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Rock Dog: Glorious

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Rock Dog: Glorious
by Tempo

Darma knows Bodi likes her. But Bodi likes everybody. That's the trouble with having a crush on your canine lead singer.

Note: If you haven't seen the movie, watch the film's official music video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stctZ-8akds

~ ~ ~

Stepping off the bus with a bass guitar and a bag of takeout noodles, Darma didn't feel like a rock star. Not really. Rock stars couldn't ride the bus. Everybody knew that. But, since meeting Bodi, she'd been wondering about the accuracy of things everybody knew.

Everyone had assumed Bodi was nuts, wandering down from the mountains to play music when he didn't even know what a radio was. She'd thought he was cute—completely delusional, but cute. He should have set off all her streetwise city-fox alarm bells. She'd been raised to distrust anything that seemed too good to be true. This dog sure seemed to fit that definition, but she'd been the only one in the whole city to see something genuine in him.

Then it turned out he had magic.

Literal, glowing-blue, lift-you-in-the-air guitar magic.

So there was that.

She waded through the offerings fans had left at the front gate. When Bodi had first moved in here, they'd all been addressed to Angus Scattergood. Now, though, at least a few of the fan letters were addressed to her band. If anybody could tell red foxes apart, she'd hardly be able to walk down the street.

The front gate loomed before her, easily twice her height. Her heart still skipped a beat whenever she pressed her ID card to the plate, and not just because the fence buzzed with voltage. For all the times she'd been here over the past six months, this was still rock legend Angus Scattergood's house. Sure, he was on the other side of planet at the moment. Sure, she had permission to be here. Sure, she was here on band business. But still, she couldn’t help a simmering fear somebody somehow was overdue to declare she hadn't put in enough years playing guitar in the park, hadn't earned the right to be the bassist for the band promoted by Angus Scattergood and fronted by a dog with magic guitar powers.

The sun sank through the cityscape. Long shadows draped across the street. With a deep breath, Darma straightened and walked onto the grounds. The gates closed behind her with a clank and a zap. She'd never actually been shocked by it, but she'd always been content learning from others' mistakes, especially those in song form. That's how she'd made it to adulthood without a single broken heart.

She headed through the hedge maze, past the security robots, and over to the garden shed. Technically, a shed. She'd seen houses smaller. Considering the whole lawn was Astroturf, it didn't get much use. She was pretty sure Angus just put Bodi up in it to keep him from tracking mud into the real house. The mansion stood silent, save for the whir of the robot butler cleaning in the window. She waved to the machine. It waved back.

By contrast, faint strands of acoustic guitar traced from inside the shed. She followed them inside, past the dusty landscaping tools with price stickers still on them. Up the ladder, she climbed into Bodi's abode. The converted loft held a mishmash of traditional Tibetan trappings and a slightly-clueless dog's idea of what was cool in the West. Rock 'n roll posters hung on a rope like prayer flags across one corner. A dented metal teapot sat atop an amp that actually went up to 11. A shiny modern blender sat full of butter tea.

On the bed sat a Tibetan mastiff, head nodding as he strummed on the guitar. His tail wagged in time with the beat. Bodi. So lost in the music, he didn't even hear her come in.

She stood at the edge of the room. It felt a little intrusive, watching him, but she didn't want to break the spell. It could be an actual spell with this dog. You never knew. Here and there, she saw the faintest flickers of blue glow where his claws plucked at the strings.

The song soared like a mountain wind. Soft, wordless howls swung along in time. He played like nobody had ever disapproved, even though people had. He sang like nobody had ever found him annoying, even though people had. He danced like nobody had ever made fun, even though people had.

So wrapped up his song, she stood silent as it ended, forgetting she hadn't announced that she'd come in. Serene, she leaned back. Her bass's headstock tapped against the wall.

The large canine's ears perked under his wool hat. Glancing over, he spotted her and beamed. His tail drummed the bed. "Oh, hey Darma!"

"Hey Bodi." She shrugged. He'd caught her listening. No big deal. Wasn't anything weird in that. Her tail still curled around her knees. She hefted the takeout bag. "I, uh, brought noodles."

"Wow, cool!" He set down his guitar and stood. A head taller than her, he might have been intimidating, except for the fact that he dressed like he was still living in a quaint mountain village and grinned like the world shone brand-new. "You didn't have to. You know I'm cool with just having tsampa porridge." His thumb jerked toward an industrial-size bag of roasted barley flour.

She rolled her eyes. How mastiffs got so huge eating the same food every day, she'd never understand. "Well, foxes need a more varied diet."

He hugged her, but he hugged everybody, so she tried not to read too much into it. Felt nice, though, being liked by such a sweet guy. He smelled like homespun wool and the world's least cryptic tea leaves.

"Heh." The vulpine managed to get her arms most of the way around his broad chest. Her tail swished against the instrument strapped to her back. Once the hug ended, she handed him a takeout box. Introducing him to the world's cuisine was an ongoing project. At least she didn't have to guess what he liked: he liked just about anything.

The mastiff paused for a second, paws on her shoulders, and smiled at her. He always looked at her like she was super pretty and, on four different occasions, had casually mentioned how attractive he found her. Not that she was keeping track. But he'd never flirted with her, at least not as far as she could tell. He liked her so much she couldn't tell if it was romantic or just canine. Her usual metrics for assessing if a guy or gal had a crush weren't calibrated for this level of constant, undramatic affection.

Heat rising in her ears, Darma realized she'd been staring at him. Not that he seemed upset. If anything, her staring at him like a weirdo had only made him wag harder. She lowered her eyes with a blush and handed him his noodles.

"These smell great." He popped open the white oyster pail and chowed down. Those big square paws shouldn't have been able to use chopsticks. Most of the bigger species in town just used forks. He had magic hands, though. They could do just about anything.

Darma stepped out of her shoes, propped her bass against the nightstand, and took a seat on the bed beside him. No chairs up here. She could help him find one, but then she'd have to sit further away from him. It was kind of fun. Nobody else got to sit on Bodi's bed.

His big brown eyes flicked down at her. "You not gonna eat?"

Her hand brushed down a cheek ruff. "Yeah, just a little tired from work."

He nodded, with vague understanding and total trust. Then he shoveled more lo mein into his mouth. "This is really good. Thanks for bringing dinner."

"Sure thing." She peeled the lid off a foam container of soup. The steam drifted up toward the bare rafters. Woven rugs tacked between them ensured better acoustics. Not that they recorded anything here, not when they had a world-class studio next door.

The dog swallowed. "You're always doing stuff like that." A thought flowed down his brain to his now-empty mouth. "You're always looking out for me. Thanks for that too." He smiled at her.

She found herself smiling back. "Oh, you know…" She sipped at the broth, careful not to take it too fast and burn her tongue. "All part of the bassist code."

Bodi tilted his head, muzzle full of dangling noodles.

She rolled her eyes. "Bass guitar isn't glamorous. But somebody has to play it, or the band won't sound as good. Just like somebody's gotta sing backup vocals."

"But you do that stuff." He licked a thin sheen of sauce off his lips.

The fox chuckled. "Well, yeah! I want the band to sound good."

He glanced at her white-on-black guitar. "Why don't people want to play bass?"

She fished a dumpling out of the soup and blew on it. "Because you can't play solos when your guitar's so low nobody can hear it."

"I like bass. It's like a regular guitar, but you feel it more than you hear it." He poked his chopsticks into the takeout box, studying its contents. "So…you spend a lot of time working at that coffee shop."

"Forty hours a week." Her delicate muzzle chomped on the dumpling. "You should stop by again. We'll get an espresso in you. Maybe you can invent Tibetan speed metal."

"You must really like coffee." He scooped some tea into the teapot, then filled it with water and set it on a novelty hot plate shaped like a miniature turntable.

"It's okay." She shrugged. "It's a job."

"Isn't being in a band enough of a job?" A touch of concern tempered his usual enthusiasm. "Now that people like listening to us?"

She took a long sip of the soup to give herself time to think. "Remember how I explained money to you?"

He paused to think for an instant, then gave a sunny nod, hat tassels swaying. "Yes!"

"We haven't gotten paid yet for any of the songs we recorded. But my apartment still costs money. So does bus fare. And food." She hoisted her takeout box. "And everything else."

"Oh! Wow." He shook his head. "Yeah, I have yet to run into any of that."

She swept a paw at the loft. "That's because you're living in the garden shed of one of the world's richest rock stars."

"Well, you could live here too." Bodi said it casually, as if it were super obvious and no big deal.

"What? No, no way." She straightened, tail bushy. "I couldn't impose like that."

"Sure! Angus won't mind. He didn't even know he had a garden shed until I followed those giant robot lawn mice here." With a jolly wag, he scarfed down more of the noodles.

"But what about you? Won't you miss, I don't know, privacy?" She tossed the idea up in the air with a free paw.

He gulped down the remaining noodles. "Privacy?"

"Yeah." She drank the rest of her soup to steady her nerves, then tried to play it cool while she almost choked on a conspiracy of green onion slices. "If I lived here, you'd have to see me all the time."

"That sounds great!" His tail hammered out a drum solo against a piled-up blanket. "I like seeing you!"

She hated shooting down his cute notions, but sometimes it had to happen. "Oh Bodi, that's sweet, but where would I even sleep?"

He shrugged. "You fell asleep on my bed a couple days ago."

Embarrassment burned along the insides of her ears. They'd been talking until way too late into the night, like usual. And she sort of just fell asleep. Hours later, she’d woken up cuddling one of his burly shoulders to her face. Bodi had been fast asleep.

A nervous laugh escaped her muzzle. "Well, yeah, but you don't want me doing that all the time." She rubbed her palms together. "Do you?"

"I dunno, it was kinda nice." He flashed her a big dopey canine smile. "You're over here all the time anyway. It makes sense to me." One big paw gripped her knee. "It'd be like a sleepover, but for as long as we want."

"You do realize what it means for two people to live together, right?"

"Oh yeah." He nodded. "Back in my village, you sometimes have five or six sheep living in one house."

"Right, but I mean…us sleeping in the same bed…all the time." She pointed back and forth between them. "You get why that's a big deal, right?"

"Uh, yeah! …No." He brushed back that little fluff of hair that stuck out from under his hat. "Like, a bad big deal? Or a good one?"

Okay, so he had no idea what people would think. She'd tease him, but that seemed mean. "Never mind. Forget I asked."

"You don't have to." Having tilted the takeout box too far for the last noodles, the canine had spilled some sauce on the chest of his tunic. He tried to wipe it away with his paw, to no effect. He stood, dropped the container in the trash, and padded to his wardrobe. He tossed a smile over his shoulder, one that maybe looked a little shy. "I just really like having you here."

"I'll think about it." She reached into the bag and retrieved the second box of noodles. "We'd have to figure out a way to move my stuff across town. Some of it's pretty heavy and…"

Bodi took off his tunic.

Muscles rippled down his back, visible even under his thick brown fur. He was actually super built for a canid, especially compared to her own lean fox form. After a second staring at the shimmering sunlight on his fur, she straightened. She totally shouldn't be perving on him. The dog was super innocent. He wasn't doing this to seduce her. Unless he was. Was he? Was it on purpose? Did it matter, if it was working anyway?

She stared, noodles getting cold, cheeks heating up.

Bodi pulled an identical blue tunic from a cabinet, which still contained a number of rakes, and turned to face her with a broad smile. "Man, that house sauce soaks right into wool, huh?" He picked his hat up off the floor, floppy ears swaying. "Don't worry. Didn't get on my fur."

"Y-yeah." A nervous chuckle left her throat. "You don't want a sticky mess on your fur." She bit her lower lip. Heat raced to her ears. Various scenes of sticky messes she could make with him competed for space onstage in her brain.

Bodi nodded amiably and pulled on his hat. With casual slowness, he buttoned his tunic. Tan fur ran from his eyebrows down his powerful chest down his toned stomach and straight into the waistline of his pants which meant that rich caramel cream color extended all the way to his—

"So Bodi!" She set down the noodles and grabbed her bass, fighting down a hysterical giggle. "Heh, um, are we gonna jam or what?"

"Oh! Sure." He smoothed his tunic and grabbed his beat-up guitar.

She switched on the amp. Her keen ears picked up the faint warm-up hum, like a toaster about to pop, followed by the crackle of plugging her bass in.

"There's this song I heard one time. Been trying to remember how it goes." He started idly plucking at the strings. "It's about learning to fly. I'm sure there are lots of songs like that."

Feeling it bunch up the shoulder of her sweatshirt, she adjusted her guitar strap. "Is it the one by the Foo Fighters?"

He scratched his head. "The who?"

"No, The Who's different." She winked at him. "Foo Fighters has the guy who was in Nirvana."

"Nirvana?" He looked out the window to a fiery sunset being extinguished behind his distant mountain home. "Wow…"

Moments like this, the vixen found it hard to judge Bodi's exactly proportion of oblivious to zen. "Not the nirvana you're thinking of. Actually, Dave Grohl seems like he's achieved enlightenment, so maybe." She stroked her whiskers in thought, then waved the discussion away. "The point is: pretty sure I know the song."

He nodded. "It's about learning to fly high, specifically, if that helps."

Darma didn't say a word. She locked gazes with him and rumbled through the opening riff of Learn to Fly. Only took the top two strings, over and over. Without breaking eye contact, she looped back to play it again and lifted an eyebrow.

"Wow!" He sprung upright. "You've heard it too!" Even as he gaped in amazement, his paws flew to the frets. For only hearing it once, he remembered the lead guitar pretty well.

She rolled her eyes with a chuckle. Still plowing through the bassline, she cleared her throat and led him through the vocals. Introducing him to all the world's music was at least as big a task as introducing him to its cuisine. At least she wouldn't run out of excuses to hang out with him.

Bodi howled along beside her. He closed his eyes. Clearly in the zone, he hit every note with serene confidence. In the dim light, a faint glow gathered around his paws. The strings blurred, first with what could have been vibration, but soon the light tracing up the fretboard became impossible to ignore.

Ethereal blue swirls radiated out. They swept by her, brushing through her whiskers. Motes of illumination traced trails around the two of them. A deep sense of rightness of place settled over her. She felt with absolute certainty she belonged in this moment. Body swaying as she backed him up from an octave lower on the bass, an octave higher on vocals, she bumped her shoulder to his.

He leaned back against her with easy acceptance. The song ended with a trio of confident strums. Only then did he open his eyes.

She nodded at his guitar.

He looked down at his paws with pleased surprise, wiggling his fingers through the wisps of magic trailing off them. All around them, the glow lingered.

Ears dipping with relaxation, Darma smiled as thoughts of kissing Bodi floated through her mind. She didn't want to ruin the moment though. What if he didn't like her like that?

As the last of the blue light faded, he patted her on the knee. "Nice."

Still shoulder-to-shoulder, she relaxed against him. It felt nice to have him casually touch her. She traced a careful fingertip along his knuckles. "We should bring you some of my clear nail polish." She turned over his broad paw in two of hers. "Guitarists wear it to keep their claws from getting all scuffed up."

"I thought they just liked makeup." He made no move to take his hand back.

She yipped a laugh. "That's more of a glam thing."

He tilted his head.

"Glam." Her paws pressed together, then spread apart. "Glamorous."

"Oh! Gotcha." His ears popped up a little under that knitted hat. "Kinda weird having guy and girl clothes. Back in my village, everybody pretty much dressed the same."

"Guys sometimes wanna look pretty, so they dress like girls. And sometimes girls don't want to go through the trouble of looking pretty, so they dress like guys." She gestured to her plain gray sweatshirt.

Wagging, he leaned close, his paw on the bed just beside her leg. "You look pretty all the time, though."

"Aww." She gripped his hand. "Thanks, Bodi."

He blinked, unaware he'd been suave until after the fact. "We should play more songs where you get to show off."

"Hey, I'm happy just doing my part." Still holding his paw, she bounced it lightly on the bed between them. "And keeping you from signing contracts because someone asked for an 'autograph.'"

Looking a little sheepish, he brushed some scruff back under his hat with his free hand. "I'm serious, Darma. You’re really good. What would be really cool for you to play?"

"Not a lot of songs put the bass front and center." She shrugged. "Like I said, we don't get solos."

"But there are some, right?"

"Well, yeah." She scratched behind her ear, struggling to think of any.

"You should play one." He squeezed her hand.

"What, like, right now?" Her eyes darted back and forth.

"Yeah!"

"Oh, I don't know." Glancing away, she shrugged under the weight of the guitar strap. "It'll sound weird with just the bassline."

"Then do the vocals too." His hand wiggled hers down against the edge of the bed, transmitting raw earnestness. "You're good at singing."

"Something with a good bass part…that I can sing too…" She shook her muzzle with a laugh. "Oh man, now the only song I can think of is No One Else on Earth."

His tail swished over the sheets. "So play it!"

She cast him a sidelong glance. "It's pretty hokey."

"Hokey?" His eyebrows rose.

Her orange paw waved vaguely as thought of an explanation. "Sentimental. Folksy. More enthusiastic than cool people are supposed to be."

The mastiff sat up with interest.

The fox looked him over and her eyebrows dropped. "I just sold you on this song, didn't I?"

"Yeah!"

A sigh lifted and sank her slim frame. "Okay, okay." She settled into the right fingering. "I only know it because I was super into it as a kid."

The dog sat up straight, interlaced his fingers atop his guitar, and waited.

Her low-strung guitar bumped along through the opening. The missing parts sounded really obvious to her. A glance to Bodi, though, revealed him watching with an intent half-smile. He'd probably never heard the actual song. That helped. A little.

The first verse trailed out into the loft, sounding bare and strange. Her heart beat faster than it had any right to. At least she knew the vocals by heart. Her mom must have worn out that cassette in the car. The dog sat there, grooving, only to have his floppy ears pop up as the bass part dropped and she growled the final lines into the chorus. Laughter brightening her tone, she charged on.

Chorus. No big deal. Sure, she was singing a dorky love song to her crush, but no big deal. She had this. And it was just a song. They sang each other songs every day. Nodding in time, the dog started slapping the front of his guitar on beat.

The second verse she hit with verve, batting her tail back and forth. Before she knew it, she was on her feet, propelled by the sheer enthusiasm of her audience. Strutting. Swaying. Sashaying. Shoulders, hips, and tail swung of their own accord to the beat. She'd idly played this bassline a thousand times, so her claws plucked notes in perfect time, even as she tilted the guitar up to showboat. Now and then, she dared to lock eyes, singing it straight to him. Unabashed glee spread over his face. Okay, that made her feel a little like a rock star.

Chorus again. More confident, she leaned in a sang it to him with a playful smirk. She busted out dance moves she'd only ever done in her bedroom with the door locked. Her voice flew over the bassline with ever-greater courage. Grin broadening, his whole body bounced in time with her performance. Ever the quick learner, he strummed along on his guitar.

For the instrumental, he jumped to his feet. Realizing she could never look sillier than him, she let the song sweep her into playing face-to-face. Together, they circled each other, careful not to step on her amp cable. He improvised variations on her vocals, but never overwhelmed her bass part. Trading outlandish flourishes and too-cocky grins, they took turns making each other laugh.

Final bridge. He backed up her vocals with shameless howls. Almost cracking up, she sang on and nodded the beat to him, counting him into for the choruses. Singing their love for each other made her heart flutter. But this was all just a song, right? Just two bandmates goofing around. Whatever it was, it was fun. She felt herself smiling and wagging at least as shamelessly as the dog.

Wrapping up, she yowled vibrato into the closing chorus. Picking up instantly the song was ending, Bodi backed her up with rhythm variations until her last, outrageous note, which she delivered by punching her claws straight down across the strings.

The dog cheered. Those big fluffy paws clapped around the front of his guitar as he woofed approval. For an audience of one, he could sure make a fox feel appreciated.

Her face hurt from smiling. She bumped his elbow with hers. "I can not believe you got me to do that."

"What? You were really good." He finally stepped on the amp cord, which unplugged and clattered to the floor with a pop. "We should put stuff like that on the album."

"Maybe. As a B-side." Still catching her breath, she straightened her hoodie. "That was a lot of fun."

"Yeah." The mastiff looked at his surroundings, then back to her. "Man, I'm pretty lucky, aren't I?"

Her eyes rolled. "For a dude whose village was almost eaten by wolves."

"I mean, it all sort of happened the right way. Even the parts where I almost got killed worked out okay."

"Clearly." She poked him in the chest. "Could have been easier, though."

"Maybe. But I wouldn't have traded it." He shrugged. "If I'd gone straight here and Angus had just agreed to teach me right away, I wouldn't have met you."

"Meeting some girl who brings you noodles?" She lashed her tail with a playful scoff. "That's right up there with becoming a rock star and a sorcerer?"

"You'd like me if I wasn't either of those things." He settled a gentle paw on her shoulder and beamed adoringly at her in a sweet and dopey dog way. "And I'd like you even if you didn't bring me noodles."

Oh man.

Now she totally had to kiss him because that was super cute, even if it was dorky.

Now she totally had to kiss him because he smiled at her like she was the best.

Now she totally had to kiss him because otherwise she was never going to.

She totally kissed him.

Had to get on tip-toe, but she did it. Their guitar strings squeaked against each other, but she did it. Her heart raced and her breath probably smelled like dumplings, but she totally flipping fudge-cake did it.

Bodi's eyes shot fully open, then got a dreamy, happy look. As the kiss ended, his arms closed around her, like he didn't want to be even an inch away. Their noses touched. His tail swept back and forth at a thrilled cadence.

She rested her head against his chest and was rewarded with a high-pitched acoustic squeal. At least the amp was unplugged. "Maybe we should take off our guitars."

After a moment's consideration, the canine nodded at her wisdom.

With instruments set aside, she grabbed him by the hat tassels and tugged him down into another nose-bump. "You realize this means I'm gonna sleep in your bed again."

"Oh, wow." His paws settled on her waist, holding her so carefully. "Cool."

A giddy sing-song entered her voice. "And I might never want to sleep anywhere else."

Those big brown eyes brightened in the dim room. "Sounds good to me."

"Okay, great." She smiled up at him as she sat back on the bed.

Still beaming, he got a little bit of a bashful look in those puppy-dog eyes as his arms folded around her. "So, I'm your boyfriend now, right?"

Her slim muzzle slid along his. "Mmm-hmm."

With the happiest squeak, the mastiff leaned in and gave her another kiss. His powerful frame leaned over hers. Kisses rained down on her inexpertly, but eagerly. Even as his greater weight pressed her against the mattress, he always made sure to prop himself up on elbows and knees to avoid squishing her too much.

Her hands traced behind his neck, stroking down that dark, soft fur. Giddiness overtook her. Songs told her this moment should have been really serious and suave, but she was kissing a frantically-wagging canine who was also grinning like a doofus. Bringing him nose to nose again, she stroked a palm along the side of his muzzle, like she'd seen in movies.

His expression got even more outrageously happy. That tail wagged so hard his entire butt wobbled. Then he licked her along the cheek.

They both laughed. Okay, maybe this wasn't going to be like TV. Darma hadn't considered that possibility. As he nuzzled into the crook of her neck, rolling fully onto the bed and letting those big square paws explore down her back, she realized that could mean it was even better. Everybody said it was better to have a smooth, cool boyfriend.

But what did everybody know?

A warm, fluffy boyfriend seemed pretty great so far. Ears pinned back with glee, she cuddled in close against him. Sure, it might take a while for them to get comfortable enough with all these feelings. It didn't just happen overnight, she knew. But she'd spent half a year running interference with reality for him, trying to sort out if she was really into him or just had a fleeting crush. It took her forever just to figure out what the difference was, since it felt different from previous infatuations, but every crush felt different. Bodi was probably struggling through some crazy complex feelings right now, since she'd sprung all this on him.

His muzzle rested atop her head. He sighed peacefully. "It feels weird to say I love you."

Her ears popped up. Okay, maybe dogs weren't that complex. "It…does?"

"Yeah." The canine shrugged. "I mean, I love pizza. Like, really love it." His brow furrowed at the deep thoughts. "But pizza doesn't make the world make more sense."

Tilting her head, she cast him a sidelong glance. "Man, you really needed someone to explain stuff to you."

He shook his muzzle. "It's not even about the stuff you know, even though you're way smarter than everybody."

The vixen blushed. She was no dummy, sure, but people didn't tell a girl who only wanted to play guitar she was a genius very often. More often, they told her she was wasting her time.

"It's that you help me figure out where I'm going, if I'm on track." He squeezed her middle. "You're there for me, always. I really count on you. And I never get tired of seeing you." His forehead pressed to hers. "I guess I can imagine life without you, but it would be missing a really important kind of fun."

Her tail bushed out at all this flattery. "That's good."

"So, I tried to find a song that said how I felt." He offered her a smile. "Guess I'm gonna have to write one."

Words refused to assemble on her tongue. She just blinked and lay in his arms. Her fingers traced through his thick, silky fur.

Super gently, his paw settled on her cheek. He shrugged. "I love you like the stars, Darma."

A snort of amusement probably wasn't the most romantic reaction, but that's what he got for his dorky sweetness. She kissed him right on his big silly nose. "I love you too, Bodi."

~ ~ ~

Darma hefted a duffle of clothes over her head and propped it against the loft ladder. She hadn't accumulated much stuff since moving out on her own, but packing it up had taken forever. A dozen boxes sat on the concrete floor of the garden shed. "Well, you have all my music now. Listen to anything good?"

The duffle rose through the gap, revealing the effortless smile of Bodi. "I've actually been listening to the clothes-drying machine. I think there's a lot of unexplored rhythm territory there."

She climbed the ladder. "I'm sure our drummer will be impressed."

As she reached the top, he extended a paw. She took it and he pulled her up without obvious exertion. He set her down just in front of him. "Sometimes, I wonder about that guy."

She found herself standing chest-to-chest with him. Her heartbeat sped. Moving in would've been a lot faster if they weren't always making out. Not that she was complaining. In an act of admirable restraint, she looked up at his pretty brown eyes without kissing him. "Heh, well, join the club."

Bodi scratched the scruff of his neck, oblivious to the smooching he was due for. "Like: why'd Germur call you 'dog' the other day? He knows you're a fox, right?"

The vixen snickered. "Germur calls everybody 'dog,' no matter what species they are." Her paw pressed to her chest. "He calls me 'dog.' He calls his parents 'dog.' He called Trey 'dog.' He calls Angus 'sir,' I guess." She glanced absently to the house next door, then back to the hunky canine before her. "But he calls everybody else 'dog.'"

A thoughtful look crossed Bodi's muzzle. "That seems like it would get confusing."

"That's Germur." She shrugged. "Drummers. What're you gonna do?"

"Are all drummers like that?" He blinked. "Do they have a code of honor like the bass players?"

"A code of mellowness, maybe." She rolled her eyes. "Guess you have to be accepting when you only have one note to work with."

He grabbed the pitcher off the blender and filled a bowl with the opaque, gold liquid. He offered it to her, the smokey tang of black tea wafting off it, along with the oily bouquet of salted butter.

"No, thanks." The idea of drinking something that rich after physical work made her stomach tighten. Her paw rose between them in a polite decline. "I don't think I can handle any more butter tea."

"You sure?" When she shrugged, he slammed the entire bowl. "I figured you drank it all the time and that's why your coat's so shiny."

She glanced back at her tail, which she fluffed out for analysis. "Nah, that's just pelt conditioner."

The dog nodded he poured another bowl, only filling halfway this time. "My mom says butter gives your coat a healthy sheen."

"Oh.” She blinked, wondering if she’d found the edges of an uncomfortable topic. “I thought your mom…wasn't around anymore." She ran a paw through her orange head fluff. "I didn't see her on Snow Mountain."

"No, she just guards sheep on another mountain." Grabbing a spoon, he scooped some flour into the bowl from the restaurant-grade bag. "We write letters back and forth. She was pretty stoked that I figured out my Mastiff Paw technique." He waved the spoon in the direction of a photo on the far wall of the loft, scattering the faintest dusting of flour in the sunlight.

"Oh." Having casually glanced at that picture a hundred times, she'd thought that was a photo of his dad. She now saw the Tibetan mastiff it featured had a rounder head and wasn't nearly grumpy enough to be his dad. "You have her…eyebrows."

"I know, right?" He cocked one in her direction.

The fox snickered. "So, other mastiffs guard other sheep. Guess that makes sense."

"It's a symbiosis, ya know?" He made an interlocking gesture with his fingers. "We keep the sheep from dying. And the sheep don't make us feel bad by dying."

She cast him a jaded look. "That's very generous of them."

Mixing the flour into the tea, he formed it into a single blob that pulled cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. He'd had her taste it once. Sort of like cookie dough in texture, but salty instead of sweet. With it stuck on the spoon, he popped it into his muzzle. Basically pure calories.

Not that she opposed calories on principle. Taking a seat on the amp, she reached into her purse and grabbed a muffin she’d pilfered from work. The coffee shop let employees have the ones they were going to throw out, since it didn't hurt the bottom line. She tossed Bodi one.

He caught it and, after setting down the now-empty bowl, managed to untangle the cling wrap. "Man, this is good."

"I know, right?" She took another bite. "Blueberry."

"Blueberry." He studied the inside of the muffin and chewed with deep appreciation. "Nice."

"You've been listening to my records, right?" Pointing with the muffin, she indicated the tall stack of vinyl she'd left by the window.

"Oh! Yeah!" He nodded. "They sound a lot better than those golden ones Angus has in his office."

"Those are less of a music format and more of a trophy." She leaned back on the amp. She'd intentionally bought one with handles on the sides so she could sit comfortably on it. Long experience had trained her not to kick her dangling feet, lest she dent the metal screen in front of the speaker. "Any takeaways?"

He jerked a thumb toward the paint-splash-labeled LP on the turntable. "This Beck guy sometimes gets distracted in the middle of his songs and start new songs."

Tail swishing off the back of the amp, she chuckled. "He usually remembers to come back to the first one, though."

"I don't know if I could play more than one song at a time." He shoved the last of the muffin into his muzzle.

She watched him with amusement. Sitting on the amp raised her to eye-level with the mastiff.

"What?" One paw rose to his mouth. "Do I have crumbs on my face?"

"Dunno." Ears at a playful perk, she rested her hands between her things, gripping the skirt fabric around the top of speaker case. Her tail gave an enticing wag. "You'd better come closer so I can see for sure."

With wag of his own, he leaned in close. He presented his dopey muzzle for inspection. No crumbs, but she got a look at the cute little spots of brown against the tan fur of his muzzle where the whiskers connected.

Her index finger hooked into his tunic and pulled him even closer. Their lips met. One kiss led to another. Whiskers mingling, they stopped to catch their breath.

Bodi's paw traced along her slim muzzle to cup her cheek ruff. His touch warmed her. She nuzzled into it.

Her legs wrapped around his waist. A pang of guilt sprung up. Weren't rock stars supposed to get swamped with groupies? They sure weren't supposed to get tied down to their bass player. Everybody knew that.

His hips ground to hers. A distinct bulge stiffened in his pants. A slight shift in how he stood brought it right in contact with the front of her skirt. A shuddered sigh, unlike any she'd heard from him before, breezed against her neck.

Darma bit her lip. She, once again, decided that everybody didn't know what they were talking about. This rocked.

Those powerful paws traced down her back, along the base of her tail. Nose to nose, his eyes asked if she liked it. When she smiled, he gripped her rump, pressing his arousal to hers, only a few layers of fabric from needing an explicit-content label. The dog's hips bucked a little against hers.

Bare vulpine paws crossed above his tail, pulling him against her. Her fingers interlaced over his scruff. Her skirt bunched up under the motion. A fox could get used to this.

Rhythmic rustling of fabric, accompanied by the quickening pant of breath, played as their soundtrack. He kissed her again, clumsy at the dual effort, but no less enthusiastic. The gentle humps turned to a steady grind.

Giddy, the vixen bucked back against him. For all the songs she'd sung about moments like this, she'd never expected it to feel this safe, this playful. She took one of his paws, brought it to her lips for a grinning kiss, then trailed it down her modest breasts.

A swish of tail under her paws told her he liked it. Those pretty brown eyes looked down in wonder. And that was just through a sweatshirt, blouse, and bra. What would the poor pooch even do when he got to touch her for real?

Pleasant as it felt to have him softly touching her cleavage, she giggled at the idea of gaining his grin even bigger. Closing his fingertips on the zipper of her hoodie, she blushed as he nuzzled her. Their paws together unzipped the gray garment. Then she dragged that hand down, further and further, until it vanished under her skirt.

Under that woolen hat, his floppy ears rose. His fingers spread against her panties. A light touch, right where his hard cock had pressed a moment before. They felt so different from her own, and yet she really liked having them there. It felt lovely, even if he was clumsy, since he wanted her to feel good.

Helping him push her panties aside, she guided his fingertips to her slick and eager slit. She spread her lips with a couple fingers, while urging his in. Her muscles clenched as his careful paw curled to explore her.

The dog's digit sank into her at a steady beat. He might be a virtuoso on guitar, but his fingering wasn't bad either. Looking down between them, he wagged at the show. Now and then he'd look back up at her with a little "can't believe I'm this lucky" laugh.

She bumped his nose with hers. Feeling bad at leaving him out, she reached down to grope him softly through his pants. The bulge felt distinctly warm, far warmer than the rest of his body. That thick mastiff fur was serious insulation.

Bodi hit an especially nice spot.

Tension and pleasure rippled through her body. Her hands gripped the flanks of his tunic, tail bushing out even as her ears dipped with delight. Her heart raced. Breaths came faster, shallower. Like any good bass player, she decided she'd better accompany her lead guitarist. One shaky orange hand slipped between them to massage her clit.

Even as she tightened around him, her canine lover kept up the pace. He watched as she rubbed the hooded bud of her clit, pressing it down atop the steady motion of his finger inside her. Hazy pleasure built inside her. The moment suffused her completely, like being carried away by the music.

At the climax of their duet, her eyes rolled back. She grabbed him close, shuddering. The slender vulpine clung to him with a desperate whine. Bliss vibrated through her being. Her nose buried in his soft, comforting scent. When her eyes fluttered open again, she saw him watching her with complete attention, mouth open with a faint smile.

Patience and interest shone on that blocky muzzle. His paw still rocked between her thighs to the faint wet sound of penetration.

Her damp hand grabbed his, hitting pause, keeping him buried deep inside her. Aftershocks squeezed his finger. Ragged breaths rushed between them to stir his whiskers.

He rested his nose to hers. Not moving, he held her against him. His chest rose and fell against her breasts.

The fox looked up at him dreamily. "Bed? I'm not sure I can keep standing."

He stroked a paw very gently along her cheek, his fingers smelling like her. Kind eyes met hers with an excited chuckle. "Okay."

She shifted to stand, but wobbled. Not the most powerful orgasm she'd ever had, but her mind had already been reeling from having a really sweet boyfriend to fool around with.

Bodi took her unsteady stance as a sign to pick her up. He turned and placed her on the middle of the mattress. Then he crawled up beside her and smooched her cheek.

She smooched him back. Their muzzles lingered close together. "Having fun?"

"Yeah!" His tail swished.

"Me too." Her nose bumped his.

"What'd we do now?" He slid one leg onto the bed. "You seem like you might like to cuddle."

"That could be nice. Or, I mean, I could return the favor." Bold with euphoria, Darma pressed a paw to the still-visible, but less obvious bulge in his pants. "O-or whatever."

He nodded, as if oblivious to her stumbling all over her answer. "What do you wanna do?"

"I…" Nobody usually asked her to take the lead on anything. "I kinda want to keep going."

"Okay!" He nodded brightly, then slowly, then blinked in thought. "What does that mean?"

Darma struggled to articulate what was, in her mind, a very clear desire. She wanted this thick canine dick buried inside her to the knot like she'd dreamed about for months. She wanted his thick canine dick buried inside her. She wanted his dick inside her. "I kinda want you in me…"

He straightened up, eyes wide with surprise. A second later, that sleek tail started beating the air behind him. "That sounds fun."

"Yeah." Toying with her cheek ruff, she looked up at him. "It does, actually. But only if you want to."

"Of course." He brushed back the fluff from the front of his hat, leaning on one palm as he gazed down at her. "Doing stuff with you gives me this crazy feeling, like I'm flying, like all my fur's standing on end. That feeling a really good song gives you. You're that song to me." His face sort of scrunched up, like he wasn't sure if he'd made any sense. "You know?"

"I know the feeling." Her paw closed over his. "Thanks, Bodi."

His brown eyes flicked down the length of her body. "What should we do first?"

Legs dangling off the bed, she nodded at his clothes. "I'm not an expert, but we, um… We might be a little over-dressed for this gig." Feeling safe made her bold. She slipped a paw under the helm of his tunic. The tip of her toe claw traced along the waist of his pants, her heel bumping his bulge.

Bodi wagged and woofed a laugh, then stood and unclasped his belt. He dropped it to the rug and undid the button holding his tunic closed. The contours of his sleek fur hinted at the muscles underneath. Not scruffy like a fox, his brown and tan fur shone in the lamplight. He walked at the foot of the bed, standing between her legs.

Darma followed his lead. She unbuttoned her shirt. Her damp panties hit the floor, followed by her skirt for good measure. With a nervous laugh, the vixen unclipped her bra. It fell open atop her breasts. She unsnapped the shoulder straps. With only a minor dip of her ears, she pulled it free and tossed it onto the bed. Foxes tended to be sleek and slender, so she wasn't super stacked. That plus loose clothing meant guys weren't constantly perving on you, but she'd rarely considered what potential lovers might think of her modest breasts—

He leaned in. His tongue dragged over her nipple, hot and textured. Those bright canine eyes looked up at her with a grin.

Okay, so she was probably fine. Her heart beat faster. She hooked her toes on the waist of his pants and tugged them down.

A thick peak of red rose out of his tan sheath. Below, the furred pouch of his balls hung, twitching now and then. She hadn't known guys balls could move on their own. Nobody mentioned that.

She was totally going to have sex. She wanted it, of course. Bodi was sweet and sexy and genuinely crazy about her. Still, a nervous breath escaped her chest. "Oh boy…"

"Yeah…" His stocky muzzle dipped as he met her gaze. His paw drifted to that plump sheath and stroked it back and forth. The full length of soon extended, bright red and slightly shiny. Every tug bounced his balls against those sleek-furred thighs. Dogs couldn't knock up foxes, Mother Nature had decided, but the idea of him coming in her still intimidated and fascinated her.

Her eyebrows rose at him as she lay, exposed, before him. "Here we are, huh?"

"Yeah." He looked over her, not with any air of domination, but with a mixture of nerves and glee. One practiced paw pulled back his sheath to reveal a shapely, growing knot. "Gotta admit, I like it here, though." The tip of his cock pressed, hot, against her entrance.

She set her teeth and wiggled her hips on the bed, pressing just a little ways onto him. Her lips, slick from fingering, parted easily. "Mmmhmm."

His voice got softer and sweeter. "Is that okay?"

Nodding, she reached down. Her fingertips glanced off his cock. She still wasn't used to being allowed to casually touch someone's dick. She liked the idea, though. Parting her lips, she rubbed her juices around just a little more. Stray knuckles bumped against his tip as she watched. Her legs spread a bit wider. "You can push it in…" She swallowed, wishing for something more suave to say, but then realizing you didn't have to be suave when a dude liked you this much. "…if you want."

Bodi nodded. With slow deliberation, he sank halfway into her. His girth spread her. A look of absolute happiness dawned on his face. Judging by his expression, he was having some kind of epiphany. He stared off into space for a second or two, like every neuron in his doggy brain was engaged in some kind of laser light show. Then his gaze locked on hers, looking for confirmation she was enjoying this really great new sensation. "You feel really great."

"Yeah." Her tail swished slowly at his hip. "You feel pretty great too."

Gently, he sank in, then pulled back out. His mouth hung open all the while, as if he were too awe-struck to close it. His big warm paws gripped her legs.

One slim hand caressed his chin. Her tail twitched between his knees. Moisture cooled on the base of it. Her other hand stroked his bare hip. "You can go faster."

Easing in and out shifted into a steady thrusting. The tassels of his hat swayed. His grip shifted to her thighs for leverage. He stretched her in all the right ways.

Instinct urged her to hump up against his thrusts, to take him as deeply as possible. The texture and warmth of his dick sent pleasure tingling up her nerves. Really felt different from a toy, not least because of the inescapable intimacy of knowing it was Bodi's cock stuffed so pleasantly inside her.

As his hips bounced against hers, her legs bounced in the air. Bouncing her against the bed made him slip free. His dick slapped against that taut stomach, leaving a shiny splat of moisture. It soaked through her fur in an instant, hot, then cooling. The canine snorted in amusement and gave her a look of friendly apology. "Heh. Sorry."

"It's okay." She angled her hips up. One autumn-furred hand spread her entrance for him. "You can make it up to me."

Sinking in with increased slipperiness, he sunk into her all the way to the sheath. His balls hung against her inner thighs. Leaning over her, he started bucking into her. Then he slipped out again. He rubbed the back of his head, abashed. "Guess I'm not a savant at this."

She smirked up at him. "We're doing pretty good for improv."

He wagged at her encouragement. His dick lay, heavy and hot, atop her clit. He looked down at her with wonder. "Really good."

Studying the situation, the vixen bit her lower lip as she built up the bravery to make scandalous suggestions. "Maybe hold my legs?" She lifted them to either side of him.

Glancing to either side, he grabbed her ankles. He shuffled forward and prodded his dick against her folds. It glanced off. "Mmf!"

"Here…" Reaching down, she took hold of his throbbing length. She guided it, slippery and hot, back into her folds. Still really sensitive from the orgasm, she savored the sensation of him entering her again. For all the times she'd gotten off alone, all her fantasies had been fragmentary, just riffs. Watching Bodi press that thick cock into her felt like a complete song.

Eyes half-lidded, the dog's tongue hung out. His tail dangled in with pleasure as he pumped in and out of her. Those strong paws gripped her ankles, granting the leverage to rock in and out of her with greater confidence. The zipper of her hoodie jingled in time. His knot bumped against her folds, already too big to fit. She liked a knotted toy as much as the next fox, but never anything as ambitious as what Bodi now pressed against her with every stroke.

A sudden whine echoed from the mastiff. With a ripple of tension, he gripped her thighs harder, thrusted faster. Her hips bucked under his, keeping time with his thrusts, supportive as any good bass guitar track. She wanted him to come. Even in her endorphin-addled state, though, she felt silly saying that aloud. She promised she would sometime. Right in his soft, pretty doggy ear. For now, she just moaned and yipped happily. Idle fox paws drifted to her breasts, squeezing them and toying with her nipples. Not actually close to orgasm again, she rolled her hips against the mattress and urged him on with the breath each thrust pressed out.

He shuddered above her. His dick jerked inside her. A gush of warmth spread inside her. Through the bulk of his body, it was impossible to see, but she swore she felt the serene glow of his magic as he strained against her. Bodi, meanwhile, went stiff between her legs, muscles tense as a final frantic grunt stretched out into pants of amazement.

A long moment passed as they caught their breath. His weight atop her was just enough to add to the feeling of safety, of being desired, without really squishing her. She wrapped her legs around him. Her hands stroked his flanks inside that open tunic.

His broad pink tongue lapping up the side of her face should've been weird or annoying. It wasn't. It was actually kind of cute. Helped that he only did it once. And that he looked at her like she was amazing before and after. Still panting, he climbed off her.

She rolled to her side to face him. Her hand rested on his toned stomach, tracing up and down his smooth fur. Their combined juices slowly evaporated from her still-tender slit. Her fur was mussed. Her tail was sticky. Totally worth it.

With shameless doggish delight, he pulled her close and gave her the nuzzling of her life. "That was great!" His tail thumped on the bed. "Is it okay if I do it again?"

Her ears popped up. She'd had no expectations beyond hanging out under his warm, fluffy bulk for a while. "Can you?"

He glanced down at his dick, still shiny with moisture from being inside her. Partly hard, it stuck halfway out of his sheath. "Umm, yeah. Pretty sure?"

"I thought guys didn't really…do encores." That was common knowledge, right? Even when guys sang about that stuff, she'd always assumed they were just full of it.

He inclined his head toward the stack of albums. "I was busy listening to all those records you brought over, so it's been a couple days since I pawed off." A shrug rolled his stocky shoulders. "It's not a big deal. You feel really good inside, though—"

Placing a paw at the center of his bare chest, she pressed him flat against the bed. A grin spread across her muzzle, even as she shook her head. She climbed on top of him. With a clumsy paw, she managed to line him up with her entrance. As she sank onto her boyfriend, she savored the feeling of him pressing at an entirely different angle, hitting fun new spots. His dick still felt really warm, warmer than any toy she'd ever used. Her hips started rolling, then steadily moved on to bouncing as she found a rhythm. Last time, she was mostly just supporting his movements, keeping the beat. This time, she was playing the lead part. Shrugging out of her hoodie and top, she tossed them to the floor and humped faster.

The dog's eyebrows shot high enough to almost disappear under his hat. He watched her bouncing breasts with amazement. His paw traced along her stomach, like he wasn't sure if he was allowed to touch them yet.

Darma, ears down with a blush, shifted her weight, only to find she loved the way his dick moved inside her when she did. So she did it more. And harder. And exploring all sorts of fun angles. Naked and grunting with each thrust, she bucked atop him, adoring that the world had somebody she wanted to be naked with.

Under her, Bodi groaned with delight as the vixen pressed back his sheath again and again. His paws rested on her thighs. Soft mastiff lips parted in a silent howl of pleasure. Gentle brown eyes watched her naked body move with amazement.

The vixen rocked atop him, her breasts and whiskers bouncing. Going by how he stared hazily into an impossible distance and kept squirming against the sheets, she was rocking his world too.

His hands roamed over her body, cupping her breasts for a few strokes before pressing her waist down. Moans got sharper and more urgent. "Mmf! Oh, Darma..."

Ears perked as he gasped her name, the fox slipped a paw down her white stomach fur and to her clit. Now it was her turn to feel clumsy, trying to bounce on that lovely stiffness while rubbing herself. Good thing she'd had so much practice strumming that second part. Her fingertips worked in steady circles atop that stiff bud, premiering all her signature tricks in front of an appreciative audience. She tightened on him.

With one hand, he gripped her waist. His other reached for his knot, squeezing it. His balls tensed under her tail. His body arced up under her, lifting her as his length twitched inside her, spurting hot canine passion against her walls.

Still rubbing her clit, she shivered and gasped atop him. Her passage clenched around him. As she watched through hazy vision, their combined juices dripped down his knot in slow motion. Leaning down, she kissed him full on the lips.

Bodi moaned. His pretty eyes sprung wide, then drifted half-closed an a swell of pleasure. His hips bucked harder than last time. As he ground his hips to hers, a supreme sense of peace filled her along with his hot canine cum.

Sparks danced across her vision. It took her a moment to realize this was more than just a really excellent orgasm. Blue light radiated out from both of them, setting the room aglow. The fox watched in wonder as curls of blue radiance lifted them ever so slightly off the bed. Her mind ideally explore the notion of zero-grav sex. As her orgasm faded to a pleasant buzz of afterglow, she collapsed atop his broad chest.

The dog panted, tongue lolling out. At some point in her efforts, his hat had fallen off and now lay on the pillow. His cute, floppy ears shone in the lamplight, just asking for her to nuzzle them.

Darma sighed and did so, sated utterly. Strands and sparkles of sheer serenity floating around the room, casting everything blue. At first, she blamed it on the endorphins flooding her brain, but nope. Pretty sure she just watched her bra float up onto the cloth-draped rafters; she'd have to get that later. Life was going abnormally well. She'd gotten a super-sweet boyfriend. She had really fun sex with said boyfriend. Boyfriend was also magic. Not bad, as far as weeks go. Everybody said foxes were wired to worry more than this. But, really, what did everybody know?

Bodi, eyes closed, delicately stroked her laid-back ears. With exquisite slowness, his tip slipped free and, pressed to her thigh, retreated back into its soft-furred sheath. His stomach fluff had to be a mess, but his muzzle held only a look of pure contentment. Eyelids opening just the barest fraction, he met her gaze, then brushed his nose to hers with the softest chuckle. "Do you think anyone's ever written a song about doing this? I've got like, a bunch of new ideas."

She snickered back at him. Where life went from here, didn't concern her in that moment. She had a dog who loved her, jammed with her, and even listened to her on occasion. That was pretty cool. She was going to keep making music with him, release an album with him, and figure out how to take his knot. That was pretty cool too. But no matter where they went from here, laying here with him as spirals of magic lit the room with a contentment her heart had never known, she knew it'd be glorious.

~ ~ ~

Rock Dog is a super-fun, super-cute film and you guys should all go watch it. I knew instantly I'd have to write this fic of it. That should tell you something, since you know what a sap I am for well-meaning canines and savvy female characters.

If you’re curious, here's the song she sang: Wynonna Judd - “No One Else On Earth”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl0pdZozVd0

Art: Slate
Edits: CarlMines, Eljot001, KohakuNightfang, SillyNeko345, Jovo
Proofs: IvicWulfe, CloverArizona, Slip-Wolf, TheFunkyOne, Resolute, SavrinDrake, Bitters, Sha

~ Tempo

Want early access to stories like this? Support me on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/Tempo

Chapter Text

Rock Dog: Day Job
by Tempo

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A red fox with a bass guitar sat in an office chair. She idly traded little sketches of strumming with her new boyfriend. The dog in question sat cross-legged on the floor, plucking notes from a battered acoustic. Now and then, they hummed accompaniments. It came so easy. Even playing in a rock legend's private studio felt like jamming in her parents' basement when it was with Bodi.

She nodded along as she rumbled through an improvised bassline, careful not to wheel her office chair back into the mixer board. Just that one long console of dials looked like it cost more than she'd made in her whole life. Sometimes, she still couldn't believe she was a rock star. Most of the time, in fact.

The phone rang, perking Darma's ears. She looked up from tuning her bass and across the cavernous space of Angus Scattergood's recording studio.

The phone rang again. Bodi rolled to a halt in the office chair he'd been happily freewheeling in. He glanced from the phone, to the goat not answering, and finally to her. His eyebrows rose.

She rolled her eyes and shrugged. If she hadn't been wearing her bass, she'd have just gotten off her tail and picked up the receiver.

The phone rang yet again. The keypad lit up green each time, illuminating the goat drummer's entranced face. He looked like the glowing keys were transmitting all the secrets of the universe into his addled brain.

"Germur. Germ." Resigned, Darma whistled for the her bandmate's attention. "That's a phone and you should answer it."

"What?" Germur sat up and looked around. Then he realized his paw had grasped the ringing handset. "Oh, nice." With great care, he pressed the pickup button, then raise it to his ear. "Hello?"

A voice echoed from the other end. "Hello? Who is this? Grummer?"

"Whoa." The goat's eyes shot wide. "That's, like, Germur plus drummer, man. That's my entire being."

"Whatever." A sigh echoed into the large room. "Is Angus there? Actually, no. Is the fox there? Give me to the fox."

"I can't just give you to someone, agent guy." Germur shook his head. "You don't belong to anybody."

"Give…the phone…to…the fox."

With a slightly startled look, Germur blinked at her. His lips pursed, as if he was trying to keep in an explanation that this was Angus's phone.

Wheeling the chair over, the vixen gestured for her drummer to hand over the phone. She always tried to get between Bodi and anyone who wrote contracts. Also, between Germur and accidentally putting the phone in the microwave again. She cleared her throat and set the handset to her ear. "Hello, Ian."

"Darma! Thank goodness." Relief flooded his voice. "What's the status?"

"We have four songs recorded. We're a little iffy on one of them and might re-record." She adjusted the hood of her sweater, which had caught on her guitar strap. "Today hasn't been the best. We were doing great today until we wouldn't let Angus delete a perfectly good session and he locked himself in the bathroom two hours ago."

The agent chuckled. "I know that sounds like a bad day, but you've made more progress in three months than I have in three years."

"And the tracks?"

"Already mailed. Angus said to just send you demo cassettes, but I just copied the masters."

"Great! Yeah, he's been doing that as a way to keep us from changing the final mix." Ian breathed a sigh of relief. "Whew. Kid, I don't know how we managed without you."

She nodded, then reminded herself she was on the phone. "That's nice of you to say."

"I can be a pretty nice guy when someone else is wrangling Angus for me." His tone tightened back to professional anxiety. "Hey, so, are you and Bodi a thing?"

Her ears heated with a blush. "Yes, Bodi and I are dating."

"Idea." He snapped his fingers audibly over the phone. "How would you feel about hiding that so you're both available as fan heartthrobs?"

Doubt gripped her heart. Was it naïve to reject an idea from one of the biggest agents in music? Could her being selfish on this one little thing sink their band just as they started? But then she took a deep breath, cradled the phone against her shoulder, and strummed a steady succession of notes on her bass to calm herself. Disconnected from the amp, they hung in the air for heartbeat each. Watching Bodi help the robot butler pick up pizza boxes, she steeled her voice. "I wouldn't want to."

"I appreciate that honesty." The agent had a smile to his voice, though he hurried on. "Okay, how do you feel about just hiding that Bodi is dating someone?"

She glanced over at her boyfriend, who grinned back with pure happiness. "You've met him. Do you think he could lie?"

"Got it." Just like that, his tone changed from convincing to lecturing. "We'll come up with some kind of love-story marketing. Like you're writing the songs for each other."

Her mind flashed through every song they'd written together and all the ones bouncing around in her heart that she still hadn't managed to coax into guitar strings. "We are."

Ian laughed. "Great. Go with that."

She glanced at the clock and found an excellent reason to stop talking about this. "I should go." Her thumb toyed with the bent metal phone antenna that no longer retracted. "I have to get to work."

"Work? You still have a day job?" Dry amusement crept into the agent's tone. "I thought you kids were both living on Angus's sofa."

"In his garden shed, actually." She glanced at the clock, which was built into an actual guitar body and mounted above a door shamed like a giant vinyl record. "It's my last day. I don't want to be late."

"Sheesh! You're really bad at being a rock star." He laughed. "Thanks for the updates, Dar. I'll be watching for those tracks. Stay in touch."

The phone beeped to silence, leaving Darma to wonder what in the last line had made her heart drop. She plucked through the bassline for their latest song, watching as Bodi strode up.

The mastiff put his large, warm paw on her shoulder. "Hey. Everything okay with Ian?"

"Yeah, everything's fine with him." She slumped back in the chair and lift his paw to her cheek ruff. "It's me I'm less sure about."

He tilted his head with concern. "Something wrong?"

The vixen sighed, slid off the chair and took off her bass. "Nah, just nerves." She set it on one of the dozen or so guitar racks around the room. "I should get to the cafe, though."

"I can walk you there." His tail swished.

Hers relaxed toward the floor. She glanced up at him. "Thought you were coming to walk me home after?"

"I'll do both." Smiling broadly, he offered his paw.

She took it and felt the touch kindle a smile within her. Tough to feel down when your boyfriend's a dog.

~ ~ ~

Darma's last day working at the cafe had snuck up on her. Anxiety lingered at the edges of her mind; she bumped into it whenever her thoughts wandered. Yes, she wanted to be a rock star. Yes, they'd released a single and the sales tracker had more digits than her phone number. But it had still felt surreal to put in her two weeks notice. Her boss and coworkers had been congratulatory, if not sure entirely what to say. Still, she kept expecting to wake up from the dream.

Not that she expected Germur and Bodi to ditch her. She'd known Germ forever. And Bodi didn't have a treacherous bone in his body. Her thoughts lingered on how well she'd gotten to know the mastiff's anatomy in the last few weeks. By the time she realized she'd put four shots of espresso in a chai latte, the hedgehog in question was already vibrating out the door, quills softly clattering.

The little cafe, crammed into the ground floor of an office building, had always seemed like a stepping stone. Why did she feel scared to leave it? It shouldn't feel like it was too easy, like she hadn't earned it. She'd been working for this moment since she'd first picked up a guitar. Worry bounced around her head like a slow-motion pinball. Those old city-fox instincts insisted this was too good to be true. It was reality's fault, really. If she was supposed to believe the last few months were real, it shouldn't have included meeting rock legend Angus Scattergood. You don't just meet Angus Scattergood.

Her ears perked. Through the clatter of cups and plates, someone was playing acoustic. Because they'd taken a seat on the far side of the cafe, she hadn't noticed right away. That happened sometimes. This close to Rock 'n Roll Park, musicians wandered into just about any venue. It occurred to her, not for the first time, that she should probably do something rebellious to tell her day job to stick it, flip everybody off and set fire to her apron and roar away on a motorcycle, but that seemed unnecessarily mean toward her co-workers. Plus, she'd taken the bus.

The evening rush arrived, taking no notice of her doubts. She was just the vixen behind the counter. She whipped up orders to a soundtrack of weirdly-upbeat Radiohead covers. Once every muzzle in the place had a drink steaming its whiskers, she pressed her paws to the counter with a deep breath. She had to just be psyching herself out. Foxes always outfox themselves.

Her fingertips twitched through the bass part, the soft spell of acoustic guitar enchanting them. Silly as it sounded, it always calmed her down to think through the bass line of a song while heard it. She wanted to tell Bodi that. She wanted to tell him everything ever about her. Her mom had informed her, when they’d talked a couple days earlier, that was a normal feeling when you're in love. Talk about another weird fact reality expected her to accept.

Darma pulled out her phone and started a text to her boyfriend. She'd put little heart and note emojis next to his name in her contacts, just as a little reminder to herself that she'd moved from having a crush on him to actually dating him. Not sure how to compress her tangle of emotions into something poetic, she sent him a smile emoji. A flare of giddiness warmed her ears. She felt like such a teenager, texting such cutesy things, but Bodi was a cutesy guy who gave her cutesy feelings.

A familiar riff echoed from someone's phone. Her ears popped up. How many people in the city had a recording of her playing the baseline of "Play That Funky Music" as their ringtone?

Nobody else in the coffee shop reacted. For an instant, she doubted herself. She fired off a sparkle emoji, just to see if she could make it happen again. Again, through all the chitter and chatter of the patrons and the strands of acoustic guitar, she heard the recorded bass part. No way.

Ducking around the counter, she glimpsed a Tibetan mastiff blithely strumming through the world's cheeriest instrumental cover of "No Surprises." His head rocked back and forth, facing the window instead of her. The illuminated rectangle of a phone screen glowed in his pocket, then blinked off again. He was pretty sexy when he sang.

Luckily, the coffee shop was fairly noisy, so nobody heard the slight squeak Darma was pretty sure she made. Her face flushed. She straightened her cheek ruffs and smoothed her apron. Rubbing her orange paws together, she hurried over, trying to maintain her cool in spite of bouncy emotions. She never thought of herself as sappy, but she'd never been in love.

The vixen barista traipsed past a pair of giant pandas, who were slowly losing their markings to a tray of powdered donuts. She navigated the mismatched tables, each scaled to different species. She ducked a boisterous gestured from a boar and hopped over a bunny's radish-shaped purse.

Head bobbing, eyes closed, Bodi was too in the zone to see her coming. About a meter away, his ears twitched under that knitted hat. Looking up from his guitar, he gave her a gigantic smile. That brown tail drummed against the chair in time to the chorus.

Shaking her head, she propped her hands on the hips of her apron, then leaned in and bumped her nose to his. A quick nuzzle, accented by the slightest nods of his head to the rhythm, and she was back upright.

Around her, a couple patrons chuckled at the cute display.

A renewed blush found her ears, but then she watched Bodi's grin broaden to the point that he had to let his muzzle drop open to accommodate the glee. All the while, he continued playing like nobody was watching.

~ ~ ~

Night shaded in the city. Streetlights blinked on. Cars cast noticeable illumination over the inoffensively hip art on the walls.

One by one, the rest of the staff, mostly teenagers, hugged her goodbye and took turns trying to figure out what version of "good luck" you're supposed to wish someone who has apparently already lucked into becoming a rock star.

Ushering a trio of red pandas out the door, Darma closed the front door after their voluminous tails had finally exited. The other employees had already bailed. She flipped the sign to "closed." For a moment, she considered the chapter of her life that was doing likewise. Even a temporary job got to be a big part of your life after a few years. She flicked the lights off, the cafe draped with darkness save for the varied light outside.

Bodi set his guitar beside the door, propped against her backpack. His big paws settled on her hips. That blocky muzzle rested against her cheek ruff.

She watched her faint reflection overlaid on the street scene. A deep sigh fogged the glass, but didn't relieve the pressure in her chest. "Why's it feel like I haven't earned this?"

"I dunno." He shrugged, and those warm arms slipped around her. "Do you usually get things when you earn them?"

The vixen's brow furrowed. Her boyfriend was actually pretty insightful, in a goofball sort of way. After a second, she'd finished the karmic math. "No."

"That's probably why it feels weird." The mastiff nodded. "If it's about earning stuff, you worked a lot harder than I did."

She leaned back and buried her face in his shoulder. "Bodi, you literally shoot magic out of your guitar."

"Well, yeah." He chucked and held her closer. "But that just sorta came to me, once I opened myself up to it. You actually know music stuff." He rocked his head back and forth gently as he counted through a list. "Amps. Booking concerts. Changing strings. Contracts. How guitar straps work. Sheet music."

With a snort, she glanced up at him. "Whoa. Whoa. Sorry, back up. You having magic powers is on par with my being able to read music?"

"Uhh, yep." The dog bounced a little as he yapped the yep.

She looked out the window at the dark and bustling city. "Anybody could learn to do that stuff."

"Yeah, but you did." He rubbed the front of her apron, his paw warming her stomach. "You spent a long time learning the right stuff to be in a band."

She sighed and leaned back against him. "I just feel like I should be doing more."

"You shouldn't feel bad for not constantly working your absolute hardest." He kissed the back of her ear. "Sometimes, part of a song doesn't have notes you play. That doesn't mean you're lazy. It just means we each have our own instruments to play."

Now he'd done it. He'd been too freaking adorable again. Darma turned around in his arms. Her paws cupped either side of his big, pleasantly surprised face. Angling up her slender muzzle, she kissed him.

They kissed in the dim light. They kissed their way further back into the little cafe. She untied her apron and tossed it on the counter. Her slim vulpine paws gripped his rump, dragging his hips to hers. She was entering a life where rebellion was expected of you. Not that she even disliked this job especially. This was, ironically, her last chance to be rebellious.

His tail swished back and forth. Oblivious to her vulpine plans, he stroked gentle paws down her back and kept kissing her. Being right up against his body gave her all sorts of naughty ideas. After careful consideration, one in particular won out.

She slipped a paw down the front of his pants. Stroking his sheath up and down, she tugged it back to expose that red tip. The naked heat of his doggy dick pressed to her palm.

Bodi trembled against her. A whine emanated from deep within his sturdy frame. His muzzle pressed against her ear with tender need.

Her fingertips traced the very top of his sack. He had some seriously silky fur. Her palm pressed onto his dick, rubbing the sheath this way and that.

She knelt. Smiling up at him, she bit her lip as she built up some bravery, then kissed the very tip of his dick. It felt so hot against her lips, but cooled as soon as she leaned back. His cock lay, hot, down the length of her tongue.

Panting, he looked down. Walk signs and taillights lit his astonished face. He whined with desire. Not bad for his first blowjob.

Hers too. She didn't know what she was doing, but she seemed to be doing alright. Pulling off him, she nuzzled along the side of his dick. Delicate whiskers traced along sensitive flesh. A naughty thought entered her mind. "Could— Could you take your pants off?"

The canine blinked through a haze of pleasure. A car drove by, catching in his eyeshine, setting his confusion aglow. "Umf, ah, wha?"

"Nobody can see." She grinned in the shadow of the counter. Her claw traced along the open fly of his pants. At a nervous chuckle, she bit her lip, then touched her nose to the tip of his dick, then glanced up at him with what she hoped was a sexy look. "I just like how you look without pants."

"Oh. Okay." He pushed his pants down. The hem of his shirt draped over the jutting length of his dick, like a sky-blue backdrop framing his deep-red knot. His hands moved behind his head, one foot lifted off the ground in playful shyness. "Like this?"

"Mmmhmm." Her muzzle closed around his shaft. She cupped his balls gently with one paw, the other stroking along his toned and furry stomach. Slowly, inexpertly, she bobbed and licked, keeping her teeth out of the way. Her bushy tail dusted the floor. Having his dick in her mouth was super hot, even if she didn't really know what to do with it. Mostly, she just rolled her tongue around it, feeling all the subtle contours. A thin dribble of precum ran along her gums. As her neck started to hurt from the unfamiliar motion, she wondered if she was doing it right.

A sharp whine of joy drew her attention up. Jaws agape, the mastiff's thick hands braced him against the countertop. His feet shuffled on the worn floorboards.

With a surge of confidence, she gripped his tail and, lips to his dick, whispered: "You should come in my mouth."

The canine grunted. "R-really?"

"Yeah." Rubbing the back of her neck, she squirmed at how safe it felt to be scandalous with him. "After all the coffee I've had here, I want my last drink at this job to be Bodi-flavored."

"Whoa." His dick swelled in her paw. "Maybe you should be writing the lyrics."

She chuckled. "This one's only for private performance." She gave a long lick under his shaft. As she rubbed her head against his fuzzy stomach, she watched his eyes on her as her tongue curled behind his knot. She'd always fantasized about doing that. Long before they'd been dating.

Bodi seemed to like it too. At least, the spurt of precum onto the shoulder of her hoodie seemed to indicate that. Caressing her ears with one paw, his other grasped his dick. She got treated to a front-row seat of him pawing. He jerked off frantically, but with expert flourishes of his pinky whenever it got behind his knot. Guess that manual dexterity had to come from somewhere.

The vixen sat back on her haunches, watching with interest. Even in the dim light, she had a pretty nice view. She liked watching his balls sway in time with each stroke.

His pinky finger politely dragged her hand to his dick. Wrapping it around his girth, the dog stroked himself with her paw. His hot, firm flesh slid under her paw pads on a layer of her own saliva.

Her heart fluttered. Nice to know she could turn a boy on. Her free hand rubbed his inner thighs as he jerked off. She opened her muzzle and extended her tongue to touch just under the tip of his bouncing dick as he stroked it with her paw. Heart racing, she blushed at the idea of tasting him in a place so public most of the day. She could hardly believe she'd been brave enough to go this far, ears flicking up as she watched him jerk off for her.

In just a few strokes, he was grunting. A few more, and he was gasping. His eyes closed as he panted her name between grunts and gasps. He paid more attention to his knot than she had. He must really like having it played with. A frantic, but tender run of his paw down her ears hinted he also liked her.

Keeping her mouth open, she thought about trying to take his knot. They'd only tried a few times since that first night. Her muscles clenched as she imagined the thick swell of canine flesh under her fingertips buried inside her. The thought made her pant harder.

Tension built in his muscles. His butt humped forward, causing his shaft to slip partway back into her mouth. His balls twitched against her knuckles. He came with a stifled howl.

Hot seed spurted against the roof of her mouth. Along with it came a gush of complex saltiness. She flinched in surprise, but managed to keep her mouth open. Less powerful pulses of it fell on her tongue. She didn't manage to catch it all. Some dripped to the floor. But one final advantage of working this day job was that she knew just where the napkins were. She closed her mouth and swallowed without thinking. The feel of his warm cum trailing slowly down her throat made her blush. "So, ummm…" She could flipping taste it on her tongue while she talked, taste him. She brushed a shy paw over her ears. "Did that feel good?"

"Ye— Yeah…" Bodi steadied himself against the counter, slumped halfway forward. His half-hard dick hung out from his sheath, dripping. "Wow…"

Scooting forward, she hugged his legs and watched that pretty red dick retreat back into its sheath. A pearly glob of cum trailed slowly from his tip, only making it halfway down the shaft before being intercepted by the opening of his sheath and pushed back up as his erection faded.

The magical rock 'n roll dog leaned back against the counter, completely under her spell. His unsteady paw down and cradled her cheek ruff. He smiled down at her with pure wonder and undiluted affection.

Feeling a flicker of absolute rock star bravery, she licked the final traces of cum from his dick as it sank back into his sheath. Pretty wild for a by-the-rules fox, even if the cafe was empty and locked. She felt proud.

He, meanwhile, shivered with aftershocks and gave her a panting smile, looking at her like she was the one who could do magic. His gaze made her feel like a rock star.

The world outside might get to see him, but only she got to see this side of him. People drinking their coffee would have no idea a famous musician had an orgasm here.

Wiping her muzzle, she a nabbed some napkins from under the counter and cleaned up the dripped mess on the floorboards. She reached to throw it in the trash, then froze for an instant with the worry that someone might sniff out her rendezvous. Self-conscious, she stuffed the napkins in her pocket. She glanced back at her bottomless boyfriend. For a heartbeat, she considered going further, but even a rock star can only be so much of a rebel in one day. Still, being this naughty felt safe and fun because it was with a dog she couldn't help but trust. She handed him back his pants.

Bodi, even less self-conscious than usual in his post-orgasmic haze, reached down to take her paw. His lifted her to the light spilling over the countertop. Eye to eye, he leaned slowly in until their noses very softly touched. He smiled, hands just above her tail.

She blushed under her fur. Being held by a boy she'd just given an orgasm to was still a little overwhelming if she thought too much about it. Vulpine overthinking at it again.

The canine, meanwhile, just wagged and kissed her.

Only after the sweet smooch ended did she realize she still had the salty tang of his flavor on her breath. Her eyes dipped, but it proved impossible to be very embarrassed when his embrace reminded her this was just where she was meant to be.

~ ~ ~

After locking up and tossing her keys in the mail slot, Darma stared up at the cafe for a moment, one last time. She felt like she should have something deep to say about the moment, something about being in territory at once well-worn and unfamiliar. But instead she just sighed out the anxiety and excitement that had bundled up in her chest.

Bodi didn't say anything either. His heavy paw settled softly on her shoulder. When she looked to him, unsure, he just shrugged and smiled in support.

With a little huff of determination, the vixen resolved to be excited at quitting her day job.

Her boyfriend walked at her side. "You wanna talk?"

"Okay, but it might not make sense." Her paw scrubbed through her head ruff.

The brown dog chuckled. "You make more sense than anybody I know."

She took a deep breath and tried to gather her thoughts. "I grew up thinking, if I worked hard every day and gave it my all, I'd be a rock star someday."

He wagged. "And you're a rock star now."

"Except it's not because I put in the work." Her shoulders rolled in a frustrated shrug. "It's because I lucked out."

Bodi tilted his head, hat tassels dangling. "You're really good at bass, though."

"Right." Her ears perked as they turned the corner past the little grocery store, faint strains of a dozen different songs echoing down the darkened street. "But I could've been this good and played in that park forever and never become a rock star. That's kinda scary."

He listened and nodded.

"I thought I was living in a world where the effort I put in got me that much further to my goal. But instead I'm living in a world where you fell into my lap and I lucked into making it big."

"I mean, anything's possible." He took her paw in his. "But that doesn't mean you don't deserve to reach your dreams."

"Yeah, but, if life isn't fair and my being a rock star is just luck, it could all go away just as easily."

Again, he watched her and waited for her to continue. That didn't happen a ton, especially with cute boys, so it took a moment for her to move on from finding it a pleasant surprise.

She lifted her paws chest-high. "What if I'd had a cold that day? And I wasn't in the park to meet you?"

His blunt, black claws scratched under his chin with thought. "Well, nobody else was nice to me, so I would've come back next day." He gazed into the distance for an instant, trying to see into the hypothetical. "And the day after that."

Darma nodded. She could actually see him doing that. As they neared the park, individual songs could be picked out: some familiar, some new. Even in just the months since she'd met Bodi, new musicians had started playing in the park, bands had broken up and new ones had formed. Life carried on in the park, just as it had for decades, an complex musical ecosystem. Weird to think, after all these years, it was no longer her habitat.

His paws tumbled in gentle motion over each other. "And eventually, I'd probably meet you."

Amusement perking her whiskers, the fox cast him a wry look. "What? We'd randomly meet?"

"Well, not really randomly." He scratched the back of his head, under that knitted hat. He claimed to own other ones, but she only ever saw him in that green one. "You chose to be there every day, so you controlled that."

Smoothing back her head fluff, she looked up at him with a frown on her slender muzzle. "That's not much control."

He shrugged. "It's like flying a kite. You can't control the wind. But if keep your paws steady, the kite still goes where you want."

The vixen chuckled as they paused at the entrance to Rock 'n Roll Park, now alive with the sound of other bands' dreams. "So, I got here by not letting go."

"You could say that, yeah." He brightened and wagged.

"Heh." She slipped an arm around him. Her tail fluffed with pride, the effect shivering all the way up her spine, leaving her feeling as tall as the mastiff beside her. Smiling, she squeezed him tight in the cool night air. "Well, that I can keep doing."

Around them, other musicians carried their gear and insecurities into and out of the park. Darma and Bodi stood, arms around each other, letting the songs wash over them. Right now, some other future rock legend was probably in that park, guiding the kite of their own fate on the strings of a used guitar.

She smiled and kissed her boyfriend on the cheek. Turning, he grinned back at her, tail swishing under her hand. He nose bumped hers, ever so gently and with infinite fondness. In that moment, she felt like a rock star, even if it was only for an audience of one.

~ ~ ~

I had to come back and write more of Darma and Bodi. They're just too cute!

Art: Slate

Edits: Eljot, Jovo, Carl, Kumo, SillyNekoRobin, Kohaku, Slate, Clover, Kersync, Lilly

- Tempo

Chapter Text

Rock Dog: Mixdown
by Tempo

~ ~ ~

Even this early in the morning, faint echoes of music radiated from Rock 'n Roll Park. The constant noise had made the apartment cheaper, but Darma always found faint music reassuring. It kept songs from getting stuck in her head for too long. She looked out her apartment window. Morning light glowed through the trees, washing the world in yellows and greens. A small army of old ladies bounced and twirled in slow unison. Currently grooving to Ace of Base's "Don't Turn Around," they turned around several times as she watched.

"Are you playing the song on guitar in your mind?" Bodi stood, across the room, holding a box of audio cables and extension cords.

Her hands curled closed. She looked to him with a shy laugh. People didn't usually notice her doing that, or pay much attention to her in general. "Yeah?"

He nodded, as if that had been a very reasonable behavior. "Cool." Setting down the box by the front door, he glanced at his own, much larger, hands. "I'll have to try that sometime."

Discomfort melting away, her ears rose in amusement. While she'd seen plenty of couples pick up each others' quirks over time, usually they didn't do it on purpose. But the mastiff was so earnest about it, that she could find it endearing. She also couldn't believe they were a couple now. How crazy was that?

Her boyfriend looked around the living room. "What should we pack up next?"

Darma looked around at her material possessions: the fold-out sofa, the secondhand coffee table, the dresser that still displayed all the stickers she'd applied to it as a kit. She could have hired people to haul everything from here to the loft of Angus's garden shed, but that seemed like a waste. Plus, she had tacked a couple hundred notes to the walls with song ideas and corny inspirational quotes, along with concert flyers from the park and band posters from her childhood bedroom. Letting someone else riffle through all those papers felt invasive, not to mention a bit like a mess she'd never bothered to clean up. "Umm… Whatever you want, really. It all has to go."

He nodded and moved a floor lamp to the door, only briefly perplexed by the plug pulling out of the wall and bouncing past his leg. "Is this what moving is usually like?"

"I…don't actually know." She shrugged. "I've only ever moved out of my parents' house and into here."

"Ah, okay." He nodded. "It's the same way for me, with Angus's shed."

The vixen realized she'd been standing in one spot for about five minutes, trying to fix the battered green venetian blinds that'd been a lost cause before she moved in. She looked around at all the junk left to pack. "I think I might be bad at moving…"

"We should meet your parents sometime." The dog continued, in his merry way, placing random objects into a cardboard box: a belt, a pencil, a long-lost guitar pick. "They sounded nice on the phone."

She had to admit her parents were less intimidating than Bodi's dad. And her mom had been asking about meeting Bodi for weeks. "I think we should give them a little while to process that I now have a music career before they meet my wizard boyfriend in person."

"Do you think they'll like me?" His gentle brown eyes fixed on something under the sofa, which he knelt to collect.

"A magical dog who's Angus Scattergood's protégé?" Her mother was a lawyer and her father an accountant. Both serious business foxes, seen as astute professionals within their fields. "Yeah, I think they'll be impressed."

"Oh." His quarry turned out to be a stray CD case. He studied it like a long-lost relic. "That's pretty different from why you like me."

"I like you because you're nice." She smiled at him. Taking down a couple sheets of hand-drawn riffs, she found a paper with "Bodi + Darma" and a bunch of hearts doodled on it. That had happened by accident, a couple weeks ago. She should've probably felt embarrassed, sketching hearts around her boyfriend's name like a middle schooler, but the same giddy glee that made her draw it made her fold it up carefully and stick it in a nearby book on music theory. "But my parents want me to find a nice tod, settle down, and have some grand-kits."

"Is that what you want?" Padding back to the box of discs and cassettes, he placed the CD inside with care.

"Honestly, I have no idea. I do know I want to keep making music, though." She glanced back at him with a shy dip of her tail. "And keep spending time with you."

He wagged. "Should I be packing your music discs in separately from your music tapes?"

Darma looked at the mostly-furnished studio apartment, found another cassette behind a lamp, and handed it to him. "Together is fine. It's just great that you want to help me pack." Pulses of synth bass rattled in through the window. The vixen's ears tuned in. She glanced over. Outside, the gray-muzzled plaza-dancers boogied to "Bad" in a distinctly non-badass fashion.

He tilted the box to reveal a colorful collection of small boxes and packets. "Why do you have so many kinds of guitar strings?"

"To try them out, mostly. Maybe use them for a particular sound I'm going for." Her paw rubbed the scruff of her neck. "I collect guitar strings like normal girls collect cute shirts."

"I'm glad you're not normal then." He glanced down into the box, then smirked at her. "I already know all about shirts."

Her tail fluffed back and forth with happiness. Unpinning more papers from the wall, she wondered when had she bought so many thumb tacks.

He squinted at an opened envelope. "Darma…Li? I didn't know you had a family name. Or is it a clan name?"

"Practically." She rolled her eyes and got on her tiptoes to take down a band poster. Her tail stretched straight down, as if that would make her taller. "About a hundred million people have it."

His ears popped up under his hat. "Big family."

"We don't all get together." The vulpine smirked. "It's too much hassle."

"Wow, I bet!" With a blink of amazement and an earnest nod, he considered for a moment. Then his attention returned to the envelope in his paws. He held it up for her inspection. "How do I know what you want to keep?"

"Oh, just put everything in boxes for now." She didn't want to impose; he was sweet for helping this much. "I don't want to make you sort through all my stuff."

Placing the envelope onto a stack of mail, he picked it up and placed it in the box of miscellaneous items.

Darma continued unpinning things from the wall. She found a list of objectives for her life she'd idly written one night. Become a pro musician: that could be checked off. Change people's lives with good music: she had hope for that one. Fall in love: that really had happened. She smiled at her boyfriend, who was using leftover takeout napkins to pack her dishes. Yep. Really happened.

An hour passed.

The fox sifted through the vertical filing system she'd made of the wall. Some of the song ideas were, in retrospect, terrible. Many, in fact. Especially the sappy ones. She read a few of them to Bodi, who thought they were good. Especially the sappy ones. Once she'd plucked the last of them from the wall, she stuffed them all in a folder and set them on the stack of boxes by the door. The odds of the movers looking through them were low; the odds of them admitting they had, even lower.

The Tibetan mastiff straightened from going through her cupboards and gave a little woof of accomplishment. "Where should I put this one?" Holding a box that contained everything non-edible from her kitchen, he gave her a bright grin.

"Anywhere is fine."

He set it on top of the box that contained all the food in her apartment.

"Maybe we should order food." Hunger had snuck up on her. Noon arrived fast when you'd already unplugged your clock. "You want me to call the noodle shop?"

"I can call." His massive hands curled with excitement, the large canine traipsed to the phone, leaning over a small mountain of cardboard boxes to lift the handset. "I really think I've figured out the telephone now."

With a faint shake of her head, she smiled. "Okay, Bodi."

He found the phone number written on a note on the wall, back from before she'd memorized it. Finger drifting toward the dial, he beamed at her. "What should I order for you?"

She considered for a moment the literal game of telephone she'd have to play to order. "Anything is fine. It's all good stuff." That was true. She'd never had anything bad from there.

Out in the park, Spice Girls' "Wannabe" pumped through a boombox. The old ladies of various species wobbled their hips in a way that didn't strain their joints too much.

"Anything…" His lips pressed together in thought. Then he dialed the number, as if each number was an interesting puzzle.

Something about his manner caught her attention. Others might assume he wasn't smart enough to get discouraged, but in reality he was pretty clever. He had to operate with zero context most of the time. From the stillness of his tail to the slight furrow of his brow, his brain was working through something.

Lost in thought, the dog straightened with surprise as the phone's ringing stopped. "Hello? Hi, this is Bodi. What's your name? Hi. Yeah! I'd like to buy some of the crispy duck meat. No, it doesn't have to be from Beijing. Oh. Why is it called that if—? Oh, okay."

Inhaling to respond, Darma raised a finger to pause him. Then realized, no, it was fine to just let this happen. He wasn't failing catastrophically. And as a fan of the creative arts, she reminded herself to sit back and enjoy the canine's creative way of ordering delivery.

"Yes, I would also like to buy some of the clear noodles in the spicy sauce. The ones Darma always buys." The mastiff gave her a cheery wink.

Realizing she still had her paw lifted in a vague gesture, so she committed to a thumbs-up. Not for the first time, she'd been caught up in his dorky charm. Did everybody else find him this cute?

He nodded to the telephone. "Yes, this is Darma's boyfriend."

Heat rose in her ears. She still wasn't used to him saying that. Her heart fluttered a little. Feeling her tail fluff out, she smoothed it back down with a shy grin.

"Yeah, we're in her apartment. Oh! I'll see you when you get here. Thank you. Goodbye." He gave the phone a polite nod, then hung up. He wagged at her. "They already knew the way here. That's really good service."

"That's practice." She crossed her arms over her breasts. "They've probably delivered a metric ton of noodles here, one portion at a time."

He hung up the phone. "Can I ask something?"

"Sure." She looked up, wondering what cultural oddity she'd need to contextualize for him.

Buying himself another moment of consideration, he opened a box labeled "records," regarded the paperwork inside with confusion, then shrugged and began stacking vinyls inside it. "How come you don't say what you want?"

"I…don't know?" The question took her aback. Normally, she'd brush a question like that aside with a shrug, but the realization had started to sink into her skittish vulpine brain that Bodi actually cared what she thought and felt. So she contemplated for a moment. "I've never really had anything be about me."

Concern flickered across the dog's features. "Anything?"

"Not for very long. And not very much." Her paw smoothed her cheek ruffs. That sounded a little too tragic. She didn't have that much to complain about, compared to most. "I don't like to make trouble for other people, especially the people I care about."

He smiled and shrugged. "I care about you. You're really not that much trouble."

A smile lifted her whiskers. "Thanks, Bodi."

His hand drifted toward her. "You can ask me for stuff. We're a couple."

She touched his hand. "Might take me a while to learn."

"That's okay." He wagged. "We're going to keep being a couple."

A quiet trill rattled in her closed muzzle. Grabbing an empty box, she toted it into the bathroom and stacked towels and toiletries into it.

"I've been meaning to ask." Bodi poked his head into the tiny bathroom. "Why do you have so many soaps and unguents?"

Muzzle dipped with sass, she cast him an amused look. "You haven't been in a lot of girls' bathrooms, have you?"

"No?"

"This is not that many." Her tail gave a playful swish. "I'm not the girliest girl."

A tiny nod accompanied him filing that information away. "What are they all for?"

She gestured at the half-dozen bottles in the entire bathroom. "Shampoo, conditioner, pelt gloss, lotion… They're to make me smell nice, make my fur shiny, make my paws soft, all that girly stuff."

He wagged. "Cool."

"Cool, huh?" She rolled her eyes and bumped him with her elbow. "We can sit around and give each other spa treatments sometime."

The dog gave her an un-ironic nod. "That sounds fun!"

A yap of laughter echoed through the small apartment.

He looked at her askew, eyebrows slowly rising like he realized he'd missed something, hat tassels dangling. "What?"

"Nothing. It's fine." She waved the question away. "I'm not used to boys caring if their paws are soft."

He glanced at his hands. "Should I not care?"

Memories of his fingers inside her came to mind. He'd felt nice before, but softer paw pads could be nice… Flustered, she busied herself with packing the various nail clippers and whisker straighteners arrayed on the counter. "It's good that you care about that stuff. It's just another way you're different from most guys." She shrugged. "In a good way."

Her boyfriend wagged and took her hand with excitement. Then he looked down at it. "Man, your paws are really smooth."

"Heh, umm, thanks." She rubbed her other hand down the scruff her her neck. "It's tough to maintain, since I play bass and haul amps around and…" Her brain shorted out as it happened upon examples of her using her nice, soft paws on his big, sensitive dick.

With a quiet little glance for permission, he lifted her paw to his muzzle, nuzzled against it, and kissed her paw pads.

A thrill vibrated her like a guitar string. Having a boy kiss her without the barrier of fur felt new and intimate. Having the boy be Bodi, whom she trusted and was crazy about, felt like hearing a new favorite song. Goosebumps rose in an invisible wave under her fur. She took a giddy breath.

Bodi, unaware of the full reaction he'd caused, wagged at her once more and then returned to packing up the main room.

Darma retreated to the bathroom, heart aflutter. Like so many other moments with her boyfriend, it had been ordinary, yet made her feel extraordinary. She wasn't sure what to do with that feeling, but she liked it. While grabbing the quite reasonable number of bottles out of the shower, she pondered that she'd never have to use its tiny shower stall again. The one Angus had contractors install in the garden shed was luxuriously large for a fox. It might be possible to fit a fox and a dog in there. She smiled at the thought. Bodi was probably right. She should be a little bit selfish now and then. Not that he'd complain about getting naked with her. Too bad it was across town. That particular fantasy would have to wait.

That set her vulpine imagination in motion, however. With a little smirk, she committed to a scandalous course of action and, even as she blushed at the thought, glanced out into the living room. Once sure Bodi wasn't paying attention, she slipped out of her panties and started to formulate a plan.

~ ~ ~

Fifth Child's Noodle Restaurant did indeed know where her apartment was. The plastic bag featured a red logo of a dragon in a delivery hat carrying a noodle bowl —heated by a flaming pearl— in its coils. The art style looked like it predated the steam locomotive, aside from the website the creature soared majestically over.

Bodi's eyes lit up as he shoveled some Peking duck into his muzzle. He smiled around a mouthful. "This is really good."

"It's a pretty standard Sichuan noodle shop." She wound some noodles onto her chopsticks. "The city has a bunch of them."

Seated across from her on the floor, he gripped the small white delivery container and swallowed. "Cool!"

"It's cool…" Her eyebrows rose at him. "…that there are zillion just like it?"

"Yeah! That means we can get it no matter where we are in town." He scooped an impressive amount of rice into his muzzle.

"Okay, that's true." She plucked a slice of chili from her takeout box and popped it into her mouth. It burst with a pleasant burn. "Makes it less special, though."

Swallowing, he shrugged and wrapped some Peking duck and toppings into a spring roll. "Just because there's a lot of something doesn't make it worse."

With a playful smirk, she pressed her foot on his knee. "Is that your opinion on bassists too?"

"You're really good too." He squeezed her toes. His hand felt warm, his touch new and exciting.

Though her tail gave a shy bounce of joy, she managed a casual shrug. "I'm not the best."

"Nobody's the best." He laughed like it was the first time he'd heard of the concept. "Angus is super amazing, but he needed me to write a song. So he's not 'better' than me. And I'm sure not better than him."

Her eyebrow rose at him. "That is not how standardized testing has trained me to think." She'd always been a diligent student, but never at the top of her class. The idea that nobody was above her in the order of the universe left her feeling weightless. Seeing the world Bodi's way was bewildering, if enticing. "You don't really think like a fox, you know that?"

"Mm?" He looked up, muzzle wrapped around a spring roll.

"Foxes…" She clicked her chopsticks together, but failed to pull a more eloquent explanation from the air. "We worry."

After munching thoughtfully, he swallowed and tilted his head. "Because you care?"

"We worry even about things we don't care about." With a deep sigh, she shook her head. "We're paranoid."

Eyes on her, he nodded as he tried to dislodge some green onion from between his teeth with a chopstick.

"So learning to think like you do can be…" The vixen squirmed, chopsticks tracing through the noodles. "…uncomfortable, I guess?"

"Oh." He poured her some tea. "I don't try to make you uncomfortable."

"No, Bodi." She accepted the cup, which they'd had to unpack. "I like it."

The mastiff's tail drummed on the floor. He took another swig of tea. Reassuring that he could also drink tea without a stick of butter in it.

Using the excuse of drinking her tea, the fox contemplated a plan. She'd already slept with the guy, why was asking for more of that stuff so awkward? Songs made it sound so easy, so smooth. She felt about as smooth as the Himalayas at present. Looking down, she found her teacup drained. One nervous paw set it aside. Her thighs rubbed together, reminding her of her lack of panties.

Midway through a Phil Collins album, the boombox in the park fell silent. The putter of cars and the murmur of pedestrians replaced it. The old ladies would disperse now, as they did every morning at this time, like a scattering of red and orange leaves.

The vixen tried to think of something flirty to say. The options that came to mind ranged from so lewd she'd probably stammer to so terrible she'd probably laugh. Figuring it a good first step would be not having a muzzle full of noodles while she tried to seduce him, she set the takeout box aside. Her paws rubbed together in anxiety and anticipation. She toyed with the hem of her skirt.

Her boyfriend's gaze settled on her. A single glittering gem of tea rolled down his whisker and onto the floor. Eyebrows raised, he tilted his head. "What's up?"

Her fluffy copper tail twitched along the grey rug."Heh, I'm just thinking about what you said." She squirmed, unsure of herself, but resolving not to chicken out. She was a rock star. And had a super sweet boyfriend. She could do this. "About how it's okay for me to make choices and want things…"

Nose still in the teacup, Bodi nodded. Those bright brown eyes watched her with earnest attention. He was rarely on her frequency, but he always ended up in harmony.

A chuckle escaped her slim muzzle. Nervous, she bit her thumb and tried to play it cool as she lay back on the rug. "Heh, well, I can think of one thing I want…" A blush burned under her cheek ruffs.

The Tibetan mastiff tilted his head, hat tassels dangling.

Darma rolled to her stomach and glanced back to watch his reaction. Lifting the hem of her skirt, she cast a glance back at him. Instinct and desire conspired to flick up her tail. Cool air traced across her bare slit. With a little breath to tone down her embarrassment, she cooed in what she hoped was a sexy tone. "Y-you could go down on me."

His eyes widened at her lack of panties. "Go down?"

"Yeah, you know…lick me?" Okay, it sounded super awkward coming out of her muzzle. She wiggled her hips, partly to entice him and partly out of nerves. For all that they'd already done, it felt scandalous to present herself and practically demand he lick her. "I mean, if you want to."

The canine beamed with excitement, setting down his teacup. "Umm, yeah, I want to." Shifting to his knees, he shuffled forward and gently gripped her waist. "So, I just lick it?"

A little thrill of anticipation shivered through her. "Y-yeah."

His face dropped out of sight, though his swishing tail stayed visible.

The next second, Darma felt him kissing her entrance. Spreading her. Licking. "Mm!" She tensed for a second, then reminded herself this was her entire plan.

"Good?" Bodi inquired with his lips still pressed to her folds.

"Yep." Perhaps not the smoothest reply, but this wasn't a song she knew by heart. Not yet anyway. "You could even lick a little deeperrrrrrrrrrr… ooohhh…"

That broad tongue pressed into her with slippery ease. He hadn't even hesitated. The tips of his teeth traced ever so softly through the fur of her mons, even as his licks got bolder.

She hummed with contentment as his tongue traced inside her. Her teeth traced over her lower lip. Having a hunky boyfriend willing to go down on her did wonders for a fox's ego.

More than willing, he licked with undeniable enthusiasm. Those big, powerful paws gripped her hips. His supple tongue slathered pleasure deep into her slit.

Head cradled on her arms, the vulpine moaned. "That's good…"

A little grunt of pride vibrated her tender flesh. He might not be as much of a natural at cunnilingus as he was at guitar, but in that moment she had no complaints. Besides, she looked forward to instructing him.

With an upward shift of her hips, her paw slipped back to massage her clit. Unused as she was to having anybody down there, her first few motions bumped against his chin.

He backed off for a second, then gave a sticky smile of approval when he noticed her pawing.

The blush spread to her ears at him staring. She resisted the urge to let her tail fall in modesty. "Y-you can keep going. Just like you were."

"Okay…" Hunching down again, he nuzzled his lips against her slit, spreading saliva and her juices. He growled with happiness. Then he returned to the same pattern of licking he'd done before. That supple tongue laid down a nice rhythm between her folds.

Pleasure overwhelmed the vixen's mind. Her breath got shorter. Her mind got hazier. Her vision locked on the wood texture of the wall paneling. The circular rub of her fingertips on her clit was familiar enough to let her lose herself in the new pleasure of his attentions. Anxieties dissolving, she could feel herself pulled toward orgasm.

All the while, he kept licking. At the same speed. In the same wonderful places.

She shuddered, tail fluffed out and twitching. Pleasure came to a crescendo. A slow yap of bliss escaped her lips. Her eyes rolled back. "Mmmmmf!"

Bodi kept licking, his paws keeping hold of her hips until she got too sensitive and shifted away. He eased her down to the rug and licked his lips with obvious delight.

Mind floating on a cloud of pleasure, she panted. Muzzle hanging open, her tongue balanced on her lower teeth. Having a boyfriend was really flipping cool.

The larger canine crawled over and cradled her head on his lap. His paw caressed her cheek as he smiled down at her.

A rare sort of peace settled over the fox. Not bad for a first try. Her unsteady hand reached up and took his, fur still sticky with her passion. Even here, on the floor of a cheap apartment, surrounded by boxes, she felt complete serenity because of the devotion in his eyes and the sheen of juices on his smile. Chest rising and falling, she allowed herself to linger in the moment. A vixen could get used to this.

~ ~ ~

The world needed more cute Rock Dog fanfiction. ^_^ Been doing lots of research for this series.

Bass consultant: Flash
Cultural consultant: Oyqy
Edits: Slate, CarlMinez, Eljot001, Kohaku Nightfang, TheFunkyOne
Art: :iconEinshelm:

Want to help me make more of this? Pledge to my Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/Tempo

- Tempo

Chapter Text

Rock Dog: On Cue
by Tempo

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

If she didn't look at all the tour posters, Darma could calm down about being in Angus Scattergood's living room. Lots of people had those posters around. No big deal. She was just hanging out with her old friend Germur and her new boyfriend Bodi as this scrawny white feline prowled around the kitchen. The sofas were pristine, as if nobody had ever used them. Considering all the traps and attack robots in the front yard, she wasn't surprised Angus didn't get many visitors. Afternoon light filtered through the high windows of the mansion to glint on the hanging orb light fixtures.

The fox interlaced her fingers and stretched her arms. "I keep thinking I have to go to work." She shrugged to her bandmates. "It's just been part of my life for so long."

Seated pertly upright on the sofa next to her, Bodi nodded, then turned to their bandmate. "Do you have a job, Germur?"

The goat's eyes widened. He sat up straight with a slow realization. "Uh oh. I think I do."

Darma ran a paw down her face. "Germie…"

The drummer glanced across the room to a clock. "Whoa… Dudes, I am really late."

"How late?" Holding a cup of tea, Angus snatched his keys from a peg in the kitchen. "I can give you a ride." He'd become far more willing to drive upon realizing that most of the city mistook his tour bus for a city bus and got out of his way.

Germur scratched his tiny beard. "Two or three years."

The older musician blew a raspberry. "Well, I have good news, mate: you probably don't have to worry about it." The skinny feline shrugged and twirled the keyring around his finger. "But since my keys are already out of my pocket, let's go downtown to this restaurant I've been meaning to go to for ages."

"Ages? Whoa." Germur stared into the distance, as if at previous incarnations of Angus Scattergood not going to the restaurant. "Today must be pretty special."

The Tibetan mastiff glanced at her. They exchanged small shrugs.

The white feline nodded and lashed his tail. "Yeah, it's a really fancy restaurant and I want to see what they make of you." He patted the goat on the back. "And see how the valet reacts when I hand off a double-decker bus."

The goat stood and ambled over to Angus. "Do they have truffle fries?"

"They could make fries out of a truffle, I wager." The feline turned and snapped his fingers at the couple. "You guys in?"

Darma's mind raced. Did she own anything fancy enough for a restaurant that even Angus considered fancy? Was it traditional or western? Did that change what she should wear? And then there was the matter of if her table manners were refined enough. Didn't fancy western restaurants have eight courses and twenty unique spoons and forks and it was a grave insult to use the wrong one? But she couldn't just reject a lunch invitation from Angus Scattergood. They were incredibly lucky to have him as a mentor. What if they alienated him?

The dog shrugged. "We just ate."

"Can't argue with that logic." Angus tossed and caught his keys, then started heading for the garage. "I'll let you know if it's any good. We can go next time."

"We'll all still know each other ages from now?" Germur followed, deep in thought. "Nice."

Bodi watched the goat and feline disappear into the garage, followed by the deep rumble of the tour bus starting. He turned and regarded Darma with doggish adoration. His big, goofy hand settled on her thigh. "What should we do now?"

Blushing a little at his unrelenting fondness, she shrugged. "I guess we can jam without them."

"Another hokey song?" He wagged with hope, tail whomping Angus's perfect sofa cushions.

She'd been wondering when he'd ask for another one. "Sure, I think I can manage that."

"Yes!" He bounced to his feet and fist-pumped.

Smiling, the vixen shook her head and led him back to the recording studio. As they strapped on their guitars, she glanced at the massive control board. The autumn-hued buttons and various knobs of a TR-808 sat, inscrutable. A little sigh escaped her. She wasn't actually sure how to set up the drum machine. Mouth a straight line of resignation, she tilted her head for a glance at the dog and lifted her eyebrows. "Alright Bodi, you're lucky this is another song I can hear in my dreams, so I can play it without a drum backing."

"Nice." One thick paw straightened his guitar strap.

Twiddling the tuning pegs, she double-checked she was in key. "Did I have you listen to 'Every Heartbeat' yet?"

"Maybe?" He blinked. "I've been listening to a lot of new music."

She nodded. Catching up on a lifetime's worth of music was a pretty good excuse for not knowing a song. Though, she supposed, it was everybody's excuse all their lives. "It's an Amy Grant song. Very cheerful."

Bodi pressed his mouth closed, trying to contain his excitement and avoid interrupting her. He wouldn't care if she screwed up, which ironically made it easier not to screw up.

Tapping a boot on the floor, she counted herself into a speedy beat. The bass part bounced along happily, flowing from her fingertips with barely a thought. She yowled her way through the opening vocals as best as a lone fox could.

Instantly catching on, the canine nodded to the beat.

The first verse scrolled through her mind like a piano roll, fingers working on muscle memory. Familiar words rang through an unfamiliar space. She tried not to think about singing in Angus Scattergood's private studio; that still made her nervous. Halfway through the verse, the bass pattern switched. She always liked this next part, even though it was harder to do. Her paw swung down the frets in a dramatic swoop.

At the upswing of notes, Bodi's ears popped up visibly under his hat. Wide-eyed he watched her and nodded in time. His hands settled onto his six-string, fingers ghosting her melody. He'd have it memorized for the next verse, if past performance was any indicator.

The vixen rocked from foot to foot, riling herself up for the chorus. The lyrics were sappy. Extremely so. Luckily, she'd become quite a sap since she started dating Bodi.

The mastiff's wagging didn't slow, no matter how thick the song's sap. His sleek tail smacked the first and third beats of every measure. He strummed harmony chords, learning the song in real time.

She felt a little shy making the gasp after the first chorus, but he'd heard her make far more scandalous sounds. Cheeks burning at the thought, she plowed out of the interlude.

Polite little cascades of notes ascended through the song as Bodi got comfortable. The gear in the studio sounded way richer than the little amps in their bedroom, the acoustics perfect, but his tongue poked out just a little as he concentrated, just like it did when they were up in the loft.

A silly detail to latch onto, the vixen admitted to herself, but couldn't help being put at ease by it. By the second verse, she got so swept up in the song that she forgot where she was. She was just hanging out with Bodi. Jamming, like they'd done countless times. She swaggered toward him, as if the bass weighed nothing. Even those reaches for the low notes felt like part of her silly little dance. She flicked her tail back and forth with more hip-waggle than was strictly necessary to keep time.

Good thing Bodi was a savant, because he spent half the verse watching her hips. Must not have taken up his entire brain, though, because he scattered a full pattern of counterpoints in with his harmonies this time.

Knowing the song by heart, she'd forgotten the alternate chorus had different lyrics until they left her mouth. She lifted her chin and made eye contact, their little signal for "I'll let you know when we're doing this again."

With shameless glee, Bodi plucked out a rhythm guitar part. If she hadn't sprung the song on him personally, she'd never have guessed he was improvising. His head tilted at the differing words. Lyrical switch-ups always made him straighten up in closer attention. It was adorable.

Energized by his interest, she threw her head back and laughed into another round of the main chorus. A little growl entered her voice as she sang with whisker-bouncing enthusiasm.

The bass notes for the bridge broke pattern and would've sounded stilted and random if not for the smooth coo of the vocals. As for the vocals, well, they came out a little flirtier than she expected, but it made Bodi grin. Her heart raced, even through the drawn-out notes during that weird mini-chorus.

As she lifted her muzzle again, her lover smiled and instantly started riffing on the alternate chorus. He locked eyes with her, playing without the need to watch either of their fingerings. With a carefree tenor, he joined in the vocals. His voice never crowded hers, though it urged her to ever more outlandish gusto, always in a supporting key.

Loosened up, Darma slid back into the main chorus. Confidence growled through her every note. Figuring he could handle it, she nodded to count him, singing all the while. It was all chorus from this point on. Little bounces carried her closer to him. Her boots kicked off the studio floor as she playfully showboated for him.

He leaned down toward her, until their noses dared to touch for the briefest moment. A tiny blue spark zapped between them, filling her with a giddy serenity. His guitar sailed into a few relatively safe riffs, working them around his chords. Once he realized he had the room to work, he shredded confident variations on the theme, each accompanied by his best rock-star facial expression, which looked entirely ridiculous and of course prompted her to do the same.

On the verge of cracking up, they rocked on. Chin down: main chorus. Chin up: alternate. Sometimes, she'd drop the vocals for an entire line, letting him swing in with a wail of lead guitar.

Counting down with synchronized nods, they howled through the final syllables of the lyrics together, then slammed into a final flourish to tie up the song. A blue wave of energy rolled outward from him, rippling all the cables off the floor for a second. They stood panting, abuzz with a shared energy.

He grinned and leaned in. His nose tapped hers.

Tail fluffed out, the vixen hummed with joy. She liked being Bodi's girlfriend. She stood with her nose to his, slow breath mingling with his as blue light swirled and faded around them.

A flicker of unexpected color caught her eye. Amid a constellation of lingering blue sparkles, paperclips and pads of sticky notes settled atop the control panel. Then she noticed light of a different color: the green keypad lights of the phone flashing. It was ringing on other side of the soundproof glass.

Wordless, she shrugged to him.

He shrugged back.

Opening the door broke the silence, allowing the faint sounds of the air conditioner, the plumbing, and the various electronics to return. In a state of deep serenity, Darma exited the recording booth and picked it up. "Hello?"

Angus's voice rattled through the reconstructed phone. "Darms. How's my house? Still there? Dog hasn't blown out the windows yet?"

Her gaze slipped to the soundproof glass, which showed no signs of cracking. On the other side, her bandmate plucked guitar strings without a sound and smiled at her. "Not yet."

"Outstanding. Say, I failed to mention: Ian had a question about your contracts. If you guys could call him back, that would be brilliant."

"What was the question?"

"Dunno. He called during a catnap, so I let the answerphone get it."

With a sense of universal peace, Darma nodded. "He should still be at the office. I'll call him."

"Lovely." His sunglasses clattered against the receiver. "Listen, I've gotta go. Goat Lad is teaching everybody how to eat French fries with chopsticks. Nigel! You still serve that eucalyptus dipping sauce?" The phone clicked, then disconnected.

Darma hung up and rubbed the scruff of her neck. She didn't know why it felt like an intrusion to have someone interrupt her and Bodi playing. That is, until her fox brain reminded her of the intimate ways she and the mastiff had learned to be so in sync.

She glanced to the cork board. Angus's agent's phone number was tacked up. She dialed it. It rang a few times, then picked up.

A curt voice registered on the other end. "Ian."

"Hi, it's Darma." Taking advantage of the cordless phone, she pulled off her bass and leaned it against the control panel.

"Hey, great." Papers ruffled on an unseen desk. "I'm having trouble reading what Bodi wrote on his contract. It's like he's never written with a ballpoint pen before."

"That's a possibility." She smiled at her boyfriend. "What's your question?"

Still on the silent side of the glass, he wagged back at her.

"On the line for his birth date, I can't tell if this is a three…or a ten."

She pulled the door open and poked her slender muzzle in. "Bodi, when is your birthday?"

"It's in a week?" He counted on his fingers. "Eight days."

A tiny spark of panic arose in Darma's serene universe. Eight days wasn't that long. Was she supposed to plan a party? Or maybe go on a date? What kind of restaurant do you take your boyfriend to on his birthday? Should she call in a reservation now? What gift was she going to get him? Would she even have time to find something good?

"Okay. Thanks, guys." The line clicked as he hung up.

She scampered back to the recording booth and popped her head instead. "Why didn't you tell me your birthday was coming up?"

He looked up studying the clicking mechanism in a ballpoint pen. "I dunno. Is it important? Is this one of those tax things?"

"No! Well, yes." With a swish of her tail, she leaned against the doorframe. "But I also need to know it because I'm dating you."

"Oh." The dog nodded, hat tassels flopping. "There's paperwork for that too?"

"No!" Her small laugh rang in the recording booth. "It's so I can get you a gift or something."

"You don't have to get me anything." His modest smile shone across the room and into her heart. "I have everything I want."

A flutter of joy raced through her, puffing her pelt out. "Are birthdays not a big deal in your family?"

Taking off his guitar, he shrugged. "My dad never made a big deal about them."

That sounded right. His dad seemed like the no-nonsense type. She'd never really spoken with him, but he intimidated her a little. Dating his son, though, probably meant she'd have to talk to him at some point. "What about the sheep?"

He set the guitar on a stand and itched his muzzle with blunt, black claws. "They don't spend a lot of time worrying about numbers. They just throw parties when they think it might be someone's birthday."

Not for the first time, Darma wondered if she'd be happier as a sheep or goat. Germur seemed pretty happy. But, as her hunky boyfriend put an arm around her and pulled her into a gentle hug, she remembered that even foxes could be happy.

~ ~ ~

In the loft, Darma lay face-down on Bodi's bed. Well, her bed too. Their bed. Where they slept together and cuddled and had super fun sex. Her nose picked up faint traces of his scent on the blankets. She pushed the thought from her mind and tried to pay attention to the ongoing phone conversation. Ear against the receiver, she paged through the newest issue of Rock Fancy magazine. It had a good picture of the band. She hadn't smiled in an awkward way or anything. "I just think it's cool my band's in a magazine."

An older vixen's voice rang through the line. "That's very cool, dear, but why does your boyfriend have to be half-naked?"

"They took a lot of photos." She bounced her toes on the bedspread, enjoying that her silky sheets fit on his bed. "As far as I know, only one had him without his shirt on. I don't know why they used it."

A light scoff translated through the phone speaker. "I'll tell you why they used it."

The bass player rolled her eyes. "Mother."

Her courtroom tone entered the conversation: "Are there shirtless photos of you?"

"Mother!" She laughed. "No!"

Ceramics clinked in the background as she prepared what was probably very strong green tea. "I don't know how I feel with you getting mixed up with this kind of people."

"What kind of people?" The younger fox rolled over on the bed and studied the ceiling. "Shirtless people?"

"Yes!" She yapped with disapproval. "If they don't wear shirts in public, who knows what else they might do?" Water poured into a container at the other end of the phone line. "Darma, dear, is he a bad boy?"

She rolled her eyes. "I cannot overstate how much of a good boy he is."

"Well, that's good." The phone buzzed softly as she huffed a breath over her tea cup. "I have been asking for a photo of him for weeks and I wasn't expecting it to be delivered to grocery stores. Or to be so scandalous."

Darma knew better than to give her thoughts on anything scandalous related to Bodi. "I was planning to fax you one, I promise. I just haven't had time to buy a camera and get film developed. We've been busy recording the album."

"Good." Mrs. Li's voice held a degree of approval, if still probationary. "How exactly did you two meet? Your father talks like the boy appeared out of nowhere."

The vixen rolled off the bed and padded to the ladder that led to the loft. "He walked up to me in the park and asked to join my band."

"And you let him?"

"No, I thought he was crazy." She peered down to check that Bodi wasn't in earshot. She could see his shadow from the light of the door, but he was clearly playing air guitar, so she figured it was safe to talk about him.

Her mother huffed. "I don't know if I want crazy, shirtless dogs dating my daughter."

The younger fox sighed. "Mom, please. I called you for an actual reason."

"Mm?"

She hopped over the phone cord and flopped down on the couch. "Well, his birthday is in a couple days and I still don't know what to get him."

"Well, what does he like?"

She pressed her nose to the arm of the sofa. The soft cushioning still smelled like her apartment. "Good food. Good music." Her mind wandered to good sex, which Bodi also enjoyed, but was difficult to wrap.

"So buy him an album."

"Angus has a pretty huge music collection, mother. I don't know if there's a point in buying him something we already have in the house."

"Maybe something fashionable. What does he wear? On the occasions he wears much at all."

Darma looked at the row of identical tunics hanging in the wardrobe. "A lot of blue shirts."

"There you go. Buy him a shirt. Clearly, he needs shirts."

"I think I can do better than that." From her place on the couch, she could watch Bodi dancing around, headphones on.

"I buy your father shirts."

The bassist sighed. "For a first gift ever, though?"

"Why not? He'll wear the shirt. He'll think about how you gave it to him. It's good."

On an idle impulse, she lifted a pillow with her bare hind paws and bounced it between them at a gradual pace, pondering. "I want to give him something that shows I know him."

"You know he wears shirts." Her mother tsked and drank a sip of tea. "Unlike anyone who flipped through the magazine."

"Something more personal." With vague, vulpine anxiety, she squished the soft pillow between her paws, bending her legs back until the fabric touched her tail.

"So, what else does he need?"

"Nothing. That's the problem." She kicked the pillow back against the headboard. "He isn't big on material possessions. And we're house guests at a mansion."

"What is everyone else getting him?"

"Angus made him a mix tape as part of his rock history cram school." She watched Bodi's butt as he pranced around the room. She liked how he wore pants that showed off that particular feature. "Pretty sure that's what he's listening to now. Germur got him a bag of his favorite potato chips."

"Excellent. Their terrible gifts will make yours look good."

"A mix tape made by a rock legend is a pretty cool gift." She watched the tiny reels of the Walkman spin at her boyfriend's hip. His hat, stuck in one pocket, swished in time with his tail.

"Not once you are friends with him." Her mother yapped. "I looked up how many albums he's sold in his life. He should be buying you limousines."

"What would I do with a limo?" She propped her head on the arm rest and crossed her ankles. "I wouldn't even know how to park it."

"You don't drive your own limousine. Unless you need to fool assassins." A slight pause marked her mother pursuing that line of thought. "You would tell me if someone was trying to assassinate you, wouldn't you dear? You're famous now."

Darma groaned. "I'm not that famous, but I promise."

"A mother worries about these things."

Tail twitching with impatience, she kicked her legs at empty air. "Could you help me worry about the birthday gift?"

"My point is that it doesn't matter what you get him, so long as it's something he can see and think fondly of you."

"Okay. I'll go shopping and see what I can find." She could catch the bus to the shopping district tomorrow morning. "Just so I don't end up buying him a shirt."

~ ~ ~

Darma ended up buying him a shirt. Well, a hoodie. So it wasn't technically a shirt. More of a jacket, really. You wore it over your clothes. Jacket.

Standing outside the garden shed, she took a few deep breaths to steady herself. She'd give him the gift, then say something suave and mature. "Sorry, I didn't put a bow on this, but maybe you could put a knot in me." That sort of thing. She blushed under her cheek ruffs at the thought.

All of the cool lines she'd rehearsed escaped her mind as she glimpsed the birthday boy in his birthday suit. The fit dog's body shone in the sunlight, muscles rippling under sleek fur. Like some art model, he stretched to pin a pair of underwear to a clothesline. The drying clothes hung between the strings of flags, light catching in drips of water here and there to highlight the magical scene of her naked boyfriend.

Her muzzle dropped open. Her eyes traced the intricacies of his pelt, glimpsed before in dimmer light. Her brain tried to process the fact that this handsome mastiff was her lover. She'd always wondered what it'd be like having a boyfriend, but always in an abstract way. Having him in front of her, bending over to grab wet laundry from a basket in bright beams of sunlight brought it into sharp relief.

Bodi bent to grab another garment. "Oh, hey Darma." Completely comfortable, he wagged at her, damp orange trousers in one paw. "I was doing my laundry."

"Y-yeah. I see that." She finished climbing into the loft. "You know Angus has a machine for that, right?"

He shrugged and grabbed another loose clothespin off the line. "I didn't want to make Ozzie do all of it."

"No, there is a special washing machine in his house." In what was coming to be second nature, her vulpine mind double-checked that statement for possible misinterpretations. She didn't need him putting dirty dishes in it. "For clothes. Don't put anything else in it."

"Right." He looked around the almost-done laundry. "Could you show me how to use it sometime? My clothes are all clean now."

In the midst of some very dirty thoughts, she stood stiff and looked him over with a vague sense of the forbidden. He was her boyfriend. It was okay for her to see him naked. Clearly, he didn't think this was a big deal. But she'd never had a guy stand before her naked before. It was wild. And great. Having a boyfriend was turning out pretty sweet.

"What's in that bag?"

Entirely without her permission, her legs shifted to rub her thighs together. Her tail flicked under her skirt. "Hm?"

He pointed at the red paper bag in her paw.

"Oh!" She remembered the entire reason she'd been running around downtown. "So, um, happy birthday." She extended the bag toward him with a nervous chuckle.

He took the gift bag with a smile and pulled out the garment. "Oh, it's a shirt!"

Darma winced. "It's a hoodie."

"Nice!" Still quite naked, he held the article of clothing up for study in the light. "They must be pretty good, since you wear them so often."

"They're really comfy." She shifted uncomfortably. "You can try it on, if you want." Here she was, telling her sexy, naked boyfriend to put on clothes.

He pulled on the hoodie. The hem fell just above the curve of his butt, so the addition only made his lack of pants more obvious. Spinning on a heel, he showed it off to her. "Hey, it fits really well."

"You seem to like two-tone blue, so I found one with that."

"That's super considerate of you, Darma." He swept her up into a giant hug, pressing his naked chest and crotch to her. "Thanks!"

Her tail poofed out like a bottle brush. She hugged him back. "Y-you're welcome."

Still wagging, he set her down. "Zipper, huh?" His large hands fumbled at the closure. The motion drew her eyes to his sheath and sack, covered in supple fur and begging to be touched. "I still haven't really figured these out…" He looked up to her with a sweet little shrug.

"Oh, umm, here." She reached over to help him. "It's got one of those zippers with a backing, so you won't get fur stuck in it." Her fingers managed to get the fastener engaged while only touching the tip of his sheath a couple times. Her passage clenched, already a little slippery. "There."

"Cool." Pantsless, he pranced around the loft. He grabbed his hat off a peg and pulled it on, then faced her with his arms extended to either side.

Blushing, the vixen chuckled. Her mind alternated between trying not to ogle him and remembering that's what he wanted. "Looking good."

He noticed and lifted the drawstrings. "Are these to hold my hat on?" He made vague tying gestures at the tassels of his hat.

"They're to tighten the hood. And to let your girlfriend do this." She took the ends of the drawstrings and gently reeled him in until he was right next to her.

"Wow, that's a pretty good feature." His strong hands stroked her back.

"Mmmhmm…" She giggled against his chest. After a moment, she sighed. "I'm glad you like it. I tried to think of something super romantic, but I've never had to buy anything romantic in my life." She nuzzled against the soft fabric of his hoodie, feeling secure enough to share secrets. "I felt like I was a bad girlfriend because I didn't get you a really cool gift."

His muzzle titled down at her, then cocked sideways. "I like that you gave it to me." He gave her a little squeeze, which drew her against him again. "That's cool."

Darma stood on her tiptoes to give him a little kiss on the lips. Once she got back to her normal level, her hand brushed something warm, wet, and hard. A glance down showed he was poking out of his sheath: a poke of red against the sea of silky tan. "Are you sure there's nothing else you want?"

He rubbed his scruff. "I want to have sex with you, but I always want that."

Her fingers toyed with his zipper as she looked him up and down. "Were you naked just so I could find you naked?"

"You said you like how I look without pants." The dog blinked with delight. "And you don't wear anything under your skirt when you want sex."

She blushed, fluffed-out tail curling around her legs. "Figured out my master plan, huh?"

He nuzzled her. The nuzzles soon turned to soft, little kisses. One paw slipped down to the small of her back. "Paying attention to you turns out pretty cool."

The fox giggled. A big, sweet dog paying attention to her felt pretty cool alright. That same dog kissing her also felt pretty hot. Her tail bounced under her skirt. Her heart raced. Her hands traced along his broad chest.

Bodi drew her into an embrace, his body fitting just right against hers. His breath stirred the fur of her throat. His hands cupped her rump and pulled her closer until her legs straddled his thigh.

The fox whined with arousal as the fabric of her panties pressed against her already-slick lips. Happy ears dropped. Pretty cool.

One hand slid down her skirt to her bare knee, caressing just under the garment. His sheath, plump and hot, throbbed against green plaid fabric. The red tip throbbed free of its confines, bumping against her skirt. As it came away, a tiny string of precum glimmered in the sunlight.

Heartbeat pulsing a quickening bassline to her passion, Darma let herself get lost in his gentle touch, his subtle scent, his insistent erection. Her hips shifted to grant his hand easier access.

The mastiff leaned her back against a wall for leverage. His thick fingers traced tender circles along the front of her panties. Lower and lower, until he bumped her clit with a feather touch. The caress continued down until it found the wet cleft of her entrance. A soft growl of interest accompanied his strokes there, rubbing the thin fabric fully into her juices, until at last he pulled them to one side. His paw pads then traced over her naked slit.

Darma squirmed with anticipation. A glance down revealed his crotch lining up with hers. She was getting to be more of a fan of pantsless Bodi all the time. When a thick finger tugged on the waistband of her panties, she waggled her hips to help him pull them off. The garment dropped to the floor in near silence, the first item for the next batch of laundry.

The canine lifted her without apparent effort. His dick emerged one pulse at a time to thicken along her bared slit. He reached down and angled it against her entrance. With a pant of pleasure, he rubbed the tip through her arousal, deep red and hot to the touch.

A small gasp escaped her lips. She reached down and spread herself to allow him in. Her teeth dragged along her bottom lip as she watched him sink in. "Mmmmmmf…"

"Yeah…" The broad-shouldered mastiff shuffled forward as he pressed in one lovely inch at a time. That hard dog cock spread her in lovely ways. Finding her accommodatingly wet, he penetrated her in a single slow motion, accompanied by cute little wags. As she watched, his sheath reached her labia, bunching up to allow just that much more length into her. "Mmm!"

"Hah…" Looking down, she saw only slippery lust. Looking up, she found only love. Aflutter under his affections, she wrapped her legs around his hips. Bumping his muzzle with hers, she gave him a needful whine.

He obliged. Slowly at first, he started working in and out of her. Back and forth. Gentle at first, but becoming more insistent. Those powerful hips rolled against hers, rocking her world.

Soon her every breath caught short on the apex of a thrust. She watched as the deep red of his dick pressed into her creamy crotch fur. Squeezing on him, she tried to clench her muscles each time he pulled back, then relaxing to let him sink into her folds with ease.

His balls swung to bump the base of her butt. Vigorous thrusts bounced her against the wall. Drips fell from the hanging clothes with each impact. The vulpine watched, hypnotized. All the while, that thick cock pumped deep into her.

Muzzle tucked against his shoulder, Darma yipped for more. Her hands gripped the soft fabric of his hoodie. Her feet rubbed on his bare rump as it flexed. Her tail flicked between his knees. The skirt rode up to her stomach to reveal the combined juices soaking into her pristine white crotch fur.

Bodi thrust into her, the drawstrings of his new hoodie and her well-worn one swinging between them, the wild metronome of their lovemaking. Effort grit his teeth as he pounded her against the wall in the summer sunshine.

The world started to go hazy. She crossed her ankles over his tail, allowing her to lean back just a little. Reaching down, she rubbed her clit down onto his thrusting cock. Here and there, his knot bumped her knuckles. The slight variation he added to her motions didn't distract. Rather, like when they jammed together, it added to the fun, since he was just as into her as she was into him. And he was pretty deep into her, by the feel of it.

The mastiff grunted as he bounced her on his hips. Every fervent breath spoke of how he wanted her. Through even his most vigorous thrusts, he remained careful to keep his hand between the back of her head and the wall. His ears swayed as he worked his swelling knot against her. It pressed into her a little each time, eager to fill her fuller than she'd ever been, to get stuck inside her, getting them stuck together in a lewd and primal intimacy.

Darma shuddered into a long, deep orgasm. Leaning her weight fully against the wall, she let instinct take over, hips bucking on her boyfriend's dick. Her toes curled. Her fingers worked on her bump all the while, stretching out time as she lingered in this exquisite moment.

The larger canid supported her with one paw, gripping tight. His body moved with singular determination. Every inch of him moved to please her, especially the inches inside her.

Catching her breath, Darma let out a long moan. She rubbed her heels together above his tail, savoring how sensitive orgasm made her and how the littlest shift made his dick rub somewhere else wonderful inside her. "That—" A thrust and its accompanying burst of ecstasy scrambled that sentence in her mind. She had to piece it back together with him rocking in and out of her sensitive folds. "That's —mmf!— so good." Her paw pads traced over his thrusting form, over new fabric and familiar fur. "Keep going. Mmm! Please…" Shameless, she squeezed down onto him for emphasis. "You feel so good in me…"

A sharp groan signaled him picking up the pace. The clotheslines swayed from air currents and the impact of enthusiastic humps against the wall they connected to. The scent of sex filled the air. His breath breezed hot against her neck.

She gripped his flanks. "You going to tie me, Bodi?"

"Hmf!" He thrust harder, bucking that bulge against her.

Ears back, she rolled her hips, trying to give him a better angle to bury that knot in her. "I want it…"

"Hnnnhhg!" The dog hunched against her. The motion jostled his hat off, which tumbled to the floor. Maybe he should have tied it on with the hoodie drawstrings after all. A sudden heat bloomed inside her, adding a new layer of slickness to his efforts. A moment later, he clutched her close and shuddered with a stifled howl. The thick bulge of his knot throbbed, tight against her sensitive entrance.

Legs wrapped around his waist, she strained to press that bulge inside, but only ended up groaning with discomfort as it proved just a little too big. Another try got the same result. A third drew a soft yip from her as she tried to stretch too far.

Bodi's ears twitched and his gentle brown eyes flicked up to hers. He eased off from pressing any deeper, but kept up the speed of his thrusts. Though they wouldn't be tying today, his dick working in and out of her orgasm-sensitive passage made up for it.

Dizzy with bliss, she stroked his back. Everything felt so wonderful, especially how she'd brought the dog she loved to orgasm inside her. Way cool. Drip after drip of his seed and her slickness dripped onto her tail, weighing down the fur, pervading it with warmth.

For a delicate eternity, the mastiff tensed around her, his length twitching now and then inside her. Between them, a slow trickle of semen trailed from inside her, around the curve of his knot, along his bunched up sheath, before seeping through the fur of his sack to patter on the floorboards; just one more drawn-out drumbeat among all the rest from the wet laundry. All the while, he held his hips against hers, keeping his cock inside her as it softened over long moments of afterglow.

Pinned and dripping among the pinned and dripping clothes, Darma glanced up from the bulge pressed to her messy slit to give Bodi a shy huff. "Sorry you didn't get your knot in."

He panted in confusion, then gave a weary chuckle. "Don't worry about it. You felt good, right?"

She shivered at the thought. "Oh yeah."

"So did I." Leaning them both against the wall, he touched his nose to hers. "That's way more important."

A giddy rush swept through her. "Not a bad birthday, then?"

"Really good." Wagging, he nuzzled into her neck and kissed along her jaw. "And a really good girlfriend."

A high, happy noise escaped the fox. Her tail swayed above the floor. She kissed his cheek. Buoyed by bliss and held up by a loving boyfriend, she felt on top of the world.

~ ~ ~

Another track laid down for my Rock Dog fanfic album!

Amy Grant - "Every Heartbeat"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ3r54ODYKg

Music consultant: Tonya
Edits: Oyqy, SillyNekoRobin, Slate, CarlMinez, Eljot001, KohakuNightfang, Kalahari
Art: Leto

These stories take a lot of research and multiple drafts to write. If you'd like to help me do more of them, consider supporting my Patreon.
http://patreon.com/tempo

~ Tempo