A Big Shiny Blue Marble Ch. 27


"As I told him that you would," Arrax smiled, "He will stop to see his mother and then he begins to learn all over again, but with his eyes opened."

With everyone in place, Arrax lifted off and sought to stay a little low through the mountains as Shaevre guided him. "You have guns under the wings," she said as she looked at the pods out there, "Why?"

"Because my old friend who rebuilt this skiff found them in crates in the back of the supply lockup," Arrax grinned. "They were covered in dust and filth, but when he opened the crates, they were as new, never used. The rounds are still standard, and I caused a few boxes to be miscounted. The covers are in place. Only a Xer fighter would know what they are."

He laughed, "I spent all of a day hanging them on by myself. I had to wait for that. I needed to be alone when I did it.

Now will there be room for this in the mountain or must I build a shed?"

"I have measured, as you asked," Shaevre nodded, "there is space, but it will be tight."

"How come I'm inside and I'm still cold?" Selena asked from the seat behind where Shaevre sat.

"These are a great design, for a smallish utility hauler, "Arrax said as he looked over his shoulder at her for a moment. "They are tough and reliable, but the only flaw is their openness inside. As soon as the ramp moves to go down, you lose your internal atmosphere. If you are to supply a place with a bad atmosphere, then the crew need to wear suits as they fly."

Shaevre turned to look back at Selena with a grin before she nudged Arrax. "I can translate for you," she smiled, "Selena would listen to you all day, but what she is really asking for is for the heat to be turned up." Arrax nodded and complied.

They flew around the mountain and Arrax made one low pass before he came in slowly and set down near the South Portal. Azrael and Dahlgren walked out and showed Arrax the maintenance garage and as Shaevre had said, it was a tight fit, but it worked. "Leave everything for the night," Azrael said, "I will help you tomorrow."

"I cannot," Arrax smiled, as he indicated the crates in the back of the skiff, "I've brought food. The outpost is closed and this was in the cold room to be thrown away. I have a crate of, ..." he failed to think of the word and then said a few words to Shaevre, asking for help.

"He has sausages!" she laughed, "Enough to feed all a few times. And the four barrels there are Xerian beer."

"Beer?" Vadren asked, "Is it good beer?"

Shaevre chuckled, "Vadren, it may not be as good as what your fine Drow taste demands, but if you drink enough, you can get stupid, so ..."

"I will get a wheelbarrow," he said with a laugh, "we cannot leave these treasures here, Azrael."


Cha'Khah sat up at the table and let out a loud belch accidentally. After apologizing with bit if a giggle, she leaned over to speak to Arrax. "This ... this craft of yours, "she said, "How many can it carry?"

"It may be flown by one," he said, "but two are better over long distances. It seats them and three more in comfort. It can carry twelve Xer in total along with their weapons, though it would be crowded in the back -- and that is two in front to fly and ten fighters in the back. The last seven would have only benches to sit on and belts to hold them in. Since Xer fighters are larger than most of us here, I suppose that it could carry two more in even less comfort. It is used in battles to take fighters to the action and to then bring more."

He set his tankard down and reached for another sausage and a slice of bread, "Mine was used when the outpost was being built to travel up and down all day bringing material down. I know nothing of it before that. It might have been used as an assault skiff before that. It has places to mount things for fighting. They make poor fighting ships against other craft, but they can be used as close air support."

He rolled his eyes a little, "It is a role which they were not designed for, and most do not last long like that, so I do not think that mine ever saw any fights."

"Why not?" Selena asked.

He shrugged, "Because mine was abandoned since it wore out. The ones in fighting units do not usually get old enough to wear out. They usually live much shorter lives."

"How far can it go," Azrael asked, "if you had a reason to want to go far?"

"The fuel cells are new and full," Arrax smiled, "Try to think that it was made to travel far out in space -- between here and Xer is a two week trip in a cutter, and that is what the crew would feel as they slept. We have faster ways, believe me. But ones like mine can get there in about six months. The fuel cells in it would be about half expended on a trip like that.

Here," he said, "I can fly around the world enough times for you to get tired of the scenery, if I fly high and fast. Where do you wish to go?"

"Nowhere, at the moment," Azrael replied.

"So it could go to Lozenjellis?" Dahlgren asked, "A large city on the coast to the west?"

"Easily," Arrax nodded, "What is there that interests you?"

"Nothing other than something which I saw the last time that I was there hunting. I stood on the beach and I saw a flying beast far off. It was flying to an island off the coast. It had done this several times that day. I thought that, since the sightings of demons come from right in or very near to Lozenjellis most often, then there is a higher likelihood that whatever brings them might be there. Could we fly there one day?"

Arrax nodded, "Yes, certainly. At the least, I need about a week to get the skiff ready to use. Right now, things were a little rushed. I just need to make things secure and find a place for everything. If I could, I would feel a little better if we could wait about two weeks before we go there. I want to see if I am hunted by the Merren. No Xer will hire on to hunt me, but the Merren have a few craft of their own. It is doubtful due to the expense, but it is possible for them to divert one of their passing cruisers. My skiff is no warship."

As they ate and talked, it became clear that Arrax would fit in to their strange and growing family. When Azrael broached the subject of seeking old treasure, the Xer's eyes lit up and everyone knew then. He mentioned a few of the places that he'd been on this world and offered a few ideas about likely places that he knew which ought to contain some attractive prospects.

Much later, he walked with Selena and Shaevre to the portion of the underground complex where they stayed. He could see that the pair of them were tired. Shaevre was a little weary, but Selena was obviously beat. She kept looking at him, though, as if she was a little afraid that he might not really be there, other than in her tired imagination.

They tried to show him where he could sleep, but he smiled and said that he could see that their day had gone a lot longer than his. "Shaevre has told you?" He asked Selena.

She nodded, "But I don't think that I can even follow any regular conversations anymore tonight, never mind Xer ones with all of their hidden meanings and such."

"That was not why I asked," he smiled, "Only show me where we might all sleep and let me do what I can to soothe you and ease you both into sleep. Over the past week, I have had a lot of time to think, and I have decided to accept whatever comes with you both. Since I have learned that the females who think so well of me have been awake over a day now and traveled through the dark and cold night to meet me, then it is my task to take care of them."

When he saw the bed that they'd prepared, he helped them into it before he got in carefully himself. He allowed them to lie on him or against him as he stroked their backs and hugged them as he spoke of little things that he liked about each one. They turned their faces up to look at him and he felt something that he hadn't experienced in such a long time. His kisses were soft and gentle and they sighed quietly to each other.

"I feel so small," Selena sighed in a whispering voice, "I feel like a very loved child. I've never felt something like this with anyone before you, Shaevre, and now I feel it even more."

She lowered her face and Shaevre rolled back a little to offer Selena a breast as Arrax rubbed Selena's back very softly. Selena's leg was over Shaevre's and the Xer lifted her leg to carry Selena's with it, spreading the half-demon's legs wide in a gentle way for Arrax, who moved down so that he could lick them both if it was what he wanted.

He was careful not to try to arouse either of them. He only wanted them to know the way that he felt as he caressed Shaevre and slipped a thumb inside of her. His tongue was put to work and licked Selena in gentle and very broad strokes. Her whole bottom end was wet in minutes and she whimpered as she sucked.

After a few minutes, Selena shuddered a little. She let out a quiet groan and released Shaevre's nipple for a moment. "I don't know how exciting I can be anymore tonight, but if you want me, Arrax, you can fuck me a little."

"That is not what you need now, Selena," his voice came to her, "you need rest. I wish only to ease you to sleep."

Selena inhaled slowly as she felt his warm tongue against a different and very sensitive place. She lowered her lips to Shaevre's nipple and began to suck contentedly.

"This is the other side of Xer loving," Shaevre whispered after she'd kissed Selena's head.

"Then I think that I was born the wrong thing," Selena sighed, "I want to be a Xer now."

Arrax kept up his gentle work and Selena began to drift off. Shaevre moved to ease the girl down beside her and Selena asked why in a sleepy voice.

"You stopped suckling and I knew that you were asleep," Shaevre smiled as she kissed Selena's face, "You look so much like the child that you mentioned earlier when you are like this, so sleep, little Selena. You lie with two Xer who love you. You cannot be any safer than this."

Arrax got to his knees and as Selena drifted off, he slid into Shaevre slowly and they smiled at each other. Shaevre looked up in the darkness and felt her heart swell. This had been little more than a wild hope to her not long ago. She'd wanted Arrax from her first look at him, but their stations and the duty in Dahlgren's home precluded anything such as this. She hadn't known that he'd even wanted her then. No one had wanted her, she'd thought. But she'd been wrong, she knew now, so sweetly and deliciously wrong.

She reached for his hand when she saw him begin to move it forward. Grasping it, she brought it to her breast, the wet one from Selena's suckling, and her eyes closed in happiness when he began to roll the nipple between his finger and thumb.

"Slowly please Arrax," she sighed, "You are larger than the toy that you gave to us. If you wish to claim your females, then let it be at a time when we can give ourselves to you as you deserve."

"I think that it is you both who deserve more then," he smiled, looking down at his idea of perfection in a Xer female.

They loved this way for a time until Sheavre came quietly. Arrax stopped and withdrew slowly. He'd been careful not to enter Shaevre far enough to press the wider part of him inside of her, knowing that it would really begin if he did.

"Lie down next to Selena, "Shaevre smiled, "She loves to feel our warmth against her. And before you do, know that you have my love."

"As you have mine," he said, leaning down to kiss her.

Arrax moved to lie against the other female who was capturing his heart, and it wasn't long before he was a little surprised when she spread her thighs apart. She wrapped her leg over Shaevre's thigh and smiled as she pressed her cheek against the swell of Shaevre's chest.

Shaevre smirked, "For one who wishes to be a smaller Xer, our girl here already knows what she must do for her male."

"Of course I do," Selena sighed with a little yawn, "You showed me how to work the machine in my room at Dahlgren's house, and when I found that I had a girlfriend, I used it to look up your kind's mating habits. Do what you gotta, Arrax, just don't shake the bed or crush me too much. That's for tomorrow."

She groaned softly as she pushed her bottom back to show Arrax that he was welcome between her haunches. He didn't penetrate her, and after a minute, Selena lowered her hand between her legs to hold him against her. He was still gentle and slow, though his strokes were longer toward the end. Selena floated in a comfortable place just this side of sleep and the first of his ejaculations wet her fingertips hotly. He reached with his hand to hold hers in place and trembled against her for a few minutes. Now and then, another quiet gush would come from him, and by the time that his last one was ended, both of his females were asleep.

He lifted his head slowly and looked at them in the darkness for long minutes, as if he were afraid that they'd evaporate or otherwise disappear if he looked away for more than a moment. His gods had been so kind to him to allow him something like the love that he knew that they could all share between them. At last, he eased himself down and reached around Selena to hold her. Her hand rose from between her thighs wet with his semen and she grasped his hand with it and held it to her breast.

He thought it a sweet thing to see as he flexed his fingers slowly so that he held her small breast in his hand. It was a bit of a moment to him for the tender way that it was done. He thought about his seed against her skin, maybe a little of it had gotten into her hair. He hoped not, feeling a little sorry about it. But there was nothing to be done about it now, so he kissed Selena's shoulder softly and prepared to fall asleep himself, until her soft voice came to his ears as she whispered, "I love you, Arrax."

He felt a tear form in his eye instantly. How long had it been since he'd heard it said to him in this way? He didn't know at the moment and was too happy and tired to do the math. "I love you," he whispered and he closed his eyes.


Selena had been feeling a little off since she'd gotten up. There wasn't a thing wrong that she could tell, really. Something was just different, that was all. They'd eaten and walked to the garage to begin the work that the skiff needed. Arrax could have done most of it by himself and he said so, but he knew that they all needed to talk and the closed garage door and the raised ramp of the skiff would provide the place for that.

Shaevre and Selena sat lounging comfortably in the rear seats, since with the armrests down, they had the space to just loll around if they wished and they were quite happily lolling in each other's arms. Arrax smiled at them as he ran some diagnostics from the pilot's seat. With that done, he stepped past them and produced three large mugs and filled them from a small on-board water supply. Inside of two minutes, he presented them each with a steaming cup of tea. They were amazed.

"Are you always this considerate?" Selena smiled, "First, you put us to bed and made us feel like spoiled girls and now this."

"You have to think of this from how I see it," he said, "I was unhappy with my life, and I had chosen to retire, not wanting to return to Xer. I like this world for its space, and I enjoy looking for things of value and secrets of antiquity most of all. I learned of this skiff and then I had a way to go where I wanted. I had planned to end things with Ny'Zeille from long before last week. She does not share my interests. She likes to sit and act the queen and I like to be outside, just as you do.

I had no one in mind for me," he said as he brought the mug to his lips. "I have always thought that I had the love of a wonderful female once, but all of that was lost to me with her death, along with our little ones. That was my chance at life and love, I'd told myself. After that, Ny'Zeille and I had a love between us, but it was turning sour slowly. The issue over Dahlgren brought it to a hasty end. I have always liked him, and yet, over his sudden love of Faith, she grew, ... well, we all know.

But there was Nahl'een and you to consider, Selena. With you both safe and Ny'Zeille dead, I felt a little lost, now that the end was coming to my career. It was told to me that our service had no further need of the outpost and the Merren had grown tight-fisted in what they would pay for. With no Xer there, and no Ranger, as well as a very unpleasant incident, they have decided to wash their hands for now, it would seem.

At that point, my friend Shaevre surprised me and spoke of how you both felt, saying that the last Xer on this world should mate, but that you wished to have me as well. Thank you for this honor, both of you. While I worked to finalize things at the outpost, I had time to think."

He set down his mug and reached for their hands. "I have the chance at two hearts who are already joined and offer me a place with them in their lives. I have asked myself many questions -- do I wish to have two females? Can this work? Do I wish to father whelps at this point in my life? All of these things and many more." He kissed their hands for a moment.

"I was brutally honest with myself and after a lot of soul-searching; every answer came to me as 'yes'. That is why I wished to be with you last night, so that we might show each other a little of how we feel. I have such feeling in me for you both. Even so, we need to grow our love for each other, and there will be times when one or the other of you will need the help and protection of the other two. If we begin to make whelps, for example, and when you finally step into what you are, Selena, you will need us too."

He turned to Shaevre and gave her a brief explanation of his surmisal. Shaevre agreed that if this were so, then she wanted to do whatever Selena needed when it happened. "I do not know about this 'Crowned One' that you speak of, but if it comes to pass, I will be there for her with you, but, ... what help will she need?"

She looked at Selena who shrugged and said, "I don't know. I don't even know if it will happen, as much as I trust Arrax. I'm very nervous about it, and I really hope that if it does happen, then it'll be about as violent as your heat was when it came."

"So what are you saying to us, Arrax?" Shaevre asked.

"I am saying that I want this with you very much," he smiled.

"Well, if that is so, " Shaevre smiled softly, "and if it were only you and one hopeful female here, then you would be busy wooing her." She turned to Selena and kissed her, "Arrax and I know that you do not know the way of Xer courtship. That is why I say these things to him in this way. I Iove it when the grim fighter makes the thief smile.

This is possible back on Xer, what we think to try for, but it must be couched in the most flowery terms and sometimes the use of intermediaries between the three parties. I have seen one set like this, and to me, they seemed happy," Shaevre said, "But after they told me of how it all had to be done and the length of time that it took, I developed a suspicion that they all agreed so that they could just get on with it. I think that they knew what they all wanted to begin with. The rest, all of the chattering was only to see if one of them would drop out."

Selena laughed a little and said that it sounded like such a test to her.

"Well we are here," Shaevre said, "and there are three of us. Normally, it is the male in the couple who might fawn a little and get to his knees to ask the female to consider if she might want his love. With a double-pairing, it is the females who would do this. There is a very small bit of submission here for us, but it is really only a remnant from when we lived in packs. The two females need to agree on their place between them in the pack. The prime bitch would have been selected by fighting. We have no need for this, Selena."

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