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Chapter 21

I got the fax through about Luci’s past… one google search later and…

Oh Luci…

I almost couldn’t bear to read past the first few lines of all these articles, the headlines were bad enough, but the details…

Conservations were supposed to be better, I was almost glad he got ripped from his mother and left in a cage at the auction house, it had been no life for Luci but anything would be better than what I was seeing on my computer screen right now.

Fifteen years ago the conservation Luci had come from shut down, the RSPCS, or Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Shifters had actually forced it to shut down due to concerns of neglect and abuse to the shifters in the conservations care. Some of the cases described… it was beyond words… I couldn’t help but imagine…

What if Luci had never left that place?

What if he was a nameless shifter in one of these articles?

The state some of the shifters were found in was… horrific…

Some were bred to death, beaten into subservience, used for their keepers pleasure, their needs so thoroughly neglected the RSPCS had also taken bodies from the place. A room tucked away they discovered had been filled full of discarded shifters, slung a-top of an ever-growing pile of rotting corpses like worthless trash. Not even worthy of a proper grave or even a lick of remorse.

Shifters weren’t just animals, not that any animal should be treated like that, not at all, but the fact that shifters were also part human… animals didn’t understand why they were being abused, didn’t understand twisted human conscious, shifters had that capacity though.

It brought me to tears, my eyes burning painfully, hot tears clouding my vision and a tight knot lodging in my throat.

He found me like that, Luci…

“What’s wrong master?” he asked me, voice thick from his recent nap. His arms wrapped around me, his bold sage scent I’d grown so fond of tickling my stuffy nose. His presence only made me cry more, his selfless care and affection. How could anyone hurt such a gorgeous, sweet hearted creature?

A soothing purr rumbled from his chest and he nuzzled his cheeks almost desperately into my hair, his purrs turning slightly distressed at my obvious upset state.

“Luci…” I croaked out and hugged him back tightly, my damp cheeks sticking to the warm planes of his bare chest.

“No cry master, please.” he implored, sounding close to tears himself. I hated that I was causing him stress, but I just couldn’t seem to stop crying. Those articles were firmly stuck in my head, going around and around like a song stuck on repeat.

I forced myself to look up at him, blinking rapidly so my vision would clear, my heart breaking just looking at him, wondering what his fate might have been if Mr Baratol hadn’t bought him. My hands cupped his cheeks, my sun starved pale skin stark against his natural olive, his blue eyes looking down at me with such worry and a desperate need to make me feel better. He was just so good, which only made it hurt even more.

“Luci.” I croaked, exhaling a shuddering breath and leaning up to kiss his temple, assuring him I was okay, disgusted by my own species and stricken with guilt, but okay.

He took my kiss as permission to return the favour, tears continued to spill freely from my eyes but my sobs quietened as he pressed his mouth gently against different parts of my face, still not quite getting how to kiss. It was painfully adorable and I whispered out his name under my breath when he softly lapped the tears from my cheeks.

A small sound of surprise left my throat when he lifted me into his arms. My hands clutched the back of his neck and I buried my face in the hollow of his throat, breathing in his crisp and green sage scent, mixed with the animal musk that all shifters had.

I felt him walking, his strong arms easily taking my weight. Sometimes I forgot just how strong he was, it was moments like this when I realised that he could easily overpower me and I could do nothing about it. Luci choses to follow my commands, he allows me to be his master.

In our society pet shifters are meant to be subservient to their owners, it is expected and trained into them from a young age. I believe it’s one of the reasons I’d put off getting a pet for so long, I didn’t want to force a shifter to do my bidding, I didn’t want a modern-age slave.

Luci though…

I can see how much he enjoys being good for me, how each word of praise makes his beautiful blue eyes sparkle and his slender black tail quiver with happiness. He can hardly contain himself when he knows he’s been good and strives to follow my instructions to the best of his ability, but he doesn’t do it out of fear or expectance, no, it’s how he expresses his affection.

He gently set me down and through my swollen and blurry eyes I could see the sitting room, the soft cushions of the sofa below me.

Low, rumbly purrs emanated from his chest and he carefully lapped at the fresh tears on my cheeks. Fingers gently tugged at my clothes until I was just in my briefs and I welcomed Luci with open arms as he climbed onto the sofa with me. His skin was incredibly warm against mine, his body heavy but not oppressive on top of me, more like a living, breathing weighted blanket.

He proceeded to lick, nuzzle and kiss every inch of skin he could reach whilst still laying over me, the soothing vibrations coming from his chest never stopping or slowing down.

The sweetness and care of his actions caused my heart to ache painfully and a few more hot tears spilled down my cheeks but the heavy burden of knowing the kind of place Luci breathed his first breaths felt easier to carry knowing he was now safe and in my arms, and would never face such abuse and neglect again, not even over my dead body.

I reciprocated his nuzzles and rubbed my hands up and down the soft skin of his back, gently kissing away the few tears he’d split in his worry for me. “How did I ever get such a good boy, hmm?” I sniffed out quietly.

He paused his comforting affection to pull away just enough so our eyes could meet, his beautiful blues studying my face for a few moments before his own broke into a relieved smile and I chuckled softly as I saw his tail quiver and swish in slow flicks behind him. “Master okay now?” he asked me and I leaned into his hand when it cupped my face, the slightly calloused pad of his thumb running under one of my eyes.

“All because of you Luci,” I said, smiling gently up at him.

His ears flattered a little and he whined out “master”, burying his face in my neck but full-throated, trilled purrs came from him.

A louder chuckle left me at his adorable response and I hugged his shoulders tightly, peppering kisses to the bits of his face still visible.

“Master!” he whined again, a sonorous purr filling the room.

“What is it Luci? Can’t master praise his good boy?” I teased lightly, continuing to leave kisses all over his hairline and temple, pausing when he pulled his head away from my neck to pout up at me. I placed a loud kiss on his nose and gave him an eskimo kiss and he nuzzled his nose back eagerly.

“Luci really like being called a good boy and all master’s kisses but they make me feel like I’m going to make mess on master’s leg again.” he whimpered and rubbed our cheeks together before ducking his head and nosing my throat with thunderous purrs.

I know Luci really likes my praise and affection, but… that much?

It wasn’t really unheard of for a pet shift to have a praise kink, it made sense if anything, but hearing him say it in his own way did leave me a little stunned.

My fingers raked through his hair, any knots easily untangling with a slight tug from how silky it was. I found his little round ears nestled in the dark tresses, rubbing at the base of them in the way I know he loved.

A high-pitched trill vibrated in his throat and he nuzzled deeper into my neck, slightly laboured breaths puffing against the fine hairs on my skin.

“Do you want to… make a mess again?” I asked hesitantly, a little uncomfortable asking him such a question, but I was the one who told him how important consent was. I needed to show him what I expected of him, and the best way to do that was for him to witness it first-hand.

I was a little unsure about taking that next step in our relationship but Luci had plainly declared his obvious want in a way that couldn’t be misconstrued. Like anyone else he had desires and needs, it just so happened they were pointed at me. I hadn’t influenced him in such a way, nor anyone else to my knowledge, he’d come to that conclusion all by himself. There was no way I would even consider being intimate with him if I felt like he’d been groomed to think that’s what he wanted.

He may be my pet and I his master but our relationship wasn’t so skewed or imbalanced, I saw him as my equal, despite our roles, his needs and wants were just as important as my own, maybe even more so since my role was one of authority and guidance. Luci trusted me to take care of him and provide for him, he was completely dependent on me for pretty much everything. It was my responsibility to ensure he was in good mental and physical health, and that he had everything he could possibly need, if I didn’t do my utmost to care and provide for him then I would’ve failed as an owner and master.

He went incredibly still at my words, I honestly think he’d even stopped breathing. I waited patiently for his reply, giving him all the time he needed to sort through his thoughts. “But master… I’m not of breeding age yet,” he mumbled, sounding quite confused.

He did have a point. I sighed softly and scratched behind his ears, letting my cheek rest on top of his head. The law was pretty clear that ’pet-shifters below breeding age couldn’t engage in sexual relations’. After Luci had expressed his interest I had looked in his slightly tattered pet-shifter handbook, something every owner got after purchasing a pet. It had said those exact words, sexual relations being in bold.

Some owners made the incorrect assumption that any and all sexual acts came under that term, but if that were so the peck on the lips I’d given him weeks ago certain other displays of affection I’d given him would be considered breaking the law.

Sexual relations actually meant sexual intercourse, as in actual physical sex that involved penetration, but if a law such as this was the only thing stopping sexual intercourse then that in itself is wrong, abiding by such a law doesn’t exonerate you of being a paedophile. Even though you can’t be prosecuted for having sexual thoughts about a minor, and it’s not technically illegal, it’s far from right, and a short measure of time might change the legality of such an act but it still doesn’t make it ethically sound. The same applies to more minor sexual acts.

I sighed softly, what Luci said was true, we shouldn’t cross that line just yet, I know what I’d just said about laws and ethics but why did holding him like this feel so right?

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