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Sometimes You Must Take – A Dragon Moms Side Story

This short story was April 2017’s Short Story of the Month! If you enjoy it, and would like to support more, please consider throwing me a buck here.

This story is a side story from my ongoing serial, Dragon Moms, which can be found here! This story actually takes place a little less than a year before the first entry of Dragon Moms, so it doesn’t necessarily have any spoilers or anything like that. You should be able to jump right in! It is a bit more serious than a lot of Dragon Moms, though.

Content Warnings: This story does have explicit sexual scenes. While nothing truly bad happens, it does play with some situations that may make those sensitive to rape imagery uncomfortable.

Boss came back. I wasn’t slacking off or anything of course. You don’t stick around the office after hours to slack off. I was working on payroll for that week. But I still jumped as the door to the office swung open. I wasn’t expecting anyone. I nearly knocked over my bottle of ink.

“Clementine!” Boss roared, grinning at me. The big Blue still cut an opposing figure when he had to (doing construction your whole life ensured you’d stay in shape) but most of the time he always just looked like a happy grandpa. Having met his grandkids, I knew he was just that, so maybe that colored my perception a bit. But the way he smiled, and always slapped people on the back with those meaty claws? Just a real friendly-grandpa sort of guy. I could only hope I had half the cheer he did when I reached his age. “Good, you’re still here. No, wait, bad, what are you still doing here?”

“Hey, Boss,” I said, smiling. “Just finishing up payroll.”

“You have all week to finish up payroll!” he said, chuckling. “Go home.” He rapped his claws on my desk as he walked past, as he always did, heading to his office.

“It’s not a big deal,” I said. “I just wanted to…”

“Wait!” Boss said, turning back around. “Right, I was going to tell you something.”

“Yes? Did the meeting go well?” It always sounded better when I called big meals with his friends during working hours “meetings.”

“You bet your tail it did,” he said, grinning widely. “How much do you know about the outpost?”

“Nothing?” I said. “Well, where it is, I guess?”

“Well, it’s a piece of shit. Someone really needs to do some serious renovations and expansion. Orin’s so much bigger these days, you know,” Boss said.

“And you convinced your friend to hire us,” I said, finishing the thought.

“And they’re going to hire us!” Boss said, chuckling. “So much coin in government work! This is going to be great great great!” He turned to head into his office. “Anyway, like I said, go home. And I’ll probably need you to come with me tomorrow for the inspection and resulting paperwork garbage.”

“Of course, Boss,” I said. “Meet you there, or here?”

“There, we’re supposed to meet up about when we’d start anyway.”

“Then I need to get a bunch of stuff ready tonight,” I said, bookmarking and closing my ledger.

Boss leaned out of his office and gave me a look. “…fine. But you’re going home early tomorrow.”

“I think I can handle that.”

Satisfied, Boss soon headed out, and I worked late making copies of basic contracts, just in case, and consolidating a current price list for materials that I knew from experience Boss was going to ask me about.

By the time I got back home to my place, it was dark. I reheated some leftovers (I always try to cook big, even if I’m just cooking for myself, for just this reason) and ate. The place was quiet, as it always was. I was used to it by now. Moving out had been an ordeal. Mom had been especially emotional about it with Flare missing and everything. But it was important to do, and I had a nice place.

But I did still kind of miss talking to Mom every night, instead of just silence.

With nothing else to do, it didn’t take long before I just went to sleep.

As I had expected, I arrived at the Adjudicator Outpost before Boss. The entrance was surrounded by the sort of structure you only really see in military buildings, an artificial, above-ground cave made of cut stones. The metal door to it was open, and there were a bunch of adjudicators going through some sort of exercise routine. I saw several doing flying drills above, and the rest were lifting and shoving various weights. There were a lot of quite nice muscles on display. I have to admit I enjoyed the show while I waited near the canal for Boss. A Blue adjudicator picked up a rather ridiculous – to my eyes anyway – training weight, and hefted it over his head. Every bit of him seemed to be straining at it. I grinned in spite of myself.

And then, as the Blue dropped the weight, he turned to me and grinned back.

I immediately started rummaging in my bag for my clipboard so I’d have something else to look at, tail swishing in embarrassment. I was so busy not looking at him, I jumped when he spoke and I realized he was right next to me.

“Yo,” he said.

“H-hi,” I said, looking up and putting on an apologetic smile. We were going to do work here. I didn’t need to immediately make things awkward like this. “Sorry about that…”

“About what?” he said, grinning widely. “Enjoying the show?”

“…yes,” I said, unsure how to respond to such blatant bravado.

“Haven’t seen you around,” he said. “Waiting on someone to finish the whole morning workout thing?”

“Nothing like that,” I said. “I work for Bloody Sea Construction. We’re going to be working on some renovations to the outpost.”

The Blue chuckled, a bit of fog escaping his mouth. “I cannot imagine someone as pretty as you, like, digging tunnels.”

“I do the books…” I stammered. Had anyone not a friend or my mom called me pretty before? I couldn’t think of anyone in recent memory, at least.

“Oh, a nerd,” he said, chuckling even more as he leaned in a bit too close. “Got a thing for cute nerds.”

“You… are very forward…” I said.

He shrugged and smiled.

“Pike!” an adjudicator called. “Get back here! We aren’t done yet!”

“Yeah, yeah,” he called, before pointing a fin at me. “Later, yeah?”

“Uh, yeah,” I said, and watched as he ran back towards the rest of the adjudicators.

I must have been staring into space, trying to make sense of that interaction, as it took me a moment to register Boss climbing out of the canal behind me. “Someone you know?” he asked.

“Uh, no…” I said. “Just a friendly adjudicator, I guess.”

“Oh ho,” Boss said, grinning and slapping me on the back. “Friendly.”

“Something like that,” I said, gripping my clipboard tighter. “Shall we go in?”

Boss looked at me for a moment. I could always tell he was on the verge of making me his personal project. I like Boss a lot, but the idea honestly terrified me. Luckily, he once again decided not to, and turned to the gate. “Let’s get in there and make some deals, yeah. Gotta bunch of boys who are itching to get their claws dirty out here and make some coin.”

We headed into the very utilitarian outpost, and I followed Boss, who seemed to know where he was going, to what I assumed was some sort of office. He knocked on the wall of the entrance to the chamber, and an older Black looked up from the desk.

“Archer!” the Black said, grinning.

“Yun,” Boss said, walking up. They shook claws in that overt, masculine power demonstration way.

“Feels like it’s been forever. Like a whole day,” Yun said, chuckling.

“Yep, yep, but hey, no time to catch up, we got work to do. Oh, also, this is my assistant, Clementine. Handles all the boring stuff for me.”

“I like to call it ‘important stuff,’” I said, smiling and offering a claw. “Good to meet you, Captain.”

Yun shook it with a smile. “Good to meet you, yes. I’m sure it must be exhausting keeping all of Archer’s boys in line over there.”

“Ah, I manage, somehow,” I said, chuckling.

“Yun and I used to be in the same unit back in the day. He was too stubborn to quit, went all career on me,” Boss said.

This was a very common story from Boss. I honestly felt like his unit, from what he’d claimed, had had too many people in it to be real at this point, but there was no reason to question it. “Of course,” I said.

“Surely you don’t want to bore her with old war stories, though,” Yun said, smiling.

My tail twitched in frustration, my tail bangles jingling a little.

Before I could say anything, Boss said, “Yeah, wouldn’t want to bore HIM, not when there’s work to do,” his expression changing immediately to serious. He put probably too much emphasis on the pronoun.

“…right,” Yun said, taking in Boss’ change in attitude. He looked to me. “Sorry. I’ll get it right from now on.”

I wanted to escape back to that friendly, joking tone Boss normally inspires, but the room felt so dire. I just said, “Thanks,” twisting one of my bangles nervously with a claw.

“Anywho, let’s talk about your needs, and we’ll talk about what we can build you, eh?” Boss said, motioning towards the passage.

“Right, yes,” Yun said.

I followed behind them as they started chatting and the tension started to disappear. I jotted down notes as the two old friends chit-chatted about plans. As per usual, Boss would occasionally ask me questions on costs and time frames and I’d flip through all the parchment I had in my clipboard until I found what he needed. The expansion Yun was thinking of was way more extensive than I had figured. He wanted to completely repurpose the barracks for a wide variety of things and build a new, separate, much larger one. I had figured we’d be adding a few chambers, but this would keep everyone busy for quite some time. Boss had come through. But then again, he always did.

“I’ll draw up the contracts, and then we’ll get our architect on the plans,” I said as our little walking tour ended. “We should be able to start pretty quickly, since we shouldn’t have to get permits to work for the outpost.”

“Fantastic,” Yun said.

“The boys and I are eager to get to work, for sure,” Boss said. “Thanks for giving us the opportunity.”

“Of course, of course. Been putting this expansion off for too long, honestly. You’ve probably seen how many we have at the outpost these days. Just a bit too cramped.” Yun smiled.

“I’ll fly by at the end of the week to get everything signed, if that’s alright,” I said.

“Perfect.”

“See you later, Yun,” Boss said, grinning, and we walked out of his office and back towards the gate.

“Sorry again about him,” Boss said. “Shoulda told him ahead of time, maybe.”

“It’s nothing to make a big deal about,” I said. “I know how I look and I work hard to look this way. I’m fine. You know that.”

“You’re one of my boys, so you’re my problem, and I will make sure you’re treated right,” Boss said. “How many times I have to tell you that, eh?” He grinned.

I chuckled, embarrassed, and smiled. “Apparently a few more,” I said.

“Anyway, I’d best get back to the office. And I better not see you there. You go home, like you promised.”

“Yes, Boss,” I said.

I walked Boss to the canal and waved goodbye. I was getting everything settled in my bag and about to take off when the Blue from earlier, Pike, started hurrying over to me.

“Hey! Hey! Hold up!” he said.

I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to embarrass myself in front of him any more, but there was a chance I’d have to work with him on the new project, so I waited. “Yes?” I asked.

Pike grinned. “I need your name.”

I looked at him for a moment. “Clementine.”

“I’m Pike,” he said, grinning all the more.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Pike,” I said.

“I also need your number,” he said.

I had to take even longer on that one. But no, surely he was just asking for project purposes. “Right, of course.” I rummaged around in my bag until I pulled out one of my cards, offering it. “You can send any questions or anything like that to this courier number here.”

He took it, chuckling. “I’ve got a few things in mind.”

“Alright. Well… don’t hesitate,” I said. “Have a good day.”

“Yeah,” Pike said.

I flew off, feeling incredibly awkward.

When I got back to my place, I had nothing to do. It bothered me. Surely there was something useful I could dig my claws into. After a lot of debate, I decided I was going to make lunches for the rest of the week, and got my shopping things together. I walked through the Barter Plains, filling my shopping basket with enough lasting food to cover me for quite a while.

I was looking through bottles of dried spices, trying to remember what I needed to restock on, when I overheard two other dragons talking the next stall over.

“You holding up?” one said.

“Yeah, but it is tough waiting for this weekend,” the other said. “I cannot wait to get my claws on the ball and get out there.”

The first dragon laughed. “Be sure to save some of that energy for the game.”

I shook my head and got back to my business.

But what did I have planned for this weekend?

Every weekend I cleaned and cooked for the next week.

But I was going to do that tonight.

Maybe I could reorganize my books. But that would be busy work. Nothing was very out of place at the moment. Maybe I could have dinner with Merry. But no, she had that Watchers Club meeting… maybe Mom then.

It was then that it hit me that I might be boring.

“Clementine!”

I snapped out of it and turned to smile at Merry. She was my last stop, for bread. “Hi, Merry,” I said, walking over.

“You’re, like, never at the Plains this time of day!” she said, smiling.

“I worked late last night, so Boss made me leave early today,” I said. “So I’m running errands.”

“And I get to see you!” Merry said, her voice full of that genuine cheerfulness I often felt a little jealous of.

“And I you! So that’s nice,” I said, smiling. “Though I do also need some bread.”

“Oh yeah! Well, I have plenty of that, you know?” she said. She helped me pick out two loaves, and I set them in my basket.

“Merry, I have a silly question,” I said as I got out the coin to pay for the bread.

“Oh? Okay!” she said.

“Am I boring?” I asked. “I’m afraid I’m boring.”

“You’re not boring! You’re just… like…” Merry started struggling with words, which I had to admit was not particularly reassuring. “Focused? You’re like, really focused and you get a lot of things done? Like, everything people ask of you and even more for them? I barely get all my baking done but you do a lot, I think?”

“I suppose you’re right. I do a lot at work.”

“Yeah!”

“But I never know what to do with myself when I’m not working,” I said.

“Oh! I could lend you a book! I just read one about… uh, well, maybe you wouldn’t like that one, but… but I could ask Ridge about one for you?”

I chuckled. “Thanks… and sorry to bring that up. Don’t worry about it. I’ve just had an odd day.”

“Odd? Hopefully not bad odd?” Merry said, her face turning to concern.

“No, just… an awkward interaction with a guy. That’s all.”

Merry nodded in understanding.

“I’ll see you soon, okay?” I said, deciding the less said about that the better.

“Yeah! Let’s have lunch next week!” Merry said. “I’ll send a letter and stuff!”

“Yes please,” I said, flashing a smile before I headed out.

I did my cooking, and ate my dinner, and I laid down. I stared into the darkness.

“He said he liked cute nerds,” I said out loud into my empty chamber. And then I felt silly, thinking about him.

I felt slightly less silly about it the next morning, at the office, though not in a particularly positive way.

I had been going through the mail and sorting it for what needed doing today and what needed to go to Boss, as I always did. I wasn’t expecting a small envelope with a small piece of parchment in it. I tore it open and froze as I read it.

“Let’s fuck.

I’m free this weekend.

Just tell me where.

Pike.”

That and what I assumed was his courier number was all that was written.

I came to my senses and basically slammed the parchment onto my desk face down so nobody else could see the message.

Boss peeked out from his office. “Drop something?” he asked.

“Y-yes, yeah, sorry,” I said, trying to regain my composure.

Boss gave me the eye. “You okay?”

“Just… flustered…”

“Right… well, I’ll let you get back to it.”

“Yes, Boss…”

I tried to get back to work. But the parchment was just sitting there, face down, on my desk. I should have just thrown it away, but it felt like if I touched it again, somehow Boss would know.

After what felt like forever, but was probably only his usual hour or so, Boss stood up. “Alright, Clementine, heading out to the Gallan job, checking on the boys. You have everything under control here?”

“Yes, of course. Just working on contracts for the Outpost job,” I said.

“Perfect, perfect. Don’t stay too late, okay? Don’t make me send you home early again, eh?”

“I won’t, Boss.”

“Good.” He slapped me playfully on the back as he walked past my desk and headed out.

I waited for a bit, to be sure he wasn’t going to come back, and then looked at Pike’s letter again. Surely I missed something.

I hadn’t.

I probably should have just thrown it away. I really should have.

“Well, he obviously doesn’t want a relationship,” I mumbled, thinking out loud. “And it’s been way too long…” I groaned and set the parchment back down. “I sound like Mom.”

But I had to respond somehow. I couldn’t get letters like this at work. It wasn’t proper.

I took out a blank piece of parchment.

“Please do not send letters like this to the office. It’s unprofessional,” I wrote. And then out of habit, I ended the letter like I end most of my work correspondence. “If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I’m here to help.” My tail twitched as I reread it. I shook my head and just stuffed it into an envelope, wanting this whole thing out of my life. The situation thus dealt with, I did my best to refocus on the actual work I had to do.

But two days later, another letter appeared in a similar envelope. This time I was smart enough to set it aside until I was alone, though the sight of it in my Inbox made me taste acid. When I finally got it open, it read,

“I’ve got a hard-on you can for sure help with.

You didn’t give me a location.

Pike.”

I crumpled up the parchment and threw it across the chamber. I didn’t need this.

And yet, I spent the rest of the work day, and that evening at my place, thinking about it. Nobody had ever been so forward with me. Flirted with me, sure, been annoying, most definitely. But this Pike was just so willing to admit he was a sleazeball. Did that actually work on other guys? Was my approach too femme? Is that why I could never land anything lasting? There weren’t a lot of gay men in Orin anyway. Maybe I just wasn’t macho enough for them? But that really wasn’t me. Surely that couldn’t be everyone’s tastes?

It was all very frustrating to consider.

“I’m impressed you got all this done so quickly,” Yun said as I visited him in his office with all the appropriate paperwork. “Archer clearly hires the best.”

“I don’t know about best, Captain, but I do what I can,” I said, tail swishing a little from the praise. “And we’re all quite happy to have this job, do something good for the adjudicators.”

Yun laughed. “Ah, sure, anything for the Queen, right?”

“Something like that,” I said, smiling.

Yun finished signing. “Well, there you go. Need anything else from me?”

I took all the contracts and put them in my bag. “No, that should be it for now. We should start moving materials in next week, if you wanted to designate an area for that, though. Near the canal would be preferable, since we have a lot of Blues on staff.”

“We’ll find a place for it,” he said, holding out a claw. I shook it.

“I’ll see you next week then,” I said, and soon I was out of his office and heading for the exit.

But when I got to the gate, standing there, eating a sandwich, was Pike.

“Fuck, you really are here,” he said, chuckling.

“Uh, hi,” I said.

There was silence as we both kind of stared each other down.

“Well, if you’ll excuse me,” I said.

But Pike didn’t move out of the way.

“You still haven’t told me a location,” he said. “Trust me, I need a lot of that help you offered.”

“I didn’t offer that kind of help. There are people you can hire for that sort of thing, if you need.”

Pike shrugged and stuffed the rest of the sandwich in his mouth.

“So, if you could…”

“I know your type,” he said, swallowing. “You, like, intimidate people, being so hot. Or maybe you’re just a shy nerd or whatever. Probably been a long time since you got any, anyway.”

“That’s… that’s not…” I stammered.

He grinned and leaned in. “So let’s stop pretending I’m not doing you a favor too. It was obvious what you wanted when you were drooling over me the other day. Just tell me where.” He chuckled. “We could, like, handle things right now or whatever, but there’s not a lot of privacy at the barracks.”

“I… just came here for business. I didn’t come here to see you,” I managed, trying to dig my claws in after he had me off-balance.

Pike laughed.

“I’m serious,” I said.

“Come on, give it up, let’s do this,” he said.

“What if I don’t want to?” I said. “Are you still going to send me these letters?”

Pike looked at me, confused. “But, like, you want to, though.”

“Do I?” I said, acid coating my tongue. “How do you even know?”

“I got, like, a sense of these things, man,” he said, chuckling. “And a really nice dick.”

“You really think highly of yourself,” I said, gripping the strap of my bag tighter.

“I can back it up,” he said. “Try me.”

I could already tell this wasn’t going to stop. But that wasn’t why I gave in, though it made it easier. It was because he was at least somewhat right. He had muscles in all the right places and it had been a while. Too long.

I took a breath. “Tomorrow, one date. And then you get out of my life.”

Pike laughed, fog escaping his mouth. “I don’t even want a date. I don’t do lovey-dovey shit. But we can call it that, if it’d make you feel better or whatever.”

I pulled out a piece of parchment and scribbled down directions to my place. “You best be able to deliver or you are getting a faceful of acid,” I mumbled.

Pike took the parchment from me, grinning. “Fuck yeah. See you very soon.” He hurried past me into the outpost.

I sighed. What had I done.

I worked hard once I got back to the office, to get it out of my mind. I filed the contracts and prepared letters for all of our usual suppliers for quotes, now that we were officially hired. I probably went a bit overboard, or maybe it was from the awkward, emotional encounter with Pike, but by the time I got back to my place, I was exhausted. I dropped my bag the moment I was in the door and went to flop down on my bedding. I needed to get up and make dinner, but I was in no mood.

I had almost fallen asleep when there was a knock at the door.

I wasn’t expecting anyone.

I forced myself up and opened the door. And there he was.

“Yo,” Pike said.

“What are you doing here?” I demanded. “I said tomorrow.”

Pike shrugged. “I wanted to come now.” He laughed. “Get it?”

I was speechless.

He pushed his way past me into my place. “Kinda big, actually,” he said, the slightest bit of impressed on his voice.

“Yes, well, working for a construction company has perks,” I said. “Now get out.”

“Already? But I haven’t even gone down on you or anything,” he said, chuckling, poking his head into my kitchen.

I closed the door and stomped over to him. “I said out.”

He smiled. “Hey, come on, like, no need to be all like that or whatever. Just having fun.”

“I’m not having fun,” I said.

“Bet I can, like, fix that real quick…” he said, and gently, teasingly ran a fin over the side of my snout as he grinned.

I shivered. I wasn’t sure if it was from the chill of his touch (I had never been with a Blue before, but I guess I should have expected it) or if it had just been a while since someone had touched me like that. “H-hey…”

“Tell you what,” he said softly, pressing against me, fins urging me backwards. “I’ll help you, and if you want to return the favor, like, you can feel free.”

“I don’t… oh fuck…” I whimpered as his cold tongue ran over my neck. Pike had no more resistance getting me on the ground as he kept using his tongue to make me squirm.

“Fuck, it must have really been a while for you,” he said as I felt a fin slide down my stomach, searching for my slit.

And then it hit me that we hadn’t had the talk.

“Hey, h-hey, look, you don’t…” I started.

“I’m gonna, though,” Pike said, chuckling, feeling his claws pressing into me and making me moan. “Gonna get my tongue all up in here until you’re begging to have me over, like, daily…”

He knew? How did he know? But before I could really process that, he made good on his threat, and I made a really embarrassing sound as his tongue got to work.

I had never gotten a boy to do this. They all wanted equipment I didn’t have, and no relationship had ever gotten serious enough for me to try to press the issue. I was more than happy just bottoming anyway, most of the time.

But this annoying Blue just went for it, like I wasn’t a freak or anything.

I gripped his head tight in my claws as he worked. He laughed against me at that, but didn’t even stop or hesitate as I tried to guide him. The cold from his mouth just made me feel more sensitive. There were moments when I felt like I couldn’t take it. I eventually just laid back and rode that feeling, eyes closed, the sound of sizzling from acid dripping from my panting, moaning mouth onto the floor, up until the moment I came.

It really, really had been too long.

I tried to catch my breath, put myself back together. I looked up at Pike, who had the biggest proud-of-himself grin on his face, and was casually stroking a hard-on. I had to admit he hadn’t lied. He had an extremely nice cock.

“Well?” he said.

“You are… surprisingly good at that… for a gay boy…” I said, shakily getting myself back onto all fours.

“You insult people who go down on you? That your thing?” Pike asked, chuckling.

“…what?” I said.

“Well, I mean… what?” Pike said, equally confused.

We had a momentary stare-down. The pleasant afterglow drained right out of me.

“Yo, I’m not gay,” Pike said, seriously. “I mean, I went down on you, right?”

I held my head in my claws. Of course he didn’t know. We had barely even talked.

I was just frozen there. I think I was shaking. I had no idea what to do.

“Hey, are you okay?” Pike asked.

“I’m a man, I’m a fucking gay man!” It came out much angrier and with more force than I really intended.

Pike stared at me. “But you…”

“Yes, I know, but I’m a man, okay?” I said. I risked a look at him.

He shrugged.

I blinked, trying to understand.

“Sure, whatever,” he said. “I’m no gay, though.”

“…but you just went down on me, I’m a guy,” I said, like if I kept repeating it this somehow wouldn’t be a disaster.

He shrugged again. “It happens.”

“It happens?” I said, tasting acid. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“I mean, who cares?” he said. “Like, we had fun or whatever, right? Doesn’t make me gay. Doesn’t mean you can’t suck me off right now. Doesn’t mean we can’t have fun again.” He leaned back a little, showing off and grinning. My emotional outburst apparently hadn’t done anything to his arousal. “Never been with a Green before. Heard it tingles.”

“…you still want me to…” I managed to get out, feeling very overwhelmed.

“What, do you want an apology or whatever? You’re so cute, can you even blame me? Come on. Now do you want this cock in your mouth or not?”

I did, but there was too much going through my head. “Just… just give me a moment…” I said. “This is… a lot to take in…”

Pike laughed. “It is… but I bet you like it that way,” he said, stroking himself.

I glared at him.

“Don’t hear you arguing.”

I looked down at his cock, then back up at him.

He grinned.

“Then you get out of my place,” I said.

“Then I get out of your place,” he said, grinning all the wider.

He did have a very nice cock.

“Fuck, it really does tingle,” he whimpered as I ran my tongue over him. I tried to ignore him and just enjoy myself. I closed my eyes and just focused. But his whimpers and moans kept getting louder. They were adorable in a way Pike really, really wasn’t. It made me wonder how much of it was an act.

And then at the last second he pulled out and got the last bit of his cum on my snout.

I wiped it off, looking up at him, annoyed. For sure not an act.

“The look, like, suits you perfect,” he said, grinning.

“Isn’t that the sort of thing you should have warned me of?” I asked.

“What’s the fun in that?” he asked.

“Just… just go,” I said.

“Sure,” he said, “See you soon.”

“No, just go,” I said. “This is a one-time thing.”

“I know girls like you,” Pike said, grinning. “You’ll need this again.”

“I’m a man!” I roared, and started shoving him towards the door. I wasn’t nearly as strong as him, but he seemed shocked. “Get out!”

“R-right, I forgot… I’m sorry, I didn’t…” Pike was stammering.

“Get out!” I yelled again, and slammed the door in his snout.

I stomped to the kitchen and spit out the acid in my mouth, and then collapsed to the floor.

What had I done.

“At least it’s over,” I told myself.

The next morning, as I was eating breakfast, there was a knock at the door. Mom was coming over for dinner, but it wasn’t for quite some time.

I could feel dread in my stomach, but I opened it anyway.

“Yo,” Pike said.

I went to close the door.

“Wait!” Pike said, and stopped it with a strong fin. “I’m like, apologizing or whatever.”

“Sure,” I said, still trying to push the door closed. But he was way too strong for me.

“I like, got some flowers to apologize but then I figured maybe you don’t buy a guy flowers,” he said, and now that he mentioned it, he was carrying a small bunch of flowers tied with a ribbon. “Do you buy a guy flowers?”

“Flowers are fine. Get out,” I said. He still wouldn’t let me close the door.

“Okay, good,” Pike said, and held them out towards me.

“There’s no way we’re dating,” I said, staring at the flowers.

“What? No, I’m not gay,” Pike said. “But, like, I fucked up or whatever, so here.”

“Why would you even need to apologize?” I said, and shook my head. “Fine, give them to me, and go.” I took the flowers.

“When we can fuck again?” he asked.

“Never.”

“Wha? Come on. You had fun before I messed up.”

“You just said not two seconds ago you didn’t want to date me because you’re not gay,” I said, trying so desperately to stay calm.

“Yeah, but I mean, nothing wrong with bros helping each other out with this stuff,” Pike said, smiling a smile intended to be charming.

“I am not a bro.”

“But, like, you’re a guy, right?” Pike said, confused.

“Get out,” I said, and finally managed to get the door closed.

The day had barely started, but I was already exhausted.

I looked to the flowers in my claw. They were nice, actually. Simple, yellows and oranges, but nice.

“Guess I should find a vase or something,” I said, sighing.

Of course, Mom could not help but say something about them when she came over.

“Flowers, huh?” she said as I set her plate in front of her.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I said.

“Mm,” she said, giving me a look.

I sat down to eat, giving no comment.

“So, for sure a boy then,” Mom said.

I sighed.

“If you don’t want me to pry, sweetheart, I’ll shut up,” Mom said, frowning at my reaction. “Just, you know, want to know what’s up with you.”

“It’s nothing, I promise,” I said. “It’s just… it’s complicated, I guess.”

“One of those. I see,” she said, taking a bite. “Mm, wonderful as always, sweetheart. Always put my cooking to shame.”

“Thanks,” I said, turning my attention to trying to eat.

But I wanted to ask her. She was the queen of one night stands. I swear she’s told me about every lady she’s ever been with, a habit that started back when I was the only one she knew who’d really listen, and just continued after that, even though it was real awkward. She had to have had some sort of situation like I had had last night. I mean, not exactly, but she would know what to do. Wouldn’t she?

I realized that I had stopped mid-bite to think, and Mom was staring at me.

“Sorry,” I said, embarrassed.

“It’s alright, sweetheart.”

“…how do you do it?” I asked.

“Do what?”

“How do you…” I hid my face in my claws. “Nevermind, this is… this is not a good topic of conversation.”

“Is this the kind of complicated I should be forcing myself into?” Mom asked, frowning. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, I just… this guy, this annoying guy… he… he wants to fool around and it’s making me uncomfortable, that’s all.”

“And he brought you flowers.”

“…yes?”

“Uh huh,” Mom said, thinking.

“Just, you do that kind of thing all the time, right? Spend… that kind of time with women? How do you do it without feeling like garbage about it?” I asked.

“Well, first off, men are ridiculous,” Mom said.

I gave her a look.

“Said with love to present company, of course,” Mom said, smiling. “But yeah, fuck, I don’t know what to tell you about dealing with men like that. Never been my scene. If you’re uncomfortable, sure isn’t worth it, though. And if he’s hurting you, I’ll take his head off.”

“Mom.”

She held up her claws. “You can fight your own battles, I know, but you’re still my son.”

“He’s just clueless, you know?” I said, looking down at my food. “Like, he’s not… bad, exactly. Just really clueless. He upset me but it’s just because he doesn’t know any better, and it’s not like I haven’t dealt with worse.”

“You don’t deserve any kind of being upset,” Mom said.

“I know that, I just mean… I don’t know what I mean…”

“You mean you want this… whatever to work. That’s what you mean,” she said.

“Yeah. Yes. I guess.”

“Well, my advice is don’t. You can’t force something to work,” she said.

“It would work just fine if he’d keep his mouth shut,” I said.

Mom gave me a look. “Have you tried making him keep his mouth shut, then?”

“…no?”

“There you go, then,” she said, and took another bite of dinner.

“I can’t just make him… I don’t know…”

“No, you can’t, you’re right. He could just keep being an ass, and then you should keep him far, far away. But sweetheart, you are very polite and all those things that make you good at your job. But that ‘customer is always right’ attitude doesn’t work for this sort of thing. If you’re determined to try again, and I feel like this conversation is you trying to convince yourself of that, then put your claw down and lay down the law of your needs and see what happens.”

I ate a little and thought about it. “Maybe you’re right,” I said.

“Maybe your mom does know some things,” she said, smiling.

After Mom went home, the idea stuck with me. Pike was demanding things from me. He was being pushy. I didn’t have to bare my neck to him. And if he wasn’t going to listen to me, then he was of no use to me. Right?

I tried to tell myself this, over and over. And when we finally started to move the materials to the outpost, I stopped by to ensure everything was getting delivered properly, as I normally did. And sure enough, Pike showed up moments after I landed. He sat there, grinning at me and waiting while I talked to several of the boys who were hauling things to make sure we were getting proper amounts.

Finally, he came over. “Yo,” he said.

“Hello,” I said, trying not to pay him any mind, looking at my clipboard.

“So,” he said.

“Can I help you with something?” I asked, still not looking up.

“I bet you can,” he said, and I could tell he was grinning.

I looked to him. “Well, too bad, because I need your help.”

He grinned even wider. “I bet you do.”

I felt myself falter a little. “Yes…”

“When?”

“Tomorrow,” I said. “Tomorrow night.”

“Glad you came to your senses or whatever,” he said, chuckling.

“That’s… that’s not what I’m saying,” I said, getting flustered.

“Just can’t stay away, and who could blame you?” Pike said.

“I can stay away just fine…”

Pike just laughed and started walking away. “See you tomorrow.”

I stood there, acid in my mouth, furious at myself. The entire rest of the day, I beat myself up, trying to figure out what went wrong.

But as I sat at my place, eating dinner, going over it in my head yet again, I forced myself to step back. I had just trusted myself to be able to stand up to him with no issues. But I had went in without a plan.

I always needed a plan.

I grabbed some parchment and started doing just that. What did I want? What did I need?

When I was done, I looked in embarrassment at what essentially amounted to a script.

“I can’t just hand him this,” I mumbled to myself, looking at it.

But I could do my lines. Maybe.

“This is pointless,” I said, dropping my head to the table. “What am I even doing?” I crumpled up the parchment and tossed it in the garbage. “He apologized. Or tried to. Maybe he’ll just be nicer this time…”

I sighed. Like that would happen.

I went and grabbed the parchment back out of the garbage and re-read the script again.

It still felt incredibly silly.

“I should cancel,” I said. “This was clearly a bad idea. I should cancel.”

I quickly wrote a letter and got it to the courier right as they were closing for the day.

I got home and fell into my bedding, emotionally drained.

Work the next day went just fine. I managed to focus. I had cancelled. I had nothing to be nervous about. And all of our current projects were out of my claws, for a little bit, anyway. When I got back to my place, I was really going to relax, I told myself. Let go of this odd stress I’d found myself in. Maybe start a new book.

But as I landed outside my place, there he was, waiting.

“What are you doing here!” I demanded.

Pike just grinned.

“I sent you a letter! I cancelled!”

“Oh, but that was a mistake or whatever, surely,” he said, grinning all the more.

“Just… leave me alone…” I said as I unlocked the door and headed down into my place.

Pike once again caught the door as I tried to close it. “Come on. We’ll have fun.”

“Let me close the door.”

“Nah.”

I was shaking, mouth full of acid, angry. “Go away. Please just go away,” I said, my voice sounding sloppy from all the liquid.

“I just wanna, you know, have a good time and make you moan or whatever,” he said, his face portraying that he was worried he was pushing too far. “I’m not, like, forcing you…”

I didn’t know what to say to that.

He backed off a little, letting go of the door. “Hey, uh, like…”

This wasn’t going to work out. I couldn’t do this. I was clearly incapable of taking control of the situation.

Not without a plan anyway.

“I didn’t mean to upset you or whatever,” Pike was saying. “Are you, like, okay?”

“You have to treat me right,” I said softly.

“Huh?”

I spit the acid out of my mouth onto the ground beside Pike. He jumped, surprised. “I said you have to treat me right. Have you been treating me right?”

“Uh… I mean…”

“No you have not been treating me right!” I roared. We were outside, and someone might hear, but I didn’t care. “Do you even know who I am?”

“No?”

I grabbed his neck. It was a terrible idea. He was an adjudicator. He could easily overpower me or arrest me. But if I was going to do this plan, I was going to go all the way. I tugged Pike’s head closer, and he looked at me in shock.

“I’m a Prince, and I will be treated like one,” I said. “Do you understand?”

“I, uh…” Pike said, trying to figure out what was going on.

“I said do you understand!” I yelled.

“Y-yes, yeah! Sure!”

“Address me properly!” I shook him by the neck.

“I don’t, uh…”

“I’m a fucking Prince. Say it.”

“Yes, Prince…?”

“Are you going to serve me, or are you going to be useless?”

“Uh, serve you… Prince…?”

I let go of his neck, turned, and headed inside. My claws were shaking a bit.

“That’s was, like, intense,” Pike said, apparently having followed me. “You’re real fucked up,” he said, chuckling.

“Maybe I am,” I said. “But if I’m so fucked up, why did you follow me in here?”

“Uh… because… well…” Pike said, trying to find words. “Because I said I would?”

“It’s because you need me,” I said, trying to put my anger in it, keeping my back to him as I tried to get my claws to stop shaking. He did need me, right? Why else did he show up like this?

“I…”

“Admit you need me.”

“I, uh…”

“Admit it, or leave.”

“I… need you?”

“What was that?” I said, moving my neck around to look at him.

“I need you… uh, Prince?”

“You seem unsure.”

“What are you doing?” Pike asked, his expression one of worry. “Is this some nerd shit? I don’t…”

“What, are you uncomfortable?” I asked. “You can always leave.”

“Well, no, I mean…”

“We tried taking care of this stuff your way. It went badly. So now we’re going to do it my way. So you bow down to your Prince, or you leave. Do you understand?”

Pike hesitated, and then chuckled, his expression changing from confusion to something more normal. “Sure. Sure, yeah. Yes, Prince.”

The change caught me off guard. “Uh, good…”

Pike bowed down in front of me. I tried not to show how much that filled me with irrational fear mixed with excitement. “So, like, what is your desire, Prince?”

“I… well, I…” I stammered. Now that he wasn’t resisting, the anger drained from me, and I didn’t know what else to say.

Pike just looked at me, waiting.

What did the script say?

“You…” I tried to push my voice back into a place of strength. “I am going to prepare myself, and then you are going to pleasure me. There will be no mercy if you do not succeed. Do you understand?”

Pike grinned. “Yes, Prince. That I can do.”

“Okay… then… wait right here,” I said, and rushed to my chambers.

I was breathing hard. I took a moment.

“Is this working? Why is this working?” I asked myself as I fumbled, looking for the body paint I hadn’t used in forever, hoping it was still wet enough for this. “It is working… do I just keep going? Do I… mmph…”

“Uh, Prince?” Pike called.

“I told you to stay there!” I called back, frustrated as I tried to get the lines painted right on my stomach. I activated them, and let out a sigh as I felt the shiver the ward always induced when it activated.

Well, that was one less thing to worry about. Now just literally everything else to worry about.

I couldn’t just stay in here, could I? Clearly not.

If he was going to listen, then I had no more problem. I could just have fun.

I should just have fun, shouldn’t I?

Finally, after stalling as long as I could, I came back out. Pike was still there, right where I told him to stay.

He smiled at me. I closed my eyes for a moment, to prepare.

“I see you managed the most basic of orders,” I said.

“I… uh, well, I’m yours to command, Prince?” he said.

“As you should be.” I leaned down with my long neck and licked him on the snout, just to see how he’d react. He squirmed a bit. It was perfect. “Maybe you could handle something a bit more… complicated,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said, eager. “I mean, yes, Prince.”

“I believe I deserve a good time. Do you agree?”

Pike nodded. “I… have just the thing to help with that, Prince,” he said, with a grin that was obviously trying to hide him being worried that he was overstepping the boundaries of this little game.

“Show me,” I commanded.

Pike moved to show me his half-hard cock more clearly.

“That could certainly do the job…” I said, letting myself get more into it as it continued, somehow, to go well. “But can you prove yourself worthy to wield something as impressive as that?”

“It would honor me to try, Prince,” he said, grinning genuinely.

I motioned towards me, and almost instantly he was on me, licking and teasing. I figured it would seem weak to squirm, but I really couldn’t help myself. It seemed to excite him anyway.

But as he lined his cock up, ready to fuck me, the thought crossed my mind. Was I really in charge here? Was he just playing along? Where did that end?

I had to know.

“Stop!” I commanded, and pointed. “Stand over there.”

“Uh… Prince?” Pike said, confused.

But he moved off of me.

“So you are obedient,” I said.

Pike chuckled. “I’m supposed to be and stuff, right? That’s this thing? Uh, Prince?”

“It is.”

“Yeah, so, like, I’m doing it. So,” he said, smiling.

He was.

I grinned. “You best get back over there, then,” I said.

Quite some time later, we were both laying in my bedding, spent. I felt… well, not bad, not at all, but perhaps unstable. I had had a good time. A very good time. But I hadn’t expected him to follow my orders. I hadn’t expected it to work.

Pike started getting up.

“Stay here and hold me,” I said.

“Sure, Prince,” he said, pressing back up against my back.

“I want to pretend like this wasn’t a bad idea,” I mumbled, closing my eyes.

Pike chuckled. “It’s just fun, right? If you need to do this pretend shit, I mean, I can try, right?”

“I guess so.”

“At least you’re clearly into it that way,” he said. “Way more hot.”

“I figured you didn’t care about that, for the way you’ve been forcing yourself on me,” I said.

“Huh? No, like, I’m not trying to force you into any…”

I couldn’t take it right then. “Just shut up, Pike…”

“Yes, Prince…”

And he did. For a little while anyway.

It was all likely a mistake. But laying there, after all that… well…

It was nice.

I could do that again.

Thank you very much for reading my story! If you liked it, please share it with your friends and stuff. That would mean a lot to me. There’s plenty more stories and things coming, so I hope to entertain you again soon!

Published inShort Stories