Power Games 5:
The BoogieKat Killer pt 2 of 4

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

Rock sat in his car, just looking at the quiet, out of the way building that served as the primary temple for the Lady and Lord of Pain's Pleasure in MegaKat City. He never would have guessed what it was, if he hadn't known; as was often the case, it was little different from any other building in the area. If anything, he might have guessed that it was a club, from the people occasionally heading in and out, but anybody in the city who was seriously into the S&M scene knew the truth, whether or not they went there.

He still wasn't entirely sure about this, about becoming any more involved with people who made Jake so uncomfortable.... Yet it was Jake who had all but insisted that he bring the last tape they had made, and a couple others where they had gone even further.

He was sure that Henrietta and Jordan would appreciate it, at least. He chuckled inwardly, finally getting out of the car, as he thought about what might have happened if things had gone better.

Nothing to do about it now but offer Jake's apologies when he met them. He walked up to the entrance, and the lean Panther who worked as something between a temple guard and a bouncer.

"Rock Furlong," he said, introducing himself. "I'm here to meet Henry and Jo," he explained.

"They're expecting you," he nodded with a bit of a grin. "Good to see you coming by, after hearing so much about your talents."

"They might be exaggerating a bit, but when they invited me I couldn't very well turn them down," he chuckled. "So, should I just try to find them myself, or wait for them to come out? I'm not quite sure what the custom is around here," he admitted. He knew that the Temple prided itself on a certain amount of secrecy, particularly regarding who its parishioners were, but he wasn't sure how much that extended to guests.

"They have the guest quarters on the second level, third from the door, on the left side," the Panther explained. "You may wait for them if you wish, or ask one of the Acolytes to show you the way; you'll know them by the red stripe down their sashes. Just don't go through any door with a sash across it without permission from those inside." The mention of sashes drew Rock's attention to the red one the guard was wearing, and the broad, dark blue ones worn by most the people he'd seen going in and out.

"Thanks," he nodded and headed inside. Very briefly he entertained the idea of looking for the room on his own, but thought better of it when a slender white shekat wearing a dark blue sash with a red stripe, and nothing else, walked by and smiled at him. "Ma'am," he focused her bright blue eyes right on him. "I'm here to see Henry and Jo. Rock Furlong," he introduced himself belatedly.

"Ah, good to see you," she smiled brightly, exposing sharp white teeth. "I'll show you the way," she offered, nodding towards some nearby stairs, turning to start up them. She led the way to past several wooden doors with varying levels of intricacy in the carvings on them, most depicting some manner of sexual act, the one she stopped at depicting the most graphic, sadistic ones, though it didn't show that much. Nothing worse than what he'd seen at Warlords once in a while, at any rate.

He noticed that the door seemed to be secured with nothing more than a black sash across the opening, draped through the handles. His guide knocked, waiting for a muffled response from inside before she spoke.

"Masters, Mistresses; Rock Furlong is here," she called.

Another muffled response, and she nodded, backing away from the door, turning slightly away from it respectfully.

"You may enter," she told him. "I will replace the sash after the door is closed."

"Thank you," Rock nodded to her, wondering what he was about to walk into as he removed the sash and opened the door. He felt her take the sash from his hand before he stepped inside.

He was almost glad to see that the scene inside was almost domestic. Henry and Jo, relaxing on a pile of cushions opposite a pair of Kats who wore black sashes with gold hems, matching the ones that Henrietta and Jordan had on, though Jordan's sported a white strip down the middle.

"Welcome, Rock," a rich orange shekat with copper hair and brown stripes on her tail rumbled deeply as the door was closed behind him. "Take a seat," she said, indicating the cushions scattered around the room.

"Thank you," he nodded and chose a spot closer to them than the two other priests, though not by a lot. He was sure his uncertainty on many levels was obvious to all four of them.

"Rock, this is Emiss, and Matark," Henrietta explained, indicating the orange-furred shekat and the Snow Leopard in turn. "The Mistress and Master of this temple."

"A pleasure to meet you," Matark said with a friendly rumble.

"We understand that this situation is rather complicated for you," Emiss said. "Both for you, and your mate. He is well-known to us, both as a masochist almost without equal and for his association with Bastet. If there is anything we can do to make you more comfortable with it, or answer any questions you might have, we would be glad to do so."

"Is there going to be any trouble higher up if I talk him into coming here?" Rock decided to start with easier questions.

"Not at all, so long as he follows the rules," Emiss said easily. "He'd be welcome, and not because of his status. Our gods have no particular quarrel with Bastet or Her chosen."

"Good," he relaxed a bit. "I wasn't sure, given he got into pain to piss Her off. What will you, and Eshik and Marka, expect of me, if I'm chosen as their champion?"

"He may have intended to piss Her off, but he still enjoys it," Emiss chuckled. "As for what you are expected to do, you won't be expected to become a priest, if that's what you're worried about. Though we would prefer if you could attend services from time to time, possibly speak out for the faithful."

"When are services?" Rock asked, suddenly very aware that he had no idea what went on during them. Up to this point he'd assumed it would be similar to those he'd attended to Bastet, but it could be very different.

"We tend to hold them the night before Halikar's main services," Emiss explained. "The main ones, at any rate ... however, we do have an initiation scheduled for later, if you would like to attend."

"I would," he nodded. "Beyond the general principles that Eshik and Marka stand for, I really don't know much about Their church."

"Most don't, though many think they do," Marik said easily. "Eshik and Marka are the Lord and Lady of Pain's Pleasure. Many believe that we're a glorified S&M club, but we're actually at least a bit more tame than most would expect."

"During most services," Jo chuckled. "Eshik and Marka are also the patrons of forbidden relationships, though that's a less celebrated aspect these days. At least in areas where there are few relationships that are truly considered forbidden."

"Yes, mostly adhered to by certain Dachshunds from Sayden Bay," Marik chuckled. "Though the owners and patrons of the Knot Hole are among our quieter supporters in the city, along with a number of Enforcers. Not your mate's squad-leader, but a few of her lovers have been."

"I can't say I'm surprised, given some of her stories, and the help she's been in explaining the limits to Jake," Rock chuckled lowly. "She has a definite talent for pain."

"Yes ... she'd be welcome here, but she prefers Halikar," Emiss smiled. "Besides, actually being a known member of the Temple is kind of a giveaway that you consider the Enforcer limits advisory at best," he chuckled. "As for the service you'll see, we're initiating a new member of the church, so it shouldn't be anything that extreme. Nothing like our promotion to Master and Mistress of the Temple."

"No," Henrietta laughed, shaking her head. "And just as well; we'd scare off the lay members if we went that far that soon."

"So are you going to keep us in suspense forever on what you brought?" Jordan grinned at Rock.

"Just waiting for an opening," he grinned back and pulled out three videotapes. "Jake suggested we watch them."

"Oh?" The Dachshunds perked up. "Of games?"

"Of us," Rock purred in memories of those nights.

"Back to your question," Marik grinned, his thick white and gray tail twitching eagerly as Rock put a tape in the VCR. "Our ideal situation? We, personally, would like an advocate. Somebody willing to speak for the community, and the faith, once it was time. Somebody who would set a good example, show that we're not twisted sadists. That is our preference. There are those who wish to see a more extreme Champion chosen, and Eshik and Marka have not been overly clear as to their own desires. You would have to watch out for some of Tamorl's faithful though ... there is a splinter sect in the city who feel that this gathering of Champions is the ideal time to see the entire world plunged into the burning sea of pain."

Rock raised an eyebrow at that. "Well, they wouldn't be the first doomsday cult to show up."

"No, though I imagine they'd be the first one that might consider you their harbinger of doom, so to speak. In the long run, they shouldn't be too much trouble unless you were to decide to back them, but I'd be rather surprised if you did. That's more the style of a certain Margay they're interested in."

"I can't see myself supporting a doomsday cult," Rock shook his head and sat down as they settled in new positions to watch the tape of Jake taking incredible amounts of pain and orgasming from it again and again.

"We wouldn't expect you to," Henrietta reassured him. "Mmm ... you weren't kidding about him enjoying it, were you? So he started because Bastet disapproves?"

"As far as he knows at least," Rock nodded. "Given his first experiment in pain involved taking a knife and cutting himself from sheath to tip, I'm not sure whether it was to piss Her off or make himself unsuitable for Her needs before he understood what She'd do to keep him. Says he came so hard he passed out from it too."

"Could also be a seriously repressed feminization or castration fetish," Emiss mused. "You've said he can't perform with fems, right?"

"Not after the first couple months into his first relationship with one," Rock nodded, his expression grim. "That's more from rebelling against pressure from all sides to breed. He was getting it from his folks, several priests and Bastet Herself before he turned thirteen."

"Oh brother," Henrietta groaned, shaking her head and snuggling up against Jordan.. "Did he ever try therapy to get past that in particular?"

"He'd have to find a reason to want to be with a fem to do more than see the suggestion as anything but another attempt to push him into having kittens," Rock sighed. "He knows he did it to himself, and he's just doesn't have any reason to undo it. If Midnight isn't enough reason for him to change, it's down to mellowing with age or falling in love."

"Well, given that he's got you, I'd say he's already done one of those two and is happy with it," Jordan smiled up at him. "Maybe Bastet will back off on the kittens with some time."

"Falling in love with a female," Rock corrected himself with a low chuckle. "I seriously doubt that She'd back off, and I'm sure his mother won't," he grumbled, his eyes flicking over the show he was making of Jake on the small screen. "He's mostly settled down about it now that he doesn't see his mother or priests very often."

"So that's why we set him off?" Henrietta asked. "Or is it just a more generalized dislike?"

"Henry ... the best way I have to explain that is something my aunt Melia said he'd told her. She's a priestess of Bastet who was there when he woke up from the dead during that werewolf hunt. He was washing the blood off when he commented that she hadn't hit on him yet. I'm not sure if she was more shocked that he expected her to as he was washing death from his fur, or if he was that she didn't and still hasn't. Manipulation is all he's ever known from priests."

"That's a generalized dislike, and one I can sympathize with," she nodded slightly, looking up at Rock. "And I hope that you'll let us know if you start feeling we're pushing you too much. On the one hand, we don't want to ... but on the other hand, there is quite a bit at stake here."

"I know," he said quietly. "I will, and unlike Fela Bast-Daughter, you'd probably back off."

"Fela's a dear, and she means well, but she's entirely too driven," Emiss grumbled. "It's a common failing with priests, but she makes an art form of it some days. My honest opinion? I'd say that she's the best possible chance the Demon and his cronies have of winning this, for just that reason."

"Her, or his mother," Rock agreed grimly. "Though things are still early, given we're probably looking at another five or six decades before it's over. I doubt the gods even know what all is going to happen."

"That ... is rather the point," Marka chuckled darkly. "The outcome is still up for grabs, but the way she'll push Bastet's Champion into the middle of things isn't the best way to keep him alive. Of course, it is the best she can do for making him the victor, rather than merely performing well, so that undoubtedly has quite a bit to do with it. One of the flaws of looking at things in terms of good and evil. One side or the other has to win, and it's got to be yours."

"I think that might be Halikar's influence, perhaps even more than Hers," Rock mused quietly. "I still don't quite get how those two ended up with the same champion."

"Besides the fact that they've been allies for centuries, there are some who believe they're closer than that," Jordan chuckled. "Lovers tend to work together in divine realms as well as mortal ones."

"Hadn't heard that one," Rock shook his head. "Still makes a mess for Jake. Sometimes I wonder how much of the tom I fell for is really him, and how much are things he wouldn't be if he hadn't been tortured most of his life the wrong way."

"Unfortunately, the only ways out of it would probably be fatal... if not right then, then when Bastet's followers got a hold of him," Emiss mused quietly. "If it helps any ... he has chosen you, now. Whatever got him to that point, you can't do anything about it, you can only make the best of what's there now."

"I know," Rock smiled softly. "It helps that there is no way to fake that level of enjoyment," he nodded to the screen and Jake's approaching orgasm from the whip on his back alone. "He's not as angry as he was a few years ago either. Though as you have seen, the mental scars are still there."

"Understandable," Jordan nodded. "Do you know if there's any way to at least reach a truce with him?" He asked. "Even if you don't become our Champion, it would be nice to see you a bit more often," he smiled.

"Oh, I'm sure there is," Rock nodded firmly. "He gets along with my aunt Melia well enough. It's mostly a matter of letting him get to know you as people, and not just the tingle on his spine when you're around and realize that you're a set of priests who aren't out to use him."

"Mmm ... maybe a double-date some time?" Henrietta suggested. "Dinner, movie, something he'd enjoy?"

"Likely a good start," he nodded. "When he gets back from the squad's weekend retreat?"

"Sounds good, assuming nothing comes up between now and then," she grinned, glancing at the clock on the VCR. "It's about time, I believe; shall we head down to the ceremonial chambers?"

"Sounds good," Rock nodded and stood. "Do I just sit in the back and watch?"

"Please," Emiss nodded, standing as well. "Henrietta and Jordan will be with you, in case anybody questions your presence. If the Initiates object, then you will be asked to leave. Please don't take offense, but some of them are taking fairly large steps having the other members of the congregation there, and you aren't joining yourself."

"I understand," he nodded politely. "I won't take offense if they would prefer I'm not there."

"Let's go then," she said easily, leading the way out, the four priests wearing only their sashes as they headed down.

"Just so you know, you won't be expected to strip," Jordan told him easily. "Not unless you feel more comfortable that way."

"Is everyone else going to be?" he glanced at him.

"Yes, they will be," he nodded. "At least after the initiation begins. It's not a requirement, but one of our tenets is that in the confines of the temple, we have no need to conceal what we are. It's why most of us only wear the sashes, and Initiates are expected to undress completely during the ceremony."

"Then I'll feel more comfortable undressed," Rock told him, his eyes on the path they were taking and everyone he passed.

"There is a changing room there," Marka offered as they reached the ground level, indicating a fairly innocuous door with no sash across it. "Jordan and Henrietta will wait for you; we have to go prepare to welcome the new members."

"Thank you," Rock inclined his head to them and walked into almost the only room that hadn't had a sash across it.

He made short work of stripping, leaving his clothes in a small hamper with a latch. When he came out, Jordan reached in, taking a dark blue sash and threading it through the handles of the door.

"So, let's go find somewhere to sit," he said cheerfully. "Any questions, feel free to ask."

"Thank you," he nodded and followed the long-bodied pair, appreciating their wiry strength, and memories of them that didn't seem nearly as old as they really were.

He noticed now that the sash across the main door was different too ... the same dark blue as the one on the changing room. Jordan pulled it aside without a second thought, opening the door and walking in with his sister, Rock not far behind them.

They paused to close the door, then led the way to a row of seats near the front, a sparse crowd of onlookers, mostly in dark blue sashes or ones with red stripes down the middle, already seated and waiting, some snuggling, some aroused, others simply there and waiting for the ceremony.

"It looks like the colors have a rank association," Rock spoke quietly, not wanting to disturb others with his questions. "What do they mean?"

"First off, that you're a member of the temple, rather than just a guest or onlooker," Henrietta explained briefly. "Dark blue is for the lay members, like the initiates will become. A red stripe down the middle is an Acolyte; qualified to help with services and help people in the Temple, but not a full priest yet. Red is either a guard, or a full priest, usually both like Doruth outside. Red with a black stripe is a priest qualified to hold full services and ceremonies, and black is the Master or Mistress of the Temple."

"A white stripe, like mine, marks you as a healer as well," Jordan added. "And the gold hem is for a professional sadist outside the temple. A deep red one is a professional masochist, though we only have Jennes around today with one of those," he said, nodding towards a handsome Cheetah tom who came in, wearing a bright red sash with a black and white stripe down the middle, the fringe around it looking almost like streamers of scarlet blood.

Rock nodded, people watching as he digested the information. "Why do you hold major services the day before Halikar's folks?"

"That depends on who you ask," Jordan grinned. "At this point, it's an age-old tradition. Some people think it was because Eshik and Marik wished to receive their due before Halikar did."

"Some others think that Halikar's faithful did it as a means of trying to find ours and target them for conversion or harassment," Henrietta added.

"And then others think that it's because for a stretch, we wanted to show Halikar's priests that we didn't just have reprobates and lower-class people attending services," Jordan finished.

"Just how big is this contest between Eshik and Marik and Halikar?" Rock asked, starting to worry again.

"These days, it's not," Jordan reassured him. "Oh, we might get into a debate if we were to show up at the temple ... maybe an argument ... but unless they were die-hard fanatics, it wouldn't turn into a fight."

"However, you can imagine how the Great Protector used to view a sect of sadists," Henrietta pointed out. "It didn't matter so much that we had masochists as well, and those who weren't necessarily into physical pain at all, the fact that most of our leaders enjoyed it made us a threat to the faithful, in His eyes."

"At least when He didn't have greater concerns to the safety of His territory," Rock nodded. "I'll try to bring up coming with me to the next weekly service with Jake before we all have dinner. Sometimes I still have a hard time figuring out how he'll react to an idea. It seems likely he'd like it here, but it could unsettle him completely too."

"We can break him into it too," Jordan chuckled, settling back as the parishioners all focused forward on the two dressed toms who came in, and the Rottweiler bitch in a simple dress who was with them, none of the three wearing sashes over their clothes.

Rock was sure these were the initiates, but kept his thoughts to himself in the general silence. This was a time to watch, not question.

Emiss and Marka, wearing their black sashes and nothing more, began the sermon, the two of them welcoming the Initiates.

As he watched, Rock realized that this particular sermon wasn't one they'd written, but rather ... almost a play, really. They were re-enacting some legend he wasn't familiar with, taking the roles of Eshik and Marik greeting a group of guests, welcoming them into their home.

He thought back, trying to remember what little he'd seen of their services with Henrietta and Jordan ... services hadn't exactly been what had been on his mind most of the time, even after they'd stopped being clients and started being friends and lovers.

It was erotic, in a subtle way, the movements and tones, even when it slipped into a language he didn't know, and didn't seem to even be related to Katian.

Marka walked around the Rottweiler, his tail trailing around her body. He leaned in close, stage-whispering something Rock couldn't understand as he reached around her, a claw tracing the underside of her chin as she shivered slightly.

Emiss was apparently sizing up one of the toms while her mate spoke with the Kantin. She leaned in, saying something quietly to him, nodding towards the other newcomer. He looked over at him, trying to act surprised or conflicted with only marginal success at it.

"Want a brief run-down on the 'show'?" Jordan asked Rock quietly.

"Go for it," he nodded, his attention mostly on the stage.

"It's a re-enactment of the story of the first disciples of Eshik and Marik," he explained quietly. "Travelers came to their home, seeking shelter and food. The Lord and Lady saw potential in them. Some of the travelers were the sort to enjoy pain, and others were the sort to enjoy giving it. With the Lord and Lady's guidance, they learned to recognize their desires, and to act on them safely. The travelers didn't leave for months, and when they did, they would become the first Priests."

"We'll see the Initiates give and receive?" Rock asked in a low voice, his attention largely on the Rottweiler bitch as Emiss reached down, slowly tearing the dress with a claw, revealing her naked body beneath it.

"As they prefer," Jordan nodded. "The Rottweiler is a wonderfully shameless sub, though she has to learn the value of limits yet ... not entirely unlike your Jake, though she could lose much more than him."

"How?" Rock glanced between his friend and the Kantin that had captured his attention, largely oblivious to what the two toms were doing with Emiss. Why did he keep thinking Jake would like her?

"Jake could lose a job," Jordan explained. "At this point though ... she's far too inclined to let a dom go too far, just because she's too much a gamma to object. Believe it or not, she was actually referred to us by a social worker; that should give you an idea of what she's let people do to her."

"Damn," Rock whispered, his eyes going a bit wide. "Jake wouldn't even do that, unless he was trying to get killed. He's a serious masochist, but I'd barely call him a sub."

"She's a Kantin, Rock, and a gamma at that," Jordan pointed out quietly as she very nearly melted at Marka's attentions. "She's got it on a genetic level ... a real blast if you're good, but if you're counting on her to say when you've gone too far, it can be terrifying, as some of her boyfriends could tell you."

"I expect so," he nodded, trying to grasp it as he watched the incredibly enticing display as Marka raked his claws around her breasts, drawing the most wonderful whimpers from her throat.

She was a far more entertaining show, really, than the two toms. It was clear to him that they were familiar with each other, and as one of them took up a riding crop it was really nothing that Rock hadn't seen before.

He'd seen the sort of play going on that was between Marka and the Kantin before too, admittedly, but anybody who was as into it as she was was a pleasure to watch. He whispered something to her, and she nodded, her cropped tail wagging ecstatically behind her. Jordan raised an eyebrow as Marka signed something to the healer.

"They don't usually need him around for an initiation," the Dachshund murmured as the Cheetah walked out to get something. "It's more a formality than anything else, but Marka just told him to get his kit. This is probably going to get a bit rougher than usual."

"Sounds like she might have more in common with Jake than I thought," Rock murmured, appreciating her even more. "Has she ever had a good dom, before she came here?"

"Not long-term, I don't think," Jordan shook his head. "Just enough to whet her taste for one."

The Cheetah returned with his kit, and opened it up, setting it to the side for ready access later as Marka returned to the altar and reached under it, pulling out a long, flexible rod and a shorter one that Rock recognized as a cattle prod. Jordan's eyes widened and he shook his head.

"Okay, one of them is crazy ... and I'm not quite sure which one. This is going to get messy."

Emiss looked over at him, and he nodded to her as they signed back and forth briefly, setting the two tools down. They backed up a bit, the three Initiates a little surprised that it was over so soon, dark blue sashes being pulled out for them.

"It seems like all three of you are ready for your new positions; you are welcome to the Temple, and to find yourselves private rooms for a while if you wish," the Leopard chuckled, handing the sashes out. "Be welcomed to the Temple of Eshik and Marik, and among Their followers."

"We apologize for cutting things a little short, but one of our Initiates has interests that go a bit farther than the Rite would usually go," Marka explained to everybody as she put the sashes on the two toms. "If you wish to stay and watch, you may, but it will be very intense."

Some of the couples rose understandingly, starting out of the main room, possibly to find private ones for themselves. Others stayed, curious about what this new masochist might do with the two leaders of the Temple. Henrietta and Jordan were among them, and Rock was simply riveted by the promise of something that might make Jake's eyes widen in surprise. It was getting far too difficult to find new things that they could do, not that Jake ever complained about old favorites.

"This is far beyond what Jake would be allowed to do, at least receiving," Henrietta warned him, seeming to pick up on his interest. "We have something a bit less damaging you might consider for him, but we'll address that later."

"I understand," Rock nodded.

While she talked, Marka ran his claws down the Rottweiler's body.

"What is your name?" He asked her gently. "Say it, that the Temple knows who it is about to taste."

"Barbara Cannick," the Rottweiler bitch said clearly.

"And are you sure that you wish to suffer the pain I have offered you? Before I am done, before the Temple has had its fill, you will need a hospital or a highly skilled healer."

"You have one here, Master," she pointed out with a grin, dropping to her knees and looking up at him. "I am willing, and I am eager."

"Very well. This is usually not something that I would do to a new Initiate, but you are more experienced than most," he told her, taking the sash from her shoulders and setting it to the side. "However, I want you to learn something from it. If you are feeling faint, you will tell us. If you want me to stop, you will tell me. These are your rules, within the walls of the Temple."

"Yes, Master," she nodded. Rock could already smell her arousal at just the thought and anticipation of whatever he had offered her, and he was sure that it was going to be bloody. Marka picked up the long, flexible rod, and swung it a few times in front of her. As he caught the profile, Rock realized that it looked distinctly phallic.

"A sjambok," Jordan told him. "Have you ever heard of them?"

"No," he murmured, his mind going over what it could be, given flexibility and apparent texture.

"To be blunt, it's the cock of a rhinoceros that's been cured and oiled," Henrietta explained. "Surprisingly effective," she added, just as Marka brought the slender tip down across Barbara's shoulders. She barked sharply, the blow opening up a wound that bled freely as Emiss picked up the cattle prod and jabbed it into her side with a sharp crack and the smell of singed fur.

"Intense will be right," Rock rumbled, his body showing the effects of the show so far to anyone who cared to see. "Jake will be jealous of her."

"You're considering taking her home some time, aren't you?" Jordan chuckled as Marka struck again, his own shaft hard as he enjoyed the chance to cut loose with a tool he usually didn't use for pleasure.

"If she's at all inclined to, I think we'd all enjoy it," Rock nodded, his hand unconsciously slipping into Jordan's lap to fondle the hard cock there, his fingers tracing the slight bulge in his sheath that would swell into a full knot in time.

"If Jake doesn't mind you playing, I could help with yours," Henrietta rumbled lowly, her hand in his own lap, toying with the tip of his cock as Jordan pressed into his touch and Barbara moaned in pain and pleasure as the cattle prod found its way between her breasts and she leaned into the contact.

"He's never minded, so long as he gets first say if things get serious," Rock said with a quickened breath from her touch and the sounds from the stage. With a moan of his own he leaned over and took Jordan's half-hard cock into his mouth, swirling his tongue around the smooth length so different from his own.

With his attention away from the stage for a while, he let himself savor the taste of Jordan's shaft, the wire-haired Dachshund's hand stroking his ears as his sister slid her hand along Rock's cock, playing with the rubbery barbs and stroking it for a few moments before she shifted. He moaned around Jordan's shaft as he felt her tight, slick sex slide down around his, squeezing down around him.

"Oh yeah," Henrietta moaned lowly as she leaned forward to kiss her brother with Rock between them, pleasuring them both as they pleasured him. It was almost the polar opposite of the threesome on the stage in every way but that all were enjoying it.

They weren't the only couples together; before too much longer, the entire congregation that was still in the room had found partners, low moans and sharp barks or mewls of pain and ecstasy chorusing through the chamber, interrupted occasionally by the crack of the sjambok or the cattle prod. Jordan moaned into his sister's mouth, running skilled fingers back along Rock's spine, finding a pressure point all three were familiar with and pressing down on it, pain shooting out along Rock's nerves as Henrietta's sex worked his barbs.

Rock was simply not interested in holding back, and with a rumbling growl around Jordan's cock, he thrust his hips up against Henrietta as his balls began to empty themselves into her hungry body.

Her sex tightened around him, spasming as she came, the two siblings making out as they both orgasmed, and Jordan's knot swelled fully. Rock closed his fingers around it, squeezing it, and that was all it took for him to pump his thick seed up into the tabby's mouth.

"Oh! Master," Barbara moaned, "I'm...." The scene up front stopped, the Kat and Xanith priests both setting their toys aside and helping her to stay on her knees.

She was a bloody mess, but as Rock sat up, licking Jordan's seed from his lips, he couldn't help but notice that the floor and walls were both clean, though they should have been covered with the blood she'd obviously lost.

Jenna, the healer, came forward, moving past his superiors with obvious comfort in doing so, laying his hands on the Rottweiler and crying out sharply. He closed his eyes, his fur tightening, splitting, staining red as he began to bleed from wounds he accepted from injured bitch. It was an eerie sight, but before long he stopped, taking his kit from Emiss and starting to work on patching both himself and his patient up with obvious skill.

"Mmm ... are you going to want to meet her later?" Henrietta asked Rock with a lazy rumble, leaning back to kiss him, licking her brother's taste out of his mouth.

"Yes, I would," he purred into her mouth. "She's hot stuff."

"How about when Jenna's done with her?" She grinned, sliding off his shaft with a low groan. "Think you'd be good for her, even if it wasn't a long-term thing."

"Thank you. I'll do my best for her, if she's interested. I'd like to introduce Jake to someone like her, that gets pain the way he does," Rock added. "He does enjoy inflicting pain, but there something not quite right there too."

"How so?" She asked him cautiously.

"He's completely in control," Rock assured them. "And I'll be there, if she goes for it, and if he does. It's like he's more into inflicting pain because he can't do it to who he really wants to hurt. There's a release, but it's not from enjoying it. Not like we do at least. It might just be that he knows I'm not really into it that much, or that he enjoys when I hurt him more than when he hurts me. He's not an easy person to get to play around either."

"I understand," she nodded. "We're just a little worried about things getting out of hand with her. It's good that she told Marka though; it means she does recognize her limits, she just doesn't always care."

"Very much like Jake," Rock nodded, relaxing between the two long-bodied Kantin. "I wouldn't have been surprised if he ended up like her, if he'd hooked up with someone who didn't know limits well."

"But you aren't worried about that now?" Jordan smiled at him.

"I think he has enough going on now, even without me, that he wouldn't throw it away."

"That's good ... and when he eventually decides to retire, I think you'll have a very happily devoted pet," Jordan chuckled. He looked up, deciding that they were mostly done with Barbara's care for now. "C'mon, let's go meet her," he smiled.

"Quite possibly," Rock smiled at the thought and stood with them. "It would be a nice change to worrying whether he's coming home or not."

Tamera giggled as one of the fairy-kats she was playing with swished his tail against her nose playfully, flying off and leading her through the wild meadow she was playing in, towards the cool, green, inviting forest further off.

A flutter of laughing butterflies exploded in a wash of color and motion from the flowerbed at her bare feet. She laughed and tried to catch them without really trying.

She pounced and caught one of them, the butterfly erupting into a flying swarm of smaller ones, swirling around her before flying off. She heard a huff in the distance, and looked up. She saw a majestic unicorn, golden horn gleaming in the sun, his white pelt glossy and sleek. He turned, flicking his golden tail up as if trying to get her attention again, then trotted back into the woods.

With a purr of admiration and excitement, Tamera raced after him, only peripherally aware of the fairies and butterflies around her.

She wasn't even that aware of the generally shifting feel of the forest ... at first. The further she chased the unicorn, the darker the woods became ... blocked off from the sun's warmth, there was a chill in the air, and the mighty oaks of the outer reaches of the woods seemed to be giving way to older, more gnarled trees, branches catching her clothes like grasping fingers as she chased after the occasional glimpse of white or gold.

The butterflies and fairies were no longer around either when she paused to look around. Flickers of shadows and dark laughter replaced them around her. The babble of a brook nearby whispered of drowning creatures instead of refreshing them.

Her ears flattened in a mixture of confusion and distress. Fairyland shouldn't be scary. It was wrong.

She saw something dark moving out of the corner of her eye, but by the time she turned to see what it was, it was gone. A frightened whinny somewhere in the distance ... cut off in the middle of the sound with something of a gurgle.

She whimpered, shivering briefly before she focused her mind on the flower filled field filled with sunlight, turned directly around and ran.

A chill ran down her spine as she heard a howl in the distance, then a savage snarl behind her, getting closer, something crashing through the trees. They seemed thicker now, like they were gathering together, trying to stop her from getting away. This wasn't how it was supposed to work! She was supposed to be back in the field, where it was safe, with the friendly, playful fey and pretty things!

Something snagged her hood, and she realized that her clothes had changed somehow. When had that happened? And why were they so familiar?

A deep, hate-filled howl consumed her attention from everything else in the next moment, driving her forward through the trees and bushes despite it being darker in front of her than behind her.

She heard the trees behind her crash to the ground, felt something huge and powerful and menacing grab her cloak and pull her back with a jerk. She screamed -

And shot straight up in her bed, panting, eyes wide with terror as she heard her Mom calling her name from the other room.

"Mom!" she cried out in relief and scrambled out of bed.

As her foot touched the floor, a dark, hairy hand that had to belong to a body far too large to fit under there reached out and grabbed her ankle, dragging her under as she clawed at the carpet frantically and screamed.

"Tamera!" a strong voice reached her panicked mind, though it did little more than that. "Tamera!" it demanded again, this time the world morphed again. She was in her bed, her mother shaking her, but she was still on the floor, being dragged under it.

"Tamera," her mother's voice dragged her a bit more into the safer of the two worlds. "It's just a nightmare, dear," she crooned, trying to both wake and sooth her. "You're safe now."

She finally managed to snap into full wakefulness, sheets twisted tightly around her from her turning during the night, her mother's hands on her shoulders, then her arms around her.

She was safe. It had just been a bad dream ... a terrible, terrible dream ... she was awake now.

Wasn't she? It had seemed like she was the first time too ... but there weren't any monsters here. Just her mother's comforting arms and soothing words to end her sobbing.

"So if he doesn't leave prints, tracks, fur or photos, just what are we looking for?" Chance asked Detective Bermen as they walked up to the latest of the 'Ghost Thief's' hits; a jewelry story in a moderate neighborhood with no signs of an intruder, other than the complete lack of merchandise.

"For the things that the mystic types don't notice as well," he chuckled. "We also tend to be better at piecing their clues together than they are. Something about being outside the web making it easier to see the strands."

"Right," Chance nodded, looking around, then looking up, checking the ceiling. "What do we know about the security system here?"

"Three cameras," Bermen pointed to them, all obvious. "The door and windows have alarms, though the cases themselves do not. That's the only way in or out," he nodded towards the front door. "The back room is covered by cameras as well. CSI has been all over the place for traditional trace evidence, and kicked it to us when the cameras came up working and with nothing on them but that the merchandise was here at one am and gone by one thirty."

"Disappeared all at once, or bit by bit?" Jake asked, thinking over what he knew of that could make this sort of thing happen.

"A few pieces at a time," he answered. "It's a very strange thing to see. A piece is literally there one second and gone the next with no apparent movement."

"If it's by magic, there are at most a half dozen in the world skilled enough to cover the traces from me," Detective Sashari, a regal Lioness with dark golden fur told them. The intricate headgear of fine gold chains that marked her as a traditionally trained Taelyn mystic the only deviation from her Enforcer uniform, even if it was a dramatic one.

"What about dimensional wormhole, teleportation, or some other way of doing it without actually coming in here?" Jake asked her, thinking through the scientific approaches somebody might take.

"If you mean by magic or mental gifts, they all leave a similar trace," she told him politely.

"He's thinking technology," Chance said absently as he checked out the place, though he seriously doubted he'd spot anything that CSI missed.

"That would not be something I can usually find a trace of, though Toama may," she glanced at the regal albino Cheetah female in black trimmed white robes of a priest of Izaris, The Keeper of Records.

"I can, though it will take time," Toama's voice was distant, her red eyes unfocused. "There are no obvious disturbances of that scale."

"Worth a shot," Jake murmured, looking the cases over for any sign of how they were opened or accessed. "Everything still locked, from the outside in?"

"Yes," Bermen nodded. "When the pieces went missing, the cases were still closed as they vanished."

"Good trick," Chance mused, checking the fixed surfaces of the case to see if there was anything rigged in them. "These new, or have they been here a while?"

"The last time they changed the cases was eighteen years ago," he answered, giving Chance a curious look. "What are you thinking?"

"If they're that old, it couldn't be something like that," the tabby shrugged. "I was wondering if maybe the cases themselves had been rigged ... Hell of a way to pull off a robbery ... or an insurance scam, if you were inclined to."

"Quite true," Bermen nodded in agreement. "Cases are carefully investigated for such simple answers before they get kicked up to us. We do double-check the reports and scenes, but we have yet to have a mundane crime sent to us."

"Figured it was worth a shot," Chance chuckled. "Okay ... so, no way around the cameras, no way around the cases without breaking them, which they haven't... all the other cases are the same way... anybody know of a connection between the vic's, besides the fact that they all run places that are worth a bundle to hit? Maybe our Ghost Thief is the real thing."

"It wouldn't be the first time," Bermen said with a thoughtful nod. "If there is a connection, it is very distant at best. Different families, different sources, different neighborhoods, different security companies ... this is the fifth hit."

"Tasked spirit, maybe?" Jake suggested from where he was. "Pieces aren't related either though ... maybe some necromancer with a habit to support." He got back up, looking over at the albino Cheetah helping them. "Would you be able to detect something like that?"

"That is more my field," Sashari told him. "There are spirits involved, but they are all bound to a body."

"Okay, so that limits things a bit," he murmured, trying to think of what could have done that.

"Anybody we know of who does things like that?" Chance asked. "Who could've done it for somebody else, maybe?"

"Yes, but if it is one of the known perps, they've got a new method," Bermen told them. "We know how to detect all the known ones, and there are several that would work."

"Yet they all leave traces that are not here," Toama nodded. "We have suspicions, but nothing yet we can prove."

"Right ... we'll need to try and find a way to narrow it down then," Chance nodded slightly. "Are we allowed to open up the cases, check inside? Don't know if we'll find anything there, but it can't hurt to look."

"Yes, we are," Bermen nodded. "The scene is all ours now."

"Right then," Chance nodded, opening up the cases and looking inside, inspecting the cases and shelves carefully, looking for any trace on the small patches on the display that had held the jewelry earlier that morning.

"Think I might have something here," Jake called out, looking over the workbench where a half-finished necklace was left. "Might not be anything, but there's some wax on the table here."

"I'll have the lab check it out, but it is likely just some of the wax they use in making jewelry," Bermen nodded as he pulled an evidence bag out of his pocket and scraped the small sample into it before writing his name, date and time on it and sealing it with a sticker.

"Could well be," Jake agreed. "But if it isn't, might narrow things down a bit."

"What, theft by mannequin?" Chance half-joked. "Or did I miss something in the books we got to go through when we transferred?"

"There are several items that use wax and could play a part in this," Sashari said. "If that is part of such an item, we could find out from it."

"Find out what it is, or who has it too?" Chance asked her, making one last sweep before closing and re-locking the cabinets, leaving them as he found them.

"That depends on how well shielded the item, and it's users, are," Sashari told him. "Finding out what it is from is typically much easier than tracking it."

"Right ... well, anything else here? Maybe if we compare to the notes from the last few scenes we can spot something in common," Chance suggested.

"That would be next," Bermen nodded. "Come on, let's see if you get lucky again and see something we haven't."

"Here's hoping, sir," Chance nodded, starting out along with Jake.

Silence reined in the crowd at the primary MMA gym in MegaKat City. It wasn't who was fighting, everyone was used to their sparring matches by now. It wasn't that they were both using weapons, though that was rare in the gym. It wasn't even that they had a few more visitors than usual watching them.

What held much of the experienced fighter crowd still in fascination was watching their training taken to the art; something few ever tried to do, and fewer managed.

It wasn't a fight; it was a dance as deadly as any battle and evenly matched.

The two Kats were dancing back and forth, the sharp clack of wood on wood as their staves struck each other. Once in a while, one or the other would jump in response to a low blow. It was a study in different styles; Kyale, as was her usual way, was brutal, to the point, her weapon flashing in constant attack or defense.

Jake was showier, in a different way, both ends of his staff darting to intercept hers as he spun and twisted, trying to hit one of her hands and weaken her grip on the weapon.

"Fifteen minutes ... I can't believe one of them isn't ready to drop yet," Tryce Sharten murmured, easily as fascinated by the unusual match as any of the warriors who fought these two.

"They've both got endurance you wouldn't believe," Terin grinned, her stubby tail twitching behind her. "Different styles too, always fun to watch."

"Hard against soft, always the most fun to watch," another of the fighters grinned over at them from the other side of the ring. "Even if Clawson's 'soft' is one of the hardest you'll ever see."

"And one of the fastest," someone else added, getting into the all-angles critique of style and movement. "You have no idea how glad I am he's Enforcer."

"Yeah, but Kyale's the one who isn't - and she's the one who'll hand you your ass," the first fighter chuckled, wincing as Jake clipped her arm, and she responded by cracking the end of her staff against his hand directly, pulling the blow just enough that she didn't break the delicate bones there.

It was more than enough to disarm him though. Likely he wouldn't have in a real fight, everyone watching him knew his ability to ignore pain and damage went beyond the sane, but here he did as he was supposed to; the staff went down and he treated his right hand as broken instead of just stinging.

"It's not over?" someone behind them, a young voice, said in surprise.

"Not with these two," a female chuckled at him. "They're both eskrima trained. The real thing for her goes from staff to stick to knife to bareclaw."

Sharten was a little surprised to see that she wasn't dropping her staff, but nobody else seemed surprised about it so he assumed it was normal between Jake and Kyale. Of course, as he was seeing, it seemed to work in his favor. Kyale was good with her staff, but better bare-handed, and Jake was able to just keep from getting hit as he worked his way in closer to her, dropping down to try and sweep her legs out from under her.

She jumped up and cracked her staff across his chest, from shoulder to hip. The impact sent her to the far side of the ring and left him gasping for breath.

"Ouch," Terin winced. "Good thing he's still grounded for now."

Jake managed to get to his feet though, going after Kyale despite the obvious pain he was in.

"Good thing he's as stubborn as he is," Hala added. This was different from their training matches; he had the sense to stop when he was supposed to in those. Here, he just bulled forward, only letting pain get in the way when the rules said he should. She had to wonder how much of it was because he knew he wouldn't be allowed to be permanently injured.

"Very little," Terin answered the unasked question as they watched Jake come in for a high snap-kick that Kyale blocked with her staff. "He's like this in academics, inventing and everything else too. Guy just doesn't know how to do less than his all."

Much of the crowd gasped when the staffed snapped in two, and at the two expressions it brought.

Kyale grinned viciously, and Jake actually looked uneasy as he backed off, his mind making the change over to Kyale at her most dangerous.

Kyale adjusted her grips, coming at Jake hard and fast with the advantage of two to three feet extra reach, forcing him to keep back to avoid being hit by either makeshift baton.

There was a rumble of approval when Jake suddenly darted forward, bringing a leg up as he leapt to take her strike in the meat of the thigh and letting it push him in a sacrifice move that let him get a hold of her wrist and pull her down with him. A claw to a pressure point on her wrist forced her to drop one half of her staff, and the impact with the mat knocked the other away.

She brought a knee up sharply into his stomach, matching it with an elbow blow to the shoulder that let her throw him off of her and get back, away from him and up onto her feet, both of them finally starting to tire visibly.

It didn't slow the action down much though, as the bout progressed to a punishing exchange of kicks, punches, knees and blocks that eventually came down to Kyale's slightly greater height and mass pushing Jake against the cage, pinning him there for the five seconds it took to end the match.

"Remind me not to get back into MMA," Hala chuckled. "We get into enough trouble in the field."

"Noted," Terin grinned up at the two Captains and watched her friend leave the cage, completely at ease around the bare-chested black shekat as they walked together for the changing room.

"So, what's Jake's new friend like?" Jordan asked Rock curiously as the two of them sat in the bar of the Pizza Pound along with Henrietta, nursing their drinks while they waited for Jake and Kyale to arrive after their sparring session.

Rock though about it briefly, trying to sum up what little he knew personally and the extra tidbits he'd picked up from Jake talking about her and their matches.

"She's a professional MMA fighter. Solid black, all muscle, lithe masculine build a bit taller than him," he chuckled. "They met in a match that she won but he managed to show very well, so she asked about sparring with him while she was in town. They've gone out a couple times a week since then. I can't say I know her well, but given how relaxed and positive he is about her, she's doing something right. Her accent can be a bit heavy, but she's usually easy enough to understand when I've been around. Doesn't seem to have much of a life outside of the MMA."

"You know where she's from?" Henrietta asked with a sip of her Bloody Mary.

"Umm, not exactly," he admitted. "The same general part of the world as Xenquii, I think."

"Must be a Hell of a fighter," she mused. "From what I know, that part of the world doesn't handle women warriors well ... about as well as Traveris does with dominant males."

"You know more than I do then," Rock said. "If they talk about her background, he doesn't say much about it to me."

"Probably something she's not too interested in talking about then; we can work with that," Jordan chuckled. "So, any idea when they'll be here?"

"Either any moment, or not for a couple hours, depending on how lost they got in the shower," Rock rumbled in deep amusement. "And not the way I'm sure you just thought either."

"There they are," Jake's comment brought their attention to the entrance where Jake was pointing to them, a sleek black shekat at his side wearing the absolute legal minimum in sportswear next to him.

"Are you sure not the way we just thought?" Jordan snickered, grinning and giving a light wave to show they'd spotted them.

"Not after seeing him react to a shekat he loves when she touches him," he shook his head, his voice low and serious.

"Right, consider it dropped," Jordan said with a short nod.

"Thanks. So, want something to drink before we find a table?" Rock asked as Jake and Kyale approached.

"Sure," Jake nodded, catching the bartender's attention. "A stormfront for me."

"And the lady?" he looked at Kyale with a smile.

"Something fruity, little booze," she half requested, half asked.

"I make a great strawberry daiquiri," he suggested. "It tastes just as good with a half shot."

"That then," she nodded.

"We're picking up dinner," Henrietta said with a smile.

"Thank you, ma'am," Kyale bowed to her as their drinks were put together quickly.

"So, how'd the match go?" Jordan asked the two Kats easily as they all stood to work their way to an open table.

"Great," Jake grinned, still a bit jazzed from it. "It was a training stopper, and the Captains were there with SandClaw. Doesn't get much better."

"Which means he either won, or came extremely close to it," Rock chuckled.

"She pinned me against the cage," Jake shook his head in denial of a victory.

"Still pretty good, from what I know about you guys," Rock grinned. "You didn't surrender the match, at any rate. So, your new friends in Special Forces scared yet?" He asked with a wink as they each selected a chair, the fragrant smells of varied types of pizza on the buffet waiting for them.

"The big bitch wanted to be reminded not to come back to MMA," Kyale grinned, clearly proud of having made that impression on her.

"Hala Killheart," Jake supplied her name. "I vote for food now. I'm starving."

"Grab a plate and whatever looks good," Jordan grinned. "And watch out for the Four Alarm Special, if they've got it."

"Oh they do," Henrietta grinned, sniffing the air. "And only watch out for it if you don't get along with spice," she added, sticking her tongue out at Jordan playfully before heading off for her own food."

"Rock did show you those tapes, right?" Jake raised an eyebrow, amusement clear in his amber eyes.

"Yes, but you don't have quite the same situation here that you did in those, and I think management would object to you changing that," Jordan chuckled, selecting a few slices of pizza for himself, staying clear of the almost painfully fragrant one covered in peppers and spiced meats that his sister took two slices of.

Kyale gave it a sniff and raised an eyebrow at the other female. "That's spicy even for my tastes."

"I'm steering clear, then," Jake shook his head with an easy laugh as he picked out more normal looking pizzas, along with two slices of a spiced apple crisp turned into a pizza.

"Wimps," Henrietta winked. "I happen to enjoy this sort of pain, myself."

"Just remind me you have eaten that before it comes up," Jordan chuckled, swatting her rump with his tail as he walked by on his way back to the table.

"Maybe," she teased, pilling several more less offensive slices on her plate before heading to their table.

"Masochist of a new level," Kyale said as she put her plate on the table next to Jake.

"Part of the job, dear," Henrietta chuckled as she took her own seat, Rock shaking his head as he sat down between she and Jake. "It's my favorite sort of pain, though I'll admit that the heartburn in a half-hour or so isn't quite as enjoyable," she grinned as she took a bite and savored it.

"Do you try to include pain in everything you do?" Kyale asked, watching in utter fascination at this strange idea of fun.

"Not everything," Henrietta said, shaking her head. "Driving, for example... very bad idea to mix those two."

"That's my sister's idea of a joke," Jordan said dryly. "Seriously, no, we don't. However, for her in particular, there's a perverse little extra kick we get sometimes out of finding public ways to indulge ourselves."

"Even more if someone else provides the how for anyone who cares to indulge?" she guessed.

"It helps ... and besides, neither of us is a particularly good cook," Henrietta chuckled, taking a drink of her soda. "It's something of an acquired taste too."

"You're talking to somebody who grew up eating bird peppers in everything," Jake snickered. "They're as hot as anything you eat."

"And yet, you thought it would be too much," she smirked, holding up her second slice. "Care to try it after all?"

"It is for pure spice," Kyale point out. "Good food is balanced in spicy, sweet, bitter, salty and savory. That is not balanced."

"A good meal is balanced that way, as is life," the Dachshund smiled. "Parts of the meal can go one way or the other. I do plan to have more than just this, but I like to start with my favorite parts."

Kyale considered her, then nodded. "As you wish," she said simply.

"Okay, backing away from arguing about pizza," Rock chuckled slightly, working on his own sausage-and-pepperoni, "The guys from Special Forces there for any particular reason, or just watching?"

"Just watching," Jake said. "Probably wanting to get a look at me under different rules. MMA doesn't have nearly the formality or restrictions Enforcers usually spar under."

"I've never really understood that, myself," Rock chuckled. "I mean ... MMA, you're not usually fighting somebody who's actively trying to kill you, at least. You'd think that if they're going to go so far, the Enforcers would go just as far, or farther."

"A difference is that the Enforcers can not afford to risk a month-long injury from practice," Kyale suggested.

"The real difference is just in the assumptions," Jake shrugged. "Enforcers aren't supposed to go hand to hand, and training to the level we're at, or even that Terin's at, takes years of practice and a lot of dedication. It's not practical for the average Enforcer to put in that many hours of training."

"While you just pull it off by not sleeping," Rock chuckled, turning to give Jake a light kiss on the cheek.

"I have more dedication than the average Enforcer," Jake countered with a teasing grin.

"To all your interests?" Jordan asked as they settled in to enjoy their meal and talk. "Why'd you get into MMA in the first place, given the possible conflict with the Enforcers?"

"It kinda just happened, really," he shrugged. "Being fourteen and a geek when you get into college is a fast way to get to the top of the picked on ranks. I got into martial arts to even the odds a bit, found out I had a talent for it, that I actually enjoy it beyond the effect of reducing how often I got beaten up. Somewhere in there I started watching MMA matches, just to see the art in action.

"You might be surprised at how many Enforcers fight in the cage," Jake said. "In the Academy, one of the combat instructors suggested I try out for a local competition, and I've been hooked on it since."

"Chance tried it for a while too, but he doesn't have the speed to keep up with most of the fighters, so the rules kinda work against him that way," Rock chuckled.

"Yeah, MMA really doesn't cater to wrestlers," Jake nodded. "It was built on fast and agile, but that's how unarmed and unarmored combat works, really."

"Chance boxes too, but not quickly," Rock nodded. "Though you should see him in a real fight some time, it works better than you'd expect."

"Yes, but mostly against other people who learned the same way he did, I imagine," Kyale pointed out.

"And I'm sure he'd be the first to point out that that's what it was meant to work against," Jordan chuckled. "And really, as long as it does what it was supposed to, that's the important part I'd think."

"It is, and he's a much better fighter than almost everyone he might face on the street," Jake nodded. "Not many thugs are combat trained, and Chance is one of the best fighters in the pilot ranks."

"And you have a distinct lack of lifelong-trained martial artists in this city who make trouble for the Enforcers," Jordan smiled. "It's just as well, really, the city's large enough it would be utter chaos if everybody could fight like the people in some parts of the world ... yours, for example, from what I've heard," he said with a nod towards Kyale. "Where do you come from, if you don't mind my asking?"

"A small village near the source of the Ed'ug'ar River in eastern Majeare," she said between bites of fried potato slices.

"That's... not an area I'm familiar with," he admitted. "But if they produced a top MMA fighter, it's got to be the wrong place to mess with."

"That is what our neighbors seem to believe," she nodded with a slight, but vicious looking smile. "Every male is trained to fight, and most are at least as good as I was when I was recruited."

"Just as well that they agree," Jordan chuckled. "For their sakes."

"So just how much traveling do you two do these days?" Rock asked them curiously. "Sayden Bay down to here isn't too much, but it sounds like you get around a fair amount."

"It depends on whether or not there's something going on in other Temples," Henrietta explained. "Particularly if there's a crackdown somewhere, we'll often be asked to help with evacuating people. There are some advantages to Sayden Bay's networks."

"That kind of thing still happens?" Jake frowned.

"In some places," she nodded slightly. "It's uncommon, but between countries that decide they don't want us at all and those that have a perverted view of Their teachings, like Traveris, we usually find ourselves having to smuggle one or two dozen people into Sayden Bay every year or two. And given the types of people we have to work with in Sayden Bay, it's rarely a good idea to let them work unsupervised."

"Understandable," Jake nodded. "I shouldn't be surprised, I know, but it kinda is. Have you traveled anywhere that wasn't under evac orders?"

"Yes, and those are much more pleasant trips," Henrietta smiled. "We've traveled to visit friends, to help consecrate new temples, and just to see some of the other traditions among our faithful."

"And there was the Grand Convocation two years back," Jordan grinned. "That was a blast."

"Given what you two are into, I can only imagine," Jake shook his head with an easy laugh. "How often are they held?"

"Every three years, though I'm afraid that those are limited to the faithful," Henrietta told him seriously. "Members of a Temple; we have distinct rules about protecting the people at our own temples, and when it comes to people from all across the world, we're even more careful. Even limited to members of our Temples, some people attend in veils or masks."

"It's that dangerous to be known?" Jake frowned deeply, honestly not getting it.

"In some places, and for some people, yes it is," Jordan nodded. "Around here, not so much, though some people keep it quiet for the sake of their reputations. To most people, Eshik and Marik are nothing more than gods of sadism, and so there are places where they're considered evil rather than merely different. In a place like that, if you were a doctor or other person trusted by your people, would you want to be known as a worshipper of the 'gods of sadism'?"

Kyale nodded in understanding, thinking back to her childhood while Jake mulled the question over. "Do They go by different names elsewhere?"

"They do," Jordan nodded. "Different titles, different names ... the role, however, is always there. There's a little debate as to whether it's different names, or actually different gods, but that's where theology comes into play."

"I believe they go by Kyan and Kyale in eastern Majeare," Kyale said, and tried not to react to the shock across the table. "It is common to name a promising kitten after a god," she explained. "So my father named me after the male of the Challengers of the Ways in some kind of private joke, I think. I still do not understand him."

"Maybe he was hoping that naming you after one of them would make them inclined to protect you," Jake suggested. "By their title, it sounds like you'd be the kind they would be partial too."

"Quite possibly," Jordan nodded. "I'm not too familiar with that particular name, but I do remember it was unusual for being one of the few in an area that expanded on Their roles. Are you a follower?" He asked her curiously.

"As much as I am of any," she nodded. "I am a female raised as a male in a society that has very definite ideas of what each can be. It is difficult not to view life through the eyes that They profess to use."

"That would do it," Henrietta nodded sympathetically. "Would you be willing to discuss Their philosophy in your region some time? We don't go into too much detail about other areas, and it sounds like it's at least a little different from the core of the mainstream faith."

"Quite willing," Kyale smiled slightly. "I would say it is. Kyan and Kyale in Majeare are the ones who challenge beliefs, the ways we do things. They are the great rebels among our gods, but they fight with words and ideas, not weapons."

"That part is similar, we just don't usually view Eshik and Marik as challenging such beliefs on a broader scale," Jordan said easily. "It sounds like an interesting variation, though I imagine it made things a little difficult at home."

Kyale paused, working to place an explanation into words in the right language before she spoke.

"I do not know," she admitted. "It is the only life I knew there. A shaman saw me shortly after I was born, as he sees all kittens. He has visions about the kitten, tells the father. Many times he tells him the kitten's name. Most who are named after the Challengers become very skilled. Others prefer their own kind. For me, he told my father that I was his son, born to the wrong body."

"Is that something you've ever felt yourself, beyond your eventual profession?" Henrietta asked, focusing more fully on Kyale than on her meal now.

"When I came of age, yes," she nodded slightly. "I was told my entire life I was a tom, but I found other toms attractive. I thought I should have been female. It is not strictly forbidden, but it is not welcome. Father was furious when he caught me looking at toms.

"It was not until a girl my age sought my attentions that I understood I was not a tom, or at least not a normal one. Father held it off for another year by saying that was what the shaman had told him, that I was a tom, even if I was not formed right. It was shameful to admit that his only son could not have kittens, but not so shameful as admitting he trained a female to fight and be a warrior.

"It was not until I was away for more than a year that I understand I am born female, and herbs I take my entire life had changed much of that."

"If this isn't comfortable for you, please tell me and I'll back off," Henrietta told her seriously. "But how do you feel more comfortable?"

"I have not been female long enough to know if I like it," Kyale tried to explain. "I am more easy as a tom. I have been one much longer."

"I think I understand," she nodded slightly. "We've seen cases of people who've been described that way before - fems born as toms, toms born as fems - where the situation was literally true. More often Bastet's domain, but we try to help when we can."

"Here," Kyale motioned to the city and MMA circuit in general. "It is of little importance. Few care if I prefer toms, few care I desire rarely. I thank you for your concern. I find my way slowly now."

"Fair enough," she smiled. "Those herbs you mentioned... were they heat suppressants, or something more?"

"Yes, yes," she nodded. "No heat, male scent, male muscles, height, face, fur. Made me sick some times too. Very simple to make, very potent to take. It is nine mixtures in all, though not all have to be used. Father made sure I knew how to make and take them, though not why. He said they were for my health."

"And you're probably lucky they didn't destroy it," Jordan murmured, shaking his head. "If it's not a secret, it might be good to know what they are and what they do some time; I'm sure there are some people who could be helped by it. But I'm not surprised it made you sick sometimes."

"Better than dead," she said evenly. "If I had not taken them, people would have learned I was female much faster. They beheaded my father for the crime of training a female to fight. They would have beheaded me if they had caught me. I will teach you. They are not a secret. They come from the healing herbs."

"Definitely better than dead, I just hope they didn't do any long-term harm," he said gently. "Those sort of changes are impressive though."

"I was fed them while I still suckled," Kyale tried to explain. "Every day I took them. It would not be so ... so ...."

"Dramatic?" Jake suggested softly.

"Yes," she nodded her thanks. "It would not be so dramatic, taken by an adult."

"Sounds like an all-natural version of HRT, almost," Henrietta mused, finishing her first plate. "I'll be back soon," she promised, getting up and heading up for seconds.

"HRT?" Jake glanced at Jordan.

"Hormone Replacement Therapy," he offered. "Part of the treatment for transsexuals; load the body full of the hormones for the opposite sex, and the various characteristics start to shift. Can have some nasty side effects, but it's usually the first step towards actually making the transition."

Kyale cocked her head slightly. "Why would someone wish to?"

"There are some people who honestly do have a soul of a different gender than their body," Jordan explained. "Given their preference, they'd live as, say, a dog instead of a bitch. But most people are raised to match their body, rather than their spirit."

She nodded, thinking about that, and how it could happen as the conversation drifted on without her.

Connie smiled to herself, humming a tune softly as she strolled through the park where Chance had agreed to meet her at. It was warm, with a nice breeze, ands the flowers were fragrant all around her.

She could see him, setting a picnic blanket out in a small grove of trees. He looked up at her with a slightly bashful grin, gesturing for her to come over. With a grin she jogged over and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before they sat down on the blanket.

"It's a lovely spot," she smiled shyly at him.

"Thanks," he grinned back, kissing her lightly. "Glad you like it ... it's usually pretty quiet over here, and I know you don't really like crowds that much." He opened up the lunch cooler he'd brought along; she could tell it was a little beaten up, definitely used, probably in a factory most of the time, but he'd tried his best to clean it up. He pulled out a can of Kat Kola and passed it over to her.

"Especially not with older guys around," she nodded, then shuddered at the memories it couldn't help but bring up. "Let's not talk about him, okay?"

"Gladly," Chance agreed, nodding seriously. "Don't have to worry about him though ... right now, it's just you, and me," he said with a winning smile, kissing her again before opening his own soda and taking a drink. "Brought a couple sandwiches too," he added with a nod to the cooler.

"That means we can stay until it's almost dark, unless you have to go to work somewhere?" she snuggled up against him, enjoying the warmth of his body and the comfort in his scent.

"Nope," he purred, leaning against her lightly. "My night off tonight," he smiled, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close. She always felt safe like this; his stocky, well-muscled body had practically been built to protect people, and it was hard to believe that anything bad could happen when she was this close to him.

He could make the terrors of the past few years disappear so quickly, so easily, it was more than enough to make her want to just stay in his arms forever.

When he kissed her, though, that was what really got to her, and the way he made her feel when he touched her, the heat of their passion when he mated her. For a few minutes, everything was right in the world.

It made the way his hands were gently roaming her sides something to look forward to, instead of something to be tired of, the way it had been with the guy she'd dated briefly before Chance. He turned towards her, kissing her lips tenderly, licking them lightly.

She moaned into the touch softly, her body hungry in a way it very rarely was.

"Think ... think we might have time for more than lunch?" she asked him hopefully; her desires open to him in her scent.

"We can make the time," he purred, kissing her again, laying them both down on the blanket and moving his hand around to rub her belly lightly.

Her purr deepened at the touch, and she reached up to draw him down for another kiss as he slipped his fingers under the belt of her jeans.

He undid the buckle, fumbling for a moment with the button of her jeans as he kissed her hungrily, his tongue exploring her mouth, his powerful body covering hers.

"Love you," he murmured as their lips parted, finally getting her jeans open and sliding them down when she lifted her hips. She toed her shoes off as he brought his hands up under her shirt to fondle her through her silky bra.

"Love you," she whimpered, moaning into his mouth as his tail brushed against her wet underwear.

He purred deeply as he reached down, stroking her through her panties briefly before reaching in, stroking her sex with his powerful, thick fingers, paying special attention to her clit as they made out and she mewed into his mouth.

"Fill me, Chance," she gasped, spreading her legs and lifting her knees. "Want you."

He took a moment to undo his own pants, his raging erection springing out as he kissed her again.

"Thought you'd never ask," he grinned broadly, moaning deeply as he slid his shaft into her tight, hot body, the two of them heedless of the others in the park as he thrust into her, wrapping her entire self in a safe, passionate heat she'd never get enough of.

She whimpered and cried out softly into his mouth, tightening her body around the thick maleness inside her and relishing the way it sent sparks of pleasure throughout her body.

He braced himself over her, curling his fingers in the blanket and grass beneath it as he thrust into her, his eyes closing slightly as his shaft throbbed inside of her, his barbs working her sex. His balls started to twitch lightly, and he shifted, rubbing his smooth, conical tip against the front wall of her pussy.

"Oh, yes," Connie cried out, her body arching up against him as the walls of her sex squeezed and milked her lover, eager to feel his seed in her body.

She squeezed her eyes shut as he threw his head back with a soundless roar of pleasure, pumping his seed deep into her hungry body, thick semen pooling inside of her.

"Yes!" she cried out, right on the edge of pleasure and unable to stop herself from tumbling over it. "More, baby," she begged shamelessly.

Only instead of grinning down at her and taking her again, he slumped forward, his full weight on top of her.

"Chance?" She asked, worried as he slipped out of her ... then screaming as she realized that there was a wire hanger twisted tightly around his throat. There was no question about whether he was alive or not anymore as she struggled frantically to get out from under him.

"Oh no, little one," a voice that had haunted her all her life laughed in delight as Chance's body began to move, pinning her down and thrusting into her hard.

"Somebody help me!" She begged, screaming loudly.

"Like you helped me?" That sick voice crooned, raspier than she remembered but otherwise unhindered by the tight wire around the throat. Chance gripped her wrists, bruising them, his cock cold and hard as a rock inside her pussy ... she felt like she was tightening, painfully tight, a stabbing, ripping sensation she'd only felt once before, and never wanted to feel again.

"Stop it," she begged, tears welling up in her eyes at pain that was only partially physical. "I never hurt you!"

"You watched," he countered, kissing her with cold, dead lips as she realized that there were people who'd heard her screams ... but they were just walking past, glancing and moving along, maybe a bit more quickly.

"What?" her confusion stilled her for a brief moment, but only until his next thrust made her scream.

"I like this scream better now," the animated dead above her grinned. "You were a fool to think you could run from me."

"You're dead!" She screamed at him, then screamed again as his shaft hit her cervix, starting to force the painfully tight muscles open, driving the breath out of her.

"Not even death can protect you from me," he laughed hoarsely. "Your death will only be the beginning of your torment at my Master's hands."

"Stop!" She shouted, trying to push him off of her, trying to get out from under him, whatever she could do to try and get away from him. He was just too strong, just like the BoogieKat Killer had been when he'd taken her this way.

"Please stop," she begged, shocked when he did.

"You're not so tight now," Chance's dead face morphed into a much more terrifying one. Not the old Kat she was watched died not two weeks before, but the BoogieKat Killer in his prime. "Maybe I should show you what I did to him, mm?"

"Go away!" She whimpered, trying to shrink back from him as he undid the makeshift garrote around his throat and took it off his head, revealing the thin line of blood where it had been tightened around Chance's throat so tightly that it had cut into him.

It wasn't bothering the BoogieKat though. He pulled out of her, seed dripping from her sex down over the tight, furless pucker of her ass.

"I've got a better idea," he grinned down at her. "Start running ... maybe you'll find somebody who actually cares about what I'll do to you before I catch you!"

She didn't even wait for the words to register, she simply bolted the instant she could squirm out from under him.

"Run, my kitten!" his voice taunted her from behind. "You'll never run far enough to escape me."

She ran as hard as she could, soon panting as she ran and screamed through the park. Despite being half-naked, cum dripping down her thighs, nobody paid her more attention than a passing glance. It was almost like she was invisible as she fled from the monster behind her. She tripped, and glanced back in horror to see that the grass had wrapped itself around her foot. She tore it loose, and started running again, the park seemingly endless as she tore across the landscape that was starting to fight against her.

Her throat was sore when she all but collided with a powerful body. At first she recoiled, but the gleam of a badge brought her forward with a sob of relief.

"He's after me," she cried out to him.

Powerful hands closed around her shoulders, and he twisted her up against the side of the car.

"Nobody's after you," he rumbled deeply. "But it looks like we just found ourselves the streaker everybody's called in."

"What?" she half-struggled, more in shock than any real attempt to get away. "You're arresting me?"

"Nah," he grinned. "Pretty little thing like you? You don't need a record." He reached around her with broad, dark-furred hands, pushing his powerful fingers up into her dripping sex, then pushing the semen-covered digits up against her lips. "Play nice for my partner and me, and maybe I'll even give you some clothes for when you walk off."

She quivered, taking his fingers into her mouth on reflex more than willingness. She'd rather prefer to be arrested.

"What do you want to drop me off at a hospital?" Connie asked, her entire body shaking.

"Your word you won't tell anybody what we're gonna do to you, and you letting my partner tie you," he grinned, reaching down and unzipping his pants. "Open the door and give him a kiss."

She nodded. It wasn't as if she was going to get out of them taking her, she might as well get something out of it. She reached out to stroke the big tom's sheath as she turned and closed her eyes for the kiss. The less she saw, the easier this was going to be.

She was shocked beyond words by the response she got. Rather than a normal kiss, she was greeted with a woof and a broad, wet tongue washing over her face!

"Meet my partner," the Xanith behind her grinned.

Connie choked back a response, only to hear her own voice. "How ... a dog?"

"Canine unit," the powerfully built Panther behind her laughed. "Get down on your hands and knees, slut," he ordered her, backing up to let her move. "Let Nicky at your pussy."

For a moment she froze, then she did as she was told. No matter how sick this guy was, he wasn't trying to kill her.

"That's a good girl," he grinned, opening his pants up a bit more, his barbed shaft sliding from his sheath. "So, while you let him play, why don't you show me how good you are at sucking cock?" The Airedale behind her leaned forward, his cold, wet nose pressing against her pussy as he licked at her.

She shivered and opened her mouth. Her weight shifted as she lifted a hand to fondle him, hoping beyond hope that he might not hurt her if she cooperated, pleased him. It wasn't as if her body hadn't been used before with much less at stake.

The dog climbed up on top of her, humping her hip, his thick, massive cock slowly emerging from his sheath as the Panther gripped her face, moaning as he fed her his cock and she did her best to suck the massive length of hard flesh.

Despite wanting to gag, she did her best, using the few tricks she'd learned with Chance to pleasure this much larger, and much less kind, tom.

He forced himself into her throat, choking her on it briefly as 'Nicky' found the entrance to her body, pushing his cock up into her sex, still dripping somehow. The juices there made it easier, let him slide into her with obscene ease... she couldn't help but think that he was the first canine she'd been with.

Not exactly the first experience with a knot she'd thought of!

She squeezed her eyes shut and let her body do it's thing, responding to the thick male musk in her nose, the taste of tom in her mouth, and the hard, hot flesh between her legs.

It was a sick knot in her stomach, but she pushed it down. Anything was better than what she'd run from.

"Well, well, I guess you really are a little slut these days," that sickening voice crooned.

Gods ... he was here, and she was helpless! The dog, happily humping her, forced his knot up into her while the Panther fucked her face!

"Ah, Doug," the Enforcer greeted him. "She's not very skilled, but she's got a good start."

"Yeah, well, I didn't get that long to teach her," Berten joked with the Panther. "Don't worry, I'll make sure she's a lot better next time."

"Good," he rumbled deeply before it mutated into a groan. "What did you have in mind for a first lesson?"

"You and Nicky seem to be off to a pretty good start; why don't I just jump in somewhere after you're through with her?" Berten grinned wickedly.

"Works for me," the Panther groaned, thrusting hard and fast, pulling back with a roar as he pumped his thick, hot seed all over Connie's face as she started to struggle again, trying to get away from the big dog humping her before it tied her.

It was no good. The Panther held her in place, and Doug grabbed her tail, pulling it up sharply as the airedale woofed ecstatically, his knot swelling until he tied with her, bigger than just about any Kantin as he humped her, drooling on the back of her neck as his seed pooled inside her.

"Now if you'd get him out of her, we'll start the real fun," Berten purred.

"Gladly," the Panther grinned, walking around and taking his partner's hips, pulling him back. Connie screamed as his knot ripped out of her pussy, but still tried to bolt. She only made it a couple feet before Berten's grip on her tail stopped her cold.

"Bad girl," he laughed, pulling her back with incredible strength, tossing her on top of the Panther, now on his back on the ground.

"A bit of fight in this one," the Enforcer grinned up before twisting her to her back and grabbed her hips in both hands to force her down on his cock, the massive member ripping her ass open side. "Thought you might like to watch her face."

"I've already done that," Berten grinned, taking her legs and spreading them wide. "I wanna hear her scream this time," he added, shifting to force his cock into her ass along with the Panther's while Nicky trotted around to push his dripping, drooling cock into her mouth, heavy with her own flavor.

When Berten grabbed her hips to hold her in place for them, the Panther grabbed her wrists and pulled them out and back, holding her tightly against his chest for Nicky to force himself deeper into her mouth.

"That's a good girl," Berten purred, nosing her top out of the way, licking at the nipples of breasts that almost seemed to disappear entirely as he and the Panther raped her ass, blood seeping from her torn anus as the dog's cock blocked off her throat. Tears streamed down her face, her jaw forced painfully wide around his knot.

"Damn this is good," the Panther groaned, his balls twitching as he thrust up hard and fast, rubbing against the other cock in her ass as much as her body. "Fuck her Nicky. All the way in, boy," he growled the order.

Connie would have screamed, but the sound would have been wasted. Her tongue was forced to the bottom of her jaw; she felt her jaw cracking, and wept as her lungs burned for air, the throbbing cock in her throat choking her. She thrashed her arms and feet, but it was no good; she was being held so she couldn't get either of them.

"Soon, my kitten, you'll join the others you should have joined fifteen years ago," Berten crooned, his tone right on the edge of orgasm as her awareness slipped away.

Her vision was starting to blur, but then he said something that put a whole new angle on this.

"I think I'll let your little girl be for a while, before I take her too," he crooned, licking her throat.

Her claws came out; Connie thrashed and struggled, trying to get loose enough to kill this bastard again. All she did was waste her energy, what little air she had left.

As she finally started to black out, she felt the Panther and Kat on top of her erupt into her virgin ass. The dog pumped his own load down her throat, and she was vaguely aware of laughter as her feeble struggles ceased.

"Jake, want another pancake?" Midnight asked as she poured the next round for the two tabbies. "Or would you rather have the cinnamon raisin toast?" she purred with a knowing grin at the tom she'd all but raised.

He almost answered, then laughed with a shake of his head and just grinned as she turned to lay out four pieces of the bread on a tray and turned on the broiler.

"It's official; she knows you better than you do," Rock grinned at Jake. "Thanks for having us over for breakfast, Midnight."

"Well, you guys did agree to come along and help kitten-watch today," Chance grinned as he set down glasses of juice, about the best he could really contribute to the cooking. "Lot easier than when there's just the two of us."

"Especially with three," Jake snickered. "I can't imagine how you're going to cope with six, all under a year old."

"Cloning," Chance deadpanned. "I figure if there's enough of me to work an extra shift or three, it'll really help with the mortgage payments too."

"Just make sure you don't make enough that Midnight doesn't need the original anymore," Rock grinned.

"As if!" she shot back before delivering the next round of pancakes. "Though it could be fun to have two of him in bed."

"Now I thought you liked just having one tom to yourself?" Chance chuckled, taking his plate, perking up his ears as he heard the TV in the other room. "Sounds like the news; mind if we turn it up? They might've come up with some leads on the Ghost Thief last night."

"Go ahead, dear," Midnight smiled in easy tolerance for his occasionally obsessive streak towards work and fighter pilots.

"In local news, Enforcers have released the name of the victim of last night's vicious murder," Anne Gora announced. "According to sources inside the Enforcers, the victim was one Connie Withersan."

For a moment, Rock was witness to a look of absolute shock on his cousin's face. Then Chance was out of his seat, running into the front room as Anne continued to speak.

"The apparent motive was sexual assault; our sources say that there is no sign of theft, or of forced entry. They are currently looking for leads, and hope that neighbors will come forward with anything unusual they may have seen last night."

"Shit," Chance swore under his breath.

"Chance?" Jake and Midnight were in a race to get to him first, both trying to remember that name in association with anything.

He was visibly shaken when they found him. The story had ended after that, moving on to more suitable material for information to go with the morning coffee.

"Damn it," Chance muttered, turning it off, going for the phone and dialing the number for work. "Jake, you remember anybody in Homicide who owes us a favor?"

"Umm, Detective Seriad," he suggested.

"This is Lieutenant Furlong," Chance said, every ounce of authority he could muster in his voice as he talked to the receptionist. "Put me through to Detective Seriad, if she's in."

There was a pause, then a longer one as Chance's tail began to really lash and Jake walked up to Rock.

"Who's Connie Withersan to him?" he asked, his voice low.

"Ex-girlfriend, I think," Rock murmured, watching Chance. "Haven't heard a thing about her in years ... two of 'em broke up, her parents were a piece of work but that's about all I know about it."

Jake nodded and turned his attention back to his partner as he finally got through to Detective Seriad.

Chance's tail was swishing irritably. He was vaguely aware that Midnight was nearby, worried, but right now his focus was entirely on the time it was taking to get Detective Seriad to the phone.

She was out in the field ... he wasn't sure where just yet, but the possibility that she had the case he was going to ask about ... well, that would be an incredible stroke of luck.

Inasmuch as anything connected to this could be lucky, at any rate. He'd just had to turn on the news this morning, hadn't he?

"Detective Seriad here," her voice finally answered.

"Rashee? This is Lieutenant Furlong," he told her. "I'm sure you're pretty busy right now, so I'll try to make it quick ... I just heard about the Withersan case on the news. Connie's an old friend of mine, and if you know anything about it, I'd appreciate it if you could keep me in the loop, off the record?"

"Even our debt?" she asked with a friendly grin in her voice.

"Of course," he said easily. "Only fair. You know anything about it, or should I get back to you tomorrow?"

"I'll swing by after lunch. I should be done here by then. If you know her, I need to talk to you anyway," she said.

"Come by for lunch and we'll feed you," he offered hopefully.

"Deal," she all but purred.

"Thanks," he nodded. "See you then," he added before hanging up... and realizing he'd just gutted their plans for the day.

"Ah crap, I'm sorry," he groaned, looking over at Midnight apologetically. "I could try to call her back, reschedule?"

"Don't you dare," Midnight said firmly, her tail swishing sharply. "But you are going to tell me who this Connie is to you that none of us know her and she gets this kind of reaction from you."

"Old girlfriend," he explained, walking over to put an arm around Midnight and sat down with her on the couch. "Haven't heard a peep from her in years, but ... well, it's not every day you hear an ex was murdered," he murmured.

"No," she nuzzled him. "It's not."

"For a while, we both thought it was pretty serious ... this was about ten, eleven years ago, mind," he chuckled slightly. "We were close, even if her parents hated my guts. Eventually though, we just realized that we only really had one or two things in common, and it wasn't going to work out. Honestly, I haven't thought about her that much since then ... not until I saw her in the audience, at the execution," he mused. "She was another one of the BKK's survivors."

No one missed how Jake stiffened, or when he realized this wasn't news to anyone else.

"Sorry, but it wasn't for me to tell you," Rock said softly as he drew Jake close.

"I realized ... but not him," Jake voice was sick.

"Sorry," Chance murmured, looking up at his partner. "I... Hell, I did mean to keep it a secret, but you can understand why, right?" He asked him hopefully, hoping that Jake wasn't hurt by the secret between them.

"Crud, yes," his partner nodded quickly and walked out of Rock's embrace to sit next to Chance and squeeze his shoulder. "I do understand, buddy. You aren't the only one who has things that he doesn't want common knowledge. Maybe Meg can take the kits today?" he glanced between Chance and Midnight. "I think the fun is over."

"I'll call and ask in a little bit ... give her a chance to wake up and get her coffee first," Midnight chuckled slightly. "Should I ah ... go do the dishes or something?" She asked, offering the two toms a little privacy to talk.

"You already know about it," Chance pointed out. "Don't worry about it ... just keep an ear out for the kits," he murmured. "So ... where should I start?" He asked Jake, honestly not sure. He knew that he deserved to know, but he didn't know what to tell him just now. It had been easier after hearing about the execution, when he'd had a goal in mind. Today ... he didn't have any sort of a plan, even a half-assed one.

"How'd you meet her?" Jake suggested, dropping his eyes a bit. "I know enough about BKK's MO from Modern Criminal History that you can probably skip most of those details," he added as an offer. "Did you feel better after killing him?"

"Honestly, yes, I did," Chance murmured. "Not because I did it, but knowing that son of a bitch was actually dead ... that was better. And we met in court, actually," he explained. "After the first trials were over and they had convictions, John Steele threw the book at him. No deals for him, not until he had enough time stacked up that BKK would have had to be damn-near immortal to see a parole date, even if his execution was commuted.

"Going back, Connie was case number five, and as usual I was one of their star witnesses for establishing the pattern. That was the first tricky one; Connie's folks lived in an entirely different part of town, the defense tried pushing that, but it didn't work. The entire city was the Boogiekat's playground, and everybody knew it.

"At any rate, we started hanging out a bit ... it does a lot for making friends when both of you have the same nightmares. We didn't have to talk about it, didn't have to tiptoe around topics that might bring it up ... it wasn't awkward, the way it could be with people who knew, but hadn't gone through it themselves."

Jake nodded, an odd sort of look on his face as the differences between their traumas were noted.

"Jake?" Midnight flicked a look at him, and only got a shake of the head in return.

"Once things had settled down, that was when you realized you didn't have much else in common?" Jake half-asked.

"Once things had settled down, and the fun of dating somebody her parents didn't approve of," Chance chuckled slightly. "Really, the fact we didn't have anything much in common was the big nail in the coffin, but her folks didn't help much." He smiled a bit, remembering her. "We had some good times, but it wasn't going to work out."

"You never knew what happened to her, until this?" Midnight asked gently.

"No, not really," Chance admitted. "I called her once, on... shit," he added quietly, checking his watch. "Twenty years to the day, yesterday," he murmured.

"Of ...." Jake started, only to have his eyes widen as he put the information together and shuddered. "That is one sick copykat."

"How long until yours?" Midnight asked, suddenly very afraid.

"Jake, it's not necessarily a copykat," Chance pointed out. "I mean ... there are only so many days in a year. The odds are pretty out there, but it could happen... and it's about a month," he added, glancing back at Midnight. "Nothing's going to happen," he added seriously.

"Buddy, promise me you'll be careful that night, okay?" Jake nearly begged, honestly terrified at his very core by a logic he hated and didn't dare ignore. "You aren't just anybody these days. If a freak coincidence is going to manifest, you're a prime target."

"Of course I'm going to be careful," Chance nodded, turning back to him. "But hey, I'm probably going to be up in the air or out looking for leads on the Ghost Thief ... if there is some sort of copykat out there, he's gonna have a damned hard time of pulling that one off."

"It's a night we have off," Jake told him, even as he forced himself to settle and put the fear away until he could deal with it without making this harder for his partner. "If you don't mind, I'd like to stick around until after lunch. We make a good detective team, and I'd like to help settle this one."

"That's fine, Jake," Chance nodded. "Hell ... to be honest with you, I'm not really that broken up about it, more pissed off than anything else. She was a good Kat, and she'd already dealt with one psycho in her life ... more than enough."

"Agreed," Jake nodded.

"Do folks feel up for finishing breakfast?" Midnight suggested.

"Sure," Chance nodded. "Might as well do it before we get the details," he murmured.

"Definitely," Midnight kissed his cheek before she stood to toss the cinnamon bread that had burned during the crisis and start it over while the guys sat down at the table.

Detective Rashee Seriad drew a breath before she knocked on the door to the Furlong home. She really hated this part of the job, the talking to family and friends of a murder victim.

She just hoped that Chance had been more shocked at a familiar face in Ann's report than still close to her. That he hadn't asked about the kit was a point for that one. His face as he answered the door was another one; he was glad to see her, but he didn't look like a grieving boyfriend or close friend.

"Good to see you, Rashee," he smiled slightly. "Just wish it was for a better reason. C'mon in."

"Thank you," she nodded and walked inside, noting, to no real surprise, that Midnight, Jake and Rock were all there. "You know I have to ask," she apologized, "but where were each of you in the last fourteen hours?"

"We all understand," Rock reassured her. "Pretty boring answers though; Jake and I were at home, and the neighbors can confirm it if you check."

"So can complex security cameras," Jake added.

"Midnight and I were enjoying the fact that two of the three kittens are usually sleeping through the night these days," Chance added. "Catching up on our sleep, though we don't have much in the way of proof."

"Jake and Rock arrived about nine-thirty for breakfast," Midnight added.

"When was the last time someone can confirm your location?" Seriad asked.

"Around ten last night, when we left Meg Furlong's," Midnight said.

"If it helps any, I don't even know where Connie lives anymore," Chance offered. "I could describe the building Anne was standing in front of, but that's it. I know you can't just take my word for it, but we haven't seen each other in ... gotta be ten years by now."

He didn't like the way her ears flicked at that. It was an incongruous movement at best, except he knew she was too good a detective to be obvious about less than minor revelations.

"Okay, just what did I say that was so interesting?" he asked with a sigh. This day was just getting worse and worse.

"What was her family condition when you saw her last?" she asked evenly.

"How about everyone sitting down?" Midnight suggested as she tried to guide folks to the table.

"Two parents who were desperate to pretend they weren't middle class, and more or less cheerfully single," Chance told her, though he did sit down. Whatever this was, it wasn't going to be good, he was sure.

"How did it end between you two?"

"Drifted apart ... wasn't either of our first breakups, and basically we'd found that we didn't have as much in common as we thought we did at first. Better as friends than a couple."

Seriad nodded. "Chance ... when was the last time you saw Connie Withersan?"

"I didn't talk with her about anything; barely noticed she was there, actually, but I saw her at the BKK's execution," he told her matter-of-factly. "But like I said, all I did was see her ... a little busy with other things at the time."

"Understandable," Seriad nodded, grateful that he had an explanation that meshed with the diary entry. "So she never tried to contact you?"

"Not that I'm aware of," he said, shaking his head and glancing at Midnight for confirmation.

"No," she agreed. "This is the first I've heard of her."

"And she has passed on messages from other former girlfriends," Chance added. "Can you tell me what happened?"

"Some at least," she nodded. "She was definitely murdered and I expect sexually assaulted by at least two males. It's one of the more violent scenes I've been to in a long time."

"Shit," Chance muttered, shaking his head. "No husband or boyfriend?"

"According to her diary, you were the last male she had any thoughts about," Seriad told him quietly. "That was the night after the execution. She seems to have been single for at least the last two years and rarely inclined to change that. I wish you had talked to her that night. She might have told you who had sired her kit."

"She had a kitten?" Chance asked, his ears flattening. "Did the killer...." He trailed off, not wanting to give voice to what he was worried about.

If this was a copykat... he might have gone that far.

"We don't believe so, but she was pretty hysterical after finding her mother like that. She knew to call 911. Wouldn't let me in until a uniform showed up to vouch for me. Good looking ten year old tabby. I wish she hadn't had to see what she did."

"No kidding," Chance murmured. "Rashee ... you'll probably find it out yourself when you go through her records, but I should let you know. She was at the execution because she was one of the BKK's vics, twenty years ago yesterday."

"I know, from the diary, would have guessed from her being there and her age," she nodded. "I probably know a few things about you that you'd rather I didn't from it too. Can you think of anything else that might be useful, or questions? I realize you're going to want to investigate, and I'm going to ask you, as a friend, not to. It won't look the way you mean it."

"I know it won't," he nodded slightly. "Besides, we're still with SI at the moment, and it doesn't sound like that qualifies. I can't think of too much else that's useful right now, but I'll let you know if I remember anything ... is her kit going to be living with her grandparents?"

"They died two years ago," she told him quietly. "She's staying with a friend's parents until we can track down who her sire is."

"That's good," he nodded slightly. "Last thing she'd need after that is being packed off to Kitten Services and a bunch of total strangers."

"She'll be headed that way in a few days at most," she shook her head. "Even if we find her sire, she doesn't even know his name, much less him, and that's as close as she has to kin that she knows of. Whether it's to strangers she's related to, or strangers she isn't, they'll still be strangers."

"Yeah... but at least she'll have a little time to try and cope first," he murmured. "Sorry ... thanks for the info, Rashee. So ... I seem to remember I promised you lunch?" He suggested.

"You can owe me a dinner if you'd rather," she offered with a glance at Midnight. "I'll admit that a home-cooked meal I didn't make would be very welcome."

"We haven't eaten either, and between Midnight and Jake, they can make something up pretty quick, probably," Rock offered.

"Assuming you don't mind?" Chance asked his wife.

"Not at all," she smile and all but pulled Jake into the large kitchen. "Sit tight, talk, we'll have good, hot food out shortly."

"I'll get it!" Bruce called out at the knock at the door, detouring from his trip to the kitchen for a soda. "Hello?"

"Hello," a female voice answered that perked four sets of ears at the dining room table around the corner. "I'm Detective Seriad. Is Chance here?"

"Yes, he is," Bruce nodded, leaning over to try and get a glimpse of the shorter Kat who owned the tail whose chocolate brown tip he could see poking out from behind the Detective. "Should I go get him, or do you and your little friend want to come in?"

"If we could come in, it would be best," Seriad told him, and stepped forward when he stepped aside before turning to urge her charge in. It gave Bruce a good look at the kitten, and he couldn't help but think it was a Furlong, despite not recognizing her. Did the entire force know what Furlongs looked like and where to bring lost ones to?

"Is there something up?" Chance asked, coming out of the dining room to meet Seriad.

Bruce glanced up at him, then back down at the little girl, ten, maybe eleven years old. The tip of his tail fluffed out a bit before he caught himself as he realized how strong the resemblance was between the two chocolate on golden tabbies.

"Who's this?" Chance asked, it showing on his face that he'd noticed too.

"This is Tamera Withersan, Connie Withersan's daughter," the detective began. "According to her birth certificate, a Tom 'Chance' Furlong is her father. Between her looks, the timing and knowing you, it was kind of an obvious conclusion."

Chance had been half expecting it, in the very back of his mind, but it didn't make it any less of a bombshell. He swallowed, looking down at the kitten who was looking back up at him, not sure what to make of him. He was keenly aware of the fact that everybody else in the house had heard the announcement, and that they weren't saying anything at the moment.

He got down on one knee, so he was a bit closer to Tamera's height.

"Tamera ... how old are you?" He asked her, trying to do some quick mental math to figure out how old she could be without him having noticed that Connie was pregnant when they broke up.

If he was the father, she could only have been a day or two along ... it was a pretty narrow window, given that he was sure she hadn't been in heat at the time.

"Almost eleven, Chance," she answered, straightening herself a bit to look him in the eye. "I don't know, Mom never said who my sire is, but I look a lot like you."

"Yeah... you do," he agreed, trying very hard not to look as shaken as he felt. "I'm sorry about what happened to her," he added softly, knowing it wasn't much, but all he could really say right now.

"Chance, we'll do a paternity test to make sure, but until it comes in, I can't think of a better couple and family to take care of Tamera," Seriad said. "You have to admit, she sure looks like Furlong kin."

"Yeah, she does," Chance nodded, looking up at Seriad. "It's just ... well, more than a bit of a surprise. Midnight?" He asked, looking over his shoulder, back towards the dining room. "I think you should probably come out here."

"I heard," she said when she appeared around the corner and smiled at the tabby kitten. She had to admit it; the family resemblance was striking, though she wasn't as good at tabby markings as she was the solids and facial structure that most of her friends used.

"Hello, Tamera," she walked up to the kitten and knelt before reaching up to scratch behind her ears. "I'm Midnight Raven, Chance's mate," she added with a smile as the kitten relaxed. "Have you had dinner yet?"

Tamera nodded shyly, then glanced towards the dining room where the rest of those there were trying to get a look at her without crowding her or Chance. "Big family," she murmured.

"Yes, a very big family," Midnight smiled. "I happen to know there's some chocolate chip mint ice cream cake left in the freezer."

"Okay," Tamera smiled weakly, though the chocolate brown tip of her tail flicked a bit more eagerly at the prospect of the treat and she followed the slender, short black shekat into the kitchen, leaving the adults some privacy to talk.

"Chance?" Meg glanced at her son, hoping for something of an explanation without grilling him.

"I didn't even know Connie was pregnant," Chance said with a bit of a shrug, not honestly sure what else to say. "If she is my daughter... dammit, Connie never said anything, not even in the letters I got from her for a few months after that. I didn't have any idea."

"At least you're in a good position to take care of her now," Meg sighed with a shake of her head. "Poor girl."

"I'll get back to you when we have paternity test results," Seriad said. "She's a good kit, just doesn't like to sleep alone right now."

"I can imagine," Chance nodded. "Do you have anything else that came up during the day? While you're here," he added as she turned to leave.

"Yes," Seriad nodded, turning back towards them. "Not something we need getting out though," she added, glancing at Meg and Bruce apologetically.

"We understand," she nodded and turned back to the dinning room to give the pair enough privacy.

"I spoke with Detective Sandru earlier today," Seriad said quietly. "Lioness in SCU, worked the werewolf case you guys got mixed up in. Anyways, she says that Connie's death may be connected to an earlier murder this week... it looks like we might have a copykat out there, mimicking the BKK. Six days since the execution, and two murders...."

"Which means that if he's working damned fast, there's going to be another in three days," Chance murmured. "That was Berten's MO ... always attacked on the third night. He's no garden-variety copykat though ... he knows enough to have known the exact date of Connie's attack."

"And the other one too," Seriad told him. "He's going after BKK's prior victims on the date of their initial attacks, two for two. There's been a ten year old vic too, a new one. Not enough to be sure she's part of the pattern, but it's scary enough to notice."

"But hang on ... didn't you say something about multiple attackers in ... this last case?" He asked her quietly. "Multiple copykats? That doesn't make any sense, not for this case ... and while I'm glad he did, it's hard to believe that anybody duplicating Berten's MO would have left...." He jerked his head back towards the kitchen where Midnight was getting Tamera some dessert.

"Chance, we don't know if it's a copykat, weird timing or just bad luck," she reminded him. "It's high on the list of suspicions, but this is a huge city and we don't have the evidence to prove it's the same attacker yet. The labs will need a few days to work all that out. It's just detective gut reaction right now. We've been wrong before."

"Right," Chance nodded. "I'm just sayin'... this time, I don't know that I think it's all that likely. Anyways, thanks for the information... and for letting me know about Tamera. Let me know what the paternity results are; we need to come in for any more lab work for that?"

"If you'd drop by HQ Medical for a blood draw, it would speed things up," she nodded. "They got hers when they did a medical check on her this morning."

"Sure thing," he nodded. "I'll stop by in the morning. Anything else you can tell me?"

"Give me a break, Furlong," she rolled her eyes, though there was a bit of a grin on her face. "I haven't had this case forty-eight hours yet."

"Okay, so I'll wait until tomorrow to ask why you haven't solved it yet," he teased. "Thanks again ... see you tomorrow, and good luck."

"Thanks," she reached out and squeezed his shoulder. "Right now I'm going to pick up my daughter and hold her for a long time. Let me know if you need anything for Tamera. Her things should be released from the crime scene in a day or two."

"Will do ... and you go do that," Chance smiled, giving her shoulder a light squeeze before she turned and left.

Jake closed the door to their condo behind him before he reached out to touch his lover, turning the big tabby around for a soft, lingering kiss and embrace.

"So ... up for indulging in something unusual tonight?" Jake asked with a low purr.

"What've you got in mind?" Rock purred, kissing him back as Jake slid his hands down his broad chest.

"Pretend I'm a virgin," he grinned shyly, a bit embarrassed by the request despite all he'd asked for in the last few years. "The not into kinks kind."

"What brought this on?" Rock asked with a chuckle, starting to undo Jake's shirt.

"Enough gory details on that murder that gentle and painless is appealing," he admitted, pressing into the touch with a soft groan.

"That I can see," Rock murmured, nuzzling him and sliding his shirt off. "And I'm up for it," he added with a low rumble. "So, what'd you think of Tamera?" He asked, reaching down to undo Jake's belt while Jake worked on unbuttoning his shirt.

"She sure has the looks to be his kit," he started with the obvious. "She's been touched, though the spirit isn't very strong that did it. She'll probably be pretty bright when she's not trying to relearn the entire world."

"Any idea what spirit?" Rock asked him, pulling his belt out of his jeans and tossing it to the side. "And you're probably right ... didn't know Connie that well, but I seem to remember she was pretty smart most of the time, and I know Chance is, even if he doesn't admit it," he chuckled slightly. "Wish he'd found out a better way," he murmured.

"Me too," he murmured, claiming another kiss. "At least he's set up as well as he could be to have a new kitten in his life. I could tell Midnight took to her quickly."

"I think Midnight could find out he'd accidentally sired an entire clan and she wouldn't mind too much as long as she got to take care of them," Rock purred into the kiss. "So... why don't we try taking this to the bedroom before we get too much further?"

"I'd like that," Jake smiled, nuzzling Rock's bare chest as he slipped into a 'nervous virgin' mindset.

"Come on," Rock purred, picking him up and carrying him on back into their home. "I don't think I'll ever get tired of this," he grinned.

"I'm sure I won't," Jake slid his arms around his neck and nuzzled him. "Love how strong you are."

"I'll just have to remember to keep working out then," Rock purred, nuzzling him back and setting him down on the bed, making short work of undressing the rest of the way. "So, what do you want to start out with?" He rumbled deeply.

Jake licked his lips nervously, his eyes lingering on Rock's crotch as he shimmied out of his own jeans, though he lift his skivvies on.

"So it's my call, hmm?" Rock purred, climbing onto the bed. "Don't worry, I'll be gentle with you," he promised, straddling Jake's hips and kissing him tenderly.

He felt as much as heard the low moan from the lean tom under him, but it was the way Jake slipped a hand between them to fondle his balls that drew one from him.

"Love you," Rock rumbled lowly, shifting to lick at Jake's neck, reluctantly moving so that Jake couldn't reach his balls for a bit as he moved down further, teasing his furless nipples with his tongue.

"Love you too," Jake shivered, his hands exploring his lover's powerful chest. "Love how you touch me."

"Just wait until I'm really going," Rock grinned up at him, reaching up between Jake's legs to fondle him through his briefs. "Spread your legs, okay?"

He nodded with a low moan and did so, his eyes dilating slightly as he watched his lover pretend this was their first time together. It brought back incredibly intense memories from that real first time, both with Rock, and when he'd first been naked with another tom.

Rock slid his briefs down slightly, just enough to expose his sheath and half-hard shaft. He nuzzled the swelling pouch, inhaling his lover's scent hungrily as he fondled his balls directly.

"Oooh, that feels good," Jake gasped, honestly a bit shocked at how intense the pleasure was without any pain.

"And I'm only getting started," Rock grinned, licking him from the base of his sheath to the tip of his shaft, working his briefs off the rest of the way as Jake whimpered and tried not to squirm too much.

He tried to form a response, only to give up as Rock's tongue swirled around the smooth, conical tip of his cock, then across the slit.

Rock took him into his mouth as he hardened, starting to bob his head up and down the smaller tom's stiffening cock. He slipped his hand down from Jake's balls to finger his tight pucker, pausing a moment to look up at him.

"There's lube in the nightstand; grab it for me, will you?" He asked, before taking Jake's cock in his mouth again. He felt through Jake's body as the lean tom reached over to get the rarely used bottle and hand it down.

"Mmm, good," Rock purred deeply, privately amused that Jake was so surprised by the simple pleasures they hadn't indulged in for some time.

"Remember," he winked up at Jake, "you did ask to be treated like a virgin."

He opened the tube, spreading some on his fingers before returning them to Jake's ass, slicking and slowly stretching the muscles there as he suckled his cock, paying careful attention to his barbs with his tongue.

"I remember," Jake moaned, nearly a whimper as his hips rocked between the twin pleasures. "Feels so good."

"Prove it," Rock grinned up at him around his cock, burying his nose in Jake's pubes, working the smooth tip with the back of his throat as he sucked him off, finally working his fingers up into Jake's ass and fingering his prostate.

"Yes!" Jake roared at that first hard press against the sensitive gland, his body responding on instinct to the pressure and pleasure. He cried out a second time as his balls pulled up against his body in a reaction that spiraled completely out of his control.

Rock closed his eyes, rumbling lowly as he swallowed every drop of his lover's seed. He took a few moments to lick him clean after he'd finished, relishing the way he whimpered and quivered, but most of all, with how completely Jake gave into the experience.

Slowly he moved up, kissing him hungrily as Jake panted and slowly relaxed into a puddle of soft fur.

"Are you ready?" Rock asked, lightly scritching Jake's chest, relishing the way he relaxed in his arms. "Or you want to take a turn putting your mouth to work?" He added with a grin, his own cock rubbing against Jake's thigh.

"Want to taste you," Jake all but quivered in excitement at the prospect and pressed upward lightly, urging Rock to roll to his back.

The big tabby did so easily, spreading his legs, his shaft standing tall and thick between them as Jake looked down at it and licked his lips.

"Just remember, no teeth," Rock grinned up at him.

"No teeth, right," Jake nodded before sinking down to rub his cheek against the rock-hard, musky offering of flesh. "Love how you smell, how you feel."

Rock groaned lowly, reaching down to rub Jake's ears.

"Go ahead and take your time, if you want," he purred. "Not gonna rush you, but what you're doing feels really good."

Jake smiled, purring deeply as he gave Rock's cock a lingering rub, then sank down a bit further to nuzzle his heavy balls. "You have any idea how much this turns me on?" he asked before drawing one large orb into his mouth.

"Which part of it?" Rock groaned lowly, his shaft twitching slightly at the pleasure that tingled through him as he rubbed Jake's ears and Jake worked his balls with a skill he'd honestly forgotten much about. They'd focused enough on pain and fucking that it had been a while.

With a sound of pleasure Jake let it slip from his mouth and nuzzled the heavy pair. "Feeling your balls and cock against by fur," he answered, his breath warm against their surface. "Tasting you, making you moan."

"We'll have to practice it a bit more often from now on," Rock grinned down at him. "Mmm ... seem to remember you like it when I come all over you too," he added with a moan as his shaft twitched with Jake's hot breath washing over it.

"I do," he shivered in anticipation before moving up a bit to rub his face against the hard cock again. "Love how you taste," he rumbled and slowly sank his mouth down around his lover's thick cock, exploring every inch of it with his tongue.

"Fuck yeah," Rock moaned, thrusting lightly up into Jake's mouth, his balls already twitching with pleasure. "Damn you're good at this, Jake."

He got a purring rumble in response, and Jake brought one hand in to cradle and fondle his balls. How long had it been since he'd given Jake full leave to indulge his taste for this?

However long it had been, he had to do it more often!

He fought the urge to claw Jake; while it would have normally been something he wouldn't have hesitated to do, tonight wasn't for pain. Instead, he spread his legs a bit further, rocking his hips up against Jake's face.

His lover rumbled, applied more suction as he worked up and down the hard length with a passion for it that rivaled only his passion for pain.

Rock roared, pumping ropes of thick seed into Jake's mouth, arching his back off to bed to try and push deeper into his hot, wet, hungry mouth and found it open to his advances, willingly taking him in until he couldn't press any further forward past Jake's nose.

Jake followed him down as the intensity passed and he sank down to the bed again, slowly drawing back to lick him clean.

"Oooh ... hard to believe it's the first time you've done that," Rock teased, pulling him up and kissing him hungrily, the two toms enjoying their mingling flavors and their lax bodies.

"Mmm, feel like finishing the job you started on my ass?" Jake asked, running his hands down Rock's hard body.

"Sounds like a plan," Rock purred, rolling over on top of Jake. "Like this, or you want up on your hands and knees first?" He grinned, licking Jake's nose.

"I'd like to watch you this time," he turned his head into the movement for a kiss and brought his knees up. "Take me," he cooed, his shaft hard and demanding between them.

Rock shifted down a bit, pressing his shaft up into Jake's lubed, stretched ass with a low moan, kissing him hungrily as he relished the feeling of his lover's body tight and hot around his member.

This part he would never miss. No matter how often he was buried inside Jake like this, the way he moaned and cried out in absolute abandon at being taken. It was heaven, even after years together, and all he could ever think of was that it would only get better.

For the briefest of moments, Tamera was almost able to pretend that she was at home when she woke up. Unfortunately, as her nose and sense of touch pointed out that there were two people in bed with her, and neither of them smelled like her mother, she also found herself unable to slip back into the happy dream she'd almost thought she was waking up into.

Still, she snuggled up more closely against Midnight, the black-furred shekat in her satin nightgown a comforting presence, at least.

Chance, behind her, was still sleeping soundly. It wasn't that she was uncomfortable with him there, really. It was just that she'd never shared a bed with anybody but her mother before ... not a grown up, anyways.

While Midnight was a fairly decent substitute for her mother, Chance being there broke the illusion quickly. Her mom had never let her stay in the bed with her when a boyfriend was over. She'd never explained why, she felt safe enough with Chance on her other side, but her mom had been adamant about it.

"Ready for breakfast?" Midnight's soft voice broke into her thoughts.

"Sure," Tamera nodded slightly, sitting up as Midnight slipped out of bed, careful not to wake her mate at such an early hour.

"Then come to the kitchen and we'll fix something up for you," Midnight smiled and helped her get her feet on the floor without waking Chance.

"Thanks," she smiled back, following Midnight out. "Does he usually sleep in like that?"

"Whenever he can, between kittens, rotating shifts and other commitments," she nodded. "It's quite early for him to be up. What appeals for breakfast?"

"I'd usually just have cereal or something," Tamera told her. "I'm usually up pretty early on the weekends," she admitted with a bit of a blush. "But... if it's okay, could I maybe have some eggs or something?" She asked hopefully, not wanting to push her luck.

"Sure thing," Midnight smiled brightly as she pulled the carton of eggs out. "What about cinnamon french toast, bacon and juice?"

"Uhm ... sure!" Tamera blinked. "Can I help?"

"I'd like that," her smile turned to a grin. "How about starting with cracking two eggs in a dish while I get things together?"

"Okay," Tamera nodded, taking a dish and the eggs from Midnight and carefully cracking first one, then another, into the bowl, carefully trying to keep from breaking any of the shell in. "So... what do you usually do?" She asked, hoping to keep some conversation going.

"I take care of the house and kittens," she smiled. "Chance makes enough as an Enforcer pilot that I don't have to work anymore."

"Cool," the tabby mused. "Mom always had to work," she murmured. "She'd still be in bed now, usually...." Her tail curled lightly around one leg as she remembered.

"It's okay," Midnight knelt and hugged her. "It'll hurt for a long time, but it'll get better in time."

"Why?" Tamera murmured, pressing back against Midnight, squeezing her eyes shut. "Why would somebody hurt Mom like that? Why didn't he do it to me instead?" She whispered.

"Some people are very sick, dear," she tried to reassure her. "They have reasons for their choices I can't even begin to understand."

"But he was after me," Tamera pointed out, her fur starting to stand up on end. "He was in my room, not Mom's!"

"He?" she looked at the kitten seriously. "You've seen the attacker?"

She shook her head.

"Not really ... but it's the same guy who grabbed me the other night. Mom woke me up before he could really hurt me," she said with a tone somewhere between dead serious and knowing how ridiculous it sounded.

"Tell me about it," Midnight asked, gently but firmly. "You might be surprised at what I don't think is ridiculous."

"Well ... the last couple nights, I've been having bad dreams," Tamera admitted. "Before it happened," she added. "When I'd think I was waking up, I'd try to get out of bed, and the monster would grab me and pull me under. But Mom would come and wake me up for real, and I'd be in bed, but... I know it was real! It wasn't just a dream, not the last parts."

"Did it leave any physical evidence? Bruising, scratches, or the like?" she asked, working it over in a mind nearly as well educated on the supernatural as any priest.

Tamera nodded, reaching down and pulling up her nightgown, brushing the fur on her ankle back to show some bruises, at least a couple days old. "Just this, but dreams don't bruise you at all, so...."

"You could have hit yourself on something in your sleep, but it's not likely to leave a mark like that," Midnight said after she looked at the finger-like marks just above her ankle. "Would you mind talking to a friend of mine, a priestess of Bastet and skilled diviner? She might be able to put a little more detail as to what is dream and what is real."

"Okay," Tamera nodded seriously. "You believe it?"

"I've seen too much in my life not to give it the benefit of a full investigation," Midnight nodded. "Compared to some things I've witnessed, this is quite believable."

"I didn't tell the Enforcers," she admitted. "I probably should have, huh?"

"Yes, you should have, but you told me, and that's nearly as good," Midnight tried to reassure her. "Now, feel up for eating breakfast before I wake up Chance and we see about those dreams you're having?"

"Sure," the kitten nodded, getting back to helping Midnight make breakfast.

Shier Khan surveyed his domain in MegaKat City as his stretch limousine pulled into the estate, lush in the manicured trees and water features from his homeland's palaces. It was not home, it was not even his finest residence, but here was his most treasured possession.

His heart lived here.

"All is ready, master," a petite golden tiger tabby shekat wearing a traditional blue and golden sari bowed to him as he stepped out of the limo. Her accent was noticeable, but he smiled privately at how much her Tusandrin had improved since his last visit. She looked better too. Good enough to be worth bedding, if he didn't know he'd have company while he was here.

He nodded acknowledgement of her words and walked up the main staircase into his home. His nose twitched, and a low chuckle rumbled up from his chest.

"You must have a much more competent second than last time I visited," he called out, his fine suit doing nothing to hinder his naturally powerful grace as he walked into his rich dark wood office to greet his long-time lover.

"You could say that," Ulysses Feral rumbled in matching amusement as he looked up from doing work at the grand desk and leaned back in the plush leather chair. "You could also say that I can do paperwork anywhere and here, with you coming, is much more pleasant than my office at headquarters.

"Is your work finished?" Shier raised an eyebrow

"It is for tonight," Feral purred, pushing it off to the side and standing up to meet Shier, welcoming his embrace and fierce kiss.

"Good," Shier claimed a second kiss and drew him against his body fully. "Because I have plans for you, and they do not involve work."

"Good," Feral purred, hugging the Tiger tightly, drinking in his scent. "To be honest with you, I'm glad to have work over with for the night. I don't think I've ever had a week this insane without a giant monster attack."

"So I have heard," Shier licked his cheek and pulled back slightly so he could take his lover by the hand. "Come to the lounging room. We will eat, enjoy ourselves, and you can let go of this week."

"That sounds good," Feral purred, following him to the lounge. "An evening at home, more or less?"

"Has there ever been a reason not to?" Shier chuckled deeply. "When you have all that we do here?"

"I certainly can't think of one," Feral rumbled lowly, taking up a comfortable place in the cushions in the lounge next to Shier. "I'm more than happy to stay home, especially tonight. So, how was your trip?"

"Long, dull and very profitable," he summed his last four months up and leaned over for a kiss, his hand playing across his boyfriend's broad chest, beginning to work the long trench coat off of him. "Very much unlike yours, I hear."

"No," Feral laughed darkly, returning the kiss. "Unfortunately, it's been quite the opposite... except for the long part. My Ghosts are still trying to find out exactly whose tail I'm going to have to break for what happened at the prison earlier this week."

"And for the next few hours, none of that is your concern," Shier told him with determination, sliding a hand down to play his fingers under Ulysses' belt.

"If you're trying to distract me, maybe I'm not the one who should be undressing," Feral purred, working on Shier's suit slowly. "I'm glad you're back in town," he murmured, kissing him tenderly.

"So am I," he rumbled, undoing the brown tom's belt and pulling his slacks down as he abandoned all interest in talking and going slow. Dignity and patience had its place, and it wasn't with a lover of so many years after months apart.

"I mean it," Feral rumbled, getting Shier's suit and belt off before grunting a bit as he was pushed back into the cushions with a heated kiss that he returned eagerly. He slipped a powerful hand into the Tiger's pants, fondling his sheath and shaft as powerful hands, his own and his lover's, got rid of the rest of their clothing.

They both groaned into the other's mouth as the powerful body rubbed against theirs, encouraging their arousal until Ulysses grabbed Shier's ass to increase the friction for them both.

Fur and flesh rubbed against each other, and Feral rolled one shoulder up to put himself on top of the Tiger, growling playfully as he started rubbing faster, their balls bumping against each other.

Shier groaned deeply and wrapped his legs around his lover's, locking them tightly against each other as the strokes became quicker and the pressure tightening between their bodies, making their balls rub instead of bump.

Their fur was soon slick with pre-come, the universe forgotten but for their pleasure.

It wasn't long before Feral roared, the tensions of the day draining from his body along with his seed as he came hard, matting their fur with his juices and making it slick for his lover.

Shier's breath quickened, the soft, slick, wet hardness around him.

"Come, baby," Ulysses whispered throatily. "Drain your tensions onto my fur."

He kept moving, rubbing against Shier, reaching between them to close his hand around their rods and hold them tightly against each other as he worked to get him off.

It wasn't long before he'd succeeded; Shier roared, spraying his own seed onto their bellies and Ulysses' fingers.

"Mmm, I needed that," Shier nuzzled him, licking along his jaw. "It's not the same with the submissive ones I usually get."

"No, it's not," Ulysses purred, nuzzling his neck. "Though there's something to be said for them too," he added with a low chuckle.

"Yes, and watching with one," he licked his whiskers back in at memories of previous evenings where he had done so. "To watch you thrust into her body again and again, making her cry out in pleasure until you drive yourself in with a roar, your entire body stiff, your instincts taking over," he looked up at his lover and pulled him in for a heavy kiss. "I have passed many lonely nights with that image."

"Mmm ... maybe if we get a chance, I can get a couple pictures for you to enjoy before you leave again," Feral chuckled. "If it makes you feel any better, I tend to pass my nights imagining you like that," he rumbled deeply. "Though occasionally with more exotic company than your own hand," he added with a kiss that was claimed and held as they both relaxed.

Shier ran his hands down Ulysses' back, enjoying the powerful body under the short fur. "Perhaps," he rumbled, more than slightly turned on by the idea. "For now, how about relaxing in the pool?"

"Sounds good to me... maybe that attractive young thing in the blue sari can bring out drinks for us?" Feral suggested. "What is her name anyways?"

"Cammy," Shier nuzzled him. "Drinks, a snack ... or to join us as well?" he rumbled softly, liking the idea a great deal.

"I think so," Ulysses rumbled, returning the nuzzle before standing up. "Maybe relax a bit before then, rest up so we can give her the breaking in she deserves... assuming that we will be?" He added, raising an eyebrow with a half-grin as his lover stood and slid his arms around him.

"Only enough to be sure she understood what I might expect of her," Shier licked Ulysses' ear. "It was by no means a breaking in."

"Then we'd best take a few minutes, make sure we can live up to her expectations," Ulysses chuckled, kissing his lover. "Let's go, I think I still remember the way to the pool."

"I would hope so," Shier chuckled and walked next to him into the hallway and down the corridor to a room that smelled perpetually of steam. "It has only been four months since we last shared it."

"Four long months," Ulysses agreed, reaching the room and sliding into the hot water with a low groan. "Some days I wonder if I'd be better off sub-letting this part of the house than getting Manx to keep our facilities budget up to date," he chuckled.

"He's still giving you too little money for the basics?" Shier raised an irritated eyebrow as his mind instantly went into plotting mode. "I really will find time to lean on him this trip. It is quite unacceptable to conduct business in a land that refuses to keep an adequately supplied military and refuses to allow me to supply my own."

"Oh, we have the basics, and we can maintain them most years, it's just actually improving anything that takes a disaster to make happen," Feral grumbled. "You remember what it took to get the funds to upgrade to blasters for more than special forces."

"Yes, I do," he nodded grimily. "I must to admit I'm glad I was not in town for that one. Werewolves ... you manage to attract the strangest of things here."

"And it's only likely to get worse," Ulysses said grimly. "Did I ever tell you what we found out about that Cadet who came back from the dead, Clawson? Seems he's connected to something that's going to get much bigger."

"No, I haven't heard about this," Shier raised an eyebrow as Cammy walked into the room with a tray heavy with fruit, sliced meat, cheese, bread and a pitcher of chilled milk. "What is coming?"

"Apparently he is Bastet's Champion, in some sort of divine... game, to see what direction the world will go in for the next generation. Unfortunately, this is a particularly important contest for whatever reason, and so it's going to be even more chaotic than usual. We've got reason to believe that at least one Omega is involved as well."

"Ah, yes, the Divine Challenge," Shier nodded. "It is typically simpler in Tusandrin, but we have far fewer factions and a much a more ritualized method."

"Unfortunately, we're not so lucky around here," Ulysses sighed. "We've got one Champion on our payroll, don't have anything more than hunches about who the others are or what they'll try to do, and only know that at least one of them has tried to blow up a good portion of the city before. It's done wonders for Clawson's job security though," he chuckled grimly.

"Is he being difficult about staying?" Shier asked, sliding and arm around his lover to draw him close in the warm, swirling water.

"Thankfully no," Ulysses murmured, snuggling up against him, wrapping an arm around his back. "Not yet, at any rate. However, there are several... well, I wouldn't say they're strikes against him, but he'd have a harder time keeping his position normally. His tastes could cause him quite a bit of trouble, but given what I've learned about these Champions, I'm not sure if it would be prudent to take action if he ever did something to warrant it."

"Taste for what?" Shier looked at him curiously.

"Pain, of all things," Feral chuckled slightly. "According to his entrance interviews, he has a distinct taste for pain in the bedroom ... so far, he's kept himself sensible about it, but the regulations about sadists and masochists alike in the Enforcers are clear. If he ever did cross a line, I'm not sure if we could afford to lose his services to the Enforcers if we had to deal with one of the Champions. To say nothing of what Bastet's and Halikar's priests and priestesses might think of it."

"Yes, I could see that becoming an issue," he nodded thoughtfully. "Have you looked into the limits on independent contractors? It may be a way to keep his services if he loses his badge."

"It may," Feral nodded, considering the idea. "It certainly has potential ... have to look into those rules. The statutes are particularly strict, especially if he was discharged from the Enforcers for a breach of regulations. Thanks for the suggestion though, it's worth looking into. Of course, if he keeps himself toned down the way he has so far, it won't be an issue."

"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst," Shier chuckled and kissed him soundly. "Does he have a steady lover?"

"I think so," Ulysses nodded slightly, returning the kiss. "One of his partner's relatives, I think. Now ... was that meant as a subtle hint to pay more attention to mine?" He chuckled.

"I won't dissuade you of that notion," he rumbled, sliding his free hand down to Ulysses' lap and shifted his full focus on making out until Ulysses was hard again and moaning as much as kissing.

"I can live with that," the dark brown Kat rumbled deeply, glancing back over his shoulder with an amused expression at Cammy, standing near the door and trying to be unobtrusive while she got an eyeful and waited for orders. "Would you care to do a bit more than watch?" He suggested with a throaty purr.

"Yes, master," she purred in return, her tail twitching eagerly as she walked to the edge of the large hot tub and casually unwrapped the soft blue sari to reveal a curvy body marked very closely to a tigress, though she clearly wasn't one.

"Very nice," he purred, taking her hand and guiding her down into the water with them, pulling her around to sit in his lap. "Why don't we give your Master a show, hmm?" He rumbled, turning her head back to kiss her and found her not only eager and willing, but already decidedly aroused.

"Thank you," she moaned into his mouth as his fingers slid between her legs, causing her to spread them wide and rock her hips. "I would like that, masters," she wiggled her tail between them, encouraging the arousal against her back as she reached her arms up and back to wrap around his neck.

"Good," he purred deeply, wrapping an arm around her to fondle her breasts. "Do you like it rough?" He asked her, squeezing one of her nipples lightly. "Or should I hold back?"

"I would prefer you didn't break anything, master," she told him with a shiver of excitement. "I would love to be so well-used I can't move in the morning."

"All right then," he rumbled deeply, shifting down beneath the water and rising up, driving his hard, thick, barbed member up between her legs, stretching her tight body as hot water gave way to hot flesh around his shaft.

"Ohhh, yesss!" Cammy cried out, arching her back forward so each thrust slammed his sheath against her clit. She would have been willing to fake this being good, but the way his huge cock stretched her as she held on for dear life and he held her hips to keep her from going far was enough to push her right to the edge of an orgasm in the first few strokes.

"Mmm, so very delicious," Shier rumbled his own approval at the way her breasts bounced in time to Ulysses' thrusts and the open ecstasy on her face.

"An incredible treat," Feral agreed with a low groan, her body hot and tight around him. "She's very good," he rumbled hotly, fondling her breasts, running his hand down her sleek, wet belly, rubbing her clit hard and fast.

"Don't hold back on my account," he told her with a deep purr, his barbed tip rubbing against her g-spot as she began to thrash, her voice nearly a sob from his efforts.

Ulysses could only groan when her body clamped down around him, milking him as her entire form tightened with a scream of pleasure.

"Love watching you enjoy one like this," Shier moaned deeply, his hand and eyes doing nearly as good a job of pushing him to the bring as Cammy's body was for his lover.

"You'll be joining me soon enough," Feral groaned, his balls twitching as he thrust a few more times, then pushed her hips down, burying his tip up against her cervix as he roared with his orgasm, pumping her body full of his seed hard enough he could feel it pushed back against his tip when there wasn't enough space through her cervix to take it deeper inside her.

"Mm, yes," he eyed the much smaller form of their playmate as her body continued to shudder and tremble, slowly coming down from what Ulysses had done to her. "You want her front, back, or share her up front?"

"You have to ask?" He chuckled, pulling out of her with a groan, rubbing his shaft between the cheeks of her ass. "If you need any lube, let me know now," he rumbled to Cammy, reaching under the water and fingering her tight ass.

"It ... would be a good thing," she said, almost surprised to hear her own voice despite the truth of it. A normal guy was one thing ... this one was significantly larger.

"Then if you can distract her while I get her ready...." Ulysses trailed off with a grin, flipping open the concealed compartment in the tiles next to the pool and pulling out a tube of thick gel that the water wouldn't break down. He took off the cap, shifting her forward in his lap a bit to meet her employer as he pressed the tip of the tube up against her anus and squeezed a bit onto the nerve-rich muscle there.

He wasn't sure whether she moaned from what he was doing as he started to stretch her out, or from enjoying playing with Shier's balls and the tip of his cock, but her tail and body language left him with no doubt that she was enjoying it all.

He spread the gel out a bit, then pushed the plastic tube into her ass, making her tense up a little and squeeze some of it inside her body without any effort of his own. While she teased and played with Shier, he took his time, nibbling on her ears lightly as he used the lube almost like a small dildo, working it in and out of her, spreading its contents through her tight ass.

She tilted her head back and shivered as Shier roared, squirting his seed on her chin and down her throat.

Ulysses purred as he pulled the tube out of her ass, lifting her up a bit to let Shier paint her with even more of his come, the shadows of the water and the three lovers in it rippling on the wall.

When Shier was finished, Ulysses sat her on the side of the pool, shifting around to face her before he slid down, starting to lick his lover's seed from her breasts, throat, and chin with tender care, his wet tail flicking as he enjoyed the Tiger's flavor.

He felt powerful hands slide down his shoulder and across his chest before Shier's chest was against his back and cock against the curve of his ass.

"If I didn't know better, I'd think you'd want me to take you while you play with her with your mouth," he rumbled hotly in Ulysses' ear.

"I haven't had nearly enough to drink yet for that, tonight," Feral chuckled, turning to kiss Shier hotly. "Besides, you know how I love your taste," he purred hotly, licking Shier's lips to convey that the slip on the date and its meaning was forgiven.

"That I do," he rumbled, enjoying the sight as he took in his lover's powerful body with his hands while Ulysses finished cleaning her off. "I happen to love how you feel as well," he added, his hand cupping the big tom's heavy balls, fondling them tenderly.

"Mmm ... and how I feel through the walls of a certain very attractive young woman?" Feral rumbled, turning to give Cammy an affectionate lick.

"That sounds like a wonderful start to the evening," he caught Ulysses' jaw to turn him into a kiss, then backed off a bit to give the pair space to get ready for him to join in.

Commander Ulysses Feral was alone on the platform with the condemned tom. His hand was on the lever, the hood over the tom's head ... but he knew it was Berten. The guards were there, watching ... the hangkat was nowhere to be seen....

This time, it would go perfectly. He'd pull the lever, Berten would drop, it would all be over. It would be over, for him, for Furlong, for the victims left in the audience ... none of them would have to be scared of him anymore. Whether of him, or the chance he might escape.

"Does the condemned have any final requests?" he asked, performing his role as executioner.

"Actually, I do," Berten laughed, his voice raspy and hard. "I want you to suck my cock one last time before I go," he said with an audible sneer.

Feral wanted to just pull the lever and get it over with, but something seemed to have other ideas; he found himself on his knees, fighting against himself even as he undid Berten's belt.

"You remember the first time, Uly?" Doug purred, face still hidden by his mask. "When you pleasured me like this?"

Feral couldn't stop himself from unzipping the monster's pants, but he had enough control left to unsheath his claws and rip Berten's cock and balls off with the underwear that had been over them.

The Boogiekat howled with pain, blood spraying Feral's face, hot and thick and far more copious than it should have been. He heard the sound of the platform dropping, and a body falling, but still the spray continued. Once he finally managed to get out of the geyser of blood, he looked up towards the platform where Berten should have been... and he was gone, his body replaced in the noose by that of Shier Khan, still twitching at the end of the rope, hooded head at an unnatural angle and his groin ripped out.

"No!" Feral gasped in unabashed horror, just before reality began to lock down and his focus narrowed. He slashed through the rope with a swipe of his claws, allowing his lover's body to fall to the ground and let it there.

A snarl that was positively obscene in its resonance echoed through the room as Feral dropped to all fours and turned the full power of his mind and body to one purpose: to seek and destroy Doug Berten.

The entire tenor of the prison had changed. It was dark, deserted, with the lights flickering, in a state of disrepair that only normally existed in Feral's mind during the darkest times of Manx's budgets coming through. It was a terrifying place, but not one that frightened Feral. Not right now.

"Come and find me, Uly... you know where I'll be," Berten called over the intercom, the sound of a kitten crying in the background doing nothing for the Xanith's mood.

Somehow, he did know too ... the visiting area.

He didn't question it; no different than how he usually acted on his gut instinct. He simply raced off in a direct path for the front of the prison, his mind going over situations and knowledge built up over a lifetime as an Enforcer in an Enforcer family at a furious pace.

"Daddy!" A familiar voice screamed over the intercom in the distance, a scream Feral was entirely too familiar with. He remembered it, and the shots that followed ... shots he'd fired, years before.

He barreled through the doors into the visiting area, and was greeted with a sight well over a decade old; one of the visiting rooms, two dead guards, a dead inmate and his wife ... what was different from what he remembered was that the little girl wasn't dead, but instead terrified in Berten's grasp, a feline shield between the rapist and the enraged Enforcer carrying a gun stolen from one of the guards.

"Hello, Uly; hope you don't mind, but I borrowed these... he didn't need them anymore," Doug sneered with a gesture towards the dead inmate. "She's a pretty little thing, isn't she?" He said, nuzzling the terrified little girl's face. "Think you can save her this time?"

Berten hadn't even finished talking before Feral fired, a perfect shot that should have hit Berten between the eyes and left the girl uninjured. He'd trained long and hard for this reflex and the aim that went with it; the ability to fire without missing or thinking.

He didn't know how it happened. It shouldn't have happened. Berten's brains should have erupted onto the wall behind him, his body hitting the ground before he could even realize that Feral had pulled the trigger.

Instead, earning a look of shock from both adults, it was the kitten whose life was ended abruptly by Feral's bullet.

"Uly, Uly," Berten sighed. "You really need to be more careful!" He fired back at Ulysses, disappearing back into the corridors before Feral could recover his nerves to do more than take cover behind a counter.

Adrenaline hushed the voice in the back of his mind that was screaming that there was something horribly wrong, that this wasn't real, it couldn't be real.

Instead, he lunged forward, following his quarry with no regard for himself, and only a short prayer to Halikar to protect him.

He followed Berten towards the exit from the prison, wondering where the Hell the other guards were... what had happened to the Enforcers who'd been there. Alarms blared, keeping him from focusing too much as he chased after the Boogiekat and followed him out into the Yard. He could just see Berten disappearing into a supply warehouse, a short sprint away.

He made it in a heartbeat, and knew what was about to happen not quite soon enough to stop it from happening.

The world went black at the board against his head, pain dimming briefly before he could open his eyes again.

"How good for you to join us, Lieutenant," a deeply dangerous voice from the dead past drew him fully back to awareness. "Are you going to make this easy on yourself?"

"What the Hell is going on?" He asked with a growl. He knew that voice ... it wasn't the Kat he was after though. "Where's Berten?"

"Berten? No one by that name here," the voice sneered as a powerful hand pulled his head back giving him a sweeping glance at the gathering of at least a dozen thugs, his partner tied up and unconscious not far from him, and finally the broad black face of the Panther who had been the center of his life for the last few months. "You don't look so happy to see me, Feral. Did you really think I wouldn't figure out what you and your friend where?"

"You're dead, Kythar," Feral growled lowly, trying to figure out what was wrong with what he was saying ... what was wrong with all of this. What was happening?

"Not before you," the Panther promised, his steel teeth gleaming in the warehouse's dim light. "Though we're going to enjoy you a great deal before that, if you don't talk."

Feral remembered this now... and what was so wrong about the situation.

Kythar was at least thirty years dead.

And yet, a part of his mind was able to rationalize it easily. After all ... Berten was dead too, it hadn't stopped him from coming back.

"Fuck you, Kythar," he growled, knowing this wasn't going to go well. His body still bore scars from this, his mind too, though he wasn't about to admit it to anyone.

"Just as stubborn as your partner," he snorted. "Well, we'll just have to show you on her what we'll do to you if you don't talk. Tell us soon enough, you both might even live to see dawn."

"You touch her, and I'll kill you myself," Feral promised with a low growl.

"Uly, do what you have to," she whimpered, looking up at him ... Janet Mercer. He remembered her, plain as day. They'd already been at her, he could tell ... she had tear stains in her fur, off-white seed dripping down her chin, blood here and there, though she hadn't been beaten all that badly yet.

How long had it been before she'd begged him to talk when they wouldn't listen to her? Desperate to buy them time, to prompt him to blabber anything they might listen too so they might still be alive when the raid finally showed up.

He'd been too young, too shocked ... too scared ... to do anything but stare at her mutely.

"I will," he promised her, fighting the lump in his throat as he remembered it ... and as Kythar's goons started stripping her.

"You really should talk, Uly," Berten crooned quietly behind him. "'Cause whatever they do to her, I'm going to do to you," he grinned audibly, scratching the back of his well-bound captive.

"I've endured worse," he growled back, trying to look away from the memory made even more graphically real than he thought it had been.

"Maybe so," Berten purred, reaching down and shredding Ulysses' pants with his claws. "But then, I hadn't had fifteen years in prison to learn how to really make it hurt when we met."

Janet winced as her tail was lifted up and out of the way, two fingers shoved up into her ass roughly, a motion that Berten mimicked on Ulysses as he kept taunting him.

"Ever wonder what she'd have been like, Uly?" He grinned viciously. "If she'd have stayed your partner, after you watched them rape her?"

The scream she tried to make as a Wolf working for Kythar shoved his cock up into her ass was silenced by a tabby tom's in her mouth. "If she'd have had a family, kittens?" The Boogiekat groaned, sinking his shaft into Ulysses' ass.

"If she'd have had yours?" He sneered at the Xanith he'd raped over half a century before, before anybody had even known the BoogieKat Killer existed. Before anybody would admit he had, even now.

Ulysses started to curl against his bonds; not fighting them, but at the collapse of his own will.

He had thought about it. He knew her flesh, her passion, her desires. He hadn't loved her, but he was skirting the edge of it when this had happened.

He hadn't touched another Enforcer since, either.

"And look how that turned out," Berten chuckled, groaning as he pumped his first load up under Feral's tail, the Wolf tying Janet's ass as the Kat pumped a load onto her screaming face and the questioning started again. "Couldn't even keep your lover from being hung from your own gallows."

"Not real," Feral snarled a denial that they both knew was hollow. Believed or not, the sight of the mutilated Tiger dangling had shocked him badly.

"Oh, but it is for you now," Berten grinned. "You saw it, you did it, you will never look at him and not remember it. Just like you'll never forget that little kitten when you saved her from the mean old... nnngh... Boogiekat by blowing her brains out of her pretty little head!"

"No!" Ulysses cried out, no longer aware of much beyond what the monster above him was saying and trying to deny it as the determination that had seen him through so much began to crumble against an opponent that knew everything he did, and so much he had forgotten.

"Just as well you let them kill poor little Janet," Doug groaned, reaching around to grip Ulysses' balls and sheath, popping his claws out and sinking them into the tender flesh. "Imagine if she had had your kittens!" He laughed, clawing up Ulysses' sheath as he fed the growing sense of weakness. "Imagine what I'd do to them!" He threw his head back, roaring as he came again, tightening his free arm around Ulysses' throat.

"With your luck tonight, you'd even end up join-" Berten started to finish his taunt, but was interrupted as Feral was jolted awake by a powerful hand across his face.

"Wake up!" Khan's deep voice demanded nothing less than absolute obedience, and he got it, even if Ulysses wasn't coherent in the least. "What are you waiting for?" he snarled at the guards over his shoulder as he held Ulysses fairly flat on the bed, his eyes on the phantom form that was leaving their bed.

Shots rang out, the two Panthers were doing their best with what they had. Even if the shots were useless, the interruption seemed to do the job. The faint form faded from view with a snarl of outrage, disappearing from sight.

That he was gone was all Shier cared about as he focused on his lover, trying to get his attention focused enough to see if he was all right. He knew his security officers would handle everything, including getting his physician.

Feral clung to Shier, gasping for air, his throat in pain.

"Have them call SI," he croaked once he could talk again. "And the Ghosts," he added, shifting to sit up against the headboard a bit, his body aching. "That son of a...."

"Done," Shier nodded. "I have those with great knowledge of vengeful ghosts, if you would have their aid."

"If SI can't find something themselves, thank you," Feral nodded, starting to settle down, wrapping his arms tightly around his lover. "Are you okay?"

"I am fine," he ran his hands down Ulysses' back, trying to sooth his fur down. "My physician will be here to see to your injuries, and gather evidence, unless you would prefer to go to one of your own?"

"I'm sorry, but I'll want Dr. Evers to handle this," Feral said, shaking his head and turning to nuzzle Shier lightly. "She's one of my Ghosts." He sighed, pressing against the Tiger.

Shier could tell that he was fighting to stay as settled as he seemed to be, to keep from shaking and showing how badly rattled he was by this.

"I saw some of what he did," Shier began, his voice low. "Would I be wrong to believe there was far more than when he took you?"

"He killed you," Feral whispered quietly, pressing against him and found a warm, strong, supportive embrace. "And that was only the start, after I wouldn't play his sick game the way he wanted."

"A repeat of what he did to you before?" Shier asked very softly, one ear twitching as he heard two guards and others running towards the room.

"After a fashion ... I think it would have been," Feral growled lowly. "I got him back for that one though ... that's when he started twisting things," he shuddered, then looked up in mild shock. "You know?"

"A great deal of it, yes," Shier nodded and kissed his forehead in apology. "My staff is very good at what they do, much like your Ghosts. They investigated you when I became interested in you."

Whatever Ulysses was going to say was stopped by a polite knock on the large double doors.

"Dr. Suraus is here, sir," a deep male voice said through the doors.

"I'd rather not deal with him, but if you'll insist, I will," Feral told Khan quietly, knowing that his lover would prefer if he would at least let his own doctor see him.

"If you can stand, I'll send him away," Shier kissed him gently.

"That much I can do," Feral said firmly, moving the tangled covers back and moving to stand up. Difficult, he hurt in ways he hadn't in a long time, but he stood and looked at his long time lover.

"Thank you," Shier slid from the grand bed, kissed him, and walked to the door, opening it only slightly. "Thank you for coming. He prefers his own physician to see to the minor injuries."

"Very well," the male's voice seemed unhappy, but obedient.

"The Ghosts said they would be here shortly, sir," a different tom spoke. "A helicopter will arrive with them."

"And SI?" Feral asked, reaching over for one of the robes they kept in the room, wrapping it around himself, almost more disturbed by the fact that he had been fucked by the nightmare he'd had than by the nightmare itself.

Still, he couldn't shake the sense of reality from it ... particularly the missed shot that shouldn't have happened.

"Yes, sir," the Panther responded. "I told Lt. Cmdr. McKysn that you had requested them as well. She said that she would bring Sashari, Toama and Brown with her."

"Thank you. Could somebody bring a glass of warm milk? I believe that's all the more we need," he said, looking back at Shier hopefully.

"Yes, sir," the Panther guard nodded before Shier closed the door and turned to draw Ulysses into his arms.

"It will be all right, love," he rumbled softly in support.

"Not until that son of a bitch is dead for good," Feral muttered, pressing against Shier lightly. "But for tonight ... this is good," he decided, closing his eyes and leaning more heavily against his lover, trusting him to take care of everything for now.

The Boogiekat materialized, a translucent, faded form, in the middle of a dark, incense-filled room. He curled his lip in a frustrated snarl, swinging an insubstantial hand at one of the braziers ... and was surprised when the smoke curled as though he had actually hit it. He paused, considering this development, until his musings were interrupted.

"Well?" Conroy's deep voice rumbled.

"Feral got away," Berten complained, turning to look at his benefactor. "His lover woke him up ... I didn't know he had one."

"The Tiger, Shier Khan," the giant tom nodded, his own lips pulling back in an angry snarl that didn't quite make it to his voice. "It will be a very long year before you get another chance at him."

"At Feral, yes," Berten growled. "He was stronger than I expected this time ... I'll be ready for him next time. Until then ... I'm going to make sure that meddling Tiger regrets interrupting me."

"How do you plan to do that?" Conroy raised an eyebrow at him.

"He has kittens," Berten pointed out, purring as his plan took on more form. "I'm sure he does ... I could smell them. I'm sure they'll be wonderfully enjoyable."

"He is not a wise target to anger," Conroy warned him. "His resources are vast, and heavy magical. Should he turn them on you, I can not protect you."

"As if killing his lover while they shared a bed wouldn't accomplish the same?" Berten laughed harshly. "At least this way I'll get some true enjoyment out of it... besides, I think I'm going to try something that should make this city really sit up and take notice when I'm back. I don't see why I should be stuck in one place at one time any more."

"Killing Feral would have been useful," Conroy growled. "Killing the Tiger's kits will help with nothing."

"I am not your servant," Berten growled back. "I serve a far greater power than you, and I will do His work."

"You doubt my authority to order His servants to task?" the dark giant rumbled in a warning, even as power began to gather in the room. "You forget our bargain so quickly?"

"I have done what you commanded of me!" Berten pointed out quickly. "Tonight I was interrupted, but I will punish the one who interrupted me! That does not mean I won't complete our bargain."

"Part of that bargain was that you obey my edicts," Conroy reminded him. "There is good reason not to anger that Tiger more than we must."

"There is better reason to make him fear us," Berten countered. "Several of them, as a matter of fact."

"I am listening," Conroy gave him the opening grudgingly.

"If his kittens die, it will distract him from his support of the Enforcers," Berten explained. "With sufficient trouble ... say, several of them dying over the course of one night... he will almost certainly return to them, turning his attention from MegaKat City. And if he does that, not only will his attention be turned from the city, but he won't be around to save Feral the next time I have the chance. And then...." He trailed off, glancing down at his translucent hand with a satisfied expression.

"And then there's the fear that will be created if I strike at the children of such a powerful tom," he purred. "I've already become stronger, started to feed on the survivors and the people who learn about me."

"You intend to spread your terror around the world, not just this city," Conroy nodded, considering the plan. It did have merit as it was given. The risk was high, but so was the potential reward. "You do know that you will not be able to strike Feral again until next year."

"Yes... though next year, I will have the power to destroy him the way I wanted to," Berten grinned viciously, earning a curious look from Conroy.

"Do tell, I enjoy your stories."

"Oh, it's not very much to tell," Doug chuckled slightly. "It was going to start off by letting him hang me again ... only hanging me would mean strangling himself while he sucked my cock. Where it went from there would have depended on if he was actually stubborn enough to do it."

"He is," Conroy assured him. "If he believed it would kill you, he'd do it."

"I might have strung him along that long then," he mused. "I don't know him all that well these days... though you would be amazed what's in that head of his," he grinned, and knew he had a very interested audience that had forgiven him whatever annoyance he'd generated so far.

"I don't know how much you know about his early career, but he had a number of very bad experiences," Berten rumbled lowly. "An undercover operation against a Panther called 'Kythar' was a big one ... he and his partner were found out, they were tortured and raped before they finally escaped ... or before Uly did, at least. The best part is that if there was ever a fem that he would have raised a family with, it was her."

"Really?" Conroy perked up sharply, his mind already plotting on how to use that to his advantage.

"There is so very much about her that he regrets ... things that did happen that shouldn't have, that didn't but should have ... the usual things that happen, but nobody even suspects them."

"Tell me," he rumbled, a plot already half-formed and growing deadly as he worked out various details and contingencies. "What he remembers her as. What he desired in her."

"She would have been the first love of his life, the first fem he was attracted to for more than a few nights ... he had fantasies about her, not sure if they ever came true ... it's hard to tell them from memories," he admitted. "More importantly, he trusted her... they'd been partners for some time when it happened. It's one of his greatest weaknesses ... he blames himself for not confirming what she finally told Kythar and his gang. I imagine they'd have killed them anyways, and so does he, but it was much more painful for them both ... especially for her."

"He may well meet her again," the giant tom grinned dangerously. "Her spirit reborn into a new body seeking him out."

"Don't bother, unless you'll be ready in a year or less," Berten laughed. "He'll be dead by then."

"Oh, she could be ready within the week if I wanted," Conroy laughed, a deep, booming and unsettling sound. "Go have fun with the kittens in Tusandrin. I have work to do to torture Feral while we wait for his time to come again."

"Enjoy yourself - I know I will," Berten grinned viciously, bowing theatrically before fading from view, leaving Conroy to remind himself to check the news over the next few days.

Power Games 5: The BoogieKat Killer pt 2 of 4

NC-17 for M/M, M/F sex
Het Level is HighHet Smut Level is Medium
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Medium
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

178 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written November 5, 2007 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Kantin, Kat

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M). Alternate Universe, Bestiality, Child Abuse (Sexual), Fantasy, Rape (M on M), Rape (M on M), Sex (BDSM), Sex (BDSM), Supernatural, Violence

Pairings: Chance Furlong/Midnight Raven, Jake Clawson/Rock Furlong, Ulysses Feral/Shier Khan, others

Notes: While the actual pedophilia is kept off screen, it is a central feature to this story and not a minor warning. If you made it to this far, you obviously have a strong stomach for violence, but this pushed even our comfort zone.

Blurb: When Chance and Ulysses' kittenhood nightmare finally faces death for his crimes, it is the beginning of the horrors, not the end, for MegaKat City and its defenders.

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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