I believe I've made it amply clear in the preceding 8 chapters that this a Mature-rated story, but the prevalence of attorneys in this country makes me paranoid so I'm doing it again. Also pointing out that while the story and characters are mine, I don't own the concept of Predator, and I am making zippo on this naughty little hobby. Love you guys!

The head of the Research Division was trying again, refusing to give up, but Synsen was finished with dealing with him, satisfied that his pet had given them both her answer. Let them pester another to relinquish custody of his ooman female pet. He'd held up his part of the agreement he had made when he'd visited the lab on the clan ship, to allow his pet to see the ooman males for herself, and make her own decision whether she preferred their company over his.

He turned from blocking incoming transmissions to study her again, pleased that she seemed to have settled down. He had not intended the altercation that had occurred prior to the scientist's call, and now he mulled it over as he sipped his liquor. Clearly he had underestimated his own self-control when put to the test by his pet's scent of estrus; in retrospect he had behaved too aggressively when she refused him. He had calmed considerably since, flush with success that in spite of his behavior, she still chose him over her own kind.

Now he was trying one of the tactics he'd read in the journals: alcohol. He was being careful to only partake lightly himself, not wishing to take the chance of relinquishing the already tenuous hold he was struggling to maintain over his instincts. He did not expect much for the first time he bred her, only that she lower her level of defiance and relax enough to allow him to keep his wits about him instead of pricking his aggression. If he could successfully mount her he didn't doubt that he would finish quickly, and hopefully gently enough to lessen her irritating refusal for the next time.

"Will not break arms," he said now, and didn't miss his pet's flinch, followed by her direct, assessing stare. She blinked after a moment, then her fleshy lips parted and she bared her teeth at him, a reaction that in the past had caused him to discipline her. Now, however, he remembered that it wasn't necessarily a sign of aggression, though he was still wary of the behavior as it indicated heightened emotion.

"Thanks for that, at least," she said, keeping her teeth bared up at him. Her skin, he noticed, was flushed, the alcohol raising the blood just beneath the surface and causing her to glow enticingly in his vision. He lifted his mandibles and sent her a throaty purr without thinking, an instinctive invitation in reaction to a female in season showing an interest in him. She recovered her teeth and furrowed her brow, still staring at him, and her failure to either return the purr or look away with disinterest reminded him that he wasn't dealing with a yautja female. "I notice you didn't say anything about not killing me, though," she said, her tone lower.

He blinked, breaking off their stare as he looked away and chuffed quietly, then raised his goblet to his mouth. Killing her right now was the furthest thing from his mind, and he was unsure why she should bring it up in tandem with mating. Instead of letting the thought aggravate him, he dwelt instead on the victorious fact that he alone was worth more to her than five males of her own kind. She could continue challenging him all she wanted, provided she kept drinking; he would simply force himself to stillness and wait, letting the alcohol take affect. For now he drew in a quiet breath, reveling in her scent and swelling his chest with a deep draught of it. He could taste it in his mouth, feel it create a surge of warm arousal, and refused to allow himself to look at her in order to maintain his self control.

The tactic worked; shifting his direct attention off of his pet served to help him calm himself, and after a short time he was aware of her posture easing more as she calmed as well. To occupy himself, he dwelt on her defiant challenge, then her perplexing behavior in response to his answering it. He'd gotten the knife at her request and for a short time it seemed to calm her. He was aware from his research and reading through the sealed records that her kind did not respond favorably to the roughness and aggression that a female yautja required, and for a moment that seemed to be true for her as well. Then suddenly she had snapped back and raised the knife at him, and when she did that, all his self-control and ordered thoughts were lost as he reacted to the challenge and threat instinctively. Swiftly subdued and restrained, she'd calmed, then just as quickly she'd struck out again when he'd attempted to stroke her.

He growled quietly then shook his head briskly in irritation, shifting his lower mandibles, still aching from the abrupt contact with the top of her hard skull. None of the females written of in the sealed records had been warriors; perhaps that was the issue here. It could be that she was of a much higher rank, and therefore had higher expectations for a breeding partner. Unlike them, she was bold and fierce. He considered that he could not be gentle with her, that he must behave decisively and firmly.

"So, killing is still on the table, I take it?" she asked, her tone rougher. Synsen glanced at the nearby table surface automatically, on the one hand puzzling over her words, on the other hand suddenly made aware that it was waist-high and therefore might be the perfect place to introduce his pet to her new role.

"On tay-bull. Sei-i," he rumbled agreeably, warming up to the idea. She stiffened, back to staring at him. He was aware of it but refused to look back at her, predatorily conscious that a direct stare would alarm her. After a moment she blinked, then tilted her cup and looked into it.

"You're an asshole. You know that?" she asked her drink.

"Sei-i," he agreed to the second question, knowing the word and that it was an insult, but unintentionally missing the part where she was informing him he was one. He was, after all, only vaguely paying attention to her, determined not to let her rile him up again while mentally trying to solve the riddle of how to gain her acceptance. On the one hand, she was his pet, his property. On the other hand, she was a female in ripe condition for a good pauking, and his honor and station first and foremost demanded that he conduct himself with the utmost integrity.

His pet looked at him again as he maintained his sideways vigil, then she snorted. "So, what now? Should I just get on the table and get it over with, asshole?"

At that, he finally turned his head and looked at her. She stood her ground and stared back at him defiantly. "Sei-i," he growled, starting a slow, dangerous burn between annoyance and arousal again, this time catching the name she'd called him.

"Well shit," she said, inexplicably. "I didn't ask to be here, you know. It's not my fault you trashed your stuff. If you'd just let me go when I asked nicely, this all..." She trailed off to blessed silence in the midst of motioning indirectly with her goblet, then huffed. "Shit."

Synsen eyed his pet, sensing surrender. He waited, held in tension. The records had only contained the one Arbitrator's account; most of the others had been recorded by badBloods, with a smattering of other warriors whose females had willingly served as lou-dte kale in exchange for their protection and keeping. Part of him expected his pet to behave appropriately, to show submission. Even, he hoped, to take the initiative, now that she'd made her decision and understood without question what was expected of her. He was not a badBlood and was determined not to sink to their level, using force to earn her submission. Unless, perhaps, force was what she required of him for a mating? He rumbled tensely, still unsure.

"Shit," she said again.

He dared to switch his eyes and look at her from their corners. "C'jit, sei-i," he rumbled. She stiffened and stared at him.

"Why're you agreeing with me?" she demanded. "You don't have to do this, you know. We were rolling along just fine before you decided to go and get freaky on me. Go back to the other ship and get laid."

Synsen chuffed quietly, grasping the point of her suggestion though he hadn't understood the terms. "Mating season over."

His pet blinked out of her direct glare, then furrowed her brows. "Okay..."

"You in heat."

Her rigidity increased. "I'm not in heat. Humans don't do that." He rumbled, then gaped and huffed pointedly, drawing her scent in. She colored visibly, her reaction to his bold demonstration heightening his arousal. Since she didn't object, he huffed again, more slowly this time, indulging himself. She was emitting a formidable bouquet, different than a yautja female's heat scent but just as compelling. Sweeter, lighter, softer, but somehow just as potent and alluring; it was no wonder that his kind had taken notice. "Stop," she said quietly. "I don't feel like being charged again."

Synsen considered her words, pleased that though they were defiant, her tone wasn't. "If Synsen pet will only submit to pain, Synsen will give Pet pain," he offered.

She jerked back sharply and he checked the urge to pursue, though if she attempted to put anymore distance between them, he would. Her mouth opened as if she was about to speak, then closed slowly. She blinked through her stare, a bit rapidly at first before subsiding, then she scowled and looked away. Though part of him was chafing at how long it was taking him to gain her acceptance, he focused more on the part of him that had steeled itself with predatory patience and settled in to wait her out. There was no hurry. No chance of another male interrupting and possibly gaining her attention. He would leave it to her to indicate how she wished to be taken, keeping his honor intact no matter the outcome.

Hoooleee crap. I shifted my stance nervously, my belly flipping out as Synsen borderline threatened me in the course of propositioning me. The intensity, the gleam in his eyes, all that made sense now. And the knife, shit, apparently that little game had been foreplay.

What to do, what to do, my brain chanted, sending my eyes darting frantically all over the place as I searched for an out. They settled on the doorway to the bathing room and my bladder informed me that I needed to pee. My brain tagged the request as urgent, escalating its level of importance right up the chain of command, bypassing any thought process and going right to my mouth. "I gotta..." I heard myself saying, as my right arm lifted and lamely motioned at the door, "...before..."

The intensity of Synsen's stare tripled, then he grunted and looked away. I took that for permission and downright scampered, cup in hand, for the potty. My thoughts were in an uproar over my mouth's tacking on that last vague word and demanding clarification.

Before I explode, I thought, climbing onto the huge commode.

That's not how he took it, the next thought informed me.

Alcohol, stat, my brain informed my hand, and my hand automatically lifted the cup to my mouth. I emptied it as I emptied my bladder, then thought about asking Synsen for more, enough that maybe I would black out. Something advised me that he wouldn't go for that; oh no, the sadistic bastard would want me awake and aware for what he had in mind, and if I managed to drink myself unconscious he would probably hold off and wait until I came back around.

Peeing finished, I dithered around a moment before my eyes settled next on the hot tub. Dive! Dive! Dive! my brain chanted like the PA system on a submarine. Brilliant! If it's my smell that's setting Synsen off then the logical thing to do was bathe, maybe tone it down or eliminate it altogether. Without hesitation, I set the empty goblet on the edge of the tub and slid into the hot water, then dipped beneath the surface for as long as I could hold my breath. And when I came back up for air, the first thing I saw was that I had company.

Synsen studied me a moment and I sank in the water to my chin. His gaze was still molten but I didn't know if that was just a continuation of his intensity, or if it meant he was now angry. He stepped closer to the edge of the small pool, sipped from his goblet, then tugged his loincloth off with his free hand. It came undone, slithering around his narrow waist and thick thighs as he pulled it, then he turned away and carried it off to the wall panel that led to the dirty clothes bin. He set his goblet on the surface nearby, then strolled to the steps and came into the tub.

I'm going to throw up, my stomach announced, panicking, and I swallowed thickly and adamantly told it off.

Just calm down. Goddamnit, the alcohol was making itself known and taking over now...fuck it. I held still as Synsen approached, figuring he couldn't get me in a face-down ass-up position in the water so I was safe for the time being. Despite his continued intensity he was moving at a leisurely pace, gliding closer through water that was chest-deep for him and pushing a pressure wave in front of him. I allowed it to move me back from him a bit, bobbing as I lifted my feet off the bottom. He sidestepped his last stride and moved behind me, and in response I immediately braced myself, then felt a touch on the top of my head. I stiffened as he held the contact, huffing, then he exhaled in a warm rumble and said the last thing I'd expected to hear.

"N'got, pet."

I blinked and actually felt relief. Bad news: he still liked whatever it was he could smell, so the soak hadn't worked. Good news: he wasn't pissed at my impromptu decision to take a dip. There wasn't enough alcohol in the ship to make me forget his ominous words that advised me he wasn't above hurting me if that was the only thing I would respond to. And damn him, he did have a valid point: I did submit to any application of pain, usually pretty damned quickly. Synsen was particularly adept at knowing exactly how and where to hurt me to force my compliance. Question was, did I intend to go along with this or would he be compelled to hurt me to get his way? I honestly still wasn't sure.

He kept his toothy, tusky mouth pressed firmly to the top of my head, breathing roughly on me. While it wasn't doing anything for me, I had a bad feeling it was doing something for him. Clearly his sense of smell ranked pretty highly in importance and had the ability to cause a reaction in him. He rumbled again, a long sustained sound that was joined by a building purr, then faded out and was replaced by it.

Damnit, that sound again. And its impact was maximized by the numbing of the alcohol in my system. Must be his sexy get-it-on sound, I thought, then giggled softly. Most men had a fairly obvious come-on voice; Synsen had a whole separation vocalization for this particular mood. It tripped up a pace and I watched the concentric rings that the vibrating baritone formed in the water around us, expanding and pushed outward by each successive thrum. Then there was another disturbance, the silky glide of the water being stirred behind me, and I went rigid as Synsen's huge hands closed on either side of my ribs. He closed his hands until I jerked, then immediately loosened his grip and refastened it lower, around my waist. Another steadily building squeeze between his thumbs and fingers until I objected, then he moved lower, to my hips. There the squeeze wasn't so objectionable and he let out a rumble as he gripped tightly then eased off. I let out the breath I'd been holding, easy at first but then huffing as it occurred to me what he'd been doing: testing handholds.

Why you calculating sonuva- I was thinking as I started to move away from him, but his hands closed around my upper arms, just above the bends of my elbows. He lifted just a bit, enough to bring me to a jarring halt as I winced at what felt like a squirt of acid inside my left shoulder joint. Thing was still pissed off about being dislocated, and warning me that it wouldn't have much tolerance for being messed around with. I stamped like an irritated horse, then gave in and backed up. Synsen's grip loosened in reward as he let my elbows down, his purr strengthening against my back.

His purr thrumming an instinctive, ancient tune, Synsen held still and gloried in momentary conquest. That faded as he puzzled again over how, exactly, oomans mated. Did they prefer to couple in the water, and that was the reason he'd found her here? The thought honestly didn't thrill him, but then he remembered there'd been no mention of aquatic matings in any of the records he'd so painstakingly pored over. The badBloods had taken their female captives in whatever way they'd personally preferred, and the Arbitrator had been mute on the details, but had made it clear that his female had initiated and taught him what she preferred.

With that thought in mind, he settled in to wait, maintaining his steady purr and confident that the next move would be made by his pet. He had already calculated to find the optimal place to hold her, around the delicious swells of her hips. Her flesh yielded beneath his hands, so different than a yautja female. Everything was similar, but different, and that only added to her exotic allure. Hair instead of tresses, soft smooth skin instead of thick hide, a comparatively diminutive size and a total lack of natural defenses. He would never dare to be this bold with his own kind's females, nor would they allow him to. The anticipation of what was to come only increased his lust, though he showed his pet his respect for her status as female by waiting while she prepared herself before indicating he could proceed.

He amused himself by toying with the strands of her hair, deftly twisting them around his tusks with slight, precise movements of his mandibles, drawing the perfume of her condition in with every inhalation. Her hairs weren't nearly as sensitive as his fleshy tendrils, and made for an excellent handhold to gain not only control of her head, but her full attention.

"You're tying knots in my rat's nest," she said, her tone flat, "and I'm starting to pickle."

He stilled, but despite his best efforts the only words he understood were you, my and I'm. Her tone spoke volumes, though, and told him she was ready to move on. Reluctant to lose possession of her now that he had her in hand and subdued, he grunted and squeezed her arms, then started forward toward the steps. She moved willingly, though her attempts to tug her arms free of his loose grip didn't escape his notice. Instinct made him tighten his grip momentarily, then he regained self control and let her go. She wasn't a yautja female, capable of turning and doling out damaging punishment for his carelessness. If she chose to run it would only invigorate him, and with the door to his quarters securely locked her freedom was limited.

Pleased with himself and still resolutely determined to let his pet determine the pace of their mating, Synsen trailed her up the steps, then briskly shook himself off as she took the time to dry herself with a hide. He stayed close to her, unconsciously unable to help himself from behaving as if there might be others nearby who might dispute his claim to this female. Civilized discourse had never tainted the mating rites of his kind. As with the need to hunt it was motivated by feral, primitive instinct. Confronted by a female in season, discussion was over and talking was the furthest thing from his mind. He maintained only enough ability to think as was necessary, driven instead by his body's reactions.

"I need water," his pet informed him. He blinked, then glanced at the pool, then back at her. "To drink," she clarified, her expression altering as her brows furrowed. "My being dehydrated ain't gonna make this any easier for either of us, trust me."

He blinked again and rumbled. Water to drink, he understood, but why she would decide that now was the time to drink was mystifying to him. And the rest of her words were a confusing muddle in which he failed to hear any invitation to proceed.

She sighed, glanced around, then looked at the shower. "Can I drink that water?" she asked, pointing at the enclosure. He looked at the shower, then at her. "Oh my god, did your brain fall out or something?" she asked, her temper rising. "What the hell is up with you?" she demanded. When he did nothing but continue to stare at her, resolutely waiting for her to initiate the expected proceedings, she set her spine and headed around the pool. He followed and watched her pick up her empty goblet, then continued to follow her into his quarters and to the exit door. "Open it, genius," she ordered, motioning.

Ah, she wished to choose a suitable location. That, he understood, and reached past her to unlock the door's mechanism. She headed out with him on her heels and he followed her to the kitchen, hovering nearby while she filled her cup with fresh water, drained it without taking a breath, then refilled it. He chattered at her as she resumed drinking, slowly made aware of a sense of disrespect, that her need to drink was a delaying tactic specifically calculated to take full advantage of the respect and patience he was displaying for her. He had a healthy ego, and though he would tolerate much from the opposite sex, this was trying his nerves.

Lowering the cup with a drawn-out sigh, his pet said, "Yeah, you're right. Now you'll probably pop my bladder." Looking from her goblet of water at him, she asked, "Any chance I can take a piss without an audience?"

He cocked his head and sent her a purr, pleased by the return of her attention and not giving a damn about trying to translate her words. She blinked, her face expressive and open though he couldn't discern what she was projecting, then she smiled. "I can't believe that I think I actually like this Synsen," she said. "You're a goofball when you're horny, you know that?"

His purr, which had settled to a more sedate pace and volume, tripped up again as he recognized and latched onto her words enough to understand that she liked Synsen. Acceptance! His patience had paid off.

"Whoah, whoah, whoah," she barked, backing as he started to advance. Already his mind was spinning off rapid calculations, informing him that his usual methods wouldn't work with her. She was too small to knock to the floor and comfortably mount...however, the table and counter would do nicely to increase her height. He growled at her rebuke and refusal, then she put her free hand on his chest and said, "Slow down."

Her touch stilled him, and though he understood her words he mulled them over as he quelled the instinct to take her down. Slow down? Could this courtship move any slower? He grumbled, wondering if her species required extensive mating rituals, then dismissed the thought. This courtship had gone on for an entire mating season already. He had more than proven himself as an exceptional male, and she had ultimately chosen to stay with him.

He growled again, dashed out of that place of anticipatory instinct and knocked back into reality. This female was toying with him. Teasing him. Still challenging him.

Perhaps it was part of her necessary mating ritual, part of him hedged. Pay attention to it. Learn from it. Use it.

"Okay, okay, I got my water," his pet was saying as he stared at her, mulling. "Don't start getting all painful on me."

She skirted around him and headed out of the kitchen and down the hall. He trailed, chittering and agitated until they ended up back in his quarters. She set the goblet on a surface near the bed, then boosted herself up onto the furs.

The bed? he thought. Was she preparing herself for sleep now?

"Okay...awkward..." she muttered under her breath.

He considered as she sat there, waiting. Beds were for sleeping, not mating. While he had on occasion been invited into the private quarters of a female for an encounter, the only female who had he'd ever shared a bed with was his pet. Matings were brief and had been violent before he'd become adept at properly securing his partners; the ones who had led him on tantalizing chases to their quarters were seeking privacy that would guarantee he would sire their pups, instead of taking the chance of being interrupted and allowing their fickle instincts to choose another. He understood the female condition of being in lust, and respected it enough to realize that a female who chose privacy for mating was honoring him by proving she'd specifically selected him.

He took in his pet's position and huffed as he tried and failed to see any signs of invitation. She was neither refusing nor welcoming him, merely staring back at him. It had become her habit to retreat to the bedding to show her submission, forestalling his wrath with a signal that she needed her rest. He had allowed this, having learned since acquiring her that oomans required a tremendous amount of sleep compared to yautja. This place had therefore become neutral territory and either one in it was accorded respect, the other maintaining silence.

"Fuck it, I can't do this," his pet muttered, then broke eye contact and slid to the floor. Of her words, the only one that registered was fuck...pauk, in his language. In the split second between his hearing that word and her attempt to bypass him, he reacted.

It was his habit to be decisive and take firm control, and without conscious thought he caught his pet and lifted her, momentarily surprised by how light she was, then banged her firmly onto the surface of the nearby table. Strong females don't respect a weak or indecisive male and he knew it. Once they made their decision, they needed to be put on notice and taken in hand before they had time to reconsider. Such firm aggressiveness assured them that they'd made the right decision, that the male they'd chosen was properly assertive and dominant and fully prepared to quickly meet their needs with a minimum of fuss.

She let out a startled sound that was cut off by a grunt when she impacted the table, snatching and clawing deliciously at his arms. As he hadn't intended to initially be quite so rough with her body he forced himself into a hard check, bridling the adrenaline coursing through his muscles. She took advantage of his hesitation, snarling and planting her feet on his belly then attempting to shove him back.

Interesting... he mused as he cocked his head, purring fervently to help calm her and taking in her inviting position. He wasn't oblivious to her resistance but simply accepted it as the normal course of things. This, to him, was the part where he proved his experience by subduing and positioning her without harming her. Hurting her, however, was still a definite possibility if she insisted on forcing him to be rough with her, though that went both ways. As far as he was concerned, a little pain went hand in hand with a good pauk, and he wore his mating scars with pride. The females he was familiar with liked to leave behind marks like souvenirs of conquest. He didn't suppose his pet would be capable of doing so, with her blunt claws and teeth, but she was welcome to try.

She grunted with effort as her feet shoved into his midsection again, and he obliged her by taking a single backward step from the table as he released his hold on her. His movement seemed to catch her offguard, allowing him to easily close his hands around her ankles and pull her legs apart, then tug her closer feet-first. She bucked but he held her easily, aware that her soft flesh was glowing with arousal, hearing her quiet growling as she struggled. Her strongest efforts were akin to the muted protests of the yautja females who had chosen him to mate with but were putting him to the test. That she was actually angry didn't concern him; in his experience, female mating urges and anger were closely intertwined, one feeding off the other.

He did, however, take notice when she suddenly reared up on the table as he strong-armed her into a better position, then latched onto his tresses, braced, and pulled. Had she dared this any other time he would have been enraged. Those blunt claws he'd just dismissed a moment ago suddenly had more substance as they dug into the softer, thinner scaling of his sensitive locks and gained purchase, tearing through delicate cuticle. Though he growled, the sound lacked the rebuke that would normally back it, and he leaned into her willingly as she hauled back with the weight and strength of her upper body. She stopped pulling as he lowered himself over her, huffing with excitement, mandibles spread and eyes avid.

The bath had muted her scent a bit, but it was rising again in her fervor. Invited into her aura, Synsen helped himself to deep draughts of it, his growl still trickling from his throat as his purring held steady. His pet froze, still clinging to his tresses but no longer pulling, staring at him as he huffed hotly over her belly. The alienness of her aroma triggered the return of some of his senses, reminding him of where he was and what he was doing, backing off some of the mental haze created by the lust that was steadily taking him over.

"Well, that was stupid," she muttered, the meaning of her words lost on him. He heard only encouragement and dared to dip closer still, excited by the subtle nuances of her scent and eager to take them in and attempt to interpret them. Her cringing and the nervous clenching of her belly at the contact of his outstretched tusks went unnoticed. He felt the warmth of her body against his chin and gums and huffed more deeply and slowly in reaction, his exhalations chirring rhythmically in pleasure.

Mine, he thought, enormously pleased with himself. His female, available for his pleasure. No need to hurry, no competition, no threat of rejection; this conquest was all about him, his wants and needs, for once not an opportunity but a right he'd earned over countless years. He'd distinguished himself from most of his peers by not only surviving long past them, but by achieving the honored title of Arbitrator. He'd been entrusted to guard the honor of his clan, an endeavor he and the other Arbitrators each undertook alone. His record of successes spoke volumes on his behalf: Bahko, female-killer; Skemte, traitor to his pack, whose dereliction of duty had resulted in his Leader's death; Vk'leita, the treacherous student who'd killed another and claimed his trophies on his chiva. There had been others, many more, but these were notorious badBloods and had evaded detection and avoided the Arbitrators until Synsen had hunted them down and erased their stain from the collective honor of his clan. He was deserving of an eccentricity, a harmless indiscretion. He'd tested the reactions of others and though all suspected he was mating with his pet and some had questioned him, the only one to show outright disapproval was Ne'himikta.

So soft. So intoxicating. There was a slightly acrid tang to her scent that put him on notice that she was feeling fear as she remained submissively still, and it only aroused him further. Fierce and defiant ooman sain'ja, killer of kainde amedha and oomans, wounder of an yautja Arbitrator, rejecting her own kind and choosing him, then submitting and showing proper deference for his aggression by allowing a subtle scent of fear to leak from her pores. He moved his head incrementally lower, toward the place where the scent of female was strongest, breathing roughly in his excitement. She had invited – no, demanded – him to partake, to delay positioning her and instead to immerse himself in the richness of her aroma. Showing him her needs, teaching him the final steps necessary to properly prepare her and make her more pliable and receptive.

Never one to refuse the desires of a female in heat, Synsen hovered his mouth over the open juncture between his pet's legs and sucked in a breath, upper mandibles lifted to their limits. Heat and dampness slid over his upper palate and bathed his olfactory organ like wet silk, perfumed with tantalizing hormones. She shifted her legs like a protest, unable to refuse him, then pulled upward at his tresses. He resisted, another thing he wouldn't dare with a yautja female. Not yet, pet, he thought, interpreting her actions as an eager command to move on. First, he intended to so familiarize himself with every nuance of her scent that recognizing her receptiveness would be second nature, ensuring him would never miss an opportunity in the future, no matter how subtle the invitation.

Adamantly determined to be in control, not in the way of yautja matings where the female momentarily submitted and allowed him to be but because this was his pet and he was n'yaka-de, master, Synsen continued to linger, to saturate his senses while memorizing her fragrance. It seemed, in his mind, to be growing stronger, its demand intensifying. Easily equal to the demand his pet was putting on his tresses as she tugged impatiently. His rumble droned almost tonelessly, caught between soothing and rebuking her, barely audible over his avid purring. The primitive dominant in him was gnashing its teeth and demanding he take her now, while the honorable intellectual insisted that he take care to learn her properly. And then he allowed himself to take a liberty he had never dared before, chattering quietly before throwing caution aside and widening his gape enough to extend his tongue and taste.

His pet bucked her hips forcefully enough to lift her backside off the table, yowling. The sound coming out of her was throaty, its timbre noticeably unusual. One quick swipe, one taste was not enough, so he extended his tongue again, letting it linger this time, flexing against the damp heat between her legs as he drew in a breath. Another sound from his pet, something between shock and protest, and he determinedly tightened his hold to keep her pinned to the table. Her te'dqi was molten in comparison to her skin, ensuring him that his organ would find her core temperature more than adequate for his comfort, and the taste of female and salt made his mouth water. His tongue writhed, curious and testing, seeking to educate him regarding the location and tightness of her entrance, the texture of her passage. She whimpered as he probed, forced to endure as he held her still and explored. He was gentle as his forked tongue sought the very top of her slit, squirmed between her soft warm folds and began a slow downward trace, prodding rhythmically as he searched and sure this must be unpleasant for her, based on her reaction. He sought not to punish her, but as he'd never bred an ooman before it was necessary; inserting his sex organ into the wrong orifice would be even an more unpleasant experience in comparison for her, he was certain.

The te'dqi kept coming and he sensed he was closing in on the right place. The scent and taste of female had overpowered his awareness of most anything else, including his own purr and eager grunting. The closest he had come to anything like this before was lapping at a female's back as he rutted, searching for the right spot, following the trickling trail of hormones she released in her sweat to lead him to its source, the place he pierced in the necessary step of tusking to trigger her to release a chemical surge that would ensure conception.

His pet was writhing, her hands closed tightly around his locks, flexing and squeezing and tugging as she issued stuttering sounds and weakly kicked her feet against his flanks. He was close; her anguish almost over. Once he located her entrance she would never have to endure this apparently unpleasant probing of her femininity again. Using the flexible finger-like extensions on the tip of his tongue, he cautiously eased her folds apart, inching gently deeper. She bucked against his hands, her spine flexing as she huffed. This was the place, the source of the secretions that made his tongue glide smoothly, the location of her need. He growled, unable to resist lingering another moment, pressing the backs of his spread tusks against her inner thighs as he plunged experimentally deeper, feeling her tension as her inner muscles clenched. She could resist but that wouldn't deter him. She would be conquered and would learn to accept him because he could meet the needs she was so defiantly denying even existed. Once he proved that he could fix her heat she would come to him willingly for relief, he was sure. Until then there would be this delicate dance of subdued force against stubborn resistance that plagued his sense of honor.

He withdrew his tongue and worked his throat and jaw, aware of the intensity of her scent. Unpleasant for her as that exploration might have been, he sensed she had been aroused by it and her body was responding. Now he would soothe her need and reward himself by consummating their relationship and teaching his pet her expected place. He hesitated when he went to straighten and her hands tightened a moment in his tresses, then she released him. Curiously, as he regarded her, he noticed that she seemed strained and breathless and flushed, like she'd recently been exerting herself physically. Perhaps his oral curiosity had been too much for her. Slightly chagrined, he extended his tongue and lapped at the underside of his lower left mandible. Though not in the least bit opposed to punishing her when the situation demanded it, punishment had not been warranted or intended in this case. He waited, giving her time to recover and collect herself.

He was, he praised and reminded himself, an honorable n'yaka-de to his pet, not a badBlood. Other yautja coveted his pet but couldn't have one for themselves because they knew better. They were undisciplined, incapable of controlling themselves. He was to be admired for his forbearance in dealing with her, a strong mature female who would easily break a lesser yautja's resolve, smart in some ways but stupid – or defiant and uncaring - enough to not know her limitations when faced with a superior being.

"Where the hell did you learn to do that?" his pet asked. The demand in her tone was the signal he'd been waiting for, permission to proceed. He gathered her legs and pulled her tightly against himself, holding her behind her knees. They both hissed at the contact, sex to sex, and when she tried to pull away, leveraging her hands against the tabletop, he released her legs, gathered her wrists together, and pinned them to the surface above her head. For a moment he hesitated, uncertain about this position as he'd never mated a female who was facing him before. Too tempting and easy for them to do real damage that way, and while rejection was shameful enough he didn't relish the thought of being severely disabled in an attempt to mate.

Not yautja, he reminded himself regarding his pet, who at this very moment was writhing beneath him and landing dull heel-kicks against his hide with her loose legs. The restrained attempt to resist was arousing as her body squirmed below his, her damp sex grinding deliciously against the exposed glans of his penis. He purred ardently and let her carry on, honestly uncaring and unaware if this was resistance or acceptance. She, intentionally or not, had started the actual process of mating him with her sinuous movements, inciting and encouraging a male arousal response. As if feeling his reaction and reacting to it, her movements became more intense. Synsen gathered her small wrists in one hand and caught her left leg just behind her knee to keep himself tightly pressed against the apex of her thighs, intensifying her squirming. His blood was pumping with excitement at the prospect of a mating and a conquest all in one, breathing in short, sharp bursts as his pet exceeded his requirement for exotic and arousing by vocalizing gustily and writhing against him. Yautja females were stoic and silent about mating, remaining still unless they wanted to test a male's hold, and uttering no sound but a warning growl if a male lingered too long.

She stopped, panting, only moving her arms and trying to twist her delicate wrists from his grip. The damage she'd already done to his tresses twinged with every thud of his hearts, the pain only pricking his excited aggression and making him more avid to see her conquered. When he tugged on her knee she arched off the table, her small body lithe and flexible but no match for his strength. Her teeth were bared at him and he tossed his head to prevent his fleshy locks from coming within range of her mouth, tossing them back over his shoulder with a cadence of dull slaps and clicks as his rank rings connected. He repositioned over her, stretching her between her wrists and her knee, then he gave her a slow, light thrust of his hips between her legs. She huffed, her brows furrowed as she stared into his eyes, that way she did when she was trying to understand something. He thrust again, even slower this time, backed by the tandem incremental unsheathing of his organ. She tried to bow her back to deny him but he held firm. There was resistance that for a moment made him think his aim was off, then it gave enough to allow him to pierce and his pet let out a soft breath, relaxing a bit. He cooed to her as she met his stare, a throaty purr to back the steady rumble he was emitting, then he thrust again. This time he kept it up, each thrust a bit harder, all accompanied by the stealthy extension of his penis from its hidden sheath. Control backed by control. No rush, no hurry. This was his to savor and enjoy, though admittedly it thrilled him to feel her settling and relaxing a bit, her attempts to pull her wrists from his hand stopping, her breaths soft and shaky. They were timed to his movements, a steady inhalation as he thrust, released in the pause before the next thrust. His purring was a masculine, baritone throb, steady and banging hard below his breastbone, keeping pace with the hard thumping of his massive hearts.

Sensing her surrender, Synsen delivered the next thrust with more authority. She huffed hard and he felt either tension in response to his intrusion, or the comparative tightness of a passage meant for a much smaller sex organ. Either way, it was a sensation that made his scalp tingle and his hide burn at the lure of hot, slick need accompanied by the awareness that he would have to work to meet it. She was accommodating him, though, the slick smoothness of her inner walls grudgingly stretching to accept him with muscular contractions, clenching to hold him as warmly and securely as his own sheath, accompanied by shaky exhalations as they both prepared for the next thrust.

She was moving, no longer urgent and aggressive tugs but more like full-body ripples that coursed down her length as he worked steadily to impale her. He eased up on some of the pressure he was using to keep her stretched to her full length, then felt the return of her rhythmic writhing beneath him. The tone of her vocalizations were breathy and guttural, encouraging him to increase his pace and demand. He was unsure if he was keeping pace with her or she with him, as he thrust deeper and she tilted her hips to meet him and catch his next flexing advance.

Probably there was a small part of me still in denial and adamantly opposed to what was happening. Probably. It was smothered by a perfect, building storm that I was powerless to oppose, though. Bested by my captor's ability to counter my every attempt to assert myself, mentally and emotionally defeated by my inability to escape him and my humiliating recapture, muddled by alcohol and the exhaustion that had followed my failure to defend myself from his almost-attack, caught up in the instinctive drive to do whatever it took to stay alive...yeah, all those things were contributing factors, but what had followed was what had tipped the scales.

For a moment there, I had been prepared to just give in, lie there and take it. Steeled myself to endure with the internal pep talk that I was a soldier, I had been through the shit and a little more wouldn't break me. Sitting on his bed while he stood there staring at me like he was waiting for more, though, like I was supposed to do something, that had snapped the sense back into me. And the instant I changed my mind was the instant where it became too late for me.

Snatch, bang, right onto the table, hard enough to make me see stars and remember I wasn't dealing with some amateur grunt looking for some tail. And before I could even get my wind back he was looming and grabbing and positioning like an octopus, everywhere at once, making that idling sound that was like auditory morphine. I fought back, got my feet on him, eventually catching those thick tube-like hairs sprouting from his head. Turned out that had been a dumb move, serving only to stupidly pull all those spines and teeth and tusks well into my comfort zone. When I'd stopped he hadn't backed off at all, instead bending closer, and when those freaky mandibles spread open I was sure he was going to bite me.

There had been no biting, only the sensation of hot breath on my bare belly as he'd huffed at me. I'd thought that maybe the bath had actually done the trick and gotten rid of whatever he was smelling that was making him crazy, but no. I was not about to have a dispute with his head, with that massive, knobby crown, the patches of quill-like spines, those giant lower fang-like tusks and their sharp accompaniment of incisors and canines. There was way too excellent a chance that any attempt on my part to assault his head would result in my being more injured than him.

He dipped lower, shoulders and back hunching as he moved down my length and hovered his predatory mouth right the hell over my crotch. While this most certainly was not an acceptable development, there wasn't a whole helluva lot I could do about it, besides hope he hadn't decided to bite me there rather than on my stomach.

There was something so animalistic about his actions, so opposed to the fact that he was frighteningly advanced and intelligent. I would think it would be demeaning for him to behave like a dog, crotch-sniffing, but here he was, huffing for an embarrassingly long time. The fleshy tubes in my hands throbbed and emitted heat like they had a pulse, and I noticed small green cuts in the faded black and grey locks. Good god, they did have a pulse, I realized, recognizing the smattering of fluorescent green crescents as cuts caused by my nails, then something hot and wet smacked me right between the legs. I yelped and went rigid, renewing my assault on the strange hairs in my hands reflexively as Synsen locked down on me.

He had a tongue. A fascinating one, as far as I was concerned. Like his hairs it was thick and tube-like, tapering flatter at the end and splitting into a prehensile fork. Far as I could tell it wasn't contained in his mouth like a human's tongue, but kept somewhere further back, like down his throat. There were times I would catch glimpses of it when he strained to pronounce certain sounds, and other times I would stare in horrified amazement as it would snake out to clean his tusks after he ate.

Apparently it had other uses, too, and I arched off the table despite his firm restraint, huffing as he used it to leisurely explore my nethers. Logical thought scattered to the four winds when the forked tip walked its way up my slit then burrowed into my folds to locate my clitoris and assault it with a detailed and methodical tactile examination that had me mewling like a kitten crying for its mother. From there the sonuvabitch slipped lower and deeper, taking his sweet-ass time, somehow gentle and demanding at the same time as that talented muscle slickly explored every inch. I couldn't have unlocked my hips if I'd wanted to, and when he started to tortuously tease me in the right spot, delving slowly deeper, I swear I was damn close to cumming. Too much hot and wet contact, too much slippery, frictiony pleasure for me to resist, not after being primed from however many months of not getting any action. I was in withdrawal, just jonesing for a good orgasm and deliriously close when Synsen abruptly withdrew and straightened. I was still hanging onto his hot, tubey hair, and for a moment he paused and glared at me until I let go.

I'm sure I was blazing red with a mixture of anger and embarrassment as he stared down at me, mortified at how close I'd come and at the same time pissed off to high hell that he hadn't kept it up just a little longer. I'd wondered what he was thinking, if he was angry I almost had or angry that I hadn't, and while I glared back at him his tongue slipped out over his lower teeth, coiled the tines of its fork beneath his mandible, then slipped back into hiding. Fucking. Tease.

Even so, there was a question I just had to ask: "Where the hell did you learn to do that?" I'd demanded. It certainly wasn't a skill he'd demonstrated on the female yautja. Maybe she would've been a little less cranky if he'd taken the time to warm her up. Certainly I had to think she'd be doing a little less growling and a little more purring, though maybe not, if it was his habit to quit when he was just at the finish line.

Instead of making any attempt to respond to my question, he wrapped his massive hands behind my knees and tugged my legs to straddle him, slamming my aching and sensitive pussy against the hard jut of his male bits. As if it had hurt him as much as me, he hissed in tandem with me, then released my legs long enough to snatch up my hands as I tried to backpedal to put some distance between us. Though I struggled to resist, he easily leaned over me, forcing my arms above my head and pinning my wrists to the table. It sent me into full-blown panic mode and I thrashed, trying to squirm loose and battering him best I could with my unrestrained leg as he gathered my wrists in one hand and caught me behind the right knee with the other. In the end, the only thing I'd gotten for my efforts was the sensation of something blunt and hot wedged hard between my legs, dangerously close to what I had been trying to avoid all along. Synsen gave a full-body shudder and tugged at my restrained leg, pulling me more tightly against him, and I tried to buck and arch away but was stretched to my limit and held firmly. I'd snarled, last act of defiance, and he'd tossed his head and grunted as his hips thrust against me.

Jesus Christ, I'd thought, terrified enough to be almost prayerful in my blasphemous supplication.

Then another thrust, this one backed by the sensation of that blunt knob nudging deeper. I remembered seeing it fully extended and I shuddered, then he shoved again and probed harder. Tension had me trying to resist, attempting to arch and twist away, but his body lowered over me, his right elbow and forearm settling on the table by my head as he planted his weight and pinned me, keeping me stretched to the point of pain between my wrists and knee. No contest. He held, waiting, then my belly fluttered as he pierced past my resistance and slipped deeper. That was it, then. Attempted refusal denied.

Still, he waited, that purr soaking into my ears, into my whole body everywhere he was touching me. And now, for added effect, I could feel it inside, vibrating into my core as if his penis was a transmitter and I was a receiver. It stilled me, and the longer he hesitated, the more intense its effect on me. He pressed against me again, still slow and almost tentative, delving deeper, meeting my attempt to resist, then easing his own path with that relentless, vibrating purr. Again and I huffed, the feeling lost in my hands and dimming already in my feet, all my attention concentrating on that place where we were connected, on the intense heat and hardness that was assaulting and seducing me.

Piercing was the right word for it. It wasn't soft and smooth, not gentle. It was demanding and enticing at the same time, a sensation of intense and burning heat accompanied by a painfully ridiculous size that put me on notice that Porn Star Pete, a past boyfriend, had nothing on Synsen despite his legendary equipment. What kept me from further outbreaks of resistance in fear that I would be torn apart was a combination of things unique to Synsen: heat, vibration and rhythmic flexing.

While each new touch against sensitive and nervously tense flesh made me hiss, the stinging sensation was quickly numbed and soothed, my body encouraged to relax. The vibration of his purr drummed through me enticingly, and each thrust was accompanied by a burrowing flexing of the organ that was impaling me. It was as prehensile as his tongue, heated to the point of burning, brought to life by the strong pulse of his heartbeat and backed by the mind-numbing quiver inspired by the intensity of his thrumming. It was this combination that subdued and conquered the last remnants of my resistance, that ultimately resulted in my body turning traitor and flexing to meet his every dramatically broadcast thrust. His brutal hold relented and his pace increased.

Ouch, I would think, followed by, Oooh. Rising to meet him, my temper pricked by a combination of annoyance at myself and him, tempered each time by pain settling to pleasure. A momentary panic of too much, too fast, too intense, followed by a burst of want and need and lust, a thought of, This isn't so bad. Over and over, wave after wave, the sensations mingling and becoming confused in my head until I just gave in because that was easier than resisting and fighting. One thrust built on the next until I was distantly aware of him grunting over me, hearing my breaths huffing in and out in time as a fire built everywhere we touched.

He was gonna do it, I thought. All that pressing and pulling and flexing, that brain-wave-flattening thrumming, that methodical rubbing against parts that hadn't been touched in far too long. I closed my eyes and bowed my back as I ceased the last of my resistance, my loose leg rising and lifting of its own accord to drape over the back of something hot and rough and large as it flexed over me. Decision made, I defiantly refused to allow myself to think about the owner of that back. There was a bizarre sense of disconnect and yet an intensity, a demanding need, then Synsen chattered caustically and thrust hard, driving my hips up toward my hands and making me grunt out my breath. He was vocalizing aggressively, grinding against me, and I distinctly felt an intensifying of the burning sensation in my core as he jabbed painfully at me and tugged back on my knee, forcing and holding me tight against him.

He eased back gradually, still rocking over me but more slowly, his breaths sawing. So close, I thought. If not for my fear and uncertainty I would have settled in, relaxed and enjoyed the ride. Instead I was faced with frustration at my double failure to let loose, panting to catch my breath, keeping myself open to feel everything as he continued to move almost gently over me. The flexing had settled to a spastic twitching, and his purring was choppy and uneven as he eased down. My opportunity was lost in the barrage of input and I felt let down as I sagged and stilled, no longer grappling and flexing against his restraining hold. Nothing for it but to wait until he was satisfied and released me. He bucked a bit then shuddered, hesitating before finally letting go of my hands. Defeated, I left them where they were, tingling with a rush of fresh blood. I would have felt some measure of victory had I been able to fully enjoy the encounter; in the absence of that I felt nothing but used and abused. Synsen had gotten what he'd wanted from me, and I'd gotten nothing but more aggravation.

Straightening, Synsen looked down at his pet and had to suppress an urge to roar victoriously as she remained still and docile. That had been exhilarating. Conquest and pleasure, earned and taken. And now – finally – the female submitted, rocking in time to his harsh breathing as they remained connected. He could feel the pattering of her heart, the tight heat of her passage as it continued to flex slickly around him. He shuddered then shook himself briskly from the waist up, in no hurry to uncouple. His pet didn't dispute his right to remain snugly seated, her small body unbroken and undamaged, glowing heatedly in the aftermath as she caught her breath.

This, he congratulated himself as he found he was already looking forward to the next time she went into heat, had been well worth the aggravation.