"Cat's Keep"

By : Socks the Catt
© 2003 Socks Furrotica Press

"Is it safe to do this?"

"yeah? Why wouldn't it be?"

"I don't know, I mean we're in the open like this."

"That's half the thrill, isn't it?"

"yeah, I guess so." The young man looked around him. From the top of the bluff he could see the town miles away. Nobody was probably looking, you would need a good telescope to even see this spot. The only proof of anyone being there was the car parked off the road and down the path. Even then it would be hard to see it from the road. They had to drive over gravel paths for thirty minutes, then hike another twenty. The day was perfect for a hike, sunny, warm, nice breeze, they knew the day would be magical.

"Come on!" He turned around to look at his lover. James always looked sexy in spandex. He was wearing a cheetah print costume under his pants and shoes, and his costume cat ears perked on his head. Before they climbed up to this spot, they put on their masks and makeup to complete the illusions of felines. Mike smiled behind his tiger mask, and removed his camouflage pants. Mike's tiger tail swung free, and hung behind his spandex covered butt.

James tossed his clothing to the side of the trail, and offered his hand to Mike. Mike picked up the blanket they brought with them, and took his hand. They walked into the clearing, laid out the blanket, and laid down on it. The two of them snuggled into each other, and ran their spandex covered hands over each other's spandex covered bodies. They leaned into each other, and kissed in a feline embrace. They slowly pulled away, and Mike pressed the mask down on James cheek, tracing his teardrop marking on his mask.

"So who are you today?" Mike asked. It was the game they always played when they put on the costumes, they would create an identity for themselves and not call themselves their human names until the masks came off. They have done it before, but never outside their apartment.

The cheetah rolled onto his back, and surveyed the land before him. "I am Pounce." he said. "Keeper of secrets, protector of lands, and lover of my tiger." He waived a paw around dramatically. "And who would you be?"

The tiger rolled onto his side, and thought a moment. "I am Hunter." he said, tracing one of the spots on Pounce's chest. "Taker of game, and protector of lands, and I am a lover of my Pounce." He leaned in to kiss Pounce, and the two of them rolled on the blanket embraced in their passion.

Deep in thought a wizard was mixing chemicals, trying to replicate a potion he had worked on some time ago. He suddenly felt a wave of energy wash past him. He shivered, then stopped pouring the vial. He nearly dropped the small vial in his hands. "no…" It felt familiar, he knew the signature feeling of his own magics being worked. "No!" He put the supplies down and motioned wildly to his scrying pool, rushing over to look in..

In the pool he watched the scene unfold. He was alerted to the intrusion when they walked into his domain, but he thought nothing of it. He got the occasional hiker or transient, so it wasn't uncommon. His small keep was hidden well. Some told him to make it appear haunted to scare people away. But the wizard knew that haunted woods attract everyone from thrill seekers to ghost hunters, so he left people alone when they came into his woods lands. He usually watched them, only if they were dangerously close.

This time, however, he was helpless to stop what was about to happen. He saw the blanket, and cursed to himself. He waived a finger and looked deeper within their spirits. He sensed in them something special that most lovers never had when they came to his keep to kiss. There was both a true love for one another, and they both had an animal soul dormant within. And, as they kissed, the magic of his circle began to awaken those souls.

The wizard had not initiated the magic of the circle. They had. Their blanket had a rune of change on it, as well as a symbol of strength and speed. Once they laid upon the runes the circle did as it should. He could not stop the spell now if he wanted to, it must be allowed to run it's course. He put away his potion bottles, and watched the two lovers named Pounce and Hunter. He knew he would have guests soon.

Pounce and Hunter ran their paws up and down each other. Hunter began to lick Pounce's neck, and they both began to purr. Both were sexually excited, and both had erections pressing against the spandex costumes they wore. Pounce brought his paw down on Hunter's erection, and stroked it. Hunter purred aloud, and bit down on Pounce's spandex costume ear.

Under them, the runes on the blanket began to glow with a golden radiance. The two lovers never noticed as the glow slowly engulfed them. The main rune, that of change, powered the circle. From another realm the spirit of Tiger and Cheetah both saw the two lovers. Without words, they both measured the two, and both decided. Both spirits gifted the lovers, bringing their inner souls to the surface. Tiger and Cheetah smiled on their newest converts, they would serve well. They whispered into their children's ears secrets of their new forms, as well as secrets on how to fully embrace their new forms. They then pulled away slightly, and through their new children enjoyed the pleasures of their flesh.

Hunter rolled slowly onto his back, and Pounce straddled his body. The two of them looked into each other's eyes. Slowly, Pounce lowered his muzzle to Hunters, and they kissed again. They felt an electricity flow as they kissed. Hunter brought his paw down to Pounce's tail, and held him. Pounce's tail slowly raised up, cradled by Hunter's paws.

Hunter pulled away quickly. Pounce looked into Hunter's jade green eyes. "What's wrong?" Hunter ran his paw up Pounce's tail, and Pounce shivered in pleasure. Pounce opened his golden brown eyes.

"That isn't right." Hunter said. "We should get out of here."

Pounce rested his body on Hunter's, and traced the white spandex underbelly of his lover. "No. It is right." he said. Pounce concentrated and figured out how to move his new tail. "Haven't we always dreamed of this?"

Hunter closed his eyes, and slowly opened them again and nodded. "But why is it happening? Are we about to become animals?"

Pounce shook his head. "I don't know."

Hunter ran his paws up to Pounce's head. "I don't want to forget who you are, or that I love you." He felt himself about to cry.

Pounce kissed his tiger. "I don't want to forget either."

"Then let's don't forget." Hunter said. He kissed Pounce passionately. "I vow that I will always love you, and never forget that I love you."

"I will never forget you either, my Hunter." Pounce said. "I will love you for all eternity."

The wizard nodded slowly, still watching. "Very smart." he said softly. He gestured to a wooden bin, and began a few more spells. His guests may be staying longer. He also pulled his own clothing on. There were things to do now.

The two cats were muzzle to muzzle now, staring intently into each other's eyes. A connection was made on a very primal level. They knew they were soul mates, not just sexual lovers any more. It no longer mattered what happened, they knew they had each other. They pressed their muzzles together, and kissed again. Their whiskers touching each other, sending electricity down their spines to the tips of their tails.

Hunter held Pounce's head in his paws, and ran his thumb down his teardrop markings. "Then we should do this all the way. I'm not scared anymore Pounce." Pounce just nodded. He felt an inner peace as well. He rolled his tail now, without even thinking of it, and ran a paw down Hunter's chest. They both purred as Pounce's paw reached their sheaths.

Pounce looked down, and petted his own first. "This is new!" He then petted Hunter's, which immediately began to stir to life. Hunter retracted his claws to stroke his lover's sheath. The two of them began to lose themselves in the feeling of fur on their slick shafts. They looked at each other again. Instinctively, they both knew what to do. Whatever was going to happen, they had each other.

Both of them turned looked down to see their partner's sheath for the first time. Hunter kissed Pounce's chest, and licked him with a tongue that got rougher with each lick. Pounce held his tiger's head in his paws, and laid down next to him. Pounce ran his free paw down his tiger's back, and felt the soft, new fur growing in. Hunter closed his eyes in pleasure feeling the cheetah's paw pads rub his back.

Pounce rubbed his leg against Hunter. They felt for the first time fur on fur, as they were growing it faster now. Pounce ran his paw between the tiger's legs, using his claws to scratch the tiger's haunches. Hunter gasped, and moaned as he bit onto Pounce's neck. They both gasped, instincts they never had before driving them deeper into a feral lust.

They pulled away from each other, panting harder. They looked at each other again. Both of them now had digigrade legs, long claws on the end of their paws, and large, thick tails. They looked at each other's face. Pounce places his finger behind Hunter's muzzle, and held a whisker as it grew out. Hunter watched as his cheetah's muzzle sprouted whiskers as well.

"It doesn't hurt." Hunter said, more like a question than a statement.

"No." the cheetah watched as his tiger's muzzle reformed into something more feral. His teeth reshaping into those meant to kill, rip meat from prey. He watched as his head became more rounded, his neck and jaw muscles growing stronger. "You're beautiful."

Hunter was watching the cheetah's transformation as well. Pounce's muscles were also changing, his becoming stronger, tighter, faster to react. His muzzle was smaller than Hunter though it would be, but his face became streamlined. Hunter brought his paw up and stroked Pounce's muzzle, feeling his teeth an whiskers. "Not as much as you are."

Tiger and Cheetah admired their cubs, but wanted more from them. They both whispered into their cub's ears. Both lovers leaned into each other and felt their sheath's touch, heat on heat. The two felines were overpowered with lust, and Cheetah smiled at Tiger. Both touched their cubs again, insuring that their transformations became total and complete.

Both cats had the same idea at the same time. The cheetah raised his leg, and moved his body so his head was in the tiger's sheath, and the tiger was in his. Hunter looked under Pounce's sheath, and watched in wonder as fur grew under his lover's tail, exposing his pink hole. Pounce watched his tiger's sac form under the sheath, and then watched the tiger's hole emerge from the white fur of his haunches. Hunter watched Pounce's sheath, and put his muzzle into his sac as it formed. He licked the cheetah's balls, as Pounce did the same to Hunter's. They could both feel feline blood, and feral desires flowing through them. Cheetah cupped his paws around his cub's testicles, filling them with cheetah seed as Tiger did the same with his own new cub. With the last human seed in their bodies gone, the transformation was complete. Cheetah nodded to Tiger, their cub's were now true cubs, and no longer human.

The new cubs felt a need, and both took each other's sheath into their muzzles and began to suckle like starving kittens. The wizard watched the cats in their sexual embrace. This would be a strong change for both of them, and he only hoped the spirits who were changing them would let keep their minds. He had seen times that humans seeking this transformation became full beasts in body and soul. "They don't deserve that." the wizard said to himself.

He stayed glued to the scrying pool, watching them slowly transform over at least ten minutes. He watched the cheetah's spots grow in, and his tail thicken with muscles and bone. The tiger's stripes blended into his underbelly as they both sexually pleasured each other. He tried to stay detached from the pair, but he felt jealous. He had to adjust himself a few times while watching the lovers. He knew he would need to meet them soon.

Hunter and Pounce both enjoyed each other's rough tongue on their slightly barbed shafts. They both had pressed their muzzles deep into the other, licking and sucking hard. The glow around them grew to it's brightest, and the two lovers both sensed a change in the other's sent. An imprint, they were mating for the first time, They would forever know each other by true scent alone. They both sensed the other about to climax. Pounce purred so hard, Hunter could feel it vibrate his shaft. Hunter began to snarl, wrapping his tongue around his mate's shaft. Pounce held his mate's tail in his paw, and closed his eyes so hard a tear ran down his fur, and they both exploded in raw, feral lust.

Tiger and Cheetah both yowled in pleasure through their newest cubs. The two mates thrusted their barbed shafts into each other, lost in the need for release. Both mates thrusting, spraying their seed deep into each other's muzzle, both drinking each other for the first time. Both of the cubs pushed into the other one last time, and held the other into their mouth. Cheetah and Tiger pulled back their energy as the rune's glow faded slowly, leaving Pounce and Hunter laying there, panting hard, tasting each other on their feline tongues for the first time.

Hunter finally bent around to look at Pounce. He could see his face fur in the teardrop of the cheetah family. He reached to it, his strong paw tracing it carefully. He felt his mate's tear, and brought it to his muzzle to lick it. Pounce opened his eyes slowly, carefully. He also reached up with his paw to trace the stripes on the face of his lover. The two of them amazed at the feeling of the other, the feeling of having their fur stroked like this.

The wizard motioned and the scrying pool faded away. He got up from his chair, and with a flick started the stove. He needed to send an invitation, and he knew such a spell would have used a lot of their calories. They would be hungry. He could get them to find him that way.

Hunter ran his finger on the inside of his mouth, and came back with some blood on his paw. "We have to be more careful."

The cheetah nodded. "But I liked the barbed feeling. But you're right."

Pounce sat up and looked around. Nothing looked different in the outside world, same vista, same nice day, but the smells were much more strong now. He could hear so much now. How he missed the guy riding his ATV around, and how annoying it sounded, he couldn't fathom. He squinted to see the horizon, and scanned around it. His eyes becoming adjusted to the hard glare of the plains around him. He could see for what felt like miles. He turned back to the tiger to tell him something, and the tiger had his paw on his head.

"I can't remember my name."

"It's Hunter."

"No!" The tiger shook his head. "Before the change. I had a name! It was…. My name was…" He was reaching into the depths of his mind, and finding nothing. The cheetah twitched his ear. He remembered having a more human name too, but for some reason it didn't exist in his mind. He got up, and went to his pants pocket to look for his wallet, but it wasn't there.

"If we can get to the car we can get to our wallets and…" Pounce stopped in mid thought. "Where's the car?"

Hunter sniffed the air around him, and pointed up the road. "There." He stood up, and almost fell over. Pounce dashed over to the tiger and caught him before he even knew he was falling. They both stopped, and looked at each other.

Pounce's legs and arms looked strong, but light. His whole frame built for raw speed, tendons and muscles tuned for performance. His digigrade legs able to lift and step quickly. His paws built to dig into the earth for traction, his forepaws the same, but with claws for taking down prey. Hunter's body was different, larger, muscular. He had digidrage legs now too, but they were larger, built to pounce and stalk, to truly hunt prey.

"What do we do?" Hunter asked. "Can we go home?"

Pounce smiled "We did get out of the apartment in costume. I think we could get back in."

Hunter nodded. "Just wait until nightfall and go home? Ok, that will give me a chance to figure out how to walk now."

At that moment, both he and Pounce looked up, and away from the road.



"Can we?"

"Can't we?"

The two cubs looked at each other like mischievous children, and both got up to walk towards the smell. The wizard smiled, sensing they were coming.

"We should get our pants." Hunter said.

"Why?" Pounce asked.

"For starters we're both obviously male, and naked, and your scent is making me more horny." Hunter said with a smile.

Pounce laughed. "Mine won't fit. Too big. I think I'm shorter."

Hunter looked around him, and picked up his pants from the outside of the clearing. They were too wide in the waist now, and long in the leg. And it would crush his tail. It didn't matter when it was spandex, but now it was attached, and had feeling in it. "We shouldn't leave this stuff here at least." Pounce nodded, and they picked up their old clothing as well as the blanket. Hunter opened his mouth to taste the air, and rolled his head to motion Pounce to follow him. Suddenly, they both felt hungry, starved beyond words.

They walked a mile from the circle and found what looked like a ruined house. The cats looked at each other, but approached quietly. Hunter approached cautiously, watching every angle warily. He motioned behind him, and Pounce was on him before he turned around back to the door. "It's definitely from inside." he said. "But inside what, I have no…"

Hunter never finished his thought. The door opened to show that it led into a house. Hunter's ears folded back and he stood in front of Pounce, barring his claws. "Don't be afraid young Hunter." a voice inside said. "I mean you and Pounce no harm."

"Do we trust it?" Hunter asked.

"He knows our names. He may be able to get us back to how we were." Pounce said. "We don't have many options." Hunter nodded, and they both went into the doorway.

Once inside they stood and marveled at what was around them. A few tapestries, books, candles, and the overpowering smell of stew. "Please come in kittens." a voice said. "There's a few articles of clothing on the wicker chair if you don't want to be naked." They looked next to them, and there were two pairs of pants and two vests folded nicely.

"He knew we were coming." Pounce said, holding up the smaller pair of pants. They looked as if they would fit him. The red pants did fit well, and had a hole for his tail. Hunter also put on the clothing provided for him. They marveled at each other for a moment when the hunger struck them again. They both walked into the small dwelling as the door behind them slowly closed.

They walked into the kitchen. A figure wearing a robe with the hood pulled up over his head was in front of where the smell was coming from. The robe was covered in stars and crescent moons, like a stereotypical wizard's robes. He turned around slowly, and both the cats gasped. The wizard pulled down the hood, exposing his tall fox ears and cheek ruffs. "I am Tallgrass. I am the owner of this keep."

"You…." Pounce fell over his own words.

"Fox. Yes. This is my natural form. I can take human form as well, but it gives me headaches to keep the illusions up." He removed his cloak, showing that he was wearing an outfit like the cats now wore. "Are you two hungry? Of course you are. Venison stew?"

"Did you do this?" Hunter asked.

He sighed. "I'll explain after you eat. I know you're hungry, and we have a lot to talk about.

Pounce reached out with a paw, and touched Tallgrass's head. "You have hair?"

Tallgrass nodded. "I will explain everything. You need to eat." He offered them a bowl each. They both took the stew offered and thanked their host. The cats ate ravenously, and had three helpings before they slowed down. The fox didn't say anything, but watched them with some sadness. As they finished their third bowl, they tried to thank him, but the fox put his paw in the air stopping them.

"Don't thank me. it's my fault you are in the predicament you're in." the fox drooped his ears as he spoke, looking at the table more than at the two guests. "I envy you two actually. You both are true soul mates now. The fate of one is the fate of you both. And you have that forever."

Tallgrass got up from the table and cleaned up the dishes as he talked. "I hadn't realized what was going on until it was too late to stop you. As soon as I saw the tapestry you had under you I knew it was my fault. You see, I made it a few months ago and sold it to…"

"Head Shop Records" Pounce said quietly.

"Yes. They buy a lot of my tapestries and sell them to the college kids in town. They buy them from what they think is an ex-hippy guy, I make money to buy my supplies that I can't barter or grow, and usually that's the end of it. I never see them after that, except yours. You stumbled into one of my circles. I go there to do healing on the land and on some friends of mine. When you placed the tapestry down as a blanket, then laid on top of it in your costumes, the circle did as it should." Tallgrass picked up the tapestry and unrolled it. "Do either of you read runes?"

Pounce and Hunter shook their heads. Tallgrass laid out the tapestry on the floor. "I don't think it would have mattered if you did, I guess. Under this knot work is a rune of change, fluctuation. I use it to celebrate the seasons and equinoxes. This is a symbol of power, the side you had laid on first, Hunter. And this is speed, the side Pounce was on. You had no way of knowing, but it seems to have worked out."

Tallgrass rolled up the tapestry, and sat back down at the table. "The circle was powered by the rune. It took my rune and your costumes and performed a change on your bodies and minds. The circle is not malicious, it just took what it was given, and the context, and did as it was supposed to do. My rune, my circle, my problem. So, it's my fault that this happened to you."

Pounce looked at Hunter, then to the fox. "Is that why we don't have hair like we used to? The costumes?"

"Yes." Tallgrass said. "I was born kin, so I have 'hair' as you call it. Your costumes were smooth on top, so you only have fur. It looks nice on you both."

Hunter and Pounce looked at each other, then to Tallgrass. Pounce spoke "Can you change us back?"

"Yes, and no." Tallgrass looked between the two. "When I watched your change, I hoped that you would keep your minds. If they were gone. I couldn't ever bring you back to your old selves. But, it seems, I can bring you back."

Tallgrass went to a bookshelf, got a book out, and then came back with it. "One of the rules taught to me by my elders is that what you create becomes your responsibility. I can change you back by tomorrow morning if you want. But there still is a mess with that. First I would have to get Tiger and Cheetah to release you from their care. You are their cubs now, and I would have to explain to them what happened."

He pointed to a chapter in a book. "It's all right here." He began to read. "Accidental transformations." he read. "I won't torture you with all the details, but it would take most the night to do. I already know the procedure, When I apprenticed we had to perform it on a morph who was abusing the form given to him by Lion."

"Will it hurt?" Pounce asked.

"It didn't hurt the last one. What was given in pleasure is taken in pleasure. If it is taken in pain the balance is thrown off. But it is permanent. You can never have the spirit realm transform you like this again." Tallgrass put his hand on the book. "You will also lose a little of your animal spirit too. That can't be helped."

"Animal…" Hunter said slowly, letting his question trail off.

Tallgrass took in a deep breath. "I have to stay here, this is my home. I can't just move. If I change you back, I can not let you remember any of this. If you do, you'll look for me again." Pounce opened his muzzle, the fox held up his paw. "Even if you promise not to, you will. Unless you forget, there will always be a desire to touch this again. And you'll look for me, or another, or you'll find someone who will do more harm than good. I don't want to call them evil, but they do harm to the balance."

The fox closed the book slowly. "You'll wake up at home, in bed, it will be tomorrow morning, and nothing else will be in your memory. If I do it right, you'll remember hiking up to a spot, you had sex, you got dressed and left. I would alter the place in your mind so you didn't stumble into it again."

"But the other side effect is that because Tiger and Cheetah would be called upon, they would take some of your feline spirit." The two cats looked horrified. "It's not intentional, at least the kin doesn't think it is. They just take back, and some of what was there that has attached to it. But you will still be touched by them. You both will have dreams from time to time of Tiger or Cheetah telling you things that you won't understand, but you'll write it off as dreams and nothing more. To protect myself and my kin, I would have to block your ability to understand so you could never find me again. I'm sorry, but it's what I must do."

"The other wrinkle is that you two are soul mates now. In the circle you vowed to each other never to forget each other, and your vows were heard and sealed by Tiger and Cheetah. You two are bound together by a force that I can't hope to even touch, and only the spirits can take away." Tallgrass looked between the two of them. "The fate of one is the fate of both. If I change one back, I have to change both."

Pounce and Hunter stared at the fox intently as he continued. "There is… an alternative. I am guessing that you both like the changes. I saw your costumes before you were changed, and they were marvelous. If you want to keep this form…." Tallgrass stopped, and looked behind him, like he was looking for something. "You are my responsibility now. I will give you a home here, I can help you get your things here, I can add onto my keep and make it our home. You would have to keep your responsibility you proclaimed in the circle. Take game for the keep, keep the secrets of our kind, and protect these and other lands under care of others as we are. I do not know if we can be friends because of what I've done to you. But I'm willing to open my heart and my home to you both."

The fox brought his paws together, and a slight glow came from them. He opened his paw on the wooden table and let a small charm fall to it. It was an ornate disk, engraved with a Celtic knot and had runes on the other side. "There is a down side to this too. Hunter? Do you remember your human name yet?"

Hunter clenched his teeth. "No. And it frustrates the hell out of me!"

"It always will. The transformation to this form has altered your memory. A lot of your human background is blocked out. Your brothers, your parent's name, what high school you went to. Your neighbor's name." Hunter put his head in his paws as the fox spoke. "All blocked, and you can't get it back as long as you are in that form. With this rune, I can remove those memories entirely. You would have to wear it for over a year in a collar, or a bracelet, or a necklace, or wherever. After that, the details of your human life will vanish."

"Gone?" Pounce asked, still sounding terrified.

"It's happened before. Humans transformed into weres or fae or morphs like yourself." Tallgrass held Pounce's paw. "Unless the spell is crafted correctly, their old life will drive them mad. It's like having a song stuck in your head that you can't remember the title of? But imagine that multiplied by every detail of your life. Who was your brother? What food did he like? Which side of his head did he part his hair on? I've seen it, it gets bad."

"So…" Hunter unconsciously scratched a claw into the table. "What will we remember?"

"That you were once human." the fox said. "That you underwent a transformation by accident, and that I brought you through it and into our community. There will be a peace, a sort of closure for you both. But you will not forget each other, or your love. I can't take that away from you."

Pounce thought a moment. "What about our family? Can you cast a spell on them too?"

The fox smiled. "I am not a powerful magi, I'm simply a wizard of nature. You would call me a druid in some places, or wiccan in others, or even a long haired hippy in some. My magics are not that powerful." Tallgrass got up from the table. "You two need to talk about this. Consider this a crossroad of your life, and make your decision based on that." He then took Pounce's paw, and Hunters paw, and placed them together. "You two are now one. You need to decide this together."

Before he could leave, Hunter spoke. "If we change ourselves back. Will we… are we still mates?"

The fox had already gotten up and turned away. He didn’t turn back around to answer them. He drooped his shoulders, and let his tail slowly drop to the floor. "I don't know. Cheetah and Tiger are the only two that can break your mating. If you change back, they may take that from you as well. You'll still love one another as humans, but your relationship will be as it was before this morning." The fox dropped his head. "They might… they might remove your being mates. They can't control your love, but they might not allow you to remain mated the way you are now."

"You should talk it over between yourselves." Tallgrass hurriedly left the room to let them talk. He intentionally found a place he would not hear them and read some books. Hunter and Pounce talked for hours. Responsibilities, their futures as humans, the fact their parents disapproved of their homosexuality and their gay partner. With college ending for both of them, could they find jobs in the same town? Could they be together? Could this fox be trusted? Could they be his friend, and not his responsibility?

Pounce and Hunter found Tallgrass in his library some time later. "Could you have put that rune on us when we entered the house?" Hunter asked.

"Yes." he said very calmly.

"Why didn't you?" Pounce asked.

"Because I would rather have friends than slaves." Tallgrass said. "Some would have disagreed with me, but free will is eventually more powerful than magical slavery."

Pounce looked to Hunter, who nodded. "Then we have a decision for you."

The next morning Tallgrass handed Hunter a black leather collar with runes engraved in the side, and Pounce a pair of tan wrist bracers with the same runes on them. Tallgrass looked at the two cats. "Are you absolutely sure about this? Once you put those on, I will seal them to you for the year or so it will take for the magics to run it's course.

Pounce nodded. "We have already gone home and dealt with everything we could think of. We have everything here with us we want to have. We put our car in the storage area as you told us to. We would rather be here together with you than be separated once college ends out there."

Tallgrass closed Pounce's paws around the bracers. "Would you like me to put them on you?"

"I'd like to put them on you, my mate." Hunter said. "If you'll put my collar on me."

Pounce smiled. "Always, my love." Pounce held out his wrists for Hunter, who fastened the buckles onto him. Hunter then raised his chin slightly and Pounce put the collar around his mate's neck.

Tallgrass was smiling uncontrollably as he places his paws on Hunter's collar, and Pounce's bracers. He removed the buckles, leaving a continuous band of leather on each cat. "Are you ready? I will activate the runes now." Both cats nodded, and Tallgrass spoke the incantation.

Both felines inhaled sharply as they felt the bands heat up over their fur. Both felt the other's love for them in their hearts, and they felt their bond complete. The fox looked at both, and chanted a different incantation. Both felines felt a tingle through the insides of their bodies, down to the tip of their tails and the ends of their paws. As Tallgrass stopped his chanting, he watched both felines next to him slowly relax as the shock of the magic subsided. They both looked into each other's eyes, and embraced in a deep kiss.

"Forever my love." Hunter said.

"Forever." Pounce said. Already they could both sense a feeling of closure on their previous human life. It was no longer that important. A new sense of belonging and kin seemed to fill the void their family never could.

Tallgrass watched for a few moments before clearing his throat. Both felines looked to the fox. "I took one other liberty with you two as well, I hope you don't mind."

"Yes Tallgrass?" Pounce said "What would that be?"

"Umm, since you're mates, and you won't have a need for them… ummm…" Tallgrass's ears turned shades of bright pink. "I removed the barbs from your… umm… So you two can… That is to say that if you wanted to… Oh dear." Tallgrass felt his fur burning on his face.

Hunter and Pounce looked confused, until Hunter reached under Pounce's pants line, and felt his mate's growing, smooth, feline shaft. Hunter's eyes grew wide, and he winked at Tallgrass. He held Pounce's paw as they walked into their new bedroom together, and laid down on their king bed.

Tallgrass activated the rune over their door, creating a wall of silence around their room. He then motioned with his paw, and their door closed as he saw Hunter's vest being thrown to the floor, and Pounce's pants being removed. Tallgrass shook his head. He might have to join them someday, just to try it, but this is their moment, their time. And he had elders to notify and introduce his new kin to. He left the cats to themselves and started to make arrangements.

Three months later the families of James and Mike called off the search for their sons. It was finally proven to them that the handwriting on the note left in their apartment was actually theirs. If the letter was correct, they had moved to pursue their relationship somewhere that nobody would mind them being gay. James family disowned their son for being "queer", and said he could die of aids for all they cared. Mike's family swore that they would never end the search for their son.

Winter was coming to the keep. Hunter had come back in with a buck he had taken on the other side of the land. He brought his kill into the keep, shaking off the cold. His fur was already thicker for the winter, and was starting to change from it's summer orange tan to it's winter white. He was greeted at the door by Pounce, who's fur was also getting thicker for winter. They kissed at the door, and Pounce groomed Hunter's muzzle to remove the deer's blood from it.

"You're getting sloppy." he said.

"I was in a hurry, love." Hunter replied, and they kissed again. They licked each other's whiskers in a ritual of greeting they had developed over time.

"Hunter?" Tallgrass called over "Is the herd alright?"

"Yes. This one had a broken leg, I got to him before the wolves did. The herd is strong, if the winter is good they will survive. So will the wolves."

"That's good." Tallgrass said. "Pounce? How do you work this e-mail thing again? They want me to keep them informed with it now, and do some kind of encoding on it."

Pounce kissed his mate again brushed his paw past Hunter's sheath, and walked to Tallgrass to help him use their computer. Hunter idly scratched the fur on his neck, and brushed past his collar. It had a few scrapes on it from close calls, but it was still in good shape. Hunter smiled, and thought about the last few months.

He remembered as a human he would never have considered running around the woods naked. But with his fur to protect him, clothing just became too much of a liability to providing food for the keep. Pounce and Tallgrass never wore clothing either, except when meeting elders or other kin when it was considered polite, or when they did rituals that needed robes or cloaks or something else. Being in the fur just seemed more natural.

Running his fingers along his collar, he knew that the time he had to wear it was almost half over. When the spell ran it's course, Hunter thought, he would like Pounce to use some of the rune magic he's learned to make a mates collar for him. He would talk to Tallgrass and Pounce about that later that night. So much had changed, but yet it all felt so natural, like it should have happened so long ago.

Hunter took his kill to the meat locker to prepare it for storage for the winter. Pounce tapped the keyboard a few more times, and sent the mail for the fox. He playfully kissed Tallgrass on the head, and went back to the books to learn how to draw the runes to insulate their room from the cold this season. There was still much to do before the snow started to fall. How Tallgrass did it all without their help, the felines could not tell. But they were happy to be there, to help their wizard friend.

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DISCLAIMER : All stories included in this archive are Copyright 1994 - 2003 Socks Furrotica Press. Distribution is permitted in electronic format, as long as 1) the entire text (including this disclaimer) remains intact and 2) My e-mail address remains on the work (sockscatt@gmail.com) Permission is also given to print this text out for personal use. If you wish to include this story in a web site or for publication, e-mail myself (sockscatt@gmail.com) and we'll talk it over...
These stories are (unfortunately) all works of fiction. They depict sex. Lots of quite graphic sex between several genders and arguably a few species. Af any of this offends you, or anything vaguely pornographic bothers you, don't read this, and don't send me your nasty e-mail (I may enjoy it, you know...)

If this is either illegal, offends you, or you have no interest in this, don't read it. You have a brain, don't fear it. Go here instead.

there. I said it. I feel better.