“Thail!?” yelped Jessa, startled. “Was that…did I just hear you?”
She hardly needed his verbal answer – Jessa could feel Thail’s surprise almost as clearly as she could feel her own.
“Jessa?” he started, then switched back to his mental voice. “Jessa, you heard me?”
“Yes!” she responded. “And it works both ways? You can hear me too?”
“I…yes!” replied Thail.
“Is this a bond?” she wondered.
“It has to be. But how?” thought Thail. He rolled them over to the side, and eased Jessa down onto the mattress. Even though his mating fist had finally begun to relax within her, he still kept them joined. Lifting his head, he ran his hand over the incision site at the back.
“Let me see,” said Jessa. Thail withdrew from her – although she could sense his reluctance through their new bond – and she felt his seed trickling between her thighs. The reminder of the passionate love they had just made had her wanting to start all over again.
Jessa set aside that thought as Thail turned on his stomach so she could have a better look at the back of his head. She finger-combed his thick chestnut hair away from the incision site.
All she could see was a little fuzzy regrowth of hair and a faint, semicircular, red line about two inches long. “I don’t see anything strange about it. I mean, other than that the incision healed way faster than it would have on a human.”
“Hold on,” said Thail, pushing out of bed. “Maybe something went wrong with the surgery. Let me check the records and see if there’s anything there that explains it.” He managed to squirm back into his flight leathers and headed for the front door, shirtless and barefoot.
A minute later, Thail was back inside with his personal data unit and a warm washcloth. “Do you want to get cleaned up?” he asked.
Jessa sat up against the headboard and nodded. But instead of just handing her the washcloth, Thail sat down beside her. Gently he pushed her knees apart and began to stroke her pussy with the washcloth. It was hard to say whether he was trying to wipe his cum off her skin or rub it in.
Jessa bit back a moan as he touched her so intimately. After hours of having the flange of his mating fist stimulating her outer pussy, Thail’s fingers felt new and intriguing. As she flushed with renewed desire, she caught a stray thought from Thail. “Why in the Seven Hells did I get a washcloth? I could have offered to clean her with my tongue.”
Jessa turned and gave Thail a lingering kiss. His broad chest was as firm under her hands as his lips were soft against her own. It took an immense amount of willpower to pull away. Thail leaned forward to pursue her as she did.
Jessa pushed back lightly against his chest. “Not that I don’t want to see where this goes, but I’m still worried about our bond.”
“Right,” replied Thail, making a visible effort to get back on track. He picked up the data unit where it had fallen forgotten in the sheets. As he turned it on an urgent message notification covered the screen. It was from Yipper.
“Thail, this is Yipper, yes it is, yes it is,” said the little Tolleg, as if there could be any doubt who made the recording.
“It’s now been more than three days since you came out from anesthesia, and so I can finally admit what I’ve done and plead for your forgiveness,” he continued.
“When you told me to pray about the course of action you proposed, I did exactly that. Yes I did, yes I did. I went to the Sacred Grove, and one of the priestesses was waiting for me with a message from the Goddess.
“She told me that though your willingness to sacrifice was pleasing to the Goddess, it was not necessary. Where our scanners could provide no reassurance, the Mother of All Life’s power was not so limited.
“Thail, it was her will to let Jessa dream share with you and her will that the two of you be bonded together. She told me that under no circumstances was I to further injure your bonding locus. Not at all, not at all.
“Instead, I was told to proceed as though I would perform the surgery, even anesthetize you and make a superficial incision, but not to actually operate. She said I must keep it secret from you for three days. So she did, so she did.
“I was…not thrilled to deceive a patient, but the Mother’s instructions on this point were absolutely clear. Her word was that it was the only way to accomplish a true healing. Now that the three days have passed I pray that this message finds you and Jessa well. So I do, so I do.” Yipper scrubbed his long paws against each other anxiously.
“If you can bring yourself to Bespeak me, please do so as soon as you are able. If you can, if you can. I owe you an apology, and if you and Jessa have attempted bonding sex, we should have you both checked.”
A pause stretched out in Jessa’s bedroom as Yipper’s message sunk in.
“So,” she said, “the surgery never really happened. Does that mean that you were able to bond all this time?”
Thail looked thunderstruck. “The real question is, is it a healthy, full bond?”
“I…don’t know how a partial bond feels,” replied Jessa. “I’ve got nothing to compare it to.”
“Neither do I,” admitted Thail. “I think we’d better head back to the Mother Ship and see Yipper.”
“OK,” said Jessa. “But this time, whatever the answer, we’re in this together.”
Thail kissed her slowly and deliberately. “Together. Now let’s get you dressed before I give into temptation to rebond you all over again.”
* * * * *
Thail watched closely as Yipper connected a soul tracker to Jessa. When they reached the Med Center, the little Tolleg had scanned Thail first and confirmed what everyone could guess – Thail’s bonding locus was still in place and now highly active.
Thail certainly didn’t need the scan to know. Even beyond being able to communicate with Jessa through their new bond, his body damn well knew it was freshly bonded.
A newly bonded male and his bride, it was said, were insatiable in the first few days. Left to their own devices they would bond and rebond continuously, stopping only when their bodies demanded it.
In Thail’s rapidly accumulating experience, it was entirely true. It felt wrong to be in the Med Center right now, wrong to be dressed, and wrongest of all to be letting anyone, even a trusted physician, this close to his bride.
But we have to, he reminded himself. I have to make sure she’s safe.
The scars buried deep in Thail’s brain still showed up clearly on the scanner, inert and unchanging, but the remaining healthy tissue around them was lit up like a lidar array in diagnostic mode.
The real question was whether he had managed to form a secure, well-placed bond with Jessa despite his unresolved brain injury. If his bond to her had attached poorly, then it would have to be severed before it killed her.
They had been bonded only a matter of hours and already Thail hated the thought. Healthy bond or no, being connected to Jessa felt so incredibly right.
Bonding went beyond the conversations with her that he cherished. It went beyond hearing her heartbeat and smelling her delicate fragrance mingled with his – although bringing her aboard the Mother Ship, finally fully scent-marked, had been a moment of profound pride and belonging. It was so much more than the incredible pleasure they had found in each other’s bodies.
Bonding beat it all. Thail had been aboard the Mother Ship for an hour, and he was pretty sure his feet had yet to touch the floor. If this was what bonding was about, no wonder the mainline Kindred regarded it as the central experience of a male’s life. No wonder Yipper had ultimately refused to destroy his bonding locus.
Ever since he had been diagnosed as one of the Frozen, Thail had told himself that an unbonded life was still a worthy, purposeful life. And it was. Being an unmated male aboard the Mother Ship was vastly more fulfilling than anything the Collective offered its slaves. But by the Goddess, being bonded was incredible.
Jessa was incredible. Her courage, her perseverance, and her willingness to love were simultaneously humbling and uplifting. Her burning dark eyes, and smooth skin, and delicious, delicate pussy also couldn’t be over appreciated.
Thail shifted his stance, trying to relieve the pressure of his tight leathers against his straining shaft. His mating fist felt like a lump of solid stone and his balls already felt heavy and overcharged. As always, his body remained blissfully oblivious to his brain’s shortcomings.
It wanted Jessa, now more than ever. Wanted her pussy pressed to his mouth, slick with her juices and ripe to be licked and sucked. Her kisses showering across his face and body. Her thirsty womb soaking in the seed that he sent pulsing into her deepest core…
Thail could smell his cum on her. Remnants had been trickling out into her panties over the last hour. Knowing that he had left his mark there was driving him to distraction. He wanted to see it.
With a jerk of his head, Thail tried to force himself to focus for something like the fiftieth time since he had reluctantly removed his shaft from Jessa’s pussy. Piloting the shuttle back to the Mother Ship had been a remarkably difficult chore as the memories and scents of their bonding clamored for his attention.
Thail’s stiff cock wasn’t concerned with life-threatening partial bonds. His swollen, heavy balls weren’t dissuaded from their task by the thought of agonizing emotional amputations.
All his body knew was that he was a newly mated male. As such, his instincts were to strengthen the physical connection with his bride at every opportunity. He needed to taste her again, and soon.
Jessa squeezed Thail’s hand. “I like that thought,” she sent. “Whether it’s good news or bad, we’ll go back to your suite afterward and reconnect.”
Something beeped in the background and Yipper bustled over to check a readout. “That was a good strong reading across multiple areas. Yes it was, yes it was. What were you thinking about right before it beeped?”
“Erm, the physical aspect of our bond,” said Jessa.
“Who initiated the thought sharing?” asked Yipper.
“I did,” said Thail. “I was thinking about tasting her. She sensed my arousal and responded.”
Yipper nodded and hummed thoughtfully. “Thail, will you please step away from Jessa for a moment? Just a bit, just a bit. And Jessa, please look away from Thail. Very good.”
When she had turned around fully, the Tolleg handed Thail a blanket fresh from the warmer. “Concentrate on this Thail, and send your impressions through the bond. Just like that, just like that.”
After a moment the machine beeped again and Jessa spoke. “It’s fresh laundry, right? Maybe a warm blanket.”
“Yes,” answered Thail. “And you want it?”
The machine beeped.
“It sounds nice,” replied Jessa.
“Better than nice,” announced Yipper. “Your bond is in excellent condition and the soul scanner is showing your spirits are in their correct places. So they are, so they are.”
Jessa whipped around to face Thail and Yipper. “That’s it!?” she yelped. “Just like that, we’re good?”
“That’s it,” confirmed Yipper. “The soul scanner results are conclusive. You have a very new, but very strong bond, and it is behaving exactly as it should. Yes it is, yes it is.”
“So,” Thail said, “The damage to my bonding locus was enough to completely prevent me from dream sharing, but it hasn’t actually stopped me from bonding.”
“So it seems, so it seems,” confirmed Yipper. “You are an extraordinarily fortunate male. I would say not one in a million could have sustained that degree of scarring without losing the capability to bond.”
“I am extraordinarily fortunate to have a doctor who held on to faith when I had lost all hope,” replied Thail. “But yes, I am without question the luckiest person I know,” he said, winding an arm around Jessa’s waist for a hug.
“We both are,” said Jessa.
“On that note, there’s one more test I ought to perform. So there is, so there is. Jessa, will you let me take a small blood sample?”
Jessa nodded and Yipper quickly took a painless vial of blood. He transferred it into one of his machines no bigger than a coffee cup, waited a moment as it whirred and clicked, and then cupped something in his long-fingered hands.
Thail’s breath stopped when Yipper offered the object to him. His hands shook when he accepted it.
“What?” asked Jessa, suddenly worried. “Is it bad?”
“No,” murmured Thail. “It’s a pregnancy test. When we bonded conception became a possibility.”
He had thought he was Frozen and therefore would never become able to father children, but that clearly was not the case. If he was able to bond Jessa, he would also be able to breed her. There was a very real possibility that their child was already coalescing in her womb.
A vivid memory flashed through his mind of pumping load after load of his cum deep into Jessa’s pussy. Her unprotected pussy – she had had her contraceptive implant removed more than an Earth week ago, after all.
It was not unheard of for warriors to successfully breed their mates at first bonding. And an immediate pregnancy was most likely to occur with Beast Kindred whose bodies had hours to adapt as bonding took place.
The prospect moved Thail in ways he had not anticipated. He had always assumed that he would never have a biological family.
He was an artificial person. He had been conceived in a lab, grown in a tube, and reared to become a part of a machine. Mechanical implants had controlled his mind and body long before he ever had a thought of his own. He and his clone brothers had been as interchangeable as cogs in a machine and just as disposable.
It had taken him more than thirty cycles of existence before he had first laughed, seen his own face, or enjoyed an orgasm. For most of his life, he had been as far removed from the experience of natural people as an organic being could be – unnamed, unloved, and unloving.
He had put everything he had into changing that – into becoming a male who had a place outside of the Collective. And there was no denying that his life had improved immeasurably. But no matter how he had changed and grown, it had seemed inevitable that a male without ancestors would also lack descendants.
His was an unnatural existence – he was an experiment from a gene mixing lab, cut off from the tree of life. It was not his place to bear fruit. Being diagnosed as one of the Frozen only reinforced the feeling that he was anomalous.
Jessa had changed that. She had broken through the scars that set him apart, and in the process given him the prospect of children of his own.
His children would be conceived in love, born free, and named by people who loved them. In time, he and they would become part of a bloodline that merged into in the larger family of natural life. The thought gave him a sense of wholeness that he had never hoped to experience.
Sensing the immensity of the moment through their bond, Jessa burrowed in tight against Thail’s side. “Already? You can tell if I’m pregnant this early?” she asked.
“At times,” said Yipper. “And it is possible to conceive – although not probable – on the first day of your bonding. But I test bonded women as a matter of standard practice every time medical care is given. The Goddess blesses the bonded with children in her own good time, but it doesn’t do at all for us to ignore her gifts once they are given. No it doesn’t, no it doesn’t.”
Slowly Thail opened his hands. Inside was a small white flower.
“White means you’re not pregnant,” explained Yipper. “At least, not that we can detect at this early date. Even for Kindred medicine, it usually takes more than a day to get a conclusive result. But sometimes brides register an early positive sign. So they do, so they do. ”
“The test is not positive yet,” responded Thail. “But with Kindred and our brides it almost always occurs sooner or later.”
“Maybe sooner rather than later?” asked Jessa through their link. “I’ve always wanted to be a mother.”
“I like the sound of that,” replied Thail.
“Well, before we get to that point, I’m going to need you holding me close, giving me what I need,” teased Jessa.
“Your perfect little pussy, clenching around my shaft and fist as I breed you…” Thail cleared his throat. “Well, Yipper, if we’re finished here?”
“Yes we are, yes we are.”
“Then from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” said Thail. “Remove my name from the roster of the Frozen. It’s time for me to take my bonded bride home.”