tagSci-Fi & FantasyUpon a Savage Shore Ch. 08

Upon a Savage Shore Ch. 08

byRipperFish©

Author's note: Thanks to everyone leaving encouraging comments and messages. Very much appreciated.

Things are getting busy for me again and I may be away for a time. However, I have another chapter almost ready to be posted and several more that need editing. Currently working on chapter 13. Looks like there might be 20 chapters total.

*****

Liam rolled to his side feeling every cramped muscle and stiff joint in his body. He was sure that if he tried to move too quickly he'd hear tendons snapping so he very slowly worked himself into a sitting position.

"Damn," he swore softly. "Mom said there would be days like this."

"Did she really?" a soft voice inquired from the nest across from him. M'pel E'kmel pushed herself up onto her elbow and smiled. Her smoke-colored eyes were only half open, still filled with sleep and in the fading light of the late afternoon her golden fur looked more dusky than usual. He smiled back and shook his head.

"It's just an expression," he said. "I had a sergeant in advanced gunnery who would say that to us on maneuvers. He was one of the best instructors I ever had."

"Ah. I wondered how your mother would know one day you would be cast away upon a remote world with three soldiers of an enemy nation," she laughed playfully. "Are you rested, Sergeant?"

"I'm better than I was a while ago," he conceded. "Give me a minute. I need to check something."

She waited patiently and watched with interest as he took his medical kit from his pack. Placing it on his broad chest he tapped a button and waited until the device chimed. Holding it in front of his face he read something from the little screen.

"And what does it say?" she asked mildly but with a hint of concern.

"Well," he said, screwing up his face. "My nutritional balance for the day is a little too heavy on proteins and too light on carbohydrates. Nothing serious. I'm well within the norm for hydration. That's good. And it looks like my vitamin D and my iron are a bit low, but again, nothing serious. Everything else checks out. The machine does recommend more sleep, though."

"Then lay back down," she advised.

"I'm already awake and I should relieve Tem'Ma'tel on watch. She's been out there all day."

"And you have been extremely active for the past two days," M'pel E'kmel said reasonably. "You should sleep a little while longer. Lay down and I will sing you a lullaby. One my mother used to sing to me."

He looked at her with a soft smile and said, "Now that would be worth hearing. You have a very nice voice, Commander. I think it's best if I go relieve Tem'Ma'tel, though. Sing your lullaby to her."

She was going to speak but paused when Liam reached into his pack and came out with one of his ration packets. He tore the end open and drew out a disc about the size of his palm.

"What's that?" she asked.

For answer he gave her a glance and then winked. Holding the disc with the fingers of one hand he placed the fingers of the other over it and pulled them apart. The disc opened up into a cylinder and he twisted the top off. He stuffed that into his pack and took out his canteen, pouring a measure of water into the open end of the cylinder. Steam wafted up from it and a pleasant scent filled the old tree. He handed the cylinder to M'pel E'kmel.

"It smells wonderful," she said after waving the drink under her nose.

"The drink of the gods," he said in a mock serious tone. "And the life's blood of marines and college students everywhere."

"Indeed?" she said in an appropriately grave tone. "What's it called?"

"That, my dear Commander, is coffee. At least it's a pretty close approximation of the stuff."

"This?" M'pel E'kmel said, genuinely impressed. She had heard of coffee but had never had an opportunity to try any. She reached to hand it back, but Liam held up a palm and pulled a second disc from the ration packet.

"Go ahead and drink it," he said, repeating the preparations for the second cup. "Just don't waste it. There are thirsty marines who would push their sainted grandmothers down a flight of stairs to get some."

She laughed, her eyes dancing, and took a sip of the hot liquid. M'pel E'kmel held the cup several centimeters in front of her eyes and stared at it. Her ears twitched and her whiskers vibrated. She took a larger sip and shot Liam a surprised and very pleased look.

"I guess you like it," he said with a grin and sipped from his own cup.

"This is wonderful!" she proclaimed and sat up, careful of her cup. "If your people sent our general staff a case of this the war would end tomorrow! You say this is only an approximation of the drink?"

"I've had the real stuff plenty of times," he told her. "I had Kona coffee every day when I was stationed in Honolulu and I had Indian coffee while on maneuvers in the Punjab. The Pliskan blend from Adder is really good, all original beans transported there about a hundred years ago from Columbia. I have it wherever I go. This stuff is coffee mostly in name alone. It tastes better with sugar and cream if you want to try some of that."

"No thank you," she said and sipped again. "My people do not process sugar very well. We can't even taste it. And the cream I am leery of. I do not wish to ruin a good thing."

Liam snorted at that and drank his coffee. It perked him up considerably and soon he was feeling more ready to face a long watch. He collapsed his empty cup and pushed it back into the ration packet then stood and collected his armor.

"Sergeant," M'pel E'kmel said, watching him pull the sleeves up his arms. "How long will it take to recharge the stretcher?"

"Oh, if we could keep it in direct sunlight, about six hours," he told her. "With all this shade, call it twelve or fourteen."

"And how long would the charge last?" she asked.

"You mean if we loaded all of our gear on it?"

She nodded.

"That's a lot of weight for it to hold up," he said, fastening the pauldrons on his shoulders. "That's why it ran down so fast. I guess it would carry that load for about six or seven hours. Thinking about taking it somewhere?"

"I found a place on one of our orbital survey maps," she said. "I think we could reach it in a single day if we started at dawn."

"Dangerous," he observed. "We figured daylight lasts about twenty-four hours here. You want to march straight through?"

"I had thought we might try it," she admitted and sipped more of her coffee. "If the stretcher runs down so quickly we would certainly be forced to stop."

"How about making the trip in stages?" he asked and fastened his gun belt.

"I suppose we must."

"If you can use your map to find some places on the way where we could hole up and recharge the stretcher, we could make a couple of short journeys in a day," he said and picked up his helmet. "Might be able to reach the place you found in as little as two days. Probably more like three, since we won't know the terrain until we're actually walking through it."

"Yes," she said with a nod. "You are wise, Sergeant. And you are more accustomed to marching than I am. That's one reason I'm very glad to have you with us. The terrain, I suspect will be no worse than it is here, though it will gradually climb as we near the hills."

"Stands to reason," he said with a nod. "If we can get to some good, defensible ground before nightfall, I think we'd be fine."

"I'll go over the map tonight," she said and finished her coffee. "Let us take a look at it in the morning. We can work out more details once I have a better idea of what we're facing and what course we can take."

+>0<+

Tem'Ma'tel crawled into her nest, tired but filled with anticipation. Clot'ilda was coming down from the upper entrance and already was unfastening the catches on her trousers. The scent of the little Pah'Tht preceded her and told Tem'Ma'tel how excited she was. Clot'ilda playfully sprang naked into the nest from several paces away, landing lightly next to Tem'Ma'tel and delivering a quick nip to the side of the dTel'Qohar's neck. Tem'Ma'tel giggled at the antics of her friend and both began purring.

"This must come off!" whispered Clot'ilda, her fingers tugging at the seal on Tem'Ma'tel's jacket.

"Please do not rush," whispered Tem'Ma'tel. "Too long for me. I have waited too long and your mating with SarJ'ant, the scent, nearly drove me mad."

"I will drive you mad tonight," Clot'ilda said and pressed her lips to the larger female's.

Tem'Ma'tel blinked in surprise, but was not displeased.

"SarJ'ant taught that to me," whispered Clot'ilda with a grin. "Is it not nice?"

"I... It is different," Tem'Ma'tel said and pulled the Pah'Tht down to press their lips together again. "Nice. Yes, I like that."

They kissed again. Clotil'da slowly laid down on Tem'Ma'tel's chest, their breasts pressing together through the thin material of the dTel'Qohar's undershirt. She could feel Clot'ilda's nipples, hard and firm. Their purring became rhythmic, one complimenting the other as if they sang a duet. Tem'Ma'tel ran her claws lightly down Clot'ilda's back and the little Pah'Tht arched up, breaking their kiss, her purring becoming louder.

Desperately Clot'ilda returned to pull her friend's jacket off, wanting to get to the soft fur underneath. Tem'Ma'tel made no protest and as they worked together they nipped and kissed and their scents mingled.

It was the space of only a moment before both lay naked, their hands exploring the softness of each other's bodies. Clot'ilda nipped her way down Tem'Ma'tel's neck and over the contours of her chest, finally finding the large, swollen nipple of the left breast. She paused only briefly before taking it gently between her teeth. Tem'Ma'tel arched her back, sighing with pleasure and ran her hand down to the base of Clot'ilda's tail. She raked her claws lightly over the skin at the small of her back and felt Clot'ilda's purr thrum against her breast.

Fingers sought soft wetness and lips found delicate flesh and the two writhed in the throes of lovers. Tem'Ma'tel lifted Clot'ilda and sat her astride her mouth. She raised her head and licked the tangy slit of the little Pah'Tht and found the engorged diamond of her sex. Clot'ilda squeaked with uncontrollable delight and her mouth dove down to return the pleasure she had been given. Wetness and pleasure flowed from one to the other as they joined in the happy union of sisters to be.

As Tem'Ma'tel felt her climax rapidly building she lay her hand on the back of Clot'ilda's head and gently urged her on. Clot'ilda redoubled her efforts, slipping a finger into the soft slit below the diamond, spreading her friend's sex, exposing the livid pink within. Tem'Ma'tel pressed her friend's mouth more firmly against herself, no longer able to hold back. She abandoned her ministrations, forgetting all but the wave of climax that demanded release. And then she shook and bucked, crying out for the first time, not caring that others would hear. Her friend had driven her over the edge and rather than falling, she soared on a current of ecstasy. When she came back to herself she found Clot'ilda had slipped off her and was now crouching between her thighs, purring and grinning that devilish grin of hers.

"Thank you," breathed Tem'Ma'tel and made to sit up, but Clot'ilda gently pushed her back down. Tem'Ma'tel was vastly stronger than any Pah'Tht, but she submitted to the one who had taken charge of their lovemaking. She lay back, a smile on her lips, and watched as her friend dipped her mouth down to lick at her diamond. Tem'Ma'tel sighed, the sensation once more muted, brought her a gentle pleasure without urgency.

Clot'ilda plied her tongue to the sodden slit of her friend, thinking it was a fine thing to be able to bring so much pleasure. Her mother had many times preached against frivolous joinings, but Clot'ilda had not cared. She found these joinings to be anything but frivolous. To give and to receive pleasure was among the grandest things in life, and when one was a soldier pleasure was hard to come by. Each time with a lover might be the last and a wise Teacher had said the last should be enjoyed as much as the first.

She delved her tongue more deeply into Tem'Ma'tel's slit, tasting the spicy mix of tang and bitter, feeling her friend shudder as the tip of her tongue rolled over the firmness of the diamond. Tem'Ma'tel's tail twitched and thrashed as she arched her back, trying to press her sex into the loving caress of Clot'ilda's tongue and lips. And then Clot'ilda did something she had never done with Tem'Ma'tel. She pushed her finger deep into her friend's sex and slowly drew it out, certain it was well coated. Continuing to lick, nip and kiss the wetness, Clot'ilda used her other hand to spread the powerful muscles of Tem'Ma'tel's buttocks and firmly pressed her slick finger into the other place of pleasure.

Coughing with surprise, Tem'Ma'tel raised her head and shoulders to look with wide eyes at her friend. The powerful jolt of sensation had run through her like an electric current, stunning her and taking her breath away. Contrasting feelings of discomfort and pleasure warred for a moment until Clot'ilda, eyes twinkling in the failing light, crooked her finger and sent joy through Tem'Ma'tel's whole body. Unable to give voice to her emotions Tem'Ma'tel dropped back to the leaves of the nest, gasping. She coughed and moaned and suddenly her purr reverberated from the walls like a living thing come upon them. She exploded with another wave of ecstasy, her elation flushing out of her to spray over Clot'ilda as she continued to flex her finger and lick.

When Tem'Ma'tel woke she found Clot'ilda, the devilish little Pah'Tht curled next to her in the nest. The scent of their lovemaking thick in the air of the old dead tree, mingling with the smell of earth and wood. It seemed right. More right than anything ever could be. Tem'Ma'tel placed her arm around her sleeping friend and drew her nearer. She rested her chin on top of Clot'ilda's head and returned to sleep.

+>0<+

Liam stood inside the lower entrance just behind the abatis looking out into the darkening forest. The coffee had done wonders to revive him. The coffee in CP military rations was fortified with stimulants other than caffeine, though none of them were actually addictive. Couldn't have soldiers running around needing to get a fix, after all.

He contemplated the situation and worried about the journey ahead. Commander M'pel E'kmel had found a place she thought would serve for a long term camp, and he was glad for that, but to carry all their gear through heavy terrain in a single day made no sense. She was obviously a senior officer among the jZav'Etch, but it was equally obvious that she had little or no training in infantry operations.

A scent wafted gently by him, interrupting his thoughts and he turned, expecting to find Clotilda close by. Except she wasn't. He shrugged, thinking it must be a trick of the wind and went back to his contemplations.

He remembered seeing an old movie from a time when Earth had just begun sending Humans into space. It was about a group of people who had crash landed an aircraft in a remote desert. To expand their reach they had filled ostrich eggs with water then marched out until half the water was consumed and buried the rest. Each time they did this they were able to get a little further. In this climate water wouldn't be an issue, nor would food. They had plenty of rations left and they could hunt game. If they carried only what they absolutely needed they probably could reach the new camp in a day and a half. Taking everything just made the whole venture too difficult.

The scent suddenly came to him much stronger than before and he knew Clotilda had to be right behind him. She was probably trying to sneak up on him like a kitten playing a stalking game. He spun with a smile on his face, ready to grab her, but again she wasn't there. Liam frowned. He hadn't imagined her scent. Was it on his armor? He sniffed. No, that wasn't it. And then he heard a soft noise come from up the slope of the tree.

"What the hell?" he murmured.

He squinted against the darkness, finally resorting to switching on his lowlight scope. As the face shield came down Clot'ilda and Tem'Ma'tel came into view.

"Holy shit," he breathed and a perplexed smile spread across his face.

Clotilda and Tem'Ma'tel were locked in a sixty-nine position, obviously naked and obviously enjoying themselves. His thermal indicators showed waves of heat rising in eddies from their entwined bodies and his external mics were picking up purring and... other noises.

Liam felt himself getting hard and was tempted to continue watching, but that was a dangerous thing to do while on guard. He swallowed hard, torn between desire and duty. He lingered for only a moment longer and then went to the end of the abatis, levered it out of his way and stepped into the coming night. Outside the scent of sex would be less pervasive and he could think.

"Right," he said quietly, shuffling his feet. "Right. The journey. Road march. I need to think about that. Not really a road march, though, is it."

He cleared his throat and took in a deep breath, filling his lungs with fresh evening air and driving out the heady mix of scent from the two entwined jZav'Etch. He could still picture Tem'Ma'tel's long, shapely leg quivering, toes pointing to the ceiling as she pressed Clotilda's face into her crotch, but he was going to think about the trip ahead. That was important. The trip that they would take to get to a place where they would be safer than here. The log. The place where he had first had sex with a Pah'Tht. The Pah'Tht who was currently going down on a dTel'Qohar who might want to kill him if he didn't demand to have sex with her. A dTel'Qohar who had the best pair of legs he had ever seen and an ass that wouldn't quit.

"Mind on the job, Marine!" he snapped at himself and took a pair of steps away from the abatis. "Get yourself and everyone else killed thinking like that. Then you won't be able to have sex at all!"

The air away from the opening was fresher and his desire lessened. He felt his heart still thumping and blood racing so he began the mental discipline he had used so many times in combat to calm himself. As he did Liam realized there was something to the scent of the jZav'Etch females. On that first day he had noticed a strong, spicy tang in the air of the hollow tree after he had brought the three of them here as prisoners. It had been there whenever M'pel E'kmel spoke to him about mating. Out in the open the scent had not lingered, but inside the tree it had pervaded everything.

"Fuck," he hissed. "Pheromones. Shit! Of course it was pheromones. You dumbass!"

For a moment he was angry with the commander and then he was angry with himself for being a fool. He shook his head and threw a furious look at the opening.

"Motherfucker!" he said aloud. "They got me. They fucking got me and I didn't even know it."

He fumed about the deception and paced, kicking small stones and sticks, angry with himself for not seeing it sooner. And then he stopped and considered what had happened. Was it intentional on their part? Lots of animals used scent to attract mates. And if he were influenced by the zJav'Etch pheromones, what was to say they were not influenced by his? Humans didn't even notice their own pheromones and yet they were influenced by them. Women wore perfume to get the attention of men and men regularly wore the musk of various animals to attract women.

"And do you really regret taking Clotilda?" he asked himself. The answer, pretty obviously, was no. He liked her a lot. So far, out of all the girlfriends he'd had, she was the easiest to read. Easy to get along with. She didn't try to hide her emotions or manipulate him into doing anything. If she wanted sex (which seemed to be every few minutes) she asked. She was funny and fierce and he enjoyed their time together. "And she likes sex with other women. Can't really complain about that, can you?"

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