Tales of the Foxtaur Clans #7: Family Matters
Excerpts from the journal of Pandora & Karl, part 2
By Bernard Doove © 2005
8 August 2333
[Karl] Our second anniversary was very nearly ruined.
Pandora just poked me and told me that this isn’t the way to start a brand new journal. She persuaded me to do this shared journal where we both will write the highlights of our lives, and also the lowlights that needed to be remembered. Apparently it’s a tradition with many of the families in this clan to keep a journal, some many generations long. If our unique relationship succeeds or fails, perhaps this will help point out where it worked, and where there were problems. At the very least, it might make for some amusing re-reading in the future.
[Pandora] Karl always has a slight pessimistic streak, not that I blame him after the horrible experiences he had. Nevertheless, I expect to use the journal more to relive these early days in our relationship when almost everything seems wonderful and yet promising even more. Right this moment, I am happier than I have ever been in my life.
[Karl] So how should I begin this? ‘And they all lived happily ever after’, right? Yeah, sure! Like any other couple, we occasionally disagree and quarrel. What is unusual is the infrequency and brevity of these events. Only twice have I resorted to actually sleeping alone in the spare den that I was given the day that I arrived, and both times I woke to find Pandora cuddled up with me on the bedding, her tail in its usual place keeping me warm. Our love for each other is such that neither of us can stay angry for long, and I can confidently say that the foxtaur community has no other members whose devotion is stronger than ours.
However, that’s evading the subject. After an unbelievably long period of mated bliss, we had our first major disagreement over my insistence on installing some up-to-date hypernet equipment. After about a year and a half of working for Tobar, I had started producing fancy furniture of my own design again, and was seeking to establish a market for it. To do this, I needed to deal with the outside world again, and as I wasn’t prepared to leave the village, I needed modern communications and business equipment. Pandora, like the majority of foxtaurs, is a staunch stick-to-the-basics kind of person, and wanted none of that in her den. We have a generator that supplies power essential for running the water pump that not only supplies the den, but more importantly irrigates the fields. Pandora also has power tools where the desire for basics is outweighed by sheer bloody hard work. Efficient electric lighting is also used in places, although lanterns are just as common. She could not however convince herself that a computer and satellite link belonged in a foxtaur den. Eventually she stormed off to the bedroom and sulked. We two, because of our histories, have promised we would never hold the other to ransom physically, particularly sexually, so rather than confronting her, I decided to make do with the sleeping mat in the spare room.
[Pandora] After a while, I got over my sulk and started feeling lonely. After being mated for all this time, I had come to both expect and need our easy physical intimacy. I padded silently into the other room and watched him slumbering for a while. I smiled fondly at the human who had made my life so joyful, and wondered why I was being so pigheaded about the new equipment. Deciding that I would concede to him on this, I felt that it was okay to take my rightful place with him.Our second fight began with the best of intentions. It started one day when we went bathing at the local swimming hole after a particularly hot day. Several kits were there being their usual exuberant and noisy selves, splashing and diving with carefree abandon. I admit that they made me wistful for not being able to have any of my own. As much as we love one another, that will not overcome genetics. Karl asked what was bothering me, and I explained. He looked thoughtful for a while, then surprised me by saying, "I want you to have a child. Ask one of those tods on that Obligation that you told me about. I’ll support your choice." Well, I was shocked. I told him that I wasn’t interested in having another tod’s child, only his. I didn’t doubt that his intentions were noble, but I was disappointed that he would so readily relinquish his right to siring our children to a stranger, and that he hadn’t even thought about how I would feel about that.
[Karl] I admit it. I was an idiot. I kept insisting that she should take the opportunity when it arose, and I could not understand why she kept getting angrier and angrier. I just got more and more stubborn about ‘doing the right thing’ and just didn’t see her point of view. She got up and stalked off, presumably before she bit my head off, and went home. I picked up our things and followed, but found that she had gone into the sleeping den and closed the door, something that we never did. She obviously did not want my company then, so I made our dinner. For the first time in almost two years though, I ate alone. I went to bed in the spare room and spent a miserably long time trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Eventually I managed to go to sleep, but woke up when Pandora joined me. Only then did it get through my thick head how she truly felt about our relationship and her attitude towards children. I wanted to kick myself, but settled for snuggling deeper into my mate’s embrace. In the morning, I simply told her that I was sorry and I would never be so insensitive again. Such is the love she has for me, she forgave me instantly. I hardly deserve such a wonderful person.
[Pandora] I just bapped Karl on the head for that last comment. Of course he deserves me, just as I deserve him. I believe that we were destined to be together. I believed it from the day that we first met...
(See Tales of the Foxtaur Clans #6 - Pandora & Karl's Story, part 1)
[Pandora] Now you can record yesterday’s events, dear.
[Karl] Thanks, love. It seems I’m to be the official chronicler, so here goes.
Our second anniversary was very nearly ruined...
Karl made sure that he finished up promptly this day. Pandora had told him to be on time or else! Of course she couldn’t think of an ‘or else’ that wouldn’t punish her too, but she could give him an earful about it. Not that he wanted to be late anyway. Two years! Two years of being mated to the most wonderful vixentaur on Earth. No human could possibly be luckier, or happier, than he was right now, and he hummed in cheerful anticipation as he cleaned up before hiking back home.
"Sounds like you’ve got a big night planned," said Tobar, the foxtaur tod who was both his employer and close friend.
"Well, I don’t know exactly what Pandora has in mind for us tonight, but I anticipate that she will spare no effort."
"What? For the meal, or later on the bedroll?" Tobar asked with an exaggerated leer.
Karl laughed. "Both if we’re lucky, you dirty old tod!" Karl walked over to a gleaming new piece of furniture that he had built. "Thanks for helping me cart this home. It isn’t that heavy but it’s awkward, and I don’t want to scratch it before I get it in the den."
"No problem. It’s certainly a bit heavier than that cedar jewel box that you gave her last anniversary! Let me know what Pandora thinks of it."
"I’ll do that," Karl promised as he lifted one end. Tobar easily lifted the other and they manoeuvred it out the door of the workshop.
"This coffee table would make a nice addition to the pieces that you’ve been selling at the trading post," Tobar commented.
"I made this with shorter legs specifically with a taur in mind. I don’t know how saleable it would be."
"So? Just make the legs longer."
"Yeah, I know, but this piece is going to be of significance to me, so I might just keep it a one-of-a-kind style."
"Fair enough. Your success with the other furniture shows you know what people like."
"I couldn’t have done it without you. Taking me in so soon after I came here made a huge difference to my life, and you know it!"
"You make your own success, Karl. I just saw the potential, and since no young foxtaur was looking for a career as a carpenter, I was serving my own interests in taking you in."
"Ha! With a large number of the vixens giving Pandora hell, you risked a lot by associating with me, her lover."
"I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, vixens may run the community, but they don’t run my life!"
"And it’s why you’re still unmated, I suppose?"
"Don’t knock my methods. The vixens seem eager to try to attain the unattainable."
Karl smiled to himself. He already knew that his friend rarely lacked for company in the sleeping den, despite the fact that he was quite a mature tod.
The two continued on in amiable silence, interrupted only by a few words of caution when carrying the table past an awkward section of the rough path to Karl and Pandora’s den. As they reached it, Karl called out in the imitation of a foxtaur yip to announce his arrival. It was an affectation that amused Pandora, and she came to the doorway immediately. Her eyes widened at the sight of the coffee table.
"Happy anniversary, love!" Karl announced as he put his end down carefully.
Pandora threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly, lick-kissing him liberally. Letting him go except for one hand holding his, she admired the workmanship. "Oh, it’s gorgeous, Karl; and the carving is so intricate! So that’s what you’ve been spending so much time on lately. It’s the perfect height too."
"More than you might realise," Karl agreed cryptically.
Pandora looked at him curiously, but decided to wait to ask what he meant later. She turned to Tobar with a smile. "Thanks for helping Karl bring this up. I’d have hated to have seen it scratched." She gave him a one-armed hug.
Grinning, he accepted the hug with pleasure. "You can come by my den later and thank me more."
Pandora grinned. This was an old game they played. "Dirty ol’ tod! If I ever tire of Karl, you’ll be the first in line, I promise."
"Can’t ask for more than that! I’ll leave you two love-birds to yourselves now. Don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do!"
"That doesn’t leave out much!" Pandora retorted as the tod trotted off down the path back to the village. He gave them a cheerful wave as he disappeared around a bend. Pandora turned to Karl who was grinning at their by-play. "Okay, stop that smirk and tell me the rest. That’s a beautiful piece of furniture and I love it, but it’s not as if we really needed a coffee table. What’s your motive?"
"Would you prefer to find out now, or after dinner?"
Pandora considered. She was extremely curious, but then there was the dinner she was preparing. With a sigh, she resigned herself to be patient. "After dinner. I’ve spent a lot of time on this meal, and I don’t want it spoiled.
Karl nodded. "Good, that will be best." He cuddled his mate, fondling one of her breasts with mutual enjoyment. "It’ll be worth the wait."
Pandora helped Karl get the table inside and told him where she wanted it. The den was not so big as to allow much choice, but the table’s size was made with this in mind.
Karl pulled out a bottle of red wine from his backpack and put it into the fridge to chill a bit while he showered and changed into casual den clothing. Then he helped Pandora with the final preparations for the meal, carving up the roast lamb that he loved, but they rarely were able to have. Roasted potatoes and pumpkin, both from Pandora’s garden were slathered with gravy, plus corn on the cob dripping with butter for him alone, completed the meal.
Karl poured two glasses of wine, passed one to Pandora and held his up in a toast. "To the two happiest years of my life, and to many more with the finest mate a man could dream of having."
"To the two happiest years of our lives, my love, and to giving my life meaning," Pandora replied.
They clinked their glasses together and drank some of the wine, a fine vintage from Australia.
"Now dig in!" Pandora insisted. "I didn’t go to all this effort to let the food get cold!" she added with a grin.
The two enjoyed the meal immensely, but not merely because the meal was delicious, but also for the joy of the occasion. After a second serving for each, Pandora judged that an apple pie that she had left baking was ready, and went to remove it from the oven. Just then, there was a knock at the door. They looked at each other in puzzlement, not expecting any visitors. Karl, who had just got the cream out of the fridge for the pie, went to answer the door. Upon recognising the person standing there, he dropped the jug of cream, shattering it on the floor.
"Well, aren’t you going to invite me in?" asked the elegantly dressed human female standing there.
"Isabel!" Karl simply said, stunned at the appearance of someone he had not only had never expected to see again, but sincerely hoped never to hear from for the rest of his life. "What are you doing here?"
Pandora came to the door to investigate. Hearing the name, the vixentaur was immediately on guard, her hackles rising. She glared at the unwelcome intruder who coldly regarded her.
"So this is what you abandoned me for? You truly have gone to the dogs, haven’t you? Although I can see what attracted you to it," she added, pointedly looking at Pandora’s very generous bust. "You always did have a one-track mind."
"Pandora is not an it, nor is she a dog. She is a vixen, and more to the point, she is my wife, and you will not insult her, especially in our home!" Karl retorted with some heat.
"Your wife?! You’ve taken a morph as your wife, and a four-legger at that?"
"My opinion of you is already as low as possible. Adding bigot to that won’t help. She’s been more of a wife to me in a week than you were during our entire marriage, which incidentally is ended. What’s this crap about me abandoning you?"
"Oh, you and I are hardly finished, dear Karl. Shall we talk about it over a drink?"
"No, we shall not! How the hell did you find me anyway? I’ve made a point of leaving my previous life behind and I’ve barely had any dealings outside of this village since I came here."
"Pure good luck, Karl," Isabel said unperturbed by his irate attitude. I stopped at a certain trading post where I saw some fine furniture made with an extremely distinctive style. I asked the proprietor about it, and he kindly informed me about a man named Karl who was living in this village, so naturally I had to pay you a visit."
"You had to do no such thing! When I settled our divorce, it was with the agreement that you never bother me again."
Isabel gave Karl a smile that held no warmth, and sent a shiver down Pandora’s spine. She knew that this woman was scheming something.
Isabel said, "That was a verbal agreement, and you know what they say about those: that they are not worth the paper that they’re written on." She suddenly turned business-like. "I’m still entitled to half of what you earn. My lawyer will see to that, and now that you’re making good money again, I want my share!"
Karl was outraged. "What?!!! How can you possibly think you can get away with such a ludicrous idea?"
"You have a daughter, remember? And she’s still a minor. You have to pay maintenance, and seeing as you haven’t paid a cent in over two years, there will be other penalties and costs involved," Isabel said with a malicious grin.
"Bullshit! I signed over everything that you hadn’t yet stolen from me, left the business in your hands, and left you both set for life. You can’t possibly think…" Karl suddenly realised something. He looked at Isabel keenly. "You’ve blown it all, haven’t you? Your excessive lifestyle was always getting more and more exorbitant. Did you also spend the money meant for your brat?"
"Kathleen is your daughter too," Isabel replied without answering Karl’s question.
"I have no daughter," Karl said in a voice as icy as a glacier. "You made sure of that. I may have provided the seed, but that brat is solely yours. I did my legal duty and more, and you’ll not get a cent more out of me. I wonder if she knows that you’ve spent all the money meant for her? I’ll bet she doesn’t. I’d like to see her reaction when she discovers what mommy dearest has done."
The jabs finally cracked Isabel’s veneer of politeness and she snarled acidly, "She won’t lack, because now that I’ve found you, my lawyer will soon have you before the court if you don’t cooperate. And you know me, Karl dear, I don’t give up until I get what I want!"
At this point Pandora broke her silence. Up until then, she had just stood there seething in anger at what Isabel was saying, but the woman had gone too far. She pushed past Karl and shoved her muzzle practically in Isabel’s face, baring her fangs. "No you won’t, bitch! You don’t deserve it, you never did, and never will. You’re missing one very important fact, and that is you’re currently on Foxtaur Clan territory, and by UNTWG ruling, this is an independent territory, with its own laws and government by the Council of Foxtaur Clans. Your laws do not have legal status here. While Karl lives on Foxtaur Clan territory, he is out of your evil grasp. In fact, without the consent of our Clan’s Elders, you may not even remain on our territory. I can even get Justice & Enforcement to expel you as an undesirable, and I will too if you don’t leave this village right now!" Pandora practically spat the last in Isabel’s face, snapping her jaws shut with an implied threat.
Isabel reeled back, genuinely frightened by the sudden verbal attack by the angry vixen, not to mention the dangerous teeth mere centimeters from her face. Karl was in awe of her defence of him, and how she dealt with Isabel. The woman tried one more feeble riposte.
"He can’t hide behind you forever..."
Pandora didn’t let her finish. "He doesn’t need to hide behind me. We stand together as lifemates, and any attack on him is an attack on me, and I bite hard when attacked. If you’re not off our land in ten seconds, you’ll find out just how hard! Now GO!"
Isabel lost her nerve and turned and ran. The expensive shoes she wore definitely were not made for running, but fear allowed her to make good time anyway. Karl slipped his arm around Pandora’s waist and watched until Isabel disappeared around a bend in the path. Neither said anything for a few moments more, both needing to calm down after the unwelcome visit. Then Karl put his hand to Pandora’s face, turning her head towards his, and kissed her long and passionately. He felt the tension drain from the vixen as she responded.
Eventually they broke and Karl, with adoration in his eyes, said, "What finer anniversary present could I get than to have my mate defend me so well? I love you so much, Pandora Whitepaw, more than I can possibly say, but I’ll continue trying until the end of my days."
Pandora felt almost overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment, but not so much that she couldn’t reply, "How could I not defend my true love, especially against such evil? I promise that you will never have to face her, or any other peril, by yourself. We two are forever bonded."
Then Karl remembered something. "You told her we were lifemates, but we haven’t actually made that declaration yet."
"I was going to ask you after dinner whether you wanted to make that commitment," Pandora explained. "In my own mind though, I already see us as such. We are well past the year minimum requirement as denmates, and I see our lives just getting better and better. I truly want you as my partner for the rest of our lives," she finished earnestly.
"Tomorrow we will go to the council offices and register as lifemates. It’s only a formality though, because you’re already a permanent part of me, my dearest vixen," Karl replied with tears of happiness starting to sting his eyes.
With their love and commitment reaffirmed, they hugged and watched the sunset in perfect companionship. As twilight set in, Pandora suddenly remembered something.
"Oh, furballs! I forgot the pie. It’ll be completely cold by now."
Karl gave her a crooked grin. "Worse yet, all our cream is now on the floor. Cold pie will be fine, love. You serve it up while I clean up this mess."
And so they did, and cold apple pie never tasted so good.
After they cleaned up the dishes and cooking utensils, Karl announced, "Now it’s time to show you the secret of the coffee table. Let me just get one thing first." He went into the spare room and came out with a thick blanket. He then spread it over the table and tucked the loose ends under the legs so it wouldn’t shift. Then he gave Pandora a lascivious grin.
"This way, your claws won’t mar the finish, so hop up onto the table, my dear!"
Pandora did so, beginning to suspect where this was going. Her head was now a little higher than Karl’s, but much closer to level than when they normally kissed. Karl did just that, but Pandora knew that wasn’t the real reason, although she enjoyed it from that angle for a change.
Karl started undressing as he continued his explanation. "We’ve done many things during making love to make our different bodies more compatible, and thus more mutually enjoyable. You will note that the height of this thing, while very suitable for a coffee table, has been perfectly measured to bring your sexy hindquarters up to the level of my waist. No more awkward hunching over. No more makeshift props. I’m going to make love to you as never before, concentrating on pleasuring you instead of having part of me manoeuvring for balance." He finished with an exaggerated studly pose intended to make Pandora grin, but his full erection showed he was ready and eager to put his words into action.
Karl’s explanation and antics had the desired effect, and Pandora was both amused and aroused. However, she had a surprise for him too. "Before you get carried away back there, lover, there’s something else that I want you to do. This table brings something else within easier reach now," she said as she hefted her lush breasts, now bare also as she had taken off her halter while Karl stripped.
Karl grinned in pleasure. Both people thoroughly enjoyed his delight in her unusually large but sensitive breasts, and he willingly postponed his test of the table. He didn’t even have to stroke her nipples into firmness as she was so aroused already. Fondling one, he said, "Is it my imagination, or are these looking even more firm and full than usual? They never looked lovelier!" He put his lips to one nipple and kissed it, then licked it, feeling Pandora shudder in pleasure. He teased her a bit more before putting his mouth to it and suckling. A moment later, he started back in surprise, looking at the moist nipple while licking his lips. "You’re lactating!" he said in surprise.
Pandora grinned, delighted with the surprised look on his face. "You were right, my love. My breasts are indeed a bit fuller than normal as they now have milk filling them. Do you like?"
In response, Karl put his mouth back to the nipple and started sucking enthusiastically. He felt the warm milk squirt into his mouth, enjoying the unusual taste. Pandora found the sensation extremely pleasurable too, and growled in delight.
Karl pulled away reluctantly, licking his lips. "Darling, you taste absolutely delicious! This is such a great present, but how did you do it?"
"Give my other teat the same attention and I’ll explain." Karl unhesitatingly did so, quickly eliciting a similar flow of milk to the other. Pandora enjoyed it for a moment before beginning her explanation. "It occurred to me one night when we were making love that your enjoyment of my breasts was one of the first things that attracted you to me, and I wondered if there was anything that would make them even better." She shuddered in a small orgasm as Karl's contant suckling elicited more pleasure than ever before. She stroked his hair lovingly as she continued. "You had mentioned something about how a child would be in heaven feeding from these, and it occurred to me that so would you, my adorable breast-fetishist. Ooooh! I didn’t realise that it would feel so much better for me too! Oh, yes, keep that up!" she encouraged as one hand played with her other nipple, while the other stroked through the fur on her back in a sensitive spot. "Anyway, I went to see the village healer and asked her if there was any way to make my breasts start producing milk, and she said that there was indeed something meant to help new mothers get their milk flowing. When I explained why I wanted it, she was a willing accomplice. The tricky bit was to figure out the correct dose to have the milk ready for today." She gasped as a stronger orgasm hit her, then said in a voice shaky with emotion, "I’m glad to find that we got it right!"
Karl stopped what he was doing just long enough to say, "Such a thoughtful and delightful present. Thank you, darling!"
"Believe me, it’s my pleasure!" Pandora replied.
The lovers continued this for a long time, stroking and fondling each other’s body as Karl drove Pandora to ecstasy as he drained her dry. Only then did he finally get to prove the worth of the design of the new table as he made love to her until they were both exhausted.
[Karl] Although Isabel’s appearance was far from desirable, it did have one effect that I’m sure would annoy her a lot. It helped reaffirm the loyalty and love that Pandora and I have for one another on that special day.
[Pandora] P.S. The coffee table is indeed the perfect height!
To be continued in The Rival.
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