Short stories and serials by Alexandra Herakai

CIBYAD Epilogue: The Morning After

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“Pretty as you are when you’re sleeping,” a voice murmured, intruding on a dream about nothing in particular, “I have a meeting to not be late to, sweetheart.”

“Uhm?” was Aretta’s profound reply, as she blinked herself out of sleep.

“I’m afraid,” the half-raev under her said, patiently, “I need to get going if I’m going to make my meeting on time.”

“Oh.” She stretched, as much as the limited space in the truck’s passenger seat would allow, the blanket he’d draped across both of them the previous night falling down on the floor. “Next time, I should just get a cab and bring you back to my place.”

He smiled, kissed her, tenderly. “I think I would like a next time. Hm.” His hand, squeezing in between her thigh and his, found a faded reciept and a chewed stump of a pencil in one pocket, and scrawled a number on it. “Call me sometime.”

She laughed. “Aren’t you the one supposed to do the calling?”

“You’d beat me to it anyway.”

That drew more laughter from her, but she took the piece of paper from him, carefully folded it up, and stuck it in one of the many pockets in the cargo pants on the driver’s seat.

They both gritted their teeth, he more than her, as she pulled away from him to wriggle into her underwear; his fur was matted with semen and had stuck to her as it dried. With a frown, she looked at the stains on his dark dress pants.

“You can’t go to a meeting like that.”

“I’ve got another pair in my hotel room, don’t worry.”

She shook her head. “Can’t let you walk in there looking like that. It’d look bad.” It didn’t take more than a few moments of thought to come up with what seemed like the obvious solution. With practised ease she fished her cash and license out of her own pants, twisting awkwardly to tuck them into the glove department of the truck. “Here, take mine, at least they’re clean. I can drive over to my brother’s to change, won’t be a soul around this time of day and his kid ought to have something my size.” She was babbling, and on some level she realized it, but she felt guilty about the mess she’d caused.

He wrapped his arms around her, drew her into a kiss, and held her tightly until she relaxed. “Thank you, Aretta. For everything.” When she opened her mouth to protest, he kissed her again. “I mean it.”

She climbed over to the driver’s seat, then, fishing her heavy steel-toed boots from the floor by Alej’s feet and putting them on while he wormed his way out of his pants and put hers on. They fit awkwardly, and she had to help him re-thread the belt so it’d run over his tail for them to even stay on, but it looked a sight better than the too-obvious stains on his own pants.

She didn’t mind driving in her boxers, so what was the harm?

Only after she’d dropped him off outside his hotel and pulled away did he happen to stick his hand into a pocket and find the note with his phone number on it. And by the time she realized that she’d left it, he’d already been to his meeting, returned, and left for the airport to return home.

Damn it, and she’d liked both those pants and the man who’d been wearing them the last time she saw him.

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