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Writer's Den / Leveling Up [M/M + Messy]
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:56:14 AM »
A commission for @Gerplexan. Enjoy!

Leveling Up


Bryce took the very last tissue out of the box and held it between his hands, at the ready. The coyote's vision of it went blurry then faded to black as the sneeze wrenched itself from his body. “hehhh-Hhhhn-IHShhhkkkkk!” He rubbed the tissue over his wet nose then slumped back in the seat of his car. He'd been sitting there almost twenty minutes now, trying to get the congestion in his head under control, but every time he thought he was all right, another sneeze tickled his nose, insisting otherwise. The sneezes just wouldn't stop coming.

His chestnut-colored eyes found the rear view mirror, where his reflection stared right back at him. “Face it, Brycey Boy, you're sick. Sniff!” Oh man. Now his nose was running pretty badly. “Sniff! Sniff! Sniiiiffffff!” Frustrated with his ability to keep it in check, Bryce blew his nose and shoved the tissue into the small trash can nestled between the driver's and passenger's seat in his car. He couldn't see much more of himself in the tiny mirror, so he ducked down, trying to angle himself differently so he could check on the artful tuft of fur that stood up between his ears. His gray-brown fur looked fine, but the tuft itself was a mess. He licked his palm and ran it over the top of his head, trying to make it look better. It stuck out at an even weirder angle afterward. With a sigh, he gave up and finally headed to his apartment building.

Coughing and sniffling into a fist held to his muzzle, the coyote fumbled with his keys. After struggling through a long, trying day of work, all Bryce wanted to do was get into his apartment and crash on the couch. But everything was taking him twice the time it should today, like he was moving in slow motion. Finally he got the apartment door unlocked, opened, and then closed behind him. He stripped off his scarf and pea coat then kicked off his boots. The couch beckoned, promising a den made of warm, cozy pillows and blankets, and yet he hesitated. “Milo?” he called out.

He could hear noise from down the hall—explosions and sword clashes and chimes and other video game sound effects. That meant Milo was definitely home. And the only reason Bryce could hear the sounds so clearly was that Milo had left the door to his gaymer den open. When he was recording or broadcasting one of his campaigns, it was always kept closed.

“Milo?” Bryce listened intently and heard no reply, no scuffle of paws against the hardwood floors, no clatter of dinner being prepared. Apart from the video game sounds, the apartment was quiet. That didn't mean his fox wasn't there, though. So Bryce called out again, “Milo, I'm not in the mood for surprises tonight.” He felt immensely shitty—a throbbing headache on top of a ticklish nose on top of a scratchy throat on top of a serious level of fatigue on top of a throbbing headache and 'round again. He made his way into the living room, looked around for Milo one last time before collapsing onto the couch.

There was a green, plush blanket they kept folded on one end of the couch, and he pulled that over him now. Then he tugged at the multi-colored, woven throw blanket draped over the back of the couch, using that too. He gathered three smaller couch cushions and half-curled around them, with his head on one and arms around the other two. He felt the congestion in his head shift as he turned his head. A brief mental image of a tissue box came to mind, and he knew he probably should get back up and find one. The comfort of the blankets and pillows was too great, however. With a body-shaking yawn and another wet sniffle, the coyote started to close his eyes.

“Boo!” Milo's head popped up over the arm of the couch, a playful gleam in his deep, black eyes.

Startled, Bryce yelped and flailed and promptly fell off the couch. The cushions and blankets he took with him meant he didn't get hurt. But the jittery, flustered feeling from having been startled just as he'd been allowing himself to finally relax made him frown. “You're such an ass,” he muttered. He started to gather the energy to get back up then decided to just accept where he was for the moment. He swirled a blanket around himself, pulled it over his head, and snuggled up to the couch cushions again.

“Yeah, but I'm your ass.” There was a beat of hesitation. Nervously, the copper fox with a white belly played with the giant silver headphones that hung around his neck, twisting the cord around a finger. “Aren't I?”

Bryce rolled his eyes, knowing Milo couldn't see his expression. As much as he loved his boyfriend, Milo could really be a pain sometimes.

“Bryce?” Milo crawled over so that he could poke at the lump that was Bryce. “Bryce? Brycey? Are you actually mad at me?” He poked harder. “Brycey-Brycey-Bryce, aww, you know I was just playing, right? Come on out. I didn't mean to—”

HAHChekkkkkuhhh! HENNNPTShuhhh!” Groaning, Bryce threw back the blanket. His hand covered his light brown muzzle as he tried to hide the mess he couldn't sniff back in, but the damage had been done. “I deed a Kleedex,” he declared, wishing he sounded a little less pathetic, a little less desperate.

Milo was already digging in his pocket and pulled out a clean, folded handkerchief. “Will this do in a pinch? I always have one on me so I don't have to get up in the middle of a game if I feel a sneeze coming on.”

Grateful, Bryce took the handkerchief with his free hand and maneuvered it into place as best he could so as to wipe his wet hand on it and cover his messy muzzle at the same time. He took a deep breath and blew hard. Both his ears popped, and they twitched as he winced. His second blow was kinder though admittedly less effective. After a third, he wiped the cloth at his nose to make himself at least mildly presentable. “Thanks, Mi. Sniff!

“You feeling okay?” Milo asked, all playfulness gone from his expression, replaced entirely with concern.

Bryce shook his head.

“You coming down with a cold?”

Bryce hesitated, hating to admit it, but it was already pretty obvious. And he couldn't lie to his boyfriend. So he nodded then sniffled pitifully a few times. Despite all the blowing, his nose was feeling runny again already. This was going to be one bad cold; he could already tell that much. He'd be down for a week minimum, maybe two or more.

“I'm sorry to hear it. Colds are no fun. That sucks.” Milo leaned forward, going in for a supportive hug.

Bryce recoiled. In fact, he scampered all the way back, pinning himself against the base of the couch. He pulled one of the blankets up over his muzzle, peering down at Milo over it. “Don't get too close. I'm sure I'm contagious. I don't want you catching my cold.” 

Milo sat back. He studied Bryce carefully. Then he crossed his arms over his chest. “Would that be such a terrible thing?” 

Bryce paused, trying to figure out what that could mean. Nobody in their right mind liked coming down sick. It took him far too long to realize it was a joke. “You're being silly.” Milo could be such a scamp, and Bryce didn't feel well enough to handle that right now. “Look, I really don't feel so good. I'm just going to crash on the couch, okay?”

“I could help you to bed,” Milo offered.

But Bryce was already shaking his head. “No, it's better if I stay out here until I kick this. I'll probably toss and turn and cough and sneeze all night long.” He gathered up the blankets and pillows and started to climb back onto the couch. But the dang tickle in his nose flared up. He sat back down. “Hang on... I think I'm... I'm g-gonna... heh...” He raised the handkerchief, holding it up in front of his face. “Hnggggg... Hihhh... eh-Eh-EHHH-HEPTchshhhhhhhhhh! Ughhhh...” He blew his nose again and wiped it dry. “Excuse me.”

Milo frowned. “Poor thing. You really don't sound good either. Let me at least help you get back up.”

Bryce pulled back again, shaking his head. One of them with a head cold was bad enough. He didn't have the energy to take care of himself right now, let alone both of them.

“I'm not going to catch your cold from touching a blanket, babe. Come on, just let me tuck you in. You look chilly.” 

So Bryce let him, though he tried not to breathe in Milo's direction. Keeping the hankie pressed to his muzzle helped with that. It was also useful to catch the runs in his nose before they could trickle out and embarrass him in front of his boyfriend. Milo piled the cushions up and Bryce lay on his side, against them. Then Milo laid the blankets over Bryce, tucking them under and around him so that no air could sneak in and chill his feet or tummy. Bryce had to admit he wouldn't have been able to do such a good job himself. Curled beneath the blankets, he got ready for that nap he'd been longing for all day.

Then Milo's hand brushed past his nose. Bryce couldn't pull back in time to avoid the sudden touch.

“Hmm. You might be running a fever. Your nose feels warm,” Milo said.

“M-my n-nose ahhhh fuh-feels sensitive and t-tick-huhhh-ticklish!” And he felt frustrated. That brief touch had been all it took to set his nose off again. “huhhh—” He turned his head, burying his face in the couch cushion so he wouldn't sneeze on Milo. “huhnnggshhmmffff!” He lifted his head, sniffling, and immediately felt the need to sneeze again. It felt like the chilliness of the room was irritating his nostrils, though he knew it was mostly the cold inside him making him feel so sneezy. And he knew it wasn't going to stop until it had run its course. “hehh! ehhh-EH!

Eyes closed, Bryce felt something warm press against his nose. His nostrils twitched against what he realized must be Milo holding another handkerchief to his nose for him so the fox wouldn't get sneezed on. His fox was so clever. The first handkerchief was thoroughly used by now, but this one felt even better against his nose. Stopped in mid-release, Bryce's muzzle wrinkled from the incessant, ticklish urge to sneeze. Mucus ran unchecked from his nostrils into the hankie. And his mouth hung open, taking quiet, desperate gasps in and letting warm, heavy breaths out. He still needed to sneeze so damn badly, but there was just enough pressure against his nose to help him hold it back. His whole muzzle quivered.

“Just hold on a second for me, okay?” Milo's voice was soothing, reassuring. Bryce didn't know how long he could hold this sneeze back, because the tickle was only getting stronger. But he made a whimpering sound he hoped Milo understood to mean he could hold on for a second or two, if he was lucky, but not for much longer than that.

“I c-c-cad ehhhh I cad t-try-hehhh! Ehhh!

The handkerchief pressed harder against his nostrils and began to rub back and forth against them in a strong, scrubbing motion. Miraculously, the tickle backed back down more. For a moment, it seemed to go away altogether. Bryce sighed with relief as his twitching muzzle relaxed. Thank goodness for Milo and his preparedness. Thank goodness he'd had another hankie on him.

But then, all of a sudden, the pressure against his nostrils was gone. Bryce didn't understand why Milo would do that, but he didn't have time to contemplate. He gasped and reared back, the sneezy tickle in his nose as fierce as ever. “hnnngg... huhhhh... here-huh-nnnggggggg here it... it...” he tried to warn his boyfriend, but that was as far as he could get before the sneeze struck. “HnnngggggGESHHUUU!

The one strong sneeze seemed to be enough to quash the tickle for the moment, so he opened his eyes and found something he hadn't expected.

Milo was a few feet away in a sort of lunging position. He had a tissue box in one hand, a tissue in the other, which was outstretched. It was as if he'd tried his best to get it to Bryce's nose in time to catch the sneeze, but he hadn't made it in time. Two more seconds, and he would have probably made it. Milo sighed and straightened back up, wiping his hand and lower arm discretely against the leg of his jeans. He walked over and plopped down on the arm of the sofa. “Ooops. Sorry. I thought if I was fast enough, I could make it back with the tissues before you sneezed. But I guess you just had to let it out, huh?” He tucked the tissue box to a spot on the couch between cushions so it would stay put. “Bless you, by the way.” He frowned. “Your, um, your nose is dripping.” He held out the tissue he'd already pulled from the box.

Bryce grabbed for it and wiped at his nose, snuffling and coughing and trying his best not to feel utterly embarrassed on top of his confusion. Why had Milo even gone for tissues if he'd already had a hankie? “What sniff! What about the handkerchief though?”

It was Milo's turn to look confused. “I gave you my only handkerchief already.”

No, that couldn't be right. “But... but you were h-holding b-back my snehhh...sneeze...” Damn, it was starting again already. The tiniest of tickles fluttered in the back of his muzzle, tickling as it moved forward. It made his muzzle wrinkle again in need, and he knew that by the time it reached his nostrils, the ticklish urge to sneeze would be so unbearably insistent.

Milo held up his hand, wiggling his furry fingers, a playful smile on his face. “Like this.” He placed one against Bryce's nose.

Bryce's eyes went wide with understanding and the familiar, comforting, physical sensation. It hadn't been a handkerchief at all. The coyote tried to pull back, not wanting to get germs on Milo's hand again, but the fox's hand moved with his nose, his finger applying pressure almost expertly. Bryce had to wonder if this was what Milo did when he had a cold and needed to hold back his sneeze to get to a tissue. The pressure felt fantastic.

And it wasn't that Bryce didn't appreciate the help; it was just that he didn't want to be sneezing on Milo. He didn't want to get Milo sick. As he felt his nose run again, he tried sniffing. He needed to keep his cold to himself. But then Milo's finger started rubbing back and forth at his nose. And it felt so good to keep the tickles away. The movement, however, caused his nose to run more, each rub making his nose squelch. Bryce was sure the fox's fingers had to be wet by now, which just had to feel gross, but Milo still wasn't taking his hand away. If anything, he was pressing even harder and moving in closer.

Milo pulled a couple tissues from the box with his other hand. “Okay,” he said softly. “I can keep this up all day, but those sneezes want out. Are you ready for 'em?”

Bryce wasn't sure he was, but he made an agreeable sort of whimpering sound.

Milo switched one hand for the other, cupping the layers of tissues around the end of Bryce's muzzle for him, covering the coyote's nose and mouth as both began to twitch with need. “hnnnnggghhh.... hehhnnnnng...

“Relax, babe. Just let them out. I gotcha covered, and your nose knows best.”

Bryce's eyes shut, partly so Milo wouldn't see the embarrassment in them and partly because, yeah, he really did have to sneeze pretty badly. “hahhhh-nnnngggggg... Hhhshxxxxxffff!” Even smothered into tissues, the sneeze sounded wet. Milo started to lower his hand, but Bryce's hand shot out from beneath the blankets and grabbed his wrist, holding it in place as he felt another sneeze coming on. “hahhh! AHH-HINGShhhhxxxxtfff! Oh... sniff!” The sneezes were getting so wet, he hoped the tissues had been enough to contain them “Sniff! Sniff!

The fox's ears twitched. “Hey, there's no need to sniffle like that. Better take these tissues yourself and blow your nose, babe. You'll feel better when you do.”

Bryce obeyed, his nose so stuffed and drippy he could barely breathe. The second he was in control of the tissues, he pressed them against his nostrils and blew and blew and blew some more. The gurgling blows brought with them so much relief he sighed when he was done.

Resting his head on a couch cushion, exhausted, he didn't even have the energy or will to pull back when Milo began stroking his head, running his fingers through the flop of hair sticking up between his pointy ears. “Don't...” He protested halfheartedly, because the touch was so nice. It was probably a lost cause by now, but he couldn't help it. “I don't want you to get my cold.”

“Well, Brycey, I gotta say that's pretty selfish of you.”

Bryce narrowed his eyes, trying to understand. Boy, he was slow today. Must be the cold in his head. “What?”

Milo smiled adoringly at him. He hopped off the arm of the couch and knelt on the floor in front of the part of the couch where Bryce was curled up. “If I came down with a cold, I wouldn't have to go into work,” he explained. “No spreadsheets, no documenting code, no stuffy shirt and tie, no sitting in a cubicle trying to type quietly so I don't disturb the people in the cubicles around me. None of that.”

This did nothing to alleviate his confusion. “But I thought you liked your job.”

“I do... most of the time. This week, though, it's all filled with meetings. I haaaaate meetings. We're even having a meeting to discuss all the different meetings we'll be having. Ugh!” He took his headphones from around his neck, setting them aside. “I'd much rather stay home and play games and drink milkshakes and snuggle in bed with you. Sounds like heaven to me. It's been ages since I had a vacation, and I have an absurd number of sick days stored up.”

Bryce's eyes were still narrowed, his brow knit with suspicion. Milo was rambling. He only ever rambled like this when he was extremely excited or when he was outright lying and trying to cover his ass. Instincts told him this was the latter, but who would lie about this? It wasn't as though Bryce were trying to get him sick; it was exactly the opposite, in fact. Milo was practically begging for it. So... maybe he really was excited about being able to call in sick? Bryce didn't want to see him suffering, but he had to admit that snuggling in a queen-sized bed with his fox sounded a hell of a lot better than lying out here, alone, hugging these couch cushions.

“I... uh...” He was flooded with uncertainty and guilt but also a bit of excitement and longing. Milo's fingers stroked the top of his muzzle, up past his forehead, through his tuft, to behind one of his ears. He scratched there in a way he knew drove Bryce mad with pleasure. It was a cheap trick, but it was working. He could have this all week if Milo were sick in bed with him and germs and sneezes didn't matter between them anymore.

Down his hand came, through the messy fur, ending up at his nose. Milo rubbed two fingers back and forth against Bryce's nose, which felt good but made that same soft, embarrassingly squelching sound he wasn't sure Milo could hear. Milo smiled and spoke in a hushed but hopeful tone. “So what do you say? Do you want to share your cold with me, Brycey Boy?” 

Bryce swallowed, his eyes fixed on the fox's dark ones. “Yes,” he whispered. “H-how?”

Milo leaned in for a kiss. Instinctively, Bryce met him there, kissing back. Bryce lapped with his tongue a few times as Milo did the same. He licked the side of Bryce's face and then, oh god, licked Bryce's nose. His hot, runny nose. Bryce closed his eyes, feeling his fox's tongue caressing him lovingly. And when it was over, he wiped his sensitive nose with a tissue, not sure what was saliva and what was snot, and realizing it didn't matter.

“Bedroom,” Milo whispered. “I'll tuck you in there just as well as I did here. Don't worry.”

Worry was the last thing on Bryce's mind right now. He grabbed the tissue box and kept the multi-colored, woven throw around his shoulders like a cape as he followed Milo down the hallway. Milo closed the door to his gaymer den along the way, the sounds of battle raging on without him immediately ceasing thanks to the soundproof padding they'd installed.

True to his word, Milo got Bryce into bed, piling up pillows as he had done with cushions to make his breathing easier, tucking blankets around him, and then snuggling up beside him. Bryce nuzzled his face into Milo's neck, the soft fur soothing and comforting, though it also tickled his nostrils just a little bit. His cold-filled nose was feeling so overly-sensitive that just about anything was liable to set it off. “huhh!” he gasped, already feeling the tickle take hold.

He tried to pull back, but Milo wrapped his arms around the coyote. “I want you to sneeze on me,” he whispered. “Then I'll catch your cold for sure.”

Bryce understood, of course, but the rest of his body didn't. It kept instinctively trying to pull back. And so it became a battle of wills, his mind telling him that he needed to do this and his body telling him he really shouldn't. He could imagine the spray of a sneeze against his face and felt almost revolted. But he could also imagine Milo sniffling and curled up beside him for as long as it took them to get better together. In the end, it was neither his mind nor his body that won the battle—it was the sneeze.

hhnnngggg! Mi... I hnnnnghh I feel a hnng! Hehh! Heggguuhh! a sn-sneeze c-c-cohuhhhh coming on.”

“Good,” Milo reassured him. He pointed a furry finger at his face. “I want it right here, babe.”

His heart racing with nerves, Bryce shut his eyes. Maybe this would be easier to do if he wasn't looking at Milo? The sneeze was going to make him close his eyes in a moment anyway. “ehhhh hnnggg-ehhhh... Uhhh-Huh-UH—” He tensed, bracing himself for the sneeze to overpower him.

Except it never did. The tickle in his nose faded into a dull urge in the back of his muzzle.

“False alarm,” he said, opening his eyes again. “I'm sorry.”

“Don't be.” Milo patted his arm. “One thing you learn playing as many video games as I do is that you don't usually win the first time through. But if you keep at it, you get there in the end. Maybe we should kiss again?”

Bryce nodded. That would surely relax him. But as he moved in for another kiss, he took an involuntary breath. “Wait! I... Hah!” He pulled back a little as he felt the tickle take control of him again. “I hahhh-haveta-hnngghhh-Hahhhhhhh!

“That's it,” Milo reassured him. “Just let it out.”

HAH!” He froze, his muzzle wrinkled, teeth clenched, nostrils flared.

Then the urgent tickle went away again. His chest deflated, and he buried his face in the pillow this time. “I dod't thidk I cad do this,” his muffled voice was full of frustration. This was a level of intimacy he'd never anticipated.

“It's just a little stuck sneeze. Nothing to worry about.”

He lifted his head, shaking it again. Bryce was pretty sure that this was a complete mental block. At this rate, he would never sneeze again. Which, honestly, solved more problems than it caused. Deep down, he still felt like getting his boyfriend sick on purpose was kind of a stupid idea. And he didn't entirely trust Milo's motives at the moment.

The only real problem was, he did still feel like he needed to sneeze. It just wouldn't come out.

“Let me help.”

As the sharp urge to sneeze intensified maddeningly, Bryce wasn't in a position to refuse his help. He nodded but narrowed his eyes as Milo turned away from him. Milo pulled his bushy orange and white-tipped tail around so that the end was in his lap and then plucked one, two, and three long hairs from it. He flinched slightly as he pulled out each but didn't complain. He held the three hairs together as he cocked his head at Bryce. “You're dot goidg to—”

“You want to sneeze, don't you?”

Bryce's head bobbed up and down. He needed to sneeze so badly. But every time he tried to let it out, he kept remembering he was supposed to be sneezing on Milo. And he just didn't think he could. Oh, but the sharp, prickling urge to sneeze was torturous.

Quickly, Milo stuck the hairs up one of Bryce's nostrils and twirled them around, prickling, teasing.

Immediately, the sneezy feeling came over him again. “I... I cahhh can feel hehhhhh! Huhhh!” He gave his boyfriend one last, helpless look and closed his eyes. His nostrils tickled. The urge to sneeze was strong. His breath came in quick, short gasps. He was at its mercy. He was going to sneeze!

Until he wasn't. Once again, it backed off.

“I'll try again.” Milo sounded hopeful, this time splitting the hairs between his hands and tickling the insides of both tender nostrils at the same time.

HIH!!” Desperate, tears in his eyes from the intensity of it all, Bryce reached out and grabbed hold of the first solid thing his hand made contact with, which was Milo's elbow; it kept him steady as he gasped. “HEHH! Nngghhh! Yihhhh! Hnnnnnngggg... HEHHHH!

But then his shoulders sagged and he snarled in frustration, pulling back and scrubbing his palm across his itchy, ticklish nose then at his watering eyes. “I cad't do it!” He grabbed a tissue and blew his nose, rubbed at his nostrils, and tossed it over the side of the bed. “Sorry, Mi.”

“Hey, it's all right babe.” He wasn't holding the hairs any more. He reached out and pet Bryce's head. “Maybe it just wasn't meant to be.” He sighed deeply, his whole body rising and falling with the breath. But he still wore a smile, his pointed teeth gleaming. “Guess I'll have to settle for kissing you some more. How terrible.” He moved in to steal another kiss right away.

But Bryce pitched forward with a sudden, strong, messy “HeyyyEHTCHHUSHHH!” followed immediately with an equally powerful “Hehh-JJUXXXXXSHHH!

Milo froze, his eyes closed, mouth open, his fur dripping. He'd caught the sneezes full-on.

Bryce grabbed a tissue. “I'b so sorry!” Shocked, he wasn't sure what to do with the tissue. Did he offer it to Milo? Did he start to try to clean Milo's face? Did he sink beneath the covers mortified and embarrassed and guilty never again to emerge?

“Don't be sorry,” Milo plucked the tissue from Bryce's hand, folded it in half, and gently wiped Bryce's wet nostrils. His tongue darted out, licking his chops, and then he smiled again, even though his face was wet. “You did exactly what I'd hoped for.”

He wrapped his arms around Bryce and pulled him close again. “Let me know if you need a tissue for that runny nose of yours. Otherwise, you can sneeze into my chest. Unless that's asking too much. I don't want to frighten your sneezes away again, after all.”

Bryce's body felt tired and achy and just plain bleh. Maybe he was running a bit of a fever. Maybe this bug was worse than he'd thought. But as Bryce nuzzled his face into Milo's chest, the soft, dry t-shirt and warm fur felt comforting. Suddenly, he couldn't imagine being sick and suffering out on the couch alone. He still didn't want Milo getting sick, but more than that he wanted Milo. “Okay,” he murmured, closing his eyes.

There was another tickle in his nose already. It was kind of faint, but it wasn't going away. He sniffed and nuzzled more against Milo's chest, but that didn't help. “h'ihhhh!” He felt Milo's hand rub up and down his back. He heard his boyfriend murmuring encouragements. Bryce was too busy with the sneeze building in his muzzle to make it out exactly, but he understood the tone. “hihh yiihhhh hnnnnnn… hihhhhhhh HIPTSchhhhhhh! HEHJjjishhhhhhh!” He felt something warm soothe his nose, wiping it dry. And though he wasn't sure if it was a bit of blanket or part of Milo's t-shirt or even Milo's finger, he didn't bother opening his eyes to find out.


There was a burning pain in his throat when he swallowed. There was a pounding in his head. And when he swiped the back of his hand under his nose, it came away glistening in the moonlight. Oh yeah, he had caught Bryce's cold all right. Level up! Pretty soon he'd start coughing and sneezing. And then he'd feel about as miserable as Bryce did, but he really didn't mind. They'd be miserable together.

As Bryce let out a particularly loud, stuffy snore but did not wake, Milo smiled down at him. Bryce had fallen asleep lounging in bed—not quite sitting upright, not quite lying horizontal. He had his head on Milo's chest, nestled just beneath the fox's neck, with one arm draped over Milo's middle in a sort of loose hug. Milo ran his hand over Bryce's head, petting him in his sleep. He liked playing with his coyote's tuft of hair—the messier it got, the sexier he looked—but mostly he just liked petting him in his sleep, as if the touch would bring nothing but good dreams.

It felt so good to be able to hold him like this that it was easier for Milo to come to terms with the fact that he'd spent the evening lying to his boyfriend. There was no dreaded week of meetings ahead for him at work. In fact, with the upcoming testing schedule, this was a pretty inconvenient time to call in sick. But if he'd admitted he wanted to stay close and take care of Bryce, Bryce would have given some lecture about germs and keeping a safe distance. So the only way to stay close was to catch cold, too. If Milo had admitted that he wanted to get sick so Bryce wouldn't suffer alone with this cold, he was sure Bryce wouldn't have kissed him or sneezed on him. So the only way forward had been to lie. It seemed he was pretty good at it. Bryce hadn't suspected a thing.

And now Bryce was content. So was Milo, for that matter. Sick and dealing with a bit of a runny nose and stuck about four inches short of where he needed to be to reach the tissue box... but content nonetheless.

Writer's Den / [M + Dragon + Messy + Magic] Day 9
« on: January 11, 2019, 01:23:31 PM »
I don't have a more creative title; this is part of my 12 stories project on my blog (where I write stories people have requested during the holiday season). This was the 9th story. As soon as I have time, I'm planning on writing a sequel, because this was just so much fun!

_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ ______________________

Step by cautious step, I, Jameson Browner the famous adventurer, make my way down the narrow cave passage. Above the perfectly natural rattling of my armor, there is a low, steady, rumbling sound I have never before heard. If I have to make a guess about it, however, I would wager all I have in the world—which isn't anything more than the pack on my back and sword in my hand, actually—that the sound is being made by a dragon. The rumors of a dragon living in these caves followed me from village to village over the past few months. And though none of the villagers ever venture up this way nowadays, I am not now afraid. I was born to be an adventurer, after all. I come from a long line of them. So I live for moments like this one.

Apart from paintings and illustrations in books, I have never seen a dragon. And my little sister would be quick to tell me that books don't count for this sort of thing, not if you are a true adventurer. Which I absolutely am, of course. She, herself, claims to have seen three dragons during her travels. And our parents claim they kept a dragon as a pet before they started having children. I never quite found out if the dragons were the ones who had children first or if my parents were. They were a little dodgy about the details.

In any case, this seems like my real first and maybe only chance to see a dragon in person. Dragon sightings have become exceedingly rarer these days, what with farmers concerned about their crops and town development expanding into the mountain regions. So I am not about to waste this opportunity, no matter what my instincts say about wandering straight into a dragon's lair, meeting it where it is at home and most familiar. Not that I am scared, mind you. Adventurers don't get scared. We live for moments like this.

As I make my way onward, I see a faint glow at the end of the passageway. It grows brighter and brighter and larger and larger as I go along. It isn't until I am about halfway to it that I realize the sound I'd heard at the start is now gone. I listen hard, straining, and hear nothing at all. Wondering if maybe the dragon has moved on to another part of the cave, I move ahead, adventuring onward with bravery and might and


The light flares brightly up ahead, making me throw up an arm to shield my eyes. But it is the noise that startles me more than anything else. The sound was harsh and growly and not the least bit friendly. I knew dragons weren't all rainbows and kittens. I knew that sometimes adventurers perished upon facing a particularly dangerous beast. But until now, I hadn't considered what finding a dragon might really mean for me. I have my sword in hand, but that will not do much to stop an already angry dragon.

Perhaps I should come back another time? I can journey back to that last village and check back into the inn. I can sit by the fire with a book and a steaming cup of tea and prepare for this adventure another time. Yes. That seems most sensible indeed.

I turn on the spot to make my retreat—ah, I mean to sensibly adventure back out of the cavern—when I hear a low voice the sounds like how sandpaper feels. “Who's there?”

I nearly wet myself. No. Of course I don't. I mean, I bravely turn back around and take a deep breath. I may be shaking in my armor, but my hand with my sword is steady enough. I pull my scarlet cloak around me, fastening it under my chin and at my waist and pulling up the hood, just in case. Passed down from my father's father's father's father, the cloak fire resistant, supposedly, though it has never been put to the test against dragonflames. “It is I, Jame—”

HURRRSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” I hear again, and the light in front of me is suddenly so bright I take a few steps back. Then I hear a sound which I can only imagine must be some sort of laughter. But it does not seem the friendly laughter of someone at a tavern greeting me and buying me a pint. And it is not the flirtatious laugh of an innkeeper's daughter asking if I want a refill. It is full of maliciousness and spite and danger.

I take a deep breath and try again, “My name is Jameson Browner of Morningdale! I am an adventurer in search of a dragon!” Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that last bit. Maybe I shouldn't have given my real name either. Who knows what magiks are at work here?

“Ahhhhh. Here you are. Best see for yourself. Forward!”

As if by their own volition, my feet stumble forward. My armor clanks and rattles as my body inside it trembles. My teeth chatter. I was born to be an adventurer, but even adventurers have their limits.

A few moments later, I step from the narrow tunnel into a glorious, golden cavern. Coins and jewels glitter from edge to edge of the room, rising up in piles maybe thirty feet high in places. I have never before seen so much wealth. Were I a man drawn to decadence, no doubt I would be greedily scooping up coins by the handful and stashing them away on my person by now. As it is, my hands touch nothing. Only my boots and armor-covered shins come into contact with it as I ascend the slope leading into the room.

For, in the center of the room, is a dragon. A real, live, honest-to-goodness dragon. Or, at least, parts of a dragon. There is a purple tail, slender and long, protruding from one pile of gold. A tip of a leathery, purple and blue wing shimmers from another section of the treasure. And a round mound, covered in purple and blue scales sticks out from a part of the gold-covered floor. In it are two black and white eyes, fixed upon me, half-lidded as if it were narrowing its gaze to study me in full. I find myself doing the same thing. Despite the danger this beast poses, I long for it to shake off the coins, rise, and show itself in full to me. And if I am to perish here on this adventure, I want to at least have seen properly what it is I came here to see. Maybe I am a true adventurer at heart after all?

HERAHHHH...” Part of the gold pile rises. The dragon sounds as if it is gathering its breath to speak, but I take no chances.

I pull the cloak up, and sink down behind it, curling in on myself.


Flames lap at my front and sides. The sword handle in my hand grows altogether too hot to hold, so I drop it immediately. I can just make out its shape, melting, dissolving in the flame. My weapon is gone, but I remain unscathed apart from the uncomfortably intense heat surrounding me.

As quick as it begins, it ends. I stand back up, throwing the cloak back from my face in triumph.

The dragon's snout has emerged now, or most of it, at least. It is not the same blue and purple color as the rest of him but, instead, a bright red. Its nostrils flare as it inhales again, a sound far wetter than I was expecting, as if its head is underwater instead of under coins. It still stares straight at me, unblinking. “So loud outside. I should kill you.”

“I'd rather you didn't.”

It lets out a huff, like a single laugh, the coins rising and falling with each breath, some sliding down the great hill of treasure concealing its body. There is true anger in its voice. “You woke be frub a soud sleeb just to gaze ubod be. Do you dow how lodg it took be to fall asleeb? Ages. I... I... should... I... I... I...” Then out from the gold bursts a hand. Its curled fingers end in sharp, pointed claws that alone are the size of my torso, only there are five of them and only one of me. Instead of using his hand to pull himself closer to me, however, it goes to its snout.

I can see its nostrils twitching and some sort of wetness running from one onto its hand, which moves back and forth under its nose, rubbing furiously to no avail. It keeps trying to finish its terrible speech to me. “I... have... killed... for... for... for less...” It rears back with another mighty intake of breath.

I crouch down again, hiding myself under the cloak just in time.

HURRASSHHHHHHUHHHHHHHH!” Flames erupt all around me. I wince, bracing myself for the worst. But the cloak protects me this time as well. When I feel the heat die down, I part the folds of the cape and peep out. I see the dragon rub his hand back and forth under his snout, sniffing wetly.

I stand up slowly, understanding what's going on here. “You're sneezing,” I tell the dragon.

The dragon pulls his head up, there is a waterfall of coinage that slides down its face until its whole head is free. “You bust be the bost brilliadt hubad I've ever seed. Obviously I'b sdeezig. Have you dever seed a dragod sdeeze before?”

I don't want to tell him that I've never even seen a dragon before. “I haven't.”

Its giant head goes up and down. “Well, wait a few bore bidutes add you'll see it agaid. SNRFFFFFFF!” He lifts his arm this time in order to get to his snout—his twitchy, streaming snout. “I've beed sdeezig sidce... sidce...”

At first, I think he's going to sneeze again, so I grab for the edge of my cloak. But, it turns out, he's just trying to think very hard. He glances around and pulls a large clock out from the pile of gold treasures. He taps a claw at its face. Tap-tap-tap. Then he drops it. “By tibebiece is broked. SNRFFF! What day is it?”

That is a question I had not been expecting to need to answer. “I left home in April, once the snows had cleared. Then I made my way through the treacherous swamp, headed up the perilous cliffs, waded through the deathly bog...” I tick each off using a finger, calculating time. I leave off mentioning the month and a half I spent in the library of Monoacre but calculate it in the total. “It is very nearly December now.”

“Ah.” The dragon's head goes up and down. Its giant eyes close and open. “Thed eight.”

“Eight days?”

SNRFFFFF! Days? Ha! Doe... lodger thad that.”

“You've been sneezing for eight years?” That seemed quite impossible.

It makes a chuffing noise and quickly wipes its hand at its snout where it runs. “Doe... eight cedturies.”

Stunned into silence, I can only gape at him.

“It was a fairy, you see. A fairy who took offedse to by burdig dowd her forest. She got idto be dose add tickled it with her bagic. Add whed she left I started sdehhhhh sdeeehhhhhhhhhhh Hehhhhh! HEHHHHHH!” He sticks a finger right up against his nostrils, pressing with great effort, but his snout continues to wrinkle and twitch with the intense need to sneeze. I sense he can't hold it back for long.

Still shocked, I can barely move, though I know I must. Slowly, I manage to pull the cloak over myself and drop to my knees. But I still can't wrap my head around what it would be like to be this sneezy for eight centuries. No wonder his nose is so very red. No wonder he is upset about being woken up. Sleep is probably the only respite he has from sneezing.

HAHHHHH-HERSHUHHHHHHH!” Warmth surrounds me as the front part of the room fills with fire from the dragon's snout. I wait to make sure there isn't a second sneeze—my brother always sneezes in twos—then I drop my cape. The dragon blinks tiredly. I'd imagine sneezing for eight centuries would be extremely tiring.

“Bless you.”

The dragon gives a start. He snuffles and stares at me as if he's seeing me for the first time. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad. “Doe ode... id all this tibe SNERFFFFFFF!

“No one has said bless you?”

He shakes his head.

“Well, I'd say that after all this time, you're due for it.”

He stares at me for a little while longer. Then the corners of his mouth turn up into the briefest of amused smiles. “Well thadk you... what did you say your dabe was agaid?”


“Jabesod the advedturer.” He mulls this over. Then he sets his head tiredly back down on the gold. I can't imagine how it is comfortable; give me a feather mattress and thick quilt any day. But perhaps after eight centuries, he is used to it. Perhaps to a dragon, this is the height of comfort. Or perhaps compared to the discomfort of sneezing so much, anything else feels good. “I subbose I should SNRRFFF let you live after all.”

“Thank you,” I tell him, though I never intended to let him kill me anyway. “I appreciate that...” It is my turn to trail off. “I'm afraid I haven't learned your name yet.”

“Rude,” he says. “You dever eved bothered to ask. You cabe cladkig idto by boudtaid add dod't eved ask what by... what by... ohhhh...” He scrubs his hand at his nose then lifts his other hand out of the gold and rubs with it instead. “Oh, I feel like sdeezig agaid already.” He glances at me, actually looking a little worried.

“I'm all right,” I assure him. I finger my cloak, getting it ready. “Go right ahead and sneeze if you have to.”

“I have to. I always have to.” He wipes his hand from the tips of his fingers to his forearm under his nose with a great big, snuffling sound. It's a wonder that his sneezes have so much fire to them when his nose otherwise is so wet and runny. It must be a dragon thing. “By dose is just so tickly.”

I'm not sure what to say. 'I'm sorry you've been sneezing for eight centuries' hardly seems appropriate. The fairy had probably only been doing what she thought was appropriate for losing her forest. Perhaps she hadn't realized how long-lasting her magic would be against a dragon. My few meetings with fairies had indicated that they usually acted before they thought. And their fairy dust was certainly not to be underestimated.

HAHHH... HAHHH... HERRRRR-AHHHH... AHHHH...” The sneeze builds slowly, strong breath by strong breath. His snout wrinkles. His nostrils flare wide—so very wide. “HAHHHHHH!

I pull the cloak around myself quickly, hiding within it entirely.


I grit my teeth and brace myself for the fire to surround me yet again.


He sucks in the strongest breath yet.

But then he doesn't sneeze. The sneeze doesn't come. I don't dare emerge from safety until it does. But I wonder how long I will have to wait. I cannot wait another eight centuries, that's for certain.


I brace myself, closing my eyes tight.


I wait.


And I wait some more.

AHHH! HARHHHHHH! HAHHHHHHHH! HUH HUH HUHHHHHHHH!” And then, suddenly, the dragon roars.

I open my eyes and look out from beneath the cloak in just the smallest gap between fabric. The still nameless dragon scrubs frantically at his quivering nostrils. “Stuck!” he groans. He buries his head back under a pile of gold. The sound of his heavy, heaving gasps is muffled but still there.

I emerge from behind the cloak. I step as close to him as I dare, feeling a bit braver now that I know the dragon is vulnerable but still cautious now that the dragon is frustrated. I don't trust a grumpy, angry dragon. It might be sneezy, but I bet his sharp claws and even sharper teeth probably still work fine.

“Ah... dragon?”

AHHHH! HAHH! What?” it snaps at me, and it takes all my willpower not to jump back and run straight for the entrance to the cave straight toward safety.

“I... I think I could help you with that sneeze.”

“HAHHH!” It lifts its head slightly, eyes coming up above the level of gold once again. It blinks at me. “I odce had a HAHHHH! a sdeeze stuck HAHHH HERRRR HAHHHHH for over a year. What could you do to helb?”

I swallow hard. I can't believe I'm about to make this offer. But I feel bad for the poor guy. I know what it feels like to feel like you're about to sneeze, and no one deserves to feel that for a whole year. Besides, this will make a fantastic story to tell later. My sister might have seen three dragons, but how many has she made sneeze? Now the trick is just to do this carefully so that I will live to tell the tale. “I think I could reach inside your nose pretty easily and tickle it into letting out that sneeze.”

He blinks at me again. “You would die. AHHHHH! The HAHHH the fire HURRRRAHHH would HAHHHH would HAHHHHH!”

“Not if you pull me out right before you sneeze. I've got a cloak to protect me as well. I think we can make this work.” I reach under my armor, which is looser on me in places than it probably should be if I were heading into battle. But it means I can reach things inside my pocket. My hand seizes upon the item I had in mind, and I pull it out. “Plus, I've got this.” Holding my quill pen at its inky tip, I twirl it between my fingers.

His pupils widen in understanding. He lifts his head again, just enough for his fierce, red snout to surface. His belly rubs against the gold as he frees his forearms from having to hold himself up. His hand shoots out and grabs hold of me, scaly fingers closing tight around my body, and I'm sure I would have been injured if not for the armor. “Blease tickle by dose. I deed to sdeeze so badly. HAHHHH! Oh, I've just got to sdeeze...”

“What is your name, dragon?” I ask again. If I'm going to die in this adventure, I at least want a few seconds when I understand everything. I don't want any unanswered questions remaining.

“Ludwig,” the dragon says without hesitation this time. Then he shoves me into one of his giant nostrils. There is just enough light coming in from the treasure cavern to see by. It is wet all around me and a trail across the bottom from the dragon's constantly runny nose. But what I mostly see inside is glitter. Glitter in every color of the rainbow coats the inside of his nose. It's the mark of the fairy's magic, and I know that no matter how much the dragon—Ludwig—sneezes, he'll never be able to sneeze this out.

I also know that this is what's making his nose so irritated, and so it's this that I target with my quill. The pen truly is mightier than the sword... especially as I no longer have a sword.

AHHHHH-HAHHHH! Hurry! HAHHHHH!” He gasps mainly using his mouth, but I can feel air rushing past me in both directions, chilling me as the breath comes in then warming me as the breath goes out. I think again about the fiery sneezes and worry about my fate. But it's too late now. I've gone too far to back out. I'm actually inside a dragon!

Or the front half of me is, at least. My legs are sticking out, and the dragon's hand is tight around me from the waist down. My only hope is that Ludwig is so grateful to feel a sneeze really coming on that he remembers to pull me out in time. And I hope his reflexes are as quick as they'll need to be. After all, only he knows when he's just about to sneeze.

Securing my nervously quivering lower lip between my teeth, I start stroking the end of my feather quill along the insides of his nasal passages. He gives an enormous huff of a breath and a shudder, and then his whole snout wrinkles and trembles, and I know then that this is working. The feather is small, compared to his mighty form, but he can still feel it tickling him. And it's going to make him sneeze.

I vary my technique, sometimes giving long, firm strokes and sometimes tiny, fluttering tickles. I rub the quill at the magic fairy dust, not dislodging any but using it to further irritate his nose. I feel his nostril expanding and contracting around my waist with each breath as his breathing grows faster, more urgent.

Deciding to increase the ticklish sensation, I reach out with my free hand and gently run my fingertips along the inside of his nose. The walls feel soft, tender like his poor red snout looks. And the dust is so fine I can barely detect it by touch. It's just enough to irritate him, but my tickling is more than enough to make him sneeze.

HAHH I... AHHHH I I I gotta HARAHHHHH! I gotta—!”

All at once, he pulls me out and flings me to the side. Relieved, I cover with my cloak, but it turns out I don't actually need to take such a measure. He's thrown me far enough back that I can feel the heat from the flames, but they're directed forward. I am safely out of their reach, out of harm's way. That doesn't keep my heart from pounding in my chest, however. It is a thrill to see him finally sneeze again and know that I had some small part in helping bring that about.

HARASHUSHHHH! HEHPZSHHUUU!” The sneezes are somehow both full of fire and wet at the same time. And Ludwig's entire body seems to give itself over to the sneezes. His eyes are shut tight, pearls of tears in the corners, but his long neck is stretched out as far as it will go and his snout, which surely must have been wrinkled was sleek and elongated now as fire bursts from his large nostrils and mouth in the shape of an O. “HERR-AHHHSHHTTZZZ! HAPTTSHUHHHH!

Feeling as though we'd shared an intimacy that allowed me now to touch him, I reach out and lay my hand on his side.

He flinches at this and narrows his eyes a moment. Then he rises fully out from under the rest of the treasure. He stretches his wings out, one at a time. Then one of his wings curves and folds around me, like a sort of embrace, perhaps a thank you.

He is otherwise incapable of thanking me verbally at the moment, however. “ERRR-HEHSHIKKKZZZZZ! HEHHHHH-EHHHHHH-HEH-URSHZZSHHHHH!

“Bless you!” I call out, and I feel his wing tighten around me just a little.

HEHHHHH! Oh... godda be HAHHHHH a big HERRRbig ode...” he announces, as if his other sneezes had come from a little kitten, like the ones that had played with my socks at the inn back in Uldrich when I sat by the fireside reading. I back away, wanting to give him as much space as possible. I can't imagine his sneezes being any bigger than they are already, so he impresses me when he takes in one gigantic breath and sneezes a sneeze that fills nearly half the room in flames. “HAHHHHARRRRSHHHHHPTZZSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

When the intense flames die down and wisps of black smoke waft from his nostrils and mouth, I move closer again. He sighs deeply and lifts his hand, rubbing a bent finger back and forth under his wet nostrils. “Ohhhh... that feels so buch better. What a great relief! SNRRTTTT! Thadk you, Jabesod. SNERFFFF! Hah-HAH-SNERFFFFFF!

His nose is running terribly now, dripping messily onto his scales no matter how much he sniffles and snorts and tries to keep it in his snout.

I act without thinking, which really is a first for me, and pull off my cloak in a flourish. I move away from his wing, walk around him, and press the cloak into his other hand. “Here,” I say as I stare up at the dragon's large, inflamed nostrils. “This has seen me through many an adventure.” I remember stretching out under the stars on it to compose poetry one night on the Forgotten Fields. I recall to mind the time I hunkered down under it in the snows of the Frost Forest and dreamed warm thoughts until the sun shone again. “I'm afraid it won't be much use in keeping you warm, it’s far too small for you to use as a cloak or a blanket. But I think it's just the right size for you to wipe your nose with. Maybe you can catch your sneezes in it even?”

SNRFFFFF?” His sniffle sounds like a question, but he lifts the cloth to his nose and hesitantly gives a gentle wipe. Ludwig the dragon gasps in surprise and then rubs it enthusiastically at his nose. He rubs and scrubs and snorts and then lets out a low, rumbling purr that fills the entire cavern.

As if entirely forgetting I'm there, he brings his other hand to hold the cloak between both of them and empties his nose into it with the wettest blow possibly ever heard in the entire kingdom. I don't see a single spec of fairy dust on the cloak afterward, which dries instantly with its own magic. He discovers this by giving his snout another hearty wipe and purrs again, overcome with delight.

I jump back as his wings suddenly unfurl fully. He raises himself into the air, effortlessly. The ceiling of the large cavern is big enough for several dragons to be stacked one on top of another, giving him all the room this single dragon needs to twirl in the air a few times before flopping back down upon his pile of gold, this time on his back. His soft, lilac-colored belly is exposed as it vibrates with purrs and rises and falls with snuffly breaths.

Then his chest quickly fills with a sharp gasp. “HURHHHHHH!” He clutches the cloak tightly, pressing it to his nostrils, which almost match the scarlet cloth in color. “HISHNNXXXXXXXX! Ohhhhhh yes!” He purrs again, his lengthy tail waving slowly from side to side among the piles of gold, overturning some stacks and making glittery jewels scatter throughout the room. I almost lose my footing as two golden dinner platters slide past me. Then the dragon rolls right over and looks at me. “You cad tage whatever you wadt for this. Sniff! Sniff! Tage by whole fortude, if you cad carry it.”

I laugh and reach down, scooping a few coins up. “This should cover the price of a new cloak and a few nights at an inn.” I scoop up a few more coins at a sudden memory. “And I'll need to replace my sword. But that's all I require.” I think about how many books and journals all this gold could buy me—more than I could ever read in a lifetime. But what would an adventurer do with so much? I can carry one, maybe two books with me at a time. “Though, if I should be back here some day...”

“Ady tibe. You're welcobe ady... ady Harrrrrhh... HAHHH... HEHJUXXXSHH!” The fire-resistant cloak blocks and contains everything he sneezes into it. I'm in no danger and his snout is all the better for it as well. He's purring unconsciously and without stop now, in and out. And the corners of his mouth show he's smiling again. “Ady tibe,” he finishes. “Especially if I have adother stuck sdeeze.”

“My, ah, my pleasure.” In truth, it had been a rather messy and terrifying venture, and I will certainly need a new quill pen at some point. But it had felt genuinely good to risk my life to help him out. “Though I suppose I should be going now.”

“Stay a little while lodger?” he pleads. “You cad't ibagide how lodely it's beed here, Jabesod. Sniff! Sniff! Sniff! SNIFF! Oh... I thidk I deed to... to blow...” He blows his snout into the cloak again and then turns it over in his hands, marveling at how dry it still is, how dry it always will be. “Just... sniff! Just stay udtil I cad fall back to sleeb? I thidk I will be able to fidally sleeb well, dow that I cad wibe add blow by ruddy dose. Snff! Tell be of your advedtures? Tell be a story? I love stories.”

My heart leaps. I was born an adventurer into a family of adventurers from a long, long line of adventurers. But, deep down, all I ever really wanted to be was a bard. “Oh,” I say, grinning from ear to ear now. “Oh, I have plenty of stories.” Some—the most boring ones—are my own. But there are hundreds of other stories I know—some I've read, but most I've made up in my own mind while walking through the lands in search of a proper adventure. “I'd love to tell them to you.”

So the dragon settles down, burying himself half under his gold, and gets into a position where he is most comfortable, though he keeps the cloak pressed to his sore snout the whole time. And I sit down next to him, leaning back against his side. It's smooth, and I slide against it a few times before I get stable.

HAHHH-HARRUXXXXXTTTT!” Ludwig sneezes into my former cloak, his new handkerchief.

“Bless you.” I wait for him to relax again beside me before I launch into my first story. This is what I truly live for.

As you might have noticed, each part of this arc is told from a different perspective. In part 1, it is the submissive client. Part 2 is a club Dom. Part 3's is a club submissive. And this, the final part, is told from the point of view of a number of pack Alphas. Normally, a wolf pack doesn't have more than one alpha, but it takes more than one to run a BDSM club. And that also allowed me to show a whole lot of different aspects and scenes. So this one's a little different, but I hope you like it!

Title: Forever (Wolf Pack BDSM Club #4)
Author: tarotgal
Rating: NC-17
Contains: Cold sneezes, induced sneezes, contagion, mess, BDSM situations, pack drama, a lot of sappiness/sweetness
Pairings: Wolf/Rabbit, Wolf/Wolf

Richard lay on top of his sub, panting hot and heavy into his face. Nathaniel was pinned down helplessly on the black matted floor. His master’s hands were on his wrists, both to hold him down but also to massage a pressure point to calm him in this trapped position. Richard had achieved the perfect balance of this over years of being a Dominant in the club.

But this time, his submissive was thrilled to be trapped beneath him. “Tell me how it feels, Sir?” he begged his master.

Richard shook his head. “I’d rather sh-show you. Huhh!” His great black nose, tinted a little red, nuzzled the rabbit’s face, rubbing against the little pink nose. “Huh! Uhhh-SHOOO! Sniff! Just imagine… sniff!Sniff!  Imagine this big bad cold of mi-mine in that tiny little sniff nose of yours. Hah Hah HAH-URSchhhhhhhhh!”

The rabbit twitched his nose and whimpered happily.

“Ohhh, sniffffff I think you’re gonna catch my terrible, wonderful cold. Snifff! You won’t be able to help it after I sn… I sn-sn-sneeze all huh over you-huh-huh-SHUHhhhhh!”

“Master,” Nathaniel was almost out of breath himself from excitement. “Your nose is running so much. You’re all sniffly. Please let me help you!”

Richard nodded in agreement, but he didn’t release his sub. His thighs tightened on either side of Nathaniel’s and his thumbs worked small circles into Nathaniel’s wrists. “If… if you… if… uhhhh! Huh! HUHSHOOO! Sniff! If you idsist.” Richard sniffed long and hard as he ran his nose back and forth against the soft, warm fur of his sub’s cheek.

Nathaniel moaned happily.

“With this cold, I’ll make you sneeze for days. And every sniff every sniff every single time you sneeze, you’ll think of me.”

Nathaniel moaned again, nodding his head emphatically. “Yes, Sir. I won’t forget.”

“It’ll be me making you sneeze, even when we’re not tuh-together. Hah-HakkCHIHHHHH!”

Nathaniel cried out, his body straining not to get away but to get even closer. But Richard held him down well, masterfully. “I always want us to be together,” Nathaniel cried.

Grinning, Richard rubbed his nose against Nathaniel’s again. “I… I...” He wasn’t able to finish. “Huhhh-UHSHHHHHH! H’KSHOOO! HUHSHHHHH!” Gasping, sniffing, coughing a little even, Richard pulled back and finally reached for a tissue from the box next to them.

Obediently, his sub lay there as if he was still being held. Nathaniel watched him blow his nose with a look of jealousy and reverence and something else Airabella recognized all too well.

With a sigh, Airabella leaned back from the monitor. She turned and caught Bertrum's eye across the room. “We've got a problem with Richard.”

Bertrum rubbed a paw over his gray speckled face. “Is it the sneezing again? I thought that was going all right for him.” He crossed the room to her and placed hands on her shoulders as he leaned over to see what she was watching.

Richard and his sub lay side-by-side on the mat, a box of tissues between them. Richard wound up, breath hitching, and sneezed. He pulled a few tissues from the box and wiped his nose. Then he wiped his sub's face for him. His touch was tender, gentle, loving.

Bertrum sighed. “You're right. That is a problem. I'll get one of the subs to summon him to the office as soon as he's free tonight.” He shook his head. “He's such a great Dominant. I'd hate to lose him.”

“He's so fantastic with first time submissives—all his submissives, really.” Airabella nodded in agreement.


It was almost an hour before Master Richard appeared before them in the Alpha's private office. He was freshly showered, a few beads of water still clinging to his brown fur, but he still obviously looked sick. He tried to disguise this, though, as he stood in front of the desk in the office as if nothing were wrong. “Hello, Mrs. A, Mr. B.” As there was no chair on his side of the desk, he stood with his paws behind his back and his head tilted down toward their seated forms.

“Hello, Richard.” Airabella's tone was light and sweet. She cared about everyone in her pack so deeply, and she knew this was going to be a difficult conversation if emotions got away from them too early. “How are you?”

“I'm f... fine,” he finished hesitantly.

She cocked her head. “Really? You're not ill?”

He opened his mouth to respond but seemed to not know what to say. As much as he didn't want to admit he was ill, he couldn't lie to his Alphas.

“Come here, please.” With his ears flat back against his head and his tail tucked between his legs, he walked forward and leaned against the desk. Obediently, he leaned forward even further. Airabella touched her paw to his nose and he winced, instinctively pulling his sore, chapped nose away. His nose had felt dry and warm to her, though. There was no mistaking that. “You've got a cold, Richard. Maybe even a bit of fever.”

He nodded and shrugged and sniffed.

Bertrum forward and folded his paws on the desk. “You know we're going to have to remove you from the schedule until you get better. We can't have you getting the Doms, subs, or clients sick.”

Richard stared down at the desk, not meeting their eyes.

“Apart from Nathaniel, of course.”

Richard's head snapped up, eyes wide. “You don't understand... I... he... huhhh... he wanted… huhhhhh…” He dug a tissue out of his pocket and turned to the side. He wasn't about to get his Alphas sick either. “Uhhhhh HIHSHOO! Uh… sniff! Excuse me,” he mumbled.

“Bless you,” Airabella said. “Don't worry, Richard. We know all about Nathaniel's request and your scene tonight with him.”

He dabbed at his nose with the tissue. “You do? Sniff! You were watching?”

She nodded. “We know all about you catching Nose's cold. We know about all your scenes with Nathaniel over the past eight months. And we know you're in love with him.”

Richard recoiled, coughed, and tried to hide the looks of terror and confusion on his face. “With all due respect—”

“The more you protest, the more obvious it is to us,” Bertrum said. “Frankly, it's been obvious for a long while.”

Shaking his head, Richard tried again to explain. “No... I think you misunderstand. I put my heart into my relationships with all my subs, even the... first timers. It's impor... important to me to... to... excuse me-huh! My cold… I have to…” He fumbled for another tissue from his pocket. “huhhh-UHShhhoo! HUHSHOO!” He rubbed at his nose but winced a little because it was so sore. He cleared his throat and tried again to explain. “It's important to me to put emotion and feeling into a scene with any of my subs. That doesn't mean I... love... Sniff! I mean, I enjoy working with Nathaniel. He's a born submissive. He makes it so easy to be a Dominant. But that doesn't mean I'm in love.”

Airabella  narrowed her eyes. “No? What it is then?”

“It’s… it’s just lust. And kink. With caring… and respect… and trust… and…”

“Richard,” Bertrum said, “Stop fighting us on this and start owning the fact that you're capable of loving someone more deeply. That's just as beautiful a thing as being a professional Dom.”

“It...” He seemed to deflate right before their eyes. He looked defeated, lost. And that wasn't what the Alphas had meant to do at all. Airabella got up and put her arms around him. He tried to pull back. “I'm sick...”

“I know. But sometimes even a Dom needs a hug.” She gave him a tight, reassuring squeeze before pulling away and sitting on the edge of the desk in the front. She leaned back on her straight arms and gave a deep sigh. “Oh, Richard. What are we going to do with you, hmm? Falling in love with your submissive is a problem for us. But the fact that he's in love with you, presents you with a choice.”

“He's...” Richard swallowed. “Is he really?”

“Sweetie, he would do anything for you. Everyone can see it.”

“Because he's a sub.”

“Because he's your sub. Because he loves you.” Airabella cocked her head again. She had a way of looking at anyone that made them believe whatever she said. “Which means you're going to have to choose between the pack and Nathaniel, between a job working here as a Dom and a life outside with a devoted lover.”

Bertrum added, “Luckily, you have some time to think while you recover from your head cold.”

Richard nodded. “Can I... talk to Nathaniel about this?”

Airabella gave a laugh. “Of course! Talk to whoever you like—Doms, subs, anyone you trust. If you need to talk with any of the Alphas about this, we're here for you. You're not the first Dom to fall in love with a client. Above all, I encourage you to talk to him. You need to make sure he isn't married with three children.” Richard gave a start. “Like I said, you're not the first, and you won't be the last.”

With a paw to his muzzle, Richard quickly turned to the side again. “Excuse... huh! Huh! HUH-KTChooo! UhhhTCHOO! Uhhh... excuse be agaid.” He dug another tissue out of his pocket and blew his nose.

“Go get some rest,” Bertrum told him. “Have some medicine. Ask Howl to make you some tea. And go take care of your cold.”

Richard snuffled and wiped his nose. “Thank you, Mr. B. And thank you, Mrs. A.” He shuffled out of the office, still rubbing his nose.

Bertrum stood and came around the desk. Airabella leaned into him, putting her head on his shoulder. He rubbed her back. “Poor dear. He's really got it bad, doesn't he?”

“He'll make the right decision in the end.”

Bertrum nodded. “I'd better have Felix start putting together a list of his regular clients. They'll need to be contacted. And we'll have to let Jessamyn know not to send any subs his way while he's out sick.” 


Nibbling on a jam-covered piece of toast and clutching a large travel mug of coffee, Winston headed into the control room for his shift. “Anything happen this morning?” he asked as he settled into one of the rolling chairs and surveyed the monitors. He liked starting out by taking in where everyone was. Today, the kitchen was full of Doms and subs eating breakfast. There were a few Doms playing video games in the rec room. There were a few subs in the living room gossiping over coffee. Winston scanned all the monitors and asked, “Is he up yet?”

Theodore shook his head. “No drama, and he hasn’t come out of his room. He’s probably sleeping in. I don’t think anyone but the Alphas know yet. Speaking of which…” He gestured vaguely behind him. “I give him three days, ‘cause he’s head over heels.”

Winston looked over at the whiteboard. Instead of notes left by one monitoring shift for the other, there was a three week calendar grid. Winston recognized it as this month and could already see that his fellow Alphas had started placing their names on the calendar along with the words ‘staying’ and ‘leaving.’ Winston found today’s date and, three days later, spotted Theodore’s name and ‘leaving.’ He could hardly believe there was a pool for this already. But he quickly walked over and added his name in a blank space five days out along with the word ‘staying.’

“You’re crazy, man. He loves Nathaniel.”

“Course he does,” Winston agreed taking his seat again. “But he loves his pack more. He loves being a Dom. Where’s he gonna go work after this, McDonald’s?” He made a derisive noise. Winston finished off the toast and washed it down with a gulp of black coffee. He leaned back in the chair and took in all the monitors on the main wall at once. The scene room monitors were over on the other wall, but it was early in the day and no one was using them yet. He noticed a few Doms head to the gym for morning workouts; it was always enjoyable to watch Doms pushing each other harder on the indoor track or on the machines. And no one could beat Andy in weight lifting.

“Oh, get this! He’s up. And he’s headed for Nose.”

Winston abandoned the gym monitor and rolled right over to where Theodore sat. “Turn the volume up!” He nudged Theodore’s arm until Theodore had the volume up.

Nose was curled in a beige armchair, drinking what was probably his usual ginger-lemon tea with honey and reading a book on his kindle. Morning sun streamed in through the living room window on his right and Richard was headed straight for the empty armchair across from him.

“Hey, Nose.”

Nose’s head snapped up and he blinked. “G’morning, Master Richard. Ah… looks like you caught my cold?”

Richard nodded. “Yeah, it’s a doozy. Been sneezing my head off.”

A smile played at the corners of Nose’s mouth. “That’s, ah, a good thing for you, right?”

Looking only slightly embarrassed and mostly pleased, Richard nodded again. “Right. Nathaniel came in last night and… it was good. No, God, it was magnificent. It was everything I could have hoped for. But then…” He hesitated and rubbed a paw absentmindedly at his muzzle. “Then the Alphas called me to their office.”

Frozen with fear, Nose stared at him.

“You’re not in trouble,” Richard quickly explained. “Neither am I, actually. But…” He trailed off, and for a moment Winston thought he just needed to sneeze. He took a tissue out of the box and pressed it to his face. But then Winston leaned forward and could see wetness in the wolf’s amber eyes.

Nose set his kindle down on the arm of his chair and leaned forward. “Hey… what’s wrong?”

Richard looked back at him, sniffling and wiping away tears before they could fall. “Nose… what does it feel like to be in love?”

Nose hung his head for a few seconds, and when he lifted it again, Winston could see the smile on it. “You figured it out finally, did you?”

“Mrs. A and Mr. B told me.”


“You knew?” He swiped at his nose. His muzzle was twitching. There was obviously a tickly sneeze on its way.

Nose nodded. “Wasn’t my place to say anything. But the way you are when you’re together…” He didn’t finish because Richard’s breath was hitching, but he probably didn’t need to.

Tissue already in hand, Richard cupped his paws to his snout. “uhhhhh huhhh-UHShhheoooo! Huhhh-UHSHOOO!” He didn’t open his eyes after the sneeze, looking both pleased and miserable for having sneezed.

“Bless you.”

“Thanks. Sniff! SNIFF!” He gave his nose a little bitty blow, just a small snuffle, really. Then he leaned sideways, pressing his face into the plush of the armchair where the winged back stuck out on the side.

“Master Richard, I’ve always been honest with my Doms. Lewis wouldn’t tolerate anything less, even if he didn’t want to hear what I had to say. May I be honest with you now?”

He opened his eyes and gave a little nod of his head against the chair wing.

“What you and your sub have is special. I could see it right away. It’s amazing when two dynamics just click the right way, but the affection you have for each other is a whole other level of beautiful. If you are being given a chance to have it forever, I think you owe it to yourself and to your sub to pursue it. Love at the core of a scene is hotter and stronger than any kink. Love shared in a relationship is the most wonderful feeling. It’s been two years since I lost Lewis, and I still love him as much today as I did when he was holding me in his arms or having me kneel beside him with my cheek on his thigh. I love it here at the club, but I’d never trade any lifestyle for what we had together. It can’t even compare.”

He blinked and sniffed. “But… I love being a Dom. I’m not sure I want to give that up.”

Nose laughed loudly. It was such a startling sound Winston rolled back an inch in his chair and Richard sat straight up, eyes wide. “Silly wolf,” Nose laughed. “You’re always going to be a Dom. That’s part of your nature. You couldn’t stop being a Dom if you tried. What changes is that instead of being a Dom to every random man who walks in here, you get to be a Dom to the one man who you’ll know inside and out, to the one man you love and are devoted to, to the one man who wants nothing more than to please you and only you as his master forever. Instead of playing out a scene and acting as a Dom for a couple hours, you get to be a Dom every second of every day.”

Overwhelmed, Richard looked like he didn’t know what to say to this. He shivered, even though he was wearing a sweater over his button-down shirt. His breath caught and eyes closed. “huhh… huh uhhh huh huh huhh HUH HUHHSHOO!” He sneezed into another tissue. But he didn’t stop there. “HUH HUHH-CHISHHHH! HUH-SHUHH!”

“Master Richard?”


“Better blow your—”

“HUH-IHSHOOO! HAHSHOOO! HAH HUHHH HUHHHSHOOO!” His body shook with every strong sneeze.

Nose leaned forward and placed a paw on Richard’s knee, trying to get his attention. “Mas—”


“Damn it.” Nose reached further forward and stuck his paw into Richard’s pocket. He pulled out a whole wad of tissues and he knocked Richard’s hands away in order to press the tissues to Richard’s nose. “Blow, Sir!”

Richard coughed and snuffled and sneezed again. “Huh-UHSHHHOOO!”

“Blow your nose!” the sub repeated.

And, this time, though coughing, Richard managed it. His paws took over for Nose’s as he got his breathing better under control. He blew his nose until his shoulders sagged and he relaxed back into the armchair. “Thanks,” he said weakly. “Pushy sub, giving me orders?”

Nose gave another laugh. He looked around to make sure he couldn’t be overheard by any of the subs or Doms in the room before whispering, “You know, Nathaniel would have loved doing that for you.”

Richard sniffled and stared at Nose for a few moments. Then his head tipped forward again, into the tissues. “huhhh-URSHUHHHH!” He winced as he gave his nose another strong blow.

Concerned, Nose patted his knee again. “Hey, have you gone to the doctors yet? I mean, I know you like sneezing, but they’ve got medicine to take the edge off. Your voice sounds really rough, and you look a little feverish.”

Richard shook his head.

And Nose tensed. “You owe me a favor.”

Richard lowered the tissues. “What?”

“I did you a favor, so you owe me. And now I’m going to collect. I want you to promise me to see a doctor.”


“I mean it. We all have choices to make in life, and this is mine. I want you to go to the clinic and take whatever they give you. Promise me.”


“Promise me, or I’m calling an Alpha to come here right now.” He lifted his head, looking around, and then stared straight at the camera.

Winston felt like Nose was staring right at him; he chuckled. “Clever pup.”

“All right,” Richard relented. “All right, I’ll go to the clinic.” He gave a massive yawn into the side of the chair and snuffled again. “But maybe a nap first. I’m beat.”

“Fine,” Nose agreed. “But you’d better not forget to go. If word gets around that you broke your promise to a sub, you’ll have bigger issues to deal with here in the pack.”

Richard smiled. “I do believe you’re blackmailing me.”

“Whatever it takes. Just think of how guilty I’d feel if your fever spikes and you pass out on the stairs or if this cold develops into a sinus infection or bronchitis. I would be devastated.”

“I’ll go,” Richard promised. “Sniff! Sniff! After I get some more tissues and some sleep.”

Another laugh. He had a kind laugh, Nose did. “Take care and feel better, Sir. Don’t make me sorry I gave you my cold.”

Richard got up and headed out of the room. Winston and Theodore both watched him on the monitors as he headed down the hall and then up the two flights to the Doms’ floor. He headed to his room and went inside, shutting the door behind, which was as much as their cameras could track.

“Think we should make a note about that?” Theodore asked? “Make sure he goes to see Morris or Rosie or Douglas today?”

“Nah,” Winston said. “If he gets bad enough, whoever’s on duty here will send a doctor to him anyway. But I don’t think he’ll break his promise.” Winston glanced back at the whiteboard, wondering if Theodore would notice if he changed his guess from ‘staying’ to ‘leaving.’


“There,” Douglas said, fitting the wrist support over Leon’s paw and lower arm. “Have you been doing the stretching exercises I showed you? Shaking your hand out regularly?”

Leon didn’t meet his gaze.

“Oh, you Doms always think you know best. Heaven forbid you listen to an Alpha with a medical degree who has your best interests at heart. And where did it get you?”

“Mr. D… I just forgot…”

“Ah. Well, how about remembering three times a day for the next two weeks.”

Lifting his hand, Leon winced. “How about some painkillers?”

“Nothing stronger than a regular dose of Advil. It’ll get better in time if you rest it and do the exercises. Keep the support on all day as long as it hurts, and all night if you sleep on your side.”

Leon snorted. “Oh, that’s gonna go over real well. When a sub needs a spanking, I’m just supposed to explain to him I need to rest my arm? Or I’ll have to bring in another Dom to discipline him for me?”

“You can do whatever you like,” said Douglas. “But I’d recommend wearing long sleeves and practicing swinging a paddle with your left.” Too much spanking was what had gotten him into trouble in the first place.

With a sigh, Leon hopped down from the table. He winced and held his right arm to his chest.

“If the pain and inflammation get any worse at all, come back right away and we’ll reevaluate. We can try physical therapy or injections, but surgery is our last resort.”
“Surgery?” Leon said with a bit of a whimper.

Douglas clapped him on the back a few times. “Like I said: last resort. Don’t worry. If you do what I say, there’s no reason it won’t get better with time.”

“Thanks, Mr. D.” Leon headed for the door, passing Richard in the doorway. Leon gave him a look, like he had a million questions for him. He looked him up and down, though, and seemed to decide his questions could wait. “You all right?” he asked softly.

Richard nodded, panting a little, straightening up so he didn’t look so miserable. “Will be. Snrt! Bad cold. You?” He glanced at the wrist support.

“Will be,” Leon echoed then headed out of the clinic.

“C’mon over here,” Douglas waved Richard over and patted the exam table. Rosie wasn’t working tonight and Morris was off in a scene room taking care of a couple who hadn’t been playing as safely as they were supposed to. Tail had reported it right away, just as he should, but it meant Douglas was covering the clinic alone for a while. “That cold finally get to you?”

Richard nodded, mouth open, panting.

Douglas felt his nose then the back of his ears, frowning. “You’re really warm.” He reached for a thermometer “Can you breathe through your nose at all?”

“Dot really. I… huh!” His eyes snapped shut and nostrils flared.

“Oh no. You’re not sneezing all over my clinic. Here.” He shoved a box of tissues at Richard.

Blindly, Richard pulled a few out and held them up to his muzzle. “huhhh-uhhptxxxsh!” he coughed and snuffled congestedly and didn’t open his eyes.

Douglas traded the oral thermometer for the ear sort. It went uncomfortably deep and wasn’t always as accurate, but at least Richard would be able to keep breathing. It was pretty fast as well. A few beeps later, the numbers 104 popped up on the reader. It wasn’t extreme yet, but anything over 102 was troublesome. Gently, Douglas removed it and set it down to be disinfected later. “Are you keeping food down all right?” Douglas asked, and Richard nodded. “Well, that’s something to be grateful for at least.” He got a cold bottle of water out of the fridge, cracked the cap off it, and handed it over. “Drink slowly. Just sip and keep sipping. Unless you need to sneeze, and then cover your nose and mouth, then go back to sipping.” Richard nodded again. Douglas checked a few cabinets and found a stack of washcloths. He wet one in the sink then pressed it to the back of Richard’s neck, holding it there. “Okay… we’ll just give this a little time. I might have to keep you here overnight. But you’ll be all right. I promise.” He flipped the washcloth over, so it was cool against Richard’s neck again.

Richard smiled weakly. “Heh. A Dob dever breaks his… his brobises. Hept!” He grabbed for another tissue. “huhhh-uh-shxxxt! Huh-shgxxxtt!” He winced at each painful sneeze. Then he panted, trying to catch his breath. Feeling anxious and twitchy, not knowing what else to do, he took another sip of the water.

“Good boy. Keep drinking that. You sound terribly stuffed-up. I’m going to see what I can do for your sinuses.” Douglas rubbed his paws together to warm them, and then he laid a gloved paw on Richard’s muzzle and started massaging. Richard exhaled sharply and coughed, trying to pull his head away. “Did you feel pain?”

Richard shook his head and tried to sniff, but his nose was too blocked. “Snrtt!”

 “I know it feels strange and intense at first, but trust me on this.” He kept rubbing, putting pressure on certain parts as he did so. Richard’s eyelids drooped. His nostrils flared again. His muzzle twitched. But Douglas kept massaging in small circles. He flipped the cool cloth over again with his other paw.

After a few minutes of massaging, Richard looked like he might fall asleep. Douglas quickly capped the bottle just in case. He took it out of Richard’s paw and replaced it with a handful of tissues. Richard’s eyes fluttered open for a moment, not wanting to stay like that. “Let me try just one more thing.” He pressed his warm palm against the tip of Richard’s nose. He rubbed in a clockwise motion five, ten, fifteen, twenty times. Then he switched to counter-clockwise five, ten, fifteen, twenty more times.

When he pulled his paw away, he could see Richard’s nose starting to run. He guided Richard’s paw with the tissues up to his nose just in time to catch a wet, productive sneeze. “uhh-HUHKSchhhhhhhhhhhh! Oh… sniff!” Quickly, he blew his nose and sighed deeply afterward.

Douglas smirked. “See? Didn’t I tell you? Can you breathe a little better now?”

Richard nodded. “Better.”

“Good.” He handed the bottle back. He got the washcloth wet again with cold water and pressed it to the nape of Richard’s neck again. Richard shivered initially then breathed out deeply. “That’s it. Slow and steady. Just relax.” He had just about relaxed properly when the door to the clinic opened again.

Richard sat up straight, hiding the tissues behind his leg, pulling the cloth away from the back of his neck.

We both looked over to see one of the newer subs with a hand pressed to the side of his head. “A rhino overreacted, bolted, knocked me hard into a wall. Head hurts. Alphas wanted to make sure I don’t have a concussion or somethin’.”

For privacy, Douglas drew a curtain around the table where Richard sat. He put the cold washcloth back in place. “I’ll be back in a couple minutes. Keep drinking.”

He disposed of his gloves, washed his hands, and put on fresh gloves. Then he guided the sub to an exam table on the other side of the room.


Airabella knocked on Richard’s bedroom door. She heard coughing and footsteps. The door unlocked and opened a crack as if by magic. One amber eye inspected her. Then the door swung wide to let her in. She slipped inside and closed it behind her as Richard was already retreating into the nest of blankets and pillows on his bed. He turned in a circle, settled down, and pulled some of the blankets over his lap and shoulders to keep warm.

As the bedrooms weren’t meant for visitors, there was nowhere else for her to sit. So she settled on the end of the bed. “How are you doing?”

Several blankets rose along with his shoulders as he shrugged. “Dod’t dow…”

“Ah. Maybe I was too general with my question. First, how’s your cold?”

“A lot better. Fever’s gode. Throat’s dot so sore. It’s bostly just the sdeezig.”

She smiled slyly. “And that part you like, right?”

He hid his face behind a blanket as he nodded. “Yes, Brs. A. Sniff!”

“Good. Second question, then. How’s your decision about leaving or staying coming along?”

He shook his head and poked it out from the blankets again. “I…” But as soon as he began, he had to stop. “Excuse be. I have to huh have to Huh-uhh!” He buried his nose in tissues. “huhhh-uhhTIHShhuhh! Uhhh-HIHShhhhhhh!” He snuffled into the tissues but didn’t indicate that he wanted to be left alone to do whatever the heck he did when he was sneezy and alone.

So Airabella stayed put. “Bless you. You were saying?”

“Oh sniff! Right. I talked with Dathadiel. Sniff! Sniff! With by sub. A lot.”

“And is he married with three children? Or more? He is a rabbit, isn’t he?”

Richard laughed. “Doe childred. He’s dot barried. Dot seeig adyode. Id fact, he’d give dub od a relatiodshib altogether before he started cobig to the club.”

“And then he fell in love with his Dom.”

This time, Richard nodded. “That’s what he said. He said he had’t wadted to but…”

“But it just happened? He couldn’t help loving you?”

Richard nodded again.

“And what did he say when you told him how you feel about him?”

Richard was silent. Well, not entirely silent. He sniffed a little.

And Airabella felt a bit of worry flutter in her chest. “You… did tell him, right?”

Richard sniffed. “I did. I told hib everything. He said it’s by decisiod, but he wadts be. Said I cad bove right idto his blace. Said we cad go tissue box shobbig together—which… yes, that souds stradge but…”

“But, to you two, it’s romantic. I get it. So you’re feeling overwhelmed?”

Richard nodded. “Yes. That’s it. Add other thigs…”

“Richard, you’ve been part of my pack for…” She did the quick math. “Eight years. You went from home to college to here. You’ve never lived with a mate. You’ve never had another job. All your needs have been taken care of for you by the pack here—room, food, healthcare, entertainment, workload, even your daily schedule. Of course you’re feeling worried about leaving, maybe even terrified or useless.” And he was a Dom, so he’d never admit any of that to anyone except, perhaps, his Alphas. In fact, he couldn’t even bring himself to look at her when he nodded yes. “Plus, you’re not feeling too good, so everything you feel is suddenly more extreme and out of control, and you don’t have your work to distract you from all of this.” She reached out, searching through the blankets, and found his paw. Airabella gripped it in her own. “I’m not going to lie. It’s not easy out there in the world. But if you find someone you can face challenges and hardships with, not just experience fun with, then the struggle doesn’t feel so hard.”

He squeezed back and looked into her eyes again. “How do I know if he’s subode like that?”

“I’m not sure you can know unless you give it a try and give him a chance. Sometimes you don’t know if there’s someone there to catch you until you jump. Here with the pack, we’ll catch you every single time. Out there… sometimes you have to have faith in someone else. Sometimes you even have to catch yourself. But playing it safe forever isn’t necessarily rewarding. Sometimes the best things are worth the fight. Sometimes the best things are worth the risk.”

Richard just sat there, looking so lonely and conflicted and even more worried. Airabella couldn’t stand it. She scooted over and wrapped her arm around him, blankets at all. She pulled him against her and rubbed his arm through the blankets. She gave him a tiny nip on the neck and felt him snuggle into her instinctively, calming, feeling cared for.

“I’ll support you, whatever you decide.”

He whimpered and nuzzled closer. Then his whole body tensed and he scrambled for tissues. “uhhh-HIHTchhhhh! HIHShoooo! Sniff! Excuse be.”

She rubbed his arm through the blankets as he relaxed back against her. After grabbing one of his pillows and putting it in her lap, she nudged him to lie down. Then she pet his head with firm, slow strokes. “Take all the time you need to decide.” This decision could mean losing Richard forever. And as much as she hated to lose a member of her pack, she knew it was his choice and she would have to let him make it.

They stayed that way for a long while. And just when she was wondering if he was falling asleep, he spoke up again. “What about by other subs if I leave? Will I be allowed to exblaid or say goodbye?”

And that was when she knew what his choice would ultimately be. “The Alphas will contact them to let them know the situation. If they want a new Dom, we’ll make sure they have one here. If they want to say goodbye to you, we’ll arrange for them to do so. Some will be happy for you. Others might feel let down or even jealous. But this isn’t the first time we’ve been through this. We know how to handle many different reactions.” He was a good Dom to be concerned about them. Airabella knew her pack would certainly be weakened when he left.


Normally, Norman liked a good party. There were always plenty of excuses for the pack to have one—the arrival of a new member, a holiday, a birthday. But there was too much of a bittersweet feeling to farewell parties to really enjoy them. In all his time in the pack, he’d only attended a handful of them, but he would have been happy to never attend another. Losing a member of the pack was like losing a limb. They would learn to cope. Eventually, they wouldn’t even feel the loss. But they would always remember it.

The best way to cope at a farewell party, Norman decided, was to get drunk. Normally, alcohol wasn’t permitted in the club. No one participating in a scene was allowed to have had a drink the same day. But during parties, the drinks were plentiful.

He spotted Richard across the room, laughing with a bunch of Doms. They were talking and shoving, even play wrestling each other a little. Looked like they were having fun. Norman got himself another drink, intending to try to have fun as well.

Richard’s cold was still hanging on; sometimes these things were tough to shake. But he looked a hell of a lot better than he had a couple days ago when he’d gone to the clinic. Airabella had been clear in her command to the other Alphas; none of them were to say a word about Richard’s cold or his little thing for sneezing. Some of the pack subs knew, and it was possible Richard had confided in some of his fellow Doms. But it wouldn’t be a good idea to embarrass him at his own farewell party by airing his sexual kinks. Norman found it hard not to smile knowingly every time Richard sneezed, however.

Before Norman knew it, he was three sheets to the wind. And he was feeling great.

He glided over to Richard like he was floating when he walked. Sure, he bumped into a half dozen wolves along the way, but it was definitely because they were the ones being clumsy, not him. He fell against Richard’s side, and Richard put an arm around his middle to steady him. “Whoops! Must’ve tripped!”

“Right,” Andy, one of the Doms, said, rolling his eyes.

“Just… wanted to say… I mean…” It wasn’t coming out exactly the way Norman had wanted to say it, for some reason. He suppressed a burp and laughed through an apology.

Another of the Doms, Derek, moved closer. “Hey, Mr. N, maybe you should have something to eat…”

Norman shook his head. “Don’t want food… I wanted to tell Richard… wanted to say goodbye…”

“Bye, Mr. N. I’ll, ah, miss you.” Richard tilted his head and nuzzled against Norman affectionately.

“Whoa!” Norman pulled away. “Not too close. Don’t want to catch your cold!” With a gasp, he slapped his paw over his mouth. “I didn’t mean to mention—”

“Okay!” Richard interrupted. “Let’s go find you some food.” He steered Norman away from the Doms, and Norman felt his stomach spin. He definitely didn’t want food. Maybe another drink would settle it.

“Don’t want food.”

“Okay then,” said Richard. “I’ll find you another Alpha to look after you. Or maybe a sub. Paws? You wanna talk to Paws? Paws is right over there.”

Norman wasn’t sure. He wanted to talk to Richard. But he was already talking with Richard. This was getting confusing. Not that he was confused. He was fine. The problem was everyone around him. Maybe they were the ones who needed drinks. They weren’t making sense. “Hey… d’you want a drink? I want a drink.”

“No thanks. I’m not drinking tonight. I…” Richard stopped and quickly covered his nose.

“Ohh, are you going to sneeze right now?”

Richard looked imploringly at him for a second before his eyes were forced closed. “uhhhh-HUHshooo! Huh! Uhhh!” He froze for a moment, looking like he was going to sneeze. His muzzle was raised, his eyes closed, his mouth turned down and open. But then he seemed to shake the feeling. He sniffed and wiped his paw on his jeans.

Norman laughed. “I really thought you were going to sneeze again. Did you think so?”

Richard steered him toward Paws. “I think you want to talk with Paws for a little while.”

Norman felt himself being handed off, but he didn’t mind much. Paws was nice. Paws always understood him. “Richard’s worried I’m going to tell about the sneezing,” he whispered to Paws, making sure his whisper was loud enough to be heard properly over the noise of the party. “But I won’t! I promise I won’t tell anyone that he and his sub—”

Paws shoved a drink in his hand. “Hey, Mr. N. Good to see you. Have you tried the samosas yet? They’re delicious.” He rubbed his paw up and down Norman’s back while exchanging a look with Richard that Norman sort of saw but didn’t quite understand. The samosa, however, was exactly as delicious as promised. In fact, he had two, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

“Did I talk with Richard?” Norman asked an hour later, as two Alphas frog marched him to his bedroom all the way up on the third floor. “I wanted to say goodbye.”

“You told him,” Morris confirmed.

“I’m sure he’ll miss you,” Gregor assured him.


“The thing is, he's a heart breaker and doesn't even realize it.” Keith said, nodding toward the monitor showing the recreation room where Richard was saying his goodbyes. There were hugs and tears, there were well wishes and vows to keep in touch. Some of the pack submissives looked utterly devastated.

Leona watched as Richard gave a general wave of farewell to the room then headed down the hallway in the direction of the kitchen. “He's going to say goodbye to Howl now!” Oscar and Vincent sat at the table, finishing up a late breakfast, though. Quickly, she whipped out her phone and sent them emergency texts to get out of there immediately. “C'mon, guys...”

“Outa time,” Keith announced. He rolled his chair over to where she sat in front of the kitchen monitor. She turned the volume up all the way.

Richard hesitated in the doorway, and Oscar was the first to spot him. He looked from Richard to Howl and seemed to understand instantly. He grabbed Vincent's arm just as Vincent went for his phone. Vincent shook off the touch and checked his message. Oscar grabbed him again, pulling him up. That was when Vincent figured it out as well. He grabbed a cookie from the bowl in the center of the table and wiggled his phone. “Emergency. Gotta go.” On their way out, Oscar and Vincent said quick goodbyes to Richard. Not a minute later, they were both in the control room behind Keith and Leona, out of breath from the run. Vincent broke the cookie into pieces and handed them round as the four Alphas watched and listened.

“Do you have a couple minutes to talk?” Richard asked.

Howl, who was putting together some sort of casseroles for dinner, slowed to a stop. He stared down at the counter for a few seconds. Then, without turning to look at Richard, he nodded. “Sure.”

“May I close the door? I don't want anyone walking in. I've been saying goodbyes all morning and this one's just for you.”

Howl's shoulders rose and fell, maybe in a sigh or maybe in a sob; none of the Alphas could tell for sure. “Okay.”

Richard closed the kitchen door, which was hardly ever closed. Upon finding it closed, not one pack member would dare open it from the other side. Richard walked around the long wooden table to the side where Howl was. Instead of sitting down on one of the benches, though, he sat down on the tabletop itself, feet on the bench. He patted the spot next to him. “Would you sit beside me?”

Slowly, Howl put down the spatula and can in his hand. His shoulders rose and fell again. Then he rubbed his face with his paw and turned. They could see he'd been crying.

Oliver spoke softly, as though Richard or Howl might somehow be able to hear him. “His eyes were red like that when we got there. We didn't see him fall apart, but seems like he might have been crying all last night after the party.”

Howl climbed onto the bench and sat down next to Richard, keeping a few inches of space between them. “So... you're really leaving then?” Howl's voice was miraculously calm. He ran a palm over the smooth polished wood tabletop, watching his paw slide back and forth.

“Yeah, I am. I’ve gotta give this a chance. Nathaniel... well...” He smiled just thinking about his sub. He looked down at his own paws, the goofy smile showing in his voice. “He makes me feel like the Dom I've always wanted to be.”

At this, Howl let out a sorrowful howl that none of the Alphas could miss it. Three of them leaned closer to the monitor. The fourth glanced at the door, thinking about going to him. Two held hands.

Richard raised an arm but let it hover in the air. “Howl, would it be okay if I put my arm around you? Just... just a hug.”

Crying now, Howl couldn't answer. But he nodded hesitantly. The moment Richard's arm was draped around his shoulder, he leaned into Richard's side. They sat like that, side-by-side, until Howl had his hitching breaths and his tears under control a bit again. “S-sorry,” Howl whispered.

“It's okay. Tears remind you that you still feel. Sniff! I'm going to miss you too.” He smiled again, though not in that goofy way he had when he talked about Nathaniel. “I'll miss being able to wake up after an especially tough night as a Dom to find a great big breakfast waiting for me. I'll miss your mom's amazing tortilla soup you made me every year for my birthday. I'll miss having you to confide in, knowing without my asking that you'd never tell my secrets to another living soul.”

Howl gave a sad laugh. “I told Nose how much you like sneezing when he told me about your request to catch his cold.”

Richard laughed too. “I should have guessed.”

“How is your cold, anyway?”

“A lot better, thanks. Just a couple sneezes now and then.”


“Hey, is that a note of disappointment in your voice?” Richard joked.

Howl shook his head. “Course not. Only... there was something I wanted to ask you about that.”

“Well, here's your chance. Fire away.”

“You'll think I'm silly, and I don't want you to remember me like that.”

Richard rubbed his hand up and down Howl's upper arm. “Pup, I've already told you how I'm going to remember you. You've been a great friend to me here. I promise that nothing you tell me now will change that.”

He took a deep breath. “Okay... I was... hoping you'd sneeze on me.”

Richard burst out with a laugh and clapped a paw over his mouth. “Sorry, but... really?”

“I'm so curious. I just want to find out what it's like, understand what you like about it. And... it would mean a lot if you did it to me.”

“Howl, there's a lot more to it than just getting sneezed on. It's about control and desperation or obedience play or—”

“I know. I just want to... feel it. Just once? Please?”

Richard sighed, nodding. “If that's really what you want, I'll do it. But it might take a few minutes to get a sneeze out of my poor nose. It's been through a lot this week. Can you hand me a napkin?”

Richard dropped his arm to allow Howl to lean over, stretching out across the table to reach the napkin holder in the center. He pulled a napkin out and handed it over. Then he scooted back a little so he could turn and watch what Richard was doing. The Alphas watched, too.

Richard rolled a corner of the napkin between his fingers, forming a sharp point. Then he inserted it carefully into one nostril. At once, his body reacted violently, making exhale sharply and cough, but he kept it there, and the feeling seemed to pass after a second or two. He bunched some of the rest of the napkin into his palm and pressed it under his nose. “Sorry... this makes my nose... run like mad...” He wiggled the sharp napkin point around. “hehhhhhhhh!” And wiggled it some more. “huhhhhhh uhhhhhhhhhhhhh...” His eyes watered and he coughed again. He pulled the napkin out and wiped it against his dripping nose. Then he held his paw out to Howl. “Cad I hab adother?”

“If you can't, it's all right, Sir. I—”

“I cad do it,” Richard assured him. “Just ode bore. I cad already feel the sdeh-sdeeze tick-ticklig. Just gotta... h-helb it alog...”

Howl grabbed another napkin and handed it over.

Richard wiped his tears away with the back of his paw then rolled up a corner of the new napkin, making it long and pointed like the last one. When he inserted this one into a nostril, he almost pulled back from it and coughed again. But then a look came over him. “Huh-here it cuhh here it cobes!” His mouth dropped open, tongue hanging out one side. His eyes closed. And his muzzle angled upward as he swayed back. “Huhhhhh!” And then snapped forward. “hah-SHIHhhhhhhhh!”

Having leaned in exactly at the right time, Howl caught most of the spray on his face, little droplets speckling his gray and brown fur. His eyes were shut tight and his expression was frozen into a grimace. 

“Uhhhh...” Richard blew and then wiped his streaming nose a couple times before opening his eyes, sniffling. “So... sniff! What do you think?”

Howl grabbed a third napkin quickly wiped his face off. Then he darted over to the sink where he splashed water on his face, scrubbed with both his paws and some hand soap for more than half a minute, and rinsed his face off again. When he came up for air, drying his face with a towel, he was smiling. “Your submissive actually likes that?”

Richard grinned that sloppy, love-struck grin again. “Yeah... he absolutely loves it.”

Nodding, Howl took a deep breath. “Then I think the two of you are lucky to have found each other.” He walked back over to the table and took Richard's paws in his. He tugged and Richard stepped down to stand in front of him. Then Howl wrapped his arms around the Dom in a fierce hug. He buried his face in the other wolf's fur to say a muffled, “I'll miss you so much, but I'm so happy for you. And if your sub ever wants my mom's tortilla soup recipe to make you a birthday treat, just have him contact me.”

Richard hugged back warmly, tightly. He was still sniffling, but only a little. It wasn't enough to prevent him from hugging the sub, of course. “Thanks, Howl.” He pulled back a little, so they could meet each other's eyes. “Promise me one thing?” Howl nodded. “You are so amazing at taking care of everyone here. Don't forget to take care of yourself too, all right? Tonight I want you to make that angel food cake you love so much and keep the biggest slice for yourself. Okay? In fact, have two slices—one in my honor.”

“Okay,” he whispered back. Then he let out a deep breath and showed the Dom a smile. “G'bye, Sir.”

“Bye, Howl.” 


Richard stood outside the club with one bag on either side of him, packed full of everything he owned in the world. Airabella stood not far behind him, waiting just to make sure Richard would be all right. He was still a member of her pack, at least, for the next few minutes.

Richard paced up and down the sidewalk then, not wanting to look anxious, he picked his ground and planted himself there. But he pulled out his phone and checked the time. Then he checked it again.

“When was he supposed to pick you up?” Airabella asked.


She got out her own phone and checked. It was already a quarter past. Not a good sign at all. But she tried to stay positive. “He’s probably just running late.”

Richard rubbed a paw at the back of his neck. “Yeah… that’s probably it.” He looked back down at his phone.

“He didn’t call or text?”

“Not since last night. He was clear about the time, though, Mrs. A.”

“I believe you.”

And before they could speculate any further, a bright red Camero came racing around the corner. Its top was down, making it easy for them to recognize the driver. The car screeched to a halt in front of the club and the back trunk popped open. “Sorry!” Nathaniel exclaimed, rushing out of the car, white puffball of a tail swishing and ears flowing behind him as he ran. He picked up Richard’s bags and placed them in the trunk for him.

Airabella drew Richard close and licked the top of his head like she had on his very first day at the club. “Goodbye, dear Richard. It has been a real pleasure having you in my pack.” Then she stepped back, giving him room to stand straight and be his own wolf instead of submit to her. With a reassuring smile, she let him go.

Having closed up the trunk, Nathaniel circled around the car to Richard and took the wolf’s paws, squeezing them. “So sorry. I was running late. I woke up with an awful cold in my head.”

Richard smiled—a little sly and a little timid. “Yeah?”

“Oh yeah. Had a hard time getting out of bed. Been coughing and sneezing all m-morning ih ih ih-CHEEWW!”

“Oh!” Richard’s breath caught. Then he moved in for a kiss and a nuzzle and another kiss. “Well then, let’s get you back to your home and into bed, my sniffly little sub.”

“To our home, Sir,” Nathaniel corrected.

Richard nodded and tapped Nathaniel’s nose. Immediately, the rabbit’s face screwed up and his eyes closed. “ihhh ihh Ih-CHEEOW! Oh… sniff!”

“Bless you! Goodness, your nose is so sensitive today.”

Nathaniel hung his head and dropped his voice to a whisper, but Airabella had excellent hearing and could still make it out. “My nose is forever yours, Sir.” The rabbit climbed back into his car.

Richard headed for the passenger side and opened the door, but he paused there a moment, looking back at the club. He took in the sight, as though committing it to memory. He caught Airabella’s gaze and smiled back at her. Then he lifted his head and howled loud and proud, signaling his location.

Smiling, Airabella howled back. Not a moment later, the whole pack joined in from inside the building, letting him know right where they’d be if he ever needed to return.

I actually meant to space posting this series out a little more and wait another week before posting this story. But I finished it yesterday and am at least half done with the fourth story. So I really just wanted to share this. I definitely got carried away with it. Oh, the drama! heehee 

Also, "Animals" by Maroon 5 just came up on my playlist. It's a sign.

Title: Favors (Wolf Pack BDSM Club #3)
Author: tarotgal
Rating: NC-17
Contains: Cold sneezes, allergy sneezes, contagion, mess, BDSM situations
Pairings: Wolf/Rabbit, Wolf/Wolf

The fact of the matter was: subs gossiped. When you worked in a sex club, facilitating and cleaning, it was hard to not notice certain things. And when those things were juicy, it was hard to keep them to yourself. So we subs talked. We gossiped. Of course we did. We traded stories about couples we'd seen doing it right or completely failing. We discussed what we knew about what Doms were doing what. We fantasized about what Doms we wished would take us. We shared everything with each other, but we hushed up quickly whenever one of the Doms came near us.

“Hey, pups. How's it going?” Master Richard called casually as he passed by our group in the corner of the common room. He didn't pause to get a reply to his question, though.

The group of us stood there in silence, as if we all knew how long to wait before talking again.

“Do you know what I heard about Master Richard?” came a voice from behind when it seemed safe. I turned to see a  younger submissive pup named Tail sauntering up, as if he alone knew every pack secret and might consider telling us one day, even though he was so new to the pack he couldn't possibly know much. He was even newer here than I was. Still, Tail lowered his voice, making sure he couldn't be overheard. “Master Richard has a thing for sneezing.”

Several of the subs laughed at this, me included. But I noticed that two didn't. Howl stared wide-eyed at Tail, as if he couldn't believe Tail would say such a thing. And Paws looked anywhere but at Tail, mostly staring at his own paws or at the ground. Paws handled most the first timers at the club, because he had an almost magical way of putting someone at ease. He could introduce someone nervous about playing a BDSM scene to it in the least threatening, least terrifying way possible. And if he wasn't joining in on the conversation now it was because he knew something or had seen something. What was it?

“What, like ah-choo! and he gets all horny?” Bones asked, tears of laughter in his eyes.

“I don't know,” Tail said. “I think it's more like he uses sneezing to take control. He makes his subs sneeze, same as how he makes them beg or suck dick or kneel for him, I guess.”

“That's strange,” said one of the subs.

“That's hot,” whispered another, though I wasn't exactly sure who.

“That's not as weird as what I saw Master James doing with a new submissive last week,” said Paws. “It involved a pipe cleaner, a tub of shaving cream, a phone playing yodeling on a loop, and a parrot.” He had everyone's attention immediately.


And I honestly didn't give that discussion another thought. It was just one more piece of subby gossip floating around—quickly shared and quickly forgotten. Who knew if it was even true? I wouldn't have put it past Tail to have made it all up to get attention.

It wasn't until a day, months later, that I had reason to recall it. It was late fall which meant it was the beginning of cold and flu season once again. I was sporting a red-tinted nose and bags under my eyes that indicated I was squarely in the cold category this time around. All right, maybe vanity is my greatest vice, but it's not really my fault I'm normally so dashing. Anything that gets in the way of my good looks instantly throws me into misery. So I hid myself under my blanket, sneezing and coughing, every opportunity I got so no one would see me. I worked pretty well for a while, at least.

I waited there, napping on and off through the early morning then mid-morning. If my stomach hadn't been so rumbly and if my supply of tissues hadn't run out, I probably would have stayed in bed until my cold passed entirely. “ehh ehh-YIHSchhhhhh! Sniff! Sniff!” I was going to need to blow my nose soon. It was feeling pretty full, unlike my stomach. 

So I headed out eventually, but only when I was sure most of the pack must have already eaten breakfast. I'd be fine with whatever scraps were left, as long as I could get my paws on a new tissue box with as few wolves seeing me as possible.

I put on the navy blue bathrobe that used to belong to my former Dom. It was a size or two too big for me, but I loved the feeling of it wrapping me in warmth, like he was wrapping me in his arms. The sleeves hung down past my hands and the bottom of the bathrobe dragged against the floor. But I snuggled into it and shuffled down the stairs without tripping and down the hallway to the supply closet. My plan was to grab some tissues, hit the kitchen, stuff some food in my pockets, and head back to my room before anyone could spot me.

But as soon as I opened the supply closet door, my plan was for naught. Master Richard was there, in a corner, bending over to search a shelf for something. He looked back when he heard me come in and smiled. “Hey there, Nose.”

I gave him a weak smile, wondering the whole time if I should just come back another time. I rubbed at my sniffly nose. This was definitely not the time to sneeze.

“Bet I know what you're here for.” He extended an arm, plucked a box of tissues from a shelf, and tossed it to me. “Am I right?” 

I nodded. “Thadk you, sir.” I sounded stuffy, and I hated myself for it. It was always the sign my former Dom, Lewis, used to gauge how sick I was. Lewis never let me share a bed with him when I was ill. I always used to have to sleep downstairs on a couch until I could prove I was feeling better and then I still had to earn back the right to the bed, as if a cold meant I had done something wrong. Maybe that was another reason my first instinct when I was sick was to dive under the covers.

With tissue box in hand, I headed to the kitchen. The coffee machine had been thoroughly drained, but Howl had left hot water in the electric kettle, which is what I wanted anyway. I floated around the room, grabbing a mug here and a teabag there. I couldn't find the little bottle of honey shaped like a bear that should have been in the spice cupboard but wasn't.

“It's in the fridge.”

I jumped, startled, then looked over my shoulder to see Master Richard in the doorway, literally leaning against the doorjamb, his arms crossed over his chest. “Wh-what?”

“You're looking for the honey, right? It's in the fridge. Makes it slower to poor but the honey stays fresh longer that way.”

I'd never heard of honey going bad, but maybe this was just another one of those kooky things the pack did that I had to learn. “Ub...” I crossed over to the fridge, opened it, and found the little plastic bear in the door shelf, wedged between catsup and maple syrup. “Thadks again,” I told him.

Now, I did feel grateful, don't get me wrong. But I didn't feel indebted to Master Richard. I could have found those tissues on my own and I could have had hot tea without honey just as well as with. If anything, I felt awkward and self-conscious walking around, making myself tea and stuffing pastries in my bathrobe pockets with him watching me. Was this some sort of dominance game? If so, I wasn't feeling up to playing right now.

Feeling a sneeze coming on, I abandoned the mug of tea on the counter and dove into the box of tissues. Pulling the first tissue from a new box was always a satisfying sensation. There was this feeling that there were so many more tissues there for me, that I couldn't possibly blow and sneeze my way through all of them. This one, though, I needed. “ehhh Ehyushxffffff!” I sneezed wetly. I kept the tissue pressed to my runny muzzle afterward, though, so Master Richard wouldn't see and think less of me.

The worst part of having a head cold wasn't the scratchy throat or the frequent sneezes. It wasn't even the way I looked. No, the worst part was feeling like a burden to the pack. I wanted to help out, wanted to do my part for the club. But I couldn't do that when I was all sniffly and germy and sneezy. I had to keep away, had to keep everyone from catching this from me. I gave a soft blow into the tissue, feeling the pressure in my head lift a little. But in its place came a little itchy tickle I just couldn't rub away.

I got another tissue from the box and held it to my muzzle as it began to twitch. “ehhh yihhhh Ehhhyihkkkkxxffff!” I sneezed into it.

“Bless you.”

I wasn't used to being blessed after sneezing, and I felt myself warm with embarrassment. The teabag must have been done steeping by now, so I quickly threw it away and gathered up the mug and tissues to retreat back to my room where I wouldn't bother anyone. Just to make it clear, I hadn't remembered yet about that rumor.

“ehhhh!” I felt another tickle coming on, and I couldn't put everything back down in time to take a tissue out of the box. “yehh!” I turned my head as my breath caught and my eyes closed, prepared to utilize my only option of sneezing into my shoulder. I figured sneezing all over a kitchen where my pack ate was probably the worst thing I could do. But it turns out I didn't need to do either. As I turned my head, I heard quick steps and felt several tissues against my muzzle. “YIHTschxxxfffff!”

Master Richard's voice was quiet but dripped with something like seduction. “Bless you again.”

Slowly, I opened my eyes. He was wiping my nose tenderly for me. Even my former Dom never did that for me when I was sick. I realized I kind of liked the feeling, and I nuzzled into the tissues a little, getting my nose as dry as I could, though I knew that wouldn't last long. “Oh sniff! Thag you, sir. Sniff! Sorry, by dose is all stuffed-ub frub cold. Sniff! You bight dot wadt to get too... ub... close....” Master Richard was so close I could have sneezed on him, if the tissues hadn't been there, of course.

“It's okay,” he said. “I don't mind a little sneezing.” Master Richard leaned against the counter. If his goal was to look suave, he had succeeded. “Do you have a minute to talk? I promise I won't keep you from your tea.”

The mug was still warm in my hand, and I knew there was still some time left before it cooled enough to drink it.

“I want to talk in private, though. Somewhere no one can walk in on us. But just talk. I promise that's all.”

My instincts told me to trust a pack Dom; I'd never had cause to believe Master Richard was anything but kind to subs in his pack. And I respected his desire for privacy; some things you just couldn't say over a breakfast table. There was something needy in his expression, though, that made me think before replying. “All right.” The pack rules made it clear we couldn't meet in either of our bedrooms, but maybe there was another option. “One of the scene rooms? They were cleaned last night, so they should be empty this morning.”

“Yeah,” Master Richard agreed at once. “Sounds good.”

We walked down the hall and through the security door dividing the business and living sides of the building and entered the very first practice room at our end of the hallway, on our right. Master Richard wrinkled his muzzle when we walked in, and even though I couldn't smell anything with all this congestion, I was pretty certain it must smell overwhelmingly like the lemon cleaner we used. The smell would dissipate by the time the room would be needed tonight, but now it was still fresh from its early morning cleaning. Master Richard flicked the light switch by the doorway, and the inset lights around the room glowed dimly.  I would have liked to have sat down on the bench, but that would have meant cleaning it again, and I didn't have the energy for that. So I just stood and sipped my tea while Master Richard did exactly what he'd promised and talked. Just talked.

But he paced as he talked, staring at the floor or his paws in front of him. “The thing is, I have this submissive. He came in wanting a very specific kink of his filled.” He took a deep breath and huffed as he let it out. “He loves when I make him sneeze. He's come back regularly for the past seven or eight months, and during all those sessions, I've made him sneeze in lots of different ways. But a few weeks ago he confessed he'd really like to try a new way. He told me he'd love to catch a sneezy cold from me.”

Was he going where I thought he was going with this? No... surely he couldn't be. Could he?

“Nose... God, your name's so perfect, isn't it? Nose, I want you to do me a favor.” He took a step closer to me and met my gaze this time. Immediately I felt my will start to ebb away. This was a Dom asserting himself, using his power and his instincts and playing on mine as well. He knew what he was doing, and it was dangerous. I felt drawn to him, ready to serve, and I had to force myself to keep my wits about me, dulled as they were by my head cold. I took a few steps back, as though his charm was something I could actually feel if he got too close. “I want you to give me your cold so that I can give it to my sub.”

Even hearing him say it out loud didn't make it sound real to my ears. It was strange, yes, but also had the potential of cruelty. What if that really wasn't the sub's wish? What if Master Richard was just playing some sick, twisted game with him? Or with me?

“So...” Master Richard's voice was lower now. He sounded sultry, irresistible. He sounded like a Dom who couldn't be refused. He probably didn't even realize he was doing it. Being a Dom was as effortless and normal to him as breathing. “What do you say, Nose?”

“I...” He leaned in closer, eyes locked unblinkingly with mine. “I...” I felt panic wash over me, as well as an urge to instantly agree and please him. “I...” I swallowed and closed my eyes. “I think I've guhh gotta sneeze again.” With the mug held in the crook of my arm, I pulled a couple of tissues out of the box. It definitely wouldn't do to sneeze all over this room either. “yeehhhhh... ehhhhh HPTSXXXXshhhh!”

“Bless you, Nose.” Ugh, even the way he said that sounded so hot and commanding. No wonder Howl had such a crush on him.

And that, if you can believe it, was when I finally remembered that bit of gossip from all those months ago. You'd think it would have occurred to me sooner, given all his talk about his sub who loved sneezing. But, no, it wasn't until I thought about Howl that things started to click into place for me. And I knew that I couldn't agree to his request... not just yet at least.

“I deed sub tibe to thidk about it.”

I thought I caught a flash of disappointment in his eyes, but it was brief and the room was dark, so I might have been mistaken. “Well, it's not a no. I guess that's something. I'll need time to contact my sub and have him come in. And colds are the most contagious at the beginning. So don't wait too long, okay?”

“I'll let you dow by two o'clock,” I told him. That wasn't much time, but I thought it would be enough to do what I needed to do. 

I bet you're guessing I was off to see Howl next, right? Well, you'd be wrong. In fact, I went to see Paws. Paws handled most of the first time submissives that Master Richard serviced, so he was the one most likely to remember this one Master Richard was talking about. I was willing to bet it was a unique enough fetish that Paws would remember. 

I drank my tea on the walk through the security door, down the hall, and then back up the stairs to the subs' floor. I kept going over the possibilities in my mind, wondering what I should do. Was this my chance to feel useful in some way, even though I was sick? A Dom genuinely needed something only I could give him. Who was I to refuse him? But at the same time, the request was so strange... and this cold felt so miserable... I just wasn't sure it was a good idea.

I was nearly finished with the tea by the time I passed my bedroom, so I downed the last of it in one big gulp and left the mug inside along with the food I'd stashed in my bathrobe pockets earlier. I thought about changing out of my pajamas but the idea of putting on any of the tight-fitting outfits I normally wore as a sub didn't appeal to me in the least. Besides, I was still hoping to climb back into bed to hide and get some more rest before all this was over.

After knocking on Paws' bedroom door, I received no answer. I pressed an ear to the door, listening closely as I knocked again. This time I heard some rustling and the sound of a mattress spring giving. “Come in!” a groggy and muffled voice called out.

I tried the doorknob and found it unlocked. So I slipped inside to find the lights off and Paws still in bed. I thought for sure I'd been the latest riser this morning, but I guess I'd been wrong. “Good bordig,” I said, being quiet for no good reason apart from not wanting to hear myself talk. It wasn't as though I was trying not to wake someone up; he and I were both awake and it was almost noon. When there was no reply from him, though, I quickly added. “It's Dose,” I said, hating the way my own name sounded when my nose was stuffed-up like it was. I pawed at my nose, snuffling, but there was nothing I could do about it. “I have sobethig to ask you.”

The large mass of wolf hidden entirely under the blankets shifted. Then I paw reached out. “C'mere.”


“If you want to talk, get under the covers with me.”

I hesitated again. “But I'b sick. I've got a cold.”

This didn't dissuade him one bit, though. “All the more reason to get under here where it's warm. C'mon under.”

I really didn't understand the casual attitude some members of this pack seemed to have about germs. But the offer of snuggling under blankets was too good to pass up, and I really did need to talk to him. So I walked over to the bed, lifted the blanket on one side, and climbed in. I was still wearing my bathrobe and still had the tissue box in hand.

It was warm under there, the air a bit stale and the blankets a bit heavy. But immediately I was pulled into a cuddly embrace. Then Paws pet my back slowly. Slowly. S l o w l y.

My body gave a small jerk as I realized I had nearly fallen asleep, and Paws was probably about to as well. “Hey. Hey, stay awake. I deed to ask you ad ibortadt questiod.”  I pulled back a little so I could get a look at his face. It was hard to see anything in the dark room, under the blankets, but I could just make out the flash of teeth in a smile and eyes focusing on me.

“Go ahead then. Ask away.”

I hadn't given all that much thought to the way I should phrase my question. “It's about ode of Baster Richard's subs,” I began. “Ode of his regulars.”

Paws narrowed his eyes. This wasn't getting me anywhere. Master Richard must have any number of regulars.

“Baster Richard told be he has ode who likes to sdeeze. Add so he wadts to catch by cold to he cad get his sub sick. I trust Baster Richard, I do. But it souds so odd... add if the sub isd't actually idto it... well, a head cold isd't forever, but it's dot like a sbadkig where you cad just go hobe add rub sobe creab odd your backside add feel better id the bordig.”

Paws smiled, understanding my problem at once. “You're a good wolf, you know that? Looking after a fellow submissive like this. It's kind of you.” He thought for a moment then nodded decisively. “I don't know much, but I'll tell you what I can...”

“That's all I... I... wahh... ehhhhh!” I hastily tore a couple tissues from the box. “ehhh-Heyehttxxxxffff! All I want.”

“Bless,” Paws said, rubbing his paw up and down my upper arm as I rubbed and wiped at my nose. “So, sometime in late spring or early summer, there was a first time submissive scheduled to see Master Richard. He was a white rabbit and looked so nervous standing there in front of Mrs. J. that I was afraid he might chicken out and run out the door before he even met his Dom. I was on duty that night, so I got him settled and tried to calm him a little. Then I talked with him about the scene he wanted played out. It was definitely a kink I'd never heard of before, but he seemed so eager when he talked about it, his whole face lighting up with excitement. I've rarely seen a sub so eager on his first visit.”

Here, he paused while I took another tissue from the box, knowing I was about to sneeze again. “ehhhhYIHShhxxxxfffff!” I tried to signal to him with my eyes to keep going, but he waited while I sniffled and dabbed at my nose. “Excuse be,” I mumbled. “Go od?”

Paws continued on. “I went to Master Richard to explain what the sub wanted, and he just stood there, confused. 'I don't understand,' I think he said, or something like that. So I went through the whole thing again, trying to phrase it in the context of service so that he would get his role in it all. But he still looked confused when I was done. Knowing that that sweet white rabbit was back at the room naked and waiting for him, I started to lose my patience. 'Look,' I told him. 'It's pretty easy. All you have to do is grab something that will make his little nose tickle and go in there pretending that you want him to sneeze for you. Just keep up that act and force him to sneeze as if it were your idea all along.' He stared at me for another few moments. Then he pet my head appreciatively and headed down the hallway.

“I checked on the two of them a few times, just to make sure things were going all right. The first time, I saw the rabbit restrained on the St. Andrew's cross on the far side of the room, his little nose twitching with sneezes and his dick standing straight at attention. The second time I checked, I saw him all bundled up in a recovery blanket, huddled against Master Richard's chest.

“He can't have hated the experience all that much, because the sub showed up again just a week later. And then he came back a few weeks after that. Master Richard doesn't have a schedule of regulars, because he likes to keep himself open for first timers, but every time this sub comes in, Master Richard practically drops everything to take him. A few times, Master Richard has been occupied with another submissive, and the rabbit leaves instead of seeing another Dom. So there's definitely a trusting relationship between them. Once I looked in on them and Master Richard was rubbing this powdery puffball at the rabbit's twitching nose. Another time, I was on cleaning duty and went into the room after they were done with their scene to find tiny feathers spread all over the room. Took me ages to round them all up, let me tell you.”

I listened to the whole story, taking it all in. So the sub really did like sneezing, then. Or, at least, he was coming back for more of it. And the sub seemed to really like Master Richard as well. But there was still a big difference between this and wanting to be ill.

I thanked Paws and fought the urge to curl up and nap under the covers with him for the rest of the afternoon. But I'd promised Master Richard a reply by two o'clock, and this sub doesn't break his promises to a Dom. That was one of the first things my former master had taught me.

I found Howl in the kitchen, where he almost always was this time of day, cleaning up after lunch. “Can I get you anything?” he asked me the moment I arrived; he's always so eager to please, even toward fellow subs.

“Sobe soub would be lovely,” I told him, rubbing at my nose and thinking of the pastries still back in my bedroom, uneaten. “I did't really eat breakfast.”

“Ohh no. That's no good. You need to eat well if you're going to get healthy. Sit.” He reached over the table, took my arm, and guided me to sit down on the bench. “Give me five minutes to whip something up.” Before I could say anything else, he put a tall glass of bubbling ginger ale in front of me. I sipped it while rubbing at my nose. I felt a little guilty taking from him, knowing I was really here to drop an awkward question on him. But Howl loved feeding his pack, and I really was starving.

“ehhh-YIHshhffffff! Hihshfffff!” I sneezed twice, and Howl glanced at me over his shoulder as he stirred soup at the stove.

“How bad's your cold, pup?”

“Bad,” I replied. “I didn't sleep well... and I feel bad not pulling my weight around here. But Mrs. R said I couldn't work until I felt better.”

“Yeah. That's pretty standard around here. The alphas don't want you getting any of the clients sick, or any of the Doms, for that matter.”

There was a strong thumping of panic in my chest, and for a moment I couldn't breathe. I'd thought about what would happen to Master Richard if I gave him my cold, and I'd thought about what would happen to his submissive client. But I hadn't thought about what would happen to me. Would I get in trouble? Would I be punished? Would I be kicked out of the pack?   

“Soup, sandwich, and apple slices,” Howl declared, setting a bowl and a large plate in front of me.

I hadn't asked for all this but I absolutely wanted it now that I saw it. Hot, steaming soup. Crunchy bread with grill marks on it and oozing, melty insides. Crisp, juicy apple. All my worries were shoved aside to make way for gratitude. “You're fadtastic, Howl.”

Howl smiled proudly and settled on the bench seat across the table from me. “I've got another kettle going as well, if you want some hot tea when you're done with your meal. You're the one who likes that lemon ginger stuff, right?”

“Exactly right.” Howl wasn't just fantastic. He was magical. Hell, he was psychic. Being observant and detail-oriented served a sub well in life. What Dom didn't appreciate a sub knowing what he wanted before he knew it himself? I just hoped I could take advantage of that skill again.

“Good?” Howl asked. “I can heat it up again if it's getting cold.”

“It's berfect.” I slurped spoonful after spoonful of soup and took a healthy bite of the sandwich. I knew my cold was numbing my taste buds a little, but the food still tasted delicious. “Thag you.”

“It's my pleasure!” He beamed with pride. “Anything else I can help you with? You've got enough tissues, I see.”

I nodded and decided to not mention that Master Richard had been the one to give me the tissue box. “Actually... there is sobethig I wadt to ask, sobethig I thig odly you cad adswer.” He nodded, waiting. “It's about Baster Richard.”

His ears twitched.

“Add about sdeezig.”

His ears went flat back against his head. “I...”

“Wait. Just listed, all right? This bordig, Baster Richard cabe to be because he wadts to catch by cold frob be. He wadts to give his sub this cold add bake hib sdeeze. This seebs like a roudabout way of gettig his sub to sdeeze. So by question is: why does't he just use be to get his sub sick? Why does he wadt to sdeeze too?”

I knew at once that Howl had an answer. I could tell it in the way he whimpered and wouldn't look at me. I could tell it in the way he chewed his tongue and shifted where he sat. He knew the answer... but he didn't want to tell me. And I don't think it was all just because he didn't want to betray a Dom in the pack. I think it was because this was about Master Richard.

“Howl, I'b dot after Baster Richard, if that's what you're worried about. I'b dot lookidg for ady Dob.” Wolves don't mate for life. They tend to be faithful when mated, but when a mate passes away, it's natural for them to seek out another one. I wasn't ready to do that. I wasn't sure I'd ever be ready frankly. My Dom had been my whole world, and even though I'd found a pack and a home and a new world now that he was gone, I wasn't interested in replacing him. That was one of the reasons the pack life had been so appealing. Pack Doms and subs weren't allowed to have mates. “I just wadt to uderstad what he's askidg of be add why. That's odly fair. Add I thought, of all the subs here, you brobably dow hib best.”

When I finished this time, it only took him a beat to chime in, “He's not mine. Master Richard, I mean. The pack's rules...”

“I dow,” I reassured him just as quickly. “I didn't bead it like that. Of course you follow the rules. I just dow that you're brotective of hib. So I wadted to bake sure you uderstood this is sobethidg he asked for. I would't get hib sick on burbose. Id fact, I feel weird edough doig it even after he asked me. I was taught to keeb by gerbs to byself whed I'b ill. Add that's why I'b here. To see if you cad helb be figure out what I should do. Because you dow Baster Richard best. Add, as subs, we both wadt to helb hib.”
I sighed and rubbed at my muzzle with a tissue. “ehhh-IHShxxfffffff! Snrfff! Snrffff! Oh, I soud awful. Cad you eved uderstad be like this?”

Howl nodded. “It's not so bad. It's kind of cute, actually.” Seriously, what was with this pack? He looked down at the table, though. “I am protective of Master Richard. If he asked me for something like this, I'd do it in an instant. But I understand your hesitation, because you don't know...”

“I dod't dow what?”

He chewed his tongue again, the tip sticking out of his mouth as he did so. Finally, he answered. “You can't tell anyone.”

“I would't dare.”

“On your honor as a sub?”

“Od...” This seemed a terrible time to need to sneeze. I scrubbed my paw at my nose so hard the tickly, sneezy feeling backed off. I sniffed and tried again. “Od by hodor as a sub.”

This seemed to satisfy Howl. “I've heard him in his room, alone, late at night, sneezing repeatedly. I've heard him sneeze and I've heard him moan with pleasure at the same time. And maybe that doesn't necessarily add up. But he's come right out and told me. He's said it makes him so hot and so hard he just has to jerk off. He likes it, Nose. He really, really likes it. And as much as he probably wants to be the one to give his sub the cold... he probably also just wants a chance to enjoy his own sneezing.”

I honestly wasn't sure if this made the situation better or worse. It was reassuring to hear. It made it all make sense. And, coming from Howl, it seemed like the truth. It was good to know catching my cold wouldn't make him miserable. But, at the same time, this meant he was asking a pack submissive to do something that excited him sexually. There were rules... there were hard lines drawn to separate pack Doms and pack subs for a reason. The club couldn't function financially as an all-in wolf pleasure orgy. We needed to be here for our clients, not for each other. But, at the same time, we were a pack. We cared about each other. We looked after each other. We protected each other. We were family.

“Will you tell Master Richard how helpful I was?” Howl asked quickly but with hope in his voice. His tail thumped against the bench.

“Would't that reveal to hib that you told be his secret?”

Howl's eyes widened. “You're right. Don't do that! But... maybe... say something nice about me?”

With my last spoonful of soup, I smiled at him. “I have dothig but dice thigs to say about you, Howl.”

He ducked his head submissively to accept the praise, and he was all smiles.

There wasn't much time before my self-imposed deadline. So I headed back to my room to think things through alone, and to blow my nose as well. The warmth of the soup and my attempts to breathe through my nose a little while eating with my mouth shut had made it run so terribly it took almost a quarter of the box of tissues to get it back to its normal, stuffed-up state again.

I flopped down onto my bed, letting my head sink into the pillow. I lay on my side, tissue box hugged to my chest, so right in front of me was a view of my nightstand. On it, turned toward the bed, was a framed photo of my former Dom, Lewis. I reached out and ran my paw lightly over the glass, as though anything more would disturb him. “What should I do, Sir?”

What would he have me do? First, he would want me safe and happy. He wouldn't want me to do anything that might jeopardize the life I'd started to rebuild for myself after losing him. Second, he would want me to do my job here as best I could. And here at the club, my job was to serve the clients and facilitate good BDSM experiences. And third.. third, he would want me to respect a request given to me by a Dom, as long as it didn't hurt me. If I treated all the Doms at the club with the same respect as if they were mine, it would have pleased Lewis. My submission was a gift, and it was my place to give it when it was deserved.

But it was also my choice about how and who to give it to.

“ehhh-YIHShhooooo!” Just like this cold was.

I felt a sense of peace wash over me that came with finally making a decision. I basked in it for a minute or two, making sure it was what I wanted, then I picked up the phone and called Master Richard.


We met back in the scene room where we'd talked that morning. There was a certain synchronicity in that which I liked. Besides, there weren't many other private places for us to meet up. I brought my box of tissues with me, because my nose was still tickling and running, and I still hadn't changed out of my pajamas and bathrobe; Master Richard had already seen me looking so stunning today, after all.

“Hey, pup,” he greeted me. But he kept his distance to be respectful and just in case my answer was no.   He leaned casually against a wall, head tilted. He had to know how sexy he looked like that. “How are you feeling?”

He got points for that as well. He could have walked in and immediately asked what my decision was. But he was being kind and empathetic. Maybe it was the protective part of him coming out.

“Doe better,” I replied. “I dod't thig it'll be hard for you to catch this frob be.”

Understanding registered in his expression immediately. He straightened and his ears perked right up. “Really?”

I held up a hand, signaling for him to stay where he was and to slow the heck down. “But I have two coditiods.”

Master Richard paused. “Two conditions?”

I nodded. He'd heard right.

“What are they?”

“First... oh... hold od...” I grabbed a tissue at once. “yehhh... ehh-IHShhxxxffff!” My body tried to curl up around the sneeze, even though I was standing. My shoulders rolled forward, my head snapped forward, and my knees bent.

“Bless you,” he said softly. And it made me wonder if he blessed his sub during one of their scenes. It seemed to come so easy to him, like a knee-jerk reaction.

“Sniff! Thadgs. Sniff! As I was sayig, by first coditiod is that you take resbodsibility for this.” He looked confused. “If the Alphas get adgry at be for gettig ode of their Dobs sick so he cad't work for a few days, if the Alphas get so adgry at be they codsider kickig be out of the back, thed I wadt you to stad ub for be add exblaid it.”

He whistled, impressed. “When you said you had to think about this, I understood. But you really did think this through thoroughly, didn't you?”

I nodded, sniffing into another tissue. There was a tickle there, and I really didn't want to sneeze again so soon. So I rubbed hard at my nose. Then I rubbed some more, but to no avail. “ehhh-Yihshxxxxxffffff!”

“Bless you. And, sure, of course I agree to this. It was my idea. It's my fault entirely if I get sick and can't work, apart from meeting with a certain submissive. The Alphas won't call me on it. It's cold and flu season. We're bound to get sick from time to time. But, if the Alphas get angry, I'll take complete responsibility. I'll even put my promise in writing, if you want.”

I smiled. “I dod't thidk that will be decessary.”

“So that's one. What's your second condition then?”

“That I get to talk with your sub to be sure this is what he wadts. I trust you,” I added quickly. “Add I resbect you. I have doe reasod to believe you haved't beed truthful. But by resbodsibility here at the club is to look after our cliedts. I deed to hear frob hib that he actually wadts to get sick.”

Master Richard smiled. “You are incredible. D'you know that? Of course you can meet with him and get his consent first. I appreciate that you want to protect him. That's... that's exactly what you should do. But I know what he's going to say. This was his idea in the first place.” He took out his cell phone. I watched and listened carefully. “Hello? Hi, it's me. I know you were planning on coming in Friday night, but are you free tonight instead?” A pause. “Excellent. I've got a treat for you tonight and someone for you to meet.” Another pause. “I'll see you at eight-thirty then. I can't wait.” He hung up and slipped his phone back into his pocket.

“Do you have all your regulars' phode dubbers?”

He shook his head. “No. Nathaniel's the only one. Nathaniel's... well, he's special to me.”

“I guess he'd have to be if you're willig to cobe dowd with a cold for hib.” There was a little spark in his eye and I knew he was thinking that this wasn't just for his submissive; this was something he was going to enjoy as well. But he didn't say anything so neither did I. We were all entitled to our secrets here.

“Nathaniel will be here at eight-thirty,” he said, back to business. “I was planning on giving him a bit of attention and then bringing you in as a reward. You and he can have a chat right away before we start the scene. If you are satisfied he consents, you help me catch that cold in your nose while he watches. Does that sound all right to you?”

I nodded. That gave me time to have a decent nap, assuming the sneezes left me alone for long enough for me to fall asleep, and maybe even another bite to eat.

Not a ton of actual sneezing in this story, but a lot of thinking/talking about it.

Title: Fantasies (Wolf Pack BDSM Club #2)
Author: tarotgal
Rating: R
Pairing: Wolf/Self (Male), Various Others (Male/Male)

Richard stood in the shower, letting the lukewarm water rain down upon him, soaking into his fur. Most wolves liked hot showers, no matter what the circumstance, but Richard preferred his to be only a few degrees above cool. Normally, he ran hot, so this way it not only cleaned but also calmed and soothed his body. And he definitely needed soothing tonight after what he'd been through. If he'd stayed in that scene much longer with that sub, he was fairly certain that he would have come all over the bunny rabbit he'd been with. And while that would have been kind of hot, it wouldn't have been at all professional. Imagine a Dom losing control in the middle of a scene? He'd be laughed right out of the pack. So he let the water rush down his body and subdue his erection before the others saw it.

There were five of them in the communal shower at the moment. The club had been busy lately; the services of the wolf pack were in high demand. Richard loved the feeling of being needed like this, all those subs hungry for someone to take them down coming to the pack to have their needs met. He loved breaking in a new sub, figuring out whether to guide him along with a collar and gentle lead or to teach him obedience with a flat palm to the ass before building him back up again. Every sub was a new adventure. Every sub was a challenge. But tonight's sub had been... something else altogether.

He kept going through it in his mind. The utter helplessness that sub felt just from something as simple as Richard's feather. The congestion in his voice, though he still said 'thag you, sir' every time Richard made it worse. The way a sneeze ripped right through his furry body, shaking him, taking him over, yet making his cock rise. The way he'd sneezed so much and felt so good, he'd sneezed himself right into the ultimate mindset a sub could have. Richard wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen it. But what he'd seen had been thrilling.

Reaching forward, Richard turned the shower's temperature from lukewarm to squarely in the cool category. And then, when that didn't work, he grit his teeth and turned it all the way to cold. Shivering, he felt his urges die down finally, completely. He just hoped that they would stay that way long enough for him to get to his bedroom. Maybe if he didn't think about what he'd done tonight with the rabbit, he'd manage to make it through without his cock springing to attention again.

After turning off the water and giving a good shake, Richard grabbed his towel and headed out of the shower, toward the row of open lockers. He was shivering even more now, the cold water replaced with a cold room temperature. He was tempted to hop back into the shower and turn it warm just long enough to stop shivering, but it would be easier to just hurry up and get changed.

By the time he reached his locker and was pulling clothing out to put on, several of his wolf pack brothers had finished their showers as well and were on their ways over to do likewise. Normally, Richard loved this part of the night. He loved talking about their experiences. Sometimes someone would share something so hot he knew just by his packmates' faces that they'd all be going back to their rooms and jerking off to the image of it. And sometimes someone would share something so sweet he'd go back to his room and just lie there, wishing he could have been the one with that experience. There was nothing like being with a genuinely submissive man who just knew instinctively what to do and how to please you. That was the sort of heady pleasure a Dom loved... and that was what he'd had so unexpectedly presented to him tonight.

And tonight Richard just wanted to head off to bed right away. He didn't want to talk about what he'd done with the rabbit or what it had meant to him. Not only was there the risk of a visible erection, but the others would probably laugh and make fun of something so strange that Richard had found to be so hot and erotic. So Richard tried to dress quickly so he could make a quick retreat.

“Oh my God, boys, you will not believe what happened with the sub I had tonight!” Derek said, lying down on the bench in the middle of the room. He stretched out on his back, tail wet and dripping still from the shower, paws under his head, eyes staring up at the ceiling dreamily, dick stirring with arousal.

“Spill it,” said Andy, his words muffled by the towel he was rubbing all over his head to dry it. When he finished drying off, he threw the towel at Derek and it landed across his middle. It didn't take more than a few seconds for the erection to rise more firmly underneath the towel. “I could use a good story after what I went through tonight.”

“Okay,” Leon said, emerging from the showers himself, trailing drips across the tile floor behind him. “Now I want to hear both your stories, but Derek goes first.”

Derek grinned. He loved being the center of attention. Most Doms did, of course. There was nothing like a good scene to boost to inflate an already big ego even more. “Okay, so I had a submissive tonight who was a hairless cat.”

“Ew!” Andy made a face. “All that wrinkled skin? Do you find that attractive?”

“Not normally I don't,” Derek said, winking down at his erection. “But I'm a professional. A job's a job. A sub's a sub. He had a handsome face, too, with a dark black nose and bright eyes. Whiskers for days. But the biggest ears I've ever seen on a cat. I mean, I thought the guy might have been have fennec fox in disguise or something!” He laughed. “Anyway, in the scene we were playing, he kept crossing me at every turn. I'd tell him to lick my boots, and he'd just start washing himself, blasé and happy as you please. I'd instruct him to lie down on his back so I could work on his tummy, and he would stretch and arch his back and curl up on the floor with his tail wrapped around his body. Every time I gave him an order, he would immediately disobey it. I knew what he was up to, but was kind of infuriating, actually. And the guy seemed to love watching me lose my cool. He kept pushing every limit and pressing every one of my buttons until I just snapped. I grabbed him, laid him across my lap, and gave his ass a firm whack with the flat of my paw to show him who was in charge.

“He gave this ear-splitting yowl and then went limp against me. Of course, that's what he'd been after the whole time. I could feel his need just then to be controlled, to be reprimanded. You know when you get a sub who's just dripping with the need to be shown his place?” Every wolf in the room nodded. Richard's paw twitched, knowing that feeling all too well and knowing what was going to happen in the story. He loved when a sub really wanted to be taken down.

“So I delivered to him the spanking of his lifetime. Every hit was careful and planned—not too much in one area, working around the tail, not too far down the haunches. The cat continued to yowl, softer than before, continuous, voicing his protest. You know how mouthy some cats can be.” They all nodded again. “So I kept spanking until he went silent. And that's when I noticed it.”

“What?” asked William, emerging from the showers now, pausing to shake the water off naturally, rather than using a towel. “What did you notice?”

Derek explained, “There was a flush everywhere my paw had hit. His whole backside was this lovely light red color. Without fur to cover it up, I could actually see pawmarks I'd made. It was warm to the touch, too. It was a thing of beauty. A masterpiece.”

From the look of that tented towel, Derek thought it was more than just beautiful. And Richard had to admit to himself that picture of a red ass was pretty delicious. Not quite the treat that he'd had in his scene tonight, but certainly something hot just the same.

Derek's paw reached down, toying a little at the towel as if he wanted to sneak right under there and give himself some release in front of all of them. It wouldn't have been the first time. But then his paws were back under his head again, elbows bent on either side. “Boys, I am telling you: you haven't lived until you've given a hairless cat's ass a good spanking. I highly recommend it. It's totally bucket list worthy.”

Grinning, Leon turned to Andy, arms crossed over his chest. “Your turn.”

But Andy shook hid head. “It's nothing, really.”

Which meant it was most definitely something.

Leon's grin widened. “Well, if it's nothing, it should be a quick and easy story to tell. Go on.”

Resignedly, Andy leaned back against his locker, as if it might swallow him up and allow him to avoid this. Knowing all too well what it felt like to have an experience he didn't want to share, Richard didn't press him, but he didn't bail his pack mate out either. Drawing attention to himself would be the worst thing he could do just now, so he kept quiet. Besides, he was a little curious.

Andy plucked at his sleeveless undershirt, black against his gray fur, in complete contrast to his white boxer shorts. “Okay,” he started, reluctant but ready. He had to have known telling this story was inevitable. “There were these twin geese...”

“Oh God,” Leon said, throwing a paw up in the air. “Already you've got the best opening to a story ever. Twins?” Plenty of animals had twin brothers and sisters; larger litters weren't uncommon either. But for two brothers to not only both be gay but also both have an interest in BDSM and identify as submissives... well, that was something unusual and unique to be sure. In all his years at the club, Richard had never seen that. “Please do go on.”

Andy sighed but continued his story. “I had a long discussion with them about what they wanted. Then we began the scene. Everything was going well. I had beak clamps on both of them and I was working them over with a riding crop, just teasing one and then moving to the other. From their reactions, I couldn't tell which they liked better: the physical sensation of the leather tickling lightly against their feathers or the denial of touch when I moved from one sub to work on the other. They were both rocking and humming, and I didn't want to push them too far, of course. It was my first time with them and I didn't know their tells and signals yet. We'd worked out a visual cue, as they couldn't safe word out of the scene, so I kept an eye out for that.

“I kept working on them, going back and forth. And I think I was doing a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. They were enjoying it. But then one of the geese liked it a little too much. He stiffened up and shook his wings, and I thought for a moment he was going to come. I pulled back immediately, not wanting to push the goose that far. But he wasn't coming. He was laying an egg.”

“What?!” Derek and Leon both exclaimed, shocked.

“Turns out, they weren't brothers. They were brother and sister.”

Everyone howled with laughter, even Richard, allowing himself to relax a little. He still wanted to make his escape as soon as possible, without arousing suspicion, so that no one would ask him about his night. But he loved this time together with his pack, listening to stories, being close.

“Honestly, I think we're going to need better help at the front desk,” Andy said, laughing.

“Oh, you bite your tongue!” William said with a slight slap to Andy's muzzle. “Mrs. J is the best! Besides, it's not like you noticed either, and you had them with their clothes off, didn't you?”

Andy nodded. “Yeah, but they were still covered in feathers!”

Everyone laughed again, but Richard found his mind wandering at the mention of feathers. His mind flashed back to his own time with a feather tonight. The way his sub's nose had twitched wildly from his expert tickling. The way his sub had sneezed and sneezed, pulling tight at his bonds but unable to break free, unable to rub at his nose... that had been unbelievably hot. And it was all due to to one feather and Richard's instincts as a Dom.

“I think Richard's got a story to tell,” came Leon's playful tone. “Look at that faraway look in his eyes.”

“He had a good one tonight!” William agreed with a bark. “Share?” William assumed the role of a Dom in the club most nights, but really he was a switch. And when he looked at you with those pretty, pleading eyes, it was hard for any Dom to resist him.

But this was private. This had made him feel something he didn't usually feel. He felt like going straight to his room and jerking off. All that excitement and pressure were building in him. If he didn't take care of himself soon, he was going to explode. And that made him think of all those sneezes exploding out of that rabbit tonight. So uncontrollable. So helpless. So erotic.

“Oh, now you've definitely got to share!” Leon poked him in the side.

Richard felt warmth fill his face and race down his body. His pack just wouldn't understand how hot it had been. He didn't think he could stand them laughing at what had been such a good experience.

But maybe there was some middle ground. “I had a first time sub.”

“Like usual,” said Derek. “Go on.”

“He was here to play out a fetish I'd never heard of before,” he told his packmates. He'd been nervous about that, but he didn't admit that to his packmates. “This rabbit was a born submissive. He took to it naturally, wanting to please me and prove to me he could take whatever I dished out. So we played using his fetish and he got so worked up he...”

“Laid an egg?” Andy suggested.

“Came?” William asked.

“Slipped into subspace,” Richard finished.

“No!” He'd gotten Leon's attention now. “His first time out?”

“Yep. It was a thing of beauty. As soon as he got there, I stopped paying with him. I kept reassuring him that he was all right and he just beamed at me blissfully. I helped him down off the apparatus and wrapped him up tight in my arms until he came out of it on his own. He was so close to slipping back in, I had to keep talking to him to keep him engaged in the world and what was going on.”

“You gonna see him again?” asked Derek.

“I hope so. I'd love to see if I could get him to that point again or if that was just beginner's luck.” This wasn't poker or bowling though. There wasn't that much luck involved. This was about dynamics and play and sexuality and things so innate and personal there weren't even words to describe them.

Leon looked a little jealous, like he'd be happy to jump in and snatch the sub up from underneath him. “So what was the rabbit's fetish? You never said.” 

“No, I didn't,” Richard said, smiling. “Goodnight, fellas.” With that, he sauntered out of the room. Down the hallway, he could still hear them howling and barking out his name, calling him back. But Richard made his escape, climbing up the two flights of stairs to the top floor where all the tops' bedrooms were. He ducked into his room and immediately locked the door after himself.

He grabbed a beer and a sandwich from his minifridge, crashing onto his bed so hard he bounced for a few seconds. He knew if he didn't snack on something now, he'd regret it later, but his erection was hard to deny. He unbuckled his belt and unzipped his jeans to give himself some freedom. He wolfed down the sandwich in five bites, but he took his time with the beer.

He stroked his dick through his underwear, remembering the sneezy look on his sub's face. It wasn't something he'd ever thought could be remotely sexy, but the rabbit had acted as though it were the most wonderful sensation he'd ever felt. The overwhelming mix of desperation and pleasure had been enough to push him over the edge. And while Richard wasn't interested in being in subspace, he was interested in knowing how good it must have felt. He was aroused. And he was curious.

Richard set the nearly empty bottle of beer down on the nightstand and raised his paw, sharp claws at the ready. He slid his paw under the pillowcase and took a few swipes at the pillow beneath. Once it was opened, he pulled out a little of the insides. The feathers in his pillow weren't the long kind he used when playing with subs. They were just a white mess, with nothing to hold onto on one end and no strong point to tickle with on the other. But they were exceedingly soft and fluffy against his pads, and he had a feeling they would still be useful.

He grabbed his beer for another sip and then shoved his jeans down to his ankles. With one paw at his crotch and the other flat out with the feathers, he took a deep breath in and out. He was ready. His body throbbed with curiosity and anticipation. Then he buried his muzzle in the fluffy feathers and nuzzled them, inhaling deeply through his nose.

Immediately, his nostrils flared as the feathery fluff tickled his nose. He felt the tiny little things on the outside and just inside his nose as well, tickling, fluttering, teasing. He took a sharp breath in through his nose and a few of the smaller pieces went in deeper where they weren't supposed to be.

His nose began to run and his eyes began to water from the irritation. His breath hitched and eyes closed. A great shudder tore through his whole body, and he stroked at his dick the whole while. “uhhhhh... uh-huhhhhhhhhhh!” His body jumped and trembled in place, and he was compelled to sit up and lean forward, his paw cupped to his nose to keep the feathers there, tickling, even though tingles running down his arm tried to tell him to pull them away or he might sneeze.

Oh, but he felt like he needed to sneeze so badly now! He fought his instincts telling him to get rid of the irritant. He nuzzled more into them and breathed them against his twitching nostrils. “Uhhhhh!” He rocked forward, trying to ease the sneeze out. His tongue lolled loosely out of his mouth as he panted. “Huhhhh! Uhhhhhh! UHHHH!” He felt the ticklish feeling magnify and take hold. “UHHHHHHH! UH HUH HUHHH-IHHPTTSHXXXTTTTTTT!” He sneezed, spraying into his paw.

His eager dick pulsed and jumped in his hand as the sneeze struck, bringing with it a wave of relief so great he smiled as he sighed. Precome leaked from his dick, so he spread it around the head and the knot that was starting to form. Spreading the slickness around made him want to go ahead and thrust into his fist, but he didn't want to jump to that part yet. He still had more sneezing he wanted to do.

Getting a sneeze out, when his nose felt so terribly ticklish, really had felt so good. He thought he understood why the rabbit might have liked it so much. But it left him with a paw full of soggy feathers and a sniffle in his nose. Tissues. He had to have tissues in here somewhere. Making a fist with his wet paw and pressing it to his muzzle in case his nose dripped, he started a search. Usually he kept a box on his nightstand, but the only things on it right now was the plate his sandwich had been on, his alarm clock, and a collection of empty beer bottles. Sometimes a box got lost in his bed. He liked to swirl blankets and pillows around each night before he slept, so sometimes a tissue box got caught up in the mix. He felt around with his good hand, checking under pillows and shaking out parts of blankets. But there were no tissues. Finally, it occurred to him to check his nightstand drawers for the extra box he usually had stashed there next to the rest of his supplies—batteries, a bottle of lube, a couple dildos, a butt plug, and his favorite porn mags.

Sure enough, there was an unopened tissue box. So he ripped off the cardboard top and pulled out a few tissues. He wiped his hand and collected the feathers into the tissue before tossing the whole wad at the trash can by his bedroom door. Then he took out another tissue and wiped his nose with it. He hadn't done this with the rabbit until the end, really. He hadn't wanted to risk doing anything that might make that adorable pink nose stop tickling. But now Richard wondered how miserable and full that poor nose must have felt, all wet and tickly and runny without a tissue during so much of their session. He felt his dick leaking again, throbbing with need.

He tried to ignore it, knowing that he was already so worked up that even a little bit of rubbing would probably be enough to make him come. He glanced over at the clock on his nightstand, but he couldn't remember what time it had been when he'd started doing this. Not that it mattered. He'd been working up to this since halfway through his session with that sub anyway.

His gaze dropped down to the still open drawer, and he eyed the porn magazines. He didn't definitely need them... but suddenly he wanted them. He grabbed the top one, a publication about rebellious submissives, and started flipping through it. Picture after picture of subs waiting to be put in their place looked up at him with fire and need in their eyes. And he couldn't help but wonder for the first time what it would be like to take a feather to their noses. He'd tease the squished little nose of that Persian cat until its whole body shook with cough-like sneezes. Or he'd be all over the huge nose of that hippo, the feather so small in comparison that it would slip easily inside and tickle so mercilessly that he'd sneeze and sneeze and sneeze without stopping. Maybe Richard would even be able to fit a finger or two in such a large nose, tickling the sensitive insides with his furry paws. Or maybe he'd sink into a hot tub with that alligator, the water mixed with pepper so it would come up sneezing helplessly, needing to be held tight in Richard's arms. Or he'd tickle the end of that elephant's trunk, a handful of fluffy white feathers against the pink, holding them there until the elephant's trunk started to wrinkle and tremble, until he had to cradle it against his chest to contain the powerfully strong sneeze that would come out. Richard went from page to page, imagining all sorts of ways to make them all sneeze, to make them all helpless before him, to force them all to submit to him.

As his imagination ran away with him, he couldn't resist any longer. He kicked off the remainder of his clothes, lay back on a pile of pillows, legs spread, his favorite position for jerking off. He rubbed his balls, massaging a little with the pads of his paw. Then he took his dick in his paw and started stroking. The sensation felt fantastic, like little bits of energy pulsating in his needy dick and up throughout his body. With this other hand, he grabbed for the pillow he'd mutilated earlier. He pulled it to his chest then lifted it higher, ripping it open a little more. His stroking quickened with anticipation. He was sure he now knew why the rabbit had liked this so much. Just knowing you were going to be helplessly sneezing in a moment was an intoxicating feeling, and Richard wasn't even the type who liked being out of control. He liked being the controller. But there was something about forcing this on himself that pushed all his buttons in a way he'd never expected. So he took a deep breath in and then out again before sticking his muzzle into the opening.

At once, his nose was assaulted by tiny feathers. They tickled from all directions, a few getting into his nose when he breathed in but most fluttering against his nose from the outside. It was all too much for him. His eyes fluttered closed and his chest rose and fell with mighty, building gasps. “Uhhhh uhhhhhh huhhhhhhhh UHHHH-TCHOOO! HUHH HUHH-SHOO! HEHPTCHHOOO! UHHH-HIHSHOOOO!”  He pulled his nose out, feeling it dripping and twitching, and he swapped the pillow for a few tissues. But there were still some feathers stuck in his nose, and the cool air of his bedroom sent his tickling nose straight into another fit. “UHHHH-HIHSHHHH! UHHHHTChooo! HEPTTSCHOOOO! Uhhh uhhhhhhh UHHHHHHH....” He wavered, feeling so close—so close all over. His eyes were closed as he pressed the tissues to his nose. They felt wet in his paw. Wet like... oh God... here it came!

“IHH HUHHHH HUHSHHXXXXXTTTT!” He sneezed into what remained of the tissues. His knot throbbed in his fist. His hips bucked upward so violently and involuntarily he almost lost hold of his dick. Copious amounts of come shot from his dick to splatter his bed and his belly. “HUHSHoooo!” He sneezed again, his body jerking even as his dick kept shooting his load. This was what he'd been after all night, and he was determined to enjoy every second of the sensation. He turned his face to the side and groaned happily into his pillow, the image of the rabbit springing into his mind as his release concluded.

Finally, his hands let go and arms went slack. His panting slowed. He felt so tired he almost didn't want to open his eyes, but he knew he must. Exhausted, Richard still managed to gather enough energy to reach down and wipe off with the same tissues he'd been using to wipe his nose. Then he swirled his blankets around, making a nest out of them on the mattress. On his hands and knees, he turned around in a circle in the middle and then decided the best place to lay his head and collapse into comfort. He was asleep in seconds, and he snored all night long.


When Richard arrived at breakfast the next morning, a steaming cup of tea was thrust at him. Not known to be a morning wolf, he took a sip, thinking it was coffee, and made a face when he was surprised by the fact that it wasn't. “What's this?” he asked, his voice low, husky.

One of the prep subs in the pack, Howl, smiled sheepishly at him as he returned to the stove to check on the state of the bacon and eggs. “I heard you sneezing a lot last night. I figured you must be coming down with something. Tea's the best thing for that.” He quickly gestured to the coffee pot. “But I do have coffee ready, of course, if you want it instead.”

Richard smiled and shook his head. He took another sip of tea. Now that he knew what to expect, he took another sip of the tea. It wasn't half bad, actually. “I'll be fine with this,” he said, noticing how rough and thick with congestion his voice was. He had fallen asleep last night without clearing his nose after all those sneezes; no wonder he sounded stuffed-up now. And his nose did feel tender to the touch. He'd given it quite the workout. And he bet that bunny's cute little nose was feeling exactly the same right now. That thrilled him a little bit to think about. He loved the idea of subs carrying his marks the next day, reminding them constantly of what he'd done to them.

“Did you have any good subs last night?” Howl asked, coming to sit on the other side of the long wooden table, opposite Richard.

Richard held the tea to his lips, breathing in the steam that seemed to loosen his congestion a bit. He sniffed and rubbed his sleeve across his nose. Then he sniffed again and nodded. “Yeah. I had a pretty special one I'm not going to forget any time soon”

Howl got a dreamy look in his eyes. Pack members did not fraternize sexually; not mixing business with pleasure was pack rule number one. But that didn't mean they couldn't fantasize a little from time to time. And Richard had always thought Howl might have a little crush on him. It was hard to tell, though, because of the sub's drive to please. Maybe he was like this with all the Doms.

Richard looked around, his ears twitching, wanting to make sure he and Howl were alone. He dropped his voice to a whisper, just in case. “To tell you the truth, he was so special it turned me on. I could barely contain myself. And when I got back to my room, I had to jerk off at once.”

Howl ducked his head and shifted in his seat, looking embarrassed and shy about finding that statement so hot. “Did... did you think of the sub when you touched yourself?”

“Oh, did I ever! But my mind's usually all over the place when I take myself in hand. Whatever gets me there, you know?”

Howl bounced in his seat excitedly. “And what...” He stopped himself, clapping a hand over his muzzle, wearing a horrified expression on his face. “I'm sorry,” he whispered. “I shouldn't be asking personal questions like these. Please forgive me?”

Flashing his teeth with a grin, Richard replied, “I'm the one sharing too much. Not to worry.” He drank some more tea. It felt soothing against his throat and warm in his belly. His body tingled. Maybe too much. Richard grabbed a plate and loaded up on proteins and carbs from the spread on the table. With the plate in one hand and the rest of the tea in the other, Richard rose from the table. He usually ate breakfast with whatever pack members were awake,  loving the sense of family they had here at the club, but he was feeling kind of horny again after just this brief discussion, and he longed for the privacy of his room. He just hoped he could keep the feathers from the pillow he'd ripped open out of his food and mug. “Thanks for the breakfast, Howl. I appreciate it.” He stood, meaning to go, but he hesitated a moment. “Hey, I'm kind of curious, though. How'd you hear my sneezes last night?”

The bedrooms belonging to pack submissives were on a different floor of the building entirely. Had his sneezes been so loud they could be heard all the way downstairs?

Howl looked embarrassed again. He looked down at his toast, slathered in jam. “I was doing a load of laundry and was passing by. I...” he trailed off, not certain he wanted to admit this.

“What? I won't be mad, pup.”

“I didn't have my ear to your door, I swear it. But I might have... stood outside for a few minutes, listening. You were sneezing a lot. I thought you must be coming down with something. I was worried about you and wondering if I should knock and ask if you needed anything. When I heard you, um, moan a little, I decided I shouldn't intrude.”

Richard smiled warmly, trying to put him at ease. “Aw, thanks, Howl. You're sweet. And I'm okay, really. Just had something stuck in my nose.” Because I shoved it up there myself so I would sneeze my head off on purpose, he thought but certainly didn't say out loud.

“Oh, okay.” Howl nodded. “If you ever need help with something like that again, let me know. I'd be happy to... um... help you.”

Raising the plate a little higher and then raising the mug as well, Richard nodded. “You already help a lot. Thanks for breakfast.”

Howl looked a little let down, maybe a little defeated, maybe a little lonely. Poor pup.

But Richard's erection was back in full force and he really needed to rub one out. “Hey... last night after you listened to me a little... did you...” he trialed off. This wasn't at all appropriate to ask. Howl might have been a sub, but he wasn't Richard's sub. “Never mind.” He turned to leave.

“I did,” Howl whispered. Then he ducked his head, ears flat back, and busied himself straightening the serving plates of food on the table.

Richard took his leave, hurrying back to his room. The idea of touching himself while sneezing and thinking about the massive sneezing fits that submissive rabbit had had from Master Richard's techniques had turned him on immensely. But the idea of a submissive listening to him sneeze and moan with pleasure then jerking off to the memory of those sounds was even hotter. Richard groaned to himself and quickened his pace. It wouldn't do to go off in his jeans in the middle of the hallway with his breakfast in hand and the pepper shaker he swiped from the table under his arm. 

I've been working on this one for a while. Feels good to finally finish it.

Title: First Time (Wolf Pack BDSM Club #1)
Author: tarotgal
Rating: R
Pairing: Wolf/Rabbit (Male/Male)

Nathaniel wrung his paws and rocked back and forth on his large feet. He could turn back now and be no worse off. He could return home to his apartment, grab a bucket of carrots, and chill out in front of the television. He could turn up the volume to drown out the sound of his roommate and his roommate’s girlfriend going at it like the couple of rabbits they were. He could turn in early and wake up refreshed in the morning. Or he could take just one exciting hop forward and find his life possibly changed forever.

With a deep breath that puffed out his chest, he held his head high and marched right through the door. At the end of a short hallway was a desk with an elderly wolf sitting behind it, two knitting needles busily clacking together in her hands. Nathaniel approached the desk, putting all his energy into looking confident, so much so that he completely forgot how to move his mouth and speak when he got to the desk.

“How can I help you, Suga?” The wolf said, her speech slow and drawn out in the thickest Louisiana accent he had ever heard.

He stared at her, blinking dumbly but otherwise frozen in place.

“Are you here for some fun?”

Wordlessly, he nodded, staring into her rich, black eyes.

“You do know what kind of a place this is, don’t you darlin’?”

He nodded again. His mouth had gone dry. But the thumping of his heart was so loud he was sure she could hear it from where she sat.

“You’re sure you’re not lookin’ for pizza? ‘Cause that shop’s right next door.”

He glanced around the reception area. There was a display case of collars in various designs, a well-worn whip, and a leather hood with wolf ears on the top and no holes for the eyes, mouth, or nose. Yes, he was sure he was in the right place.

She put down her knitting and rose up in her seat a little to get a good view of him over the desk. “It must be your first time here. Am I right?”

He nodded again, starting to think this was a bad idea after all. He should be home. With carrots. And a soft blanket. And a bottle of beer. And a television marathon about a baking competition. That’s where he belonged. Not here. Here was scary. Here was unknown.

“And you’re here on your own, little one?”

He nodded.

“No big bad boyfriend meetin’ you here?”

He shook his head.

“And unless I’m quite mistaken, you’re a sub looking for a Dom?”

He nodded, quicker this time.

“All right then. That’ll be fifty even.”

Nathaniel’s ears perked up. “But I thought it was… the website said one hundred and fifty for thirty minutes.”

“First time’s special, honey bunny. Not everyone’s as into it as they think they’re gonna be.”

Nathaniel slipped a fifty dollar bill from his wallet, not sure if he felt like this was a bargain or a bad sign. This place had such good reviews online and such an alluring website. It also had a strict policy of no drugs or alcohol, a statement about the importance of consent, and the promise of fulfilling almost any kinky desire. He supposed this was his chance to put that to the test.

“All right then. Guess you’d better start by telling me what you’re looking for tonight?”

Heat burned in him. Anticipation. Excitement. Terror. He cleared his throat and tried to speak. “Um… it’s my first time…  so I guess I want someone… nice?”

It was the receptionist’s turn to freeze. Then she sat up straighter in her chair, dropped her chin to her chest, and peered at him over the rims of her glasses. “You’re in a BDSM club run by a wolf pack. ‘Nice’ is not on the menu, fluffy. Now, tonight you could have the most amazing experience a rabbit has ever had before, but it’s not going to be handed to you. Do you understand me? You’re gonna have to work for it. D’you think you can do that?”

The most amazing experience? Nathaniel closed his eyes, taking a few seconds just to be sure of himself. Then he opened them and looked her in the eyes, defiantly. “Yes, ma’am.”

She stared hard at him for a moment longer. Then a smile broke out on her face. “That’s what I like to hear. Seems you might be in the right place after all. Now you tell me what you’d really like. Don’t be afraid now. I’m eighty-one years old, and I’ve heard it all.”

Feeling empowered, he went up on his toes, giving himself the height he needed to lean over the desk and whisper in her ear.

When he was done, he moved back again, rocking on his large feet. Her eyes were wide with surprise, but her expression was one of mild amusement. “Well now, that’s a new one to me. Sure am glad you came in here and not the pizza shop next door, because I think I might have just the wolf for that. Let me look and make sure he’s on the job tonight…” She searched through the schedule book, running a claw down the page from line to line as she scanned. “You’re in luck, sweet pea. Master Richard will be available in about fifteen minutes. He’s creative, flexible, and open-minded. He’s also real good with first timers. You’ll be in the best of hands, I assure you.”

Master Richard… Nathaniel liked the sound of that. Master Richard. Master Richard…

She reached under her desk and pulled out a towel in a sealed plastic bag. “Now, here you are. Just enough time for you to get changed and get settled.” She pressed a button on her desk and, immediately, a young wolf raced into the reception area from a door to Nathaniel’s immediate right. His tongue was practically hanging out of his mouth, his tail was wagging excitedly, and his ears were perky. He wasn’t exactly what Nathaniel had in mind, but Nathaniel wasn’t in a position to argue. “This pup’ll show you where to go. Run along now, dearies.”

Clutching the towel package to his chest, Nathaniel followed the wolf down a hallway. There were doors on each side, some open and some closed. Each door had a window set into it with a sliding door, allowing it to be opened from the outside. The wolf led him to a dark, empty room. When the wolf flipped the light switch, Nathaniel’s heart leapt into his throat. There was a chair with restraints on one wall, a padded St. Andrew’s cross against the other wall, a swing hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room, and a cabinet in the corner that could have held absolutely anything. Was this really where he wanted to be? His instincts told him to run.

But his desires told him to stay. So he headed inside.

The wolf didn’t close the door behind them, which made Nathaniel feel less cornered but also a little vulnerable. Anyone might walk in on them. Anyone would see what they were up to. The wolf leaned against the wall, right by the St. Andrew’s cross. “So, Mrs. J tells me you have an unusual request?”

Nathaniel lowered his chin and laid his ears back against his head submissively. “Yes, sir.”

The wolf laughed, light and bubbly. “Sweet, bunny. I’m not a Dom. No need to call me Sir. My name ‘round here is Paws. I’m just here to help get you situated and comfortable.”

Comfortable? Now he just felt foolish. And Nervous. And confused. Nathaniel didn’t think he’d be comfortable until he met this Master Richard… and even then he wasn’t so sure. It was hard not to follow your own instincts, and it was even harder to do it in a room equipped for what this room was clearly equipped for.

“I’m one of the room monitors on duty tonight. We’ve never had to intervene and break up scenes run by our own Doms, but we make sure the couples who rent our rooms for play are doing so in safe, consensual ways. There will always be at least one of us out here if you need us. But it’s your Dom’s responsibility to make sure you don’t have reason to need us. That being said, what’s your safe word?”


Paws smiled. “Of course it is.” He took a small pad and a pen from his pocket. “Carrot,” he repeated, jotting it down. “Should be easy for you to remember. Our Doms know to end a scene immediately if someone safe words out of it. Our Doms all respect safe words above all else. You don’t have anything to be afraid of.”

“I’m not afraid,” Nathaniel said, his voice shaking revealingly.

“Awww.” Paws pushed off from the wall and walked over to him. He laid a paw on top of Nathaniel’s head and stroked. “Hey, it’s okay. Most everyone is nervous the first time here. You’d be silly not to be. But that’s why I’m here. I’m going to make sure you have the best experience and get exactly what you want.”

Paws’ petting was magical. Reassuring and gentle, not what Nathaniel would have expected from a wolf.  This was probably how he got his name, Nathaniel realized. The rabbit felt himself calming all over, getting used to being around a wolf in this room, in this club, being used to being touched by one.

“Okay,” Paws went on, still petting. “You’ve still got some questions to answer. Let’s talk about the scene you and Master Richard will be sharing tonight. Do you want to speak with him and negotiate something together or do you want the scene to start the moment he walks in?”

Nathaniel considered this. It was somehow easier to think things through now that he wasn’t quite so rattled. And as much as he wanted to make sure that Master Richard was someone he could trust to be his Dom for the evening, it was alluring to think of knowing him only as the wolf who would be commanding and controlling him. “I want the scene to start with his entrance.”

“Good choice.” Paws stopped petting only long enough to scribble something on the paper. He asked a series of other questions about the scene, all the while petting Nathaniel with one paw or the other. And the rabbit didn’t feel so embarrassed to describe his fetish when this wolf didn’t call it strange. “I’ve seen a lot of things in this club, and this isn’t stranger than many of them. And if Master Richard is willing to give it a try, I hope you two have fun. But I think it might be a good idea to have a nonverbal safe signal, just in case you’re sneezing too much to speak.”

Nathaniel’s stomach did a funny little flip. The idea of sneezing that hard was a dream. Could a master here really do that to him? “Um, right. How about if I snap?” He held his paw up and snapped loudly.

“Nice and loud. That’ll work.” He gave Nathaniel’s head a final pet.  “Master Richard likes his subs naked, but there’s a towel if you’re feeling modest or cold while you wait.” He checked his watch. “He’s probably on his way now. I should go, unless you have any more questions.”

Nathaniel didn’t.

“You remember your safe word and signal?”

Nathaniel did. “Carrot. And snapping.” He remembered, but he hoped he wouldn’t have to use either of them. Quickly, he got undressed, folding his clothes neatly and placing them in a pile by the door. That seemed like a good idea. You only got one chance to make a first impression. He stood naked in the center of the room, hands clasped behind his back, ears back against his head, eyes trained on the floor. He wiggled his toes against the cold concrete.

The door opened. Nathaniel’s head whipped up. Master Richard?

“On your knees, rabbit.” Definitely Master Richard.

Nathaniel dropped to his knees at once, wincing in pain as his kneecaps met the concrete floor with the whole force of his body.

A soft paw touched his shoulder. “Careful. Don’t injure yourself now. I don’t want you to be seriously hurt, all right? That would not please me. And you want to please me, don’t you?”

Nodding his head up and down emphatically, Nathaniel reached down and massaged a knee.

“I don’t want you hurt, but I expect you to withstand a little discomfort.”

Nathaniel’s paw snapped behind his back once again. “Yes, Sir.”

“Good rabbit.” The wolf walked around him, inspecting. “You’ve already earned my praise. Now your job is to not lose it.” He kept circling. “I’m going to tease and tickle you. I’m going to push you to your limits.” He paused in front of Nathaniel, cocking his head and smiling, bearing his sharp teeth. “And I’m going to make you sneeze.”

Nathaniel went weak at the sound of Master Richard’s words. This was it. A Dom was going to make him sneeze. It was what he’d dreamed about for so long.

The wolf’s paw raised high into the air and he crooked a finger in a beckoning sort of way. Before Master Richard had even said to come, Nathaniel recognized the sign and was scrambling to his feet. He walked in step behind his master, head bowed, ears back. He let himself be led over to the St. Andrew’s Cross on the wall, and a mix of fear and excitement rushed through him, ending up right in his groin. He knew this was a BDSM club, not a sex club, but he wasn’t so sure he’d be able to make it through this without at least showing some sexual arousal. He hoped that was all right.

“You’re so excited already, and we haven’t even started,” Master Richard said, nodding approvingly at Nathaniel’s dick. “Perhaps you don’t need me after all?”

“I need you,” Nathaniel blurted out. “Please, Sir.”

The wolf rushed him then, practically body slamming him up against the cross. Taken by surprise, Nathaniel hardly knew what was happening. One moment, he was about to beg and the next he was tightly restrained, arms and legs strapped on. He couldn’t free himself. He couldn’t touch himself. And he couldn’t rub his nose. Oh, how he wanted to rub his nose, though. He always did that at home, when he tickled it and made himself sneeze. He loved the feel of his wet nostrils against his fingers. But this was going to be even better. He hoped so, at least.

“Naughty rabbit doesn’t say thank you to his master for arranging such comfortable accommodations?”

Nathaniel bit his lower lip, his two large, front teeth biting down hard with nervousness. “I’m sorry, Sir. Thank you, Sir.”

“That’s better.” Now Master Richard paced back and forth in front of him. “I like to hear from my subs. I like to know what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling. I like to know what they want so that I may consider granting them their wish… if they’re good, that is.” He stopped in front of the rabbit, teeth bared again. He spoke in a threatening whisper, “What were you thinking about?”

Nathaniel’s breath caught. He whimpered. “I was…” He swallowed. “I was thinking about rubbing my nose.”

“Rubbing your… nose?”

“Mmm,” Nathaniel confirmed. “I like when my nose is touched.”

“And now you can’t touch your sweet little pink nose.” The wolf grinned. “Now that’s my job.”

Nathaniel realized he’d been holding his breath. He gasped, letting it out and drawing more air quickly to stammer, “Y-yes, Sir.”

And, at once, there was a finger at his nose. It was warm and strong and smelled… like pepper. How? He  looked to see that Master Richard was concealing something behind his back. Knowing what he must do, Nathaniel rubbed his nose into the wolf’s short fur, inhaling sharply, deeply. He felt his nose burn and start to run almost immediately, reacting to the irritant. He looked up at Master Richard through watering eyes and the Dom wore a completely merciless expression. Nathaniel’s heart raced.

“What do you say?” Master Richard said, leadingly.

“Th-thank you… Master Rih Richard.”

Master Richard nodded and rubbed at his nose some more, making his nose waver between needing to sneeze and not needing to. There was pressure. There was comfort. But there was also the pepper. And, damn, his nose just couldn’t hold out. Nathaniel could feel it twitching and tickling, the need building inside it. “ih ih ih ih Ih Ih Ih IH IH IHHH-TIHCHEW!” Though his range of motion was significantly limited, his head still snapped forward just a little, making him both sneeze and press his nose harder against Master Richard’s finger. He pulled back, sniffling.  At once, he knew what he must say. “Thank you so much, Sir. Sniff!”

“Oh, I’m just getting started. Do you think you can handle more?”

Nathaniel’s dick jumped and his whole body tingled with anticipation. “I can handle as much as you wish to give me, sir.” Master Richard’s approving smile made Nathaniel’s heart just melt. He wanted to be made to sneeze but, more than anything, he wanted to impress and please this Dom. So he twitched his nose, trying to indicate that the wolf should touch it again.

Smiling, Master Richard drew a soft finger beneath Nathaniel’s nose. This one didn’t seem to smell like pepper. It didn’t smell of much apart from soap and Master Richard. But it rubbed back and forth, wiping his nose dry and clearing his nostrils a little so that he could smell more clearly. Three rubs. Ten, Fifteen. Seventeen. Twenty-three. And then, suddenly, the twenty-fourth one came and he smelled the pepper again. It was stronger and thicker than before. Instantly he felt it in his eyes and deep within his nose. A burning, insistent tickle that just had to come out. “ihh ihhhh ihh ihhh ihh!” The sneeze built, all fluttery and ticklish as the urge worked itself through his nose, ending in his nostrils. “ihh ihhh ihhh ihhh ihhhhhh!” His head dug back against the cross’s padding as he gasped. He froze a moment, on the verge of sneezing, almost not sure himself if it was going to come out or not. He was so close to sneezing. So close.

And then Master Richard twisted one of his nipples. Nathaniel gave a surprised sound—half-squeal and half-yelp—and the fragile sneeze backed down.  Nathaniel felt the sexual tingle there instead, which wasn’t unpleasant. But it wasn’t a sneeze. Still, he whispered a disappointed “Thank you, Sir.”

“If the sneeze was so skittish, it wasn’t meant to be,” Master Richard said. “When the right one gets in your nose, you’ll be so utterly helpless against it you won’t be able to stop it. That’s what I want to see from you. I want to make your body that helpless. I want to make you sneeze so uncontrollably you’ll beg to make me stop even though it feels so good in your nose and so good to your body. Do you understand, sub?”

And the tingle inside Nathaniel intensified, warming him with instant heat. Hearing a Dom talk about sneezing like he really understood it was more of a turn-on than he could have dreamed. He squeaked again and nodded. “Y-yes, Sir.”

The rabbit knew it wouldn’t take much to get him there. Just a little more of this pepper would make him sneeze like that, he was sure of it. His nose was already tickly and itchy.

And just as he thought it, he smelled it again. Master Richard brought the scent close and, desperate to sneeze, Nathaniel inhaled deeply. At once his eyes shut and mouth dropped open, tongue going slack against his two large front teeth. “ihhh… ihhhhh… IHH… IHHHHHH HIH-CHEW! H’CHEW!”

“Two? Those were beautiful. Want a third, little bunny?”

Nathaniel tried to nod, but his nose was tickling again. “ih ih ihh ihh ihhhtttcheeew!” Sniffing wetly, he instinctively rubbed his nose into the wolf’s warm hand when it pressed to his nose. The fur was soft against his twitchy nose, calming it just a little. But they both knew it wouldn’t take much to set it off again. “Th-thang… sniff! Th-th-thag y-you ihh! Mas-hh! Master…” He tried to get out. He pulled his eyes open, trying to communicate his gratitude for the multitude of sensations rushing through him right now. This was bliss, pure and simple. He could continue on like this forever.

It was then that Master Richard pulled the pepper from behind his back. It wasn’t a small pepper shaker from a kitchen table. It wasn’t a plastic canister even. It was the largest pepper mill Nathaniel had ever seen. It was about a torso’s length high, wooden with smooth curves and a split near the bottom where it could be turned. Before Nathaniel could even marvel at how much pepper must be inside, Master Richard lifted it, holding it right above his nose, and began grinding.

The rabbit’s blue eyes went wide. Freshly ground pepper rained ceaselessly over his nose. He gasped in shock and in pleasure and inhaled a whole noseful of it. “IH!” he gasped again, nose tickling violently, breathing in even more as he did so. The ticklish irritation was almost too much to stand, but he couldn’t move away, couldn’t even push it away. He could safe word out or snap his fingers; that might be the only way he would breathe properly again.

But he didn’t want to. He wanted to sneeze.

“IH HIHTCHEW! HIHSHOO! IHHCHEW! IHT’CHEW! CHEW! CHOOH! IHH IHHHCHEW!” He sneezed, tears running down his cheeks, nose running toward his upper lip. But he couldn’t do anything about either one of those. And he couldn’t stop sneezing. The pepper kept falling, and so did his eyelids. “IHH CHEW! Ihhh IHTCHUHHH! IHTCHEW! HIHHCHEW! H’CHEW! H’CHEW! HAH-CHEEW! Yuhh… uhh ihhh-HIHCHEW! K’TCHEW!”

The sneezes sprayed out in front of him, unrestrainedly. He sneezed on his chest, making his nipples go even harder. He sneezed downward, catching his throbbing dick in the spray. And he also sneezed out in front of him, no doubt sneezing on Master Richard, though Master Richard didn’t say a word and didn’t move out of the way. It was hot, the idea of sneezing on his Dom and his Dom liking it enough to stay there. So as much as he liked the feeling of the sneeze against his fur, he lifted his head just as many times. “ihh-CHEW!CHEW! TTSHHHOO! Sniff! Ihhh ihhhSHEW! Ihhh-ihhhCHEW! ihhhCHEW! Sniff! Sniff!”

Suddenly there were fingers at his nose, rubbing again. He wanted to tell them to stop, that they were going to make the sneezes go away. He already felt the tickle backing off, in fact. But he couldn’t tell his master what to do; that wasn’t his place. Luckily, a few more marvelous sneezes trickled out from his terribly sneezy nose before it was all over. “Ihhh-t’CHEW! EHShooo! Ihhchoo! Ihchew! Sniff! Oh… ihh-TIHchew!” 

Master Richard allowed him to catch his breath. Now he was more sniffle than sneeze, certainly, but his body hummed with satisfaction. He hadn’t been able to stop. His master had done that to him. His master had known just what he’d needed. And his master had somehow known when it needed to end.

“Are you all right, sub?”

Whimpering, Nathaniel forced his head to bob up and down.

“You did so well. Did that feel so good?”

Nathaniel’s head nodded affirmatively even faster.

“Then you won’t mind if I get this last bit of pepper out of the pepper mill? It seems stuck in here. I might have to shake it and grind even harder.” He stepped forward, placing his thigh up against Nathaniel’s crotch. “Do you mind if I grind harder, little rabbit?”

Nathaniel’s breath caught, but he bravely lifted his head, sticking his nose in the air to accept more pepper. “P-please S-s-s-sir!”

He heard the grounding sound before he smelled any more pepper. He felt the tiny bits assaulting his nose, tickling on the outside every bit as much as the inside. He reared back as far as he could, head digging into the padding. And he thrust forward with a sneeze, feeling his master’s hard body against his, sneezing all over both of them. “hihhh-CHIIIIH! Ihhh-TCHEW! IHH-CHESHHHEW! H’CHEW! Ihh ihhh CHEW! IHSHOO! IHHHCHEW! IH IH IH IH IHHHHH-CHEWWWW! CHEW! CHEW! IHPT’CHEW!”

Oh, the sneezes had felt fantastic coming out, but pepper irritated his nose. It burned so badly! It filled his nose and wouldn’t let go. His nose and eyes were streaming. He could barely catch his breath to say thank you, and couldn’t open his eyes at all. This wasn’t torture; this was misery. Just when Nathaniel wasn’t sure he wanted to play this anymore, he felt something cold and damp and wet envelope his nose. He responded at once with a desperate squeak. His nostrils flared and nose nuzzled, as if trying to force the whatever it was right into his nostrils to stop the burning. A few moments later, the coolness was removed and a bit of plastic penetrated his left nostril. A quick burst of coolness invaded his nostril, cooling and calming it instantly. The thing, the nozzle (he suspected), moved to his right nostril and squirted wonderfully soothing mist into his poor, hot nose. Coolness wrapped around again, just as welcome this time. Then something soft and dry wiped at his face.

Nathaniel whimpered, not wanting it to be over so soon but loving the sensation of being cleaned up. Master Richard’s paws moved with tenderness, drying his eyes and cheeks, mopping up beneath his nose and then drying his chin and chest as well where he’d sprayed them with sneezes. “Now, how does that feel, my snuffly little rabbit?” He asked, pulling back.

Forcing his eyes back open again, Nathaniel started to answer, started to thank him for the wonderfully erotic sneezes and the wonderfully unexpected care.  But then he felt a little tickle in his belly which wasn’t just a rush of excitement. Craning his neck and looking down, Nathaniel saw a fluffy white feather. This wasn’t over. His Dom was only just getting warmed up. Master Richard held the feather the way someone would hold a weapon, ready to use it and knowing precisely how to wield it. Nathaniel was not sure he’d ever seen anything hotter.

Master Richard drew the feather up the rabbit’s body, moving ever so slowly, the anticipation building inch by inch. Nathaniel just knew that feather was destined for his nose—his super sniffly, sensitive nose now after its adventure with the pepper. Whatever Master Richard had done to it had calmed it of its burning urgency. But Nathaniel felt absolutely sure that just a little tickling would set it right off again immediately.

Oh, how he wanted it now. He wanted that feather tickling his nose. He wanted the tickles and desperation and more uncontrollable sneezing.  And he wanted Master Richard to make it all happen.

But Master Richard, apparently, did not. “Now I’ve got you all cleaned up the way I want you. You’re so handsome… but so helpless, hmm?” His eyes flicked toward the restraints still pinning Nathaniel’s wrist to the padded cross. “This time… no matter what happens… I don’t want you to sneeze.”

Nathaniel sucked in an involuntary breath, like he’d been punched in the stomach. Not sneeze? But his nose… and his dick. They were so ready. He wanted to sneeze so badly, and that feather was getting closer and closer. If it came too near his nose, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep from sneezing. But he looked at Master Richard’s face and saw a stern, no-nonsense expression. The Dom meant every word of his command. The feather stopped at the base of his neck and tickled there a little. Nathaniel fought to not giggle.

“I want to hear you promise. No more sneezing.”

As much as it pained him, Nathaniel’s instincts right now screamed at him to obey his Dom. So he nodded. “I… I promise, Sir.”

“You promise to not sneeze anymore?”

“I… I…” He took a deep breath to gather his resolve and mask his disappointment. “Yes, Sir. I promise to not sneeze anymore.”

“You promise to not sneeze… until I tell you to?”

Despite himself, Nathaniel whimpered. This was just too good. This man really was a master. “Yes, Sir. I promise not to sneeze again until you tell me I may.”

Master Richard nodded approvingly. “That’s what I like to hear. You know how to make your master happy, don’t you? Clever little bunny. But how clever are you exactly?”

And up came the feather. Nathaniel had a fleeting glimpse of it right in front of his face before it dipped down beneath his nose. Master Richard touched the end of it lightly to the outside of one of Nathaniel’s nostrils.

Nathaniel tried to hold his breath, tried to tense up, but his effort was utterly useless. He sneezed immediately, though he managed to hold half in. “ihhtchhh!” He opened his eyes to see wet against the wolf’s muzzle and cheeks, though he was drawn most to the stern look of disapproval in the wolf’s eyes. “I’m sorry! Sniff! I’m so sorry. My nose was just so ticklish after the pepper. I really couldn’t help it. I’m so sorry.”

Master Richard made a production of drawing his hand over his face, wiping every bit of his fur dry. “I’ll accept weakness from you once, but only once. You had better not let it happen again. From now on, you don’t sneeze until I tell you it’s all right to do so. You let that sneeze build and build, growing stronger and stronger, completely filling that nose of yours, but you don’t let it out until I give the word. You are my sub. You’re here to obey me.”

“I know. I mean, I am,” Nathaniel said, quickly. “I’ll try.”

A low, rumbly growl came from Master Richard, and he lifted up one side of his muzzle to show teeth. He snarled, “You’ll do better than try. I control your sneezes. Not you. I alone say when they get to come out, no matter how desperate you are.”

Nathaniel felt himself go weak, almost light-headed with pleasure. “Yes, Sir.”

“Otherwise, I can just put this feather away and there will be no more playing, no more sneezing.”

The rabbit’s breath caught. He certainly did not want that. What if he got so angry he walked away and just left Nathaniel there? One of the assistants would find him, naked and sniffling, the next day, perhaps, hanging there in shame.  There would be no fun at all in that. “Please, Sir. I’ll do as you say.” He flared his nostrils invitingly. “Please…” The tickle really was half the fun. If his Dom could bring him to the point of helplessness and make that feeling last and last, then Nathaniel was willing to do his part to make it happen. “Please… just tickle my nose for me?”

The stern expression on Master Richard’s face had given way to something between amusement and approval. “All right. I’ll tickle your nose again for you, because I’m in charge. Every tickle you feel in there, I put in there for you. Every sneeze is mine and mine alone. And I say when I want them to come out.”

Nathaniel’s body rushed all warm and tingly, but he nodded enthusiastically and closed his eyes. He clenched his jaw and held his breath, preparing for the worst.

But the worst didn’t come. What came was the sensation of something tickling his nostrils. It wasn’t light and fluffy—it was sharper, stronger, not quite so tickly. But his nose was so sensitive it reacted anyway. The point of the feather moved in a slow but steady circle, outlining one nostril then making a figure eight to outline the other.

Every bit of Nathaniel cried out to sneeze. He needed to. He wanted to. But he knew he must not. “ihh! Ihh!”

The feather made it all the way around his nose, causing the whole thing to twitch with tickles. But Nathaniel held the sneezes back, just as he was supposed to. He beamed with pride, hoping to receive just a little bit of praise or acknowledgement for doing well. Instead, what he got was the feather beginning again, circling one tender nostril ever so slowly then doing the same to the other.

As soon as he realized Master Richard was just going to keep at this until he sneezed, some of his resolve faded. “Muh… sniff!” Oh, the sniff just made it worse. His nose felt more ticklish now. “Mah-Master? I’m not sure I c-c-can h-huhhhh hihhh ihhhh hold ohhh on muh-much m-more.”

“I haven’t given you permission to sneeze yet.”

“Nuh-not y-yet,” Nathaniel agreed, but his eyes were trying to close and he had already lost the fight to hold his breath. “B-but my n-nose nuh… nose is so sensitive nuh-now.”

Master Richard’s feather made another lap around, wiggling a little bit this time to make it extra tickly. He turned his head, trying to get away, but the feather followed him to the right and to the left, up and down as well. His body shook, unable to withstand the fierce, intense need to sneeze.

Nathaniel whimpered and closed his eyes despite himself. “Nuh Nnnnngg! Nuh-no… Iguh… I guuhhh… I gotta sn-sneeze!” He tried to warn his Master. It was all too much to stop now. “Nnnnnhh! Ngghh! Enngg! Ihhh! IhhhTSHWW!”

Master Richard stepped back with a growl of frustration.

“I… ihhh-H’CHHEW! Snrfff! I’b sorry!”

“Oh, you will be sorry,” Master Richard countered. “If my sub ever dares disobey me, he must receive a punishment.”

Ashamed, Nathaniel thought again about his safe word. He didn’t like the idea of punishment, but he knew he deserved it. His ears flopped down to the back of his neck as he hung his head submissively. “Yes, Sir.”

“And here it is.” Immediately, he stuck the feather up one of Nathaniel’s nostrils and deftly twirled it in place.

The sensation came over Nathaniel so suddenly, there was nothing at all he could do. “IHHHSHEW! HIHCHEW! H’CHEW! CHW! HSHW! ihhhCHEW! IHH ihhh ihhh IHCHEW! H’SHEW! HIHCHEW! IHSHEW! IHHKCHEW!”

Even after Master Richard pulled the feather out, Nathaniel kept sneezing.  The tickle in his nose was too strong now—all that irritation building up, making his nose overreact. His nose was desperate to clear and protect itself. “ihhh ihhh hitchooo! Hehptshooo! H’CHEW! H’SHOO! Eh hehhKTshew! Hihhtscheww!” He gasped for air, nose streaming, body rocking back against the padded cross and forward, straining at his bonds, with every sneeze. “HEHtschooo! Hehhhchew! hehShooo! Hehh ehhh hehhhhhhhh EHTchewww!” Oh, they felt so good. He was dizzy and light-headed, but they still felt amazing coming out, each one such a relief in its release. And they wouldn’t stop. “Hehchoo! Hihhtchoo!” But Nathaniel never wanted them to stop. “hehhh EHHHH HEHHHH HEHKTschoo! IHKCHEW! CHEW! CHEW! CHEEWW!”

The next thing he knew, he was floating. He was still aware of sneezing, still aware of Master Richard and the feather, but now he felt above it as well, in some heady, blissful stage of euphoria. Every sneeze brought with it even more relief now, his body tingling all over as he felt each sensation take hold and get expelled. He was hyperaware of the tight straps on his wrists and his legs, as they rubbed against him. The padding against his back felt deeper, softer. And every touch of Master Richard’s feather brought with it exciting promise.

Each sneeze tore through him uncontrollably, pleasure rushing through his body in amounts he’d never before experienced. This was it. This was what he’d been made for. He existed only to sneeze for his master. And it felt so good to do it, he never wanted to stop. He closed his eyes, overwhelmed by it all.

When he finally opened his eyes, Nathaniel found he was no longer on the cross. He was wrapped tight in a plush blanket so soft he couldn’t help nuzzling his cheek repeatedly against a bit of it close to his face. And his Dom’s arm was wrapped even tighter around his body, secure and protective. He lay, cradled on Master Richard’s lap, while Master Richard wiped a soft cloth at his runny nose for him. Blinking, stirring, sniffling, Nathaniel asked, “What habbeded?” His voice sounded stuffed-up and weak, but it was filled with both confusion and contentment. Though he had no memory of being released from the restraints and no idea of what those feelings he had experienced were, it was impossible to feel worried when he was being held so tight like this.

“Something beautiful,” Master Richard replied. His voice was deep and soothing now, making Nathaniel want to drift back off, return to that euphoric feeling he’d just experienced when every bit of his body had tingled. “Stay here with me, sub,” he commanded, and Nathaniel obeyed at once, looking back up at him again. This earned him a paw that stroked his cheek comfortingly. “You sneezed yourself into subspace,” he explained. His grip around Nathaniel’s body tightened reassuringly. “Wouldn’t have dreamed that would be possible, and it’s rare for a sub to get there during his first time, regardless, but somehow you did it. I’m so proud of you.” He hesitated, pausing in his stroking of Nathaniel’s cheek. “May I give you a kiss to show you I appreciate you sharing this with me?”

Nathaniel nodded and, at once, he received a tender kiss on his worn out nose. Then a fresh, dry cloth was back to wipe for him. Being cuddled and attended to like this felt wonderful. He wondered how long he would be allowed to stay here like this. Surely his time must be up by now?

Master Richard seemed to know his thoughts all too well. “We can stay here like this as long as you need to, until you’re ready to get up. Then I’ll help you put your clothes back on and make sure you leave here safely.” He paused again. He wiped at Nathaniel’s nose again. “But I do hope that, one day, you find your way back to me. This was exhilarating, and you were a wonderful submissive, so eager to obey, so respectful. I would love the opportunity to do this again with you some time, when you’re ready.”

In answer, Nathaniel turned, snuggling close against the wolf’s warm, furry chest. “I would like that very much, Sir.”

Unarchived Stories / [F + Mature + Explicit] Understanding (2)
« on: December 12, 2016, 05:24:32 AM »
Here's the other Maisy/Jasmine story I wrote. This time, it's Jas who's sick. It was written during NaNo, so it got a little wordy. LOL

“Time for the thermometer?” It was a soft, hesitant question from Maisy, not a statement. Jas had been unusually sluggish and tired today, complaining that her head hurt and her throat burned. They both knew all of this meant Jasmine was coming down with something, but Jas was as far into denial as you could get. So she shook her head. She wasn't one hundred percent sure yet, so it would be easier to pretend nothing was wrong for now. “Love, if we know you're ill, we can take action. We can call the diner and get your shifts rescheduled. We can find you some good, strong medication that makes you feel better sooner. And we can get some handkerchiefs ready...” Maisy's voice trembled at that moment, which made Jasmine's chest flutter with worry.

All day it had seemed like Maisy was concerned about her sneezing. Sure, elephantine sneezes weren't cute and little the way Maisy's sneezes were, but they weren't going to level a house or blow Maisy off her feet or do any of those extreme things you saw in cartoons. But what was Jas supposed to say? 'Don't worry, I won't sneeze on you?' No, that was obvious. 'Don't worry, I'll sleep out on the couch so I won't snore and wake you up in the middle of the night?' Maybe, but having a cold and not having a girlfriend by her side would be doubly miserable. 'Don't worry, I'll try to hold the sneezes back as best I can?' Impossible, that much she knew for sure.

The only thing she could do was cling onto this denial for as long as it lasted and hope that either it wasn't actually a cold or that Maisy would be able to cope with her when sick if it came to that. “Sniff! The weather's changing. Sniff! Sniff! I probably just have a headache and a chill from that. Sniff!” It was possible, right?

“I don't know about that... Your color's off. Your trunk's runny. And your throat sounds scratchy when you talk. I really think you're under the weather. Can I at least get you a cup of tea?”

Jasmine waved her hand dismissively. “No time. Sniff! I've got to leave for the diner. Sniffff! My shift starts in fifteen.”

“Oh, love. I'm not sure preparing food when you've got the sniffles is a very good idea.”

Maisy was right, of course. But Jas had worked when she was sick before and nothing terrible had happened to anyone, so far as she knew. As long as she avoided breathing on the food or the customers, it would be fine. Besides, it was a sniffle, not the full-blown flu. She'd be able to cope. “I'll see you later,” she told Maisy. And for the first time in over a year, she didn't kiss her badger goodbye on her way out the door. She was pretty sure she wasn't coming down with something, but, just in case she was, she didn't want Maisy to catch it from her.


One hand pressed to her throbbing forehead, the other held her cell phone to her ear. One ring. Two. Pick up. Come on, Maisy. Pick up! Three.


“Hey, honey. Sniff! Sniff! It's me.” The tickle in her trunk was back. No matter how much she rubbed at it or sniffed back what was trying to escape, she still felt the need to sneeze.

“I know. I saw on the phone. Why are you calling?”

Jas wanted to tell her, but just then the urge to sneeze intensified. “I hnnng! Hehh IHHHH Hnggghh! HIHHHHHH! Hold ihhhh on a hihgihhhhh a sec!” She dropped the phone entirely. One hand cupped the end of her trunk, the other covered her mouth as best she could. Neither would contain the sneeze entirely, but it was the best she could do under these circumstances. “IHHH YIHHH KEHHHH HIGGGGH! HIHTSCHHHHHHHH!” She sprayed her hands well in the process and had to wipe them on her apron, which was rapidly growing damp, almost too damp to use already. She picked the phone back up. “Excuse me. My trunk is getting so tickly, I can barely stop sneezing for five minutes. Sniff! Have you already left sniff for work?”

There was a pause on the other end of the line, and Jasmine suddenly worried that they'd been disconnected. Or maybe Maisy was holding the phone away from her ear because she was frightened that another loud elephantine sneeze might be too loud for her.”Sniff! Maisy? Sniff sniff sniiiiffff!” Jasmine spoke, loud and clear into the phone, calling her back if Maisy he put the phone down or was holding it at arm's length.

“I'm here,” Maisy said after another considerable pause. But she sounded different... distant, perhaps? Her voice was quiet and higher in pitch. “Why?”

“I think I need to come home. And I don't think it's safe for me to drive. If you haven't left for work yet, could you come get...get me hih! Oh no sniff! HEH! Here comes ihhh! Hihhh! anoth nnggggg! hehhh ehhhh Nggggg! Geh! another!” This time, she grabbed a hand towel she'd liberated from one of the sinks earlier. It was wet from use, too, but she needed something to sneeze and blow into. She could tell these wouldn't stop until she made an effort to empty her full, runny trunk a little. So she pressed the dish towel to the end of her trunk, which was trembling with the great need to sneeze. “IHHH HEHHH HIYEHHH! EHH! EHPPTTTTCHHHXXXXX!” She followed this by a hefty blow and a few rubs at her nostrils. After a cough and sniff to clear her throat and make her voice presentable again, she picked the phone back up. “Sor sniff! Sorry. I really can't stop sneezing, honey. Sniff! Can you come pick me up? Sniff sniff! Please? Sniff!”

There was silence on the other end again, and Jasmine's hopes that she would have a princess in shining armor descend upon her and spirit her away to a palace of comfort and caring were quickly plummeting.

“Of course,” Maisy said, finally. “I'll be right there, love. Hang on.”

Well, that response at least warranted a wave of relief and gratitude. “Thanks Sniff sniiff sniff sniff...” She hung up and then blew her trunk into the cloth again.

She was sitting in her boss' office, the only place in the diner that didn't either have patrons or food, and so the only safe place her contagious trunk was welcome at the moment, although it was highly possible she might spread this cold to him now.  She could imagine all too well the wolf sitting at his desk, pouring over papers as his nose poured out into a wad of tissues he clutched to his muzzle. Feeling guilty about what hadn't even happened yet,, she sniffed and tried her best to keep her cold to herself until she was rescued.

“Jas? Love?”

Jasmine lifted her head then raised her trunk and waved. She was sitting on the floor in the far corner of the office, tucked away as best she could be. She had sneezed into the dish towel all she could then moved on to her apron and then her sleeves. “Sniff sniff sniff sniff hey sniff sniff sniff!”

“Ohhh love.” Maisy walked around the desk and took in the sight for a whole half a minute before she sighed. She took a spot on the floor in front of Jasmine and petted Jasmine's arm. “Let's get you home and into bed right away. I've got medicine and hankies waiting for you.” She took Jasmine's hand to help her up, though they both knew she could never completely support Jasmine's weight, as she was a considerably larger animal.

Jas followed Maisy out the back door of the restaurant to the car. She would have liked to have checked on her coworkers, to make sure things were okay and to thank them for covering her work. But she knew she would sneeze, and she didn't want some patron up and calling the health inspectors over. She did send a group text to the short order cook and the two servers telling them thank you and that she was going now so they could set up a Lysol bomb in the office if they wanted.

“I'll take an Uber and come back for your car tomorrow.,” Maisy told her.

Jasmine couldn't help but smiling. “I can't sniff  help but sniff sniff sniff remember sniff that night sniff last year I sniff sniff drove you home when you had a cold sniff sniff and a sprained leg. Sniff sniff SNIFF SNIFF!” Ugh! Her trunk just wouldn't stop running!

“You all right?” Maisy asked, glancing over at Jas in the passenger seat. She sounded wary, a slight tremble in her voice.

Jas nodded, rubbing her hand under her trunk, right above her mouth. Sometimes she could keep the tickle from building if she kept that up. “Just feeling sick,” Jasmine admitted. “Sniff! You were right. I sniff sniff sniff sniff SNIFF! I should have let you take my temperature. Sniff! Sniff! I should have called in sick. Sniff! Sniff! Sniiiffff! I shouldn't have been so sniff sniff stubborn earlier. SNIFF!” God, her trunk sure was running. The cold winter temperatures were making it worse.

There was still some uncertainty in Maisy's voice. But her words tried to be reassuring. “Hey, it's no big deal. Need to blow your trunk, love?”

Maisy was probably worried that would be loud and strong as well, startling enough to run them off the road. But Jas could keep rubbing and sniffling; the drive was a pretty short one. “Yeah. Sniff! Maybe just sniff just a little. Sniff! But sniff don't worry. Sniff! I can sniff sniff wait until we get home if—”

“No need. There's a handkerchief in the back for you. You should be able to reach it. I brought some water, too, if your throat's feeling itchy and sore.”

“Oh...” Turning in place as much as her seat belt would allow, Jasmine glanced between their seats toward the backseat. There was a big bottle of water and a large, white cloth, just as Maisy had said. That was so thoughtful of her. “Sniff! Thanks. I guess... sniff if you don't mind. Sniff! SNIFF! SNIFF!”

“Go right ahead. Blow as much as you need, love.”

Wondering if her sniffles were annoying Maisy, and that why she was being so insistent about this, Jasmine nonetheless took advantage of this before her girlfriend could change her mind. She reached back for the hanky, folded it securely around the end of her trunk, took a great big breath, closed her mouth and her eyes, and blew.

It felt heavenly. Beyond heavenly, actually. Her trunk was a lot fuller than she'd thought, and she ended up blowing and blowing, refolding the handkerchief to a dry spot and blowing and blowing again. She wasn't done by the time they reached the apartment building where they lived, but Maisy kept the car on, heater running, while she kept on going.

Finally, she lowered the hanky and took a careful breath. Her trunk still felt stuffed and sniffly, but it was definitely better. Maisy led them inside, handling the door and holding it open for her. She put her hand on Jasmine's back, rubbing in a small circle. “I want you to go straight to the bedroom. Put on your nightgown and get right under the covers where it's warm. I put a hot water bottle there before I left. I'm going to make you a cup of herbal tea and grab the thermometer, and then I'll be right in. Got it?”

Jas nodded, rubbing again at her tickling trunk. “Nightgown. Sniff! Bed. Sniff! Sniff! Under the covers.” She followed Maisy's directions, dropping her clothes in the hamper and crawling into their big bed. She found a looming stack of clean, folded handkerchiefs had been placed on her nightstand. On Maisy's, as if to balance the two out, there was another bottle of water, a bag of cough drops, and a pack of cold medicine. She'd barely had time to be impressed when Maisy was back, holding a large, steaming mug of tea in her paws.

“Thermometer first,” Maisy said. “That'll give the tea time to cool enough for you to drink it.”

That made sense to her, so she took the thermometer from Maisy, putting it in her mouth, under her tongue. At once she realized it was a terrible mistake. Breathing exclusively through her sensitive nostrils tickled her trunk fiercely. The urge to sneeze flared up to an uncontrollable level immediately, with none of the warnings her sneezes typically afforded her. She sucked air in with sharp, quick, needy gasps. She grabbed her trunk with both hands, squeezing at the end. But the damage had been done. Above her hands, that portion of trunk was enlarged, ready to let the air out in the form of a sneeze. “Mmmmmph!” She tried to warn Maisy, who she guessed would be terrified by the force of the sneeze. She tried her best to hold it in as long as possible, giving the thermometer time to work. But she only lasted a few seconds more. “HEHHHKIHTCHHHHHOOOSHHHHHHHHH!” She sneezed, forcing her hands off her trunk and causing the thermometer to fly from her mouth. Tears escaped at the corners of her eyes from the great force of the sneeze. She wiped them away with the back of her hand as she sniffed. “Uhb sniff! SNIFF! Sorry.”

She opened her eyes to see Maisy holding up the thermometer. “Just enough time for it to work, I think. And just a wee bit of a fever. Would you like a cool compress for your forehead?”

Jasmine nodded. One sneeze and Maisy couldn't scamper out of the room fast enough, apparently. But a cool cloth for her head did sound nice. So if the badger was offering, she would accept. A dull, thumping headache had taken up residence there earlier and had gotten worse with her efforts of holding back that sneeze. There was so much pressure in her head now she wished she could blow out, but she knew that no matter how much she cleared her trunk, more stuffiness would move right in again.

“I'll be right back,” Maisy promised, an almost empty reassurance as she fled from the room, her tail standing up in the air. Not a good sign.

Leaning over, Jas helped herself to one of the handkerchiefs that were on the nightstand. She wiped gingerly at the end of her trunk, worried that too much touching her nostrils would make them tickle again. Obviously, Maisy was rattled by her sneezes. And Jas didn't want to give Maisy reason to feel unsettled around her. This was their home, their comfortable home, their comfortable home they both deserved to feel at ease in. Maybe Jas should offer to move to the couch for the duration of her head cold? Or maybe she should get a motel room somewhere and take care of herself?

Jasmine pulled her phone out from where she'd stuck it, under her pillow, and saw that there was only about half an hour before Maisy would need to leave for her job if she didn't want to be late. Jasmine rubbed at her trunk, contemplating the possibility of keeping from sneezing for another half an hour. With the way it tickled now, she wasn't sure she'd be able to make it, but she was willing to give it a try for Maisy's sake.

When Maisy returned, her tail was down again and she looked a little more composed and relaxed. Maisy climbed onto the bed and crawled over. She placed a the cool dish towel across Jasmine's forehead, and Jasmine closed her eyes, taking in the immediate relief the coolness brought with it. “Does that feel good?”

“Yes,” Jasmine answered. “It's wonderful.”

“Good. Here's your tea.” Jasmine looked up to see Maisy with the mug. Jas didn't immediately reach for it. “I know you're not too fond of tea, but I promise this doesn't taste too bad, and it will definitely help your sore throat.” Jas still didn't make a move to take it. “Will you at least try a little bit for me before you decide you don't want it?” Finally, Jasmine held out her hand and took the mug by the handle. It was warm; it had that going for it at least. She gave her trunk a few strong rubs before pulling her hand away and bringing the mug to her mouth.

She took a heolsitant sip, just getting enough to taste. It taste sweet like honey and the warm liquid went right down her throat without hurting one bit, taking her entirely by surprise. This tea was magical, apparently.

“It's good, right?”

“It is,” Jasmine agreed, meeting Maisy's eager expression. When she took another sip, Maisy beamed with pride. She readjusted the wash cloth. “Now, if you feel... um... you know... just hand me the cup so you don't spill on yourself. But if it, um, happens too quickly and you spill, it's okay. I'll just change the sheets and get you a clean nightie and make you a new cup of tea.”

Jasmine sniffed, nodding. “Don't worry. Usually my trunk gives me plenty of warning sniff sniff before I have to sneeze. Before was an exception, because I was breathing through my trunk with the thermometer in my mouth. I'll try to let you know if I feel another urge to sneeze, but I'm sure I'll be okay. There's no need to worry.” She swallowed a gulp of the warm, soothing tea, wishing she could be sure enough to promise and reassure her girlfriend, who was clearly spooked. Maisy's tail was up again already just from talking about this.

Then she realized something that might help. She gestured to the bed around her. “It looks like I'm pretty well settled here. I'll finish the tea and then see if I can fall to sleep for a little while. If you want to head to work a little early, I'd more than understand.” Maisy usually left early, because she didn't want to get stuck in bad traffic.

Maisy frowned. “Actually, I called the hospital from the car while I was driving over to the diner to pick you up. I'm using my family and personal leave tonight so I can stay home and look after you.” Jasmine's eyes widened in surprise. Well, there went her plan. She might have been able to hold in her sneezes for the next half an hour, but she'd never last until tomorrow. “I know the start of a cold can sometimes be the worst time. So I'll do whatever I can to help you feel better. I'll keep you warm or hold hankies for you or juggle. Whatever you think will help, just say the word.”

“Okay,” Maisy nodded, her expression full of resolve. “Let me go get the balls. Unless you'd prefer I use fruit?”

Jasmine laughed. “Sniff! Sniff! Sniff! No sniff no. Sniff! I was just curious. Sniff! How exactly is that supposed to sniff sniff help me?”

Maisy's smile transformed her face. And, for a moment, she didn't seem nervous or worried about Jasmine's sneezes at all. “I just thought it might make you laugh. That's supposed to be the best medicine, isn't it?”

God, she was adorable. If she thought Maisy would let her, Jas would grab her girlfriend and pull her into a hug right now. But if she did that and happened to sneeze at the same time, that would be the absolute worst. That would probably terrify Maisy to her core. Or... or maybe it would make her realize Jasmine's sneezes weren't actually so bad after all. Maybe that was the solution to everything.

“Do you want—” she began to ask.

But, at the same moment, Maisy said, “You'd better drink up. Wait... what were you going to say?”

Jas shook her head. “Nothing. Sniff!” She drank up obediently. Maisy was right; her tea was already squarely on the lower end of warm, quickly on its way to cool. It still felt good against her raw, sore throat, though. She finished it off and Maisy immediately took the mug from her, clearing it off to the kitchen so that their bedroom wouldn't fill up with dirty dishes and such things.

Jas had to admit that she liked the attention. Apart from Maisy getting spooked about the big sneezes, she had an amazing, thoughtful, and sweet bedside manner. As miserable as she felt physically, she had never felt so loved and cared for before when she had a head cold. She'd never had someone skip their job to take care of her. She'd never had someone who made her special tea before. Or warmed the bed for her. Or brought a handkerchief in the car for her, knowing she'd need it.

If only she didn't have to sneeze so much. But her colds had always been the sneezy sort. And her perpetually ticklish trunk always got worse the longer she tried to hold the sneezes back. “ihhhh!” She felt another sneeze coming, and her hand tightened on a handkerchief. At least, if she sneezed right now, Maisy would be out of the room and not hear the full force of it. “hihhhhhhhhhh!” This time, Jas hoped it would come faster. “Hihhhh! Yihhhhh!” But it was building slowly, strongly. “Hihhhh!” The tickle spread from the base of her trunk, all the way to her nostrils, which flared wider with every breath. “ehhh yihhhhhhhhh....” She felt a few drops trying to escape them, but she knew that blowing her trunk or even wiping it might throw things off enough and delay her sneeze. “Ihhhh!” And she wanted it to come now. “IHHHHHH!” Okay. Here it was. “HEHHH!” Almost. “HEHHHHHHHH!” ALMOST!

“Jas? Love?”

Jasmine's eyes flew open to see Maisy climbing back on the bed.

“Are you okay?”

Jasmine nodded, waving one hand in front of her face and holding the hanky tightly over the end of her trunk now, catching the embarrassing drips before Maisy could see them. “Yeah I IHHHHH! I just gotta HAHHH NNNGHHH HEHH NGGGG EHHH GUHHH gotta snee sneh snee HEHH sneeze.” She swayed in place, not sure whether she should be coaxing the sneeze out now or trying to hold it back. The wet compress fell from her forehead as she leaned forward a little too far. Jas reached for it, blindly, her eyes tightly closed, but missed where it had fallen.

“Oh dear. Don't bother yourself. I'll get it.” Maisy snatched it up at once. She moved in close, laying the cooler side against Jasmine's warm forehead and holding it there, so it wouldn't immediately fall off again as Jas swayed with each breath in and out.

“Gehhh gehhhhhhhh EHHHH EHHHHHH!” She tried to warm Maisy to get back. She really did try. But she just couldn't get the word out. She had to sneeze so badly. She could only hope Maisy would trust her instincts and pull away in time. “EHHH HEHHHH HEHHHHHHHHH HEHHHHHHTIHHSHHOOOOOOOOOOOH!” The sneeze was powerful and strong against the hanky she held close to her trunk, wetting it considerably. But when she opened her eyes, she found that wasn't the only thing she'd sprayed. Maisy was still close, hand to Jas' forehead. The sneeze had sprayed Maisy's chest and neck, wet glistening on her black and gray fur as well as her soft yellow blouse.

“Sniff! Oh doe. Sniff!” Jas turned her head and blew just a little into the handkerchief to clear her trunk just enough to talk clearly. When she turned back, Maisy had sat back on the bed, her black eyes wide, her tail sticking up. “Oh Maisy... Maisy, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to sneeze on you. I tried to warn you.”

“It's...” Maisy swallowed hard, her voice trembling again with every word. “It's... okay... Jas...”

“Sniff! I know they're strong, but my sneezes sniff can't hurt you. I promise. Sniff sniff sniff sniff!” She refolded the hanky and tried to wipe Maisy off. “Really, there's nothing to be scared of. Sniff! I would never sniff hurt you.”

Maisy's body language changed at once. She pulled back, out of reach. Her paw trembled. Her eyes went a little wet and their gaze went directly to the blanket, not Jasmine's eyes. “I... I'm not scared,” she whispered.

Jasmine put down the handkerchief and scooted over until she could reach Maisy again. She took her girlfriend's hand. “Maisy, honey, I can tell you're terrified by my sneezes.”

“I'm not,” Maisy insisted, her words even softer than before. She both looked and sounded as though she might burst into tears at any moment.

“Sure you are. Your tail stands straight up every time I sneeze. It only does that when you're scared or when you're...” Jasmine trailed off. A funny feeling washed over her, settling with a flutter in her abdomen. She swallowed hard and finished her sentence. “Or when you're turned on.” The tail raising didn't always happen when they made love, but it usually did. It was tied to mating, Maisy had explained, just something that happened to a badger's body in the heat of the moment, uncontrollable. And though the two of them couldn't actually mate, that sexual rush of desire and hormones was still present wen they made love. “Maisy, sniff sniff! If you're not scared, are you sniff saying that you're—”

Maisy pulled her hand away and scampered out of the room, not looking back. Frozen in place with shock, Jasmine heard whimpering a few moments later. Setting the cold compress aside and throwing off the warm, heavy covers, Jasmine climbed out of bed. At the door, she put on her bathrobe and slippers, and then she followed the sound of the whimpering to the living room.

She found Maisy lying face-down on the sofa, her head buried beneath a cushion as if she were halfway into burrowing into a badger den, as if by hiding her head alone, it might make the rest of her invisible also. Jasmine sat down on the couch beside her. She placed her hand on Maisy's back and rubbed; it was her turn to be comforting, reassuring. “I think we need to talk.”

Maisy whimpered and moved in a motion that was probably a shake of the head.

“Sniff! I'm not going to break up with you over this. Sniff sniff sniff! I just want to understand what this is about. Sniff! My cold isn't going away, though. I've still got a week of sneezes at least. Sniff! And you can't stay under there for a week. Let's sniff talk. Sniff!” She rubbed her trunk against her side, quashing the tickle starting to build there. She had a feeling this wouldn't be the best time to sneeze. If she did, Maisy might never come out from under the sofa cushion.

After a minute or two, Maisy wriggled backwards and raised her head. Her eyes adjusted to the change of light but she ducked her head timidly, ears folded back against her head. She moved around, sitting on the couch beside Jasmine, angled a little so the two girlfriends could partially face each other. But she didn't say anything, and it looked like she wouldn't, no matter how much time Jas gave her.

“So...” Jasmine decided it was up to her to get the ball rolling. “I guess we've established that my sneezing turns you on. Is it the sound? Or the sight? Or...” Jas reached over and touched her upper chest lightly, right where the sneeze had sprayed. “Is it the feel?”

Maisy whimpered and nodded. “All of the above. It's everything. Even when you say the word.”


She whimpered again. “I was going to tell you. But I couldn't figure out how to say it. And then you come down with a cold and I realized I'd have to try to hide my feelings because you didn't feel well, and this wasn't the time to objectify you or try to have this serious discussion about how strange I am. You're right, you know. I was scared. I was scared of how you'd react. But I love you, and I knew you needed to know. I wanted to tell you so many times. Only I didn't have the courage.”

“I sniff wish you had told me,” Jas said. And, as a gesture of intimacy, she laid her trunk on Maizy's lap. She wanted to show Maisy she understood, even though she didn't quite understand yet. She wanted to show Maisy she still trusted her to take care of her during this cold. She wanted to show Maisy she hadn't been scared away. But most of all, she wanted to see what reaction Maisy would have.

Maisy's paw immediately found Jasmine's trunk, stroking not comfortingly but lovingly. Her eyes were filled with longing and adoration.

“You were acting so funny every time I sneezed. I thought you must sniff sniff be scared of my sneezes. They're so big and powerful. Sniff! I dated a yorkie once who jumped and yelped sniff sniff startled every single time I sniff made a loud sniff noise.”

“So... so you're really... okay with this? I know it's... unconventional.”

Jas smiled. “You're Crazy Maisy, right? Sniff! I knew what I was getting sniff sniff right from the start. You're the badger I fell for. Sniff! It might be unusual, but this is part of you. And I kind of like it.”

Maisy's eyes widened again. “Really?”

“Sure,” she said. “Sniff sniff! If I'd known, I could have been having a lot of fun with that. You'd get all wet and worked up sniff sniff sniff just from sniff my saying... sniff SNIFF SNIFF! I sniff I think I'm sniff sniff gonna sneeze.”

Maisy nodded. “Yes, exactly. I would have.”

 But Jasmine shook her head and rubbed her hand under her trunk, close to her face. “No I ehhhh mean I hehhhh th-thihhh think I'm g-g-g-guhh gonna sn sn sneeee sneeeeee HEEEE... HEEE NGH HEHHHH HEHHHHHH!” She felt Maisy moving beside her, jostling her trunk a little but still rubbing it tenderly with one paw. Her eyes closed and her chest puffed up large with breath, making her breasts stand out. “HEHHHH HEHHHH! EEHHHHHH!” Jasmine made the decision to not hold back. If Maisy really was into this, she needed to know what she was truly in for. “HIIIYAHHHHTISHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!”

The second she released the sneeze, she felt something soft and warm against the tip of her trunk. She opened her eyes as soon as she could to see Maisy holding her own sweatshirt up in place of a hanky. “Are you okay, love? Need to blow?”

“No,” Jasmine lied. She sort of did need to blow her trunk, as it was feeling all clogged. But she didn't want to blow  into a piece of Maisy's clothing. Unless... God, did Maisy want her to? Was this part of her thing? Did she want to hold the sweatshirt while it happened?

“Go ahead if you need to. You let me use your sweater once, remember? This is the least I can do after making you leave the warm bed. I honestly don't mind. It's... um...”

She didn't finish, and Jasmine didn't need her to. Jas took a deep breath and blew her trunk into the sweatshirt. It wasn't as big a blow as she needed, but every little bit helped. And she noticed how Maisy's breath quickened as she did it.

“Do you sniff like that sniff sniff too?”

Maisy answered by throwing herself forward and hugging Jasmine's trunk. She covered it with soft kisses, right up the trunk. “That was so beautiful,” she whispered. “And hot,” she added, bashfully. Then she sat back up, cradling Jas' trunk. She wore a serious expression, however. “I would never take advantage, though. I can, um, deal with my feelings until you feel well enough for sex. Until then, I'm happy just being around you and taking care of my sexy girlfriend.” She brought Jas' trunk up to her face and kissed it once more.

Jasmine's face fell. “Oh... oh that ehhhh tih tih tihhhhh t-tickled. Ehhhhhhh! I huh huh huh have to... to... EHHH HEHHHH HIHHHHHH YIIIHHHHHHH HEHHHHHHHHH EHHHHHH HIHHHHH-YIHHHHHPTSHHHOOOOOO!”

The sneeze drenched the rest of the sweatshirt and part of Maisy's hand and arm as well. But Maisy beamed happily, her tail raised in excitement. Jasmine pulled her sniffly trunk back, wiping it on the side of her bathrobe. “Excuse me,” she said. “Just couldn't help it. My trunk's so sensitive from all this sneezing. Sniff! I always sneeze so much sniff sniff when I have a cold.”

Maisy whimpered again. “You...” She swallowed and tried to compose herself, but her breath was racing. “You are very good at this already, my love.” She smiled, cocking her head and looking Jas over. “But I think it's time you were back in bed where it's warm, don't you?”

Jas wanted to get back, mostly because of the hankies waiting for her there. She did feel a little chilled, it was true. But another part of her was warmer than she had a right to be with a cold. She couldn't stop thinking about the fact that all of her sneezes turned Maisy on. She was making Maisy hot without even trying. And that was hot in and of itself.

“Come on. Back to bed.”

Maisy took Jas' hand and led her back to the bedroom. But Maisy frowned when she saw the bed. “It's going to be all cold now.” Jas climbed in, shivering a little as her skin met the cold sheets. “There's only one thing for it,” Maisy decided, getting in after her. Maisy snuggled close, right up to her elephant's side. She nuzzled her face against Jas' shoulder. “Just tell me when you're all warmed up, all right? Then I'll get you some cold medicine and—”

“Do I have to take some? Sniff!”


“Well, if I take some sniff medicine, I might not sneeze as much for you. Sniff!” Jas felt Maisy tremble against her.

In fact, Maisy buried her face against Jas' side for a few moments, her breath going from quick to slow.  When she was more in control of herself, she spoke, “As much as I'd love that, as much as I love every single one of your outstanding, um...”


“Yes, those. As much as I love those, what I love even more is for you to feel good and for you to get better.” Her paw rubbed back and forth across Jas' upper chest. “And one of the best ways for that to happen is for you to take some medicine. It's a decongestant, sure, but it'll also help your headache and sore throat. I don't want my Jasmine feeling miserable when there's something I can do to make her feel better. ”

Jasmine smiled and patted Maisy's hand. “You know, you're very good at this too. Sniff! You should have become a nurse instead of an X-ray tech.”

“Feeling warmer?”

Jas nodded. She was feeling toasty warm under the covers with her Maisy.

But then Maisy pulled away to get the medicine, forcing a small gust of cool air between them. Jas shivered and slid further down under the covers. Her whole trunk was covered by the blankets now, making it feel warm too. It was still all runny, but she snuck a hanky under there with her, so she felt pretty set for the rest of the evening. She had everything she could want.

“Time for medicine.” Maisy said, turning back to her again. “Lets see. It's almost eight, so you'll be good until eight tomorrow morning. You'll help me remember, right? You've got such an outstanding memory.”

Jas nodded. She remembered a lot of things. She remembered this particular brand of cold medicine actually did a pretty good job. Which would mean that, pretty soon, she might not be quite so sneezy. She remembered the look of desire in Maisy's eyes when Jas had been about to sneeze a little bit ago. Jas wanted to see that look again. And she remembered what her girlfriend had said about not having sex when she didn't feel so good. But that didn't mean they couldn't do other things together.

After swallowing the pills and chasing it down with a third of the bottle of water, Jasmine pulled Maisy close again and began petting her, for a change. She ran her hand up and down Maisy's side, each time letting her fingers travel further and further down until, finally, one came close to Maisy's sweet spot. The badger looked up at her, curious but not complaining.

“Just because I'm sick sniff and I don't feel much like having sex doesn't mean you don't have to refrain from it. Sniff! I know you're sniff looking after me because you want me to feel good. But... sniff sniff I ehhh I want you to feel good, too. I want you to touch yourself if you feel the need to. And I wuh want you to h-help.” She scrubbed two fingers back and forth across her nostrils. They were sore and sensitive, wet and tender, but at least it allowed her to hold back the sneeze until she got her point across. “hehhh Ehhhhhhh! EHHHH! May hehhhh! Maisy? H-help?”

One of Maisy's trembling hands reached out and rubbed across Jas' nostrils in the same sort of way. “Like this?”

“Mmmph hehhhh nnnghhh mmmhmmmm!” Jasmine agreed. It felt better, like she didn't have to sneeze so urgently, but the sneeze was still there, deep in her trunk, waiting to escape. She didn't want to run the risk of talking and causing it to flare up again. So she just closed her eyes and leaned her head against Maisy's to share in the affectionate moment.

She could feel Maisy's hand sliding up and down the whole of her trunk. Her furry paws controlled everything now. If they wanted her to hold back her sneeze a little longer, they could put pressure on her trunk at the base or scrub at her nostrils. Or if they wanted her to stifle a sneeze, cutting it off short, they could grip her trunk all the way around near the end, holding back most of the powerful sneeze. Or if they wanted to help coax a stubborn, building sneeze out of her, they could slide ever so lightly up and down the underside of her trunk. Or a furry finger could tease one of her sensitive nostrils, circling it and slipping inside to tickle.

Maisy's paws were busy with other things as well. They explored her own naked body. They could tease at a nipple while teasing at a nostril. They could rub her clit while rubbing tickles out of Jas' trunk. They could dive into her wetness while holding Jas' runny trunk tenderly. Lying back in bed, propped up on pillows, Maisy set the end of Jasmine's trunk on Maisy's own bare chest.

“Sniff! Sniff!” Instinct told Jasmine to sniffle, to keep the runs back. But she couldn't sniffle enough, and some escaped, running out of her nostrils onto Maisy. “Oh sniff! I'm sorry! Sniff! I'm sniff getting you all wet.”

“Mmm,” Maisy beamed, looking down at the drips and trails on her chest with an expression of bliss. “Yes, you most certainly are. And I want to be wetter. I want you to sneeze for me.” Her fingertips brushed Jas' pink nostrils ever so lightly.

“Not ehhhhhhh not gonna heyhhh be a p-p-puh Ehhhhh a p-probleb! EHHH-IHHHH HIHHHHSHUHHHHHHH! I feel so... s-s-soooo EH HEH HEHHH HEHHHTSCHOOO! HEHHHEEHHHPTSHHHOOOOOOOO! Sniff! So sneezy. Sniff! I've sniff got so many tickles in my trunk. Sniff! I've just gotta let them out.”

Maisy whimpered, touching herself. “Poor love,” she whispered. “Trunk's so full of... ohhhh of...” She bucked against her paw, trapped firmly between her legs, momentarily lost to the pleasurable sensations.

“So full of cold,” Jas finished for her. “Yes. And so full of strong, wet sneezes. In fact.... I think... ehhh yep... hehhhhhhhhh I feel anothehhhhhh another cuh-coming n-n-nuhhhhh HEHHH nuh-now. EHHH! Tryig to EHHHH IIIHHHHHH hol hold EHHHH! Back!” Her trunk wrinkled up and then shook with the effort of holding the sneeze in.

“Let it out, love.” Maisy rubbed herself and stroked Jas' trunk, affection, gratitude, and need coming through with every touch of her paw.

Jas grabbed hold of her own trunk, squeezing tight to keep from sneezing. But it still tickled, no matter how hard she squeezed. “You EHHHwadt HEHH nngh! Wadt HEHHH me to HEHHHH EH EHH sn-snee EHHH sneeze?”

“Yes... please,” Maisy begged. “I want... oh...” She closed her eyes, her paw moving faster. with a needy desperation. 

“EH EHH EHHHH HEHHH!” She almost let it out, but she managed to hold it back. It was just too much fun to tease Maisy a little like this. Besides, she wanted to make this one good. She leaned back, aiming her trunk toward the ceiling. “HAHHHH-SHHHHOOOOOOO!” Jas felt the spray, and from Maisy's expression and whimper of pleasure, she must have as well.

The sneeze had been strong, the sense of relief to release it overwhelming. She didn't often hold her sneezes back, but doing it a few times couldn't hurt. And Maisy definitely seemed to like it. It was wonderful being able to please her like this. Though Jas wondered how far she'd be able to go with this.

Just as soon as she'd come up with this new idea, she felt another tickle in her trunk Perfect. She set her trunk down on Maisy's chest and, after teasing one of Maisy's breasts with a wet squeeze to her nipple, she slid it down. Down. Down. “Ehhh get ehhhhhhhhh ehhhh-hihh get ready HEHH Mai... Mai... HEHHH HEHHHHHHHH Maisy!” She explored with her trunk, sending light, fluttery breaths against Maisy's most sensitive parts as the sneeze built in her trunk. This one was coming faster, and she thought about trying to hold it back. But the look on Maisy's face told her she needed more and needed it now. “It... it's... EHHH EHHHH EHHHHHHHHHHH!” Just before the sneeze struck, Jas pulled her trunk back. Sneezing directly on Maisy would, without a doubt, hurt her. But if she angled it just right, she'd be able to both sneeze on Maisy and avoid hurting her. “HAHHHH IHPTSHHHHHHHHH!” The sneeze just grazed her girlfriend's crotch like a moist breeze, making her fur glisten and her body writhe in pleasure. The badger arched her back, thrusting her hips, wanting more sensation and stimulation and touch.

“Sniff! Liked sniff sniff that, did you? Sniff!”

Maisy nodded. “That was brilliant, that was.” She was breathless with excitement. “Oh, Jas. Jas, bless you so much.” 

Jas touched her again, stroking with her drippy trunk.

Maisy reached out and pet her trunk. “I can't... believe how full of cold your trunk is.”

Jas nodded. “I feel so... sniff sniff so sniffly and sneezy. You'd better sniff enjoy it before the cold sniff medicine kicks in.”

Maisy buried her head in one of the pillows, as if she couldn't cope with the reality of the situation. Was she overwhelmed? Was she regretting all of this? Has Jasmine pushed her too far this time with all this teasing and experimenting? Then Maisy pulled her head back, looking up at Jasmine with wet, black eyes that were full of both desire and timidity. “Jas... Jas, love, I want to... try something... if you'll let me.”

So she had just been working up the courage to say something then. Jas' heart filled with love for her girlfriend. At this moment, she would do anything to make Maisy feel good, to make her feel satisfied, to make her feel like the most special badger in the world. She brushed her trunk up and down Maisy's inner thighs. “Sniff! Sniff! SNIFFF! Whatever you want. Sniff!”

Maisy hesitated again. “You... promise to let me know if I'm hurting you or making you feel uncomfortable in any way. All right?”

Jas nodded, wondering what she was thinking. Given her experimenting with this, though, she was more than willing to let Maisy do the same. With a gentle, slightly trembling hand, Maisy guided Jas to lie down on her side, and Maisy did the same. They were face-to face on the bed, the need in Maisy's eyes fierce now. And that's when she moved in. She wriggled her body right up against Jasmine's trunk. Her arms caressed it, her face nuzzled into it, and her legs wrapped around it.

Knowing that Maisy wanted her to sneeze again, Jas trailed the end of her trunk against a bit of fluffy blanket, trying to tickle her nostrils just enough... and it worked like magic. “IHHH!” She inhaled sharply as the sudden urge to sneeze seized her. Maisy moaned, her body gyrating uncontrollably against Jas' trunk. “EHHHH!” Her trunk shook with each desperate breath and as Maisy ground her body into it. Maisy must be able to feel each breath. She must be able to feel Jas' trunk tensing up, getting ready. Brilliant badger indeed! This sneeze would undoubtedly feel so good that it would put her over the edge.

“HEHHHHHHH! It's HEH-EHHHHHHH! Coming!” She rocked a little, the powerful sneeze building in her trunk. And Maisy rode it out, holding on tighter. “HEHHHH! EEHHHHHHH! HEH IHHH HIHH HEHHHHHHH! HEHEHHPTSHHOOOOOOOOOO!”

Maisy squealed as she came, squeezing Jas' trunk between her legs so tightly it almost hurt. Jas' instinct was to pull back, but she let Maisy ride it out, waiting until the badger was done shaking before pulling her trunk free. She rubbed at her trunk, which felt tired now. Tired and in need of a good, long blow or two. Or ten.

She reached for a hanky to do just that, but Maisy beat her to it, scrambling over to one and holding it at the ready. “Right... here... love.” She was still breathless, her voice soft and weak. But her kindness shone through. “Gimmie all you've got until your head doesn't feel so stuffed.”

Jas blew and blew and blew some more. Some of the blows were so strong, they moved Maisy backward, but she inched closer every time for the next blow. Maisy folded and refolded the handkerchief, and at some point she switched it out with a fresh handkerchief. Jas blew until she was exhausted, her eyelids drooping. She was mildly aware of Maisy wiping her trunk sweetly, gently, of Maisy pulling up the covers. And of Maisy burrowing underneath.

They snuggled close, face-to-face, with Maisy nestled up against Jasmine's chest. Her paw rubbed up and down Jas' arm. “Try to get some rest, love. I'll watch over you.” If this had been any other night, she'd be wide awake during her shift at the hospital at this time. Jas was happy to put herself in her girlfriend's more than capable paws right now, trusting that hankies and water and whatever else she might need would be provided when needed.

“I take it back,” Jasmine murmured, halfway to sleep already. She was floating in comfort just a little ways above it, ready to fall at any moment, knowing Maisy would be there to catch her.... and to catch any sneezes that might stand in the way as well.


“That thing I said earlier about how you'd make such a great nurse. I take it back.”

Maisy tensed a little, her paw stopping its rubbing. “Oh...”

“You're so good at this. I want this part of you all to myself. Sniff sniff! I don't ever want to share it with anybody.”

Maisy kissed her trunk softly, not wanting to tickle it just now, letting Jasmine drift off at last.

Unarchived Stories / [F] Blossoming (1)
« on: December 03, 2016, 02:43:36 AM »
A little nervous about posting this... they're my first anthro OCs though the second piece I've written with them. Hope it's all right! Also, it takes a little while to get going... I'm having trouble cutting down on backstory lately when I write these fics.


Dating teammates on the roller derby team wasn't exactly against the rules, but it was frowned upon. Though knowing someone so well you worked in sync was never a bad thing, complications arose when it came to bad breakups. Being stuck on a team with an ex-girlfriend could mean far more drama than they already had. And needing to be traded to another of the teams meant an unnecessary shakeup. Maisy knew this, of course, but it didn't keep her from falling in lust with Jasmine.

Jasmine, the largest blocker on the team, went by the name of You Bet Your Jas. The name was long, but it more than fit on the back of the voluptuous Indian elephant's red and white jersey. Her number was 1001, and the double zeros always made Maisy think about that rump she spent so much of each match staring at.

As the main jammer on the team, Maisy started every match she played at the back. It was her job to work her way past the teams, speed around the track, and then pass as many opposing players as possible as she lapped them, scoring points for each one. Preventing her from doing this were the other team's blockers, of course. Fierce out there on the flat track, Crazy Maisy could push and fight her way through the pack if she had to; she didn't let anyone stop her. But Maisy, a sleek European badger, was excellent at being sneaky. She could weave her way swiftly around players. She could zoom through small pockets of space, seizing any opportunity that presented itself. She could hide behind blockers and sail right past players without them noticing.

And the player she loved hiding behind most was, without a doubt, Jasmine. She tried her best to keep her feelings out of it. But there was something about being pressed up against Jas' back, feeling the elephant's sweaty warmth and considerable curves, that turned Maisy on to no end. Her body hummed every time she got close.

She'd tried flirting with Jas to no avail. She'd tried dropping hints. She'd even tried mentioning to fellow teammates how good-looking she thought Jas was, hoping the word might get back to the elephant somehow. But, so far, they hadn't gotten past being friends and teammates. The only thing that Maisy thought could possibly change their dynamic was if she came right out and, bluntly, asked Jasmine out.

Maisy wasn't sure she was ready for that yet. It'd be a big change, and she definitely did not want to risk losing that big figure in front of her on the track.

“Earth to Maisy?”

Maisy looked up from untying her skates to see her fellow teammate, Tina Turn Her, smiling at her. “Yes? Sorry. I zoned out there for a minute.”

“Yeah you did. I was asking if you were bringing anyone special to the dinner tonight?” After every bout, the teams all went out together and brought along their friends and family. With good food, good drink, and good company, it was always a great way to end the day. For Maisy, it was also a great excuse to spend more time around Jas.

Tonight, however, Maisy wasn't so sure she even felt like going. Their team, the Bi-town Bombshells, were ahead, but only just barely. The current score at half-time was 59 to 55. And Maisy blamed herself for their not being ahead by a larger margin. Because she didn't feel like she had brought her A-game. Because she didn't feel so good.

Her head ached. Her throat stung. And her nose itched. So far, Maisy had managed to make it through the  match without coughing or sneezing, so she guessed whatever she was coming down with wasn't too severe. Maybe it was just a cold or, even better, just a little sniffle. Still, she didn't feel much like socializing tonight. The team dinner usually lasted for hours, and even though she kept nocturnal hours normally, tonight all she felt like doing was going home and burrowing beneath her blankets. “No, I didn't bring anyone,” she answered. “You?”

“Oh, you know it, girl!” replied the coyote, her eyes shining with pride. Then Tina proceeded to overshare about the girl she was currently head over heals for. She shared everything from their meeting at a hot dog cart in the park one day to the sound her girl made during cunnilingus. Maisy wasn't interested in a bit of it, but she smiled and nodded as she let her mind wander. She was thrilled when it was finally time to huddle up again to go over their plans for the second half of the match.

Maisy rubbed at her nose as she listened. Directly across the group from her was Jasmine. Maisy found herself staring more than she thought she probably should be. But those deep, beautiful, brownish-red eyes were so hard to tear her gaze away from.

“On three. Ready, girls?” Realizing that the session was over, Maisy quickly stuck her hand into the center with the others for the cheer. “One, two, three: Bombshells!”

Maisy wasn't one of the girls sent onto the track to start the second half, but she rolled her feet forward and back, keeping her legs warm and ready. She had to be swift. She had to be stealthy. She had to be sneaky. She had... to take a drink of water.

Her throat seized up and she coughed involuntarily into a paw as she grabbed for her water bottle. A swig of water only made her cough more, and one of the coaches glanced over at her. She waved it off and turned, managing another sip that calmed the spasms so she could breathe freely again. Just in time, too, because she was sent right out for the next bout.

She found herself right behind You Bet Your Jas as they started out. Jas glanced back, giving her a reassuring smile before they got into position, ready to skate. Maisy tried to tell herself it was just a friendly teammate sort of smile, but deep down she wanted to believe it was something more. Her heart leaped about in her chest at the possibility, though she had little time to analyze it. The whistle blew and they started.

Getting past the blockers was easy enough on the first pass. She was out ahead of the City Rollers' jammer, Made 'em Cry. She issued a blast of speed, careful but swift even around the turns. She approached the pack, bent almost in half, all ready to do her thing and sneak through. She passed one player on their team and one on hers. Then she passed another on their team. Everything was going perfectly. And so, as luck would have it, that's when it happened.

Maisy sneezed. It wasn't loud, probably not even loud enough for most of the derby girls out on the track with her to have heard it. But it was just enough unexpected force that it threw her balance out of whack. She wobbled and her arm hit the torso of another player as one of her wheels struck another player's skates. She flailed desperately even as she fell with a hard thump to the floor.

Her hip made contact first, taking all her weight with it as she slid along the floor with the rest of her forward momentum. Then someone's skate crashed hard into the back of her thigh. She felt a leg graze her head as she ducked, pulling in on herself as much as possible to avoid being run over by anyone. Learning how to fall had been lesson one in how to be a good roller derby girl, and one she'd never forgotten, despite being light enough on her feet that she usually managed to avoid trouble. Sometimes you just couldn't get away from it.. and sometimes it's because of your own damn sneeze in the first place and you probably deserve being hurt for letting it out.

Owwww! But maybe not hurt this much, though. Ow ow ow ow! She raised her head from the floor and looked down to survey the damage. Her right leg had definitely gotten the worst of it. She could just imagine how bruised and sensitive to the touch it was going to feel later. But what she was worried about the most was her lower leg. Shooting pain raced through it and her skate was facing the wrong direction so her leg was twisted in an abnormal formation. The first thing—and, in fact, the only thing—she could think at first was “Ow!” And then, right after that, came “Please don't let it be broken!”

Maisy wasn't even aware of the whistle being sounded to call off the bout, but it must have happened because suddenly all the girls from both teams were crowding around her, worried expressions on their faces.

“Did someone crash into you?” asked Barnyard Betty.

“Is this a penalty?” asked Metro-Polly-Tin.

“Um...” Maisy didn't really want to admit she'd caused it herself, but she didn't want to blame the other team unnecessarily either. You Bet Your Jas skated over with a look in her eye that said she knew what had happened. She'd been so close, she had to have heard or seen or both. Most likely, both.

But she didn't say a thing about it. All she said was, “Are you all right?” All she was was full of concern, which warmed Maisy's heart.

“Yeah, I'm fine.” Maisy tried to give them all a reassuring smile. But when she started to get up, the pain that shot through her leg was excruciating; it kept her down, even though her hip hurt as it stayed in contact with the floor. “Ow!” There were tears in her eyes from the pain. “Maybe not fine...”

That was when her coaches arrived, bringing with them a first aid girl. There were always a couple of those on hand during matches. Someone helped her roll off her hip and onto her back where she lay for a moment before propping herself up on her elbows so she could see what was happening. One of the coaches untied her laces and gently slid her skate off her right foot. Then off came her bright red sock, carefully. “Can you try to wiggle your toes for me?” asked the medic. Maisy did, glad to see that her toes all moved, her claws clicking lightly on the smooth, polished floor. It probably wasn't broken then. “Carefully flex your foot back and forth at the ankle.” It hurt, but she did her best. She winced at the pain, but she was sure it wasn't broken.

And she ought to know, as an X-Ray tech. She'd seen just about every broken thing that could be broken in an animal. “I'm all right,” she told them. She tried to push herself up and winced again. Maybe not broken, but definitely hurt. Sprained?

“Looks like it's just a sprain,” the medic said, clinically rather than reassuringly. “And you're going to have one hell of a bruise. Let's get you over to the side and taken care of. All right?”

Maisy nodded. With one of her coaches under each of her arms, with her hurt leg bent, and with her other skate on the floor, they glided her off to the side. The audience and other players all clapped for her, which she had mixed feelings about. It was her fault, after all.

They lowered her into one chair then propped her other leg up on a duffle bag. R.I.C.E. was what she needed now: rest, ice, constriction, and elevation. The medic had a tight bandage for her leg and one of those ice packs you crack to activate. So she was set for the rest of the event as far as her leg was concerned. Having to watch from the sidelines and not get to play or help her team out was excruciating. She itched to get back in the action, but all she could do was watch and cycle the ice pack between her sprained leg and her bruised hip.

More than once, what was blossoming into a cold in her head tried to present itself to her. A few times she coughed and had to grab for her water bottle that one of the coaches had kindly brought over for her. But more often it was a sneezy urge in her nose that prickled and tickled until she had to sneeze. But she managed to sneeze softly enough, buried against her furry arm, that she was pretty sure no one heard and nobody noticed.

In the end, the Bi-town Bombshells lost by twenty points. It was closer than it could have been, but a loss was still a loss. The only good news was that there were still a handful of matches left in the season and Maisy was sure her leg would be better by the next one. She held back a frustrated growl, teeth clenched, as the other team took their victory lap first around the track, slapping hands and bumping fists with everyone who'd bought a ticket to watch.

Just before it was the Bombshells' turn to take their lap to thank the fans, Jasmine skated over to Maisy.  “How are you doing, Crazy Maisy?” she asked. Without waiting for an answer, she asked, “Do you want some help?”

“Help?” Maisy repeated, confused.

“I'll take that as a yes.” Then Maisy found herself gently being hauled up out of the chairs. Jasmine held her tight from behind, supporting her but letting her good leg extend at the right height for her skate to roll on the floor. They joined the team line in the very back for the skate around, and Maisy held her hand out for both of them, receiving praise for the part of the game she'd been able to play and for being there despite the injury.

Roller derby was a physical sport, and injuries weren't uncommon. In fact, the ones that weren't so bad usually improved a player's reputation. Those were black and blue badges of honor. Some of the more serious ones, the ones that required surgeries, were scary and sometimes meant the end of a player's roller derby career. Maisy still felt stupid but about this, but she was glad the injury wasn't worse.

You Bet Your Jas steered her back to her chair, depositing her with the gentle care that Maisy would never have guessed their biggest blocker possessed. “Thanks,” she said.

“No problem. Can I help out in any other way? Oh, do you need a ride to dinner?”

Maisy shook her head. Sometime during the second half of the game, she had decided she definitely wasn't feeling up for dinner. “No, thanks. I think I'll give it a miss. I'd better just go home. To tell you the truth... I'm feeling a bit ill.”

Jas' face fell. “So sorry to hear that. I saw you sneeze a few times. I'd been hoping that wasn't the case.”

“You saw?” All right, now she was worried that others had seen as well. Did everyone on both teams now know how pathetic she looked? “Did everyone see?”

“I don't think so,” Jas responded. “I might have been keeping my eye on you.” She paused then tried, awkwardly, to make that sound less obsessive. “I was worried about you after that fall, Miss Crazy.”

Maisy knew it was up to her to make Jas feel better now. “Thanks. That was sweet of you.” A violent shiver ripped through her; the ice pack wasn't quite so cold now, but it her shiver wasn't from that.

“Oh, poor thing! Here.” Jas reached into her duffle bag and pulled out a sweater. Its pattern was gray and blue stripes, and it was a tight knit, thick and warm. But it was so large it could have fit two badgers into it. It hung all the way down to Maisy's knees and the long sleeves made her feel warm right down to her paws.

“Thanks. Again.” It seemed all she was doing today was thanking Jas. And though it was nice to be making a connection with her, this wasn't exactly the impression she wanted to make. She didn't want to be some ill, injured, poor luck case for Jas to feel sorry for. She wanted to catch the elephant's eye as someone confident, attractive, worthy enough to consider dating, despite the stigma about it. So Maisy tried to stand up on her own, to project a little of that image.

Unfortunately, the only image she ended up projecting was that of a clumsy badger whose sprained and badly bruised leg couldn't possibly support her weight. She crumbled. She would have hit the floor again. She would have stupidly aggravated her condition. But Jasmine reached out and caught her, pulling her close. You Bet Your Jas' body was still hot and sweaty from the bouts, and it was both lovely and intoxicating to be pressed up against it again, this time with her sensitive nose right there between Jas' breasts. She felt her insides melt into an ooey, gooey mess of emotions. Then she felt the elephant stroke the back of her head with her trunk. “I think I'd better drive you home tonight.”

“But what about my car?” Maisy exclaimed.

“Leave it here until you've kicked the worst of this. I can drive you back to pick it up or you can take an Uber to get it. But if one little sneeze does this to your leg when you're on skates, I'd hate to see what one little sneeze might do when you're behind the wheel of a car.”

It was sound reasoning, sure, and spending more time with Jas sounded lovely. She just wished it were under much different circumstances.

“C'mon. What d'ya say?”

Maisy threw up her arms. “What choice do I have? Thank you again!”

Jas shook her head. “You'd do the same for me, right?”

“In a heartbeat.” After getting their skates off, Jas grabbed their bags and helped Maisy hobble out of the facility to the parking lot. Maisy hopped to move forward and leaned on her teammate for support. It was slow-going, and Maisy was tired and coughing by the time they got to the car. Then Jas gently helped Maisy climb in, swinging her leg with care. Maisy winced once, briefly, but she settled into the large seat all right. Jas even helped her buckle her seat belt.

After telling Jasmine where she lived, Maisy sat back and enjoyed having some time when they weren't talking about Maisy's injured leg. They chatted about the game, about various plays that worked and ones that didn't. They totally fangirled about the good plays the other team did well. 

And then came the moment Maisy had been dreading; her nose tickled again. Maybe it was her fuzzy head or maybe it was the worry that she might sneeze and cause Jas to veer wildly out of control, but she decided at once to tell Jasmine about it. “You don't happen to have any tissues, do you?” she asked, rubbing at her nose. “I think I feel another sneeze coming on.”

It was Jasmine's turn to look like she was in pain. “Um, no. I'm sorry. Regular tissues are, um, a little small for me.”

Once again, Maisy felt stupid. “Oh, uhhhh of course.”

Jasmine quickly came up with a solution, however. “You can feel free to use the sleeve of my sweater, if you need something to cover your nose with.”

Maisy felt embarrassment set in and rise above the stupidity.

“Seriously!” Jas took her eyes off the road to throw a brief glance over in Maisy's direction. “I'll just be popping it into the washer along with my roller derby outfit when I get home anyway. So go right ahead.”

Maisy hesitated, staring at the soft, thick sweater. Her only other option was tugging up the sweater and sneezing into her arm. And the sleeve did look so inviting. It could take it. And if Jas truly didn't mind. “Okay... I... uh uhh-Tchew! T'chew!”

“Oh my God!” Jas took a hand off the wheel and pressed it to her heart.

“What?” Maisy checked the road, worried that there must be something up ahead or something terrible they'd just passed.

“Those were just about the cutest little sneezes I've ever heard in my life. Were you holding back on my account, or do you usually sneeze like that?”

Maisy felt the embarrassed heat rise in her again. “I usually sneeze like that.”
Jasmine looked impressed. “Wow. You're so lucky. They're adorable. My sneezes are nothing like that. Mine are these huge productions from start to finish.”

Maisy's heart skipped as she imagined what Jas' sneezes would be like. She imagined Jas with a big ol' cold in her trunk, all sniffly and sneezy and unable to hold it back. Tickles like this were tough to beat, Maisy knew. But Jasmine might try anyway, drawing out the desperate need to release before it exploded from her into a tissue so large it might be the size of Maisy herself.

And then Maisy grew warmer yet, imagining Jasmine letting lose with such a big sneeze and not even having a tissue. All she would have was Maisy in this very sweater, warm and welcoming and ready to catch the sneeze. Oh, Maisy would do her best to smother it with her body, feeling the burst of air and wet on her chest and arms. Then she would hug Jas' trunk affectionately, petting it and telling Jas that she did well, that it was okay. That it was more than okay. All that would get Maisy so hot and bothered. Hell, she was pretty hot already just imagining it right now, and she was the one with the cold, not Jasmine.

And she couldn't even tell Jasmine any of this. She couldn't say that she thought Jas' sneezes would be magnificent, that they weren't anything to complain about. One didn't tell one's crush about one's kooky little sexual fetish for sneezes, not if one wanted said crush to become one's girlfriend eventually.

So all she could think to answer with was a soft, “I bet your sneezes are perfect for you.” She sniffed and rubbed her nose a little into the soft sleeve. She could feel her nose starting to get warm and irritated already. By this time tomorrow, she'd have a full-blown, exceedingly miserable cold.

Oh, and a sprained and bruised leg as well, of course. Maisy was pretty sure this was not going to be her best week.

When they got to her apartment building, Jasmine helped her inside. She hobbled to the apartment building door, then across the lobby, then to the elevator. Most days, she scampered up the stairs, quick as anything. But today she was glad her building was one of the few on the block with working elevators as well, even though the elevator was on the opposite end of the hall from her apartment. After more hobbling, they finally arrived. Maisy used her key to open the door then practically threw herself onto her couch, collapsing in gratitude and exhaustion. Her leg hurt in this position, but it wasn't so bad to make her move just yet.

And the thing that finally made her lift her head from the couch cushion she had hugged to her front was another tickle in her nose. “ehh!” She looked around, certain she'd had a tissue box around here somewhere at some point. But she couldn't see one now. She nuzzled her little nose into the copious amount of sleeve, able to easily find a dry spot to sneeze and snuffle into. “ehh ehhh-Chew!”

Jasmine smiled so genuinely, cocking her great head, ears flapping lightly. “Se adorable.”

Maisy wanted to bury her head in the cushion again, and she would have done exactly that if Jasmine hadn't engaged her in conversation right away.

“You mentioned having crutches somewhere, from when you hurt your leg before. Can I get them for you so you can get around easier? Oh! And you'll need another ice pack, right?”

Maisy nodded. “There should be a boo boo bunny pack in the freezer. And my crutches are in the hall closet next to the bathroom. Thanks again, Jas. I really sniff I really owe you... for... for... ihchew! Sniff! For taking care of me today. You're right; I never could have driven home in this condition.”

“It takes a big girl to admit when she needs help,” Jasmine said with nothing at all but awe and kindness in her voice. “I'll be right back.”

While Jas was gone, Maisy grabbed the blanket resting on the back of the couch and pulled it over herself the best she could. The only time she'd really been warm since the accident on the track was when she'd been snuggled up against Jas' chest. But the blanket wasn't so bad.

When Jas got back, her arms were full. She carried the crutches, certainly, but she also had a box of tissues, a glass of water, a bottle of pills, and a hot water bottle. “I hope you don't mind, but I raided your linen closet and bathroom while I was over there, so I've brought you a bunch of things. If you don't want any of them, I'll take them back.”

Maisy accepted them all gratefully. Once she'd snuggled in, comfortable with the extra warmth, something to sneeze into, and some medicine that would hopefully start making her feel better, her face glowed with a smile. “Thanks. I'd hug you, but I don't want to get you sick.”

That statement wasn't a complete lie. As much as she would like finding out what it would be like to hear Jas sneeze, she didn't want Jas feel miserable with this cold.

Maisy yawned, unexpectedly.

Of course Jas noticed. “I should go and let you get some rest. Can I get you anything else before I go?” 

Maisy wanted to ask her to stay, but she knew that was a terrible idea. Not only would it be way too presumptuous and clingy and moving too fast, but she might end up giving Jasmine her cold. “Nope. I'm fi... fine.” She pulled a tissue from the box and pressed it neatly under her nose. “ih ih ihchew!”

“Aw, feel better, my Crazy girl.”

Maisy's tummy did a little flip. Her crazy girl? Not just 'Crazy Maisy' but hers? The only thing that would have made it any better would have been a kiss goodbye, and Maisy certainly didn't expect anything of that sort. So she let Jasmine leave, the door locking on her way out.

Sniffling, Maisy sank into her little nest of blanket and cushions, trying to prepare herself for a long night of feeling crummy.


Caught up in all the terrible drama that daytime television had to offer, Maisy almost missed the vibrating buzz of her phone on the coffee table, covered in about a hundred used tissues. She lunged forward, clearing the balled-up wads away until she uncovered it. One glance showed her it had been a text message from Jas. Most excellent.

   Jasmine: I'm in your neck of the woods. Want me to pick up some lunch for you?

Glancing in the direction of her kitchen, stocked with little more than some TV dinners, that offer sounded appealing, especially as it meant seeing Jas again for a few minutes. But she wasn't all too sure she wanted Jas to see her at the moment. She'd woken up that morning with the cold in full force. After a night of snuffling and nose blowing, she'd hobbled into the bathroom on crutches to find her entire nose the shade of red one usually reserves for tomatoes, stop signs, and fire trucks. Her cold had never been more obvious, but it wasn't as though Jas didn't know. And it meant she could delay a trip to the store a little longer, that was definitely a brilliant thing.

“hih! hihchew! Ihchew!” She grabbed another tissue and dabbed at her sore, full nose. Blowing her nose hurt and sometimes made it tickle even more. But it was either that or have her nose drip all over the place. And she might be feeling sluggish and miserable and full of cold, but she was still going to blow her nose when she needed to.

Several honks later, she had finally made up her mind. She tapped out a reply, careful her claws didn't touch the phone and create typos.

   Maisy: Would love something warm. Eggs? Something with roots and insects? Soup maybe?

The text back took only a few seconds.

   Jasmine: You've got it!

Maisy's small burst of excitement faded the moment she set the phone down in the pile of tissues. She had made a right mess of her living room in less than a day. It was easier to throw things or drop them over the side of the couch rather than get up on, trying to hold them while maneuvering with crutches, to throw them away. Dirty dishes lines the floor of the couch. Glasses and water bottles were staggered around the coffee table. Three blankets on the couch hid the two now warm and sloshy ice packs that were under there somewhere. The smell of menthol filled the room. And tissues were absolutely everywhere. Ashamed, Maisy grabbed her crutches and tried to start rounding up the mess.

It wasn't as though Jasmine didn't know she was sick. It was just that Jas didn't need to know that a little cold transformed her not only into a clumsy oaf but also into a complete slob.

Both her cold and mobility issues made tidying up slow and difficult work, but eventually she made her living room somewhat presentable. As if on cue, her doorbell rang. Already up, Maisy headed over, leaning on one leg and crutch as she unlocked it and tugged it open, then quickly got back, out of the way of the swinging door so Jas could enter without running her over.

It turned out, that had been a good move, because Jasmine brought with her four bags and came bursting through with them, trunk raised out in front of her with the offerings. “Oh, sit, sit!” she insisted when Maisy offered to help her with the food. “I've got this.”

By the time Maisy had settled back onto the couch with her crutches leaning against the arm and her leg propped up on a small mound of pillows, Jas was back with a tray balanced expertly on the end of her trunk. “Working at a diner doesn't pay much, but I do have a certain skill set,” she said, her mouth moving but her trunk remaining perfectly still and in place. On the tray were a whole array of bowls and cups and plates and utensils and condiments. She set the tray down with great care in the exact spot where she Maisy had just cleared away so many tissues.

“Start with the soup. You don't want it to get cold,” Jas said, nudging one of the bowls to the edge, then grabbing a spoon by its handle with her trunk and holding it out to Maisy. “Egg drop, and pretty hot still. I was holding it on my lap to keep it warm on the drive over.”

Maisy laughed and took the spoon. It tasted wonderful, warming her up from the very first bite onward. “Where'd you get this?” Jas hesitated, and Maisy quickly retracted the question. “Oh, I did't ask to but you od the sbot like that. I barely dow the dabes of restauradts adyway. h'tchew! Sniff! So was it that little blace id the strib ball at that idtersectiod across frob by abartbedt cobplex?”

Jas' eyes lit up. “Yes! That was probably i—”

“Odly I dod't rebeber their soub tasting this good.”

Again, Jas looked hesitant—almost distressed in fact. “Well, I—”

“But I have a cold. Sniff! By dose is all stuffed ub. Baybe it just tastes differedt. Add it's beed a while sidce I had their soub. They brobably adjusted the rec... recipe.” Maisy quickly sneezed into her arm. “hihchew!” But she didn't let the matter drop. “Don't cooks sometimes do that?”

“Um, yeah. Sure. That's definitely possible. Once in a while we try to change something at the diner... it never goes very well. We've got a lot of regular customers, you know, and they like things a very particular way. Heaven forbid we ever change the kind of flour we use in our blueberry pie, or we'll hear it from Old Pete, I'm telling you!”
Maisy couldn't help but notice Jas was talking faster than usual. And instead of eating her own soup, she was only swirling the spoon around in the bowl in one direction then the other. Instead of taing a seat on the other end of the couch or either of the armchairs, she stood on the other side of the coffee table, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. And she didn't quite meet Maisy's gaze as she spoke. Maybe she was nervous about being here in a germ-infested room around a teammate who kept sneezing. “t'chew! Chew! Sniff! You dow, you dod't have to stick aroud if you have subwhere else to be.”

Jas shook her head, ears flapping. “No... I... I was just finishing up my errands. I'm free the rest of the afternoon. But if you're tired and would rather I leave, I can—”

“Thed stay. Sit dowd add joid be for a while... hah-hahchew! Sniff! As lodg as you dod't bide by cold.” She nodded toward the other bowl of soup. “Add eat ub.”

Jas took a seat in one of the armchairs. Maisy would have preferred to have shared the couch, but she reminded herself that she looked every bit as sick as she felt right now, and that couldn't be especially appetizing. A coffee table buffer between them was probably a brilliant idea.

“So, tell be, what else did you brig?”

“There's an insect, mushroom, and potato casserole. Should last you a few days. And there's an apple tart. And...” She reached out and pushed the mug forward a few inches. “Some mint tea.”

“Ohhh,” Maisy sighed. “That's by favorite!”

“I know.”

Spoon halfway to her mouth, Maisy paused. “You... how do you... what do you bead?”

Jas looked even more uncomfortable than before. She stared down at the bowl of soup she wasn't eating and the spoon she wasn't even nervously fidgeting with now.

“Jas? Are you okay?” A wave of fear washed over Maisy. “Oh doe... are you ill? You did't catch by cold, did you?” She thought about all the moments yesterday when Jasmine had held her or when she'd been so close, breathing right on her.

“No!” Jasmine exclaimed. “That's not it...”

Oh, so there was definitely something. “Thed what's wrog?”

She took a deep breath, still not daring to look up yet. Her trunk traced the rim of her soup bowl. “Nothing.”

“Subthig's clearly wrog. What is it?”

With a deep breath, Jasmine confessed. “I, um, I remembered you liked mint tea because you're always ordering it after our roller derby dinners.”

This shocked Maisy into silence. Jas noticed what she ordered? Jas actually noticed and remembered what she ordered? What could that mean? And now that she thought about it, it occurred to her that every time they ate at the Chinese restaurant with the team, she always ordered egg drop soup. And there was a mushroom and root vegetable dish sort of like this casserole at the restaurant. “Jas...” Suddenly, everything was falling into place around her. “Did you cook these for me?”

“What? Like I said, I picked them up.”

“Did you bick theb ub after cookig theb?”

There was a pink flush in her cheeks that told the answer well enough for Maisy.

“You did't deed to do that.”

“I know I didn't. That's why I was pretending I hadn't. Well.. that and it makes me look....”

“Like you fadcy be?”

Jas nodded, raising her eyes shyly but hopefully.

“Good. Because I fadcy you too.”

Jasmine sat up straighter, eyes widening. “Really?”

“Of course. I wadt to sbed tibe with you. Sniff! Why else do you thidk I'd let you id the door whed I look so aw... awful? 'Scuse be... hih-chew!” She couched her nose in a handful of tissues and snuffled wetly.

“Not so awful,” Jas said, reaching over the lunch to pull a tissue from the box on the coffee table. She held it at the end of her trunk, and Maisy had the impression that it was a white flag, an offering of peace and surrender but also maybe a promise to tell the truth from now on. Embracing that spirit of honesty, Maisy took the tissue and honked her bright red nose into it. “Really,” Jas reassured her. “Not so awful at all. Everything you do is cute. Especially your sneezing. So adorable. And I happen to love adorable.”

Heat filled Maisy's head. Was Jasmine actually saying this? Did she mean something by it beyond just a simple infatuation? She would have liked to have asked. She would have liked to have told Jas about her fetish. But that might scare the elephant off for good. This was too new for her to take that risk. “I cad't believe you rebebered what kide of tea I like.”

Jas tapped the side of her head. “I'm an elephant. I've got an amazing memory. We never forget anything.”

“I thought that was just ad exbressiod.”

She gave a little shrug. “It was always true for me. I remember every customer I've ever served at the diner, every plot twist in all the movies I've ever seen, and every move we've ever made out there on the roller derby track.”

Maisy wiped her nose. “So there is doe chadce you'll forget that ebarrassig tibe I sdeezed add lost by baladce add sbraided by leg?”

“No chance,” Jasmine agreed, smiling. “But I promise not to bring it up again, if it makes you feel better.” She took a deep breath. “Do you mind if I move over to the couch?”

“Blease do.” Maisy shifted over a little to make enough room for the elephant. Things felt a little lighter and freer as they resumed their lunch. Jasmine seemed more relaxed, Maisy felt overjoyed, and there was a shared sense of relief. Jas finally ate some of her lunch as well, which was a peanut butter and banana sandwich, abandoning the soup that had already grown cold. “This is abazig,” Maisy said after her first swallow of the casserole.

“I made that last night, just in case. I thought, I could just leave it for you if you didn't want to see me. But I'm glad you let me in. I know you probably don't feel your best, but I don't mind if it means getting to spend some more time with you.”

“I thidk... I... thihh! ihChew! Ihchew! Snfff! I thidk you'd brobably have bore fud sbedig tibe with be whed I'b dot so stuffed ub with a ruddy, sdeezy, scratchy cold id by head.”

“Let me be the judge of that.” She took another tissue from the box with her trunk and wiped it gently at Maisy's nose. “And, after we eat, if you need any help with anything... doing the dishes, putting in a load of laundry, staying warm here on the couch with maybe an elephant's arms around you... you just let me know, all right? I'm happy to help any way I can.”

Maisy nodded. She had said thank you so much already it hardly seemed like the words had any impact left. “Ode,” she replied, holding up one finger to make it clear. While she had her finger up, she rubbed it at her tickling nose.

Jas narrowed her eyes. “One?” she repeated, not understanding.

“Yes. I'b goig to start coudtig the duber of tibes I wadt to kiss you. That way, whed I dod't have a codtageous head cold, I cad bay you back for beig so sweet to be.”

Jas smiled back. “I like the way you think, Crazy Maisy. Now that casserole isn't going to eat itself. And I'm sure as heck not going to eat it. Did you know there are insects in there?”

Maisy laughed as they resumed eating. “Two,” she said, so softly she didn't intend Jas to hear. But one of Jas' large ears twitched.

I Found Something! / Zoobilee Zoo
« on: October 30, 2016, 01:48:54 PM »
From my childhood...

(M, Fox)

I also remember Lookout (M, Bear) being sick in episode "A-Camping We Will Go" but I can't find that online *pout*

And I've been trying to track down the episode of the show Today's Special "Noses" where Muffy (F, Mouse) catches a cold. I KNOW I watched it on YouTube years ago, but can't find it online now. Drat!

I'm New Here / Hiya!
« on: October 30, 2016, 03:37:49 AM »
Feels kind of odd to be introducing myself, but here we go :-) I wanted to join mostly to enjoy and thank y'all for some amazing stories and artwork. Guh. Seriously.

I'm not sure I'm into furries (though my eye has definitely been caught more than once at cons when someone's cosplaying and has a seductive swinging, fluffy tail...). But I'm definitely into non-human characters sneezing, especially when it's elephants (there was a story in my Highlights magazine when I was a kid about an elephant desperately wanting to catch cold so he'd miss school, and the image of that always stuck with me) or canines (my first ever written sneezefic/fanfic was Pound Puppies, back when I was a kid). I also adore just about anybody with an exaggerated, big, red nose full of cold or an adorably wrinkling, ticklish snout. Yes please on both counts. Odor of the Day still gets to me.

Anyway, hi! I'm suuuuuper nervous to be posting here (yeah, I know, but I AM), and just wanted to say hi and THANK YOU for the awesome collection of works! So much talent!

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