Thade was almost the most powerful ape on the planet, he was the military leader of the ape civilization and only one ape could be said to hold more influence then him and that was Senator Nado. But Thade was ambitious and meant to change that.

He was violent by nature but was clever enough to recognize a problem that could be solved with out it. Senator Nado had a weakness, his pretty daughter Ari. She was a passionate if not difficult ape who was spoiled by her father. Her affection for humans confused and infuriated Thade, who saw nothing appealing about the ugly hairless things.

It was for Ari that Thade was now on his way to attend a dinner with some of the cities wealthiest citizens. He loathed these sort of social events; the conversations were dull as well as the apes, but it was in the Senators home and Ari would be there. As he walked in with his long time companion, Colonel Attar, they could both hear the Senator already in mid-conversation at the dinner table.

"Oh how did I get so old so fast," the Senator sighed.

"Living with your daughter would age any ape quickly." Thade answered for him entering the room.

"You've been absent from our home for a long time." The Senator replied.

Thade apologized for his lateness, snarling at the human who attempted to help him in his chair. If there could be something Thade and Ari shared in common it was despising the servitude of humans by apes, although for differing reasons. To Thade it was degrading to need any assistance from humans. They were only a threat that should be destroyed completely, not be made into pets.

As with every dinner he seemed to attend with Ari the subject of the treatment of these animals were brought up, and not for the first time did Thade and she argue over the intelligence and rights of them.

Ari raised her scarf in her hand, one of her humans had made it and she thought this an example of culture. Thade growled a little thinking about Ari wearing something human made.

"Everything in the human culture takes place below the waist." Thade said disgusted.

Ari looked away from Thade in frustration while the rest of the table laughed. Thade was a tactless ape, he had never excelled in the pleasantries and polite conversations needed to be a politician, he spoke to Ari as he would anyone. His father was a military man and he was raised to be the same.

The orangutan reached for food but was stopped by Atta snarling and throwing his fist down on the table.

"Bow your heads!"

The attendees bowed their heads, with Ari doing so half heartedly, and Thade ignoring the command completely. He stared at Ari who made eye contact and then quickly looked away. She refused Thade's every advance in the past but he was convinced she would give in soon.

Even her father knows that I am her best match, Thade thought to reassure himself, There is no other ape in the city who could provide better.

After Atta's prayers, the orangutan teases Ari that she might next suggest humans have souls. A human servant is walking by Thade when she answers in the positive. Atta warns Ari against such remarks while Thade grabs the human's legs out from under him.

Ari has pushed Thade's patience to his limit today, and he grabs the humans' head and pries his mouth open.

"Is there a soul in there?" Thade jokes cruelly and then throws the human to the ground.

The guests laugh but Ari stands up angrily, "I have lost my appetite."

Thade watches her and she storms out and then turns to her father. The Senator nods and gestures his hand to go after her.

Ari rested her head on her hands as she scribbled away in her notebook with her foot. She was frustrated about the dinner she had just escaped.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that he showed up, Ari thought to her self, Limbo probably told him all about today, about the humans.

Thade had always made her nervous even before he started his courtship with her. He was powerful and was well aware of it, and Ari was certain that the only reason for his advances towards her was to gain more power and influence through her father.

It was only made worse by her father pushing the match. Ari loved her father; he had always supported her less then legal idealism about humans and put up with her less then legal activism. She owed a lot to him and knew how much stress she added to his life.

"There is no other ape in this city who could protect you." He had told her after the last visit from Thade, "And when I am gone you will need someone to protect you."

He is right, she thought sighing.

If she had been any other ape she would have been arrested today. As the Senator's daughter she was able to be so rebellious but on the day her father dies so does her freedom. But Ari was proud and the idea of marrying for this reason alone went against her entire character.

Ari leaned back on the swinging bench she was sitting on, but then shot up when she heard a noise. Thade dropped down from an awning a few feet from Ari. His hand still clung to a hanging lamp as he leaned forward.

"I have no patience for these society dinners. I came to see you."

Ari almost liked Thade for his bluntness.

"How sweet," Ari turned back to her notebook, "you've wasted your time."

She heard Thade approach her, "My feelings for you are unchanged, I still care about you."

If only I believed you, Ari thought as Thade sat down behind her. The idea that Thade had any true affection for her was one she didn't allow herself to indulge. It would only make her resistance to him weak.

Thade leaned towards her and she could feel his breathe on her neck. Ari tensed up when he placed a hand on her hip and then moved his other towards her cheek. His touch caused a shiver to run through Ari and she pushed him away.

"You only care about my fathers influence, and your own ambition."

If this had been earlier in Thade's courtship of her, Ari would have played along for a moment to tease him. She had enjoyed his frustration over her then and the idea of them marrying seemed ridiculous. But now that she was not sure how much longer she could refuse him, his touches seemed to tease her more than hers teased him.

Thade growled as Ari moved to the other side of the room. He launched himself towards her and pinned her to the wall. Ari let out a small cry but then sucked in her breather when Thade moved his face closer to hers.

"I know about the trouble you caused today," He said in a low voice, "I could have you arrested."

His chest armor was pressing Ari up against the wall, she tried to keep her breathing steady as she said, "I'd do it again."

Thade's light eyes stared at Ari as he spoke slowly, "You feel so much for these humans, yet you feel nothing for me."

Ari found it difficult to look away as he said that and hated that she felt something for him in that moment. Thade moved a hand from the wall beside her towards her face. Ari put her hands up on his chest and took an intake of breath but Thade only took her scarf in his hand and pulled it off. They both watched as he dropped it to the floor.

Thade turned back to face her and Ari could feel his breath against her face. His hands grabbed her shoulders and Ari turned to face him. He leaned forward and kissed her. Her hands flinched a little as she thought about pushing him away but instead she found herself closing her eyes and opening her mouth slightly. Thade pulled back and Ari opened her eyes to see Thade with a curious expression on his face.

It wasn't the first time Thade had kissed Ari but it was the first that did not immediately end with Ari shoving him away or slapping him. Thade's hand moved to pull her into another kiss, this time more feverishly. Ari felt an ache in her body for him then and she pressed herself against him. Thade growled into their kiss and wrapped his arms around her waist to pull her closer.

What am I doing? Ari thought as she moved her hands up Thade's chest and moaned as she felt his warm tongue against hers.

Thade grabbed Ari's thighs and picked her up wrapping her legs around his waist, and pressed himself against her to the wall. Ari gasped but rolled her hips against him. Thade groaned and pulled away from her mouth to kiss her neck. Ari's fingers dug into Thade's back as she felt herself getting wet from his attentions.

"Thade." she said softly.

It was at this moment that there was a loud knock on Ari''s door. They froze and listened as another knock came along with Atta's voice, "General Thade, I'm sorry to interrupt."

Thade pulled away from Ari as she dropped her legs down from his waist. She felt a strange disappointment from the sudden lack of physical contact. Thade stared at her with a hungry look in his eye and then looked toward the door, "Yes, come in."

Atta walked in and glanced at the two of them before informing Thade about two soldiers who had come to see him with urgent news. Thade growled an apologetic goodbye to Ari and left with Atta.

What just happened?

Ari sat back down on her bench as the night's events ran through her head with the enormity of her actions with Thade begining to weigh on her mind. Thade would see it as an acceptance of his proposal.

Was it? What happens now? What do I do when I see him again…

Ari shook her head and fell back down on the bench.