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Elle Reads, Of Monsters & Men

OF MONSTERS AND MEN // part one: comfort food

If you’re currently coasting into winter, there’s nothing more timely than some cozy monster love stories. These two selections are sound jumping-off points if you’ve been curious to dip your toes into some monster romance, best enjoyed under a blanket with something warm and freshly poured nearby.


YURI & THE YETI by Daphne Green

Review: Fresh off a breakup with his long-term lover, Yuri takes a solitary hike into the mountains of Nepal. Distracted by his troubles, Yuri injures himself, alone in a foreign wilderness, and after he tends to his wounds and attempts to walk, he passes out. He’s discovered by Muunokhoj, a yeti who’s chosen to live closer to humans than his brethren due to his personal intrigue with mankind. Muunokhoj brings Yuri back to his home, and the two begin to bond as he aids (read: fusses over) Yuri’s healing process.

This story is cozily domestic, but avoids straying into cutesy territory (a plus for me). A few moments squeezed my heart a little bit—delightfully so. Yuri is coming off an unexpected disruption to his routine, his life, and grapples with accepting his new reality; whereas Muunokhoj’s routine disruption becomes his new source of longing, a sense of purpose he never realized he needed. On parallel circuits they both come to realize their missing pieces can be found in the other; their earnest, vulnerable moments are handled with utmost tenderness.

Hurt/comfort is one of those tropes I don’t actively seek out, but I’m instantly drawn to it whenever it appears. Furthermore I enjoyed this story’s focus on mental/emotional hurt comfort in addition to recovery from physical pain. Something about a character who’s suffered heartbreak, is given time to heal, and is provided HELP to heal is satisfying on its own, but for the comfort role to be assumed by an enormous, gentle yeti is incredibly effective.

Steam: There’s one scene on-page—understandable for the story’s length—but it’s a compassionate and real scene that I greatly enjoyed. Yuri and Khoj are a heartwarming couple, both respectful with each other as new partners.

Content Tags: long-term hurt/comfort, forced proximity, post-breakup healing, life-saving encounter, domestic bliss, sprinkle of angst, unique monster genitalia!!

Length: Novella

BUY HERE: Amazon


A WALRUS & A GENTLEMAN by Emmaline Strange

Review: Artist/painter Kel lands a university fellowship that brings him to Rookhaven, a small coastal Irish town. He’s set to spend a summer living in a lighthouse maintained by Ragnar—a surly local that’s NOT about having his alone time impeded by Kel’s talkative nature and city boy looks.

I enjoyed the unique (to me) aspects regarding Ragnar’s “monstrous” character traits—referred to as “fauna” in this story’s world, Ragnar is a walrus shifter with alpha tendencies (more reminiscent of a pack alpha, not omegaverse). He describes the alpha part of him as an animalistic draw to a potential mate, and his close quarters with Kel only aggravates his tamped desires.

While Kel is as human as they come, he’s forced to confront monsters in his past as he wrangles with Ragnar’s exterior bristle. He learns he can’t just paint and fuck his way through healing, while grappling with trust issues and resisting attachment when his summer fling has an expiration date.

Steam: Do not let the cozy, coastal vibe of this story deceive you—the smut is sizzling! Especially as Ragnar fights his alpha tendencies screaming in his ear—the final payoff is well-earned and rewarding, with a bit of a bite.

Content Tags: forced proximity with a time limit, a real grumpus of a walrus shifter, an exuberant visual artist from the States, coffee drinker solidarity, small town cryptid lore, coastal Irish village

Length: Novel

BUY HERE: Amazon


Elle Reads, Of Monsters & Men

OF MONSTERS & MEN // introduction


So here at the end of 2021 I find myself in a deep reading slump. It is what it is; no reason to examine it, considering everything going on. But I’ve had this idea brewing to 1) do some kind of themed review series, because I genuinely enjoy writing reviews for the reading mindfulness and craft examination, and 2) read more damn gay monster books.

It’s not that there’s a horrible lack of monster books—and I’ll get to my criteria in a minute—but I’ve been writing a lot of monsterfucking lately (can’t goddamn get enough of it) so I’ve wanted to read more monsterfucking; but I also write m/m, and so I specifically wanted to read more m/m monsterfucking, and writing reviews is my way of holding myself accountable to that.

Thus, OF MONSTERS & MEN was conceived.

Wait, so what qualifies as a “monster romance”?

The good news is: it’s all up to interpretation. The bad news is: it’s all up to interpretation. There’s a huge overlap with fantasy and paranormal and even some sci-fi when it comes to monster romance and we could debate what does or doesn’t qualify for weeks, but I’d rather just read books and talk about them instead.

I can guarantee what I will not be covering for this series—A/B/O and mpreg are big ones, as well as anything super grimdark. I’ll also probably skip more common fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi creatures for now (your vampires, werewolves, aliens, etc) because there is, quite simply, a lot out there already that’s not too difficult to find and sort through. I’m pretty much going for niche3 at this point.

What I do hope I can promise: Engaging stories! Full heat! Queer representation! And obviously, MONSTERS!

Reviews will cover story length, content tags, and a brief review including a spoiler-free synopsis. I’ll also include a few notes on the steam, because as much as I’m interested in moving stories, I want that smut, too. That said, I’d like to try and avoid reducing any of the reviews to “good job, A+ monster dick, NEXT” but if you feel like hollerin’ at me on Twitter, I’ll be more than happy to confirm a story’s heat level and any details that aren’t covered in the review or the book’s content warnings.

Some minor housekeeping notes: I’m not committing to any sort of update frequency. Some of these books might have been reviewed hundreds of times already, but this series is more about cataloging what’s already out there that falls within the theme (though, perhaps if I keep it up long enough, I’ll have new books to review in the future!). Also the current format I have in mind will group similar books together (either by type of monsters or story similarities, etc), but that may change in the future as I work through the backlist I’ve assembled.

That’s pretty much it! I’m really excited for this project. 😀


Uncategorized

HYACINTH – m/m speculative romance novella coming 12/31/21

How about a queer mythology retelling to ring in the new year?

HYACINTH is my next novella and reimagines the story of Apollo x Hyacinthus, a tale of choosing love, of unexpected tragedy, and coming back from the dead. The story features trans masc rep and elements of supernatural horror.


ABOUT THIS BOOK

In this mythology reimagining of Hyacinthus and Apollo, a lighthouse keeper is afflicted with grisly nightmares after a mysterious yet charming shopkeeper arrives in a secluded coastal village.

HYACINTH is an m+m speculative romance featuring supernatural horror elements and a trans love interest.

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Gumroad


Also check out this wonderful commission by @systmiki on Twitter of the novella’s trans masc main character, Finn:

Shorts

Kinktober, Monster Edition (Oct 23-24) – DEMON

The prompt for October 23-24 is DEMON and I chose exhibitionism + casting couch as the kinks. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)

(cw: dubcon)


The office of the architectural firm is posh and modern, so much so that Cade feels underdressed even in a freshly dry-cleaned suit and tie. The secretary smiles at him, white teeth between red lips, and says, “He’s ready for you.” She stands and gestures down a hallway to her right. “Right this way.”

Cade can’t stifle a gasp as the secretary leads him through a heavy, frost-glass door into a corner office. There are windows, but the mid-morning sunlight is blocked by black drapes that reach the floor. The overhead lights are sickeningly white, drawing unease in Cade’s stomach.

But the gasp comes more from the man—no, the demon—sitting behind the desk, his presence roiling with bureaucratic intimidation. Black horns curl against a head of white hair, his eyes two abyssal spheres in their sockets. His dull maroon skin is dulled beneath the bright lights, but stands out against the beige of his ergonomic office chair.

Cade hadn’t expected his interview would be conducted by a demon. Demons hardly work outside of Hyral, but it’s not completely unheard of. And despite this demon’s youthful appearance, he’d obviously risen the ranks with little issue.

The secretary directs Cade to sit on a black leather sofa aligned with the desk, then shuts the office door behind her.

Cade speaks first, bowing his head slightly. “Thank you for taking the time to interview me, sir.”

“Call me Lex,” the demon says with a smile. He rises from his chair and rounds his desk, sit-leaning on the front edge. Cade takes in the demon’s revealed outfit—gray tailored suit that re-sculpts his body; recently shined shoes, because of course the head of the city’s most prominent architecture firm can afford a regular shoe-shine. Gold accessories sparkle at his cuffs, his tie, and his breast pocket.

“I’m impressed with your resume,” Lex says. “I don’t find it prudent to rehash details we both already know, so why don’t you tell me what’s between the lines?” He tilts his head, the fluorescent light catching his horns like a noon glare off a pool of ink.

Cade had come prepared for all the standard interview questions, but this one threw him off-kilter. Was he supposed to start with his strengths? His flaws? What he did for fun?

After a few seconds of pinging thoughts, his brain clicks into place and he speaks. “At previous positions I worked with external and internal clients. I found I preferred working with internal clients the most; supporting those within the company. I’m not bothered to work late when necessary, or weekends if the job demands it.”

“I believe in a healthy work-life balance,” Lex says smoothly. “But during office hours, I require my assistant to be fully dedicated.”

“I throw myself into my work, sir,” Cade says. “I care to see tasks through correctly, even if it takes a little longer. I know my performance reflects upon myself as well as my superiors, and the company.” He swallows, waiting for Lex’s response.

“Mind if we test that?” Lex asks.

Cade realizes how much his posture has slouched when he sits up straighter. “Not at all, sir.”

Lex taps a long, clawed finger on his elbow, cheek bulging as if nudged by his tongue.

“Strip.”

Cade flinches. “I—I’m sorry?”

The demon raises a brow as the corner of his mouth ticks up. “You heard me.” Then he tosses his head. “The door’s there, if you’re not up to it.”

Fight or flight time. Cade swallows a lump, weighing his pros and cons, but all he can think is that he really, really needs this fucking job.

His hands tremble as he stands and reaches for his throat, tugging his tie right and left until it loosens. He lays it on the leather sofa next to him, then removes his suit jacket. He folds it with care, even though it’s just a lucky thrift store find, and lays it on the back of the sofa.

He raises his eyes to his demon spectator as he unbuttons his shirt, trying to keep the fear from his face. He wants to look confident without arrogance; competent without ignorance. He can’t know how many others interviewed for this position, only revel in the fact that he’s in this room now, with the heavy, lustful eyes of a demon watching him.

With his shirt unbuttoned, Cade drops it from his shoulders, laying it next to the suit jacket. His undershirt follows, then his binder. He drops his eyes before the last one, but curiosity brings them back up. Nothing indicating displeasure crosses the demon’s face.

Cade realizes he must have hesitated, because Lex crosses his arms and says. “Are you finished?”

“No, sir,” Cade says automatically, reaching for the fly of his suit pants. He unclasps, then pushes them to his ankles along with his briefs. He pauses again when he realizes he hadn’t even thought to take his shoes off.

“That’s enough,” Lex says. “Take a seat.”

Cade’s cheeks heat up as he teeters back, legs spreading automatically when he lands. There’s slick built up between his legs and without thinking, he scoots his ass to the edge of the couch, legs opening wider as he half-reclines.

Lex doesn’t move, but a smile curls his lips when he orders, “Play with yourself.”

Cade inhales sharply, blushing. He’d never masturbated with an audience. His cock throbs at the impending exposure, both in the present and the future.

He reaches for his nipples, rolling his fingers over them lightly. He doesn’t usually do this when he jerks off, but knowing there’s an expectation that he’s putting on a show, that he needs to impress—the thought makes him moan softly, and he pinches his nipples tighter.

He leaves one hand on his chest as the other slides between his legs. He knows he’s wet, but he finds evidence of his arousal clinging to the pubic hair along his cunt. He slides a finger between the folds, dragging the moisture up to his cock.

“That’s it,” Lex says. “How does it feel?”

“It’s good, sir,” Cade says, teasing himself to draw it out. He’s never been this turned on with any partner, never had eyes boring into him, hungry and clinical, while he chases his own pleasure. His shoes are still on, for fuck’s sake, his cunt drooling shamelessly on the leather beneath his ass. With his fingers split around his cock, stroking with wet, slurping noises, he could get off easily—another shock. Interviews are supposed to be about someone finding out about you, not discovering new things about yourself.

Cade’s head falls back against the couch, coolness seeping through his hair. “Sir, may I—is it okay if…” He trails off, stilling his fingers until he hears an answer to his half question. 

“I’m so glad you asked,” Lex purrs. “Knowing the performance is on you, but seeking approval for the finished product, is always best practice.”

“Ah—thank you, sir.” Cade squeezes his eyes shut as he paces himself. He’s so close, but he senses that coming without permission means he might as well have walked out before he took his clothes off.

“And so well-mannered,” Lex continues. “Go ahead. You’ve earned it.”

Cade’s fingers speed up, tensing around his cock as he bucks helplessly into his own hand. He squeezes a nipple hard as he comes, teeth baring down on his bottom lip as a quick burst of breaths flares his nostrils. He usually curses like a sailor when he comes, but he keeps it relegated to a terse, whispered, “Fuck.”

Lex hears him, of course, and chuckles as he returns to his seat. “You’re free to get dressed.”

Cade’s never left a job interview without having a decent idea of how it went, but he goes numb as he drags his clothes back on. He starts to stuff his tie in his pocket, not even wanting to deal with it, but Lex taps the edge of his desk.

“Let me get that for you.”

“Oh.” Cade squeezes the tie in hand and approaches the desk. He wraps the tie around the back of his neck, holds his breath as Lex reaches up and knots it for him.

“Discretion is key,” he says softly. “Wouldn’t want anyone asking questions, would we?”

“No, sir,” Cade says. “Thank you.”

Lex smiles as he drops his hands and sits back in his chair. Cade catches a glimpse of what he thinks is an erection through Lex’s pants, but his eyes snap up when Lex says, “Speak to my secretary on the way out. She’ll schedule your second interview.”

Cade’s cheeks go numb with the rest of him. “Second interview, sir?”

“Standard protocol,” Lex says. “Before I extend you an official offer, there are more aspects of your performance I’d like to evaluate.”

A thrill seeps down Cade’s spine before it rests between his legs. He’s ready to drop to his knees right there if it gets him the job, but he just nods. “Of course,” he says, licking his lips. “Whatever it takes, sir.”

Lex leans back in his chair, his clawed hands curling around the ends of his armrests. “That’s what I like to hear.”


Shorts

Kinktober, Monster Edition (Oct 21-22) – YETI

The prompt for October 21-22 is YETI and I chose size difference + WAM as the kinks. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)

(cw: distention)


The visitor had come in from the cold, initially terrified that it wasn’t a human who answered the groundskeeper’s cottage door, but a yeti, dressed in fleece-lined blue coveralls. The visitor pushed through his fear and begged to be let inside, because he’d lost his coat and his phone was dead.

Gerard would have let him in without the backstory, but he felt bad for the poor, furless human. He pulled throw blankets off couch backs and wrapped the man up, leading him close to the fire. Then he made tea and waited quietly in his favorite armchair until the color once again bloomed on the man’s cheeks.

Now, after hot tea turned into hotter whiskey and a little bit of weed, that same man—whose name Gerard had discovered was Alex—knelt between Gerard’s furry legs, trying to work his lips down Gerard’s pale, fat cock.

“There’s no one here to impress,” Gerard rumbled. He’d shed his coveralls somewhere between the kitchen and the couch, and was relaxed against the worn-in cushions. 

The comment buffed frustration from Alex’s features. Gerard thought of him as pretty, with his wavy brown hair pulled back into a ponytail that brushed his neck; his eyelashes were long, his lips full and swollen. Gerard couldn’t help but steal glances at Alex’s cock dangling between his legs, hard and currently dripping onto Gerard’s shag rug.

Maybe he liked pretty men because he was the opposite—bulky, too big to feel comfortable in most rooms; getting through doorways was a struggle only yoga might improve. He’d seen the looks people gave him all his life; he knew he was intimidating.

But Alex didn’t seem to care about what Gerard looked like, and as much as Alex was failing to fit Gerard’s cock comfortably into his mouth, Gerard had to give him an A for effort.

“We can try something else,” Gerard offered, trying not to sound too amused.

“Probably a good call,” Alex said, wiping spit from his lips. He smiled up at Gerard. “If you’ve got lube, I’m sure we can make something else work.”

Gerard shimmied down the couch and hurried to his kitchen. The lube that humans tended to use made his own junk sore, so he’d found some organic coconut oil online that he’d read could be used as lubricant.

Gerard lay one of his throw blankets on top of the forest green shag rug, then bent Alex over in front of the fire. He slicked his cock up with the oil, then spread it down Alex’s crack. When Gerard noticed Alex’s hole was clenched like a small fist, he chuckled. “You’re definitely going to need to relax more.”

“Is it flattery if I say I’m too excited?” Alex asked.

Gerard ginned before he bent down and ran his tongue over Alex’s hole. He felt the man shudder beneath him, then moan softly. He reached for Alex’s cock, meager in his large hands, and smeared it with leftover oil still clinging to his fingers.

He didn’t hide the sounds he made, lapping at Alex’s tight hole as his fingers squelched around his cock. The way Alex twitched, as if fighting the urge to jerk away, had Gerard rock hard.

Gerard sat back, circling Alex’s asshole with his thumb before he dipped it in. The man’s breath rattled in his throat as he inhaled, then exhaled.

“That’s it,” Gerard murmured approvingly. He exchanged his thumb for one finger, then two until Alex was groaning pathetically, face pressed against the plush rug as Gerard stretched him and worked his prostate. Gerard added more lube, enjoying how it caught firelight as it slowly dripped down the inside of Alex’s thigh.

He mounted up, gripping his dick as he spread one half of Alex’s ass open. He rubbed his cock along the trail of stretched skin, creating more delicious, wet noises that sang in his ears.

He paused when Alex mumbled something he didn’t catch. “You doing okay down there?”

“Please go slow,” Alex repeated, his eyes pleading when they darted in Gerard’s direction.

Gerard patted the small of Alex’s back reassuringly. “Don’t worry, I’m plenty patient,” he said. “I want you to enjoy it as much as I do.”

Alex nodded. “Okay.”

Gerard lined himself up against Alex’s hole and nudged his way through the resistance. “Deep breaths,” he reminded the human, whose breathing had kicked up out of anticipation. He eased in until his crown was engulfed, but he pulled out gently at the sound of Alex’s whimper.

“Talk to me,” Gerard said, cupping and rubbing Alex’s ass again.

“I’m fine,” Alex said quickly. “Just getting used to it.”

Gerard made another pass, and this time the head of his cock slipped in easier. He took it a millimeter at a time, pausing whenever Alex hissed or groaned to caress the globes of his ass. He added drops of lube as he went, enjoying the sight of the wet spot forming below them on the throw.

“Almost there,” Gerard said as he rubbed the back of Alex’s thigh. “You’re doing so good.”

Fuck,” Alex moaned. “It’s so big—shit.”

Gerard’s brows rose when his balls finally pressed against Alex’s taint. He glanced down, impressed at how much the human had taken. The poor thing would be wrecked for days, and for a few seconds Gerard fantasized about Alex spending that resting period in his cabin, but he nudged the thought aside as he attempted a shallow thrust.

“Ooh, fuck,” Alex groaned. “Oh god—oh god.”

“Talk to me,” Gerard soothed. “Good? Bad?”

“Good, so fucking good, just—fuck, it’s so much.”

“We’ve got all night,” Gerard said.

“I can’t do this all night,” Alex said with a sudden laugh; it died in a hiss when Gerard thrust into him again.

Gerard pushed little by little, walking himself back if Alex’s face crumpled. But before he knew it, he had a steady rhythm going. It was, to borrow Alex’s phrasing, fucking good, and Gerard felt like the entirety of Alex’s insides might squeeze his dick off and he would die happy.

Alex’s moans came to a crescendo, and Gerard grabbed his hips as he rocked into him. He wasn’t overly-sensitive by nature, but he could already feel his orgasm closing in. For Alex’s sake, he didn’t need to prolong it.

“Here,” Gerard said, sitting back on his heels as he eased Alex with him. Alex was left bent on his knees, his ass in Gerard’s lap. “Ride me.”

Alex nodded and braced his hands on his thighs. He bobbed his ass up and down, mouth drawn wide open as he fucked himself on Gerard’s cock.

Gerard reached around and found Alex’s weeping dick, rubbing it more than stroking it. He rolled Alex’s balls between two thick fingers, then swept them along the underside of his cock.

“Fuck—fuck—I’m gonna come,” Alex moaned.

“Make it loud for me,” Gerard murmured, so close himself that hearing Alex climax would surely drag him along. “Like you want all those fancy guests at the lodge to hear you.”

“Oh f—” Alex didn’t finish the word, suddenly bouncing on Gerard’s cock like it was hardly a problem, screaming in ecstasy as his cum painted Gerard’s fingers.

Gerard took over, hands nearly circling Alex’s waist as he moved him on his cock. His fingers tented together over Alex’s stomach and when he felt the bulge of himself pressing against Alex’s stomach, his head fell back in a near roar, balls iron tight as he came.

Their labored breathing was the only sound against the crackling of the fire. Gerard released Alex, and the human caught himself on his hands, easing off Gerard’s cock with an extended whimper. His face hit the shag rug and he went still, chest expanding as he caught his breath.

If the throw blanket was ruined, Gerard wasn’t apt to care—he gathered a dry edge and gently blotted the slick mix of cum and lube from Alex’s body. The human made small sounds of gratitude, and eventually rolled onto his side.

“Borrow your couch?” Alex asked weakly, with a blissful, fucked out smile on his face.

Gerard laughed as he tugged the blanket out from under Alex and balled it up. “You’re welcome to my bed,” he said, turning to the fire to add another log.

“I’d imagine it’s like sleeping with a giant stuffed animal.”

“If giant stuffed animals had equally giant cocks, then yes.” Gerard winked. “It’s exactly like that.”

Even as he rolled onto his back and winced, Alex laughed; a sweet sound in Gerard’s ears, one that he knew he’d miss long after morning.


Shorts

Kinktober, Monster Edition (Oct 19-20) – HARPY

The prompt for October 19-20 is HARPY and I chose facesitting as the kink. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)


Orien, king of harpies, watches the sun rise over a system of nested trees in the valley below. Raven black feathers frame his face, elongating into a cape down his back. Shorter feathers fluff his waist like regal vestments, spanning down his thighs to his calves before thinning out above his taloned feet. His chest is a smooth, open plane, skin inlaid with a bruisy hue. Shards of amethyst border his eyes like bejeweled face paint, an inherited feature of his lineage.

On quiet mornings he takes his time to brush sleep from his feathers. If the day ahead has a full schedule, which it often does, he spends the early hours pacing the balcony outside his bedchamber, mentally preparing for endless council meetings, public addresses of his subjects’ concerns, and his least favorite—sentencing duty.

Orien flexes his claws as the sunrise peaks, then heads inside through a whisper of gauzy drapes. Today is a special anniversary, so his schedule has been cleared—as he’d decreed to both the council and his closest advisors.

The king’s bedchamber isn’t grandiose in size and contains exactly what he needs; though not without a dash of superficial finery. A raised stone fountain babbles endlessly, occupying a square corner. Gold and jewels glimmer from dangling mobiles to statuettes to engraved urns that hold tropical flowers.

A domed cage takes up the center of the room, protecting the king’s most valuable treasure. Layered across the cage floor are scraps of silk, wisps of cotton, and tufts of yarn, cradling a human man wrapped in woven blankets against the chilly air.

Orien crosses the cage’s threshold, crouching on his talons over the human. The king had learned firsthand how delicate humans are, without flight and nothing but easily torn skin to shield their bones. He despises them as a whole, but this one is his worthy exception.

Most humans looked upon him with equal parts fear and disgust; this one rarely viewed him with anything but wonder and reverence. There had been fear at first, when the human had stumbled into the harpies’ valley by accident. Orien’s guardsmen had captured the human and brought him in for questioning, under the assumption he was a spy. Orien had been a prince and the king’s inquisitor at the time, and he’d extracted the truth: the human had been on a forest hike, intending to camp and study the local wildlife.

Since then a year had passed with the urgency of a war cry—Orien had been crowned king and had declared the human his mate, much to the council’s initial chagrin. So long as he ruled with benevolence like his father, the rest of the kingdom would eventually come around.

Orien brushes a bit of the human’s dark, curly head fur aside, revealing a relaxed face that he regrets he’ll have to disturb. The human has a name—Cole, the same sound as the thick black seams that ribbon the harpy’s valley—but the king calls him something else when they’re alone together.

“Wake up, beloved.”

The human blinks sleepily before he smiles. “Good morning, my king.” He rolls onto his back and stretches, the blanket sliding to his waist. His belly is soft and round, scattered with the same color of fur that matches his head. “How may I service you?”

“Obedient pet,” Orien says, lightly running a claw down Cole’s chest. “It’s a special occasion, so I’ll let you decide.”

Cole giggles at Orien’s teasing; due to his vulnerable body, the human chooses their activities more often than the king. Cole folds his arms over his head. “Perhaps you should use my mouth as you see fit, your Majesty.”

It’s one of the human’s favorite positions, and Orien isn’t inclined to tire of it—he could get rough with parts of his avian body that wouldn’t harm Cole, assert some dominance despite the human’s proven loyalty.

Orien shifts forward on his knees, taking his time to arrange himself around Cole’s shoulders. His legs split wide so his talons are clear of flesh ripping distance. He lightly rests his ass on Cole’s chest, enough to situate his front half. Between his legs, he sweeps aside a tuft of gray powder down, exposing his small, half-hard cock, its flared base furling around his cloaca.

The king of harpies lowers himself onto the human’s face, his skin meeting eager lips. Cole drags his tongue through Orien’s folds, tastes him as he rubs his nose against Orien’s cock.

Cole’s hands encase Orien’s thighs as he initiates rhythm, stroking the soft barbs of the king’s dark feathers. He curls his fingers to tell Orien he’s ready for more, that he’s ready to be used as requested.

Orien widens his legs, pressing his crotch tighter against the human’s face. “That’s it, pet,” he coos, rocking his hips to get a full pass of Cole’s tongue, cock tapping his nose before he swivels back. “Show me how good you can be.”

Cole’s response is a muffled, choked sound that rumbles from his chest. His lips seek Orien’s cock, sucking him hard with each pass. Orien changes his movements, opting for shallow thrusts into his human’s mouth. He needles his claws through Cole’s head fur, squeezing in a brief show of possession rather than control.

Then Orien straightens his posture, peering down his long, feathered torso, past the bare, purpled skin of his belly. Cole’s face is flushed, his eyes closed in focus.

“Eyes on me, pet,” Orien commands.

Cole’s eyes flip up with a soft grunt and his grip on Orien’s thighs loosens. Orien takes Cole’s head fur in hand again, this time with intentional purchase as he rides Cole’s face. Every part of Cole’s body except his mouth goes lax, opening himself up for his king to take what he wants. He flicks his tongue stiffly against the slick skin grinding against him.

“That’s it,” Orien pants as Cole hums against him. “Make your king come.”

Cole presses his tongue flat as Orien thrusts into his face. When he comes, the king of harpies lets out a bloodcurdling shriek, digging his claws into the feathers lining his thighs. He feels the human flinch beneath him, but only from the sound—his face remains buried in Orien’s sex, catching the gush of cum on his lips.

Knocked into dizziness by his climax, Orien shakily eases himself off Cole. He rests his cheek on Cole’s soft belly and smiles at the sounds rattling Cole’s insides. “You are hungry.”

“Oh, I already ate,” Cole says, chuckling at his joke. He strokes matted tufts of down across Orien’s scalp. “Yes, my king. I’m hungry.”

Orien dangles his face close to Cole’s, knowing that without Cole’s lenses, he’s a blur of black and purple from the human’s perspective. “I don’t want to always be your king in here,” he says.

Cole licks his lips as he preens. “But I like calling you my king after you’ve come on my face.” Orien scrapes his teeth over Cole’s chin, catching a hint of his own cum. He kisses Cole on the mouth, tasting more of himself as his tongue parts Cole’s lips. “Get dressed, beloved,” he says, patting Cole’s cheek. “And after breakfast, I think I’ll have you for dessert.”


Shorts

Kinktober, Monster Edition (Oct 17-18) – MOTHMAN

The prompt for October 17-18 is MOTHMAN and I chose crossdressing and frottage as the kinks. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)


Mads and Helo take the subway across town to Mads’s studio space. The crowd of the train car forces them into the corner next to the doors, and Mads has to keep his posture awkward so he doesn’t crush the contents of his camera bag. Helo keeps rubbing against him, and Mads figures it’s the unsteady sway of the train mixed with Helo’s desire to remain untouched by strangers. But halfway through the ride, Mads realizes Helo’s “casual” brushes seem to always find his cock, a distant friction between their warm layers.

Before he can call it out, the train slows into a station. Mads’s fist clenches around the strap of his camera bag and they both suck in their breath as people maneuver off and on.

When the train jerks into motion, Helo grinds his ass against Mads’s crotch, discreet but deliberate.

“Quit that,” Mads hisses in Helo’s ear.

Helo’s eyes point toward an overhead advertisement for the city’s art museum. “Quit what?” he whispers back.

“You know what.”

Helo pouts, but he doesn’t do it again. Mads can guess why he’s acting this way—beneath Helo’s long coat and his loose clothes, he’s wearing a full lingerie set, something intricate and lacy and red that Mads had seen on a mannequin downtown.

A gallery had approached him to do a show. He’d agreed, but five months out he couldn’t decide on a concept or what the show would even feature. Then Helo had floated the idea to model for him. The suggestion struck Mads with untamed inspiration, and not just because he’d be taking artistic, partially-nude photographs of his moth fae husband.

They depart the train at the stop closest to the studio building. After swiping a keycard to get into the studio building, Mads stares at Helo’s ass for the entire three-story ascent as their footfalls bounce around the stairwell. He hasn’t seen Helo in the lingerie yet, so his imagination has been filling in the details. Helo had mentioned a passing interest in wearing lingerie a few times, but it’s never been something they’ve incorporated in the bedroom. Mads figures the distance will help him draw the line between business and pleasure—a line as delicate as the lace panties he pictures stretched across his husband’s hips.

His studio is small, half-boudoir, half-workspace. If Mads turns off the lights and draws the light-blocking curtains closed, it doubles as a darkroom. For most clients or models he goes digital, but this shoot he’s decided to take a hybrid approach. Developing his own shots is good stress relief, and he already assumes his shutter finger will be sore when this is over.

Helo’s face is suggestive when he turns to Mads; he knows he was being checked out when they climbed the stairs. “Where do you want me?”

“Over there,” Mads says, gesturing to a velveteen settee.

“Undressed?”

The corner of Mads’s mouth ticks up. “That’s what we’re here for, isn’t it?”

His amusement disappears as soon as Helo removes his long coat, then the loose clothes underneath. His articles of clothing find a home in an empty rolling chair before Helo crosses the room to the settee.

The bralette hugs his flat, light green chest, and Mads is relieved that the back clears Helo’s wings, leaving them free and unhindered. Criss-crossed red straps connect bralette hem to vintage cut panties, cupping Helo’s hips and torso and elongating his legs.

After Mads gets over the sight of his husband wearing something breathlessly elegant, he turns to his bag and pulls out two cameras—digital and analog—then heavy lenses and other equipment, taking his time to choose the accessories he wants before he makes minute adjustments to the camera settings.

With two cameras assembled and powered on, Mads loses himself, shooting photo after photo. Usually he has to provide direction, tell the models exactly how he wants them to pose, but Helo’s a natural. He bends over, propping one knee on the settee, flexing his wings as he peers pensively into the distance; then seductively over his shoulder. He gives Mads plenty of time before he changes position; he braces both arms on the settee’s curved back as he leans forward, the lace stretching across his ass snug canvas across a frame.

Mads gives up trying to hide what this is doing to him and focuses on taking as many photos as he can. He always overshoots on the digital camera and sorts through them later, but something tells him he won’t be deleting any from this set.

For a moment, he wonders if he’ll be able to share any of these outside of his hard drive.

Helo settles his back against the settee’s one arm, his wings folded beneath him. Mads catches a twitch of discomfort on Helo’s face and notices his antennae are drooping; after years of marriage, it’s a sign he recognizes as weariness.

Mads lowers the camera. “We can take a break if you need it.”

Helo nods at him, crooks his finger.

Mads sets the camera down. “Break time it is.”

As he approaches, Helo’s legs split and bend, and Mads is certain his heart stumbles over the next few beats. Pressed against the red lace, cut by a dark stripe of wetness, is Helo’s cock.

Mads had maintained a strong will on the train due to a captive audience, but now? He tumbles into his husband’s big yellow eyes, fingers itching to trace the stripes of red between bralette and panties.

“Sweetness, you’re killing me.”

Helo licks his lips. “I’m sorry.”

“You’re absolutely not,” Mads says, visually drinking in Helo’s body like a silky wine. “God, you’re fuckin’ gorgeous.”

Helo lifts a leg and his bare foot reaches Mads mid-thigh, but slides up to his crotch. “Show me, then.”

Mads catches the foot, hand cupping Helo’s calf as he kneels on the side of the settee. “Turn over.”

Helo’s brows raise, but he complies with a rustle of polyester and wings.

Mads wants nothing more than to rip the red panties off and slip inside his husband, fuck him hard against the settee as punishment for being such a goddamn tease all day. But the lingerie set was as expensive as it was ornamental, like a delicate cake too pretty to eat.

Mads gets an idea. He unzips his pants and pulls out his cock. He places a guiding hand on Helo’s hips until both legs are pressed together, ass down where Mads can push his cock between thigh meat and lace.

“Fuck,” he mutters, giving a test thrust of his hips.

“Oh, I like that,” Helo says, smiling at Mads over his shoulder.

“Yeah?”

“It feels dirty,” Helo says, sliding back enough to enclose Mads’s cock between his thighs. “And sleazy. And really fucking hot.”

Mads grins in agreement. “Squeeze me tight, little moth.”

He takes Helo’s hips in hand, fucking between his legs as he holds them together. The slide of the silky fabric and the heat of Helo’s thighs makes Mads ravenous.

Helo’s wings twitch and flap as his chest lowers to the settee arm. “Fuck, that’s so good,” he murmurs. Mads imagines the panties rubbing against Helo’s cock, just enough friction to turn him feral with lust. He fucks harder, hands closing around Helo’s as he rides his peak.

Normally he’d come like this, but even in a sex haze he considers that Helo would be upset if his present was wrecked; that Mads probably couldn’t get a cum stain out of the settee without permanently tarnishing the fabric. He slows.

“Give me your mouth, sweetness.”

He pulls away before Helo whirls around, scooting closer on his hands and knees until his face is level with Mads’s cock. His back curves behind him, glistening wings curled inward against red fabric. From this angle, his ass looks perfect in a rouge, lacy embrace.

This won’t take long, Mads resigns.

Helo knows he’s close, too; he engulfs him, jerking what he can’t fit into his mouth with his hand. He balances on half-bent legs as he cups Mads’s sac.

Fuck,” Mads growls as he comes. His legs threaten to buckle as Helo sucks his cock clean. He finally stumbles when he pulls out, catching himself on the settee and letting himself fall gracefully. Helo darts out of the way, but as soon as Mads is settled, he curls up against him.

Once his brain clears, Mads says, “Maybe we should call it a day.” He presses a kiss between Helo’s antennae. “I know I’m biased, but that was one hell of a session.”

“I did good?” Helo asks, and the lift in his voice has Mads ready to tear up.

“Yes, little moth, you did.” Mads chuckles, reaching down to tuck himself back in. “Don’t think I’ll be able to edit these shots in one sitting. Guess I can suffer for my art.”

“On that note.” Helo’s eyes shine up at Mads, a slow grin parting his lips. “I think I have an idea for your show.”


Shorts

Kinktober, Monster Edition (Oct 15-16) – COSMIC HORROR

The prompt for October 15-16 is COSMIC HORROR and I chose cockwarming & DP as the kink. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)


The morning was overcast when Niall’s life changed. The attendant to the Bright One had ventured down from the mountain to deliver the first summons in half a century. 

The village dozed at the foot of the mountain, and the Bright One’s attendant sought a cottage on the edge of the border. Niall saw the attendant approach, robed in velvet, the shimmery fabric embroidered with the same symbols Niall had seen on pulpits his entire life.

“You are the one called Niall?” the attendant asked.

“I am,” Niall said.

The attendant’s adjusted posture raised him from the ground. “You have been summoned by the almighty Bright One. Do you accept your duty?”

Niall dropped the pitchfork in his hands, one he’d been using to shovel fodder. “I…”

“The Bright One only wishes the willing to accept,” the attendant continued. “But you have been chosen.” The attendant turned his back and said over his shoulder, “I shall return in the morning for your answer.”

When he slept that night, Niall heard whispers, a voice that clawed through his mind. But he didn’t wake up terrified as if from a nightmare. They were pleasant dreams, where he was treasured, touched like no one had touched him, even with a voice that sounded like rats tearing through his walls.

Even at the Convening, where the village gathered every week at the chapel, Niall had never heard the Bright One speak to him. But he felt the same solace when he peered into the chapel’s tiered roof, hands folded in prayer—he’d always known he was heard.

The attendant came for him the next morning, rapping hard on his door. They were to head up the mountain, to reach their destination by dusk. Niall was full of questions—what did a summons mean, exactly? How long would he be gone? And the more pressing inquisition—what could the Bright One possibly want from him? But he asked none of them.

True to the attendant’s word, the sun was beginning to descend in the sky when they arrived. The attendant had given him words he’d need to recite, and Niall had been repeating them under his breath as steady as his pulse.

The Bright One’s shrine was nestled in a cave high up the mountain path. Aside from the toothy stalactites, there was only an altar of smoothed stone, infringed with darkness from the surrounding rock.

“We must prepare you for communion with the Bright One,” the attendant said. “Lie down on the offering table.”

Offering. Niall tried not to shake as he approached the altar. He’d worn loose robes as instructed, tied at the waist by a frayed rope from the barn. He expected ice at his back when he rolled onto the altar’s surface, but it was warm; pulsing, like a heart.

“The summoned shall now be blindfolded, in great respect to the Bright One,” the attendant announced, as if there was an audience to listen. Silk covered Niall’s eyes before he shut them. Then the attendant’s footsteps became echoes until Niall was alone.

But not entirely alone, because something squirmed and shifted in the darkness around him. Niall could feel it, more because he could not see. Then, like a hot wind, there was a presence. Bumps rose on Niall’s skin at the sound that followed, a rustling scrape against the sanctuary floor that didn’t quite sound like clothes or flesh.

He knew it was the Bright One.

Niall thought he could make out a word in the scuffle of sound around him—offering. The presence had joined him on the altar, bathing him in whispers and a gentle probe of his skin. Another word came—receive.

“As a son of the Unclean, I submit myself to the Bright One,” Niall whispered. “My life belongs to the Light, my soul to the Dark.”  

Something slithered across Niall’s leg, gripping, parting his thighs. The whisper from the dark had mounted to a dull rumble; an ancient language, a dead tongue.

Niall’s breathing sped up as the Bright One pushed something hard and fleshy inside his cunt. Niall expected movement. Friction. But the Bright One had entered him and stopped. Not moving, just. There.

Niall’s lashes fluttered against the blindfold as another word came to his mind: communion.

“You spoke to me, didn’t you?” Niall asked the dark. “In my dreams.”

We chose you, Niall heard from the dark.

“Why me?” Niall asked, emboldened by the fact that he somehow was still alive, still himself.

The Bright One whispered and screamed at once, and Niall couldn’t tell if his question was met with anger. The presence around him drew closer, like the choke of humidity. Then something else pressed between Niall’s legs, prodding, testing him. Niall kept his breathing consistent, deep and long, as he tilted his hips forward and opened himself up to the Bright One.

The last is gone, the darkness said. You are the new.

Another who had been summoned, Niall realized. Someone who had gone up the mountain before he was born and never returned to the village.

The presence settled with two appendages nestled inside Niall’s body. He understood the dream then, as quiet peace swept over him in the dark.

Shorts

Kinktober, Monster Edition (Oct 9-10) – CENTAUR

The prompt for October 9-10 is CENTAUR and I chose humiliation as the kink. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)

(cw: vocal degradation)


What appeared to be a barn was a cottage fit for a giant on the inside. Xen was not as large as some of his equine brethren, but his home was still spacious, especially compared to his human.

He entered with two logs of firewood under each arm, the last haul from a day spent felling a tree and chopping. He stacked them on top of a woodpile next to the hearth, where his human Lee was kneeling, nude and waiting for him.

Over a year ago, Xen had found Lee huddled around a small fire in the Faded Woods. The humans from the surrounding villages knew better than to venture so deep into the forest, so Xen considered the possibility that this human simply hadn’t known better. But rules were rules, and the agreement between centaur and human was clear: should any human cross into centaur territory, the centaurs would have a say in their death.

Xen hadn’t wished for the human to die, and since the centaur elders respected him, his plea for the human’s life was honored, under the condition that the human became his responsibility.

Xen ran his fingers through Lee’s hair. “Were you good today?”

Lee tilted his head into Xen’s touch. “Mostly.”

“Finish all your chores?” Xen said, pulling away so he could add a log to the fire.

“Everything but the kitchen,” Lee said, dropping his gaze.

“Hmm.” Xen bent over to nudge the fire with a metal poker. “I suppose I can let that slide.”

He grinned into the flames when he heard Lee’s soft whimper.

“What’s the matter?” Xen said, replacing the poker against the brick. “Did you want me to punish you?”

Lee nodded, bottom lip curled into his teeth.

Xen straightened his back and crossed his arms. “Hands against the wall, human.”

Lee looked surprised that his request had been fulfilled as he scurried to his feet. “Yes, sir,” he said, turning to a stretch of empty wall next to the fireplace. He placed his palms flat against the scruffy wood, back taut as he took a wide-legged stance.

Xen took his time, clopping slowly toward the human. He curved his equine body around Lee’s stance, leaning against the wall next to him. “Count for me,” he said.

“Yes, sir,” Lee said.

Xen’s tail twitched before it whipped the backs of Lee’s thighs.

“One.”

Xen repeated the action, aiming his tail higher for Lee’s rump. The skin flushed pink from the impact.

“Two,” Lee whispered.

“Louder, please,” Xen said.

Two.”

“Good human,” Xen said. His tail whispered through the air again, alternating between buttocks and thighs, until Lee had reached fifteen, his voice gradually deteriorating in volume.

Xen reached out, stroking Lee’s arm. “Are you sorry?”

“Yes, sir,” Lee said.

Xen pushed off the wall, positioning himself behind Lee as he dropped slowly to his stomach. He ran his fingers across the blushed skin of Lee’s ass. “You did so well for me,” he said.

Lee squirmed, but managed to say, “Thank you, sir.”

Xen smiled and pulled Lee’s cheeks apart. Lee’s body tensed, and Xen heard a soft, “Oh, no—” before he dragged his tongue across Lee’s hole.

“S-sir, please—” Lee moaned. “I’d rather have your tail again.”

Xen chuckled. “You want me to stop?”

Lee’s shoulders sagged. “I…”

“You like it, don’t you?” Xen asked. “My little human whore.”

Yes,” Lee whispered. “Yes, I like it.”

Xen dug his fingers into Lee’s cheeks as he tongued him again. Lee whined and jerked, but kept his hands flush against the wall.

Xen wrapped his fingers around Lee’s cock, dangling between his legs, pre-cum already beaded at the tip. “What number did you count to?” Xen asked.

“Fifteen, sir.”

“Perhaps I’ll make you come that many times as well.”

Lee’s face turned, and Xen caught the flash of horror. “Sir—I don’t—”

“Let’s see how many we can get out of you.” Xen squeezed Lee’s cock, then jerked him slowly. He worked a finger inside his hole, wriggling and seeking the spot he’d found that made the human’s cock weep.

Oh!” Lee was rocking on his heels, cheek pressed against the wall. “Sir, ah—”

“That’s it,” Xen murmured. “You’re a good whore, aren’t you?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Say it for me.” Xen jerked faster, slid a second finger alongside the first.

“I’m—I’m a good whore,” Lee moaned.

“And whose whore are you?”

“I’m your whore, sir—” Lee interrupted himself with his own climax, his spend shooting to the floor as he shook.

Xen didn’t stop, keeping his hand tight around the tip of Lee’s cock. “Again.”

“Sir, please, I can’t—”

“You will.”

Lee whimpered beautifully, jerking from the overstimulation with tears welling in his eyes. Xen managed another orgasm out of him, but he could hear the sob rising in Lee’s throat.

“Good boy,” Xen said, releasing Lee’s cock.

Lee dropped his arms from the wall and turned, falling to his knees. He reached for Xen’s hand, sucking each of his fingers clean.

“You don’t have to do that,” Xen muttered.

Lee smiled. “I want to.”

Xen inhaled sharply. “Come here.”

Lee walked closer on his knees and buried himself in Xen’s arms. Xen kept one bicep against Lee’s back and dropped the other hand to his ass, lightly grazing the still-heated skin.

“Feel better now?” he murmured against Lee’s hair.

“Mhm.”

“Good,” Xen said, pressing a quick kiss to Lee’s head. “I’ll help you clean up the kitchen.”

“No!” Lee said, pulling away as he scrambled to his feet. “I’ll do it. You’ve been—you should rest.” Xen laughed and lifted himself on his equine legs, walking across a rug that muffled his hoofbeats. “Get dressed,” he said over his shoulder. “I can handle a few dishes.”


Shorts

Kinktober, Monster Edition (Oct 7-8) – MERFOLK

The prompt for October 7-8 is MERFOLK and I chose primal play as the kink. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)

(CW: a character being pulled unexpectedly into water)


Arlo enjoyed working the aquarium at night, the blissful silence backlit by glowing microcosms. A particular night, however, he noticed a room that had been empty for months was open, no longer blocked by a sign reading EXHIBIT EMPTY – DO NOT ENTER. Knowing he was expected to clean every open exhibit, he wheeled his cart of cleaning supplies through the door.

The room’s height was staggering, and one wall had been replaced by ten-inch glass, serving as the observation area of an enormous outdoor tank. The aquarium must have obtained a fresh attraction, something large.

Arlo abandoned his cart to peer into the tank’s teal glimmer; aside from a floor of sand, jagged rock faces, and lush, aquatic flora, it appeared empty.

He turned back to his cleaning supplies, figuring the room’s opening had only been in preparation for a new arrival. But as he swept the floor, he caught hints of shadow along the tank wall, as if something was cautiously darting in and out of sight. Whenever he turned his head, there was nothing there.

By the time he swept and mopped the room, he took a nearby stairwell outside for a smoke break. The stairs led him to the viewing deck of the tank, and after he lit a cigarette he peeked over the fenced edge.

He stumbled back at the flash of a charcoal fin, his dropped cigarette fizzling out in a puddle. When he looked up, he found a smooth forehead and two slitted eyes peering at him over the tank’s edge.

“Oh!” Arlo blurted. “I’m so sorry.”

The creature—unlike anything he’d ever seen—blinked once, then disappeared. Arlo stood, then steadied himself on the railing and leaned over again.

It moved like a shark, but from the torso up, it was humanoid, with limbs the color of smoke, ashy underbelly, and a crooked smile of fins running down its back.

“What are you?” Arlo murmured.

The creature circled before it poked its head up, watching Arlo curiously as its tail swung pendulum-like beneath the surface. Then it dove forward and down, to the bottom of the tank.

Arlo shimmied between the railing and crossed his legs as he sat in a dry patch of concrete. A black shape appeared and unblurred as it rose to the surface. The creature again looped the tank, head occasionally breaking the surface to watch Arlo before parting the water as it spun.

“Are you showing off?” Arlo grinned briefly. “I hope they don’t make you do tricks for an audience,” he added. “Those poor animals seem miserable.”

The creature paused, then swam toward Arlo carefully. It folded its human arms on the concrete edge, its tail drifting idly through the water.

“I hope they’re feeding you enough,” Arlo said as he pulled his knees to his chest. “And that hardly seems like enough space for you.”

The creature gripped the edge around the tank and lifted itself out, water rolling off its coarse skin as its torso flexed from the effort.

“Oh!” Arlo said, pressing his back against the paint-crusted railing. The creature seemed content to stare at him, to be in his space. “You’re bigger up close,” Arlo whispered.

The creature’s tail slapped the water once, as if pleased. Then it held its hand out to Arlo, silvery palm upturned. Curiosity would likely undo him, but Arlo reached out. The creature’s hand was glass-smooth, warm and wet.

Arlo didn’t have a chance to pull away before the creature’s fingers closed around his and yanked.

The water swallowed Arlo with an icy bite. He kicked his legs against the cold toward the surface, gulping air as he clung to the concrete edge, nose burning as he coughed and sputtered.

A dorsal fin sliced through the water toward him. Arlo shut his eyes, certain he was about to die enclosed in the maw of this strange creature. But after a gentle splash and no sharp teeth sinking into his neck, Arlo cracked one eye open.

The creature floated next to him, close enough to touch, peering at him curiously over the water line.

“Please don’t eat me,” Arlo whispered, closing his eyes again.

Something soft touched his cheek, and he opened his eyes to the creature’s face close to his.

“That wasn’t very nice,” Arlo said, a shiver working its way into his voice. “It’s cold as hell in here.”

The creature grinned, an expression so familiar and human that Arlo’s mouth dropped open. “So you can understand me?”

The creature nodded.

“I suppose you’ve been around humans before,” Arlo said, swiping a hand over his face.

The creature inched closer until Arlo felt an alien hardness press against his leg. Assuming it was another fin, Arlo absently reached for it. It didn’t feel like a fin; his fingers encountered something softer, coiled with warmth.

He froze. The creature was still, too, dark eyes watching Arlo expectantly.

“I’m so sorry,” Arlo said, whipping his hand back.

The creature caught his hand, faster beneath the water, and stroked his fingers. It drew his hand back to the softer skin and closed its eyes.

“Oh,” Arlo whispered. He gripped the appendage and bit his lip.

The creature lifted its arms with a rush of disturbed water, gripping the edge of the tank on either side of Arlo’s head. It bared its gritted teeth, sharp and infinite up close.

Arlo stroked the creature’s cock and worked up enough courage to look down. The appendage protruded from a slit on the creature’s belly, colored a bruised red that stuck out against gray.

“Does that feel good?” Arlo asked softly.

The creature grunted and rubbed its face against Arlo’s shoulder. It sniffed him, then pressed its nose into the hollow of his neck. Arlo tensed, and when teeth grazed his skin, he gasped, “No, no, please—” But there came no onset of pain; nothing more than a needling tickle against his pulse.

Arlo relaxed, tentatively convinced the creature wouldn’t harm him. He savored the fierce vicinity of the creature’s chest, warm and snug against his own. His hand stroked the creature’s cock languidly against underwater pressure, though it didn’t seem to mind his speed; it was hunched over, body weight distributed to its arms. It wasn’t panting, per se—Arlo supposed its gills were somewhere underwater—but its body was heaving luxuriously in response to Arlo’s touch.

The creature pressed its nose in Arlo’s hair, burying guttural gasps in Arlo’s ears as its hips surged forward. Arlo was trapped against the concrete wall, the creature’s body heat likely the only thing keeping him from hypothermia. With a final snarl, the creature fucked itself into Arlo’s hand until its motions slowed.

Even submerged, Arlo felt something viscous clinging to his fingers as he disengaged. The creature released the wall and slipped fully into the water. A chill bolted through Arlo at the loss of supplementary heat, and he braced his arms along the wall’s edge and attempted to pull himself out.

He felt the creature’s presence behind him before its arms locked around his legs. Arlo rose and doubled over when the wall hit his waist. He lugged himself onto the walkway, rolling onto his back with deadweight limbs as he blinked up at the sky.

Water sprinkled onto his face, and he turned his head to meet two black eyes. Despite knowing the creature understood him, he had no idea what to say. He tipped his head back and sighed, the fingers of his right hand unfurling.

The creature pressed its face into Arlo’s open palm. Arlo smiled as he stroked the top of its head. “Did you like that?” he asked.

The creature eased up further, its mouth opening as it went for Arlo’s forearm. Though he was too tired and cold to react, the movement didn’t strike Arlo as feral; even as he watched the creature’s mouth open, he lay still. The creature closed its pearly teeth around Arlo’s arm without pressure; just a squeeze, as if out of comfort, out of gratitude. Then, with a clap of sandpaper skin against water, it was gone.