She was late! LATE! For that Edmund was both amazed and upset. Terrant was never late. As his second in command Terrant had always been right where he was ordered before hand. But today she was supposed to be here in archery practice a half hour ago. The paladin paced back and forth. He needed to send a messenger to find the woman. Suddenly he spotted a familiar form sprinting down the road that ran along side the training field.
“Stealth!” The paladin called out.
The running cat immediately halted and slid to a stop on the gravel, sitting on his haunches in a cloud of dust as he looked about in confusion.
“Come here my friend, I have need of your services.” The paladin called out.
Mayhap shouting out to fetch Terry would have been practical but Edmund felt the need to be more discrete - a gentleman does not shout like a marketplace peddler.
The cheetah didn’t bother shifting into any other form. He changed direction and was on Edmund in an instant. The animal peered up curiously and tilted his head at the knight.
“I have a small task for you. Terrant is late. She should have been here a half hour ago. Can you please go find her and see what happened?”
Stealth chirped his acknowledgment but shrugged his shoulders for the paladin to remove his backpack.
Edmund quickly removed the pack and placed it in a safe place. When he looked back up Stealth was already gone. The feline was a cloud of dust heading back to the keep.
Edmund shook his head. “He is fast! Even for a cheetah!”
Stealth walked up to the door on all fours. He sniffed at the wood and knew that Terrant had been in some time ago but the scent had gone stale. At the very least she passed through the door the other day and the patrol master might know what happened since then. The cheetah nosed at the door and pushed it open. It was dark inside and the air smelt stagnant. The sounds of soft snoring came to the cheetah’s ears. He could see a bed in front of him. A bed? This wasn’t George’s office, it was his bedroom!
Stealth reared up, his paws perched on the foot of the bed as he peered at the occupants.
The snoring suddenly stopped and a figure sat bolt upright in the bed. “What?” The woman asked.
Stealth recognised it as Terrant. He also recognised the person in the bed next to her as George. The feline’s ears folded, a loud and long chirr emanated from his throat as he stared into the woman’s green eyes.
“Who is it?” She asked, “Edmund? Is that you sir? “She continued in a panicked voice.
“Huh?” The jackal next to her grunted as he stirred. “Oh ...Hello Stealth.” He said in a calm voice.
Terry relaxed. “What are you doing here?” She asked.
The cheetah shifted to speak, his knees bent leaving his lower half thankfully hidden behind the foot of the bed, “Ed said you’re late, he sent me to find you...”
“Well you did.” George said calmly and scratched an itch.
“I’ll be there quickly,” she answered. “Stealth, please don’t tell Edmund I was with George. He is open minded in many things but still uptight in matters of sex.”
“You had sex?!” The feline blurted out.
“That’s no concern of yours or Edmunds,” George said harshly. “We’re both adults.”
“I’m sorry sir!” Stealth said fearfully, “Am I in trouble?” The image suddenly came to him of having to do push ups in the rain or something.
George laughed. “Why would you be? Do you want to join us in bed?”
Stealth slowly hid his face behind his paws.
“George!” Terry said harshly. “No Stealth, we just shared a bed and nothing more.” The female human tried to tie back her hair, the shirt she wore to bed stretched taught around her breasts. “It was late and I was too tired to make my way to my own apartment.”
“You don’t have to explain anything to me. I should know better...” He said, still hiding himself.
“If so then why is your head still buried in your chest?” Terry asked as she got out of bed and began rummaging for her clothes.
When Terry disturbed the covers Stealth was relieved to see the patrol master did have pants on. George stretched his arms back and rested his head in his paws. The jackal just lay back in his bed. His toes wiggled and tail twitched making small clicks and popping sounds as he watched the feline with mild amusement.
Stealth eventually forced his head back up. He saw Terrant putting on her pantaloons, her back to him and bending over, the shirt travelled up her back exposing her legs and hindquarters. The cat buried his muzzle in his chest again.
“You’d best hurry, Dear, it seems seeing your nice looking butt is embarrassing Stealth. Though he looks quite happy to see it...’ George said calmly.
The woman straightened up and finished putting on her pants quickly. The cheetah promptly concealed his groin and tried to crouch down, out of view with as much dignity as possible.
George openly laughed and shook his head. “Stealth, meet Mr Willy.”
“George. Be nice,” Terry ordered as she dropped the borrowed shirt back on the bed. And now she was topless...
Besides the embarrassment, Stealth cursed himself in frustration for what had become his cruel fate; why the hell did he have to leave his pack with Edmund? His pants, a shirt, the backpack itself, anything more to conceal himself with then just hiding behind the foot of the jackal’s bed.
“Maybe Mr Willy could be a general. He is already good at standing at attention.” The canine noted.
The feline continued to descend to the floor until he sat cross-legged. Terrant’s breasts disappeared behind her shirt as she finished dressing but it didn’t matter anymore; they’d both noticed his arousal, no doubt about it. The feline still tried to act casual though he got the impression that it didn’t do much good.
She laughed and reached for her boots. “I’ll be along shortly. Why don’t you and Mr Willy go on ahead?”
“Oh god...” Stealth blushed more. He could not believe what she just said. “I can’t be seen like this.”
Terry took a pair of pants from off a shelf and tossed them to the cheetah. “Here, wear these!”
Stealth looked at the pants. They had a tail hole in the back and smelt strongly of canine. Didn’t George ever wash his clothes? “I don’t think this will conceal ‘him’.”
“Then go take a cold bath!” Terrant forcibly lifted the cat off the floor, “I know what you saw and I’m not embarrassed. If I can endure then so can you.”
He nodded quickly and put the pants on, thankful that he began to loosen up.
George got out of bed and started to get dressed. “Goodbye Dear!”
Terry led the troubled cheetah out the door, the last thing George heard before it closed was her voice instructing, “Remember, don’t tell Edmund.”
“How are you feeling?” Terry asked after the door closed behind them.
“Stupid.” He answered bluntly. “I’m really sorry.” Stealth had his back turned to her. The cat’s tail swished about, dusting the borrowed pants with shed cheetah hairs that added to the jackal hair already coating it.
“About what? It’s a natural reaction for a male.” She pointed out gently and grabbed his arm, encouraging him down the hall.
Stealth gritted his teeth “I meant the intrusion, actually.” Though he looked away his mind was focused on her grip... ugh, those hands, soft, gentle hands... he wanted Terry to break that contact yet at the same time he wanted her to never let go.
“AH! No worry. I did oversleep.” She paused and released the feline’s arm, “And all we did was sleep. No nookie for us last night.”
“I believe you but my imagination had other ideas and then I saw your...” he sighed, “Terrant, I know that you’re not open about your body – I was caught off guard.”
“We all have things that we are uncomfortable about.” The woman countered.
They both parted to allow another keeper past. The keeper looked like some sort of avian, ironically he didn’t even bother wearing anything below the waist, that is, if it were a male and not a female; the animal morph looked closer to a large full animal then a humanoid creature.
Terrant had to grab Stealth again once the way was clear. Stealth’s mind wasn’t on the path ahead and he very well near walked into a suit of armour.
“Yes, I know. I’ve never seen you in the communal baths but just now, after you realised who I was at least... Well, you didn’t look troubled...” Those hands... he wanted to clasp her hand but he didn’t dare.
She let go again and nodded slowly. “I’m not. It just felt like the right thing to do.”
“Then why don’t you want me to tell Edmund?” He asked softly as they reached the end of the hall.
“Because he may be open minded in many things but sex outside of marriage still unsettles him.”
The cheetah seemed more awake now and he managed to begin down the steps without stumbling, “But even if you did... do that, it’s not like he can order you not to, if he doesn’t like it it’s his problem!”
She shook her head. “It is a delicate subject in the faith. Sex is all right but only within marriage.”
“Then how come he doesn’t jump up and down crying heresy when I’m around?” Stealth countered.
“Because like all men sex confuses him.” She laughed. “It confuses us women too.”
They reached the bottom of the steps, the hall looked larger and vastly more populated. “I won’t tell. You know you can count on that” He whispered.
“But if you ever figure it out, let me in on all the secrets.” Stealth mumbled.
“Deal! Just don’t hold your breath.”