tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Bonding Chronicles Ch. 18

The Bonding Chronicles Ch. 18


***** Built In Her Image *****

Karen's bedroom came into focus as the sound of clanging steel stole Sara from her slumber. Her head jerked towards the door, where she could hear an announcer on some show state, "Alright, blacksmiths. Time's up, hammers down."

Andrew was watching his forging show again, and Sara just smiled and shook her head, returning to her pillow and the soft embrace of the sheet. She missed the fur that coated her body, but loved the way that Karen felt beside her, curled up and warm, her rhythmic breathing enticing Sara to fall back to sleep.

Sara ran her hand along her mate's side, savoring the soft feel of supple flesh as her fingers traced the woman's midsection, which was still rounded by Andrew's life altering cum. She could tell Karen had processed a lot of the magical fluid already, by how much the woman's jiggly and prodigious tummy had shrunk from earlier that morning. It was hard to deny how bizarre the process was, even for Sara, who valued what Andrew was doing more than anyone.

The older woman's thick, dark eyelashes flicked as her eyes darted from side to side beneath their lids, her hands held at her chest while she moved from side to side as if she was navigating through some expansive place. Sara remembered the dreams she had experienced while under the influence of Andrew's magical seed, of chasing and hunting through the thick forest and grassy plains of some unknown land.

She studied Karen, trying to find any kind of a hint in the older woman's movements about what she might be dreaming, and in their place finding only mystery. Sara leaned forward, pecking Karen on the cheek before moving out from under the covers with a quick and graceful stride.

While Sara took care of her after nap routine, Andrew listened from the living room. He was curled up on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and thumbing through a book, taking small bites off of a plate that rested on the coffee table just beside him.

"I've got a spread of cheese, crackers and some weird meat stuff from the fridge, if you want anything," Andrew called out to Sara, who finished her business in the bathroom and soon emerged shaking water off of her hands.

"Mmm, I love charcuterie," Sara announced as she bounded over, before giving Andrew a quick kiss and pillaging the snack tray.

"So, is sleeping beauty still sailing the ocean blue?"

Sara considered Andrew's words, and thought back on the image of Karen swaying from side to side with her hands at her chest, and she had to admit, the image fit.

"Is that what she's dreaming?"

Andrew laughed, before responding, "No clue. I watched her for awhile, and the way she moved reminded me of being on a boat, rising and falling with the tide. But, truth be told, I have no idea. Ohh, and did you hear her little chirping noises?"

"What? No way... I miss all the fun stuff," Sara said with a playful pout.

"No, you didn't," Andrew paused, watching Sara's anticipation build. "I recorded it."

Andrew's phone lifted off of the table, carried by unseen hands towards Sara, who caught the device as it approached. It had already been unlocked, and as soon as she gripped it she could see an image of Karen on the screen, the beautiful woman laying on her side, her body moving in the same rhythmic motion Sara had just seen, her lips parted ever so slightly as she breathed. Then, out of nowhere, Karen let out a series of chirping noises that were strange and yet seemed somehow fitting, as if something in Karen's nature was represented in the unexpected sound.

Sara's eyes got large as a thought occurred to her.

"You don't suppose she's dreaming of being an animal, do you?"

They both recognized how Karen's movements made sense when put into that context.

"Honestly, I have no idea, but that really seems to fit. You don't think... No, that would be too crazy."

Sara just watched Andrew, raising an eye and letting him know she wanted him to give voice to his insane theory.

"Well, you always raved about your dreams when I was doing this to you, and talked about how much fun it was to run as a cat. The end result of that process was that you were able to shift into your cat form..."

"So," Sara took over, "You think that Karen might be preparing to become some kind of were-animal."

Andrew popped a large chunk of cheese into his mouth and chewed while he shrugged, making his uncertainty clear.

"Whatever she is dreaming, we need to take it seriously. She's already such a powerful healer, it's gonna' be really cool to see what this process does to make her more... well, more whatever she is."

Silence fell over the room as that thought grew within their imaginations. Karen was already amazing, and unlike Sara, her powers never seemed incomplete. Whatever was happening, they were certain it was going to be unexpected.

"Once I finish this episode, would you be up for a trip to the hardware store?"

"New project?" Sara asked, eager to see what Andrew was cooking up.

"Kinda, more of a favor for Tani'm. Something to try and help her get her life back in order."

Sara studied Andrew, recognizing a small amount of reticence in her diminutive mate.

"Let me guess, Karen?"

Andrew took a drink of milk and nodded. "Yup, Karen!"

The show started back up, and while Andrew studied every frame with wide-eyed eagerness, Sara took a book from a shelf and continued to snack while she started on the story contained within.

The finalists were tasked with creating a khopesh, an egyptian sword of remarkable beauty and lethality. Andrew was seated at the edge of the couch by the time it came to testing, and studied every detail presented on the screen. His only distraction was the tray of charcuterie, which vanished bit by bit as Andrew and Sara continued to eat from its bounty.

"You've been watching this show a lot lately," Sara observed, a little surprised by the amount of joy she felt from her studious mate.

"It's pretty sweet. It's like the perfect mix of science and badassery."

As if to prove his point, in a quick series of movements, a judge used the swords tapered tip to pull a shield away before eviscerating a semi-transparent replica of a human chest. There were bones and what seemed to be organs visible through the faux-flesh of the dummy, all of which were sliced through and broken. The weapon was amazing and brutal in its efficiency.

Sara curled her legs up and set the book into her lap. "That is pretty sweet."

It was pretty clear to Sara and Andrew which of the two craftsman was going to win, and by the end, they were proven right, both of them laughing and joking at the obviousness of the conclusion. The TV turned off as Andrew stood, and Sara was there in a moment, wrapping him in her arms.

She took a deep breath, giggling as she whispered, "You should jump in the shower, you smell..." Sara shuddered as she chose her words. "Like Karen, in a very intimate way. I'll be right there, just gonna clean up real quick."

Andrew blushed, realizing exactly what Sara was smelling, and gave her a peck before fetching his bag from the entryway. He returned to the master bedroom, where he took off and folded his clothes. Sara made quick work of putting the snacks away, and was beaming with happiness as she went to join Andrew, finding he had left out a change of clothes he had brought with him, knowing that she would end up at Karen's.

They took their time, enjoying the massage they received from the warm water and the small stone flooring as they caressed and cleaned every inch of each others' bodies. Karen's soaps and lotions smelled as wonderful as Andrew remembered. If anything, his heightened senses brought the floral fragrances to the forefront.

Almost thirty minutes later they came out into the master bedroom, finding Karen laying on her back with her swollen belly and breasts out for the world to see. She was breathtaking, her long curly brown hair luxurious and more vibrant than either of them had ever seen it.

"I swear, she looks younger every day," Andrew observed, admiration evident in his gaze.

Sara was already pulling on her panties, and nodded her agreement to his words.

Once they were both dressed, the previous nights activities and the warm shower having drained the stress from their bodies, they tidied up Karen's house and tucked her into her sheets.

"She should be out for another couple hours."

Andrew was just guessing, based on how large her tummy was, and how long Sara had always slept while his spell worked its magic on her.

"God I wish I would be here to tell her about Tani'm, but if we're gonna' get this done, we can't wait around."

Sara rested her hand on his shoulder, feeling the weight of his regret through their bond as he continued to watch their mate sleep. He rested his cheek on her hand and smiled. "Thanks."

A moment later they were walking into the kitchen, where Andrew took a notepad and pen from beside the fridge and began to write.

"It's not much, but it'll have to do," he stated as he tore the sheet from the pad, and set it on the corner of her kitchen island.

Sara felt his melancholy fade away, as his desire to get out into the world rose up, and she eagerly grasped onto that feeling, finding it a delightful companion to her own wanderlust.

The moment they left the house and started their journey through the forest, Sara began to think through the tasks before them.

"Well, if we need to get construction materials, then, like everything else, we're kind of fucked for options near here."

Andrew's scent from earlier that morning stood out in the crisp morning air, and Sara found it easy to follow the path he had taken to get to Karen's house. Andrew noticed her off-handed use of her talents, and admired the ease with which she utilized her gifts, happy to follow his red and black haired beauty to the car.

"I'll check my phone once we get back to the lake."

Sara looked at him sideways. "Why not check now, so we know where we're going?"

The look that Andrew gave her spoke more than anything he could have said, he was being paranoid.

"Ohh, come on, Andrew. You're just being silly now."

"Hey, that's not fair. If the military really arranged for all this crap, how do you know they aren't tracking my phone?"

He was staring daggers at her, daring her to challenge his assertion. "I'll turn on the mobile connection once we get well away from Karen's, and somewhere safe."

Sara smiled and returned her attention to Andrew's trail, mentioning with an almost offhanded tone, "Hey, if you want, I know a place we can get some tin foil. I hear they make really nice hats."

Andrew tried to stop himself, but failed as his face went red and laughter filled the air. He bumped Sara with his hip and together they jogged to the S.U.V., finding it parked right where he left it. True to his word, Andrew re-established his phone's network the moment they got into town. While he drove, Sara found a few options for them to get the supplies that Karen had asked for, all of which were at least an hour outside of Quinault.

"This place is gorgeous, but man do I miss the benefits of living in a city."

Sara shrugged, having grown accustomed to the long drives, and gave Andrew a teasing smile, making him realize that she knew something he did not. As always, the drive was gorgeous, and outside of a short stop for gas they made excellent time. Every mile was a joy, the young couple talking about recent and ancient events with equal measure and mirth.

Andrew had everything worked out by the time they arrived at the hardware store, knowing that in some strange way all hardware stores were alike. In record time, they were checked out and ready to load up. The scent of bleach and cleaning supplies were hinted at in the fabric at the back of the S.U.V., and as Sara sniffed and scanned the surface with great attention, she couldn't find a single trace of the carnage that had been hidden there the night before.

"Damn, SD. You might have a future as a maid."

Andrew shuddered at the thought, causing Sara to laugh and poke him, savoring the sideways glance he gave her.

"Perhaps a professional cleaner," he countered.

"That's what I said, a maid."

"No... like a person who cleans up after hit men, you know, disposing bod-"

"I know, dummy," Sara interjected. "I'm just teasing, silly boy."

As they loaded the door, planks of wood, edging, nails, screws and many other necessities both large and small into the vehicle, Andrew gained a far off look.

"You know, there's gotta' be a spell that'd make cleaning up messes like that much easier."

Sara placed a pane of glass carefully into the back seat, before looking over at Andrew with a proud smile.

"You can do that?"

Andrew laughed. "Of course not. I'm just saying it must be possible."

With a roll of her eyes, Sara finished adding the other pane of glass into the backseat, thoroughly protected in its cardboard enclosure. She decided against teasing him about his cool but pointless idea. With magic, everything seemed possible, but until they had a way to actually do something, she didn't see a reason to speculate.

As far as she was concerned, that was wasted effort.

"I need to play around with that Cleansing Ward Karen gave me. It might be the key to figuring out a spell like that."

Sara stopped in her tracks, looking over at Andrew with wide-eyed annoyance.

"Seriously? You have a cleaning spell, and you're just sitting on it?"

It was Andrew's turn to shrug, and after slamming the back of the S.U.V., he walked around and sat in the driver's seat.

"We just got the tannins that are allowing me to finally explore these spells safely. From what Karen said, it only works on paper, clearing off whatever has been written on it. With my luck, if I tried to use it on the car, it would pull all the pigment out of everything, before slashing the tires and setting it ablaze.

"Besides, I'm still nervous to try a lot of these spells. We've got no idea what they're going to do, and if I activate one that we can't turn off..." He shuddered as his eyes grew distant, memories of his body going weak as Mercedes stood before him, the Glamour spell deconstructing his body to power its illusion. "I don't want to go through that again."

His fingers were on the keys that rested in the ignition, and his eyes were watching his hand as he fidgeted with the bundle of clattering metal. Sara had forgotten how many times Andrew had almost died in similar ways. Often centered on her, and his desire to make her stronger. Even then, as she watched him study those keys with a thousand-yard stare, she knew he was reliving that feeling of emptiness, as his essence was being drained from his body to power some external force.

"I'm sorry... You'll get this figured out." She smiled and turned her wettening gaze outside of the passenger window, Andrew's anxiety stirring up her own sense of guilt, and her inability to assist him. "God knows I can't help, that stuff makes no sense to me. But hey, if you need someone to run through the forest really fast, I'm your girl."

Andrew chuckled, the weight of their darkening mood standing out to the small man, who found himself missing the light hearted frivolity of the woman he loved.

"Don't forget beating up boys. If we need a boy beaten up, there's no one better than you, Kitten."

She turned to give him a half-hearted smile, but was forced to laugh as he pulled away from her, feigning extreme fear and terror at her movement. Andrew was happy to feel the breaking of their sour mood, before it had a chance to take root and ruin their drive home.

After exiting the parking lot, and heading back to the freeway, Andrew tried to explain his thoughts. "Now that we have the tannins, I think I'll be able to start figuring these symbols out. Karen once said that the wards were meant to make casting spells safer, or something like that, and while I think she was just repeating something she had been told while she was with The Council, my guess is that it's true."

He paused long enough to look both ways before merging back onto the freeway. Traffic was light, but he was taking it slow, not wanting to jostle or disturb Sara who was leaning over and resting against his shoulder.

"Last night, I used a bunch of different wards to levitate the scarecrows, make them look like me, and to camouflage myself under that sheet. Oddly, the levitation didn't seem much easier, but the rest of it all felt different from when I cast those spells without the wards. They always felt dangerous and greedy when I used them directly, but with all those wards active at once, I never once felt like I was in danger."

Andrew leaned forward, checking his blind spot before changing lanes, allowing a large truck to pass at what he felt was a reckless speed.

Everything Andrew said made sense, and Sara just wiggled up against him, content in the knowledge that he was growing into his powers and learning things that would be vital for their survival, if the wolf ever returned. She yawned and stretched, her eyes growing heavy as the warm sunlight bathed her body.

Andrew sensed her relaxation, and knew she was beginning to drift into a contented nap, but he forced himself to broach a subject he feared, knowing they needed to discuss it.

"About last night, with Thunderfoot," Andrew began, leaving his statement open, unsure how to start the conversation.

Sara could sense his nervousness, and pulled back, all desires for sleep lost as she looked at Andrew with confusion. "What about Thunderfoot? The training went pretty well. He's a terrible fighter, but he's getting better. Why, do you think you can help him become stronger or something?"

"No, not the training. Before that, while we were in The Glade, I saw how you reacted to... to what Karen did to relieve him. I'm... I'm confused, okay? How could you want to have sex with him?"

Sara raised an eyebrow, surprised by the strange direction their conversation had gone. She knew how disturbed he had been by that entire event, but figured he had understood. He was usually so good at seeing things from her perspective, and understanding her desires.

"I don't want to sleep with Thunderfoot, and I would whoop his ass if he ever tried. It's just..." Her voice trailed off as she thought about her encounter with Andrew the night before in Karen's bedroom. Her pussy ached, yearning for Andrew to fill her with his seed with a strength she had never known before. A slight sadness revisited her as she remembered what he had told her when he turned away her advances.

"Damnit Andrew, I'm a cat as much as I'm a woman, alright? I know you don't find me attractive in that form, but I feel sexy, and still have all my same desires. And yes, I wondered what it would have felt like to have been taken as a cat while watching Karen and Thunderfoot. It wasn't about Thunderfoot, as much as it was about trying to imagine what sex as a cat would feel like.

"You make me feel so good, but I can tell my sexual needs are different as a cat. If anything, my desires are much stronger in my cat-form, and if you weren't taking care of me so fully when I was a human, I could see myself seeking out another partner when I prowled the forest as a cat."

Her eyes darted from side to side as she considered that statement, "Not that there would really be any options to fulfill my needs, now that I think about it."

Sara studied Andrew closely, sensing shock through their bond, but also consideration. He watched the road while he thought, and for a very long few minutes he just drove. Her heart raced as she studied their link, following his emotions as he considered her words.

"Except Thunderfoot that is," he whispered with a sad sigh, resignation showing in his slumped shoulders. She could see tears welling in his eyes as he struggled to keep from looking over at her.

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