tagSci-Fi & FantasyEndangered Ch. 06

Endangered Ch. 06

byltpc©

Chapter 6 -- LTPC

Hi folks,

Sorry about the wait. Thanks for the encouragement over the years.

I'm still working on chapter 8 and will release 7 once I'm happy with it.

A thanks to WideAwakeNow for helping with editing.

Stay tuned and I hope you enjoy.

LTPC

***

"Annabel, wake up," Chris gently shook his sleeping girlfriend.

"Hrmm? What is it?" came the sleepy reply.

"Open your eyes."

Reluctantly, Annabel forced her eyes open and was met with an unfamiliar and altogether unsettling sight.

As she blinked away sleep, everything looked strange; greyscale and transparent where there should have been colour and texture, lit with an otherworldly purple light she couldn't place the source of.

The Ether.

She jolted, her body shedding its blanket of slumber instantly; sitting up in bed to face the culprit of her inter-dimensional travel. A gasp past her lips as she laid eyes on her lover, positively radiating with the purple essence of his aspect.

"Chris... you, you look... you're glowing."

"Thanks Dee, you don't look too bad yourself," he chuckled, scooching closer and running a hand up her side to cup one of her small, naked breasts playfully.

"You know what I mean," Annabel held his hand against her chest, interlocking her fingers with his. "You're pulsing purple."

"That's just the dragon soaking up energy. How's Bartholomew?"

Annabel found the excited enchantment prancing around her thigh, letting out puffs of smoke across her skin, apparently quite chuffed about being in his creator's aspect.

Looking around, she was stunned by the absurdity of her current position. The room was the mirror image of their bedroom back in the Norm, but everything looked like it was made of milky shadows.

She was in another dimension, herself and Chris the only 'fleshed out' objects visible.

"How is this possible, Chris? We took science together, didn't we? How are they going to explain stuff like this?"

"I don't know, Dee, perhaps no one does for sure. Clearly the universe is larger and more complicated than can be defined by our current understanding. Isn't that scientific enough?"

"No," Annabel wasn't convinced. "How did you get me here?"

"Well, when I did it with Michelle, I felt my dragon surround her in a layer of energy so that I would be responsible for the drain required to maintain her in the Ether. I did the same thing for you and the cost is manageable; plus I'm absorbing energy around us all the time."

"It might have been nice to be awake," she protested.

"Hey, I was just trying to find somewhere to put you so I didn't have to listen to your snoring, another dimension seemed appropriate."

Laughing, Chris fully expected to receive a blow about this sensitive subject, together they'd only just begun to explore the joys and problems arising from having a permanent bed mate.

"I," whack. "Do," whack. "Not," whack. "Snore!" Annabel beat out a rhythm on his barrel chest as she pushed him back on the bed until he captured her in a hug and kissed her into submission.

"Yes, you absolutely do, babe, but it's cute as hell. It's not even loud."

"Hrmmph," was her only reply as she stilled her play-struggling.

"Don't be like that," Chris chuckled. "I love it. Hey, check this out."

Chris released her and got off the bed, walked over towards the door, passing straight through the wood with little resistance.

Alone for a moment, without the extra purple light he seemed to shed, Annabel was gripped with a jolt of fear until he poked his smiling face back through the door so just his head was sticking through.

"Cool, huh?"

"Okay, that's pretty cool, goofball. Just don't leave me alone in here, it's pretty scary."

"Sorry. Come try it."

"How does it work?" Annabel asked as he took her hand and dragged her through the door into the ghostly hallway. "If we can do that, why don't we just fall through the floor?"

"Both beautiful and smart," Chris praised her for noticing the inconsistency. "As far as I can tell, it's all about what you intend to do. You want to walk through the door, so you do. Unconsciously, you're expecting the floor to support you, so it does. Does that make sense? I'm still trying to figure it all out."

"Surprisingly, yeah. Now I just have to stop myself from thinking about falling through the floor."

Chris took that moment to show off what he'd learned in the last few days during his limited explorations of the Ether.

Leaping into the air, he dove headfirst into the floor, making Annabel squeal in concern as he disappeared. Half a second later, he resurfaced as if the floor was a pool of water and proceeded to swim laps around her. She couldn't help but laugh, he was obviously in his element, like a duck in water.

"That is so weird," Annabel mused. Her mind wandering to the almost limitless applications this ability could be put to. "Are you sure it's safe for me to be here?"

"The Ether has its own dangers but I think it's pretty safe, you're here with me and I can take you back whenever you want. I'm using my energy to keep you here but I think with training, you and Bartholomew could learn to enter the Ether on your own. He looks pretty happy here after all."

"He does, doesn't he?" Annabel watched the tattoo dragon, now glowing bright purple, strut around her torso, spreading that tingling warmth she was only just becoming accustomed to over her skin. "Okay, it's just, I feel uncomfortable here. Like I'm out of place and something is pushing for me to leave."

"I suspect that's because we're working against the natural order to bring you here. It's my aspect so I don't feel anything like that. Now, do you want to go for a walk or go straight back?"

"I'm naked."

"You don't say?" Chris teased, "Who's going to see us? Lillian's over there in an armchair and she probably wouldn't notice if you sat on her lap."

Annabel balked at that image before going over to inspect the statue-like vampire. She could have been sleeping, or just sitting dead still with her eyes shut.

To Annabel, watching the voluptuous bodyguard sit unbreathing seemed like an invasion of privacy, like she was observing a personal moment of weakness. Her hair had been let down from its usual, practical pony tail or bun, falling softly around her pale face. Framing those luscious, wide lips.

"She's so beautiful," Annabel murmured, bending to get a closer look at Lillian's ghostly form in the strange light.

"So are you, Annabel," Chris whispered as he wrapped his arms around her slender form from behind. She could feel his semi-soft penis twitch against her rear, agreeing with his words. "Now, let's go explore a little."

"It would feel strange walking around naked."

"Come on, Dee, I've been dying to get out of the apartment. Besides I'd love to watch you walk around naked."

"Flatterer."

Chris hugged her more firmly, nuzzling against her ear as his arms caged her waist and stroked her flanks. He practically enveloped her with his larger body.

"It's true, you're completely beautiful, I could watch you for days."

Annabel was touched and thrilled by the contact, the deep seductive purr and sincerity of his voice. How could she resist that?

"Mmmm that feels nice, baby. Okay, let's go take your midnight stroll, so long as you only pee against trees."

"Unh, fine," Chris grunted, "go get my collar and leash."

"Now there's an interesting idea."

They left the apartment, passing through the door with no resistance. Chris was surprised to note several unknown arcane runes protecting their room but they didn't hinder their passage, on the way out anyway.

Annabel initially balked at walking through the lobby of the hotel naked but she held Chris's hand as they even passed right through a clerk and walked out into the night.

He couldn't help but be captivated by her beauty.

Sure, he'd seen her naked in their bed and knew the exquisite pleasure she allowed him as he held her and took her again and again on said bed. But there was something about seeing her stroll naked through his ethereal playground which struck the dragon as the epitome of beauty. The way her skin shown milky white in the strange light, the way her body moved and flowed as she walked at his side. He especially loved her exquisite ass and the little dimples on her back as she moved, the hints of her ribs, and the cutest tiny jiggle that ran across her small, firm breasts with each step. He was lost in her.

The Being district was a much more interesting landscape that Chris was used to. Clearly, it was a hotspot of energy transfer between the dimensions due to the concentration of magic.

Magical scripts and wards littered some walls like graffiti and there were an abundance of Ether dwelling plants making a living where they could. Chris identified them to the best of his ability for Annabel but was stumped by several of the scrubby bushes, lichens, and weeds growing out of the very pavement or climbing the buildings.

A couple of fist sized balls of pulsing green energy even streaked over their heads, apparently giving chase to each other. Further down the street, a large web covered the entrance to an alleyway, its sizeable, many legged occupant munching on one of the unlucky orbs.

Annabel didn't liked that one bit.

It was much more lively than he had expected, noises occasionally split the quiet; magical humming, scurrying, or the squeaks and snarls of the tiny Ether inhabitants which mostly chose to remain hidden in the presence of the dragon and his beautiful escort.

They were, however, momentarily swarmed by a cloud of tiny yellow and red flies; so small only his dragon's instinctual knowledge allowed him to identify the insets. Chris held Annabel close as the collective examined the newcomers, eventually moving off once its curiosity was satisfied and they were identified as something other than food.

"How do they all live here if we never see anything like this in the normal world?" Annabel asked as the swarm buzzed way.

"These are purely inhabitants of the Ether, they feed off the energy we all leak through into this dimension. It's not much but it adds up." Chris explained to the best of his understanding as they passed a magical storefront, its shadow form practically glowing.

Several healthy looking vines grew across the window, basking in the radiant energy whilst something resembling a small rodent was poking its snout from its burrow near the doorway.

"Do they ever cross back over into our world?"

"I don't know. Perhaps, but I imagine that it would cost them a lot of energy and I don't know if any of them are intelligent enough or have control over magic. Everything we've seen so far has been of animal intelligence at most, I think. Susan says there are more malevolent things lurking in the Either, the husks of people who have been trapped and even things from dimensions we don't know about."

"How can that be right? How many other worlds are there?"

He pulled her close against his side as they walked, trying to explain his own philosophy about these questions; questions he'd mostly tried to not let bother him as his human life played out, waiting for his awakening.

"There's no way of knowing, Annabel. I try not to think about it too hard, their inaccessibility makes them pretty much irrelevant. When Susan first told me, I couldn't wrap my head around it either but she said that incursions between worlds are pretty much legends these days. The last major event happened many thousands of years ago, a huge battle between two powerful races spilled over into our world. There was no magic back then but that changed pretty quickly as they fought each other and even converted us to fight on their behalf. The Devines won, but were horrified how much they'd changed our world, how much magic was left behind. They placed a barrier on our dimension so that hopefully we would be free to continue on without any more interference. At least that's how the story goes."

"So even Beings don't know for sure?" Annabel felt a little better that she wasn't the only one but it still left her without an answer to the apparent existence of other dimensions, worlds, and sentient beings.

"No, I can't say that story is at all accurate but it's what we've got. Apparently it's passed down from the first Beings, the ones who fought in those battles."

"Hmm," Annabel thought it over as they continued walking a little way. It was certainly a long shot from the creation story she'd grown up with. They'd walked several blocks now and she felt that they had had enough adventure for one night.

"We should head back," she murmured.

"Yeah, Lillian will be pissed if she wakes up and we're missing."

"Thanks for pushing me to come, Chris. It was a bit scary but I want to be involved in what you do," Annabel squeezed the hand she'd captured as they started back.

"Thanks, Dee."

They took a different way back, completing a loop, walking mostly in silence, happy to be alone in each other's presence and soak up the other-worldly atmosphere.

With the hotel lobby in sight, a loud growl and a high pitched squeak issuing from a nearby building caused them to pause.

A blue steak shot out onto the ghostly pavement and attempted to escape up the street in a flutter of tiny wings. However, a much larger creature, about the size of a large dog, merged from the shadows with lightning speed and pinned it easily.

Chris and Annabel looked on in shock as the larger chimera-like creature played with its prey. It was hard to describe, but it clearly had dexterous forelimbs, a long blade-tipped tail, and a maw of sharp teeth. The hapless morsel screamed piteously, sparking Annabel's reaction.

"Do something, Chris! Help it!"

"I don't-," He barely started, not sure if it was right to intervene. Annabel made the decision for him however, pushing him forwards. "Fine. Hey, Hey! Shoo! Fuck off! Grrrrrrr!"

He advanced on the creature, hoping his flailing arms and exclamations would be enough to startle it. All it did was turn towards him with a warning snarl, its prey still helplessly trapped under claw against the concrete.

It did look quite ferocious and Chris was at a loss momentarily until his dragon provided the answer, unleashing a bellowing roar from his mouth directly towards the predator.

It didn't even look back, streaking off through the shadows with a hiss, yielding its morsel to the mightier Ether beast. Annabel shot forwards past Chris, kneeling quickly to rescue the blue streak.

"Oh my God, Chris, it's a tiny person!" She cried over her shoulder.

"Wait, what?" he asked, coming to look.

"A tiny blue person, with wings."

Annabel was indeed correct, the tiny blue woman, barely more than a foot from head to toe looked up at them in shock. She was completely anatomically correct, having the slim, tall build of an elf with proportional bat-like wings and conspicuously long pointy ears. Her rich, slightly wavy hair hung bedraggled around her body to her waist, concealing her in a blue so deep it was almost black.

"She's hurt Chris, look at her broken wing and the cuts across her thighs. Can't you help her?" Annabel pleaded, scooping the miniature woman up in her hands.

"Annabel, I think that's a sprite. I don't know how to help her and they're not always trustworthy or even good natured at all. They're intelligent and mischievous. She can understand us and is probably perfectly capable of helping herself."

Susan had mentioned sprites as one of the more problematic denizens of the Ether or whichever realm they chose to frequent.

"Please, Chris, can't you just use your saliva on her wounds? She's bleeding."

He sighed, knowing it was useless to protest. Besides, if the sprite was actually bleeding he could at least seal the wounds.

"Okay, pass her to me, gently."

The handoff went smoothly, only a few high pitched whimpers escaping the sprite. Soon she was sitting on his palm, bedraggled but with an air of maintained composure belying her drooping, broken wing. Chris brought her close to his face so they were eye to eye, helplessly noticing her perfectly proportional assets and even a tiny triangle of blue hair at her crotch. She was indeed a miniature beauty.

"I'm going to try to heal you now, okay? But I want your word that you won't try to cause trouble first."

He thought he saw a weak smile play across her face before she gave a nod.

Annabel watched on in awe as Chris closed the gap, lapping out across the sprite's thighs, across her navel, and up her chest, clearing the abrasions and deep cuts left by her encounter with the beast.

The wounds were tiny, but on someone her size, Chris could only assume that they were actually quite serious and certainly very painful. Her taste was pure sweetness, combined with an almost almond-like creaminess. Even her drying blood tasted delicious. He looked up when he was done with her front to see a surprised look on her elegant face, almost like she had rather expected him to eat her whole instead.

Turning her onto her belly with a finger, he licked as gently as possible across the broken forewing emerging from her shoulder, the leathery membrane quivering as she cried out in pain despite his care. She lay still for a moment, whimpering as the bone seemed to remesh in the correct position, a dragon's saliva proving to be highly potent on such a small patient. She appeared to have passed out from pain.

He tried to remember what Susan had told him about sprites but couldn't come up with much other than that they were very rare in modern times, that and they were always hungry. His dragon agreed, suggesting he feed her some energy. Sprites have such fast metabolisms that they were always at the brink of starvation.

"What are you doing now?" Annabel asked as Chris took on a very serious look, concentrating on the opposite hand to the one the sprite lay on. A spark slowly grew between his thumb and forefinger.

"Making it some food," he answered, pulling energy from himself and the Ether surrounding them into a perfect, purple cube about the size of a medium dice.

"She eats that? What is it?"

"It's raw magical energy. A tiny amount for me, what's actually difficult is putting it in a form which is stable and solid like this. This cube would probably be considered a high explosive. It's quite inefficient to make but my dragon is helping me."

He took the cube and ran it under the sprite's minute nose almost teasingly. The reaction was nigh instantaneous, her eyes fluttered for a second before her hands, suddenly tipped with nasty, retractable little talons, shot out and ripped the cube from his loose grip.

Her extended fangs glistened as she sunk her teeth deep and let out a moan, proceeding to devour the cube with disregard for her surroundings. It was as if the only thing in the world that mattered was stuffing her little face. It took her about a minute and by the end, her belly was swollen as if she was at half term.

Looking up at him with an appraising head cock, the sprite finally spoke.

"Thank you, dragon, I accept. I must rest now."

Without further discussion, she turned over to drape herself across his palm and wrist in a foetal position.

No amount of gentle prodding would rouse her. What did she mean by accepting?

"She's so cute!" Annabel excited.

Chris wasn't so optimistic. Sure, the sprite was cute, but he couldn't help but feel it probably wasn't the best of ideas to feed the wild animals.

Unwilling to just leave her in the open, Annabel insisted that they take her back to their apartment, at least until she recovered.

"She's not just a bird with a broken wing, Annabel. Sprites aren't really considered full Beings but she's a person, not a pet."

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