Bonus Short: Ghost and Aury Take a Trip

A short, 8k-word story to celebrate the milestone of 1,500 members in the Lily’s Monster Lovers Facebook group! This features our favourite goblin shark monster baby and his anxious mate, a surprise for Ghost, and a *ahem* new experience for Aury. Enjoy!

Content warnings: Explicit sexual content, 18+ only, mentions of anxiety, mentions of the horrifying chaotic monster that lives inside Aury, a LOT of fluids, Ghost trying to take control, edging

Spoiler warning: Set after the events of Gloam (Monstrous: Book Four)


Ghost

“Ghost!”

The sharp crack of Anchor’s stern voice made my shoulders flinch. Turning with the bundle of fabric in my arms, I gave her a hesitant smile behind my mask.

She was striding across the grass from the diner, clipboard in hand and a determined look in her dark eyes, telling me that I wasn’t going to like what she was about to ask me to do.

“We’re running low on a few essentials,” she said in a no-nonsense tone when she reached me, flipping over the sheets of paper on her clipboard. “I need you to make a run to the market.”

My shoulders slumped. I furtively glanced around for Aury or Rig, but couldn’t see either of them. I’d thought Aury was in the vegetable patch, but I couldn’t see his wings from here.

“Um…” I shifted the bundle in my arms. “Okay. I just need to—”

“Can you go today?” She wasn’t looking at me as she scribbled something down. “You and Aury?”

My gut clenched. Going out into the Wastes wasn’t so bad anymore, now that I had Aury. I felt safe with him.

But it still sucked.

Clearing my throat, I lifted the fabric in my arms slightly. “I was actually just going to sew Aury—”

“Sorry Ghost, but we really need this stuff now. Apollo needs more bandages and a few other things. We need salt. I’ve got a pack of stuff to trade all ready for you. I really need you to set off today.”

Resentment flared in my belly, and for a moment, I thought I had it in me to refuse. To just tell her no, we wouldn’t go straight away just because she wanted us to. That I had stuff to do first.

But I heard myself quietly say, “Okay.”

“Great.” She flipped the papers back and looked at me. “Go pack a bag and I’ll get the pack to trade.”

My mouth twisted under my mask as she turned and strode toward the bar without a look back. I slowly started walking to our room, my steps dragging. The market was at least a week’s walk from here.

Aury wasn’t in our room, but as I stepped inside I could hear him murmuring softly in the yard out back. It helped to chase off some of the bitterness pinching my features, and after dumping the fabric on the table, I went back outside to meet him.

He was sitting on the ground in the yard, legs loosely crossed with Trixie on his lap, Ginger perched precariously on one of his long toes, and Bianca glaring with beady eyes from a short distance away.

He lifted his head when the metal gate squeaked as I pushed it open, giving me a big beaming smile.

I grinned back as I tugged down my mask, letting it hang around my neck. “Hi.”

Crouching beside him, I rested a hand on his thigh and leaned in for a kiss. Trixie squawked indignantly and hopped off his lap, flapping her wings to let me know that she didn’t appreciate sharing him.

Aury smiled into the kiss, dropping another on my cheek when I pulled back.

“Are you alright?” he asked, curling a hand around my hip.

“Yeah, but… Anchor has asked if we can go to the market to get some stuff.” I winced. “She wants us to go today. Like, now.”

“That’s fine.” Aury twitched his clawed toe until Ginger reluctantly hopped off, then stood gracefully. “Shall we pack your bag?”

I sighed, slipping my hand into his. “I guess.”

He looked down at me as we walked out of the yard. “You don’t want to go?”

“I was going to start making your new coat,” I grumbled.

“I don’t mind waiting for it.” Aury opened our bedroom door and placed a gentle hand on my lower back to usher me through. “And it’s best for us to go now before the weather starts getting worse.”

He was right. It was getting cold quickly, which soon meant snow. I was still pissed as I packed my bag, shoving in clothes, my small medical kit, a blanket because I knew there weren’t that many safe shelters between here and the underground raider market, so we’d probably be spending a night or two camped outside. The thought made me sigh as I zipped up my backpack and glanced back at our bed longingly.

At least I could take a proper weapon on trips into the Wastes now. Not just my useless gun and crowbar. Aury and I had brought back a cache of weapons from the soldiers we encountered on our way back from the Topeka camp, and he made sure I always got one before we went anywhere.

Before we left our room, I pulled on my gloves and fitted my gas mask back over my mouth. As we stepped outside, I saw Lilac and Anchor walking over from the bar, the former carrying a big duffle bag which he promptly handed to Aury.

I eyed it. “What’s that?”

“Your food and the goods to trade,” Lilac said flatly.

“Oh.” I fidgeted with the strap of my backpack. “Do we need such a big bag? I don’t want Aury to have to carry that—”

“It’s fine, Ghost,” Aury said softly, smoothing a hand over my hair. “It’s not heavy.”

Anchor was grinning behind her plain green mask as she and Lilac followed us to the container entrance. “Have fun, you two.”

Fun? I resisted the urge to shoot her an unimpressed look as Aury stepped into the container, the claws on his wings scraping the metal ceiling.

“Take your time,” Lilac said, crossing his arms as he watched us. “We’ll be fine here. I’ll look after the girls.”

I snorted. “We’re not going to draw it out. The market isn’t fun. We’ll be back as soon as we can.”

Because I wanted to sleep in my bed with my big monster, not in a crappy old gas station or on the hard ground.

“Mhmm,” Lilac said, raising a hand in goodbye as I followed Aury out of the camp.

“I could fly us some of the distance,” Aury said when I fell into step beside him, threading his fingers through my gloved ones.

My stomach twisted into an anxious knot. He’d offered several times to fly me places. But the thought of being that high off the ground, precariously held in his arms…

I trusted Aury with my life, but still. All it would take is a moment of distraction and I’d be plummeting to my death. I shuddered, trying to push the memory of the wind rushing past my ears as I fell from the camp wall. Cutter’s furious eyes, Lilac’s horrified ones. The awful, anguished sound Aury had made when I’d vanished over the lip of the wall.

“It’s okay.” I smiled up at him. “At least I have you with me this time. And it might be nice to be alone for a little while. Even though Gloam and Rig have moved one door over, Ican still hear them sometimes.”

Aury chuckled. “Yes. They are certainly… passionate.”

My cheeks heated yet again at the memory of Rig telling us he’d heard us fucking through the wall. He’d mentioned hearing something the morning after mine and Aury’s first night together, but… I hadn’t realised we’d been that loud.

I glanced up at Aury through my eyelashes. Maybe if we found somewhere safe and secure out here, with a relatively clean bed… We could be as loud as we wanted.

The Wastes were quiet as we walked. But then, they always were now. Everything avoided Aury, which meant any monsters that we did see quickly vanished. But after a few hours of walking, I realised that Aury was veering off course.

“We need to keep going this way,” I told him with a smile, squeezing his hand.

He shook his head. “No, there’s a quicker way.”

My brows twitched into a frown. “We’re basically walking in a straight line. There isn’t a quicker way.”

Aury chuckled, coming to a stop and turning to face me. He clasped my chin and dipped his head to kiss me. “Trust me, Gage. We go this way.”

I huffed, even as I allowed him to tug me in the wrong direction. “I’ve made this journey lots of times, Aury. We need to keep heading—”

In a rush of movement, Aury picked me up and shot forward, his wings giving a single powerful flap to propel us. I squawked, clinging onto his arms wrapped tightly around my middle, and felt his breath ghost over my ear as he chuckled.

He set me down on a low branch of a towering oak, and my gloved fingers scrabbled over the rough bark to steady myself. I was panting lightly, my heart pounding.

I shot him a mock glare as he hovered in front of me, his feet barely off the ground and his wings lazily flapping to keep him suspended. With a mischievous grin, he tugged down my mask and swooped up to kiss me.

Before I could even properly kiss him back, he shot up into the air.

“Aury!” I spluttered, peering down at the ground. “You can’t leave me in this tree!”

I jumped when his face suddenly swung down in front of me—upside down. Looking up, I saw his big bird feet curled tightly around a higher branch.

“Hello,” he said with a teasing smile.

I couldn’t stop the grin that stretched my mouth. His black hair hung in a wavy waterfall, the sun reflecting off its emerald sheen. His wings were tucked into his body, and I felt the curving talons at the top of the fingers brush my jacket as I carefully leaned forward.

Long fingers squeezed my thighs as our lips met, sliding up and making me shiver. I’d never kissed anyone upside down before, and for some reason the sensation of our tongues meeting at this angle in a slow glide made my cock twitch in my pants.

Aury moaned softly into my mouth, his lips and tongue growing hungry. Gripping the branch tightly with one hand, I raised the other to cup the back of his head, sifting my fingers through silky strands of hair.

The kiss made me forget I was sitting precariously in a tree. The anxiety melted away with every slow thrust of Aury’s forked tongue, until I leaned closer and felt my body pitching forward before I jolted back, heart hammering.

Aury smiled and nuzzled my cheek—still upside down. “I won’t let you fall, Gage.”

“No, I know.” I peered down anxiously. “But maybe—Shall we get going? It’s a long walk to the market, and now you’re taking us some weird route I don’t know. How do you even know where the market is?”

Aury laughed, swinging up before his feet uncurled from the branch above. He gathered me into his arms, pressing a kiss to my hair as my boots touched the ground.

“I know where I’m going, Gage,” he said with a teasing smile, picking up the duffle from the ground and slinging it over his shoulder.

I huffed, but threaded my fingers through his and let him pull me in the direction he chose. Which was the wrong direction.

Maybe Anchor had told him to go to a different market? But they hadn’t spoken before we left. And why would she do that?

I got a bit tense as we kept walking. Where was Aury taking us? I parted my lips beneath my gas mask to ask several times, but nervously stayed quiet instead.

“Are you alright, Gage?” Aury asked gently when we’d been walking for a while, squeezing my hand.

We’d cleared the forest and were crossing wide, flat fields with long grass and rolling hills in the distance. It was chilly, but the sky was bright blue behind the clouds. I gripped Aury’s hand tighter when I heard something skittering through the long grass, hidden, but then whatever it was let out a terrified squeak and raced away.

“I’m okay.” I shot Aury a hesitant smile. “But, um… Aury, this is definitely the wrong way for the market.”

He stopped and turned to face me. I squawked when he swept me up into his arms, my legs snapping around his hips as I clung onto his shoulders.

As he nuzzled my cheekbone, just above the edge of my mask, his lips curved into a mischievous smile. “We’re not going to the market.”

“What?” My eyes darted to the duffle slung over his shoulder. “But Anchor said—”

“Do you trust me, Gage?”

I huffed. “Yes, but—”

My words ended with a scream when Aury shot forward with incredible speed, wings giving a powerful flap until we were airborne. My heart lurched, my fingers digging into his shoulders too hard.

“I won’t go high off the ground,” he said in my ear, the wind whistling past us. When he dipped his head and kissed my neck, I shivered while simultaneously clenching up with fear.

“Aury! Shouldn’t you watch where you’re going?”

He chuckled. “I am.”

“Wh-where are we going?” I refused to look down at the ground blurring beneath us. I was used to heights thanks to the camp wall, but this was… height at speed. There was no solid metal under my boots, just air. Air that was rushing past us very fast.

“I know you don’t like surprises, Gage.” Aury kissed my neck again, his lips so warm in contrast with the cold air chilling my skin. “But you will like this one.”

That almost made me relax—almost. I trusted Aury and he knew me better than anyone. But even as he told me I’d like this surprise—I couldn’t imagine any surprise in the Wastes being a good one—he angled his body up and started flying higher. And higher.

I clutched onto his shoulders with clawing fingers, panting in fear, trying not to make a sound like a total baby. I got a little dizzy, and even when I felt the gentle impact of Aury’s feet hitting the ground, my head spun for a few seconds.

He kissed the top of my head, carefully setting me on my feet and leaving his hands on my shoulders. “Are you alright, Gage?”

“Yeah,” I said faintly, tugging down my gas mask with trembling fingers to suck in a full breath.

Aury cupped my face the moment it was revealed, tilting my chin up. He grinned down at me, black eyes gleaming in the sun, their pinpricks of colour so bright in this light. The burn scars on his cheek looked ruddy, the texture rough. My chest ached at the sight, making me stretch up to kiss him on the cheek.

His head turned, his movements fast like a predator, to capture my lips with his. One hand cupped my chin, thumb stroking the corner of my mouth, while the other raked my windswept hair back from my face before cradling the back of my head.

Before I could get too distracted, I broke the kiss to smile up at him. “Okay. Where have you brought me?”

A mischievous smile tilted his lips. Settling his hands back on my shoulders, he gently spun me before looping his arms loosely around my neck.

I blinked at the tiny cabin. It was set back from the ridge Aury had flown us up to, and looked like an old, single-room cabin, the wood weathered but the roof intact. A stone chimney rose up on one side, and while the glass was gone from the small old windows, I could see curtains covering them from the inside.

There were fairy lights strung up along the front porch. I blinked at them, then looked up at Aury. “Does someone live here?”

“No.” He kissed my head before tangling our fingers together and tugging me forward. “Lilac and I have been cleaning it for us.”

“Lilac?” I echoed, letting him pull me toward the cabin. “Huh?”

Aury chuckled, glancing over at me. “When he and I went foraging the other day, we actually came here. He let me fly him here so we could be quick.” He nudged me playfully with his elbow.

My cheeks heated as I rolled my eyes. “Okay, Lilac’s fearless, unlike me.”

Aury stopped, turning to cup my face. “I don’t need you to be fearless, Gage,” he told me earnestly. “I will keep you safe.”

I grinned up at him. “I know.”

Taking my hand again, he led us to the cabin’s front porch. “It was Anchor’s idea for us to come here for a few days, to be alone.”

“Anchor? But she wanted us to go to the market.” Realisation dawned, and my face grew hotter as I silently acknowledged how slowly I was catching on. “Oh. Okay. That was just… a ruse.”

“Yes.” Aury shot me a tiny smile. “She fooled you well.”

I immediately felt guilty for the resentment that had flared when Anchor asked us to go to the market. I’d sew her a new mask when we got back, I decided. Or some socks. Aury loved the socks I’d made him.

Excitement bubbled when Aury opened the front door and gestured for me to step inside. It was small but cosy—and clean. Lilac and Aury had done a great job. The floors were swept, the surfaces wiped down. The fireplace had been cleaned and was already laid, ready to be lit.

The old metal bedframe was bare, the mattress gone, but the old couch had been covered in a clean blanket. More blankets were piled up on the floor in front of the fireplace. Most furniture had been scavenged over the years, and the kitchen cabinets were bare. But candles had been dotted around, some new, others half-melted already. I knew they came from the camp stores—I’d scavenged them myself.

We were out in the Wastes, but this was nice. My wide grin made my cheeks ache as I looked around, clutching Aury’s hand. This would be like a little vacation—just me and Aury. No camp chores. No guard shifts keeping watch on the wall.

No listening to the faint sounds of Rig and Gloam fucking like animals every night.

I spun round and cupped Aury’s face, tugging him down from his towering height so I could kiss him.

“Thank you,” I mumbled against his mouth. “This is amazing. No one’s ever done anything like this for me.”

My face burned when my vision went a little blurry. I blinked quickly to get rid of it, but I knew Aury had already noticed. He nuzzled my cheek, cradling the back of my head with long fingers.

“We can come here whenever you like.” He pulled back to smile at me. “Whenever things get too much. Lilac has said he will look after the girls when we do, and Anchor said you just need to say we’re going to the cabin. It doesn’t matter when.”

I nodded quickly, sniffling, feeling embarrassed even though I was just with Aury. The thought of having a little safe space—somewhere that was just ours, away from everything—loosened something in my chest. That tight little knot of anxiety that was always there—something I’d grown used to, living in the camp.

I wasn’t built for being surrounded constantly by people. The benefits of camp life outweighed the drawbacks, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t hard, living in such a tiny, close-knit community.

But now we had this place. I gave Aury a watery grin, then tucked my face under his chin to breathe in the scent of his throat. My eyes slid shut, my body relaxing against his chest as he wrapped his arms around me.

I was definitely making Anchor new socks when we got back. I’d make Lilac some too.

“How did you even find this place?” I asked Aury, turning in the cradle of his arms to survey the cabin again.

“Anchor remembered it,” he told me. “From the early years of the camp. We didn’t know what state it would be in—or if anything would be living here—but I flew here to see. It was empty.”

“So you’ve been sneaking off, huh?” I playfully bumped his chin with the top of my head. “I’m the one who’s supposed to be good at sneaking and noticing things! How did you all keep me from realising?”

“I’m good at distracting you,” Aury murmured in my ear, making my belly heat with desire.

We’d be alone all night. All day. We could be as loud as we wanted here. Even though we were out in the Wastes, technically exposed without the safety of the camp wall… I wasn’t worried. Aury would keep me safe. I knew he would. Besides, everything avoided him anyway. Nothing would come close to the cabin while he was here.

I couldn’t help turning again to grin up at him, rising on my tiptoes to kiss him. “I love you.”

His sweet face softened. Cupping my chin and giving me another firm kiss, he gazed down at me with big, sombre eyes.

“I love you too, my Gage.”


Aury

“Okay, so if this was all a ruse concocted by you, Anchor and Lilac… what’s in the bag?” Ghost quirked a brow at me, cheeks still sweetly flushed from his surprise.

I stroked my thumb over one before releasing his face to tug the duffle bag off my shoulder. “Food, clothes, more blankets and things.”

“Did you pack your nightie?” Gage asked as he followed me over to the couch, slipping his own backpack off his shoulders.

“Of course I packed my nightie, Gage,” I told him solemnly, but looked back over my shoulder with a teasing smile.

The big t shirt with an owl pattern that Gage had given me was one of my favourite things. I had slipped it into his backpack while he wasn’t looking before we’d left the camp.

“And our towels,” I added, pulling them out of the bag. “There is a stream nearby where we can get water and wash. Do you want to go now?”

“Yes,” he said quickly. His head was bent as he pulled things out of his bag, gaze studiously diverted, but I could see the flush on his cheeks. I knew what it meant.

My mouth twitched into a tiny smile.

“We can stay as long as we want,” I told him. “There’s no rush.”

“No, I know, but…” His face was still pink as he came over and took my hand. “Um… you know. We’re alone. So…”

“Yes.” I smiled down at him and tugged him toward the door. “We are. Let’s go.”

“Um, is our stuff safe here?” he asked, glancing back worriedly at the bags.

“Yes. The stream isn’t far. I’d be able to sense anything getting close.”

“Okay. But, um, what if something smells the food—”

“We won’t be long,” I said easily, kissing the top of his head as we stepped outside.

The walk to the stream was quick and quiet. It was late afternoon, the sky starting to deepen as I set down our towels by the edge of the water. Gage undressed quickly after glancing around to make sure we were alone, but he was used to this anyway.

I pulled off my coat and shirt carefully, mindful of my wings. Gage grew distracted, almost tripping as he hopped on one foot to tug a sock off, when I pulled down my pants and got them over my feet. His cheeks flushed, eyes fixed on my cock, but he managed to get both socks off before shucking his underwear.

We stared at each other for a second. I would never get tired of the sight of my Gage. His beautiful, slender body, his sun-freckled shoulders and narrow hips. His toned legs and small hands. There were still the remnants of pink nail polish on his fingernails, though I had picked all of mine off when deep in thought while speaking with Gloam.

His cock was already half-hard just from looking at me, and mine was no better, but I knew that would change when we got into the water.

“It’s cold,” I warned. Gage cleared his throat and looked away, cheeks flushing deeper.

“Uh-huh.” He carefully stepped down into the water, and I saw his skin prickle from the cold across his shoulders.

I had brought soap, so I passed it to him as I stepped into the water, not really feeling it lapping around my feet. At least this stream wasn’t deep at all. I didn’t like the feel of water dragging on my wings. Only the tips were submerged as we washed hurriedly. I knew Gage was eager to get back to the cabin, and my mouth curved into a tiny smile as I finished washing and watched him instead.

His erection had gone down from the chilly water, but his cheeks were still flushed. Once he was done, I quickly got his towel ready and wrapped it around him to warm him up. Gage smiled up at me, hair wet and dripping into his eyes, so I got my towel to dry it off before stepping back so we could both get dressed.

“So what food did you bring me?” Gage asked teasingly as we walked back to the cabin, his gas mask looped around his neck seeing as it was just us for miles.

I smiled down at him, squeezing his hand. “Daisy and Bo made some of your favourites. There is enough for us to stay for several days, if you want to.”

“Yes,” he blurted immediately. “I want to stay here for as long as we can get away with. Do you think—um, are others gonna want to come stay here? Like Gloam and Rig…”

I could hear the trepidation in his voice, and I knew he was picturing Gloam and Rig potentially destroying the cabin with their… passion.

“No,” I told him. “It’s just for us. Anchor said she won’t breathe a word of it to anyone else.”

He beamed up at me, fingers gripping my hand tighter. My throat ached as I looked back down at him. I didn’t know if I was an anomaly among ryckes, or if those before me had been capable of love, or at least affection. My memories told me it was unlikely—possible, but rare. I had memories of long-ago pairs establishing bonds, but those bonds were formed more out of desire to protect territory or possessions with greater strength. Less about love.

I loved Gage so much it consumed me. I was possessive of him, of course—I was the rycke. It was deeply ingrained in my nature to be fiercely possessive. But I didn’t view him as an actual possession. He wasn’t mine to do whatever I wanted with. He was mine because he had chosen me. We had chosen each other. He was mine, and I was his, because we would do anything for each other.

And I would. Do anything for him. The thought of killing again horrified me—I was still tormented by what I had already done, the pain and suffering I had already inflicted—but I would kill anyone and anything to keep him safe. Even if it destroyed a part of me in the process.

I didn’t want to be weighed down by melancholy thoughts while we were here, so I raised our linked hands and kissed Gage’s knuckles as we reached the cabin. The sun was setting, and from up here the land looked bathed in murky reds and oranges. A breeze rustled the grass. I could still faintly hear the babbling of the stream we had left.

It was peaceful.

“It’s kinda chilly,” Gage commented as we stepped into the cabin, taking my towel to set both down on the couch next to our bags.

“We cleaned the chimney and Lilac laid the fire so it’s ready. There are matches in the bag.”

I pulled them out and passed them to him, then started removing the containers of food Daisy and Bo had made. I listened to Gage starting the fire while I laid the containers out on the kitchen table in neat rows.

“I’m not sure what some of the food is,” I said, hearing the crackle as the fire caught. “But I can—”

“It’s okay,” Gage said quickly.

I turned to watch him walk over, his cheeks flushed. When he reached me, he tangled his fingers in mine and pulled me over to the fire. I realised he’d set out a nest of blankets from the bags.

“I’m not hungry.” His cheeks were still pink as he turned and placed his hands on my chest, giving me a shy smile. “Not yet.”

My mouth slowly curved into a mischievous smile. “No?”

He huffed, going even redder, before clasping my face and drawing me down to kiss me. I wrapped my arms around him immediately, my life seed thrumming faster, heating my blood. When Gage’s tongue dipped into my mouth, I dropped my hands to palm his backside and lift him into the air.

The kiss grew all-consuming. When the tip of Gage’s soft tongue tickled between the fork of mine, I shuddered, my cock filling rapidly. He knew how sensitive that was. He knew, because I had told him how keenly I could feel the heat of his cock when I teased the crown with the forked tip of my tongue.

I clutched him tighter to me. My wings flexed, my toes curling, the talons gouging into the wooden floor. Without breaking the kiss, I managed to get us to the nest of blankets, nestling my hips between Gage’s spread thighs. We both moaned when the stiff lengths of our cocks rubbed together through fabric.

Gage was breathing hard beneath me, his tongue thrusting hungrily into my mouth. I felt his fingers fumbling with the buttons on my shirt, so I reluctantly broke the kiss to pull it off. My cock pulsed as I hurriedly stripped Gage of his clothes, needing to see all of him, needing to feel him bare against me. As I tugged off his boots and yanked down his pants, I sank my mouth over his hard cock, moaning at the feel of him against my tongue.

“G-god.” He shuddered, panting fast. “Aury.”

My mouth curled into a smile as I pulled free and flicked his tip with my tongue. Gage’s thighs spasmed, his chest and throat flushed with arousal, blue eyes so beautiful and desperate as he looked down at me.

“I love you, Gage,” I said quietly before kissing the head of his cock.

He shuddered again, eyes briefly squeezing shut. “I l-love you too. Come here.”

I moved up his body, kissing my way up his stomach and chest to his throat. Gage cupped my face, fingers absently stroking the burn scars on my cheek. I turned into the touch and kissed his palm, my chest aching just from being with him like this. My life seed thrummed harder. Not just with want or lust, but from him. His presence. Just… him.

“Get on your back,” Gage whispered, kissing me once before dropping his hands so I could obey.

I settled on the blankets, leaning back on my elbows so my wings weren’t pinned completely to the floor beneath me. They flexed in anticipation as Gage knelt between my spread thighs, his cock flushed and jutting up.

“You’ve done all this for me, so I want to do something for you.” He smiled at me as he fumbled with my pants, tugging them down and carefully off over my feet.

My mouth curved into a tiny smile. My eyes were heavy with lust as I watched him. “What do you want to do?”

Gage laughed lightly. “It won’t be as fun if I tell you, will it?” Then his eyes darted to my wings, which were steadily stretching and contracting in anticipation. He chewed on his lip. “Are your wings okay like that? We’re—um, they’re kind of close to the fire.”

“They’re fine, Gage.” I smiled at him. In truth, we were quite close to the fire, and my wings tended to… snap out fully when I came. I’d have to be careful to stop them doing it when I did, because my left would probably end up at least partially in the flames.

But in the end, that didn’t matter. Gage dipped his head and started sucking slowly on my cock. So slowly. His fingers teased my sac, before sliding back to brush my hole. I tensed and moaned, chest heaving with my quickening breaths despite how soft and slow his mouth was moving.

The pleasure built slowly until I felt it in every part of me. I clenched my teeth, trying to keep my hips still as Gage’s pink tongue wound around the head of my leaking cock. He moaned at the taste of me, greedy for it. My cock swelled, throbbing under his tongue.

“Gage,” I panted, hands clenching into fists at my sides as I kept myself raised on my elbows. Partly for my wings, and partly so I could watch everything he was doing. How slowly he was breaking me apart.

My thighs trembled as the pleasure mounted, becoming overwhelming. He didn’t speed up at all, but it felt so wonderful that it didn’t matter. I didn’t need hard or fast movements. My cock grew agonisingly sensitive, every lick of his soft tongue making me shake. Each slow draw of his mouth tightening my balls, until the bliss started to crest, making my life seed thrum.

“Gage—”

He pulled back immediately, breaking all contact. My hips jerked as I panted, thighs spreading wider as if that would help. My cock leapt against my belly, flushed and shiny with wetness from his mouth.

“I was—c-close.”

“I know.” He shot me a mischievous grin before leaning down to kiss my stomach. It dipped with sensitivity. His tongue trailed over to my hip before following the valley of muscle back to my cock.

I held my breath, eyes flaring as I went perfectly still, watching keenly. Waiting. Some deep, violent part of me tried to urge me to grab his head. To thrust into his soft mouth until I went over the edge. I refrained, not wanting to be rough with him. Gage didn’t like rough. He was soft and sweet, such a contrast to the monster that lurked deep within me. The one that I could never escape.

But for him, I tempered it. Because of him, I could. I hated that part of me. Hated the violence and destruction and chaos I could cause, but he made it easy to bury deep, to control. He made me better.

I let out a shuddering breath when the tip of his tongue connected with the weeping head of my cock. He sucked it into his mouth in a slow, wet kiss, and my hips bucked before I could stop them.

Gage kissed his way down my length before sliding his tongue over my balls. My thighs jerked open wider to give him as much room as possible. His hands slid up and down my inner thighs, waking up millions of nerve endings, making my cock jerk into the air.

When he pushed on the backs of my thighs, my wings fluttered. Life seed thrumming hard beneath my sternum, I drew my knees up, my breaths trembling out of me. “Gage.”

His tongue brushed over my hole. I cried out, trying to press closer, my cock leaking all over my belly. He licked again, then swirled his tongue, and the pressure started building again immediately. My cock throbbed. I shifted my weight onto one elbow so I could reach down with a trembling hand, intent on stroking myself while Gage licked me.

“No,” he barked, lifting his head to give me a stern look.

I froze immediately. The hideous thing inside me was conditioned to obey him now. It was how we had mastered my control of it. I focused on his voice to calm the beast, and although Gage wasn’t normally demanding, that newly ingrained instinct made me obey him now.

“You can’t come yet,” he told me. I stared at him.

“W-why not?”

“Because I said so.”

My eyes widened with shock, even as my cock throbbed from his stern tone. He held my gaze as he dipped his head and licked my hole again, making my brows pinch with desperation. I slowly drew my arm back.

“W-when can I come?” I couldn’t help but ask, the idea of him not allowing me to making the risk of it happening spontaneously even greater.

He just shrugged one shoulder before closing his eyes as he started licking me in earnest again. I shuddered, toes flexing. My head tipped back, but I forced myself to lift it so I could watch him.

Once I was mere seconds from coming, despite my cock going untouched, he stopped again. I clenched my teeth, the desire to obey him warring with the beast inside me, which demanded me to take. To give us both pleasure, to get as close to him as I possibly could.

He started sucking my cock again, just as slowly as before. But this time, he gathered the fluids coating my stomach and smoothed it over my hole, making it twitch. When he sank a finger inside me, I cried out.

“Gage—”

“Not yet,” he murmured, tongue winding around my cock head.

The third time he pulled back when I was on the brink of release, I whined. The fourth, I had to bite back a snarl, demanding him to make me come. I was shaking uncontrollably, wings flexing with agitation, and I let out a desperate moan when Gage lifted his head and I saw his achingly stiff cock dripping with pre-cum.

He was breathing as hard as I was, face flushed and eyes heavy. At this point, it would take only a brush of his tongue over the tip of my cock to make me come. And he knew it. My balls ached, cock painfully stiff. My channel clenched around the two fingers inside me, squeezing them tight to try and get relief.

“P-please,” I begged, gazing down at him.

Gage rose up, shuffling forward on his knees. He slicked his cock with the fluid leaking from me, and I moaned hard in anticipation, lifting my knees higher to my chest.

“Yes,” I whispered, staring intently at his cock as it notched against my hole. “Please.”

We both groaned as he slid inside. Gage shuddered, leaning his weight on the backs of my thighs with his hands. My wings fluttered, the dry leathery sound rustling through the cabin. I reluctantly lifted my gaze from where we were joined to gaze at him pleadingly.

“A-are you going to make me wait again?”

“Yes.” Gage slid out before thrusting back inside. I cried out as he moaned, every inch of me agonisingly sensitive already.

His control started slipping rapidly. His chest heaved with his panting breaths as his hips sped up, smacking into me, both of us moaning with every hard thrust. My skin was too hot, flushed. My scalp tingled with the overwhelming pleasure, and it wasn’t long before bliss gathered once more in the core of me, stiffening my cock to the point of pain.

“I’m—I—”

He stopped thrusting immediately, and this time a snarl did slip out of me. The monster clawed inside me, as overwhelmed as I was. I couldn’t think. I was nothing but a bundle of nerves. Instinct rose, clouding everything. His cock was inside me, not moving, so I clenched around it to tempt him to keep fucking me.

Gage moaned breathlessly, but it didn’t work. I snarled again, baring my teeth at him, but all that did was make him grin back.

“Gage.” My voice was guttural. Deeper. But unsteady from how hard I was shaking. “Keep going.”

I saw his throat bob as he swallowed, palms stroking the backs of my thighs soothingly, but it did nothing to help calm me.

“I will. In a minute.”

No,” I snarled, and was moving before I even realised it.

Gage squawked as I rose up and grabbed him, spinning us until he was on his back on the blankets. He stared up at me with wide eyes, breathing hard, and let out a shuddery moan as I clambered over his hips and gripped his cock far less gently than I normally ever would.

I sank back onto his cock with a relieved sound. My hands found his shoulders, pinning him down, and I knew I should be being gentler with him but I couldn’t stop. My cock bounced between us, leaking everywhere, as I slammed my hips down again and again.

“G-god, Aury—” Gage’s head craned back, fingers digging into my thighs as I rode him. “D-don’t stop—”

A vicious, ugly part of me wanted to. Wanted to take my release and deny him his, at least for a while, as he had done to me. I blinked hard to try and focus, to try not to let the memories and thoughts and feelings of those before me cloud my judgement.

When Gage’s flushed face came back into focus, love rushed through me in an overwhelming wave, drowning everything else out. I lifted my hands from his shoulders to cup his face, leaning down to kiss him as my hips kept moving frantically.

My cock dragged over his stomach with my movements, sliding through the wetness I had leaked. It was enough, and I knew Gage could tell that I was reaching my peak, but he didn’t try to stop it this time. He moaned desperately into my mouth, hips bucking to try and meet my forceful movements.

I sucked in a breath, breaking the kiss to tip my head back as the pressure broke. My wings snapped open wide, the right scraping against the warm edge of the fireplace but thankfully missing the flames. My cock spurted over and over as I shook, hard moans leaving me. My channel squeezed around Gage’s cock, and I heard his breath hitch as he trembled beneath me.

“Aury—” His neck arched as his cock flexed inside me. I was still coming, coating his chest and stomach, but I leaned down on trembling arms to fit my mouth to his.

Our unsteady breaths clashed as our tongues wound together. As the tension slowly drained from our bodies, the kiss grew softer. I moaned in relief into his mouth, still shaking wildly.

I smiled against his mouth as peace flooded me. My life seed thrummed in contentment, slower now. Sated. I was as close to my mate as I could possibly be.

I broke the kiss to look down at Gage, gently pushing his hair back from his flushed face. “I’m going to do that to you next,” I told him, trying to make my tone stern like his had been at first.

He laughed, rubbing his hands up and down my chest. “Are you mad at me?”

I clenched around his softening shaft, making him gasp with sensitivity, and leaned down to kiss him again. “You play a dangerous game, working the rycke up like that.”

He snorted and lightly smacked my chest. “As if you could ever hurt me.”

That made me smile. It made every part of me grow warm with happiness. My mate worried, he was anxious by nature, but the knowledge that he wasn’t afraid of me—when almost everything was afraid of me—settled deep in my bones, soothing me entirely.

“I love you, Gage,” I told him, and he smiled up at me, flushed and sleepy and content. All I ever wanted.

“I love you too.”


Gage

We stayed at our cabin for three days. I wanted to stay longer, but anxiety started flaring again, making me worry about what was happening back at the camp, if anything had gone wrong while we were gone.

The journey back was shorter, because I let Aury carry me as he flew for some of it. It was getting less scary, because I knew he would never let anything happen to me. But still. It would take time to be completely comfortable with the wind rushing past me, whistling in my ears, nothing but air beneath my boots.

I felt looser and more relaxed than I could remember ever being as we made our way back into the camp. Lilac paused from walking toward the motel when he saw us, eyes crinkling as he gave us a tiny smile behind his mask.

“Have fun?”

I felt my face grow hot from the question, but Aury chuckled and pulled me closer, kissing the top of my head. “Yes. It was wonderful. Thank you.”

Lilac gave a single nod. “Good. The girls are fine. I checked on them this morning.”

“Thank you,” I said, just as Anchor burst from the diner and started striding toward us, a wide grin stretching her masked face.

“Did I fool you?” she asked excitedly when she reached us. “Did you guess?”

I laughed. “No, I was embarrassingly clueless, even when Aury started leading us in the wrong direction.”

“Ha!” She gave my shoulder a gentle shove.

I smiled back, but a tight little knot of worry made my gut clench. “Um, do we really need those things though? From the market? We could go—”

Anchor snorted. “No, Ghost, it was just a ruse. You don’t need to go anywhere.”

I exhaled in relief. “Okay.”

“Now go finish making Aury’s… whatever you were going to make him.” She gave us both a smile. “Glad to have you back.”

“Okay,” I repeated as she turned to walk back to the diner. “Um, thank you!”

Aury turned to me once she’d left, stroking my hair back as he smiled down at me. “Shall we go and see the girls?”

I grinned up at him, finding his hand to thread my fingers through his. “Yeah. They’ll have missed you.”

That made him flush with pleasure, and he dipped his head in a shy nod before we started walking to the motel. The camp was fairly quiet, but it was still a little jarring after the total peace and solitude of the cabin.

As we neared the motel, I heard a distinct thumping sound coming from the direction of Gloam and Rig’s room. Wincing, I glanced up at Aury as we rounded the side of the building to the yard.

“Maybe we could go back soon,” I said. He chuckled, looking down at me. If I could hear Gloam and Rig, I didn’t want to know what Aury’s sensitive ears were picking up on.

“Yes.” He squeezed my hand. “We’ll go back soon.”


Copyright 2022 by Lily Mayne

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