Timeline: December 2, 2007
Lyla had Rose carrying a heavy backpack that matched her own. Both women were wearing heavy winter coats, boots, gloves, and scarves as they trudged through deep snow on their way to Rey’s new home. The cabin was a bit out of the way, and travel by foot was turned into a tough hike by their burdens and the snow.
“Thanks for helping me get this to Rey,” Lyla was saying to Rose. “This is her first place of her own here and I just don’t think she has very much. She needs some help.”
Both packs were full of wrapped, heavy boxes, though they did not rattle or otherwise reveal their contents.
Rose was not happy about being out in the snow playing delivery girl. But that was not the only reason she was there so she sucked it up. “Yeah well she is pack so we help out.”
The long trek wound past the Buck place. An elderly couple, George and Harriet had lived there a long time. It was on the outskirts of town and included a lot of land that was once farmland but since allowed to return to forest. Beyond there place was a cabin, structurally sound, but had been on the market for a long time until Rey found it.
The path past the Bucks was far less traveled and the snow was both deeper and harder to walk. Lyla was quickly learning the value of traveling in wolf form — four legs seemed to have an easier time with this kind of terrain than two. But at last they found the old but cozy little cabin nestled among naked deciduous and spiky pine trees.
“That’s the place,” Lyla. Steam streamed behind her as if the air had tried to freeze her words.
Soon they were at the door. Lyla knocked.
Rey felt the familiar chill down her spine moments before there was a knock on the door. She hadn’t been expecting company, and certainly wasn’t dressed for it, but she got up and answered the door quickly.
“Lyla and Rose! What a surprise. Please, come in.” She stepped back out of the way so the two werewolves could enter the cabin. Rey’s jeans and sweatshirt were worn and were covered with smears of color and wood stains. There was a grey smear of something on the side of her nose, as if she’d absently rubbed her face.
A small fire burned in the fireplace, more coals and embers now than flames. One side of the fireplace was filled with a large pile of coals and ash, while the other held a cast iron stand for holding pots and kettles. The wood stove had a good fire going in it, making the place warm and welcoming.
Scattered on the floor were some woodworking tools, a pile of lumber, some furniture in various stages of repair, and a large coil of rope. On the table sat what looked like small cans of paint, paint brushes, and other decorating tools and items. Next to the hearth was an old wicker basket, lined with fleece and converted into a cozy little cat bed.
“My, aren’t we a busy little bee,” Lyla said with a cheery smile. She un-shouldered her pack and put it on the table. “Ugh, that’s heavy,” she said. “But I’m glad to be in where it’s warm one more time tonight. The weather’s supposed to turn nasty tonight.”
“Can I offer you something warm to drink? I made some hot chocolate earlier, and it shouldn’t take too long to get it boiling again. I’ve got tea, a bit of coffee, hot chocolate…” Rey bit her lip for a moment as she thought. “And I think I’ve got a sample pack of some kind of chai that came with the tea. And sorry about the mess. Most of the furniture needs repairs, and I’m working on my rope bed.”
Rose heaved the pack onto the floor and started taking things out setting them neatly in the corner. “No thank you Rey, I am fine for now.”
There were three packages, each box carefully wrapped and tied with a ribbon. Lyla opened her pack as well, and pulled out two more large boxes, all wrapped in matching, metallic red paper and matching green ribbons.
“Well,” said Lyla, “I’d love some hot chocolate. And these are for you. Happy home ownership!”
“For me?” Rey looked between Rose, Lyla, and the packages, surprise evident on her face. She stepped away from the stove, the kettle now back on the burner and heating up. “Thank you so much!” The colors of the wrapping paper and ribbon reminded her of something. “You two are coming for dinner on Christmas Day, right?” she asked as she approached the pile of gifts on the table. “The entire pack’s invited.”
Lyla grinned. “I’ll make sure everyone knows about it. Now, open your gifts before you die of curiosity!”
Rey couldn’t help but laugh, and with a big smile she started to rip the paper off the boxes like a child on Christmas morning. “Dishes! Oh Lyla, they’re the ones I was saving up to get. You checked out the history on your browser didn’t you.” She tore the paper off the smaller boxes and discovered the silverware. “And silverware. Oh, this is so cool!”
She felt kind of silly, getting so excited about forks and knives, but she’d never really been given gifts without someone wanting something in return before. “With the stuff I bought at the store in town, I definitely have enough dishes for the entire pack to eat at once and not have anyone eat off paper plates.”
Rey practically bounced over to the final, and largest, package. Her eyes widened when she saw it was a complete kitchen in a box – pots, pans, cooking utensils, and even a basic set of knives. She jumped up and gave Lyla a big hug. “Thank you so much.”
She stepped back and turned to Rose. “Thank you so much too, Rose, for helping Lyla bring all this stuff here.” Rey’s smile was bright and sincere.
“I couldn’t let her have all the fun tonight. Anyway Ironclaw has issued orders to travel in pairs now. Looks like you really needed this stuff.” Rose looked around the cabin and smiled.
Lyla unbuttoned her heavy winter coat and took a seat. She looked at Rey for a moment, then smiled. “So hon, when are you going to get started on your project? You know, the one with Grey?” Lyla’s smile was both knowing and naughty.
“Lyla…” Rey’s cheeks turned pale pink.
“Sorry, Rey. I’m just thinking about your safety,” Lyla said. “Both you and Grey tend to hang out all by yourself these days and with Ironclaw’s orders, that just isn’t going to fly anymore. I worry about you guys.”
Lyla chuckled. “I know you like him, but he doesn’t know that. The man’s eyes are always stuck in the spirit world, not in what’s going on around him. A pack’s got to stick together, help out where it’s needed, right Rose? Right, so just tell me one thing, Rey. How can I help?”
Rey’s cheeks turned a shade pinker. “Help me figure out how to get his attention and make him notice me. I mean, really notice.” Her smile was shy, but behind it was a strength that was familiar to the werewolves – Rey was preparing for a hunt of a different kind. “And keep that attention until he realizes what he’s missed by not paying enough attention to the physical world: me.”
Rose sat quitly and listened to the two.
“Rose, you’re the Erato of the pack. Is there anything I need to know about being… intimate with a werewolf?” Rey was trying very hard to fight her embarrassment. She didn’t know why she had no problem with other people having sex, or talking about it, but when it came to her, she felt like a bumbling teenager.
“If you want to be good with a werewolf and make it meaningful you need to be able to take pain.” Rose carried a very serious expression in her eyes. “We are very passionate and our emotions can control us. Sometimes we can let them carry us away. The act of sex is very potent to us and even the strongest may have difficulty sometimes. But what happens most of the time is we find ourselves holding back in order to not damage or hurt our human partner.”
She paused briefly. “If you can take pain, and not fear it or the chance of the werewolf shifting, then it will be more pleasurable for him.”
Lyla nodded in agreement. “What she said. There are some benefits, if you feel the pleasure-pain thing isn’t a plus. Namely, endurance and recovery for a male Uratha is pretty impressive compared to human. Also, remember he is a man and there are certain things a man likes that you can do that won’t make you walk funny for a couple days.”
Rey gave a little smile. “I don’t think pain will be too much of a problem.” She glanced at Lyla. “Remember that dildo we looked at that was called the Elephant Dong?” Her cheeks turned pink again. “I bought it. Calling it big is an understatement. That’s why I seemed a bit… uncomfortable on Thursday.” She cleared her throat. “Anyway, as long as it’s not because he’s a sadist and it gets him off, I should be okay with it.”
She didn’t add that she wasn’t worried about being hurt all that much. If anything broke, or drew serious blood, Hamilton could help.
Rose looked at Rey with serious concentration. “I was not referring to size when I said pain. We are stronger than you, and we can get rough. It feels good to us and we always do what feels good. Our emotions are twice as intense as yours ans sometimes they make us do things before we realize. For the male the Dalu form has extremely intense pleasure, everything is more sensitive for them. I have seen men who once they discover this it is difficult for them to keep from shifting into that form.
“You have chosen Grey and he is old enough to have control of himself. But to add with that I have not seen him with a woman in a while. So you have to be prepared, because if you think you are up to the task and have sex with him then loose it because he hurts you without realizing or shifts, you are going to scar him.
“This is the truth so it may sound harsh. But it is my job to make sure that the pack is ready for this stuff, and you have chosen to be pack, but you are still human.”
“I understand,” Rey said softly, “and I know my being human is a complication. His shifting won’t scare me, and as long as he doesn’t break a bone or I don’t start gushing blood, I should be fine. And if it does go beyond bruises, Hamilton will heal me, like he did my back.” She paused for a moment. “What do the Uratha feel about scars on humans? I know Lyla said that it’s rare for one of you to get scars, but…”
Lyla laughed lightly. “Hon, no one can speak for all Uratha. I can tell you what I like but that’s about it. I like certain kinds of scars — others can be unattractive. My advice? Don’t worry about it. I like tattoos a lot, and am planning on having some work done. Grey and I are of the same tribe and I know that tattoos are popular among our tribe — and I know he has a lot of them, too, on his chest and back. So, those aren’t exactly scars but they do represent what you might see of him in the Shadow Realm.”
Rey nodded, feeling a touch of relief about her scars. But tattoos… She’d never really liked – or disliked – tattoos, but the thought of seeing Grey’s tattoos was very attractive. She shoved those thoughts away, not wanting the distraction.
“So, I need to be prepared for the possibility of accidental pain and him shifting. What else?” The memory of some of her more recent dreams started to intrude. In them, his shifting made things go into hyperdive. Would real life be anything like her dreams? Rey forced her attention back to Lyla and Rose.
“If you are prepared for anything that would be best. It is easy to say that we are preparred for things, but it is different when they actually happen. Sex is different for all of us, some shy away from it after the change, some choose to view it as a pastime. I just help young ones learn to control themselves better so they don’t freak out and eat their partner. I don’t become their therapist.” Rose shifted in her seat as though she were getting antsy to leave.
“If you are prepared for anything that would be best. It is easy to say that we are preparred for things, but it is different when they actually happen. Sex is different for all of us, some shy away from it after the change, some choose to view it as a pass time. I just help young ones learn to control themselves better so they don’t freak out and eat their partner. I don’t become their therapist.” Rose shifted in her seat as though she were getting antsy to leave.
Lyla looked thoughtful, perhaps even pensive.
“What is it, Lyla?” Rey asked.
“Nothing,” she said. “Just… be careful. Pack members don’t normally take mates of other pack members.”
Rose looked at Lyla then back to Rey. “True, but that is because there is a huge risk if two werewolves were to produce a child. It is far to dangerous to even risk. Though it is very tempting. They are our closest friends and no one would understand us better. Rey is different though she is pack but still human. So the only risks she has is to her physical and mental state, as well as Grey’s.”
Rey felt a lump in her throat. “Are you saying that Grey already has a mate somewhere. Or that someone might try to take me from him?”
“What?” Lyla said with surprise. Then she looked at Rose with greater shock. “You mean you… and Grey? That’s…!!”
Rose sat up straight. “You got a problem with that!” Rose tried her best not to crack a smile. “It’s not like I can SAY anything about it.”
Lyla blinked and stared accusingly at Rose. She couldn’t hold back, though, and broke down into peels of laughter, almost falling off her chair.
Rose could no longer hold in her laughter. She too began laughing loudly as her eyes welled with tears.
Rey stood there, not knowing if she wanted to scream in anger or in despair. Rose was the Erato of the pack for a good reason. What chance did she have against that. Holding back sobs, she picked up one of the boxes off the table and carried it over to the cupboard where she stored her dishware. She had to do something, or she’d lose it.
Rose’s laughter broke when she saw that Rey was trying not to cry. She stood and took the other box into the kitchen. “I am kidding Rey, I couldn’t help it after seeing the look on Lyla’s face. I would never do anything to risk a ghost child. Not even the harmless stuff. There are sexual things we can do that entail no risk at all of pregnancy. But those acts only makes it harder to not have full blown intercourse. I am sure you will be fine with Grey, and he with you. If I know him he would not put you in danger. But it is important that I make sure you are aware of all possibilities.”
“And how would he react to knowing he’d be the first lover I’d ever had?” Rey asked in a whisper.
“Your first. Hmmm.” Rose did not look surprised but rather concerned. “I couldn’t say how he would react. I think maybe you should move slowly with him, go out with him before jumping right into bed, even if it is on your mind.” She smiled.
“Maybe then you could better determne how he would react.”
“Yeah, well, I still need to get him to notice I exist.” Rey’s voice was unsteady, but getting stronger. She turned around, gave a soft little laugh, and sighed. “I always seem to choose the most difficult path, don’t I, Lyla.”
“Typically,” Lyla agreed. “But, I’m not sure what you are expecting here. If you just wanted to lose your virginity, that’s easily enough done. He’s a man, you’re a woman. Sex can happen. But if you really want Grey as your mate, then you might want to concentrate more on getting to know him personally rather than how to get him to notice you physically.”
“If I just wanted to lose my virginity, I’d have taken Ramiel up on his numerous, albeit teasing offers.” Rey straightened up as the kettle whistled and she made the hot chocolate for Lyla. “The problem is getting to spend time with Grey. I can’t go wandering around the territory alone to find him, even if Ironclaw had said we weren’t supposed to. He so rarely comes into town.” She handed the large mug to Lyla.
Lyla blew on the steamy mixture a moment. “Well, I would be happy to take you to him any time you like.”
“How about right now,” Rey said with a laugh. She certainly didn’t expect Lyla to make a detour and take her out into the wilderness, not with that storm coming.
Lyla looked at Rose, then back at Rey. “Okay. We have to get out there and patrol anyway. We can swing by the locus at Old Tree. I’ll be you he’s there tonight.” She paused. “Have you been there before, Rey?”
Rose got a deliciously wicked smile on her face. “Ready when you are.”
“No, I haven’t,” Rey replied. “Why are you smiling like that, Rose?”
“Because this is going to be fun.” Her smile widened. ” Now to get his attention let us start with Scent. It is one of our strongest triggers. A good sultry scent will linger with him, and every time he picks up that scent it will make him think of you. So what do we have to work with?” She looked at Lyla, and then to Rey.
“I don’t have much in the way of perfumes,” Rey said. “Mainly essential oils. Vanilla, cinnamon, and sandalwood. I’ve got them straight, cut with grapeseed oil, and I’ve mixed them to create a blend of my own. I also use them in the bath, but I’ve been taking showers a lot lately, so haven’t used it. I’ve also got a small bottle of Dune.”
“Hm…” Lyla looked at Rey with consideration. She stepped very close to her, then put her hands to either side of Rey’s face and then tilted her head to the side. She leaned in and breathed deeply of Rey’s natural scent. The gesture was very personal and even sensual — yet also strangely animalistic.
Rey stiffened for a moment, then relaxed. I wonder if Grey would do that? she thought, and realized she really liked the idea.
“Sorry,” Lyla said softly into Rey’s ear. “Our senses are practically blind in human form compared to our other forms, so I have to get close to tell.
“And it’s not bad,” she continued. “Remember that while you have your own scent to us, it can be greatly influenced by what you eat. Garlic and other such intense spices will seep through your pores even if you don’t notice it. If you wish to smell good, then oils and perfumes is only part of the overall effect. You must match what you eat, too. You see, the way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach. If you smell yummy to him, he’s going to think you’re yummy. Smell is a big part of attraction, even for humans.”
Rey grinned. “Finding out his favorite foods is now near the top of my to do list. Can you give me some pointers, or do I need to start inviting him for dinner a lot?” She paused for a moment. “Do you know if he likes beef stew? I found an old cast iron flat top dutch oven at the second hand store. When Mrs. Buck found out she gave me a recipe that her grandmother had. Start it on the stove, then burying it in a pile of coals to cook the day away.” She pointed at the pile of coals and ashes in the back corner of the hearth. “The pot would be too hot and heavy to carry, but I do have some thermoses I could use.”
“Or better yet, ask him to help you out around the house. You know getting stuff fixed up and offer the yummy feast in return. That way he could help lift the pot out. I bet we could talk him into it either way. Then you could be ready for him, soak in the tub for a while and all that. But for now lets rub some oil on you and go arange a play date!” Rose couldn’t keep the smile off her face.
Lyla began rubbing her hands together to warm them up in anticipation.
“Well, I do need help splitting some wood for the fire, and then moving the bed pieces…” Rey smiled. “I’m doing the decorating myself. Want to see what’s going to be on the posts?” She hurried over to the pile of lumber and picked up the piece she’d been working on when they’d arrived. Rey handed it to them before running off to get the oils. It was a scene of a young woman (who looked remarkably like Rey) frolicking in the woods with a wolf.
Rose looked at the carving. “Nice.”
“Thanks,” Rey called back. “I’m pretty good with my hands. Comes from making up charms, crafting curses, and brewing potions.” She walked back into the main room carrying two bottles: one with a clear liquid, the other with lotion.
“The scent’s stronger with the oil, but lasts longer with the lotion.”
Lyla remarked on the carving. “I like it,” she said noting the fine detail work on the nude figure a well as the furry wolf. “Hey Rey, would you do one of me and Ramiel? I’d like a nude and I bet I could convince him to model it with me for you.”
“Sure, I’ll do it,” Rey answered with a smile. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to have it done by Christmas, though. Depends on how big you want it, and the amount of detail.”
Lyla put down the carving and took a look at the liquid, opened the top and gave it a sniff. “That should do. ‘Kay now off with your clothes.”
“Uh, all of it?” Rey asked.
Rey pulled her sweatshirt over her head to reveal a very dainty – and very sexy – black lace bra. Beneath her jeans she wore a matching thong that barely covered her pubic hair.
She undid the clasp at the front and took the bra off, and the panty followed. It was obvious to both Lyla and Rose that Rey’s natural hair color really was a light strawberry blonde. “So, um, start on the front or the back?”
Rose held her hands out to Lyla. Her gesture suggested she was waiting for lotion to be put in them. “Well there is two of us, so I say both at once.”
Lyla put down the oil and shared some lotion with Rose, then took some herself. She took to rubbing down Rey’s back while leaving her front and chest to Rose’s capable hands.
“I guess now would be a bad time to say I feel like some kind of sacrificial offering, the princess getting pampered before being devoured by the dragon?” Rey said with a tiny smile.
Rose very carefuly massaged the oils into every curve of Rey, but left the lower lips to be prepped by Rey. “In this case though, being eaten is a good thing. A very very good thing!”
“So is the thought of Grey doing the prepping before hand,” Rey replied. Her eyes widened in surprise at the fact she’d said that out loud.
“Don’t forget,” Lyla warned, “if you want more than a one-night stand with Grey, you’re going to have to work at the other parts of the relationship first. What we’re doing now should get his attention. If you get his attention and you know he’s attracted to you, then you have to tease him a while, make him really want you. It’s no good just to give up the goods the first time he makes googly eyes at you,” she said.
“You’ve got to get him so worked up that all he’s thinking about is when he might get to fuck you and what he might do to get your attention. Remember that he’s only a male. You’re the female and deserved to be worshipped as such. It’s your solemn duty to our gender to make him at least want to beg for it before you give in!
“Trust me on this one,” Lyla told her.
Rey nodded. “Would, uh, giving him a blow job be part of the teasing? I mean not right away, but once I definitely have his attention, or should that wait?”
“There is something for casual conversation. Invite him over make dinner and as you are woking on things. By the way how do you like your blow job?” Rose laughed. ” I could just see his eyes go wide.” She chuckled again. “But if you play your cards right, and dangling the meal in front of the starving man, you won’t need to worry about it. He will love anything he gets, especially if you play to his animal side too!”
“Give him head? Oh hell no girl!” Lyla burst out. “Rey, that’s like the ultimate goal for a guy! Well, of course only if you do it right. But the point is that regardless of what Bill Clinton thinks, oral sex is still sex. He gets a blow job when you think he’s earned a blow job. Have you been practicing like I told you?”
“Yes. And I’ve been doing more reading too. There’s a heck of a lot of info online about it. But how do I appeal to his animal side?” Rey asked.
Rose almost let her jaw drop. Only Lyla would have a virgin practicing blow jobs. “Well there are things that appeal to us, like the scenting that Lyla gave you. It is very sensual. There may be things that Grey likes to do, or have done. But that will take time to figure out.
“Lyla is right though, don’t give him anything. Make him earn it. No free milk here, so to speak. So for now I say we go make an impression on Grey! You ready? Just remember, you are the most desired thing in the world. He wants you and you are not going to give it to him. You are going to make him crave you. Keep it in your head but say it with your eyes, and body language. But be subtle, okay?”
“I can do that,” Rey said with a nod. Or at least I hope I can. “I’ll just run upstairs and change.” She grabbed her bra and panties off the table and raced up the stairs to the sleeping loft. Rose and Lyla heard drawers opening and closing. After a moment, she came down the stairs, still doing up the button of her jeans.
Her top was a perfect touch. The shade of burgundy made her skin glow, and the vee neckline came down just low enough to catch a man’s interest and make him want to try and see more. She looked up at Rose and Lyla. “This is one of my “I want your money” shirts. Got me the best tips when I was working at the diner.” Her grin widened. “And when I’m wearing things, any perfume I’ve got on is that much easier to smell.”
“Okay, but be sure to bundle up. Sexy is good, but not when you have to freeze your tits off for it,” Lyla said with a smile. “He’s at the Old Tree locus. That’s outside. Snow. Cold. There is a chamber under the tree formed by a massive root system, but I really don’t know how warm it’s going to be there. You got some long johns and a good winter jacket?”
“Got a parka almost like yours, and I’ve got thermal underwear on. I’m going to put on a sweatshirt before putting the coat. And I’ve got a scarf, hat, and boots and gloves good to 40 below.” Rey smiled. “Mrs. Buck gave me a thorough talking to about making sure I dressed warm.”
Rose put on her coat and boots. “Then let’s go.”
Lyla did likewise and the group headed out into the cold and blowing snow.