[Monstergirl] The Vixen 1: Servant
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When I lost my job and joined the army, I didn’t think I’d ever see any real combat. With the Islamic State already bombed to hell and everything gone quiet in the Ukraine, I expected to be pushing papers around an office somewhere with an occasional visit to a firing range.
Well, I saw combat alright, but can you really call it combat when your side gets its ass resoundingly kicked? In our defence we were up against an army we hadn’t been trained to fight: an army of monsters from another dimension. Not tentacled monstrosities (although there were a few kooky looking things like that among them) - real monsters, like in the storybooks: centaurs and harpies and fox people and wolf people and lizard people. Our war was against a bunch of fairytales, and like in the fairytales they had magic.
Oh yeah, and dragons. It turned out tanks and helicopter gunships were no match against dragons.
Nothing's really a match for dragons.
Don’t ask me for any details of this first battle against the therians: you probably know more about it than I do, especially if you’ve ever watched more than five minutes of the History Channel. No, I didn’t really see much combat since I ended up on the receiving end of the swing of a dragon’s tail about five minutes into our initial engagement. I was knocked off my feet into the air and when I landed everything went black.
Being dead didn’t seem so bad. I was aching all over but I was also warm and everything was peaceful, except for a rather annoying beeping sound.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I opened my eyes and realised I wasn’t dead. I was in a hospital, lying in a bed with the sheets pulled up to my neck.
I grabbed the sheet and pulled it off. I wanted to check if I had everything. Apart from the bandage around my torso everything was where it should be. I made doubly sure my dick was still there.
A leg I could do without, damn, even a leg and an arm. But I was very attached to my dick.
I lay back. My ribs ached. So that explained the bandage. I lifted a hand to my head. Yeah, another bandage there, too. I must have landed on my head after taking that spill thanks to the dragon.
I lay there wondering what had happened to everyone else. There was a curtain around my bed so I couldn’t see how full the ward was. From what I'd seen there had to be more casualties, though.
The curtain was swept aside while I was looking at it and a woman dressed in white walked in, her face buried in a clipboard. Ah, the doctor. She’d have some answers.
“How are you feeling?” she asked, not bothering to look up.
“Okay I guess,” I said. “My ribs are aching like hell, though. Say, doc, how did the battle end up? We won, right?”
Soft laughter from the doctor. “I’m afraid not.”
She looked up from her clipboard and I saw then that she wasn’t human. Her skin was green, shimmering with the soft glistening of scales. Her eyes were large and turqoise, the pupils slitted like a reptile’s. I scrambled back away from her and she smiled with a mouth full of needle-sharp teeth.
“Don’t be alarmed,” she said. “You’re safe here. Your government has surrendered to us unconditionally so you’re no longer an enemy.”
I slumped back against the head of the bed. “We... we lost?”
She nodded. “Badly.”
I relaxed, then. So the war was over. I’d survived. We’d lost, but I’d survived.
“So when are you sending me back home?” I asked.
The doctor chuckled. “Oh, you’re not going home. The surrender was unconditional. As soon as you’re well enough to work, you’ll be found a job suited to your abilities.”
“You’re enslaving us?”
The lizard woman sighed. “’Enslavement’ is such an unpleasant word. Think of it as more of a ‘hostile takeover’. The Therian Empire has a labour shortage, so you’ll be working for us, now.”
“As a soldier?”
She gave my arm a squeeze and laughed. “Not likely with those puny muscles! Now get some rest and heal up quickly.”
She turned and pulled the curtain closed with her long, scaly green tail.
The hospital filled up with wounded soldiers quickly and I soon learned that what the scaly doctor had said was true: we’d lost the war only a short while after it had begun. Most of the guys, like me, were resigned to their fate, but some caused trouble. That only happened a few times, since an alarm would spread through the ward and orderlies would appear - oni, I learned later - and the troublemakers would be manhandled and swiftly sedated.
I wasn’t in the ward for long. Their medicine was better than ours and there was some magic involved, too, although it seemed my wounds weren't serious enough to need magic beyond some cursory scans. The doctor gave me a clean bill of health and I was escorted out of the hospital.
My first view of the world outside as I was bundled onto their equivalent of a bus and driven away was a shock to the system. I was in a big city, with tall buildings all around, but unlike our blocky skyscrapers the buildings here in the Therian Capital were whimsical masses of minarets and spires. The streets were filled with monster people of every variety, the air, too, with flying monsters such as harpies and tiny fairies. Occasionally, a huge dragon would pass overhead.
I sat at the window gawking with my fellow passengers. But our awe and amazement at the sights was tempered by the anxiety of the fate awaiting us.
The bus arrived at a large building and we were escorted off. Although we felt like prisoners, we weren't shackled: I guess we had nowhere to go even if we did escape.
We were taken into a room and told to sit down in front of a huge screen. We watched a movie which told us all about the world we'd found ourselves in.
The guy beside me jogged me with an elbow. “Hey, buddy. You noticed how almost all the important jobs here are done by women?”
I had noticed. The officer who was in charge of us here was a woman as well, a wolf person - a lupine, I knew now. The movie told us all about the different species that inhabited this world. There were dozens of different therians, as they were called: minotaurs and vampires and medusas and slime-people and so on. I’m sure you’d probably meet all of the different species just by visiting a major city these days, but back then they were all new to us.
The doctor, who I now knew was of the dragonnewt species, hadn’t been lying when she said that this world needed manpower. That, at least according to the movie, was their justification for conquering our world, although like the doctor the movie referred to it as a 'takeover'.
There was a lot of information to take in. After a break we were taken to a room and interviewed individually about ourselves, our skills and experience, and given personality tests. The whole process reminded me of a job interview. Some of the questions were pretty personal and bizarre.
We were then marched into a hall and divided into different groups. I was left standing with a bunch of guys who must have tested out as being similar to me.
I looked about me. Damn, this was humiliating.
“So what do you have for me?”
The voice was low but feminine, and I turned to see a female therian approach our group escorted by the dragonnewt in charge of us. Unlike some of the monsters I’d seen she wasn't all that different from a human. The first thing you noticed, though, were those two pointy ears poking up from the red-gold hair on her head and the light brown fur on her body. Her eyes were slanted, a deep gold, and she had a little snout which crinkled up as she looked us over. But by far her most unmistakeable and striking feature was her tail. It was long and tufted, ending in that thick brush that foxes have.
So this was a vulpine. I remembered from the video we'd watched that the fox people were called vulpines. She was clearly a civilian professional: dressed in a white blouse and a dark grey pencil skirt she was likely a business woman of some kind. I guess it makes sense that all humanoid creatures would end up wearing similar clothes. She was really quite shapely, with a nice pair of hips on her that balanced her not unsubstantial bust.
The vulpine looked us over in turn. When she came to me her lip curled and she turned to the dragonnewt beside her.
“Is this really all you’ve got?”
The dragonnewt glanced on her clipboard. “I’m afraid so. The human soldier-types are not really well-suited for domestic work, so there’s only these until we start bringing in civilian prisoners.”
The vulpine sighed. “Well, I guess this one will have to do.” She grabbed me by the upper arm and I flinched, which elicited a chuckle from her.
“Ha! Don’t worry, I’m not going to eat you or anything.” She grinned at me, her gold eyes gleamed with mockery
“I know that,” I said. But did I really know that? Her smiling mouth was filled with canine teeth. Maybe this whole job-interview thing had been a trick and we’d just been examined and weighed to see what dish we’d be best suited to be cooked into.
She took my chin in her hand and looked me over. “You humans really are funny looking. Like a diminutive oni without horns.” She ran her finger through my hair ungently. “No, no horns.”
“Humans don’t have horns,” I said.
“Humans don’t have horns, mistress.”
She chuckled. “Don’t play dumb. You’re to refer to me as 'mistress' from now on. You understand, don’t you?”
Humiliated, but sensible enough to realise that arguing would not do me any good, I replied, “Yes, mistress.”
“Come on then,” she said. She glanced at the dragonnewt. “I’ll be taking this one, then. He seems to have some good upper body strength.” She squeezed my arm tightly and then dropped it with a chuckle when I gasped in pain.
She was stronger than she looked, and those long nails of hers were sharp as claws.
She strode from the room and I followed her. As I walked behind her, I had the opportunity to appreciate her tail as it wagged back and forth. It was poking through a hole in her pencil skirt and I guessed there had to be a similar hole in her underwear for it to fit through as well.
I felt a familiar stirring. Ha. Even in this dire situation, being enslaved, I was thinking with my dick. I'd read there was some evolutionary advantage thing where humans get hornier in times of stress. I had no idea what was going to happen to me, but slavery, I figured, was better than being dead or maimed.
Now, you might think less of me for saying that: I mean, what happened to “death before dishonour”? Well, put yourself in my situation. Sometimes you just need to survive. Was I really going to wrest a weapon from one of these monster people, fight my way out, go underground and somehow work out a way to get back to Earth?
Anyway, Earth was already conquered. Hadn’t the dragonnewt said they were waiting for their first consignment of civilian prisoners?
I figured I’d keep my head down and wait it all out. A chance to escape might present itself at any moment.
She led me out of the building to her waiting car. Their cars were pretty similar to our own and this one was a luxury model. So the 'mistress' was rich. I was standing at the door wondering just how to open it when she clicked her teeth in annoyance and grabbed my hand. She placed it on the door and thin lines appeared in the finish and a handle popped out.
“Uh, okay,” I said.
“I don’t usually open doors for servants,” said my mistress with a sniff to a question I hadn’t really asked. “Remember how to do it next time.”
I watched the city fly past the window from the back seat and rubbed at my arm, which was still sore from her earlier grabbing. She was strong. And yet her hand, when she'd placed it on mine, had been gentle. I'd also noticed a strong scent when she’d come close to me - not an unpleasant musky one like foxes back on Earth have, but a warm, spicy smell, her natural fragrance rather than a perfume.
We drove in silence for a while. When we stopped at an intersection she glanced back at me and said, “I guess all of this is a bit of a shock.”
“A bit,” I said.
Her pretty golden eyes narrowed. “You don’t talk much, do you?”
“Not really, mistress,” I said, which was true.
“Well, you’ll have to learn to,” she said. “I don’t want you walking around doing your work in total silence like some kind of golem.” She sighed. “Golems are terrible company.” The sign visible through the windscreen remained an X as the opposing traffic continued to flow by and she looked back at me again. “You humans have names, right?”
“We do, mistress,” I said, and I told her mine.
“Strange name,” she said. “And a bit too long. I don’t think I’ll be able to remember it. I suppose I’ll just have to call you human.”
No names, just human and mistress. I frowned at the first taste of what slavery was like.
The X became an O and we drove on.
She lived in an apartment, a nice one on the upper floor with a view over the city. As I said before, the city was full of whimsical buildings, and so the skyline visible through the window was like an illustration out of a child's picture book. If you’ve ever visited a therian city, you’ll know what I mean. The sort of thing no human had seen outside of their imagination until then.
My amazement amused my 'mistress', who watched me in silence from where she’d thrown herself on the couch.
After a while she got up and took me on a tour of the apartment, explaining my duties to me: as a domestic servant, I was to keep the apartment clean and tidy and organised at all times.
She showed me the kitchen. “Can you prepare food?” she asked.
“Not well, mistress,” I said.
She laughed. “You can’t be worse than me,” she said. “That will be your job, too.”
I glanced about the room. There was a workbench and a pantry and a refrigerator and some machines I couldn’t identify, but something was missing. Then I realised: there was no oven.
I commented on the fact and the vulpine laughed. “Oh, of course. Humans prefer their food cooked, don't you?” She grabbed my chin and peeled back my lips. “Such blunt, helpless teeth, like a kit’s milk teeth. No wonder you put up such a poor fight. You’ve devolved.” She let go. “No, vulpines, like all civilised creatures, eat flesh. You will learn how to prepare it.”
She opened up the refrigerator - it was actually more a freezer and filled with different cuts of meat. I figured I was expected to cut it much like a sushi chef cuts sashimi. I could probably do that. I was happy, though, when she shut the freezer. I wasn't sure which animal the meat had come from and my imagination had started to run wild.
The 'mistress' then took me down some stairs to a lower level of the apartment. This floor seemed to be used for storing things, like a basement. She opened a door and with a click of her fingers activated the light.
“This is your room.”
The room was simple, with only a bed and a small desk. There was no window. It was intentionally sparse in comparison to the rest of the apartment. You couldn’t call it a dungeon exactly, but it was no gilded cage.
She looked me up and down then took hold of the hem of my shirt. I was still wearing the clothes I’d been given in the hospital. “I’ll have a uniform made for you,” she said. She went to leave but stopped and grabbed my hand.
“No fur or scales.,” she muttered, running her fingers across my skin. “You must feel the cold. I’ll have the material of the uniform cut thick.”
She dropped my hand, her golden eyes glittering in amusement at my surprise. “Get some sleep, human. I will train you in the rest of your duties later.”
I didn’t need to be told twice. I was exhausted and as soon as she left I crashed onto the bed and was asleep when my head hit the pillow.
I wasn't allowed to sleep very long. The 'mistress' was one of those workaholic types who demand the same of everyone around them. She took me through my duties, showing me how she liked things done. The tasks seemed pretty straightforward, although there were a lot of them. The apartment was not small and there were many places that needed to be kept clean and orderly.
A particular problem was the mistress' fur. I noticed little red hairs everywhere and when I stared too long at a patch on the arm of the sofa, she grew embarrassed. For a moment I saw something like vulnerability in those wide gold eyes, but they quickly grew hard again.
“It’s moulting season,” she said. “So some hair loss is unavoidable. Be sure to get all of it.”
I told her I would. Although I felt humiliated, I had to maintain my servile façade if I was going to orchestrate an escape. I was laughing inside, though, at this embarrassing problem unique to fox-people.
She left me to my work. As she walked away I found my eyes drawn to her tail again. It really was thick and fluffy. I wondered if she wagged it like a dog when she was happy. No doubt it'd be nice to touch. Those pointy ears of hers, too.
Heh. I wondered if I could incapacitate her by scratching behind them.
An image sprang into my mind of the 'mistress' splayed out, her head in my lap, her leg shivering in pleasure as I ran my nails over an itchy spot behind one of her long, pointed ears.
Rather than funny, the idea was extremely arousing. Sure, she was a fox person, but despite the alien differences she was very beautiful. Actually, I'd decided the alien parts of her were what made her beautiful: they were a touch of the exotic, like when a woman has a beauty spot or a wonky tooth or some other feature that makes her all the more intriguing.
Yeah, she was good looking. Shame she was such a bitch, though.
Wait, no. A bitch was a female dog. She was a... what do they call a female fox?
Oh yeah. A vixen.
After she left the apartment I got to work cleaning the place. It was good to have something to do, since it distracted me from thoughts of my future. The vixen’s apartment was not too different from one of our own, and I noted the lack of feminine knick-knacks and the overall Spartan orderliness of it. It was a high-powered business woman’s apartment, with appliances in the kitchen that had barely been used, a wardrobe filled with expensive clothes, business attire and slinky dresses and the rest, and of course a cupboard dedicated to her shoes. She had piles of shoes.
I did a lot of snooping around: I was lucky my job was to make sure everything was in the right place and just as she liked it, since it gave me a great opportunity to find some means of escape. I wasn't looking for a secret tunnel or anything like that, but some information I could use in the future.
No luck. I moved from her bedroom to the bathroom. Here that sterile neatness was abandoned, as you often find in a woman’s living space: there was a miniature cityscape of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and so on in the shower caddy and a similar, smaller one made up of creams and moisturisers and the like beside the sink. I couldn’t read the labels, but I’ve lived with women before and a cautionary sniff and examination revealed what everything was. The ‘mistress’ was not at all different to a human woman in that regard. In fact, one of the few things I found that was in any way unusual was an electric razor such as a guy would have. But then, she was covered in that soft velvety fur. She probably had to shave herself regularly.
I felt a rush of excitement at the image that sprung to mind of the mistress with her leg up on the bath, shaving herself neatly between the legs. Based on what I’d already seen, her anatomy was similar to a human's. I mean, she had boobs and hips and everything, so she probably had a neat little pussy as well.
I shook my head. What the hell was I thinking? I returned to my work and did a good job cleaning the bathroom. I didn’t want to arouse any suspicion by doing a half-assed job, and I’ve always been someone that does things properly out of principle.
The living room and the kitchen were far smaller jobs. She mustn’t use them much. She probably left early every morning like she had today – she had told me not to expect her until late in the evening. She would phone me via the video screen. It had a little pad of various symbols on it, none of which I could read beyond the one she taught me necessary for accepting a call. Although our spoken languages were almost exactly the same by virtue of our universes being close together, the therian writing system was very different, similar to Cyrillic or Greek with neat alphabetical characters.
After a long period of boredom the phone began to chime. I hit the accept key and the mistress' face appeared on the screen. She looked tired. As she told me what she wanted for dinner, she glanced about the room behind me. At the end she nodded, pleased.
“It seems you make a better cleaner than a soldier, human. Perhaps I was not wrong to choose you.”
Her face flashed off the screen. I felt conflicted emotions, then: humiliation at her slight, but also pleasure at the thought she was happy with me. But then I felt sick: thinking like that was a servile emotion. The only reason I was doing my job properly was to give myself time to escape. If she was happy with the results, that was great, but I really didn’t care either way.
I got dinner ready. The vulpines ate raw meat and it was important to cut it properly. I tried hard to do a good job. I guess it’s the same sort of thing that’s expected of a sushi chef when cutting fish for sushi or sashimi. I also got her refreshment ready: liquor and it smelled strong. I sneaked a little and it reminded me strongly of kirsch. Dessert was fruit, berries mostly.
The vixen came home. She looked even more tired In person than she had on the screen. I took her coat and bag from her and she sat right down at the table and fell upon her food. Vulpines don’t use cutlery, of course. I said she 'fell upon it', but don’t get the wrong idea: she wasn't tearing it to pieces like a feral dog. She might not have been a dainty and graceful eater, but she ate like a human woman who was very, very hungry.
When she was finished she lay back in her chair, undid one of the buttons at the bottom of her blouse and fixed her golden eyes on me.
“You must be hungry.”
I nodded. I was.
“You did a good job today. I think this is going to work out.” She had food left over and she pushed the plate towards me. “Want to try some?”
I’ve never been averse to trying new things and I’d eaten raw horse flesh in Japan, but I eyed the food with a strange mixture of emotions. I felt a bit like a pet being offered a tid-bit.
I was hungry, though. I took up some of the meat and ate it.
The meat tasted very similar to horse.
“How brave. You've no idea what kind of meat that is, do you?” said the mistress, amused.
I stopped mid chew and my stomach began to rebel. Of course I didn’t know what it was. It could be anything!
But as I went to take it from my mouth, the mistress laughed. “I’m just playing with you. It’s from an animal not unlike your cow, although it has stripes rather than spots. Vulpines do not eat sentient beings. No therian does.”
I swallowed down the meat and the mistress laughed again at the relief on my face. She downed a hit of the liquor and then held out the little glass to me and wiggled it back and forth.
I refilled her glass for her. She drank quickly and told me about her day as I ate. She held an important managerial position in her company, a large and important one which dealt with transportation and logistics. At the moment they were involved in the war effort so the hours were long and the work exacting. The details of what they did exactly were largely lost on me, but I did learn a lot about office politics. She drank glass after glass of the liquor and toyed with the berries and after a while she told me to bring the bottle as she retired to the couch. She had me switch on the screen and turn it to a landscape channel.
I attended to her, which meant refilling her glass rapidly. After a while she stretched and lay out lengthwise on the couch. She waved at me and said, “Put it back. I think I’ve had enough.”
When I returned her eyes were closed, but as I approached the couch she opened them. A subtle smile slipped onto her lips as she looked me over.
“You’ve acquitted yourself well, human,” she murmured. “I think we made the right decision invading your world. You seem pliable and useful, even if you do look like big, bald apes.” She closed her eyes again. “I'm sleepy. Have my bed made ready.”
I did as she said. Beds in her world were flush with the floor, not unlike futons. Since vulpines had evolved from an animal like our fox, it made sense they preferred to sleep close to the ground.
When I returned to the living room this time her eyes were still closed and she made no move to acknowledge my presence. I stood and waited, watching for any sign of wakefulness. After a while she murmured and drew her knees up to her belly, her lips parting in a sigh.
I moved closer. She really was a strange and beautiful hybrid of woman and fox. Her tail had curled up between her knees and she held the brush like a teddy bear against her chest as it rose and fell with her gentle breathing. Up close, I noticed her cleavage had the same soft covering of fur as the rest of her body and her nipples were pronounced against the material of her blouse, even through her bra, the straps of which were visible. I noticed too that there was another set of nipples beneath those ones: a second set of breasts, but far smaller. Of course. Foxes have multiple sets of breasts.
The vixen stirred and her ear twitched like a dog’s might. I took a step back.
A plan began to form in my brain. She enjoyed a drink - a little too much. But the door to the apartment was locked, from the inside as well, and I had no idea of the combination. That would be the next step: finding that combination.
The mistress looked peaceful sleeping on the couch. I moved closer to see just how deeply she slept. I managed to get right up next to her before my courage gave out and I stopped. Her big fluffy tail was within touching distance. For a moment I thought about touching it and even reached out, but I drew back my hand at the last moment and turned to leave.
I stopped dead when I heard the vixen sigh.
“Disappointing,” she said. “I thought you might have actually been brazen enough to try and overpower me.”
I turned. Her big, golden eyes were open and considered me with quiet mockery. At my shocked expression her lips split in a wide grin and almost every needle-sharp canine in her mouth became visible. “But then, of course, I would have been obliged to tear out your throat and find a new servant. Perhaps it’s for the best you're timid.”
A half-apology, half-excuse began to tumble out of me in a jumble, but she laughed and drew her brush closer to her chest. “You’re certainly very excitable. I was just joking, perhaps.” She let go of her tail and stretched out her arms and legs with sensuous slowness, making a soft yipping sound of delight deep in her throat. Then she sat up and yawned. “Goodnight, human. I will have my breakfast at five o’clock. Don’t be late.”
I watched her leave. The pronounced wiggle of her hips made her her tail with its white-tipped brush wag back and forth and I stared at it as though hypnotised. She glanced over her shoulder, catching me at it, and with a laugh she closed the door behind her.
The next few days followed the same pattern, except that she didn't fall asleep on the couch again. She'd have a few drinks after dinner and watch some television before retreating to her room. I continued to be regaled with stories about her work life, and soon it felt as though I was somehow married to her and playing the part of a house-husband. But her mockery lost none of its sting. She never let up on the slights directed towards my species and seemed to take a perverse pleasure in telling me the names of the latest cities that had fallen to their armies. I knew how to operate the TV screen but there was never anything interesting on in the few moments I had free, so I stopped watching it after a while. The news was strangely parochial with only passing mention made of the war, and I learned more about current events from my dinner conversations with the vixen. I tried to watch some of their entertainment programs, but the vulpine sense of humour tended towards the Fescennine and the pratfall and it got boring pretty quickly. How many times can an actor get their tail stuck in a door and still expect to get laughs? The vulpines seemed to have an endless appetite for that sort of thing.
The other therian channels weren't much better.
But soon the mistress brought me back materials published by the central government designed to teach humans how to read and write their complicated language. Now I had something to do during my meagre allotted free-time, and I was actually happy for it.
One evening the mistress came home early. She gave me only the most perfunctory greeting before she rattled off a litany of requirements and disappeared into the shower. Earlier she'd called and told me there was no need to prepare dinner for her tonight as she'd be going out.
She spent longer than usual in her room. Usually, she'd come straight out in her house-wear and throw herself on the food I’d prepared. Tonight, when the door opened, I was left speechless and starring at the transformation she'd undergone.
Instead of the pyjama-like clothing she usually wore when not in her work clothes, she was wearing a dress. Her hourglass figure, always so obvious in her pencil skirt, was made even more pronounced by the shimmering material which contoured lovingly to her form, hugging her curved hips and thighs. She'd done her hair up in a loose yet intricate style which drew attention to her perky ears. I’d noticed, from watching TV, that a vulpine’s ears were considered an important part of their looks. They were agile in response to a vulpine’s emotions: perking up in interest, flicking about whenever they were distracted, folding back when they were annoyed - and the mistress’ ears were large and shapely and complimented her angular cheekbones and slanted eyes well.
And her tail! She must have spent a long time blow-drying it. Her brush was even fluffier than usual.
The mistress caught me staring at her tail and her lips curled into a grin. Then the door chirped and the grin disappeared as she cocked her head at me and started fussing over her appearance. I hurried over to the door and opened it.
Standing in the corridor was another vulpine, the first I’d seen in the flesh since coming to serve the vixen. This one was easily over six and a half feet tall, towering over my own average height, and clearly male: his face was squarer and more aggressive in outline than the vixen's, and his clothing had the unmistakable utility of all masculine clothes, although it was decorated with the gold embroidery which vulpines seem to favour in their formal attire.
I looked up at him, wondering just how I should invite him in, when he grinned at me and took a step forward. Alarmed, I moved aside but he reached out and grabbed me by the collar and with little effort lifted me clear off the floor. I cried out in both surprise and pain, for my shirt had become an impromptu noose around my neck, cutting off my breath. I kicked my legs like a man being hanged as all the while the vulpine’s eyes looked me up and down.
The vixen appeared. “Release my servant, Raboso,” she said. “You’ll damage him.”
Raboso laughed and immediately set me back on my feet. As I double over gasping I felt his large hand pat me on the back.
“So they’re just as fragile as they say,” he said. “Little wonder we won as easily as we did.”
“Maybe so,” said the vixen. “But they’re also intelligent.”
Raboso leaned down and brought his face close to mine. I coughed and brought myself back up to full height and stared back at him. My lungs still burned but I wasn’t going to give him any satisfaction from his bullying.
His grin deepened. “Small and smooth, but it looks like there’s a male inside there after all.” He brushed me aside and took hold of the vixen’s hand. “Shall we, Azeri?”
The vixen snorted at him. “You males and your macho posturing.” Then she smiled and ran a long-nailed hand through the short fur of his bare arm. “But I suppose that’s why I love you.”
She glanced at me. There was annoyance but also some other emotion I couldn't divine in her gold eyes. “Be sure to complete your evening duties, human. I do not want you slacking off merely because I’m not at home.”
“I won't, mistress.” I bowed. The vixen closed the door and I retreated back inside.
My heart still racing from Raboso’s manhandling, I swallowed back the bile of my humiliation and threw myself into the myriad of jobs awaiting me.
My duties completed, I sat up waiting for the vixen to return. Wait. There was no need to call her the vixen any more, was there? She had a name: Azeri. Azeri.
So I suppose Raboso was her mate. Well, boyfriend maybe. Not her husband, though. I’d learned from the TV that vulpine’ society was more or less similar to our own. They usually had only a single mate, although some important males had larger families: not multiple wives or mistresses it seemed, but other vulpines attached to him, most of which were female but who took the role of nursemaids for the children. I didn’t really understand how it was supposed to work.
I shook my head. I was wasting time. I was only part way through the textbook of their language. They were arrogant fools to give me the chance I needed. Once I knew how to read their language, finding the code would be easier. If vulpines were anything like humans, it would be written somewhere. Mind you, Azeri seemed too smart to leave such a thing lying around. It was probably on her phone. I’d need to wait until I could take it from her.
I glanced at the clock and tested myself. Vulpine clocks were divided into sixteen periods of around 45 smaller increments roughly equivalent to minutes. That meant...
It was very late. She'd never been this late before.
I was being stupid. She wasn’t coming home. She was staying at Raboso’s place. You didn’t get done up like that to just go to dinner. She was wearing those sexy clothes for a reason.
How did foxes do it? Doggy style? No, wait, foxes aren’t dogs, although they do act a bit dog-like at times. Foxy-style.
Not funny. I pushed the image from my head. The thought of that bully fucking her made me sick. Wait. She was at least as big a bully as he was. They suited each other.
I plunged back into the book and did the chapter’s exercises over and over until I got them all right. Then I started the next chapter, even though my eyes were aching from tiredness.
I must have fallen asleep. The vixen was standing in the living room, staring at me. I hadn’t even heard the door open.
She was frowning. “What are you doing awake?” Her mouth slid into an unhappy grin. “And lying so arrogantly on the couch as though you own the place. Go to your room.”
I grabbed my book and got off the couch, muttering a sleepy apology. I’d only taken a few steps when Azeri said, “Wait.”
I stopped. She brushed past me, tossed her handbag on the floor and collapsed onto the couch. “Get me something to drink.”
I hurried back from the kitchen with a bottle of that gin-like berry liquor and a small glass. She glanced at the glass and shook her head. “No, go get a bigger one. Oh, and one for yourself.”
I blinked at her. “Mistress?”
She rolled her eyes. “Just do it. I’m sick of arguments tonight. I might be pathetic, but not pathetic enough to drink alone.”
I returned and poured Azeri a large drink and then one for myself at her urging. She grabbed her drink from me and knocked it back. I stood there with my own and took a sip. The liquor burned but was delicious. Azeri glanced up at me and rolled her eyes.
“Sit down, would you? You’re making me nervous.”
I glanced about. Should I sit at the bench?
Azeri patted the space beside her. “Here. I don’t want to wait for you when I need a refill.”
I did as I was told. It felt awkward sitting next to her, after the distance she'd kept me at for so long. The situation was similar to that of a week ago and despite the awkwardness, I grew excited. This was my chance. Something had happened to her tonight and she seemed ready to drink her problems away.
I sipped my drink. Azeri watched me and laughed.
“You drink like a vixen. Put some effort into it. I don’t want to be drunk alone.”
I had no choice but to do as she said. I’m not shy of knocking them back, but I’d planned on pacing myself. I might not get another chance to further my escape for a long time, and I didn’t want to drunkenly screw things up.
The liquor burned going down and a pleasurable warmth spread throughout my chest. Azeri watched me drink and murmured. “Good. That’s better.” Then she turned her eyes from me and looked about the room. “You’ve done an excellent job as always. It’s a nice change coming back to a home that feels like one.”
“Thank you mistress,” I said.
She narrowed her eyes at me. “Don’t make me laugh. I know your servile manner is all for show. You grit your teeth every time you say ’mistress’, did you know that?” She lifted her eyes to the ceiling. “It’s better for you to get used to being a servant. You’ll be happier in the long run.” She sighed. “Listen to me. Talking to you about happiness like you were another vulpine. I really am...”
She broke off what she was saying and took a drink which went on until she'd drained the glass. After I refilled it, she took a smaller sip then leaned over and placed the glass on the coffee table. She repositioned herself on the couch so that her back was against the armrest and she was facing me. Her gold eyes considered me with a strange intensity. A frown, more sad than angry, settled onto her face.
“I once said I wanted you to talk more, but you’re still as quiet as a golem at times. I’m sick of males who keep everything hidden. You’re my servant. I order you to tell me something about yourself.”
I stared at her. She seemed upset by something and I felt a dangerous undercurrent in her words. “What would you like to know, mistress?”
She reclaimed her drink. “Do you have a mate back on... what’s your planet called? Earth?”
“Yes, Earth,” I replied. “And no, I don’t have a mate.”
Azeri’s eyes slipped over me. “I can’t really tell if you’re considered good looking,” she said. “But you don’t strike me as ugly. Why don’t you have a mate?”
“Well,” I said, taken aback by the question. “I guess I’ve just never met the right girl. I mean, I’ve gone out with my share of girls, but...” Why the hell was I telling her all this? “Well, things’ve never really gone on long enough to get serious, I guess.”
Azeri laughed, an unpleasant sound. “So you humans are really no different from us. Afraid of commitment, I suppose?”
“No,” I said. “They always ended up breaking up with me.”
The vixen’s smile slid from her face. She took a long drink and arched her eyebrows. “Well, I suppose it’s for the better you don’t have a mate or any kits. I might have felt bad about keeping you here.”
She fell silent. After a while I decided that it was better to keep her talking. The more she talked the more she drank and I didn’t want the opportunity to slip away. “Mistress, is Raboso your mate?”
A look of surprise flashed across her face. For a moment her expression teetered on an edge between anger and unhappiness, but she turned away before I could learn which direction it ended up in.
“No, Raboso is not my mate. He’s a....” She went to take a drink, thought better of it and moved to put the tumbler on the coffee table again but misjudged. There was a harsh clink and some of the liquor spilled over the lip. She ignored it. “God, I was about to say friend.” She placed her face in her hands. “Truth is, I’m his mistress. He has a mate. Kits too. Two of them.”
“But you want him to be your mate.”
The vixen wheeled on me, her eyes flashing. There were tears in them. “You forget yourself.” Then she snorted, rubbed her eyes with the angry back of a hand and reclaimed her glass. “Yes. Pathetic isn’t it?” She drank her drink down and I quickly I refilled her glass before she even offered it to me.
“Trying to get me drunk?” she asked, amused. She drank the glass down and lay back against the armrest with what would have been languid grace if she hadn’t misjudged the distance and been forced to grab the backing of the sofa before she fell back too far. Embarrassment flashed momentarily across her face, but she quickly recovered. “Looks like I already am.”
She ran a hand down along her stomach, smoothing where her dress had got bunched up. She looked up, met my eyes and chuckled. “Do you humans find the same things attractive, I wonder.” A pause, then: “Do you think I’m pretty, human?”
I blinked. “What sort of a question is that, mistress?”
My heart beat faster. There was no point lying. “Yes I do, mistress.”
The edge of her lip curled. “Is that so?” She sat up and drew a hand up along my leg to my thigh. I flinched, but didn’t move away. Was this some kind of joke?
“Shh,” she said. “Don’t move. I’m just checking to see if you’re lying to me.”
Her hand rose higher until it was cupping my crotch. I was already half-hard and the sudden warmth and firmness of her hand, as well as the look on her face, made me harder. Her eyes were hooded with a mixture of sleepiness and lazy excitement and she smiled at the shock on my face.
“Mmmm,” she muttered. “You seem to be telling me the truth. But still...” She leaned over, then, and lowered her head over my lap. I froze. Was she actually going to...? Her hands fumbled at the button to my pants and then struggled with the zip. Her head drew lower, and lower, and then she suddenly slumped forward and lay still.
I stared down at her head lying in my lap for a few moments before I heard the snoring.
I bit back laughter. If this was all a joke, she was definitely committed to it. I said her name and patted her head gently in an effort to wake her, but the snoring continued. I sat there, feeling idiotic, wondering just what I should do. If I pushed her head away, she might wake up and I’d lose my chance.
I gingerly leaned over to get her handbag from where it was sitting beside the couch. The angle was uncomfortable, and to make things worse I was now rock hard.
I finally grabbed hold of her handbag but not before my movement disturbed Azeri. She murmured and turned her head over. I slowly sat back up so that her head was back in the horizontal and there was less pressure on her neck. Then I placed her handbag on the armrest and lay a hand on her head, which seemed to settle her. Her hair was soft beneath my hand I started stroking it without thinking. She murmured and a long ear twitched.
I let my stroking continue up to her ear, I wasn’t thinking particularly straight since I was pretty drunk too, and I didn’t want to lose the opportunity of feeling what her ear felt like. It was soft and fluffy as I expected and it flattened against her head as I stroked it, just like a dog’s does.
I glanced along the couch. Azeri's dress had ridden up, exposing a large amount of leg. Her legs were as slender as I expected, but toned and widening to some powerful looking thighs. The light fur along them certainly looked soft, as did that tail of hers lying against the back of the sofa, proud and tall and fluffy.
No, I couldn’t let anything distract me. Azeri seemed to have returned to deeper asleep. I opened her handbag and fished out her phone. Luckily, it wasn’t passworded and after a few moments I'd accessed the main menu. It wasn't too different from one of our smartphones, but my knowledge of the vulpine language was quickly put to the test. Luckily, the icons were self-explanatory for the most part and I soon had the note application opened. There was a set of numbers there but with no information on what they applied to. I committed them to memory and then went looking through her messages to see if she'd hidden the code there.
The logs recorded messages from several numbers, but two numbers predominated. One was probably Raboso, the other... well, work, I guessed. I looked through some messages from the other numbers as far back as I could go, but nothing jumped out.
Well, I had some numbers. That was enough for now. I closed her phone, put it back in her handbag and replaced it on the floor. But what was I going to do with Azeri?
I cradled her head in my hands and slipped from under her. She snorted and twitched her ears, but slept on. I lowered her head gently to the sofa and got up. I guess I could just leave her like this. She was a bit too heavy to move without waking, and she probably wouldn’t appreciate it if she woke up in my arms. Chances were she'd tear my throat out instinctively, like she'd said before.
She looked uncomfortable, though, so I went and got a pillow from her room and placed it under her head. She murmured and turned over so that she was facing the backing of the sofa and as she did her dress rode up some more. It was all bunched up under her tail now and I could see her underwear. White and lacy, they covered what was a very nicely rounded butt.
I swallowed. She’d probably wake up and find her dress pulled up and think I did it. There was nothing else for it.
I crept up to her and feeling like a pervert I took hold of the soft material bunched up beneath her tail and drew it slowly down over her butt.
I sat back down and stared at her as her shoulders rose and fell with each breath. She looked utterly peaceful. Clearly she didn’t view me as any kind of threat or else she would never have let herself get into this state. I rankled at the thought, and my sexual frustration added to my anger. I was just a glorified cleaner; no, worse - a pet she thought she could mess around with however she liked. Her teasing was probably some kind of strange dominance thing.
So I wasn't a threat? There was easy access to a knife in the kitchen, the same one I used to cut her breakfast for her. She was so drunk she wouldn’t put up any resistance.
I stood there, wondering if I couldn’t bring myself to kill her. She was a slave-master, after all, and we were at war. She was the enemy. It was my duty to try and escape however I could.
But just as quickly as the thought occurred to me, I pushed it away. I might be a soldier, but killing an enemy soldier on the battlefield and killing a woman, albeit an enemy, asleep in a home I shared with her were two utterly different things. That demanded colder blood than I had.
And besides, Azeri had treated me well. Uh, as well as you might expect a slave master to treat her slave. She'd teased and humiliated me, true, but was that deserving of death? Besides, without that passcode I was trapped here. There was always the chance that she hadn't recorded it anywhere.
I sat down and poured myself a fresh drink. Any escape would have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest, while she was at work.
She certainly seemed to be sleeping soundly. She really must have wanted to forget everything that happened tonight. From what she’d hinted at, she’d had an unpleasant evening with Raboso.
The thought of that bully striking out with Azeri pleased me. I sat there, pleasantly drunk, and finished my drink. Then I washed everything up and went to bed. I lay there a long time, as I usually do when drunk, my thoughts keeping me awake. Her fur had felt so soft under my fingers, and those ears... those furry ears... only her tail looked fluffier than them.
Even with my hands underneath my pillow I could detect her scent on them. A spicy scent, musky and rich like cinnamon. A hot, sexy scent. The way she’d run her hand up my leg, brought her pretty face down between my legs and been about to...
I woke with an aching erection. The night had been filled with erotic dreams, but the alcohol I’d drunk left the memory of them indistinct in the haze of my cotton-wool mouth and throbbing head.
I glanced at the clock. Still early. She mustn’t be awake yet. I got up and washed my face in my little sink. The cold water felt good on my feverish forehead and I drank as much as I could keep down. It was the only cure for a hangover that had ever worked for me.
But I also needed coffee. I ducked upstairs and glanced at the sofa. Azeri had shifted in her sleep and was lying on her back, one leg hanging off the sofa and the other slung over the back of it. The position looked utterly uncomfortable, but she was still fast asleep.
I went and made coffee. As the machine percolated I heard a murmur from the living room.
It was the first time I’d heard it since the employment centre. She’d always called me ‘human’ since then. I’d actually started to forget I had a name.
I stood there in shock for a moment, then I went into the living room. Azeri was awake and lying propped up on an elbow.
She blinked at me blearily. “What are you doing?” Her voice was dry and cracked.
“I’m making coffee, mistress,” I said. “I’ll bring you some when I’m...”
“I’m going to be sick,” she said, and promptly was.
I managed to get her to the bathroom before the second wave hit. I had her over the toilet and held back her hair as she vomited again, and then again. Usually I get sick to the stomach when I hear and smell someone else vomiting, but this time I just felt sorry for her. Her body was wracked with heaving until there was nothing left in her stomach.
I brought some tissues and helped her wipe her mouth, but she snatched them from me.
“I’m not a kit,” she whispered hoarsely. “Let me be!”
I went back and cleaned up the living room. After a while I heard the shower running. It ran for a long time. I started to worry she’d fallen unconscious and so I knocked on the door.
She said something, but her voice was so low and weak I couldn’t make it out. I knocked and called out to her again.
“Go away!” she said, much louder this time and dark with anger.
I messed around until she finally came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel. She’d done a poor job of drying herself and looked bedraggled, her wet hair lank against her skin and her ears plastered back against her head. Her face had lost its earlier greenness, but was still pale. She stumbled past me without acknowledging me and slid onto the sofa.
“Coffee,” she muttered. I got her some.
She winced as she smelled the cup, but then she drank the coffee down and asked for another.
After another cup she had me bring her some pills from the bathroom, which she ate a handful of, and then, after snatching up her handbag, she retreated to her bedroom and slid into bed.
I left her there to sleep it off. After an hour I went to check on her. She was asleep. I checked on her every hour after that, with the same result. Around midday I decided I should wake her. I shook her shoulder under the tightly tucked-in sheet.
Azeri opened her eyes and grinned at me, but the grin rapidly slid from her face as her eyes focussed on me.
“Oh,” she said. “It’s you.” She slid up onto her elbows. “What time is it?”
I told her.
“Are you hungry, mistress?” I asked.
“Mmm,” she said. She grabbed her phone from under the pillow and checked it. A grim look settled onto her face and for a second I thought I must have left some sign of my earlier snooping on her phone, but I quickly learned the reason for her frown wasn’t me.
“That asshole,” she muttered. She looked up at me as though noticing me for the first time. “I’ll have meat. Anything, as long as it’s cold.”
I excused myself and went to get her lunch.
I nursed her for the whole day, obeying her curt commands, but never fast enough for her. She was behaving like she had when she’d first enslaved me, keeping me at a distance and bullying me, but without her earlier mocking humour. That brief moment of intimacy last night seemed far away now.
Well, she had been incredibly drunk.
And yet... she'd called my name this morning. Her voice had been plaintive, fragile. Maybe, half awake and sick, she’d just forgotten to call me ‘human’.
I weathered the storm. She spent a lot of the day sleeping. It was the first day of their weekend, so on their version of Monday I’d try out the numbers I’d memorised.
I played them over in my head, hoping I remembered them correctly. Well, we’d see.
The next day when I went to wake her, Azeri was already awake. I opened the blinds as I usually do and she watched me in silence, blinking her big golden eyes as the light spilled in. She looked as though she’d recovered.
“Do you feel better mistress?”
No reply. Just those large eyes fixed on me. I grew uncomfortable and left the room. She certainly seemed a lot better, even if she was acting odd. Her complexion, for one thing. Her face was a healthy pink colour, so different from yesterday’s paleness. And there was something else. Yes, her scent. It was particularly strong this morning.
I got her breakfast ready. She came in dressed in a short-hemmed sun dress. She was also made-up, although for once her hair was held back by a simple headband rather than done up in the complex style she favoured when going out. She sat down at the table and I brought her her food.
She ate voraciously and asked for seconds. I was a bit slow bringing them and her eyes flashed at me dangerously.
So much for her being in a better mood. At least she wasn’t shouting at me.
When she was finished she got up and fixed me with a strange look. “I'll be away all day, so there is no need for you to make me lunch.”
“Yes, mistress,” I said.
A gentle, mocking smile flickered onto her lips. “Aren’t you wondering where I'm going?”
I shook my head. “It’s not my place to ask, mistress.”
The truth was, I was interested. She seldom dressed up to go out on weekends. In fact, she usually went to the office to catch up on paperwork.
Her curled lips settled into a grin. “You know, human, you have a droll sense of humour. I very much enjoy it.” She stood up and twirled about in her dress. “So how do I look?
I stared at her. She’d never acted this way in front of me before. Also, she looked beautiful in that dress with her long legs on ample display. Her hair was loose and twirled with her as well.
“You look beautiful, mistress.”
The words came out more heartfelt than I'd intended. Azeri looked at me and after a few moments she smiled.
“You are too kind, human.”
Then, humming, she left.
I waited an hour. With the morning off from my usual weekend duties, I passed the time sitting on the couch and learning more of the language. When I decided she wasn't coming back, I went to the door. It was a simple keypad, and I'd watched Azeri use it many times before, although at a distance. The menus were very straightforward.
I'd counted the number of keypresses Azeri had made, and now I knew the folder options it was a simple matter of subtraction to work out how long the code was. It had to be six numbers long.
I mentally discarded the numbers that were either too long or too short, which left me with three sets of numbers. I input each of the numbers after the other.
None proved to be the code. Or maybe I'd just misremembered them.
I slumped back on the couch, feeling despair settle over me. I really was trapped. Although this was a gilded cage, it was a cage nonetheless. My entire life revolved around Azeri, my entire existence now directed towards her pleasure. The thought sickened me.
I went back up to the codepad and started pushing numbers at random in desperation. Then I fell to my knees and lay there, my palms against the cool lacquered wood of the floor.
So this was how I was going to spend the rest of my life.
To be continued