Power Games 1:
New Beginnings

by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/M, M/F, F/F sex
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Jake let his duffle bag land with a light thump outside his new quarters as he fished for his key with the other hand. His nose told him that his new roommate and partner had already arrived and was likely staking out his territory. It suited Jake fine. He didn't know Furlong well, but was sure the brick of a tabby wasn't a morning person and would try for the side that didn't see the morning sun.

"It's unlocked!" The tabby inside called out to him. Opening the door, Jake realized that he'd not only been right about which end of the room Chance had staked out, but about his tastes too. None of the pictures he had up near his bed were against regs, but a couple of them pushed the limits about as far as they could in terms of skimpy outfits.

All she-kats too, he couldn't help but note.

Too bad, cause the tabby had good looks.

"Thanks for saving my preferred side for me," Jake said with a smile and put his suitcase and duffle bag down near his bed.

"Didn't know it was," Chance admitted, setting up a model jet that Jake couldn't help but notice was in better shape than just about anything else he had, and was likely hand painted. "Glad it'll work out though. So, you're Jake Clawson?"

"Yes," he nodded and began to unpack, starting with his clothes, the bulk of which were uniforms of one kind or another. "Which makes you Chance Furlong."

"That, or I managed to find the wrong wallet," Chance chuckled, sitting down and leaning back against the wall. "Need help with anything?"

"If you really want to, I still have three boxes of books in my old room," Jake said after a moment.

"Big reader, huh?" Chance chuckled. "Sure, what's the number? Not much else to do just now."

"Technical manuals and class books mostly, and a couple magazine titles I subscribe to," Jake smiled his thanks and tossed his old key to Chance. "317 in Bengeth Hall."

"Cool, room above mine," Chance chuckled, grabbing the key and starting out. "Be back in a few minutes."

He rode down in the elevator, quickly finding his way to Bengeth Hall, the high-rise on MKCU that Enforcer Academy applicants spent their first year in. He unlocked the door to Jake's room, noticing that most of the books were large, thick, and filled the box very nicely.

Chance hefted the first one up onto his shoulder and started out; he couldn't see any of the titles or covers, so he'd wait until Jake was unpacking to get curious about them. No good irritating his new partner before they'd even had their first day together.

Even though he made short work of the trip, Jake had already gotten his clothes put away and was making short work of the suitcase that seemed to contain mostly drafting supplies, colored pencils and pens, papers and a few small books.

"You work fast," Chance chuckled, grunting as he sat down the box. "Engineering?"

"Just a hobby," he shook his head, though there was a broken bitterness behind the easy tone. "I haven't really chosen a degree yet."

"Not beyond Enforcers, right?" Chance chuckled with an easy nod. "I'll get your other boxes, be back with 'em soon."

"Thanks," Jake nodded and went to work putting the box of books away on the shelves next to his next.

Chance made short work of the last two trips, returning Jake's key as he sat down the last box and surveyed his partner's side. Jake had more things, books mostly, but there wasn't a trace of anything on display to give a clue about who he was or what he was like other than a student with a taste for serious subjects. There weren't even the usual clues that he was an Enforcer cadet; everything but the books were put away somewhere it wasn't seen.

"No decorations?" He asked curiously as he stretched his back out, unconsciously making a display of his buff body.

Jake caught an applicative look at that body from the corner of his eye but didn't turn to see any more. "Guess not."

"Sorry," Chance said sheepishly, though he was pretty sure Jake wasn't offended. "So, what's your schedule look like for the semester, if you know?"

"Assuming I get what I asked for, twenty-six credits," he said easily as he began putting the last of his books away. "Last term nearly killed me with all the extra time the Enforcer training wants that they don't account for there."

"That's... whoa," Chance said, shaking his head. "And here I thought my fifteen was plenty."

"It is if you want to graduate with a good degree and a promotion," Jake chuckled. "I just get bored easily without something to do."

"There are better things to do than classes, you know," Chance pointed out with a wise-ass grin.

"Only sometimes," Jake countered with a cock-eyed grin of his own as he put the last of his things away. "But when you don't have to work and only need a couple hours of sleep a night, classwork comes easy."

"Ever hear of 'dating?'" Chance half-laughed. "Guess it helps when you're brilliant too, huh?"

"Yes, and probably," Jake toed his shoes off and flopped on his regulation bed. "Socializing just never really appealed to me much," he shrugged.

"Well, we've got a week before classes start," Chance mused, laying back on his own bed, not bothering to slip his shoes off yet. "Maybe one of these nights I'll drag you out to a couple of the hot spots," he winked.

"I've probably already been dragged there before," Jake laughed easily. "But I don't see why not. You have a steady you go out with?"

"Probably have, but it never hurts to visit again," Chance smirked. "And nope. Couple regulars, but not steady. You?"

"Not since I left MKCC," he shook his head a bit. "Even that wasn't all that serious, just steady."

"Didn't transfer when you did?" Chance guessed. "Or just didn't get along with the idea of a boyfriend in the Academy?"

"Neither, really," Jake shrugged. "We both graduated, he got a job in the industry, I couldn't. The tension was more than I cared to deal with."

"You already have a degree?" Chance asked, looking over at him with a startled expression.

"Aerospace Engineering," Jake confirmed. "I design fighter jets."

"So ... you're figuring that it'll help to learn to fly 'em?" Chance guessed, looking Jake over again. "You've gotta be older than you look...."

"Nineteen," he closed his eyes, the pain and hate visibly tightening his features until he got himself under control after a few moments. "I'm a gunner, not a pilot. No one will hire me in the industry. Had to find something else to do."

"Sorry," Chance said softly. "Don't want to talk about it?"

"Not really," Jake murmured. "How'd you end up here?"

"Lot of tests, lots of luck, and Manx wanting to get re-elected," Chance chuckled. "Got into the Academy on grants and scholarships for going in through the Enforcers, looking on getting into the pilot's program."

"Looks like luck stayed with you too," Jake said as his eyes drifted closed for a brief moment. "Now all you have to do is keep up your grades and you'll be a pilot as long as we last."

"Yeah," Chance nodded. "Maybe you'll be able to get into design after you've been in the field a while," he offered.

"Maybe," he consented to the malleability of the future. "Getting off an industry blacklist's damn near impossible though. I'd have to leave the city to have a real chance, or really drop my standards."

"So where are your standards set?" Chance asked curiously.

"Won't work for those I know will use it illegally," Jake shrugged. "Mob, Omegas and the like. They're happy to have me."

"Well I'm glad they won't go that low," Chance shuddered. "So why don't you leave town?"

"May not like my family, but it's still home," he tried to explain. "It costs money to move that far too, and picking up a new language and culture. I could do it, but I'm not that desperate yet. If this doesn't work out ... maybe."

"Well this will work out," Chance said confidently. "It just sounded like this was about the second to last thing you really wanted to be doing."

"Not far off," Jake shrugged. "Mostly cause I still want an invitation to my folks funerals if nothing else. It was this or a Priest of Bastet."

"Well... hopefully you'll get to like it more as we go along," Chance mused, finally working his shoes off. "Suck to hate what you're doing for the rest of your career. "Especially if you're gonna be calling the shots for both of us," he added with a chuckle, trying to lighten things up.

"I don't hate it, Chance," he looked over, his expression serious. "My dream was designing planes, like yours is flying them. Being a hero isn't a bad life."

"Nope... and if you're good enough, it doesn't have to be a short one," Chance said easily, sure that the thought was in the back of Jake's mind somewhere. It usually was, amongst the people who could be called realists in the Academy, and it was very clear to him that his new partner was definitely one of them. Not to mention one hell of an over-achiever and academically brilliant. "So, what other hobbies you have?"

"General academia," he thought for a moment. "Martial arts. I'm your general over-achiever."

"Video games?" Chance asked, raising an eyebrow slightly.

"Not really," Jake admitted.

"I am going to have to help you relax, buddy," Chance chuckled, shaking his head. He paused, looking over at the clock. "Actually... how tired are you from moving?" He asked, sitting up and reaching over to grab his shoes.

"Not tired," Jake glanced at him. "Why?"

"Well, there's enough time to grab some dinner and actually take our time to eat before the Storm Wall opens," Chance offered with a half-grin. "No time like the present, right?"

"Umm, okay, why not," Jake rolled out of bed. "Shower first, though."

"Probably a good idea," Chance admitted, pulling open a drawer and grabbing a small bundle, wrapped up with the towels he was going to use. "Let's hit 'em while nobody else is there," he added, stripping down most of the way before starting out of the room in his boxers.

Jake followed a minute later, though he kept a t-shirt and switched to a pair of running shorts for the public walk to the communal bathroom on the floor. He tried to place the name of the club, and thought it sounded familiar, but not enough he could place it. He quickly had his mind taken elsewhere when they reached the showers, and Chance stripped down the rest of the way before disappearing into one of the stalls. It was only a brief glimpse, but it definitely caught Jake's attention; the tabby was built, and definitely didn't seem shy about his body.

This was going to be an interesting couple years with that body on display for him every night and morning, and likely some very intense dreams if the tabby wasn't inclined to bed him. They were in life together for the long haul now.

Jake picked the stall next to Chance and closed the door before stripping down, trying not to notice the early arousal that happened when he was about to get wet in warm water. He hung up his t-shirt and shorts on a hook in the small space between the stall's door and the shower curtain where they would stay dry but be available before he had to be seen in public again. Today, he didn't even wait for the water to turn warm before stepping under the spray. There was something to be said for having a steady boyfriend, even if you weren't really attached to him.

Whether or not the two of them ended up sleeping together, he had a feeling that they'd have to sort out who got the room on what nights for what purposes. Chance struck him as the sort who probably made it a point to get laid regularly, and probably wouldn't want to share the room when he had a boyfriend or girlfriend over.

Of course, if he did ... but that was a train of thought, and mental images, that Jake didn't want to go too far into just now. The tabby's scent was already pretty strong, and the warm, muggy air and raining water of the showers had its usual effect on Jake's body. He was sorely tempted to get off, but decided against it with his new partner right there. Instead he made quick but thorough work of cleaning up and brushing his fur into a soft, smooth coat while the blowers dried him off.

"You going to be in there forever, Clawson?" Chance yelled at him from outside the stalls.

"I'm coming," Jake countered and turned off the blowers a bit earlier than he preferred, though he was still dry.

"Like showers?" Chance asked with a half-chuckle as Jake came out, his shirt and shorts back on.

"Water," he half-corrected as he ducked his head and led the way out of the bathroom and towards their room.

"Relax, there's stranger things," Chance chuckled, following him back and starting to dress for a night out clubbing. "Probably meet a few folks into 'em tonight, if you're lucky," he smirked.

"Some of those odder kinks ... I rather hope not," Jake half-chuckled as they got to their room. "There are some really disturbing ones out there."

"What counts for you?" Chance asked, raising an eyebrow. "Seems everybody's got a different list."

"True," he admitted as he flipped through neatly stacked slacks before picking a dark green pair and a button-up collared shirt made of suede to go with it. "Infantilism, scat, golden showers, snuff ... stuff along those lines."

"Your list is pretty damned far out there," Chance admitted. "Not many folks into that sort of thing, as far as I know. 'Course, if I knew, I'd be steering you away from 'em fast. That's just creepy."

"The first is not uncommon, the second two aren't as common as most folks think and snuff ... I've got professional reasons now, beyond the moral ones," Jake said as he quickly stripped his t-shirt and shorts, giving Chance his first really clear look at the body he'd be sharing a room with for at least two years. Despite his academic history, the lack of bulk was now clearly a genetic predisposition for lean, tightly packed muscle rather than a lack of it. "Folks into it tend to be quite careful about bringing someone new into a scene."

"Kinda hard to be a veteran in it, at least from one end," Chance pointed out. "But yeah, I'll bet they keep it quiet ... pretty hard to keep getting away with offing people for kicks if you don't."

"Yeah," Jake shook his head a bit and pulled out a pair of dark brown shoes to go with the outfit. "So what are you interested in, besides girls?"

"Enjoying myself," Chance grinned. "I like putting on a show... really, there's not much I've found for kinks that I'm really into, just not much I've found that I'm not either, with the right person."

"Into pleasing your lover?" Jake grinned up at him. "So do they tend to stay the night?"

"Unless they've got an early class or somebody to get back to before they're missed," Chance chuckled. "I usually try to head to her place, after last year," he reassured Jake.

"If not, how much are you going to mind me coming in?" he asked seriously, though his grin was a bit teasing.

"Knock first," Chance smirked as he got dressed in a more casual jeans and bright white t-shirt look. "I like putting on a show, not every girl I hook up with does. Particularly not some of the 'good' girls," he chuckled.

"What are you going to put out for me to know whether I need to?" Jake stood and didn't particularly hide the appraising look he gave the buff tom.

"Door'll be locked and I'll have a DND sign on the handle," Chance chuckled, opening the top drawer of his desk and pulling out a 'do not disturb' sign that looked to have been 'borrowed' from a cheap hotel somewhere. "You?"

"Unlikely, but I'll use that," he motioned to the sign with a definite hint of 'it'll never be needed' in his manner.

"Don't usually bring folks home with you?" Chance asked curiously as he checked himself out in the full-length mirror in the room.

"Nope," Jake shook his head. "I'm not much on just picking someone up."

"Well, maybe somebody'll pick you up tonight," Chance grinned, opening the door. "C'mon, let's get going."

"Same difference," Jake rolled his eyes tolerantly as they headed out. "I happen to prefer to know the person I'm with."

"You're missin' half the fun then, partner," Chance chuckled as the elevator opened, then closed behind them, taking them down to the ground floor where they started the fairly short walk across the richly green campus to the mess hall.

"I can live with that," Jake chuckled in acceptance of the different desires. "Everyone has their kinks."

"So, what is it you do besides school?" Chance asked easily. "Any sports or anything?"

"Weightlifting and track to stay in shape, but I don't compete," Jake said as they walked, nodding or waving to those they knew. "Martial arts I do compete in."

"Cross-style, or one particular one?" Chance asked him, his ears perking up as he looked over at Jake, before his attention was attracted elsewhere for a moment by a pair of girls who called out to him. He waved, called something back to them about meeting up some time, then returned his attention to his partner.

"Sorry," he said sheepishly.

"Particularly good dates?" Jake grinned back teasingly. "Cross-style. Kick boxing and Judo mostly."

"Good date with both of 'em," Chance grinned back at him. "And cool. I've been working on Judo, but they're a little leery of letting me compete," he chuckled. "Something about the mix of boxing and street fighting."

"Where winning is more important than form," Jake nodded. "Sounds like you could teach me a few things I want to learn and a sensei won't."

"Yeah, they're usually a little iffy about showing people the best way to nail somebody's kidneys," Chance chuckled. "I wouldn't mind showing you a few tricks some time."

"They might just save your life someday," Jake winked as they entered the mess hall and got in line for the hot entrees.

"Bingo," Chance chuckled. "Besides, if we ever get in trouble in a bar or something, good to know I don't have to cover your tail too much," he winked good-naturedly and selected several slices of pizza, then fried chicken and a couple crisp burritos.

"Quite an appetite you have," Jake said as he selected a large stuffed chili pepper and a rare steak, then added a pile of mixed steamed vegetables to his plate.

"Gotta keep my strength up," Chance chuckled as he grabbed a large glass of milk as they went for beverages. "I'm a growing tom."

"You should be done growing by now," Jake raised an eyebrow and got a glass of milk for himself.

"It's a joke, Jake," Chance pointed out, heading over towards a table they could sit down at. "Honestly, I'm still enjoying the fact that this place lets you eat what you want without making you fork up extra cash for it. All you can eat is a nice change from working part-time to keep everybody fed."

"Oh yeah," he nodded and began working on his steak. "That it's pretty good food doesn't hurt at all either."

"Agreed," Chance grinned, tucking into his supreme pizza as they both fell silent in the mutual desire to finish eating.

"Going for seconds?" Jake asked as he stood to refill his milk glass, his plate mostly cleaned.

"Are you?" Chance asked him easily. "Wouldn't mind, but I don't have to."

"No, but go ahead," Jake gave him a slight smile. "I don't mind relaxing a bit before we go out."

"Okay then," Chance chuckled, heading up, coming back with a smaller plate than the first time. "So, have any other good friends around here?"

"Good friends, a couple," Jake admitted as he worked on the last of his dinner more slowly. "A few others that I still meet up with now and then."

"Anybody you'd want to invite along tonight?" Chance asked him easily.

Jake thought about it, checking off each of the handful of names as he worked out their schedules and taste for spontaneity. "No one that would be available tonight."

"M'kay, just wondering if you had anybody else you'd want along," Chance shrugged slightly, finishing his dinner. "So, should we get going?"

"Sure," he nodded and stood with Chance to put their trays away and headed outside. "You have a ride?"

"If you don't mind riding behind me on my bike," Chance nodded easily. "It's not that far, if you wanted to walk instead, but the bike wouldn't hurt."

"I don't mind," Jake decided. "I can always walk back if you get a date."

"Great," Chance grinned, leading the way back out to an old motorcycle chained up near the bike lockers at the edge of the parking lot. It was in remarkably good shape, though there were parts here and there that Jake could tell hadn't been replaced yet.

Chance opened up one of the lockers, tossing Jake one of two helmets and pulling his own on, then unchained the bike.

"Wasn't sure if I'd want to take her out earlier, so I didn't lock her up all the way," he explained as he climbed on. "Come on up."

"You take security seriously," Jake commented as he settled down behind the tabby.

"She's my baby, and I'm out of an area where the odds were pretty good any given night that she'd disappear before morning," Chance admitted. "Not as bad around here, but it's a habit. Weird one, but there you go. Can't really lock the doors to make sure nobody tries to hotwire her, y'know?"

"I can rig her so she can't be hotwired," Jake offered as they pulled out.

"Only if I get to watch," Chance said seriously as they got on a road. "Nothing against you, but...."

"I'll teach you what I'm doing," Jake promised easily. "I understand. I have my own baby out at the airport."

"How does somebody your age get his own plane?" Chance asked him incredulously as they made their way through the streets, taking a few more chances than Jake appreciated, but he seemed to be good enough at weaving through the traffic to get away with it.

"By designing and building it from scrap," Jake shrugged, carefully not to disrupt Chance's balance with his movement. "You might be surprised what you can get at the salvage yard west of town."

"If you think we could get away with it, might have to show me," Chance mused. "Might be able to find the parts I haven't been able to scrounge yet. You mind showing me yours some time?"

"I'd love to," Jake grinned and unconsciously hugged Chance a little tighter. "Tomorrow, after you wake up?"

"Assuming there isn't anybody around to distract us," Chance grinned, pulling off into an alley that cut between two buildings. "Almost there," he told Jake.

"Assuming," Jake laughed easily. "You'll probably need fifty to a hundred for all the parts you need in good shape."

"I'd been talking about seeing your plane," Chance laughed. "Have to wait until I've saved up a bit more before going for parts."

"I know, I was giving you an estimate for what they'd cost at the salvage yard I go to," Jake said and took his helmet off when pulled to a stop in the parking lot of a cluster of businesses, one of them apparently underground, to judge by the stairs leading down to a mostly non-descript door with a large Wolf in front of it.

"Ah, okay," Chance chuckled, taking his own helmet off. "Well, here we are; Storm Wall's in the combined basement of that chunk of buildings," he explained, indicating three or four of them. "Everything above it's been remodeled and split off about fifteen times since they were built."

"Not surprising," Jake nodded and followed Chance to the door after the tabby had locked his bike up again.

They got in past the Wolf easily; when he saw Chance, he opened the door to let the two of them in without any trouble. Once they were inside, Jake could hear the pounding rock that was playing in the background past another short hallway, see lights pulsing beneath the door.

"So, what'll you have to drink?" Chance asked him easily as they stepped into the club, about half-full from the looks of it, the lights low to conceal that things weren't really buzzing just yet.

"Rum and root beer," Jake decided after a moment, his attention more on those here and if he knew anyone, even in passing.

There were a few faces he recognized from school, but nobody he really knew all that well. Some attractive bodies on display though; there was a lean Caracal who seemed to be flirting and dancing with just about anybody who'd look at him twice.

"Noticed Tommy, huh?" Chance asked with a chuckle as he came back and gave Jake his drink. "By the way, bartender remembers you from MKCC. Tracy Verem, wondering if it was really the kid from her chemistry class," he chuckled.

"Not in a good way, I'm sure," Jake chuckled low in his throat. "I tended to be the kid that screwed up everyone else's grades when the professor used a curve." He gave Tracy a better looking over. "Yeah, I think I remember her. And Tommy definitely knows how to look good."

"Heh - yeah, he does, if you're into guys like him," Chance nodded easily. "And she didn't seem to hold it against you. So, you going to head out to dance soon, or watch the crowd, such as it is?"

"Watch for a while," Jake decided with a slight smile. "Watch you too."

"Everybody watches me, eventually," Chance grinned, taking a long swig from the bottle of beer he'd picked up. "Keep an eye on this for me?" He asked, setting it down on the table that Jake had found as a base for his evening.

"Sure," he nodded and watched the tabby move into the loose crowd.

It didn't take him long to start moving to the music, dancing with the crowd and making a fine show of himself. The tabby was almost as eye-catching as Tommy was... in his own way, even moreso. Where Tommy invited attention of all sorts, Chance seemed to have a way of moving that... almost made people play attention. He didn't say 'look at me' so much as 'here I am.'

It was an effect that caught Jake's breath before he'd even realized it had happened, and he began to make a concerted effort to see what did appeal to the tabby. His comment about Tommy made Jake doubt that something in the combination of male, athletic and flashy was it.

It didn't take too long to figure out, really. The main criteria seemed to be a missing Y-chromosome; any attractive fem, whether Kat, Kantin, or Xanith, well-built or more feminine, seemed to be fair game for the buff tabby.

It was enough to make Jake shake his head and mutter under his breath before he turned his attention to the other offerings in the room as he sipped his drink. No one took his breath away, not enough to go up and actually try to dance with them at least. It was much more appealing to just stay on the sidelines and watch as his new partner had a good time.

"Jake?" A hopeful, familiar voice called out from behind him. Turning around he saw a thin, reedy tom who looked more out of place in the club here than Jake felt.

"Hey Zach," he grinned at his college friend. "What dragged you here?"

"Would you believe a girlfriend?" The orange-furred tabby asked as he sat down and took a drink from his bottle of soda. It was impossible to miss the hopeful tone to the question, and the fact that it was almost certainly not the reason he was out.

If for no other reason than the odds of Zach having a girlfriend that Jake hadn't heard about before were about the same as the odds of Jake having one.

"Not unless you'd buy mine did," he chuckled and tapped the chair across from him. "Have a seat, Zach."

"Is kind of a far-fetched story, huh? And thanks," he said, taking the seat. "No, I just got hauled out by our RA, along with everybody else who'd moved into their new rooms," he explained, nodding out towards the dance floor. "She's the Siamese fem."

"Not bad looking," Jake chuckled. "The buff tabby there is who got me here, and unfortunately he's not boyfriend material."

"Fems only, huh?" Zach asked, looking out at Chance. "So how'd he get you out here?"

"He's my new partner," he explained. "My pilot. We moved in to a room together this morning, and he was of the opinion that I don't get out enough."

"He's probably right," Zach chuckled. "Make sure he treats you right, 'kay? Looks like the sort of guy who can be trouble."

"Like you're one to talk," Jake teased him. "I'll be careful, but he seems like a good guy so far."

"Hey, you've got a reason to get out," Zach smiled. "You've got the looks, you could be a pretty popular guy if you put the effort into it."

"It's more trouble than it's worth," Jake shrugged. "I might have okay looks, but I also expect to have a boyfriend that I can talk to without them glazing over."

"And you're going into the Enforcers?" Zach asked him pointedly, then shook his head at the glare he got that was ready to kill. "Sorry, cheap shot, but... that's a bit of a stretch for somewhere you'll find somebody who can keep up with you."

"And you know full well why I'm going Enforcer too," Jake growled at his friend, his ears flat and fur bristled. "Just one more thing to deal with."

"Sorry," Zach murmured, looking away from Jake. "It just seems like there'd have to be some field that you'd fit in with better. You're smart enough you should be able to do just about anything... whatever happened in the design field shouldn't be something that'd happen everywhere else."

"Nothing that I want to do," Jake murmured painfully as he forced himself to calm down. "Might as well do some good if I can't do what I want."

"I suppose... noble of you, at any rate," Zach offered. "If you ever decide you want to get back into science, I'm sure you'll have the professors willing to take you. Maybe not the same, but it might get you in the back door or something."

"Maybe," he murmured. The idea had occurred to him, but the reality of being a teacher was an even worse fit that the Enforcers. He simply didn't think like the establishment enough to deal with it, and he knew the history of science well enough to know that those that thought outside the box like he did were ridiculed even more than fake psychics were in the media. He just didn't have it in him right now to fight every day like that, not when it would last for decades.

"So, uhm... anything interesting lined up for your classes this semester?" Zach asked, trying to change the subject onto something a bit less personal.

"Supernatural Investigation, and we're going to start flight training," Jake managed a grin. "That's going to be fun."

"Especially if you've got a showoff like him as your partner," Zach chuckled. "The guy's notorious for bein' flashy."

"And for bucking authority," Jake grinned a bit. "We'll either get along great, or kill each other within a month," he paused to sip on his drink. "Gunner's in charge."

"And that's gonna be you, huh?" Zach smiled. "Well, hope he likes you... if he doesn't, it'll probably end up with you sticking around and him going, so it shouldn't come down on your head this time. Hey, you think the Supernatural Investigations class will have enough chairs for a guy to sneak in and audit a couple lectures?"

"As long as it's not restricted to Enforcers, yeah," he nodded. "It's a required course and lab heavy, just so you know."

"No problem; all I'm really looking for is a seat for a couple of the lectures. With my field, it's handy to know when you're looking at something that might jump up and try strangling you for waking it up from a thousand-year nap, y'know?" He chuckled.

"Oh yeah," he laughed easily. "There's something to be said about a field where digging up dead things can be as dangerous as being an Enforcer."

"Hey, y'never get bored," Zach grinned. "And when you find something good, it's usually really good."

"Depends on your definition of good," Jake teased him. "I'm not much on moldy old books as treasure."

"There's a lot of interesting stuff in those 'moldy old books,' and when you come across some Pharaoh's tomb or something ... well, if you don't get killed by the last owner, you've got yourself a fast track to a lot of respect."

"I guess," he consented. "Just not the kind I'm interested in."

"Well ... here's to jobs we can live with, then," Zach said, raising his soda bottle.

"Better than a lot of folks in this town manage," Jake lifted his glass in the toast before sipping it.

"Hey, Jake, looks like you've got the room yourself tonight," Chance grinned as he came back over, grabbing his beer bottle. "Who's your friend?"

"Zach Tanner, Chance Furlong," he introduced the pair. "Zach's a friend from college who's still speaking with me."

"Well, good to meet you, Zach," Chance said easily, turning to the older tom and shaking his hand.

"Good to meet you too. I'm not much into guys," Zach said with an easy smile, sure the other tabby was wondering. "I hear he has the same bad luck with you too."

"Yeah ... that's not a problem, is it?" Chance asked, glancing over at Jake.

"Disappointing, but hardly a problem," Jake assured him honestly. "Dating your roommate is just nicely convenient when it works out."

"Okay," Chance said. "Friends is a lot more likely to work out," he admitted.

"Understood," Jake nodded. "Have fun with the girls," he gave Chance a wink.

"Oh I will," Chance chuckled, looking up as Tommy walked up.

"You're new here," he observed, looking at Jake with a grin.

"Yes," Jake answered, somewhere between interested and uneasy. "Tommy, right?"

"Yep," the Caracal said easily. "Want to dance?" He asked, cocking his head in a curious and friendly manner.

Jake hesitated a brief moment, then stood with a shy smile. "Sure."

"Yes!" Chance grinned once Jake was mostly out of earshot. "I knew he'd have a good time if he just let himself... so, how do you know Jake again?" He asked Zach, looking over at the tabby tom he could only describe as scrawny, as apposed to the lean muscle Jake had.

"We had a class in common, a lecture hall on ancient civilizations of the MegaKat City area," Zack said only half the story. "And don't count on it yet. He has real issues with going fast."

"There a reason for that...?" Chance asked, looking out at the two dancing toms. "Or just old fashioned?"

"To be honest, after meeting the only girl he'd admit to sleeping with, I really didn't want to know what put him off them or sex," he shook his head a bit. "Cause it sure as hell wasn't her."

"Or at least not her looks," Chance guessed. "So, what is he like? He doesn't really like talking about himself," the tabby chuckled slightly.

"A very strong moral code, doesn't like to talk about much of anything except his design work. You'll get used to it. You learn about Jake by hanging out with him, watching him, and poking at that intellect of his," Zack explained. "If you manage to become his friend, he'll do nearly anything for you, but he'll turn you in just as fast as a stranger if you break a serious law."

"Not a problem," Chance said easily. "The serious ones I don't break. You're one of his friends then? From back at the MKCC?"

"I like to think I am," Zack nodded, then looked from his friend to his friend's new partner. "He lost a lot more than his dreams over what the aerospace industry did to him. Most of his friends, his boyfriend, what little of his family was still speaking to him at that point ... he's had to start his life over from scratch."

"Not much in terms of friends worth speaking of then," Chance growled lightly. "What happened with that, you know?"

"It's not all their fault, Chance," Zack said uneasily. "When you loose what you want so much ... it can be hard to be around those who have it and don't always appreciate it. Greg didn't leave Jake. Some friends turned their back on him to protect their careers, others he pushed away. Only those of us not really linked to the industry really got to choose our fate." "The ones Jake left, that's one thing, but the ones that ditched him...." Chance shook his head. "Sorry. Where I'm from, if you've got somebody who really does matter to you, that's what matters. Your family, your real friends, your mate... that's bigger than a job." He shrugged slightly. "But I'm guessing that Jake and you guys don't come out of that."

"Jake, I doubt it. Me, I've never really had to ask myself that, so probably not," Zack admitted. "There's a lot I never really wanted to know about him, but if you want it all, get on Midnight's good side. She's known him longer than he remembers himself."

"The girl he's been with?" Chance guessed. "You have a number for her or anything?"

"Yes," Zack nodded. "I don't have contact info, but just ask Jake. I'm sure he'd be introducing you to her before classes start anyway."

"Maybe," Chance nodded. "Not that I'd blame him if he didn't." He took a swig of his drink, finishing it off. "We did just meet, after all."

"We'll see," Zack said and let his attention focus on Jake as his dance partner as some kind of quiet conversation began.

"So, what's your name, cutie?" Tommy asked as he moved to the music, taking every opportunity to brush up against Jake and gauge his responsiveness.

"Jake," he murmured as he let himself slip into the beat of the music and who he was with. About all he could think of most moments was how good Tommy smelled; personal chemistry, a little male sweat and a light cologne that highlighted it all.

"Nervous?" Tommy asked him quietly after the song had finished and he had an opening to slip his arms around Jake briefly, using the full body contact to read Jake's reaction a little more accurately. "Seems like you don't know quite what to do with me," he winked playfully.

"I'm not," Jake shivered in the contact, the desire in his body visible even to his new partner half way across the room. "I ... don't ... do this," he said even as he slid his arms over Tommy's shoulders in a very direct contradiction to his words.

Tommy leaned up, licking his chin lightly.

"Guys, or guys you've just met?"

"Guys I've just met," Jake shivered, then let out a sound that could have been an objection or relief when the next song picked up and they parted a bit to dance again.

"If you want me to be an exception, I'm good with that... otherwise, I can keep looking," he reassured Jake. "Maybe get to know you better some time?"

"I'd like that," Jake smiled as something relaxed inside him. "Mind if I don't decide just yet?" he asked and moved a little closer, flirting back a bit.

"Not at all," Tommy grinned, brushing his tail against Jake lightly as they let themselves settle to enjoy the music.

Jake smiled and twisted behind the Caracal, running his hands down Tommy's sides with his muzzle near the tom's ear. "So what's your last name?"

"Moring," he purred, pressing back to rub against Jake, particularly against his hips, and easily close enough to feel the effect he was having on Jake.

"Clawson," Jake provided. "Your job?" he asked as he moved forward a touch, just enough to finish the contact Tommy had initiated.

"Art student... and no cracks about that," Tommy smirked, grinding back against Jake lightly. "Work down at the campus supply shop at MKCU... and if you're wondering, I've got a studio apartment about five minutes from here with a grouchy landlord living beneath me," he chuckled. "So if you do ever decide to take me up on my offer, your place would be better."

"As long as the buff tabby is elsewhere for the night," Jake chuckled low in his throat and slid his hands under Tommy's tight t-shirt with a nip at his neck. "Which he is tonight."

"Is that an invitation?" Tommy asked as his breath caught at warmth of fur on fur contact on his chest.

Jake nuzzled his neck, thinking for a brief moment. "Yes, it is."

"Mmm ... you navigate, I drive?" Tommy purred, reaching back to rub Jake's hips lightly. "Need any supplies for the night?"

"Yeah," he blushed slightly under his fur, but didn't do anything to distance himself from the attractive creature in his arms. "Haven't needed them for a while. My place is a dorm room, if you still think it's better."

"We can spin by my place and I can pick up some lube, and it would hardly be the first one I've been in," Tommy reassured him, leaning back to lick his cheek and got a light kiss for it.

"All right," Jake murmured and slid his hands down Tommy's abs, then hips, just missing his groin. "Now, or dance for a while?"

"How about continue this dance in private?" Tommy purred throatily, as eager to feel the hard cock against his ass in the flesh as Jake was to have him feel it.

"I like that idea," Jake smiled slightly and reluctantly let him go so they could walk.

Jake caught Chance grinning at him before the tabby headed out himself, along with Zach's RA. Well, he had decent taste anyways.

"And that should be your room free for the night," Tommy grinned as they headed out not too far behind him. "You have your own ride you need to do anything with?"

"No, I live in Tyran Hall," he motioned to the university buildings only a few minutes away. "It's walking distance."

"So's my place," Tommy admitted, "I just prefer driving, especially when I'm not sure where I'm going to spend the night... would you prefer walking?"

"We can at least take your car back to your place," Jake smiled at him. "No reason to leave it in the parking lot."

"Good," Tommy grinned, leading him to the used station wagon. "Good for hauling canvas in," he explained as he climbed in, unlocking the door for Jake. "And other things," he added with a wink.

"And at a very reasonable price," Jake added with a grin and settled in the passenger seat, though one hand found itself on Tommy's leg very close to his crotch. "Look me up on a Sunday and I can tune it up so it runs better," he offered.

"Mmm ... depends on how you like to get paid for your work," Tommy winked, putting the car in gear and pulling out. "So, what sort of things do you like in bed?"

Jake blinked, taken off guard by such a direct question, but quickly pulled himself together to answer it in a useful manner. "Top and bottom, oral," he slipped a finger along Tommy's zipper. "Slow exploration. You?"

"Pretty much the same... especially getting topped," Tommy purred, reaching back to rub Jake's leg once they were on the road. "Love falling asleep with a guy inside me, if you think you're up for that."

"I think I can manage that," he rumbled softly. "It is a very nice feeling. When are you likely to wake up?"

"Probably pretty early... you?"

"Usually before dawn," he said. "But I stick around longer when the bed is warm."

"Good; I've got an idea of a wakeup call that most guys don't want to pass on," Tommy winked, pulling up outside a small shop with stairs leading up the side to the studio apartment above it.

"Mmm, so do I," Jake grinned and got out. "We'll just see who wakes who up."

"That's a challenge I'm up for," Tommy grinned, leading Jake up to the apartment. "I'll grab the lube ... feel free to take a look around," he said as he unlocked the door and stepped in, holding it open for Jake.

"Thanks," Jake smiled at him and took in the small, decrepit apartment with a sweeping glance, then focused past it's condition to the colorful and erotic sense of decor in paintings, cloth to hide damaged paint and figures of various kinds. "How much of this did you create?"

"Most of it," Tommy said easily from the bedroom. "There are a couple pieces I've traded for with people, but most of those aren't paintings. Y'know, I'd love if you'd sit for me some time," he offered.

"I ... seriously?" Jake half-asked as Tommy came back out to see the very flattered shock on his date's face.

"Surprised?" The Caracal asked with a grin. "You're cute... and I'll bet I could make you really look good in a painting," he winked.

"I'll have to check the regs," Jake murmured, the flattered look turning into a distinctive blush. "Enforcers might object if it's too ... flattering," he managed a grin and stole a quick kiss.

"Mmm ... if you want, I bet I could make you sexy as all Hell without showing a thing you'd mind your parents seeing," Tommy purred into the kiss, returning it a bit more deeply. "Have any kinks?"

Jake's blush deepened before he answered. "Water, light bondage," he murmured and slid a hand down Tommy's side before he ran his fingers along Tommy's full crotch as they stood close together. "A few others, but those are against the regs."

"Mmm ... you have any cuffs, we could indulge that second one back at your place," the Caracal purred.

"If you don't mind, I'd love to," he claimed a heated kiss and shifted his hands to pull Tommy against him fully. "Though if we don't leave, you're landlord will be bitching at you again," he winked playfully."

"I was about to suggest that," Tommy winked back, leading him outside. "Want to walk back?" He asked easily.

"It'll be easier," Jake admitted as they headed towards the sidewalk for the short walk. "Parking for cars isn't easy near Tyran Hall."

"Mmm ... you and your roomie might just have to put up with me until I'm in a condition to walk again in the morning then," Tommy grinned.

"I'm not that rough," Jake said playfully. "But flattery might get you that well taken."

"We'll hope so," Tommy purred. "So, mind if I brainstorm for the painting a bit?" He asked easily. "Maybe make you feel a bit better about it?"

"Sure," Jake relaxed easily into any subject to pass the time of the walk. "What do you have in mind?"

"Mmm... mostly shades of black and white first, I think," Tommy mused, looking Jake over. "Get that gorgeous red fur of yours to stand out more," he grinned. "Beyond that... maybe something with you tied up, looking up at the lover you want so much?"

"He'd kill us both if he saw it," Jake said, though he wasn't really trying to dissuade Tommy of the idea. "It sounds incredible," he added more throatily.

"By the time I'm through with it, it will be... and don't worry, I'll leave you with plausible deniability," the Caracal rumbled deeply. "By the way... one of those things that's against regs, would it happen to be a thing for pain?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "Giving and receiving. There are loopholes, but it's really about the kind of public image the Enforcers want. It can appear to be a conflict of interest to have a practicing sadist in the ranks. There are a lot of people who don't understand it can be consensual."

"Not a problem," Tommy said easily, shaking his head. "It's not really my thing, honestly, but it gives me ideas... it's the artist speaking, rather than the literalist," he smirked.

"I have no problem with either part," Jake assured him with a kiss as they entered Tyran Hall, redecorated only a few years back when the Enforcers took it over for their cadets. "I may like it, but I like pure pleasure too."

"Good," Tommy grinned, looking around. "Hmm. Y'know, I think I'm noticing a theme in the decorations," he deadpanned as they walked through the hallways, mostly decorated with various military-themed posters, examples of various uniforms in perfect order, Enforcer and Police banners and pictures of heroes and Enforcer Commanders.

"What do you expect in an Enforcer building?" Jake laughed in good humor. "It comes with the territory."

"Point," Tommy chuckled. "There aren't any regs for you that I'm breaking by being here, are there?" He asked somewhat seriously.

"Nope," Jake shook his head as they got to the elevator with only a couple passing glances by those in the main hall. "There's a curfew once classes start, but even that just means you need to be in a room where the admins know where to find you. They don't do head counts or anything, it's just something they can hit you with if you aren't where you should be and they need to find you."

"M'kay," Tommy purred, giving him a quick kiss before they climbed onto the elevator. "Lead the way."

"So what are your kinks?" Jake asked in the relative privacy of the elevator as it took them to the third floor. "And do you mind Chance coming in while you're still there?"

"I wouldn't even mind if he came in in the middle of things," Tommy grinned. "And pretty much in line with yours, I think... and a thing for more than one partner at a time, but don't worry about it."

"Noted," Jake grinned and gave Tommy's ass a playful squeeze as they stepped onto the third floor's main hallway. "Though I doubt Chance'll be inclined to oblige either of us," he added and led the way to his room and opened the door.

"Yeah, I'm afraid the tabby doesn't really do toms," Tommy shrugged slightly, following Jake in. "I'm guessing that's his end of the room?" He asked with a chuckle and a nod for the end that had the pinups on the wall.

"Oh yeah," he laughed and closed the door behind them and locked it by habit and pulled Tommy close. "Now where were we?" he murmured with a heated kiss.

"Mmm... about ready to start making more noise than my landlord approves of," Tommy winked, wrapping his arms around Jake and returning the kiss. "Want me to be in charge first?"

"Works for me," Jake murmured even as he slid Tommy's vest off his shoulders. "It'll leave me time to explore with you somewhat sated."

"Mmm... to say nothing of you," Tommy grinned, shrugging his shirt off next. "I plan on taking a little time though," he winked, pressing Jake back into his bed.

"Good," he reached up for a kiss before relaxing and allowing Tommy to do as he wished.

"Mmm ... now, let's see if you've got that color all over you, hmm?" The Caracal purred, undoing Jake's shirt and starting to work it off of him, nuzzling, licking, and kissing his way down the younger tom's body as he did so. "You have any fantasies I can do for you?" He asked curiously as he ran his hands through the sold cinnamon fur and felt hard, well-toned muscle underneath.

"Think you can make me not think for a while?" Jake moaned softly through his deepening purr.

"Depends on what it takes to make that happen," Tommy chuckled, nuzzling his abs. "I'm up for trying though," he grinned. "By the way, where are those cuffs you mentioned?"

"Dresser, bottom drawer," Jake motioned towards where all but his dress uniforms were. "Under the cap."

Tommy walked over, stripping down the rest of the way before he retrieved the cuffs, his sheath filling out as he returned to Jake's bedside.

"So, how much experience do you have?" He asked curiously as he fastened Jake's wrists to the head of the bed.

"Steady boyfriend for two years, but nothing the last eighteen months," Jake relaxed into the binding with a soft moan and shiver of anticipation.

"Oh you poor boy," Tommy grinned. "I'm guessing that did a lot for getting me in the door, hmm?" He straddled Jake's hips, running his claws down his chest lightly.

"Ohhh, some, yes," Jake arched into the contact as his cock under Tommy's gave a clear indication of just how exciting the light pain of the shallow scratches was. "No deeper," he warned reluctantly.

"I won't," he promised, leaning down to kiss Jake deeply. "One of these days, you'll have to figure out those loopholes so you can get a fix once in a while," he winked, rubbing his filling sheath against Jake through his pants.

"I plan on it," he said through a moan as he pressed up against the hard warmth above him.

"Good," the Caracal chuckled. He slipped down Jake's body, undoing his belt and pants, using his feet to work Jake's shoes off. "You want me to make you beg?" He crooned, licking one of Jake's nipples.

"Yes," Jake breathed with a whimper. "Won't be much of a challenge."

"Didn't think so," Tommy smirked, slipping down to the foot of the bed and nuzzling Jake's thigh. "Hold your legs up."

Jake whimpered softly and lifted his legs, exposing his ass in a way that hadn't been familiar even when he was getting laid regularly.

Tommy leaned down, nuzzling his balls lightly before letting the underside of his tongue was over Jake's tight, furless pucker. Jake moaned, then whimpered as the sensitive skin was lavished with attention until he was squirming uncontrollably, whimpering as his cock twitched, leaking pre onto his fur.

Tommy squeezed a generous amount of lube onto his fingers, then licked Jake's balls as he started spreading the cool gel onto his anus, slowly working his fingers up into the lean tom as he watched his face with a grin.

"Oh yeah," Jake squeezed down on the intruding fingers, eagerly revisiting a pleasure he hadn't thought much about for over a year.

"I'll bet you're about ready to come just from having somebody inside you, aren't you?" Tommy grinned, giving Jake teasing little licks along the edges of his sheath.

"Sure you can see it, and feel it," Jake moaned as his eyes slipped closed. "Been so long."

"Gonna be a bit longer, hon," Tommy crooned, pulling his fingers from Jake's ass and wrapping them around his shaft, pressing the tip of his thumb down hard on Jake's throbbing urethra as he pressed up into his ass with a low moan.

"Oh!" Jake's body tightened in surprise at the sudden maneuver, and shock at the unsettling sensation of having an orgasm blocked. "Oh yeah!" he tightened his ass around Tommy's shaft intentionally this time, relishing in the sensation of the rubbery barbs rubbing against his insides.

Tommy started thrusting, angling for Jake's prostate as he leaned down to kiss him hungrily and found his lover just as hungry for his mouth.

"Nngh ... like that, huh?"

"Oh yeah," Jake began to loose control again. "Please," he begged shamelessly. "Wanna come."

"Try to... make it with me," Tommy groaned, letting go of Jake's shaft and taking his hips, starting to pound into his lubed ass hard and fast until Jake roared and shot his seed to his chest. As the first blast pooled just below Jake throat, Tommy roared and arched back, thrusting into Jake's body until his sheath was pushed all the way back and the rarely exposed root of his cock felt the tightness of Jake's willing body.

He pumped his own seed deep into Jake's body, his eyes rolling back as his balls pulled close and emptied themselves into the younger tom's body while he was milked with more skill than he'd expected.

"Mmm, oh ... wow," Jake panted and wrapped his legs along Tommy's thighs while he rocked and continued to milk the hard length inside his body, seeking more.

"Want a different position, or like this yet?" The Caracal asked, panting himself even as he enjoyed the sensations of being inside such a happy bottom.

"Like this," Jake moaned and squeezed down playfully even as he made a calculated twist of his wrist to free himself. "I like this," he rumbled and slid his arms around Tommy's back to hold him close as they made a more relaxed, gradual path to their second orgasm together.

It was still before dawn, and Jake was restless again; this was longer than he'd stayed in bed in many months, but it was also the first time he'd had a bedmate in much longer. The warmth against him felt too good to give up for long, no matter how much his gut screamed at him that this was all wrong.

He felt Tommy begin to stir and pushed those thoughts away. The sex was great and he was nice, if rather subby.

Of course, as much as he was subby, he could top too ... it wasn't the Caracal's strong suit, but he certainly didn't mind.

Tommy turned around in bed, wrapping an arm over Jake and hugging him close with a deep purr. That was another thing in his favor; he definitely liked being close, even if sex wasn't part of the equation. They'd probably snuggled for a half-hour after Jake had gotten up for the shower in the middle of the night before Tommy drifted off again.

With a smile Jake reached down between them and caressed Tommy's sheath and balls gently, teasing him to a gradual hardness between kisses.

That was something else Jake loved about Tommy. He was a fine kisser and enjoyed showing it.

"I like your idea of a wakeup call," Tommy purred, running his hands down Jake's back, kissing him more deeply as he started waking up.

"I did keep a boyfriend happy for two years," he smiled and shifted to roll Tommy to his back and relaxed on top of the smaller tom as they kissed and explored a bit more. Then Jake began to rub their groins together, using the feel of hardening flesh to excite them further.

"That is an accomplishment," Tommy groaned lowly, reaching down to rub the spot above Jake's tail as he purred. "Mmm ... by the way, you're not the monogamous sort ... are you?"

"Not by nature," he gave Tommy a deep kiss as they hardened against the other's fur and cock. "I just can be when asked and kept sated."

"Mmm ... good," Tommy rumbled deeply. "I have a hard time by choice even," he admitted with a sheepish grin, starting to rub back, his rubbery barbs stiffening against Jake's body.

"Not a problem," Jake closed his eyes and murmured softly as he simply wallowed in the soft pleasure of their contact for a long moment. "It's not like we're boyfriends," he added with another kiss. "How much prep do you like?"

"After last night, I don't need any," Tommy purred into the kiss. "If you're up for a little rim-job though?" He asked hopefully.

"I think I can manage," Jake grinned at him and slid down his body. "On your knees."

The Caracal rolled up onto hands and knees, raising his short tail as he spread his legs, his full shaft dangling between them.

"I'm all yours, Jake," he purred, then moaned when a slick, wet tongue slid across sensitive skin before pressing inside just a bit. "Oh, yeah," he began to tremble at the slow, persistent pleasure. "You like doing that, don't you?"

"I like getting a response," Jake chuckled. "Balls and cocks are really more my thing."

"Mmm ... maybe after you've finished under my tail and put a nice, thick load of seed inside me?" Tommy offered, moaning and flexing his toes in pleasure as Jake's tongue washed over his pucker. "Keep myself from coming 'til then for you...."

"Guess I should get inside you soon then," he purred against that sensitive skin. "Mmmm?"

"Ooh... yes," Tommy whimpered softly, giving up any pretense of trying to draw this out. "If I do come too soon, I'll do anything you want to make up for it," he promised.

"You'll just have to put up with my teasing until you're hard again," Jake grinned and shifted to press the tip of his cock against the tight ring of muscle, holding himself still for a moment before he pressed forward.

"Oh yeah," Tommy moaned, pressing back against Jake eagerly. "Mmm ... tempting me to do it anyways," he grinned back cheekily.

"I think we can arrange that," Jake grabbed Tommy's scruff in his jaws and pulled him upright. His hands on Tommy's hips, he began to fuck the smaller tom hard and fast until he was trembling, on the very edge of coming.

He slowed the pace, measuring the strokes to give himself time to fondle Tommy and enjoy the simple feeling of a tom's heavy balls in his hand.

"Oh yeah," the Caracal moaned, leaning his head to the side, submissively exposing his throat and scruff to Jake, milking his barbed shaft skillfully. He reached back, stroking Jake's hips as the younger tom fucked him hard and deep, thrusting up into Jake's hand. He rowled lowly, right on the edge of orgasm.

Jake grinned a bit and shifted his angle to press against Tommy's prostate, hungry to feel him come around him again before he spilled his seed into his body.

Tommy yowled, spraying his seed up through the air, onto the sheets, smearing it through Jake's fingers as his ass spasmed and clenched down hard around the throbbing member inside of it.

Jake brought one hand up to Tommy's chest to hold him tightly and let go of his scruff as he roared and emptied his first load into the tight, pulsing heat around him.

The Caracal pressed back against him, clinging to Jake's rump, his claws digging into it lightly as he savored the feeling.

"Fuck yeah," he moaned once Jake's orgasm was finished. "Mmm ... love how this feels."

"I know," Jake nuzzled his neck. "Now ... just how will I get you hard again, mmm?"

"I've got a few ideas," Tommy purred, leaning back to kiss Jake heatedly. "Most of 'em involving this mouth of yours," he grinned.

"I like it so far," Jake grinned and lifted his sticky fingers up to Tommy's mouth. "Any details, or you just want me to get creative?"

The Caracal took his fingers into his mouth, sensually licking and sucking them clean, swallowing his own seed.

"Mmm ... ever suck off the guy you're fucking?" He asked with a grin.

"No," he perked up noticeably at the idea, his cock still buried in Tommy's ass equally interested. "Think I'm flexible enough to try."

"Good," he grinned, pulling off the lean tom with a moan. "Mmm ... lay on your back, or want to sit up for it?"

"Whatever's easiest," Jake said, visibly unsure about exactly how this worked.

"Mmm ... stay sitting like that then," Tommy purred, turning around and kissing him, sitting in his lap and guiding Jake's cock to his ass, leaning back as he sank onto the lean tom's member.

Both of them moaned in pleasure, and Jake curled forward to take the tip of Tommy's cock into his mouth, playing his tongue along the smooth, cylindrical tip.

"Oh yes," the Caracal rumbled, thrusting up into Jake's mouth, working his ass up and down the tom's shaft, his tight muscles milking Jake as his own balls twitched and his claws lightly massaged Jake's scalp and scruff. He moaned even more deeply when Jake wrapped his hands around his hips and began to take control, guiding him as they moved together towards a mutual goal.

Chance stretched out, rolling his head as he came back later the next morning. Hadn't been much of a ride to get back; Minya's room was just a building away. He grinned at the thought of the sleek Siamese; she'd be a pleasure to see again some time. For now, he was more curious how Jake was doing ... his nose was telling him it had at least been 'well,' not that he expected Tommy to do any less for his partner.

He pulled out his keys to unlock the door and froze at a familiar sound. His ears twitched as he placed both voices and exact tone. Jake was there, no surprise, but it was Tommy who was moaning more deeply.

A part of him knew he should go away, let them finish. Another part of him was looking forward to the idea of catching Jake sticking it to Tommy and watching him just about spontaneously combust.

He decided to go with the latter, and unlocked the rest of the door, stepping in.

"Hey guys, I'm ba-" He started to call out cheerfully, then stopped, his brain trying to catch up with what he was looking at. Jake was on his back, his legs pressed together and raised up along the body of the Caracal standing at the foot of the bed, thrusting happily between cinnamon-furred shins.

Before anything more went through Chance's brain, he realized that Jake had turned his head to look at him. Amber eyes went wide briefly, panic clear in them, but then something else happened behind them and Jake licked his whiskers as he motioned Chance to come in, to join them in some way.

This time, it was Chance's turn to blush as he ducked back out and closed the door hard behind him. He heard Tommy groan again, almost certainly coming hard and splattering Jake with his seed.

"If you weren't a guy... that might have been hot," he murmured, shaking his head and moving to lean back against the wall. Funny. Somehow, when he'd expected to see Jake against Tommy's back and blushing furiously, it had seemed like a much better idea than it did now.

His jeans were getting tight, something he'd have had no problem with if that had been a female in there with Jake, but a guy, and so graphically a guy, and he kept telling himself that he shouldn't be reacting to it. Just because it was normal for 99% of the population didn't mean it was normal for him.

He did not do guys. He did not get off with guys. It just wasn't right.

He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to not think about what must be going on in his room, to his partner, and only succeeded in making himself harder.

The door next to him opened and he forced himself to look. Jake was there, only partway out into the hallway. His shorts did a poor job of concealing that he'd stopped before he had wanted to, and did little to conceal the seed glistening in the fur above the waistband.

"You okay?" Jake asked softly.

"Will be," Chance murmured. "Sorry for walking in," he blushed sheepishly. Maybe if he could get a bit of time later, think about Minya a bit, he could handle the hard-on he was developing. At least that was something that did it for him.

"Neither of us mind," Jake told him. "Sorry I never thought it might bother you. I'll be more careful about putting the sign out next time. We'll head down to the showers in a few minutes, okay?"

"Hey, I kinda knew what was going on already," Chance admitted, blushing more. "Just didn't think it was going to be quite what was going on. And no problem... I'll get a fan running while you guys are out. Tommy going to be coming back after?"

"I doubt it," Jake shook his head and slipped inside the room, closing the door behind him.

Chance took a deep breath and groaned slightly as he leaned his head back against the wall.

"Hey, Tiger," Cadet Mallion grinned as he came out of his own door. "Your roomie and his date finished up yet?"

"Almost," Chance nodded to the tuxedo tom. "It'll be a while getting the smell out."

"Hey, I'm not complaining," he chuckled. "Judging by last night, he could give you a run for your money in endurance."

"Yeah, well I'm not about to find out," Chance chuckled. "If you're interested, talk to him some time. He's not much for one-night stands though, from the sound of it."

"Oh I will," Mallion winked. "And we'll see about that. I'm sure it was Tommy I heard with him."

"Well, yeah, just warning you," Chance shrugged and glanced over as the door opened and Jake and Tommy came out.

"Hey, Clawson," Mallion called out, his tone friendly as Jake and Tommy headed off for the showers, the tuxedo tom following them down the hall as Chance took the chance to head into their room and get a fan up by the window. He took a deep breath, almost reflexively, and groaned softly as his shaft twitched in his pants.

"Damn it, I hope they take a while," he muttered and flopped down on his bed before he unzipped his jeans and shoved them down. "Shoulda stayed with Minya a couple more hours," he sighed and let the general scent of arousal work on him as he began to stroke himself, intending to get off before his partner came back.

As his fingers stroked along his shaft, he reached over and opened up a drawer, pulling out a random magazine from his gradually growing collection and flipping to a picture of a sleek Doberman fem spreading her legs and the lips of her sex for the camera. With one of his favored pictures to focus on and the scent of arousal for 'inspiration,' his barbs and balls both were quickly tingling, despite the heavy workout they'd gotten in the hours before.

"Now that is what I want," he rumbled and pulled his shirt up with his free hand to spare it from the building explosion his efforts were going to be rewarded with.

"Hey handsome," a cheerful voice nearly startled him out of his bed. "Thought you could use some help," the decidedly amused-looking Dalmatian bitch grinned at him from just inside the door.

"Amy?" Chance nearly yelped, dropping the magazine out of sight. "Okay, I expect my roommate not to knock, but ... ah, Hell, yeah, I could," he chuckled, recovering quickly. This would be good ... definitely help him focus on something other than the rather unusual scene he'd walked in on. "C'mere, he should be a while getting back."

"Good," she quickly joined him on the bed and took him into her mouth while her free hand began to fondle his balls.

"Mmm ... turn around and I'll return the favor," he offered her with a grin and a groan, her broad, velvety tongue working over his barbed shaft, his fingers stroking her floppy black ears.

She quickly wiggled out of her underwear while leaving her miniskirt on and turned around to present her sex to him, her knees on either side of his head.

He nuzzled her spotted thighs happily before taking a deep breath of feminine arousal, burying his nose and tongue between her folds. He flipped her miniskirt forward a bit, reaching up to rub her clit as his own balls twitched under her fingers.

"Mmm, about ready to explode," she slid her mouth off his cock just long enough to comment, lapped at the tip as he shivered and plunged his tongue into her body. "Oh yeah, that's it hot stuff."

"I know what you like," he grinned, pulling his tongue out of her and running the rough muscle up and down her swelling, tender pussy-lips. "Mmm... mouth's as good as I remember," he groaned, slipping his tongue back into her, his sharp teeth pressing into her tender flesh as he fought to hold back and stretch this out for a while.

After all - if Jake and Tommy were grabby a shower, they'd probably be there for a while before they actually got clean.

He let his hips begin to rock and thrust lightly into her mouth as she worked him. It wouldn't be much longer no matter how hard he held out.

A few moments later, he gave in, his balls pulling close as his shaft erupted into her hungry mouth, his tongue lashing inside her twitching pussy. He felt her draw her head back when his balls had given their all and howl her pleasure. Her body fluttered and contracted around his tongue and his muzzle buried in her sex.

As she finally stopped, he licked her clean with an eager grin.

"Mmm ... too bad Jake'll be here in a couple minutes." He chuckled. "Where's your room this year, cutie?" With Mallion and Amy on the same floor as he was, he certainly had a good shot at an interesting year.

"211," she grinned as she turned around to claim a kiss and rubbed her wet, quivering sex against his still-hard cock. "Just three doors down," she pressed close to him. "Do you really care if he gets here in a few minutes?"

"Mmm... ah, what the Hell, not like he'll be the first one to walk in on somebody today," he grinned, pulling her close and rolling on top of her, licking her neck. "Don't have to be anywhere soon, do you?" He asked as he pressed into her body with a moan.

"Not till Monday," she whimpered and wrapped her legs around his legs, getting off intensely on both of them being half dressed and the idea that someone was going to walk in on them at any moment. "Take me hard, stud."

Earlier, as Tommy and Jake were starting off for the shower, Mallion was taking off to let Chance get the room clear.

"Hey, Clawson!" He called out, his tone friendly as he caught up with them. "Good to meet you; Brad Mallion, friend of Chance's from last year."

"Hi," Jake shook his hand without breaking stride. "Do you have a specialty yet?"

"Planning on the Pilot program," the tuxedo tom chuckled. "How Chance and I met. Hey, Tommy," he said with a nod towards the Caracal.

"Hey, Brad," Tommy grinned over at him. "You guys both on this floor, I'll be seeing a lot more of this building."

"I'm not gonna complain," Mallion chuckled. "You guys heading for the showers?"

"Yeah," Tommy nodded. "Chance kind of put a damper on the fun. Poor guy doesn't like to watch," he added, not realizing just how brightly Jake was blushing.

"Y'just gotta give him the right thing to watch," Mallion winked. "You like watching, Jake? Or being watched?" He asked, looking at the younger tom with an amused grin.

"I-I ... um," Jake stammered, earning a playful laugh from Tommy.

"He's said he does, but he's shy too," the Caracal gave Jake a kiss on the cheek. "Cute, isn't he?"

"Oh yeah," Mallion grinned. "So, I've heard you don't get around very much... that true, or just compared to the Living Libido you're rooming with?"

"I don't get around much," Jake murmured. "Steady boyfriend for a while, then just didn't bother," he shrugged.

"A while? He managed eighteen months," Tommy added.

"Just drifted apart, or something went bad?" Mallion asked a bit more gently.

"Drifted, I guess," Jake shrugged, an unconscious stand-offishness to his manner alerted both other toms that it wasn't a subject to press on.

"No problem," Mallion said easily. "Some folks around here are single 'cause they're not ready for somebody else yet, just wanted to make sure you weren't one of 'em before I started flirting," he winked.

"No, no problem," Jake stammered, more than a little thrown off by the rather abrupt shift in the amount of attention he had started to receive.

"You're hanging out with Chance now, at least sometimes," Mallion chuckled. "You'll get a lot more attention, especially from some of his friends. Besides, you're cute," he winked.

"Still trying to get used to that idea," Jake admitted as they got to the shower room.

"Give it time, you'll sort it out," Mallion smiled easily. "If you want to get out of the room for a while, I'm just down at the end of the hall in 206," he offered. "Until classes get going, my gunner and I should be handy pretty much any time."

"Who's your gunner?" Jake perked up a bit at the prospect of a familiar face close by.

"Amanda Feathertail. You know her?" Mallion asked curiously.

"Yes," Jake blinked in real surprise. "We were good friends for a while. I didn't even realize she'd gone Enforcer. She still wear feathers in her fur and her tribal leathers?"

"As much as the regs allow," Mallion grinned, pleased that he had found a subject that would put this cutie at ease. That he was also a source of information on his new partner was a double bonus. "She dresses up real hot in them too."

"I guess," Jake shrugged and walked into an empty shower stall, closing the door behind him before either tom could act on any ideas to join him. It was a very enjoyable thought, but there were just too many people around and potentially around to indulge that kink. He didn't even bother to consider that he could enjoy being watched one minute and not want anything to do with it not long after. He just didn't want the company right now.

"Cute and great in bed, but seriously high maintenance with some major landmines," Tommy whispered to Mallion before going into the next stall over.

"I'll see you guys later; gonna grab some breakfast," Mallion called out to both the toms. "Hope you're up for talking about Amanda when I see you, Jake," he grinned.

"Probably as up for talking about me as she is," Jake laughed before Mallion left the room, leaving Jake to focus on cleaning up after a night, and morning, soaked in pleasure. It was something he still wasn't completely sure how he felt about it.

"You okay?" Tommy asked from the next stall as he started cleaning up himself.

"Yes," Jake answered as he began to work on lathering his fur to clean all trace of sex from his body. "Why?"

"Well, you've had one Hell of a night and morning for a guy who doesn't do one-night stands and hasn't gotten any action for a year and a half," Tommy chuckled slightly. "Wanted to make sure Brad and I hadn't pushed anything too much."

"No, you didn't," Jake assured him. "Not convinced it's something I care to do much of, but it was a good time."

"Well that's good," Tommy said, a grin in his voice. "If you want, I could back off a while, let you adjust a bit. I am still interested in dating a bit, outside of the bedroom."

"Dating's the normal part to me," Jake chuckled, then fell silent for a moment as he washed his face. "Guess I just like having something steady in my life."

"I can understand that," Tommy chuckled, turning the water off and the blowers on. "Call me some time, we'll have lunch? And I still want to get you in for a modeling session," he grinned.

"I'm sure we'll manage both," Jake promised easily, indulging in the hot water and cleaning up longer than Tommy. "Probably not until the weekend once classes start though. I don't have any spare time during the week with twenty-six credits plus field time."

"Yeeg!" Tommy shuddered. "Well, I can certainly understand that. I've got my own classes to keep up with, after all. Oh, and don't let Brad give you a hard time about being Chance's roommate. He's a good guy, he's just a pilot."

"Rather like mine," Jake grinned. "Trust me, gunners get a pilot psychology class before we're paired up. We get taught how to deal with them, and they know it."

"They get taught how to deal with you too?" Tommy asked teasingly, finishing drying his short fur and coming out to grab his shorts.

"They try to, but mostly that comes with experience," Jake explained. "Their job is to obey, ours is to know how to order them so they will."

"Good luck getting Chance to do that," Tommy chuckled. "Guess he can do it though, if they let him get into the pilot's program... he just doesn't take guff from anybody, from the sound of it. Handed a bouncer his own tail down at the Thunderbolt last year when the guy tried to kick his friends out."

"He had to pass a psych exam to get in, same as everybody, so there's more to the story than that," Jake said. "And that loyalty to friends is worth a lot in the Enforcers."

"There probably is, but I haven't heard the whole thing," Tommy shrugged a bit. "He could probably tell it to you... Brad could, I'm sure. I heard it on about the third retelling; the Bouncer was a Xanith, so it's a popular story," the Caracal chuckled. "Anyways, have a good day?"

"I'm sure I will, now that I have some good stories to tease him about," Jake laughed playfully. "I'll give you a call when I have some free time."

"I'm looking forward to it," Tommy grinned, pulling on the rest of his clothes and heading out while Jake continued to enjoy his shower.

Despite his inclination to indulge in the wet heat, and pleasure himself while he was at it, Jake settled for making sure he was clean, and dried off quickly. While he was in no real hurry to get back to his room, he was curious and eager to spend some time getting to know his partner now that he had somewhere to start.

His mind was still on the future and the barest inkling of actually looking forward to it when Jake walked into his room. He'd gotten all the way to his dresser and put his shower kit away before it sank in that the scent of sex and arousal was stronger than when he'd left, was distinctly female in part and the sounds of sex behind him were very live and very strong.

He turned around to look, and realized that Chance was on top of a lean Dalmatian bitch, oblivious to the additional presence as he thrust into her body. The bitch looked over at him with a broad, canine grin, moaning before she raised her fingers to her lips to tell Jake to keep quiet for a bit.

Jake swallowed and sat on his bed, and was soon was sitting against the wall on it with a hand in his slacks, sliding along the hard length of his cock that hadn't softened from before his shower.

He whimpered softly when she looked over at him and licked her muzzle, her eyes on his crotch in a silent bid to have him unzip and show off what he was doing. It didn't take her long to get her wish and he unzipped his pants to wrap his hand around his cock to stroke himself for real.

She turned to kiss Chance as the tabby rutted with her, moaning into her mouth as she watched Jake masturbate, her dark fingers working through Chance's fur beneath his shirt. She didn't know which of them Jake was looking at more, or if it was just the general scene, but it felt delicious to turn a guy on like that when he'd had a morning with Tommy end not half an hour before.

Before much longer, her attention was back on Chance, the walls of her sex rippling as he slammed his barbed length into her hungry sex. He moaned into her mouth, his balls pulling up close as he sprayed the last of his seed into her body. She hugged him close, her own sex twitching as an orgasm shot through her.

Jake couldn't hold back, the sight and sound of his partner, his very attractive and off-limits partner, slamming into someone with such abandon made him moan as his own balls quivered and his breath sharpened as the last few strokes took him to his own orgasm.

Chance and the Dalmatian made out for a few moments more before the tabby caught on to the new scent and looked over at Jake, who was doing his best to clean himself off without taking his eyes off the couple across the room.

"Guess we're even now," he chuckled, blushing a bit.

"Not entirely," Jake purred deeply. "But it's a good start."

"Mmm ... if either of you's up for another round, I might be able to help you guys even things out a bit more," Amy grinned over at Jake.

"He's not really into fems, babe," Chance chuckled, licking her neck and pulling out of her with a groan.

"I do like watching, though," Jake suggested, even as he left it up to Chance if there would be more. He tried not to be too obvious about checking out just how well endowed the tabby was, but his desire to suck that glistening, rock hard rod of flesh was more than he was up for resisting just yet.

"Maybe another day," Chance chuckled slightly, shaking his head and shifting to zip up his pants after working himself back into his pants. "After last night and this morning, even I need a bit of a break."

"Spoilsport," Amy teased him as she shimmed into her underwear and straightened out her blouse. "I'm sure we'll have fun another time," she winked at Jake before turning to give Chance a kiss and left them to their own devices in a sex-saturated room.

"I ah... am sorry about walking in on you and Tommy earlier," Chance said as the door closed, trying to surreptitiously put his magazine back where it had come from without making it clear just how substantial his collection was.

Jake cocked his head as he finished cleaning himself off and tucking everything away again. "Why?" he finally asked.

"Uhm...." Chance paused as he tried to figure out why, exactly. "I... guess it just feels like I should be? Not like I knocked first or anything."

"I did say it was okay," Jake reminded him. "We agreed to put that sign out if we didn't want to be disturbed."

"Right," Chance nodded. "So ... enjoy yourself?" He asked, his grin coming back a bit. "Hope you don't mind if I wait a bit to grab another shower."

"Yes," Jake blushed and rolled over on his bed to watch the tabby move. "And I don't mind."

"So, Brad talk to you at all?" Chance asked curiously as he changed the top sheet on his bed.

"Some," Jake grinned at him. "Turns out I knew his gunner pretty well a couple years ago, and he's currently trying to decide whether he wants to try to get lucky with a high-maintenance guy with issues."

"Mmm ... the high-maintenance part might turn him off, but the issues part won't," Chance chuckled. "So who is his gunner?" He asked curiously.

"Amanda Feathertail," Jake said. "She's a hard one to forget."

"Hoo boy, tell me about it," Chance laughed. "'Course, I probably remember her for a different reason than most guys do. So, she's a friend of yours?" He asked curiously.

"She was, but I haven't seen her for at least a year. Probably liked me as much for not hitting on her as anything else."

"Well, maybe you'll get the chance to talk to her again," Chance mused. "And you might be right... she prefer fems, or just not really into much of anybody?" He asked curiously.

"Into the lean, athletic type," Jake gave his partner a teasing grin. "Cheetah, runners, swimmers and the like. You just aren't that attractive by her standards."

"But you should have been," Chance smirked back over at him. "Ah well - maybe Brad'll have more luck if he wants it. He's always preferred guys though."

"Maybe," he thought about it a bit. "He's got more bulk than she usually goes for, but she seems to like the idea of having everything in a mate. Something else we had in common."

"Well, either way, hope it works out for 'em. It's not going to be a problem if we're not together, right?" Chance asked him.

"No, it won't be," Jake told him, repeating what he'd said in the club. "I'm not going to pretend I don't want it, but I've dealt with a lot more serious things than not getting to sleep with somebody I want to."

Jake paused to consider his new partner, his expression solemn. "If it makes you uncomfortable, we can ask for new partners. It wouldn't be the first time they've dealt with it, and they know we're not compatible that way, right?"

"I mentioned I wasn't crazy about guys, but...." Chance shrugged a bit. "It doesn't make me uncomfortable, Jake. Trust me, I've gotten used to guys looking too," he chuckled slightly. "Even the ones I room with."

"But not one that you're going to trust your life to," Jake pressed slightly, honestly a little concerned that the tabby was putting on a brave face instead of admitting the truth. He knew part of him wanted a new partner, wanted things to be easy right now, but he liked the idea of being partnered with the best too. It wasn't as if anther pilot would be any more inclined to be boyfriends, even if he did like guys, and was a guy.

Chance sat up, looking over at Jake seriously. "Jake, if I didn't think I could trust you in the ways that count, I'd have already asked for the transfer," he told him. "I've got family I'm flying for too. I want to at least give it a chance before splitting, myself."

"All right," Jake nodded and set his mind to be partners with this tom and not lovers. It hurt, as he knew it would; giving up on something always did. He knew he'd get over on such a minor thing too.

"Y'want some help finding a good guy?" Chance asked him.

Jake considered him, curiosity and desire for what was being offered mixed with the wariness of recent betrayal.

"You have a suggestion?" Jake finally asked as it sunk in that he didn't have much self-control left just now anyway.

"At the moment, not really, though Brad and Tommy are both good guys, at least if you're just looking to get laid," Chance said easily. "I just probably know a few more of 'em than you do, at least their general dating history ... I was thinking I could help you weed out ones just interested in cute and red, instead of what you're up for."

"It'd be welcome," Jake smiled slightly. "Especially when it isn't just to get laid."

"Nothing wrong with when it is, but I'll keep an eye out for ya," Chance grinned. "Just so you know, Tommy doesn't date often, but it sounds like he can do it, when he thinks it's worth it .... So, what sort of guys are you into?"

"Bottom line?" Jake flicked his eyes up briefly before he focused towards his pillow and off into space. "The sort who'll stick around even after they find out I'm not always very reasonable. Tommy wasn't wrong about me, you know," he glanced up with a weak smile. "I'll do anything for my friends, but when I end up feeling needy, for attention or space, I've been told I can get on a saint's nerves."

"From lovers, or from anybody?" Chance asked him, cocking his head slightly. "Could be easier with a couple people to bug," he winked.

"Probably," he nodded. "Friends tend not to have much problem leaving me in a workshop for a few days when I get focused. A good boyfriend bugs me until I eat, real good one can drag me out to sleep," he smiled fondly at memories of some of the biggest fights he'd had with Greg.

"Well Hell, that I can do," Chance laughed. "At least for getting something to eat. Sleep... that might be a bit trickier, but I'll see what I can do. You keep your hand in design then?"

"I can't stop," he shrugged, somewhere between grief, pride and the bull-headed determination that had gotten him this far in his life. "If I could, I would. It'd make life a lot easier."

"Well, there's a certain amount of tinkering they'll let you do... we'll probably have the rest of the flight blown out of the sky before long once we get a bird of our own," Chance grinned.

"That is the idea," Jake managed a grin of his own, though it was clearly forced. "Why is it you don't like guys?"

"Hu?" he blinked.

"I know why I don't like fems, why don't you like guys?" Jake explained.

"I ... ah ... it's just not really my thing," Chance said with a bit of a shrug, his grin disappearing. "Bad experience."

"I'm sorry," Jake said softly, the honesty of the words clear in his amber eyes as he looked up.

"So what happened to you?" Chance asked, trying to steer things to a new topic that didn't involve the painful parts of his past or a lingering silence.

"Never liked girls all that much, might have eventually gone normal enough to pass for it though, but ..." he shook his head and laughed bitterly. "Ever been pushed so hard to be something that didn't feel right that you ended up going completely the opposite direction? My folks didn't care what I made of myself, as long as I had kits young and often. Pretty low on the list of kittenhood traumas, I know, but it pretty much defined my dating habits."

"Ugh, I can kinda see it," Chance muttered, shaking his head. "I got lucky there; my folks had enough kittens that they aren't worried about whether or not I follow suit. You still talk to them at all?"

"Couple times since I left," he admitted, his ears drooping in how much that had hurt. "I still get invited to births, weddings and funerals. I go to the funerals. It doesn't stop anyone from pressing me about finding a girl to breed, but at least they keep it to private moments instead of making it a family event."

"Ouch," Chance winced. "Painful enough that you don't want to meet my family some time?"

"If they want to meet me, I'm game. Just don't expect me to return the favor, okay? My folks would never believe you aren't my boyfriend and lean on you to convince me to find a girl to bring in." Jake said with a mutter. "I don't expect your kin will bug me about when I'm going to have kits," he managed a bit of a teasing smile.

"Ah, nah," Chance chuckled. "Especially not with me," he smirked. "Anyways, I wouldn't be worried about visiting yours either. It's just that my Mom wants to meet my partner ... she worries about me finding a good one. Took my all of first semester to convince her that I wouldn't have one I'd be flying with until this year."

"So just how serious a fifth degree should I be ready for?" Jake shook his head with a chuckle.

"That's the scary thing," Chance laughed. "She probably won't ask you more than one or two questions. I swear, she just knows ... probably comes from raising kits downtown."

"Then she'll be the one getting the fifth degree," Jake snickered playfully. "So what was your defining experience? What sent you here?"

"Some good luck and Manx wanting to get re-elected," Chance chuckled slightly. "At least for what got me here. Guess I've always just liked the Enforcers, you know? The job might suck, but there's respect there ... and you get to do some good. Maybe not as much as you'd like, but it's more than most folks do."

"I know the feeling," Jake nodded. "It's what's really made getting up in the mornings worth it a lot of the last year."

"Yeah," Chance said. "Especially as early as they want us up," he added with a chuckle. "Anyways, between that and the city footing the bill for me ... seemed like a Hell of a good way to get a leg up in the world and help out back home all at once."

"I take it you are not a morning person," Jake smiled at him. "I hope you're a sound sleeper."

"You're one of those guys who's up at dawn?" Chance guessed warily.

"Usually been up a couple hours by then," Jake admitted. "Or I crash at dawn and am up a couple hours after it."

"How do you function on that?" Chance stared at him.

"I just always have, as long as I can remember," Jake could only shrug. "Never have slept much. Tend to cat-nap instead."

Chance saw a hint of something, something that nearly anyone else would miss, but he knew exactly what he was looking at, from looking in the mirror.


Gut-wrenching, wake-up screaming drenched in sweat nightmares were behind that lack of sleep, he was sure of it.

"Well... if you want to talk about it some time, I'm probably up for listening. Doesn't bother you in the morning?"

"No," Jake looked at him curiously, a wary look well-hidden behind his eyes, far enough back he might not even be fully aware it was there. "I haven't known anything else."

"Okay," Chance shrugged slightly. "On the bright side, I do sleep pretty solid once I'm actually under. Answers the question of how I make sure I'm up early enough though," he chuckled.

"So how much lead time do you need before we head out the door?" Jake asked.

"Just a few minutes... fifteen's plenty, I've managed five without forgetting anything," Chance said easily. "Assuming I grabbed a shower the night before anyways... bit longer if I still have to do that, obviously."

"No problem," Jake relaxed on his bed. "Do you have any hobbies besides letting laid?"

"I need another one?" Chance asked teasingly. "Seriously, yeah... I work on models, work out, try to get a little sparring in when I get the chance. Might not be the best student, but I try to keep my body in shape if nothing else."

It shows," Jake said. "Do you have a regular sparring partner?"

"Closest I usually come to is Brad," Chance said with a bit of a shrug. "And that's not that regular. Usually it's either solo, the punching bag, or whoever thinks the big dumb tabby's too slow to be any good," he grinned.

"We'll see how I match up soon," Jake said. "Just remember that anything you do to me, I'll expect to be taught how to do."

"I know," Chance chuckled. "And I don't mind ... just promise not to use it against me without a good reason," he smirked.

"Promise," Jake winked back. "So can I hear the full story about the bouncer you put on his tail?"

"Kats alive, that story again?" Chance groaned with a laugh. "It's not nearly as psychotic as it sounds the way most folks tell it. Turns out that that the girl I was flirting with was seeing the bouncer. Lions can get pretty possessive, for all they sleep around with the best of 'em. Anyways, he tried throwing me out, I tried apologizing, he took a swing at me."

"And you reacted," Jake nodded. "Basically what Tommy said, I just wanted to hear it from you."

"I handed him his own tail on a platter," Chance chuckled. "Jerk had no clue how to fight somebody smaller than him who wasn't intimidated by his size. And no problem... some folks just like to tell it with me being a drunk who was harassing the girl. Not surprisingly, they tend to be friends of a certain Lion," he added, shaking his head.

"No surprise," Jake agreed and relaxed a little more. "How detailed do you like to make your models?"

"Usually make 'em as detailed as the kits allow, then mod things to include some of the details specific to the jet, the dings and customization that you can see from the outside," Chance said easily. "Like to make 'em a little closer to the real thing, but that's usually a bit beyond my finances and what I know about the jets."

"Want to change that?" Jake glanced up, his eyes slipping closed briefly. "Knowledge and materials I have fairly ready access too."

"About the insides of Enforcer jets, and leather and decent padding for miniature seats?" Chance asked with a slight chuckle. "If y'need a nap, go ahead," he offered.

"Easy stuff, especially now," Jake nodded. "Which one are you working on?"

"Hang on, let me pull it out," Chance said easily, standing up and heading over to his closet, more of a glorified cubbyhole that held his uniforms above his dresser. He pulled out a small box, sitting it down on his desk and pulling it out. "Think it's the Black Eagle," he mused, looking it over carefully. "Hard to tell sometimes, at least until I've gotten the kit's frame together."

"Oh yeah, she's going to be real easy to get schematics and photos on," Jake paused, a mischievous gleam in his eyes. "Or would getting hands-on with her be more to your liking?"

"How would you swing that one?" Chance laughed, shaking his head. "She's still in service, after all."

"Her gunner's who recruited me, and she did it by giving me a few hours with the Black Eagle and a standard Talon III. Proof I'd still get to play a little. I'm sure she'd let us have some time with her after a shift."

"You know Shark and Rumble?" Chance asked him. "Seriously? If you could swing something like that, it'd be a blast."

"Not as friends, but I know them," Jake nodded. "I'll see what I can get her to agree to."

"Like I said, that'd be a blast," Chance grinned. "Don't bust your tail over it though, okay? It'd be nice, but there're other ways to find things out."

Jake gave him an easy smile. "Worst that happens is that you'll have to settle for photo."

"Better than I usually do," Chance chuckled, his stomach rumbling loudly. "You up for breakfast, or should I grab it myself?"

"Breakfast?" Jake looked up in surprise, then laughed heartily. "It's after lunch time, partner. I already ate, so go ahead."

"Like I said, breakfast," Chance smirked, getting up and stretching out. "Seeya in a while," he said easily, heading out to get some food and give Jake a while to work on his own pent up response to the scents still lingering in the room.

A few days later, Zach was on his own, reading from a heavy book on the history of MegaKat City's Dark Ages, when it was Megalith City and really more of a castle and farmlands interspersed in the dense forest that once controlled the large valley.

"1053... could've sworn that was earlier," he murmured to himself, stepping off the sidewalk he was walking along to lean up against a nearby tree while he checked his recollection against the dates he was being given. As he flipped back to the index, he didn't quite recognize that there were others in the area who were taking notice of the young anthropologist.

"Well look who's here?" a deeply mocking voice made him wince and curse himself silently.

He quietly replaced the bookmark before looking over at the familiar group of football players and a couple of the cheerleaders, carefully keeping from meeting their eyes.

"Hey, Lance," he said quietly, trying not to do anything that would give the Wolf and his friends an excuse to hassle him. It may be a nearly hopeless cause, but he usually got off lighter when they couldn't really get worked up about something he did.

"What, no greeting for the rest of us?" a pretty Lioness hanging on Lance's arm chided him.

"Hi, Yolanda," Zach said, quietly cursing in the back of his head. "Mark, Debbie, Tony," he continued awkwardly, greeting the Lioness, two calicos, and Lance's Beta in the group. There really was no way to win with them. If he just answered the person who talked to him, it started like this. If he greeted the lot of them, especially the girls, he wasn't supposed to speak until spoken to. "So uhm... how's it going?"

"Good," the buff Wolf grinned and him and grabbed the book he'd been reading. "What's this?" he sneered at the much smaller feline.

"Give that back!" Zach protested, moving to try and grab it, his eyes following the expensive textbook as Lance tossed it over to Tony, the other Wolf grinning as broadly as his Alpha. "C'mon guys, it's the text for one of my classes."

"And classes haven't started yet," Lance pointed out. "So we can borrow it for a few days, right?"

Damn it. If he agreed with them, he knew that he'd be lucky if he spent the rest of the semester reading through obscene doodles in magic marker.

"Give it back, Lance," he said firmly, trying to find his spine for a few minutes, sure he was going to regret it just as soon. "C'mon, don't be a jerk about this."

"Maybe you'd feel better with a little collateral?" Yolanda suggested teasingly, glancing at Lance and obviously calculating just how much she wanted to push him today.

"I want my book back," Zach tried to insist. "I need it."

"Hey, they make a better couple than him and Yolanda would," Mark laughed, shutting up when Lance shot him a glare.

"Go on, Tony, give him back his book," the larger Wolf shrugged, moving around to the tabby's side.

"Sure thing," Tony laughed, tossing it back to Zach, hard. He caught it in the stomach, grunting and staggering back a step - only to find Lance's foot behind his. His ass hit the ground, hard, as the jocks and their girlfriends laughed and made their way along.

"Looks like he really fell for that one," Mark joked as they walked off.

"Damn jocks," Zach muttered quietly when he got his breath back. It took him another long moment before he rolled himself to his feet painfully, his book clutched to his chest. "At least lunch'll be worth it."

As he thought about it, he got a sinking feeling in his stomach, and checked his watch.

"Crud!" He muttered, taking off down the path back towards the cafeteria. He'd managed to lose most of the time he had before he was supposed to meet Jake, between reading the book and dealing with Lance.

He made good time, but he saw Jake sitting at an out of the way table, making very slow progress on his chicken sandwich and fries. He got in line for his own meal and tried not to feel too badly about it. Jake never cared if he was late. Time never had meant much to the cinnamon tom.

All the same, he had an apology on his lips even as he was sitting down just a couple minutes later.

"Sorry I'm late," he said sheepishly. "I kinda got hung up on the way over."

"Reading, or trouble?" Jake asked with a curious look.

"A bit of both?" Zach admitted sheepishly. "Thought I'd spotted an error on the way, was looking to see if I was right, and Lance's pack found me."

"So what was the mistake?" Jake asked the easy question first.

"Eh, thought the Past Master's defeat was right around the turn of the first millennium, not fifty-three years after," Zach said easily. "Could just be a matter of somebody's count being off, could be that I'm remembering wrong, probably somewhere in between."

"Any idea where you picked up the earlier date?" Jake began troubleshooting without even realizing it.

"Well, I think I remember reading somewhere that it was in the tenth year of Queen Callista's reign," Zach explained. "Which I'm pretty sure was earlier. Of course, we're talking about the Past Master here."

"Not to mention a time that boarders on pre-history," Jake added dryly with a slight teasing smile. "Records weren't the best back then."

"That'll get better over time," Zach chuckled. "And I stand by the idea that a certain powerful, time-traveling wizard had a lot to do with the lousy and contradictory records. Heck, for all I know both sources are right!"

"I wouldn't be surprised, around here," Jake smiled at one of his few friends left from two years before. "It's job security for me."

"Yeah... speaking of your job, how's it going with the tabby?"

"Pretty well," Jake's body language relaxed and he munched on a fry thick with ketchup. "I wish he hadn't been turned off guys, but he's a good Kat and he's Enforcer for the right reasons."

"Ah, c'mon, your reasons are just as good," Zach protested, working on his own sandwich. "You want to do the right thing... you're just doing it the best way the world'll let you, for now, that's all there is to it... what's his reason?"

"Wants to do some good, help his family out of poverty and get in the air," Jake summarized it cleanly. "He's got an ego to be sure, but I think his heart's in the right place."

"I'll wait to make up my mind about him, thanks," Zach shrugged slightly. "Some time when he's not trying to impress his new roommate. Guys like that usually have a nasty side to them."

"Most people have a nasty streak to them," Jake pointed out. "Including me, you might remember."

"Yeah, but you make sure it goes to people who deserve it," Zach pointed out. "Jocks like him aren't always so careful."

"True," Jake consented quietly. "He's got a vested interest in getting along with you too, though. Not many folks are counted among my friends these days."

"True," Zach nodded. "I'm willing to have my mind changed about him," he offered. "Just... not the sort of guy I'm used to trying to be friendly with, myself. As long as he's a good partner who'll take care of you, that's what counts."

"It's all I'm asking for him," Jake assured him with a relieved smile. "Just get along well enough I don't feel like I need to play chaperone if we're all out together."

"Or hit your partner to protect me," Zach added knowingly. "I'll do my best, Jake. If he's nice to me, I can be nice back."


"So... on to other new friends of yours, has Tommy convinced you to go model for him?" Zach asked with a grin.

"Yeah," Jake ducked his head a bit. "Before he even got a good look at me."

"He's got a good eye for things like that," Zach snickered. "Most people he thinks are worth going out with more than once get the offer... he'll probably make you look pretty good too. I've seen a couple of his paintings before."

"I was admiring the ones in his apartment when he suggested I sit for one," Jake blushed lightly. "He is very good."

"Any ideas what he'll be doing with it? Something with you in uniform maybe?" Zach asked curiously.

"Maybe if he does a second one," Jake shook his head a bit. "He's damn good at reading people's desires."

"Oh? Anything interesting?" Zach grinned teasingly.

"It depends on your tastes," he actually purred, clearly turned on by whatever had been offered. "Probably not to you," Jake added, teasing back.

"Probably only because it's another guy in the picture," the young tabby smirked. "I'm guessing this isn't going to be a public picture?"

"He's promised it won't be explicit, 'cause that could get me in trouble, but yeah, it'll be sensual."

"Well in that case, if you don't want him showing it off, make sure he knows. He puts his pictures in the art shows around here pretty often."

"I know," Jake nodded. "We agreed to decide when it's finished. So, new subject. Care to see Lance's life be a bit more difficult for a while?" he asked over his soda.

"What've you got in mind?" Zach asked cautiously. "Or can't talk about it around here?"

"Simple things," Jake grinned wickedly, though his voice was low and private. "Car trouble, computer trouble. You know how much technology likes me."

"That I could live with... stay clear of the computers though, I'd be surprised if he works with anything but the mainframe, and I don't wanna get caught in the collateral damage."

"Not that kind," Jake snickered. "Missing records, enrollment changes ... put him in admin hell to sort it out. Those systems like me, or I'd never get away with as many credits as I take."

"That explains so much," Zach snickered. "Sure, that'd work ... if you could figure out some way to get him 'accidentally' dropped from the team rolls, I'd kiss you."

"Promise?" Jake's eyes glittered at the double challenge.

"As long as it was just a kiss, yeah," Zach chuckled. "I'm not that exclusive."

"A good kiss can be worth it," Jake purred before munching a fry. "So looking forward to any classes this term?"

"Besides trying to find a free seat for the lectures in your Supernatural Threats class? Dark Age Studies; I've actually got a shot at some field time if I can prove I'm up to it; the top ten students get to join Dr. Sinnian one day a week, and over the break at the end of the semester," he grinned.

"Oh yeah, you'll have a blast," Jake grinned. "And I'm going to have fun playing with Lance."

"I bet you will," Zach snickered. "So, what about you? You're going into training seriously this year, aren't you?"

"Yeah," Jake nodded. "The basic physical training's over for the most part. This year there's wilderness survival where I get to spend a week or so out in forest with part of a single survival kit and Chance to mimic surviving a worst-case scenario crash. We have to make our way back to an Enforcer precinct building."

"They're dropping you in the forest as a worst case instead of the badlands?" Zach asked curiously.

"That's next year," Jake grinned. "When the teams have formed a strong bond already. The forest is a team-building exercise as much as anything. There's also a solo one in there somewhere. Of course, Chance is looking forward to really showing off in a jet, which also gets started this year. I'm looking forward to the maintenance classes, myself."

"You would be," Zach chuckled. "So, how much faster are you going to be ripping through Enforcer Training than usual?"

"Not by much," he admitted. "The academic portion I can, but most of the rest aren't really classes, or they're a line of classes that have the previous as prerequisites. I'm just picking up extra courses to fill in my time."

"Only person I know who'd rather take Quantum Physics than have some time for a nap," Zach said, shaking his head. "Anything else you're looking forward to?"

"Having the time to work out what to do with the dating situation," he admitted. "Last year everybody left me alone. Now apparently I'm the hottest thing on the open market. All thanks to a roommate change by all appearances."

"That's what happens when you start hanging out with one of the biggest sluts in the school," Zach smirked. "He'd probably agree with me calling him that too."

"Probably," Jake couldn't hold back a snicker. "As long as it was about fems. Doesn't seem to be all that picky, as long as he gets off."

"That's about right." Zach chuckled. "Though to judge by the other night, I'd say he wants them to, too. Those blocks are lousy soundproofing in our building."

"Oh yeah," he laughed easily. "It's a pride thing, I think. Better bragging rights, better odds of a next round."

"And gives the rest of the floor material to work with," Zach snickered. "Anyways, I should probably be getting back to figuring out which date is right," he said easily, finishing up his lunch. "Seeya around?"

"Of course," Jake nodded and made short work of the remains of his meal. "You know where to find me too."

"Hey Jake," Chance called out cheerfully as he started into the room on their last 'day off.' The regular weekend was coming up, then they'd be in classes the next day, so he was planning on taking full advantage of it. "You wouldn't believe what happened on my way over here today," he chuckled as he stripped his shirt off.

"Oh?" Jake raised an eyebrow at him from where he was laying on his stomach on his bed. He put his technical journal down in anticipation of a good story. "Do tell."

"You know about Ericson, the Wolf QB on the football team, right?" Chance asked him easily, starting to change for the night. "Guy drives this sweet sports car some idiot fan of the team bought for him, always showing the thing off."

"Oh yeah, I know about Lance, and his car," Jake grinned, something in his expression making Chance wonder what was behind the look.

"Well I was on my way back here after grabbing some things I needed when he pulled up next to me with his girlfriend and challenged me to a race," Chance explained. "Jerk likes showing off that he can actually beat a guy on a bike, though he hasn't taken me on in a while."

"And his car didn't perform very well, did it?" Jake grinned, clearly delighted as well as amused.

"He hit about fifty and the engine stalled on him," Chance chuckled, cocking his head as he looked over at Jake. "You had something to do with that, didn't you?"

"A little payback for picking on a friend of mine," he nodded. "His life's going to get worse before I'm done with him too."

"What did he do, and should I be hearing about this just before training starts?" Chance asked, raising an eyebrow as he pulled on a pair of tight pants for the club.

"I'm not going to do anything serious too him, just make his life an endless series of small irritants and miseries," Jake rolled his eyes. "He likes using Zach as a punching bag, stealing his school books and being a general bully. You don't treat my friends like that and get away scot free."

"Hey, that I can sympathize with," Chance said easily. "Want me to make sure he ends up on the wrong side of a few of the bouncers out there? They wouldn't do anything without a reason, but they might be a bit rougher if he gave 'em one."

"Sure, oh yeah," Jake brightened instantly. "That'd be good."

"I'll talk with a couple of 'em when I get the chance," the tabby said easily, sitting down and leaning back. "Let 'em know that Lance and his buddies have been making trouble for some of my partner's friends. You gonna change for tonight?" He asked, changing the topic.

"Tonight?" Jake looked kind of startled before he glanced at the clock. "Yeah, but not here. I'm sitting for Tommy to sketch a picture tonight."

"Oh, okay," Chance said easily. "Meeting him here, at the club, or someplace else?"

"His place," Jake said and rolled from his bed to pull the long, flat chest that held their personal items worth locking up. While the chest itself was standard issue, the outside of Jake's was far from it now. What had once been flat black was now well covered in all sorts of scribbles. Some were aircraft, some looked like they might be fraternity letters or the like, but most of it was beyond the tabby.

What was inside was what really made his eyes go wide as recognition set in. Padded handcuffs and some soft looking ropes weren't that unusual. The whip, cat-o-nine-tails and decorative blades were much more so. He didn't even want to guess at what the black leather was fashioned into, much less the devices. Not really, at least.

"Remind me not to press for too many details tomorrow," Chance mused as Jake put a change of clothes in the backpack, along with his shower kit and a couple small things. "So, going to need a ride?"

"You wouldn't want details on two toms anyway," Jake teased him. "I won't be using most of this for a few years anyway," he shrugged and pulled out the leathers and ropes to pack into a light backpack. "Too much risk to it."

"Too much risk to what?" Chance asked, flicking his ears. "Y'don't think they're actually keeping an eye on those regs, do you? At this point?"

"Actively, no," Jake shook his head. "But if they see fresh scars during the yearly, or if I really get hurt ... yeah. It's not much of a loss; I'm just not going to get rid of my toys. Some are worth quite a bit."

"Understandable," Chance shrugged a bit, not sure he wanted to know why some of those were things Jake considered 'toys.' "Well, anyways, have a good time."

"I will, once I can stop holding still," Jake grinned and stretched upwards. "You have plans, or just out to see who gets lucky?"

"Out to see who gets lucky, mostly," Chance chuckled. "Jim wanted me to meet his new girlfriend too, so I'll be doing that first."

"Then good luck, and the room is all yours. I won't be back until after classes Monday."

"Cool," Chance chuckled. "Well, I'll see you around. Have a good time out... I'll try to remember to clean up before classes."

"Thanks," Jake laughed with an easy shake of his head and left, giving Chance an opportunity to think about what he'd just learned about his partner.

About an hour later, Chance was pulling up in front of the club that Jim had told him to come to.

"The Kat's Me-Ow," he mused, looking up at the sign and shaking his head. "Yeesh." On the other hand, if the name was any sign of what happened inside... maybe Jake'd like to know about the place.

As he looked at most of the couples heading in, he realized that it seemed to be catering to mixed-species couples, mostly. Just his luck that Jim would want to meet him at a club he hadn't been to before ... ah well, it looked like a fun enough place.

"Name?" The Lion bouncer asked him as he approached the door.

"Furlong; I'm supposed to meet a couple friends here," he said easily. The bouncer waited while his Dalmatian partner checked the list.

"Yep, he's here."

"Exclusive club?" He asked, nodding towards the people who were heading through without any trouble.

"Nah," the Lion chuckled. "They're just members who've paid for the month. Cover charge is usually ten bucks; your friends have you on the guest list, so don't worry about it tonight."

"Good to know," Chance nodded and headed inside, taking in the open but very tasteful eroticism in the decor. The gender mixes were about what he was used to in most clubs, around a third of crowd was each, but almost all had a Kat and Kantin in it.

He kept an eye open for Jim as he easily moved among the people, either enduring or encouraging the various forms of contact depending on who was touching what. Everyone kept things covered, street-legal, but it was more sexual than the dance clubs he tended to frequent.

Not that he minded, really... heck, looking around, he decided that it might be worth coming by once in a while. A particularly attractive Collie bitch brushed up against him with a flirty grin.

"You're new," she observed. "Looking for somebody?"

"Jim Carson," Chance said easily, looking her up and down... after meeting Jim, maybe he'd look her up again. "Alsatian; you know him?"

"Oh yeah," she grinned. "He's over by the wall with his girlfriend... didn't think he was into guys though."

"He's not," Chance chuckled. "I'm just a friend."

"Oooh, okay," she grinned. "Well, if you're looking for more friends later, see if I'm still around," she winked, pointing him towards Jim's table and sending him along.

"I think I will," he purred, following her directions towards the table. He was a little surprised to see that the girl Jim was talking with was a Cocker Spaniel fem, wearing a short skirt and a halter-top that showed off her chest nicely.

Not that he normally would have been surprised - Jim always had been into smaller girls - but in this club, he'd been expecting a Kat.

"You're the Kat," Jim grinned at him and waved him in to sit down even as the bitch checked him out very openly. "This is Cathy Sprial."

"Oh I am, am I?" Chance chuckled, sitting down and returning the look Cathy was giving him. "Chance Furlong; good to meet you," he grinned.

"Assuming you're as game as your reputation," Cathy slid her bar toes up his leg. "I understand you're quite the lay."

"Assuming you're as game as your reputation," Cathy slid her bare toes up his leg. "I understand you're quite the lay."

"I do my best," he rumbled, glancing over at Jim. "What've you two got in mind?"

"Cindy's kink is having two guys who aren't interested in each other," the buff Alsatian explained with a grin. "Since you're about as interested in guys as I am, I thought you might find it fun."

"Sounds good to me," Chance grinned, looking back over at the Spaniel, shorter than he was. "So you like being the center of attention, huh?"

"You have no idea," Jim chuckled low in his throat and slid a hand up her leg and under her very short skirt to show Chance just how little was under it.

"You better be going for more than a show," Cindy grinned devilishly at Jim and spread her legs a bit more, showing off her damp sex to the guys at the table.

"You want to play, or shall I?" Jim offered first choice to his friend.

"I think I will," Chance rumbled, moving his chair a bit closer to her and letting his own hand drift down to her other thigh. "Or we can share," he purred, rubbing up her short, golden fur to finger her sex lightly.

He felt Jim's fingers join his and he moved up a bit to tease her clit while Jim went lower to draw her juices out.

"She likes it in public even more than she'll admit to," Jim whispered over her hair to his friend. "Nothing would make her hotter than to have her clothes ripped off and be taken right here on the table by every guy here and most of the gals."

"Mmm... if you decide I'm worth a second night out with, I might know somewhere you two'd like then," Chance purred, kissing Cathy's cheek lightly. "So, aside from having every eye in the place on you and every cock hard for you, what sort of things are you into?" He asked her curiously, tracing the back of a claw lightly along her clit before working it with his fingertip.

She shuddered and moaned softly before she gathered herself enough to answer. "I like two guys in me at once," she answered breathlessly. "Cunt and ass, or both in one, it's all good. I love sucking guys off. Giving a tit-fuck is fun too, if the guy's good looking at that angle."

"Think either of us'll qualify?" He asked her with a grin as Jim's fingers slipped up inside of her a bit. "Think we'll be giving you a workout tonight."

"I know Jim does, and you look like you've got a nice body under those clothes," she nearly whimpered, drawing a couple of looks their way.

"Shh, quiet down gorgeous," he purred, tipping her face towards him and kissing her, swallowing her whimpers as he gave Jim a bright look that said he was ready to push her over the edge any time the Alsatian was.

Jim grinned back, but it was Cindy who shifted and brought both her hands up to claim Chance's head as she ravaged his mouth, her hips rocking against his hand and causing Jim's fingers to slide in and out of her until she shuddered and cried out into his mouth.

Chance purred happily as they kissed and she came, swallowing her sound of pleasure as his fingers kept working her clit until she finally relaxed.

"You are definitely fun," he purred, bringing his fingers up and licking them clean.

"So are you," she panted, leaning heavily against the tabby. "Sure you aren't game for visiting that club you mentioned? I can promise you a second date already."

"You up for it, Jim?" Chance asked, looking over at the larger Alsatian. "Thinking the Warlord's."

"Any other night and I'd hit you for asking," Jim chuckled. "Think tonight I'm more in the mood for just the three of us and somewhere private to enjoy ourselves, if there aren't any objections ... besides I happen to know that next weekend Warlord's is running their Back to School Special," he winked. "Half price drinks and new talent on the stage."

"Might even drag my new partner along," Chance's grin turned wicked. "He'd either explode from embarrassment, or get as turned on as this pretty thing."

"Sounds like he could be fun," Cathy nuzzled Chance as her tail wagged against Jim's chest. "So a room here, or one of our places?"

"I just happen to have the room to myself this weekend," Chance grinned. "Though I'd like to grab a drink before we go," he added with a chuckle. "Got a couple questions for you when I'm back," he told Jim, getting up and heading over to grab a beer. Be a shame to stop in and not have something before he left.

"Sure thing," Jim nodded and pulled Cathy close, where she happily relaxed against his chest.

When Chance was back, the two canines were snuggling happily, waiting for him as he took a sip of his drink.

"Looks like my new partner's into a few of the things you are," he explained. "This doesn't get talked about, okay? He's not doing anything wrong, I don't think. I just want to get a few pointers for things to watch out for... after all, he's my partner."

"Of course," Jim nodded. "What can you tell me, what you've seen or been told?"

"Well, he's got the usual sort of things that he keeps stashed under his bed," Chance explained. "Cuffs, blindfolds, that sort of thing. But in with it, it looks like he's got knives and a few other things that are way harder than anything I've been into."

"How scarred is he?" Jim asked quietly.

"I haven't exactly been looking that closely," Chance pointed out. "Doesn't seem to be that beat up though. He passed the physicals to get in this year."

"That doesn't mean much, if he or his partners have any clue what they're doing. Are you looking for tips on when he might be getting in too deep, or how to talk to him about it?" Jim asked, thinking through too many things that Chance didn't seem to have answers for.

"Mostly things to look out for, in case he's getting in too deep," Chance nodded. "I don't want to see him getting hurt, or running into the regs about that sort of thing the Enforcers have."

"Look for fresh cuts or whip-marks that you can't account for," Jim gave him the top item first. "Ask about it if he limps or seems off his game. If you see blood, ask. You'll get a feel for what his norm is, and what he's like when he's hurt, as you work with him. Until then, just watch for unexplained blood or injuries."

"So there's nothing before it gets to that point?"

"Not unless you're willing to get very up close and personal with his sex life," Jim said seriously. "As participant or as somebody who asks a lot of rather pointed questions about who is involved and what they're doing. Maybe when you've known him for a while you'll be able to pick out a pattern from other things, but with where you are, not much else to do."

"Figured. Sometimes there are clues out there y'don't know unless you're into it, figured it was worth checking."

"There can be when they're in the scene and the needs begin to escalate, but 'too far' in this case is practicing at all from my understanding. Either he is or he isn't, and it's better if you notice he is before someone official does."

"What's wrong with him enjoying what he does?" Cathy asked.

Chance could only shrug. "For the most part, from what I can tell, it's an image thing... and they don't want Enforcers who might come home from a night off-duty and need to go into the infirmary for the next week, especially with gunners and pilots. We've got to keep in top shape."

Jim nodded a bit. "Has he said anything that makes you think he will or won't stick to the regs?"

"Oh, I think he will," Chance said easily. "It sounded like he was just keeping the stuff because he'd had it before going into the Enforcers, and he didn't want to have to replace it later. But I've misread folks before, and sometimes things happen, y'know?"

"Yeah, I know," Jim nodded and stood with Cathy before she could suggest they get off the subject of a guy into pain that wasn't there and onto what they really wanted. "And a lot depends on things I doubt you know yet."

"Like?" Chance glanced at the taller male as they started to walk out.

"Like how long he's been into it, how often it was part of sex before he gave it up, how often he used pain to pleasure himself. That kind of stuff. It's like most things; generally easier to give up when it isn't well-established."

"S'pose so," Chance mused, finishing his drink. "So, back to my place?" He suggested, catching the hint.

"Sounds good," Cathy grinned playfully at him, her tail wagging frantically.

Jake drew a deep breath and shook himself out. He was definitely flattered by Tommy's interest in turning this little fantasy of his into a painting, but it was unsettling in the pit of his stomach too. This was a kind of exposure he hadn't even admitted to himself was enticing.

There was a very real possibility that in a decade or so this erotic image of him would be well known the world over as an early painting by someone famous. At least if Tommy was after that kind of career.

He really should think hard about what this could do to his, and Chance's, careers before he let Tommy show it to much of anyone. Yet that thought struck him as terribly selfish. If he didn't want to see the end results so badly, he'd probably have backed out, or at least insisted on something more professional looking.

Maybe he could manage to get a more professional one later on... or maybe Tommy would just want it for a private collection, maybe a class assignment, and not much else? After all, it wasn't like there was a show coming up right away he'd want it for....

He managed to reach up and knock, and Tommy opened the door with a grin.

"You actually showed up," the Caracal grinned. "So, still interested in sitting for me?"

"Yes," he nodded, his gut tightening up. "Do you have plans for it?" he almost managed to sound neutral as he walked in and the door was closed behind him.

"For tonight, I'm just looking to get a sketch with the right positions," Tommy explained easily. "Maybe a couple pictures so I can work on it when you're busy. You comfortable posing with a Master?"

Jake's breath caught, and he knew the mixture of desire, shock and trepidation showed clearly on his face. How did he answer that? He was willing; he knew that without hesitation. Comfortable? That implied he really a clue what a 'Master' really was in this context.

It took him just long enough to get his brain working to make Tommy shift uneasily and open his mouth to say something.

"I think so," Jake cut him off softly. "I've never ... I haven't had much ... time... to find out, okay. Greg wasn't into my kinks much. I've never actually been with a Master before," he tried not to tremble at the incredibly erotic desires that just the idea unleashed.

"It's just posing," Tommy offered. "Unless you want more, and that'd be after the sketching was done. I think Rock'd be willing, but it's between you guys mostly."

Jake nodded. "I guess I have trouble saying I'm comfortable with something I don't know," he explained with a smile. "It does sound very hot."

"Like I said; right now it's just posing," Tommy smiled, leading him in. "Hey, Rock! Come on out and meet Jake!" He called, loud enough to be heard over the sounds of things clinking in the small kitchen area. The well-built, brown-furred Tabby who looked up was definitely Jake's style... actually had a distinct resemblance to Chance.

It wasn't his looks that caught Jake's attention the most though. It was his manner, the air of how he carried himself. The self-confidence and internal strength with a touch of dom made Jake's breath catch.

"Hi, Rock," he finally managed.

"Well hello," the Tabby rumbled, looking Jake up and down openly. "Tommy didn't tell me you were so cute," he winked. "Jake Clawson?" He asked, closing the fridge and coming out, two bottles of beer in one hand as he offered Jake the other.

"Yes," he nodded and accepted the bottle, opening it bare-handed, most of his attention focused on this buff creature that seemed so very willing to take care of him.

"So, how much are you really into subbing? At least the idea of it?" Rock asked him, handing a bottle to Tommy and leaning back against the wall lightly.

"It's towards the top of the list," Jake admitted, his heart beating fast as he sat down. "Enough the idea can turn me on pretty serious; not so much that I've actually sought someone out for it."

"I doubt you've ever sought a lover out, for any reason," Rock told him with a slight tilt to his head at how unaware the lean tom surely was about how enticing his body language was to the average dominant.

"Not really," Jake murmured.

"So just how serious are the regs against things like you indulging in that?" Rock asked curiously.

"None," he chuckled softly and took a swig of the beer. "It's some of my other interests that they object to."

Rock just raised an eyebrow. He was privately a bit confused at the subtle shifts in Jake's manner. The cinnamon tom definitely had a submissive streak a mile wide, he had no doubt of it, but there was a hardness there too that he usually only found in serious doms. The kind of guys that could make Rock kneel, or could with the right training at least.

"Pain, or rather getting injured," Jake explained. "The job and training is enough risk that any more is too much. It's an image thing too, but that one's a lot harder to enforce."

"Okay, so you've got to stay away from that end of things," Rock nodded. "So, are you interested in more than just the posing tonight?"

Jake felt his throat tighten and his entire body respond with a slight shiver. He tried to say yes, and found that a nod was the best he could manage.

"Before, or after?" Rock asked with a low purr.

"After, please," Tommy answered for Jake with a slightly irritated chuckle. "I do need you guys able to pose, y'know."

"And it'll give time to anticipate it," Jake offered from deep in his throat. "So where do you want us?" he turned to Tommy, abruptly all business.

"Over there; Rock, you grab the whip, Jake, you'll be kneeling, and can you both strip for me?"

"Any time," Rock grinned lewdly at Tommy before making a very intentional display of revealing his body. He never lost sight of Jake, who wasn't trying, but was still making a pretty good show for the others.

"Over there," Tommy motioned to a spot in the living room that had been draped in soft fabric to give them a simple backdrop.

Jake nodded and chose a spot to one side and knelt, his body language going as submissive as he was excited by even the act of posing like this.

"I'm going to get a couple pictures while I work on posing you guys, so I've got something to work with when you aren't here," Tommy explained, "but I prefer to work with my models actually around."

Rock moved into place, looking down at Jake with a low purr, enjoying the sight of the younger tom's body and how naturally this submission came to him.

"You look good like that," he rumbled.

Jake flicked his eyes up, the amber growing richer with the desire to please and the pleasure of it growing in his body. Right at this moment, he had no reservations, no concerns, no needs but for what the moment brought him.

He looked like he was born to serve, and Rock rumbled deeply as he reached down with the coiled whip to tip Jake's face up towards his, a look somewhere between shyness and adoration in the cinnamon-furred tom's eyes.

"There! Hold it!" Tommy said firmly, the camera clicking before the Caracal sat down to start sketching. "That's the look I'm after right now...."

"You want a bit more modesty than this?" Rock asked quietly. Jake was clearly comfortable like this, but the trace of hesitation in his movements left the tabby convinced that it wouldn't hurt.

Tommy might have been good at blocking out a picture, but reading a sub, and what would make an uneasy one more comfortable, was his territory.

Rock watched Jake's lashes flicker briefly as an internal debate kicked in and his eyes went from softly submissive to coldly calculating in less than a heartbeat. It was all Rock really needed to understand the core role submission played in Jake's psyche.

It was relief; a brief time where he wasn't responsible, wasn't the one who had to make the choices or bear real-life consequences. It was letting his guard down, his mind relax and to simply be taken care of. Deep down, Rock was sure Jake had no need for it to be sexual in nature. This was simply the format he understood the state was possible in.

Jake's eyes flicked towards Tommy, and Rock watched the debate shift to how much the artist was trusted to make whatever modifications were needed for the final product to not compromise the future he had such a tenuous hold on.

"No," he finally whispered, his gaze back up at Rock and all soft submission again as he relaxed a bit more. "I like the way you look at me like this."

"I like looking at you, so that'll work," Rock chuckled.

"A little to the left, please," Tommy called out, the tabby shifting slightly. "That's better...."

Rock tried to place how things would look in the painting, for a few moments, before returning his attention to the submissive tom in front of him.

Jake was an interesting little conundrum ... as eager as he was to give up control, he wanted to make sure he protected himself too. Rock just wondered which of the two sides was the stronger of them ... he was fairly sure it was the submissive side, ultimately. When he didn't have somebody else to watch out for at least. That protective drive was most likely to focus on something outside than on protecting Jake himself.

Rock had few doubts that whatever had brought Jake to this place in his life, it had left him believing that if it was just him, he could survive anything as long as he wanted to. Usually that seemed to come from having looked death in the face and flipping it off in defiance, but most of those he'd seen it in were in gangs, and that definitely was not the kind of upbringing this tom had.

No, Jake hadn't had that kind of hard life, but he'd learned to take care of himself at an early age all the same. Rock suspected he'd learned to hate too, and it hadn't come easily either. Just because he couldn't think of another reason for such a discrepancy in his base reactions and how fast he could switch over.

All in all, Jake could be the perfect sub if handled right. He could also be a real nightmare to deal with if it didn't go well.

Rock would have to choose whether he wanted to be responsible for that before the weekend was over and someone asked whether they would meet again.

Back at the campus, Chance opened up the door to his room, looking in first to make sure that Jake really had gone out.

"We've got the place to ourselves," he said, mentally relaxing as he stepped in, holding the door open for Jim and Cathy, then crossed the room to open up the window. "So, seems to me that somebody's gotten off ahead of us," he grinned, turning back to the Cocker Spaniel.

"So how do you guys want to even it up?" she grinned at Chance and brushed her tail across Jim's crotch. "Hands, mouth, both at once ...."

"Mmm... you're thinking back to that Jaguar fem, aren't you?" Jim asked Chance with a grin.

"Oh yeah," the tabby chuckled, moving closer to Cathy. "We're thinking of you on your knees, sucking us both off," he purred, running his hands up her abs and to her chest as Jim's ran down her sides.

"You're on," Cathy pressed into their hands as she sank down and reached for their zippers, openly eager to get at the musky maleness inside.

Jim and Chance both grinned, stripping off their shirts as Cathy undid their pants, fishing their shafts out, not willing to wait even long enough to get their pants down before she started licking and nuzzling at them.

"Doesn't waste any time, does she?" Chance grinned, his hard cock responding eagerly to her attentions.

"Nope," Jim grinned loopily, a low whimpering moan dragged out of him when she closed her hand around the base of his partially swollen knot and tugged forward while her tongue played with Chance's rubbery barbs.

"Mmm...." Chance reached down, rubbing her ears lightly. "So, want to give me a few pointers? I'm guessing this isn't your... oooh... first time with her," he smirked, groaning a bit as her tongue washed him from base to tip.

"No," he panted when her head shifted to his cock and Chance had the full benefit of her fingers. "Her ears are her hottest spot. Rub those and she'll do anything for more."

"Anything she won't do, generally?" Chance asked with a grin, thrusting lightly into her hand as his thick, powerful fingers worked her fluffy, floppy ears lightly, petting her head and neck.

"I can't think of anything you'd be at all interested in that she's not game for," Jim chuckled. "You're good, but really vanilla still."

"Vanilla's good too though," Cathy added with a grin up at the two of them before swallowing Jim's shaft, moving a bit to rub Chance's against her furry face.

"Startin' to think I'm the only guy who isn't kinky," Chance chuckled, rumbling at the unusual feel of it.

"You just hang out with a kinky crowd," Jim assured him, then moaned as she worked his shaft and knot expertly.

"Mmm... well let's see if I can keep up with you guys for a bit," Chance smirked, reaching down to move Cathy's hand away from his rigid maleness. "You like getting attention to your ears, huh?" He asked her, his smirk spreading into a grin.

She let Jim's cock slide from her mouth only long enough to whimper an "oh yes," to him and look up with real hope in her milk chocolate eyes.

"And where do you want me to come, when I use 'em to get off?" He rumbled, taking one of her long, floppy ears and rubbing the velvety inside of it against his shaft.

"On by face," she whimpered and shivered before going back to Jim's cock and a serious effort to get him off so she could enjoy Chance's cum fully.

The Alsatian moaned lowly, pumping his seed into her mouth, enjoying the eager, utterly horny look on her face at the idea of letting Chance use her like he was going to.

It didn't take her long to swallow it all and lick him clean so she could turn her full attention on the tabby and what he had promised. "You feel so good," she rumbled to him.

"You feel pretty good yourself," he purred, his barbs rubbing the sensitive inside of her ears. "Can't do this with a kat... you've done this before?" He guessed.

"Oh yeah," Cathy shivered and licked at his balls, sheath and cock as she could reach them. "I love it."

"Mmm ... she's got two ears, y'know," he grinned over at Jim.

"Relax, I take a bit longer than you to be ready to go again," the Alsatian smirked, moving to his girlfriend's other side, joining Chance in using her fluffy ears to add something a little different to jerking off in the Spaniel's face.

She reached up to fondle their balls, her expression bordering on rapture as Chance worked himself to the edge and then was over it with a roar, his seed exploding from his cock in pearly ropes to decorate her face, head and back.

"Tail high, babe," he panted as he quickly recovered for another round, Jim still stroking himself with her ear, reaching up to scratch her head with his free hand as he groaned lowly.

"Take my ass, hot stuff?" Cathy moaned to him.

"With pleasure," Chance grinned, moving around behind her, rubbing his cock between the cheeks of her ass before shifting to press it up against her tight, wet pucker. "Mmm ... bet you like it like this almost as much as you like it against your ears," he winked.

"Oh yes!" she yipped and squeezed down around him. "Only thing that's better is having two guys in me."

"Oooh... give it time, hon, promise," Jim grinned, throwing his head back with a howl as he pumped his own seed over Cathy's face, Chance starting to thrust harder into her ass.

"Good," she whimpered and reached back to finger herself lightly with one hand. "Glad you found a guy who likes ass and not you."

"I'm into whatever the girl is," Chance rumbled deeply, reaching up to scratch the tops of her ears lightly, her tight body working his barbed shaft.

"All right, you can move now," Tommy finally told the pair that had remained absorbed in studying each other and the occasional quiet exchange while he worked.

"Do you still want to play, Jake?" Rock asked, his body clearly aroused and eager despite the easy tone he used.

"Yes," Jake shivered, anticipation finally winning out over his will to keep himself modest for the sitting.

"Just sex," Rock tipped Jake chin up and looked deep into his eyes. "Or do you wish to submit to me?"

"I wish to submit," Jake's tone was almost formal and his eyes carried far more hope for this than just good sex.

Rock nodded, taking in every subtle detail his new lover would offer up in body, tone and word. "Then pleasure me," he ordered. It was a command that could be taken so many ways that it gave a true wealth of information about a new sub. Some would turn around and lift their tail. Others went right for his cock, or stood to kiss him.

Jake shifted forward just a bit and lightly nuzzled under his balls before a tongue sneaked out and licked the sensitive spot between his ass and balls.

"Mmm... not bad," the tabby purred, a little surprised that he'd gone for something that... unusual. The lack of rejection was clearly enough for Jake to move forward, his touch a little more sure as he began to bath, almost groom, one of Rocks balls.

Tommy sat back to watch for a while, though he was undressing the rest of the way as he did so.

Rock reached down to caress Jake's ears lightly while his arousal was peaked by the deliberate attention that didn't have a bit of hurry too it. In the part of his mind that was set on analyzing Jake, Rock was even more sure than ever that sex was just an outlet for something Jake wanted so much more. He was just too patient, too relaxed despite the arousal in his scent and how clearly it showed in his cock.

"What is it you really want, kitten?" Rock rumbled lowly, tracing the backs of his claws along the edge of Jake's ears. He felt tension for a brief second, then Jake relaxed.

"Be cared for," he answered before he had even realized he'd spoken, and when it did, he froze, utterly unprepared for the reality of having opened up that much to a stranger.

"What's your idea of being cared for?" Rock asked, reaching down to scratch Jake's scalp lightly. He felt the tom press against the contact eagerly even as the rest of his body was a bit stiff as his mind scrambled to answer something he didn't have the words for. No one had likely asked him what he wanted in a way where he thought beyond the next few hours.

It only took a few minutes of relative silence for Jake to relax and look up at Rock. It was easy to read the lingering fear there, but so was a willingness to take this leap and the determination that had gotten him this far in his life.

He didn't take a deep breath like so many did; he just met Rock's eyes and spoke in soft honesty, holding nothing he knew back. "Being protected, from others and myself. Being held at night against the nightmares. Occasionally having my taste for long and drawn out indulged," he said with a weak smile and leaned up to lick Rock's hard cock from sheath to tip. "I do get off on pleasing others."

"Mmm... I bet you do," the Tabby rumbled. "The nightmares anything I should worry about?"

"Beyond the potential shock of being woken up by my screaming, no," Jake admitted, his humiliation at it easy to read in his body and dropped eyes. "I usually manage to wake up before then, but sometimes ...." he shrugged. "Couple times a year I'm too tired to come around in time and nothing else will help."

"You want to tell me what they're about?" Rock asked him, the fact that it was purely Jake's choice clear in his manner. He watched the hesitation, the calculated look come into focus briefly before Jake, once again, chose to make a second fairly blind leap of faith for the night.

"A monster, a demon, trying to get me," Jake began to tremble in real, core-deep fear just in retelling the most basic facts. "Sometimes solicitous, sometimes threatening, sometimes howling insane. All ..." he stopped, his gaze somewhere else entirely. "I know it's not inside my head."

"Nightmares can be like that, sometimes," Rock murmured, sitting down and guiding Jake to kneel in front of him and found no resistance at all. "So, does it make it better, having somebody with you?"

"Most of the time," Jake nodded and leaned forward to kiss him on a simple but well-trained reflex.

"What about two of them?" The tabby asked with a purr, glancing over at Tommy.

"Never thought of it," Jake glanced over at Tommy. "Can't hurt," he managed a smile at him.

"How long has it been since you've gotten a good night's sleep?" Rock asked with a low rumble, deciding that if he had to wait until morning to get some action from the younger tom, it'd be a perfectly acceptable sacrifice. Jake's smile, shy and uncertain as it was, was something he could do with seeing more of, and he had a feeling that he'd probably see it quite a bit if Jake was sleeping well.

"Last weekend," he admitted with a half-controlled cringe for the expected response when Tommy gasped.

"You barely slept!" the Caracal objected.

"Three hours," Jake countered. "That's a lot for me. You wore me out."

"Let's see if we can make you get a bit more tonight," Rock said firmly, pulling Jake in for a kiss. "We make a Jake sandwich, you get to wake up between the two of us in the morning?" He purred.

"Sounds very nice," Jake smiled shyly at him once the breathless expression left his face. "And in the meantime?" he asked with a deep purr and nuzzled Rock's collarbone.

"Have you taken two guys at once before?" Rock asked him, kissing the top of his head, reaching down to stroke Jake's shaft lightly.

"No," he admitted with a soft, pleasured sound at the touch. "Never had the opening to."

"We'll take it easy on you then," Rock teased him lightly, pulling Jake up a bit to nibble his shoulder. "Straddle my hips and raise your tail."

Jake moaned deeply, clearly turned on by the soft sensation of teeth against his skin. There was no hesitation as he climbed onto Rock's lap, kissing him soundly as he rubbed against the tabby's powerful abs and lifted his tail along his spine.

Despite the emotional roller coaster he'd just been on, he was eager and willing for whatever was to come.

"Care to join us?" Rock asked Tommy with a grin.

"Don't mind if I do," the Caracal purred, finishing undressing and moving to kneel behind Jake, kissing the firm globes of his ass before letting the soft underside of his tongue wash over the younger tom's pucker. Rock claimed a deep, heated kiss from Jake as Tommy began to claim a far more intimate one, prepping him for what was going to come for the rest of the evening.

Jake moaned into Rock's mouth and slid his arms around the tabby's broad shoulders to embrace him. His body began to tingle from Tommy's efforts

Skilled, strong hands worked along Jake's back and sides, powerful fingers working the spot above his tail-base as Tommy lavished his anus with attention, reaching forward a bit to fondle both their balls.

"How long do you want me to let him play with you?" Rock purred as their lips parted briefly and Jake let out something of a strangled sound of raw pleasure.

"Long as he's willing?" he answered with a shiver.

"Mmm ... I'm going to want a little attention before that's over then," Rock purred, guiding Jake's hand down towards their shafts. "How about it?"

"Anything you want," Jake began to stroke him, playing careful attention to each rubbery barb to pleasure Rock without getting him off too quickly.

"Mmm ... you get some too, pet," Rock rumbled, pressing Jake's shaft into his own hand. "Have you tasted your own seed?"

"A few times," he nodded, quickly catching on to the most pleasurable way to stroke them both at once.

"Oooh... good, then you shouldn't mind cleaning up after you're done," Rock grinned, pulling Jake into another heated kiss as Tommy chuckled and lapped at his ass happily.

Jake moaned and shivered, his body keying up to the point where he wouldn't be able to hold back much longer. He kept his mouth locked on Rock's and stroked their cocks eagerly.

It wasn't long before the tabby moaned into Jake's mouth, his shaft twitching, spraying thick seed up onto their bellies as his barbed shaft rubbed against Jake's. The extra slickness was enough to make Jake shudder and come, his seed joining Rock's on their bellies.

Mmmm, very good," Rock kissed him again. He moaned as Jake continued to stroke him, playing with his barbs until he trembled. "Good endurance too," he purred.

"You should see what he's like riding you," Tommy grinned up over Jake's hip.

"In time," Rock grinned back. "So, why don't you clean us up, then we'll see about giving Tommy a round?"

Jake gave him a licking kiss and slid back a bit so he had room to lean forward and lick Rock clean, starting with Rock's cock disappearing down his throat to be lavished with his tongue until clean.

"Mmm ... you're good at that," Rock purred, reaching down to scratch Jake's head lightly. "So, what's his ass like Tommy?" He asked the Caracal with a grin as Jake started licking his abs clean.

"Tighter than you'd believe," Tommy rumbled, gripping Jake's ass firmly. "Want me to stretch him out for you first?"

"Nah ... we'll both work on that in a bit," the tabby rumbled hotly and stroked Jake's ears, then down his shoulders and back, feeling the tom's responses through his body "You like that idea, don't you, kitten? The idea that I want you for myself."

"Yes," Jake moaned, then put his hand to work learning every bit of Rock's cock before it was thrust inside him.

"You like how I taste?" Rock purred. "Has Tommy introduced you to his little trick?"

"Yes," Jake snickered. "My poor partner walked in on us last weekend exploring it. Just about lost it when I invited him to join in." He nuzzled Rock's groin playfully. "You taste very good, much like how you look."

"Oh? Who's your partner?" Rock asked with a chuckle, scritching between Jake's ears. "Think you're up for being on the receiving end of it this time?"

"Chance Furlong," Jake said and pressed into Rock's hand as he lifted his tail invitingly for Tommy to indulge his kink.

"His pilot," Tommy added. "Jake's a gunner in training, and he was on the receiving end last time," Tommy chuckled, shifting to press his rigid shaft between Jake's furry thighs with a low groan.

"Furlong, huh?" Rock chuckled. "Well, don't hold it against him... he's just got lousy taste in toms. Why don't you see about getting a good long taste of me, hmm?"

Jake licked his lips and took Rock all the way down until Jake's nose was pressed against his groin. He breathed deeply of Rock's thick, sexy musk as he began work with his throat and tongue, openly enjoying the process.

"Oh yeah," Rock groaned deeply, reaching down to massage the back of Jake's neck, thrusting lightly into his mouth as Tommy rubbed between his legs with happy abandon.

Tommy came quickly; he'd been building up for some time and Jake flexed his leg muscles to give him even more texture to thrust into.

"Oh yeah, you are so good," Tommy panted as he rubbed Jake's ass in large circles.

With a slow sucking, Jake lifted his head and looked up at Rock. "So ready to let me have this lovely thing?" he purred throatily and gave the hard cock in front of him a long lick. "Fuck me into the bed until somebody can't move."

"Mmm ... if I have my way, it'll be you this time," Rock grinned, picking Jake up and carrying him the short distance to Tommy's bed, the Caracal right behind them.

"You're very welcome to try," Jake grinned and rolled to his hands and knees, his tail over his back and a hungry look for Rock as soon as he was put on the bed. "Take me," he wagged his ass a bit.

"With pleasure," Rock grinned, straddling Jake's hips before pressing into him with a low moan, stretching his warmed-up ass wide before starting to thrust hard and deep.

"And I'll enjoy the view," Tommy grinned, settling on the floor to watch the first round from beneath both toms.

"Oh, yes!" Jake cried out and squeezed down, relishing in the powerful body above him and the way he was being taken. In the brief moment before he gave himself over to the pleasure completely, he recognized that as much as Greg tried, he didn't have the dominant streak needed to really satisfy this need.

He couldn't begin to describe how good it felt to finally be here with a big, strong, possessive tom against his back and deep inside him. It was everything he'd been wanting for so many years and could never find the words to explain right.

And here he'd just happened to trip across it thanks to a night out dancing.

Rock stirred slightly when Tommy got up from Jake's other side. It had been quite a night, and once they'd gotten into bed, Jake had shifted from subby to more of a demanding bottom. Still somewhat subby, still interested in Rock's pleasure, but he wasn't at all shy to ask for what he wanted. Well, all but to have Tommy elsewhere.

Jake had been quite willing to please Tommy, but it was obvious to Rock that the willingness was more politeness than interest. He was sure Tommy knew too. It hadn't been the first clue Tommy's gotten than Jake was almost unnaturally monogamous for a young tomkat without a mate.

It was a strange combination, really. Someone that ....

Rock's attention snapped from musing about his new lover when the tom suddenly screamed in raw terror and began to thrash blindly.

"Jake!" He grabbed Jake's thrashing arms, holding him down so he couldn't hurt himself - or anybody else. He'd never said it, but it was easy to see in how Jake moved that he knew how to fight, and was good at it.

"Jake! Wake up!" He commanded, loudly and firmly over Jake's nonsense screaming.

Jake's eyes snapped open, but there was no awareness of the world around him in them and he continued to try and fight.

"Clawson!" Rock tried again, drawing on every scrap of authority and dominance he'd learned in his years as a Master. "Still."

It seemed to work. Jake stilled. His body was still tight and trembling, his eyes dilated and out of focus, but he'd stopped fighting. He looked for all the world like he was on a bad trip, but Rock knew no drugs were involved.

"I'm here, with you, and we're both safe. Tommy's here," he added as the Caracal streaked back into the room from the bathroom, his face a mask of concern. "We're all safe. It was a nightmare."

Jake drew in a gasping breath as some part of his mind clicked in with reality. It wasn't much, just a touch of a real person behind his eyes, but it was enough for Rock to be sure the worst was over.

He let go of Jake's wrists, shifting to draw the small, trembling tom against him, rubbing his back, giving him the reassurance of a powerful body against his.

"It's okay, kitten," he murmured softly as Jake began to sob, his body shaking with each labored breath as he struggled to control himself. "It's all okay."

"It'll be okay," Tommy added and sat on the bed, trying to help Jake calm down as well with touch and voice. It felt like a very long wait, but eventually Jake draw in a deep, shuddering breath and his sweat-soaked body slumped against Rock's.

"Hate that," Jake mumbled weakly when he finally found his voice again.

"I can see why," Rock murmured, his mind taking in just how raw and deep the acidic terror in Jake's scent ran. "There anything that helps with it? Afterwards?"

"Hot shower," he whispered and leaned close as the trembling shifted to the kind that was to get rid of adrenaline. "Get the smell off. And hold me," he added. "D'I hit anybody?"

"No, you didn't," Rock reassured him. "Tommy, you want to get the water going, hot as you can?"

"Sure thing," the artist nodded, getting up to go turn on the shower in the bathroom.

"There's only room for one, if I remember right," Rock said apologetically. "Want me in there with you?"

"I'll be okay," Jake assured him without making any move to get out of his embrace. "I'm awake now. It's been years since I had a waking terror. Just need to get cleaned up now, and I'll feel better."

"I'll wait for you here then," Rock nodded easily. "You going to want to talk about it, or to get back to sleep?"

"You won't think I'm crazy?" Jake looked up at him, desperately hoping for a yes, but wanting the truth more than anything else.

"Now why would I think you're crazy?" Rock chuckled slightly, trying to be reassuring as he kissed Jake lightly. "It was a nightmare, Jake... I'm not gonna hold what your bad dreams are about against you. Y'start doing that, you've just become a major asshole."

"I guess I met too many assholes early on," Jake kissed him and then stood as Tommy came back into the room. "Thanks."

"Damn that kat's got issues," Rock murmured, shaking his head. "By the way, sorry for snagging your boyfriend," he chuckled to Tommy.

"Don't worry about it, I wasn't really that attached," the Caracal chuckled. "As long as I get my pictures and get to stay friends, I'm good with it. There's other guys out there, and I'm not really his type. I'm glad I lost him to somebody who'll treat him right."

"And if I don't, you're not the only one who'll kick my ass for it," Rock smiled. "So, you've met his partner?"

"Before they were partners, yeah," Tommy nodded and sat on the bed. "One of the very few to turn a shot at my ass down flat. Good looker, tabby, a lot like you. You're probably cousins somehow."

"That's not saying much," Rock smirked. "Sounds like I might know this one though ... Chance Furlong? Gold-on-orange tabby, looks a lot like me, last I heard would nail anything in a skirt without thinking twice?"

"Yeah, that's him," Tommy nodded. "You're close cousins?" he asked uneasily.`

"Second cousin, that's all," Rock said easily. "One of a couple dozen, easy. We used to be closer, but not so much anymore... why? Think it'd be a problem? Be surprised if it would be with Chance."

"With him, I doubt it. With Jake ... I asked you first because you're a very close look to the guy he's got a serious crush on," Tommy explained quietly. "It might be awkward."

"Ah, didn't know he had a crush on Chance... well, you didn't know, and you just asked me to model for you," Rock pointed out. "I'll ask Jake about it some time, see if he's willing for Chance and me to meet so I can find out for sure. If it is awkward, it's not your fault at all... let's face it, if you pick a tabby out of a crowd, probably a 50-50 shot he's related to one of us somehow," Rock chuckled.

"And right now is not the time to be springing this on Jake," Tommy glanced towards the bathroom door as the water turned off. "I just hope it doesn't screw things up. He needs a stable influence bad."

"Not now," Rock agreed. "And I hope it doesn't too... he's a good guy, even with the nightmares. I know he wouldn't ask, but...."

"I've got my painting cot I can use for the rest of the night," Tommy said easily before Jake came out. "You guys go ahead and cuddle."

Jake glanced between them with a look that said he'd caught at least bits of the conversation. "Thanks," he told Tommy once he got close.

"No problem," Tommy said with a bit of a smile, giving Jake a light kiss on the cheek before heading over to the cot near his painting area.

"How much did you hear, and how much do you want to talk about tonight instead of after you've gotten some more sleep?" Rock asked him easily and gathered Jake up into his arms.

"Enough to tell you I don't care who you're related to," he pressed close. "As long as you'll put up with this crap from me."

"Don't worry about it then; I will," Rock rumbled, kissing him tenderly and drawing him down into bed to get some more rest before the morning. He doubted Jake would sleep any more, but if he stayed in bed, at least he'd rest and relax.

Chance was still flush from their morning formation run, and was privately grateful that his new partner had held his own quite well for it. No one in the pilot program was in bad shape at this point, but the run had been rather punishing for their first day back.

Sergeant Bali had made it very clear she did not approve of shifting their training to the main university grounds when they had a perfectly good Academy campus of their own and was going to push them to be twice as hard in front of the civilians.

"Do you know your extended family very well?" Jake asked as they headed for the nearest cafeteria.

"Depends on how extended you're talking about," Chance said easily. "I've probably met most of them, but it gets pretty big ... we've been in the city for a long time, and we've always been the sort who believed in having kits early and often, up until the last generation or two. Even when you allow for the ones who didn't make it, that makes for lots of cousins. Why?" He asked curiously.

"'Cause I think I'm dating one of them and was wondering if you knew anything about him, or had issue with it," Jake explained. "Tom Furlong, goes by Rock."

"Why'd I have an issue with it?" Chance chuckled, thinking. "Rock... yeah, think I remember him. He can take care of himself pretty well... didn't know he was still in town, his folks moved away a few years back. Must've come home for some reason. Nah, no problems with it. What do you want to know about him?"

"Any useful points you might know," Jake scrambled for a real question. "Favorite color, hobbies, whether he's likely to stick around a few years or tends to last weeks. I like what I've seen, but I haven't known him long."

"Well I haven't seen much of him for about eight years," Chance warned him. "Guy can change a lot with that sort of time. But from what I remember, he was big on working out and keeping fit. Not the way most guys are - he wasn't worried about looking good or looking tough... I think he just hated being sick, so he figured keeping fit was the best way not to get that way. Don't know much about his dating habits," Chance admitted. "But I seem to remember that he'd been going out with the same general bunch of people up until he moved away."

"So you wouldn't mind seeing him around?" Jake asked as they entered the large busy building that was currently serving mostly sweaty, grumbling Enforcer cadets.

"Not at all," Chance said easily. "Thought you were goin' out with Tommy this weekend though?" He asked curiously as they got in line to get breakfast.

"I was sitting for a painting this weekend," Jake corrected with a chuckle and grabbed a tray. "Rock was there too and we hit it off."

"Well, good to hear it," Chance nodded, grabbing a tray of his own. "He's a good guy... helped me out a lot when I was a kit. He takes good care of the people he cares about, from what I remember... so, how's he doing?"

"He looks very good, and his workout habits probably haven't changed. He's a personal trainer and working construction to fill in the gaps. Seems to be doing pretty well, really," Jake gave the more relevant points for his partner, then dropped his voice. "We have more than a few kinks in common, and he's very, very good at what he does."

"Well, as long as you're both happy," Chance chuckled, collecting a healthy breakfast... or at least a hearty one. "So, planning on bringing him around some time?"

"Probably," Jake nodded and picked out a fruit bowl to go with the granola and yogurt, then claimed a large omelet with everything in it, several slices of bacon and a meat patty. "I'm hoping he manages to come when you want to drag me out to another club," he grinned at the tabby with a teasing wink.

"Heh - unless you're in for jumping into the deep end, probably not next weekend," Chance grinned back at him. "Next weekend, at least one night, I'm heading out to Warlord's with Jim and his girlfriend."

"Warlord's?" Jake asked as they stopped at the drink station for milk, juice and an extra-large black cav for Chance.

"Oh yeah," Chance purred. "Hottest 'anything goes' club that's open to the public. Next week is their 'welcome back' weekend for the students."

"Let me guess," Jake said drolly. "Public sex, dancing, very little clothing and odds of nailing more than two girls in one night."

"Hey, I said you probably wouldn't be interested," Chance chuckled. "Though in this case, it's more a girl who's interested in getting nailed by everything that moves," he rumbled lowly.

"I don't know, maybe I will come if Rock's free," Jake controlled his own response to the idea fairly well, but not enough for Chance to miss it. "What can I say, I like watching."

"Suit yourself," Chance chuckled as they headed over to grab a clear table to sit down at. "So, you going with Rock and Tommy both, or just Rock, and Tommy's looking again?"

"Probably just Rock, but I doubt Tommy won't be having fun there," he chuckled lightly and dug into breakfast. "We'll see. He might have other plans."

"True," Chance nodded. "Well, glad you had a good time, at any rate," he smiled.

"Thanks," Jake smiled back with a shy touch to it. "Was your weekend a good one?"

"Oh yeah," Chance purred, tucking into his breakfast. "Thanks for giving us a couple nights," he grinned.

"No problem," Jake smiled back, willingly letting breakfast fall silent. They didn't have that much time until Supernatural Investigations.

Jake found a seat in the front row of Supernatural Investigation 105 and took stock of the room. To him, it seemed surprisingly small for a class every cadet had to take. There was room for forty people at most, and over half the large room, the section beyond the desk rows, was given over an impressive lab they'd have at their backs whenever a lecture was being given.

He shifted in his seat and watched as Chance found a spot in the next row back and Zach politely sat down in the back row. It was a good ten minutes until the rest of the class seemed to have filtered in; three dozen cadets and a couple more civilian students in all. He recognized quite a few from the previous year, and noted that it was clear that Chance knew nearly everyone.

The group settled down when two Kats stepped from the office on the far side from the student's door and out in front of them. One was a powerfully build brown tom in his late forties. While his presence was good enough at getting attention, it was the fact that he was in full dress uniform with quite a chest full of ribbons that held every Enforcer cadet still. This was a Kat of influence in important places for their future.

His companion lacked many of his ribbons, and wore the gray fatigues of fieldwork under her white lab coat. It did a good job of concealing most of her golden tabby fur, but not her blond hair, blue eyes or very feminine curves. Despite her lust-appeal, no one doubted she could make or break their lives as well. Doctor Hellen Favad-Talon was the head of forensics. Every Enforcer, even first year cadets, knew her face as well as they did Commander Feral and Mayor Manx.

Every cadet in the room also knew they were special for being assigned to this class. She taught so few, only the most promising students got in.

"I am Detective James Brown, your primary instructor for Supernatural Investigations 105," the tom introduced himself and took center stage. "If you continue this series of courses, you will be seeing a lot of me. This class is very lucky to have Doctor Hellen Favad-Talon leading the lab sections," he inclined his head deeply to the beautiful shekat.

"Who here has an official partner?" Detective Brown asked as he swept the room with deep brown eyes.

"Clawson and Furlong, sir," Jake spoke up quickly with a motion to himself and the burly tabby seated behind him. It caused a bit of a murmur among the other cadets. Normally only those on the detective fast track got into a class with Favad-Talon; pilots and gunners had no real business here.

Brown nodded to him. "Sit next to each other. Any other partners?"

"Feathertail and Mallion," Amanda spoke up while Chance moved up to sit next to Jake. Her wild patterning of orange, red, white, black and brown was largely concealed by her uniform, except for her face, hands and tail. What really made her stand out was the gleaming silver medallion in her hair below her left ear and the two black and white feathers dangling from it. Everybody recognized its native population origins; that it was Karalanol and so was she. Quite a few even recognized it as a headband medallion, even though she was not wearing one with it. Not so many knew, as Jake did, that within those swirls, dots and zig-zags on it was her name, rank and tribe within the still-secret language of her people.

Detective Brown inclined his head to her. "It is an honor to have a Karalanol wise woman in my class. I will not treat you any differently for it."

"As I expect it to be," Amanda inclined her head to him in return as a new round of murmurs died down.

"Since I have the head count I expect, roll call should be painless. Correct me if I mangle your name," Brown told them and went to the podium to pick up a slender notebook he had put there earlier. As he called each name a hand was raid with a 'yes detective' from cadets and 'here' from the three civilians.

Jake quickly caught on that each of them had a page in that notebook. These two kept more than a list of names. It was going to be a very interesting class he contained a grin, but not the excitement in the tip of his tail.

"Been looking forward to this much?" Chance asked quietly with a chuckle as Jake's tail-tip brushed his leg.

"Not until now," Jake grinned at him, his voice low. "They are the best."

"That I know," Chance nodded with a grin. "Just don't get your tail stepped on."

Jake intentionally batted Chance with his tail and focused on the instructors as Brown began to speak to the group again.

"Now, has anyone not taken Introduction to Investigative Procedures?"

Zach and other civilians raised their hands. Zach seemed fairly unconcerned by it, Jake noticed. Probably because he was in here for his own reasons, not just because the class was supposed to be cool ... he didn't recognize the other two, off hand.

Brown looked less than pleased and focused on Zach first. "You are aware it is a prerequisite for this class?"

"Yes, I am," Zach nodded easily. "I'm not in the class for credit; I'm in anthropology, not the Enforcer program," he explained. "If somebody who's taking it for credit needs my seat, lemme know and I'll leave."

Brown raised at eyebrow at him, now curious instead of irritated. "What does an anthropology major expect to get out of Supernatural Investigation?"

"A different look at looking at the strange things out there," Zach said easily. "The Enforcer angle on some of the creatures besides Kats and Kantin. I'm going into a field where I've got even odds of coming home, getting held up by raiders, or waking up something that's powerful, hungry, and angry," he chuckled slightly. "Be good to learn a bit about how to recognize when that third one is going to happen before glowing eyes and soul-stealing get involved."

It earned several snickers of agreement from classmates and a nod from Brown. "If you have not already, I would advise you to at least skim the book for Introduction to Investigative Procedures. It covers a great deal of the language you will hear here."

"Haven't gotten around to it, but I'll put it on the top of the list," Zach nodded easily. "Thanks for the advice."

"How about you?" Brown turned his attention to the young Alsatian male that had also raised his hand.

"I'm very interested in the supernatural, so I'm taking or auditing all the courses with it," he explained.

Brown nodded, seemingly satisfied, and turned to the third civilian. "So what is your reason, and to actually pay for the course and its prereq?"

"I am a private investigator, sir," the older Black Panther spoke respectfully. "As much of Enforcer training that I am allowed to take is of great value to my business."

"How long have you been in the business, Mr. Derlon?"

"Thirty-nine years for myself, another fifty under my father and grandmother. Three cases in a year that turned out supernatural got it through my thick skull that this would be a good subject to brush up on."

"Very true," Brown agreed. "As much as your contracts and law allows, I would be interested in hearing from you in class if you have any personal experience in the subject of the day."

"Of course, sir," Delon smiled at him, openly pleased to be treated with such respect by this highly regarded Enforcer in front of so many cadets.

"Now, for the course contents," Detective Brown took command of everyone's attention. "By the end of this course you will be expected to be able to identify key signs of the known supernatural threats, how to identify and collect supernatural evidence correctly, how to perform some of the forensic tests used, how to have an intelligent, useful conversation with various specialists in the field and the fundamentals of how to combat them in the street, how to track them successfully to their homes and perform a successful arrest without casualties. Any questions?"

"Will we be analyzing any actual cases, or is that for later courses?" One of the cadets in the back asked when he was acknowledged.

"Some will be real cases that have been solved, some unsolved and some invented," Doctor Favad-Talon answered.

"Unsolved?" A Collie bitch asked.

"We have unsolved cases dating back almost six centuries from across the globe," she smiled at the girl. "The more complex and modern cases will be for later, but you are all here because you have shown a talent for detective work. This course is not the standard Supernatural Investigation 105. I only teach the most promising students."

"It isn't?" Chance asked Jake quietly, trying to keep from being too noticeable. He hadn't thought that it was a more advanced course of any sort.

"Not once she came out," Jake answered quietly. "I didn't know either."

"Hope we're up to it," he murmured, straightening up in his seat.

"Wouldn't be here if we weren't," Jake assured him and resisted reaching over to squeeze his hand.

"Now, who can tell me what supernatural threats have been confirmed as real?" Detective Brown asked the class.

"Weres, mages, dragons, and the undead," Feathertail offered after being acknowledged by the Detective.

"Anything else?" She asked them.

"Ghosts and psionics," Delon added grimly.

"From experience?" Brown asked him with real interest, instead of simply correcting him about the official lack of confirmation.

"Yes," the Panther nodded. "One of the cases that brought me here."

"I might like to speak with you after class some time," Brown offered.

"I'm free most days," Delon nodded.

"Good," Brown turned his attention to the class again. "Are there any other supernatural threats to add?"

"Demons, at least if those Creepling things are any sign," a tuxedo-marked fem in the back offered.

"While it is suspected, they have not yet been confirmed, cadet Winslow," Brown said. "Creeplings may be others things. Does anyone have ideas for what?" he flashed a slight grin at the group.

"Genetic creation or unknown type of creature," Jake suggested.

"Mechanical," Chance offered. "Fits better with everything else their boss has used."

"They could be alien or magical creations as well," Feathertail added. "I have heard legends of such creatures, though they did not have enough detail to be sure."

"Very good possibilities, all of them. Any other ideas?" Brown praised them."

"Victims," a lean Jackal near the door suggested. "Flunkies who ticked him off and he decided to warp, through magic or science."

"They wouldn't need to have been his flunkies," Feathertail added to the general conversation as Brown nodded to each person as quickly as possible.

It was easy for his students to see that the detective was pleased and happy to encourage the discussion brainstorming. It wasn't anything he hadn't heard a dozen times before or theorized on himself, but at least once a year someone would really surprise him in these early sessions.

"So what did you think of the first class?" Jake grinned at Zach as they headed to the cafeteria with Chance, Amanda Feathertail and Brad Mallion.

"Hell of an opener," Zach grinned back. "Looks like I picked the right one to listen in on, and I'm glad they didn't chuck me out. That Detective in there could be interesting too."

"Which one?" Jake asked, curious.

"The hot stuff in the lab coat," Chance rolled his eyes with a laugh. "He's into the girls, unlike you."

"I also don't think with my loins," Zach pointed out, rolling his own eyes. "I meant the PI who's in with the students, had the stuff about ghosts to say."

"Yeah, his cases were interesting," Jake agreed. "Though I thought his experience with the psi was more interesting. It would explain a few things in the world."

"Still isn't proven," Brad pointed out. "But yeah, it could... be great if the Enforcers could figure out a way to make it work for them, wouldn't it?"

"That would require a more open mindset than the current leadership possesses," Jake shook his head. "The Ferals are all about tech, from long before they were top kat among the Enforcers."

"It is used on the personal level," Amanda added. "Just not on the unit level."

"Not reliable enough for that," Zach pointed out. "Same reason we don't use it in anthro so much. Some people claim incredible results, but you can never really be sure."

"Yeah, but you learn pretty fast that when some people say 'duck,' you don't ask why," Chance pointed out. "Not just your partner either."

"The reason it is not reliable is typically because your people expect such things to work the same way for everyone," Amanda told him bluntly. "The ability to use power is a talent like so many other things. Art, mechanics, design, investigation ... they are all skills, but they are also talents. No matter how hard you studied, you would never be on the same level as Jake with mechanics or design."

"Actually... I just meant that you can't always count on your psychic to be right about things," Zach pointed out. "Don't necessarily expect anybody to remember the name, but Cordelia Waters is still a big shadow in my field. Woman had some remarkable successes, but we've found out since then that she was conducting gross fraud to maintain a constant record of successes, rather than just admitting that sometimes she didn't get anything from a site."

"You have to admit that if anyone using physical methods to get data had done the same thing, and they have many times that even I know about, it wouldn't have caused their entire field of study to be discredited," Jake countered with a relaxed tone. "If the supernatural was accepted by the authorities then one fake wouldn't discredit everyone."

"I'll give you that one," Zach nodded easily. "But as they keep telling me, 'incredible claims require incredible proof.' Of course, they usually mean 'if you're saying that cannibalism was rampant in that part of the world, you'd better have some damned good evidence,' but it's the same theory. But you're right, it wouldn't happen. For what it's worth, I think there's a place for it, but it's along with any other investigative tool - you can't use just that one."

"Same can be said of physical evidence," Jake chuckled. "I'm still shocked every time I read about how much some folks say they know about a people or place based on what a few scraps of pottery and stone look like and nothing more. I've read fiction that had better backing."

"Oh God, don't get me get started on the colonial archaeologists," Zach groaned, rolling his eyes. "They didn't care what it meant, they just wanted loot. If you gave it a good story, you got more for it, and there's still too many people like 'em around these days."

"It hurts the entire field," Jake nodded with a touch of sympathy. "Ever thought of going after them?"

"Maybe after I'm out, but right now I don't have the resources, rep, or really anything to offer them as bait," Zach pointed out. "I'd need money, respectability, or expertise to be useful to them and get into the right circles."

"You have Enforcer contacts now too," Jake reminded him with a wink. "You don't always have to be on the inside to cause grief."

"Yeah, but I have to know who they are and have proof," Zach laughed, shaking his head. "You're having too much fun with this sort of thing, you know. Nah, everybody I know about is already a known looter or hack, there's just not much that can be done about it unless they're coming through a country with a stronger Customs system."

"Have you looked into strengthening the laws?" Jake asked with a cock of his head.

"If you ever send one though Karalanol lands, let me know and their life will become very difficult," Amanda gave him a wicked smile. "Few things anger my mother and aunt more than thieves."

"I could give you a list of names," Zach offered. "They might push their luck there, but Karalanol territory is pretty much safe from the big guys... they do their damnedest to work legitimately, so they stay away from there. And strengthening the laws... MKC doesn't have the right to legislate what happens in, say, Cerisia. It's already illegal to bring stolen or smuggled goods in, but if you got something legally in the land it came from...." He shrugged slightly. "Hard to do without stopping the real trade in artifacts too."

"He has a point," Jake shook his head with a sigh as the group got in line for an early lunch. "Greed isn't illegal in most of the world."

"And in the places with dictators, neither is bribery, as long as you give the big boss his cut," Zach nodded. "It's a shame, but no way to stop it yet. Fortunately, the sort of guys we were just learning about tend to do the job for the rest of the world," he said with a slightly vicious grin.

"Just not often enough," Jake grumbled. "Just proves to me that ghosts are rare as hellfire."

"Common enough to do the job for a few of 'em," Zach shrugged. "More common, the good ones might get nailed more. Anyways, we live."

"Yeah... y'know, maybe that PI would be willing to look for a few of 'em," Brad suggested. "He seemed the sort who'd like weird cases like that."

"Smooth, Malion," Chance chuckled, shaking his head. "Just 'cause your eyes are glazing over doesn't mean you shouldn't come up with a slightly better way to change the subject."

"Delon has seen a lot of cool stuff though," Jake admitted.

"Two-thirds of which he can't talk about," Amanda sighed. "It is a pity."

"Oh, he can talk about them," Jake shook his head at her. "He just won't. PI's aren't restricted like doctors, lawyers and Enforcers. He just has enough of a moral code to kept his silence when he should."

"Yeah ... one of the good ones," Chance nodded easily. "Maybe he'll find some cases he can talk about before the class is over, where the folks don't care or can't anymore. Even what he did have to say was pretty good."

"Is anyone else looking forward to the lab work?" Amanda asked with a teasing grin.

"Definitely," Jake grinned back, his eyes glittering in mischief with a deadly edge. "Looking forward to the 'how to kill it' section though."

"That part I'll pass on," Zach chuckled, shaking his head. "Don't like fighting very much, and as long as I don't have to, I'll pass on it."

"Your loss," Chance shrugged. "But yeah, the lab work sounds like it'll be something. Just hope I don't end up holding you back," he said, looking over at Jake.

"You won't," Jake gave him a smile of simple confidence. "You don't have to be brilliant to pass, just willing to work hard enough."

"Besides, you'll have at least two of the course aces willing to help you study," Amanda added.

"Hang on, you're gonna be busy keeping me going," Brad smirked. "Probably be able to keep up pretty well though ... surprised they took us though, given we're all already pretty well spoken for, in terms of departments."

"It means that we showed enough promise on the tests that the detectives want to fast-track us in case we can't fly," Jake said softly. "A solid fifteen percent of flight teams don't graduate as flight teams, and two-thirds of the rest don't fly after two years. Detectives can be around for decades. They don't mind waiting on a good enough promise."

"You've got a real grasp on the stats that'll put a damper on things," Brad murmured as they got their lunches and headed for a table. "Suppose it wouldn't be too bad though."

"Don't worry, Brad," Jake gave him a sympathetic smile. "It's rarely the pilots who need the new job."

"And if we do, Pumadyne's usually up for one that involves getting in the air yet," Chance nodded slightly.

"You don't have Enforcer family," Brad pointed out to his friend. "Anyways, back to the class... you guys think they actually expect anything out of their real cases for the labs?"

"Nothing except for what they already know," Jake shook his head. "The science side is a lot more defined than the detective mind-games."

"Especially with cases as old as what these sound like," Zach nodded. "Still, you never know... surprised they're going back that far though, a lot of those cases are way beyond Enforcer purview."

"I think it's called 'cadets can't screw up what isn't active anymore,'" Brad shrugged. "You don't think they'd risk real evidence on us?"

"No, but going back more than a hundred years or so it's as much legend as anything else," Zach shrugged. "Archaeology might be a lot like detective work, but it doesn't go the other way quite as well. Surprised there's any evidence left to present about cases like that."

"Local records are good back to at least 1821," Jake countered. "That was the last time the evidence halls suffered significant damage."

"Before that the cases likely come from elsewhere," Amanda added with a nod. "The Karalanol have provided one case from 1628 by your calendar. I expect other nations have as well. Some have dedicatedly preserved records dating back five millennia or more."

"Criminal records too?" Zach asked, cocking his head curiously. "Didn't know that end of it went back so far."

"Some do," she nodded. "The Golden Empire and the Etasa are both dedicated to preserving their histories in great detail, criminal acts included. Even when the punishment has been to have their name erased from history, the acts and references are there."

"Haven't worked much with any of the three," he admitted. "Must make a lot of things easier for the people who do."

"Not from what I understand," Amanda said as she began to cut up a marinated steak with stewed fruits. "The job just starts much further back in time."

"To some extent, but it gives you a good shot at knowing what they found out too," he pointed out. "It starts further back, but you've got more between then and now than anybody else does. At least if you can find the records... that probably gets pretty hairy," he chuckled.

"It certainly can," she nodded. "What kind of history are you interested in uncovering?"

"Too big a question," Zach laughed, shaking his head. "Honestly... it's a bit of everything. Different areas, different situations... I'm still narrowing myself down to a specific field. I like putting the parts together, seeing what comes out of it... the journey as much as the destination."

"Fair enough," she smiled with a nod. "Do you have any contacts in the field yet?"

"Getting them," he said easily. "I'm actually through my undergrad work already; I've been working with Dr. Sinnian around campus, and if all goes well this semester I should be able to work with her in the field some finally."

"Do you know what you'll be working on her with yet?" Jake asked.

"At this point, it looks like we'll be working on the base-setting for one of the digs out in the Badlands, near the old Katsylyan lands," Zach explained. "Family finally agreed to allow excavation, so she's looking forward to seeing what's there, especially since it's only a few hours out of town driving."

"Sounds like quite a score," Jake grinned at him.

"Oh yeah," Zach grinned back. "You're talking about one of the wealthiest, most influential families in MKC's history going back to the Dark Ages and then some, and finally getting a chance to dig down and look for just why they cleared out so fast when they did."

"What do you know about it?" Amanda asked, her ears perked slightly.

"About exactly why they left, practically nothing," Zach admitted, cutting his chicken kiev, tipping the plate to let the butter and herbs run down into the rice he'd taken with it. "About the family? More than most," he grinned. "I'm not entirely sure yet, but they're probably going to be part of my thesis. You guys all up for hearing about it, or should I wait until I can just talk to the ones who're interested?" He chuckled, glancing at Brad, Jake, and Chance.

"I'm game," Jake grinned. "The pilots can suffer," he winked at Amanda.

"They might as well get used to pretending to listen," she giggled back.

"This one, I'm curious too," Brad chuckled.

"Okay," Zach grinned. "Well, at any rate, Megalith City was founded when the various clans in the valley started to settle down and intermarry more. This is all pretty standard stuff, but the Katsylyans wouldn't play along. For a long, long time they insisted on keeping to themselves - they guarded their territory jealously, and rarely took members from outside their families.

"Now, they happened to have some of the best land in the valley, so they could support themselves on it... and one of the families in the Clan had mages powerful enough to enforce their sovereignty. Some genealogies link Queen Callista to one of the family's few diplomatic marriages, others actually claim that the Past Master was one of them gone rogue, so that should give you an idea of just how much firepower they had."

"Yeah," Jake shuddered. "That's serious stuff."

"Quite," Amanda agreed with a nod, though it wasn't news to her.

"Well, the good news is that they generally got along with their neighbors as long as they were left alone. It got to the point where they were trading fairly comfortably, and the leading families began to welcome in employees from the outside.

"The legends started getting pretty out there back then, but we've lost a lot of records, so there's no telling how much of it is true. Some say that the Katsylyan nobles were using young people from outside the clan as sacrifices to keep their power, or to get more of it. Others said they'd developed a taste for their neighbors, whether in bed or at the dinner table. All that's known for sure is that, despite the increased trade and openness, the Katsylyans seemed to close ranks more than ever. They did business with the outside, sure, but they wouldn't actually talk to them much, and they would only let specific, pre-approved people in and out of their valley. The Kat's Eye Talisman is a fairly common artifact from that time, actually," he added, pulling out his wallet and an old, simple copper talisman with an eye stamped into it that was sewn inside the front of it. "Found this back when I was twelve," he explained, putting his wallet back.

"Is that what got you started in anthropology?" Amanda asked with open interest as her mind finally clicked the stories from her people to what he was talking about. "The Kat's Eye Talisman is what got you passage, marked you as one of those pre-approved people, though you usually had to be known as well. I had one kinkat use a stolen one to escape their lands, but it was a rare thing. A generation later they broke off contact with us, and those we knew that had contact with them. Not even those who had permission to enter the valley could anymore."

"It helped get me into it," he nodded. "Any idea why they were trying to escape?"

"Something that scared them too much to even put name to," she said quietly and poked at her food with her fork. "That's a very, very short list, even if it was longer back then than it is today. They were dealing with something very powerful, and likely not of the mortal world. Demons and Void Monsters would be my first guesses, but there are a handful of other possibilities."

"In keeping with some of the legends," Zach murmured. "Of course, it could have just been something that traumatized them that wasn't supernatural in nature too ... this is one of those 'extreme claims' things, especially since the Katsylyans are still fairly big movers in the city. You don't really want to say 'the guys who sign your grant checks used to be demon worshippers' unless you can prove it."

"Quite true," she nodded. "Though I personally have my doubts it is, just from the wording and tone. Nothing I'd challenge them on, but enough that I'd believe they had dealings of some kind with a potent supernatural something. They could have been fighting it, bartering with it or conspiring with it. It would have resulted in the same kind of records."

"It could have been somewhere between the three too," Zach nodded. "Eventually, something happened inside the valley, and the leading family seemed to disappear almost overnight. The others left the valley, but not before ransacking their 'capitol' and burning the entire place to the ground."

"So where was this 'valley'?" Chance asked curiously.

"Kat's Eye Canyon," Zach said easily, earning a confused look from Chance.

"What the Hell sort of 'good land' is that place? It's worthless these days," the big tabby scowled.

"That's one of the mysteries," Zach grinned.

"Among my people, it is used as an example of what happens when magic is used the wrong way," Amanda added. "We don't know what happened, but we know it went very badly for the land."

"With a little luck, we'll have a chance to find out in a few months," Zach said easily. "We're really hoping she'll find some good stuff with this one... first time in decades they've let anybody in there legally, let alone into the heart of their territory."

"Do you know why they agreed it?" Amanda asked.

"My guess is they figured it was time, and the right person doing it," Zach explained. "Hard to tell for sure though."

"It will be very interesting to find out what you learn," Amanda smiled at him. "I do have to wonder how much of their history they know, and aren't telling anyone."

"Probably depends from one branch of the family to another," Zach chuckled. "But I figure it's a fair amount... at any rate, they're good backers to have, so we figure that everybody who works on this one ought to get some good contacts out of it, if nothing else."

"Most likely," Amanda nodded as she finished her meal. "Forgive the abruptness, but we must get going. We have sim time in ten."

"Ah, hey, no problem," Zach said easily. "See you guys around later," he added as the Enforcers started to get up. He was a little surprised to watch these four very un-military seeming types fall into step and move quickly together without any thought about it. They talked and laughed as they went to get rid of their trays, but they moved in synch.

"Gee, Zach, you manage to find yourself a few new friends?" Lance's familiar voice asked from behind him. He tried to get up to go, but the Wolf's heavy hand on his shoulder stopped him. "And here I thought we had somethin'."

"Only in your head," Zach retorted as his eyes darted towards Jake, only to realize that the timing had been quite intentional. All four cadets were gone.

"C'mon, Zach, I think it's time for a little tutoring," Lance rumbled lowly. "Somebody's got some lessons to learn."

"Not from you," he twisted to get out from under Lance's hand and on his feet. There were enough people here, enough Enforcer cadets, that he might even get help if he yelled for it. "We have nothing to talk about," he insisted as he started to back up.

"Actually, we're interested in a few auto-shop lessons," Tony rumbled, stepping around behind Zach to keep him from getting away. "We heard some of your friends are pretty good with cars."

"Jets," Zach corrected, now honestly afraid as he looked around for a likely rescuer. "I don't know anything about it."

"Close enough; c'mon, let's go show you what's wrong, maybe he can help us out with it," Tony rumbled, putting a hand on Zach's shoulder with a firm, menacing squeeze.

Even if he was able to get some help... which he probably could... it was going to be very unpleasant at some point. The question was if they'd be even more pissed off at him later if he ran.

He settled for making what he hoped was a desperate-looking eye contact with anyone he could as he was escorted outside.

"You've got one good chance to get out of this with all your teeth," Lance told Zach quietly once they had a little privacy. "I want to know who it was that fucked with my baby. You tell me, and they'll get what you've got coming right now. You've got to the count of three."

Zach stilled suddenly, closing his mouth as Lance started counting.

He wasn't sure if they knew for sure or not ... but he didn't care. He wasn't about to rat Jake out. It didn't matter that Jake could probably take Lance and Tony down on his own, or that with his partner he could take the entire gang. It didn't matter that the Enforcers would beat the shit out of Lance next. It didn't even matter that he hadn't asked for Jake's help.

He wasn't going to be the one who betrayed his friend. He'd survive this, Lance wasn't that stupid, and he'd deal with the rest later.

He was sure Lance would be lucky to get out with his hide intact once Jake learned, and there was no way to hide it given they had classes together. He really hated causing Jake trouble like this.

"One ... two ...." There was a hesitation, giving him just enough time to try and reconsider ... but it wasn't worth it. He wasn't about to turn around on the one 'normal' guy who'd reliably treated him like he was worth something.

The 'three' came with a solid, balled up fist to the gut as Lance and Tony started in on him, the rest of their friends encouraging them. The two football players were both good with their fists, and had years of experience on and off the field at using them best.

All he could recognize was the pain and a fist hit him square in the face, knocking him to the ground, and then it stopped. No one rushed to take advantage of his prone, defenseless form.

He cracked an eye open with difficulty and saw a gray pair of pants above him ... someone was standing over him, guarding him from further abuse.

He tried to look further up and recognized the lines of a cadet's uniform, the loose grey fatigues they wore on a daily basis. A male, his mind added later. Kat. Grey hands and a waving black tail.

Beyond them there was chaos. Other cadets ... two, maybe three ... were demonstrating just how well trained they were in taking down people with exactly the amount of physical harm desired.

The tom over him stepped away and crouched to offer his hand.

"I'm sorry we didn't stop them earlier," the cadet offered a sincere apology. "Let me get you to Medical."

"Th-thanks," Zach said, standing up with help, wincing; he was sure they'd at least bruised a rib this time. "Don't worry about it," he added, pulling out his handkerchief to stop the blood flowing freely from his nose and lip. "Kinda used to it," he chuckled bitterly.

The cadet scowled, though Zach knew well from Jake that is was a scowl of concern and distaste for the situation that made such a statement possible. "Always those guys?"

"Usually," Zach admitted. "It's not worth goin' to too much trouble," he tried to protest before anything more could come of it.

"If you don't stop them now, make them understand it's not worth it to be bullies, they'll just get worse as they get older," the cadet told him firmly but gently as he helped Zach walk. He was soon joined by a second tom that helped support Zach on the other side.

"Look, the whole reason I got it this time is because I tried that," Zach whimpered softly. "I can't touch guys like that!"

"What, exactly, did you try?" The cadet asked.

"I talked to a friend... think he tried something and it came back around," Zach murmured, trying to keep specifics out of things.

"Then you didn't try the legal route," the cadet nodded to himself. "I'm Cadet Davin, that is Cadet Raingold," he nodded towards the black-furred tom on his other side. "That makes a difference. You have Enforcer witnesses this time too."

"They'd kill me if I tried anything like that!" Zach protested, his fur on end in very real panic. "Look, I'll be fine, I can handle this... thanks for the help, but...." He coughed as he managed to swallow some of the blood still dripping from his nose, his ribs aching.

"All right, all right, calm down," Raingold tried to sooth him. "We won't make you press charges. You do need medical care."

"That I'll go for," Zach agreed, trying to relax enough to keep going without giving them any trouble.

Zach knew it was inevitable; if he skipped a second class Jake'd be at his front door to find how why. He had a hope that he didn't look as bad as he felt, but the instant he saw Jake's expression, he knew it was in vain. Gratefully, Jake and the others let it go until class ended. He'd almost managed to slip away when a strong hand caught his elbow and stopped him in the hallway.

"You're going to lunch with us," Jake's tone made it clear that he would brook no arguments or evasions.

"Right," Zach sighed. "Could I hit the bathroom first?" He asked, hoping to get one of his painkillers out without Jake noticing. Frankly, having confirmed in the last few hours that it was more distracting to hurt than to take the pills, he wanted to stop being stupid about something before they started interrogating him.

"Sure," Jake relaxed when no fight came from his order. He gave a short nod to Chance, and the tabby left with Amanda and Brad.

"For what it's worth, I'm not dodging you because of you," Zach offered before he ducked into the restroom, leaning against the wall for a moment before he opened his bag to pull out the pills, hoping Jake would just wait outside.

Even after several minutes to let the pain slip away under the drugs, the door remained closed and his friend on the other side. In the back of his mind, Zach knew it was a fairly significant sign of trust from Jake, but it was hard to be anything but grateful for the privacy to pull himself together.

"Thanks," he said as he came out after washing his hands, keeping up the illusion more than anything else. "Y'know, you don't have to worry about me," he offered.

"Are you going to try and convince me all that happened in an accident?" Jake asked softly as they began to walk.

It was impossible for Zach to miss how a path cleared easily for them from the protective menace Jake was radiating towards the general populous.

"Given my legs aren't broken to go along with it, no," Zach laughed bitterly. "I know you're not stupid, Jake. But really, it's not like I'm all that seriously hurt. Nothing got broken."

Granted, it was only because some of the other cadets had intervened, but it was true.

"Zach ..." Jake sighed. "Next time, tell them for Bastet's sake. I can take care of myself, and they'll learn the hard lesson if I can't. Do you have any idea what happens to people who beat up an Enforcer? I'm not on my own anymore."

"No," Zach growled lowly. "Jake, you can take it, but I'm not going to do that. You're my friend, Jake."

"As your friend, I'm asking you to take care of yourself by pointing those bullies at me," Jake said. "Otherwise I'm going to have to do this the hard way, and you know I will."

"Gods, Jake, you know what you're asking me to do, don't you?" Zach sighed, his tail lashing behind him. "Look ... if they come after me like this again, I'll tell them. Probably won't make a difference in what happens to me anyways; Lance's knuckles are always up for the workout."

Jake looked down, and let a breath out. "Would just giving me names and details be easier on you?"

"Of the people involved? Yeah," Zach nodded slightly. "I'm sorry, Jake... I just can't do that to a friend of mine. What'd you say if I asked you to do something like that?"

"That's not exactly a fair comparison," Jake pointed out. "I actually can hand Lance his tail in a fight and we both know it."

"It doesn't matter Jake," Zach sighed. "You don't send a fight your friend's way... it's just not how it goes. Call it geek's honor, I guess," he tried to laugh.

"I'm sorry," Jake apologized softly and turned Zach to face him by the shoulder, his hand firm but caring. "I guess I'm not much of a geek anymore. You're friends with an Enforcer, even if I wasn't that when we met. The rules ... they're very different where I am now."

"Liar," Zach smirked slightly. "You're as big a geek as ever, you've just traded your lab coat for a uniform... and not because you wanted to, I know," he said, reaching up to take Jake's hand. "Just... the rules might've changed for you, but they haven't for me. I still don't rat out my friends, especially when they don't deserve it."

"It doesn't change what I am now," Jake dropped his gaze and looked away as he put his reaction to that very painful truth away. "Then let me know who's making your life hard, and I'll do my part of being friends and make their life harder."

"Okay... and sorry if I hit a nerve there, I wasn't trying to," Zach said softly. "So... better topic, take my mind off this until the vicodin really kicks in?"

"Class today and yesterday, or what I have in mind for Lance and his goons?" Jake looked positively vicious about that last option.

"I was thinking maybe a bit about your new boyfriend," Zach chuckled. "The first one's okay too... the second one, I'd rather not talk about where it might get back to them."

"All right," Jake laughed lightly as they got in line in the cafeteria. "That's a subject I can get behind."

"Or that can get yours, hmm?" Zach snickered at Jake's startled look. "So, what's he like?"

"Yes, that too," Jake shook his head with a bemused grin on his face while they selected their food, Jake's heavy on the protein and carbs even by his usual standards. "I can't remember a time I felt quite so ... safe. He's sexy, built, damn good in bed ... he saw me in full-on nightmares and actually got me to calm down," he shook his head in a kind of grateful shock. "Neither of them have an issue with it, but it's still a little weird to be dating your partner's cousin, especially when you didn't know it when it started."

"Why?" Zach asked after a moment, trying to figure out what it might be. "The coincidence?"

"The looks," Jake shook his head. "Rock's only a couple shades darker and there's one hell of a family resemblance."

"Ah, that could do it," Zach nodded slightly as they spotted the three other cadets at a table. "For what it's worth, Chance probably doesn't realize it, and Rock's probably smart enough to know you're not just dating Chance by proxy."

"I hope so," he murmured. "I haven't felt that good in a long time."

"You deserve somebody who'll make you feel good," Zach smiled, putting his tray down even as he saw Lance across the large room with several of his buddies. It was a moment that made him very grateful that he'd at least be able to eat in peace today. The Wolf may have it in for him, but there was no way he'd challenge this table.

"Yes, you do," Chance piped in about the statement even without knowing what preceded it.

"You don't even know what we were talking about," Jake teased him and sat down next to his partner.

"Don't need too," he countered easily between bites of hash browns, eggs and meat. "What he said is true."

"For all you know they were talking about how he should keep trying to convert you to bein' normal," Brad teased his friend, getting a light punch to the shoulder for it.

"Wise guy," Chance muttered, shaking his head. "So, you okay Zach?" He asked ... though he glanced at Jake as he spoke.

"Yes, though Lance and his crew need a little remedial training," Jake motioned towards the Wolf with his head and began to eat. "After classes," he shut down any talk of what they'd be up to.

"Looks like they're already getting some of it," Chance observed with a satisfied tone, nodding to where some of the other cadets were approaching Lance's table without any of the deference most students had for him.

"That Davin and Raingold," Zach gave the two leaders names.

"Terina Sandclaw's another," Amanda named the spotted female Serval that held more self-confidence in her small frame than most Tigers.

"How do you know 'em?" Chance asked Zach curiously.

"They're why I made it to class today," the lean tabby admitted, watching the scene start to play out. It was almost surreal, particularly to him, as the cadets moved in on Lance's table without any sign of concern or courtesy, starting to force the Wolf and his friends to leave.

"Welcome to the cadet protection program," Jake chuckled softly. "I think the social rules on this campus are going to get a serious reworking in the next few years."

"This is gonna be an interesting year to be on campus," Zach murmured as Lance and the others were forced to find themselves somewhere else to sit. When they pushed a student from their table, it only took a few minutes before another group of cadets pushed them out again, this time with flattened ears and sharp words.

"Yes it will be," Jake watched with clear amusement at the difficulties the football players were having. "I'm going to enjoy this year."

"Just remember that you guys shouldn't make too much trouble," Zach murmured. "Don't know what the administration's going to think of this sort of thing."

"No one has touched any of them," Jake pointed out with a devilish grin. "We won't either, unless we're attacked first. There is nothing to do about it."

"Oh kats, it is packed," Chance commented as he looked around after entering Warlords with Jim and Cathy.

"What'd you expect?" Jim asked with a grin, taking a deep breath of the heady air in the club, already heavy with the smell of sex, alcohol, sweat, and leather. "C'mon, let's go try to find somewhere to sit ... think your partner's here yet?"

"Who needs somewhere to sit?" Cathy asked with a broad grin, stripping off her top from the street to reveal the leather harness she was wearing beneath it, one that left her exposed in ways that were not street legal in the least.

"Down girl! At least wait until you can blame it on being drunk!" Jim laughed, taking his own shirt off, his broad, muscular chest standing on its own merits.

Chance laughed too and slid the long coat from his broad shoulders, revealing a bare chest and leather thong that could be unbuttoned to open without taking it all the way off. "Such double-standards. We don't need to be drunk to have fun, why should she?"

"You haven't spent the last day enthusiastically describing how you're probably going to get nailed by half the people here," Jim chuckled, leaning down to kiss Cathy lightly. "Unlike my little slut here."

"Oh, like you're really complaining," she smirked, looking around as they made their way into the club. "I promise I'll stay where you can watch, if that helps," she winked.

"Which means we'll still need somewhere to sit," Jim smirked back. "Now, let's go - maybe we can spot somebody yet."

"I see Rock, and looks like he has space," Chance waved at his cousin and got a motion to come over.

"Didn't you say he's seeing your partner?" Cathy asked curiously as the trio started that way.

"Yes, he is," Chance frowned. "Was going to be here with Jake."

"Maybe he backed out?" Cathy suggested. "He doesn't seem the Warlords type."

"Possible," Chance nodded. "Hey, Rock, how's it goin'?" He asked the tabby as they approached the table.

"Pretty good," he grinned. "Long time no see."

"Too long, I think. Whe...." Chance shut his mouth with the next step when he could see over the top of the table to see Jake leaning over from the spot on the bench next to Rock with his face pressed against the tabby's groin. "I see."

"What can I say? He's in a mood here," Rock winked. "You did know, right?"

"Yeah, I knew," Chance chuckled, shaking his head slightly as he took a seat along the chairs across from Rock and Jake. "Just didn't think he'd be quite this... ah... affectionate."

Jake's head came up with a teasing grin on it. "Even after I invited you to stay when you walk in on me?" he purred deeply before going back to a purposefully slow suckling on Rock's cock.

"He's got quite the talented mouth," Rock added as his eyes closed briefly at Jake's attentions.

"So do you share?" Cathy asked and sat down next to Jake to play her hands along his back, though for now she kept from slipping them under his suede vest.

"I do, but I doubt even Warlords will get him into fems," Rock smiled at her.

"Mmm ... that's saying a lot, but I'll wait to get turned down until I'm out of other guys to ask first," she winked, glancing up at Rock and cocking her head. "What about you?" She asked him with a grin.

"Oh, I like girls," he grinned back, only to have the look broken by a deep moan as his hips began to thrust upwards, into Jake's warm mouth.

"And boys, apparently," she snickered. "So, which one you like better?" She asked with a grin.

"If I'm gonna find out, it'll be later," Rock chuckled, shaking his head a bit as Jake came up, swallowing a mouthful of seed, some trickling down from his lips as he claimed a heated kiss and was drawn close against Rock's chest.

"He's mine right now," Jake looked at her coyly from where he was snuggled against his boyfriend's chest. "You can have him when I'm too worn out to satisfy him."

"Are you sure this is your partner?" Jim asked with a chuckle, pulling Cathy over onto his lap as she pouted playfully. "Doesn't sound at all like the guy you were talking about."

"Hey, Warlords is a place to cut loose," Chance chuckled. "Glad you guys got here early too, they're busy tonight."

"Very busy, but that's what these night specials are like," Rock grinned at them. "So, Jim, are you going to try a guy tonight, mmm?"

"Not without getting very drunk first," Jim chuckled. "I'm mostly here for the fems and to make sure this little lady doesn't go home with somebody who'll take completely shameless advantage of her," he teased, nuzzling her neck and reaching down under her skirt to rub her sex.

"Mmm ... and to watch everybody who wants to take utterly shameless advantage of me while we're here," she grinned, turning to kiss him hotly.

"Which is going to be, oh, 95 percent of everyone here," Chance laughed and looked over his shoulder at the main bar, then around at the smaller ones scattered about. "I'll grab drinks, since you four are busy."

"Thanks," Cathy grinned, leaning back against Jim with a low, happy moan as he fingered her clit. "Mmm ... you two do make a cute couple," she added, grinning over at the two toms left at the table.

"Thanks," Jake purred at her before he turned to nuzzled Rock. He ended up on the buff tom's lap where he got to rub his crotch against Rock's hard abs. "I like it too."

"Even if he is relatively bashful for Warlords," Rock teased him about how covered he was.

"Mmm ... I think it works for him," the Spaniel rumbled, watching the two of them as she rubbed back against Jim. "So, Jake, you like to watch too?"

"Yes," he purred as his ass was kneaded and his body rubbed against Rock's. "You enjoy showing off."

"Mmm ... mhm," she giggled. "Just as much as I'm allowed."

"Which isn't much of a limit here, hon," Rock chuckled.

"What about you?" Cathy asked with a grin.

"Sometimes," Jake smiled shyly.

"Most of the time," Rock winked at them. "He's very sexy when he's half-embarrassed and very turned on."

"Oh I'll bet he is," Jim chuckled. "Mmm... so, want to put on a bit of a show for each other? I might not be too much for guys, but I don't mind watching either," he grinned as Cathy worked his shaft out and shifted to rub it against her sex.

"Oh yeah," Rock grinned and tapped the underside of Jake's tail so he'd lift it, revealing the only part of his body that wasn't reasonably well-covered even by street standards. "He has such a nice ass to watch too," he said as he spread Jake's ass cheeks and worked him up a bit so he could sink into him.

"Oooh ... yeah, he does," Cathy moaned, moving to take Jim's cock into her sex with a happy rurr, leaning forward to give the males on both sides of her a good show. "Mmm ... anything that really gets you off?" She asked Jake seductively.

"Not to watch," he moaned as his body was opened up on Rock's thick cock.

"Lean back," Rock told him, his arms offering the support Jake needed to do so. "Show the girl your assets."

Jake panted softly, a whimper drawn out of him as he was impaled up to Rock's sheath. He only hesitated a bit more before closing his eyes and reaching down to unbutton his soft suede pants one snap at a time.

"That's my pretty kitten," Rock grinned down at his lover, then at the other pair at the table.

"Damn you two are hot," Cathy moaned, removing her skirt to reveal Jim's shaft sliding up into her own sex, glistening as he pulled out to thrust again.

"Guy'd get a complex ... mmm... listening to you like that," the Alsatian chuckled, pulling her back for a heated kiss as he started thrusting up into her.

"It's true," she giggled through her moan. "Just look at them. He doesn't give a damn about us, he's just showing off for Rock."

"And you ... mmm ... get off on that, huh?" He grinned, standing up and grabbing her hips. "Well let's see what you like better!" He rumbled, starting to pound into her sex from behind.

She leaned back with a deep moan and wrapped her arms around Jim's back as she watched Jake being fucked. Even more than the raw sexual nature of the display, was her fascination at someone who put on such a good show without any care for her as the audience.

"Yes, 'cause I get off watching people in love express it," she squeezed her body around him.

"Mmm ... wrong place to start getting maudlin," Jim rumbled, leaning forward to kiss her as Chance approached the table. The tabby looked between the two couples, then shook his head as he sat their drinks on the table.

"Five minutes. I wasn't even gone five minutes," he sighed exaggeratedly before moving back off into the crowd.

He had to admit though ... Cathy was right. Watching Rock and Jake, it looked like they'd been together a lot longer than a week. It was enough to make watching a couple guys interesting, at least for a while.

Not that long a while though. For now, he was just glad that Jake had found somebody who seemed to agree with him; the idea of going two years without so much as a date was utterly alien to the tabby. Hadn't always been, but these days....

He shook his head, taking a swig from his bottle as he looked around for likely dance partners. It shouldn't be too hard to find them tonight.

A sleek black shekat with a fluffy tail and hair a sea of curls tried to catch his eye as she worked over towards him, at least he was fairly sure she was. She'd definitely do.

"Hey there," he grinned as she got close enough to hear him. "Y'up for a dance?"

"That kind of dance," she laughed playfully and motioned towards the dance floor. "At least for now. I like to know a little about a guy before I decide if I'm going to bed him."

"Then what the Hell are you doing here?" He asked with a smirk, though he followed her out all the same. "So, what's your name?"

"Midnight," she giggled, playing her tail up her body and rich green dress that covered up quite a bit for all it had a deep V neck, open stomach and didn't reach half way to her knees. "Folk's weren't feeling imaginative that day."

"Hey, I'm Chance, and my cousin's Rock," he laughed, moving along with her and the music. "Mostly because if he used his real name, a dozen different kits would've answered. Creativity doesn't count for much," he winked, brushing his own tail against hers lightly.

"So is Rock currently occupying your boyfriend, or were you the odd kat out tonight?" she asked as she began to move to the music.

The way she moved made him doubt she got out all that much, but that was the only flaw so far. She was definitely trying to look sexy while she moved.

"Odd kat out," Chance chuckled. "Could've joined in the orgy at the table, but I figured I could do better on my own ... looks like I might've been right too," he winked at her. "Don't go clubbing often?"

"Not often, or at Warlords," she nodded and brushed against him, an invitation to touch and bring her closer. "I must look better than I thought, if I'm worth the effort to talk to with this crowd."

"You were coming my way," he pointed out with a purr, moving in closer and brushing more than her tail now. She was soft and smooth under his fingers, not at all like the hard bodies Enforcer fems tended to have, and with more curves. "You might not be ready to jump in the sack right now, but interest gets bonus points."

"Nice to know," she smiled and turned around to face him, draping her arms across his shoulders. "You've got quite a body too ... just for show?" she raised an eyebrow, showing off brilliant emerald green eyes.

"Enforcer Cadet," he grinned, his own golden eyes twinkling as he wrapped his arms around her, the music shifting to a slower song. "In this shape before that though," he added with a wink. "What's your line?" He asked her curiously. Probably a student, he'd already decided. Not a dancer or performer, he was sure of that much; she had the body, but not the moves.

"Line operator at Pumadyne," she said. "Nothing so interesting, but it pays the bills."

"Hey, it works," he said easily. "Good work if you can get it, from what I've heard. And you're interesting enough without getting shot at," he winked.

"I don't think I could take that," her eyes went a bit wide. "Is that where you met the others, at the Academy?"

"Jake, yeah," he nodded easily. "Rock I've known for years, and I was friends with Jim in high school. Cathy's his girl," Chance explained.

"So ... what are you into?" she asked a little shyly.

"About what?" He asked her. Now that was a question he'd never expected to ask somebody in Warlords, but he couldn't be sure she'd ask about what he was into sexually.

"Umm," she blushed brightly, though it didn't really show through her fur. "Your kinks?" she tried again. "I don't go very far."

"No problem, I don't either," he purred. "I'm pretty easygoing about that sort of thing. I'll experiment some if you're into that, but I'm pretty vanilla." He leaned in, licking her chin lightly. "But just 'cause I'm not into complicated, doesn't mean I can't make it incredible," he grinned.

"I don't doubt it," she purred softly. "How into guys are you?"

"I'm not," he said with a shake of his head. "Got a boyfriend looking for a threesome?"

"No, and I prefer just one in bed. I've just been asked to be the third with two guys too many times," she tried to explain, then laughed nervously. "I could probably have phrased that better, couldn't have I? You having a girlfriend looking for a second girl wouldn't suit me any better."

"Not a problem; if Cathy hits on you, she's not with me," he winked. "You are really out of place here," he chuckled. "Want to head back and sit down for a bit, get a drink? The others are probably done rutting for a bit."

"Sure," she smiled a bit at him and willingly let him guide her off the floor. "I've been out of circulation for a while now. Between a very monogamous boyfriend, then getting over the breakup ... I thought I might as well jump in the deep end now that I'm ready to try going out again."

"Well, you picked the safest 'deep' out there, but maybe a little deeper than you should go right away," he smiled. "Warlords is pretty safe, but the adult clubs can get a little risky, and you'll want to stay away from the sex clubs until you're used to 'em."

"Thanks," she smiled up at him. "I'll keep it in mind. So Rock's the tabby, Cathy is the bitch, Jim's the dog and Jake's the cinnamon tom?" she asked for confirmation as they got within easy sight of the table and the two couples that had calmed down but hadn't separated yet.

"Yep," he nodded. "I'll introduce you when we get there, but that's it. Cathy, by the way, sounds like she's in the mood to take on every guy here, so if you want we can split before she gets that far," he chuckled.

"If you want a round with her, I don't mind, as long as I'm only watching," Midnight winked at him, then blinked a couple times. "Umm ... Jake ... Jake Clawson?"

"I'll keep it in mind," he grinned. "And ... yeah ... you're the 'Midnight' that his friend Zach mentioned, aren't you?" Chance asked, already about half-way into the wince.

This had the potential to get awkward.

"Jake's first girlfriend? That would be me," she nodded slightly and stopped outside the range where the table was likely to notice. "How's he doing, these days?"

"Depends on how you mean, I guess ... I've only known him a couple weeks," Chance explained. "We've been assigned as partners. Relationship-wise, he's just hooked up with Rock after a two-year dry spell. Professionally... he's a Cadet like me, but that's only because something happened when he tried R&D that he didn't want to talk about."

Midnight bit her lower lip and stared at Jake's back for a long moment. "I mean ... is he still ... suicidal?" she looked up at Chance uncomfortably. "Last I heard, he was in pretty bad shape, but trying to pull himself out of it. I never expected to actually see him in a place like this."

"I never knew he was in that bad a shape," Chance murmured, glancing over at his partner. "Guess I can't say, really... but I don't think he is. Rock's pretty good for him, and he seems to be getting into things now in his classes."

"Good," Midnight nodded, visibly relieved. "Keep an eye on him, for that?" she asked. "We're still good friends, but you see him every day. Sometimes I don't see him for months."

"Now that I know about it, you'd better believe I'll watch out for it," Chance nodded seriously. "He's my partner, after all... he's a good guy, shouldn't have to deal with that sort of thing. So, want to get a chance to talk to him now, or not up for it?"

"Unless he's done a complete 180 in his personality, if he sees me see him like that, he'll try to claw through the wall," she chuckled softly. "It might be amusing to see, but it's too mean right now. He actually looks ... content. It doesn't happen often enough to do that to him."

"Because it's you, or because he doesn't like people seeing him like that?" Chance asked with a chuckle. "Obviously he doesn't mind if girls watch him too much."

"Because it's me," she said. "He's, well, I'm sure you've already met how he can like something one minute and be embarrassed to death by it the next? I'm fairly sure I've known him long enough that he would go into that embarrassed mode. It doesn't matter that I've seen it all already."

"Fair enough," he nodded. "There'll be other chances, I'm sure... so, want to hit the dance floor again, instead of making the poor guy explode?" He chuckled.

"I'd like to dance," she smiled and brushed her feathery tail along his leg.

"Then let's go," he grinned, giving her a light kiss before they turned to head back to the dance floor.

Back at the table, Jake had wiped the majority of seed from his fur before reaching up to claim a kiss from Rock. "Feel like dancing?" he suggested shyly.

"Sounds good," Rock purred, kissing him back. "Mmm... you two don't mind?" He asked, glancing over at Jim and Cathy with a chuckle.

"Not at all," Jim rumbled, Cathy still on his lap waiting for his knot to come down.

"Just remember you can always come back to watch the show after I get going," the Spaniel winked. "Maybe we'll meet you out there in a half-hour or so, if you're still going."

"One of the advantages of being with a Kat instead," Rock chuckled, kissing Jake again before they both stood to head out onto the dance floor. "Having a good time?"

"Yes," Jake leaned up against him affectionately as they began working through the crowd. "Never thought I'd be in a place like this, but I like it."

"Good," the tabby smiled. "Think Chance must have found himself somebody to party with; haven't seen him since he brought drinks back," he chuckled.

"I'm not surprised," Jake snickered. "He's picking up a new girl almost daily."

"Even during the week?" Rock asked, raising an eyebrow. "Doesn't that get in the way of his classes?"

"He doesn't go looking so much, but he still seems to manage a girl in his bed," Jake shook his head in bemusement. "I think he likes variety as much as I like consistency."

"He wasn't always like that," Rock murmured. "It going to be a problem for you guys?"

"I doubt it," Jake shook his head as they began to move to the music at the edge of the dance floor. "If I had a chance with him, maybe, but as long as he's not looking at guys, I can't say I care."

"I meant with the noise," Rock chuckled. "If he's bedding somebody at inconvenient times, could get irritating."

"Oh, that," Jake laughed, light and easy. "He needs far more sleep than I do. If I really get annoyed at it, Feathertail is always willing to take me in for a few hours."

"I would be too, if it helps," Rock chuckled. "So, who's this 'Feathertail?' 'Nother boyfriend?" He teased lightly.

"She's a Karalanol princess and wise woman," Jake rolled his eyes with a playful laugh. "And Enforcer cadet."

"Ah, good, so not competition," Rock laughed back, brushing against Jake, turning to run his hands down his sides during the dance. "Friend of yours, I'm guessing?"

"Yes," he murmured and moved closer at the contact. "Her partner is trying to be competition, but he's not very good at it. Brad Mallion."

"How seriously?" Rock asked curiously, nuzzling his neck lightly.

"Not very hard," he purred deeply, his body eagerly responding to Rock's close proximity and the heavy musk of arousal all around him. "I think he's like Chance and Tommy; interested in getting laid more than anything serious."

"Pretty common," Rock nodded. "Especially with the crowd around here," he chuckled, pressing against Jake and letting him feel his arousal and got a soft sound of pleasure from him for it.

"Makes it a little rough for me; only looking for a guy into a commitment," Jake murmured. "Love how you touch me."

"Sometimes it works out though; you can find one who's interested in both," Rock murmured, kissing his cheek lightly. "It's easier when you're looking at somebody who's into what you are too."

"True," Jake moaned at the contact and pressed close. "Sometimes luck plays into it too."

"Sometimes," Rock purred. "Interested in a little 'nip? The light stuff," he said before Jake could turn him down flat.

"Mmm, all right," he decided to simply trust Rock, even if it meant going this far outside his norm.

"I'll be right back," Rock promised, heading off to go get the powdered herbs he was looking for.

Jake nodded and watched him go before turning his mind back to the music and enjoying the freedom of having someone else in charge of things.

"Hey there," a sultry female voice crooned as arms slid around him from behind.

"Hi," he stiffened sharply. "I'm taken."

"I can smell that, but he seems to be gone," she slid around to face him, still close but not as close. "And you are definitely hard."

"No," Jake nearly growled and pushed her away to arm's length. "Not into fems." he told her. "My guy'll be back soon."

"Not ...." she stared at him like he was crazy, a look Jake had long ago gotten used to from that statement. "Your loss," she shrugged and turned to find someone else more amenable to her company.

"You okay?" A lean Dalmatian male asked him curiously.

"Yes," Jake nodded to him and considered heading off the dance floor. Without Rock there, he really was very out of place here.

"Good," the Kantin smiled. "Want a little company for a bit, keep girls like her away?" He winked, moving in a way that let Jake see that he was definitely aroused.

"I don't think so," Jake took a partial step away. "I've got a guy."

"I saw him; that delicious tabby," he grinned. "Who I happen to know doesn't mind sharing, in case he hasn't told you. Name's Max."

"Not tonight," Jake's dominant mind snapped into active mode. It was an odd sensation, but one he'd gotten used to over the years; the shifting between two opposing mindsets. Some would call it a mental illness. He just called it surviving in an unpleasant world. "I'm not in the mood to share."

"I was thinking more that we'd share you," Max rumbled deeply.

"He's not in the mood to be shared either," Rock growled lightly, walking up behind Max and putting a hand on his shoulder firmly, pulling him back and away from Jake. "Got me?"

"Right," the Dalmatian said, tucking his tail between his legs and moving away before offending anybody any more than he already had.

"Thanks," Jake let out a breath and welcomed Rock's embrace and nuzzle as he relaxed and let himself back into submission.

"Sorry it took so long to get back," Rock rumbled, smoothing Jake's fur a bit and kissing his neck. "There was a bit of a line."

"Apparently there was one for you to leave too," Jake smiled and nuzzled the broad chest so close to him. "Are your boyfriends always so popular?"

"Nah, you're just in the Warlords," Rock chuckled, nuzzling his head. "You're aroused, were dancing alone, and have a boyfriend who's known to share - makes for passes." He stroked Jake's back gently. "So, want to have a little 'nip, and wait for it to kick in before I show everybody just how utterly you're mine?" He rumbled deeply.

"Oh yeah," Jake grinned up at him, quite willing to put everything away for the promise of pleasure and having everyone know just how completely taken he was.

Rock gave him a small green capsule, taking one himself before the two of them got back to the dance.

"They do make a good couple," Chance mused, a little ways off in the crowd, still dancing with Midnight.

"He just ... did I see that right?" she frowned, almost shocked enough to stop dancing.

"If you saw him take a little OTC catnip, then yeah," Chance nodded slightly. "He's not allergic or anything, is he?"

"Haven't a clue. He doesn't even drink as far as I knew," she stammered.

"Hey ... you gonna be okay?" He asked, turning to put a hand on her shoulder. "He's not doin' anything dangerous, Midnight, Rock's gonna take good care of him."

He was doing it too. Watching the two of them interact, it was surprising to Chance just how gentle Rock was being with Jake.

"Yes, I'll be fine. It's just a bit beyond a surprise. He's grown up a bit, I guess." She shook it off. "He's always been afraid to get hooked on something."

"Couldn't get hooked on that if you tried," Chance pointed out. "Be like tryin' to get hooked on aspirin."

"I guess," she continued to watch the pair dance, and as they began to really make out. "Anything that can take his mind off things that much ... I should be glad for him. It's just a shock."

"Trust me," Chance purred, kissing her neck lightly. "Rock's family. Don't know what it is that Jake's into, but I do know that unless he's really changed, that tom's the guy here you can trust him with the most."

"If not, I'll hold you personally responsible," she said with a smile and kiss that took the sting out of the words.

Chance still had few doubts she was quite serious about it, both Jake's well-being and about holding him responsible for looking after his partner.

Fair enough. He'd do the same. Fortunately, he trusted Rock in a way he didn't trust many others ... and everything he could see about the two of them said he was right to do so.

"So... why don't we go somewhere you won't have to worry about him for a while?" Chance offered with a low rumble, returning the kiss.

"Mmm, I like that idea," she smiled a bit. "Have a place in mind?"

"My place'd work, unless you've got something else you'd prefer," he purred. "Jake'll be at Rock's after this."

"Well, I do rather prefer my place," she suggested. "Though it does come on condition of talking about Jake and yourself a bit more, since I actually have his partner's attention."

"I'm good with that," he chuckled. "I've heard it's good to get you on my side when it comes to knowing Jake," he grinned.

"Nice to know my reputation precedes me," she grinned back. "Come on, then. I have a car."

"Sounds good," he said easily, following her out. "I hope you're willing to talk about the two of you, too?"

"Sure," she chuckled softly. "We've been best friends forever, though the lovers part only lasted a few months."

"Honestly, I'm not surprised ... it really seems like he doesn't do fems. For what it's worth, it's definitely not because of you," he said, grinning over at her as they headed out to her car.

"No, it's because of his mother," Midnight said more than a little bitterly. "He wasn't like this, the guys-only thing, until he couldn't take the pressure of having a girlfriend and not having kits yet."

"I heard about that," Chance grumbled. "Just how young were you two?"

"He was twelve, I was thirteen," she said quietly in the warm night air. "I can't blame him for breaking it off either. I heard enough from her, and she wasn't my mother."

"It's official, she's damned lucky he didn't know me back then," Chance growled lowly. "Sweet Bastet, expecting him to have kittens that young?"

"Oh, she started in on him a lot younger than that. It just got personal when he had a girlfriend and actually had the opportunity to try. I know she's just wants her bloodline to continue, but you'd think she'd have had more kits than just him if it was so critical."

"Bitch," Chance growled lowly. "And just look what she got for it too - if he's an only kit, probably going to be the last one too, unless something else happens."

"He's still young, he might just go for one of her offers in another decade," she sighed and unlocked the driver-side door of a compact car. "Or he might fall in love with a shekat. Unlike most who are stuck on one gender, he doesn't have the biological quirk for it. He got it from trauma. The right person could undo that kind of damage."

"It's possible," Chance nodded, climbing into the passenger's side. "At least you two've managed to stay friends."

"It's more than can be said for Charley or Greg," she nodded and turned the car on. "But I was his friend since before he could walk, so maybe that bought me a little grace."

"Charley? Who's Charley?" Chance asked her curiously.

"First boyfriend," she said and pulled into traffic. "In high school. Lasted all of six months, but it did pretty well while it lasted."

"Didn't hear about him... did hear about Greg though. Any idea why they couldn't make it as friends? Them, or him?"

"That one is all Jake," she shook her head. "Same for Charley. Something happened in each case, something that almost broke Jake, and whatever was left of his friends that were still speaking to him generally got pushed away hard. Those of us who are still friends are pretty much the ones who wouldn't go away, or he didn't see as a threat for some reason. He's loyal as hell, but he's got issues."

"I've guessed ... Midnight? How much do you know about the things that've happened to him?"

"First 15 years, just about everything. I was basically there for all of it. The last four, a lot," she said. "I didn't know he had a boyfriend, so I don't hear quickly these days, but I do tend to hear everything eventually. You have something you want details on?"

"Eh... more about what types of things they were," Chance said, trying to come up with a way to word it. "I mean... I've heard a little bit about the fucked up stuff that happened with Pumadyne, and you mentioned what happened to you, but about the other things. Be good to know what not to talk to him about, that sort of thing."

"Don't ask about why he wakes up screaming at night sometimes. He'll tell you, but he doesn't want to," she told him firmly. "Makes him think he's crazy to say it out loud like that. Don't ask him about people who aren't in his life anymore. Don't ask about his personal effects unless you're really ready to hear about it. Same goes for anything really. If he decides to open up, he doesn't usually do it halfway."

"Right," he nodded slightly. "Any other tips, does that cover most of it?"

"If you have any tendency to regret choices when drunk, don't get that way around Jake," she said quietly. "At least not until he really understands how you tick and will go with your best interests against your words or actions. He won't try to hurt you, but he's got a talent for making the wrong choice under those conditions."

"I'll keep it in mind ... think we're pretty clear on the big thing that'd be a problem the next day though," Chance murmured. "But I'll keep it in mind. It really doesn't bother him to see somebody he's interested in be interested in other people, does it?"

"People, no," she shook her head. "Other guys, that'd take him a while to deal with, but he would." She looked over at Chance briefly at a red light. "You're a pilot/gunner team, that's why you're together, right?"

"Yeah, we are," Chance nodded. "That's the plan, anyways. I do take orders well," he added, looking over at her. "When I know they're coming from somebody who knows what he's talking about."

"You'll learn this on your own, so you don't have to take my word for it," Midnight told him evenly, the knowledge of many years behind it. "When Jake sets his mind to know or understand something, he starts to work circles around all but the very, very top minds in the subject in very short order. He's brilliant on a level I didn't think could really exist. He's not very fond of being reminded of it either, at least not since he got blacklisted. It'll serve you very well, though; by the time you fly together, he'll know more about that jet and it's capabilities than its designers did."

She paused. "Oh yeah, and be careful what you say or indicate is important to you, cause he'd move the moon if he thought it was important to someone he cares about."

"I'm already pretty well used to not being the brightest bulb in the box," Chance chuckled. "And yeah ... friend of his is finding that out now, I think. Hard to convince him to stop once he gets going too."

"Wait until he's two or three months into a major project," she laughed easily. "Have you seen his current plane yet? Built it from nothing. No kit, barely any working parts. Got it all from salvage yard junk. Took him six months for the first one and he ended up with a bidding war over it. This is his ... fifth, I believe."

"And they won't hire him to do it professionally," Chance sighed, shaking his head. "Sheesh. Corporate politics, huh? And no, I haven't seen it I'm afraid. Things keep coming up. Maybe he'll let me take it up some time though," he chuckled.

"I bet he'd love to see you fly it," she smiled. "He hasn't been able to sell one since that mess started, so it's been gathering dust."

"Well, maybe he'll make the offer some time," Chance mused. "Already offered to get me in to meet one of the top flight teams on the force," he smiled.

"I'm not surprised. It seems like something you'd really like to have happen," she smiled at him before pulling into an apartment parking lot. "He's go a lot further to make you happy, I'm sure."

"Have to see," he nodded. "Your place?" He asked her.

"Third floor. It's small but nice," she nodded and got out. "If you stay for breakfast, I've been told I'm a good cook."

"Lady, you've got a deal," he grinned as he followed her out of the car. "Think you'll be up for seeing Jake tomorrow?" He asked her curiously.

"Absolutely," she grinned and headed for the open stairs. "I just didn't want to ruin his night by surprising him there. Dressed and ready for me, I'd love the time to talk."

"Maybe you could come over then?" He offered as they walked up the stairs. "Bet he'd love to see you too."

"Sounds like a plan, though I prefer to sleep in much longer than Jake," she warned him.

"You mean I'll finally get to sleep in past dawn?" He teased with a grin.

"Oh yeah," she laughed easily and pulled her keys out. "I'm more towards eight am, but if you live up to your bragging, it'll be later."

"Oh, I haven't gotten near bragging yet," he purred, running a hand down her back as she unlocked the door. "Want me to give you a wakeup call around ten if you're not up by then?" He winked.

"Yes," she giggled and showed him into a simple one-bedroom apartment. What caught his eye the most, other than how clean it was, was that she had obviously sunk what spare money she had into artwork. Paintings and ink originals decorated the walls along with framed photographs, and various statues populated the shelves where books didn't.

Chance had no difficulty at all believing she and Jake were very close. They had a lot in common where it came to keeping house, even if she had more artistic taste.

"Impressive decorating," he murmured, looking around. A lot of them were replicas, he was sure, but he was pretty sure that others were original pieces... probably set her back a good chunk of change to get 'em too.

"Thank you," she smiled and turned to lock the door behind them. "Now," she purred and turned to face him with a sultry look, "have a fantasy to start with, handsome?"

"Mmm ... depends on what you're up for," he purred, stepping close and wrapping his powerful arms around her. "How much foreplay are you into?"

"Until someone is begging for more," she shivered with a soft moan, her breath quickening at the prospect of someone who had any care for her pleasure, much less foreplay that wasn't just a blow-job from her.

"Then let's see what I can manage, hmm?" He purred, running his hands down her back, working his fingers in small circles over her muscles, the very tips of his claws out to scratch her back lightly as he gave her a tender, lingering kiss.

She opened her mouth in welcome, inviting him in, and slid her hands down his broad, muscular chest before running along his hips to squeeze his ass.

He rumbled, exploring her mouth as he started to work her skimpy dress off. He squeezed her ass lightly, moving the two of them back towards a couch.

"Anything you don't like to do?" He asked her as their lips parted and he slipped her dress to the floor and she began to kiss his neck and rub her bare body against his bare chest.

"Anal, pain, humiliation ... probably most kinks," she told him with a kiss to his jaw and slipped her fingers under the belt of his jeans. "I love oral," she purred. "I have a very nice bed too."

"We'll get there eventually," he promised, slipping down to nuzzle and kiss her breasts, undoing his belt but leaving his pants on. "In a rush?" He asked her with a playful wink.

"No," she moaned and arched her chest forward, eager for the contact. "Just not used to patience in a guy."

"Ah, now that's a cryin' shame," Chance rumbled, kissing her navel, about to work his way lower when the doorbell rang.

"Dammit," he muttered. "I should probably get that," he said apologetically. "Since I'm still dressed."

She nodded with a reluctant sound and grabbed her dress to cover herself a bit as he walked to the door and opened it to go face to face with a wiry, tall tom with dark gray-brown fur that wasn't too well kept.

"Who the hell are you?" the newcomer demanded with a slur in his voice as he glared down at Chance.

"Allen!" Midnight hissed in displeasure, her ears flat and tail lashing. "You are drunk and it is over!"

It was all the exposition Chance needed; he started closing the door, already reaching for the deadbolt when Allan bulled his way in, shoving Chance back.

"Hey, the lady wants you out of - oof!" Chance grunted, doubling over as the gray-brown-furred Tom slugged him in the gut, then slammed his fists against the side of the tabby's head, sending him reeling for a few moments.

"Chance!" She forgot her dress and rushed forward, only to be grabbed by her former boyfriend who pulled her into a kiss as she tried to push him away.

He had her chest-down on the couch just a few moments later, his pants unzipped as he rubbed against her rump.

"You know you're all mine," he growled, twisting her face around to kiss her again as she whimpered, almost crying as she struggled against the larger, stronger opponent. He forced a knee between her legs and grabbed her tail to get it out of the way.

"Please don't," Midnight begged, wanting nothing more than to avoid being hurt. "Remember how much you like my mouth?"

That was about all the time he had before Chance's hand closed around the scruff of his neck, picking him up and throwing him against the nearest side wall.

"First off," the tabby growled deeply, "you're about one step short of talking me into making you a soprano. Second, you do not sucker punch me and then walk off while I'm still standing!" He added, standing squarely between Allen and Midnight. "Now, you can walk out of here now, or by Bast you'll be carried out."

"She's mine," Allen hissed and lowered his head, his ears flattening and tail lashing. "I don't know what line she's fed you, but you're an intruder here."

"Well guess what, crud-for-brains," Chance muttered, his own ears going flat as he got ready for a fight. "I've already got you on attempted rape and assaulting an Enforcer Cadet; you're just digging the hole I'm gonna put you in deeper every time you open your mouth."

"Bullshit," Allen growled and lunged forward, trying to use his greater height and reach to an advantage.

This time, Chance was ready for it; he twisted to avoid the worst of Allen's hit, took the rest without complaint, then brought his broad fist up squarely into his opponent's face, privately muttering when he didn't feel the nose flattening out under it, though he took some satisfaction from the give he felt from one of the drunk tom's canines.

"I suppose it's only fair to mention that I was one of the best scrappers around down in The Bars before I got my tail out of there," he grinned viciously, bringing his other first up in a sharp blow to Allen's side, then a harder one to his solar plexus. As the tom gasped for air, Chance backhanded him, knocking him to the floor before planting his heel firmly in his crotch.

"Midnight? Would you mind calling somebody to take out the trash before he makes a mess of your carpet?"

"Yes, yes," she nodded, her voice shaking nearly as badly as her body, but she managed to make herself get the phone and dial 911.

"You ... are ... dead." Allen wheezed out as he glared up at Chance despite the fact that his eyes refused to focus.

"And now we're adding death threats to the list... buddy, you are not doing yourself any favors," Chance sighed, keeping an eye on him to make sure he didn't try anything. "Most people have the sense to shut up before I have to step down harder," he added pointedly, though he didn't follow through yet.

Allen glared up at him, hatred boiling over in his dark eyes. He almost held Chance's attention enough to miss the switchblade being slipped from his sleeve, ready to be jabbed up right into the tabby's groin.

This time Chance did step down, hard, drawing a howl of pain from Allen and making him drop the knife. The tabby retrieved it, his ears flat again as he tossed it aside and leaned down to pick Allen up.

"You just don't get it, do you?" He growled, tail lashing. He was sorely tempted to just start breaking things until his opponent wouldn't be able to get a grip on a weapon. Instead, he pounded Allen in the face, taking the extra time to make sure he got the right angle to smash his nose instead of putting his fist in his mouth. The taller tom staggered back, blood streaming from his face.

"Since you sucker punched me coming in here and tried to rape her, I've knocked the wind out of you, stopped just short of making you piss blood for a day or two, and knocked you flat on your ass. Most people have the sense to stop at that!" Chance lectured, grabbing Allen's shirt and keeping him from going for the switchblade again.

"But you had to get cute and pull a knife on me. And after I've done nothing but try and keep this from getting rough." He let Allen fall to his knees, slamming their heads together; he didn't particularly like doing that, but he knew from experience that his was thicker than just about any Kat he'd run up against before. Allen wasn't the exception to the rule; blood dripping down his face, splattered all across Chance's front, he finally collapsed and just twitched on the floor.

"Fucking bastard," Chance growled, tail lashing and head throbbing as he started checking for weapons, trying to ignore the pain in his hand; he was pretty sure he'd managed to avoid breaking anything of his, but it was still sore.

"Oh, Bastet," Midnight gasped as she saw his chest, face and hands, and the blood splattered there. "Are you all right? The police are coming."

"Yeah, I'll be fine, it's all his," Chance muttered. "Ex-husband?" He asked her, shaking his hand, flexing his fingers to try and work the soreness out of the joints.

"Ex-boyfriend," she shook her head. "He keeps refusing to accept that I broke it off."

"Wonderful," he muttered. "By the way, I've got you backing up that he started it, right?"

"Yes," she almost looked offended, and definitely looked startled. "He tried to kill you."

"I wasn't sure how much you saw," he explained. "I tried to get that knife away from him pretty fast ... asshole just can't take a fucking hint."

"I saw it go flying," she said softly, her fur still completely poofed. "I've seen him use it before. I knew he was out to kill you as soon as you pulled him off me. It's what he's like."

"Lovely," Chance muttered, looking around. "You have a brush somewhere? I can't wash up too much myself, but I've got one hand that's clean and it looks like you could use it... since he didn't actually manage to do anything, they shouldn't mind too much if you got straightened up some ... might want to get a robe too."

"Yes," Midnight nodded and stood, her body starting to tremble as the emergency wore off. "Robe, yes. It looks better if I haven't brushed out though," she explained and went into her bedroom for a simple black sateen robe that tied at the waist. It nearly disappeared into her fur when she held still. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'll wait for the EMT's he'll need to tell me for sure, but I ought to be," Chance nodded. "Don't think I broke anything on his thick skull. I'm going to want to spend the rest of the night here," he told her seriously. "That, or for you not to. I don't think he'll be up in time to give you any serious trouble here, but I'd still feel a lot better if you weren't alone tonight."

"Thank you," she kissed his cheek before looking up at the footsteps outside.

"Police!" a female voice announced with a heavy nock.

"Coming!" Midnight yelled back and hurried to the door, openly and honestly grateful to see the big Alsatian bitch and her Panther partner, both with blasters drawn. "It's settled officer Teris, but we still need you," she said as she stepped back.

"Abrims, you talk to the tom," she nodded towards Chance. "Midnight," she guided her to another room.

"You're the cadet, I take it," the Panther considered Chance and his still-riled body language. "I know he isn't."

"Yes sir," Chance nodded, straightening up and doing his best to look professional... as professional as he could look with blood on him, a sore hand, and half undressed, standing over the unconscious form of the guy who'd donated the blood. "Cadet Chance Furlong, second year."

"Officer Kya Abrims," he introduced himself in turn. "My partner is Lara Teris. You didn't kill him," Abrims' sounded disappointed as he knelt to check on Allen and called for an ambulance. "So what went down?" he looked over as he stood and took out a small hand recorder from his pocket.

"I didn't think Midnight would appreciate a corpse, his or mine," Chance pointed out. "At any rate... I met Midnight at Warlords earlier tonight. We came back here and talked a bit... actually talked," he added, knowing what saying that after saying they'd met at Warlords would sound like, "when this guy knocked on the door, pretty obviously drunk. I opened it before I knew that, he came in and started yelling at Midnight and I.

"I tried to get him to leave, he sucker punched me a couple times and went after Midnight. She was trying to fight him off, but he was still about to rape her when I recovered and went after him. I got him off of her, tried to get him to leave again, and fought him to the ground... when the guys from the ambulance check him out, they'll want to make sure I didn't nail his kidney harder than I thought I had. He pulled a switchblade," Chance said, indicating the weapon on the nearby table, "I knocked him out while Midnight called you guys. This isn't the first time you've answered a call like this, is it?"

"It's not usually nearly this controlled a situation," Kya nodded. "It's usually been after he passed out on his own, and she hasn't usually had anyone to help her when he came by. Last time anyone took him down, he came by when her brother was around. That was quite a mess. How bad do you think you were injured?"

"Nothing a few aspirin and the rest of the weekend won't fix," Chance said easily. "I've been through a lot worse."

"I'm sure," the Panther nodded and went to open the door for the EMTs. "The one standing's Cadet Furlong. You both know Allen," he told them dryly.

"Guess she was serious this time," the Dalmatian commented to his Black Lab partner and got a nod in return.

"Her taste seems to be improving too," the black Kantin commented back before he stepped up to Chance. "Any of that yours?" he asked about the blood staining Chance's fur.

"Nope," Chance said, trying to keep most of his pride at that fact out of his tone. "And I don't think I hit anything too important."

"How's your hand?" the Lab asked reached for it, gently spreading the digits and manipulating the joints when Chance offered his hitting hand. "That one takes a pounding and keeps on kicking."

"Sore, but I've done worse too," he said. "And I know what you mean... stubborn as a mule, without the sparkling personality," he grumbled. "Did the worst of it after he pulled a knife on me, but unless I managed to get a tooth in something without noticing it I think it'll be fine... what do you think?"

"I'd like you to go to Medical on campus before your next contact sport or combat class. It would be good to avoid hitting anything for several days at least, but you haven't broken or dislocated anything. You'll likely feel it a lot more in the morning."

"I think the headache'll have it beat, but thanks for the warning," Chance chuckled. "And I'll do that. Last thing I need is to find out I've busted something seriously working out."

"Then unless you want to come to the hospital to be checked out, you're fine to stay here, maybe talk some sense into her," the Lab nodded.

"Allen'll live, but you've definitely rearranged his face for life," the Dalmatian commented as he worked on field patching up the drunk troublemaker. "Maybe he'll finally leave her alone now."

"Not unless you can keep her from dropping the charges again," Kya grumbled as the EMTs got Allen on a stretcher. "Sweet girl, but with no sense of self-preservation."

"I'll see if I can do anything, but... well, I might have a little leverage with her," Chance murmured. "If it'll help, I'm more than willing to press 'em for the charges I can," he offered. "Just 'cause I came out of it ahead, I don't think it'd get him off for assault, battery, and probably assault with a weapon."

"Anything that'll keep him off my beat for a while will be a blessing," Kya told Chance honestly. "And you are right. You have plenty to press against him. How much of a history of violence or temper do you have that he can use against you?"

"Enough of one that anybody but a public defender could spin into something bad, but I've generally got people who'd be willing to back up that they started it too," Chance admitted. "There are a few other wrinkles in there, but I'd prefer to go over that with whoever's trying to get the case to stick."

"I understand," Kya nodded and glanced over as his partner came out of the bedroom with Midnight. "I doubt he'll manage anything but a public defender, but I do like to have a general idea of the witnesses."

"To this, me and Midnight... she did agree that she'd back up that he pulled the knife on me without any reason," Chance offered. "If that'll hold in court...." He shrugged a bit. "Anyways, hope we can get this jerk locked up for a good long time... even if she's the only one he's giving trouble, she doesn't deserve it."

"Agreed," he nodded. "He's trouble everywhere, and I'm glad her taste in guys in improving."

"Heh - thanks," Chance chuckled. "Just have to keep her dating Enforcers, I guess. Anything else you need?"

"Just to sign the statements when they are written up," Kya said as Lara handed him several sheets before retrieving the knife for evidence.

Chance nodded, sitting down and writing his statement out awkwardly; he had to use his off-hand for it, which made writing slower than usual in order to keep it legible.

"Hope you can read that well enough," he said apologetically once he was done.

"It is quite legible," Kya assured him after it was signed. "With any luck, this, his BAL and the knife will be enough to put him away for a few months."

"Agreed," Lara nodded. "I've got enough photos, so we can get out of your fur now."

"Thanks," Chance nodded as they headed out, closing and locking the door before turning around to hug Midnight close when she all but fell into his arms, her entire body shaking terribly.

"Shh, he's gone now," he murmured, nuzzling her neck and rubbing her back. "He's gone, it's safe."

"Until he is loose again," she shivered, though she was starting to calm down. "Maybe this time I can move far enough that he won't find me again."

"If you press the charges he's got coming, he won't be loose again for a few years," he offered gently. "And when he is, between me, Jake, and your brother there probably won't be enough left to move away from if he tries anything."

"Jake is the brother that's been mentioned," she sort of chuckled. "We just found it easier than to explain that we're just friends, and it really is nothing more."

"Oh ... well, then there might be enough left for a DNA match on what they find, but since Jake's still in the running I wouldn't bet on it," Chance chuckled, nuzzling her lightly. "Don't think either of us would want to give him the chance to hurt you again."

"Thank you," she murmured and pressed close to him. "You want a shower now? I think you can get cleaned up now."

"That'd be a good idea," he nodded. "Be good to get the blood off at least. So... where's the bathroom?"

"This way," she smiled and led him to the only door that hadn't been opened yet. A small, seascape-themed bathroom of blues and greens greeted him. While nicely cared for, it was not meant for two or exactly modern.

"So, how long has Allen been the ex-boyfriend?" Chance asked as he stepped into the bathroom. "If you don't mind me asking, of course," he added, slipping his pants off and climbing into the shower once the water warmed up.

"Two months," she said softly, watching his body and movements as he cleaned himself off under the warm spray. "This time, anyway. We've broken up a few times before. This time I mean to make it stick."

"Good to hear," he said softly. "Seriously, you deserve a lot better than that jerk, unless this is a one-time sorta thing... and it really doesn't sound like a one-time sorta thing to me."

"It wasn't," she admitted. "It's hard to get rid of a possessive guy; harder than those giving the advice make it out to be. It's just not that simple, even when you do have a good job."

"I've seen it," Chance nodded slightly, scrubbing the last of the blood out of his fur. "But in this case... I can tell you straight up, it would make a big difference if you'd go ahead and press charges. I'm going to either way, but if we can add yours in on top of it, it'll be a lot longer before he can give you any more trouble."

Midnight took a deep breath and nodded. "I will. Even if it's more to keep from Jake facing a murder charge when he hears about tonight. Maybe between both of you, I'll manage to go through with it this time."

"Tonight was worse than usual, or he just promised to kill him if he did anything else?" Chance asked her, wondering how much he'd have to keep from his partner.

"He's finally got the skills to do it." She tried to answer the question. "I don't really have it in me to stop him anymore either. Allen deserves it, but Jake doesn't need the fallout, even if he's never caught."

"Understood," Chance nodded as he turned off the water and started drying off. "So, keep what happened with him quiet as long as we can, or just try to break it to him as gently as possible?"

"Given I'm pressing charges, there isn't any easy way to keep it quiet," she pointed out, her eyes on the floor. "He might keep calm enough if he knows I am going through with it this time. Maybe having a couple Enforcers on my side will keep the violence when he's out on bail to a minimum."

"Right ... so probably try to tell him gently, and let him know that this time it's going to stick anyways," Chance nodded slightly. "At any rate... it'll be over one way or the other. Hell, who knows, maybe he'll meet somebody before the bail hearing who'll convince him he really ought to go fixate somewhere else," the tabby chuckled grimly.

"The beating you gave him won't," she gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Bed, or something to eat first?"

"Yeah, but a night or two in jail might, especially if his roommate's 'friendly,'" Chance winked. "And bed's fine... you have a guest room or something, or should I head out to the couch?"

"I invited you to spend the night in my bed, that hasn't changed," she offered him her hand. "Unless Allen's changed your mind about getting that close to me?"

"Are you kidding?" He smiled, taking her hand and squeezing it. "Nah, hasn't scared me off ... I just figured you might not want another guy anywhere near you for a while."

"It's sweet, but I'd feel safer with you right there with me, than be alone in the bed tonight," she kissed him softly and led him into her bedroom, a place of art and style as much as the rest of her home, but these showed a distinct taste for tasteful erotica. Nudes, both male and female, decorated the walls, and the entire room had the feel of luxury harem chamber in blue, burgundy and emerald with silver and golden accents.

"You know, Allen notwithstanding, you've got pretty good taste," he murmured, looking around the room briefly. "Definitely have it in decorating."

"Thank you," she nuzzled him and pulled the sateen comforter and matching sheets back before slipping into bed. "He was better looking when we met, and he didn't loose himself in drink until afterwards."

"He's only like this when he's drinking?" Chance asked dubiously, crawling into bed with her, wrapping an arm around her and drawing her close, his muscular body pressing against her softer one. "Forget it... not really important right now." He kissed her gently and began to purr softly as she snuggled close.

Meanwhile, across town, Rock was unlocking his own apartment, Jake not far behind him.

"You know, you are fun when you get like this," he chuckled, watching Jake with his box of bedroom toys under his arm. The tom had been getting progressively loopier as the night went on, the alcohol and catnip that he wasn't used to getting to him. "Come on in and let's get you undressed again," he grinned.

"Like you need that to have fun with me," Jake teased back but quite willingly found a spot to put the box and stripped down with a decidedly hungry look on his face.

"Correction - you're fun, and horny, when you get like this," Rock chuckled, stripping down himself. "The four times I took you at the club where everybody could see weren't enough for you?" He purred through a smirk.

"Not even close," Jake grinned back and slid his hands up the tabby's chest, his fingers spreading out as they moved up. "Not with the way you make me feel. It's even better here, when it's just for us."

"All for us," Rock agreed, kissing him possessively. "Before we get back to the fun stuff, there's a couple things I want you to look into and think about, okay? Not tonight, but when you get the chance, there's time for it."

"All right," Jake nodded, somewhere between very curious and a bit bewildered.

"When you can, I want you to look into whether or not you could be collared, as an Enforcer, and to think about whether or not that's something you want in the future... possibly with me, possibly with somebody else."

"I will," he promised with the even seriousness that Rock was much more accustomed to from him.

It was his otherwise lack of reaction that confirmed for Rock that it wasn't something Jake had given any real thought too, and very likely wasn't all that sure what it would entail of him yet.

"Like I said, it's not for tonight," he smiled, reaching down to caress Jake's face lightly. "I just want you to think about it for when somebody does ask you. So... why don't you open up your little toy box, pull out a few favorites you can use?" He suggested with a low purr.

Jake purred back and turned to open the box. Rock had already seen, to some extent, it's contents when they had been transferred from the chest under his bed to this smaller box, but they hadn't talked about any of it.

Despite it being a topic that should excite him, Jake couldn't help but feel little but pain as his chest tightened to see all the things he couldn't use, or even try to use. Pleasures cut off before they'd even been explored.

He was sure Rock could read it in his body language, but gratefully the tabby let it pass as he carefully moved things until he found the padded handcuffs and a soft whip.

"Not my favorites, but I can still use them," he turned and offered them to Rock, trying very hard to shove the confluence of negative sensations away only to have them well up even stronger.

"The time'll come for the others," Rock promised him, politely ignoring that his lover was almost ready to cry as he took the whip and nuzzling Jake lightly. "How much have you used these before?" He asked, leading Jake back to the bedroom and positioning him beneath a hook in the ceiling.

"The cuffs, plenty. The whip, not much. Greg wasn't into it and it's not very easy to use on your own."

"Well, we'll just have to change that then," Rock purred, cuffing Jake and raising his hands to the hook, forcing the shorter tom onto the balls of his feet to keep standing. "So, how do you want it tonight? Hard and fast, or should I take my time?"

A shiver of anticipation rippled down Jake body and his mind snapped fully into the moment. "Take your time," he nearly moaned.

"All right," Rock chuckled, giving the whip a couple shakes, getting a feel for it as he walked around his pet. He reached out with his free hand, running it down Jake's back, the tips of his claws out to give him the extra edge. "Just how have you played with this before?" He asked him.

"Without the cuffs," he chuckled. "Either over the shoulder or across the front."

"You've only used it on yourself before, haven't you?" Rock guessed, turning the whip around, reaching down and teasing Jake's balls and sheath with the handle of it. "Well, we'll just have to fix that," he purred, taking Jake's head in his hand and turning it to kiss him heatedly.

"Yes, and good," Jake moaned as they parted, his body showing clearly just how true the sentiment was in its blatant arousal.

"Tell me about your lovers, pet," Rock ordered as he ran the ends of the soft cat-o-nine-tails up Jake's back. "Everyone who's touched you intimately, kissed you in passion."

Jake nodded and twisted his hands around to take the weight of his body on his shoulders, tensing the muscles of his back even as he relaxed his legs.

"Midnight was first, I was almost thirteen," he gasped, then moaned as the first strike of the whip landed across his back, it's multiple tails leaving a network of fiery trails across his back. "Only fem, lasted a couple months, still my best friend."

"With benefits?" Rock asked, curious not only that such a male-centric tom would have had a shekat first as he played the soft leather across Jake's back again.

"No," he trembled, his moans taking on a needy edge. "I can't."

"Can't?" Rock paused, staring at him long enough that Jake looked over his shoulder at him.

"I go soft," he explained, somewhere between regretful and angry about it. "I can't mate a female."

"Does it bother you because you want to be able to, or because you're expected to want to?" Rock asked him, trying to break out of his shock at finding out how strong Jake's preference was at this young an age. At nineteen he should barely have any idea of preferences yet.

"Because it was done to me," he answered after a moment, the hatred beginning to bubble up into a rage as his body language lost almost all its submission from this ultimate act of defiance he hadn't yet fully accepted the consequences of. "Because it was my mother who did this to me," he hissed, his tail lashing and ears flat even though his head was down.

"Jake, calm down," Rock ordered him firmly, and was more than a little surprised to see the command work. "Getting angry about this won't help anything right now."

"I know," Jake murmured, the depression kicking in as the rage seeped away. "She's still my mother."

"And from the sound of it, what she did to you was inexcusable," Rock agreed, moving close and nuzzling his neck. "But it's something you might be able to get past, eventually, if you want to. For now though ... I think we need to change the subject, hmm?"

"Boyfriends?" Jake suggested. "You asked about them too."

"Boyfriends would be a good topic," Rock smiled. "And anything they found that I haven't yet that turned you on," he winked, backing off and getting back into the mood to start whipping Jake again.

Jake moaned at the touch of the whip and continued. "At fourteen I dated a sixteen year old Dobie named Charley. First real sex I had. We didn't last long, but it was good," he said, clearly still regretting the fact, only to moan with the next lash as his cock hardened again. "Greg was next, in college, and Tommy one night the weekend before we met."

"How much did you do with them all? You don't need to go into details on Tommy, he already gave me the highlights," Rock winked, lowering the flogger to lash Jake's ass with it.

"Ah!" he gasped. "Less than with Tommy."

"So what have you done with yourself?" Rock purred, adjusting the angle of the next lash so that it curled up around his ass, between his legs, careful to check the blow so it wouldn't hit anything too tender for Jake's first time.

He almost should have known better, with the way Jake moaned and shivered, nearly coming at the sting of soft leather.

"Used the knife, this whip and a bladed one," he whimpered, his hips rocking as his balls began to pull up. "Cut myself sheath to tip once."

"You like the pain then?" Rock purred deeply. "If you do, if you really want me to cut loose with this, spread your legs for me so they're not in the way."

Jake shifted his shoulders, relaxing them so he could spread his legs as far apart as he could. "Gotta be able to run on Monday."

"Which gives you the rest of the weekend to recover," Rock grinned, not holding back this time as he brought the whip forward, up between Jake's legs, the tips curling up into his pubes, balls, and sheath.

The throaty whine was Jake nearly on the edge, and trying to hold back to draw this out as much as he could.

"Sweet Bastet, more," Jake begged shamelessly.

Rock whipped him again, turning him just enough that the lash would curl around his rigid cock this time. It was all the lean tom could take and he cried out as a stream of pearly seed arched from his cock.

"What types of pain do you like best, pet?" He rumbled, bringing the whip up across Jake's flat abs.

"Sharp," Jake panted before his voice was strangled by another cry of the potent orgasm. "Blood. Claws, teeth, a blade."

Rock purred, turning the whip around and stepping up close behind Jake, tracing the handle around the tight pucker of his ass.

"There's a certain amount of bend in the rules, you know... I can get away with indulging you a bit, I think," he grinned. "But what will I get for doing so?"

"Anything I can give," he answered honestly.

"Everybody says that," Rock rumbled, twisting the whip to hit Jake's prostate with the hard tip and grinned at the way he jerked in response to the sharp burst of stimulation. "Mmm ... do you really want me to hold you to it tomorrow?"

"Yes," Jake moaned, though his tone held more clarity than most managed at this point.

It was enough that Rock could believe that Jake had a reasonable clue to what he was agreeing to. With a grin he left the cat-o-nine-tails dangling from Jake's ass and wrapped his arms around Jake's body. He popped his claws out fully, letting them bite into Jake's skin just enough to draw blood.

Jake whimpered, drew in two hard breaths and shuddered, right on the very edge of coming again and trying to form the words to beg for more with little success.

"My pretty little kitty's speechless?" Rock crooned, deepening the cuts. "Mmm ... go on ... show me how much you love being cut up."

With one more sharp breath in Jake shifted slightly, driving Rock's claws into just the right spots on his hips. With a scream of pleasure Jake's balls pulled up and began to pump another load of come onto the floor as his ass squeezed and worked the whip handle in his ass.

The tabby behind him purred, reaching down to pull the whip from his ass, not taking too much care to be gentle before discarding it and replacing the solid wooden handle with his own throbbing cock, biting down roughly on Jake's scruff as he started to thrust.

Not a word was exchanged as Rock rode out the end of Jake's orgasm across several thrusts and kept going. He growled into the scruff in his jaws and lifted Jake's hips a bit to give himself complete control over an incredible willing plaything.

It was an intense feeling, to be the first to give someone this kinky a real taste of his desires. Rock moaned deeply, relishing in the soft whimpers and cries he was drawing from Jake. The tom was a definite sub to the core.

He reached around, his shaft sinking even deeper into Jake's ass thanks to his weight, and started to stroke Jake's cock, his claws out and raking along the sensitive flesh, hooking his barbs and almost piercing them.

It was all Jake could do to hold back, let Rock inflict this incredible pain and not work his body to claim even more; something he knew would really injure him.

The tabby roared as he pumped his own seed deep into Jake's body, tightening his grip and giving him the little extra edge he needed to come again.

Then he was reaching up, undoing the cuffs, and pulling out of Jake to carry him to bed, a long night of exploring the lean tom's limits ahead of them.

Chance stirred; his body knew it was too early to really be up, but it also wanted to encourage whoever was making him feel good. The brush on his back was making him tingle from ears to toes, and the small motion of his body against the sateen sheets had a decidedly erotic edge to it.

"Midnight?" He murmured, remembering what had happened last night; they'd been right, his hand did ache more after a few hours for everything to settle in. At least his head wasn't too bad after connecting with Allen's, and the grooming that Midnight seemed to be giving him was helping to distract him from the low ache.

"Morning, hero," she leaned forward to purr in his ear. "Feel like waking up a bit?"

"Haven't been called that in ... oh ... ever," he chuckled, turning his head to brush his lips against her cheek. "And normally, no, but for you ... what the Hell," he purred.

"So how about rolling over for me?" she ran the brush along the bit of his hip next to the bed as he did so, not in the least shy about his muscular body, or the thick morning wood between his legs.

"Mmm, a very nice look for you," she purred and began to brush his chest even as she leaned down to kiss the tip of his cock. "We really should do something about this, you know."

"Mmm ... what've you got in mind?" He purred, reaching down to scritch her neck lightly.

"Well, I do happen to really enjoy giving blow-jobs," she grinned up at him before licking his cock from sheath to tip. "But I do want enough left to have a good, hard ride too."

"Trust me babe; we can do both without it being any problem," he grinned, spreading his legs to let her at his throbbing shaft more easily as it twitched at her attentions.

"Good," she purred with her throat against the hard length, and grinned when he moaned and reached down to stroke her ears and wavy black hair. With that grin still on her muzzle, she pressed her breasts around the base while the tip disappeared into her mouth where her tongue swirled around it, teasing him, tasting him, enjoying this first foray into pleasure with him.

"Oh yeah," he rumbled throatily, pressing up against her, reaching up to trail his claws lightly along her ears, causing them to twitch. "How do you like to finish?"

She let him slid from her mouth briefly. "I swallow," she winked at him and went back to work. Despite that, she wasn't in any real hurry to get him off despite using her breasts and mouth to good effect on the sensitive skin and rubbery protrusions there.

"I can see why guys try to hang on to you, at least," he rumbled deeply as she twirled her tongue around each protrusion and stretch of skin. "Mmm ... still owe you a time to make you beg though," he grinned down at her, enjoying the view nearly as much as the attention for a moment.

Instead of letting him go to answer, she grinned and began to purr, adding vibration to her touch until he closed his eyes with a catch in his breath.

"Oh, yeah," he began to breath more quickly, his hips taking on a life of their own as his balls pulled up against his body at the pleasure she was causing.

With no more warning than that he gasped, thrusting up, spraying his thick, bittersweet seed into her hungry mouth. He fought the urge to push her down onto him even further as his tip felt her throat rhythmically work it, her nose pressed against his pubes and her full breasts rubbing where his groin met his legs.

He had no doubts she really did enjoy this.

When he'd finished, he relaxed on the bed, looking down at her with a deep, satisfied purr.

"Damn you're good," he rumbled, shifting one powerful leg so he could scratch her side with his toes. "And I am still up for giving you that ride," he grinned.

"Thank you," she purred back as she licked him somewhat clean. "And good," she grinned and slinked forward, rubbing her body along his until her hips were straddling his and he could feel her wet, pulsing sex against his own.

She claimed a heated kiss, her mouth tasting of himself as much as her as she rubbed their bodies together. Once the kiss broke she arched her back to lift herself up, her arms raised under her hair to show off her chest and body for him as she straddled his hips.

"Take me, handsome," she crooned, his cock already slick with her juices and twitching from the feel of her swollen and eager sex against it.

He took her sleek hips in his hands, pulling her down and groaning as he slipped into her body. He reached up with the hand that wasn't sore, reaching up to caress her breasts as he started thrusting up into her tight, wet body.

"You like to be on top, huh?" He rumbled lustily, very much enjoying the view she was giving.

"Sometimes," she purred, tightening her body around him as she rode him as much as he thrust into her. "We both get a better view."

"That we do," he grinned, shifting his hand a bit, moving his thumb to her clit and starting to rub it slowly against the slightly courser fur of his groin and the slickness that had spread their from their mating. "Mmm ... what sort of other things you like?"

"Sometimes I like just spreading my legs and giving myself over to another. Girl or guy, the pleasure can be incredible when you are there for someone who likes you to enjoy it too," she moaned, her eyes fluttering closed briefly. "I love what you're doing right now."

"I'll just have to keep doing it then," he grinned, teasing her nipples with one hand, her clit with the other, as he worked his barbed member in and out of her sex, shifting to try and find her g-spot. "You are so beautiful," he purred, both their breaths catching at spikes of pleasure.

He found himself grateful he had just come as he watched her. Her moans and soft cries of pleasure were sweet, but so was the nearly unconsciously put on show she was giving him. Her body undulated, her muscles tightened and relaxed, each breath moved her full breasts and caused the hair splayed out across her raised arms to shift and shimmer.

He lifted his eyes from the lush show in black fur to her face. Her mouth was slightly open in the pleasure that was causing her sex to ripple and flutter around him in the first twitches of an orgasm that both intended to draw out.

As he relished the feel and look of her, she reached down and took the hand fondling her breasts to her mouth. With a look of pure seduction, she took a finger into her mouth and began to suckle it, much as she had done to his cock earlier.

He shifted his hand, rubbing her cheek, breathing more quickly as he tried to hold off until after she'd finished. He started rubbing her clit more quickly, ignoring the pain it was causing in his hand.

"Let me watch you come, baby," he moaned softly, honestly more interested in that than he was in his own approaching climax.

She moaned with a nod and let her hands slide forward, bracing her against his chest. Her focus now on her own pleasure, her movements changed slightly. Her hips rubbed against his, pressing her clit against his fur for the greatest pleasure and angled her body so he rubbed against her internal walls in just the right spot.

Barely five breaths later her body tightened and arched down with a soundless cry, her eyes squeezed as tightly shut as the rest of her. She willingly gave herself over to the pleasure, letting it strip the control from her as her body took over with the first wave of her orgasm washing over and through her.

He leaned up, pulling her into a hungry kiss as her orgasm pushed him over the edge and he pumped his seed deep into her hot, hungry body and the intense oblivion of coming inside a lover who was.

"Oh yeah," he panted, his chest heaving and both their bodies still twitching at random moments. "Now that was the way to wake up."

"Mmmm," she barely mumbled, nuzzling his chest as she tried to recover enough to form real words.

He wrapped his arms around her with a low chuckle, nuzzling her head.

"I'll take that as a compliment," he purred. "Actually time to get up, or can we just stay like this for a while?"

"Here fine," she managed, still enjoying the sensation of his hardness inside her and quite willing to simply relax.

Rock woke up the next morning to the warmth Jake had left in the bed, but the lean tom was absent. He wasn't particularly surprised; Jake was an early riser, and in a new place, it made sense he might want to look around... or at least hit the bathroom. After the night before, he probably needed a shower badly. Rock purred thinking about it... and about what he had in mind for the rest of the day.

He rolled onto his back, lacing his fingers behind his head as he stretched out, firm muscle shifting beneath his fur before he relaxed again.

"Jake? If you're in the kitchen, grab a couple glasses of milk on your way back," he called out.

He leaned back, waiting for his lover to return, and playing over mental images of what Jake would look like in various scenarios. He'd narrowed his options down to just a couple by the time Jake had gotten back with the milk, and he purred as he took one of them from him.

"So, how are you feeling?" He asked with a low rumble.

"Well-used," he smiled and knelt on the bed for a kiss. His body still naked, but no longer bloody or caked with seed. "It feels good."

"Glad you think so," Rock grinned, returning the kiss and taking a drink. "When do you have to head back?"

"Monday at 6am," he grinned. "It's morning calisthenics."

"Ooh, so I've got some time to play with you," Rock grinned back. "I do seem to remember you promising me anything for indulging your kink for sharp things... did I earn it?"

"Yes," Jake purred and leaned down to kiss him again. "Anything I can give," he corrected Rock subtly.

"Of course," Rock nodded seriously. "Are you familiar with kitty-play at all?" He asked Jake, drawing him down into the bed next to him.

"I can't say I am," he admitted and snuggled up against his lover, his hand playing down Rock's chest to caress his sheath.

"Mmm ... some people call it other things," Rock purred, kissing Jake's neck as his shaft started to stir. "Basically, it would involve you spending most of the weekend naked, on your hands and knees, and pretending you were a four-legged cat, instead of a sentient one. I'm not near as much into it as some people are though; I'd let you off the leash if we left the apartment," he winked.

"I can do that," Jake nodded, though the bewildered expression on his face made it overtly obvious he didn't get the appeal.

"Mmm ... for me, it's watching you go around naked and having you in the perfect position to take you any time I want," Rock purred, kissing him again. "For the person playing kitty... honestly, I don't really get it all that well either, though I know that a lot of them enjoy the idea of being a real pet. It was either this, or see if you fit into any of the outfits my last girlfriend left, and I figured you'd rather play kitty," he winked teasingly.

"I think so," Jake chuckled and nuzzled him. "I don't think cross-dressing is approved of."

"Mmm ... if you're in the mood to try it some time, maybe we'll find out," Rock chuckled. "So, up for a collar, temporarily?"

"Maybe when I'm a little more sure it won't land me in the Commander's office," Jake licked his nose playfully. "Yes, I am," he nuzzled Rock's jaw. "Is it a bestiality kink taken into an acceptable form?"

"I... suppose for some people it might be," Rock murmured, returning the nuzzle. "For me, definitely not. I just like how your ass looks," he winked, trying to brush off the strange thoughts that Jake had brought up.

"So ... what do you want me to be like?" Jake asked, even as he continued to playfully fondle his lover and rub his entire body along the buff tom's. "I've never had a pet cat, or pet anything. Walk around on fours, naked, available to you ... eat on the floor, going to the bathroom?" he tried to drag up what he knew about cats and how one was cared for.

"I'll relax on the bathroom restrictions," Rock shuddered. "That's just fine. But I'll want you to ask permission to talk, go around on all fours... I'll want you to sleep with me, not on the floor, but eating will be on the floor. I've got finger food that'll be a lot easier for that, and more appetizing than actual catfood," Rock chuckled, rumbling as Jake reached up to fondle his barbed tip. "Mmm... and you'll have to use your face and mouth for most things; can't cheat and use your thumbs," he purred, reaching over to open a drawer and pull out a simple, non-descript collar.

"Agreed," Jake shifted how he used his hand on Rock's cock to no longer use his thumb, but still played with it as much as a normal cat could have.

"Up on all fours," Rock rumbled, shifting to sit up. "You ever see how a cat acts with people it likes?" He asked curiously.

Jake nodded and shifted, turning to nuzzle and rub up against his lover affectionately. His tail was high and inviting.

Rock fastened the collar around his neck, purring as he stroked Jake's back, scratching the spot above Jake's tail.

"Let's hear a miaow," he smiled, kissing Jake's head lightly.

"Merroww," Jake offered, trying to think of other sounds that cats made, besides the purring he happily indulged in.

"It's a start," Rock grinned, moving around behind Jake and rubbing his hips. "Mmm ... now, be a good kitty and hold still...." He pressed his cock up into Jake's well-stretched ass with a low moan, feeling his hot body tighten around him.

The next sound out of Jake was more moan than meow, but Rock didn't particularly feel like chastising him for enjoying the treatment, especially when Jake was making an effort to squeeze and milk him with his ass.

"Such a good kitty," Rock encouraged him as he began to really fuck his pet, taking extra enjoyment out of knowing just how close to a virgin this very kinky, very willing and very sexy, tom was.

Jake's claws began to knead the bedding, his ass tightening and relaxing with every move Rock made. He moaned, whimpered at the memories of pain this had so recently included, and resisted the urge to reach back to stroke himself.

Rock obliged him instead, reaching under him to stroke his cock as he hammered his prostate. He leaned forward, biting down on Jake's scruff roughly, working his teeth to give him everything he could.

"Mowww yesss!" Jake hissed as the pain shot threw his body and gave the pleasure just enough edge to get him off hard and fast with a sound that turned from moan to screaming roar. His seed spilled over Rock's fingers as his ass worked the cock inside him, milking it for everything he was worth.

The tabby roared along with him, spraying his own seed deep into Jake's body, his barbs rubbing Jake's prostate.

Jake let his head hang down, panting as the tremors passed and Rock relaxed against his back. It wasn't nearly as intense as the night before, but he was still tingling and happy to have the attention as far as it did go.

"You like being hurt, don't you?" Rock purred lowly. "You want some breakfast before we keep going?"

"Yes, and sure," Jake nodded with a deep purr. "Master?"

"Master," Rock nodded. "And I'll let you talk until after breakfast," he winked playfully, pulling out with a groan before heading out to the bathroom. "Bacon and eggs sound good?" He asked, noting out of the corner of his eye that Jake was following him.

"Sounds good," Jake smiled and slid his hands along Rock's back when the bigger tom stopped to grab a washcloth for a basic clean up. "I can cook basics too, if you'd like."

"Mmm ... in the buff?" Rock suggested with a grin. "And we'll see if I decide to have you as an appetizer?" He added with a wink and got a licking kiss for it.

"That was my general idea, master." He purred deeply, nuzzling close. "Or maybe I'll have you to keep my strength up, mmm?"

"Mmm... I'll consider it," he purred, nuzzling Jake back. "Think about your opinion of heat and how burns hurt while I grab the shower, hmm?"

Jake nodded and slipped out of the way. He watched Rock get into the shower, then his shadow moving, and did what was asked.

The appeal wasn't as intense as for a blade of claws, but it was there. The obviousness of the damage made him uneasy though. Maybe when he was more secure in his status among the Enforcers it wouldn't worry him so, but right now the lecture and its warnings were fresh in his mind.

Chemicals actually appealed more, though they were even harder to explain.

At least with a regular burn, depending on what it was from, he could try to pass it off as a cooking mishap ... that happened, and you usually wouldn't get fired for grabbing a hot pan without being careful enough. Still, it could raise other questions that would be harder to answer.

The real question, he decided as Rock turned on the blowers, was whether he trusted his lover to do it in a way that wouldn't get him in trouble.

That one, it wasn't hard to answer, really. If he didn't trust Rock that much, this wasn't to last. It wasn't like Rock didn't know about the rules he had to follow, and he had done a good job of avoiding anything too much the night before... with mind-blowing results.

It might be worth seeing what he could do without the pain, just to know. To be sure he didn't need the pain Rock so willingly offered to be with him. Even now he knew he couldn't take it every weekend and not get in trouble, even if any one time wasn't enough for the Enforcers to object.

"You're thinking too hard," Rock purred, walking up behind him and reaching down to rub his ass. "About anything interesting?" He asked, a bit of water still dripping from his tail-tip as it flicked behind him.

"Bad habit," Jake admitted and leaned back against him, trusting Rock to catch and support his light weight. "I think so," he purred. "Different kinds of pain, trust," he turned his head to nuzzled Rock's jaw. "And finding out how much is there without the kink one night."

"Some time this weekend?" Rock suggested, wrapping his arms around him and scratching his chest lightly. "Or another time?"

"I was thinking Sunday night," he nodded into the nuzzle and licked Rock's jaw. "Just to know ... how much is you, and how much is what you're offering, you know?"

"I think we can arrange for that," Rock purred, turning to kiss Jake. "So, until then, you still want to experiment some?"

"I'd love to," Jake moaned softly into Rock's mouth and shifted to press against him. "To answer your pre-shower question ... I trust you not to take it too far."

"Want to experiment a little bit then? Not burning you, this time, but seeing how you handle the heat?"

"Yes," Jake said without reservation. "Before, during or after breakfast?"

"How much longer before it's ready?" The tabby grinned.

"Ten, fifteen minutes," Jake said, not completely sure. "I was thinking, not cooking, while you were cleaning up."

"Mmm... tempting as it is, I think I'll wait until after," Rock murmured, nuzzling him and stepping back. "Besides, then you won't accidentally burn something because you're distracted," he winked.

"As you wish," Jake grinned with a playful purr and stepped back, out of his lover's embrace, to walk to the small kitchen with a sway in his hips.

"Mind if I watch?" Rock asked, following him into the kitchen. "We can talk a bit, if you want."

"Now why would I mind you watching?" Jake grinned back at him and waved his tail invitingly. "Mind talking about yourself?"

"Oh, maybe because I'm just planning on watching, not fucking you right over the stove," Rock smirked. "And not at all; what do you want to know?"

"How about your full name?" Jake glanced at him as he found a couple pans and nosed around the refrigerator and cupboards for supplies he knew what to do something with. "It's occasionally useful to know."

"Would you believe Tom Furlong?" Rock chuckled. "You can see why I use Rock; probably half the males in the family got stuck with that name, including two brothers."

"Oh kats," he rolled his eyes. "Your family can't be that big that they ran out of names," he laughed playfully and began to crack eggs and beat them together with a bit of milk. "What do you like in an omelet that's here?"

"Mushrooms, bacon, chives ought to do it," Rock said easily as he watched Jake moved around the small space like he belonged there. "And no, it's not, but that's what happens when you've got a family that tries to keep the first name going and didn't quite click that they weren't dealing with 90% mortality rates... it becomes a tradition, and then it gets out of hand."

"I'd say so," Jake shook his head as he sliced the mushrooms and set the pan on to heat. "Why not legally change your name?"

"Why bother?" Rock shrugged. "Honestly, most people who know me know to call me Rock ... and it's a real easy way to spot a telemarketer from a mile away," he winked. "They're the only people who call me Tom on the phone."

"True," Jake snickered as the omelet was put together. "I never thought of that one."

"You just like what you're called to be legal," Rock barely guessed.

"Pretty much. I have a common name, but it's mine. There are no other living Jake's in my family."

"You know, for such a kinky Kat, you can be seriously straight-laced," Rock grinned at him. "Smells good."

"These are easy," Jake smiled a bit shyly. "If you mess up, you just call it scrambled eggs."

"Hey, it's better than my cousin does," Rock laughed. "Unless he's gotten a lot better since he was a kit. Almost set the house on fire one Mother's Day, between him and his sisters."

"You have got to tell me how that happened!" Jake nearly doubled over trying to hold back the laughter. "They're all hopeless?"

"In their defense, all but one of them were about five or six," Rock snickered. "His older sister... she's always been a tomboy, and I think she had issues with being expected to learn to cook just on principle. Last I heard, she was working with a construction crew up in Saydan Bay. Best reference I ever gave too," he smiled fondly.

"So are they all that testosterone heavy, or did those two get it all?" Jake asked, his eyes glittering in amusement as he delivered the omelet and a glass of milk to the table.

"That testosterone heavy, no way," Rock smiled. "Thanks; it smells great," he said, taking his fork and tasting the omelet. "Tastes it too," he added after swallowing. "Anyways, those two got most of it... the family's built stocky though, so even the girliest of us tend to be a little intimidating."

"Depends on what you find appealing," Jake leaned forward to kiss his cheek before turning back to the kitchen for his own meal and something else for Rock. "I happen to really like what I've seen of your kin so far. Mmm, was Chance always that straight?"

"It's ... hard to tell," Rock said with a bit of a shrug, his manner becoming more subdued and evasive. "Didn't have very long to find out."

Jake paused, a box of pancake mix in hand and looked at Rock hard, his eyes sharp and his manner anything but submissive. It was a look that made Rock willing to swear Jake was looking right into his soul for the truth. It was a look that told Rock all he needed to know about how Jake made gunner, and how he'd manage to order Chance around.

"Something happened to him," Jake said more than asked as his manner settled back into the playfully submissive tom Rock was used to.

"Yeah. When he was way too young to even try and understand it," Rock nodded, a touch unsettled by the rapid way his lover, his cousin's partner, could switch parts of himself on and off. "It was a rough time for all of us."

"I think I can understand, in a way," Jake nodded. "He'll tell me when it matters," he added in acceptance of both not knowing anything more and that it would be on Chance's timing if he did. "So anything else in his past I should tread carefully around?"

"Eh... not too much that I can think of," Rock admitted, thinking about it as he ate. "Chance... aside from a couple of big things you already know about, he doesn't take too much seriously, or dwell on it. It's a strong suit, in a way. If he ever doesn't want to talk about something, it's probably a good sign that you should be careful about it, but he won't necessarily tell you he doesn't. He'll open up eventually, but it takes more than just being friends with him before he does, y'know?"

"It takes trust," Jake guessed as he put the batter together. "The kind that takes time to build."

"Pretty much. It's mostly trust, but it's something more than that, at least to him. It takes being... part of his family, in a way. He's got his friends, and lots of 'em from the sound of it, but there's another level of people he lets inside. Y'get there, and he'll do just about anything for you. Street kat's honor, even if he had it better than a lot of 'em do. He'll say he trusts his friends, even trusts them a lot, but that doesn't mean the same thing to him."

Jake nodded and absorbed that somewhat unfamiliar concept, or at least it put in unfamiliar terms. "Being family, the kind you choose, it's not too different for me. I've only let three get that close, though I'm kind of hoping it'll expand this year or next."

"I hope it does too," Rock smiled, finishing his omelet. "Who's there now?"

"Midnight Raven, who might as well be my big sister, Zach Tanner and Greg Whiteclaw," Jake began to slice fresh fruit while the first two pancakes cooked.

"Despite the breakup?" Rock asked him, leaning back, a little surprised to hear Greg's name on the list given how uncomfortable Jake had been with talking about him.

"Yeah," he admitted quietly. "As much as it hurts, I still love him."

"For what it's worth, it's not that unusual," Rock offered gently. "Especially not with a couple years together."

"It'd be a lot easier if I could hate him," Jake shook his head, the attempt at a joke falling flat. "It wasn't even supposed to be serious; just roommates with perks. Still hurt like hell when we parted. At least Charley ended with a fight."

"How serious a fight, and about what, if you're willing to say?" The tabby asked him, standing up and moving closer, reaching out to rub Jake's naked back lightly.

"For a fourteen year old, it was very serious," Jake sort of laughed and leaned back into the touch as he continued to cut fruit. "I honestly don't remember what it was about, only that it end in a fistfight that I lost quite badly."

"So he wasn't roughing you up or anything ... at least not before the fight went downhill," Rock nodded, relaxing some.

"No, he wasn't that type," he shook his head. "I had more of a temper back then than I do now too. A senior in high school at thirteen ... I never socialized that well; still trying to catch up when I think about it."

"Heh - you'll have the chance to get used to it," Rock chuckled. "I'll make sure you get out a bit more," he winked.

"Between you, Chance, Zach, Midnight, twenty-six credits and Enforcer training, it's a good thing I don't need to sleep much," Jake laughed and leaned his head back to nuzzle Rock before he had to turn his attention to the pancakes.

"Worst case scenario, we hold off for a semester before we talk you into backing off to eighteen," Rock smirked. "So, you and Midnight still close?"

"Very," he nodded, pressing back against Rock as much as the cooking allowed. "She's my best friend and big sister in all but blood. I know she's still angry about the lovers thing not working out, but she understands enough that she never took it out on me."

"Think it might work better if it wasn't just her?" Rock asked him curiously.

"I don't know," Jake murmured and put two more pancakes on to cook after sliding the first two onto a plate. "I never tried."

"Something to think about," Rock said easily. "I know ways to blind your sight and smell, if you think that would help ... couldn't keep you from knowing it was a fem, but it might be enough of a disconnect to get you started."

"Why bother?" Jake looked over his shoulder with a nuzzle for his lover.

"It could help you open up the possibility, if you ever wanted it... it's pretty clear to me that you don't like the way things have turned out, so if there's a way to change part of it... it might help you feel better about it," Rock explained, returning the nuzzle along with a light kiss.

"What it opens me up to is worse," he murmured. "If my mother ever caught a hint that I was even considering trying ... she'd start all over again."

"Not if she didn't find out until after you had kits on the way... or even until after they were born," Rock offered. "And there's probably actually a surprising amount I can do to help keep her away from you, for a while."

Jake looked over his shoulder, his face a mixture of uncertainty, half-afraid hope and curiosity before turn turned around fully to claim a heated kiss with both hands on Rock's face. "Thank you," he murmured as they parted, Rock's breath taken away by the kiss. "If we make it to mates, it will be time for this conversation. In case you didn't know, Enforcer air teams don't have much of a survival rate. I don't want to leave any kits the way my father left me."

"I understand," Rock murmured, kissing him back less heatedly. "I just thought you might like the idea... and yeah, I know. It's pretty common knowledge, especially now that Chance is trying to become a pilot."

Jake nodded and turned back to the food, though he was snuggled close against Rock's chest. "How many pancakes do you want?" he asked with a soft purr.

"Three's plenty," Rock chuckled. "Make whatever you want though."

"I do need to keep up my strength," Jake turned his head to nuzzle him and served the third pancake on the plate, then topped it with the sliced fruit. "Eat while yours is still warm."

"I will," Rock reassured him, taking the plate. "Just remember to enjoy your last meal on two legs for a day or two," he winked, heading back to the table to finish breakfast and enjoy watching Jake move around in the nude.

As shy as he could be at times, once he relaxed he had no sense of modesty at all, and it was a delightful thing to watch.

Chance tried not to fidget too much as Midnight drove them over towards Rock's apartment later that day; it had been a few hours before they'd been in a state to even call and arrange for a meeting, let alone get out of the house for it.

Now, riding along with Midnight, about to meet his cousin again for the first time in years... well, not counting the previous night before he'd left the small orgy to go get something to drink... and about to get his partner talking with his first girlfriend... well, he wished he had something to do other than think about it.

"So, looking forward to seeing Jake again?" He asked Midnight, hoping for a bit of conversation. She, he couldn't help but notice, was basically relaxed about this all.

"Always," she smiled at him and leaned over to kiss his cheek. "Relax, it's only been a couple months since I saw Jake last. It's your cousin that gets to be the center of attention."

"That's what I'm worried about," Chance chuckled. "Just remember, whatever they're up to, I'm pretty sure that Rock doesn't deserve getting clobbered for it."

"Unless it involves Jake needing a trip to the emergency room, I won't," she promised with a chuckle of her own. "Though it's unlikely to be anything, knowing I'm about to show up. You'd think I hadn't touched all of him before."

"Honestly, I'll be perfectly happy if that's the case," Chance admitted as they pulled up by Rock's smaller apartment building. "For toms, they're not bad, but it's really not something I need to watch again."

"You two are quite the pair," she chuckled and found a parking place. "One tom who can't stand girls, and another who can't stand guys. The odds of that ... they're astronomical."

"Yeah, well, there's reasons on both ends," Chance said with a bit of a shrug. "On the bright side, means there's pretty good odds we're not going to end up fighting over the same partner," he teased lightly.

"True, though you'll never go for a threesome either," she winked at him teasingly and got out of her car. "All in all though, I'm glad you like girls."

"Oh? So I guess there's a shot at a second date some time?" He asked her with a grin and a wink of his own as he climbed out after her, leading the way up to Rock's apartment.

"Any time I have the day off," she laughed playfully and claimed his arm, a process that also rubbed her breasts against him. "Maybe next weekend?"

"Mmm ... we'll have to see if there's something that comes up, but right now it sounds good to me," he purred, curling his muscular arm up around hers, turning to give her a quick kiss. "See how a night goes without the fist fight," he winked, knocking on the door with his off hand.

"I like that idea," she smiled and leaned against him, only to straighten up a bit and smile when a tom that looked, and dressed, very much like Chance opened the door. "Up close, the family resemblance is even stronger."

"Hi Chance," Rock nodded to his cousin. "You must be Midnight," he extended a hand to her. "Please come in. Jake's been looking forward to this ever since you two called earlier," he chuckled.

"Hope we didn't interrupt anything," Chance smirked as Midnight headed in, and then he followed. "Good to see you, cous'; how was Warlords after we left?"

"That Spaniel is an absolute slut," Rock chuckled, shaking his head. "And no, you didn't, not anything serious anyways."

"I knew that already, and good," he grinned. "I hope your night was better than mine though," he said quietly as Midnight all but pounced on Jake and got a kiss and tight hug for it. "She's got an ex with one hell of a right hook and no common sense."

"Anything serious?" Rock asked quietly. "And if so, how serious?"

"Yeah, it's serious, but I think it's gonna be handled the right way this time," Chance explained. "Asshole fucked up big time when he went after me," he said, with no small amount of pride behind the words.

"I'll bet he did," Rock chuckled grimly. "So he's cooling his heels somewhere, you don't need some help finding him?"

"Not yet. And if I do, I'm going to try and get it from the Enforcers first... just be ready to keep an ear out, if it gets that far."

"I will," Rock promised. "Has she gone for a second date yet?" he asked with a glanced towards where their respective lovers were talking a mile a minute. "You know, if I didn't know better, I'd swear those two had something going."

"They used to, remember?" Chance pointed out, watching the two of them practically snuggling as they talked. "From what she's said, they're both more comfortable like that ... at least as long as Jake's dressed. And yeah, I think I'll be seeing her again... so, what about you and Jake?" He asked, looking over at his older cousin, trying to get over how unusual it felt not to really be looking up at him anymore.

"Oh definitely," Rock purred through his grin. "He's a real catch if you don't mind the occasional unnerving wakeup call. He can even cook."

"So, does that mean 'cook,' or 'not set the house on fire'?" Chance snickered.

"Cook," Rock cracked a grin at him. "Breakfast included an omelet, pancakes and sausages. He volunteered to do it too."

"Starting to wonder if there's anything he can't do," Chance chuckled. "By the way, you're probably going to get the third degree some time today. Midnight wants to make sure for herself that Jake's got a good guy."

"Thanks for the warning," Rock nodded even as the body language and tone of the conversation between Midnight and Jake changed. "I think it just started."

"Well, let's go listen in... maybe we can get a word in edgewise in your defense now," Chance chuckled as the two of them moved closer, so they could hear the conversation.

"All right, all right," Jake signed and took off his shirt, standing up so she could inspect the damage done to him. "You really have trust issues you know that?"

"Only with your judgment," she shot back, though there was no real malice there.

"I'm not the one who's got lousy taste in guys," Jake muttered, then rolled his eyes and dropped his pants so she could check everything out.

"No, you have a taste that could very easily get you killed," she pointed out. "A good tom doesn't mean he can patch you up right."

"It does, however, mean that I wouldn't do anything that would endanger his job," Rock pointed out. "Or him, for that matter. I've been doing this for a while," he added, getting a startled look from Chance as he saw the marks that the last evening had left on Jake.

"The burn is cutting is very close," she countered, her fingers moving along the edges where the fur had been singed off around angry red skin. "You do patch him up well, though," she added in an accepting concession to his skill in first aid. "Professionally, or just for fun?"

"Midnight!" Jake objected sharply and half turned to face her.

"Valid question," she shot back. "Hobbyists don't usually know limits as well."

"I've done both," Rock admitted. "From the other end, at least. These days, I don't do it professionally anymore. And that burn was more than I wanted," he admitted, "but nothing serious. I let him lean back too far."

"You did manage to stop him before it did get too serious," she nodded and relaxed her tail while Jake dressed again. "Sorry if I come on too strong, but I've been through a lot in the last couple years keeping him alive and in one piece. I'm sure you saw the scar from one of his first forays into pain."

"Yes, I did," Rock nodded. "If we ever end up going that far, I'm familiar with how to keep it from getting too serious. But for the most part, thanks to his job, that's going to be a long ways off."

"Good," Midnight nodded, clearly relieved just in time for Jake to pull her back down on the couch.

"She's just a touch over-protective of me," Jake said. "She'll calm down in a few weeks."

"Hey, I understand," Rock smiled, taking a seat on the other side of Jake as Chance did the same in one of the chairs available. "She cares about you... and frankly, given what you're into, you're lucky she does," he chuckled, giving Jake a light nuzzle. "Lot of people who don't know what they're doing, and aren't careful about it."

"Like me," Jake chuckled ruefully. "Okay, now that the posturing is over with, can we get back to socializing?"

"Yap," Midnight teased him. "You don't need enemies."

"Yeah, he's got enough of those on the football team as it is, right now," Chance chuckled.

"Oh?" Rock asked, half-grinning. "So, been showing them up at the bars?"

"Nah, this is because of another friend of his," Chance said with a shrug.

"A lot of folks I know are geeks, and get picked on," Jake explained. "I make the bullies pay for it."

"Just not with his fist," Midnight added. "You should see what he can do to somebody's car when he's ticked off."

"Oh, I did," Chance grinned. "Lance had no clue what had happened."

"Just watch out for him," Rock said seriously. "I've heard that he and his buddies can get remarkably nasty when they decide to move beyond petty sadism."

"This time they're picking on Enforcers, and those under our direct protection," Chance countered. "Those guys have never faced a campus that was infested with Cadets either."

"I know; and I know you guys can take care of yourselves too," Rock admitted. "Just remember, you're still my cousin, and Jake's still somebody I'm at least trying to take decent care of," he chuckled.

"They have to have the brains to figure out it's me first," Jake pointed out. "We are being careful, though. It's not just us either. They've ticked off several others that are making much more visible challenges to their rule."

"Well, that's good," Rock nodded. "I just worry; it's part of the job," he chuckled.

"And part of being everybody's self-proclaimed babysitter," Chance smiled. "Just remember, the other Cadets are helping out this time, and they're the ones Lance and his guys are most likely to try and do something about."

"More likely to try and take it down the food chain further, but if they decide to fight back, you're right," Rock conceded.

"Yeah, but I know who all their targets are, and we are watching," Jake chuckled grimly, then grinned devilishly. "So who feels like a round of truth or dare?"

"As long as we promise to back off if we hit anything too sensitive," Rock amended firmly.

"Now where's the fun in that?" Chance complained.

"Agreed," Jake laughed playfully. "I think we all know the taboo questions, right?"

"The big ones," Chance nodded.

"Go on and open up the mini-bar," Rock told him, reaching under the table next to the couch and pulling out a set of keys, tossing them over to Chance. "A little early to be drinking a lot, but what the Hell."

"Now you're talking," Chance grinned, catching the keys and opening up the small bar next to his chair, looking through it. "Whoa - nice selection," he said approvingly.

"I've had to entertain clients once or twice," Rock winked. "Anybody who isn't used to drinking much, stay clear of anything in a bottle with a green wrapper around the neck. That's had a bit of 'nip mixed into it."

"Oh, this is going to be a fun game," Midnight giggled.

"I'll bartend, you guys get started," Chance chuckled, starting to mix drinks with quick, practiced ease and pass them out. "I'll take requests after this round," he added as he sat back with his own drink.

It wasn't much of a surprise to anybody that he'd picked at least one of the spiked liquors for each drink.

"Rules; at least one drink after each truth or dare you answer?" Midnight suggested and downed her shot quite happily.

"Capping out before you pass out, Rock and I make the call," Chance nodded with a chuckle, knocking his own back, letting the familiar burn of alcohol and the warmth of the catnip spread. "So, you go first, since you suggested the rule?" He grinned at her.

"Sure," she flicked her tail at him. "For Rock. What's your hottest fantasy?"

"Who's deciding?" Rock asked with a chuckle, taking his drink a bit more slowly. "Truth, by the way, just want to know if we're talking personal, or that had a broader appeal?"

"Personal," she giggled.

"Mmm ... in that case, just remember that you did ask for it," he chuckled. "Back when I was in Saydan Bay, I had a client who liked making me perform for parties... good money, but she and her friends were pretty out there in terms of what they liked," he shrugged a bit.

"Probably the fantasy that gets me off the most involves taking that stuck-up Tigress, putting her in the collar she had for me, tightening it just a notch or two more than is comfortable, and having her beg me to show her everything she and her friends showed me. In front of them." He downed the rest of his drink, passing it back to Chance, who looked more shocked than any of the others. "Make it a double atomic?" He requested.


"Hey, I was perfectly willing for all of it," Rock reassured him. "It was back when we were settling in up there, and I was turning tricks for spending money. Like I said, I got good money for it, and it's not that I regret it... I just wish she hadn't lorded it all over me as much as she did. She was a bitch, not a rapist," he tried to explain.

"I don't think I'm drunk enough for that much information," Midnight murmured.

"You did ask," Jake reminded her, more than a little interested in the ideas presented.

"Oh great, you just got him interested in another hazardous kink," she rolled her eyes.

"If it's the collar, that's actually safer than what got him the burns, as long as he doesn't do it by himself," Rock said, looking at Jake firmly as Chance handed him his second drink. "Right, kitten?"

"Yes, master," Jake responded on reflex, his manner making the shift to submissively sexy almost as fast.

"Good Kitten," Rock purred, reaching over to scratch his neck lightly. "So, you next; what's the kinkiest thing you've ever considered doing?"

It was hard to miss just how tense Midnight's body became at that, but she didn't raise any objection.

"Ever heard of Tamorl?" Jake asked softly, an uneasy look given to his partner and former girlfriend.

"I've heard of him," Rock nodded. "In passing, at any rate... not usually in any detail."

"Then you know more than me," Chance admitted, giving Midnight a curious look. Her fur was completely poofed out and not even Jake's hand squeezing her leg reassuringly made any difference.

"Tamorl is a god of pain and rebirth," Jake explained in brief. "His highest rite involves being tortured to death. The longer you last, the less it actually hurts, the better your odds of being reborn the next day without physical or mental flaw."

"And you've actually considered that... before, when you didn't really care about how it would have turned out?" Rock asked hopefully.

"That's a second question, but yes, I did. Midnight literally hit me over the head with a frying pan to make me miss the last call for supplicants," he grumbled. "Still would, without any other obligations when the next call happens."

"Keep the frying pan handy," Chance murmured. "Well... your turn, Jake."

"As long as I'm an Enforcer, I won't," Jake pointed out. "I won't abandon an oath to take the possibility."

"Good," Chance nodded, still more than a little unsettled as he got up to make a drink for Jake, this one less of a shot and more mixed drink, though it was still barely half a glass in all.

"Okay, Chance," Jake grinned as he accepted his drink and sipped at it at first. "When have you been truly afraid?"

The tabby stiffened in his seat, his fur starting to fluff out before he caught himself.

"Dare," he said, draining the rest of his drink.

"Umm," Jake cocked his head, clearly caught off guard. He drained the rest of his drink, trying to think of something. "Kiss me."

Chance got up, moving over and giving Jake a kiss on the lips. He reacted instinctively when Jake opened his mouth, inviting him in to taste and control, by doing so. It ended in a much more intense kiss than the tabby had planned, but it was still nothing compared to what Midnight had gotten earlier that morning.

Even with that much given to his partner, it was clear he wasn't too comfortable with it. That discomfort only became more obvious when he moved away to mix his next drink in silence. He wasn't honestly sure what to think of the taste in his mouth. It wasn't entirely unpleasant, but it wasn't what he liked either. He just mixed a strong drink that would wipe it away and returned to his chair.

"Sorry," he murmured. "So, uhm ... Midnight, guess you're next. How many lovers have you had?" He asked her, hoping to pull the topics back towards more comfortable territory.

"Seven," she answered after a brief moment to think. "Rock," she accepted her drink. "How many of your lovers have you cared about?"

"Four," he said easily. "At least if you mean more than briefly. A lot more than that who I'd call friends, but I think you mean more than that."

"Yes," she nodded. "Including Jake, or not?"

"Including Jake; two of the others were a brother-sister pair up in Saydan Bay, cute Dachsund couple. The other was Katie, my first girlfriend up here, before we moved," he smiled.

"Believe it or not, from what I've heard she actually ended up hooking up with Joey Black after you moved away," Chance chuckled.

"Good guy," Rock nodded, thinking about it for a minute. "Didn't think he was her type though...."

"That was before he got a job down at the steel mill," Chance explained. "Put on twenty pounds of muscle, still a pretty decent guy."

"Maybe I'll look 'em up some time," Rock mused. "Figured she wouldn't be interested in hearing from me again, but if you're still in touch...."

"I'm not, but Mindy is; they share a shift down at the laundromat, sometimes."

"Guys? I think you derailed," Midnight giggled.

"And it's not into sexy things," Rock laughed. "Okay, so I think it's Jake's turn this time, and time to lay off the hard drinks for those two. They're both loopy," he sipped his drink and grinned at his lover. "Tell about your first time with Midnight."

Jake blinked, startled by the demand, then closed his eyes and thought back to that time that seemed to belong to someone else entirely.

"Right," Chance nodded with a grin. "Catnip beer for both of 'em from here."

"I'm going to need my guest room set up, aren't I?" Rock mock-groaned. "Now shush, it's Jake's turn."

"It was clumsy, at best," his voice was soft, but the fondness for the memory and who it was with shined through. "We were at her place. Her folks liked me, and liked the idea of us together, and were out for the night. I remember nearly jumping out of my skin when she started to pull my shirt off."

"You really didn't have a clue what I had in mind, did you?" she looked over at him.

"No," he shook his head and leaned back on the couch. "Distracted me with a kiss until I caught on and got my pants off. I haven't felt anything like it since, that first touch down my chest and against my sheath. I was hard so fast, I could barely breathe.

"She pulled me down in the bed, kissed me and spread her legs, wrapped them along mine," his voice nearly cracked, his body responding much as it had that night years before. "Fur was so soft, so warm, I wanted to stay there, just pressed against her body. She had other plans," he chuckled softly.

"Rolled me to my back with another kiss, rubbed her sex along my cock and pressed me into her. I doubt I lasted a minute, but she never complained."

"Well, you certainly enjoy the memories," Rock purred, watching as Midnight snuggled up closer to Jake on the couch. "Did it go on from there?" He asked with a half-grin.

"It was a good memory," Jake murmured and drew Midnight a bit closer. Despite his clear affection for her and the potent effect of his retelling, the arousal in her scent did very quick job of visibly killing his. "It did, some. We weren't as hungry as we are now."

"Speak for yourself, Jake," Midnight chided him. "I was hungry that day."

"I'm sorry," he murmured into her hair. "It's not what I was meant for."

"I know," she squeezed his leg. "Got something for Chance?"

"Umm ... tell about the hottest sex you ever had," Jake grinned at his partner and accepted a much more liquor-light mixed drink.

"Oh gods," Rock laughed, leaning back to enjoy the story as Chance blushed a bit.

"He knows this story," the younger tabby explained. "Probably because he was there."

"Along with half the neighborhood," Rock snickered.

"Yeah, yeah," Chance laughed, shaking his head. "When I was sixteen, we managed to arrange for a birthday party for Mindy; she was about fifteen."

"They actually got me back down from SB along with a couple friends of mine, though it wasn't quite intentional," Rock smirked, finishing his drink and mixing the next one himself.

"Hey, I'm telling the story," Chance shot back. "Anyways, Rock came down with a couple friends of his, including this smoking hot Husky fem. Making a long story short, it wasn't long before pretty much everybody was either sneaking off for some alone time, or having a good enough time that privacy wasn't something we were thinking about."

"It doesn't help that they were using an empty warehouse for the party; not much privacy, and plenty of space for whatever you want to do," Rock chuckled.

"Whatever or whoever," Chance chuckled. "Anyways, I ended up hooking up with the Husky... guess she'd been talking with some of the others around there, because the next thing I knew, I was on my back, she was on my face, and Kayla, one of my sister's friends, was riding me while the Husky licked her pussy around me. Turned out that she'd had a crush on me for months, hadn't said anything because I'd had a girlfriend early on, and hadn't had the nerve after that."

"Oh, you're skipping the best part," Rock grinned, making Chance blush again.

"Yeah, but you know it already," Chance said, almost shyly.

"But I don't," Jake leaned forward with a decidedly amused expression.

"After Kayla was done riding me, the Husky fem pulled her close-"

"Becky, by the way," Rock offered.

"Thanks," Chance grinned. "Becky pulled her close, and the two of them had sex, rubbing together right around me."

"I think he just about passed out," Rock snickered.

"Hey, it was my first threesome, and Becky was damned good at it," Chance laughed. "Anyways, once they'd finished like that... and I had... Becky pulled Kayla up into her lap and had me clean them off, then eat them both out. She was mewling beautifully by the time the two of us were done with her, and then she got to watch up close while Becky got up on her knees and had me mount her from behind, under her tail."

"For sixteen, you weren't half bad, according to Becky," Rock winked. "And if anybody'd know, it would've been her."

"Damn, that sounds good," Midnight purred, shifting her legs a bit to rub herself with them. "Right up to the last bit, and I'm almost drunk enough for that," she giggled and slid a hand into Jake's lap, her fingers playing along his sheath despite his lack of reaction to it.

"Mmm ... glad to know you enjoyed it," Chance smirked. "So, since we've been hitting on the topic already, what's the kinkiest thing you're into?" He asked, raising an eyebrow in challenge.

She gave him a rather wide-eyed stare and swallowed, trying to make her brain kick into gear. "Urrr, dare."

"Okay... know how to do a strip-tease?" Chance asked with a grin after a moment to think about it.

"Sort of," she admitted. "For who?"

"Well it'll be a show for all of us, but I was thinking mostly for me," he winked. "If it bothers you too much, I'll think of something else instead," he promised her.

"Only the part where I'm clumsy," she giggled and stood, her movements sultry and slow, and just a little inebriated. Despite it, she moved with a sexy sway, her scent quickly filling the space with an intoxicating headiness for both tabbies.

She ran her hands down her body, pressing her breasts forward as she toed her shoes off and nudged them out of the way. A shift of her hips and half turn drifted her tail over Chance's crotch as she lifted her arms and swayed, trying to make a t-shirt, bra, jeans and thong last.

"Not a bad start," Chance purred in appreciation and caressed the thick tail flicking in his lap.

She twitched it away and twirled around, her shirt coming up an inch at a time as she moved, revealing silky black fur and eventually a lacy black bra.

"You know what I want?" she asked Chance hotly as the shirt was tossed aside.

"What do you want?" He asked her with a low, seductive rumble, his own shaft responding much the way Jake's had earlier as she put on her show. He resisted the urge to reach out and touch her as she slowly unzipped her jeans not a foot in front of him, her lacy black bra blending into her fur almost perfectly, as did the lacy black thong under her jeans that she slowly revealed.

She got her jeans enough past her hips that a few wiggles would make them drop to the floor and leaned forward, her hands on the chair to either side of his head.

"I want you to show me all those things you promised last night before we were interrupted," she whispered, her breath hot in his ear. "Make me so hot and bothered that I forget about those two toms staring at my ass. Make me scream your name before you even take me."

"We're gonna have to put the game on hold for a while then," he winked, turning to lick her cheek. "You want to tell them, or should I?"

"Oh, no, maybe I drop out, but not you," she grinned at him wickedly and kicked her jeans out of the way. "Want me to take the rest off, or will you?"

"Oh, I will," he grinned back. "Just remember, you've got the next question, and I'm off limits. Back up a bit, I want some room to work."

"Jake," Midnight purred, looking over her shoulder at him as she stepped back to give Chance the space he wanted. "Why are you into pain so much?"

"It pisses Bastet off and she can't do anything about it," he snorted with a laugh, though there was no doubting that his attention was locked on Midnight's slender body and the memories of pleasure it was linked to.

"Hell of a reason," Chance chuckled, slipping down and to the floor, looking up at Midnight with a wise-ass grin. "Fair warning; since you're not willing to talk about your kinks, I'm going to have to experiment some." He ran his hands up the outsides of her lean, plush thighs, then started nuzzling his way up the insides of both, letting his whiskers tease the edge of her panties.

"There aren't many things she can't retaliate for," Jake pointed out, his body beginning to respond to the arousal of the other two males and the desire what he was watching did spark in him.

"Ohhh," she nearly gasped. "Drunk enough for almost anything," she giggled between her moans and spread her legs a bit further apart for him.

Chance moaned too, her scent so heavy in his nose he felt like he was drowning in it, and loving every second of it.

"I know to skip a few things she's really not up for," Chance purred, turning Midnight around and pushing her back into his chair. "Bets I can do this without taking anything off of myself?" He asked with a grin as he nipped the inside of her thigh lightly, working down her legs slowly.

She quivered and moaned, her body open and willing for him and anything he wanted to try. "Long as you do eventually," she demanded and reached forward to stroke his ears.

"I know better than to take that bet," Rock purred lowly, glancing over at Jake. "Your turn... and I might have something that'll help you enjoy this," he grinned.

"I'm game," he agreed, drunk and turned around enough in one night to not really care what Rock meant by that as long as it would make that warring chaos in his mind and body stop for a while.

Rock got up for a moment, heading off into the kitchen. He came back a moment later, with a bottle of dark liquid and a washcloth. "Wipe a bit of this on your nose," he told Jake, taking the lid off, letting the heavy smell of vanilla out.

"So, Rock," he broke his attention away from Chance and Midnight briefly to apply the substance. He jerked back in surprise at just how potent, and utterly overwhelming to his sense of smell, it was. "Um, what's your hottest experience?"

"Easy one," the tabby purred, watching as his cousin worked down to nuzzle the base of Midnight's feet, exploring for any particular hot spots beneath her knees. "Remember the brother and sister I mentioned? The two of them helped me start exploring giving out the pain. One weekend, the three of us took turns high on catnip and Blue Heat... one of us high, and being on the masochist end, two of us straight and exploring the limits of the third. Three nights, two days, and the better part of three months getting medical checkups before everything was healed," he chuckled. "Worth it though."

"I bet," Jake whimpered at just the idea of being able to do that. "What's Blue Heat?"

"Heat cycle in a bottle, for fems," Chance interrupted, nipping Midnight's ankle lightly, licking the top of her foot and starting back up her leg, almost grooming her as his fingers worked around the increasingly wet fabric of her panties.

"And damned close for guys," Rock added. "It kicks the hormones into high gear... started out as a fertility drug, but it's found its way into the party circuit... side effects can be a bitch, if you use too much, but if you're careful you'll be fine."

"I can imagine," Jake nodded, trying to work his brain around seeing what he was seeing and not smelling anything but vanilla. His body made up its mind though, and he shifting unconscious to settle his erection into a more comfortable place.

"Not part of the game; is it helping?" Rock asked Jake with a grin.

"Yes and no," he murmured, his drunk brain not even remotely willing to cooperate in working it out. "Not getting the hit from the three of us, but I'm not smelling her either. It's ... weird."

"Mmm... let's see if we can come up with something that'll help make up for not smelling Chance and me then," Rock chuckled. "This is part of the game; what do you want me to do to you right now, with her watching?"

That got Jake to focus on him, and even then it took him a moment to translate the flash of desire into words. When he worked it out he shifted to lean against Rock and claimed a lingering, passionate kiss.

"Make love to me," he whispered from deep in his throat. "Show her there is more than pain and hard lust between us."

"With pleasure," Rock purred, pulling Jake close, and into a blazingly hot kiss as Chance finally started to lick at Midnight's sex through her lacy thong.

She mewed sharply, her body trembling along with her sex as she tried to hold back with less and less success.

"Ch-Chance," she moaned, her eyes squeezed shut as she pulled his muzzle closer to her body. "Ohhh ....."

"She's beautiful like that," Jake murmured when his mouth was free for a moment. "So hot."

"And I'll bet he's not half done with her yet," Rock grinned, pulling Jake up into his lap, enjoying how hard and hot the tom was. "You like watching her like that?" He purred, leaning forward to lick Jake's ear lightly as Chance finally hooked her panties with his teeth, pulling them down and pressing his nose against her sopping sex, putting his tongue to work at pushing her over the edge.

"I like touching her like that," Jake shivered, finally past the point of holding anything back as he pressed and rubbed against his lover. "The sounds she makes in heat ... it's incredible," he moaned in memory as much as his current arousal.

"Want to give him any tips on how to make her make those noises, or keep watching him find out how on his own?" Rock grinned, reaching around to scratch Jake's chest lightly, working down towards his pants and starting to unfasten them.

"She's very, very straightforward," Jake gasped as his cock was released from its fabric prison. "He probably already found all her spots last night.

"Between then and this morning," Chance chuckled in confirmation before returning his attentions to the mewling woman in front of him, slipping his fingers up into her body and lapping directly at her clit and swollen labia, his rough tongue scraping at them skillfully.

"And he's very, very good," Midnight moaned, using her hands on his head more for support than to guide him as her legs trembled. A soft whimper, then a cry escaped her at the next pass of his tongue; her body tightened around the fingers inside her and her hands on the head they held as she lost all control of her body with the heavy shot of pleasure that rode high on the front edge of her orgasm.

"She can make me want that," Jake barely whispered in Rock's ear, his own arousal hard and ready as his jeans were tossed aside along with the last of his interest in self-control. "And I still can't," he moaned at Rock's touch and very willingly let himself be laid on the couch facing his lover.

"For what it's worth, I think she's being well taken care of for now," Rock purred, laying down on top of Jake and kissing him heatedly as Chance nursed Midnight's clit through her orgasm, then set her down in the chair, moving up to nuzzle her breasts while she panted.

She spread her legs, silently begging him to fill her. Instead he focused his mouth on her hard nipples and his hands on caressing and kneading the soft mounds of flesh they were on.

"Agreed," Jake turned his face away from his partner and best friend and focused on Rock with another kiss. He wrapped his arms around the muscular tabby and lightly rocked his hips up, enjoying the feeling of fur covered hard muscle against his cock. "Think you can match him?" he crooned. "Make me beg to be taken?"

"If I can't, then I'm really rusty," Rock smirked, nuzzling towards Jake's chest, licking his nipple lightly. "Equals for a bit?"

Jake nodded and ran his hands down Rock's back, his body already wound up enough that he knew he'd be lucky to last five minutes.

The broad-backed, well-muscled tabby purred happily as he reached down, under Jake's ass, and, slipped a finger up into his ass easily as his tongue lavished attention on the lean tom's chest and abs.

Rock knew he could push his lover over the edge at any time, but he was really enjoying this teasing; the kissing and rubbing their bodies and hard cocks together was definitely doing a number on Jake, and it was a kick to find something so simple that worked this well.

"This making up for not being able to smell us?" He asked with a grin, licking Jake's navel before moving down a bit further, taking advantage of the fact that his nose was working, inhaling Jake's potent arousal scent deeply.

"Oh yeah," Jake shuddered with a small whimper. "Love how you touch me."

"Know if she likes watching as much as you do?" Rock asked, his tail lashing eagerly.

He breathed deeply, his hips seeking the hard warmth they had to rub against so recently. "She ... ohhh ... yeah," he arched upwards as Rock's finger brushed up against his prostate.

Rock moved down further, turning them to give a good show for Midnight as his kissed Jake's tip, then licked him from balls to barbs. Jake's eyes fluttered closed, his breath hitched as he spread his legs further apart, more than willing for anything at this point.

Despite her own distractions and near-jelly state, Rock could see her focus on them as best she could as he began to slowly tease Jake's cock with his tongue.

"What is it you want, Jake?" He asked, grinning up at his lover as he nipped a barb lightly. "You want me to suck your cock? Or do you want me to fill this tight, hot ass of yours?"

He saw something happen on Jake's face, a thought, counter-thought, and something else before he answered.

"Come up here and rub until both our seed is in my fur," Jake managed to get out, his expression somewhere between a desperate hunger for anything and wanting this thing so bad he'd suggest it over two other things he wanted.

Seeing that, Rock didn't hesitate at all. He moved up, kissing Jake hungrily as he started rubbing their shafts together, hard and fast. Their barbs brushed against each other, sending sparks and bolts of pleasure through their bodies as Jake got the rhythm and whimpered through his moans in Rock's mouth.

Jake wrapped his arms around his lover's powerful body and helped guide him just a bit to find the perfect spot where they pressed against each other to best effect.

It wasn't long before Rock felt Jake's cock quiver as his balls drew up. He pressed Jake down for a kiss as he came, the lean tom's hot, slick seed making the next few movements excruciatingly good for Rock.

The tabby finally let himself go too; he'd been at least as wound up as Jake since things had gotten raunchy, just hiding it a little better. Now, he roared, pumping his seed into Jake's fur, smearing it with his thrusts and turned on even more by the incredibly excited expression on Jake's face.

"You really like this, don't you?" Rock grinned down at him, still rocking his hips to keep up the stimulus.

"A lot," he admitted with a low moan.

"You like cleaning it up too?" He asked with a low, lusty purr.

"Yes," Jake grinned up at him. "Lay back?"

"Oh yeah," Rock grinned back, laying back to let Jake get to work. He glanced over and saw that his cousin had finally taken mercy on Midnight and was undoing his jeans.

"They distracting you?" Chance purred as he slipped his pants off, laying on top of Midnight in the chair and kissing her hungrily. After being so close to her, breathing practically nothing but her scent, he was hard as a rock, his member throbbing against her slick pussy lips.

"Turns me on more," she said and pulled him in for a kiss. She brought her knees up, wrapping her legs around his waist. Her sex was pulsing, quivering in real pain, needing to have him fill her. "Please take me. Please."

"Mmm... you beg so beautifully," he purred, moaning as he pressed his shaft up into her hungry sex. He started thrusting quickly, rubbing his pelvis against her clit as he fondled her breasts with one hand.

He'd barely started when she cried out, her body arching sharply to press her hips against his harder as every muscle in her body tightened and her sex began to milk him, hard and demanding.

He gave her exactly what she wanted, thrusting a couple more times before spraying his seed deep into her sex, the two couples more than happy to forget about their previous game in favor of their new entertainment and the cousins in an unspoken challenge on who could last longer and make their lover come more often or harder.

Nausea hit first, even before she was coherent enough to remember how to move her body. Then came a ray of light that burned red through her eyelid. She couldn't move and she knew she had to. Vomit in bed was not something she ever wanted to clean up again.

"I can carry you if you need me to," Chance offered quietly, trying to avoid aggravating either of their headaches any more than he had to.

"You won't puke?" she managed to get out, her foggy brain barely able to track one bit of information at a time.

"I've had it worse," he said easily. "C'mon, if I'm careful I can get you to the bathroom and then get you something to make it better."

"Good," she focused on the last promise and made the effort to help get herself to the bathroom before she lost it.

He got her in just in time, backing off as she did a face-plant dive for the open toilet and got her head down just in time to empty her churning stomach of what little was there, mostly a yellowish liquid with a bit of acid and rotten food.

"Here, wash out your mouth and drink what you can," Chance offered a glass he filled at the sink and pushed the glass her direction. "I'll be back in a couple minutes, and just trust me that it'll help, okay?"

"Okay," she nodded and cupped the glass in both hands, drinking the luke-warm water without budging from where she was kneeling, her elbows supporting her on the toilet seat.

Chance headed out quietly, his own head pounding. He spotted two bottles of water by the bed, and grabbed one of them, opening it and taking a drink as he headed out to the kitchen. He just hoped the Rock had some juice and breakfast food around.

He'd barely had a chance to start nosing around before Jake appeared, wearing a pair of loose boxers that were likely barrowed from one of Rock's previous boyfriends. To Chance's eye, he was clearly in bad shape, though not as bad as Midnight.

"Good, you saw the water," Jake nodded slightly. "Doesn't taste too bad?"

"It's... bottled water, what's to taste?" Chance asked with a shrug. "Thanks for leaving it out though... y'know where breakfast stuff is around here?"

"I put a few things in it that will help more than just the water," Jake explained. "Tasted a little funny to me, Rock didn't notice," he explained as he began to pull things from cupboards and the fridge. "Anything in particular for breakfast?"

"Eggs, sausage, biscuits, if he's got 'em... I might be able to manage the biscuits, if he's got 'em in tubes. Bacon's a decent substitute for the sausage, if Midnight likes it better."

"She does," he nodded and went to work laying the slices on a thick layer of paper towels before putting them in the microwave. "When it beeps, dry them off and put them in for another three minutes on a pad of towels. How do you like your eggs?"

"Scrambled's easiest, usually... make some up for all four of us, I think you two'll need some too. Generally, think the cafeteria's breakfast," Chance chuckled weakly. "Believe it or not, it's just about perfect for hangovers... I think there's a reason behind that."

"We already ate," Jake smiled at him and began to break eggs into a hot pan. "Woke up hours ago, at least the first time. Anything you don't like in them?"

"I'm not so sure about peppers on a hangover, but other than that, have fun," Chance chuckled. "And thanks."

"Welcome," Jake gave him another smile between his focus on the meal and handling three different pans at once. "You are my partner, after all."

"Yeah," Chance smiled, heading to the fridge and getting some juice out after interrupting the microwave just before it beeped and set his head off again. "So, have fun last night, as much of it as you can remember?" He asked with a wink.

"Oh yeah," he grinned and mixed in diced tomatoes, chives, cheese and diced chicken to the scrambled eggs. "I remember a pretty good kiss from the tabby I'm not dating, and the seriously incredible things he did to Midnight."

"Hope she remembers 'em too... at least enough of them, after she's done with the hangover," Chance chuckled slightly. "Neither of you guys drink that much, do you?"

"No," he shook his head carefully and poured the eggs onto two places, one with significantly more than the other, and focused on the hash browns and sausage. "That probably doubled my lifetime consumption. Want pancakes as well?"

"I'll pass for now," Chance admitted, shaking his head and immediately regretting the movement. "It might help, but there's only so much I can stand to look at when I'm hung over," he chuckled. "And I'm not really surprised... she just about flipped when she saw you take some 'nip back at the Warlords," he smiled.

"She saw that?" Jake winced before dividing up the hash browns and putting the sausage on Chance's plate. "I am so going to hear about that when she's feeling better. If she wants pancakes, let me know, 'kay?"

"She did, but I helped calm her down about it," Chance said, taking the plates. "And I will," he promised, getting the bacon out for Midnight. "Now the fun part; convincing her that food actually isn't going to kill her," he said wryly, turning to go back and see how she was doing.

"Get her to drink that water bottle," Jake suggested. "It really does help settle the stomach."

"I'll do my best," the tabby nodded, heading off to nurse his own hangover as well as Midnight's.

A few hours later, most of that time spent recovering from hangovers and swearing off alcohol ever again for Midnight and Jake, things were settling back towards normal at Rock's apartment.

Normal enough, as a matter of fact, that as dinner time rolled around he'd found himself with two more guests than expected, and pizza at the door.

"Food's here," he called back into the living room as he paid the delivery-kat, closing the door behind himself. "Chance, could you get the plates around?"

"Sure thing," his cousin said easily, heading out to get plates and something to drink as Rock sat the pizzas out on the small tables that had been set up for everybody while they talked and watched TV.

"Thanks for feeding us," Midnight smiled at him. "I wasn't exactly planning on spending the night when we came over."

"I don't think any of us were," Rock chuckled. "Though I do call rain-check on the game we were up to before they came over," he winked at Jake.

"No problem," Jake nodded agreement.

"Do I even want to know?" Midnight looked at him as she accepted a plate from Chance.

"Pet cat," Jake summed it up, earning a quirky look from her, but silence.

"Which might well mean 'no,'" Chance mused, taking a slice of pizza for himself as he gave Rock and Jake their plates. "So, enjoy yourselves last night, before the hangovers hit?"

"Oh yeah," Jake grinned. "That was decidedly fun, and very hot."

"You didn't mind the audience, did you?" Chance asked Midnight, giving her a can of soda from the fridge.

"Not then," she smiled up at him. "Not much now. Jake's touched it all before."

"And I kinda think he wouldn't mind doing it again some time, if he had a bit of extra distraction to take his mind off a few things," Rock purred.

"The touching isn't that hard part to get him to do," Midnight giggled, ducking her head a bit despite having her fur cover the blush.

"Oh? Something we want to hear about?" Chance asked with a grin.

Jake shook his head. "Who better to fool around with when you're in heat, than a guy who you know can't get you pregnant?"

"If you're straight, probably just about nobody," Rock mused. "So you didn't learn about that from when you two were actually seeing each other?"

"No," Jake said and claimed a couple slices of pizza. "Hints, sure, but not that well. Just don't go spreading that information around, please. I get enough grief when all my kin think I can't even touch a fem."

"Hey, no problem," Chance said easily. "I can keep a secret."

"And I definitely can," Rock agreed.

"Thanks," Jake nodded to them both and focused on the cheesy, meat-laden pizza he'd selected.

"Maybe next time we can try the game with much less to drink," Midnight suggested with a grin that left no one in doubt that she was very much game for it to begin now.

"This time we should make sure if Rock's actually up for guests another night," Chance chuckled.

"Let's at least get through dinner before making plans," Rock laughed, shaking his head. "You like that game, don't you?"

"It's a fun way to get to know folks," she grinned at him. "Especially if you're going to be important in our lives."

"Yeah, but it's hell on the liver," he winked. "And sometimes it's hard to remember the answers after a while," he added with a smirk.

"You can remember enough though," Chance grinned back before decimating a piece of pizza.

"And next time there will be much less of a hangover," Jake added firmly. "Once is quite enough of that for me."

"It's easier if you start out with getting used to getting hammered, instead of just going straight to what you guys did last night," Chance admitted. "But fair enough. Besides, some things are more fun when you're sober," he winked over at Midnight.

"Especially now that everyone here has pretty much seen everything everyone else has to offer," she giggled and ducked her head a bit. "Less to be reluctant about showing, at least for me."

"Trust me, you've got nothing to be ashamed of," Rock smiled.

"I know that," she tapped the side of her head. "But it's not how either of us were raised," she tried to explain quietly. "Nudity, sex ... they just weren't things you did in public, even this is too public."

"Pretty much why I really get off on it, and still manage to be embarrassed," Jake chuckled a bit. "I've been out five years and it's still hard to shake it."

"Fair enough; it wasn't quite as repressed where we grew up," Rock agreed. "Funny, really... the more money people have around here, the more they hide what they're into."

"I don't know about that," Chance shrugged a bit. "I figure it's got more to do with not having it all around you, the way it could be back home. You remember Aunt Candy; Mom kept her on a pretty short leash around our place, but we still got plenty of an earful when she was around."

"Might be," Midnight thought about it. "We're both single kits; only kit of Mom's only litter. Your families seemed to be a lot more prolific."

"For a long time, we couldn't really afford not to be, then it kinda got into how we were brought up," Rock said easily. "Add in not being able to afford to stop working when you're in heat, like Candy ended up doing a lot of the time, and it's a recipe for big families."

"That, and sex is pretty cheap entertainment, even if you do pay for it," Chance shrugged. "Money-wise, anyways. So there's a lot of things that go into it. You guys both seem to like it, even if you're still working on letting folks know that," he grinned.

"Part might be just not caring about it too," Jake countered thoughtfully. "I enjoy it when I have it, but I don't miss it when I don't."

"Yeah, but having it's still good," Rock said as he ate. "So, Midnight, have you been dating much lately? I know Jake hasn't, but wondering if Chance has competition," he winked at his cousin.

"Only in Allen's mind," she grumbled, and sighed when Jake tensed, the tip of his tail flicking angrily and his ears flat. "It's been over with for months. He just got drunk and forgot. He didn't get any further than fondling before Chance stopped him."

"And he's not gonna get the chance to do it again," Chance agreed, glancing over at Jake and seeing something far too close to a murderous rage boiling up for a tom didn't have any apparent fear of death or injury to himself. "Guy's in prison and going to stay there for a while."

"How long do you have to find a new place?" Jake asked, trying to focus on what needed to happen, rather than what he wanted to do.

"I'm not moving," she shook her head firmly. "Not this time. I have a good job and a good apartment I can afford. The locks will be changed on Thini and I'll have a restraining order against him this week."

"And before long, he'll be stewing for a couple years before he gets out, even if he's a perfect little angel inside," Chance offered. "Who knows, maybe it'll straighten him out, but either way he won't be hurting Midnight again."

Jake regarded his partner for a lingering moment before he nodded in acceptance; both of the statement and that Chance was making a promise to see it held up.

"Okay ... less unpleasant topic?" Midnight looked around hopefully, her expression shifting to grateful when she looked at Chance.

"Sorry I brought that one up," Rock agreed with a nod. "So... what all did you guys get around to trying in the months you were together?" He asked, looking between Jake and Midnight, thinking over a few things.

"Nothing interesting given what I remember of last night," Jake chuckled, somewhere between bashful and matter-of-fact. "Basic sex, all of three times."

"Which he does still prefer to play down," Midnight giggled with a teasing look at Jake. "It wasn't nearly that unmemorable for me."

"You ever toy around with the idea of letting her be the guy for a night?" Rock asked with a grin.

"Huh?" Chance said, cocking his head with a confused look that was matched by Jake and Midnight.

"I'll take that as a no," Rock chuckled, then smiled slightly as it dawned on Jake what he was talking about. "I have a strap-on she could use to take Jake with," he nearly purred at the idea of watching it.

"Can't see how it would top the real thing, but I'm game," Jake glanced at her, giving her time to think this idea over. He knew the revulsion would come first; she hated receiving anal too much not to rebel at first. He also knew that his willingness would make her think about it from his perspective.

"Maybe," she finally said. "Why?"

"Anybody can see that he's still attracted to you... and vice-versa, I think. It might be a way to give the two of you the chance to be together, once in a while, without the parts that shut him down," Rock explained. "Besides, I think it'd be very hot," he added with a grin.

"I can think of a couple ways to make it hotter, but it could be fun as is," Jake leaned over and kissed Midnight's cheek. "I'd enjoy it, even if it didn't work well," he added softly. "I know anal hurts you, but it doesn't for me."

"And you'd like it all the more if it did," she murmured, still not completely sold on the idea, but warming up to it.

"Yeah, he probably would," Rock chuckled. "Let's finish dinner first though... let Chance think about whether or not he wants to watch," he teased his cousin gently.

"Since he probably doesn't want the blow-job," Jake winked at Rock with a definite invitation.

"No offense, but if we're going to go there, I'll need something a lot stronger than soda first," the younger tabby chuckled slightly. "You're a good looking guy, but I don't go that way."

"None taken," Jake grinned at him. "You going to stick around to play with Midnight afterwards?"

"If she's up for it, sure," Chance purred, glancing over at her. "Won't make you wait as long tonight," he winked.

"Are you sure you want me to find out if I like this idea of taking a guy?" she teased him back.

"As long as you remember I'm about as interested in taking it under the tail as you are, I think we'll be fine," he chuckled. "Besides, maybe you'll find out you like a guy against your back while you're giving it to another one," he winked.

"I have one that'll work with," Rock piped up with a lewd grin and stood up.

"After dinner's settled," Midnight insisted.

"Of course," the older tabby laughed, collecting the empty pizza box and plates. "I just figured I should get these out of the way... maybe a few rounds of your favorite game first, without the liquor this time?"

"Works for me," she grinned at him and relaxed on the couch with Chance on one side and Jake on the other. "Who gets to go first?"

"I was a little distracted at the time, but I think it was Jake's turn before things got sidetracked," Chance grinned.

The lean tom leaned back and considered his options for a while.

"Rock ... what's the hottest thing I could do for you?"

"With your current rules and regs?" Rock asked as he came back in. "Already getting to the fun questions, huh?"

"Yes," Jake nodded.

"Mmm ... well, a couple options, but I think I'd pick the one where we just spent the weekend together, with you in one of my shirts or an apron, showing off that tight ass of yours as it gets increasingly well-used," Rock purred, pulling the chair around next to Jake and sitting down.

"Sounds very good," Jake licked his whiskers back. "Just have to keep the company away."

"Let us know when, we'll remember not to have a reunion that weekend," Chance snickered.

"That, or I'll remember not to agree to it," Rock smirked. "Midnight; do you have a dream job you've wanted to get into?" He asked her, cocking his head slightly when she went stock-still, her eyes wide like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck.

It took Jake's nudge to get her to answer.

"No," she shook her head, clearly embarrassed by the fact in a room with people who so aggressively followed their dreams. "I've never had that kind of passion for anything."

"Midnight ...." Jake looked at her sternly.

"That's not a job," she countered with a half-confused look.

"If it's something that matters to you, it's the sort of thing I was interested in," Rock offered. "Go on, none of us are about to start laughing about it."

She nodded and relaxed a bit. "A wife and mother. I've always wanted to marry a good guy and be able to stay home to raise our family."

"If you've got a family that can do it, it's as much a job as anything else," Chance said seriously. "Just one with lousy pay for the work."

"Only if you're only counting dollars," she countered, just as serious. "There's a lot more than money in a job. Would I be wrong to say that you'd turn down an office job with three times your Enforcer pay?"

"Nope. And I wasn't saying anything against it; when I said pay, that's what I meant, the dollar end of it," Chance explained. "Sorry if it came out wrong."

"It's not you," she reached over and squeezed his leg. "The reason our folks were middle class was because both of them worked and they didn't have many kits. It's the same for nearly everyone we know. I've gotten a lot of grief for being so old-fashioned."

"I can see it," he nodded. "Hell, I just about lived it," he admitted. "Mom only worked part-time, usually. So like Rock said, we're not about to bust on you for it."

She nodded, visibly relieved even though she tried not to show it too much. "So, Chance, what are your dreams for the future?"

"Well, I'm in the Academy, so that kinda spells out a lot of it," he chuckled. "Hoping to make it in the pilot's program, fly, help make a difference. Collateral damage when the Omegas and their monsters hit is always worse in the poor parts of town, so one of these days I want a chance to keep 'em from getting that far in. As far as beyond that... I want to do my best to help get Mindy out of there. She might not be Enforcer material, but she's a smart kid, and deserves a shot at proving it to the rest of the world too."

"Who's Mindy?" Midnight asked, only just getting the question out before Jake did.

"My sister; I mentioned her last night, I think," Chance explained. "Just a couple more years before she's out of high school, we're hoping that she'll be able to get a scholarship and into college here, with a little help."

"What kind of help would she need?" Jake asked, his mind working through everything he knew about the educational system after five years in it before he even got to the age where most went for the first time.

"Finances and somebody who knows a bit about the ins and outs of getting 'em," Chance explained. "I kinda stumbled into it ass-first," he admitted with a sheepish grin. "So I don't know about how to get in unless you're talking to the recruiting folks, and like I said, she's not really Enforcer material."

"I know the financial aid system better than the folks who run it," Jake said it as the simple truth it was. "Think I can meet up with her sometime soon, get to know her? There are a few different ways to get the money. What you want to do with your education and to get the money makes a difference."

"Maybe when you meet my folks... Mom'd be glad to get the chance, anyways," Chance mused. "We'll just have to make sure Mindy remembers to be there," he chuckled.

"What's she likely to be doing otherwise?" Jake asked curiously.

"Don't know, really," Chance admitted. "She's just out late with her friends a lot, especially when it's not a school night. Pretty normal for being her age."

"He wouldn't know," Midnight snickered. "You're talking to a guy that was taking double or more full time college credits at fourteen."

"Okay, so for those of us who aren't so clear on it, that usually involves hanging out, dating a bit, maybe going shopping when you have the cash," Chance snickered.

"Hey cousin, how about the game?" Rock teased him.

"Hey, they started asking me more questions," Chance teased back. "Blame your boyfriend. Speaking of whom ... Jake, which of your boyfriends has been the most intense for you?"

"Urr," Jake shot a look at Rock.

The older tom had no trouble interpreting it and nodded slightly, smiling at him. By Chance's definitions they were, he was sure, even if between them they might not be so clear on it. It did make him feel good that Jake thought it was enough of a possibility to find out.

"Rock," Jake answered with no further hesitation. "First one who's been willing to explore my kinks much at all. I just wish we'd met before I went Enforcer."

"Still have to thank Tommy properly for introducing us," Rock purred with a smile for Jake and got a rather hungry look back. "So, your turn now."

"Mmm, Rock ...." he suddenly got a devilish grin on his face. "What's the most embarrassing thing you've done?"

"Oh brother," Rock groaned, flicking his ears. "I don't suppose I can just say I make a lousy fem and leave it at that?"

"Not a chance," Chance laughed heartily. "Details, cus', or take the dare."

"Okay, okay," Rock groaned, sure that the dare would involve showing what he'd just have to talk about if he kept going. "One of my lovers after I came back to MKC, Alsatian bitch I met at the club I work as a trainer sometimes, had a real thing for guys in girl's clothing. Started out with her wanting to get me in lingerie, ended up with me finding out that a pout and big, soulful brown eyes override my sense of dignity way too easily."

"And?" Chance pressed with a grin, barely able to keep from snickering.

"And far more strange looks than I cared for when she took me out to a bar dressed in a slinky number that she thought I looked great in, but the designer would have probably wanted burned to cleanse the shame of somebody seeing the combination from his record. And no I don't have it yet!" He added, looking over at Midnight as she tried with little success to stop the giggling fit.

Jake just cocked his head with one eye half closed in scrutiny until even Rock was willing to broach the silence to make it go away.

"Look, it's not an image you ever want in your head," he tried to get Jake's mind elsewhere.

"No, I expect I don't," Jake murmured, still studying Rock's build. "You could be made to look like a fairly attractive fem, but sweet Bastet it would take work."

"Given your preference in lovers, that's not saying much," Midnight pointed out. "That'd be just creepy."

"Not that kind of attractive," Jake snorted at her. "But his build isn't too much of an issue. You just have to look towards the more muscular breeds to make it work."

"I'd look like my mother," Rock muttered. "And not in a good way. Anyways, I did get one thing out of it; a guy dressed up like that can be attractive, you just need to get a guy with a much better build for it. You could pass reasonably well, and look good doing it," he added, nodding towards Jake.

"I seem to remember agreeing to find out too," Jake leaned back and relaxed with the remains of a soda. "Decent curves will take prosthetics though."

"You are so freaky when you do that," Midnight muttered.

"Do what?" Jake looked at her with a bewildered expression.

"That whole 'it's just a science problem' tactic instead of looking at something like it's for real," she grumbled.

"I don't try to," he shied away from her.

"I know," she sighed. "It's just who you are."

"And the 'prosthetics' aren't that hard to find," Rock shrugged. "Heck, they come built in to some of the bras. And I already 'fessed up to knowing where some of the better shops are, so watch it," he said dryly, looking over at Chance, who looked like if he didn't stop and laugh at the images going through his head soon, he might burst. "Besides, you wouldn't laugh if you'd just found out you'd been hitting on a guy without knowing it."

"No, but if I was hitting on somebody who looked like you probably did, I might just be drunk enough not to notice," Chance snickered.

"Yeah, but if I look as good as he thinks I could, you might be in for a real surprise one night," Jake winked at him.

"If Midnight wanted to, we could find out," Rock smirked. "Who knows, Chance might go for the blowjob then," he teased, getting a scowl from his cousin in exchange. "Hey, you've been thinking a lot of other things the last few minutes, I owe you for 'em."

"Yeah, but using my partner's interest in me against me isn't fair," he protested.

"Ah, come on, I wouldn't let it get any further than we've already done," Jake tried to assure him without promising much.

"And I wouldn't either," Rock agreed seriously. "C'mon, Chance, you know I know you better than that. Still doesn't answer whether or not Jake's interested in getting all prettied up so Midnight can top him," he grinned over at his boyfriend this time and got a startled look that shifted to seductive as Jake thought about it.

"That'd make you really hot and bothered, wouldn't it?" Jake leaned forward with a low rumble. "See me all dressed up as a fem and taking it from girl."

"Let's just say that it works for me," Rock purred, leaning forward himself. "Of course, the fact that I know I'd have you afterwards helps too," he grinned.

"So how about getting everyone wound up to the point we stop talking and start playing?" Jake purred. "I think Chance really needs some help to enjoy this."

"Depends on if I'm watching or if we're up to something else," Chance chuckled slightly. "Midnight? I know you're not really into threesomes, but I'm not sure how much of that is being shy and not liking being the one who's getting taken two or three different ways."

"Mostly it just lacks an intimacy I get one on one," she explained. "I don't really like sharing. With Jake ...." she glanced at him. "It changes things. I'm willing to try."

"We'll work on getting everybody wound up a bit more first," Rock promised with a grin. "So, my turn ... Midnight; we've touched on our fantasies some, so how about your hottest one?"

She ducked her head, her cheeks burning under her fur.

"Okay. It starts with me in heat. It's intense for most guys, and it's even stronger for us," she explained as she worked up to the action.

"Would you rather just show, except for the last part?" Jake offered, his breath quickening at the memories it brought up for him.

"Show sounds good to me," Chance grinned. "If you're up for it."

"All right," she murmured with a nod and stood as Jake guided her up and slid in place behind her.

Without a word between them Jake slipped his hands under her shirt to slid it up and over her head, leaving her lacy black bra covering her breasts and little else. Despite being completely sober, she leaned back and moaned deeply when he slid one hand under the lace and simply caressed the soft mound.

He traced a finger from his other hand under the belt of her jeans and leaned his head down to kiss up her neck. With anyone else, he knew the erratic waving of her thick tail between his legs would be intense, for him, it was merely pleasant.

"Spread your legs, pretty," Jake murmured and shifted to let Chance have the better show. "Let him see what you like so much."

Midnight let her head fall back against his shoulder and reached back to grab his ass while he unzipped her jeans with his free hand while the other continued to fondle her breasts under her bra.

All too slowly he pushed them down far enough so they fell to the floor and slid his fingers under her panty line.

"Ohh, please," she whimpered, her tail lashing frantically and her entire body already trembling in remembered pleasure he had given her and the promise that there would be no less this time.

"Want to know the hottest idea for her?" Jake purred directly at Chance as his fingertips teased the very top of Midnight's sex. "Something she'd never think to say, but I've seen."

"I never turn down tips," Chance grinned, taking a deep breath of Midnight's arousal, his pants bulging some from the effect Jake's touch was having on her.

"Slide her panties down," Jake purred and kissed her neck as she trembled. "Eat her out while I hold her open. Caress her thighs."

"So you like it with a couple guys in some situations," he grinned, moving between Midnight's legs and nuzzling her sex through her panties before pulling them down. "Mmm... I'm starting to get used to this view... not that I'm complaining," he winked, licking her as Jake reached down to spread her labia.

"Oh ..." she moaned as she tried to answer.

"When she's the absolute center of attention," Jake grinned and nipped at her scruff before rolling a nipple between two fingers. "She still asked me over one time when she had a girlfriend to take care of her. I learned a lot about her that week."

"Well don't worry; as long as I'm here, you'll have all the attention you want," Chance purred, rubbing her thighs before sinking his powerful, rough tongue into her pussy, lapping up her juices and willingly loosing himself in the intoxicating scent of her arousal.

"Mmm, Chance?" Jake asked, his voice muffled by Midnight's fur. "Would it be too weird for you if I was licking her while you take her?"

Chance paused for a moment, thinking it over.

"I could handle that," he decided, nipping Midnight's clit lightly. "Just have to not think about it at first," he chuckled.

"Just pretend I'm a fem," Jake suggested with a chuckle and shifted his fingers so his two outer ones were older her labia open and his middle one was free to caress and rub her clit. "I think her reaction will be worth it for you."

"That's the plan," Chance purred, moving up a bit to kiss Midnight, letting her taste herself on his lips. "Whenever you're ready, gorgeous," he grinned, then moaned when she brought her hands forward to quickly undo his belt and unzipped his pants to caress his cock through his briefs.

"Now, sweet Bastet. Take me now," she begged shamelessly.

He didn't bother to say anything; he turned her around, pulling her against his chest and licking her neck as Jake knelt and nuzzled her thighs. Chance reached down to take one leg and raise it, spreading her body and exposing her so he could drive his cock up into her hot, dripping sex.

It was a show that made Jake whimper, a sound that drew a shiver from Midnight and Chance managed to ignore in favor of the sexy shekat he was ready to come inside. Her body quivered around him and she cried wordlessly in the pleasure at all the stimulation.

She screamed in ecstasy and squeezed down around Chance as Jake's tongue found it's place along her sex and Chance found his rhythm and one hand slid under her bra to fondle and tease her breasts, occasionally rolling a hard nipple between two fingers.

Hard as it was to hold back, Chance did his best to do just that. With Midnight so very responsive to them both, he was hoping to draw a third orgasm out of her before finally giving in to the intense pleasure building in his balls.

"Oh, Bastet," Midnight gave up all pretence of self-control. "Jake! Please."

He nodded and stood, kissing her as he slid his hands under her bra, interlacing his fingers around Chance's as he focused on her hottest spots to carry her through her orgasm.

It left her panting when Jake moved one hand from her chest, leaving each tom with one breast to play with, and spread her labia to play along her clit while Chance continued to thrust into her.

She gave in to a soundless scream as her body quivered, then tightened, trying to tighten around everything but held open by the strength of both toms.

Chance's roar wasn't soundless though; he came, hard, pumping his seed deep into her body as he hilted inside of her, his cock jumping and twitching against the walls of her sex as it spasmed.

"Damn, that was hot," Jake murmured and claimed a long, intense kiss from a nearly limp Midnight.

"Tell me about it," Rock rumbled deeply. "You think she'll be up for anything more tonight though?" He asked teasingly.

"Oh yeah," Jake licked her face affectionately. "Let her snuggle in Chance's lap for a while and she'll be fine."

"Good, we'll have time to go get you dressed up," Rock winked. "How do you feel about makeup?" He teased as he stood up and came over to kiss Jake heatedly and felt the younger tom all but melt in his arms.

"Just make it sexy and not clown, okay?" Jake murmured breathlessly.

"It works best when you're light with it," Rock nodded. "If you want, we can have Midnight vet it," he grinned. "Now, let's go."

Jake very willingly let Rock lead him into the bathroom, and stole a couple heated kisses before he got all his clothes off.

"How much do you want to be clean for her?" Rock asked, kissing him again, pushing him back against the closet door.

"Please don't make me wait for her," Jake moaned and lifted a leg to hook it around Rock's hip as he rubbed shamelessly against the buff tabby's clothed body. "You have no idea what she does to me."

Rock reached down, undoing his pants and letting them fall to the floor, nipping Jake's shoulder and reaching down to grip his ass firmly.

"Just needed to know if you wanted her to be the first one inside you tonight," he growled lustily, sinking his shaft up into Jake's tight ass. He groaned as Jake tightened his body, squeezing down around him.

Without a sound beyond the hungry whimper of need Jake wrapped his arms around Rock's neck and claimed a heated kiss as they mated, Rock's shaft sliding in and out of his body as their pleasure mounted quickly.

It didn't take Rock long to be ready to explode into his lover's body; his claws popped out of his fingers, into the meat of Jake's ass, as his balls pulled up and emptied their contents into him.

"Yessss," Jake hissed into Rock's mouth as his own balls tightened, taking only a couple more thrusts from Rock to let go in an eruption of pearly goo between them.

"You are so very hot," Rock rumbled, still thrusting up into him. "I am probably going to have to wash you out before dressing you, unless you want her seeing your lube of choice," he grinned.

"Either works," Jake murmured and nuzzled against Rock's chest. "Depends on how you plan to wash me out," he purred throatily, then moaned at the continued fucking.

"How would you... want it?" Rock asked with a grunt, shifting to pull him up, take more of Jake's weight in his arms, so he could thrust into him harder.

A light tremor passed through Jake's body and he wrapped his arms tightly around Rock's neck. "Enema while you suck me off?" he suggested with a deep moan, his cock hard between their bellies.

"I can do that," the tabby purred, kissing Jake hotly as he hammered Jake's prostate, trying to get him off again. He shifted one hand so he could rub the spot just above Jake's tail while his claws kneaded Jake's ass to mix a little of the sharp pain in that the younger tom got off from so readily.

Jake could only moan in response, his head falling back to expose his throat and show off his lean, muscular body while it drove Rock even deeper inside.

"You are so sexy when you're like this," Rock grinned down and drove his claws in just a bit deeper when he saw it start to push Jake over the edge again.

He felt Jake's ass clench down around him, milking him to another orgasm. He roared, pumping his seed into Jake's ass, pinpricks of blood welling up around his claws as Jake came with him.

"I could really become hooked on this," Jake grinned loopily up at him and nuzzled Rock's chest. "Never felt this good before."

"And I'm not near done with you yet," Rock promised him, pulling out with a moan. "Mmm... bathroom, get you cleaned up so you can get dressed?" He winked.

"Good," he purred, more than happy to have the feeling of come sliding down his legs washed off.

Meanwhile, out in the other room, Chance had pulled out of Midnight, the two of them snuggling close.

"So, how do you think he'll look?" He purred, nuzzling her neck.

"Strange," she giggled. "He's no girl."

"Normally I'd be right with you," he agreed. "But if Rock says he'll look good...." He shrugged. "Mostly the face that'll be way off. So, you like girls too?" He asked her curiously.

"Yes," she nodded. "So is your no-guys thing trauma or genetics?"

"Trauma, but I wish people wouldn't call it that," Chance murmured. "Makes it sound like something's broken, or oughta be fixed."

"No more than Jake's should be," she reached up to caress his face. "It might be what the docs would want, or what others do, but until its right for him or you, it's none of their business."

"Thank you," he said gratefully, pressing into her hand. "Most folks who hear about it ... even if they don't have the details, they seem to think it's their mission to help me 'get over it,' he muttered.

"After watching what Jake goes through, I know it's not my place to judge," she said quietly. "You guys put up with a lot for it already."

"Y'don't think he's upset about the way that Rock's trying to get you two together a bit, do you?" Chance asked, wrapping his arms around her waist and hugging her close.

"Not likely," she said after considering it. "At least not right now when there are no penalties for it."

"That's good," Chance nodded. "Hate to think something like that'd end up causing trouble ... wonder what's keeping 'em."

"Each other," she giggled. "It still can, if Jake's mom catches wind of it, or even that I invite him over when I'm in heat. It's ugly when they get going."

Chance was about to reply when the door to the bedroom opened and Rock was standing there behind a cinnamon-furred Kat with definite curves, though barely more of a bust than Midnight, in a very short, emerald green gown of oriental design.

"Nice hair," Midnight purred approvingly at the lightly wavy brunet wig Jake was wearing.

"Not bad," Chance said after an appraising look up and down Jake's new form. Makeup covered up some of the more masculine features of Jake's face... not enough that he really looked like a fem, but attractive in an effeminate manner all the same. "You wouldn't trick anybody, but that'd probably take hefty surgery to manage."

"With my face, yeah," Jake chuckled in agreement.

"Or a trip to one of the desert kingdoms where those small Xanith live," Midnight added with a giggle, even though she was looking at him with interest all the same. "Carcal?"

"Caracal," Jake corrected on reflex. "True. The fems do have very feline faces."

"That'd probably work," Chance agreed. "But I don't know that you want to do this full-time anyways," he added with a wink. "So, what do you have to let Midnight make herself into a guy for the night?" He asked Rock.

"Careful how you say that, she might take you at your word," the other tabby smirked. "Well, Midnight? Ready to suit up?" He asked her, tossing her a leather harness that would leave her ass and sex exposed.

"Why not," she giggled before slipping into the relatively simple harness with a lack of difficulty that made it clear to Rock that she'd used something similar before. "He makes a cute girly-boy, but I think I like his normal self better. Mmm, it feels so empty without the other dildo."

"I have one that would work for that, but I seem to remember we'd been thinking Chance would take it's place," Rock grinned. "And yes, he does... guess it's a matter of taste, but I like him either way. So, something nice and big for our new girlfriend?" He purred, pulling out a thick, barbed dildo with a small knot at the base that was designed to go onto the harness. "Or you want to go with something that's a bit easier to use on him without hurting him, even though he'd like it?"

"Got something unique?" she grinned mischievously and stepped up to play her hand down Jake's chest, playing between his false breasts. "I'm a fan of Zeta Creations when I'm in that mood," she purred when Jake shivered.

"Canine and feline isn't unique enough?" Chance half-laughed.

"Not in the least," she grinned over her shoulder at him and wrapped an arm around Jake's neck to pull him down for a kiss.

"I've got one," Rock said. "Dildos aren't something I collect too many of, but I do have a Tentacle Toy."

"Oh, that's a good one," she purred before Rock turned to fetch it. "It's like nothing you've ever felt," she promised Jake throatily.

"I bet," he murmured, sliding his hands down her nearly nude body.

"I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm glad I'm low on the kinks," Chance chuckled, watching Midnight and Jake make out. It was a little strange... particularly thinking of the fact that it was his partner in the dress ... but attractive all the same.

"Dildos don't even make a blip on the kink scale," Rock laughed and handed the vaguely feline-like dildo to Midnight.

"Especially not for a shekat," she grinned at him and stepped back a bit from Jake to fit the iridescent gold dildo into place in the strap-on harness. When she looked up Jake was on all fours with his tail waving over his back in invitation.

"Are you sure you aren't in heat?" Midnight laughed teasingly before kneeling behind him and rubbed her hands in circles on his hard ass. "I know Rock gave you quite a workout."

"I like it when I can get it," Jake chuckled in return, pressing back into her hands.

"You get into 'her' first, then I'll get into you," Chance purred, kneeling behind Midnight.

"Mind if I take the other end?" Rock rumbled, stripping down the rest of the way.

"Not at all," Midnight said, knowing as well as everyone else what Jake's response would be. She turned her attention to something she was much less comfortable with, but put her trust in Jake and lined up with his ass just as she would have another girl's pussy and pressed forward, slow and steady.

"Oh, yeah," Jake moaned as the flared tip spread him open.

"You've done this before, right?" Chance murmured, reaching forward to rub her hips gently as she pressed into Jake's ass with more care that was needed, even if he didn't get off on pain.

"Not with a guy," she admitted. "Just mimicked straight sex with a girlfriend."

"It's pretty much the same, once you've made it in," Chance reassured her, pressing up close behind her, running his hands down her arms. "Get yourself comfortable, and just listen for him sounding like it feels good."

"Jake's hard to hurt in a bad way too," Rock added and caressed Jake's ears back as the dressed up tom nuzzled his groin with an openly affectionate lust.

"Ohhh," Jake suddenly arched with a deep groan as the thickest part of the dildo, and its suction-cup imprints, entered him. "Hilt it," he moaned, half in demand, half giving her hints.

She nodded and pressed forward, putting her slender weight behind the object's journey into Jake's body. She could feel the pleasure in him through her hands and leaned forward. It not only opened her to the tom behind her, but it put weight against Jake's back.

Chance mounted her from behind, pressing himself up into her sex with a low rumble of pleasure as Jake drew Rock's cock into his hungry mouth.

"Now we make him want to scream," Rock purred deeply and continued to caress Jake's head and face, his fingers playing through the golden brunet locks of the wig.

Jake's emerald green dress doing a fairly good job of concealing his masculine musculature except where her hand had pushed it up a bit so she could hold his hips as she worked the tentacle dildo in and out of his ass.

Midnight tried to set a rhythm as she thrust into and pulled out of Jake, but having Chance inside her made it more complicated than she was used to. Still, it felt good, if the moans coming from around Rock's cock were any indication.

"With me," Chance moaned softly, helping her find more of a rhythm, pressing the dildo into Jake's body with their combined weight and strength while Rock thrust into Jake's mouth. Each thrust rubbed the dildo base against her clit and drew a moan from her along with the sensation of Chance inside her.

She nodded, already panting softly as they found a steady pace. She left one hand on Jake's hip for support, while she reached down around him with the other to stroke his sheath.

"Oh yeah," she quivered when her hand found him full and hard. Without hesitating she closed her hand around his shaft and stroked him in counter with her own movements.

"He's so hot for you," Rock moaned, reaching up to join Chance in fondling her breasts as Jake worked his cock skillfully. "Loves this so much...." his voice trailed off as Jake's efforts drew his balls up close, the pleasure beginning to spark along his spine and through his entire body.

"I think he'll love you," Midnight pressed into both sets of hands fondling her. "You understand his needs."

"I try," Rock groaned, throwing his head back with a roar as he pumped his seed into Jake's mouth, Chance picking up the pace, rubbing himself against Midnight's g-spot, the dildo working Jake's prostate and her hand working his cock.

When Rock pulled his cock free from Jake's mouth, Jake moaned and dropped his head, a few dribbles of seamen dropping from his lips as his body tightened and his breath quickened.

Midnight extended her claws and caught a rubbery barb between two of them, pinching it painfully now and then as she stroked him and her pleasure built.

"Whatever you're doing to him, I think he likes it," Chance groaned, his own balls starting to twitch. "Not gonna be much longer, babe," he warned her, reaching forward with one hand, gripping Jake's ass and clawing it lightly.

It was all Jake could take and he through his head back with a roar, his hips thrusting forward into Midnight's hand, then back against her hips the pound the dildo into his body as he came, his seed spilling over her fingers and slickening his cock to make her pinches even more intense.

"Ohhh," Midnight moaned and shuddered, her body clamping down around Chance's cock, her instinctive thrusts not always in synch with Jake's or Chance's, but spurring them both on.

Her orgasm was enough to push Chance over, and he pumped another load of semen deep into her body, pressing his muzzle into her neck and inhaling her potent scent as they all cooled off a bit.

With everyone fairly still, Jake looked up and found Rock standing quite close, but still out of reach. He didn't make a sound, but his expression told Rock everything he needed to know and the big tom stepped forward and knelt to draw Jake's face up for a kiss.

"You didn't have to, you know that, right?" Rock asked him seriously, distressed by the look in those large amber eyes, especially so soon after coming.

"I know," he said, drifting off into a moan as Midnight pulled out of him and quickly discarded the strap-on. "I wanted to, enjoyed it ... just not again, please."

"It's okay, kitten," Rock reassured him, kissing him tenderly as he drew Jake up into his arms, then his lap. "Thank you for trying it; you don't have to again. I'm plenty happy keeping you to myself," he purred, pleased and relieved when Jake began to purr softly as well and nuzzled him.

"Think you have another round in you?" Jake nearly crooned as he reached down to tease Rock's cock.

"Yeah, but I want my girl in bed before that," he winked and purred, turning to kiss Jake deeply and relished the way he melted in his arms.

"They know where the spare one is," Jake licked at Rock's muzzle affectionately. "I want you now."

"Patience, Kitten... I've got a lot more than just one left in me, and you're going to get 'em all once we've got a little privacy," Rock promised with a grin, picking him up and carrying him back towards the bedroom.

"Chance!" Jake burst into their room a few days later and startled his partner into puffing his tail as he turned from his desk by the window. "Grab your keys and ID, we've got twenty minutes to make it to Enforcer HQ if you still want to check out the Black Eagle."

"Huh?" was about all Chance could manage. "Don't you have a class, Jake?" Even as he was saying it, he was grabbing his keys, and both his driver's license and his Cadet ID, getting up to follow Jake out.

"In a little under two hours, and Dr. Ramel knows I might be late and why," he explained as they all but bolted down to their motorcycles. "I might have to leave before you do."

"Right," Chance nodded, everything Jake was saying starting to sink in. "The Eagle's not on patrol tonight?"

"Yes, but they're landing now and Rumble agreed to hang out for a while so we could get there."

"Very cool," Chance grinned, pulling on his helmet and hopping onto his bike. He was ready to follow when Jake pulled out. He had to admit, eight at night wasn't a bad time to be driving into downtown, as opposed to where he'd normally be driving towards at this time of night.

By the time they were halfway there, he knew that Jake had the ability to appear completely reckless when he had cause, and had either the talent or skill to get away with it. It was apparent too that Jake was also making some effort not to loose his partner in the traffic.

It made it fairly easy for Chance to follow him; he was as good a rider as Jake, at least ... he liked to think better, but he wasn't about to make an issue of it just now. And he was used to following people through streets like this without getting lost.

All in all, it was about fifteen minutes from when Jake had run in that they reached Enforcer HQ and checked in. When they turned around from the front desk his eyes were drawn almost immediately to the tan tom with a few red stripes visible on his face and a chocolate brown Somali shekat with flame red hair and flowing tail.

"Hi guys," the shekat grinned at them and extended a hand to Jake first. "You made good time."

"We had good cause, Lt. Firetail," Jake smiled shyly at her and shook her hand. "Thank you for agreeing to give us the tour."

"Not many ask," she grinned at him, their eye levels almost even.

"Pleasure to meet you, Lt. Firetail, Lt. Evans," Chance grinned as Evans looked him over and shook his hand. It was a mixture he was fairly used to seeing from competitive guys; a combination of assessing his threat as a fighter and what he was likely to be like in bed.

"Kathie and Tanner, please," she grinned at both of them. "We're all airborne here."

"You know you're already making waves?" Tanner grinned at Chance.

"Where?" Chance asked with the start of a wise-ass grin, trying to watch what he said to keep from making a total idiot of himself. "I can think of a few places that might be true."

"Flight team betting pool, among other places," he reached up to clap Chance on the shoulder as they walked through the great halls of Enforcer Headquarters.

"If you two don't graduate top of your class, he's out a couple paychecks," Kathie teased.

"And she has to go on a date with Brandy Panthis to Warlords," Tanner laughed back. "The bitch already has the outfit picked out."

"Yeah, but when we do get out at the top, it'll be worth it, huh?" Chance chuckled. "Just hope that doesn't include the GPA, or you might have some trouble coming."

"Oh yeah," Kathie grinned as they got in an elevator and headed up the long sequence of floors to the flight deck. "I get to have some real fun with her if you make it. There's a second pool going about how many records you'll break before graduating too."

"Hope we live up to your expectations," Chance grinned back, his tail twitching excitedly. "Haven't been in the air too long yet, but we're doing our best to break the ones they'll let us."

"Trust me, it's been noticed," Kathie told him. "So I know why Jake's interested in the Black Eagle, but what's you're draw?"

"Uhm...." Chance blushed deeply; he hadn't thought about how to explain this part of things. "I'd really like to get a feel for the interior of her... she's one of the best known jets in the Enforcer fleet, and I'm... well, I'm working on a replica, small scale," he said, trying to hedge around the ultimate answer of "I'm working on a model and want to come as close to reality as possible."

"It impressed you that much?" Tanner asked with a bit of awe in his voice.

"Well, why wouldn't it?" Chance asked honestly. "The Eagle's one of the best out there, right along with the crew," he grinned, with no sense that he was only trying to flatter them. He meant what he was saying.

"If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to get him under you," Kathie laughed easily, thumping Chance on the shoulder before the elevator doors opened to the organized chaos of a busy flight deck. "Well, you'll have some time to check her out up close and personal."

"Not something you've got to worry about," Chance chuckled, blushing some. "And that'll be very cool," he added, looking around as Kathie and Tanner led them towards their jet. He'd been able to pick her out before they got to her, though he did it by following Jake's gaze zero in on the modified Talon III.

"It's fairly slow up here right now; you guys picked a good time," Tanner commented as a flight of jets took off. "Haven't had any major alarms yet tonight."

"So how often does that actually happen?" Jake asked, giving Chance the opportunity to check out the jet without her crew distracting him.

"At least once a week," Kathie said easily. "On a bad week we can get three, but we'll probably be mostly on patrol for the rest of the week... we had a major drug bust go bad a couple nights ago. That got messy, but also met the usual quota," she chuckled slightly.

"Heard about that on the news," Chance piped up from where he was going over the interior with a very carefully appraising eye.

"So when will we get to see this replica?" Tanner asked as he looked up, watching Chance move with a curious expression.

"Not sure," Chance admitted. "I ah... well, I start with a kit for the base model, then modify it from there." They didn't need to see his cheeks to know that they were probably burning as he explained it.

"Be careful with this one around, or they'll fly as well as they look," Kathie teased them. "Seriously, I want to see this when it's done."

"If you really do, sure, it just might be a week or two with classes and all," Chance said, somewhere between glad they were interested and still a little embarrassed about it.

"I'm impressed," Kathie murmured, startled by the short time frame he'd suggested. "You've got a winner in this one, Jake," she turned her attention to her counterpart. "You keep taking this kind of care of him, and he'll take you to the moon."

"I know," Jake ducked his head a little bit, but smiled at the truth of it. "He's worth all the work to keep up with him, and more."

"Ah, c'mon, I'm the one who has to keep up with you," Chance chuckled before turning his attention back to the jet, working on the exterior now, taking note of everything he could track down.

"I hope he's not that modest all the time though," Tanner chuckled.

"Only when he thinks he's around his betters," Jake shook his head in bemusement. "When he's trying to get a girl ... that's when the macho ego can really come out. Though he's managed to impress a friend of mine that is so not into macho egos."

"Heh - know your audience," Tanner grinned. "Bet once you get him behind the stick, he's a lot more laid back about things too. He doesn't fly half as nervous as he's been acting."

"No kidding," Jake grinned at him. "Nothing phases him in the air, even this new to it."

"I'd bet nothing phases you either," Tanner regarded Jake evenly. "Not even the best pilot is that stable with a partner that's not just as good."

"The equipment sometimes does, but I try not to let him know," Jake kept his voice very low. "It's not the quality I've been used to working with."

Tanner almost asked something, but a barely perceptible movement by his gunner silenced him.

"At the point we're at, it's more the pilot and gunner than the gear anyways," he said instead. "Once you've got your own bird, and she's tweaked to work the way you two want her to, you'll be fine."

"I know," Jake nodded, all seriousness. "It's what makes the jet they have us in bearable. It's still unnerving sometimes, knowing he can pull off a maneuver, but the jet might not."

"You'll change that... probably before you get in the air for real too," Tanner reassured him, squeezing his shoulder even as Kathie snickered. "Besides, part of being a real good pilot is knowing the limits of your jet too, not just yours ... so he'll have to learn."

"Just how many mods have you already made on that poor thing?" she asked with a knowing glint in her hazel eyes.

"Half dozen," Jake admitted with a shy smile. "Just little ones. Plus just fixing all the deferred maintenance."

Tanner blinked. "You've had an Academy jet less than a month and you've already brought her up to force spec?"

"What else could I do?" Jake looked at him with a mixture of bewilderment and uncertainty. "It wasn't going to be done otherwise."

"Kats Cadet, the maintenance crew are either going to love you or hate you," Tanner shook his head.

"Probably love him; you know how overworked those guys are," Kathie smiled at Jake.

"Yeah, but if a different team ends up in their jet," Tanner chuckled and shook his head. "That could get ugly. I'm feeling a lot better about those bets though."

"I didn't do anything that anybody else would notice," Jake shook his head. "I want to, but I know it's not mine to play with."

"That's good," Kathie nodded. "You'll have one of your own soon enough."

"Or not close to soon enough," Tanner winked.

"It won't be soon enough," Jake let a frustrated breath out. "And I'm sorry, but I do have to get going. I have a class to get to in twenty."

"Go ahead," Tanner said easily. "We'll keep an eye on your partner, after he's done going over the Eagle; you get to class."

"Thanks," Jake nodded to them gratefully. "Chance! I'm headed to class. See you later."

"Seeya!" Chance called back from under the jet. "Have a good time!"

"Want to take him up?" Tanner suggested quietly to his gunner after Jake had disappeared into the elevator. "I think he'd be our friend forever."

"Y'want to go make sure she's ready to take off, I'll get clearance for an extra spin around the city?" Kathie replied with a broad grin.

"Will do," he grinned and mock-saluted her. "Hey Chance! Want to go for a ride?"

"Are you kidding?" Chance asked, sliding out from under the jet. "Who'd I have to kill?"

"Just don't hit on my partner," Tanner laughed and thumped his shoulder. "Come on, let's get you suited up."

"Deal," Chance grinned, following Tanner off to get a flight suit in his size.

Chance muttered to himself as he glanced at his watch, confirming exactly what he'd been worried about; that he was five minutes late, thanks to Jenny and Miranda, two fems from his Physics class... any other night, and he wouldn't have minded talking with the two attractive fems, but most nights he didn't have anything in particular to do right after Physics.

Tonight, he was just hoping that Jake and Zach were running just as late... though to judge by the skinny orange tabby he saw walking towards him, bag slung over his shoulder, he kind of doubted it.

"Hey, Zach?" He called out, hoping to get his attention and nodded to himself when Zach looked at him and shifted his path to intercept him.

"Hi Chance," Zach smiled at him. "I'm afraid you missed Jake."

"Guessed that much," Chance admitted sheepishly. "Actually, I was hoping to talk to you, about Jake. Y'got dinner plans?"

"Well, no," Zach admitted, somewhere between confused, still uneasy with Chance and curious about the request. "What were you thinking?"

"Well, I'd been thinking something like Ponderosa," Chance said easily. "It's nothing big, just that it sounds like you and Midnight are about the only friends Jake's had for more than a few weeks, and me and Rock'd like a chance to get to know you," he explained with a friendly smile.

"As long as it's not how you got to know Midnight," Zach joked with a grin. "Sure, why not? I really don't have any plans."

"Heh... Jake told you about that already, huh?" Chance chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. "Nah, just talkin'; Rock knows you're not into guys too, so he won't even hit on you. C'mon then, it's just a couple blocks away, walking won't be so bad."

"As long as you don't mind questions in return," Zach said as they shifted their direction towards Ponderosa. "I'd kind of like to know about the new guys in his life."

"No problem," Chance said easily. "The ones you've got'll probably be easier than the ones we've answered for Midnight," he grinned. "Been having any more trouble with the local assholes lately?"

"Very little," he acknowledged. "They seem too occupied to bother me."

"Good," Chance rumbled approvingly. "With any luck, they'll either turn into decent people or get the Hell off campus. Jerks never made it past the fifth grade."

"They're everywhere," Zach sighed and shook his head. "Trust me, it doesn't matter how many get taken down or how, there will always be more."

"Yeah, but if you can knock out the current ones, it's gonna help a bit," Chance pointed out. "After all, you're a grad student, aren't you? Whoever takes Lance's place might at least not bother you so much."

"He'll just pick on the freshman version of me, or Jake," Zach countered. "And that guy might not have anyone to help protect him."

"Maybe not," Chance acknowledged. "But it's kinda like the Enforcers in general. We might not stop folks from committing crimes... maybe the next crook who comes along'll do something worse. But it's not going to change anything if we don't do a thing. At least stopping some of 'em means that they won't keep doing it. And maybe somebody else who'd have done it'll learn a lesson and hold off instead."

"Is that what happened for you?" he asked as they entered the Ponderosa.

"Huh?" Chance asked, looking over at him, flicking his ears even as he caught sight of his cousin playing pinball.

"Why you aren't like them," Zach kind of shrugged. "You've got everything else they do."

"Like Lance and the others?" Chance snorted. "For starts, I've got a soul in here somewhere. For another... there's a sort of desperate you've got to have to be like them. You've gotta want to feel like you're better than somebody else so bad you'll find somebody to knock down. I just don't have that in me, really," he shrugged a bit.

"Meaning you have something in you," Zach chuckled. "Fair enough. Guess that's why those types like the big public sports. It gives them something to hold on to."

"Yep. And it gets the nuts out there to give 'em nice, big toys they can use to get girls their real goods wouldn't, like Lance's car." He looked over at Rock, shaking his head as his cousin focused intently on his game. "And they say I'm a big kit."

"It seems to run in the family," Zach commented quietly, more than willing to let Chance get his cousin's attention.

"You go on and order, I'll get him and we'll be right there," Chance reassured him, heading over to collect Rock as the game flashed. True to his word, he was back before Zach had even finished ordering, his older cousin looking a bit sheepish.

"Sorry, was headed towards a new high score," he explained once Zach was done, offering his hand as Chance ordered for the both of them.

"I understand determination," Zach accepted his hand and shook it firmly. "It's good to finally meet you, Rock."

"Good to meet you too," Rock nodded. "So, Jake tell you about me, or has the big lug back there been doing it?" He teased Chance.

"Hey, I just told him your name," Chance chuckled, passing the bill over to Rock, who looked it over and paid.

"I got pieces, and can guess about much of what he was nice enough not to go into details on," Zach said, a bit surprised to hear that this wasn't the normal Dutch arrangement in planning.

"You also apparently forgot to tell him I was willing to pay," Rock pointed out. "So, everybody gets food first, then we talk?" He suggested.

"Sure," Zach nodded before they started back to their table. He and selected a chair, watching as Chance and Rock shifted things around so they were sitting in something of a triangle around the square table. "You make him feel good," he added before they all headed for the buffet, the two bottomless guts right with him.

"Thanks," Rock smiled, the three of them mostly quiet while they picked out their meals and returned to the table. "I've been doing my best... doesn't hurt a bit that we've got similar tastes."

"A first for him," Zach said, his manner almost making it a warning as he dug into a sizable portion of pasta with a steak slab on top of it to be sliced of with it. "You know the kind of trouble he can get in for it, right?"

"I do," Rock nodded seriously. "And I'm watching out for it. There's two sides of things too; there's the side that's in the regs, and then there's the side that's how it actually happens. I'm looking up some people who know more about the latter, so I can get a real feel for how things work on the Enforcers. I don't want to get him in any trouble, honest."

"Good," Zach smiled at him, his body relaxing a bit. "He's never been one to do anything halfway, even with a good reason not to. It's not in his nature."

"That much I've picked up already," Chance chuckled. "So, just how long have you two been friends?" He asked curiously.

"Almost six years now, since he first came to MKCU full time. We'd had a few classes together before that, but we didn't really talk or anything. He wasn't exactly a freshman, not with something like eighty credits already, but that was all from when he was still living with his folks. A fourteen year old kit in the dorms ..." Zach shook his head "I never got them to admit it, but I'm pretty sure they assigned him to my room because I was one of the few folks they knew wouldn't even think to take advantage of him. Even with enough credits to graduate, fourteen is still really young to be out here alone."

"Erff - no kidding," Chance nodded. "Especially with the upbringing he had ... a roommate who'd be interested in him like that probably wouldn't have had any trouble getting what they were after."

"I think you're underestimating Jake," Rock told Chance as he took a drink of his soda. "But yeah, there's a Hell of a lot of chances they'd be taking, and it would've been a lot easier at any rate. Was he having the nightmares and such back then too?" He asked, fairly sure that anybody who'd been his friend for so long would know about them already.

"Yeah," Zach nodded. "It was a couple weeks before I was woken up by one. I thought it was just one of those things that happen, a normal kind of nightmare for a kit who's out on his own for the first time. I've learned better since."

"Heh - guess I was lucky; I got the full deal my first night," Rock murmured. "Has he told you what it's all about? I haven't pushed that much."

"And I heard it's one of the things you don't ask him about," Chance warned Rock. "Not right away, anyways."

"Yes, I know what they're about, at least chunks of it," Zach nodded, his voice low and uncomfortable. "But that's really something that has to come from him. If he trusts you, and it comes up, he'll tell you."

"Can you just answer a yes or no about them?" Rock asked him quietly. "Is it something that he can be helped with, or should we just help him when it comes up?"

"From everything I know, it's something he has to live with," Zach murmured. "If anything can help him, it's not in this city."

"Right," Rock nodded. "I just wanted to know if it was something I should try and help him with."

"You can't fix everything, Rock," Chance reminded him gently.

"Yeah, but you've got to know where things fall," the older tabby shrugged slightly, working on his potato. "At any rate... what is it you do?" He asked him. "I've heard you're in anthropology, but that covers a lot."

"I'm still in the full-time student stage, but this summer I have a good shot at working with Dr. Sinnian on a dig out in the Katsylyan territory," Zach said, relaxing as the topic turned from socializing to something he was more comfortable with.

"Archaeology then?" Rock asked him curiously.

"Archaeology, history, mysticism ... a bit of everything," the lean tabby chuckled. "It's all connected."

"Right to the point where he's taking our Supernatural Investigations class with us, and not getting credit for it," Chance chuckled.

"I'm learning a lot though," Zach said. "Especially from the PI. He has so much real-life stuff to add in."

"Jake's loving it too," Chance smiled. "And I'm managing to keep up too, for the most part."

"Smarter than you like to think," Rock chuckled. "So, you and Jake into a lot of the same types of things, or is this just a happy coincidence?"

"Really, about all we had in common was being geeks. Now we've just been through enough that he still likes me. He's really much more interested in affecting the future, not studying the past. He just picks up enough to be able to keep up on most subjects," Zach shrugged and sipped his milk. "He's brilliant on a level that scares most folks."

"What've you been through?" Chance asked him, cocking his head slightly. "I know school can be rough, but I didn't think Jake had been through anything too unusual."

"Time, mostly," Zach could only shrug. "Six years is a long time, especially at nineteen. I've been there for him ever since he left home. I was there and stuck by him when he got blacklisted and his world fell apart. He'd spent his entire life, from before he first went to school, becoming an aerospace designer. Becoming the best aerospace designer out there. It crushed him to loose that the way he did. He's still nothing like he was before that, but he's started to look at living again, at least a little bit," he picked at his food a bit. "I kind of wish you could have known the tom I knew two years ago, when he was so excited about his pending internship he was unbearable to be around. Those were good days."

"What was he like?" Rock asked him with a smile, leaning back to listen to Zach. "Before, I mean."

"He was always excited to share what he'd just thought up, to help with a problem anybody had. He'd lend a hand without being asked. No one he called a friend ever needed to worry about transportation back then, or managing to pay for the next term. He'd always manage something. He smiled a lot," Zach smiled himself, though sadly. "He was always smiling, always happy to see you, always had a way out of whatever trouble you had." Zach looked up at the two tabbies watching him. "That look he has now, that he's only just holding on to a willingness to keep going ... I didn't see that until that mess happened. He's guarded, paranoid and a lot more mean than he ever was before," he looked down at his food again. "I really miss that smile."

"Maybe one of these days you can see it again," Rock murmured. "But I can see where paranoid would come out of it ... having somebody he was trusting his future to do that sort of thing."

"Still gotta think there's something there ... some way to prove it," Chance muttered.

"Proving it isn't the hard part," Zach sighed. "It's getting someone who can do something about it to listen, and care to take these people on."

"Which can be a serious losing battle, with Pumadyne and MKC," Rock agreed. "The industry's strong enough that they don't want scandals, and they can pay to make 'em go away."

"That make any trouble between him and Midnight, with her working there?"

"Not that I know of," Zach shook his head. "It's just a paycheck to her. That's not something he'd hold against someone. A manager there or something, and he might, but not a line worker."

"That's good... they're good friends, if nothing else," Rock said, taking a drink. "How do you get along with her?"

"We really don't cross paths often," he admitted. "She's a nice girl, and definitely pretty, but beyond Jake, we really don't have anything in common."

"Fair enough; wasn't sure if you two were close too," Rock explained. "So, any more questions you have for us for a bit?"

"Why are you interested in Jake?"

"Just me, or both of us?" Rock asked him. "And I'm assuming that the obvious is already being taken as read," he chuckled.

"You," Zach looked directly at Rock for a brief moment before his well-trained non-aggression towards big guys kicked in. "And yes, unless that's all there is to it."

"Up front, it was," Rock admitted. "But that didn't last long. He's just starting to learn about the sort of things that he really likes ... that has some appeal. Bigger than that though, he wants somebody who'll take care of him... and I happen to like having somebody to take care of. He might seem confident and self-sufficient, but there's a vulnerable side to him that I think he really wants to let out. If I can help him relax enough to do that, I like that. Of course 'the obvious' doesn't hurt at all," he chuckled slightly as the waitress came by to refill their glasses.

"You're seeing what's left of what he was before the blacklisting," Zach said with a fair amount of certainty and paused for a bite of steak and pasta. "Probably a bit of the real thing too, 'cause his family sure didn't provide it. Greg was good for him in a lot of ways, but he got Jake to suppress too much too, and the way it ended ...." he just shook his head. "You're looking to take on a lot of baggage."

"I'm used to baggage," Rock chuckled. "I don't think it's going to be easy by any means, but I do think that I can handle it."

Zach nodded and focused on his meal for a bit, letting the silence build as everyone finished their first plate and got up for more.

"So what's your faith?" Zach asked after everyone was settled again with fresh food.

"There might not be any atheists in the air, but I'm pretty close," Chance admitted. "So whatever you'd say for that ... I don't really do much in the way of worshipping."

"I follow Bastet, but I've been a little lax in making sure I make it to services lately," Rock admitted. "You and Jake?"

"I'm Personalist," Zach said simply. "I know there are powerful beings out there and we call them Gods, but I don't really believe any religion has a clue.

"Jake ... he's in his own category. He fits the Personalist description, but don't call him that if you want to stay on speaking terms for the next week. He can talk circles around a High Priest on Bastet, Halikar, Tamorl, Eshik and Marka and probably a few others, but it's always outside the context of religion. The Gods are just people to him, and he's not happy with them for the most part. Tends to call them power-happy jerks. I think he still attends Bastet's services regularly though, and sometimes Halikar's, Tamorl's, Eshik and Marka's too. It's weird to go with him, even for me. The conversations can get downright unpleasant."

"I'll bet... so best not to bring up religion around him, I'm guessing?" Rock summed up. "He at least keep it quiet, when he's debating?"

"Usually, and rarely," Zach said and went to work on a piece of fried chicken. "He doesn't object to talking religion or Gods, it's just not something even I enjoy getting him going on. It's informative, fascinating, frequently disturbing and can spark quite a discussion among open minds. It's also freaky as hell to hear him talk like that when you know him. As for quiet ... only when he hasn't had a nightmare for a for a few weeks, which is almost never. Ever hear him talk about his mother and the pressure to breed?"

"And he has that sort of attitude in a church, without getting himself tarred and feathered?" Chance asked dubiously.

"He doesn't make a sound in a church," Zach shook his head. "But in the debate rooms ... damn, it's just scary how intense he can be. His mother has nothing on how much he hates Bastet and a couple of the others, and it's just as personal."

"Well, at least he wouldn't get himself lynched by the Furlongs among the parishioners," Rock mused.

"Well, there's Aunt Roberta, but she's with the Temple," Chance nodded. "But yeah... I get a talking to just for not going, that'd be a whole new level of awkward."

"But he goes," Rock countered. "Just don't get him talking about it around the folks."

"And he is usually good about not picking fights he can't win," Zach added.

"That's good," Rock nodded. "Why'd you bring up the subject, out of curiosity?"

"Partly because I am interested in how people react to religion and faith. If either of you were seriously devout, it's probably a conversation you need to start with Jake soon, before things get far enough that it'll really hurt when it does come up."

"Yeah, it probably is... are there any he gets along with better?" Rock asked curiously.

Zach kind of winced. "Yeah, sort of. He has a weird fondness for Tamorl, and lately I've heard about Eshik and Marka in less than volatile terms lately as well. It's Bastet, Halikar and someone called The Demon that he has the harshest words for."

"The fondness for Tamorl is really weird," Chance shuddered. "As far as he wishes he could take it sometimes, anyways."

"Chance," Rock frowned.

"Sorry, but what he said ... that's a lot farther than I thought anybody went these days."

"A couple dozen do every five years, world-wide," Zach said.

"And he didn't," Rock pointed out firmly. "And isn't likely to."

"It wasn't by his choice," Zach said very quietly. "And no, he won't now. Not as long as he's an Enforcer at any rate."

"Take a look at what he thought he had left," Rock pointed out to both of them quietly, making sure nobody was paying too much attention to them. "If you're bordering on suicidal, why not go for the one way that they say has a chance of bringing you back afterwards, without all the baggage that led to it? I might not agree with it, myself... but I can't blame him for thinking about it, and thinking hard, especially as young as he was."

Zach nodded uneasily, not willing to risk what might come out of his mouth if he opened it.

"Maybe, but it's still ...." Chance shook his head and sighed. "How could it ever be that bad?"

"You know how it can be that bad," Rock said quietly. "And for him, this was probably just as bad ... he was just looking for a way to end it that would give him a chance at something better afterwards."

"I was a kit back then," Chance said softly.

"And he's not much further along, even now. Two years ago? He might've grown up fast intelligence wise, but the maturity doesn't always keep up," Rock countered.

Zach looked between the two tabbies, and settled on Chance, waiting for him to settle down from whatever evil his cousin had brought back up.

"Sounds like you and Jake have a fair amount to offer each other," he said.

"Like what?" Chance asked him, not entirely sure what he thought about the things that came to mind for him. "I mean... if I can help him, that's something I'd like to do, but for the most part I don't really see what I've got to offer him."

"The kind of understanding that only comes with that kind of pain," Zach tried to explain. "From the sound of it, you went through something really bad, and came out with a sense of self. He's not to the other side yet. I doubt he's even close."

"I'm still not really sure if I did get out of it," Chance admitted quietly. "Denial's a handy thing sometimes."

"Chance, don't cut yourself down," Rock scolded. "If you were in denial like that you wouldn't be saying you were," he pointed out.

"Okay, my issues aside, I'm not sure how much that'll help Jake... I can try and show him the sort of things I did to move on, but I don't know how much of that's going to work for him, really, that he isn't already doing."

"You prove it works," Zach told him. "Jake's nothing if not stubborn. If he decides what he's doing can work, it will work."

"And how much of that do you think'll need him to find out just what's happened to me?" Chance asked, his tail swishing behind him unhappily.

"I don't know," Zach admitted. "Maybe nothing. Maybe all of it. I've never understood all that well how he thinks."

"Better than I do, for now," Chance pointed out. "Hopefully that'll change as we work together, of course."

"I expect you will, being partners rather than just friends," Zach nodded. "You'll spend a lot more time together, and you need to understand each other from what I understand," he paused. "It might not be pleasant, but you might want to ask him about Bastet, The Demon, and nightmares. Maybe not right away, but before the term's out."

"Once he trusts me a bit more," Chance nodded. "I figure it'll be a while before he'd really go into it, and I don't blame him."

"Honestly, the only thing that's really holding him back is going to be that he doesn't know your take on the Gods and how they interact with us," Zach shrugged. "It's not trust so much as he's tired of being told he's hitting the 'nip too hard, so he doesn't talk about it until he's fairly sure he won't hear it."

"Must be some dreams," Chance murmured. "Well... probably after the first time or two he has one that ends up waking me up I'll ask without thinking about it," he chuckled slightly. "So, mind talking about you a bit more?"

Zach blinked in surprised, almost doing a full mimic of a deer in the headlights before he shook his head. "No, I don't mind."

"Relax, nothing too tough," Rock snickered. "Why don't you tell us a bit about your family?"

"Not near as much of it as you've got," Zach chuckled. "I've got a litter-sister and two older brothers who've already moved out and on, for the most part. Mom tries to drag us home when she gets the chance, but for the most part my Dads are enjoying having the house to the three of them again enough that they try to keep her distracted," he snickered.

"Enough you're expecting some younger siblings before they're grandparents?" Rock winked at him.

"Enough that I certainly wouldn't be surprised," Zach smiled. "For all that Sis tries very, very hard not to think about that sort of thing."

"Yeah, I know the feeling," Chance chuckled. "Though it's kind of hard not to know with families like ours."

"Yeah, the Furlongs learned a long time ago that good locks on the master bedroom are worth every penny in what you save on therapy later on," Rock snickered, finishing his meal.

"I can imagine," Zach agreed with a bemused look.

"Either of you guys going to want a ride back to campus after dinner?" Rock asked, checking his watch. "Getting a little late."

"I live only a few blocks away," Zach shook his head. "I should be fine."

"And I can take care of myself," Chance chuckled. "I can take a bit to make sure that Lance and crew don't try to pull anything too," he offered.

"You really don't have to," Zach objected, even as he finished his meal.

"Up to you," Chance shrugged slightly. "We walk the same way for most of the trip anyways," he smiled as he finished his own. "Just making the offer. You know Jake would kill me if anything happened to you."

Zach sighed in a long-suffering acceptance that wasn't really true. "I'd hate to get you in trouble with your partner so soon."

"Don't worry, I'll make sure I at least stop before we get past Minya's room," Chance winked as he stood up.

"Hey, I thought you were dating Midnight now?" Zach laughed, shaking his head as the two of them got up to leave, Chance leaving a tip for the waitress before they headed out.

"She never asked to be exclusive," Chance laughed back. "I can have my fun when she's not around too."

"Just don't keep us all up too much this time," Zach mock-groaned, shaking his head as they left.

"Okay, tell me again why I'm going to see a painting of my partner with my cousin?" Chance groused as he walked up to Tommy's apartment with Midnight, Jake, Rock and Zach.

"Because Tommy's a Hell of an artist, he's promised that it's not going to be too graphic, and the rest of us are so you might as well see it too," Zach told him. "Besides, given that it's your partner in the picture, I wouldn't grouse too loudly," he teased.

"My partner, who I am not at all interested in bedding," Chance pointed out.

"Neither am I," Zach countered, "but I can appreciate good artwork. Look, the idea isn't ogling a naked Jake. It's seeing the painting, and what Tommy saw and managed to bring out in it."

"For what it's worth, he also promised that it'll be clean enough that he could show it off without Jake getting into trouble," Midnight pointed out.

"Chance, I was there," Rock chuckled. "Don't worry, it's not all that explicit... I'm pretty sure I was wearing pants even," he smirked, though it ended when Jake coughed slightly. "I wasn't?"

"I wouldn't have been staring that much if you had been," Jake blushed as they got to the front door of the apartment. "I'm not sure what angle Tommy got, but mine was very nice.

"Okay, so I wasn't wearing pants, but we waited to take advantage of that until after Tommy was done," Rock shrugged slightly.

"That's quite enough on the details," Chance tried to forestall any more comments he didn't want to think about.

"Okay, time to stop torturing the straight guys," Midnight shook her head at the mischievous look Rock got as he knocked on the door.

Tommy opened it by the third knock, a grin on his face. "Glad to see you all; this might not be much of a gallery, but I didn't want to wait to get it set up somewhere first," the Caracal said, stepping back in. "Come on in."

"And you did promise I'd get to see it before it went public," Jake smiled nervously.

"That too," Tommy grinned at him. "You make a great subject. Oh, and no, there's nothing visible that family couldn't see," he teased, glancing over at Chance. "It took a little judicious moving of his head, but I managed it... against my better judgment," he winked.

"Hey, I'm not that attractive," Rock chuckled. "Now c'mon, let's see the main attraction," he grinned.

"I did say that Jake's the one who's the good subject... he hasn't been calling me twice a week to see how it's doing," Tommy smirked. "Come on, it's in here," he said, leading them in, his apartment having a few new pieces of art here and there on the wall, mostly from other people or sketches of his own. On the far wall, covered with a cloth, was the newest piece they were all there to see.

"You're making quite an event of this," Midnight leaned against Chance, and purred when he slid an arm around her shoulders.

"Patience, patience," Tommy held them off while he made a production of pulling the cloth down and away. "Besides, I never get to be theatrical at the school," he grinned, stepping back and letting them see his work.

The painting showed two toms in the nude in a charged and erotic scene, despite that it was, as Tommy had promised, not showing anything, including any way to prove who was in it.

The smaller one, his fur a soft cinnamon brown and obviously Jake to those standing there, was sitting on his heels, submissive, adoring and looking up at his master in profile from the back. His tail was draped down to the ground, then flicked over his near hip to conceal his nudity from the viewer, but not his master looking down at him.

Beyond him Rock was an imposing figure in blacks and grays, his face off the canvas, his buff body chiseled and towering over his submissive pet. It was clear he was as nude as his pet, but Jake's head concealed the details from the viewer.

The whip in Rock's hand was coiled, held just below Jake's face, where the lean tom could see it if he wanted to. It was clear that he wasn't intimidated by it; there was a sense that the faceless dom was the only thing in his world, enhanced by the way everything else was blurred, drawing the eye directly to the two toms.

"Wow," Jake breathed in, taken back to the long moment when it had been happening. "You definitely got the feel right."

Rock smiled and pulled Jake's back against his chest before he slid his arms down Jake's chest to embrace him, enjoying how easily Jake relaxed there. "It was quite a moment."

"So, you two like it?" Tommy asked them with a grin.

"Is there any other way to take that?" Chance chuckled, nodding towards the two toms who were enjoying the picture they starred in, and being close to each other. "It is good though," he added. "It really... you got the way Jake gets around him right there," he said, realizing that he was utterly unable to talk about it in artistic terms without sounding like an idiot.

"Thank you, Chance," Tommy smiled warmly, thrilled to have someone as uninterested in the subject matter on all levels see what was beyond the surface to the emotions he had worked so hard to capture. "That really means a lot."

"So is this going to go into any of the shows this year?" Zach asked curiously. "Be interesting to see what the rest of the world thinks about it."

"That's up to Jake," Tommy nodded to him. "I promised he'd have first rights on it, and on where and how it was displayed as long as he was an Enforcer."

"Go ahead," Jake smiled at him. "You captured quite a moment there."

"Y'know... I've got another one in mind, it'd be just for you two, if you wanted," Tommy offered Rock and Jake. "One that'd have Rock's face in it this time," he added with a smile.

"Oh?" Jake looked at him, clearly interested.

"Yeah," Tommy nodded, walking over so he could talk to them more quietly while the others looked at the painting yet. "The two of you... there was a point that first night where he was holding you, and you looked as content as can be. That's a look that's worth getting on canvas," he smiled.

"I think I'd like that hanging in my bedroom," Rock purred, nuzzling his lover. "I can't say I remember the exact moment, but it is the most incredible look on you."

"It's not a hard one for you to bring out, either," Jake smiled and reached a hand up to cup Rock's face. "It sounds like a nice image."

"It is," Zach smiled. "So, you three want us to leave you alone for a while?" He asked teasingly. His expression softened when he saw that the adoring look for Rock and the image on Jake's face didn't waver when he realized it had been seen.

"I don't think we'll be sketching it right now," Jake chuckled, then glanced towards Tommy as he realized there was time for it.

"I think we will," Tommy smiled, grabbing a sketchpad and sitting down to start working. "You guys can stay to watch if you want, but otherwise, I'll make sure they get home safe," he winked, flipping to a clean page and grabbing his pencils.

"Want us undressed again?" Rock asked with a grin before claiming a kiss that visibly melted Jake's will to do anything but please him.

"Undressed, and in bed, if you can," Tommy grinned.

"And that's our cue to leave," Zach snickered. "C'mon, you two, this might go places Chance and I don't want to watch."

"Except it can get me in the mood," Midnight teased Chance, but quite willingly stayed on his arms as they walked to the door. "Have a good night Jake."

"I'm sure I will," he said with a nod even as he began to strip with Rock before the door closed.

"I'm not sure if I should feel silly or nervous," Chance murmured as he and Jake headed into Rosario's Pizza about a block off campus, a small, well-padded box in his hands holding the model of the Black Eagle he'd spent the last two weeks putting the finishing touches on. "At least we've got about ten minutes or so before they should be here."

"How about proud of your work?" Jake suggested with a smile for his partner. "That's a fine replica, especially for what it started as."

"Yeah, but it's still a toy model of their jet," Chance shrugged slightly. "It's good, but ... I guess I just hope they're flattered, is all," he admitted.

"They're already flattered," Jake patted his shoulder as they were shown to a booth and given menus. "They know how little spare time flight team cadets get."

"True," Chance nodded, putting the box between he and Jake in the booth and looking over the menu. "They are definitely cool people though," he added. "The trip around the city was a blast!

"I bet," Jake smiled and scanned, between his various favorites to choose what he was in the mood for tonight.

"It was kinda cool that we're already subject of the betting pool too, Chance grinned and absently flipped through the menu, though he already knew what he was getting.

"Weird though. We haven't been flying long, or in anything real."

"Maybe not, but we can spot quality all the same," Tanner grinned as he and Kathie walked over. "Besides, it's as much dedication as talent at this stage yet. Good to see you two."

"Good to see you too," Chance grinned up at them and handed a menu over to Kathie. "Good patrol tonight?"

"Hopefully we won't have one," she grinned, taking the menu and sitting down. "We're off duty tonight, so unless they end up needing to put the other half of the fleet in the air for something, we're ground bound for a while."

"Something you'll learn to look forward too," Tanner chuckled. "Even if you're grounded and on-call it can be tricky to try and have a life."

"Are you ever not on call?" Jake asked with a slight cock of his head.

"When we're on vacation, if you're talking about not going to be called in," Tanner explained. "We've got a three-day stretch when we're only called in if they're mobilizing the entire fleet though ... that's pretty damned safe. Other than that, the shift before and after your main shift you're expected to come in if they have a major alarm, but that doesn't happen too often ... you'll figure it all out."

"We got the briefing early last year," Chance nodded and glanced up to see their waitress walk up with her pad out. "A large meat lover's pizza, deep dish, and a Kat Cola," he ordered with a hungry grin.

"Endless gut," Jake laughed, shaking his head. "I'll try the barbecue chicken pizza and milk."

"Everything on one ticket," Kathie said, silencing the cadets' objections with a single glance. "I know what you two earn. We'll split a large meat lover's pizza with pineapple and raw tomato."

"Anything to drink, Lieutenants?" the adolescent brown-furred blond smiled at her.

"Root beer for me," she nodded.

"Chocolate milk with grade six 'nip," Tanner added. "And an appetizer of jojo potatoes and fried cheese sticks."

"Coming right up," their waitress smiled and turned, swishing her tail playfully at them.

"But how they tell it and how it really goes down aren't always the same, or even similar," Chance picked up as if the interruption hadn't even happened.

"In this case, it's pretty close," Kathie nodded easily. "As long as you call in to let them know, you're probably okay if you can't make it in when you're on call... especially if it's your sleep shift, instead of just being downtime. During the weekend, it takes Dark Kat or somebody like him making good inroads to get you called out ... we all know how rough it can be, so we try to keep things pretty well straightened out there."

"Good to hear," Chance nodded. "It can put a real damper on the party if you can't even get good and buzzed."

"Tell me about it," Tanner chuckled. "Of course, there's a flipside to it ... it never hurts to give a friend a number they can call you at and give a false alarm if you're going on a blind date," he winked. "Had more than one real bad date end a lot cleaner when I had Kathie here bail me out."

"I haven't had a date that bad yet, but I can imagine it is," Chance chuckled.

"So can we see your model before the greasy food gets here?" Kathie asked with an eye on the box between the cadets.

"Sure," Chance said, putting it on the table and opening it up, pulling out the surprisingly accurate model. At its base, it was a Talon III store-bought kit ... but then, so was the Eagle. The detail that had gone into making it more, that was more remarkable.

He handed it over when Tanner extended an open hand, and watched, trying not to shift nervously as the other pilot examined it.

"Damn," Tanner whistled under his breath before handing it over to Kathie. "You really paid attention."

"The scars?" she looked up at Chance in shock. "You got her scars right," she murmured again. "Have you ever tried your hand with a real kit, Chance? Metal and leather, 1/16 or better?"

"They're a little bit beyond my pay range," the tabby admitted. "Though Jake helped me out with the materials for the interior this time," he added as Tanner leaned over to look inside along with Kathie.

"Care to try your hand with one?" she asked him seriously.

"Some time, sure," he nodded. "Just going to be a while, probably."

"You replaced ... okay, I don't have a magnifying glass, but I'm really hoping that the picture up front doesn't actually show my boyfriend," he murmured.

"It's pretty much blank," Chance promised with a blush. "No way I could manage something like that, even if I was looking to."

"Still, replacing the interior with something closer to what it really is... that had to be rough with the size of it."

"I mostly just covered what it already had before putting it in," Chance explained. "Makes that sort of thing a lot easier to do."

"I can imagine," Tanner nodded as Kathie handed the model back. "It's still impressive."

"Thanks," Chance grinned, packing it back up. "Mind if we ask a few questions while we eat?"

"Go for it," Kathie nodded, then grinned as their appetizers arrived.

"Great," Chance grinned. "How often do you guys get in the air when you're on your shifts?"

"If nothing comes up, around six hours," she began and selected a breaded and fried stick of milky white cheese, salting it before she munched and talked. "There is some paperwork every day, less than an hour for me, and because of how heavily modified the Eagle is, we do a lot of our own maintenance, probably and hour or two most days between the pre-flight and post-flight times. If you stick to mostly-stock jets, the maintenance crew handles that end of thing."

"Somehow, I don't think that's something Jake's going to be interested in," Chance chuckled.

"How much do they let you handle the maintenance yourself?" Jake asked, picking up where the question had let off. "You said there was a lot of room for customizing things, but I feel better taking care of my own work."

"Just work it out with your maintenance crew," Kathie smiled at him and dipped a breaded and deep fried potato round into catsup. "Though you don't get paid for the time you put in doing your own maintenance."

"Thanks for the warning," Chance said. "How are they about overtime?" He asked curiously.

"Air time, doesn't happen outside of emergencies," she shook her head. "If you want to put time in on the ground, it's usually pretty easy up to about twenty hours a week. Past that, and they start looking at you really close."

"I can see that," he nodded. "Too much and you lose your edge. But like y'said, you know how much the salary is ... good to try and get some put away."

"Are you sure you're a cadet?" Tanner half-laughed, shaking his head. "Probably the first time I've heard that from anybody who hasn't been in the air a year already."

"I'm used to the idea of trying to save when I've got the chance," Chance shrugged slightly. "What's a shift like, generally?"

Kathie thought about it, pausing to put it in order. "Check in, check your mail and desk, get a briefing with a few wings working the same general area, pick up any information packages they have for you, head up and do your pre-flight check. Spend a few hours in the air, make yourself obvious, maybe back up a ground unit in trouble, head in for lunch, go back on patrol, come back, debrief, do some paperwork, head home."

"There a particular route for your patrol, or does that change?" Jake asked them. "Have to be some sort of order to it, for flight control."

"It's a beat, just like the ground pounders," Tanner chuckled. "Just in 3D. We get detours and variants, but after the first six months, you'll be able to do them all in your sleep."

"Except when something comes up, then it's wide awake," Chance chuckled. "Right?"

"Yeah, but you won't want to get into the thick of it too often," Kathie said seriously. "Our track record aside, you stay alive better the less combat you see."

"About how often do things get ugly like that?" Jake asked them quietly.

"Fleet-wide, a couple teams a month," she sighed, her interest in her food lost already. "That's a right of passage you won't forget, that first funeral of a team you flew with, watched go down. If you last, you'll start to count your time in funerals. We've stood in forty-two, forty-three in a couple days."

"Sorry," Jake said, looking down a bit.

"It's a valid question, and one you'd do well to get ready for the reality of now," she forced herself to focus on the present and living and not on how many friends she'd lost over the years. "You'll loose a lot of friends, and probably a couple lovers, before you either transfer to a desk job, quit or go down yourself. Given your talent, you'll probably outlive everyone you're training with now, and you'll be there when quite a few of them die. We pay a very high price for what we do."

"Those that stick around at least," Tanner added and nibbled on a cheese stick. "It's why most pilots get a civilian job as soon as they have enough flight time to manage it."

"And that's why most gunners go through several pilots," Kathie added.

"What's there for gunners who decide they want out?" Chance asked, glancing over at Jake. Pilots had more options, especially if they went civilian. Gunners... not so much, at least not in their field.

"The ones that don't have other talents?" she shook her head. "Not much out there translates. Most go down with a pilot. Of the rest, quite a few go into Enforcer management, some go sniper. Those that go civilian and do anything remotely related to what we do now go pilot. We might not be as good as you guys, but most are still good by civilian standards. Even out of Academy he'll know how to fly well enough for a license."

"Already have one," Jake said quietly and snitched a cheese stick, salting it before dipping it in the dill-ranch dressing. "What about getting out of combat without going to a desk job?" Jake asked them. "Investigative, something like that, if you've got the skills for it?"

"Falls under 'those with other talents'," Kathie pointed out. "Sure, some have enough talent for all sorts of things that aren't related to being a gunner, but it's not common."

"Wasn't sure how transfers tended to get along," Jake explained. "I know sometimes one end or the other isn't so hot on newcomers, especially from such a different field."

"Yeah, but I don't think that's going to be as much an issue for you ... especially not the way you're doing in your classes," Chance chuckled.

"Oh yeah, the Detectives are interested in you," Tanner said and leaned back. "Seriously, I'm half surprised you ended up a gunner."

"I requested it," Jake shrugged.

"How did you two end up in the program?" Chance asked them, hoping to take the conversation back to an easier topic. "You had to go through the old Academy for the flight program, I think."

"Oh yeah, even me," Tanner chuckled. "You're from the first class that will go through MKCU from year one. I got teamed up with her at graduation. My gunner in Academy couldn't hack the last few courses."

"Ever manage to make it in, or end up dropping out?" Chance asked, his tail swishing as their pizzas arrived and he started eating.

"Dropped out," he shook his head. "He could have fought and graduated, but I saw his willingness decline that last year. He had the skills, maybe, but he didn't have the heart for it. They try to screen, but there are folks that look good and just can't hack it."

"Every field's got 'em," Chance mused. "Why'd you choose to go Enforcer?"

"Only way I had of getting a pilot's license, then I found out I love it," he smiled at the cheeky grin his partner gave him. "I figured I'd do my time and get a safer job, turns out I'm about to reenlist for the second time here soon. This is what I was meant to be, I just didn't know it until I made my first assist to a pinned ground unit. It really doesn't get any better than helping another Enforcer survive and get the bad guys."

"All the best parts of the job rolled up into one moment," Kathie nodded. "Doesn't happen all the time, but it's what you hope for, beyond things keeping quiet."

"So what about you?" Jake looked at her. "What brought you in?"

"Family tradition," she grinned. "Both my folks are Enforcers, I've got two siblings, half a dozen cousins, aunts and uncles in the force somewhere. Somebody in the line's worn a badge going back ten generations," she paused. "No, we're at eleven now; Jace graduated the police academy last year."

"Nephew?" Chance asked curiously.

"Distance niece," she smiled at him. "We share a great-grandmother."

"Cool," Chance nodded. "So, kinda like the Ferals that way?"

"Less money and less name continuity, but yeah," she nodded. "A lot of us end up going into law enforcement somehow."

"So you're in all the branches?" Jake asked, pausing as their food arrived.

"Most of the time," she nodded. "Enforcers, Police, Prisons, Social Services and Parole currently."

"Pretty much got it covered," Chance nodded, taking a slice of his pizza. "So, is it easier when you know what's coming before it's your life?"

"A little, I guess," she considered it for a while munching on her pizza, doctoring it heavily with powdered cheese and garlic powder. "It doesn't make it hurt any less when you loose someone, but it takes the shock of it happening down a bit. Knowing it does hurt less over time probably helps too, up to a point. The other parts of the job, the late nights, the odd hours ... it's easier knowing they're coming, but they're always harder on the people around you than they are on you."

"That's a long and convoluted way of saying; not that much," Tanner added. "It's not all bad though. You can't just worry about that ... you've got to know it's there, know it's coming, but if you don't focus on the good parts, you'll never handle the job."

"So what are the parts you both like most? You mentioned nabbing the bad guys, but anything else?" Chance asked.

"Flying, the camaraderie," Tanner said right away, then thought a bit. "The respect. Enforcers still get a lot of respect from a lot of folks."

"Even if it's not at the level it was for my folks early on," Kathie agreed. "But it seems to get less with each generation, and I'm not all that sure it's not like the other 'in my time' stories that older folks tell the kittens. There never was a time when everybody respected law enforcement."

"Which does mean it might not actually be slipping off, though my folks generally agree with yours, from the sound of it," Chance mused.

"That's one way of looking at it," Tanner chuckled.

"Do you have a district you're hoping to get assigned to?" Kathie asked them.

Jake just shook his head, happy to let the more gregarious members of the group talk and eat and wile away the evening.

"Doesn't the pilot's corp cover pretty much the whole city?" Chance asked, flicking his ears. "When you're at mach 1, the city isn't that big."

"You won't fly that fast unless you're going somewhere," Tanner said. "Most patrols are done at about fifty over stall speed, and we do have a beat we cover several times a night. Patrols also cover more than just the city proper. Enforcers cover the islands, our sea holdings, the mountains, mountains, badlands ... everything within the government's borders."

"Hadn't really thought about it too much," Chance admitted. "Probably prefer to be somewhere near my part of town, honestly ... kinda like to keep an eye on things down there."

"Most years, the top teams to graduate get to pick their first district," Kathie said between bites. "Doesn't mean you'll stay there, but you get to start there."

"Heh - just have to figure out what all the different districts are then," Chance chuckled. "And think about it some more ... got a few years."

"That you do, but they'll go fast," Tanner warned them with a chuckle. "Especially at the rate you're going."

"Hey, that's just my partner," Chance chuckled, glancing over at Jake, who cracked a teasing grin at him. "I'm not crazy enough to go that fast."

"Guilt by association," Tanner teased him. "Even if he's just going to pick up a couple more Masters before graduating on time."

"I like to make sure I've got something to do!" Jake protested, though his grin made it clear he was used to this conversation, and didn't mind it.

"No worries about that," Chance laughed, the four of them settling in to eat and talk about things other than the Enforcers for a little bit.

Power Games 1: New Beginnings

NC-17 for M/M, M/F, F/F sex
Het Level is MediumHet Smut Level is Medium
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Medium
Femslash Level is LowFemslash Smut Level is Very Low
Herm Level is None

479 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written June 24, 2007 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Kantin, Kat, Wolf

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M). Alternate Universe, Cross-Dressing, Exhibitionism, Sex (BDSM), Sex (BDSM), Sex (Kinky), Voyeurism

Pairings: Chance Furlong/females, Chance Furlong/Midnight Raven, Jake Clawson/males, Jake Clawson/Rock Furlong, others

Notes: Zeta Creations http://www.zoofur.com and the Tentacle Toy http://www.zoofur.com/tent.html are quite real.

Blurb: While Jake Clawson and Chance Furlong have nothing at all in common other than a year at Enforcer Academy, they soon hit it off when assigned as partners, and find that they have more in common than they expected. Little of it's good, however.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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