"It's c-cold!" Malton shouted when he came up for air.

Kaja wanted to stand up and get more of her out of the water, but her nipples were sticking through her thin fur now. She put her arms over her breasts and nodded.

"At least you have f-fur!"

She shook her head. "The water went right through. Trust me," she mumbled.

"Oh man," Kaja said, "your lips are turning blue.

He tried to say something, but his teeth chattered hard.

"Come here," she said. Kaja put her arms around him and pulled him close. He squeezed her hard.

The Tauren girl wondered if the fur did help a bit. He was shaking much more than she was.

Their lips met. Kaja had imagined Malton being her first kiss. She had just never pictured it would be this cold.

"Let's get you out of here." Kaja pulled herself out onto the bank. Malton had a death grip on her. He ended up laying on top of her stomach.

"Are you gonna' be okay?"

The boy couldn't form words, but he nodded.

She wrapped her arms around him and squeezed him close. They laid there with their faces pressed against each other's necks. In a while his shivering started to slow.

They were kissing again. It was awkward and strange, but at the same time, sweet and nice. The smell on his breath was strong.

Malton pulled away a couple of times, momentarily overwhelmed by the thought of kissing a cow.

He slipped his tongue inside her mouth and she pulled away, but returned to try again.

Kaja slid her hands down to his butt. His crotch on her stomach was a reminder of just how much taller she was.

He put his hands on her breasts. She couldn't decide if she liked that or not.

He was kind of rubbing himself on her. She caressed his buns, trying not to analyze what was happening.

He wasn't really kissing her anymore. His lips were just pressed hard against her own.

Suddenly he froze and his expression changed. His cheeks blushed with embarrassment.

"I... have to go," he mumbled. In a mad scramble, he was gone - putting his shirt on backwards as he fled.

"Don't... go..." But he was already gone.

She sat alone in the mud for what seemed like hours. What was done was done. There's no changing the past.

Kaja used the cold water to rinse the mud from her butt, and some goo from the soft fur of her tummy.

She got dressed slowly and walked back to town, alone.

They never talked again.

# # #

"Mom, I've got to go."

"Go?" Agra said. "But you just got here."

"No, I mean I've got to leave."

"Oh." Agra looked a little stunned. Life as she knew it was about to change. She tried to imagine her little girl out on her own, but couldn't. She felt dizzy.

Kaja, on the edge of tears since she came in, started bawling. "You're mad at me, aren't you?"

"No, don't be silly," her mother replied, taking the taller woman in her arms. "Moving out is part of growing up. I just didn't realize... it would be so soon."

Kaja wiped her tears and tried to smile.

"Do you think your father and I could have started our lives together if we were living at Grandma's house?"

Kaja sat in the big chair and her mother poured her tea.

"Have you found a place to stay?" Agra asked.

Kaja nodded slightly into her tea. "Nogg found me a place."

Agra made a foul face. It was clear what she thought of Goblins. "Whatever he asked for in rent, offer him half."

The Tauren's smile was genuine.

Kaja chewed on her lower lip. "Do you think Dad..."

Agra shook her head and sipped her own tea. "No, are you kidding? He'll never be ready for you to grow up. But he doesn't have much choice, does he?"

Kaja stared into her hot mug and rolled it slowly between her palms.

"Honey?" Agra stammered a bit and her daughter's encouraging smile helped her find the words. "I know you're all grown up and independent now, but would it be okay... if I helped pick out some stuff for your new place?"

And for the first time in what seemed like ages, the apartment overlooking the Drag felt like home.