Originally posted on FA on Oct 20th, 2016 06:13 PM
Mira pulled the heavy coat she wore tight against her body, but still she shivered. Her fur, the traveling clothes, and two layers of coats just weren't enough. The cold seemed to permeate everything, seeping in through any entrance it could find to chill her to the bone. Her feet crunched through the snow with every step, making her toes feel like they were about to fall off.
Her teeth chattering, she turned to her guide. "H-how in the heavens are you n-not f-f-frozen!?"
The fox turned to look at Mira. A gust of wind and swirling snow caught the cloak she was wearing, causing one side to flap open and reveal what she wore underneath: nothing. Except for her cloak and her own fur, the damn fox was naked. And yet she looked no less comfortable than Mira would feel walking about on a summer day.
"My fur is thicker than yours," the fox said, by way of explanation.
"Like hells! It's f-freezing out here! Don't tell me it's j-just because your 'fur is thicker!'" She stepped forward, planning to jab the fox in the chest with her index finger. "You've probably got some kind of..."
Before she could get any further, the fox leaped back. "Don't come near me," she said, her tone sharp. "I've said it already. Don't get close to me. Okay?"
Mira huffed. The fox had been this way the whole trip. She had never seen anyone who demanded so much personal space. "Fine."
The fox nodded, then looked up at the sky. "We'd better set up camp."
"What!?" Mira's eyes widened. "We're spending the night here?"
"The storm is only getting worse. We won't be through the worst of it before night falls. Better to set up camp, stay warm and wait it out."
Mira clenched her teeth. "This is insanity."
The fox put her hands on her hips. "It was also your idea," she said. "Wanted to reduce your journey by seven days by cutting through the mountains, I believe? You're the one who hired me to get you through the mountains safely, and if you do what I say, I will. Now let's set up camp."
Mira wanted to respond with a biting retort, but she couldn't think of any, so she pulled off her backpack and started looking for her tent.
Mira huddled in the cold, wrapped in a blanked and wearing a warm sleeping robe she had brought for this purpose -- on her guide's suggestion, in fact. It didn't matter. She was still freezing.
She was starting to doubt that she'd actually survive the night. She must surely be halfway to freezing to death by now. And she didn't even have her guide nearby to help her: that stupid fox had insisted on sleeping in separate tents. What, was she worried about propriety? They were both female, for heavens' sake!
Mira heard the winds outside her tent die down, and she made her decision. She would demand that the fox sleep next to her to share warmth. After all, protecting Mira was her job, wasn't it?
Wrapping the robe around her shoulders, Mira pushed the flap of her tent open. The harsh night air nipped at her with freezing teeth, but she padded through the thick snow until she reached the fox's tent only a few feet away.
She hesitated for just a moment. The fox had been adamant about their separate tents, and she hadn't exactly liked it when Mira tried to get close to her. Maybe this was a bad idea?
A gust of chill wind seemed to blow right through her, and Mira shivered. She needed to get out of the cold, now. She pushed the flap of the tent open and stepped inside.
Cerise awoke from her slumber to find someone nudging her shoulder, trying to wake her.
She blinked her eyes and sat up, only to find herself looking into the eyes of Mira, the cat that had hired her.
"M-Mira! What are you doing...?"
Mira responded by giggling. Her eyes looked half-glazed. "You... you smell nice."
"Damn it," Cerise said, prompting another giggle from Mira. "I told you not to come into my tent! What are you doing here?"
"Hmm... it's cold..." Mira answered. She reached forward with one hand. "I thought we could... mmm... warm each other up..."
Cerise batted her hand away. "Mira! Snap out of it!"
Mira blinked, her eyes clearing at least partially. "H-huh? What's going on?"
"You came into my tent, that's what! Now you've gotten a dose of pheromones -- and a pretty heavy one, from the look of it."
"Pherofones? Wazzat?" She leaned towards Cerise again.
Cerise scooted back on the tent floor to get away from her. "Pheromones. My body uses them to attract prey."
"Prey?" Mira tilted her head. "You mean you wanna eat me?"
Hells. Not only was Cerise losing her again, this was not the direction she wanted the conversation going. "Look, Mira, you have to get back to your tent. You have to get away from me."
Mira giggled, crawling forward again on all fours, and Cerise was running out of room to back up. The feline reached forward, placing a hand on Cerise's stomach, and giggled. "Hmm... I bet it'd be warm in there."
Cerise felt her stomach rumble. "Y-yes, I'm sure it would be," she said. "But it has other downsides."
"Aww. But it's so cold out here. Couldn't you... couldn't you...?"
Cerise swallowed hard. She couldn't mess this job up. This was the first time she had been sent out on a job solo, without one of the other Adventurer's Guild members to keep an eye on her. She didn't want to betray their trust.
And yet... when was the last time she had "indulged" herself?
Almost on its own, her tail lifted up on her right side, like a snake raising its head. With a wet, organic sound, the tip parted, releasing a wave of warm air and fresh pheromones that washed over Mira.
Mira stared into the open maw, her eyes wide. "Woooooooow. Is that your tail?"
Cerise felt her cheeks heating up, and a warmth started building in the pit of her stomach. Thick fluid dripped from her open tailmaw, starting to form a pool on the floor.
She brought a hand to her mouth and bit down on her finger. She should stop this. She should kick Mira away, knock her out if she had to, then return her to her tent. In the morning, her head would be clearer, and they could continue their journey and get out of these mountains without further incident.
Before Cerise and Mira had left, the others at the Guild had said that they thought cutting through the mountains like this was a bad idea. It wouldn't be that hard to believe that Mira had frozen to death out here. They'd probably never find her body. It was unfortunate, but Cerise couldn't have done anything to save her.
"Y-yeah," Cerise answered, still biting her knuckle. "I think it likes you."
"Mmmmm." Mira was leaning so close her head was actually inside -- if it closed now, it would close around her muzzle. "Well, I like it, too."
She leaned in and kissed the slimy inside of Cerise's tail.
A shiver ran through Cerise's body.
Mira placed one arm inside the tail, reaching in deep to brace herself as she started to climb inside.
Cerise didn't stop her.