Exile on Main Street

Chapter Eleven

Afterward.

Kaushal flopped onto the bed, a weary smile on his face. It was still a pleasant surprise not to slip through the mattress. And the bed was comfortable beyond anything in his previous life; Lali had got it for him in the first days of his new, corporeal existence.

Jelly appeared next to him and accepted a bit of snuggling. It was rather like hugging a patch of cold fog but Kaushal didn't mind. He much preferred the ghost Jelly to the live version who was currently hanging about the store. That one made him feel a tinge of guilt.

Although most of the time Jelly the second seemed to be settling in rather well, all things considered. A bit dazed but not unhappy, sleeping in the sun and curling up in Lali's lap at every opportunity suited her, or him, whichever. It wasn't a bad way of life, to Kaushals mind.

Not that he wanted to trade places, he was settling in too.

There were the occasional problems of course, the inevitable stubbed toes and bumped nose while he re- learned the limitations of being all too solid flesh for starters.

The wardrobe problems he was learning to cope with although he still missed his comfy robes. Lali had been more than generous with advice and loans but pants took some getting used to. He felt half naked without a few yards of material billowing around him.

And with this new body a little extra coverage would sometimes have been more than welcome.

Not that he wasn't happy to be complete, he certainly didn't miss his old state but it was disconcerting sometimes.

He lightly stroked the chill mass that was Jelly and thought that his current state was like having a dog suddenly in attendance. Not a well trained dog either but a small yappy mutt who paid no attention to it's masters commands.

One could try of course, sternly telling the errant beast to stay down, down I say, lie down, play dead…but it didn't do much good.

Especially if Lali was anywhere nearby.

"You awake?"

"Yes, just being lazy really. It was a busy day for me, how about you?"

Lali dropped onto the bed on the far side of Jelly and Kaushal rolled onto his stomach, hoping he was being discreet.

"Not a bad day, I'd far rather deal with Mr. Adler's romantic woes than inventory. Give me a chance to muck about with rearranging the furniture and placing a few charms around over sweating over a spread sheet any time."

"It wasn't half bad really; we're pretty close to target too."

"How was Jade? I think she's warming to you."

"Well, I wouldn't say she's moved beyond luke warm yet but she's being awfully forgiving really. She does tend to jump a foot if I surprise her around a corner though. And she keeps Jelly well out of my way, although he avoids me pretty well on his own. Do you think he remembers?"

"I don't know, if he does he doesn't seem too upset about it. How do you feel? Demonic in the least?"

"I'm not sure how demonic feels; I don't have any urge to go about sowing discord and chaos if that's any indication."

"Hmmm, too bad. Notice any other urges cropping up?"

Kaushal muttered something.

"It's hard to hear you with your face in the pillow, try again?"

"Nothing out of the ordinary."

"Ah, good. Getting used to the hair?"

"Slowly. Sometimes painfully. You don't think it's a bit…gaudy?"

"It's stunning, in a good way. Wild, very sexy and wild."

"I'm not sure wild is exactly my forte. More mild, maybe I can stuff it under a hat?"

"No, definitely not. You're just looking for an excuse to wear that horrid wizard costume again and there I draw the line. I won't be seen in public with someone impersonating a Harry Potter character aside from late in October. I can't believe you bought that thing."

"It's rather nice really, how about I just wear it around the house sometimes."

"If you must. Interesting look with the dreds. Care to dine out tonight? "

"I'm a bit short til payday, perhaps…"

"Not a problem, I got a sizable tip today, I'll treat."

"How about you buy food and I cook?"

"Lovely, I've missed that. Make a list and I'll be off and back in no time."

Kaushal made the list, handed it off and took a quick shower. The glories of hot water on demand had more than met his expectations and he had swiftly laid claim to a good half of Lali's bath products. He emerged steaming, tossed his hair back and dried off, contemplating clothes.

And Lali. And urges.

He dressed simply, bracing himself to check the mirror. The stranger looking back at him was still a bit disorienting. Not that it wasn't an improvement but it wasn't easy to get used to.

He still caught himself limping sometimes, although there was no need for it. Strange to stand straight and walk swiftly, with no pain. And young, had he ever been this young? Hard to remember, he'd certainly never been this tall. It wasn't a bad body either, all things considered. The face was nice rather than handsome perhaps but all in all, not bad.

And Lali liked this shape, he'd said so. Of course that was before it was his shape but surely that wouldn't make a difference?

One could hardly ask, could one?

He'd been pleased at first that Lali hadn't teased; he'd been expecting any number of rude questions and impertinent comments. But Lali had been strangely tactful, almost gentlemanly.

And he'd bought him a bed, set him up in another room and often knocked before entering. It was disconcerting.

XXXXXX

Enough of dithering about like the old man he felt inside, he was young, he was whole, he was ready. Probably. Mostly, most likely. He strode off with a gleam in his eye, picked himself up handily after forgetting to open the door for the seventeenth time this week and headed for the kitchen.

XXXXXXX

"So, a drink with dinner?"

"You got wine?"

"Whiskey, you mentioned liking it."

"Sounds wonderful. You pour while I finish up in here."

"What exactly are you making?"

"You picked up the ingredients, you should know"

"You put most of them away. Just as well, there was a weeks worth of food on the list."

"You exaggerate, but you're right in a way. Inspiration struck while you were gone and there has been a slight change of plans."

"Good, I like surprises."

"And here it is. Cheers!"

"It's, umm, porridge?"

"I got to thinking, you hardly ever get a decent looking bowl of porridge here and it's a touch of home I thought you might miss."

"Oh, yes, right. Porridge, well, it's certainly a change. Looks very...porridgy."

"It's not bad if I do say so myself, always handy with a nice pot of porridge back in my last life. Lali, have you lost your mind? The whiskey goes in the glass; the milk goes in the porridge!"

"Not partial to milk myself, you can have my share. Besides the whiskey adds a certain…something. Can I refill your glass?"

"Sure. Save room for dessert too."

Lali brightened and looked up from the bowl of either very thin porridge or very thick whiskey.

"You made dessert! Be still my heart, what is it? Something swimming in sugar and cholesterol? Please?"

"More or less, I did manage to work some nutritional bits in, perhaps you can pick around them."

Kaushla drained his glass and Lali refilled it before diving back into the strawberries and cream.

How he managed to balance the pile of cream, approximately twice the mass of the berry was a mystery Kaushal hadn't solved yet.

And why he felt the need to lick the cream off rather than simply shove the berry in his mouth was another, how could someone take that long to eat a miniscule piece of fruit?

Kaushal noticed with surprise that his glass was empty again and refilled it himself.

"This is wonderful! Simply grand! "

"You're driving me crazy."

"Apparently to drink too, might I inquire why?"

"No."

"Ah, in that case, any more berries? Or left over cream?"

Kaushal pushed the serving bowls toward him and after a moment pushed his own bowl after.

"Very generous of you, more whiskey?"

Kaushal accepted the top off silently.

"You're an incubus."

"True, can't sneak a thing past you can I?"

"You, stop doing that with the cream! You ravage. That's what you do. You despoil the innocent."

"I ravage? That's your opinion of the sum of my being? That's hurtful, that is. And unduly stereotypical. As well as down right insensitive, I mean, hath not an incubus eyes? Two generally, and hath…"

"You're a demon. You are a lust demon, or a demon of lust or …well, the point is, the point is…"

"Yes? I'm waiting with bated breath."

"You're a demon…"

"I think we'd got that far, unless you want to add a very happy, strawberry and cream filled demon. Of course we incubi tend to be cheerful, not a universal trait among demons. You want to see sullen try hanging about with a Terivian slime demon. Doom and gloom all the time, you'd think never having to fumble for the lube would lend at least a touch of cheer to their lives, along with the myriad fun things one can do with tentacles but noooo…"

"Shut up! You're an incubus and you never…not that I want you to but…you could at least make the effort!"

"First, put that fork down, it's not a wand and you're about to knock your glass over. Secondly, what makes you think I'm not making the effort? Did you expect some crude rush, tipping over the furniture and throwing you on your back without a by-your-leave?"

"Yes."

"Oh, well then, coming right up. But not until you put that fork down."

"I don't believe this is happening."

"Perhaps it isn't, here, let me get the buttons."

"What do I do?"

"Relax for one thing, I'm not going to do anything dire to you, if you want to stop we will."

This brought a befuddled stare, the doubt so blatant that Lali paused mid button hole.

"Kaushal my dear, I specialize in seduction, not rape. If you're uncomfortable with something I'm doing I'll stop."

"Have you ever stopped before?"

"No one has ever asked me to. Would you mind a bit of silence now, I'd like to concentrate."

"Please do."

Kaushal found himself hazily thinking that disrobing had certainly never been this much of a production in his previous life. Lali made it almost a ceremonial act, bestowing generous loving attention to each bit of exposed flesh, stroking and kissing with delighted murmurs.

At first it was embarrassing, Kaushal wanted nothing more than to grab his clothes back, cover himself up while protesting that he wasn't worth this kind of to do. Once the heat began to build though he let himself enjoy this novel attention, even attempting to reciprocate, running nervous fingers through Lali's hair and stroking his neck and shoulders.

"Shall we adjourn to a bedroom?"

"I don't think I can walk that far."

The chuckle against his neck made him shiver.

"That's a good sign; let me help you lie down then."

It was more a barely controlled fall than a graceful descent but Lali kept his head from bumping the floor and the awkward moment turned to laughter, which turned to kisses. Lali broke away gently from these and slid down Kaushal's frame, fingers softly exploring along the way. Kaushal opened his mouth to protest when Lali lapped at the arch of a foot but before he could get a word out the slick touch was gone, hands were sweetly massaging the tension from the foot instead and he let his mouth close.

The pattern continued a questing tongue, tension good or tension bad. The delicious tension was embroidered on and the bad soothed away.

This was Lali's art, his magic, and Kaushal sank into the spell without an ounce of resistance and with growing delight. It wasn't just the pleasure, the need that drew him to blissful surrender but the soft words, the sounds, the feeling that he was desired, wanted, needed. That his pleasure pleased Lali, that he pleased Lali.

It was intoxicating, being the center of Lali's world.

When the trail of caresses and kisses moved as far as his thighs he let his legs fall open with no prompting and Lali began exploring with delicate touches, the bare teasing pressure of finger tips, the ghost of a lick. This time his wishes for more were ignored, even his attempts to move were thwarted.

When he redoubled his efforts Lali slid upward, his body held a scant few inch above Kaushal.

"Patience is a virtue."

"I've been patient for more than a life time, fuck patience."

"You've a fair point there, this once I'll rush but only this once."

Kaushal bit his tongue, the question could wait.

Lali slid downward as he closed his eyes, warm wet suction enveloped him, withdrew teasingly, drawing a moan and returned. A slow steady rhythm drew him spiraling toward release, a moment of impossible ecstasy and then Lali pulled away and slid back up to hold him, showering kisses on his face, his neck, his closed eyelids.

"That was…that…I…"

"I'm gratified, speechless is a good reaction."

"Good doesn't begin. But, but I wanted…"

"I know, give me some credit here, but a few moments of rest while I get out of my clothes is acceptable?"

"Yes, let me pry my eyes open first."

A warm laugh was his answer and Lali withdrew, stood up and shucked his clothes with total unconcern and a broad grin.

When the grin was all he was wearing he returned, kneeling by Kaushal's side.

Kaushal took in the picture before him, enticing certainly but a bit intimidating. Lali took his hand.

"Don't worry, you worry too much. We can simply cuddle if you like, or anything else you've a mind to do."

"I want to touch you but I'm not sure how."

"Are we speaking of technique or intention? If the first, anyway you'd like. If the second, well, the answer is the same but I'd ask that you avoid seriously damaging me, I don't want to spend the next few hours trying to get blood out of the carpet."

"Oh, no, I didn't mean that…I'd never want to hurt you in any way."

He was rewarded with a kiss.

"How about I just lie beside you and you do whatever is comfortable for a bit."

Comfortable wasn't the term Kaushal would have used for the situation but once Lali settled beside him and closed his eyes, one arm lying over Kaushal's chest, he felt a bit less nervous.

He gingerly ran his hands over Lali's chest, lightly brushing over tawny nipples and jumped a little when this elicited a soft moan.

"That feels good, really good."

Heartened he brushed them again, more firmly, and watched with fascination as they pebbled.

A slight pinch brought a deeper moan and he moved on, trailing his fingers down to Lali's groin. He reached his goal and brushed the back of a hand over his length, jumped again when it bobbed slightly in response.

"I assure you it doesn't bite. Especially while being petted."

Kaushal slowly wrapped his fingers around the shaft, squeezing gently. Lali shifted closer and dropped a kiss on his cheek.

"See, I told you, perfectly harmless."

"It's, well, a bit…large. It makes two of mine, isn't that a bit excessive?"

Lali cracked open one eye.

"Your's is perfectly respectable, but if it makes you feel better…"

"What! It's , no, I didn't mean…I don't want it to go away!"

"It won't, I'm just shrinking to something more manageable for the moment. Better?"

"How do you do that?"

"It's magic of course, it works just as well in reverse, in case you want more later."

"This is fine for the moment, just fine."

It was more than fine; it was perfect, the satiny skin, the weight of it in his hand, the strange intimacy of the moment. He moved his hand experimentally and Lali's fingers drifted to mirror his grasp.

"Ah, a quick recovery."

Kaushal reddened but the warm feel of Lali's fingers didn't leave him time to feel embarrassed for too long, there were better, more enticing feelings to explore.

Kaushal moved his hand again; a slow stroking motion and Lali did the same for him, a smile when their eyes met over this halting duet.

"Should I …"

"If you want to, it feels good like this."

"It does but I'm greedy."

"Must be the demonish side, you'll have to wait a moment at least, we need lube."

"Your magic doesn't take care of that?"

"Sorry, we all have our limits. I'll be back in a moment."

Kaushal tried to calm down, at least a little. He'd wanted this experience longer than he cared to remember and he didn't want to have it pass in a flash.

Lali returned tube in hand and knelt beside him.

He handed him the tube and Kaushal frowned, unsure of the etiquette involved.

Lali waited a moment and then took it back.

"Just thought it would be politic to offer, try to relax for me now."

"Is this going to hurt?"

"Oh, it'll be gruesome, excruciating, horrible."

"I was just asking, you needn't take offense."

"I didn't, I promise it won't hurt. If you want me to stop I will."

"If I say No you'll stop?"

"No, if you want me to stop I will, it's not the same thing. Close your eyes if it helps."

He didn't close his eyes, watching Lali slick the oil over himself was too engrossing a sight to miss but when he then placed one dripping digit against Kaushal's entrance he let his eyelids clamp shut.

The feeling wasn't painful; though it was strange at first. The thought of the act was odd, uncomfortable but the physical feelings soon overshadowed that. The finger was withdrawn before Kaushal was ready to let it go and he opened his eyes. Lali moved between his legs, resting his hands on his thighs.

"It might be easier if you rolled over."

"No."

"Good, I like a challenge. One sec."

He rose and crossed the room, snagged several pillows from the couch and returned. He arranged the pillows underneath Kaushal, raising his hips to a more reasonable angle moved back between his legs, watching his face from half closed eyes.

There was pressure again and then a momentary twinge and they were joined. It seemed to Kaushal an absurdly simple operation. It felt good, still strange but nice. Nice was…nice but not the overwhelming event he'd been expecting. Lali smiled at the look on his face.

"Don't worry, it gets better."

Lali slid one still slick hand around his length and stroked him while the pressure grew, a sudden jolt of pleasure took Kaushal by surprise and he cried out.

"Ah, about right size now, is it?"

"Aaahhh."

"Good."

He leant forward, resting his weight on his hands to either side of Kaushals' shoulders and began to move, small movements at first then long slow strokes with that blinding flash of pleasure at the end of each one. Kaushal arched upward, long legs wrapping around him, hands clutching at his back, his hips, nails digging deep.

"Ahh, Lali! Now, now please, now, I can't…"

Lali shifted his weight to free one hand and began to stroke Kaushal in time with his thrusts, Kaushl was dimly aware of flailing, clawing, keening and then there was a wave of pleasure greater than the others and he drowned entirely.

"Lali?"

"Right here, I brought tea."

Kaushal began to sit up, gasped at a sharp stab of pain and settled on curling on his side.

"Lali, how long did I sleep?"

"Not long at all. I'll set the tray here and go fetch cups. And more pillows if you like?"

"I don't think there could be any more pillows, and you brought out a comforter too, this is lovely, feels like being in a nest."

Lali returned and dropped easily to the floor, busying himself with the tea things.

"You didn't know nesting was a trait among my folk? You must have missed that day in class, now you're stuck lolling about on silken pillows for days while I dart in and out, bearing food and shiny trinkets for your pleasure."

"You lie shamelessly!"

"I do everything shamelessly, I 'm a demon. Here."

He extended the brimming tea cup, Kaushal reached for it and froze.

"Lali?"

"Don't panic dear, you'll spill tea all over the rug."

"Lali!"

"They're retractable, just calm down and let them slide back."

"But, Lali, I don't have claws. I don't, I can't have. I didn't have them this morning! One doesn't just sprout claws!"

"Apparently you do, and charming claws they are. Perhaps with half breeds such traits only surface after the first mating? Don't worry, they're perfectly lovely. Sharp too, extremely sharp."

"Oh no, turn around."

"No."

"Please turn around?"

He sighed, set his cup down and presented his deeply slashed back.

"Lali, I'm so sorry I didn't know…"

"It's fine, I'll heal and they'll make lovely silvery scars."

"That's not funny. I felt so wonderful and now I feel so bad."

Lali turned back to him and smiled, softly touching his face.

"When you were in the demon taming trade did you never notice such scars?"

Kaushal thought back, claws tapping softly on the saucer.

"Not personally but I do remember some lectures in which they were mentioned, had to do with judging a demons age or power or somesuch. I think we were to avoid demons with them or … I never advanced to a state where the knowledge was helpful so I'm afraid it's rather hazy in my mind."

"The reason to avoid incubi with such scars is that they would be one of a mated pair. Help yourself to ones' liver for a handy light spell or whatever and his mate will arrive and flay you for a winter cape. Romantic, isn't it?"

"We're,umm,what exactly does that entail? Oh no…tell me I don't…damn, I can't look. Is that why I hurt down there?"

"Well it is bound to be a little tender for a few days, I'd think. Probably best not to flex it about for a while. It's nice though, once you get used to it you'll love it, very handy, a tail."

Kaushal set the tea down and reached behind himself, seeking the source of his discomfort. Unmistakably, irrefutably and impossibly, there it was. He gingerly followed it with his fingers, lifting it over his hip to look it over.

"I have a tail."

He was rather proud that the words came out calmly.

"I noticed that. Grand, isn't it?"

"I don't suppose it's retractible?"

"I wouldn't think so, once it's less sore you can wrap it round your leg under pants I'd think. Or cross dress in evening frocks, you'd look charming."

"You hide yours with magic!"

"Well I can't be expected to hide yours' as well, I'm sure you'll think of something. You're a mage; you'll eventually find the correct spell. In the meantime let's just admire it, shall we?"

Kaushal flexed the spade shaped tip experimentally.

"It's not bad, it's just, unexpected. Rather dramatic though, isn't it?"

"Extremely. Flaunt it about and everyone will want one."

(A.N.-And that's that. The end. I hope it was enjoyable, it was fun to write and I think these characters will make another appearance in future. Thank you for kind comments and helpful criticism. Sb)