The Morning After
"How did I let myself get talked into this?" Scott asked himself. Then he remembered. The thugs in the middle of the night. The threats to his family. And the promise of a percentage if he lived long enough to find this ship called the Maria. He saw the charts, he knew the routes she sailed, Scott just wished he never opened his mouth to Roger. He shook his head, looking over the endless water.
"SCOTT!" a voice boomed. Scott looked up, knowing who's voice it was. "Any sign?"
"No." Scott yelled back. He wanted to get home, he didn't want to be stuck on another boat. The sooner he could stalk down the Maria, the better. And the fact that there was a woman on board made him feel uneasy.
Roger sternly let out a sigh. "I'll check back then." he said. Roger went back into his quarters, picked up a quill, and started taking notes.
Duke nuzzled with Ironbar as most of the other Howlers slept off last night's rum. Duke's insides hurt, but Ironbar's knot had thankfully shrunk down in the night. Ironbar stroked the Dalmatian's ears as the morning sun greeted them.
"It's morning." Duke said quietly.
"I know." Ironbar said. "Means the Howl is over."
Duke nodded, and kissed Ironbar softly. "I'm thankful we don't have to clean. I don't want to mop this room after last night."
Ironbar let out a quiet laugh. "I guess it's good." he said. He snuggled Duke to his body gently, petting him.
Duke opened his eyes a little more, and looked at the room around him. The Howlers were laying all over themselves, along with many guests, and not a stitch of clothing could be found. He saw Yars sleeping under Treble and Smoke, Silver with Kindle, Kyle sleeping with Sharpeye under his tail… more couplings than a collision in a horse hitch. Duke nuzzled to Ironbar once. "I'm surprised that you can still do this."
"Why?" Ironbar asked. "I'm not that old."
Duke shook his head. "I thought you were mated?"
Ironbar sat up, Duke still looking at his strong body. "Yars knows." he said. "I know you're not mated, but when you are, if you ever are, you'll know. We all enjoy each other physically, sure, but when it's all said and done you go back to the one you love. We're only part animals.." Ironbar looked over the scene around him. "And besides, in the Howl we all lose ourselves. That's part of the Howl. Yars and I come back to each other. Just as Silver an Sharpeye will, and Dice and Red. It's a bond that even a Howl can't break."
Duke nodded, running his paw across Ironbar's chest. "So that's why you can play around with the others?"
Ironbar smiled. "Yeah. It's a special thing. You'll know it when you know it." Duke nodded, closing his eyes and letting his head rest on the Dane's chest. Duke playfully brushed his paw past his sheath, and Ironbar chuckled. "You do know I've got more left in me."
Duke smiled, straddling Ironbar's body and licking his neck. "I'm counting on that." His licking became insistent as Duke rested his body onto Ironbar's still growing shaft. "One more before we call it a true night then?" Ironbar rested back, and brought his paws up to Duke's hips. He helped Duke lower himself onto his shaft, and let Duke relax into him for one more time.
Slowly, Duke put his hands on the Great Dane's chest, and exhaled slowly, taking as much of the shaft as he could. Last night had loosened him up, and in a few tries they had touched hips to hips. Ironbar let out a soft moan, and watched Duke ride up and down. Duke's tongue rolled out of his mouth as his own black shaft pushed out of it's snow white sheath.
Ironbar reached between Duke's legs, and stroked Duke's shaft. Duke's dual stimulation drove him to start shaking, his thrusting becoming more stuttered. Duke clamped onto Ironbar's shaft as he felt the knot push into him. Duke began to spray his seed into Ironbar's paws, pushing his hips as hard as he could into Ironbar. Ironbar felt himself get close, and smiled to watch Duke's muzzle go from it's orgasmic snarl to a look of contentedness.
Ironbar held Duke tight to his body, and rolled over gently so Duke was on his back. Ironbar then began to pump into the Dalmatian's body. Duke grabbed Ironbar's paw and licked his own semen from it, lost in a frenzy of passion. When his tongue caressed Ironbar's paw pad, Ironbar's eyes shot wide open in an unexpected orgasm. He never even howled out in pleasure, he just pushed into Duke as hard as he could, pumping his seed deep under Duke's tail. Duke held Ironbar's paw, and licked it as hard as he could until Ironbar slowly rested over Duke.
The two of them rolled onto their sides, panting hard from their orgasms. Duke rubbed his muzzle into Ironbar's paw, then hugged the Dane as hard as he could. Ironbar returned the hug, and panted into Duke's ear. "That was incredible!"
Duke nodded, still lost in the bliss. "It's a weakness. I like the taste." He pulled away from Ironbar slightly. "And thank you too." Ironbar closed his eyes, and the two snuggled until Ironbar's knot had swelled down enough for them to separate.
As the morning light washed over the quarters, more of the Howlers woke up with their friends, physically drained of energy but all extremely happy. Smoke woke up feeling the fur between his eyes being stroked. He purred softly. "You're awake?" Smoke opened his eyes to look at his Captain. "Treble was starting to worry about you."
Smoke stretched a leg, and groaned a little at the strain it caused. "Where is he?" Smoke asked, still groggy.
"He went to get some food." Yars said. "He said he'd bring you some."
"That's awfully nice of him." Smoke said. He closed his eyes, and let his captain do as he wished.
Yars smiled, and shook his head slowly. "Your first Howl, hmm?" Smoke nodded silently. Yars ran his fingers all along the fur of the grey cat. "You handled it very well. It was very nice to sleep with you."
Smoke rested his head onto Yars thigh, and inhaled deep the scent of the Captain. "You too." he said. "I just hope Ironbar doesn't kick my tail now."
Yars chuckled. "Frank knows. Don't you remember? He certainly did things with your tail, but it was hardly kicking." Smoke shook his head, still waking up. Yars leaned over, and kissed the cat on the forehead. "It's the way of the ship. He understands." Smoke nodded.
Kyle rubbed Silver gently. "Hmmm?" The young fox tried to ignore it, but couldn't. Finally, he rolled over to look at the squirrel with a smile on his face.
"Sharpeye wanted me to get you up." Kyle said. "He went to get some food with a few others."
"Mmmm." Silver said, rubbing his eyes. "Is it our shift time?"
Kyle sat down with Silver. "First Howl?" Silver nodded. "A lot of firsts last night." Kyle said. "Mornings after are usually slow going. Not to worry, we'll get it all done. Enjoy the afterglow."
"I feel like my tail is gonna fall off." Silver said, sitting up and leaning against a wall.
"It's normal." Kyle said, helping Silver up. "After my first Howl I could barely walk."
"How often do the Howlers throw these?" Silver asked
"Once every few months." Kyle said. Silver saw Sharpeye from across the room, and waived him over. Sharpeye had a small basket of food, and some water with him. "But did you enjoy yourself?"
Silver nodded. "I didn't realise I had that in me. It felt so… strong."
"It's the new instincts taking over." Kyle said. "It helps some adjust. I don't get it as strong, but I think it's because I'm not a predator." Sharpeye had knelt down with the two of them, he still was only in his fur. Kyle winked to the red fox. "At least I had a good mentor on my first Howl too."
Sharpeye smiled. "Oh stop that." he said. "Here love. Drink a little water, it'll help you feel better." Silver did as his mate recommended. "When you're ready, we'll head back to our cabin, get ready to do what we can today."
Silver nodded weakly, eating some bread with his water. "If you'll excuse me, I need to see if the Captain needs anything." Kyle said. The foxes nodded, letting the squirrel go.
Silver held Sharpeye's paw in his. "Are you sure it's all right? I don't remember how many I was with last night, or how much I drank."
"Do you still love me?" Sharpeye asked.
"In my heart of hearts." Silver said.
"Then it's all right." Sharpeye said. "If your feelings change because of a Howl, then it wasn't meant to be."
Silver thought a moment. "Do you still love me?" he asked quietly.
"More than I ever have." Sharpeye said. The two foxes then leaned into, and hugged each other.
"I think I understand why you do these." Leoghann said to Dice. He swished his tufted tail as he talked. "It was good to let the beast out for a night."
Dice grinned. "It's the other reason we only do them every few months!" he said, making the point with his finger. "I don't think any of us could ever do anything on this ship if we held these weekly."
Leoghann laughed. "Oh, I agree! But I do have to admit, that was probably the roughest I've ever given to anyone, ever in my life." The lion thought a moment, before adding "and probably the roughest I've ever received as well!"
Dice smiled a toothy grin. "You think I'm rough, come for the next howl and find Mutt when he's had at least ten drinks. We've threatened to leash him on occasion!" They both laughed. "He cuts loose so rarely, I think he saves them for Howls." Dice sniffed the air, and his short tail started to wag. Red didn't even bother saying anything, and just hugged his mate from behind. Dice craned his neck back and kissed Red, who bent his head down to meet him. "Hello there!"
"I see you've got a friend!" Red said, looking at Leoghann. Leoghann nodded a greeting. "This troublemaker treat you well?"
"Like royalty." the lion said with a grin. "Bent me over and screwed me silly."
"Then he treated you like a tax collector!" Red said. The three laughed together. "I'd like you to meet Redpaw some time my love. He's got a very cute tail."
Dice grinned. "Not as cute as yours!" Leoghann got up onto one knee, and patted Dice on the thigh once with a smile and nod. Dice put his paw on the lion's, and smiled back before the former captain left the two mates together. "Have a good night?"
Red nodded. "Yeah, but I did miss you."
"I missed you too." Dice said. Red laid down with Dice, and snuggled with him into the morning.
Mutt wandered from the mess hall. He was dressed, and running food and water back and forth for some of the newest recruits. He ran into Kindle on the deck, who was sweeping. "Yer up early!" Mutt said.
Kindle nodded sadly. "I didn't really feel comfortable this morning." he said. He stopped sweeping, and leaned on the broom. "I remember hearing Howls down below, and being scared the first time. Then annoyed after that."
"Annoyed?" Mutt asked.
"Well…" Kindle tried to put his thoughts together. "Try to think of it this way. Vermin pretty much runs the sex down there. There's no real freedom to do anything. You can't even wank without his permission. So when we'd hear the Howl, we got jealous. We got annoyed that we couldn't just do that. Mostly Vermin would punish anyone who was aroused by the sounds, or the smells."
Mutt stood, stunned. "That explains why you were so distant."
Kindle nodded. "I'm sorry about that, David." he said. "It was only how I thought things were."
Mutt hugged his friend gently. "That's over now, tho." he said. Kindle hugged his friend back. "I told you I'd be your family. I wasn't joking."
Kindle pulled away slowly, and looked Mutt in the eyes. "I know that now. And thank you." Kindle ran his paw over Mutt's ears once. "Can you help me with one more thing?"
"Sure." Mutt said. "Anything you need." Kindle smiled, suddenly feeling better than ever.
Mid day, most of the ship was back to normal. Many of the Howlers were still in their quarters, recovering. Bullseye needed help getting into his bed to sleep off the night, and a few others were working through sore muscles and joints. Silver and Sharpeye were in the navigation room when there was a knock on the door. "Yes?" Sharpeye asked.
"Is Silver… Oh he's here." Kindle poked his head in. "May I… I mean can I bother you a minute?"
"No bother!" Sharpeye said. "Please, do come in."
"Thank you." Kindle said, moving cautiously. "Umm, Silver… I… umm… I'm sorry about this morning."
"This morning?" the grey fox flipped his ear once. "Did you do something this morning I should be bothered by?"
"Umm, I think I did." Kindle said. "I got up before you and left. I didn't mean to offend, I just didn't feel comfortable in the room, and I needed to get out. I didn't mean to offend you, or make you feel like I was abandoning you."
"Oh, you didn't." Silver said. "The last thing I remember last night was… something…" Silver faultered, trying to piece together the night before. "But Kyle woke me up. I figured he was with me when I slept."
"I was." Kindle said, looking at the floor. "I'm still not used to the Howlers ways, and I'm sorry I didn't stay."
Silver gently put his tools down, and walked to Kindle to give him a hug. "Apology accepted." Kindle felt a wash of relief flow over him. Silver scratched Kindle between the ears, and added "But I did enjoy being with you last night."
Kindle smiled. "I did too." He looked over Silver's shoulder to Sharpeye. "I envy you, he's a catch!"
"A fact I never let myself forget." Sharpeye said with a grin.
Silver blushed slightly. Kindle stepped back to the door. "I need to get back to the deck, but I wanted to see you. Let you know." Silver nodded, and Kindle went out the door. He walked back to the table, and looked up to Sharpeye.
"I did mean it." Sharpeye said quickly.
"I know." Silver said with a smile. "I was just thinking the same thing as you did." Sharpeye smiled to his mate, and pointed to the map to where they were heading.
As the day moved on, The jackrats had noticed Kindle all afternoon, not saying anything to him, but watching him. Kindle noticed himself, but thought nothing of it.
In the late evening, Kindle was sent down to the storage room to get some cloth. On his way down, his path was blocked by two jackrats. Kindle tried to side step, they wouldn't move. Kindle looked up, and saw one had a nose ring. He took in a deep breath, and turned around to find another path.
Two more rats walked up behind him, and blocked his path again. Kindle looked at them, and took in a deep breath. "Ok boys. What's this about?"
"You have a meeting." the one with the nose ring said. "Vermin wants a word with you."
"Later." Kindle said. "I have work to do."
"Now." The rats stood firm. Kindle shrugged, turned around, as if to follow. Then he spun fast, and punched the rat with the nose ring in the stomach. Caught by surprise, the rat doubled over. Kindle leapfrogged the rat, and punched his friend in the kidney as hard as he could. Then he ran for the storeroom for a weapon.
He turned the corner and saw the storeroom door was closed, and Vermin was there. "Why Chris! Good to see you again! Life as a dog treating you well?" Chris stood stunned a moment, but was tackled from behind. "Strip him!" Vermin spit out. "I think we need to teach him who's the boss here."
Chris fought as hard as he could, but numbers were against him. A knife flashed, and his pants were torn under his tail and through the crotch seam. The rat he hit in the stomach grabbed him by the back of his head, and by an arm. Soon his body was being held with his arms outstretched, and the rats trapped his feet under him. Vermin took his time removing his codpiece, and exposing his shaft.
"You remember this, don't you rat boy?" Vermin said, Kindle tried to look at Vermin's face, but the rat holding his head, forced him to look at Vermin's sheath instead. "I made you suck this a lot, didn't I? I don't think you liked it, did you?" Vermin grabbed Kindle by the snout. "Sniff it rat boy! Then I'm gonna make you suck it, just like old times."
"You should fuck him boss!" one of the rats said.
"Yeah! Fuck the dog!" another said.
"In time, boys, in time." Vermin said, feeling in control. "But first I want to see if he remembers it."
Kindle looked at the sheath in front of his muzzle, he saw it leaking a clear fluid, as Vermin always did when he felt dominant. He could see it start to expose out of it's sheath, the tip slowly exposing itself. As Kindle looked, he tried to hold back, then he spit out a chuckle. Then it turned into a full blown laugh.
"What's so funny, rat boy?" Vermin sneered.
"I was right!" Kindle said in defiance. "Mutt's is a lot bigger than you!"
Vermin felt a flash of anger boil over. "Miserable WHELP!" He punched Kindle in the head with all the strength he could muster. The blow rocked Kindle's neck, and he slumped over unconscious. Vermin looked over the unconscious dog, and growled to himself. "No matter. I'll get my fun out of him."
Bernie looked over the Howlers quarters with some reservation. Last night's festivities pushed his new form beyond a limit that he never knew he had before. And he wasn't sure what bothered him more. The fact that he liked it, or the fact that he liked it as animalistic as he let himself get. He shook his head, and looked over his body once more. A St. Bernard was not the best for the sea, but considering what he had seen on the Rena, a life here was better than a death in the water.
As he looked around, he noticed something missing, and it wasn't just Bullseye in bed, still bow-legged. The usual routine of the Howlers den was predictable to him, and something was wrong. He looked to Mutt's corner, and it was missing someone. The mixed breed called Kindle. Bernie got out of his hammock, and went over to look. Mutt was there, resting, but no Kindle. Quietly, Bernie picked up one of Kindles shirts, and took a few sniffs.
He had always been a curious sort, it's what led him to the sea in the first place. Puzzles and mysteries kept his mind sharp, and he loved a good mystery. And seeing that Kindle wasn't with Mutt made him wonder. He sniffed around on the top deck, smelling Kindle in a few places he had worked.
He looked up to the crows nest "AHOY up there!" He saw a head appear from the top. "Have you seen a howler? Mixed breed, named Kindle?"
Belfry held back a chortle. "That's a silly question to ask a bat, isn't it?"
Bernie put a paw over his muzzle, embarrassed to forget who the night watchman was. "My apologies."
"Happens all the time." Belfry yelled down. "But no, I haven't sensed him lately. I thought he was sleeping off last night still!"
"Not there." Bernie said. "It's why I asked you!"
"Try below somewhere?" Belfry added. "Mess hall?" Bernie nodded, and continued his search.
Finally, Bernie's search led him down below deck, past crew quarters, until he caught a scent, a strong one, by one of the storage rooms. At first he was happy to find Kindle's scent. Then he caught the smell of blood. And when he got around the corner, he wasn't prepared for what was there.
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Being a work of fiction, none of the characters herin are based on a real person. Any similarity to any person alive, dead, undead or unalive is coincidental, totally. However, if you see yourself or someone you know in a character be honored. You've been immortalised.