of the water out of her bottle before rattling the straw around inside it.  “Here or at the hotel?”


                Chris looked at her in confusion.  “What do you mean?”


                Satin gave him a withering look that he had begun to expect from Caramel when he asked something that they were used to being common knowledge.  “Tame her here or at the hotel?”


                “Oh.  The hotel.  I don’t think they’d like people having sex in their cafeteria.  I don’t think I’d like having sex in their cafeteria.”


                Satin rolled her eyes, unsure if he was being intentionally obtuse or not.  “They have rooms for taming.  Didn’t they offer to let you use one when you got Caramel and me?”


                “Oh, yeah, I was in a rush, so once they handed your pokeballs over and told me that I didn’t have to sign any more forms, I was out of there.  I didn’t really pay that much attention after that.  Just found the best hotel I could within walking distance and booked a room.”  Chris shifted uncomfortably.  “I was pretty damned sure that Yssabella would find me eventually, but I wasn’t counting on her barging in while we were having sex.”


                “Just for reference, she’s done that before.”  Gwen’s sounded visibly annoyed, and everyone else looked at her. 


                “No.  Seriously?”  Caramel’s expression was one of surprise, and Satin was blinking rapidly in confusion.


                “Seriously.  The only difference is that instead of just giving her an earful like Chris did, I forcibly teleported her onto a deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean to show my displeasure.”


                “I would have gone for the center of an active volcano, if I had the choice.”


                Gwen barked a laugh, surprising everyone.  “I thought about it, but then realized I still had to work with her, and I didn’t think my date that evening would appreciate her teleporting herself back with a bucket full of lava to dump on the bed.  As it was we were both finding sand for weeks in places that it shouldn’t be.”  Satin started giggling and leaned against Caramel’s side, and soon enough even Chris and Caramel were chuckling along as well.  Gwen smiled.  “Well, that’s enough about me.  Are we settled on the Amazon?”


                Chris slid Gwen’s tablet back across the table to her.  “Yeah.  We’ll meet her.  See how it works out.” 









                Chris sat on the edge of the bed tossing the pokeball that contained their newly acquired Amazon back and forth between his hands.  He suddenly stopped and clutched the ball tightly in his right hand, looking at Caramel sheepishly.  “Uh… you don’t feel anything that happens in a pokeball, right?  I’m not making her dizzy?”  Caramel gave him another one of her looks, and he laughed.  “No?  Thanks, I just wanted to be sure she wasn’t going to vomit from motion sickness all over me when she came out.  I’d rather be sure it was from the sight of me instead.”


                Satin crawled up behind him on the bed and snuggled her chin onto his shoulder, wrapping her arms around his chest.  “You’re not that bad looking.”


                Chris half turned so that he could kiss her quickly on the cheek, earning a blush and a giggle from the affectionate Spellbun.  “So that means I’m at least a little bad looking.  I knew it.  My mom and all my other girlfriends lied to me.”  As Satin pouted, he reached back and patted her between the ears. 


                “You could do with a haircut.  And a new beard style.  Trimmed but still slightly scraggly really isn’t in style this year.”  Caramel smiled and crossed her legs as she leaned against him.  “And once I get a few custom-made outfits put together, you’ll be the best looking tamer in the league.”


                Chris nodded.  “Good to know.”  He took Caramel’s hand in his, interlacing their fingers. “So this is some sort of power move, right?  Crawling all over me right before we meet the new girl?”


                “You’re catching on!  Good for you.”  Caramel snickered as Chris rolled his eyes.  “She’s third in line for your attention and tamings, so yeah, it’s a bit of a power move.”


                Chris held up his finger.  “If she meshes personality-wise with us, she’s going to be equal in the attention she receives from me.  Just like you two are now.  As far as deciding who sleeps with who on what night, maybe a schedule is in order after all.  I’m still slightly recovering from last night.”  He frowned.  “Did you ask Gwen if one of the high and mighty Archmage ladies put a spell on us last night?”


                “Gwen didn’t reply when I asked.  I think she did it.”  Caramel sniffed.  “For as being as old as we think she is, and with as much experience as she has, she’s got a really bad poker face.  You’d expect her to be able to hide her emotions better.”


                “Well, I told her not to tease either of you about anything, so I guess I should reciprocate by telling both of you to not tease her about stuff like that, either.”


                “If I find an advantage over her, I’m going to use it.  Just being up front about it.”


                Chris squeezed Caramel’s hand.  “Please don’t piss of the very powerful magic lady who’s agreed to help us and pay for our hotel room and shopping trips.  Please?”


                Caramel grunted.  “We’re going to start making our own money, and soon.  I don’t like being reliant on her, and no-one’s bank account lasts forever, no matter how long she’s had to fill it.”


                “Agreed.  But you know better than I how to do that, so I’m officially tasking you with coming up with some possible ways to do it.  Can you handle that?”


                Caramel nodded.  “I’ve already been giving it a lot of thought.  As your Alpha, that’s my job.”


                “I’d much prefer we were all equals, rather than using titles like Alpha and Beta.”


                “We went over this.  Harems, or in our case, families of pokegirls, are very difficult to operate as democracies, at least until they settle down and stay in one place, and have an established, unchanging number of members.  My father wanted roughly the same thing, but as he and my mothers put it, they could never agree on anything in a timely manner.  It was only when he settled down and started his business, and stuck in one spot long enough that they had the luxury of putting things to a vote.”


                “So… what?”


                “So we accept, and explain to anyone else that joins our family that the Alpha is the first among equals.  The Beta…”


                Satin stuck her tongue out to lick Chris’s earlobe.  “That’s me.”


                “The Beta is second.  The Alpha and Beta take orders from the tamer.  That’s you.  We are the instruments of your will.  You say to do something, and we figure out how to get it done, and make sure everyone is on the same page about it.”


                “Except I’m going to ask everyone’s opinion before deciding something that might affect all of us.”


                “And if you do, we will love you all the more for doing so.  But in moments of emergency or crisis, there’s really not time to do that.  In that case, the Alpha, or you if you’re comfortable, will bark the orders and everyone will be expected to follow them.  If the Alpha can’t figure out how to do something, or she thinks she’s going to get it wrong, she’ll defer to someone else in the har-sorry.  Family.  She’ll defer to someone else in the family who has more experience with whatever is happening.  Unfortunately in this situation, that someone with experience is going to be Gwen for most things.”


                “And she exists outside of the family, so to speak.  I see the trouble now.”


                “Right.  So the sooner we have enough people with enough varied experiences that we can cover as many situations as possible, the sooner that we don’t need Gwen looking over our shoulders.”


                “You really don’t like her, do you.”


                “I’ve already told you about my concerns about her taking you away.  It would be much easier if you and she were willing to sleep together.”


                Chris looked at his Seamstress.  “How exactly will us fucking each other make things easier?”


                “Remember the taming shock that Satin and I had last night?”  Chris nodded.  “That was because we formed an Alpha bond with you.  It happens with most pokegirls the first time they sleep with someone new and they don’t already have any existing Alpha bonds with someone else.  They’re like… the basis for a relationship with any pokegirl.  An Alpha bond doesn’t really confer any special benefits, not like the ones that develop as the result of a Delta bond.  But it does usually engender a good deal of affection between the two bonded individuals.  And it makes the bonded pokegirl more likely to obey her tamer’s orders.”


                “Oh great.  Chemical coercion resulting from sex.  That doesn’t sound disgusting at all.”


                “It’s a fact of life.”  Caramel sighed.  “Truth be told, even if you slept together, you may not bond.  The older a pokegirl is, the more life experience she has and the more tamers she’s had over her lifetime, the harder it is to form an Alpha bond on the first go.  Not to mention that if she already has any type of bond with someone else, it will take more than one night together to forge an Alpha bond.”


                “So I’m probably going to form an Alpha bond with this Amazon woman, since she’s never had a tamer before?”


                “Probably.  Also, you need to think of a name.”


                “Doesn’t she have a name?”


                “Probably.  But its tradition that most pokegirls receive a new name when the get a new tamer.  It helps break any ties to their past or to previous tamers and harems.”


                “If she’s got a name, I’d rather she keep it.  You two did.”


                “You didn’t ask, and we didn’t want new names.  We also weren’t aware at the time that you didn’t know jack-squat about pokegirls.”


                “Well, I know enough about women that you don’t call them by someone else’s name in bed.”


                “Point taken.  But you still need to think of a name, in case she wants you to give her one.”


                Chris twisted his lips into a frown and looked down at the pokeball in his hand.  “Gwen said she was probably Greek, right?”  


                “Mmm.  Though I’m going to go out on a limb and say that she thinks of herself as an Amethystine, not as Greek.”


                “Right.  But if she is, I’ve got a good name.  I just hope she likes it if she asks for it.”


                “Are we ready now?  I’m bored.”


                Caramel turned to look at Satin.  “That’s impossible.  You’re like a sponge for information.”  She looked back at Chris.  “I can’t begin to count the number of times I came home and found her spread out on my bedroom floor reading my textbooks.  Imagine, a Bunnygirl who was interested in reading.”  Caramel smiled and leaned back to kiss Satin’s cheek.  “I always knew she was something special.”


                Satin grinned.  “Well, someone had to read all the textbooks your father paid for, since you weren’t.”  Caramel scowled at her and then grabbed the pokeball from Chris’s hand and triggered the release to change the subject.


                All three watched as the beam of red light that erupted from the pokeball’s contact plate/emitter resolved into a tall redheaded young woman wearing the same type of threadbare white dress that Caramel and Satin were wearing when Chris first met them.  Chris, Caramel and Satin stared at the tall, muscular young lady as she blinked, her eyes adjusting to the relatively dim light of the hotel room.  “Poú eímai?”  The redheaded Amazon spotted Chris sitting at the edge of the bed, Caramel and Satin practically draped across him.  “Eísai o néos kýriós mou?”


                “Uh… Do either of you recognize that language?”  Chris spoke to Caramel and Satin, but didn’t take his eyes off of the redhead.




                Satin shook her head on his shoulder.


                “My apologies, Master.”  The redhead bowed slightly as she spoke, clearly and precisely.


                “Oh.  You do speak English.  Good.  I was very worried for a second there.”


                “I am very sorry, Sir.  I was speaking Greek.  Am…”  The young woman looked around at the hotel room.  “Am I not in Citra any longer?”


                “Citra?  I’ve never heard of that town.”  Caramel had her hand placed very obviously on Chris’s thigh, and he placed his palm over it and forced her to flip it over and hold his hand instead of reaching into his crotch in an apparent show of jealous dominance. 


                “It is… am I no longer in the Amethyst League?”


                “No.  No, this is the Ocean League.  You’re in the capitol, Oslo.  Do you know where that is?”


                The redhead looked lost for a moment, and then nodded.  “Yes Sir.  I… I did not expect to be sent here.  The pokecenter who handled my registration informed me that it was possible for me to be sent abroad, but I did not count on it happening.”


                “Well, it did, I guess.”  Chris stood up, gently shaking Satin off of his back and releasing Caramel’s hand before extending his own to the redhead.  “My name is Chris.”  He smiled.  “I’d prefer that you use that, or my full name, Christopher, rather than sir or master.  Please.” 


                The redhead slowly reached out and took his hand, as if she were unsure of why he was extending it.  “Yes… Chris.  I…”


                When she trailed off, Chris raised his eyebrows questioningly.  “What’s wrong?  Uhm… do you have a name that we can call you by?”


                “I…”  The redhead shook her head.  “I am sorry.  I’m still just taking in what you told me.  I am in the Ocean League, truly?”  When Chris nodded, the young woman inhaled deeply and then let it out slowly.  “Wow.  My name is… well, I have a name, but I would like you to give me one.  Please, Chris.”


                “You’re sure?  Caramel…”  He turned and indicated the brunette Seamstress. “She told me that’s usually how this thing goes.” 


                The redhead frowned slightly, confused.  “I’m not sure I understand exactly what you mean, but I would like you to give me a new name.  My mother told me that it would help me fit in with my new harem sisters if I had a name that our master chose.”


                Chris ran his tongue over his upper teeth and cocked his head to the side.  “Two things.  Well, three things.  One, I’m not a master, they’re not a harem.  We’re a family.”  Chris frowned.  “That’s two actually.  But the third is that if you want to keep your name, I want you to keep it.  I want to do whatever it is going to take to make you happy.  So long as it doesn’t harm anyone else in the process.”


                Once again, the confusion on the redhead’s face only grew deeper.  “I’ve never heard of a tamer saying something like that before.”


                “Well, not to sound cliched, but I’m probably not like any tamer you’ve ever heard of, or met before.”  Chris looked back at Caramel and Satin, who nodded.  “So, what do we call you?  I’m actually kind of at a loss here for what to do.”


                The redhead closed her eyes, and seemed to be muttering to herself under her breath.  But once again, she was speaking Greek.  When she opened her eyes, her face was calm, almost serious.  The frown of confusion was gone.  “I would like to have you name me, Sir.  Chris.  Sorry.”


                “Okay then.”  Chris nodded slowly.  “Pallas.”


                The redhead gasped, the color draining from her face as she clapped a hand over her mouth.  Caramel looked up at Chris.  “What did you do to her?”


                “Nothing wrong, I hope.  Um… is that okay?  Should I have not have chosen that name?”


                The young woman shook her head slowly back and forth.  “No… I mean, yes.  I mean that the name is fine, it’s just… that… well… Pallas means ‘Maiden’ in English.  But it is more closely associated with one of our… my goddesses.  One that is very special to my family.  It… carries a lot of meaning, and a lot of responsibility.”


                Chris rocked his head back slightly, mouth open.  “Oooohhhh.  Right.  I can see how that might be a problem.”


                The redhead shook her head back and forth more quickly.  “No, no, it’s no problem.  I will be Pallas, and I will do my best to live up to the reputation of the woman who first bore that name.”


                Caramel was fidgeting on the bed, still not understanding what was going on even if Chris seemed to.  “I still don’t understand.”


                Chris turned around.  “Pallas is short for Pallas Athena. Pallas, or ‘Maiden’ Athena was the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, and strategic warfare, among other things.”  Chris looked back at Pallas.  “That’s right, right?  I’m going off of the memories of a school project I did almost fifteen years ago, so I’m not entirely sure.”


                Pallas nodded quickly.  “Yes.  Pallas Athena is the goddess of strategic warfare, wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, the arts, and matters of skill and strength.”  She swallowed quickly.  “My family has a shrine to her in our home.  It is quite a name to have.”  She bowed her head slightly.  “I will do my best to live up to my namesake, Sir.  Chris.  Sorry!”


                Chris laughed.  “Honestly if you live up to just one of those things, I’ll be more than impressed.  I’m not asking you to be the equal of a goddess, Pallas.  That’s not at all what I was intending when I chose that name.  I just thought it was a pretty name, and seeing you, it fits.  You know.  Pretty name for a pretty girl, and all that.”


                Pallas blushed, and Caramel cleared her throat.  Chris turned back around to face the two brunettes perched on the end of the bed.  “What?  You’re both pretty girls, and you both have pretty names that suit you perfectly.”


                “And what might those names be?”  Caramel’s brow was arched as high as Chris had yet seen it, and he stared at her blankly for a moment. 


                “Oh.  Oh, right.  Sorry.  I’m not good at this kind of thing.”  Chris turned to Pallas.  “Pallas, this is Caramel…”  He gestured to the Seamstress.  “And this is Satin.”  The Spellbun waved from the surface of the bed, where she had stretched out languidly as she watched the proceedings with rapt attention.  “Caramel is my Alpha, though that word carries a slightly different meaning with us than it probably does with anyone else.”  Chris paused and licked his lips.  “There are also a few things you should probably know about me, in particular, and about us as a group.”


                “Those can wait until after you two have had a chance to get to know each other better.”  Caramel stood up from the edge of the bed and took a few steps towards Pallas, sizing her up.  “Neither of our clothes will fit you.”  The Seamstress looked her up and down.  “But I’ll put together something you can wear when we go back to the store to pick up your clothes and gear, and Satin’s shoes.”  She gestured to Satin, who silently rolled off of the bed and dropped into a crouch, before rising up onto the balls of her feet to follow Caramel into the hallway.  “I’m going to go talk to Gwen, and Satin is going to stay outside the door in case you need anything.  Or if she gets out of line.”  Caramel shot Pallas a look, and Satin gave her a shy smile.  They were both out the door before Chris could say anything to either woman, and he stood staring at the door with a frown on his face as Pallas looked at him cautiously.


                “I’m sorry about that.  Caramel is… well, I’m learning that she’s very possessive.”


                “I understand.  I did not expect to already have harem sisters as soon as I was chosen for a starting tamer.”  She paused for a beat.  “You are a starting tamer, yes?  I was led to believe that my skills would best suit a tamer at the beginning of their journey.”


                Chris nodded and moved to sit down on the edge of the bed.  “Yeah, yeah.  It’s a long story, but yes, I’m a starting tamer.  This is my second day, really.”


                “You are much older than any novice tamer I have ever seen.”


                “There’s a reason for that, too.  Don’t worry, it’s not anything sinister or bad or anything like that.”  He smiled up at her and patted the bed beside him.  “Just confusing and a bit complicated.  Come on, sit.  I’d like to talk to you for a while, if that’s okay.”


                Pallas looked at his hand resting on the bed, slowly licked her lips where they had gone dry, and then sat down beside him gingerly, careful not to let her hip touch his.


                “I’m not going to bite.  Unless you’re into that kind of thing.”  He chuckled.  “I will warn you that Satin will bite without warning, but never in anger or in the middle of sex.  She just seems to do it to be cute when she wants attention.  It’s never more than a little nibble, though.”


                Pallas made a small noise of understanding.  “She is feralborn, then?”


                “I don’t think so, because she’s mentioned being raised among others on a ranch.  You see, Caramel thresholded only a few weeks ago, as I understand it.  Before that, Satin was actually hers.  They sort of came as a package deal from the pokecenter.”  Chris folded his hands in front of him, leaning forward to brace his elbows on his knees.  “She just evolved this morning.  Satin, that is.  She’s a Spellbun now.  Caramel is a Seamstress, and she’ll likely be asking you for what kinds of clothes that you like soon enough.  She’s already promised me a closet full of suits and jackets that I’ve never been much a fan of, to be honest.  But I’ll wear them, if it makes her happy to see me in them.”  He looked over at Pallas.  “The other person you need to know about is Gwen.”  He paused.  “This is the stuff that Caramel just told me to wait to tell you until after we had sex, but I like clearing the air beforehand.”  He grunted and stood up, walking  towards the pile of bags that they had accumulated during their shopping trip earlier in the day. 


                “Gwen is an Archmage, and she’s not part of our family.  Well, really, she’s a splice.  Half Archmage, half Dominatrix.  She’s sort of my fairy godmother, at the moment.  She’s also one of a group of women who kidnapped me about a month and a half ago now.”  He looked back at Pallas to see what kind of reaction that got from her.  He frowned when he realized she wasn’t reacting at all, but just patiently waiting for him to finish talking.  “Right.  Uh.  She and a group of other powerful, and apparently self-funded magical pokegirls kidnapped me.  Plucked me right up from my apartment right as I was leaving to go to class at my university.”  Still no questions from Pallas.  “They kidnapped me from another dimension.”




                “That’s the reaction I was waiting for.”  Chris strode back over to Pallas, sitting down beside her and taking her hands.  “I’m from another world.  Before Gwen and her… friends, for a lack of a better word, kidnapped me, I had never met a pokegirl.  I didn’t know they existed.  I didn’t know that technology like pokeballs existed.  I didn’t know that magic existed.  And I certainly didn’t know that other worlds existed.”


                “I’m… I’m sorry, what?”  Pallas’s face was scrunched up in disbelief.  “I’m not sure I can believe that, Sir.  Chris.  Sorry.”  She pulled her hands away gently, but turned her body to face his.


                “But it’s true, I can…”  Chris paused and cocked his head to the side.  “I can’t really prove it.  Huh.  I can’t.  You have to take my word for it.  And Gwen’s word.  Or you could read my mind, but I don’t think that Amazons can do that, can they?”  He looked at Pallas, and she shook her head.  “Huh.  Well, if you had been here last night, you would have seen Yssabella and Trista barge in, and that might have convinced you.”  He looked at Pallas.  “They’re two of Gwen’s magic using friends, part of the group that kidnapped me and brought me here.  Like I said, long story.  But to make it short, I’m from another world.  A world where pokegirls don’t exist, and have never existed.  Gwen and her coven brought me here because they thought I would be able to cure ferality, or something, and then when they decided that I couldn’t, they let me go, with supervision, but I ran away and ended up here with…”


                “They thought you could cure ferality?  How so?”  Pallas had leaned in, not sure she believed his story, but apparently engrossed enough to be paying close attention as he practically talked over himself in a rush to get the information out.


                “That’s the thing, I don’t know.  They said they were trying to summon some great wizard or scientist to help them, but apparently, they fucked up when designing the spell or when saying one of the magic words or something because I’m just a grad student who went to school to learn how to build bridges and city infrastructure, and stuff like that.  Not a trace of magic in me.  And my sister is a nurse, but she’s no mad scientist.”


                Pallas stared at him for a long moment.  “I believe you.”


                Chris stopped and looked at her.  “You do?  Just like that?  You go from not believing me to believing me in the span of a couple of minutes?  How come?”


                Pallas sat up straight and shrugged.  “I decided you don’t have anything to gain by lying to me.  I’m an Amazon, not a great and powerful pokegirl who you need to convince to fight for you.  If I don’t believe you, you can just find someone else who would be just as good or quite possibly better than me, who might believe you without needing any convincing whatsoever.  I also think that it would be easier if you just didn’t tell me.  So by telling me, you’re making it harder on yourself.  I see no reason for you to do that unless what you are saying is true.” 


                Chris looked at her for a long moment before cracking into a wide grin and grabbing her hands, squeezing them gently.  “Oh man, that’s… you’re… you’re amazing, you know that?  Caramel is either going to flip her top because you might be smarter than her, or she’s going to be very pleased with herself because she suggested that we pick you out of all the other ‘girls at the pokecenter.”


                “I do not wish to make my new Alpha angry with me.  It seems unwise.”


                Chris hung his head down and laughed.  “Don’t worry.  You won’t have any problems with her, unless you try to monopolize my time, I think.  She and I think alike, and I’ve already had discussions with her about how I hope my relationships with each of you, and the relationships you have with each other are going to work.  She won’t get mad at you unless you somehow put any of us in danger.  And even then, so long as it isn’t intentional or the result of pure, avoidable stupidity, I think you’ll be okay.”  He looked up at her.  “And I think you’re already living up to your name, Pallas.  What you said was logical and reasonable.  And very wise.”


                Pallas blushed and smiled, giggling slightly.  “You think so?”


                “Oh yeah.  There will be statues in your honor in no time at all.”  The redheaded Amazon blanched.


                “No statues, please.  I’m not deserving of that kind of attention.”


                “You are if I say you are.  If I want to put a statue of you wrapped in a toga or a flowing robe in my bedroom, then I’m going to.  But then, I’d have to put up statues of Caramel and Satin, too, and then I’d probably start running out of room quickly.”  Chris frowned and squeezed Pallas’s hands gently.  “Also, I don’t really have a bedroom to put any statues in right now.  That will have to come first.”


                Pallas looked down at his hands, holding hers, and then back up at him quickly.  “Uhm… do you mind if I take a shower, before…”


                Chris raised his eyebrows in surprise, then began nodding quickly.  “Oh, yeah.  Yeah, sure, sure, go right ahead.”  He released her hands and pointed over her shoulder towards the bathroom.  “Um, the housekeepers replaced the towels while we were out, so there should be plenty.  Uh… I’ll be right here, if you need anything.  Just uh… let me know.”


                Pallas smiled and nodded, before standing up and heading towards the bathroom.  Chris remained sitting on the edge of the bed, watching her go and then looking around the room as he heard the latch click.  Moments later he heard the water start to run in the shower, and he began tapping on his knees, suddenly at a loss of what to do.  Maybe he should check in with Caramel and Gwen?  He looked nervously back at the hotel room sinks, the door to the bathroom reflected in the mirror hanging above them.  What was wrong?  He hadn’t been this uncertain of himself last night, with Caramel and Satin.  Of course, then he was running on adrenaline, mostly.  Here, now, with Pallas, he was acting more like himself.  Nervous and unsure of himself, not wanting to push things too fast but not wanting to let opportunity slip away.  He was also trying to balance the expectations that he expected that Pallas might have of him.  After all, she, like the other women who were suddenly filling his life, had grown up in a system where they were inherently subservient, and though he didn’t want them to act that way around him, he was unsure of how to navigate the social situation to get them to act that way without it coming off as heavy-handed or forceful, which was exactly what they might have expected, and he didn’t want to do.  Or maybe it was that his own intimate experiences with women so far hadn’t come at him as fast and as furiously as they seemed to be coming towards him now.  Really he was struggling to play catch-up, and he wasn’t sure if…




                Chris snapped his head up to see Pallas’s reflection in the mirror staring at him, a cloud of steam hanging around her head through the crack in the bathroom door. 


                “Oh, yeah?  What is it?  Do you need something?  What can I do?”


                The corners of Pallas’s lips curled and looked down at the floor, before looking back up at him, her emerald eyes seeming to smile at him.  “I was wondering if you might like to join me?”


                “Oh.  Uh.  Join you…”


                “Uh-huh.  In the shower.”  Pallas grinned at his sudden uncertainty.  “If you want to, that is.”


                “Oh.”  Chris looked around the room, realized there was no one else she could even possibly to talking to, and then stood up.  “Sure.  I’d like that.”


                Pallas laughed as she disappeared into the bathroom again, closing the door behind her with a swirl of steam.  Chris hurriedly shucked off his boots and pants, peeled his sweater and undershirt off and dropping them all on the floor.  His boxers came off as he approached the bathroom door, left on the border of floor where the carpet in the main room gave way to the stone tiles beneath the sinks.  He opened the bathroom door and was hit with a literally wave of steam, the powerful jets of the full-body shower having filled the room quickly with humid air and heat.  He shut the door behind him, leaving it cracked slightly so that at least some of the steam could dissipate.  “Pallas?”


                The glass of the bathroom’s shower wall was completely fogged up, and all he could hear was the heavy sound of water hitting the tiled floor of the shower stall.  He reached for the handle on the shower door, but froze as Pallas wiped away the condensation from the wall of reinforced glass with her palm.  He could only hazily see her through the water droplets and the steam, but suddenly the image of her behind the glass got a whole lot clearer.  Chris stood still in amazement as Pallas pressed her breasts against the glass, her bare tits flattening against the glass door as she wiped away more condensation in front of her face.  She smiled at him through the glass, winking at him and then beckoning him forwards with a lick of her lips. 


                Chris pulled open the door to the shower, stepping in and being immediately confronted with Pallas, naked and dripping with water, her body wreathed in hot, humid steam.  “I’ve always heard that the first encounters between a tamer and a new pokegirl can be awkward.”


                Chris nodded.  “Yeah, well, I think we’ve already begun to prove…”


                Pallas held her hand up to his face, placing two fingers on his lips to silence him.  “I’ve decided I don’t want it to be awkward.  I want it to be memorable.  So let’s start again.  My name is Pallas.  What’s yours?”  Her hand slid around to cup his cheek affectionately.


                Chris cocked his head to side slightly in amusement, but decided that humoring Pallas rather than making a sarcastic remark or asking another question would be in both of their best interests.  “My name’s Chris.  It’s nice to meet you, Pallas.”


                The redheaded Amazon smiled.  Chris was suddenly struck with just how short both Caramel and Satin were in comparison to the tall, muscular young woman.  Whereas neither brunette’s head came up to even his chin, Pallas could look him in the eye comfortably.  “It’s nice to meet you too, Chris…”  Pallas’s fingers trailed down from the side of his face, moving across his neck to his shoulder, before coming around to place her hand flat against his chest.  “My mother always told me to make sure that I know what I want out of life, and to not be idle about trying to get it.” 


                Chris brought both of his hands up, brushing wet hair out of Pallas’s face, her ruby-red locks seeming to have only grown brighter when soaked in the warm water.  “She sounds like a smart woman.  But what is it you want out of life?”


                “To start with, a tamer who’s going to take care of me, and satisfy me, and who I can always count on.”


                Chris closed his eyes and chuckled as Pallas’s hands wandered lower towards his hips.  “Well, let’s see.  I plan on taking care of you as best I can, no matter what.  And while I can’t make any promises, I certainly hope that I’ll be able to satisfy you.  To be honest, I haven’t had any complaints yet, though that may just be because most people I tend to end up with are too nice to say anything.  And I will say that you will always be able to count on me, with one caveat.”  He opened his eyes to find Pallas staring at him, her hands having stopped before reaching his waist.  “You can count on me, so long as I can count on you.  Deal?”


                Pallas made quite a show of thinking for a second, lips twisting into a thoughtful expression as she stared off into the distance over Chris’s shoulder, humming softly to herself.  “Hmmmmm…. I think that maybe that will have to do.”  She looked at him and winked.  “For now.”


                Chris smiled and ran his thumbs over her cheeks, futilely trying to brush away the droplets of water on her skin.  “You’re a lot more confident than you first let on, do you know that?”


                “I think I could say the same thing about you…  But I won’t because we’re wasting time while the water is already hot and your cock is already hard…”  Pallas bit the corner of her lower lip, pulling it into her mouth as she reached down to grab her new tamer’s cock where it had been poking her in the thigh.


                Chris gasped slightly and shrugged his shoulders.  “I wasn’t going to say anything.  Not trying to rush things, you know.”


                Pallas laughed and brought her left hand back up to cup his jawline as she leaned in to kiss him, and Chris cradled her head in his hands as he drew her in.  Their tongues danced, gently slipping over one another. As Pallas traced his lower gum line with the tip of her tongue, she squeezed his cock with her free hand, her thumb pressing on the base of his cock as the rest of her fingertips tapped against the underside of the shaft.  Chris let his hands fall from her cheeks down, following the flowing water down to her chest where Pallas shifted to give him more room to work with, without breaking the kiss.  Chris cupped both of her breasts, letting them rest in his hands.  He pulled back from the kiss slightly and Pallas giggled.  “You’re not as bad a kisser as you pretend to be, you know.”


                Chris looked at her with a surprised expression as he gently ran his thumbs in slow circles around her areola, the dark pink skin contrasting perfectly against the rest of her sun-tanned body.  “I wasn’t aware that I was giving off those kinds of signals, to be honest.”


                “Maybe it’s just me reading too much into the situation then… you know, with me being all analytical and all.”


                He laughed and leaned in to kiss her again, quickly.  “Maybe that’s it after all.”


                “Mmm… I mean, after all, I’m an Amazonwu… we’re kind of known for being good kissers.  Not as good as a Lickingtongue or a Marylith, but pretty high up on the scale of excellent kissers.”  She bit her lip as Chris gently pushed her back against the tiled wall opposite the glass door of the shower, moving his head around to kiss and suck at the soft skin of her neck. 


                “Mmm..hmm…”  He looked up briefly, nose gently rubbing against her jawline.  “So you’re saying I’ve suddenly found myself in the arms of a great kissing teacher, huh?”


                Pallas arched her back when he pinched her nipples between his forefingers and thumbs, giving them a tiny twist, causing her to hiss and gasp.  “Oohhh!”  She brought her hands up to rest on his shoulders, realizing he was intent on pleasing her before she did him as his mouth moved down from her neck to her chest, kissing the sloping softness of the tops of her breasts as she swallowed hard.  “Something like that… yeaaaahhh…” 


                Chris only chuckled against her skin, lips leaving a trail of kisses down her water-slicked skin as he hunched over, lifting her right breast to his mouth and beginning to suck on her nipple gently, teeth worrying the proud nub slightly, nipping but never biting.  He hummed in approval as Pallas ran her hands through his hair, and he realized that Caramel was probably right in that he needed a trim, and soon.  He did his best to push his other lover out of his mind, though, focusing instead on the ravishing redhead he had pinned to the wall of the shower.  Water was cascading all around them, hot, but not so much as to be scalding or blistering.  As he used his mouth to explore her right breast, Chris kneaded and gently squeezed her left, marveling at how large they were.  Certainly the largest he had ever had the chance to intimately play with, and soon enough he had switched teats, moving his mouth to Pallas’s left nipple to give the right a brief break. 


                “You are not like a beginning tamer at all.  I…”  Her breath hitched as he gently bit her nipple, actually putting a bit of pressure behind his teeth this time.  He was very pleased by the way he was able to cut her off without saying a word, and he slowly backed down on the force of his bite, lavishing Pallas’s stiff nub with licks and then a warm, wet kiss before flicking his eyes up to look at her.


                “You were saying?”


                Pallas groaned as she watched him slip lower, getting onto his knees as he clung to her hips tightly.  “Most tamers starting out are still… still teenagers themselves.  They aren’t very experienced, which doesn’t help their reputations, really.”


                Chris laughed and kissed her stomach, marveling at her six-pack of abs.  Pallas was better shape right now than he had ever been, and he felt completely lackluster in comparison to her.  “I’m not a kid, though that’s kind of obvious.  Hell, I can barely keep up with Caramel, and she’s twenty.  I’m positively ancient in comparison to you.” 


                Pallas bit her lip, looking down past her breasts at the top of Chris’s head as he kissed the inside of her thighs, warming her up for what she knew was coming next.  “Don’t worry.  I prefer someone with experience and patience over the assholes my age who don’t even take the time to make sure you’re enjoying yourself.”


                Chris looked up at her.  “I take it you’re speaking from experience?”


                Pallas nodded, and then playfully wound her fingers through his hair and pushed him back between his thighs, a place he was all too eager to go to.  “A few, before I thresholded.  Let’s just say all the boys back home were more interested in how many girls they could get into their bed, rather than making sure they took their time with each individual one.”


                Chris clucked his tongue in disapproval, the sound and the motion of his lips gently brushing against her smooth labia making her hips jump as she giggled nervously.  That nervousness melted away when she felt his tongue begin to clean the water from her lips, eagerly and thoroughly lapping at her every fold as she held tight to her grip in his hair.  His hands slid down from her hips to hold onto her thighs, gently pushing them apart, fingers dimpling skin that had long since flushed a ruddy pink from arousal and the heat of the water. 


                “Ah… A little to the left?”  Pallas bit her lower lip as she directed Chris gently, and he was all to happy to oblige her, tongue delving deep into her pussy.  The gorgeous redheaded teen’s juices were tart, but not unpleasant, and Chris was starting to think that there was some genetic quirk among the population of this world that just made everything about sex better, from stamina to attractiveness to the way their sexual fluids and even their saliva tasted.  Everything about them seemed designed to surprise or entice him, though he certainly wasn’t going to complain about it.  He refocused his attention as Pallas draped her right leg over his back, resting her inner against his cheek and ear.  The sound of his tongue working her over couldn’t be heard over the sound of the water falling around them, but he could certainly hear her moans and little gasps each time he discovered a spot that she was particularly sensitive at, or whenever she gently guided him in what she liked. 


                Eventually, Pallas dropped her leg back to the ground and tugged his head away from her crotch, panting as she smiled down at him.  “My turn.  Get up here.”  Chris rose eagerly, and she draped her arms across his shoulders, leaning in to kiss him, hard.  Her lips pressed insistently against his own, her tongue invading his mouth and taking a taste of herself from his own tongue.  Chris’s left hand found Pallas’s breast as he used his other to slip between her legs, gently rubbing her pussy as they kissed passionately, hungrily.  Pallas’s thighs suddenly clamped down hard around his hand, arresting his movement as she gently nipped at his lower lip, pulling on it with her teeth as she pulled her head back. He slowly withdrew his hand from between her thighs, and she let his lip snap back into place with a giggle.  “Not so fast.  We get off together, or not at all.”


                “Well, I sure hope that’s not a stipulation of every time we do this.  I mean, I’ve got no problems just lying on the bed, lazily eating my lover out while she just relaxes an enjoys it.  And I’m certainly not opposed to getting a surprise blowjob every now and then.”


                “No, I’m sure we’ll each get a chance to be selfish, but the first time needs to be special.”


                Chris laughed.  “I can’t cum on command, just so you know.  So together is going to be a bit subjective.”


                “Mmm… don’t worry.  Between myself and my new sisters, I’m sure we’ll have you trained up perfectly in no time.”  Pallas practically purred as she kissed him again, and then grabbed his shoulders and guided him into spinning around until it was his back against the wall. 


                “Just don’t tell Gwen.  Being part Dominatrix, I’m sure she’d be willing to give suggestions on the ‘proper way to train your tamer’.”  Chris watched as Pallas smiled wickedly at him, and he wondered whether or not he had just given her an idea that he might come to regret.  He groaned as she slid to her knees, kissing her way down his body just as he had done to her.  He looked around quickly for something to hold onto, and realized that the shower hadn’t been built to really accommodate this sort of thing.  Which caused him to briefly wonder why not, since it absolutely had to be a more than semi-common occurrence, surely. 


                It was about that time that Pallas kissed the head of his dick, and he moaned and settled for resting his hands atop her head, fingers lightly digging through her waterfall of crimson hair to gently rub her scalp as she wrapped her forefinger and thumb around his tip, angling his cock towards her breasts and then dragging her tongue from his tip to the base.  She used her free hand to cup Chris’s balls, short fingernails gently scritching, teasing at his sack as she kissed her way back up to his tip along the underside.  She clearly had some experience, and Chris inhaled deeply, filling his lungs with steamy air as his fingers gently massaged her scalp.  Pallas hummed as she took him into her mouth, forming a tight seal with her lips around the head of his shaft before beginning to bob slowly, her tongue working slick and smooth across his tautly stretched skin. 


                “Damn… you’re good at this.”  Chris began to gently gather Pallas’s hair up in a ponytail, as she gurgled happily, the tip of his cock prodding against the entrance to her throat as she gently rotated her head from side to side so that her tongue could reach every square-inch of warm, throbbing skin.  She wrapped the forefinger and thumb of her right hand around his base, pinning his pubic hair back as she used her other hand to begin teasing his balls again, gently rolling his sack around in her palm as she swallowed his tip fully, holding her breath as Chris took a tight grip of her hair, his fist against the back of her skull as she pushed herself down fully on his cock, her lips pressed against the ring of her fingers around his base.  “Nnnghh…”  Chris grunted as her throat undulated around the first few of inches of his cock, buried just deep enough to make her swallow involuntarily as her body tried to clear the ‘blockage’ in the only way it knew how.  Chris was careful not to push her down, not sure if she could even handle him forcing her to deepthroat and though he already knew that Caramel was into that sort of thing, he wasn’t going to assume Pallas would appreciate it until she literally told him so. 


                As good as she was, Pallas probably didn’t have as much experience deepthroating as Caramel did, because less than half a second later, she pulled off of his cock entirely, covering her mouth with her hand and coughing deeply a few times, his spit-covered shaft pressed against her forehead and hairline.  “You okay?”  Chris looked down, concern in his eyes, and Pallas nodded once, before lowering her hand and swallowing, then licking her lips. 


                “I’m okay.  I don’t have a lot of practice with that, really.”


                “I wondered, but I wasn’t going to assume.”  Chris smiled, panting almost as much as she was.  “Ready for the main course?” 


                Pallas looked up at him with a wicked grin.  “I was thinking about enjoying my appetizer a bit more, but if you’re offering to jump ahead in the script, I’m not going to complain.” 


                Chris laughed, and instead of helping her to her feet, he slipped down, adjusting the water temperature slightly to keep it warm on their backs as he sat down on the tile, the drainage grate between his knees as he stretched his legs out.  Pallas leaned forward on her hands and knees to kiss him again, and Chris reached up to cup her face as she crawled into his lap, slipping her knees around his hips and reaching down to angle his cock up as she squirmed her own hips into position.  One of his hands moved around to run through her hair, the other dropping to cup her right breast as she spread her own lips, lowering her hips to sink herself down onto his cock.  It didn’t take her long to get comfortable, sliding easily down onto his shaft until her ass rested on his thighs and she broke the kiss with a moan of passion. 


                “You okay?”


                Smokey emerald-green eyes opened to look at him through moisture-clumped bangs, and she practically purred at him.  “I’m doing fine.  How about you?” 


                Chris laughed and reached around her to grab her ass, squeezing, fondling, pinching and lifting.  “I’m doing fine, too.  The water is warm, and the company is all I could ask for and more.”  He winked at her, and she leaned forward, pressing her breasts flat against his chest as she wrapped her arms around his neck.  “And the best part is, we can work up a sweat and no one will ever know.”


                Pallas grinned and began lifting herself off of his cock.  “Mmm, my favorite kind of exercise.”  Chris’s hands guided her up, gently squeezing her ass as she rose off of his cock, her folds gripping him tightly despite the slick situation they found themselves in.  Without warning, she let herself drop back into his lap, making them both grunt as she forcibly buried him back in her cunt, her walls seizing around him tightly before she started the motion all over again, rising up slowly, guided by Chris’s hands.  This time though she let herself back down a bit slower, smoothly beginning to ride his cock, hips rolling seductively as he let his head fall back against the tile wall.  His brown eyes locked with her emerald ones, and she gasped, soft lips parted halfway as she panted against his face, watching him watch her as she rode his lap.  Chris, confident she could manage the speed and intensity of her bouncing herself, began to stroke her back, fingertips tracing up her spine slowly, feeling the way her muscles tensed and moved in her back as she gyrated and lifted herself up and down in his lap. 


                “You are a truly beautiful woman, Pallas…”  Chris’s voice was barely a whisper above the pounding of the shower on and around them, but Pallas heard him, leaning in to kiss him again, eyes closing with passion evident in her every movement.  Chris held her sides as she rode him, his tongue pressing past her lips to tease at her own.  She hummed, catching his tongue between her teeth and giggling before beginning to suck.  At the same time, she sat down fully in his lap, taut ass molding to the shape of his thighs as she rolled her hips in a wide circle, feeling him press more firmly against first one side of her inner walls and then the next, keeping him guessing as she threw a few small humps and clenches in to tease him.  Though she didn’t have to be on top all the time, she liked to take advantage of her lover when she was, teasing him just as thoroughly as she was usually teased. 


                Chris’s hands slid down Pallas’s side as she gyrated atop him, his right hand lifting and then falling lightly on her right cheek, her ass wobbling and her muscles clenching on him suddenly.  She broke the kiss but kept her lips pressed against his, smiling as she growled softly.  “Again?” 


                Chris grinned against her mouth, eyes closed as he let his sense of touch take over the rest of his body.  “Again?  Do you like being spanked?”  Caramel did, and Satin didn’t, and he wondered which category Pallas fell under.


                “Occasionally.  Right now I do, because in this position, it makes me…”  Chris interrupted her by spanking her again, more firmly this time, his hand clapping against her ass cheek before he squeezed it tightly, feeling her flesh practically wobble beneath his fingertips. She clenched down hard in response to the brief flash of pain that laced through the pleasure consuming her body, gasping.  “…because it makes me do that…  Again?”  Her eyes flashed open to see his closed, and she kissed him quickly, almost chastely.  “Please?”


                It didn’t really take any more asking from her, Chris beginning to spank her round ass firmly, consistently.  One slap to her left cheek, two to her right, a squeeze of both, and then a strike to each simultaneously before more squeezing.  Pallas tightened around him with each strike, gritting her teeth and changing the motion of her hips from a circle to just back and forth, creating a shallow stroking motion of Chris’s dick in and out of her cunt.  Three rapid spanks to her left cheek, and a pinch to her right.  A heavier, single slap to her right, then a firm, full-handed grab and knead of her left. 


                Pallas groaned as she rested her head on his shoulder, both of them grunting as Chris shifted his hips, sliding down a bit further so he had more leverage.  Her spankings became more infrequent as his hands drifted to her hips and he began to thrust up into her.  Pallas grabbed his upper arms for support, her large breasts trapped between her own arms as she stared down at him.  Chris’s steady tempo soon had him gradually sliding down until he was lying flat on the shower floor and Pallas was riding him cowgirl-style, her calves clamped down on the outsides of his thighs as her hands fought for purchase on his water-slicked chest.  Chris grabbed her thighs as he thrust up into her, her entire body bouncing, tits wobbling in his face as she bent over him, gasping and moaning as he grunted and strained. 


                “Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck yessssssss!”  He knew when her orgasm began because she collapsed atop him, squealing as she panted against his cheek, the build-up of pleasure finally crescendoing for her.  Chris groaned at her sudden tightness, but kept thrusting through her orgasm, her vice-like grip on his cock making each thrust and withdrawal harder for him, but more forceful as well, making Pallas’s ass ripple each time his thighs collided with her well-spanked cheeks. 


                Pallas trembled in his lap, and even through the pleasure racing through her body, she was trying to keep her promise, trying to reach the goal of getting them both off together.  It was just something she enjoyed, and to her signified not only a physical connection between her and her partner but something more emotional, almost spiritual as well.  The buxom redhead pressed her lips to his cheek, moaning with lust and pleasure as she tried to power through her orgasm, keeping her hips moving as best as she could even as neurons misfired and her entire body trembled with the flush of hormones and adrenaline that accompanied the burst of sexual ecstasy that Chris had caused in her. 


                Chris was close, so very close, but it wasn’t until Pallas’s hot, panting breaths fell on his ear that he reached his release, the intimate nature of her excited breath on his flushed, sensitive skin the last incentive he needed to blow his load inside of the beautiful Amazon teen.  His hands seized her hips, holding her down on his cock as he thrust upward twice in quick succession, trying to bury himself as deep as humanly possible inside of her squeezing, milking pussy, his own breath hitching in his throat as he moaned, head thrown back.  One… two… three… four…five… six pulses interspersed throughout his pounding heartbeat, his shaft throbbing with each one as he unloaded inside of Pallas.  His knees were bent slightly, and she took advantage of that fact by hooking her ankles under his thighs, using the leverage to pull herself down on his cock even as he pushed, helping each other to heighten the sensation of her being full, and him filling her. 



                It was several long minutes before they came back down from their mutual high, Pallas softly panting in his ear as he gradually became aware that the water was starting to go cold.  It took him another few seconds, but he gathered his wits about him and sat up, palm slipping once on the soaked tile floor.  He pulled the limp Amazon with him, Pallas clinging to him half-heartedly as she let the sensations keep her on the edge of overwhelming her again.  Water pounding on her over-sensitized skin, his breath on her neck and shoulder, his heart thudding against her own.  Each soothed and relaxed her, and soon enough his hands running through her hair brought her even more intimate comfort, and it took her a while to realize that he was washing her hair.  Gently, he rubbed the shampoo into her long crimson locks before methodically rinsing and squeezing it out, stripping the excess water from her hair with his fingers.  As the water started to run cold, he slipped his hands under her thighs and lifted her off of his semi-soft erection, grabbing a clean bathcloth from the shower handle and wetting it before cleaning both of their crotches, gently scrubbing her labia with the soft cloth and whispering in her ear, coaxing her to push out the warm load he had put deep inside of her. 


                Pallas hummed pleasantly to herself, lost in the semi-daze of Taming Shock, not trusting herself to speak as he bathed her, soaping up her olive-tanned skin and then quickly rinsing her down before the water grew too cold for comfort.  With a bit of difficulty, Chris got her on her feet, turning the water off and then pushing the door of the shower open.  He left her clinging to the shower railing as he fetched a pair of towels, draping one across his shoulder before unfolding the second and beginning to dry her off, starting with her hair and then working downwards.  As he went, he kissed her flushed skin, murmuring to her softly, almost inaudibly.  Pallas just soaked it all in, still riding the post-orgasm high as long as she could, her eyes almost drifting closed at one point as he wrapped the towel around her torso and guided her to sit on the closed seat of the toilet long enough to towel himself off quickly. 


                A few moments later, she opened her eyes, realizing she had dozed off and that he had already gotten her into bed and was gently combing out her hair with a short handled brush as she lay on her stomach.  She contemplated trying to say something, but her thoughts were still too scattered for her to trust she wouldn’t embarrass herself by just muttering her breed name over and over again incoherently.  She was having a hard enough time stringing her own thoughts together, and when he noticed her eyes staring up at him from the hollow her head had made in the pillow, he smiled down at her and gently shushed her.  She must have been mumbling or at least trying to talk after all without realizing it, and she looked up at him with a blissful smile for a moment, wondering what he was saying to her even as she drifted off to sleep.








                Chris stepped out of the hotel room fifteen minutes later, rubbing his lower back and groaning.  Satin looked up from where she was curled up on the floor outside the door, snapping the little paperback book in her hands shut and tucking it inside the massive sleeve of her loose sweater.  “How’d it go?” 


                Chris looked down at the Spellbun, smiling softly and then settling down on the floor beside her.  “I just put her to bed.  She was out of it, just like you were last night when things finally settled down.  I popped her back into the pokeball just long enough to ensure, you know, no pregnancy.  No condoms is great, but still.  None of us are ready for kids yet.”  Chris held out his hand to the petite girl, and she took it instantly, leaning against his side.


                “You took a shower?  I smell the soap that Caramel just bought.”  Her nose wrinkled as she pressed her cheek against his fresh shirt.  “And I don’t smell her on you.”


                “Yeah.  She wanted to do it in the shower, actually.  Not my favorite thing to do, unless you’re sure that you’ve got a really big water heater tank, or one of those newer tankless ones that can just produce hot water forever.  It’s like a timer.  As soon as the cold water kicks in it ruins the mood.  We just escaped before it became freezing.”  Chris wrapped his arm around Satin, hugging her close as he stretched his legs out with a groan.  “It was also hell on my lower back, though the position we sort of fell into didn’t help that.  I’m always worried about slipping and cracking my skull.”  He squeezed Satin.  “I did that once, you know.  Cracked my skull.  Family camping trip, as a kid.  Right here.”  Chris tapped the right side of his head, right above the top of his ear.  “Had to rush to the emergency room, had a concussion.  Blood everywhere, the whole works.  Had staples in my skull for a while.” 


                Satin frowned, her face drawn up in a grimace.  “I’m sure a Nursejoy could heal the scar, if you wanted.  Though I guess you can’t really see it…” 


                Chris shrugged.  “It’s already been healed, I think.  At least, all of the other scars I had are gone, thanks to Gwen.  She gave me a full medical exam when I was kidnapped.  She even made me turn my head and cough.”


                Satin frowned.  “What’s that mean?”


                Chris looked at her impassively, face blank.  “Nothing.  Don’t worry about it.  All that matters is that I’ve got a clean bill of health, though she did say if I didn’t start eating better I’d end up with high cholesterol within the next decade.”


                “I’ll share my vegetables with you.”  Satin burrowed into his arms, slowly sliding down until her head rested in his lap.


                “Thanks, sweetie.”  Chris brushed her hair out of her face, gently stroking her brunette tresses.  “I need to learn how to braid hair, I guess.  You and Pallas both have such long hair.”


                “Do you like girls with long hair?”


                Chris nodded as Satin looked up at him.  “Mmhmm.  The longer the better.  But then again, I like the way that Caramel’s hair looks on her.  It’s all about personal style.”


                “What’s my style?”


                Chris laughed softly, grabbing Satin’s arm where he could tell the book she was reading was stored in her baggy sweater.  “Your style is comfortable and cute, with a good dose of adorable.  Hiding your book in your sleeve, for instance.  Pairing those tight leggings that show off your thighs and butt with a baggy sweater that you can practically curl up inside of.”


                Satin wrinkled her nose and smiled up at him.  “I like to be comfortable.”


                Chris nodded.  “Mhmm.  Like I said, that’s your style.”


                “What about Caramel?”


                “I’m not sure. But I’m leaning towards stylish and sexy, with a good dose of proud confidence.  I’ve met very few women who could pull off leather pants that well, though I certainly wish more would try.”


                “She put a collar and a leash on me and led me around the block naked one time…”  Satin’s admission was whisper quiet, and Chris sat there for a moment, shocked at the out of the blue revelation.


                “I… why would she do that to you, Satin?”  Chris had stopped stroking her hair, and he leaned down over the rabbit-eared girl, concern plainly on his face.


                “I asked her to.”  That made him pause, and confusion crept in to take the place of the worry.


                “Oh.  May I ask why?”


                “It was in one of my books.  And I wanted to try it.  She didn’t want to do it at first, but I reminded her about the orange ice cream rule.”


                “There’s a rule now?”


                “Mmhmm.  Always try something at least once, if you’re okay with doing it.  She didn’t want to at first, but a couple of weeks after I asked, she came back from school one day and said she’d do it.”


                “And… what happened?”


                “I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.”  Satin shifted, crawling up into his lap and resting her head on his shoulder.  “At first it was okay, but then… then it started to become too much.  Someone… someone asked if they could buy me from her, and that was when I knew I didn’t want to do it anymore.”


                Chris hugged her tightly, though curiosity and suspicion tugged at the edge of his mind.  “Why are you telling me this, Satin?”


                “Because… because I know that Gwen is part Dominatrix, and even though I didn’t like going out in public, I kinda still liked being on a leash.”  The suddenly not-so-innocent in his mind Spellbun twisted in his lap until she settled into a position she felt was more comfortable.  “I just… I thought you should know.”


                “You thought I should know in case it was something I wanted to do, or because it was something you wanted to try again, with me this time?”


                Satin pursed her lips.  “I still want to do it with Caramel too.”  She looked up at him.  “Not with Gwen or the new girl though.  I don’t want to tame with them yet.”


                Chris frowned.  “Gwen isn’t part of our family, remember?  There isn’t a yet with her at all.”  He paused.  “Unless you wanted to, I suppose.  But you’d have to ask her, and it would just be between the two of you.  I don’t think I could get involved, to have sex with Gwen.  It’s not something I see myself ever doing, because of her involvement in kidnapping me and bringing me here.”


                Satin inhaled softly and then sighed, eyes closed as she relaxed in his lap.  “But if she hadn’t brought you here, we would have never met you, right?”


                Chris paused again.  “I guess you’re right.  I do have to be appreciative of that, at least.”


                “What is your family like?”


                Chris leaned his head to the side to rest it atop hers.  “Well, I have a mother and a father, who have been married for a long time.  I have a sister who got married a few years ago, and she’s… well she’s probably had her baby by now.  So I guess I’m an uncle to some little girl or boy I haven’t met yet.  I have two grandfathers who are still alive.  One lives in Florida, and the other has retired to Iowa, of all places.”  He hugged Satin tighter as a small wave of panic and depression swept over him.  “I’m not sure I’m ever going to see them again.  And that scares me and makes me sad.  And a little bit angry at Gwen and Trista and Yssabella, and all the others that helped bring me here.”


                Satin turned to hug him just as tightly as he was hugging her.  She didn’t say anything for a few minutes, until she turned her head to look up at him.  “If you could, would you leave us behind and go home?”


                Chris blinked owlishly and turned his head to face hers.  “No.”  He kissed her on the forehead.  “I’d like to let my family back home know that I’m okay, that they don’t have to worry about me.  But I’m not going to leave you and Caramel and now, Pallas.  I’m committed.”  He smiled at her as he saw relief blossom in her shining silver eyes.  “You’re stuck with me for as long as we both shall live.  Sorry about that.”


                Satin wasn’t sure how to respond, and truthfully she wasn’t sure she trusted herself to.  She settled instead for hugging the man she had quickly fallen head-over-heels for as tightly as she could, until she heard him gasp for breath as a result of the surprising strength she held in her tiny frame.


                “You okay, sweetie?”  Considering that that kind of strength probably could have cracked a rib if she had intended to, Chris figured he had worded his feelings for her and the other two young women in his life correctly. 


                “Yeah.  We should go to bed early.”


                Chris raised his eyebrows.  “Really?  I mean, Pallas is asleep in there.  I thought you didn’t like her enough to sleep with her, though I suppose having sex while she’s in the room is a slightly different beast.”


                “I’m horny, but not that horny.”


                “Not like a Minotaura?”


                Satin giggled.  “No, not like a Minotaura.”  She snuggled more against his chest.  “Gwen has a lot for us to do tomorrow. She and Caramel have been planning while you and Pallas were taming.”  She tilted her chin up to look at Chris with a worried expression.  “I’m going to have a lot to do tomorrow, starting in the morning.  And I don’t think I’m a morning person anymore.”


                Chris nodded.  “The pokedex does seem to indicate that Spellbuns start their day in the mid-afternoon.  Something about being up during the sunset and moonrise.”  Satin nodded.  “So… bedtime?  Pallas still has to do her shopping.”


                “Gwen said she’d take her, because she wants to get some armor fitted for her since she’ll be our front-line fighter.  And Caramel wants to go with them because she’s the Alpha, and she wants to learn more about Pallas.”  Satin finally sat up, crawling out of his lap and rising to her feet spryly.  Chris followed suit, bracing one hand against the wall and grunting when his lower back protested.  Lying on the floor of the shower was now officially off of his list of approved sex-positions.    Satin took his hand and then slipped one of the two hotel keycards they had into the handle before soundlessly pushing the door open, looking back at him and dropping her voice.  “I think Caramel is still having trouble dealing with the fact that she’s not a tamer herself.  She was all prepared to become an Ocean League Watcher, and then she thresholded.  So she feels like she was robbed of her chance to make all the important decisions and choose how things happen herself, but now you’re doing it.”


                Chris paused in the doorway, looking at the bed and making sure that Pallas was still fully asleep before responding in whisper, careful to keep his voice as low as possible because of how loud everyone seemed to think his voice was.  That, and Satin’s ears picked up almost everything anyway.  “Truthfully, she’s still making the decisions.  Or at least, I’m not the one making them.  It’s her and Gwen.”  He frowned.  “I can see why she thinks she’s not in charge, though.  Gwen has been calling the shots so far.  But there’s nothing we can do about that, at least not right now.  But I’ll talk to them about it.  Both of them.”  He followed Satin into the room, watching the bunny shake her book out of her sleeve and then tuck it into a pocket on the messenger bag that Gwen had bought her, before stripping out of her sweater and high heels.  He blinked.  “Don’t you have to go back with Caramel to buy more shoes, since the ones you have won’t work for you now that you’ve evolved?”


                Satin looked back over her shoulder at him as she unhooked her bra and dropped it over the back of one of the room’s dining chairs, smiling at him.  “Caramel knows my size, and what I like.  I picked out a few earlier that we didn’t get, and those are at the top of her list.”  The quietly cute little woman watched him watch her as she peeled her leggings down, revealing her warm, pale skin and the skimpy black thong she wore. 


                When he realized he was staring, and she was fully aware, she winked at him and then headed for the bed, crawling onto the king-sized mattress opposite the side where Pallas was silently sleeping.  Chris quickly removed everything but his boxers and then crawled into bed after her, positioning himself beside her, but still within arm’s reach of the dozing redhead.  Satin curled into his arms, backing up so that they were spooning, and he draped his arms around her as she sighed and snuggled back into his chest, humming a wordless tune softly.  It wasn’t long before Chris himself started feeling drowsy, and the last thing he felt before drifting off was Pallas rolling over to place her back against his.