It wasn’t exactly trepidation that Valan felt as he came up to the lounge.

Personally, he had no problem with this little liaison. He was pretty sure there was no harm in it – or at least, that there was more likely to be harm due to a difference in rank than because of having an interest in a few different people. The logic behind not having a relationship across ranks had been drilled into him from early on.

But then, it had never quite sat well with him anyway. Especially when people weren’t even in the same chain of command, where was the harm? So long as they knew to keep their personal and professional lives separate.

Still, he’d grown up in a place where fluid relationships were the norm. It wasn’t exactly the standard mode of thought in settled space. Just a few days ago, he’d been sitting beside a fellow, if superior officer, each with an arm around the other, trading words and nuzzles and even a light kiss or two; and now…

But there was a difference to be had there, he reflected, his finger hovering over the control pad. With Sarrel, they’d been investigating the possibility of a relationship, even if it’d likely be a light one.

This was, at least so far, more casual.

He keyed the door open and slid through.

Chief Silar Ashel di Torvan was already within, still clad in duty greys; that was the first thing he noticed. From there, his eyes wandered a little. The lounge was not a large space, nor was it particularly luxurious, but it was a space that a few people could occupy in comfort; a couch that was nearly large enough to qualify as a bed, a vid projector, a water cooler and ration-bar dispenser. Simple and to the point.

It also had a lockable door, and at her smiling gesture toward it, he turned to take advantage of that fact.

“Do come in, make yourself comfortable, and we can begin,” the ermine purred, drawing a small trolley toward herself and sorting through the various things atop it. “We’ve time, but only so much of it, and so much to do, mmm?”

And that was the truth. Grinning, Valan took the few strides between the door and the couch, loosening the collar of his own grey shirt as he did. “Besides, it’s not as though I need any help keeping warm around here. Not even four levels below ground.”

“Just so,” she laughed, pulling on a pair of gloves and rising to her feet. “I’ll have the business done as quickly as I can while still being thorough. After that… we shall see what we shall see.”

Valan shrugged out of his shirt; Chief Silar – Ashel – was mixing some things in a large bowl, but she did glance over her shoulder at his progress, and she did let out a low purr of approval. Encouraged, he stripped down the rest of the way; as he was giving a quick fold to his shorts, he asked, “Where do you want me to be?”

“Face down, to start,” she replied, and he arranged himself accordingly, closing his eyes.

He heard her shift, and then she went to work, combing something wet through his fur. She wasn’t quite as businesslike about it as she had been when she’d trimmed his fur down in the first place, and she was rather less shy about letting her warm breath waft over his neck, his shoulder, the root of his tail; but she kept moving, working the stuff into more and more of his fur.

It took about a quarter hour for her to finish; it might have taken a bit less if she’d been more careful not to linger over his shoulders, rear, thighs, and tail, but the only complaint he had about that was that the couch wasn’t the softest of surfaces to have things pinned against for that length of time.

“There. Get up, move around,” she said at last, drawing back and rolling the trolley out of the way. “Try to keep your tail from touching anything – the fur on your shoulders and back should be dry by now, that on your tail might not.”

That was fair; he carefully slid over, got his feet on the ground, and stood up with a stretch, letting his tail weave about behind him, fluffing it up and letting the air sift through it. Ashel took the chance to sit down, looking up at him with half-lidded eyes and a very pleased expression. “You’re delightfully free with yourself,” the ermine mused, a smile turning up the corners of her mouth.

“You don’t get body-shy living in communal habitats on a deuterium refinery,” he pointed out, grinning down at her, “and the barracks didn’t exactly change that very much. Besides, what’s the point in being formal? I’ll be giving you more than a look, soon enough.”

“Oh, all this is true,” she sighed, leaning back, eyes slipping shut. “I’d be tempted to take a sample now, but I know myself; I don’t wish to distract myself quite so thoroughly until the task at hand is at least mostly done.”

“I can see your point there,” he sighed, sliding his fingers under the black girth of his firm shaft, pausing to finger his glans. Oh, yes, he’d built up a bit of anticipation over these last few hours, and it wasn’t just for the chance to have the reflective dye put in his fur by hand rather than by the machines in the infirmary.

With a sigh, Valan forced himself to let go. He shouldn’t distract himself, either.

She took a quick look and feel at his tail, then stood again, directing him to lie down. This time, there was a fair bit less focus on the task at hand. Her fingers drew the comb along his jaw in a light caress, followed by a brush of her lips against hers; before she worked down his chest, she nuzzled in against it, teasing a nipple with lips and tongue and teeth. She skipped down somewhat, working around his hips before going back up to finish his chest, stomach, and arms; the reason for that diversion became plain when, after a quick test to the fur on his stomach, she nuzzled under his length, moving it from where it was draped over his balls to rest atop his stomach instead.

Given that she followed this by anointing the short fuzz on his balls, well, he wasn’t quite able to keep a low groan from slipping out of him, a sound that was answered by a warm sigh over damp fur and bare skin.

She quickened the pace somewhat as she worked down his legs, and he, in turn, had a few moments to calm down – at least, he did once she was far enough along that she wasn’t still breathing over his package. Still, when she finally finished her task, stripped off her gloves, and started tugging at her tunic, he was in full agreement with the frustrated noise in her throat.

“What’s next, then?” he asked, reaching up to cup her jaw as she crouched down beside him. “Give it a few minutes, or…?”

She pushed her snout against his palm and nuzzled up to his wrist. “It might be the wiser course,” she murmured, “but I didn’t quite account for the effect of having my hands on you for that length of time.” Drawing back from his touch, she slid her fingers over his ribs, in to his breastbone, then down. “Has anyone told you of late that you’re very appealing?”

“I try not to catalogue that sort of thing,” he said with a chuckle. “I don’t want it to swell my head.”

“There’s some crude wordplay waiting to be made there, I’m sure,” she said, swinging onto the couch, a slender sweep of white over him, straddling his legs – careful not to come in contact with them quite yet, but still crouching atop him. “But I’ve had enough of words for now.”

It was easy enough to see what was coming; the hardest part was in not pushing his legs apart for her as her muzzle dipped down, her snout nudging against his balls. The cool, damp touch sent a shiver up his spine, and his chin jerked up, a heavy groan vibrating in his throat.

Oh, yes, they both needed this.

Her lips slid over his flesh, caressing it, parting to let her tongue stroke it. He turned his head back down to watch her work, kissing her way up along his very rigid shaft, and he brought his right hand in to stroke her ears and cheek, to give a little tactile appreciation. And there was plenty to appreciate; though she lingered over that treat, there wasn’t a moment but that she was attending to him in some pleasant manner.

And when she took hold of his shaft, tilted his length upwards, and slid her mouth down around it… well.

With her fingers slipping down, stroking over his balls, teasing at the root of his tail, for a moment he thought she was going to slip a few fingers in, work him to a quick climax, and drink him down – but then she lifted off, sighing over his plump glans, and then she stretched out atop him. Slender as she was, hers was an easy weight to bear; the softness against his chest was only pleasant.

“That should be near enough to dry,” she murmured, breath washing over his jaw. “Perhaps I’ll have a bit of glitter on myself, but such is a small price to pay.”

“Nothing wrong with being a little shiny,” he agreed, sweeping a hand along the ermine’s back, eyes half-lidding as she arched into his touch. “Even if you don’t need it as much against the desert heat as I do.”

“It does seem that you’ve heat aplenty, yes,” she purred, grinding down against him, pressing his member between his hip and hers, fur sliding against skin. “Do allow me to take some of it for you.”

“I’m sure you’ve got some to share,” Valan replied, curling his fingers under the ermine’s rump. “How about I get a sample of it, hmm? Besides,” he grinned, “this has been a little unfair so far.”

If she’d dug in, she probably could have kept him from pulling her upwards. Probably. At the least, she could have squirmed away from him; there was a wiry strength in her lithe form, and he got some impression of it when she tensed for a moment. However, she was quite willing to slide up along his body when she came to understand his aims, sitting up over him, hands cupping behind his head.

She made it so easy. All he had to do was turn his head downwards, and his snout nudged against her folds. She shivered, her breath catching, as his nose nudged against her; he turned his head up just a little to pull it away, putting his lips and tongue to work instead, kissing and lapping at her nub, tongue sliding a little lower, slipping in.

Her fingers tensed against his skull, a soft whimper slipping free as he slid his tongue in deeper for a few strokes, then an outright moan when he licked higher up again.

He didn’t have to worry about his tongue getting tired; well before he reached that point, she shifted over him and gripped his jaw, pushing him back. It didn’t take a genius to read that signal; he let his head sink back again and grinned up at her once more, licking his lips.

“While I’m quite pleased that you’re enjoying yourself,” she panted, sliding down along him again, “that’s not the part of you which I most crave right now.”

“Oh, that one’s waiting for you, too,” he promised, making no effort to hide the husky groan underlying his voice.

Whether due to the attentions he’d given her or just her own eagerness, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation; she slid onto him in one smooth motion.

Oh, yes, she was most definitely warm. But that was a heat he didn’t mind in the slightest.

Their mouths met, sealing against one another, tongues dancing, breaths mingling. Hands roamed over fur, bodies undulated against each other, each motion making him shift inside her. When they came up for air, his hands were on her shoulders and hers on his, their hips still rolling together.

“You’re a good fit,” she murmured over his jaw, nipping at its base. “Enough to be felt, not so much as to be troublesome, and not in the least shy about putting it to good use.”

“What’s to be shy about?” Valan chuckled, tilting his head back and slipping one hand up behind her head. “You’re here, I’m here, we’re enjoying a few moments of shared pleasure. Why be shy about moving it along?”

She drew her head back, dark eyes sparkling as they found his. “You’ve something in mind?”

“I can be a bit more vigorous if I have more leverage,” he pointed out, rubbing behind her ears.

Mutely, but grinning, she drew off of him and gave him some room to work.

What followed was wonderfully straightforward. She hunkered down on the couch as he moved in behind her, panting over her shoulder. As his glans found her folds, she shivered, head tilting back, a soft sigh slipping free – a sigh that turned into a moan as he slid in, and cut off in a gasp when he started pistoning. This was not the gentle stirring from before; he dug his fingers into the cushions and shoved in with all his might. Again and again their bodies pushed together; again and again her sex stroked along his rod. She pushed right back in against his strokes, panting under him, her hands coming to rest atop his, fingers lacing together.

He felt that wonderful tightness starting to rise in him, and started to hold back, but she lifted a hand to press down on his skull, twisting her head, hissing encouragements, urging him on to a finish.

Well, if she wanted him to fill her, he wasn’t going to complain.

Groaning, he quickened his pace, churning in sharp, fast strokes against her. He buried his snout against her neck, panting, and then a wave of vertigo swept through him. He drove deep into her snug, welcoming heat, muffling a heavy groan against her neck, shivering atop her as his seed pumped into her.

As his climax receded, her fingers glided along his flattened ears, and she crooned softly to him, still pressed up against him. When he recovered enough to sigh and lift his head, she wiggled forward, sliding off of him and twisting around to stretch out face-up under him.

He hadn’t noticed any specific moment of climax on her part, but there was no mistaking the pleasure in that sensual stretch. Smiling, he shifted a hand to press against her cheek. “You’re a pleasantly friendly sort,” he mused, rubbing along her jaw. “I could get used to this sort of hospitality.” Both massive understatements, but certainly true. “…What’s next on your agenda, mmm?”

“Oh, we’ve still,” she checked her wrist chrono, “an hour and a half left to us here,” Ashel replied. She brought her hand up to his neck, running along the chain that held his tags, playing with them for a few moments, then following that chain up behind his neck. Her other hand slid down to cup under his rear. “We don’t need to go anywhere just yet, hmm?”

With a low groan, he followed her touch, easing his sensitive but still-firm length back into her, sinking onto his elbows in the process. “I like that thought,” he sighed. “This is a comfortable place to be.”

She dipped her muzzle down, pushing her nose against his cheek, and wrapped her arms around him, gathering him in close.

There’d be time enough to work on another round. For the moment, he just rested against her, atop her, inside her.

For the first time since arriving on Serox, he savoured the heat.