Sequel to Chosen and I highly recommend you read that first or this might make no sense. For those of you who have been patiently awaiting the continuation of this story, thank you! I will change Chosen to add a note that the continuation is a separate story, and to designate Part 1 as complete.

Standard disclaimer applies: I don't own Predator and I don't think any are for sale. Also, I'm not making any money off of this. Enjoy...

Anya moped morosely for what had to be days. Hard to tell, since it was always night outside the windows and permanently twilight inside. There were four other bedrooms on the ship, private quarters complete with twin sleeping pallets each half the size of L'tor's but with no furs. Twice she'd picked one to nap in, and woke up in L'tor's bed. The unspoken message was subtle but clear; she'd have to be an idiot not to get it: you will sleep here. So for her next nap, she picked a pile of mats in the sparring room, passive-aggressively sending her own subtle, unspoken message: kiss my lily-white ass.

That was the first time she woke up not in L'tor's bed, but in one of the unused bedrooms, wrapped in a fur on the pallet. It had shocked then pleased her...until she banged face-first into the door when she tried to leave the room. Took her a bit to come to grips with the fact that she'd been locked in purposely, and no amount of pounding on the door or screaming at the top of her lungs changed that fact. After defiantly hollering at the door that she was 'not two years old anymore', she suddenly realized that she was damn well behaving like she was. If all her attempts at being an enormous pain in the ass hadn't worked to drive him off before, they sure as hell weren't going to work now that she was caught.

Shortly after Anya settled down, the door slid open and L'tor was standing there. Sitting on the bed, she tensed up, unsure, until he sent her a rumbling purr of greeting and held out a huge talon-tipped hand toward her. Somewhat mollified by the realization that she'd been given a time-out for bad behavior, she warily approached him, stopping just outside his reach. She watched his heavy brow draw lower to hood his fierce amber eyes as his rumbling, throaty purr went deeper and rougher, changing into a growl. Unnerved, she took a step back. The growl faded out and he lowered his hand as they stared at each other a moment, then he motioned at her with his chin and mandibles, then nodded his head to the side before turning away. She waited a moment, then followed.

L'tor led her to the eating room or mess hall or whatever it was supposed to be called on a spaceship. Food was already laid out and waiting. She had no idea if it was supposed to be breakfast, lunch or dinner, and though heavy on meats like every meal he offered her, there was a noticeable increase in other things. Strange fruits, some sort of soup, a bowl of rock-looking things that she realized were nuts. He'd been paying attention, then. Though she'd eat pretty much anything that she could fit in her mouth, she was far more omnivorous than he was.

He gestured toward the chair he'd raised specifically for her during her last visit, to let her sit more comfortably at the tall yautja-sized table. Her mind working, Anya sat, feeling herself deflating as L'tor sat near her, picked up a fruit that she'd tried before and had particularly liked, and handed it to her.

"Naxa," he rumbled, as she turned it in her hands. She'd never seen a whole one like this; dark purple, shaped like a lime but the size of a grapefruit, with a thick, heavy rind. Inside, she knew, it was citrus-like, sweet juicy purple-pink flesh that sectioned. L'tor held out his hand and she gave it back, then watched him pierce it with his thumbclaw near the stem, then proceed to carve a spiral into the rind, working his way down its length. He grasped the stem and worked it until it loosened, then peeled the skin off along the cut he'd made in one long spiraling piece, sectioned the innards along the seams, and handed it back in pieces. This was how she'd seen it before, ready to be eaten.

"Thank you," she said quietly, putting the sections on the metal plate in front of her. "Nacksa." She tried the word, then picked up a piece and bit into it. L'tor rumbled and she looked at him, seeing him dip his chin in approval.

The rest of the meal went on like that, L'tor handing her different foods and naming them, letting her study them, then taking them back and showing her how to prepare or eat them.

Anya followed along, paying close attention. Her punishment, apparently, was over and done with and now it was time to move on. She was aware of a sense of guilt over her childish behavior, and appreciation for the fact that there seemed to be a complete lack of any lingering anger or resentment from her captor. She did not want to be here and she was terrified of what was to come, but this was the way it was now and there wasn't anything she could do to change that fact. If she looked at it from L'tor's point of view, he was sort of stuck, too. Despite the fact that he'd basically kidnaped her, if he wanted kids, which apparently he did, this was the way he had to go about doing it.

The tension between them eased as he continued to patiently teach her over the course of the meal and she participated with avid, honest curiosity. She'd always been a voracious learner and a good student and she loved to try new things, especially if there was food involved. Resolving herself to just take it a day at a time and not allow herself to think too much on her situation and what the future might hold for her, she sampled everything, set aside whatever didn't agree with her tastebuds, and finished by trying to crack the nuts he'd shown her, then cracked apart between his thumb and the knuckle of his forefinger. Yeah, that wasn't doing it for her, no matter how hard she tried or which way she turned them, and the damned things were tasty. L'tor made a sound of amusement while he watched her struggle, but when she set the nut on the table and lifted the heavy metallic plate to start lining up one of the bottom edges on it, he agreeably gave in and shelled a half dozen for her.

After, he steered her toward the bathing room off his bedroom and motioned at the shower with one hand while the other went to his loincloth. Anya went rigid and the pound of assorted alien foodstuffs in her belly gurgled nervously. L'tor hesitated, seemed to consider, then took his hand away from his lower covering and approached her with a soft, reassuring purr. She took one step back then stood her ground, her fists clenching, staring at his black claws as they reached for her shirt. He pinched the fabric between his fingers at her shoulder, rubbing curiously, then let go and gestured toward the wall, where a cabinet top held what looked like a neatly folded pile of skins.

Sensing invitation, Anya went over to look, finding two separate garments made of something butter-soft and thin, with a flexibility to it. It was a soft golden-brown color, cut and stitched with neat precision into a midriff-baring tank top with thong ties, and a wide belt with flaps hanging front and back. For her, she guessed, and glanced down at her tee shirt and jeans. He wanted her to walk around looking like a reject from a B-Grade warrior flick. Great.

L'tor was tugging at the back of her tee again, pulling it up. She stiffened, then felt the pads of his big fingers touching the wounds he'd left on her, the teeth punctures in her trapezius muscle over her collarbone, then sliding across her skin to where his lower tusks had pierced her, one over her ribs on the right side, the other clear on the opposite side of her spine, just over her shoulderblade. She flinched a bit but let him examine them, wishing he had a mirror in his bathroom so she could see for herself, reasonably certain they were pretty horrific and would be hard to explain to anyone. He had two small fangs in his top jaw and a row of fang-like incisors below them; she'd seen what those teeth were capable of doing to meat.

With a grunt that gave her zero indication of his opinion on the status of the wounds, he abruptly tugged her shirt higher and pushed it over her head. She hissed as she raised her arms in reaction and the bite marks and punctures pulled, then she was shirtless except for her bra. When next he slipped his big finger into the back waistband of her jeans against her spine and tugged hard enough to shift her on her feet, she gave in a with a hasty, "Okay, okay," and unbuttoned them. She shed them but kept her bra and thong panties on, like a Victoria's Secret matching g-string and bra were an adequate anti-yautja barrier.

L'tor trilled in amusement when he saw yet another layer of clothing beneath his female's already confining clothes. He'd seen such before; sometimes when skinning a male ooman soldier he'd been surprised by how small it was under all the bulky layers of clothing it was wearing. It seemed such an oddly eccentric thing to him, but perhaps because oomans have such tender skins they felt the need to protect themselves in this way. No matter; this ooman female's skin was under his protection, and he reserved the right to touch it at will. No more covering her body with a complicated barrier of cloth that denied him his right.

For now, however, he exercised the self-control he was known for, despite the invitation of her scent and the almost-total baring of her body. Moving away, he went to the cabinet and pressed a panel on the front that slid open in reaction, then removed the small vial he'd placed there earlier. It contained a salve that would coat the breeding marks he'd given her, with a mild pain reducer. This would protect it from the sting of the shower or contact with clothing, but still allow it to heal naturally so that it would scar. He would minimize the discomfort they gave her but he intended for her to carry his marks for the rest of her life.

Anya flinched at the cold touch of the ointment but remained docile, as she had been since he'd released her from confinement. The punishment had worked well for both of them, it seemed. Locking her in one of the spare quarters had much reduced the scent of her heat as she'd wandered restlessly throughout his ship, giving him time to collect himself. Despite his desire and the fact that he was deeply under the thrall of his rut, she was in no mind to be bred again, filled with agitation and anxiety and defiantly refusing to settle down and behave as expected. He would give her time and space to become comfortable, and continue working with her. In the meantime he would console himself with the fact that soon enough, in season or not, he would regularly be making full use of her as his mate.

Finished with the careful and gentle application of the salve, he closed the vial and put it away, then checked to make sure it had dried well enough to coat the punctures, pleased when the light tapping of his fingers produced no more reaction. He purred to her, then guided her to the shower stall with its multiple heads. It was time to remove the stink of her home planet.

L'tor was aware that though she'd used the shower before, she'd never touched the bottles and jars lined up on an inside shelf. Keeping his loincloth on and allowing her to keep her tiny scraps on, he activated the shower and pushed her under the spray, then started a methodical demonstration of showing her the proper bottles and using them on her. This, for her fine fur, that for her soft skin. These were specifically formulated for ooman females by yautja scientists and expensive enough to be out of reach for most of the younger of his kind, especially the ones who procured a female immediately after their chiva. The yautja economy worked in two ways: goods were either bartered for or fought for. Those who did not take the time to exert themselves in an effort to obtain precious stones, minerals and metals or furs, meats and other in-demand items, had to do without or risk injury or worse in their effort to win the item from someone else.

After a proper cleansing he nudged her out of the shower and stepped in to take her place, pointing her toward the large sunken pool of hot water on the far side of the room. Like most of his kind, he was a clean being who took careful care with his grooming. Such was necessary when visiting foreign planets with previously unencountered pathogens, taking damage in the form of bites and scratches from alien beasts. Yautja had naturally caustic immune systems that protected them from most toxic or disease-causing agents, but they were still taught from an early age to be diligent in thoroughly cleansing themselves, particularly after a hunt.

One method of cleansing involved the luxury of the hot tub. While its primary ingredient was water, it also contained medicinal agents to remove contaminants and speed the healing of wounds. The additives made the water thicker and heavier, with a slightly astringent smell to it. When L'tor finished with his shower, he saw that Anya was standing beside it, frowning down into it. While she was still wearing the scraps of thin cloth that covered her female parts, he was now bare, and when she noticed she shrank aside at his approach.

He rumbled quietly to her, going still and waiting for her to meet his eyes. He supposed there was some feeling of vulnerability or shyness in his female that caused her to resist baring her body in his presence, but he intended her to get over it. Her habit of sleeping fully clothed was not only ludicrous in his mind but it bordered on disrespect for him. As her mate he had the right to her body. He had no interest in taking her by force, but if he did, no amount of clothing was going to keep her from him.

Anya looked up at him from under her brows, barely turning her face fully to him. Already, she smelt better to him after he'd washed the odors that had clung to her off. The scent of her femininity was reduced to a more tolerable level, and the chemical odor-blockers oomans used had been removed and replaced by the natural and more subtle scents of the cleansers he'd used on her. The remaining clothes would have to go, to be destroyed with the rest. From now on she would wear things that he was capable of easily removing from her, only one layer at a time. Any more was foolish and unnecessary.

"What?" she asked, as he continued to stare at her.

He chuffed. So ooman. Rising fear, a building sense of disquiet, then blatant disrespect. Again he had to remind himself that she was not yautja, and his interpretation of her behavior was not necessarily accurate. It made him wonder if he was going to spend the rest of her life walking around in a constant state of bristling agitation, schooling himself to not respond instinctively. There was something to be said for the advantages of taking an ooman mate while a youngster, instead of after achieving a higher rank.

He gestured at her and she watched his hand warily. "Off," he commanded her. She met and held his stare and again he was struck by her sheer boldness, his scalp tightening in response, causing his thick mane to rise from his crown and for his pulse to thrum down the length of his tresses, tingling beneath the tight rank rings that adorned it. He kept otherwise still and waited, though there was a large part of him that wanted to take immediate action. To step toward her and roar in the face of her defiance, sweep her small feet out from under her and guide her to the floor. Then to remove those scraps of clothing with his claws and force her submission with a demonstration of his dominance that would remind her who was male and who was female. Who was prey and who was hunter.

He chuffed again, this one ending in a low growl as he felt himself physically rousing in response to his thoughts. Yauja females had been larger and more powerful than the males, a necessary sexual dimorphism that prevented the extinction of their species. Had they been unable to fight amorous males off they would have been killed off eons before they ended up mysteriously fading out.

Now yautja were faced with the need to take a prey species as mate, one far smaller and weaker than themselves. Though he'd never experienced a yautja female himself, L'tor had heard the stories of their legendary tempers, and the effort and exertion required to breed with them. To breed an ooman female so vigorously would kill her, so yautja were forced to curb their aggression, their expectation of challenge as foreplay, and their instinctive desire to be rough. It was never an easy thing, but when faced with deliberate defiance that caused his temper to flare in response, L'tor found it borderline painful to resist responding.

"Why?" Anya demanded. He rumbled and closed his eyes, trying to steady his breathing and control his reaction. Everything a battle with her. Everything had to be hesitated over, questioned, debated. He drew in a long, deep breath and held it a moment, part of him sorting through the air he'd drawn, analyzing scents. Though instinctive, it had been a mistake, especially with the mood he was in. She was in heat, ripe with hormonal indicators that pulled at him. He could smell himself on her, too, proof that he'd successfully bred her, furthering his claim on this ooman. Those facts, coupled with his rising aggravation in response to her defiance made him want to stake a second claim immediately.

"Ane'ya," he growled, opening his eyes on her, wondering if he could hear the signs of his internal battle in his tone. If she were yautja, she would. Not only be able to hear and see it, but smell it. "Go." He would bathe alone instead of introducing her to the tub today.

Now she had the audacity to look affronted, then her eyes wandered down his length and paused on his building arousal, settling there for a moment before climbing back to meet his gaze.

"Kay," she said, then stiffly marched past him and to head out of the bathing room.

Agreement, for once. He held himself still as she vacated, though part of him wanted to lunge for her, catch her. Much training needed to be done. Taming. She was far too feral, and her adamant defiance set him off too easily, especially in concert with the ripe allure of her scent. The mixed signals she unwittingly broadcast had a direct effect on him. It would be one thing if she was seasoned enough to be aware of what she was doing and of the effect it had on him, capable of understanding his response. Since she didn't, he had to discipline himself to not take advantage of her, possibly hurting or frightening her in the process. Especially if she tried to refuse or fight him...he rattled roughly as he exhaled.

"An'eya," he called, hearing her pause behind him. "Clothes." He would not back down on this, and the bare minimum he expected for his concession for her was her concession for him. He waited a beat, listening with his keen hearing as she moved behind him. "Hko," he growled clearly and flatly, hearing her go toward the shower where he'd dropped her ooman clothes. The sound of her movement stopped, then he heard her let out a quiet sigh. Her soft feet whispered over the floor and she surprised him by coming back and circling to stand in front of him.

"I'm guessing that hukko would be no?" she asked quietly, staring up at his face.

He blinked lazily, mollified and mildly surprised by her surprising boldness. His exhalation rattled slightly in a modified purr. No doubt about it, she was interesting; the same daring impudence that could aggravate could also entice. "Sei-i."

Her lips twisted, then curved at their edges. His purr strengthened and warmed. This behavior reminded him why he'd chosen her. There was something about her that was not only curious but eager to please. Something that understood that he was not her enemy, that didn't want him to be displeased or angry with her. Something that rose up in her and dared her to to stand her ground.

"And I'm guessing that sigh-ee would be yes?" she asked, still holding her ooman smile, still staring directly at his eyes.

He released a long, low rumble. "Sei-i." He hadn't meant to begin teaching her his language so soon; there were other things to teach her that were far more important in his mind.

Her smile widened as she continued to hold his stare for a moment, then her eyes drifted downward, held, then rose. L'tor held still, aware he was being studied. That she recognized his arousal. Such a thing did not embarrass him; it was an acceptable response from a mature male faced by a mature female in season. Her body was issuing invitation and his body recognized and accepted that invitation.

From there, however, his mind was stayed by a barrage of conflicting instincts, thoughts, and memories. Instinct told him that when it came to his kind, a male yielded and waited for the female to signal acceptance. Memory and past experience told him that when it came to oomans it was his place to take the initiative. And his intellect was dangerously double-minded when it came to this; Anya was his mate and it was his right to take her when he wanted her, but he wanted her to be willing. He could take her; he had every right.

She shifted on her feet in front of him and didn't miss the flash of his eyes as they widened in response. For a moment he thought she was about to run and he'd almost lunged at her. When she stilled he settled himself, though he was aware by the tightness in his scalp that he was bristling, and he was sure that his n'dui'se was strong enough even for her weak ooman nose to detect, building in the small space between them.

"First you say come, then you say go. Then you say clothes, then you say no clothes." Her eyes dropped again to look at his aroused sex organ. "Does it get you off to give me mixed messages?" she asked boldly.

He repeated the question in his mind, mulling it over as he tried to discipline himself and apply his brain to thinking. "Get you off?" he echoed with a trill, unsure of the phrase and what it meant. Her eyes narrowed on him.

"Me? No. No, it doesn't," she said, confusing him further.

Hard enough normally to muddle through her language, expressions and gestures, trying to make sense of what she said versus what she meant, while taking her mannerisms into consideration. Impossible when most of his blood was concentrating in places other than his brain. The heat spreading over his body in response to his building excitement made him aware that his skin was starting to show its brighter colors more vividly, especially the reds and yellows, another indicator of his arousal. He stepped toward her and she shied away but didn't bolt.

"Your eyes," she said, her voice a little breathy as he paused and tried to collect himself and decide what to do. She was staring at him without blinking and he growled quietly. It was too late, he realized. He was feeling far too aggressive now, his thoughts a conflicting jumble that served only to build his aggression higher. He wanted her, she belonged to him, she was in heat, he was in rut...she was unsure of his intentions and frightened by his behavior, most definitely not receptive, and he was certain that he would be unable to be gentle and go slow with her at this point.

"Go!" he barked at her, his voice rough. Still, she hesitated, furrowing her small brow. The only way to end this standoff and calm himself down would be to remove himself from her presence. He chuffed harshly then barked again, and Anya jerked back, then slowly retreated.

"Bipolar motherfucker," Anya muttered to herself as she stormed off. She did not belong here, that was for sure. There wasn't much she could think of that would be scarier than a humongous, enraged yautja with a prominent hard-on, and that's what she was trapped here with, while dripping wet and wearing nothing but a bra and panties, no less.

She paced the ship's corridors with nervous agitation, her mind working. The meal was nice. Being not only fed but taught what the foods were and how to prepare and eat them had helped her to feel more empowered in this strange place. She already knew from the trip he'd taken her on previously that he ate like a lion, a huge serving primarily of meat, then nothing for a day or two. She was more of a nibbler, much smaller and more frequent meals, since she didn't like to gorge herself. He had paid attention and given her access to his larder, taking the time to prepare foods that he'd noticed she liked and cutting them into tiny pieces after watching her do it herself. All she had to do was open the door to the cooler and choose a bowl. Now she would not only be able to recognize different items in their various forms, she would be able to ask specifically, if some wasn't prepared already.

Then the bath. While a little nerve-wracking what with the undressing and all, ultimately that had been nice, too. It still surprised her how gentle he was capable of being, and the heat of his huge, strong hands combined with the firm massage he'd given her as he'd worked the pleasantly-scented stuff into her skin and hair had been relaxing, especially after all she'd eaten. All she'd had to do was brace herself against the wall of the enclosure with her hands while he slid those massive paws all over her body, emitting that gentle, mesmerizing purr the entire time.

And from there it all went downhill. Come over here, go over there...where'd he get off being so bossy all of a sudden? She knew, she just knew that the whole nice and considerate and gentle thing of before had all been an act. This was a yautja, for crap's sake. Now it was caveman time. Apparently she would spend the rest of her life being grunted at. With a hard-on pointed at her for added effect.

She slapped her palm against the engine room door, unsurprised when it refused to open. No dummy, she wasn't about to just walk into it again, blindly expecting it to open.

Now what? Anya wondered, letting out a quiet sigh. Her agitation hadn't faded and she wasn't comfortable, A: wandering around an alien spaceship, B: only wearing a thong and bra, and C: knowing that somewhere there was a naked yautja who was in a pissy mood and clearly turned on. D, she thought automatically, all of the above.

She set to walking again, unconsciously keeping to the rounded walls of the corridors instead of confidently striding down the center. A good portion of her agitation was the simple fact that she couldn't shake the mental image of L'tor just before he'd ordered her to go. The last time, that is, not the first time. The first time had been impressive enough, but the last time...she shivered. His normally dark coloration had been more striking, highlighted by the normally more muted but suddenly much brighter colors she hadn't really noticed before. Veins of yellow that had turned vibrant, outlining the splotches of deep forest green. Bold chevrons of red down his arms and legs, following the curve of each rib, standing out over his wide shoulders and highlighting his crest. What had been formerly subtle and unnoticeable was suddenly brilliant, his normally muted and somewhat dinghy coloration made dramatic and eye-catching.

The effect was backed by the sheer blackness of his strange, fleshy tresses, the glittering in the low lighting of the bands that decorated it. The fierce amber of his gaze had been glowing and intense until it was blotted out by the steady dilating of his black pupils, a scary thing that reminded her of a cat she and Chrissie had had as children. When they would charge it up with a good dose of catnip and tease it with a string its eyes would go black like that, basically a warning that it was out of his freaking mind and about to go postal. On L'tor it sure as hell had backed her up, especially when he stepped toward her and tried to reach for her, painfully aware that in this case he was the hopped-up cat and she was the string.

And dead center of it all, brought into bold relief by the lighter cream coloration of his belly, had been a prominent and darkly colored reminder that he was not only male, but aroused. Anya licked her lips as she mentally pictured him again, honestly amazed that she had, um...handled that. Not only handled that, but gotten off on that, something that rarely ever happened before. Any guy she took to bed was damned well expected to finish the job, but actual intercourse, while it was enjoyable as hell, was never what got her off. Well, maybe it had the first few times she'd had sex, but when she became more experienced there were other things she preferred and she couldn't remember the last time something as mundane as fucking had made her cum.

She snorted as she followed a curve in the corridor, subconsciously steering clear of L'tor's quarters to avoid running into him again. Mundane wasn't exactly the right word for what he'd done to her, she remembered. There was nothing mundane about a three hundred fifty pound killing machine bending you over your own bed, holding you down and fucking your brains out. She knew from the classes she'd had to take in school that yautja run at a higher temperature than humans, but she'd had no idea and had never wondered what that meant sensation-wise when one was fucking you. Honestly, she couldn't help but think that was part of the reason she'd gotten off. The heat, not only inside but all around her. Just thinking about it gave her a little shiver again, and she damned well knew that if she hadn't made a hasty exit a few minutes ago she would be feeling that heat again. The thought didn't repel her but his current mood sure as hell had.

The realization stilled her and she looked around guiltily before subsiding. Of course she wouldn't mind having her brains screwed out; it was just that she was thinking that about a godamned yautja. One with a cock like a battering ram, with huge hands that held her down and still beneath him as he grunted lustily and used it on her with authority. She'd always had a thing about that; not about yautja, since she'd never even considered going there, but about being restrained and dominated. Any guy who'd tried had been refused with extreme prejudice because the mere idea repelled her. She determined the pace of things, where they would go, how they would go. If they would go. For the first time in her life, she'd been given no choice in the matter, and though she should feel violated by that fact the truth was...she'd gotten off. Hard and fast, even. Explosively. Everything had set her off: the purring, the heat, the grunting and growling, the hardness of his hands, the roughness of his hide, the easy strength at his disposal, the strong alien scent pouring off him.

Even, she realized, that darkly skinned alien cock. Filling her up more than she'd thought she could possibly accommodate, hitting every button including ones she never realized she'd had. Thank god she hadn't actually seen the thing before he'd used it on her; the sight of it alone would have given her an epic panic attack. Now that she had seen it, she couldn't stop staring at it. Hell, he was making zero effort to cover it up or try and disguise the fact that he was aroused, standing there proud as shit, all glowing and colorful and riled up. Could conduct an orchestra with that thing. Use it as a kickstand.

Anya giggled quietly, aware that she was actually relaxing from the tense confrontation in her captor's washroom. Whatever had happened, once again it hadn't ended in her being harmed in any way. From past experience she was relatively certain that he could have forced himself on her and made sure she damned well enjoyed it, too, but instead he'd sent her off. The realization helped calm her and make her feel somewhat safe again, not like a trapped mouse being stalked by a starving cat.

Eventually she settled in the room with the huge conference table and chairs, staring pensively out the window at a decidedly fake looking panorama of stars and space, waiting for the Starship Enterprise to cruise past. The pervasive heat of her surroundings had successfully dried her off, and after stewing in her own juices for awhile and wondering unsuccessfully what she should do, she heard a low, rumbly purr beside her chair.

L'tor. Clad in an artfully wrapped loincloth with drapes and panels, his heat and beer scent much more mild, he looked from the window at her. His pupils had shrunk back down to a more normal size, and his amber gaze followed the curve of her body on the seat of the chair. His upper tusks lifted and she watched his chest expand as he drew in a deep, quiet breath, then his heavy brow pulled lower and the brightness of his deeply-set eyes was lost in the shadow.

He grunted, then thrust the bundle in his hand at her. "Clothes," he growled, then lightly dropped them in her lap. Unsure, she picked the light, soft bundle up and realized this was the Jungle Jane outfit he'd shown her in the washroom.

Without another word or even a sound, he abruptly turned and left the room, toe claws tapping against the metal floor hidden in the mist, and Anya flushed as her mind suddenly jumped and made a connection that had been unclear before. Before it had all gone so wrong, she'd gone to get her jeans and tee shirt when he'd told her 'clothes'. Apparently he'd meant these clothes, not those. Oops.

She was aware, much later as she was woken from a sound sleep in L'tor's bed wearing a bra, thong and Xena, Warrior Princess outfit, of the shifting of the furs around her and an amused-sounding trill that deepened before fading out.

"An'eya," L'tor rumbled quietly. "No clothes in bed." He backed his statement up by tugging at the thick sash-like belt around her hips hard enough to rock her from lying on her side onto her back.

"Dude..." she groaned sleepily. "Gotta make up your mind..."

He chuffed softly as he settled beside her, again battling his offended reaction to something she said. This time it was not only the name 'dude' but the inference that his mind was not made up. He was just starting to bristle when she rolled toward him and squirmed close enough to tuck her body against his before she settled again and her breathing evened out into the steady pattern of sleep. It stilled him and he eased himself down on the bedding, relaxing as he decided this was an improvement. Not only had she chosen to sleep in his bed where she belonged, but aware or not, she was showing affection, despite their earlier failure to connect. For now he would allow the clothes but tomorrow was another day.