The boat pulled up to a pier, Reinard scrambling out ahead of the others. He stretched as his head swiveled, taking in a palatial building, white walls shining in the midday sun.
"One thing about porneos, they're generally only one story tall. That way you don't hear the thump of tigers mating over your head," Themis pointed out.
"Yeah… that would be bad," Reinard agreed.
"To each their own, but when we're filming, we don't want extra noise we'll have to edit later," Themis continued
Reinard watched Galen unfold from the boat, a quiet smirk on his face. Clearly size wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
Not that Galen was big. His body was a little gangly, the tiger's adulthood still growing on him. Fifteen years old… Reinard thought it was ridiculous that Galen was going into porn. He was far too young.
"What? Is something wrong with my clothes?"
The tiger straightened his shirt, the clothing hanging off a shoulder.
"Relax, you look fine," Themis sighed. "You already have the job, the two of you just need to sign release forms. After we have introduced Reinard to Pasiphaë."
Reinard nodded, following the tigers into the building. He found himself in a rather open room, a golden furred Egaro working on a computer behind a counter.
"Good morning Themis, are you here to fill in for Cassie?" he asked, glancing up.
"Aegle didn't say anything about that," Themis shrugged. "Actually I'm here about these two. Galen, Reinard, this is Achilleas, our receptionist."
The tiger smiled at the two newcomers, his smile turning into a slight frown as he had to bend over his desk to see Reinard.
"Themis… is this a joke?" he demanded.
"Not at all. Do you know where Pasiphaë is?" Themis asked.
"With Iason and Daphne."
"Wasn't Daphne on brothel-"
"She decided she wanted to film for an hour. Don't know why, something about a Xanar?"
Themis groaned, shaking her head.
"Okay, well… can you explain cameras to Reinard? I need to get Galen signed up so he can start tomorrow."
Achilleas frowned, but nodded.
"Hold on, let me close down the studio for a Faro…" he said, standing up.
Themis copied his frown.
"Well, if you're going about it that way, maybe you should take the day off and I'll show Reinard how to do your job."
Reinard looked between the two tigers in alarm, slowly backing away.
"I don't want to be a problem-" he stammered.
"No, it's okay. I'll just put up the sign. Penelope's the only one on duty right now anyway."
Achilleas moved to the door, setting a placard up. He turned back to Reinard, a bemused look on his face. For his part, Reinard tried not to scowl too much under the tiger's scrutiny.
"Play nice!" Themis called, ushering Galen away.
"Well… Reinard, right?"
The Faro nodded.
"You're going to be filming sex? I always thought Faro were asexual…"
"Then how would we have kits?" Reinard pointed out.
"Regardless… you're okay with watching tigers fuck each other, moaning in bliss, biting, scratching, breeding the ever living sex out of each other?"
"You're just trying to sicken me, aren't you?"
"Oh no. That's normal behaviour for Egaro in heat," Achilleas smirked. "Not quite a couple of foxes daintily touching privates. This is the real universe."
"I think I can handle a little blood in bed."
"Well, we'll see. You've never seen tigers mating before, have you? Of course you haven't…"
Achilleas shook his head dismissively, motioning Reinard into a rather large room.
A human sat at a table, eating a pastry. He looked up from his food, frowning.
"Achilleas, what the fuck is a Faro doing here?"
"Oh, he's supposed to be the new cameracat. I just wanted to make sure he knew what he's getting into."
"Oh, sweet, really?"
The man stood up, grinning at Reinard.
"Ryan," he introduced himself. "It's nice to meet you."
"Likewise… but I'm supposed to be learning about cameras, right?" Reinard frowned.
"That will come later. No sense teaching someone who's going to freak out at the first sight of a naked Xanar," Achilleas smirked.
"But… Xanar really are asexual?" the Faro said in confusion.
"Yeah, we still get a couple in here, pay for an hour of cuddling. This place is sex focused, but that doesn't mean it's all we do," Ryan shrugged.
Reinard blinked in surprise.
"I'm surprised you didn't know. We actually produced the occasional cuddle film. They're supposed to be big in Oyhaf."
"I've never heard of them."
"Which is why it is important-"
"That we ease you into this," an orange tigress said, interrupting Achilleas. "You, get out of here. Ryan, break's over."
Achilleas scowled before leaving the room Ryan's face showed a hint of annoyance, but he left, sending a small smile at Reinard.
"See you around, hopefully," he said.
"I think you can count on it," Reinard replied, tail flicking with constrained nerves.
"So, you're Reinard. Pasiphaë. It's a pleasure to meet you," the orange Egaro smiled as the room emptied. "Would you mind telling me a bit about why you want to work here? Themis said that you were going through some difficult times."
"I… lost my Segal, three weeks ago. And my house shortly after," Reinard admitted with a sigh.
"Oh. I won't pry," Pasiphaë frowned.
"Thank you," Reinard replied.
"Well, one of the first things I need to ask is how you actually feel about this. You don't need to film porn, we could try to find something else for you to do."
"I feel like I have to do this for myself," Reinard admitted. "I don't know that I can consider myself Faro anymore. For certain, I am clanless."
Pasiphaë hummed sadly, looking at the fox.
"Has anyone given you a hug? I know contact can be a touchy thing with Faro, but there's really nothing like knowing someone else is there to help you through your struggles."
"I don't think anyone can really help me through my struggles," Reinard frowned.
"I see. The hug is still on offer, should you change your mind. But about the filming, why don't we go out and see how you do with a camera?"
She led the fox out of the room, Reinard taking a fortifying breath. They entered another room, the smell of sweat and… something else… filling the space. Reinard was certain he didn't want to know what that smell was. And he was certain he would find out regardless.