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“Again?” Grant sighed. “Must I?”

They were sitting in the kitchen of an abandoned farmhouse several miles from the French camp and had spent the last few hours trying to come up with an alternative plan.

“I’m afraid so, Major.” Strange did not look too happy about the prospect himself. “Lord Wellington needs the information and I can see no other way of obtaining it.”

”Are you certain these ... transformations.. are not going to have any lasting effects?” De Lancey gave voice to Grant’s own concerns.

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry. From what I can tell, three times should be perfectly safe, although it may start to get a little more risky after that.”

Grant and De Lancey exchanged a worried glance but neither of them wanted to admit to using Strange’s magic without his permission so they remained silent as he continued.

“All you need to do it sneak into the French camp and find out exactly how many cannon they have. Now that you have mastered the intricacies of the spell, I assume you will be able to count.”

”Well, yes, but..”

“Splendid.” Strange handed over the gold pendant. “I will let you get on with it then.”

De Lancey just shrugged and followed the magician out of the room, pausing to clap Grant on the back as he passed. “Good luck.” He leaned closer and whispered with a grin, “no cubs this time please.”

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It was several hours later when Strange heard a scratching at the kitchen door, and the sense of relief was just as strong as it had been when Grant had returned from his first vulpine adventure. De Lancey had retired for the night but Strange found he was unable to even consider sleeping until he knew the Major was safe and back in human form.

Despite what he had told them, he was unsure what the lasting effects of the spell might be and vowed to destroy the talisman as soon as he got it back.

He pulled the door open and was almost bowled over by a flurry of red fur as the fox pushed past him and ran out into the hallway.

“Grant?” He felt a little aggrieved as he watched it bound up the stairs and push open the door to De Lancey’s room. “Oh well,” he sighed, “I suppose you want to report your findings directly to the Colonel.”

De Lancey was not sleeping either. Lying on the bed in his shirt and breeches, he was starting to think that he should have told Strange the truth about their efforts to sabotage Wellington’s hunt. Besides, even if this plan succeeded, they going to have to explain how they had come by the information and he could not for the life of him come up with a plausible lie.

He got to his feet and was about to go and confess everything when the door flew open and the fox leaped straight at him, planting its front paws on his chest and causing him to lose his balance and sit back down with a bump.

De Lancey stared at the animal, which was now sitting in front of him watching every little move he made as if it were stalking its prey and waiting for the right moment to strike. He reached down carefully and lifted the chain over its head.

Accustomed as he now was to the sight of the shimmer in the air and the sudden appearance of a naked man at this feet, he felt his breath catch at what he saw before him: Grant’s physical form may have reverted to normal, but there was still something uncanny and wild in his eyes.

“Good lord.” He searched Grant’s face with a worried frown. “What on earth has got you so worked up?”

Grant gave a low grunt and sat back on his haunches, making it very evident what had got him worked up. He pounced forward and pushed De Lancey back onto the bed, growling deep in his throat as he pulled himself up and pressed his body hard against the other man’s chest.

“Wait!” De Lancey gasped as Grant ran his tongue hungrily over his jaw and down the side of his neck. “You are not yet yourself. Perhaps we should .. ” He fought the urge to respond to Grant’s fervoured kisses and summoned up enough strength to push him off the bed, but Grant grabbed his arm and pulled him down to the floor as he fell back.

For a moment they just knelt there, breathing hard and unable to look away from each other until Grant’s instincts took over once more.

He spun De Lancey around and bent him over the bed.

De Lancey could no longer control himself and he pushed back against the weight of Grant’s body, his own cock straining against his breeches as the heat of desire overwhelmed him.

“Oh!” he gave a yelp as he felt Grant’s teeth nipping at the nape of his neck and moaned with delight as this only seemed to add to the urgency.

Locked together now, they moved faster and faster until Grant’s whole body tensed and he let out a primal howl as he reached his climax. De Lancey felt something deep within him resonate to the sound of his lover letting go with such reckless abandon and he echoed the cry of the wild as his body shuddered with the ecstasy of release.

Down in the kitchen, Strange sat up with start. That first though that crossed his mind was that the spell had gone wrong and Grant was in excruciating pain as the reversal took effect. He was out the door and halfway up the stairs before his memory took him back to his days in the English countryside and he recalled where he had heard those sounds before.