Nova felt himself drifting on a soft cloud, warmth encompassing him as if his whole body was wrapped in pure silk. He knew he was dreaming, for most of his life his dreams had been his only escape from the harshness of reality, the one place he could be alone and not have to fear anyone or anything hurting him. But unlike his normal world of dreams this was very different, he could feel a presence in his safe place, a presence that felt as if it had been missing all his life and was finally here to complete this world. It took him a few minutes of searching to locate the presence that was filling every inch of his world, his eyes finally coming to rest on a radiant spirit that was so bright it hurt his eyes to even look at it. He could not stop himself from drifting closer to this mystery female, there was a need he could not understand driving him to curl his arms around her and give his very soul to her. It seamed to take years before he curled his arms around her, the heat and brightness of her glowing soul infusing every cell of his body, it burning away all of his fears, doubts and sadness within seconds of contact. He tried to speak to her, to ask who she was, but in this place he found he had no voice, in fact the only sounds he could make out was the beating of his and her hearts. He could feel there hearts growing closer and closer to beating as one when her radians started to grow dim, her spirit beginning to fade away. Desperately he tried to hold on to her, to prevent her from fading into nothingness and taking his world with her. A silent sob came to his lips as she vanished from his arms, his world and heart left wanting for nothing more then her return.
The world slowly returned to nova as he opened his tear stained eyes, he was still in his Mistresses arms and pressed to her silkily furred body. Her tail had curled possessively around him during the night and even though he was still naked, her fur had kept him toasty warm. He slowly looked up to her beautiful face, the lingering feelings of sadness lost in her rhythmic breathing, Goddess his Mistress was just so beautiful. Being curled up in this soft bed with her loving arms holding him so close filled him with warmth and safety, making him feel as if nothing bad could happen to him. He slowly moved one finger over the edge of her muzzle, tracing very gently so as not to wake her, his mind drifting back to the ugly things his Master and the soldiers of the station had told him about "The Animals." Laying here in her arms, he honestly could not understand why they had said such terrible things, there was no way he could see anything but a smart, beautiful and wonderful woman. True she was a different species and there was things about her body he would have to get used to, but those very differences where what made her so beautiful to him. The shape of her face, the softness of her fur and that long beautiful tail where just physical, the kind and loving soul he had come to know in the last few days is what had won his heart, that was something no level of physical beauty could ever match. With the looming uncertainty of his future, there was only one thing he knew for sure, life in a collar could never get any better then with this Mistress. He closed his eyes whispering a silent prayer to whatever gods or goddesses could hear him, begging that the captain would allow him to stay on this ship and with this beautiful Goddess in fur..
His eyes searched out the clock in the darkness of room, 0600, his Mistress should sleep for another hour, with luck that would give him just enough time to make something special for her. He very slowly slipped from the bed, having to cover his mouth to keep from laughing, her tail pulling from between his legs tickling him terribly. He moved with the silence only years of training could bring, whispering instructions to the food dispenser, he would need some of the ingredients he and the bear had programmed into the ships menu to pull this off. Each time it created one of the items he looked over to his sleeping Mistress, it was wonderful how she slept so soundly. All his life he had awakened before his owners to help them prepare for the day to come, with his Mistress being this sound a sleeper it would allow him to do his morning chores without fear of disturbing her.
No longer protected by the warmth of his Mistress fur, the chill of the room caused him to shiver wile he prepared the breakfast treats, hoping very much she would like them. As the meal cooked he used the time to clean up the bath room from last nights fun, putting the bottles and brushes in there proper places. He smiled, his eyes glancing at the tub wile he retrieved Mistress used clothing, he had never done that in a shower before and it was a lot more fun then he would have thought. He for the life of him could not understand what had possessed him to take such control of his owner the way he did, but it seamed to give her that little bit of extra pleasure she needed. He just smiled and chuckled licking his lips in fond memory wile picking up his stained and tattered loincloth, adding it to the wash with his Mistress's clothing. His Mistress had been right to call it a dirty rag, after working in the kitchen with Toby it looked as if it could fall apart at any moment. He just sighed and let it go feeling lucky that they allowed him clothing at all, it was his Mistress choice and if it pleased her to see him in this skimpy piece of cloth that barely covered anything then he would ware it with pride. Just as he returned to the kitchen the cook cycle completed, the scent of the treats had already started to fill the room. Nova smiled as he removed them from the cooking unit and arranged them on a special tray he had gotten from the dispenser, even adding some coffee and a flower to give it that little bit of extra flare. He returned to her bed side and set the tray down where she would not be able to see it right away, the chill of the room lost in her warm fur instantly as he returned to her arms. He just laid there for a long time watching her sleep and enjoying the warmth of her body. It was about 15 minutes until she began to stir, her breathing getting deeper and her nose twitching in the most adorable way. He smiled softly as she yawned and looked over at him, her beautiful eyes taking a wile to adjust In the dim light of the room.
Dana had been having the most yummy dream about her boys skills in the shower last night when the scent of coffee reached her nose, it reluctantly pulling her free of the blissful world of dreams, the scent beckoning her to find the source of the delightful aromas calling out to her. There where more and more scents meeting her nose the closer she got to waking, there was not only coffee, but something very sweet she could not identify. Before she was even fully awake she could feel a warm body pressed close to hers, her tail curling instinctively around it to pull it closer. As her eyes slowly opened to the darkness of the room, the first thing she could make out was her sweet boy there watching her, his arms curled around her and his deep blue eyes looking back at hers. This was the most wonderful sight she could have asked for this morning, her slave still holding her and greeting her with his beautiful, almost enchanting eyes. With such a wonderful greeting she could not help but just lean in close and kiss his cheek, the mink whispering a tender "Good morning" to her little human.
Nova felt embarrassed at having been caught watching her sleep, a soft blush building on his face and chest as he lowered his eyes and whispering "Good morning my Mistress."
Disappointed at being deprived of seeing her boys crystal blue eyes Dana traced a single finger over his cheek and down to his chin, lifting his head with a soft purr on her lips as she sniffed the air and tenderly asked "What have you been up to this morning my little blessing?"
He just could not resist the power of her eyes, even if she had not said a word they would have made him confess, the boy softly whispering " I was watching you sleep, Mistress. Please forgive me, you are just so beautiful I couldn't help myself."
It was Danas turn to blush, the inside of her ears and cheeks pinking under her fur. Her boys first words to her in the morning where to prays her beauty, he was just so sweet he could give her cavities. Speaking of sweet she licked her lips and looked back into his eyes " You are so sweet my boy, but I was asking about that delightful smell, have you been cooking again?"
Nova just nodded and reluctantly pulled away from the warmth of her body as he timidly whispered " I made breakfast for you, Mistress."
Dana chuckled as she slipped upright, she had thought about asking her boy for breakfast this morning, it was just so like him to do it without even being asked. Nova carefully leaned over the side of the bed and placed the tray over her legs, weighting till it was stable to add the still piping hot coffee and flowers. Dana blinked as the boy set the 3 large plates in front of her, this boy was going to put her in a sugar coma if she did not watch him. " Mmmm, it all looks so good my boy, what is it? " she asked as she tested the first piece with a single claw tip.
Nova first uncovered the silverware then started pointed to each item as he explained them " Stuffed French toast, apple turnovers, and waffles Mistress." Dana purred as she tasted each one still not believing this came from the food dispenser, as advanced as the system was the food it created just never seamed to taste as good as the real thing.
Nova was content to cuddle up and watch his Mistress eat, her tail curling around him feeling so good on his bear skin. As she began to purr again he timidly ran his fingers throw her belly fur, the deep vibrations feeling very odd, but in some ways wonderfully soothing. He softly traced patterns in her fur as she finished her meal, he just wished he could stay with her like this all day, this was happiness beyond measure for him.
Dana just moaned softly as she set her fork down, her eyes remaining closed for several long seconds to saver the lingering tastes on her tongue before murring " nova my boy that was truly exquisite. Please take care of these dishes for me wile I freshen up, then you can give me another of those wonderful brushings."
With a warm smile he took the tray and slipped off the bed, a softly whispered " yes, Mistress" his reply as he returned to the kitchen.
Maybe it was his human up bringing or the fact that he was getting cold again, but nova was starting to feel embarrassed about being naked. Wile laying in bed or washing his Mistress last night it had not really bothered him, but if he was given the choice he would really not like to spend the whole day without some kind of covering. He had just finished setting out his Mistress cloths for the day when she returned, the fact that she was still naked helping to ease his embarrassment. Goddess his Mistress was so beautiful, she moved with a gentle grace and a confidence that showed she could have cared less about her nudity. This was one of the things Toby had told him during there talk, most Anthros or as they preferred to be called furries spent most of there off duty time unclothe. In most Anthros homes clothing was considered unnecessary, with fur to keep you warm and protected they only added minimal coverings for the sake of children. Toby had also preempted novas question by telling him that there where 2 reasons they wore uniforms on the ship, first was more for safety then anything ells, there was a lot of equipment on board fur could get caught in, the other reason was in dealing with other species in the interstellar community they had learned nudity could cause unintended offence, so the star services had adopted the uniforms in the interest of cultural sensitivity.
Dana just smiled warmly and ran a hand over her boys cheek at seeing his choice for her today, In addition to her normal uniform he had laid out a matching golden bra and panties set that perfectly matched her fur. She loved this set because wile wearing them it looked as if she was wearing nothing at all, she would often save them for when she was going to seduce a lover. The boy had also added a few pieces of decorative jewelry, she normally would not dress up like this for a duty shift but she could tell her boy was trying to make her look her very best. This was another sign of his training, not every slave would go that extra mile to make his Mistress stand out, without drawing undo attention. She gently pulled her boy to his feet and handed him her brushes, a gentle smile on her lips as she lifted her arms for him to start on "Nova my sweet boy, as much as I would love another long brushing we have to be on our way soon, so please don't take to long."
The boy smiled, he had been planning on giving her a long sensual brushing but he knew better then to disobey his Mistress. He did give her a quick brushing, but he also lingered just long enough on the base of her tail and her thighs to give her a warm tingly feeling. He had learned a very long time ago that women got a wonderful glow about them after sex or when lightly aroused, it was not very much but enough to be noticeable if someone was paying attention. He finished by using the fine brush in her hair, smoothing it down in long, slow motions. As before he helped her dress, smoothing her uniform in place and giving the tuffs of fur around the edges just that little bit of extra attention to show this was a female to be respected for not only her beauty, but her mind as well.
Dana looked at herself in the mirror, she had to admit she looked good, very good and it was not just her perfectly brushed fur and the extra care spent on her uniform. It was the light in her eyes and her smile, others had told her how good she looked the last few days but this was the first time she really noticed it. She looked in the mirror at nova on his knees behind her brushing a few louse hairs from her pants so attentively, from time to time he would shiver softly and she would see the small hairs on his body standing up. That is when it dawned on her for the first time, he had no fur to keep warm and even if he had his loin cloth he would still be all but naked. As a thickly furred mink she enjoyed keeping her cabin colder then the rest of the ship and now that she thought about it her boy must be freezing. She frowned to herself, she should have realized as a slave he was not likely to complain about something like being cold and if she was going to keep him she needed to be more responsible about taking care of needs like this. Once her boy passed the test today she would have a long talk with him about things like this, but for now his surprise should help with him being cold for the time being.
She reached down and ran her claws throw his hair to get his attention, a tender purr on her lips as she lifted one paw and pointed at the gift box she had set on the counter last night, the mink softly asking " Nova dear boy, I am ready for that now, pleas fetch it for me."
"Yes, Mistress" he whispered as he put the brushes back in there proper places and quickly retrieved the box. This was the box left on her door step last night and if it was really from some mystery suitor as he suspected it would be interesting to see what could impress a female of his Mistress's refinement. As he kneeled at his Mistress feet he lowered his eyes in respect and lifted the box up to her with just the palms of his hands, one thing was clear just by looking at it, whoever left it have to have taken great care wrapping it. The box was covered with soft blue paper and a pink satin ribbon, it telling the slave whatever was inside must have been very expensive. "your package, Mistress."
The mink Mistress just grinned and pressed a single claw tip to the top of the box, pushing it back down to her boy with a evil grin and a teasingly purred " it is not for me silly boy, it is a gift for you. It is just a little something from Fire, Morgan and the engineering crew to say thank you for helping with our little overload problem and earning them the extra day off when we get back to port." Nova was totally shocked, it was a gift for him, the first real gift he had ever received.
"Mistress...I..I.. thank you so much." A single tear ran down his cheek as he set the box on the floor and carefully opened it, the sight that met his eyes was unbelievable, It was a new loin cloth, a leather one and it was pink. For most any other slave wearing this would have been humiliating, but it reminded him of his bed room in Mistress Keegans home, making him instantly fall in love with it. There was a design on the front of it, the imbedded lines forming the pattern of a paw print. " Mistress this is so beautiful, thank you, I cant weight to ware it" the boy softly sniffled, pressing it to his chest.
Dana smiled brightly at her boys reaction and helped him to his feet, she and her staff had talked for over an hour trying to think of something he would like, looks like they had chosen well. Not knowing that much about him they had settled on this just to get him out of the one he had, it was tattered and stained when he came on board and they felt he deserved better. After he had told them about his life growing up she had insisted on the color, hoping it would bring back some happy memories for him. She turned him around to face the mirror as she fit the loin cloth in place, with the addition of a matching belt it fitting him perfectly. When it was in place she slowly glided one hand up the boys belly, over his chest and to his chin, lifting his head so he could see himself in the mirror as she whispered in his ear " Look my boy, look at how pretty you are."
His eyes slowly drifted up from his feet, seeing his Mistress hugging him lovingly from behind. The garment was more then just a loin cloth, it came down to just above his knees in the front and the back. Where his old loin cloth had left his thighs and rear exposed, this new one's edges met to become almost unnoticeable as long as he kept his legs together. With the belt clasped around the top the overall look was as if he was wearing a knee length leather skirt, he loved it. Nova just had to smile to himself, not to long ago he was feeling embarrassed about being naked and now this new loin cloth provided him a level of modesty he had not had in many months. It was as if his Mistress could read his mind, or had she known some other way? Either way it made him feel good that she cared about him enough to grant him this extravagance. He softly traced his fingers over the paw print, it seamed so perfect, as if it was reaching out to hold him. Dana curled her arms around him from behind, seeing his finger tracing the pattern, she brought her muzzle up to his ear and whispered "do you know what that marking on your loin cloth is dear boy? It is my family crest, it tells anyone that even looks at you that you belong to me. Make me proud today my boy, it is not long until we reach home,. you are mine in every way that counts and I want you with me for the rest of my life."
Nova just slowly turned around and curled his arms around her, holding her close as his tears dripped on her shoulder " Mistress, I don't know what I have done to deserve all the kindness you show me but I give you my word I will work hard for you, serve you to the best of my abilities and obey you without question for as long as you wish to keep me." Nova just held her close, feeling such love for this Mistress, no owner had ever made him this happy and when she was pleased with him he felt the joy of serving like never before. He knew a lifetime in her collar was a joy to much to hope for, but until the day she sold him he would give his all to please her.
After a little wile Dana slowly pulled away and lifted his chin with one finger, looking into his eyes " dear sweet boy, it is not that you deserved kindness, you have earned it. From the first moment I saw you, you have not stopped pleasing me, I could not ask for a better slave then you." Dana's eyes drifted over to the clock, as badly as she wanted to just stay here with her boy all day, it was time to go. By the end of the day she would know for sure if she would be able to keep him, all she could do was pray he passed drakes test and silence the wolfs objections once and for all.
When she moved her hand down to his neck, nova tried to lower his eyes again only to be stopped by a single claw tip as the mink whispered " My boy it is time for us to go, but I have a request before we leave. I would like to see your eyes more often, they are such pretty eyes, it is a shame you hide them all the time."
She slowly pulled free of his arms and took him by the hand, leading him to the door as he whispered " Yes, Mistress." Nova automatically fell to his knees when they reached the door, his arms going behind his back and head tilting back for his leash to be attached. When she only picked up the leash and left the shackles on the counter it occurred to him that she must really trust him, she only used them the one time and even then she had almost forgotten them in the first place. He did not understand why it felt so good to him when she clipped the leash into place but it just filled him with a sense of safety, like nothing bad could happen wile she controlled him this way. He just melted when one of her fingers brushed over his cheek, her soft words echoing in his ears " we have to go now my boy, Toby has asked for your help with breakfast for the crew and I have another stuffy meeting to attend." She gave a light hearted chuckle as they left, but if nova could have seen her eyes he surely would have seen the nervousness in them.
"Captain I tell you this plan is foolproof, I have worked out every detail and contingency, no matter how it turns out I guarantee that slave is going to expose himself as a spy or prove he cant be trusted before the day is out." Ash grinned, the wolf reviewing his plan with the command staff as they weighted for Dana to arrive with her boy.
The captain sighed as she reviewed the data pad that ash had designed to serve as the bait for his trap, wile it looked convincing enough it just gave Kayla a very bad feeling. She had to admit that Drake had thought this out in great detail but she could still see several holes that needed to be addressed, the vixen setting the pad down as she spoke " Mr. Ash the more I hear the more I don't like this idea, with just a quick glance I can count 5, no 6 ways this could go horribly wrong. If nova truly is a spy I don't understand why you think he would blow such a good cover when he is poised to gather intelligence long term on an alliance war ship."
It was taking everything Drake had to suppress his growl, the captain had been picking his plan apart all morning and it was starting to grate on his nerves. "With all due respect captain, I think you are under estimating the importance of what you are holding, taken on face value that appears to be deployment orders for the most massive strike force the Anthro fleet has ever assembled. If the offensive laid out on that pad is to be believed it would cripple the humans most important mining/refining operations and would make it impossible for them to not only keep the war going, but would endanger there very ability to keep there basic interstellar fleet operational. If Dana has done her job that slave knows she wants to keep him here and thanks to the damage we took in the rescue, we are looking at repairs that would keep this ship out of the fight until it is long over. If that slave is the spy I am sure he is, then this will be his only opportunity to warn the human military before it is to late, that dear captain would surely be worth blowing his cover for."
Drake then reached over and tapped the data pad, changing the display with a wide toothy grin as he added " And just on the off chance he does not believe the information or does not think he will be able to transmit it, I have also included what appears to be a copy of this ships command codes. With that and the basic understanding of Anthro systems we already know he has, it would be Childs play to free the other humans and seize control of the ship's main computer."
Drake smiled and took a drink as he revealed the final component of his Master plan, pure smugness in his tone as he finished with " As a final test of the slaves honesty I have arranged for a pair of blasters to be left unsecured along the route he is to take. Even if he is not willing to blow his cover to transmit the information on the pad, by freeing the other slaves by force he can take this ship and all the information in the memory core back to the humans, delivering the contents of the pad at the same time."
Kayla, who had been studying the data pad and lessoning to the wolfs explanation intently only had one thought running throw her mind as she set it down, this plan was a Master stroke of sneakiness and underhanded trickery. She could count over 10 different ways for nova to fail this test with just an innocent mistake, a curios glance at the data pad, or even just misunderstanding the meaning of the weapons. When Drake had first proposed this test the vixen thought this was going to be something simple and fair, but this, this seamed as if it was designed to insure his failure, the plan bordering on insanity. With another dramatic sigh Kayla looked back to the dark furred wolf, her eyes narrowing as she almost growled "Mr. Ash I consented to this test thinking it would be fare, but what I see here looks nearly impossible."
All Drake did was shrug his shoulders and finish his drink before matter-of-factly replying " Impossible if he is a spy, untrustworthy, or puts himself and the other humans above the safety of this ship. But if he is as good a slave as you all seam to think he is, he will pass this test without a problem, one way or the other by the end of this shift we will know if he can be trusted or if he belongs in chains with the other animals."
Kayla just lowered her head and cupped the bridge of her muzzle as she thought not for the first time that day of calling this off, If not for the fact that she needed drake on there side to make her plan work and to put all doubts about there slave to rest she most likely would have. At this point all Kayla could do was try to make sure things did not get out of paw so no one got hurt, the vixen looking Drake in the eyes as she asked with more then a little annoyance in her voice " Mr. Ash you have said you planned this whole thing out, but before I will give my final approval I want to know exactly what precautions you have taken to prevent this from turning into a complete fiasco."
Drake softly growled at the captains implication, he had spent hours working out every detail of his trap to make sure it would be perfectly controlled, how ells could he make sure the slave did not stand a chance at passing it.
Hoping to put an end to this conversation and get the final approval he needed from the captain Drake started counting off each point, the wolf holding out 4 fingers and touching each one as he spoke " First and foremost to limit the disruption to the ship I have not made this test general knowledge and have instructed the computer not to allow any of the lifts to stop on deck 7 from 0800 until 0900. Secondly, to protect the crew on deck 7 I have informed them there will be a tactical exercise going on, all crew stationed there have been ordered to stay out of the halls until I give the all clear."
With half his plan covered the wolf moved to his middle finger as he grinned and continued " Third I have stationed a full security team along the route Toby will tell the slave to take, they will be watching along with us so they can take him into custody at the first sign of trouble or as soon as he fails the test. Fourthly wile the energy weapons I have left for the slave to find will appear to be fully functional, I have programmed them to backfire and stun the one using them, so there is no chance of them being used to harm any Anthro. And finally, Just in case the unforeseen happens I have amended the counter insurgency protocols so that deck 7 can be completely lock down on command, so dear captain, there is no chance this can get out of paw."
Kayla was quite surprised that Drake had addressed nearly all her concerns in that last rant, it leaving the vixen to wonder if he was capable of this kind of intelligence and planning why she always had so many problems getting him to turn in his reports on time or complete duty assignments. In that moment she realized either the wolf truly did believe nova was a spy and was acting out of some misguided sense of loyalty to protect his crew, that or he must have so much hate in his heart for humans that no matter what happened today, nova would never be safe around him. All she could do was take Drake at his word and hope he honored his part of the deal as she opened her muzzle to address her last concern " Very well Mr. Ash, the last question I have is what will happen if some ............" Just as she started to speak the door opened admitting the beautifully groomed Dana and her newly clothed boy.
"Good Morning all" The mink announced in a loud and cheerful tone, Dana knowing what they where all likely to be talking about and wanting to put a stop to it before her boy could overhear. This had the expected effect causing the captain to stop her self in mid question, there would be time to finish this later. The whole staff turned to the mink, each taking notice at how wonderful she looked this morning, not only her grooming but for anyone that care to look she had that glow about her that led them all to suspect thet her and her boy had been up to a little more then grooming. Sasha gave the mink a wolf wissal and wink, earning a pink tongue from Dana as she released her boy with a warm hug, then sending him off to the kitchen to help Toby with breakfast. She weighted for him to be out of ear shot before taking her seat at the table, her happy mask braking almost instantly to show how nervous she really was as she asked "Is everything set?"
Kayla just nodded and ran a paw over the mink's shoulder as she tenderly reassured "The plans, such as they are, are set. Once we give nova a little setup and leave this room the test will begin."
Drake's growl was cut off by a sharp look from the captain, the vixen snapping "Don't you even start wolf, now back to my question."
Nova had shown off his new loin cloth to Toby as soon as he entered the kitchen, earning a warm hug and pinch on the butt from the big bear. The recipes they programmed into the food dispenser last night for breakfast where a big hit, the crew had been non stop all morning. " Dear boy those breakfast treats are exquisite, you just missed the priestess, the apple turnovers had her singing when she left."
That just earned a warm smile from nova, the boy licking the bears nose just to be silly and to express affection as he replied " Thank you, Master."
Toby still did not like the boy calling him Master but it was starting to grow on him, the bear deciding to treat it as more of a term of affection then the boy's submission to him. Toby slowly let the boy go and pointed him over to the cooking unit, a smile on his muzzle as he gave nova a swat on the butt to get him moving and a softly laughed "Why don't you make something for the command staff and your Mistress wile I watch the main dinning hall."
Nova just nodded and bowed his head respectfully with a softly whispered " Yes, Master." He never noticed Toby's look as he started on the meals, even if the boy was human there was just something about a male in pink that the bear found very desirable. Toby knew that any physical intimacy between them would most likely be impossible, given there difference in size even trying would most likely end up severely hurting the boy. That and the fact that as sweet as his mate was most of the time, link would insist on sharing the boy and given how ruff the little bear could get in the bed chamber, nova would surely not be safe. Toby felt far to protective of this little human to allow that to happen, even if he felt what only one male could feel for another about this slave, he would keep it to himself and do his best to be there for nova in every other way that mattered.
Nova having gone right to work preparing something for the command staff did not notice the bears introspection or the almost guilty look on his face as he went out into the main dinning hall, the boy trying to think of something special he could make for the engineering crew in thanks for his gift. From time to time he could hear laughing coming from the other side of the door and Toby joking with the crew, almost everyone he would hear asking why the big bear had been holding back the good food until they where almost home. The shear volume of the bears laugh/roar almost frightened the boy even in the kitchen, Toby joking back "All I'm going to say is the captain discovered a skilled helper for me, besides what was wrong with the food you where getting before?" Nova held back a giggle as a few crew members try to back peddle and cover there tails, the big bear deciding to let them off the hook and show mercy after a few minutes.
The boy had just started pulling the command staffs breakfast out of the cooking unit when a loud yelp from one of the crew trying to sneak into the kitchen startled him, the bear having repelled the fox trying to see who the mystery cook was with a smack from his big wooden spoon, the bear rubbing it in with a deeply rumbled "O no you don't foxy, didn't your mother warn you about trying to sneak into a bears den?" The boy was concerned for a few seconds until the whole room broke out into deep laughter and the light hearted joking resumed, the closest group to the door once again asking the bear about the new and interesting food. It just filled the slaves heart with pride and happiness to hear the crew praising his cooking, even if he knew most of them would never have touched it in the first place if they had been told a human prepared it.
With the command staffs refreshments finished nova arranged them on a cart and then placed the engineering crews treats in the cooking unit, the boy just hoping his Mistress would forgive him for giving her staff a sugar buzz. Knowing he had left them weighting long enough the slave gathered up the drinks and headed out to the captains mess, a smile on his face just thinking about seeing the powerful group of females hard at work. That feeling it seams was fated not to last, as he entered the room the conversation abruptly changed, it giving him a very unpleasant chill he had felt many times when ever he walked in on an important meeting being held by his former owner.
Kayla who had been working out the last few details with her tactical officer stopped herself the second she saw nova coming out of the kitchen, this is what they had been weighting for, it was time to put the plan into action. With one last breath to commit herself to action she turned to the midnight black wolf and spoke in a firm and commanding tone " Mr. Ash, your report?"
Drake who had been setting up a logging program on the data pad so he would know for sure if the slave looked at it did not even see the boy enter, the wolf licking his lips as he rehearsed the speech he had worked out for just this moment one last time. With it clear in his mind the wolf handed the data pad to the Captain as he started speaking " Well Captain as you know It is the start of a new cycle and the ships command codes have been reset per regulations, this pad contains a list of all the ships new codes as well as the tactical updates for the fleet. Command reports that counting the 3 star destroyers we took out the humans have lost a total of 19 other ships this cycle and they believe it is the perfect time to press the advantage."
Drake took a drink of the coffee nova had just set down in front of him, the wolf's muzzle braking in a sadistic grin as he drove home the most important point "High command is redeploying the third, forth, fifth and seventh fleets for a new offensive against the human's key strategic mining operations, with any luck by the end of next week there military will be crushed and the ones that survive will no longer be a threat to the alliance, all the details are in the report. It's just to bad we took so much damage saving the black rock crew and cargo, with the repairs we are looking at we are going to miss the fun completely."
Nova had been doing his best not to lesson to the conversation as he walked around the table setting out drinks and some freshly made muffins, sausage links and bacon strips, the boy even adding some of the apple turnovers that had pleased the priestess so much. He could already feel tears welling up in his eyes as he finished serving the meal and quickly returned to the kitchen without so much as even a smile to his Mistress. Honestly he had been hoping the Anthros would be better then this, he had been forced to lesson to these kinds of cruel and hateful things for so many years wile he belonged to the butcher. Still to this day it wounded him deeply to hear the almost glee the wolf had talking about the death and destruction of his race, just as it had hurt him hearing the same glee in the butchers voice when the tables where turned. Hoping to block it all out the slave just set to work washing the crews breakfast dishes wile he weighted for the last batch of treats to finish, it proving to be to much for him as the boy broke down in silent sobs from the dark memories.
This is why Toby found him still softly crying when he popped back in to the kitchen to check on him, the bear taken back at the change in the human who had been so happy not to long ago. Wile the bear had been told the first part of the test might upset nova, it still pulled on the large males heart to see tears dripping down the slaves cheeks. Hoping to offer what comfort he could Toby walked up behind the boy and softly curled his massive arms around him, the bear pulling him back as he tenderly whispered "What's wrong lil one, why do you cry?"
Even though it was not his intention the feeling of the bears arms curling around nova startled the boy and caused him to drop the dishes he had just finished washing, the boy quickly trying to drop to his knees as they shattered only to be stopped by the powerful arms holding him. Still very upset from the wolfs words and with the added fright from having broken the plates nova whimpered softly " Master I'm sorry, I will clean it up, please don't be mad at me."
Even though Toby could feel nova trying to pull away he only allowed the boy enough slack so that he could turn him around, one of the bears large fingers lifting the boys chin so he could see the slaves eyes as he timidly ordered "Forget the dishes little one, please tell me why you are so sad."
Nova just could not hold back anymore, the boy curling his arms around the bear and hiding his face in Toby's massive chest, his tears lost in the big bear's soft fur. With the bears soft, caring voice and the large paw moving slowly over his back nova soon calmed down enough to speak, the boy's voice still chocking as he whispered "I, I took the command staff there breakfast and Master Ash was joking about the death of my people like, like it was some kind of game. I tried not to lesson but his words where just so cruel and hateful, it hurts to think of so many people needlessly suffering and dyeing. My former Master used to joke about killing and hurting others like that all the time, I just don't understand why, why it cant all just stop, why do so many have to die so senselessly on both sides."
Toby sighed softly and just held the sobbing boy, his heart braking as nova cried it all out in his strong arms. This innocent boy had just summed up everything Toby and the Priestess had spent so many nights talking about after the crew had gone to bed, they both seeing the war as being so pointless and agreeing that nothing could be gained throw death and destruction other then more of the same. That was the power of hate, a power that not even love could touch, hate perpetuated itself, once someone was infected with hate, it would continue to grow and twist a person's mind until they where fighting without even remembering the reasons why. In that instant Toby gained a new understanding of this slave, there is no way he could possibly be the spy Ash had so insisted he was, the bear realizing that nova was a sensitive and fragile soul who had never allowed hate to take root in his heart.
It took several long minutes of Toby offering what support and affection he could to bring the boy under control, the bear making a silent vow to himself as he held the little human in his arms. After this test was finished he would make it his mission to protect this boy and give him all the love he needed, he would be a friend, father or what ever the boy needed him to be, the bear just wishing he had the power to call it off and keep the boy here with him. Toby knew that nova would forgive him for the part he had to play, it just pulling on the bears heart to think about violating the trust nova had so willingly given to him.
Once the boy's tears had stopped he looked back up to the bear, meeting the males eyes with his face still streaked with tears as he whispered "Thank you for being so kind to me Master, I try not to burden you with my weakness again."
Toby just softly brushed one of his large fingers over the boys cheeks, tenderly wiping his tears away as he softly asked "What weakness lil one, they are just a few tears."
Nova lowered his eyes as if he was ashamed, the boy seaming to be searching for the right words before whispering "Good slaves don't cry, tears are emotional blackmail, Master."
Toby could feel burning fury deep in his soul at hearing that, the bear wishing he could get his paws on the one that would dirty something as natural and innocent as crying by telling the boy it was something to be ashamed of. Toby just pulled the boy closer and gave him a very soft and tender kiss on the lips before whispering back " Silly boy, tears are not a sign of weakness nor are they blackmail, they are a perfectly natural way to let the sadness out of you. I don't want you to ever feel you can not cry around me, in fact if you are sad and need a shoulder to cry on I want you to come to me, the only true weakness is hiding how you feel and keeping it bottled up inside."
The second the bear kissed him nova's demeanor totally changed, wile he knew perfectly well the bear was gay and in a relationship with another male, this intimate act had taken him completely off guard. Even though the bear had been flirtatious from the moment they met, his Mistress had been very clear that she did not approve of the large males advances. Fear started to fill the boy, In his personal experience Masters, or even just males that desired him physically where likely to hurt him to get what they wanted and with the sheer size and strength of this male, there would be nothing nova could do to stop him. Even worse, if his Mistress believed he had been the one to lead the bear on she would surely punish him for disobeying her, the fear/conflict building in his eyes as he dropped them to the floor and timidly whispered " Master, I.... "
Toby, seeing the boys reaction touched a finger to nova's lips to silence him, the bear as if reading his mind softly answering the boys unspoken plea "You don't have to fear me little one, I am not going to hurt you, not going to force myself on you, I just want to be your friend, nothing more."
At Toby's tender words nova visibly relaxed, the boy just hiding his face in the bears thick chest fur as he softly replied " I'm sorry Master, your friendship would mean a lot to me, thank you."
Just as Toby was about to speak again the cook timer went off, causing the bear to jump, this earning a smile and soft giggle from nova at how such a large bear could be startled by such a small sound. He could not help it, the boy looking up at Toby as his giggle broke in to first soft, then deep laughter, the big bear joining him a second later. With all of the tension and emotion of the last half hour, the bear was still laughing wile nova pulled the first tray from the cooker, the scent instantly finding the bears nose, Toby taking a deep sniff and rumbling " Whatcha cooking little one, breakfast is over and lunch is not for hours."
The boy just smiled and set the first tray of donuts on the table in front of the bear, nova injecting them with there respective cream and jelly fillings as he explained " I was making something for the engineering crew as a thank you for my new loin cloth, Master. This is kind of a traditional treat among my people called donuts, perfect for getting people going in the morning with a massive dose of sugar."
If it was possible for a bear to purr he would have been with the rich and creamy treat melting on his tongue, the mix of flavors assaulting him in ways the bear could not have imagined. "Dear boy with cooking like this we are not going to be able to keep you secret for very much longer, the crew has already been questioning me on my new helper, if I don't tell them about you soon they are likely to shave me bald."
Just as nova set the sugar glazed cakes in the dispenser to scan for the rest of the crew he heard his Mistress calling for him, the boy quickly finishing up thinking it was time to go. Before leaving he gave the bear a soft hug in thanks for all his kindness, telling the large male he could not weight to return for the dinner shift. As he pulled away and went to leave he turned back and playfully kissed Toby on the tip of the nose, then quickly scooted out the door narrowly avoiding another swat on the butt from the large male. As he exited the kitchen he found that the whole group had already left except for his Mistress and the Captain, both women standing just inside the door as if weighting for him.
Still with a smile on his face he quickly walked over to them and took his place on his knees at his Mistress feet, his head tilted back for the leash to be attached and his hands behind his back even though he knew she would not be using the shackles on him. Must to his surprise the mink did not have the leash in her paws as she leaned down and kissed him softly on the forehead, her muzzle parting in a nervous looking smile as she said " There has been a small change in plans my boy, the Captain needs my help in the shuttle bay for a wile and it is just to dangerous for you there, so I would like you to stay here and help Toby with lunch. Be a good boy for me and I will be back for you soon."
Even with the smile on the minks face nova got a very bad feeling, there was just something about the tone of her voice and the look in her eyes that told the boy that something was very wrong. He did not know why but this felt like his Mistress was saying good bye to him, and that once she left the room he might not ever see her again. Very slowly he reached up and curled his arms around his owners leg, his lips tenderly pressing to her belly as he softly whispered " yes Mistress, have a wonderful day. " There was so much he wanted to say to her, to ask if she was coming back but he never got the chance, the mink softly pulling away and heading out the door with one last affectionate tussle of his hair.
Kneeling there alone there was a lingering feeling of emptiness inside nova he could not understand, it starting to fade after a few minutes. As much as he tried to shake it off as he got to his feet and returned to the bear it still pulled on him, why would he feel his owner was not coming back, she had told him she would see him soon and there was no reason to doubt her. He was still a little distracted thinking about this when he reentered the kitchen, but he still noticed the change in the room almost instantly. Ever aware of his surroundings as life had taught him, nova noticed Toby in a quit conversation with another bear, one noticeably smaller with pure white fur and a bubbly happiness about him. Remembering Toby did not wish the crew to see him, nova tried to silently slip back into the captains mess, the last thing he wanted was to get caught here and cause problems for the wonderful bear that had been so good to him.
As stealthily as years of training had made him it appears that Toby's hearing was even sharper, the bear catching him before he could make his escape and waving him over with a happily murred " AAAA and there he is, nova come here, I would like you to meet my life mate."
Obediently he walked over to kneel at Toby's side, the inner turmoil he had been feeling after his Mistress's departure quickly replaced with embarrassment at meeting the bears mate. Had Toby been telling him about the earlier moment of intimacy they had shared? And would the smaller bear be upset because of it? Just as he reached the two bears Toby pointed at him and said in a happy and cheerful tone "Sweet heart this is my little helper, Nova. Nova this is my love and life mate Link."
The smaller bear instantly caught the boy before he could kneel, his arms curling around nova in a big bear hug as the lil bear teased "So you are the one trying to steal my love away, he was talking about you all last night like a school cub with a crush."
Nova was surprised at both the little bears words and the thickness of his soft fur, thick enough to almost melt into. Unlike Toby who towered over the boy, link was only about a foot taller then him and seamed to have a permanent smile on his muzzle, it was very disarming, even though link like every other Anthro on this ship could surely brake the boy in half without even trying. As pleasant as the hug was nova could not help but be more then a little concerned, if the lil bear really felt nova was trying to seduce his mate then he could be in a lot of trouble. Hoping to show his intentions where honorable and that he would never disrespect there relationship the boy started softly whispering " Master, I .. I .. I would never try to."
Nova jumped and eeeped softly when the little bear's paw slipped under his loin cloth and his claws pinched the boys butt, a soft blush forming on the slaves face as link playfully grinned "ooo you are so right sweet heart, he is just so yummy you could eat him up."
Toby just laughed and admonished his mate with a smile on his muzzle. " Behave love, that boy is spoken for and I don't want you scaring off my help again."
With a teasing pout the little bear released nova and allowed him to fall to his knees again, a sharp chill running up the boys side as he did. Curious to find out what had caused the chill he looked over the little bear and noticed a silver looking bracelet on his left wrist, it causing him to remember that he had seen it before on Toby, Fire and Morgan, Not only them, but he had seen it on a few other members of the crew as well. Respectfully the boy weighted wile the bears exchanged a loving kiss, the little bear lifting one leg in a very feminine way, It brought a smile to the boys face as it became clear who the dominant in there relationship was. Once the kiss had broken the boy softly asked " Master?"
The big bear smiled down to the boy as he brought a massive paw down on top of his head, petting the slave as he replied " Yes lil one?'
Nova smiled and pointed at Toby's bracelet as he curiously asked " Master I have noticed that on a few of the Anthros I have met, what does it mean?"
Both bears chuckled and moved the fur on there wrists so the boy could see there matching bracelets better, Toby answering his question with a fond look on his face " These are Mateship bracelets boy, um... I think they are like the wedding rings of your culture but are made to represent all 6 mates in a normal Anthro family. "
The Anthro mateship Bracelet's where most often made of a metal much like the Dawnium that powered all there technology, except it lacked the special properties that prevented it from producing electrical energy. Being a very soft metal and having no other use, a few centuries ago it was made into the first symbol of Anthro unions. The bracelets where about a quarter inch in depth and inlayed with slots for 6 crystals, the center one being a dark red with the male of the relationship's family crest etched into it to symbolize the core of the family. To the right of the red stone was always a blue one with the matriarch and first mate of the families crest etched into it to symbolize her place in the family, the other 4 slots with clear stones in them until new mates where brought into the family. As new mates where found they where added in order of purple, green, brown and pink, each with family crests etched into the stones until a bracelet was full. It was rare that more then 6 slots where ever needed but if a family did add a 7th or 8th member it was always possible to add more stones. The same bracelets where also used for the civil unions where no child could result from the relationship, the only difference being the style of etching on the metal between each stone.
Nova was truly surprised at this, wile he had a basic understanding that Anthro relationships where not exclusive, he had no idea that it was common place for there to be so many mates in a house hold. As complicated as human relationships where with just two mates he could not even conceive of how it worked with 7, it leaving the boy to wonder how they did not end up killing each other after finding out that the Mateships could last for hundreds of years. He decided not to bring it up with the bears right there so instead he just smiled and told them how pretty the bracelets where, the slave even going so far as to lean forward and submissively kiss the symbols of there love, before the males pulled them away.
The little bear just smiled even wider at the boys act of submission, wile his mate might have a problem with slaves link loved having them around, the little bear having owned more then a few in his youth before finding the one true love of his life. The little bear closed his eyes for a moment as he to started petting the boy, link thinking back to the last slave he had owned, a little bunny male that had been completely ravenous in the bed chamber. Grinning to himself at that fond memory link looked down to the boy on his knees before them both and could not help but think it was a shame something so precious was already taken, the little bear having heard in the ships gossip mill about the boys skills in bed with the chief. Idly he wondered if the slave was as skilled with males as he turned to his mate and tenderly asked "Love? did you remember to ask him about dinner?"
Link and nova both giggled when Toby tried to reply with his muzzle full, the bear having almost finished his 3rd donut and from the looks of it he was most likely going to kill the tray. Once the bear had taken a drink of milk he was able to swallow and answer with a half cough, a smile on his lips as he shook his head "Not yet love, but now that you mention it."
Toby looked down to the boy, asking in a soft and gentle tone "Nova we were talking last night and we think it would be nice to have you over to our place for dinner some night, not to cook or serve us, but just for a nice meal and conversation so that we can get to know you better."
If novas eyes had not been on the floor both bears would surely have seen the shift toward sadness, the boy softly whispering " As much as I would like to, Masters I do not know if my Mistress will allow it. Mistress has told me I might not be allowed to stay, so there is only a few days left before she must return me." As much as he tried to hide it his voice had slipped on the last part, he had been trying his best not to think about his limited time here and this had made him face it with sobering finality. For all of his life his fate had been out of his hands, others chousing everything from when he would be allowed to eat, to if he would be allowed to live another day. Now his future rested in the paws of the Captain of this ship, as far as he knew the one that owned him was powerless to decide his life for him, a life that he very much wanted with her.
The bears just looked at each other exchanging knowing smiles, Toby and his mate having talked about the upcoming test last night cuddled up in each others arms and the part Toby was currently playing in it. Nova had no idea that as they where talking the bears where buying time for the Captain and command staff to get to there places for the test, Both bears confident this sweet slave would prove Drake wrong, he was just to perfect a boy to let the wolf get the better of him. Thinking about that caused Toby's big brown eyes to drift to the clock, 0826, it was just about the time he had been told to put the first stage of the test into motion. With a small sigh and a forced smile on his lips the big bear reached down and lifted nova chin with a single claw tip, the bear tenderly stating " We understand little one and will speak with your Mistress about it, but for now why don't you go clean up the captains mess then you can help me plan lunch, I am sure the crew would love another chance at your skillful cooking. "
Nova just smiled and blushed in that adorable way again at the bears praise of his cooking, the boy whispering with his eyes averted "yes, Master, It is my joy to serve." Quickly he got to his feet and picked up a tub for the dirty dishes and some cleaning supplies, a smile on his face as he started thinking about introducing the Anthros to pizza.
As the door close Toby curled his arms around his mate, kissing the little bear tenderly as he took a deep breath to steady himself. With the support of his one true loves arms curled around him the big bear softly sighed "It is all up to him now my love, may the goddess protect and guide his sweet innocent soul."
More to Come....