Two of a Kind Ch. 07byCia81©
"I think working in the library is my favorite," Bashta said.
He had wandered into the building one day while exploring the town on his own where he promptly found Raselie. Bashta admired her a lot; they worked together to help the sick kitlings side by side during the worst of the wait for the anti-serum. When she found out Bashta was interested in the books she started teaching him to read and was amazed at how fast he learned, devouring each lesson and learning more than she would have thought possible in just a week.
It helped distract him from the stress and worry of not knowing what was happening to his clan's lands. Every night he had nightmares, his dead crying out for vengeance. His claws had punctured more than one pillow. He was just thankful that he hadn't hurt Cavel. The wonder of the books and computers in the library were one of the few things keeping him sane.
He was only helping her with small chores and in the children's area but the kitlings all loved doing crafts with Bashta. He showed them how to weave grasses into mats and small baskets and the older children got lessons in carving. Some of the older younglings sat with him as they all worked on their reading skills. The best part of all to him was reading the baby books to the infants during their story time. Their chubby cheeks and bright eyes and happy giggles encouraged him to pick very happy books just to hear them again.
"I think that's what I want to do." Bashta turned his head from where it rested on his folded arms under his chin. His legs moved restlessly and pushed the sheet down even farther, exposing his ass.
Cavel was idly tracing designs on the bare skin of Bashta's back. They were lying in the bed, the glass doors wide open to let in a breeze to dry the sweat on their skin. He trailed his fingers down to the small of Bashta's back and chuckled a little when Bashta shivered.
"That tickles," Bashta complained as he turned over. His mate had been doing everything he could to distract him as well but they were both on edge most of the time. Not right then though.
Cavel rested his head on his hand and looked down at Bashta.
"You're so hot." He leaned down and kissed Bashta then rubbed their cheeks together. Bashta ran his fingers over the line of spots along Cavel's neck. Cavel yawned.
"You're not so bad yourself," Bashta joked, "for an old guy."
"An old guy? An old guy!" Cavel looked outraged. Bashta started laughing when Cavel started poking him in the stomach. "Who are you calling old?" He slid a muscular thigh over Bashta's legs when he tried to squirm away, locking him in place. His mate was still built solid, his bulk more than enough to keep Bashta in place.
Bashta shivered as he thought of how it had felt when Cavel had rested all his weight on his back, pressing Bashta into the bed as he took him. He felt his dick stir and decided to take matters into his own hands, turn the tables a little on his dominant mate.
"First you complained about dinner being too late when you get home and now you're yawning and the sun hasn't even gone down yet!" Bashta wrestled for control and Cavel let him push him over and slide on top of him. Bashta slid his hands down Cavel's arms and pinned his wrists to the bed.
"If I remember right dinner was late because you wanted to take a shower with me and I'm tired because you woke me up early this morning."
"I didn't hear you complaining when you woke up and lifted the covers up to watch." Bashta looked down at Cavel and grinned.
"Hell no! I'm not now either," he gasped a little when Bashta wiggled, "Oh that's just mean."
"Hmm, are you sure you're up for it?" Bashta asked as he sat up, letting go of Cavel's wrists.
Cavel's hands instantly came up to Bashta's thighs and he lifted his hips, grinding against him, thrusting up hard enough to make Bashta gasp. "Oh, I'm sure."
"Not too tired?" Bashta leaned down and kissed Cavel, thrusting his tongue into his mouth and back out in one quick swipe. Cavel's hands tightened on his thighs.
"Hmmm... I'm never too tired when I'm touching you but... Cavel rolled them over and was leaning down to kiss Bashta when the phone rang.
"Damn it!" he cursed, glaring at the phone on the bed table. "How about we just ignore that?" He leaned down and started licking and sucking on Bashta's chest. Pleasure surged through Bashta, feelings he still wasn't used to making him whimper as his erection throbbed.
"Shouldn't," Bashta gasped out. He was surprised he could even think enough to protest.
The phone stopped ringing.
"There, see?" Cavel said against his chest, "Now we can--"
This time Cavel's cell phone started ringing.
"Arrrgh." Cavel glared at it and then reluctantly climbed off the bed and strode over to his cell phone on the dresser. He picked up the offending object and hit the talk button without looking at the caller id.
"Hello," he snapped.
Cavel instantly straightened up as his eyes opened wide. "Velaku. Sorry. I, ah, I didn't expect to you to call this time of day."
Velaku chuckled a little. "Your mate keeping you busy?"
Cavel blushed and Bashta laughed quietly from the bed. He wasn't used to seeing his mate so easily embarrassed. Cavel glared at him while he answered Velaku. "A little."
"Much better. Everyone has been treated with the anti-serum. Dr. Waddel has several copies of his notes about the sickness and the antiserum in case something like this happens again. We're hoping that you can catch those involved so it won't; but we're prepared just in case."
"Good, good. I'm glad to hear things are going better and your kitlings are all better. That's something I need to talk to you about though."
"Do you have news for us?" Bashta pushed up on the bed to lean against the headboard and pulled his knees up to his chest. He was more than capable of hearing Velaku through the phone. Cavel moved over to sit on the side of the bed and put a hand on one of his knees. His stomach churned during the pregnant pause.
"I do. Davis came through and he found out who has been desecrating your mate's village. They were smugglers, looking for artifacts and treasure. It looks like this isn't the only place they've been hunting either."
Bashta closed his eyes, his head coming down to rest on Cavel's hand.
Cavel snarled and his voice was distorted. "Have they been caught?"
"No. They pulled out of the area and when he tracked them back here to the States he was forced to let them go when he found them to take care of something more important."
Bashta was staring at the wall with tears running down his cheeks silently. Cavel rubbed his knee as he tried to control his temper in vain.
"What in the hell could possibly be more important than this?" he snapped. "My clan came close to dying. Others might not be so fortunate. That god damned Snake--"
Velaku interrupted him with a cool voice, "He found a captive female with an infant kitling. Black jaguars."
Cavel was speechless. Bashta was staring at him and the phone with wide eyes, his mouth hanging open. He'd been expecting a big battle, some sort of confrontation with the bad guys that they could use to assuage their pain and anger over the danger their clan had been in. Bashta needed some closure over the desecration of his village; it went beyond the pain at being the last of his clan.
He felt cheated but...
"Are they okay?" he asked quickly. Velaku heard him through the speaker.
"The kitling is. The female was feral. She died attacking the man who was holding them captive when Davis managed to set them free."
"Who was she?" Bashta whispered. He felt so bad for the kitling. He'd lost his own mother the same way and he still wasn't over the loss. How would the young jaguar cope with the loss of both their parents? When Velaku didn't hear him Cavel repeated the question.
"From what we could figure out, the mate of your mate's older brother."
Bashta was thunderstruck. He slumped back against the pillows in shock. He shook his head when Cavel looked at him. "I don't know," he mouthed. His mouth was dry and he swallowed convulsively.
"Are you sure?" Cavel asked, his hand reaching for Bashta. Their fingers tangled together and Bashta held tight, the pressure making his knuckles go white.
"I can't be certain. Davis did find security tapes with footage of the other men involved in the smuggling. There are some images of a black jaguar. I can email them to you."
Bashta just nodded when Cavel looked at him. He had to know.
"We'll call you back."
Cavel went to get his laptop from downstairs while Bashta pulled on a pair of shorts. He waited anxiously while the computer booted up; he still wasn't ready to use the sleek black machine. Cavel pulled on a pair of sweats and then brought up the internet and his email. The email was already waiting and he took a deep breath and then clicked on it.
There were two attachments.
"You ready for this?" Cavel asked Bashta. Bashta nodded but laced their hands together again. He needed Cavel's strength and his mate gave it to him, sending him a wave of love through their bond.
Cavel clicked on the files and opened them. The first one was a profile image; the black spots and jet black hair of an adult bonded black jaguar was easily recognizable. The man was tall but whipcord thin. It was the full facial shot in the second attachment that caught his attention.
"He looks just like me!" Bashta whispered in shock.
Cavel looked between him and the computer screen, comparing the man in the picture and the face of his mate who stared at it with a surprised look. Bashta reached out with one trembling finger and traced the curves and lines of the features that were so familiar looking. He saw them every day in the mirror.
"I think the Snake was right. This man has to be related to you, Bashta." Cavel wrapped an arm around Bashta. "Do you know who he is?"
Bashta shook his head. "I never knew my parents had any kitlings before my litter."
"Could they have and not said anything? Could he have gone missing?"
Bashta had tears in his eyes and his lips trembled. "I just don't know. But... a brother. I had a brother alive and I never knew."
He turned to Cavel in distress. "How could I have not known? Why didn't my mother tell me? I was so alone!"
He began to sob, collapsing against the warm skin of Cavel's bare chest. Deep ragged cries shook his slim frame as he shed tears for the family he lost that he never knew he had. Time passed while Cavel gently held him and let him release the pain that tore at him until his shaking and the loud sobs began to quiet.
Bashta could feel the love and reassurance through their mate bond but it took a long time for it to really sink in and make him remember that he wasn't so alone anymore.
Bashta finally turned his head at Cavel's gentle urging. He pushed the hair off his mate's face and kissed his forehead. "You'll never be alone again," Cavel reminded him.
"There is just so much I don't understand. It's so hard."
"I know, babe, but life isn't easy. You know that. You're a survivor. You lived when a lot of others would have given up and died. You stayed true to your family and your duty. You were brave enough to mate me and come here to save my clan; to start a new life with me in a world not your own.
"I can never say how grateful I am to you for all of that, how lucky I am to have such a brave mate. All I can do is promise that I will never leave you. I love you Bashta." Cavel opened completely to their bond and the pure shining devotion he sent made fresh tears come to Bashta's eyes.
"I'm the lucky one. Lucky to have met you and been captured by your men." Bashta sat up in Cavel's arms and wrapped his arms around Cavel's neck. "I knew you were special the moment I caught your scent in the jungle; you smelled like home and comfort and safety. It made me so angry that you smelled that good and made me want what I thought I couldn't have."
"All those things you wanted, a home, a family, love... they're yours. They have been since you dropped to the ground and glared at me like I was your worst enemy. I knew we were mates but I didn't know that I could love you so much." Cavel couldn't seem to help it; he leaned into Bashta and kissed him.
Their lips moved together, Cavel capturing Bashta's bottom lip and sucking on it gently, teasing him. Bashta moaned and his mouth parted. Cavel quickly slipped his tongue in the small gap to taste his mate, a warm sensual swipe with his tongue along the raspy top of Bashta's mouth and back over and over. Cavel continued to ravage Bashta's mouth until he had to pull back to gasp in a breath of air.
They held each other, leaning their foreheads together and staring into each other's eyes. Bashta felt closer to Cavel than he ever had before. The shorts and sweats they had put on came off quickly and Cavel slipped inside him.
They rocked together, their pace slow and steady. Bashta held tight to Cavel, needing the intimacy of his mate being buried inside him. His hands caressed Cavel's back as he urged his mate to rest more of his weight on him. He wanted to be blanketed by his body, comfort and pleasure all mixing together.
Cavel kept moving slowly and carefully until neither of them could take it anymore. His hips began thrusting harder but he didn't move any faster, keeping the same slow rhythm that slid the head of his dick past Bashta's prostate in a long glide.
Cavel's roar as his climax claimed him was so primal. Bashta gasped and went rigid, his balls tight as he arched and shot between them. It was almost a full minute before they were able to relax. Cavel lay down next to him, pulling him into the circle of his arms.
"I never thought I would act like such a lovesick fool," Cavel whispered, "but you are more important to me than anyone else in the world."
Bashta pressed their lips together in a slow tender caress; the sensual kiss made Cavel shudder and pull him in tighter. Bashta sighed.
"I like that you're a lovesick fool."
Cavel held Bashta's hand on yet another flight. This time his mate wasn't medicated or focused on any sick kitlings so Cavel kept talking to him. He didn't want him to panic when they were in the air.
"What are we going to do about the baby?" Bashta asked. His claws kept coming out as he flexed his hands over and over. Cavel was surprised he hadn't punctured the arms of the seat with his free hand.
"Bring her home of course."
Bashta caressed Cavel's hand, trying to ease the red marks he had left when the plane took off. Cavel pulled his hand up and kissed his knuckles.
"You would do that for me?"
Cavel nodded simply, turning to face Bashta completely, capturing his mate's eyes. He had to make sure he knew exactly how he felt about the baby they were contemplating taking in. His mate deserved nothing less.
"Look, from all the evidence and, while not much, what we do have points almost conclusively to this unknown jaguar to being one of your siblings. That makes this baby your clan, your blood. You are a part of me and that makes her part of us and our clan."
Bashta reached for him and nestled his head into his neck. They snuggled for long moments, their bond as full as ever of their love for each as they went unvoiced but not unknown.
"Tell me about these guys we are going to meet. You said he's a bird Carthera?"
"A Falcon actually. He's the leader of all the clans in this area. He was recently mated to a Lynx who was raised by a psychotic Jaguar who actually tried to kill them both."
Bashta blinked and shook his head. "When I was growing up the clans where I lived did not mix. Each to their own kind only. We lived more simply though."
"There isn't as much room here as you had in the jungle. Humans haven't encroached on the land where your clan lived as much either. Here, there has always been the battle for balance between the humans and the clans. In the times before the peace treaties the clans stayed close to each other for protection, though we fought a lot, of course."
The plane began to shake and Bashta whimpered as he grabbed Cavel's hand in a grip tight enough to make him wince. Cavel let him hold as tight as he needed to and rumbled soothingly, pulling Bashta a bit closer to him and under his arm. The plane leveled out and Bashta let out the breath he was holding.
"Just a little bit of turbulence folks," the pilot's voice washed through the plane, "and we might hit a bit more so please make sure your seat belts are fastened."
Bashta's free hand traced over the small bit of fabric, pulling it tighter. "I can't believe they expect me to believe this is going to keep me safe," he muttered.
"It's okay, babe. Planes are even safer than cars."
Bashta shook his head. "I don't think I'm ever going to get used to the speed everyone travels at here."
Cavel rubbed his arm. "You'll get used to it, I promise. It is just going to take some time." He kissed Bashta softly on his temple. "We have plenty of that."
Bashta sighed and relaxed his grip on Cavel's poor hand, the red marks back darker than ever. "So the clans don't fight each other anymore?"
Cavel shrugged a little but went with the topic change; he knew Bashta just needed the distraction even if the subject wasn't ideal.
"Not all out clan wars like used to happen in the past. There will always be dust ups and issues between certain types. Most Snakes are shunned if not killed as younglings; they are really different from other Carthera clans. The bird and cat clans have not always gotten along well together but since Velaku and Natham mated things have been more settled. The main difficulties come from the more canine clans which can be very dominance focused.
"My father had great respect for Velaku's father. The man held the clans together and did so without trying to control all of us. He listened and helped us form a unique group. Not all the territories are so peaceful or cooperative. Of course, someone killed him and tried to kill Velaku so not everyone is happy with how things are run."
The plane shook a bit and then dropped. Bashta's face went white and he clawed at his seat belt and Cavel, trying to get farther into his arms. Cavel snarled and glared at the pilot's cabin. He knew it wasn't the man's fault but damn, he wanted to beat him for making his mate upset.
"We'll be there soon."
Bashta held onto him and grimaced. "My stomach hurts."
Cavel held up an arm and the stewardess sitting at the front of first class came over to them.
"Can I help you sir?"
"Yes, can we get a bottle of ginger ale please? My mate isn't feeling so well."
"Of course sir. I think we still have some crackers." She looked at Bashta and smiled calmly. "Would you care for some of those, sir?"
"They're better than throwing up," Cavel said. Bashta hadn't liked them earlier, the dry texture of the crackers being too salty and unpleasant for him. He knew Bashta would be embarrassed if he got sick though.
Bashta sighed. "Yes, thank you."
Armed with the soothing drink and the dry crackers to settle his roiling stomach Bashta leaned against Cavel. He took small bites and sips. He closed his eyes.
"Better?" Cavel asked.
"Why don't you take a short nap? We've about an hour until we land and we didn't really get any sleep last night."
Bashta yawned. "I might be able to do that."
Cavel caressed him, swirling his fingers in a gentle petting that made Bashta rumble in contentment. His head leaned down and rested against Cavel's shoulder. His eyes slowly closed at Cavel stroked his head and ears, sending his body into a peaceful doze. Cavel closed his eyes after his mate's breathing became slow and regular. Sleep was slow in coming but it eventually overtook him and he settled against his mate.