Driving the Last Spike Ch. 03byThistlethorn©
Miles Chapman was a handsome man. Well-manicured, well-kept, and well-presented. His features were rugged, but still refined enough to pass muster in the finest parlors. His beard and mustache were full and carefully trimmed and his hair was styled in the latest fashion. His clothes were the finest cut and style, both fitting and showing off his physique. He had a ready smile and hardy laugh, but Qiang and the other workers quickly learned the manicured perfection hid a dark and vile man who seemed to enjoy not only the trappings of wealth, but the power too.
"So, ah, was there any time shift?" Sebastian asked suddenly.
Qiang snapped back to the present, his tail still twitching in agitation. "What?" he asked.
"The last thing you'd said, before Miles, was that you were checking about how much time you lost," Sebastian explained, taking surreptitious glances at Qiang's flicking tail. If Qiang noticed Sebastian's wandering gaze, he didn't mention it.
"You're right, I guess that was where I left off. Uh, looking for Fai...after meeting with Zongxian...It was after dinner..."
"You know, I'm sorry, but I've got another question," Sebastian cut in.
"Yes," Qiang sighed.
"Well, I mean, not to be keep interrupting..."
"But you are, so go ahead."
"Ah, yeah, you mentioned after dinner. How did you manage to hide how much food you were eating? I mean, I know I go through massive amounts when I'm eating."
Qiang's look softened, much to Sebastian's relief. "A fair question. Part of it is you're still a fledgling. You're still growing and require, as any growing youth, fuel to grow with. Also, you probably haven't fully figured out how to sustain yourself on your element."
Sebastian's muzzle curled up in curiosity. "Yeah, you're right. So what does that mean?"
Qiang looked to Chang, who granted permission to continue with a simple nod.
"In time you'll get a better handle on this, but dragons are both physical and elemental. We can survive on food, and indeed should consume such to maintain a link to the physical world. Our forms and size can consume a great deal, as you've come to find out. However, we may also sustain ourselves on the energy of our elements. I am a fire dragon. These braziers," he flicked his tail around, indicating the lit fire pots, "also give me sustenance. I can feed from flame and fire as well as physical food.
"And when food is scarce, such as in the camp, I can survive on it. And the camp was full of fire. The cook and camp fires, the forges for smelting metal, the burning steam engines, all of these feed me as surely as the meager supplies I was offered as a worker." He paused for a moment. "You do have to be careful to maintain a balance. As in all things, too far one way or the other creates problems."
Sebastian nodded, remembering how it often did take less food fished from the river to satisfy him than when he had more "normal" food. "Yeah, OK, I see where you're going. But can I do that with any water, or just the river?" Sebastian looked between Qiang and Chang, unsure which to direct the question to.
Qiang unexpectedly laughed. "You're a water dragon, presumably any water would be the same. However, you're bonded to the most fussy river I think I've ever seen. I doubt it would let you."
Chang chuckled behind them. "The river is a bit possessive of you, Sebastian."
"Does that answer your question?" Qiang asked.
"Very well. Where was I...Ah, yes. He'd gone to the camp followers for the night."
"Camp followers?" Dakota asked.
Qiang sighed. "Yes, we had them. There were more following the Union line as they were going over the plains and we were cutting through the mountains. It was harder for the women to follow. But a few hardy ones did."
Sebastian drew his head back, uncertain. "Camp followers?" he asked, trying to ascertain if the word was what he thought.
"Yes, I mean prostitutes," Qiang explained with a tired tone.
"How good a living could they have been making?" Dakota asked.
"Not very, as it turned out. Though there weren't that many of them, and all the workers were as interested in sex as any other men, they made little money and so the women made proportionately less money. Not for lack of trying, I will tell you."
Sebastian smiled. "So did you partake?"
Qiang drew up his head in indignation. "As if," he huffed.
"You mean with all that ass around and you didn't tap any of it?" Sebastian asked.
Qiang looked down his snout at Sebastian. "Could you have possibly found a less tactful way to ask that?" he lamented, exasperation in his voice.
"OK, that probably wasn't the best way to ask. But come on, it buggers the mind that you didn't get laid that entire time."
"It's not germane to the story. Besides, I would hardly discuss that in mixed company."
Mingzhu ran her hand along Qiang's jaw, getting his attention.
"Beloved, do you really think I had any illusions about your previous life? I hardly suspected that after one hundred and fifty years I was your first love."
"Of course not," Qiang conceded delicately. "But that doesn't necessarily mean you want to hear about them."
"But I do," she responded. "I'm curious about things that happened before, how you became who you are."
"Well, if you wish," he equivocated. "Though, to be honest, I didn't have much contact with the camp followers. They didn't want to be there. When you are at least somewhat aware of what your partner is feeling, 'how long until I've earned my money' does not contribute to the mood."
Chang gave a smile. "That's when you show them some pleasure."
"I tried. I was either not very good or they were very jaded." After a pause, he added, "There was one, however. Her name was Kohaku, and she was not what she seemed..."
Qiang made his away among the prostitutes, looking for Fai. Nobody commented on his being missing, so he was hopeful not much time had passed. He wasn't able to locate his friend, so he assumed he must already be with one of the ladies. Qiang sighed. Not that he could exactly blame Fai for wanting some form of release, but it didn't stop his annoyance at having to look for him.
A young woman sidled coquettishly up to him, eyes averted with submission etched into her very being. It was a facade, Qiang could tell, but a well maintained one. She looked Japanese, which surprised him as most of the camp followers where Chinese. She also wore her black hair long and flowing, not bound as the others did. Her garb was the normal clothing wore by the Chinese woman. However, the thing that most piqued his interest was that she wasn't human. He couldn't be certain what she might be, her disguise was well made and it would take more than a casual pass to try to see beneath it. Intrigued, he allowed her to approach.
"Fine sir," she began, "perhaps you are interested in some company this evening?" Her voice was soft and melodic. She brushed her hand across his chest, then ran it down his arm, managing to be bold while still seeming to be coy. She knew her business well. What to do, what to do?
Qiang considered for a moment then said, "Perhaps I am. Where around here may we have some privacy?"
She looked up, her amber eyes eager. Qiang tempered any reaction to them, though it confirmed his suspicions. He wondered how none of the others noticed. "I have a tent to myself. Please, follow me." She gathered up Qiang's arm and lead him to her tent. It was a large tent, made of brightly colored silks overlaid on canvas. He was surprised at first, then remembered that this female was more than she seemed. The fact that the tent was set so far away from the others, nestled among the trees, also made him wonder.
The woman pulled back the entrance flap and bowed to Qiang. He entered the tent. It was as lovely inside. The canvas interior had more exotically colored silks hanging. There were pillows cast about, with silk blankets and furs arranged on top to look as though they were casually thrown about. A large bed of sorts was set in the back. It had no frame, and was made up of what looked to be a nest, or den, built of a larger pillow and piled with more silks, blankets, and furs. Glass lanterns, both oil and candle, were set carefully off the ground and cast multicolored light through the glass panes.
As Qiang examined his surroundings, the woman came over to him and ran her hands along his chest. Her touch was exhilarating. She slid her hands into his tunic and slowly worked it off. She was deft yet at the same time worked it slowly to build excitement. When the shirt was off, she eased her hands into his pants, stroking his member as almost an aside to removing his pants. Qiang felt himself respond. He was beginning to see where the odd color of her eyes might be a secondary consideration to any man. He put his arms around her and pulled her close, kissing her hair.
"What is your name?" he whispered.
"Kohaku." Her voice was becoming husky. "And yours?"
As she removed Qiang's clothes, he could feel her energy caress him. The feel of it was soft and sensual and it melded easily with the tenderness with which she removed his clothes. Still, Qiang suspected there was more to it than that. He allowed it, for now. It did feel good.
Kohaku stepped out of his embrace and unbelted her garment and left it hanging open. Her skin was slightly pale, her breasts were well defined and inviting. She wasn't quite as thin as some of her compatriots, and as she laid back among the pillows and silks, her body was all but irresistible. The way she lay, the way she used the garment to hide and reveal were all enticements meant bring him to her. Qiang was aware of this, but sensed something of a trickster nature about her. But he was also curious. He went over to her.
He laid down next to her, stroking her hair. She leaned in and kissed him deeply. Qiang wrapped his arm under the dress and around her waist, running his hand along her smooth curve of her back and down the ample swell of her bottom. He gave it a light squeeze. She shifted a little then settled in on his hand.
She explored Qiang's mouth with her tongue, then disengaged to explore his body with it. She licked and kissed his chest, stomach, and groin. The feel of her tongue and warm breath against him caused his earlier response to intensify. She knew her business. The feeling of her energy persisted. She was probing him not only physically but magically. At the moment, it wasn't intrusive but Qiang had to wonder how much longer it would remain this passive.
Kohaku laid back again, pinning Qiang's arm under her and pulling him in close. She playfully ran her arm along his chest then took hold of his other hand and brought it to her breast. Guiding his hand, she had him cup her breast, then stroke down her stomach to her mound. She released his hand and slowly, sensual shifted her hips, grinding her buttocks into his one hand and the soft hair of her womanhood into his other. He stroked the hair and realized it felt somewhat like fur. On a hunch, he raised his hand from her sex and stroked her stomach. At first lightly, then with more pressure. She sighed as she squirmed pleasantly beneath him.
"Mm," she sighed. "That's quite nice. You have a good touch. What else can we do, though?" She looked up with a grin. Then she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and her legs around his waist. She ran her tongue along his neck, then nibbled gently at his throat. The feel of her teeth against his flesh sent shivers through Qiang and he grew hard. He seized her hips and guided his erection into her waiting flesh. She gasped as he entered.
Locked into her, Qiang began to lose himself in the sensation of her. The musk of her sex was intoxicating. The more he pumped into her, the more of the scent was released. She was quite gifted in other ways also. With her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist, she guided her sex around his penis as much as he thrust into her. The feel of her vaginal hair, so much like fur, brushing against him, rubbing against him, drove him wild.
Nearly lost in the intensity of their sex, Qiang almost didn't notice when her energy began to probe more insistently. Only when it came dangerously close to breaking his defenses did he notice. His attention snapped back from the lover's haze he'd been in and focused around him. She was definitely probing his essence harder, trying to break his defenses and delve what was under the disguise and she was using the sex to do it. The energy from their union was fueling the attempt, a means to dissipate the magics he used, and a means of distraction while she did it. Qiang realized this in a moment and managed to keep his anger in check. Two could play this game, but only one would win. And his every intention was that he would be the winner.
Qiang laid her back down on the pillows. He slowed the intensity of his lovemaking, carefully easing himself within her. Even for his young age, he was considered, at least to the dragons he'd been with, a deft lover and eager pupil. Anything he could learn to bring pleasure was of interest to him and he listened intently to any wisdom sent his way. Now, he brought every technique he learned to bear. Whatever else she might be, she was human enough in that moment to respond to his administrations. Her back arched and her body developed a fine sheen of perspiration as she gave more of herself over to him. When he pushed into her, he made sure to run his abdomen along hers, again stroking her stomach. The contented sounds she made told him he was on the right track.
As he could feel himself approaching climax, an idea came to him. Qiang was very careful when pleasuring to not cause pregnancy. He wasn't ready to be a father yet. So he had become adept at controlling what happened when he came. Normally, it was inert. But this time...
He still didn't want to be a father, especially with some spirit whose nature he wasn't entirely sure of. But he could still leave something inside of her that would be of use to him. Carefully, he gathered energy from the flames burning in the lanterns. He felt his pearl grow warm within him as he processed the energy and designed its purpose. He sat upright, so that the growing warmth wouldn't tip off Kohaku to anything amiss. He continued to thrust, his building climax being brought ever closer, and stronger, by the energy in his pearl. Kohaku bucked and twisted beneath him, her own climax nigh. If he could time this just right...
Kohaku released first, shuddering and sighing as her orgasm rocked her body. Then Qiang came, releasing the energy into her being. Her back arched as she took it deeply into herself. Qiang could see the energy as a glow within her, working its way deeper. Once it was settled, as Kohaku was uncoupling from him, he activated it.
Russet fur suddenly erupted over Kohaku's body, starting from her sex and spreading all over. She gasped as she looked down at herself and pushed away from Qiang. Her feet bent and twisted, one tail then another sneaked their way from under her gown and her lovely face morphed into a fox's head with a small blue flame burning between her ears. She still bore the basic shape of a woman, but now it was covered with red fur, with white fur running from the under side of her snout to where it went red again at her vagina. She looked herself over, trying to determine what happened. Then her hand went to her abdomen, pushing and prodding it. A look of shock followed closely by anger crossed her muzzle.
"What have you done to me?" she demanded.
Qiang leaned back against the pillows, his air of smug satisfaction causing Kohaku's grim expression to become even more annoyed. "Nothing more than what you were trying to do to me. A kitsune, eh? I should have realized it, but I'm not that familiar with the Japanese spirit folk. Though you must be quite clever to hide the flame."
Qiang had never attempted magic of this nature before, and was rather pleased with the outcome. On a whim, he attempted to manipulate the energy he'd left and sensed it respond. Kohaku squirmed, her hand pressing against her abdomen.
"I wasn't attempting anything like this. Undo it. "
She snarled at him. "You'd best watch yourself," she rose, her tone low and dangerous. She pulled back her robe, showing both tails. "You say you know what a kitsune is. Then you should know how terrible my vengeance will be."
Qiang shook his head. Then using the energy he'd implanted moved both of them through the veil. Before she could respond Qiang dropped the human form and lounged as a dragon before her, his tail rolling lazily behind him. Kohaku's eyes went wide. Then she ducked her head and prostrated herself at his feet.
"I...I did not know," she said softly.
Qiang snorted. He could feel his elder's call but advised Zongxian he was merely dealing with a trickster spirit and begged his indulgence to handle it. Qiang felt the mental equivalent of a shrug and Zongxian's presence was gone.
"Nor were you supposed to," he said, his attention back on Kohaku. "Perhaps in the future you will not be so willing to pry into other's business."
Kohaku remained prostrate, but asked, "How was I to know I was prying into the affairs of a dragon? This is hardly the place one would expect to meet a dragon."
"True. But if I wasn't a dragon, you still wouldn't have the right to pry. And get up from the ground, already."
Kohaku sat back, her tails splayed around her, the ends twitching. "Very well," she said after a moment's pondering her hand again rubbing her abdomen where the spell settled in her core. "This is your punishment, then. I accept that. What will happen to me? What will...this...do?"
Qiang sighed with a toss of his head, the sound coming out more as a huff. "This isn't a punishment, per se. It's...insurance that you won't be bothering me with your tricks. Behave yourself and you won't even notice it's there. Much," he conceded with a shrug. "But, continue your fox games with me, or mine, and you'll find out just how unpleasant I can make things for you. Of course, this experience doesn't have to be unpleasant." Qiang's expression turned unexpectedly suggestive as he again worked the magic he'd embedded in her.
Kohaku leaned further away from Qiang, uncertainty on her face. As she felt the alien essence within her start to become more active her hand rubbed at her stomach fur wishing desperately she could somehow remove the energy inside her. Then the energy started to warm. As the dragon had said, it wasn't an unpleasant sensation at all. In fact, it felt very good. Her other hand drifted over as she began to message the area. The warmth spread, working downward, titillating her as it went. Kohaku laid back, a soft moan escaping her. Her hands followed the sensation as it went to her womanhood. One hand cupped her mound as the warmth spread throughout her. The other drifted back to her stomach to message the area where the incredible sensation started. Oh, by Heaven this dragon knew his work well.
She worked her fingers into her channel, but the act was almost superfluous to what the dragon was doing. The warmth had permeated throughout her sex and was pulsing, each beat sending waves of pleasure through her. Her fingering took the same tempo as the pulse. She again moaned softly, lost in the sensations running through her.
Qiang, to his surprise, found his own body responding. As he manipulated the energy within Kohaku his own pearl began to warm and pulse, sending the same sensations through him. He had been lying on his hip, but his back legs pivoted so that the underscales between his legs were flat against the floor. Qiang had not shifted them very far into the spirit realm, so that they were still in the spirit echo of Kohaku's tent. The silks scattered about the floor caressed his scales, tantalizing the already quickly sensitizing area. His back claws began to dig into the pillows as his tail twisted and kinked behind him. He felt his shaft press against his scales and his hips began to grind into the exquisite silks and deliciously yielding pillows. The scent of Kohaku's sex only made the feelings more intense.