Chapter 1: The Seduction
Yet another boring event, he grumbled mentally, feeling uncomfortable in his tux. Though he cut a handsome profile, he much preferred to be in his dress uniform but the choice of attire wasn't his tonight. And keeping a pleasant demeanor was an effort when he didn't appreciate all the attention he was getting from the unattached females wanting to court him, the council kats that had complaints they refused to go through channels about, and the other society types that wanted favors from him. It was all so boring and annoying. At least this odious duty didn't occur too frequently or he'd revolt and tell Manx where he could take his 'required duty to society' crap.
Crud! How I wish I'd been able to come up with an excuse to avoid being here. I hate these things that his honor is forever putting on to curry favors and drum up funding for his next campaign or, God forbid, yet another building project.
He blinked, bemused at his inward carping. My, I'm certainly uptight and irritable tonight. After all, it isn't like I didn't know this would be part of my duties as Chief Enforcer. So why am I so prickly tonight? No answer was forthcoming so, as usual, he brushed aside his more than normal nasty mood and returned his attention to the scene around him.
Sipping his champagne as he stood with his back to the doors that led to the gardens, he eyed some of the unattached handsome males circulating the ballroom with a hint of longing. His choice of bed partner wasn't well known by his peers but then no one knew he'd rarely had anyone to be intimate with lately to know his preferences hence the fems circling him like he was a prize bull. Not that favoring males was against society's rules but someone in his position needed to be more conscious of continuing their bloodline especially at his age at least that was what his father kept hounding him about but he refused to put any possible loved ones at risk from his enemies. Staying single made more sense. If he managed to stay alive until retirement, then he might consider a relationship. His parents weren't happy about that decision.
However, no one else in high society knew his reasons for staying single and since he was loathed to inform them, he had to put up with their efforts to court him. It mattered not that his job demanded he be 'chummy' with them so he could keep a watchful eye on what the movers and shakers were doing, whether good or bad, but most particularly, when they were bad. So he was forced to play the game, pretending to enjoy the spotlight, even though, in truth, he hated every moment of the charade because it left him empty and totally friendless as he could trust none of them with who he was inside.
At that moment the orchestra struck up a spritely waltz, interrupting his morose thoughts. Barely able to hold back the scowl that wanted to come out at the sight of all the graceful couples now dancing with lively steps to the music, all he wanted was to escape. A deep pain settled within his chest but he ignored it knowing it was an emotion he refused to acknowledge ... envy. He'd gotten very good at suppressing and ignoring his emotions except for anger which exploded more frequently than he liked. But then his job could test a saint.
He turned his head to stare out into the night dark gardens for a moment then back to search the room for two important people. Against the walls of the ballroom, comfortable couches and chairs had been set about for the high society members to congregate, gossip, and conduct power plays. Mayor Manx was sitting on a couch directly across the ballroom from him holding court with his sycophants as usual.
Just right of the broad, carpeted, staircase leading to the second floor, a wide doorway led into a dining room that held tables of food and drink spread on expensive white tablecloths with fancy dressed servers standing at paw to ensure the food never ran out. All manner of delicacies were being served to satisfy any palate. Caviar served in a conch shell, lobster soup, salads, various sides, a whole roast pig, and many fancy pastries. A three foot tall figure of a Kat with wings (at least he thought that was what it was) made of ice sat in the center of the room slowly melting while tucked in a corner a bar had been set up and a goodly number of patrons stood before it, four deep already.
The room was crowded with people chatting and filling their plates with food. The shifting crowd moved enough for him to briefly spot the deputy mayor serving herself at one of the tables.
Ms. Briggs was beautifully dressed in a long shimmering green sheath gown, her hair piled atop her head in a complicated do, and her neck draped with an expensive looking emerald pendant. Her escort tonight was one of the younger members of the city council, a red headed tom with cream fur and lean built. He was attired in a chocolate colored tux that complimented the deputy mayor's outfit very nicely. He hung attentively by her side, smiling and chatting her up.
Thinks he's going to get lucky, he snorted to himself, a knowing smile briefly lighting his lips. Well they were both safe and sound, time to make a strategic exit outside. I could use some air, he thought. Switching his glass for a fresh one on a passing tray held by a waiter, Feral turned away and opened one of three french doors that led outside.
Dagstrom Mansion had been built just outside Megakat City limits in the countryside and was the usual choice of venue for these events. One of its most renown features was its huge, sprawling gardens. Fountains sprang up here and there over the football size area. Many rare and exotic flowers had been planted and as it was just the end of Spring, everything was in bloom. Colored flood lights illuminated the pathways between the raised beds and stone benches had been strategically placed throughout.
Feral took in a healthy, deep breath, drawing in the sweet scents that filled the cool night air. It was rather heady stuff as all the flowers were in bloom despite it being late summer. He walked across the long patio and down the two cement steps into the garden proper. Approaching a fountain that had dolphins leaping amidst sprays of water that fell tinkling into the blue waters of the basin below, he halted and watched the play of water for a moment. Out here the music and voices were muted allowing him to savor the evening in peace, something he rarely had time for in his too busy life. No moon shone so except for the walkway and fountain lights, it was dark out here. His fur color and suit made him nearly invisible to those inside, insuring his privacy for a little while.
The soft strains of another waltz reached his ears, one of his few favorites. Closing his eyes, he swayed to and fro in time with the music letting it carry him away.
"Why aren't you inside dancing?" a soft, deep voice asked nearly in his ear with an accent he'd not heard before. Feral went on alert and jerked away from the body that was standing directly behind him. Kat's Alive! How had he snuck up on him? His mouth open to snap an annoyed comment had frozen that way at what met his sight.
The dim lights of the fountain revealed a breathtakingly handsome male standing there eyeing him with a mixture of amusement and a darker emotion that shone through arresting emerald eyes that caused a sudden wash of heat to curl through Feral's body.
The tom's fur was of medium length and coal black in color with no trace of any lighter shade, his hair a stylish cut that showed off short curls that strayed becomingly over his broad forehead. The meager light made it difficult to determine its color, though it definitely wasn't blond or red). The tux the male wore was very similar in cut and color as his own so they both appeared invisible to those inside the ballroom.
The body that filled out the tux was as muscular as his own and they were of the same height as well so they could see eye to eye easily. A sensation of power barely leashed emanated from the imposing figure and unlike Feral's own, more rugged features, this fellow's face was more sculpted, with high cheek bones, clean shaven rounded chin, and perfect red lips shaped in a cupid's bow.
Shocked at his ridiculous reaction, Feral snapped his mouth shut. Then unaccountably blushed as he tried to excuse his strange behavior by dropping his eyes and murmuring, "I'm sorry, you startled me."
"No, I should apologize," the male said urbanely, his voice like chocolate...sweet and smooth ... that did things to his lower body making him even more uncomfortable. "I saw you alone, enjoying the music and wished to know why such a handsome fellow wasn't inside dancing to it."
Surprised by his reaction to the male, Feral managed to recover himself and speak in a fairly even tone. "Quite alright. I was feeling rather suffocated by the unwanted attention I was receiving and when the music started felt it was a good opportunity to escape for some peace and fresh air."
"Ah, I see and here I am intruding on it. My apologizes. Perhaps I should leave you..." the male asked politely, allowing Feral an out if he wished.
He should...he really should as the male did things to him every time he spoke with that sinfully rich voice, but somehow he found himself very reluctant to end the conversation. "No, it's alright. I don't mind your company." He was shocked to hear a touch of a quaver in his voice. Say what? Shaking off his odd behavior, he decided to ask a more important question to try and get back some of his equilibrium the male had disturbed. "Forgive me for asking, but I don't believe I saw you inside ... did you just arrive?"
The male smiled broadly revealing very white and slightly sharper looking teeth not usually seen in Kats. "Yes, I did, both here and in your fine city. I was invited by a business associate who's a friend of Councilor Furnooth. My name is Nicolas Maderas from the Tymurr Nation." He gave crisp bow of his head.
Feral raised a surprised eyebrow. "Quite the distance to come for business and, especially, to a city most wouldn't step foot in."
"My company required something only your city produces and asked for a volunteer to go get it. I was happy to jump at the opportunity."
Blinking in surprise and consternation, Feral felt compelled to say, "You do realize this is an extremely hazardous place for those that live here much less a visitor?"
A flicker of amusement and some much darker emotion flashed quickly through those amazing eyes that Feral wasn't certain he'd actually seen.
"Ahh, but that was the novelty of it, yes? I thrive on danger. Alas, it has been a depressingly quiet visit so far."
Feral grimaced. "Actually, I'm extremely grateful it is as we've had too many months of chaos. A brief peace is very welcome because it never lasts."
"As one who must live under such conditions regularly, I can certainly understand that desire. Pardon me for asking but it sounds as if you have a much more intimate knowledge of these threats than the ordinary Katizen."
"Unfortunately, I do. I'm its Chief Enforcer and must fight to keep it safe on a regular basis."
"Ahh, so you are Commander Ulysses Feral. I've heard of you. A pleasure to meet you in person, sir," Nicolas said warmly, holding his paw out.
Feral shook it and felt a zing of something hot race up his arm making his breath catch. What was it about this tom?
As if reluctant, Nicolas held the Commander's paw a little longer than convention allowed but Feral barely noticed still a bit stunned, then that incredible warmth was gone and he felt strangely bereft.
Silence fell between them for a moment. Feral drank some of his now warm wine to wet his suddenly dry mouth and throat. I probably should go back inside, he thought. He wanted away from this disturbing Kat. He didn't sense any threat or he'd never turn his back but what the tom stirred in him he didn't want to explore too closely. He must have made an unconscious movement because there was a sudden touch to his arm.
"They've struck up a truly lovely piece and quite catchy. Would you do me the honor of a dance?" The rich voice purred close to his ear. "I apologize if my attentions are not desired," he added giving Feral an out if the tom didn't like being with males.
Swallowing nervously, Feral realized he was in real trouble. He had not planned on hooking up tonight, more interested in completing his duty and escaping as fast as he could but now, those eyes captured him and all he could do was nod dumbly.
What the hell was wrong with him? He thought bewildered as he allowed Maderas to take his wine glass from his slack grip and set it on the fountain's edge then one powerful arm swept around his waist and the other around his shoulders.
Before he realized his partner had taken the dominant position, Feral was being guided smoothly around the patio with the ease of dancers who have been together a long time. Though they started off with the approved distance between strangers, halfway through the waltz, Feral found himself pressed closely against that broad chest, his eyes mesmerized by Maderas' amazing green ones.
He was totally captivated and unable to think of anything but how wonderful it felt to be in this tom's arms. His normal internal alarms should be going off at his easy capitulation but the neglected needs of his body shouted it down, demanding he remain and soak up every ounce of this incredible feeling of dominance.
It had been too long since he allowed another to dominate him that he nearly forgot how it felt. This wonderful, freeing sensation of letting go was heady stuff so it was no wonder he was having a difficult time disentangling his needs from his usually cautious nature that clearly warned he was in danger here.
The slow heat of desire he'd felt just being in the tom's presence was rising to one of fiery desire the longer they danced. Dimly, his conscious was trying to warn him to back away ... end this ... but too long denial of bodily needs easily drowned out the warnings as he pressed closer to Maderas and laid his head on the male's shoulder, a sigh of pleasure escaping him.
"You smell delicious," that thick, velvety voice murmured, as Maderas' head leaned close to nuzzle the dark tom's face.
The sigh altered to a groan of desire, as he felt Maderas' teeth lightly nip his neck then a warm tongue licked the spot. So enthralled was he, that he never registered they had stopped dancing and were now indulging in kisses that were hot and passionate.
Maderas' desire was obvious as something long and hard pressed against his thigh insistently. His own already hard length was uncomfortably pressed tightly in his pants, straining desperately to get free.
"Hmm, so sweet you are," Maderas rumbled sexily in his ear. He didn't even react or object when the male suggested, "We need to continue this somewhere more discreet, my handsome one."
Caresses to his back added to the kisses just made him want to do anything Maderas desired. All his inhibitions had flown away on a heated high he didn't want to end. He never saw the triumphant smile on the male's face as he felt his body being gently tugged down a garden path accompanied by more kisses, caresses and murmured endearments.
He heard, "Come with me, Ulysses. Let us enjoy each other this fine evening..." and allowed himself to be led off like a lamb to slaughter as they moved further away from the mansion and deeper into the gardens.
Grinning with glee, Maderas was feeling giddy at how well his seduction was succeeding. All the details of this night had been planned perfectly from his timed arrival, to finding the tom alone, to easily sweeping the normally ultra-alert tom off his feet with desire, and now leading him to the bower he'd created at the far end of the gardens where no one would spot them.
Everything was working to perfection. Now all he had to do was take his prize before the night was over.
"Hmm...where are we going?" a deep voice that sounded a bit fuzzy, asked. Maderas quickly focused on his captive prize again, realizing he'd allowed himself to become distracted.
"We are going somewhere more private, Ulysses. We haven't left the grounds ... look ... you can still see the lights of the ballroom ..." he said smoothly.
Feral blinked owlishly over the tom's shoulder and saw the lights of the mansion but they seemed a bit distant but before he could comment or become disturbed, his attention was taken by a perfectly timed touch to his genitals which made his golden eyes glaze over. He groaned as a deeply passionate kiss finished the distraction, driving all other thoughts from his mind.
Mentally, Maderas cursed himself. Do not become careless, not now! Keep your focus, he sternly lectured himself. After all, you've only been planning this seduction for more than a century.
His peers laughed at him when he first spoke of an ancient tale of an extraordinary mortal male born with a magical core and strange gender that would give anyone who mated with him unlimited power. Everyone knew of the tale of the Chosen One of Ameretat but no one knew when or where this Kat would appear and it had been many centuries since the tale was originally told.
However, that didn't deter Maderas, who had made a long study of this tale. He'd spent decades researching and digging into ancient archives for clues he felt certain would give him the key he needed to identify the Chosen One and when they were expected to appear.
As one of the demi-gods known as the Asuras, he was rather low on the totem pole of power and position. He resented his life of servitude and obedience to his much stronger peers. But when he learned of the tale of the Chosen One, he knew this was his way to change his fortunes. Throwing himself wholeheartedly into his project, he spent nearly all his time avoiding the others and learning everything he could about this unique individual.
After an initial barrage of harassment and ridicule, the rest left him alone as they were uninterested in boring libraries and anything that smacked of learning. And his superiors couldn't be bothered to ferret him out of his hiding place so he was largely left undisturbed for long periods of time. The only times he was forced to deal with the other Asuras was when he had to leave his tiny office within the Sumerian Library to eat, sleep, and do the obligatory task given him by their leaders for which he loathed as it was usually something very disagreeable.
Those times only hardened his resolve to find the Chosen One and improve his lot in life. It was his one dream!
So while his obsession kept him busy and out of sight, his fellow Asuras warred against their ancestral enemies the Tra-yastrims'ain, a war that never seemed to end except for the occasional temporary peace pact.
Finally, after more than a century, his diligence and persistence paid off but he told no one. In payment for all the ridicule his peers had heaped upon him for his obsession, he would keep the information to himself.
Besides, even had he told what few people he still trusted that he had found the Chosen One, they would not believe him. So he kept it a secret, laid his plans with care, and continued the pretense of still researching, while, in actuality, he watched eagerly as the Chosen One, born toward the end of his century-long search, grew to adulthood.
Now, after years of waiting and pretending , he was making his move to take the prize no one believed existed. Let them scoff and make fun of him. It would be he who would have the last laugh and triumph over all.
Vindication would be so sweet but first he must win his prize or all his hard work and patience would be for naught. It had taken two days of preparation for him to pass the veil of his world for the mortal one. Arduous and tiring, he followed all the incantations necessary for the passage then as the moon waned and darkness fell on the mortal plain in the city of Megakat, he passed through. He allowed himself a moment of roaring with triumph before quickly clothing himself then taking a cab to his destination.
Now he was here at last with the prize in his arms, the only thing he'd not counted on was how affected he would be once he'd met the Chosen One. He feared it would be a struggle to get himself in the proper mood for this moment but no, the prize had set his loins to burning almost immediately once he'd taken the tom's scent into his nose. How exciting! None of those sexual contacts within his world felt like this did. It proved all the more just how special the Chosen One was. He shouted with glee inside his mind.
Oh, how the others will scream and howl in anger and envy for his taking of the Chosen One right beneath their noses then they will fear me as I will be the most powerful of them all. He was nearly beside himself with excitement and desire but he reined himself in sharply. It would not do to hurry or get impatient. He'd spent far too much effort preparing for this night to make a mistake now.
Firmly returning his full attention to the prize in his arms, he intensified his touches and kisses, literally drowning the tom in a sensual shower of desire. He'd known from his observations, how little attention the tom had paid to his own needs. It was that neglect that allowed him to take Feral so easily now.
Ah, how sweet he moans, how responsive he is to my touch. This night could not be more exciting but I need to get him to the bower now. He glanced around him when they took a brief break to breathe and discovered they were only a short distance away from their destination. The high wall that surrounded the mansion grounds was just ahead.
Smiling wolfishly, he gently but insistently guided his prize off the stone pathway and onto a dirt one the gardeners used to walk along the wall at the end of the gardens.
An immense willow tree soon came into view. It's massive form nearly invisible in the night. Beneath its long hanging branches, a natural hollow had been formed. Within this area, Maderas had magically made a boudoir that would have made any lover swoon.
Pressed against the trunk sat a thick, round bed laid with silk sheets of dark emerald green and many pillows. Surrounding this were candles in wrought iron, standing sconces...unlit at the moment. The natural scent of the willow was mixed with special herbs he'd tied in small sacks he'd hung on the branches, filling the air with a strange exotic scent. A deep green rug covered the floor. On a table beside the head of the bed held a bowl of fruit and cheese. Beside that was a bottle of wine with two glasses. A perfect lover's trysting place.
Excitement thrummed within Maderas as he swept them both past the soft branches and into the inviting space. Once inside, he freed a paw from its petting duty to gesture into the air. Sparkles spread outward, lit the candles, then vanished. Now no one would see or hear what went on beneath this tree as magic now hid them.
Thus assured of privacy, he set to work divesting his prize of their clothing. He could, of course, use magic to do that but he feared Feral might react negatively to having his clothes suddenly vanish. That would never do, so the tried and true was the way to go.
Ah my sweet, now is the time to make you mine forever, Maderas thought, heatedly, as he began to unbutton Feral's tux while capturing the tom's mouth in a fresh bout of passionate kissing.
By the time this night was over, Feral would be irrevocably his. The fact the tom would be angry and upset when he could think again didn't matter to Maderas. It would be far too late to change his fate.