Her chosen form, as beautiful as it was, did have its drawbacks. One was that its soft, leathery grey skin was so much less durable than the hard green exoskeleton she wore while awake. Poor Calliope had lost count of how many times she’d accidentally cut or scraped or bruised that lovely grey skin through carelessness. But it was worth it, and she’d been getting better at knowing her limits. In fact, she almost never bumped her horns on doorways anymore!
But she was sitting alone in he room on Prospit’s moon one day when she discovered something else about it, something entirely unfamiliar. It was a bit like the feeling of disorientation she felt just after waking up, but it wasn’t fading. And there was a creeping fear just below it, the kind of fear that’s dangerously, wonderfully thrilling. She sat on the edge of her bed in a daze as a new sensation joined them. It was a slowly building need, a pleasant warmth trickling down to a place that made her squirm with an unfamiliar desire. When she stood up without thinking, a single thought flung itself into her mind, and everything clicked.
Calliope had read about troll mating instincts, of course, how their reproductive cycles were tuned to the drones’ collection schedule, or maybe the other way around. But she couldn’t possibly have known what it felt like…until now.
She was out the window before she even knew it, flying, floating swiftly over the shining golden city below her tower. As she rose into the darkness, the Prospitian citizens on the streets below gazed up and pointed. Calliope paid them no heed. The only things on her mind were the desperate warmth spreading through her and the violet speck in the sky it was propelling her towards.
She navigated the Veil without even stopping to think. She maneuvered around meteors with ease, guided only by the coal-dark, licorice-sweet hate flowing though her. White-garbed Dersites stared up at her in astonishment and fear as she approached. They hoped fervently that the enemy player would prove less violent than their own. There was no need for them to worry; she didn’t even look down, just flew straight through his window.
Calliope glared lustfully across the purple-hued room at the sleeping form of her other half. She couldn’t make herself think of him as her “brother” anymore. It just didn’t sit right. He was her fated enemy, her…kismesis.
She licked her lips with blissful viciousness at the thought. He looked pathetic sleeping soundly like that, and his dreamself was as ugly and sharp and green as the body they shared. Calliope wondered what would happen to that body if she called his name now. She didn’t care. He was already awake anyway.
Something sparked in her again, and Calliope couldn’t have stopped herself if she wanted to. “Caliborn,” she growled. She crossed the room in a few swift steps, just in time for his eyes to snap open and his hands to shoot towards her neck. Calliope darted backwards, dodging his talons as he sprang up from the bed.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” he snarled.
She failed to resist the urge to respond with “you”. Her arousal was reaching an almost unbearable level now that her enemy was in sight and ready to strife.
It went completely over Caliborn’s head anyway. “You bitch,” he spat, diving for her throat again, “you broke the rules!”
This time Calliope was too preoccupied with bloodlust and desire to dodge. She only had time to tuck her arms up to block her neck.
He squeezed her wrists, talons digging into her neck as he snarled right in her face. “I was planning on hiring the archagent to kill you, but now I think I’m gonna do you myself. Fuck. I mean do you in.”
Calliope could feel her throat slowly starting to close in his grip. Lime blood trickled down over her collarbone. Caliborn’s breath was hot on her face, and she knew she had to act fast. “You w-wouldn’t dare,” she coughed. “Not when I can do this.”
And with that, she leaned into him and pressed her face against his. Soft black lips met sharp green teeth, and Caliborn recoiled. But he didn’t let go. Gasping for air, Calliope whispered, “…you’re holding my hands…”
That did the trick. Caliborn released her neck and staggered backwards with a shriek. “You made me do that, you filthy whore! I fucking hate you!”
“Hate me, you say?” Calliope panted. “Good. Then the feeling is mutual.”
“At the end of our last chess game. When you fell for my ruse. You said you didn’t hate me that way, Cal… have you had a change of heart?” He sneered.
Calliope heaved a small sigh. “I…must admit that when I said that, it might have been an instance of…lying by omission…”
Caliborn sat back on his bed, licking her blood from his fingers thoughtfully. She was surprised he hadn’t lashed out at her again yet.
“Perhaps I wasn’t absolutely sure precisely how I felt at that exact moment, but… upon reflection, what I said was true, in a way.”
He gazed almost sleepily at Calliope, savoring the taste of her blood.
“I don’t hate you in the way you meant, the pure, unrestrained destruction that normally comprises our species’ courtship. No, I… I hate you with the toxic black passion of kismessitude. I want you to view me as a worthy rival. I want to see you at your weakest; to know that I could snap your neck in an instant but won’t. I am consumed with the thought of us, locked in that ancient battle between lust and loathing…” She could feel her alien heart beating faster and faster. She could also feel the infinitesimal friction of her panties against her with every breath she took, and it was absolutely maddening.
Caliborn gazed at her hungrily through half-closed eyes. “Right. It wouldn’t be as fun to destroy you completely. If I did that. I would never be able to crush you again. And again. And again. Until I broke you in. And made you my bitch.”
Calliope felt a thrilling pang of anger shoot through her body. “You are just so bloody disrespectful, Cal! Somebody really ought to teach you a lesson…!”
“You know I’ve never been very fucking good at. Learning.” He scowled.
She let out a short bark of laughter.
“Why the fuck are you laughing, you whore?”
“Oh, it’s nothing you’d be able to wrap your puny thinkpan around,” she teased.
Caliborn ran his dark, forked tongue over his fangs eagerly. “Oh. Well. We’ll fucking see about that.”
When Calliope pounced, slamming her body against Caliborn’s, the force of the impact between her vestigial breasts and his hard exoskeleton nearly knocked the wind out of her. But she succeeded in knocking him over. Calliope pinned him down against his violet-draped bed and Caliborn flailed feebly. He clawed lazily at the air above her back.
While he squirmed, she held him tightly and adjusted herself to straddle him. Caliborn managed to get his fingertips on Calliope’s upper back. She snarled at him and leaned down to suck on his lower lip as he slowly raked his claws down her back. Calliope gasped. She would never have expected it to feel so good. And he was being surprisingly gentle…
Caliborn seized the opportunity to sink his razor-sharp teeth into her soft black lips. This drew a groan from Calliope, along with a spurt of blood, which he lapped up eagerly.
She pulled up, panting from the exertion, pain, and arousal. And then they were right back at it, claws raking, teeth gnashing, hips starting to crash and grind.
“I’m. Going. To. Fucking. Kill. You,” Caliborn panted, each word punctuated by a bite at Calliope’s neck or shoulders. But his viciousness was steadily losing conviction.
“You… certainly don’t seem about to,” Calliope whispered, grinning as she trailed her claws across his chest.
He let go for a moment to flip her off, and she took full advantage of his momentary lapse in judgment. She shredded his pants and flung them aside, then pinned his hands over his head.
Caliborn squirmed and gnashed his teeth at her, but his resolve was continuing to weaken. His eyes widened and he half-moaned, half-growled at Calliope as she wiggled out of her shredded dress and let her bulge writhe its way out of her panties. The sound turned into a desperate, keening whine as Calliope laced her delicate grey fingers between his talons.
When she gave his hands a gentle, affectionate squeeze, Caliborn practically moaned. Calliope flashed a mischievous grin at him just before lowering herself to lick a bit of blood off his cheek, humming contentedly.
“F-fuuuuck…nnnnnnn…” Caliborn hissed loudly and pressed himself up against her. “Th-this is so t-tender… h…how dare you---”
That push, that little motion of his body against hers, sealed it. There was no going back. Calliope released his hands so she could tear both of their undergarments off. Caliborn lay there almost in a daze until she curled her squirming bulge around one side of his hemipenis. They both moaned, in perfect unison.
“New question,” Caliborn panted as Calliope squeezed him carefully, doing her best to avoid the barbs, “what the fuck. Is that? What happened to your cloaca?”
Calliope sighed, as much from pleasure as from exasperation. “Mmm… I thought I explained troll anatomy to you… y-yeah, that’s good…”
“I didn’t r-read it. I thought it was fucking revolting. And useless information. That I would never nnnnn...eed!”
“Not so useless now, wouldn’t you say?” Calliope teased. He was completely at her mercy, and her insides throbbed with desire at the realization. “…how mmuuh…much of my blood did you consume, by the way?”
“As much as I could get,” Caliborn purred, then paused to lick his teeth. “Your foul slime tastes like fucking candy. But the more of it I get, the less I feel like making you bleed. I don’t understand it. Now. Callie. Do you have a hole I can fuck or what?”
Calliope tsked. “As vulgar and impatient as ever, aren’t you?”
“Please, Callie…” Caliborn whispered, pleading. He froze, shocked by the realization of what he’d just said.
Calliope was shocked too, but it was a thoroughly pleasant surprise. “That’s more like it, love,” she said sweetly, relishing the look of scandalized ecstasy that flashed across Caliborn’s face at that last word. “Now, which side would you like to use?”
He gasped as her bulge released its hold on him. “Th-the same!” he pleaded. He needed that warmth, that pressure, that intimacy back as soon as possible.
“Just a moment, darling,” Calliope purred, stroking Caliborn’s spiral-outlined cheekbones affectionately as she positioned herself to have his hemipenis push up past her seed flap.
Caliborn tried and failed to suppress a desperate sob as she tantalized him with a fleeting preview of the feeling he was craving so desperately now. His thoughts had become a steady stream of oh god please don’t stop now Calliope I hate you I need you I love you—
“Do you now?” she asked.
“F…uck,” Caliborn groaned. “Was I saying that out loud?”
Calliope just smiled. She wasn’t even sure anymore which quadrant this would fall under, and she really didn’t care. “Yes. Yes, you w--ahhhhh…h-h-hnnnnn…!”
Caliborn tightened his grip on her horns as he pushed himself up into her, too impatient to be gentle. “You like that, don’t you?” he growled, “You little slut.”
“Sh-shut the fuck up,” Calliope gasped. Her stomach clenched involuntarily at the searing sting of his barbs inside her. For a moment she wished she hadn’t chosen this delicate form. But the pain subsided after a moment, replaced by a wave of the most wonderful thing she’d ever felt. As long as neither of them moved…
Caliborn gave Calliope’s horns one last rub, stroking slowly down along their winding curves from yellow to scarlet in a way that made her shudder and whimper in pleasure. And then he let go, and Calliope’s eyes started to fill up with tears. “Please… don’t stop…”
He reached for her hands, gripping them reassuringly, and flicked his serpentine tongue out to kiss away her tears. Calliope hummed a sigh and allowed herself to relax. She nestled herself against Caliborn, getting comfortable. That slight shift was all it took, and she braced herself for what she knew was approaching.
“I…I love y-y…oooooh…!” she stammered, trailing off into a moan, too wrapped up in the overwhelming surge of indescribable pleasure that was engulfing her to realize what she’d just let slip.
“Do you now?” Caliborn said. He grinned up at Calliope and wedged one hand between their stomachs to grab at her wriggling bulge. “Because I hate you.”
The feeling somehow got even more intense as he stroked and tugged at her, and Calliope choked back a sob. “I hate you too, you-- h-h-aaaaah…! y-you festering sack of hoofbeast bollocks…”
Caliborn started breathing faster and faster, his tongue lolled out from between his jaws, and he dug his talons into Calliope’s outer thighs. “F-fuck y-y-you--- Callie…!”
Calliope screamed silently, her vision going blank as her genetic fluid gushed from her nook onto Caliborn’s stomach, legs, and already-bloodstained bedsheets.
As they both slowly stopped convulsing in pleasure, Caliborn muttered breathlessly, “New rule. The no crossing the Veil rule isn’t going to be a rule anymore.”
Calliope wholeheartedly agreed.