(Book I of the Oerth Cycle)
(C) 1999 BY
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"Purr... Master, you're so wise. The pulley at the top of the shed used to pull the balloon, as you call it, upright? I never would have thought of that. But how will that balloon lift the boat into the sky?"
Tinker paused in studying the design notes he had made that were now spread across the table, and looked behind him at T'Vril in irritation. She'd been an enormous help already, and already a quarter of the frame was done. If the mus came through with the silk he needed, he might have the airship finished in two weeks with her help. She worked hard, and uncomplainingly. She was taller than a female mus, and built about the same. Also, even though she wasn't nearly as strong as a female mus, she was still much stronger than Tinker. She was able to simply drag or pick up objects it would have taken Tinker hours to rig a pulley and rope to move. With all this, it was almost easy to ignore her one drawback - she constantly asked questions. The mus never asked questions - they simply worked. Their eyes would watch everything, and Tinker always had the feeling that they were stealing his secrets just by looking, but they never asked questions. T'Vril, on the other paw, always concentrated on the task at paw, her eyes never straying. But she always asked questions.
Tinker Thought about it. Some parts of the airship weren't secret, but others were. What made the airship fly was simple - hot air rises. However, that knowledge, while easily discovered by anyone, led to the conclusion that this rising air could be used as a lifting force, and that was a secret. "I'm sorry, T'Vril, I can't tell you. It's one of our secrets."
"Purr... But Master... I am your property. Your secrets are safe with me..." T'Vril replied, running the soft pad of a fingertip along Tinker's tail. Tinker shivered.
"I... I..." he stammered.
"Mrowr... Master, your tail is so handsome..." T'Vril purred, wrapping her paw around Tinker's tail and stroking it gently.
"Oooo..." Tinker replied, trembling.
"Purr... Master, stop fiddling with those papers for a moment. Make love to me... Take me..." T'Vril purred, parting her lips and slipping the tip of Tinker's tail into her muzzle, then sucking on it gently.
Tinker turned on his pillow to face T'Vril, fumbling with his trousers. T'Vril placed her paws beneath his shoulders, pulling him atop her as she smoothly lay back on the mat-covered floor. With a practiced touch, she tugged free the tie to his trousers and slipped them off him, releasing his tail for a moment to toss the garment aside. Tinker's tail slipped down to wrap itself around T'Vril's furry tail, and as he ground himself down into her, she reached down with her paw to squeeze the base of his tail. Tinker trembled, then stopped.
"Purr... Master, why do you stop?" T'Vril asked.
Tinker looked up from between her furry breasts, his expression sheepish. "Umm... I'm sorry, this is only the second time I've done this..." Tinker replied, the tips of his ears flushing pink.
"Mrr... And you do it so well, Master. Here, let me get you started again..." T'Vril purred, and continued squeezing the base of Tinker's tail with her paw while she ran her other paw down his furry spine beneath his tunic.
"Oooo...' Tinker whispered, his eyes closing with pleasure.
"Miaow..." T'Vril replied, smiling as she felt Tinker resume after a few minutes.
* * *
T'Vril cuddled Tinker's little head to her breasts, stroking behind his ears idly as she luxuriated in the afterglow of a moderately enjoyable coupling. Though he was of the proportions she expected him to be, his shy, bashful inexperience was amusing, and his youthful energy and fire was interesting. She looked down to his face, and saw he was just at the verge of sleep, lulled there by the afterglow of his first truly fulfilling sexual experience and her quiet purring. The perfect moment.
"Purr... You were marvelous, Master. I am very proud and happy to be your property," she purred quietly.
"Mmm... You're welcome. I liked it, too," Tinker replied sleepily.
"Mrr... Tell me, Master... How will the balloon lift the ship into the sky? I'm quite curious," she purred, almost idly.
"Hot air. Hot air rises. When the balloon fills with hot air, that hot air wants to go up to the sky. The balloon contains it, and is lifted by it," Tinker murmured.
"Mrr... Master, you are so wise," T'Vril whispered, and purred quietly until Tinker had fallen asleep.
T'Vril smiled. Her plan, conceived of after she had seen the gun and what it could do, was working perfectly. The little mustie-girl had acted just as T'Vril thought she would, rejecting the shallow little Tinker for Xaa, whom any idiot could see she was head-over-footpads in love with. Xaa, of course, was a typical mus, his nose so high in the air with his wretched honor and duty and traditions he couldn't even recognize the mustie was no mere infatuated child, but a full adult - and as such, his rejection of her was only spurring her love to greater heights. This left Tinker, the shallow, petty, timid little thing that he was, all alone in a strange land of what, to him, were fearsome, carnivorous giants. It had seemed an obvious situation for her to exploit - and the Art of Manipulation was the first skill her mother had taught her as a kitten. T'Vril was, in the end, a properly-educated she-cat.
Yes, Tinker had been easily duped into
alienating the mus so badly that she was now the only being he
could communicate with. At the same time, he believed her to be
his quiet little submissive, ready, willing and eager to please
him. 'It is fortunate he is so young. If he was older, he
might have seen through this whole plan,' T'Vril thought to
herself, and smiled again. Yes, everything was going perfectly,
just as she planned. "Ah, Little One. You are almost a
passable lover, as well. Teaching you the Art of Love while I
root out all your little secrets will be a rather enjoyable
experience. I think the only thing I will enjoy more is tearing
out your little throat when I am through with you,"
T'Vril purred at Tinker in her own language, and he smiled in his
sleep at the sound of her voice.
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