All in all, it had been a satisfying day.

The platoon being on leave didn’t mean there was nothing to be done. Strictly speaking, the leave didn’t even include Valan himself; he had a portion of administrative work to do, including some reports to catch up on. Even the marines under his command needed to make sure they were ready to leave when their leave was up. It did mean light duty, though; a few hours filing reports, a few more hours organizing some packing with those soldiers who had energy to burn and wanted something to do, all interspersed among as much time again in idle pursuits.

Still, light duty or not, satisfying or no, the skunk was fairly sore by the time the sun set – not from the physical activity so much as the desk work, and the makeshift workstation hadn’t helped, even if it had been nice to be outdoors while he worked – and it was with anticipation and relief that he brought his toiletries and slouched over toward the pool.

Surprisingly enough, it was empty. Voices around the camp let him know that plenty of people were outside; it sounded like some of them had a game of some sorts going on in the courtyard, which might be what had their attention for the time being. Whatever the reason, he had the place to himself.

“Oh, so there you are. Couldn’t resist that little idea, huh?”

Mostly to himself. Even as he set to undoing his shorts, he grinned over his shoulder at Khara. “Says the one who was waiting for me here,” he laughed.

Laughing as well, the cheetah sidled up to him, sliding an arm around his waist and leaning against his side. “You’re missing out on a fun ball game,” she murmured. “Though I was about ready to call it in anyway. When I saw you heading this way, I volunteered to be the odd one out going forward.”

“So long as you’re not shorting yourself for my sake.” Smiling, Valan squeezed an arm around her shoulders in turn, leaning in to nuzzle at her ears even as he kicked his shorts aside.

“Oh, it’s for my sake, too, I assure you. Even if I wasn’t waiting,” she grinned over at him, “you did rightly point out that I ambushed you here.”

“As pleasant a notion as a good orgasm is, I’m afraid it’ll have to wait, where I’m concerned.” He gave her shoulder a squeeze and started to draw back, as much as her arm would easily allow. “Right now, Khara, I came here to soak, and I’d best do so. I might still be mobile now, but if I don’t give my upper body some time to relax I think I might seize up partway through.”

She let go of him, and while he was easing himself into the water and settling his tail in the channel behind the raised tier that served as a bench, she stripped down as well, sliding more easily in after him and resuming her place at his side. “Poor thing. Hunched over that reader all day, doing the lofty and cerebral things officers do – ”

His laugh cut her off; she joined in promptly, stifling it when he took a breath to speak. “Not that I ever was inclined to think ill of them,” he said, easing an arm around her again, but I think I’ve gained a new respect for quartermasters. How they handle all the minutiae day after day without going crazy is beyond me.”

She stiffened a moment as his roving fingers teased at the nape of her neck. “I thought you were here to relax for a bit, first,” she teased, shivering a little as his touch trailed down her spine.

“There’s nothing wrong with my hands,” he protested, grinning. “Perhaps I should demonstrate?”

“Oh, I’ve heard worse ideas,” she sighed. Her own touch drifted over his midsection, fingers curling around his firm length. “My, my. However will you last long enough for our planned little interlude, when you’re already this eager, hmmm?”

I am fully capable of leaving it alone for a few moments,” he shot back, walking his fingers around front to her stomach. “I wonder, are you? Or do I need to distract you a little, in the meantime?”

As his fingers drifted lower still, she pressed up off the seat slightly, tense, quivering. “That’s… that’s a nice thought,” she gasped.

And he hadn’t even got between her thighs yet. Well, there was no reason to rush. He kneaded right where his hand already was, turning his head, seizing the edge of her left ear in his muzzle. “I’m sure something can be arranged,” he whispered into it.

She twisted against him, fingers trailing up along his arm, her muzzle seeking his. As their mouths worked together, tongues darting forth, soft groans wafting free, their hands wandered. She was scrupulous about avoiding his rigid shaft, diverting from it with an almost comical obviousness; he needed not take similar concern about her sex, and definitely not about the swell of her breasts, but for the former he limited himself to a gentle caress now and then, and the latter he was just as happy to leave to his muzzle, as she was to rise up and meet it.

After a few minutes of such, she gave up on staying beside him and instead swung over to straddle him, getting both her hands onto his shoulders and roaming about there. “You’ve got nice hands,” she sighed over his ears. “Plenty strong, without feeling big and clunky.”

He let a nipple slip free of his mouth and tilted his head back. “Not so fond of the larger men?” he queried.

A laugh. “Don’t get me wrong, stripes. I’ve known a few bears and wolverines that were big even for their kind, and some of them are delightful. But their hands feel like they shouldn’t be quite so nimble. It’s a strange sort of dissonance.” She planted a kiss at the base of his ear. “Yours? About perfect.”

He grinned against her throat. “Strong enough for this,” he said, cupping his left hand firmly under her rump, “slim enough for this?” His right hand slid down in front, curling inward, two fingers working their way in.

The cheetah gasped and clutched his shoulders tight, trembling against him and tensing around those intruding digits. “Y-yessss,” she hissed over his jaw. “That’s the right of it.”

“Settle in here,” he suggested, leaning back as much as his seat and the edge of the pool would allow. “Might as well give you a head start.”

Laughing, she followed his hands, turning, facing away from him, sitting on his thigh. Her tail wound around his leg, and she gathered one of his arms around herself; the other, she left free to do its work lower down, rubbing against her, slipping gently in and out. “Oooh. At the rate you’re going, stripes, I’ll be – mmm – well satisfied before that lovely hot thing against my ass gets anywhere closer to me.”

“Why be content with that?” he breathed over her ears. “It’s not too often I get an opportunity like this. Why shouldn’t I make it as potent as I can, mmm?”

She sighed, shuddering atop him, squeezing around his fingers. “It’s your shoulders that’ll get a few scratches, if you make it that strong.”

It was his turn to shiver. Not that he actually enjoyed getting claw-marked, as such, but the passion that went with it was exquisite. “Not exactly dissuading me, here,” he breathed.

She sighed, stroking his fingers. “I suppose not. I’m not looking forward to needing to take it slow, though. The water’s lovely for most things, but…”

“Who says we’ll need to?” He nodded over to the bag he’d set down with his clothes, just a bit of a stretch away. “My room-mate was an otter, remember? He introduced me to a few useful supplies. And even if there isn’t enough standing water on Serox to get a flea wet, any shower that can hold a full-sized wolverine has… potential. You want it fast? Well, so much as I’ve got strength to do, I’m sure it can be arranged.”

A loud burst of cheering from across the way distracted them for a moment, before it settled into quieter, animated discussion. Khara’s ears perked at it. “They’re probably breaking up over there. We may find ourselves with company fairly shortly.” She twisted around to face him. “Valan,” she breathed, “if you don’t stop teasing me and get in me already before they do, there will be consequences.

He couldn’t help but laugh at the melodramatic severity in her voice, even as he nodded. “Get up and stretch, spotty,” he murmured. “I’ll only be a moment slicking up.”

While the cheetah waded deeper into the pool, he reached over, stretching out his fingers to snag the strap of his bag and dragging it toward him. The bottle he was after was buried; he hadn’t had a need for it since the start of this exercise, but was certainly glad, now, that he hadn’t left it with his other personal possessions back on Serox. He stood upright, getting his hips above water so as to apply a coating of waterproof lubricant without hindrance; then, dropping the bottle by his bag, he waded in as well. From mid-thigh by the edges, the pool’s bottom dropped away measure by measure; at the centre, it was up to his shoulders, and Khara, smaller and more compact, was treading water.

Words didn’t really seem necessary at that point; they both knew what they’d come to do, ever since the skunk’s morning wake-up call. Her arms slid around his neck, his hands cupped under her thighs, and they both pulled, drawing together. For a few moments they just squeezed close, body to body, mouth to mouth; then he freed one of his hands to guide his shaft, tilting it upward as he let her down toward it.

She was ready and then some; they slid together in one smooth stroke, though they didn’t stay all the way together for long. His feet were planted, and even with the mass of his tail braced against the pool bottom for balance, even with her extra weight on his shoulders, the buoyancy of the mineral-laden water meant that he didn’t have much leverage, and dared little more than a gentle roll of his hips; there was nothing stopping his arms, though, nor hers, and with her legs wrapped around his waist, she could go through whatever gyrations she wished. He lifted her up and set her back down onto him, again and again, moving about half his length out and in; any more and he risked pulling out entirely if they misjudged each other’s rhythm, and he had no wish to scramble about getting himself in, not now, any more than he wanted to shove too much water into her. Half his length was plenty; he wasn’t conspicuously large, but in length and girth he was a bit on the generous side. Enough so that she was snug around him; not so much that she couldn’t grind right against him with each swift, bouncing stroke.

That part of his mind which had had situational awareness drilled into it was distantly aware of movement off to his right, two forms standing beside the pool, but for the moment, he paid it little heed. The vast majority of his attention was focused on the woman riding him – on the tension in the muscles under his fingers, on the softness of her breasts pressing against his chest, on the hot, clutching grip of her sex around his cock. When her chin jerked up, giving voice to a sharp cry of pleasure, he tilted his muzzle under it to lap at her throat; when she shuddered hard, claws digging into his shoulders, legs tightening around his body and sex clenching around his cock, he growled against her neck and tugged her along that much harder.

He had, perhaps, laid the lube on a bit thick. She came at least twice more around him, signalling it with such wild abandon that he couldn’t fail to notice; a few other times he rather suspected that she was in the grip of a milder climax. His shoulders were starting to burn from the effort of sliding her along his cock when he finally felt a surge welling up in him. A soft gasp slipped out of him; not so soft that she failed to notice the shift in his breathing, though, clutching tightly to him and murmuring encouragements into his ears. Not that his body needed any more urging. The pressure building up inside him was inexorable; it was just a matter of time – just a few more strokes before it swept through him, and he drove in to the hilt and stayed there, grinding and twisting against his smaller lover. He panted and gasped over her shoulder, his cock bucking inside her, waves of shivering pleasure crashing over him as his seed rushed down his cock and flowed into her.

A sudden hitch of breath off to his right, the rich smell of semen on the air, let him know that at least one of their observers had thoroughly enjoyed the performance; by the mingled tones of male arousal reaching his nose, the other one couldn’t be too far off from the same. Indeed, as he lifted his head and looked over, his timing was perfect. Morris, the fox, was still milking himself with his left hand, squeezing out a few stubborn trickles of spunk; his right arm was wrapped around the one otter in the unit, Gar, who was in turn jerking himself furiously. There was just enough time for his wide eyes to meet Valan’s, and then the otter bucked forward, eyes squeezing shut, face contorting in pleasure.

Otter spunk tended to be thin but copious, and Gar was no exception to that. The first spurt shot free of him in a prodigious arc, some of it spattering into the water; the half-dozen streamers that followed were certainly nothing to scoff at. But the intensity behind it was even more compelling; he was trembling, leaning heavily on the smaller, sturdier fox, by the time the last drops of his seed flowed forth.

Valan licked his lips. He hadn’t had a chance to be close to Gar intimately, but a year with an otter as a roommate, and a season as a lover, had given him quite a bit of appreciation for the breed. Everything that he thought appealing in them, the wiry rifleman had in spades.

A peal of laughter wafted over his ears. “You’d better slip in before you fall over, boys,” Khara called out, sighing over Valan’s cheek and bringing a hand up to rub behind his ears. “Plenty of room, and the water’s fine.”

“We could sure tell the latter,” Morris laughed, gently easing the wobbling otter into the pool, setting their towels down, and sliding in more deftly after him. “Damn, it looked like you two needed that.”

“I rather think we did,” Valan sighed, tugging the cheetah upward one last time, off of his softening shaft. She kept an arm wound around his shoulders, half-leaning, half-paddling after as he waded back out to where he’d left his things, gently separating once she had her own feet comfortably on the bottom, but staying within easy reach.

More voices sprang up in the vicinity, more bodies slipping into the water, some of them remarking playfully on what they’d heard or smelled. It was a familiar, yet entirely unexpected voice that caught his attention, though, sardonic, full of subdued, dry humour: “Why, Korman, with what I’ve heard of your exploits over the last day, I’m surprised you had the energy in you.”

Valan twisted around, peering up. The ermine would have stood out among them as the only person wearing anything resembling a uniform, a full lieutenant’s pips and a few commendations glittering in their appropriate places; he was tall and wiry like most of his kind, a bit broader across the shoulders than most, and a soft smile was on his muzzle. The professional image was spoilt in part by a few undone buttons on his hot-weather white tunic, and in rather greater measure by the firm ridge in his trousers.

“Give me a few hours to recover and I’m sure I’ll have enough energy to nail you to the wall of the officer’s mess, Sarrel,” he shot back. “Such as it is when ‘the officer’s mess’ is ‘beside the table in my quarters’. You got in early.”

“So I did. It turns out I’ve completed my tour with the Instruction division, and have been provisionally attached to the same company for which you’re bound. Your leave schedule hasn’t changed, however, so there’s plenty of time over the next four days to see to those details.” His smile quirked a little wider. “That being the case, would you mind terribly if I joined you on leave?”

“More company never hurts,” Valan laughed, indicating the space on his right. His left arm gave a squeeze around Khara’s shoulder; he didn’t want her to think he was ignoring her, abandoning her for a more familiar lover. Not that he minded the glimpse of black flesh against white fur as Siorah Sarrel skinned out of his dress whites on the spot, dropping the sturdy fabric in a pile; not that he minded as the ermine slid in alongside him and draped an arm over his shoulders. But he clung a little tighter to Khara all the same. It was her, not the ermine, who’d had the notion; it was her, not Sarrel, who’d just given him such a strong climax that his balls were still aching.

Maybe he was a bit greedy, wanting lovers on both sides. But it wasn’t as though the affectionate nuzzle he gave to the ermine’s chin in any way lessened the way he’d held the cheetah against him, on him, a few minutes ago, any more than her leaning against his side and purring lessened the pleasures he’d shared with the taller, slimmer male.

Besides, maybe the two of them would hit it off.

The images that came from that line of thought kept him grinning to himself for quite some time.