The first part of my next great epic, James and the Giant Beach.
What can I say, it was a pun I could not resist.
I have been working on it for quite some time, but unfortunately I had two major setbacks, two huge losses of data, and I always have a hard time writing something twice. However, thanks to NaNo, I've gotten a lot of it back, and I think this would be a good place for me to post it, and maybe get some feedback. There's nothing XXX rated, or even single-X rated yet, but there's quite a lot of potential here.
Hope you like it!
James and the Giant Beach
Any Resemblance In Any Way
To The Roald Dahl Books Is Purely Coincidental,
That's My Story And I'm Sticking To It.
It was late July, and it seemed as though there would never be a cloud in the sky again. By day, Flauerton simmered under the summer sun, and at night was stifled by the oven-roasted air. It was only in the achingly early hours just before sunrise that the town cooled off enough to offer reprieve to the inhabitants, but the streets were deserted while the inhabitants slumbered.
Soon the buildings would reverberate with the hum of artificial air conditioners operating at maximum capacity, and the beaches would be thronged with the seasonal tourists desperate for the cool Atlantic breezes. Record temperatures were being set almost daily, and the ocean spray was warm enough to cook rice but that didn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the vacationing crowds.
That would be later, though. Right now, the horizon was an endless indigo line, and only with careful observation would anyone notice the upper portion beginning to grow golden-hued. A few seagulls twirled above the shore, looking for workaholic crustaceans. Automatic sprinklers were switching off. Cooks and waiters were rousing, and soon they would be preparing breakfast for the throngs of travellers.
Through this cool stillness biked the sole bright-eyed and bushy-tailed occupant of Flauerton, white sneakers flashing and shirtsleeves flapping. He whizzed at nigh-lethal velocities through the empty streets, legs pumping furiously even when he was aimed squarely down a steep hill. He had to rely on the colors of the houses to navigate, since the street signs streaked past like a science-fiction special effect.
When the residential hills finally gave way to the mostly flat downtown core James slowed to merely breakneck speed, and dared to steer one-handed so he could adjust his blue back-to-school backpack. Diners, clothing outlets, swimwear shops and multitudinous ice cream parlours streamed past him, but he didn't notice. He was born-and-raised in Flauerton, and he was no longer lifted nor thrilled by what it had to offer.
A left on Hillsview Drive, and he began the long and significantly slower trek back out of the commercial district, up to where the wealthy lived and played and rented for the season. Before long he began to pass parked cars that cost more than his house did, to say nothing of the colossal boats hitched behind them. Most of these homes would be vacant during the off-season, and like most of the local kids James earned extra money by maintaining them, touching up the paint, vacuuming the cobwebs, airing out closets and the like. In his wildest dreams he let himself believe he could one day afford to live in one.
The sky was a rich, syrupy gold now, and sweat was starting to drip off his small mink nose when the sun finally crested the distant horizon. Higher and higher he biked until the town below was spread out like a cheap five-hundred-piece jigsaw puzzle. Even the vacation homes had been left behind now, along with the paved roads. Worn dirt paths favored by hikers year-round wound their way through the lumpy, emerald-green ridge that ran just south of the town, stretching from the west and pushing out to sea nearly half a mile before sinking beneath the waves.
Nearly three-quarters of the way up the ridge, James passed the first bright red warning sign.
"Don't care," he gasped with a smile.
A minute later, another warning sign proclaimed that he was trespassing, and legal action would be brought against him if he continued. He pedaled past without a second glance.
A hundred feet from the top the signs were strung along an imposing steel fence, topped with coils of razor wire. James had always understood the purpose of the fence, but he thought the razor wire was, perhaps, going a little bit too far. Grateful for the reprieve, he coasted to a stop, tilted onto one foot, and then collapsed into an exhausted heap on the verdant green slope. His chest heaved as he slowly got his wind back, and he mentally tried to gauge if this was easier than before. He could remember his first trips, where he needed to pause to rest half a dozen times on his way up the hill, and was amazed how far his physique had come in just one summer.
Satisfied his lungs were going to stay on the inside, he got back to his feet and dragged his bike behind a sprawling juniper bush. A dozen yards to the east, he found the section of 'mysteriously' damaged chain link and wriggled through with practiced ease, dragging his backpack behind him.
"Right on time," he said, checking the hour on his cel phone. His parents assumed he was out at the beach for the day, and when they inevitably called at lunch to ask where he was he would be able to confirm that, yes, he was definitely enjoying the beach.
A quick hike to the top of the ridge, and the wondrous landscape of Ellisfam hove into view. Flauerton at his back was completely pushed from his mind. Ellisfam was, from a certain point of view, quite a bit smaller than his hometown, with barely two thousand people at peak holiday capacity as opposed to Flauerton's twenty thousand, but quantity was not everything.
Well, that was debatable, he chuckled, settling himself down against the base of the mighty sprawling oak tree that straddled the crest of the ridge. He unzipped his backpack and quickly checked out the snack situation before pulling out his often-used binoculars, or more accurately his father's rarely-used binoculars. At this distance he could still clearly make out the shapes of a few Ellisfam residents starting their day, but the binoculars brought them all into sharp focus.
"Good morning, Mister Flaherty," he said, seeing the elderly raccoon hosing down the sidewalk in front of his coffee shop. "Looks like it's going to be a good day for it."
James helped himself to a granola bar and chewed thoughtfully, holding the field glasses one handed and scanning the sprawling residential neighborhood. "You're up early, Mrs. Slocombe," he mumbled around his snack, recognizing the sleek long-haired tabby already working in her garden. "Trimmed your tail, I see. Looks good."
He checked out the street signs and quickly found Penny's modest green house with the instantly-recognizable red door. To his mild impatient dismay, the curtains were drawn and the lights off in Penny's room. He sighed and meandered around the surrounding houses for a little while, bidding unheard greetings to those he recognized and taking notes on those he did not. Even with an entire summer at his disposal, it wasn't easy to identify and memorize the inhabitants of an entire town, even one as small as this.
The sun rose higher. Soon bored with the sounds of the distant surf and the caws of the circling seagulls, and the complete lack of Penny, he popped an earbud into a tiny shell-pink ear and began sifting through his music library. Sneaker-covered toes tapped and white, satiny fingers drummed when he settled on Mos Def's "I Against I". He lifted the binoculars up to his eyes and hummed along while he perused.
It was maybe half an hour later when his phone buzzed in his pants pocket. He tapped the pause button on the music player and flipped the cheap plastic cellular up to his ear, wincing when he slammed it against the earbud with a brain-rattling click. "Fuck, ow. Hello?"
"Is that a good 'fuck ow' or a bad 'fuck ow', there, Jimmy?"
He grinned. "It was a 'driving my earbud through my medulla oblogata' ow. I'll be fine. What's up, N-bomb?"
Nate's voice was still tinged with sleep. "Not much, dude. Just wondering if we were going to see you on the boardwalk today. Last minutes of summer, and all that. Maybe spend some of it with your friends, instead of with your fiancee."
"Shi's not my fiancee!"
"Well, that's only because you haven't given hir a ring. Or asked hir. Or spoken to hir."
"Go fuck a cactus."
"That's more Gilmore's thing. So is that a no to the boardwalk?"
James sighed, imagining the good-natured marmoset's devilish grin. "Well, shi'll be back in school same time as us, right, so I figured shi'll probably be enjoying the last few days of summer, too."
"So you're going to forsake your friends just to stare at a chick that you KNOW you have no chance with? I mean, it's not like Dwight Yoakam and Julia Roberts doesn't-have-a-chance, this is one-legged-dog-climbing-Mount-Everest doesn't-have-a-chance."
"Well, maybe if he was airlifted..."
"Oh, you hush. Fine, sit in a tree with a pair of binoculars and a raging unrequited hardon. That's perfectly normal, and won't cause any lasting long-term damage whatsoever."
In spite of himself, the mink had to laugh. "I'll see you guys tomorrow, ok? Sunday Funday. Sound good?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'll tell them you're just spanking yourself to tentacle porn."
"Yeah, that won't raise any suspicions."
"Peace out, dude." James heard the click, and shook his head ruefully. Nate was a good friend, perhaps his best friend, but even his best friend was growing weary of treating James'... interests. Nate might use the word 'obsession', but the mink thought that was a little overdramatic.
Trying to ignore the hardon that was most certainly not raging in his pants at that moment, he brought the binoculars back up to his eyes and quickly reasserted his view of Penny's house. The sprinklers were going now, and the paperbear had obviously come and gone. In spite of the distance he could almost read the headlines. Somehow finding the energy to grow more excited, he shakily moved the lenses over and up, passing over the exterior wall, past the rosebushes, past the sprinkler, up, up...
A flicker of a long, golden tail, a flashing hoof, and the room was empty.
He spent the next half hour with the glasses aimed squarely at the front door, barely even taking the time to fumble for the Play button on his music player. He sourly thought very unfriendly thoughts about Nate, particularly with regards to his ability to pick the absolutely wrong times to call.
He was eventually rewarded when the red door opened, but instead of the sweet, wondrous vision of his beloved, it was the bulky, housecoatted figure of hir father. He winced when the dour bulk bent over to grab the newspaper that had been thoroughly misted by the nearby sprinkler. "Yeah, didn't need to see THAT today."
For nearly ten more minutes there was no activity. He could picture what was going on in the house: Penny, hir brother and hir sister would be sitting around the breakfast table. Their mother would be handing out piles of... hmmm, what would they eat? They seem like a waffle family. Yeah, waffles. Piles of waffles, covered in syrup and great big strawberries. Hir father would be reading the paper, probably getting grumpy about either a strike or a sports team.
"There there, Mister Hossman, I'm sure they'll come around," he whispered, thinking of a non-committal response that would cover all the bases. "Delicious waffles, Mrs Hossman."
A seagull cawed high above, and he was painfully reminded that he was not, in fact, having breakfast with anyone.
For the hundredth time that summer, he wondered what he was doing with his life. So many fun days that summer gone, so much time with his friends missed, so many meals with his family avoided on account of his... not 'obsession', certainly. Interest. Active interest. And when the interest was so beautiful, so angelic, so perfect, could he be blamed? No, of course not. That would be silly.
"I'm sure shi wonders about me," he mused to himself, trying to ignore the little voice that told him there was no chance that was happening.
He shuffled on the loose soil to try and get some feeling back in his legs. His sneakers scuffed and he nearly lost his balance, but he managed to stay more or less upright.
At least, until the door opened again.
"Fwwwaaaahhhhh," he said eloquently, forcing himself not to blink.
Penny frolicked down the red brick path, sun-spun hair flashing in the early morning light. Hir rich, dark chestnut flanks seemed to be tinged with silver, and hir blue-painted hooves kicked gaily. A green sports bag was slung over one shoulder, and hir tiny white t-shirt and tight cut-off shorts could not hide the telltale signs of the bikini underneath.
"Gaaawwwwmmmmmm," he continued, feeling his own jeans shrinking drastically.
Shi was slender, with surprisingly delicate limbs for a horse, and hir infectious grin made his ears turn red even at this great distance. His heart pounded in time with hir coltish hoofbeats, and his jaw wobbled every time hir disproportionately luscious breasts bounced under the thin cotton top. He knew of only one, maybe two girls in his high school who possessed a chest like that, but none of them were Penny. And none of them were herms.
Bounding onto the sidewalk, he was given a gut-wrenching profile view when the beach bag swung to the side, hir legs lifted and parted, and his well-developed male tunnel-vision focused with laser-intensity on the bulges within those cutoffs. The short-shorts could hardly be cutoffs, when extra fabric had clearly been used in their construction; although fully ninety-nine percent of hir thighs were exposed, probably fifty percent of them were concealed from his view by the denim-covered sac that was slightly wider than hir full hips, to say nothing of the sheath that strained against the zipper like a linebacker in a strait-jacket.
"Mmmmmuuuuuuhhhhhhhh," he finished. Penny waved, skipped a few more times, and then swept into the open back door a little blue sports car that had been waiting on the corner, but his eyes had already glazed over. His body shook once, twice, and he collapsed backwards under the shady boughs of the tree, feeling the shooting heat in his groin that signalled another successful Penny Sighting.
James panted, grinning inanely and admiring the simply joys of a leaf waving in the wind above him. He hadn't seen Penny for several days, and had been resisting the temptation to pleasure himself; he felt like he was cheating on hir when he indulged. He was happy he had learned to pack Kleenex in his backpacks for just such an occasion.
He knew that the girls and grrls would make a quick stop at the Donut Lord for coffees and sweets, and then scoot over to the beach. He had maybe twenty minutes before shi was easily visible again. He fumbled for his backpack, and started to clean himself up. Idly, he wondered if a cigarette really would make the afterglow better.
- - - - - - - -
James groped blindly in the dark, frantically trying to cease the insistent buzzing before anyone else in the house wondered why his alarm was going off at 1am. He hadn't been caught out yet, but it would only take once to make his life very difficult, short and filled with unpleasant questions he wouldn't look forward to answering.
He slipped out of bed, pulled his prepacked backpack out from underneath his desk, slipped his little footpaws into his sneakers, and without a second thought the mink stole out of the silent house.
Bicycling was easier at night, and although his nocturnal routes were considerably flatter, they were also much longer. Half a mile to the main drag, another mile and a half to the highway, and then one more mile to the southbound exit. That part wasn't so bad.
He was breathing hard by the time the highway emptied itself out into an enormous parking lot, surrounded on all sides by picnic tables. Pale yellowish sodium lighting gave everything a sickly glow, and distorted his sense of scale and distance, but biking underneath the cavernous log arch at the center of the rest area drove everything home.
The picnic tables he now passed were so high that he would have a hard time reaching the undersides of the seats even if he stood on a chair and jumped. The tops of the tables were higher than the chimney peak of his house. The empty painted parking stalls he was passing over would now be big enough for a full game of hockey.
"Dun dun dun," he said ominously, but there was a frantic grin on his face. His stomach flipped and tumbled, his palms were sweating, and his tail seemed to be attached directly to his brain and whirred like a helicopter.
The NEXT part of his trek was shorter than the first, barely two miles to the edge of Ellisfam, and considering the road was now big enough to land jumbo jets on it seemed to be even less than that. Most of the world was scaled to what James thought of as 'normals', and going through sheer population most of the world also agreed with him. If you took votes by mass, however, it would be a pretty close split.
His legs pumped harder as the various hormones that fueled his little teenaged body began to push him beyond what he was normally capable of. Concrete whizzed past fast enough to leave a little trail of dust behind him, but the early-morning ground fog soon sucked it back down. Closer, he thought, closer, my sweet.
The first house hove into view like a mid-ocean tanker, tendrils of mist curling around the base. "Mr and Mrs Shaftbury," he murmured, having memorized most of the inhabitants immediately around his beloved's home. A full minute to pass that house, a minute and a half to pass the McSweenys, and James turned off of the highway onto Fifth Avenue.
"Sacs, Fifth Avenue," he quipped, giggling a little manically. One eye was twitching nervously.
Five minutes of frantic pedaling, and he turned onto hir short mile-long cul-de-sac. White and beige houses didn't even register. The fog didn't register. His burning legs didn't register. His whole world was taken up by the green house with the red door, coming closer and closer.
He turned sharply and hauled up on his handlebars, managing to clear the lip between the road and the gently-tapered curb. He crested the curb and ended up on the sidewalk, and then he was biking through the waist-high front lawn.
"This would be fun to mow," he chuckled, as he always did. From a distance he seemed to be a strangely advanced squirrel scampering through the late-night dewey greenery, leaving a little damp trail. He hoisted himself up and bore down on the pedals, powering through the soft soil. "Almost there... almost there... almost there..."
Seventy three 'almost there's later, he came to a stop against the baseboards of the house, and he decided to take a few minutes of personal time to quietly have a heart attack. He lay on his back, tiny chest heaving, staring dizzily at the stars overhead. He wondered not for the first time if the ants on this side were equally scaled, and the idea of an ant the size of a hot-dog bun was terrifying... but not terrifying enough to get him to stand up.
"Ok... ok... not dead," he said, slowly sitting up and pulling his backpack around. He unzipped it and rummaged around, confirming to his satisfaction that everything was still in place. He shouldered it again, stood woozily up, and moved to the familiar wall board with the dark brown stain at the bottom.
"Hello, stained wall board. I missed you," he said, flexing his fingers. His claws were small, but they were quite sharp, and the wood was rough and weatherbeaten. He sank the little points into it, and with a scrabble of sneakers seeking purchase, started the long climb up.
James had become on of his school's premier rock-climbers, though not out of any real desire to scale tall mountains and wear incredibly short shorts.
The ground fell farther and farther away, but he didn't look down. His eyes were locked on the windowsill high above, each labored breath, each movement of burning, aching muscles bring it goal closer. He had climbed this board a dozen times before, sometimes just to look, sometimes for more. He passed by previous claw marks, although most of them had faded over the summer.
"Here I come, my love," he gasped, thirty feet above the ground, then forty. The sill drew alongside him, but he knew better than to stop now. Biceps shaking with the effort, he pulled himself up one more time and then swung his foot out, making contact... he extended his hand, clawed, pulled...
And collapsed for the second time, muzzle gaping, tongue lolling. "That... still... isn't... easy..."
His head rolled to the side, and he gazed up at a window that was bigger than a movie screen. His body followed suit, and he crawled on his hands and knees to the faded white-trimmed glass, lifting his head over the lip, blinking away the exhaustion.
"Penny," he breathed, making a brief circle of fog on the window.
Her room was obviously designed to be girly. Very girly. There were unicorns, teddy bears, dolls everywhere. Pink ribbons decorated a large white vanity, and pink drapes hung from a four-poster bed that was bigger than the entire lot James' house was built on. A thin shaft of light streamed from the slightly-ajar doorway, spilling onto the pink duvet, and highlighting the object of James' desire, the only thing in this world that kept him up at night and gave him reasons to wake up in the morning.
Shi was sprawled quite ungraciously, one leg sticking out beyond the edge of the bed, one arm thrown over hir face, and he could hear hir snoring through the glass. He giggled, finding all of that almost painfully adorable. The blankets still covered most of hir body, though, which was a shame, but when shi snuffled and shifted in hir sleep, his eye was drawn inexorably to hir more prominent features.
Where the long, lean lumps of hir legs met beneath the duvet there was a mountainous mound, two clearly distinct bulges that swayed heavily. Beyond them another pair of rounded peaks jiggled with considerably more abandon, and he prayed that once, just once, that blanket would stop doing it's job so damn well.
He felt his face growing hot, his ears tingling, his entire body shivering with an exhaustion that had nothing to do with his climb. His pants were not just painfully constricting around his iron-hard erection, they were leaving impressions in his tender flesh, and he struggled to frantically adjust himself before permanent damage was done.
James couldn't have been staring for more than twenty, twenty-five minutes at the outside when he finally remembered that he had come here for a reason.
Reluctantly, his nose making a little squeaking pop as it was finally removed from the glass, he shrugged out of his backpack and unzipped it. He pulled out the enormous stack of paper, edges shining in the moonlight, and started to unfold.
Eventually, after making sure that none of the more than two hundred sheets of taped-together paper had ripped, he laid it down very gently and stood on a corner to keep it from blowing away. He wouldn't make THAT mistake twice! He pulled the box of heavy-duty thumbtacks out of his pack, and began to anchor the enormous note to the broad windowsill.
"Done, and done," he said, standing back and critically eyeing his handiwork. The sky was clear, and he could tell there was no chance it would get rained out or blown away during the night. He zipped the bag up, walked carefully around the note, and headed for the edge of the sill.
But he paused, and looked back through the window.
"Well," he said slowly, "maybe just one more look."
About forty-five minutes later, the slowly receding sounds of his bicycle squeaking through the grass could just be heard over the sounds of automatic sprinkler systems turning on around the neighborhood, and then vanished.
- - - - -
"James, honey, honestly, it's almost nine in the morning, would you PLEASE get up?"
The little mink burrowed down further into his blankets. "Mrrr."
"I swear, it's like you don't get any sleep at all. Did you stay up reading all night again?"
Nothing could be further from the truth, he thought. "No, mom," he mumbled aloud.
"Well then, get up! You're wasting the day."
He swung one leg out from under the blanket to appease her, and breathed a sigh of relief when he heard her retreating footsteps. In the warm confines of his bed, his hands strayed to his lap, enjoying the fading moments of his dreams. Penny had been there, of courses, and shi had been whispering sweet nothings into his ear while doing unseen but acutely-felt things to the rest of his body...
He shuddered, and sighed with giddy contentment as his body completed that train of thought for him.
James was a little put-out that he had not woken up early enough to make his climb up the mountain and train his binoculars on Penny's window, to see hir discover and read the note, but his lack of sleep over the last few weeks had grown increasingly difficult to ignore. Next time, he thought to himself. Next time, just grab a case of Crimson Cow and go camping.
He sauntered downstairs a few minutes later, wearing a loose hooded sweatshirt and a pair of black shorts. His sheets were bundled up under his arm and he made a brief stop in the laundry room, dunking them into the washing machine before his mother had a chance to make any unpleasant discoveries. He didn't mean to go through bed linens three times a week, but with a grrl like that on his mind, how could he be blamed?
"Morning, all," he said when he entered the kitchen. There was, of course, no-one there.
"Your sister's already gone out," his mother called from the living room, "and your brother's at work. Eat some breakfast and go outside."
"Really feeling the love, ma," he called back, dropping some bread into the toaster. The kitchen was an enormous space in the grand maritime tradition, generally the hub for all family activities, although now the only sign of family activity were the dishes in the sink. "I'm practically weeping with emotion."
"Don't ye be taking that tone of voice with me, bucko."
"Wouldn't dream of it, ma."
He headed through the living room, munching toast, and gave his mother a crumb-filled peck on the cheek. "I'll see you tonight, ma," he said.
"Yer dripping crumbs everywhere, LOOK at that! I just vacuumed!" The aged mink was sitting in an overstuffed armchair with a small paperback book in one hand and a remote control in the other. James wasn't sure what was in the book or on the television, but he knew they were the sorts of things that involved a lot of kissing, heavy breathing, and surprise plot twists.
"Dad's bringing home dinner, right?"
"Of course, it's Sunday!"
"Just making sure." Sunday meant no more experiments with sauerkraut, no more attempts to cook Brussel's sprouts in a pleasing manner, and no more soups when all other ideas failed. Sunday meant pizza. "I'll be home for dinner."
"Oh, aye. Get."
He laughed and kissed her again. "Ahhh, you love it."
"I'll swat ye!"
The bright Flauerton sun beat down with jackahmmer intensity, but his baggy hoody proved to be quite good at beating the heat, despite how often he had to try and explain why. The street was empty, similar white boxy East Coast houses stretching off in both directions. He padded down the worn plank steps, grabbed his bike from where he'd ditched in the bushes not five hours before, and pedaled away, towards the sounds of waves lapping at the shoreline.
In contrast to the residential areas, the downtown was practically thronged. Vacationers of every size, shape and stripe (quite literally) crowded the sidewalks, the streets, and the shops. His little bike whizzed along between the moving cars and the parked cars, a dangerous zone but the only way to get anywhere in any amount of time.
"Where, exactly, am I going in such a hurry?" he asked himself, as he always did. There was still weeks and weeks until summer began, but every day that passed by felt like another piece of a finite and rapidly-decreasing life vanishing forever.
Damn, he thought. I'm getting existential again.
The boardwalks stretched for miles in either direction, an enormous rainbow arc of weathered wood walkways and platforms that separated the streets from the beach, the land from the ocean. There were hot dog vendors by the dozen, lemonade stands so frequent you could almost hop from one to another and reach the far side of the bay without touching solid ground, and they were all doing a brisk business. James was put in mind of squirrelfolk hiding nuts away for the winter, and he supposed that wasn't far from the truth.
Flauerton lived on tourists, lived and breathed. Six months out of the year, it was a premier vacation destination, the local microclimate renowned for sunny days, clement nights, blue water and white sand. The other six months, it was a wet, dreary ghost town, wrapped up and tucked away until it was time to roll out the red carpet one more time.
His bike rattled over the huge, heavy planks of the boardwalk. He dodged around bulky businessmen in speedos and their gorgeous wives in bikinis, and more sweet, sexy svelte teenaged vixens than he could shake a stick at. There were even more than a few herms, more than he could remember seeing in previous years, but even those could not hold his attention. With Penny in his heart, he could resist any temptation.
"One grasshopper, please," he said, pulling up behind an umbrella-covered rolling cart.
"Awww, come on, James, I got a lineup," the buxom white furre said, frantically scooping to keep up with the steady stream of customers.
"Yeah, and just think how much faster you'll be when I'm not here repeating the names of ice cream flavors out loud? Chocolate, blueberry swirl, whalebutter, peanut brownie, monkey lover-"
"Oh, come on, that last one isn't even a flavor!"
"Not that YOU'VE ever heard of."
"Fine! God, shut up. I'm telling mom."
"You're a goddess, Janice, and don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise."
The tall, gorgeous minkette stuck out her tiny tongue, handed him the cone topped with a green mound of ice cream, and turned back to her protesting customers. "Sorry, folks, sorry! Just an escaped mental patient, I swear!"
Steering with one hand and moving at a much more sedate pace so he could enjoy his breakfast, he continued on down the boardwalk, heading north and keeping his eyes peeled for anyone he knew. It was probably pushing ten in the morning by now, so his friends had likely already met up and made plans for the day, but he could still try. It beat spending the entire day at the public library, trying to keep cool.
"Hey, Nate," he said, pulling over to the railing overlooking the sunbathers below.
"How'd your little nocturnal mission go?"
"Why, whatever do you mean?" James asked innocently, batting his eyelashes and licking at the rapidly-melting ice cream cone. "I read the Bible and went to bed promptly at eight-oh-eight."
The marmoset rolled his eyes. "Yup, and I recently heard that our federal currency is going to replaced by starfish."
"I know, right? Gilmore's gonna be here in a little bit. We decided to play some v-ball while we waited for your mom to kick your ass out of bed."
"Oh, honey, you know me so well!" James laughed, nibbling on the edge of the cone. "Sorry I'm late."
Nate waved a tiny paw. "Ahh, it's fine. I got some digits from the ball game, so I'm good."
"What about Gilmore? Did he play, or did he just hold up the net?"
"Nah, he's actually really good! I can bounce the ball off of him, like, eight times in a row."
There was a distant rumbling from further down the boardwalk, and James smiled. "Well, good for him. I always said he had to get out and do more stuff."
"He's done a lot this summer, not that you were around for any of it." The marmoset was perched on the railing, tail wrapped around it for support. He was wearing a red pair of knee-length shorts, and nothing else, showing off his lean body.
"Oh, come on, I was around for tons of stuff! I only went on a hike, what, four times this month?"
The rumbling grew louder, and there were some startled yelps accompanying it now. "So what are you guys thinking for today? It's Sunday. They got specials at the rep theatre. Thriller Chiller today, all the best horror movies that take place in snow and ice: The Thing, 30 Days Of Night and The Shining. Five bucks, you know you want to!"
"Yeah, and twenty bucks for popcorn."
"You eat like, what, two bananas a day?"
The rumbling filled their ears now, and a moment later revealed itself to be an enormous, heavily-muscled and densely-scaled figure drifting towards them on a glittering metal skateboard. The colossal gila, six feet tall despite his extreme slouch, creaked to a stop next to the slender pair of mammals.
"Hey, Gil," James and Nate said in unison.
"We heard you coming a mile away."
"-morning," Gil finished slowly.
James smiled to himself. Gil might not be the fastest creature on two legs, or even four legs, but he was a good friend if you didn't mind waiting a minute. "So what do you think, Gil, my man? Chilly horror movies , or Nate bouncing his balls off of you again?"
The spade-shaped head swung to the side, black eyes glittering.
"Awww, Gil, buddy, it wasn't like that! You're AWESOME at defense! Besides, we let those girls win, and that sweet fucking vixen totally gave me her phone number!"
The lipless mouth pulled back in a grin. "The... Thing?"
"Woo!" James said, punching the reptile in the shoulder and then immediately nursing his bruised knuckled. "Ow. Thanks, man, you're a lifesaver."
"Cold-blooded motherfuckers," Nate grumbled, but he was smiling, too. "Fine, we'll do horror movies, but that doesn't start until noon. In the meantime, let's at least try to cruise, ok?"
Gil moved his foot back and forth slowly, the skateboard leaving faint grooves in the wood. "Bring. It. On."
The marmoset hopped deftly from the railing to Gil's shoulders, the half-ton teen not even seeming to notice the extra weight. "Let's ride!"
- - - - -
James nodded quickly, pepperoni pizza waving wildly in mid-bite.
"It was a beautiful day! How could you spend the entire time watching horror movies?"
He finally managed to tear through the stretchy cheese, chewed and swallowed. "Well, we've had about a hundred straight beautiful days, and you know that the theatre is one of the businesses that doesn't always do a HUGE business in July and August, what with school being out, and everyone's at the beach all the time, but they've got air conditioning and they were so grateful to have some locals there that we got free popcorn, true it was the stuff from yesterday that didn't get eaten and they have it to us in the cardboard box that the projector bulbs get packed in, but it was still a good deal!"
"And you're sure watching all those movies didn't affect your brain at all?" said his father, a powerfully-built brown mink who was greying around the fringes.
"Not at all, but I'm worried that all the free Coke refills might have been a little bit much, I had to pee about four times and everytime I had to get up to pee I got another refill, and I think it was the ninety-nine ouncer cup, or sixty-nine, or something-nine, and even though a lot of it was ice there was still a lot of Coke, and I don't think there's nearly as much sugar as they say there is, can I have another piece of pizza? Anchovies please."
Mother and father exchanged worried glances, while his older siblings just rolled their eyes. "James," Janice said around her own mouthful, "you're not going to sleep tonight, you know that, right? Ghostbusters scared the crap out of you."
"Nah, I'm fine!" James replied, hoping that was true.
"Runt, listen," Jake continued for his sister, "you're going to be sitting in your nice, comfortable bed tonight, wrapped in your blankets. Then you're going to think of that scene in The Thing where the sled-dog rips itself in half-"
"Jake! Dinner table!" said their horrified mother.
"-sorry, ma, and then you know what happens next, right? With the wavy things, and the screaming, and then you're going to pee out all that free Coke and run screaming into my room again. Right?"
James' chair rattled briefly, but he got a grip on himself. "Nope," he said calmly, forcing his words. "I'm just going to close my eyes, and sleep. I'm not a little kid anymore."
Five hours later he was curled up in bed, eyes wide, teeth clenched, and trying with all of his might not to pee, or run screaming into the hallway. His door was wide open and he'd managed to leave the bathroom light on without anyone noticing, so there was a little bit of light coming into his room, but it was just casting taller, deeper shadows on every wall.
"Ok, maybe three movies was too much," he conceded, closing his eyes for a second. A faint gust of wind caused the house to creak, and his eyes flew open again. "Definitely too much. Stupid Gil, why did he have to agree with me? Nothing scares him. Stupid everyone. "
There was a tapping from somewhere in the house, as of tiny little feet skittering across the kitchen floor, even though he knew it couldn't be. There was a scrabbling from overhead, exactly the sort of sound tentacles would make pushing their way through insulation, despite the spectacular odds against that actually being the case. Dripping noises and gurgling noises and something that could best be describes as a soft, wet 'pluh' echoed in his ears.
His tiny paws hit the ground running, and he was out the front door with barely a pause to pull on a pair of shorts.
He didn't often make visits to see Penny that were so unplanned, but sometimes he would lie awake at night and be overcome with the desire to lay his eyes upon hir slumbering form. One time, that he would never forget, shi had had a friend over, and when he peeked over the edge of the window he had seen the two grrls sitting in Penny's bed, reading fashion magazines. The other slender puppygrrl had been quite a bit taller than Penny, but nowhere near as impressive in any respect, but James had watched them chat and read for almost two hours, hardly daring to blink.
Spontaneous visits had grown more common after that.
On a Sunday night there was even less traffic to dodge than usual, and his terror had given him a strength he didn't know he posessed. The highway exit appeared faster than he could have believed, and the rest area flashed past almost unnoticed. The outer sprawl of Ellisfam appeared out of the darkness like a welcoming, cheering crowd after a long voyage, washing away the burning in his legs.
True, he was still badly out of breath by the time his well-worn bicycle hopped the curb and rolled to a stop against the baseboards of Penny's house, but at least he wasn't scared of monsters anymore.
He parked his bike, collapsed, went through his mental self-check list, ensured he had not popped a lung, and then sat up again, staring up at the cliff-like wall of hir home.
"Two nights in a row," he marveled, wondering if he was crazy. The last time he'd tried two nights in a ROW, he'd ended up stuck thirty feet off the ground, too tired to go any farther, but unwilling to go back. He'd made it eventually, but it had not been pleasant wearing an arm sling for a week.
He stood up, shook out his arms, and prepared himself. He'd gotten quite a bit stronger over the summer, and he was well-fueled by nearly an entire large pizza, but it was still an intimidating wall to climb bare-handed.
"Penny," he said, grinning against the night, "I'll do it for you."
The first twenty feet were a snap.
The next ten felt as though weights had been attached to his wrists, every raising of an arm coming slower and slower.
The ten feet beyond that found him breathing hard through clenched teeth, spittle collecting on his muzzle and sweat dripping into his eyes.
He was growling a deep-throated, feral growl by the time his sneaker made contact with the windowsill, and when he slumped to the hard wood, he wondered if he'd ever be able to get up again. His breath was coming in short, sharp squeaks, and he could only hear pounding in his ears.
"Worth... it..." he wheezed, rolling his head over and staring up at the gigantic window.
The inside of hir room was dark, and motionless. There was not even a partially-cracked door letting in light to lewdly highlight hir more salient curves. There wasn't even much moonlight coming in through the window.
"Where are you, my little horse chetsnut," he whispered, craning his head this way and that. Why, oh why, didn't shi leave hir window open anymore? All through June, it had been open a crack and he'd been able to move a little closer, though he had never been able to make it beyond the inner window ledge. The scent of hir room, though, hir perfumes and clothings and toys... he hadn't even needed to use his hands that time to finish himself off.
He scooched sideways and propped himself up against the side of the window, leaning his head against the glass and just staring. He could sleep here, he knew. The little mink had fallen asleep there several times, often waking up just in time to get BACK to his bike, dodge early-morning traffic and get back to his own house before anyone noticed he was gone, but he usually regretted wandering around like a zombie for the rest of the day.
A small, white minky hand touched the glass. "Someday," he said for the millionth time.
And that was when everything went dark.
- - - - -
The cloth was black. He knew that much from the light streaming through the cloth stitching, gaps big enough to fit his claws through, but putting his eye up to them showed nothing but fuzzy, indistinct blurs. There was also a faint smell coming from the cloth, but he couldn't quite place it.
"I'm upside down right now," he said.
James wasn't sure what had happened. Not exactly. He knew GENERALLY that something had fallen on him, and then there had been whisking and a feeling of acceleration akin to what he thought astronauts must experience, but then there had been softness all around, and then silence.
"I'm still upside down."
He wriggled, but could not right himself. Something was tight around his midsection, which wasn't exactly comfortable given the near-titanium state of his erection, and his neck was starting to get sore. He didn't want to claw himself free, though...
That would hardly be the nicest way to treat his first real date with Penny!
"Could you move me sideways , or something? I'm starting to lose feeling in my nose."
Then a thought occured to him.
He took a deep breath. "COULD YOU PLEASE ROLL ME OVER?!"
There was a gust of wind, a squeak of bedsprings, and then he tumbled ass over teakettle, but ended up on his rump. Still wrapped in black cloth from head to toe, but at least he was upright. Until he slumped over from the sudden rush of blood to every part of his body that wasn't his head.
"Ok," he said, loudly but no longer yelling, "that's a start. Hold on, let me see if I can... hmmm..." His waist was no longer pinned, and he started to shimmy hips hips, sliding down. His toes touched something different, and he dug in, pulling, wriggling, pushing, and eventually dragging himself free with a pleased gasp of freedom.
To find himself in Penny's bedroom, lit by the small lamp on the bedside table. Which was near, because he was on hir bed. Penny's bed. Wearing only shorts and a t-shirt.
And Penny was there.
He looked up at hir, and swallowed.
"Hi," he squeaked.
Shi towered above him. Shi was sitting on the edge of the bed, but looking up at hir was similar to looking up at a bird perched on the top of the chimney of his house. Shi was close to fifty feet tall, if he was any judge (and he was), so even sitting shi had to be nearly twenty-five from the hidden underside of hir sweet bottom the top of the rich golden mane atop hir head.
His jaw worked again, but no sound came out.
Penny smiled and shifted on the bed, the matress rising and falling like a tidal wave and sending him tumbling backwards. When he managed to stabilize himself he found hir head much, much closer, with one ear cocked in his direction. He admired hir face, hir long sweet chestnut muzzle, hir enormous dark eyes, the way hir cheeks twitched when shi smiled, but then his attention was occupied by the sight down the front of hir loose shirt. He had seen hir breasts, of course, but now he was close enough to touch.
It would be a good twenty-yard dash, but he could make it.
"Is this better?" shi said softly, but it was still as loud to him as his mother yelling at him to wake up in the morning.
"Are you ok, James?" shi asked, sounding concerned.
Shi grinned, leaning hir ear in a little bit closer. "Are you always this quiet?"
"No," he whimpered, "just... hello."
Shi sat up again slowly, and hir baggy shirt once again hid all the specifics, but enhanced the general curve of hir spectacular body. A glance down showed that the shirt covered hir lap as well, but the vast swells of hir bulging nethers were plain against the thin fabric. Shi fiddled around in the nightstand, opening a little drawer with a unicorn sticker on it, and returning with a stack of sheets the size of his bedroom.
"You have been... very persistent," shi said, laying his notes down on the bed, one at a time.
"You kept them," he breathed, but then took a deep breath, vowing to take control. "You kept them!"
Shi blushed prettily, long luxuriant tail swishing behind hir as shi lay down again, though this time shi sprawled on the bed, presenting the entire length of hir body to him. Hir shirt was light blue, with "No One Should Be This Cute" written on it in enormous white block letters, and although it still draped alluringly across bust and sac, his heart nearly skipped a beat when he saw nothing but soft, satiny fur below it. Hir thighs were long and coltish, hir calves slender, and little dark hooves just visible beyond the dunes of hir comforter.
"Well, of course, silly," shi said, placing one hand against hir belly and drawing the shirt tighter against her body. "It's not often I get love notes pinned to my window in the dead of night, though I have to admit, it was a little... creepy. I thought it was elves, for a while."
He reached up and tugged an ear. "Not pointy, sorry," he chuckled.
"Then I figured out, it was someone from the next town over, someone small and very, very... persistent. How high is my window for you? Actually, here, hold on..." Shi reached under hir pillow and pulled out a long strip of cloth. "Can you stand up for me?"
He glanced down at the tent in his shorts. "Uhm... no?"
Hir giggle was higher pitched, and unless he missed his guess SHI actually sounded nervous this time. "Oh. Well, ok, turn around then."
Oh, gods, how he had longed to hear hir say THAT. He slowly shifted and stood up, no easy feet on the comforter; it was like balancing on a waterbed!
"There we go, now just... hold still for a second."
A finger almost the size of his forearm pinned a tape measure to the side of his leg, and another slid up his body, slowly, running the wide strip up to the top of his head. He shivered, and came within an inch of ruining another pair of shorts, but he somehow held off.
"You're touching me," he managed to say.
"I could try this with a stapler, if it makes you feel better."
Shi held the tape up to hir eyes. "Ok, you're... wow, seven and three quarter inches! Or maybe seven-eights. Hmmm. Here, lay down..."
"No thanks that's all right!" he said, scampering for his life and decency. He came to rest behind a fold in the blanket, laying down and peeking over the top. "I... wait, did you capture me?"
Shi giggled again, placing a dainty hand to hir lips. "Yeah. I tried a few times, but I always fell asleep before you showed up. You're a tricky little devil! I had almost given up tonight, but then, there you were."
Something occured to James, and he poked his head higher, looking around. "What did you-" he started to say, but then stopped when he realized what he had been trapped in. "Is that... your bra?"
Shi hastily picked up the enormous black undergarment and hid it behind hir back, but then shi bashfully brought it back out and held it up against hir chest. "Well, yeah. See, because of the shape, it was the best thing I had to scoop with. I had it hanging on strings out the top of my window, and the strings were anchored on the inside with a piece of tape, so when I saw you, I just plucked the string, and... plop!"
He stared up at hir in wonderment. I was inside hir bra, he thought to himself. It was big enough to hold me, ALL of me.
Each sexy swell of hir breasts was stunning spherical, and probably projected further from hir chest than he was tall. One hand reached out gingerly before he could help it, wanting to feel them, but he pulled it back hastily as though burnt.
"You know this isn't going to happen, right?"
He blinked. "Pardon?"
"This. Us! We're not supposed to... you know... date tiny people."
"I'm not tiny!" he squeaked indignantly.
Shi giggled. "Well, yeah, but..." shi said meaningfully. "Don't you folks have the same rules?"
They did, of course. Everyone knew it. His friends had made it very, very clear. It wasn't a law, exactly. It wasn't a by-law. It wasn't even a court order. It was just 'common sense', everyone said. Normal people didn't have relations with the macros. It was forbidden. Everytime he had asked 'But why?', he had been given the look of pitying shame and he had slunk off with his nub of a tail between his cheeks.
"Sort of," he agreed sullenly.
"So... and this is really the important question," shi said slowly, taking a deep breath that almost caused his eyes to pop out of their sockets, "why... me?"
He cocked his head, as though he had just been asked why air was good, or why food was tasty. "Well... because you're the prettiest girl in the world," he said matter-of-factly.
Shi blushed scarlet through hir auburn fur. "But... ok, I guess I can't really argue that," shi said with a snort of amusement, "but how did you even KNOW about me? Do you just cruise around at night peeking in windows?"
James sat up slowly, sitting cross-legged and pulling a heap of blanket into his lap to keep himself decent. "I saw you one day. At the beach. You see, over there, we... well, it's sort of a big thing with the kids to hike to the top of the ridge and look at you. Not you SPECIFICALLY, but just... you macros. From the top of the hill, you look just like us, really, but we all know you're like a thousand times bigger. One time I came up with binoculars, since I couldn't see the beach very well from way up there, and I saw... you."
"You were wearing a pink bikini," he recalled wistfully, "with little polkda dots on it. You had a scrunchie in your hair, and another on your tail, and you were hanging out with your friends. There was another ponygirl, and a leopard and a pandagrrl, but when I saw you, I knew I... I wanted to be with you. And I knew I would. Someday. I just had to win you over."
Shi plucked a note up, one of the few where he had attempted some sketched art as well. It wasn't a TERRIFIC rendering of hir, he knew, but he thought he had done a good job. "With these?" shi asked archly.
The little mink nodded. "I could hardly come see you during the day, and although I figured out your name and where you lived, I didn't want to call you. That seemed too... creepy." Phone communications were typically how macro-normal relations were handled, and to the online phone listing they were all the same.
"And watching me sleep WASN'T creepy?"
He nodded wretchedly, eyes down. "I thought-"
"And you had to have found out where I lived by sitting up on the top of the hill all day and SPYING on me, right?!"
"And you probably looked in my window while I was CHANGING!"
"And when I sunbathed nude in the back yard!"
"I-" His head snapped around. "When did you do that?!" he cried.
They stared at eachother, and hir mock indignation gradually faded into a giggling fit. Hir bosom shook like several large bowls full of jelly, and shi collapsed sideways, one hand clamped to hir muzzle to keep it shut and one hand holding hir belly, sending seismic waves through the mattress.
He stared incredulously, although he wasn't sure exactly what was causing him the most disbelief. "Are you making fun of me?" he said, loudly but still meekly.
Shi subsided just enough to manage "Only... a little bit...," holding hir fingers fingers about seven and seventh-eights of an inch apart.
"You are making fun of me!"
This was apparently the height of humor, and hir giggles came back full force.
"It's not funny!" He stamped his tiny foot with utterly no effect, and the snort of laughter that escaped hir clamped muzzle sounded like a flatbed truck retarding it's engine. "Stop that!"
He stood there fuming and watching hir slowly regain control of hirself. It was hard for him to actually focus on the fact that shi was laughing AT him when the simple sight of hir mirth was one of the most deliriously erotic things he had ever seen. The bottom of hir shirt was riding up and he could see something dark, and shiny, and impossibly large down there, bounced back and forth by the rocking of hir thighs.
After a few more seconds of fitful chuckling, shi crawled slowly, almost seductively, across the bed. "I wasn't laughing at you, James," shi eventually said, low and husky, "but I've been recieving your notes all summer, and I figured out everything you DIDN'T write in them. And at first... I was pissed. Really pissed. What you did was invasive, and upsetting."
His eyes grew wide, brimming with tears. "I-"
"But there were more notes, and more nice words, and then I managed to figure out you were a mink by leaving some slow-dry paint on the windowsill one night."
"So THAT'S why my hands were sticky!" And why my dick was blue, he finished in his head.
"And I started to think, maybe he's just lonely. Maybe he just wants something he can't have. Wants someone he has to admire from afar, and can't work up the courage to say hello to. Maybe it's someone who wants something society won't accept. And maybe he's also the sweetest boy I've never met."
Shi was very, very close to him by this point, several feet to him, several inches to hir. "And maybe someone thought he was pretty cute, too..."
He blinked. "Are... do you mean..."
Hir smile was faint, and despite hir vast size it almost seemed nervous. "It's hard not to think about a tiny secret admirer all summer and not be at least a LITTLE interested," shi breathed, the scent of mint washing over him.
His advanced and painful state of arousal had faded during hir verbal onslaught, but it came back with such force he almost pulled a muscle. James took a small step forward, smiling hesitantly, but then the next two steps were much faster. He had almost reached hir, full lips pressed forwards, eyes closing...
Fortunately the blanket was very soft, or he might have permanently damaged something.
"Hey, now," shi said reproachfully from an enormous distance above him. "I'm not THAT sort of grrl! We haven't even gone out yet! Heck, I don't even know your last name. There's a couple James' in the phone book."
"McElroy," he called indistinctly, still face down on the blanket. I was this close, he thought. My nose touched hir lips!
"Like the tennis guy?"
"Mack-Ell-Roy," he enunciated, standing slowly.
"Lovely," shi giggled, leaning back down. The sight of hir ponderous breasts settling onto the bed, spreading out softly in all directions and then bulging still further when the weight of hir body came to rest atop them, was going to be on his mind everytime he closed his eyes, he could just tell. "It's a pleasure to meet you, James."
"The honor is all mine," he said promptly, having rehearsed that line thousands of times. So far that was the ONLY part of his rehearsed scenario that had gone properly!
"I'm sure it is," shi said, laying on hir front with hir muzzle resting in hir hands, legs kicking coltishly behind hir. He leaned to the side, trying to see exactly how her body balanced on those gloriously spherical endowments. He had tried to figure it out by laying on four basketballs one time in gym class, but after a few seconds they all ended up going different directions and he ended up out of breath on the hard floor. Unfortunately, hir shoulders were so much broader than he had expected at this distance, and it was like trying to see the back a mobile home when you were standing at the front. "Is this going as you planned?"
Shi giggled, inching closer. "Well, I guess that's my fault."
"Hey, now!" shi laughed again, reaching out and with surprisingly gentleness knocking him over with hir palm. "You can't get mad at me for THAT! You WERE still a little Peeping Mink. I think I'm being quite nice about it."
He rolled over, mimicking hir girlish position, kicking his little feet in the air and smiling up at hir. "You really are," he said softly. "I still figured I had a few notes to go to try and set something UP, like 'Leave your window open if you want to meet me', or something, but you sort of sped things up."
"Should I kick you out so you can go back to your plan?"
"NO!" he squeaked.
"Well, good, because I sort of like having you in my bed."
Several seconds ticked by on the wooden cuckoo clock resting on a nearby shelf.
"Wait," he said, "did you just-"
"Too late," shi said primly. "Lost your chance."
"Awww." Shi laughed, and this time James joined in. "So does this mean I CAN call you now?"
Shi nodded. "I suppose. It would be nice to have a boy call me, now and then. My parents are starting to get worried."
James just goggled. "You mean they aren't calling you now?!" he sputtered, furious on hir behalf. "That's impossible! They must be lining up to ask you out!"
Penny shook hir long face. "Not nearly as much as you think. I mean, yeah, a couple are interested, and they flirt with me, but it's tourist season around here right now. Do you know how many boys my age live here full time?"
He blinked. "Wow, I never thought of that. Yeah, the population differences between us and macros are disproportionate to the function of the mass," he said, having done quite a bit more research than was strictly required by his high school equivalency requirements. "The population of Ellisfam is only about... sixty-five, full time?"
"Fifty-nine," shi said a little sadly. "We get a couple hundred during tourist season, but I mean, the schoolhouse is a one-room. There's four senior boys, and two of them are gay, and the other two were only interested in me before I got bigger than them."
"Equine DNA, baby."
"Wow." He didn't feel like being too blunt about it yet, but that was one of the main reasons why he DID like hir!
"You said it. So yeah, there's lots of tourist boys chasing my tail, but what do I do when they go home? Go back to pining?"
"It beats being alone," he said under his breath.
"I'm not so sure," shi whispered back, wiggling hir ears. "And better be careful, I have surprisingly good hearing."
James whispered something.
"That's a little personal for our first conversation, don't you think?" shi said, raising one eyebrow.
"Sorry," he said, nearly turning pink through his fur.
"That's all right, I'll let it slide. But trust me: it's spectacular."
They were silent for several seconds, James trying to keep from blowing an artery, Penny lost in thought. They were both a little startled to find out that they had more in common than either of them had thought, and the little mink was still having a hard time believing he was actually here. Thank you, horror movies!
"So are you going to ask me out, or what?"
James glanced up. "Er... what?"
"What? So you're NOT going to ask me out?"
"What country are you from?"
Shi took a deep breath, and James swore he could hear the groaning of hir shirt trying to keep hir contained. "Let me try a different tactic. Do you want to be my boyfriend?"
His nodding could have caused brain damage in larger life forms.
"Do you want to spend long, hot nights making out?"
"Do you want to see what it's like to be trapped in my bra when I'm actually using it?"
James would look back on this moment for years to come in awe and wonderment as a milestone of self-control when he did not spontaneously orgasm on the spot. He nodded weakly, dizzy and slightly nauseous.
"Then ask me out on a date before I toss you out my window."
He steadied his nerves, and wondered of this was the sort of situation where people actually drank whiskey for a reason. "Penny, will you go out with me?"
"Yes," shi said simply, smiling broadly. Shi leaned forward and gave him a kiss that encompassed his cheek, a good portion of his face and his left ear. "Was that so hard?"
James shuddered for a moment, and then glanced downwards. "It won't be in a minute."
- - - - -
The clock hooted twice, and James looked up from his position on a pink lacy throw pillow. "Two in the morning," he yawned, stretching. The pillow was the size of a king-sized bed to him, although the embroidery was starting to feel like an extremely lumpy couch. "I can't believe you're staying up this late just for little old me."
Penny was wrapped in several blankets, a range of low mountains from his vantage point. Hir head lay on a much larger pillow to his right, although hir nose was close enough that every sweet, lilac-scented exhalation ruffled his fur. "No," shi said muzzily, a hand appearing from the depths of hir comforter to rub hir eye. "I'm... fine. Really."
The little mink rolled onto his side. "I think I'm way more used to this 'staying up late and being creepy' thing than you are," he said with a chuckle, although he was feeling a little bit worse for wear. Too many nights of this in a row, and his shoulders were still burning from the forced haul up the wall. "Maybe I should let you sleep."
Shi yawned, and he had to giggle seeing that mouth stretch wider and wider. I probably COULD hop in there quite easily, he thought, but it probably would be a lot more painful than I think it is. "Maybe," shi said with a little smile, moving hir head closer. Hir nose bumped into his throw pillow and he reached out and stroked the moist pink flesh.
"This has been... the best night of my life."
"It's certainly been a memorable one for me," shi said with a sleepy giggle. "No-one's going to believe this."
"I know the feeling. Nate and Gil think I'm deluded."
"Am I a nice delusion to have?"
"The nicest. What about your friends?"
Shi glanced down, and his eyes followed. Although the heavy purple blankets obscured hir body, he could still tell that the slowly rising and falling hill just beyond his toes were hir breasts, and it was taking all of his strength to stop imagining them naked. "I don't think I'll tell them," shi said slowly.
"Well, I guess I can see that," he agreed, a little crestfallen.
"They'll all want to meet you, and word would get out," shi explained. "And if word gets out... well, my dad has threatened to nail my window shut to keep out boys that were bigger than me, I don't think he'd hesitate to do it to keep you out, either."
"That does make a little more sense. Hey, you could crawl in through my window!"
Shi laughed, but it devolved into another extended yawn. "I don't think I could fit through your window," shi murmured. "Well. Maybe parts of me could."
He chuckled, but then his head snapped around. "Wait, what do you mean by that?"
The only response was a rattling snuffle. Hir eyes were closed, hir mouth was slack, and there was the distant promise that shi would soon begin snoring. James smiled, unable to resist grinning at the incredibly adorable scene.
"I'm still in hir bed," he whispered to himself, sliding down off of the pillow and landing with a squeak on the mattress. He picked his way carefully over the comforter, and planted a tiny kiss on the underside of hir chin. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Heart practically bursting, he walked slowly to the edge of the bed, already planning everything he would bring the following night. It was to be a date, they had decided, a REAL date, although it would be a real date that could not leave the confined of hir room. Concessions had to be made, after all, but they had big dreams, and that was perhaps the one part of their relationship where he was the biggest.
And then he reached the edge of the bed, and looked down. Way, way, down.
Then he looked across hir room, and up at the window. The window set into the smooth, painted wall. The window that was not near a shelf, a chair, or even a stuffed teddy bear. The window might as well have been the top of a glacier.