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Thunderbird Thing

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"Americano for… Kinsley!"

He looked up from his phone at the sound of his name. The succ barista- the new one, given that he'd never seen her here before- was looking around at all the different customers sitting in the cafe, trying to discern whose steaming cup of coffee she held in her hand. When she noticed Kinsley standing up, her eyes grew a little wider.

"That's me," he said, walking over. The succ licked her lips. Her eyes couldn't find a single place to look- they flicked all across his body before eventually realizing she should be making eye contact.

"D-don't americanos taste so good?" She asked. Her smile was a little too wide for comfort.

"Yeah," Kinsley said. Pinned to the succ's apron was a little 'Hello, my name is' patch, the name 'Amala' scribbled in with a marker in fat letters.

"I've tried to get into other kinds, but you know...always come back to the good stuff!"

He was pretty sure he'd spied the succ sipping on a black coffee while he was waiting for his own drink. 

"Yup. Americano's pretty good," he said, trying to make his voice sound as uninterested as possible. 'Amala' didn't seem to notice.

"Yeah! Isn't it j-just crazy that we both like the same kind of coffee? It's like we're on the same wavelength or something, haha!"

"Something like that."

He had already reached the counter, but Amala was too busy gesticulating to give him the americano she was holding.

"'Kinsley', hmm?" She said, reading his name off of the side of the cup and presumably regretting not drawing a bunch of little hearts on it. "That's such a cute name! A-almost cute as- as c-cute you- I mean, almost cute you ass-"

"Kinsley?"

The voice had come from behind him, and despite his not recognizing it, it sounded considerably smoother and more confident than the succ still fumbling her way through her pick-up line. He turned away from the barista.

The harpy before him was striking, but unfamiliar to him. Electric blue wings and hair contrasted with her outfit- black shorts and a black tube-top type shirt. Both articles hardly covered anything; she was skimpily dressed by even mamono standards. The lack of fabric allowed him to see the variety of tattoos inked across her body- a rose and thunderbolt here, wings turning to lightning there, and an entire upper arm sleeve covered with too many electricity-themed tattoos to count. 

Not the normal kind of patron this little coffee shop saw, that was for sure. Nobody he recognized, either.

"Uh, yeah. That's me. Have we met? I'm sorry- half the time I forget names the day I learn them," he said. The harpy- no, she was probably a thunderbird, given all the tattoos- frowned at him, resting the end of her wing on a cocked hip.

"No way you would forget mine, Kinsley."

He gave her another once-over, conscious of the dejected succ still holding his coffee behind him. The more he looked, though, the more familiar she looked. The tattoos, clothes, and wild hair threw a wrench into things, but without those, she almost looked like…

The thunderbird sighed and rolled her eyes.

"It's Hekati, dweeb. From grade school. I know you still look like you let your mother dress you, but just try to imagine me wearing a school uniform instead of this."

At the mention of her name, the memories came flooding back. How he had failed to recognize someone who had once been a good friend to him was...well, maybe not too much of a stretch. The tattooed electro-punk standing in front of him now really was a far cry from the rascal he had played around with in his childhood.

The same rascal he'd had a crush on. They were just kids back then, sure, but there was a reason Kinsley hadn't found a wife in the years after they had drifted apart. Even now- especially now- she made his heart skip a beat.

"Holy...is that really you, Katie?"

The frown on her face grew deeper at the nickname- one he had used more often than her real name.

"Ugh. Hekati. Not Katie," she said, sneering.

"What? You never seemed to have a problem with Katie in school," Kinsley said, finally turning back to the succ barista and retrieving his coffee. The poor thing looked miserable as could be. She just watched him pick up his coffee and then wandered back somewhere further behind the counter. 

"That was years ago. Not now," she said, shaking her wing in a dismissive gesture. Little crackling arcs of blue and yellow magical electricity sprung to life for a moment. Hekati always seemed to get zappy when she was annoyed. Or angry. Or excited. She was zappy most of the time, really.

Kinsley shook his head at her dismissal of his old nickname. No way was he going to start using the real one now. "So, Katie," he began, earning himself a deeper frown and more sparks, "What are you up to, nowadays?"

She shrugged, inadvertently drawing his attention to the maze of tattoos on her shoulders. 

"I do graphic design stuff online. Me and some of my friends have a little band going, too. Probably more interesting than what you've got going on, if you're still the same boring old Kinsley I knew."

"Yeah, you're not wrong about that. Accounting isn't exactly glamorous," he said sullenly. Hekati sighed yet again.

"Accounting? Really? I knew you were a bore in school, but you can really stand to just look at numbers all day?"

Hekati started walking away, gesturing with a wing claw for him to follow. He did so as he sipped on the now not-quite steaming hot coffee. She led him to one of the cafè tables where her own cup of coffee sat. Black coffee, from the look of it. They both took a seat.

"It pays the bills. Jeez, I still can hardly believe that it's really you behind all those tattoos…"

"What, you don't like ink?" She asked, showing off the various designs across her skin. One in particular caught his attention- a curling serpent or dragon that wound its way across her upper chest and then plunged downwards past the hem of her top, towards her breasts. Hekati puffed out her somewhat meagre bust to better show off the tattoo, but Kinsley still wasn't sure if it was a good idea to look or not.

"Oh, no- err, I mean, I like them. I just didn't have you pegged for the type of girl to go for that type of thing back when I knew you."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Her tone was vaguely accusatory- she had always been teasing and a little confrontational, but she was a bit more imposing now.

"Nothing! I'm just…you..." 

Kinsley fumbled with his words for a few more seconds before leaning back in his chair and pinching the bridge of his nose.

"It's just not what I expected, this whole punk aesthetic. I like it, though."

"Hmph. Way to make a girl feel appreciated, Kinsley," she said, rolling her eyes. He winced. Hopefully she wasn't actually offended, and was just messing with him.

"So...what, is this your little virgin hangout spot or something?" She asked before he could say anything, gesturing at the cafè around them. He refrained from mentioning that, unless she knew something he didn't, Hekati was in the same boat as him in terms of virginity.

"I come here every other day or so. I think it's nice. And why are you trashing it? You're here with me."

"Bah. I just wanted to get some coffee and leave. Then I heard Smooth Succ over there say your name and I had to see if it really was the same lame Kinsley I used to hang out with at recess on the playground." Hekati flicked a finger back over towards the poor barista at the register and kicked her taloned feet up on the table- a poor display of etiquette, but not one any of the other patrons seemed ready to call her out on.

"Heh. Yeah. Remember when Timmy was being a dickhead on the slide, so you pushed him down headfirst?"

"'Do I remember'- what kind of question is that? I savored every minute of the detention I got for that. God, Tim really was a little shit," Hekati said.

"It's weird," Kinsley started, a contemplative look coming over his face as he took a sip of his coffee, "like...it's been how many years since we last saw each other? And it's obvious that you, at least, have changed, but…I don't know. I still kind of see the Katie I went to school with."

The words just kind of spoke themselves- he couldn't say for the life of him why he had said that. She was probably thinking he was a fucking weirdo, now. Great. Only he could reminisce and fantasize about a girl for years and then crash-and-burn within five minutes of meeting her again. Hekati was quiet for a few seconds, her mouth open a little as she processed his words.

"That's… pretty gay. Yup. Definitely some alp shit. And if you don't stop calling me Katie, I'm gonna start calling you Alpsley."

He chuckled a little, thankful she hadn't been too weirded out.

"Sorry if it came out as alp shit. I just meant that it's nice to see you again."

"Still pretty alpy, but I guess you're right. It is nice. Even if I have to cope with my best childhood friend becoming an accountant. Ugh," Hekati groaned, rolling her eyes.

"Hey! It's not like I could have stayed a little playground rascal forever. Speaking of, you said you were in a band? You can't just drop that on me and not explain. What genre? What instrument? How'd the Hekati I knew even get into get into-"

"Well, if you let me speak for a second, you might just find out," she said. With one more sip from her cup, however, she finished her drink. She stared at the empty cup for a moment.

"Actually, if you want to find out about the band, you have to buy me another cup. Just straight black coffee. Don't let them sneak any sugar into that bitch."

Kinsley blinked at her. Was she really holding information hostage so he would buy her some coffee?

"Well, what are you waiting for, mister accountant? If you can deal with money all damn day, I think you can figure out how to buy a girl some coffee. Get going!"

Hekati batted a wing at him as he got up. The painful shocks and sparks that resulted from that were probably her own little form of encouragement, he figured.

-

"Huh. That's pretty good, actually," Kinsley said, listening to the ending guitar riffs of one of Hekati's band's songs. After explaining how the whole thing got started in the first place, she had eagerly started playing one of their songs on her phone. Punk rock wasn't really Kinsley's thing, but he could still appreciate the skill in what he was hearing. Especially knowing that Hekati was the one shredding on the guitar. The fact she did so with talons instead of hands made it even more impressive.

"You don't like it, do you?" Hekati asked, eyes narrowed at him. He rolled his own eyes at her accusation.

"I do! Hell, I don't even listen to punk that often, and I still enjoyed it. I'm just...still trying to process the fact that you made that, really. That you're in a band now."

"Well, you better believe it, Kinsley. Maybe I'll have to drag you along to a show of ours one of these nights."

"You won't have to drag me anywhere. I was about to ask when you're performing next," Kinsley said, finishing his second cup of coffee.

"Oh. Good," she said. The way she said it almost made her sound...relieved? Something like that. Maybe he was just having trouble reading her face, given that he hadn't seen it in a decade or so. "I think our next show's in a few weeks, at...uh, I don't remember the name of the place. Some bar downtown. I'll text you the details."

She stood up and stretched her wings, lightning arcing all the way to the tabletop in front of her. That was one thing he missed- as annoying as it was getting zapped when she was pissed at him, having a little lightshow to watch whenever she moved was pretty cool.

But it looked like she was about to leave. Despite not seeing her for so long before their chance meeting in this little cafè, having to wait even just a few weeks to see her face again was… well, he wanted more. He wanted to see her sooner.

He wanted to make sure she didn't slip through his fingers again.

"Before you leave," he started, interrupting Hekati's stretches and making her look at him, "Would you want to, ah… do this again? Like, hang out? I mean, there's gotta be so much else for us to catch up on."

Hopefully that didn't sound too desperate.

"Uh, y-yeah! Yeah, that sounds good," the thunderbird said, shuffling on her talon-feet and avoiding eye contact. "Did you have anywhere in mind?"

"I know it might be kind of lame, but how about the market on the west side of town? I figure it'd be nice to get some fresh air. And food."

"God, you still are a dork. A farmer's market?" Hekati gave him a look.

"What? I've been there before! It's nice!"

"Fine, fine. We'll go this weekend, then," she said, not giving him any chance to argue. She downed the remainder of her coffee in one long gulp before hucking the plastic cup into the trash.

"Alright, then. I guess I'll see you there, then, Katie," he said, moving to leave the cafè before she could zap him for using that name again.

"That's the last one you get! Call me that again, and I'll-"

Her words were cut off by the closing of the door. Kinsley left the little coffee with a smile on his face and in a better mood than when he had entered it.

Now he just had to not screw things up.

---

Alright. This time, she wouldn't screw things up.

Hekati breathed out. Maybe she hadn't 'screwed up' her little coffee shop rendezvous the other day, but she hadn't been as assertive as she might have liked to be. 

And now Kinsley wanted to have this little farmer's market not-date. The fact that he hadn't actually called it a date was infuriating- she wanted nothing more than to run to all her friends and be able to say that the love of her life hadn't got away from her after all.

Stupid Kinsley. Idiot. He just had to be so adorably dorky. An accountant, now. Ugh.

She was standing on the corner of the plaza where the farmers had set up all their stalls and stands. A few people had given her curious looks- probably because of how out of place she looked, with her black clothes, tattoos, and wild hair. Well, if they had a problem with her, they could fuck right off. There was only one person here whose opinion actually mattered to her.

And, as if on cue, said person walked into her field of view. Kinsley was wandering around the entrance to the market, head swivelling every which way as he made himself look even more foolish trying to find her. God, how had he even survived those years without her? He looked like a child who had lost his mother.

Maybe he'd like that. Calling her mommy. She could get into that…

No! No. No horny thoughts right now.

"How do you manage to so consistently look like an idiot?"

Kinsley turned towards the sound of her voice, seemingly unperturbed by her snide introduction. If anything, he looked relieved that he had finally found her.

"Sorry. I got a little turned around," he said, brushing a stray bit of hair from his face.

"Lost, you mean. You got lost. And how did you even manage to do that? I've never even been here before and I still found my way better than you!"

"I dunno. It just kind of happened."

"Ugh. Well, c'mon. And stay close- I don't want you wandering yourself into the bad side of town when I'm not looking."

"I'm not helpless, you know," Kinsley said as the two of them finally made their way inside the maze of stalls and pop-up shacks that covered the square.

"Really? You had me fooled." 

Kinsley only shook his head, realizing he wasn't about to win this particular exchange. Instead, his attention- as well as her own- was drawn to all of the vendors and their wares. The carts and displays around them were lined with produce- both the familiar, mundane fruits and vegetables that had always been there as well as more exotic and magically active examples. It was a bit strange seeing bright red tomatoes and heads of lettuce sitting in the same stall as heart-shaped prisoner fruits, but one she imagined Kinsley had grown used to.

"So… are you into cooking or something? Is that why you chose to drag me here, of all places?" Hekati asked as she picked up and inspected one of the prisoner fruits. She had never really liked the things- too sickly-sweet for her taste, and the juices once she bit into it always made her hands all sticky.

"Yeah, I do a little. And I figured you might like it. Get you out of your comfort zone a bit. Or is the big, scary famer's market too much for little Katie?"

There it was again. That nickname. She really did want him to stop using it, at least in public- not because she hated it, but because she felt weak in the knees whenever he said it. When they were just kids, she had simply liked the way Kinsley shortened her name to something more familiar to him. Now that she was an adult...well, it amazed her how just two syllables could fry her brain.

"S-shut it," she said, punching him in the arm to distract him from her stuttering. Kinsley yelped and started rubbing his upper arm. Maybe she'd hit him a little too hard.

"Now why 'dya have to go n' hit poor lil' Kinsey like that, birdie?"

Hekati looked up to see who'd spoken- further up than she had anticipated. On the other side of the stall they were in front of loomed a holstaur in a rather tight flannel shirt. She dwarfed both Hekati and Kinsley, having to practically stare down her nose at the two of them. It didn't help that she put Hekati to shame in the chest region, as well. Damn holstaurs...

"Oh, she doesn't mean anything by it, Hannah. Hekati's just an old friend from school," Kinsley said to the holst, though he still gave his arm a few more rubs. He knew this lady? Well, apparently he came here often enough, so it wasn't too surprising he'd rub shoulders with some of the farmers.

"Don' think friends are s'posed to beat on each other," boomed Hannah. She was looking straight down at Hekati; unlike some people, the cow lady didn't seem to be put off or intimidated by her tattoos or general aesthetic.

"It's no big deal. Besides, you know how harpies are. Always so moody."

He kept looking at Hannah, but it was clear the smug bastard's grin that came onto his face was entirely meant for Hekati. She couldn't smack him again, given that this holstaurus was apparently his guardian angel or something. Hopefully that was all that she was to him.

"Hmph. Well, what draws ya here this mornin', Kinsey?"

It was Kinsley, you cow. Maybe if her brain was half the size of her udders she could say his name properly.

"Oh, the usual. Just looking around. Actually, do you have some more of those bell peppers I bought the other week? They were really good."

"Yep. Oi! Davey!"

The holstaur turned around to shout at a stout, well muscled man unloading crates of produce from a beat-up pickup truck behind the stall. He stopped moving for a moment and looked over at the holst.

"Gimme a box of them peppers, wouldja? Kinsey wants s'more."

"I'm goin', I'm goin'," he said. The man put down the crate he was carrying and spent a few seconds hunting for another, soon finding one filled with the colorful vegetables. He hauled it over to the table.

"Mmm. Honestly, 'm kinda surprised you liked 'em peppers. They're pretty hot," Hannah said, plucking a few out of the box.

"Not as hot as you, hot stuff," Davey said, giving his wife a sharp spank on her denim-clad bottom before heading back to unload more produce from the truck. Hannah rubbed her ass and shook her head.

"Damn horndog. And in front 'o innocent lil' Kinsey, no less…" Hannah muttered. The corner of her mouth had pitched upwards a bit, though.

Hekati quietly breathed a sigh of relief. As obscenely endowed as this holst was, at least she didn't have to worry about Kinsley being stolen away from her. 

"'Another six gonna be enough?"

"Yeah, that should be fine," Kinsley replied, fishing his wallet from a pocket and handing a few bills over to her. Hannah dropped a few peppers into a paper bag and handed it to him.

"Thanks, Kinsey. You have a good day, now, dear. Don' let this one beat ya too bad," she said as she nodded towards Hekati. Kinsley laughed her off as the two of them walked away.

The moment they were out of sight, Hekati batted him with her wing again. It wasn't as forceful as the first time, but a particularly large arc of electricity leapt from her feathers and into Kinsley's back. Again, he yelped, nearly dropping the bag of peppers.

"That was for calling harpies 'moody'. Racist."

He shook his head as they continued down the row of stalls. "You've gotten awful zap-happy since school, you know. I don't remember you being so liberal with the beatings."

Judging by his smile Hekati could see he was mostly joking, but she made a mental note to be a little less physical from now on. In terms of assaulting him, at least- she wanted to get physical with him in a whole nother way. One which they would both enjoy.

But that would have to wait.

"You deserve it. Have to make up for lost time," she said. 

"Yeah, yeah. I guess that's a lot of time to make up for. Damn- just how long has it been since we saw each other before we met in that coffee place?"

"Ummm...probably, what, eight years? Seven? Something like that," she replied, forcing an unsure tone. In reality, she was very sure how long it had been. Seven years, five months, and about two weeks. 

"Jeez. We should've met at some point before now. Did we have any kind of class reunion or anything that I missed?"

"Not that I know of. Then again, the popular girls that said they'd organize it always hated me, so who knows," Hekati said.

They continued down the stalls, mostly in silence- the occasional short bout of conversation popped up, mostly reminiscing about their school days, but Hekati was content to enjoy the sights and smells of the market with her companion. She only wished she could hold his hand while doing it- that she could feel the texture of his fingers against her talons and feathers. She'd spent more than a few long, long nights in the last few years thinking of and trying to replicate what those hands could do to her. 

A smell drew her from her inappropriate reverie- a pleasant, floral one. Off to their right, one of the many stalls caught her eye. Instead of being covered with crates of produce or cuts of meat, the vendor had arranged a tasteful variety of flowers. Both demon realm and more mundane specimens stood out from the comparatively bland crops the others were selling.

"Oh, flowers," Kinsley said, dumbly. Adorably. Yes, she could quite clearly see they were flowers, Kinsley. You lovable idiot.

"You two see anything that catches your eye?" The moustached man behind the stall said cordially as he rearranged a few bundles of flowers.

"Oh, we're just looking," Kinsley said. He brushed his finger down the stem of the nose, and almost immediately nicked himself on one of the thorns. Hekati might've grabbed his hand to make sure his finger was fine if she wasn't too busy being amazed at his stupidity.

"Are you sure? You wouldn't want your lady to go without a flower, would you?"

"Uhh, she's not…"

Kinsley trailed off, but an idea came to Hekati's mind. Worst case, she could play it off as messing with him; best case, it might lead to something better.

"Oh, I'm sure he wouldn't. When was the last time you bought me flowers, 'dear'?"

She tried to make her voice as endearing as possible. Judging from the amused and somewhat puzzled look on the vendor's face he could tell something was up, but Kinsley looked like the spitting image of a deer in headlights.

"Uhhhh- I, umm…"

His eyes flicked between the flowers and Hekati until he eventually came to focus just on the selection of colorful, pleasant-smelling plants in front of him. It seemed like he was trying to find the right one.

After a moment, he tentatively plucked one of the flowers from the bunch- a demon realm one, though nothing too out-there. It was white, almost reminiscent of a lily, but with stiffer and more pointed petals. It was a curiously perplexing choice, given that so much of her clothes and tattooed skin was black, but she got the feeling Kinsley thought it really was a good choice. He wordlessly got his wallet out again and paid for just the single one.

"Thank you. Best give it to her," the man said, nodding at Hekati as the two started to walk away. 

Kinsley handed off the little flower to her with a blush on his cheeks. 

"Here."

When she took it from his hand, the question hit her- just what did she do with the thing? This was supposed to be a joke. Kind of. If she put it in her hair or something like that, well, Kinsley might see it as taking this whole thing seriously. Damnit. What should she do? It wasn't like she should just throw it on the ground. Uhhhh….

She chuckled nervously and unceremoniously deposited the thing into the pocket of her shorts. The poor little flower was crumpled up, its petals torn and stem bent, as it was shoved into her clothes.

"Haha. He thought we were…wasn't that f-funny?" Hekati asked, realizing almost instantly that, while she may not have known exactly what to do with the flower at the given moment, she knew now that 'stuff it into your ass pocket' wasn't it.

"Ha. Umm, y-yeah. It was pretty funny."

Kinsley refused to meet her eyes, looking down at his feet and scratching his head. His tone was...well, it made her worry that she'd make things weird with that last comment. They walked on, the air between them a bit more awkward than it was before.

With a few more minutes of them walking and Kinsley occasionally interacting with the farmers and vendors, they soon found themselves back at the entrance to the market. They had seen just about all they could see, and judging by the food-laden bags he was toting around, Kinsley seemed to have got what he came for.

Shit. Shit! She couldn't just leave things like this, all awkward and cold, until they met up for her band's gig. She had to fix this before then. She had to see him before then.

"So, uh," Hekati started, unsure as to just where she should take this but desperate to arrange some kind of meetup, "you...you like that one coffee shop, right?"

Kinsley looked up at her, a confused look on his face. "You mean the one we met at the other day? Yeah. Like I said, I go there pretty often."

"Would you mind if, uh, I went there with you again? N-not like a date kind of thing, just...you know. Hanging out. Like old times.”

She mentally winced at having to say 'not like a date'. 

"Oh. Okay. Uh, yeah. I'm probably gonna be there most mornings this week, so we can do it whenever."

Good. Good. Hekati breathed out a little. She could see him again before the gig. Right now, just hanging out with Kinsley scared her- she didn't even want to think about having to actually perform with him listening.

“Well, uh, this was fun. Yeah. I, uhh… I’ll see you later this week then.”

She said her rather abrupt goodbyes to Kinsley and excused herself, watching him walk away until he disappeared behind a building on the way to his car.

God, she was so stupid. Hekati had come here to get closer with him, and all she’d done was make things more awkward. Hopefully another meeting at the cafe would improve things a bit. She walked dejectedly away from the market, only the faintest traces of sparks crackling down from her wings.

---

There he was. The last one to spurn her love.

Kinsley. That was his name. She hadn’t even known it was a guy’s name when she had first written it on the cup. 

Now he sat at one of the tables towards the front of the cafe, about as far as he could get from the register. He hadn’t come up to order anything yet. He just stared at his phone and the clock on the wall. Waiting.

Amala knew who he was waiting for. The last one to foil her attempts at finding love. That thunderbird, the one who had been so rude to poor Kinsley. She didn’t deserve him. Why did boys always fall for the jerks? 

Ah. Speak of the devil, and she shall appear. The thunderbird- the one who he had called Hekati- had walked in to the chiming sound of the bell. She scanned the room, looking as out-of-place in the quaint little coffee shop as she had the day she had stolen Kinsley away from her.

They hadn’t sealed the deal yet. It didn’t matter. Amala had seen (and been denied) enough love to realize that the two of them were entirely enamored with each other, even if they didn’t realize it yet. It was only a matter of time, and there wasn’t a thing she could do to change it.

The lightning chicken finally spotted her lover-to-be sitting at his table and made his way over to him. She zapped him with a bolt of electricity from her wings to get his attention, nearly making him spill over onto the floor. Why would he put up with that? She could treat him so much better…

‘Hekati’ came over to the register instead of sitting down with him.

“Can I get, uhh, one black and one americano?”

Amala nodded wordlessly. She ought to drag this bitch over the counter and strangle her with-

She stopped herself, instead busying herself with whipping up the coffee.

When it was finished, she called out to Hekati and wordlessly handed the thunderbird the cups. Hopefully her stupid talon hands would make her spill them on herself.

No such luck. The bird went back to Kinsley's table and sat down, their conversation starting slow but steadily gaining energy. They already seemed less awkward than the last time they were here.

Stupid boys. No judgement. They always went for the bad girls, the ones that didn't respect their consent or desires. 

They really did live in a society.

Kinsley's laughing got her attention. He was chuckling heartily, and from the look on Hekati's face, it was at her expense. With a loud crack, an arc of lightning jumped from Hekati as she batted a wing at him. The electricity immediately jumped to Kinsley, who yelped in what sounded like legitimate pain for a moment.

This was exactly the type of thing Amala was talking about! This hussy could abuse him all day long and still end up in his arms. It wasn’t fair!

Her hands trembling from rage and sexual frustration, she headed for the backroom to cool down. Hekati had moved to inspect Kinsley after zapping him a little too hard; the sight only made Amala that much angrier.

-

"You're sure? I really...I didn't mean to-"

"Yes, Katie. Really. I'm fine. It was just like getting a little static shock. It was more surprising than painful."

It had given him one hell of an erection, however. Kinsley knew that a thunderbird's shocks could do that, but god damn, he was harder than a rock right now. He did what he could to conceal that fact.

Busy as she was inspecting him, Hekati didn't notice his use of the nickname. After visually checking to make sure she hadn't burned him- which he didn't even think was possible with electric mamono- she sat back down in her chair, a conflicted expression on her face. 

"I'm...sorry. B-but you still deserved it for being a dickhead," Hekati said, looking down into her cup of coffee.

"Uh huh. Whatever you say, birdie." Kinsley took another sip, wondering where to take the conversation. An idea occurred to him quickly enough- the same thing he'd been thinking about since he'd reconnected with his crush.

"So...are you nervous about that concert in a few days?"

Hekati rolled her eyes at him.

"It's a gig, not a concert. We're playing at a bar, not some festival. And no, I'm not nervous. This is the kind of thing we've done like twenty times now. Hell, we've done it at that same bar once or twice already, I think."

Hmm. Her words were confident and her tone indicated the same, but the way she fidgeted and avoided eye contact led him to believe she may not have been telling the whole truth. It wasn't like he could fault her for being antsy- making music for any crowd, even just a bar, was well outside his comfort zone.

"You...you are going to be there, right?"

Now she was looking at him, her eyes holding a little more of the nervousness he suspected Hekati was feeling. He grinned over his coffee.

"I said I would, didn't I?"

"Yeah. Just worried you'll forget it, given how damn scatterbrained you are," she said, her former assertiveness returning.

"I set an alarm and everything. I'll be there, Katie."

It took her a moment to realize he'd used the 'wrong' name- she nodded at first, then sent a light wing-punch his way. Fortunately it was a lot softer than the last one, and the accompanying shock didn't leave his dick hard.

"Idiot. How many times do I have to tell you…"

"Probably going to have to be a lot more than that," he said, smiling.

---

This place wasn't half bad.

When Hekati had told him that her band would be playing in a bar, he had almost expected the place to be some kind of dive. Maybe that was just his negative stereotypes about punk rock or something, though, because the establishment he was in right now was a far cry from some dingy shack of rotgut-slingers. It was big, too- even without the stage, it would've been one of the larger bars he'd been to. Warm lighting, a few patrons shooting pool over on the other side of the room, and a well-stocked liquor shelf behind the bar were just a few of the things that jumped out at him.

There was one minor problem, however- the people. Kinsley didn't know if the current crowd were this bar's regulars or if they were just here tonight for the music, but the abundance of leather, tattoos, and edgy haircuts made it clear that this wasn't the type of place he'd normally find himself in. He, in his buttoned-up shirt and khakis, was the odd one out here. Still, nobody had displayed any kind of aggression toward him. As long as he didn't impale himself on someone's spiked collar, hopefully he'd be fine.

Kinsley checked his watch. Eight o' clock flat. All he'd had to drink so far was a single beer that he had nursed for the past ten minutes or so- he didn't want to get too hammered to appreciate Hekati's guitar ability.

An increase in the volume of the crowd's chatter drew his attention- chatter that quickly turned into cheering whoops and hollers. He looked up at the stage to see that the band had made their entrance. 

At the head of the group was a kejourou, a few strands of her hair waving at the crowd while a larger bit of hair held a wireless microphone. The lead singer, then. Clutching a bass guitar behind her was...a succubus? No- as Kinsley squinted, he could make out not just a faintly boyish face, but a number of male and female symbols hanging from her duds. An alp on bass, then. The drummer certainly got his attention- just how the hell they even managed to fit an ushi oni into the bar was a mystery, but there she was. Ushis weren't the most timid and friendly-looking creatures to begin with; seeing one sporting chains and spikes made her as menacing as any mamono he'd ever seen. She walked up to the oversized drumset and positioned her pedipalps on a raised pair of pedals for the lower drums.

But he wasn't really here for those three, impressive as they were. Hekati was the smallest one on the stage, shorter than even the bass-alp, but in a way she took up the most space. Her swagger, her body language- she radiated a confidence that made the Hekati he'd talked to in the coffee shop look outright shy. The outfit didn't hurt either. Eye-catching and menacing in equal measure, she wore the leather better than anyone else in the bar. Slung around waist height was a black Flying V-esque six-string. He had expected some kind of lightning motif on it, but it was entirely black except for some writing on the neck under the strings.

'The Torch'. Huh.

All of them spread out as much as they could on the bar's stage, bantering and laughing with the crowd. The kejourou tapped on her microphone once, a burst of feedback coming over the speakers, before she started speaking.

"How are you doing tonight, dears?"

A loud cheer rose as the crowd's answer. She smiled, twirling and flipping the microphone lazily with her hair. Her speaking voice was light and playful- musical, yes, though not what he imagined a punk rock vocalist's voice would sound like.

"Mmm. That's what we like to hear. Now, I know you've all been waiting for quite some time, so this is all the introduction I'll leave you with: We are Makai. Enjoy the show."

They didn't even give the crowd time to cheer- without missing a beat, the ushi cracked out a one-two on the drums, and the band dove right into the first song. Kinsley could barely hear the poor alp's bass, drowned out as it was by the intro riff from Hekati's guitar. The tinny audio from the phone video she'd showed him at the cafè didn't do the real sound anything close to justice.

If it wasn't for her guitar licks, he probably wouldn't have even liked the song. Hell, he barely heard the song at all- just the wailing, amplifier boosted sound of her axe. It took Kinsley a moment to realize that the kejourou was even singing. He tried to pay attention to the lyrics, to listen to and appreciate the whole band, but it wasn't long before another power chord stole his attention to the beautiful creature who had strummed it.

How did she do it? The shredding, the solos, even the repetitive notes during the Kej's verses practically had a magnetic pull. The fact she could do it all with talons instead of fingers was almost frightening.

With one more note, the first song was over. It had felt like it had scarcely lasted a minute, but then again, he'd been effectively mesmerized for the whole thing. They jumped into the next after a few seconds of applause. This one was a little slower and less intense, which actually gave Kinsley some time to focus on the other members of the band.

Except he didn't. For most of the first song, Hekati had been looking downwards. Kinsley didn't know if that was so she could see the instrument she was playing or some other reason, but now she occasionally glanced up at the crowd, grinning at particularly excited fans. Kinsley had to admit that a little spark of jealousy welled up in him when a man near the front of the stage whistled at the end of one of her solos. She didn't seem to notice.

And then, all of a sudden, her eyes found Kinsley smiling up at her. The guitar that had hardly missed a single note now faltered, an ugly fumbled chord coming from the speakers. She immediately looked back down at her guitar.

Hekati picked the song back up quickly enough, but her bandmates had noticed the mistake. When they came to a particularly quiet part of the song, the bassist trotted over to Hekati and said something in her ear, grinning all the while. The thunderbird grimaced and said something back, sending the alp back to her side of the stage laughing.

They rounded off the song quietly. Even throughout the following applause Hekati kept her eyes down, fiddling with the tuner keys of her guitar. Soon, the kejourou started singing again- well, half-singing- while Hekati played a relatively simple riff. The rest of the band launched into action a few words later, Hekati's frenetic guitar the main attraction as she tore up the strings. Still, the fact that she now refused to look up at him bothered Kinsley. Had she not recognized him? He certainly didn't fit in with the crowd. Maybe he should move forward, closer to her.

...or not. Some of the mamono near the front looked a little too drunk and edgy for him to be safely pushing past them. He resolved himself to simply keep his eyes on the girl he was here for, hoping she would look back up at him and smile back.

-

His ears were ringing, the crowd was clearly getting exhausted, and the ushi drummer had gotten so sweaty she'd ripped off her shirt and let her tits out, and yet as the last song neared its end Kinsley could only find himself wanting it to go on some more. Hekati had sunk to her knees, eyes closed in absolute focus as her talons flew across the frets almost too quickly to see. This was it, her final solo of the night, and she was damn sure making the most of it.

With one more chord, then another, and then a final note, they finished. The cheering started before the chord had even fully faded out. Kinsley found himself whistling and clapping as well, the few drinks he'd ingested throughout the night making him wobble just a bit as he stood up. 

But Hekati still didn't look at him. She thanked everybody close to the stage, but she couldn't spare a glance further back his way. 

Maybe that was just some kind of performance professionalism he wasn't aware of- to not really acknowledge people you know in the crowd. If that was the case, well, he could understand it. Now that she was done, though, surely she would be willing to talk to him.

And yet, as he started moving toward her, Hekati stood up and beat a hasty retreat backstage. Kinsley stopped in his tracks.

Was she...changing clothes? Getting something to drink? Dropping off her guitar? He supposed there was any number of reasons for her to leave, but her absence stung all the same. The rest of the band watched her go before being mobbed by their fans, all of them staying on stage to mingle with the crowd. Kinsley was just left standing there.

At least until the bassist spotted him. She cocked her head and squinted as if trying to recognize him, then promptly hopped off the stage and made her way through the mass of bodies.

"Are you Kinney?" She called to him as she finally pushed past a drunk oni. 

"Uh, Kinsley. I'm Hekati's...friend. Is she coming back out?"

"Probably not, the pussy. That's why you ought to go and find her."

"Huh?" 

The alp unslung her guitar and gestured backstage, pointing at the door Hekati had left from.

"Oh, come on. Don't 'huh' me. You have to know as well as I do that she's crazy about you."

"She-?"

He spent a moment just blinking at her. The alp rolled her eyes.

"You see what she named her guitar? 'The Torch'?"

"I saw, but I don't understand what that has to do with…"

"Yeah, I didn't get it either until she explained it. She carries The Torch. As in, she carries a torch. For you. She still carries a torch for you. God, she's such a fucking dork…"

The alp facepalmed, and Kinsley got the impression that Hekati had got more than a little ribbing for that play on words. That wasn't what was on his mind, though.

Hekati liked him? After all this time? This alp probably knew her better than Kinsley did in the past few years, and he couldn't think of any reason she would have to lie.

"I bet she ran off because she's too scared to actually talk to you. But you know what?"

Before Kinsley knew what was happening, the bass player had grabbed his arm and started pulling him onto the stage and towards the door to the back.

"Screw that. If I have to listen to her drool over you for one more goddamn second I will lose my fucking mind," she said, hauling him past the ushi that loomed over the two of them, "So you go back there, and you take care of her."

The alp flung open the door and threw him inside, Kinsley almost falling on his face. She hadn't looked that strong...

"Have fun," she said, then shut the door behind him.

As much as he wanted to stop here and process just what had happened in the last minute, only two things rose to the forefront of his thoughts- the first, that Hekati wanted him, and the second, that she was just down the hall.

That was enough for him. Kinsley crept up to the room down the hall- what looked like a tiny dressing room. It was a bar, after all, not a full concert venue. How the hell the ushi had fit in here, though, was a question for the ages.

But right now, there was no ushi. Just one much smaller mamono, pacing back and forth with her head in her hands. She was mumbling something to herself.

The floorboard creaked as he stood in the doorframe, drawing her attention.

"Sorry for rushing offstage, guys, I-"

Both her mouth and her legs froze the moment she looked at him. Hekati blinked a few times. Now that he was closer to her, he could see the way the leather really clung to her curves- her casual outfit showed more skin, but he found her current getup even more alluring.

"Kinsley? W-what the hell are you…?"

Shit, he was supposed to say something. His eyes came back up to hers. Hopefully she was too surprised to notice his gawking.

"Your, umm- your bassist came up to me after you left," he said, walking a little closer. "She told me to come back here. Well, that, and some other things."

"...other things?"

God, if that alp was lying, he was going to kick her in the groin so hard her balls would feel it in the past.

"Like what your guitar's name means." He came closer still, pointing towards where her six-string was leaned against the wall. "I think I have to agree with her. That's a pretty bad joke."

He came even closer. Hekati tried backing up, but she could only go about a foot before her back was up against the wall. The difference in height between them- he always had a few inches on her, even back in school- meant that he was now looking down at her.

"She told me something else, too."

He could hear the faint crackling of electricity from her wings. The little bolts of lightning weren't as powerful as the thunderslaps she normally sent his way. They were light. Ticklish, kind of. Almost like a caress, if you could describe electricity as such.

Her eyes were so wide. Was she afraid? He hoped not.

"She told me…"

A hand moved up to cup her cheek. His mouth was open, as was hers, but words had fled him. So, Kinsley did what he'd wanted to do for years.

She jumped a little when their lips met. Gone was her usual brash confidence and casual abuse; the Hekati he was kissing now was someone much more timid, her tongue remaining still in her mouth. He used the hand on her cheek to pull her in closer, deeper, until his tongue finally got a reaction out of her- a quiet, drawn-out moan.

With his free hand, he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her body into his. 

"I can't believe you made me wait so long to-"

Hekati didn't let him finish. She made a cute little whine as her wing hooked around his head and pushed his lips back against hers, now reciprocating the kiss but remaining submissive. 

If she wanted him to take charge, that was more than fine. Kinsley removed his hand from her waist and instead gave her a hard spank on her leather-clad ass, grabbing ahold of the cheek afterwards. The gasp that followed let him more aggressively kiss her.

The lightning around her wings was growing more powerful; every arc that leapt from her to him made his skin tingle, and he could clearly feel himself growing harder. Kinsley removed his hand from her face and instead hauled her leg upwards, then began grinding against her. Even through both of their clothes, he could feel her wetness- to say nothing of the heat emanating from down there.

Fuck it. This stupid dressing room was as good a place as any. He started unbuttoning his pants with one hand, keeping his lips on hers all the while.

"Ahem. Having fun, children?"

Kinsley broke the kiss and turned his head to find Hekati's kejourou bandmate smiling at the two of them, a prehensile strand of hair casually curling and uncurling around her fingers. Behind her was the alp, also looking amused. It seemed they were done mingling with the fans, though the ushi was nowhere to be seen.

"Ah. Umm...sorry…" Kinsley started, unsure of just what to say. Hekati still hadn't said a word, and was presently trying to move his head back with her wing so they could keep kissing. What was with her? Was making out her weakness or something?

"You could keep going, I suppose, if you're okay with us milling about around you."

"I'll probably record it on my phone, too. Looks like it's going to be pretty hot," the alp chimed in. The way she was sensually stroking her tail was...alarming.

"Kiiissss….."

Hekati's head thudded lightly against his upper chest. She was licking, sucking, and nibbling on the skin of his neck, and it was all he could do just to continue speaking with her bandmates. They eyed the kiss-hungry Hekati with raised eyebrows.

"Right. We'll just, uh, find somewhere el-" 

The end of his sentence was cut off by Hekati managing to finally lock her lips with his again. He obliged her for a few seconds, aggressively probing her mouth with his tongue, before withdrawing once again.

"Jeez. You got a magic tongue or something, man?"

"C'mon, Hekati," Kinsley said, trying to pry her off of him. She wasn't too strong, and her lack of hands made grabbing him harder for her, but she continued to both verbally and physically demand kisses all the same.

"You could do it in the bathroom. I doubt anybody would care much," the kej suggested.

"I am not going to have our first time be in a bar bathroom," Kinsley hissed back.

"Where, then?"

He tried to think of something but the thunderbird now headbutting his chest made that endeavor rather difficult. His growing lust, and erection, did the same.

"Katie? Do you think you could wait long enough for us to drive home?" He asked. A childish, pouty groan was his answer as her head thudded against his breast again. 

"'Katie'? Oh, we're definitely going to have to remember that one," said the alp. The kejourou giggled too- maybe he shouldn't have used that name in front of them. Whatever.

He pulled away from the wall and grabbed Hekati by the upper arm, leading her towards the exit door.

"We'll grab her things for her. Enjoy yourselves!"

Kinsley offered the kejourou a quick word of thanks as they left the room and entered the nighttime air. Shit, where did he park? He pulled his keys out and hit the fob, a quick honk coming from one of the cars as the headlights flashed.

Before he could make it any further, though, Hekati pulled back and sent him stumbling into her. Clearly she had been trying to resume their kiss, and she was successful- once again, his tongue found its way into her mouth if only to placate her for the time being.

It didn't placate her, though. In a single movement that nearly sent him falling backwards, Hekati quite literally jumped onto him. Her taloned legs wrapped around his stomach and lower back, while her wings did the same to the back of his neck. He only managed to keep his balance because of how light she was. He didn't know if harpies had hollow bones like actual birds, but fortunately he was able to support her weight with one hand holding her up by her ass.

Kinsley reached the car like that- with he and Hekati connected at the lips, and her starting to push against his pelvis with her own. He pinned her back against the door and simply stayed there for a minute, grinding and thrusting as if neither of them were wearing anything.

Nevermind Hekati- there was no way he would make it home like this. Instead of hopping in the driver's seat he popped open the back door and maneuvered the two of them into the backseat, careful not to hit her head on the top frame of the sedan.

Kinsley didn't envision his first time with her being in the back of his car, but at least it wasn't a bathroom. He was way too horny to care too much, anyway.

He laid Hekati down flat on the seat, trying to give himself some room to start removing his clothes, but she immediately tried sitting back up to kiss him. 

"Stay down while I get these off," he said. She didn't listen, of course. It wasn't long before she was up at his neck again, trying desperately to meet his lips. He had only managed to get his shirt off.

Kinsley didn't know what had caused her unexpected kiss-addiction, but it was starting to interfere with the main attraction here. 

He seized her by the wing talons and slammed her back down onto the seat. It was a cushion, of course, so it didn't really hurt her, but it seemed to startle her sufficiently to snap her out of it. She looked up into his eyes, their faces just a few inches apart, but didn't try to kiss him.

"Stay. Down," he ordered. Hopefully she didn't think he was being mean, but then again, he was increasingly getting the impression that Hekati was a lot more submissive than she had been letting on. "You'll get your kisses once you start behaving."

She whimpered and squirmed, but when Kinsley sat back up and continued stripping, Hekati didn't jump back up to resume making out.

When his clothes were all off and strewn on the seats around them, he leaned back down towards Hekati. The sight of his body, notably his erection, seemed to stymie her oral fixation for a moment- long enough for him to start removing her clothes as well. 

"What's gotten into you?" He whispered to her as he undid a zipper, "What happened to always being in charge, or zapping me when I called you Katie? Huh?"

Hekati actually gave a halfhearted attempt at electrifying him, but most of the already subdued electric charge was simply absorbed by the seat her wing was resting on. She continued to writhe on the cushion, looking almost ashamed at her failed attempt at retaliation.

"Hmph. That's what I thought. You were just pushing me around because you wanted me to push back, weren't you?"

He roughly yanked her top off. She wasn't even wearing a bra. Cheeky little thing- she had probably been hoping for some action tonight, even if she had tried to chicken out at the end. Kinsley started mauling her breasts, modest as they were, which sent a whole new wave of electricity crackling away from her wings- not that she had much control of that anymore.

He set to work on removing her pants now. As hot as this punk getup was, the fact everything was so tight made stripping her that much harder. Her inability to stop wiggling around on the seat didn't help. When the pants finally came off her talon-feet, her underwear came with them- a cute pair of electric blue panties that completely contrasted with the black leather that had been covering them. He threw the clothing over the headrest and onto the driver's seat.

Kinsley had to take a moment to appreciate her naked form. With all her clothes off, she looked...smaller. More fragile. Petite, maybe, though certainly not like a member of the sabbath- her chest still put any of them to shame, even if it was perhaps smaller than most. What really drew his attention, though, was the sticky trails of moisture hanging between her upper thighs. She was, to say the least, wet.

"You're practically soaked down here, but you keep wanting me to focus on the wrong pair of lips," he chided, placing a finger on her slightly toned stomach and drawing lazy circles with it. "Well, if you really want a kiss so bad…"

Hekati breathed an audible sigh of relief upon hearing the k-word, but her satisfaction was short lived. Kinsley didn't move to her head, but instead dove between her thighs. Before she could protest his tongue was already lapping against her clit, alternating between rough flicks and rougher sucking. The noises coming from her groaning, instinctual things, the product of going from zero to sixty in terms of stimulation in such a short period of time.

And yet, as he licked more and more, he could feel something in the air- a tense, tangible...something. He struggled to define it, but kept up his efforts nonetheless- the licking and teasing was certainly having an effect on Hekati. She contorted on the seat, one second trying to push his head away with her wings, the other using her legs to force his tongue into her.

Curiously, however, her wings seemed to have stopped producing their lightning. That intangible feeling was growing more intense as well, and he swore he could hear a kind of buzzing around him. It seemed as if the very air around them was...agitated, somehow.

Hekati had grown quiet, too, even if she was trembling enough to let him know that her orgasm was approaching. All he heard from her were breaths and subdued moans. That was strange- he had expected her to get louder, not quieter.

The revelation of just what was happening hit him at the moment of her climax. Hekati's screaming orgasm was drowned out by the deafening sound of cracking lightning and the blinding flash accompanying it- not the small, snappy arcs of electricity he was used to, but a veritable thunderbolt springing to life in the backseat with them. He could tell immediately that it had been focused at him.

"Ooh...hoooh, that was fun," Hekati said, winded but evidently composed. "A good warmup, anyway."

He couldn't move. His limbs, along with his head, neck, and even his mouth, were paralyzed. All he could do was breathe and blink. Whatever she had done had evidently fried something in him, at least temporarily. The smell of ozone reached his nose, combining with the scent of her sex that his face was still buried in.

"You were acting real cute for a minute there, Kinsley. All bossy and serious."

Hekati sat up and turned him onto his back. He could still feel everything; her talons lightly scratched against his skin, while her wings were surprisingly soft when they weren't electrocuting him. The taste of her sex still sat his tongue, even if he could hardly move it.

"...but I think we both know who the one in charge here is."

She moved to sit on top of him. For all his indignant frustration at having the tables turned on him, Kinsley found it difficult to care the moment she pushed his erection right against her entrance. Without actually letting him inside, she leaned down and pressed her lips against his ear.

"So I think I'll just be on top for our first time. Any problems with that?"

His lips hardly moved at all. No sound came out.

"That's what I thought," she said, now moving to kiss him. She was just as kiss-hungry as before, though now she took the lead in his place. Hekati batted his own paralyzed tongue around, teasing and poking and licking as she pleased.

With no warning, she dropped down onto him. The first thing that struck him was the tightness- the pressure was so great it took considerable force for Hekati to properly impale herself on him. She didn't let that stop her, of course.

"I can't believe- hah!- you told me to 'behave'. Like I'm- hah!- some fucking dog," she said, now biting the skin of his neck. Hard, too- she wasn't just nibbling but was actually causing a bit of pain. Probably trying to send a message, as if her words and the fact he was at her mercy didn't already do that.

However, it became apparent to him that he might not be entirely helpless. As good as the brutal pace Hekati had set felt, he could feel control starting to return to his extremities. His mouth could partly move, along with his fingertips.

"That's it," she whispered down at his neck, her voice more mocking than loving, "just be still and take it. Like a good boy. Like a well-behaved boy."

The sound of wet 'plap, plap, plaps' reverberated inside the car. He was getting closer to climax, but he seemed to be regaining control of his body faster. Hekati still didn't notice, even as he picked an entire hand up off the seat.

"What's the matter, Kinsley? Nothing to say?" Her tone was smug and almost cruel. She had moved to bite on his earlobe between whispers.

His hand shakily crept up to the back of her head, gently caressing her scalp when it got there. The sudden contact made Hekati stop nibbling on his ear and gasp. Clearly, Hekati had been expecting her lightning to keep him out of commission for longer than it had.

"How about 'I love you'?" He whispered to her.

Her movements slowed, then stopped entirely. The sound of her uneven breaths filled Kinsley's ear as he continued running his hands through her hair, but she didn't have any more mocking words or bites to give. She was practically rigid, as paralyzed as he had been minutes prior.

He laughed quietly as Hekati stilled on top of him. He had read that thunderbirds were weak to displays of affection, that their own electricity could turn against them, but he hadn't expected three little words to do the trick. With her lying unmoving on top of him, he began to thrust into her from below. 

This time, however, things were gentler. Slower. Kinsley took the time to appreciate every inch of her as it squeezed and parted for his erection. Hekati's reaction was only more stuttering breaths. Being as gentle as he could, he rolled the two of them over so he was on top and continued thrusting.

"Oh, did you like it when I said that? I bet you secretly love when I call you Katie, too. All that tough-girl stuff- that was just an act. You were just dying to get lovey-dovey, weren't you?"

All Hekati could do was give tiny, quiet whines and moans under him. She remained immobile, even as he sank down in the mirror image of their former position and started whispering in her ear.

"Cum with me, Katie."

Kinsley pressed himself tighter against her, his thrusts increasing in tempo as the orgasm he'd been trying to hold out against bore down on him. With one last slow push, he hilted himself inside her. Hekati shook a little under him, but made no attempt to stop him from filling her. He could feel the ebb and flow of the waves of pleasure she was experiencing in the form of the electricity coming from her wings; one second it cut off entirely and the next it was strong enough to light up the backseat with blue arcs of lightning.

Gradually, though, the electricity and his pleasure died down. Hekati was still largely immobile, her battery spent. With the lust mostly gone and his mind clearer, Kinsley's rational thinking returned.

They'd had their first time in the back of his car. Hardly the most romantic place for making love. And now the cold was starting to get to him as well, his ass getting chilly as he disengaged from Hekati and sat back on the cold seat. 

"Mmmn...Kinsley?"

His eyes went back down to his new lover, finding that enough of her motor function had returned to wipe her brow with a shaky, sweat-soaked wing.

"Y-yeah. Yeah, I'm here," he said, scooting back over to cuddle with Hekati. Her feathers were certainly warmer than the seat.

"Good. Just need to...keep an eye on you…" The tiredness in her voice was evident. Maybe flinging all that electricity around had done a number on her.

"Making sure I don't do anything stupid?"

"Yeah…" she said, twirling his hair lovingly with a talon. "...like disappearing for another eight years…"

"That's as much your fault as it is mine," he said lightly. Hekati just 'hmph'ed at him and pressed her face against his chest, continuing to stroke his hair until sleep claimed her.

---

Hekati laid down her guitar and other gear at the foot of the sofa, her coat following shortly afterwards. The sound of her opening the door didn't seem to have been missed, however. Kinsley enveloped her in a bear hug the moment she rounded the corner.

"There you are! I was starting to worry. How was you guys' practice?"

"It was good. Well, when the others weren't goofing around," she said quietly, instinctively hugging him back.

"That's nice. Hey, how does getting something delivered for dinner sound? I've been hankering for something from that chinese place for the past few days."

"Yeah, I'm fine with that."

"Cool! I'll go order it," he said, giving her a kiss on the lips that lasted just a little too long to be called chaste before walking back into the kitchen to get his phone.

Hekati stood in the living room and puffed her chest up. She'd do it now, after he was done talking on the phone. She'd show him who wore the pants in this relationship! Her bandmates had given her an endless amount of shit when she told them Kinsley had been the one on top for most of their first time, and demanded she establish who was really the dominant one between the two of them.

So that's what she would do- take him against his will, like she had tried in the car, except this time she wouldn't let a little bit of lovey-dovey nonsense throw her off. Even if she wanted nothing more than for Kinsley to scoop her up and call her Katie.

No! Even if he used that name, she was going to stick to the plan- push him down on the floor, rip his clothes off, and ravage him long enough for the delivery boy to see it! And she wouldn't listen to anything that came from that silver tongue of his.

"They said the food should get here in about half an hour."

Hekati jumped- she hadn't expected him to finish ordering so fast. Kinsley smiled down at her. Of course he had to be a little taller, too…

"Oops. I'm sorry, honey, I didn't mean to startle you. Why don't we sit down for a minute? You look tired," he said, and before she could protest she had been ushered down onto the sofa, her head resting up against his chest. Why did he have to be so warm and cuddly?

"I was listening to some more of the songs you guys had put online- I didn't know you guys did some classic rock stuff. You can play some of those old riffs really well!"

His praise, along with the fingers softly tracing their way through her wing feathers, made it plenty difficult to keep up the tough girl routine.

"W-well, a lot of them are pretty simple…"

"Oh, don't put yourself down like that. And you're doing it all with talons, not hands! That's awesome!" Kinsley squeezed her tighter against him. 

Hekati took a breath as her cheeks grew warm. This should be easy. He was taller than her, but the mana in her muscles meant she was stronger. As long as she didn't get overloaded like before, she had electricity on her side, too. Just don't listen to his stupid, sweet, honeyed words.

"Hey, you okay, honey? You're kind of quiet," Kinsley said, now tenderly brushing some hair out of her face. She shut her eyes.

"Yeah. Just a little tired, like you said," she lied. 

"Aww. Well, that's fine. Do you want to head to bed early after dinner? Or maybe take a bath?" His hand dipped down lower, towards her belly. "...or maybe I can help you relax some other way? You seemed to like it when I used my tongue the other night."

Even when faced with an open invitation for naughtiness, Kinsley's eagerness to tend to her made Hekati less inclined to follow through with her plan. Stupid, stupid, stupid Kinsley and his stupid loving, doting nature.

"Let's just stay like this," she said, still holding out a little hope of turning things around and getting violent.

"Of course. You know I love you, right, Katie?"

Nooooooo, not that name…

"Y-yes. L-love you too," she mumbled, cuddling closer into him as all thoughts of rape, or establishing dominance, or doing anything besides letting Kinsley dote on her fled her mind.