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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Life of a Pet - 1. Chapter 1

My naked legs slid through the chilling mud. With only a tunic, the chilly mountain air assaulted my skin. Darkness surrounded me, only disturbed by the faint glow of torches. The dancing flames taunted. After being imprisoned for two days and one night, my pride died. My stomach ached. I craved bread and stew, but any food sounded heavenly. Dragged by iron clasps on my wrists, my unknown fate awaited. Through soulless lids, I wondered where my olive and green-skinned captors were taking me. This could not be my destiny. There had to be a reason I was spared. My honed stealth and guile were for naught and rendered void in my new surroundings. Battered and bruised, the blood on my face and limbs crusted. At least the orcs provided cloth. Alone in a cramped cell, I bandaged my head and right arm; my serious injuries. But none of that mattered now. All I could muster was a wish.

Mud became pelt as a light blinded me. More torches, and their warmth blessed my damp skin. A swift foot slammed into my side. “Kneel,” one of the gruff voices blasted.

Kneel. Why? Was I before royalty? No, a clan leader of sorts. Panged by pain, I slowly abided. The fur beneath me was of a bear. Its head was to my left. I kept my head down and dared to glance forward. Uncovered lime-green toes rested near a granite throne. Shadows and silhouettes told me there were several surrounding me.

“Speak, Atulg,” said a voice in front of me. Equally gruff as the one before but the tone was lax. If he was issuing orders, I assumed he was the leader.

“We found this assassin near a tree,” someone answered to my right. “His knives and bow told us he intended to kill.”

I gritted my teeth. The guess was wrong. I was no killer.

“Speak, assassin,” ordered the leader. “Your goal and last wish before I send you to a fitting grave.”

Taking a bet I knelt before a being of importance, I kept my head down and lowered myself further. “I am no assassin. A mere hunter. If I hunted on your grounds, I apologize and offer reciprocation.”

“Fancy words for a hunter.” The bulky feet approached. Clean and adorned with faded beads and string along the ankle. “Do you wish for death?”

“No,” I squeaked. Was my plea heard and understood, or did the orc intend to kill me regardless of my response?

The toes of a foot grazed my chin and lifted. I strained as I saw my captor for the first time. A wolf’s pelt covered his head and draped his hairy and fit chest. His neck was adorned with various beastly teeth attached to a string. The orc’s tusks formed from the bottom lip, resting on the cheeks. His brown loincloth covered him, but the man wore no other clothing. “You deliver death yourself. Arrows through boar and elk. Yet you fear death by another’s hand. Why is this?”

The thought fogged my mind. It was true; I slayed wild animals for meat. Their deaths meant nothing to me. One answer stood before me. “Survival.”

A smile curled on the male’s face, and the foot moved away. “Your eyes speak the truth. Get him to his feet.” A few whispered grunts surrounded me before the leader yelled, “Now!”

Rough grips under my pits brought me up. My stance was shaky. The hut’s warmth did nothing to sate my discomfort and dulled agony. I stole a glance at the leader. His stature was intimidating. Muscles were hidden underneath a thin layer of padding. Braided lengths of hair swayed at his back as he spun to face me. The man’s lips moved but halted. His brow furrowed. “He was beaten?”

No one spoke.

The orc fingered a weapon’s hilt at his side. “I will not ask again.” Withdrawing a battle-axe, he aimed the spiked pommel over my shoulder. “Answer me!"

“We found him asleep by a tree,” said a masculine and proud voice behind me. “He—”

“Silence!” The leader brushed past, knocking me to a knee. “Asleep? Then he is no assassin. Not a worthy one, anyway.” I grimaced and fought the lightning in my leg. Again, I was lifted, but by the leader’s hand. “Your name.”

“E-Ewel.”

“Not even a name fitting of a killer. Where do you call home?”

“Nowhere,” I blurted. I felt the trickle of blood from a reopened wound falling down my calf. “Exiled from Berisenda. I have no home.”

The orc’s stare bore into my skull. His beady eyes struck like daggers. His grip softened as he grinned wickedly. “Fetch Urzul. Tell her to bring nourishment and water. This hunter is to be cared for.”

“Chief Ulag, wh—”

“This… Ewel,” Ulag muttered, silencing the others. One of his fingers curled my chin, and then my earlobe. “He shall be my new pet.”

I closed my eyes when the word was uttered. Pet. From that moment onward, I knew my life was forfeit.

* * * * *

Mor Largash. I knew of the orc settlement. Far from human civilization and hidden in the nearby mountainside, it found no trouble. Stricken by frequent rainfall, mud was abundant. Basic, wooden huts littered the compound’s encompassing stone-laid walls. The orcs were calmer than I anticipated. They were nothing like the stories I heard of. Gone were the brash and aggressive monsters. Instead, they were peaceful and blunt barbarians that valued solitude and nature. During the week to treat my injuries, Urzul, the shaman, became friendly. At first, she frightened me, which annoyed her. Being confident and brazen were traits that enhanced your standing among orckind.

Not that I had to fret. Being a pet to the chief gave me a fascinating standing among them. To be looked down upon while remaining at the chief’s side remained strange, yet no one dared to directly lay a hand on me. Still, if acting as Ulag’s pet would protect my life, then my best interests were to act as such. I owed the orc my life. If it weren’t for his deduction, my head might have lapped at his feet that horrible night.

Duties were simple. In the beginning, he tested me with simple tasks. Fanning him and kneeling at his side when he rested, following wherever he went, and obeying every whim. I discovered the chief did not merely sit idly, contrary to what many of the other city leaders did. He perused Mor Largash, ensuring the people under his watchful eye were taken care of directly. Ulag led the hunts when meat became scarce. Due to my wounds, I was unable to join on horseback. Now that I have recovered, I was expected to accompany him. I ached to feel a notched arrow once again. Not pointed at them, no. They gave me life, so I felt the need to show Ulag I was worthy. When a horse was provided for me, the large saddle was an uneasy fit. The horn would be my friend as I slid to and fro in the seat. No weapon was gifted, and it was wise. Trust had yet to be given. However, I learned my place quickly. Calling out missed game tracks prompted one of the men to pull my saddle down, and me along with it. Ulag said nothing as I cringed on the ground.

Pets don’t speak. My skill as a hunter meant nothing to them. Rabbits and squirrels were deemed small and unworthy, despite how succulent and juicy their meat was. Upon return to Mor Largash, I offered to assist in skinning and cutting. Ulag ordered me to kneel at his side. It was demeaning. To not act on tasks I excelled at, only to watch as others lived freely… It brought about thoughts of death.

Yet I continued to breathe. It tormented my soul to be fed and not earn my keep, all for the amusement of another. For weeks and months, my life was the same. Kneel, fan, watch as delicious food bounded away, then fall asleep on the floor at Ulag’s feet.

On a wintry hunt, my resolve snapped. Watching a small doe prance away in the snow, I asked, “Why?” Its tail flicked about as it ran, teasing me in a way.

Like many times before, my saddle pommel was grabbed. I felt the leather shift, and I hopped in place. The orc that pulled fell as I sat down again. I glared at him, and a few others chortled. “You waste away the day, only to watch bountiful prey escape. You call yourself huntsmen?”

“Puny huma—”

Ulag’s laughter silenced the party. His stare unnerved me. He pointed at the one who pestered me. “Yegoth, saddle his horse… And give him your bow.” The chief’s eyes returned to me. “I’ve waited to see your fire.”

The irked hunter tossed me the weapon, followed by the quiver. Assessing the weight and drawback, I notched an arrow. Sliding off the horse, I sifted through the snow as Yegoth lifted the saddle. “Where are you going, pet?”

Hearing Ulag, I turned. Urzul’s lesson in behavior came to mind. Standing tall and unwavered, I glared at him and called out, “To hunt.” My response must have been just, as no one came after me. Kneeling at a tree, I spotted the doe, along with two hares across the field. Taking aim, I drew the string at a rabbit. The deer was far away enough to not be alerted. Letting the arrow fly, I notched the next in quick succession and targeted the larger prey. With both kills, I fetched the rabbit, only to notice the second nearby. After a third shot, I carried the fallen hares to the hunting party. “Doe’s off in the snow. Need help carrying it.”

As I tied the slain to a rope, the orc who yanked my saddle grunted. “The pet can’t drag a tiny doe.”

I noticed Ulag’s irritation, but my own claimed ownership. “Yes, and there is strength in asking for help. Would you fight a troll on your own, or ask your brethren to fight at your side?”

“Yegoth,” Ulag uttered. “Go.”

On the return trip to the dead animal, I sensed the orc’s disdain for me. “You hate me, and that’s understandable.”

“You’re human. You will never be one of us.” He stormed ahead of me, his short ponytail bobbing at the neck. Lifting two hooves, he slowly dragged the carcass.

“I don’t intend…” Something moved behind Yegoth and caught my eye. Once I recognized it, I whispered, “Don’t move. Snowcat.”

Yegoth’s eyes beamed with anticiation. “How big?”

Glancing, I swallowed. The white pelt nearly blended in with the snow. Its blue spots gave its position. I've seen one or two in my lifetime but I have never hunted one. Let alone be hunted by a snowcat. “Beastly. It’s sneaking on you.” I slowly retrieved an arrow from the quiver and notched it. “Are you going to fight it?”

“I itch to.” Yegoth's face told me the orc saw a prideful opportunity.

“I’ll assist. You spin to your right. Three… Two… One…”

The orc brandished a crude sword and I darted away. Firing off an arrow, I pierced the side. With a snarl, the large cat pounced on Yegoth as I let go of a second, aiming for the heart. I heard the distant horses as the beast snarled, desperately gnashing at Yegoth’s face. The claws had him pinned, but the man’s arm pressed against the cat’s neck, preventing death. Launching my final arrow at the white, furry neck, I instinctively reached for my waist.

No knife. Yegoth’s sword was nowhere to be seen. I retreated to the doe’s body and yanked out the arrow. I ran forward, gripping the shaft. Stifling my yell, I took aim and plunged the jagged head into the skull of the snowcat. There was little resistance as the beast’s life ended. I kicked it aside, and Yegoth crawled out. He sunk his blade into the neck, ensuring the kill. Both of us breathed heavily as the party stormed toward us. The crimson tide seeped into the snow.

I jolted in place. “Yegoth!” Scrambling to him, I grabbed his arms. There were deep scratches on his torso. I ripped the draping cloth off my tunic and used it as a bandage. “Hold there tight. Don’t let up.”

The man’s eyes remained on mine. He acted as if he was unharmed, even though he heeded my order.

Ulag and his horse strode closer. “What happened?”

Before I could speak, Yegoth placed his free hand on my shoulder. “Your pet fought at my side. He fell a great beast. He”—his grip tightened—”is a hunter. He’s no orc, but he fights like one.”

In the after-battle glow, I grabbed his arm. “You deserve glory as well. Underneath its maw, your smile never left. You carried yourself well.”

We shared a moment. He slammed a fist to his chest; a sign of respect from one orc to another. When I offered a handshake, Yegoth took my hand, balled it, and pushed it against my own torso. His tusked smile caught me off guard. “Ewel. You are orc to me. Greet me like one.”

To be called as such moved me. Aside from Ulag’s order for Urzul to treat me, this was the first act of generosity I faced. Not allowing the opportunity to escape, I returned the gesture. “Thank you, Yegoth.”

Ulag approached, eliminating all space between us. His glare lasted seconds until he averted. Pointing at both the cat and doe, he uttered, “Tie them to the horses. Ewel, Yegoth. Decide who keeps the cat skin. The glory is yours to decide.”

As the chief walked away, Yegoth shoved me. “Yours. You dealt the final blow.”

Unsure of customs, I hummed. “Are pets to have pelts?”

“Your kill. That comes before all else. Atulg, come help. That cat was large.”

One of the huntsmen near the chief uttered, “Not with the pet,” and turned his back.

Realizing my status hadn’t changed, I huffed and marched toward the doe. I heard steps and huffs behind me. The moment I grabbed a hoof, Yegoth held another. “Pull. This one’s light.” We reached his horse with ease, but I remained as he went to the cat. He halted and yelled, “Come!”

I led my steed through the snow and tossed a coil of rope. “No sense in carrying it. We can tie and lift from here.” He grunted as I joined him. With the rope secured, I noticed his anger as we raised the corpse. “What troubles you?”

“We slayed this mighty beast with no recognition. I fell a bear many moons ago and was given more praise than this.”

“You were with me,” I mumbled. “You recognized a pet for the kill.” Hopping onto the saddle backward, I attached the rope.

Yegoth followed suit and rode next to me. “You are a pet, but you are more. Inside you’s the heart of an orc. My brothers don’t see it. Chief Ulag does, so expect freedoms.”

“Freedom?”

“He will allow you to clean and skin your kill. More hunts with a bow of your own.”

I spun in the saddle and tossed Yegoth his bow and quiver. “I’d like to fletch my own soon. Yours is heavy, and the arrowheads were thick. Not the best for small game. When we return, I’ll cook these hares for you.”

“You don’t want cat? That meat is rare.”

I shook my head. “I’ll offer it to Mor Largash. I want them to know I’m more than just some pet.”

The orc hummed, then stayed silent for some time. Before catching the party, he said, “It will be seen and heard. The village will thank you.”

Entering Mor Largash’s gate, Yegoth accompanied me in skinning the cat, then offered to dry the pelt at his hut. Once it was tied on a rack, I worked on the hares. We talked as I stewed the meat with a few vegetables and roots. Lingering eyes and noses neared, curious about the aroma. Most went about their business but a few returned with wooden bowls. Yegoth agreed to share, as the party’s captures for the day would easily feed the village. I peered over his shoulder to see the cat being roasted over the central pit. The doe would be next to cook, along with the other elk and boar.

Many thanks were uttered until Ulag came near. I ventured a guess, thinking he would demand I return to his side. Instead, he sat and took my bowl of stew. A narrow smile crossed his face as he sipped, then he handed it back. “When you have your fill, come.” Not wanting to disappoint, I ate with haste and followed the chief to the spit. He stood before the intense flames and watched two females, Mogak and Bashuk, spun my cat over the fire. He leaned toward me and whispered, “Make no mistake, you are a pet.”

I closed my eyes and basked in the fire's warmth. Even after being given a taste of freedom, my title clutched my very being. I questioned whether I would ever be freed from the societal cuff.

"Still," Ulag mumbled, "you show promise. When an orc takes a prized kill, the meat is shared with ones closest to them. I doubt you knew, but offering your meat to all of Mor Largash… It won't be forgotten."

* * * * *

Leniency followed in the coming months. With permission, I whittled and fletched a bow from wood given to me. All but Ulag and Yegoth ridiculed the weight and purpose. In time, smaller arrowheads came. My duty during hunts was to collect rabbit and squirrel, although I took down several doe and elk along the way. When I performed better than others, Ulag ordered them to haul my kills; a sign of disrespect.

Some took offense. Shoves and leers were common. Unphased, I stood tall. Yegoth took me under his wing and taught important behaviors and gestures to adhere to. Acting undeterred was key, especially with being Ulag's pet. I could never retaliate, lest I be subject to a duel. I would surely lose if it resorted to brute strength. At the same time, when duels occur, the combatants were given respect to one another for competing. However, Yegoth was doubtful if Ulag would allow me to partake. If I were to be beaten or bloodied, the chief’s image might be tarnished if I were to kneel next to him.

A few of the women continued to parade themselves in front of Ulag. From what I gathered while accompanying the chief, there was an expectation for him to plant his seed. In the months I’ve been his pet, Ulag hadn’t been alone with a female. When Yegoth and I discussed the topic, he claimed the chief was waiting for a worthy woman. The thought of whether anyone in Mor Largash was up to Ulag’s standards came into question. My orcish friend recalled the chief courting one or two in years past, but their relations burned away like dead ash.

Ulag called for me from his hut, breaking our conversation. The sun had set. Only lit torches guided me along. Ducking under the draped fur entrance, I noticed the orc lying on his bed, bearskin over his body. His gaze met mine as he rose. Covered only by a loincloth, he sat at the small table and slid a wooden bowl of grapes to me. “Eat. I see you and Yegoth have built a friendship.”

Obeying, I plucked a single fruit from a stem. “Strangely, but yes. He tormented me when you first declared me as a pet.”

“And you fought alongside him,” the leader said, sipping from a tin cup. “Bonds form from less. Speak freely. Do you hold a hatred for me?”

The question caught me unawares. I held the grape between my fingers and studied the man. Once I felt there was no trick behind the inquiry, I shook my head. “No. You making me a pet saved my life. If you didn’t, I’m unsure what my fate would have been.”

Ulag chuckled and snatched a piece of fruit. “I’ve had pets before. All of them tried to take my life. You are the first I’ve allowed to leave my side.”

“Let alone give a bow and arrow?” When the chief laughed, I felt safe in sharing with the man. “I’ve heard tales of orc pets. This is nothing like them.”

“Tell them to me, Ewel. I want to hear what the humans say about us.”

Closing my eyes, I remained silent. Recalling horrid childhood stories and bard songs, I stared at the grape in my hand. “If I may, I refuse.” Ulag glared at me, so I placed the purple fruit near his cup. “They pale in comparison to my experiences. You are not the monsters or unjust barbarians depicted. In a way, I feel more akin to you than of my own people.”

Plucking the grape I offered, Ulag held it curiously. “You think you are orc?”

“No, I can never be of your kind, no matter how much I wish. You walk among the people you lead. You ask about their troubles and offer assistance. My kind is selfish. The leaders sit high and mighty on their thrones, forcing others to bend to their will. All beneath them are just that; beneath and unworthy of attention. I…” Licking my lips, I spotted my snowcat fur in the corner. “I could never live with humanity now.”

"When you first knelt before me, you claimed something. Exiled from Berisenda? Why?"

I sighed. My rickety stall with meat hung by hooks came to mind. "Sold a squab to someone in the higher castes. They fell ill."

The chief grunted. "Bad meat."

"No," I protested. "I sold the finest cuts from my hunts. That bird was fit and tender."

"Ah. So was it poorly cooked?"

I clenched a fist. The court seemed to lack the necessary care. They even stated it themselves when Auredal brought the meal before the hold's steward. Bloody meat. The lies of feather tips broken in the sinews infuriated me. Judgment came swiftly. Better to lose a huntsman than a noble, in the city's belief. I scoffed and breathed. "That was years ago. Lived on my own since."

Ulag was quiet. He rolled the grape between his fingers, then set it in front of me. “Time to rest. Eat if you’re hungry.” The orc gulped the remnants of the cup and returned to bed.

Dismissing the food, I curled at the foot of the bed. Covering myself with the cat pelt, I tried to make sense of the discussion until I fell asleep. Awoken by daylight, I splashed water from the basin on my face before adorning my leather shoes. Ulag had already left, which was unusual. Every day, the orc kicked at my feet, then waited for me to follow him. I journeyed outside in search of the chief. Scouring the main road, he was nowhere to be found.

“Ewel!” I turned to find Yegoth sitting around a small fire in front of his hut. He stirred the inside of a pot with a stick. “Ulag has you off the leash again?”

“No,” I uttered. Nearing, I whispered in his ear, “I can’t find him.”

My friend howled in laughter, slapping his knee. “I’ve yet to see the chief run from a pet.”

“This is no joke, Yegoth! I don’t know where he is.”

“Calm yourself, brother. There’s no need for alarm. Here, have a fish.” He lifted the lid from the pot and skewered a crispy trout. “Ulag and Atulg went for a morning hunt. They should be back by nightfall. Come, eat.”

I sensed a confidence in Yegoth, so I trusted his word was true. However, I had never heard of the chief going off on a hunt with only one other orc. Sitting with my friend, I admired how much larger he was than me. It was a known fact I appeared to be the runt of Mor Largash. Yegoth, nearly the size of Ulag, acted as one of the chief’s strongest men. His word was equivalent to a shaman’s or elder’s. Even after all the time spent here, he was the only orc to openly accept me.

We sat, ate, and talked for what seemed like hours. My attention went to the gate from time to time. Ulag and Atulg had yet to return. “Should we send a search party,” I asked.

“You doubt our chief? Yegoth scoffed, stoking the flames. “Where is your pride? He’ll be back.”

A few long minutes passed, and the village gate opened. I looked up. My master and Atulg walked in a single line on foot; the subordinate leading. When I saw Ulag, confusion filled me. The chief dragged a wooden sled, carrying the corpse of a white-furred elk. Whispers created a hum throughout Mor Largash. I studied the perplexed faces, but my attention was taken as Ulag approached. Pulling the sled’s lead over his shoulder, I discerned he was using a fair amount of muscle.

He dropped the coil when he stood before me. “Stand, Ewel.”

“Chief Ulag!” One of the males stormed closer. “You give—”

I dug my feet into the ground as Ulag backhanded the orc. He glanced at me before turning to his people. “Mor Largash! My mind is made. Nothing shall change it.”

“You’ve fallen for a pet!” A voice shouted.

Outcries filled the air. Standing behind Ulag, I tried to make sense of the incensed people. Disdain turned to outrage. The chief trembled, and when I sought advice from Yegoth, the man appeared similar. Their silent rage and the white elk’s carcass left me in a state of confusion and panic.

"Enough," Ulag yelled. He pointed at me without looking. "His skill shines bright. He hunts with pride and offers his earned meat to you. Ewel acts with the heart of an orc.”

I whispered to Yegoth, “Why the elk?”

The chief must have heard my question. He turned and closed the distance between us. “You do not know our customs, so I shall explain. This deer of white fur is a symbol. One of rarity. An ultimate gesture meaning expressed love.”

My gaze fell on the elk. The arrow piercing its neck, surrounded by blood, showed how it died. Could such an animal truly mean strong feelings? My mind swiftly abandoned the detail and inquiry. Ulag had professed his love. Thinking back, I tried to recollect events, details, and conversat—

Last night’s conversation! It was the most invasive Ulag had ever questioned me. It felt personal and genuine. Did the orc always possess such feelings for me? Even when I knelt before him in iron chains? No, impossible. I was a mere nobody and pet to him then. When did it change? My first hunt? The idea remained viable. The situation was still in front of me. I admired Ulag, although I never considered romanticizing with another man.

My next thought was voiced by someone else. “Chief Ulag! What about children? How—”

Ulag growled and spun. “You mock my decision? I will declare my interests as I see fit, and Ewel has earned the right to be my mate. Mor Largash is filled to the brim with children, now and incoming.” His eyes returned to mine. “The gesture is shown. It is now up to him if he deems me worthy.”

Him? Ulag? Worthy? The orc was the leader of a village. His people looked up to him, and he bore his responsibility proudly. There were only a few times he truly exercised my title as a pet, and I grew to respect that. The man was far from kind but he possessed a hidden sense of devotion. Stealing a glance at the elk once more, I asked, “Your people are correct; you would see a pet romantically?”

Ulag snorted and stooped to my level. “You haven’t been a pet in my eyes for some time.”

“But I sleep on your floor. You kick me awake.”

“Would you rather me have given you a hut among the people who fear and hate you? No, I wanted you close.”

The reasoning forced a gasp through my lips. Knowing Ulag used my pet status as a form of protection shook me. The imagery lined up. Some might have struck at the opportunity if I were to live alone. Some might have even savored the moment. As I peered behind Ulag, their faces said plenty. Most held negative connotations while a few were eager to hear my reply. I whispered, “I don’t wish to afflict your people. If they don’t want me here—”

Ulag’s green fingers gracefully pinched my face; his palm covering my mouth. “If they raise a blade against you, I will defend you with my life. It will not come to that. They are my people, and they will respect our decisions. Now, do you accept or deny me?”

* * * * *

Waking, I nestled. Using Ulag’s shoulder as a pillow, I basked in his warmth. His bellowing breaths and snores comforted me. A chill blew against my rear, so I pulled the white elk pelt up from my thighs. Feeling his chest inflate, I thought of the years that had passed. As both of us predicted, there was blowback to our mating. But as time went on, Mor Largash adjusted. Many became appreciative when my hunting hauls resulted in feasts for the village. Still, there were those who rejected a human living in their midst. After several months of whispered griping, Ulag had had enough. He captured their attention when he opened the gates, demanding those who did not support the chief’s decision to uproot themselves and leave immediately.

No one abandoned Mor Largash. In the following months, my goal was clear as a spring's water: befriending the orcs and creating meaningful relationships. Hunting and preparing food for others acted as a start, and it succeeded. It was a rare rumor to hear someone going hungry. The village amassed an impressive amount of pelts, ensuring warmth. Even still, I couldn’t obtain everyone’s trust.

But it came with time. The longer I lived there, the more their opinions changed. So did mine. Within a month, I saw Ulag in a different light. In the days following accepting the chief’s proposal, his confidence was contagious. The transition from being his pet to an equal perturbed me at times. Weeks passed and I moved from the floor to his bed. He never pushed me to make this decision, but his pride was evident. Still, I kept my distance. Being with another man left me uneasy. With time, I discovered he felt the same. His desire to have me as a mate continued to be fueled by my skill.

“May I?”

I remember that night and those two words well. His touch ignited a primal need within us both. The rough hands were tender, and his breath on my neck soothed me. Like never before, every part of him fascinated me. Each hair upon his chest, how sharp the tusks were, and the way his eyes shined from a candle’s glow. As he towered over me, my former pet status lingered in my mind. It burned away when Ulag exhibited his passion and stamina. That night, his bed became ours. Lightning and warmth pulsed through my body in ways previously unknown. I laid there, stunned as he took me. His eyes never looked away, and he moved with a loving intent until he gave me his seed.

Now, I treasure every moment with Ulag. While I can defend myself, having him near comforts me. We teach and learn from each other. He has become quieter when we hunt together, just as I find myself more prideful. When I think of my time in Mor Largash, I am thankful for being captured. The trials and challenges of being a pet were worth the life I live currently.

Curling closer to Ulag, I drifted back to a pleasant slumber.

Copyright © 2023 Secret Author; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Now that I've ripped the Secret Author ducktape off my mouth, I'd like to thank everyone for reading! I had a blast writing this short tale. 

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