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Ocean's Seven: Chapter Four

 

Caramel and Chris collapsed together into a grassy patch in the corner of the training area that they had commandeered.  The sun was just finishing its rise over the horizon, and Tamer and Seamstress had just completed their morning run.  No one else but their family was yet at the training ground, the entry gate only manned by a sleepy security guard. 

 

“Huhh…hahh…”  Caramel lay face down in the grass, Chris right beside her, staring up at the clear blue sky.  It was still early spring, two weeks after the night that Gwen had taken them to the nightclub to meet the Megami that they were now ‘employed’ by. The morning air, while no longer cold enough to allow Satin to wear her favorite sweaters ‘round the clock, was still crisp and cool.  “You’re right.”

 

Chris blinked slowly as his chest rose and fell, and he let his head flop to the side to look at Caramel.  “What am I right about?”

 

Caramel twisted, rolling onto her back beside him.  “Satin’s different than I remember her being.  It’s got to be her evolution.  She’s more confident in herself, more… I don’t know, self-assured.”  She levered herself up into a sitting position, brushing stray blades of grass from her bare midriff.  All of them had begun to put on more muscle and definition, including the two non-combatant members of the family.  While Chris and Caramel stuck with a normal workout routine, Gwen paced Satin and Pallas through a more rigorous regimen each morning.  “I mean, she’d never have willingly instigated a pokegirl battle before.”  Caramel pointed at the center of the training area, where Pallas and Satin were circling each other under Gwen’s watchful eye.

 

“Well, she was just a Bunnygirl before.  Not that useful in a fight.  I guess it makes sense that she’d want to really push her limits now that she can fight back.”  Chris sat up and leaned on Caramel, his head on her shoulder. 

 

Caramel turned and gave him a quick kiss on the top of the head, before snickering.  “She was never ‘just’ a Bunnygirl.  At least not to me or my family.”

 

“Yeah, from what I’ve learned about how she acted before, I guess not.  The pokedex doesn’t describe Bunnygirls as being particularly interested in learning and reading.”  Chris laughed.  The true extent of Satin’s reading habit had become clear to Chris in recent days, when Caramel had discovered an entire shopping bag full of romance and fantasy novels.  When confronted about just the sheer number of books, close to five dozen in all, Satin had frozen in panic.  Eventually Caramel and Chris had pried out the fact that Gwen had bought the young woman all of the books, and the Archmage splice had confirmed that if Satin’s worst habit was a tendency to stay up late reading, of all things, it was one she would gladly support. 

 

“She’s been like that as long as I’ve known her.  Eight years.”  Caramel sighed and smiled as she watched Satin expertly deflect Pallas’s blade with a shield made of magic, the sparkling construct fading out of existence as Satin kicked Pallas in the chest plate and launched herself several yards backwards instead of trying to force the stronger, sturdier Amazon herself back. 

 

“Well, for what it’s worth, you two act more like sisters than… you know, owner and pet.”

 

“That’s because we were.  Dad treated us both like daughters.”

 

“Daughters that slept with each other.”

 

Caramel snorted.  “I keep telling you, that’s normal.  Often times the only option to keep a family member from going feral, at least in smaller towns or villages, or god forbid, if you live out in the wilderness, is to tame with family members.  Siblings, or parent and child.”

 

Chris shook himself.  “I couldn’t do it.  Sorry, I just can’t even imagine it being a possibility.” 

 

Caramel smiled and then flopped back onto the grass, her hand reaching up to trail over Chris’s sweaty, grass-plastered back, fingertips tracing over his spine.  “Don’t worry.  You won’t have to tame our daughters.”  Chris looked back at her, expression unreadable.  “When we have them, I mean.”  She grinned.  “That’s years and years off, don’t worry.”  His face remained clouded, but he smiled. 

 

“Thanks.”  Chris rolled his eyes.  “I’m definitely not ready to be a father just yet.  And to be honest, the thought that you’re already contemplating it scares me.”

 

Caramel snorted.  “It was a joke.”  She yawned, and then inhaled deeply afterwards.  “Besides, all our children will be boys, I’m sure of it.”

 

 

As she giggled at her own joke, Chris turned back around to watch the fight as Satin sent a bolt of magic hurtling towards Pallas, who just managed to get her shield up in time.  Even so, the brassy metal sparked with what looked like electricity for a moment before Pallas rolled forward out of the way of another Mana Bolt.  He winced as a follow up bolt of energy threw Pallas sideways along with a spray of earth.  “I’m still not sure I can do this.”

 

“Do what?”

 

“Let the three of you fight.  It’s just too dangerous.”

 

Caramel snorted, then sat up and leaned against him.  “Learn to live with it, then.  The entire world is dangerous.  But we’re built for danger.  Most of us, anyway.  Bred for it.  We’re… well, we’re used to fighting.  Inured, almost, to it.  We deal with trauma differently than normal humans.  Mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically.  Don’t forget pokegirls were created to fight a war.”

 

“Yeah.  Some war.  Any one of you could outdo some of the strongest, smartest soldiers from my world.”  He gestured at Satin.  “They wouldn’t know what to do with her.  She’s almost as timid as a field mouse in most situations, but there she is throwing lightning bolts around like it’s nothing.”

 

“I never said that the war was fought evenly.  Pokegirl forces decimated the entire world before they started going feral.  The history books say it was like a time bomb going off.  One day, Sukebe’s forces were on the offensive, and the next they were going insane, acting like common animals and bumbling around like they had forgotten everything there ever was to them.

 

“Ferality.  That’s a fucking… I don’t know.  A conundrum?  A question?  A curse?”  Chris shook his head.  “I certainly don’t think anyone would view it as a blessing.”

 

“Quite the contrary.  Most of humanity sees it as the only way to control pokegirls.”

 

“You don’t need to be controlled.”

 

“Says quite possibly the only pure-blooded human in the league. Possibly the planet, for all we know.”  Caramel shifted, climbing up into Chris’s lap to sit sideways across his thighs.  “It’s the ultimate question, really.  If it wasn’t for ferality, would pokegirls overrun the planet?  Make humans obsolete?”

 

“As far as I can tell, they already are.  Or rather, pokegirls are an upgrade on humanity.  Human 2.0.”

 

“Don’t let people hear you say that.  You’re likely to get dirty looks and plenty of arguments to the contrary, even here in the Ocean League.”

 

“Yeah, well, other people can suck it.  They keep women as slaves.  They don’t deserve to have an opinion after that.”

 

“Technically you do too, you know.  Pallas, Satin, me.  We’re your property.  Legally, anyway.  The reason all of us are so smitten with you is that you vehemently deny that we are.  That, and you see us as equals.”

 

“Human 2.0.  Just like I said.  If I could be a male version of any of you, I’d be living out some sort of superhero fantasy.”

 

“Pokeboys don’t exist.  Though there was a professor who came to speak to one of our classes who argued that because of the widespread and growing prevalence of powerful bloodtraits in human males, it’s only a matter of time before one is born.”

 

Chris thought for a moment, hugging Caramel to him.  “That raises all kinds of questions, I’m sure.  Would pokeboys and pokegirls be able to inter-breed?  Would they be able to keep each other from going feral?  Would pokeboys be able to bring pokegirls out of ferality, and vice versa?”

 

“Now you’re sounding like one of those fringe conspiracy websites.  Or my dad.”

 

“Your dad’s a conspiracy theorist?”

 

“He’s a scientist.  And a businessman, but mostly a scientist.  Genetics and pokegirl biology isn’t really his specialty, he’s more of a chemist, but still.  I remember him hosting dinners at the mansion, talks long into the night with colleagues about all kinds of subjects.  He’s never afraid to ask a difficult question.”

 

“Well, he certainly sounds like a smart man.  I mean, he figured out a way to keep you and Satin together, didn’t he?”

 

“Mmhmm.  I suspect that was more political favors than his own intellect coming into play.  Though I suppose it’s his science pedigree that built his business, and his business that let him get into politics.”

 

“So… to clarify, your father is a scientist.  A businessman.  And also a politician?”

 

Caramel laughed.  “No, only the first two.  He hates politicians, really.  Only tolerates them because of the laws governing his business and research.”

 

“Sounds like a complicated man.”  Chris shifted his thighs beneath Caramel’s ass.  “When do I get to meet him?”

 

Caramel had been watching the fight, but her head whipped around so quick she almost headbutted Chris. “I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.”

 

“Uhm.  Why not?  I’m sleeping with you.  And Satin.  His daughters, right?”

 

“He’s also very inquisitive.  And very protective.”

 

“And you don’t think I would stand up under scrutiny?  You’re worried that he’ll think I’m not good enough for his daughters.”

 

“No, no.  I think he’d be quite happy with you, and the way you treat us.  The way our relationship is progressing.  But I haven’t even tried to contact him yet, and you’re not from around here, remember?”

 

“Ah, right.  The giant pink elephant in the room.”

 

“What’s an elephant?”

 

Chris looked at her oddly, and then nodded as understanding bloomed across his features.  “A very large land mammal that lives in portions of Africa and Asia.  They were almost extinct in my world, despite mounting efforts to save them.  I guess they don’t exist anymore, really.  They wouldn’t stand a chance against a moderately powerful pokegirl.”  He smiled sadly.  “The expression ‘an elephant in the room’ means a very large problem or issue that all parties in a conversation or group know about, but are avoiding out of politeness or a desire to avoid an awkward confrontation.  Me being from another dimension is the elephant in the room.  The big, awkward, potentially dangerous thing hovering in the background everywhere I go.”

 

“Ah.  An Elephuk.  Got it.”

 

Chris looked stunned for a moment at Caramel’s revelation.  “Of course there’s a pokegirl based on and elephant.  And of course, the name is sexualized.  Who the fuck was in charge when they started coming up with names for pokegirls?”

 

“Sukebe was.  He was a pervert.  A mad scientist bent on world domination, but also a pervert.”  She gestured to herself.  “Case in point.  I’m a magical semi-human woman who needs sex to keep from going insane.”  She shrugged.  “Another fact of life you’re eventually going to have to come to grips with.”

 

                Chris shook his head.  “I don’t have to come to grips with anything, lady.  I’ll rail against this craziness till the day I die.”

 

                Caramel frowned.  “Which will be a long, long, long time from now, if we have anything to say about it.  The dying part.  The railing, you’ll be doing often.  Sometimes multiple times a day.  To all of us.”  Her frown turned into a grin at his flabbergasted look.  “Speaking of which, it’s my turn with you before lunch.”  She looked over where the sparring session between Satin and Pallas had come to a halt when they hadn’t been paying attention.  “I’ve half a mind to pull the rest of your clothes off right here and now and have sex right here on the grass where everyone can see.”

 

                Chris laughed and wrapped his arms around her, rolling to his side and taking her with him, pinning her down beneath his body.  “What is it with you women and sex?  I thought guys were supposed to be the only ones obsessed with it.”

 

                Caramel laughed and kissed him.  “I don’t think that’s true, even where you come from.  A woman has every right to be as horny, kinky, and distracted by thoughts of a man pumping away between her legs as any man does.”

 

                Chris furrowed his eyebrow.  “Point taken, though I think we fantasize about different things, really.” 

 

                “Fine by me.”  She grinned.  “Though I wouldn’t say no to having Satin and a strap-on instead of you, from time to time.  Or Pallas.  She’s much more muscular than you.”

 

                Chris stared at her, open mouthed, and then rolled off of her.  “Low blow, sweetheart, low blow.”

 

                Caramel laughed and bounced to her feet, reaching out to help him up.  “I know, I know.  She’s a born fighter, and you’re just the bumbling idiot we’re all falling in love with.”

 

                Chris shook his head.  “Falling in love huh?  Isn’t it a little soon for that?”

 

                Caramel shrugged.  “I think right around two or three weeks is a long enough time to start getting a sense of whether or not you can imagine a future with someone.  Why?  You’re not thinking of getting rid of us, are you?”  Her tone was playful, but he could sense something behind her words.  Hesitation?  Anxiety?  Trepidation? 

 

                “Can’t, remember.  You and Satin are stuck with me for two whole years.”  He smirked.  “Two whole years, I’ve got to put up with your antics.  And Pallas too.  She’s stuck with me, even if it’s not in writing.”

 

                “Mmm.  Well, we’ll try not to annoy you too much for the next two years.  Though that does give us plenty of time to make you into the exact type of man we like.”  Caramel steepled her fingers conspiratorially as she laughed at him, batting her eyelashes.

 

                “You’ve already hand sewn a whole drawer full of underwear for me, Caramel.”

 

                “And? Are they not the most comfortable you’ve ever worn?”

 

                Chris hesitated, and then nodded with a sigh.  “Yes.”

 

                “See?  Just stick with us, and you’ll be a better man for it.  Besides, that underwear makes your ass look good.”  She winked at him as she took his hand and started pulling him towards the others.  “And it’s only fair that we get to stare at your ass if you get to stare at ours.”

 

                “Point taken.”

 

                Pallas and Satin looked up when they approached, and Gwen broke out of a lecture she seemed to be giving.  “Nice of you two to join us.  I was just asking whether or not Pallas and Satin felt up to an actual battle this afternoon.”

 

                “You think we’re ready to go out into the wilderness?”

 

                “Oh, no.  Not at all.  To be frank, I’d rather you have a third combatant to watch over you while Pallas and Satin did the hunting.  Not to be rude to Caramel, but…”

 

                “But I’m just as weak as Chris is.  I know, I get it.  So I’ll stay in the back, ready to hand out healing injectors and fresh pokeballs.  But if we’re not ready for ferals, what did you have in mind?”

 

                “The Odin Gym.”

 

                Satin looked skeptical.  “A gym battle?  Really?”

 

                “Not for a badge, though I wouldn’t stop you from trying for one.”  Gwen pushed her glasses up on the bridge of her nose as she spoke.

 

                “I’m sorry, but why would we go to a gym for a battle?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a battle like… maybe here?  Plenty of space, forcefield walls and all that?”  All eyes turned to Chris, and he knew he had just shown his inexperience again.

 

                “Gyms, Christopher, are very much like this.”  Gwen gestured to the training field around them. “Sometimes in enclosed buildings, sometimes in open, specially designated battling fields.  Your definition of a gym and ours likely differs a great deal.  Here, gyms are places where tamers go to test their pokegirls against opponents in League-sanctioned battles.  Each gym has one leader, often the most battle tested tamer in the town, with the strongest pokegirls around.  They are usually appointed by the league, upon the recommendation of other gym leaders in the region.  It’s a highly coveted position, and one of the more influential outside of the more traditional political offices.”  Gwen sniffed at the air, the odor of ozone still faintly present thanks to the lightning bolts Satin had been tossing around.  “Gym leaders often have subordinates who will battle tamers who come to train their pokegirls at the gym.  It is a controlled battle in a controlled environment.  There is rarely any risk of permanent damage, much less death in a gym sanctioned battle.  Unlike against ferals, you can try new techniques and strategies without the specter of injury or fatal encounters hanging over your head.  I suggest that we go to Oslo’s most prominent gym this evening, after Pallas and Satin are healed and we have lunch.  It will be good experience for all of you.”

 

                Chris looked thoughtful.  “You know that I don’t have any experience commanding troops in battle, which is what this is, no matter how you spin it.  I’m not a solider. I’m barely a leader.”

 

                “We all have to eventually rise above what we once were, Christopher.  All of us.”  Gwen looked at Caramel.  “She can help you direct Pallas and Satin.  You haven’t trained for this, but Caramel has.”

 

                Caramel nodded slowly.  “I’ve been trying to teach him, but nothing beats actual experience. An actual battle, though without dangerous stakes, is a good place to start.”

 

                Chris paused.  “Yeah.  Yeah, I guess.  Nothing’s more dangerous than me telling you to do something and it getting you killed.”

 

                Pallas shifted uncomfortably.  “Or worse, it gets us taken away from you.”

 

                Chris looked at her sharply, then to Caramel.  “Can that happen?”

 

                Caramel shook her head quickly, and then reached out and took Pallas’s hand, giving it a squeeze.  “Salvage battles are voluntary here.  And even then, you don’t have to put up pokegirls as collateral.  Most salvage battles in the Ocean League have a monetary reward.  If pokegirls are the prize, they’re usually ferals that haven’t yet been awoken.”  She looked at Chris.  “And no pokegirl who has been with a tamer more than two years is eligible anyway, because by that point she’s already in the process of her Type-two citizenship application.”

 

                “Uh… huh.  So all that basically means is that nobody is going to try and take us away from each other, right?”

 

                Caramel nodded emphatically.  “Yes.”  Her lips curled up into a smile, and Chris couldn’t help but find himself smiling back.  “Like you said, you’re stuck with us.”  She winked and then took Satin’s hand, pulling her towards the entrance to the training area.  Chris looked at Pallas, and then shrugged, taking her hand and following after them. 

 

                Gwen merely shook her head, watching them go.  She didn’t know how she had ended up in the situation she was in.  She was starting to fall in love with a young man she had helped kidnap from the only home he knew.  And because of that, she had started off on the wrong foot with the young woman he seemed to consider his closest confidant and Alpha.  Caramel was naturally suspicious, and Gwen mused that she had to be, given her father’s wealth and line of work.  The Lindor’s were one of the Ocean League’s most prominent families, and Caramel had undoubtedly grown a healthy sense of skepticism when it came to people trying to worm their way into her good graces.  Being Satin’s teacher helped her standing, at least she believed so.  The Spellbun was soaking up every bit of information that Gwen gave her.  The girl’s appetite for knowledge was ravenous, and frankly it reminded Gwen of herself when she was Satin’s age.  Though those memories were slightly hazy, thanks to that time being long before she was spliced with her Dominatrix half.  And Pallas was shaping up to be exactly what Gwen had hoped she might be.  Cool, calm, and collected in battle or outside of it.  She was the consummate bodyguard, though she still had a lot to learn. 

 

                “Gwen!  Are you coming or not?”

 

                Gwen snapped out of her reverie to see Caramel and Chris standing at the entrance to the training ground a couple of dozen yards away, staring back at her.  Shaking herself free of her distractions, she came to a decision and took a step forward, winking out of existence.  Her teleport brought her out directly in front of Caramel and Chris, and she nodded.  “Sorry, I was just thinking.”  She looked towards the entrance, where Pallas and Satin had already rounded the corner.  The Spellbun and Amazon were conversing quietly with each other, Satin’s hands gesturing wildly. “Might I speak to you, Caramel?  In private?”

 

                Chris looked at Gwen, then at Caramel.  “I’m going to go catch up with Pallas and Satin.”  He took Caramel’s hand and squeezed it.  “No fighting.  Please?”

 

                Caramel nodded, but kept her attention on Gwen.  Only when she was sure that Chris was out of earshot did she turn and begin slowly walking, Gwen following her as they passed through the exit gate.  “What is this about?”

 

                “What I’m about to tell you…  What I’m about to ask you… it might make you hate me.  Or it might not.  I’m not completely sure, though I am sure you’re not going to be happy.” 

 

                Caramel looked up at Gwen as they walked, then glanced at Chris, Satin, and Pallas as they exited the small building that served at the training field’s lobby and entryway.  “Then talk fast, and get to the point.  That’s the best way to deal with things like that.”

 

                Gwen nodded, and then cleared her throat.  “I think I am falling in love with Christopher.”  Caramel stopped walking, and Gwen ended up taking a couple more paces before turning to look at her.

 

                Caramel’s eyes were closed, and Gwen waited for the explosion she was almost certain would come.  “How long?”

 

                “Since I disappeared the night I took the four of you to the nightclub.  I realized it that night.  But I’ve spent more time with him than any of us, and it took me that long to…”

 

                “You’re not one of ‘us’.  You don’t get to use that term.  And you spent time with him because… you know.”  Caramel looked back over her shoulder, making sure no one was around to overhear them.  “Because you kidnapped him.”  Caramel’s head snapped back around.  “Why are you telling me this?”

 

                “Because you are his Alpha, though he seems to prefer to eschew any normal sense of harem hierarchy.  Pallas and Satin take orders from you.  And he values you and your knowledge.  He trusts you.  More than he has ever trusted me.”

 

                “So you think that I’ll put in a good word for you, is that it?”

 

                “No.  I don’t expect you to do that.  I know that you have feared that I would take him away from you.  But that cannot be further from the truth.  He belongs with you.  And you with him.  He adores Satin.  He trusts you.  And he admires Pallas.  The three of you have connected to him in ways that I have never been able to connect to a tamer.  To any man, or woman.  I’m not asking for you to help me win his affections, such as they are.  I’m asking for your permission to try.”

 

                Caramel let out a long breath she had been unconsciously holding.  “You want my permission.  That doesn’t seem to be like you.  Like you or your sisters.”

 

                “Yssabella was out of line.  Completely.”  Gwen swallowed hard.  “I want you to know that she has tried twice since that first night to take him away from you.  From me.  I have rebuffed her each time.”

 

                “Why?”

 

                “She is wont to let go of a prize once she thinks it belongs to her.  It will take her many months, if not a few years, to totally let go of any claim she thinks she has over him.  He is not useful to her in the slightest, but she feels she had been cheated out of something that was, in reality, never hers to begin with.”

 

                “No.  Why did you stop her?  Was it because… he’s your prize?”

 

                Gwen shook her head slowly.  “No.  I don’t think like Yssabella.  People are not tools.  Prizes to be won, ammunition to be expended in a fight.  I have blocked her attempts to take him because he has a connection to the three of you.  And to you and Satin in particular.”

 

                “What do you mean?”

 

                Gwen swallowed again.  “Understand that what I am about to say to you is in the strictest confidence.  You cannot tell him.  You cannot tell Satin.  You cannot tell Pallas.  You cannot tell anyone.”

 

                Caramel nodded.

 

                “When Yssabella invaded your hotel room, he rebuffed her when she claimed you and Satin were worthless.”  Caramel scowled.  “He did so genuinely, and he meant every word that he said.  He claimed the two of you in such a way that is, frankly, magically significant.  He spoke in a triad, a form of spellcasting that is ancient, and predates even pokegirls in this world.  Though there was no discernable magical effect, and Christopher is not a mage.  But in that moment, he reaffirmed my belief… Trista’s belief in a prophecy that Yssabella’s own daughter uttered.  That one-day Trista would teach him to use magic, among other things.  That I would… be at his bedside.”  She left off the part about her mourning him.  She didn’t want to scare Caramel, and Cacey had indicated that in that particular vision, he wasn’t dying. 

 

                “So… is this to fulfill some prophecy, or do you actually want to be with him?  To be his pokegirl? To have him as your tamer?”

 

                Gwen ducked her head as if she were trying to appear smaller, contrite, or less threatening.  “I have already had a tamer in the Ocean League before.  I have Type-Two citizenship.  I don’t need to be with him to assure my independence in the eyes of the law.  I want to be with him because I want to be with him.  If you understand that sentiment.”

 

                Caramel’s eyes narrowed, and she snapped back.  “Of course I understand it.  Do you honestly think that I’m with him because I’m just biding my time till I’m my own woman again?”  Gwen shook her head rapidly, seeming almost… chastised.  Caramel jabbed her finger to Gwen’s chest.  “I’m with him because…”  She paused, licking her lips nervously.  “Because I’m stuck with him, thanks to my father’s influence.  But also because I’m… I’m falling for him too.  He doesn’t treat me like a pokegirl, even though I am.  He treats me like I’m still human.  He treats me like he expects me to treat him.  He cares, damnit.  That’s why I love him.”  Caramel stopped, lips parted as she realized what she had just said.  A few weeks was enough after all, it seemed.  “I love him.”  She stepped sideways, to look past Gwen’s shoulder at Chris.  He, Pallas, and Satin were standing outside, just through the glass doors to the training field lobby.  He was smiling and laughing as Satin stood between him and Pallas, bouncing on the balls of her feet and looking back and forth between the two, grinning from ear to ear. 

 

                “He makes me happy.  He makes me feel safe.  He makes me laugh.”  Caramel smiled softly.  “Granted, he’s inexperienced when it comes to life here.  He’s said some things that don’t make any sense.”

 

                “And some things that challenge everything you’ve been taught to believe.”  Gwen’s voice was soft, barely a whisper.

 

                Caramel looked at Gwen and nodded slowly. “I love him.  And I would do anything to protect him.  From anyone.  Even you.”

 

                Gwen’s heart sank.

 

                “If you hurt him…” 

 

                Gwen’s heart reversed its fall into the pit of her stomach, and instead leapt into her throat.  “I won’t.”

 

                “He might not feel the same way about you.  You did keep him imprisoned for a month.”

 

                “In a house with any entertainment we could provide him, any food he could think of, and as much reading material as he could want.  But yes, I helped keep him imprisoned.”

 

                “He’s still not over that, not really.  I’ll warn you now.  He knows that you didn’t hurt him, but it didn’t stop him from thinking that you were one step away from it at any time.  He didn’t know your motives, and he was scared.  He won’t admit it, but he was scared.  I could hear it when he described it to me.”

 

                “I… I’ll apologize.  Again.  Profusely.”

 

                Caramel looked thoughtful.  “When he’s in the shower, you’ll need to tell Satin and Pallas.  They deserve to know before you even approach him with this.”

 

                “I… thank you, Caramel.”

 

                “Don’t thank me.  You don’t know how he’s going to react.  I don’t either.  I’m doing this…  I’m allowing this because I think it will make him safer.  Make us all safer, in the long run.  I am his Alpha, even if he doesn’t like to define us in that way.  You will make our family safer.  Stronger.”  She looked at Gwen squarely.  “And you will answer to me when it comes to the important decisions of this family.  If you can’t accept that, then you forget this conversation even happened.”

 

                Gwen inhaled deeply, and then nodded.  “I understand.  In all things that involve this family, you make the final call.  I only ask that you listen to experience and advice when it is offered to you.”

 

                Caramel nodded.  “I’m not an idiot, Gwen.  I’ll listen to your advice eagerly and with an open mind.  I don’t doubt that you’re older than all of us combined, and you have plenty of advice to give.”  Caramel’s lips twisted in a frown.  “How old are you, exactly?”

 

                Gwen blinked.  “I’m… The Archmage part of my soul was 83 years old when I was spliced.  The Dominatrix part of me was 28.  That was 134 years ago.”

 

                “So…”

 

                “I consider myself a 245-year-old in a thirty-nine-year-old body.”

               

                “Damn.”  Caramel frowned.  “Wait.  Why a thirty-nine-year-old body?”

 

                “I am close to entering my second puberty, though it is unlikely that I will be fertile, given my nature as a spliced pokegirl.  But I’m visibly older than you, and even him.  So I introduce myself as being thirty-nine years old because it is a convenient explanation.  As to why thirty-nine in particular?  Would you like to introduce yourself to someone as being forty years old?”  Gwen fixed Caramel with an even look as the Seamstress opened her mouth to respond, and then stopped herself.  Instead, Caramel simply nodded solemnly.  Gwen arched an eyebrow imperiously.  “That doesn’t leave the family.  Not even my sisters know how old I really am.”

 

                Caramel nodded.  “That brings up something else.”

 

                “Hey!  Are you two done yet?”  Gwen twisted to look over her shoulder to see Chris standing just inside of the doorway, Satin’s head peeking over his shoulder.

 

                Caramel stepped around Gwen, shaking her head.  “Not yet.  Go on and head back to the hotel.  We’ll catch up.”  She blinked.  “Pallas and Satin get first dibs on the shower.  You and I didn’t work as hard.  It’s only fair.”

 

                Chris rolled his eyes and then turned, wrapped Satin up in a bear hug, and carried her back out of the door despite the young Spellbun’s half-hearted protests at her treatment. 

 

                As the door shut, Caramel turned around as Gwen continued speaking.  “The Coven’s activities I will not reveal to you unless they involve the family, however indirectly.”

 

                Caramel gave Gwen a long look.  “And you tell them nothing of us.”

 

                “Trista at least will expect to be kept appraised of Christopher’s progress.  She knows about the prophecies Cacey gave about him.”

 

                “Is this Cacey going to be a problem?  You said she was…”

 

                “Yssabella’s daughter.  Yes.  But she won’t be a problem.  She is much more discrete, much more… mature than her mother.  She is a Tick-Tock, you see.  She sees things differently from the rest of us.  In personality she is truthfully closer to how her father was.  Which is to say, practical in the extreme.  She doesn’t scheme, and she doesn’t hold grudges.”  Gwen blinked.  “Yssabella knows nothing of these prophecies.  And if I have my way, she never will.”

 

                “Because you’ve claimed Chris.  Is that why she’s trying so hard to get him?”

 

                Gwen turned to face the door, and Caramel stepped up next to her as they moved towards the exit.  “I promised not to reveal secrets if they do not pertain to the family.  But I will say that Yssabella sees herself as the de-facto leader of our coven.  She has a large ego, and sometimes the influence she wields goes to her head.  She apparently harbors some resentment or grudge against me, because I was granted authority over Christopher’s integration into our society.  As you already know, she attempted to hijack him.”

 

                “So she’s jealous.”

 

                “That is one of her overarching personality traits, yes.”

 

                “Then you keep protecting him.  And you tell us, from now on, if she tries again.”

 

                “I intend to.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                When Chris stepped out of the shower, he found Caramel, Satin, and Pallas all sitting on the edge of the bed, and Gwen sitting down across from them in a chair.  He had only a towel wrapped around his waist, and he froze with the door to the bathroom half open.  “Uh.  Gwen?  What are you doing here?”

 

                Pallas looked over at Chris, and then stood up and grabbed a pair of his underwear and his jeans, handing them to him and pushing him back into the bathroom.  “Change first, then we’ll talk.”  Chris tried to get more out of her, but her dark green eyes brooked no argument.

 

                Less than a minute later, he emerged again, this time dressed from the waist down with the towel draped over his shoulders.  “What’s going on?”  Chris ran his hand through his wet hair, frowning.  It still needed to be cut. 

 

                “Come here.”  Caramel waved him over, and patted the empty space on the bed between herself and Satin.  Chris sat, directly across from Gwen.  “Gwen’s got something to say.  She came to me first, and, after some thought, I’m okay with what she’s going to ask.  But she had to get permission from Satin and Pallas first, as well.  But the three of us have agreed to let her ask this question, but when it comes down to it, it’s your…”  Caramel looked thoughtful as she sought out the right word in her head.  “ Your… consent that Gwen is going to need.”

 

                Chris looked at Caramel evenly.  The beautiful brunette jerked her head towards Gwen, and then stood up and moved towards the bathroom.  She was the only one who hadn’t showered yet.  She had denied Gwen’s offer to magically lift any dirt or sweat from her body and clothes, insisting that she preferred the feeling of actual soap and water.  What she hadn’t said was that even though she had given Gwen her blessing, she still had mixed feelings about letting her join the family.  Even if it wasn’t a forgone conclusion that Chris would return Gwen’s feelings, Caramel couldn’t help but worry that the two of them sleeping together was the first step to irrelevance for the Seamstress.

 

                Gwen nodded to Caramel as she gave the Splice an even look, and then closed the bathroom door behind her.  She turned her head back to find Chris staring at her questioningly.  Satin had crawled into his lap, her arms wrapped tightly around him.  She didn’t know what to make of that, if she was trying to influence Christopher’s response to what Gwen was about to ask.  Or what response Satin might be trying to influence him towards, if at all.  “First, I feel I need to apologize, again.  For bringing you to this world against your will.”

 

                “Gwen, we’ve been over this.  I understand your reasoning.  I might not agree with the actual action, but the overall intentions were good.  You’ve already said that if I had been the kind of person you were hoping to haul in, I would probably be able to return to my home dimension without too much trouble.  Unfortunately for me, I don’t have a lick of magic in me.”  He frowned.  “You really do need to go back over that spell with a magnifying glass, and figure out what you screwed up.”

 

                “I have been, from the moment we realized exactly who you were, and what you were not.  I was the one who designed most of the spell, so yes, I am the one most qualified to find the error.  Trista is also going over the sequence of spells and incantations to see if there was anything I missed.”

 

                “Right.  Right.  So long as Yssabella isn’t involved.”

 

                Gwen grimaced.  “That is another part of what I have to tell you.  I have already told Caramel, before we left the training field, and I just told Satin and Pallas.  But Yssabella has already tried twice to abduct you again.”

 

                Chris’s eyes went wide, and he nearly rose from the bed, but Satin’s grip on him strengthened, preventing him from moving.  “What do you mean, she’s…?”

 

                “I have blocked her both times.  She…” Gwen paused, gathering her thoughts briefly.  “She is stubborn.  Egotistical.  She is used to getting her way, and to not having anyone tell her she can’t.  She is also brilliant and cunning.  I am proud to call her a friend.  Though she has, over the past month, strained that relationship to the point of breaking.  She sees you as a prize that she should rightly have, even if she played only a minor role in bringing you to this world.  Truthfully, I do not believe she has any planned use for you.  To her, you are simply a trophy in her cabinet or a tool that she has not yet realized the potential of.”

 

                Chris’s lips were taut.  “And you stopped her, twice.  Without telling us.”  Gwen nodded.  “And do you see me that way?  Does Trista?  I seem to remember Yssabella being quite pissed at her when she was thrown out.”

 

                Gwen shook her head curtly.  “No, Trista views you as nothing more than a peculiarity, perhaps as a potential ally sometime in the future.”

 

                “And you?”  Satin squeezed Chris’s torso tight enough to make him grunt. 

 

                “I…”  It was her moment of truth.  She hadn’t been lying to Taylor when she had told him that there was someone new in her life, someone she saw herself someday settling down with.  Now she only had to convince that someone that she was worth it, despite what she had done to him in the past.  “I see you as you are.  A good man.  A strong, intelligent, opinionated, but fair and generous man.  While you spent that month in… yes, in captivity.  I’ll call it what it was.  While you spent a month as our captive, learning about the world in which you now live, I was learning about you.  And I have realized that I liked what I saw.  I like what I see.”

 

                As she had spoke, Chris’s eyebrows had steadily grown higher, his eyes wider.  He quickly divined her intent.  “Seriously?”

 

                Gwen had the good conscious to blush, warm pink color spreading across her pale cheeks.  “I like you, Christopher Wallace.  Enough that right now, I don’t want to envision a life without you.”

 

                “Woah.  Woah woah woah.  Hold on.  Just hold on a minute.”  He again tried to stand up, but Satin held him fast.  He looked at her, a flash of annoyance crossing his face, but she simply smiled sweetly up at him.  “Not envisioning a life without someone is… it’s fucking serious, it what it is.  It means that…”  Chris’s eyes narrowed, lips parting and his eyebrows furrowing in confusion.  “You’re… in love with me?”

 

                “I feel it might be too soon to say that, but yes.  I think I am.  I’ve been inside your head, remember?  I know how you think.  I know your values, your ideals.”  She paused.  “You are attractive to me.  Both physical, mentally, and emotionally.  I’ve spent a long time looking for someone like you.  The irony of it is that I had sworn to myself I would not invade a person’s mind in order to determine if they were a potential partner.  And though it was not my intention to ever even imagine myself with you, that is what I have done.  And so I apologize for that as well.”

 

                “You’re not a psychic type, though.”  Pallas looked thoughtful as she questioned Gwen.

 

                “No.  But there are spells, complicated, highly intricate spells that allow me to replicate some aspects of a psychic pokegirls abilities.  Telepathy and mind reading are two of those abilities.  To be honest, any other ability a psychic pokegirl might have, I can replicate through more mundane magical means.  Teleportation, telekiniesis…”

 

                “Wait.  Back up! Let’s focus on the fact that you just admitted to loving me.”  Chris had finally managed to shove Satin off of his lap, and she fell to the floor with a squeal and a dirty look at her tamer.  His gaze snapped down to her, and he bent low to scoop her up and deposit her back on the bed with a quickly whispered apology.  Then he rounded on Gwen.

 

                “I… I don’t know what to say, Gwen.  I…”  He rubbed his forehead with one hand.  “You frustrate me, to almost no end.  You’re secretive, demanding, and frankly, I’m not entirely certain what to make of you.  When did this start?”

 

                “The night I took you to the nightclub.  I… I had been approaching the point at which I was about to go feral.  I had been putting taming off.  Putting it off to focus on my work, which mostly involved you.  It was only that night, when I abandoned all of you on the way to the pokecenter that I realized part of why I had been putting off seeking taming was because I had subconsciously come to the conclusion that I wanted to tame with you.”

 

                “So you spent a month with me, interrogating me, reading my mind, turning my entire life upside down.  And then you realized you wanted to fuck me after you knew everything there was to know about me.”

 

                Gwen shook her head.  “There are things I still don’t know about you.  Places I did not go in your mind.  I violated your trust enough as is.  I know none of your secrets, the ones you would not tell anyone unless you trusted them completely.  Those were sealed away tightly inside the mental construct of your personality, and I did not even attempt to access them, though my sisters insisted I do so.  I am a Dominatrix as well as an Archmage.  What I was doing was already against my own personal codes of conduct, and I apologize again for doing what I did.”

 

                “I… thank you.  That actually means something, that you’re a decent enough person to apologize.  It still doesn’t explain… all of this.”  Chris sat back down on the bed, burying his head in his hands.  “I don’t know how to react, Gwen.”

 

                “Maybe you could start by telling me if there is any chance that you might return my interest in you?”

 

                Chris looked up, brown eyes peeking out from behind his fingers.  He inhaled deeply, and then pulled his face out of his hands, shaking his head.  “When I first met you, I knew you were attractive.  I only really thought about what sex between you and I would be like during the second week of you keeping me prisoner.  Later that day, you explained what Menace pokegirls were, and I spent the next three days lying awake at night trying to keep from having nightmares.  So you kinda ruined that impression of yourself for me, in a roundabout way.”  He laughed and shook his head.  Gwen inhaled slowly, her face unreadable.  Chris looked at her for a long moment.  “Look, Gwen.  I don’t know what my feelings for you are.  The past two weeks alone have been…”  He shook his head.  “I guess it’s because of your own… realization of what you felt, but you’ve been standoffish.  Sullen, almost.  Combative, impatient, and frankly agonizing to deal with.”

 

                “I was trying to find the right time to tell all of you about my feelings.”

 

                Chris nodded, and then looked at Satin and Pallas.  “And what do the two of you say?  What did Caramel say?”

 

                Satin shifted into his lap again, crawling up and wrapping herself around him.  “I said yes.  I like Gwen.  I didn’t at first, but she’s been...”  The adorable little Spellbun scrunched her nose up as she searched for the right word.  “Motherly.”  Gwen raised an eyebrow, and Satin looked over at her.  “I don’t know who my mother is.  And Caramel’s mom died before our father brought me home to Caramel.  She had aunts, pokegirls that belong to her parents who cared for us.  But none of them ever really paid much attention to me.  They were too busy trying to get Caramel to like them.  They were trying to win her attention so that they looked better in front of Dad.”  Her nose twitched, and she rubbed the side of it vigorously before continuing.  “They didn’t know that Dad was watching, and knew they were ignoring me in favor of Caramel.  He didn’t like that.  We’re both his daughters, even if I’m not really related to them.”  She looked back to Chris.  “Gwen’s treated me like I matter.  Like she cares.  And so I like her, and I want her to stay.”

 

                Chris looked at Satin for a long moment, and then hugged her tightly as he looked at Pallas.  “And what about you?”

 

                “I think you know what my response is going to be.”  The muscular redhead looked at him evenly, but even then he still saw a gleam of playfulness in her eyes.  That was the game the two of them had begun playing, trying to read each other’s minds, to guess what the other was thinking.  It had developed over the past two weeks to where they were now trying to read each other with only a look. 

 

                “I think you’re going to say that it’s to our advantage if someone as powerful as Gwen joins the family.  That she’s an asset.  That the logical choice is to let her in.”

 

                “That, and I think she has an impeccable sense of fashion, even if Caramel won’t admit it.”  She smiled as Chris looked at her, confused.  He hadn’t been expecting that.  “Look, letting Gwen join the family is the logical choice, yes.  She is strong, she is smart, and she has resources that could help us defend you better.  But despite trying to mask it, I’ve noticed that she is kind, and she is caring.  She cares about you, and she cares about us.”  Pallas looked at Gwen.  “Though we barely know anything about each other, I trust Gwen.  She reminds me of one of my older sisters.”  Pallas sat up straight, stretching.  “And I have heard of the way this Yssabella barged in on your first night with Caramel and Satin.  If Gwen has defended you from her without any of us knowing, then I believe she would do so even more effectively and more forcefully if she were bonded to you.  And you know how I feel about defending you.  You are my first tamer, but just like Satin and Caramel, I feel as if I have won the grand prize at a Sadie Poken’s festival.  A tamer who cares for me, a tamer who respects me, and a tamer who can’t keep his eyes off of me.”

 

                Chris couldn’t help but blush, ducking his head to bury his face in Satin’s long hair, kissing the crown of her head.  “You build me up too much in your head.”

 

                “No, I don’t think I do.  Otherwise, Gwen would not be interested in you.  She is as powerful a pokegirl as they come, and she has chosen you as her tamer, even though she does not need you.  That in and of itself should make you seriously consider her request.”

 

                “Her request to sleep with me.”

 

                Pallas smiled softly, sadly.  “It is the nature of the beast.” 

 

                “Yeah, well, I guess we’re all animals, aren’t we?”  Chris looked up at Gwen.  “What does Caramel say?”

 

                The door to the bathroom opened.  “Caramel says you should give her a chance.  I have.  And you know that that is saying something, given how I started out thinking of her.”  Everyone looked up to see Caramel standing there, nude except for a towel draped over her shoulders as she rubbed the side of her head with it. 

 

                Chris looked at her for a long moment, and she nodded and jerked her head towards Gwen.  He turned to look at her, and then sighed.  “It’s going to be strange.  Honestly, I don’t want to have sex with you right now.  It’s… well it’s complicated.  I see you more as a strict Sunday school teacher right now than a potential lover.  And to be clear, that’s not my fetish.  I don’t go for the pious types.  Even the Catholic schoolgirl thing is off-putting to me.”

 

                Only Gwen seemed to understand the reference he was making.  “I get that.  I… I sought taming at a Celestial enclave two nights ago.  So I’m not at risk of going feral right now.  I still have about two weeks before I’ll need to be tamed again.  I… would like to be able to convince you that being with me is worth it by that time.”

 

                Chris snorted.  “I don’t doubt that being with you would be fun.  That having you as an addition to our family is worth it.  I just have to get over the prejudices I’ve built up around you.  I didn’t develop Stockholm syndrome, you know.” 

 

                “So, it’s settled?  You’ll give Gwen a chance?”  Caramel had since wrapped her towel around herself as she sorted through the hotel dresser. 

 

                “Yeah, yeah, of course.  I can’t promise it’s going to be great.  Or like your dreams.  Or your fantasies.”  Chris shrugged.  “But then again, it never is.”

 

                Gwen shook her head.  “I’ve lived out my dreams and fantasies, as you put them.  Right now, I want stability and respect.  I’ve come to think that I can find that with you more readily and more truthfully than with any other tamer I’ve had before or might again.”

 

                Chris bit the inside of his lip.  “I’m still afraid that you’re all building me up to be something that I’m not.  I’m just a normal guy.  I don’t have great aspirations, or great talents.  I’m just myself.  Plain, simple.  Often confused and sometimes impulsive.  But I want to do my best.  For all of you, if not just for myself.  So…”  He reached up to rub the back of his head.  “I’ll do my best, for each of you, individually and as a group.  I will give you what you need, and try to give you what you want.”

 

                Caramel looked up and nodded.  “Good.  Because right now, it’s my time alone with you, and I do want to be alone.”  She withdrew two pokeballs from the dresser and held them up, triggering them.  Pallas disappeared without protest into her pokeball, but Satin squealed with indignation at the sudden dismissal before she disappeared from Chris’s lap.  Caramel looked at Gwen.  “If you don’t mind, Gwen, I’d like to have some time with… our tamer.  Before the available window for me to have these types of moments shrinks.”

 

                Gwen looked slightly startled, but nodded.  She quickly rose, and then instead of exiting through the door like she normally did, simply disappeared in the space between eye-blinks.  Chris looked at where she had been standing just a split second before.  “I still don’t think I’ll ever be unimpressed with people who have the ability to teleport.”

 

                Before he could get his head back around to look at her, Caramel had dropped herself into his lap, the towel gone and her nude form straddling his thighs.  “You’re not mad at me for letting her do this?”

 

                “No.  I’m just more impressed she came to you first instead of trying to pull me aside and ask me without any of you knowing.”

 

                Caramel smiled softly.  “It’s how I knew she was serious.  She hasn’t consulted me on or allowed me to make any of the major decisions.  But she came to me and asked permission to be your pokegirl.  To sleep with you, to seek your affection in return for her own.”

 

                “That’s serious stuff.”  Chris’s hands stroked Caramel’s thighs, feeling the warmth of the shower still suffusing her skin.  “And you’re sure you’re okay with this?”

 

                “I reminded her that I was in charge.  She may be stronger.  She may be bigger.  She may be older.  But I’m yours, and you’re mine.”  Caramel’s hands dropped to Chris’s waist and she deftly flicked open the button on his jeans.  “Even if she has more experience, I will make the final calls.  I’ll take her advice where I think it’s needed.  And I’m smart enough to know that I will need it, probably often until we’re all much older and more confident in ourselves and what we can do as a family.  But she agreed that I was the Alpha.  And all final decisions for this family run through me.”

 

                Chris’s hands froze on Caramel’s hips, squeezing tightly.  “And don’t I get a say in this?  Or Pallas, or Satin?”

 

                Caramel bit her lower lip as she slipped a hand into his pants and found him already hard.  “I know you don’t like the Harem structure that we’re used to.  But if someone isn’t in charge, then we’ll pull ourselves apart.”

 

                Chris grunted as Caramel’s thumb stroked his tip.  “Too many generals, not enough soldiers.”

 

                Caramel leaned in, her warm breath ghosting across his cheek.  “Exactly.  You’re in charge, even if you don’t like it.  But until you can really direct us with the confidence I know you’ll be capable of one day, I’d like your permission to lead.”

 

                Chris’s hands slid up her sides, thumbs pressed to the sides of her breasts as he twisted his hips and lifted with his arms, throwing Caramel onto the center of the massive bed.  He stood up and pushed his pants and underwear down, eyeing her the whole time.  Caramel brought one hand to her mouth, nipping at her thumb coquettishly, her opposite hand dipping between her thighs to tease herself.  Chris watched her for a long moment, relishing the sight of her and wondering how he ended up with a woman like her. 

 

                “So?”  Caramel tossed her hair back and licked her lips as she watched her boyfriend.  He was rock hard, twitching, and she could see a bead of pre-cum slowly forming at his tip. 

 

                Chris stalked onto the bed, crawling atop her, placing one hand on either side of her shoulders as she fell back against the mattress rubbing her thighs together.  “So, I trust you, Caramel.  I trust that you’ll always try to do the right thing.  That you’ll always try to keep all of us safe.  And I trust that you’ll ask for help if you need it.  I trust that you’ll take our concerns and requests into account.  I trust that you’ll be fair.  I trust you.”  He fell atop her, her arms snaking out to wrap around his neck as they kissed deeply.  His weight pushed her down into the mattress, and she squirmed beneath him as she felt his cock drag across her stomach and upper thighs. 

 

                Caramel broke the kiss with a gasp, one hand dropping to grab his shaft and squeezing him tightly to make him freeze at the firm, insistent touch of her fingers.  “That wasn’t an answer to my question.  I appreciate the vote of confidence, but…”

 

                Chris snorted against her shoulder, then kissed her cheek.  “You have my permission.”

 

                The short haired brunette arched an eyebrow playfully as she nuzzled his cheek.  “Your permission to lead?  Or your permission to vent all of my stress and frustrations on you in a very, very physical manner?”

 

                Chris smiled against her skin, face hidden from her as he mentally patted himself on the back for lucking into a relationship with such an amazing woman.  “Both.  You have permission for both.”

 

 

                Caramel laughed, and squeezed him tighter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                “Satin!  Mana Bolt!”  Chris’s voice rang out in the mostly empty stadium, carrying across the sunken field of battle where Satin was facing off against what his pokedex told him was a ‘Maggimite’.  From the brief glance at the encyclopedia’s entry on the breed of pokegirl, he knew that she was a steel type, and that had a particular resistance to physical damage.  Good then, that Satin didn’t like to get up close and personal with anyone during a fight. 

 

                The Odin gym was designed in what he had been told was a ‘classical’ style, with elevated bleachers and spectator boxes surrounding a sunken, ovoid battlefield that was divided into two halves.  From his perspective, it looked almost like a soccer field without any goals.  The ‘pit’ of the battlefield was sunken almost ten feet into the floor of the arena, sunken down with an arching ribcage of forcefield emitters covering the top.  Sound and light still traveled easily through the forcefield, but Chris still felt unsettlingly disconnected from Satin from so far up. 

 

                Down on the field, Satin dashed forward with speed and grace that he wouldn’t have believed from anyone else while wearing the high heeled boots she had chosen as part of her combat outfit.  Her left hand crackled and then a spear of blueish-white light jumped from her palm as she unleashed her magic.  But her attempted attack missed as the other woman, a slender, metal-skinned girl with blue and red hair, jumped backwards with surprising speed, coming to a stop in front of the reinforced metal wall directly beneath her tamer. 

 

                Chris missed the command that their opponent called out, but all of a sudden Satin was backpedaling as two of the metal spheres that had been hovering around the Maggimite’s shoulders began slamming into her chest and sides, battering her sideways until the Spellbun could manage to put enough distance between herself and her opponent.  “Satin?”  She looked up at Chris’s concerned call, but waved him off with a half-smile.  She wanted to continue, it seemed.  Whether or not it was because she thought she could win, or she was trying to impress everyone remained to be seen. 

 

                Chris tried to remember all that Caramel had taught him about pokegirls writ-large over the past month, and focused in on the type advantages that she had drilled into him.  The other pokegirl seemed to be made of metal, so it stood to reason, in his mind, that heat might be the best option.  “Fireball, Satin!”

 

                On the field below, Satin grinned.  Her tamer was getting the hang of this.  The lithe little bunny’s nostrils flared as she glared down her opponent, dropping her hands near to her hips and cupping her fingers like she was holding a ball.  She saw the mist forming in front of her eyes, sucked down towards her hands and rapidly flashing from a non-descript white to a pulsing, twisting swirl of red and orange.  She lifted her hands in front of her, and launched both fireballs in an arcing path at the Maggiemite, grinning as she saw the flaming spheres race through the air trailing the brightly colored mist as they went.  

 

                Chris grimaced at the scream that Satin’s attack elicited, and he watched through narrowed eyes as the Maggiemite danced out of the pool of flame that had been created by Satin’s attack.  She beat at her legs and torso, extinguishing the flames that had licked across her body, before looking up at Satin with a menacing glare.  Chris and Satin’s eyes both widened as they watched the Maggiemite lift off of the ground, hovering slightly above it before she began racing towards Satin without ever having to touch the ground to propel herself.  “Satin!  Reflect!  Don’t let her hit you!”

 

                It had become apparent to him that the Maggiemite preferred, when she was able, to strike Satin directly.  Whether that was an inherent bias to her fighting style, or whether she or her tamer knew Satin would be weaker in a fistfight didn’t matter as long as she could close with the Spellbun.  Down below, Satin balled her hands into fists, held them out in front of her, and quickly began opening and closing them, flashing her palms in the air in the direction the Maggiemite was approaching from.  Blue-white mist swirled along her forearms like miniature vortices for a moment, and then the air in front of her flashed with the same blue-white as her mist, only this time in a spectrum that was visible to all present.  A large, hexagonal shield of light formed in front of Satin, and it moved as she did, swinging left or right to match her field of view as she prepared to meet the Maggiemite. 

 

                Satin didn’t have to wait long, as the Maggiemite closed with surprising swiftness, her heavy-gloved fists morphing into a set of wicked looking claws that sliced at Satin with a speed and savagery that Chris would have expected of a wild animal.  His breath caught in his throat as he watched the magical shield in front of Satin bend and warp slightly, the force of the Maggiemite’s impact with it shoving it back until it nearly kissed Satin’s nose. 

 

                Without waiting for Chris to react and give her next command, Satin launched another fireball directly at the Maggiemite.  The fireball passed through Satin’s magical shield and immediately made contact with her opponent on the other side, less than a foot away from Satin.  The ball of flame detonated with significant force, and Satin vaulted backwards as her Reflect shield buckled and failed, the blue-white construct looking for all the world like it had unraveled, strings of light flailing in the air as the center of the shield flared with light and then the entire thing winked out. 

 

                Satin skidded to a stop almost directly below Chris’s position on the top of the wall, and looked up at him with a grin.  He smiled back at her, and then in the blink of an eye, his expression changed to one of horror as a bolt of lightning arced from outside his field of view to strike Satin in the chest.  The young bunnygirl was slammed backwards into the wall behind her, her scream filling Chris’s ears and ripping at his heart as her limbs twitched uncontrollably for a brief second.  And then as quick as the attack had come, it had passed, and Satin slumped down into a crouch against the wall with a pitiful whine.  Chris started to lift the pokeball that would recall her and numb her pain until she could be healed, but before he could trigger the release, Satin was back up on her feet as a wave of green light washed over her body like a wave. 

 

                Chris was still reacting to the fact that Satin had just been struck by lightning when she pushed off of the wall and jumped high into the air, pirouetting like a gymnast in high heels to land behind the Maggiemite.  Flame flared in both of her palms again as she launched another pair of searing fireballs, striking her opponent squarely in her back and knocking her to the concrete floor of the arena.

 

                But before Satin had a chance to catch her breath and prepare another attack, all four of the small, spherical orbs that floated around the Maggiemite’s body lashed out, whipping around like metal baseballs thrown by a professional pitcher, striking Satin’s left side and throwing her to the ground.  Her opponent rose as Satin fell, her metallic skin blackened and peeling, fury in her features.  She pounced on Satin without hesitation, fingertips once more morphing into claws as she began to slash savagely at the prone Spellbun. 

 

                “No!”  Chris gripped the railing of the podium-esque outcropping he stood on, and only Caramel’s earlier insistence that he not jump down to try and protect Satin and Pallas kept him from doing so.  “Quickening!”  The attack he called out was unique to Satin’s breed, and if she could pull it off, would buy her some breathing room by freezing her opponent in her tracks. 

 

                Satin screamed as she felt the Maggiemite’s claws rake over her chest.  Pain like fire lanced through her body as the Steel-type’s razor-sharp claws dug into her flesh, her own human-standard durability nothing compared to the other woman’s strength.  But, caught between the ground and sharp claws, she reacted instinctively in exactly the way that Chris had hoped she would.  She inhaled deeply even though it hurt to do so, and she could taste blood in her mouth suddenly before she exhaled a cloud of vapor directly into the Maggiemite’s face.  The metal woman, furious in her assault, suddenly stopped all motion except for the rise and fall of her chest, her pupils, almost as white as the rest of her eyes, dilating. 

 

                And then she began seizing.  The Maggiemite’s body jerked violently as Satin weakly pushed her off, rolling over on the concrete floor of the arena and casting another healing spell on herself.  The brunette bunny staggered to her feet, a hand clutched to her side as she felt her magic stitching her ripped and shredded skin back together.  The outfit that Caramel had made for her would be ruined, she knew.  Torn, bloodstained, the bodice almost completely ripped out and the entire thing lightly singed from the lightning strike. 

 

                Satin looked down at the Maggiemite as the magical mist she had inhaled ran its course, her metallic body slowly winding down from its twitching fit.  The normally demure bunny growled as the Maggiemite tried to sit up, and then delivered a swift kick to her chest, putting magical force behind the strike.  The steel-electric type skidded across the battlefield before collapsing back into a heap, and Satin stomped her foot on the ground, the electric blue magic wreathing her high heeled boot snuffing out like a quenched flame. 

 

                Up above, Chris breathed a sigh of relief as the Gym Trainer they had been squaring off against recalled the Maggiemite, and the armored woman serving as referee on the field raised a blue flag in Chris’s direction, calling out a point in his favor.  He gulped heavily as Satin turned to him, a massive smile cracking her lips as she practically skipped and hopped towards him. 

 

                “Well?”  Satin was beaming proudly up at him from below, hands on her hips and her head tilted back to shout up at him. 

 

                “Are you okay?”  Chris couldn’t erase the worry etched on his face.  He wasn’t sure he would try to if he could. 

 

                “I need a new outfit, but yeah.  I think so!  How did I do?”  Satin looked down at herself and frowned before trying to tug the tatters of her blouse together.  The spandex-like material had long gashes in almost every direction, and she tried to cover herself as best she could, though it was a failing proposition.  One breast was fully exposed, and she grimaced as she wiped her own blood off of the pale, tender skin with her palm.

 

                “Amazing.  Come on back up.  I want you to get healed even if you say you’re okay.”  Chris produced Satin’s pokeball, and she was smiling at him as she disappeared into the beam of red light.  He shook his head and then turned to the stands to find Caramel already hurrying his way.  He released Pallas from her pokeball to stand next to him as the Seamstress approached.

 

                “How did Satin do?”

 

                “She won.  But it looked like it was close.  Literally, the Maggiemite she was fighting got too close.  Was ripping her up with claws before she could…”

 

                Pallas reached out and placed her hand on her lover’s shoulder.  She could hear the terror in his voice.  “This is the way it is, you knew that.  No real harm can come to her here, and if she’s anything like other pokegirls, which I assure you she is, she will look back on this fight with pride.  We were born to fight.  And when we succeed, it is a thrill to us unlike almost any other.  She is safe, and she was victorious.  That is what matters now.”

 

                “Here, let me take her.”  Caramel had reached them, and held out her hand eagerly to take her sister’s pokeball.  Chris turned it over, and Caramel stepped up into the Tamer’s booth beside him and Pallas, pulling him into a quick hug.  “She’s fine.  And you will be too.  You both did very well.  I’m going to go get her healed completely.”  She kissed him soundly before pulling back and cupping his cheeks.  “When this is over, you need to remind her of how proud you are of her, no matter how scared you were for her.  She needs that boost of self-confidence.  More than Pallas or I do.  If we’re going to hunt ferals, we need to be sure of ourselves.  Cautious, but not afraid.”  She kissed him again quickly before turning to Pallas and taking the Amazon’s hands.  “You, I’m not so worried about.”  She leaned in and kissed the redhead’s cheek with a soft smile.  “Go get ‘em.” 

 

                Pallas grinned at her Alpha as Caramel hurried away.  “You heard her.  Satin needs to hear how well she did.”  She turned to Chris.  “And I will too, when I win.  I wouldn’t say no to a little extra taming tonight, either.  Just you, me, and Satin.”

 

                Chris blinked rapidly, before sighing and taking her hand.  “You girls never stop thinking about sex, even when you’re about to fight, do you?”

 

                Pallas’s grin widened.  “We think about it even more right before we fight.  Fighting, fucking.  It’s what we’re good at.”

 

                “I’m sure there are plenty more things that you’re good at.  Perhaps even better at.”

 

                Pallas laughed as she gripped the railing and looked down at the arena below.  She was fully dressed in her armor; leather and bronze coated her entire body, a red sash tied about her waist atop her sword belt, shield slung across her back on a thick leather strap.  “Not fighting.”  She looked back at him before turning and hopping up so that she was sitting on the railing.  “I’ll always be better at fighting than anything else I do.”

 

                Before Chris could get another word in, Pallas had leaned backwards, tossing herself off of the edge of the railing and into the arena below.  He leaned over immediately to watch her fall, his stomach jumping into his throat as she flipped, making two full rotations like a high-diver in free-fall before landing firmly on her feet, knees bent to absorb the shock.  In a smooth motion, she retrieved her shield from beneath her red ponytail and drew her sword at the same time, twirling it excitedly as she marched towards the center of the arena. 

 

                In a flash of red light, her opponent met her at the white line painted across the concrete that marked the middle of the battleground.  Chris scanned her immediately, aiming the sensor bar at the top of his pokedex at the slender woman who looked almost like she would topple in a slight breeze.  Aside from her almost painfully thin frame, she looked completely normal to his eyes.  His pokedex said otherwise.  A Kunoichi, a ninja-like normal-dark type who, if the pokedex entry was to be believed, matched up roughly with Pallas’s own enhanced abilities.  An even fight then.  If not a fair one.  Before he had time to convey what the Pokedex said to Pallas, the Kunoichi hopped backwards three times before literally melting into the shadow cast onto the battlefield by the scoreboard hanging high over the arena’s forcefield emitters. 

 

                Pallas gripped her short sword tightly and raised her circular shield up until only her eyes were visible over the curved edge.  She began to advance slowly, cautious as scanned the battlefield in front of her.  Suddenly, Chris heard footsteps directly below him, and he gripped the railing to lean out over the arena to see where the sound was coming from. 

 

                “Pallas, behind you!”

 

                Pallas whipped around, ponytail bouncing across her upper back as she raised her shield just in time to prevent a black, pokeball sized sphere from striking her between the eyes.  The smoke bomb exploded upon contact with the bronze shield, thick, billowing grey smoke roiling outward from the point of contact to cover a large area of the battlefield, with Pallas at its center.

 

                Chris watched, momentarily stunned as the Kunoichi bounded forward out of the shadow on the wall below him, racing towards Pallas, who he could hear coughing at the center of the smoke cloud.  “Pallas, she’s coming directly at you!”  At the sound of his voice, he heard metal scraping on metal as he could only assume Pallas took up a defensive position, but at the exact same time, the Kunoichi veered to her left and entered the smoke cloud from the side.  “On your right!”

 

                His warning came too late, and he heard a mixture of grunts and cries for a brief moment before Pallas came hurtling out of the right side of the smoke cloud, thrown to the ground.  She didn’t waste time regaining her footing, using the momentum of being thrown from the cloud and transferring it into a roll.   She popped back up on her feet just in time to raise her shield as a flurry of throwing knives flew towards her face and chest, metal clattering against metal.  The Kunoichi was right behind, and Chris’s grip on the railing tightened as the force behind the ninja woman’s flying kick made Pallas rock backwards.  But the Amazonwu had gotten her shield up in time, and an upward thrust of her arm sent the Kunoichi into a backflip, giving Pallas an opening to slash outward with her sword. 

 

                Chris grimaced as blood flew in a spray across the concrete and Pallas charged, using the moment to turn the battle to her favor.  Her shield caught the Kunoichi in the chin as Pallas backhanded her with it and then brought her blade in for another slashing strike.  But the sword never connected, as another smoke bomb went off in Pallas’s face, leaving her coughing and sputtering, eyes watering and throat burning.  She had felt her blade connect, but she wasn’t sure if it had been a good strike or just a glancing blow. 

 

                “Pallas, get out of the smoke!”

 

                Pallas heard Chris’s warning and silently agreed with his assessment of the situation, taking a few steps backward so that her back was to the wall of the arena before beginning to quickly slide to her left, towards Chris’s side of the battlefield.  Her tactical retreat was halted when another knife came sailing out of the cloud in front of her, trailing tendrils of smoke.  Pallas didn’t see it coming, and the sharp blade glanced off of one of the leather feathers of her protective skirt and sliced open the inside of her thigh.  She felt blood instantly start to well and run down her leg, but she kept moving, shield clutched protectively in front of her as she sidled along the wall.  A few agonizingly slow seconds later, she was clear of the smoke cloud, and she coughed, choking for breath as she inhaled deeply of the cleaner, purer air.  She didn’t have much time to react, though, before the Kunoichi was on her again.  The slender black haired woman leapt from the cloud of smoke at a high angle, arching through the air and directly towards Pallas. 

 

                The Amazonwu spun and sliced upward, connecting with the Kunoichi’s stomach.  Pallas instantly knew something was off when her blade met no resistance whatsoever, and the clone of the ninja girl evaporated in a swirl of smoke as another set of throwing knives lashed out at Pallas directly behind the destroyed clone.  The redhead screamed as one of the knives embedded itself in the shoulder of her sword arm, her blade falling uselessly from fingers that suddenly had no strength to hold it.  The other knife glanced off of her breastplate, clattering to the ground. 

 

                “Pallas, pull back!”  Pallas responded to Chris’s call by getting up and dashing towards him, while trying to keep her head turned back to watch the slowly dissipating cloud of smoke.  Neither Amazonwu or Tamer saw that the Kunoichi was in front of her, waiting to emerge from the shadow she had used earlier.  When Pallas came within striking distance, the Kunoichi emerged from the shadow brandishing a blade wreathed in black and purple light, the Dark Blade technique easily slicing past Pallas’ guard and catching her side, scoring a deep hit and gouging her leather tunic and the flesh beneath.  Pallas reacted instinctively, slamming her shield into the Kunoichi’s face again and again, the bronze metal glowing with chi energy that the Amazonwu had infused it with. 

 

                Weak to the fighting based technique, the situation from the earlier fight was now reversed.  Pallas did more damage up close, whereas the Kunoichi was favored in ranged engagements.  Pallas used her sword arm, weak but not useless to hammer on the Kunoichi’s, knocking her hand away and noting with grim satisfaction that she couldn’t sustain the Dark Blade attack with Pallas bloodying her face with the chi-wrapped shield.  Pallas kept up the assault, driving the Kunoichi to the ground with surprising speed and strength despite the injury to her shoulder.  Whatever advantage the Kunoichi had hoped to gain with the surprise attack was lost when Pallas straddled the dark-type and slammed her again and again with the shield, using it like a blunt hammer to pound the slender woman’s face and chest.  Pallas roared in anger before rolling off of the Kunoichi and jumping to her feet.  Before she had a chance to continue her assault on her prone opponent, the Kunoichi dissolved in the capture beam of her pokeball.  Pallas had knocked the other woman out during her assault with the shield, and her Tamer had wisely recalled her rather than risk any further injury. 

 

                The armored referee at the side of the arena raised her flag again, declaring the point, and the match, to Chris and Pallas.  Pallas reached up and gripped the knife that was still embedded in her shoulder.  She should have pulled it out earlier, but was more worried about blood loss causing her to lose focus or black out than she was about the constant grinding of muscle and sinew against the sharp edges of the blade.  The redheaded warrior yanked the blade from her shoulder and let it fall to the ground, before making her way to where she had dropped her sword.  The moment that she had retrieved and sheathed it, Chris caught her in her pokeball’s capture beam.

 

                Chris turned around to find Caramel throwing herself at him, and he caught her in a hug as she squeezed him tightly.  “You did wonderful!”

 

                Chris buried his face in her neck and hair, inhaling her perfume in an attempt to calm himself in her arms.  “I’d just like to reiterate how much I don’t like this.”

 

                Caramel pulled back enough to face him, rising up on her tiptoes to coerce him into a kiss.  He gratefully took the opportunity, swallowing hard to push back the shakes caused by the adrenaline that had been dumped into his system.  He felt as if himself had been the one on the battlefield with how high-strung he felt.   Caramel finally broke the kiss.  “That’s why we practiced, baby.  Over and over and over again until we’re able to walk into any situation and feel comfortable in taking action.”

 

                Chris exhaled slowly, tasting her on his tongue as he closed his eyes and held her close.  “I’ll take your word on that.”  She squeezed him tighter.  “Where’s Satin?  Gwen?”

 

                He opened his eyes to find Caramel pressing Satin’s pokeball to his chest, and he gladly took it before handing Pallas’s to her in exchange.  The Seamstress took the Amazon’s pokeball and hurried off as Gwen and two men approached from around the corner of the arena’s raised observation area.  Chris stuck Satin’s pokeball into his pocket as Gwen and the two strangers reached him.  He stepped down out of the Tamer’s Box as the older of the two men stuck out his hand. 

 

                “That was a fine fight, young man.”

 

                Chris took the offered handshake.  “Thank you, Sir.  But Satin and Pallas did most of the work.”

 

                The grey-haired man guffawed good-naturedly.  “Of course they did.  That’s how it works.  We’re just there for moral support.”  He smiled and clapped a hand on the back of the younger man beside him.  “My name’s Storv Larrson.  I’m the Gym Leader here at the Odin.  And this is…”

 

                “My opponent.”  Chris stuck out his hand.  “We didn’t get the chance to meet beforehand.”

 

                The other young man stuck out his hand.  He had to be at least five or six years younger than Chris, in his early twenties.  “Jacob Larrson.  And yes, it’s a family business.”

 

                Chris’s eyebrows rose as he looked back and forth between the father and son pair.  “Well, I want to thank you, Jacob.  As Gwen might have told you, that was my first official pokegirl battle since I became a tamer.”

 

                The elder Larrson grunted.  “Ah, yes.  Your Gwen here was just explaining that you got a bit of a late start with your journey.”

 

                Chris looked at ‘his Gwen’.  “That’s right.  Bit of a… family dispute.  Took me longer than I would have liked to get on the road and out on my own.”  He looked between the two men.  “I’ll be honest, I don’t like seeing my girls get hurt.”

 

                Storv shook his head.  “Rare is the man that doesn’t feel that way, Mr. Wallace.  And I’ll tell you that that feeling never really fades.  Sure, you’ll reach a level someday where that fear isn’t as forefront in your mind, but it’s always there.”

 

                “That’s why it’s important to never stop training.  Your girls seemed to be able to work pretty efficiently without constant direction from you.  That’s something you’ll want to encourage when you’re out in the wild.”  The younger Larrson nodded encouragingly.  “Both your Spellbun and your Amazon are strong, but they looked a bit raw out there.  You need to work with them more in actual combat situations.  Perhaps come back around to the gym some more, and we can help you train them to perfect what skills they already have.”

 

                Storv laughed and clasped his son’s shoulder.  “Spoken like a true businessman, and a future Gym Leader.”  The older man turned his attention back to Chris.  “He’s right, though.  Your girls are good, but they could be better.  Come back around sometime, and we’ll put them through their paces.”

 

                Chris opened his mouth to respond, but Gwen cut him off.  “I’ll be sure to remind my Tamer of that offer when he starts to get too sure of himself, Sirs.  But if you’ll excuse us, I think we need to see to our family after that fight.  Satin will need new clothes, and both she and Pallas will need to be run through a cleaning cycle in addition to the healing services your gym offers.”

 

                Gym Leader Larrson nodded and patted his son on the shoulder.  “Of course!  If ever you want to challenge the gym again, or are in need of combat lessons or training, just check with the front desk.  We’d be glad to help any beginning tamer, yours included.”

 

                And with that, both men turned and left Chris and Gwen standing alone together.  “I notice that they automatically assumed that you belonged to me.”

 

                “I didn’t give them any reason not to assume that, did I?”  Gwen smoothed her blouse, glancing at him.  “I’m not officially registered as your pokegirl.  And I’m hesitant to say that I ever will be.  I have the freedoms afforded to me by the Ocean League as a free pokegirl.  There is nothing I would gain from a legal standpoint from becoming your… property, aside from being able to compete in league sanctioned battles for you.  Which I don’t foresee happening regardless.  And if I stay independent in the eyes of the league, that will allow you to have the full complement of pokegirls in your harem in addition to my presence.”

 

                “I don’t know what I would do with seven, make that eight, women vying for my attention.  It’s like the Bachelor, but with superheroines.”

 

                “I’m afraid I don’t understand that reference.”

 

                “A TV dating competition popular with women, mostly.  There’s also a version called the Bachelorette.”

 

                “I see.”

 

                Chris shook his head.  “I sure don’t.  Why anyone would air their love life all over national television is a mystery to me.”  He shrugged and produced Satin’s pokeball from his pocket.  “I suppose we should do Satin the favor of having a new, clean outfit before we release her.”

 

                “I think she’d appreciate that.”  Caramel said as she exited a side hallway leading away from the stands and handed him Pallas’s pokeball.  “Back to the hotel?”

 

                “Yeah, I think so.  There’s been enough excitement for one day in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                When they got back to the hotel room, Satin and Pallas both immediately jumped in the shower.  Together, Chris noted.  As he sat on the bed and replayed the events of their fights in his head, he took time to note that Pallas was quickly becoming just as comfortable with Caramel and Satin as the two sisters were with each other.  A good thing, according to Caramel.  Physical intimacy between members of a harem, or their particular family, for that matter, built stronger bonds and closer relationships.

 

                “Hey.  Are you listening?”

 

                Chris grunted as Caramel dropped into his lap, interrupting his thoughts and leaning in to kiss him on the cheek.  “Huh?  Uh… no.  Sorry.  What were you saying?”

 

                “I was saying that since I got my slice of you earlier this afternoon, I’m letting Satin and Caramel have you to themselves.”  She grinned at the look of mock horror he quickly adopted.  “I know, so selfless of me.  If there’s anything left when I get back, then I’ll see if you’re up to trying those flavor salves we bought?”  The busty brunette looked at him hopefully.  He had been hesitant to try the body-chemistry altering lotions, and they had been sitting in the bag they had been brought home from the store with since their shopping trip.

 

                “Uhm… Sure.  Yeah, why not.  I can’t keep putting it off forever.”

 

                “Is there any reason you’re opposed to using them?”

 

                “It just seems strange to imagine tasting… well, you, and instead tasting some fruit flavor.  You’re sure they’re safe?”

 

                “Absolutely.  They’re used by people all over the world every day, to no ill effect.  And if you’re really worried, just remember that Satin and I both have used them on each other in the past.”  She kissed him again and grinned.

 

                “Right.  Right.  Wait…  You said you were going somewhere?”

 

                “Just to the hotel lobby.  Gwen and I need to talk about some things before I let her into your bed.”

 

                Chris looked back at the queen-sized bed behind them.  “It’s our bed.  Well, temporarily.”  He looked back around at her.  “Though I’m loathe to ask her, see if Gwen would agree to trying to find us a better sleeping situation.  A bigger bed, or a different room with multiple beds?  If she’s going to join the family, just one isn’t going to cut it.”

 

                Caramel laughed.  “It was something I was going to bring up with her anyway.  Besides.”  She shrugged.  “We’re starting our feral hunting tomorrow.  We should have our own income after that, and we’ll look at a budget once we knew what kind of money we’re looking at.”

 

                Chris nodded and hugged her waist, burying his face in her neck and inhaling deeply.

 

                “Hey!  That tickles!”

 

                “Too bad.  I like the way you smell.”

 

                “You like my shampoo, you mean.”

 

                “No, I like you.  Your shampoo and your lotion and your perfume is just extra.”  He pressed a kiss to her neck, nipping at her skin gently, and Caramel had to stifle a moan and force herself to push him away as he chuckled. “All three of you smell good.  But you especially.”

 

                “Okay, okay, Mr. Growlie.  Keep your nose to yourself, or I’ll have to break my promise to let Pallas and Satin have you.”  Chris grinned and hugged her again, slipping his arms under her shoulders and knees and lifting her as he stood.  Caramel gasped as he spun them around several times, before setting her down and hugging her tight to his chest.  “You’re… you’re happy.  Happier than I think I’ve ever seen you.”

 

                “Why wouldn’t I be happy?”  Chris nuzzled her again as he answered her inquisitive tone.  “I’m holding, one of, improbably, three women I love in my arms.”  He took her head in his hands and brushed her hair back, planting a slow, soft kiss on her forehead.  “Someone I’m pretty sure at this point that I might just want spend the rest of my life with.”  Caramel’s fingers seized his shirt tightly and used the leverage to pull herself up to meet his lips, kissing him fiercely. 

 

                When she finally ran out of breath, she pulled back just enough to fill her lungs with air, her brown eyes opening and locking with his.  “You love me?”

 

                Chris smiled and dropped his hands to wrap around her shoulders.  “I do.  Do you?”

 

                Caramel grinned.  “Love myself?  Of course.”  She giggled as Chris looked confused and hurt for a moment, and then rolled his eyes when the joke registered.  “And I love you too.”  Caramel shook her head slowly.  “I really, really, really do.”

 

                Satin found them like that when she emerged from the bathroom, a fluffy white towel wrapped around her torso from the chest downwards.  “Mel?”

 

                Chris, arms still around Caramel, turned both of them so that the Seamstress could see her sister.  “Everything’s fine, Satin.”

 

                “You’re crying, Mel.”

 

                Caramel drew in a deep breath and pulled away from Chris, wiping her eyes with her knuckles as she approached the confused Spellbun.  “They’re good tears, Satin.”  She wrapped her adopted sister up in her arms, kissing her just as soundly as she had Chris. 

 

                Chris looked up as Pallas stepped out of the bathroom behind Satin, her eyebrows raising in surprise as she saw the other two women in a passionate liplock.  Chris stepped around the duo, moving to pull the towel wrapped redhead into his arms.  She fit perfectly against him as she stood back to front with him, the two of them watching Satin’s ears, standing perfectly erect, twitch and shiver as Caramel kissed her. 

 

                Eventually, after what seemed like twice as long as she had kissed Chris, Caramel pulled back from Satin, reaching up to smooth the Spellbun’s damp hair and gently run her fingers along the backs of her softly furred ears.  Satin swallowed hard, balanced on the balls of her feet as Caramel whispered quietly to her, low enough that even standing as close as they were, Chris and Pallas couldn’t hear the exchange between the two sisters-turned-lovers. 

 

                Pallas shifted in his arms, and Chris spun her around and began kissing her playfully, smiling all the while until she herself began giggling without a real reason.  “You need to shave…”  Or maybe she was just ticklish.

 

                “I’ll do it tonight.  If you let me do something for you and Satin first.”

 

                Pallas grinned.  “I’m not sure what it is you want to do, but I don’t think I’d be wise to turn it down.” 

 

                Chris laughed as Caramel pulled away from Satin and shot him a smile.  He kissed Pallas on the forehead with a smile.  “I knew I named you well.”

 

                That drew a laugh from everyone, and Caramel gathered up her bag before heading for the door.  “I’ll be back in about an hour and a half or so, and then we’ll go get dinner.  Does that sound good?”

 

                Satin, wobbling back and forth without her heels on, looked immediately curious.  “Where are you going?”

 

                Caramel smiled back at her.  “To talk to Gwen, and negotiate the terms of her surrender.”

 

                Everyone watched her go, and the moment the door clicked shut behind her Pallas turned her head back around to face Chris.  “What are you doing for me and Satin?”

 

                Chris smiled.  “Both of you go get your favorite lotion.  It’ll have to do, since we don’t have massage oil.  I’ve been told I give a pretty good back massage.  So we’ll get to see if I can make you moan using only my hands.” 

 

                Both women’s eyes lit up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                Caramel settled down across from Gwen at a table in the hotel bar.  The Archmage/Dominatrix Splice was slowly nursing a drink, looking down at her tablet computer.  She had angled the screen that someone would have to be directly over her shoulder to see what she was studying, but Caramel thought that she had earned enough trust to outright ask.  Besides, if Gwen wanted to join their family, she was going to have to learn to start opening up and sharing her thoughts, and not just her opinions.  “What are you working on?”

 

                Gwen looked up as Caramel slipped into the chair opposite of her.  The older woman tapped the screen of the tablet once and then set it facedown on the table between them.  “If you must know, I’m going back over the summoning ritual that brought Chris to us.  Trying to figure out where it went wrong.”

 

                “From my perspective, it went perfectly fine.”

 

                Gwen made a noise of surprise somewhere between a hum and a sigh.  “I would have assumed you would share Christopher’s view.  That you would want to know why he was summoned by the spell when he was clearly not the target.”

 

                “Oh, I’m curious about that, sure.  But it’s not something that’s at the forefront of my mind.”  Caramel leaned back in her chair, crossing her legs.  “But I don’t view the spell as a failure.  How could I, when it brought him into my life?”

 

                Gwen looked at Caramel evenly, and then smiled softly.  “Perhaps you are right.  I’ve recently found myself wondering if the spell didn’t do exactly what I might have subconsciously designed it to do.”

 

                “What do you mean?”

 

                Gwen settled back in her chair.  “I was the primary designer on the ritual.  When I began to work on it, three main goals were my driving focus.  One, to find someone powerful enough that the spell could accurately lock onto them across the divide of dimensions.  Two, that this person had either the innate capacity, or the ability or skills to develop the capacity, to banish ferality.  Three, and perhaps most importantly, that the person had magical capability, as we believed, perhaps selfishly, that the solution required a mage.”

 

                “Chris isn’t any of those things.”

 

                “He’s not a mage, no.  Not that I’m currently aware.”

 

                “You think he can perform magic?”

 

                “I think it’s possible that he has latent abilities that my sisters and I did not recognize for what they were.  Cacey’s prophecy, as I told you, suggests that one day he will be taking magic lessons from Trista.”

 

                “Trista, the other splice from the night we first met Chris.”

 

                “Right.”

 

                “Why would she be the one teaching him magic, and not you?  Is there something special about her?”

 

                “I don’t know why she would be the one teaching him.  And no, there’s nothing… special, as you put it, about her.  Aside from being another outcast within the coven, like myself, she is, for the most part, an archetypical magic user.  With a predilection towards fire magic, but otherwise very much like me in her abilities and experiences.”

 

                Caramel frowned.  “What do you mean about being an outcast?  I thought you and Trista were, you know… members of your coven?”

 

                “We are.  But we’ve never been truly welcomed by the majority of our sisters.  The only reason that I’m… tolerated is that I was a member before my splicing.  Trista was already under consideration to be asked to join us when she was unexpectedly spliced in an accident of her own creation.  That fact slowed her process of joining the group, but didn’t stop it.  We’re tolerated because of our abilities, but never… accepted by the majority, because of our not being pure magic types.”  Gwen took a sip of her drink.  “You know how it is, when large groups of pokegirls form.  We were designed to be clannish, cliquish, to better serve as soldiers during the war.”  She fixed Caramel’s gold-flecked brown eyes with her own bright chartreuse ones.  “Even you, young lady, exhibit the same tendencies, when it comes to me and my status in relation to your family.”

 

                Caramel licked her lips as she thought.  “I get your point, Gwen.  And I’m sorry if I made you feel unwelcome.  But you understand why I was… standoffish?”

 

                Gwen laughed under her breath.  “I understand completely, Caramel.  And I forgive you.”

 

                Caramel looked at the older woman for a long moment.  “I forgive you too, Gwen.  We’ve both been… bitchy towards each other.”

 

                Gwen smiled.  “That’s one way of putting it.”  She sat her drink back down on the table.  “But now, we both have to move past that hostility.”

 

                “We do.  And I want to.  But back to the spell.” 

 

Gwen arched an eyebrow at Caramel’s circling back around to the previous topic, but nodded.  “What do you want to know?”

 

“You said that you thought that it might have done exactly what you designed it to do, subconsciously.  That doesn’t explain the possibility of Chris performing magic, or at least, there’s no way to tell if that part worked until he actually does reveal that he has that ability or not.  But what about the other two goals you designed it for?”

 

Gwen pursed her lips.  “As to it seeking out someone powerful enough to do what we needed him or her to do…”  The bespectacled blonde frowned.  “That is the trickiest part of the equation.  Magic, as you might or might not know, can be unpredictable at times, and can do unpredictable things.”  She inhaled deeply, and Caramel watched Gwen’s upper lip move as she ran her tongue over her teeth.  “The spell could have interpreted that particular requirement as meaning someone with a strong will, or someone with strong magical abilities, or someone simply with the mindset conducive to lending us the aid we sought.  Someone who was not only capable of curing ferality, but was willing to do so.”

 

“And the second requirement?  The… big one?”

 

Gwen smiled softly.  “I think that may be where the problem lies.  Much of my own personality was poured into the spell.  Like I said, magic sometimes has a mind of its own.  And with a spell, a ritual, as complicated as this one, it sometimes takes on aspects of its creator.  I’m afraid that I may have projected my wish for a tamer who fit my particular needs and desires onto the spell.”

 

“And because Chris fits those needs and desires…”

 

“Because he is the type of man I would normally seek in a tamer, yes.  The spell might have latched onto him.”

 

“So maybe the spell didn’t malfunction.”

 

“Maybe not.”  Gwen picked her tablet back up and turned it over, gesturing at the screen.  “I’m still running more tests, and going back over my initial notes, just to be sure.”  She sighed deeply.  “It was nearly a hundred years’ worth of work, spread across all members of the coven.  We devoted significant time over the past few decades to the spell.”  Gwen shook her head.  “Now do you understand why Yssabella wanted Chris back?”

 

“He’s the end result of all that wasted time and work.  She wants something to show for it.  I would.”

 

“But it doesn’t excuse her actions.”

 

“Damn right it doesn’t.”  Caramel’s face took on a stony cast.  “He’s ours.  And it’s going to stay that way.”

 

Gwen smiled.  “I’m glad you feel that way.”

 

Caramel looked at her evenly.  “I love him, Gwen.  And I will do absolutely anything to protect him.”

 

Gwen smiled to cover her surprise.  “You say that with such confidence.  Does he know?”

 

Caramel smiled right back.  “Oh, he knows.  He may be up there with Pallas and Satin right now, but he knows.”

 

Gwen’s smile faltered slightly.  “Then perhaps now isn’t the best time to discuss the details of my joining…”

 

“Now is the best time, Gwen.  That’s why I’m down here with you, rather than up there in the hotel room vying for his attention with my sisters.  I’m down here because I would like to one day consider you part of our family without second guessing that statement.”  She scooted forward in her chair, leaning into the table.  “We’ve already talked about you keeping the coven’s secrets, and we’re all fine with that.  We’ve talked about you keeping our secrets from your coven.  But I need to know more about you.  You’re a mystery to me, Gwen.  Chris trusts you, but then he’s spent more time with you.  You’ve been inside his head.  And although I can’t exactly get inside of yours, I need to know more about you.”

 

Gwen settled back in her chair.  “Well.  What would you like to know?”

 

“Your full name, for starters.” 

 

Gwen looked puzzled.  “You don’t even know Pallas’s birth name.”

 

“Petra Anastas.  Third daughter of Alexis and Evgenia Anastas.”

 

Gwen looked slightly taken off guard that Caramel had an immediate counter to her.  “I…”

 

“It’s basic, Gwen.  If you can’t even trust us with your name, how can we trust you?”

 

Gwen inhaled deeply.  “Names have power when it comes to magic, Caramel.  Knowing someone’s true, proper name by which they identify themselves can give you great control over them if you know how to wield it properly.”

 

“Gwen.”  Caramel’s voice was flat.  “You’re really worried about us using that against you?”

 

“I’m worried about someone using you to get to me, honestly.”

 

“Then this isn’t going to work.  Either you trust us to keep your secrets, and maybe even work to help us learn to do so more effectively, or you walk away from this.  If you can’t do this…”  Caramel shook her head and shrugged her shoulders.  She knew she was drawing a line in the sand, and daring Gwen to cross it.

 

Gwen cleared her throat and looked around, before twisting her fingers into a flurry of shapes and then snapping the thumb and ring finger of her left hand together.  Instantly the sounds of the hotel bar and lobby around them disappeared and Gwen suddenly looked slightly more relaxed.  “Gwendolyn Katherine Pierce.”  The blonde sniffed and licked her lips, perceptibly nervous despite the muting ward she had dropped around them. 

 

“Wasn’t that hard, was it?”

 

“Trusting someone new is always hard, especially for me.  Given the Dominatrix portions of my personality and moral code, trust is paramount to me.  But it does not come easily.  Did Chris tell you what I told him about one of my previous tamers?”

 

“No.  Why?”

 

“He was abusive.  I didn’t explain the full extent of the abuse to Christopher, as he was unlikely to completely understand it.  I was level foured.  Multiple times.”

 

Caramel gasped, her eyes widening in her face and her mouth hanging open.

 

“He tried to break my personality while keeping my knowledge so he could use it for his own ends.  Fortunately for me, I knew spells that could preserve that part of my mind despite the brainwashing that the conditioning machine did to me.  To him it seemed that the cycles never had any real effect.”  Gwen’s smile was bitter.  “They did, but I never let him see how much I lost.  Not that I would have been aware of how much was lost, given the circumstances.”  She shook her head.  “It was all I could do to preserve my personality.  It barely worked.  And of course, a level five would have killed me as certainly as the proverbial knife in my heart.”  She swallowed back the emotions attached to those fragmented memories of that part of her past.

 

“I’m so sorry Gwen.”

 

“Thank you.  But like I told Christopher, I don’t need pity.  I need understanding.”  She inhaled deeply and rolled the muscles in her shoulders.  “I need someone in my life who will be patient and kind at the times I need him to be, and firm and protective when I need him to be.”  She smiled softly.  “Not that I actually need protection from many things or people, but the sentiment is one I’d like to have directed at me.”

 

“Spent too long calling your own shots?”

 

Gwen laughed.  “Sometimes I’d just like to let someone else make the decisions for me, and go along with the ride for a little while.”

 

“If I’m your Alpha…”

 

“Then yes, you will be making the decisions.  But like I said this morning, I will expect you to heed the advice I give you.  Or at least give it serious thought.  Your very intelligent, Caramel, and you have a good head on your shoulders.  I feel comfortable trusting you with the decision making.”

 

“I’m sure that must be hard for you…”

 

“Not as much as you might think.”  Gwen smiled at her.  “I’m part Dominatrix, remember?  I work better in a supporting role in a harem or family structure, rather than at its head.  I’m not one to conduct social experiments on my harem sisters, but I will strive to be a sounding board and a shoulder to rest their heads on.”

 

“You want to be the Beta.”

 

“Only if you and Christopher believe I would do better at that position than anyone else in the family.”

 

“No one holds that position right now, really.  Pallas is too focused on her role as Chris’ bodyguard to even enquire about it.  And Satin, though I love her, doesn’t have the mentality or the level of confidence needed.”

 

“So…?”

 

“So if you join our family, that is a role I expect you would fall into nicely, if you would want it.”

 

“I would.  It would allow me to continue helping your family much as I already have, by teaching.”

 

Caramel smiled.  “Then you have the job.”  Her face smoothed.  “And since you are now my Beta, we have a lot of work to do and I have a lot more questions about you.”

 

Gwen nodded and picked up her tablet, turning it back on and setting it between them.  “Then let me show you what I had planned for our first go at catching ferals.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                “Alright, alright.  Hang on, I need a break…”  Chris was panting as he rolled off of Pallas and onto his back, the redhead practically purring against her pillow as her hips slowly sank down to meet the mattress. Her back, ass, and thighs were covered with a thin sheen of sweat built up from the exertion of meeting Chris’s thrusts into her from behind.  She stretched out languidly as she felt the seed he had just pumped into her slowly leaking out past her lips, reveling in the warmth and the sensation as her harem sister pounced on their tamer. 

 

                “But you promised!”  Satin crawled atop him, straddling his thighs and reaching out to cradle his balls with very, very cold hands.

 

                “Jesus, Satin!  Your hands are freezing!”  Chris’s legs jerked underneath her as she touched him, and she stopped her playful insistence that he keep performing with a giggle. 

 

                “Oh, sorry!  Here…”  She pulled her hands back and held them up to her face, blowing on each gently in turn.  Orange light danced across each digit in sequence before she dropped her hands back down and cupped him gently, and he hissed at the sudden warmth.  “Better?”

 

                He gulped, head falling back against the pillow.  “Better.  Can we wait just a moment, though?”  He reached out and gently fondled Pallas’s rear, getting a pleased sigh and a giggle directed at his predicament as the Amazonwu shifted on the bed next to him.  “Pallas wore me out.  I need a couple of minutes to catch my breath.”

 

                “Well, in that case, I’ll do the work then, and you can rest.” 

 

                “Satin…”  All he got in response to his exasperated tone was a giggle and the feeling of her hands moving to his chest to support herself as she scooted up his body, taking his still hard (and wet) shaft and lining it up so that she could sink down onto it with a pleasured moan.  Almost involuntarily, his hands moved up to rest on her thighs as they squeezed his sides.  She knew he wouldn’t deny her.  Not that he really wanted to, anyway.  But after an initial round with both Pallas and Satin vying for his attention, and then a more intimate, slower bout of lovemaking with Pallas, he was running on fumes.  No one, no matter how horny they might get, could go nonstop.  Whereas Satin had had a chance to rest while Pallas occupied his attentions, all he could do was lay back and moan as Satin began to ride him. 

 

                Caramel chose that moment to enter the hotel room using her room key, and was quick to close the door behind her.  “Well now.  This is some reward.  I was gone for an hour.”

 

                Chris looked over at Caramel as Satin tossed her hair over her shoulder and leaned back. The slender rabbit-girl grabbed his knees for support as she rolled her hips forwards and back, riding her lover with quick, shallow strokes.  “Caramel!  Save me…”  Chris reached out theatrically towards the beautiful brunette who wasn’t currently having sex with him. 

 

                That earned him a snort and a laugh, and before he realized what was going on, Caramel was stripping down.  Off came her high-heeled ankle boots and a pair of jeans that were so tight they had to be physically peeled off, and then a bright orange blouse was dropped at the end of the bed with his clothes and the towels Satin and Pallas had laid on while he had given them their massages.  “Wait… not what I meant….”  Chris gulped as Caramel looked at him with a predatory expression, and he groaned as she reached behind her back to unhook her bra, the black lacy cups falling away from her plump breasts. 

 

 

The sight made him throb inside of Satin, and the Spellbun giggled and reached out for Caramel’s hand.  “Oooh, he likes that.”  Caramel let herself be pulled onto the bed by her sister with a giggle and wicked grin.  Satin twisted her upper body to the side so that she could pull Caramel into a hug, and Chris could only stare at the adopted sisters as they began to make out, stealing the occasional glance at him.  He swallowed hard as he watched Caramel’s hands slide over Satin’s body.  The Seamstress’s breasts were bigger than her sister’s, but Satin’s were much more sensitive, regardless of whether or not her sensitivity was modified by the phases of the moon thanks to her inherent Spellbunny abilities.  Caramel looked at him out of the corner of her eye as the forefinger and thumb of her left hand caught Satin’s left nipple, gently rolling it between her digits.  The motion caused Satin to roll her hips across his lap faster, and he grunted as her slick heat engulfed him a little bit deeper as Caramel played with her sister’s body like a fine-tuned instrument. 

 

“Feel that?  I bet you that I can make you cum without even touching you, baby.  All I need to do is touch Satin in just… the right… way…”  Chris and Satin both jumped as Caramel pinched the Spellbun’s nipple, making her pussy contract around him, muscles seizing tightly around his shaft and making him groan just as loud as Satin squealed.  Caramel laughed happily, and then shifted around behind Satin, swinging a leg over Chris’s thighs so that she could pull her sister back to rest against her chest.  “Let’s see… if I do this…”  Caramel caught the base of one of Satin’s ears in her mouth and nipped gently, causing Satin to drive her hips downward, taking Chris to the root of his cock.  “Oooh, that’s fun…”

 

Chris’s nails dug lightly into Satin’s thighs as she moved around him, the heat of her cunt, the warmth and wetness and the squeezing motion all too much for him to keep track of as Caramel used her sister’s body against both of them.  “What if I do this to her?”  Caramel squeezed both of Satin’s breasts, kneading the soft, supple flesh between her fingers, and Satin rolled her hips forward in response.  She pinched Satin’s nipples between her knuckles, and Satin squeezed around him.  “What do you two think?  Maybe Gwen isn’t the only one with a bit of Dominatrix in her, huh?”  One hand drifted down to Satin’s crotch, and Caramel’s fingers spread her sister’s outer labia and coaxed her sensitive pink pearl out of hiding.  Chris grabbed Satin’s thighs and thrust upward into her as Caramel’s fingertips on her clit made the bunny squeal and begin to roll her hips in quick, frantic circles. 

 

Grunting, Chris kept thrusting up into Satin as Caramel used the hand not currently playing with her sister to push down on her hip, forcing the Spellbun to meet their tamer’s upward thrusts.  “There we go, that’s it…”  Caramel rested her chin on Satin’s shoulder, cooing to both of them as Chris’s thrusts got more erratic.  He was close, and they all knew it.  “He’s almost there, sweetie.  Make him cum.”  Caramel turned her head to kiss Satin’s cheek.  “Make him cum, Satin.  I want to feel you shake and shiver as he fills you up.”  Satin could only squeak in response to her sister’s lewd teasing, and the hairs on the back of Chris’s neck stood up as he thrust hard into her.  “Make him cum!”

 

Satin screamed as Chris erupted inside of her, his hips jerking and his balls lifting, tightening against his body as he pumped jet after jet of seed into the nubile young bunnygirl.  Caramel wrapped her hands around her sister’s torso to keep her from collapsing forwards onto Chris’s chest, cooing and kissing her hard as Satin’s body convulsed in pleasure in her arms.  Chris gasped for breath as Satin spasmed around him, contracting hard, her warmth sheathing him completely as he arched his back one last time before collapsing in the bed beneath her. 

 

“Told you I could make you cum without touching you.”  Chris’s blurry vision focused in on Caramel’s smiling face as she held a panting Satin in her arms. 

 

“I think using Satin to do it is cheating, somehow.  Besides…”  He shifted his legs, feeling her sitting on his thighs.  “Those are my legs you’re sitting on.  I think that qualifies as touching me.”

 

Caramel narrowed her eyes and stuck out her tongue playfully, before turning and licking Satin’s cheek.  “A technicality.” 

 

“Cramp!”  Everyone’s eyes widened as Satin suddenly shouted out loud, leaning to her right and across where Pallas had been laying as she watched them.  The Spellbun pulled herself off of Chris in a hurry, straightening her left leg out across his body and clutching at her calve. 

 

“Here, here!  Give me your foot!”  Caramel grabbed Satin’s leg and straightened it, grabbing the sole of her sister’s foot and holding it still as she reached out to massage her calve muscle.  Chris reached down to help unfold Satin’s other leg where it was still tucked against his body, and even Pallas flipped over to help, wrapping her arms around Satin’s midsection and sitting up slightly, the Amazon pulling the bunnygirl into her lap. 

 

“Ow ow ow owwww!”  Satin threw her head back, her lilting accent coming through even as she whimpered in pain. 

 

“It’s okay, it’s okay…”  Pallas wrapped Satin up tightly in her lap as Caramel cooed at her soothingly, rubbing her lower leg as Chris sat up and took Satin’s hands. 

 

“Owwww…”  Satin sniffed and swallowed as the pain started to subside, and then she looked up.  The young woman was surprised to find Chris and Caramel staring back at her, and even Pallas was resting her chin on her shoulder, hugging her tightly.  She hadn’t ever had that kind of doting attention before when it was just her and Caramel.  Sure, the two of them were as tightly knit together as any pair of sisters who loved each other and their father doted on her, but to find three people that concerned about her over just a little cramp?  Her expression of wonder changed to one of playfulness, and she focused on Chris and put on her best pout.  “Kiss it better?” 

 

Chris looked at her, dumbfounded as Caramel and Pallas both broke out into a fit of giggles.  “Kissing it will make it feel better, huh?”

 

Satin grinned and nodded, her hair and ears bouncing.  “Uh-huh!”

 

“Well, then.  Whatever the lady wants…”  He took Satin’s leg from Caramel’s grip, shuffling down the bed and leaning in.  He planted a firm kiss against her against her calf before slowly kissing his way down her leg, eyes flicking up to meet her gaze every other kiss. 

 

Satin giggled as he kissed his way down her leg, and Caramel smiled and shifted so that she was leaning against him while Pallas rocked Satin slightly in her lap.  Everyone was focused on her and nothing else.  Forget the fact that her sister had just caused both their tamer and her to orgasm together.  Right now, everything was simple.  Pure.  Loving. 

 

Then Chris started blowing raspberries against the sole of her foot. 

 

                “NOOOO!”  Satin squealed and twisted in Pallas’s arms, but the redhead was stronger.  She tightened her grip on Satin as Chris kissed, licked, and blew on the ticklish underside of her foot.  “Stopstopstopstop pleaaaaaasee!”   Satin thrashed and squirmed as Caramel watched with amusement as Chris kept up his tickling assault, eventually returning to gently kissing her foot.  His lips left a trail of kisses from her heel to the tip of her toes, and he looked Satin square in her silver eyes as he sucked her big toe into his mouth.  “Ooohhhhhh…”

 

                Chris smiled around the toe in his mouth, sucking hard as he rose up on his knees.  Caramel shifted away from him, watching with raised eyebrows as he leaned over Satin where she was cradled in Pallas’s lap.  He pulled his mouth off of Satin’s foot long enough to lick his lips and look up at Pallas, her head still resting on Satin’s shoulder.  “Hold her still.”  Pallas’s arms tightened around Satin, and the young bunnygirl’s look of pleasure at having her toe sucked on changed to one of alarm as she was pinned in Pallas’s lap. 

 

                Chris took Satin’s toe back into his mouth and continued sucking while he loomed over her, nodding to Pallas as she kissed the Spellbun’s cheek lovingly.  While his left hand held her ankle, his right dropped to her gap between her thighs.  Using his fingers, he spread her lips gently, feeling the still-warm wetness there from their mutual orgasm.  He used it like lubricant on his fingers, slipping his index and middle fingers into her with ease, ring finger and pinky slipping between the plump cheeks of her rear.  Satin gasped and looked up at him with lust-widened eyes, her mouth agape as her hips rocked gently in time to the pumping of his fingers as he began to play with her. 

 

                “Fuahh… like… just like that…”  Chris sucked harder on Satin’s toe for a moment before pulling off it, saliva stringing between his lips and her skin.  He took the next toe into his mouth, sucking on the delicate little digit as he moved his fingers faster inside of her.  He moved his thumb to rub over her clit, teasing the sensitive bundle of nerves much like Caramel had just a few minutes prior.  Satin’s vocabulary shrunk down to just mewls and noises of pure pleasure as Chris sucked on her toes and pumped his fingers in and out of her pussy.  “Nnnghh… ahhh!”

 

                Satin’s hips twisted, and Chris smiled around her toes as she clamped down on his fingers.  Satin was the most sensitive one of the lot of them, and it didn’t take much to get her off.  Caramel had already proven that point by making Chris count the number of times Satin orgasmed while Caramel went down on her; the adorable little bunnygirl had rattled off six orgasms in less than ten minutes under Caramel’s skilled mouth.  Chris hadn’t been able to match the feat, much to his chagrin, but Caramel had consoled him by reminding him that she had years of experience.  Plenty of time to learn how best to get her sister and best friend off. 

 

                As her breathing steadied and Chris felt her muscles relaxing around his fingers, he pulled his  hand free and pulled his mouth off of her toes.  He leaned in, draping her extended leg over his shoulder as he pressed a kiss firmly to her lips.  Satin reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him in.  Her kiss was slow, careless, and a little bit sloppy as drool ran down their chins.  When he pulled back, he noticed that Satin’s pupils were dilated and she was sluggish in her responses to his movements.  “You okay?”

 

                “Mmmm…”  She giggled and kissed him again quickly as she snuggled back into Pallas’s lap.

 

                Caramel rested her head against his shoulder, reaching around to gently stroke his still hard shaft.  “How did you know she’d like you sucking on her toes?”

 

                He let out a grunt as her hand wrapped around him, and shrugged.  “A lucky guess?  She’s all about shoes and stockings, just like you’re all about fancy lingerie and Pallas won’t let an opportunity to kiss me go by without taking advantage of it.  Satin’s got a foot fetish, so I’ll gladly oblige her if she’d like me to.”

 

                That got a low giggle from the Spellbun in question.  “I’d like you to…”

 

                “Good, then I will.  I notice that you haven’t painted your toenails yet.”  Satin shook her head slowly.  “Do you want to?”  She nodded.  “Would you like me to paint them for you?”  Her eyes, slightly unfocused, lit up nevertheless, and she nodded again happily.  “Then we’ll pick out a color you want, and do that tomorrow.”

 

                Caramel cleared her throat behind him.  “You’ll have to do that tomorrow night.  Gwen’s taking us out to hunt ferals tomorrow morning, bright and early.”

 

                Chris looked over his shoulder at her, and she smiled and shrugged.  “It’s the safest time.”

 

                He shrugged right back.  “I’m not going to argue the point, then.  We go with the safest option.”  He turned back around to Satin and Pallas.  “Which means you two need your rest.”  He reached down and gently smeared his wet fingers across Satin’s breasts, her soft, yielding flesh warm under his fingertips.  “Go get cleaned up, both of you.  We’ll head down to the lobby in a bit and decide where we want to go to eat dinner.”

 

                Satin pouted.  “But I’ve already had a shower.  I don’t wanna.”  She drug a fingertip through the streak of juices he had left on her boob, bringing it to her mouth and licking it experimentally.

 

                “Hey now.  No backtalk.  I’ll make Pallas carry you.”  He grinned at the playful little Spellbun, and she rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue, but rolled out of Pallas’s lap nevertheless. 

 

                Pallas got up right after her, reaching out and straightening the shorter girl’s long hair across her back.  “What if I show you what Chris and I did the first time we had sex in the shower?”

 

                Satin turned around, walking on the balls of her feet.  Chris caught the grin on her face as she grabbed Pallas’s hand and pulled her towards the shower with a bit more eagerness in her step.  He smiled at their backs as they disappeared into the bathroom.  But he was almost immediately pulled out of his admiration of their backsides when Caramel grabbed his wrist and pulled it towards her mouth, slipping his sticky, wet fingers into her mouth and beginning to suck on them.  Chris turned around to stare at her, watching her mouth move as her tongue slipped in between the digits, curling around them hungrily.  He took a long look at her, one eyebrow raised.  “Of course you like the taste of me and Satin mixed together.”

 

                Caramel winked at him as she held his wrist in both hands, shifting from sucking on his fingers to licking his palm.  “I do rather enjoy it.  But I want to break out the flavor salves before we head to bed.  That chocolate flavor would taste good on you, I think…”

 

                Chris shook his head.  “That’s just what I need.  You getting your chocolate fix from my balls.”

 

                “A lotion that makes any sexual fluid taste like whatever flavor you might want?  Why wouldn’t I want to make your cum taste like my favorite candy?”  Caramel got up on her knees on the bed, leaning towards him and dropping his arm.  She placed a hand on each of his shoulders and pushed him back on the bed until he was lying flat on his back.  “I already told you how good breast milk tastes when flavored.”  She grinned, looming over him and hooking her thumbs into the waistband of her thong.  “Imagine getting your breakfast straight from my tits…”  Her brow furrowed as she licked her lips.  “What do you think?  Strawberry milk for breakfast?  Or maybe my namesake, caramel?”

 

                Chris reached up and grabbed her hips.  “I’ll let you pick the flavor, though you’d have to be lactating for that to even really work.”

 

                “Easily solved with unpasteurized Milktit milk.  Available at any supermarket.”

 

                “Uh-huh.”  His hands slipped over hers as she tried to push her thong down around her thighs.  “Let me.  I like doing this part.”

 

                “You like undressing us, I’ve noticed.”

 

                Chris looked up at her with a smile.  “Of course.  But I like helping you get dressed just as much.  It’s just… I don’t know why.  It’s not exactly a fetish, but…”

 

                “It’s intimate.  Very intimate.  Of course, I’m a Seamstress.  My magic, my fetishes, both are almost entirely geared towards clothing so I understand completely.    That fate has conspired to give me a tamer who likes clothing and lingerie as much as I do is something that I will take advantage of all night and day.”

 

                “Mmm.  Come here then, and take advantage.”  Chris used his grip on her hips to pull her towards him, his fingers dimpling her warm skin as he ran his thumbs over the lace of her thong.  Caramel walked forward on her knees until she was straddling his neck.  With her knees driving into the mattress on either side of his shoulders, Chris craned his neck up and kissed her cotton-and-lace covered mound with the same passionate softness he had kissed Satin’s lips with.  “I like this style.  It shows off your ass better, and they’re so tight I can practically taste your skin through the fabric.”

 

                Caramel looked down at him, hunched over with her hands on the headboard.  “Then I’ll make some more of them.  I have the materials, I’ll just need to know what colors you like best on me.”

 

                Chris smiled up at her and lifted his hands, slipping the tips of his fingers under her lace waistband.  “Does it sound too cheesy to say that you look good in almost any color?”

 

                “Almost any color.  But I do have my favorites.  The ones I think I look best in.”  Caramel let out a soft, breathy moan as she felt Chris’s fingers slip between her skin and her underwear’s lace, the contact sending a thrill up her spine.

 

                Chris caught the sound of her soft moan, looking up at her past her stomach and breasts. “Then go with those.  You know I only want you to be happy.”

 

                Caramel practically growled down at him, earlier patience wearing off as his touch enticed her. “What would make me happy is for us to stop stalling, and for you to pull my panties off.  I’m horny, and I still want to clean you off.  Pallas and Satin should have been responsible and done it for you after you fucked them, but I’ll be more than happy to lick up the mess they left all over your cock.”

 

                “Your word is my command, sweetheart.”  Chris grinned up at Caramel as he completely slipped his fingers under her waistband, and Caramel leaned up on one knee so that she could close her legs enough for him to pull her panties down around her thighs.  She had to release her grip on the headboard and twist her hips to the side to free her legs from the undergarment, but the moment she was free of the fabric, she lowered herself back down, turning around so that she was facing his feet, her rear lowering towards his face.  Chris licked his lips several times, wetting them as he reached up and gripped her hips to guide her down.  Her outer labia were already plump, inflamed with lust and shiny with her arousal as Chris’s tongue spread them, letting her juices soak his taste buds. 

No sooner had his mouth begun to feast on her body, so did hers on his.  Caramel’s hands were smooth and warm as they wrapped around his still-pulsating erection, the beat of his heart making him twitch under her fingertips.  The short haired brunette smiled down at her boyfriend’s cock, giggling privately to herself as she admired it.  Of course, she had no reference point to compare it to, but she felt it very much suited him.  He was tall and thin but had been putting on a bit more muscle since the family had started exercising under Gwen’s tutelage.  Likewise, his cock was more remarkable for its length than its girth, and Caramel hummed under her breath as she took his tip into her mouth, moving her fingers to splay around the base.  She had encouraged him to shave down there, as she wasn’t much of a fan of hair in her mouth.  He had been neatly groomed before, but she had playfully insisted that if she, Pallas, and Satin were smooth, he should be as well.  Besides, she had designed his underwear to be tight, to show off as much of his crotch and ass as possible.  If he got pleasure from watching them in their underwear, it was only fair that they got the same from him. 

 

Chris’s hands dug into Caramel’s ass, fingers sinking into her soft, warm skin as she laid herself out on top of him, her breasts pressing into his stomach as she engulfed the head of his dick with her mouth.  He had concluded that each of the women now in his life had their own specialties when it came to the bedroom, just as each had their own likes, dislikes, and proclivities.  Individuals all.  Pallas, being an Amazonwu, stuck to her breed stereotype.  She liked to kiss while they were having sex, and in general preferred to be on top, or at least in a position where she and Chris were facing each other.  Satin was flexible, both literally and figuratively.  The short bunny-type girl didn’t mind if she were on top or on bottom, taken from behind or face to face.  Or if she was the one doing the taking, or if Chris was calling the shots.  So long as she knew that she was the focus of his attention, she was delighted, and happy to do the deed.  Caramel, though like her sister in that she was flexible in her thinking, was more vanilla in her tastes.  Contrary to her take-charge attitude outside the proverbial bedroom, she liked it when Chris called the shots.  Though he had taken note that when he had caught her with either Pallas or Satin, she was very much like she had just been a few moments ago, playing the part of aggressor and top with the other women in their family. 

 

Caramel sucked hard on Chris’s shaft as his fingernails dug into the curves of her ass, his hands leaving a pink flush from where he had been squeezing moments prior as he tried to use his hands to take all of her in.  The Seamstress could taste Satin on his cock, though she didn’t have the more refined, discerning tastebuds of some breeds that would let her also taste the dregs of Pallas’s orgasm where it was still smeared across the root of his member.  Her thighs squeezed around her lover’s head as he moved his arms up to wrap them around her waist, hugging her crotch to his face tightly as he essentially smothered himself in her sex.  “Ohhh, fuuachhakk!”  She let out a breathy, inarticulate moan, mouth popping off of his tip as she rolled her hips forward.  Caramel pulled her pussy across his mouth as his tongue dug deep, his arms holding her tightly in their lewd embrace.  Chris pulled his mouth back from between her thighs briefly, pulling his right arm loose from around her waist to allow him to… “Fuck!”  Caramel gasped as his hand slapped her upturned asscheeks, leaving a clear red imprint on her flesh as she craned her neck to look over her shoulder at him.  She giggled at the sight of his eyes peering up at her over the crest of her asscheeks, winking at her before diving back into his impromptu ‘meal’.  Her beautiful gold-flecked brown eyes widened as he feasted on her, and she collapsed back against his chest and stomach, her cheek falling to rest against his thigh.  His now fully hardened and erect shaft bobbed against her nostrils and lips, as if reminding her of what she had promised she would do. 

 

With a smile and another roll of her hips to press herself against Chris’s mouth, Caramel began to lick and lap at his cock, dragging her tongue across the veined, gently throbbing spire.  She bathed him with her saliva, replacing the dried flavor of his and Satin’s lovemaking with her own drool.  She reached up to cup his balls in one hand, gently squeezing and playing with them, pulling away from his shaft just briefly enough to lick the palm and fingers of her free hand, generously coating them with her saliva before she brought it down to begin stroking, squeezing, and teasing his scrotum. 

 

She was rewarded for her efforts with a grunt from beneath her, as Chris’s hips jerked reflexively, humping at her hands and making her giggle at the effect she had on him.  She was learning all of his tells, his secrets, his likes and dislikes.  They all were learning about each other, inside and out of the bedroom.  Caramel leaned in and kissed his tip, her plump, full lips lingering on the spongy-soft tip of his cock, tongue lashing against the smooth, pink head.  Chris buried his tongue as deep inside of his girlfriend as he could as his lips flexed and moved against her labia, drinking her in. 

 

They didn’t come together, at the same time.  That might have been tempting fate and asking too much of Chris’s already exhausted body.  But each of them got the release they sought, for themselves and from each other.  Caramel’s lips were still planted against the side of his cockhead when his hips jerked and his balls seemed to shrink in her hand, pulling away from her palm and contracting towards his body as he began to orgasm, several jets of thick, hot, musky seed bubbling out from where the corner of her lips were pressed against the very tip of his shaft.  She slid her mouth sideways, watching from the corner of her eye as his cock shot a ropey jet of cum into the air, his grunts against her pussy making her tremble as his seed came back down, landing hotly across her upturned cheek, splattering her face with cum.  Caramel kept kissing and licking his shaft, earning another gout of cum across her cheek and forehead before his orgasm was spent.  But that didn’t mean he was done.  The Seamstress moaned against his shaft as he kept on eating her out, determined now to give her the same level of pleasure she had just given him.  His lower lip pressed against her clit as his tongue wagged back and forth inside of her, pistoning, punching deep into her body and sucking, slurping up every ounce of her juices she could give him.  He felt it running down his chin as her thighs clamped down hard around his head, her warm, plump legs pinning his ears to the sides of his head as she thrust back, hands pushing on his belly as she sat up and then drove her ass down against his face, smothering him as her hips jerked and rolled.  Her canal squeezed around his tongue, and he had to swallow quickly to keep up with the juice she leaked into his mouth. 

 

That was the scene that Pallas and Satin came back to; Caramel, naked, sitting on Chris’s face with a vacant look on her face.  Her eyes were half-closed, her right cheek and her forehead splattered with Chris’s cum, dribbling slowly down her pale skin to drip onto her breasts.  Her head was cocked at a 45-degree angle as she stared at the ceiling and grunted, lips parted.  Her hips rolled and thrust downward onto Chris’s face, her own orgasm wracking her body and making her shiver just like Satin had earlier.  Chris’s still hard shaft bobbed in the empty air, a thick bead of cum rolling down the side of his member as his hands squeezed Caramel’s thighs so tightly that her skin around where his fingers were dug in was turning bright pink.  “Fu-uahh- Yesssss!” 

 

Satin, still nude from the shower but fully dry, stood next to an equally naked Pallas.  “Really?  He sends me to the shower and then eats out Mel?” 

 

Pallas laughed gently and reached out to squeeze Satin’s bottom.  “I don’t think you’ve got any room to complain, since you turned down my offer of sex in the shower.”

 

Satin’s eyebrow rose and she turned to look up at the much taller redhead.  “I was just trying to be cautious, you know, since we have to fight in the morning.  Best to conserve energy.”  Her cheeks were blushing as she spoke.

 

“Mmhmm.”  Pallas grinned down at her.  “And it had nothing to do with you being embarrassed about almost slipping in the shower after we got in?”

 

                Satin frowned, nose scrunching up even as her blush moved from her cheeks to the rest of her face.  “Let’s just say we need to investigate if there are such a thing as high-heels made for wearing in the shower.”  She turned back to the bed and to the sight of Caramel staring her down with a sultry look, the shorter-haired brunette carefully wiping Chris’s cum off of her forehead with her index finger as she sat on his face, before daintily licking the digit clean.  Satin blushed even harder, before frowning and stalking towards the bed. 

                Caramel’s face lit up with delight as she lifted herself off of Chris’s face and swung her leg over his body so that she was sitting beside his head.  “Done with your shower?”

 

                “Uh-huh.  But now you need one.  Chris too!”  The Spellbun’s face was a pout, but the playfulness in her tone betrayed her amusement.  She reached out and took Caramel’s hand, helping her off of the bed before leaning in to lick her cheek, scraping off more of Chris’s seed with her tongue.  Caramel laughed as she pulled back and watched Satin swallow visibly, before the rabbit-eared girl smacked her sister’s ass with her palm.  “Go!  Shower time!” 

 

Caramel kept laughing as she made her way towards the shower, only to be stopped by Pallas.  She looked up at the slightly taller redhead with a curious look.  “Do you want a taste too?”  Her teasing query was met by Pallas taking Caramel into her arms, one hand raised to smear more of Chris’s cum across her cheek and into her mouth, waiting for Caramel to lick her fingers clean before the Amazonwu captured her messy lips in a deep, soulful kiss. 

 

“Hey!  You too!”  Chris snapped his attention away from the very, very lewd kiss happening at the foot of the bed when Satin slapped him on the thigh.  He looked up to see the Spellbun adopting what she apparently thought was a ‘stern’ expression, though in truth the emotion looked just as cute on Satin as it did intimidating on Gwen. 

               

                “Okay, okay, sweetheart.”  He rolled off of the bed and stood up, Satin immediately grabbing his slowly softening shaft and giving it a squeeze as she wrapped one arm around his neck and pulled herself up to kiss him on the cheek.  “I’ve never thought I’d have to ask this, but please tell me you don’t want to give me a blowjob right now?”

 

                Satin smirked as she settled back onto the balls of her feet.  “Nope.  Caramel set up a schedule.  You’re my breakfast tomorrow.”  Chris looked first flabberghasted, then amused as Satin smiled up at him with an air of innocence that he by now knew was at least partly a façade, at least when matters of the bedroom were concerned.  “Now go!  Shower!”  She reached around to slap his ass just like she had Caramel’s, pointing towards the bathroom door.

 

                Chris moved towards the bathroom as prompted, slowing as he passed Caramel and Pallas, still locked tightly in each other’s arms, and still kissing passionately.  He cleared his throat gently.  “Coming, Caramel?”

 

                She pulled back slightly from Pallas’s mouth as he spoke, glancing at him with a grin as she untangled herself from the redhead’s arms.  “You go ahead and get the water warm.  I’ll just be a few minutes.”  She licked her lips and nodded towards the bathroom, even as she turned back towards Pallas and gave her a quick peck on the lips, before slowly sliding down to her knees, her hands trailing over the more muscular woman’s body as she went. 

 

                Chris once again was at a loss for words for a moment, before shaking his head and moving towards the bathroom, giving Pallas’s rear end a gentle squeeze as he went.  The last thing he saw before he shut the bathroom door was the sight of Caramel’s kneeling body framed by the backs of Pallas’s legs, the Amazonwu’s head thrown back in a soft moan as Caramel put her mouth to work again.