Wulf/Wolf

This story was intended to introduce "Young Wulf", i.e. his adventures after getting kicked out of the Academy but before Heart of the Lion. As I'd messed with the Wolfen before I thought it would be interesting to include a female as Wulf's lover, given the obvious title pun. I think it's also Wulf's first time with a non-human, but don't hold me to that. Anyway, it was also an attempt to get back to shorter stories, a practice that I have had difficulty sticking to. Enjoy the story and let me know what you think.

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It was my own fault, of course. The Wild is no place to be wandering alone, especially near Wolfen country. Needless to say, the lure of relatively easy money had me crashing through the underbrush near the Wolf Peaks, intent on a fortune in gemstones and gold that had supposedly vanished with a caravan years before. Whether that caravan was there, or whether it even existed, remains a mystery to me, since I ended up going off in a totally different direction. I was young then, and somewhat stupider (or at least less experienced) than I am now; gods only know I wouldnt venture into that part of the world again unless I had an army of Imperial mercenaries at my back and a dragon under me. But whats life for but to learn? 

My name is Wulf. Well, that was the name I ended up picking for myself, since I’ve no idea what my parents called me, if anything. I was a young washout from the Imperial Magic Academy, aged around 20 winters. Tales of a fabulous lost caravan and its fortune in booty caught my ear while I was kicking around Yellowcap, looking for employment. On a whim, I decided to make the dangerous journey to the interior — entirely alone, mind you, to see if I could find this legendary treasure. Again, I was young and stupid, and probably would have deserved it had my adventure ended with me in an ogre’s stewpot. In addition to being stupid, however, I was blessed with some particular luck on that trip, and my encounters with hostiles were kept to a minimum.

Ever wonder where exiles and vicious criminals go when it’s obvious no one wants them? Well, that’s why the Gods made the Wild, the most dangerous, unpleasant and thoroughly chaotic place on the globe, with the possible exception of my bedroom. The place is a chaotic, deadly realm with the coastal regions under the control of bandit chieftains and a loose federation of thugs known as the Swamp Lords. The interior is worse, with every man, woman and sentient being for him/her/itself, banding together into ragged tribes or building strongholds, villages or fortresses wherever they can. The region is pretty rich in natural resources, too, but no kingdom has been mad enough to actually try to establish colonies here. Of course, the White Emperor was insane enough to try invading the Veldt Lands, so I wouldn’t put anything past him.

The region around the Wolf Peaks is particularly rugged and dangerous, for reasons I was to discover. Thick stands of forest hadn’t felt the thread of a human in centuries, while wild streams crisscrossed the land, making the going difficult. I walked during the day, then slept in trees at night, listening to the creatures roam the woods below. I wasn’t a bad forester, I just didn’t have the sense to realize that this was a bad place.

The Wolfen, you see, roamed in this area regularly. For those who don’t know, Wolfen are canine humanoids with foul dispositions. They’re a remarkable species, actually, living in a loose pack-like confederacy on the west coast of the Wild, raiding surrounding lands for slaves, and rarely if ever fighting among themselves. They’ve inherited a social hierarchy from their wolfy ancestors, and have a fairly strict code of honor. They also practice slavery, though to their credit, Wolfen can take it as well as dish it out. A wolfen defeated in honorable combat is automatically considered property or subordinate of the victor, whether that victor is Wolfen, human, orcish or what have you. They are rarely defeated, however, so wolfen slaves are few. They prefer to hold other species in bondage, and are particularly fond of the feline Kaitians, whose empire is several hundred leagues to the north. Since I’ve already described the wolfen and kaitians’ relations with each other as being akin to fighting cats and dogs, I won’t use the analogy again, save to say that the wolf-folk and the tiger-folk get along just about as well as you might expect.

Wolfen also have a unique class of slaver/shamans, known as “tamers,” who are able to reduce victims to servile states with a combination of magic and, in some cases, sex. Wolfen don’t have a lot of qualms about interspecies sex, you see, and some actually prefer it as a way of enjoying themselves without the dangers of unwanted pregnancy.

All that aside, I had just spent several weeks traversing the wilderness, avoiding bandits, orcs, ogres and worse, and was finally making my way down the overgrown and rutted remnants of a caravan route. I was fairly certain that this was the route that the ill-fated treasure caravan had taken, and, despite the dark and forbidding trees which rose on my left, periodically spewing clouds of angry crows, and the towering crags of the Wolf Peaks on my right, tall and ugly, like daggers thrusting up from the ground, I was filled with youthful confidence, certain that within a season I’d be buying and selling whole kingdoms while whooping it up with my close personal friend the White Emperor.

That’s what makes you careless — overconfidence and dreaming about the bright days of the future. Being sensibly cautious and focusing on the here and now, I’ve found, is a far better way to go through life. And I was about to get my first lesson in that particular philosophy.

I felt I was ready for just about anything, mounted on a fine gray horse, with a pack mule plodding doggedly behind. I wore light traveling clothes, a leather vest and my favorite combination of weapons, rapier and parrying dagger. I relied mostly on stealth and speed to escape pursuers, plus a small number of minor spells; so far I’d been lucky in that both me, the horse, and the mule had emerged unscathed from all our encounters.

It wasn’t to continue I was riding through a grassy glen, trying to follow the obscured wagon-ruts when the horse began to snort nervously. She’d proved a reliable and steady companion in the past, so I was instantly alert to possible danger. Unfortunately for both of us, our awareness came too late, as a stubby crossbow bolt shot out of nowhere to bury itself in the horse’s hindquarters. She went berserk at that point, rearing and screaming, as I struggled to stay on. Behind us the mule looked alarmed, but remained relatively calm, waiting to see what happened.

What happened was that, after the third or fourth rear, I fell from the horse, landing painfully on my shoulder. Free of her burden, the mare tried to run, but pulled the rope tight and fell herself as the mule dug in and refused to budge. I scrambled out of the way, and just missed getting crushed by the falling horse. She lay on the ground, thrashing, foaming at the mouth, crying out frantically. Then her convulsions slowed and she lay still, twitching spasmodically. The quarrel, I realized, was probably poisoned.

I fell to the ground, seeking what cover I could, and crawled toward the mule, intending to cut the beast free and try to escape with him, but as I moved, a shadowy figure emerged from the undergrowth, low and deadly-looking, feral eyes gleaming. I heard another “thwock” as a second quarrel discharged, then a searing pain in my shoulder as the stubby dart buried itself in my flesh. It was small, I saw, not likely to do any serious harm. But a moment later, a wave of agony washed over me, and I felt my head begin to spin... Damn, I was poisoned, too.

I barely had time to bid the cruel world farewell before I fell beside my poor horse.

***

It was just the first of many incidents in which I would fall unconscious and awake to find myself captured. I always believe in getting an early start.

It was early evening, and the sun was just declining behind the trees. Overhead, Big Sister was a thin crescent, while Little Sister had yet to rise. I lay in a small clearing, illuminated by flickering yellow light. My captor had relieved me of most of my clothing; I lay clad in a dirty breechcloth and nothing else. Not that it mattered, of course — I’d have been helpless wearing a full suit of fluted Litharnan plate. I was pretty thoroughly trussed up, but I could see the campfire, and the makings of a camp around it. My mule stood a few feet away, calmly cropping grass as if nothing had happened.

My captor — at least that’s who I assumed it was — stood with his back to me, tending a huge joint of meat which hung on a spit above the fire. The smell was good, though it was a tad familiar.

With a sick feeling in my stomach, I saw that the meat was a large chunk of horse haunch meat, and I suspected that I knew where it had come from.

Great. Captured by a cannibal or something. He was probably saving me for dessertÂ…

Then, the figure turned around, and I saw that I was completely off base about him.

First off, it wasn’t a him.

Second, it was, to my horror, a wolfen.

She was an impressive specimen — tall, muscular, moving lightly on backward-bent jacklegs, clad in a utilitarian halter and breech cloth. Had she been human, she might have been called voluptuous, for her leather halter restrained a sizeable pair of breasts, and her white-furred belly beneath was taut and muscular. Her face was surprisingly gentle for a predator, with a soft lupine grace and large blue eyes. She had jet black hair like a human, braided and hanging down her back, threaded with thongs, strings of beads and carved wood and stone fetishes.

Seeing me awake, she approached me, walking past her crossbow. It was a fouling-piece, intended to shoot small birds. The bolts were undersized and the string was relatively weak. The bolt alone wouldn’t have killed my horse, or incapacitated me — clearly this wolfen relied on poison rather than strength to take down her victims.

Victims. I was certainly one of those. For the moment, I was luckier than my poor horse, but as the upright wolf-beast approached me, her expression unreadable, I wasn’t sure how long my luck would hold out.

She moved closer, and I could smell her. It wasn’t unpleasant; more of an earthy smell, enhanced by a number of artificial substances I suspected, to reduce her scent and make hunting easier. Oddly enough, I felt myself relaxing. Perhaps it was because she didn’t reach for the deer-antler dagger at her side.

“You,” she growled in crudely-accented Imperial common. “You ape. You captured.”

“I am,” I said, trying to still the hammering of my heart. “What will you do with me?”

She seemed surprised that I would ask such a question.

“You capture,” she explained. “You slave now. Take you back. You work. Five, ten years... You be good worker, maybe they let you go then.”

It wasn’t a prospect I relished, even given the generous terms she was offering me.

“I don’t want to do that,” I explained patiently. “I know where there is treasure here. Lots of it. You let me go, we’ll share. Yes?”

She threw her head back and howled with what I took to be laughter. Her breasts moved alarmingly, and I felt a stirring of something even more primal than fear.

Those who read my various works will be aware that I’m a pretty open-minded person. I’ve shared intimate moments with women of a wide range of species; given Thystra’s insane cross-section of intelligent races, it’s not surprising that so much interracial hanky-panky takes place. At that point, however, my tastes ran more toward the human and human-appearing. That I might, even in these dire straits, find myself growing stiff and uncomfortable at the sight of a lupine female gave me some pause.

It didn’t keep me from admiring those breasts, though.

“You make me laugh, ape,” she said. “All I capture say they give me money, gold, gems to be set free. I not listen. They just talking like wind... Sounding good, but vanish when you try to hold ‘em to it.”

“Really,” I protested. “That’s why I was here. There was a caravan. A treasure caravan...”

“Silence, ape,” she warned. “Less’ I gag you. You not like that, not one bit.”

I agreed and clammed up. She wasn’t to be swayed by promises of riches.

“You call me Akumi,” she said, briskly. “I own you now. I take you Ruwkattan, sell you. You do good, you fetch good price. You fetch good price, you get good place. Lotsa food. Not much work. Lotsa females. You not do good, you get sold for mines. Your choice, ape.”

I didn’t say anything, but looked up at her, still trying to comprehend my predicament.

“Oh, don’t look like that, ape,” she said, irritated. “It not so bad, once get used to it.”

She tossed down a bone with some meat on it.

“Eat. Need your strength, ape.”

I swallowed hard and looked disgusted.

“That was my horse,” I told her.

“Ha!” she barked with laughter, taking another bite from her larger joint. “Him good horse, too!”

I fought down my revulsion and ate.

***

I lay close to the campfire, baking on one side, freezing on the other. Akumi finished off her ration of horsemeat and lay out a bedding roll, a few feet from me. She began, quite casually, to undress.

“You sleep there,” she said, loosening her halter. “I find bearskin for you. Keep you warm. You stay tied, but you sleep.”

She pulled the halter off, and her large breasts swung free. They were white-furred, save for fat pink nipples in the center, growing hard in the air. I swallowed, and the mild touches of lust I’d felt earlier came back in a much more pronounced manner. Maybe it was because it was after dark and my body was telling me it was time for sex... I’ve never felt humans had such instincts, but they’ve certainly affected me from time to time. I felt my cock begin to swell and straighten, slipping past the boundaries of the dirty loincloth.

Akumi was busy unbelting her own loincloth when she saw me. She cocked her head to one side, then looked into my eyes.

“Never had ape...Sorry, human...before,” she said. “You different that way.”

I felt profoundly embarrassed, but at this point it didn’t really seem to matter. “What way?” I asked, shifting uncomfortably, and succeeding only in freeing my stiffening organ a little bit more.

“Your...” she struggled for a word. “You call it... manhood?”

“If you mean that,” I replied, “Then I suppose that’s a polite term for it.”

“Your manhood right out there. In the open. Thick, too. Thick and pretty.”

I was taken aback by this. Akumi seemed to sense my surprise.

“You not talk that way?” she asked, stepping toward me and squatting down. She still wore her breechcloth, and it touched the ground. Her breasts were still naked, and just inches from me. “You not like I say you pretty? You make good slave, you such a pretty ape.”

“I didn’t think you folks considered us attractive,” I said.

“Hmmm...Some do.” She touched my shoulder with a soft finger, then ran a semi-retractable claw along my arm. “You think we pretty, do you ape?”

I nodded. I couldn’t deny it. “You’re very pretty. For a slaver who’s got me all tied up, that is.”

She tossed her head and grinned. “Can’t change that, ape. You tied. I free. You not know much of us.” She looked appraisingly down at my cock, which had completely slipped free of its prison and stood out hard and uncomfortable.

“You need sleep,” she said at last. “You sleep better I give you pleasure, yes?”

“Uhhhh...” I wasn’t sure whether I’d heard her right.

As if to reassure me that she meant what she said, Akumi slid her claws gently down my arm, across my abdomen, and down to the hard shaft between my thighs.

“I like males,” she said. “Like wolfen males, ’specially. But you got pretty thing here, ape. You bring me lots of gold when I sell you.”

“I’m...” I swallowed again, feeling the gentle stroke of fingers against my hot flesh. “I’m flattered.”

Akumi’s hand encircled my cock and began to stroke. Despite her fearsome appearance, she certainly knew how to be gentle, starting off with soft touches, gradually growing in intensity. That she was almost totally naked, and just inches from me, yet totally inaccessible due to my bonds, only seemed to make her caresses more exciting.

“Mmmmm, you like?” she said.

“I’d...” I grunted, feeling my fever rising, “I’d like it more if I weren’t tied up like this.”

She growled with laughter at that, casting me a look that was almost human in its amusement.

“You gotta try better than that,” she said. “Akumi’s not letting you go that easy.”

I gave up. My rational mind wasn’t really in escape mode anyway.

“Okay,” I sighed, giving myself up to the sensation of Akumi’s strong but firm hand stroking incessantly at my cock. “Go ahead.”

“Hm,” she said. “I see how we keep you happy, my captive.”

I didn’t respond, and let her continue to stroke me.

I reflected that it could have been worse. I might have ended up like my horse.

Akumi seemed to enjoy her work, as well. She was breathing harder as she stroked, and with her free hand she began to touch her breast, slowly working her way to a nipple.

“You like, dontcha?” she asked, breathing hard. “You like much, huh?”

I had to nod. “I like very much.”

“My mother said I’d make good tamer, you know... Tamers, they make slaves, see... Make love to captives, cast spells, rattle drums, burn incense... When they through, captives like being slaves... Mother said I had the talent... Maybe that’s why you so happy with Akumi, huh?”

I’d heard wild stories about Wolfen and their “tamers,” but I’d always considered them nonsense. Now, here was a voluptuous female Wolfen, busily stroking my cock and her own breasts, telling me all about it. Perhaps, my logical mind suggested, she does have the knack, and that’s why you don’t seem so fond of the idea of escape.

Or maybe...

Maybe she just gave really good hand jobs...

I groaned, feeling a rush of heat in my loins.

“Akumi,” I said, passionately. “Akumi, you’re making me...”

Suddenly, she stopped, leaving my cock standing out, painfully swollen.

“Makin’ you what, ape?” she asked, stepping back, finally completing the removal of her loincloth. “Makin’ your manhood hard? Makin’ you wanna...?”

She let the words trail off. I was still in a mad pre-orgasmic state, and I writhed against my bonds. Unfortunately, Akumi wasn’t a beginner at this, and I was pretty thoroughly trapped.

Akumi stood before me naked. She was every bit as gorgeous as a human temptress, more so given her exotically slanted eyes and alien yet stimulating face. She bared fangs in a sadistic grin.

“You wanna?” she asked, then slowly slipped a hand between her own thighs, stroking at the fur-covered mons. “You gotta watch me first.”

With her other hand, she squeezed a breast. The fingers between her legs started to move busily, and I felt a sudden resurgence of my building lust, coming on like a rushing knight in armor, even though she no longer touched me, and I couldn’t touch myself.

“Mmmmm, feels good,” she sighed, throwing her lupine head back and shaking it, her black hair shimmering in the light of the setting sun. “Mmmmm, givin’ it to myself now, ape. You like it, huh?”

“Yeah,” I replied, panting, feeling the tightness growing. “I like it a lot.”

Her breasts were large, but not overly so, but her nipples were big and pink, swelling and bulging as she touched them and, I suspected, as the chilly night air began to caress them. I saw a gleam of moisture on her fingers as she continued to stroke herself.

“Oh,” I said, painfully. “Oh, gods...”

“Gods not help you now, captive,” she said sternly, squeezing a nipple and presenting it to me. “You’d like to suck, wouldn’t you?”

“Gods, I would,” I said, still straining at the leather bonds that held me. “I would.”

“Can’t,” she said coyly. “Just gotta... Gotta think... Oh, yes, ape... You gonna spurt all over the ground for Akumi?”

“I...” my words were incoherent gasps. “I... Yes, I will... Ohhh...”

She threw her head back and growled again and I saw her convulse, breasts straining outward, nipples thick and hard.

At last, the inevitable swept over me and I came, cock contracting. A great jet of semen leaped out in the dusk and splattered to the ground. Another followed, and another, and another. As Akumi’s own orgasms subsided, she looked on, impressed.

“Got a lot of that stuff saved up, do you, ape?” she asked. “Guess you haven’t had a female in a while, huh?”

I thought back. It had been months.

“No,” I said as the last of my seed dribbled from my deflating cock. “Not for a while.”

“Maybe I sell you as stud then,” Akumi said, turning with a pert toss of her hips, revealing a lush pair of buttocks and a full grey tail. “You get lots of females. You get so many you get sick of ‘em.”

With that, she tossed a bearskin over me and walked back to her own bedroll.

“You sleep now, ape. Sleep good and think of what Akumi looks like.”

The prospect of slavery had never seemed so appealing to me. Unfortunately, I’d probably end up working for someone other than Akumi, so I knew that escape was my only real option.

***

She rousted me at dawn the next day as cold fog rose from the forest around us. She was dressed more sensibly, in a cloak that concealed most of her, save for the wolfish/human face gazing out of the deep hood.

“Time to go, ape,” she said. “Got a long road ahead. You not run, or I not be so nice to you like last night.”

Despite painfully cramped muscles, I managed to get upright when Akumi untied my legs. She attached a lead to my wrists, still pinned behind me, and urged me on.

The day passed slowly as we moved along the foothills of the Wolf Peaks. I led, with Akumi holding my leash, while the mule, traitor that he was, followed loyally along behind her.

“Move along, ape,” she growled at me. “Gotta make it to my way camp by night.”

“I’d probably be more cooperative if you bothered to use my name,” I shot back.

“Oh, I see.” She considered this for a moment. “Okay, then. What name you got, ape?”

“Wulf,” I said.

There was a moment of silence, then suddenly she stopped. When I turned I was surprised to see her leaning against a rock, convulsing with laughter. She still held my lead tightly, however.

“Glad to see I amuse you,” I said, sourly. “My name funny?”

“Wulf!” Akumi gasped out. “You no wolf. You ape!” Then she was overcome with laughter again.

“No,” I said. “I’m Wulf. I picked it for myself. I don’t remember the one my mother gave me.”

That seemed to slow her down. “No?” she asked. “Why not?”

“I was young when she died,” I admitted. “I was raised by priests and thieves and wizards. They all called me ‘Boy’ until I was about twelve, when I decided I wanted to be called Wulf. Read it in a book or something.”

“Hm.” She thought about that. “No family, Wulf? No pack?”

I shook my head. “Just me.”

Akumi looked away and sighed.

“That sad,” she said at last. “Very sad.”

***

We made it to her pre-set camp and cache of food that night. It was in a sheltered hollow near the treeline; above us rose the forbidding snowy Wolf Peaks. Wind howled down, but the trees and rocks around us kept us relatively comfortable. More so when Akumi lit another fire and began to break out supplies, painstakingly buried in talus.

My hands were still bound, but she left my legs untied. She collared me and leashed me to a tree, however, so I wasn’t likely to go anywhere. I was wrapped in Akumi’s bearskin to keep out the cold. My clothes were still denied me, but fortunately the hollow trapped the heat and within a few minutes it was almost tolerable.

Akumi squatted by the fire, still cloaked, looking at the flames.

“You stupid comin’ out here alone, know that, ape?” she said at last.

“Well,” I said, “you’ve certainly revealed to me the intelligence of my actions. Next time I’m in this neighborhood I’ll bring an army.”

She didn’t find this amusing. “This place swallow up armies, Wulf,” she said, using my name. “Someone come here alone, not knowing. Well, he get dead, or he get captured or somethin’ worse.”

“You didn’t get dead,” I observed.

She turned on me, glaring. “I know this place, ape. You don’t. Got no business out here, you know that?”

I was taken aback. “Gods, Akumi. It’s as if you wish you hadn’t captured me.”

She whirled back to the fire and didn’t respond.

Later, she tossed me some dried meat and rock-hard bread, which I ate ravenously.

“Thanks,” I said as I finished. “For the food. Not for tying me up and force-marching me into the mountains practically naked.”

“Cold tomorrow,” she said. “I give you cloak. We make it to shelter I built in mountains, we be okay. We not make it, we maybe die.”

Her matter-of-fact explanation made me suddenly cold again, but I bundled up in the bearskin nonetheless, determined to have as comfortable a night as possible.

The moons had risen when I first heard the noise. The hollow was in shadow, but the fire glowed warmly. Footsteps approached me; stealthy footsteps. I rolled over to see who it was.

“Wulf,” said Akumi softly, kneeling down beside me. She was naked again, grey-white pelt shining in the flickering orange light. She radiated warmth, too.

“Akumi can’t set you free,” she said. “Lose honor. Lose respect. Must return with captive.” She looked away. “You pretty one, Wulf. You very pretty one, for ape.”

“Thanks,” I said, sleepily. “I think.”

“You want pleasure Akumi?” she asked, breathy and excited.

“I...” My mind whirled, still trying to wake up fully. “Yes. I’d like to pleasure Akumi.”

She moved closer, pulling the bearskin away. It was warm now, with just an occasional chill from a heavy rush of wind.

“I untie hands,” she said. “You promise you not try to get away.”

I swallowed. I was a thief and a blackguard, that much I knew. But at least I kept my word. If I promised Akumi, I would stand by it.

“I promise,” I said. “I want to make love to you.”

What happened, you wonder? Captured by a slave-taking wolf-woman, whisked off to be sold like a shipment of woolen goods — now that Wulf idiot is falling into her arms and making sweet love by the fire? What kind of idiot is he, anyway?

Well, I’m several kinds of idiots, and if letting Akumi untie me, then doing nothing but reveling in the sweetness of her body for several hours makes me an idiot, so be it. I suppose the really idiotic thing is that not once in the warm, sensual time that followed, did I once think of clocking her on the head and fleeing.

We were both naked, that got the clumsiness of undressing out of the way. We were warm from the fire and from the bearskin beneath us, and we were both strangely lust-smitten. I suspect that some of Akumi’s “tamer” qualities were in action, but as to why she felt that way about me, I couldn’t for the life of me say. At least my period of slavery was beginning pleasantly.

Akumi’s fingers slid around my shaft, stroking it as her mouth found mine. Kissing a creature with a muzzle is quite a challenge, though once our tongues began to entwine, I discovered that it had distinct advantages.

My hands were busy, too, finding the soft fur of her belly, then moving upward toward her breasts, where her nipples grew hard to my touch.

“Mmmm, s’good, Wulf. S’very good...” She nibbled her way down my neck, toward my shoulders, her long and flexible tongue slipping out to stroke at my flesh as she did so. “You apes like to get your manhood licked, dontcha?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “We do. You like it, too?”

“Course,” Akumi grinned, licking her way down my belly. “You gotta do it too, when Akumi finished.”

“You’re the slaver,” I replied, feeling her tongue wrap itself around my cock. Gods, this was unbearable...

“Come on,” I urged, moving beneath her while pulling at her hips. “We’ll do it at the same time.”

She got the idea, though she seemed a little surprised.

“You apes do it like this? Never thought of it. Maybe you not so dumb after all.”

Her commentary was limited to moans and soft howls for the next half hour or so as I pulled her close and licked at her mons, sucked at her swelling clitoris, and pressed my tongue deep inside her.

Akumi’s tongue was amazing, licking and encircling my cock like a living thing. I felt stirrings of orgasm, but I didn’t want it to end like this. As she writhed and sighed and moaned above me, I felt an overwhelming urge to roll atop her and thrust my cock into the sweetness where I now sucked and licked. A moment later, I did just that, to a surprised yelp.

“Quiet,” I hissed at her, moving atop her and pinning her arms. “You’re the slave now, and I’m the slaver.”

She didn’t object, and I draped her legs over my shoulders, then slid my cock into her warm, welcoming interior.

“Oh, yeah,” she cried, panting and moaning as I thrust. “Do it. Pleasure Akumi.”
“We call it fucking,” I said, through clenched teeth, watching as her breasts bounded in response to my movements. “I’m fucking Akumi.”

“You pleasure Akumi... tooooooooooo.... Yesssss...”

There are those who claim that only humans and their close relatives have female orgasms. I can pretty much vouch for the fact that this isn’t true.

“Yeaaaahhhh, ape... Fuck Akumi. Fuck Akumi hard.”

These were not the entreaties of an individual who doesn’t have orgasms.

My own climax followed swiftly, and came upon me (pardon the pun) with considerable swiftness. I didn’t pull out, but let myself go, my cock contracting and twitching along with the rest of my body.

“You good ape,” Akumi assured me as another orgasm shivered through her. “Very good ape.”

***

We lay together, feeling the heat from the fire and the deeper warmth of our bodies.

“Akumi’s sorry,” she said, softly. “Sorry she took Wulf. Gotta go back now, though. Gotta sell you and keep my honor.”

I swallowed and held back a flood of emotion. I could have walked away then, left her there, but I’d promised.

And, despite all my other faults, to me a promise is a promise.

***

The next day was hell. Once we’d cleared the rock-strewn slopes of the lower peaks, we were in knee-deep snow. Akumi restored my leggings and boots, and I wrapped myself in furs to stay warm. She retained her cloak and protected her feet with leather coverings, but she seemed less handicapped by the cold than I.

The wind howled down again, blowing streamers of snow from the craggy peaks far above. It cut like knives, worming its way through my skins, battering us as we struggled onward. My hands were untied, and I was able to stay on my feet most of the time, but Akumi retained my collar and lead, though even if I’d wanted to escape, there was nowhere to go in this steep, snow-covered, rock-strewn realm.

Time didn’t really make much difference here; I just forced myself on. Occasionally we sheltered in rocky ravines, rubbing our extremities, checking them for signs of frostbite. So far, I was just cold, but I suspected another few hours in the open would freeze us both solid.

I was astonished when the sun finally began to decline behind the peaks. It had seemed both too long and too short a day for it to be sunset. The wind picked up in the growing darkness, and Akumi shouted from behind me.

“That way, Wulf! Getting’ dark! Gonna get really cold soon!”

That I could readily believe. I hoped that we would reach her shelter soon.

No such luck. The snow beneath me shifted, sending me tumbling, and in the roaring wind and rush of ice in my face, I saw a broad, furred body rising up, blocking out the last rays of the sun. A red-eyed, fanged face snarled down at me as I scrambled through the snow and Akumi fell back, struggling to pull her sword. The mule, which had so far gamely followed us, turned and fled.

The creature had a great scaly body, twice my height, with long lanky, clawed limbs and a mane of white fur. The only color on its dead-white body was its angry red eyes.

A snow-troll. Even with her obvious skills, I doubted Akumi could handle the beast.

“Akumi!” I shouted as the thing lumbered after her. “Throw me a weapon!”

She ignored me, swinging a thick iron broadsword at the troll, barely chipping its scaly white flesh. The troll roared and swung at her; she ducked and slashed again, once more connecting but doing little damage.

“Akumi!” I cried again, rising painfully to my feet — I’d landed in some rocks, and blood ran down my shins. “Akumi! Give me a fucking weapon!”

She was clear of the beast for the moment, and the two stared, panting, sizing each other up. Akumi didn’t seem terribly hurt, and stood, sword poised, cloak blowing in the stiff wind, while the troll slowly circled, head down, looking at her with cunning eyes.

I shouted one last time and at last she heard me. She fumbled at her belt, not taking her eyes from the troll, and pulled forth a hatchet which she’d used to split wood and tossed it at me. The troll caught the motion and whirled as if seeing me for the first time. I rolled, grabbing the hatchet and coming up on unsteady feet.

“Hi there,” I said, brightly. “Which one of us do you want to eat first?”

I doubt the troll understood me, but it did seem to perceive Akumi as the greater threat, and so turned his back on me and launched his great scaly body once more at her.

It was his mistake. I raced at the exposed back, hammered the hatchet into its flesh, about where I figured its kidneys would be, then danced away.

The troll roared and turned. Blood smeared across its back — I’d hurt the damned thing at least.

Now it was Akumi’s turn. She threw herself against the troll, slamming her weight into a massive sword thrust at its leg, trying to hamstring the beast. Blood gushed, and I saw that she had hurt it, too. The heavy thrust had cut into its ankle; when it turned again, I saw it limp — she’d at least partially severed a tendon.

But it wasn’t defeated, not by a long road. The beast raced at Akumi despite its limp, and fell upon her savagely, overbearing her and keeping her from delivering another blow. She snarled, biting at the troll’s neck with her savage white teeth.

Now...

I went on the attack once more, but this time I aimed my blow at the back of its neck, feeling my blade bite, and seeing more blood.

The troll tried to rise, to respond to the threat, but Akumi hung on ferociously. As its body rose, I saw her blade flash, and make another furious thrust at the monster’s belly. The scaled troll-flesh resisted for a moment, then Akumi snarled with effort, and the blade slid home, piercing its abdomen and plunging up to the hilt. I delivered more hatchet blows to keep it off balance, and in a few moments the troll finally staggered away, and fell, writhing and bloody, in the snow.

We watched, panting heavily, as its death throes finally decided and it lay still. Akumi pulled her sword free.

“You fight for me, Wulf,” she said. “You save me.”

“I think we worked together,” I observed. “We’d both have died if we hadn’t.”

She didn’t reply, but instead motioned up the slope. The mule, sensing the end of the battle, trotted back, as eager to escape the cold as we were.

Her shelter was a crude wall of rubble across a ravine, but to me it looked like a palace. There was more food here, kindling, wood, and blankets. Akumi started a fire, and we fell, exhausted, beside it.

It was several hours before we actually had the strength to move. By this time, the ravine was warm, the moons had risen, and we actually felt relatively safe from the various dangers of the mountain. In the back of my mind I worried about the trolls, but for the moment we seemed out of danger.

The fire cast warm yellow-orange light across the rock walls surrounding us. Outside, the mule snorted quietly, probably wondering as I was, whether there were any more trolls about.

I became aware that Akumi was lying very close to me, and that she was radiating almost as much heat as the fire. When she rolled atop me, I saw that she was naked.

“You save me, Wulf,” she said again. “You not have to. You could run. But you do not.”

“Not much choice,” I said. “Troll kills you, then it kills me.”

“I wanna let you go,” she said, sadly. “But that not our way. We got... I dunno what word... Rules. Way of doin’ things.”

“I believe that a snooty Imperial knight would call it a ‘code of honor’,” I said. “You can’t let a captive go, or it’s a stain on your reputation.”

“That’s it,” she said. I felt her, warm and soft, smelling slightly musky, and my heart began to pound. “Code of honor. Can’t let Wulf go. Gotta sell Wulf or I not Wolfen anymore.”
I felt the anguish in her voice. Hell, if this was a way of keeping her slaves from running away, then it was a damned good one.

“You like Akumi?” she asked. “You like Akumi even if she kill your horse and keep you like slave?”

I couldn’t lie just then, not as the heat grew in my loins, and I felt the softness of her breasts pillowed against my chest.

“I like you,” I said. “I like Akumi very much.” The I kissed her.

My breeches were gone in seconds, and then we were locked in passion’s embrace, hairless ape and two-legged wolf. She was on top of me, writhing, grinding her hips into mine, and my cock was hard against her belly. She pressed her breasts against my face, and I let her hardening nipples slip between my lips. I sucked and bit lightly at one, then the other. We kissed again, and I felt her hands slide behind my head holding me close in a strong, iron-muscled grip. Her tongue was in my mouth, questing, thrusting, embracing mine.

Then she released me, and I felt her sharp white teeth nipping and biting at my neck and shoulders.

“Mmmm, my Wulf,” she husked. “I keep you, Wulf, if I could. I keep you for my own. Wish I could keep Wulf forever.”

The words were encouraging, since at that point I’d have been willing to spend the next several decades in her arms, but as she kissed and bit and licked her way down my chest, stopping to toy with my nipples, then moved further down, I pretty much forgot about everything save the here and now.

“You call this ‘manhood’?” she asked, fondling my cock with gentle fingers. “You spit good last night. So pretty to watch you. Like me to touch it?”

“Yessss,” I hissed, stroking her hair. “I love it.”

“How ‘bout this?” she asked, then lapped my erect member with her long, flexible tongue. “Like?”

“Yes,” I said. “I like very much.”

She enfolded my cock in her tongue again, leaving it hot and wet with her spittle, and then slid it into her mouth.

“You like this, dontcha?” she said.

“I think...” I said through clenched teeth. “I think most males like it.”

“Good. I do it some more.”

And she did, alternately sucking and licking at my cock, and with each slap of her tongue and each touch of her mouth, I felt my heat rise and grow.

“Let me fuck you,” I said, hearing an almost pleading tone in my voice. “Let me put my cock inside you.”

Akumi looked up impishly and shook her head.

“Gotta get me ready first, ape.”

With that, she sat astride me, legs across my chest, rising to her magnificent white-furred belly and breasts, nipples still pink and hard. She looked down at me with the same expression that a hunting wolf gives a rabbit right before the kill.

“You gotta do it to Akumi, too, now.”

Without waiting for any comment from me, Akumi began to knee-walk up my torso, at last stepping over my arms and presenting me with the pink-lipped wonders of her mons, wet with excitement. I didn’t need too much coaching to know what to do.

Slowly at first, then with increasing speed and enthusiasm, I licked at her swelling cunt-lips, then kissed my way along the moist flesh up to the small nub of her clitoris (thank the gods, I thought, that females all tend to be put together the same — I had no idea what I’d do if I found a species whose erogenous zone was the elbow or such). I licked at her with a pointed tongue, feeling her go rigid as I did so, and feeling her hands on my head, grabbing my hair, urging me onward.

I started to lick with my entire tongue, sliding from bottom to top, then back, feeling her grow wetter and more excited as I did. Then she slid a hand down and held her lips open for me, exposing the pink, hidden interior of her cunt and the dark channel beyond. I shoved my tongue into her, savoring her taste, and the deep growling howl that built inside her as she leaned backward, breasts bobbing, nipples still swollen, hair hanging down to touch my still-erect cock, lying hard and thick and ready for her between my thighs...

“Can I...” I said, still licking. “Can I fuck you now? Please?”

She looked down, eyes soft, tongue lolling, her canine face almost human in its passions.

“Yes,” she said. “Fuck Akumi. Give her that hard manhood. Fuck Akumi like you fucked her last night.”

Then I was on top of her, feeling the soft-furred body beneath me, the insistent lap of her tongue and the harshness of her white teeth. I fitted my cock against her lips, feeling them melt and give way before me, and hearing the howl of pleasure and longing that issued from her throat as I thrust into her.

“Ohhhhh, yes, like that!” she said. “Not to stop, my Wulf...”

We moved together in a harmony that seemed to transcend gender, transcend culture, transcend species. She was me and I was her for a few long moments as my rhythm blended into Akumi’s and made something greater, something stronger... I thrust and she moved to meet me, I withdrew and she pulled back, moving her hips in an endless cycle of forward-back, forward-back... We moved in an infinite loop of pleasure, my energy fading into hers then moving back into me. She came after just a few moments, then came again as I continued, her head thrown back, harsh growls and incoherent howls pouring form her.

Akumi’s energy moved differently from mine, building from smaller to greater, with tiny releases, growing to larger explosions, her teeth bared, her head whipping back and forth, hair gleaming in the firelight. Her hands seized my buttocks, pulling me in then letting me go. I built slowly, but steadily, to a climax, though I was determined (gods only know why) to give her as much as I could before I finally came.

When it finally ended, it was because of her.

“You come,” she panted. “You shoot now... Akumi had enough... wanna see you come now...”

At last I could let loose the floodgates — my climax came moments later, hitting me like a ton of dwarven warhammers, burning through me with mind-numbing intensity.

“I’m coming,” I managed. “For you, Akumi.”

“You come,” she said. “You come good for Akumi...”

My passion finally exploded, convulsing me, pumping my seed into Akumi. It seemed to go on forever, sending shockwaves through my body, until at last I collapsed atop her, my face in her soft neck-fur, my lungs heaving.

“Gods,” I panted. “You’re so beautiful... You’re so very beautiful...”

“So is Wulf,” she said, holding me tight. “Wulf beautiful, too.”

***

The western slopes of the Wolf Peaks angled softly and gracefully down, with forests gradually thickening along them until the entire realm was a blanket of shaggy green trees. Into this we ventured, away from the snow, the cold, the wind, the trolls, and into the heart of Wolfen country.

Wolfen live in a variety of ways, as befits their nature. Some roam wild in packs, hunting, fishing and trading with other bands. Others live in villages, or even large cities. Though they fight humans, orcs and Kaitians with great enthusiasm, Wolfen settle inter-pack conflicts by single combat between chieftains. I always thought this a sensible way to settle problems, though if humans did it, the whole matter might become unmanageable... Can you, for example, imagine the frail and insane White Emperor fighting with the fat, decadent and stupid Otto the Imbecile over trade routes to Murvane? That would take weeks, and would probably only end when one or the other died of old age.

“We go Ruwkatten,” Akumi informed me. “Big city. Lots of temples, sacred places. Where our ancestor-wolves met and became Wolfen.”

“I see. Is that where I’m bound to be sold?”

She nodded sadly. “You good companion, Wulf. You know I got no choice?”

I grunted. “You have a choice, Akumi. The price is just too high for you to exercise that choice. Your personal honor is more important to you than my freedom.”

I didn’t say it bitterly, but plainly the words hurt her.

“Akumi don’t think she take slaves no more when she’s done with you,” she said. “Akumi heads out to the big world and sees what there is to see, she thinks.”

I seem to have that effect on women. They sleep with me, then they’re suddenly desperate to get away.

I was desperate to get away, too, but something kept me there. Were we both locked into a fatalistic sense of honor that kept us steady on unwanted courses? Or was I just beguiled by her tamer skills? Had she created a bond between us that I couldn’t break?

If she had been a human slaver, I’d probably have headed for the hills the moment her back was turned. Then again, if she was a pretty human female slaver who liked to make love by the fire, and liked oral sex, I’d probably stay with her for a while, too. Yet now, as the end of our trip approached, though my sensible self urged me to flee, the rest of me didn’t act on it.

Damn.

Ruwkatten is a sight, especially to the eyes of a human who’s spent his entire life thinking of Wolfen as neolithic savages. The walls are the height of at least five men, crafted of grey stone, fitted together with nary a gap between them. Great towers in the shape of wolves’ heads stand at regular intervals, each equipped, I noted, with a huge ballistae and a garrison of Wolfen warriors. The gates are, unsurprisingly, in the form of a great wolf’s jaws, and crafted of solid iron — I smelled magic about them but could not say what kind. They must have been crafted sorcerously — the notion of forging such huge masses of metal without magical aid was mind-boggling.

We moved through the gates with a steadily-growing flood of Wolfen. The weather was misty and rainy, and they moved through the miasma like ghosts. Some were clad in dark robes and walked slowly or with the aid of staves. Others were wild-looking individuals with braided hair and stone or bone fetish necklaces and little else in the way of clothing. Still others pulled carts or drove a variety of dray animals, loaded with sacks and baskets. There were other slavers, too, some leading coffles of various species, others like Akumi, leading single captives. These were humans, dwarves, orcs, and others drawn from the Wild and other regions. The Wolfen conversed in their low, lupine tongue, growling, snarling, whining and grunting at various pitches. Akumi walked ahead of me in silence.

Their architecture was alien, of course — buildings were in the form of domes or longhouses, all with decorations that suggested caves or groves of trees — carved or painted onto lintels, walls and windows. Everything was irregular, naturalistic. There were doors, of sorts, though many portals were simply covered with hanging skins or woven blankets with fanciful patterns.

We stopped at a longhouse with lintels carved in the form of snaky draconic beasts, and a roof painted like scales.

“We stay here,” Akumi said. “You get sold tomorrow.”

Well, that certainly encouraged me. My promise to her remained, but I had no qualms about escaping from whatever disease-infested fleabag of a Wolfen finally decided to buy me. Trying to escape from this place seemed pretty pointless, anyway, given the Wolfen’s keen sense of smell and love of a good hunt.

We ate in our room, which was, I suppose, well appointed for a Wolfen, with a low padded bed covered in furs, miscellaneous chairs and tables and a small window looking out on the rain-fogged street below.

There was cold meat and hard bread sent up — I suspected that I would probably end up with some horrific wasting disease if I tried to eat like the Wolfen all the time, but at least it was close enough to my normal diet that I didn’t starve.

“Last night together,” Akumi said, almost sadly as she prepared for bed. “One last time, Wulf? You don’t want to, don’t have to.”

I grinned humorlessly. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to turn a woman down, even if she’s a big two-legged wolf who’s about to sell me into slavery.”

It was wonderful, I admit. Bittersweet, passionate, and with far more love than either of us wanted to admit. But we both knew it was our last time, and we were sad for it. We were both bound by oath — hers as a slaver and mine as a man. We made love that night, and both wished it would never end.

Unfortunately, it did.

***

The stalls were cleaner than I’d expected; I supposed that the Wolfen were relatively good masters as slave-holding races go, but the notion of holding other people involuntarily still rankled. I suppose a life at liberty, even on the streets, makes one realize how valuable a gift freedom truly is. I suppose my later actions bore that philosophy out somewhat, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

There was a variety of races in the stalls — mostly orcs and goblins, due to their proximity and constant combativeness I imagined that such folks got captured pretty frequently. There were humans of a number of varieties, and even one very sad-looking Kaitian sitting motionless in his cell. My heart lurched at the sight — I didn’t know much about the tiger-folk, but I knew that captivity was a terrible thing for them, so I suspected this one was suffering terribly.

At last we reached my stall. The keeper unlocked it and Akumi ushered me in with a sad expression.

“Wish there was other way, Wulf,” she said. The unbreakable bond of Wolfen honor still puzzled me, but then I reminded myself that I’d spent the last few days relatively free and able to run away had I wanted to, but that my promise to Akumi still held.

“Me too,” I said. “I’ll be thinking of you.”

She grinned slightly. “And Akumi will think of you, too. Akumi not think of apes same way after you, Wulf.”

That, I suppose, was a pretty decent compliment.

“I see you at auction,” she said. “We at least say goodbye, huh?”

“Yes,” I said. “We can do that.”

With that I sat down, and for the first time noticed that I wasn’t alone in the stall.

Two women eyed me warily. They were human, fortunately, and neither were chained, though both were a bit on the dirty side. I was one to criticize; I suspected I was pretty filthy, as well.

The first was dusky-skinned and full-lipped — a Veldt-Lander I suspected, though I’d never actually met one. She was clad in a dirty white shift which did little to conceal the voluptuous figure beneath. Her hair was a mass of dark curls that swirled around her face and disappeared down her back.

The second woman was like none I’d seen before — her skin was quite pale with a pleasant ochre tint to it, and her face was broad, with delicately slanted oval eyes and a small mouth that actually shaped itself into a smile of amusement as I looked her over. Her hair was long and black, and the sides of her head were shaved, leaving only a bed of short stubble.

“Uh, hello?” I said at last, still standing and staring. “I’m Wulf. You are?”

They stared, uncomprehending.

Damned language barrier, I thought. Those foreigners have a different word for everything!

I pointed to myself. “Wulf,” I said, then pointed at them. “You?”

That got them going.

“Naqwilla,” said the black woman, her expression a little less suspicious.

“Yashi,” said the other woman, nodding and smiling.

“Where from?” I asked, trying to convey some idea of what I was talking about. “White Empire.” I pointed to myself.

No luck. I spent the better part of an hour trying to exchange at least some kind of information, to find that Naqwilla was probably from a nation-tribe called the Yomanda, and that Yashi was from a country or a village or a state called “Lakhore,” which may or may not have been far from another place called “Vendaya,” though neither place rang any kind of bell with me (my geographical education had been sorely neglected).

They seemed at least a little less suspicious of me, and seemed to have an almost resigned sense about them when the Wolfen finally arrived to take me to the block. Well, he had come for all three of us, actually, and I wondered what was up.

The auction block was a raised wooden platform surrounded by dozens of wolfen and, to my shock, one or two humans. The wolfen were dressed in typical fashion — loincloths or breeches, all of expensive colorful materials, their ears and noses decorated with rings and other items, beads and fetishes woven into their manes. Some had fancy rings on fingers or toes, and a couple had gold-banded teeth. These were, I suspected, wealthy Wolfen.

The few humans were clad in expensive silks, brocades, feathered hats, fancy shirts and cloaks, and all strutted with an arrogant, self-assured air. To be able to bid for slaves along with the Wolfen was probably quite an honor for a slaver, and I suspected they were overly proud of themselves.

We stepped up onto the platform, urged by a small squad of spear-wielding wolfen. We were unbound, so I suppose we could have made a break for it, but in a sea of Wolfen, I doubt we would have gotten far.

Three individuals stepped onto the platform with us — a black-furred, limping Wolfen with white hairs around his muzzle, a young and muscular-looking male Wolfen decorated with numerous necklaces, fetishes and beads, bearing an ornate staff, and finally Akumi, who looked quite unhappy to be there.

“Hi, love,” I said casually. “What’s up?”

“They sell you,” she said. “Sell you as a set, I think.”

“A set?” I demanded. “What the hell do you mean by that?”

“Breeders, Wulf. I ask if they have auction for breeders today, and they say if they find male for these two females they do breeder sale. Breeders treated good, Wulf. Real good. You not have problems.”

I sighed. Many men would have relished the notion of being sold as a stud-service package deal, but I wasn’t one of them.

“So you’re doing this as a favor to me?”
“Yeah, Wulf. Least I can do.” She paused, as if considering her next words. “One thing, though. You gotta perform.”

“Perform?” I said, the sickening truth of the matter sneaking up on me. “You mean...?” I glanced over at the two women, who smiled back nervously.

“Yeah. Do them... Show ‘em you can keep ‘em happy. Happy slave is good slave, you know.”

I looked back at Akumi. “What about you? You want me to do this? In front of you? Doesn’t that bother you?”

She shrugged. “Business business, Wulf. Can’t be jealous of you make love to own kind, can I?”

I rubbed my forehead. No, I suppose not.

“That tamer,” she continued, gesturing at the staff-wielding Wolfen. “Those two females, they tamed. He keep them in line. You not tamed... They not like tame males unless they need it. Tamed males not as... Not as... Not as good at it as untamed males.”

“Would they tame me if I ran over and wrung that bastard’s neck?” I asked, glaring at the tamer.

“No, they just kill you. Tamers hard to come by. Not kill ‘em without need. Shhh, now... They starting.” She whispered, “Black one, he auctioneer. I tell you what he say.”

The black wolfen snarled for silence, and the crowd settled. There must have been a hundred wolfen of various ages and sizes, and perhaps ten humans. The auctioneer addressed the crowd.

“He say these prime specimens,” Akumi told me. “Make lotsa strong young ones. Good investment.”

Yeah, right. Now I knew what a bolt of cloth in the marketplace felt like.

The crowd shouted, and the two women were led forward.

“He say they good, young stock. Fully tamed, ready to do whatever you want ‘em to.”

At this the crowd, particularly the humans, guffawed.

One of the humans, a fierce-looking individual with an embroidered eyepatch and an elaborate outfit of plum velvet and black silk shouted in Imperial.

“Let’s see ‘em!”

The auctioneer turned, almost as if this was a standard ritual, and motioned to the tamer. The tamer stepped forward, tapped his staff and barked an order at the two women.

Without hesitation, the women pulled off their dirty shifts to reveal their naked bodies. I swallowed. Having enjoyed the pleasures of a lupine woman for the past few days, and having not seen a human female in a number of weeks, the sight of these two was downright stimulating (I was younger then, mind you).

Naqwilla’s flesh was a rich brown all over, and her breasts were heavy, hanging over a slightly rounded belly and strong legs. She smiled, and held her breasts up for inspection.

“What the hell?” I muttered. “She acts as if she likes it.”

“She tamed,” Akumi whispered. “‘sides, you act like you like it, too.”

I looked down. Yes, I was getting an erection. For the first time in my life, though not the last, I came to the conclusion that my body hated me.

Yashi was at least a bit more demure, standing with her hands clasped in front of her. She was small but strong-looking, with well-formed breasts and large nipples. She stood still, her expression neutral, gleaming black hair hanging below her waist.

My eyes crept down of their own accord (there goes Wulf disclaiming responsibility again), and noted a pair of lovely, rounded buttocks shading pleasantly into her thighs. I noted also (more involuntary observation, of course) that her pubic hair had been shaved like the sides of her head. Maybe a former owner was a hygiene fanatic — then I wondered why Wolfen would bother shaving their slave anyway. Then I tried to concentrate on what was going on.

The eye-patched human seemed happy with the women, but they weren’t enough to keep him happy.

“Let’s see ‘em perform!” he shouted. “I don’t want to lay out my hard-earned cash for a couple of layabouts!”

Oh, gods, I thought. My erection was painful.

“Is he asking what I think he’s asking?” I whispered.

“Wants ‘em to get ruttin’,” Akumi replied. “S’posed to be for the buyers, but it’s just so they can get off.”

I agreed. The tamer made a couple of gestures, and the two women turned to face each other, to an excited chorus of growls from the Wolfen and shouts from the humans.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to do at this point, and chose merely to stay still, my hard-on rising up along with my breech cloth. Damned embarrassing.

Not that I needed to worry; the audience’s attention was focused on the two women, who now embraced, mouths coming together in an extended, very wet kiss.

“They’re doing that because they’re told to do it?” I demanded.

“Sh!” Akumi cautioned. “Don’t talk, we get in trouble.”

I figured I was already in trouble, but I held my tongue.

The women didn’t look as if they were doing anything against their will, however. Yashi glided to her knees and began to stroke, then lick and nibble at Naqwilla’s heavy breasts. Her hair hung like a thick ribbon of shiny black, almost touching the ground. She slid her fingers around her thick aureola, making the flesh pucker and swell. The black woman’s nipples started to harden, growing fat and succulent. I could tell that she enjoyed it; her eyes closed and her breath grew faster as she gently held Yashi’s head in her hands.

Now, Yashi’s hands moved to cup Naqwilla’s substantial buttocks even as she continued to lick and suck at her nipples. Finally, she slid down on her haunches, and began to nip at Naqwilla’s strong thighs, eliciting a deep sigh from the Veldt-lander.

I couldn’t see much, but it was pretty obvious what Yashi was doing, her black-tressed head bobbing and moving as Naqwilla draped a leg over her shoulder. The crowd had a better view of things, and they began to shout louder and gesture, some already shouting out bids on the two women. I felt hurt.

But they’d only just gotten started. At Yashi’s gentle urging, Naqwilla slowly sat down on the wooden platform, then draped both legs over the other woman’s shoulders, and let her go. Yashi’s head-bobbing increased, as did Naqwilla’s breathing, her big breasts rising up and down as she leaned back on her elbows, looking down at Yashi’s busy tongue with wide eyes. Her lips were wet and open as she panted, an aura of feverish anticipating radiating from her.

“You gonna hafta get in there soon,” Akumi observed, dryly. She didn’t seem terribly jealous or upset at the prospect.

“Am I now?” I asked, my feelings distinctly mixed.

Naqwilla was on her knees now, straddling Yashi’s face, letting the smaller woman lap and nibble at her prominent cunt lips, visible now beneath a thick thatch of public hair. She was wet, too, her moisture gleaming on Yashi’s face. Naqwilla’s expression was intent now, and I suspected, innocent soul that I was, that she was about to come. She leaned back holding her own breasts, squeezing her nipples, a groan rising from her throat, her beautiful black hair sweeping backwards.

Her orgasm was quick and intense. She pitched forward, falling down upon Yashi, and enveloping her shaved mons with her own lips. Once more, I couldn’t see much besides a frantically moving head, but she must have been good, since Yashi came in a few seconds, crying out, shouts rising from between the black woman’s thighs.

The crowd shouted approval, even as the auctioneer called for quiet and the two women lay entwined, panting heavily.

“Let’s see the man!” shouted the hateful eye-patch man. “Let’s see him give it to ‘em! Make sure he’s up to the task!”

Even the Wolfen slavers got the idea then, and they set up a fearful howl, rising in pitch until the auctioneer turned and beckoned to me, pointing suggestively toward the two women, who sat up and fixed me with playful gazes.

“Go, ape,” Akumi hissed. “You do good, you live good. I not feel so bad.”

I rolled my eyes. “Your wish is my command.”

I stepped forward, feeling my prick again come to attention, approaching the smiling women. They were damned slaves, I thought to myself. And they’re smiling! Damned Wolfen tamers did their job too damned well.

Indeed they had, for as I approached the two women cast ravenous eyes upon me and rose to their knees. Yashi pulled aside my loincloth to reveal my erection, while Naqwilla held back, looking up at me adoringly while fondling her own breasts. Yashi encircled my cock with one hand, and stroked at my balls with the other, sending sensations racing through me. I was acutely aware of being watched by a crowd — and a crowd primarily made up of non-humans at that.

But as always, the rich touch of a woman’s delicate hands on me made me forget just about everything else, and in a moment I was swimming in sensation, feeling Yashi stroke my cock, slightly harder with each caress. I looked down at her, and our eyes met for a moment; there was more to her gaze than the mindlessness of a slave. I saw something sparkle deep inside her, which suggested to me that more was going on than I thought.

Then I forgot all about such deeper personal considerations as Yashi ran her tongue softly around the head of my cock, then licked down its underside to the base, still stroking my balls. Naqwilla seemed very interested in the proceedings, and edged closer, still gently stroking her swelling nipples, as a murmur of approval ran through the crowd.

The dark-skinned woman now crept forward on hands and knees, then opened her mouth and stretched out a long, pointed tongue, to join Yashi’s as it licked up and down my painfully stiff organ. After a moment, they had settled into a coordinated attack, with one licking down as the other licked up, both faces rigid with concentration. From time to time, they stopped and let their tongues intermingle, but then always returned to their work.

I was breathing faster now, the effects of two strong, insistent tongues dragging me toward a violent finish, but I don’t think the women wanted it to end that quickly. Sensing my increasing excitement, they exchanged a brief and wordless glance, as if silently communicating their next move.

They drew away then, and Naqwilla reclined on the wooden stage, smiling invitingly, breasts rising and falling, legs slightly bent and apart, revealing the sweet darkness between her thighs where so recently Yashi had been busy.

By this time I was in that so-typically male mode of behavior, where nothing really matters besides the woman in front of you, and how you plan to satisfy her and in doing so, satisfy yourself. (Well, that’s how it is for me anyway.) Yashi urged me down onto my knees and gestured toward Naqwilla, whose inviting smile had turned into a come-hither stare of pure lust. I crawled along, drawn to her like a dwarf to a pile of Imperial crowns, and felt her legs close around me, my cock moving unerringly toward the wet opening of her cunt. With a cry, Naqwilla drew me in, lacing her fingers behind her head and holding it up so that she could look at me as I moved into her.

My cock slid into her depths, warm and wet, welcoming me, moving with me, taking me completely. Vaguely, I was aware of howling and hooting from the crowd, but it didn’t matter. I held myself on my arms over her and plunged in and out, feeling her moisture slathering me, feeling her thighs grow tense as I went on. Naqwilla had been fully primed by her interlude with Yashi, and within a few moments I felt her tense and heard her cry out, once more in that language of hers, possibly calling on the gods to release her and let her come.

If so, they were merciful gods, and she exploded quite violently, head shaking back and forth, braids flying and glinting in the sunlight, her face screwed up in an expression of violent release. Then she went limp, and grinned up at me, eyes speaking a thousand words that were clear in any language.

I moved off of her. My cock was still hard, though I knew I was close to my final release. Yashi seemed to sense this, and was immediately on her hands and knees, thighs and buttocks thrust up at me, the pink softness of her pubis presented like an offering.

I took it, damning the Wolfen to hell as I did so, seizing Yashi by the hips and thrusting my cock into her. She stiffened and cried out, and in a moment I was pumping in and out of her, feeling her move backwards sharply to meet me, then lean forward as I pulled out. If she didn’t love her work, I’d have been amazed, but even then I retained the thought that this was all a lie — behavior created and conditioned by the Wolfen for their own pleasure.

I felt a presence beside me, and looking up was surprised to see Akumi, looking on with apparent approval.

“They like Wulf,” she said, softly. “Don’t come in the woman, though. They don’ wantcha makin’ babies just yet.”

Okay, I thought. Makes sense to me. I went on thrusting and withdrawing, feeling Yashi’s buttocks slam against me in tireless rhythm then, finally, when the heat had at last overwhelmed me, I pulled back, feeling my cock contracting, splashing her sweet, shapely buttocks with hot white streamers of semen.

And now, as the last remnants of orgasm left me, I once more felt somewhat shamed, and guilty that I had performed for the vile human and Wolfen slavers, giving them a show at the expense of two other captive humans.

This didn’t matter to the crowd. As Yashi and Naqwilla stood, grinning, the bidding began, and it was quite spirited.

“You do good,” said Akumi. “You’ll get a good household for sure.”

“I don’t want one,” I said. “It’s not right.”

“Maybe not, Wulf,” Akumi said sadly. “But it’s our way.”

I sighed. Reasoning with these overgrown lapdogs was pointless.

The bidding had come down to two — the human with the eyepatch, and a grizzled Wolfen, his grey fur shot with white. The human had his one good eye fixed lustfully on the two women, and I strongly doubted he had any use for me. Despite Akumi’s assurances, I suspected that Yashi and Naqwilla would end up in the human’s harem and I would end up a eunuch or mine-worker until I finally expired. The Wolfen seemed a little better prospect to me.

“That Dulak, human slaver,” Akumi whispered. “Not good man. Cruel. He want the girls, not you.”

“Exactly what I’m thinking,” I replied. “Who’s the Wolfen?”

“Kanuki,” she replied. “Old customer of mine. Has lotsa slaves. Will give you nice place, lotsa females. You fuck ‘til you can’t fuck no more.”

Gods, what a prospect, I thought. At least she was learning new words in Imperial Common.

The auctioneer seemed pleased, pointing from one bidder to the other. Dulak shouted in Imperial, and I was at least happy to note that we were going for a high price. At last, it seemed as if Kanuki had made the winning bid, for Dulak looked angry and disappointed, and was unable to reply when the auctioneer pointed to him. Finally, a howl went up from the crowd, and the two women grinned broadly.

“You sold, ape,” said Akumi sadly. “Sold to Kanuki. At least you got good life ahead.”

“You could call it that,” I replied. “But I don’t think I would.”

***

I sat, dejected, in Kanuki’s wagon, looking out at the two moons, rising freely in the starry sky above. Yashi and Naqwilla slept soundly — I suspected that they’d done this before, or at least were prepared for it. Gods, they’d been spiritually enslaved as well as physically, and didn’t seem to know of any other life than that of a slave. My opinion of the practice, never all that good to begin with, was even lower now.

I reflected that it could have been worse. Kanuki was likely to be a far kinder master than the human Dulak, whose intentions for us had been abundantly clear. The piercing stare of his one black eye still lingered in my mind, and I hoped I would never see it again.

My collar wasn’t uncomfortable — it was, in fact, comfortably padded. But the chain was not the sort that one could break easily, and it was bolted to the floor. The only way to detach it was to go underneath the wagon... Otherwise, only a blacksmith or a wizard could free us. I tried a few minor spells on the thing, but it was like throwing pebbles at a dragon. What little magical talent I had was woefully inadequate in the absence of a huge source of mana. I was beaten. My own hateful sense of honesty and honor had ended me up as a slave, fated to produce hordes of new slaves, who would grow up never knowing freedom from the lash or the collar.

That I was to be some kind of stud-service, impregnating young slave women made my situation even more intolerable. I was to take the act that was given us by the gods to symbolize our freedom and our capacity to love one another, and use it to create new servants for a race of walking wolves. I leaned against the wagon wall, gazing out at the stars with a growing sense of anger and vengefulness.

Then, I heard a faint scraping from beneath the wagon. Looking to the place, I saw that it was where our chains were bolted down. Moments later, the scraping became a grinding, and the great central bolt finally came loose, popping up through the floorboards. I turned, gaping in astonishment as the wagon door swung open, revealing a shapely black silhouette, wolfish head and ears showing its species.

“Is it...” I began.

“Akumi!” came the urgent answer. “Now come! We get outa here, now!”

“But why?” I asked, pulling my chain free. My collar was still attached but it didn’t seem to matter. “What about your honor?”

“No one said nothing about stealing other wolfen’s slaves,” she said. “They not like it, but it done anyway. Not hurt honor. ‘sides...” she paused, looking at me with soft blue eyes. “Akumi wolfen. Wolfen not take wolf as slave. You wolf, though you look like ape. You come now.”

“What about these two?” I said, indicating the two women, who stirred, rubbing their eyes sleepily.

“They tamed,” Akumi said. “They not wanna go. Now come, quick!”

I persisted, motioning to the two slave-women.

“Come on,” I said. “Come on... You can come with us.”

When they realized what was going on, the two women’s eyes widened in terror. I supposed that they had never even considered the possibility of escape. They shrank away, huddling in the corner of the wagon like fearful children.

“Come on, ape!” she said, impatiently. “You come or we go!”

I swore, glanced at the two slaves and leaped from the wagon into the cold night air.

“Quick, quick!” Akumi urged. I spared a final glance back at Naqquilla and Yashi, wishing I could do something for them, then at last following. We ran into the darkness, leaving the wagon and its terrified passengers behind.

***

The forest closed around us as we moved down the trail. Akumi led the way, holding my chain like a slaver. The loyal mule continued behind us, unperturbed by the strangeness of the past weeks.

“That was a hell of a risk you took,” I said. “Kanuki won’t be happy.”

“Kanuki not know it Akumi,” she assured me. “That wagon stink so bad, he never smell me. Even if he do, well why worry? Akumi just stay out of Wolfen Lands for a while. Wanna go see your side of mountains, Wulf. Go see what the apes got that we don’t.”

“Not much, I’m afraid,” I said. “We’re prey to the same weaknesses and vices as your people. I noticed all the human slavers at the auction, after all.”

“No one’s perfect,” she replied. “Not Wulf, not Akumi, not wolfen, not human. We all learnin’ all the time, Wulf.”

We walked in silence for a time before I spoke again.

“Where to?” I asked. The moons still rode high; we had at least five hours before dawn.

“Who can say?” the wolfen replied. “Akumi not care. Akumi got Wulf, she got pride, she got honor. That’s all Akumi need now. Where you wanna go, Wulf?”

“I don’t know,” I said, pointing east, toward the mountains, The Wild, and the world beyond. “How about that way?”

— END —